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JOURNEY 



THROUGH 



ALBANIA, 



AND 



OTHER PROVINCES 



OF 



TURKEY IN EUROPE AND ASIA, 



το 



CONSTANTINOPLE, 



DURING THE YEARS 1809 and 1810. 



BY 



J. C. HOBHOUSE. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED FOR JAMES CAWTHORN, 
cockspur street; 

and sold by sharpe and hailes, piccadilly; bell and bradfute, 
edinburgh; and ν. mahon, dublin. 

1813. 



I 



Londtas Printed by B. M'Millan, > 
How Street, Cerent Garden. \ 







ADVERTISEMENT. 



These Letters were prepared for publication 
under certain disadvantages, the mention of which 
will not be obtruded upon the Public, except so far 
as it may seem requisite to account, in some measure, 
for the large and important contents of the Errata 
page, and for other appearances of neglect. The 
sheets of the Albanian part of the Tour were com- 
posed and printed when the Writer was absent 
from England, and had it not in his power to cor- 
rect his notions and increase his knowledge, by com- 
municating with intelligent friends and consulting 
extensive libraries : the remaining part of the Jour- 
ney was sent page by page to the press, and not pre- 
viously collected in one entire manuscript volume, 
so as to enable the Author to revise and polish the 

a 2 



IV 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



whole work by a collation and comparison of its 
separate parts. To avoid a recurrence of the same 
phrases and turns of expression, was in the present 
case hardly possible ; and he is no less aware of, than 
desirous in any future impression of the ensuing 
pages to correct, so material an imperfection. The 
same opportunity, if it should occur, will enable 
him to lay aside the epistolary form, which, for a 
reason not material to mention, is not continued 
beyond the first five or six hundred pages, and 
by that amendment to efface the change of style 
observable in the progress of the present compo- 
sitioia. 



Those who have visited, or especially resided in 
the countries, and closely observed the national 
manners, described in the following detail, will 
doubtless discover many omissions of material facts, 
which the more mature inspection of the Author 
would perhaps supply; for what my Lord Boling- 






ADVERTISEMENT 



broke lias said of books, may be applied to the 
study of mankind ; and a traveller of fifty, in his 
commerce with foreign nations, would probably 
behold many things which he did not see in the 
same people at twenty-three. 



As to the manner in which the subject has been 
treated, all judgment on that head must of neces- 
sity be left to the reader. It will only be pre- 
mised, that it has been the endeavour of the Writer 
to give an account of what- lie. saw, heard, and was 
able to collect, rather than a statement of feelings 
and opinions ; a narrative of facts, rather litem a 
collection of essays. Having no system to esta- 
blish, and no partialities to communicate, he has 
not launched into any effusions or sentiments 
which were not conceived and felt upon the spot, 
and amongst the people he has attempted to de- 
scribe ; and it is but seldom that he has deduced 
arguments and hazarded conclusions, for which 



VI ADVERTISEMENT. 

it appeared to him his proper object to furnish only 
the materials and the means. 

This preliminary notice shall be concluded by 
stating, that to prevent any longer delay than has 
hitherto deferred the appearance of this volume, 
a map of Attica, and some plans designed for the 
illustration of the Work, have not been completed; 
and that the reader is referred to the plates of 
Anacharsis, as the best companion, although by 
no means an infallible guide, of the traveller in 
Greece. 



London, Mmj 10, 1813. 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER I. 

Departure from Malta — Approach io the Gulf of Lepanto, and to Patrass — 
Passage between the Islands Cefalonia, Ithaca, and Santa Maura, to Pre- 
vesa, « • ,.... » page 1 

LETTER II. 

Prevesa — a Description of that Town — The Mouth of the Gulf of Arta — Actium 
— Short Description and Account of Prevesa — and of the Battle which placed 
the Town in the hands of the Turks, „ 12 

LETTER III. 

The Ruins of Nicopolis — Preparations for Travelling in Turkey— The Drago- 
man — Servants — Basrgage, &c. &c. — Sail down the Gulf of Arta to Salora — 
The Albanian Guard of Salora, ,... 21 

LETTER IV. 
The Presents customary in the Levant — Route from Salora to Arta — Descrip- 
tion of that Town — The Site of Ambracia — Of Ambracus — Departure from 
Arta, , , 36 

LETTER V. 

Route from Arta to the Han of St. Dimetrc — From St. Dimetrc to Ioannina — 
First View, and Entry into that City^- Reception of Travellers, ............ 45 

LETTER VI. 

Visit to the Grandsons of AH — Manners of the Young Mahometans — View of 
the Neighbourhood of Ioannina — The Lake — Mount Tomarus — The Moun- 
tain- of Sagori — the Route across them — Mount Hindus — Route across it to 
Larissa — Dodona — The Plains of Ioannina— The Amphitheatre of Cht co- 
vista, , , , ,,.,., 55 



V in 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER VII. 

Ioannioa — the Houses — the Palaces of the Vizier — Summer Pavilion — Popula- 
tion of the City — The Trade — Annual Fair — Exports and Imports, page 67 

LETTER VIII. 

The Turkish Ramazan — Preparations for Travelling — Greek Peasantry — Route 
from Ioannina to Zitza — Thunder Storm— The Monastery of Zitza — View 
from it — Inhabitants of Zitza — their Misery, 76 

LETTER IX. 

Route from Zitza— River Calamas — Village of Mosure — Dclvinaki — Route 
from Butrinto to Dclvinaki — Flocks of Goats — Albanian Wine — Route by 
the Plain of Argyro-castro to Libokavo — Upper Albania — Turkish Meats 
— Libokavo — Argyro-castro — Short Account of that City, 86 

LETTER X. 

Route from Libokavo to Ccsarades — Women at the Fountains — Route to 
Ereeneed — The Passes of Antigonia, called Stena — The Acids River — Uoute 
to Tepellene, along the Banks of the River — Arrival at Tepellene, and at 
Ali Pasha's Palace — Appearance of the Attendants — Prayers of the Turks — 

The Chanter of the Mosck, 98 

ί 

LETTER XI. 

Visit to AH Pasha — His Appearance — Manners — Short Conversation — Second 
Interview with Ali — Present from Buonaparte to that Pasha — A Palseo-castro, 
or Ruin near Tepellene — Last Audience of Ali — His Affability to his Sol- 
diers — His Rise and Progress — The Difficulties he had to encounter — His vi- 
gorous Measures — Administration, and present Extent of his Dominions — 
Offered to be made a King by Napoleon — His supposed Revenues — His Dis- 
position — Story of Zofreni — His Amusements and Morals — His want of Edu- 
cation, 109 

LETTER XII. 

Albania — Perpetual Barbarity of its Inhabitants — Early Settlement of the Scy- 
thians in that Country — In subjection to the Kings of Bulgaria — to the Em- 
perors of the East — Uncertain Date of the Name Albania — Its Revolutions 



kiMutffe«tttieiiyiMM& 



CONTENTS. 



IX 



— Governed by Despots — Invaded by the Catalans — Disunited — Scanderbeg 
— Exaggeration of his Merits — Ottoman Conquest of the Country — Esta- 
blishment of the Venetians on the Coast — Variety of Nations — The Albanians 
— their Origin — Asiatic Albanians — Shape and Face of the Albanians — their 
Dress — their Arms — their Filth — Dress of their Women — their Villages — 
their Food — their Disposition and Manners, ...♦. page 125 

LETTER XIII. 

Continuation of the Manners of the Albanians — Expression of their Meaning 
by Signs — their Liveliness — Passionate Temper — their Education — their 
Language — their Morals — Religion — their Nationality — their love of Arms — 
The Albanian Robbers — their Way of Life — and Mode of Attack — their 
Surgeons — The Albanian Dances — Albanians in Foreign Service — in Egypt 
— Italy — the Morea — under Mustapha Bairaclar — Albanian Settlers — in dif- 
ferent Parts of the Levant — and in Calabria, 142 



LETTER XIV. 

Different Governments in Albania — The different Districts — Arta — loannina — 
Sagori — the Pashalik of Ocrida — Course of the River Drin — The Scene of 
Scanderbeg's Battles — The Pashalik of Scutari — Antivari — Dulcigno — Lyssa 
— Durazzo — Berat, or Arnaut Beligrat — Ruins of Apollonia — The Pashalik 
and Town of Vallona — The Acroceraunians — Chimera — Manners of the CShi- 
merioles — Butrinto — Ruins of Buthrotum — Philathi — The River Thyamis— 
Margiriti — The Town of Parga — The Glykyslimen, or Port of Sweet Waters 
— Acherusian Lake — Ancient Geography of the Coast — Length of Epirus— 
Solli — Route from loannina to that Place — Paramithi — Position and Extent 
of the Mountains of Sulli — The Villages of Sulli — Wars of the Sulliotcs 
With Ali Pasha — their present Condition — Loru — Population of Albania — 
Climate and Temperature — Tepellene, 1^9 

LETTER XV. 

Departure from Tepellene — Return to loannina — A Marriage Procession — A 
Turkish Puppet-Show — Ancient Coins to be met with at loannina — Final 
Departure from that City — Return to Prevesa — Disaster at Sea — Land on the 
Coast of Sulli — View of that Town and District, at Volondorako — Route 

b 



CONTENTS. 



from Volondorako to Castropsbeca — to Prevesa— Sail down the Gulf of Arta 
— Vonitza — Utraikce — Ancient Measurement of the Gulf, page 180 

LETTER XVI. 
Utraikee— Night Scene at that Place- Route through Carnia— to Catoona— to 
Makala— Prospects from the Hills of the River Aspro or Achelous— and of 
the Lake Nizeros — Ancient Remains at Aeto and at Ligustovichi — Route 
continued— to Prodromo — Passage of the Achelous— Arrival at Gouria — 
Route over the Paracheloitis— to Natolico — Another Route from Arta to Na- 
tolico — Boundary of Carnia — Former Inhabitants — Ancient Geography — 
Present State— Ruins at Teeserenes— The Shallows of Messalonge and Nato- 
lico — The Fishery — Conjecture as to the Formation of the Shallows — The 
Town and inhabitants of Messalonge — The District of Xcromeros, or yEtolia 
— Town of Ivoria — River Fidari, or Evcnus— Ruins of Calydon — Rocks of 
Chalcis and Tappiasus — Passage to Patrass, 195 

LETTER XVII. 

Patrass — Its Situation— Insalubrity — Ancient State— Destruction in 1770— Pre- 
sent State — Trade — Exports of the Morea— Consuls at Patrass — Greek Light 
Infantry — English Regiment — The River Leucate — Departure from Patrass 
—The Castles of the Morea and Roumelia— Cape Rhium— Lepanto — Route 
tu<Vosiizza — Ancient Positions — Vostizza — A Greek Codja-bashce, or Elder 
—Coursing in the Morea— River Selinus — /Egium— The Plane-Tree— Veli 
Pasha — Population of the Morea — Digression concerning the Mainotes, 212 

LETTER XVIII. 
Distance from Patrass to Corinth — and to Athens — Passage across the Gulf of 
Lepanto to the Scale of Salona— Circumference of the Corinthian Gulf— Ga- 
laxcithi— Evanthc— Route to Crisso— Salona — View at the Foot of Mount 
Liakura, or Parnassus— Crisso— Site of Crissa, or Cirrha— Visit to the Ruins 
of Delphi— Castalia— Treasures of Delphi— The Brazen Serpent at Constan- 
tinople— -Parnassus— Ascent to the Summit of it impracticable— Route from 
Crisso towards Livadia — to Arakova on Parnassus — The Road Schiste— The 
Three Roads — Distomo— A sprospitia— Monastery of St. Luke of Stiris — 
Arrival at Livadia, „....». • •.•••• • • 238 



CONTENTS. 



XI 



LETTER XIX. 

Livadia— The Archon Logotheti— Rate of Living in Roumelia— Imitation of 
European Manners— The Cave of Trophonius— the present Appearance of 
the Entrance to it— Ruins of a Castle built by the Catalans — The Settlement 
of the Catalans in Greece— Little Impression left by the Franks on the Man- 
ners of the Greeks — Visit to Caperna— Ruins of Chaeronea— The Plain- 
Departure from Livadia — Visit to Scripoo— the Site of Orchomenos— The 
Treasury of Minyas — The Lake Copai's— The Village of Mazee — Arrival at 
Thebes— View of the Theban Territory — Difficulties attending a just De- 
scription of Modern Greece — The Measurement of Stadia — Dhninutiveness 
of the Country, page 260 

LETTER XX. 

Thebes — its Modern Insignificance — The Town — The Fountain Dirce — The 
Ruins of Pindar's House— The Ismenus— The Fountain of Mars — Tomb of 
St. Luke of Stiris — An Inscription — Departure from Thebes — Route towards 
Athens— The Village Scourta — Passage of Mount Parnes— Ruins of Phyle — 
Prospect of Athens — Town of Casha — Entrance into the Plain of Athens — 
Arrival at Athens, .♦ 276 

LETTER XXI. 
Athens — its Situation — Appearance — Present Inhabitants — Short Notice of its 
Modern History, 289 

LETTER XXII. 

Antiquities of Athens — Temple of Theseus — Areopagus — Pnyx Museum — Mo- 
nument of Philopappus — Odeum — Theatre of Bacchus — River Ilissus — 
Adrian's Temple — Callirhoe — Stadium of Alticus Hcrodes — Adrian's Arch 
and Aqueduct — Monument of Lysicrates — Monument ofAndronicus Chyr- 
restcs — The Doric Portico — Many smaller Remains, 308 

LETTER XXIII. 

Ascent to the Acropolis — The Pelasgicon — The Cave of Apollo and Pan— The 
Entrauce of the Citadel — The Propyliea — The Parthenon — The Erectheum 

b 2 



xu 



CONTENTS. 



A Note on Lord Elgin's Pursuits in Greece — The Modern Citadel — The 
Turkish Garrison, . page 335 

LETTER XXIV. 

The Vicinity of Athens — Climate in Winter — The Gardens — The Olive Groves 
—Method of Watering them — The Site of the Academy — Route to the 
Piraeus — The Munychian Promontory — Country immediately to the South of 
Athens, , 353 

LETTER XXV. 

Route from Athens to Eleusis — Daphne-vouni — Casha-vouni — The Monastery 
of Daphne — The Rhiti — The Thriasian Plain — Eleusis — Ruins — The Cam- 
bridge Ceres — Route from Athens to Salamis — The Throne of Xerxes — View 
from Corydallus — Salamis or Colouri — Ampelaki — Colouri — Greek Island- 
ers, 369 

. LETTER XXVI. 

The Eastern Side of Athens — Hymettus — Ascent to the Monastery of St. Cy- 
riani, on that Mountain — The Sacred Spring — Route to Mount Pentelicus — 
Angele-Kipos — Callandri — The Monastery on Pentelicus — The Marble Quar- 
ries — Return by another Route — Remains of the Aqueduct, 387 

J LETTER XXVII. 

Route from Athens to Cape Colonni— Vary — The Paneum— Nympholepsy — 
Ennea Pyrgas — Keratea — The Caverns in Mount Parne — Route to Colonni — 
Return by the Eastern Shore of Attica, to Keratea, 400 

LETTER XXVIII. 

Route from Keratea to Port Raphti — that Port described — Route from Raphti, 
through Kata-Vraona and Apano-Vniona, and by Caliva Spatha, to the 
Plain of Marathon — View of the Plain-r-Rattle of Marathon — Route from 
the Plain to Athens — The Cave of Pan — Stamati — Cevrishia, ...* 423 

LETTER XXIX. 

Route from Athens to the Negroponte — Villages in the North of Attica — Kou- 
kouvaones — Charootika — Menithi — Tatoe — The Site of Decelea — Agios Ma- 



CONTENTS. 



Xlll 



curius — Route across the Plains of Tanagra — Over the Asopus to Scimitari 
— From that Village to the Strait of the Ncgroponte, by Vathi — The Town 
of Negropontc — Visit to the Pasha — Stories relative to the Euripus — Return 
to Scimitari — Route from Scimitari to the Monastery of St. Meliteus on Ci- 
thieron, , page 430 

LETTER XXX. 

Route from St. Meletius to the Ruins of Plafaea, at Cockli — Gifto-Castro — 
CEnoe — Pass of Cithaeron — Parasopia— The Positions of the Armies at the 
Battle of Plafaea — Doubts respecting the Numbers who fought against the 
Greeks — Route from St. Meletius to Megara — by Koundouri — Pass in the 
Mountains — Arrival at Megara — The Derveni Choria — The Town and In- 
habitants of Megara — Return by Eleusis to Athens — General View of the 
District of Attica, and of the Peasants settled in the Villages, 468 

LETTER XXXI. 

Shape and Make of the Modern Greeks — The Women — Their want of Beauty 
— Painting — Dress of the Men — and of the Women — Their Manners — A Be- 
trothing — A Marriage — their Dance — Songs, &c — Genius — Morals — Super- 
stitions — The Evil Eye — Conformity of Practice between Greeks and Turks 
— Manners of the Men — Influence of Money — Behaviour to Inferiors — Os- 
tentation — Princes of the Fanal — Waivvodes of Moldavia and Wallachia — 
Codja-bashees, 4» 494 

LETTER XXXII. 

Religion of the Greeks — Ceremonies and Customs of their Superstition — Festi- 
vals — Funerals — A Mahometan Funeral — Greek Cemeteries — Priests — Monks 
of the Order of St. Basil — Their Monasteries — The Seculars — Instances of 
the Superstition of the Greeks — Notion entertained of the English by Greeks 
and Turks— The Patriarchate of Constantinople— The Arts — Medicine — 
Physicians— Exorcisms— The Plague— Use of the Hot Bath, 519 

LETTER XXXIII. 

The Literature of the Modern Greeks — Their Share in the Revival of Litera- 
ture in the West — The Romaic Pronunciation — The Romaic, or Modern 



XIV 



CONTENTS. 



Greek— its Date and Origin enquired into — Latter Greek Writers— Present 
state of Learning in Greece, &c. &c < page 510 

LETTER XXXIV. 

Patriotism of the Greeks — Their ardent Desire of Emancipation— War• Song — 
The Object of their Wishes— Attachment to Russia — Views directed towards 
France — Their Notions of England — Chance of Emancipation— Importance 
of their Marine — Short Remarks on the Political Conduct of the English in 
the Levant, « 584 

LETTER XXXV. 

Departure from Athens — Passage to Smyrna — Entrance into the Gulf of Smyrna 
—The Promontory Melaena — The South Side of the Gulf — Clazomene — San- 
giak-Borftou — The Shoals in the Gulf caused by the Hermus — Arrival at 
Smyrna — Description of theTJity — The Frank Quarter — The Frank Society 
— The Consuls in the Levant — The Greeks of Smyrna— The Armenians and 
Jews— The Buildings— The Burying-Grounds— The Castle— The Shut-Port 
— The Hospital — Description of an Idiot — The English Hospital, 608 

LETTER XXXVI. 

The Musselim's Summer Residence — Fruits— Sherbets*— Fish— Meats — The In- 
ner Bay — The Flaft near Smyrna— Game of the Djerid — Horses of the Turks 
— The Meles — Caravan Bridge — Homer's Cave — The Site of the /Eolian 
Smyrna — The Road to Bournabat — that Village described — The Storks — 
The Village of Boudjah — The Plague— The Climate — Cranes — Chameleons 
— Lizards, ... • 629 

LETTER XXXVII. 

A Journey to Ephesus — The Route — The Han at Tourbali — A Dervish — Me- 
tropolis — The Coffee Shed near Osebanar — Turcomans' Tents — The Plain of 
the Cayster — The Ferry — Arrival at Aiasaluk— The Han — The Ruins — De- 
solation of this Spot— The Site and Remains of Ephesus — The Temple of 
Diana — Return to Smyrna, 646 






CONTEXTS. 



XV 



LETTER XXXVIII. 
Departure from Smyrna — The Coast of Asia — Cape Baba — Yughlan Bornou — 
The Vale of Nesrah-Kcui—Liman-Tepe— Cape of Troas-- Vale of Ghicle— 
Stamboul Douk — Koum Bornou — Land in Tenedos — The Port— The Town 
— The Castle — The Wine— importance of the Island— Visit to the Ruins of 
Alexandria Troas— Granite Cannon-Balis — Dilapidation of Troas— The Se- 
pulchre called Sarcophagus— The Baths^-Effects of the late Earthquake- 
Site of the Town— Hot Baths of Lidgah Hammam — Port of Troas — Coun- 
try near Troas— Conjectures of Travellers, ,, ,.. page 669 

LETTER XXXIX. 

Frigate anchors off Sigeum — The Troad of Strabo— -Ilium— its History— Not 
Troy — nor on the Site of it — No Vestiges of Troy ever seen— ^Modern Tra- 
vellers — No pretended Discovery of the Site until the time of Le Chevalier 
— Description of the Coast from Stamboul Douk to Cape Janissary — Yeni- 
Keui — Beshik-Tep'e — Ellcs-Bournou — Mouth of the Dardanelles — Ancient 
Geography of the Coast — Amnis Navigabilis of Pliny — Sigean Promontory 
— Giaur-Keui — Sigean Marbles — Sigeum — Eleus — Elles Baba-Tepe — The 
Piotesileum — Koum Kale— Mouth of the Mendere River — The Thymbrek 
River— In-Tepe Gluulu — Valley of Thymbrek-Dere-r-Marshes of the Plain 
— Rivulet of Bournabaslii — Udjek-Tepe — Bournabaslii — Course of the Men- 
dere— Callifatli Village and Brook— Banks of the Mendere, jl 689 

LETTER XL. 

Barrows — Short Account of those ancient Mounts — Probably not all of them 
actual Sepulchres — Barrows of Celtic or Scythian Origin — as well in Phry- 
gia as in Britain — The Phrygian Barrows appropriated by the Greeks— r• 
Barrow-Burial adopted by the Greeks, but not prevalent in the later periods 
of their History — The present Barrows of the Troad — Liman-Tepe, Stam- 
boul-Douk, Beshik-Tepe, Udjek-Tepe, &c. not mentioned in Strabo— r-Sup- 
posed To nib of Achilles — Account of its Excavation by Dc Chuiseul Gouf- 
fJer — Absolute uncertainty respecting tha real Monument — Arbitrary adop- 
tion of Names for (he other Burrows — In-Tepe possibly the yEanteum — 
Rhcctean Promontory, ,. ;.., 716 



XVI 



CONTENTS'» 



LETTER ΧΙΛ. 

The supposed Port of Agamemnon's Fleet— The Naval Station of the Greeks — 
The Mouth of the Scamandcr — The Site of Ilium — The Confluence of the 
Simois and Scamandcr not precisely known— Streams falling into the Men- 
dere— The Thymbrek— The Water of Callifatli and Atche-Keui, and the 
Bournabashi Rivulet— Mr. Le Chevalier's Pseudo-Xanthus— The Identity 
of the Mendcre and the Scamandcr of Strabo— The ancient Confluence of the 
Thymbrius and Scaroander— The Thymbrek not corresponding with the for- 
mer, but answering better to the Simois— Uncertainty respecting that River— 
Palaio-Callifalli, possibly the Position of Ilium— Site of the Iliean Village— 
Not at Hallil-EUy, but perhaps at or near Tchiblak — Remains on a neigh- 
bouring Mount — The Calli-Colone of Strabo— The Vale and Brook of Atchc- 
K eu i — The latter conjectured to be the River Thymbrius — The Erineus, the 
Tomb of yEsyetes, Batieia, the Tomb of I his not now to be discovered — 
Udjek-Tepc not the Tomb of /Esyetes, as described by Strabo — Note on the 
Homeric Throsmos— Bournabashi — Tepid Sources of the Bournabashi Ri- 
vulet—Errors respecting them— Balli-Dahi — The Pergamus of Mr. Le Che- 
valier—Unfounded Conjectures respecting the Tomb of Hector, and the Re- 
mains on Balli-Dahi, page 742 

LETTER XLII. 

The Dijstrict of the Troad — Ene — Eski-Scuptliu — Bairam-itche — Kas-daghy, 
the Cotylus of Ida — Argument against the identity of that Summit with the 
Homeric Gargarus — and against that of Rhceteum and Sigeum with the Pro- 
montories bounding the Grecian Camp, mentioned in the Iliad — The Autho- 
rity of Virgil quoted — The Homeric Troy in front of Tenedos — The Geogra- 
phical Plain of Troy probably not that of the Iliad — The Homeric Landmarks 
invented by the Greeks after the Age of the Poet — No inference to be drawn 
from casual Resemblances between the Descriptions of them and the actual 
Landscape near the Banks of the Menderc — The endeavours of Writers to 
adjust the Poetical to the present Positions, entirely unsuccessful — Mr. Pope's 
Map, and the unaccountable Remarks upon it by Mr. Le Chevalier — Con- 
clusion of Observations on the Troad, with an Enquiry into the Limits of the 



ancient Hellespont, 



7G8 



itiuk^tf!ittutfttMi 



y&atjijjJlM 



■ 



CONTENTS. 



XV 11 



LETTER XLIII. 

The Frigate leaves Cape Janissary — Sails into the Mouth of the Straits — The 
Port of Elcus — Cape Berbieri — An English Country-House in the Chersonese 
— Attempt to pass the Dardanelles— Anchor in the Bay below Chanak-Kalessi 
— The old Castles of Roumelia and Natolia — The Town of the Dardanelles — 
A remarkable Superstition— Nagara-Bornou — The Bridge of Xerxes — Aby- 
dus and Sestos — Swimming across the Hellespont — The Current — The Fri- 
gate passes the Dardanelles — The Passage of the English Fleet in 1807 — 
Ak-Bashi Liman — Zcmenic — The Practius and Percotas — yEgos-Potamos — 
Note on the Meteoric Stone — Lampsacus — Gallipoli — The Island of Mar- 
mora — Approach to Constantinople — Anchor under the Walls, .... page 798 

LETTER XLIV. 

Difficulty of obtaining Information concerning the Turks, even in Constantino- 
ple — Separation of the City and the Suburbs — Foreign Missions at Pera — De- 
parture from the Frigate — Land at Tophana — Ascent to Pera — Dogs — The 
Hotel — City Watchmen — Police of Pera — The Custom of parading the 
Streets incognito — Palaces of Ambassadors — Inglese Sara'i — The Armenian 
Cemetery — The Amusements there — Customs called Oriental — in great mea- 
sure those of the Ancient World — Seclusion and Treatment of Woraen^ Co- 
incidence of Turkish Manners with those of the Byzantine Greeks — Principal 
Difference between Ancient and Modern Manners — State of Turkish Women 
— Female Slaves, or Odalisques, of the Imperial Harem, 821 

LETTER XLV. 

The Valley of Sweet Waters — The Plain of the Barbysses — The Woods and Vil- 
lage of Belgrade — Road to Buyuk-derc — The Thracian Banks of the Bospo- 
rus — The Town and Meadow of Buyuk-dere — The European Side of the 
Canal to Fanaraki — The Cyanean Isles, and Ancient Altar — The Asiatic 
Shores of the Bosporus — The New Castles — TheHieron — Giant's Mountain — 
The Shore to Scutari— Bourgaloue — Fanar-Baktchessi — Kaddi-Keui on the 
Site of Chalcedon — Kis-Kalesi, or Leander's Tower, 857 



xvm 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER XLVI. 

Galata — The Tabagies, or Wine-houses — Yamakis, or Dancing Boys — The 
Tower of Anasti.tius — Conflagraiions — The Size of Constantinople — Popula- 
tion — Jews — Armenians, .,.,< » page 883 

LETTER XLVII. 

Ters-Hane — The Harbour and Docks — Visit to the Capudan-Pasha at Divan- 
Hane — Executions — Visit to the Ters-Hane- Ε mini — The Sultan's Cypher — 
Russian Prisoners — Visit to the Capudan-Pashu's Ship, the Sultan Selim — 
The Turkish Navy — Martial Music — Gratitude of the Turks — and other 
amiable Traits of their Character — A Notice of some Points relative to the 
Mahometan Religion, and to its Ministers — The Mevlevi and Cadri — The 
Turning and Howling Dervishes, *. 901 



LETTER XLVJI1. 

Excursion to Constantinople — The Wall on the Land Side of the City — The 
Miracle of Baloucli — The Seven Towers — The CofFee-Houses near Yeni- 
Kapoussi — The Meddahs, or Tale-Tellers — Teriakis, or Opium-Eaters — 
Koum-Kapoussi — Kebab — Balik-Hane — Execution of Viziers — The Kiosks 
under the Walls — Battery and Boat-Houses of the Seraglio, 935 

LETTER XLIX. 

