Ottomans repair the Parthenon?

In 1687, during the Great Turkish War, the Ottoman Empire turned the famous ancient Greek temple into a gunpowder magazine (despite warnings not to do so), which exploded after being fired upon by the Venetians, who were attacking Athens.

Could a Sultan who has way too much free time and money in his hands (which definitely requires a few PODs, considering the increasingly decrepit state the empire was in) and perhaps also hoping to gain the favor of western Philhellenes for whatever reason, decide to rebuild the place sometime in the 18th or 19th century?
 
Last edited:
In 1687, during the Great Turkish War, the Ottoman Empire turned the famous ancient Greek temple into a gunpowder magazine (despite warnings not to do so), which exploded after being fired upon by the Venetians, who were attacking Athens.

Could a Sultan who has way too much free time and money in his hands (which definitely requires a few PODs, considering the increasingly decrepit state the empire was in) and perhaps also hoping to gain the favor of western Philhellenes for whatever reason, decide to rebuild the place sometime in the 18th or 19th century?
BUT WHY? that was a pagan temple, short making it a mosque, would be easier to the temple never burning at all(venetia assault is defeated earlier or never used as gunpowder arsenal to begin with)
 
BUT WHY? that was a pagan temple, short making it a mosque, would be easier to the temple never burning at all(venetia assault is defeated earlier or never used as gunpowder arsenal to begin with)
Like I said in the OP, a Sultan who has too much time and money on his hands, as well as maybe a little interest in ancient history. Perhaps he thinks he can improve relations with a few western countries in the process, but the main reasons would be personal ones.
 
Like I said in the OP, a Sultan who has too much time and money on his hands, as well as maybe a little interest in ancient history. Perhaps he thinks he can improve relations with a few western countries in the process, but the main reasons would be personal ones.
The ottomans never cared that much greek stuff, as say, those are pagan things..you need an early POD they might care, maybe the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elgin_Marbles are not removed? I say is more pausable the Partheon is not burned and them keep running as mosque them
 
Not something the Ottomans necessarily want to encourage, since Greek nationalism would undermine their hold on the territory.
Yeah there a reason why was left on ruin, they didn't bother, is easier than never exploted at all, they would keep using it as mosque

Or like a butterfly, the greeks are even more integrated into the porte state, thay is why is done..that is another massive butterfly
 
Last edited:
In 1687, during the Great Turkish War, the Ottoman Empire turned the famous ancient Greek temple into a gunpowder magazine (despite warnings not to do so), which exploded after being fired upon by the Venetians, who were attacking Athens.

Could a Sultan who has way too much free time and money in his hands (which definitely requires a few PODs, considering the increasingly decrepit state the empire was in) and perhaps also hoping to gain the favor of western Philhellenes for whatever reason, decide to rebuild the place sometime in the 18th or 19th century?
Well, actually this is quite possible, people forget frequently that before 1687 the Parthenon was a mosque (converted from the church it was before ottoman dominion, it was pretty much one of the most prestigious pilgrimage sites in the ERE), but was used as a gunpowder magazine during the needs of the siege (and not straightfoward pagan temple -> magazine as some people tend to say, i think there wouldn't be any warning if it was just a pagan temple!).

You don't really need much actually, it depends on your will for changes concerning the ottoman situation, you can just make the ottomans win at Mohács (1687) and recover supremacy on Hungary against the habsburgs, permitting after some additional wartime the preservation of ottoman power (resulting in an ottoman sultan or really any official who takes charge of Athens being able and willing to rebuild the Mosque-Parthenon), after Mohács you still can have the ottomans succeeding in Slankamen (1691) and rebuilding their war situation afterwards (it would be quite more costly than with a victory in Mohács tho), permitting again a reconstruction of the Parthenon-Mosque. Afterwards even if the ottomans recover on the battlefield it would be way too costly for anyone to bother with the Parthenon after a long time, the victory in Slankamen would be extra-important because it would establish the awesomely competent Köprülüs as the ruling force of the Empire and they were pretty much concerned as per the status of Islam in the Balkan regions (the main drive for the islamization of Albania was under the Köprülüs), so they would have reason to bother with an exploded mosque in Greece.
 
