History of Macedonia 1354-1833

A. Vacalopoulos


XVIII. Macedonia and its inhabitants after the insurrection


2. The situation in Macedonia during the last years of the struggle for Greek independence, with particular reference to Western Macedonia


 __1_   —   __2_


1. The inhabitants of Western Macedonia continued to suffer greatly at the hands of the undisciplined Albanian troops, who were little more than predatory bands, and wbo did not hesitate to attack rural towns and cities, particularly the more prosperous ones, as we learn from contemporary Turkish documents. The Ottoman authorities decided to take action and, on 19th February 1825, for instance, the Vali of Rumeli, Mehmed Reshid Pasha, sent orders to the Kadı of Monastir and to other authorities, for the formation of a body of 100 men, to protect the villages from the arbitrary behaviour of the başıbozuks (Turkish irregulars) and other troops [2]. He also ordered the same authorities to put a stop to the tyrannical behaviour of the military, particularly towards the poor and weak inhabitants of the area ranging from Skopje as far as Sofia and Philippopolis [3]. About the middle of 1825, when Mehmed Reshid Pasha was engaged in the siege of Mesolónghi, he writes that Albanian brigands had made their appearance in the districts of Anaselítsa, Hrúpista, Flórina, Korytsá, Prilep and Ohrid [4].


From his camp at Mesolónghi, he sent instructions to the authorities in Western Macedonia concerning various questions that were causing him concern [5]. Α part of his message blames certain Christian inhabitants of Monastir for carrying out transactions, perhaps of a speculatory nature, with the assistance of people of some importance, and which were damaging to the state [6]. The repercussions of the hostilities at Mesolónghi were to be felt in Macedonia; exactions of money



2. Turkish Documents, 4 (1818-1827) 104.


3. Ibid., pp. 104-105.      4. Ibid., p. 107.      5. Ibid., pp. 110 ff.      6. Ibid., p. 112.





and kind upon the inhabitants [1], the conscription of persons, no doubt to act as labourers, for the war against the Greeks [2], and the migration of peasants from the Flórina area [3] to avoid these oppressive measures. Even after the fall of Mesolónghi this arbitrary treatment continued [4]. Many inhabitants were pressed into forced labour of various kinds, along with their beasts, especially in the conveyance of munitions. It is recorded that seven peasants from the village of Libóhovo (Dílopho), near Anaselítsa, were burnt to death with their animals at Phanári in Thessaly, when the gunpowder they were transporting caught fire [5]. Many of those who had sought refuge in the forests perished as a result of want and numerous other hardships. Their bodies were taken by night and buried in their village cemeteries [6]. There is little doubt that during this period, and perhaps even after the end of the insurrection, large numbers of Kutsovlach families left for areas now in Yugoslavia; and it is almost certain that other Greeks, as well as Slavs and Albanians, must have fled in that direction [7].


The Moslem Albanian irregulars who were oppressing Macedonia, particularly the western parts, offered as an excuse the fact that they had not been paid any wages by the Turks since they had descended into Southern Greece to supress the revolution. Even within Thessalonica, the seat of the Paşa, the Albanians had provoked and insulted the newly-formed Turkish troops and had caused numerous disturbances [8].


Siátista, the renowned ϕλουροχώρι, twice attracted the attention of marauding Albanians: in 1827 and 1830, when they attacked the town under their commanders, Tafil Buzi and Aslan Bey [9]. On both occasions the Albanians were decisively repulsed by the inhabitants, who barrackaded themselves within their strongly-built houses — veritable fortifications in themselves —, in the churches of St. Paraskevi and St. Demetrius, and in the town's fortress-tower (Goulá). Precise details of the raids and of their dates are still not available, because we know of them only



1. Turkish Documents, 4 (1818-1827) 112 ff.


2. Ibid., p. 115.      3. Ibid., pp. 115-116.      4. Ibid., 5 (1827-1839) 22-23.


5. Vacalopoulos, Ἱστορία Λιμποχόβου, «Φάρος Β. Ἑλλάδος» 2 (1940) 114.


6. Vacalopoulos, ibid., 114.


7. See Popović, On the Cincari, p. 55.


8. See unpublished report of the Austrian consul at Thessalonica 3 May 1828 (Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Türkei VI).


9. See Vacalopoulos, Δυτικομακεδόνες ἀπόδημοι, p. 26.





through oral tradition (committed to paper many years after), and from the folk-songs which still survive [1].


The second incident concerning the Albanians is connected with the plundering of Kozáni. After the Turkish defeat at Pétra in Boeotia, on 13th September 1829, Aslan Bey retreated northwards with his Albanian troops to Tsarítsani and Elassón, where they spend the winter. On the 1st May 1830, 2.000 of these Albanians took possession of Kozáni, where they pillaged and perpetrated every kind of violence for almost



Fig. 217. Old house in Drama

Fig. 217. Old house in Drama.

(Photo N. Constantinides)



a month, forcing the terrified inhabitants to abandon their city. After this, Aslan Bey turned upon Siátista, but its inhabitants, as we have seen, put a valiant fight and managed to escape the fate of Kozáni [2].