The Atmeidan — Antiquities of the Hippodrome — Theodosian Obelisk — The 
Colossus Structslis — The Delphic Serpentine Column — The Burnt Pillar — 
Note on the Historical Column — Three other Columns — The Ancient Cisterns 
— The Aqueduct of Valens — The Fountains and Baths — The Hans — Encou- 
ragement of Commerce in the East — Bezesteins and Bazars of Constantino- 
ple, ~ 950 

LETTER L. 

The Dgiamissi Selotyn, or Royal Moscks — St. Sophia — The Mosck of Sultan 
Achmet — Little St. Sophia — Nourri Osmanie — The Tomb of Constantine — 
and Prediction of the Fall of the Ottoman Empire — Suleymanie — Other 
Moscks and Public Buildings, 965 



CONTENTS. 



XIX 



LETTER LI. 

The Ambassador's Audience of the Oaimacam — The Ottoman Grandees — Au- 
dience of the Grand Signior — The Janissaries — The Niz t::s-Djedid, or New 
Institution — Short Account of the Three Revolutions which del'. Qiied the 
late Sultans Selira and Mustapha, and destroyed the Grand Viziei 3airacter 
— The Conclusion, page 983 



APPENDIX, 

Containing— 
Inscriptions at Chaeronea, 1049 — Inscriptions at Orchomenos, 1050 — Inscrip- 
tions in the Church of St. Grorge, at Talandios in Bceotia, 1051 — Explana- 
tion of the Inscriptions from the Paneum, at Vary, 1051 — Romaic Pronun- 
ciation, 1054 — Ecclesiastical Greek, 1068 — Romaic: The History of the 
First Old Man and the Stag, 1071 — Specimen of a Romaic Romance, enti- 
tled, Unfortunate Love, &c. 1075 — Romaic ?!xho Song, 1079- -The Speech 
of Phormio, from the Romaic Thucydides, 1081 — Academie Ionienue, Prix 
Olympiadiques, 1099 — Expedition to the Dardanelles, 1111 — Albanian Lan- 
guage, 1123 — Fac-simile of a Letter from Ali Pasha, 1151- Fac-simile, 1152 
—Greek Music, 1153. 



ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS, 






Page 3, for way, read weigh. 

4, for Tottaco, read Iottaco. 
8, put the reference to place, instead of to America. 
10, for Guevini, read Guerini. 

17, for Ario, read Azio. 

18, for the Venetian Doria, read the Veneti- 

ans and Doria. 
20, for Poukeville, read Pouqueville, here and 

in every other place. 
25, for dei, read dai. 
27, for A siatic, >W Asiatic. 
43, /or Charadnis, read Charadrus. 
48, for kan, in this place and elsewhere, read han. 
• 53, for Talpac, read Calpac, and in 225. 
60, for Lychidnus, read Lychnidus. 

63, for M.Barbier du Bouage, readM. Barbie 

du Boccage. 

64, for Paramitkia, read Paramithia. 
67, for Sebastoerator, read Sebastocrator. 
86, for Bishop, read Archbishop. 

89, for Tarrovina, read Iarrovina. 

90, for Tolfa, read Iolfa. 

1 46, for puniumtur, read puniuntur. 

153, for Coryphceus, read Coryphaeus. 

161, for Deborus's, read Deboruses. 

241, for υφηλα, read ύψηλίί. 

263, for was, read were. 

265, for Acciacoli, read Acciajuoli. 

281, for in this line the sepulcher, &c. read in 

this line were the sepulchre, &c. 
SOI, /or has, read have. 

306, note, for Mrs. read Mr. 

309, for site, read sight. 

312, for would, read will. 

320, insert a full stop after still remain. 

323, for dames, read dams. 

331, for containing, read contained. 

332 and 341,/orDilIetante, n?a</Dilletanti. 

361, for striking, read strikes. 



Page 377,/or Diana, Propylaea, read Diana Propy- 
lasa. 
378, for traverse transversely, read traverse 

them transversely. 
384, for finds, read find. 
387, for Telovouni, read Trelovouni. 
390, for with the small, read with small. 
392, for Venus, in the gardens, read Venus 

in the gardens. 
394, for is, read are. 
405, for natural, read human. 
426, for and striking into, read which is in. 
434, for on this side, read in the same quar- 
ter ; and on one side, read on one slope. 
438, dele the comma after before stated. 
440, for a third longer, read a third part 

longer. 
451, for zeqin, r«ao/ zequin. 
481, for must always, and has given, read 

must always give and has given. 
488 and 493, Deipnosophist, read Deipncso- 

phists. 
492, for Porphrogenitu», read Porphyroge- 
nitus. 

526, for aywj ορός, read αγην ορός. 

527, for was, read were. 
534, for aqueducts built, read aqueducts ori- 
ginally built. 

538, for oivov, read ο«ος. 
541, for Fileffo, read Filelfo. 
555, for Philephus, read, in two places, Philel- 
phus ; and in note, for Philephi, read 
Philelphi. 
606, for and agentem, read et agentem. 
623, for renders, read render. 
683, dele the reference to Homer, note f. 
729, the note, lib. v. cap. 30, p. 78, edit. Pa- 
ris, thould have been put to the preceding note. 
779, for introduced their, read introduced 
other. 



The Expedition to the Dardanelles was, when written several months past, intended for insertion, as a 
note to the Letter in which the forcing of the Straits is noticed ; but being judged too long for that pur- 
pose, was transferred to its present position in the Appendix, 



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LETTERS FROM ALBANIA, 

4-c. 4-c. \ 



LETTER I. 



Departure from Malta — Approach to the Gulf of Lepanto, and 
to Patrass — Passage between the Islands Cefalonia, Ithaca, 
and Santa Maura, to Prevesa, 



SIR, 

MY Friend and myself, after a stay of three weeks at Malta, 
and after many hesitations whether we should bend our steps 
towards Smyrna or some port of European Turkey, were at last 
determined in favour of the latter, by one of those accidents 
which often, in spite of preconcerted schemes, decide the conduct 
of travellers. — A brig of war was ordered to convoy about fifty sail 
of small merchantmen to Patrass, the chief port on the western side 
of the Morea, and to Prevesa, a town on the coast of Albania. 
The Governor of Malta was so obliging as to provide us with a 
passage in this ship to the latter place, whence we resolved to 
commence our Tour. • 



* 



LETTER I. 



On Tuesday Sept. the 19th, 1809, we left Malta, and on the 
following Saturday, at nine o'clock, in the morning, we were in 
the channel between Cefalonia and Zante, and at this time also 
had our first view of Greece. You will forgive me for being thus 
particular in my dates, as also for every other kind of necessary 
egotism. The scene before us made a considerable impression. 
I could not fail to note every particular of the time, place, and 
circumstances of such a first view, and I may be perhaps ex- 
cusable in endeavouring to communicate them to you. 

Cefalonia appeared a chain of high rocks to the north, with a 
few villages scattered at their feet, and presented a prospect of 
universal barrenness. Zante was a low land to the south. Before 
us, to the east, were the high mountains of Albania and of the 
Morea, from which also projected towards us a long narrow neck 
of very low land, at the extremity of which were to be seen the 
remains of a fort called, as we were informed, Castel-Tornese. 

We had not much wind, and were obliged also to wait for the 
slow sailers of our convoy, so that it was not until seven o'clock 
in the evening that we were near enough to see Ithaca, called 
now Theaki, which then seemed a low land with two small hills 
to the north-east of Cefalonia. At seven o'clock the next morn- 
ing we were in sight of the opening of the gulf of Lepanto, and 
not far from the small islands called Curzolari, near which, and 
not in the Gulf itself, the battle of Lepanto was fought. The 
scenery which at this moment presented itself to us, was peculi- 
arly agreeable to our eyes, which had been so long fatigued with 
the white waste of Malta. To the south, not far from us, were 
low lands running out into the sea, covered with currant trees of 
the most lively green ; before us were hills crowned to their sum- 



LETTER I. 



a 



mits with wood, and on every other side, except at the opening 
by which we had come into this great bay, were rugged moun- 
tains of" every shape. We were shown the situation of Patrass, 
but did not advance sufficiently before dark to see the town itself 
that evening. The following night, the whole of the next day, 
and the night after, I employed myself in cruising about the 
mouth of the bay in a boat ; but on the 26th, at seven in the 
morning, was again on board of the brig at anchor off Patrass. 
Nothing could be more inviting than the appearance of this place. 
I had approached it just as the dawn was breaking over the moun- 
tains to the back of the town, which is itself on the foot of a hill 
clothed with gardens, groves of orange and lemon trees, and 
currant grounds that, when seen at a distance, remind me of the 
bright green of an English meadow. The minarets of the Turkish 
moscks, always a beautiful object, glittering in the first rays of 
the sun, and the cultivated appearance of the whole neighbour- 
hood of the town, formed an agreeable contrast with the barren 
rocks on the other side of the Gulf. , 

Though we were to proceed with a part of our convoy immedi- 
ately to Prevesa, we were anxious, as you may suppose, to put 
foot in the Morea. Accordingly my friend and myself took a 
walk in some currant grounds to the north of the town, until we 
were obliged to return by a signal from the brig, which got under 
way at twelve o'clock. The ship was not long in getting out of 
the bay, and before sun-set we had a distant view of a town called 
Messalonge, with a singular-looking double shore at the foot of 
mountains rising one above the other as far as the eye could reach, 
which is, indeed, the appearance of all the country to be seen to 
the north of the gulf of Lepanto. 



β a 



LETTER I. 



The next morning we were in the channel, with ithaca to the 
left or west of us. This island, which is but of small circum- 
ference, and which is, as it were, enclosed in a baj' formed by 
two promontories of the great island of Cefalonia, is not so rough 
and rocky as the main land to the right. We were close to it ; 
and saw a few shrubs on a brown heathy land, two little towns in 
the hills, scattered amongst trees, and a windmill or two, with a 
tower, on the heights» A small rocky island to the north-east, 
between this island and Santa Maura,, is called Tcittaco. We 
made but little progress during this day : indeed the boats of the 
brig were employed in cutting out currant boats from Ithaca, then 
in the possession of the French, but not very strongly garrisoned, 
as you will easily believe, when I tell you, that a month after- 
wards, when the Ionian Islands were invested by a British squa- 
dron, the kingdom of Ulysses was surrendered into the hands of 
a serjeant and seven men. In the night we saw lights in all the 
mountains, which they told us were fires kindled by shepherds, 
whose flocks are not driven down from the hills to the low grounds 
till the beginning of October, when the autumnal rains usually 
commence. 

On the 28th we sailed through the channel between Ithaca 
and the island of Santa Maura, and again saw Cefalonia stretch- 
ing farther to the north. We doubled the promontory of Santa 
Maura, and saw the precipice, which the fate of Sappho, the 
poetry of Ovid, and the rocks so formidable to the ancient ma- 
riners, have made for ever memorable. On each side of the 
head-land is a large cave ; the shore is very bold, and the height 
very abrupt, but covered on the top with a green shrub or moss. 
You will not expect to hear of jany. remains of the Temple of 
Apollo. 



LETTER I. 



At seven in the evening we anchored off Prevesa, and the 
Greek acting as one of the English Vice-Consuls at that town, 
came on board the brig. His name was Commiuti, or Commi- 
niuti : he was of a tall and uncommonly handsome person and 
face, and dressed in the Greek fashion. We had letters of intro- 
duction to his brother, which he opened, but could not, I be- 
lieve, read : he was not, however, the less civil ; but with a pro- 
fusion of compliments, promised to serve us to the extent of his 
power. We signified to him our wish to view the ruins of Nico- 
polis, in the neighbourhood of Prevesa, the next day. " You 
shall go there with me ; I' will get breakfast for you at seven 
o'clock, or eight, or nine," said the Vice-Consul. We told him 
we preferred being off very early. " As early as your Excellen- 
cies please — dopo la collazione" added he with a smile, and lay- 
ing great stress on the last words, as if to show that he knew 
what we Englishmen liked* Indeed, in my short travels, I have 
observed, that a notion obtains very generally, of our country- 
men being great eaters, especially of flesh, and greater drinkers. 
Erasmus mentions, that " to cram like an Englishman," was a 
phrase in his time. 

The 29th of September we prepared for our landing at Pre- 
vesa,, a town opposite the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, and 
built on a neck of land in the country formerly called Epirus. 

Before, however, you commence our tour with us on the main 
land, I must crave your indulgence in listening to some previous 
remarks, by which I shall endeavour to account for, and to ex- 
cuse, one of the many deficiencies that you will doubtless discover 
in the ensuing details of our Albanian travels ; I mean an igno- 
rance of the exact extent and limits, of the course of the rivers. 



I 



6 



LETTER Ι. 



of the direction of the mountains, and of the relative position 
of the ancient and modern cities of Epirus, the very country 
through part of which we passed. Even a school-boy is ashamed 
of seeming ill-read in geography. It is, however, I believe, very 
true, that this country, which has been the scene of so many cele- 
brated exploits, and which was on the borders of, and has not 
unfrequently been confounded with Greece, has never been ac- 
curately described. The accounts of ancient geographers can 
hardly fail to confuse the reader. In some places they seem to 
allude to Epirus according to its most ancient state ; in others, 
they talk of the Macedonian division ; and sometimes refer to 
that partition which was made of their conquests by the Romans, 
and which gave to the districts to the north and north-east, be- 
fore attached to Illyricum and Macedonia, the name of New 
Epirus. Ptolemy includes Acarnania and Amphilochia within 
its limits, which he brings down as far to the south as the mouths 
of the Acheloiis*. 

It would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to give 
what at any one time were considered to be the actual boun- 
daries of the country in question ; and you may have ob- 
served, that Greek and Latin authors seem aware how little 
they were defined, as they make use of the expression, an Epir 
rote people, rather than a people of Epirus. It was natural that 
a change of masters should cause a change of names ; thus the 
districts of Lyncestis, Pelagonia, Orestis, and Elymia, were, 
after their reduction by Philip, called Upper, and afterwards Free 
Macedonia ; and some gave that denomination to the country 



* Lib. iii. cap. 14. 



LETTER I. 7 

adjoining* as far as the coast opposite Corey ra*. The coast, as 
might be expected, has been accurately described ; though geo- 
graphers are not agreed whether to begin their detail from the 
shores of Dyrrachiura and Apollonia, or lower to the south, with 
Cbaonia and the northern extremity of the Acroceraunian moun- 
tains : but Strabo, after alluding to the fourteen Epirote nations, 
allows his inability to show the boundaries of their separate states, 
which in his time were not to be discerned. He adds in another 
place, that this country, which, as well as Illyricum, though 
rough and mountainous, had been formerly well peopled, was at 
the period in which he wrote, nearly deserted ; and that, where 
there were any inhabitants, they lived in small villages and caves 

ίί/5£ί7ΠΟΙ?). 

Thus it is that the topography of the interior country 
has been scarcely attempted ; for though the names of many 
towns have been mentioned, and Ptolemy in particular gives a 
long list of them, yet as to the real or relative situations of 
these places little or nothing seems to be known. I confess my- 
self also to have found very little assistance from the perusal of 
those passages of Polybius and Livy, in which the historians 
treat of the operations of the Roman and Macedonian armies in 
this part of the world. The lives of Pyrrhus, Flaminius, and 
iEmilius, in Plutarch, give some positions, but are equally un- 
satisfactory. The labours of modern authors, which have illus- 
trated almost every other part of the world, have done nothing 
towards clearing these difficulties. Cellarius, and 'Emmius, a 
much more attentive compiler, only repeat the accounts of anient 



* Strab. lib. vii. 



3 



LETTER I. 



writers. Mons. D'A nville felt, and ingenuously confessed, his 
want of information ; and, on the face of his map, he invites 
future students to give a more accurate description of Epirus. 
Mr. Gibbon, to whose luminous pages a traveller in Turkey must 
always refer with advantage and delight, has declared, that we 
know less of the country in question than of the wilds of North 
America*. We want a good map of Epirus, says that historian 
in another place ; an observation which he Las verified by his 
own example, having by a loose expression in more than one place 
identified that country with Albania. 

The same shade which involved this part of Europe in ancient 
times, seems never to have been dispelled during the middle and 
latter ages. All that we have, till very lately, known of modern 
Albania is, that it is a province of European Turkey, bounded 
to the north and north-east by a chain of mountains called the 
Black Mountains, dividing it partly from the country formerly 
called Macedonia, and partly from Servia and DaLmatia ; having 
to the west the gulf of Venice, to the east Macedonia, Thessaly, 
and Greece Proper ; and being terminated to the south by the 
gulf of Lepanto, or, according to some, the gulf of Arta. This 
extent of country has been divided by the Venetians, I believe, 
into Upper and Lower Albania, the first being supposed to cor- 
respond nearly with the ancient Illyricum, and the last with 
Epirus. Some writers, indeed, when speaking of Albania, have 
alluded only to the former, which they w ould bound to the south 
by an imaginary line separating it from the latter country. 

1 shall have occasion to mention hereafter, that there does 



* Note 40, page 457, cap. 67. 



LETTER I. 



9 



obtain amongst the inhabitants a notion of a distinction between 
the northern and southern parts ; but I have never seen a map 
in which the line of separation is distinctly marked ; and perhaps 
the whole region, even including Aca mania, may be correctly 
denominated Albania. 

As the Mahometans themselves know nothing of geography, 
and as they divide the territories they possess into many petty 
governments, with whose limits an European traveller, or even' 
resident, is not likely to make himself acquainted, it would be 
unreasonable to expect what might fairly be called a modern map 
of any part of Turkey, especially of such a province as Albania. 
The uninterrupted barbarity of its inhabitants, and the partial 
possession of some of its ports by the Venetians, which has. intro- 
duced a confused mixture of Italian amongst the Greek and 
Turkish names of towns and districts, have caused such difficulties 
in the delineation of any charts, that nothing can be more un- 
satisfactory than those which pretend to assist us in our survey. 
The best and latest modern map, that of De La Uochette, is full 
of inaccuracies and deficiencies, and of little or no service to the 
traveller. The designs or plans of the artist Co rone! li, represent 
only the forts and towns upon the coast, such as they were to 
be seen during the more flourishing days of the Venetian repub- 
lic. But the present age, which seems to have favoured disco- 
veries in every art and science, has added also to our knowledge 
of the modern state of many countries before almost unknown. 

The active spirit of two great nations, to whose generous emula- 
tion mankind, when they shall have long recovered from the de- 
structive struggles of the mighty rivals, shall be for ever in- 
debted, has in our days explored the remote regions of every 

c 



10 



LETTER I. 



quarter of the world ; and it is to one of the vast military enter- 
prises of the French, that we owe the first attempt at a detailed 
account of Albania. 

In the year 1798? some French officers, and members of the 
Oriental Commission of Arts and Sciences, returning from Egypt 
in a tartan of Leghorn, were captured off Calabria by a Tripoli 
corsair. Of these, Messrs. Bessiers, belonging to the commis- 
sion, Poitevin, a colonel of engineers, Charbonnel, a colonel of 
artillery, Guevini, a Maltese inquisitor, and Bouvier, a naval 
officer, were separated from their companions, and carried to 
Ali, a Pasha of Albania, who was then encamped at Butrinto, 
on the coast opposite Corfu, at that time besieged by the Rus- 
sians and Turks. They were detained, but treated with distinc- 
tion, and employed by the Pasha for nearly two years, and 
during that time collected the notes which were afterwards ar- 
ranged by their friend Dr. Poukevilie, and published, together 
with two other volumes on the Morea and Constantinople, written 
by the Doctor, who had himself, after his separation from these 
officers, been confined at Tripolita in the Morea, and in the 
Seven Towers. 

The learned and conjectural part of the book, besides some 
rhetorical flourishes, from which the compiler most unaccountably 
considers himself to be entirely free, is certainly the worst por- 
tion of the performance, and must, I presume, be laid at the 
door of the Doctor himself. But notwithstanding all its defects, 
which are numerous, there is not, that I know, any other book 
which the traveller in Albania can carry with him or consult. 
I have accordingly not scrupled to make use of the French ac- 
count, where it is not contradicted by my own experience and 



LETTER I. 



11 



information, as you will observe if you happen to have Dr. Pou- 
keville's volume at hand. 

I am thus explicit with you, in order to anticipate an excuse, 
should you ever trace me to the source of my information ; for as 
it is my purpose to give you the best account in, my power of the 
country through which we passed, 1 shall not refuse help from 
any quarter, but depend upon your kindness for not treating me 
as a "fur manifestus — a detected plagiarist." 

My next letter will fairly land us in Turkey. 

I am, your's, &c. &c. 



c 2 



LETTER II. 

Prevesa — a DescriptioJi of that Town — The Month of the Gulf 
of Arta—Actium — Short Description and Account of Pre* 
vesa — and of the Battle which placed the Town in the hands 
of the Turks. 



SIR, 

WE landed at Prevesa during a shower of ram, and 
with no very agreeable presentiments. The foolish master of an 
English transport lying in the harbour, had come on board, and 
told us most dismal stories of the Turks inhabiting the place. He 
had had a shot fired through his main-mast from some Turkish 
man of war ; and one day, walking in the country, a Turk, to whom 
he had said and done nothing, turned round and fired at him. 
He added, that our Resident at the Court of Ali, the Pasha of 
the country, was preparing to leave Ioannina, the capital, being 
unable to bear the insolence of the people. We picked our way 
through several dirty streets, to the house of Signor Commiuti. 
Few places will bear being visited in a rainy day, least of all a 
Turk town, and such a town as Prevesa. 

We found the streets without flags or stone paving of any kind, 
resembling dirty lanes, with wooden huts on each side, exceed- 
ingly narrow, and shaded over-head with large rushes or reeds, 



„„.■.. -jiL .^..^.^iL^^^^Li^ju 



LETTKIi II. 



13 



reaching from the pents of the houses quite across from one side 
to the other. This contrivance, which must be very agreeable 
in hot weather, did at this time only increase the gloominess of 
the place, and added to the inconvenience of walking, as the rain 
dripped from the dirty reeds, and made the paths more miry. 
Add to this, the savage appearance of the Turks, each of whom 
carried an immense brace of pistols and a long knife, sticking out 
from a belt before his waist ; and the accommodation we met with 
at the Consul's house, which seemed wretched to us who were 
just fresh from Christendom, and you will not feel inclined to 
envy our situation. 

You will fancy yourself deep in the distresses of some Scottish 
tourist, if I entertain you much longer at this rate ; and yet, I 
assure you that, never afterwards during our whole journey, did 
w r e feel so disheartened, and inclined to turn back, as at this 
instant ; and indeed, had the commander of the brig been very 
pressing, I believe that we should have consented to go back to 
Patrass, where we were sure of better iare and more comfort with 
the English Consul-General for the Morea, who resides in that 
town. The weather however soon cleared up, and we began to 
feel more resigned to our misery, which is very laughable now, 
but was then wretched enough. 

A circumstance just at that time occurred, which seemed to co- 
incide with the report made by the master of the transport ; for, 
looking out of the Consul's window, I saw a young Turk dis- 
charge two pistols over a garden-wall, to frighten some Greek ma- 
riners who were dancing and singing to the sound of a fiddle. 
The sailors, however, continued their sport ; and we soon found 
that there was nothing malicious or unusual in the playfulness of 
the young Mussulman. 



■HH 



14 



LETTER II. 



We dined with the brother of the Vice-Consul; the Vice-Con- 
sul himself was absent at Ioannina ; when I was not so much 
struck with the dinner, and the curious way of serving it up, one 
dish after the other, of each of which they expect you to eat, as 
with Signor Commiuti being waited upon by his father, an old 
man, and by one of his brothers. I afterwards found it to be a 
common practice in Greek families^ for those who have no money 
to be retainers and attendants to such of their relations as are 
more wealthy ; nor does filial affection or obedience prevent a man 
from exacting the same duties from an indigent parent as he him- 
self would perform, were his father to become by any accident 
the richer man of the two. An excessive reverence for wealth is 
the distinguishing characteristic, as it appears to me, of all the 
inhabitants of the Levant, What could Mr. De Guys, in his 
silly parallel between the ancient and modern Greeks, have said 
to such a change of those virtuous customs which would never 
permit a degradation of the dignity of old age ? 

After dinner we paid a visit to the governor of the town, who 
resided within the enclosure of a fort at the lower end of the har- 
bour, in a house belonging to Ali Pasha. We walked through a 
long gallery, open, as is the custom, on one side, and through 
two or three large rooms with naked walls, and no other furniture 
than a low stage running round three sides of the chamber, on 
which, when inhabited, the sofa-cushions are placed. In one of 
these barrack-rooms, for that is the name by which you will best 
comprehend the sort of palace we visited, we found the Gover- 
nor, who received us with the grave politeness that seems born 
with every Turk, and who gave us coffee and a pipe ; which, I 
believe, you know is the ceremony customary with the people of 
this country on the reception of visitors. The coffee is served 




LETTER II. 



15 



up very thick, with the grounds left at the bottom of the cup," 
always without milk, and, except to travellers, who are supposed 
to be accustomed to delicacies, without sugar. The cups are 
very small, not made to stand, but presented in other cups of 
open work, like our egg-cups or salt-cellars. Tobacco, which 
was unknown to the Orientals till the middle of the seventeenth 
century, is now the universal luxury of all the inhabitants of the 
Levant; but the Turkey plant is not nearly so pungent and 
strong as that of America and the West Indies, and a habit of 
smoking it is immediately acquired. The pipes are very long, the 
heads being made of earthen-ware, and the sticks, when they are 
best, of cherry-wood. In these the rich are very expensive : 
they adorn them with amber heads and joints, a pair of which I 
once saw exposed for sale at two thousand piastres, or more than 
a hundred pounds sterling. 

The Governor could not easily be distinguished from the 
shabby-looking Albanian guards that surrounded him ; some of 
them sitting down close to him, and the others standing opposite 
their master, staring and laughing at our conversation. Besides 
the Governor of the fort, there was here also an Intendant of the 
Marine, to whom Englishmen generally pay their respects, the 
port being occasionally the resort of some of our Adriatic squa- 
dron, but whom we did not visit, till our return to this place. 

Prevesa is said to contain about three thousand inhabitants, 
of which one-half are Turks. Of these Turks the greater part 
are Albanians, and are to be distinguished as such by their 
dress, manners, and language, with all which I shall hereafter 
endeavour to make you acquainted. The houses of the town are 
all of wood ; for the most part with only a ground-floor ; and. 



16 



LETTER II.' 



where there is one story, the communication to it is by a ladder 
or wooden steps on the outside, sheltered, however, by the over- 
hanging eaves of the roof. In this case, the horses and cattle 
occupy the lower chamber, or it is converted into a warehouse, 
and the family live on the floor above, in which there are seldom 
more than two rooms. This straggling town is placed on the 
longest of one of the extremities of a flat biforked tongue of land, 
that widens towards the point, and is more narrow about three 
miles from the end. This narrow part is the site of Nicopolis. 

A bay, which runs into the land about a mile, forms the har- 
bour ; and the other extremity of the tongue, together with the 
opposite promontory, on which Anactorium, according to D'An- 
ville, formerly stood, composes the mouth of the gulf of Am- 
bracia, now called the gulf of Arta. This mouth is about half 
a mile, or a little more, in breadth : Polybius says five stadia, 
and Strabo a little more than four ; alluding to this interior 
mouth, and not to that of the harbour, which is formed by the 
point of Prevesa, and the promontory, and which is nearly a 
mile in breadth. It must be exceedingly diflicult for a vessel of 
any size to work into the Gulf; for there is no deep water, ex- 
cept close to the town, that on the other side being full of shoals 
and quicksands. 

Were it not for the positive authority, that determines the 
battle of Actium to have been fought within the promontory in 
the bay that first presents itself on the right hand to a person 
sailing into the Gulf, I should be inclined to think that the action 
took place in the sea between Leucadia and the cape of Prevesa. 
The enormous vessels, of nine or ten banks of oars, in the fleet 
of Antony, under which, to use the expression of Florus, the 







letter ir. 



17 



waters groaned, must have scarcely been able to manoeuvre in the 
small basin in the Gulf; and unless the battle was fought without 
the bay, I cannot understand how the combatants could see the 
runaway Egyptians steering for Peloponnesus, as Plutarch, in 
his life of Antony, says they did. They might suppose them 
making for that quarter, but they could not see them an in- 
stant after they had got out of the Gulf, the exit from which is 
not perceived until you are close to the mouth. 

