History of Macedonia 1354-1833

A. Vacalopoulos


XVI. Macedonia during the Greek revolution of 1821


4. The suppression of the insurrection in Chalcidice and Thasos


 __1_   —   __2_   —   __3_   —   __4_


1. Meanwhile, the revolt in Chalcidice was progressing slowly and unsystematically. The majority had no arms, only sticks in their hands, as is stated in an unpublished letter of 2nd June from a local leader who was proceeding towards Pazaroúda, apologizing to Papas for his deviation. They had captured the greater part of Kalamaría and had burnt down the Turkish villages; yet the Turks had managed to capture one or two villages near Pazaroúda and had enslaved or annihilated the Christian population [2].


On 3rd June, from the same region of the Mademochória, the commanders Gedeon the monk and Demetrius Nikolaou write: "...all our villages are under arms and are taking action against the common enemy of our people and of the Faith, with great courage and energy. Moslems everywhere are overcome with terror and are abandoning their villages in droves. They have fled from Ravná and Egri Budjak to beyond



2. Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society (Ἀρχεῖον Ἐμμ. Παπᾶ).





Zanglivéri. Any Mohammedans who have been caught by our people have been put to the sword. The Maden Ağa fled by night with all his men, who numbered about fifty, but came under fire from our people at Hierissós. He perished together with all of his men except two, whilst only one of our men was killed in the engagement. Our people have taken charge of quite a number of sheep and goats, as well as Moslem grain-stores. In a word, with God's help things are going favourably and smoothly. The only thing lacking is the presence of your good self..." [1].



Fig. 200. Monastery of Vadopédi on Mount Athos

Fig. 200. Monastery of Vadopédi on Mount Athos.

(Photo S. Xanthopoulos)



The revolutionary groups were badly organized and parochial in their outlook. "My lord", write the insurgents of Chalcidice to Papas, "please send one of your own men to take command of the army, for we are in a state of the utmost disorder..." [2].


The monk Dositheus, an eye-withness of the events, gives a vivid description of one of Emmanuel Papas' groups, numbering about 500



1. Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society (Ἀρχεῖον Εμμ. Παπᾶ).


2. Philemon, Δοκίμιον, 4, p. 435.





men [1], which was marching on Stágeira: "That most illustrious archon, Manolakis, marched with his men, both foot and cavalry, with their banners flying. And they set off towards Stágeira. In that company was the zealous champion, the incomparable and saintly Constantine of Marónaea. Then came the excellent archon, the doctor Evangelos, and his soldiers, with standards fit for an army. In addition, there were Theophilus, Archimandrite of Vatopedíou (see tig. 200), Isaiah, Archimandrite of Koutloumousíou, Nathaniel, the Superior of the Grand Lavra of



Fig. 201. Monastery of Xenophóntos on Mount Athos

Fig. 201. Monastery of Xenophóntos on Mount Athos.

(Photo S. Stergiopoulos)



St. Athanasius, Efthymius, Abbot of the monastery of Esphigménou (and bosom friend of the commander, Manolakis), and Gedeon of the monastery of Xenophontos (see fig. 201), chosen as spatharius by the commander, and who later changed his religion. Many other monks and laymen joined the campaign. What a fine sight they made as they marched behind their commander to find glory and honour! One man to become master of renowned Thessalonica, another to become commander-in-chief of infantry and cavalry, another to become Metropolitan, and another a bishop" [2].


There were two main bodies of revolutionaries; one was composed



1. Regarding the number of men, see Mamalakis, Ἡ ἐπανάσταση στὴ Χαλκιδικὴ τὰ 1821, XXI (1961) 151.


2. Mamalakis, Διήγησις, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 7 (1957) 230-231.





of men from the Mademochóría and of monks, under the command of Emmanuel Papas, and the other was made up of men from Cassandra and the Hasikochória, under Hapsas. However, in addition to these two main bodies, there appear to have been smaller units, working separately and at some distance from each other. The state of these forces, generally speaking, was far from satisfactory. There was no discipline and the lack of an over-all commander was keenly felt [1]. In addition, there was a serious lack of munitions [2].


Papas' group repelled the small Turkish force wich had been stationed at Hierissós, marched on towards Stavrós, and took up positions in the pass of Rentína and at Egri Budjak to block the path of enemy forces that were on their way from Eastern Macedonia. Meanwhile, the force under Hapsas, after overcoming some local resistance, drove off the Turks and marched to within three hours of Thessalonica (see map 17) [3]. "They approached the walls of the city", writes one of the revolutionary leaders, Angelos Vasilikou, with some exaggeration. He also accuses Yannios of Cassandra of using his caïques and two ships from Skópelos to harrass the Greek peasants and make off with their corn [4]. Masses of terrified Turkish peasants appeared at Thessalonica and bivouacked outside the walls around the beginning of June. The smoke from their burning villages was clearly visible from the city [5].