Kastoriá also suffered greatly during the revolution. Her inhabitants, especially the wealthy ones, were forced to take troops into their houses and provide for their keep during the whole of their stay there. Tradition has preserved the memory of the oppression and hardships inflicted by Skodra Pasha in the area of Kastoriá, and also around Mon-



1. Vacalopoulos, Δυτικομακεδόνες ἀπόδημοι, pp. 26-27, 41, where there is the relevant bibliography.


2. Lioufis, Ἱστορία τῆς Κοζάνης, pp. 94-96. See also Vasdravellis, Οἱ Μακεδόνες, 2nd edit., p. 337.





astir and Prilep [1]. Albanian rebels and brigand bands ravaged other parts of Macedonia, but the Greeks, despite the diminution in their number and wealth during the first years of the revolution, soon began to show signs of recovery.


At Sérres, the Greeks made up the majority of a population of 35.000; while the Turks formed barely 20%, and the Jews 5% at the most [2]. The Greek notables (Primati e Signori) of Sérres were considered by the Austrian consul at Thessalonica as "always the arbitrators and absolute masters of the place" (30th September 1829) [3].



Fig. 218. Macedonian house at Dránovo (Monastiráki) near Dráma

Fig. 218. Macedonian house at Dránovo (Monastiráki) near Dráma.

(Photo N. Constantinides)



However, in the ağalıks of Dráma (see figs. 217, 218, 219) and Zíchna, it was the Turks who held the more prominent position, and in these districts there was widespread anarchy, just as in Western Macedonia. Ambitious military commanders, aspiring to become local administrators, sought to impose ancient hereditary rights, threatened their op-



1. Tsamisis, Καστοριά, p. 45. On the commandeering of food and lodgings, see historical confirmation in Turkish Documents, 5 (1827-1839) 13-17.


2. See unpublished record of events in the Sérres region on 22 September 1829 in Österreichisches Staatsarchiv. Abt. Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv. Türkei VI. Consulat Salonich (1807-1834).


3. See the unpublished report of the consul in the same archive as above.





ponents, and spread disturbance and fear amongst the inhabitants [1].


At the same time, the Albanian rebels and brigands were bringing terror and devastation to Eastern Macedonia. Saban Gika (or Geka) from Mat in Northern Albania, with a number of başıbozuks and brigands who had come southwards from Sumla after the end of the Russo-Turkish War (1828-1829), launched themselves upon the kazas of Kilkis, Strumica, Petrítsi and Siderókastro, plundering and maltreating the inhabitants. However, the Albanian was finally defeated by the Turkish



Fig. 219. Turkish house in a Macedonian village

Fig. 219. Turkish house in a Macedonian village.

(From Schultze Jena's, Makedonien, plate 79, following p. 187)



forces of these regions, as well as of Sérres, and forced to beat a retreat in the direction of Thessalonica. The Sultan subsequently issued the necessary orders for his extermination [2].


The details of Saban Gekas' incursion into Eastern Macedonia come from an unpublished report by the Austrian consular agent in Sérres, Antonios Dumas, dated 13th December 1829. According to this document, the Albarıian robbers poured into Petrítsi, set fire to the booths of the town's trade-fair, and then entered Melnik without meeting any



1. See unpublished record of events in the Sérres region on 22 September 1829 in the same archive as above.


2. Turkish Documents, 5 (1827-1839) 47-48.





resistance; for the city's tyrranical Ayan (chief notable) was not disposed to defend this naturally strong position. The Albanians not only forced the cowardly Ayan to pay 125.000 kuruş to save his harem, but also extracted a sizeable sum from the Kadı, as well as 60.000 kuruş



Fig. 220. Domestic utensils from a Macedonian house

Fig. 220. Domestic utensils from a Macedonian house.

(A. Goff - Η. Α. Fawcett, Macedonia, a plea for the primitive, London 1921, opposite p. 106)



from the Orthodox Bishop. But these losses were nothing compared with the plunder taken from the inhabitants. The raiders not only seized money, but also utensils (see fig. 220), clothes, and indeed anything that they could lay their hands on. They loaded everything onto horses, and one portion was sent home to Mat and the other to the Albanian Ayan





of Demir Hisar (Siderókastro), Mulla Ali. They then stormed, into the plain of Sérres, and abandoned themselves to plundering the Christian villages, committing every kind of outrage against the unfortunate villagers. Finally, the Turks of Sérres and Zíchna, in conjuction with some small forces which the Rumeli Valisi, Reshid Pasha, had sent from Dubnitsa, hastily prepared to engage them. In the meantime, Saban Geka, with about 450 men, took over the çiftliks of Humóntos, Ada and Kamela, which were fortified and well-stocked with provisions, while his captain, Maxut, with a similar number of men, encamped at Sírpa and Nigríta. Saban Geka eventually moved in to join them, his force now having swollen to 700 men, and he took possession of the neighbouring village of Tsérpista, after committing dreadfuf brutalities at the aforementioned çiftliks. He was forced to give battle at the çiftlik of Fitók, but being heavily outnumbered, he fell back on Tsérpista, Sírpa and Nigríta. Here again he plundered and committed outrages against the inhabitants, stripping them of all their money and precious objects. Since his opponents did not continue with their pursuit, and made no attempt to surround him in these villages, Geka was free to plunder and carry off his spoils at will and at his own pace. His laden horses, mules and donkeys were able to pass with impunity into the kaza of Thessalonica, across the Axios, and continue the journey home to Albania [1].