Either a good part of the low land of the promontory opposite 
Prevesa, has been formed since the days of Augustus, which is 
extremely probable, or the floating castles of Antony were not so 
large as is usually conceived. The point is not very important : 
it is certain that the battle was fought ; and that a naval action, 
for the first and only time in the history of the world, as Madame 
de Sevigne has remarked before me, decided the fate of an em- 
pire. Mons. D'Anville says, that the name of Actium is not 
entirely lost in Ario ; but Τ made every enquiry, and could not 
learn that there was at present a village, or any place so called. 
The Sismor Commiuti did inform me, that there was a ruin to be 
seen on the opposite side of the water, on a spot which we after- 
wards visited, and saw some trifling remains of a wall built of 
bricks, placed lozenge-wise, and about five feet in height, and so 
disposed as to appear to have been circular. I do not know who 
had put this notion into the head of our Greek, but he called this 
the wall of the Hippodrome ; and the fine flat which it might 
have enclosed, gives some colour of probability to the suspicion 
that this was the spot chosen by the youth of Ambracia and Ki- 
copolis for the horse and chariot race, and the celebration of the 
Quinquennial games, over which the Lacedemonians presided. 



18 



LETTER II. 






The site of Aetium itself was lower clown in the Gulf, and 
nearer to the head-land laid down in the maps under the name of 
Cape Figaik) ; but there the ground is rough and uneven, and not 
so well calculated for the course. 

It does not appear that there was anciently any town on the 
site of Prevesa, of which the first notice I have ever seen is, that 
it was besieged by the Venetian Doria in 1572, but relieved by 
the Turks from the interior. Since the invention of gunpowder, 
such a position must have completely commanded the mouth of 
the Gulf, especially as there is no deep water except on the side 
of the town. The Venetians, after repeated contests with the 
Turks, at last possessed themselves of this place as well as of Vo- 
nitza, a town in the Gulf, and of Parga and Butrinto, on the 
coast opposite Corfu. The domain of Prevesa extended into the 
ruins of Nicopolis. 

All these places were ceded to the French by the treaty of 
Campo Formio ; but, during their last war with the Turks, were 
all abandoned, except Prevesa, which the Engineer Richemont, 
and the General La Salcette, were ordered to protect. The 
Pasha Ali, who had for some time kept up a correspondence with. 
the French, appeared at first inactive ; but in the end of August, 
A. D. 1798, some French boats were seized in the Gulf, and the 
Adjutant-General Roze, then in a conference with the Pasha, was 
imprisoned. Immediately the French prepared for the event. 
The municipal guard of the town was organized ; arms and am- 
munition were sent to the Sulliote Greeks at war with the Pasha; 
and a redoubt with two pieces of cannon was thrown up on the 
side of Nicopolis. On the night of the 12th November, Ali and 
his two sons, Mouctar and Veli, with a force amounting to about 




LETTER II. 



19 



ten thousand horse and foot, appeared on the mountains imme- 
diately above the plain of Nicopolis. At the dawn of day the 
Albanians were posted on the hills about two miles above the 
French force, which, instead of remaining to defend the town, 
had marched to the site of the ruins, and were drawn up in a 
long line, with the redoubt covering one of their wings. 

I had the account from an Albanian who was in the battle, 
and who confessed that the French force did not amount to more 
than eight hundred men, and all of them infantry. The Albanians 
continued some time on the hills, viewing their enemies in front. 
Their priests, of whom there was a great number, then began to 
pray with a loud voice, and the soldiers joined them in the holy 
exclamations. The whole body remained waving their heads, as 
it was described to me, and as I have myself seen in some reli- 
gious ceremonies in Turkey, like a vast field of corn, and calling 
on the name of God with a fervour of tone and action that was 
soon wound up to the highest pitch of fury; as if with one voice, 
the word was given, " Out with your swords \" and the Alba- 
nian army, both horse and foot, rushed down into the plain. 
The French artillery began to fire; but, in a short time, both 
guns and men were overturned by the Turkish cavalry. The 
rout in an instant became general ; and the Albanians entering 
Prevesa with the French, involved many of the inhabitants in a 
promiscuous slaughter: — between Nicopolis and the town the 
plain was strewed with about six hundred dead bodies. Two 
vessels in the harbour, full of fugitives, cut their cables, and 
made for Santa Maura; but one of them, from being overladen, 
or from mismanagement, was swamped, and went down. — Two 
hundred French, with the General La Salcette, and Mons. Ri- 
chemont, were taken prisoners, and conveyed to Ioannina. 

d 2 



20 



LETTER II. 



But the vengeance of the Pasha was reserved for the Greek 
inhabitants of the town, two hundred of whom were beheaded 
the day after the battle, in the presence of Ali himself. 

The French account accuses both their Sulliote allies, and the 
townsmen of Prevesa, of having fired upon them during their 
flight. I did not hear of this treachery, although the charge 
may be true ; but it is excusable in M. Poukeville to shed a tear 
over his brave countrymen, and to record, in an amiable episode, 
the desperate valour of the heroic Richemont, and the fate of 
his friend the young Gabauri, " connu dans Vannee par sa beaatS 
et renommc par sa bravure." The like was never heard of since 
the days of Nisus and Euryalus. 

Since this event, Prevesa has been in the hands of Ali, who 
has built a fortress at the bottom of the harbour, and also raised 
a battery at the end of the town, commanding the entrance of 
the port. It is the chief sea-port town in Lower Albania, and is 
the continual resort of the Greek boats of the Ionian Isles, which 
exchange their French and Italian manufactures for the oils, 
wools, cattle and timber of Albania. But you must be suffi- 
ciently acquainted with Prevesa : I will now conduct you to the 
ruins of Nicopolis. 



LETTER III. 

The Ruins of Nicopolis — Preparations for Travelling in Turkey 
— The Dragoman — Servants — Baggage, $c. $c. — Sail down 
the Gulf of Arta to Salora — The Albanian Guard of Salora, 



SIR, 

THE ruins of Nicopolis (which we reached after 
riding slowly for three quarters of an hour through olive groves, 
and a large plain of low shrubs) are more extensive than magni- 
ficent, as they cover at intervals the breadth of the isthmus, if 
such it may be called, from the Ionian sea to the gulf of Ani- 
bracia : not their shadows, but themselves, stretch from shore to 
shore. After entering at a breach of a wall, winch may be 
traced round several parts of the plains, and which may be con- 
jectured to have separated the city from the suburbs, we were 
carried by our guide, the Consul's brother, to what he called the 
King's house. This is nothing but the remains of a room, on 
which the paint, of a dusky red and light blue, is still visible, and 
also a small piece of cornice. IVom this place we scrambled on 
through heaps of ruins over- run with weeds and thistles. These 
ruins are large masses of brick-worK, the bricks of which (of that 
sort, I believe, called Roman tile) are much thinner and longer 
than those in use amongst us, and are joined by interstices of 



■BHH 



22 



LETTER III. 



mortar as largo as the bricks themselves, and equally durable. 
There is a specimen ot this sort at Dover Castle. Some of these 
masses are standing, others lying on the ground, and there are 
several spots in the plain so covered with the ruins as to be im- 
passable. 

We went through an arched gateway, tolerably entire, in the 
largest portion of the wall that is yet standing ; and going to- 
wards the Ionian Sea, came to the remains of a theatre, in which 
the semicircle of seats, raised about a foot one above the other, 
is still visible, though destroyed in some places, and choked up 
with earth. Underneath the theatre are several arched caves, 
which some one had told our Greek, were the dens ol the wild 
beasts used in the ancient games. But the arena of the theatre 
could not have been more than twenty-five feet in diameter, and 
therefore not suitable to such exhibitions. The people, who oc- 
casionally clamoured for the introduction of gladiators and beasts 
as an interlude, would, in so small a space, have been content to 
do without, such spectacles. Indeed the caves appeared to me to 
be formed by the falling of some of the brick-work. 

Proceeding till we came to no great distance from the sea- 
shore, we came to the ruins of a square building, within which, 
half buried in the ground, are several marble troughs : these, 
and the capital of one Corinthian column lying on the ground, 
and the shaft of another enclosed in a wall, were the only pieces 
of marble I saw in the ruins ; but many have been carried away 
lately, and employed in the building of the fortress of Prevesa, 
and some also have been preserved as a present to the English 
Resident at the court of Ali Pasha. 

Turning round from the sea-shore towards the Gulf, we tra- 



LETTER III. 



23 



versed the plain to the north of the wall, which was also in- 
cluded in the suburbs, but is now partly ploughed, and we came 
to an eminence, at the foot of the hills that terminate the isthmus 
to the north, not far from the shore of the Gulf. On this we 
found the remains of a theatre considerably larger than the one 
we• had before seen, and enclosed on every side : I regret to have 
not taken its exact dimensions. It was or' stone, and the semi- 
circular seats were in many parts entire : a more learned observer 
might perhaps have discovered the orchestra, the pulpitum, the 
proscenium, and all the other appurtenances of the ancient theatre; 
I must content myself with telling you, that it was the least dila- 
pidated remain we saw in the ruins of Nicopolis. From the emi- 
nence on which it stands there is the best view. of the plain, and 
of the bav of Actium ; and the tents of Taurus, the general of 
Augustus, may have been placed on this very spot. 

I have before told you, that these ruins being nearly all of 
brick, presented us with no very magnificent spectacle ; and yet 
such was the extent of ground which they covered — about three 
miles in length from the sea to the Gulf, and perhaps a mile or 
more from the side of Prevesa to the theatre last mentioned — that 
there was something of a melancholy grandeur in the prospect 
before us. Part of the ruins had been converted into sheep-pens. 
A solitary shepherd was the tenant of Nicopolis, and the bleating 
of the sheep, the tinkling of their bells, and the croaking of the 
frogs, were the only sounds to be heard within the circuit of a 
city whose population had eAhausted whole provinces• bf their in- 
habitants. Calydon, Anactorium, Ambracia, the towns of all 
Acarnania, and part of iEtolia, were stripped of their people and 
ornaments ; but the vanity, a favourite one with conquerors, 



24 



LETT Eft ill. 



which raised Nicoj - the desolation of the neighbouring 

states, could not secure for it a long continuation of splendour 
and prosperity. The Emperor Julian found the city in a rapid 
decay ; and in the reign of lionorius, Nicopolis was the property 
of Paula, a Roman matron. The irruption of the Goths imme- 
diately succeeded ; and the city of victory, which was raised by 
Augustus, may perhaps have been finally ruined by Alaric. 

We returned from the ruins by the side near the sea over a 
green plain, which was the burying-place of the city, as some 
tombs lately discovered appear to manifest. We passed through 
the court-yard of a barrack, struck into the olive-grounds, and 
arrived at the Consul's house, determining to set out for Ioannina 
the next day. 

From Prevesa to Ioannina there are two routes. One of these, 
taking a north-easterly direction, crosses the plain of Nicopolis, 
and passes over the mountains belonging to a district now called 
Loru, from a town of that name, at six hours distance from 
Prevesa : thence it runs through a valley, and afterwards over 
rugged hilly ground to Vrontza, a village seven hours from Ioan- 
nina. We were advised, being yet unprovided with a guard, not 
to follow this road, as the country of Loru was at that time not 
quite safe, and were accordingly directed to take the other route 
by Arta, which is considered the longest of the two journies to 
the capital. 

But this is the place to give you some information as to our 
equipage, and the preparation made by us for travelling in Tur- 
key. This detail, into which travellers seldom condescend to 
enter, and which may be a little tiresome, would, however, I be- 
Jieve, be useful to you, were you to make a tour in the Levant, 



LETTER III. 



We had been provided at Patrass with a Greek, to serve as 
dragoman, or interpreter to us; he could not, however, speak the 
Turkish language, which it is not indispensable to know in Alba- 
nia, as the Mahometans of the country, for the most part, speak 
Greek. Doubtless, however, it would have been better to have 
procured a person acquainted both with the Turkish and the Al- 
banian languages ; and as such servants are to be met with at 
Prevesa, it would have been better if we had delayed to eno-age 
any one until our arrival at that town. The professional inter- 
preters, by which I mean those who are in the habit of being- 
recommended to travellers, are mostly exceedingly roguish, and 
there is no advantage which they will not endeavour to take, espe- 
cially of Englishmen, who are generally suspected to have more 
money than wit. There is a Constantinopolitan proverb which 
runs thus — " Dio mi guardi dei Dragomani io mi guardr.ro dei 
caniy It is as well to know this, for a great deal depends upon 
your choice of a dragoman. He is your managing man ; he 
must procure you lodging, food, horses, and all conveniences ; 
must direct your payments — a source of continual disturbance ; 
must support your dignity with the Turks, and show you how to 
make use of the Greeks : he must, consequently, be not only ac- 
tive and ingenious, but prompt and resolute. Now you would 
very seldom find a Greek deficient in the former, or possessed of 
the latter qualifications: in this respect, their very dress is against 
them. Those who have been in Turkey, know that it is con- 
trary to the nature of things, for a man in the Greek habit to 
talk in any other than the most submissive cringing tone to a 
Turk; and on this account it is always preferable to engage a 
person accustomed to wear the dress of a Frank, a name that in- 



ύβ 



LETTER IIJ. 



eludes all those of whatever nation, who are dressed in the small- 
clothes, the coat, and the hat, of civilized Europe. Such persons 
are often to be met with at Malta, or any of the ports of the 
Levant ; they are natives of the islands of the Archipelago, who 
have lived in the service of foreigners at Constantinople, and 
know how to assume an air of importance, and even ferocity, in 
presence of a Turk, with the utility of which a traveller does not 
become immediately acquainted. The Greek appears to feel him- 
self free the moment he places the hat upon his head, and throws 
away the cap, which, in our own times, and in another country, 
was the badge of liberty. 

Our dragoman was recommended to us as the most upright of 
men ; but we found him to be one of those servants whose good 
conduct does not so much depend upon their own probity, as 
upon the vigilance of their masters. He never lost an opportu- 
nity of robbing us. He was very zealous, bustling, and talka- 
tive ; and when we had him, we thought it would be impossible 
to do without him ; when he was gone, we wondered how we had 
ever done with him. However, he was a good-humoured fellow, 
and having his mind intent upon one sole thing, that is, making 
money of us, was never lazy, or drunken, or out of the way : 
he was up early and late ; for he always slept upon his saddle- 
bags without undressing. His name was George ; but he was 
usually called Mister George — Kire yorge (Κυ^ί Γίοξγι). 

We had only one English servant with us, who w r as my Friend's 
valet ; for I was fortunately disappointed the day before 1 left 
London, of the man who was to have accompanied me in our 
travels : I say fortunately, because English servants are rather 
an incumbrance than a use in the Levant, as they require better 



LETTER 111. 



27 



accommodation than their masters, and are a perpetual source of 
blunders, quarrels, and delays. Their inaptitude at acquiring 
any foreign language is, besides, invincible, and seems more stupid 
in a country where many of the common people speak three, and 
some four or five languages. Our baggage was weighty ; but, I 
believe, we could not have done well with less, as a large quantity of 
linen is necessary for those who are much at sea, or travel so fast 
as not to be able to have their clothes washed. Besides four 
large leathern trunks, weighing about eighty pounds when full, and 
three smaller trunks, we had a canteen, which is quite indispen- 
sable ; three beds, with bedding, and two light wooden bedsteads. 
The latter article some travellers do not carry with them ; but it 
contributes so much to comfort and health, as to be very recom- 
mendable. We heard, indeed, that in Asiatic Turkey you can- 
not make use of bedsteads, being always lodged in the khans or 
inns ; but in Europe, where you put up in cottages and private 
houses, they are always serviceable, preserving you from vermin, 
and the damp of mud floors, and possessing advantages which 
overbalance the evils caused by the delays of half an hour in pack- 
ing and taking them to pieces. 

We were also furnished with four English saddles and bridles, 
which was a most fortunate circumstance, for we should not have 
been able to ride on the high wooden pack-saddles of the Turkish 
post-horses ; and though we might have bought good Turkish 
saddles, both my Friend and myself found them a very uncom- 
fortable seat for any other pace than a walk. 

Whilst on the article of equipage, I must tell you, that as all 
the baggage is carried on horses, it is necessary to provide sacks 
to carry all your articles. These sacks you can get of a very 

ε 2 



■ 



HHMW 



28 



LETTER III. 



useful kind in the country. They are made of three coats ; the 
inner one of waxed canvass, the second of horse-hair cloth, and 
the outward of leather. Those which we bought at Ioannina 
were large enough to hold, each of them, a bed, a large trunk, 
and one or two small articles ; and they swing like panniers at 
each side of the horse. 

Some travellers prefer a large pair of saddle-bags, and to 
have a large chest or trunk, which they send round by sea to 
meet them, or leave at one fixed spot ; but this is a bad plan : 
the saddle-bags will not carry things enough for you ; and then 
to have your wardrobe at any fixed spot, binds you to one 
route, and prevents you from taking advantage of opportunities. 
As to sending baggage round by sea, it is a very hazardous expe- 
riment : we were detained three weeks at Gibraltar, waiting for 
clothes which, as we rode from Lisbon to Cadiz, we had ordered 
to be sent by sea. 

A traveller in this country should provide himself with dollars 
at Malta, in a sufficient quantity to defray the charges of his 
whole tour in European Turkey. These he will be able to ex- 
change without any loss at Patrass, or elsewhere, for Venetian 
zequins, which are golden coins, and much more portable. 
Having lodged your dollars in the hands of the merchant in the 
Levant, you may take bills, to save you the risk and trouble of 
carrying money, upon the most respectable Greeks in the towns 
through which you mean to pass. This is a better scheme than 
that of travelling with bills drawn upon Constantinople, where 
the exchange is very fluctuating, and oftener against than for 
the English merchant. The accounts in Turkey are kept in 
piasters. When you can get seventeen and a half of these for 



LETTER III. 



29 



the credit of a pound sterling, you may consider the exchange 
at par. 

There are several gold coins current in Turkey ; the smallest 
of which is a pretty coin, worth two piasters and a half, or in 
some places a little more. The Venetian zequin varies in value 
from ten to eleven piasters. Of the money made of silver, much 
debased, there are pieces of two piasters and a half, of two piasters, 
and of one piaster : besides these, there are small coins called paras, 
forty of which go to a piaster, and which are very thin, and not 
so big as a note wafer. The asper, which is the third of a para, 
I never saw ; and copper there is none. It is necessary to be 
cautious in procuring money in Turkey, as from the great variety 
and changeable value of the coin, and also from the number of 
bad pieces in circulation, it is a very easy matter to be cheated, 
and the Greeks are generally ready to do a traveller that service. 

Equipped in the manner which I have thought it necessary to 
premise, we procured a large boat to convey us down the Gulf, 
as far as a place called Salora, the scale of Arta ; and, on the 
1st of October, in the forenoon, proceeded on our journey. We 
sailed part of the way, being assisted by a strong breeze, the fore- 
runner of a thunder-storm that was collecting over the mountains 
to the north ; and were rowed by our six boatmen the remainder 
of the distance. 

The Gulf runs in a south-easterly direction ; and, in what may 
be called the jaws of it, there is, on the northern side, a large 
bay, forming the long beach of Nicopolis ; and on the south, the 
bay of Actium and the promontory of that name, now called 
Cape Figalo. Beyond Figalo is the other bay, containing in a 
deep woody recess the town of Vonitza ; and there are many cir- 



so 



LETTER Hi. 



cular inlets or smaller bays on both sides σί the Gulf. The 
country on every side is mountainous, but less so to the south 
than to the north, as, near Vonitza, there are low hills and ral- 
lies clothed with an agreeable verdure. The prospect, however, 
is terminated on every side with tremendous rocks ; and as the 
entrance to the Gulf is winding, and therefore not perceptible in 
many points, the whole expanse of water has the appearance of a 
large fresh lake, and did indeed put me somewhat in mind of 
Loch Lomond. A woody island, where there is a monastery, 
and some small rocks, with which the sea is studded to the east 
of Vonitza, served to strengthen the illusion. 

In two hours and an half we had reached the place of our des- 
tination, where we had been informed we should find horses, and 
be enabled to proceed to Arta the same evening. Salora, about 
twelve miles from Prevesa by water, on the northern side of the 
Gulf, was the name of this place ; but we were surprised, after 
having heard that it was the scale or port of Arta, to find that 
there was only one house there, and a new-built barrack at a 
little distance. 

We landed, just in time to avoid the storm, at a little rugged 
pier, and put the baggage under cover, at the same time deliver- 
ing a letter, given us by the Vice-Consul's brother at Prevesa, to 
the Greek inhabiting this wretched-looking place, which we found 
was the custom-house. The Greek, who was collector of the 
duties, was extremely civil to us; but said, that there were only 
four horses ready, and that we should be obliged to sleep in the 
adjoining barrack. 

After accusing ourselves for not having sent before us from Pre- 
vesa, in order to procure horses, we, of course, consented to what 



LETTER HI. 



31 



we could not prevent, and were shown into the barrack. This also 
belonged to Ali Pasha, or, as he is called throughout his extensive 
dominions, the \ r izier, the denomination of every Pasha of three tails : 
it had only been built two years. The under part of it was a stable, 
and the upper, to which the ascent was by a flight of stone stairs, 
consisted of a long open gallery of wood, with two rooms at one 
end of it, and one at the other. In the single room, which waa 
locked up, the Vizier was accustomed to lodge when he visited 
the place ; but the other two rooms were appropriated to ten 
Albanian soldiers, placed there to protect the custom-house, 
which it is of some importance to guard, as Salora is the chief, if 
not the only scale (to use a Levant phrase), through which the 
imports and exports of all Lower Albania are obliged to pass, and 
which levies a duty of three per cent, upon all imported merchan- 
dize belonging to a Turk, and of four per cent, upon the goods of 
the Christian trader. 

We were introduced to the Captain of this guard ; and, as we 
passed that evening and the next day and night in the barrack, 
we had at once an initiation into the way of life of the Albanian 
Turks. It was impossible for any men to have a more unsavoury 
appearance ; and though the Captain, whose name, by the way, 
was EJmas, was a little cleaner than the others, yet he was not 
much to be distinguished from his soldiers, except by a pair of 
sandals, and a white thin round stick, which he used in walking, 
and which, like the vine rod of the Roman centurions, is a badge 
belonging to, or affected by, the better sort of soldiers in Turkey. 
Notwithstanding, however, their wild and savage appearance, we 
found them exceedingly mild and good-humoured, and with man- 
ners as good as are usually to be found in a garrison. 



32 



LETTER III. 



We put up our beds in one of their apartments, and were soon 
well settled. Immediately on our entrance the Captain gave us 
coffee and pipes ; and, after we had dined in our own room on 
some fish, bread, and wine, he begged us to come into his cham- 
ber and pass the evening with him, to which we consented. The 
only furniture in the soldier's apartment was a raised low stage, 
like that used in a kennel, and upon this, covered with a mat, we 
seated ourselves cross-legged next to the Captain. This officer 
lived in a very easy familiarity with his men ; but had a most 
perfect controul over them, and they seemed to do every thing 
he wished very cheerfully. 

All the Albanians strut very much when they walk, projecting 
their chests, throwing back their heads, and moving very slowly 
from side to side ; but Elmas had this strut more than any man 
perhaps we ever saw afterwards ; and as the sight was then quite 
new to us, we could not help staring at the magisterial and super- 
latively dignified air of a man with great holes in his elbows, and 
looking altogether, as to his garments, like what we call a bull- 
beggar. 

After walking about in the walled enclosure of the barrack, and 
enjoying the last rays of the setting sun that were gilding the 
woody hills and the towers of Vonitza on the other side of the Gulf, 
we again seated ourselves at the never-failing coffee and pipe, to 
which the liberality of the Captain had added some grapes, and, 
by the help of our dragoman, kept up a conversation of some 
length with the Albanians. 

You may suppose that an Englishman has many articles about 
him to excite the curiosity of such people ; but we found this 
curiosity, though incessant, to be by no means impertinent or 



^*silL•tim^kk&ittmatilhilM 



LETTER III. 



33 



troublesome. They took up our watch-chains and looked at 
them, then looked at each other, and smiled. They did not ask 
a great many questions, but seemed at once satisfied, that the 
thing was above their comprehension ; nor did they praise, or 
appear to admire much, but contented themselves with smiling, 
and saying nothing, except " English goods ! English goods !" 
or, to give it you in their Greek, " ττξχγμοίΐχ Ίγγλίσιχ»! ττξάγίΛοίΙχ 
ΐγγλία-ικχ!" A glass of marascine was given to Captain Elmas, 
and another offered to one of his men, who refused it, being, as 
he said, under an oath not to touch any thing of the kind. Is 
not this self-denial, called kegging by the Irish ? Elmas drank 
seven or eight glasses of aniseed aqua vitae, and said it gave him 
an appetite. 

About seven, the Albanians made preparations for their supper, 
by washing hands. Dragoman George said, " If these fellows 
did not do this they would stink like the Jews." — The Turks 
think that the Christians stink. 

They placed a round table, raised on two strips of wood three 
inches from the ground, before the Captain, and the men sat 
round on mats on the floor. The supper was fish fried with oil, 
which they ate with their fingers out of one dish, and curded 
goat's milk with bread; but in this second course, they made use 
of horn spoons. 

After supper the Captain washed hands with soap, inviting us 
to do the same, for we had eaten a little with them. He put the 
ewer into my lap; but he would not give the soap into my hands, 
though I was sitting close to him, but put it on the floor within 
an inch of me. This he did with so singular an air, that I en- 
quired of George the meaning of it ; and found, that in Turkey 



34 



LETTER III. 



there is a very prevalent superstition against giving soap into an- 
other's hands : they think it will wash away love. 

We now smoked, ate grapes, and conversed ; and every thing 
was much to our satisfaction, except the habit, to which we were 
not then familiarized, of frequent and most violent eructation 
from our hosts. The Turks continue at this sport so long, and 
are so loud, as to make it appear that they do it on purpose ; 
and I once heard that it is done by visitants as a compliment, to 
show their host that they have digested his good fare. The 
Moors of Barbary continue croaking for five minutes. Persons 
of all ranks allow themselves this liberty (I have noticed it in the 
divan at Constantinople) without shame or restraint ; but they 
would look upon an indecency, however accidental, of another 
kind, as a pollution and an affront. 

We retired to bed before ten ; and the Albanians pulling out 
their pistols from their waist, loosening their girdles, and wrap- 
ping themselves up in their shaggy great coats (or capotes), lay 
down and slept upon their mats. 

It rained hard the next day, and we spent another evening 
with our soldiers. The Captain Elmas tried a fine Manton gun 
belonging to my Friend, and hitting his mark every time, was 
highly delighted, and offered to receive it in exchange for his 
own ; but being informed that it was intended for the Vizier his 
master, he did not press the bargain. 

This day we observed one of the soldiers rubbing, or rather 
kneading, one of his comrades forcibly on the neck and arms, and 
pulling his joints. This is the Albanian cure for a cold in the 
limbs. 

We were now quite familiar, and on very easy terms together. 



ι*»»! 



LETTER III. 



35 



In the evening they laughed and sung, and were in high spirits : 
one of them, as in other small societies, was their butt, and they 
made us the instruments of their jokes against him. We were 
enquiring names : one of them was " Abdoul," another " Yat-> 
chee," and a third we were told to call " Zourlos." This person 
did not seem pleased with our dwelling on his name, and it was 
not long before we learnt that we had been calling him " Block- 
head," the interpretation of the modern Greek word with which 
we had addressed him. 

They finished our entertainment by singing some songs both 
in Albanian and modern Greek. One man sung, or rather re- 
peated in loud recitative, and was joined in the burthen of the 
song by the whole party. The music was extremely monotonous 
and nasal ; and the shrill scream of their voices was increased by 
each putting his hand behind his ear and cheek, as a whipper-in 
does when rating hounds, to give more force to the sound. They 
also dwelt a considerable time on the last note (as long as their 
breath would last), like the musicians of a country church. One 
of the songs was on the taking of Prevesa, an exploit of which 
the Albanians are vastly proud ; and there was scarcely one of 
them in which the name of Ali Pasha was not roared out, and 
dwelt upon, with peculiar energy. Ali is, indeed, a very great 
man, as you will be inclined to acknowledge, if you have the pa- 
tience to proceed with me on my journey. 



?2 



LETTER IT. 

The Presents customary in the Levant — Route from Salora to 
Art a — Description of that Town— The Site of Ambracia — 
Of Ambracus — Departure from Arta. 



