Evliya Çelebi, the Mani and the Fortress of Kelefa


in The Frontiers of the Ottoman World

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780197264423
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734793 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Evliya Çelebi, the Mani and the Fortress of Kelefa

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The fortress of Kelefa on the western side of the Mani peninsula in southern Greece is one of a series of fortifications constructed or refurbished to defend the Ottomans' maritime frontier against Venice in the late seventeenth century. This chapter addresses whether the castle is indeed of Ottoman construction, or whether it is in fact an earlier, Frankish, structure that was merely restored by the Ottomans. It outlines what The Chronicle of the Morea says and how it can be interpreted. It looks at what light later literary and other sources can throw on the problem, discussing Evliya Çelebi in the process. It identifies Grand Magne with a fortress which others have claimed is of Ottoman construction and dates from the seventeenth rather than the thirteenth century. The chapter also provides a sketch of the Mani as part of the Ottoman frontier zone in the Mediterranean region.

Keywords: Kelefa; Mani; Grand Magne; Evliya Çelebi; Ottoman frontier; Chronicle of the Morea

Chapter.  8825 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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