There is an unpublished report of the Austrian consul at Thessalonica, Pietro de Choch, written on 17th June 1821, which includes some interesting information about the impact of the Chalcidican revolt upon the city. "...the Greek revolution which has broken out in numerous provinces of the Ottoman empire has caused general alarm and has stopped all work. In those areas where the Greeks form a majority, open hostilities are becoming more and more frequent and even occur



1. Philemon, Δοκίμων, 4, pp. 118, 434-435.


2. Philemon, ibid., 4, p. 436.


3. See relative documents in Mamalakis, Νέα στοιχεῖα σχετικὰ μὲ τὴν ἐπανάστασιν τῆς Χαλκιδικῆς τὸ 1821, ΔΙΕΕ 14 (1960) 443 ff. Alexander Lavriotis, Ἔγγραϕα Ἁγίου Ὄρους τῆς Μεγάλης Ἐπαναστάσεως 1821-1832, Athens 1966, vol. 1, pp. 36-37. Philemon, Δοκίμιον, p. 145, vol. 4, p. 118. The campaign against Thessalonica was suggested by the Psarians. See Philemon, Δοκίμων, 3, p. 432. Pyrrhus in Smyrnakis, Ἅγιον Ὄρος, p. 175. See also, Mamalakis, Διήγησις, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 7 (1957) 230-231. See, too, Mamalakis, Ἡ ἐπανάσταση στὴ Χαλκιδικὴ τὸ 1821, XX 1 (1961) 153-157.


4. Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society (Ἀρχεῖον Ἐμμ. Παπᾶ).


5. G. Ch. Soulis, Ἡ Θεσσαλονίκη κατὰ τὰς ἀρχὰς τῆς ἑλληνικῆς ἐπαναστάσεως, «Μακεδονικὰ» 2 (1941-1952) 588.





Map 17. The movements of Greek and Turkish forces during the insurrection in Chalcidice (1821) and on Olympus and Vérmion (1822)

Map 17. The movements of Greek and Turkish forces during the insurrection in Chalcidice (1821) and on Olympus and Vérmion (1822).





in broad daylight in Thessalonica. The revolutionaríes are within a few hours of the city. They have occupied the village of Galátista and are stirring the population to revolt on all sides. Α large number of fighting ships, under a new flag, are ravaging the sea, seizing Turkish vessels and searching the ships of the European powers, which they nevertheless respect. There is no news from the Peloponnese, although there are rumours that the Ottomans have had some success there. Although Turkish forces are pushing out in all directions, their progress is slow, they lack definite objectives, and there is a shortage of ammunition. They also suffer from inadequate numbers of men. Meanwhile, disorders increase here, and there is a growing fear that the Greeks may attack the city from land and sea, even though the government has taken as hostages all the richest and most influential Greeks in the city" [1].


During this time, the Turks of Thessalonica were making preparation: Yusuf had sent a request to the Porte to supply him with cartridges and a quick-firing cannon [2]; and the Yeniçeri Ağası was organizing troops for action, even enrolling Jews, who had taken an active role in the slaughter at Thessalonica [3].


Ahmed Bey of Yenitsá marched against Hapsa on 4th June with 500 horse [4] and a supporting force of irregular Yürüks from his district; people who still retained their fighting qualities and their nomadic way of life [5]. The poorly armed and disorganized Greek peasants, with little more than their enthusiasm to sustain them, had been deployed across the lowlying area around Sédes. In spite of their valiant resistance, they were unable to withstand the cavalry charges and were forced to withdraw to Vasiliká. Hapsas appears to have been killed during this clash.


There is an oral tradition that the place-name of Skiotákia or Skiotoûdia — on the main road from Vasiliká to Galátista, below the monastery of St. Anastasía Pharmacolytria — is derived from an incident when a few score of young men from Sykiá met their death there. Α sepulchral monument has been set up there by their native village to commemorate the event.



1. Report of Pietro de Choch in the Österreichisches Archiv. Haus-, Hof - und Staatsarchiv. Consulat Salonich (1807 - 1834).


2. Vasdravellis, Οἱ Μακεδόνες, 2nd edit., pp. 198-200.


3. Pouqueville, Régénération, 3, pp. 57-59.


4. Soulis, Ἡ Θεσσαλονίκη κατὰ τὰς ἀρχὰς τῆς ἑλληνικῆς ἐπαναστάσεως, «Μακεδονικὰ» 2 (1941-1952) 585.


5. Τ. Gordon, History of the Greek Revolution, London 1844, 1, p. 1.





Ahmed followed the Greeks cautiously and, on 9th June, his force of 800 men reached Vasiliká. However, the 300 defenders retired without giving battle and the town was taken, plundered and burnt.


On 12th June, the desolate Greek villages of Karaburnú and Mesiméri suffered a similar fate at the hands of another Turkish force which had set out from Thessalonica towards the south-east. On the 16th of the month Ahmed Bey, whose army was being continually enlarged by the addition of Turkish peasants, attacked Galátista. Α few hundred Greeks fought resolutely, but after an hour abandoned their positions, leaving 3 cannon and 150 women and children in the hands of the enemy. Ahmed's army then unleashed its full force on the surrounding villages, even plundering those which had not joined the revolt, such as Zanglivéri. Α large number of Jews followed in the Turkish wake, buying up the booty at very low prices [1]. Emmanuel Papas, who was then at Polýgyros, made a request to the Greek ships that were patrolling the shores of Chalcidice to create a diversion by attacking Thessalonica [2].


