History of Macedonia 1354-1833
VII. Macedonia in the 16th and 17th centuries
2. Macedonia in the second half of the 17th century
c) Central Macedonia
__1_ — __2_ — __3_
1. Following the coast road westwards, we come to the region of the Chalcidic Peninsula. At this period, one would say that its most celebrated township and principal centre was Siderokávsia (Seder Kapsi in Turkish). Set in the mountains some 11 to 16 kilometres from the sea, the town had great charm and enjoyed a healthy climate. It had at this time a mosque, two public baths and a small market-place. It came under the administration of Thessalonica, and had a Chief Supply Officer, a commander of janissaries, and an inspector in charge of all business; but the supreme authority was the emin (Controller) of the silver-mines, who judged civic and penal cases. The country around was well covered with vegetation and was very picturesque, with high mountains and dense forests full of game. Woodcutting was forbidden in the forests, since the trees were used to fire the furnaces in which the silver was smelted . There was plenty of water-power for the mining establishments, and the vegetable-gardens and fruit-orchards were well irrigated, as were the vineyards that abounded throughout the neighbourhood .
Around the middle of the 17th century, the silver-mines were worked by the kâhya of the Grand Vizir, Ebul Hayir Ibrahim Ağa, and yielded 10-11 hundred-weights of silver annually. The town also housed a mint, though this had been closed down by the Sultan Ibrahim (1640-1648) . During the reign of its previous owrıer, Murad IV (1623-1640), it
3. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 14 (1938) 498-499. See also the almost contemporary description in Hadschi Chalfa, ibid., pp. 82-83.
4. Belon, Observations, 45a.
5. Moschopoulos, ibid., 498-500. See also for the time when the mints were working in the European provinces of Turkey in Anhegger, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Bergbaus, 1, pp. 80-81.
issued coins bearing the inscription Sultan Murad Han ibn Ahmed azza nasarruhu daraba Seder Kapsi (Sultan Murad, son of Ahmed Khan: may his conquests be glorious: struck at Seder Kapsi) .
There were mints in other Macedonian towns besides Siderokávsia, i.e. at Thessalonica, Sérres and Kavála .
But the gradual decline of Siderokávsia is discernible already from the middle of the 17th century, and becomes more so from the end of that century . The following extract from the Sultan's directive of 1700-1701 is typical: "...The mining expert, the raya Kirkor, in his report submitted to my Sublime Porte, states that the mining of silver has existed in that place from ancient time, and that when the shafts were working the state revenue derived from the mines was considerable; but the mines have been in a state of ruin and decay for quite some time now, and only four shafts are in use, each producing for the benefit of the management of this land, which is a wakf [meaning the mine], an annual yield of a thousand kuruş. And he requests that the metal-bearing ground of the above-mentioned kaza be ceded to him, that he may excavate the area at his own expense and work the shafts: for his part, he is to pay an annual sum of a thousand kuruş for each of the four shafts in use, on condition that this sum be augmented proportionately to the number of fresh shafts opened henceforth..." .
The directive goes on to say: "...The following appointments are to be made: a trustworthy man is to be designated by the afore-mentioned most excellent Vizir: and a naib (judge) is to be appointed by the Islamic court, so that under the supervision of these two men, the mines pertaining to the said kaza, which were worked of old, might be further worked, as well as any parts in which ores have been found, and any metalliferous areas indicated by the above mentioned mining-expert. Samples of each kind of ore are to be kept. And should any profit to the State be recorded the miners should be called to work in the mines; and a true assessment of the situation should be made before the board of inquiry. But, if, when the resumption of work at the old mines had been permitted (that is at the mines that have been abandon-
1. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 14 (1938)499.
2. Moschopoulos, ibid., p. 500. With regards to the mint at Sérres at the time of Mehmed II, see Beldiceanu, Règlements miniers, p. 187. Regarding the appointment of sahibi sayan (superintendant) of the mint, see Beldiceanu, ibid., p. 190.
3. See details in Anhegger, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Bergbaus, I, 2, pp. 308-311, 323-334. See also I, 1, pp. 87-88, 184-187.
4. Ahmed Refik, Türkiye madenleri, pp. 46-47.
ed for some time), the inhabitants should offer some opposition with a view to preventing it, and should put obstacles in the way, under the impression that service at the mines will be imposed upon them, their protests are not to be heeded. However, this must not be used as a pretext for loading upon these poor rayas services for which they are not paid..." .
To the south of Siderokávsia lies Athos; and we have some interesting details about the Holy Mountain at this time from John Covel  and Father Braconnier. The former was an English chaplain from the British embassy at Constantinople, who in 16 7  was the first Englishman to visit the Mountain during the Turkish occupation. Braconnier was there in 1706. Covel (upon whom Ricaut was to base himself) describes the largest of the monasteries and tells us about the organization of the Mountain and in particular about the offices and the administration of the monastery of Lavra . Robert de Dreux, who was almost a contemporary of the English traveller, in a reference to the Holy Mountain, writes that a certain sculptor had proposed to Alexander the Great that he should shape the mountain in such a way as to depict the Macedonian king holding a city in one hand and pouring out a stream seawards with the other .
Braconnier considers the position unique and wonderfully isolated for such as wish to withdraw from worldly things. The sea cuts it off on almost every side and there is no safe anchorage for ships, while beautiful forests cover all the slopes. The numerous springs with abundant water give rise to streams great and small. These make fertile the vine-yards and orchards, the corn-fields and vegetable-gardens, that are indispensable for the monks' sustenance.
Braconnier considers that those accounts which put the number of monks at between ten and twelve thousand are exaggerated. He himself does not believe that they can be as many as four thousand. The twenty monasteries or 'πύργοι' were enclosed within stout walls,
1. Ahmed Refik, Türkiye medenleri, p. 47.
2. Concerning Covel and his relations with the Orthodox monks, see Arabatzoglou, Φωτίειος Βιβλιοθήκη, part 1, pp. 169 ff.