SIR, 

ON Tuesday, the 3d of October, we were up at half 
past five in the morning ; but it was not till eight that we were 
fairly off from Salora, after having presented our friend the 
Captain Elmas with what we were told, was the proper sum — 
twenty piasters. You may be astonished at a present of this 
kind to an Officer, especially as you may have read of travellers 
taking about with them cloth, snuff-boxes, guns, pistols, and 
other articles of English manufacture, in order to repay the libe- 
rality of their hosts. But let me observe, that to carry about 
goods for this purpose is exceedingly troublesome, and quite un- 
necessary, as the delicacy of no soul in the Turkish empire is to 
be hurt by a repayment of kindness in hard money. You can- 
not, it is true, unless you are extremely rich, do this with the 
Pashas and great men ; but to them it is not really necessary to 
make any present, particularly as the officers of their courts will 
sufficiently empty your purse. It is a difficult thing to know 
what to give on different occasions, and this embarrassment is 
one of the most unpleasant, and perpetually recurring, of any 






LETTER IV. 



37 



attending a Turkish tour; but as a traveller has to make these 
presents every day of his journey, that he is lodged in a private 
house, and that is generally the case in Turkey in Europe, he 
must by degrees govern his conduct by something like a general 
rule. He will very soon learn not to measure his benevolence, by 
the appearance of satisfaction in those to whom he gives ; for a 
Turk never says "Thank-ye;" and a Greek never cries " Enough." 
No favours are ever granted in Turkey without the hope, and ex- 
pectation of reward. This is true of both the Mahometans, and 
the Christians, and we found it so, before we had been a week in 
the country. 

But we must hasten to set out for Arta. We had ten horses : 
four for ourselves and servants, four to carry the baggage, and 
two, for two of the soldiers of the barrack, who were to go with 
us by way of guard, of which we afterwards learnt there was no 
necessity, the country between Salora and Arta being quite 
secure. 

Our horses were very small and lean, apparently just caught 
from grass, and had no shoes, two of them being in milk, and 
followed by their foals. These, however, were not the regular 
post-horses, which, as we had no direct order from the Pasha, 
we were not yet able to procure, but were some that had been 
hired for us for thirty-five piasters, at a village between Arta and 
Salora. The post-horses themselves, though shabby-looking 
things, are generally tolerable hacks, and manage very well in 
the steep rocky paths they are obliged to traverse. 

For the first mile and a half from Salora, the road was in a 
north-easterly direction, on a stone causeway crossing a marsh, 
on which we saw flocks of wild swans, and many other aquatic 



38 



LETTER IV. 



birds. This marsh, which extends to a considerable distance to 
the west, and for several miles, with some intervals of cultivation, 
to the north-west, is partly formed by the waters of a stream 
flowing from near a village in the hills, called Velistri, and cor- 
responding, according to the Frenchman's geography, with the 
Acheron. This district, from the plain of Nicopolis, certainly was 
the country of the Cassopoean Epirotes. At present it belongs, 
partly to the territory of Arta, and partly to the canton of Loru. 
Having crossed the marsh, we came into a green plain of some 
extent, covered in part with brushwood, and in many places so 
swampy, that the baggage-horses fell down repeatedly; and, as 
it rained violently, we had a very slow and uncomfortable ride, 
until we came near Arta, when the sky cleared, and the sun 
shone. We had passed one small village about three hours from 
Salora, and the road, from our leaving the marsh, had been over 
the plain, which was bounded on every side, except that of the 
Gulf, by mountains, and which, though cultivated in some spots, 
appeared to serve principally as a pasture for horses, and bullocks. 
Our last hour's ride wag through a lane pitched with large pebbles, 
and having hedges on each side, that served as fences for vine- 
yards and olive groves, and gardens of orange, lemon, pome- 
granate, and fig-trees. Attached to some of these gardens wej*e 
neat-looking cottages, and the approach to Arta, was in every 
respect picturesque, and agreeable. 

Coming near the town, we pafcsed over a strong stone bridge 
across the river of Arta, which is in this place of considerable 
breadth, and very rapid, and which bending round, forms a pe- 
ninsula. On this peninsula the town stands. Entering the town, 
we saw on our right hand, a large Greek church in a dilapidated 



^■ΜΑ,,,,ΙίΑΐ,ί^ 



LETTER IV 



39 



state. We afterwards learnt, that it had been partly built with 
the remains of marble columns, some only of which were still to 
be seen inserted in the walls ; the remainder having been carried 
away by the Turks, to adorn a mosck. A little farther on, also 
on the right hand, and seated on an eminence, was a handsome- 
looking house belonging to the Vizier, and having the appear- 
ance, like most of the best dwellings in the country, of having 
been very lately built. We arrived at the custom-house at Arta 
about one o'clock ; but, notwithstanding we had been nearly five 
hours coming from Salora, the distance could not have been more 
than twelve, or thirteen miles. 

The distances in Turkey are very difficult to be ascertained*, as 
they are measured by the time taken by a horse with baggage in 
going from one place to another. This, to be sure, is a very un- 
certain measurement ; but if you allow three miles to every hour, 
you will be perhaps as near the mark as possible. We, however, 
had not gone at that rate from Salora, owing to various difficul- 
ties and stoppages by the way. 

We rode into the lower part, or warehouse of the custom- 
house, which was half filled with bales of coarse woollen cloth and 
leather, and delivered the letter we had brought from Prevesa to 
the collector of the duties. He was very polite, kind, and com- 
municative, and showed us up stairs, where we were surprized to 
see the house furnished with chairs and tables, and ornamented 
with old portraits ; all which signs of civilization were accounted 

* Mr. Gell has been very particular in his measurements, and seems to have 
followed a plan which I had always adopted, before I was aware that it had 
been pursued by that intelligent traveller, that of carrying a watch in tfet 
hand. 



40 



LETTER IV. 



for by the place having been the property of a Venetian, and the 
residence of the French Consul, before that minister was re- 
moved from Arta to Ioannina. Our civil Greek provided us with 
a house to lodge in for the night ; and a very comfortable house 
it was ; that is, comfortable by comparison with our quarters at 
Prevesa, by which town it would be very unfair to estimate the 
interior of the country. Properly speaking, the word comfort 
cannot be applied to any thing I ever saw out of England, which 
any one in my place, who was not afraid of being taken for a 
downright prejudiced national blockhead, would confess. 

The remainder of the day of our arrival was very fine, and we 
had an opportunity of surveying the town, which seemed tolerably 
clean, with streets partly paved, and not so narrow, as usual in the 
Levant, and free from unpleasant smells. The bazar, or street 
where the principal shops were, was well furnished with the commo- 
dities in request in Turkey. As the shops in these bazars\m\e no 
windows to them, but are inclosed by wooden shutters, which, 
being removed in the day-time, leave them quite open, like a 
stall, the artisan and his goods are exposed, as it were, in the 
street. This, which has a poor effect when the tradesmen's arti- 
cles are few, and of the common sort, produces a very gay 
appearance in rich cities. 

Arta is not very splendid in this particular, but contains some 
very decent houses, and not in the oriental style, which may be 
accounted for by the length of time the Venetians possessed a 
footing in the neighbourhood. Until lately there was a conside- 
rable French establishment in the place, employed in the expor- 
tation of timber for ship-building at Toulon ; but the town, once 
so considerable as to have given its name to the neighbouring 



LETTER IV. 



41 



Gulf, has declined since Ioannina has begun to flourish under Ali; 
who governs Arta, before the seat of an independent pasha, by an 
officer of his own, with the title of Aga. There are, however, 
still about a thousand houses (so our Greek told us), or between 
five and six thousand inhabitants in the town, of which not a 
fourth part are Mahometans, and it is still a depot of many va- 
luable articles of merchandize. 

In the warehouses of the Greeks there are threads, cottons, un- 
dressed wools, thick cloths, leather, silk and cotton stuffs. But 
the collector of the duties informed us, that the inhabitants were 
become very lazy, preferring the cultivation of a few acres, which 
furnished them with a competence, to being engaged in trade. 
The pursuits of agriculture might, however, be exceedingly profi- 
table, for the soil in the neighbourhood produces a valuable grape ; 
tobacco, which is much esteemed, barley, oats, and maize, and 
other grains of a good quality. The traders of the Ionian islands 
also resort to the plain of Arta for their cattle, sheep, and pigs. 

The Turks must have formerly considered this place of some 
importance, for on an eminence a little to the east of the town, 
there is a fortress, once of considerable strength, but now in a 
state of decay. This we visited, having been informed that we 
should there perceive some remains, many pieces of marble having 
been already discovered and carried away from that spot. The 
only vestiges, however, of antiquity to be seen, were the enormous 
stones composing the lower part of the wall of the castle towards 
the east, one of which I found to be fourteen feet and a half long, 
and between five and six feet broad, and the remainder seemed of 
the same size. 

It is impossible to doubt that these stones are a part ot 

G 



Hi 



42 



LETTER IV. 



some very ancient building ; they have that massy character of 
Greek remains, which it is not easy to mistake; for though the 
edifices of the ancients were not, it should seem, so extensive and 
large as those of the moderns, yet their component parts, the 
stones with which they were built, were carved of a size that we 
have been either not able, or not willing to imitate. This distinc- 
tion would strike any one entirely ignorant of architecture, and is 
found more in the works of the early Greeks than in those of later 
times, and of the Romans. The line where the old wall ends, and 
the modern superstructure begins, is distinctly marked, and these 
remains must point out the former site of some strong town, but 
not that of Ambracia, which was situated at a little distance from 
the lower bay of the Gulf and near zi)hich, descending from 
Mount Stympe, and the country of the Parorcei, the river Arach- 
thus flowed, and afforded a short passage of a few stadia from 
the Gulf to the city*. But Arta is between seven and eight miles 
from the mouth of the river, which, if it be, as Mr. D'Anville 
gives it, the Arachthus, should show near its banks some vestiges 
of Ambracia. But I did not hear of any remains in the neigh- 
bourhood, except in the hills to the east, called Callidromos, 
which had been visited by an English gentleman, whose learning 
and long residence in the country, will render any account that 
he may choose to give of Albania, of the most inestimable value to 
the traveller. 

From the fortress there is the best view of the surrounding 
country. The territory of Arta may be from twenty-seven to 
thirty miles in circumference, bounded by mountains to the north 



* Strabon. lib. vii. 



LETTER IV. 



43 



and north-east, and also to the west; by the Gulf to the south, 
and by low hills to the east. The town stands at a mile and a 
half, or two miles distance, from the north-eastern mountains. 
On the other side of the low hills terminating the plain, about 
four or five miles to the east, there is another river, that, about 
six miles from its mouth, divides and incloses within its two 
branches, a fertile plain, called by the Italians Terra Nova, and 
inhabited, says Poukeville, by Jews, exiled Venetians, and some 
Greeks from the Ionian Isles. One might be perhaps inclined to 
place Ambracia somewhere in Terra Nova, as corresponding more 
exactly with the ^υκο?, the lower part of the Gulf, than the plain 
of Arta, which is not more than fifteen miles, or halfway down. 
In that case, the river of Arta could no longer be the Arachthus, 
but the Charadnis ; and the massy stones of the castle would be 
supposed to indicate the site of Ambracus, a town near that river, 
and described as defended by strong walls, lying in a marsh with 
only one path to it, and that narrow, and constructed on a raised 
mole, and as being opportunely situated for the annoyance both 
of the territory and town of Ambracia* . 

The whole of the plain is marshy ; the road of the lane through 
which we passed, is a raised causeway ; and the similarity of sound 
in the two names, will account for the site of Ambracus being: for 
a long time mistaken for that of Ambracia. Yet all this is pure 
conjecture. The hill of the fortress is like the Pyrrheum ; and 
Livy's description, in the fourth chapter of the thirty-eighth 
book, seems to allude to the very spot on which Arta now 
stands. But how could the historian trace the Arachthus from 
Acarnania ? We must make an end of our enquiries. 

* Potyb. lib. iv. cap. 61, 

G 2 



44 



LETTER IV. 



After strolling about the town until sun-set, the Greek collec- 
tor joined us at our lodging, and took a dish of tea with us, 
which, besides its other qualities that render it the best travelling 
commodity in the world, is also a great cement of society, being 
a rarity in the Levant. The same person provided horses to be 
ready early the next morning, for which we paid him beforehand, 
being warned, that many travellers, Albanian soldiers, and Greek 
merchants, had often contrived to pursue their journey, without 
settling for their conveyance. 

We had little sleep, being disturbed by a party of Greeks 
fiddling and dancing in the room next to us, and were up the next 
morning at sun-rise ; but we did not mount until eight o'clock. 
There was a long quarrel between the different owners of the 
horses, respecting the weight of the baggage, and each peasant 
was anxious that his own beast might not be overloaded : then 
there was a want of ropes ; and they did not know how to put on 
the English saddles, which they would not place on the horse's 
back, for fear of galling it, but on a high dirty pad. These 
difficulties occurred every day of our travels, and we never were 
less than two hours getting under way, as a sailor would term 
it — a delay sufficient to try the patience of the most enduring 
temper. 

We dropped our soldiers of the Salora barrack at Arta, and 
took two more from that town, as we had to cross a mountainous 
country, considered at that time rather suspicious, and over which 
Τ will proceed with you in my next letter. 



LETTER V. 

Route from Art a to the Kan of St. Dimetre — From St. Dimetre 
to Ioannina — First View, and Entry into that City— Recep- 
tion of Travellers. 



SIR, 

WE left Arta by the same road through which we 
had entered it, and passed over the bridge, but we then turned to 
the right, and took a north-easterly direction for a short time by 
the side of the river. We met long strings of horses loaded with 
goat-skins full of wine, for it was about the middle of the vintage. 
We observed that the hairy side of the skin was turned inwards, 
and this circumstance accounted for the unpleasant strong savour 
of the goat in the new wine. Passing a little farther, we saw 
them treading out the liquor in tubs by the hedge-side, over 
which, the persons employed in gathering were emptying out the 
grapes from small wicker baskets. 

Just before we left the banks of the river to the eastward, we 
passed on our left hand a fine cedar, and the largest plane tree I 
have ever seen, except that so celebrated at Vostizza, in the Morea. 
We now took a northern direction, skirting a large plain or marsh, 
that stretched down to the Gulf on the left, and was in spots 
covered with maize and rice. On the right were the stony hills, 
that advance within a short distance to the north of Arta, and are 



46 



LETTER V. 



the roots of the immense mountains that fill the country from the 
plains of Arta, as far to the west as the Ionian Sea, and as far 
to the north and north-east as the plain of Ioannina. These 
seem to be rather masses than ranges of mountains, and it is, 
therefore, almost impossible to ascertain the direction in which 
they run. 

After two hours ride from Arta, we came to a hut on an 
eminence to our right, at which place was a military post, and 
where we had been recommended to take an additional guard 
with us. We halted a few minutes, and were joined by four 
Albanian soldiers, armed with their long guns and sabres. A 
little way farther on, the path left the plain, which we saw ex- 
tending before us, with a village at a distance; and turning to the 
north-east, we struck into the mountains. We travelled in a 
ravine, as it were, for some time ; for the hills rose abruptly and 
close to us on each side, and our path occasionally was along a 
water-course, whose banks were covered with brushwood. Just 
in this spot our guard, very probably for the sake of making 
their attendance appear to be necessary, desired us to keep close 
together, as this was the place, they said, where the robbers, the 
χλίφΊεις (a word very frequently in the mouth of an Albanian), 
most commonly made their attack. 

Our four men continued with us for two hours, till we came to 
a part of the road where there was a village in the bosom of a 
hill to the right, prettily interspersed with trees and gardens, and 
having a house belonging to the Vizier. Here the guard left us 
to return to their station, telling us that our own two soldiers and 
ourselves (for we were well armed) would be sufficiently foimi- 
dable to put us out of all apprehension for the rest of the road. 

The Vizier had almost cleared this part of the country of rob- 



LETTER V. 



47 



bers ; but there were still some suspicious spots, through which a 
traveller, whose purpose it is to proceed, and not to fight, would 
choose to provide a guard. That which we had passed was one 
of them, and we were afterwards told of another. 

We had as yet travelled in a narrow valley ; and just as we 
came to a spot where the hills seemed to stop all farther progress, 
we ascended a mountain-path to the north, and in a short time 
stopped to refresh at one of those fountains which are so common 
all over Turkey. Turning round, we had a fine prospect of the 
plain of Arta, and of the Gulf at a distance, looking, as it were, 
through an immense telescope, or vista, formed by the hills on 
each side of the road we had passed. 

At one o'clock we moved forwards, still ascending, and came 
to a place where there was a path over the country to the right 
(the north-east), to Zeitoun, a port near Thermopylae ; and also 
another to the left, down the mountains to the country of Sulli, 
and Parga, and the coast of the Ionian Sea. The scenery on 
each side of us was most beautiful, the hills being covered with 
lofty forests ; but before us the road appeared to lead through a 
country much more bleak and rocky. It began to rain a little. 

George, our dragoman, told us this spot had formerly been 
very famous for robbers, and complained that our guard ought 
not to have left us ; and just as we entered a small wood, a gun 
was discharged at a short distance from us. I had a little before 
seen a shepherd on an eminence above us, stalking " gigantic" 
through the mist, and was told that it was he who had discharged 
the musket; and, indeed, we soon came to where two other shep- 
herds were standing near the path ; but a person who had his 
notions of the pastoral life from a visit to Salisbury Plain, and 
from the pleasing pictures of an Arcadian romance, would never 



48 



LETTER V. 



have guessed at the occupation of these tremendous-looking fel- 
lows. They had each of them pistols, and a large knife, stuck in 
their belts ; their heads were covered, and their faces partly 
shaded by the peaked hoods of their shaggy capotes; and leanino• 
on their long guns, they stared eagerly at the Franks and the 
umbrellas, with which they were, probably, as much taken, as 
were we with their uncouth and ferocious appearance. Their 
flocks of sheep and goats were feeding at a distance on the sides 
of the hills ; but several of their large rough dogs, with their 
pricked ears and bushy tails, were roused by our presence, and 
howled at us as our train of horses wound along the path close 
by them. 

These dogs are not unlike the true shepherd breed of England, 
except that they are larger (being as big nearly as a mastiff), and 
have their heads more sharp, and their tails more curled and 
bushy ; and, whatever change may have taken place in the men 
of the country, they have not degenerated from their Molossian 
ancestors. 

We soon saw another country-lodge of the Vizier's to the right, 
with a few trees round it, and a small church near it ; and we 
then came, in a short time, to a chasm in the road, made by a 
winter torrent. 

Winding along the sides of the hills, we passed a hamlet of three 
or four houses and a church, that is, a small stone house contain- 
ing one room, with only one small window, and only to be dis- 
tinguished by a stone cross rudely carved over the door. They 
told us that service was performed at this place about once in 
two months, and that then it was resorted to by the inhabitants 
of the hamlets within eight or ten miles. 

At half past three we arrived at a kan by the road-side, where 



LETTER V. 



49 



was a yard and stable, a barrack for passengers to sleep in, and 
a little wine-house. At this place four paras are demanded for a 
toll from every Greek passenger. The road, which had been for 
three hours very mountainous and romantic, and generally on an 
ascent, now led us down into a plain, in which we again saw some 
signs of partial cultivation, fields of maize, now and then a single 
house with a garden, and a solitary labourer beating the mast 
trees. In an hour we began to ascend again, and the path was 
very stony, and across several rivulets. We met two parties of 
armed Albanians, and these were the only travellers we had en- 
countered during our day's ride. 

The evening came on, with a drizzling rain, very dusky, and 
at last quite dark. We saw a blazing light at a distance, which 
they told us was the han, where we were to stop for the night ; 
but as we approached it, stumbling along a rough descending- 
path, we were assailed by several dogs, and found that the light 
was the fire of some shepherds, whose black shadows we saw near 
the blaze at a little distance. However, in half an hour we 
turned into the gate of the han, ourselves and the baggage drip- 
ping with rain. This was about half after seven o'clock ; so that 
the distance between Arta and the han may be jiearly thirty-five 
miles, chiefly in a northern direction. There are few parts of the 
road, except where it has been paved, in which a person without 
baggage might not go at a good pace; and it was made, where 
there is any making in it, by Ali Pasha about nine years ago. 

The han, called the han of St. Dimetre, had a very good 
stable, as is the case with most of these places, at one end of 
which a party of travellers had established themselves, preferring 
it to the room in the han itself. We ascended by the wooden 

Η 



50 



LETTER V. 



steps to the chamber, of which we thought we were to be the 
sole tenants ; but as our beds were putting up, four Albanian 
Turks and a priest entered, and soon gave us to understand that 
they were to be our fellow-lodgers. This room was not more 
than twenty feet long and ten feet broad, and our own party 
were seven ; however, it appeared that the others were the first 
occupiers, so we established ourselves on our beds at one side of 
the hearth, and the Albanians seated themselves on their mats at 
the other. We had some eggs boiled in the small wine-house 
attached to the han, and were preparing to get a fire lighted, 
when we were told that there were some merchants' goods under- 
neath, which would be endangered by such a proceeding, as the 
burning wood might drop through one of the many holes in the 
floor. 

Our chums turned out to be a mission from the Vizier, with 
letters to General Bessieres at Corfu, who, it seems, had been 
slow in paying his Highness for the provisions with which the 
French troops had been furnished from Albania. We had some 
conversation with them. A young Corfiote, who had come with 
us from Arta, told one of the Albanians, that he would certainly 
be taken by an English cruiser in his way to Corfu. " No ;" 
returned the fellow, who seemed very surly and ill-natured — " I 
am going in a ship of the Vizier's/' — " That does not signify," 
said the other, " the English care for nobody's ships ; they won't 
let you go to Corfu." " I am not afraid," replied the Albanian 

angrily ; " Captain " (the English resident at Ioannina) 

" and these two gentlemen are pledges for me." 

A little after hearing this agreeable assurance we went to bed ; 
and the rest of the party lay down on their mats. There were twelve 



LETTER V. 



51 



of us iii the room ; and every one, except the priest and the Cor- 
fiote, slept with his pistols at his head-side. This, however, on 
the part of the Albanians, was not so much out of caution as 
custom ; for there was not the least real cause for alarm or sus- 
picion ; but the fashion was new, and somewhat disagreeable to 
us. 

A little before day-light I was awakened by the rising of the 
surly Albanian, who got up, and going out, returned with a jug 
of water, with which he began gargling and spitting most vio- 
lently, at the same time whirling around, as if to air himself. 
This was his only toilet. He then lay down and took a nap 
till day-light, when he, and the remainder of the mission departed. 

In the morning it rained very violently, and we did not set off 
until nine o'clock ; when, however, the showers were sufficiently 
lasting and heavy to wet us through. We had begun our Alba- 
nian tour a month too soon, as you will see by our present, and 
subsequent disasters from bad weather. 

The road was through a green plain, to the westward of north, 
in many places cultivated, and every where spotted with flocks 
of sheep and goats. This plain to the right, and before us, 
seemed to extend to a great distance, until terminated by a 
mountain, or rather a vast chain of mountains, that were half 
hidden in the clouds. To the left were, at about two miles dis- 
tance, green hills; on the side of which we saw two villages. We 
continued for three hours on the plain, approaching the moun- 
tains ; and after riding up a gentle rising for another half hour, 
had our first view of Ioannina, and of the lake on which it stands. 
A gleam of sun-shine afforded us an opportunity of contemplat- 
ing the fine prospect of the city and its neighbourhood. The 

η 2 



3'ί 



LETT ι: R V. 



houses, domes, and minarets, glittering through gardens of 
orange and lemon trees, and from groves of cypress — the lake 
spreading its smooth expanse at the foot of the city — the moun- 
tains rising abruptly from the banks of the lake — all these burst 
at once upon us, and we wanted nothing to increase our delight, 
but the persuasion that we were in sight of the Acherusian lake, 
of Pindus, and the Elysian Fields. But we had not yet perused 
the topography of Poukeville. 

We soon entered the suburbs, after having passed a new-built 
house of the Vizier's on our right, inclosed within a wall of some 
extent. On our left hand were Turkish tomb-stones, and shops 
to the right. As we passed a large tree on our left, opposite a 
butcher's shop, I saw something hanging from the boughs, which 
at a little distance seemed to be meat exposed for sale ; but on 
coming nearer, I suddenly discovered it to be a man's arm, with 
part of the side torn from the body, and hanging by a bit of 
string tied round one of the fingers. 

Before you set down the Turks as a cruel, savage people, on 
hearing this, you will recollect, that a stranger passing through 
Temple- Bar fifty years ago, might have concluded the English 
to be of the same character. We learnt that the arm was part of 
a robber who had been beheaded five days before, and whose re- 
maining quarters were exposed in other parts of Ioannina. 

After riding at least a mile through the streets, we came to the 
house of the English resident, for whom we had been provided 
with a letter by the Governor of Malta, and found that a bouse 
had been prepared for our reception. To this place we repaired, 
and were received with a most profound politeness by Signor 
Nicolo, the owner of the mansion. Our quarters were very 



LETTER V. 



53 



comfortable, and our host, a Greek, who had passed several years 
at Trieste, and who spoke Italian very fluently, was kind and 
attentive. 

I had scarcely dressed myself, when I was informed that a 
secretary of his Highness the Vizier, and the Greek Primate of the 
city, had called to congratulate us on our arrival. I went in the 
iirst to receive them, and was quite overwhelmed with the many fine 
things said by the Secretary, who spoke French ; he told me, 
that his Highness had been aware of our intention to visit loan- 
nina ; that he had ordered every thing to be prepared for our 
reception ; that he was sorry to be obliged to leave his capital, to 
finish a little war (une petite guerre) in which he was engaged, 
but that he begged we would follow him ; and lastly, that an 
escort was provided for that purpose, to be ready at our com- 
mand. The Primate, whom, I was told, I might know to be a 
very great man, by the enormous size of his talpac, or cap, 
spoke not a word, but bowed very frequently. When my 
friend came in, the same compliments and information were 
repeated to him ; and as we were not at that time acquainted, 
that these were usual honours, nor with the Greek manner of ex- 
pression, we were not a little surprised, especially when we learnt 
that all our provisions were to be daily furnished to us from the 
Vizier's palace. 

The Secretary and the Primate left us, as they said, to give 
the necessary orders, and wishing to observe the Frank ceremony 
of pulling off the hat, were exceedingly awkward in lifting up 
their immense caps with two hands, and adjusting them again 
upon their heads. They were some time also at the door of the 
apartment shuffling on their outward shoes, which, according to 



54 



LETTER V. 



oriental etiquette, as you perhaps know, are always put off on 
entering an inner apartment ; so that the poorer class of people 
have their feet naked, the middling wear a sock or stocking, and 
the rich have a thin boot without a sole, reaching a little above 
their ancles, which, when worn by a Turk or privileged Greek, 
is yellow or scarlet, but in all other cases blue, or some dark 
colour. The delay caused by this adjusting of the outward 
shoes, after a man has taken his leave, has a very bad and em- 
barrassing effect ; and one is sensible of this when a Greek is 
making these preparations ; but the composure and dignity of a 
Turk are not hurt by his complying with this or any other 
custom. 

I take the liberty of introducing this sort of remarks, trifling 
as they are, with a reference to the time and place in which they 
occurred to me, and after mentioning the occasion which gave 
rise to the observation. This appears to me a better plan than 
that of classing every thing tinder separate heads, and I have ge- 
nerally adhered to such an arrangement. You will tell me if I 

am wrong. 

I am, &c. &c. 



„mL• 



itaJ&a 



LETTER VI. 

Visit to the Grandsons of AH — Manners of the Young Maho- 
metans — View of the Neighbourhood of loannina — The Lake 
— Mount Tomarus — The Mountains of Sagori — the Route 
across them — Mount Pindus — Route across it to Larissa — 
Dodona — The Plains of loannina — The Amphitheatre of 
Chercovista. 



SIR, 

WE passed the few days that we remained at loan- 
nina, previous to our visiting the Vizier at his quarters, very 
agreeably, and with a variety of occupations which is seldom to 
be enjoyed by travellers, and which, even in this place, would 
not, perhaps, have lasted long. The second day of our arrival, 
we paid a visit to the young son of Mouctar Pasha, who is the 
eldest son of Ali, and who has distinguished himself so much in 
the present war with Russia. We waited upon him at the palace 
assigned to his father ; and he received us, though he was a boy 
of only ten years old, with a polite unembarrassed air, desiring 
us, with a gentle motion of the hand, to sit down near him. His 
preceptor, a grave old man, with a beard reaching to his knees, 
sat in the corner opposite to him, but did not interfere in the con- 
versation. The Bey, for that was his title, though he was a little 



56 



LETTER VI. 



inquisitive as to some parts of our dress, and was highly delighted 
by a handsome sword worn by my friend, yet preserved his dig- 
nity and gravity, nor could we observe but very little difference 
between his manners and those of his aged tutor. 

