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VOL. V. 







B.C. 146 TO A. D. 1864 










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A.D. I453-I82I. 


The Political and Military Organization of the Othoman Empire, by 
which the Greeks were retained in Subjection. — A.D. 1453-1684. 


Measures of the Othoman conquerors to consolidate their domination . 1 

Position of the Greeks in the Othoman empire .... 5 

Extent of the empire ....... 6 

Degradation of the Greek population ..... 7 

Stability of the Othoman power 

Its institutions 



First class of institutions ; those derived from the Koran 

Second class ; those derived from the Seljouk empire 

Third class ; those peculiar to the Othoman government 

Kanun-name of Mohammed II. 

Administrative divisions 

Defective administration of justice 

Nizam-djedid of Mustapha Kueprili, a.d. 169 i 

Financial administration 


Commercial taxes 


Depreciation of the currency 

Project of exterminating the Christian subjects of the Sultan 

Improvement in the Othoman administration 

Murder authorised by an organic law of the empire 

Othoman army 

Feudal militia 


Regular cavalry — Sipahis 

Tribute of Christian children 

Irregular troops 

Christian troops and auxiliaries 

Decline of the administrative system 



Discipline long maintained in the army 

VOL. v. b 













The Naval Conquests of the Othomans in Greece. — A.D. 1453-1684. 

Decline of the Greek population during this period 

Effects of the Othoman conquest 

Extent of country inhabited by the Greek race which remained under the 

domination of the Latins after the conquest of Constantinople 
Conquest of Mytilene, a.d. 1462 
Venetian war, a.d. 1463-1479 

Conquest of the dominions of Leonardo di Tocco, a.d. 147 
Venetian war, a.d. 1499-1502 
Conquest of Rhodes, a.d. 1522 
Invasion of the Morea by Andrea Doria, a.d. 1532 
Venetian war, a.d. 15 37-1 540 
Conquest of Chios, a.d. 1566 
State of Chios under the Maona of the Guistiniani 
History of the Maona .... 

Condition of Greek population 
State of Chios under the Othomans 
Extinction of the Duchy of Naxos, a.d. 1566 
Conquest of Cyprus, a.d. 1570 
Battle of Lepanto, a.d. 1571 
State of the Greek population, a.d. 1573-1644 
Maritime warfare and piracy in the Grecian seas . 
Knights of Malta ..... 
Order of St. Stefano and navy of Tuscany 
Exploits of the Othoman navy 
Depopulation of the coasts of Greece by the maritime expeditions of the 

Christian powers .... 
Ravages of the Cossacks on the shores of the Black Sea 
War of Candia, a.d. 1645-1669 
Subjugation of Maina .... 

Apostasies of Christians .... 








Social Condition of the Greeks until the Extinction of the Tribute of 
Christian Children.— A.D. 1453-1676. 

The cultivators of the soil become the true representatives of the Greek 
nation for three centuries ...... 

Decline in the numbers and civilization of the Greek race during this 
period ...... 

A certain degree of improvement takes place in the material wealth of 
the town population .... 

Animosity between the Greeks and Catholics 

Toleration displayed by Mohammed II. 

Contrast between the moral condition of the Greeks and Turks at this 
period ........ 







Influence of monachism on Greek society .... 
Position of the Greek Church at the time of the Othoman conquest 
Re-establishment of an orthodox Patriarch at Constantinople by Moham 

med II. . ...... 

Simoniacal elections of the Patriarchs .... 

Story of a trick by which the Greeks pretend that the Patriarch Jeremiah 

saved the churches of Constantinople 
The Greek laity abstained from appealing to Othoman courts of justice 

more steadily than the clergy .... 

Increase of ecclesiastical corruption .... 

General good conduct of the secular clergy preserved the profound rever 

ence of the Greek people for their church . 
Political and social position of the laity .... 
Effect of the immigration of Spanish Jews into the Levant 
Order prevalent in the cities of the Othoman empire 
Extinction of the tribute of Christian children , 





J 59 


History of the Venetian Domination in Greece. — A.D. 1684-1718. 

Behaviour of the Othoman government to the representatives of the Chris- 
tian powers at the Sublime Porte 
Venetian republic declares war with the Porte 
Francesco Morosini 
Campaign in Greece, a.d. 1684 
German mercenaries in the service of Venice 
Campaign of 1685 .... 
Campaign of 1686 .... 
Campaign of 1687 .... 
Siege of Athens and destruction of the Parthenon 
Campaign of 1688 — Siege of Negrepont 
Venetian deserters .... 
Peace of Carlovitz, a.d. 1699 
Venetian administration in the Morea 
Populali on, re_y £iuiesr«wd-xT?mrrreTCe 
Civil gov ernmen tjmd-c Qndition of the ,pf npk 

State of property and administration of justice 

Ecclesiastical administration 

Influence of Catholic clergy 

Foreign relations of Venice 

War between Russia and Turkey . 

Conquest of the Morea by Ali Kumurgi 

Siege of Corinth .... 

Siege of Nauplia .... 

Siege of Modon .... 

War between Austria and Turkey . 

Peace of Passarovitz 

Vices of the Venetian government . 
















2I 3 











The Causes and Events which prepared the Greeks for Independence. 
A.D. 1718-1821. 




offjcialsjn the. 


Improvement i n the cond ition of the_ people duri. 

Condition of the inhabitants of Chios 

Comparison of Chios with Tinos and Naxos 

Religious contests of the Catholics and Orthodox in the Othoman 

Intrigues of the court of France 

Cha racter and influence of th£-Zha nariots, or G reek 
ofthe Sultan 

Voivodes _ cTTaltec1iTa" and Moldavia 

Treaty of Belgrade, a.d. 1739 
"^ Influence and Intrigues of Russia . 

Montenegro .... 

Maina ..... 

^fcWar between Turkey and Russia, a.d. 1 768-1 774 

Austrian minister insulted at Constantinople 

Operations of the Russians in the Morea 
"^Defeat of the Russians and Greeks at Tripolitza 

Destruction of the Othoman fleet at Tcbesme 

Defeat of the Russians at Lemnos . 

Peace of Kainardji, a.d. 1774 

Hassan Ghazi exterminates the Albanian troops in the Morea 

Establishes the authority of the capitan-pasha in Maina . 
& Fresh intrigues of Russia ..... 
SOWar between Turkey and Russia, a.d. 1787-1792 . 

Albanians of Suli . ..... 

Lambros Katzones and the Greek privateers 

Cruelties and piracies in the Grecian seas 

Peace of Yassi, a.d. 1792 
^fr Influence of the French Revolution 

French domination in the Ionian Islands 

Parga .... 

English protection ofthe Ionian republic 

Improveme nt in the condition of the Greek people 

InfhiencejjjjhePha nariots on n ational_consolidatin.n __ 
t / Of_conarn£xoe ..... 

/Improvement of the modern Greek language a powerful instrument in 
advancing national centralisation 

Eugenios Bulgares and Adamantios Koraes 

Municipal institutions 

Decline of the Othoman power 

Conclusion ..... 









Chronological list of Othoman Sultans 

List of Signors of Mytilene 

List of Phanariot Voivodes of Vallachia and Moldavia 




1397. Bayezid I. establishes the timariot system in Thessaly. 

1453. Mohammed II. repeoples Constantinople. 

„ Re-establishes the Orthodox Greek Church. 

1454. Insurrection of Albanian population in the Morea. 
1456. Mohammed II. defeated at Belgrade. 

1458. Walls of Constantinople repaired, and Castle of Seven Towers 


1459. Servia annexed to the Othoman empire. 
„ Amastris taken from the Genoese. 

1460. Mohammed II. conquers the Morea. 

„ Athens annexed to the Othoman empire. 

1 46 1. Conquest of empire of Trebizond. 

1462. Mytilene annexed to Othoman empire. 

1463. Argos occupied by Othoman troops. 
,, War with Venice. 

1466. Athens taken by Venetians, and abandoned. 

1467. 17th January, death of Skanderbeg at Alessio. 

1469. Earthquake at Santa Maura, Cephalonia, and Zante. 

1470. Conquest of Negrepont. 

1475. Kaffa and Tana taken from the Genoese. 
1477. Croi'a surrenders to the Othomans. 

1479. Peace between Mohammed II. and Venice. 

„ Zante and Cephalonia taken by Mohammed II. from Leonard 
Tocco, despot of Arta. 

1480. Othoman army defeated at Rhodes. 

1 48 1. Death of Mohammed II. 

1484. Venice restores Cephalonia to Bayezid II., and pays a tribute 

of five hundred ducats annually for Zante. 
1489. Catherine Cornara cedes Cyprus to Venice. 
1492. Jews expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella. 


1494. Andrew Palaeologos, son of Thomas, despot in the Pelopon- 
nesus, cedes his rights to it and to the Byzantine empire to 
Charles VIII. of France, but that cession not being accepted 
within the stipulated time, in 

1498. He cedes his rights to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. 

1500. Bayezid II. takes Lepanto, Modon, Coron, and Durazzo, from 


1 50 1. Mohammedans expelled from Spain if they refuse to be 


1502. Peace between Bayezid II. and Venice. The republic cedes 

Santa Maura to the Sultan, but retains Cephalonia. 

1509. Great earthquake at Constantinople. 

1 5 10. Walls of Constantinople repaired. 

151 2. Bogdan, Prince of Moldavia, becomes tributary to Sultan 
Selim I. 

15 1 5. Great fire at Constantinople. 

1516. Vallachia pays an annual tribute of six hundred Christian 

children to the sultan. 
1522. Conquest of Rhodes by Suleiman I. 
1526. Vienna besieged. 

J 535- First public treaty of alliance between the Othoman empire and 
the King of France. 
,, Supremacy of the Othoman navy in the Mediterranean. 
1537- Defeat of the Othomans at Corfu. 

„ Barbarossa takes Paros, Skyros, Patmos, and Stympalea. 
1540. Treaty of peace between Suleiman I. and Venice. The re- 
public cedes Monemvasia and Nauplia to the Sultan. 
z 563- Great inundation, caused by rain, at Constantinople. 
!565. Othoman expedition against Malta defeated. 
1566. Chios and Naxos annexed to the Othoman empire. 
„ Rebellion of the Janissaries. 

1570. Morescoes, descendants of Mohammedans in Spain, driven to 

rebellion by persecution. 

157 1. Conquest of Cyprus by Othomans. 
„ 15th of October, battle of Lepanto. 

1572. Tunis taken by Don Juan of Austria. 

1573. Treaty of peace between the Othoman empire and Venice. 

1574. Tunis retaken by the Othoman fleet. 

1 59 1. Thirty thousand workmen employed to construct a canal at 

1593. First commercial treaty between the Sultan and England. 
1600. Rebellion of the Janissaries. 
1609. Final expulsion of the Morescoes from Spain by Philip III. 


1614. Maina compelled to pay haratch. 

1622. Great rebellion of Janissaries and Sipahis against Sultan Oth- 

man II. 
1624. Cossacks plunder the shores of the Bosphorus. 

„ Piracy prevalent in the Mediterranean. 
1632. Great rebellion of troops at Constantinople. 
1642. Great earthquake at Constantinople. 

„ Corsairs and pirates continue their ravages in the Archi- 
1645. Othoman troops invade Crete. 
1648. Earthquake at Constantinople. 
1650. New island rises out of the sea at Santorin. 
1653. Great earthquake at Constantinople. 
1656. Great insurrection at Constantinople. 

1669. Conquest of Crete completed by capitulation of Candia. Treaty 

of peace between the Othoman empire and Venice. 
„ Foundation of the official power of the Phanariots by the 
rank conceded to Panayotaki of Chios, dragoman of Achmet 

1670. Subjugation of Maina. Forts of Zarnata, Porto Vitylo, and 

Passava, armed and garrisoned by Turks. 

1671 to 1684. Corsairs and pirates infest the coasts and islands of 

Greece and Asia Minor in great numbers. 

1672 and 1673. Mainates emigrate to Apulia and Corsica. 

1675. Disputes of the Greeks and Catholics concerning the possession 

of the Holy Places at Jerusalem. 
1683. Siege of Vienna by Kara Mustapha. 
1685. The Venetians commence the conquest of the Morea. Moro- 

sini takes Coron. 

1687. Athens taken by Morosini. Parthenon ruined. 
„ Plague in the Venetian army. 

„ Great fire at Constantinople. 

1688. Defeat of Morosini at Negrepont. 
1690. Earthquake at Constantinople. 
1692. Fire at Constantinople. 

1699. Peace of Carlovitz. 

171 1. Defeat of Peter the Great. Treaty of the Pruth. 

1 71 2. Commencement of Phanariot domination in Moldavia. 

1 7 15. Re-conquest of the Morea by Ali Kumurgi. 

1716. Commencement of Phanariot domination in Vallachia. 

1 7 1 8. Peace of Passarovitz. 

1719. Great fire and earthquake at Constantinople. 

1720. Treaty of perpetual peace between Turkey and Russia. 


1736 to 1739- Marshal Munich's campaigns against the Crimea and 

1739. Treaty of Belgrade. 

1740. Great fire at Constantinople. 

1 741. Fire at Constantinople. 
1746. Fire at Constantinople. 

1 75 1. Piracies on the coast of Maina and in the Archipelago. 
„ Tumult of Greeks at Constantinople against the Patriarch and 
the Phanariots. 

1754. Great earthquake at Constantinople. 

1755. Great fire at Constantinople. 

1 76 1. First treaty between Turkey and Prussia. 

„ Persecution of Catholic Armenians at Constantinople. 
1764. Insurrection of Greeks in Cyprus. 

1766. Earthquake at Constantinople. 

1767. Great fires at Constantinople and at Pera. 
1770. Great fire at Constantinople. 

„ Russian invasion of the Morea. 
„ Sphakiots compelled to pay haratch. 
1774. Treaty of Kutchuk Kainardji. 
1787. War of Suliots with Ali Pasha of Joannina. 

„ Russian privateering in the Archipelago. 
1792. Treaty of Yassi. 

1797. Ionian Islands surrendered to France by the Treaty of Campo 
„ Ali Pasha massacres the Christian Albanians of Chimara. 
1800. Russia cedes the continental dependencies of the Ionian 
Islands, Parga, Prevesa, etc., to Turkey. 
„ Establishment of the Ionian republic. 
1807. Russia cedes the Ionian Islands to France by the treaty of 

18 15. Ionian republic placed under the protection of Great Britain 

by the treaty of Vienna. 
18 19. Parga delivered to Turkey by Great Britain. 
182 1. Commencement of the Greek Revolution. 





The Political and Military Organization of the 
Othoman Empire, by which the Greeks were 
retained in subjection, a.d. 1453-1684. 

Measures of the Othoman conquerors to consolidate their domination. — Position 
of the Greeks in the Othoman empire. — Extent of the empire. — Degradation 
of the Greek population. — Stability of the Othoman power. — Its institutions. 
— Tribute-children. — Ulema. — First class of institutions: those derived from 
the Koran. — Second class : those derived from the Seljouk empire. — Third 
class : those peculiar to the Othoman government. — Kanun-name of Moham- 
med II. — Administrative divisions. — Defective administration of justice. — 
Nizam Djedid of Mustapha Kueprili, a.d. 1691. — Finances. — Haratch. — Com- 
mercial taxes. — Land-tax. — Depreciation of the currency. — Project of exter- 
minating the Christian subjects of the Sultan. — Improvement in the Othoman 
administration. — Murder authorized by an organic law of the empire. — 
Othoman army. — Feudal militia. — Janissaries. — Regular cavalry. — Sipahis. 
— Tribute of Christian children. — Irregular troops. — Christian troops and 
auxiliaries. — Decline of the administrative system. — Venality. — Wealth. — 
Discipline long maintained in the army. 

The conquest of Greece by Mohammed II. was felt to be a 
boon by the greater part of the population. The government 
of the Greek emperors of the family of Palaeologos, of their 
relations the despots in the Morea, and of the Frank princes 
and Venetian signors, had for two centuries rendered Greece 
the scene of incessant civil wars and odious oppression. The 
Mohammedan government put an end to the injustice of the 

VOL. v. B 



petty tyrants, whose rapacity and feuds divided, impoverished, 
and depopulated the country 1 . When Mohammed II. an- 
nexed the Peloponnesus and Attica to the Othoman empire, 
he deliberately exterminated all remains of the existing aristo- 
cracy, both Frank nobles and Greek archonts, and introduced 
in their place a Turkish aristocracy, as far as such a class 
existed in his dominions. The ordinary system of the Othoman 
administration was immediately applied to the greater part 
of Greece, and it was poverty, and not valour, which exempted 
a few mountainous districts from its application. 

Saganos Pasha was appointed by Mohammed II. governor 
of the Morea and the duchy of Athens, but garrisons of the 
sultan's regular troops were stationed in a few of the strongest 
fortresses, under officers independent of the pasha's authority. 
The general defence of the country and the maintenance of 
order among the inhabitants was intrusted to Saganos, who 
was intrusted with complete control over the revenue ne- 
cessary for that purpose. The arbitrary power of the pasha, 
and the license of the regular garrisons, were restrained by the 
timariot system. The feudal usages, which the earliest Otho- 
man sultans had inherited with their first possessions in the 
Seljouk empire, were introduced by Mohammed II. into 
Greece, as the natural manner of retaining the rural population 
under his domination. Large tracts of land in the richest 
plains having reverted to the government as belonging to the 
confiscated estates of the princes and nobles, a certain pro- 
portion of this property was divided into liferent fiefs, which 
were conferred on veteran warriors who had merited rewards 
by distinguished service. These fiefs were called timars, and 
consisted of a life-interest in lands, of which the Greek and 
Albanian cultivators sometimes remained in possession of the 
exclusive right of cultivation within determined limits, and 
under the obligation of paying a fixed revenue, and performing 
certain services for the Mussulman landlord. The timariot 
was bound to serve the sultan on horseback with a number of 
well-appointed followers, varying according to the value of his 
fief. These men had no occupation, and no thought but to 
perfect themselves in the use of their arms, and for a long 
period they formed the best light cavalry in Europe. The 

1 Stephen, king of Bosnia, in a letter to Pope Pius II., says, ' Tuicae in agrestes 
rnitem animum ostendunt.' Gobellinus, Pit II. Pont. Max. Comtn, Franc. 1614, p. 298. 


a.d. 1 453-1 684.] 

timars were granted as military rewards, and were not heredi- 
tary while the system continued to exist in its ancient purity. 
The veteran soldiers who held these fiefs in Greece were bound 
to the sultan by many ties. They looked forward to advance- 
ment to the larger estates called ziamets, or to gaining the 
rank of sandjak-beg, or commander of a timariot troop of 
horse. This class was consequently firmly attached to the 
central authority of the Othoman sultan, and constituted a 
check both on the ambitious projects and local despotism of 
powerful pashas, and on the rebellious disposition of the Chris- 
tian population. The rich rewards granted by Mohammed II. 
to his followers drew numerous bands of Turkoman and 
Seljouk volunteers to his armies from Asia Minor, who came 
to Europe, well mounted and armed, to seek their fortunes as 
warlike emigrants. His brilliant conquests enabled him to 
bestow rich lands on many of these volunteers, while their own 
valour gained for them abundant booty during his unceasing 
wars. Many of these adventurers were established in Greece 
after its conquest, and they were always ready to take the 
field against the Christians, both as a religious duty and as a 
means of acquiring slaves, whom, according to their qualifica- 
tions, they might send to their own harems, to their farms, or 
to the slave-market. The timariots of the Othoman empire, 
like the feudal nobility of Europe, required a servile race to 
cultivate the land. Difference of religion in Turkey created 
the distinction of rank which pride of birth perpetuated in 
feudal Europe. But the system was in both cases equally 
artificial ; and the permanent laws of man's social existence 
operate unceasingly to destroy every distinctive privilege 
which separates one class of men as a caste from the rest of 
the community, in violation of the immutable principles of 
equity. Heaven tolerates temporary injustice committed by 
individual tyrants to the wildest excesses of iniquity; but 
history proves that Divine Providence has endowed society 
with an irrepressible power of expansion, which gradually 
effaces every permanent infraction of the principles of justice 
by human legislation. The laws of Lycurgus expired before 
the Spartan state, and the corps of janissaries possessed more 
vitality than the tribute of Christian children. 

The Turkish feudal system was first introduced into 
Thessaly by Bayezid I., about the year 1397, when he sent 

B % 


[Ch. I. 

Evrenos to invade the Peloponnesus. He invested so large a 
number of Seljouk Turks with landed estates, both in Mace- 
donia and Thessaly, that from this period a powerful body of 
timariots was ever ready to assemble, at the sultan's orders, 
to invade the southern part of Greece 1 . Murad II. extended 
the system to Epirus and Acarnania, when he subdued the 
possessions of Charles Tocco, the despot of Arta ; and 
Mohammed II. rendered all Greece subject to the burden of 
maintaining his feudal cavalry. The governmental division of 
Greece and the burdens to which it was subjected, varied so 
much at different times, that it is extremely difficult to ascer- 
tain the exact amount of the timariots settled in Greece at the 
time of Sultan Mohammed's death. The number of fiefs was 
not less than about 300 ziamets and 1600 timars 2 . 

Along with the timariot system, Mohammed II. imposed 
the tribute of Christian children on Greece, as it then existed 
in the other Christian provinces of his empire. A fifth of their 
male children was exacted from the sultan's Christian subjects, 
as a part of that tribute which the Koran declared was the 
lawful price of toleration to those who refused to embrace 
Islam 3 . 

1 Chalcocondylas, pp. 53, 232, 234, edit. Par. 'EmSiOoaoi yXv ovtoi oi yjhpoi 
trpvs ye -noXiftiuv. 

2 The number is thus stated in various accounts : — 

The Sandjak of Morea ..... 
Xegrepont .... 
Thessaly, that is Palaeopatra and Tricala 
Epakto .... 

Karlili, that is Acamania and Aetolia 
Joannina .... 

267 1625 

Estimating the force of the ziamets at 15 men, and of the timars at 2, this would 
furnish 7250 cavalry. 

When Crete was conquered, it was divided into 3 sandjaks. 

t Ziamets. Timars. 

Candia . . . . 8 1400 

Khanea .... 5 800 

Retymos . . . -4 35° 

17 2 S5° 

Rhodes .... 5 71 

Mytilene . . . -4 8 3 

The islands and maritime districts subject to the jurisdiction of the captain 
pasha were obliged to maintain a number of galleys. 

3 Sale's Koran, chap. ix. vol. i. p. 224. 'Fight against those who forbid not 
what God and his prophet have forbidden, and who profess not the true religion 
of those unto whom the Koran has been delivered, until they pay tribute, and they 
be reduced low.' D'Ohsson, Tableau general de V Empire othoman; Code militaire, 
c. ii. vol. v. p, 79. 




34 2 









a.d. 1453-1684.] 

By these measures the last traces of the political institutions 
and legal administration, which the Greeks derived from the 
Roman Caesars, the Byzantine emperors, or the Frank princes, 
from the code of Justinian, the Basilika of Leo, or the assize 
of Jerusalem, were all swept away. Greece was partitioned 
among several pashas and governors, all of whom were under 
the orders of the beglerbeg of Roumelia, the sultan's com- 
mander-in-chief in Europe. The islands and some maritime 
districts were at a later period placed under the control of the 
captain pasha. The Greeks, as a nation, disappear from his- 
tory; but they had long laid aside the once glorious name of 
Hellenes and called themselves Romans \ - No instances of 
patriotic despair ennobled the records of their subjection. A 
dull uniformity marks their conduct and their thoughts. By- 
zantine ceremony and orthodox formality had already effaced 
the stronger traits of individual character, and extinguished 
genius. Othoman oppression now made an effort to extirpate 
the innate feelings of humanity. Parents gave their sons to be 
janissaries, and their daughters to be odalisques 2 . 

The history of the Othoman government during the period 
when its yoke bore heaviest on the Greeks, deserves to be 
carefully studied, if it were only to institute a comparison 
between the conduct of the Mussulmans, and the manner in 
which the most powerful contemporary Christian states treated 
their subjects. Unless this comparison be made, and the con- 
dition of the rayah in the sultan's dominions be contrasted 
with that of the serf in the holy Roman empire of the Ger- 
mans, and in the dominions of the kings of France and Spain, 
the absolute cruelty of the Othoman domination would be 
greatly overrated. The mass of the Christian population 

1 Until the commencement of the Greek revolution the name of Hellenes was 
forgotten, that of Graikoi little used, and that of Romaioi universal. 

2 [The harassing life of the Greeks, owing to Latin barons, Turkish pirates, and 
Byzantine officials, was surely enough to quench 'patriotic despair,' without its 
being necessary to refer everything to the degeneracy of the people. The author 
has himself pointed out, elsewhere, that it was the crushing character of Moham- 
med II.'s policy which caused the Greeks to acquiesce in the payment of the tribute 
of their children (vol. iv. p. 266), though at the commencement of chap. iii. of this 
volume he speaks of this acquiescence as ' the strongest proof of the demoralization 
of the Hellenic race.' The feelings of the Greeks at the time of the capture 
of Constantinople by the Turks, their anguish and helplessness, are well portrayed 
in the poem entitled ' A Lament for Constantinople ' [Qpijuos ttjs KajvaravTivovwo- 
\eous), which is to be found (among other places) in Dr. Wagner's Mediaeval Greek 
Texts, published for the Philological Society (pp. 1 41-170). The description 
of the enslaving of the citizens (lines 194-22.$) is extremely pathetic, Ed.] 


[Ch. I. 

engaged in agricultural operations was allowed to enjoy a far 
larger portion of the fruits of their labour, under the sultan's 
government, than under that of many Christian monarchs. 
This fact explains the facility with which the sultans of Con- 
stantinople held millions of Christian landed proprietors and 
small farmers in submissive bondage to a comparatively small 
number of Mohammedans in the European provinces of their 
empire. Indeed, the conquest of the Greeks was completed 
before the Othoman government had succeeded in subduing a 
considerable part of the Seljouk Turks in Asia Minor, and for 
several centuries the Mussulman population in Asia proved far 
more turbulent subjects to the sultans than the orthodox Chris- 
tians in Europe. Mohammed II., and many of his successors, 
were not only abler men than the Greek emperors who pre- 
ceded them on the throne of Byzantium, but they were really 
better sovereigns than most of the contemporary princes in the 
West. The Transylvanians and Hungarians long preferred 
the government of the house of Othman to that of the house 
of Hapsburg ; the Greeks clung to their servitude under the 
infidel Turks, rather than seek a deliverance which would 
entail submission to the Catholic Venetians. It was therefore 
in no small degree by the apathy, if not by the positive good- 
will of the Christian population, that the supremacy of the 
Sublime Porte was firmly established from the mountains of 
Laconia to the plains of Podolia and the banks of the Don. 
So stable were the foundations of the Othoman power, even on 
its northern frontier, that for three centuries the Black Sea was 
literally a Turkish lake. The Russians first acquired a right 
to navigate freely over its waters in the year 1774 1 . 

After the conquest of Constantinople, the Othomans be- 
came the most dangerous conquerors who have acted a part 
in European history since the fall of the western Roman 
empire. Their dominion, at the period of its greatest exten- 
sion, stretched from Buda on the Danube to Bussora on the 
Euphrates. On the north, their frontiers were guarded against 
the Poles by the fortress of Kamenietz, and against the Rus- 
sians by the walls of Azof ; while to the south the rock of Aden 
secured their authority over the southern coast of Arabia, 

1 By the ninth article of the treaty of Kainardji. By the third article of the 
treaty of Belgrade in 1739, Russia was bound not to build any ships of war, 
and not to maintain any fleet, even in the Sea of Azof. 


A - D - 1 453-^684.] 

invested them with power in the Indian Ocean, and gave them 
the complete command of the Red Sea. To the east, the sultan 
ruled the shores of the Caspian, from the Kour to the Tenek ; 
and his dominions stretched westward along the southern coast 
of the Mediterranean, where the farthest limits of the regency 
of Algiers, beyond Oran, meet the frontiers of the empire of 
Morocco. By rapid steps the Othomans completed the conquest 
of the Seljouk sultans in Asia Minor, of the Mamlouk sultans 
in Syria and Egypt, of the fierce corsairs of northern Africa, 
expelled the Venetians from Cyprus, Crete, and the Archi- 
pelago, and drove the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem from 
the Levant, to find a shelter at Malta. It was no vain boast 
of the Othoman sultan, that he was the master of many king- 
doms, the ruler of three continents, and the lord of two seas. 

For three centuries the position of the Greek race was one 
of hopeless degradation. Its connection with the old pagan 
Hellenes was repudiated by themselves, and forgotten by other 
nations \ The modern Greeks continued to be prouder of 
having organized the ecclesiastical establishment of the ortho- 
dox hierarchy than of an imaginary connection with an extinct 
though cognate society, which had once occupied the highest 
rank in the political and intellectual world, and created the 
literature of Europe. The modern identification of the Chris- 
tian Greeks with the pagan Hellenes is the growth of the new 
series of ideas disseminated by the French Revolution.y At 
the time when ecclesiastical orthodoxy exerted its most 
powerful influence on the Greeks as a people, they were 
content to perpetuate their national existence in the city of 
Constantinople, in a state of moral debasement not very 
dissimilar from the position in which Juvenal describes their 
ancestors at Rome 2 . The primates and the clergy acted as 

1 [The question of the nationality claimed by the Greeks of this period seems 
rather a question of names. To the uneducated classes ancient Greeks and ancient 
Romans were equally unknown, and it would be more accurate to say that they 
were unacquainted with, than that they ' repudiated ' their connection with the 
Hellenes. But the educated, though they called themselves 'Pai/xaiot, and looked 
to the Byzantine empire as the stock from which they sprang, were not altogether 
forgetful of a connection with the ancient people whose language they used ; as 
the Author implies, when in chap. iv. of this volume he says of the Athenians in the 
time of Morosini that they ' pretended to represent the countrymen of Pericles.' Ed.] 
2 Ingenium velox, audacia perdita, sermo 
Promptus et Isaeo torrentior : ede quid ilium 
Esse putes? quern vis hominem secum attulit ad nos ; 

(Juv. Hi. 73-75-) 
is quite as correct a description of the nobles of the Phanar who seived the 


[Ch. I. 

agents of Turkish tyranny with as much zeal as the artists 
and rhetoricians of old had pandered for the passions of their 
Roman masters. On the other hand, the slavery of the Greeks 
to the Othomans was not the result of any inferiority in 
numerical force, material wealth, and scientific knowledge. 
The truth is, that the successes of the Othoman Turks, like 
those of the Romans, must be in great part attributed to their 
superiority in personal courage, individual morality, systematic 
organization, and national dignity. The fact is dishonourable 
to Christian civilization. / After the conquest of Constanti- 
nople, the Greeks sank, with wonderful rapidity, and without 
an effort, into the most abject slavery. For three centuries 
their political history is merged in the history of the Othoman 
empire.' During this long period, the national position, for 
evil and for good, was determined by the aggregate of vice 
and virtue in the individuals who composed the nation. His- 
torians rarely allow due weight to the direct influence of 
individual conduct in the mass of mankind on political 
history. At this period, however, the national history of 
the Greeks is comprised in their individual biography. Because 
they were destitute of virtue as individuals, they were con- 
temptible as a nation. 

The power and resources of the Othoman empire, at the 
time when the Sultans of Constantinople were most dreaded 
by the Western Christians, were principally derived from the 
profound policy with which the Turkish government rendered 
its Christian subjects the instruments of its designs. It gave 
to its subjects a modicum of protection for life and property, 
and an amount of religious toleration which induced the 
orthodox to perpetuate their numbers, to continue their labours 
for amassing wealth, and to prefer the domination of the sultan 
to that of any Christian potentate. In return, it exacted a 
tithe of the lives as well as of the fortunes of its subjects. 
Christian children were taken to fill up the chasms which 
polygamy and war were constantly producing in Mussulman 
society, and Christian industry filled the sultan's treasury with 
the wealth which long secured success to the boldest projects 
of Othoman ambition. No accidental concourse of events 
could have given permanence to a dominion which maintained 

Othoman administration, as it was of the Rhetor who flattered the senators 
and proconsuls of imperial Rome. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

its authority with the same stern tyranny over the Seljouk 
Turk, the Turkoman, the Kurd, the Arab, and the Moorish 
Mussulman, as it did over the Greek, the Albanian, the 
Servian, the Bulgarian, the Vallachian, and the Armenian 
Christian. An empire whose greatness has endured for several 
centuries, must have been supported by some profound poli- 
tical combinations, if not by some wise and just institutions. 
Accidental accumulation^ of conquest, joined together by 
military force alone, like the empires of Attila, Genghis Khan, 
and Timor, have never attained such stability. 

The Othomans exhibit the last example of a barbarous 
tribe intruding itself among civilized nations and forming a 
new nation in countries already densely peopled. It is true, 
that the great Turkish race, of which they were an offset, has 
always been one of the most numerous on the earth, and the 
Seljouk Turks had for three centuries formed a considerable 
part of the population of Asia Minor. But hitherto the Turks 
had exercised very little influence either in retarding or 
accelerating the progress of European civilization. 

At the commencement of the fourteenth century the Otho- 
mans were a nameless tribe, whose leader Othman transferred 
his own name to his scanty band of followers. His father 
Ertogrul entered the Seljouk empire with a tribe numbering 
only 400 tents. Othman founded an empire, and in a short 
time the tribe of Ertogrul expanded into a great nation. 
The history of the Othomans offers some striking points of 
resemblance with that of the Romans. The legends of 
Romulus, of Numa the legislator, of Tarquin the Proud, and 
of the destruction of Rome by the Gauls, find a parallel in 
the foundation of an empire by Othman, in the legislation of 
Orkhan, in the character of Bayezid the Thunderer, and in the 
temporary extinction of the Othoman government by Timor 
the Great. The marvels of Othoman history have a grandeur 
in the simple truth that requires no aid from legendary orna- 
ment. Our aversion to the enduring results of Othoman 
institutions and conquests has sought gratification by depre- 
ciating the power of those institutions, and treating the mighty 
victories of the sultans as accidental and prosaic events. Our 
fathers feared and hated the Othomans too much to judge 
them fairly, and our prejudices still offer some obstacles to 
our contemplating with equanimity the marked superiority 


[Ch. I. 

which they displayed in politics and war over Christian 
nations for more than two centuries. The Hellenic race in 
ancient times divided the inhabitants of the globe into Greeks 
and barbarians. The Othomans separated the inhabitants of 
their empire into Mussulmans and infidels. The division 
marks both intellectual and political progress. 

The peculiar institutions which characterize the Othoman 
empire were first introduced by Orkhan. About the year 
1329, Christian orphans, whose parents had been slain, were 
collected together, and schools for educating young slaves in 
the serai were formed. This was the commencement of a 
systematic education of Christian children, and of the corps 
of janissaries. Murad I. gave both measures that degree of 
systematic regularity, by which the tribute of Christian 
children afforded a permanent supply of recruits to the sultan's 
army and to the official administration. Hence Murad, 
rather than his father Orkhan, has been generally called the 
founder of the janissaries l . The political institutions of the 
empire were extended and consolidated by Mohammed II. 
After the conquest of the empires of Constantinople and 
Trebizond, he published his Kanun-name, or legislative 
organization of the Othoman empire. In the reign of Sulei- 
man I., called by the Mussulmans the Legislator and by the 
Christians the Magnificent, the Othoman power attained its 
meridian splendour. The death of the Grand-Vizier, Achmet 
Kueprili, in the year 1676, during the reign of Mohammed 
IV., marks the epoch of its decline. Yet the decay of its 
strength was not without glory. In the year 17 15 it inflicted 
a mortal wound on Venice, its ancient rival, by reconquering 
the Morea ; and at the peace of Belgrade, in 1739, it frustrated 
the combined attacks of its most powerful enemies, by baffling 
the projects of Russia, and obtaining terms which were dis- 
honourable to Austria. 

A slight sketch of the Othoman government at the end of 
the reign of Mohammed II. will be sufficient to place the 
relation of the Greeks to the dominant race and to the central 
administration in a clear light. This relation underwent very 
little change as long as the original institutions of the empire 

1 Hadji Khalfa fixes the establishment of the janissaries, and Saadeddin that 
of the sipahis, in the year of the Hegira 730 = a. u. 1329. Compare Hammer, 
Staatsverfassung und Staatsverwaltung des 0*manischen Reichs, i. 52-56. Christian 
writers, and even some Turkish, consider Murad I. their founder. 


a.d. 1453-16S4.] 

remained unaltered. During this period the records of the 
Greeks are of very little historical value ; indeed, they are so 
destitute of authenticity on public affairs, that they can only 
be trusted when they can be confronted with the annals of 
their masters. It is by the influence which the Othoman 
government exercised on European politics that Greece finds 
a niche in the history of the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies, and it is by the influence the Greek Church exercised 
on Muscovite civilization that the national importance was 

The power of systematic organization, as distinct from the 
pedantry of uniform centralization, was never more conspicuous 
than in the energy of the Othoman administration. The 
institutions of Orkhan infused vigour into the Othoman tribe 
by forming a central administration, and organizing a regular 
army in immediate dependence on the person of the sultan. 
The administration of the Othoman power became in this 
way a part of the sultan's household, and the Sublime Porte, 
which formed the emblem of the political existence of the 
empire, was called into active operation, without any direct 
dependence on Turkish nationality. The conquering race 
was never allowed a share of political power in the sultan's 
government, however great the privileges might be which they 
were allowed to assume in comparison with the conquered 

The strength of the Othoman empire during the most 
flourishing period of the sultan's power reposed on the house- 
hold troops he composed from the children of his Christian 
subjects. A tribute of male children was collected from 
Christians in the conquered provinces ; and it was paid by the 
Greeks with as much regularity, and apparently with as little 
repining, as any of the fiscal burdens imposed on them. 
These tribute-children form the distinctive feature of the 
Othoman administration, as compared with the preceding 
Turkish empire of the Seljouks of Roum or of Iconium l . 
They were carefully educated as Mussulmans, and their con- 
nection with their master the sultan, as household slaves, was 
always regarded in the East as more close, and even more 

1 The caliphs of Bagdad and the sultans of Egypt had also guards composed 
of slaves, and those of the sultans of Egypt were called Bahairiz. Joinville, 
Hisloire de St. Louis, p. 55, observ. 77, edit. Ducange ; Pachymeres, i. 116. 


[Ch. I. 

honourable to the individual, than the connection of a subject 
to his sovereign, where the tie was not strengthened by a 
relationship of family, or at least of tribe. We find the same 
social relation between the slave and the master existing 
among the Jews at the earliest period of their national his- 
tory. No stranger could partake of the passover, but the 
servant that was bought for money could eat thereof. The 
foreigner and the hired servant were nevertheless excluded 
from the family festival \ The tribute-children, who were fed 
in the sultan's house and were members of his household, 
supplied the Othoman emperors with an official administra- 
tion and a regular army, composed of household slaves, as 
ready to attack the Seljouk and Arab sovereigns, though they 
were Mohammedans, as they were to assail the Greeks and 
the Servians, who were Christians. 

We must not, however, conclude that the sovereignty of the 
sultan, even when aided by this powerful instrument, was 
entirely without restraint. The ministers of the Mohamme- 
dan religion, as interpreters of the civil and ecclesiastical law, 
had a corporate existence of an older date than the founda- 
tion of the Othoman power. This corporation, called the 
Ulema, possessed political rights, recognized throughout 
every class of Mohammedan society, independent of the 
sultan's will, and the power of the sultan was long restrained 
by the laws and customs of which the Ulema was the repre- 
sentative and the champion. But in the long struggle between 
a despotic central authority and class privileges, supported 
only by local interests and prejudices, the victory at last 
remained with the sultan, and the Ulema no longer exerts 
any very important restraint on the political action of the 
Othoman government. Corruption, which is the inseparable 
attendant of despotic power, gradually rendered the principal 
interpreters of the dogmas of Islam the submissive instru- 
ments of the sultan's will, and the power of the Ulema over 
public opinion was thus undermined. 

The institutions of the Othoman empire range themselves 
in three classes : i. Those which were derived from the 
text of the Koran, and which were common to all Moham- 
medan countries from the times of the Arabian caliphs ; 
2. Those civil and military arrangements connected with 

1 Exod. xii. 43. 

ULEMA. 13 

a.d. 1453-16S4.] 

property and local jurisdiction which prevailed among the 
Seljouk Turks in Asia Minor ; and 3, The peculiar institu- 
tions of the Othoman empire which grew up out of the 
legislation of Orkhan and successive sultans. 

The evils inflicted on society by the absolute power over 
the lives and property of all Mohammedans, except the 
members of the Ulema, with which the laws of Mahomet 
invest the sultan, form the staple of the history of Islam. 
And when the arbitrary nature of the administration of 
justice inherent in the constitution of the Ulema becomes a 
concomitant of the despotic power of the sovereign, it is not 
surprising that, in Mohammedan countries, there has always 
been as little security for the property of individuals as there 
has been protection for political liberty. The authority 
which the Ulema possesses of extracting rules of jurispru- 
dence for the decision of particular cases from the religious 
precepts of the Koran, opens an unlimited field for judicial 
oppression. The acknowledged imperfection of the adminis- 
tration of justice prevents the law from being regarded with 
due respect ; and hence arises that ready submission to a 
despotic executive which characterizes all Mohammedan 
countries, for the power of the sovereign is considered the 
only effective check on the corruption of the Ulema. The 
sentiments of justice in the hearts of the people are also 
weakened by the laws of marriage, by the social relations 
which arise from the prevalence of polygamy, and by the 
immunity from all control enjoyed by the harem. The 
heads of families become invested with an arbitrary and 
despotic power at variance with the innate feelings of equity, 
and the moral responsibility which is the firmest basis of 
virtue in society is destroyed. The primary institutions 
which prevail wherever Mahomet has been acknowledged as 
the prophet of God, are, despotic power in the sovereign, 
an arbitrary administration of civil law, and an immoral 
organization of society. This is so striking, that every 
student of Turkish history feels himself puzzled in his 
attempts to solve the problem of ascertaining what were the 
good impulses of the human heart, or the sagacious policy of 
a wise government, by which these demoralizing influences 
were counteracted, and the Othoman empire raised to the 
high pitch of power and grandeur that it attained. 


[Ch. I. 

The second class of institutions which exerted a prominent 
influence on the Othoman government, consisted of the civil 
and military usages and customs of the Seljouk population 
of Asia Minor. The feudal institutions of the Seljouk empire 
continued to exist long after the complete subjection of its 
provinces to the Othoman sultan ; and the wars of the 
national or feudal militia of Asia Minor with the central 
administration and the regular army at Constantinople, form 
an important feature in the history of the Othoman empire. 
The large irregular military force which marched under the 
sultan's banner, along with the regular army of janissaries 
and sipahis, even in the European wars, consisted principally 
of Seljouk feudatories enrolled in Asia Minor. The adminis- 
tration of the sultan's dominions has always presented strange 
anomalies in its numerous provinces, among the Moham- 
medan as well as among the Christian population. As in 
the Roman and the British empires, various races of men, 
and the followers of different creeds, lived intermingled in 
great numbers, and were allowed to retain those peculiar laws 
and usages that were closely interwoven with the thread of 
their social existence. This freedom from the administrative 
pedantry of centralization has saved the Othoman empire 
from the crime of becoming the exterminator of the races it 
has subdued. The sultans only interfered with the laws and 
customs of each conquered people in so far as was necessary 
to insure their submission to the Sublime Porte and render 
their resources available to increase the wealth and power of 
the Othoman empire. 

It was the policy of the sultan to maintain constantly an 
isolated position, overlooking equally all the various nations in 
his empire, whether they were Mohammedan or Christian. 
This policy produced, in some respects, as direct an opposi- 
tion between the Seljouk population of Asia Minor and the 
Othoman officials of the central administration, as it did 
between the dominant Mohammedans and the subject 
Christians in Europe. The sultan employed his household 
slaves as the agents of the executive government. The 
imperial officials, both civil and military, were consequently a 
distinct and separate race of men from the great body of the 
Mohammedan population of the empire, and this distinction 
was more galling to the proud Seljouk feudatory in Asia 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

than to the Othoman landlord who had recently obtained the 
grant of an estate in Europe. The ties which connected the 
imperial officials with the Mussulman population were few 
and weak, while the bonds which united them to the sultan's 
person and government, as children of his household and 
slaves of his Sublime Porte, were closely interwoven with all 
their feelings and hopes. No sentiments of patriotism united 
the Seljouk Turk and the Syrian Arab to the Othoman 
government ; while, on the other hand, no kindred sympa- 
thies, and no sense of national responsibility, restrained the 
rigour of the despotism exercised by its officials. Religious 
bigotry, and the community of interest arising out of a long 
career of conquest, inspired all the Mohammedan subjects of 
the sultan with one object, whenever war was proclaimed 
against a Christian state. The Seljouk feudatories and the 
Bedouin sheiks were then as eager for plunder and the 
capture of slaves as the janissaries. Even during the time 
of peace, the Seljouks on the Asiatic coast were compelled to 
stifle their aversion to the Othoman administration by the 
necessity of watching every movement of the Christian popu- 
lation. But the persevering opposition of the Seljouk 
population in the interior of Asia Minor to the government 
of the sultan fills many pages of Turkish history for two 
centuries after the conquest of Constantinople ; and this 
opposition must be constantly borne in mind by those who 
desire to understand the anomalies in the administration of 
the Othoman empire and in the social position of its Turkish 
inhabitants \ Many relics of the former anomalies in the 
Othoman empire were visible at the beginning of the present 
century, which have now disappeared. The late Sultan 
Mahmoud II. swept away the last traces of the Seljouk 
feudal system, by exterminating the dere-beys, the ruins of 
whose castles still greet the traveller in many of the most 
sequestered and picturesque valleys in the Asiatic provinces. 
Much of the local vigour of the Mohammedan population was 
then extinguished ; and how far the force of the empire has 

1 It would require a long explanatory dissertation to cite the proofs of these 
statements in detail, for the corruption introduced into the Othoman administra- 
tion before the end of the sixteenth century had so mixed up the abuses in the 
regular army with those in the feudal militia, that the causes of the rebellions 
in Asia were often very complicated, and their origin often appears to have been 
accidental, in spite of the deep-rooted discontent. 


[Ch. I. 

been increased by centralizing its energies in the administra- 
tive establishments at Constantinople, is a problem which 
still waits for its solution. 

The third class of Othoman institutions gave the empire 
its true historical character and distinctive political constitu- 
tion. They had their origin in the legislation of Orkhan, and 
they grew under the fostering care of his successors, who 
persevered in following the direction he had marked out to 
them, until the work was completed by Mohammed II. the 
conqueror of the Greek race. Orkhan made the household of 
the sovereign the basis of the government of the Othoman 
dominions, as it had been of the imperial administration in 
the Roman empire. He assigned to the organization of the 
army and the civil and financial administration an existence 
perfectly independent of the people. The great political 
merit of Orkhan's institutions was, that they admitted of 
extension and development as the bounds of the empire were 
enlarged and the exigencies of the administration increased. 
Accordingly, we find Murad I. so far extending his father's 
regulations for recruiting the regular army from the tribute of 
Christian children, as to have obtained from some Turkish 
historians the honour of being called the founder of the corps 
of janissaries 1 . At length when Mohammed II. had com- 
pleted his conquests, he turned his attention to the civil 
government of his vast empire. In all his plans for the 
administration of his new conquests, he made the institutions 
which Orkhan had bequeathed to the Othoman government 
the model of his legislation, and his Kanun-name, con- 
sequently, is a collection of administrative ordinances, not an 
attempt to frame a code of civil laws. True to the spirit 
of Orkhan's theory of government, he constituted the 
sultan's palace the centre of political power, and its gate the 
spot to which his subjects must look for protection and 
justice. To the world at large the Sublime Porte was the 
seat of the sultan's government, and only the sultan's slaves 
could enter within its precincts to learn the sovereign's will in 
his own presence. 

Mohammed II. was one of those great men whose personal 
conduct, from their superiority of talent and firmness of purpose, 
modifies the course of public events, when it is granted to them, 

1 Annates Tvrcici, a Joanne Lei/nclavio latine translati, p. 248, edit. Venet. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

as it was to him, to exercise their influence during a long and 
successful reign. Though he ascended the throne at the age 
of twenty-one, his character was already formed by the educa- 
tion he had received. An enemy who knew him personally, 
and had the most powerful reasons to hate him, acknowledges 
that, with all the fire and energy of youth, he possessed the 
sagacity and the prudence of old age 1 . The palace of the sultan, 
where the young princes of the race of Othman received their 
education amidst tribute-children selected on account of their 
superior talents and amiable dispositions, was for several 
generations an excellent public school. No reigning family 
ever educated so many great princes as the house of Othman. 
When the intellect was strong and the disposition naturally 
good, the character was developed at an early age by the 
varied intercourse of the tribute-children and their instructors. 
In this society the young sultan Mohammed, whom nature had 
endowed with rare mental and physical advantages, learned 
the art of commanding himself, as well as others, by his desire 
to secure the esteem and attachment of the youths who were 
the companions of his amusements, and who were destined to 
become the generals of his armies and the ministers of his 
cabinet. Mohammed II. made it the duty of the sultan to 
preside in person over the whole government. For many 
years he was the real prime-minister, for he retained in his own 
hands the supreme direction of all public business after the 
execution of the grand-vizier Khalil. The succeeding grand- 
viziers only acted as commanders-in-chief of the army and 
principal secretaries of state for the general administration, not 
as vicegerents of the sultan's power. From the time of Murad 
I. to the taking of Constantinople, the usages and customs of 
the Othoman tribe still exercised some influence over the 
public administration, and the office of grand-vizier had been 
hereditary in the family of Djenderelli. Khalil was the fourth 
of this family who filled the office, and with him the political 
influence of the Othoman tribe expired. The project of Khalil 
had been to create an acknowledged power in the hands of 
the grand-vizier, as protector of the peaceable subjects of the 
empire, independent of the military power and the military 
classes. His avarice, as much as his ambition, induced him to 

1 Phrantzes, 93, edit. Bonn. 
VOL. V. C 


[Ch. I. 

use his hereditary authority to control the operations of the 
army. His conduct awakened the suspicion of Mohammed II., 
who detected his intrigues with the Greeks ; and forty days 
after the conquest of Constantinople, Khalil was beheaded at 
Adrianople. Several of the grand-viziers of Mohammed II. 
were men of great ability. Like the sultan, they had been 
educated in the schools of the imperial palace. The ablest of 
all was Mahmoud Pasha, whose father was a Greek and his 
mother an Albanian. He was a man worthy to rank with 
Mohammed II. and with Scanderbeg 1 . 

The successors of Mohammed II. pursued the line of policy 
he had traced out, and followed the maxims of state laid down 
in the Kanun-name with energy and perseverance for several 
generations. They w r ere men both able and willing to perform 
the onerous duties imposed on them. For two centuries and 
a-half — from Othman to Suleiman the Legislator — the only 
sultan who was not a man of pre-eminent military talent was 
Bayezid II. ; yet he was nevertheless a prudent and ac- 
complished prince. All these sovereigns directed in person 
the government of their empire, and the council, composed of 
the great officers of state and of viziers of the bench, was held 
in their presence. 

The administrative fabric of the government was divided by 
Mohammed II. into four branches : i. The Executive, the 
chief instruments of which were the pashas ; 2. The Judicial, 
embracing the Ulema, under the control of the kadiaskers, but 
subsequently presided over by the grand mufti ; 3. The Fi- 
nancial, under the superintendence of the defterdars ; and, 4. 
The Civil department, under the direction of the nishandjis or 
imperial secretaries. The grand-vizier, who was the chief of 
the pashas, exercised a supreme control over the whole govern- 
ment ; while the pashas, each in his own province, commanded 
the military forces, maintained the police, watched over the 
public security, and enforced the regular payment of all taxes 
and imposts. The kadiaskers, or grand judges of Asia and 
Europe, were, in the time of Mohammed II., the administra-* 
tive chiefs of the judicial and religious establishments on the 
different sides of the Bosphorus. They named the cadis or 
inferior judges. But in the reign of Suleiman the Great, the 

1 Hammer, Histoire de Vempire Othoman, iii. 168. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

grand mufti was vested with many of the functions previously 
exercised by the kadiaskers, who were rendered subordinate 
to this great interpreter of the law. A supreme defterdar 
acted as minister of finance, and directed that important 
branch of state business which, in all long-established and 
extensive empires, ultimately becomes the pivot of the whole 
administration. The sultan's private secretary was the chief 
nishandji, who performed the duty of principal secretary of 
state. His office was to affix the toghra (toura) or imperial 
cipher to all public acts, and to revise every document as it 
passed through the imperial cabinet. 

Such was the general scheme of the administration as it was 
arranged by Mohammed II. ; and though it was reformed and 
improved by Suleiman the Legislator, it remained in force until 
the commencement of the present century. But when the 
indolence and incapacity of the sultans left the irresponsible 
direction of public affairs in the hands of their grand-viziers, 
those ministers exercised the despotic power of their masters 
in the most arbitrary manner. 

The administration of justice and that of finance are the two 
most important branches of government in civilized society, 
because they come hourly into contact with the feelings and 
actions of every subject. The organization of both these de- 
partments has always been singularly defective in the Othoman 
empire. The manner in which justice was dispensed to the 
subjects of the sultan — whether Mussulman or Christian — 
whether in the tribunal of the cadi or the court of the bishop 
— was so radically vicious as to render all decisions liable to 
the suspicion and generally to the imputation of venality. 
The consequence was that corruption pervaded the whole 
frame of society ; there was an universal feeling of insecurity, 
and a conviction that candour and publicity were both at- 
tended with individual danger. The want of morality and 
self-reliance, which is made the reproach of the subjects of 
the Othoman empire, and from which hardly a portion of the 
dominant race was exempt, can easily be traced to this defect 
in their social position. In all historical investigations we 
ought constantly to bear in mind the observation of Hume, 
that all the vast apparatus of government has for its ultimate 
object the distribution of justice 1 . The executive power, and 

1 Hume's Essays, ' On the Origin of Government.' 
C % 


[Ch. I. 

the assemblies which form a portion of the legislative, ought 
both, in a well-constituted state, to be subordinate to the law. 
The fashionable phrase of modern constitutions, that every 
citizen is equal before the law, is a mockery of truth and com- 
mon sense in all states where there is one set of laws or 
regulations for the government and its officials, and another 
for the mass of people as subjected to that government. 
Until neither rank, nor official position, nor administrative 
privileges can be pleaded as a ground of exceptional treatment 
by the agents of the executive in matters of justice, there can 
be no true civil liberty. The law must be placed above 
sovereigns and parliaments as well as above ministers and 

No such principles of government ever entered into the 
minds of the Othoman Turks. The Mohammedan juris- 
prudence declares distinctly that there is a different civil law 
for the believer in Islam and for the infidel. It pronounces 
that the Koran confers privileges on the true believer from 
which all others are excluded. The Mohammedan law, 
therefore, was founded on principles of partial, not of universal 
application, and it has maintained a perpetual struggle with 
the natural abhorrence of injustice which God has implanted 
in the human heart. Even the Mussulman population of 
the Othoman empire was not insensible to the instability 
of their legal position as a dominant race, where the mass 
of the population was of a different religion. They always 
felt that their power in Europe was based on maxims of 
law and policy which rendered its duration uncertain. The 
Mohammedans in Europe always contemplated the pro- 
bability of their being one day expelled from countries where 
they appeared as foreign colonists and temporary sojourners, 
and looked forward to a period when they should be compelled 
to retreat into those Asiatic lands where the majority of the 
inhabitants followed the faith of Mahomet. Hence resulted 
the nervous anxiety displayed by the Mussulmans to convert 
the Christian population of the sultan's dominions. The 
true believers considered that this was the only manner by 
which it was possible to confer on the followers of a different 
religion an equality of civil rights, and they felt that this 
equality could alone give stability to their government. 
Several of the ablest statesmen in the Othoman empire 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

declared, that until the Mohammedan religion was embraced 
by all the sultan's subjects, the government could neither be 
secure nor equitable. They fully acknowledged the danger 
of treating the Christians under their dominion with systematic 
injustice, and they endeavoured to palliate the evil they could 
not eradicate. The necessity of protecting the Christians 
against oppression was recognized by Mohammed II., and 
the patriarch of Constantinople was appointed the agent for 
the Greek nation at the Sublime Porte for this purpose. 
But the first legislative enactments for the declared object 
of protecting the Christian subjects of the sultan against 
official and Mussulman oppression, by investing them with 
a guarantee in their own personal rights, were dated in the 
year 1691. These imperial ordinances were promulgated by 
the grand-vizier Mustapha Kueprili, called the Virtuous, and 
were termed the Nizam-djedid, or New System. Governors 
of provinces, pashas and other officials, were commanded 
to treat the Christians with equity. They were strictly 
prohibited from exacting any addition to the haratch or 
capitation-tax, or to any of the imposts as fixed by the 
laws of the empire, under the pretext of local necessities. 
The intention of the Othoman government had always been 
to leave the collection and administration of the funds 
destined for local purposes in the hands of the inhabitants 
of the locality. This attempt of Mustapha the Virtuous to 
sanction the right of Christians to demand protection against 
Mussulman injustice, under Mohammedan laws, produced 
very little practical effect in ameliorating the lot of the 
Greeks 1 . The Othoman administration was about this 
period invaded by a degree of corruption, which left all 
the sultan's subjects, both Mussulman and Christian, ex- 
posed to the grossest injustice. It required many social 
changes in the East before any progress could be made in 
the task of levelling the barriers which separated the domi- 
nant religion from the faith of the subject people. The 
difference was too great to be effaced by legislative enactments 

The imperfection of the financial administration in the 
Othoman government assisted the vices of the judicial system 

1 Hammer, Histoire de V empire Othoman, xii. 306, 322. 




in accelerating the decline of the empire. In all countries, 
the manner in which the permanent revenues of the state 
are levied, exerts an important effect on the national 
prosperity. A small amount of taxation may be so collected 
as to check the accumulation of national wealth, and hinder 
the people from adopting fixed habits of industry, while a 
large amount may be imposed in such a way as to form 
a very slight check on the progress of a nation. The taxes 
in the Othoman empire were not so injurious from their 
amount, as from the way in which they were imposed and 
collected. The Mohammedans were exempt from many 
burdens which fell heavy on the Jews and Christians ; and 
as often happens with financial privileges, these exceptions 
proved ultimately of very little advantage to the class they 
appeared to favour. 

The great financial distinction between the followers of 
Islam, or the true believers, and the rayahs or infidel subjects 
of the sultan, was the payment of the haratch or capitation- 
tax. This tax was levied on the whole male unbelieving 
population, with the exception of children under ten years 
of age, old men, and priests of the different sects of Christians 
and Jews. The maimed, the blind, and the paralytic were 
also exempted by Moslem charity. This payment was 
imposed by the Koran on all who refused to embrace the 
Mohammedan faith, as the alternative by which they might 
purchase peace. The Othomans found it established in the 
Seljouk empire, and, as they were bound by their religious 
precepts, they extended it to .every country they conquered. 
In the reign of Suleiman the Legislator, this tax yielded a 
revenue of seventeen millions of piastres, while the whole 
revenue of the empire only amounted to twenty-seven millions, 
or about £6,ooo,oco sterling 1 . 

A duty levied alike on imports and exports amounted to 
two and a half per cent, when the goods were the property 
of a Mohammedan, but to five per cent, when they belonged 
to a Christian or Jewish subject of the Porte, This moderate 
duty enabled the commerce of the Othoman empire to flourish 
greatly during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries*. 

1 D'Ohsson, Tableau de I 'empire Othoman, vii. 237; Hammer, Histoire, vi. 510. 

2 Tuikish merchants were numerous at Ancona, Venice, and Ragusa In 
the year 1522 the Venetian ambassadors to the Papal see estimated the amount 


Though the commercial duties levied on the infidels were 
double the amount of those paid by the Mohammedans, 
they were in reality so moderate, that the difference was 
easily compensated by closer commercial relations with 
foreign merchants in distant countries, and by greater activity 
and economy. The Christians, consequently, preserved the 
greater share of the trade of Turkey in their hands. And 
as both Christians and Jews were excluded from war and 
politics, they turned their whole attention to trade. The 
different members of the same family dispersed themselves 
in various cities of the empire, in order that they might 
collect cargoes for exportation with the greatest facility, 
and personally superintend their distribution at the ports 
of consumption in the most economical manner. In an age 
when guarantees for personal honesty were not easily ob- 
tained beyond the circle of family ties, and extensive credit 
required to be replaced by personal attendance, the Greeks 
made their family connections a substitute for the privileges 
of corporations and guilds in the commercial cities of western 
Europe. Another circumstance favoured the trade of the 
non-Mussulman population of the Othoman empire. Venality 
and rapacity have always been prominent characteristics of 
the Othoman financial system. The Christian population 
of the East had been disciplined to every species of financial 
extortion for many ages by the Greek emperors. In fiscal 
measures the Othomans were the pupils of the Byzantine 
system, and the officials of the Porte soon perceived that 
the privilege of paying smaller duties placed the interests 
of the Mussulman trader in opposition to the interests of 
the imperial fisc. The custom-house officers were taught 
to favour, that trade which brought the largest returns to 
the imperial treasury, and to throw obstacles in the way of 
commercial dealings which bore the character of individual 
privileges injurious to the sultan's revenue. The import and 

of business of single Turkish and Greek traders at 500,000 ducats annually, 
and it is said with emphasis, that there were always numerous Turkish vessels 
at anchor in the port. Ranke, History of the Popes, 97, 101. The Turks had 
also a hostelry for themselves, and large warehouses (the fondaco), at Venice. 
Marin, viii. 155. Mohammed II., in the treaty he concluded with Scanderbeg in 
1461, inserted a clause in favour of Othoman traders. See the letter of Moham- 
med to Scanderbeg; Barletius, 192; and Reusner, Epist. Turcicae, i. 213: ' Ut 
mercatores et negotiatores nostri regnum tuum cum mercimoniis suis ubique 
permeent alque percurrant.' 


* [Ch. I. 

export duties formed one of the principal branches of the 
sultan's revenue, and we have already observed that the 
nature of the Othoman government prevented the existence 
of much sympathy between the great bulk of the Moham- 
medan landlords or cultivators of the soil and the agents 
of the sultan's administration. The policy of throwing 
obstacles in the way of the commercial operations of the 
Turks gradually gained strength, until the Mussulman land- 
lord was content, in order to save time and avoid collision 
with the government officials, to sell his produce to rayah 
merchants, who in this way gained possession of the greater 
part of the trade of the empire 1 . At a later period, the 
privileges conceded by commercial treaties to the subjects 
of foreign nations introduced a change in the commercial 
position of the Christian subjects of the Porte, which was 
extremely injurious both to the wealth and moral character 
of the Greek traders. From this period the history of 
Othoman commerce becomes a record of privileges granted 
to foreigners, and of fraudulent schemes adopted by the 
rayahs to share in these privileges, or to elude their effect. 
The government strove to indemnify itself for these frauds 
by unjust exactions, and the native traders employed 
corruption and bribery as the most effectual protection 
against the abuses of tyrannical authority. The letter 
of the law and the legitimate duties served only as the 
text for an iniquitous commentary of extortions and 

The land-tax, however, was the impost which bore heaviest 
on the industry of the whole agricultural population, without 
distinction of religion or race. This tax consisted of a fixed 
proportion of the annual produce,. generally varying from a 
tenth to a third of the whole crop. Almost all the countries 
which fell under the domination of the Mohammedans were in 
a declining state at the time of their conquest. This was as 
much the case with Syria, Egypt, Persia, and Northern Africa 
in the seventh century, as it was with the Greek empires 
of Constantinople and Trebizond, and the principalities of 
Athens and the Morea, in the fifteenth. ■ In such a state of 
society, communications are becoming dally more confined, 

1 Rayah was the name given by the Othomans to all subjects who paid haratch. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

and it is consequently more easy for the cultivator to pay 
a determinate proportion of his crop than to make a fixed 
payment in money. Thus, the worst possible system of 
taxation was established in the dominions of the Moham- 
medan conquerors as a boon to their subjects, and was received 
with satisfaction. All the land in the Othoman empire was 
subjected to this tax, whether it was held by Mohammedans 
or infidels. /The evil effect of this system of taxation in 
repressing industry arises in great measure from the methods 
adopted to guard against fraud on the part of the cultivator of 
the soil. He is not allowed to commence the labours of the 
harvest until the tax-gatherer is on the spot to watch his 
proceedings ; and he is compelled to leave the produce of his 
land exposed in the open air until the proportion which falls 
to the share of the government is measured out and separated 
from the heapy Where the soil is cultivated by a race of 
a different religion from the landlord, it becomes the interest 
of the landlord to combine with the tax-collector, or to 
become himself a farmer of the revenue, and then every act 
of tyranny is perpetrated with impunity. Throughout the 
whole Othoman empire all agricultural industry is paralyzed 
for at least two months annually;, the cultivators of the soil 
being compelled to waste the greater portion of their time in 
idleness, watching the grain on the threshing-floors, seeing 
it trodden out by cattle, or else winnowing it in the 
summer breezes ; for immemorial usage has prescribed these 
rude operations as the surest guarantees for protecting the 
government against frauds on the part of the peasant. This 
barbarous routine of labour is supposed to be an inevitable 
necessity of state, and consequently all improvements in 
agriculture are rendered impracticable. The evils inherent in 
the system of exacting the land-tax in the shape of a deter- 
minate proportion of the annual crop, have produced a 
stationary condition of the agricultural population wherever 
it has prevailed. It arrested the progress of Europe during 
the middle ages, and at the present day it forms the great 
barrier to improvement in the Othoman empire and the Greek 
kingdom x . 

1 The author of this work is practically acquainted with the difficulty of 
making any agricultural improvements under this system He wasted much 
money and time before he fully perceived the impossibility of one individual 


[Ch. I. 

Another evil arising from this mode of levying the tax on 
the soil is, that it induces the government to weaken the 
rights of property, and thus, in the hope of increasing the 
annual revenue of the state, capital is excluded from seeking 
a permanent investment in land. Even under the Roman 
empire, a similar policy caused some degree of insecurity to 
the landed proprietor, whose arable land was not sufficiently 
protected by the law, if it remained uncultivated. For, by 
the Roman jurisprudence, the occupier who tilled the land 
belonging to another person, if he maintained his occupation 
for a year, acquired a right of occupancy, leaving the real 
proprietor only the power of regaining possession of his land 
by an action at law, which he had to carry on against the 
possessor in order to establish his right of property. It is 
evident that this transference of possession to the squatter 
who could obtain the undisturbed occupancy for a single year, 
was an element of insecurity in all landed property. The 
laws of Great Britain are based on very different principles 
from those of Rome. The rights of property are always con- 
sidered too sacred to be tampered with for fiscal purposes ; 
mere possession confers no right to land. The Othoman 
legislation has adopted the policy of the Roman law, and 
it considers the loss which might accrue to the state from the 
land remaining uncultivated as a greater evil than the injury 
inflicted on society by unsettling the rights of property. The 
Othoman law allowed any person to cultivate arable land 
which was left uncultivated by its proprietor beyond the usual 
term of fallow, even though the proprietor might desire, for 
his own profit, to retain it for pasture. The possession of 
arable land could only be retained by keeping it in constant 
cultivation, according to customary routine. Capital, under 
such circumstances, could not be invested in land with security 
or profit. A barrier was raised against agricultural improve- 
ments, and the population engaged in cultivating the soil was 
condemned to remain in a stationary condition \ 

contending against general regulations and the habits they produce. In a 
pecuniary point of view, he found cultivating the soil of Greece even more 
unprofitable than writing its history. 

1 D' 'Ohsson, Tableau de I empire Othoman; Code politique, v. 21. These principles 
have been acted on by the Phanariot statesmen of the Greek kingdom, as well as 
by the members of the sultan's divan. Mavrocordatos, when minister of finance 
during the Bavarian regency, issued a circular, in which he says, ' that every spot 
where wild grass for the pasture of cattle grows is national property,' and that the 


AJ>. I453-1684.] 

Another vice of the financial administration of the Othoman 
empire tended to annihilate the wealth of its subjects. This 
was the depreciation of the metallic currency; and it was so 
great, that it appears alone sufficient to explain the decline 
which has taken place in the resources and population of the 
sultan's dominions during the last two centuries. It hap- 
pened repeatedly, that when the amount of specie in the 
imperial treasury was found inadequate to meet the demands 
on the government, the sultan's ministers supplied the defi- 
ciency by adulterating the coinage. Perhaps no administrative 
measures in the Othoman empire have produced more poverty, 
or have more rapidly undermined the resources of the people 
and the strength of the government, than this mode of 
defrauding the sultan's subjects of their property. The 
Byzantine emperors preserved their coinage unaltered in its 
standard for seven centuries ; and there can be no doubt that 
this wise conduct contributed greatly to the stability of society 
and to the duration of that empire. On the other hand, the 
Greek emperors of the house of Palaeologos appear to have 
been constantly tampering with the coinage. But no govern- 
ment ever carried the depreciation of its coinage to such a 
degree as the Othoman. The asper was long the unit of 
Turkish monetary enumeration. Originally it was a silver 
coin, representing the miliaresion of the Byzantine empire, and 
ten were equal in value to a gold sequin or byzant. At the 
accession of Selim I., after an interval of only thirty-one 
years, the size of the asper, and the relative value of silver 
to gold, were so much diminished that fifty-four of the new 
aspers were equal to a Venetian sequin, which passed current 
for fifteen of the old aspers. The aspers of the time of 
Mohammed II. may, however, be supposed to have lost a 
considerable portion of their original weight by attrition. In 
the reign of Suleiman the Legislator, the sequin passed current 
for sixty aspers 1 ; but about the middle of the sixteenth cen- 
tury that sultan issued a coinage so debased by alloy as to 
raise the value of the sequin to ninety aspers. From that 

government of Greece, like that of the Sublime Forte, recognizes the principle 
that there can be no property in the soil, except the exclusive right of cultivation 
vested in private individuals. This will be found quoted in my pamphlet entitled, 
The Hellenic Kingdom and the Greek Nation, published in 1836. p. 64. 

1 Compare Ducas, 109; vol. iii. of this work, p. 491 note; Leunclavius, Pandect, 
Hiit. Turc, 404. 



period the deterioration of the Othoman coinage proceeded 
with accelerated speed in each successive reign. In the com- 
mercial treaty with England, concluded in the year 1675, the 
value of the dollar was fixed at eighty aspers, but when the 
treaty of Carlovitz was signed in the year 1699, German and 
Venetian dollars were already valued at one hundred and 
twenty aspers. At the accession of the present sultan, the 
value of the Venetian sequin was about six thousand aspers. 
The asper, however, has long been a mere nominal monetary 
division 1 . 

The Greeks found the line of separation which the Koran 
draws between the infidels and the true believers much more 
galling than the other Christian subjects of the sultan. They 
could not forget that they had been a dominant race when 
they w r ere conquered by the Mohammedans ; and even their 
pride could not conceal the fact that they were numerically 
superior to the Othomans in all the European provinces of 
the empire. The memory of lost power and former wealth 
was kept alive by some knowledge of Hellenic literature, 
and an unbounded confidence in their own merits as members 
of the only orthodox ecclesiastical hierarchy. These feelings 
have always rendered the Greeks as unquiet subjects as 
their inordinate selfishness has rendered them oppressive 
masters. The moral and political condition of the Greek 
race, during two thousand years, proves that neither classical 
knowledge nor ecclesiastical orthodoxy can supply the want 
of those qualities necessary to infuse morality into a corrupted 
society. Their system of education was evidently much 
inferior to that adopted by their Turkish masters for the 
education of the Christian children collected by the tribute 
and compelled to embrace Mohammedanism. These apostates 

1 Hammer, His/oire, vii. 235, xii. 311 ; Hertslet's Commercial Treaties, ii. 367. 
The asper is one-third of a para. The name gurush (piastre) was at first giveirto 
Spanish dollars. Turkish piastres were first coined in the reign of Mustapha III., 
and were equal in value to half a Spanish dollar, or perhaps only to half a Vene- 
tian dollar, called Arslani, or Lion dollars, from the Lion of St. Mark on thein 
reverse. The Othoman government often increased the extent of its injustice 
by refusing to receive the base money it issued. Frederick the Great of Prussia 
appears to have copied this policy when he coined base money for the share 
he had received in the partition of Poland, which he made a legal tender from 
a Prussian to a Pole, but which no Pole could compel a Prussian to receive back. 
We have lately seen the English sovereign pass at Constantinople for 200 piastres, 
which is equal to 24,000 aspers. Compare the depreciation of Roman money 
in the reign of Gallienus mentioned in vol. i. Greece under the Romans, p. 437. 


a.d. 1 453-1684.] 

displayed a degree of activity, intelligence, honesty, and 
self-respect rarely found among their brethren whose educa- 
tion remained under the superintendence of Greek pedants 
and orthodox priests. Accordingly we find that many 
Greeks of high talent and moral character were so sensible 
of the superiority of the Mohammedans, that even when 
they escaped being drafted into the sultan's household as 
tribute-children, they voluntarily embraced the faith of 
Mahomet. The moral superiority of Othoman society must 
be allowed to have had as much weight in causing these 
conversions, which were numerous in the fifteenth century, as 
the personal ambition of individuals l . 

The number of the Christian subjects of the sultan in 
Europe filled the minds of several sultans with alarm, and 
the desire of increasing the number of the true believers 
became a measure of policy as well as of religion. The 
Koran, however, forbids the forced conversion of adults 
who believe in the revelations of Moses or of Jesus. The 
divan sought in vain for plans of conversion that promised 
any success in overcoming the national and religious attach- 
ments of the Christians, whose persevering opposition to 
Mohammedanism could not be concealed. At last the ex- 
termination of the whole orthodox population was suggested 
as the only means of eradicating the canker which was 
devouring the heart of the empire. In the breast of a bigoted 
tyrant the suggestions of political necessity were allowed to 
silence every sentiment of humanity and sound policy. The 
very bases of the Othoman power — the tribute of Christian 
children, and the revenues paid by the parents of these 
children — were in danger of being destroyed. But, fortunately 
for the Christians, Selim I. commenced his project of putting 
an end to all religious differences in his dominions by 
exterminating heresy among the Mohammedans. About 
forty thousand Shiis or sectaries of Ali were massacred 
by his orders in the year 1514 2 . This monstrous act of 
barbarity was surpassed in Christian Europe, more than half 
a century later, by the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve 

1 Mohammed, vizier of Mohammed II., Mahmoud, grand-vizier, cousin of 
George, Protovestiarios of Trebizond, Khass Murad, of the family of Palaeologos, 
and Esai Bey, were all Greeks. Ismael was a Sclavonian, and Carego a Servian. 
Hammer, iii. pp. 161, 169, 179. 

2 Hammer, Histoire, iv. 175. 


° [Ch. I. 

(22nd August 1572). A despot who could murder heretics 

in cold blood was not likely to have any compunction in 

exterminating those whom he regarded as infidels. To 

complete his project for establishing unity of faith in his 

empire, Selim at last ordered his grand-vizier to exterminate 

the whole Christian population of his dominions, and to 

destroy all Christian churches. Orthodox and Catholics, 

Greeks and Armenians, were alike condemned to death 1 . 

With great difficulty the grand-vizier, Piri Pasha, and the 

mufti Djemali, succeeded in persuading Selim to abandon 

his diabolical project 2 . The Christians in the East were 

fortunate in escaping the treatment which the Catholics of 

the West had inflicted on the Albigenses. Time had 

improved the general condition of society. A Mohammedan 

high-priest in the sixteenth century was more deeply sensible 

of the feelings of humanity and true charity than the head of 

the Latin Church in the thirteenth. 

Nevertheless, the project of exterminating the Christians 

was revived at subsequent periods. Sultan Ibrahim was 

anxious to carry it into effect in the year 1646. The chief 

of the hierarchy again refused to sanction the cruelty. He 

declared that the laws of Mahomet forbid the issue of such 

a fetva, for the Koran prohibits the murder of men who 

have laid down their arms and consented to pay tribute to 

the true believers. Although the grand mufti might have 

found it impossible to convince the sultan of the injustice 

1 In judging the conduct of the sultan, who was a man of singular ferocity, 
we must recollect the spirit and the maxims of the times, even among Christians. 
That humane and amiable sovereign, Isabella of Castille, signed the edict for the 
expulsion of the Jews from her dominions in 1492, and in 1502 she, and her 
husband, Ferdinand of Aragon, expelled their Mohammedan subjects from Spain, 
' in order to drive God's enemies from the land which He had delivered into their 
hands.' Many exiles driven from Christendom by both these persecutions settled 
in the Othoman empire, where their descendants still flourish. The severities 
meditated by the passion of individual tyrants in Turkey fell short of the cruelties 
actually perpetrated by popes, inquisitors, kings, and judges, in almost every 
Christian state. Mohammedan history offers no parallel to the advice given by 
the Archbishop of Valencia to Philip III. of Spain, so late as the year 1602. He 
recommended selling the children of the Moriscos in Spain, as an act of mercy on' 
fieir souls, and a holy measure for bringing a large sum of money into the king's 
treasury. Watson's Philip III. i. 415; Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella, Pt. 2. 
c. 7. [A large number of the Jews who migrated to Turkey, when they w r ere 
expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella, settled in Salonica. Of the sixty 
thousand inhabitants of that city (some authorities estimate the population as high 
as seventy-five thousand), from thirty-five to forty thousand are Jews; and most 
of these still speak among themselves a debased form of Spanish. Ed.] 

2 Hammer, Histoire, iv. 364. 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

of his proposed measure, he was able to demonstrate its 
impolicy. By referring to the registers of the haratch, he 
showed Ibrahim that a very large part of the revenues of 
the empire were paid by the Christian population. In the 
capital alone their number amounted to two hundred thousand, 
and throughout the whole empire they were the most docile 
tax-payers \ 

The progress of civilization among the Turks, and the 
abhorrence of injustice which is innate in the human heart, 
gradually induced some of the most eminent Othoman 
statesmen to adopt measures for improving the position of 
the sultan's Christian subjects. We cannot doubt that they 
contributed by their influence to accelerate the abolition of 
the tribute of Christian children, even though we can trace 
its cessation directly to other political causes. In the year 
1 691, the grand-vizier, Mustapha Kueprili, issued the regula- 
tions, already mentioned under the name of the Nizam-djedid, 
for securing to the Christians legal protection against official 
oppression -. Since that period the Othoman government 
has made several attempts to reconcile the legislation of 
the Koran with an equitable administration of justice to its 
subjects ; but, until very recently, these attempts proved 
ineffectual to protect the Christians against the Mohammedans. 
The possibility of ultimately rendering Christians and Moham- 
medans equal in the eye of the law, under an Othoman sultan, 
admits of doubt, and the project is not viewed with much 
favour either by Christians or Mohammedans. It is quite 
as violently repudiated by the Greeks as by the Turks. 
As far as regards Arabs and Armenians, the possibility is 
readily admitted ; but both the Othomans and the Greeks 
aspire at being a dominant race. As the Othoman govern- 
ment has grown more moderate in its despotism, the Greek 
subjects of the sultan have risen in their demands. They now 
assume that their orthodoxy is irreconcilable with Othoman 
domination ; and they believe that it is the duty of all 
Christian powers to labour for their deliverance from a yoke 

1 Hammer, Histoire, xii. 306, 322 ; Staatsverfassung unci Staatsvervjaltung, i. 331. 
Yet as late as the year 1722, the grand mufti declared that it was the duty of the 
orthodox to exterminate heretics. To infidels he was more mild, but he said that, 
when their lives were spared, they ought invariably to be reduced to slavery. 
Hammer, Histoire, xiv. 92. 

2 Above, p. 21. 


D [Ch.I. 

to which they submitted with unexampled docility for four 
centuries. The rivalry of the Greeks and Othomans produces 
a hatred which is much more deeply rooted than the mere 
aversion caused by the religious differences of the other 
Christians and Mohammedans in the empire. The victory, 
in the struggle between the Greeks and Othomans, can only 
be gained by political wisdom and military power. The 
religious differences of the other races may be separated from 
their political interests by a wise and equitable dispensation 
of justice to all the subjects of the sultan, without distinction 
of rank, of race, or of faith, and by the adoption of a 
system of free communal administration equalizing financial 

It must not be supposed that the institutions of the 
Othoman empire have respected the principles of justice 
in regulating the rights of the Mohammedans any more than 
in governing the Christians. The legality of murder, when 
that crime has appeared necessary to secure the public tran- 
quillity and remove the chances of civil wars, has been 
established as an organic law. Mohammed II., after citing 
in his Kanun-name the opinion of the Ulema that the Koran 
authorizes the murder of his brothers by the reigning sultan, 
adds this injunction, ' Let my children and grandchildren 
be dealt with accordingly 1 .' In a government where in- 
humanity and immorality were so publicly proclaimed to 
be grounds of legislation, it was natural that political ex- 
pediency should become the only practical rule of conduct. 
But in order to act energetically on maxims so abhorrent 
to human feelings, it was also necessary for the government 
to create its own instruments. This could only be effected 
by educating a body of officials, and forming an army, whose 
members were completely separated from the rest of the 
sultan's subjects. It was absolutely requisite for the sultan 
to possess ministers and troops who were slaves of his 
Sublime Porte — men without family or nation — men who 
had as few ties to connect them with the dominant Moham- 
medan as with the subject Christian population of the empire. 
This desideratum was supplied by the institution of the 
tribute-children. These little Christians were reared to form 

1 Hammer, Staatsverfassung und Staatsverwaltung, i. 98. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

the first regular troops of the Othoman sultans, and soon 
grew into a standing army. 

