History of Macedonia 1354-1833
XV. Stirrings of Greek freedom movements and activities within Macedonia at the beginning of the 19th century
2. The movements of Nikotsaras and Thymios Blahavas
__1_ — __2_ — __3_ — __4_
1. With his reckless and hurricane attacks upon the Turks Nikotsaras presents an impressive example of a guerilla-leader, fully, worthy of our attention. Son of Tsaras, the right-hand man of Zidros, Nikotsaras rose, while still young, high above the limited ambitions of the usual guerilla-leader to possess an 'armatolık' of his own. His sights were fixed upon the interests of the nation as a whole. Denying any sort of compromise with Ali Pasha of Yánnina, who sought to impose himself upon the armatoli, Nikotsaras withdrew from Olympus to the Northern Sporádes with 700 men. He put their families for safety on the Cassándra peninsula and began a pitiless war against the Turks by land and sea. "With only a sword in hand", writes Kasomoulis, "devoting themselves with alacrity and success to the task of piracy, they made themselves familiar, little by little, with the ways of the sea, learning to row, and teaching themselves to manage their pirate vessels. Thus, passing without difficulty from sea to land and from land to sea, with one foot on their boats and one outside, so to speak, they seemed to the Moslems without exception and to Ali Pasha particularly, the most fearful of all foes. Thereupon they began to despise the enemy more and more, and following their example the younger generation brought upon the enemy a thousand difficulties and dangers". Α popular couplet of the time immortalises them thus:
On Skiáthos and on Skópelos a kadı ne᾽er sits in judgement;
For here is the lair of Stathas, the watch-tower of Nikotsaras .
In connection with the activity of Nikotsaras along the shores of the Thermaïc Gulf in 1803, there is an interesting account written by Bartholdy, which has escaped attention up till now. Speaking of the tyranny to which the Ambelakiots were exposed at the hands of the Albanians, who with the sanction of Ali Pasha did what they pleased, Bartholdy describes the piratical exploits in the Thermaïc Gulf (see fig. 1.84). He writes in this connection of the two most celebrated leaders in the Olympus region, namely of the Greeks Giarra and Galeas. There can be no doubt that under the first name is concealed the idendity of Nikotsaras, though I have been unable to identify the second name with any of the known names of pirates. Bartholdy says that Galeas and
1. See Kasomoulis, Ἐνθυμήματα, 1, p. 47. See also N. Inglezis, Τὰ ἀρματωλίκια καὶ ὁ ἥρως Νικοτζάρας, Φυλλάδιον A', Athens 1884, p. 10-13.
Giarra had 500 men at their disposal and that they operated in a methodical way, sometimes on land and sometimes at sea. The writer had in fact seen a letter of theirs in the hands of the Amhelakiots, in which they extolled their exploits and applied to themselves the appellation of θαλασσοπούλια ('birds of the sea') — a name that the inhabitants of Hydra and Psará had hitherto applied to themselves. In a peremptory tone, they demanded that money and provisions should be sent to them, under threat to have the whole property of the Ambelakiots destroyed
Fig. 184. Greek pirates.
(I. K. Vasdravellis, Οἱ Μακεδόνες εἰς τοὺς ὑπὲρ τῆς ἀνεξαρτησίας ἀγῶνας 1796-1832, 2nd edit., Thessalonica 1950, opposite p. 17)
if this was not done. The leader of the Ambelakiot community admitted that up to that moment they had submitted to all the klephts' demands, but that now the inhabitants had armed themselves and awaited, with every intention of resisting, any raid the klephts might make . Be that as it may, it appears that the inhabitants continued to give way to the demands of the klephts; for an Ambelakiot, writing from Smyrna to a compatriot, Demetrios Schwarz, warns him not to allow his son to be molested; otherwise he threatens to denounce Schwarz to Ali Pasha,
1. Bartholdy, Voyage en Grèce, p. 105-107.
giving him an accurate account of the numerous tobacco-pouches, fezes and cartidges which, at Schwarz's request, he has conveyed to the 'klepht-captains' .
