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Our villages and their history

AGIA KYRIAKI ═¤╠╔┴ KONAKIA - STROTZA(PROSILIO) PYLOS SKYFIANIKA KARYOUPOLI - SKAMNAKI KALLIAZI

Nomia

Bearing from Areopolis to the cape Taenaro, just before the village of Kita, a small sign on the right of the road leads you to Nomia, the village where Patsourakos family originates from.
The name Nomia, derives from the ancient Greek verb "nemomai", which means "to pasture". The names given by ancient Greeks had always a semantic meaning closely related to the properties of a specific place. The areas around the village of Nomia named "Dilikia" and "Lahos", as well as the fields to the West, beyond the area called "Lakos Nomias", are still called "Nomadia", i.e. pastures.
The history of the village is closely related to the neighboring village of Koita and despite some ugly modern buildings both villages are characterized by a large number of tower houses and fortified family dwellings.

General view of the village of Nomia. - Tower o Patsouros in Nomia

Let us not forget that this is the region where the construction of fortifications with towers started and the whole region is considered the cradle of Mani's Towers.
The village is organized in several neighborhoods of the different families (Patsilinakos, Mesisklis, Michalakakos, Patsouros) each one with its own fortified family dwellings and Churches.
In the neighborhood called "Patsourianika" (neighborhood of Patsouros family), between the towers, there is a small private church which reflects the religiousness of the members of our clan.
The church is of Byzantine style and was built probably in the 15th century. It is arched, like all churches in Mani built at the time and the roof was, until a few years ago, made by black marbles from Taygetos mountain. All the walls and ceilings of the interior are covered with frescoes of Cretan style, which is a derogation of the Byzantine, and correspond chronologically to the 15th century.
This private family church is called "Taxiarchis", is dedicated to Archangel Michael and is celebrated on the 8th of November.
Archangel Michael in the Orthodox Christian religion is in duty bound to escort the souls to heaven. He represents the ancient god Hermes, who had its headquarters in ź the gates of Hades╗, ie in cape Tainaro of Mani. Except that the helmet of Hermes changed in shape and the wings their position, and the twirl snakes and wings of his rod were transformed into a glowing sword.
In the frescoes of our private family church "Taxiarchis" in Nomia, Archangel Michael is represented as having in his chest a horrible form of human head, probably death, with protruding teeth and hostile glare.
In the frescoes of the western side of the roof, there is a ring hagiography in Cretan style. In the center there is the figure of Christ. Around Him, there are the eight battalions of the power of God (Seraphim, Cherubim, Throne, Ownership, Powers, Principles and Angels), while the ninth battalion of the Archangels is omitted, as the church is dedicated to Archangel Michael.
The outer circle of the hagiography is very interesting as it represents the twelve brightest constellations of the zodiac of the North and South hemispheres, each with its name along with the corresponding months of the year. There are also the winter equinox on the western side of the circle and the spring equinox on the eastern side. A fine mixing and mingling of idolatry, superstition and Christianity!
It must not be underestimated that the Saints in Mani took the place of the ancient gods and that Christianity, the new religion, became in a sense -in practice not in theory- polytheistic.

Saint Michael

The interior of the church of Taxiarchi

 

The interior of the church of Taxiarchi

 

The figure of Christ and around Him, the eight battalions of the power of God (Seraphim, Cherubim, Throne, Ownership, Powers, Principles and Angels), while the ninth battalion of the Archangels is omitted, as the church is dedicated to Archangel Michael.

The Hagiography with the Zodiac

The Holly Virgin