Mehmed Reshid Pasha was hurrying back to Monastir from the northern front after the end of the Russo-Turkish War, to deal with this critical situation [2]. The first few days after his arrival proved to be difficult ones, as he was short of money and munitions, but he received firm economic support from the Greek merchants of Monastir. They readily agreed to assist the Paşa and lent him a large sum of money to meet his basic requirements, in spite of the continuous burdens and persecutions that they had borne at the hands of the Turks, and the serious effects, of the anarchy inflicted upon the surrounding area by the Albanians [3].



1. See the excerpt from the report of Antonios Dumas, of 13th December 1829. See also the report of the Austrian consul at Thessalonica for 18th December 1829 in Österreichisches Staatsarchiv etc., Türkei VI. Consulat Salonich (1807-1834). Spandonides, basing himself on the oral tradition of the people of Melnik, puts the plundering of the city by Saban Gekas at the beginning of the 19th century (Spandonides, Μελένικος, p. 30).


2. See interesting details about Reshid Pasha in Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, 2, pp. 331 ff.


3. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, pp. 321-330.





Around the middle of the following year, 1830, Mehmed Reshid summoned the Albanian commanders, Aslan Bey, Kaplan Bey and Veliko Giatso [1], with other less important beys and their men, on the pretest of paying them their long-overdue salaries. It was, however, a trap. The Paşa took them outside the city, ostensibly to watch some exercises performed by the regular troops, but then turned his own men against the Albanians and cut them down. Only a few survived and were able to escape [2].


Having rid himself of all internal dangers, the Rumeli Valisi made Monastir his permanent headquarters. The position of the city, and indeed of the entire area, was vital; with Ohrid and the surrounding passes, it held the key to the high mountain peaks and the network of passes that pierced the mountain system.


From Monastir, Mehmed Reshid was able to watch events in Albania, particularly the activities of Mustafa Pasha of Skodra, who was behaving suspiciously [3]. In 1831, this paşa led a rebellion, and Mehmed Reshid launched two attacks upon him, first on 20th April and later on 4th May. The Albanians were forced to withdraw from beyond Skopje, leaving their food and munitions in the abandoned camp. At the same time, the Porte announced a blockade of the sea-coast from the Ambracian Gulf to the port of Kattar, where a squadron of five corvettes and a frigate were deployed [4].


On 11th November, Mustafa Pasha surrendered and, on orders from Reshid Pasha, was put aboard a vessel at Durrës to be sent to Constantinople. The rebellion in Albania had been crushed [5].


Monastir was now able to develop freely into an important economic centre (see fig. 221), in which Greeks formed the majority of the inhabitants. It is interesting that, in February 1829, the Sultan, Mahmud



1. Veliko Giatzo was one of the Albanian leaders who had gone with Reshid Pasha, on 15th April 1825, to besiege Mesolônghi: Kasomoulis, Ἐνθυμήματα, 2, p. 61, note 3.


2. See Vacalopoulos, Ἱστορία Λιμποχόβου, «Φάρος Β. Ἑλλάδος, 2 (1940) 115. Aravantinos, Χρονογραϕία τῆς Ἠπείρου, pp. 387-388. Nicolaidy, Les Turcs, vol. 2, pp. 167-172. See also the unpublished report, dated 17th August 1830, of the Austrian consul in Österreichisches Staatsarchw, etc., Consulat Salonich (1807-1834).


3. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, 2, pp. 320 ff.


4. See unpublished report, dated 16th May 1831, of the Austrian consul, G. de Chabert, in the above Austrian archive. See also Urquhart, ibid., 2, pp. 321-330. Vasdravellis, Άρχεῖον Βέροιας - Ναούσης, pp. 309-310.


5. See unpublished report, dated 15th November 1831, of the Austrian consul at Thessalonica, G. de Chabert; Österreich. Staatsarchiv, etc., Salonich (1807-1834).





II, issued a berat to the wholesale-merchant, Anastasius Tsalis, granting him the right to trade on land and sea, in Europe, Persia and India (descendants of the Tsalis are today living in Thessalonica). He and his employees were given the same freedom from taxes which was enjoyed by the dragomans of the European consulates and embassies [1]. Here one might mention that the market-day in Monastir was changed from Sunday to Saturday, in accordance with an order from the Sultan in



Fig. 221. Α road in Monastir during the last century

Fig. 221. Α road in Monastir during the last century.

(Archives of I.M.X.A.)



September 1831, following a request from the Greek merchants; but, as a result of protests from the Jews, this was subsequently changed to Monday [2].



2. After the successful dispersal of the Albanian irregulars it was clear that the Greek armatoli would be the next to be dealt with. Many of these, after fighting in Southern Greece, had returned to their old haunts and had become the centre of revolutionary activity in their own districts. The traveller Baker wrote in the middle of the 19th century: "More than any other Turkish subjects, except the Circassians, the Greeks are disposed towards banditry, and most of the bands which preyed habitually upon the regions of Thessaly and Macedonia contrib-



1. Turkish Documents, 5 (1827-1839) 53-56, where the relevant lenghty berat is quoted.


2. Turkish Documents, 5 (1827-1839) 61-62, 63.





uted nothing to the national cause" [1]. Neverthless, the armatoli and klephts of Olympus did in fact seek the liberation of their homelands.