As the song confirms, Nikotsaras used the Northern Sporádes as his base of operations. These islands were in a state of insurrection, refusing to pay taxes to the Porte or to send the required complement of sailors to the imperial naval base. Consequently the Porte threatened the islanders; and so as not to put them in a difficult position, Nikotsaras, feeling unable to help them in a decisive way, resolved to leave in the winter of 1806. He would make his way via Hydra to the Ionian Islands, where he would pass the winter and confer with Katsantonis and Kitsos Botsaris, who had sought refuge there .
Amidst this rebellious confusion, the only guerilla-leader in whom Ali Pasha continued to have confidence was Papa-Thymios Blahavas, the armatole of Hásia. Born in the village of Ismólia, he was the son of the famous local armatole of the same name. The band of Blahavas and his brothers consisted of about 60 men. They continued to receive payment from the vilayet of Tríkala and were entrusted with the task of protecting the district from bandits .
2. The major hostilities in contemporary Europe greatly increased the dangers within the Ottoman empire. Though now an ally of France, Turkey found herself at war with Russia and England. In February of 1807 the British admiral, Duckworth, forced the narrows of the Dardanelles to the amazement of European military opinion, and appeared before Constantinople; though this almost reckless achievement was to result in no substantial success. The Turks, under the leadership of the French general and ambassador, Sebastiani, succeeded in gaining time with futile negotiations while in the meanwhile the Turkish capital and the straits were strongly fortified. Thus, when on 1 March the British admiral decided finally to withdraw and pass the straits, he was received with heavier and more accurate fire that did considerable damage to his ships .
About mid-March 1807 the situation in North-East Europe appear-
1. Elias Georgiou, Νεώτερα στοιχεῖα περὶ τῆς ἱστορίας καὶ τῆς συντροϕιάς τῶν Ἀμπελακίων, Athens 1950, p. 57.
2. Inglezis, Τὰ ἀρματωλίκια, pp. 13-16.
3. Vacalopoulos, Νέα στοιχεῖα, p. 245.
4. See details in Zinkeisen, Geschichte, 7, pp. 433-446.
ed to be quieter. The British fleet of 29 ships was inactive, anchored in the harbour of Tenedos . Even so, the roads on the mainland were blocked. The governor of Thessalonica received orders to admit no British ship into the harbour . At the beginning of April, as we read in a dispatch from the Austrian consul in Thessalonica, there was still a good deal of alarm felt in the city, in spite of information that peace had been signed between Turkey on the one hand and Russia and England on the other. The cause of this disquiet was that on 2 April a ship without a flag appeared in the harbour and later anchored near the shore outside the castle. In the evening of the following day two more large ships approached the first ship and then departed in the direction of Olympus. As a result of the incident there was a call to arms within the city and a large number of troops were concentrated on the seaward side. On 5 April the three ships were once more anchored in a line, this time displaying the Russian flag and the pennant of vice-admiral Greig. From the flag-ship a small launch detached itself under a white flag and the officer in charge, a Russian, presented the Turks with a letter in Greek, which described the successes of both Russia and England, condemned the French political tendencies, and demanded that all the French present in Thessalonica be placed in confinement or else 200.000 sequins be paid. Failure to comply would result in the bombardment of the city. Panic broke out at once, but at noon on 3 April the three ships moved off to the harbour of Epanomí, where they remained two more days before finally departing for an unknown destination. However, inside the city there was widespread irritation, particularly amongst the Turks, and it was feared that this might result in the plundering and murder of Greeks. The sudden appearance of the ships, in the opinion of the Austrian consul, was aimed at creating a diversion for the Turks, such as would prevent them withdrawing troops from Thessalonica and sending them to other fronts, and to Serbia in particular. The current situation was naturally far from favourable to commercial exchanges, and on that account months passed before an Austrian vessel re-appeared in the harbour .