\ ν hen we had taken coffee and sweetmeats, we expressed a 
wish of seeing the palace, for the Bey was lodged in what ap- 
peared to be one of the outward and inferior apartments ; and our 
3'oung host sent immediately to desire his father's women to retire 
into the inner apartments of the harem, that we might have an 
opportunity of seeing the rooms. Ashe was walking out of his 
chamber very sedately before us (for it is, I believe, a point in 
Turkish etiquette, that the guest should enter the first, but retire 
the last), one of the shabby looking Albanian guard in waiting 
upon him, embraced him very tenderly ; and in the whole of the 
conduct of his people towards him, there was a singular mixture 
of familiarity and respect. 

The palace had one long, well-floored, open gallery, with 
wainscots painted in much the same style as our tea-boards. In 
one compartment was a tawdry representation of Constantinople, 
a favourite subject, and one which we recognised in almost every 
painted house in Turkey. We saw several rooms, not only hand- 
somely, but very comfortably fitted up, especially those which 
we were informed were the winter apartments. The coverings of 
the sofas were of richly-wrought silk ; the floors were spread with 
the best Turkey carpets : and if the windows, which were large 
and deep, and of clear Venetian glass, had been furnished with 
curtains, there would have been nothing wanting to complete the 
elegance of the chambers. Except that one of the rooms was 
furnished with a marble recess, containing a bath and fountain, 



LETTER VI. 



57 



the whole palace seemed fitted up in the same style, which is 
easily accounted for, by the circumstance, that in Turkey there 
are no rooms set apart for sleeping, but all are indiscriminately 
used for that purpose, as each chamber contains a closet or cup- 
board, in which are deposited the mats or quilts, that constitute 
the whole of the bed of the Orientals. 

The little Be}' was highly delighted at shewing his father's pa- 
lace, and now and then seemed inclined to throw off his Turkish 
reserve. He shewed us his watch, and two or three other little 
ornaments ; but when I was going to put my hand on a small 
silver box in the shape of a heart, hanging round his neck by a 
chain, he shook his head, and said, " No! No!" I found this 
was an amulet or charm, and that his tutor had lost no time in 
beginning the religious part of his pupil's education. The Bey 
spoke Albanian and Greek, and was now learning to write and 
read Turkish and Arabic. We took our leave, and the youth was 
as graceful in this ceremony as he had been on our entering the 
room. 

Upon a similar occasion, when we visited another of the grand- 
sons of Ali, we had an opportunity of observing that these man- 
ners were not peculiar to himself, but belonged to all Mahometans 
of the better sort, who, generally speaking, have completed their 
education, as far as relates to behaviour in society, before they 
have ceased to be children. Mahomet, son of Veli, Pasha of the 
Morea, and second son of Ali, was of a lively air, and was said 
to possess the genius of his grandfather : accordingly, though 
onlv twelve years old, he was in possession of a pashalik. He 
was living in the palace of Ali. He did the honours with the 
same -ease as his cousin, and after sitting a short time, proposed 



•58 



LETTER VI. 



a visit to a younger brother of his, who was at a house belong- 
ing to their father Veli. 

A messenger was sent before us, and we set out on horses 
caparisoned with gold housings, whilst some officers of the palace, 
with their wands and silver sticks, preceded us. As the young 
Pasha passed through the streets, all the people rose from their 
shops, and those who were walking stood still, every body pay- 
ing him the usual reverence, by bending their bodies very low, 
touching the ground with their right hand, and then bringing it 
up to their mouth and forehead (for the adoration of the great is, 
in its primitive and literal sense, still preserved among the Orien- 
tals). The Bey returned the salute by laying his right hand on 
his breast, and by a gentle inclination of his head. 

When arrived at the court of Veli's palace, he suddenly touched 
his horse's sides, and galloped round to the steps, where his 
brother, a boy of seven years old, was standing to receive him. 
On meeting, they embraced in a very ceremonious manner, in- 
clining their heads over each other's shoulders. After pipes and 
coffee, we proceeded to see the apartments ; and, as we were 
walking along, the youngest boy forgot himself a little, and began 
to skip about ; when he was immediately checked by the Pasha, 
who said, " Brother, recollect you are in the presence of a 
stranger; walk more quietly." The other instantly obeyed; 
and it was not a little astonishing, to witness such counsel, 
and so ready a compliance, in children of so tender an age. I 
have introduced you into so young company, that you may not 
be surprised at the conduct and carriage of the men amongst the 
Turks. 

On the 8th of October we were favoured with four of the 



LETTER VI. 



59 



Vizier's horses, to ride into the country, and we went into the 
plain, over part of which we had passed on entering the city. 
We were taken to the spots most favourable for viewing the beau- 
tiful picture before us. imagine to yourself a large sheet of 
water, of ten or twelve miles in length, and at least three miles 
in breadth, inclosed, on one side by green plains, an extensive 
city, and a long succession of groves and gardens, and on the 
other, by a chain of lofty mountains, that rise almost abruptly 
from its banks. Such was the appearance of the lake of Ioannina, 
and its surrounding scenery. A stay of a fortnight, during two 
visits, gave us an opportunity of satisfying our curiosity, in be- 
holding the same object from different points; yet I am sure that 
I shall not be so particular as I could wish, in conveying to your 
mind an adequate notion of the town and its neighbourhood. 

The lake extends, in length, from about north-west to south- 
south-east. In it there are two woody islands, one large towards 
the southern extremity, and the other much smaller, nearly 
opposite to a triangular peninsula which contains the Vizier's pa- 
lace, and is defended by a fortress. The northern end of the 
lake loses itself in a reedy marsh, over which there is a stone 
causeway, and it is closed by some gardens belonging to the 
\ r izier, where he has a summer palace for the ladies of his harem. 
The southern extremity extends into a hilly country, and forms 
at last a small river, that, after being lost for some miles, rises 
at a village called Velistri, and runs into the marsh on the banks 
of the gulf of Arta. This is the Acheron of Poukeville, who has 
also found out an Avernus to receive his infernal stream. But 
the Acheron did not flow into the Amhracian, but into the Thes- 
protian gulf. 

ι 2 



60 



LETTER 



In a little bay, opposite to the islet and to the fortress point, 
there is a spring of very cold water dripping from the rock ; and 
it is near this stream, or under the spreading branches of a neigh- 
bouring tree, that an artist would probably place himself, to take 
a view of the city. 

The French writer, who is determined to finish his picture, 
talks of a river, called by the people of the country Cohjtos, 
which, after flowing under ground, rises at Perama, a " maison 
de plaisance ' belonging to the Vizier. The existence of Cokytos 
and Perama is possible, but I never heard of either the one or the 
other ; and when Poukeville gravely asserts, that the inhabi- 
tants of Ioannina call their neighbouring plains the " Elysian 
Fields," I must entreat you to put no faith in him. 

It is singular, that there is no mention made by the ancient 
geographers, of any lake in the interior of this country, except in 
the neighbourhood of Lychidnus, a town one hundred and twenty 
miles to the north of Ioannina, and now called Ocrida. Mr. 
D'Anville, in placing the Acherusian lake near the sea, and com- 
municating with the Glykyrs-Limen, or port of sweet waters, 
sometimes also called the Thesprotian gulf, followed the decisive 
authority of Strabo*, who, if he did not see the spot himself, 
might have copied from Livyf, and from Thucydides, to the 
last of whom I would refer you, that you may determine, whether 
the position of the lake of Ioannina be reconcileable with that of 
the ancient lake J. I should be loth to be as positive against, as 

* Lib. τϋ. + Lib. viii. cap. 24. 

t £<rj» Si λ»/ΑΤ)ν, xx) πόλις ΰπ\ξ αυίου χεΤτχι οίπο θαλάιππ)?, h τύ\ Ελα»α1»Λ της 

ΘινίΓξΐύΙίίος Εφυξη. ϊζικη St ιτ»\ «ΰ1ίκΆχίρο^ίβλιρ»ιίίτ^ θάλασσαν — Lib. Γ 
cap. 46. 



LETTER VI. 



6*1 



Poukeville is in favour of, their identity; yet loannina is, by 
his own confession, twenty -five leagues from the sea. 

The whole of the country to the north, north-east, and east 
of the lake, is a mass of mountains, consisting apparently of two 
ranges, the one of which runs from north to south, and the other 
in a direction from north to south-east. The first of these vast 
chains is called Zoumerka, corresponding, it would seem, with 
the ancient Tomarus ; and the latter mountains, now known by 
the name of Metzovo, can be no other than Pindus itself, for 
they are the boundaries between this part of Albania and the 
plains of Thessaly. Between Zoumerka and Metzovo, and 
running nearly parallel with the lake, but more to the north, are 
the lofty hills of Sagori, whose flat summits, spread into exten- 
sive plains, point exactly at mount Lingon, as it is described 
by Livy, in following the retreat of King Philip before Fla- 
minius*. 

To go into the country of Sagori, the traveller must pass a 
bridge crossing a small river that runs into the northern end of 
the lake ; and in four hours, or twelve miles, from loannina, he 
first enters that district. In twelve miles more, he arrives at a 
monastery dedicated to St. Elias ; and again, in twelve other 
miles, at the town of Sagori, which is in a direction north-east 
from loannina. This route is taken by the merchants travelling 
into Wallachia, as being more secure than that which leads through 
the plains of Thessaly by Larissa. The tops of Pindus are more 

* Inde in montem Lingon perrexit. Ipsi monies Epiri sunt interjecii 

Macedonia Thessaliaeque. Latus quod vergit in Thcssaliam oriens spectat ; 
septentrio a Macedonia objicitur, yestiti frequentibus sylvis sunt, juga summa 
carnpos patentee, aquasque perennes habent. — Lib. χχχϋί. cap. 13. 



62 



LETTER V 



than a day's journey from the lake. It is but seldom that they 
are not hidden in the clouds ; but a gentleman who had been so 
fortunate as to perform that exploit in a clear day, informed me, 
that the prospect from that eminence was more extensive than 
any he had ever seen; and he had ascended Olympus. Polybius 
speaks of a hill in Epirus, from which both seas might be dis- 
tinctly seen. 

Metzovo is so called, from a town of that name, consisting of 
fifteen hundred houses, and lying in the route from Ioannina to 
Larissa. This route is given with great apparent accuracy by Pou- 
keville : it leads during three hours along the lake, then for an hour 
across a mountain in an easterly direction ; passes over a bridge 
of the river that flows to Arta ; continues for five hours, but 
more southerly, along that river, then over another hill an hour 
and a half, and reaches Metzovo; afterwards it goes easterly, for 
two hours, over the mountain Metzovo, to Malacassi, a village, 
and still ascends for an hour, till it crosses a stream that falls 
into the Salembria, or river Pcneus. This stream it follows for 
three hours, and reaches a han called Kokouliotiko (the Gomphi 
of Poukeville); it then passes Stagous, a town of a thousand 
houses, re-crosses the river of Malacassi, and runs over a vast 
plain, in ten hours from the han, to Triccala, the ancient Tricca 
of Thessaly, and now the chief town of a small province. From 
Triccala the road continues on the plain in an easterly direction, 
till in nine hours and a half it reaches Larissa, having, in five 
hours, passed Zarko, a town of eight hundred houses, and, in 
an hour and a half more, a village called Koutzochero, near 
which it crosses the Salembria. 

Between the roots of mount Metzovo, and the southern extre- 



LETTER VI. 



63 



mity of the lake, are two lower hills, to the first of which a few 
insignificant remains, supposed to be those of Cassiope, the name 
of an inland town as well as of a port of Epirus, have given the 
appellation of the Cassiopean hills. The other, our French 
author has chosen to call the little Pindus. But although the 
licence granted to the fancy of his nation may suffer him to 
wander through his Elysian Fields, and sport with the Grecian 
Muses on their favourite hill, still he cannot be permitted to 
profane with conjecture the venerable shades of Dodona. 
" At a village/' says he, " four leagues to the north-east of 
Ioannina, begin the hills of Sagori, and the forests of Dodona* " 
But these groves are not to be distinguished from amidst a thou- 
sand woody recesses that shade the mountains of Albania; and 
the prose of the traveller is less sober than the poetry of his har- 
monious countryman. 

Ce sont passes ces temps ties reves poetiques 

Ou I'homme interrogeoit des forels prophetiqucs, 

Ou la fable creant des fails prodigi< ux 

Peuploit d'etres vivants des bois religieux. 

Do:!one inconsullee a perdu scs oracles, 

Les vergers sont sans Dieux, les forets sans miraclest. 

Nor can his auxiliary (M. Barbier du Boccage) be allowed to fix 
the oracle of Jupiter at the village of Protopapas, three leagues 
to the north-north-west of Ioanninaj. W e must be content to 



* Voyage en Albanie, page 54. 
+ Delille, Trois Regnes de la Nature, canto vi. 

i Description et Histoire de l'Ancienne Epire, prefixed to the Travels in 
Albania. 



64 



LETTER VI. 



know what Homer has told us, that it was situated in a distant 
and inclement region, amongst a barbarous people, who washed 
not their feet, and who lay upon the bare ground * ; or at most, 
we can only learn that it was placed somewhere at the foot of 
mount Tomarus, in the country first belonging to the Thespro- 
tians, and afterwards to the Molossians-j-. 

To the south-west, the west, and the north-west, of Ioannina, 
the country is plain for the most part, though occasionally inter- 
rupted by low hills and spots of rising ground. We passed 
through the length of this flat, and I should conceive it to be 
about twenty-five miles, beginning a little beyond the han of St. 
Dimetre, and concluding at a village called Zitza. Its breadth 
varies from one to three or four miles, and it is terminated to the 
south-westward by hills belonging to a district whose chief town 
is called Philathe, and which is on the route from Ioannina 
to the districts of Paramitkia, and to those of Margariti, Parga, 
and Sulli, on the coast of the Adriatic, nearly opposite to Corfu. 

But I will leave the notice of these places to another opportu- 
nity, and proceed to inform you, that in the whole extent of the 
country of which I have, given you so imperfect a sketch, there 
is only one important remnant of antiquity : this we visited. It 
is in the neighbourhood of a village called, as well as I could 
catch the sound, Chercovista, and about four hours in a direc- 
tion nearly south-easterly from the city. The road is first through 
the plain, and then ascends, over some low rocky hills, into a 
wide valley, terminated by woody hills called Olintza. Here, 
before arriving at the principal ruins, there are evident traces of 



Iliad, lib. xvi. lin. 233, et sequ. 



i Strab. lib. vii. 



iiiiefiijgai| 



LETTER VI, 



65 



ancient buildings; but the amphitheatre, which soon presents 
itself, is indeed magnificent, and, for a ruin, very entire. The 
stones that compose it, are of that massy size, which I have 
before remarked to be the characteristic of Grecian architecture. 
The breadth of the area is fifty-six long paces, and the rows of 
seats are in number sixty-five, each seat being in depth more 
than a foot. This is a very inadequate description of an anti- 
quity of such importance ; but you will be pleased to hear, that 
it has been exactly measured, and represented in a most accurate 
design, by the hand of an artist. Λ marble vase has been dug 
out from the area of the amphitheatre, and is now in possession of 
the gentleman to whom I have before had occasion to allude. 

The conjectures of a scholar would be busily employed in 
assigning some classical name to the site of the magnificent ruin 
of Chercovista; but he might, after every enquiry, be obliged 
perhaps to content himself with thinking, that he had viewed the 
sole remaining vestige of the ancient splendour of Epirus, of the 
seventy cities, which a decree of the Roman senate despoiled in 
one day, and at the same hour, of their wealth, of their orna- 
ments, and of their people*. However, although we may believe, 
with Plutarch, that every one was horror-struck, when a whole 
nation was involved in ruin for the sake of a plunder, which, 
being divided, gave to each soldier only eleven drachmas-)-•; yet 

* Polyb. lib. vii. T. Liv. lib. xlv. cap. 34. 

t Phit. in vit.iEmylii. — However, all Epirus was not depopulated, but only 
those parts which had favoured King Perseus, as we learn by an expression of 
Livy; for that historian, after detailing the account of this cruelty, soon talks 
of the rest of the Epirotes — " reliquorum Epirotarum" are his words, Mr. 
Hume, as well as Plutarch, seems to have fallen into the inaccuracy of stating 
these 150,000 as the entire population of all Epirus. See Essay on the Popu- 
lottsness of Ancient Nations. 



66 



LETTER VI. 



the smallness of the booty, and of the number of the captives 
(150,000) enslaved by the conquerors, allows but a scanty, and 
not a rich population, to each of the cities destroyed ; and it is 
probable, that some one of them would have been particularized, 
had it been one-third as extensive as modern Ioannina ; but to 
that place, after giving you a short respite, I will, in my next 
Letter, at length return. 

I am, &c. &c. 



LETTER VII. 

loannina — the Houses — the Palaces of the Vizier — Summer 
Pavilion — Population of the City — the Trade — Annual Fair 
— Exports and Imports. 



THE existence of such a city as loannina seems, 
till very lately, to have been almost unknown, and yet, I should 
suppose it, after Salonika and Adrianople, to be the most consi- 
derable place in European Turkey. It has never been my good 
fortune to meet with a notice of it in any book of an early date, 
except once in the ponderous history of Knolles, who, with an 
accuracy usual in such a writer, tells how the Sultan Bajazet 
the First, took the city of loannina in Mtolia*. Poukeville 
has somewhere discovered, that it was founded by Michael Lucas 
Sebastoerator, and by the despot Thomas, and conquered by 
Amurath Bey, general to Sultan Amurath the Second, in 1424. 
This account I am unable to confirm, or to contradict, and shall 
therefore speak only of its present state. 

The city stands on the western banks of the lake, at about two 
miles from its northern extremity. In its utmost length it may 



* History of the Turks, p. 205. 
K2 



68 



LKTTER VII. 



he perhaps two miles and a half; and in breadth, though in some 
places it is much narrower, nearly a mile. Immediately near the 
lake it stands on a flat, but the north and north-western parts of 
it are built on slopes of rising and uneven ground. A triangular 
peninsula (of which mention has before been made) juts into the 
lake, and contains the residence of the Pasha, being defended by 
a fortification and a tower at each angle. The entrance to this 
fortress is over a drawbridge. There is one street which runs 
nearly the whole length of the town, and another that cuts it at 
right angles, extending to the fortress. These are the principal 
streets. 

The houses are, many of them, large and well-built, containing 
a court-yard, and having warehouses or stables on the ground, 
with an open gallery and the apartments of the family above. A 
flight of wooden steps under cover of the pent of the gallery, con- 
nects the under and upper part of the houses. Though they 
have but a gloomy appearance from the street, having the win- 
dows very small, and latticed with cross bars of wood, and pre- 
senting the inhospitable show of large folding doors, big enough 
to admit the horses and cattle of the family, but never left open, 
yet the yard, which is often furnished with orange and lemon 
trees, and in the best houses communicates with a garden, makes 
them very lively from within, and the galleries are sufficiently ex- 
tensive to allow a scope for walking in rainy weather. 

The Bazar, or principal street, inhabited by the tradesmen, is 
well furnished, and has a showy appearance. The Bizestein, or 
covered Bazar, is of considerable size, and would put you in 
mind, as perhaps I have before observed of these places, of Exeter- 
Change. 




A BMCIiG H1L „ 



J^riclarvIhdZijhed frvJam&s• £/zwffwr/h. £4 6'οαίφΜ.τ Jtrsefc.ieiz. 



LETTER VII, 



69 



Besides the palace in the fortress,, and the two I have men- 
tioned in my last Letter, allotted to the two sons of All, there is 
another summer residence of the Vizier's in the suburbs, at the 
north-west end of the town. It is built in the midst of a garden, 
in a wild and tangled state, when we saw it, but abounding with 
every kind of fruit-tree that flourishes in this favoured climate — ■ 
the orange, the lemon, the fig, and the pomegranate, It is in 
the form of a pavilion, and has one large saloon (I think an octa- 
gon), with small latticed apartments on every side» The floor of 
the saloon is of marble, and in the middle of it there is a fountain 
containing a pretty model, also in marble, of a fortress, mounted 
with small brass cannon, which, at a signal, spout forth jets of 
water into the fountain, accompanied by a small organ in a recess, 
playing some Italian tunes. The small rooms are furnished with 
sofas of figured silk, and the lattices of the windows, as well as 
the cornices, are gilt, and highly polished. The shade of an orange•* 
grove protects the pavilion from the sun, and it is to this retreat 
that the Vizier withdraws during the heats of summer, with the 
most favoured ladies of his harem, and indulges in the enjoyment 
of whatever accomplishments these fair-ones can display for his 
gratification. Our attendant pointed out to us, in a recess, the 
sofa on which Aii was accustomed to sit, whilst, on the marble 
floor of the saloon, his females danced before him to the music of 
the Albanian lute. 

In a field adjoining the gardens, and surrounded with high 
walls, are a few large deer and antelopes. The pavilion and its 
gardens bespeak a taste quite different from that of the country, 
and most probably the Vizier was indebted to his French prisoners 
for the beauties of this elegant retirement. We were told it was 
the work of a Frank. 



70 



LETTER VII. 



Beyond the pavilion there are gardens belonging to the prin- 
cipal citizens of Ioannina, and as most of these have a summer- 
house in them, they seem to make a part of the city, which, from 
its great apparent extent, might be thought to contain a very 
large population. But the Mahometans never make any efforts 
to ascertain the exact number of inhabitants in any town or dis- 
trict, and it was only during our stay in Turkey, that the Greek 
priests of one city were persuaded, for the first time, by a Scotch 
gentleman, to keep a regular registry of births in their district. 
This makes every thing that can be said on the population of 
Ioannina, mere conjecture. Some informed me that it contained 
eight thousand houses, others did not make the number of inhabi- 
tants amount to more than thirty-five thousand. I should think this 
is the lowest possible computation. Of this number, whatever it 
be, one-tenth perhaps are Mahometans, and the remainder Chris- 
tians, with a few Jews. 

The Christians of Ioannina, though inhabiting a part of 
Albania, and governed by i\lbanian masters, call themselves 
Greeks, as do the inhabitants of Arta, Prevesa, and even of 
many villages higher up in the country : They neither wear the 
Albanian dress, nor speak the Albanian language, and they par- 
take also in every particular of the manners and customs of the 
Greeks of the Morea, Roumelia, and the other christian parts of 
Turkey in Europe and Asia. As, however, the appellation 
Rornaos, or Roman, (once so proud a title, but now the badge of 
bondage) is a religious, not a national distinction, and means a 
Christian of the Greek church, and as many of the Albanians are 
of that persuasion, and denominated accordingly, it is difficult to 
avoid confusion, in giving to the various people of the country 



LETTER VII. 



71 



their common names. To prevent, however, any mistake, I 
shall always use the words Greek and Albanian, with a reference, 
not to the religion, but to the language and nation of the persons, 
whom I may have occasion to mention. At the same time, I 
shall indulge myself in the opposite licence, of putting the word 
Turk as a religious denomination, which, though an undoubted 
vulgarism, is prevalent amongst the Greeks of the Levant, and 
does not, as far as I could see, give that offence to the Mahome- 
tans, of which I have somewhere read. 

The Greek citizens of Ioannina appear a distinct race from the 
inhabitants of the mountains, and perhaps are sprung from ancient 
settlers, who may have retired, from time to time, before the suc- 
cessive conquerors of Peloponnesus and Greece, into a country 
where, although enslaved, they were less exposed to perpetual 
ravages and to a frequent change of masters. Many of them 
boast of their ancestry, and I was told that there was in the 
city a school-master, whose family had taught for 300 years suc- 
cessively, the eldest son always taking upon himself the profes- 
sion. I would not wish you to believe in this long line of peda- 
gogues, but before you laugh at the notion of a family of school- 
masters, you should recollect, that we have, in our own country ? 
an instance of the same thing, and that, after all, an hereditary 
scholar is not a more strange being, than an hereditary legi.vator. 

The Greeks of Ioannina are, with the exception of the priests, 
and of some few who are in the employments of the Pasha, all 
engaged in trade ; and many of the better sort pass three or four 
years in the merchant-houses of Trieste, Genoa, Leghorn, Venice, 
and Vienna, which, in addition to the education they receive in the 



72 



LETTER VII. 



schools of their own city, where they may learn French and Italian, 
gives them a competent knowledge of the most diffused modern 
languages, and adds also to the ease and urbanity of their address. 
They have, indeed, introduced as much as they dare of the man- 
ners of Christendom, and, as our host, Signor Nicolo, informed 
us, once aspired for a moment, to the establishment of a theatre 
for the performance of Italian operas. Some of them, after esta- 
blishing an intercourse with their own city, settle in the sea-ports 
of Roumelia, and in the towns of Moldavia, Wallachia, and Hun- 
gary ; but they generally return home, as the policy of Ali con- 
trives to oblige them to leave part of their family in his dominions, 
and, indeed, the wealthy merchants cannot leave the country, 
or even the city, without his express permission. They are not 
indulged with a ride into the country without a notification of their 
purpose. The annual revenue which the Vizier draws from his 
capital, amounts, say they, to 250,000 piasters. 

There is a fair which lasts a fortnight, held once a year on the 
plain, a mile and a half to the south-east of the city ; and during 
this time, ali the tradesmen are obliged to leave their shops in the 
Bazar and Bizestein, which are shut, and to set up booths in the 
plain. This the Vizier finds a very good method of getting at 
some knowledge of the actual property of his subjects. The 
fair was held during our residence in the city, and opened on 
the 8th of October, when we passed through it on horseback. 
The booths, occupying a great extent of ground, are built, 
and fitted up exactly as in England, and are divided into 
rows much more regular than the streets, and each allotted 
to some particular merchandize. There is also a piece of ground 



LETTER VII. 



73 



for the cattle, sheep, and horses, and several plots of green 
sward for the parties of dancers, who continue their amusements 
during the whole night. 

Here are the goods imported from the Ionian Islands, and the 
ports of the Adriatic formerly, but now mostly from Malta, in Scla- 
vonian vessels under the Turkish flag; they are landed at Prevesa, 
Salora, Vallona, and Durazzo, and thence conveyed on horses to 
Ioannina. Our blockade of the Adriatic must soon cut off these sup- 
plies, and, as an English merchant disdains such petty traffic, Alba- 
nia may soon be in want of the greater part of them. Still, how- 
ever, there are caps from Trieste, Leghorn, and Genoa, and some 
coffee and sugar from the first of these places. Knives, sword- 
blades, and gun-barrels, glass, and paper, are brought from Ve- 
nice, but the three first of these articles are sold in all the little 
sea-ports of Albania, without passing through Ioannina. The 
gold and silver thread used in their embroidery, is obtained from 
Vienna. 

Cloth of French and German manufacture is sent from Leipsig. 
This is the chief article of importation, as it is from this fair that 
all the richer Greeks and Turks, not only in Albania, but in great 
part of Roumelia and in the Morea, supply themselves with the 
loose robes and pelisses of their winter dress. English cloth is in 
the highest estimation, but seldom to be met with here, or even 
at Smyrna and Constantinople, on account of its great price. The 
best of the cloth sold at Ioannina was not equal to the worst of 
that manufactured in England, and was of a coarse thin texture, 
and very badly dyed. 

The articles of exportation are, oil, wool, corn, and tobacco, 
for the ports of the Adriatic and Naples; and, for inland circula- 
te 



II 



74 



LETTER VII. 



tion through Albania and Roumelia, spun cottons from the plains 
of Triccala, stocks of guns and pistols mounted in chased silver, 
both plain and gilt, and also embroidered velvets, stuffs, and 
cloths, which are here better wrought than in any other part of 
Turkey in Europe. 

Large flocks of sheep and goats, and droves of cattle and horses, 
are collected from the hills both of Lower and Upper Albania 
for the fair. Of these, all but the horses, which are dispersed in 
the country, are sold into the Ionian Islands. The woods of 
Albania, before the French revolution, furnished Toulon with 
timber for ship-building, and Marseilles imported into the coun- 
try the French colonial produce. But both these traffics have 
long ceased, and if the trees of Mount Tomarus, or the Acroce- 
raunians, are in future to " descend to the main/' they will swell 
the squadrons of the British fleets. 