At this very moment, the Serasker (Field Marshal) and Vezir, Hadji Mehmed Bayram Pasha, had reached Central Macedonia. He had set out with large forces from Asia Minor, crossing the Hellespont at Çardak, with Southern Greece as his ultimate destination, but had been delayed for several days by the rebellious Greek villages around the Gulf of Xerós (or Sáros) in Thrace, where he had to restore order [3]. Bayram Pasha then received an order from the Sultan to attack the revolutionaries in Macedonia [4]. His army hastened its pace and fell upon the forces of Emmanuel Papas, which had occupied the pass of Rentína, dispersing them and forcing them to withdraw to the mountains, around the middle of June [5].


The majority of the revolutionary forces, who were hampered



1. See Soulis, Ἡ Θεσσαλονίκη, pp. 585-586. See also (though with some caution) the account of an eye-witness in Β. Α. Vasilikos, Χαλκιδική, Thessalonica 1938, pp. 53-54. Also with reservation see the article, lacking references, in Achil. Vamvakoudis, Τὰ Βασιλικὰ στὴν ἐπανάσταση τοῦ 1821, XX no 9-10 (1965) 259-264. See also Trikoupis, Ἑλληνικὴ Ἐπανάστασις, 1, pp. 178-180.


2. See the unpublished letter of Emm. Papas of 11th June (Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society, Ἀρχεῖον Ἐμμ. Παπᾶ).


3. The relevant document in Vasdravellis, Οἱ Μακεδόνες, pp. 223-224.


4. See the document in Vasdravellis, ibid., pp. 200-202.


5. See Vasdravellis, ibid., pp. 223-224. See also Mamalakis, Ἡ ἐπανάσταση στὴ Χαλκιδικὴ τὸ 1821, XX 1 (1961) 157 ff. See too the account of an eye-witness in Vasilikos, ibid., pp. 52-53. Trikoupis, ibid., pp. 179-180. Philemon, Δοκίμιον, 4, p. 119.





by the Iack of munitions [1], were concentrated at Polýgyros, but later they left for Cassandra or joined the Greek vessels which were patrolling the coast [2]. It is very likely that Bayram Pasha, as he advanced towards Thessalonica, put down the insurrection at Langadá and the surrourding villages. The memory of the destruction, the enslavement and the slaughter of men and women of all ages remained alive until the beginning of this century. Many of the inhabitants took refuge in Thessalonica and from there a few fled to the islands — Syros is mentioned in oral tradition. The inhabitants of four villages, Lachaná, Klepe (Lefkochóri), Girmits (Kryonéri), and Flamoúr embraced the Islamic faith, although most of the people in the last-named village preferred a martyr's death [3].


Meanwhile, the picturesque villages and flourishing country towns of Chalcidice were being plundered and razed to the ground. The Turks had expected some resistance at Polýgyros, but found the place abandoned and set fire to it. The men, women and children who survived fled to the peninsulas of Cassandra, Sithonia and Athos. For the first time in the venerable history of the Holy Mountain, the rule of accessibility was violated by the thousands of women and children whose needs were met by the limited supplies available to the monasteries. The inevitable crowding led to outbreaks of famine and illness [4]. Alarmed by the situation, the heads of the 20 monasteries sent a request to Emmanuel Papas, who had fled to Cassandra, for supplies of food and gun-powder and the despatch of 500 men from Olympus to Cassandra and the Holy Mountain [5]. From this point, relations with the emissaries of Papas became strained [6], and the latter complained about the selfish



1. See unpublished letter from Emm. Papas to the notables of Spétses, written at Polýgyros on 16th June 1821 (Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society, Ἀρχεῖον Ἐμμ. Παπᾶ).


2. Μ. Lascaris, La révolution grecque vue de Salonique. Rapports des consuls de France et d'Autriche 1821-1826, «Balcania» (1943)148.


3. See Georgiades, Ἀνθεμοῦς, «Μακεδονικὸν Ἡμερολόγιον» 3 (1910) 322.


4. Philemon, Δοκίμων, 4, pp. 119-120. Trikoupis, Ἑλληνικὴ Ἐπανάσταοις, 1, pp. 179-180. On the flight of populations to the Holy Mountain, the famine and illness, see Mamalakis, Διήγηαις, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 7 (1957) 229. Alex. Lavriotis, Ἔγγραϕα, pp. 49-50. See also Vasdravellis, Οἱ Μακεδόνες, 1st edit., pp. 252-254.


5. See the unpublished letters of 24th and 26th June from the heads of the 20 monasteries to Emm. Papas (Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society, Ἀρχεῖον Ἐμμ. Παπᾶ).


6. See the unpublished letter of 13th July from Athan. Margaritis to Emm. Papas (ibid.).





attitude the monasteries displayed towards problems that existed [1].