3. The earlier writer W. Wey (15th cent), like the Italian Aless. Ariosto (15th cent.) and the Frenchman J. Thenaud (16th cent.), had not visited the Holy Mountain in person (Hasluck, The fist English Travellers, etc., BSA 17 (1910-1911) 104, note 7).
4. Hasluck, ibid., p. 115.
5. R. de Dreux, Voyage, p. 90.
which were strengthened at intervals with large square towers. There was usually one stout tower that stood higher than the others and this was armed with a canon and long-range artillery of some kind. In addit-ion to the monasteries there were some four or five hundred cells and hermitages (see fig. 77).
Lower down, Braconnior proceeds to examine each monastery in turn, starting with the most important. Nor does he omit to mention the rulers abroad — particularly those of Wallachia and Moldavia— who from time to time sent contributions as benefactions to be used on behalf of the various monasteries. Of the munerous other items of
Fig. 77. The hermitage of Kavsokalyvia.
(Photo S. Stergiopoulos)
information that Braconnier gives us, we shall cite only those which are of particular interest. Thus, for example, at the monastery of Lavra he was impressed by the six-storeyed tower-cum-arsenal, which was armed with several iron canon for the protection of the small ship-yard situated nearby. He was also impressed by the roads encircling the monastery, which were full of small work-shops in which one could see monks busy at every manner of craft. The lead roof of the 'katholikon' (central church) was a gift from the Wallachian ruler, Nicholas (rather: Neagoe) Basarab (1512-1521). The monasteries of the Grand Lavra and of Vatopediou were considered the richest, while that of Chilandariou was one
of the most beautiful monasteries of the Holy Mountain, if not the most beautiful. It was said that there were at times as many as 400 monks in residence there.
The monks of the monasteries of Ayiou Pavlou, Chilandariou and Xenophontos came from Serbia and Bulgaria, and it was difficult to find in them anyone who knew Greek. As one can see, with the steadily growing resistance on the part of the Greek monks (a subject already discussed in the previous chapter), the Slav monks were by now limited to three monasteries only. The Greeks were obviously recovering the ground they had lost during the first two centuries of Turkish rule.
Braconnier observes how each abbot strove to distinguish himself by the additionof new buildings to his monastery — a practice which only served to arouse the covertousness of the Turks and resulted in the imposition of fresh taxes. In order to face up to these additional tax-burdens, the abbots were obliged to borrow money at high rates of interest, and to mortage or sell monastic property. Thus the larger part of the monasteries' agricultural holdings located in the plain of Thessalonica had been pledged or sold.
The bishop of Athos, who was directly under the Patriarch of Constantinople, had his seat at Karyés. In the church of the Protaton there was a seat prescribed for each abbot in order of importance: the first seat was occupied by the abbot of the Grand Lavra, the second by that of Vatopediou; then followed those of Chilandariou, Iviron, Pantokratoros, Saranta Martyron, Archangelon, Metamorphoseos, Dionysiou, etc.
Karyés was also the headquarters of the Turkish ağa who dealt with the monks' secular affairs. He was assisted by four monastic representatives drawn from the four chief monasteries of Athos. The Ağa was obliged to accept the co-operation of these representatives, since there was a danger that be would find himself immediately replaced at the slightest complaint against bim. Braconnier observes that owing to the desolate and remote situation, very few Turks found the post congenial. The majority were in a hurry to leave just as soon as they had completed their one-year term of office.
Each of the Athonite monasteries had a guest-house at Karyés. There were also numerous small workshops where caps were made, and several smithies, all run by monks. The pruning-hooks, axes and hatchets manufactured there were well-known and attracted customers from far and wide. Α weekly bazaar was held near the Protaton every Satur-
day, and on that day monks from all the different monasteries of Athos would foregather there.
To ensure a sufficiency of the various necessities of life, the monks engaged themselves in a wide variety of work. The two main occupations were the cultivation of their fields and the manufacture of objects for liturgical use such as crosses made of wood or ivory and reliquaries. Others, again, copied books, wrote epistles, and — most frequently — composed sermons, in which they would insert quotations from the Gospels, to be distributed among the laity.
Yet by far the most effective means of increasing the subsistence of the monasteries were the ζητεῖαι (journeys of mendicant monks). Α considerable number of monks, equipped with letters of introduction from their respective monasteries, penetrated the various provinces of the Ottoman empire, sometimes even journeying beyond as far afield as Muscovy. If the fruits of his arduous travels proved plentiful, a lowly monk could become abbot of his monastery; but if another monk were shortly after to make a more significant contribution to the monastic community, then he in his turn would take the place of the recently appointed abbot (a custom which serves to emphasize the tenuous nature of an abbot's position).
Braconnier goes on to say that there were a number of foreigners living as monks in the monasteries, and that they came from a variety of European countries: he lists Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Spaniards, Italians, English, Dutch and Swedes, and supposes that there must have been some Frenchmen as well. But the fact is that not one of these foreigners came into his presence while he was there.
Finally, the feature which made such an impression on Braconnier, and for which he deems the monks worthy of the most unstinted praise, is the pains they took to decorate their churches in the most beautiful manner possible, and to keep them absolutely spotless. This, he found, was in striking contrast with the poverty of their clothing and the frugality of their diet .
Braconnier's description of life on Mount Athos supplements an almost contemporary account given us by that wise prelate of Drystra, Hierotheus (his lay name being John Comnenos) (1657-1719) , who was
1. See Omont, Missions archèologiques, part 2, pp. 994-1024. See also part 1, p. 277. See too a few relevant items of information from Braconnier in Aimé-Martin, Lettres, vol. 1, p. 82.
2. See B. de Montfaucon, Paleographica Graeca, Paris 1708, pp. 433-499.
perhaps the last descendant of the imperial family of the Comneni .