It was just at this time that Nikotsaras made his appearance once more in the Northern Aegean. He had arrived from Zákynthos and in
1. See the report of the Austrian consul, Giuseppe de Choch, dated 18 March 1807. (Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv. Türkei VI. Consulat Salonich (1807-1834).
2. See undated report of Choch.
3. Report of 11 April 1807 of the consul Choch.
May was again in action, using no doubt the Northern Sporádes again as his base operations. The admiral of the Russian Aegean squadron, Senyavin, felt uneasy, since he feared Turkish reprisals upon the Greek peasantry. In order, therefore, to divert Nikotsaras from his spasmodic and pointless activity, he invited the Greek leader to meet him at the beginning of June 1807, on Ténedos, where the Russian squadron lay at anchor. Senyavin's letter of 9 June 1807 ends with the words: "I am sending you the present armed escort, with which you may come, so
Map 16. Route of Nikotsaras through Macedonia in June and July 1807.
that we can discuss the situation in general". One may presume, therefore, that within two to four days Nikotsaras attended the rendez-vous at Ténedos, and there with Senyavin concocted the bold plan to pass right through the Balkan lands to join the Russian troops in Wallachia. Their purpose in this was on the one hand to stimulate an offensive spirit in the Christian rayas, and on the other to perplex and frighten the Turks.
Impetuous and energetic as he was, Nikotsaras undertook to put
the plan into effect straight away. But he did not disembark at Kateríni, nor did he make that big detour described by Sathas: viz. Kateríni, Piéria, Aliákmon, Loudías, Axiós, Kerkíni, Demír Hisár, Névrokop, Mélnik, Zíchna, Právi, Pangaíon, Orfanós, Chalcidice, Mount Athos, and Skópelos . Rather, he set out immediately, from Ténedos or Skó-elos, landed at Stavrós in Chalcidice with 200 brave Greeks and 120 Moslem Albanians, and from there took the shortest route, crossing the Strymon near the village of Achinós and making his way towards Zíchna. Against him marched Ismail Bey of Sérres with 8.000 men, and a battle took place. After three days the Moslem Albanian auxiliaries surrendered leaving Nikotsaras with only 100 men. In desperation the Greeks made a bold night-attack, daggers in hand, and passed right throught the enemy to retire by the same way as they had come. They brushed aside the Turkish unit guarding the bridge, and after tremendous efforts finally succeeded in making Mount Athos (see map 16). Nikotsaras survived, and with him his chief lieutenants and about 60 men. And there they rested for some days . Of those who were captured, some were imprisoned at Rodolívos, and others at Dráma, where they were all hanged .
Nikotsaras' audacious enterprise left a deep impression upon the Greek people. Their admiration is expressed in the following folk-song, of which there are a number of versions:
Three birds were sitting, side by side:
One looked across to Olympus, another to Elassón,
The third, finest of the three, gazed towards the bridge of Právi.
It keened a lament and said, it keened a lament and said:
They surrounded Nikotsaras at the bridge of Právi.
For three days the battle raged; for three days and three nights
Without food, without water, without a wink of sleep.
Nikotsaras hailed his warriors and called to his men:
'Unsheath your swords, take them in your hands,
And let us charge across the Pravi bridge!' 
This enterprise was over by the end of June, and at that time, or during the first days of July, Nikotsaras appeared again at Litóchoro. Here, he met his death in an encounter with Turkish troops whose num-
1. Sathas, Τονρκοκρ. Ἑλλάς, pp. 579-582.
2. Kasomoulis, Ἐνθυμήματα, pp. 61-62.
3. E. G. Stratis, Ἡ Δράμα καὶ ἡ Δράβησκος, Sérres 1923, p. 29.
4. Fauriel, Chants populaires, vol. 1, p. 193,
bers were augmented by Greek peasants who had been pressed into service. The latter had become tired of the endless turmoil wrought by the klephts and pirates . About twenty days, therefore, had elapsed between Nikotsaras' embarcation at Stavros on Chalcidice and his return. His comrades took his body back to Skiáthos, where it was buried in the monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation . However, according to one folk-song, which is perhaps still sung on the island:
Comrades shew him, comrades lamented him and would not admit it.