The destructive fury of the Turks spread to the other shore of the Thermaïc Gulf, in the direction of Kolyndrós and Kateríni, and the flames of burning Greek villages and townships were now visible from Thessalonica [2]. The villages around the capital were deserted, for many of the inhabitants had managed to escape with their animals and bee-hives to the kaza of Véroia. When Yusuf heard of this, he gave orders to the Kadı to confiscate their possessions [3]. Caravans of enslaved women and children made their way to Thessalonica, where they were sold in the bazaars for from 5 to 20 thalers each. The young Greek girls were purchased by speculators to be resold later in Smyrna, and were despatched thence to the harems of the beys and ağas of Benghazi [4].


Bayram Pasha sent back this report of his activities to the Sultan in the usual arrogant style of an Asiatic despot: "After cleansing the area of Thessalonica of these foul and loathsome creatures, I, with my valiant army, invaded the districts of Kalamariá, Pazaroúda, Sideróporta, Polýgyros, Cassandra, Kítros and Kateríni. After defeating these infidels, I wiped off the face of the earth 42 of their towns and villages. According to the holy law, I put them to the sword, enslaved their women and children, and distributed their property amongst the loyal victors; I delivered their hearths to the flames and ashes, so that the crowing of the cock should never more be heard within them" [5]. Bayram Pasha had no further reason for delay and he set out quickly to accomplish his mission; the reinforcement of Köse Mehmed Pasha, Vali of the Peloponnese [6]. With the departure of Bayram, the first phase of Turkish action in Chalcidice is effectively completed.


There were still some traces of revolutionary activity in the Sérres district, where bandits would appear to terrorise the neighbourhood [7]. This infuriated the Turks, who threw themselves into plunder and slaughter and all manner of outrageous behaviour in the villages around Sérres, as well as at the monastery of the Honourable Forerunner. Any



1. See unpublished letter from Regas to Emm. Papas, dated 18th July (ibid.).


2. Pouqueville, Régénération, 3, pp. 60-61. See also Vasdravellis, ibid., pp. 251-252.


3. Vasdravellis, Ἡ Θεσσαλονίκη, pp. 38-39.


4. See Vacalopoulos, Ἡ Θεσσαλονίκη στὰ 2430 etc., p. 50, where bibliography may be found. See also oral tradition in G. Papanikolaou, Ἄγνωστοι σελίδες τῆς Ἑλλ. ἐπαναστάσεως. Ἡ Χαλκιδική, «Μακεδονικὸν Ἡμερολόγιον» 1915, p. 104.


5. Vasdravellis, Οἱ Μακεδόνες, 1st edit., pp. 251-252.


6. Vasdravellis, ibid., pp. 223-224.


7. Pouqueville, Régénération, 3, p. 64.





members of the Papas family who fell into their hands were thrown into prison, where they suffered greatly from ill-treatment and deprivation. The family's house was ransacked and burnt to the ground, and their property confiscated. At the beginning of 1826, the punishment of the Papas family was changed to seven years' house-arrest under police supervision and, finally, after Greece had gained her independence, to which Papas had contributed unsparingly, his family was absolved from all punishment, thanks to the intervention of the Greek government [1].



2. The insurrection in Chalcidice was, from then on, confined to the peninsulas of the Holy Mountain and of Cassandra. Chartered Greek



Fig. 202. The channel, formerly the isthmus, of Cassandra, where the Greeks resisted the forces of Mehmed Emin Pasha of Thessalonica

Fig. 202. The channel, formerly the isthmus, of Cassandra, where the Greeks resisted the forces of Mehmed Emin Pasha of Thessalonica.



ships gave protection to the flanks from the sea. On Mount Athos, the rebels had entrenched themselves behind Próvlakas (where Xerxes had constructed his famous canal). At Cassandra the defences were concentrated on the narrowest point of the isthmus (see fig. 181), where it is only one kilometre wide: at Pórtes near the village of Pináka (present-day Potidaea). This was a strong defensive position and when, on 27th June, Ahmed Bey attacked the Greeks from the camp at Myriófyto, he was repulsed with loss. The following day he attacked Ormýlia, but there too he met with vigorous resistance and once more retired to his



1. Pennas, Ἱστορία τών Σερρῶν, pp. 82-84. See also Philemon, Δοκίμων, 4, p. 120.





base [1]. The attacks continued into the first week of July, but without result [2]. Around the middle of that month the Greek forces were reinforced by the arrival of 400 men from Olympus under the adjutants of Diamantis Nikolaou, Mitros Liakopoulos and Binos. Diamantis himself criticised the other commanders, Tasos, Goulas and Mantzaris, for making no move and for not sharing his feelings. Nevertheless, these reinforcements gave tremendous encouragement to the rebels. Later on, a further 200 man came from Olympus, under the command of Diamantis Nikolaou in person. At the same time, patrols of Greek ships all round the peninsula protected the flanks and rear against landings by Turkish forces. By the middle of July the new war fronts had been firmly established in Central Macedonia [3].


After the defeat of the Greek rebels and their subsequent flight to Cassandra and Athos, the Mütesellim of Thessalonica, Yusuf, began to concentrate his forces at Thessalonica, bringing them from the kazas of the vilayet. These were intended to defend the castle of Thessalonica, which was considered the key to the vilayet, and also to be ready to put down at the earliest moment any insurrection in the surrounding region [4]. To support these forces, Yusuf had laid in stocks of food and munitions [5], but there seems to have been a distinct lack of enthusiasm on the part of the soldiers, who were reluctant to come forward in any numbers [6].