The prosperity the monasteries had enjoyed under the Byzantine emperors was never to return; and confronted by so many difficulties they despatched envoys to the Greek communities abroad, which gave as much help as they could . In addition, a large number of Orthodox rulers, particularly those of Russia, Wallachia and Moldavia, as well as devout princes, boyars and even private individuals, used to send frequent gifts of money to alleviate the monasteries' difficulties or to pay off their debts. They also sent other dedicated objects—embroidered 'epitaphii' (sacred shrouds used on Good Friday in the ceremony of Christ's burial), manuscripts of the Gospels, and other theological books either in manuscript or printed in the presses of the Rumanian monasteries or cities (Jassy, Bucharest, Rimnik, Tirgovistea and Snagov). They would sometimes take upon themselves the patronage of certain monasteries, helping to build or repair their buildings; and all in all they maintained a variety of spiritual ties with the Athonite communities .
The relations between Athos and the Rumanian countries were particularly close. Α good number of Athonite monks went to Moldavia and Wallachia, while Rumanians came to live as monks onthe Holy Mountain . Traces of Athonite influence can be discerned in the art of Wallachia
1. A. Papaiopoalos - Keramevs, Ὁ τελευταῖος Κομνηνός, ΔΙΕΕ 2 (1885-1889) 667-679.
2. See contribution from Venice between 1604-1611: K. D. Mertzios, Θωμᾶς Φλαγγίνης καὶ ὁ μικρὸς Έλληνομνήμων, «Πραγμ. Ἀκαδ. Ἀθηνῶν» 9 (1939) 216-218.
3. For information about the economic difficulties of the Holy Mountain in the 17th and 18th cents., see Lavriotes, Ἅγιον Ὄρος, pp. 105 ff.: and about monastic revenues and the help afforded by Moldavia, on pp. 17-104. The generosity of the Moldavian rulers came to an end in 1821. Between 1812 and 1821, the Phanariot ruler of Moldavia, Skarlatos Kallimaches (1812-1819), built from its foundations the monastery of Ayiou Panteleimonos ton Roson (see Tsioran, Relations between the Rumanian lands and Athos, p. 43. See also D. Hemmerdinger - Iliadou, Un hrisov de danie inedit de la Mihnea Turcitul (in Rum.), «Studii» 18 (1965) 913-916). For the relations between Rumanian rulers and for the most part Orthodox monasteries, see N. Iorga, Byzance après Byzance, Bucharest 1935, pp. 126 ff. See the short but in-teresting study recently composed by P. Ş. Năsturel, Aperçu critique des rapports de la Valachie et du Mont Athos des origines au début du XVIe siècle, RESEE 2 (1964) 93-126, where the most recent bibliography may be found. For the dating of buildings, see Hasluck, The first English Traveller's, etc.,BSA 17 (1910-1911) 129. In connection with this, one ought to look at Gedeon, Athos, pp. 157-199, and the relevant portions of the following works: Christ. Ktenas, Ἡ μονὴ Δοχειαρίου (963-1921), Athens 1926; Gabriel (archim.), Ἡ ἐν Ἁγ'ιῳ Ὄρει Ἱερὰ Μονὴ τοῦ Ἁγίου Διονυσίου, Athens 1959, pp. 14-16, etc; Oikonomides, Actes de Dionysiou, Texte, pp. 18, 19.
4. See Tsioran, ibid., pp. 91 ff. passim. Năsturel, ibid., pp. 123-124.
especially, where the architecture of Athos was held in great esteem, particularly during the reign of Neagoe Basarab (1512-1521) .
The Phanariot rulers, who in 1711 succeeded to the trans-Danubian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, were not so generous as their predecessors had been, since they possessed neither the wealth nor the political power of the latter . Nevertheless, by virtue of gifts bestowed upon them by the rulers and by private individuals, the monasteries of Athos, not to mention ecclesiastical foundations elsewhere (the monasteries of Meteora, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, etc), acquired enormous wealth in Moldavia and Wallachia in the form of monasteries, churches, dependencies and other landed property. But after these states had gained their independence, such Athonite possessions created the great monastic problem.
Notwithstanding all these benefactions, the economic situation of the monasteries on Athos grew steadily worse on account of the intolerable taxation and interest-charges to which they were subjected. The innumerable debts that the Holy Community had contracted brought the monasteries into a wretched state around the year 1600 . The situation grew even more serious after the Cretan war (1645-1669) , and was to continue so until the middle of the following century.
2. Following the road to Thessalonica, we reach the town of Besik (see fig. 78), which was situated on the shores of the lake Besik Göl (Vólvi). The town (doubtless the modern, insignificant village of Megáli Vólvi) was at this time in a flourishing state, full of the verdure of orchards and vineyards. It came under the general administration of Thessalonica, but had an Islamic court, a commander of Janissaries and of the army. Among its buildings one could distinguish the following: an Islamic court-house, an elementary school, public baths, a caravanserai, and a guest-house. Near Besik was a spring with hot medicinal waters, which were believed to be beneficial for sufferers from leprosy and syphilis .
Also situated on the road to Thessalonica was the large Moslem vil-
1. Năsturel, Aperçu critique, etc., p. 125.
2. See Tsioran, Relations etc., p. 117.
3. Tsioran, ibid., pp. 86-87.
4. Hasluck, The first English Travellers, etc., p. 128.
5. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 14 (1938) 496-497. Concerning the hot spring, see also Hadschi Chalfa, Rumeli und Bosna, p. 83.
lage of Pazardjik Djedid ('New Market'), no doubt the modern Pazaroúda. Once but a small village, it had developed itıto a sizeable township thanks to its most favourable position and its waekly market . Each year, on St. George's Day (rûz-i hızır Ilyasda), a market was held there, and it appears to have been well-known throughout all the cities of Macedonia (Thessalonica, Yenitsá, Véroia, Sérvia, Kastoriá, Flórina, Avret
Fig. 78. The lake of Besikya (Volvi) with the town of the same name.
(Clarke, Travels in various countries of Europe, Asia and Africa, Cambridge (1812), vol. 2, facingp. 384)
Hisar, Sérres, Dráma, Zichna, Monastir, Prilep, Istip, Kratova, Kyustendil, Strumica), as well as some in Western Thrace (Gyumuljina and Kara Yenidje), and in Thessaly (Elassóna, Yeni Shehir (Lárisa) and Chataldja (Phársala) .