At the end of 1827, rumours were already circulating concerning the imminent ending of hostilities in Greece and the decision on the fixing of frontiers. As liberation became a possibility, there were stirrings on Olympus and Piéria, and notables, clergy and guerilla-captains from these regions attended a secret meeting in the monastery of St. Dionysius on Olympus. In two declarations, on the 3rd November 1827, they requested the moral and material support of the Greek government. They especially asked the government to send Demetrius Hypsilantis to act as their leader, or the philhellenic Bavarian colonel, Heideck. Amongst the signatories were the brothers Diamantis and Kostas Nikolaou, George and Athanasius Syropoulos, Tolios Lazos, and Theodore Ziakas [2].


At the beginning of January 1828, the first governor of the Greek state, John Capodistrias, arrived at Návplion, the temporary capital. The Macedonian representatives, Diamantis Nikolaou, Tolios Lazos, George Syros and a number of their relatives travelled to Návplion to declare their allegiance, and were present at the ceremony when the first three corps took the oath before Capodistrias and the banners were handed over to the respective standard-bearers [3]. Α further corps of 1.000 men was recruited from Thessalian and Macedonian refugees and the command was entrusted to Tolios Lazos. According to Kasomoulis, "this was done because he was a scion of the brilliant Lazos family, and not because of his military ability. He was a mild man, patient, affable, well brought up and with some education. Also he was an acquaintance of our supreme-commander, Demetrius Hypsilantis". This appointment caused indignation amongst the detachments from Thessaly and Macedonia. It was particularly galling to the veteran captains, Karatasos and Gatsos, who were excluded from holding the rank of corps-commander because of their age. At that time, Karatasos was in Macedonia, where he was temporarily acting as armatolos on behalf of the Turks, in the region of Véroia. Diamantis and Kostas Nikolaou were also absent, having been given leave by Capodistrias to cross to Skiáthos to fetch their families. However, instead of returning



1. Baker, Turkey in Europe, p. 94.


2. Kasomoulis, Ἐνθυμήματα, 2, p. 685. Papadopoulos, Μακεδονικὰ Σύμμεικτα, «Μακεδονικὰ» 6 (1964-65) 156-163.


3. Kasomoulis, ibid., 3, pp. 42-43.





to liberated Greece, they went back to Olympus, hoping to recover their former armatolıks. Α force of ten companies, composed of fighters from Thessaly and Macedonia, was formed from such men as remained with Capodistrias [1]. Kasomoulis informs us that "this body of men, aged 25 and over, was the most gallant force organized to-date. Unfortunately, it lacked from the start a sincere and competent commander, capable of inspiring his men by his own example and of leading them in an effective campaign in Thessaly and Macedonia. They achieved some creditable results in a small number of engagements where they all acted together, but, for most of the time, they wasted their energy on ineffective expeditions along the coast, where they behaved more like pirates. As a result, morale was at a fairly low ebb, and very little was achieved in the way of action and organization by these remaining units" [2].


After Tolios Lazos had left his own armatolık, the Turks bestowed it on the sons of Liolios Lazos [3]. They, however, like the other guerilla-captains, were busy inciting revolutionary activity in the Olympus region, for they hoped, with the help of Capodistrias and the Great Powers, to promote the accession of their own districts to the newly-constituted state of Greece. Unfortunately, Capodistrias, whose activities were severely restrained by the Great Powers, was preoccupied with the immense problems which faced his devastated nation. Thus the question of the status of Thessaly and Macedonia remained unresolved.


Meanwhile, the Turks were making every effort to obliterate the centres of revolutionary activity in Macedonia. They pursued the Olympian captains and burnt the local villages, as well as the monastery of St. Dionysius, where they accused the monks of giving shelter to the klephts. The Turks also blew up the church, but this was so strongly constructed that only the roof and interior fittings were affected. The damage was repaired ten years later, but traces of the fire were plainly discernible for many years after [4].


The Macedonian captains continued to expect assistance from their brethren in the South. There is a characteristic letter, written by Diamantis Nikolaou and other captains, in the Department of Manuscripts of



1. Kasomoulis, Ἐνθυμήματα, 3, pp. 50-53, where the names of the Thessalian and Macedonian officers are listed.


2. Kasomoulis, ibid., 3, pp. 50-51.


3. Ibid., 3, p. 52. See also vol. 1, p. 80, note 4.


4. Heuzey, Le mont Olympe, pp. 129-130, 131.





the National Library of Greece (the new ıiumber is 6441). The letter runs as follows:


Most Noble Governor!


In this, our humble report, we petitioners make our presence known to your lıighly-respected Excellency. We, the inhabitants of Olympus, who have fought from the very beginning of the national struggle, have never failed to carry out our duty to the Fatherland, in the spheres of both war and politics. The enemy, apprised of our harmonious efforts on behalf of the Fatherland, has decided to destroy some of our number; Athanasios Mandalos, Zakopoulos and Michael Pitsiavas have been persecuted. The Turks have plundered their districts and have burnt down the main church and the revered monastery of St. Dionysius, our patron saint, as well as setting fire to all the forests of Olympus. In spite of all this partial destruction. we have remained united, but the enemy is now considering measures to destroy us all, thinking that, as they met no opposition from the above-mentioned, they will meet none from our quarter. They do not realise that all of us depend upon our common Ruler, without whose sanction we cannot achieve the smallest thing. Consequently, we bring ourselves to your notice and we beg you to send us your instructions. Should the enemy attack us and your Excellency's decision be that we oppose him, it would be necessary to send us munitions. If, on the other hand, your decision is that we must endure and not resort to arms, give us your orders and we shall obey them to the letter. We must tell you, however, that very few from this people have survived (and these only by virtue of our policy and with the help of God); and if we now withdraw, it will mean one more innocent sacrifice to the lawless tyrant, and this would be a great pity, considering our many struggles and losses, and the manifold injuries which we have sustained on bebalf of our country. Neverthless, we are ready, one and all, to carry out your Excellency's orders. Please send them as soon as you possibly can.