Neither in a town nor in a monastery was he interred;
For they took his body and buried it by the stream of Lehoúni.
And they placed much money beside him in hís grave,
Together with his musket and his sword .
Nikotsaras stood out as an example of bravery and daring for those who came after; and it needed another great man to appreciate the true value of his worth. Many years later, immediately after the capture of Tripolitsá (September 1821), Kolokotronis, who had known Nikotsaras in the Ionian Islands, sang his praises to an attentive audience of his companions. He insisted that Nikotsaras was the only one of the Olympians who would have been of great value to the Revolution, and he wept for his untimely loss .
3. The irritation and unrest felt in Greek hearts could not but influence Blahavas, who hitherto seems to have remained inactive. He appears to have had some contact with the three thousand or so Greek irregulars in the Ionian Isles, who were in Russian service, and also with the klephts who had been driven to the islands of the Aegean, since he made a journey to the islands in the summer of 1807. It is very likely that when Senyavin had destroyed the Turkish fleet not far from the Holy Mountain (19th June), he would have come into contact with Blahavas and the klepht-armatoli; but he could not have had time to proceed with any further action. There was no possibility of receiving open assistance from the Russians, because by 12th August Senyavin had receiv-
1. Kasomoulis, Ἐνθυμήματα, vol. 1, pp. 62-63.
2. Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 62-63.
3. G. A. Regas, Σκιάθου λαϊκὸς ηολιτισμός, τεῦχ. Α. Δημώδη ᾄσματα, Thessalonica 1958, p. 227. See also p. 228.
4. Kasomoulis, ibid., vol. 1, pp. 40 ff.
ed an order from the Czar to cease hostile acts against the Turks. Had Blahavas by any chance received some secret encouragement from Senyavin? There is no evidence on this point. Perhaps only the Russian archives may reveal one day what exactly happened. At all event, nothing is mentioned concerning this matter, either in the relevant studies of the Russian historians Tarle and Arsh, nor in the third volume of the published documents which relate to Russian foreign policy around the end of the 18th century. Perhaps Blahavas, together with a number of the armatoli and klephts of the Aegean Islands, devised a plan for common action against the Turks. We are led to this supposition by his actions after his return to the armatolık.
As Leake recounts on 11th January 1810, when Blahavas returned from the Islands in the winter of 1807, no doubt carrying the relevant orders, he won over the klephts, fugitives and outlaws from every corner of Greece. Sathas writes — although his source is not known — that, at the beginning of 1808, Russian emissaries came from Serbia to Olympus with letters from Karageorge and from the Russian state-councillor, Rodophoinikin (a man of Greek origin). They urged the Greeks to take up arms once and for all and emulate the example of the Serbs. The arrival of the Russian emissaries excited the spirits and revived the hopes of the Greeks.
What was the extent of the revolutionary movement? What plans were devised and what was the number of those initiated into them? These problems remain to be unravelled. Sathas goes on to give the following facts, though they need to be checked: that around the middle of February 1808, Blahavas called a meeting of the klepht-captains; that he was unanimously elected their leader; that he began working for the conversion of the other armatoli of mainland Greece, and even of the Turks of Lárisa and Tríkala, who hated the tyrannical regime of Ali Pasha; that the number of initiates was growing continually; that a further assembly at Olympus decided that the liberating movement would commence symbollically on 29th May, but that Deliyiannis, the armatolos of Métsovo, betrayed the plan to Ali on 1st May. I believe that there are a great number of inaccuracies in Sathas' account.