Beyond Pazaroúda, on the road to Thessalonica, lay Áyios Vasíleios, a sizeable village standing near the lake of the same name. As we saw earlier, its castle had been destroyed by Gazi Evrenos. The inhabitants of Áyios Vasíleios and the surrounding villages gained their livelihood
1. Hadschi Chalfa, Rumeli und Bosna, p. 83. See also Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 14 (1938) 498.
2. See Šopova, Macedonia in the 16th and 17th cents., p. 25, document no. 14.
by selling at Thessalonica the abundant fish which they caught in the lake. The scale of their fishing activities may be judged from the fact tbat there was a special official to collect the tax imposed upon this fishing industry, equal to a tenth of the total catch .
Some 12 kilometres distant from Thessalonica stands the village of Peristerá, which was centred around the monastery which bears the same name and now serves as a church for the village (see fig. 79).
Fig. 79. The catholikon of the Byzantine monastery of Peristerá.
(Photo Ch. Bakirtzis)
Α little to the north is Langadá, while some 25 kilometres to the south-east is Galátista, both of these being townships still well-known today. At the beginning of the 18th century, Braconnier tells us that Galátista was inhabited by Greeks, with a well organized and self-governing community. He also mentions the activities of the Jesuits in the town . At Langadá, on the other hand, according to Hadji Kalfa, the population was made up of Greeks, Serbs and Moldavians . There can be no doubt that by 'Moldavians' he means Vlachs; in fact Vlachs are specifically mentioned by Evliya Çelebi . It is worth noting, too, that speaking
1. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, p. 507.
2. Aimé - Martin, Lettres, 1, p. 90.
3. Hadschi Chalfa, Rumeli und Bosna, p. 80.
4. Moschopoulos, ibid., p. 503.
of Langadá, Evliya Çelebi writes Bulgars instead of Serbs. This confusion as to the distinction between Serbs and Bulgars (and we find numerous other instances) demonstrates the fact that in these districts a dialect was spoken which had much in common with the two respective Slav languages — the result of a mixture of Slavs which varied from place to place, sometimes the Bulgarian influence predominating and sometimes the Serbian. It is a striking fact that all the travellers who visited Macedonia during this obscure period (including the fanciful Evliya Çelebi) distinguished the inhabitants according to nationalities, i.e. Greeks, Jews, Bulgars, Serbs, etc; and they did not discern a single οverriding nationality which could be termed 'Macedonian', as the present scholars of Skopje are wont to do. Such a nationality (particularly one of a Slavic character) was non-existent. The same goes for theories quite outside the scope of history, such as the 'lllyrian' nationality (meaning South Slav) which patriotic Yugoslavs invented during the last century. This confusion as to the significance of the terms 'Macedonians' and 'Macedonia', which in modern times denote strictly geographical designations and nothing more, has been aggravated in recent years by Western European scholars who employ the terms in a political sense to mean Slavs and Slav territories .
Writing about the medicinal springs of Langadá, Evliya Çelebi says that during the summer months (as is the case even today) people congregated there from all over Macedonia to take baths, and amongst these were a good number of wealthy Thessalonians, particularly city notables (âyan).
The inhabitants of the villages to the north of the lake of Langadá — Greeks, Vlachs and Bulgarians — had abandoned their villages and become bandits (hayduks), and for that reason their houses had crumbled into ruins . It is not difficult to surmise the identity of those Turks who had so harassed the Christian villagers, if we remember that the Turks who inhabited the surrounding villages were the Yürüks — descendants of the first Ottoman conquerors. The complaints which the Christians raised against these Turks were to be repeated in later years, as we see from a firman dated 27 December 1695, according to which the Sultan ordered that a stop should be put to the violence practiced by "some Yürük bandits" inhabiting the villages of Mavrovo, Soulovan,
1. See, for example, G. Gianelli - A. Vaillant, Un lexique Macédonien du XVIe siècle, Paris 1958.
2. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, p. 503.
Yeni Mahalé, Delidjeli, Yaïkin, Göldjik, Mergamali, Chali Obashi, Kurfali and Sariyar. These Yürüks apparently came to Sochos and made off with food, sheep, lambs, geese, chickens, honey and butter, and even seized women and children .
The largest city in the region, and by and large the capital of Macedonia, was Thessalonica. It was by this time a predominantly Turkish city with a large population, the seat of the Sancak Beyi, with a molla (i.e. a judje of the highest rank), an officer of the rank of Kâhya
Fig. 80. Church of Our Lady of Chalkeon at Thessalonica in Turkish times.
(Arclıives of IMXA)
yeri of the army, and a yeniceri-ağasi (Commander-in-Chief of the Jenissaries), not to mention numerous other officers of lesser rank. Fearing invasion by the Western European powers (Venice, the Knights of Malta, etc.), the Turks maintained in the city a large army, which had the additional duty of keeping guard over the sancaks of Elbashan, Ohrid, Veltserin, Skopje and Prizren .
Thessalonica had 48 Moslem districts, 56 Jewish, and 16 inhabited by Greeks, Armenians and others. The better known Turkisb districts included Yedi Koulè, Vardar, Kalamaria, Chortatz (Ayiou Georgiou), Kasim Pasha (Ayiou Demetriou) and Ayia Sophia. The Jews lived prin-
1. Vasdravellis, Ἀρχεῖον Θεσσαλονίκης, pp. 17-18.
2. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 16 (1940) 325.
cipally in the harbour area within the Quayside Gate (Iskele Kapısı) , directly below the city wall . In 1620 a great fire had forced a good number of them to disperse to various places outside Thessalonica, some of them making for Monastir .
The 16 Greek districts were located below the Moslem quarters on a level stretch of ground in proximity to the gate of Kalamaria. This section of the city was the heart — one might say, the very citadel — of
Fig. 81. The Mosque of St. George (the Rotonda).
