Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Centre of Maritime History

The research team of the Centre for Maritime History explores the history of the seas and more specifically focuses on the maritime history of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea from the ancient times to the present day. The Centre for Maritime History provides the resources for the training of young scholars and the production of academic work in the following broader fields:  a) economic and social maritime activities (seaborne trade, navigation, ports, shipping businesses, fishing, maritime communities, maritime labour, shipbuilding and maritime technology); b) geopolitics, war and violence at sea (maritime empires, naval forces, piracy); c) scientific activities related to the sea (oceanography, history of navigation); d) leisure and tourism related to the sea, e) maritime literature and arts. The means to promote these activities are through: 1) the location, preservation, classification, processing and divulgation of archival sources related to maritime history, 2) the publication of scholarly works in Greece and abroad, 3) the organization of seminars, conferences and postgraduate studies programs in collaboration with Greek and foreign universities and summer schools. Furthermore, the Centre for Maritime History materializes research projects funded from National and European funds and carries out research in Greek and foreign archives and libraries. The activities of the Centre for Maritime History are supported by the specialized maritime history library and archives of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH.


Gelina Harlaftis

Director of IMS-FORTH, Professor of Maritime History
Curriculum vitae

Apostolos Delis

Principal Researcher
Curriculum vitae

Matteo Barbano

Postdoctoral researcher

Kostas Damianidis

Postdoctoral researcher
Curriculum vitae

Katerina Galani

Postdoctoral researcher
Curriculum vitae

Jordi Ibarz Gelabert

Visiting Scholar
University of Barcelona

Alexandra Papadopoulou

Postdoctoral researcher

Anna Sydorenko

Postdoctoral researcher
Curriculum vitae

Christos Tsakas

Postdoctoral researcher

Thomas Kalesios

PhD candidate

Alkis Kapokakis

PhD candidate

Dimitra Kardakaris

PhD candidate

Petros Kastrinakis

PhD candidate

Thanasis Nasiaras

PhD candidate

Kalliopi Vasilaki

PhD candidate

Amalia Pappa

Deputy Director of the General State Archives

Maria Damilakou

Assistant Professor
Ionian University

Nikos Kastrinakis

Research Assistant

Research Projects


Promotion and material and technical documentation of Greek shipbuilding and naval history – the naval battles of Salamis and Navarino

This project produces new products and services related to the scientific documentation and the promotion of the Greek shipbuilding tradition and the Greek naval history using modern methods of digital recording and visualization and interactive presentation of the exhibits.


Port landscapes in the Aegean (19th-20th centuries)

Scientific coordinator: Apostolos Delis


SeaLiT: Seafaring Lives in Transition. Mediterranean Maritime Labour and Shipping during Globalization, 1850s-1920s.


The program explores the transition from sail to steam navigation and the effects of this technological innovation on seafaring populations in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, between the 1850s and the 1920s, whose lives were drastically changed by the advent of the steam.


Virtual Historic Sailing Ships

Onassis Business History

Onassis Business History

The purpose of the research project is to create a digitized private Onassis Business Maritime Archive as well as publishing a two-part volume on Onassis Business History, based on the Onassis Archive material.


A port in transition. The modernization of the port infrastructure of Thessaloniki in the early 20th century

The history of ports is a rapidly developing field of research that has attracted the interest of many researchers in recent years. Τhe port of Thessaloniki is a fertile and at the same time quite demanding field of research. Port activity has affected essentially the social, economic and spatial process of Thessaloniki over the centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century the city had become one of the most important commercial ports of the Ottoman Empire and later of the Greek state. Our research aims to study the infrastructure modernization of port during the first decades of the 20th century. The remodeling of the port at the beginning of the 20th century transformed its image and structure, reorganized its own space, increased its efficiency, optimized its transport dynamics, gained a new division of labor, and transformed a large part of the natural city ​​environment. Thus, in a sense, the study of the upgrading port infrastructure, based mainly, but not only, on the Historical Archive of Port of Thessaloniki, is an attempt to find out the interaction between technological development, economic growth and the natural environment. Finally, our aim is to make a contribution to the better understanding of the history of the city of Thessaloniki