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PUBLIC CLOCKS AND PUBLIC TIME IN NORTHERN GREECE, FROM THE SIXTEENTH TO THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY

Dimitrios Charitatos, Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH

Abstract: The invention of precise time keeping machines in Central and Western Europe revolutionized the way time was perceived and systematized. Daily actions, earlier relatively estimated, were eventually, henceforth, precisely defined and organized. Later, public clocks were installed in the Ottoman cities, gradually changing the perception of time in a variety of ways. The sprawl of installation reached a peak during the late 19th century. During the 20th century, cheaper personal watches led to the decrease of public clocks on clock towers, which however continued to be installed in smaller cities and villages, due mainly to symbolic reasons. Public clocks, although seldom installed lately, continue to be an option as decoration of monuments in the public space.

Keywords: Timekeeping, Clock Towers, Ottoman Time, Clock, Public Space