(Diehl - Le Tourneau - Saladin, Monuments, p. 21)
Hellenism in Thessalonica during Turkish rule. It was, in fact, for Thessalonica what the Phanar was for Constantinople. These districts not merely afforded a haven of refuge for the descendants of the Byzantines; they preserved numerous elements of the Byzantine civilization as well. The houses of Thessalonica were orientated to the south-east; that is to say, they all faced the Gulf, with the exception of the fine Turkish houses of the western districts which looked towards the plain of the Axios. They were high, multi-storeyed buildings of dressed stone, di-
1. It lay just wlıere the marble quayside is situated today, in front of the Square of Liberty.
2. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 16 (1940) 352-335.
3. Mertzios, Μνημεῖα, p. 176,
Fig. 82. Interior of the Church of St. Demetrius in Turkish times (it was then a mosque).
(Archlves of IMXA)
Fig. 83. Mosque of Aladja Djamisi.
vided into separate compartments and including two or even three court-yards, such as still exist in many Turkish houses of Thessalonica today. The houses had red-tiled roofs, windows, enclosed balconies (şahnişin), out-houses (çardak) and summer-houses (köşk).
Fig. 84. The mosque of the Hamja Bey.
Fig. 85. Interior of the mosque of Hamja Bey.
(Tafrali, Topographie, plate XXXII)
Fig. 86. Interior of a tekke at Thessalonica.
(Ancel, Macédoine, plate LVII)
In addition to the 48 mosques and 30 churches, there were 38 large synagogues and numerous small ones within the city. Each district had one or more mosques with their respective minarets. Many of these mosques were quite famous, like the Eski Djouma (the Acheiropoeitos), the Ayia Sofia Djamisi (Ayias Sophias), the Chortadji Suleiman-Efendi Djamisi (Ayiou Georgiou) (see fig. 81), the Kazandjilar Djamisi (see fig. 80), the Kasimie Djamisi (Ayiou Demetriou) (see fig. 82), the Aladja
Djamisi ('Mosque of Many Colours') (see fig. 83), the Burmali Djamisi, Hamja Bey (see fig. 84, 85) etc.
Fig. 87. Byzantine baths. Thessalonica in the upper city.
(Photo Ch. Bakirtzis)
Fig. 88. Turkish baths. Thessalonica.
There were also medreses (theological colleges) and renowned tekkes (Dervish monasteries) (see fig. 86) with wise sheiks (abbots) and other
virtuous and wise old ascetics who, barefoot and hatless, went about reciting the mesnevi  and reading the Koran.
There were as many as eleven (nine according to Hadji Kalfa) fine bath-houses — the famous hamams (see fig. 87, 88) — among which
Fig. 89. Turkish fountain in Thessalonica (in the upper cily).
(Photo Ch. Bakirtzis)
Fig. 90. The covered marked Bezesten at Thessalonica.
1. Α religious poem of the Dervish order of the Mevlevis (founded by Mevlana (elaluddini Rumi).
was the Bey-Hamam, celebrated for its situation and artistic design. Some of these baths survive and are in working order even today in Thes-salonica, while others have been converted into warehouses or have been destroyed.
There were 16 large inns (see fig. 91) and numerous smaller ones, as well as many caravanserais, fountains (see fig. 89), 'sebilhanès' , 16 'imarets' (charitable establishments), and a number of well-known Turkish shrines. Α large number of these buildings were preserved up to
Fig. 91. Old inn at Thessalonica in Monasteriou Str. (exterior view).
(Photo Ch. Bakirtzis)
1912 . It is possible that an old caravanserai was in existence uptil the middle of the last century (see figs. 92 and 93), and despite certain Moslem architectural elements, the edifice had in all likehood its origins in the Byzantine period .
Evliya Çelebi admired Thessalonica's covered market (see fig. 90), which was situated near the market on Lonja, where cloth was sold, and near to several inns (the Sulhidje Han, the Mustafa Pasha Han, etc. ). The covered market survives to this day, but as repaired after the fire of 1917. It is, just as Evliya Çelebi describes it, built of stone and roofed with lead, with heavy iron gates. Within the city there were 4.400 shops belonging to artisans, merchants and manufacturers, each
1. Sebilhanè = a publio fountain.
2. Hadschi Chalfa, Rumeli und Bosna, p. 77. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς χατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 16 (1940) 338-350,353,362-363.
3. L. de Beylié, L'habitation byzantine, pp. 71-72.
4. Hadschi Chalfa, ibid., p. 77.
with their particular specialities; but the majority belonged to merchants carrying on trade with Egypt and Europe. The Jews were, of course, well-known as merchants, but they were also carpet-makers of repute. They made carpets of an individual character, made of Thessalonican felt and decorated with colourful patterns. They also made blue and green cloth of a serge type for the 40.000 Janissaries of the Turkish empire, and blue silk peştemals (towels for carrying bath utensils).
Fig. 92. Byzantine inn (caravanseray) at Thessalonica.
(L. de Beylié, L'habitation byzantine, Paris 1902, p. 71)
Fig. 93. Plan of the Byzantine inn at Thessalonica.
(Beylié, ibid., p. 71)
The Mısır-carşısı (Egyptian market) was one of the best known markets in Thessalonica. It lay behind the 'Gate of the Quayside' (Iskele-kapısı) in the neighbourhood of the modern Street Aegyptou and contained 500 stalls in all. Within this market one could find all the products
of Egypt and the East: flax, sugar, rice, coffee, henna, etc. In this locality, too, were 50 wood-importers' establishments (kerestecis) and 100 tanneries between the sea and the castle wall . The picture which Thessalonica presented at that time had not changed essentially up to the First World War (1914-1918).
The security of the harbour was assured not only by virtue of its situation at the head of the Gulf of Thessalonica, but also by the protection afforded by the coastal walls and the enormous towers sited at the western and eastern ends and equipped with many pieces of artillery, ready to fire their missiles against any hostile fleet of 'Infidels' that dared
Fig. 94. The White Tower during Turkish times.
