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The Sources:

Georges Guillet de Saint-George:
"Lacédémone ancient et nouvelle - ou l'on voit les moeurs et les coutumes des Grecs modernes, des Mahométans et des Juifs du pays"
Paris, 1676

The Cases:

"Le Scavant Arsenius a esté le plus celebre de ses Archevesques; c'est ce grand homme qui estoit amy particulier du Pape Paul III. & qui luy a écrit de tres élegantes Lettres qui se trouvent encore. Il y en a une, ou il se plaint fort du peu d'affection de l'Eglise Romaine pour la Nation des Grecs, en ce qu'Elle n'en a élevé aucun a la Dignité de Cardinal. Paul fust creé Pape l'année 1535. Arsenius a fait de doctes Commentaires sur sept Tragedies d'Euripide; a scavoir, Hipolite, Hecube, Oreste, les Pheniciennes, Medée, Alceste, & Andromaque. Ils furent imprimez a Venise l'année 1534. par Lucas Antonius Iunta. Le commerce de l'Archevesque Arsenius avec le Pape Paul, & sa soumission a l'Eglise Romain le rendirent si odieux aux Grecs Schismatisques quíl fust excommunié par Pachome Patriarche de Constantinople. Voyez ce qu'en a recueilly le scavant Crusius. Les Grecs disent qu'Arsenius apres sa mort fust Broukolakas; c'est a dire, que le Demon venoit errer a l'entour de son Cadavre, & l'animoit encore. Je vous parleray une autrfois de la fole opinion des Grecs modernes touchant les Broukolakas."

So should I translate this piece of 17th Century French ? Much of it is irrelevant to our case. So I'd rather tell you about Arsenius who was the Orthodox Archbishop of Monemvasia, born somewhere in the 15th Century and whose time of death is unknown. All we know is that in 1535 he was still alive.

He was a good friend of Alessandro Farnese, the man who became Pope Paulus III in 1534. When Arsenius submitted to the Roman Catholic Church, this did not go down very well with the Heads of the Greek Orthodox Church. They excommunicated Arsenius. And that is why the Greek claim that Arsenius did become a Broukolakas and that his corpse would not rest in its grave.

The Date:

The time of Arsenius' death is not known. But he is reported to be still alive in 1535. So I think we can safely place this case within the 16th Century.

The Place:

Monemvasia is an old town on an island just off the coast of the Peloponnesos.

Possible Follow-Up:

Read the book by Georges Guillet de Saint-George and see if you can find other books where the case is mentioned. It would also be interesting to find out when, where and how Arsenius met his death, and - most of all - where and how he has been buried.

© 2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed October 2014

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