The Phanariot Constantine (Kaisarios)
Dapontes fled in 1746 to the Crimea,
where he was received benevolently, with the recommendation of Constantine Mavrocordatos, Prince of Wallachia, by the Tatar Khan Selim II Giray. He wrote in the
so-called political verses a dialogical report on his sojourn, which he
enfolded in his huge Καθρέπτης γυναικών, i.e. “Women’s Mirror”.
Dapontes was the first
(early) modern Greek author, who made the Crimea
accessible to the Greeks of his time. He also raised awareness that this
place was — though Tartarian — a truly Greek place,
but without referring to the Greek antiquity and the Byzantine times. Since
the work was very common, his portrayal of the Crimea
should not be without effect.
Dapontes wrote nothing remarkably
new about the political situation in Crimea,
but he made some information available for his compatriots. What is important are Dapontes' remarks
about the monastery landscape of rough beauty, which contrasts with the
Arcadian riverside meadows, and about the Greek population living near Bakhchisarai.
Key words: Constantine Dapontes, Crimea,
Selim Giray II, Καθρέπτης γυναικών, Greeks.