History of Macedonia 1354-1833

A. Vacalopoulos


XIII. The economic, cultural and political influences of Macedonian emigrants upon their native towns


3. Kozáni, Bogatsiko and Blátsi



An increase in Kozáni's trade in cotton goods, saffron [7] and thread, led to an expansion of the town's activities and a marked development



7. Góblista (known now as Krókos) was and is still well-known for the manufacture of saffron, which is sold abroad and used as a colouring agent. See «Ἡμερολόγιον Δυτ. Μακεδονίας» 4 (1925) 50. For the district where saffron is produced and for tho trade in the substance, see Leake, Travels, 3, p. 302.





in its cultural life [1]. In his monograph entitled "On the beginning, the progress and the present state of the school at Kozáni" Charisios Megdanis of Kozáni writes: "...From 1662... the cultural level of Kozáni has risen, the number of businessmen in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Constantinople and elsewhere has multiplied, and the profits accruing



Fig. 137. Room in a mansion of Kozáni with carved wooden walls and ceiling

Fig. 137. Room in a mansion of Kozáni with carved wooden walls and ceiling.

(Ang. Hadzimichali, L'art populaire grec, Athens 1937, p. 64)



to the town have been correspondingly more abundant. At the same time, a taste for luxury and an ambition to possess the finer things of life has been introduced. To begin with, all the well-to-do vie with each other in building and embellishing their houses in splendid style (see fig. 137) and in living with every luxury and elegance..." [2]. An urban



1. Panayiotis N. Liouphis, Ἱστορία τῆς Κοζάνης, Athens 1924, pp. 44 ff. On the products which made up Kozáni's external trade during this period see p. 340. For the trade in saffron see Leake, ibid., 1, p. 302. About Kozáni, its people abroad and its houses see Leake, ibid., 1, p. 299. Concerning the dissolution of the 'companies' of foreigners in Austria see Popović, On the Cincari, p. 101.


2. See Hadjikyriakou, Σκέψεις, p. 70. See also Leake, ibid., 3, p. 301.





class was created at Kozáni. Megdanis continues on the same theme: "After spending some time in foreign parts the inhabitants have undergone a change in outlook: they have become refined and have acquired the ambition to live a more urban existence and to become well-educated" [1]. This, then, explains how Evgenios Voulgaris came to be invited to Kozáni (he taught there from 1746 to 1752). His sojourn as a teacher at Kozáni marked, in fact, a turning point in the history of the city's schools. Before he came, almost all the teachers taught along Aristotelian lines; but following the latest advances in science, Voulgaris introduced different material into the teaching of logic, natural sciences and metaphysics. He also brought in the teaching of algebra and other branches of mathematics [2].


Mention must also be made of the work of the monk Amphilochios Paraskevas. Α man conservative in outlook and opposed to modern ideas, he taught between 1779 and 1797, both in a private capacity and in schools run by the community. From details out of the archives we learn that Paraskevas taught grammar, rhetoric and logic [3]. After his departure (he went to teach at Velvendós 1797 /98 [4]), the school at Kozáni was closed for quite a number of years [5].


Natives of Kozáni settled abroad made considerable financial contributions towards the promotion of education in their home-town. From 15th October 1965 merchants in Hungary undertook the upkeep of the old 'Greek school', and later on opened a new one which was financed out of interest on capital raised in 1745. However, this new school, called 'Σχολεῖον τῆς Κομπανίας', was not able to function for very long. In a few years' time (1772) the Empress Marie - Theresa forbade foreigners (i.e. non-Austrian subjects) to bring merchandise into Austria and abolished the foreign 'Companies'. Thus the 'Brotherhood' of Kozáni merchants based in Hungary was dissolved and the remittance of interest to Kozáni ceased [6]. Another native of the town, Dem. E. Pagounis, resident in Leipzig, being without an heir, bequeathed to his home-town



1. Hadjikyriakou, Σκέψεις, p. 71.


2. Liouphis, Ἱστορίας τῆς Κοζάνης, pp. 183-184. Hatzikyriakou, ibid., p. 72.


3. Anast. Ch. Megas - Nich. P. Delialis, Ἀμϕιλόχιος Παρασκευᾶς, «Μακεδονικὰ» 5 (1961-1963) 423-430.


4. Ibid., pp. 434, 435.


5. Ibid., p. 434.


6. Liouphis, ibid., pp. 58-59, 191. See also Delialis, Ἀναμνηστικὴ ἔκδοσις, p. 61. Popović, On the Cincari, p. 101, regarding the abolition of the 'Companies'.





his house and the requisite capital for the founding of a new school which was to function up till 1798 [1].