In a spirit of all due respect, we remain

Your most obedient fellow-countrymen, Men of Olympus.


8th October 1828




The meetings of the representatives of the Great Powers to settle various questions, and in particular to draw up the mountain frontier,





continued in Póros. Capodistrias proposed as a more extensive frontier the line: Olympus - Hásia - Métsovo - Samarína - Gardíki - Palérmon. At the same time, the klephts and armatoli of Olympus were agitating for the inclusion of their region within the boundaries of Greece, and provoking a variety of reactions amongst the Turkish populations of Macedonia (and especially of Thessalonica), as is made clear in a report by the French consul, dated 1st December 1828. Α point in this report worthy of particular notice is the fact that the majority of the Turks in Thessalonica desired their district to be included in the newly-constituted state. The relevant passage runs as follows: "They also say that many Greek captains, such as Diamantis, Pitsiavas and others, whose authority extends throughout the whole littora around the slopes of Olympus, have suddenly raised the standard of revolt on behalf of their Nation, wherever their influence extends — after having apparently signified their submission to the Sultan and having served both sides at various times. Previously they had seized every opportunity for advancing their own interests, without openly taking either side. Although these events are taking place in the neighbouring area, I have not, hitherto, been able to obtain certain and detailed information on this subject.


One thing is certain, Your Excellency, that quite a number of Turkish families have arrived here from Lárisa and Yánnina. To a large extent they confirm the news that I have. They report, in particular, that they departed from their lands for safety, to avoid being involved, in the initial stages, with a foreign army, whose intentions were not known to them. But they add that they are well aware that the French are as merciful as they are courageous and generous; they will retum to their estates when order has been restored, when they are sure that their belongings will be safe and that they wiJl be free to carry out their religious duties.


I had the opportunity to discuss in person these matters with several of these people. They repeated their statements and showed not the slightest sign of any hostility towards our nation. I can also affirm, confidently, to Your Excellency that the majority of the Turkish inhabitants of Thessalonica would welcome almost any change, and particularly that their district should become part of the state of Greece, so long as they can be sure that the new states would be under the protection of the Three Powers and so long as those Powers intend to apply the same principles of government under which their own subjects have the fe-





licity to exist. The grandson of the celebrated Ali Pasha of Yánnina (the son of Muhtar), who is in exile here, is so convinced that Macedonia should become part of Greece that he begged M. Charneaud, secretary in the British consulate and temporary secretary in the Swedish consu-



Map 20. The last armatolıks of Macedonia in the early 19th century

Map 20. The last armatolıks of Macedonia in the early 19th century.



late, to receive a number of valuable objects on deposit in his own dwelling. He also requested asylum on behalf of the ladies of his harem in the event of naval squadrons or units of a European army approaching Thessalonica. Many Turkish notables, although not fully sharing this view, are thinking of taking the necessary precautions to safeguard their





properties on the far bank of the Axios River, five leagues west of the city, and as far as they think the boundary of the Greek state will be drawn. Naturally, they also contacted the Austrian consul to obtain his advice and to find out whether, in the case of unforeseen events, they should proceed with purely 'pro forma' sales" [1].


So the Greek commanders of Olympus awaited news from the Greek government; but the replies of General Demetrius Hypsilantis in November 1828 and that of Capodistrias in July 1829 dashed all their hopes. Such commanders as still remained in Macedonia were obliged to acquiesce in their harsh fate, to obtain reasonable terms from the Turks, and to ensure that they retained possession of their armatolıks. Their dream of a free homeland slipped away into an uncertain future [2]. From a document, dated 1st July 1829, composed by the Macedonian armatoli, we learn that George Syros was armatolos of Véroia, Demos Lazos and the brothers Thanasis and Anagnostis Bziotas were armatoli of Sérvia, Panayiotis Tsaras, son of Nikotsaras, was armatolos of Elassón, Demos Tzahilas of Rapsáni, Michael Pitsiavas of Litóchoro, with Poulios Tambakis and Yannis Dervekas armatoli of other districts [3] (see map 20).


After the annihilation of the Moslem Albanians, the Turks had an excellent apportunity to settle accounts with the Greek armatoli. On receiving secret orders from Mehmed Reshid, the Turks gained two successes: on 12th December 1830, Stergios and Sotiris Liakatas with 100 of their men were annihilated near Tríkala, and outside Domokós its armatolos, Savvas was killed. The armatoli of Hásia, Nasios Mandalos, the Psiras brothers, and Theodore Ziakas, escaped to liberated Greece. At the same time, the coast from Kateríni to Platamón and Tsáyezi was blockaded. The armatoli of Olympus were forced to seek asylum in Greece, helped by the mediation of the Russian consul, Angelos Moustoxydes [4]. In spite of this, conditions on Olympus and Vermion remained far from stable. Diamantis Nikolaou was accused by the Turks of sending bandits to these regions from liberated Greece [5].