Leake says that Blahavas began the revolution with a wide-spread slaughter of Turks, but this does not seem to be correct. Kasomoulis is nearer to the events. He writes that at the beginning of April 1808 (and not 1809, as he records), before the resumption of Russo-Turkish hostilities, the two Blahavas brothers, Papa-Thymios and
Theodorakis, and the captain of Doméniko, Yiotas Tzimou, rose up against the oppressive Albanian derven ağas and subaşıs (stewards of the landowning Turkish beys). These Albanians were annihilated as the common enemies of the Christian rayas and of the Ottomans alike. Thus they did not attack any Turks. Within two months, March and April, they had rid the Greek districts of Albanians. Besides Blahavas, a number of Albanians and Turks who were dissatisfied with Ali Pasha had joined in the action. He had also hoped to arouse the Turkish beys and ağas of the Thessalian plain but they had refused. An understanding had been reached with the armatolos of Métsovo, Deliyiannis, and with Efthymios Stournaris, to occupy the passes of Métsovo and Kalarítes, thus preventing Ali from crossing with his army into Thessaly until the revolutionaries had consolidated their position there. However, despite the promises, about 6.000 Albanians under the command of Muhtar Pasha, the son of Ali Pasha, were allowed to pass through and attack the villages of Tríkala and Kalambáka. The greater part of the villagers of the Thessalian plain made no move, heeding the advice of Gabriel, Metropolitan of Lárisa, who had been quickly despatched to the disaffected areas to recommend that the inhabitants should remain quiet.
The clash, which lasted for 24 hours, took place at Kastráki, outside Kalambáka, and losses on both side were serious. Amongst the dead was the brother of Thymios Blahavas, Theodorakis .
The rumour that the pass of Métsovo had been left open, and that a host of Albanians had defeated Theodorakis Blahavas and his men, caused those irregulars who had not been in time to take part in the battle (amongst them Efthymios Blahavas himself) to retire to Olympus. To avoid reprisals against the villagers, they then made their way to the large number of ships which were anchored along the coast and took refuge in their well-known havens of Skiáthos, Skópelos and Skyros. Using these islands as bases, they resumed their marouding activities throughout the Archipelago.
At this time the monk Demetrius of Samarína was arrested on the charge of inciting the villagers to insurrection, although in fact he had been trying to restrain them in accordance with the recommendations of the Metropolitan Gabriel. Demetrius was brutally tortured to make him denounce his presumed associates and to renounce his faith, but he remained firm until death and won the martyr's crown. The people
1. See Vacalopoulos, Τὰ ἑλληνικὰ ἀρματολίκια καὶ ἡ ἐπανάσταση τοῦ Θύμιου Μπλαχάβα, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 9 (1965) 245-248, where the relevant bibliography may be found.
proclaimed the new martyr a saint. Pouqueville gives us many details of this incident, especially about the dialogue between Demetrius and Ali Pasha.
The fate of Blahavas is well-known: as a trick, the Kaptan Paşa offered an amnesty and, when Blahavas presented himself, he was handed over to Ali Pasha, who committed him to prison and after three months put him to death. The main reason for Blahavas' execution, says Leake, was the discovery of documents which revealed the existence of correspondence between him and the Russians in Corfu concerning a full-scale uprising of the Greeks. To force him to name his associates, he was tortured and alternatively offered hopes of release, but Blahavas did not talk. Pouqueville gives the following description of his last moments: "At Yánnina, I saw Efthymios Blahavas bound to a stake in the courtyard of the serai. I had met him previously at Meliá in the Pindus with his soldiers. The hot rays of the sun fell on his sunburnt and defiant face and the sweat was trickling from his thick beard. He knew what fate was in store for him and seemed to be calmer than the tyrant who was about to shed his blood. He gazed at me tranquilly, as though he would have me as a withness of his last hour. The unfortunate fellow remained composed until the end, and showed no emotion as the blows of the executioners rained down upon him. They scattered his limbs in the roads of Yánnina to show the terrified Greeks the remains of the last captain of Thessaly" .