This foundation of the Othoman army was laid by Orkhan, 
whether from his own impulse, or at the suggestion of his 
brother Aladdin, who acted as his prime-minister, or in con- 
sequence of the advice of Kara Khalil, his most intimate 
counsellor, is uncertain, and not of much historical importance. 
The organization of the tribute-children was improved and 
the numbers of the regular troops were increased by Murad I. ; 
but even in the victorious reign of Mohammed II. the Otho- 
man regular army was small when compared with the armies 
which the continental sovereigns of Europe consider it neces- 
sary to maintain at the present day, even during periods of 
profound peace. The whole military force of this sultan 
probably never exceeded seventy or eighty thousand fighting- 
men, and of these the regular infantry or janissaries amounted 
only to twelve thousand, and the regular cavalry to about ten 
thousand. The great numerical difference between the forces 
of the Othoman sultans at this period, and of the European 
sovereigns at present, must be in some degree attributed to the 
financial moderation of the Othoman government during the 
early period of the empire. It was this financial moderation, 
coming as a relief after the rapacity of the Greek emperors, 
which made the Greeks hug their chains ; and it forms a strong 
contrast to the excessive financial burdens and constant 
interference with individual liberty which characterizes the 
system of administration in modern centralized states. The 
Othoman government required its troops principally in warfare. 
Even during the worst periods of Turkish tyranny, the Porte 
showed no disposition to intermeddle with every act of the 
local administration, which was often intrusted to its Christian 
subjects. The military forces of the empire consisted of 
different troops, which owed their existence to a variety of cir- 
cumstances, and whose origin dates from very different times. 
It was the admirable organization of these troops, the great 
military talents of the generals who commanded them, and the 
indefatigable superintendence of every administrative detail by 
the sultans themselves, not the number of the troops, which 
so long rendered the Othoman armies superior to the mili- 
tary forces of contemporary Christian sovereigns. For a 
considerable time after the conquest of Constantinople the 
VOL. V. D 


^ [Ch. I. 

sultan possessed the only regular army of any importance in 

The Greek race had been easily held in subjection by small 
bodies of men even before their conquest by the Othomans. 
The Crusaders, who conquered the Byzantine empire, and the 
Franks, the Venetians, and the Genoese, who ruled in Greece, 
in Asia Minor, and in the islands of the Archipelago, were far 
inferior in numbers to the subject Greeks. The Othomans 
were originally less numerous, but the sultans connected the 
interests of all the Turks with the extension of the empire, by 
conferring on them many of the privileges of a dominant race. 
The first and greatest was common to all Mohammedans. 
They were reputed to be born soldiers (askery), while non- 
Mohammedans were called merely burghers (beledy), and 
were incapable of entering the army \ 

The military force was divided into many bodies, organized 
at various periods by different governments, and on oppo- 
site systems. But from the period of the restoration of the 
power of the Othoman sultans by Mohammed I., after the 
dominion of Timor's successors in Asia Minor was overthrown, 
the troops of the Othoman empire may be classed under the 
heads of regulars, or those permanently receiving pay from 
the sultan, and irregulars, or those who were bound only to 
temporary service in time of war. The latter class, as has 
been already observed, existed long before the foundation of 
the Othoman government. It was composed of the proprie- 
tors of landed estates, who had owed military service for their 
possessions, dther to the Seljouk sultans of Roum (or Iconium), 
or to the emirs who established themselves as sultans when 
that empire declined, and who were ultimately conquered 
by the house of Othman. This feudatory system formed the 
earliest military organization of Othman's own possessions, and 
its sphere was extended by his successors, who continued to 
grant new fiefs in all the subsequent conquests of the Othoman 
armies 2 . On the other hand, the aristocracy, which this system 
created, was circumscribed in its authority, and deprived of the 
power of controlling the sultan through its territorial influence, 
by the superior military organization of the slaves of the Porte. 
The tribute-children received, from their education and or- 

1 D'Ohsson, Tab'eau de VEmpire Othoman, Code religieux, vol. ii. p. 268. 

2 These fiefs were sipahiliks, timars, ziamets, and begliks. 


AD - M53-1684.] 

ganization, an existence so completely separated from the old 
feudal militia, that they formed a complete counterpoise to the 
Seljouk nobility both in the cabinet and the camp. Thus, we 
find Sultan Mohammed II. in command of an army consisting 
in part of Seljouk nobles and Mohammedan gentlemen, like 
the armies of contemporary Christian monarchs in western 
Europe, and in part of a regular force of infantry, cavalry, 
artillery, and engineers, not unlike the invincible troops of 
ancient Rome, or the modern armies of civilized nations. In 
this way the sultans were able to take the field with a corps of 
janissaries, whose exploits have rivalled the deeds of the 
Roman legions, and with a host of irregular cavalry of match- 
less excellence, equal to that of the Parthians. 

The janissaries formed the best portion of the regular 
infantry. They were the first-fruits of the institution of the 
tribute-children. At the conquest of Constantinople their 
number only amounted to twelve thousand, but in the reign of 
Suleiman the Legislator it had already attained forty thousand. 
The first blow which weakened the strength of this redoubtable 
corps was struck by its own members. When the janissaries 
rebelled, at the accession of Selim II. in 1566, they changed 
the original constitution of their corps by forcing the sultan to 
concede to them the right of enrolling their children as recruits 
to fill up vacancies \ At an early period they had not been 
allowed to marry, but this privilege had been afterwards con- 
ceded as a favour to those who distinguished themselves by 
their services, or who were stationed for a length of time in 
garrison. After their original organization underwent the 
change consequent on the introduction of hereditary succession, 
the numbers of the corps rapidly increased. At the accession 
of Mohammed III. in 1598, upwards of one hundred thousand 
janissaries were found inscribed on the rolls 2 . Until the reign 
of Murad III., A.D. 1^74-95, the majority of the corps had 
consisted of tribute-children, supplied by the Christian pro- 
vinces of the empire. The original constitution of these troops 
excluded all Mohammedan citizens from the body. Its mem- 
bers were required to be slaves, reared as an offering to the 
Prophet, and their education taught them to regard their 

1 Relationi di Giovan Francesco Morosini, quoted by Ranke in The Othoman 
Empire, 'Military Forces,' p. 19 (Kelly's Translation). 

2 D'Ohsson, Tableau de r Empire Othoman, vii. 333, 8vo. edit. 

D 2 


[Ch. I. 

dedication to the propagation of the Mohammedan religion as 
their highest privilege, while their strict discipline rendered 
them the best soldiers in the world for more than two centuries. 
If we estimate the value of their education by the strength of 
its influence on their minds throughout their lives, we are 
compelled to concede to it the highest praise. Few men have 
ever fulfilled the duties they were taught to perform in a more 
effectual manner. The Jesuits in South America were not 
more successful missionaries of Christianity than the janissaries 
were of Mohammedanism in Christian Europe. Fortunately 
it is the nature of despotism to accelerate the corruption even 
of those institutions which increase its power, and the janis- 
saries suffered the fate of every body whose privileges are at 
variance with the principles of justice and those great laws of 
human progress which impel the mass of mankind towards im- 
provement. After the year 1578, the number of janissaries' 
children entitled to enter the corps became so great that the 
tribute-children were regarded by the veterans with jealousy. 
On the other hand, the insubordination which the corps often 
displayed, even under such warlike sultans as Selim I. and 
Suleiman the Great, alarmed their more feeble successors, and 
caused them to adopt the policy of weakening the military 
strength of a body that threatened to rule the empire. The 
tribute-children were no longer placed in its ranks, nor was the 
tribute itself exacted with the former strictness, for the Chris- 
tian population began to be regarded as more useful to the 
state as tax-payers than as breeders of soldiers. The Turkish 
population in Europe had now increased sufficiently to supply 
the Porte with all the recruits required for the army. When 
the position of the janissary became hereditary, the corps was 
soon transformed into a military corporation, which admitted 
into its ranks only the children of janissaries or born Mussul- 
mans. The pay and privileges of the members of this militia 
were so great that it became the habit of the sultan, the 
officers of the court, and the ministers of the empire, to reward 
those whom they favoured by introducing them into some of 
the odas or battalions of the janissaries. At last, during the 
reign of Mohammed IV. (a.d. i 649-1 687), the tribute of Chris- 
tian children ceased to be exacted. Indeed, for some time 
before the formal abolition of the tribute, a comparatively 
small number of children had been torn from their families, 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

and these had been employed as household servants of the 
sultan and of powerful pashas l . Nearly about the same time, 
the depreciation of the Turkish money reduced the pay of the 
janissaries to such a pittance that it was insufficient to main- 
tain a family in the capital, and married janissaries were 
allowed to eke out their means of subsistence by keeping 
shops and following trades. Their places in the corps, there- 
fore, generally devolved on men bred to their father's oc- 
cupation, and the celebrated army of tribute-children sank 
into a militia of city traders, possessing only sufficient military 
organization to render them formidable to their own govern- 
ment and to the peaceful inhabitants of the empire 2 . 

The regular cavalry was also originally composed of tribute- 
children. In the time of Mohammed II. it was divided into 
three distinct bodies, and consisted of ten thousand men. 
The sipahis acquired the same pre-eminence among the 
cavalry which the janissaries held among the infantry, and 
their seditious conduct rendered them much sooner trouble- 
some to the government 3 . The organization and discipline of 
the regular cavalry, indeed, was modified at an early period 
by the continual grants of fiefs which were conceded to its 
members. From this circumstance, and from its frequent 
seditions, the corps underwent many modifications, and ceased 
to be recruited from the tribute-children at an earlier period 
than the janissaries. The spirit of Seljouk feudalism and of 
nomadic life always exercised a powerful influence among 
the cavalry of the Othoman armies ; but it is not necessary to 
enter into any details on this subject, as it produced no very 
marked effect on the relations between the sultan's govern- 
ment and his Christian subjects. 

During the most flourishing period of the Othoman empire 
the tribute of Christian children supported the whole fabric of 
the sultan's power, and formed the distinguishing feature of 

1 Rycaut, Present State of the Othoman Government, book iii. chap. 7 ; Ranke, 
Othoman Empire, p. 20. 

2 Compare the various statements in D'Ohsson, Tableau de V Empire Othoman, 
vii. 364; Marsigli, Stato Militare, i. 87; Rycaut, Present State, book iii. chap. 6. 
Rycaut, speaking of the food and clothing of the janissaries in the latter half of 
the seventeenth century, says, ' So their bellies are full and their backs are warm, 
and in all points they are better provided than the tattered infantry which are to 
be seen in most parts of Christendom.' 

3 The term sipahi or spahi was subsequently given to the lowest class of 
timariots, and in that sense it is generally used. It originated in the practice of 
rewarding the regular sipahis with these fiefs. 


° [Ch. I. 

the political and military administration of the Sublime Porte. 
This singular tribute was first exacted from the Greek race as 
a tithe on the increase of the male population set apart for 
the glory and edification of Mohammedanism — just as the 
Anglican ecclesiastical establishment exacts the tithe-pig from 
the Catholics of Ireland for the benefit of the State Church of 
the British empire. There is nothing more startling in the 
long history of the debasement of the Greek nation, which it 
has been my melancholy task to record, than the apathy with 
which the Greeks submitted to this inhuman imposition. It 
seems to us wonderful to find a people, which even at the 
lowest ebb of their political fortunes preserved no inconsider- 
able degree of literary culture, displaying an utter indifference 
to the feelings of humanity, yet clinging to local interests and 
selfish prejudices, both civil and religious, with desperate 
energy. While their heads were hot with bigotry, their hearts 
were cold to the sentiments of philanthropy, and almost 
without a struggle they sank into the lowest depths of 
degradation to which a civilized race has ever fallen. The 
Turkish race never made much progress in colonizing Europe, 
even though the provinces of the Greek empire were almost 
depopulated at the time of the conquest. Had the Greeks, 
therefore, resisted the payment with any degree of national 
vigour, they might have saved their national honour from a 
stain which will remain as indelible as the glories of ancient 
Greece are enduring. Some sentiments of humanity and an 
ordinary degree of courage would have sufficed to prevent the 
Othoman Turks from acquiring the military renown that 
surrounds the power of the sultans with a halo of glory. 
Extermination ought to have been preferable to the dishonour 
of breeding recruits to extend the sway of Mohammedanism. 
And the value of Greek orthodoxy in directing the moral 
feeling of Christians must in some degree be estimated by the 
fact that for two centuries the Greek population, though com- 
pletely under the guidance of the orthodox clergy, continued to 
pay this tribute without much repining. Mohammed II. secured 
the services of the higher clergy by restoring an orthodox 
patriarch at Constantinople, and employed the hierarchy of 
the Greek church as an instrument of Othoman police. 

The history of this tax is worthy of attention. The Moham- 
medan law authorizes, or rather commands, every Mussulman 


A.D. 1 45 3-I 684.] 

to educate all unbelieving children who may have legally- 
fallen under his power as true believers, but it strictly pro- 
hibits the forced conversion of any who have attained the age 
of puberty 1 . The Koran also gives one-fifth of the booty 
taken in war to the sovereign. The Seljouk sultans had 
generally either sold their share of the spoil, commuted it 
for a payment in money, or else filled their palaces with 
concubines and pages, in virtue of this privilege. The project 
of converting this claim into a means of strengthening the 
executive power was due to Orkhan, and its organization as 
the source of recruiting the regular army to Murad I., as we 
have already mentioned. Several sovereigns had previously 
formed armies of purchased slaves, in order to secure the com- 
mand over a military force more obedient and susceptible of 
stricter discipline than the native militia of their dominions. 
In the sixth century, Tiberius II., Emperor of the East, when 
he wished to restore the discipline of the Roman armies, 
formed a corps of fifteen thousand heathen slaves, whom 
he purchased and drilled to serve as the nucleus of a standing 
army unconnected with the feelings of the people, and un- 
tainted with the license of the native soldiers. But this attempt 
to introduce slavery as an element of military power in Chris- 
tian society failed 2 . The system was adopted with more 
success by the caliphs of Bagdad and the sultans of Cairo. 
The Turkish guards of the Abassids, and the Circassian slaves 
of the Mamlouk kings, were the best troops among the 
Mohammedans for several ages. It is true, they soon proved 
more dangerous to their sovereigns than the national militia : 
nevertheless it was reserved for the Othoman sultans to found 
an empire on the strength of a subject-population and the 
votaries of a hostile religion. The plan required a constant 
supply of recruits of the early age which admitted of com- 
pulsory conversion to Islam. 

The tribute of Greek children being once established, officers 
of the sultan visited the districts on which it was imposed, 
every fourth year, for the purpose of collecting that proportion 
of the fifth of the male children who had attained the requisite 

1 ' If God had so willed it, every man who liveth on the earth would have 
believed. Wouldst thou be so mad, O mortal, as to seek to compel thy fellow- 
creatures to believe ? No ; the soul believeth not unless by the will of God.' 

2 See vol. i., Greece under the Romans, p. 301. 


[Ch. I. 

age. All the little Greeks of the village, between the ages of 
six and nine, were mustered by the protogeros, or head man 
of the place, in presence of the priest, and the healthiest, 
strongest, and most intelligent of the number were torn 
from their parents, to be educated as the slaves of the Porte \ 
It is not for history to attempt a description of the agony 
of fathers, nor to count the broken hearts of mothers caused 
by this unparalleled tax. but it offers a pathetic subject of 
tragedy to a modern Euripides. The children were carried to 
Constantinople, where they were placed in four great colleges, 
to receive the training and instruction necessary to fit them 
for the part they were afterwards to perform in life. Those 
who were found least fitted for the public service were placed 
in the families of Othoman landed proprietors in Bithynia ; 
those of inferior capacity were employed as slaves in the serai, 
as gardeners and guards of the outer courts of the palaces. 
But the greater number were trained and disciplined as sol- 
diers, and drafted into the corps of janissaries and sipahis 
of the regular cavalry; while those who displayed the most 
ability, who promised to become men of the pen as well as of 
the sword, were selected to receive a better education, and 
destined for the highest offices in the administration 2 . Never 

1 The city of Constantinople was exempt from the tribute ; an exemption 
probably granted by the conqueror in order to facilitate the assembly of a 
numerous Greek population within its walls, but which was used by the Greeks 
as an argument to prove that the city had surrendered on capitulation. Historia 
Patriarchica, p. 167, edit. Bonn; and in Crusius, Turco-Graecia, p. 162. When 
L'Isle Adam surrendered Rhodes to Suleiman in 1522, one of the articles of the 
capitulation was, that the Greeks of Rhodes were not to be compelled to 
supply tribute-children to the Porte. Fontanus, Be Bello Rhodio, in Lonicerus, 
i. 425, 8vo. edit. ; Negotiations de la France dans le Levant, i. 92 ; Vertot, ii. 522. 

2 Chalcocondylas says (p. 121) that the janissaries had reached the number 
of ten thousand in the reign of Murad II. His description of the education of 
the Christian children by the Othomans applies rather to those carried off at 
the first conquest of a province, than to the children of the regular tribute. For 
the importance attached to this institution see the various collections relating to 
Turkish history in the sixteenth century. Lonicerus, i. 77, 217, 8vo. edit.; San- 
sovino, 33, 80; Knolles, A Brief Discourse of the Greatness of the Turkish Empire, 
vol. ii. 982, 6th edit. The practice of filling the highest offices from those who 
were educated as tribute-children, secured them so long a preference, that Osman 
Pasha was not appointed grand-vizier in 1582, merely because he was a Turk by > 
birth. It was argued that he could not be so devoted to the sultan's interest 
as if he had been a young infidel saved from perdition. Hammer, Histoire, vii. 
125. Mahmoud Pasha, who was twice grand-vizier of Mohammed II., and a 
scholar and poet as well as a warrior, was a child of tribute from Greece. Ali 
Pasha, the grand-vizier of Suleiman the Great, who is praised by Busbequius, was 
also a child of tribute. Hammer, Histoire, vi. 147. In 1515 Selim I. imposed a 
tribute of six hundred children on Nagul Bessaraba, prince of Vallachia. Ham- 
mer, iv. 2 20, who quotes Engel, Geschichle der Walachei, 98. 


A.D. T453-I684.] 

was a more perfect instrument of despotism created by the 
hand of man. Affection and interest alike bound the tribute- 
children to the personal service of the sultan ; no ties of 
affection, and no prejudices of rank or of race, connected them 
with the feudal landed interest, nor with the oppressed sub- 
jects of the empire \ They were as ready to strike down the 
proudest descendant of the Seljouk emirs, or the Arab who 
boasted of his descent from the Prophet, as they were to go 
forth against the Christian enemies of the sultan and extend 
the domain of Mohammedanism. The Turks formed a 
dominant race in the Othoman empire, but the tribute- 
children were a dominant class even among the Turks. Man- 
kind has never witnessed a similar instance of such wise 
combinations applied to such bad ends, and depraved by such 
systematic iniquity. It is, however, manifestly a law of 
Providence, that immorality and injustice have a direct effect 
in developing the principles of decay in political communities. 
And history is continually recording facts which demonstrate 
how the infinite wisdom of God connects the decay and death 
of communities with moral causes. Time can alone determine 
whether it is possible so far to eradicate the seeds of immo- 
rality and injustice from political institutions, as to secure a 
permanent duration to any earthly community. But it is 
evident that it can only be attainable by an unceasing vigil- 
ance in the path of reform, individual as well as national ; no 
principle of conservatism can produce this desirable condition 
of society. The temporal fortune of individuals often escapes 
the consequences of iniquity, for the physical decay of man is 
not directly connected with moral deterioration ; vice, there- 
fore, appears to enjoy impunity in many cases, unaffected both 
by the sense of moral responsibility, and by the fear of the 
judgment to come. But the deviations of governments from 
moral laws inevitably bring retributive justice on the State. 
The history of the Othoman empire affords a striking illustra- 
tion of this truth. In no case did injustice so directly confer 
strength and dominion, and in none did it ever more evidently 
produce decline and ruin. 

The irregular troops of the Othoman empire were composed 
chiefly of feudal cavalry. This militia existed in the Seljouk 

1 Knolles, General History of the Turks, i. 207. 



empire before the ancestors of Othman entered Asia Minor. 
Its constitution placed it more under the control of the central 
authority, and caused it to be less influenced by class pre- 
judices and the interests of an armed nobility, than the feudal 
chivalry of the West. Until the time of Suleiman the Legis- 
lator, the timars or cavalry fiefs were granted only for life ; 
and it was rare for the son to obtain his father's grant of land, 
which was usually conferred on some veteran as a reward for 
long service in the field, or for distinguished valour and capa- 
city. This militia was divided into three classes, according to 
the extent of the fiefs. First in rank were the Sandjak-begs, 
who were bound to bring into the field more than twenty 
well-armed followers on horseback. But many of this class 
possessed such extensive fiefs that they mustered several 
thousand horsemen. The second class was the Ziams, who 
were bound to take the field with from four to nineteen 
mounted followers, and who may be compared to the holders 
of knights'-fees in feudal Europe. The third class was called 
Timariots, and might be bound to take the field alone, or with 
as many as three followers. It is not necessary to notice the 
anomalies which were admitted into the system. The right 
of hereditary succession was respected in many districts where 
the great Seljouk nobles and Turkoman chiefs had voluntarily 
submitted to the Othoman government ; and several of these 
great chieftains, at the commencement of the present century, 
could still boast of a princely authority, which dated from an 
older period than the dynasty of Othman. But in the case of 
the ordinary timariots, ziams, and sandjak-begs, the classes 
remained always too disconnected, and the right of hereditary 
succession never received the universal acknowledgment neces- 
sary to admit of the formation of a territorial aristocracy. 

As long as the mass of Mussulman society in the Othoman 
empire was pervaded by a military spirit, and new conquests 
annually brought an increase of wealth, in the shape of cap- 
tive slaves and grants of fiefs, the timariots and begs rushed 
eagerly to war with well-appointed followers, in order to ' 
secure a large share of the spoil. The harems were often 
filled with Russian, Polish, and Austrian ladies, and a great 
part of Hungary was parcelled out in fiefs. But when the 
conquests of the sultans were arrested, and many successive 
campaigns were required to defend the territory already con- 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

quered, it often happened that the holders of the smaller fiefs 
found their resources completely exhausted. Some were 
compelled to eke out their contingents with grooms and pipe- 
bearers, mounted on baggage-mules ; and others abandoned 
the army, sacrificed their fiefs, and became cultivators of the 
soil to gain a livelihood. Before the time of Suleiman, a 
timariot who joined the army with a single follower, brought 
into the field a companion well-armed and mounted, who 
stood by his side in danger, and shared his booty in success ; 
but before a century had elapsed, many of the ziams joined 
the army with contingents, in which grooms, pipe-bearers, 
domestic servants, and cooks were mustered to complete their 
masters' following 1 . Such militia was inefficient in the time 
of war, and it continued to be a means of wasting the re- 
sources of the country in time of peace ; for these men being 
privileged to bear arms, would neither attend to agricultural 
pursuits, nor to any of the duties of landed proprietors. The 
personal nature of the tenure by which they held their estates 
prevented their devoting any portion of their annual revenues 
to improvements promising a distant return. Hence we find 
the land occupied by Othoman proprietors becoming less pro- 
ductive, in each successive generation, the buildings on it 
becoming more dilapidated ; and from age to age a visible 
decline in the numbers of the Mohammedan population of the 
empire begins to be observed. At the present day the tra- 
veller in Asia Minor is often struck by finding a long-deserted 
mosque in the vicinity of a cemetery, adorned with numerous 
marble tombs, surrounded by a tract of country where there is 
now no human habitation ; and fallen bridges and ruined 
caravanserais indicate the existence of a degree of activity 
and prosperity in past times which has long ceased in the 
Othoman empire. A just and inexorable law of society ap- 
pears to have doomed the Turkish race to extinction in 
Europe and Asia Minor, unless it resign its privileges as a 
dominant people, and place itself on an equality with the 
other races who inhabit the sultan's dominions. 

The feudal institutions of the Othoman empire, as they 

1 Rycaut, in the preface to his History of the Turks from 1679, says, ' Whilst 
I was in the camp with them. I found the timariots very poor, so that they 
stole from each other their bridles, saddles, lances, and other necessaries of war, 
and would excuse themselves by saying, that they could not do otherwise in so 
long a war, of more than three years.' 


[Ch. I. 

departed much less from the natural order of society than 
those of Western Europe, had a longer duration when trans- 
planted into the Greek provinces. Those of the Latin empire 
of Romania disappeared in the third generation, but those of 
the Othoman empire survived almost to our own times. The 
latest traces of the system were swept away by the Sultan 
Mahmoud II., when he destroyed the Dere-beys, who were the 
last surviving element of Seljouk society 1 . He has often been 
accused of an erroneous policy in not endeavouring to rein- 
vigorate and restore the institutions of his Mohammedan 
subjects in Asia Minor. Those, however, who are familiar 
with the changes which time has made in the state of property 
in the East, know well that it would have been no less futile 
than to attempt restoring the feudal system in France or 
Germany. The military organization of the Mohammedan 
landed proprietors had passed away as irrevocably as that of 
our Christian knights and barons. 

Besides the feudal militia, the armies of the sultan received 
a considerable addition of irregular troops from the numerous 
bodies of soldiers maintained by the pashas in their respective 
governments. Some remarkable instances of the immense 
numbers of armed followers maintained in the households of 
great officers of the empire during the reign of Suleiman the 
Legislator deserve notice as illustrations of the state of 
society at the acme of the Othoman power. The defterdar 
Iskender Tchelebi, who was put to death in the year 1535, 
had upwards of six thousand slaves, consisting chiefly of cap- 
tives torn from their parents at an early age, many of whom 
were of Greek origin. These slaves were educated in his 
household in a manner not very dissimilar to that adopted in 
the serai of the sultan for the tribute-children. The greater 
part was in due time formed into bodies of troops, and served 
in the Othoman armies ; many received a learned education, 
and were trained to enter the political and financial depart- 
ments of the administration. The superiority of their educa- 
tion is proved by the fact, that when they passed into the ( 

1 Lord Byron has an allusion to the feudal system of Turkey in the Bride of 
A bydos. 

'We Moslems reck not much of blood; 
But yet the line of Karasman, 
Unchanged, unchangeable, hath stood 
First of the bold Timariot bands 
That won and well can keep their lands.' 


A.D. 1453-1684.] 

sultan's household after their master's execution, several rose 
to the highest offices of the State, and no less than seven of 
these purchased slaves of Iskender Tchelebi attained the rank 
of vizier. Mohammed Sokolli, the celebrated grand-vizier of 
Suleiman at the time of that great sultan's death, was one of 
the number. The celebrated Barbarossa, who died in 1544, 
left two thousand household slaves ; and the widow of Mo- 
hammed Sokolli possessed nine hundred slaves, all of Christian 
parentage, in the year 1582 1 . 

It would be difficult to enumerate all the anomalies that 
existed in the military forces of the Othoman empire. They 
varied in different provinces, and in the same province, from 
age to age 2 . It is only necessary here to notice those devia- 
tions from the general system which influenced the Greek 
population. The Porte found it often advisable to adopt 
different arrangements in Europe, where the majority of its 
subjects were Christians, from those established in Asia Minor, 
where the Mohammedan population was all-powerful. One 
remarkable deviation from the law which reserved all military 
power as an exclusive privilege of the true believers is to be 
found in the employment of Christian troops by various sul- 
tans. It was commenced by Orkhan himself, when he laid 
the foundations of the Othoman power. Motives of policy 
induced him to make every effort to secure the support of the 
Greek mountaineers of Bithynia (whose military spirit is often 
vaunted by the Byzantine historians), in order to oppose 
them to the Seljouk emirs in his vicinity. Orkhan, conse- 
quently, formed a corps of Greeks, consisting of one thousand 
cavalry and one thousand infantry 3 . When his son, Murad I., 
however, had increased and improved the corps of janissaries, 
these Christian troops were only employed in collecting the 
taxes and the tribute of Christian children. Still, even at 
later periods, after it was recognized as a law of the empire 
that Mohammedans alone should bear arms, the Christians 

1 Hammer, Histoire, v. 224, 388; vii. 157. 

2 The practical method of maintaining military efficiency and strict discipline, 
without the martinet's love of uniformity, gave a pleasing variety to the punish- 
ments in the army. The janissaries received their bastinado on the buttocks, 
as their feet were in constant requisition for the performance of their service; 
but the sipahis received their punishment on the soles of their feet, for when 
lifted on their horses they could still keep their place in the ranks. 

3 Compare Pachymeres, i. 129, and Hammer, Staalsverfassung und Staaisver- 
waltung, i. 53. 

a6 othoman domination. 

[Ch. I. 
continued to act both as pioneers and as auxiliaries. Ibrahim, 
the grand-vizier of Suleiman, employed them as gendarmes 
for the protection of the unarmed rayahs against the dis- 
orderly conduct of the Turkish irregulars 1 ; and Christians 
were generally admitted to form a portion of the contingents 
of Servia and Albania. Indeed, down to the commencement 
of the Greek revolution, a Christian gendarmerie was main- 
tained by the Porte in the mountain districts of Macedonia, 
Epirus, and Greece ; and at the present day, Albanian Chris- 
tians are serving with the Othoman armies on the banks of the 
Danube 2 . Besides the troops furnished by the immediate 
subjects of the sultan, large contingents of Christians from 
the tributary states have borne an important part in the 
Othoman wars from the earliest periods of their history. 
The defeat of Bayezid I. by Timor at Angora is generally 
attributed by native historians to the flight of the Servian 
auxiliaries 3 . 

The military strength of the Othoman empire began to 
decline from the period when the sultans ceased to take 
the field at the head of their armies. The absolute power 
necessary to imprint energy on every movement of its 
complicated administration could not be safely intrusted 
to the grand-vizier, so that even the most effeminate of the 
sultans, who lived secluded in the harem, and associated 
almost exclusively with women and eunuchs, frequently 
controlled the acts of the divan, and rendered the arrange- 
ments of the government subservient to the intrigues of the 
palace. Another evil followed which soon produced incal- 
culable demoralization in the public service. When the 

1 D'Ohsson, Tableau de V Empire Othoman, vii. 385 ; Hammer, Histoire, vii. 
356; compare also Staatwerfassung. i. 171, and ii. 276. 

2 [This was evidently written at the commencement of the Crimean war, and 
must refer to the Mirdite tribe, who are all Roman Catholics, and twelve 
hundred of whom, under their independent chieftain, Bib Doda, fought for the 
sultan as auxiliaries in the campaign on the Danube. Ed.] 

3 By the first treaty between the Othomans and the Servians in 1375 or 1376, 
Lazaros, kral of Servia, engaged to furnish Murad I. with an auxiliary corps 
of one thousand cavalry, besides paying one thousand lb. of silver annually as 
tribute. The second treaty between Stephen of Servia and Bayezid I. was 
concluded in 1389. Ducas, 6 ; Hammer, Histoire, i. 295. The Servian auxiliary 
corps was subsequently increased to two thousand men, when Bayezid was 
making every effort to meet Timor. This num! er has been magnified into 
twenty thousand, and doubtless the whole numbers of the armies of Timor and 
Bayezid have been exaggerated in the same proportion. It is singular to find 
how readily historians adopt fables in place of truth. 


ADI 45 3-i 684.] 

sultans ceased to hold constant communication with the 
military and civil servants of the Porte, they lost the power 
of judging of their merits. Viziers were enabled to advance 
their personal adherents over the heads of the ablest 
administrators and bravest soldiers in the empire ; and 
favourites reared in the palace could easily, by securing the 
favour of the sultan or the chief of the eunuchs, obtain 
the highest offices in the State, without possessing any of 
the qualifications required for the performance of its duties. 
The Othoman empire followed the usual steps of other 
despotisms in its progress from corruption to decline ; and 
the selection of ignorant and unsuitable ministers, generals, 
and admirals was facilitated by the fatalism of the Moham- 
medans. The populace, who judged the grand-viziers and 
highest dignitaries of the empire rather by their individual 
temper and personal conduct than by the policy of their 
administration, often showed dissatisfaction at the measures 
of those grand-viziers who had enjoyed the highest reputation 
before entering on office. The apparent contradiction between 
the behaviour of the ablest men in different circumstances 
and positions, at last induced the people to infer that human 
intelligence alone was insufficient to guide a sovereign in 
selecting fit ministers. The religious element was always 
powerful in the Mohammedan population ; and it became 
the feeling of the people that it was better to trust in God 
than in man. It was a sincere confidence in that divine 
protection which had raised the Othoman empire to its 
unexampled pitch of power and glory that gave currency to 
the popular saying, — ' Where God gives an employment, He 
bestows the qualities it requires.' 

There was one evil in the Othoman administration which 
could only be restrained by the constant personal attention 
of the sultan. Venality was, from an early period, the I / 
prevalent vice in the civil and judicial administration of 
the empire. Yet, though the interest of the sovereign was 
directly opposed to this inherent vice of the administration, 
avarice induced many sultans to become participators in its 
fruits, and the court became as deeply tainted with the 
corruption as the government. The practice of the sovereign 
receiving a present whenever he conferred an office, gradually 
introduced the system of selling every office to the highest 


[Ch. I. 

bidder. The venality of the Othoman officials was great 
even before the taking of Constantinople. The avarice of 
Khalil, the grand-vizier of Mohammed II., is notorious, and 
it cost him his life. Before one half of the reign of 
Mohammed II. had elapsed, the patriarchs of Constantinople 
purchased their rank by paying a sum of money to the 
Porte \ Khotshibeg, who wrote a work on the causes of 
the decline of the Othoman empire, dates its decay from 
the time of Suleiman the Legislator, and attributes it to 
the great increase of venality which then took place 2 . 
Rustem, the grand-vizier of Suleiman, dropped the veil 
which had concealed the extent of this corruption in the 
general administration. He openly put up every office for 
sale at a fixed price, and declared publicly that money was 
the object most eagerly sought for by the Porte. To increase 
the public revenues of the State, he farmed the taxes to Jews 
and Greeks. By his venality and exactions Rustem accumu- 
lated a fortune of two hundred thousand gold ducats of 
annual revenue 3 . In a state of society where riches were 
all powerful, his example was irresistible. The two other 
causes of decline indicated by Khotshibeg are, the habit 
adopted by Suleiman of absenting himself from the ordinary 
meetings of the divan, which were held four times every week, 
and of naming his personal favourites to the highest offices in 
the State, without their having acquired the experience requi- 
site for the performance of their duty by a long and active 
career of service. The nomination of Ibrahim, the grand- 
falconer of Sultan Suleiman, to the office of grand-vizier, 
accelerated the decline of the administrative organization. 

After the reign of Suleiman, justice grew every day more 
venal. Judicial offices were as openly sold as administrative ; 
and, except when the army was engaged in active service, 
all promotion, even in the military service, was obtained by 
the payment of a bribe. The veteran janissaries languished, 
forgotten or neglected, in the frontier garrisons of Buda and 
Bagdad ; while the sons of shopkeepers in the capital, and the 
followers of pashas, whose public duties had been confined to 

1 Historia Patriarchica, in Crusius, Titrco-Graecia, 124. 

2 He wrote during the reign of Murad IV., a. d. 1623-40. Hammer, Histoire, 
vi. 281. 

3 Hammer, Histoire, vi. 284. 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

police service — to maintaining order in the markets, to guard- 
ing the persons of foreign ambassadors, or standing sentinel 
at the city gates — were allowed to purchase the highest 
military commands. This corruption soon became incurable, 
for it pervaded the whole body of the Othoman officials, who, 
as we have already observed, formed a class of men too 
completely separated from the mass of the population to be 
under the influence of its moral sympathies. The conviction 
of the members of the government that they were not 
amenable to public opinion, and owed no responsibility to 
the people, very naturally led to the exactions and oppressions 
which render Turkish history a continual record of revolts and 
rebellions. There was no hope of punishing the iniquities of 
a pasha, except by the arbitrary action of the sultan's power. 
It was necessary to slay the accused, for to obtain his con- 
demnation by any tribunal which could take cognizance of 
his crimes was almost hopeless. The suffering people had 
little hope of redress, if compelled to bring their complaints 
before the divan, for every member of that body felt that 
he was himself exposed to similar accusations. The condition 
of the sultan's Christian subjects bore a strong resemblance, in 
this point, to that of the Roman provincials in the time of the 
republic, who had no great chance of redress when they sought 
for justice against the tyrannical and oppressive conduct of a 
proconsul, as their complaints required to be laid before 
a senate in which proconsuls possessed an overwhelming in- 
fluence. Yet, we must not condemn the Othoman empire in 
the time of Suleiman without comparing the state of its 
administration with that of contemporary Christian govern- 
ments. The sale of offices was then very general in Europe, 
and we find it adopted by the papal court, towards the end of 
the sixteenth century, as a regular method of recruiting the 
finances. The abuse was carried quite as far by the pope as 
by the sultan l . It was the inherent defects in the judicial 
administration of the Mohammedans which rendered the 
venality of public employments more injurious to the State 
at Constantinople than at Rome. This abuse, however, had 
no inconsiderable effect in producing the degraded social con- 
dition of the papal dominions existing at the present day. 

1 Ranke, History of the Popes in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Kelly's 
Translation), 102, 118. 

VOL. V. E 


° [Ch.I. 

In the reign of Suleiman the Great, the wealth of the 
Othoman empire far exceeded that of any other European 
state. The annual income of the sultan was generally esti- 
mated at 12,000.000 ducats, while the revenues of Charles 
V., from all his wide-extended dominions, never exceeded 
6,000,000 ; yet the Netherlands and the richest parts of Italy 
were included in the Spanish empire \ At that period many 
parts of Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Thrace, which are now 
almost deserted, were cultivated by an active population. 
Venice drew large supplies of wheat from the Othoman domi- 
nions, and during the greater part of the two centuries which 
followed the conquest of Constantinople, both the Othoman 
and the Greek population of the empire increased consider- 
ably. It was not until the middle of the seventeenth century 
that the incessant extortions of the pashas, who became 
partners with the farmers of taxes in their pashalics, en- 
croached so far on the accumulated capital of the preceding 
period as to diminish the resources, and, ultimately, the 
numbers of the population 2 . 

As the power of the Othoman empire reposed on its military 
strength, the internal decay of the government produced little 
change on its position, with reference to the Christian states of 
Europe, until the number and discipline of its troops were 
sensibly diminished. It was long before this happened. In 
the moral conduct of the soldiers and in the public police of 

1 Hammer, Hisloire, vi. 510; Ranke, Spanish Empire, chap. 4. Our Henry 
VII., a.d. 1509, left a treasure of £1,800,000. Hallam, Constitutional History, 
i. 12. Hume (c. xxxvii.) says the revenues of England in the time of Mary were 
about 1 300.000. Hallam {Middle Ages, i. 265) gives an estimate of the forces of 
the European powers in 1454, and of their revenues in 141 5, which prove how 
little authentic information on these subjects can be extracted even from con- 
temporary historians. 

2 It would be impossible to give a complete account of the financial resources 
and monetary condition of the Othoman empire, without more accurate informa- 
tion than we possess concerning the quantity of the precious metals which was 
annually put in circulation from the produce of the mines in the sultan's dominions 
during the latter half of the fifteenth and the early part of the sixteenth centuries. 
The sum must have been considerable, with reference to prices, at that period. 
In Europe, very productive mines were worked in Macedonia, Servia, and 
Bosnia ; and in Asia, those of Bakyr Kuresi, near Ineboli, had yielded large 
revenues to the emirs of Sinope, and those of Giimush Khaneh to the emperors 
of Trebizond, while various productive silver mines were worked in the moun- 
tains which extend from Angora to Tokat, separating the ancient Galatia from 
1'aphlagonia and Pontus. Besides this, several very rich mines of copper and 
lead afforded large returns, and these metals were often exported in con- 
siderable quantities to Western Europe, as well as to Syria, Egypt, and Northern 


A - D - I 4S3-i684.] 

the army, a Turkish camp, until a late period, displayed a 
marked superiority over the military forces of contemporary 
Christian sovereigns. This superiority was one of the most 
efficient causes of the long career of victory of the Othoman 
armies. Before the sultan's armies entered on a campaign, 
the regular troops, janissaries, sipahis, and artillerymen, received 
a part of their pay in advance, that they might purchase the 
necessaries required before taking the field. During the 
campaign they were paid with regularity, and the strictest 
discipline was maintained on the march, in order to insure 
the establishment of markets at every halt and the attendance 
of numerous suttlers in the camp. Of their superiority in 
military science we have also many testimonies \ 

We possess two remarkable testimonies in favour of the 
order and discipline which prevailed at the head-quarters of 
Othoman armies by Christian writers, well acquainted with 
the Turkish troops, and neither of them favourably disposed 
towards the Othoman government. There is an interval of 
two centuries between the periods at which they wrote, and 
both were eye-witnesses of the facts they describe. The first 
was the Greek Chalcocondylas, who lived in the middle of the 
fifteenth century; the other was the Englishman Rycaut, who 
resided in Turkey in the latter half of the seventeenth. Chal- 
cocondylas, in describing the invasion of the Morea by Sultan 
Murad II., in the year 1445, praises the discipline of the 
Othoman army as incomparably superior to that of contem- 
porary Christian powers. He mentions that it secured ample 
supplies in the camp-markets by paying regularly and liberally 
for provisions, and by this means relieved the commanders 
from the necessity of detaching large bodies of men to forage. 
The historian says that he had never heard of armies in which 
such order was preserved. Though the suttlers were accom- 
panied by immense trains of mules, laden with provisions 
and stores of every kind, there was no confusion. A spot 
was assigned for their tents, and the soldiers always found a 

1 Negotiations de la France dans le Levant, i. 566, 567. ' Les Turcs, ayant, par 
merveilleuse habilete et expertise, paracheve leurs fortifications non loin du 
camp.' And ' Le Marquis du Guast visitant Nice et regardant les ouvrages des 
Turcs, s'emerveilloit tellement de leur artifice a drecir remparts, qu'il confessoit 
que nos gens luy sembloit de beaucoup inferieurs en telles choses aupres des 
barbares.' This was in 1543, when the Sultan Suleiman sent troops to Marseilles 
to defend France against her invaders. 

E 2, 


3 [Ch. I. 

well-stocked market in the vicinity of the camp K It is true 
these suttlers derived as large a part of their profits from 
the slave-trade and from the purchase of the soldiers' booty, 
as from the sale of supplies to the troops. Accordingly, when 
the number of captives made in war decreased, and the slave- 
trade became less profitable in the Othoman camps, the 
difficulty of supplying the troops was considerably increased. 
Still, the viziers regarded it as the first of their military duties 
to see that their soldiers were well supplied, and that discipline 
was strictly enforced. 

Sir Paul Rycaut, who resided in the Othoman empire for 
eighteen years, seven of which he passed at Constantinople as 
secretary of the English ambassador, and eleven at Smyrna 
as consul, describes the army of the grand-vizier, which he 
visited at Belgrade in the year 1665, in the following words: 
' In the Turkish camp no brawls, quarrels, or clamours are 
heard ; no abuses are committed on the people by the march 
of the army; all is bought and paid for with money as by 
travellers that are guests at an inn. There are no complaints 
of mothers of the rape of their virgin daughters, no violences 
or robberies offered to the inhabitants ; all which order tends 
to the success of their armies, and to the enlargement of their 
empire V 

While this system of military discipline was enforced as 
a means of increasing the efficiency of the regular army, the 
peaceful provinces of the empire were exposed to be plun- 
dered by pashas and their households when travelling to their 
governments, almost as if they were inhabited by a hostile 
population. Every great officer had a right to demand lodging 
and provisions at the charge of the districts through which he 
passed on the public service. This right became a source of 
incredible exactions, as the venality of the imperial officials 
increased with constant impunity. We may form some faint 
idea of the extent to which the oppression of the sultan's 
officers was carried by calling to mind the extortions exercised 
under the authority of the royal prerogative of purveyance in 
feudal England, after it was recognized to be the country in 

1 Chalcocondylas, p. 182, edit. Par. See above, vol. iv. Mediaeval Greece, p. 250. 

2 Rycaut, The Present S.'ate of the Othoman Empire, book iii. ch. xi. See also Rela- 
tion d'un Voyage fait au Levant, in Thevenot, Voyages, edit. Amst., i. 225 ; 'Comme 
ils paient fort exactement ce qu'ils prennent, et ne font aucun desordre, ni ne 
volent par la campagne, on apporte tout au camp comme a un marche ordinaire.' 


A.D. 1453-1684.] 

which the best protection for individual property had been 
established. We find, even as late as the reign of James I., 
the English parliament declaring, that though the king's 
prerogative of purveyance had been regulated by not less 
than thirty-six statutes, still the royal purveyors imprisoned 
men for refusing to surrender their property, lived at free 
quarters, and felled wood without the owner's consent *. The 
abuses which originated in the right of every petty officer in 
Turkey to claim lodging and provisions, at the expense of the 
town or village at which he might find it convenient to halt, 
became at last so great a burden to the agricultural population 
near some of the principal roads, that the villagers abandoned 
their dwellings, and emigrated to the most secluded valleys in 
the mountains 2 . 

But long after the immediate vicinity of most of the great 
highways had been depopulated by the exactions of pashas 
and tax-gatherers, discipline continued to be strictly enforced 
at the head-quarters of the armies of the Othoman empire. 
As late as the year 1715, when the grand-vizier (Ali Kumurgi) 
conquered the Morea from the Venetians, the exactitude with 
which the Turkish cavalry paid for the fodder, which was 
brought to the camp from a distance and sold at a high price, 
excited the wonder of Monsieur Brue, the French interpreter 
of the embassy at Constantinople, who accompanied the expe- 
dition 3 . But after that period even the discipline of the 
Othoman armies in the field declined with great rapidity. 

1 Hallam's Constitutional History of England, i. 223. The tyrannical abuse 
of the prerogative of purveyance, though restrained by Magna Charta, was not 
abolished until the reign of Charles II.; 12 Car. II., c. 24. 

s Several examples of the abuses caused by the license of official travellers will 
be found in Otter's Voyage en Turquie et en Perse, in 1734, vol- i. pp 47, 54, 68. 
Yet Otter praises the good order and excellent police which then existed at 
Constantinople, a city of 800,000 inhabitants, p. 9. 

3 Journal de la Campagne que le Grand-Vizier Ali Pasha a faite en 171.S pour 
la Conquete de la Moree, original MS. in the Author's possession, purchased at a 
sale of Oriental MSS in Paris in 1843. M. Brue, a relation of Voltaire, is 
mentioned in the History of Charles XII., livre v. Some notices concerning him 
will be found in the Nouvefle Revue Encyclopedique, Fevrier 1847 ; Journal inidit de 
Galland. The fact cited in the text is noted by M. Brue as a justification of the 
high price at which barley for his horses is charged in his accounts. [Brue's 
Journal was published at Paris by Thorin in 1870 by Mr. Finlay's permission 
from this MS. with the title which is given above. The facts here referred to are 
to be found on pp. 98, 107. The subsequent references to this work are made to 
this edition. It is written in the form of a diary, and though the style is brief and 
dry, its simplicity and faithfulness occasionally produce a graphic effect. P'rom 
a military point of view the features of the country are well described, but classical 
sites are noticed in a very cursory way. Ed.] 


From the preceding sketch of the military establishments 
of the Othoman empire, it is evident that the conquests of 
the sultans were the result of a wise organization, and of a 
system of education which formed a superior class of soldiers, 
much more than from any overwhelming superiority of 

Such were the most prominent features of the government 
to which the Greeks were subjected for several centuries. 
Yet, with all the vices of the sultans' administration, and 
though the lives and property of the rayahs were valued 
chiefly in proportion as they contributed to supply the sultan 
with recruits for his army and money for his treasury, it 
may be doubted whether any contemporary Christian govern- 
ment would have treated an alien and heretical race, which 
it had conquered, with less severity and injustice. 


The Naval Conquests of the Othomans in Greece. 
a.d. 1 453- t 684. 

Decline of the Greek population during this period. — Effects of the Othoman 
conquest — Extent of country inhabited by the Greek race which remained 
under the domination of the Latin Christians after the conquest. — Conquest 
ofMytilene. — Venetian war, a. d. 1463-1479. — Conquest of the dominions of 
Leonardo di Tocco. — Venetian war, a.d. 1499-1502. — Conquest of Rhodes. 
— Invasion of the Morea by Andrea Doria. — Venetian war, a.d. 1 537-1540. — 
Conquest of Chios. — Extinction of the duchy of Naxos. — Conquest of Cyprus. 
— Battle of Lepanto, a.d. 1571. — State of the Greek population, a.d. 1573— 
l^tf. — Maritime warfare, and piracies in the Grecian seas. — Knights of 
Malta. — Knights of St. Stefano, and navy of Tuscany. — Exploits of the 
< Uhoinan navy. — Depopulation of the coasts of Greece by the maritime 
expeditions of the Christian powers. — Ravages of the Cossacks in the Black 
Sea. —War of Candia, a.d. 1645 -1669. — Subjugation ofMaina. — Apostasy of 

DURING the period of more than two centuries which elapsed 
from the conquest of Constantinople to the conquest of the 
Morea by the Venetians, the Greek nation declined both 
in civilization and numbers. The Hellenic race had never 
fallen so low in the social scale at any previous period of 
its history. It may possibly have incurred greater danger 
of extermination in its native regions, during the dark age 
which followed the Sclavonian colonization of the Pelo- 
ponnesus at the end of the sixth century ; but at that time, 
though the valleys of the Spercheus and the Eurotas, and 
the plains of Thebes, Sparta, and Olympia, were occupied 
by Sclavonian invaders, the principal cities of Greece, the 
islands in the Grecian seas, and a large part of western Asia 
were still densely inhabited by a numerous and wealthy 
Greek population, whose commercial activity, municipal ad- 
ministration, and social organization, joined to the advantages 


[Ch. II. 

resulting from the accumulation of capital, during a long 
series of ages, in public works, rendered the Byzantine empire 
for centuries the most civilized portion of the world. The 
Greek empire of Constantinople, recovered from the Crusaders, 
became, it is true, such a scene of anarchy that the Othoman 
conquest brought relief to the people ; but in giving peace 
and tranquillity to Greece, the Othoman government gradually 
rendered it a desert, while the rude cultivators of the soil, 
whether of Hellenic or Albanian blood, slowly annihilated all 
evidence of the improvements which industry and wealth 
had effected in earlier and better times. Even the relief 
from the evils of war was often rather apparent than real. 
The continent was generally tranquil, but the sea was always 
insecure, and the repeated interruptions of commerce cut 
off the inland producer from every market, and put an end 
to production. The Othoman government also extended its 
domination very slowly over the Greek islands ; and it was 
not until the power of the empire had shown signs of decline 
that the supremacy of the Porte was completely established 
in the Archipelago by the conquest of Candia. But my 
duty as historian of the Greeks, and the space within which 
I must confine my work, compel me to renounce the hope of 
rendering my pages attractive by recounting the martial 
deeds of the conquerors of Crete, and paying honour to the 
desperate valour of the combatants in the long and bloody 
wars between the Turks and the Venetians. I must leave 
this theme to the historians of the Othoman empire, and of 
the Christian States who opposed its progress. The Greeks 
are not even entitled to boast of the courage of the tribute- 
children, who left the homes of their fathers' with blooming 
faces and unformed characters. The education which these 
neophytes received from the Othomans gave them a new 
nationality as well as a new religion. Their valour in the field, 
their patience in the trenches, and their daring on the deck 
of the galley, were artificial and not ancestral virtues, and 
can reflect no glory on their parental race. It is not my 
privilege to dwell on the gallant deeds of the Christian 
chivalry that bathed every shore of Greece in blood, en- 
deavouring to arrest the progress of Moslem conquest. The 
exploits of the proud Knights of St. John, and of the prouder 
nobles of Venice, who made the sieges of Rhodes, Famagosta, 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

and Candia rivals in fame to those of Plataea, Syracuse, and 
Carthage, do not fall within the scope of my pages. In the 
glories of the Latin Christians the Greeks had no share, and 
with the Catholics the orthodox church had no sympathies. 
In Greece, the domination of the Latins had been more 
galling, if not more oppressive, than that of the Moham- 
medans. The prominent feature in the history of the Greek 
people, during the period which elapsed from the conquest 
of the Morea by Mohammed II. in 1460, to its conquest by 
the Venetians in 1686, is the misery inflicted on the in- 
habitants of every coast accessible to the corsairs, whether 
Mohammedans or Christians, who swarmed in the Levant. 
The unparalleled rapacity of these pirates devastated the 
maritime districts to such a degree that, even at the present 
day, many depopulated plains on the coasts of the Archi- 
pelago still indicate the fear which was long felt of dwelling 
near the sea. 

The campaigns of Mohammed II. united all the territory 
governed by orthodox princes to the Othoman empire 1 ; but 
even after he had completed his continental conquests, no 
inconsiderable portion of the territory occupied by the Greek 
race still continued subject to Catholic powers. Venice re- 
tained possession of the fortresses of Argos, Nauplia, Thermisi, 
Monemvasia, Coron, and Modon, in the Peloponnesus, and 
of the great islands of Corfu and Crete, to which Cyprus was 
soon added. The dukes of Naxos and several signors held 
various islands of the Archipelago, which they governed as 
petty sovereigns. Leucadia, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Zante 
were ruled by Leonardo di Tocco, who assumed the vain title 
of Despot of Arta, Duke of Leucadia, and Count of Cepha- 
lonia 2 . Genoa, after the loss of her commercial stations in 
the Black Sea, continued to exercise considerable influence 
in the Archipelago as sovereign of Chios, which was held 
by a Genoese joint-stock company, and as protector of the 
signors of Mytilene. The Knights of St. John possessed 
Rhodes, Kos, and several smaller islands, as well as the 
fortress of Bodroun (Halicarnassus). Cyprus was still governed 

1 Servia was conquered in 1458, Vallachia in 1462, Bosnia in 1463, Euboea in 
1470, Caffa, from the Genoese, in 1475, and the possessions of Scanderbeg in 
Albania in 1478. 

2 Buchon, Kecherches Nouvelles, i. 322. 



by the house of Lusignan, with the proud title of Kings 

of Cyprus, Jerusalem, and Armenia ; but the republic of 

Venice was already preparing to receive their inheritance, 

while various European monarchs have the folly to assume 

the empty title at the present day. It is strange to see how 

slowly common sense mounts to the heads of princes. This 

disjointed condition of the Greek nation explains the utter 

absence of all national action and political feeling among the 

Greeks during the three following centuries. 

Mohammed II. pressed heavily on the Greek race, though 
he was tolerant to Greek orthodoxy; and it would have re- 
quired a high degree of security and tranquillity to enable 
the people to recover from the calamities they had suffered 
before and after their conquest by the Othomans. But, for the 
greater part of Greece, this period of security and improve- 
ment never came ; and at the present day, the Greek kingdom 
is unable to maintain a larger population than in the fifteenth 
century. The translocations of the inhabitants of many 
places by Mohammed II., mentioned in preceding volumes, 
caused a great destruction of property and an immense loss 
of life \ The same system was continued in the succeeding 
conquests of the Othomans, and the inhabitants of every city 
or island which Mohammed II. annexed to his dominions 
during his long and active reign, were treated with as great 
severity as the people of the Morea, and expatriated in con- 
siderable numbers. 

The signor of Mytilene was the first of the Catholic princes 
whom Mohammed II. conquered. The Genoese family of 
Gattilusio had possessed the rich and fertile island of Lesbos 
for more than a century; and at this period the islands of 
Lemnos, Thasos, Imbros, and Samothrace were governed by 
them, and they possessed an interest in the profitable alum- 
works of Phocaea, and in part of the territory of Ainos 2 . 
These dominions were gradually annexed to the Othoman 
empire. New Phocaea was conquered in 1456, and great 
part of its Greek population reduced to slavery, so that the 
place never recovered its commercial importance. Ainos 

1 See above, vol. iii. 522 ; vol. iv. 266. 

2 Francis Gattilusio married Maria, sister of the Emperor John V. (Palaeo- 
logos), and received Lesbos as a reward for his services against Cantacuzenos 
hi 1355 ; above, vol. iii. 459. For a list of the signors of Mytilene, see Appendix II. 


A.n. 14:13-1684.] 

suffered the same fate. In the following year, Lemnos, 
Imbros, Samothrace, and Thasos were finally annexed 
to Mohammed's dominions. The best and wealthiest part 
of their inhabitants were removed to Constantinople, the 
youngest and healthiest individuals were sold as slaves, and 
only the poorest of the Greek peasantry remained to cultivate 
the soil. No person who had the means of establishing 
himself in the capital as a useful citizen, or the strength 
and beaut} - requisite to insure a ready sale in the slave- 
market, escaped deportation, unless he was fortunate enough 
to conceal himself in the mountains until the departure of the 
Othoman fleet. 

In the year 1462, Mohammed put an end to the government 
of the signors of Lesbos. He had good reason to complain 
of the shelter which the excellent ports in their dominions 
afforded to the Catalan, Italian, and Sicilian pirates who 
infested the entrance of the Dardanelles l . These adventurers 
made a profitable business, not only by the capture of Turkish 
ships, but likewise by surprising Turks on shore, whom, if 
wealth}', the}- ransomed for money, and if poor they sold 
as slaves to labour at the oar in European ships. The signor 
of Mytilene had probably no power to suppress this piracy, 
even had he possessed the wish. The sultan resolved to 
effect it. The last signor of Mytilene w r as Nicholas Gattilusio. 
He had slain his elder brother Dominicus to gain possession 
of the government, yet he hardly made a show of resisting 
Mohammed ; and, after surrendering his capital, endeavoured 
to gain the favour of his conqueror by embracing Islam. 
Sultan Mohammed, who despised his cowardice, and knew 
that his conversion was produced by the hope of enjoying 
a life of luxurious ease, rewarded him with the bow-string, 
and confiscated his property. The conquest of Mytilene 
brought ruin on the Greek inhabitants of the island, though 
they had been eager and active in transferring their allegiance 
from the Catholics to the Mohammedans. One third were 
sold into slavery in order to raise money to reward the Otho- 
man troops ; one third were transported to Constantinople ; 
ind the remaining third, consisting of the lowest order of the 

1 Compare Ducas, 333, 335, edit. Bonn; and Chalcocondylas, 250. edit. 1'ar. 
Opfjiwfi(''ot 5e clttH ttjs Ae'(7/3ou ol' rt 1apaKovvr\a\.oi iirt \r)<TTtiav Karat OakaTTav 
rnpapifiivoi. Chalcocondylas, 277, edit. Par. 



townsmen and the poorest class of cultivators, were left to till 

the soil and collect the abundant harvests of the vineyards 

and olive-groves 1 . From this time the inhabitants of Myti- 

lene have been proverbially one of the most degenerate 

communities among the modern Greeks. Their malice and 

falsehood are linked in a rhyming proverb, with the aversion 

generally entertained for the inhabitants of Athens and 

Thebes, where a large proportion of the population, consisting 

of Albanians, lived in a state of separation from Greek 

sympathies 2 . 

During the war between Sultan Mohammed and Venice, 
which lasted from 1463 to 1479, the hostile fleets ravaged 
many of the wealthiest parts of Greece. The galleys of the 
King of Naples, of the Pope, and of the Catalan cities cruised 
in the Archipelago under the pretence of assisting the Chris- 
tians, but they plundered the property of the Greek subjects 
of the Porte on the coasts of Europe and Asia, whenever they 
found any booty undefended. In the year 1463, a Greek 
priest betrayed Argos to the Mohammedans ; and in the war 
which followed, the Venetian possessions in Greece were 
ravaged by the Othomans, and the Greek subjects of the 
republic carried off into slavery in such number as to depopu- 
late the districts round Nauplia, Modon, and Lepanto 3 . The 
unfortunate campaign of 1463 deprived the Venetians of all 
chance of conquering the Morea. Their attempt to take 
Corinth was unsuccessful, and they were unable to defend the 
fortifications they had constructed across the isthmus. The 
Othoman troops defeated the Venetians, and the Greeks and 
Albanians in the Morea, whom they had induced to take up 
arms, were either put to the sword or carried off as slaves 4 . 

While the Othoman army depopulated the Venetian pos- 
sessions on the continent, the ships of the republic plundered 
the coasts of the sultan's dominions. The miserable inhabit- 
ants of Lemnos, Ainos, and Phocaea were robbed of all the 

1 Ducas (Italian translation), 512, edit. Bonn. Chalcocondylas, 280, edit. Par. 
2 'ABrjvaioi koj. ®T]/3aioi 
Kal Ka.Kol M.iTvKrjvaiot, 
"AWa ktyovv to /3paSi> 
Kt' aWa Kh.jx.vow to to.\v. 
3 Chalcocondylas, 294, edit. Par. 

* Chalcocondylas, 29S, edit. Par. The Albanian chief, Peter the Lame, a 
leader in the great revolt against the Greeks in 1454, was one of the partizans 
of Venice. See above, vol. iv. 255. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

Turks had left them. Passagio, a great mercantile depot 
of neutral trade, situated on the continent opposite Chios, 
afforded the Venetian fleet a rich booty in 1472, but the loss 
fell chiefly on the Genoese l . The Othoman galleys, manned 
by Jews, Greeks, and Turks, were generally far inferior to the 
Venetians in naval efficiency 2 . These desultory operations 
impoverished the Greek cities and diminished the numbers of 
the Greek population, but they were unable to arrest the 
progress of the Othomans. The great event of this war was 
the conquest of Euboea. In the year 1470, the well-fortified 
city of Negrepont was taken from the Venetians after a valiant 
defence. The Greek inhabitants were in great part reduced to 
slavery, and many villages in the island were plundered and 
burned 3 . This loss was poorly revenged by a Venetian fleet, 
which laid waste the Greek suburb of the city of Attalia, and 
destroyed Smyrna, a town then almost entirely inhabited by 
Greeks. Indeed, during this war, the orthodox Christians, 
whether living in the Othoman empire or the Venetian pos- 
sessions, were the principal sufferers. The naval expeditions 
of the Venetians plundered the open towns and defenceless 
villages on the coast; and the Othoman armies which invaded 
the Venetian territory sought chiefly to carry off as many 
slaves as possible in order to enrich the soldiers. In the year 
1478 the Othoman fleet plundered the possessions of the 
Knights of Rhodes, and carried off many Greek slaves from 
Kalymnos, Leros, and Nisyros. The peace which Sultan 
Mohammed concluded with Venice in 1479, relieved only a 
part of the Greek nation from plunder and devastation. 

Almost immediately after signing that treaty, Mohammed 
II. extended his conquests in Greece by seizing the territories 
of Leonardo di Tocco. The possessions of this little sove- 
reign originated in a grant made to one of his ancestors in 
1353, by Robert II., prince of Tarentum, and titular Latin 
emperor of Romania, and extended over the rich district of 
Arta, and the provinces of Acarnania and Aetolia, as well 
as the islands of Leucadia, Cephalonia, and Zante. Charles 
di Tocco, despot of Arta, duke of Leucadia, and count of 

1 Cepione, Belle cnse/atle da Pietro Mocenico, p. 4. A rare work, the knowledge 
of which I owe to Zinkeisen, Geschichte des Oimaniscken Reiches, ii. 403. 

2 Marino Sanuto, in Muratori, Rerum Ilalicarum Scriplores, torn, xxii p. 1 170. 

3 Lonicerus, Chronicarum Turcicarum Epitome; De Negroponti captione, torn. i. 
339, 8vo. edit. 


[Ch. II. 

Cephalonia, died at Joannina in 1430, and was succeeded by 
his nephew, Charles II. In the following year the troops 
of Sultan Murad II., under Sinan Pasha, took possession of 
Joannina, and in 1449 the remainder of the continental 
dominions of Charles were annexed to the Othoman empire. 
Acarnania and part of Aetolia, which was then called the 
country of Arta, received from the Turks the name of Karlili, 
or the country of Charles. Leonardo, who succeeded his 
father Charles II. in 1452, involved himself in war by neglect- 
ing to pay a stipulated tribute of five hundred ducats 
annually. The islands of Leucadia, Cephalonia, and Zante 
were occupied by the Othoman troops, and the duke retired 
to Naples 1 . As usual, the Greek inhabitants were carried 
away to re-people Constantinople, but it is said that many of 
the Ionians experienced a harder fate than had fallen to the 
lot of the other Greeks. They were compelled to intermarry 
with negroes, in order to breed mulatto slaves for the serai 2 . 
The misery of the population of the Ionian Islands was 
increased by the enterprises of Antonio di Tocco, the younger 
brother of Leonardo, who collected a small force, and, with 
the assistance of a few Catalan corsairs, succeeded in recover- 
ing Cephalonia and Zante. But as he could only maintain 
his mercenaries by piracy, the injury he inflicted on commerce 
induced the Venetians to expel him and his Catalans from 
their conquests. Cephalonia was restored to the sultan, and 
Venice was allowed to retain possession of Zante, for which 
the republic engaged to pay an annual tribute of five hundred 
ducats to the Porte (a.d. 1484) 3 . 

In the year 1480, the army of Mohammed II. besieged 
Rhodes unsuccessfully, but it ravaged a great part of the 
island, and carried away many Greek families into slavery. 

In the year 1499, a new war broke out between the Sultan 
Bayezid II. and the Venetians, which lasted to 1502. Lepanto, 
Modon, Navarin, and Coron were conquered by the Othoman 
armies. Modon was taken by storm in the presence of the 
sultan, and all the inhabitants were slain ; but Bayezid re-> 
peopled the city by compelling every town or large village in 
the Morea to send five families to settle in the place. On the 

1 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, i. 307. Phrantzes, 156. 

2 Spandugnino, in Sansovino, edit. 1600, p. 171. 

3 Navagero, Storia Veneziana, in Muratori, Rerum Ital, Script., torn, xxiii. 1189. 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

other hand, the Venetians took possession of Cephalonia, 
which they found so depopulated that they were enabled 
to grant lands to the Greek families who fled from Lepanto 
and the places conquered by the Turks in the Morea l . 
During this war the Greek population in the neighbourhood 
of Argos and Nauplia was entirely exterminated, and the 
country was repeopled by the Albanian colonists, whose 
descendants occupy it to the present day. Megara, which 
was then a populous Greek city, also received a blow from 
which it never recovered. The Othoman government had 
made it one of their principal magazines of grain and stores. 
The place was taken and plundered by the Venetians, who 
laid the greater part in ruins. The Greek inhabitants gra- 
dually decreased in number from that time, and their place 
was filled by poor Albanian peasants. Venetian, Catalan, and 
Turkish corsairs cruised in all the seas of Greece, carrying off 
the defenceless inhabitants to sell them as slaves ; some, in 
their eagerness for booty, paid very little attention to inquire 
who was sovereign of the country, if plunder could be carried 
off with impunity. The Venetian government excited the 
activity of its mercenary troops by granting them two-thirds 
of all the booty they collected, and by establishing regular 
sales by auction of the captives brought into the camp, paying 
the soldiers three ducats a-head for each prisoner 2 . And as 
slaves have always borne a much higher value in Mohammedan 
than in Christian countries, it was often a principal object of 
the expeditions of the Othomans during the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries to obtain a large supply for their slave- 
markets. Those terrible incursions, which were pushed far 
into Styria, Carniola, and Carinthia, and into Italy, as far as 
the banks of the Isonzo and Tagliamento, were often made 
merely to gratify the troops with a rich booty in slaves, not 
with the intention of making any permanent conquests 3 . 

1 Prescott, in his History of Ferdinand and Isabella, pt. ii. ch. x., gives a highly- 
coloured account of the storming of the insignificant fort of St. George in 
Cephalonia by Gonsalvo de Cordova, the Great Captain, and Pesaro, the Venetian 
admiral ; and he says the arms of Bay ez\& filched one place after another from the 
republic (ad. 1500). Gonsalvo was one of the first great generals in Western 
Europe. The Othomans had already possessed several who were at least his 
equals in military science and strategic combinations. 

2 Chalcocondylas, 277, edit. Par. Cepione, Cosefatte da P. Mocenigo, 17. 

3 There is a tract on the expedition to the Isonzo in 1478, in the collection of 
Lonicerus, i. 339, 8vo. edit. In 1499 the Turks reached the Tagliamento, 


[Ch. H. 

The profits of the slave-trade must never be overlooked in 
examining the objects and results of Othoman expeditions, 
nor in estimating the causes of the misery and depopulation in 
Greece. Suleiman the Great, in the letter he wrote to the 
Grand-master of the Knights of Rhodes announcing the 
capture of Belgrade, boasts of the number of slaves he had 
made in his expedition into Hungary 1 . The number of 
Mohammedans retained in slavery by the Knights of Rhodes 
was one of the principal reasons urged by the Othomans for 
expelling them from the Levant 2 . Before the alliance between 
the Othoman empire and the King of France was formed, the 
Turkish corsairs extended their slave-hunting cruises even to 
the French coasts 3 . 

The dominion of the Knights of Rhodes affords an example 
of the different aspects under which historical facts may be 
viewed by different classes and nations. The nobles, the 
clergy, and even the people, in western Europe, willingly con- 
ceded wealth, honours, and privileges to noble blood ; and the 
knights of Rhodes were long admired by their contemporaries 
as the flower of Western chivalry, and supported as the 
firmest champions of Christianity, and the surest barrier of 
Europe against Moslem conquest. But by the Greeks gene- 
rally, and particularly by their own subjects, they were felt to 
be proud, bigoted, and rapacious tyrants, whose yoke bore 
heavier on their Christian brethren, whom they pretended to 
defend against the Mohammedans, than the yoke of those 
very Mohammedans. Even Vertot, the historian and pane- 
gyrist of the Order, owns that the Turks treated their Greek 
subjects more mildly than the Latin knights 4 . To the 
Othomans they appeared as a band of lawless plunderers, 
who paid tribute to the sultan or plundered his subjects when 
it suited their interests ; while the toleration with which they 
treated their subjects of the smaller islands, who fitted out 
galleys for ravaging the Turkish coasts, made them popular 
with the Greek pirates 5 . 

destroyed one hundred towns and villages, and carried off six thousand slaves. 
Bembo, Delia Istoria Veneziana. 

1 Fontanus, Be Bello Rhodio, in Lonicerus, i. 353. Negotiations de la France 
dans le Levant, i. 90. 

2 Lonicerus, i. 354-5. 3 Negotiations de la France dans le Levant, i. 132. 

4 Vertot, Histoire des Chevaliers Hospitaliers de St. Jean de Jerusalem appeles 
depuis les Chevaliers de Rhodes, et avjourd'hui les Chevaliers de Make, torn. ii. 458. 
8 Vertot, ii. 459. 


A.D. I453-16S4.] 

To us, who look back at the dominion of the Knights 
through the mist of past years, dim records, and picturesque 
monuments, the order of St. John of the Hospital seems 
deserving of its power and fame. In an age when valour was 
the best quality in men, the Knights were the bravest among 
the brave. Few who read the history of the siege of Rhodes 
in 1480 will fail to form an imaginary portrait of the Grand- 
master, D'Aubusson, in his simple armour, with the red cross 
on his breast and the red cardinal's-hat on his head \ Nor 
will the story of the fall of Rhodes in 1522 give him a less 
vivid picture of his less fortunate successor, L'Isle Adam, 
whether repulsing the janissaries from the ruined walls, or 
presenting himself before the great Suleiman after receiving 
an honourable capitulation. The traveller who has visited 
the ruins of the great hall where the Knights assembled with 
L'Isle Adam for the last time, and wandered through the 
long succession of uninhabited chambers where the pashas 
dwelt who succeeded the grand-masters, cannot refrain from 
looking towards the future after lamenting over the past. Is 
the splendid island of Rhodes never again destined to nourish 
an active and prosperous population ? 

' Can tyrants but by tyrants conquered be, 
And freedom find no champion ? ' 

The splendid ruins of Rhodes have been the admiration 
of the traveller in different ages. Mr. Thomas Hope records 
the impressions the solitary palace of the grand-masters 
and the deserted street of the Knights produced on him, 
in Auastasius. Walter Vinisauf tells us of the profound 
astonishment with which Richard Cceur-de-Lion and the 
English army viewed the splendid remains of mightier works 
of art before the Knights had laid the foundations of their 
fortifications and their palaces. In 1191, Vinisauf saw fallen 
towers and wonderful buildings of admirable architecture, 
which had encumbered the ground from the time the Saracens 
sold the fallen Colossus to the Jews as old bronze. He saw 
ancient palaces and temples, which had subsequently been 

1 Pinkerton (Essay on Medals, ii. no) mentions a medal of John Kendal, 
who was Turcopilier of the Order of St. John at the siege of Rhodes in 1480, 
as the first English medal. It is in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire, 
and is engraved in the Ducalus Leodiensis of Thoresby. It is very large, like many 
of the Italian medals of the time, and was probably executed in Italy, and not in 
England. I know nothing of it but from Pinkerton. 

VOL. V. F 


[Ch. II. 

converted into monasteries, and though recently inhabited 
by crowds of monks, were then again deserted. In 1191, 
everything attested the existence of an immense population 
at some earlier period ; in 1 853, the well-constructed fortress 
and the untenanted palace, which had been built from these 
earlier ruins, showed little signs of decay. They looked as 
if they had been suddenly deserted, or depopulated by the 
plague \ 

The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem robbed the Greek 
empire of the island of Rhodes by a successful piratical 
expedition in 13 10, and made it the capital of an independent 
state, comprising the neighbouring islands of Kos, Nisyros, 
Telos or Episkopia, Chalke, Syme, Kalymnos, Leros, and 
Castelorizo, as well as the fortress of Boudroun (Hali- 
carnassus), and some smaller forts on the Asiatic continent. 
The Order maintained its position as one of the institutions 
and bulwarks of Catholic Europe for two hundred and twelve 
years, partly by its valour, partly by its prudence, and partly 
by the weakness of the Greek emperors of Constantinople 
and the other sovereigns in the Levant, before the Othoman 
sultans consolidated their power in Asia Minor. The sultans 
regarded Rhodes as a portion of the Greek empire, and they 
were only restrained from attacking it by the danger of the 
enterprise. The memory of the unsuccessful siege of 1480 
was at last effaced by the piracies of the Knights and the 
danger of allowing the popes to possess an advanced post in 
the very centre of the Othoman empire. The results pro- 
duced by the urgent invitations of the popes to all Christian 

1 A?iastasius ; or. The Memoirs of a Greek, i. 293. edit, of 1819 ; Chronicles of the 
Crusaders, 179, Bohn's edit. David Chytraeus, in his Epistola continent Hodoe- 
poricon Navigationis ex Constantinopoli in Syriam, etc. (in Lonicerus, Turc. Chron. 
ii. 198) in the year 1581, gives the following short notice of Rhodes, and no 
better description of its actual appearance could be conveyed in fewer words : 
' Rhodum civitatem (uti mihi quidem videtur) totius Orientis pulcerrimam per- 
venimus. Nam quemadmodum ab equitibus Hierosolymitanis extructa est ita 
hodie videtur integra, nulla ex parte vastata. Nulli tarnen Christianorum in 
civitate vel habitare vel per noctem commc rari absque venia licet.' 1 visited the 
palace of the grand-masters with Mr. Newton, then Consul in Rhodes, on the 
31st May, at an early hour, when the morning sun threw strong shadows on the 
picturesque line of mountains, which once formed part of the continental domi- 
nions of the Rhodian republic. 

The decline of Rhodes has been rapid. In the eighteenth century it contained 
eighty thousand inhabitants. During the latter part of the Greek revolution it 
was governed by Mehemet Sukiur, the renegade brother of Petro Mavromichali, 
bey of Maina. His administration was cruel and oppressive, and the population 
then fell to about twenty thousand. The population is now estimated at thirty- 
five thousand. 


a.d. 1 45 3- 1 684.] 

princes and nations to take up arms against the Turks were 
so trifling, that we are generally disposed to undervalue the 
effect of these exhortations on contemporaries. But even the 
most powerful sultans were alarmed by these papal demon- 
strations ; for it was long before the Mohammedans could 
believe that the Christian princes paid only lip-service to 
the caliph of Rome, except when their political interests 
prompted them to attend to his injunctions. 

The profession of the Knights, as sworn enemies of Islam, 
and the piratical spirit of the age, both among Christians 
and Mohammedans, made the existence of the Order a serious 
interruption to the communications between Constantinople 
and Syria and Egypt after their conquest by Sultan Selim I. 
The exploits of the Order were the cause of repeated com- 
plaints on the part of the Turkish merchants ; and even the 
inhabitants of Asia Minor and Syria were exposed to incessant 
plundering visits from the Greek subjects of the Knights. 
Several of the smaller islands belonging to the Order were 
inhabited by a population remarkable for naval skill ; and 
as the general system of commercial exclusion prevented 
these Greeks from sending their vessels to trade in the 
principal ports of the Mediterranean, they had no resource 
but to carry on piracy. Their proficiency in the construction 
of small vessels of war, and their activity in employing them, 
were highly estimated by their sovereigns the Knights. An 
open war was carried on by the Turkish and Christian 
corsairs for some time before Suleiman summoned the grand- 
master to surrender Rhodes. The Order held a brother of 
Curtoglu, the Othoman admiral, prisoner in Rhodes, and 
Curtoglu attempted to capture the grand-master, LTsle 
Adam, on his passage from France after his election. There 
can be no doubt that the Sultan Suleiman was urged to the 
conquest of Rhodes by every rule of sound policy \ 

The Knights made a gallant defence against the Otho- 
man army, commanded by Suleiman the Great in person, 
and L'Isle Adam obtained an honourable capitulation. The 
Greek inhabitants of the dominions of the Order were 

1 For Suleiman's summons to the grand-master, see Chronique du Bntard de 
Bourbon; Vertot, ii. 636. The date, at page 622, is given erroneously, 1485 for 
1522. See, for the complaints of piracy, Negotiations de la France dam le Levant, 
i- 9°> 95 5 Vertot, i. 49S, ii. 427, 459. For the capitulation, Negotiations, i. 94. 

F 2 


Ch. II.] 

exempted from the degrading tribute of furnishing children 
to recruit the ranks of the janissaries. Nevertheless, the 
certainty which the wealthy citizens entertained that their 
lives and fortunes would be at the mercy of tyrannical and 
rapacious pashas, induced a thousand Greek families to aban- 
don Rhodes, and seek safety in the Venetian island of 
Crete K 

The Morea enjoyed a period of tranquillity after the Venetian 
peace in 1502, and the interior of the peninsula was beginning 
to recover some degree of prosperity, when a Spanish ex- 
pedition, under Andrea Doria, again threw the country into a 
state of confusion in 1532. The great Genoese admiral 
took Patras and Coron ; and the garrison he established in 
Coron invaded the Morea, occupied Kalamata and Misithra, 
and induced many Greeks to take up arms against the sultan. 
But in the following year the Spaniards were expelled from 
Coron, and the Greeks were treated with great severity by the 
victorious Othomans 2 . 

A new war broke out between the sultan and Venice in the 
year 1537, and the Othoman army laid siege to Corfu. The 
enterprise failed ; but, before abandoning the undertaking, 
the Turkish troops plundered and wasted the Greek villages 
in the island for eighteen days with fire and sword, burned the 
churches, and carried off many thousands of the inhabitants as 
slaves 3 . After this repulse, the indefatigable admiral of the 
Othoman fleet, Haireddin or Barbarossa, made a series of 
plundering attacks on the islands of the Archipelago still in 
the possession of the Latins. Aegina, then a flourishing 
island under Venetian domination, was ruined ; the city was 
stormed, though the garrison defended it with desperate 
valour; the houses were burned to the ground, all the males 
capable of bearing arms were massacred, and about six 
thousand young women and children were carried off into 
slavery. The island was so completely devastated that for 
some years it remained deserted, nor has it to the present 
time recovered from the blow it then received. A French ad- 
miral, who was sent to the Levant in consequence of the alliance 

1 Negotiations de la France dans le Levant, i. 94. Lettre de Villiers de L'Isle 
Adam, Vertot. ii. 528. 

2 Negotiations de la France dans le Levant, i. 235 ; Hammer, v. 236. 

3 Lonicerus, ii. 15*. 


A.I>. I453-I6S4.] 

between France and the Othoman empire, passed Aegina 
shortly after the departure of the Turks, and found it without 
inhabitants \ It is probable that the first colonists who 
returned to cultivate the soil were Albanian peasants, whose, 
descendants still occupy the southern part of the island, 
unless the present Albanian population consist of a new 
colony, which dates its settlement from the Turkish conquest 
in 1715. An immense number of Greek slaves were also 
carried off by the Turks from Zante, Cerigo, and the islands 
of the Archipelago. Nearly all the islands of the Aegean, 
which had fallen into the hands of Venetian signors, after the 
partition of the Byzantine empire in 1204, were now subjected 
to the sultan by Barbarossa. The Duke of Naxos was com- 
pelled to pay an annual tribute of five thousand ducats ; but 
his submission did not save his Greek subjects from being 
plundered. Most of the islands of the Archipelago were 
conquered at the same time. Andros was taken from the 
family of Sommariva ; Keos and Kythnos from the 
Gozzadini and Premarini by whom they were jointly pos- 
sessed ; Seriphos from the Michieli ; Ios, Anaphe, and 
Antiparos from the Pisani ; Paros from the Sangredi ; Asty- 
palaea and Amorgos from the Quirini and Grimani ; and 
Skyros, Skiathos and Chelidromi from the Venetian re- 
public. In the following year (1538) Skopelos, which also 
belonged to the Venetians, shared the same fate 2 . The coast 
of Crete, the most valuable possession of Venice, was plun- 
dered, and Tinos, the principal seat of the power of the 
republic in the Archipelago, was compelled to pay a tribute 
of five thousand ducats. The Othoman flag was never dis- 
played in so dominant a position over the whole surface of 
the Mediterranean as at this period. Barbarossa cruised 
victorious in the waters of Marseilles, and threatened Venice 
in the Adriatic. He plundered twenty-five of the Greek 
islands, reduced eighty towns to ashes, and carried off thirty 
thousand Greeks into slavery :! . 