Kozáni's cultural life was likewise well supported by her merchants and literary men abroad: we might mention such figures as Dem. Sakellarios (translator of part of Jean-Jacques Barthélemy's Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis etc), George Karayannis, Dem. Karakasis, George K. Sakellarios, Euphronios Raphael Popović, George Lassanis, and others [2]. Α number of such writers — e.g. the bishops Theophilos (1768-1811) and Benjamin of Sérvia and Kozáni (1815-1849) — made gifts of their works to the community and thus laid the foundations of the city's library [3], the Ὁἶκος βελτιώσεως, (1813) as it was called. From capital raised by various businessmen in Vienna and Budapest the accruing interest was sufficient for the founding and upkeep of the 'School of Kozáni' (1809) [4].


Among the documents stored in the Historical Archive of the University of Thessalonica is a poorly written though touching piece of versification composed in 15-syllable rhyming verse. This was written only a month before the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence by eight pupils who were not natives of Kozáni and felt, perhaps on the occasion of a festival, the urge to express their warm thanks towards their benefactors, the teachers at the school. The poem (see fig. 138) is framed in a square and decorated quite artistically in the same ink as the writing.


»κ᾽ ἡμεῖς συμπαριστάμεθα οἱ μαθηταὶ οἱ ξένοι,

   το χρέος μας νὰ κάμωμεν, ὡς εὐεργετημένοι,

»ὀκτὼ εἴμεθα σύμπαντες μαθήματα ἀκοῦμεν,

   καὶ τῆς παιδείας τρόϕιμοι νὰ γένωμεν ποθοῦμεν

»ἄλλ᾽ ἠπειρῶται εἴμεθα, καὶ ἄλλοι ἀλβανίται,

   ἄλλ᾽ Ἐστιῶται Θεσσαλοί, κ᾽ ἄλλοι μακεδονίται

»πλὴν τὴν Κοζάνην κατ᾽ αὐτὸ γνωρίζομεν πατρίδα,

   καὶ τοὺς σχολῆς σννδρομητὰς τῆς προκοπῆς κρηπίδα,



1. Liouphis, Ἱστορία τῆς Κοζάνης, pp. 59, 281.


2. Leake, Travels, 3, pp. 300-301. Liouphis, ibid., pp. 279 ff. See Sigalas, Νέα Πηγὴ ἀϕορῶσα τὴν οἰκογένειαν Καραγιάννη, «Ἡμερολόγιον Δυτ. Μακεδονίας» 1 (1932) 167-177. Regarding the published and unpublished works of George Sakellarios, see Sp. Lampros, Σύμμεικτα, ΝΕ 10 (1913) 353-354.


3. Delialis, Κατάλογος, part 1, pp. ix-xi. See also A. Sigalas' preface to Delialis, Ἀναμνηστικὴ ἔκδοσις, pp. v-viii, 62.


4. See Delialis, ibid., pp. 62, 63-65, 78-79. See also Liouphis, ibid., pp. 79-80. See, too, further details in Evangelides, Παιδεία, vol. 1, pp. 124-129.





»κ᾽ εἰς τὴν κοινὴν ἀγάπην σας, κ᾽ εἰς τὰς περιποιήσεις

   ὁποῦ ὡς τέκνα σας κοινῶς μᾶς δίδεται ἐπίσης

»ὁμολογοῦμεν χάριτας κηρύττομεν τὸ χρέος

   καὶ προσκυνήσεις ταπεινὰς προσϕερομεν μὼ δέος.

                                                            1821 Φεβρουαρίου 27

»ὁ δημολᾶς κανίστρα ὁ τρικκαλινὸς

»ὁ ἰωάννης ζώη ὁ ζαγορίτης

»ὁ κωνσταντῖνος ἀποστολή ὁ ἐκ πρεμετῆς

»ὁ ἰωάννης ἀναστασίου σιμώτα ὁ ἐκ κλεισούρας

»ὁ νικόλαος στεργίου μεταξιώτης

»ὁ ϕώτειὁς μανώλη ὁ μεταξιώτης

»ὁ ἰωάννης ἀθανασίον ὁ βυθοκουκκιώτης

»ὁ βασίλειος τζέλιου ϕραταρίτης.



Fig. 138. Poem written by pupils of the School of Kozáni

Fig. 138. Poem written by pupils of the School of Kozáni.