On 26th July, Yusuf Bey left Thessalonica to replace Ahmed Bey as commander of the Turkish forces which were drawn up before the isthmus of Cassandra [7]. There were a few small-scale skirmishes, but mention must be made of a successful attack on the Turkish flank by 700 Greeks who landed at Áyios Mámas on 18th August [8].


Neverthless, the morale of the Greek troops began to decline for a number of reasons: most of the monks were disappointed after the



1. Lascaris, La révolution grecque, «Balcania» 6 (1943) 148. Mamalakis, Νέα στοιχεῖα σχετικὰ μὲ τὴν ἐπανάστασιν τῆς Χαλκιδικῆς τὸ 1821, ΔΙΕΕ 14 (1960) 461-465.


2. See Mamalakis, ibid., p. 472.


3. See the unpublished letter of Diamantis Nikolaou, dated 7th July (Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society, Ἀρχεῖον Ἐμμ. Παπᾶ). See also Lascaris, ibid., p. 148. Pouqueville, Régénération, 3, p. 63.


4. Vasdravellis, Οἱ Μακεδόνες, 2nd edit., p. 210.


5. Ibid., pp. 211, 213.      6. Ibid., p. 214.


7. Lascaris, Ibid., p. 148. Pouqueville, Ibid., 3, p. 63.


8. See relevant document of Emm. Papas in Mamalakis, ibid., 488. See also p. 490. See, too, Lascaris, pp. 148-149.





first failures; there were shortages of munitions and food; the arguments and feuds between the monks over financial policy and the supposed unfair distribution of burdens amongst the monasteris [1], and the general reluctance of the monks to carry on the fight. The atmosphere was full of despondency and pessimism. To make matters worse, there was no money available, or rather, it was not being readily provided. At the monastery of Pantokrátoros, some monks fled, taking with them sacred vessels, valuable relics and sums of money, according to a document of the Holy Congregation dated 9th July 1821 [2]. The monastic authorities had to take repeated measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such misdeeds [3]. Complaints were also made against the monks by the forces guarding Próvlakas [4].


As the situation deteriorated in the camp at Cassandra, the consequent irritation caused the majority of the irregulars from Olympus to abandon the peninsula. This action, together with the problems already mentioned, the inexperience of the new commanders and outbreaks of sickness, resulted in the gradual disintegration of the Greek forces.


Although the situation on the Turkish side was not much better, the Turks were, nevertheless, pushing every day nearer to the Greek lines by the continuous construction of 'parallels'. To create a diversion, Emmanuel Papas made a great effort to promote uprisings in Olympus and Piéria. The chiefs of these regions were willing to take action but needed further supplies of munitions. Nicholas Kasomoulis (see fig. 203) had been despatched to the Peloponnese, with full powers to negotiate such supplies, by the commanders of Olympus and Cassandra [5].


Papas was also concerned about the situation on Mount Athos and, around the middle of August, he sent his faithful secretary [6], Nicephorus



1. See the unpublished letter of 15th July from the heads of the monasteries to Emm. Papas (Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society, Ἀρχεῖον Ἐμμ. Παπᾶ). Mamalakis, Νέα στοιχεῖα, passim, see in particular pp. 490 ff. Alexander Lavriotis, Ἔγγραϕα, pp. 46 ff.


2. See Mamalakis, ibid., pp. 475-476.


3. See Mamalakis, ibid., pp. 492-493.


4. See the unpublished letter they wrote to Emm. Papas on 19th June 1821 (Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society, Ἀρχεῖον Ἐμμ. Παπᾶ).


5. Kasomoulis, Ἐνθυμήματα, 1, p. 149. See also Vasilikos, Χαλκιδική, p. 54. See, too, the bitter recriminations in Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, 2, pp. 77-78.


6. See the unpublished letter, dated 20th August, from the heads of Mount Athos to Emm. Papas (Archives of Historical and Ethnological Society, Ἀρχεῖον Ἐμμ. Παπᾶ).





Iviritis, as administrator to deal with the numerous problems which had arisen, particularly the disputes between the monks concerning contributions in money and kind towards the common struggle [1].



Fig. 203. Nicholas Kasomoulis of Kozáni (1795-1871), who took a prominent part in the revolution of 1821

Fig. 203. Nicholas Kasomoulis of Kozáni (1795-1871), who took a prominent part in the revolution of 1821.

(N. Delialis, Ἡ ἰδιόγραϕος διαθήκη τοῦ Νικολάου Κ. Κασομούλη (1795-1961))



3. By the end of September, it was obvious that the plight of the rebels in Chalcidice was becoming increasingly hopeless. The Turks succeeded in repulsing a landing of 600 Greeks on the coast near Cassandra and took a large number of prisoners [2]. The Sultan ordered Yusuf to



1. See the unpublished letter, of 22nd August, from Iviritis to Emm. Papas (ibid.).


2. Lascaris, La révolution grecque, pp. 149-150.





gather together a large force, and he appointed as commander and Paşa of Thessalonica his able and energetic vezir, Mehmed Emin Pasha, nick-named "the cudgel-wielder" because of his ruthlessness. The new commander was given complete freedom of action in his campaign against the Holy Mountain and Cassandra [1].