1. Ministère Aff. Etrang. Corresp. Consul. Salonique, vol. 20 (1825-1829) 331-333.


2. See Papadopoulos, Μακεδονικὰ Σύμμεικτα, «Μακεδονικὰ» 6 (1964-1965) 167-169.


3. See Anonymous, Ἔγγραϕον ἱστορικόν, «Μακεδονικὸν Ἡμερολόγιον» 1910, pp. 332-333.


4. Kasomoulis, Ἐνθυμήματα, 3, pp. 345, note 1, 379, note 2. Enisleides, Ἡ Πίνδος καὶ τὰ χωριά της, pp. 132-133. On the representation of Greek interests by Angelos Moustoxydes see Delialis, Ἡ διαθήκη τοῦ Ν. Κασομούλη (1795-1871), pp. 14-15. See also Papadopoulos, ibid., pp. 169-172.


5. Vasdravellis, Ἀρχεῖον Βέροιας - Ναούσης, pp. 317-318.





Demos Tzahilas, armatolos of Rapsáni, proved himself to be equally insubordinate. His conflicts with the Turks are commemorated in the popular song, where Demos gives his instructions to his brother and his followers:


"Take now our warriors and post them in the bulwarks,

To carry on the fight against our fearful foe.

My warriors beloved, heroes famous and brave,

Let none of you be afraid because the Turks are so many.

We shall overcome them, whatever their numbers".

Both sides plunded ínto battle;

All day long they fought and as evening came they made a sally;

Sword in hand, they hunted down the Turks. [1]


The publisher of this song considers that it originated from the victory of Tzahilas' men over a large enemy force on 29th May 1833 [2]. I am not in a position to confirm this date. Certainly, the situation in the regions of Vérmion and Olympus continued to be unsettled.


These disturbances were not entirely due to the former Greek klephts and armatoli. Many Moslems, refugees frora Lála and Gastoúni, had settle near Véroia, where they indulged in persecution and robbery, etc., and generally undermined order throughout the region [3]. For this reason, it was decided to transfer them to Várna, but winter intervened and the move was postponed. So these lawless elements made the most of their opportunity and continued with their malpractices [4].


In order to maintain good relations with the Greeks, the Turks adopted a new attitude towards the rayas. They gave a favourable hearing to their requests and even re-appointed the former armatoli, provided that they were willing to cooperate with the authorities. For instance, from a document dated 16th August 1834, we learn that certain Athanasios Syropoulos, former captain of Kókova (Polydéndri) near Véroia, by virtue of his submissive and repentant attitude, had been accepted for the guardianship of this area, with 40 men, 20 of whom wefe to be Moslems. It is interesting to note that the conditions are defined, providing a glimpse of what these were like hitherto: "The holder of this office must not interfear in questions affecting the judge



1. Oikonomides, Τραγούδια τοῦ Ὀλύμπου, pp. 11-12.


2. Ibid., p. 11.


3. Vasdravellis, Ἀρχεῖον Βέροιας - Ναούσης, pp. 319-321.


4. Vasdravellis, Ἀρχεῖον Θεσσαλονίκης, p. 527.





and the zâbit (officer of police), nor must he ask for transit permits and the like from merchants, builders and other travellers passing through this district; nor has he the right to make any demands upon a raya, nor may the latter make any demands upon him, when such demands refer to past occurrences. He shall not leave his post in order to go into the Peloponnese, the islands or other districts. Should he leave secretly, the Government has the right to bring bim back. He shall bave no right to require from the inhabitants of the district any products of the vineyard, nor grain, sheep, etc., but must buy the aforementioned with his own money. He shall not require from the woodmen or charcoal-burners of the area any money beyond that fixed aforetime. When any men under his command are detailed as a detachment to a village, they shall not remain there for more than one night, but they shall visit all villages in turn, and shall leave no one behind in them. He shall not compel any raya to cultivate land without paying dues to the owner of the ground. He shall not interfere with the duties of the overseers on a farm. Should there be a thief amongst his own men, he must not shelter him, pretending that there are no such persons in his own detachment. He shall not take any part in the collection of the poll-tax or other taxes levied on the rayas, nor interfere in their affairs. Salaries will be fixed as they were in the time of Ali Pasha, by the Court and will be paid in accordance with the list drawn up by the zâbit" [1].


In Central Macedonia and in Chalcidice, order had now been restored. Urquhart gives some interesting information on this subject. On his travels, he followed the coastal road towards what is today the School of Agriculture, leaving Kapoutzídes (Pylaea, see fig. 222) and Chortiátis (fig. 223) on his left. After a considerable journey, he came upon the village of Zoubátes (now called Trílofo), which contained 20 houses. It was a completely Greek village, and the costumes of the inhabitants were very picturesque [2]. On the eve of the Revolution in 1821, it had some 280 houses, but it had been practically destroyed after the rising in Chalcidice. It was the first village to suffer such a fate. After the dispersion of its inhabitants, a mere sixty had returned [3]. The next place where Urquhart stayed was Kardía, a çiftlik belonging to Ahmed Bey of Thessalonica [4]. The costume of the womenfolk was, he says, very



1. Vasdravellis, Ἀρχεῖον ΒεροΙας -Ναούσης, pp. 324-325. See also pp. 323-324.


2. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, 2, pp. 55-56.


