Andrew Blackler

Andrew Blackler

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

Title of thesis:  The role of the medieval towers of Greece – economic, social and political: a re-interpretation based upon a reconstruction of the late-medieval topography of the island of Euboea.

Supervisor:Dr Archie Dunn

Qualifications

  • Senior Management Program, Cranfield University
  • Fellow of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
  • BSc Economics (Industry and trade), London School of Economics

Biography

Initially as finance manager and subsequently as general manager I have worked in various manufacturing and distribution companies throughout the world. For the last 18 years I have worked as a business consultant and been running my own company.

A number of years ago I began research with a view to writing a history of the Greek island of Euboea, where I live. Whilst its pre-historic and classical history have been well-documented and covered by historians ancient and modern, most records of the late medieval period, when it was controlled by Latin and Venetian overlords, perished with its annexation by the Ottomans at the end of the 15th century. This left a fascinating gap, which I believed could to some extent be filled by an understanding of the hundreds of monuments that survive from the period.

There followed two years of general research, mainly at the British School at Athens, and evening classes in medieval Latin  palaeography at the Centre for Byzantine Research, also in Athens, prior to preparing a research proposal and enrolling at  the University Birmingham.

Doctoral research

PhD title The role of the medieval towers of Greece – economic, social and political: a re-interpretation based upon a reconstruction of the late-medieval topography of the island of Euboea.
Supervisor Dr Archie Dunn
Course Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

Research

Medieval towers are a ubiquitous feature of the landscape in Greece – over 300 have been recorded. Little, however, is known about them. Many theories abound, but no in-depth research has been undertaken into their function, when they were built and by whom. My research aims to shed light on this by utilizing GIS, historical documents and contemporary maps, coupled with an extensive landscape survey of the surviving monuments, to recreate the medieval topography on the island of Euboea where 80 have been identified.

A by-product of my research has been the identification of many hitherto unrecognized maps of the island, and an understanding of the methods of preparation and accuracy of the contemporary cartographic sources. This, in its turn, has provided the base for a comparative study (ongoing) of the cartographic sources of the period in order to achieve a better understanding of the development of cartography in the Eastern Mediterranean in the late Medieval and early Renaissance period.

Other activities

  • Conference Paper - 14th July 2013, Eretria, Greece: Mapping Frankish Euboea: tracing the depiction of the island by the portolan charts and early maps of the 13th to 17th centuries (publication due in 2014)
  • Research paper presented at Rosetta Forum (UoB) – 8th October 2013: Mapping the Medieval Mediterranean: What Portolan charts and early maps can tell us about the topography of the period
  • Member of the Society of Euboean Studies
  • Medieval Latin Palaeography: Study at Centre for Byzantine Research, Athens – 2012-2013
  • June 2012 - fieldwork: Participation in a survey utilising Ground Penetrating Radar of an area close to Thisve, the site of Byzantine Kastorion, in Central Greece
  • Geographical Information Systems: Development of a GIS database of Byzantine, Frankish and Venetian monuments on the island of Euboea - ongoing

Academia.edu profile:

http://bham.academia.edu/AndrewBlackler