The suggestion that Blahavas had contacts with the Russians needs to be elucidated, because, at the time of his uprising, the Russians had abandoned the Ionian Islands, which were in turn occupied by the French, in accordance with the Treaty of Tilsit (25th June - 7th July 1807). If these documents were, in fact, discovered, thus implicating Blahavas, they must have originated at some time before his journey to the Aegean Islands. On that visit, he would have come into contact with the armatoli and with the leaders of the Greek force of about 3.000 men who were based on the Ionian Islands. The transfer of the Islands from Russian to French hands appears to have been one reason why the Greek irregulars made plans of the most imprudent kind .
One wonders if there was any connection between this movement and the clash between Nakas, lieutenant of Yero-Totskas, the armatolos
1. Pouqueville, Histoire de la régénération de la Grèce, vol. 1, pp. 293-294.
2. Vacalopoulos, Τὰ ἑλληνικὰ ἀρματολίκια καὶ ἡ ἐπανάσταση τοῦ Θύμιου Μπλαχάβα, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 9 (1965) 248-250, which has also bibliography.
of Grevená, and the large body of Turkish infantry, which occurred in 1808 according to the poet Krystallis . At all events, Ziakas is mentioned as having worked in co-operation with Blahavas . These problems still await clarification.
So the documents which implicated Blahavas must have referred to the relations between him and the resistance leaders and indirectly to the relations with the Russians, as well as to promises of assistance. Trusting in these encouraging gestures, and bearing in mind the fresh promises given him by the Russian agents sent by Karageorge and Rodophoinikin, Thymios Blahavas set out upon his daring enterprise .
4. The Russian and Serbian operations on the Danube and in the interior of Serbia produced a strong impression in Macedonia, especially upon the Turks, who were both concerned and irritated. As a consequence, trade suffered disastrously and there were many local hardships. It was no longer safe to travel on the roads . For example, in the summer of 1808, Albanian irregulars beseiged Véroia and advanced to the walls of Náousa, where they captured many children and farm animals. Eventually, Ali Pasha sent his trusty Metzo Bono to deal with them. They were put to flight and many prisoners were taken, leaving only a few to escape with their leader, Sulu Proshova, who took refuge in the mountainous region of Monastir, Prilep and Veles, whence it proved difficult to dislodge him .
The villages of Vérmion suffered as much from the klephts as from their Albanian opponents. Kastaniá, for instance, was devastated, only two or three houses remaining inhabited. As a result, Ali Pasha tried to win over the inhabitants with various promises . The armatoli were either incapable of imposing order or, more likely, tolerated the klephts in those areas where they did not actually co-operate with them.
Around 1810, the Turks enlisted a large number of men for military service from the whole of Rumeli. The French consul at Thessalonica reports that Ali Pasha enlisted 60.000 — though this number is surely exaggerated — and he suggests to his government that his colleague at
1. Krystallis, Ἅπαντα, 2, p. 484.
2. Ibid., p. 434.
3. See Vacalopoulos, Τὰ ἑλληνικὰ ἀρματολίκια, p. 250.
4. See unpublished report of 12 June 1810 of Choch.
5. Leake, Travels, 3, pp. 286-287. See also p. 294.
6. See Leake, ibid., 3, pp. 295-296, where there is quite a lot about Vérmion.
Yánnina, Pouqueville, should be questioned about the Pasha's intentions .
Unrest and anarchy continued in Rumeli until the end of the Russo-Turkish war (1812), when the Sultan was obliged to re-instate Ali Pasha as Dervendat Nazır (Inspector of Passes) in order to contain the banditry .