(Historical Archive ol the University of Thessalonica)





(We students, who come from other parts, present ourselves in a body to do our duty, as having received great benefits. We are eight in all, attending lessons in this city, and it is our desire to become nurselings of education. Some of us are from Epirus, some of Albania, some from that part of Thessaly called Hestiaeotis of old, and some from Macedonia; but it is Kozáni that we have at the moment for our home-town, and we look upon the contributors to the school as our pedestal of progress. For your love for us all, for the care that has been lavished upon us all, as though we were your children, we express our greatful thanks and proclaim our debt, and we offer you our humble bows with due respect.


1821, February 27th.

Demolas Kanistras of Tríkala, John Zöis of Zagorá, Constantine Apostolis of Premetí, John Anastasiou of Kleisoúra, Nicholas Stergiou of Metaxás, Photios Manolis of Metaxás, John Athanasiou of Bythokoúkki, Basil Tzeliou of Phrásari).


The library of Kozáni deserves a special mention, as being the richest provincial library in Northern Greece. It was formed initially with a donation from the city's Metropolitan, Meletios of Thessalonica (1734-1752), who bequeathed his library to the school of Kozáni. Later on, the library was enriched with gifts from Euphronios R. Popović (a native of Kozáni, who had been professor at Pest, Vienna, Bucarest and elsewhere), from the Bishops Theophilos and Benjamin of Sérvia and Kozáni (already mentioned), from the merchant brothers Nicholas (1776-1866) and Demetrius I. Takiatzis (1779-1819), the professor George R. Rousiades (1783-1854), and others. These books — amounting to some 15.000 volumes — formed the nucleus of the present municipal library of Kozáni, which still possesses a number of books that are quite a deal older than the library itself, in particular some editions of native Greek authors and publishers. Some of these were unknown even to that tireless researcher, Emile Legrand. Many of the old books preserve within them hand-written notes and recollections which are of particular interest in respect of local history. The library also contains a copy of Regas Pheraios' "Map" [1], together with ample material in the form of archives, patriarchal documents, manuscripts, books, fermans; correspondence between metropolitans, literary men, merchants: minutes connected with school administration, etc., all of which provide us with



1. See Delialis, Κατάλογος, part 1, pp. ix-xi, See also Sigalas' preface to Delialis, Ἀναμνηστικὴ ἔκδοαις, pp. v-viii.





valuable information about the economic and cultural life of the Greek communities in Western Macedonia and Austria- Hungary, and the mutual influences they had one upon the other. The information from these sources can be supplemented by that from other archives of Western Macedonia [1].


Numerous words of German origin which passed into the local Greek idiom during that period — e.g. ϕιρχὰ (Vorhang), στρίϕιες (Strümpfe), κιχιὰ (Kuchen) [2] — testify to the close contact which existed between the Western Macedonians (and in particular the inhabitants of Siátista and Kozáni) with Austria and Hungary.


Beyond the Aliákmon, opposite Siátista, lies Tsotýli, which was inhabited mostly by Vallahades with a few local Greek families. Α measure of cultural activity may be observed in this village from the first quarter of the nineteenth century when a school was probably founded. Α number of the villagers settled in Constantinople seem to have provided the necessary funds from collections made in the church of Vefa Meïdan on the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin [3].


Inhabitants of Sélitsa likewise spent periods away from home in Central Europe. Leake, who passed through the town around the same time as Pouqueville, writes that in former days many merchants residing at Sélitsa had businesses in Germany. But these had abandoned the town after it had fallen into the rapacious hands of Ali Pasha; and this was the case with other localities [4]. Quite a number of Selitsa's inhabιtants sought their fortunes in Constantinople, where they worked as builders [5].


Further north we come upon the mountain township of Bogatsikó (known locally as Bogatskó) at an elevation of 760-770 metres. This well-known κεϕαλοχώρι (semi-autonomous village) [6] was settled in the 15th century by people from the surrounding villages, fleeing from the incursions of Gegs and other enemies. Under the Turks, Bogatsikó enjoyed relative prosperity, and its excellent Greek schools owed their



1. See Sigalas, Ἀπὸ τὴν πνενματικὴν ζωήν, pp. 5 ff. See also Horvath, Πῶς καθρεϕτίζονται οἱ ἑλληνοονγγρικὲς σχέσεις, «Τὸ Νέον Κράτος», (1940) 548-557.


2. See G. Eckert - P. Formosis, Lieder und Märchen aus Kozani und Siatista, Thessalonica 1944, p. 4. At the end of the book there is a compilation of bib liography, part of which relates to my study.