(Archives of S. Stergiopoulos)
approach. Evliya expressed particular admiration and praise for the 'lion of fortresses', the 'garrison-tower of Kalamaria', in other words, the White Tower (see fig. 94), as it is called today. This was built by Suleyman I, the Magnificent (1520-1566), upon the ruins of an earlier tower. The tower of Kalamaria was employed as a prison for criminals — a use that was to continue until the final years of the Turkish occupation.
Within the port of Thessalonica one could see hundreds of galleons, caravelles, galleys, galliots, passenger-ships, barges, galiasses, and other craft. Into the harbour and the city beyond poured a motly crowd of sailors and merchants, voyagers from every corner of the Old World; from the Black Sea, the White Sea (the Aegean), the Sea of Oman (the
1. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 16 (1940) 350-352, 359-360.
Persian Gulf); from Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Tripoli, Genoa, France, Portugal, England, Holland, Denmark, and many other parts besides.
The environs of Thessalonica produced an abundance of cereals and vegetables of various kinds, while the market-gardens, orchards and vineyards produced fruit of fine quality; the while cheries were particularly famous .
In 1655 the tranquility of the Jewish community of Thessalonica, if not of the whole Thessalonican society, was shattered by the messianic preaching of Sabbethai Sevi (1627-1676). Born and brought up in Smyrna, Sevi became a strict ascetic and mystic. He believed that he was the Messiah long awaited by his fellow-Jews. His preaching made a great impression on the Jews of Thessalonica, as it did on those of Germany, France, Poland, Egypt, Persia, etc. Sevi visited all the Jewish colonies of the Mediterranean litoral, and wherever he went, he was received with a delirium of religious fervour and fanatical devotion.
The new Messiah styled himself the 'King of Kings' and spoke about the refounding of the Kingdom of David and of the dethronement of the Sultan. It would require pages to describe the mystical ferment which Sabbethai Sevi set in motion throughout the Jewish communities of the Ottoman empire and elsewhere, the scenes of religious fervour enacted in the streets of the various Ottoman cities, and the demonstrations of crowds of faithful followers each time the new Messiah appeared in their midst. In the end, alarmed at the way things were going, the Turkish authorities arrested Sevi and after keeping him for some time in prison at Constantinople, eventually brought him befqre the Sultan. At this point Sevi's nerve failed him, and to escape execution, he accepted the Moslem faith it 1666, although it appears that throughout the remaining years of his life he remained secretly a Jew .
Many thousands of Jews — and they included countless wealthy and eminent Thessalonian families—followed the example of Sabbethai Sevi in accepting Islam. Hence a unique community of Judo-Moslems sprang up, known mostly by the Turkish name of dönmes (literally, 'converts'), who inhabited Thessalonica uptil 1923, when in the exchange of populations they identified themselves with the Turks and went with them to Turkey. On the surface, the Judo-Moslems followed the forms
1. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 16 (1940) 333-338, 360-362.
2. For details see Μ. Febure, Theâtre de la Turquie où sont representées les choses les plus remarquables, qui s'y passent aujourd'hui, Paris 1688, pp. 398-400.
of Moslem worship, but in secret they observed a form of Judaic mysticism. They called themselves maminim (mamin in the singular form), meaning 'of the true faith', though their fellow-Jews called them minim (heretics). Before their departure from Thessalonica, the dönmes numbered some 15 or 16 thousands and by this time they spoke Turkish, since they had abandoned the Castillian Spanish which their forefathers had spoken.
In reality, Sabbethai Sevi was no more than a dreamer — the incarnation of the Jewish people's unquenchable yearning for deliverance — and that dream he framed in the mysticism of the Kabbalah; hence the vibrant chord he struck in the downcast hearts of the Jewish masses, moving them to repentance and purgation .
It is interesting to note, en passant, that the saga of Sabbethai Sevi was adopted almost at once into the realm of Turkish song. Thus the traveller Edward Brown remarks that at Lárisa he heard some Turkish songs which extolled Kasim Pasha for his success in bringing the affair to a satisfactory conclusion .
Sevi's movement was to have far-reaching repercussions on the Jewish communities both inside and outside the Ottoman empire. Not a few Jews, under the influence of Sevi's teaching, presented themselves as his ardent disciples or as new prophets even, sowing seeds of ferment and commotion in the religious world of Jewry .
However, it was not only the preaching of Sabbhetai Sevi that shook the Jewish community of Thessalonica at this period; there was another factor, of an economic nature, which was to bring Jewish commerce into a state of increasing stagnation. The British and the Dutch had inaugurated a regular trade-route to India and the East Indies by sailing along the shores of Africa and rounding the Cape of Good Hope, thus making it possible to import goods of the Far East directly from their countries of origin. The whole commerce of the Near East—including that of Thessalonica—was profoundly disrupted at great cost to Jewish, Venetian and French trade.
1. Vacalopoulos, History of Thessaloniki, pp. 90-91. For the deeper meaning of Sabbethai Sevi's teaching, see the article of Ghaim Wirszubski, Shabbethai Sevi e il movimento sabbatiano. Storia di un' eresia mistica, «Rivista Storica Italiana» 77 (1965) 78-95, where in particular the work of Gershom Scholem is developed. For an analysis of the same work see G. Vajda, Recherches récentes sur l'ésotérisme juif, 11 (1954-1962) (troisième article), «Revue de l'histoire des religions» 165 (1964) 49-70.
2. See Brown, Relation, p. 36.
3. M. L. Margolis - A. Marx, Histoire du peuple juif, Paris 1930, pp. 523-531.
The British and the Dutch no longer found it necessary to draw merchandise from the ports of the Near East, at which points the caravans terminated their journeys; and in consequence they had no further need for Jewish, Venetian and French merchants and shippers. Instead of being carried by caravans to the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean, the products of the Indies now followed the sea-lanes, with the ports of London and Amsterdam as their ultimate destinations. The centre of world trade had shifted decisively to the Atlantic and to the Western sea-board of Europe, which was now nearer both to India and to America.