The Europeans and Greeks of Thessalonica were completely deceived by the show of benevolence put on by Mehmed Emin and felt greatly relieved after the region of terror under Yusuf. However, Mehmed was to show his true colours later, when became master of the situation. For the moment he made energetic preparations for the campaign.


In the middle of October, Mehmed Emin marched with about 3.000 men against Cassandra, which was defended by only 430 Greeks. At the same time, 20 Greek caïques from Koulakiá were detailed to support the Paşa's offensive. Mehmed reached the isthmus of Cassandra on 17th October, but his attempt to storm the pass, supported by a landing on the flank by 600 men, was unsuccessful. One of his ships, with 28 men on board, was captured, and the channel through the isthmus was filled with corpses of men and horses. The revolutionaries were so heartened by this success that Papas wrote to the Holy Community on 20th October: "...they no longer take any account of the enemy" [2].


However, Mehmed Emin was undeterred and made preparations for a general attack. On 24th October, he issued orders that 40 labourers [3] should be sent immediately from every kaza, whilst the troops from the kazas of Thessalonica, Tekelí, Klísa, Véroia, Édessa, Yenitsá and Avret Hisar were to be moved to the front at Cassandra [4]. Before launching the attack, Mehmed offered a general amnesty if the rebels would give themselves up, but the Greeks rejected his proposals. As dawn broke on 30th October, Mehmed Emin attacked, breaking through the lines to become master of the peninsula. The inhabitants and the refugees who had found asylum in Cassandra were subjected to slaughter, plundering, enslavement and savagery. The frightful scenes of brutality and debauchery which followed remained vividly etched on the memories of eye-witnesses for decades. Two hundred families fled to the Greek ships anchored off the coast, which took them mainly to Skiáthos, Skópelos and Skyros [5] (see map 18).



1. Vasdravellis, Οἱ Μακεδόνες, 2nd edit., pp. 214-215.


2. See Mamalakis, Νέα στοιχεῖα, pp. 526-527.


3. Vasdravellis, ibid., 2nd edit., p. 222.


4. Vasdravellis, ibid., pp. 222-223.


5. The vivid reminiscences of the inhabitants thirty years after the frightful events are treated in A. Vacalopoulos, Νέα στοιχεῖα γιὰ τὶς ἐπαναστάσεις τοῦ 1821 καὶ 1854 στὴ Μακεδονία, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 7 (1957) 66-67, where there is also bibliography relating to Mehmed Emin's invasion of Cassandra. See also Urquhart, The Spirit, 2, p. 78, where he expresses bitter comments on the revolutionary stirrings of the Greeks.





Map 18. The movements of Macedonian refugees to Southern Greece (1821-1822)

Map 18. The movements of Macedonian refugees to Southern Greece (1821-1822).





During this time, on Mount Athos Nicephorus, the friend and representative of Emmanuel Papas, had found it impossible to make any headway with the monks. There was no discipline and everything was in confusion. Eventually, the leaders of the General Congregation deposed Nicephorus and showed themselves ready to submit to the Turks. The majority became panic-stricken — particularly those who had been initiated into the Society and felt themselves implicated to some extent — and many made off to the islands of Skiáthos, Skópelos, Psará and Hydra, and to the Peloponnese, bearing with them the treasures and holy relics from the monasteries [1].


With the fall of Cassandra the rebellion in Chalcidice came to an end. Emmanuel Papas crossed to the Holy Mountain, found that the monks were inclined to submit, and despairingly withdrew to Hydra with monks and laymen. However, this great blow had been too much for him and, on the journey to unoccupied Greece, he suffered a heart-attack. He died before the ship arrived at Hydra, where he was buried with full honours (see fig. 204).


At the same time, emissaries from the Holy Mountain had arrived at the Turkish camp at Cassandra to announce the surrender of Athos to Mehmed Emin. He received them with his customary and deceptive affability, and assured them that they had nothing to fear. Thus Sithonia, Athos and Thasos surrendered in December 1821 [2], although Ammoulianí appears to have remained a nest of rebels and pirates for some time [3].


The end of the insurrection on Thasos is described in a report of the Austrian consul at Thessalonica, de Coch, dated 24th December 1821: "After capturing the Cassandra Peninsula, the Pasha of Thessalonica [4] has forced the inhabitants of the Holy Mountain and of Thasos



1. See Mamalakis, Ἡ ἐπανάσταση στὴ Χαλκιδικὴ τὸ 1821, XX 1 (1961) 162-192. Of the same author, Διήγησις, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 7 (1957) 232. See also Archimandrite Gabriel, Ἡ Μονὴ τοῦ Ἁγίου Διονυσίου, pp. 157, 181-182.