You don't really need much actually, it depends on your will for changes concerning the ottoman situation, you can just make the ottomans win at Mohács (1687) and recover supremacy on Hungary against the habsburgs
tHANKS your comment Talus, very illustrative and educational, i proposed what if that never exploded to begin with? either ottomans beat venice earlier? or just got a lucky break?
 
tHANKS your comment Talus, very illustrative and educational, i proposed what if that never exploded to begin with? either ottomans beat venice earlier? or just got a lucky break?
I'm not Talus, but the Parthenon would stay on as a mosque. "De-Islamifying" it would probably be a major objective of Greek nationalists, should they rise up. Then again, if the empire averts its decline and reforms itself, something that implies it doesn't lose control of more distant provinces to ayans and bandits who often terrorized local populations, such nationalist sentiments may never be born in the first place.
 
something that implies it doesn't lose control of more distant provinces to ayans and bandits who often terrorized local populations, such nationalist sentiments may never be born in the first place.
By then there's still time for a pretty soft reform if the Köprülüs remain around, by the 1750s literal bandits were being recruited into the bureaucracy in order to defeat banditry for you to have a rough view of the situation. Another important thing is that even though the janissaries still were a (rapidly declining one for that matter) capable fighting force, the timar system was pretty much dated and would be primarily the biggest step towards reestablishing stability in the countryside, in the scenario i proposed i would expect for the system to be officially starting its process of abolishment by the first 20 years after the end of the war, and especially, the tax-farming would remain only a war-time emergency policy and ny the rule for general taxation in the Empire, what IOTL just worsened the situation in the countryside. With that you might as well just get a lot of conversion going on in the 18th century, using something pretty incredible called comparative analysis, it can be said that local conversion to Islam after conquests can be separated in three phases:
1. When happens the presentation of Islam to the local peoples (with not so much of conversion going on), it can endure for pretty long or pass pretty rapidly depending on the occasion, normally by the mid-end of this phase the majority of the local elites are converting.
2. Early prosperity, usually marked by the first "epoch of stability" in the designated area, conversions happen to an extent, but (usually) not sufficiently for the muslims to take the demographic majority. Usually it is pretty long in timespan.
3. Late prosperity, usually marked by the secons "epoch of stability" in the designated area, at last you get a majority in the area, but its majority size is pretty much defined by the extent of the second phase.

Well, as all theories created to explain general human action it certainly will have many flaws but it's only for the general concept (if you take this and put it in a minor area it probably will show how many flaws it have, just use it when applying to entire-sized regions and always with two grains of salt), the Ottomans IOTL pretty much didn't complete the cycle even if the janissary recruitment allowed the first phase to be made in one generation. You had in the Mid-16th Century the second phase starting and lasting until the end of the 17th century, but essentially nothing followed up, just stagnation, Albania is pretty much the exception (Although only because of the intentional push for islamization, and even then you don't have exactly what i call a solid majority by any means), basically, if the ottomans manage to create their second "epoch of stability", probably you can get the buff up for a sizable muslim population in the Balkans, even though i'm certain some areas would be more resistant to it *staring at the greek mountains*, the crucial regions for the Empire's security would pretty much be stable enough (Bosnia probably would be solidly muslim instead of the OTL near 50% thingy by the 1800s, for example).
 
In 1687, during the Great Turkish War, the Ottoman Empire turned the famous ancient Greek temple into a gunpowder magazine (despite warnings not to do so), which exploded after being fired upon by the Venetians, who were attacking Athens.

Could a Sultan who has way too much free time and money in his hands (which definitely requires a few PODs, considering the increasingly decrepit state the empire was in) and perhaps also hoping to gain the favor of western Philhellenes for whatever reason, decide to rebuild the place sometime in the 18th or 19th century?

