Scientific coordinator: Apostolos Delis
The Сentre of Maritime History (CMH) of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies – founded in 2017 by Professor Gelina Harlaftis and Dr Apostolos Delis – is the only research unit in Greece exclusively dedicated.
The research team of the Centre of Maritime History explores the history of the seas and more specifically focuses on the maritime history of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea from the ancient times to the present day. The Centre of Maritime History provides the resources for the training of young scholars and the production of academic work in the following broader fields: a) economic and social maritime activities (seaborne trade, navigation, ports, shipping businesses, fishing, maritime communities, maritime labour, shipbuilding and maritime technology); b) geopolitics, war and violence at sea (maritime empires, naval forces, piracy); c) scientific activities related to the sea (oceanography, history of navigation); d) leisure and tourism related to the sea, e) maritime literature and arts. The means to promote these activities are through: 1) the location, preservation, classification, processing and divulgation of archival sources related to maritime history, 2) the publication of scholarly works in Greece and abroad, 3) the organization of seminars, conferences and postgraduate studies programs in collaboration with Greek and foreign universities and summer schools. Furthermore, the Centre of Maritime History materializes research projects funded from National and European funds and carries out research in Greek and foreign archives and libraries. The activities of the Centre of Maritime History are supported by the specialized maritime history library and archives of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH.
Scientific coordinator: Apostolos Delis
The program explores the transition from sail to steam navigation and the effects of this technological innovation on seafaring populations in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, between the 1850s and the 1920s, whose lives were drastically changed by the advent of the steam.
The aim of the project was the identification, analysis and synthesis of the economic and social develοpment of 20 port-cities of the Black Sea that formed an integrated market that became the larger grain-exporting area in the world in the second half of the nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth century.
The history of ports is a rapidly developing field of research that has attracted the interest of many researchers in recent years. Τhe port of Thessaloniki is a fertile and at the same time quite demanding field of research. Port activity has affected essentially the social, economic and spatial process of Thessaloniki over the centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century the city had become one of the most important commercial ports of the Ottoman Empire and later of the Greek state. Our research aims to study the infrastructure modernization of port during the first decades of the 20th century. The remodeling of the port at the beginning of the 20th century transformed its image and structure, reorganized its own space, increased its efficiency, optimized its transport dynamics, gained a new division of labor, and transformed a large part of the natural city environment. Thus, in a sense, the study of the upgrading port infrastructure, based mainly, but not only, on the Historical Archive of Port of Thessaloniki, is an attempt to find out the interaction between technological development, economic growth and the natural environment. Finally, our aim is to make a contribution to the better understanding of the history of the city of Thessaloniki
The Center of Maritime History provides a three-year scholarship for a doctoral dissertation on maritime history, sponsored by the AEGEUS Foundation.
In the period 2019-2022, the following scholarship have been given:
2029-2022 Three year scholarship from the Centre of Maritime History, funded by AIGEAS Foundation for a ph.D. thesis on Maritime History in collaboration of IMS-FORTH with the Dpt of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete to Angelos Drougoutis. The ph.D. thesis is titled “Chiot shipowners between global shipping and the Greek economy (1945 – 1975). The case of the Andreadis Business Group”.
2022-2025 Three year grant from the Centre of Maritime History, funded by AIGEAS Foundation, for a post-doctoral research study to Dr Kalliopi Vassilaki, titled “The maritime community of Ithaca (19th-20th centuries)”.
The Institute for Mediterranean Studies will host the 6th Conference of the Mediterranean Maritime History Network (MMHN) in Rethymno in May 2024
MMHN organises an international conference every four years. Originally planned to take place in 2022, the event was rescheduled due to restrictions of COVID-19 pandemic. MMHN conferences are international events aimed to bring together historians, researchers and students to promote the development of Mediterranean Maritime History, fostering an exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Historical Change in the Ancient Aegean
A conference in honour of John K. Davies
The Greek Merchant Shipping in the Years of Eleftherios Venizelos, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Piraeus, 31/01/2020 - 01/02/2020
“Greek Merchant Shipping in the Years of Eleftherios Venizelos” is the theme of the conference co-organized by the National Research Foundation “Eleftherios K. Venizelos” and the Institute of Mediterranean Studies on Friday January 31, and Saturday February 1, in the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, in Piraeus.
The conference is under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime & Island Policy and is held with the support of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation and the Attica Branch of the National Research Foundation “Eleftherios K. Venizelos”. The sponsors of the conference are Eastern Mediterranean Maritime and ANEK Lines.
“The transition from sail to steam in navigation: maritime labour transformations (1850s-1920s), Third Workshop of the ERC Starting Grant 2016 project Seafaring Lives in Transition. Mediterranean Maritime Labour and Transport during Globalization, 1850s-1920s, Genova 10-11 October 2019 (Programme)
The third workshop of the SeaLiT project took place on October 10 – 11 in Genova, Italy. The workshop was organized by the Department of History, Philosophy and Antiquities of the University of Genova and aimed to the subject “The transition from sail to steam in navigation: maritime labour transformations (1850s-1920s)”. The participants presented and discussed their work in progress and exchanged ideas about the future paths of research in the SeaLiT project. As a conclusion of the workshop the team visited the Maritime Museum “Gio Bono Ferrari” in Camogli.