The first to feel the backlash of this economic re-orientation were the Venetians, who had been the lords of Mediterranean trade. Moreover, this set-back coincided with another serious blow — the loss of Crete at the end of a long and exhausting war with Turkey (1645-1669). Venice had now started upon the road of her decline, and, since they had close trade-links with her, the Jews were to follow her along the down-hill path towards economic eclipse.
The Greeks of Thessalonica and Smyrna, on the other hand, were to profit from this reversal. Little by little they succeeded in taking over from the Jews the initiative in the handling of trade with the other provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Greek fortunes were on the rise. Greeks moved merchandise from the various trade-centres of the Balkans to Thessalonica, Durazzo or Ragusa; and from there they shipped it to numerous other European countries.
The economic decline of the Jews proceeded at a gradual pace. It was, in fact, spread over two centuries uptil 1848, when the agents of that great Jewish association, the Alliance Israélite, aroused them from their lethargy, educating them and initiating them into current European civilization, which they had foresaken within a century of their settlement in Turkey . However, the rate of the Jewish decline was so imperceptible that when the Russian monk Basil Barskij passed through Thessalonica in 1726, he found the Jews there (he is, of course, exaggerating) very wealthy, with over 60 schools, many learned men, an academy where various arts and sciences were taught, though philosophy was the principal subject .
But the Greeks of Thessalonica had also their share of scholars and men engaged to varying degrees in intellectual activities. In 1684,
1. Vacalopoulos, History of Thessaloniki, pp. 91-92.
2. Vacalopoulos, ibid., pp. 83-92.
for instance, there is mention of the Doctor of Phílosophy and graduate of Padua University, Asanis Lascaris, who was highly thought of by tiıe Patriarch Parthenius .
3. But let us continue on our imaginary journey to the other districts of Macedonia, as they appeared at this period.
At one day's march northof Thessalonica stood the villageof Yaydjilar, near the lake of the same name . It contained 500 houses, half of which belonged to Greeks and Bulgarians and the other half to Moslems . The lake of Yaydjilar was very liable to dry up: its waters were bitter and in summer the local inhabitants used to dig up salt around the edge of the lake and distribute in throughout the entire 'kaza' of Thessalonica. The working of salt was farmed out by the public treasury. Not far from the lake stood another village called Asik, which likewise had a mixed population of Christians and Moslems . We may with some eertainty identify the lake of Yaydjilar with the present-day Pikrolímni.
Further north lay Avret Hisar (modern Gynaikókastro), inhabited by Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs, who were engaged in trade and industry. The town rejoiced in apopulation that was both peaceful and cultured, and representatives of the Turkish authorities were based there. On a hill above the town stood a castle, which even by that time had almost been reduced to ruins .
Further north still lay Doiráni, which constituted the seat of a kâhya yeri, a deputy-chief of Janissaries, a produce-superintendant and a voyvoda. It had houses of two storeys, various educational and religious establishments, orchards, vineyards, market-gardens, and on the neighbouring mountains grazed flocks of sheep. Doïráni was inhabited mainly by Greeks and Bulgars, the Moslems being in a decided minority. However, in the rural areas it was Vlachs who predominated; they were a free people and good farmers .
West of Doïráni lay the famous Moslem township of Yenidje Vardar
1. P. G. Zerlentis, Ἐπιστολαὶ Ἰωάννου Καρυοϕύλλου πρὸς Μελέτιον Χορτάκιον καὶ τοὺς Θεσσαλονικεῖς, ΔΙΕΕ 6 (1902-1906) 81, 87. See also Gedeon, Θεσσαλονικέων διενέξεις, «Μακεδονικὰ» 2 (1941-1952) 2-3.
2. Hadschi Chalfa, Rumeli und Bosna, p. 81.
3. Moschopoulos, Ἡ Ἑλλὰς κατὰ τὸν Ἐβλιὰ Τσελεμπῆ, ΕΕΒΣ 15 (1939) 180.
4. Moschopoulos, ibid., pp. 180-181. See also Hadschi Chalfa, ibid., p. 81.
5. Moschopoulos, ibid., ΕΕΒΣ 14 (1938) 504.
6. Moschopoulos, ibid., ΕΕΒΣ 14 (1938) 506.
or Yenitsá (it did, however, have a few Greek inhabitants) . The kaza of Yenitsá was made up of 300 tax-paying units, and came under the jurisdiction of the paşa of Thessalonica. It had an ağa, who enjoyed an income of 300 akçes. But in addition to the regular taxes, the inhabitants were obliged to pay the irregular taxes of avariz and ordu nüzulat (military tax).
Being the chief city in the kaza Yenitsá was the head-quarters of a number of Turkish officials, i.e. the kâhya of the sipahis, the kâhya of the city, the serdar commandant of the Janissaries, etc.
The city occupied a hill-side, between the ruins of two castles. At this period it had 17 districts with 1.500 houses constructed of brick and stone, two-storeyed, well-built and spacious, with tiled roofs, gardens, vineyards and running water. Yenitsá contained 740 shops and business-premises, 4 covered markets and 7 inns for the use of merchants and strangers on their way through. Α number of its craftsmen were concerned with the carving of plates out of plum-wood and spoons out of the roots of box and white-thorn. They also manufactured pipes as beautiful as those of Brusa. The tobacco of Yenitsá was particularly famous, being well-known not only throughout the Ottoman empire, but as far afield as Persia.
Within this flourishing city were 17 mosques (5 large and 12 small ones), all of them built by beylerbeyis and âyans (Turkish notables). The most important of these mosques was that of Iskender Beg (of the House of Gazi Evrenos), which stood at a central point of the market-place. Of the smaller mosques the most important were those of Gazi Evrenos and of Sheik Ilâhî (or Lianis, as he figures in the early chapters of this book). Beneath a high dome with many windows, Ghazi Evrenos lay buried amid the tombs of those 'gazis' who died as 'martyrs' (in other words, who fell in battle). In the courtyard of this mosque were the tombs of Ali Bey and Gazi Isa Bey, the sons of Evrenos. The tomb of Sheik Ilâhî, which lay near the mosque of Ahmed Bey, was the most important Moslem place of worship in Yenitsá.
