Skip to Content

Ioannis Kyriakantonakis

"A Study on Seventeenth-Century Religious Dynamics. The Traces of Kigalas Family."

Ioannis Kyriakantonakis

Fellow (Spring 2023), I Tatti–Dumbarton Oaks Joint Fellowship for Eastern Mediterranean Studies

Ioannis's research focuses on the network of religious dynamics in the seventeenth century that "transferred" members of a Greek Cypriot family from Nicosia (Cyprus) to Italy, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and even Spain. Throughout their lives and careers, Mattheos Kigalas and his sons, Hilarion, Ioannis (Giovanni), and Demetrios, were employed as clerics, university professors, and physicians. They trained in Counter-Reformation curricula in Rome (Greek College) and later taught their disciples in Venice, Padua, and Constantinople (Cottounian College of Padua, University of Padua, Patriarchal School of Constantinople). They also held important positions in the Orthodox Church (Patriarchate of Constantinople and Jerusalem, Church of Cyprus, and Orthodox Episcopate of Venice) and were in contact with senior Ottoman officials of the Sublime Porte. In these institutional capacities, the Kigalas participated in confessional dialogues, composed their own works, collaborated with ecclesiastical prelates of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church, and corresponded with European religious humanists. 

This case study reveals the institutional, intellectual, and confessional context, diffusion, and local variations of religious relations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Italy, under which social actions of dialogue, propaganda, education, conversion, and persecution were manifested.

Ioannis Kyriakantonakis is a teaching associate at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Political Science, and at the Hellenic Open University. He is also a tenured teacher of history and classical languages in the Greek high school system. He has conducted post-doctoral research on the prosopography, intellectual history, and historical sociology of the Greek scholarly community of Constantinople of the early modern and modern times; on the intellectual history of nationalism; and the Orthodox contexts of early modern religious dynamics. He has held research positions at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Hellenic Institute of Venice, and the Center for Asia Minor Studies in Athens.