By the treaty of peace concluded in 1540, the Venetians 
lost all their fortresses in the Morea ; and as the Turks were 

1 Journal de la croisiere du Baron de Saint Blancard, in Negotiations de la France, 
i. 372. 

2 Hopf, Urhmden und Zusiitze zur Geschichte der Insel Andros, 7. 

3 Histoire Nouvelle des anciens Dues et autres Souvsrains de fArchipel, 293, 350, 
352 ; Paruta, Historia Venetiana, ii. 36. 


[Ch. II. 

now in possession of the whole peninsula, the Greeks might at 
last hope to enjoy some tranquillity under the sole dominion 
of the sultan. The power and influence of the Venetians 
on the Greek continent seemed to be completely destroyed 
by their cession of the fortresses of Monemvasia and Nauplia, 
yet, after a lapse of one hundred and fifty years, they were 
again enabled to conquer the Morea. The sultan also re- 
tained possession of all the islands of the Archipelago 
conquered by Barbarossa. 

The policy and conduct of the popes tended greatly to 
nourish the suspicions of the Othoman government concerning 
the fidelity of its Christian subjects. The popes considered 
it their duty, and often found it for their interest, to make a 
great noise in Europe, preaching crusades against the infidels; 
and their endeavours to form leagues of the Christian princes, 
for the purpose of attacking the Othoman empire, naturally 
alarmed the sultan. Papal agents were repeatedly sent to the 
East, with instructions to excite the Greeks to revolt ; and 
though these emissaries of Rome did little real business 
beyond purchasing ancient manuscripts and engraved gems, 
the apparent energy of the Court of Rome caused the Otho- 
man government to treat the Greeks with greater severity, 
and to watch all their actions with distrust \ 

The success of his attack on Rhodes induced Suleiman 
to make an attempt in the year 1565 to expel the Knights 
of St. John from Malta, which had been granted to them by 
the King of Spain. That attack was signally defeated, and 
to revenge the loss sustained by the Othoman arms the sultan 
ordered his fleet to take possession of Chios in the following 

Chios was then held by a commercial trading company of 
Genoese, called the Maona of the Giustiniani. This company 
had long acknowledged the suzerainty of the sultan, and paid 
tribute to the Porte. The island had been conquered from 
the Greek empire in 1346 by the Genoese admiral, Simon 
Vignosi, in the same piratical way that the Knights of St. 
John had seized Rhodes; but the Greek inhabitants concluded 
a convention with their conquerors, by which they retained all 

1 An Englishman will find ample proofs of the rhetorical activity of the popes 
in Ryruer's Foedera. See the letters of Leo X. to Henry VIII. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

their property, rights, and local privileges l . The Genoese 
domination in the island of Chios was so different from the 
feudal government established in the other conquests of the 
western Christians in Greece, that it merits particular attention. 
It is the first example we find recorded in history of a 
mercantile company of shareholders exercising all the duties 
of a sovereign, and conducting the territorial administration 
in a distant country. The origin of the company may be 
considered as accidental. The public treasury of the republic 
of Genoa was so exhausted in the year 1346, that the funds 
for fitting out the twenty-nine galleys which composed the 
fleet of Simon Vignosi were raised by private citizens, who 
subscribed the money in shares. The republic engaged to 
secure these citizens against all loss, and pledged a portion 
of the annual revenues of the State to pay the interest on 
their advances. Each subscriber paid down 400 Genoese 
livres ; twenty-six galleys were equipped by the commons 
and three by the nobles. The expenses of each galley during 
the campaign of 1346 was 7000 livres of Genoa, so that the 
whole capital expended on the expedition amounted to 
203,000 livres. Chios and Phocaea were both conquered. 
But when Vignosi returned to Genoa, finding that the republic 
was still unable to refund the expenses of the expedition, he 
concluded a convention between the subscribers and the 
State. The subscribers were formed into a Maona or joint- 
stock company, and the shareholders were recognized both 
as the proprietors and governors of the island of Chios, which 
they were bound to administer, under the suzerainty of Genoa, 
in conformity to the terms of the capitulation of the Greeks 
with Vignosi for a period of twenty years. During this period 
the State reserved the right of resuming the grant of the 
island, on paying the capital of 203,000 livres due to the 
Maona. The republic of Genoa was never able to pay off 
the debt, so that the arrangements which invested the 

1 Sauli, De'la colcmia del Genoven in Galata, ii. 220; and the documents pub- 
lished by Pagano. Delle imprese e dominio dei Genovesi nelln Grecia, anno x 34*5- 
Nos. 2 and 3, pp. 261, 2^)2. Besides these works there is a well-written history of 
Chios by Dr. Vlastos, who prints a golden bull of the Emperor John V., recog- 
nizing the rights of the Maona of the Giustiniani in 1362 : Xta/cd, r/rot 'laropia rr)% 
vqaov Xi'ov, vtto roil larpov A. JVI. BAaaTot), 'Ep^ovTru\(i (Syra), 1840, vol. ii. Canta- 
cuzenos (681, 748) requires to be corrected by comparison with the Genoese 



Maonesi or shareholders of the company with full power to 
administer the revenues of Chios became permanent. 

This society was afterwards called the Old Maona of Chios. 
Simone Vignosi revisited the island and administered the 
government as deputy of the Maona, while the republic 
sent a podesta who exercised the supreme civil and criminal 
jurisdiction according to the laws of Genoa. A castellano 
who commanded a garrison in the citadel, acted under the 
orders of the podesta. In this way, the government of 
Chios was divided between the Maona and the State. The 
sovereignty {merum et mixtum imperiuni) remained vested 
in the republic as long as the democratic constitution of 
Genoa remained in force 1 . The administration both civil 
and financial (proprietas et utile dominium) belonged to the 
Maona. The manner of collecting the revenue, that of 
electing the persons who conducted and controlled the 
administration, and that of dividing the profits among the 
shareholders, were regulated by conventions with the republic, 
and by statutes of the Maona. In the earliest constitution 
of the Maona, it received the right of coining money after the 
type of the republic of Genoa 2 . The local administration of 
this joint-stock company, though it almost entirely excluded 
the Greeks from the financial and political government of 
their native country, and displayed all the religious bigotry of 
the age, was for a long period the least oppressive government 
in the Levant. It was less rapacious, and it afforded better 
securities for the lives and properties of its Greek subjects 
than they had enjoyed under the emperors of the house of 
Palaeologos ; and it was milder than the governments of the 
Knights of Rhodes and the republic of Venice. 

The Maona derived much of its revenue from monopolies 
of alum and mastic. The alum mines of Phocaea yielded 

1 This stipulation concerning the democracy ceased in 1408. 

2 Gold coins of the Maona of Chios have been found. Hopf mentions that there 
is one on the model of the Venetian sequins in the Museum Correr in Venice with 
the name of the podesta Petrus de F(errariis) ; art. Giustiniani, in Ersch and 
Gruber, 332. At first the money coined at Chios bore the figure of the doge, and 
the inscription Dux Januensium Conradus Rex. See Prima trattato fra il comune di 
Genova e i partecipi della Maona di Scio, a.d. 1347; Pagano, p. 281. Coins of the 
Giustiniani, which I purchased at Chios, both silver and copper of different 
periods, have on one side Civitas Chii, and on the reverse Conradus Rex. The 
Emperor Conrad (a.d. 1138-1152) not having received the imperial crown at a 
so'emn coronation, was only called Rex Romanorum. He first granted to Genoa 
the right of coining money. 


A.D. I453 1684.] 

immense profits, but the place was exposed to frequent 
attacks, and required to be vigilantly guarded against secret 
treachery, and valiantly defended against foreign enemies. 
The Maona found it advisable to farm the whole revenues 
of Phocaea to some powerful noble, who resided in the place 
and maintained a strong garrison of veteran mercenaries 1 . 

The mastic of Chios was farmed to a Genoese company, 
which after the death of Simone Vignosi farmed the whole 
revenues of the island from the Maona. The original shares 
of the Maona became soon concentrated in the hands of 
eight shareholders, and the intervention of the republic was 
rendered necessary by the violence of the disputes which 
arose between the Maona and the farmers in Chios. The 
doge Simone Boccanegra effected an arrangement in the year 
1362, by which the old Maona was extinguished on receiving 
an idemnification for the original shares, and the company 
which previously farmed the revenues of Chios acquired all 
its rights and formed the new Maona. The greater number 
of the shareholders in this new company laid aside their 
family names and assumed the name of Giustiniani 2 . 

The Maona of the Giustiniani governed Chios for more 
than 200 years. It offers some points of resemblance to the 
English East India Company, which received authority to 
exercise territorial government in the year 1624, and which, 
before it ceased to exist in the year 1858, had created one 
of the greatest empires ever formed. The Maona of Chios 
like the East India Company affords ample proof that both 
in political prudence and military courage a society of 
merchants may be in no degree inferior to royal cabinets 
and aristocratic senates. Simone Vignosi, Pietro Recanelli, 

1 Phocaea consisted of two towns, old and new Phocaea. Benedetto Zaccaria 
at the end of the thirteenth century received 1,300,000 lire of Genoa annually from 
the sale of alum. He was an enthusiastic Crusader, fought in defence of Acre at 
the head of his own band of military followers, and expended large sums in fitting 
out ships to attack the Mamlouk Sultan Kalaoun. Hop/, art. Giustiniani, in Ersch 
and Gruber. 

■ The Giustiniani were at first the mercantile firm of the society. The title was 
said to have arisen from the company occupying the palace of the Giustiniani as 
its place of business at Genoa. The shareholders were originally 1 2, but a § share 
was added. The great shares were subdivided into many smaller parts. The 
celebrated Pietro Recanelli, who became possessed of two original shares, and who 
governed Chios for the Maona, laid aside the family name he had rendered illus- 
trious, and is the ancestor of the existing family of Giustiniani at Genoa. He 
governed Smyrna for the Pope, and farmed the alum mines of Phocaea. Hopf 
gives a very complete history of the Maona in the article Giustiniani in Ersch and 
Gruber's Allgemeine EncyklopaJie: see pp. 317, 341. 


[Ch. II. 

and Rafaele di Montaldo were men whose deeds as soldiers 
and whose patriotism as citizens do not suffer by a com- 
parison with the greatest men of their time 1 . 

Chios became one of the principal seats of Italian commerce 
in the Levant after the Crusaders were driven out of Palestine, 
and its markets were frequented even by English merchants 2 . 
During the first century of the Genoese domination, the 
population exceeded ioo,oco souls and the revenues amounted 
to upwards of 100,000 sequins. But the collection was made 
in a very expensive manner, for few but maonesi were employed 
either in the financial or civil administration of the island. 
There was, therefore, a constant tendency to increase the 
number of officials 3 . At the commencement of the sixteenth 
century, the surplus revenue which was divided among the 
maonesi gave only 2000 sequins to each of the original great 
shares. And towards the end of the Genoese domination 
the expenses of the Maona exceeded the revenue. The 
company borrowed money from the bank of St. George, 
and its finances fell into such disorder, that it was compelled 
to allow the bank to collect a considerable part of the revenues 
of Chios. 

The original shares of the company soon became much 
subdivided, and most of the maonesi or Giustiniani settled 
in Chios, where they formed a distinct class of the inhabitants, 
enjoying many privileges and filling all the principal posts 
in the administration. The Giustiniani who settled in Chios 
preserved their Italian nationality and Genoese character by 
sending their children to Italy for their education 4 . 

1 Bizaro, Senatus Populique Gemiensis rerum hist or ia, p. 131, fol., Antverpiae, 
1579; Raynaldi Ann. 1363, No. 25; Bizaro, Be hello Veneto, 785; Pagano, Delle 
itriprese e del dominio del Genovesi nella Grecia, 141. 

2 Ducas, 89, edit. Paris. It is said that the revenues of the customs at one 
time amounted to 300,000 gold ducats ; Vlastos, ii. 43. 

8 Pagano (.133) gives the revenue as 120,000 scudi d'oro, but he seems to follow 
the estimate derived from Cantacuzenos, pp. 227, 233, edit. Paris. Vlastos (ii. 43) 
states the revenue at a later period as 86,000 ducats. 

4 The Giustiniani of Chios produced several celebrated men. Lists are given 
by Jerosme Justiniani, Description de Scios, and Vlastos, ii. 66. Among the best 
known are John, to whom the Greeks ascribed the loss of Constantinople ; 
Leonardo, bishop of Mytilene, the author of the well-known account of the taking 
of Constantinople by the Othomans ; Michael, author of Scio Sacra del rito latino, 
Roma, 1558, and other works. The work by Jerosme Justiniani, entitled La 
description et histoire de fide de Scios ou Chios, with the date mdvi, which is an error 
for 1606 or 1616, is a small quarto of extreme rarity. The copy in my possession 
consists of four parts, each with its separate pagination, and these are followed by 
a number of documents, one dated as late as 1615. Leo Allatius was a Catholic 
Greek of Chios. 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

The burgesses formed a second class of the Latin in- 
habitants of Chios. This class consisted of traders, shop- 
keepers, artizans, Greek Catholics, retired soldiers, mariners, 
and serving-men. They possessed some privileges which 
excited the envy of the orthodox Greeks, who accused them 
of behaving with much insolence. 

It is a melancholy task to compare the energy of the 
Italians, who acted a prominent part in the history of Greece 
during more than a century before and after the conquest of 
Constantinople by the Othomans, with the apathy and 
cowardice of the Greek population. The moral inferiority 
of the Hellenic race is conspicuous whenever it was brought 
into close contact or direct collision with the Italians. This 
inferiority is more striking because it was not intellectual, 
and it seems consequently to have originated in the defects 
of the education by which the hearts and affections of the 
Greeks were formed at an early age. The habit of obedience 
was strong ; the sense of duty very weak. Unfortunately, the 
extent to which social defects and errors weaken political 
communities is not always apparent in the history of nations, 
and it is difficult to point out the precise faults of the family 
education, and the particular perversion of religious instruc- 
tion, which for three or four centuries paralyzed the energies 
of the Greeks, and rendered integrity, courage, and talent so 
rare among them, while their country was so frequently the 
theatre of great events. 

The Greeks of Chios were secured in the possession of all 
the rights and privileges which they enjoyed under the Greek 
emperors by their capitulation with Vignosi in 1346 \ These 
privileges were confirmed by subsequent acts of the republic 
of Genoa, and particularly by the doge Francesco Garibaldo 
m x 393- The Greeks were divided into two classes, free 
citizens and serfs. 

The archonts. who formed a kind of nobility, were allowed 
to retain some of the privileges which had been conferred on 
them by the Greek emperors, and were admitted to an active 
part in some details of the local administration. But they 
were included in the class of free citizens, which was inferior 
to that of the Latin burgesses. All the Greeks were obliged 

1 Pagano, 362. 


[Ch. II. 

to wear their native dress and to inhabit a separate part of 
the city 1 . No Greek was permitted to dwell in the citadel 
or in the Latin quarter ; and when a Greek sold his property 
and emigrated from the island, he was compelled to pay one 
quarter of the price to the Maona of the Giustiniani. 

The Greek serfs (paroikoi or villani), who formed the fourth 
class of the inhabitants, were little better than agricultural 
slaves, and were sometimes treated with so much cruelty, both 
by their Greek and Latin masters, that they fled from the 
island in great numbers 2 . 

One of the most important privileges possessed by the 
Greeks was, that no new tax could be imposed on the island 
without their consent. Forms were established to insure the 
free exercise of this privilege. The law required that the 
consent of the Greeks should be given with the greatest pub- 
licity, and the manner in which the business was brought 
before them enabled them to give their refusal without any 
display of opposition and with the smallest amount of per- 
sonal responsibility. 

Before proposing a new tax it was necessary for the 
podesta to obtain the consent of the Maona, the Latin 
burgesses, the sixty Greek archonts, and the deputies of the 
rural districts. A public meeting of the Greek citizens was 
then convoked in the church of St. Michael. When the 
assembly was opened, the people bowed down their heads 
and lifted up their hands with the usual display of Byzantine 
servility, while the podesta announced the nature and amount 
of the new tax. As soon as the Greeks heard the proposal 
they sat down, and some time was allowed for reflection. 
After this interval, all who approved of the measure submitted 
to the consideration of the assembly were invited to rise up. 
In case the majority approved (and in general there can have 
been little chance of dissent), the tax was immediately levied, 
and the consent of the people was reported to the senate of 
Genoa, in order that the transaction might receive a formal 
ratification, and a law might be passed confirming the tax. v 

1 The Burgits Graecorum. 

2 A fifth class consisted of the Jews, who were confined to their ghetto, as at 
Genoa, and were compelled to wear yellow hats. 

A sixth class was formed of the strangers residing at Chios, who were chiefly 
merchants. The Mussulmans were so numerous that they had a resident cadi, to 
whom, after the year 1498, the Maona was bound to pay an annual salary. 


A.n. 1453-1684.] 

Some protection against oppression was secured to the 
Greeks by this arrangement. But it is the spirit of the 
people and not the form of the constitution which makes men 
free, and the tame spirit of the Chiots enabled their rulers to 
impose on them fiscal burdens which became at last intoler- 
able. The emigration of the agricultural population became 
so considerable that the Maona was obliged to reduce the 
amount of taxation levied on the Greeks 1 . 

The ecclesiastical administration of the Catholics was far 
more revolting to the Greeks than the government of the 
Maona. The Latin bishop at first levied tithes on the 
orthodox Greeks, but he met with so many difficulties in 
collecting them that in 1480 he ceded all his territorial 
revenues to the Maona, and received in lieu thereof an annual 
payment of 400 ducats. 

The orthodox Greeks elected their own bishop, who, after 
receiving the approval of the Maona, was confirmed by the 
patriarch of Constantinople. But an orthodox bishop having 
formed a conspiracy to murder the Giustiniani, and his plot 
having been discovered, he was expelled from the island and 
his accomplices were hanged. From that time no orthodox 
bishop was allowed to reside in Chios, and the affairs of the 
see were administered by an ecclesiastic called a dikaios, who 
was chosen by the Maona and confirmed by the patriarch. 
His residence was at the monastery of Nea Mone 2 . 

Though the Maona of the Giustiniani monopolized a part 
of the produce of the Greeks, and shared with the other 
citizens of Genoa the monopoly of the foreign trade of Chios, 
still agriculture flourished in the island. The price paid for 
the articles of export was such as insured abundant supplies. 
Some of these articles were peculiar to Chios, and others 
were produced of a better quality than could be obtained in 
any other place. The mastic, the terebinth, the wine, silk, 

1 The Kapuikon, or hearth-tax, amounted to 6 hyperpera for each family in the 
town, and from 3 to 4 in the villages, but in 1396 it was found necessary to 
reduce it to 2 in the rural districts. The mastic villages were exempt from this 
tax. A silver coin of the value of a gros tournois or an English groat, was called 
by the Latins hyperperum, or perper, as well as the Byzantine gold coin usually so 
called. Buchon, Livre de la Conqueste, 350, 355 ; Vincent Belvaccnsis, 1. xxx. c. 
143 ; Ducange, Glossarium med. et inf. Graecitatis. 

8 Michael Giustiniani, Scio Sacra; Vlastos, ii. 31 ; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, 
iii. 1061. 



and fruit of this favoured island were sources of wealth to the 

Greek inhabitants as well as to their Latin masters. 

The Maona became tributary to the Othoman sultans at 
an early period. In 141 5 it engaged to pay Mohammed I. 
the sum of 4000 gold ducats annually. This payment was 
considered by the Genoese as the price of a treaty of com- 
merce, which secured them liberty to trade with all the Otho- 
man possessions in Europe and Asia. Until the year 1453 
friendly relations existed between the Maona and the sultans. 
But in that year Mohammed II., elated with the conquest of 
Constantinople, began to treat all the Latins who held posses- 
sions in the Eastern empire as his vassals. He had good 
reason to complain of the conduct of John Giustiniani, who 
being a member of the Maona, which was his ally and 
tributary, nevertheless appeared in the ranks of his enemies 
and acted as general for the Greek emperor. To punish the 
Maona, Mohammed II. raised the annual tribute to 6000 
ducats, and in consequence of some disputes which occurred, 
it was increased in 1457 to 10,000, and in the year 1508 it 
reached 12,00c 1 . By patient submission and great prudence, 
the Maona succeeded in preserving its commercial relations 
with the Othoman empire, and though it suffered from casual 
acts of extortion, it generally obtained effectual protection 
from the sultans. 

The power and ambition of the Othoman sultans became at 
last so great, that the republic of Genoa could no longer 
venture to stand boldly forward as the protector of the semi- 
independent rulers of the island of Chios, which Suleiman the 
Magnificent was determined to annex to his empire. When 
the Genoese found that the finances of the Maona had fallen 
into inextricable confusion, they were unmindful of the ser- 
vices that the Giustiniani had rendered to Genoa, and ceased to 
grant them further protection. In the year 1558 the Genoese 
ambassador at the Porte was ordered to disavow all claim to 
the sovereignty of Chios on the part of the republic 2 . 

The Genoese had governed Chios for 220 years, when Piaji 
Pasha annexed it to the Othoman empire in 1566. The 

1 Ducas, 177, 190, edit. Paris. 

2 Descrizione del viaggio dell' ambasciafa Genovese fatta a Suleimano nell' anno 
IS58, scritta per Marcanton Marinello, in the State-archives at Turin, cited by 
Hopf, Giustiniani, 


A.D. 1 45 3- 1684.] 

sultan had a good pretext for putting an end to the govern- 
ment of the Giustiniani, for the island served as a place of 
refuge for fugitive slaves, and of refreshment for Christian 
corsairs. A magistrate had been regularly appointed to pro- 
tect and conceal fugitive slaves, and it was said that at one 
period the number that annually escaped from bondage 
amounted to one thousand. After the conquest of Con- 
stantinople, however, they were compelled to conciliate the 
Othoman government by refusing open protection to fugitive 
slaves, as well as by paying tribute to the sultan 1 . No notice 
was given to them by Sultan Suleiman when he determined 
to abolish the administration of the Giustiniani, whom he 
treated as his vassals ; but as he feared they might obtain 
some support from the Spaniards and the Knights of Malta if 
they were aware of his intention, he ordered his captain-pasha 
to surprise the place. Piali entered the port with his galleys, 
landed his troops, and took possession of the capital without 
encountering any resistance. The principal Genoese families 
were seized, and sent to Constantinople as hostages, where 
some of their children were placed in the serai. Several 
suffered martyrdom because they refused to embrace the 
Mohammedan faith 2 , and many leading Genoese were 
banished to Kaffa, from whence they were released at the 
intercession of a Giustiniani who acted as envoy of France to 
Sultan Selim II. in 1569. 

Thus ended the domination of a mercantile company in the 
Levant, whose dominions extended at one time over the 
islands of Samos, Patmos, Ikaria, Psara, and Tenedos, and 
for a short time over old and new Phocaea, on the Asiatic 
continent. Even after the Turks had taken the place of the 
Giustiniani in the administration of public affairs, they con- 
tinued to follow the Genoese system ; and the island was 
long better governed than any other part of Greece. The 
Greeks were allowed to regulate the affairs of their own com- 
munity; and though the city appeared dead, and the Genoese 
palaces, having fallen to the share of the Othoman con- 
querors, presented a dilapidated aspect, and the stillness 

1 Pagano, 136, from Giustiniani, Scio Sacra. Vlastos, vol. ii. p. 61. 

2 Eighteen children of the Giustiniani suffered martyrdom rather than renounce 
Christianity. Mich. Giustiniani, La gloriosa tnorte dei 18 fanciulli Giustiniani, 
Avellino, 1656. 


[Ch. II. 

of Turkish apathy replaced the activity of Genoese love of 

gain, still the villages prospered, and agriculture continued 

to flourish l . 

Chios could not. however, entirely escape from the deso- 
lating effects of the maritime wars that ruined the islands 
and coasts of Greece. An expedition of the grand-duke of 
Tuscany, Ferdinand I., visited the Archipelago, in the year 
1595, under the pretence of a crusade against the Moham- 
medans, but in reality to collect plunder and slaves. This 
fleet made an attack on Chios, but was repulsed by the 
Turkish garrison of the strong citadel, built by the Giustiniani, 
which commanded both the town and the port. This ill- 
planned and worse-conducted attack caused the Othoman 
government to treat the Latin inhabitants of Chios with such 
severity that the greater part of those who escaped death and 
utter ruin quitted the island for ever 2 . 

About a century later, the Venetians, flushed with their 
success in conquering the Morea, sent an expedition to Chios, 
which conquered the island without difficulty, in 1694. But 
in the following year the Venetian fleet was defeated by the 
Othomans in a severe engagement off the Spalmadores, and 
the admiral, losing heart, embarked the garrison of Chios, and 
abandoned the island with great precipitancy. Though the 
Greeks had given the Othoman government proofs of their 
aversion to the Venetian domination by acting as spies for the 
Porte, they did not escape severe oppression when the Otho- 
man power was re-established. The Catholic families, who 
were only sixty in number, fled with the Venetians. The 
Greeks were therefore compelled to satisfy the cupidity of the 
Turks, who had expected to enrich themselves by the sack of 
the city, by paying a contribution of four hundred and 
seventy purses (about ^47,000). The payment of this sum 

1 Compare a letter of Palaeologos in Reusner, Epistolae Turcicae, ii. 142, with 
the Hodoeporicon of David Chytraeus, in Lonicerus, Turcic. Chron. ii. 198. 
The description of the island in 1581 is not inapplicable even in its present state 
of ruin : ' Chium quam Zio (^Scio) vocant, vidimus. Chius insula a Genuensibus 
diu habitata, et multis superbis aedificiis et hortis amoenis ornata, atque abun- 
dantia fructuum vinique et gummi, quod mastiche dicitur, bonitate multum 
celebrata, hodie prae reliquis provinciis Turcicae tyrannidi subjectis (propterea 
quod depositis armis sponte in Turcarum devenerit potestatem), tolerabilem 
habet servitutem.' But in 1574 Jacob Palaeologos says that the depreciation in 
the value of property was so great that a palace might be purchased for 300 

2 Hammer, Histoire, vii. 363 ; Dapper, Description des Isles de VArchipel., 224. 


A.D. I453-16S4.] 

saved the island from being plundered, and it continued in a 
prosperous condition until the Greek revolution l . 

The year 1566 witnessed the extinction of the Catholic 
dukedom of Naxos. The Greek inhabitants, who were 
anxious to place themselves under the Othoman government, 
in the hope of being allowed to farm the revenues of their 
island, succeeded in persuading Sultan Selim II. to dethrone 
their duke, Jacopo IV. 2 But instead of intrusting the local 
administration to the Greek primates, the sultan granted the 
island in farm to a Portuguese Jew, Don Juan Miquez, who 
sent a Spanish Catholic, Francis Coronello, to govern the 
Greeks and collect the taxes. Miquez was a favourite of 
Sultan Selim, for whom he procured supplies of the choicest 
wines ; and it was reported that on one occasion, when 
sharing in their liberal consumption, he was promised by his 
imperial protector a gift of the kingdom of Cyprus, on account 
of the excellency of its vintage. The proud title, which so 
many European monarchs now render themselves ridiculous 
by assuming, was then adopted with more reason by this 
Jewish adventurer, who publicly assumed the armorial bear- 
ings of a Christian kingdom, and began to form projects for 
the restoration of a Jewish monarchy, and for replacing the 
Greek population of Cyprus by founding Jewish colonies in 
the island 3 . 

The next great misfortune which fell on the Greek race was 
the conquest of the fertile island of Cyprus. In the year 
1570, Selim II. sent a powerful fleet and army to take posses- 
sion of the island, which belonged to the Venetians. With 
the candour often displayed by the Othomans in their lust of 
conquest, the sultan summoned the republic to surrender 
Cyprus, merely because he was determined to possess it at 
any expense of blood and treasure. 

The kings of Cyprus, of the house of Lusignan, had been 

1 Hammer, xii. 377; Vlastos, ii. no. When the citadel of Chios capitulated 
to the Venetians in 1694, six thousand Turkish inhabitants quitted the town. 
In 1853 I found only about nine hundred in the capital, and not two thousand in 
the island. 

2 When Naxos fell under the Othoman domination, the tenth of the vintage 
alone yielded a revenue of fifteen thousand crowns to Don Miquez. Hammer, vi. 
385. After the death of Miquez and of Sommariva, a. d. 1579, the revenues of the 
islands of Xaxos, Paros, and Andros were farmed by Suleiman Tzaoush for forty 
thousand dollars annually. Hammer, vii. 59. 

3 Negotiations de la France dans le Levant, iii. 88. 

VOL. V. G 


[Ch. II. 

compelled to pay tribute to the Mamlouk sultans of Egypt, 
and this tribute had been transferred to the Porte when 
Selim I. conquered Egypt in 1517, though the Venetians 
were then masters of the island. This annual tribute amounted 
to eight thousand ducats, and the Sultan Selim II. made its 
payment a pretext for claiming the sovereignty of the island. 
The republic had acquired possession of the kingdom of 
Cyprus in 1489, by an act of cession from Catherine Cornaro, 
a Venetian lady, widow of James II., the last monarch of the 
house of Lusignan, who became queen at the death of her 
husband. The fair face of the queen is familiar to thousands 
who know nothing of her political history. If, indeed, the 
portrait of a Catherine Cornaro by Titian, in the Manfrini 
Palace at Venice, be really an authentic likeness of the last 
queen of Cyprus, the painter's hand has conferred on the 
lady a fame which neither her crown, her beauty, her virtue, 
nor the romantic changes of her life, could give. Venice is 
said to have received from Cyprus an annual revenue of five 
hundred thousand ducats, but the queen was satisfied with 
an income of eight thousand ducats, and a secure residence 
in the town of Asolo, in the Trevisano, where she was treated 
with regal honours \ 

The Othoman expedition landed at Salines without en- 
countering any opposition, for the naval power of Venice proved 
too weak to oppose the Othoman fleet 2 . The skill and valour 
of Barbarossa, Dragut, and Piali had given the Turks a naval 
superiority in the Mediterranean over every Christian state, 
and their names were as famous as those of Dandolo, Pisani, 
and Doria. The Greeks of Cyprus were so oppressed by 
the Venetian government, that they were eager for a change 
of masters, and not disinclined to welcome the Othomans. 
In the month of September 1570, Nikosia, the capital of 
the island, was taken after a gallant defence ; and Famagosta, 
the only fortress which remained in the hands of the Vene- 
tians, was almost immediately invested. The siege of Fama- 
gosta is famous in Turkish and Venetian history. The attack 
was conducted with the extraordinary labour and indomitable 

1 Reinhard, Geschichte des Konigreichs Cypern, ii. 97. 

2 Hammer says the Turks landed at Limasol (Amathus) ; but the fleet, it 
seems, really proceeded to Salines, as a more convenient port. The date given 
in the French translation (vi. 400) is erroneous ; the landing took place on the 
1st July. 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

courage which then distinguished the siege operations of the 
Othoman armies. Their trenches and their batteries were 
of a size and number never before witnessed by Christian 
troops. The defence of the Venetian garrison was long and 
obstinate, but the place was compelled to surrender on the 
1st of August 1571. 

This period marks the extreme height of Othoman pride, 
insolence, and power. The scenes which followed the capi- 
tulation of Famagosta stain the annals of the empire with 
indelible infamy. The garrison was embarked according to 
the stipulations in the treaty, when Bragadino, who had so 
bravely defended the place, waited on Mustapha Pasha to 
make arrangements for his own departure. Mustapha Pasha 
was of a mean, envious, and revengeful disposition, and he 
basely resolved to deprive the Venetian leaders of the honours 
that awaited them on their return home, and which they had 
well merited by their gallant conduct. Bragadino, and the 
officers who accompanied him to the vizier's tent, were 
treacherously seized. The greater part were instantly mur- 
dered, but the governor was reserved for a lingering death 
by the most excruciating tortures. The sufferings of the 
noble Venetian during ten days of agony are too horrible 
to be described in detail. Mustapha Pasha gave a national 
and religious solemnity to his own infamy, by ordering Bra- 
gadino to be publicly flayed alive on Friday, the day set 
apart by the Mohammedans for their public prayers to God. 
The Venetian bore his tortures with singular firmness, and 
the skin was cut from the upper half of his body before he 
expired 1 . Three hundred Venetians were massacred at the 
same time ; every article of the capitulation was violated, and 
even the troops on shipboard were compelled to disembark, 
and were reduced to slavery 2 . Undoubtedly, the Turks have 

1 The skin of Marco Antonio Bragadino, stuffed with straw, was exposed for 
some years in the bagnio of Constantinople, where the Christian prisoners and 
slaves were confined ; but twenty-five years after his death, it was purchased from 
the capitan-pasha by his relations, and deposited in the church of SS. John and 
Paul at Venice, where the monument and inscription they placed may still 
be seen. 

2 Hammer (vi. 416) mentions some contemporary acts of cruelty and treachery, 
quite as infamous, on the part of Christians ; viz. the massacre of St. Bartholomew, 
and the desolation of Novgorod by Ivan the Terrible. The age was one of blood, 
and the religious murders over all Europe attest the indifference of the Christians 
to the feelings of humanity. The cruelty of the Venetians to the Turks was 
sometimes as horrible as that of the Turks to the Venetians. Hammer, vii. 193. 

G 2 

8a naval coxouests of the othomans. 

[Ch. II. 

laid up a long arrear of hatred and vengeance on the part 
of the Christians. The Greek population of Cyprus had 
generally joined the Turks, in the expectation of enjoying 
milder treatment under the sultan than under the republic. 
They soon found themselves utterly disappointed in the 
hopes which their orthodox prejudices had led them to 
cherish. For about a century they were governed by pashas, 
whose rapacity so depopulated and impoverished the island 
that the pashalik was at last suppressed, and the fiscal 
administration was committed to a mutzelim. In the year 
1 71 9, Cyprus yielded the sultan only one hundred and twenty- 
five thousand ducats annually, though a century and a half 
earlier, when the precious metals were of much higher value, 
it yielded the Venetians five hundred thousand ducats. In 
1764 the extortions of the administration caused a rebellion 
of the Greeks, which, as usual, only increased their sufferings. 
Since the hour of its conquest by the Turks, every succeeding 
generation has witnessed the diminution of the Greek inha- 
bitants of Cyprus and their increasing misery, so that they 
are at present, in spite of the admirable situation of the 
island and the richness of its soil, the most wretched portion 
of the Greek nation 1 . 

The celebrated naval battle of Lepanto was fought shortly 
after the taking of Famagosta. The political importance of 
this victory has been greatly exaggerated in Christian Europe. 
It has been assumed that from this defeat the decline of the 
Othoman power ought to be dated. Like the victory of 
Charles Martel over the Saracens at Tours, it has served 
to gratify Christian vanity ; and it has been declared by 
ignorant historians to have been the cause of many events 
with which it had no connection. Had the demoralization 
of the sultan's court, and the corruption of the Othoman 
central administration, not made as rapid progress as the 
military and naval organization of the Christian powers, they 
would probably have found no reason to boast of the results 
of their victory at Lepanto. It is true that the Othoman 
navy lost more than two hundred vessels in this memorable 
defeat ; but this loss was so rapidly repaired by the activity 
of the government, and the resources of the arsenals and 

1 Mariti, Voyage dans Fish de Chypre, 19. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

dockyards of the Othoman empire were then so great, that, 
in the month of June 1572, the capitan-pasha put to sea with 
a new fleet of two hundred and fifty galleys, boldly engaged 
the Venetians and their allies, who had assembled a still 
greater force off Cape Matapan, and arrested their further 
progress in a career of victory. There was no blockade of 
the Dardanelles. The Turks encountered the combined Chris- 
tian fleets half-way between Constantinople and Venice. Well 
might the grand-vizier, Mohammed Sokolli, say to the Vene- 
tian bailo, Barbaro, ' In destroying our fleet you have only 
shorn our beard ; it will grow again : but in conquering 
Cyprus we have cut off one of your arms.' The indecisive 
naval engagements which followed the victory of Lepanto 
taught Venice that she had little to hope by continuing the 
war ; and the practical result of the great victory at Lepanto 
was, that it enabled the Venetians to purchase peace early 
in 1573, by paying the sultan three hundred thousand ducats, 
and promising the Porte an annual tribute of fifteen hundred 
ducats for the island of Zante. This peace has been called 
disgraceful to the republic ; but when it is remembered that 
Venice was dependent for her political importance in Europe, 
and even for her ordinary supplies of grain, on her trade with 
the Levant, and when we compare the military weakness and 
commercial exhaustion of a single city with the immense 
power and resources of the extensive empire of the sultan, 
we must acknowledge that peace was necessary to save the 
republic from ruin \ 

It is interesting to observe the part which the Greeks acted 
in the battle of Lepanto. Their number in the hostile fleets 
far exceeded that of the combatants of any of the nations 
engaged, yet they exerted no influence on the fate of the 
battle, nor did their mental degradation allow them to use 
its result as a means of bettering their condition, for the 
effect of mere numbers is always insignificant where individual 

1 Hammer, vi. 435. Since the publication of Von Hammer's History of the 
Othoman Empire, new and valuable documents relating to the battle of Lepanto 
have been printed, particularly Documentos sobre la armada de la liga y batalla 
de Lepanto sacados del archivo di Simancas, by D. Juan Sans y Barutell, in the third 
volume of a collection of documents relating to the history of Spain, published by 
Don Martin Fernandez Navarrete at Madrid in 1843, and several letters relating 
to the subject in Negotiations de la France dans le Levant, torn. iii. p. 184. See also 
Historia del combate naval de Lepanto, by Don Cayetano Rosell, Madrid, 1853, in 
which the principal documents of the archives of Simancas are reprinted. 


[Ch. II. 

virtue and national energy are wanting. The Greeks were 
at this time considered the best seamen in the Levant. 
Above twenty-five thousand were either working at the oar 
or acting as sailors on board the Othoman fleet, and hardly 
less than five thousand were serving in the Venetian squadron, 
where we find three galleys commanded by Greeks who had 
joined the papal church — Eudomeniani and Calergi of Crete, 
and Condocolli of Corfu. Yet these thirty thousand men, 
of whom many were excellent seamen, exerted no more 
influence over the conduct of the warriors who decided the 
contest, than the oars at which the greater part of the Greeks 
laboured. Their presence is a mere statistical fact, of no 
more importance in a military point of view than the number 
of the oars, sails, and masts in the respective ships. Never- 
theless, it was in part to the naval skill of the Greeks that 
the Othoman government was indebted for the facility with 
which it replaced the fleet lost at Lepanto. Every house 
in Constantinople and Rhodes, as those cities were exempt 
from the tribute of Christian children, was compelled to 
furnish a recruit for the fleet, and every Greek island and 
seaport furnished a galley, or its contingent for equipping 
one ; so that the losses of the Turkish navy were easily 
replaced. While the presence of thirty thousand Greeks in 
a single battle was so unimportant, the single city of Venice, 
whose whole population capable of bearing arms did not 
exceed that number, controlled the lives and fortunes of 
a large portion of the Greek race for many generations, and 
transfused Venetian feelings and prejudices into the minds of 
many millions of the Greek race. 

The peace with Venice enabled the Turks to re-establish 
their naval supremacy in the Mediterranean. In the month 
of May 1574, the capitan-pasha, Kilidj-Ali, left Constantinople 
with a fleet of two hundred and ninety-eight sail, carrying an 
army of twenty thousand men, of which seven thousand were 
janissaries. The Spanish fleet was unable to oppose this 
force ; and Tunis, which Don John of Austria had conquered, 
was recovered without much difficulty, though the Goletta 
made a gallant defence. Tunis became an Othoman depen- 
dency, and, with Algiers and Tripoli, formed an advanced 
guard of the empire against the Christian powers, which they 
tormented with their piracies until the present century. Such 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

were the immediate results of the much-vaunted battle of 
Lepanto l . 

During the seventy-four years which elapsed between the 
battle of Lepanto and the war of Candia, the Greek nation 
disappears almost entirely from history. Some insignificant 
movements in Maina, caused by the influence of the Christian 
corsairs, who purchased the permission to conceal their vessels 
in the ports near Cape Matapan by sharing their booty with 
the Mainates, were the only signs of independence in Greece, 
and they were easily suppressed by the capitan-pasha 2 . In 
Crete, the Venetian colonists, who settled in the island after 
the suppression of the general insurrections of the Greek 
inhabitants during the long interval between 1211 and 1363, 
retained the population in complete subjection, though several 
partial insurrections occurred, which were generally excited 
by Greek nobles, who attempted to retain the taxes, levied 
from the cultivators of the soil, in their own hands, and not 
with any design to enlarge the liberties of the Greek people, 
and lighten the burden of the Venetian government by lessen- 
ing taxation or improving the administration of justice. The 
terrific cruelty with which the Venetian senate suppressed the 
last of these insurrections, at the beginning of the sixteenth 
century, affords a picture of the condition of a large part of the 
Greek nation for several centuries. The sway of the Maona 
of Chios was the mildest foreign domination to which the 
Greeks were subjected ; that of the Venetian republic was the 
most severe ; the Othoman government was less moderate 
than the mercantile company, and less tyrannical than the 
aristocratic senate. The principles of the Venetian adminis- 
tration are summed up by Fra Paolo Sarpi in these words : 
' If the gentlemen (nobles) of these colonies do tyrannize over 
the villages of their dominion, the best way is not to seem to 
see it, that there may be no kindness between them and their 
subjects ; but if they offend in anything else, 'twill be well 
to chastise them severely, that they may not brag of any 
privileges more than others 3 .' 

Mr. Pashley has published the following account of the 

1 Hammer, vi. 438 ; Negotiations de la France dans le Levant, iii. 504. This 
important event is hardly noticed in the correspondence of the French diplo- 

2 Hammer, viii. 205. 3 Pashley, Travels in Crete, ii. 298. 


[Ch. II. 

proceedings of the Venetians, from a manuscript at Venice 1 : 
'At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Greeks of 
Selino, Sfakia, and Rhiza, including some villages situated 
almost in the plain of Khania, united together, and refused to 
obey the representative of Venice. Their leaders were George 
Gadhanole of Krustogherako, the Pateropuli of Sfakia, and 
some other families of the Archontopuli, as they are called 
(Greek primates). Gadhanole was elected Rettore of these 
provinces. Duties and taxes were now paid, not to the 
Venetians, but to these Greek authorities. At length the 
Greek rettore suddenly presented himself at the country- 
house of Francesco Molini, a Venetian noble, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Khania, and asked his daughter in marriage for 
Petro, the most beautiful and bravest of all his sons, and in 
whose favour the rettore declared his intention of resigning 
his office on the celebration of the marriage. The alliance was 
agreed on ; the rettore gave his son a massive gold ring, and 
the betrothal took place. The youth kissed his future bride, 
and placed the ring on her finger. The wedding was to be 
solemnized the next Sunday week at the Venetian's country- 
house, a few miles out of Khania. Molini was merely to send 
for a notary and a few friends, and Gadhanole, with his son, 
was to be accompanied by a train not exceeding five hundred 
men. The Greeks left the country-house of the Venetian 
without suspecting treachery. On the following morning, 
Molini hastened to the governor of Khania, and obtained his 
promise of co-operation in exacting such signal satisfaction for 
the indignity of having been compelled to promise his daughter 
in marriage to a Greek, as might serve both for an example 
and a warning to posterity. In order, however, to prevent 
any suspicion of his good faith, Molini despatched tailors to 
his country-house to prepare new dresses for the wedding, and 
also sent presents of fine cloth to his son-in-law elect. During 
the next few days the governor of Khania assembled about 
a hundred and fifty horsemen and seventeen hundred foot- 
soldiers within the city. 

' On the day before the wedding, Molini returned to his 
house at Alikiano, with fifty friends to be present at the 
marriage. He gave orders for roasting one hundred sheep 

1 Pashley, Travels in Crete, ii. L50. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

and oxen, and for making all due preparations to celebrate 
the nuptials with becoming splendour. The Greek rettore 
arrived, accompanied by about three hundred and fifty men 
and one hundred women, on Sunday morning, and was 
delighted at all he witnessed. He was received by Molini 
with every mark of kindness and affection. After the mar- 
riage ceremony, the day was spent in festivity and rejoicing. 
The Greeks ate and drank, and danced and sang. The 
Venetians plied their guests with wine, and the intoxication 
affected by them really overcame the unfortunate and too 
confiding Greeks. Some time after sunset, a rocket thrown 
up at Khania gave notice of the approach of the troops. The 
Greeks, overpowered by wine and sleep, were dispersed about 
the place. As soon as the military arrived, most of the destined 
victims were at once bound hand and foot, but were suffered 
to sleep on until sunrise. At daybreak, Molini, and the public 
representative of the most serene republic, hung the Greek 
rettore, the unfortunate bridegroom, and one of his younger 
brothers. Of the family of the Musuri three were shot and the 
rest hanged. Of the Kondi sixteen were present ; eight were 
hung by the Venetians, and the other eight sent to the galleys 
in chains. The rest of the prisoners were divided into four 
parties, not with the intention of mitigating the penalty, for an 
equally merciless fate awaited them all. The Venetians hung 
the first division at the gate of Khania ; the second at Krusto- 
gherako, which village, the birthplace of Gadhanole, was razed 
to the ground ; the third division was hung at the castle of 
Apokorona ; and the fourth on the mountains between Laki 
and Theriso, above Meskla, to which village Gadhanole had 
removed from Krustogherako after he became rettore.' 

The Venetian senate approved of these cruelties, and sent 
a proveditore with authority to extirpate the seditious Greeks. 
Villages were burned and sacked ; twelve Greek primates were 
hanged ; pregnant women were murdered in the cruellest 
manner ; whole families were reduced to slavery ; and pardon 
was only granted to the proscribed on condition that they 
brought to Khania the head of a father, brother, cousin, or 
nephew who had rebelled. Such were the cruelties by which 
the Venetians retained possession of Crete for four centuries 
and a-half. Yet while they oppressed the Greeks with almost 
intolerable tyranny, strange to say, the internal order they 


[Ch. It 

maintained allowed the country to become more populous 
and flourishing than under the more apathetic and disorderly- 
administration of the Othomans. Under the Venetian govern- 
ment, the Greek population was estimated at two hundred 
thousand, and under the Othoman it never exceeded one 
hundred and thirty thousand. On the other hand, it is pro- 
bable that the Mohammedan population was greater than the 
Venetian, for it is said at one time to have equalled the Greek 
in number 1 . 

A principal feature in the history of Greece, during the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, is the evils it endured 
from the prevalence of piracy in the Levant. A number of 
Christian and Mohammedan galleys, under various flags, 
carried on a species of private warfare and rapine over the 
whole surface of the Mediterranean. The coasts of Spain, 
France, Italy, Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily suffered severely 
from the plundering and slave-hunting expeditions of the 
corsairs from the ports of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, 
but the coasts of Greece suffered still more severely from 
Christian pirates, who acknowledged no allegiance to any 
government. The power and exploits of the corsairs during 
this period exercised an important influence on the commercial 
relations of southern Europe ; they often circumscribed the 
extent and determined the channel of trade in the East, quite 
as directly as the political treaties and commercial conventions 
of the Christian powers with the Othoman Porte. Not only 
were the Greek inhabitants of the coasts and islands plun- 
dered, but their commerce was completely annihilated. The 
jealousy of the Othoman government rarely permitted a 
Greek to fit out an armed vessel for trade ; and yet merchants 
willingly paid double freight to ship their goods on board an 
armed ship. On the other hand, the protective policy and com- 

1 The Venetians are supposed to have found more than half a million of 
Greeks in Crete. A few examples may suffice to prove that any estimation of the 
population at different periods must be very vague. Daru publishes an account 
which gives 40,000 as the number of the inhabitants of the towns, and 120,000 
as that of those of the country, in 1571 ; and another which makes the population 
of the island 207,798, about 1577. Histoire de la Republique de Venhe, vi. 251. 
Pashley gives us a detailed account of the population some years earlier as 
271,489. Travels in Crete, ii. 286. A few years after the Mohammedan conquest 
it was estimated at only 80,000. Mr. Pashley says the population was stated at 
260,000 or 270.000, in 182 1, nearly equally divided between the two religions. 
It fell to less than 100,000 during the revolutionary war of Greece, but is said at 
present (1S51) to haveattained 160,000, of whom 50.000 are Mussulmans. 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

mercial envy of the Christian powers would have exposed any 
armed vessel, manned with Greeks, to confiscation in almost 
every European port beyond Turkey and the Adriatic, unless 
it were sure of the immediate protection of the sultan. The 
Othoman fleet only put to sea in great force for some definite 
expedition, and rarely made a cruise to protect the trade 
of the sultan's subjects. The insecurity of the Greek seas 
became at last so great that the coasting trade was in general 
carried on in small boats, which escaped the pirates by creep- 
ing along the coasts and sailing by night. But when the 
corsairs found no vessels to plunder, they indemnified them- 
selves by plundering the villages near the coast, and carrying 
off the inhabitants, whom they sold as slaves, or compelled to 
labour at the oar. The frequency of these expeditions at last 
drove the Greeks from the small towns and villages close to 
the sea, and compelled their inhabitants to establish their 
dwellings in sites of difficult access, to which it required some 
time to ascend from the nearest point of debarkation on the 
coast. The principal object sought for in the new locality 
was to gain time to escape from the pirates in case of their 
landing, so that the families and property of the inhabitants 
might be transported to a considerable distance in the interior, 
and the advance and retreat of the plunderers harassed by 
occupying strong positions on their line of march. Even to the 
present day, the continent and islands of Greece, when seen 
from the coast, still present the desolate aspect impressed on 
them by the corsairs of the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies. The records of the ravages of these Christian 
plunderers are traced as visibly on the shores of Greece, as 
the annals of the fiscal oppression of the Othoman government 
are stamped on the depopulated towns and abandoned villages 
of the interior. Many mediaeval castles, towns, and parish 
churches, now in ruins, overlook the sea, bearing marks of 
having preserved their inmates until the sixteenth century 1 . 

Even in the capital of the Othoman empire the Greek 
population lived in continual danger of their lives and pro- 
perty. Murad III., while playing at the djereed, fell from 
his horse in an apoplectic fit. The result is described by 

1 The author of this work, like every traveller who has cruised much in the 
waters of Greece, has often climbed to these now desolate sites, and speculated on 
the date of their decline and the cause of their total desertion. 


[Ch. II. 

Knolles in his quaint translation of Leunclavius: ' The sultan, 
falling from his horse, was taken up for dead, insomuch that 
the janissaries, after their wonted manner, fell to spoiling 
Christians and Jews, and were proceeding to further outrages, 
when their aga, to restrain their insolence, hanged up a janis- 
sary taken in the act of murdering a rayah V Every political 
event was used as a pretext for plundering the Greeks ; and 
indeed the Christian subjects of the Porte generally were 
treated with extraordinary severity at this period. The 
Mohammedans displayed an increase of bigotry, and became 
more tyrannical, on perceiving that the Christian states of 
western Europe had acquired strength to resist the progress 
of their conquests. Murad III. really desired to convert 
all the churches in his empire into mosques; and in 1595, 
when the news of the sack of Patras by a Spanish fleet reached 
Constantinople, the extermination of the Christians was dis- 
cussed in the divan, but the result was confined to the 
publication of an order for the expulsion of all unmarried 
Greeks from Constantinople within three days 2 . 

During the period which intervened between the conquest 
of Cyprus and the invasion of Crete, the maritime hostilities 
of the Knights of Malta, who were indefatigable corsairs, 
constantly excited the anger of the sultan's court, while their 
expeditions inflicted great losses and severe sufferings on the 
Greek population. It would be tedious to notice the various 
acts of systematic devastation recorded by travellers and his- 
torians during this Augustan age of piracy. The deeds of the 
corsairs in the Levant, and of the Uscoques in the Adriatic, 
almost rivalled the exploits of the buccaneers in the West 
Indies 3 . A few leading examples will suffice to show how 
the rapacity and cruelty of the corsairs affected the position 
of the Greeks as Othoman subjects. The lawless conduct of 
the captains of ships, even in the regular service of Christian 
states, is proved by a memorable act of piracy, committed 
by a Venetian noble in command of a squadron, on some 
Othoman vessels during a time of peace. 

1 a.d. 1584. Compare Knolles, The Turkish History, i. 689, and Leunclavius, 
Supp. Annul. Turcic, 381, edit. Paris. 

a Hammer, viii. 134, 317. 

3 Hallam (Middle Ages, ii. 254) alludes to the plundering propensities of 
navigators in preceding ages. He says that one might quote almost half the 
instruments in Rymer in proof of the prevalence of piracy. 


A.D. I453-16S4.] 

In the year 1584, the widow of Ramadan Pasha, late Dey 
of Tripoli in Barbary, embarked with her family and slaves in 
a vessel for Constantinople. The property she carried with 
her was valued at eight hundred thousand ducats, and, for 
security against pirates, she was attended by two armed 
galleys. Stress of weather drove these ships into the entrance 
of the Adriatic, where a Venetian squadron, under Petro 
Emo, was stationed to protect the trading vessels under the 
flag of the republic. Emo pretended to mistake the Turkish 
galleys for pirates. He attacked them with a superior force, 
and captured them after a desperate resistance. He then 
committed the most infamous cruelties, in order to appropriate 
the rich booty and compromise his crew so far as to insure 
their silence. Two hundred and fifty Turks who had sur- 
vived the engagement were murdered. The son of Ram- 
adan was stabbed in his mother's arms. The female slaves 
were ravished, cruelly mutilated, and thrown into the sea. 
A beautiful girl, who declared she was a Venetian, a Cornara, 
and a Christian, vainly implored the brother of Emo to spare 
her honour. She solemnly declared that she had been en- 
slaved while a child in Cyprus, but young Emo proved deaf to 
her prayers. She received the same treatment as the rest, 
and her body was thrown into the sea. One of the Turks, 
however, escaped with his life, and at last found his way 
to Constantinople, where his story soon raised a general cry 
for vengeance. The Persian war, in which Murad III. was 
engaged, saved Venice from an immediate attack, and the 
republic gained time to appease the Porte by denying, 
explaining, apologizing, and bribing. The truth, however, 
could not be concealed. Emo was brought to justice and 
beheaded. The captured galleys were repaired and sent to 
Constantinople, manned by Turks delivered from slavery, 
in the place of those who had been slain. Four hundred 
Christian slaves were also delivered to the Porte, as it was 
said Ramadan had possessed that number at Tripoli, though 
it was evident no such number had been embarked in the 
captured ships. But of these slaves the greater number were 
divided among the Othoman ministers, as an additional bribe 
to prevent war, and only a small part was given to the widow 
and to the heirs of Ramadan 1 . 

1 Leunclavius, Supp. Annul. Turcic, 382, edit. Paris. 


The cruelty of the Knights of Malta was not so infamous as 
that of the Venetians, for their warfare was open and sys- 
tematic • but the losses they inflicted on the Turkish merchants 
and the frequent captures they made of wealthy Osmanhs 
on the passage between Constantinople, Syria, and Egypt, 
caused incessant complaints. The Porte was repeatedly 
ur-ed to attack Malta, and destroy that nest of corsairs; but 
the memory of the losses sustained during the siege of 1565 
rendered the pashas, the janissaries, and the Othoman navy 
averse to renew the enterprise \ 

The Knights of Malta not only carried on war with the 
Barbary corsairs and Othoman galleys, but they searched 
every corner of the land, and lurked under every cliff m the 
Greek islands, on the watch to capture Turkish merchant 
vessels The story of many a hard-fought battle with the 
Barbaresques and the Othomans may be found in the annals 
of the Order ; but very few allusions are made to their daily 
plunder of merchant ships, and their kidnapping exploits on 
the coasts of Greece, from which the Christian subjects of the 
sultan suffered more than the Mussulmans. Many Greeks 
were annually carried off to labour at the oar in Christian 
galleys; and the want of rowers was so great, that though 
they were not called slaves, they were guarded as carefully, 
and compelled to labour as constantly, as if they had been 
infidels or criminals. 

The habitual proceedings of the naval forces of the Order 
were so near akin to piracy, that the grand-master was 
repeatedly involved in disputes with the Christians at peace 
with Turkey, by the manner in which the Knights openly 
violated every principle of neutrality. Even the naval forces 
of Venice were insufficient to protect the ships and possessions 
of the republic. A few examples will be sufficient to prove 
the general insecurity of property ; for where there was 
danger to Venetians, there must have been certain ruin to 
Greeks. In the year 157& the Knights seized a Venetian 
ship with a rich cargo belonging to Jewish merchants. Ihe 
republic, however, insisted that the perpetual warfare which 
the Knights made it their vocation to wage against the 
Mohammedans, did not entitle them to plunder Jews under 
Ve netian pro ^tjon.__T he grand-master confiscat ed_the 

1 Knolles, Turkish History, i. 710. 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

captured merchandise in spite of the reclamation of the 
Venetian senate, on the ground that the Jews were not 
subjects of the republic. The senate immediately seques- 
trated all the property of the Order in the Venetian 
dominions, and thus forced the grand-master in the end to 
make restitution to the Jews 1 . But the Knights continued 
to interpret their belligerent rights according to their own 
code; and in 1583 the Venetians seized two galleys of the 
Order, to compel the grand-master to restore the property 
of Venetian merchants taken in a Turkish merchant ship. 
At this time the Turkish merchants still carried on a con- 
siderable trade with Italy in their own ships. The extortions 
of the pashas and provincial governors in the Othoman empire 
had not yet exterminated the race of wealthy Mussulman 
traders, nor had the supremacy of the Christian corsairs yet 
excluded the Othoman flag from commercial operations 2 . 
We find the senate compelled to sequestrate the property 
of the Order as late as the year 1641, in order to force the 
grand-master to make restitution for acts of piracy com- 
mitted by the Knights 3 . 

Similar disputes occurred with the King of Spain and 
the republic of Lucca in 1638, in consequence of acts of piracy 
committed by French knights on Spanish and Sicilian ships, 
France being then at war with Spain 4 . 

While the corsairs of Malta were plundering the Turks 
and Greeks, those of the Barbary coast were equally active 
in capturing the Christians. Several of the European powers, 
however, finding that they were unable to protect their 
subjects by force, submitted to purchase security for their 
trade by paying an annual tribute to the African corsairs. 
Nevertheless, we find that the merchants of France, England, 
and Holland were frequently severe sufferers from these 
corsairs 5 . 

The conduct of Christian corsairs on the coasts of Greece 
increased the hatred which had long prevailed between the 

1 Vertot, iv. no. 

2 Ranke (History of the Popes in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, 97, 
ior, no) alludes to the extent and importance of the Turkish trade, and the 
number of Turkish merchants at Ancona, in the sixteenth century. Vertot, iv. 

3 Vertot, iv. 152. 4 Ibid. 144, 148. 
5 Hammer, ix. 29, 30, 234, 281 ; Rycaut, 21. 



Latins and the Greeks, in consequence of the oppression 
reciprocally suffered from each party when in power. In 
Negrepont, Mytilene, Chios, Cyprus, and many smaller 
islands, the Latins had long treated the orthodox Greeks 
as serfs, and persecuted them as heretics. At this time the 
Greeks revenged themselves for former cruelties by equal 
tyranny. The Othoman government, naturally placing more 
confidence in the submissive and orthodox Greeks than in 
the discontented and Catholic Latins, favoured the claim of 
the orthodox to the guardianship of the Holy Sepulchre at 
Jerusalem. During the sixteenth century this caused many 
disputes, and created a permanent irritation at the papal 
court. The priestly soldiers of Malta were invited by the 
Pope to take an active interest in the question, and the 
grand-master, to mark the zeal of the Order, joined his 
Holiness in advising the Christian powers not to spare the 
heretical Greeks whenever they could be made prisoners. 
Religious hatred was considered as good a ground of hostility 
as political interest, and the orthodox were consequently 
chained to the oar in Catholic galleys with as little com- 
punction as Mohammedans \ Continual plundering expedi- 
tions against the Grecian coasts kept alive the mutual 
animosities. In 1620 the Knights made a most successful 
foray in the Morea. They took Castel Tornese, where they 
found an immense quantity of military stores laid up by 
the Othomans, which they carried off or destroyed, and retired 
with a rich booty in slaves 2 . 

The spirit of chivalry had perhaps expired in Europe 
before Cervantes bestowed on it an immortality of ridicule 
in the person of Don Quixote. But chivalry continued a 
thriving trade at most European courts after the spirit had 
fled, and an idle mimicry of chivalric mummery is still 
perpetuated by princes to decorate courtiers and chamberlains 
with stars and ribbons. In the year 1560, Cosmo de' Medici, 
duke of Florence and Sienna, instituted a new order of 
chivalry on the model of the Knights of Malta, for the 
express object of combating the Turks, and called them the 
Knights of St. Stefano ?J . The new order was marked by 

1 Vertot, iv. 145. 2 Ibid. 132. 

8 Compare the different dates given by V Art de verifier les Dates, v. 295, 
4to. edit.; Spondanus, anno 1562, No. 5, 39; and Napier, Florentine History, 


A.D. 1453-1684.] 

the characteristics of the age. There was as much of the 
spirit of piracy as of the impulse of chivalry in its institutions. 
These knights were to seek adventures and glory in the 
Levant ; but they were especially instructed not to overlook 
plunder and profit while at sea. The pretext of the duke in 
establishing the Order was to supply the means of defending 
the coast of Tuscany against Mohammedan corsairs, and he 
hoped to give a new direction to the valour of the restless 
nobles of Italy, by mingling the love of foreign enterprise 
with their personal feuds and party politics. None but nobles 
were admitted as knights, and only those who were wealthy 
or distinguished in arms. The Order was endowed with 
considerable ecclesiastical revenues by Pius IV., and with 
large funds by the Duke of Florence, who reserved the office 
of grand-master to himself and his successors. Several 
families were also allowed to found hereditary commanderies 
in the Order by granting it large estates. The ancient city 
of Pisa was the seat of this new Order of St. Stefano — a noble 
residence for the revivors of ancient pageantry. The papal 
bull of confirmation by Pius IV. was dated on the 6th July 
1562. Historians have carefully informed us what dress the 
knights wore, and they are so eloquent and so minute in 
their description that future times are likely to know more 
of the exploits of the tailors of the Order than of the deeds 
of the knights. Several popes conferred additional privileges 
on the Order, and Benedict XIV. granted them the right of 
audience without leaving their swords in the papal ante- 
chamber, a privilege which is enjoyed by other Orders and 
by foreign diplomatic agents at Rome, whose tongues, how- 
ever, rather than their swords, were the weapons which 
they were most likely to use in a manner offensive to his 

The Knights of St. Stefano maintained a well-appointed 
squadron of galleys under their own flag, which, when united 
with the Florentine ships of war, formed a small fleet. The 
Duke of Florence was quite as much the master of the one as 
of the other ; but the Knights of St. Stefano could commit acts 
of piracy without involving him in such direct responsibility 

v. 225. V Art de verifier les Dates makes a sad mistake in the name of the pope 
who confirmed the order in 1562. It was Pius IV., and not Paul IV., who died 
in 1559. 

VOL. V. H 



as would have resulted from the commission of similar acts 
by ships under the Florentine flag. The right of private war- 
fare had ceased, but there were still independent sovereigns in 
Europe who possessed neither the wealth nor the power of the 
Knights of St. Stefano l . 

The importance of gaining the good-will of the Greeks in 
the struggle between the Christian powers and the Othoman 
government was felt by the Florentines. Cosmo I. attempted 
to secure some influence in the Archipelago by establishing 
two Greek colonies in Tuscany, one in the island of Giglio, 
and another at Florence, hoping that these colonists would 
be able to rouse their countrymen in the Greek islands to 
join the sultan's enemies. Religious bigotry destroyed the 
duke's plans, and even rendered his political project injurious 
to the commerce of his subjects. The council of Florence 
had forbidden the free exercise of all religious opinions not 
in strict conformity with its decisions, so that only those 
Greeks who acknowledged the papal supremacy could be 
allowed to form a civil and religious community. The 
orthodox, consequently, soon discovered that they enjoyed 
more civil and religious liberty under the government of the 
sultan than was conceded to them by a Christian duke. The 
commercial jealousy of the people likewise aided the religious 
bigotry of the papal court, in preventing the Greeks from 
forming any national friendship with the Italians. 

The plundering expeditions of the Knights of St. Stefano 
respected neither Greek nor Turkish property where booty 
could be obtained ; but the Florentine government soon 
discovered that the piratical gains of the Order were in- 
sufficient to indemnify the State for the exclusion of its 
industrious citizens from all participation in the honest trade 
with the Othoman empire. Duke Francesco I. sought to 
conclude a commercial treaty with the Porte in 1577, in 
order to afford the Greeks an opportunity of establishing 
commercial houses at Leghorn under the protection of an 
Othoman consul. During his negotiations with the sultan, 
he attempted to deny all responsibility for the conduct of 
the Knights of St. Stefano, but the Porte insisted that he 
should disarm the galleys of the Order, and engage that it 

1 At the death of Cosmo, the united fleet of Florence and of the Order of 
St. Stefano consisted of sixteen galleys. Napier, Florentine History, v. 253. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

should in future afford no assistance to the Pope and the 
King of Spain. The duke would not accept these conditions, 
and his attempt to enjoy the profits of legitimate trade in 
the sultan's dominions under one flag, while plundering his 
subjects under another, having failed, the Medici and the 
Knights of St. Stefano continued their piratical expeditions 
against the Greek islands with redoubled activity. 

In the year 1594 the Florentines had a force of three 
thousand two hundred men serving in the Levant. The 
unsuccessful attack they made on Chios in the following 
year has been already mentioned 1 . Some years later, the 
united squadrons brought the richest prizes that they ever 
made into the port of Leghorn, consisting of the fleet from 
Alexandria, which was conveying the tribute of Egypt to 
Constantinople. Two galleons, seven galleys, seven hundred 
prisoners, and two millions of ducats, was announced as the 
official value of the booty; but much additional profit was 
made by ransoming wealthy prisoners 2 . At the beginning of 
the seventeenth century, the galleys of the Duke of Florence 
were accounted the best in the Mediterranean, and they car- 
ried on war both against the Turks and the Barbary corsairs 
with the greatest activity 3 . 

The spirit of private warfare, or the love of piracy, was so 
widely spread in Christian Europe, that we find even the 
English merchant-ships frequently coming into collision with 
the Turks wherever they met, whether in the Red Sea or the 
Mediterranean, and both parties appear to have generally 
acted in a way more likely to cause than to prevent such 
collisions 4 . 

1 See p. 80, and Napier, Florentine History, v. 295, 365, 377. 

2 Hammer (viii. 169) places this capture in 1606 ; Napier (v. 388), in 1608. 

3 Knolles, Turkish History, ii. 825, 886 ; Deshayes, Voyage de Levant, p. 284 ; 
' L'ignorance des ministres Turcs est si grand, qu'il y en a plusieurs qui estiment le 
Due de Florence ou le Grand-Maitre de Malte plus puissants que le Roi d'Espagne, 
parce que les deux premiers leurs font plus de mal.' 

4 See the account of Sir Henry Middleton's voyage, and the proceedings of 
other English ships on the coast of Arabia. For an engagement in the Medi- 
terranean, see Hammer, ix. 234, 281 ; and Rycaut, continuation of Knolles, 21. 
According to Mariana, the good knight Diego de Paredes, whom the Spaniards 
considered a worthy rival of the Chevalier Bayard, when he lost the estates con- 
ferred on him in the kingdom of Naples by the Great Captain, Gonsalvo de 
Cordova, in consequence of the treaty of Blois, a.d. 1505, 'endeavoured to 
repair his fortunes by driving the trade of a corsair in the Levant.' Prescott, 
Ferdinand and Isabella, part ii. chap. xix. 

The general feeling with which piracy was viewed by the Christian powers is 
exemplified by the fact that Turkish corsairs were allowed to sell the booty 

h a 


[Ch. II. 

Enough has been said to give the reader some idea of the 
various causes which combined to spread devastation over 
the coasts of Greece and produce a sensible diminution in the 
numbers of the Greek race. The poorer and more exposed 
districts were often entirely depopulated. At the time of the 
Othoman conquest, the Greeks of the small towns and thickly- 
peopled rural districts were accustomed to live with more of 
the conveniences of civilization, and to enjoy more of the 
necessaries, and even of the luxuries of life, than the in- 
habitants of other countries. When, therefore, their barns 
were destroyed, their wine-presses broken in pieces, their 
olive-groves burned down, and their silk carried off by the 
corsairs, they were unable to bear the privations which these 
losses entailed. The people first crowded into the large cities, 
and then gradually melted away — a process of depopulation 
which can now be seen going on under the influence of fiscal 
oppression, and of the total want of an equitable administra- 
tion of justice, in almost every province of the Othoman 
empire. But, unfortunately for Hellenic pride, Greece itself, 
under a native government, appears to be making as little 
progress in wealth and industry as some provinces of Turkey, 
and many of its most favoured cities are in a worse condition 
than they were in the sixteenth century. Livadea, which then 
furnished sail-cloth for the Othoman navy, is now destitute of 
all industry. It grows at present little cotton, and less flax, 
and it suffers, perhaps, more from brigands than it ever did 
under the Turks \ 

Though the Venetians and Turks were at peace from 1573 
to 1644, and both powers kept up a very considerable naval 
force for the express purpose of suppressing piracy, the Greeks 
never suffered more from pirates than during this period. 
Indeed, the fleets which were placed to protect them were 
often their worst oppressors. When there was a want of 
hands in either fleet, the Greeks were carried off from their 
homes to labour at the oar. The Venetians made slaves of 

they had plundered from Christian vessels in the port of Civita Vecchia. Ranke 
observes, ' This was the issue of the labours of the chief pastor of Christendom 
for the protection of commerce.' History of the Popes (Kelly's Translation), 265. 

1 Hammer, Staatsverfassung tind Staativerwaltung des Osmanischen Reichs, ii. 
284. Linen was supplied by Livadea, and a quantity of cotton sail-cloth by 
Athens, in 1608. Hammer, ii. 289. Little of either could these cities now furnish 
to the diminished naval force of King Otho. 


A.n. 1453-1684.] 

them because they were heretics, and the Othomans because 
they were infidels. The African corsairs set the power of the 
sultan at defiance, and the pirates of Dalmatia despised the 
authority of the republic, which could not prevent the ships of 
Segna from plundering even in the Adriatic. The great 
extent of the Othoman coasts, and the immense amount of 
Venetian property always afloat in commercial undertakings, 
held out too many inducements to corsairs to pursue their 
trade of pillage, for it to be an easy task to exterminate them. 
The corsairs of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, and of Catalonia, 
Malta, Sicily, Genoa, Tuscany, and Dalmatia — all plundered 
Greece indiscriminately. The capitan-pasha only made a 
vain parade of the Othoman fleets, in his annual cruise to 
collect the tribute of the cities and islands of the Aegean Sea. 
The increasing venality of the Othoman governors, and the 
deep-seated corruption of the civil administration, rendered 
the permanent naval force, which the sandjak-beys of the 
islands were bound to maintain by their tenures, utterly 
inefficient l . The governments of Western Europe in alliance 
with the Porte, and the peaceable Greek subjects of the 
sultan, were far more alarmed at the annual parade of fifty 
galleys, under the capitan-pasha, than the corsairs. . Kings 
knew the immense power which the Othoman navy could 
concentrate for any definite object, and the invasion of 
Cyprus proved that even a treaty was no sure guarantee 
against a sudden attack. But the corsairs were well aware 
of the inefficiency of the Othoman galleys, and the inexpe- 
rience of their crews in naval operations, when compelled to 
act separately. Though the Porte could repair its losses at 
the battle of Lepanto with unrivalled vigour and celerity, 
it could never give adequate protection to the coasts of 

Historians have generally adopted the opinion that the 

1 The beys of Rhodes, of Milos and Santorin, of Chios, Cyprus, the Morea, 
Lepanto, Santa Maura, Negrepont. Mytilene, Andros and Syra, Naxos and 
Paros, and Lemnos, were bound to furnish a number of galleys, according to the 
extent of their revenues; Rhodes furnishing four, Chios six, and Cyprus seven, 
while the Morea only furnished three. The number, however, varied at different 
periods. See Deshayes, Voyage de Levant, p 214, before the year 1645. When 
Spon travelled (a.d. 1675), Naxos, Andros, Mytilene, and Samos maintained 
each a galley, Chios maintained two, while Mycone united with Seviphos to 
maintain one. Spon, i. 149. See also the number of timariot lands in several 
islands and districts belonging to the jurisdiction of the capitan-pasha, above, 
at p. 4. 


[Ch. II. 

Othoman navy has always been the weakest and worst 
organized branch of the public service in Turkey. The loss 
of several great battles, at various epochs, is cited as a proof 
of want of naval power and skill, instead of being viewed as 
evidence of the valour and discipline of fleets which could 
bravely prolong a desperate contest. The vaunting declama- 
tions of Venetian and Greek writers have even misled some 
historians so far, that they have described the Othoman navy 
as characterized by cowardice as well as incapacity. This is 
completely at variance with the facts recorded by history. 
Though the Othoman Turks were never a maritime people, 
they can boast of as long a period of uninterrupted naval 
conquests as most of the Western nations. They had no 
sooner conquered the Greeks on the sea-coast of Asia Minor, 
than they found it necessary to form a naval force to preserve 
their conquests, and, like the Romans, they made energy and 
courage supply the want of maritime experience and naval 

The Othoman navy was not regularly organized until after 
the taking of Constantinople, though Sultan Mohammed II. 
formed a considerable naval force to attack the Greek capital 
by sea. The creek in which his admiral, Suleiman Balta-oglu, 
constructed the Othoman ships, situated above the European 
castle on the Bosphorus, still commemorates the event by 
retaining the name of Balta Liman 1 . The first great naval 
enterprise which established the supremacy of the Othoman 
fleet in the Levant was the conquest of Negrepont, in spite of 
all the efforts of the Venetian navy to save it, A.D. 1475. The 
present chapter records the long series of conquests which 
followed that brilliant exploit. The glory of Haireddin 
(Barbarossa), who, in 1538, with only one hundred and 
twenty-two galleys, defeated the combined fleet of the Chris- 
tian powers under the great Andrea Doria, consisting of one 
hundred and sixty-two galleys and many smaller vessels, far 
surpasses that of Don Juan of Austria, who, with a superior 
force, gained the well-contested battle of Lepanto. The fleet , 
of Barbarossa was long terrible in the Italian seas, and the 
Turks were ready to dispute the mastery of the Grecian 
waters with Don Juan the year after his victory. The siege 

1 It is situated on the European side of the Bosphorus above the castle erected 
by Mohammed II. 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

of Malta and the battle of Lepanto reflect no disgrace on the 
Othoman navy. These reverses were more than compensated 
by the conquest of Cyprus, of Tunis, and of Crete. Indeed, 
history offers no example of greater vigour than was dis- 
played by the Othoman government in restoring its fleet 
after every great disaster. The defeats of the Othoman navy 
have been as glorious to the Othoman administration as the 
victories. Nearly a century after the disastrous fight of 
Lepanto, the Othoman navy sustained another great defeat. 
This happened at the entrance of the Dardanelles, during the 
war of Candia, in 1656, when the Venetian admiral, Mocenigo, 
destroyed the fleet of Kenaan the capitan-pasha. Seventy 
Turkish ships were taken or sunk ; but the spirit of the 
Othoman administration again rose superior to the disaster. 
The activity of the government, the courage of the naval 
officers, and the resources of the sultan's empire, soon repaired 
the losses sustained, and this defeat, like that of Lepanto, 
ultimately only increased the wonder and alarm of the Chris- 
tian powers. 

The battle of the Dardanelles is also remarkable for having 
awakened the patriotism of a private individual, who, in 
labouring to rouse the enthusiasm of his countrymen, has left 
an imperishable monument of the glory of the Turkish navy. 
Hadji Khalfa was a clerk in the admiralty at Constantinople, 
when the great loss sustained by the fleet induced him to 
write a history of the naval exploits of the Othomans, as an 
incentive to every patriotic Mussulman to step forward and 
repair the disaster. He had to remind his countrymen of a 
long career of conquest. Hadji Khalfa died shortly after 
publishing his work, before he witnessed the re-establishment 
of the naval supremacy of the Othoman fleets in the Levant, 
for which he was labouring ; but his literary exertions may 
claim some share in animating the Turkish army and navy to 
bear with patience the incredible toils that render the siege of 
Candia the most memorable of modern sieges, and to display 
the indomitable courage that conquered the valour of Moro- 
sini and defeated the naval science of the Venetians. The 
conquest of Crete was the last, the most important, and the 
most glorious naval conquest of the Othomans ; and Hadji 
Khalfa's glory, in contributing to that conquest, is nobler and 
purer than that of the warriors who are honoured for their 


[Ch. II. 

exploits as mere instruments of their own and their sovereign's 

ambition \ 

The Othomans had no love of naval enterprise, and their 
fleets were formed only because political necessity imposed 
upon them the duty of maintaining a naval force. The 
majority of the crews, when they gained their greatest vic- 
tories, were Christian rayahs, who had no disposition to 
encounter danger. The Othoman officers and warriors were, 
consequently, obliged to watch the manoeuvres of their own 
sailors, who sought to avoid bringing their ships to close 
quarters, as well as to combat their enemies. Yet, under 
these disadvantages, the naval policy of the Othoman govern- 
ment, and the obstinate courage of the Othoman officers, 
secured to the sultans a supremacy in the Mediterranean for 
three centuries 2 . 

The Othoman navy was organized to fight battles and to 
effect conquests, but the single ships of which it was composed 
were not fitted out in a way calculated to pursue corsairs and 
defend the extensive coasts of Greece. The consequence was 
that the Greeks were exposed to be plundered incessantly by 
the Knights of Malta, the Knights of St. Stephen, and the 
Tuscan navy, which were constantly at war with the sultan. 
In the year 1595 a Spanish fleet plundered the Morea, and 
laid Patras in ashes. Though the Greeks were the principal 
sufferers by this attack, the Porte was persuaded that the 
success of the Spaniards had been caused by collusion on the 

1 Hammer, Staatsverfassung u?id Staativerwallung des Osmanischen Reichs, ii. 

- Thevenot (Voyage an Levant, ii. chap, xciv.) describes the state of the Medi- 
terranean in 1659; Spon (Voyage cf Italie, de Dalmatle, de Grcce, et du Levant, 
vol. i. 12, edit. Amst., i2mo. 1679) gives an account of the activity of the 
Turkish corsairs in the western part of the Mediterranean in 1674. The Dey 
of Algiers seized M. Vaillant, the celebrated numismatist, and other Frenchmen, 
to compel the King of France to restore eight Turks who were kept in slavery, 
though Turkey was at peace with France. When Vaillant was on his way back 
to France, he was again in danger of being captured by a corsair of Sale, and it 
was then that the numismatist swallowed twenty gold medals. The frequency 
of corsairs is again testified at p. 90. Mr. Vernon, who left Italy with Spon 
and Wheler, and whose letter from Smyrna, dated in January 1676, is the first 
account of Athens under the Turks by an Englishman, was also plundered of all 
his property, including his papers, by Greek pirates in the Archipelago. He was 
put on shore at Milo in a state of destitution, whence he continued his voyage in 
an English ship. He had been once before taken by Tunisian corsairs, and kept 
as a slave. After escaping these Mohammedan and Christian pirates, he was 
murdered on his way from Trebizond to Persia. Compare his letter in Ray's 
Collection of carious Voyages and Travels, ii. 29; Spon, Voyage, i. 1 17; and 
Wheler, A Journey into Greece, fol. 334, 35S, 431, 443, 448. 


A.P I453-X684.] 

part of the rayahs, and the project of a general massacre of 
the Christian population of the Othoman empire was seriously- 
discussed in the divan. The treatment of the Greeks by the 
government of Turkey, however, proved less tyrannical than 
that of the Moors and Jews by the court of Spain, and the 
project of extermination ended, as has been already men- 
tioned, in the sultan merely ordering all unmarried Greeks 
to quit Constantinople \ In the same year, the unsuccessful 
attack of the Florentines on Chios increased the sufferings of 
the defenceless Greeks. 