3. Ibid., 2, p. 59.


4. Ibid., 2, p. 60.





impressive [1]. The agricultural labourers there did not work on the system of 'misaká' (i.e. with the rule that the workers received half the produce), but according to a different system. Sometimes the farmer provided the oxen, implements and seed, as well as his labour; but at other times the landlord provided one or all of these. Whichever arrangement was adopted, this was taken into account in the distribution of the net pro-



Fig. 222 Α young lady from Pylaea (Kapoutzídes) with a typical bridal dress ("sayás tlikoustós")

Fig. 222 Α young lady from Pylaea (Kapoutzídes) with a typical bridal dress ("sayás tlikoustós").

(Archives of Alexandra Parafentidou)



ceeds. In the case of the villagers of Kardía, Ahmed Bey provided everything. The farmer and labourers received 22 parts of the net proceeds out of every 100, which they distributed between themselves: 7 portions went to the farmer (who was charged with the entertainment of guests), while the other 15 portions went to the labourers, distributed according



1. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, 2, p. 63.





to the amount of labour which each family could furnish. This distribution was as follows: The produce was divided into 110 measures. The odd 10 measures were set aside for seed for the next years; 10 were set aside for the sipahilik (the tithe contributed in lieu of military service — in the present instance, Ahmed Bey was himself the Sipahi); 10 went for the zabıtlık or agalık (taxes for local expenditure); 22 measures went for labour, thus leaving 58 of the 110 for profit. If the stock had belonged to the farmer, 35 more measures would have gone to him, which would have left 23% of the produce of the farm as rent. In addition, after all expenses were paid, the proprietor benefitted to the amount of 10 pounds weight for each pair of oxen [1].



Fig. 223. Carving from 1837 in the south wall of the church of St. George at Chortiális

Fig. 223. Carving from 1837 in the south wall of the church of St. George at Chortiális. On each side of the cross are represented tiny men holding Greek flags.

(Photo Ch. Bakirtzis)



At Polýgyros, the largest of the villages which rented the mines of the Mademochória [2], Urquhart admired the beautiful and celebrated costumes, characteristic of the district. They were made of thick silk material, the threads of which had not been twisted but had been woven



1. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, 2, pp. 61-62.


2. Ibid., 2, p. 100.





in their natural thickness. In this way, it combined the smoothness of wool and the brilliant sheen of silk. Although the material appeared to be very heavy, the folds fell easily and gracefully. Having noticed this, Urquhart drew attention to an error, in his opinion, in the weaving industry in England, where they twisted the silk, as is done with cotton, adding nothing in the way of strength but losing smoothness [1].


Urquhart also provides information about the village of Reveníkia (Megáli Panayía) [2]. This village had 200 families, but only 150 hanes (a hane being a building, normally occupied by more than one family.



Fig. 224. Wooden clapper from a monastery of Mt. Athos

Fig. 224. Wooden clapper from a monastery of Mt. Athos.

(Photo Ang. Vacalopoulos)



but regarded as a single unit for taxation purposes). In some places, a specified number of families, for example six labourers' families, or three families of esnafs (artisans), or one family of a notable, was deemed to constitute one hane and was taxed accordingly. Usually, where local government was fully established, as in the case of the Mademochória, the family was the unit on which taxes were based. The poorer families, however, were exempt from taxation [3].



1. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, 2, pp. 103-105.


2. Ibid., 2, p. 127. See their houses, and those of Polýgyros and other villages in N. K. Moutsopoulos, Σπίτια τῆς Χαλκιδικῆς, edited by Chr. Kouloukouris and El. Kritikos, Athens 1968.


3. Urquhart, ibid., 2, p. 128, note.





Conditions in Chalcidice had become generally quieter, but here and there on the coast there were still occasional raids by pirates [1]. This was the final phase of a phenomena which had endured for centuries in the Mediterranean regions. On Mount Athos life returned to its former rythm and the wooden clapper once again summoned the monks to services throughout the day and night (see fig. 224).



Fig. 225. Lamp-lighter

Fig. 225. Lamp-lighter.

(Folk Archives and Museum of the University of Thessalonica)



Throughout Macedonia the changes in military administration introduced by the Sultan Mahmud II, such as the institution of a regular army, were now accepted and the number of such forces increased daily. The governor of Thessalonica, Vechi Pasha, who appears to have been receptive to the ideas and changes, built barracks for 8.000 men [2]. No



1. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, 2, pp. 185-188, 190-191. See also mention of piratical activities in the unpublished report, dated 13 August 1829, of the Austrian consul: Österreichisches Staatsarchiv. Abt. Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv. Türkei VI. Consulat Salonich (1807-1834).


2. See unpublished report, dated 15th November 1831, of the Austrian consul at Thessalonica, G. de Chabert (Österreichisches Archiv., ibid.).





doubt these are the old and well-known barracks of the 3rd Army Corps today.


Sultan Mahmud II was keen to introduce modern ideas into Turkey, and Vechi Pasha was a cultivated and civilized man who generally



Fig. 226. Itinerant refreshment-seller

Fig. 226. Itinerant refreshment-seller.

(Archives of Yannis Stylianou)



behaved better than his predecessors. He was, however, a self-sufficient individual and did not display the required vigour in economic affairs. For this reason he was transferred to Belgrade, although, at the same time, he was promoted to the rank of 'Paşa of Three Horsetails'. His position in Thessalonica was taken by the Paşa of Euboea, who was





highly esteemed on account of his ethical and cultural personality. The inhabitants of Macedonia hoped that the new Paşa "would improve the whole governmental system throughout the country and would hberate the rural economy from the oppression of monopolies and heavy taxes, which, in these fertile provinces, discourages cultivation and the sale of produce".