It is in vain that the watchful jealousy of Napoleon has adopted 
the advice of Poukeville, and removed the station of the French 
agent from Arta to Ioannina, in order to counteract such a measure, 
appointing, at the same time, that gentleman himself, to carry 
his own plans into execution. This minister was at his post 
during our stay in the city, but, as he gives no countenance to 
the nation at war with his master, we had not the satisfaction of 
seeing him. I am sorry to say that he does not bear his diplomatic 
faculties meekly about him, nor possess the urbanity so characte- 
ristic both of his nation and his former profession. This I should 
not have mentioned, had he not, with a rudeness that has already 
been noticed by a late intelligent writer (I mean Mr. Thornton), 
indulged himself in some personal and national reflections, which 
do but little credit to his character, either as an author or a gen- 




LETTER VII. 



75 



tleman. The noble enmities of two great nations do not authorize 
such petty detractions. 

I was not able to learn the extent of the commercial dealings of 
the merchants of Ioannina ; but the balance of trade is in favour 
of Albania, and is paid in Venetian zequins. 

The Greeks of this city are as industrious as any in Turkey, 
and their embroidery, the art in which they excel, is executed 
very neatly ; but there was no one who could mend an umbrella 
in the whole place ; and only one man, a poor Italian, was capa- 
ble of making a bedstead. The only encouragement an able me- 
chanic would meet with, would be employment at the Vizier's 
palace, without receiving any emolument. This is, of itself, 
sufficient to put a stop to every exercise of ingenuity. 

I am, &c. &c. 



l£ 



LETTER VIII. 

The Turkish Ramazan — Preparations for Travelling — Greek 
Peasantry — Route from loannina to Zitza — Thunder Storm — 
The Monastery of Zitza — View from it — Inhabitants of Zitza 
— their Misery. 



AS it is my purpose to speak at this time rather of 
the Albanians than of the Greeks, and as whatever is peculiar to 
this latter people, is to be found in the inhabitants of that part 
of Greece which we afterwards visited, I shall hasten to commence 
our journey with you into the upper part of the country, where 
his Highness the Vizier had fixed his quarters. 

We were a little unfortunate in the time we chose for travel- 
ling, for it was during the Ramazan, or Turkish Lent, which, as 
it occurs in each of the thirteen months in succession, fell this 
year on October, and was hailed at the rising of the new moon on 
the evening of the eighth, by every demonstration of joy: pistols and 
guns were discharged in every quarter of the city. The Turks 
continued firing long enough to exhaust their cartridge-pouches, 
and as they used balls, according to custom, the Greek inhabi- 
tants closed their window-shutters and remained at home ; a pre- 
caution very necessary, for two bullets passed within a very audible 



LETTER VIII. 



77 



distance of our host's gallery. The minarets of all the moscks 
were illuminated, and every thing seemed to show that the ap- 
proaching season was not considered as one of penance, but de- 
voted to merriment. In truth, although during this month the 
strictest abstinence, even from tobacco and coffee, is observed in 
the day-time, yet with the setting of the sun the feasting com- 
mences, and a small repast is served ; then is the time for pay- 
ing and receiving visits, and for the amusements of Turkey 
puppet-shows, jugglers, dancers, and story-tellers. At one 
o'clock in the morning, after prayers, the dinner commences, and 
the carousal lasts till day-break, when the Turks retire to rest, 
and do not rise till mid-day. 

We were, therefore, as I said, unlucky in hitting on this time 
for travelling, for we were frequently a long time before we could 
rouse the people who were to assist us in our progress, and were, 
besides often disturbed by the heavy drum beaten at midnight to 
call the Mahometans to the mosck. 

We were a stronger party on this journey than we had been in 
travelling to Ioannina, for we were accompanied by his Highnesses 
Secretary, of whom you have before heard, and by a Greek 
Priest, who not having his annual compliment of piasters for the 
Vizier, was journeying to him, to explain the cause of his default: 
it seems he was a relation of the Secretary's, and on that score 
joined company with us. We were also furnished with an Alba- 
nian soldier, belonging to the city guard. His name was Vasilly, 
and he afterwards continued in our service. It was the province 
of this man to take care that the Vizier's guests (so they called us) 
were properly treated and accommodated on the road, and he 
became a very important personage in our suite. The intendant 



76 



LETTER Vlli. 



of the post provided us with five saddle-horses, and a post-man, 
called in Turkey a sourgee, to look after them ; and for these, 
which were to serve us till our return to loannina, we were not to 
pay a settled price, but to make the intendant a present. 

Had we at that time been provided with a positive order from 
the Vizier, we should have been also furnished with horses of the 
post to carry our luggage; but, as it was, we had a command in 
writing from Mehmet EfFendi, governor of loannina, addressed 
to the heads of all the villages where we were to stop ; and these 
were to get us as many horses as we might want. Except from 
Frank travellers, the peasants seldom get a farthing for their 
beasts, and their labour in attending them ; and as these orders 
are frequently given, they constitute one of the most heavy 
grievances of the poor, and are a great check to agriculture. It 
is with great difficulty that the villagers are forced into this ser- 
vice : neither the prospect of payment, nor blows, sometimes, 
are sufficient to make them produce their beasts, and we were 
witness to many unpleasant scenes. 

Vasilly, though he was a Christian, yet being a soldier in the 
Vizier's service, considered himself to have a right over the backs 
of the peasants : and, against positive orders, would have occa- 
sional recourse to sticks, and even stones. When reprimanded, 
he shrugged up his shoulders and exclaimed, " χ^ς το ζνλο ο» Potato» 
fey κα,μναν χα,νηα πρα,γμ*" which you will perhaps discover, dis- 
guised as it is in the vulgarity of the modern idiom, to mean 
" The Greeks will do nothing without the stick." — The most 
compassionate traveller, if it should ever come to the dilemma, 
whether these people should be beaten, or he be stopped in his 
journey, would not, I believe, hesitate a long time in his elec- 



jL£TT£*t Vlll. 



79 



tion ; hot then we are apt to think that the business could be 
done without going to such extremities : the Turks, however, say 
not ; and, such is the force of habit, those of the Greeks I have 
seen, seem almost to confirm the opinion. 

These preliminaries being noticed, you must be informed, that 
on the eleventh of the month (October), we left Ioannina at owe 
o'clock in the afternoon, and proceeded towards the north- 
western end of the city. After passing out of the suburbs, we 
crossed a wide ditch and mound, that had been made about 
twenty years past by Ali, as a defence for his city ; and that for- 
merly surrounded the whole of the land side of Ioannina, but 
was, at this time, in many places, and especially towards the road 
to Arta, scarcely apparent. 

After riding an hour (or three miles) westerly, we passed on 
our right hand a green hillock, with some few remains of old 
walls on the top of it. The spot is called " Kathevaki." In a 
long narrow plain to the left, were tents pitched in a range of 
vineyards belonging to inhabitants of Ioannina, who were them- 
selves superintending the gathering of the grapes. As we pro- 
ceeded, there were several villages on each side of us ; and, two 
hours from our setting out, on the left hand of the road was a 
house belonging to the \ r izier, called " Karkopoulo," to which 
part of his harem occasionally retire. 

In three hours we came to a large tract of marshy flat land, 
in several parts of which there were workmen building, by the 
Vizier's orders, low bridges, to make the country passable in 
winter. On the top of a low hill to the left, w as the country re- 
sidence of a Turk of great consequence. It had but a very poor 
appearance, not looking better than a han, and standing on the 



80 



LETTER VIII. 



crag of a rock, without even a garden; yet it was to the daughter 
of the owner of this mansion, that young IJussein Bey, the grand- 
son of Ali, was affianced. It is not, however, in fine houses that 
the Turks take a pride; they are very easily lodged; and are 
satisfied with what would appear to a Frank a want of every arti- 
cle of common furniture. 

\\e were nearly an hour crossing the marsh, when we came to 
a han of the meaner sort, and at this place, the road, which had 
before been very good, turned into some low stony hills. The 
sourgee had galloped on forwards to prepare us a lodging at 
the village, where we intended to stop for the night ; and after 
passing the han, the Secretary, Vasilly, and myself, rode on be- 
fore the rest of the party. The pass through the hills lasted half 
an hour ; and after travelling an hour more over a slippery plain, 
we arrived at the village just as the evening set in very dark, and 
the rain began to pour down in torrents. My Friend, with the 
baggage and servants, was behind, and had not been in sight for 
some time. 

After stumbling through several narrow lanes, we came, at 
last, to the miserable hovel prepared for our reception. The 
room was half full of maize in the stalk; the floor was of mud, 
and there Mas no outlet for the smoke but through the door. 
However, the Secretary, having laid down his wallet, and spread 
his carpet, " after the manner of eastern nations" seated him- 
self on one side of the blaze, and 1 took up my quarters in the 
other corner. - Vasilly was dispatched into the village to procure 
eggs and fowls, that would be ready, as we thought, by the ar- 
rival of the second party. But an hour passed away and no one 
appeared. It was seven o'clock, and the storm had increased to 



rmkmtU 



LETTER VIII. 



81 



a fury I had never before, and, indeed, have never since, seen 
equalled. The roof of our hovel shook under the clattering tor- 
rents, and gusts of wind. The thunder roared, as it seemed, 
without any intermission ; for the echoes of one peal had not 
ceased to roll in the mountains, before another tremendous crash 
burst over our heads; whilst the plains, and the distant hills (visi- 
ble through the cracks of the cabin), appeared in a perpetual 
blaze. The tempest was altogether terrific, and worthy of the 
Grecian Jove ; and the peasants, no less religious than their an- 
cestors, confessed their alarm. The women wept, and the men, 
calling on the name of God, crossed themselves at every repeated 
peal. 

We were very uneasy that the party did not arrive ; but the 
Secretary assured me, that the guides knew every part of the 
country, as did also his own servant, who was with them, and 
that they had certainly taken shelter in a village at an hour's dis- 
tance. Not being satisfied with this conjecture, I ordered fires 
to be lighted on the hill above the village, and some musquets to 
be discharged : this was at eleven o'clock, and the storm bad not 
abated. I lay down in my great coat ; but all sleeping was out 
of the question, as any pauses in the tempest were filled up by 
the barking of the dogs, and the shouting of the shepherds in 
the neighbouring mountains. 

A little after midnight a man, panting and pale, and drenched 
with rain, rushed into the room, and, between crying and roar- 
ing, with a profusion of action, communicated something to the 
Secretary, of which I understood only — that they had all fallen 
down. I learnt, however, that no accident had happened, ex- 
cept the falling of the luggage horses, and losing their way, 

Μ 



m 



LETTER VIII. 



and that they were now waiting for fresh horses and guides. Ten 
were immediately sent to them, together with several men with 
pine torches ; but it was not till two o'clock in the morning that 
we heard they were approaching, and my Friend, with the Priest 
and the servants, did not enter our hut before three. 

I now learnt from him, that they had lost their way from 
the commencement of the storm, when not above three miles 
from the village ; and that after wandering up and down in total 
ignorance of their position, had, at last, stopped near some Turk- 
ish tomb-stones and a torrent, which they saw by the flashes of 
lightning. They had been thus exposed for nine hours ; and the 
guides, so far from assisting them, only augmented the confu- 
sion, by running away, after being threatened with death by 
George the dragoman, who, in an agony of rage and fear, and 
without giving any warning, fired off both his pistols, and drew 
from the English servant an involuntary scream of horror; for 
he fancied they were beset by robbers. 

I had not, as you have seen, witnessed the distressing part of 
this adventure myself; but from the lively picture drawn of it 
by my Friend, and from the exaggerated descriptions of George, 
I fancied myself a good judge of the whole situation, and should 
consider this to have been one of the most considerable of the 
few adventures that befel either of us during our tour in Turkey. 
It was long before we ceased to talk of the thunder-storm in the 
plain of Zitza (the name of our village) ; and 1 have told you the 
anecdote, that you may see how little dependence is to be placed* 
in cases of difficulty, upon Greek guides, or servants in general, 
who, to say the truth, confine all their energy and resolution to 
talking, but in action are noisy, wavering, and timid ; so much 



LETTER Viffr. 



8* 



so, indeed, that in this country it is absolutely necessary to be 
always accompanied by a soldier, to enforce obedience, and \6 
make the rest of the attendants do their duty against their will. 

After the fatigues and disasters of the night, we resolved to 
stay one day at Zitza, to dry and refit our luggage. By mid- 
day the weather was very fine, and we strolled out to take a view 
of the country. 

A little above the village, which is itself on the steep side of a 
hill, there is a green eminence crowned with a grove of oak trees» 
that has been chosen, like almost every other beautiful spot in 
these parts of the world, for the site of a monastery. Immediately 
under the monastery, there is a large well-built house of the 
Vizier's, but there is no one who would not pass by the palace, 
were it ten times more splendid, to reach the neighbouring grove. 
Perhaps there is not in the world a more romantic prospect than 
that which is viewed from the summit of the hill. The fore-ground 
is a gentle declivity, terminating on every side in an extensive 
landscape of green hills and dale, enriched with vineyards, and 
dotted with frequent flocks. Many villages, and the groves with 
which they are sheltered and adorned, appear on the sloping sides 
of the surrounding hills. The view is every where closed by 
mountains, but between those to the north-west, there is a 
glimpse of a long and verdant plain in the distance, and of the 
windings of a river called the Calamas. The mountains to tne 
north, part of Zoumerka or Tomarus, which are the nearest, are 
woody to their top, but disclose some wide chasms of red rock. 
Those to the north-east, the hills of Sagori, seem a long ledge of 
rocks, running nearly from west to east; to the east is Pindus, 
verging to the south-east. To the south are the Sulliote moun~ 

Μ % 



84 



LETTER νίΓΪ. 



tains, and to the north-west, but in the farthest distance, are 
those of Chimera, the Acroceraunians. Neither loannina nor 
its lake are visible, though Zizta cannot be more than fourteen 
miles from the city. 

We went into the monastery, after some parley with one of 
the monks, through a small door plated with iron, on which the 
marks of violence were very apparent, and which, before the 
country had been tranquilized under the powerful government of 
Ali, had been frequently battered in vain by the troops of rob- 
bers, then by turns infesting every district. The Prior of the 
monastery, a humble, meek-mannered man, entertained us in a 
warm chamber with grapes, and a pleasant white wine, not trod- 
den out, as he told us, by the feet, but pressed from the grape by 
the hand ; and we were so well pleased with every thing about us, 
that we agreed to lodge with him on our return from the Vizier. 

Zitza is a village of about one hundred and fifty houses, inha- 
bited by Greek peasants, and not having one Turk in the place, 
except the man employed to take care of the Vizier's house. It 
is not, however, the less oppressed on that account, as we had an 
opportunity of observing, for the Secretary was inspector of 
some of the villages, and accordingly the Primate, or first man of 
the place, who was dressed in a woollen jacket, and looked like an 
English waggoner, but was well mannered, came before him to 
give in his accounts. 

The Papas, or secular priest of the village, a miserable-looking 
creature, in whose house we were lodged, and who performed 
every menial office of his family, complained to the Secretary, 
that the assessment of the Primate was too high, especially as the 
best lands of the village belonged to the monastery, which paid 



.M^LX. -;»i*w^ai 



LETTER VIII. 



85 



no regular tax. The poor Priest, with a disconsolate humble 
tone, declared that the annual sum, 13,000 piasters, being paid, 
they had hardly sufficient remaining out of the produce of their 
labour, to support themselves and children. 

Employed in the cultivation of a rich soil, and in the tending 
of numerous flocks, their wine, their corn, their meat, the fleeces 
and skins, and even the milk of their sheep and goats, all were to 
be sold to raise so exorbitant a tax : they were starving in the 
midst of abundance ; their labour was without reward, their rest 
without recreation ; even the festivals of their church were passed 
over uncelebrated, for they had neither the spirits nor the means 
for merriment. 

It was impossible not to believe every word that was uttered 
by the poor fellow, who, whilst our dragoman was interpreting 
his tale, looked eagerly upon us, and still preserved the same 
pitiable air and action, with which he had told his story. He 
wished us to believe him, and, indeed, his own appearance and 
that of his fellow villagers, bore forcible testimony to the truth 
of his assertions. However, there was nothing to be done but to 
try if Ali would consent to take less than the thirteen thousand 
piasters, and we never heard how the matter ended, or whether 
the burthens of Zitza were alleviated. 



I am, &c. &c, 



LETTER IX. 

Route from Zitza — River Calamas — Pillage of Mosure — Delvi- 
naki — Route from Butrinto to Delvinaki — Flocks of Goats 
— Albanian Wine — Route by the Plain of Argyro-castro to 
Libokavo — Upper Albania — Turkish Meats — Libokavo — Ar- 
gyro-castro — Short Account of that City. 



WE left Zitza at nine o'clock in the morning of the 
ninth, and proceeded in a direction at first north-west by north, 
through vineyards running up the sides of the hills, and yielding, 
as they told us, and as is usually, I believe, the case in such situa- 
tions, a finer grape than that which is found on the plains. We 
then crossed a barren hill, and, in two hours, entered a valley, 
studded with clumps of trees, and divided by the river Calamas, 
whose windings we had seen from the monastery. Our friend the 
Secretary told me, this was the "Acheron." I suspect his autho- 
rity to have been " Meliteus," a modern Greek geographer, who 
was a bishop at Athens about the beginning of the last century. 
His book contains both the ancient and modern names of places, 
and although strangely incorrect in many instances, even as to the 
neighbourhood of the very city in which he lived, yet as it is the 
only one of the kind, it is useful to travellers. Unfortunately, it 



LETTER IX. 



87 



is a thick folio, and not very portable. The Calamas, as it runs 
towards the Port of Sweet Waters, may have some pretensions to 
be the celebrated river of the infernal regions. 

Near the entrance of the valley we saw a fall of the river, not 
very high, but rolling through a grove of trees, with a small mill 
perched on the top of the left bank. Continuing for half an 
hour through this valley, with the river at our left, we passed a 
han on our right hand ; and, shortly afterwards, crossed a bridge 
over the Calamas, which is here very rapid, and in breadth about 
the size of the Avon at Bath. The plain, which till this time had 
been flat and broad, now began to be more narrow, and inter- 
spersed with woody hillocks ; and we passed at the foot of high 
hills to the left, covered with trees. We were here shown a house 
of the Vizier's, embosomed in a nook half way up the steep, and 
surrounded by a sloping lawn. A few spots of ground that had 
been cleared, were cultivated, and converted into vineyards and 
wheat-grounds, and large flocks of goats were browsing on the 
shrubs through which our path lay; so that we seemed approach- 
ing to the country of a more happy people than those we had left 
behind at Zitza. But whatever were our reflexions, they were 
interrupted by a thunder-storm, which, with the deluge that had 
been poured down on the night of my Friend's adventure, ren- 
dered the road almost impassable ; for the torrents, streaming 
down the hills, had more than once nearly carried away our lug- 
gage horses» 

When we arrived, at half past one o'clock, at a little village 
called Mosure, we were told th t the rains would prevent our 
proceeding that day; ;md we accordingly took up our lodging at 
the house of a poor Priest, who, notwithstanding what has been 



88 



LETTER IX. 



said of the appearance of the country, seemed to have as much 
reason to be miserable as the people whom we had just left. 
Here also we saw a house belonging to the Vizier ; indeed the 
village itself, they told us, was his private property, and the 
half of all produce was paid to him, besides the absolute dis- 
posal of the labour of the peasants. The villagers were, many 
of them, employed in felling timber in the mountains, which, 
after being cut into planks, is passed down the Calamas to the 
coast. 

The day cleared up, and gave us leave to see some very fine 
mountain scenery. The valley, which runs from north-east to 
south-west, appeared to terminate a little to the north of our 
village ; and the view of the river was lost at a short distance to 
the south-east. Immediately opposite, to the south of Mosure, 
was a huge rocky hill called Papinghi, and having a summit so 
singularly shaped, as to appear like a fortification with battle- 
ments and turrets. Papinghi must be part of Zoumerka, and 
the direct road from Ioannina would lead across it to Mosure ; 
but the mountain being impassable, the traveller is obliged to go 
fourteen or fifteen miles in a westerly direction to Zitza, and 
afterwards due north for ten or eleven miles to this village ; the 
latter part of the journey being in a very bad path, easy to be 
lost, and mistaken for a goat track. 

At this place we were worse lodged than at our last village ; 
and the mud floor of our hovel was overrun with every descrip- 
tion of vermin. You have seen an Irish cabin, and I need not 
be more particular. We had only a journey of three hours for 
our day's work, on Saturday, October 14, and therefore did not 
set of till one o'clock in the afternoon, when we went northwards. 



Lib I iiik^ufciskiaL^ j&i,i 



LETTIiR IX 



89 



through forests of oak, leaving the Calamas to the right hand, 
and in little more than an hour skirted a small plain and lake, 
also to the right. From the south-west end of this lake, it is not 
improhable that the Calamas flows, although we could not see it, 
as our view was intercepted by a low hill, and a small fortress (or 
rather barrack) of the Vizier's, called Tarrovina. The people 
with us knew nothing about the matter. 

Leaving the plain and a small han to the left of the road, we 
again began to ascend gradually ; winding through thick woods, 
still northwards, for an hour, when we found ourselves suddenly 
at the (op of a deep precipice, with a prospect, to the left, of a 
succession of woody hills rising one above the other, and of Oel- 
vinaki, the town where we were to stop, at the bottom and ex- 
tremity of the chasm to .the right. There was a path to the left, 
by which those who do not stop at this place save an hour's dis- 
tance, as it communicates directly with the road, which is seen 
winding up the precipice on the opposite side. We dismounted, 
as the descent was rugged, in many parts very steep, and over- 
hung with large masses of loose rock ; and we were half an hour 
before we entered the town. 

Here we were more comfortably lodged than on the preceding- 
nights; for Delvinaki, besides a house belonging to Ali, has seve- 
ral neat-looking cottages, and is, on the whole, a clean town, 
containing, as we were told, three hundred habitations, peopled 
by Greeks. Of these, the greater part are employed in cultivat- 
ing the ground, or in attending their flocks on the neighbouring 
hills ; but a few of them style themselves merchants, as they 
bring small wares on horseback from Constantinople, Salonica, 
and loannina, and sell them in the inland towns of Albania and 
Roumelia. These merchants are necessarily absent from their 

Ν 



90 



LETTER IX. 



own houses the greater part of the year ; but Ali, pursuing the 
same plan as at Ioannina, detains their wives and children at 
home, as a security for their return, and thus profits by their 
enterprise, without risking the loss of his subjects ; for there are 
few instances where these traders have not returned to enjoy their 
petty wealth, as far as a Greek can enjoy it, in the bosom of 
their families. 

I do not know whether you recollect, that the famous Sha- 
Abbas founded the city of Tolfa purposely for the families of 
travelling Armenian merchants ; and by that, which appeared, 
at first sight, an act of humanity, secured a great additional in- 
flux of wealth into his dominions. 

? Delvinaki, besides being on the road to northern Albania, is 
also on one of the routes from Butrinto, the ancient Buthrotum 
on the Adriatic, to Ioannina. From Butrinto it is seven hours, 
in an eastern direction, to Del vino, a town of eight thousand 
inhabitants, and the seat of a Pasha of two tails, now subdued 
by Ali. 

From Delvino it is three hours, north-east, to the village of 
Nivitza ; and thence, seven hours more, and in the same line, 
to Delvinaki. 

We were told that the Vizier had stayed three days at this 
town, which he had left eight days before our arrival ; and that 
most probably he was at the town of Libokavo, where we should 
arrive the next day. 

After the fowls, eggs, and grapes, that always composed our 
meal, I rambled up a green lane at the back of the town, till the 
ascent became very steep, when, turning round, I enjoyed a 
prospect on every side magnificent, and whose beauties were 
heightened by the last rays of the setting sun tinging the woody 



LETTER ΓΧ. 



91 



summits of the opposite mountains. A rivulet, that was col- 
lected from a hundred little streams into a pebbly channel, sparkled 
at intervals through the underwood in the valley. 

The vintage was just finished, and horses, cows, and asses, 
were browsing on the lower grounds ; whilst the goats, whose 
trespass amongst the early vines is equally dreaded by the mo- 
dern, as it was by the ancient Greek, were now rioting at large 
in the vineyards on the steeper sides of the hill. These pretty 
animals make a conspicuous figure, and are often the sole living 
objects, in an Albanian landscape. They are to be met with in 
the most unfrequented spots, in the depth of forests, and on the 
tops of mountains, in places so remote from any human habita- 
tion, that the traveller would suppose them wild, did he not see 
their long herds descending to the villages at the close of day, 
and were he not reminded of their familiarity with man, by the 
tinkling of their bells at night, close to the little window of his 
cottage. 

The flesh of the kid is esteemed as much as that of the lamb 
in Albania. The goat milk is made into the hard cheese which 
constitutes a chief article of food throughout Turkey in Europe, 
and which is, in this country, made in sufficient quantities to 
allow of a trifling exportation. Each of the skins, by a very sim- 
ple process, is so sewed together as to hold and preserve the new 
wine, which in the villages is never put into any other bottle, and 
seldom lasts beyond the next vintage. 

Wine of a year old is mentioned as a rarity. That which is 
made in quantities, and kept in casks, in loannina, or other large 
towns, is mixed with pine, resin, and lime, and weakened with 
water. The Greeks consider that the resin gives the strength 

Ν 2 



m 



LETTER IX. 



which the water takes away, and that the lime refines the liquor; 
but it is to this process that a very unpalatable harshness, gene- 
rally to be met with in Greek wine, is to he attributed. 

We left Delvinaki at nine o'clock in the morning, and in order 
to regain our road, were obliged to ascend and descend a steep 
zig-zag stony path on the side of the chasm opposite to that 
which we had come down the evening before to get to the town. 
This took us about half an hour, and when we had got into the 
direction we had left, we proceeded to the north-west, through a 
woody country, not at all cultivated or cleared in any part that 
was visible. We crossed a torrent where were the broken remains 
of a bridge, and the path led us over a wilder but less woody 
country, until in three hours from Delvinaki, we came at once 
upon a very wide and long plain, running from south to north, 
well cultivated, divided by rails and low• hedges, and having a 
river flowing through it to the south. On each side of this plain 
was a ridge of barren bills, but covered at no great intervals, on 
the western or opposite range, with towns and villages, that ap- 
peared, like the goats of Virgil, to hang upon the rocks. These, 
we werd told, were in the district of a large city called Argyro- 
castro, which we saw indistinctly at a great distance, ah we ad- 
vanced to the north along the side of the hills, that form, as it 
were, the eastern bank of this extensive plain. 

At one o'clock we came to a village where there was a han. 
Here we slopped, and as we were seated on our mats taking some 
refreshment, an Albanian handed round several specimens of 
snuff, for in this village, they informed us, there is the most 
extensive snuff manufactory of any in European Turkey. The 
snujpfis also reckoned to be of the best quality, and the Albani- 



aril•^.^. 



m 



warn 



LETTER IX. 



93 



ans, who are exceedingly addicted to this luxury, affect to de- 
spise that which is made any where else but at this village, of 
which I forget the name. The tobacco plant grows in great 
quantities in the neighbourhood, both in the plain and on the 
sides of the bills. 

After resting an hour we remounted, and continued in the same 
northern course. Every appearance announced to us that we 
were now in a more populous country. We met parties of tra- 
vellers both on horseback and on foot : the plain was every where 
cultivated, and not only on the side of Argyro-castro, whose mina- 
rets we could now discern, but also on the hills which we were tra- 
versing, many villages were to be seen. The dress of the peasants 
was now changed from the loose woollen brogues of the Greeks, 
to the cotton kamisa, or kilt of the Albanian, and in saluting Va- 
silly they no longer spoke Greek. Indeed you should be informed, 
that a notion prevails amongst the people of the country, that 
Albania, properly so called, or at least, the native country of the 
Albanians, begins from the town of Delvinaki ; but never being 
able, as I have before hinted, to learn where the line of boundary 
is to be traced, I shall content myself with noticing the distinc- 
tion in the above cursory manner. 