In the North Aegean, particularly in the region of the Holy Mountain, the pirate-klephts continued their activities. In October, 1808, they kidnapped the two children of the district governor of Pergamon, Karaosmanoglu, and released them only after the payment of 1.500 kuruş. This brought fresh fears for the monks of Athos, who were forced to provide the ransom. The enraged Turks attempted to wipe out banditry on the Holy Mountain, and Yannakis, captain of the Serdars (the Christian militia on Athos), was given the task of dealing with Vergos, who was still at large. This mission was accomplished at the beginning of April 1811, but this success did little to improve the situation and the piracy continued .
Banditry was prevalent in other parts of Macedonia. Thus the French consul in Thessalonica, on 15 June 1811, writes that Skopje is surrounded by bandits and that the postal couriers were obliged to go via Kumanovo .
From a manuscript of that period, which gives us the first lists of the armatoliks of Greek lands, we are informed that in Southern Macedonia, or on the borders of Macedonia and Thessaly, there are the following armatolıks together with their captains: Platamón - Tsaknoyannis; Livádi - Theodorakis; Hásia - the Blahavas brothers; Sérvia - Siaperas; Véroia - Syros; Véroia - Tatsos; Olympus - the Tzahilis brothers and other captains. Tsaknoyannis of Platamón is, no doubt, the same person as Nikolaos Tsaknakis, of the same armatolık, who is mentioned by the revolutionary Kasomoulis. At Livádi (present-day Vlacholívado in the Olympus district) the Theodorakis mentioned is none other than Vlachothodoros, the follower of Zidros and a contemporary of Lapas
1. Ministère des Affaires Etrangères. Gorrespondance Consulaire. Salonique, vol. 16 (1810-1812) 27a. See also 16a.
2. See Vasdravellis, Ἀρχεῖον Βέροιας - Ναούσης, p. 251.
3. See details in Alexander Lavriotis, Τὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος, ΕΕΒΣ 32 (1963) 172-183. See too on the subject of piracy and a ferman relating to it, dated 29 May 1809, Vasdravellis, Ἀρματωλοὶ καὶ κλέϕτες, pp. 111-112.
4. Ministère des Affaires Etrangères. Correspondance Consulaire, Salonique, vol. 16 (1810-1812) 174b.
and Tsaras (father of the famous Nikotsaras). Vlachothodoros, who is also mentioned by Kasomoulis, was accused of being cowardly and treacherous, as the killer of Tsaras and a collaborator with the Moslem Albanians and Ali Pasha.
This is the first time that Siaperas of Sérvia is mentioned. Kasomoulis lists him and Saltapidas as captains of the region of Sérvia beyond
Fig. 185. The valley of Tempe in an old gravure.
the Aliákmon, and records the name of Bziotas at Sérvia. At Véroia, also, two armatoli feature: Tatsos, the celebrated Tasos (or Karatasos), and Syros, who must have been the son of George Syros who was wounded in the foot during the uprising on Olympus in 1822. This is the first mention of Syros as armatolos of Véroia .
Some complementary information is furnished by another record referring to that period, but written in 1835 by Ignatius of Stagae. According to this document, the following armatolıks are to be found in Macedonia: at Olympus and Elassón are the Giotis brothers with 50 men, Kallinikos Tsaropoulos with 50, Pouliotambakis with 50, the Tzahilis brothers with 60, and Pitsavas with 70. In the mountains around
1. Vacalopoulos, Ταζ ἑλληνικὰ ἀρματολίκια καὶ ἡ ἐπανάσταση τοῦ Θύμιου Μπλαχάβα, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 9 (1965) 241-243.
Édessa (Vodená) there are Thanasis Šyropoulos with 100 men, Diamantis with 100, and Karatasos with 100. In Sérvia there are the Bzotas brothers with 80 men, at Grevená the Ziakas brothers with 200, and at Vlacholívado the Lazos brothers with 100 .
1. Thesprotos - Psallidas, Γεωγραϕία Ἀλβανίας καὶ Ἠπείρου, p. 88.
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