2. Philemon, Δοκίμιον, 4, pp. 281-284. Trikoupis, Ἑλληνικὴ Ἐπανάστασις, 2, pp. 139-141. Pouqueville, Régénération, 3, pp. 268-283. See also Lascaris, La révolution grecque, «Balcania» 6 (1943) 148-150. Kasomoulis, Ἐνθυμήματα, Ι, pp. 139-140.


3. Mamalakis, Νέα στοιχεῖα, p. 541. See also Archimandrite Gabriel, ibid., p. 182.


4. He means Mehmed Emin Pasha.





to submit. This was achieved with the ready agreement of the Greeks, who have laid down their arms on the understanding that no armed Turks are permitted to set foot in those parts of the country" [1].


According to an oral tradition that is still extant, Hadji Giorgis, the instigator of the revolt on Thasos, after telling his compatriots to



Fig. 204. Tomb-stone of Emmanuel Papas in the church of Hypapanti on Hydra

Fig. 204. Tomb-stone of Emmanuel Papas in the church of Hypapanti on Hydra.

(Archives of G. Maraveleas)



put all responsibility on to his shoulders, managed to conceal himself within his own house together with his adopted son, Demetrius Hadji Yiaxis. Today the inhabitants of Theológos still show this hiding-place in the cellar of the ruined house, which bears the date 1820 on the lintel over the door. This building should be maintained as an historical monument.



1. Lascaris, La révolution grecque, p. 150.





After the island had submitted, Hadji Giorgis and his son took the first opportunity to escape to Skyros, whence he proceeded to Tínos, where he remained for a number of years. Later he returned to Thasos, disembarking at a spot called "Saloúpes", near the harbour of Kazavíti. However, since the village notables advised him that it would still be dangerous for him to show himself, he left by the same vessel for Egypt to seek the pardon of Mehmed Ali Pashn and the return of his possessions. He succeeded in this [1] and, from an entry in the will of his wife Hadji Maria, it appears that he died on Thasos before 1825 [2].



Fig. 205. Monastery of Slavronikítas on Mounl Athos

Fig. 205. Monastery of Slavronikítas on Mounl Athos.

(Photo S. Stergiopoulos)



4. For the whole of the winter of 1821-22, Mehmed Emin and his army occupied a camp at Komítza, near Hierissós. He gave orders that the women and children who had taken refuge in the hermitages and cells should be re-settled in their burnt-out villages. All the inhabitants were disarmed and he searched the villages and countryside to discover



1. See Vacalopoulos, Thasos, p. 41.


2. See A. Vacalopoulos, Ἀνέκδοτα δικαιοπρακτικὰ ἔγγραϕα τῶν χρόνων τῆς τουρκοκρατίας, ΑΙΔ 13 (1946) 208.





any hidden arms [1]. He imposed avery heavy fine of 3.000 purses on the Athos community and extracted a further 500 kuruş from every monk as a ransom. Later, Mehmed introduced garrisons of soldiers into the monasteries (see figs. 205, 206, 207, 208), who indulged in every kind of outrageous behaviour, desecrating churches, destroying frescoes, oppressing and killing monks and laymen alike. The result was that the fortified towers of the monasteries were filled with impoverished monks,



Fig. 206. Balconies of the Monastery of Simonos Pétra

Fig. 206. Balconies of the Monastery of Simonos Pétra.

(Photo Ang. Vacalopoulos)



while their more fortunate brethren who possessed some money slipped away from Athos, discarding their habits, cutting their hair and beards, and becoming laymen. Many of them married, but others became robbers or trod other shameful paths. Thus the monasteries became deserted and those remaining were mostly old men and cripples [2]. It was at this time that a mysterious hermit from Georgia made a courageous stand in Athos against the arbitrary acts of Mehmed Emin, only to suffer a



1. Mamalakis, Νέα στοιχεῖα, p. 540.


2. Mamalakis, Διήγησις, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 7 (1957) 232-236. On the situation in the monastery of Dionysíu, see the Archim. Gabriel, Ἡ Μονὴ τοῦ Ἁγίου Διονυσίου, pp. 157-158, Alexander Lavriotis, Ἔγγραϕα, pp. 92, 95, and thereafter passim.





martyr's death. It is possible that he was a Georgian prince driven out by the Russians [1].


At the end of February 1822, Mehmed Emin Pasha returned in triumph to Thessalonica, where the consuls called upon him to offer their congratulations. The inhabitants of the city, who were still unaware of his true nature, greeted him with mixed feelings of respect, hope and fear.



Fig. 207. The tower of a monaslery on Mount Athos

Fig. 207. The tower of a monaslery on Mount Athos.

(Photo S. Stergiopoulos)



Mehmed was the first Turkish paşa of Thessalonica to concern himself with the effective organization of the city's defence from the sea. He was alarmed at the repeated attacks by Greek vessels in the Thermaïc Gulf; and indeed, they had recently made a daring appearance in the harbour of Thessalonica itself. Mehmed displayed his usual energy by visiting Megálo Karaburnû, opposite the mouth of the Axios, to acquaint himself with the area and to choose a suitable place for the installation of a battery and a military guard-post to protect the entrance to the gulf. It was only then that the fortifications of Megálo Karaburnû were erected, the Turks not having had the foresight to fortify the site



1. Urquhart, The Spirit, 2, pp. 167-168.





earlier, even though the necessity had been long since perceived by foreigners.