We were joined by a small party of Turks on horseback, one of 
whom pointed out, at a little distance from the snuff' manufactory, 
a hill to the right, on which were, he said, the remains of ancient 
walls, as also some few other remains a little farther to the left, in 
a grove of trees. These I visited, and from the size of the stones, 
1 should judge them to be antique: they were lying in heaps on 
the ground. After riding two hours along the side of the same 
hills, we arrived at Libokavo, and entering the suburbs, enquired 



94 



LETTER IX. 



if the Vizier was in the town; when, to our surprise, we were told 
by three or four people, that they did not know : one thought he 
was, another that he was not in the place. These were not Greeks, 
but Turks, the most lazy and incurious race of beings on earth, 
as you must think, when these fellows did not know whether the 
absolute sovereign of the country, who moves about with no small 
retinue, was or was not in their town. 

We proceeded to the house of a relation of one of Ali's wives, 
and there learnt that the Vizier was farther up the country, at his 
native town of Tepellene. At the house of this Turk, in an outer 
room, separated from the chambers which contained his family, 
we were lodged during our stay at Libokavo, and the good- 
humoured Mussulman endeavoured to render us as comfortable 
as possible. As, during the Ramazan, he took his first meal 
after sun-set, he ordered it to be served up for our dinner, and 
gave us his company. 

You must have already read enough about the Turks, 
to know the sort of viands usual at their tables : but I must 
say of them, that many are very palatable to an English taste, 
much more so, indeed, than those to be met with in Portuguese 
and Spanish cookery. There is a dish of chopped mutton, rolled 
up with rice highly seasoned, called ypraik, and a large thin pasty 
of fowl, or spinach sprinkled with sugar; both of which are very 
commendable. Oil is not often used, but butter, which, it must 
be confessed, is now and then very strong, and would be called 
by us, grease. The sherbet is but a very poor liquor, being only 
sweet water sometimes coloured with marygold flowers, and a few 
blanched almonds swimming on the top of it. It is handed round 
at the conclusion of the dinner, and either drunk out of the bow 1 



or 



gjgjgggglglgl^^ 



LliTtfiR IX. 



95 



sipped with large horn spoons. The boiled and roast are always 
done to rags, to suit not only the taste,, but the convenience of a 
people, who do not eat with knives and forks, but with their 
fingers, making use of a thin crumplet instead of a plate, and each 
man tearing off his portion from the joint before him, with his 
right hand only, for his left is supposed to be employed on ser- 
vices that render it very unfit to be thrust into a plate containing 
common stock. The pilaf, or buttered rice, the standing dish of 
Turkey, and which is often brought in twice at the same dinner, 
is not very palatable to a person unaccustomed to the taste of it. 

Our fare at Libokavo was various and good; but we were not 
well lodged during the night, for the whole party, thirteen in 
number, slept in the same room with us, as, this being a Turkish 
town, we could not procure quarters for our attendants in any 
other house. Nearly the whole of the day after our arrival, it 
rained so violently as to prevent our proceeding towards Tepel- 
lene, but we were enabled between the showers to walk out and 
survey the town and the adjoining country. 

Libokavo is built on the steep side of a hill, and, with several 
moscks, contains about a thousand houses inhabited by Turks, 
many of whom are not natives of the country, but only settlers, 
and wear the long Turkish dress. They are for the greater part 
farmers of the neighbouring plain, not traders, and the bazar is 
but ill furnished. The houses are built, most of them, of stone, 
and are of the better sort, being surrounded with gardens of 
orange, lemon, and pomegranate trees. The town is governed 
by Adam- Bey, the son of a sister of the Vizier's, and, together 
with the whole district on the same side of the plain, is in perfect 
subjection to AH. 



96 



LETTER IX. 



Of Argyro-castro, which is very visible about nine miles to the 
north on the opposite hills, I learnt that it is a city supposed to 
contain twenty thousand inhabitants, chiefly Turks, being the 
capital of a Pashalik of two tails, and of a very populous district, 
bounding to the east and north-east the country of the Chi- 
meriotes. It was not, when we were in the country, in subjection 
to Ali, but nominally under the power of Ibrahim, Pasha of 
Vallona, the Prince with whom Ali was then at war, and who, 
was besieged in his last fortress of Berat. It was expected, how- 
ever, that the city, which has been more than once attacked by 
Ali, would, together with its whole district, fall immediately into 
his hands after the reduction of Ibrahim. 

What we saw of the plain may be about twenty-five miles in 
length, running nearly in a straight direction from south to north ; 
but another branch of it, which turns ofT to the north-westward, 
a little above the city, and continues as far as the shore of the 
Adriatic above Vallona (Aulon), may add to it an extent of fif- 
teen or twenty miles. The river, which has no other name than 
the river of Argyro-castro, flows from Mount Zoumerka through 
the whole length of the plain, and appears to correspond with the 
ancient Celydnus. 

"With that supposition,- the traveller might he inclined to look 
for some vestiges of I Jadrianopolis, Amantia, and Antigonia ; 
towns which flourished under the Romans, and which were 
placed somewhere in the country watered by the Celydnus. 
Indeed, the Greek gentleman accompanying us, called Argyro- 
castro itself occasionally by the name of Threanopolis, which, 
after dropping the first syllable, Mould be the modern Greek 
pronunciation of Hadrianopolis ; and I see that IV! . de la Ko- 



LETTER IX. 



97 



chette, in his map, has given the modern city the two names. 
But Meletius, the geographer before mentioned, places Antigo- 
nia on the site of this town*, and affirms Thryinopolis to be a 
ruin marking the site of Drys, an ancient town of the Molossi, 
and giving a title to a Bishop within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of 
Ioannina-f•. Pouqueville, on the pretended authority of the same 
author, but without being supported by him, declares Delvinaki 
to be no other than the ancient Omphalon. The singular position 
of this latter place, in a deep hollow, may give some grounds to 
suppose that it was once called the navel of Epirus. I was assured 
that there were no remains of any kind at Argyro-castro ; but I 
regret that the state of the country, and our situation as friends of 
Ali, did not permit us to visit the city, and obtain personal know- 
ledge of the fact. 

*Άντιγ^ί»«, xiyerui thmv ^Αργυρόκκατρον, χτάιΤτχ Μ τκ 'Amyewv* χα» 
,<^ιτ«ι.— ΗΠΕΙΡΟΣ, p. 316. 
■* ΗΠΕΙΡΟΣ, pp. 314, 315. 



Ο 



LETTER Χ. 

Route from Libokavo to Cesarades — Women at the Fountains — 
Route to Ereeneed — The Passes of Antigonia, called Stena 
— The Adus River — Route to Tepellene, along the Banks of 
the River — Arrival at Tepellene, and at Ali Pasha's Palace 
— Appearance of the Attendants— Prayers of the Turks — 
The Chanter of the Mosck. 



ON leaving Libokavo (October 17th), we descended 
into the plain; and, before we could again get into our northern 
direction^ were obliged to cross several wide and deep trenches, 
cut to drain the low grounds. After having regained our path 
for an hour and an half, we came suddenly upon a rapid river 
flowing out of a valley in the mountains to the east, in a westerly 
course, but soon turning to the north. As we were to pass the 
night in a village in the mountains to the right of our road, we 
were obliged to cross this river, which we accomplished with con- 
siderable difficulty; for it was then deep and broad, though, in 
general, as we heard, very fordable. After the passage of the 
stream, we went over some deep ploughed lands; and, in three 
hours from Libokavo, began to ascend the hills in a north-wes- 
terly direction. We saw, what might be called, a chain of vil- 
lages along the mountains, most of them half way up their sides, 



LETTER Χ. 



99 



and apparently inaccessible. The hills on the Argyro-castro side, 
seemed exceedingly bare ; but those to which we were bending 
our steps were woody, covered with flocks of goats, and in many 
spots cultivated, and sown with maize. 

It had been very late before we re-commenced our journey, so 
that after we had been in the hills an hour, it grew dark. We 
mistook our path ; the baggage-horses began to tumble ; and, 
when we were half way up the mountain, we were obliged to stop 
in a wood, where we were bewildered, and quite ignorant of our 
position. Two or three of us, however, determined to make for 
the first village, and procure a guide ; for we had been some time 
going up and down craggy precipices, without seeming to advance 
towards our point. 

Not to alarm you with another adventure, we were all housed 
at seven o'clock in the evening, having been five hours coming 
from Libokavo — a distance of not more than nine miles. At 
coming into the village, we were agreeably surprised by getting to 
a neat comfortable cottage, where we were received with a hearty 
welcome by the Albanian landlord, who, it turned out, was per- 
sonally acquainted with the Signor Secretary. The name of the 
village was Cesarades, inhabited, except a few houses, by Chris- 
tians. 

In this place every thing was on a very different footing from 
what it had been in the Greek villages. We experienced a great 
deal of kindness and attention from our host ; but saw nothing in 
his face (though he was a Christian) of the cringing, downcast, 
timid look, of the Greek peasant. His cottage was neatly plas- 
tered, and white-washed, and contained a stable and small ware- 
room below, and two floored chambers above, quite in a different 

ο 2 






100 



LETTER Χ. 



style from what we had seen in Lower Albania. It might certainly 
be called comfortable ; and in it we passed a better night than 
any since our departure from loannina. 

In the morning we found ourselves in a very exalted situation ; 
and just opposite us, to the west, we had a good view of the 
city of Argyro-castro. We had a guide given us to show the 
best path (for the ways had been broken up by the torrents), and 
left Cesarades at ten o'clock in the morning. We continued de- 
scending and ascending in the same direction as before, that is, 
to the north, still keeping on the sides of the mountains, and at 
twelve o'clock we saw another village, situated as high as that 
which we had left ; but it was not till some people had been sent 
down from this place to open a passage for us, that we could pro^ 
ceed towards it. We were a little surprised that these pioneers 
were all women ; and, as I recollect, two of them were young 
and handsome. They handled their pick-axes and spades with 
great alacrity; and having assisted us, by rolling down some 
stones and earth, that impeded our progress, into a torrent, pre- 
ceded us to their village. 

Before reaching it, we passed a large fountain, where there 
were many women washing with sticks and stones, in the Scotch 
fashion, and drawing water. Indeed no where in those parts of 
Greece or Albania that we visited, are any but the very better 
sort of females exempt from these employments ; and as the 
fountains are often at some distance from the towns, the latter is, 
by no means, an easy task ; for I have frequently seen them look- 
ing very faint under the weight of their large pitchers, one of 
which they carry on the head, and the other in the hand. The 
men are never at the fountains ; but the aged matron, and the 



LETTER Χ. 



101 



tender maid, are still employed in the same labours which occu- 
pied the females of Homer's time ; for when Hector reminds his 
faithful Andromache that she would be obliged, in her future 
bondage, 



<c to bring 



" The weight of waters from th' Hyperian spring," 

it is but probable, that she had occasionally performed the same 
duties in the days of her prosperity. It was not the drawing of 
water which was to be, perhaps, the hardship, but doing it (™aa' 
αίκκζομίντι) very much against her will, and (προς αλλ»?) under the 
command of a mistress. You may add to this, that the ancients 
knew nothing of menial offices ; for the Princess of Phoeacia 
washed her own clothes, and the familiar of the divine King of 
Ithaca was a swine-herd, also divine. But the parallel shall be 
carried no farther. 

In a short time we passed through the village we had seen : it 
was called Toxarades, and contained about one hundred and 
fifty houses, inhabited, with the exception of two or three Turkish 
families, by Christians. In an hour and a half we went through 
another village, Lokavo,. also on the heights, and about the same 
size as the others, and inhabited by Christians ; and by half after 
three we came to a third, called Ereeneed, where we were deter- 
mined to stay during the night, as we should not have been able 
to reach another resting-place before dark. 

We were not so well lodged as we had been the night before ; 
but as Ereeneed was inhabited partly by Turks, partly by Chris- 
tians, and the best house in the place belonged to one of the for- 
mer beople, we could not so easily have been admitted to better 



102 



LETTER Χ. 



accommodations. We had come the whole day at a very slow 
rate ; and from Cesarades to this village, I should think the dis- 
tance not more than ten miles. 

On leaving Ereeneed, on the morning of the 19th, at ten 
o'clock, we descended from the hills, and got into the plain, 
through which, in a north-westerly direction, ran the river we 
had crossed in going from Lihokavo to Cesarades. We conti- 
nued along its banks for some time ; the path very bad and 
sloughy, and occasionally through coppices of low brushwood. 
In two hours we were at what might be called the northern ex- 
tremity of that branch of the valley of Argyro-castro through 
which we had held our course ; and we found ourselves at the 
entrance of a sort of defile, with the river on our left hand, and 
mountains near us on our right. The hills on the other side of 
the river were abrupt precipices, clothed with thick woods. 

Though not a vestige of the ancient cities that may have once 
flourished in these regions are to be now seen, yet the traveller 
would still endeavour to compare the descriptions of historians 
with the appearance of the country around him ; and the straights 
into which we now entered, might perhaps remind him of the 
passes near Antigonia, by the Greeks called Στη» (Stena), which 
some passages of Polybius* would point out as leading from Epi- 
rus into Illyricum-f-, and which were illustrated by a battle fought 

* Polyb. lib. ii. cap. 5. The expedition of Sccrdilaidas into Epirus. 

+ Strabo, indeed, expressly reckons the Athamanians and Atintanes (living 
near the Celydnns) amongst the Epirote nations, inhabiting a wild country, 
and difficult of access, upon the borders of Illyricum : and it appears that the 
latter were certainly of that people ; for when the Epirote army retreated from 
the Illyrians at Phcenice, in Chaonia, Polybius (lib. ii. cap. 5) says, they fell 
back upon the Atintanes. 



LETTER Χ. 



103 



between Pyrrhus and Antigonus*, and by some military positions 
occupied by King Philip, before he was routed by the Consul 
Flaminius. 

In the river which " flows (I quote from my own journal and 
from Livyj) in a narrow valley, having only a little path along 
its banks," he would perhaps recognize the Aous, that ran from 
Lacmon, the summits of Pindus, forming one of the boundaries 
of Macedonia, and falling into the Adriatic sixty stadia below the 
city of Apollonia. Every thing, indeed, seems to correspond 
with the position of the " passes :" here are the hills on each 
side, Asnaus and iEropus, where Philip was encamped ; and 
in proceeding farther down the river, where it struggles through 
its narrowest banks (ubi in arctissimas ripas cogiturj), any one 
would suppose himself to pass over the very spot fixed upon for 
the conference between the King and the Consul. 

Before the Romans attempted the passage over the formerly 
pathless mountains of Chaonia, as Florus§ calls them, and the 
Aous winding through precipices, they had penetrated into Ma- 
cedonia by the way of Thessaly ; and certainly the passage of an 
army, in the face of an enemy, over such a country, would 
seem to any one who had seen the positions, almost impracti- 
cable, yet Pyrrhus had done the same thing before, and, what 
would appear more incredible, contrived to make use of his ele- 
phants. 

Had we traced back the river up the valley from which we had 
seen it issue, Ave might have been able to know enough of the 
country to the eastward, to assist our conjectures ; as it is, you 



* Plut. in vit. Pyrrlii. 
t Book xxxii. cap. JO. 



+ Hook xxxii. cap. 5. 
^ Lib. ii. cap. 7. 



104 



LETTER Χ. 



must be content with, those already offered to your notice, and 
proceed with us on our route. 

After travelling down the valley an hour, we came in sight of 
a bridge, and saw crossing it a large party of soldiers, and some 
Turks on horseback, attending a covered chair or litter. A little 
after, to our great surprise, we were met by a carriage, not ill- 
made, but in the German fashion, with a man on the box driving 
lour-in-hand, and two dirty Albanian soldiers standing on the 
foot-board behind. They were floundering on at a trot through 
the mire ; but how it would be possible for them to pass over 
part of the road by which we had come, we did not at all under- 
stand. However, the population of whole villages was ordered 
out to help it along, and we heard afterwards of its safe arrival at 
Libokavo. This carriage had, as they told us, conveyed a lady 
of the Vizier's harem to the bridge, where she was met by the 
chair (a large sedan), in which she was to be carried on men's 
shoulders to Tepellene. 

At three hours and a half from Ereeneed we crossed the 
bridge, which was of stone, but narrow, and of a bad construc- 
tion, being so high in the middle, as to render it adviseable to 
dismount in passing over it. Immediately after getting across, we 
went along a path on the ledge of a steep precipice, with the 
river, which was broad (perhaps seventy feet), deep, and very 
rapid, rolling underneath. As we advanced on this bank of the 
river, we saw the hills to the east spotted with flocks of sheep 
and goats, and having a line of villages as far as the eye could 
reach. One of these, of the name of Korvo, more romantically 
situated than the others, was crowned with a dome and minaret 
rising from amidst a grove of cypresses. The hills, on the side 



LETTER Χ. 



105 



of which we were passing, were covered with wood, but without 
any villages, for they were not sufficiently high. 

In two hours from the bridge, the river began to widen consi- 
derably, and a little way farther it was augmented by a stream 
of some breadth, flowing out of a narrow valley from the north- 
east. Not long after the junction of the rivers, the whole stream 
appeared as broad as the Thames at Westminster Bridge, but 
looking shallow in many places, with gravel banks above the 
water. Soon afterwards we had a view of Tepellene, the termi- 
nation of our journey, which we saw situated immediately on the 
bank of the river, and, in three quarters of an hour, we entered 
the native place of Ali. 

The streets of the town, through which we passed, were dirty 
and ill-built ; but every thing that had before attracted our atten^ 
tion was presently forgotten, when we entered through a gate- 
way in a tower, and found ourselves in the court-yard of the 
\ r izier"s palace. 

The court at Tepellene, which was enclosed on two sides by 
the palace, and on the other two sides by a high wall, presented us, 
at our first entrance, with a sight something like what we might 
have, perhaps, beheld some hundred years ago in the castle-yard 
of a great Feudal Lord. Soldiers, with their arms piled against 
the wall near them, were assembled in different parts of the 
square : some of them pacing slowly backwards and forwards, 
and others sitting on the ground in groups. Several horses, com- 
pletely caparisoned, were leading about, whilst others were neigh- 
ing under the hands of the grooms. In the part farthest from 
the dwelling, preparations were making for the feast of the night; 
and several kids and sheep were being dressed by cooks who were 

ρ 



106 



LETTER Χ. 



themselves half armed. Every thing wore a most martial look? 
though not exactly in the style of the head-quarters of a Chris- 
tian general ; for many of the soldiers were in the most common 
dress, without shoes, and having more wildness in their air and 
manner than the Albanians we had before seen. 

On our arrival, we were informed that we were to be lodged 
in the palace ; and, accordingly, dismounting, we ascended a 
flight of wooden steps into a long gallery with two wings, open- 
ing into which, as in a large English inn, were the doors of seve- 
ral apartments. Into one of these we were shown, and found 
ourselves lodged in a chamber fitted up with large silken sofas, 
and having another room above it for sleeping ; a convenience 
scarcely ever to be met with in Turkey. His Highness (for so 
the Pashas of three tails are called by their attendant Greeks) 
sent a congratulatory message to us on our arrival, ordering every 
thing to be provided for us by his own household ; and mention- 
ing, at the same time, that he was sorry the Rainazan prevented 
him from having our company with him at one of his repasts. 
lie ordered, however, that sherbets, sweetmeats, and fruits, 
should be sent to us from his own harem. 

At sunset the drum was beat in the yard, and the Albanians, 
most of them being Turks, went to prayers. In the gallery, 
which was open on one side, there were eight or nine little boxes 
fitted up with raised seats and cushions, between the wooden pil- 
lars supporting the roof; and in each of these there was a party 
smoking, or playing at draughts. 

I had now an opportunity of remarking the peculiar quietness 
and ease with which the Mahometans say their prayers ; for, in 
the gallery, some of the graver sort began their devotions in the 



LETTER Χ. 



107 



places where they were sitting, entirely undisturbed and unno- 
ticed by those around them, who were otherwise employed. The 
prayers, which last about ten minutes, are not said aloud, but 
muttered sometimes in a low voice, and sometimes with only a 
motion of the lips ; and, whether performed in the public street 
or in a room, excite no attention from any one. Of more than 
a hundred in the gallery, there were only five or six at prayers. 
The Albanians are not reckoned strict Mahometans ; but no 
Turk, however irreligious himself, is ever seen even to smile at 
the devotions of others ; and to disturb a man at prayers would, 
in most cases, be productive of fatal consequences. 

In the evening we were visited by two physicians of the Vizier's 
household ; one of them, dressed in the Frank habit, a native of 
Alsace, and a very agreeable man, the other a Greek, who spoke 
the German, French, Italian, Latin, Turkish, and Albanian lan- 
guages. The Frank gentleman, as we were informed, was very 
much in the confidence of the Vizier, and was • reputed to be a 
man of ability. It was a question not to be asked him, but one 
would like to have known, what possible inducement could have 
settled him in Turkey, especially as he was the son of a physi- 
cian of great eminence at Vienna. These physicians are in con- 
stant attendance upon Ali ; who, however, a short time before 
our arrival in the country, had requested and obtained the assist- 
ance of two English surgeons from our Adriatic Squadron, but 
without finding much benefit from their advice. 

The day after our arrival was fixed upon for our first audience 
of the Vizier, and we passed the evening chiefly in the company 
of the two physicians. 

We were disturbed during the night by the perpetual carousal 

ρ 2 



108 



LETT Ε R X. 



which seemed to be kept up in the gallery, and by the drum, and 
the voice of the " muezzinn," or chanter, calling the Turks to 
prayers from the minaret of the mosck attached to the palace. 
This chanter was a boy, and he sang out his hymn in a sort of 
loud melancholy recitative. He was a long time repeating the 
purport of these few words : " God most high ! I bear witness 
that there is no God but God: I bear witness that Mahomet is 
the Prophet of God. Come to prayer ; come to the asylum ot 
salvation. Great God ! There is no God but God !" — The first 
exclamation was repeated four times, the remaining words twice, 
and the long and piercing note in which he concluded this confes- 
sion of faith, by twice crying out the word " hou*" still rings 
in my ears. 

Ya-hou, meaning he who is, is the Mahometan periphrasis for 
the ineffable name of God, as was the word Jehovah amongst the 
Jews. Dean Swift hardly knew this when, satirizing the brutal 
qualities of the human species, he gave that name to his elave of 
the Houyhnhnms. 

But you must be impatient to see Ali himself, and rny next 
shall conduct you into his presence. 

I am, &c. &c. 



* The simple confession of faith is this: " La illah — illafa — Llah, Mehem- 
med resool ullah — There is no God but God, and Mahomet is his Prophet." 






LETTER XI. 

Visit to Ali Pasha — His Appearance — Manners — Short Conver- 
sation — Second Interview with Ali — Present from Bonaparte 
to that Pasha — A Palceo-castro, or Ruin near Tepellene — 
Last Audience of Ali — His Affability to his Soldiers — His 
Rise and Progress — The Difficulties he had to encounter — 
His vigorous Measures — Administration, and present Extent 
of his Dominions — Offered to be made a King by Napoleon — 
His supposed Revenues — His Disposition — Story of Zofreni 
— His Amusements and Morals — His want of Education. 



ABOUT noon, on the 12th of October, an officer 
of the palace, with a white wand, announced to us that we were 
to attend the Vizier ; and accordingly we left our apartment, ac- 
companied by our dragoman and by the Secretary, who put on 
his worst cloak to attend his master, that he might not appear 
too rich, and a fit object for extortion. 

The officer preceded us along the gallery, now crowded with 
soldiers, to the other wing of the building, and leading us over 
some rubbish where a room had fallen in, and through some 
shabby apartments, he ushered us into the chamber in which was 
Ali himself. He was standing when we came in ; which was 
meant as a compliment, for a Turk of consequence never rises, 



no 



LETTER XI. 



to receive any one but his superior, and, if he wishes to be con- 
descending, contrives to be found standing. As we advanced 
towards him, he seated himself, and desired us to sit down near 
him. He was in a large room, very handsomely furnished, and 
having a marble cistern and fountain in the middle, ornamented 
with painted tiles, of the kind which we call Dutch tile. 

The Vizier was a short man, about five feet five inches in 
height, and very fat, though not particularly corpulent. He had 
a very pleasing face, fair and round, with blue quick eyes, not 
at all settled into a Turkish gravity. His beard was long and 
white, and such a one as any other Turk would have been proud 
of; though he, who was more taken up with his guests than him- 
self, did not continue looking at it, nor smelling and stroking it, 
as is usually the custom of his countrymen, to fill up the pauses 
of conversation. He was not very magnificently dressed, except 
that his high turban, composed of many small rolls, seemed of 
fine gold muslin, and his attaghan, or long dagger, was studded 
with brilliants. 

He was mightily civil ; and said he considered us as his chil- 
dren. He showed us a mountain howitzer, which was lying in 
his apartment, and took the opportunity of telling us that he had 
several large cannon. He turned round two or three times to 
look through an English telescope, and at last handed it to us, 
that we might look at a party of Turks on horseback riding along 
the banks of the river towards Tepellene. He then said, " that 
man whom you see on the road is the chief minister of my enemy, 
Ibrahim Pasha, and he is now coming over to me, having de- 
serted his master to take the stronger side." He addressed this 
with a smile to the Secretary, desiring him to interpret it to us. 



LETTER XI. 



Ill 



We took pipes, coffee, and sweetmeats, with him ; but he did 
not seem so particular about these things as other Turks whom 
we have seen. He was in great good humour, and several times 
laughed aloud, which is very uncommon in a man of conse- 
quence : I never saw another instance of it in Turkey. — Instead 
of having his room crowded with the officers of his court, which 
is very much the custom of the Pashas and other great men, he 
was quite unattended, except by four or five young persons very 
magnificently dressed in the Albanian habit, and having their 
hair flowing half way down their backs : these brought in the re- 
freshments, and continued supplying us with pipes, which, though 
perhaps not half emptied, were changed three times, as is the 
custom when particular honours are intended for a guest. 

There are no common topics of discourse between a Turkish 
Vizier and a traveller, which can discover the abilities of either 
party, especially as these conversations are always in the form of 
question and answer. However, a Frank may think his Turk 
above the common run, if his host does not put any very foolish 
inten\)gatories to him, and All did not ask us any questions that 
betrayed his ignorance. His liveliness and ease gave us very 
favourable impressions of his natural capacity. 

In the evening of the next day we paid the Vizier another visit, 
in an apartment more elegantly furnished than the one \vith the 
fountain. Whilst we were with him, a messenger came in from 
" Berat," the place which Ali's army (of about five thousand 
men) was then besieging. We were not acquainted with the con- 
tents of a letter, which was read aloud, until a long gun, looking 
like a duck-gun, was brought into the room ; and then, upon one 
of us asking the Secretary if there were many wild fowl in the 



112 



LETTER XI, 



neighbourhood, he answered, Yes ; but that for the gun, it 
was going to the siege of Berat, there being a want of ordnance 
in the Vizier's army. It was impossible not to smile at this war 
in miniature. 

During this interview, Ali congratulated us upon the news, 
which had arrived a fortnight before, of the surrender of Zante, 
Cefalonia, Ithaca, and Cerigo, to the British Squadron : he said, 
he was happy to have the English for his neighbours ; that he 
was sure they would not serve him as the Russians and French 
had done, in protecting his runaway robbers ; that he had always 
been a friend to our Nation, even during our war with Turkey, 
and had been instrumental in bringing about the Peace. 

He asked us, what had made us travel in Albania ? We told 
him, the desire of seeing so great a man as himself. " Aye,*' 
returned he, " did you ever hear of me in England ?" We, of 
course, assured him, that he was a very common subject of con- 
versation in our country ; and he seemed by no means inacces- 
sible to the flattery. 

He showed us some pistols and a sabre ; and then took down a 
gun that was hanging over his head in a bag, and told us it was a 
present from the King of the French. It was a short rifle, with 
the stock inlaid with silver, and studded with diamonds and bril- 
liants, and looked like a handsome present ; but the Secretary 
informed us, that when the gun came from Napoleon, it had 
only a common stock, and that all the ornaments had been added 
by his Highness, to make it look more like a royal gift. 

Before we took our leave, the Vizier informed us, that there 
were in the neighbourhood of Tepellene some remains of anti- 
quity — a palseo-castro, as all pieces of old wall, or carved stones, 



LETTER XI. 



113 



are called in Albania and Greece, and said that he would order 
some horses for us to ride to it the next morning. 

According to his advice, we went on Sunday to see these 
ruins, which are very trifling, being only a few bits of wall, as it 
appeared to me, not ancient, on a hill about five miles to the 
north-west of Tepellene. 