In 1601 the Spaniards and their allies ravaged Maina, 
surprised Passava, and plundered the island of Cos^. In 1603 
the Knights of Malta again sacked Patras, and in the following 
year they plundered many defenceless villages in Cos 3 . But 
in the year 1609 they sustained a great naval defeat from the 
Othomans, though they succeeded in ravaging the coast of 
Karamania. In the following year, a fleet, consisting of 
Maltese, Sicilian, and Spanish galleys, entered the port of 
Cos, plundered the town, and carried off a number of the 
inhabitants as prisoners, who, when not ransomed, were com- 
pelled to work as slaves at the oar. The Florentine squadron 
made an unsuccessful attempt to plunder the coast of Negre- 
pont ; and the combined fleet failed in its attack on Albania, 
where the Turks, having discovered that a Greek bishop 
served them as a spy, flayed the unfortunate culprit alive 4 . 
About this time the Christians were treated with unusual 
severity in the Othoman empire, for the religious bigotry of 
the Mussulmans was roused to seek every means of revenging 
the tyrannical treatment which had been inflicted on the 
Mohammedans in Spain at their expulsion in 1609 5 . In 1611 
the galleys of Malta made an unsuccessful attempt to plunder 

1 Hammer, HUtoire de VEmpire Othoman, vii. 317 ; see above, p. 92. 

2 Hammer, viii. 17. 3 Vertot, iv. 128. 

4 Knolles, Turkish History, ii. 898, 903, 904; Hammer, viii. 170. 

5 The cruelty of the Turks to the Greeks was far surpassed by that of the 
Spaniards to the Moors, as the records of the Inquisition testify ; but there is a 
singular provision, which shows that selfishness could get the better even of 
Christian bigotry. When the Moors were expelled from Spain, the barons of 
Valentia were allowed to retain six Mohammedan families in every hundred, 
to teach the Catholics how to manage the sugar-manufactories erected by the 
industry of the Mussulmans, to make a proper distribution of the water in the 
canals and aqueducts of irrigation necessary to fructify the soil, and to direct 
the manner in which the rice was to be preserved in the granaries constructed by 
the Moors. Watson's Philip III., i. 441. 



the country round Navarin ; but they succeeded in effecting a 
landing at Kenchries, sacking the town of Corinth, and securing 
five hundred prisoners 1 . In 1612 the Florentine galleys 
executed an enterprise which had been attempted in vain 
both by the Spaniards and the Knights of Malta. They 
stormed the citadel of Cos or Lango, and carried off from 
the island one thousand two hundred prisoners. They cap- 
tured many Turkish merchantmen, and ravaged the coasts of 
Greece from the island of Leucadia to the island of Cyprus 2 . 
To replace the ships lost by the Othoman navy in 1612 and 
1 61 3 without draining the treasury, the sultan ordered the 
Greeks to build and equip twenty galleys, and the Armenians 
nine; so that the more the Christian subjects of the Porte 
were plundered by the Christian navies of Western Europe, 
the more they were oppressed by the sultan's government 3 . 

Sultan Mohammed II. closed the Black Sea to every Chris- 
tian power. After capturing in succession all the towns 
possessed by the Genoese in Asia Minor and the Crimea, and 
destroying their commercial establishments, in the year 1475 
he occupied Caffa (Theodosia) and Tana (Azof), the great 
depots of their eastern trade, and expelled them from the 
Black Sea. From this time the western Christians were 
prohibited from passing out of the Bosphorus, and during 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries no Christian flag 
was allowed to navigate the Euxine. All knowledge of 
its shores was lost, its cities lay beyond the sphere of trade, 

1 Knolles, ii. 906; Vertot, iv. 129. 

2 Knolles, ii. 908, 917; Hammer, viii. 202. At this time the value of slaves 
was considerable, for it was the fashion in the south of Europe to have captive 
Turks or Moors, and frequently Greeks, in a foreign dress, as domestics. Sir 
Francis Cottington writes from Spain in 1610, that the slaves were suspected 
of committing many murders. He adds, ' and not unlikely, for that few did here 
serve themselves with other than captive Turks and Moors ; and so the multitnde 
of them was very great.' Watson's Philip III., ii. 385. 

3 Spon describes the ravages of the Christian corsairs in the vicinity of Athens. 
In the year 1676 they plundered the village of Khasia, at the entrance of the 
defile of Phyle. ii. 75, 101, 208, 213. Megara paid two hundred and fifty 
bushels of wheat to the corsair Creveliers as an annual tribute. ii. 220. 
Wheler also gives several instances of the extent to which the corsairs carried 
their devastations on the mainland. The exploits of three famous corsairs, 
Fleuri, Creveliers, and a Greek named Kapsi, are mentioned in Histoire nouvelle 
des anciens Dues de VArchipel, 306, 324. A MS. in the library of the Arsenal 
at Paris, entitled ' Estat de la Marine Othomane, par de la Croix, augmente 
des divers voyages, combats, et rencontres des galores depuis l'an 1679,' No. 682, 
would probably furnish some interesting information concerning the extent to 
which piracy was carried at this time. See also Rycaut, Present State of the Greek 
Church, 337, 356. 


A.D. 1 45 3- 1 684.] 

and the countries once frequented by Genoese and Venetian 
merchants became as much a region of mystery as they had 
been before Jason made his voyage in search of the golden 
fleece. But the seamen of Genoa still repeated vague tales 
of the wealth once gained by navigating its stormy waters, 
and the merchants cherished traditions of the riches of Caffa 
and the splendour of Trebizond. 

The commercial system of the Othoman government has 
generally allowed importation to be freely carried on at fixed 
duties, but it has prohibited the exportation of the necessaries 
of life without a special license, and it has subjected most 
other articles of export to restrictions and monopolies. Under 
this system trade soon languished. The cities on the shores 
of the Black Sea, which had been rich and populous until the 
time of their conquest by the Othomans, declined and fell 
into ruins. The sites of many were deserted. Cherson itself 
ceased to exist. The plains, which had furnished Athens with 
grain, were uncultivated, and thinly peopled by nomades. 
Extensive provinces became utterly desolate, and at last 
received a new race of inhabitants, composed of exiles from 
Poland and fugitive slaves from Russia, who formed several 
independent communities under the name of Cossacks. The 
Cossacks who inhabited the banks of the Dnieper, being 
orthodox Christians, waged a constant warfare with the Turks 
and Tartars, and, like the Russians, who had inhabited these 
provinces before the invasion of the Monguls, often sought 
plunder and slaves by making piratical expeditions with small 
vessels in the Black Sea. 

In the year 161 3 the city of Sinope was surprised by the 
Cossacks, whose devastations generally ruined only the Chris- 
tians who were engaged in commercial enterprises on these 
coasts. At this time, however, the Othoman naval force was 
so weak, that the Cossacks succeeded in capturing two of the 
sultan's galleys with a considerable amount of treasure on 
board 1 . 

In 1624 the Cossacks entered the Bosphorus with a fleet of 
one hundred and fifty small galleys, carrying each about forty 
men. They plundered Buyukdere, Yenikeui, and Stenia, 

1 Hammer, viii. 206. The ravages of the Cossacks are mentioned by Knolles, 
ii. 921; and Rycaut, History of the Turkish Empire from 1623 to 1677, p. 4; 
Hammer, ix. 162, x. 342. 



setting fire to the buildings in order to distract the attention 
of the Turks and prevent immediate pursuit, and by this 
manoeuvre they succeeded in escaping with their booty. 
Next year they plundered the environs of Trebizond. In 
1630 they pillaged the coasts of Thrace, landing at Kili, 
Meidia, Sizeboli, Varna, and Baltshik, and collecting a rich 
booty and many slaves. In 1 639 they fought a naval battle 
with the Othoman fleet off the Crimea. In 1654 they plun- 
dered the European coast near Baltshik, and the Asiatic coast 
in the neighbourhood of Eregli ; nor did these ravages cease, 
until the final conquest of Crete and peace with Venice 
enabled the Porte to send a large division of the Othoman 
fleet into the Black Sea, to blockade the mouths of the rivers 
from which the Cossack boats issued on their plundering 

In 1 6 14, Maina, which, from its rock-coast and precipitous 
mountains, was regarded as less exposed to the inroads of 
foreign invaders than the rest of Greece, was visited by the 
capitan-pasha, who took strong measures to prevent a repeti- 
tion of such attacks as the Spaniards had made in 1601. The 
success of the invaders had been facilitated by several Greeks, 
both among the clergy and the laity; and to prevent the 
recurrence of similar acts of treason, the capitan-pasha placed 
garrisons in the forts, and made arrangements for the regular 
payment of the tribute to the Porte, which from this period 
was collected with great regularity. In 161 9 a Florentine 
squadron ravaged the islands of the Archipelago ; and in 1620 
the Knights of Malta plundered the coast of the Morea and 
captured Castel Tornese, of which they destroyed a part of the 
works. In addition to these external miseries, the sufferings 
of the Greek population were increased in 1622 by fiscal 
oppression, which owed its existence to a successful revolt 
of the sipahis, who obtained from the sultan's government the 
right of collecting the haratch as a security for the regular 
issue of their pay. This right they farmed out in districts by 
public auction, and as the sipahis in every province were 
directly interested in supporting the exactions of the collectors 
of the tax, this measure greatly increased the sufferings of 
the Christians, and accelerated the impoverishment and de- 
population of Greece l . 

1 Hammer, viii. 205, 260, 316 ; Vertot, iv. 132 ; Spon, Voyage, i. 122. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

The war which cost the republic of Venice the island of 
Crete, owed its origin to the incessant irritation caused by 
the Western corsairs in the Archipelago. Some strong 
measures adopted by the Venetians to suppress the piracies 
committed by Turkish and Barbary corsairs in the Adriatic, 
created much dissatisfaction on the part of the Othoman 
government, which looked chiefly to the Mohammedan 
corsairs as a protection against the Christian corsairs in 
the Levant, and considered it the duty of the Venetians 
to suppress the piracies of these Christians. The Porte at 
last resolved to seek a profitable revenge, and a pretext soon 
presented itself. Some quarrels in the serai induced the 
Kislar-aga to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca. He sailed 
from Constantinople with three galleys, in which he had 
embarked his immense wealth. Among his slaves was the 
woman that had nursed the eldest son of the reigning Sultan 
Ibrahim, who succeeded to the throne as Mohammed IV. 
The Knights of Malta were duly informed of the departure 
of this squadron by their spies. They attacked and captured 
the galleys, after a desperate combat, in which the Kislar-aga 
and most of the Turks of rank on board were slain. Three 
hundred and fifty men, and thirty women, several of whom 
were young and beautiful, were, however, secured as slaves. 
Among these was the young nurse with her own child, whom 
the Knights of Malta pretended was a son of Sultan Ibrahim. 
The Maltese carried their prizes into the secluded port of 
Kalismene, on the southern coast of Crete, in order to 

When the news of this capture reached Constantinople, the 
personal feelings of Sultan Ibrahim were deeply wounded, 
and he was strongly urged to avenge the insult ; but as he 
feared to attack Malta, he resolved to make the Venetians 
responsible for the shelter which the corsairs had found in 
Crete. The Porte pretended that Venice was a tributary 
state, and was bound to keep the Archipelago free from 
Christian corsairs, in return for the great commercial privi- 
leges it enjoyed in the Othoman empire. Preparations were 
made for attacking Crete, but the project was concealed from 
the Venetian senate, under the pretence of directing the ex- 
pedition against Malta. The Venetians, however, had good 
reason for concluding that their possessions offered a more 


[Ch. II. 

inviting lure to the ambition of the Othomans than the 
fortress of Malta, and that Crete would be invaded in the 
same treacherous manner as Cyprus; but the republic resolved 
to make every sacrifice to avoid war. Though the sultan 
remained at peace with the republic, several circumstances 
occurred which convinced the senate that hostilities could 
not be avoided. A Venetian ship, laden with stores for 
Candia, w T as attacked by some Turkish corsairs. One of 
the Turkish ships was sunk, but the others which escaped 
spread the report as far as Constantinople, that they had 
been assailed by the Venetians 1 . Yet, as the sultan still 
refrained from declaring war, the republic hoped that its 
explanations, both with regard to the impossibility of pre- 
venting the entrance of the Maltese into the desert port 
in Crete, and the proofs that the transport had only acted 
in self-defence, were satisfactory to the Porte. The senate 
flattered itself that the storm preparing at Constantinople 
would really burst on Malta. 

The Othoman fleet sailed from Constantinople attended 
by numerous transports, stopped at Chios and Karystos 
where it received considerable reinforcements, and after em- 
barking additional troops at the port of Thermisi, in Argoiis, 
the whole expedition again dropped anchor in the port of 
Navarin. It was not until it sailed from that port that the 
real object of attack was announced to the captains of the 

1 The Othoman government was never more insolent to the Christians than at 
this time. Rycaut (59) mentions an anecdote which proves that the oppressive 
conduct of the government to Christian traders at Constantinople rivalled the 
rapacity of the corsairs at sea. In 1649, thirteen English ships were forced to 
transport troops and ammunition to Crete (p. 83). In 1662, eleven Englishmen 
were taken by the Turks and reduced to slavery. They were part of the crew 
of the 'Ann,' an English frigate, whose captain landed sixty men to cut wood 
in the Morea. The ambassador, who could not reclaim them, as they were taken 
plundering and burning the forests, ransomed them for one thousand four hundred 
dollars (p. 129). Justice seemed to have been as little respected by the Christians 
as by the Turks, in the East, at this time, though on one occasion the mufti 
observed that the English always persisted in what they said, even at the peril 
of their lives ; which he considered a proof of their obstinacy, and of the rudeness 
of their nature, not of their love of truth and justice. Hammer, x. 268. Though 
the king of France affected to be the staunchest friend of the sultan in Christendom, 
and his representative at Constantinople claimed to be treated with peculiar 
honours, the French now fared no better than others. In 1658, M. de la Have, 
the French ambassador, sent his son to confer with the grand-vizier Mohammed 
Kueprili, who was then at Adrianople. The grand-vizier, offended at the behaviour 
of the envoy, ordered his servants to administer the bastinado to young De la 
Haye, which was done with great severity. The ambassador himself was sub- 
sequently imprisoned, and Louis XIV. was forced to digest the insult. Hammer, 
xi. 45. 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

ships. The announcement was received with enthusiasm, for 
the disastrous siege of Malta in 1565 made the bravest Turks 
fearful of attacking that fortress. In the month of June 
1645, tne Othoman army landed before Khania, which capi- 
tulated on the 17th of August. This treacherous commence- 
ment of the war was considered by all Christian powers as 
authorizing them to dispense with all the formalities of inter- 
national law in lending assistance to the Venetians. The 
war of Candia lasted nearly twenty-five years, and during 
this long and celebrated struggle the Venetians generally 
maintained a superiority at sea ; yet they were unable to 
prevent the Othoman navy from throwing in supplies of 
fresh troops and stores, so that the Othoman army was 
enabled to command the whole island, and to keep Candia, 
and the other fortresses of which the Venetians retained pos- 
session, either blockaded or besieged. The Greeks generally 
favoured the Turks, who encouraged them to cultivate their 
lands by purchasing the produce at a liberal price, for the 
use of the army. Indeed, the communications of the invading 
army with the Othoman empire were often interrupted for 
many months, and without the supplies it derived from the 
Greek cultivators, it would have been impossible to have 
maintained a footing in Crete. The fact that the Othoman 
troops found the means of persisting in the undertaking until 
success at last rewarded their perseverance, is of itself a strong 
testimony in favour of the excellent discipline of the Othoman 
armies in the field. The Venetians in vain endeavoured to 
compel the Turks to abandon the siege of Candia, by landing 
troops on different parts of the island and destroying the 
harvests of the Greek inhabitants. No important result was 
produced by the partial devastation of small districts by 
bodies of men who dared not venture to remain long on 
shore, or to march far from their ships. The spirit of pillage 
displayed both by the officers and men, generally rendered 
the enterprises of the Venetians ineffectual as military opera- 
tions 1 . In the meantime the squadrons of the republic often 
ravaged the coasts of the Othoman empire, and on one occa- 
sion they carried off about five thousand slaves from the 
coast of the Morea, between Patras and Coron 2 . In the year 

1 Daru, Histoire de Venhe, iv. 603 ; Hammer, xi. 103. 

2 It was on hearing of these ravages that sultan Ibrahim is said to have pro- 


[Ch. II. 

1656, after Mocenigo's great victory at the Dardanelles, the 
Venetians took possession of the islands of Tenedos and 
Lemnos, but they were driven from these conquests by the 
Othoman fleet in the following year. 

At the end of the year 1666, the grand-vizier, Achmet 
Kueprili, one of the greatest ministers of the Othoman empire, 
assumed the command of the besieging army. The whole 
naval force of Venice, and numerous bands of French and 
Italian volunteers, attempted to force the grand-vizier to 
raise the siege ; but the skill of the Italian engineers, the 
valour of the French nobles, and the determined perseverance 
of Morosini, were vain against the strict discipline and steady 
valour of the Othoman troops. The works of the besiegers 
were pushed forward by the labours of a numerous body of 
Greek pioneers, and the fire of the powerful batteries at last 
rendered the place untenable. At this crisis Morosini proved 
himself a daring statesman and a sincere patriot. When he 
found that he must surrender the city, he resolved to make 
his capitulation the means of purchasing peace for the re- 
public. The step was a bold one, for though the senate was 
convinced of the necessity of concluding a treaty as soon 
as possible, the extreme jealousy of the Venetian govern- 
ment made it dangerous for Morosini to act without express 
authority. Morosini, however, seeing the peril to which his 
country would be exposed, if the favourable moment which 
now presented itself was lost, assumed all the responsibility 
of the act, and signed the treaty. Its conditions were ratified 
by the senate, but the patriotic general was accused of high 
treason on his return to Venice. He was honourably acquitted, 
but remained for many years unemployed. On the 27th Sep- 
tember 1669, Achmet Kueprili received the keys of Candia, 
and the republic of Venice resigned all right to the island 
of Crete, but retained possession of the three insular fortresses 
of Karabusa, Suda, and Spinalonga, with their valuable ports. 
No fortress is said to have cost so much blood and treasure, 
both to the besiegers and the defenders, as Candia ; yet the 
Greeks, in whose territory it was situated, and who could 

posed exterminating the Christians {see above, p. 30) ; but his rage was probably 
chiefly directed against the Catholics in Turkey, as friends and spies of the 
Venetians, not against his own orthodox subjects, who at this period displayed 
a decided preference for the Othoman domination. Hammer, x. in. 


A.D. I453-I684.] 

have furnished an army from the inhabitants of Crete suffi- 
ciently numerous to have decided the issue of the contest, 
were the people who took least part in this memorable war. 
So utterly destitute of all national feeling was the Hellenic 
race at this period l . 

The position of Maina has given that district a degree of 
importance in the modern history of Greece incommensurate 
with the numbers of the inhabitants, and with the influence 
it has exercised on the Greek nation. Pedants have termed 
the Mainates descendants of the ancient Spartans, though the 
Spartan race was extinct before the Roman conquest ; and 
history points clearly to the alternative, that they must be 
either descended from the Helots, who became freemen after 
the extinction of the Spartans, or from the Perioikoi, who 
disappear as a separate class in the great body of Roman 
provincials. To an older genealogy they can have no pre- 
tensions. The population of the twenty-four Laconian towns, 
which received the confirmation of their municipal charters 
from Augustus as Eleuthero-Lacones, consisted of burghers, 
who, as a privileged caste, probably became extinct when the 
towns they inhabited became depopulated. We learn from 
Pausanias, that about a century and a half after these towns 
received their charters, six had already ceased to exist ; of 
the eighteen whose names he records, only eight are situated 
within the limits of Maina 2 . 

It is said that Maina never submitted to a foreign conqueror. 
Though the assertion is repeated by many writers of authority, 
this also is a vulgar error. It might be said with greater 
truth that order and justice never reigned in Maina. Foreign 
force has more than once established the supremacy of 
strangers since the extinction of the Roman domination, yet 
it is impossible not to feel some admiration for a small popu- 
lation which shows itself always ready to make some sacrifices 
to defend its independence against foreigners. Our sympathy 
leads us to overlook the evils of a state of anarchy which makes 
every man a warrior, and we fondly admit, on the scantiest 

1 During the war of Candia, several of the islands of the Archipelago were 
compelled to pay their taxes twice over ; for as the Venetians generally com- 
manded the sea, they levied payment by force, while policy induced the inhabitants 
to remit the usual amount of tribute to the Porte. Relation de Vide de Sant-Erini, 
par le Pere Richard, 29, 376. 2 Pausanias, iii. 21.6. 

VOL. V. I 



proof, that a patriotic cause which we approve has always met 
with the success it merited. A disposition to eulogize every 
armed resistance to power has also caused the misapplication 
of a good deal of rhetoric by continental writers, who have 
made Maina the medium for parading a love of liberty abroad 
which shunned exhaling itself in domestic patriotism. The 
fact is, that Maina has submitted to the domination of the 
Romans,, the Byzantine emperors, the Sclavonians, the 
Franks, the Venetians, and the Othoman sultans, but it 
has never been a servile, and rarely an obedient province. 

The geographical configuration of the mountain range, 
which forms the great promontory called Maina, renders 
it of difficult access by land as well as by sea, and it has 
successfully repulsed many invaders, and obtained favourable 
treatment from every conqueror. Its population, being de- 
pendent for many of the necessaries of life on foreign 
commerce, is easily compelled to submit to reasonable 
terms of capitulation when attacked by an enemy powerful 
enough to occupy its ports and blockade its coasts, and 
prudent enough not to attempt any expedition into the in- 
terior of the country ; as was seen by the ease with which the 
capitan-pasha compelled it to pay the haratch in 1614. 

Another prevalent error concerning Maina is, that the 
whole district consists of a poor and arid territory. This 
is very far from being the case with its two northern di- 
visions. In the year 1843 Maina was more densely peopled 
and more productive than Attica, excluding Athens from the 
calculation, as being the capital of the Greek kingdom, and 
the seat of a centralized system of administration. Maina 
is divided by nature into three divisions, western, eastern, 
and southern. The district lying to the west of the great 
ridge of Taygetus overlooks the plain of Messenia, and 
possesses two ports, from which its commercial business 
is carried on, Armyros and Vitylos K It exports a con- 
siderable quantity of silk, oil, valonia, and red dye, and 
imports grain and iron. The wealth of this district in the 
thirteenth century is mentioned by Pachymeres, and is re- 
corded in a poem written towards the end of the eighteenth 2 . 

1 The produce of Western or"E£cu Mai^ is thus described : Mcrd^i, \dSi ntpioobv, 


2 Pachymeres, i. 52. I have quoted the passage in vol. iv. p. 199. The poem 


a.d. 1453-1684.] 

The eastern district, of which Marathonisi is the principal 
port, is nearly as populous and as productive as the western. 
Its exports consist of valonia and silk ; but, formerly, it ex- 
ported a considerable quantity of cotton \ The southern dis- 
trict, on the contrary, is a promontory of barren rocks, termi- 
nating in Cape Matapan. It commences at Tzimova, and is 
called by the northern Mainates, as well as by the other Greeks, 
on account of the manners of its inhabitants, Kakavoulia, 
the land of bad designs. The furious winds which generally 
prevail arrest vegetation ; yet, wherever there is a ravine with 
a little soil, it is laboriously cultivated by the women, and the 
population is considerable. Wheaten bread is rarely seen, 
and the common food is a black cake made of lupins. The 
poem already mentioned sarcastically notices its products, 
as consisting of quails and the fruit of the cactus. Beans 
and barley are luxuries 2 . Its inhabitants have been for ages 
more celebrated for their piracies than for their independence. 
The Byzantine emperors and the western Crusaders appear 
to have found that the only way to restrain the piracy of the 
southern Mainates was to destroy all the towns on the coast. 
Of these towns, and of the cisterns which supplied them 
with water, considerable remains still exist. After the de- 
struction of their towns, the people became even more de- 
pendent on piracy for their subsistence than they had been 
previously. Their poverty, their strange usages, their patience 
under privations, their thefts, their bloody feuds, and the 
daring courage displayed in their acts of piracy, rendered the 
Kakavouliots the wonder and the terror of the other Greeks. 
The vices of their character and the peculiarities of their 
country were thus attributed to all the Mainates 3 . 

was found by Colonel Leake, and some part of it, with a translation of the 
remainder, is published by him in his Travels in the Morea, vol. i. p. 332. The 
whole poem is printed in Das Griechi che Volk, by Maurer, vol. iii. p. 1. He is 
wrong, however, in supposing that the date is the time of Tzanet Koutoup'iari, 
who was named Bey of Maina by Hassan Ghazi. The Tzanet of the poem was 
Gligoraki, who held the office of Bey for ten years, from 1785 to 1795, when 
he was deposed for favouring French influence. 

1 The produce of Eastern or Kdroj Mavq is thus described : 'Ojtov PapPaKt irtpia- 
ahv Kal 0a\avidi. tcafivti. Mavrj is the name given by the modern Greeks to the 
district, corrupted from that of Maiva, the chief town during the Byzantine empire. 

2 'OprvKia, <ppajKcavKa 17 irpaiTrj tovs tvrpaZa, 
Kapnov Kovicia novax& Kal £eponp{6i Ka^vti. 

3 AiiTOi 7-7)1/ Mavtjv 7-7)1/ \omf}v jty KaKovoyLorr'iCpw , 
Kai uirov wafovv r ovofxa avrrjs to fiayapi^ovv. 

I 2 



The celebrity of Maina, and the independence it had as- 
sumed during the war of Candia, which secured to it the 
constant protection of the Venetian fleet, induced Achmet 
Kueprili to take measures for its complete subjection. He 
knew that as long as the pirates of Maina remained un- 
punished, and the ports of Maina afforded shelter to Venetian 
and Maltese cruisers, the commerce of Crete would be insecure 
and the conquest imperfect. Accordingly, in the year 1670, 
while Achmet was reposing at Chios, after his victory, he sent 
Kuesy Ali Pasha with a strong naval and military force to 
re-establish the sultan's supremacy in Maina. The piratical 
vessels of Porto Quaglio and of Tzimova were pursued into 
their places of refuge, and captured or burned ; but the 
Othoman force made no attempt to attack the Kakavouliots 
in their fastnesses. On the other hand, the inhabitants of the 
northern part of Maina, being dependent on foreign commerce, 
were easily compelled to submit. Ali Pasha occupied the 
ports of Armyros, Vitylos, and Marathonisi with his fleet, 
and landed troops, who succeeded in occupying the fortresses 
of Zarnata, Kielapha, and Passava. By this means he ob- 
tained complete command over the communications of the 
Mainates with the sea. The forts were repaired, armed with 
artillery, and strongly garrisoned. No expedition of Turkish 
troops was attempted into the interior, but Ali executed the 
orders of Achmet Kueprili with ability as well as energy; 
he formed alliances with several of the leading chieftains 
who were engaged in feuds with their neighbours, and by 
supplying them with arms and ammunition, and refusing to 
employ Mussulman troops in their broils, he rendered himself 
arbiter of their disputes. He then showed them that it was 
in his power to ruin and even to starve them, unless they 
consented to submit to his orders and pay haratch to the 
sultan. The amount which they agreed to pay was only 
fifteen purses, at that time rather more than .£1500 sterling; 
but whether haratch tickets were distributed by the chieftains 
among the rural population, either in 1614 or at this time/ 
seems not to be accurately known. By some it is asserted 
to have been the case ; by others it is denied. The regular 
custom-duties were exacted on the exports of Maina by the 
Turkish authorities at Armyros, Zarnata, Vitylos., Kielapha, 
Marathonisi, and Passava, but they were generally farmed to 


a.d. 1453 1683.] 

Mainate chieftains ; while, to repress permanently the piracies 
on the coast, Othoman galleys were stationed at Tzimova and 
Porto Quaglio. By these measures Achmet Kueprili gave a 
degree of security to the commerce of the Levant which it had 
not enjoyed for many generations, and his fame as a states- 
man in Christendom soon rivalled the military glory he had 
gained as the conqueror of Candia. The Othoman garrisons 
diminished the influence of the chieftains, and deprived many 
of those who had long lived by feuds and piracy of their 
means of livelihood ; but, at the same time, property was not 
rendered more secure, nor industry more profitable. The 
Mainates, consequently, became eager to quit their country, 
and as soon as it was known that they would meet a good 
reception from the Neapolitan viceroys, a considerable emi- 
gration took place to Apulia 1 . About the same time another 
colony of Mainates emigrated to Corsica 2 . 

1 Spon, i. 123; Sendschreiben aus dem Lager vor Modern vom 19/29 Julii, 1686, 
p. 10; a small German tract, printed in 1686, written by a volunteer in the Saxon 
contingent of the Venetian army. [It was probably at this time that the Greek 
ballad called 'H 'Pajfiatonov\a, on the subject of a Greek girl refusing the suit 
of a Turkish lover, notwithstanding her mother's solicitations, made its way into 
southern Italy. It is found in Comparetti's Saggi dei Dialetti Greci deW Italia 
meridionale (_No. 36, p. 3S), and is a favourite subject in Greece at the present day. 
Compare the corresponding ballads in Passovv's Popularia Carmina Graeciae recen- 
tioris, Nos. 574, 574 a, and 587. See also vol. i. Greece under the Romans, p. 401 
note. Spon, whose evidence is referred to above, was in Greece shortly after this 
emigration took place. Ed.] 

2 It was on the 3rd October, 1673, that an emigration of seven hundred and 
fifty persons took place from Vitylos. These families, after passing the winter 
at Genoa, were settled by the Senate on lands granted to them by the Republic 
at Paomia in Corsica. The greater part of these colonists are said to have been 
expelled from the island on account of their attachment to Genoa, in the year 
173°, when the Corsicans rebelled, but a few families remained at Ajaccio when 
France took possession of Corsica. Villemain, Essai historique sur Veiat des Grecs, 
123. [In 1 731 the Greeks were expelled from Paomia, but not from the island; 
they remained at Ajaccio until Corsica passed into the hands of France, and in 
1774 they were placed at Cargese, on a headland on the west coast, about a day's 
journey north of Ajaccio, near the position where Paomia stood. At that place 
they have remained until the present time, except during the period from 1 790 
to 1 814, when their neighbours, taking the opportunity of the French revolution, 
again drove them out ; and, when they returned, a part of the colony preferred 
to remain behind in Ajaccio. I visited Cargese in 1872, and found the com- 
munity to consist of about 400 persons. The Greek that is spoken there is almost 
identical with the Romaic of the Greek islands ; but it will soon be extinct, for the 
older people speak Corsican with equal fluency, and the younger generation are 
for the most part unacquainted with it : they find it more profitable to ignore their 
nationality. They are Roman Catholics, it having been stipulated from the first 
that they should submit to the Pope ; but they are allowed to observe the Greek 
rite, and still use the old service-books which they brought with them from Maina, 
and the priests wear the dress of the Greek Church. A short notice of the colony 
will be found in the Journal of Philology for 1876 (vol. vi. p. 196), prefixed to 
a collection of their ballads, which were obtained for me from the mouth of the 
people. Most of these must have come down from the time of their migration, for 


[Ch. II. 

A considerable decrease took place in the numbers of the 
Greek race during the seventeenth century, and a still greater 
decline is observable in the material wealth and moral con- 
dition of the people. Communications by sea and land 
became more difficult for the Greeks, who were reduced to 
live in a more secluded, poorer, and ruder manner. In the 
mean time, the numbers of the Turkish landed proprietors 
and militia increased, and janissaries were permanently formed 
into corporations in the principal towns. Thus, the relative 
importance of the Greek to the Turkish population was 
diminished on the continent, and in the islands misery and 
the ravages of the corsairs thinned the numbers of the in- 
habitants. It was during this century that many fresh colo- 
nies of Albanians took possession of the Hellenic soil 1 . The 
Greeks were never so much depressed and despised, and 
never was the number of renegades so considerable among 
the middle and lower orders of society. Immediately after 
the conquest of the Greek empire, the higher orders had 
shown much greater readiness to forsake their religion than 
the mass of the nation. We find several pashas of the name 
of Palaeologos among the renegades, and the learned George 
Amiroutzes of Trebizond abandoned the orthodox faith in 
his declining years, not to mention innumerable examples 
of less eminent persons. The Greeks at that time were not 
exposed to any very serious sufferings on account of their 
religion, and they suffered less fiscal oppression from the 
sultans than they had previously suffered from their native 
emperors. Until the end of the sixteenth century the Otho- 
man government was remarkable for the religious toleration 
it displayed. The Jews, when expelled from Spain, were 
charitably received in Turkey. The orthodox, who were 
denied the exercise of their religious forms in Italy, and the 
heretics who were driven into exile by the tyranny of the 

they correspond to some of those that are now sung in Greece. The only occasion 
on which we have evidence of communication between the colony and the father- 
land, was when two persons of the name of Stephanopulos were sent on a political 
mission by Buonaparte to Greece. Ed.] 

1 The majority of the peasantry of the island of Ios were of the Albanian race in 
the early pait of the seventeenth century. If any of their descendants remain 
at present, they have forgotten their language, and laid aside their peculiar 
customs. The present inhabitants appear to be entirely Greek. Relation de Vide 
de Sant-Erini, par le Pere Richard, 337. The Albanians were settled in Ios 
by Mark Crispo, brother of John II., Duke of Naxos. Histoire nouvelle des anciem 
Dues de VArchipel, 214; see vol. iv. Mediaeval Greece, p. 302;. 


A.D. I453-1684.] 

Inquisition, found that toleration in the Othoman dominions 
which was denied in every Christian land. The religious 
bigotry of the Mussulmans was inflamed into a spirit of 
persecution by the injustice and intolerance of the Christians 
— by the expulsion of their co-religionaries from Spain, and 
by the refusal of every Christian power with whom they 
held intercourse to allow the public exercise of the Moham- 
medan worship and the erection of mosques in Christian 
cities. Still, it was not from direct oppression alone that 
the number of the Greek renegades was increased towards 
the middle of the seventeenth century. Those who quitted 
the orthodox faith were generally led to take that step by 
a feeling of despair at their despised position in society, 
and by a desire to bear arms and mix in active life. The 
spirit of the age was military, and violence was one of its 
characteristics. The Greeks could only defend their families 
against the insolence of the Turks and the rapacity of the 
Frank corsairs by changing their religion ; when galled by 
acts of injustice, and eager for revenge, they often flew to 
the most violent and most effectual remedy their imagination 
could suggest, and that was to embrace Mohammedanism. 

David Chytraeus, who witnessed the public rejoicings at 
the circumcision of Mohammed, the son of Murad III. (a.d. 
1582), tells us that he then witnessed the miserable spectacle 
of a great number of Greeks embracing the Mohammedan 
faith. On this occasion about one hundred Christians, Greeks, 
Albanians, and Bulgarians daily abjured the Christian religion 
during the whole period of the celebration, which lasted forty 
days l . Cases of apostasy are even found among the highest 
dignitaries of the orthodox church, and in 1661 an ex-metro- 
politan of Rhodes had the honour of being the first Mussul- 
man who was condemned to death by a fetva of the mufti 2 . 
The preponderant influence of the tribute-children and of 
renegades in the administration of the Othoman empire, 
and the great inducement held out to apostasy, is proved 
by the fact, that the greater number of the grand-viziers 
before the middle of the seventeenth century were either 
renegades or the children of Christians — Greeks, Albanians, 

1 Compare Chytraeus, Hodoeporicon, in Lonicerus, ii. 202, 8vo. ; and Hammer, 
vii. 151. 

2 Hammer, xi. 117. 


and Sclavonians. Of the forty-eight grand-viziers who suc- 
ceeded to the office after the conquest of Constantinople, 
twelve only were native Turks 1 . A large portion of the 
Greek population in Euboea and Crete embraced the Moham- 
medan religion, and about the end of the seventeenth century 
it is supposed that at least a million of the Mussulmans 
in Europe were descended from Christian parents who had 
abjured their religion 2 . 

1 Hammer, viii. 421. 

2 Pococke (A description of the East and some other countries, vol. ii. part 1. 
p. 268) mentions the apostasy of the Christians in Crete. [Some of the Cretans 
must have been Mohammedans only in name, for there are still concealed 
Christians among them, though the number of these has declined of late years. 
These baptize their children secretly, and observe other Christian rites in private. 
The greater number are now to be found on the northern slopes of Mount Ida. 


Social Condition of the Greeks until the Extinc- 
tion of the Tribute of Christian Children, a. d. 
i453- l6 7 6 - 

The cultivators of the soil become the true representatives of the Greek nation 
during three centuries. — Decline in the numbers and civilization of the Greek 
race during this period. — A certain degree of improvement takes place in the 
material wealth of the town population. — Animosity between the Greeks and 
Catholics. — Toleration displayed by Mohammed II. — Contrast between the 
moral condition of the Greeks and Turks at this period. — Influence of Mona- 
chism on Greek society. — Position of the Greek Church at the time of the 
Othoman conquest. — Re-establishment of an Orthodox Patriarch at Con- 
stantinople by Mohammed II. — Simoniacal elections of the Patriarchs. — 
Story of a trick by which the Greeks pretend that the Patriarch Jeremiah 
saved the churches in Constantinople. — The Greek laity abstained from 
appealing to Othoman courts of justice more steadily than the clergy. — 
Increase of ecclesiastical corruption in the Orthodox Church. — General good 
conduct of the secular clergy in the rural parishes preserved the profound 
reverence of the Greek people for their National Church. — Political and 
social position of the Greek laity. — Effect of the immigration of the Spanish 
Jews into the Levant on the position of the Greek population in the towns. — 
Order prevalent in the cities of the Othoman empire. — Extinction of the 
tribute of Christian children. 

The change produced by the submission of Greece to 
the Turks was effected with unexampled rapidity, for a single 
generation extinguished, all -the boasted intelligence of the 
Hellenic race, and effaced every sentiment of patriotism 
and moral dignity in the higher orders of society. The 
people resigned themselves to passive slavery, but the nobles 
and dignified clergy became active as well as servile syco- 
phants. The sack of Constantinople, and the depopulation 
of Trebizond, destroyed the power of the aristocracy, and 
drove the learned into exile. This, though a calamity to 
the courtiers and pedants, who consumed a large portion of 



the fiscal burdens imposed on the people, was in some degree 
a national benefit, since it swept away a class of men who 
had formed an insuperable barrier to the moral improvement 
of a degraded nation, and to the political reform of a corrupt 
administration. The destruction of the higher classes re- 
lieved the people from the trammels of innumerable privileges 
and monopolies. 

The first effect of the extinction of the Byzantine aristo- 
cracy and the flight of the literary men was to constitute 
the provincial landowners and the peasant cultivators of the 
soil the real representatives of the Greek nation. The agri- 
cultural classes formed at this period the majority of the 
Greeks, and, though ignorant and bigoted, they were far 
superior to the aristocracy in usefulness and honesty. The 
inhabitants of each rural district, and often of each valley 
in the mountains, lived in a state of isolation, connected with 
the world beyond its limits only by the payment of taxes 
to the sultan's government, and of ecclesiastical dues to the 
orthodox church. They were profoundly ignorant of all the 
political events which were passing beyond their own horizon. 
Their religion alone awakened some general ideas in their 
minds, but the priesthood, to whom they owed these ideas, 
possessed only such elements of knowledge as were accordant 
with a corrupt ecclesiastical system. The intellectual culti- 
vation of the Greeks was consequently restricted for nearly 
two centuries to a very slight acquaintance with the national 
literature, from which they imbibed little more than a vague 
persuasion of their own superiority over the rest of mankind, 
as being Romans and Christians — the true representatives of 
the ancient conquerors of the world, and the only followers 
of the pure orthodox faith l . This ignorance of the world 

1 'Pw/xaToi Kal Xpiartavoi. Until the revival of learning among the Greeks, 
towards the end of the list century, when they caught the enthusiasm for 
liberty awakened by the success of the American Revolution, they had been 
proud of the name of Romans. The appellation Hellenes was given only to 
the pagans of ancient Greece. Even at present, although the Greeks have 
imbibed their political civilization from the French school of the Revolution, 
they still arrogate exclusive orthodoxy to their Church, and the people restrict 
the appellation of Christians solely to the Eastern Church. Before the com- 
mencement of the present century, no modern Greek would have boasted of 
any ancestral connection with the pagan Hellenes, any more than he would 
yet think of pretending to a Pelasgic, Dorian, Ionian, or Achaian pedigree. 
The Greeks now overlook the fact, that where there have been no genealogies 
there can be no purity of blood. Of all people it might be thought that the 
Greeks would be the least disposed to talk much of their ancestors, as they 


a.d. 1453-1676.] 

at large restricted the feelings of the Greeks to a few local 
and hereditary prejudices. Their thoughts were divided 
between the strict observance of ecclesiastical formalities and 
the eager pursuit of their individual interests. Superstition 
and bigotry became the most prominent national characteristics 
during the following centuries. 

As soon as the great translocations of the inhabitants of 
various parts of Greece, effected by order of Mohammed II., 
had been completed, and the Othoman administration regu- 
larly established, the condition of the rural population was 
found to be much more tolerable under the government of 
the sultan than it had been under the Greek emperor. The 
agricultural classes were harassed by fewer exactions of forced 
labour, extraordinary contributions were rarely levied, and 
the mere fiscal burdens proved trifling when compared with 
the endless feudal obligations of the Frank, or the countless 
extortions of the Byzantine sovereignty. The material ad- 
vantages enjoyed by the bulk of the Greek population at 
the commencement of the Othoman domination quickly 
reconciled the people to their Mussulman masters, and even 
the tithe of their male children was not considered too high 
a price for this increased security. A single child of each 
family was sent out into the darkness of Mohammedanism, 
as a scape-offering to preserve the flesh-pots of a Christian 
generation. The tameness and silence with which the Greek 
rural population submitted to this cruel exaction for two 

must ascend through immediate progenitors who have been slaves and syco- 
phants for two thousand years, before they reach the last rays of liberty. Verily, 
the blood of Aristides, if it still flow in living veins, has flowed through polluted 
channels. Tacitus (Ann. ii. 55) tells us that the race of the old Athenian citizens 
was extinct in his day, and that Athens was then, as it is at present, peopled by 
an assemblage of men of different races. The native Athenians are only one-third 
of the whole population, and of these native Athenians more than one-third are 
of the Albanian race, who still use their own language in the streets of the 
capital of the Greek kingdom. [It is not quite accurate to say that at present 
' the people restrict the appellation of Christians solely to the Eastern Church.' 
What is taught to the people in their catechisms is, that the universal Church is 
the aggregate of all the bodies of Christians which are found throughout the 
world, but that the Orthodox Church is in a higher and more guaranteed 
position. The further question of the value of the national pedigree of the 
modern Greeks is exposed to the same difficulties in discussion as the correspond- 
ing one of family pedigree. But in both the most important element is probably 
that of honourable associations in past times, with the obligations they involve ; 
and in the case of families it is usual for the sake of these to ignore many blots 
in the intermediate annals. The danger, both to individuals and nations, which no 
doubt Mr. Finlay felt strongly, is that of trading on the virtues of ancestors, 
instead of imitating them. Ed.] 


[Ch. III. 

centuries, is the strongest proof of the demoralization of the 
Hellenic race. 

Z_The conquest of Greece by the Turks diminished the 
extent of country peopled by the Greeks. Large bodies 
of the population were removed to Constantinople and other 
cities of the sultan's dominions, to replace the ravages of 
wan/The losses arising from these forced emigrations would, 
in/all probability, have been soon replaced by the natural 
increase of the surviving Greek peasantry, had the state of 
the country allowed the cultivators of the soil to improve 
their condition. But this was the case only to a limited 
extent. The introduction of the feudal or timariot system 
created a Turkish military aristocracy in the rich agricultural 
districts in Greece ; and no condition of society has proved 
more adverse to the increase of population, or to an ameliora- 
tion of the condition of the people, than that in which a 
hereditary militia of proprietors has formed the predominant 
class. On the other hand, the Greek landowners, who had 
been in easy circumstances before the conquest, were no 
longer able to obtain slaves for the cultivation of their estates, 
nor to retain their former serfs by force, and they conse- 
quently soon descended to the rank of peasant proprietors, 
and were compelled to till their lands by their own labour. 
Their rights of pasturage, their property in fruit-bearing trees 
of the forest like the valonia oak, and in wild dye-woods, 
their profits from limekilns and charcoal, were all confiscated 
as invasions of the fisc, or transferred to Turkish feudatories, 
who received grants of estates in their vicinity. The ex- 
termination of the Byzantine aristocracy was no loss to the 
nation, for never did a more unprincipled set of men exist, 
as we find them portrayed in the life-like sketch which 
Cantacuzenos gives us of the archonts of the Morea, unless, 
indeed, they be compared with the official aristocracy created 
by the Othoman administration, afad called Phanariots, from 
the filthy quarter of the Phanar in Constantinople where they 
dwelt and carried on their intrigues. 

Even the peasant proprietors in many districts did not long 
enjoy the relief from oppression which cheered them during 
the early period of the Othoman domination. The devasta- 
tions of war, the incursions of corsairs, the exactions of the 
Othoman officials, and the diminution of consumption, caused 


A.D. I453-1676.] 

by the increased difficulties of transport, entailed the destruc- 
tion of olive-groves, orchards, and vineyards. The Mussulman 
drank no wine, but he loved to sit by a public fountain under 
a broad platane tree. A portion of the water which the 
Greeks had reserved for their gardens was turned into 
the court of the mosque, and wasted on the roadside in 
numerous fountains. A little care, and a trifling expenditure, 
would have enabled the spring to supply both the gardens 
and the fountains ; but few things have succeeded that 
required the smallest degree of constant care on the part of 
the Turks, and nothing has yet prospered that demanded 
unity of purpose between Othomans and Greeks. 
£The Othoman conquest effected a considerable change in 
the extent of country occupied by the Greek race, and in 
which the Greek language was predominant. Several exten- 
sive tracts in Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly were occupied 
by pastoral tribes from Asia Minor, called Yuruks, and whole 
districts were granted as military fiefs to Seljouk Turks, who 
had taken service under the early Othoman sultans, and 
received the name of Koniarides or Iconians l . These two 
classes are the only considerable portions of the Mussulman 
population in European Turkey which are not descended 
from Christian renegades or from tribute-children. The place 
that had been previously occupied by the Greeks, as the 
principal element of the urban population in Bulgaria, Thrace, 
and Macedonia, was filled by the Othoman Turks. Even 
within the limits of Greece and the Peloponnesus the Greek 
rural population abandoned extensive districts to the Albanian 
race, which extended its settlements, and became the sole 
inhabitants of many sites celebrated in ancient history. The 
Greek language was banished from its classic haunts, and 
the very names of Olympia, Delphi, and Nemea were for- 
gotten in those spots which had once been the lungs of 

1 Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, iii. 174. But it is probable that the settle- 
ments of the Koniarides in Thessaly commenced as early as the time of the 
emperor Cantacuzenos. [In Urquhart's Spirit of the East (vol. i. pp. 334 foil.) 
there is an interesting account of the first settlement of the Koniarates in Thessaly, 
taken down from the mouth of the Kaimakam of Tournovo, a descendant of the 
original Turkish founder, a memoir of whose life is contained in an Arabic manu- 
script in the library of the town. According to this, Turakhan Bey. in the time of 
Murad II., when he had established himself in the country, but found his force of 
Turks too small to enable him to hold it, sent emissaries to Iconium, and induced 
five or six thousand families to emigrate from thence to Thessaly, where he gave 
them lands on the north of the plain. Ed.] 


[Ch. III. 

Hellenic life. Albanian peasants cultivated the fields of 
Marathon and Plataea, drove their ploughshares over the 
roomy streets of the Homeric Mycenae, and fed their flocks 
on Helicon and Parnassus. The whole of Boeotia, Attica, 
Megaris, Corinthia, and Argolis, a considerable part of 
Laconia, several districts in Messenia, and a portion of 
Arcadia, Elis, and Achaia, were colonized by Albanians, 
whose descendants preserve their peculiar language and 
manners, their simple social habits, and their rude system 
of agriculture, to the present day l . In these districts the 
Turks dwelt as a territorial aristocracy, while the Greeks 
only survived in the towns as artizans and shopkeepers. 
The colonization of so large a portion of the eastern shores 
of Greece by an alien race, in an inferior grade of civilization, 
tended to diminish the influence of the Greek race in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, just as the earlier 
colonization of the country by the Sclavonians had produced 
a similar effect in the sixth and seventh centuries. 

The energetic government of Mohammed II. revived the 
commerce of his Greek subjects. The concessions which 
the Italian republics had extorted from the weakness of the 
Greek emperors, were abolished ; and the Othoman domina- 
tion restored to the Greeks a share in the commerce of the 
Levant. Unfortunately the fiscal corruption of the sultan's 
government soon favoured the commerce of foreigners more 
than that of natives. Political advantages and large presents 
obtained relaxations of duties for the subjects of foreign 
states, which individual native merchants could not purchase. 
The foreign commerce of the Levant was again transferred 
to the western nations, while the coasting trade was destroyed 
by pirates. The Venetians and Genoese succeeded in securing 
to themselves commercial monopolies in the Othoman empire, 
and in rendering the reciprocity of trade, which they granted 
to the subjects of the sultan, an empty privilege 2 . The 

1 The words of Byron — 

' Their place of birth alone is mute 
To sounds which echo farther west 
Than their sires' islands of the blest,' — 
are literally true. I have visited" hundreds of villages in Greece, and there are 
some at this moment in Attica, in spite of kingdom, constitution, and university, 
in which many of the women and children under ten years of age understand very 
few words of Greek. 

2 Even the republic of Ragusa complained to the sultan, as its protector, of the 


A.D. I453-1676.] 

authority of the Othoman government, nevertheless, enabled 
the Greeks to raise their commerce from the depressed 
condition into which it had fallen under the Greek emperors, 
and the material interests of the boatmen and petty merchants 
of Greece were greatly benefited by the conquest, though 
their advantages were not so apparent as those of the 
cultivators of the soil and of the regular clergy. Sultan 
Mohammed II. brought so great an alleviation of the suffer- 
ings of the people, by putting an end to the domestic feuds 
of the nobles, the civil wars of the despots, and the fiscal 
oppression of the emperors, that we must not wonder that 
he was regarded as a benefactor by the majority of the 
Greeks, in spite of the declamations of orators and historians. 
These benefits explain the tame submission of the Greeks 
to the dominion of the sultans, for the extermination of the 
Byzantine aristocracy caused an immediate improvement in 
the material condition of the lowest order of society engaged 
in agricultural pursuits, and removed the most obvious motive 
for resistance to foreign conquest. Unfortunately, the causes 
which enabled the people to better their condition physically, 
produced a moral and social debasement of the whole Hellenic 
race. The diminished population lived with little labour 
in plenteous ease. Olives, oil, fruit, wine, and silk were 
abundant. The plains were so easily cultivated as to furnish 
large supplies of wheat, of which a part was annually exported. 
Venice was dependent on the Othoman empire for the greater 
part of the grain it consumed during the fifteenth and six- 
teenth centuries ; and the liberty of exporting wheat to 
France from Cyprus, the Morea, Negrepont, and Albania, was 
a favour which the diplomatic agents of the King of France 
often solicited from the Porte 1 . 

strictness of the Venetian protective system in 1484, which threatened to put an 
end to the trade of Ragusa. The Venetians declared the existence of their state 
depended on the maintenance of their prohibitive system. Navagiero, Storia 
Italiana, in Muratori, Script. Rer. Ital. xxiii. 1191. See some of the orders of the 
senate on this subject in Marin, Storia civile e politica del commercio de Veneziani, 
vii. 326, 347. 

1 Guicciardini, Istoria d'ltalia. lib. vi. p. 320. Wine, oil, soap, cheese, salt, mo- 
rocco leather, dyeing materials, fruit, flax, cotton, silk, and valonia, were imported 
into Italy, as well as grain ; Marin, Storia del commercio de' Veneziani, vii. 188, 203 : 
wheat into France ; Negociations dans le Levant, iii. 902. Cattle and grain were 
exported from the Morea and Roumelia to Sicily and Marseilles, at the end of the 
seventeenth century. Spon, Voyage d'ltalie, de Dalmatie, de Grece et du Levant, 
ii. 5, 7, 19. Currants were imported into England in large quantities at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century. English ships visited both Zante and 


[Ch. III. 

The Greeks failed to secure to themselves any permanent 
advantages from the various favourable circumstances in 
which they were placed by the revival of their commerce and 
the increased demand for the produce of their soil. As had 
been the case for centuries, their national character was in dis- 
accord with their position. Partly from the jealous and 
envious disposition that prevents their uniting together for a 
common object or acting in concord for any length of time, 
and partly from the suspicion with which any popular action 
was regarded by the clergy, the Phanariots, and the Othoman 
government, the Greeks could neither form great mercantile 
associations, permanent and influential banking companies, 
nor well-organized rural municipalities. To carry on a secure 
and profitable commerce by sea, it was necessary to possess 
well-armed vessels, but it was only by singular favour and 
constant bribes that a Greek vessel could obtain a license to 
carry arms ; and even when armed there was some danger 
that any vessel under the Turkish flag would be treated as a 
pirate, in consequence of the jealousy of rival merchants in 
every port of the Mediterranean. 

The long contests between the Greek clergy and the court 
of Rome, which prevailed from the recognition of the papal 
supremacy by Michael VIII. (Palaeologos), were only ter- 
minated by the death of the last Constantine, who died 
in communion with the Pope. The religious bigotry of the 
orthodox clergy, which reached the highest pitch of frenzy 
during the last years of the Greek empire, was calmed by 
the calamities which attended the sack of Constantinople, — 
for the orthodox viewed this great catastrophe as a divine 
judgment on the imperial heretic. The Greek priesthood, 
in the long struggle it carried on with the imperial government 
and the papal power, had succeeded in persuading the people 
that orthodoxy in doctrine, and the strict observance of 
ecclesiastical forms, were the true symbols of Greek nationality. 
The Greeks warmly espoused these opinions, and loudly 
expressed their thoughts with all their usual volubility and 
confidence. The orthodox enthusiasm was undoubtedly both 
national and sincere, yet never did such a loud and general 

Cephalonia; and at the latter island they paid export duties to the republic of 
Venice for currants alone, to the amount of forty thousand scudi annually. 
Deshayes, Voyage de Levant, pp. 452, 468. 


A.D. I453-1676.] 

expression of public opinion produce so little moral effect. 
History has transmitted the name of no orthodox hero to 
posterity, who was honoured with the respect and blessings 
even of the Greeks themselves. The real heroes of Eastern 
nationality at the time of the conquest of Greece were the 
Catholic emperor Constantine and the Albanian prince 
Scanderbeg, and both were members of the papal, not of the 
orthodox church. 

Mohammedan princes have generally been more tolerant 
to their unbelieving subjects than Christian rulers, the com- 
mands of the Koran having been more implicitly obeyed than 
the precepts of the Gospel. Mohammed II. granted the 
fullest toleration to the Greeks which the Koran allows to 
unbelievers, and motives of policy induced him to add some 
particular favours to the general toleration he conceded to 
all his Christian subjects. With that consummate prudence 
which he displayed on all great occasions during his unfeeling 
and violent career, he made the bigoted feelings of the ortho- 
dox instruments for the furtherance of his objects. He not 
only tolerated the political and social influence of the Greek 
clergy, but even added to it. In displaying this spirit of 
toleration, however, his object was not to favour the Chris- 
tians ; it was to render the orthodox clergy a useful instru- 
ment of police for securing the tranquillity of his recent 
conquests and riveting the fetters with which he bound the 
people. It depended on Mohammed II., after the taking of 
Constantinople, to render the Greeks an expatriated race like 
the Jews, for their military weakness, political incompetency, 
and moral degradation had rendered them powerless to resist 
their conquerors. Four rival nations, each equal to the Greeks 
in number, were competing for his favour, and could have 
filled up any void created by forcible translocations of the 
Hellenic race. Had Mohammed II. treated Greece as Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella treated Granada, Turks, Sclavonians, Valla- 
chians, and Albanians would have instantly occupied the 
country. But the conqueror chose a wiser course. He felt 
the fullest confidence that he could direct the minds of the 
Greeks, and master their intellects, as easily as he had 
conquered their persons, and without fear he gave them a 
new centre of nationality by restoring the orthodox patri- 
archate of Constantinople. He united all the dissevered 

VOL. V. K 


° [Ch. III. 

members of the orthodox church under a central authority, 
over which he exercised a direct control as its real head. 
The boon thus voluntarily conferred on the Greek nation 
enlisted the prejudices and bigotry of the people in the cause 
of his government. He was accepted as the temporal head 
of the orthodox church, because he was regarded as its pro- 
tector against Catholicism. By this insidious gift the sultan 
purchased the subservience of the Greeks, and for the two 
succeeding centuries his successors were the acknowledged 
defenders of the orthodox against the pretensions of the 

It must be owned that the contrast between Mussulman 
toleration and papal intolerance was too glaring not to extort 
some sentiments of gratitude towards the sultan, even from 
the hard character and utter selfishness of the Greek people. 
While the pope and the Christian princes in Western Europe 
were fierce in their persecution of heresy, and eager to extend 
the cruelties of the inquisition, the sultans of Turkey and 
Egypt were mild in their treatment of unbelievers, and 
tolerant in the exercise of their undoubted authority as 
absolute sovereigns. Not only was the Christian treated 
with more humanity in Mussulman countries than Moham- 
medans were treated in Christian lands, even the orthodox 
Greek met with more toleration from Mussulmans than from 
Catholics ; and the knowledge of this difference formed one 
strong reason for the preference with which the Greeks clung 
to the government of the Othoman sultans in their wars with 
the£Lliristian powers for more than two centuries. 

AJf one sad fact history leaves no doubt : the fabric of 
Greek society, private as well as public, was utterly corrupt. 
Vice was more universal among the Greeks than among the 
Turks. The venality of Greek officials, and the cowardice of 
Greek armies, had allowed the Othoman tribe to found an 
empire by conquests from the Greeks. The ease and rapidity 
with which the Greek nation was subdued, and the tameness 
with which the people bore the yoke imposed on them, prove 
that the moral degradation of the masses contributed as much 
to the national calamities as the worthlessness of the aristo- 
cracy and the clergy, or as the corruption of the imperial 
government. The moral inferiority of the Greek race at this 
period is forcibly intruded on the attention of the reader of 


A.D. I453-1676.] 

Othoman history. The orthodox Mussulman was remarkable 
for his strict observance of the moral obligations of the Mo- 
hammedan law : but the orthodox Christian neglected the 
great moral precepts of his religion, and was only attentive 
to the distinctive ceremonies and peculiar formalities of his 
own church. A strong sense of duty directed and controlled 
the conduct of the Mussulman in the everyday actions of life ; 
while among the Greeks a sense of duty seems to have failed 
entirely, and there appears to have been an utter want of 
those deep mental convictions necessary to produce moral 
rectitude. Yet, among the Othomans, we find that the strict 
observance of all the outward formalities of their law was 
united with a profound devotion to its moral and religious 
ordinances. This remarkable circumstance must have origin- 
ated in the wise system of education which enabled the 
Othoman Turk to emerge as a superior being from the 
corrupted populations of the Seljouk and Greek empires. 
Among the Greeks the regular performance of church cere- 
monies, and the fulfilment of some vain penance, became 
an apology for neglecting the weightiest obligations of Christ's 
moral law. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Islam 
breathed faith into the hearts of its votaries, while orthodoxy 
deadened the moral feelings of the soul, by using idolatrous 
forms as a substitute for faith. This spiritual elevation of 
Mohammedans long continued to form a marked contrast 
with the degraded moral condition of the orthodox Christians. 
No period of Greek history offers us so sad an example of the 
perversity with which man can stray from the guidance of 
truth, and set up iJie ordinances of man's imagination above 
the laws of God.Jf 

The nature "c^fTvIohammedanism gives it a political advan- 
tage over Christianity, which must not be overlooked in 
examining the relations between the Othomans and the 
Greeks. The outward forms of Islam are an inherent portion 
of its doctrines ; they are tests of religion, not of orthodoxy ; 
and the public manner in which they are hourly exhibited 
unite all Mussulmans together as one people, while by these 
very forms a strong line of separation is drawn between them 
and the rest of mankind. Thus all Mohammedans living 
in constant intercourse with Christians feel and act as if 
they composed one nation. The Arab, the Mongol, and the 

K 2 


[Ch. III. 

Turk find that their common religion effaces their national 


Christianity presents another aspect The religious divi- 
sions of Christians form as strong contrasts as their national 
distinctions. The Catholic and orthodox Greeks are as 
completely separated as the Greeks and Armenians. The 
Orthodox and the Catholics, the Armenians, the Nestorians, 
and the Jacobites, are as much separated by the articles of 
their faith as by the diversity of their nations. Those beyond 
the pale of Christianity could hardly believe that Christianity 
was really one religion, so marked were the distinctions 
among Christians, and so violent the animosity which the 
rival churches entertained to one another. In the individual, 
the contrast was as great as in the mass. The Mohammedan 
generally obeyed the commands of his prophet to the letter ; 
while the Christian assumed the wildest license in interpreting 
the word of God. The pope taught publicly that the doc- 
trines of Christ were not of universal application, and assumed 
the power of authorizing Christian princes to violate the 
promises they made to infidels even after they had sworn on 
the Gospel that they would keep their word 1 . This moral 
laxity among Christians, and want of an all-pervading reli- 
gious faith, was the principal cause of the apostasies so 
prevalent in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Otho- 
man army and administration were filled with Christian 
renegades, while hardly an example could be found of a 
Mohammedan forsaking his religion. 

The fermenting leaven of self-destruction, which exists in 
all corporate bodies placed beyond the direct control of 
public opinion, had so corrupted the Greek clergy in the 
fifteenth century, that the cause of Christianity suffered by 
the conduct of its priesthood. Religion was the predominant 
feature of society; but the religion of the Greeks was far 
removed from the purity of the apostolic precepts, and from 
the mild doctrines of Christianity. The characteristics of 

1 Two examples were notorious in the East. Pope Eugenius IV. excited* 
Ladislas, king of Hungary, to break his treaty with Sultan Murad II. ; an act 
of faithlessness which caused his defeat and death at Varna, a.d. 1444. Pope 
Pius II., on the same pretext, that an oath to the enemies of the Christian religion 
was not binding, persuaded Scanderbeg to violate the treaty he had just concluded 
with Mohammed II. in 1461. Pray, Ann. Hung. ii. part 3, 17; Bonfinius, Res 
Hun faricae, dec. iii. lib. 6 ; Raynaldi, Ann. Eccles. ix. 430, edit. Mansi ; Barletius, 
Vita Scanderbegi, 198. 


a.d. 1453-1676.] 

Byzantine religion were austerity and superstition, two qua- 
lities impressed on it by monastic influence. / The dignified 
clergy, who had long exercised considerate authority in 
civil affairs, could only be chosen from among the monks. 
This prerogative extended the authority of monachism, by 
making the monastery a surer path to wealth and power 
than to heaven. Men of rank sent their children into the 
monastery as a means of securing them a high social position. 
History affords innumerable examples of the facility with 
which single classes of society can falsify the opinions of a 
nation, — so that there is nothing surprising in the power 
and corruption of monachism in Greece. Ambition intro- 
duced the spirit of intrigue among the monks, and a wish 
to conceal the vices of the clergy spread religious hypocrisy 
through the whole frame of Greek society, and silenced many 
of the truths which speak most plainly to the human under- 
standing. Under monastic influence, it became the highest 
virtue in a Greek to repudiate many of his duties to his 
country and his fellow-creatures, in order to secure a repu- 
tation of sanctity as a monk. Some rose to power as 
courtiers, others as demagogues. The most worthless monk 
was allowed privileges denied to the best citizen. The pre- 
vailing hypocrisy, it is true, could not conceal the truth from 
all. The common sense of the people ventured at times to 
question the pretension that the monk was always a better 
man on account of his monastic garb ; but it was nevertheless 
generally believed that the profession of monachism was a 
valid reason for exemption from punishment in this world, 
and a sure mitigation of divine wrath in the world to 
come. The homage rendered to the monastic order was 
consequently very great, and the monastery became a re- 
treat for the intriguing politician as well as for the pious 

The fermentation of monastic society in the East had 
passed into a principle of corruption before the fifteenth cen- 
tury. The Greek Church declined with the Byzantine Empire. 
No examples were any longer to be found of that zealous 
abnegation of humanity which elevated men for life on the 
tops of columns, or perched them in the branches of trees. 
Even the active charity which reflects some rays of glory on 
the darkest periods of Byzantine history, was almost extinct. 


3 [Ch. III. 

The Stylites and Dendrites of earlier times ; the hospitals of 
Constantinople, and the names of the saints who have been 
admitted into the Greek calendar for deeds of true Christian 
charity, form part of the social records of mankind in the 
East. But in the fifteenth century the moral weakness of the 
Greek race rendered it incapable of emulating the stern suf- 
ferings, or of feeling the tender sympathies, of early Byzantine 
society. Ecclesiastical learning declined, hypocrisy increased, 
and bigotry became aggressive. The monasteries no longer 
supported hospitals and poor-houses, nor did the monks any 
longer study as physicians, and" serve as attendants on the 
sick. Those who could not advance in the career of eccle- 
siastical preferment, turned their attention to money-making. 
They frequented the public marts as dealers in pictures, 
ancient and modern, profane and sacred ; but as picture- 
dealing alone was not sufficient to enrich them, many became 
cattle-dealers and wool-merchants. Those who restricted 
their attention to cultivating and extending the religious 
influence of their order, dealt only in sacred images — the 
gilded pictures which had been the abomination of the Icono- 
clasts — and excited the people to purchase them at an 
exorbitant price, by forged visions and pretended miracles. 
Eustathios, Archbishop of Thessalonica in the twelfth century, 
a man of virtue and a scholar, whose commentaries on Homer 
and Dionysius Periegetes are still studied by the learned, 
declares, that in his time the monks neglected the study of 
Greek literature, and had begun to sell the ancient manu- 
scripts in the libraries of the monasteries l . The ignorance 
and vices of the monks were long the subject of general 
animadversion ; but in this matter, as in many others, Greek 
society proved incompetent to reform its own abuses. The 
destructive energy of a foreign conqueror was necessary to 
sweep away abuses and open a field for improvement 2 . 

Many of the social vices of the Greeks under the domination 
of the Othomans must be traced back to the corrupt monastic 
influence predominant in the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- 
turies. The monks taught the people that vice might be 

1 Eustathii Opuscula, edit. Tafel, Be emendanda vita monachica, 229, 230, 249. 

2 Xicetas (Isaac et Alex. p. 358, edit. Paris) passes a severe censure on ' the 
accursed monks' about the person of the Emperor Isaac. Mazaris alludes to the 
licentiousness of the nuns and the hypocrisy of the monks. Boissonade, Anecdota 
Graeca, iii. 128, 129. 


a.d. 1453-1676.] 

atoned for by prostrations and fasting. Intolerance became a 
national characteristic. The hatred of foreigners, which Strabo 
cites as a mark of utter barbarism, grew to be the prominent 
feature of Greek nationality J,-- 

The complete separation effected by monachism in the 
social standing of the regular and secular clergy — between 
the bishop and the parish priest — exercised a corrupting influ- 
ence on the whole clergy. The monks and the dignified 
clergy became intriguers at Turkish divans, flatterers of Otho- 
man officials, and systematic spies on the conduct of the 
parish priests and on the patriotic sentiments of the laity. 
They served for three centuries as the most efficient agents 
of the Othoman government, in repressing any aspirations for 
independence among the Greeks. 

The only administrative authority which was not entirely 
annihilated by the Othoman conquest, was that of the church. 
The modern Greeks boast that their church, having survived 
the loss of their independence, was the means of preserving 
their nationality during three centuries of servitude. This 
may be regarded as true only to a very limited extent. The 
Greek clergy, doubtless, by becoming the agents of the sultan's 
government, secured a legal position in the Othoman empire 
to the Greeks, as the representative people among the orthodox 
Christians ; but the primary cause of the persevering endurance 
of the Hellenic race was in its own obstinate nationality, not 
in the ecclesiastical organization which was capable of being 
converted into an instrument of Othoman oppression. The 
virtues which the rural population practised, and not the 
power which the church prostituted to the service of a 
Mohammedan government, preserved the nation. The church 
of Constantinople was always more orthodox than it was 

The church of Constantinople received from Mohammed II. 
an organization which rendered it subservient to his will ; and 
the Greek clergy were the active agents in their own degrada- 
tion. In judging the relations between the conquered and the 
conquerors, we must not allow our detestation of tyranny to 

1 Strabo, lib. xviii. p. 802. The Greeks were never hospitable to aliens in race 
and language. In the Middle Ages they were regarded as extremely inhospitable. 
Luitprand. Legatio ad Nicephorum Phocam, p. 371, edit. Bonn; 'In omni Graecia 
(veritatem dico, Don mentior) non reperi hospitales episcopos.' See also Saewulf's 
Travels ; Bohn, Early Travels in Palestine, 34 ; ' The Greeks are not hospitable.' 


[Ch. III. 

nourish in our minds a feeling of sympathy with the servility 

of parasites. No class of men can long remain undeserving of 

the social position it occupies ; even the misfortunes of nations 

are generally the direct consequence of their own vices, social 

or political. 

One great temporal characteristic of Christianity is, that it 
connected mankind by higher and more universal ties than 
those of nationality. It teaches men that religion ought to 
bind them together by ties which no political prejudices ought 
to have strength to sever, and thus reveals how the progress 
of human civilization is practically connected with the ob- 
servance of the divine precepts of Christ. The Greeks have 
never admitted this truth into their minds. On the contrary, 
they have laboured strenuously to corrupt Christianity by the 
infusion of a national spirit. Their church is a great effort to 
make Christianity a Greek institution ; and when the pure 
principles of religion were found to be at variance with 
ecclesiastical restrictions, the Greeks made ecclesiastical 
orthodoxy, not Christian piety, the essence of their national 
church. They resuscitated the spirit of Paganism under a 
new form. At a very early period the Greeks placed the 
Gospel in a subordinate position to the councils of the church, 
by making them legislative assemblies of Christianity, instead 
of being administrative councils for maintaining national 
churches in strict conformity with the precepts of Christ's 

Mohammed II. understood perfectly the character of his 
subjects. He spoke their language, and knew their thoughts. 
After the conquest of Constantinople, he availed himself of 
the hoary bigotry and infantine vanity of Hellenic dotage 
to use the Greek Church as a means of enslaving the nation. 
The orthodox clergy had separated themselves from the 
imperial government before the taking of Constantinople, and 
Mohammed II. availed himself of the hostile feeling with 
which they regarded the last unfortunate emperor, to attach 
them to his government. The last patriarch of the Greek 
empire retired to Rome in the year 145 1, where he died eight 
years later 1 . The sultan found the Greek Church in such 
a state of disorganization from the flight of the patriarch and 

1 Phrantzes, 217, edit. Bonn; Crusius, Tarco-Graecia, 5; Cuper, De Pa/riarchis 
Constant. 191. 


A.r. 1 453-1676.] 

its disputes with the Emperor Constantinc, as to admit of his 
reconstituting its hierarchy, according to his own political 
views. The orthodox party was restored to power, and 
George Scholarios, who assumed the monastic name of Gcn- 
nadios, was selected by the sultan to fill the office of patriarch, 
and act as minister of ecclesiastical affairs for the Sublime 
Porte. Gcnnadios was respected by his countrymen for his 
learning and morality; but his public conduct testifies that he 
had more than an ordinary share of the narrow-minded bigotry 
which perverted the judgment of his contemporaries. 

When the unfortunate Emperor Constantine XI. confirmed 
the union of the Greek and Latin Churches in the year 1452, 
Gcnnadios exerted all his influence to prevent the orthodox 
from assisting the schismatic emperor in the defence of Con- 
stantinople. His bigotry so completely extinguished his 
patriotic feelings that he predicted the destruction of the 
Greek empire as a punishment which Heaven would inflict 
on the people, to mark God's reprobation of Constantine's 
fall from orthodoxy. Sultan Mohammed, who spoke Greek 
fluently, and who was perfectly acquainted with the influence 
the different parties in the church possessed over the people, 
treated the most popular of the clergy with marked favour \ 
He saw the advantages that would result from using them as 
his agents in reconciling the laity to the Othoman domination. 
With that profound political skill which enabled him to use 
his opponents as the instruments of his ends, he selected the 
bigoted Gcnnadios as the new orthodox patriarch, and made 
use of him as an instrument to obtain for himself, though a 
Mohammedan prince, the ancient personal position of the 
Byzantine sovereigns as protector of the orthodox church and 
master of the Greek hierarchy. His policy was completely 
successful. The sultans never involved themselves in eccle- 
siastical disputes. The contempt which the Mussulmans then 
entertained for all Christians saved them from this folly; to 
them the Orthodox and the Catholic were equally distant from 
the light of truth. Theological differences and church govern- 
ment only interested them as questions of public order and 

1 Phrantzes, 93, 95. The History of the Patriarchs of Constantinople says — 
"H£(vpe ra 'PwfiaiiccL icaWa ical KenTuTara, /cat ras rd£eis tujv 'Pwfxaiaiv — aydirrjaf Si 
iroWa. rd -yivos riuv Xpianavuiv /cat t/JAen-e /caAws. Turco-Graecia, 107, 120, edit. 


[Ch. III. 

police, and personal preferences were only determined by 
pecuniary payments. Hence the Greek Church was for a 
long period left at liberty to arrange its own internal affairs ; 
its vices and its virtues were the spontaneous efforts of its own 
members ; its religious action was rarely interfered with, and 
it must bear the blame if morality and faith did not prosper 
within its bosom. 

It is generally said that, in virtue of the privileges conceded 
by Mohammed II. to the Greek Church, the Patriarch of 
Constantinople is elected by an assembly composed of Greek 
bishops who happen to be officially resident at the seat of 
the patriarchate, joined to a certain number of the neigh- 
bouring clergy, under the presidency of the metropolitan 
of Heraclea 1 . But the truth is, that the Patriarch of Con- 
stantinople is appointed by the sultan pretty much in the 
same way as the archbishop of Canterbury is appointed by 
the sovereign of England. Mohammed II., after naming 
Gennadios patriarch, wished him to be instituted in his eccle- 
siastical dignity according to the ancient ceremonial of the 
church, in order to prevent the election producing new dis- 
sensions. The great object of the sultan was to re-establish 
the patriarchate in such a manner as to give it the greatest 
influence over the minds of the whole body of the orthodox 
clergy and laity. The patriarch Gennadios, and the bishops 
who survived the taking of Constantinople, were supported 
by the Othoman government in their exertions to restore the 
whole fabric of the Eastern Church, in outward form as well 
as in religious doctrine, to its condition before the Council 
of Florence in 1439. The synods and councils of the Greek 
Church, since the taking of Constantinople, have been tolerated 
by the Sublime Porte only so far as they facilitated adminis- 
trative measures, without conferring any independent influence 
on the Greek clergy. The rescript of the sultan has always 
been necessary to authorize a bishop to exercise his eccle- 
siastical functions in the see to which he has been elected 2 . 
The Mohammedan sovereign, as master of the orthodox 
church, retained in his own hands the unlimited power of 

1 Le Quien, Oriens Christianas, i. 146. 

2 Waddington (Greek Church, 54) says the words of the barat of the sultan were, 
' I command you to go and reside as bishop at (Athens) according to the ancient 
custom, and to the vain ceremonies of the inhabitants.' 


a.p. 1453-1676.] 

deposing both patriarchs and bishops. The absolute power 
of condemning every Greek ecclesiastic, whether patriarch, 
monk, or parish priest, to exile or death, was a prerogative 
of the sultan which was never doubted. 

/Mohammed II., nevertheless, invested the patriarch with 
privileges which gave him great civil as well as ecclesiastical 
power over his countrymen. He was authorized by the 
usages of the church to summon synods and decide eccle- 
siastical differences ; and by the concessions of the sultan to 
hold courts of law for the decision of civil cases, with per- 
mission to enforce his sentences by decrees of excommunica- 
tion, a punishment which few Greeks had courage to encounter. 
A virtuous and patriotic clergy might have rendered these 
privileges a source of national improvement, an incitement 
to good conduct, and an encouragement to true religion, for 
Mohammed and his successors would willingly have employed 
Christians, on uhose morality they could depend, as a counter- 
poise to the military power of the Seljouk feudatories and 
the independent authority of the Ulema. J 

The demoralization of the clergy and laity was so great 
at the time of the Othoman conquest, that it would have 
required some time, and patient perseverance on the part 
of virtuous and able patriarchs, to render honesty an influential 
element in orthodox society. Gennadios had not even the 
purity of character necessary to stem the current of evil, and 
despairing of his own success in any project for the benefit 
of the church, he resigned the patriarchate towards the end 
of the year 1458, and retired to the monastery of St. John 
the Precursor, on Mount Menikion, near Scrres. Gennadios, 
and the three patriarchs who followed him in succession, 
entered on their office without making any present or paying 
any tribute or purchase-money to the Porte ; but their govern- 
ment of the church was disturbed by internal dissensions and 
intrigues among the clergy and laity. The third patriarch, 
Joasaph, a man of tranquil disposition, was driven frantic by 
the incessant quarrels around him, in which he could not 
avoid taking some part. Despair and disgust at last so far 
overpowered his reason, that he attempted to put an end to 
his life by throwing himself into a well. He was fortunately 
taken out alive, and the Greeks were spared the scandal of 
hearing that their patriarch had voluntarily plunged into the 


[Ch. III. 

pains of hell to escape the torment of ruling the orthodox 
church on earth 1 . 

After the conquest of Trebizond, the Greek clergy and 
nobles formed themselves into two great parties, the Con- 
stantinopolitans and the Trapezuntines, who contended for 
supremacy at the patriarchate as the green and blue factions 
had striven in the hippodrome of the Byzantine empire. The 
exiles of Trebizond spared no efforts to place a member of 
their party at the head of the orthodox church. They knew 
that much valuable patronage in the church would be placed 
at their disposal, and, spurred on by interest, they allowed 
neither a sense of justice nor a feeling of patriotism to arrest 
their intrigues. To gratify their ambition, they suggested 
to the sultan a new source of revenue, drawn from the de- 
moralization of the clergy and the degradation of their nation. 
The fourth patriarch who was appointed without simony was 
Markos, a Constantinopolitan. The dissensions which had 
driven Joasaph frantic increased under Markos, and the Tra- 
pezuntine party brought forward various charges against him. 
At last they supported their petition for his deposition by 
offering to pay into the sultan's treasury a thousand ducats 
on the election of their own candidate. Mohammed II. is 
said by a Greek historian to have smiled at the intensity of 
the envy displayed by the Greeks, which rendered their 
customs, their laws, and even their religion, powerless to 
restrain their intrigues' 2 . He accepted the purchase-money, 
and allowed the Greeks to introduce that black stain of 
,simony into their hierarchy which soon spread over their 
whole ecclesiastical establishment. From this time simony, 
which is the worst of ecclesiastical heresies, became a part 
of the constitution of the orthodox church 3 . 

Simeon of Trebizond, who gained the patriarchal throne 
by this act of simony, lost it by female influence. The ladies 

1 Historia Patriarchica, in Crusius, Turco-Graecia, 121. 

2 Ibid. 125. 

3 It appears that this heresy prevails in King Otho's administration. I find 
a letter in the Greek newspaper Athena, No. 2332, 28th October, 1855, from the 
Bishop of Andros and Keos, Metrophanes. in which that prelate declares that 
common report attributed the recent election of some ignorant {ava\<pa^rjTovs 
rivas) bishops to simony, and that a senator, whom he names, offered to procure 
his own election at the same time for the sum of one thousand dollars — a price he 
subsequently reduced to five hundred. When the worthy Metrophanes refused, 
the Greek senator exclaimed, 'You know nothing of the world; you will never be 
a bishop unless you pay.' 


A.D. I453-1676.] 

of the sultan's harem began already to traffic in promotions. 
But it would answer no good purpose to pursue the history 
of these corruptions into greater detail. The bribe paid to 
the Porte was increased at each election, and when it became 
evident to all that the patriarchate could be obtained by 
money, an additional impulse was given to the spirit of 
intrigue and calumny, which has always been too active in 
Greek society. The vainglory of the Greeks, as much as 
their ecclesiastical extortions, roused the ambition of the 
Servians, who succeeded in placing a Servian monk, named 
Raphael, on the patriarchal throne of Constantinople as 
eighth in succession under Othoman domination. His nomi- 
nation was purchased by an engagement to render the church 
liable to an annual tribute of two thousand ducats. 

The account the Greeks give of the Patriarch Raphael 
presents their church in a very contemptible light. They say 
that he was a confirmed drunkard, and frequently appeared 
at the most solemn services of religion in such a condition as 
to be unable to stand without support. He was also so 
ignorant of the Greek language as to be compelled to use an 
interpreter in his communications with the Greek clergy who 
had elected him. His love of wine was a just ground for his 
deposition ; his ignorance of Greek ought to have prevented 
his election \ 

Maximos, who succeeded Raphael, had a slit nose. His face 
had been thus disfigured for defending the cause of Markos 
against the Trapezuntine party. Mohammed II. died during 
the patriarchate of Maximos, A.D. 1481. The tenth patriarch 
was Niphon, metropolitan of Thessalonica, whose father was 
an Albanian primate of the Morea, but whose mother was a 
Greek. He was highly esteemed by his contemporaries 
for his eloquence, but his moral conduct was not irreproach- 
able, as appears from an anecdote which proves that he was 
guilty of perjury. Simeon of Trebizond died without leaving 
any heir to his wealth, which was very great. Niphon sub- 
orned false witnesses, in order to appropriate the fortune of 
Simeon to the use of the patriarchate. The perjury was 
discovered by the Turks, and Niphon was deposed 2 . 

1 Historia Patriarchica, 129, 130. 

2 The Church of the Holy Apostles at Thessalonica, near the Vardar gate, 
which retains its name though it has been converted into a mosque, appears, from 


[Ch. III. 

The misconduct of the clergy degraded the position of the 
churchy and stimulated the avarice of the Turks by aug- 
menting the offers of purchase-money for ecclesiastical offices. 
In this public prostitution of religion, the clergy endeavoured 
to persuade the people that patriotic feeling, more than 
personal interest, was the principal motive of their intrigues 
and crimes, and the bigotry of the people prevented their 
scrutinizing very severely any conduct likely to prove advan- 
tageous to the church. 

The credulity of the Greeks enabled the clergy to increase 
their popularity by circulating strange falsehoods among the 
people. We find a curious instance of the ignorance and 
credulity of the people, and of their readiness to confound 
right and wrong for the glory of their church, recorded in the 
history of the patriarchs. Though a fable, it deserves notice 
as a reflection of the national mind. 