Fig. 227. Old house in Thessalonica

Fig. 227. Old house in Thessalonica.

(Photo S. Iordanides)



Turkey seemed to be entering upon a new period in her history, a period of slow Europeanisation. Thessalonica began to play a part in this evolution, but the old way of life and the old traditions were to persist until the beginning of the 20th century (see figs. 225 and 226).


Towards the turn of the 19th century, alongside the old buildings in the ancient quarters of the city (see figs. 227, 228 and 229), many new houses began to appear, as for instance those built along the line of the Eastern wall (see fig. 230), as well as numerous detached buildings scattered about the city. The neo-classical style, which in Balkan lands originated from Southern Greece, and particularly from Athens,





the capital of the newly-formed Greek state. This architecture, echoing the Ancient Greek style, spread throughout liberated Greece and into the occupied Greek lands, such as Macedonia. In fact, in several cities and country-towns of the province there were examples (and still are today) of typical neo-classical architecture, raised as a rule by anony-



Fig. 228. Old house in Thessalonica

Fig. 228. Old house in Thessalonica.

(Photo EOT)



mous craftsmen, who were inspired by the great centre of Greek civilization, ancient and modern, the very symbol of liberty. They copied models from Athens as well as they could, but usually paid exclusive attention to the façades with their serious and imposing aspect. Today's architectural students could well turn their attention to these buildings; they deserve the same enthusiastic and close observation that is given to other buildings that represent the sources of popular architecture.





Such research would yield much technical and historical information that would prove fresh and interesting. Α characteristic example of the neoclassical style, built by the notable Greek architect of Thessalonica, Lysandros Kaftantzoglou, is the greek girls' college in Monastir (Bitola), built in 1881 (see fig. 231).


The inhabitants of Thessalonica, especially the Greeks, whose fervent hopes were centred on their liberated southern territory, and the European consuls, followed closely the political events within the new



Fig. 229. The beginning of the Monastir Road in Thessalonica, with horsedrawn tram

Fig. 229. The beginning of the Monastir Road in Thessalonica, with horsedrawn tram.



Greece. They heard of the disturbances there and the murder of Capodistrias; and in the Near East they followed with particular interest the conflict between Mehmed Ali of Egypt and the Sultan. The Macedonians, and particularly the inhabitants of Thessalonica, had little desire to see Mehmed Ali grow stronger, in as much as his export trade was in direct competition with their own. Even so, Mehmed Ali had a number of supporters scattered about Macedonia. Most of these lived in Kavála,





Mehmed's native town, which had received many improvements as a result of his generosity in the form of schools, roads, water-works and other public utilities [1].


Peace seemed to have finally been established throughout the entire region, in spite of the fact that a new wave of piracy swept the bays of Chalcidice. The Austrian consul in Thessalonica concluded his report of 1st September 1834 with the following words: "Absolute quiet reigns in Macedonia and in the adjoining territories" [2].



Fig. 230. Hamidye Avenue (present - day Vasilissis Sophias St.) with houses in the neo-classical style

Fig. 230. Hamidye Avenue (present - day Vasilissis Sophias St.) with houses in the neo-classical style.

(Archives of S. Iordanides)



Finally, on 2nd February 1835, the Prime Minister of Turkey informed the Governor of Thessalonica that the Greek government had appointed Theodore Vallianos as consul to that city. He had been given temporary permission to stay on as consul until the occasion of the signing of the Greco-Turkish commercial agreement, and he was to deal



1. See the unpublished report, dated 4th February 1833, of the Austrian consul in Thessalonica, de Chabert (Österreichisches Archiv., ibid.).


2. See the unpublished report, dated 1st September 1834, of the Austrian consul in Thessalonica, de Chabert (Österreichisches Archiv., ibid.).





with questions affecting his own nationals, as was already the case with "other representatives of friendly states" [1].


It is true to say that a new period in Macedonian history had begun, coinciding with the introduction of European conditions of life. However, the practical benefits of peace and of the new spirit were not immediately apparent in the rural districts. The social disease of banditry was endemic, especially in Western Macedonia. In fact, for centuries the cattle-owners and farmers of even little substance had been unable to



Fig. 231. Façade of the Greek Girls' School of Bitola (Monastir)

Fig. 231. Façade of the Greek Girls' School of Bitola (Monastir). Sketch by L. Kaftantzoglou (1881).

(Νεοκλασσικὴ ἀρχιτεκτονικὴ στὴν Ἑλλάδα, ἔκδ. Ἐμπορικῆς Τραπέζης Ἑλλάδος, Athens 1967, p. 37)



sleep in peace. The bandits preyed on the unfortunate inhabitants, often behaving with extreme barbarity to extract a ransom or to discover where money had been hidden. For this reason, many families fled, with what little they possessed, to other parts of Macedonia, and even as far as Thrace and Asia Minor, as various 'memoires' recount [2]. Persecution, robbery and violent crime were to continue throughout the 19th century. Banditry was not stamped out until after the liberation of Macedonia by the Greek army in 1912.



1. Vasdravellis, Ἀρχεῖον Θεσσαλονίκης, p. 509.


2. Vacalopoulos, Ἱστορία Λιμποχόβου, «Φάρος Β. Ἑλλάδος» 2 (1940) 115.


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