©: S.N.A., 2007


1.   timeline
2.     references
3.     short descriptions
4.     myth and fact
5.     the name “tsintzina”
6.     family info
7.     annex




Early inquiries on the name “Tsintzina”, are attributed to Phaedon Koukoules in 1906-1910. During that time, Koukoules was Head-Teacher of the Elliniko Scholeio of nearby Vamvakou village.  

His thesis on the name “tsintzina” mainly rests in that:

  • Tsintzina constitutes definitely a foreign word, possibly Slavic, more likely Albanian
  • The name is the inheritance of Albanian settlers

The Koukoules’ remarks were to prove quite popular in the years to come. Until at least 1964, no one had ever challenged it.  

Both of the above Koukoules’ points are quite erroneous. He was probably mislead initially by Leakes 1806 account on Tsintzina (see elsewhere). But he was certainly and evidently misguided also due to 

  • His poor knowledge of the area, and
  • by a precarious and incomplete methodology. He largely disregarded linguistic, ethnological and local factors, in favor of a “textbook history” general approach.

The name “tsintzina” is purely Tsakonian, as is also the village itself.  

In the Tsakonian dialect, “tsintzina”  means “small knot”. Therefore effectively, for Tsintzina village it should be interpreted as “small crossroads”. This explanation is consistent with the four old roads which beam down to the village itself. These roads have existed at least since the medieval era. Therefore, the entry “tsintzina” as found in the Dictionary of the Tsakonian dialect, meaning “small knot”, which in the modern Greek language is “komvos” has an identical meaning to “junction” or “interchange”. 

Finally, there is no evidence of Albanian or Slavic settlements in Tsintzina at all. Sporadic non-local settlements in Mt. Taygetos or Mt. Parnon date back to the Byzantine era and the 9th Century A. D. Koukoules had probably in mind the Slavic and Albanian population movements of the 14th Century, instigated largely by the Byzantines. First, we have Tsintzina mentioned with this name in an Imperial Decree 100 years earlier (1292 or 1295 AD). Most importantly, there is no evidence that such population movements concerned either Tsintzina or the other established old Tsakonian villages. 14th Century Slavs settled elsewhere in the area, as even common observation would suggest.

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