The city also possessed a school of ulemas (doctors of Moslem theology), which was maintained through the proceeds of the wakf of Gazi Evrenos; and it had, in addition, 7 other schools where children learnt writing, some Dervish establishments and three guest-houses which provided meals for rich and poor .
1. See Mertzios, Μνημεῖα, p. 131.
2. Evliya Çelebi, Seyahatnamesi, Istanbul 1928, vol. 8, pp. 170-173, 175-176. I have drawn Evliya Çelebi's details relating to Yenitsá and the remainder of Western Macedonia from the translation made by the Director of the Historical Archive of Macedonia and specialist in Turkish studies, B. Demetriades.
In the Vermion region we find the three major cities Véroia, Náousâ and Édessa. Véroia (or Karaferya, as the Turks called it) constituted a kaza of 300 akçes, and belonged to the sancak of Thessalonica. The Turkish authorities based in the city were composed, among others, of the şeyh-ül-islam, the nakib-ül eşraf, the kâhya of the sipahis, the serdar of Janissaries, and the kâhya of the city. It contained about 4.000 houses, divided amongst the 16 Moslem districts and the 15 Infidel [i.e. non-Moslem]—Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Latin [meaning Vlach] and Jewish. The majority of its mosques were formerly Christian churches. The city could boast 3 medreses of ulemas, 10 grammar-schools, 5 Dervish monasteries, 600 business establishments, and 10 inns large and small for merchants. There was a covered market in which one of the specialities were ornamental towels for the bath, and these were famous throughout the land. Its burnooses (Arab-type hooded cloaks) were also widely known, as too were the silk sheets, which were sent as gifts to the Sultan and his vezirs.
On the north-east side of the plain of Véroia rice, cotton, cereals were among the chief crops grown . Hadji Kalfa says that in his day Véroia was without city-walls. The orchards around produced fine-quality fruit and its rice-fields produced rice of excellent quality. Reddish marble also came from the Véroia district, to be employed in the construction of splendid buildings .
Véroia was the home of some distinguished Orthodox clerics, amongst them being the holy monk Kallinikos, who was called ethe wise'. He was apparently a teacher, too; hence his death on 2 July 1665 deprived the city of a capable teacher, as the contemporary <memoire> relates . Another 'memoire' dated 1668 gives us some valuable information about the social administration of that era. By this time, Michaelis, son of Stratis, had been 'πρωτόγερος' (chief elder) for seven years; that is to say, he had been president of the community from 1661-1668. Later on, they 'took him off' and 'forcibly put in' Georgakis Mavroudis to administer the community's affairs in conjuction with the προεστοὶ (notables), one chosen from each quarter (μαχαλάς) . This information
1. Ibid., pp. 181-184.
2. Hadschi Chalfa, Rumeli und Bosna, p. 86.
3. N.B.X., Χρονικὰ σημειώματα, ΔΙΕΕ 4 (1892-1895) 694.
4. N.B.X., ibid., p. 696.
is interesting, because it shows that the members of the civic council were composed of the heads of the several districts, and not of the guilds, as was the case at Sérres. The word 'forcibly' gives rise to speculation. Was the whole Greek population against Mavroudis' appointment, or did it meet with the opposition of Mavroudis' own party, supported by the local Turks? The problem remains unsolved.
Fig. 95. Α corner of Édessa.
(Photo S. Iordanides)
Náousa (Ágoustos) was at this period a large Christian village , and a wakf of Gazi Evrenos; hence it was administered by his mütevelli (bailiff). It was the headquarters of the naip of the kaza of Véroia, and belonged to the sancak of Thessalonica. The village contained 1.000 houses, a market and a bazaar, and was inhabited by Greeks .
1. Hadschi Chalfa, Rumeli und Bosna, p. 86.
2. Evliya Çelebi, Seyahatnamesi, vol. 8, pp. 180-181.
Vodená (Édessa) was conquered, so Evliya Çelebi tells us, by Gazi Evrenos, who took it from the Romans (i.e. Greeks), Serbs and Bulgars. This gives us an idea of the composition of the population in the district at the time when the Turks captured the city (and as such, is quite typical), a situation which persisted until quite late on , and was certainly existent in the time of Çelebi. Édessa, he goes on to say, was a small town constituting a kaza that belonged to the sancak of Thessalonica and had various administrative officers: the kâhya of the town, the serdar of Janissaries, the ağa and the subaşı. It maintained no garrison, since the city's castle, which had stood on a precipitous cliff, had been pulled down after the Turkish capture, and only the remains of its towers were to be seen, scattered about the site. Édessa had twelve 'districts', of which nine were Moslem and only three Christian. The city contained a good number of Greeks, who had acquired a hatı şerif (royal mandate) whereby Jews were forbidden to dwell in the city on punishment of death. And to this fact Evliya attributes the absence of Jews in Édessa.
One could count 1060 houses in the city, of either one or two storeys. There was an abundance of running water, which was chanelled off into water-spouts, cisterns and fountains, finally terminating in the tanneries. In some parts, outcrops of rocks created waterfalls (see fig. 96). The vegetation around the city was rich, and it is with a certain lyricism that Evliya Çelebi describes the beautiful walks with their plane-trees, poplars, weeping willows, etc. Each house had its small water-mill. The streets of the city were all paved with cobbles.
At Édessa there were schools (obviously Moslem), 10 guest-houses, 2 tekkes, and 300 workshops. The Christians had 7 churches, where the priests would teach a handful of children in the narthexes. There were also Orthodox monks and nuns. Evliya noticed the influence of Greeks on the dialect of the Turks at Édessa  (though whether this is correct or not it is impossible to say).
1. See Mertzios, Μνημεῖα, p. 131.
2. Evliya Çelebi, Sayahatnamesi, vol. 8, pp. 176-179.
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