International Conference of the Centre of Maritime History “Visions, Vows and Wonders: Religion and the Sea in the Eastern Mediterranean, 15th-19thcenturies”, 12-13 October 2018 in collaboration with the Southern Connecticut State University, US, where 16 professors from the United States, England, Cyprus, Italy, Turkey and France took part. The conference was financed by the Foundation “AEGEAS” and Grecotel. (Programme)
The aim of the conference was to discuss the “lived religion” of the relation of man with the sea. In the last fifty years Greek historiography has produced a remarkable array of academic works employing different methodologies and has undertaken various interpretive propositions and methods. Nevertheless, religious history in Greece has remained under the purview of theologians and clerics rather than historians and social scientists. Admittedly, there is a substantial amount of anthropological studies of religion. Still, academic interchange between researchers is not systematic, and the interaction between historical research and theoretical propositions is still at an early stage. As a result, and despite the individual efforts of anthropologists and social historians, Greek academic production has not yet acquired the substantial share that befits it in both Greek and in international circles. One could argue that in Greece we still lack an autonomous field of religious history.
The above considerations have prompted us to undertake the organization of the first International Conference of Religious History in Rethymno, Crete. Our aim is to offer an opportunity for domestic and international researchers to come together and to engage in academic dialog and critical review from a variety of academic fields and/or theoretical approaches. Utilizing the already developed field of maritime history in Greece, we consider the sea a connecting element that allows us to promote research into ‘lived religion’ as it was experienced in and around the Eastern Mediterranean.
Sources and Resources in the Maritime Labour History of the Mediterranean, Second Workshop of the ERC Starting Grant 2016 project. Seafaring Lives in Transition. Mediterranean Maritime Labour and Transport during Globalization, 1850s-1920s, Barcelona 15-16 June 2018 (Programme)
On 15 and 16 June 2018 the University of Barcelona and Maritime Museum of Barcelona played host to the second workshop of the SeaLiT project, aimed at the researchers and historians involved in this initiative. This workshop was intended to the special theme: "Sources and Resources in the Maritime Labour History of the Mediterranean". At the workshop, participants shared their first research results to date, exchanged ideas and discussed progress of the project.
«What is Maritime History», Ιnternational Symposium in memoriam Skip Fischer, Rethymnon, 25-26 April 2018 (Programme)
The symposium inaugurated the new Centre of Maritime History of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies and was meant to bring together prominent members of the group of Maritime Historians that have marked the path of Maritime History in the last forty years. The aim was to discuss the main developments of Maritime History in the last twenty years. Professor Lewis R. (Skip) Fischer (1946-2018) was one of the “patriarchs” of Maritime History and paved the way of its organization worldwide since the 1980s. He had looked very much forward to this meeting but unfortunately he passed away on 11 February 2018. We have thus decided to dedicate this First Symposium to him, hoping to continue his work from this part of the world.
The Symposium was funded by “Maria Tsakos” Foundation.
Seafaring Lives Getting on Board
First Workshop of the ERC Starting Grant 2016 project
Seafaring Lives in Transition. Mediterranean Maritime Labour and Transport during Globalization, 1850s-1920s, Rethymnon, 6-7 October 2017
The workshop organized by Institute for Mediterranean Studies/Foundation of Research and Technology – Hellas and is included in the international research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 714437). The workshop aimed at enabling the members of the project to introduce themselves, present and discuss a research agenda, questions and some first results of the archival research. The Keynote Lecture was given by Professor Gopalan Balachandran of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva with title: Sailors beyond ships and seas: modern seafarers in history and society”.
The maritime history collection includes:
Collection of digital and printed documents from national and international archives and libraries. The Archival Collection comprises indicatively:
British and French Consular Report Series about the Mediterranean and Black Sea ports, 19th and 20th centuries.
Documents of shipping companies like Stamatios G. Empiricos from Andros belonging to the Kairis Library.
Notarial Series from the town of Galaxidi, in the 19th century.
Specialized Maritime History Library with titles in Greek, English, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, French and Russian languages in various topics including trade, shipping, transportation, ship and shipbuilding technology, commercial and shipping businesses, emigration and diaspora, port history, slave trade, environmental history, maritime labour history, naval history, history of the oceans and the seas etc.
Systematic monthly and bimonthly ph.D. seminars on Maritime History run annually since 2018 to the present day. The aim of the seminars is to promote the scholarly dialogue of PhD candidates and professors/researchers working in the Centre of Maritime History in Crete and abroad. During 2021 common seminars of Greek and foreign students with University of Hull and in 2022 with University of Exeter
2022 Ιnter-University Research Webinars on Maritime History with University of Exeter. (Programme)
2021 Maritime History Seminars for PhD candidates co-organized by the Centre of Maritime History (IMS-FORTH) and Blaydes Maritime Center, University of Hull. (Programme)
2020-2021 Meetings of PhD students on Maritime History (SYD). (Programme)
2019-2020 Meetings of PhD students on Maritime History (SYD). (Programme)
2018-2019 Meetings of PhD students on Maritime History (SYD). (Programme)