During the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Lawgiver, while 
Loufti Pasha, the historian, was grand-vizier (a.d. i 539-1 541), 
the attention of the divan was called to the circumstance 
that it was the duty of the sultan, as caliph of Islam, to 
destroy all the places of worship possessed by infidels in 
every town taken by storm 1 . As Constantinople had been 
so conquered by Mohammed II., it was consequently the duty 
of Suleiman to shut up all the Greek churches in the city, or 
to convert them into mosques. A fetva to this effect was 
delivered by the mufti, and the sultan issued an ordinance to 
carry it into effect. The Patriarch Jeremiah was smitten with 
terror on hearing the news. He immediately mounted his 
mule and hastened to Loufti Pasha, who had always treated 
him with kindness. The grand-vizier and the patriarch held 
a secret conference, and concerted a scheme for evading the 
execution of the sultan's orders. 

A meeting of the divan was held shortly after, for the 
purpose of communicating the ordinance to the patriarch and 

the inscription over the door and the monograms on the columns of the portico, 
to have been constructed by a patriarch of Constantinople named Niphon. 
Eayezid II. expressed great anger at seeing a church which Joachim, the successor 
of Xiphon II., covered with new tiles. His/oria Patriarchica, 128. This church 
must therefore date from the patriarchate of Xiphon I., a.d. 1313. 

1 Historia Patriarchica, 156. This story cannot be reconciled with chronology. 
The grand-vizier is called Toulphi, and the date given is 1537. It is to be hoped 
that the report of Loufti having beaten his wife, who w r as the sultan's sister, 
current some years after at Constantinople, was not truer than this story. See 
Negotiations de la France dans le Levant, i. 496. 



A.D. I453-1676.] 

the Greek priests. Jeremiah appeared before the ministers of 
the Porte, and stated with confidence that Constantinople did 
not fall within the provisions of the ordinance, not having 
been taken by storm by the Mussulmans. He declared that a 
capitulation had been concluded between the Emperor Con- 
stantine and Sultan Mohammed before the gates were opened. 
Well might the members of the divan wonder, cast up their 
eyes to heaven, and caress their beards at this strange infor- 
mation ; but as they had all received large presents from the 
patriarch before the meeting, they waited in silence to see 
what turn matters would take. The grand-vizier declared 
that, as the business now assumed a new character, it 
would be better to discuss it in a grand divan on the fol- 
lowing day. 

The report that all the Christian churches in Constantinople 
were to be destroyed excited general interest, and, long before 
the meeting of the divan, crowds of Turks, Greeks, Armenians, 
Catholics, and Jews were assembled to hear the result l . The 
whole open space from the gate of the Serai' to the court of 
St. Sophia's was filled with people. The patriarch waited 
long without before he was summoned to enter the divan. 
When he was at last admitted, he made his prostrations to 
the viziers with becoming reverence, and then stood erect to 
speak boldly for his Church. The archonts of the Greek 
nation crowded behind him. All admired the dignity of his 
aspect. His white beard descended on his breast, and the 
sweat fell in large drops from his forehead, for the Greek 
historian, with national exaggeration and irreverence, suggests 
that he emulated the passion of Christ, of whose orthodox 
church he was the representative on earth. A long pause 
intervened, according to the supercilious and grave etiquette 
of the Othomans. The grand-vizier at length spoke, ' Patri- 
arch of the Greeks, the sultan has issued an ordinance to 
enforce the execution of our law which prohibits the existence 
of any place of public worship for infidels in the walled cities 
we have conquered with the sword. This city was taken by 
storm by the Great Sultan Mohammed II., therefore let your 

1 Suleiman the Magnificent does not appear to have been tolerant in his dis- 
position, for in his letter to Francis I., a.d. 1528, he boasts that the Christians 
who live under his protection are allowed to repair the doors and windows of 
their places of worship. Negotiations de la France, i. 131. 



priests remove all their property from the churches they now 
occupy and deliver up the keys to our officers.' To this 
summons the patriarch replied in a distinct voice, ' O grand- 
vizier, I cannot answer for what happened in other cities of 
the sultan's empire, but with regard to this city of Constanti- 
nople, I can solemnly affirm that the Emperor Constantine, 
with the nobles and people, surrendered it voluntarily to 
Sultan Mohammed.' The grand-vizier cautioned the patri- 
arch against asserting anything which he could not prove 
by the testimony of witnesses, and asked if he was prepared 
to prove his assertion by the evidence of Mussulmans. 
The patriarch replied in the affirmative, and the affair was 
adjourned for twenty days. 

The Greeks were greatly alarmed, and men of every rank 
offered to furnish the patriarch with large sums of money, in 
order to enable him to bribe the members of the divan to save 
their churches, but the patriarch had already concerted his 
plan. He sent an agent to Adrianople to find two aged 
Mussulmans, who, as was doubtless well known to the grand- 
vizier, were willing to testify to anything the patriarch might 
desire, on being well paid. The witnesses were found and 
conducted to Constantinople, where the patriarch welcomed 
them on their arrival, embraced them, and took care that they 
should be well lodged, clothed, and fed. After they had 
rested from the fatigues of their journey, they were conducted 
to the grand-vizier, who spoke kindly to them, and assured 
them that they might give evidence in favour of the patriarch 
of the Greeks without fear. 

The day appointed for the final determination of the cause 
having arrived, the patriarch presented himself before the 
divan. The grand-vizier inquired if he was now prepared 
to adduce the testimony of Mussulman witnesses. Two aged 
Turks were then led into the divan. Their beards were white 
as the purest snow, red circles surrounded their eyes, in which 
the tears gathered incessantly; their hands and their feet 
moved tremulously. The viziers were amazed, for no one 
remembered to have seen men so advanced in years. They 
stood together before the assembly like two brothers whom 
death had forgotten. 

In reply to the questions of the grand-vizier, they told their 
names, and said that eighty-four years had elapsed since 


a.d. 1453-1676.] 

the conquest of Constantinople. Both declared that they 
were then eighteen years old, and that they had now attained 
the age of one hundred and two. They narrated the conquest 
of Constantinople in the following manner : — 

After the siege had been formed by land and sea, and 
breaches were made in the city walls, the Emperor of the 
Greeks, seeing that there was no possibility of resisting the 
assault, sent a deputation to the great sultan to ask for terms 
of capitulation. The sultan granted him the following con- 
ditions, a copy of which he signed, and read aloud to the 
army : — 

; I, Sultan Mohammed, pardon the Emperor Constantine 
and his nobles. I grant their petition that they may live 
in peace under my protection, and retain their slaves and 
property. I declare that the people of the city of Con- 
stantinople shall be free from illegal exactions, and that their 
children shall not be taken to be enrolled among my janissaries. 
The present charter shall be binding on me and my successors 
for ever 1 .' The deputation delivered this charter to the 
emperor, who came out of the city and presented the keys 
to the sultan, who, on receiving them, kissed Constantine, 
and made him sit down on his right hand. For three days 
the two princes rejoiced together. The emperor then con- 
ducted the sultan into the city of Constantinople, and resigned 
his empire. 

The members of the divan, after listening to this account 
of the conquest from the old men who were present, drew 
up a report, and Sultan Suleiman, on reading this report, 
ordered that the Christians should retain possession of their 
churches, and that no man should molest their patriarch or 
their priests. Such is the modern myth by which Romaic 
vanity glorified its own talents, and satirized the ignorance 
and corruption of the Turks. 

1 This may be admitted as a proof that the tribute of Christian children had 
not been regularly enforced in Constantinople. The anxiety of Mohammed II. 
to repeople his new capital was doubtless the real cause of the exemption. At 
a later period the Christian families were compelled to furnish a rower for the 
imperial fleet from each house. The story of the Patriarch Jeremiah seems to 
have originated in a threat of Sultan Suleiman, that he would destroy all the 
Christian churches in his dominions, as a reprisal for the ravages committed 
by the Spanish garrison of Coron in 1533. See the report of Hieronymus, the 
ambassador of .Ferdinand, king of the Romans. Gevay, Urkunden und Actemtdcke 
zur Geschichte der Verhaltnisse zwischen Oeslreick, Ungarn und der Pforte im iGlen 
und 17 ten Jahrkunderte, p. 5. 

VOL. V. L 


[Ch. III. 

The great Suleiman, called by Christians the Magnificent, 
and by the Othomans the Legislator, is represented as an 
ignorant barbarian, and his learned grand-vizier, Loufti, the 
historian of the Othoman empire, as a corrupted tool of a 
Greek patriarch. But the strangest feature of the fable is, 
the candid simplicity with which the falsehoods and frauds 
of the patriarch are held up to the admiration of Christians. 
The fruits of simony in the church are displayed in the 
moral obtuseness of the people. The ignorance of the inventor 
of the tale is perhaps less astonishing, for even the wealthiest 
Greeks at this time penetrated with difficulty into Othoman 
society. The ecclesiastical historian was ignorant of the name 
of the person who had been grand-vizier eighty-four years 
after the taking of Constantinople ; it is not wonderful, there- 
fore, that he had never heard of the learning of Loufti Pasha. 
He probably knew that Loufti was an Albanian by birth, 
and the Albanians were proverbially an unlettered race ; he 
could not, therefore, suspect that Loufti had employed the 
years he lived as an exile at Demotika in writing a history 
of the Othoman empire, which is still preserved 1 . A com- 
parison of the flourishing state of Turkish literature with the 
degraded state of knowledge among the Greeks during the 
three centuries which followed the Othoman conquest, offers 
a singular anomaly when contrasted with the constant as- 
sumption of mental superiority on the part of the ignorant 
Greeks over their more accomplished masters. The estima- 
tion in which Turkish literature was held in Western Europe 
was not very different from its appreciation by the Greeks, 
until Von Hammer, in his History of the Othoman Empire, 
furnished us with accurate information concerning the many 
learned men who flourished at Constantinople. From him 
Christian Europe heard, for the first time, that several dis- 
tinguished statesmen had employed some portion of their 
time amidst the toils of an active and glorious public life, 
in the cultivation of literature and in the labours of historical 
composition ; and that the literary productions of several 
sultans are still known, even to the present degenerate race 
of Othomans. For several generations after the conquest 
of Constantinople, the Othoman Turks were really entitled 

1 Hammer, Histoire, v. 304, 533. 

a.d. 1453-1676.] 

to take as high rank in literature as in politics and war. But 
the Greeks have always viewed the history of other races 
through a mist of prejudices, which has distorted the objects 
they contemplated. 

The Greek clergy, and those who believe that the nation 
owes its preservation to the .church, have boasted that the 
priesthood persuaded the people to repudiate the judicial 
administration of the Othoman government, and to refer their 
differences to the decision of their patriarchs and bishops. 
This, however, is hardly a correct view of Greek society. 
Under the Othoman domination, the great mass of the Greek 
nation was engaged in agricultural pursuits, and lived scattered 
in small villages, removed from immediate contact with Turkish 
courts of law. Fortunately for them, the communal system, 
by which they elected their village magistrates or head men, 
was not disturbed by the Othoman conquest ; on the contrary, 
the Turks allowed these village chiefs more liberty of action 
than they had enjoyed under the centralizing and aristocratic 
spirit of the Greek empire. The head men of the village, 
aided by the parish priest, decided all ordinary judicial cases 
relating to rights of possession, in a court held before the 
church, and in this court the most respected among the 
inhabitants formed a kind of jury. The cases which required 
a reference to another tribunal were usually those relating 
to questions of succession, which, by the privileges granted 
to the Greek Church, were placed under the jurisdiction of 
the bishop. The usages of the people had more to do with 
the repudiation of Othoman courts of law than either the 
conduct or the example of the clergy. The bishop was too 
distant, and too decidedly an instrument of the Othoman 
government, to secure the implicit confidence of the people 
where religion was not directly concerned, while, on the other 
hand, the general ignorance of the secular clergy prevented 
their acquiring any judicial authority even as arbiters. The 
fact, however, is incontestable, that the Greeks displayed a 
steady determination to avoid, as much as lay in their power, 
every reference to Turkish tribunals. This determination 
arose, in part, from the defective administration of justice 
established in the Othoman empire, and the notorious cor- 
ruption of the judges. Indeed, the Mussulmans themselves 
entertained the greatest aversion to seek redress from their 

L a 


[Ch. III. 

own tribunals, and the dislike manifested by the Turkish 
population to litigation, often spoken of as a national virtue, 
was nothing more than a dread of being plundered by their 
judges. This corruption of the Turkish tribunals being gene- 
rally acknowledged, it was regarded as one of the worst 
crimes of which a Greek could be guilty, to appeal to a 
Mohammedan judge if a Christian bishop could be made 
arbitrator of his difference. The bishops, however, never 
assumed more judicial authority than had been conceded 
to them by Mohammed II. Their gains, as instruments of 
the sultan's power, induced them to recognize the power of 
the sword in civil and criminal justice, and, to justify their 
obedience, and even servility, they cited our Saviour's words, 
' My kingdom is not of this world.' 

We have seen with what eagerness the Greek clergy 
recognized the sultan as the judge of their patriarch's fitness 
for his sacred office. They displayed the same readiness to 
appeal to the Turkish law tribunals, when by so doing they 
could increase their ecclesiastical revenues. The conduct 
of the Patriarch Jeremiah affords a memorable example. 
The Archbishop of Achrida claimed the bishopric of 
Berrhoea, as one of the sees dependent on his jurisdiction as 
Patriarch of Bulgaria ; but the Patriarch of Constantinople 
considered this bishop as a suffragan of the metropolitan of 
Thessalonica, and within the patriarchate of Constantinople. 
To decide the question, Jeremiah applied to the mufti for 
a fetva, declaring that after a lapse of one hundred years' 
uninterrupted possession, it was unlawful to revive a claim to 
property. With this fetva the patriarch presented himself 
before the divan ; and having proved that the church of 
Constantinople, and not that of Bulgaria, had exercised 
jurisdiction in the bishopric of Berrhoea for more than a 
century, his rights were fully recognized. The production 
of the fetva had, however, been supported by a considerable 
bribe, according to the established procedure of Turkish 
justice, and Jeremiah burdened the church with an annual 
tribute of four thousand one hundred ducats l . Under the 
Patriarch Dionysius, who succeeded Jeremiah, the election 
present, or bakshish, to the Porte was increased to three 

1 Historia Patriarchica, 164. 


a.d. M53- 1<5 7 6 -] 

thousand ducats. The contemporary ecclesiastical history 
of the Greeks is filled with complaints of the simoniacal 
practices of the clergy, and the Turks displayed their 
increased contempt for the Greek priesthood by ordering them 
to take down the cross which had until this time crowned the 
dome of the belfry at the patriarchate l . 

The traffic in ecclesiastical preferment went on increasing. 
The patriarchs, having purchased their own place, disposed 
of the vacant bishoprics in the orthodox church to the highest 
bidder ; they added to the dues they exacted from their 
clergy, and augmented the debts of the church. To such a 
degree had these corruptions proceeded, that in the interval 
between 1670 and 1678, the Patriarch of Constantinople was 
changed six times, and the purchase-money of a new 
candidate was raised to the sum of twenty-five thousand 
dollars. The annual tribute had then reached six thousand 
ducats, and the debts of the patriarchate amounted to three 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars, t.wo dollars being nearly 
equal to one ducat 2 . 

Mutual distrust was a feature in the character of the higher 
clergy at Constantinople, and if it did not originate, it 
perpetuated and enforced, one measure which was adopted 
by the -members of the synod, to guard against treachery 
on the part of any single individual of the body. The 
patriarchal seal was divided into four parts, the custody of 
which was intrusted to four metropolitans, but these four 
parts could only be used when united by a key of which 
the patriarch retained possession, and he consequently alone 
possessed the power of affixing it to a public document :1 . 
By this contrivance no patriarchal writing could be legalized 
without the concurrence of the four prelates. Want of 
confidence was shown in every rank of Greek society, at least 
among the urban population. The common people declared 
that they considered it a blessing to give hospitality to a 

1 Historia Patriarchica, 167, 168. 

2 Compare Rycaut, Present State of the Greek Church, 98, 107; and De la Croix, 
Etat present des nations et egli.-,es Grecque, Armenienne, et Maronite en Turquie, 

3 Thiersch, De Vital actuel de la Grece, ii. 181. The clergyman and church- 
wardens in many parts of England have each their separate keys to the parish 
chest, which are all needed to open it. In this case, combined responsibility is 
the object sought. Each of the four archonts of Psara had in his custody a 
quarter of the public seal. Gordon, Greek Revolution, i. 168. 


[Ch. III. 

parish priest, but that it was a curse to be obliged to receive 
a monk into their houses. The secular priests in Greece must 
always be married before they enter on their parochial func- 
tions ; the monks, who wandered about the country, or who 
dwelt in the cities, were often men of doubtful character, or 
men deeply engaged in political and ecclesiastical intrigues, 
either for themselves or as agents for others. 

From what has been said, it is evident that, both as a 
political and ecclesiastical institution, the Greek Church 
offered a feeble resistance to the Othoman government. 
It had been unsuccessful in opposing the progress of Moham- 
medanism with the Arabs in the seventh and eighth centuries, 
and with the Seljouk Turks in the eleventh and twelfth, 
and it proved very ineffectual as a barrier to its progress 
under the Othomans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

The weakness of the Greek Church arose in part from the 
defective constitution of Greek society. The governing class 
in the ecclesiastical establishment was selected from the 
aristocratic element, and no more selfish and degraded class 
of men has ever held power than the archonts of modern 
Greece and the Phanariots of Constantinople. Under the 
Greek emperors and the Othoman sultans we find them 
equally ready to sacrifice the interests of their nation .and the 
good of posterity to the gratification of their own avarice and 
ambition. The Greek hierarchy only shared the character of 
the class from which it was selected. 

The division of the orthodox clergy into regular and secular 
increased the worldly-minded tendencies of the priesthood. 
It rendered the regular clergy avaricious and intriguing ; it 
reduced the secular clergy to so low a rank in society that 
they were generally obliged to gain money by manual labour. 
The bishops possessed considerable revenues, and a jurisdic- 
tion in civil affairs ; the monasteries possessed large landed 
estates ; and the whole patronage of the establishment was 
vested in the hands of the patriarch and the bishops, who 
were selected from the monastic class. The monasteries 
served as places of retreat and shelter for the members of 
the aristocracy who sought to escape Turkish oppression, 
or who aspired at ecclesiastical promotion. The wealth of 
the monasteries rendered the lives of these noble monks easy, 
and they devoted their leisure to political intrigues, to which 


A.n. 1453-1676.] 

the quasi-elective forms and open simony of ecclesiastical 

nominations opened an extensive field. The result was, that 

though for three centuries the Greek monks were placed in 

not unfavourable circumstances for the cultivation of Hellenic 

literature and Christian theology, they forsook these studies 

entirely, and were more active as Othoman agents than as 

Greek priests. 

The prudent policy of the Othomans to a certain extent 
conciliated the feelings of the orthodox. They treated the 
higher clergy with far more respect than was shown to them 
by the Latins. The sultan conceded some marks of honour, 
and considerable power and wealth, to the higher Greek 
clergy; while, on the contrary, the Venetians and Genoese, 
in their possessions in Greece, excluded the Greek clergy 
both from honour and power. The consequence was, that the 
bigotry of the people was inflamed by the galled feelings of 
the higher clergy: hatred to the Latins was inculcated as the 
first of orthodox virtues. 

This spirit of bigotry drew a strong line of separation 
between the Eastern and Western Christians, and tended 
greatly to impede the progress of political civilization among 
the orthodox. Yet so servile was the priesthood in pursuing 
its personal advantages, that many members of the Greek 
Church were found who pretended to countenance both 
Catholic and Protestant interpretations of the doctrines of 
the church, when the influence of the French, the Dutch, or 
the English ambassador at Constantinople appeared most 
likely to advance their intrigues. Most of the disputes in 
the Greek Church, which during the seventeenth century 
induced the Catholics and the Protestants in turn to hope 
for the establishment of a close union with the orthodox, 
must be attributed to political interest, not to conformity 
of doctrine. Cyril Lucar doubtless held some theological 
opinions tending to Calvinism, and Cyril of Berrhoea, his 
successor, inclined to admissions that savoured of Catholicism; 
but public opinion, both among the clergy and the people 
of Greece, remained unshaken in its devotion to the national 
and orthodox church, and bigoted in its hostility to every 
other. The historian of the Greek Church cannot, therefore, 
appeal to the contests among the Greek ecclesiastics in the 
seventeenth century with any confidence, as indicating a wish 


[Ch. III. 

in either party to modify the theological doctrines, or reform 

the simoniacal practices, of their church \ 

The obligations which the modern Greeks really owe to 

their church, as an instrument in the preservation of the 

national existence during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 

have been greatly magnified by the wish of the people to 

invest the only prominent national institution they possessed 

with all imaginary power and virtue. We have seen how 

little the regular clergy did to resist Othoman supremacy 

and the moral power of Mohammedanism. Still there can 

be no doubt that the secular clergy supplied some of the 

moral strength which enabled the Greeks so successfully to 

resist the Othoman power. It is true the parish priests were 

a class of men destitute of learning, and possessing no great 

personal authority; but as the agricultural classes in the 

villages formed the heart of the nation, the parish priests 

had an influence on the fate of Greece quite incommensurate 

with their social rank. The reverence of the peasantry for 

their church was increased by the feeling that their own 

misfortunes were shared by the secular clergy. They believed 

that every doctrine of their church was of divine institution, 

and they adhered to all its ceremonies and fasts as affording 

visible symbols of their faith. As with the Mohammedans, 

forms became the strongest bond of religion. In the mean 

time, the secular clergy, without seeking the mighty charge, 

and without being suited worthily to fulfil the mission, 

became by the nature of things the real representatives of 

the national Church, and the national ministers of religion. 

To their conduct we must surely attribute the confidence 

which the agricultural population retained in the promises 

of the Gospel, and their firm persistence in a persecuted 

faith. The grace of God operated by their means to 

preserve Christianity under the domination of the Othomans. 

The situation of the secular clergy in large towns was 

neither so respectable nor so influential as in the agricultural 

districts. They were generally as ignorant as the village 

priests, and were too often men of much less virtue. Indeed 1 , 

we find that the ignorance and low condition of the secular 

1 For an account of these contests from the English point of view, see Wad- 
dington, Condition of the Greek Church, 78, &c. For a dispassionate summary 
of facts, Kimmel, Monumenta Fidei Eccl. Orthod., proleg. 4, &'c. 


A.P. I453-1676.] 

clergy in the towns of the Othoman empire, which excited 
the contempt of travellers, was too generally taken as the 
indication of their rank and position in the rural districts. 
But in the agricultural villages they were the equals of the 
leading men among the laity, while in the towns they were 
the equals and companions of the lower orders. In the 
agricultural districts they escaped the influence of that cor- 
ruption which demoralized the higher clergy; but in the 
towns they displayed the vices of their own low grade of 
society, which were more disgusting to others, and more 
generally offensive, than the polished wickedness of their 
superiors. Spon tells us that three instances of apostasy 
occurred among the secular clergy of Corinth in the year 
1675 1 . All general descriptions of society must be liable to 
many exceptions, and never were anomalies more numerous 
than in Greece. There was probably no town in which some 
virtuous members of the secular clergy did not reside, and 
there were doubtless many rural districts in which the name 
of a virtuous bishop was respected. Many a city had its 
respected archont ; and many a province had its much-feared 
brigand and its loathed apostate. 

The parochial clergy of Greece lived and died in the same 
social circle in which they were born and bred. Their educa- 
tion in the country was the same as that of the better class of 
the village proprietors around them, of whom they were the 
companions and spiritual guides. As a body, they were 
taught by their position to feel the necessity of securing 
the respect of their parishioners, and on the whole they 
succeeded. Their ignorance and rusticity, not their immo- 
rality and avarice, are made the themes of reproach by 
travellers, who echoed the opinions of the inhabitants of 
towns and of the higher orders of the clergy. The parochial 
clergy could form no ambitious projects which required them 
to flatter Othoman officials, and hence they held little inter- 
course with the Turks ; while the most active members of the 
monastic order were eager to cultivate Mussulman society, 
and to study the Turkish language, as a means for advancing 

1 Spon, ii. 231. Apostasy, however, was as common among the monks as 
among the secular clergy. A curious example of the spirit of toleration and 
respect for public decency among the Turks is mentioned in a Venetian report, 
dated 1679. A renegade monk, or kalogeros, was beheaded for cursing the 
religion of Christ in the divan. Hammer, xii. 45. 


[Ch. III. 

their preferment in the church. Not unnaturally, therefore, 
we find the secular clergy as superior to the regular in 
patriotism as they were inferior in learning ; and this supe- 
riority gave them no inconsiderable moral influence in 
defending the orthodox church against the attacks of Mo- 
hammedanism. Their simple lives, and the purity of their 
moral conduct, united them in harmony with the laity, in 
whose fortunes they were directly interested, and in whose 
feelings they participated. In the lowliness of their social 
position they emulated the worldly rank of their divine 
Master ; and the history of the Greek people attests that their 
humble efforts strengthened the great body of the people to 
persist in their devotion to the Christian faith unto the end l . 

But, after all, the national existence of the Greek race 
depended ultimately on the character and fortitude of the 
people themselves, which could only be partially strengthened 
by the influence of the clergy. Interest or ambition may be 
powerful enough to induce a single class of men, a church, a 
nobility, a corporation, or a privileged body, to assume an 
artificial character, but a whole people cannot conceal its 
national vices, nor imitate virtues which it does not possess, 
No nation can boast of greater firmness of purpose, or stricter 
devotion to its church, than the Greek. Yet Greek society 
was divided into so many branches, living under the influence 
of such different social circumstances, that during the fifteenth, 
sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries it offers a great variety of 
aspects. Orthodox Greeks differed from Catholic Greeks ; 
the subjects of the sultan were unlike the subjects of the 
Venetian republic ; there was a marked contrast between 
the urban and rural population, and between the regular 
and secular clergy, even in the different provinces of the 
Othoman empire. In no other race of men did so little 
sympathy exist between the different portions of the nation 
as among the various orders of the Greeks at this period, yet 
n&fte more vigorously repudiated all foreign influence. 
/ The nation was divided into two great divisions^ whose 
^character is more distinct, and whose separation is much more 
complete in the East, than among the Germanic and Anglo- 
Saxon races ; namely, the urban population, and the culti- 

1 The parochial clergy in the Greek Church must marry a virgin before ordina- 
tion, but cannot marry a second time. 


A.D. I453-1676.] 

vators of the soil. These two classes have perpetuated their 
existence for ages in different stages of civilization, and their 
increase and decrease have been determined by different 
political circumstances and social laws. The cultivators of 
the soil formed, as I have said before, the great majority, 
and, in fact, really constituted the Greek nation during the 
period embraced in this chapter. Among the rural popula- 
tion alone some sentiments of manly vigour and true 
patriotism still survived. The citizens had adopted the 
philanthropic selfishness of the archonts, regular clergy, and 
Jewish colonists, with whom they lived, and with whom they 
struggled for preferment in the Othoman service. The agri- 
cultural population, therefore, the despised and ignorant 
peasantry, were the only class to which the patriot could look 
forward as likely at any future period to afford materials 
for recovering the national independence. The extinction 
of this class, which was often a possible contingency, would 
have reduced the Greeks in Constantinople, Athens, and 
Sparta to the same condition as the Jews in Palestine and 
the Copts in Cairo. 

The urban population was again subdivided into two sec- 
tions, which had almost as few feelings and interests in 
common as if they had belonged to different nations. These 
were the aristocracy, which grew up as officials and servants 
of the Othoman government, and the industrious classes, 
whether merchants, shopkeepers, artizans, or day-labourers. 
But this latter class, having no organ among the clergy, and 
being unable to give expression to its feelings, was compelled 
to accept the leading of the official aristocracy and the dig- 
nified clergy, and to treat its worst oppressors as national 
leaders. Thus we see that the monastic and parochial clergy, 
the officials in the Turkish service, the industrious classes in 
the towns, and the agricultural population, formed five dis- 
tinct bodies in the Greek nation, acting under the guidance 
of different, and often of adverse, circumstances and inte- 
rests. These heterogeneous elements prevented the Greeks 
from coalescing into one body and offering an united national 
resistance to the Othoman domination. Socially, as well as 
geographically, the Hellenic race did not form one compact 
•^^correct estimate of the condition of the people can only 




[Ch. III. 

be obtained by observing how the individuals in each class 
passed through life ; how far they were enabled to better 
their fortunes ; or how they sank gradually in the social scale 
under the weight of Othoman oppression. The authority and 
importance of the higher clergy, and the restricted sphere of 
action of the parish priests, have been already noticed. The 
patriarch and the bishops purchased their dignities, and repaid 
themselves by selling ecclesiastical rank and privileges ; the 
priests purchased holy orders, and sold licenses to marry. 
The laity paid for marriages, divorces, baptisms, pardons, and 
dispensations of many kinds, to their bishops. The extent 
to which patriarchs and bishops interfered in family dis- 
putes and questions of property is proved by contemporary 
documents l . 

The trade of the Greeks had been ruined by the fiscal 
oppressions of the Greek emperors ; and, before the conquest 
of Constantinople, the commerce of Greece had been trans- 
ferred to the Italian states. Under the firm government of 
Mohammed II. a wider sphere was opened for the commercial 
activity of his Greek subjects. They not only received pro- 
tection within the extensive bounds of the Othoman empire, 
but foreign states were compelled to admit them into ports 
under the sultan's flag, from which they had been excluded 
in the time of the Greek emperors. During the early part of 
the sixteenth century the port of Ancona was crowded with 
vessels under the Othoman flag, loading and unloading their 
cargoes ; and the exchange was filled with Greek and Turkish 
merchants, some of whose houses were said, by their rivals 
the Venetians, to do business to the amount of 500,000 ducats 
annually. In the year 1549, about two hundred Greek families 
were settled as traders in Ancona, where they were allowed to 
have their own church 2 . Barcelona also carried on a con- 
siderable trade in the produce of the Levant with Ragusa, 
Rhodes, and Cairo. The long wars of Spain with the Otho- 
man empire prevented all direct trade, but it was the fiscal 
measures of Philip II., and not the extension of Spanish 
commerce -with America, which at last ruined the trade of 
Catalonia with the Levant. Greek merchants travelled to 

1 Several letters in the Turco-Graecia of Crusius. 

2 Ranke, History of the Popes, 97 (Kelly's translation), who quotes Saracini, 
Notizie storiche della citta d' Ancona, Roma, 1675, p. 362. 


A.D. I453-1676.] 

Azof, Moscow, and Antwerp, where their gains were very 
great. They wore the dress and assumed the manners of 
Turks ; for they found that in western Europe they were 
more respected in the character of Othoman subjects than 
as schismatic Greeks. The middle classes in the towns were 
also at this period superior in industry to the same classes in 
many parts of western Europe. Various manufactured articles 
were for two centuries generally imported from the sultan's 
dominions into other countries, particularly camlets, a strong 
stuff composed of silk and mohair called grogram, rich bro- 
caded silks, embroidered scarfs, Turkey carpets, leather, and 
yarn ; besides Angora wool, cotton wool, and raw silk, flax, 
and hemp, in addition to the usual produce exported from the 
Levant, southern Italy, and Sicily, at the present day. Before 
the middle of the seventeenth century the people of Man- 
chester had already turned their attention to the cotton 
manufacture, and the material they used was purchased in 
London from the merchants who imported it from Cyprus 
and other parts of Turkey 1 . Livadea and Athens, as has 
been already mentioned, supplied sailcloth for the Othoman 
navy. English ships already visited the Morea and Meso- 
longhi to load currants, and often brought back rich scarfs, 
sashes of variegated silk and gold tissue, and Turkey leather 
of the brightest dyes, which were manufactured in dif- 
ferent towns in Greece, particularly at Patras, Gastouni, and 
Lepanto 2 . 

Soon after the taking of Constantinople, the ancient aristo- 
cracy of Greece was exterminated. The young children were 
forcibly torn from their parents and educated as Mohamme- 
dans ; many adults voluntarily embraced Islam. Mohammed 
II. systematically put to death all men whom he supposed 
possessed sufficient power or influence to disturb his govern- 
ment. Manuel, the last male scion of the imperial family of 
Palacologos, embraced Mohammedanism. But the protection 
which the sultan granted to the lower classes, soon enabled a 
number of individual Greeks to acquire wealth by commerce 
as well as by acting in the capacity of agents for provincial 
pashas, and of farmers of the revenue. Several of these men 

1 The Merchants Map of Commerce, by Lewes Roberts, fol., London, 1638, 
quoted in Craik, History of British Commerce, ii. 49. 
3 See above, p. 127, note. 


[Ch. III. 

claimed a descent from females of the great Byzantine 
families, and, according to a common practice among the 
Greeks, assumed any surname they pleased. One of the best 
known of this class is Michael Cantacuzenos, who was famous 
for his wealth and pride in the latter half of the sixteenth 
century. His rapacity is celebrated in Greek history, and his 
magnificence and misfortunes in modern Greek poetry 1 . 

Michael Cantacuzenos had accumulated great wealth by 
successful mercantile speculations. To increase his riches and 
gratify his ambition he became a farmer of the revenue, and, 
as such, he was remarkable for his rapacity, and the inexor- 
able severity with which he collected the taxes due by the 
Christians. His corruption and exactions obtained for him 
the execration of the Greek people, and the name of Sheitan- 
oglu, or Devil's Child. His influence with Mohammed Sokolli, 
the celebrated grand-vizier of Selim II. and Murad III., 
enabled him to mix in every political intrigue by which he 
could gain money. He carried on some of his projects with 
the concurrence of the Patriarch Metrophanes, but having 
afterwards quarrelled with the patriarch, he accused Metro- 
phanes of revealing state secrets to the ambassadors of the 
Emperor of Germany, Busbeck and Wys, who had purchased 
many valuable ancient manuscripts from the clergy. Metro- 
phanes was deposed, and he then demanded from Cantacuzenos 
the repayment of 16,000 ducats which he had paid as a bribe 
to purchase that archont's support. As the grand-vizier 
Mohammed Sokolli, and the viziers Piale and Achmet, shared 
in the extortions of Cantacuzenos, the patriarch could obtain 
no redress. The wealth of Cantacuzenos was so enormous, 
that he was able to build and present to the sultan several 
galleys after the battle of Lepanto. 

Cantacuzenos, like every Greek, had a mortal enemy among 
his own countrymen ; the name of this rival was Palaeologos ; 
and these two Turkish tax-gatherers revived the feuds of the 
houses whose names they had assumed. Cantacuzenos 
amassed his wealth with the rapacity which has been the 
standing reproach of Greek officials in the Othoman empire. 

1 Letter of Zygomalas, in Crusius, Tttrco-Graecia, 91. Ranke and Hammer 
consider the song on the death of Kyritsos Michaele, in Fauriel, Chants Populaires 
de la Grece Moderne, i. 212, as written on the death of Michael Cantacuzenos. It 
is a rude and simple composition, without even plaintive grace. 


A.D. I453-1676.] 

But he lavished it with an ostentation of aristocratic pride which 
increased the envy of his rivals. When he rode through the 
streets of Constantinople on his mule, he was preceded by six 
running footmen, and followed by a train of slaves. When 
the influence of Mohammed Sokolli declined, it was easy for 
the intrigues of Palaeologos to inspire Sultan Murad III. with 
a desire to appropriate the wealth of Cantacuzenos — wealth 
extorted from the sultan's subjects, and therefore considered 
by the sultan as of right belonging to the imperial treasury. 
A political accusation was soon found, and Cantacuzenos was 
ordered to be strangled for intriguing in Moldavia. On the 
3d of March 1578 he was hung in the gateway of a splendid 
palace at Anchialos, on the construction of which he had 
expended twenty thousand ducats \ 

At this period the wealth of the Greek merchants, bankers, 
and farmers of the revenue, and the luxury and lavish expen- 
diture of their wives and daughters, excited the wonder of 
European ambassadors and noble travellers who visited the 

During the seventeenth century there was a constant de- 
struction of the capital, employed in preceding ages on works 
of public utility and private advantage, over the whole surface 
of the Othoman empire. The neglect of the Porte, the 
extortions of pashas and primates, the ravages of corsairs, and 
the plundering of brigands, compelled the Greek landowner 
with each successive generation to sink lower in the social 
scale. Accordingly, during this period the Greek race dis- 
appeared from several districts, and abandoned the cultivation 
of the soil exclusively to Albanian peasants of a hardier frame 
and ruder habits of life. Into such a state of disorder had 
the Turkish administration fallen, that when Sultan Moham- 
med IV. led his army to Belgrade in 1683, before sending his 
grand-vizier to besiege Vienna, it was regarded as a favour by 
the inhabitants of the villages on his line of march through 
Thrace, to be allowed to burn their houses, and conceal them- 
selves and their property in the mountains, in order to escape 
the exactions of the feudal militia of Asia, who were now little 
better than brigands 2 . 

The arrival of the Spanish Jews in the Othoman empire at 

1 Hammer, vii. 60; Crusius, Turco-Graecia, 43, ail, 224, 274, 497. 
a Hammer, xii. 81. 


[Ch. III. 

a period of great political depression in the whole Christian 
population, was particularly injurious to the Greeks. The 
Jews expelled from Granada settled in the towns of Turkey 
about the time that a large number of Turkish military 
colonists settled in Europe ; and the sudden increase of the 
Mussulman warriors and landlords required a corresponding 
addition to the class of artizans and traders. The Greek 
population of the towns had suffered so severely in the fifteenth 
century from famines and plagues, as well as from the inces- 
sant slave-forays of the Seljouk and Othoman Turks, that 
Mohammed II. was often compelled to have recourse to the 
rural population of Greece to repeople the towns he conquered. 
When subsequent conquests enriched the Othomans, and 
augmented the demand for all articles of luxury, the demand, 
suddenly created by a rapid career of conquest, was as sud- 
denly supplied by the bigotry of Ferdinand and Isabella of 
Spain, who drove the Jews and Moors of their dominions into 
exile. In the latter part of the fifteenth century, Jewish 
colonists settled in great numbers in most of the large com- 
mercial cities of Turkey, where they immediately occupied 
various branches of industry formerly exclusively exercised 
by Greek artizans. Their arrival filled a void in society, and 
their superior dexterity in many branches of industry enabled 
them to resist successfully the rivalry of the Greek emigrants, 
who quitted the country to seek their fortunes in the com- 
mercial cities. For more than a century after the arrival of 
the Jews in the Othoman empire, they occupied a high social 
position. They were the principal physicians as well as mer- 
chants and bankers of the Turks. Throughout the greater 
part of the empire the best medical practitioners were Jews. 
They were the first to open regular shops in the streets of 
towns throughout the East for the sale of articles of common 
use, distinct from the magazines and workshops of the 
fabricant \ 

Before the end of the fifteenth century, from 30,000 to 
40,000 Jews were settled at Constantinople, from 15,000 to 
20,000 at Thessalonica, and great numbers at every seaport in 
Turkey. They were eager to display their gratitude to the 
Othomans, and the inhuman cruelties they had suffered from 

1 Belon, Observations de plusieurs singular ites en Gri.ce, Asie, &c. p. 182, edit. 
1555 ; Prescott, Ferdinand and Isabella, 263. 


A.D. 1453-1670.] 

the Inquisition made them irreconcilable enemies of the 
Christians. It was natural, therefore, for them to employ 
all the influence they gained in the Othoman empire, by their 
services and industry, to inspire the Mussulmans with their own 
hatred to Christianity; and when the Mohammedans in Spain 
were persecuted and driven into exile, their efforts were 
attended with signal success. Thus the punishment of the 
bigotry and injustice of the Catholic Christians in Spain fell 
with greatest severity on the orthodox Christians in the 
Turkish dominions. 

There was always a marked contrast in the character and 
conduct of the Turkish and Greek population, even when 
living in the same towns, moving in the same rank of life, 
and speaking, as was the case in some places both in Asia and 
Europe, the same language. The Turks, though they were 
more courageous, cruel, and bloodthirsty than the Greeks 
when roused to war, were in general far more orderly in 
conduct, and more obedient to established social laws. The 
Greeks, though servile and submissive when in the presence 
of power, were turbulent and insolent whenever there seemed 
a chance of their misconduct escaping punishment. With 
such a disposition, fear alone could secure order ; and it is 
surprising how well the Othoman government preserved tran- 
quillity in its extensive dominions, and established a greater 
degree of security for property among the middle classes, than 
generally prevailed in European states during the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries. This end was obtained by a regular 
police, and by the prompt execution of a rude species of 
justice in cases of flagrant abuses and crimes. In the 
populous cities of the Othoman empire, and particularly in 
Constantinople, which contained more inhabitants than any 
three Christian capitals, the order which reigned in the midst 
of great social corruption, caused by extreme wealth, the 
conflux of many different nations, and the bigotry of several 
hostile religions, excited the wonder and admiration of every 
observant stranger. Perfect self-reliance, imperturbable equa- 
nimity, superiority to the vicissitudes of fortune, and a calm 
temper, compensated among the Othomans for laws which 
were notoriously defective and tribunals which were infamously 
venal 1 . Knolles says, 'you seldom see a murder or a theft 

1 ' Et mirum est inter barbaros in tanta tantae urbis colluvie nullas caedes 
VOL. V. M 



[Ch. III. 

committed by any Turk V European gentlemen accustomed 
to the barbarous custom of wearing swords on all occasions, 
were surprised to see Turks of the highest rank, distinguished 
for their valour and military exploits, walking about, even in 
provincial towns, unarmed, secure in the power of public 
order and the protection of the executive authority in the 


/The darkest night of ignorance covered Greece in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and it was then almost 
as much forgotten in Christendom as it was neglected by the 
Othoman government. The Greeks had their whole atten- 
tion absorbed by the evils of the passing hour ; they were 
forced to think day and night how they could best save their 
children from the collectors of the living tribute which re- 
cruited the ranks of the janissaries ; their own persons from 
being enslaved by the pirates who never quitted their coasts ; 
and their means of subsistence from being consumed by the 
exactions of pashas, and Othoman officials who appeared to 
be in perpetual motion in the sultan's dominions. Ancestral 
records were forgotten, and no hope urged them to look 
forward to an earthly future. A few orthodox prejudices 
and local superstitions became the whole mental patrimony 
of the Hellenic race. Poverty, depopulation, and insecurity 
of property, seemed to threaten the Greeks with utter ruin^ 

At this crisis of the national fate, the sultan's government 
lightened the sufferings of the Greeks by ceasing to enforce 
its worst act of oppression. The tribute of Christian children 
fell into desuetude in consequence of the decline in the 
numbers of the Christian population engaged in agriculture, 
which began to be felt as an evil by the Porte. A con- 
siderable portion of the Greek population in Asia Minor, and 
of the Sclavonian and Albanian population in Europe, em- 
braced Mohammedanism to escape this tribute. The example 
began to be followed by the Greeks in Europe, and a con- 

audiri, vim injustam non ferri, jus cuivis did. Ideo Constantinopolin Sultanus 
rcfugium totius orbis scribit : quod omnes miseri ibi tutissime lateant ; quodque ' 
omnibus (tarn infimis quam summis, tam Christianis quam infidelibus) justitia 
administretur.' Crusius, Turcc-Graecia, 487. 

1 Knolles (Turkish History) adds, 'if any foul act be committed, it is most 
commonly done by Grecians;' but Spon (i. 244) with more discrimination, 
observes, that the Arabs in Asia, and the Albanians in Europe, were the chief 

a Spon, i. 161. 


a.d. 1453-1676.] 

siderable number of the Cretans apostatized soon after the 
conquest of their island. The sultan found no difficulty in 
recruiting his armies from the increased Mussulman popula- 
tion of his empire 1 . The corps of janissaries ceased to admit 
tribute-children into its ranks. The permission which its 
members had received as early as the year 1578 of enrolling 
their children as recruits in the corps, ultimately transformed 
the finest body of regular troops in the world into a hereditary 
local militia of citizens. About the time this change was 
going on, the numerous renegades who were constantly enter- 
ing the sultan's service filled the Othoman armies with good 
soldiers, and saved the government the expense of rearing 
and disciplining tribute-children. 

About the same time the fiscal oppression of the Porte fell 
so heavy on the landed proprietors and peasants, that the 
tribute of the healthiest children became an insupportable 
burden. The peasant sought refuge in the towns; the Turkish 
aga found his estate depopulated and uncultivated, and the 
timariot could no longer take the field with the armies of 
the sultan, attended by well-armed followers, as his father had 
done. The agricultural population of the Othoman empire, 
Mussulman and Christian, consequently united in opposing 
the collection of the tribute, and the Porte, feeling no 
urgent necessity to enforce its collection, gradually ceased 
toexact it. 

(For two centuries the Greek population had been diminish- 
ing in number, and the Turkish had been rapidly increasing. 
This change in their relative numbers was the principal cause 
of the abolition of this singular institution, which long formed 
the chief support of the sultan's personal authority and the 
basis of the military superiority of the Othoman empire. It 
fell into disuse about the middle of the seventeenth century, 
not long after the conquest of Crete. The last recorded 
example of its exaction was in the last year of the admini- 
stration of the grand-vizier Achmet Kueprili, A. D. ^~i6\J)b 

1 For the extent of the conversions to Mohammedanism among the Christians 
and Jews, see Rycaut, Present State of the Greek Church, 22; and Milman, 
History of the Jews, in The Family Library, iii. 394. Rycaut perceived that this 
increase of the Mussulman population acted as one of the causes of the abolition 
of the tribute. 

2 Hammer, xi. 444. The French translator Hellert would lead us to infer, by a 
passage at p. 389, that the tribute was abolished in 1672, but at 397 we find that 
a levy of two thousand children was made in 1674. The levy in 1676 was of 

M a 


Thus the Greeks were relieved from the severest act of 
tyranny under which any nation had ever groaned for so 
long a time, by the force of circumstances and by the neglect 
of their masters, without a struggle on their part to rend their 
chains. History furnishes no example of a nation falling 
from so high a state of civilization, and perpetuating its 
existence in such degradation. As long as the Greeks fur- 
nished a tithe of their children to augment the strength of 
their oppressors, their condition was one of hopeless misery. 
That burden removed, the nation soon began to feel the 
possibility of improving its condition, and to look forward 
with hope into the future. 

three thousand children. Hammer nevertheless mentions another levy of one 
thousand Christian children in the reign of Achmet III. (a.d. 1703) which he 
calls the last attempt to enforce this species of tribute, already fallen into disuse 
for more than half a century; vol. xiii. 136, 373. Rycaut (Present State of the 
Greek Church, p. 22) writing in 1678, speaks of this tribute as having long fallen 
into disuse. 


Venetian Domination in Greece, a. d. 1684-1718. 

Behaviour of the Othoman government to the representatives of the Christian 
powers at the Sublime Porte. — Venetian Republic declares war with the 
l'orte. — Morosini Captain-General of the republic. — Campaign in Greece, 
1684. — German mercenaries in the service of Venice. — Campaign of 1685, — 
of 1686,— of 1687. — Siege of Athens and destruction of the Parthenon. — 
Campaign of 16S8. — Siege of Negrepont. — Venetian deserters. — Peace of 
(arlovitz. — Venetian administration in the Morea. — Population, revenues, 
and commerce. — Civil government and condition of the people. — Mainates. — 
State of property and administration of justice. — Ecclesiastical administration. 
— Catholic clergy.— Relations of the Porte with the European Powers when 
war was renewed with Venice in 171 5. — Conquest of the Morea by the 
Grand-vizier Ali Cumurgi. — Following events of the war. — Peace of Passa- 

The ambassadors of the Christian powers were never 
treated with greater contempt at the Sublime Porte than 
after the conquest of Candia. The sultan's government com- 
plained, and not without reason, that no treaty of peace with 
a Christian monarch afforded any guarantee for its faithful 
observance. While the ambassador of France boasted that 
his sovereign had always been the firmest ally of the sultan, 
French corsairs levied ransom-money from the towns in 
Greece, and made slaves of the Mohammedan subjects of 
the sultan 1 . Frenchmen, too, as Knights of Malta, were 
active in carrying on an incessant warfare against the Otho- 
man flag over the whole surface of the Mediterranean. 
Matters were not very different with the other Christian 
powers ; nor was peace better observed by land than by sea. 
On the frontiers of Poland, Hungary, and Dalmatia, bands 
of organized troops called Cossacks, Haiduks, and Morlachs, 

1 Petis de la Croix, Ittat general de V Empire Othoman, ii. 270; Hittoire det, 
anciens Dues de I'Archipel, 314. 


[Ch. IV. 

made frequent forays into the Othoman territory. In vain 
the sultan's ministers required the emperor of Germany, the 
King of Poland, and the republic of Venice to put a stop 
to these invasions ; their complaints became the subject of 
interminable discussions, in which the Christian governments 
displayed their weakness and bad faith by attempting to 
repudiate all responsibility for these acts of hostility, on the 
ground that they were committed by bands of lawless 
brigands ; or else they excused them by asserting that the 
acts of brigandage committed by the Christians were in 
revenge for similar deeds of Othoman subjects. If the asser- 
tion was true, it appears that the Porte paid more attention 
to the sufferings of the plundered Mussulmans than the 
Christian governments paid to the calamities of their subjects. 
Indeed, the feelings of the Othomans were so much excited 
by the incessant hostilities to which they were exposed, that 
the sultan was compelled to demand explanations from all 
his Christian neighbours. The Othoman ministers assumed 
a menacing tone in their intercourse with Christian ambas- 
sadors ; and then they very soon discovered that the diplo- 
matic agents of their most formidable enemies were disposed 
to submit to a great deal of insolence rather than involve 
their country in war. 

The tyrannical government of the house of Austria had 
caused such widespread discontent in Hungary, by its fiscal 
exactions and bigoted treatment of the Protestants, that there 
was some danger of hostilities in that country ending in the 
total loss of the kingdom. More than one-half of Hungary 
was already annexed to the Othoman empire ; and it seemed 
not improbable that the inhabitants of the remainder might 
prefer Turkish toleration to German tyranny. 

The republic of Venice was so intent on preserving its 
commercial relations with the Levant, as a means of recruit- 
ing its finances after the great expenditure caused by the 
war of Candia, that it bore many insults on the part of the 
Porte with patience, and rarely uttered a complaint, except 
when some act of the sultan's officers seemed likely to cir- 
cumscribe the trade and diminish the gains of its subjects. 

The deportment of the other Christian powers at Con- 
stantinople did not increase the consideration in which they 
were held. The ambassadors of France made several displays 


A.D. 16S4 1718.] 

of petulance and presumption, which the Othomans repressed 
with insolence and scorn. Many scandalous scenes occurred. 
The son of M. de la Hayc, the French ambassador, was 
bastinadoed by the Turks, and his father imprisoned. Louis 
XIV. sent M. Blondel as envoy-extraordinary to demand 
satisfaction for the insult ; but this envoy could not gain 
admittance to Sultan Mohammed IV., and returned to France 
without delivering his sovereign's letter. Some time after, 
the younger de la Haye, who had received the bastinado, 
became himself ambassador, and conducted himself in such 
a manner at his first meeting with the grand-vizier, that 
he was pushed off the stool on which he was seated, and 
beaten by the grand-vizier's attendants 1 . The marquis of 
Nointel, who was sent to Constantinople in 1670 to repair 
the imprudences of his predecessors, distinguished himself 
rather by ostentation and petulance than by prudent and 
dignified conduct 2 . He had far more violent disputes with 
the grand-vizier Kara Mustapha concerning the position of 
his seat in the audience-chamber, than concerning the trade 
of French subjects or the political interests of France. Th : 
lavish expenditure by which he sought to maintain his pre- 
tensions involved him in debt, and made him descend to 
several very mean expedients in order to obtain money. 
He borrowed large sums from Constantinopolitan Jews, and 
when his credit was exhausted, he compelled the French 
merchants of Pera, by an unwarranted exercise of his authority, 
to supply him with funds. These proceedings formed a 
shameful contrast with his public displays, and did not tend 
to increase the respect of the Turks for the agents of the 
great monarchs of Christendom 3 . 

The eagerness with which the ambassadors of the Christian 
powers intrigued and bribed, in order to overreach one an- 
other at the Porte, the importance they attached to sitting 
in an arm-chair in public, and the tricks they made use of 
to obtain exclusive privileges, led the Turks to conclude 
that the Christian character was a very despicable compound 
of childish folly and extreme selfishness 4 . The Othoman 

1 Hammer, Histoire de T Empire Othoman, xi. 45, 229. 

2 Hammer, xi. 3 + 1. Compire a letter of Nointel, in Laborde's Athines aux 
XV.. XVI., et XVII. Sticks, i. 137. 

3 Laborde, Athlnes mix XV., XVI., et XVII. Slides, i. 140. 

* Nointel endeavoured to insert an article in the treaty with France, by wh ch 


[Ch. IV. 

ministers, acting on this persuasion, treated the representatives 
of the Christian powers at Constantinople with contempt, and 
made the commerce of Christian nations the object of frequent 

These circumstances were operating to produce a collision 
between the sultan and his Christian neighbours when Achmet 
Kueprili, who had been grand-vizier for fifteen years, died, 
at the early age of forty-one, A.D. 1676, leaving the Othoman 
empire at the greatest extent it attained l . Achmet was as 
remarkable for his honourable conduct as for his great talents. 
He was a lover of justice, and a hater of presents, which 
he knew were one of the great sources of corruption in 
Turkey. Kara Mustapha succeeded this great man as grand- 
vizier. He was distinguished by his excessive cupidity and 
insolence, as Achmet had been by his extraordinary dis- 
interestedness and prudence. The rapid degradation of the 
Othoman character, and the decline of the empire, date from 
his accession to office. The negotiations of the Porte with 
foreign governments were employed by Kara Mustapha as 
a means of gratifying his avarice and extorting money. His 
presumption was as unbounded as his avarice was sordid. 
At the first audience he gave to the French ambassador, 
one of those scandalous scenes happened which we have seen 
reacted with a more tragical afterpiece by a Russian prince. 
M. de Nointel was offended at the position of his seat at 
an audience, and when he insisted on having his seat placed 
on the same level as the sofa of the grand-vizier, he was 
turned out of the room by his shoulders, the tshaous shouting 
as he pushed him along, ' March off, infidel 2 !' 

A few examples of the exactions of Kara Mustapha give 
a faithful portrait of the state of the Othoman administration. 
The republic of Ragusa was under the protection of the 
sultan, and paid an annual tribute to the Porte. The city 
had been almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake in 1666, 
and envoys were sent to Constantinople to represent the 
impoverished state of the republic, and solicit a remission of 

the Porte engaged not to admit vessels of several of the European powers to 
trade in the Othoman empire, unless under the French flag. Hammer, xi. 344. 

1 He added Candia, Neuhausel in Hungary, and Kaminiec in Poland, to the 

2 ' Ha'ide kalk ghiaour.' Hammer, xii. 8. Prince Mentschikoff is said to have 
wounded the pride of the Porte by wearing an old coat at an audience, and some 
persons attribute the Crimean war to pride as much as to policy. 


A.D. 1684-1718.] 

the tribute. To this petition Kara Mustapha replied by 
immediately demanding payment of a sum of three hundred 
purses, or one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, on account 
of the additional amount of customs which Othoman subjects 
had paid in the port of Ragusa during the war of Candia, 
when they were excluded from trading in the other ports 
of the Adriatic. The envoys were thrown into prison, and 
threatened with torture ; but, after a year's imprisonment, the 
matter was compounded by the republic paying one hundred 
and twenty purses or sixty thousand dollars l . 

The Dutch ambassador Collier was compelled to pay a 
large sum to prevent the trade of Holland from being 
interrupted -. 

The Venetian bailo, Cuirana, having smuggled some valuable 
merchandise into his residence in order to defraud the Porte 
of the legal duty, was obliged to compound for his misconduct 
by paying the grand-vizier thirty thousand dollars 3 . On the 
arrival of a new bailo, Morosini, new disputes occurred, in 
consequence of some Christian slaves making their escape 
on board the Venetian galleys in the port. These disputes 
were again arranged by paying the sum of fifty thousand 
dollars, which was distributed among the grand-vizier and 
the principal agents of his party. Again, when the news 
reached Constantinople that a number of Turks had been 
slain in a foray on the Dalmatian frontier, the bailo of Venice 
was imprisoned in the Seven Towers, and not released until 
the republic paid the sum of two hundred thousand dollars 
as indemnity 4 . 

The Genoese resident, Spinola, was accused of circulating 
forged coin, and he was compelled to pay the Porte five 
thousand dollars before he could obtain the permission to 
embark for Genoa. On a previous occasion he had paid a 

1 Rycaut, History, iii. 4 ; Hammer, xii. 38. 

- Fifty purses to the grand-vizier, ten to his kihaya, three to the reis effendi, 
and eight to the aga of the custom-house ; not six thousand purses for an audience, 
as the French translation of Hammer says. Compare Rycaut, iii. 1 2, with 
Hammer, xii. 40. 

;; Even the Greek government has been compelled to send circulars to the 
foreign ministers at King Otho's court, complaining of the frauds committed by 
diplomatic agents ; and frauds on the part of the royal household have been 
detected. Such are the results of diplomatic and court privileges where honour is 
the only guarantee for honesty. 

* Rycaut, iii. 10; Hammer, xii. 38. 


[Ch. IV. 

large sum as a bribe, because he established a manufactory of 

brandy, and a cellar for the sale of wine, in his residence \ 

The position of the French ambassador's seat, at his 
audience with the grand-vizier, was frequently a question 
of State between the court of France and the Sublime Porte. 
Kara Mustapha persisted in denying to M. de Guilleragues 
the privilege of sitting on the soffra. The French submitted 
to this indignity, but even by their obsequiousness they could 
not escape the exactions of the Othoman government. Eight 
ships, belonging to the corsairs of Tripoli in Africa, having 
been pursued by a French squadron under Admiral Duquesne, 
sought refuge in the port of Scio, where they were fired on 
by the French, whose shot did considerable damage to the 
town, and killed several Mussulmans. The grand-vizier, who 
availed himself of every opportunity to fill his coffers, de- 
manded an indemnity of three hundred and fifty thousand 
crowns from the French ambassador for this wanton act of 
hostility, and threatened to send him to the Seven Towers. 
After a few days' detention, M. de Guilleragues signed an 
agreement to pay a present to the Porte, and was released. 
A good deal of bargaining was required to fix the amount 
of the present, and the manner in which it was to be presented 
to the Porte. At length the secretary of embassy and the 
dragoman presented themselves with articles valued at sixty 
thousand dollars ; a curtain was suddenly drawn up, and the 
representatives of France found themselves in the presence 
of the sultan, who was seated on an elevated throne. The 
imperial usher then proclaimed, ' Behold the agents sent by 
the King of France to make satisfaction for the misconduct of 
his ships at Scio,' and the different articles were mentioned, 
with the value attached to each 2 . 

The English ambassador was exposed to even severer 
pecuniary exactions than the French. The Turkey Company 
was accused of having imported an immense quantity of 
Venetian lion-dollars, of base alloy, into Aleppo. Though 
the accusation appears to have been false, the Turkey mer- 
chants preferred paying the grand-vizier a bribe of seventeen' 
thousand dollars rather than engage in a contest which must 

1 Rycaut, iii. 11 ; Hammer, xii. 18. 

a Rycaut (jii. 8) says they were valued at ten times their real cost; com- 
pare Hammer, xii. 54. 


A.D. 1684-1718.] 

have entailed great loss, and, from the notorious venality 
of the Othoman administration, no decision would have 
established their innocence, unless their commercial character 
in their general dealings had refuted the accusation. 

Another device of Kara Mustapha to extort money from 
the English was singularly mean, but completely successful, 
on account of that very meanness which none could have 
suspected. Sir John Finch, the ambassador, was requested 
to send the capitulations, as the treaties between England 
and the sultan are called, to be examined at the Porte. He 
complied, and was then informed that a new treaty was 
necessary, which always required a number of presents. The 
ambassador protested that he was satisfied with the existing 
capitulations, and asked for their restoration in vain. Kara 
Mustapha ordered every obstruction to be thrown in the way 
of English trade, and the losses to which the merchants were 
exposed were so great that, to avoid further exactions, they 
furnished the ambassador with twenty-five thousand dollars 
to bribe the grand-vizier to restore the capitulations. A new 
ambassador, Lord Chandos, was specially instructed to com- 
plain of this exaction, and, to avoid exposure, Kara Mustapha 
deemed it prudent to restore the money; but other grounds 
were discovered for compelling the English merchants to 
leave the greater part of the sum in his hands \ 

The avarice and injustice of Kara Mustapha were so 
notorious that Suleiman, who was afterwards himself grand- 
vizier, said during his predecessor's vizirate, ' In this man's 
time the true believers cannot expect better usage than the 
infidels 2 .' 

The tameness with which the European powers submitted 
to the insolence and extortions of the grand-vizier increased 
his pride. When their subjects complained, he replied, 'Do 
you not breathe the sultan's air, and will you pay nothing 
for the privilege V At length he made the affairs of Hungary 
a pretext for commencing war with Austria. His presumption 
led him to believe that he would find no difficulty in adding 
Vienna to the sultan's dominions, and, with all his incapacity, 
he would probably have succeeded, from the greater incapacity 
of the German emperor, had the house of Austria not been 

1 Rycaut, iii. 8. 

2 Suleiman Pasha perished when Sultan Mohammed IV. was dethroned. 


[Ch. IV. 

saved by the Poles. The first campaign was signalized by 
the memorable siege of Vienna, the victory of John Sobieski, 
and the death of Kara Mustapha, who was strangled as a 
punishment for his bad success, A. D. 1683. 

When the republic of Venice saw that the army of the 
grand-vizier had been completely destroyed by the disastrous 
campaign of 1683, the senate considered that an immediate 
war with the sultan would be the best policy. The sacrifices 
Venice had made to preserve peace, both of money and 
dignity, were always met by fresh displays of insolence and 
new exactions on the part of the Othoman government, so 
that sooner or later the republic felt that it would be com- 
pelled to make a stand and defend itself by arms. It seemed, 
therefore, more prudent to seize the present moment for 
weakening the resources of its enemy, by attacking him in 
the south while all his best troops were employed on his 
northern frontier, than to wait supinely until he found leisure 
to choose his own time for commencing hostilities with Venice, 
as he had done with Austria. The Pope joined the Emperor 
of Germany and the King of Poland, in urging the republic 
to form an alliance for prosecuting the war against the 
Mohammedans in concert. Many allusions were made to the 
glorious victory of Lepanto — allusions which must have sug- 
gested to Venetian statesmen the trifling results of that great 
battle, and convinced them that in the war they were about 
to undertake, their only hope of success ought to be placed 
in their own resources. An offensive and defensive treaty 
was concluded between the republic, the Emperor of Germany, 
and the King of Poland, under the guarantee of Pope Innocent 
XI. 1 In the month of July 1684, Capello, the Venetian 
resident at Constantinople, presented himself at the Porte, 
and communicated the declaration of war to the kaimakam, 
the grand-vizier being at Adrianople with the sultan. As 
soon as he had executed his commission, he disguised himself 
as a sailor, and escaped on board a French ship. 

The war which now commenced was the most successful 
the republic ever carried on against the Othoman empire, 
yet it affords signal evidence that both the machine of 
government and the energy of the people had suffered greater 

1 Rycaut (hi. 1 3^3) gives the articles of the treaty. 


A.D. 1684-1718.] 

deterioration among the Venetians than even among the Otho- 
mans. The glory acquired by Venice, and the conquests she 
gained, must be ascribed entirely to one great man, whose 
influence remedied the defects in the administration, and 
whose character supplied its wants. Francesco Morosini, who 
had been elevated to the dignity of Knight and Procurator of 
Saint Mark for his valour in the war of Candia, was sub- 
sequently accused of having betrayed his country's interests 
when he concluded the peace which surrendered to the sultan 
an untenable fortress. He was honourably acquitted, but 
during fifteen years of peace his former services were de- 
preciated, and he lived retired as one of the common herd 
of princely nobles in Venice. When, however, it was again 
necessary to meet the Othomans in battle, all men remembered 
the bloody contests of the former war and the indomitable 
courage of Morosini. The dignified behaviour of the patriotic 
general at last received its reward, and Francesco Morosini, 
now sixty-six years of age, was intrusted with the chief 
command of the forces of the republic as captain-general. 

Morosini occupies so conspicuous a place in the history of 
Greece as well as Venice, that his private character deserves 
to be noticed in order that his public career may be better 
understood. Though he was wealthy and noble, he had 
passed the best years of his youth and manhood at sea. From 
his twentieth to his forty-third year he had been constantly 
engaged in active service on board the Venetian fleet, where 
he had gained great honour by his enterprise and daring. 
His mind was firm and equable ; his perseverance was not 
inferior to his courage, yet he was neither rash nor obstinate ; 
his constitution was vigorous and healthy ; his personal ap- 
pearance was dignified and his countenance cheerful ; his 
manner bold, and somewhat haughty ; his language frank and 
rough, or grave and courteous, according to the rank of his 
associates ; his naval and military skill of a high order, and 
improved by long experience in the Othoman wars. His 
career proves that he possessed considerable knowledge of 
administrative and warlike science, but his campaigns seem 
also to indicate that he was not endowed with high strategical 
prescience. The military and naval operations under his di- 
rection were not sufficiently combined, nor were his campaigns 
marked by that unity of purpose which attains a definite 


[Ch. IV. 

object by regular progress. We must, however, always bear 
in mind that the armies he commanded were comparatively 
small, that his power over the best part of his land forces was 
limited by conventions, that he could not act without con- 
sulting a council of war, and that his plans were controlled 
by a jealous senate. It need not, therefore, excite our 
wonder if his mind turned habitually from the contemplation 
of enlarged views to the attainment of immediate advan- 
tages. The impatience of successful results is one of the 
evils of controlling distant military operations by numerous 
assemblies, whether aristocratical or democratical. Party 
objections and ignorant criticism have so much scope for 
their activity, that generals under such control must secure 
every trifling success, even though the insignificant victory 
entails the sacrifice of some greater results, which steady 
perseverance, patient progress, and long delay could alone 
have gained. 

The naval forces of Venice, at the commencement of the 
war, consisted of a well-appointed fleet of ten galleasses, 
thirty ships of the line, and thirty galleys, besides a number 
of smaller vessels. The army, on the other hand, was in a 
neglected condition ; the regular troops amounted to only 
eight thousand, and they were by no means in good order 
or well disciplined. The provincial militia, though nu- 
merous, and generally well armed, could hardly be made 
available for foreign service. The revenues of the republic 
did not greatly exceed two millions of sequins. With these 
limited resources Venice engaged in a contest with the 
Othoman empire. 

It was of the greatest importance to Venice to follow 
up the declaration of war by some great success, before 
the Othoman government had time to reinforce its garrisons 
in Dalmatia and Greece. In both these countries military 
operations were carried on with activity, but those which 
relate to Greece alone require to be noticed in this work. 
It was by conquests in Greece that the Venetians expected 
to acquire such an increase of revenue as would indemnify 
the republic for the expenditure of the war. This con- 
sideration, and not the ambition of becoming the conqueror 
of Sparta and Athens, induced Morosini to recommend 
Greece as the chief field of military operations. He opened 

CAMPAIGN OF 1684. 175 

A.D. 1684-1718.] 

the campaign of 1684 by laying siege to Santa Maura. 
The attack was pushed with vigour, and the place sur- 
rendered in sixteen days (6th August). This conquest was 
of primary importance for the prosecution of hostilities 
against the Morea, and for the security of Venetian com- 
merce, Santa Maura being one of the principal places of 
refuge for the Barbary corsairs who infested the entrance 
of the Adriatic. As Prevesa might have performed the 
same office, Morosini followed up his first success by be- 
sieging that place, which fell into his hands on the 29th of 
September. A plundering expedition into Acarnania, the 
destruction of five Turkish villages, and the capture of a 
few slaves, occupied the fleet and army during the interval 
between the capture of Santa Maura and the attack on 
Prevesa 1 . At this early period of the war, disease began 
to make great havoc in the ranks of the Venetians, and it 
seems to have increased in intensity in every succeeding 
campaign. Count Strasoldo, the general of the land forces, 
was one of its victims. 

In order to prosecute hostilities with vigour, the senate 
found that it was necessary to augment the army by the 
addition of foreign troops already organized in battalions 
and experienced in military duties. The Pope, the Grand- 
duke of Tuscany, and the Order of Malta had promised 
to send some veteran auxiliaries, but the chief dependence 
of the republic could only be on its own troops. Veteran 
mercenaries were sought in Germany. The alliance with 
the Emperor enabled the Venetian government to conclude 
military conventions with several of the German princes, 
who were in the habit of hiring their troops to foreign 
states. Many of the German princes had taken up the 
trade formerly exercised by the Italian condottieri, in order 
to maintain larger military establishments than the revenues 
of their dominions could have othenvise supported, and give 
themselves thereby additional political importance. The 
war in Candia had proved that the brilliant military ser- 
vices of the noble volunteers of France, in spite of all the 
noise made about them, were of little real value in a long 
campaign. The professional soldiers of Germany proved 

1 Coronelli, Description Geografhique el Historique de la Horde rcconquise par let 
Vini.ien* ; fol. Paris, 1C87 ; pp. 67-70. 


[Ch. IV. 

more efficient troops, and during the present war they 
displayed not only steady courage on the field of battle, 
but also great patience in the camp when disease was de- 
stroying their strength and thinning their ranks. Conven- 
tions for the supply of entire regiments, completely equipped 
and disciplined under the command of experienced officers, 
were concluded with the princes of Brunswick and Saxony, 
each of whom bound himself to furnish the republic with 
two thousand four hundred men l . The treaty with the 
Duke of Brunswick, afterwards Elector of Hanover, was 
concluded in December 1684, and the Hanoverian troops, 
after marching through Germany in winter, reached Venice 
in April, and joined Morosini at Dragomestre in June 1685 z j 
Their number, including officers and camp-followers, amounted 
to 2542 men. Though valuable troops, they were not easy 
to rule, complaining constantly of the treatment they received 
from the Venetian government and the captain-general, and 
quarrelling frequently among themselves 3 . 

The great object of Morosini was to conquer the Morea, 
He considered that it would be as easily conquered, and 
more easily defended, than Candia, as it lay nearer the 
resources of Venice. Some of the chiefs of Maina had 
promised to join the Venetians and rouse the rest of the 
Greek population to arms, if Morosini would appear in Greece 
with a formidable force. These chiefs induced Morosini to 
hope that he should be able to take possession of Misithra 
and Leondari without difficulty, and, by commanding the 
centre of the Morea, interrupt the communications of the 
Turks with the sea-coast. The maritime fortresses could 
then have offered very little resistance to the Venetians, who 
already commanded the sea. The Mainate chiefs boasted 
of what they had no means of performing. The grand-vizier 

1 Gratiani Historiarum Venetarum libri xxiv., vol. ii. 321 ; Locatelli, Historia 
della Veneta Guerra in Levante contro Vlmpero Ottotnano, i. 1 1 2. Alessandro 
Locatelli was secretary to Morosini from June 1684 until lie returned to Venice 
in 1689. His work was printed at Cologne, after his death, in two volumes, folio, 

2 Schwenke (Geschichte der Hannoverischen Truppeti in Griechenland, 1685- 1689, 
p. 182) gives the treaty with Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick, father of 
George I. of England. 

3 Schwenke, 42, 126, 155, 170. On one occasion they complained that they 
were unfairly treated in the division of the spoil, because they received no black 
slaves, like the Venetian captains. Pfister, Zwei Feldzuge avs detn Kriege von 
Morea in den Jahren 1687 und 1688; Kassel, 1845, p. 122, note 3. 


A.D. 1684-I7 1 8.] 

Achmct Kueprili had reduced Maina to a state of complete 
subjection, and the Othoman garrisons in the three fortresses 
of Zarnata, Kielapha, and Passava, had so completely- 
established the authority of the sultan in the country, that 
the mountaineers were too much intimidated to think of 
taking up arms \ Ismael Pasha had also taken precautions 
to preserve tranquillity by marching additional troops into 
Maina, and compelling the principal families to give hostages 
for their good conduct. When Morosini arrived at Sapienza 
he met a deputation of Mainatcs, who besought him not to 
approach their coast, as they were entirely at the mercy of 
the Turks, and the people would not venture to take up 
arms until they saw the Venetians in possession of some 
important fortress in their vicinity, where the republic would 
be able to maintain a powerful garrison and fleet to protect 
the movements of their friends. Morosini, who had with 
him about eight thousand troops, immediately commenced 
the siege of Coron \ The pasha of the Morea hastened to 
its relief with a considerable force, but was defeated. Coron 
was taken, after a vigorous defence, on the nth August, 
and though arrangements were made for its capitulation, a 
suspicion of treachery caused its defenders to be massacred 3 . 

As soon as Morosini had repaired the fortifications of 
Coron, and put the place in a condition to repel any attack 
of the Turks, he crossed over the gulf to Maina. His object 
was to encourage the Mainates to take up arms and to gain 
possession of Kalamata, before which the capitan-pasha had 
formed an intrenched camp with an army of six thousand 
infantry and two thousand spahis. Morosini was well ac- 
quainted with the country, for twenty-six years before he 
had taken and destroyed Kalamata, carrying off the cannon 
from the castle, and the able-bodied men, whom he con- 
demned to work at the oar in his galleys, after he had 
burned all the houses in the town 4 . He now summoned 

1 Hammer, xi. 337, 374; Locatelli, i. 101, 128. 

2 The Venetian army consisted of Venetians, Sclavonians, and Hanoverians; 
the auxiliaries of Maltese, Florentine, and Papal troops. 

Venetians . . . 3°°° Maltese . . . 1000 

Sclavonians . . 1000 Florentines . . 300 

Hanoverians . . 2400 Papal troops . . 400 

6400 1 700 

3 Schwenke, 41. * Gratiani F. Mauroceni gesta, 71. 

VOL. V. N 


[Ch. IV. 

the place to surrender, under the penalty of being treated 
like Coron if it resisted. The capitan-pasha rejected the 
summons with disdain. In the mean time the Venetians 
rendered themselves masters of Zarnata, which was only five 
miles distant from Chitries, where the fleet lay at anchor. 
The Othoman governor of Zarnata had referred to the 
capitan-pasha for orders, but Morosini intercepted these 
orders, and opened negotiations with the garrison, to whom 
he offered such favourable terms, that he persuaded the aga 
to surrender the place on the ioth September. Six hundred 
Turks, with their arms and baggage, were landed near 
Kalamata, but the aga retired to Venice, where his treachery 
or cowardice was rewarded with a pension. The Venetian 
army, increased by the arrival of three thousand three hundred 
Saxons, was now placed under the command of General 
Degenfeld, and ordered to attack the capitan-pasha. A 
council of war was held, and its members agreed with 
Degenfeld in thinking that the position of the Turkish camp 
was too strong to be assailed. When, however, it was pro- 
posed to sign a written declaration to this effect, in order 
to transmit it to the captain-general Morosini, the Hanoverian 
prince, Maximilian William, declared that Morosini having 
given express orders to attack the Turks, in his opinion 
the best thing they could do would be to obey them without 
losing time l . This observation of the young prince changed 
the resolution of Degenfeld, who appears to have intended 
to set up his own authority as a control on that of the 
captain-general, either from personal jealousy, or a desire to 
prolong the war ; for he was a man of courage, and when 
he resolved to advance, he conducted the operations of 
the army with promptitude. The Turks were completely 
defeated, and both their camp and the town of Kalamata 
taken. The castle of Kalamata, being found incapable of 
defence, was again destroyed, as it had been in 1659, but 
the inhabitants on this occasion remained in possession of 
their property under Venetian protection. The Othoman 

1 Schwenke, 47. The prince was the third son of the Duke of Brunswick. He 
was then nineteen years old. He was a giddy youth, and got into disgrace at his 
father's court by ridiculing the rouged figure of the Countess of Platen, his father's 
mistress. He made the whole circle of envious beauties partake in his amusement, 
by squirting pea water, instead of rose water, in their faces, which left sad traces 
of artificial adorning on the painted visage of the countess. 

CAMPAIGN OF 1686. 179 

A.D. 1684-1718.] 

garrisons in the forts of Kielapha, near the harbour of Vitylo, 
and of Passava, near Marathonisi, now capitulated, and 
evacuated Maina. Kielapha contained fifty-eight pieces of 
artillery, including some small guns mounted on the curtains. 
Passava was destroyed as of no use to the Venetians, who 
kept possession of Marathonisi ; but they placed garrisons 
in Zarnata and Kielapha, in order to watch the Mainates, 
and to secure the command of the ports of Armyro and 
Vitylo, from which the greater part of the produce of the 
Zygos was exported. The Venetians placed as little reliance 
in the unsteady disposition of the Mainate chiefs as the Turks, 
and employed nearly the same means for preserving their 
ascendancy in the country. The army of the republic was 
put into winter-quarters at Zante, Santa Maura, and Corfu, in 
the month of October, but disease continued to thin the ranks 
of the Germans \ 

The campaign of 1686 was opened by the Othomans in 
the month of April. They penetrated into Maina and 
besieged Kielapha, but were compelled to abandon the 
enterprise on the approach of a Venetian fleet under Venieri. 
The republic had now secured the services of an able 
general to direct the operations of its army in Greece. Otho 
Koenigsmark, field-marshal in the Swedish service, was 
appointed commander-in-chief of the land forces under the 
orders of the captain-general 2 . The Hanoverian troops had 
been increased to upwards of three thousand men, but the 
whole army did not exceed eleven thousand, and it was 
assembled so slowly that the campaign did not commence 
until June. Old Navarin (Pylos) was besieged, and being 
dependent for its supply of water on an aqueduct, immediately 
capitulated. The garrison consisted chiefly of negroes, who 
were conveyed to Alexandria. New Navarin, which had 
been constructed by the Othoman government in 1572, the 

1 The Hanoverians passed the winter at Zante, and they had some reason to 
complain of neglect on the part of the Venetian government. They had great 
difficulty in procuring firewood to cook their victuals ; the barrels of rice were 
sometimes half-filled with spoiled macaroni, and everything rose in price on their 
arrival. From April, 1685, to January, 1686, they lost 256 in battle, and 736 died 
in hospital. Schwenke, 57. 

s This Count Otho Koenigsmark was the uncle of Philip, the lover of Sophia 
Dorothea, the wife of George I.; and his sister, Maria Aurora, was the mistress 
of Frederick Augustus I., Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, and mother of 
Marshal de Saxe. 

N % 


[Ch. IV. 

year after the battle of Lepanto, to defend the entrance of 
the magnificent harbour, in which the largest fleet may ride 
at anchor, was next attacked. The seraskier of the Morea 
attempted in vain to relieve it, and Sefer Pasha was compelled 
to sign a capitulation, binding himself to surrender the place 
in four days. The explosion of a powder magazine on the 
night he signed this* capitulation, by which he and many 
of the principal Turks perished, induced the survivors im- 
mediately to admit the Venetians into the fortress 1 . Three 
thousand souls, of whom one thousand five hundred were 
soldiers, were conveyed to Tripoli. The army then besieged 
Modon, encamping among the luxuriant gardens in its 
vicinity. The place was well fortified, provided with ample 
supplies of provisions and ammunition, with an excellent 
artillery of one hundred guns, and defended by a garrison 
of one thousand men ; but it capitulated, after a feeble 
defence, on the ioth of July, and the inhabitants, four 
thousand in number, were transported to the regency of 
Tripoli. Considerable booty was found in Modon, but 
Morosini was accused of allowing the Italians to purchase 
the property of the emigrants at their own terms. Of four 
hundred black slaves taken in the town, the Hanoverians 
complained that they only received seven men and three 
women for their share, and they said that all their 
booty consisted of some copper, which was sold for forty 

The Hanoverians were at this time much dissatisfied with 
the Venetian service, in which they gained less plunder than 
they expected ; and Morosini was extremely unpopular 
among them. His courage was admired, for they recounted 
that on one occasion, when it was expected that Modon 
was about to surrender, the captain-general visited the 
advanced battery with a train of magnificently- dressed 
Venetian nobles. The Turks, however, suddenly broke off 
the negotiations, and opened their fire on this battery : 
the consequence was, that all the fine-dressed nobles ran 

1 It was supposed that Sefer Pasha blew up the magazine, where he had invited 
many of the principal Turks to assemble, in order to revenge himself on them for 
having compelled him to capitulate. This report, however, is not mentioned in 
the letter of a Saxon volunteer, entitled Griuidlicher und genauer Bericht aller 
merkw'urdigen Sachen welche bei Belager und Erobertmg der Vestzmgen in Morea, 
Navarino, und Modon tdglich vorgelau/en ; gedruckt im Jahr 1686. 


A.D. 16S4-I718.] 

to hide themselves under cover, leaving Morosini standing 
alone. Complaints were made of his severity, and the 
Germans declared that they would not remain in the Venetian 
service unless the article of the convention, which placed the 
administration of justice and the power of punishment in the 
hands of an officer named by their duke, was strictly observed. 
Morosini, they asserted, sometimes ordered the highest 
Venetian officers to be put in irons and flogged, without 
the sentence of a court-martial 1 . If this be true, there can 
be no doubt that the captain-general found it necessary to 
employ these strong measures to put an end to fraud and 
peculation. The complaints of the Germans were not always 
reasonable. The officers were discontented at the frequent 
change of place in this campaign, which compelled them 
to sell the horses and camp-equipage they had picked up 
at an inadequate price, as they were not allowed space to 
transport it on board the Venetian ships. The red uniform 
of the Hanoverians, though it was greatly feared by the 
enemy in battle, was too conspicuous to allow the soldiers 
to make much booty, and, to their great regret, prevented 
them from catching buffaloes, which were numerous in the 
Morea 2 . 