3. M. Gedeon, ' Ἑορτολόγιον ', Constantinople 1904, p. 362,


4. Leake, Travels, vol. 1, p. 317.


5. Photopoulos, Σέλιτσα, pp. ii, 18,


6. Leake, ibid., p. 321.





exıstence not so much to the local stock-rearing and agriculture as to the sums of money, termed χασλίκια (Turk. hasıllık, profıt, revenue), that were remitted by former villagers settled in other parts of the Turk-



Fig. 139. Men from Blatsi

Fig. 139. Men from Blatsi.

(Schultze Jena, Makedonien, plate 9, opposite p. 52)



ish empire or in Europe. The people of Bogatsikó, like many from Anaselítsa [1] and around Zoupáni (modern Pentálophos) [2], tended to emigrate



1. George Apostolou, Τὸ Γυμνάσιον καὶ Οἰκοτροϕεῖον Τσοτυλίου, Kozáni 1938, p. 5.


2. See Mich. Ath. Kalinderis, Γραπτὰ μνημεῖα ἀπὸ τὴν Δυτικὴ Μακεδονία χρόνων τουρκοκρατίας, 1940, pp. 36-41, 41-42. Of the same author, Ἱστορικὰ σημειώματα, pp. 49-50. Regarding these villages see Anonymous (under the pseudonym Aliakmon), Ἐπαρχία Σισανίου, «Μακεδονικὸν Ἡμερολόγιον» 6 (1913) 65-73. On Zoupáni see the study of G. P. S. Panayiotides, Ζουπάνιον, «Μακεδονικὸν Ἡμερολόγιον» 6 (1913) 217-223.





to Constantinople, where the majority followed the craft of builders and carpenters. In the capital these 'μαστόροι' worked on the serais of the pashas and beys and on other construction work that was in their line [1]. The master-builder, Mastro-Demos, from Zoupáni with his team of workers built quite a number of churches in various villages of Pélion in the second half of the 18th century [2]. The return of the 'μαστόροι' from abroad filled their homes with joy, of course, and their wives ('μαστορίνες') and relatives received them back in festive spirit [3]. Two expatriate families from Bogatsikó who became renowned throughout the Greek world were those of Dragoumis and Rousopoulos [4].


North-east of Bogatsikó stands the township of Blátsi (see fig. 139) which sent an appreciable number of emigrants to Austria. Of these, Stergios Doubas (1794-1870), from a family originally hailing from Moschopolis [5], became celebrated for his gifts to his native town as well as to the nation (the Arsakeion, the University of Athens, and other benefactions). Another was Baron K. Bellios (1772-1837), who was a benefactor to the municipal hospital of Athens ('ἡ Ἐλπίς'). Bellios also fostered the work of the Greek Archaeological Society and that of the educational body known as 'ἡ Φιλεκπαιδευτικὴ Ἑταιρεία'. In addition, he provided large sums for the resettlement of Macedonian refugees at New Pella and the founding of the 'Velliaeon Foundation', which has enabled hundreds of Macedonians to complete their studies, right up to this day [6].



1. See Alex. Letsas, Ὁ γάμος ἐν Βογατσικῷ, «Μακεδονικὰ» 1 (1940) 124. See also Const. Pan. Bentas, Ἱστορικὰ Βογατσικοῦ, Kastoriá 1952, pp. 10-11, and Pouqueville, Voyage, 3, p. 75: "...de père en fils tous sont maçons, exercant leur métier à Constantinople et dans les principales villes de l'empire, ou ils sont parfois appelés en vertu d'ordres supérieurs comme les souterazzy de la londgiaria». See also Leake, Travels, 1, p. 321.


2. See the relevant study of Κ. Α. Makris, Ἀρχιτέκτων Δῆμος Ζηπανιώτης, «Ἐπιθεώρηση Τέχνης» 1957, reprint of pp. 3-31.


3. Letsas, ibid., p. 127.


4. Ibid., p. 129. See also Zotos Molossos, Ἠπειρωτικαὶ Μακεδονικαὶ μελέται, τεῦχ. Δ', p. 303.


5. Ch. Poulios, Στέργιος Δούμπας, «Μακεδονικὸν Ἡμερολόγιον» 2 (1909) 269-270. See also John Tsikopoulos, Θεόδ. Δούμπας, «Μακεδονικὸν Ἡμερολόγιον 3 (1910) 123-129. On Blátsi and its benefactors generally, see Μ. Ι., Ἡ Βλάστη, «Μακεδονικὸν Ἡμερολόγιον» 4 (1911) 271-277.


6. See I. Dellios, Ὁ βαρῶνος Κωνσταντῖνος Μπέλλιος, «Μακεδονικὸν Ἡμερολόγιον» 3 (1910) 34. He founded a school in his native Blátsi (Evangelides, Παιδεία, Ι, p. 107).


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