Yannis Spyropoulos, born in Athens in 1981, is a Greek historian who earned his PhD in Ottoman history at the University of Crete in 2014. His research interests pertain to a variety of subjects, such as the institution of slavery in the early modern Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman-African diaspora, Ottoman Crete, the rise of big-farm ownership in the early modern Balkans, and environmental history, while he has also authored papers examining various aspects of the Greek War of Independence (1821-1830) in the Ottoman context. In his PhD he studied the social, administrative, financial, and political aspects of the Janissary institution through an examination of the case of Crete and has produced a number of articles on the same subject.
Yannis has been the recipient of a great number of competitive grants and honors at both a national (Greek) and an international (Turkey and France) level, and has worked in various projects which aimed at reading, cataloging, and publishing Ottoman archival material preserved in Greece. After the completion of his PhD he worked as an individual researcher and a team member in scientific projects at FORTH, the University of Crete, and the Centre d’Études Turques, Ottomanes, Balkaniques et Centrasiatiques (EHESS, CNRS, Collège de France). Since April 2018, Yannis is Assistant Researcher of Ottoman History at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH and from 2020 he directs the project "JANET: Janissaries in Ottoman Port-Cities: Muslim Financial and Political Networks in the Early Modern Mediterranean." He has published a monograph (Ottoman Administration and Society in Prerevolutionary Western Crete (1817-1819): Archival Testimonies, Rethymno: General State Archives of Greece 2015 [in Greek]) as well as various articles in collective volumes and journals such as Turcica, International Journal of Turkish Studies, Turkish Historical Review, European Journal of Turkish Studies, Water History, and others.
In the framework of the JANET project, Yannis’ research focuses on port-cities and islands of the Aegean Sea with an attested strong Janissary presence, examining the Janissaries’ networked political and economic connections to the region’s local societies.
This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 849911)