One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Greek official in Constantinople under the Ottoman Empire.
- ‘In the period before the Greek War of Independence, the most powerful group of Greeks were the Phanariots, consisting of a number of families whose members were closely involved with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.’
- ‘The Phanariots were the Christian educated and professional middle class or the bourgeoisie of the Ottoman world.’
Modern Greek phanariōtēs, from Phanar, chief Greek quarter of Istanbul, from Greek phanarion ‘lighthouse’ (one being situated in this area).
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