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Letters to Michaēl Iatros


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The collection comprises eighty-eight letters from the early Kingdom of Greece, forming an interesting body of correspondence among some of the principal figures of the Greek political and commercial scene under the reign of King Otto. All letters are addressed to the influential Greek businessman and politician Michaēl Iatros, based in Nauplion, the capital of Greece until 1834. Iatros' letters set into granular relief the activities that characterized the daily life of this leading figure in the second city of 19th century Greece. Readers find the apologies and excuses for delays, typical of international correspondence of the time, which indicate the increasingly hurried pace of life in industialising Greece. The list of correspondents represented in this collection includes members of the powerful commercial family Petzalē based in Patras, Geece (whose family origins, the Pezzali, strech back to Italy, as indeed did those of the Iatros or Meddici clan); the merchant and philanthopist Spyridon Alexandrakēs from Kalamata, alongside members of the clergy, Dionysios Aravantinos from Corinth, and head of the influential Lykourezos (Likourezéas) family, Ēlias, whose descendants played a leading role in the legal and political questions of Manē of the 19th and 20th centuries. These figures, alongside Iatros himself, all played significant roles in the Greek Uprising of 1821 and in the establishment of the modern Greek state in the years following. The letters are well-preserved throughout, with light foxing and ink stains and frequent tears and edge effects due to the opening of the letters' original seals and manipulation by the recipient. All letters are clearly marked with contemporary stamps indicating dates and places. The collection also preserves evidence of Iatros' own meticulous epistolary routine: each letter includes Iatros' notes of the date a letter was sent, the date of its arrival in Nauplion, and the date of his reply.

Gift of the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund (AM 2023-082).

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This collection was processed by Kalliopi Balatsouka in January 2023. Finding aid written by Kalliopi Balatsouka in January 2023, incorporating some description written by the dealer.

No materials were removed from the collection during 2023 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Kalliopi Balatsouka
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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Collection Inventory

Elytēs, Odysseas, 1911-1996. Letters, 1837-1857. 4 folders.
Scope and Contents

Consists of incoming correspondence from several individuals from several places of Greece (Corinth, Gythio, Kalamata, Nauplio, Patras, Sparta and other places). The bulk of the letters come from the Petzalē brothers in Patras (Greece). Other corresponders named are: Dionysios Aravantinos, Stauros Stauroulopoulos, Giōrgos Michos, K.N. Michalopoulos, Spyros Alexandrakēs, P. Alexandrakēs, N. Dēmētriadēs, Ioannēs Meindanopoulos, Iōannēs Euthymiou, P. Dēmētriou, Ēlias Lykourezos, and Iatros' wife Magdalēnē.

Physical Description

4 folders

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