Nauplia was the next object of attack. On the 30th July, 
Count Koenigsmark landed at Port Tolon. The rock Pala- 
medi, being then without fortifications, was immediately 
occupied by the Venetians. But though the town was com- 
manded by this position, it was so strongly fortified, that it 
was found impossible to make any progress with the siege 
until the seraskier, who had posted himself at Argos with four 
thousand cavalry and three thousand infantry, was driven 
from the vicinity of the place. This was effected after a 
sharp engagement, in which, from want of horses, the Hano- 
verian artillery-officers employed Greeks to drag" their guns"'. 
The Turkish cavalry was well mounted, bold, and active, and 
covered the retreat to Corinth. The batteries on the Palamedi 
soon set the houses of the town on fire, but the place con- 
tinued to make a brave defence, as the seraskier was expected 

1 Schwenke, 88. a Ibid., io ? . 

3 Lieut. Heerman says, ' Als ich jungst mit den Stiicken avanciren sollte, habe 
ich mich erst nach meinen menschlichen Pferden, den Griechen, umsehen und sie 
zusammen suchen mussen.' Schwenke, 104. 


[Ch. IV. 

to return with fresh reinforcements. The Venetian army, 
which was encamped in the low ground between Tiryns and 
Nauplia, suffered from an autumnal fever called the plague. 
The Hanoverians could only muster one thousand five 
hundred and fifty men under arms, and they had one 
thousand two hundred sick and wounded. The seraskier 
now thought that the time had arrived for assailing the 
Venetian army with every prospect of success. He advanced 
from Corinth, and made a desperate attack on their camp 
on the 29th of August, which was not repulsed until Morosini 
landed a body of two thousand men from the fleet, who 
opened their fire on the flank of the Turks. Koenigsmark 
distinguished himself by his skill and courage in this battle, 
which ended in the total defeat of the Othoman army. 
Nauplia, being now deprived of all hope of relief, capitulated 
on the 3rd of September, and seven thousand persons, in- 
cluding one thousand two hundred men of the garrison, were 
landed at Tenedos. The Sclavonians in the Venetian service 
distinguished themselves greatly before Nauplia. Disease 
continued to make destructive ravages among the Germans. 
Their complaints were loud, and their disputes with Morosini 
unusually violent, when he wished to put them into winter- 
quarters at Nauplia. Morosini had some reason to complain, 
for the German officers quarrelled among themselves, intrigued 
against one another, and increased the service of the soldiers 
by carrying an excessive number of private servants on the 
regimental muster-rolls \ 

The campaign of 1687 is memorable in the history of 
Europe for the destruction of the Parthenon of Athens, the 
most wonderful combination of architecture and sculpture, 
and perhaps the most perfect work of art, which has yet 
been executed. Germany again sent new troops to reinforce 
the army of the republic. The Saxons returned home at the 
end of the last campaign ; but conventions having been 
concluded with the Landgraf of Hesse and the Duke of 
Wiirtemberg, the strength of the German contingent was not 
diminished 2 . The Hanoverian battalions received an addition 
of one thousand two hundred men, but these new recruits 
were not veteran soldiers like those who had arrived in the 

1 Schwenke, 120, 126. 2 Pfister, Zu/ei Feldzuge aus dem Kriege von Morea. 


A.D. 16S4-I718.] 

preceding years. All Germany was at this time filled with 
recruiting parties for the Austrian armies in Hungary, and in 
anticipation of war with Louis XIV. The officers of Bruns- 
wick had even accepted French deserters into the ranks, in 
order to complete their companies. On the march to Venice 
forty of these French recruits again deserted in one day, 
carrying with them the arms with which they had been 
supplied, and before reaching Venice the loss from desertion 
exceeded two hundred men. 

The Turks had prepared for resisting the further progress 
of the Venetians by forming a camp near Patras, in which 
ten thousand men were strongly intrenched under the com- 
mand of Mchemet Pasha. The delay which took place in 
the arrival of the troops from Germany, and the fear of 
placing the army in too close communication with the fleet, 
in which the plague had appeared, prevented the captain- 
general from opening the campaign before the end of July. 
The troops were landed to the west of Patras, and the fleet 
passed through the Dardanelles of Lepanto during the night 
of the 22nd July. Koenigsmark found that it was necessary 
to drive the Turkish army from its camp before commencing 
the siege of Patras. The position of Mehemet Pasha was 
strong and well chosen, but by marching round it, he suc- 
ceeded in attacking its weakest point, and in storming it, 
after a well-contested battle. Patras, the two castles com- 
manding the entrance of the gulf of Corinth, and the town of 
Lepanto, were immediately evacuated by the Turks with the 
greatest precipitation. 

These successes excited great enthusiasm at Venice, where 
the delay in opening the campaign had caused some anxiety. 
Morosini, who had been raised to the rank of hereditary 
knight after the taking of Nauplia, now received the title 
of ' the Peloponnesian.' His portrait was placed in the hall 
of the Great Council, an honour never granted before to any 
Venetian during his lifetime l . Koenigsmark, who was sup- 
posed to want money more than mere titles, was presented 

1 Morosini was authorized to transmit his hereditary knighthood to his nephew, 
as he had no son. The only families who possessed this honour were those of 
Contarini and Quirini. Daru, iv. 645. In England the title of baronet has become 
a mere handle to men's names, being usually conferred by ministerial favour on 
rich landlords who can give political support to men in office who have the 
disposal of court favour. 


[Ch. IV. 

with six thousand ducats in a gold basin. The prince of 
Hanover received a jewelled sword valued at four thousand 
ducats, and other officers were rewarded with gold-hilted 
swords or gold chains. The liberality of the republic was 
more than royal. Koenigsmark's pay was raised to twenty- 
four thousand ducats annually. 

Castel Tornese, Salona, and Corinth were abandoned by 
the Turks, who fled in confusion to Thebes and Negrepont. 
Those in the Morea who could not escape out of the pen- 
insula, retired to Misithra and Monemvasia, the only cities of 
which they retained possession. The retreat of the Turks 
was marked by the same acts of barbarity, both on their part 
and on that of the Greeks, which have been renewed on a 
greater scale in our own times. The Turks destroyed all 
the Greek villages on their line of march, and carried off many 
Christians as slaves. They frequently massacred even their 
own Christian slaves, when unable to take them away. The 
Greeks, on the other hand, waylaid and murdered every 
Mohammedan, man, woman, or child, whom they could sur- 
prise or capture. 

The Venetians occupied Corinth on the 7th August, where 
they were joined by one thousand Hessians. On the 12th of 
August the captain-general commenced fortifying the isthmus, 
carrying his works along the ruins of the wall constructed by 
Justinian and repaired by Manuel II. This was certainly a 
useless waste of labour. 

Morosini now proposed to attack Negrepont, as it was the 
key of continental Greece, and its capture would have ren- 
dered the republic master of the whole country south of 
Thermopylae. His plan was opposed by the generals of the 
land forces, who all agreed in thinking that the season was 
too far advanced for an operation of such magnitude ; and 
after much deliberation, it was determined to attack Athens, 
where it was thought that the army would find good winter- 

The lion of St. Mark rarely made use of his wings, and the 
passage of his forces round the Morea was unusually slow, but 
on the 2 1st of September the Venetians entered the Piraeus, 
and Koenigsmark encamped the same evening in the olive- 
grove near the sacred way to Eleusis. The army consisted of 
nearly ten thousand men, including eight hundred and seventy 


AD. 1 684-I 718.] 

cavalry. The town of Athens was immediately occupied, and 

the siege of the Acropolis commenced. The attack was directed 
against the Propylaea, before which the Turks had constructed 
strong batteries. The Parthenon, and the temple of Minerva 
Polias, with its beautiful porticoes, were then nearly perfect, 
as far as regarded their external architecture. Even the 
sculpture was so little injured by time, that it displayed much 
of its inimitable excellence 1 . Two batteries were erected, 
one at the foot of the Museum, and the other near the Pnyx. 
Mortars were planted under cover of the Areopagus, but their 
fire proving uncertain, two more were placed under cover of 
the buildings of the town, near the north-cast corner of the 
rock, which threw their shells at a high angle, with a low 
charge, into the Acropolis-. 

In the mean time the Othoman troops descended into the 
plain from Thebes and Negrepont ; and Koenigsmark. as had 
been the case at the siege of Coron, Navarin, and Nauplia, 
was compelled to divide his army to meet them. On the 
25th of September a Venetian bomb blew up a small powder- 
magazine in the Propylaea, and on the following evening 
another fell in the Parthenon, where the Turks had deposited 
all their most valuable effects, with a considerable quantity of 
powder and inflammable materials. A terrific explosion took 
place ; the centre columns of the peristyle, the walls of the 
cella, and the immense architraves and cornices they sup- 
ported, were scattered around the remains of the temple. 
Much of the unrivalled sculpture was defaced, and a part 
utterly destroyed. The materials heaped up in the building 
also took fire, and the flames, mounting high over the Acro- 
polis, announced the calamity to the besiegers, and scathed 
man)' of the statues which still remained in their original 
positions. Though two hundred persons perished by this 
explosion, the Turks persisted in defending the place until 
they saw the seraskier defeated in his attempt to relieve them 

1 The little temple of Wingless Victor)' had been removed to make room for 
a Turkish battery before the siege. The materials found when the Greek govern- 
ment commenced clearing away the rubbish of modern constructions, enabled Ross, 
Schaubert, and Hansen partially to restore the building, which Pittaki, with the 
assistance of a contribution from Colonel Leake, has completed as far as possible. 
Compare Ross, Die Acropolis von Athen, with Laborde, Athenes aux XV.. XVI., et 
XVII. Siicles, ii. 1 1 6. 

2 See the plan of the Acropolis, by the Venetian captain of engineers, Verneda, 
in Laborde, ii. 182. 


[Ch. IV. 

on the 28th September. They then capitulated on being 

allowed to embark with their families for Smyrna in vessels 

hired at their own expense 1 . On the 4th of October, two 

thousand five hundred persons of all ages, including five 

hundred men of the garrison, moved down to embark at the 

Piraeus. Morosini complains in his official report to the 

republic that all his precautions could not prevent some acts 

of rapacity on the part of his mercenaries. About thirty 

Turks remained, and received baptism. Count Tomeo Pompei 

was the first Venetian commandant of the Acropolis. 

Athens was now a Venetian possession. The German 
troops remained in the town. One of the mosques near 
the bazaar was converted into a Lutheran church, and this 
first Protestant place of worship in Greece was opened on 
the 19th of October, 1687, by the regimental chaplain 
Beithman 2 . Another mosque in the lower part of the town, 
towards the temple of Theseus, was given to the Catholics, 
who possessed also a monastery at the eastern end of the 
town, containing the choragic monument of Lysicrates. 
The time of service of the three Hanoverian regiments 
first enrolled had now expired, and on the 26th of Decem- 
ber, 1687, they sailed from the Piraeus. In the three 
campaigns in which the red uniform had taken so distin- 
guished a part, it had lost eighty-eight officers and two 
thousand nine hundred men ; yet, from the recruits which 
the contingent had received, its number still amounted to 
one thousand four hundred 3 . 

A short time convinced the Venetian leaders that it 
would be impossible to retain possession of Athens. The 
plague, which was making great ravages in the Morea, 
showed itself in the army. The seraskier kept two thousand 
cavalry at Thebes, and, by a judicious employment of his 
force, retained all Attica, with the exception of the plain of 
Athens, under his orders. The Venetians found it necessary 
to fortify the -road to the Piraeus with three redoubts, in 
order to secure the communications of the garrison in Athens 

1 These vessels were, an English pink, three Ragusan petraks, and two French 
tartans; see Morosini's despatch, given by Laborde, ii. 159. The negroes were 
kept as prisoners, and divided among the troops in the usual way. Locatelli, ii. 7 ; 
Pfister, 92, 94. 

2 Schwenke, 156; Pfister, 104. 

3 Schwenke, 156. 


A.D. 1684-17x8.] 

with the ships in the port. The departure of the Hano- 
verians weakened the army, and in a council of war held on 
the 31st of December, it was resolved to evacuate Athens at 
the end of the winter, in order to concentrate all the troops 
for an attack on Ncgrcpont. Lines were thrown across 
the isthmus of Munychia, to cover the evacuation and protect 
the naval camp, which could be distinctly traced until they 
were effaced by the construction of the new town of the 
Piraeus. It was also debated whether the walls of the 
Acropolis were to be destroyed ; and perhaps their pre- 
servation, and that of the antiquities they enclose, is to be 
ascribed to the circumstance that the whole attention of 
the army was occupied by the increased duties imposed 
upon it by the sanatory measures requisite to prevent the 
ravages of the plague, and the difficulties created by the 
emigration of the Greek population of Athens. Between 
four and five thousand Athenians were compelled to aban- 
don their native city and seek new homes in the Morea. 
Some were established at Vivares and Port Tolon, on the 
coast of Argolis, as colonists ; the poorest were settled at 
Corinth, and others were dispersed in Aegina, Tinos, and 
Nauplia. About five hundred Albanians, chiefly collected 
among the peasantry of Corinth and Attica, were formed 
into a corps by the Venetians, but no Greeks could be 
induced to enter the army 1 . 

The last act of Morosini at Athens was to carry away 
some monuments of ancient sculpture as trophies of his 
victory. An attempt was made to remove the statue of 
Neptune and the Chariot of Victory, which adorned the 
western pediment of the Parthenon, but, in consequence 
of an oversight of the workmen employed, and perhaps 
partly in consequence of a flaw or crack in the marble, 
caused by the recent explosion, which destroyed a con- 
siderable part of the building, the whole mass of marble was 
precipitated to the ground, and so shivered to pieces by 
the fall that the fragments were not deemed worthy of 
transport. This misfortune to art occurred on the 19th 

1 Fanelli, Atene Attica, 311. The greater part of the Athenians were then, as at 
the breaking out of the Greek revolution, small landed proprietors, shop-keepers, 
and petty dealers in exports and imports. Ranke {Die Venetianer in Morea, 437, 
443) mentions the concessions granted to the emigrants. 



of March 1688. Instead of these magnificent figures from 
the hand of Phidias, Morosini was obliged to content 
himself with four lions, which still adorn the entrance of 
the arsenal at Venice. One of these, taken from the 
Piraeus, is remarkable for its colossal size, its severe style, 
and two long inscriptions, in runic characters, winding over 
its shoulders l . The complete evacuation of Attica was at 
length effected. Six hundred and sixty-two families quitted 
their native city, and on the 9th of April the Venetians 
sailed to Poros. 

These records of the ruin of so much that interests the 
whole civilized world, awaken our curiosity to know some- 
thing of the character and feelings of the modern Athenians, 
Greeks and Albanians, who then dwelt under the shadow 
of the Acropolis. Neither Morosini nor his German aux- 
iliaries, though they joined in lamenting the destruction 
of the ancient marbles, seemed to think the modern Greeks 
deserving of much attention, merely because they pretended 
to represent the countrymen of Pericles and still spoke 
Greek. Venetian statesmen perceived the same degeneracy 
in their national character as German philologians dis- 
covered in their language. The Greek population, from 
its unwarlike disposition, was only an object of humanity; 
the Albanian peasantry, though a hardier and more coura- 
geous race, was not sufficiently numerous in the immediate 
vicinity of the city to be of much military importance. 
Yet, to a Hessian officer, Athens appeared a large and 

1 These inscriptions long baffled the sagacity of antiquaries. Some thought 
they were Pelasgic, others divined they were runic. They have been at last 
deciphered by M. Rafn, a learned Danish archaeologist. Inscription Runique du 
Piree, interpretee par C. C. Rafn, et publiee par la Societe Royale des Antiquaires 
du Nord ; Copenhague, 1856. The lion is sitting up on its hind legs, and is in 
this position about ten feet high. The style of art is noble and severe. It is 
supposed to be a work of the fifth century B.C. Two runic inscriptions wind 
along on its shoulders. That on the left side records that four Norwegian chiefs 
under the command of Harald Hardrada (who subsequently, when King of 
Norway, fell at Stamford Bridge) conquered the port of the Piraeus, and levied 
contribution on the Greeks because they had revolted against the emperor of Con- 
stantinople. That on the right side records that the runes were engraved by order 
of Harald, though the Athenians forbade placing the inscription. Harald Hard- 
rada served in the Varangian guard, of which he rose to be chief, from 1033 to ' 
1043. Rafn with some probability conjectures that the insurrection at Athens 
occurred during the Bulgarian revolt in 1040. It appears that the Athenians were 
not treated very tyrannically, as their Norwegian conquerors record their protest 
against any memorial of their insurrection. It is strange to find runic memorials 
in Attica of events which the Greeks desired should be forgotten. [See vol. ii. 
p. 418.] 


A.D. I684-I718.] 

populous town, with its ten thousand inhabitants, and the 
Athenians were found to be a respectable and well-disposed 
people 1 . But they were so completely destitute of moral 
energy, that they were unable to take any part in the 
public events of which their city was the theatre. They 
had no voice to give utterance to their feelings, though 
Europe would have listened with attention to their words. 
Perhaps they had no feelings deserving of utterance. Greece 
was thus the scene of important events, in which every 
nation in Europe acted a more prominent part than the 
Greeks. Even my countrymen from the misty hills of 
Caledonia, are named among the officers who joined the 
Hanoverians in 1686 as volunteers-. 

Morosini was elected Doge of Venice on the death of 
Giustiniani, and he was invested with the insignia of the 
ducal rank at Poros. The senate made the greatest exer- 
tions to increase the army in the Levant, and enable the 
doge to perform some exploit worthy of the prince of the 
republic. New troops were recruited in Germany, but 
they arrived slowly, and a campaign, which from the nature 
of the climate ought to have commenced in the month of 
April, was not opened until the season of the greatest heat 
had arrived. On the 8th of July 1688 the Venetian expedition 
sailed from Poros to besiege Negrepont. The land forces 
amounted to upwards of thirteen thousand men, the crews 
of the fleet to about ten thousand :! . The garrison of Negre- 
pont consisted of six thousand men, and the place was 
strongly fortified. Its communications with the continent 
were secured by a fortified bridge over the Euripus, and 
covered by the strong fort Karababa. On the land face, 
in the island, the fortifications were strengthened by a 
deep and broad ditch. A strong outwork, affording space 
for an intrenched camp, occupied by four thousand five 
hundred janissaries, crowned an eminence which protected 
the suburbs. Koenigsmark was of opinion that the attack 
ought to begin from the land side, by investing Karababa 
and the bridge, and thus cutting off the communications 

1 Laborde, ii. 35S ; Pfister, 105. 

2 Schwenke, 64 : ' Siebzehn an der Zahl, meistens Schotten, Scbweden, und 

3 Schwenke (163) gives the list of the Venetian forces. 


[Ch. IV. 

with the Othoman army at Thebes ; but the doge considered 
that it would be easier to attack the place from the island, 
and his opinion prevailed. On the other hand, his proposal 
to make an immediate attempt to storm the eminence on 
which the janissaries were intrenched, was rejected, and 
the advice of Koenigsmark, to proceed against it by regular 
approaches in order to spare men, was adopted. In both 
cases the decision proved unfortunate. A month was lost 
in the attack on the outwork, and after a succession of 
bloody skirmishes it was at last taken by storm on the 
30th of August. Thirty pieces of cannon and five mortars 
fell into the hands of the besiegers, who were then enabled 
to push their approaches up to the ditch of the citadel. 
But, as the communications between the garrison and the 
army of the seraskier remained open, reinforcements and 
supplies were continually introduced into the place, and 
the sick and wounded were withdrawn. In the mean time 
the Venetian army was encamped near a pestilential marsh, 
which spread disease through its ranks. Thousands of 
soldiers perished, and almost all the higher officers were 
unable to do duty. Count Koenigsmark died on the 15th 
of September, and before the end of the month a majority 
of the land forces was incapable of service. The progress 
of the siege was very slow. At length, on the 12th of 
October, Morosini resolved to make a desperate attempt 
to storm the place. Even with all the assistance that 
could be drawn from the fleet, only eight thousand men 
could be mustered under arms. This number was clearly 
inadequate to attack a strong fortress garrisoned by six 
thousand men, for the Turkish garrison, having been strength- 
ened by fresh reinforcements, was still as numerous, and 
far more confident, than at the commencement of the siege. 
After a long and desperate struggle the assault was repulsed 
at every point, but not until the Venetians had lost one 
thousand men \ All hope of taking Negrepont was now 
abandoned, and it only remained for Morosini to save the 
relics of the expedition. The re-embarkment of the land 
forces was covered by Prince Maximilian of Hanover, and 
effected without loss. On the 21st of October the army was 

1 Pfister, 186. 


A.D. 1 684-I 718.] 

landed at Thcrmisi in Argolis, by no means a healthy spot, 
and from thence the German troops, whose period of service 
had expired, were embarked for Venice. The remaining 
battalions of the Hanoverians and Hessians quitted Greece 
on the 5th of November 1688 1 . 

Before returning to Venice, Morosini was desirous of 
rendering his title to the proud epithet of ' the Pcloponnesian' 
indisputable by the conquest of Monemvasia, the only for- 
tress in the peninsula of which the Othomans still retained 
possession. He made an unsuccessful attack on it in 1689; 
and almost immediately after its failure, the state of his 
health compelled him to resign the command of the fleet. 
His successor, Cornaro, gained possession of Monemvasia 
in the following year ; but the place yielded to famine, 
and not to the arms of the republic. 

The possession of the fortresses of Lepanto and Corinth 
gave the Venetians the command of the whole northern shore 
of the gulf, and the greater part of northern Greece submitted 
to their authority, the Turks only retaining garrisons at 
Zeitouni, Talanti, Livadea, and Thebes, and in the mountain- 
passes which connect the valley of the Spercheus with the 
Boeotian plains, in order to secure the communications be- 
tween Thessaly and Negrepont by land. But a considerable 
part of continental Greece was left without either Turkish or 
Venetian troops, and the Greek population not venturing to 
take up arms to defend their property, the country was ex- 
posed to be pillaged by marauders from both sides. Several 
districts were occupied by bands of deserters from the Dalma- 
tian and Albanian troops in the service of Venice. Bossina, 
the leader of one of these bands, established his head-quarters 
permanently at Karpenisi, where his authority was recognized 
by the primates of the surrounding country, who paid him 
regular contributions, for which he defended them against the 
plundering expeditions of the Mohammedan Arnauts and 
Christian armatoli. Bossina assumed the title of General of 
the Venetian deserters. In vain Morosini endeavoured to 
suppress desertion and punish the deserters, by offering a 
reward of ten zechins for every deserter brought back to 
a Venetian port. The Albanians and armatoli, who posted 

1 Schwenke, 177; Pfister, 195. 


[Ch. IV. 

themselves in the mountain-passes, arrested a few, and 
delivered them up to be punished ; but the evil continued, 
in consequence of the irregularity with which the republic 
paid the troops enrolled in its own possessions on the Adriatic. 
The success of Bossina induced another corps, under Elia 
Damianovich, to occupy Lidoriki and the surrounding dis- 
trict ; and to such a state of anarchy was Greece reduced, that 
the peaceable cultivators of the soil found these foreign 
deserters more humane and effectual protectors than either 
the Othoman or Venetian governments, and far less cruel and 
rapacious than the native Greek armatoli, who were a species 
of Christian gendarmerie in the service of the Porte. The 
Greek primates furnished the leaders of the deserters with 
monthly pay and subsistence for their followers, and the 
deserters defended the country against the armatoli and the 
foragers from the hostile armies, and maintained better dis- 
cipline than was observed either by the Venetian or Othoman 
troops \ 

The Othoman government finding that the disorders in 
Greece were every day becoming greater, and that the num- 
ber of districts which failed to pay taxes was constantly 
increasing, became seriously alarmed at the defection of the 
Christian population, and laid aside its usual haughtiness in 
order to make use of its Greek subjects in opposing the 
progress of the Venetians. Liberaki Yerakari, one of the 
Mainate chiefs who had embraced the Othoman party when 
Kueprili compelled Maina to pay haratch, and who had 
assisted the Turks in establishing their permanent garrisons 
at Zarnata, Kielapha, and Passava, was subsequently impri- 
soned at Constantinople for acts of piracy. He was now 
liberated, invested with the title of Bey of Maina, and sent to 
the army of the seraskier at Thebes, where he appeared, at the 
end of the year 1688, with about three hundred followers. 
He endeavoured to bring back the Greeks who had submitted 
to the Venetians, to their allegiance under the sultan ; and he 
invited the Athenians who had fled to Salamis and Aegina to 
return to their native city, promising them pardon for the past, 
and protection against illegal exactions in future. Many 
availed themselves of this offer when they found it was 

1 Locatelli, Historia della Veneta Guerra in Levanle contro Vlmpero Otlomano, 
ii. II, 156, 172. 


A.D. 1684-17 iS.] 

confirmed by the seraskier. Liberaki also opened secret 
communications with his partizans in Maina, in order to 
raise a rebellion against the Venetians ; and he entered into 
negotiations with the deserters at Karpcnisi and Lidoriki, in 
order to persuade them to join the Turks. These negotiations 
were unsuccessful, and he was defeated in an attempt to gain 
possession of Salona by force l . 

In the year 1690 the Othoman armies, having received 
reinforcements, drove the deserters from the districts they 
occupied, and recovered possession of all the open country 
north of the Dardanelles, of Lepanto, and the Isthmus of 
Corinth, but they were defeated in an attack on the fortress 
of Lepanto. The property of the unfortunate Greek peasantry 
continued still to be exposed to devastation by the hostile 
armies, and by bands of marauders who plundered on their 
own account. Two examples may be cited to show the 
miserable condition of the population in continental Greece. 
In the year 1692, a party of Moreot Albanians made an incur- 
sion as far as Livadea, which they plundered, carrying off 
many slaves, seven hundred oxen, and four thousand sheep. 
Again, in the year 1694, another party of the Greek and 
Albanian militia in the Venetian possessions invaded con- 
tinental Greece, and plundered Patradjik and many of the 
neighbouring villages 2 . 

These campaigns reflected no glory on Venice. The doge 
believed that he could again bring back victory to the arms of 
Venice by taking the command in person, and in 1693 he 
returned to Greece. He was now seventy-five years old, an 
age at which it is difficult to infuse enthusiasm into the hearts 
of lukewarm followers, so that fortune probably treated him 
kindly by conducting him to the tomb at Nauplia on the 16th 
January 1694, before he had dimmed the glory of his former 
deeds by any signal failure. Francesco Morosini was the 
last great man who has acted a part in the public affairs 
of Greece ; his exploits have not yet been eclipsed by those of 
any subsequent hero. 

The new captain-general, Zeno, attacked Chios. The 

1 Locatelli. ii. 152, 220. 

2 In 1689 several Othoman galleys entered the Saronic gulf, and carried off 
three hundred and fifty Greeks as slaves from the island of Salamis. Locatelli, 
ii. 204. 

VOL. V. O 


[Ch. IV. 

imprudence of assailing the Turks close to the coast of Asia 
Minor, and near the centre of their resources, was pointed out 
to him in vain. Zeno was a party leader and a braggart. 
Chios was taken without difficulty, but the Othoman govern- 
ment displayed all the energy which it has so frequently put 
forth on the occurrence of great misfortunes. It did every- 
thing in its power to render its fleet superior to that of Venice, 
by constructing a number of line-of-battle ships, for it had 
observed that its line-of-battle ships were better able to 
contend with the Venetians on equal terms than its galleys. 
After some severe fighting, Zeno lost heart, fled, abandoned 
his conquest, and was deservedly imprisoned on his return 
to Venice \ 

About the same time the Othoman government made a 
bold attempt to regain possession of the Morea. A Turkish 
army assembled at Thebes, traversed the Isthmus of Corinth 
without opposition, and encamped in the plain of Argos ; and 
Liberaki, who accompanied the Turks, availed himself of his 
secret correspondence with many discontented Greeks to 
plunder the interior of the peninsula. The capitan-pasha, 
Mezzomorto, sailed from the Dardanelles to assist the invad- 
ing army. The German corps of auxiliaries in the Venetian 
service was concentrated at Nauplia, and, when joined with 
a body of Venetians and Sclavonians, formed a small army, 
which was placed under the command of General Steinau, 
who attacked and defeated the seraskier before the arrival of 
the Othoman fleet. The Turks were driven back to Thebes, 
and Liberaki was bribed to desert the sultan and enter the 
service of Venice. Molino encountered the capitan-pasha off 
Scio, and two naval engagements were fought, in which, how- 
ever, the Venetians gained no advantage over the Turks. It 
was now evident that the Othoman government was recovering 
its energy and strength, and peace was necessary to enable 
Venice to retain the possession of her recent conquests 2 . 

After long negotiations peace was concluded at Carlovitz, 
in January 1699, between the Emperor of Germany, the King 
of Poland, the Republic of Venice, and the Sultan. Venice 

1 Gratiani. ii. 590, 626, 631, and p. 81 of this volume. 

2 The Mainate Liberaki soon recommenced his intrigues, hoping to force 
Venice to recognize him as Bey of Maina ; but the jealous republic, having 
secured his secretary as a spy on his proceedings, immediately arresied him, 
and sent him a prisoner to Brescia, a. d. 1697. Locatelli, Continuazione, i. 29 


A.D. 1684-1718.] 

retained possession of the places it had conquered in Dalmatia, 
of Santa Maura, of the Peloponnesus, and of Aegina ; and it 
was relieved from the tribute it had formerly paid to the 
Sublime Porte for the possession of Zante. Prevesa, the 
northern castle at the entrance of the Gulf of Lepanto, and 
the city of Lepanto, were restored to the sultan after the 
destruction of their fortifications. The republic must have 
felt that, in spite of all the valour and ability of Morosini, and 
the great expense it had incurred in bringing German mer- 
cenaries to Greece to fight in its cause, still the conquests it 
had gained were due more to the victories of Prince Eugene 
on the Danube than to its own power and exertions *. 

When the Venetians conquered the Morea, they found it 
ruined and depopulated. At the commencement of the war 
the Turks distrusted the Greeks, and took every precaution in 
their power to deprive them of the means of combining 
together and assisting the enemy. The Christians were 
everywhere disarmed, the granaries were emptied, and their 
contents transported into the fortresses ; and their flocks and 
herds were driven into the districts commanded by Turkish 
garrisons. When the Turks were at last compelled to abandon 
the country, they carried off everything of value belonging 
to the Christians which they could transport, in order to 
indemnify themselves for what they were compelled to leave 
behind. The youth of both sexes were seized when they 
were likely to prove valuable slaves, and the property of the 
Greeks was destroyed on the line of retreat. The richest 
plains of the Morea, having been in turn the scene of military 
operations, were left almost uncultivated. Famine followed 
war, and the plague came as an attendant on famine, carrying 
distress and ruin into districts which neither war nor famine 
had visited. The roads were neglected, the bridges broken 
down, the towns in ruins, commerce annihilated, the adminis- 
tration of justice in abeyance, and the whole peninsula filled 
with bands of armed brigands, who seized what they wanted 

1 The treaty signed at Carlovitz between the Republic and the Porte, is given 
by Rycaut (iii. 597) ; but Hammer (xiii. 35) mentions that, when the Venetian 
ambassador Sorano visited Constantinople to obtain its confirmation, he con- 
cluded an additional and more explicit treaty, embodying seventeen clauses con- 
tained in the preceding treaties between the Republic and the Porte, besides the 
fifteen which constituted the original treaty of Carlovitz. 

O 2 


[Ch. IV. 

-wherever they could find it. With these robbers the pastoral 

population in the mountains often formed alliances, in order 

to share in the plunder of the agricultural population of the 

plains l . 

The Venetians found that, in order to render their con- 
quest of any permanent utility, it would be necessary to 
establish a decided military superiority over the whole 
country, in order to restore that feeling of security without 
which there can be no prospect of agricultural and com- 
mercial prosperity; even in the most fertile regions. The 
Venetian government performed its duties both with good- 
will and ability. It possessed men experienced in dealing 
with Greeks ; and the loss of Crete had taught them a lesson 
of tolerance and moderation. Their recent government of 
Tinos had been mild and judicious ; and that island, which 
is now the most industrious and flourishing portion of the 
Greek kingdom, owes its superiority to the Venetian govern- 
ment. Still there were many difficulties in the way of 
establishing order in the Morea which did not exist in the 
islands, and these difficulties must be candidly weighed before 
we venture to pronounce that Venice acted either injudiciously 
or tyrannically during the period it ruled the Morea. 

Many circumstances prevented the Venetian government 
from intrusting the Greeks with any considerable share in the 
local administration. They did not, however, so completely 
falsify the communal system, and render it a mere organ of 
the central administration, as has been done recently by 
Bavarian and Greek ministers. The Venetians were com- 
pelled to guard against the influence of the Othoman Porte, 
which continued to be great in the Morea, both over the 
Greek primates, who had property or connections in the 
Turkish provinces, and over the Greek clergy. The power 
of the Patriarch of Constantinople was an especial object 
of disquietude, as he was an instrument in the hands of the 
Othoman government to create opposition to Venice. The 
complete alienation in religious and national feeling between 

1 Those who witnessed the extent that brigandage attained in liberated Greece 
in the year 1835, during German domination, and in the years 1854-5, under the 
constitutional government of King Otho, can alone form any correct idea of the 
lawless state of society through which the peaceful agricultural population has 
perpetuated its laborious and suffering existence. In the present year (1S55), acts 
of torture have been committed never exceeded by Turkish tyrauts. 


A.D. 16S4 1718.] 

the Greeks and the Catholics rendered it impossible for the 
Venetians to attempt amalgamating the native population of 
ce with the subjects of the republic, by conferring on 
the Morcotes the privileges of citizens of Venice. The French 
of Louisiana and the Spaniards of Florida, though staunch 
Catholics, have become good citizens of the United States ; 
but no concessions have hitherto induced the Greeks to 
become loyal to any foreign state. They can be industrious 
in money-making like the Jews, but even when they accept 
the boon of foreign citizenship as a means of increasing their 
gains, they rarely, if ever, become good citizens. To judge 
the Venetian government fairly, it must be compared with 
the British government in the Ionian Islands, and with the 
Bavarian domination in Greece, and surely it will not suffer 
by the comparison. 

When the Venetians found leisure to devote their atten- 
tion to the civil government of the Morea, the native popula- 
tion had sunk, through the ravages of war and pestilence, to 
about one hundred thousand souls, although, before the com- 
mencement of hostilities, the Christians alone, including 
Greeks and Albanians, were estimated at two hundred and 
fifty thousand, and the Turks at fifty thousand ; an estimate 
which does not appear to be far removed from the truth 1 . 
Morosini established a provisional civil administration, which 
restored order, and, with the cessation of the plague, 
the increased security of property enabled the Morea to 
recover so rapidly from its misfortunes, that, in the year 
1 70 1, the native population, Greek and Albanian, had already 
reached two hundred thousand. Morosini introduced the 
municipal system of the continental possessions of Venice 
into the towns he conquered. The rights he thereby con- 
ferred on the Greeks, and the improvement which took place 
in their condition, soon produced a considerable immigration 
from Northern Greece, where the Turks were slower in re- 
establishing order. Thousands of families, with their baggage 
and cattle, were conveyed by the Venetians from the northern 

1 The best authority on the administration of the Venetians is the work of 
Ranke. entitled Die Venetianer in Morea, published in the Histori^ch-Polifische 
Zeitschrift, Berlin, 1 8 3 5 , vol. ii. pt. 3. 

Cornaro, the firjt general proveditor, gives only 86,460 souls as the result of 
the first Venetian census; yet the men ca[able of bearing arms were 20,123. 
Ranke, 436. 



coast of the Gulf of Corinth into the Morea, and the emigra- 
tion became so great as to induce the Porte to order the 
pashas and provincial governors to treat the Greeks with 
greater consideration and justice than they had previously- 
received from the Othoman authorities. Thus one of the 
most valuable results of Morosini's conquests was, that it 
compelled the Turks to make an effort to gain the good-will, 
or at least to alleviate the discontent, of their Christian 
subjects 1 . Another feature which marked a considerable 
change in Turkish society was the return of many families 
of Mohammedan agriculturists to Christianity, which their 
ancestors had forsaken in order to escape from persecution 
and fiscal oppression-. The liberality of the Venetians at 
this time is shown by the fact that they allowed these con- 
verts to join the Greek Church. At any earlier period they 
would have considered themselves bound, as a Catholic power, 
to force the converts to embrace Catholicism, or else to 
remain Mohammedans. 

The revenues derived by Venice from the Morea were 
considerable. They consisted of one-tenth of all the agri- 
cultural produce, besides taxes on wine, spirits, oil, and 
tobacco, and a monopoly of salt. It is needless to dwell 
on the impediment which the payment of tenths offers to 
any improvement in agriculture, though this tax is not to be 
regarded as too heavy in amount ; still the manner in which 
it must unavoidably be collected renders it always a wasteful, 
as well as an oppressive mode of obtaining a revenue. The 
Venetians in order to avoid constant disputes between the 
fiscal officers of the government and the people, found it 
necessary to farm the tenths. The consequence was, that 
the farmers, who were generally Greek archonts, always con- 
trived to make their agents live at the expense of the people 
in the district they farmed, and, by uniting the trade of 
money-lenders and dealers in agricultural produce with their 
occupation as farmers of the revenue, they employed the 
great powers they received as collectors of the taxes to 
enforce payment of their private debts. In order to relieve 

1 See some of the concessions to the Christians, mentioned by Hammer, xiii. 65. 
For the emigration, see Rycaut. iii 271. 

2 The Venetian accounts mention 131 7 families of Mohammedan peasants who 
embraced Christianity. See Rycaut. iii. 270, 272. 


A.n. 1 fiS.f - 1 7 1 S.] 

agriculture from these abuses, the Venetian government en- 
deavoured to facilitate the farming of the revenues by the 
communes for terms of not less than five years, and the plan 
was attended with considerable success. 

The salt monopoly was the cause of great oppression, and 
still greater inconvenience, though the price was only two 
solidi a pound (about a halfpenny). The expense of trans- 
port and loss of time in procuring salt from distant magazines 
were serious and just grounds of complaint against the 
system ; for in many places where the peasant could easily 
have procured salt gratis on the sea-shore within a few miles 
of his sheepfolds, he was compelled to take a day's journey 
with his mules in order to purchase it at some distant depot 
of the monopoly. 

The Venetian government gained possession of extensive 
domains in the Morea ; but it had sufficient experience in 
territorial administration to know that the State is the worst 
possible landed proprietor, and that the land belonging to 
government is often the portion least profitable to the public 
treasury. The patronage of the powerful, the neglect and 
dishonesty of officials, and the avidity of farmers, all con- 
tribute to the mal-administration of property placed in such 
exceptional circumstances as government lands 1 . 

The revenues of the Morea are stated by Grimani, the 
general proveditor from 1698 to 1701, at 605,460 reals: but 
his estimate was apparently too high ; and Emo, who ad- 
ministered the province from 1705 to 1708, found the actual 
receipts only amounted to about 400,000 reals. By wise 
measures and liberal concessions he increased the receipts 
to 461,548. The good effect of a mild administration became 
still more visible during the government of Loredano (1708 
to 171 1), as the revenues rose to more than half a million 
of reals 2 . 

The regular expenses of the Venetian government amounted 
to only 280,000 reals, so that a surplus of 220,000 was annually 
paid over into the treasury of the fleet. Though it was neces- 
sary to maintain a considerable naval force in the Grecian 
seas to protect the country against the incursions of corsairs, 

1 The evil effects, both politically and financially, arc strongly exemplified at 
present in the Greek kingdom. 

'-' Ranke, 455. The Venetian real was, I believe, then valued at twenty pence, 

English money. 


[Ch. IV. 

and to enforce the commercial laws and restrictions of the 
republic, still there can be no doubt that the revenues of the 
Morea under the Venetian domination were amply sufficient 
to pay all the expenditure both of its internal administra- 
tion and of its military and naval establishments in time of 

The commerce of the Greeks was almost annihilated when 
the Venetians commenced the war. The Ionian sea and the 
Archipelago were so crowded with pirates, that even Greek 
fishing-boats could hardly venture to creep out of a harbour, 
lest the men should be carried off to labour at the oar in 
some French, Maltese, or Barbary corsair. These pirates had 
established many regular stations in the Levant. The Chris- 
tians compelled several Greek towns on the continent and 
in the islands of the Archipelago to pay them a regular 
tribute, in order to secure their lands and fishing-boats from 
being plundered ; while the Mohammedans had formed estab- 
lishments in the Othoman fortresses in Western Greece and 
Albania for the sale of the plunder and slaves they collected 
in their cruises between the Barbary coast and the Adriatic. 

The only foreign trade that existed in the Morea at the 
time of its conquest was that between Messenia and Barbary, 
and between Monemvasia and Alexandria 1 . It was very 
insignificant. A few boats were also employed in transport- 
ing the produce of the Morea to the Ionian Islands, from 
whence it was conveyed to Venice in armed vessels. The 
Venetian conquest quickly restored some activity to the trade 
of the native Greeks. The demand for good wine was soon 
so much increased by the number of foreigners established 
in the Morea, that it was for a time necessary to import the 
better qualities from France, Italy, and the islands of the 
Archipelago. But the Moreotes, as soon as they were assured 
that their labour would be well rewarded, made such im- 
provements in the preparation of their own wines as to 
share in the profits of this trade, and supplant the foreign 
importers, who were compelled to confine their dealings to 
the finest qualities, which could only be consumed in small > 

1 Prinokokki, a red dye, from an insect collected on the holly-leaved oak, which 
is used for dyeing the fez or red skull-cap, and valonia, for tanning and dyeing, 
with silk, oil, and fruit, were the chief articles in this trade. 


A.D. 1(^84-1 7 1 S.] 

The trade of the Morea was prevented from receiving all 
the extension (A' which it was capable by the severity of t In- 
restrictive commercial policy enforced by the Venetians. The 
possessions of the republic were regarded as valuable to the 
State in the proportion in which they contributed to increase 
the trade and fiscal receipts of the city of Venice. Instead, 
therefore, of allowing the inhabitants of the Morea to trade 
directly with the nations who might desire to consume Greek 
produce, and of raising a revenue by export duties, the 
Venetians compelled their subjects to send every article of 
value they exported to Venice, which, by this system of 
restriction, was rendered the sole emporium of the trade 
between Western Europe and the Venetian possessions in 
the Levant. The rigour with which this system was enforced 
injured the inhabitants of the Morea by lowering the price of 
every article of export, and it prevented the French, English, 
and Dutch merchants from purchasing many articles which 
they had previously procured there, while, instead of seeking 
them at Venice, they generally succeeded in procuring them 
in provinces of the Othoman empire. The trade in oil, silk, 
Turkey leather, and fruit, suffered particularly from this 

The Venetians at first established seven fiscal boards in 
the Morea, of which Patras, Castcl Tornese, Modon, Coron, 
Kielapha, Monemvasia, and Maina were the seats ; but these 
were afterwards reduced to four, corresponding to the four 
provinces into which the peninsula was divided for the facility 
of the civil administration. These were, Romania, with 
Nauplia or Napoli di Romania for its capital ; Laconia or 
Zaccunia, of which Monemvasia was the capital ; Messenia 
with Navarin, and Achaia with Patras, as their chief towns. 
Each of these provinces had its proveditor, in whose hands 
the civil and military authority was placed ; its Rettore, or 
chief judge; and its Camerlingo, or intendant of finance. 
The whole Morea was governed by a general proveditor. As 
soon as Morosini had conquered any town, he established in 
it a Consiglio, or municipal council, in imitation of the com- 
munal system adopted in the Venetian provinces of the terra 
firma. This council chose the magistrates and local officials, 
who were selected from the Greek inhabitants devoted to the 
interests of Venice, and on these magistrates considerable 


[Ch. IV. 

privileges were conferred \ The council itself was generally 
composed of Venetians, or Venetian subjects. The general 
practice of Europe, the prejudices of the age, and the peculiar 
position of the Venetians in their foreign dependencies, ren- 
dered it impossible for the republic to avoid employing 
privileges and monopolies as a means of attaching partizans 
and creating a revenue. But no care or prudence on the 
part of the general proveditors, who appear to have governed, 
on the whole, both ably and honestly, could prevent these 
privileges and monopolies from nourishing intrigues and 
financial abuses. All endeavours to extirpate these evils 
proved vain : as soon as one abuse was discovered, and a 
remedy applied, it was found that it was replaced by some 
new corruption, equally injurious to the State and to society, 
equally profitable to officials, and equally oppressive to some 
class of the native population. The system of privileges and 
exemptions has sometimes proved a powerful instrument of 
State policy, where the great object has been to hold the 
mass of the people in subjection, by making their own 
jealousies supply the place of an active police and a large 
military force ; but it has invariably served as a premium for 
official dishonesty and political immorality. 

One of the evils of the system may be noticed as an ex- 
ample of its effects. The burgesses of towns were exempted 
from the burden of quartering troops, which fell heavily on 
the inhabitants of the country. The better class of Greek 
proprietors, who resided on their property, or who inhabited 
the rural districts as traders in agricultural produce, soon 
contrived to corrupt the lower Venetian officials and place 
themselves on the roll of burgesses in the nearest town. 
They then succeeded in gaining an exemption from quarter- 
ing soldiers in the house they inhabited, as being the country 
residence of a burgess. This abuse made the burden fall 
heavier on the poor peasantry, who having no persons of 
knowledge, wealth, and influence to defend their interests, 
became the victims of great oppression on the part of the 
Venetian military. The soldiers were only entitled by law 
to receive rations of barley bread and cheese ; but they ex- 
acted dinners of roast meat, vvheaten cakes, and wine. The 

1 Locatelli, i. 197. 


A.D. 16S4-1718.] 

assessment authorized by the Venetian government was light, 
for the annual maintenance of one soldier was charged on 
eighteen families ; but laws are powerless where the govern- 
ment is both weak and corrupt l . 

At first sight, it would seem that the Venetian senate 
possessed absolute power to govern the possessions of the 
republic in Greece, — for there existed no nobility, no estab- 
lished system of laws, and no organized corporations in the 
Morea. But this was not really the case. The traditional 
maxims of Italian statesmen, the privileges of the nobles of 
Venice in the dependent territories of the republic, and the 
financial principles then deemed conducive to political power, 
on the one hand, joined to the restless disposition of the 
Greeks, who often fancied that a wider career would be 
obtained for their activity and ambition by the restoration 
of the Othoman domination, to the want of truth and con- 
science engendered by their servile condition, and to the 
violence of their orthodox prejudices, on the other hand, 
presented, on many subjects, barriers to improvement, which 
the Venetians had not strength to destroy. The Greek 
character seems less adapted for political order than for 
individual progress. Envy and suspicion have always been 
marked characteristics of Hellenic society; and more Greek 

1 At the present day. a greater abuse is universal in the kingdom of Greece, 
and King Otho and his ministers seem to be powerless to restrain it. The gen- 
darmes of King Otho are only entitled to quarters, and not to rations ; but they 
extort from the poor peasantry of liberated Greece far more abundant supplies of 
provisions, and exercise greater exactions, than were exercised even by the Venetian 
soldiers. They take turkeys and lambs, where their predecessors, the Venetians 
and Turks, were satisfied with fowls and bread ; and when they have feasted and 
slept, they compel the peasant to take his horse from the threshing-floor and to 
quit the plough, in order that they may ride at their ease from one station to 
another, though they invariably report that they have marched the distance. This 
is no trifling hindrance to the progress of agriculture in liberated Greece, or it 
would not be noticed in this place. It is one of those abuses which warranted the 
Earl of Carlisle in describing the present government of Greece as 'the most 
inefficient, corrupt, and, above all. contemptible, with which a nation was ever 
cursed.' A Diary in Turkish and Greek Waters, 208. Not a day passes in seed- 
time or harvest that many poor Greek and Albanian peasants are not compelled to 
leave their work to follow their oppressors. The writer of these pages has wit- 
nessed this systematic extortion perpetuated for twenty years without any effort 
having been made by king, ministers, or clumbers to extirpate it. though all are 
aware of the severe burden it imposes on the poorest and mo,l industrious class of 
the population. The contrast between the conduct of the Venetian proveditors 
and that of a constitutional king, with native ministers, is not favourable to either 
German or Greek political honesty and intelligence. The Venetian governors 
laboured incessantly to repress the abuse ; the nomarchs of King Otho do much to 
perpetuate it. 


[Ch. IV. 

states have been ruined and subjected to foreign conquest 
at every period of history by the operation of internal vices 
than by the force of hostile nations. The inhabitants of the 
Peloponnesus, from some causes which it is difficult to detect, 
but which appear to have operated in the most dissimilar 
conditions of civilization, and in times and circumstances 
widely different, are considered by their countrymen as the 
most envious and suspicious of all the Greeks. The Venetian 
general-proveditors, who were extremely anxious to improve 
the condition of the country, complained that, though they 
found the inhabitants active and intelligent, they found them 
false from excessive suspicion, and obstinate from aversion to 
foreigners. It was deemed a patriotic duty to persist in 
native habits, even when these habits had originated in the 
oppression of the Othoman domination. They were so 
suspicious and envious that the middle classes wasted the 
greater part of their time in watching the conduct of their 
neighbours, and in taking measures of precaution against 
imaginary schemes of supposed intriguers. The consequence 
was, that all the Greeks lived together in a state of feverish 
excitement, wasting great energies to no purpose. They 
laboured with their whole attention directed towards a distant 
point from which they expected an enemy to issue, as the 
husbandman who sows a field on the verge of a tribe of 
nomades. The higher classes were rapacious, avaricious, and 
idle. They despised all agricultural and manual industry, 
and looked for wealth to saving rather than to industry. 
Their contempt for the agricultural classes was shown by 
their calling all who were engaged in the cultivation of the 
soil Albanians, and all who were occupied in pastoral pursuits 
Vallachians. These two classes, the cultivators of the soil 
and the shepherds, were unquestionably the most industrious 
and honest portion of the population of Greece at this period, 
which may be in part attributed to the circumstance that 
they had been less exposed to the demoralizing influence of 
a bad political government, and of a worse social system. 
One feature in the Moreote population of every rank made 
a strong impression on the Venetians. This was, the insu- 
perable aversion they manifested to military service. No 
young men were desirous of seeking to advance their fortunes 
by arms. The aversion they displayed to war contrasted 


A.D. 16S4-I71S.] 

Strangely with their unquenchable thirst for civil strife. The 
Mainates were the only part of the population of the Morea 
attached to a military life. The most noted bands of robbers 
in the peninsula were generally composed of Albanians from 
northern Greece. 

It has been already mentioned that, after the conquest of 
Crete, the Othoman government had reduced Maina to com- 
plete submission, and compelled the inhabitants to pay the 
haratch like the other Greeks. The assertion that this tax 
was never paid by Maina, though extremely erroneous, since 
it had been levied by the Othomans in the sixteenth century, 
was now revived, and has often been repeated since. After 
the Othoman government had established regular garrisons in 
the fortresses of Zarnata, Kielapha, and Passava, in 1670, the 
Mainates paid this hated imposition, which was considered as 
the severest mark of Othoman servitude, until they were 
relieved from it by the victories of the Venetians. 

When the Mainates joined Morosini they concluded an 
alliance with Venice, which conferred on them many privi- 
leges, and authorized them to establish an independent local 
administration throughout their mountains. The most im- 
portant privilege they obtained was exemption from paying 
a tenth of their agricultural produce to the State. This tax 
was commuted for a fixed tribute, called by the Mainates 
viaktu. During the Venetian domination in the Morea 
the Mainates succeeded in constituting themselves into a 
really independent people, but the use they made of their 
independence did not tend to improve the condition of the 
mass of the population, for Maina became the scene of in- 
numerable family feuds, and petty civil wars ; and the 
defeated party generally endeavoured to gain a livelihood 
by plundering the Venetian provinces of Mcssenia and 
Laconia, or by exercising piracy. The Mainates displayed 
great courage and extraordinary perseverance in their feuds, 
though they sought rather to waylay and assassinate their 
enemies than to meet them in open fight. The northern and 
central parts of Maina were, however, valuable to Venice, 
which retained a monopoly of their trade, for they exported 
a considerable quantity of valonia, red dye, galls, cotton, and 
oil. The population was estimated at more than twenty-five 
thousand souls. 


[Ch. IV. 

The first object of the Venetians, after they had established 
their domination in the Morea, was to give security to pro- 
perty. They recognized every existing private right, and 
wherever a right of occupancy was clearly established, the 
possessor was considered the absolute proprietor in so far 
as the State was concerned. To the peasants who had 
cultivated property claimed by the Othoman government the 
boon was very great, as their payments to the fisc were 
diminished one-half. The primates and ecclesiastics, it is 
true, frequently contrived to appropriate to themselves pro- 
perty that had belonged to private Turks and to the Othoman 
government ; but the Venetians wisely overlooked some 
fraudulent gains on the part of individuals, in consideration 
of the great benefits which the measure conferred on the 
many small cultivators of the soil, who were thereby rendered 
the undisputed proprietors of the lands their families had long 

Immense tracts of land still remained uncultivated, of which 
the property was vested in the State by the fortune of war. 
When this property was capable of being immediately ren- 
dered productive by some outlay of capital, as in the case of 
mills, cisterns, warehouses, and building-sites, it was conceded 
to tenants on leases for ten years, with the obligations of 
making the necessary outlay, and of paying one-tenth of the 
annual produce. But irrigable lands, gardens, and meadows, 
in the vicinity of towns, were let for a rent of one-third of 
their produce, as was customary in private leases. Pasture 
lands, olive groves, and vineyards, were usually let for a 
money rent. When peace was concluded with Turkey in 
1699, and the domination of the Venetians was definitively 
recognized by the sultan, the Greeks began to consider their 
lot as subjects of Venice permanently fixed. The republic 
made use of this opportunity of giving additional security 
to its power, by endeavouring to gain the good-will of the 
native population of the Morea. All temporary rights of 
property in the domains of the State were declared perma- 
nent. Thus all lessees became proprietors on paying their 
previous rent as a perpetual duty. A complete survey of 
the peninsula and a census of the population were then 

Until the conclusion of peace the Morea had been infested 


A.r. 1684-1718.] 

by bands of robbers ; numerous exiles from the Othoman 
provinces, who were too lazy or too proud to work, and 
deserters from the army, wandered about, and when they 
were not employed as gendarmes, local guards, or policemen, 
exercised the trade of brigands l . The Venetian administra- 
tion proved successful in establishing order and security for 
life and property. The municipalities were intrusted with 
some real power ; they were authorized to form a local militia 
to guard their property, on the condition of undertaking the 
responsibility of making good any losses sustained within 
their limits by robbery. Even the jealous republic intrusted 
them with the right of bearing arms. Sagredo, the last 
general-provcditor who ruled the Morca in time of peace, 
reported the country to be so tranquil that few crimes were 
committed which required to be punished with death 2 . This, 
we must remember, was said at a time when death was the 
punishment universally applied to many minor offences. It 
forms a sad contrast with the condition of Greece in the year 

The administration of justice in civil affairs, though very 
much superior to what it had been under the Othomans, was 
still very defective. The tribunals were presided over by 
young Italian nobili, whose long residence at Padua had not 
always enabled them to acquire more knowledge of law than 
a short sojourn at Venice taught them to forget ; for they 
generally displayed great aptitude in learning the vices and 
corruption of that luxurious city. Their ignorance was a 
constant subject of complaint. The clerks of court, who 
possessed more knowledge, were notorious for venality and 
dishonesty, and the advocates, who were Ionians, were prompt 
agents in pointing out to the young judges how they could 
enrich themselves by selling judicial sentences. Wealthy 
suitors easily gained their causes, but the poor were exposed to 
delay in every process, and could find no protection from the 
law against acts of injustice committed by the Greek primates. 

1 Grimani, as quoted by Ranke, says, ' rare volte fu fermato un ladro che non 
fosse meidano.' At present the brigands in Greece are recruited principally by 
deserters from the irregular troops, by the persons allowed to escape from the 
prisons, and by those pardoned by King Otho. 

a Ranke, 473. 

8 A long list of villages plundered by the brigands might be made from the 
Greek newspapers. 


[Ch. IV. 

The weakness or mildness of the Venetian civil administration 
increased the sufferings of the peasantry, as it relieved op- 
pressors from the fear of punishment. The feeling of impunity 
among the unprincipled Greek archonts and merchants, soon 
led them to gratify their avarice and revenge by iniquitous 
law-suits, which they usually succeeded in gaining by bribing 
false witnesses. The Venetians saw these evils gradually 
increase, but they were unable to suppress the false testimony 
which was habitually given in the courts of law. Their legis- 
lation was ineffectual to restrain the demoralization of Greek 
society, nourished by the bad example of their own judges. 
The same want of truth and honesty, which contributed for 
many centuries to maintain the Greeks in a servile position, 
baffled the partial efforts of the Venetians to improve their 
condition. Time alone can show whether the establishment 
of the national independence will efface from the Greek 
character these vices. The general-proveditor, Emo, describes 
the Moreotes in 1708 very much as the Emperor Cantacu- 
zenos had described them in the middle of the fourteenth 
century. The Venetian says they were a race addicted to 
wrangling, unwearied in chicanery, and inexorable in revenge, 
who seemed to take delight in nourishing the bitterest quarrels 
with all their neighbours. The imperial historian mentioned 
the mutual hatred which the archonts of the Morea cherished 
to the hour of death, and the feuds which they regularly 
transmitted, as a death-bed legacy or an inalienable inherit- 
ance, to their children and heirs l . 

Religious liberty was not a principle of government recog- 
nized by any European state in the seventeenth century; the 
difference of faith consequently formed an insurmountable 
obstacle to an equitable administration of public affairs in 
all European governments. The spirit of the Italians was 
peculiarly opposed to toleration. Indeed, so deeply was 
intolerance a part of Christian civilization at this time, that 
even a sense of the wrong which they had suffered for con- 
science sake in the Old World, did not restrain the exiles, 
who sought religious liberty in America, from persecuting 1 
those who differed from them in their new homes. The 
Venetians were then remarkable for liberality, but, as sincere 

1 Ranke, 470; Cantacuzenos, 751, edit. Paris. 


A.D. 1684-I 718.] 

Catholics, they could not become the sovereigns of the 
orthodox Greeks without awakening strong feelings of oppo- 
sition to their government, even though their conduct was 
marked by unusual prudence and toleration, and though they 
had long acted as protectors of the orthodox against papal 
influence at Constantinople l . 

The vicinity of the sultan's dominions, the great power of 
the Patriarch of Constantinople over the Greek clergy, and 
the general feeling which induced the members of the orthodox 
church in Greece to regard the sultan as their protector, 
created a sense of insecurity on the part of the senate of 
Venice, which made it avoid, with the greatest care, giving its 
Greek subjects any just cause of dissatisfaction. It knew 
well that no act of the republic could deprive the Greek 
clergy of their civil influence any more than of their eccle- 
siastical authority. 

The Venetians, nevertheless, considered it their right as 
conquerors, and their duty as Catholics, to restore to the 
papal clergy all the mosques which had been Christian 
churches at the time of the Othoman conquest. Many of 
these buildings had been erected by the Frank princes. The 
Venetians naturally invested the Catholic Church with the 
fullest authority over the Catholics in Greece, but they did 
not permit the Pope to assume any supremacy over the Greek 
Church. The Catholic Church in the Morea was divided into 
four bishoprics, under the superintendence of the archbishop of 
Corinth. Catholic priests and monks flocked to the Morea 
from Italy and the islands of the Archipelago. 

The Greek Church retained all the property and privileges 
it had possessed under the sultans, and was not required 
to make any concessions of ecclesiastical superiority to its 
Romish rival. The power of the Patriarch of Constantinople, 
however, both as being a foreigner in a hostile State, and as 
a political agent in the hands of the Othoman government, 
caused great anxiety at Venice. The Patriarch named the 
bishops in the Morea ; his influence was, consequently, all- 
powerful with the clergy, who looked to his favour and pro- 
tection for ecclesiastical advancement ; and the power of the 
clergy over the great body of the people was exorbitant. The 

1 Hammer, HLtoire de V Empire Othoman, ix. 31. 
VOL. V. P 


[Ch. IV. 

Patriarch of Constantinople named also the abbots of many- 
monasteries. One-half of the annual offerings made by the 
priests, and by each family in every diocese, was paid over by 
the bishop to the exarch of the Morea, who received these 
sums on account of the Patriarch. A portion of the revenues 
of the monasteries was also remitted to Constantinople by 
their abbots \ The bulls of the Patriarch possessed as much 
authority in the Morea as in any part of the Othoman empire, 
for his excommunications were feared by all the orthodox 
laity as well as clergy, and his patronage was powerful to 
advance the temporal interests of his partizans. The Vene- 
tians, who had deprived papal bulls of authority in their 
dominions until they received the sanction of the civil govern- 
ment, desired to exercise the same control over the bulls of 
the Patriarch of Constantinople. The measures adopted 
marked the prudence of the senate, and were carried into 
execution by the general-proveditors with great moderation. 
No acknowledged exarch of the Patriarch was allowed to 
reside in the Morea, and the publication of patriarchal bulls 
by the clergy was prohibited ; while, in order to curtail the 
influence which the distribution of immense patronage con- 
ferred on the Patriarch, the Greek communes were invited 
to select their own bishops, and an attempt was made to 
abolish the payment of the dues which were remitted to Con- 
stantinople. The Venetian authorities were well aware that 
the Archbishop of Patras acted secretly as exarch for the 
Patriarch, and that the bishops and abbots, in order to secure 
the good-will of the Patriarch and synod at Constantinople, 
continued to make considerable remittances of money to the 
patriarchal treasury ; but they were satisfied to put an end to 
the public payment of these dues, without forcing the Patriarch 

1 Ranke gives the following ecclesiastical statistics from Grimani : ' The metro- 
politan archbishop, who exercised the superintendence over the whole peninsula, 
then resided at Tripolitza. There were four other archbishops without suffragans. 
There were twelve suffragan bishops, and sixteen titular bishops without sees ; 
thirteen hundred and sixty-seven monks in one hundred and fifty-eight monasteries ; 
ninety-four of these were monasteries having the right of electing their own abbots ; 
in fourteen the nomination of the abbot was a right of patronage, and twenty-six 
abbots were named by the Patriarch ; twenty-four of these monasteries also were 
only metochia, or dependencies of other greater monasteries. Besides these, there 
were one hundred and fifty-one churches possessing landed property.' p. 479. 
Morosini had endeavoured to gain the Greek clergy by his liberality during the 
war. He assigned pensions to the bishops of Larissa, Thebes, Negrepont, Athens, 
and Salona, who all fled to the Venetians for protection in 1688. Locatelli, 
ii. 156. 


A.D. 1684-I 718.] 

to assail their political authority in defence of his revenue. 
By this conduct the influence of the Patriarch in the Morea 
was considerably diminished, without producing any direct 
collision between the Greek Church and the civil power. 

Simony was too deeply engrafted on the orthodox church 
to admit of its being extirpated by external influence. The 
bishops sold the office of priest, and the communes, when 
they became invested with ecclesiastical patronage, followed 
the established usage of the church, and endeavoured to turn 
ecclesiastical elections into a means of increasing the com- 
munal revenues. They bargained with their nominee for 
a share of the ordinary ecclesiastical dues and church offer- 
ings. Thus the clerical office was rendered universally an 
object of bargain and sale \ The proveditors could not 
venture to interfere. They required the assistance of the 
Greek clergy to aid in maintaining public order, and found 
it politic to wink at abuses which often rendered the priest- 
hood anxious to secure the support of the government. Thus 
the same policy of employing the Greek Church as an instru- 
ment of police, to watch over the people and to support the 
power of a foreign domination, which had been established 
by the Othomans at Constantinople, was adopted by the 
Venetians at Nauplia. The vices of the Greek ecclesiastical 
system made the priesthood the most efficient agents for 
riveting the chains of their country. The success of the 
Venetian policy was proved when the Patriarch sent a letter 
to the primates of Misithra, enjoining the community to 
solicit the nomination of a new bishop from Constantinople, 
instead of the one chosen under the authority of the Venetian 
government. The community of Misithra left the letter 
unanswered, and the bishop it had chosen remained in 
office 2 . 

The presence of the Catholic clergy in the Morea, though 
it caused some exacerbation on the part of the orthodox 
Greeks, was nevertheless productive of permanent good. The 
Catholics first drew the attention of the Moreotes to the 
improvement of the system of education then prevalent, and 
extended a desire for instruction more widely among the 
people. They also taught the Greeks that active charity, 

1 Ranke, 481. 8 Ibid., 483. 

r 2 


[Ch. IV. 

and a constant exercise of benevolence, are prominent duties 
in the office of a Christian parish-priest. The superior moral 
character, the greater learning, and more disinterested be- 
haviour, in pecuniary affairs, of the Catholic priesthood, 
formed so strong a contrast to the meanness, ignorance, 
and rapacity of a large portion of the orthodox, that even 
the Greeks acknowledged the virtues of the papal clergy. 
The influence of the Catholics was greatly increased by the 
knowledge of medicine which several possessed, by their 
readiness to attend the sick, and by their liberality in furnish- 
ing medicines from dispensaries established at the expense 
of the church. Many schools were founded in the provincial 
towns, and several colleges were established, in which the 
education was so much superior to that bestowed on the 
pupils in any Greek schools then existing in the Morea, that 
many of the orthodox sent their children to be educated in 
these establishments. The college of Tripolitza was remark- 
able for its excellence, and for the concourse of orthodox 
Greeks who attended it. This declaration of public opinion 
in favour of morality and education produced a sensible effect 
on the Greek clergy. They began to exert themselves to 
win that personal esteem, which they saw was attained by 
their Catholic rivals, and a considerable improvement was 
soon visible in their general conduct. The torrent of social 
demoralization which had been rolling onward and gain- 
ing additional force as time advanced, under the Othoman 
domination, was now arrested. 

The first productive seeds of social improvement were sown 
in the minds of the Greeks by their Venetian masters during 
the short period of their domination in the Morea. The 
hope, as well as the desire of bettering their condition, became 
then a national feeling, which gained strength with each suc- 
ceeding generation, until it ripened into a desire for national 
independence. The obligations of the Greeks to the Venetian 
government and to the Catholic clergy may not be very great, 
but it would be an oversight in the history of the Greek 
nation to omit recording these obligations. The young » 
Greeks of the Morea, who grew to manhood under the pro- 
tection of the republic, were neither so ignorant, so servile, 
nor so timid as their fathers who had lived under the Turkish 
yoke. It is true that the Venetian government failed in 


a.p. iGS4 1718.] 

making any great social improvements in Greece, and in 
gaining the good-will and gratitude of the people ; but what 
foreign government has ever succeeded better? 

Prudence induced the Venetian senate to maintain a strict 
neutrality during the great European war of the Spanish 
succession. To avoid being involved in the general hostilities, 
it overlooked more than one open infraction of its territory 
by the belligerents ; and, as often happens with those who 
fear to make a single enemy, it soon remained without 
a single friend. Its policy was presumed to be dictated 
by the selfishness of the ruling class, whose members were 
more anxious to preserve their large salaries and sinecures 
than to support the dignity of the republic. Rather than 
encounter the slightest risk of diminishing their own incomes, 
they allowed Venice to be despised as a spiritless state. The 
consequence was, that when the Treaties of Utrecht and 
Rastadt re-established peace in Western Europe, Venice 
remained without an ally. France, whose success in placing 
a Bourbon on the Spanish throne had given her 'a predo- 
minating influence in the Mediterranean, was the ancient ally 
of the Othoman Porte, and was supposed to be especially 
envious of the great extension which Venetian commerce 
had gained by a long neutrality. The French government, 
seeing no hope of their merchants recovering the share they 
had formerly enjoyed of the Levant trade, as long as the 
possession of the Morea enabled the Venetians to enforce 
their system of monopoly, was suspected of urging the Porte 
to commence hostilities with the republic. 

In the mean time Russia had taken its place as a first-rate 
power in the international system of Europe, and already 
threatened the power, if not the existence, of the Othoman 
empire. The statesmen of Venice were too traditional in 
their policy, and too conservative in their views, to appre- 
ciate the full value of an alliance with the Czar Peter at this 
crisis. The moment was one when all thoughts of neutrality 
ought to have been laid aside, unless Venice was convinced 
that she possessed singly the strength necessary to defend 
the Morea against the whole force of the Othoman empire. 
A considerable change had taken place both in the internal 
condition of the Othoman empire and the state of its relations 
with Russia at the commencement of the war with Peter the 



Great in 1710. The Russian empire was strong in the feel- 
ing of progressive improvement and increasing power. Peter 
was elated by his victory over Charles XII., the military hero 
of the age. The Othoman empire showed visible signs of 
decline and weakness. The defects in the financial adminis- 
tration and in the dispensation of justice became every day 
more apparent, as the necessity for order and security of 
property were more generally felt in consequence of the 
progress of social civilization. The military organization, 
which had given power to the sultan's government, was 
ruined : the janissaries, instead of being, as formerly, the 
best infantry in Europe, were little better than a local militia 
of armed burghers ; the institution of the tribute-children, 
which had long been the firmest support of the Othoman 
empire, no longer supplied the sultan's army with a regular 
influx of enthusiastic neophytes and well-disciplined soldiers ; 
the timariot system was weakened by the poverty and de- 
population of the provinces and the luxurious manner of 
living of' the large landed proprietors. War was no longer 
the normal condition of Othoman society. The difficulty of 
recruiting the armies of the sultan was constantly augmenting. 
An inferior class of men was received into the army ; and it 
was generally believed that the Mussulman population was 
everywhere decreasing in number. On the other hand, it 
was said that the Christians were rapidly increasing, and 
there were many proofs that the Greek population was ac- 
quiring a new degree of importance. Wherever the Greeks 
enjoyed some degree of security, whether under the protec- 
tion of Venice or of Russia, they began to exhibit signs of 
mental and commercial activity. 

Sultan Achmet III. was despised by Peter the Great as 
a weak prince ; and the Othoman ministers were considered 
both worthless and venal. The Czar was persuaded that 
a single campaign would enable the Muscovite army which 
had gained the battle of Pultowa to sweep from the field 
any force the Sultan could assemble to oppose it. Russian 
agents had visited every part of European Turkey, in order 
to instigate the Christians to revolt. The Greeks were 
reminded of ancient prophecies said to have been found in 
the tomb of Constantine the Great, which declared that the 
time had arrived when the Byzantine empire was to be 


A.D. 16S4-1718.] 

restored by the Russians. The Sclavonians were flattered 
with the assurance that they were destined to become the 
dominant race in a new eastern empire, as the sovereignty 
of Constantinople was about to pass into the hands of the 
Czar of Russia, the head of the Sclavonian race and the 
emperor selected by Heaven to rule all the orthodox nations 
of the earth. In short, the Czar Peter had good reason to 
believe in 17 10 what his successor Nicholas said in 1853, 
% that the affairs of Turkey were in a very disorganized con- 
dition ; that the country itself seemed falling to pieces ; and 
that he had to deal with a sick man — a man seriously ill, 
whose constitution afforded little hope of recovery V To 
increase the internal fever which threatened the existence 
of Turkey, Peter augmented the exacerbation by construct- 
ing several forts on its frontiers. Repeated infractions of the 
Othoman territory by his subjects were left unredressed ; and 
the hospodar of Moldavia, Demetrius Cantemir, was gained 
over to betray the interests of his sovereign the sultan. Peter 
apparently expected that the sultan would not venture to 
resist his encroachments, and he was surprised when a decla- 
ration of war anticipated the progress of his clandestine 
schemes. It found him, however, fully prepared for carrying 
out his plans by force of arms. 

Peter led the Russian army forward in person to invade 
the Othoman empire ; but his expectation of being wel- 
comed by a general rising of the Christian population in 
Moldavia and Vallachia was disappointed. The presence 
of a numerous Turkish army soon showed him that he was 
not likely to find it a very easy task to plant the cross over 
the dome of St. Sophia. The campaign of 171 1 confounded 
all Peter's hopes, and astonished Europe. The Christians 
remained everywhere quiet : in every province of the Otho- 
man empire the Mohammedans flew to arms, with all their 
old warlike energy. Peter the Great advanced incautiously, 
and was surrounded by the Tartars of the Crimea, and by 
the army of the grand-vizier. Cut off from all hope of 
escape, except by daring manoeuvres and the most desperate 
valour, he despaired of being able to force his way through 
the Othoman army, and preferred signing a disgraceful peace 

1 Parliamentary Papers. 1854. Secret correspondence of the Emperor of Russia 
with the British government, No. I, dated nth January, 1853. 


[Ch. IV. 

to encountering the risk of entering Constantinople as a 
prisoner. By this treaty the czar engaged to demolish the 
fortifications which he had recently constructed at Kamiensk, 
Samara, and Taganrog ; to yield Azof to the sultan, and 
to abandon all his artillery to the grand-vizier as a trophy 
of victory. The czar also bound himself not to meddle in 
the affairs of the Cossacks, nor to send ambassadors to reside 
permanently at Constantinople. This humiliating treaty 
was signed in July 171 1, on the banks of the Pruth. 

The credit of the Othoman arms was restored by this 
unexpected display of strength. The Christian subjects 
of the Porte were reconciled to their allegiance by the in- 
creased profits of an extended trade in the Sea of Azof, 
the Black Sea, and the Levant, and by somewhat milder 
treatment on the part of their masters. The sultan sub- 
sequently renewed his treaty of peace with Poland ; and 
at last, by the treaty of Adrianople in 1714, finally regulated 
his disputes with Russia concerning the execution of the 
treaty of the Pruth, and arranged the frontiers of the two 
empires. At the same time the Porte prosecuted its war- 
like preparations both by land and sea with unusual vigour. 
The object of these preparations was generally supposed 
to be the reconquest of the Morea ; yet Venice alone would 
not believe in the danger which threatened her power ; and 
when war was declared by the Othoman government, the 
republic was unprepared to meet the enemy, and the military 
and naval forces of Venice were far too weak to offer a 
successful, or even a prolonged resistance, to a serious 
attack on the part of the Turks. The Venetians believed 
that the object of the sultan's preparations was to conquer 
Malta. If they had displayed the same energy and de- 
termination as the Order, they might perhaps have saved 
the Morea. For as soon as the grand master, Raimond 
Perellos, was informed of the extent of the naval armament 
fitting out at Constantinople, he summoned all the knights 
in Europe to the defence of the island, provisioned the 
fortress for a long siege, and strengthened the fortifications 
in every possible way. The Porte declared war with Venice 
in the month of December 17 14, making use of some disputes 
concerning the conduct of Venetian cruisers to Turkish ships 
and of the protection granted to bands of insurgents on the 


A.n. 1684-1718.] 

Dalmatian frontier by the Venetian authorities, as a pretext 
for an appeal to arms. 

The grand-vizier who took the command of the army 
destined to invade the Morea was Ali Kumurgi, the son of 
a charcoal-maker in the village of Soloes, on the southern 
bank of the Lake of Nicaea. He had been received as a child 
into the serai, and educated as an imperial page. The 
favour of Sultan Mustapha had raised him to the rank of 
chamberlain, and Sultan Achmet III. treated him with even 
greater favour than his brother. At an early age he was 
appointed selictar-aga, and his counsels exercised considerable 
influence on the sultan's conduct, even before he became a 
minister of the Porte. His first public office was that of 
grand-vizier ; but when placed at the head of the govern- 
ment, though he was destitute of experience, he displayed 
considerable talents as a statesman, and great energy as 
a general \ 

The Othoman army assembled at Adrianople in spring, 
and after the cavalry had remained some time encamped 
in the rich plains of Serres and Saloniki, in order to feed 
the horses on green barley, according to the invariable 
usage of the East, the grand-vizier marched southward '-. 
On the 9th of June he reviewed his troops at Thebes, and 
according to the official returns, the army then assembled 
amounted to 22,844 cavalry, and 72,520 infantry. If this 
estimate be reduced one quarter, which is not too great 
a reduction for so large a body of men, consisting of 
many irregular bands under almost independent officers, 
the army of Ali Kumurgi may still be estimated at 70,000 

The fleet sailed from Constantinople under the capitan- 
pasha, Djanum Khodja, and the grand-vizier received the 
news that it had conquered Tinos before he quitted Thebes. 
This island, of which the Venetians had retained the sove- 
reignty for five centuries, and which had repeatedly foiled 

1 Hammer, in his Othoman History, always calls the grand-vizier Damad Ali. 
Keumur means coal. 

2 The army crossed the river Vardar at a fine bridge recently constructed by 
Mohammed Pasha at his own expense. Mohammed had been kiaya of the Sultana 
Valide. and was then kaimakam at Constantinople. Brue. Journal de la Campagne 
que le Grand-Vizier Ali Pacha a faite en I 715, pour la Conquete de la Morie, p. I. 



the attacks of powerful Othoman fleets, was surrendered by 
the proveditor, Balbi, without striking a blow l . 

From Thebes one division of the army was sent forward 
to the isthmus, with orders to proceed along the southern 
coast of the Gulf of Corinth, and besiege the Castle of the 
Morea, at the Straits of Lepanto. The Asiatic troops 
were employed in the mean time in rendering the road 
over Mounts Cithaeron and Geranea suitable for the trans- 
port of the artillery and baggage which accompanied the 
main body of the grand army. 

During the period which followed the peace of Carlovitz 
the Venetians had employed much time and large sums 
of money in strengthening the fortifications of Nauplia, 
Modon, and the fort at the Straits of Lepanto, called 
the Castle of the Morea. They were surrounded by deep 
ditches and augmented by such new works as the modern 
system of defence rendered necessary ; and when the war 
broke out these three places were made the chief military 
establishments of the republic in the Morea. The Hill 
of Palamedi, which commanded Nauplia, was crowned by 
a well-planned series of works, consisting of three closed 
forts and four detached batteries, amply supplied with water 
from large cisterns constructed in the rock. The most 
elevated of the three forts commanded the whole defences, 
and was furnished with bomb-proof buildings. Corinth and 
Monemvasia were considered impregnable from their natural 
position. It was the plan of the senate to confine all pre- 
parations for defence to these five fortresses, which were 
well furnished with artillery, ammunition, military stores, 

1 [Toumefort, who visited Tenos just at the commencement of the eighteenth 
century, remarks on the undefended state of the island, in case of an invasion. 
Voyage into the Levant, Engl. Trans, of 1 718, p. 277. The principal Venetian 
fortress and town was called Exoburgo, and was situated on the central ridge of 
the island, where a steep rocky peak rises to the height of 2000 feet above the sea. 
Considerable ruins remain, both of the fortress and of the town at its foot. It is 
remarkable that this island should have remained so long in the hands of Venice, 
when the surrounding islands were held by the Turks. The results of this pro- 
tracted occupation are seen at the present day in the large number of Roman 
Catholics in the island, comprising more than half the population, and in the 
appearance of the houses, which, from their flat roofs, trim gardens, and battle- 
mented enclosures, forcibly recall those of parts of North Italy. Indeed, through- 
out the islands of the Archipelago the most striking feature is the absence of 
Byzantine influence ; for whereas on the mainland of Greece the Byzantine style 
of architecture is universal in ecclesiastical buildings, in the islands it is hardly ever 
seen, and the Italian mode of building and corresponding architectural features are 
predominant. Ed.] 


A.D. 1684-I718.] 

and provisions. The other fortified places in the peninsula 
were dismantled. But fortresses are of little use without 
strong garrisons ; for insufficient garrisons and bad troops 
really facilitate the progress of an enemy. The whole military 
force of Venice in the Morea when the war broke out only 
amounted to eight thousand men, and the Venetian fleet 
in the Levant, under the captain-general Dclfino, consisted 
of only forty-two ships, large and small, some galleys with 
oars, a few galleasses, and some galliots carrying mortars. 
The captain-general counted much on the attachment which 
he supposed the Greek population felt for the Venetian 
government, and believed that the Greek militia would 
display great valour in the field, and impede the advance 
of the Othoman army by hanging on its flanks and rear 1 . 
Against these forces the grand-vizier advanced with seventy 
thousand men, and the capitan-pasha with a fleet of sixty 
ships, besides galleys and galleasses. 

On the 25th of June, 1715, Ali Kumurgi passed the wall 
across the Isthmus of Corinth, which was far too extensive 
for the Venetians to think of defending it, and, advancing 
through the lines they had constructed to connect Corinth 
and Lechaeum, leaving the fort on the sea-shore on his right 
and the city on his left, he encamped near the Gulf of Corinth. 
On the 28th the trenches were opened against the outer wall 
guarding the ascent from the town to the Acrocorinth, and 
the proveditor, Giacomo Minoto, was summoned to surrender 
the place 2 . The summons was rejected, and Sari Achmet 

1 In a letter from Dclfino to Bono, the proveditor of Nauplia, intercepted by 
the grand-vizier, the captain-general cautions Bono against allowing the Greeks to 
expose themselves too much from their great zeal. So completely had the hypo- 
cri>y of the archonts and priests, and the vaunting of the irregular Greek soldiers, 
deceived the Venetians. Brue, Journal, pp. 11, 12. 

■ Lord Byron's Siege of Corinth having given a classic interest to the events of 
this siege in English literature, I subjoin the summons sent by the grand-vizier, 
and the answer. 