A Sultan? Realistically not. The Sultans were not really Philhellenes and any Sultan close to that was Mehmed II with his interest in Roman legacy. But he ruled far before 1687. In order for a Sultan to do this he needs a situation close to that of Mahmud II rule, where a Sultan cannot be deposed for doing something that can be considered as unislamic. That is as the Ottoman Sultans past 1687 were not really guaranteed to stay on their throne. Mehmed IV, Mustafa II, Ahmed III and Selim III were deposed in the period 1687-1807 of the eight Sultans rules in total. Imagine what would happen if a Sultan rebuilds the architecture for any other use than that of a mosque. So that's the thing. The Sultan can rebuild it the same way but serving as a mosque. The most realistic scenario. That is if that ever happens, as Athens was not really important for the Ottoman Empire past the last Venetian War. By the mid 18th century Athens is owned by various Muslim Greek and Albanian Landowners, using the town as nothing but tax extraction.

Another option is when the building is out of use, the Sultan gives it to the Patriarch of Constantinople to use the place as he pleases. The Greeks may build it the same way but then use it as a Church.

An issue I see is the Sultans being Philhellenes. Greece was seen as the origin of Western Civilization. Not something a Sultan would care. Maybe, the wife of Mehmed IV (1648-1687) and mother of Mustafa II (1695-1703) and Ahmed III (1703-1730) can influence one of them to the point of developing an interest in the East Roman Era. Something like Mehmed II claiming Roman legacy. That's a stretch as well but... who knows.

Last option is Ali Pasha Tepelene (1742-1822), Governor of Ioannina, controlling large parts of Greece proper by the early 19th century. But again, a Muslim Ruler rebuilding a former Pagan architecture for any other use of a mosque is hard. Turning it into a museum afterwards in the future is a different story.
 
Last edited:
Last option is Ali Pasha Tepelene (1742-1822), Governor of Ioannina, controlling large parts of Greece proper by the early 19th century. But again, a Muslim Ruler rebuilding a former Pagan architecture for any other use of a mosque is hard. Turning it into a museum afterwards in the future is a different story.
I think you are all forgetting that the Parthenon had been Converted into an orthodox church During the Sixth Century and after the fourth crusade into a roman catholic church and then after that into an Orthodox church again for a short while
 
Last edited:
Not only is the fact the building had already been converted into a mosque being ignored, its also being ignored that Islamic intellectuals as a whole did very much respect Classical Greek civilisation, with people like Aristotle and Plato almost described as honorary Muslims in many Medieval texts and the number of people called Arastu being far in excess of Europeans called Aristotle. I think all you really need for it to become a given that of course the Sultan would restore the premier mosque of Athens is to have an intellectual pod where someone or other publishes a book in the 1650s highlighting the Islamic debt to the city and hey presto Athens is recognised in the Muslim world as a wellspring of philosophy, just as her most famous sons were anyway. It would also become important for the Sultan due to the setting up of Sufi hospices in Athens so they can learn from the same spot where Aflatun taught. Katip Celebi is a good candidate for writing said book he was already famous for writing histories of Constantinople so he had knowledge of Greek antiquity, bibliographies of arabic books of science so he knew the intellectual debt to the greeks owed by Arabs and was also engaged in translation projects with Europeans so has at his disposal European cultural interpretations as well.
 
Not only is the fact the building had already been converted into a mosque being ignored, its also being ignored that Islamic intellectuals as a whole did very much respect Classical Greek civilisation, with people like Aristotle and Plato almost described as honorary Muslims in many Medieval texts and the number of people called Arastu being far in excess of Europeans called Aristotle. I think all you really need for it to become a given that of course the Sultan would restore the premier mosque of Athens is to have an intellectual pod where someone or other publishes a book in the 1650s highlighting the Islamic debt to the city and hey presto Athens is recognised in the Muslim world as a wellspring of philosophy, just as her most famous sons were anyway. It would also become important for the Sultan due to the setting up of Sufi hospices in Athens so they can learn from the same spot where Aflatun taught. Katip Celebi is a good candidate for writing said book he was already famous for writing histories of Constantinople so he had knowledge of Greek antiquity, bibliographies of arabic books of science so he knew the intellectual debt to the greeks owed by Arabs and was also engaged in translation projects with Europeans so has at his disposal European cultural interpretations as well.

The Bektashi Order was pretty popular among Albanians and the Albanian population was rather high in and around Athens. The Sufis in Athens could work out...
 
Top