After Mehmed Emin returned to the city, his attitude towards the Greek community changed abruptly. He was, perhaps, the only Turkish paşa fully to appreciate the role played by the Greek urban classes in providing financial support for the fight for liberation. With a view to nullifying their power and to enriching himself at the same time, Mehmed



Fig. 208. Monastery of Vatopedíou

Fig. 208. Monastery of Vatopedíou.

(Photo Ang. Vacalopoulos)



embarked upon a programme of extortion. Under the pretext that he had gone to great expense for their safety and was now, as a result, short of money, he imposed an obligatory levy on the Greeks, at the same time pretending that he was sorry that they were thus obliged to pay for the follies of their fellow-countrymen. The Greeks made the pay-





ments without complaint and, indeed, without regrets, only too pleased to save their lives by this expedient.


The Paşa was particularly interested in the rich trading-company of the brothers Emmanuel and Gregory Kyriakou. Emmanuel (more often called Manolakis), who was also a vice-consul of Denmark, was summoned to Government House and arrested on the charge that, allegedly, letters from him to the monks of Athos had been intercepted, revealing that he had given them 60.000 kuruş. Pouqueville, however, says that the Paşa had asked Kyriakou for a loan of 100.000 francs and, when this was refused, he had treated the Greek as a simple raya and had imprisoned him, ignoring his diplomatic status and in violation of international law. In vain his European colleagues tried to secure his release; neither their efforts in Thessalonica with the Paşa not in Constantinople with the Sultan met with any success [1].


Mehmed Emin continued his policy of extortion by demanding 3.000 purses from the Holy Mountain. But those who possessed any money had left, so he was obliged to imprison a large number of innocent monks, who were subject to daily whippings. Of these, 82 met their death and the remainder were not released until August 1823, when the new governor of Thessalonica, Ibrahim Pasha [2], had taken office [3]. Nevertheless, the oppression and extortion practiced by the Turkish garrison on Mount Athos was to continue for some years [4].


At this time, the monks had anxieties from another quarter. The rulers of Wallachia and Moldavia, in league with the local metropolitans and boyars, removed from their monasteries all those abbots who had come from Athos, the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Sinai and elsewhere, and replaced them with Wallachians and Moldavians [5]. This was the beginning of the so-called monastic problem which was to cause a great deal of trouble, around the middle of the 19th century, for the



1. Vacalopoulos, Ἡ Θεσσαλονίκη στὰ 1430 etc., pp. 53-55, where the relevant bibliography may be found.


2. Mamalakis, Διήγησις, p. 237. See also pp. 220-221. See too Alexander Lavriotis, Ἔγγραϕα, pp. 85, 93; and thereafter passim.


3. See Lascaris, La révolution grecque, «Balcania» 6 (1943) 162.


4. Alexander Lavriotis, ibid., pp. 61, ff. passim. See also further details in I. P. Mamalakis, Τὰ μαρτύρια τῶν Ἁγιορειτῶν ἑπὶ Μεχμὲτ Ἐμὶν Ἀβδονλὰχ πασᾶ, 1822-1823, ΔΙΕΕ (1963-1964) 39-153.


5. See interesting documents in Alexander Lavriotis, ibid., pp. 102-106, 108-109, 113-115, 117-118. Also on this question, see Alexander Lavriotis, Τὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος, ΕΕΒΣ 32 (1963) 198-216.





Oecumenical Patriarch and particularly for the large monastic centres of the Holy Mountain, the Holy Sepulchre and Sinai.


In conclusion, it is clear that the diversion created by the insurrection in Chalcidice was a serious and long-lasting problem for the Turks. Bayram's march south was delayed and, for a time, the flame of rebellion threatened Thessalonica itself and was kept ablaze in the three peninsulas until the end of 1821. With reference to the significance of this insurrection, the British diplomat Urquhart was forced to admit that it had aroused a great deal of animosity amongst the European powers against the Turks and, consequently, helped to produce the climate of opinion which eventually resulted in the treaty of 6th July 1827 [1].


The reasons for the failure of the movement cannot be attributed to the inhabitants of Chalcidice, who showed commendable bravery and fighting spirit, but rather to a lack of preparation and organization. They were particularly short of leaders who had seen active service; men who were experienced in klepht warfare, who could train their troops and deploy them effectively. Even had such leaders been available, they would have found it difficult to offer a prolonged resistance against enemy forces operating from a nearby supply-base as large as Thessalonica. Moreover, Central Macedonia was inhabited by large numbers of the warlike Yürüks, the descendants of the ancient Turkish conquerors, who had settled around the lakes of Ayíou Vasileíou and Vólvi, and in the region around Yenitsá. Finally, the fact that the revolt in Chalcidice was an isolated event, not reinforced by similar risings in other regions of Macedonia, greatly weakened its impact. The rebellions on Olympus, Piéria and Vérmion only broke out some three months later.



Decoration from the "Newspaper" of 1792

Decoration from the "Newspaper" of 1792



1. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, 2, pp. 78-79.


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