' I, who am the first minister and generalissimo of the most powerful emperor of 
the universe, and the most high among the monarchs of the earth, inform you, 
who are the Venetian commandant in the fortress of Corinth, that if you surrender 
the fortress, which from old time belongs to our most powerful emperor, the 
inhabitants shall be treated in the same manner as we treat all the true and 
faithful subjects of the empire; that they shall enjoy in perfect liberty all their 
possessions and pioperty; nor shall their wives and child, en be ill used. And 
with regard to you, the Venetian commandant, you and all your garrison shall be 
treated according to the articles to be stipulated on surrendering the fortress. 
But if. in consequence of an ill-timed obstinacy, you resist the invincible arms of 
our most powerful emperor, know, that with the assistance of God, we will take 
your fortress, and put every man within it to the edge of the sword, and we will 


[Ch. IV. 

Pasha (by whose advice, in the following year, the grand-vizier 
lost the battle of Peterwardein and his life) was ordered to 
press forward the siege. The Venetian garrison consisted of 
four hundred soldiers, assisted by two hundred armed Greeks ; 
but the place was crowded with Greek families, who had 
retired with all their most valuable property within its walls. 
These non-combatants were all eager for a capitulation, 
believing that they would be able to save their property by 
a speedy surrender of the fortress. The Turks directed their 
attack from a hill to the south. Their batteries were too 
distant to produce much effect, but they protected the advance 
of the janissaries, who contrived to effect a lodgment under 
the walls ; and it was resolved to attempt storming the outer 
gate, when Minoto hoisted a flag of truce. The Reis-effendi 
was sent into the place to settle the terms of surrender, and a 
capitulation was concluded, by which the grand-vizier engaged 
to transport the Venetian garrison in safety to Corfu. 

On the morning of the 3rd August, while preparations were 
going forward to convey the garrison to the Othoman ships at 
Kenchrees, on the Gulf of Aegina, the janissaries, who were 
enraged at being deprived of the immense booty supposed 
to be accumulated in the fortress, contrived to escalade an 
unguarded part of the wall, and commenced plundering the 
houses. About noon a great smoke was seen from the Otho- 
man camp to rise over the Acrocorinth, and a loud explosion 
announced that from some unknown cause a powder magazine 
had blown up. The grand-vizier was soon informed that the 
janissaries had forced their way into the place and broken 
the capitulation. The cause of the explosion was never 
known. The Turks accused the Venetians of setting fire to 
the powder, and commenced a massacre of the garrison. The 
troops, who were hurried up to the Acrocorinth, by order of 
the grand-vizier, in order to arrest the disorder, could only 
save the lives of a part of the Venetians, and conduct them to 

make slaves of the women and children, and you shall be responsible to Heaven for 
the blood and slavery which will ensue, the crime being in no way to be attributed 
to us.' The seal of the grand- vizier was affixed to this document. The reply was 
in these words: 'To you who are the minister of the Othoman Porte, know that 
we, and all the troops and inhabitants of the fortress of Corinth, are determined to 
defend it ; therefore your menaces are useless, for we are prepared to resist all 
your attacks, and, with confidence in the assistance of God, we will preserve this 
fortress to the most serene Republic. God is with us. (Signed) Giacomo Minoto, 
Proveditore Generale.' . 


A.D. 1684-171$.] 

a place of safety in the camp. The janissaries made slaves 
of the Greeks, men. women, and children ; nor did the grand- 
vizier venture to put a stop to these captives being sold 
publicly in his army. It was reported by the prisoners that 
Minoto had perished in the confusion ; but it was afterwards 
known that a soldier of the Asiatic troops had taken him 
prisoner, and concealed him in order to profit by his ransom. 
He was secretly conveyed to Smyrna, where he was released 
by the Dutch consul, who advanced his ransom money 1 . 
Bembo, the second in command, and about one hundred and 
eighty Venetian soldiers, with a few women, were saved, and 
sent on board the vessels at Kcnchrces, from whence they 
were conveyed to Corfu, according to the terms of the capi- 
tulation. The grand-vizier, though he feared to attempt 
depriving his troops of their plunder in the camp, sent orders 
to all commandants of ports, and captains of defiles in the 
mountains, to secure and send back any Venetians who had 
been clandestinely enslaved ; but he took no measures to 
deliver the Greek captives, whose sale in the camp was 
legalized by regular certificates issued by the proper officers. 

The mutinous conduct of his troops chafed the pride of 
Ali Kumurgi, who, in order to make a display of his power, 
calculated at least to make individuals tremble, ordered 
Suleiman Pasha of Selefke (Seleucia in Cilicia) to be beheaded, 
as a punishment for his delay in bringing up his troops to 
head-quarters. This pasha prayed in vain that he might 
be strangled privately in his tent, instead of being publicly 
executed before the whole army. 

As soon as the capture of Corinth was generally known, 
the Greeks crowded to the Othoman camp, and gave the 
grand-vizier the strongest assurances of their attachment to 

* Hammer, xiii. 270; Brue. Jonr?ial, p. 19, note. M. Brue mentions the follow- 
ing circumstance in this part of his Journal : — 

' June 29. Five Janissaries brought to the grand-vizier the head of a man with a 
long beard. They said they had fallen in with seven soldiers who had made a 
sortie from the fortress, and that they had killed one. and carried off his head. 
The others had escaped into the place. The grand-vizier gave two hundred and 
fifty crowns to the janissary who said he had killed the bearded soldier, and divided 
two hundred and fifty more among the other four. 

'July 4. The prisoners informed us that Minoto ordered a Gr.ek who wore a 
long beard to be beheaded, and his head to be thrown from the walls, because a 
petition from the Greeks in the Acrocorinth to the grand-vizier had been found in 
his possession, which he was suspected of endeavouring to deliver. This we sup- 
posed was the head which the janissaries had carried to the grand-vizier.' 


[Ch. IV. 

the Othoman government, and of their eagerness to see the 
Venetians expelled from the Morea. Ali promised them pro- 
tection, and issued orders that they were to be treated as 
subjects of the sultan, and on no account to be molested 
in their persons nor injured in their property. These orders 
were obeyed, for the grand-vizier enforced the strictest dis- 
cipline in his army during its march, and effectually protected 
the property of the rayahs in all the districts through which 
he had passed. This conduct secured to his numerous army 
regular supplies of provisions and forage; the peasants brought 
their produce in abundance to the markets which were estab- 
lished in his camp according to the system of earlier times, 
when liberal payment for provisions filled the Othoman 
camps with plenty, and excited the astonishment of Christian 
Europe 1 . The Moreote peasantry welcomed the grand-vizier 
whose cavalry paid for their barley, as they considered this 
conduct a proof that he would be a better master than the 
Venetians, who allowed their mercenaries to extort wine and 
meat gratis. Either from carelessness or from weakness 
and fear of causing dissatisfaction among the rural popula- 
tion, the Venetian authorities neglected to destroy the supplies 
in the country between Corinth and Nauplia. The army of 
the grand-vizier found the houses filled with provisions, the 
threshing-floors covered with grain, and the pastures stocked 
with cattle 2 . It met with no obstacle in its advance, and 
on the nth of July, Ali Kumurgi encamped in the plain 
between Tiryns and Nauplia. On the 14th the janissaries, 
by a daring attack, effected a lodgment in the covered way 
of a tenaille on Palamedi, but suffered great loss in an obsti- 
nate and rash attempt to storm the tenaille itself. On the 
15th the Othoman fleet arrived, and on the following day 
seventeen heavy guns and some large mortars were landed, 
and placed in the batteries prepared to receive them. Little 
impression, however, had been made either on the fortifications 
of the town or on the works of Palamedi, when, on the 20th of 

1 See above, p. 53. 

2 Daru (iv. 684) says, ' Delfino se determina a faire ravager tout le pays et bruler 
les moissons, pour oter a l'ennemi les moyens d'y subsister.' But Brue {Journal, 
p. 24) contradicts this, saying expressly, ' Le pain et la viande etoient tres rares, 
aussi bien que l'orge pour les chevaux ; et si les Venitiens avoient eu la precaution 
de bruler tous les grains de la campagne de Corinthe, d'Argos, et de Napoli, au 
lieu de les laisser comme ils avoient fait, on auroit eu bien de la peine a faire 
subsister la cavalerie.' 


A.D. 16S4-I718.] 

July, a mine was sprung against the tciiaille where the former 
assault had been repulsed, and the janissaries, rushing forward 
over the ruins, carried the work by storm. The Venetians in 
the works behind were seized with a panic, and the whole 
of the Palamedi was abandoned in the most cowardly manner, 
for the forts were in a state to have made a long defence, and 
to have secured an honourable capitulation, even after the 
loss of the tenaille. The janissaries followed so close on 
the steps of the flying garrison as to enter the town of 
Nauplia by the gallery which descends from the Palamedi, 
without encountering any opposition. The troops in the 
plain, seeing the confusion on the ramparts and a Turkish 
standard in the town, plunged into the muddy ditch and 
escaladed the walls in the most exposed position. The 
proveditor Bono no sooner heard that his troops had retreated 
from the Palamedi than he hoisted a white flag ; but the 
janissaries were already in the place, and the Othoman troops 
had commenced pillaging the city before the grand-vizier 
was aware that it was taken. It is said that twenty-five 
thousand persons were either slain or reduced to slavery. 
About a thousand Venetian soldiers were brought to the 
grand-vizier, who paid their ransom to their captors, and then 
ordered them to be beheaded before his tent. Balbi, who 
commanded the insular fort called the Burdge, immediately 
surrendered, and eight thousand sequins were found in his 
possession. When Nauplia fell, the garrison consisted of 
nearly two thousand regular troops, amply provided with 
every means of defence 1 . 

Nauplia was at this time a well-built town, as well as a 
strong fortress. Its fortifications were excellent ; its public 

1 The military stores found in Nauplia consisted of 96 brass guns, some very 
large, 55 iron and 10 large brass mortars, 6 iron and 18 smaller brass mortars, 
and 4 iron mortars for stones, 15 field pieces. 1664 cwts. of lead, 34,697 cannon- 
balls, 12,115 bombs, 2930 iron hand grenades, 2320 glass grenades, and 20,000 
cwts. of powder. Many of the glass grenades of different colours were found in 
Nauplia when it was taken by the Greeks in 1822. I knew a Philhellene who 
used one as an ink-bottle. 

The Greeks attribute the fall of Nauplia to the treachery of a French officer in 
the service of Venice, the Colonel Lasala ; but there seems no reason to adopt 
their version of the causes which led to the Turks entering the place with facility. 
See a letter of Antonio Zara, one of the chief officers of the garrison, dated from 
the bagnio of Constantinople, 15th March, 1 7 1 6, in which it appears that Lasala 
succeeded to the charge of the works on the death of Cardosi, and that he 
quarrelled with Colonel Stade, and was put under arrest by the proveditor Bono. 
Hammer, xiii. 376. Svpupopa ml alxpiakcuaia Moopaiais OTixokoyrjOuaa irapa J>ldv6ov 
'Iwavvov tov l£ 'loxLvyivwu, 8vo., Venice, 1800. 



and private buildings large and solid structures ; its popula- 
tion numerous and wealthy. Its feeble defence afforded 
strong proof of the incapacity and worthlessness both of 
the civil and military authorities of the Venetian republic. 
But, on the other hand, the grand-vizier and the Othoman 
generals are not entitled to attribute the conquest of the 
place either to their valour or military skill. The whole 
merit of the rapid success is due to the courage, or rather 
temerity, of the janissaries, who, by a succession of rash 
attacks, and a gallant defence of every step of ground they 
acquired, though maintained with severe loss, gained pos- 
session of the Palamedi, the key of the fortress, in nine days. 
Ali Kumurgi, who did not pretend to possess any knowledge 
of military affairs, remained in the camp during the whole 
siege, and never once visited the trenches of the janissaries on 
Mount Palamedi. Sari Pasha, who commanded there, no 
more expected to see the place fall, by the explosion of a 
single mine, than the proveditor Bono. 

From Nauplia the grand-vizier marched through the Morea 
by Akhladokampo, Tripolitza, Veligosti, the Lakkos of Mes- 
senia and Nisi, from whence, proceeding towards Navarin, but 
leaving that place on his right, he encamped before Modon on 
the nth of August 1 . Coron and Navarin were abandoned by 
the Venetians, and their garrisons withdrawn to Modon, into 
which the greater part of the Venetian property in both towns 
had been conveyed, though articles of great value had been 
previously transported to the Ionian Islands and to Venice. The 
fortifications of Modon were commanded by a rising ground in 
the vicinity. The grand-vizier, who wished to save the valuable 
property in the town from pillage, summoned the governor to 
surrender, declaring that, if he refused the terms offered, he 
should not be admitted to any capitulation, but must sur- 
render at discretion. This summons was rejected ; for, as the 
captain-general Delfino was anchored at Sapienza with a fleet 
of fifty sail, the garrison felt sure of support. The Turks 
opened their trenches, and the capitan-pasha arrived with 
the Othoman fleet. Delfino then declined the engagement 
offered, lest, as he himself says, disasters by sea should 

1 It is interesting to find Veligosti and the Lakkos of Messcnia mentioned as 
stations in the itinerary of the grand-vizier. The site of Veligosti is now deserted, 
and its feudal celebrity forgotten. 


a.d. 16S4-1718.] 

accompany defeat on shore, and Venice should find that her 
only fleet had been sacrificed in vain 1 . The garrison of 
Modon, seeing that it was abandoned to its fate by the 
captain-general, after a feeble defence offered to capitulate. 
Sari Achmet, the beglerbey of Roumeli, wished to save the 
place, but the grand-vizier refused all terms ; and the janis- 
saries, availing themselves of the truce, approached the walls, 
and found an entrance into the town, which they immediately 
commenced plundering. The greater part of the inhabitants 
were reduced to slavery, but the wealthiest had employed the 
preceding night in conveying their money and jewels on 
board the ships in the port, and the capitan-pasha allowed 
many of them, with the soldiers of the garrison, to escape on 
board the Othoman fleet. All the males in the place would 
probably have been put to the sword, and their heads heaped 
up before the tent of the grand-vizier, to obtain the usual 
head-money, had his kihaya not declared that, the place 
having surrendered at discretion, the law of the Prophet 
forbade the massacre of the inhabitants, and, therefore, the 
grand-vizier was not authorized to pay any head-money 
under such circumstances. The troops grumbled at what 
they called the avarice of the kihaya, for they knew the 
liberality of the grand-vizier too well to attribute the decision 
to his love of money ; so they made the most they could by 
the sale and ransom of their prisoners whose lives were 
spared 2 . The Venetian general Pasta was protected and well 
treated by the capitan-pasha, who, when a slave at Venice, 
where he had passed seven years in the galleys, had been 
treated with kindness by that officer 3 . 

The Castle of the Morea surrendered to Kara Mustapha, 
the pasha of Diarbekr, after only three days of open trenches. 
The Venetian troops, six hundred in number, were transported 
to Ccphalonia, but the Sclavonians and Greeks of the garrison 
were reduced to slavery. The janissaries, however, violated 
the capitulation, and detained many of the Italian soldiers 
until they were ransomed by the pasha. Kielapha and 

1 Ranke, 495. 

2 Brue. in his Journal (p. 49), directly contradicts the account of Hammer 
(xiii. 274) that on this occasion the grand-vizier paid thirty imperial dollars fpr 
ever)- Christian who was brought to him, in order to have the pleasure of seeing 
them beheaded before his tent. 

3 Hammer, xiii. 274. 

VOL. V. Q 


[Ch. IV. 

Zarnata, though well prepared for defence, surrendered on the 
first summons. 

From Modon the grand-vizier marched by Leondari and 
Misithra to Elos, where he awaited the capitulation of Mo- 
nemvasia, which took place on the 7th of September. This 
impregnable insular rock was supplied with provisions for 
more than two years ; but the Greek inhabitants who pos- 
sessed property in the Morea were eager to exchange the 
mild domination of the Venetian republic for the stern yoke 
of the Othoman sultan — as at the present day we see the 
inhabitants of the Ionian Islands eager to transfer their 
allegiance from Great Britain to King Otho. 

The grand-vizier, having completed the conquest of the 
Morea, returned to Adrianople, where Sultan Achmet III. 
then resided. Before the end of the year the Venetians 
abandoned Santa Maura and Cerigo ; Suda and Spinalonga 
were taken by the capitan-pasha. 

The surviving Turkish exiles who had been driven from 
the Morea by the Venetians were now re-established in pos- 
session of their landed property, and many of those Mussul- 
mans who had embraced Christianity to preserve their estates 
were condemned to death, though they had always continued 
to wear white turbans, and affected to retain as much attach- 
ment to Mohammedanism as the Venetian and the Greek 
people would tolerate. This system of compliance in religious 
matters at the dictation of the civil power was borrowed from 
the Greeks, and most of these compliant Mussulmans were 
of Greek descent ; but the votaries of Islam had no sympathy 
with those measures of dishonourable conformity which, under 
the name of economical arrangements, make so prominent a 
figure in the history of religious opinion in the Byzantine 
church l . 

The Emperor of Germany was alarmed at the facility with 
which the Othoman army had conquered the Morea, and he 
feared that the sultan would follow up his victory by an 
attempt to re-establish the Othoman power in Hungary, 
where the tyrannical government of the house of Austria 
had, as usual, filled the country with discontent. The court 
of Vienna, alive to its true interests, did not show the same 

1 See vol. ii., History of the Byzantine Empire, p. 121 ; Neander, History of the 
Christian Religion and Church, by Professor Torrey, iii. 541. 


A.D. 1684-I 718.] 

supineness as the Venetian senate. It had an able minister, 
as well as an experienced general, in Prince Eugene of Savoy. 
An offensive and defensive alliance was concluded with the 
republic, and the Porte was invited to re-establish peace on 
the basis of the treaty of Carlovitz. To this demand the 
natural reply was an immediate declaration of war ; but the 
divan was anxious to avoid hostilities, and the grand-vizier 
had some difficulty in getting war declared. He however 
took the command of the army destined to invade Hungary ; 
and on the 5th of August, 1716, the battle of Carlovitz or 
Peterwardein was fought. The Othoman army was com- 
pletely defeated by Prince Eugene, and Ali Kumurgi was 
among the slain. Another Othoman army, under Kara 
Mustapha Pasha, in conjunction with the fleet under the 
capitan-pasha Djanum Khodja, besieged Corfu about the 
same time. That fortress was valiantly defended by Count 
Schulenburg, whom Prince Eugene had recommended the 
republic of Venice to appoint general of its troops, with the 
rank of field-marshal l . The energetic defence of Schulen- 
burg, and the news of the defeat at Carlovitz, forced the 
Turks to raise the siege of Corfu on the 19th of August. 
The events of that siege belong to the history of Venice, and 
have very little connection with that of the Greek nation. It 
was the last glorious military exploit in the annals of the 
republic, and it was achieved by a German mercenary soldier. 
The defeat of the Othoman expedition enabled the Venetians 
to regain possession of Santa Maura. 

The following year was distinguished by the siege and 
capture of Belgrade, which surrendered to Prince Eugene on 
the 1 8th of August. The operations of the Venetians were 
confined to the conquest of Butrinto, Prevesa, and Vonitza, 
and to several indecisive naval engagements in the Archi- 

The victories of Prince Eugene disposed the sultan to 
peace, which was concluded, after long conferences, at Pas- 
sarovitz, on the 21st of July 1718. Venice was compelled to 
cede the Morea, Tinos, Aegina, Suda, and Spinalonga to the 
sultan ; but the republic retained possession of the places it 
had conquered in Dalmatia, as well as Santa Maura, Butrinto, 

1 The Duchess of Kendal, mistress of George I., was the sister of Schulenburg. 



[Ch. IV. 

Prevesa, and Vonitza, and it received back Cerigo. Austria 

acquired the fortresses of Temesvar, Belgrade, and Semendria. 

The facility with which the Othoman arms had conquered 
Greece, and the feeble resistance which Venice offered to 
an invading army, after the care with which the administration 
of the Morea had been organized during a period of eighteen 
years, affords an instructive lesson in the history of the 
government of foreign dependencies. There is no sure basis 
of the subjection of any foreign nation, unless there be a 
decided superiority of military power on the part of the 
rulers ; and no scientific administrative combinations can 
secure good government and an equitable dispensation of 
justice, unless private individuals are courageous, honest, and 
deeply imbued with a love of truth and self-respect. No 
moderation and no political art alone will ever reconcile a 
subject people to foreign domination, unless the sovereign 
authority connect its power with the existence of popular 
municipal institutions. Indeed, no government can properly 
fulfil its duties, nor rightly aid the progress of social civiliza- 
tion, which does not leave the population of each village, 
town, and district to exercise an active share in the admini- 
stration of its local affairs, in the management of its local 
improvements, and in the control of its local finances, 
responsible only to the public opinion of the country and 
to the law of the land. The fear which the Venetians 
entertained of the Greek population of the Morea induced 
them to centralize all power, and the corruption of the 
Venetian nobles made that centralization the cause of general 
discontent. It was the venality, rapacity, and cowardice of 
the ruling classes and of the wealthy native archonts, far 
more than the defects of the government, that destroyed the 
power of the republic in Greece. 

Venice, like all governments which persist in a traditional 
system of administration during a long period of tranquillity, 
stood greatly in need of administrative reforms at the com- 
mencement of the eighteenth century. Her system of com- 
mercial restrictions and monopolies was so hostile to the 
interests of every Christian power engaged in the trade of 
the Levant, that it prevented any State from becoming her 
friend and ally. All foreign governments regarded her with 
jealousy, and she was utterly destitute of all generous or 


A.D. 16S4-I71S.] 

progressive social impulses from within. The government 
offices were regarded as provisions for younger sons of the 
nobles. The military career was abandoned to the provincial 
militia or to foreign mercenaries, for it entailed years of 
service in distant garrisons, and offered slow promotion. 
Long service alone could bring rank ; and if wealth came, 
it came when age had deprived its possessor of those passions 
which, at Venice, rendered wealth valuable for their grati- 
fication. On the other hand, the civil and judicial service 
admitted of rapid promotion through favour and intrigue, 
while means could be found of making them conducive to 
the accumulation of illicit gains. The universal practice of 
corruption, bribery, and peculation had dulled the force of 
conscience, and all sense of honour appeared to be wanting 
in the civil government during the eighteenth century. The 
young nobles who had it in their power to share in a contract, 
or to sell a judicial sentence of importance, might hope to 
return to Venice with wealth to enjoy those pleasures which 
rendered her inhabitants notoriously the most luxurious, de- 
bauched, and idle population in Europe. In a State where 
suspicion was the characteristic of the government, dissipa- 
tion the occupation of society, and where the feelings of the 
people were systematically suppressed, it is not surprising that 
selfishness and cowardice marked the conduct both of the 
government and of individuals, nor that the republic of Venice 
was unable to resist the forces of the Othoman empire. 


The Causes and Events which prepared the Greeks 
for Independence. — a.d. 1718-1821. 

Improvem ent in the c ondition_of tlie_jGreeks__during the eighteenth century.— 
Condition of Chios. — Comparison of Chios with "linos and Naxos. — Religious 
contests of the Catholics and Orthodox in the Othoman empire. — Character 
and influence of the Phanariots, or Greek officials in the service of the sultan. 
— Treaty of Belgrade, a.d. 1739. — War between Turkey and Russia concluded 
by the peace of Kainardji, a.d. i 768-1 774. — Operations of the Russians in the 
Morea. — Naval operations and battle of Tchesme.— Defeat of the Russians at 
Lemnos. — Hassan Ghazi exterminates the Albanian troops in the Morea. — 
Establishes the authority of the capi tan -pasha in Maina. — War between 
Turkey and Russia, a.d. 1787-1792. — Insurrection of the Suliots, an Albanian 
tribe in Epirus. — Lambros Katsones and piracy in the Grecian seas. — Ionian 
Islands subject to the French Republic, to the Russians, and to the English. 
— Change in the social position of the Greeks at the commencement of the 
nineteenth century. — Influence of the Phanariots and of commerce on national 
consolidation. — Improvement of the modern Greek language a powerful 
instrument in advancing national centralization. — Change in the nature of the 
sultan's power, and decline of the Othoman empire. — Conclusion. 

AFTER the treaty of Passarovitz, the "materia l and political ) 
po sition o f the Greek ^nation began to exhib it many signs 
qf_ imj DroYernent^ The cultivator s of the soil ob tained every- 
w here th e rank of freemen, and emancipated themselves from 
the pecu liar^ condition, partaking o f slavery and serfage^ which 
they had occupied until the complete extinction of the tribute 
of Christian ch ildren. A bout the same tim e the inc reasing 
importance of money as the represejitative of the value of 
all services, as~\velT~as~^of every kind of produce, intr oduced 
the system of commuting the personal labour of the, rayah^ 
whet her it was due _tolthe timariot or to the government, 
for_ a determinate portio n of the produce of the land,^ for 
^ a/ a fixed p ec uniary payment . The_ agricultural^ pop ulat ion of _ 


Greece^ inc onseque nce of these changes, became, in great 
gajt_of_^ie_cpu!itr\-, the legal as well as the real prppricl 
of the__soil ; and even where the Christians remained as 
l aboure r s o f land belonging to Mohammedan landlords, 
instead of working a fixed number of days on the land of 
t he ag a, the y now hircdjthe land, and paid rent, in deter- 
minate proportions of produce and money, according to 
agreement. The pashas, also, instead of compelling the 
people, as formerly, to supply the materials for public works, 
and to labour in person at their construction, now exacted ^ v ^ v 
payment of a sum of money, and employed a contractor to 
execute th e work. As the demoralization of the Othoman 
government increased, this manner of collecting and paying 
money became a means of enriching officials and impover- 
ishing the people, while tfie public works of all kinds through- 
out the Othoman empire were allowed to fall into ruins. 
Mussulman landlords also began to find so great a difficulty 
i n o btaining slaves, that slave-labour could no lon ger be >. y 
p rofitably employed in agriculture. Before the end of the 
seventeenth' century, predial slavery had disappeared in the 
Kuropean provinces of the Othoman empire south of the 
Danube. The Greek peasant was even-where a free labourer, ^ 
and began to feel the_sentimcnts of a free man. No power 
could nowj iave long enforced the collection of a tribute 
of Greek c hildren, for the lowest class of the Greek pop ulation v 
h ad ascend ed__ so far in civilization, that, by enforcing such 
a tax, the Othoman government would have condemned 
the Greeks to apostasy, exile, or extermination. Those who 
remained true to their religion would either have ceased to 
perpetuate their race, or would have escaped from their native 
land, and Hellas would have no longer been the dwelling- 
place of the Greek race, any more than Palestine is that 
of the race of Israel. To preserve their national existence, 
the Greeks would have been compelled to become a people 
of exiles like the ]c\\s. 

The de cline of the military system and the corrupti on o f 
the civil administration in the Othoman empire fortunately 
coin cided with Jhe improvement in the condition of the Greek 
a gricultural population. The conquest of the Morea by the 
Venetians, and the increasing power of the Christian states 
whose territories bordered on Turkey, forced the Othoman 




[Ch. V. 


■ N /V/>/«/ 

government to conciliate the good-will of the rayahs, a nd the 
sultan's ministers began to recognize the necessity of granting 
the Christians a public guarantee for the security_jof__their_. 
personal liberty, and fo r the protection of their property^ 
But the prac tical concessions of t he Porte were tardily granted, 
and were generally obtained by the force of accidental cir- 
cumstances and of social changes, rather than by the progress 
of political intelligence and a sense of justice. They were, 
consequently, too restricted in their operation to remove 
many galling marks of subjection, or allay the national 
opposition which increased communications with western and 
northern Europe were spreading among the sultan's Christian 
subjects. The_o^inion that the power of the sultan possessed 
a dh /ine _jajj^^n^b^ajisejhe_vv as the prote ctor ofjthejprthodox 
chu rch, though taught by the Greek c lergy, was_no_Jongc r 
implicitly admitted by the people. The English Revolution 
of 1688 caused the people over all Europe to discuss their 
own rights. Other claims to political authority were recog- 
nized as more valid than the legitimacy of princes, and 
apostolical succession was no longer held to be an indispensable 

requisite in a teacher of Christianity. T he doc trine of the 

supremacy of_parliament invested the people with the right 
to make i ts own laws, while the prin ciples of religious liberty 
flo wing from P rotestantism emancipated the human^jnind 
/ f rom ecclesiasti caL intolerance. In estimating the effect pro- 
duced on the Greeks by the new doctrines which began to 
ferment in European society at the commencement of the 
eighteenth century, we must remember that they were placed 
in closest contact with those classes of society that had 
suffered most from feudal oppression and religious bigotry, 
and that were most inclined to question the authority of 
existing institutions. 

The good J ntentions of the Porte towa r ds its o rthodox . 
subjects were displayed in several measures tending to im - 
prov e their mat erial condition. The inhabitants of the Morea ^ 
were exempt from the la nd-tax fo r tw o years after the 
conquest of __that province ; and as soon as peace was estab- 
lished, the Porte invited colonists to settle on the lands which 
still remained uncultivated, by exempting the settlers from 
taxation for three years. 

The island of Chios had always retained the social 


A.D. I7l8-l8ai.] 

superiority which it possessed under the prudent admini- 
stration of the mercantile company of the Giustiniani. Until 
the__peacc of Passarovitz. its inhabitants preserved their old 
system of collecting their land-tax by the local authorities, 
mid a nnually remitted to the O thoman gove rnment a fixed 
amount of tribute. But, after the peace, the grand-vizier 
Ibrahim modified this system, and subjected the island 
to most of the ordinary fiscal arrangements adopted with 
regard to the other Greek islands. In 1727 the haratch 
was extended to the twenty-one villages engaged in the 
cultivation of mastic, and three thousand and thirty-six ad- 
ditional tickets were added to the capitation-tax of Chios '. 
Still the inhabitants were the portion of the Greek people 
which suffered the fewest evils from the Othoman domination 
during the eighteenth century. The causes of their happiness 
and prosperity during a long period, while the rest of their 
countrymen were poor and discontented, deserve to be 
examined with attention. The first fact to be observed is, 
that they were more honest and industrious than the other 
(jieeks. It was their moral and social superiority which 
enabled them to secure to themselves the enjoyment of 
the fruits of their industry. Their island, it is true, possesses 
some remarkable physical advantages. Almost every article 
it produces is of superior quality, and when exported, 
obtained the highest price then paid for such commodities 
in foreign markets. In the town of Chios, and in the rich 
plain to the south, many remains of well-built houses may 
still be seen, which bear on their ruined walls dates proving 
that they were constructed during the eighteenth century, 
yet they rival in size and solidity the massive structures of 
the Genoese domination. The mastic, the almonds, the 
lemons, the preserved citrons, the conserve of roses, and 
the orange-flower water of Chios, were highly esteemed by 
the luxurious in every province of the East. The manu- 
factures of silk and cotton, of which large quantities were 
exported, as well as several rich varieties of lace, were 
produced by the labour of private families in their own 
dwellings, and embroidery of every kind was executed on 
scarfs and handkerchiefs by the same hands which had 
already dyed them of the richest colours. 

' Hammer, Histoire de V Empire Othoman, xiv. 6, 33. 


2 34 


[Ch. V. 

The superior moral character of the Chiots was acknow- 
ledged throughout the Levant. They were alike destitute 
of the insolence and rapacity of the Phanariots, and of 
the meanness and fraudulency of the trading Greeks of 
the continent. The marked diffe r ence which existed 
between them and the rest of their countrymen was ob- 
served by even- traveller and foreign merchant. It was 
generally attributed to the great privileges they possessed. 
This explanation was suggested by the other Greeks, as 
an excuse for their own vices and dishonesty, and it was 
adopted by strangers without sufficient examination. It 
was said that Suleiman the Great, or rather his son Selim 
II., after the island had been subjected to the Othoman 
administration by Piali Pasha in 1566, had granted a 
charter to the Chiots, by which their previous local usages 
were confirmed. But this does not appear to have been 
the case. The supposed charter was nothing more than the 
toleration of the fiscal system of the Giustiniani, obtained 
by the payment of an augmented tribute \ The true ex- 
planation of the moral superiority of the Chiots must be 
sought in their family education. The boasted privileges 
which they enjoyed from the time of Selim II., and which 
were so much envied by the other Greeks, were the per- 
mission to repair their churches, the right to carry the 
cross in procession through the town, and to perform many 
ecclesiastical ceremonies publicly, besides the highly-valued 
privilege, retained by the wealthy, of riding horses and 
wearing spurs. Their other privileges were the continuation 
of the fiscal arrangements established by the Giustiniani, 
and the election of the magistrates who conducted the 
local administration. Sultan Selim II. may have con- 
firmed the existing system when he abolished the authority 
of the Giustiniani, and his successors appear to have 
frequently issued ordinances, on their accession to the 
throne, enumerating and guaranteeing these concessions. 
The oldest of these charters, which was preserved in the 
archives of the municipality of Chios previous to the 
Greek Revolution, was that of Suleiman II., the son of 
Ibrahim, who ascended the Othoman throne in 1687, and 

1 The Giustiniani became tributary to Mohammed II., and his successors 
claimed the suzerainty of Chios. 


A.D. I7l8-l82I.] 

his name gave rise to the opinion that the privileges of 
Chios dated from the time of Suleiman the Great '. 

The civil advantages conceded to the Chiots applied 
rather to the city than to the agricultural population of 
the island : they were chiefly fiscal ; and similar concessions 
were enjoyed by other Greek communities in the islands 
of the Archipelago, and on the continent of Europe, some- 
times even in a higher degree. The following were the 
most important : T he commu tation of a ll tax es for a fixed 
sum of money, p aid to_the Othoman authorities by Greek 
magistrates, who partitioned the quota of each family and 
collected the amount. The right of electing these magis- 
trat es by universa l suffrage, and of electing in the same ^ 
way__native judges to decide all commercial questions. 
The m u nicip al government of Chios consisted of five jari^ 
mates, of whom three were chosen by the Orthodox, and 
two Tjy the Catholics ; the_j:ommercial tribunal consisted 
of four judges, three of whom were Orthodox and one 
was a Catholic. But perhaps the practical usage most v 
conducive towards perpetuating the mutual good faith of 
the Chiots, was the existence of notaries-public, whose acts 
were written in Greek, and were received as official docu- 
ments by the Othoman government 2 . The morality of 
th e Chio ts was not a consequence of these privileges ; on ] 
th e cont rary, it was that morality which gave then] their 1/ 
value. Other_Greek communities enjoyed equal immunities. 
The Greeks of Constantinople, Rhodes, and many islands 
of the Archipelago, were never subjected to the tribute 
of Christian children ; and the inhabitants of Tinos and 
Naxos were governed by their own laws and usages, like \ v 
those of Chios, with the additional advantage of not having 
a body of Mussulman proprietors resident in their islands. 

The condition of the people in Tinos and Naxos may be 
instructively compared with that of the Chiots. In the three 
islands a part of the inhabitants had joined the Catholic 
Church, and they had all three been long under Catholic 
domination. In Tinos, as in Chios, the Catholics were as 

1 Vlastos, Xiaica, ii. 84. Suleiman the Great, or the Legislator, is sometimes 
called Suleiman II. by historians, who include Suleiman, the son of Bayezid I., in 
the list of Othoman sultans. 

2 For details relating to the municipal administration of Chios, see Vlastos, 
XtaKa, ii. 152, 180. 



remarkable for their industry and honesty as the Orthodox, 
but in Naxos they were distinguished by their idleness. 
Though the island of Tinos was destitute of a good port, 
and far removed from any advantageous market for its pro- 
duce, and though its inhabitants had been long cut off from 
many branches of trade with their immediate neighbours by 
the commercial monopoly of the Venetians, still they were 
industrious and contented. The soil of Tinos is not fertile, 
and the population was so great that many young persons 
of both sexes quitted the island annually to lighten the 
expenses of their family, and gain a small capital for them- 
selves by a few years of domestic service at Constantinople, 
Smyrna, and Saloniki, where their probity insured them 
liberal wages and kind treatment in the families of wealthy 
Christians. At home and abroad the Tiniots were remark- 
able for their good conduct, frugality, and industry. 

J\ T axos_o ffered a complete contrast to Tinos. _Though_it^ 
enjoyed all the advantages of a municipal government, the 
ij muence _ot_a small number of privileged landed proprietors, 
r emains , of_the ducal ari st ocracy , rendered the local ad mini- 
s tration _a_j>cene of intrigue jind dissension. The Catholic 
nobles were proud and luxurious ; the Greek primates mali- 
cious and rapacious ; the people of both churches lazy, super- 
stitious, and false. This rich island only contained about 
two-thirds of the population of the smaller and more barren 
surface of Tinos ; and it paid little more than half the amount 
of taxation to the Othoman government. The superiority of 
the Tiniots, like that of the Chiots, was evidently caused by 
the moral education they received in their earliest youth. 
The superiority was equally remarkable in the Catholic and 
the Orthodox population, when compared with the general 
mass of the Greek race K 

C hios d id_not po ssess all^ the^ advantages of Tinos and 

^Naxp^foi i t cont ained an Othoman fortress with its garrison, 

and a cons i derable T urkish_population. The prosperity of 

Chios, under Othoman domination, must consequently be 

1 considered as entirely due to the excellent education the 

■y \ inhabitants received for many generations in the bosoms of 

1 For some information concerning the state of Tinos and Naxos at the end of 
the eighteenth century, see Olivier, Voyage dans V Empire Othoman, I'Egypte, et la 
Perse, ii. 149, 163. 


A.D. 1718-1821.] 

their families, and not to any extraordinary fiscal privilege 

and immunities the island enjoyed, nor to an)- peculiar favour 
with which it was treated by the sultans. Had the Chiota 
displayed the same spirit of envy and dissension, and fol- 
lowed the same course of selfish intrigues as the greater part 
of the Greeks, their peculiar privileges would only have 
become an additional incitement to dispute, and would have 
entailed greater misery on them than the direct operation of 
Turkish oppression. It was by union in their municipality, 
and good faith in their private dealings, that the Chiots 
rendered their ancient usages a blessing to their island, and 
their fiscal system an advantage to the people, instead of 
converting them into a means of gratifying the ambition of 
the wealthy archonts, and of enriching a few primates, as was 
the case in most other Greek communities. Among the 
Chiots industry was honoured, and the honest and active 
citizen, whose personal exertions had gained him the respect 
of his fellow-countrymen, was selected to conduct the muni- 
cipal affairs and to fill the local magistracies. Idleness was 
so universally despised that in Chios alone, of all the Greek 
cities, there was no class of young archonts who considered 
it ignoble to be usefully employed, and who spent their time 
in soliciting from the Turks the post of tax-collectors, or in 
intriguing to be named primates by the influence of a pasha, 
in order to obtain the means of enriching themselves by 
acting as the instruments of fiscal extortion. The superior 1 
morality of the Chiots in all the relations of life, their truth 
and honesty, rendered their island for several centuries the 
most flourishing and the happiest portion of Greece, alike 
under the Othoman as under the Genoese domination. 

But the Chiots cannot be expected to have been free from 
the social errors of the age in which they lived. Religious 
sincerity was then too closely united with bigotry for any 
Greeks to have learned that toleration was a Christian virtue. 
In religious bigotry neither the Orthodox nor the Catholics 
of Chios yielded to other Greeks, and their mutual animosity 
was repeatedly shown in violent and unjust proceedings 
towards one another. But the fact that this bigotry was 
cherished and aggravated by foreign interference must not 
be overlooked. The Greek clergy were continually alarmed 
by the attempts of the French ambassador at Constantinople 


[Ch. V. 

to extend the authority of the Catholics, and to obtain for 
them a superiority over the Greeks. In the year 1719, the 
intervention of Count Virmont obtained for the Catholics 
the restoration of the privileges which they had lost, after 
the expulsion of the Venetians in 1695. Sultan Achmet III. 
issued a firman, recognizing the rights of the Catholics to 
participate in the privileges granted to all the inhabitants 
of the island by the firman of Suleiman II., and reinstating 
them in the possession of the church of St. Nicholas 1 . This 
concession was undoubtedly an act of justice; but as it was 
conceded to the influence of a foreign power, whose object 
was to obtain indirect authority in the Othoman empire, 
through the instrumentality of the Catholics, and not to 
secure toleration for religious opinions, to which it was more 
decidedly hostile than the Greeks themselves, it was natural 
for the Orthodox to fear an invasion of their rights as a con- 
sequence of the success of the Catholics. The religious pre- 
tensions of the Papal Church, and the ambitious projects of 
the King of France, warned the Orthodox to prepare for 
defending themselves against political aggression. In 1724, 
the French ambassador obtained permission from the Porte 
to build a new chapel in the consulate at Chios ; and under 
his protection the Catholic missionaries displayed a degree 
of activity which alarmed the bigotry of the Greeks, and 
roused their opposition. To counteract the eloquence of the 
missionaries and the political influence of France, the Greeks 
in 1728 succeeded in persuading the Othoman government 
to defend orthodoxy by prohibiting proselytism 2 . 

The restless activity of the French ambassadors at Con- 
stantinople sought to extend the influence of France by 
circumscribing the rights of the Greek Church at Jerusalem. 
The custody of the Sepulchre of Christ, and of the other 
holy places in and round Jerusalem, has been long a subject 
of dispute between the Catholics and the Orthodox ; and 
from the time that both have been admitted to a share of 
this custody, by the toleration of their Mussulman conquerors, 
these two sects, instead of exercising their respective privi- v 
leges in a Christian spirit, have made the toleration of the 
Othomans a ground for intrigues to encroach on each other's 

1 Hammer, Histoire, xiv. 23. 2 Ibid., xiv. 109, 200. 


A.P. I718-182I.] 

rights. The aggression of the Catholics, being protected by 
France, was more open and daring than that of the Orthodox, 
until the Greeks obtained the protection of Russia. At the 
period of which we arc treating, the proceedings of France 
created a feeling of fierce hostility against the Catholics 
among the Greeks, even more than among the other orthodox 
nations, and a contest of intrigue was commenced at the 
Porte, which tended greatly to lower the Christians in the 
opinion of the Mussulmans. Several French ambassadors, 
*in order to obtain the credit of establishing a permanent 
influence in the Levant, induced the Porte to grant con- 
cessions to the Catholics, which were subsequently neglected, 
or were again abrogated by other concessions to the Orthodox. 
The court of France displayed little delicacy, and no sense of 
justice, in these intrigues. Constantinople, Jerusalem, Chios, 
Crete, Cyprus, and the islands of the Archipelago, were made 
the scenes of public tumults as well as of incessant discord 1 . 
At last, after the great diplomatic success which the Othoman 
government obtained over Austria and Russia, by the treaty 
of Belgrade, the sultan, to mark his satisfaction with the 
conduct of the Marquis of Villeneuve, the French ambassador 
who acted as mediator during the negotiations, inserted 
articles in the French capitulations, on their renewal in 
the following year, which were supposed to authorize the 
Catholics to take possession of several of the Holy Places 
previously in the custody of the Greeks. These concessions, 

1 D'Ohsson, Tableau General de VEmpire Othoman, v. 115. Hammer (xiii. 184, 
corrected by p. 228") mentions the banishment of the Armenian patriarch to Chios, 
for opposing the influence of France, and asserts that he was kidnapped by order 
of the French ambassador, and carried to the isle of St. Marguerite, near Antibes, 
where he died. But it appears that this patriarch, whose name was Avedik, was 
not in reality taken to St. Marguerite, but was secretly transported from Marseilles 
to the abbey of Mont St. Michel, where he was intrusted to the safe keeping and 
zealous teaching of the monks, in whose custody he remained completely secluded 
from the world for three years. lie was then removed to the Bastille. The 
terror of imprisonment for life in that celebrated place overcame his fortitude, and 
he declared himself a convert to Catholicism, yet he was detained in France until 
his death. The complaints of the sultan against this outrage on the law of nations 
caused the French ambassador at Constantinople to deny the transaction, and he 
even attempted to persuade the Porte that the Spaniards were the man stealers 
who had kidnapped the unfortunate Avedik. At last, to avoid a rupture with 
Turkey, Louis XIV. formally announced that Avedik was dead, though he was 
still languishing in a French prison. His death was universally believed to have 
taken place long before it actually occurred. See a communication to the 'Athe- 
naeum Francais,' 5th January, 1856, by G. Depping. 

On the subject of these disputes concerning the Holy Places, compare Hammer, 
ix. 283, 406; x. 67, 113; xi. 425; xii. 305, 461, 542. 


[Ch. V. 

whatever they were, appear never to have been carried into 

execution, and the Greeks were subsequently confirmed in 

their previous rights by more than one firman. 

It is needless to observe that religious zeal was not the 
principal cause of the activity of French diplomacy, and it 
is evident that pecuniary interest, as well as ecclesiastical 
authority, urged the Orthodox to maintain rights which were 
extremely profitable to the church. The Orthodox, however, 
sincerely believed that the most sacred ties of religion bound 
them to resist what they deemed to be unjust attacks on their 
church by the Catholics. The rashness and levity with which 
French diplomacy has attempted to make the question re- 
lating to the custody of the Holy Places a criterion of political 
influence in the Othoman empire at different periods, and the 
utter neglect, and even contempt, with which it has treated 
the subject at other times, afford a just measure of the 
religious zeal of the French government. After treating 
the subject with scorn for a considerable time, in the year 
1850 France thought fit again to open the question. The 
history of the negotiations which ensued is not more edifying 
than the record of earlier and equally futile pretensions ; but 
on this occasion Russia, availing herself of the proceedings 
of France, mingled in the dispute as protector of the Orthodox. 
New complications were introduced into the discussion con- 
cerning the relations between the Porte and its orthodox 
subjects, and the Emperor Nicholas, deeming the moment 
favourable for a new encroachment on Turkey, plunged into a 
bloody war \ 

The ecclesiastical privileges whichjyiohammed II. granted^ 
tojhe Greek Church, and to the Patriarch as the chief of the 
Grej^£j]ation 1 ejTabled_the laity gradually to acquire a recog- 

1 A report of the English consul at Jerusalem to the Secretary of the Foreign 
Department, dated 27th October 1852, shows how far diplomatic intrigue can 
lose sight of tiue dignity, and how much France must have degraded the 
Christian character in the opinion of the Mussulmans. ' After the Corban 
Bairam festivals were over, and ceremonial visits fully exchanged, the commis- 
sioner, Afif Bey, with a suite of the local effendis, met the three patriarchs, Greek, 
Latin, and Armenian, in the Church of the Resurrection, just in front of the 
Holy Sepulchre itself, and under the great dome ; there they were regaled with 
sherbets, confectionary, and pipes, at the expense of the three convents, who vied 
with each other in making luxurious display on the occasion. M. Botta. the 
French consul, was the only consular person present.' Correspondence respecting 
the Rights and Privileges of the Latin and Greek Churches in Turkey, presented to 
Parliament 1S54 (part i. p. 45). 


A.D. I7l8-l821.] 

nized position in the public administration of the Othoman 
empire . Th^Jjrxi^rtance_of ruling their Greek subjects with 
justice as_well as firmness, was felt by the most powerful 
j5ultans 5 and by the ablest grand-viziers; while the complicated 
fiscal relations of a numerous population widely dispersed, 
and possessing a monopoly of many necessary branches of 
industry, induced the Porte to employ Greeks as useful 
subordinate instruments in the fiscal administration. Soon 
after the c onq uest, Greek archonts and primates were em- 
ployed by the Turks as collectors of the land-tax, and as j, 
custom-house officers. At length, during the seventeenth 
century, the increased importance of the diplomatic relations 
of the Porte with the Christian powers opened a new political 
.career to the Greeks, and gave rise to the formation of a class 
of_ officials in the Othoman service called Phanariots, from 

their making_the^ quarter of Constantinople around the 

Patriarchate, called the Phanar, their place of residence. 
The higher clerg y and we althy Greek primates had long 
dwelt in this quarter, in order to enjoy security under pro- 
tection of the immunities granted to the Patriarch. The 
wealthiest and most influential Greeks generally acted as 
fiscal-agents of the church, as well as tax-gatherers for the 
Porte \ 

Before the administration of the celebrated grand-vizier 
Achmet Kueprili, the Greek officials employed as secretaries 
in the Othoman service were ranked as little better than 
literary menials. But after the conquest of Candia, Achmet 
conferred on his secretary, t he Chiot Panayotak i, a n offi cial 
rank in th e Ojhoman administration, by^creating for him the 
post of Dragoman of the Porte. Panayotaki's devotion to 
th e grand-vi zier, and his fidelity to the interests of the sultan, VVi/ 
enabled him to render his place one of great political influence. 
The Porte subsequently created a second officer of a similar 
nature, attached to the capitan-pasha, called the Dragoman 
of the Fleet, who exercised direct authority over the Greeks 
employed in the naval service, and great influence in the 
islands and continental districts where the taxes were farmed 
under the capitan-pasha. The existence of these two offices 

1 Zallony, Essai sur les Fanariotes, 157 (note concerning the Patriarchal 

VOL. V. R 



[Ch. V. 

laid the foundation of the power of the Phanariots in the 

Othoman empire. 

The successor of Panayotaki was Alexander Mavrocordatos, 
also a Chiot. He distinguished himself by his able conduct 
during the conferences preceding the treaty of Carlovitz, and 
thereby added much to the influence of his office 1 . These 
two Chiots gained the confidence of the grand-viziers they 
served by displaying more truth and honesty than the Otho- 
man ministers had ever found in the false and intriguing Greek 
officials who were educated under the immediate influence 
of the patriarchate in the Phanar. The moral superiority, 
imbibed from the family education of Chios, did more to gain 
a political position for the Greeks in the Othoman administra- 
tion than the learning of the Byzantine archonts and the 
privileges of the orthodox clergy. The servility and acute- 
ness of the Constantinopolitans could not gain the authority 
readily conceded to the truth and fidelity of the Chiots. 

The__office of Dragoman of the Fleet became the firs t step 
tow ards obtaining the highest offices granted to Christians. 
His _duty_w as to act as secretary to the capitan-pasha, and to 
S£e_that the tribute of the Greek islands was regularly paid. 
His favour, and the extent of his political influence, depended 
on his activity and ability in obtaining large presents and 
illegitimate profits for the capitan-pasha, and in enforcing the 
regular payments due to the imperial treasury. HJS— own 
interest, an d_ even his personal security, made him the op- 
.^ressor of the Christians, whom he might secretly wis h to" 
protect. Unless he accumulated money for himself, he could 
never hope to purchase the dignity of Voivode of Vallachia or 
Moldavia, where he could feel a greater degree of security. 

1 Alexander Mavrocordatos was the son of a silk-merchant of Chios, who 
married the daughter of Skarlatos, who had made an immense fortune as purveyor 
of beef for the sultan's palace and the public markets. Mavrocordatos studied 
medicine in Italy, and wrote a treatise in Latin on the circulation of the blood, 
which his been much praised, as well as several works in Greek. He was 
a proficient in the Greek, Latin, Italian, French, Sclavonian, Turkish, Persian, 
and Arabic languages. Before his appointment as Dragoman of the Porte, he 
exercised the charge of grand logothetes or treasurer of the patriarchate of Con- 
stantinople. Vlastos, XtaKa, ii. 93. The families of Mavrocordatos, Kallimakis, v 
Hypsilantis, and Karadjas, which received the title of Prince from holding the 
office of Voivode in Vallachia or Moldavia, are all descended from doctors in 
medicine. The protection of Tuiks of rank, whom they had served professionally, 
opened for them an entrance into the political career. Hammer, Histoire, xvi. 
188. Zallony (239) gives the origin of several Phanariot families, I know not on 
what authority. 

V t V 

J l/V 



A.D. 1718-1S2I.J 

His power as agent of the capitan-pasha was almost absolute. 
His accusation was alone sufficient to send any Greek to the 
galleys without trial. Such power has never been possessed 
by a slave without being abused. 

The extension of the power of Greek officials in the Otho- 
man administration was attended with both good and bad 
consequences to the nation. The desire of literary instruc- 
tion became more general, the sphere of Greek ideas was 
enlarged, and the bigotry cherished by the exclusive power of 
the higher clergy was diminished. But, on the other hand, the 
great profits gained by the illegal exercise of the power x 
intrusted to the higher Greek officials increased the corrup- 
tion of the class, and made the name of Phanariot a byword 
for the basest servility, corruption, and rapacity. A numerous 
body-ofLGreeks became interested in supporting the Othoman 
domination, since, by acting as the instruments of Turkish 
oppre ssion, they could live luxuriously and accumulate wealth. 

In the year 17 16 a new career of wealth, influence, and 
power was opened to the Phanariots. The Porte, in order 
to strengthen its authority in Vallachia, when it was about 
to commence war with Austria, determined to subject the 
native population to the domination of Greek officials, who 
were found to be servile instruments of Turkish tyranny. 
Nicolas Mavrocordatos, the eldest son of Alexander the dra- 
goman, was appointed the first Phanariot voivode of Vallachia. 
He had already filled the office of voivode of Moldavia, to 
which he had been appointed in 1709. The government of 
Phanariot voivodes, or fiscal-agents of the Porte, in these two 
principalities, dates from this period. Like the Phanariot 
influence in the Othoman administration at Constantinople, 
it was founded by a Chiot family. Two sons of Alexander 
Mavrocordatos, Nicolas and John, and a grandson, Constan- 
tine, held at different times the offices of dragoman of the 
Porte, of voivode of Moldavia, and of voivode of Vallachia. 
The Greeks gained no honour and little permanent advantage 
by their power in the Transdanubian provinces. Their admi- 
nistration was mo re corrupt and oppressive than that of the 
T urks in the adjoining pashaliks. The Phana ri ots, intent 
only on accumulating money and enjoying their power, rcn- 
d ered the native inhabit ants of the Principalities the mo; 
wretched portion of the sultan's subjects. No other Christian 

R 2 





rac e in the O tho man d ominions was exposed to such unmiti- 
gatfid_£xtQrtion and cruelty. The Othoman Turks were 
better masters to the various races they conquered, than the 
\ Phanariot Greeks to the fellow- Christians committed to their 
^ J care and protection. A detailed examination of the vices of 
the Greek administration in Vallachia and Moldavia does not 
lie within the sphere of this work ; but it would form an 
important object of inquiry in any complete history of the 
political condition of the Greek race \ 

^A cons iderable, portion of the Greek population was drawn 
within the corrupting influence of official employments under 
the Turks. In this c areer, fraud and violence were short 
"^ v .paths to wealth, and wealth generally secured impunity for 
crime.. The four great Phanariot offices were those of 
Dragoman of the Fleet, Dragoman of the Porte, Voivode 
of Moldavia, and Voivode of Vallachia. Each of these officers 
was surrounded by a crowd of minor officials, who looked 
to him for protection and promotion. Many offices which 
insured large profits were always at their disposal. They 
appointed their dependents collectors of taxes, farmers of 
public revenues, fisheries, and salt-works, and secured to them 
the profits of many local monopolies and government con- 
tracts. . To such an extent had the corruption nourished by 
this system pro ceeded, that, in the earliest years of the nine- 
teenth century, the sums extorted by Phanariot offici als from 
th e Gree k population illegally, w r ere supposed to equal the 
whole haratchjDaid by the inhabitants of Greece. The profits 
^ of this iniquitous service invited the Greeks, from the most 
j distant provinces, to enter the households of the leading 
1 Phanariots, who became virtually princes of the nation ; for 
even their domestics might look forward to attaining the very 
highest honours conferred on Christians. In a government 
where purchased slaves were habitually elevated to the rank 
of grand-vizier, a Greek pipe-bearer, or household doctor, 
might, without presumption, aspire to become Bey of Valla- 
chia. TJie Pha nariot instruments of the Othoman administra- 
tion extended their influence over all Greece, and connected 
the interests of a numerous class with their own, which was 
identified with the Turkish domination. Political feelings, 

1 See the list of the Phanariot voivodes of Vallachia and Moldavia, in Appen- 
dix, III. 


A.D. I7l8-lS2I.] 

hostile to Greek independence, and to all sympathy with the 
Christian powers of Europe, were thus created in a numerous 
class of civilians at the time when the ecclesiastical authority, 
which had previously propagated these dispositions, began to 
decline. This Greek o fSciaLarjstocracv, accidentally formed 
by th e^ carelessness of the Turks, was quite as anti-national in \ \, V 
its policy as the ecclesiastical hierarchy established by 
Mohammed II. While the Greeks continued to be dependent 
on the patriarchate in all matters relating to their ecclesiastical 
and religious rights, everythi ngjxmnected with the civil and 
fiscal administration was addressed either to the Dragoman of 
the Porte, or to the Dragoman of the Fleet : the first acting as 
a_g^nerai_secretary of state, and the second being especially 
c harge d with the business of the navy and the Greek islanders. 

Though the influence of the Phanariots is acknowledged to 
have exercised a demoralizing effect on the character of the 
Greek nation, some persons have considered that the nation 
was fully indemnified for this evil by the impulse which it 
gave to education. They appear strangely to undervalue 
morality, and extravagantly to over-estimate the advantages 
of knowledge. Some degree of literary instruction was neces- 
sary to enable the dependents of a great Phanariot official to 
attain many offices in his gift. The desire of learning was 
consequently extended among the people, but, unfortunately, 
the very object for which it was sought prevented its pro- 
ducing any moral improvement on the national character. 
Fortunately for the Greeks, other contemporary causes tended 
also to disseminate education from a purer source, and by 
revealing to the people some idea of the vicious nature of 
the society by which they were governed, whether Christian 
or Mohammedan, awakened a conviction that, until the 
national independence was -established, no permanent im- 
provement could be effected in the moral condition of the 

The misfortunes which attended the wars of Sultan Achmct 
III. against Austria and Persia, and the additional weight of 
taxation caused by the disorder that pervaded every branch 
of the administration during his reign, produced at last an 
insurrection of the janissaries and populace of Constantinople. 
The great successes over Russia and Venice, which had 
marked the early years of Achmet's reign, were forgotten, 


[Ch. V. 

and in the year 1730 he was compelled to cede the throne 
to his nephew, Mahmoud I. This revolution modified in 
some degree the government of the empire. The influence 
of the officers of the sultan's household on the public admini- 
stration became more direct, and was more openly exercised. 
The power of the grand-vizier was controlled by the authority 
of the Kislar-aga (chief of the black eunuchs). The decisions 
of experienced statesmen, and the guidance of traditional 
maxims of policy which moderated the action of arbitrary 
power, were set aside by the rash ignorance of slaves, whose 
secluded position deprived them of patriotic feelings, and 
whose nature and occupation rendered them insensible even 
to the ordinary sympathies of mankind. This change was 
not disadvantageous to the Christian subjects of the sultan. 
The Phanariots and the clergy found it easier to purchase 
the support of a menial in the serai than to gain the esteem 
of a pasha. 

In the year 1739 the successes of the grand-vizier against 
Austria enabled the Porte to conclude the treaty of Belgrade, 
which restored that frontier fortress to the sultan l . A treaty 
concluded with Russia at the same time obliged the Em- 
press Anne to restore Chozim and destroy the fortifications 
of Azof. These treaties, concluded under the mediation of 
France, were followed by fiscal arrangements in Vallachia, 
established by Constantine Mavrocordatos, which greatly 
increased the influence of the Phanariots in Vallachia and 
Moldavia, added to the number of Greek officials in these 
provinces, and prepared the way for the corrupt influence 
of Russian diplomacy on the Greek population 2 . From this 
period the court of St. Petersburg began to make use of 
Greek agents for thwarting the Othoman administration, and 
undermining the sultan's power, in every province of his 
empire inhabited by the orthodox. 

As early as the reign of Peter the Great, the statesmen 

1 See the opinion of Marshal Munich on this treaty, so dishonourable to 
Austria, in his letter to Prince Lobkovitz ; Memoires Historiques, Politiques, et 
Mililaires sur la Russie, par le General de Manstein, ii. 32 ; compare also p. 6, 
note, and p. 10. 

2 Some of the measures of Constantine Mavrocordatos were beneficial to the 
people, but their advantages were neutralized by the rapacity of the Greek 
officials and tax gatherers with whom he filled the province. Kogalnitchan, 
His'oire de la Valachie et de la Moldavie, 390 ; Memoires Historiques et Geographi- 
ques sw la Valachie, par General B. (Baur), 43. # 


A.D. [7l8-l8ai.] 

of Russia employed the religious prejudices of the Greeks 
as a means of creating a political attachment to the Czar. 
The disastrous campaign of Peter on the Pruth checked for 
a time the extension of Russian influence; but the govern- 
ment of the empresses Anne and Elizabeth employed agents 
in various parts of European Turkey to prepare the Christians 
for taking up arms, should the court of St. Petersburg con- 
sider it advisable to carry into execution the plan of attack 
on the Othoman empire, which Marshal Munich recommended 
before the conclusion of the treaty of Belgrade, and to which 
he subsequently directed the attention of the Empress 
Catherine II. 1 

The van ity and ambition of Catherine -II., the hope of 
conquer ing^Constantinople, and the wish to gratify her lover 
Gregor y Qrloff. who expected to gain a principality for 
himself in ancien tHellas, all operated to revive the projects * 
o f Rus sia in favour of a Greek insurrection. Agents were 
employed to examine the resources of the country, and to 
prepare the Greeks for acting in subserviency to the policy 
of the court of St. Petersburg. Unfortunately for Greece, 
the intrigues of Catherine II., and the wild enthusiasm of 
a few adventurers, involved the nation in a course of conduct 
which has too often diverted it from the steady pursuit of 
its own advancement. The extension of the local privileges 
oLtllg^ people, t he development of a system of moral a s we ll 
as_ literary education, and the improvement of agriculture and 
c ommer ce, were neglected in order to pursue scheme s of 
ffisionaTy^sover eignty, J which were to be attained by the 
c onquests and to depend on the gene rosity of Russia. Much 
capital was diverted from profitable employment, many active 
citizens were turned away from occupations of honest in- 
dustry, the attention of the provincial Greeks was distracted 
from the local spheres of action in which they were beginning 
to control the power of the Othoman administration, and an 
artificial national ambition was fostered with objects so vague, 
that it could only act as subservient to the more definite plans 
of Russian policy. 

1 Ilelladius, Status praesens Ecclesiae Graecae ; Epis'ola dedicaloria, 4; Rulhiere, 
Hiitoire de I'Anarchie de Pologne, CEuvres, i. 158, edit, of [819. 

Before the peace of Belgrade, Munich aspired at being appointed hospodar of 
Moldavia, by means of the influence of the Empress Anne. Mimoiret Historiques, 
Politijuey, et Militairei sur la Ri/ssie, par le General de Manstein, torn. ii. y6. 

248 progress towards independence. 

^ [Ch.V. 

The intrigues of Russia, which have inflicted many mis- 
fortunes on the Greeks, were actively commenced in 1764. 
Chandler, who visited Greece in 1767, heard the people 
frequently talk of their approaching deliverance from the 
Othoman domination through the assistance they were to 
receive from Russia. 

In order to render a successful revolution of the orthodox 
subjects of the sultan subservient to her project of transferring 
their allegiance to herself, Catherine II. sent a large naval 
force to the Mediterranean. Her agents prepared the 
maritime population to take up arms when this fleet should 
appear in the Levant. The inhabitants of Montenegro, a 
Sclavonian tribe to the north of Albania, did not wait even 
for this support. A Greek captain of artillery in the Russian 
service, named Papasoglou, was sent by Gregory Orloff to 
establish relations with Maina in 1766 1 . One of his agents, 
a young monk named Stephen, soon acted a conspicuous part 
in Montenegro, where he obtained extraordinary influence 
by his eloquence and enthusiastic demeanour, and contrived 
that a vague and mysterious report should be spread, 
which designated him as Peter III., the murdered husband 
of Catherine II. In consequence of his exhortations and 
promises, the Montenegrins took up arms against the Turks 
in 1767, but before any support arrived from Russia, they 
were assailed by the forces of all the neighbouring pashas, 
and the insurrection was suppressed. The monk Stephen, 
laying aside his imperial pretensions, succeeded in making 
his escape on board a Russian ship, which arrived too late 
to assist the insurrection 2 . 

1 The Greek name of Papasoglou was Gregorios Papadopoulos. He is also 
known by his Mainate synonym, Papapoulo. For the events in Montenegro, and 
the extent of the Russian intrigues in the Levant at this time, see Rulhiere, vol. iii. 
pp. 294, 358. 

2 [If we can trust Cyprien Robert, who in Les Slaves de Turqide (vol. i. pp. 152 
foil.) relates this story at some length, though he gives no references, Stephen the 
Little, as he was called, was a mere adventurer, and Prince Dolgoruki was sent 
from Russia to Montenegro to denounce him as an impostor. He maintained 
his position there, however, for four years ; but ultimately, having lost his 
sight in the springing of a mine, he retired into a convent, where he was 
said to have been murdered by his Greek servant at the instigation of the Pasha 
of Scodra. Zinkeisen also {0*manisckes Reich, v. 853) speaks of him as an 
adventurer ; while Von Hammer (Gesckichle, viii. 300 ; 10 vols. Pesth. 1827-35) 
regaids him as acting in the interests of Russia : but both the last-named writers 
mention him in a very cursory way. It would certainly seem strange, if an agent 
of the Russian government gave himself out as Peter III., when Catherine II. was 
suspected of complicity in his murder. Ed.] 


A.D. I7l8-l831.] 

The visit of Papasoglou to Maina had been productive 
of mutual promises only, for the Mainates had little to gain 
by taking up arms, unless Russia would pay them, or assist 
them to plunder the rest of the Morea. At Kalamata he 
had more success. He there drew into his plans Bcnaki, 
the richest Greek in the Morea, an influential kodja bashi 
or primate, who was habitually consulted by the pasha, and 
generally respected by the Mohammedans. Bcnaki also 
possessed considerable influence in Maina, from being one 
of the largest purchasers and exporters of its produce. 
Moved by ambitious hopes, and ignorant of the relative 
military power of the nations interested in the fate of the 
Othoman empire, his patriotism made him the dupe of his 
vanity. He persuaded himself that a primate of Messenia 
was a man of importance in the scale of nations. Through 
his influence several Greek primates were induced to form 
a conspiracy to aid the projects of Russia, and they were 
persuaded to sign, and place in the hands of Papasoglou, an 
engagement that, as soon as the Russian forces appeared in 
the Morea, they would call to arms one hundred thousand 
Greeks. The value of this engagement was magnified by 
Papasoglou in his communications to the cabinet of St. 
Petersburg, and active preparations were made for supporting 
the insurrection in Greece. Alexis Orloff, his brother Feodor, 
and Tamara, a young officer from the Ukraine, who had 
increased the Philhellenic enthusiasm he had imbibed with 
a classical education by a tour in Greece, were sent to Italy 
to direct the conspiracy, and prepare for the arrival of the 
Russian forces. Maruzzi, a Greek banker of Venice, was 
made a marquis, and intrusted with the monetary transactions 
in the Adriatic and Greece. The hopes of Catherine II. rose 
so high in 1768, that even Voltaire contemplated the pro- 
bability of Constantinople soon becoming the capital of the 
Russian empire *. 

The Porte was aware of the rebellious disposition of its 
Greek subjects ; nor was it entirely ignorant of the intrigues 
of Russia, though it obtained no knowledge of the conspiracy 
of Benaki. With its usual carelessness it neglected to take 
any precautions ; partly from its contempt for the cowardice 

1 Rulhiere, iii. 334 ; Voltaire, Correspondance avec V Impvratrice de Russie, Nov. 
15. 1768. 


[Ch. V. 

of the Greeks, and partly from a conviction that it was 
impossible for Russia to send any force from the Baltic into 
the Mediterranean. The Venetian senate understood the 
danger better ; and when the Orloffs withdrew the veil from 
the Russian schemes, the republic recommended them to 
remove their residence from Venice, as the republic was 
determined to preserve its neutrality. Nothing but the 
insolence which characterized the intercourse of the Othoman 
government with Christian powers prevented it from obtaining 
proofs of the complicity of Russian agents in exciting the 
Greeks to rebellion, and even when its suspicions were 
awakened, it long allowed itself to be deceived by the as- 
surances of the Russian court that the empress desired to 
maintain peace. But when the Russian armies openly 
violated the engagements contracted by the treaties of the 
Pruth and of Belgrade, the sultan perceived that the peace 
did not prevent the czarina from making conquests in Poland. 
The sultan declared war with Russia to defend the integrity 
of Poland ; but the Christian population of his dominions 
felt that the question really at issue was the integrity of the 
Othoman empire. 

The commencement of this war affords an example of the 
imprudence with which European diplomatists compromised 
their official character, and the political interests of nations 
intrusted to their care, in order to indulge the prurient 
curiosity which is a common vice of their profession. The 
sandjak-sherif, or sacred standard of Mahomet, was unfolded 
at Constantinople on the 27th of March 1769 1 . When this 
banner is displayed, the Mussulmans deem it unholy for a 
Christian to gaze on it ; but the Austrian internuncio, Bro- 
gnard, thinking that his impertinent curiosity would be 
protected by his diplomatic character, resolved to gratify it 
by a sight of this sacred banner of Islam. To effect his 
object, he placed himself, accompanied by his wife, four 
daughters, his secretaries, and interpreters, in a house which 
overlooked the line of the procession as it passed to the Top- 
Kapousi, by which the Othomans had stormed Constantinople. 
From this house the party was driven by the Imam of the 
quarter, but persisting in its object with Teutonic obstinacy, 

1 D'Ohsson, Tableau de I' Empire Othoman, i, 261, fol. edit. 


A.D. I7l8-l82[.] 

it retired into the house of an Armenian in the neighbour- 
hood, hoping to secure a view o( the procession by creeping 
from thence into a barber's shop which overlooked the public 
street. The Turks watched the proceedings of the Austrians, 
for they were determined to prevent any Christian from 
seeing the sandjak-shcrif unless flying in their face on the 
field of battle, and when the cry arose that the holy standard 
approached, their enthusiasm was inflamed with indignation. 
Superstition led many to fear that the Christians might use 
enchantments which would cause the defeat of the Othoman 
armies, and their bigotry persuaded them that it was a duty 
to punish the insolence and malice of the infidels. The tumult 
was commenced by the Turkish women, who had assembled 
in great numbers to see the procession pass. The populace 
of the quarter needed little excitement. The doors of the 
barber's shop were burst open, the minister and his secretaries 
severely beaten, the veils and scarfs were torn from the necks 
of his wife and daughters, and the party, after being robbed of 
their jewels and gold lace, were allowed to escape with their 
clothes hanging about them in rags. All the shops belonging 
to Christians in the same street were broken open and plun- 
dered l . The Othoman police had some difficulty in saving 
the inquisitive diplomatist from death, and his wife and 
children from being turned into the street without clothes. 
The internuncio informed the court of Vienna that one 
hundred and fifty innocent persons were killed, and one 
thousand wounded, in consequence of his foolish conduct ; 
but his misplaced vanity is said to have exaggerated the 
results of his imprudence -'. 

The first division of the Russian fleet under Spiritoff, a 
brave officer, but without much naval experience, arrived in 
the Mediterranean towards the end of 1769, and passed the 
winter at Port Mahon refitting and embarking stores and 
provisions. Early in 1770 one squadron of the fleet visited 
Leghorn, to embark a number of sailors collected by the 
Orloffs and their agents ; while another, under the command 
of Feodor Orloff, having been refused entrance into the port 
of Malta, sailed on to Greece. This division, consisting of 
three ships of the line and two frigates, with five hundred 

1 Hammer, Hi^taire, xvi. 203. l Ibid. 


[Ch. V. 

troops on board, anchored at Port Vitylo in Maina. The 

Mainates, who expected to see ten thousand Russians open 

the campaign, were disconcerted on seeing the small corps 

which was disembarked to commence an invasion of the 

Othoman empire. The defective armament of the large 

ships, the absence of small vessels, the want of all means 

of transport, and the neglect to bring a supply of field 

artillery and ammunition proper for the wants of a Greek 

army, discouraged the Mainates so much that they displayed 

a decided aversion to take up arms. But a sum of money 

judiciously divided among the chiefs, the hopes of obtaining 

plunder in the rich plains of Messenia and Laconia, the 

distribution of a small supply of arms and ammunition to 

volunteers, the confidence that they could defend their 

mountains against the Turks whatever might happen, and 

the assurance that Alexis Orloff would soon arrive with a 

powerful fleet and numerous army, at last induced a body 

of Mainates to join the Russians, on condition that Feodor, 

following the example of Morosini, should immediately 

lay siege to Goron, which was not prepared to offer a long 


The first acts of the Russians in Greece awakened feelings 

of distrust. Feodor Orloff would only subsidize - and arm 

tho~se~who swore allegiance to the Empress of Russia and 

engaged to become subjects of Catherine II. _ThejGreeks, 

wh o aspired at forming an independent state, perceived that 

even a jjuccessful insurrection would only make them the 

slayfiS—oljthe czarina, instead of the rayahs of the sultan ; 

and they knew that materially they would be no gainers by 

the change. The^Othonian yoke was not so universally 

galling as to caus e a revolution, and national feelings had 

not yet pr epared the Greeks to make great sacrifices in the_ 

\- v v v cause of Hberty^sp that those classes who took up arms were 

moved generally by local animosities or personal views. In 

Crete the Sphakiots flew to arms, and sent a body of men to 

Maina. Some recruits also joined Feodor from the Ionian 

Islands, but his army remained insignificant in number in 

spite of all his exertions and promises. The unarmed 

Moreots were overwhelmed with terror when they compared 

the force of the Russians with that which they knew the 

Turks were preparing to pour into the peninsula. Benaki 


\.D. I7I8-I82I.] 

:rept secretly to the Russian camp, and when he had seen 
the force on which he was to rely for expelling the Turks 
from the Morea, returned to Kalamata in despair, and at- 
:empted to conceal the part he had taken in the conspiracy, 
it least until the arrival of the main body of the fleet. 

The Russians had counted on the assistance of a Greek 
army, but they found some difficulty in collecting three 
thousand men. These recruits were divided into two legions. 
The command of the eastern or Spartan legion was conferred 
Dn Antonios Psaros, a young supercargo of Mykone, who 
showed some military aptitude 1 . He marched to Passava, 
which he found deserted, plundered the Mussulman district 
3f Bardunia, and took possession of Misithra, where the 
Mainates massacred numbers of the Turkish population, and 
plundered a part of the town, without respecting the houses 
af the Christians. Psaros succeeded with difficulty in estab- 
lishing order ; he protected the Mussulmans, and formed 
what he called a Spartan Senate, composed of the bishop 
and the primates, which acted as a governing commission. 
The legion was increased by enrolling three thousand La- 
conians, to whom he promised regular pay, and among whom 
he attempted to introduce regular discipline. A chosen body 
was clad in Russian uniforms, which had been brought to 
make the Turks believe that a Russian force had already 
arrived in the Morea. 

The western or Messenian legion, under the command of 
Prince Dolgoruki, marched into Kalamata without opposition, 
and ravaged the property of the Turks in the plain of 
Messenia. All the Mohammedans who fell into the hands 
of the Greeks were put to death, and Dolgoruki advanced to 
the town of Arkadia, which was surrendered by the Turks, 
and made the head-quarters of this legion. 

In the meantime Feodor Orloff, with his four hundred 
Russian troops and a motley army of Mainates, Sphakiots, 

1 Antonios Psaros was one of the proprietors of a vessel from Mykone which 
visited Taganrog before the war broke out, and was drawn to St. Petersburg by 
the general encouragement given to adventurers in Greece. Eton says he was a 
livery servant, but Orloff soon took him under his protection, and he probably 
only wore a livery while attached to Orloff s household. In the memorial of the 
Greek deputies to Catherine II. in 1790, he is called a man sprung from the 
dregs of the people, and abhorred by the whole Greek nation. Calumny, how- 
ever, has always been too prevalent in Greece for us to attach much importance to 
such phrases. Eton, Survey of the Turkish Empire, 359. 



Ionians, Montenegrins, and Sclavonians, besieged Coron. His 
operations offer a discreditable contrast with the exploits of 
the Venetians ; but he was not a Morosini. The batteries 
were ill-constructed and inefficient. The fleet was anchored 
too far off to aid the attack, and the Othoman garrison, 
though consisting of only four hundred men, soon perceived 
that they could watch the proceedings of their besiegers and 
wait for succours without alarm. Two months were wasted 
in futile operations. Dissensions broke out between the Rus- 
sians and the Greeks. Feodor accused Mavromichalis, the 
leading Mainate chief, who had entered into the pay of 
Russia, of want of courage ; Mavromichalis replied, by ridi- 
culing the pretensions of Feodor as a general, and exposing 
his ignorance of the art of war. Alexis Orloff arrived towards 
the end of April, and finding that his brother had made no 
progress in the siege, deemed it advisable to abandon this 
first enterprise of the Russians in Greece, and concentrate his 
forces at Navarin, which had capitulated to a Russian force 
under General Hannibal \ 

The war, so far, had only been remarkable for the inca- 
pacity with which the Russian officers had acted. Bands 
of armed Greeks from the Venetian islands had landed in 
the Morea, where their conduct had been that of robbers, 
not soldiers. Defence less Turks had been murdered, villages 
had been plundered, but no battle had been fought. The first 
success obtained by the Greeks alone was at Mesolonghi, and 
it was not stained by any act of cruelty. A report reached 
the inhabitants that Coron had capitulated to the Russians. 
They immediately flew to arms, and the primates ordered 
the few Turks who resided in the place to retire to Patras. 
They then took possession of the small insular town of 
Anatolikon, and sent a deputation to Feodor Orloff, to place 
themselves under the protection of Russia, and request assist- 
ance. Feodor neglected their solicitations. In the mean time 
a band of Dulcigniot corsairs, hastening to the assistance of 
Patras, and observing the defenceless condition of Mesolonghi, 
attacked the place, massacred a part of the inhabitants aftet 
a desperate resistance, regained possession of both Mesolonghi 
and Anatolikon, and entered Patras in triumph. The greater 

1 General Hannibal was a mulatto ; his father was a negro slave of Peter the 


A.D. I718-182I.] 

part of the Mcsolonghiots had embarked their families in small 
vessels, with which they escaped to the Venetian islands. 

The operations of Alexis Orloff were planned on a more 
extensive scale than those of Feodor, but they were not 
carried into execution with greater vigour. He published 
a proclamation, calling upon the Greeks to take up arms 
in defence of their liberty and religion, yet hc_tr£atcd- 
th ose only a s friends who would swear allegiance, -to 
Russia : and he showed so much indifference to truth in 
his conduct, and so little humanity and judgment in per- 
forming his duty as a general, that he gained few friends l . 
Prince Dolgoruki was ordered to besiege Modon, Psaros 
to march on Tripolitza, and a third corps was pushed 
forward from Messenia by Leondari, to join Psaros in the 
great Arcadian plain. The junction being effected, Psaros 
found himself at the head of an army of fifteen thousand 
men, and a single battle was expected to give the Russians 
possession of the centre of the Morea. 

The Othoman government had been more active than 
the Russian generals, and the measures adopted for de- 
fending the Morea were better concerted than those for 
its conquest. The native Mussulmans were ordered to 
retreat on Tripolitza, where they formed, when united, a 
strong body of cavalry, which commanded all the commu- 
nications. The vizier of the Morea was Mehemct Emin, 
who had been deprived of the office of grand-vizier for 
advising Sultan Mustapha to avoid war with Russia 2 . He 
was now eager to prove that his wisdom in counsel did 
not diminish his energy in action ; but as he was not a 
soldier, he could only direct the plan of operations, the 
execution of which he was compelled to intrust to others. 
He established his head-quarters at Nauplia, in order to 
facilitate the transmission of military stores to the interior 
of his province, and to hasten the arrival of succours, 
particularly of a powerful body of Albanians, which was 
rapidly advancing towards the Isthmus of Corinth, and 
for which he took care to prepare provisions at every station 
of their march, that they might reach Tripolitza without 
delay. On the western coast the corsairs of the Adriatic 

1 Rulhiere, iii. 402. a Hammer calls him Mouhsinzade. 




were ordered to transport troops from Albania direct to 
Patras, and then to cruise off the Ionian Islands to prevent 
the Russians receiving supplies from the Greeks under 
the Venetian flag. The tardy proceedings of the Orloffs 
allowed the vizier to complete all his arrangements before 
he was attacked. The vanguard of the Albanians, six 
thousand strong, entered Tripolitza about the time Psaros 
concentrated the Russo-Greek army to attack the place. 
He had lost much time in transporting across the mountains 
a few pieces of artillery, and the ammunition required to 
breach the feeble wall round Tripolitza. The whole force 
under his command was said to amount to fifteen thousand 
men ; but it was dispersed over much ground, from the 
difficulty of supplying it with provisions. The greater part 
consisted of half-armed peasantry, and the only force on 
which any reliance could be placed in battle was a corps 
of four hundred Russians, and about four thousand Greek 
irregulars and half-disciplined recruits. The Albanians, 
supported by the native cavalry of the province, attacked 
his army as soon as it encamped. The Greeks offered 
little resistance : the greater part fled when they saw the 
Albanians rushing forward in spite of the first volley of 
musketry. The Russians alone defended themselves valiantly, 
and perished almost to a man in their ranks. Three thou- 
sand Greeks were slain in the pursuit, and the day after 
the battle the metropolitan of Tripolitza and several bishops, 
who had entered into correspondence with the Russians, 
were hanged by order of the pasha. 

