A Glance to the Property Status and the Incomes of the Priests in the Region of Tarnovo in the 19th Century


Gergana Georgieva

Abstract:

The clergy was an important part of the local elite in the Balkans and performed variety of functions. The priests were not only religious leaders but also community leaders who united and lead the members of Christian communities. In some cases, they acted as mediators between the local communities and the official authorities; often they pursued teacher’s career as an additional occupation to priesthood; and they were the most educated people in a given area and formed the substantial part of the intellectual elite. Definitely, they were among those people who influenced the life of the local communities. Therefore, it is useful to develop their group portrait by exploring the financial status and everyday aspects of their life. The study explores as case studies two villages in the central part of the Balkan Mountains – Arbanassi and Lyaskovets. In the 19th c., they were villages de jure, but de facto they functioned as small prosperous towns. Those two settlements could be characterized not only by their economic activity, but also by their strong relationship with the Orthodox Church.

Keywords:

priests, Arbanassi, Lyaskovets, property status, immovable properties

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