Another corps of Albanians advanced from the Isthmus 
of Corinth along the southern shore of the Gulf of Corinth, 
to relieve Patras from the attacks of the Ionian Greeks 
who had besieged it ; but the enemy had been dispersed 
by the Dulcigniots before the arrival of the Albanians. 
Fresh reinforcements soon joined the main army at Tri- 
politza, which then advanced in two divisions. One de- 
scended into the plain of Laconia, retook Misithra, and 
drove Psaros and the relics of his army beyond Gytheion 
into the fastnesses of Taygetus. The other marched into 
the plain of Messenia, drove the Mainates back into their 
mountains, defeated the Russians before Modon, and cap- 
tured all their siege artillery and stores. The successes 


a.d. [718-1821.] 

of t liG -Albanians were marked by the greatest crue lty* 

the country was ravaged, the people massacred without 
mercy, often merely to find a pretext for carrying off the 
young women and children to be sold as slaves. The pasha 
of the Morea endeavoured in vain to put a stop to these ^v 
atrocities. He proclaimed an amnesty; and, as far as 
his power extended, his humanity restored order and con- 
fidence; but the Albanian irregular bands remained for 
some years masters and tyrants of the greater part of the 

Towards the end of May another Russian squadron, under 
Admiral Elphinstone, an excellent naval officer, but a man 
of a violent character, arrived at Port Vitylo, where he 
landed six hundred troops to support Psaros. The news 
of the appearance of a Turkish fleet in the Archipelago, 
carrying supplies to Nauplia, made Elphinstone put to sea 
immediately, in order to thwart the operations of the Otho- 
man squadron that might enter the Gulf of Nauplia, or 
engage any ships separated from the main body of the 
capitan-pasha's fleet. He despatched a courier to Alexis 
Orloff, as high admiral, informing him of his movements, 
and requesting his support. Orloff, despairing of any success 
by land after the recent disasters of his troops, abandoned 
Navarin with precipitation, and, embarking only Papasoglou, 
Benaki, and the bishops of Coron, Modon, and Kalamata, 
with a few primates of wealth, sailed away to join Elphin- 
stone, leaving all the other Greeks who had taken up arms 
for the cause of Russia, and sworn allegiance to the Empress 
Catherine II., to procure the means of escape from others. 
In vain the Greeks, and their friends among the Russian 
officers of rank, urged Orloff to allow a small garrison to 
retain possession of Navarin until the issue of the expected 
naval engagement should be known. They pointed out 
that the island of Sphakteria was covered with refugees, 
that more than ten thousand Greeks of all ages were as- 
sembled round the walls of Navarin, that the fortress was 
strong enough to resist the attack of the Albanians for 
some months, and that the command of the port would 
enable the Greeks to distract the attention of the Turks, 
and keep up a mountain warfare, by furnishing supplies 
of provisions and ammunition to armed bands on every 

VOL. V. S 



inaccessible mountain near the coast. Alexis Orloff was 
deaf to entreaties and advice. 

The Othoman fleet was commanded by Hosameddin, 
the grandson of Djanum Pasha, a man destitute of courage 
as well as of naval knowledge K On quitting the Dar- 
danelles, he sailed with ten line-of-battle ships to land 
reinforcements and stores at Nauplia. The vanguard of 
this squadron was led by Hassan the Algerine, and it 
encountered the squadron of Elphinstone at the entrance 
of the Gulf of Argolis 2 . After some desultory fighting, 
which enabled the capitan-pasha to enter the gulf without 
loss, the whole Othoman fleet anchored under the cannon 
of Nauplia. Elphinstone was anxious to attack them in 
this position, but the Russian captains refused to engage 
in so desperate an enterprise before effecting a junction 
with Alexis Orloff, who was commander-in-chief. Elphin- 
stone. therefore, returned to seek Orloff; but meeting four 
line-of-battle ships and a frigate under Spiritoff, it was 
determined to pursue the capitan-pasha, who had also 
quitted the Gulf of Argolis. Feodor Orloff persuaded 
Spiritoff to allow Elphinstone to retain the command of the 
united squadrons. The capitan-pasha was overtaken in 
the channel of Hydra ; but the Russian captains paid so 
little attention to the admiral's signals, that the Othoman 
fleet had no difficulty in avoiding an engagement. 

On the 23rd of June 1770, Alexis Orloff and Admiral 
Greig joined Elphinstone, and Spiritoff was ordered to 
act as admiral of the fleet under Orloff. The capitan-pasha 
had selected the Bay of Tchesme, in the Channel of Chios, 
as the position in which to await the attack of the Russians. 

1 Hammer (Histoire de VEmpire Othoman, xvi. 244) says that the post of capitan- 
pasha was conferred on Hosameddin on the 26th April 1770; and at p. 254 he 
mentions that he was dismissed after the battle of Tchesme, when Djaffir was 
appointed his successor. But in the biographical sketch of Hassan in his Staats- 
verfassung und S'aativeriualtung des Osmanhchen Reichs (ii. 355) he follows the 
commcn error of calling the capitan-pasha who commanded at Tchesme, Djaffir. 

2 Hassan, called commonly Djesairli or the Algerine, until he received the 
title of Ghazi, or the Victorious, is said by Hammer (Staatwerwaltung, ii. 350) > 
to have been the son of a Christian of Rhodosto, or from the neighbourhood 
of the Dardanelles. By Rulhiere uii. 417) he is said to have been born in 
Persia, and sold as a slave to an inhabitant of Rhodosto. He served when 
young at Algiers, where he acquired rank and wealth. The vicissitudes of his 
eventlul life are recounted with many variations, and they warn me against the 
dagger of implicit confidence in facts even as recorded by contemporary his- 


AD. I71S-182I.] 

His fleet consisted of fourteen sail of the line and several 
frigates, and was anchored in the form of a crescent, with 
one horn defended by rocks and shallows, and the other 
by the mainland. The capitan-pasha, and perhaps most 
of his captains, were too ignorant of naval tactics to perceive 
the great disadvantage of rendering his superior force station- 
ary, and exposing its parts to be overwhelmed by a smaller 
movable force. Hassan the Algerinc, the ablest officer in 
the Othoman fleet, who acted as flag-captain of the capitan- 
pasha's ship, endeavoured in vain to point out the dis- 
advantages of the position. His representations succeeded 
only in convincing Hosamcddin that it would be safer for 
himself to land and issue his commands from a place of 
perfect security. He therefore went on shore, under the 
pretext of completing a battery, and remained there, leaving 
each captain to defend his own ship. The Russian fleet 
consisted of ten line-of-battle ships and five frigates ; but 
one of the large ships had only her main-deck guns on board, 
and was therefore called a frigate. The battle was fought 
on the 7th of July 1770. Spiritoff led the vanguard ; Alexis 
Orloff, in Greig's ship, occupied the centre ; and Elphinstone, 
in consequence of the jealousy of Orloff, was placed in the rear. 
About noon the engagement commenced. Spiritoff bore down 
on the ship bearing the capitan-pasha's flag, which Hassan 
commanded ; but as he was exposed to the fire of several ships 
during his advance, he lost nearly one hundred men, killed 
and wounded, before he could close with his enemy and open 
his own fire. His losses were replaced by boats from the other 
ships. When he was within musket-shot of his opponent, he 
poured his first broadside into the hull of the capitan-pasha, 
which was promptly returned. The firing of both ships was 
kept up with vigour, and the loss in both was great. At last 
a ball from a very large Turkish gun carried away the rudder 
of Spiritoff's ship, and rendered it unmanageable. As he 
neglected dropping his anchor, he drifted close to his enemy 
and the Turks immediately rushed, sword in hand, on his 
deck. To repulse this attack of the Turkish boarders, the 
Russians made use of hand-grenades, threw combustibles 
into the enemy's ship, and sent a party of marines to board 
it from the yards. The decks of both ships became the 
scene of pitched battles, and fresh combatants hastened 

S 2 



from the other ships to aid both parties. Hassan, seeing 

that the riflemen in the tops of the Russian were thinning 

his men, ordered the sails, which the Russians had left 

hanging loosely from the yards, to be set on fire. In a 

moment the whole rigging was in flames, and before the 

Turks could cut their cable, their own ship took fire. Spiritoff, 

Feodor Orloff, and the Russian officers abandoned their 

ship, but Hassan suspended the combat to get all his boats 

afloat and save his crew. The two ships soon separated ; 

but both being driven into the line of the Othoman fleet, 

the Turkish captains cut their cables, one after another, and 

the line-of-battle ships crowded into the narrow harbour of 

Tchesme\ where their position rendered them defenceless. 

The blazing ships blew up. The gallant Hassan plunged 

into the sea, and, though severely wounded, succeeded in 

swimming until he was taken up by one of his boats. His 

first care was to send a message to the capitan-pasha, 

recommending him to seize the moment for ordering the 

fleet out to sea before the Russians could attack it in its 

defenceless position, where its guns were useless. Hosam- 

eddin was such a coward that he feared to embark, and 

as he did not venture to send the fleet to sea while he 

remained on shore himself, he pretended to believe that 

the ships were sufficiently protected by the batteries of 


The Russian admirals immediately held a council of war, 

to decide on the manner in which they should attack the 

Turkish ships, and it was resolved to burn them before 

they could change their position. Three fireships were 

prepared without loss of time, and, shortly after midnight, 

everything being ready, several Russian line-of-battle ships 

stood in towards the port, and opened a heavy cannonade, 

under the cover of which the three polaccas fitted out as 

fireships were steered into the midst of the Turkish fleet. 

Two of the fireships were commanded by English officers, 

Dugdale and Mackenzie ; the third was under the command 

of a Russian. The crews consisted chiefly of Greek and l 

Sclavonian sailors. Dugdale, who led the way, was deserted 

by his crew, but he carried his ship alongside the enemy, 

fired the train himself, and then jumped into the sea and 

swam to the boat of one of the other ships. Mackenzie 

RUSSL IN OPER. I /'/< '.Y.v. 261 

A.D. I718-1S2I.] 

and the Russian were well supported, and the attack was 
completely successful. The three fireships drove into the 
midst of the enemy's fleet, and the whole harbour was soon 
enveloped in flames. The Turkish linc-of-battlc ships blew 
up, one after another ; and when the fire ceased, one only 
remained afloat. This was captured; and Alexis Orloflf 
conferred the command of it on Dugdale, as a reward for 
his distinguished valour. Tchesme was abandoned by the 
Turks and occupied by the Russians. The fugitives spread 
the news of the destruction of the fleet in every direction ; 
and the Russians were expected to make their appearance 
before Constantinople. At Smyrna the Mussulmans, seized 
with frenzy, murdered all the Greeks they met in the streets. 
At Constantinople the foreign ministers were in danger ; 
and perhaps the plague, which raged at the time with 
extraordinary violence, alone moderated the fury of the 

After the destruction of the Othoman fleet, Elphinstone 
urged Alexis Orloff to sail immediately to the Dardanelles, 
force the entrance, and cither dictate terms of peace at Con- 
stantinople, or lay the capital of the Othoman empire in ashes. 
Orloff was incapable and selfish. He feared that I^lphinstone 
would reap all the glory of an exploit which he felt that he 
could not himself direct ; and, as a plausible reason for re- 
jecting so great an enterprise, he declared that his instructions 
directed him to support the Greeks, but did not warrant 
his venturing to treat for peace, consequently he did not 
feel himself authorized to risk the destruction of the fleet 
of the empress merely to have a chance of setting fire to 
Constantinople. Ten days were wasted in vain debates. 
The projects of attacking Chios and Smyrna were rejected ; 
and at last it was determined to occupy Lemnos, as a station 
from which it would be easy to maintain a strict blockade 
of the Dardanelles. The castle of Lemnos offered an unex- 
pected resistance, and three months were consumed in fruitless 
endeavours to take it. In the mean time the Russian fleet 
was weakened by the recall of all the officers who held 
commissions in the British navy; and the dilatory proceedings 
of Orloff gave the Turks time to assemble fresh forces. Baron 
de Tott was employed to fortify the Dardanelles, and Hassan, 
as soon as he recovered from his wounds, was appointed 


[Ch. V. 

capitan-bey, and intrusted with full power to collect a force 

to relieve Lemnos. Hassan assembled four thousand chosen 

troops at the Dardanelles, which he embarked in twenty-three 

small vessels. This flotilla, escorted by two line-of-battle 

ships, landed the troops on the east side of Lemnos on the 

9th of October, and stormed the Russian camp sword in hand. 

The Russians escaped to their ships with the loss of all their 

artillery, military stores, and provisions. A naval engagement 

took place a few days later, in which Hassan manoeuvred 

so well as to keep the sea without any loss ; and Alexis 

OrlofT, finding that his vessels had need of repairs, sailed 

to Paros, leaving Hassan the highest personal honours of 

the campaign of 1770, in spite of the catastrophe of 

Tchesme 1 . 

The Russian fleet remained in the Levant until peace was 
concluded in 1774, but it performed nothing further worthy of 
notice 2 . The harbour of Naussa in Paros was its naval station ; 
and the scale of the buildings constructed by the Russians in- 
duced the Greeks to believe that the empress had determined to 
retain permanent possession of the island. Batteries were 
erected to defend the port, extensive warehouses were built 
to contain naval stores, and the village of Naussa became 
a populous city; but the place was unhealthy, and the crews 
of the ships suffered severely from fever. After the con- 
clusion of the first campaign, Alexis OrlofT hastened to St. 
Petersburg to enjoy his triumph as the victor of Tchesme. 
Elphinstone soon followed, disgusted with the inactive service 
to which he was condemned ; and the Russian navy ceased 
to display any activity. 

The war in the Levant was now neglected by Catherine II., 
whose attention was absorbed by the project for partitioning 
Poland. Voltaire, who watched the changes in the sentiments 
of the empress, with prompt servility altered the tone of his 

1 Hammer, Histoire, xvi. 256 ; Baron de Tott, Memoires sur les Turcs et les 
Tartares, ii. 247, 284, edit. Amst. De Tott must be read with caution. Vanity 
and a spirit of exaggeration often make him misrepresent details. He pretends 
that Hassan, who had fitted out line-of-battle ships, directed considerable works 
in the arsenal of Constantinople, and visited the dockyards of Barcelona and 
Naples, did not know how to mount a heavy gun. 

a 1 An interesting account of the condition of the Greek islands at this 
period will be found in the Breve descrizione delV Arcipelago of Count Pasch van 
Krienen, who visited them under Russian auspices in 1771 and 1772. It was 
originally published at Leghorn in 1773, and was reprinted at Halle in 1S60 from 
an edition prepared by Prof. Ludvvig Ross, who died before it appeared. Ed.] 


A.D. I718-1821.] 

correspondence concerning Greece. He began to defame the 
Greeks, in whose favour he had previously affected great 
enthusiasm. Perceiving that Catherine was no longer eager 
to support their cause, he now spoke of them as unworthy 
of freedom, which, he says, they might have gained had they 
possessed courage to support the enterprises of the Russians. 
The French philosopher, in the fervour of his adulation, 
declared that he no longer desired to read Sophocles, Homer, 
and Demosthenes. Voltaire expected the Greeks would fight 
like heroes to become serfs of a Russian favourite 1 . 

The Greek s who had been cajoled and bribed to rebel, 
were abandoned to their fate as soon as their services were v 
useless to Russian interests. The Sphakiots of Crete were 
attacked by the Turks, pursued into their mountains and 
compelled to pay haratch, like the Christians in the plain. 
The Albanians who had entered the Morea formed themselves 
into local companies, and collected the taxes of the province 
on their own account, besides extorting large sums by cruel 
exactions, as arrears of pay due to them by the Porte. 

The successes of the Russian armies on the Danube forced 
Sultan Abdul-hamid, shortly after his accession to the throne, 
to sign the peace of Kainardji, on the 21st July 1774. This 
memorable treaty humbled the pride of the sultan, broke the 
strength of the Othoman empire, and established the moral 
influence of Russia over the whole Christian population in 
Turkey, which henceforth regarded the sovereign of Russia 
as the legal protector, if not as the legitimate emperor, of . 
the orthodox. Yet in this treaty the Greeks of the Morea \ 
and the islands were sacrificed by Russia. TheJPorte , indeed, 
engagedbyjthe seventh article to protect the orthodox Greek 
church ; but Russia allowed the sultan to interpret the article 
alThlTpleased, until she deemed it for her interest, many years 
after, to make this engagement a pretext for claiming a right 
to watch over its fulfilment, in order to paralyse the govern- 
ment of Turkey and extend her own dominion. Though the 
seventeenth article contained the promise of an amnesty to 
the rebel Greeks, the court of St. Petersburg, even when it 

1 He adds : ' Je detesterais jusqu'a la religion grecque, si votre majeste 
imperiale n'etait pas a la tete de cette Fglise.' Correspondence avec Vlmpiratrice de 
Ri.ssie, No. 107, 6 Mars 1772. Certainly no Phanariot ever addressed Sultan 
Mustapha in baser language. 


[Ch. V. 

restored the islands of the Archipelago to the sultan, never 
gave itself any concern about the execution of this article. 
It is strange that the Greeks, who were saved from oppression 
and mildly treated by the Venetians, should always have 
hated and calumniated the republic, while, though they have 
been frequently deceived and generally despised by the 
Russians, they manifest the warmest devotion to the Czars. 
The bigotry of Orthodoxy is more powerful than the feeling 
of patriotism, and effectually stifles all gratitude to Catholics. 
Enthusiastic orthodoxy, and an eager desire of vengeance, 
rendered them the ready dupes of Russian policy; and though 
they were severely punished on this occasion, they have ever 
since been ready to serve the interests of Russia and sacrifice 
those of Greece, from the same motives, with similar blindness. 
The peace with Russia could not make the Turks forget the 
cruelty with which their countrymen had been massacred 
in the Morea ; and for several years the Greeks were every- 
where subjected to increased oppression. The cruelties of 
the Albanians were tolerated even after their rapacity became 
so great that many Turks as well as Greeks were ruined by 
their exactions, and compelled to abandon their property, and 
escape to other parts of the empire. 

Policy at last induced Sultan Abdul-hamid to protect his 
Greek subjects. The reiterated complaints of the disorders 
perpetrated by the Albanians in the Morea, both on Mussul- 
mans and Christians, at length determined him to restore 
tranquillity to that valuable province. Hassan, whose victory 
over the Russians at Lemnos had gained him the title of 
Ghazi (the Victorious), had been raised to the rank of capitan- 
pasha. In the year 1779 he was ordered to reduce the 
Albanians to obedience, and re-establish order in the Morea. 
With his usual promptitude in action, he landed a considerable 
force at Nauplia, and marched with a body of four thousand 
chosen infantry, and the cavalry collected by the neighbouring 
pashas, to attack the Albanians, who had concentrated a 
large part of their troops at Tripolitza. The Albanians, 
confident in their numbers and valour, marched out to engage 
the little army of the capitan-pasha in the plain, and were 
completely defeated by the steady valour of the infantry 
and by the fire of the artillery. After this victory Hassan 
hunted down their dispersed bands over the whole peninsula, 


A.D. 1718-lSjI.] 

and exterminated them without mercy. The heads of the 
chieftains were sent to Constantinople, and exposed before 
the gate of the serai, while a pyramid was formed of those 
of the soldiers under the walls of Tripolitza, the remains 
of which were seen by travellers at the end of the last 
century 1 . Hassan remained in the Morea for a few months, 
uniting the rank of pasha of the province with his office of 
capitan-pasha. His administration restored order and re- 
established justice in such a degree, that most of the fugitives 
returned from Roumelia, Asia Minor, and the Ionian Islands, 
and the greater part of the deserted lands were again culti- 
vated. Mavroyeni, a Greek of Mykonc, who was dragoman 
of the fleet, enjoyed the confidence of Hassan, and employed 
the influence he possessed to improve the position of the 

The Mai nates, who feared the Albanians more than the 
Turks, had deputed Zanet Koutouphari, one of their chiefs, 
to wait on Hassan at Rhodes in 1777 to solicit an amnesty 
for the part they had taken in the Russian war, to assure 
the capitan-pasha of their devotion to the sultan's govern- 
ment, and to claim his protection. Hassan, having received 
the sanction of the Porte for separating Maina from the 
sandjak of the Morea and placing it under the jurisdiction 
of the capitan-pasha, now organized the administration, and 
arranged the payment of its taxes, on the same plan as the 
other districts under his command. Zanet, as chief primate, 
was invested with the authority of governor and the title 
of bey -. The bey was charged with the duty of collecting 
the tribute ; and to facilitate the operation, where topographical 
difficulties and the feuds of hostile tribes rendered the task 
dangerous, he obtained a monopoly of the export of oil, silk, 
and valonia, which was easily enforced at the few points from 
which produce could be exported. In 1780 Hassan visited 
Maina with the Othoman fleet. He landed a body of Turkish 
troops, and arrested some of the chiefs who had plundered 
in Messenia or committed acts of piracy. Murzinos, who had 
distinguished himself both as a Russian partizan and a pirate, 

1 Pouqueville, Histoire de la Regeneration de la Grcce, i. 53. 

2 Pouqueville (Voyage de la Grece, v. 559, edit. 1827) gives the firman of in- 
vestiture ; see note 1 at p. 135, which corrects a common error of confounding 
Zanet Koutouphari and Zanet Gligoraki, beys of Maina. 


[Ch. V. 

was taken after a vigorous defence, and hung in his Russian 
uniform from the main-yard of Hassan's ship l . Hassan then 
compelled the Mainates to compound for the arrears of 
tribute due to the Porte, and to give hostages for their ful- 
filment of the obligations into which he forced them to 

The fav our w hich Mavroyeni enjoyed, and the influence 
of_the_Phanariots on the general policy of the Porte towards 
t he ray ahs, alleviated the oppression of the Othoman admini- 
stra tion in G reece. The people enjo yed greater security for 
their lives and property, new paths were open to them of 
acqui ring wealth, and their commercial intercourse with the 
Wester n nations became more frequent. Edu cation, also, 
becam e more general, and less exclusively ecclesiastic. In 
the Morea, p a rticu larly, the government of Sultan Abdul- 
ha mid was so much milder than that of his predecessors asjto 
be— ascribed by the Greeks to the influence^ of_hjs favou rite 
sult ana, whom they imagined to be the daughter of a Moreote 
priest ; but the fact is, that the same improvement in the 
manner of treating the Christian subjects of the Porte is 
observable in the other provinces of the emp ire 2 . Had thg 
Greeks been fortunate enough, at this period, toTiave passed 
a gen eration in the tranquil enjoyment of the commercial^ 
political, and jmoral adv antages which th ey b egan to e njoy 
Sss v v v in the yea r 1780, it is probabl e they would have succeeded 
i n giving th eir local institutions such a development as would 
have placed^ a large part of the communal and provincial 
administration in their own hands, and served ultimately as 
the basis for the establishment of a Greek government on 
sound principles of civil liberty, which, while it secured the 
nat ional independence of the Greeks where they form the 
majority of the population, might have enabled the different 
_CJinstian_ J races in the Othoman empire to combine in forming 
a_powerful federal state. 

The influen ce of Russia unfortunately withdrew the atten- 
tion of the Greeks from local improvements to schemes of 
conquest. The court of St. Petersburg did not wish to 
see the Greeks in a condition to gain their independence by 
their own unassisted efforts. As discontented subjects of the 

1 Pouqueville, Voyage, v. 588. 

2 Rizo Neroulos, Histoire de f Insurrection Gricque, 93. 


A.D. I718-1S2I.] 

sultan, they were useful instruments of Catherine's policy; 
but, in possession of local privileges which, as in Chios, would 
enable them to improve their own condition, they might 
become useful subjects of the sultan, and ultimately the 
recognized heirs of the Othoman empire. At all events, they 
would be interested in opposing the progress of Russian 
despotism, and perhaps capable of making both the czarina 
and the sultan treat them with justice. In a few years the 
leading statesmen of Russia renewed their attacks on Turkey 
from motives of selfish ambition, and the Greeks again aided 
them from avarice and bigotry. Potemkin revived the 
projects of Marshal Munich ; and the Greeks were urged to 
rebel merely to distract the attention of the Othoman govern- 
ment from the northern provinces of the empire, and facilitate 
the schemes of Catherine II. to extend her dominions on the 
shores of the Black Sea. The measures adopted by Potem- 
kin with regard to Greece did not, however, originate so 
entirely from selfishness as those of Orloff. Men of talent 
were invited to Russia, employed, trusted, and promoted. 
A military school was formed, in which many young Greeks 
received their education. The pupils were selected from the 
principal families in Greece by the Russian consuls in the 
Levant ; the expenses of their voyage to Russia, and of their 
maintenance in the establishment, were defrayed by the 
empress ; and when their education was finished, they were 
employed in the army or navy, or as dragomans and consuls 
in Turkey. If want of talent or health rendered it advisable 
to send a pupil home, he was assured of Russian protection, 
and taught to consider himself a subject of Russia. The 
patronage of Potemkin drew considerable numbers of Greeks 
to Russia, where most of those who conducted themselves 
with prudence gained wealth, and some obtained high rank. 

In 1783 Catherine II. renewed her encroachments on the 
Othoman empire by assuming the absolute sovereignty of the 
Crimea. Abo ut the same time s he obtained a treaty of 
commerce from the Porte, by which the Greeks of the Archi- - 
pelag o were allo wed to make use of the Russian flag l . The 
project of conquering Constantinople became again the 
ordinary subject of conversation at court ; the Grand-duke 

1 This treaty, dated 10th June 1783, enlarged the privileges conceded by that 
of 1779. 




[Ch. V. 

Constantine was taught to speak Greek; and Catherine II. 
seems to have expected that she would be able to place the 
Byzantine crown on his head, and thus gain for Russia a 
legitimate title to bear the double-headed eagle of Rome on 
its escutcheon. The proceedings of Russia forced Sultan 
Abdul-hamid to declare war in August 1787, which he com- 
menced according to the established usage of the Othoman 
empire by sending the Russian minister to the Seven Towers. 
The military operations of the Turks were most disastrous. 
The fleet under Hassan Ghazi having entered the Liman at 
the mouths of the Bug and Dnieper, was defeated by the 
Russians with the loss of five line-of-battle ships, three 
frigates, and many smaller vessels. Hassan's proud title of 
Ghazi was forfeited, but he lost neither his courage nor his 
energy; and when he collected the remains of the powerful 
fleet with which he had left Constantinople at Sinope, the 
greatness of his misfortune tended to increase his influence 
over the minds of his countrymen, and did not diminish his 
favour with Abdul-hamid. When Selim III. mounted the 
throne, his disgrace seemed inevitable, but the new sultan 
raised him to the post of grand-vizier, and intrusted him 
with the command of the army on the Danube. Before 
the opening of the campaign of 1790 death closed his long 
and brilliant career at Shumla. 

As soon as war was declared, the agents of Russia scat- 
tered manifestoes in all parts of Greece, inviting the Christians 
to take up arms, and co-operate with the armies of the 
empress in expelling the Turks from Europe 1 . Phrases con- 
cerning ancient liberty and national independence could not, 
however, entirely efface the memory of Orloff's flight from 
Navarin. Catherine also was persuaded that the unwarlike 
Greeks of the Morea and the islands of the Archipelago 
could render no effectual assistance to her cause. Her 
agents were now instructed to rouse the warlike Albanian 
tribes in Epirus to attack their Mussulman neighbours. 
Their intrigues were successful with the Suliots, a Christian 
tribe which had always retained its arms, and preserved a 
degree of semi-independence, like the Sclavonians of Monte- 

1 Eton, Survey of the Turkish Empire, 354. See the memorial of some self- 
elected Greek deputies, who rendered homage to the Grand-duke Constantine, as 
representatives of the Greek nation. 


A.D. I7l8-l82I.] 

negro and the Greeks of Maina and Sphakia. Instigated by 
Russian emissaries, the Albanians of Suli quitted their barren 
and almost inaccessible mountains, and invaded the plains, 
carrying off the cattle, and plundering the farms of the 
Mussulman landlords and of the Christian rayahs who lived 
peaceably in the plains under Turkish domination. They 
defeated the attempts of Ali Pasha of Joannina to invade 
their mountains ; but as it was soon evident to the court of 
St. Petersburg that their power was insufficient to produce 
any diversion of importance, they were abandoned by Russia, 
and left to carry on the war they had commenced by their 
own unassisted exertions. The Empress Catherine II. had 
great reason to be dissatisfied with the results of her policy 
in Greece. She deceived the people of the country to serve 
her own political views ; her Greek agents cheated her to 
serve their private interests. They embezzled large sums of 
money, and transmitted to her ministers exaggerated accounts 
of victories achieved by small bands of Suliots, and absurd 
projects for future campaigns. Convinced at last that there 
was no hope of extending the insurrection, either by the 
forays of the Christian Albanians, or by the intrigues of 
her Greek emissaries, Catherine ceased to nourish the 
war in the Levant. The Suliots, abandoned to their fate, 
were compelled to conclude a truce with Ali Pasha, which 
their activity and valour enabled them to do on favourable 

The naval operations of this war in the Grecian seas 
were every way dishonourable to Russia. Catherine II. had 
fitted out a fleet at Cronstadt, under Admiral Greig, which 
was destined to act in the Archipelago, but a declaration of 
war against Russia by the King of Sweden prevented its 
quitting the Baltic ; and the maritime warfare in the Levant 
was confined to privateers under the Russian flag. Lambros 
Katzones, a Greek, who received the rank of major in the 
service of the empress, partly by the aid of Russia, but prin- 
cipally by the subscriptions of Greek merchants, fitted out an 
armament of twelve small vessels at Trieste. Lambros 
possessed more enthusiasm and valour than naval skill. He 
imprudently engaged an Algerine squadron, cruising off 
the coast of the Morca, and after a gallant but ineffectual 
fight, the greater part of the Greek ships were sunk, and he 




escaped with difficulty in the vessel he commanded (May 

The system of privateering to which Russia lent her flag 
was carried on with great energy, and the crews engaged in 
it were collected from every European nation. The cruisers 
being virtually released from all control, and being often 
manned by those who had long acted as pirates in the 
Levant, perpetrated the most horrible acts of cruelty. The 
unprotected and industrious Greek population of the islands 
and sea-coasts of the Othoman empire never suffered greater 
misery from the slave-dealing pirates, than were now inflicted 
on them by pretended friends under the orthodox banner of 
Russia. Greeks were on this occasion the principal agents in 
the sufferings of Greece, but those who have left us any 
memorials of this period were so ashamed of the barbarity 
of their countrymen, that they have sought to bury every 
record of these privateering expeditions in oblivion. Few 
accounts of the scenes of bloodshed enacted by the pirates 
have been preserved ; the wail of the murdered has found no 
echo, while infatuated literati have deemed it patriotic to 
represent every privateersman as a Themistocles and every 
klepht as a Leonidas. The journal of an English sailor *is 
among the few authentic records of the horrible exploits of 
these privateers l . 

In December 1788, William Davidson, a young seaman 
from the north of England, sailed from Leghorn in a pri- 
vateer, under the Russian flag, mounting twenty-two guns, 
and carrying two hundred and fifteen men. This vessel 
returned to Leghorn in August 1789, and during a cruise of 
only eight months, it captured upwards of forty vessels, and 
about fifteen hundred men perished ; a few were slain in 
battle, but far the greater part were murdered in cold 
blood on the deck of the privateer, after they had surrendered 
prisoners of war. Several Greek islands were plundered, the 
defenceless town of Caste! Rosso was taken, all the Turks in 
the place were murdered, though they offered no resistance, and 
half the houses were wantonly burned. The plunder collected 

1 Davidson's narrative in a History of Shipvrecks, edited by Cyrus Redding, 
second series. When the author first visited Greece in 1823, it was his fortune 
to meet with individuals whose testimony confirmed the fearful narrative of 


A.n. 1 718-182 1.] 

from the Greek inhabitants was very considerable, and even 
the churches were robbed of their gold and silver ornaments, 
images, and candlesticks. On some occasions the privateers 
spared Greek ships under the Turkish flag when they were 
the property of Greek merchants, but the cruelty with which 
they generally treated their prisoners requires to be described 
in the words of one of the murderers. The circumstances 
attending the capture of a Turkish galley with eighty-five 
men on board are thus narrated. The prisoners were con- 
fined all night in the hold. Many of them must have been 
Christians compelled to work at the oars. In the mornin^ 
they were brought on deck one by one, and ' their heads were 
cut off as ducks' heads are cut off at home,' says the narrator, 
'and then we threw them overboard.' This was the first time 
the whole crew were obliged to take their turn in murdering 
the prisoners, and the English at first refused ; but when the 
captain told them they were cowards, and that he could not 
believe they were really Englishmen, they did the same as 
the rest, and afterwards were even worse than the others, for 
they were always first when such work was going on. Yet 
even these privateers were not the worst robbers in the 
Grecian seas. On the coast of Maina piracy was openly 
carried on, and the pirates treated the Russian flag with no 
more respect than the Othoman, if they supposed it covered 
a rich prize. The privateer in which Davidson served fell in 
with a large ship to the west of Cerigo. It was pursued, and 
did not refuse to fight, for ' to our misfortune,' as Davidson 
says, it proved to be a celebrated pirate with thirty-two guns 
and three hundred and seventy-eight men. A severe engage- 
ment took place, which lasted more than four hours, and 
when the pirate struck to the superior discipline and the 
heavier weight of metal of the privateer, it was found 
that he had lost fifty-four men killed and forty-three 
wounded. The success of the victor was in part attributed 
to the confusion which was caused on board the pirate by 
the variety of nations composing the crew. The wounded 
were immediately put to death. Next morning the prisoners 
were examined, and when they confessed that, like their 
captors, they were in the habit of killing the crews and 
sinking the ships they took, the captain of the Graeco-Russian 
privateer, forgetful of his own conduct, told them they should 



all die by the cruellest death. He was as brutal as his word ; 
for next day he murdered them in so horrible a manner, that 
it is necessary to record the fact in the words of the eye- 
witness. His diary says: 'August $th. — We got whips on 
the mainstay, and made one leg fast to the whip, and the 
other to a ring-bolt in the deck, and so quartered them, 
and hove them overboard V The lure which enticed the 
crews of the privateers to act these scenes of horror was the 
immense booty they obtained. Each of the English sailors 
received, as his share of prize-money after the eight months' 
cruise, the sum of nine hundred and fifty dollars, about £200 

The infamous cruelties and open piracies committed under 
the Russian flag at last induced the court of St. Petersburg to 
refuse all further countenance to the privateers. Lambros, 
who had succeeded with the assistance of some Greek mer- 
chants at Trieste in fitting out a few vessels, was nevertheless 
allowed to carry the Russian flag until the end of the war ; 
but when peace was concluded, he also was compelled to 
strike it. Though disavowed by the empress, he continued to 
cruise against the Turks. Peace had turned adrift a number 
of daring seamen, and as many of these joined him, he 
resolved to hold the sea as an independent cruiser. Unfor- 
tunately, he soon found it impossible to pay his men without 
committing acts of piracy on the flags of nations who had 
it in their power to punish his misdeeds, and vengeance 
quickly followed his piracies. He made Porto Quaglio in 
Maina his naval station ; and having secured the assistance of 
the Kakovouliots, the poorest and most desperate portion of 
the population of Maina, he plundered the flag of every nation 
off Cape Matapan. Emboldened by a few months' impunity, 
he had the audacity to attack two French ships near Nauplia, 
which he burned in May 1792. As soon as the French am- 
bassador at Constantinople heard of this outrage, he sent 
information to a French squadron then cruising in the Levant, . 
which immediately joined the fleet of Hussein, the capitan- 
pasha, and sailed in pursuit of Lambros. The Greek piratical 
squadron consisted of eleven vessels. It was found anchored 
at Porto Quaglio, under the protection of batteries, which 

1 Davidson's narrative, p. 204. 


A.D. 1718-18.M.] 

Lambros supposed would be sufficient to keep the Turkish 
fleet at a distance. On the 19th of June, he was attacked by 
the Othoman licet, assisted by the French frigate La Modeste. 
The batteries in which he had trusted were soon destroyed, 
and the pirate ships, abandoned by their crews, were all cap- 
tured by the Turks, and conducted in triumph to Constan- 
tinople. Lambros escaped into the mountains, and reached 
the Ionian Islands. 

Austria joined Russia in the war against Turkey, with the 
expectation of sharing in the spoils of the Othoman empire. 
The Emperor Joseph commenced the war unjustly; his 
brother Leopold terminated it disgracefully. He concluded 
a separate peace at Sistova in 1791, which, like that of 
Belgrade, was calculated to destroy the influence of Austria 
in the East. Russia was more successful. Her arms were 
crowned with victory, but the treaty she concluded with the 
sultan at Yassi in 1792 only extended the frontier of the 
empire to the banks of the Dniester. The partition of Poland 
arrested the fall of the Othoman empire. 

The Fxench Revolution now began to exert a direct influ- 
ence _ o n eve ry nation in Europe, and to modify the pos ition 
and_£olicy of every government. Frajice_invited the people 
in every country to declare itself free and independent. These 
revolut ionary principles found an echo in the breast of every vA/Vy 
Greek ; _b ut the diffe rent classes composing the Greek nation 
were no t yet un ited by common feelings which could prod uce 
simultaneous action. The res tless presumption and envious 
disposition of the Phanariots and arehonts, the noisy cowardice 
of city mobs, and the lawless conduct of the armed moun- 
taineers, _afforded the Greeks little hope of being a ble t o 
emulate the French in their devotion to liberty and equality. 
Rhiga of Velestinos was one of the warmest partizans of the 
new revolutionary ideas. His patriotic songs and his personal 
energy have made his name dear to his countrymen. His 
enthusiasm deluded him into the belief that he could guide 
the events of his time, and avail himself of the aid of France 
as an instrument for framing Hellenic republics, and gratifying 
the dreams of ambitious pedants. The confined sphere of his 
political vision made his schemes degenerate into mere con- 
spiracies. The plots of Rhiga were betrayed to the Austrian 
police by one of his own countrymen, and the Austrian 

VOL. V. T 



government delivered him up to the Turks, who put him to 
death at Belgrade in 1797 \ 

The treaty of Campo Formio in 1797 placed the Ionian 
Islands under the dominion of France, and the Greeks be- 
came the ready instruments of French policy, as they had 
formerly been of Russian. Venice had protected her pos- 
sessions in Epirus by forming alliances with the various tribes 
of Christian Albanians who preserved their independence ; 
and the republic had systematically supported these tribes, 
particularly the Chimariots and Suliots, against the neigh- 
bouring pashas. The French adopted a different policy; 
they sought the alliance of Ali Pasha of Joannina, because 
he possessed a numerous army of hardy irregular troops, 
from which they hoped to derive assistance in their schemes 
of conquest. They allowed him, therefore, to consolidate his 
power by destroying the local independence of the dispersed 
and disunited tribes of armed Christians who had long suc- 
cessfully resisted the Othoman power. Ali, availing himself 
of these views, obtained permission from the general com- 
manding at Corfu to send troops by sea to Chimara, in order 
to reduce to obedience the inhabitants, whom he called rebel 
subjects of the Porte. The district, of which Novitza-Bouba 
and Aghio-Vasili were the principal villages, contained six 
thousand Christians, who enjoyed the same degree of partial 
independence as the Suliots. The young men were in the 
habit of entering the military service of Venice and Naples, 
and when they had saved a small sum of money, they returned 
to their native mountains and married. Their privileges had 
been protected by Venice. France allowed them to be exter- 
minated by Ali Pasha, whose troops landed in the bay of 
Lukovo, surprised the population during the Easter festivals, 
and massacred most of those able to bear arms 2 . 

In 1798 the treacherous invasion of Egypt by Napoleon 
Buonaparte caused the sultan to declare war against the 
French republic. Ali Pasha availed himself of the oppor- 
tunity to gain possession of the dependencies of the Ionian 
Islands on the continent. The French garrison at Prevesa 

1 The traitor was Demetrios Oikonomos Kozanites. Philemon, Aok'i/xiov Ictto- 

piKOV TTfpl TTjS $l\lKT)S 'ETaiptdS, p. 92. 

2 Perrhaevos, 'Iffropia tov 'Zovhiov ko.1 rfjs Uapyas, p. i ; Emerson, Modern Greece, 
ii. 436. 

PARGA, 275 

A.D. 17l8-lSjl.] 

was defeated. Vonitza, Gomenitza, and Butrinto surrendered, 
and Parga alone, of all the ancient Venetian possessions on 
the continent, repulsed the forces of the pasha and retained 
its local immunities. Even before the declaration of war the 
sultan obtained proof that the French government had sent 
emissaries into Roumelia, the Morea, and the islands of the 
Archipelago, to distribute publications inviting the inhabitants 
to revolt 1 . Russia, as well as Turkey, became alarmed lest 
the fanaticism of liberty should overpower the bigotry of 
orthodoxy. A co mmon fear of French influence in Greece 
united those apparently irreconcilable enemies, the czar and 
the sultan, in a close alliance. The first object was to expel 
the French from the Ionian Islands. In 1799 a combined 
Russian and Othoman force took possession of Corfu, and by 
a convention between the court of St. Petersburg and the 
Porte in 1800, the Ionian Islands were constituted a republic, 
while, as if to make the mockery of liberty more complete, 
this nominally independent republic was prepared to undergo 
the fate of Poland, by being placed under the joint protection 
of the two most despotic sovereigns in Europe. 

By the same convention all the Venetian possessions on the 
continent were ceded to the Porte. It- was stipulated that 
their Christian inhabitants were to enjoy every religious and 
judicial privilege possessed by the Christians of Vallachia and 
Moldavia ; a vague stipulation, which was calculated chiefly 
to authorize Russian interference and to extend Russian 
influence, but which proved of no avail as a protection to the 
inhabitants of Prevesa 2 . The Emperor of Russia, though the 
avowed champion of the orthodox, was thus the last Christian 
sovereign who voluntarily placed an orthodox population 
under Othoman domination. As the sultan was already, by 
the success of Ali Pasha, in possession of all the territory 
ceded by the convention, except Parga, Ali Pasha expected 
to gain possession of that place. But neither Russia nor 
the Porte wished to see that strong position fall into his 
hands. The people of Parga were encouraged to resist his 
attacks, while the combined fleet refused to blockade them, 

1 Rizos Neroulos, Histoire, 171; Alison's History of Europe, vol. iv. p. 188 
(People's edit.), where an extract from the Turkish manifesto is given. 

2 This convention is dated 21st March, 1800. The 8th article cedes the conti- 
nental possessions of Venice to the sultan. 

T 2 


[Ch. V. 

as they proclaimed their devotion to the sultan. Parga, from 
these circumstances, was allowed to retain its municipal inde- 
pendence, though it was regarded as henceforth forming a 
part of the Othoman empire. Russia did not take any trouble 
to exact the observance of the article in the convention which 
reserved their religious liberties to the inhabitants of the other 
Venetian possessions. 

By the treaty of Tilsit in 1807, Russia ceded the Ionian 
republic to France, and though England conquered the other 
islands, the French retained possession of Corfu until the 
peace of 1814. In 1815 the Ionian republic was revived, 
and placed under the protection of the sovereign of Great 
Britain. The convention of 1800, relating to the continental 
possessions of Venice, including Parga, was regarded as part 
of the public law of Europe, for the jealousy of Russia and 
Austria feared to leave England in possession of a fortress 
which might serve as a key to Epirus and Greece. 

When the French garrison of Corfu found that it would 
be necessary to deliver up Parga to the English, they resolved 
to prevent it falling into their hands by ceding it to AH 
Pasha. But an English force from Zante arrived in time to 
occupy it before the arrival of Ali's troops. The sultan, 
however, called on the British government to execute the 
Russian convention of 1800, and after much negotiation it 
was at last resolved in 18 19 to deliver up Parga to the Turks. 
As the hated Ali would, however, become master of the place, 
the inhabitants declared they would rather emigrate than 
become subjects of the sultan. They asked to be indemnified 
for the full value of all the property they abandoned ; and, 
by the persevering exertions of the English authorities, the 
Porte paid to them the sum of £150,000, which was divided 
among them according to the valuation of their property. 
There is no doubt that the pecuniary indemnity was most 
liberal, but many of the poorer classes, possessing no pro- 
perty, received no indemnity, and all who emigrated were loud 
in their complaints of English policy, which had condemned 
them to become exiles. In vain they enjoyed protection and 
the liberty of complaint in the Ionian Islands ; every tongue 
in Europe was loud in reproaching England for consenting 
to fulfil the convention of 1800, and compelling the inhabit- 
ants of Parga to forsake the tombs of their ancestors, and 


a.d. 1 7 1 s i8ai.] 

change their municipal existence and ancestral name, for the 
rights and the name of citizens of the Ionian republic '. 
Perhaps public opinion is not unjust when it blames the 
acts of a free government for violations of the principles of 
abstract justice, which it would praise as wise and politic 
measures if they were adopted by a despotic prince. Men 
habitually arraign the free before the tribunal of equity ; 
slaves and despots they judge by the exigencies of expediency 
and policy. Truth and justice ought always to penetrate to 
the hearts of freemen, but they are not expected to find an 
echo in the breasts of princes and statesmen. The severe 
critici.-mi of English policy is the eulogy of English liberty. 
The conduct of the English government in the Ionian Islands 
has, however, neither been wise nor liberal : though it has 
administered justice with equity and protected industry and 
commerce, it long opposed the liberty of the press. The 
chief ground of its unpopularity nevertheless is, that it has 
checked the movements of those who desired to cause an 
insurrection of the Greeks in Turkey. This duty has rendered 
it unpopular with every party in Eastern Europe. The 
Ionians themselves cared little for trade, but they were zealous 
partizans of Russian policy and of orthodox bigotry. But 
the inhabitants of the Ionian Islands have no good reason 
to complain, for if the English government has not performed 
its duty, the nobles and the people of the Ionian Islands 
have completely neglected theirs. They have not availed 
themselves of the liberty they have so long enjoyed for 
improving their moral condition, and for attaining a moral 
and intellectual superiority over the other Greeks who were 
subject to the sultan. All foreign domination appears to have 
exerted a baneful influence on Greek morality. It has always 
found them ready to become servile instruments and secret 
traitors. In the Ionian Islands the moral condition of the 
people, when they passed under the protection of the sovereign 
of Great Britain, was much worse than that of the Greeks 

1 The enemies of England endeavour to make her conduct appear more odious 
by representing I'arga as a free republic, which it never was. Foscolo, Delle 
fortune e delle cessioui Ji Parga. [Some of the details of this cession, which were 
of the most tragical character, and must always he painful to an Englishman, are 
given in the account of the proceeding in Alison's History of Europe from [815 10 
.. vol. iii. pp. S6-88. The feeling of the inhabitants is well expressed in the 
Greek ballads on the subject; Passow, Popnlaria Carmina Graeciae recen.uoris, 
Nos. 222-224. E°d 


[Ch. V. 

under the Turkish domination. Their communal institutions 
were only administrative facilities modelled by a foreign 
central authority. When the islands were first occupied by 
the French, assassination was the commonest crime, and it 
was a popular saying that there was a murder for every day 
in the year 1 . 

A great^m^^vement_took place in the material condition 
of the Greek nation after t he p eace of Yassi. Great social 
changes were exerting their operation on the Othoman govern- 
ment as well as on the Greek people. The sultan was impelled, 
by the necessity of self-defence, even more than by the desire 
all sovereigns feel to centralize power in their own hands, to 
destroy the ancient fabric of the Othoman state institutions, 
which time and individual corruption had already undermined. 
The cruel use the pashas made of the absolute power dele- 
gated to them ; the rapacity of the fiscal agents of government ; 
the venality of the Ulema ; the selfishness of the timariots, 
and the anarchical insolence of the janissaries, rendered these 
classes equally hateful to the sultan and to the people, and 
marked them out for destruction. The Othoman sultans had 
to attempt the double task of saving their empire from dis- 
memberment, and of destroying the institutions which had 
long formed the barriers against its dismemberment. The 
Greeks ca ught som e of the enthusiasm in favour of liberty, 
ind epend ence, and the rights of man,, propagated over Europe 
by the Fr ench Revolution. A r eminisce nce of Hellenic glory 
^ ^ ' was jreyived ; the educated classes taught the people that they 
were Greeks and not Romans, and began to inculcate the 
duty of laying aside the national appellation of Romaioi 
and resuming the name of Hellenes._^Th£_pj|ojec^qfregaining 
their— political independence was no longer circumscribed to 
a_Xew thoughtful and aspiring men ; it became the very object 
of existence to numbers engaged in t he pu rsuits of active 
life , in eve ryrank of society. ^ The socia l position)of the mass 
of the Greek jpj^u]ation explains the faci lity with which it 
/\J\j v ./ was infl uenced by the revolutionary ideas of the French. 
The Otlim nan government, t h ough in some respe cts the most 
tyrannical in _JEurope, was in others the most toler ant. It_ 
fettered the body, but it l eft the__jnind free. The lower 

1 Holland's Travels, p. 23. 

V Wy 


AD. I7l8-l8ai.] 

orders of its Christian subjects were in general possessed of 
more intellectual cultivation than the corresponding ranks 
of society in other parts of Europe. The Greeks were neither 
industrial slaves nor agricultural serfs; their labour was both 
more free an d more valuable, and their civil rights were as 
great a s those of the same class, even in France, before the \/ 
Revolutio n. The Othoman gov ernment corrupted the higher 
classes of the Greeks more than it oppre ssed the lower. The ^ 
cruelty and injustice of the Turks were irregularly exercised, 
and were more galling than oppressive. T owards the end 
of the eighte enth century the burden of the Othoman domi- 
nation was so much lightened that the Greeks became an 
improving nation. They possessed a numerous body of small ^ v 
peasant-proprietors of landTwhom circumstances often enabled 
to better their condition ; and in the towns an industrious 
populat ion of labou rers and traders was supported and pro- 
tejc^ed_byabody of wealthy merchants often enjoying foreign 
prote ction. A numerous maritime population of Christians, 
partly consisting of Greeks, and partly of Albanians, also 
tended to give the Greeks a considerable degree of personal 
independence. The Turkish peasant and trader suffered quite 
as much from fiscal exactions as the Greek, and the political 
obstacles to his rise in the social scale were generally greater. 
Few native Turks of the provinces ever acquired as much 
influence over the public administration as was systemati- 
cally and .permanently exercised by the Phanariots. The 
local authorities of the Mussulman population in the rural 
districts rarely possessed the same power of defending the 
people from injustice as, and they certainly possessed fewer 
rights and privileges than, the Greek communities. It is not, 
therefore, surprising that the Greeks were superior in social 
and political civilization to the Turks. The fact was gene- 
rally perceived, and a Greek revolution was consequently 
regarded as an event which must occur at no very distant 
date, both by the Christian and Mussulman population of 
the Othoman empire, at the commencement of the nineteenth 
century. In the ordinary course of human affairs it was 

But unless some closer bonds had united the dispersed 
members of the Greek nation than those by which they 
had hitherto been connected, it may be questioned whether 



[Ch. V. 

the revolutionary movement could have proved successful. 
Some spiritual tie was required to infuse a common feeling 
of national enthusiasm more powerful than the formal cere- 
monial of the orthodox church, or the ecclesiastical influence 
of the clergy, which had too long been an instrument of 
Othoman domination, and which seemed more inclined to 
transfer the allegiance of the people from the sultan to the 
czar, than to aid a struggle for liberty. The future prospects 
of a Greek Church in an independent State did not offer 
an inviting field for clerical ambition, compared with the 
magnificent vista opened to episcopal imaginations by an 
orthodox hierarchy under Russian domination. Various causes, 
however, tended to centralize those feelings of nationality 
which the church neglected to cultivate. We have already 
mentioned that the corrupting influence of the Phanariot 
system tended to this object. The hope of attaining the high 
rank to which the Chiot Mavrocordatos, and the Mykoniot 
Mavroyeni, had risen, drew aspirants for political employ- 
ment to Constantinople from every corner of the empire where 
Greek was spoken. Xlie_direetjd^p^ejidence of_a_con_siderahle 
port ion of Greece on the capitan-pasha united a large popu-_ 
lation b y common interests and ideas in administrative affairs. 
It is true tha tjt he ce ntralization thus formed tended to corrupt 
V \/ \<\ the higher cla sses as much as to unite the pe ople ; but the 
influence of the Phanariots was not more demoralizing than 
that of the patriarchate, while the separation effected between 
the political and ecclesiastical classes caused collisions of 
interest and personal disputes, which awakened the attention 
and enlightened the minds of the many. The Greeks were 
thu s taught to p erceive that their interests as a nation were 
/ not, always identical with the policy of_theh^c]erg)'. 

The extensio n of Greek commerce tended also to develope 
jdiej£eIings._Qf_national union. The active trade which the 
Greeks and Albanians carried on over the whole surface of 
the Mediterranean, nourished a healthier spirit of central- 
ization than the allurements of Phanariot protection, and 
the profits of office in the service of the sultan. This 
influence of Greek commerce dates from the conclusion of 
the commercial treaties between Russia and the Porte in 
1779 and 1783, which enabled the orthodox subjects of the 
sultan to obtain the protection of the Russian flag. Even 



A.D. I7l8-l8ai.] 

before the conclusion of the first of these treaties, ten Greek 
vessels, laden with wine from the islands of the Archipela 
had entered the Russian ports in the sea of Azof in one year, 
The treaty of Yassi enabled Russia to increase still further 
the number of her protected subjects in Turkey, and even to 
secure to Greek subjects of the sultan the fullest protection 
for their property under the Russian flag '. 

Fortunately for the commerce of the Greeks, the Othoman 
government was enabled to maintain its neutrality during the 
greater part of the wars in which the French Revolution 
involved the powers of Europe. Gr£ek_merchants visited 
ports in the Mediterranean closed against ever)- flag but 
that oi the sultan, and the profits of their commerce were 
imm ense. The manufacturers of Adrianople, and of the 
mountain village of Ambelakia on Mount Ossa, sent cotton 
fabrics, dyed with the rich colour called Turkey red, even 
to England -. The Greeks of the island of Psara, and of 
the town of Galaxidhi in the Corinthian Gulf, and the 
Albanians of the islands of Hydra and Spetzas, carried on 
an extensive commerce in their own ships. Many of the 
sailors were part proprietors both of the ship and cargo, 
and united the occupations of capitalists and sailors. All 
shared in the profits of the voyage. Their extensive com- 
mercia l enterprises exercised a direct influence on the great 
body of the Greek population, which dwells, in general, near 
the sea-coast. Tales of distant lands visited, of dangers 

1 Rizos Neroulos. Histoire, 125 ; Castera, Histoire de Catherine II.. ii. 210. 

2 At the end of the last century there were twenty-four dyeing establishments at 
Ambelakia, and the population amounted to four thousand persons. For a time 
the inhabitants, capitalists and workmen, formed a general stock company, with 
several subordinate branches, but the family education of Chios was wanting, and 
the selfishness which is a prominent characteristic of the modem 1 duced 
many who had more money or more skill to separate their interests from the rest. 
Dissensions and intrigues arose even in this mountain-village society, and the 
mutual envy of the Greeks themselves ruined this once flourishing spot. Beaujour, 
Tableau du Commerce de la Grice, i. 274. [Other accounts of the remarkable 
manufacturing communities of Ambelakia will be found in Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. 
p. 2S5, and Leake's Northern Gre.ce, vol. iii. p. ii these travellers, as 
well as Beaujour, visited the place when it was at the height of its prosperity. 
Colonel Leake, with his accustomed admirable accuracy, has given details respect- 
ing the process of dyeing pursued there, and statistics as to the exports and the 
system on \.hich the trade was managed. Other causes besides home dissensions 
contributed to ruin the community— the increasing scarcity of madder, commercial 
failures in Germany, the Spinning-jennies of England, and the Greek Revolution. 
But the speedy collapse of such a community is not so much a cause of wonder as 
the fact of its having existed at all in a place which possessed no natural advan- 
tages, and under a system which presupposed extraordinary disinterestedness and 
concord. Ed.] 



successfully encountered, and of wealth rapidly acquired, were 
repeated even in the secluded villages of the mountains. 
Examples of penniless adventurers becoming richer than 
pashas were daily witnessed. The ideas of the people were 
enlarged ; they knew that order reigned in many countries ; 
their hopes of improving their condition were awakened ; 
they heard that security of property prevailed, and justice 
was impartially administered, in most Christian states ; and 
the determination to vindicate for themselves these advantages 
was silently formed. Gradually the conviction was everywhere 
felt that this could only be effected by recovering their national 

The corruption of the Othoman government introduced 
many vices into the commercial system of the Levant, which 
nourished fraud, and invited the Greeks to degrade their 
character by habitual dishonesty. A Greek subject of the 
sultan was subjected to higher duties than a foreigner, or a 
Greek enjoying foreign protection. To carry on his business 
profitably, he was consequently compelled to find some 
means of cheating the Othoman government out of the 
differential duty imposed by its ignorance and injustice. 
The fiscal corruption of the Othoman administration intro- 
duced the practice of the sultan granting special exemptions 
from extraordinary taxes to many of his subjects. This 
privilege was conceded to Christians who enjoyed the favour 
of the sultan or his ministers, and was gradually extended 
until it placed them in fiscal matters in the same position 
as the subjects of Christian princes most favoured by their 
commercial treaties with the Porte. Firmans, in this sense, 
were granted to rayahs, called barrats 1 . The abuse was 
carried so far that it became customary for the Turkish 
government to bestow forty of these barrats as a gift on 
every new ambassador when he arrived at Constantinople. 
The ministers of the sultan, and the Phanariots in high office, 
made a traffic of these immunities. The dragomans of 
foreign embassies, the consuls, and even the ambassadors 
themselves, were accused of selling these barrats to the 
Greeks. The Russian legation systematically extended its 

1 The privilege most valued by the vain Phanariots was that of dressing like 
Mussulmans and wearing yellow slippers. 


A.D. I718-1S21.] 

influence by availing itself of this corruption of the Othomail 
administration. It procured as many barrats as possible, it 
granted passports to Greek subjects of the sultan as if they 
were Russians, and it authorized Greek vessels to hoist the 
Russian flag. 

The capitan-pasha, Hussein, who effected great reforms in 
the Othoman naval administration after the peace of Yassi, 
always protected the Greeks who sailed under the Turkish 
flag. During his long and liberal administration, the Alba- 
nians of Hydra and Spetzas found it more advantageous 
to sail under the Othoman flag than under the Russian. 
Hussein had two hundred Christian Albanian sailors from 
Hydra on board the three-decker which carried his flag in 
the year 1797 \ He was particularly attentive to the ship- 
ping of Hydra, which increased and prospered under his 
protection. After Hussein's death, the disorder that prevailed 
in the naval administration revived the exactions of subor- 
dinates and local pashas, and the Christians in Turkey again 
endeavoured to protect their property under the Russian flag. 
It is needless to dwell on the evils of a political system in 
which corruption alone afforded the means of escape from 

In the darkest periods of their national existence the Greeks 
continued to feel the influence of literature. The greatest of 
the Iconoclast emperors feared John Damascenus. Yet the 
influence of Greek literature was for ages unfavourable to the 
progress of society. It is reasonable to complain of its nature 
during many centuries, but it is an error to suppose that; 
learning entirely failed among the Greeks at any period of J 
their history. The Greek clergy always kept up a competent ; 
knowledge of the ancient language, though their schools 
conveyed very little instruction to the mass of the people. 
During the Othoman domination, it is probable that the 
proportion of Greeks who could read and write was as great 
as in any other European nation ; and every Greek who could 
write had some faint knowledge of Hellenic literature. When 

the Greek mind ^ theref ore, began to emancipate itself from 
ecclesiastical trammels, education became the purest and 
most po^verTuTmstrument of national centralization. Schools 

1 Antouios Miaoolis (son of the admiral), 't-nojjyrjua vtpi rijs vfjaov"fSfias, p. II, 




[Ch. V. 

were very generally established, and the difficulties which 
both the founders and the scholars of these schools met with 
in their pursuit of knowledge increased their zeal. The 
progress of the modern Greeks in intellectual culture does 
not require to be traced in detail. A chronological enumera- 
tion of the schools established, and a list of the names of 
individuals who devoted their lives to teaching, would cause 
a grateful throb in the heart of every patriotic Greek, but 
the history of the nation only requires us to record the result. 
That result is attested by the formation of a common literary 
dialect of the modern language, which served as the means of 
uniting the ideas of the people. The literary progress of the 
modern Greeks must not be measured by a comparison with 
the standard of knowledge of Greek literature in Western 
Europe. The Greeks were unable to throw light on the 
topography of their native land, or to extend the interpreta- 
tion of the language of their ancestors ; but they made their 
written language an instrument of national centralization 
distinct from all provincial dialects, yet intelligible and 
harmonious to every Greek. 

Every fact relating to a language which has given its form 
and character to the literature of Europe and America, must 
be deeply interesting to the student of Greek political history ; 
but the subject demands a chapter, not a paragraph. _The 
great fe at ure of the revival of m odern literary cultivation 
was the emancipation of the Greek mind from ecclesiastical 
subjection. Tjg _ effec t this it was necessary to abandon 
the language of ecclesiastical literature, and give_a litera ry 
character to the language used by the people. Two indi- 
viduals, Eugenios and Koraes, distinguished themselves as 
active instruments in this great and noble undertaking. They 
united the Greeks by intellectual ties far stronger than 
the bonds which Turkish domination had laid on the clergy K 

Eugenios Bulgares of Corfu was the first reformer of the 
ecclesiastical system of education, which had perpetuated 
Byzantine pedantry in the schools, and ecclesiastical servility 

1 Some interesting observations on the living language of the Greeks have been 
published by Professor Blackie of Edinburgh, the translator of Aeschylus, who 
unites sound sense with profound learning. I must also refer to the admirable 
little dissertation, entitled Romaic and Modern Greek compared with one another and 
with Ancient Greek, by Dr. James Clyde, from whom I borrow the selection of 
Eugenios and Koraes as the prototypes of modern Greek literature. 


A.n. 1 7 1 s t8ai.] 

in politics. He taught at Joannina, at Mount Athos, and at 

Constantinople ; but his reforms in the ancient system of 

education, and his pleadings in favour of religious toleration, 
alarmed the clergy 1 . He was silenced by the ecclesiastical 
and Phanariot influence, which supported the sultan's authority. 
In 1775 he was invited to Russia, and raised to the bishopric 
of Sclavonia and Kherson. Eugenios was the first scholar 
who employed a style generally intelligible, in a serious work, 
addressed to all classes-. His tract on religious toleration 
was considered a revolutionary production by the ecclesias- 
tical part}-, which maintained its supremacy at Constantinople 
under the sultan's protection. Anthimus, the patriarch of 
Jerusalem, accordingly endeavoured to apply an antidote, 
and in 179S he printed a work at the Greek press of Constan- 
tinople, in which he congratulated the Greeks on having 
escaped the artifices of the devil, who had enticed the 
Catholics, the Lutherans, the Calvinists, and various other 
sects, into the path of perdition. He told them, that when 
the last emperors of Constantinople began to subject the 
Oriental Church to papal thraldom, the particular favour of 
Heaven raised up the Othoman empire to protect the Greeks 
against heresy, to be a barrier against the political power of 
the Western nations, and to be the champion of the Orthodox 

Koraes, a native of Chios, but who fixed his abode at 
Paris, was the great popular reformer of the Greek system 
of instruction, the legislator of the modern Greek language, 
and the most distinguished apostle of religious toleration and 
national freedom. He was a firm opponent of the Orthodox 
bigotry which would have enslaved Greece to Russia, and 
of the Phanariot servility which supported the Othoman 
domination. His residence in France protected him from 
those whose interests he assailed, and he was personally 
endowed with all the qualities which gave authority to his 
teaching. He was indifferent to wealth, honest and in- 
dependent, a sincere patriot, and a profound scholar. Unlike 

1 [On Mount Athos Eugenios Bulgares established a large school with extensive 
buildings, the ruins of which remain on a hill above the monastery of Vatopedi. 
For some time it was attended by numerous scholars, but the atmosphere of 
monasticism proved unfavourable to it. I i. 

- See the passage in Leake, Researches in Greece, 193; and compare the notice 
of Eugenios in Clyde, Romaic and Modern Greek, 48. 


[Ch. V. 

his countrymen, the Chiots, who are generally as remarkable 
for avidity as for industry, he passed his life in independent 
poverty, in order that he might consecrate his whole time, 
and the undivided strength of his mind, to improve the moral 
and political feelings of the Greeks. His efforts have not 
been fruitless. He methodized the literary language of his 
countrymen, while he infused into their minds principles of 
true liberty and purejiiorality. His influence on the men 
who participated in the Greek Revolution was so great, 
that no political history of Greece would be complete which 
omitted to name Adamantios Koraes as one of those who 
contributed to establish the national independence 1 . 

The fact that the Greeks have hitherto made greater 
progress in regenerating their language than in improving 
their moral condition, must be attributed to the superiority 
of the material on which they worked. The language re- 

Vtained its ancient structure and grammar ; the people had 
lost their ancient virtues and institutions. Literary eminence 
may be attained in retirement, where feeble men can write 
under the guidance of reason alone ; but moral superiority 
can only be displayed and acquired amidst the temptations 
and the duties of active life. 

We have seen that the two earliest institutions tending 
to national centralization after the Othoman conquest — the 
patriarchate of Constantinople and the official aristocracy 
— were employed by the sultan's government as instruments 
/ / ! for enslaving the Greeks. Even the centralization effected 
by the cultivation of the language and the creation of a 
m odern Greek literature might have b een pressed into the 
service of bigotry and despotism, had the influence of the 
French Revolution not counterbalanced that of orthodox 
Russia, and infused the love of freedom into the popular 
mind. The Greek language was saved, by this alliance 
with mental liberty, from becoming an instrument of priests 
and princes, and perpetuating an existence, which, like a 
national dress or a national music, might form an interesting 
subject of study for an antiquary, but could add little to 
the strength, virtue, or political improvement of the people. 

1 See the Biography of Koraes, also the sketch of his philological influence, in 
Clyde, 49. 



Indeed, had alarge pa.cLof.fiip Grppl--pnpul:it;, l n not enjoye d 
jriu nicipal rights \yhich_enablcd them to feci the spirit of 
independencc\, ,u\l\ to labour to better their own condition, 
the impr ovement of the language would have remained a 
barren fact. It was the municipal a ctivity which displayed 
itself at Chios, at Am belakia, at Galaxidhi and at Psara, 
that gave to the literary centralization of language its political 
power . The same municipal institutions and religious feelings 
drew the Albanian population of Hydra and Spetzas within 
the circle of Greek centralization, though they remained long 
without the sphere of Greek literary influence. The local 
energies and local patriotism of all the Christian munici- 
palities in the Othoman empire could readily unite in 
opposition to Othoman oppression, whenever a connecting 
link to centralize their efforts could be created. In these 
local institutions the foundation was laid for a federal union 
of all the Orthodox races in European Turkey, which time 
may perhaps consolidate if they can escape from the 
bureaucratic power of Continental centralization. The 
vigorous Albanians of Hydra, the warlike Albanians of 
Suli, the persevering Bulgarians of Macedonia, and the 
laborious Vallachians on the banks of the Aspropotamos, 
embarked in the struggle for Greek independence as heartily 
as the posterity of the ancient inhabitants of the soil of 
Hellas. Ecclesiastical ties greatly facilitated this union, 
but the\' neither created the impulse towards indepe ndence , 
nor infused the enthusiasm which secured success. The 
first step to national liberty in modern Greece, as in every 
country which has made any considerable advance in 
improving the condition of the mass of the inhabitants, 
was made in the municipalities. They were the political 
soul of the nation. 

Too great influence has been generally ascribed to the 
clergy and to ecclesiastical literature in preserving national 
feelings, and too great merit is attributed to the popular 
songs, as well as too much influence, in forming the character 
of the people. Ecclesiastical learning was so deeply tinctured 
with pedantry as to be generally unintelligible ; it spoke in a 
language which few understood. The popular songs neither 
possessed the poetic feeling nor those general expressions of 
human sympathies which exert a strong and permanent 



[Ch. V. 

influence on every rank of society. The Greeks had no 

poetry which the mother taught her child alike in the 

palace on the shores of the Bosphorus and in the cottage 

on the banks of the Alpheus \ 

In thej nean time the most striking feature jn the p olitical 

state of Greece, at the opening of the nineteenth century, 

was the decline of the Othoman empire. The sultan's 

administration was every day growing weaker and more 

exclusively fiscal. The Turks were dw in dling away under 

t he ope ration of social and political corruption^ The primary 

object of the government appeared to be, to draw money to 

Constantinople without reference to the manner in which 

it was to be expended. The most oppressive exactions of 

pashas were winked at, in order to share the profits of their 

injustice. Yet while the authority of the sultan was weakened 

and the power of the empire declined, the influence of the 

central executive administration was absolutely augmented 

by the social changes which time had produced in the 

Mohammedan population. Every barrier which privilege 

and class had once opposed to the exercise of arbitrary 

power had vanished. The Ulema, by corruption and venality, 

had forfeited all influence over the people, and formed no 

longer a systematic check on the executive. The janissaries 

had ceased to be regular troops. They were a mere 

Mussulman city-guard, an ill-organized militia, without 

discipline or tactics. The old Turkish feudal militia, the 

provincial timariots, were too poor and dependent to oppose 

the pashas and the central government. They had fallen 

so completely from their ancient position, that they generally 

sought employment as farmers of the public revenues, or as 

mere tax-gatherers. The only manifestation of their former 

1 [Throughout these histories the Author has spoken of the poetical compositions 
of mediaeval and modern Greece in depreciating terms, which, if they are 
estimated, as they ought to be, apart from a classical standard, I think they 
hardly deserve. Many of the popular songs are beautiful (Goethe, at least, 
thought so), and many have had a very wide oral circulation throughout the 
country, and have certainly exercised great influence. This has been the geneial 
opinion ; and the latest writer on modern Greek history, Karl Mendelssohn Bar- 
tholdy, in his Gesch.ich.le Griecherdands von der Eroberung Konstantinopels diirch 
die Turken bis avj unsere Tage (vol. i. p. 22) says of the popular poetry — ' Sie 
war es, die den Protest gegen die bestehende Knechtschaft nie verstummen liess.' 
They were, however, of spontaneous growth, and must not be regarded as a 
product of education, though they are an evidence of the intelligence of the 
people. Ed.] 


A.D. I7l8-l821.] 

influence was displayed in their readiness to join any pasha or 
local leader in rebellion. 

The increase_of the power of the pashas is the char- 
acteristic of the period immediately preceding the Greek 
JR^yolution. The progress of society had swept away the 
mediaeval privileges of Mohammedanism, and the pashas 
intrusted with the sultan's delegated power enjoyed the fruits 
of the change, and were absolute monarchs in their provinces. 
This phasis of administrative government repeats itself in 
all despotisms, and generally leads to the dismemberment 
of large empires. The caliphates of Damascus, Bagdad, and 
Cordova, the Seljouk empire of the Great Sultan, and the 
Seljouk empire of Roum, all fell to pieces from this cause. 
Th e weakness o f the central authority enabled the governors 
of provinces to found independent States. The Othoman 
empire, towards the end of the eighteenth century, had 
reached this crisis of its existence. Many pashas seemed on 
the eve of founding independent dynasties. A succession of 
rebellions, though they were all eventually suppressed, seemed 
only to open a field for new and more powerful rebels. Not 
to speak of the deys of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers, who 
rendered their governments virtually independent, Pashvan 
Oglou at Vidin, Djezzar Pasha at Acre, Ali Bey in Egypt, 
long ruled almost as independent sovereigns. At a later 
period, Ali Pasha of Joannina was rather a tributary prince 
than a dependent pasha ; and Mehemet Ali of Egypt at last 
became the founder of a dynasty. 

This feature in the state of society must not be overlooked 
in examining the social and political causes which produced 
the Greek Revolution. The tendency to dismember the I 
Qthoman empire was shown by the Arab population in Syria 
and Egypt, and by the Albanians in Epirus, as well as by 
the Christians in Greece and Servia. The increased authority 
of the central government enabled the sultan ultimately to 
crush his rebellious pashas, and restore the integrity of the 
Othoman empire. But in Greece and Servia, where the 
struggle was one for national independence and religious 
liberty, the cause of the people was victorious, the Othoman 
empire was dismembered, and two new States were added to 
Christian Europe. 

The career of the Othoman conquerors in Greece was 

VOL. v. u 




[Ch. V. 

now terminated. They were themselves involved in a 

struggle to maintain their national existence against political 

anarchy and external attacks. But their domination in 

Greece had not been without its use ; it had accomplished 

a task which neither the Roman power nor the Orthodox 

Church had effected ; it had nationalized the Greeks, and 

compressed their various communities into one body. A 

great cycle in the history of Greece was completed. The 

tribe of Othman had fulfilled its mission in Hellas, and it 

was now to depart from the land, like the Romans, the 

Crusaders, and the Venetians. 

On the other hand, the desire of civil liberty had already 
germinated in the modern Greek nation which the Othoman 
rule had formed. Political institutiojis_ jrf a permanent 
c harac ter existed, and were rapidly giving a new organic 
form to Greek society. Communities and municipalities. 
governed by established l aws and usages, secured a basis for 
popular self-government. Provincial assemblies for fiscal 
purposes, though used only as instruments of Othoman 
oppression, afforded the means of connecting local liberties 
with national centralization. Throughout the East it was 
felt that the hour of a great struggle for independence on 
the part of the Greeks had arrived. The Greek Revolution 
was a social and political necessity. Nation al soverei gnty 
i s an inheren t right of the people, as civil liberty isjif_the 
individual. Men know instinctively that there are conditions 
and times when the rebellion of subject nations and of 
disfranchised citizens becomes a duty. ' The liberties of 
nations are from God and nature, not from kings and govern- 
ments.' The whole history of the Othoman domination in 
Greece attests that the Greeks were perpetually urged, by 
every feeling of religion and humanity, to take up arms 
against their tyrants. The dignity of man called upon 
them to efface the black stain of their long submission to 
the tribute of Christian children from the character of the 
Hellenic race by some act of self-sacrifice. 

Though the Othoman government had relaxed its fetters' 
on the minds and bodies of the Greeks at the commence- 
ment of the nineteenth century, it was still a powerful and 
dangerous enemy. The sultan was engaged in a struggle 
to centralize the administration of his empire ; and if his 


A.D. I 7l8-l82I.] 

endeavours had been crowned with success before the Greeks 
succeeded in establishing their independence, new bonds 
would have been imposed on them, which would have re- 
strained their movements as effectually as their former chains. 
The patriarch and the synod, the princes of the Phanar and 
the provincial primates, were always ready to serve as the 
agents of the sultan. It is therefore needless to justify the 
Greek Revolution. The time was well chosen. The act was 
th e natural result of human sympathies,. The growth of 
popular intelligence, and the developmen t of moral, political, 
and religious feeling in every class of society, made the yoke 
of the Mohammedans insupportable. To others the increased 
strength of the slave might make the fetters which he wore 
appear light ; but it was his growth that really rendered 
them the cause of intolerable torture. The Greeks arrogated 
to themselves the highest rank among the Christian races 
under Mohammedan domination. It was consequently their 
duty to stand forward as the champions of civil liberty and 
Christian philanthropy. 

U a 


List of the Othomax Sultans. 

Othman, from the death of the last Seljouk Sultan 

of Roum or Iconium . 
Orkhan, son of Othman . . . . 

Murad I., son of Orkhan . 
Bayezid I., son of Murad I. 

Interregnum under Suleiman, Musa, ami 
Isa, sons of Bayezid I. 
Mohammed I., son of Bayezid I. . 
Murad II., son of Mohammed I. . 
Mohammed II., son of Murad II. . 
Bayezid II., son of Mohammed II. 
Selim I., son of Bayezid II. 
Suleiman I., the Legislator, son of Selim I. 
Selim II., son of Suleiman I. 
Murad III., son of Selim II. 
Mohammed III., son of Murad III. 
Achmet I., son of Mohammed III. 
Mustapha I., son of Mohammed III. (dethroned) 
Othman II., son of Achmet I. (strangled) . 
Second reign of Mustapha I. (dethroned) . 
Murad IV., son of Achmet I. 
Ibrahim, son of Achmet I. (dethroned) 
Mohammed IV., son of Ibrahim (dethroned) 
Suleiman II., son of Ibrahim 
Achmet II., son of Ibrahim 

Mustapha II., son of Mohammed IV. (dethroned) 
Achmet III, son of Mohammed IV. (dethroned) 

A.D. A.D. 

1307 to 1325 
1325— J 359 

1359 — 1 389 
1389— 1402 

1 421 - 

M .") i - 

1481 - 






1603 ■ 

1 6 1 7 ■ 


1622 ■ 









I45 1 
• 1730 


Mahmud I., son of Mustapha II. . 
Othman III., son of Mustapha II. . 
Mustapha III., son of Achmet III. 
Abdul-hamid, son of Achmet III. . 
Selim III., son of Mustapha III. (dethroned) 
Mustapha IV., son of Abdul-hamid (dethroned) 
Mahmud II., son of Abdul-hamid . 
Abdul-Medjid, son of Mahmud II. 
Abdul-Aziz, son of Mahmud II. 


1730 to 1754 
1754 — 1757 
1757 — 1774 
1774 — 1789 
1789 — 1807 

1807 — 1808 

1808 — 1839 
1839 — 1861 
!86i — 1876 

List of Signors of Myttlene of the Family of Gattilusio. 

A. D. 

1. Francis I. ..... 1355 

2. Jacobus, son of Francis I., was Signor in 1395. 

Ducas, p. 52, edit. Bonn. Le livre des faicts 

du bon Messire Jean le Maingre dit 

Boucicaut, Pt. i. c. xxviii. Paul Jovis, 

Turcic. rerum comment. ; Bajazeies I. 
A brother of Jacobus, named Nicolezo, was 

Signor of Ainos. Codinus, De officiis 

et officialibus curiae et ecclesiae Constan- 

tinopolitanae ; 415, edit. Paris. 

3. Francis II. Codinus, 415, edit. Paris. 

4. Dorinus, brother of Francis II. (?) . . . 1455 

Signor of Mytilene (Lesbos), Lemnos, and 
Phocaea. Ducas, 328, edit. Bonn. 
Chalcocondylas, 249, edit. Paris. 

5. Dominicus or Kyriakos, son of Dorinus . 1455 to 1458 

Murdered by his brother Nicolas. Ducas, 
328, 346 ; Italian translation, 503, 511, 
edit. Bonn. Chalcocondylas, 277, edit. 

6. Nicolas, brother of Dominicus . . . 145810 1462 

Surrendered Mytilene to Mohammed II.; 
embraced Islam, and was soon after 
strangled by order of the sultan. 

See Memoir on the Coins of the Gattilusii, by Julius Friedlander, in 
Beitr'dge zur 'dltern Munzkunde, by Pinder and Friedlander; Berlin, 




List of Phanariot Voivodes or Hospodars of Vallachia 
and Moldavia. 


716. Nicolas Mavrocordatos I. 

717. John Mavrocordatos I. 
719. Nicolas Mavrocordatos I. 
731. Constantine Mavrocordatos I. 
733- Gregorios Ghika I. 

735- Constantine Mavrocordatos I. 
741. Michael Rakoviza I. 
744. Constantine Mavrocordatos I. 
748. Gregorios Ghika I. 

752. Matthew Ghika I. 

753. Constantine Rakoviza I. 
756. Constantine Mavrocordatos I. 
758. Skarlatos Ghika I. 

761. Constantine Mavrocordatos I. 

763. Constantine Rakoviza I. 

764. Stephen Rakoviza. 

765. Skarlatos Ghika I. 

766. Alexander Ghika. 
768. Gregorios Ghika II. 


1 709. Nicolas Mavrocordatos I. 

1 716. Michael Rakoviza I. 

1 7 -: 7- Gregorios Ghika the elder. 

Constantine Mavrocordatos I. 

1 735- Gregorios Ghika I. 

1741. Constantine Mavrocordatos I. 

174.V John Mavrocordatos II. 

1747. Grcgorios Ghika I. 

1748. Constantine Mavrocordatos I. 

1749. Constantine Rakoviza I. 
1753. Matthew Ghika I. 

1756. Constantine Rakoviza I. 

1757. Skarlatos Ghika I. 
'7. ;S - John Th. Kallimaki. 

1 761. Gregorios Kallimaki I. 

1764. Gregorios Ghika II. 

1766. Gregorios Kallimaki I. 

1769. Constantine Mavrocordatos I. 

Military occupation of the two provinces by the Russians from 
1770 to 1774. 

1774. Alexander Hypsilanti I. 

1778. Nicolas Karadja. 

1 783. Michael Soutzo I. 

1 7S6. Nicolas Mavroyeni. 

1774. Gregorios Ghika II. 

1777. Constantine Mourouzi. 

1782. Alexander Mavrocordatos I. 

1785. Alexander Mavrocordatos II. 

1787. Alexander Hypsilanti I. 

Military occupation of Vallachia and Moldavia by the Russians, 
1788 to 1789. 

1 791. Michael Soutzo I. 

1 793. Alexander Mourouzi I. 

1796. Alexander Hypsilanti I. 

1798. Constantine Handjerli. 

1799. Alexander Mourouzi I. 

1801. Michael Soutzo I. 

1802. Alexander Soutzo I. 
1802. Constantine Hypsilanti I. 
1806. Alexander Soutzo I. 
1806. Constantine Hypsilanti I. 

1792. Alexander Mourouzi I. 

1793. Michael Soutzo I. 

1794. Alexander Kallimaki. 
1799. Constantine Hypsilanti I. 

1801. Alexander Soutzo I. 

1802. Alexander Mourouzi I. 
1804. Skarlatos Kallimaki I. 
1806. Alexander Mourouzi I. 

Military occupation of Vallachia and Moldavia by the Russians, 
from 1808 to 181 2. 

1812. John Karadja. 

1 81 8. Alexander Soutzo I. 

Si 2. Skarlatos Kallimaki L 
519. Michael Soutzo II. 

Insurrection at the commencement of the Greek Revolution, 1821, 

October, 1 8 77. 

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IF Finlay, George 

757 A history of Greece