In the evening of the same day, we paid his Highness our last 
visit. He then asked us which way we intended to go ; and we 
told him, it was our wish to get from Ioannina into the Morea. 
He appeared to be acquainted with every road, and all the stages, 
and the state of the country most minutely. He said, that we 
could not go by the common road through Triccala, as that part 
of the country was infested by large bands of robbers ; but that 
we might go through Carnia, crossing the gulf of Arta at Salora, 
or going to the head of the Gulf; and that, as that country was 
also suspicious, he would give us orders to his several military 
posts, to take as many guards as might be necessary. In case, 
however, we should not like to go through Carnia, he furnished 
us with an order to his Governor at Prevesa, to send us in an 
armed galliot to Patrass. He also gave us a letter to his son, 
Veli, Pasha of the Morea, and wished to know if he could do 
any thing to serve us. 

We only asked permission to take our Albanian Vasilly to at- 
tend us whilst in Turkey, which he readily granted, and asked 
where the man was. On being informed that he was at the 
chamber door, he sent for him, and accordingly Vasilly entered ; 
and, though with every proper respect, still was not embarrassed, 
but, with his hand on his left breast, answered the Vizier's ques- 
tions in a firm and fluent manner. Ali called him by his name, 

Q 



^■^^^EHiS^b 



114 



LETTER XT. 



and asked him, why, being at the door, he had not come in to 
see him ? " for you know, Vasilly," added he, " I should have 
been glad to have seen you!" He then told him that he was to 
attend us, and see that we wanted nothing, and talked a good 
deal to him about the different stages of our route, summing all 
up by telling him in a jocose way, that if any accident happened 
to us, he would cut off his head ; and that we were to write, 
mentioning how he had behaved. Shortly after this, and having 
agreed to give his Highness some relation of our travels by letter, 
we withdrew, and took our last leave of this singular man, of 
whom this may be the place to give you a short account. 

Ali was born at Tepellene, about the year 1750 ; for he is now 
past sixty years old, though he carefully conceals his age ; and, 
notwithstanding a disorder which is considered incurable, still 
carries the appearance of a healthy middle-aged man. His father 
was a Pasha of two tails, but of no great importance. The most 
considerable Prince at that time was one Coul Pasha, a Vizier, 
and lord of great part of Albania. At the death of his father, 
Ali found himself possessed of nothing but his house at Tepel- 
lene ; and it is not only current in Albania, but reported to be 
even the boast of the Vizier himself, that he began his fortune 
with sixty paras and a musket. Our attendant Vasilly (whose 
authority 1 should not mention, had it not been confirmed by 
every thing I heard in the country) assured me, that he recol- 
lects, when a boy, to have seen Ali (then Ali-Bey) in his father's 
cottage, with his jacket out at elbows ; and that, at that time, 
this person used to come with parties from Tepellene in the night, 
and seize upon the flocks of the villages at enmity with him. 

By degrees, however, he made himself master first of one vil- 



LETTER XI. 



115 



lage, then of another, and amassing some money, increased liis 
power, and found himself at the head of a considerable body of 
Albanians, whom he paid by plunder ; for he was then only a 
great robber, or one of those independent freebooters, of whom 
there are so many in the vast extent of the Turkish empire. It 
was not, however, without great difficulties and reverses that he 
continued his career, as you will think, when you hear what was 
said to me also by the same Vasilly ; for on telling this man that 
the Vizier seemed well acquainted with him ; " Yes," he replied, 
" he ought to be well acquainted with me ; for I have come down 
with the men of our village, and broken his windows with shot, 
when he did not dare to stir out of Tepellene." — " Well ;" he 
was asked, " and what did Ali do to the men of your village ?" 
" Nothing at all; he made friends with our chief man, persuaded 
him to come to Tepellene, and there roasted him on a spit ; after 
which we submitted (jrpo<rxvw<roiptv)." 

Ali at last collected money enough to buy a pashalik (not that 
of Ioannina, but one of less importance), and being invested 
with that dignity, he was only more eager to enlarge his posses- 
sions ; for he continued in constant war with the neighbouring 
Pashas, and finally got possession of Ioannina, of which he was 
confirmed Pasha by an imperial firman. He then made war on 
the Pashas of Arta, of Delvino, and of Ocrida, whom he sub- 
dued, together with that of Triccala, and established a very pre- 
ponderating influence over the Agas of Thessaly. GiafTar, Pasha 
of Vallona, he poisoned by a cup of coffee, in a bath at Sophia ; 
and he strengthened himself by marrying his two sons, Mouctar 
and Veli, to the daughters of Ibrahim, the successor and brother 
of Giaffar: since that time he has made war on Ibrahim himself, 

q2 



116 



LETTER XI. 



and added considerably to the territories of Ioannina, by curtail- 
ing those of his relation. 

During this progress, he had been, more than once, called 
upon to furnish his quota of troops to the imperial armies, and 
had served in person against the Germans and Russians ; but he 
knew his countrymen too well, ever to trust himself at court. 
He never would accept of any great office, and always found 
some pretence to avoid giving his personal attendance on the 
Grand Vizier of the day, who, it is known, had many orders to 
arrest him. Stories are told of the skill and courage with which 
he counteracted several schemes to procure his head — a present 
that would have been most acceptable to the Porte ever since the 
commencement of his career: however, he fought against Pas- 
wan Oglou, under the banners of the Sultan ; and on his return 
from Widin, in the year 17.08, was made a Pasha of three tails, 
or Yizier. He has had several offers of being made Grand 
Vizier. 

He next contrived to procure pashaliks for both his sons; the 
vounoer of whom. Veil, who resembles his father in his capacity 
and ambition, saved money enough in his first post to buy the 
pasbalik of the Morea, with the dignity of Vizier, for three 
thousand purses of five hundred piasters each. His eldest son, 
Mouctar, of a more warlike, but less ambitious turn than his 
brother, has of late supplied his father's place at the head of the 
Albanians that have joined the armies of the Porte ; and has 
greatly distinguished himself, as you must have heard, in the 
present war with Russia. 

The difficulties which Ali had to encounter in establishing his. 
power, did not arise so much from the opposition he met with 



LETTER XI. 



Π7 



from the neighbouring Pashas, as from the nature of the people, 
and of the country of which he was determined to make himself 
master. Many of the parts which now compose his dominions, 
were peopled by inhabitants who had been always in rebellion, or 
had never been entirely conquered by the Turks ; such as the 
Chimeriotes, the Sulliotes, and the nations living amongst the 
mountains in the neighbourhood of the coast of the Ionian Sea. 
Besides this, the woods and hills of every part of his government 
were, in a manner, in possession of large bands of robbers, who 
were recruited and protected by the villages ; and who laid large 
tracts under contribution ; burning and plundering the districts 
under the Pasha's protection. Against these he proceeded with the 
greatest severity : they were burnt, hanged, beheaded, and im- 
paled, and have disappeared from many parts, especially of Upper 
Albania, which were before quite subject to these outlaws. 

A few months before our arrival in the country, a large body in- 
festing the mountains between Ioannina and Triccala, were defeated 
and dispersed by Mouctar Pasha, \vho cut to pieces a hundred of 
them on the spot. These robbers had been headed by a Greek 
Priest, who, alter the defeat of his men, went to Constantinople, 
procured a firman of protection, and returned to Ioannina, whero 
the Vizier invited him to a conference, and seized him as he was 
leaving the room. He was detained, and well treated, in prison, 
until a messenger could go to and return from Constantinople, 
with a permission from the Porte for Ali to do what he pleased 
with his prisoner. — It was the arm of this man which we had seen 
suspended from the bough, on entering Ioannina. 

It is by such vigorous measures that the Vizier has rendered 
many parts of Albania, and the contiguous country, perfectly 



118 



LETTER XL• 



accessible, that were before annually over-run by robbers ; and 
consequently by opening the country to merchants, and securing 
their persons and goods, has not only increased his own revenues, 
but bettered the condition of his subjects. He has built bridges 
over the rivers, raised causeways across the marshes, laid out 
frequent roads, adorned the country and the towns with new 
buildings, and by many wholesome regulations has acted the part 
of a good and great Prince, without perhaps a single other mo- 
tive than that of his own aggrandisement. 

The influence of Ali extends far beyond the limits of his domi- 
nions, and is feared and felt throughout the whole df European 
Turkey. It would, however, be very difficult to give the actual 
boundaries of his present dominions ; for in the extent of his ter- 
ritory, there is occasionally to be found an isolated district, which 
still resists his arms ; and his attempts on the neighbouring 
Pashas are not always attended with success. Two months after 
our visit to Tepellene, he made himself master of Berat ; but 
my Friend has written to me from Athens, that the Pasha of 
Scutari has retaken the city, and reinstated Ibrahim. But Ali 
may be again victorious ; and, should he live, will, 1 doubt not, 
be master of nearly the whole of Albania. 

At present, his dominions extend (taking Ioannina for a centre) 
one hundred and twenty miles to the north, as far as the pashalik 
of Ocrida ; to the north-east and east over Thessaly, and touching 
the feet of Mount Olympus ; to the south-east the small district 
of Thebes, and part of that attached to the Negroponte, bound 
his territories ; which, however, on this side, include the popu- 
lous city of Livadia (Lebadea) and its district, and will soon, it 
is expected, comprise Attica, and afterwards the above-mentioned 



LETTER XI. 



119 



country. To the south he commands as far as the gulf of Le- 
panto, and the Morea belongs to his son. The Ionian Sea and 
the gulf of Venice, are his boundaries to the south-west and west, 
and to the north-west the pashalik of Scutari, and the banks of 
the Drino ; but on this side, the pashalik of Vallona intervenes. 
Parga, on the coast opposite to Corfu, belongs to the French, 
and the Chimeriotes can scarcely be said to depend entirely on 
his authority. 

Throughout the whole of the country so bounded, the impe- 
rial firman is but little respected ; whilst a letter with the signa- 
ture of Ali (of which, as a curiosity, I send you a fac-simile), 
commands unlimited obedience. The Vizier is now absolute lord, 
as- a Greek of Ioannina told me, of fifty small provinces; and 
should his projects of aggrandisement succeed, the countries 
which anciently composed the southern part of Illyricum, the 
kingdom of Fpirus, part of Macedonia, the whole Thessalian 
territory, Eubaea, and all the Grecian States, will be under the 
dominion of a barbarian who can neither write nor read. His 
tyranny is complete; although the form of subjection to the 
Porte is still preserved, and he furnishes his contingent of men to 
the Ottoman armies, and pays, besides, a certain part of his tri- 
bute to the Grand Signor. 

As he advances to the north-west, he will be in possession of 
the frontier towards Dalmatia, which the views of the French 
must render a most important post. It is confidently asserted, 
that Napoleon has offered to make him King of Albania, and to 
support his independence against the Porte ; but, if this be true, 
he has had the prudence to refuse a crown, which would be 
rather the badge of bondage than of power, and of late the Kin- 



120 



LETTER XI. 



peror has talked of thundering down upon Albania from his Illy- 
rian provinces. 

What actual resistance Ali would be able to oppose to such an 
enemy, it is not easy to foresee ; with all his power, he has sel- 
dom kept in his pay more than eight thousand soldiers at any one 
time ; but as every Albanian understands the use of the gun and 
sabre, and as religious or other prejudices, might cause the whole 
population to rise in arms under so fortunate a chief, the passage 
of the mountains might be impracticable to the French — to the 
soldiers who crossed the Alps. 

All the Albanians, even those who have not yet submitted to 
his power, speak with exultation and pride of their countryman, 
and, by a comparison with him, they constantly depreciate the 
merits of others. We frequently heard them say, when talking 
of some other Pasha, " he is not such a one as Ali — he has not 
such a head." But his death might destroy all hope of union 
and resistance. 

The early acquisitions of this extraordinary man were made by 
force of arms ; but his latter aggrandisements have been generally 
accomplished by the proper disposal of his treasures, which are 
reported to be very great, but the probable amount of which it 
is impossible to calculate. Of the tenth of all produce collected 
for the Porte, the Vizier has, at least, a fourth part; he has also 
near four hundred villages his own property; and, besides, claims 
trom all towns and districts, arbitrary sums for protection. I 
have seen a computation, which sets down his revenues at 
6,000,000 of piasters, independent of those casual levies, and the 
presents which are made to him by his Christian subjects. Add 
to this, that all his work is done gratis, and his kitchens and 



lliliniilliiiliiiilrtfilMirilffiillili'iiMinii 



LETTER XI. 



121 



stables furnished by the towns where he has any establishment. 
He not only gives free quarter to himself and retinue in his nu- 
merous expeditions through his dominions, but his soldiers, who 
only receive about twelve piasters a month from him, are found 
in bread and meat wherever they go, by the inhabitants of the 
towns and villages ; so that he is able to reserve much of his 
money for emergencies, for bribing the ministers of the Porte, 
and buying his neighbours' territories. He is not at much ex- 
pence in purchasing the male or female slaves of his household; 
for with these he furnishes himself from the families of the robbers 
whom he executes, or compels to fly. We overtook a man car- 
rying to Tepellene a boy and girl, who had been just found in 
the cottage of a robber. 

Of the natural disposition of Ali we had no opportunity of 
forming a judgment, except by hearsay ; and it would be hardly 
fair to believe all the stories of the Greeks, who would represent 
him as the most barbarous monster that ever disgraced humanity. 
Certainly no one but a man of a ferocious and sanguinary dispo- 
sition, would have been able or willing to tame the people whom 
he has brought into subjection : not only beheading, but impal- 
ing and roasting, might be necessary to inspire that terror of his 
name, which has of itself, in many instances, given peace and 
security to his dominions ; for large bands of robbers have sub- 
mitted voluntarily, and been enrolled amongst his soldiers. Exe- 
cutions are now but seldom seen in Ioannina ; but during the 
Sulliote Avars, twenty and thirty prisoners were sometimes be- 
headed at one time in the streets of that city. Such cruelty 
shocks your humane feelings; but " voila comme on juge de tout 
quand on n'est pas sorti de son pays/' It is not fair to appre- 

E 



12* 



LETTER XI. 



ciate the merits of any man without a reference to the character 
and customs of the people amongst whom he is born and edu- 
cated. In Turkey the life of man is held exceedingly cheap, 
more so than any one, who has not been in the country, would 
believe ; and murders, which would fill all Christendom with hor- 
ror, excite no sentiments of surprise or apparent disgust, either 
at Constantinople or in the provinces ; so that what might, at 
first sight, appear a singular depravity in an individual, would, 
in the end, be found nothing but a conformity with general prac- 
tice and habits. You may, therefore, transfer your abhorrence 
of xAli to the Turkish nation, or rather to their manners ; yet I 
almost accuse myself of a breach of the forbearance due from a 
guest to his host, when I relate to you tiro melancholy tales, 
which are very well known, and are secretly talked of at loannina. 

The wife of Mouctar Pasha, daughter of Ibrahim, was a great 
favourite with the Vizier ; who, upon paying her a visit one 
morning, found her in tears. He questioned her several times as 
to the cause of her grief, which she at last reluctantly owned to 
be the diminution of his son's affection for her. lie enquired, if 
she thought her husband paid any attention to other women ? 
She answered, Yes. The Vizier demanded who they were ; and 
upon this, the lady (quite at random, it is said) wrote down the 
names of fifteen of the most beautiful women, some Greeks 
some Turkish, in the city of loannina. The same night they 
we**e all seized in their houses, conveyed to the palace in the for- 
tress, thence carried in boats on the lake, and after being tied up 
in sacks, were thrown into the water. 

I fear there is no doubt of the truth of this story ; for on men- 
tioning the matter to our attendant, A^asilly, he said it was a fact; 



LETTER XI. 



123 



and that he himself, belonging at that time to the city-guard, 
was one of the thirty soldiers employed to seize and destroy these 
unfortunate females. It may seem strange, that thirty men 
should be found capable of performing such an office ; hut the 
Albanians despise the sex ; and our soldier defended the action, 
which, said he, was a very good one, for they were all bad wo- 
men. It is not impossible, that this ruffian seriously considered 
himself as having been concerned in the suppression of vice. 

The fate of the beautiful Zofreni is still the subject of a lament- 
able ditty, which we heard first at loannina, and afterwards at 
Athens. The story goes, that it was the misfortune of Zofreni, 
a Greek lady of loannina, the most lovely of her sex, to be 
admired at the same time by Ali and by one of his sons; and that 
she contrived to conceal this double attachment from both her 
lovers, till the Vizier recognized upon her finger, a ring which he 
had given to his son's wife. Upon this discovery, the angry 
father left her abruptly, and gave the fatal orders. Zofreni was 
drowned the same night. She was only seventeen years of age. 

Here again is a trait of Turkish ferocity, rather than of a 
savage disposition peculiar to Ali ; for there is nothing unusual in 
this manner of punishing women : Bairactar, the famous Grand 
Vizier, disposed of many of Sultan Mustaprms harem by the 
same death, in order to decrease the expences of the seraglio, or 3 
as some say, to punish them for supposed court intrigues. 

After what has been stated, you need scarcely be informed that 
Ali indulges to the full in all the pleasures that are licensed by 
the custom of the country. His harem is saicfr to contain three 
hundred women. His other gratifications cannot be very various 
or refined. 

ii 2 



134 



LETTER XI. 



Amongst the attendants at Tepellene we saw the Court fool, 
who was distinguished by a very high round cap of fur; but, 
unlike the ancient fools of more civilized monarchs, this fellow 
is obliged to confine his humour to gambolling, cutting capers, 
and tumbling before the Vizier's horse, when his Highness takes 
a ride. 

In his younger years Ali was not a very strict Mahometan ; 
but he has lately become religious, and entertains several Der- 
vishes at his court ; yet he does not at all relax in his ambitious 
efforts ; and having no use for books, employs all the hours that 
he is absent from his harem in designs of future conquest. He 
is still an active horseman, and there is scarcely a village in his 
dominions which he does not visit once a year. I believe him, 
from good authority, never to have received even the education 
usually given to the Albanians. Besides his native tongue, he 
talks Greek fluently, but of the Turkish language he knows very 
little ; and, like Justin and Theodoric, the contemporary lords 
of the Eastern and Western Empires, has raised himself to his 
present power, without perhaps knowing the letters of any al- 
phabet. 

He is doubtless a great man ; but without saying or knowing 
that he is the worthy successor of Pyrrhus, whom, according to 
one author*, he is accustomed to call Ph'os, and, as another will 
have it-f, Bourrhous. But he that does not smile at Mr. Eton, 
may believe Doctor Poukeville. 

Yours, &c. &c. 



* Survey of the Turkish Empire, page 373. 
•τ Voyage en Albanie, page 24. 



LETTER XII. 

Albania — Perpetual Barbarity of its Inhabitants — Early Settle- 
ment of the Scythians in that Country — In subjection to the 
Kings of Bulgaria — to the Emperors of the East — Uncer- 
tain Date of the Name Albania — Its Revolutions — Governed 
by Despots — Invaded by the Catalans — Disunited — Scander- 
beg — Exaggeration of his Merits — Ottoman Conquest of the 
Country — Establishment of the Venetians on the Coast — Va- 
riety of Nations — The Albanians — their Origin — Asiatic Al- 
banians — Shape and Face of the Albanians — their Dress — 
their Arms — their Filth — Dress of their Women — their Vil- 
lages — their Food — their Disposition and Manners. 



THE countries composing Albania, seem, in parts, 
to have been peopled by an almost uninterrupted succession 
of barbarians. Illyricum and Epirus are not often mentioned 
by historians, without a notice of the peculiar ferocity of their 
inhabitants. It was not until the reign of Tharrytas, King of 
the Molossians and Thresprotians, from whom Pyrrhus was 
fourth in descent, that the Greek manners and language were in-v 






ηβ 



LETTER XII» 



troduced into the country* ; which, as it was divided into several 
petty principalities and republics, could, after all, never have 
been more than partially civilized. As to the Illy nans, Polybius 
calls them the enemies of ail nations, and no more civilized than 
the Thracians or Getae ; and Livy accounts for the superior fero- 
city of one of the four "Roman divisions of Macedonia, by the 
inclemency of their climate, the infertility of their soil, and the 
vicinity of the barbarians^-. 

But the Romans took advantage of the many fine harbours of 
Illyricum, and the road called the Ignatian, of uncertain date 
and origin, which led from Apollonia and Dyrrachium, through 
Lychnidus, Pylon, and Edessa, over a tract of two hundred and 
sixty-two Roman miles, to Thessalonica, may have served to civi- 
lize the interior of the country. 

The desolation of Epirus, which (as has been before men- 
tioned) afforded, in the days of Strabo, no better habitations for 
her people than ruined villages J, may not have continued long 
after the time of that writer. The Emperors extended their care 
to this part of their dominions ; and Amantia and Hadrianopoiis 
are said to have been flourishing towns in New Epirus. 

Yet we hear of the decay of the cities of this region as early 
as the reign of Julian ; and it is probable, that there was but 
little booty left to satisfy the avarice of Alaric, when, in the year 
396, he laid waste Illyricum and Epirus, and settled in the 
country with his Goths, after having been declared Master-gene- 

* Plut. in vit. Pyrrhi. 
+ Liv. lib. xlv. cap. SO. 

% See page 7, of this Book, -where the words " and caves" together with 
the Greek quotation, were, by mistake, inserted in the text. 



:mfi 



ΐΙΐΙΙΙΙΐϋϊίϋΊΓΐΜϊΙ^ϋίϋΐϋΜΙ 



LETTER XII. 



127 



ral of the province by the feeble Emperor of the East. The 
coast also had been before, and continued for a century to be, 
subject to the piratical invasions of the Vandals of Spain. 

The Bulgarians and Sclavonians, who, after wandering in the 
plains of Russia, Poland, and Lithuania, had advanced to the 
north bank of the Danube, in the reign of Justinian made 
almost annual incursions into Illyricum, destroyed her cities, and 
spread their devastations even as far as Corinth. During the dis- 
tresses of the lower empire, beginning as early as the eighth cen- 
tury, the ancient inhabitants of the country of which I am speak- 
ing, may be supposed to have been nearly extirpated ; for the 
epitomizer of Strabo, whom (if I may be allowed to do what 
Swift calls, " quote quotation on quotation") I shall adduce, from 
a note of Mr. Gibbon's on an observation of Mr. Dod well's, has 
this remark: " and now Scythian Sclavi inhabit (or perhaps cul- 
tivate) the whole of Epirus, and Greece nearly, and Macedonia, 
and Peloponessus*." Under this name were comprehended all 
the nations who either preceded or followed the irruption of 
the Huns until the. twelfth century ; and ne thp Caspian gates 
were in possession of a King of the Scythian Tartars, the Bul- 
garians may have pushed the Asiatic Albanians before them 
into Europe -f\ 

But the strength and importance of the country in question, 
were increased by the settlement of the Scythian strangers. In 
the ninth and tenth centuries, the Bulgarians, who included the 

* iC Και νυν Si 7rx<rccv ΗΰΤίΐρον και Ελλάδα cr^Sov και Μακεαονιαν και Πελο- 
Tovn<r<rov Σκυθαι Σκλάβοι νέμονται" — Decline and Fall, Sfc. note 15 to cap. 53, 

+ Chandler mentions the European as the descendant of the Asiatic Alba- 
nians. 



128 



LETTER XII. 



two* Epiruses in their powerful kingdom to the south of the 
Danube, of which Lychnidus, now Ocrida, was the capital, were 
the first that, in the year 924, put a stop to the inroads of the 
Magiar, or Oriental Turks ; and it is singular, that their poste- 
rity, or the posterity of a tribe in subjection to them, were the 
last to yield to the Ottomans, part of the Mahometan descend- 
ants of the same Huns. 

After the reduction of the Bulgarian kingdom by Basil, the 
second Emperor of that name, the emigrated Scythians, formerly 
in subjection to that power, who had been converted to the 
Christian faith, served in the armies of the Eastern Empire. But 
they had been independent settlers long enough to change the 
names of the provinces they inhabited ; and though it might be 
impossible to fix the exact date of the alteration, it must seem 
that as early as the eleventh century, when Rascia, Servia, Bos- 
nia, and Croatia, began to supplant the ancient denominations of 
the countries of this part of Europe, the name of Albania also 
was attached to Epirus, to the southern part of Illyricum, and 
to some districts formerly belonging to Macedonia. 

The date of this appellation may, however, have been much 
earlier. Mr. D'Anville, talking of the southern Illyricum, says, 
" we know that the name of Albania extended to this country ; 
and an Albanopolis, which Ptolemy gives, appears to exist in 
Albasano." It is certain, at least, that from the period above 
noticed, we find mention of an European Albania, which, as we 
have before seen, is, though not quite accurately, indiscrimi- 
nately used for Epirus. 

* An expression of Mr. Gibbon's, cap. 55, p. 543, quarto edit. 



LETTER XII. 



129 



We read that .Robert Guiscard, in the year 1081, after beating 
Alexius Commenus, at the battle of Durazzo, marched into Albania. 

At the partial conquest of the Greek Empire by the Latins, 
this country, except Durazzo and Scutari, the ancient Scodra, the 
chief place oi' Illyricum, and some towns on the coast, which fell 
into the hands of the Venetians, was governed by a powerful usur- 
per, Michael Angelas, a bastard of the blood-royal of the Constan- 
tinopolitan Emperors. Theodorus Angelus, his successor, dispos- 
sessed the A r enetians of Durazzo, and withstood the forces of Peter, 
the third Latin Emperor; and when the empire was recovered by 
the Greeks, Albania was one of those states, whose Despots, a 
title inferior only to that of Emperor, were in reality independent, 
and were courted into the alliance of the Imperial family. 

In the year 1270, the coast was invaded by a small body of 
Catalans, in the service of Charles of Anjou, which laid siege to 
Arnoot Beli-grat, or the city of the White Albanians; and dur- 
ing the two hundred and fifty years that intervened between the 
Latin and Turkish conquest of Constantinople, the whole coun- 
try, as well as Greece, was split into many small principalities, 
whose temporary union under George Castriot, or Scanderbeg, 
called Prince of Epirus, or of Albania, was capable of resisting 
for twenty-four years the whole force of the Turkish arms. 

Mr. Gibbon, with the scepticism so natural in a philosopher, 
and so necessary for a historian, seems to doubt the wonderful 
exploits of this Christian hero: he will not rank him amongst 
the great men who have deserved without wearing a crow η ; and 
he prefers the Turkish story of Cantemir to the marvellous nar- 
ration of the contemporary biographer, Martinus JBarletius, the 
monk of Scutari*. But though we may smile, w r hen we read that 

* Decline and Fall, cap. 67, 
S 



130 



LETTER, XII. 



the warrior fought with such violence that the blood started from 
his lips ; that he slew three thousand Turks with his own hand, 
and killed with vexation a Sultan who, in truth, died peaceably at 
Adrianople ; yet, when least credulous as to the account of the 
deeds of Scanderbeg, we shall collect, that the Albanians were 
then able to support that claim to desperate courage, which has 
been always, and is still, attached to their character. 

After the death of Scanderbeg, in the year 1466, the province 
fell into the hands of Mahomet the Great, who, with an army 
of eighty thousand men, besieged and took Scutari ; but in the 
reign of his successor Bajazet, it was partly recovered by John 
Castriot, assisted by the Venetians, and also by one John Cher- 
novich, an Albanian Prince. The. Turks, however, finally esta-r 
blished themselves in the reigns of Sultans Spliman, and Selim 
the Second, notwithstanding the efforts of the Venetians, who 
made good some landings, but were afterwards obliged to retreat. 

Since that time, those, whom the historian Knolles calls, " the 
savage people of the Acroceraunians," have, at the least instiga- 
tion of the Christian powers, been ready to lly to arms ; and the 
final establishment of the Venetians in some towns on the coast, 
and in the Ionian Islands, prevented both the entire conversion 
of the Albanians to the faith, and their subjection to the power, 
of the Ottomans. 

From what has been premised, it may be suspected that Albania 
must be inhabited by a mixture of different nations — composed 
of the descendants of Greeks, Romans, Goths, Vandals, Spa-r 
niards, Italians, Bulgarians', and Ottomans. This is very true ; 
and a difference of manner and disposition, religion and language, 
distinguishes the inhabitants of the various districts: yet it is that 
which may, I presume, be called the Scythian character, that 



LETTER XII. 



131 



prevails throughout these mountainous regions, and it is of him, 
whom the Turks called Arnoot, the Greeks Alvanetes, and we 
Albanian, or Albanese, that I purpose to give some account. 

Whether the Arnoot be a descendant of the people formerly 
inhabiting the country between Iberia and the Caspian Sea, will 
hardly be decided by any acquaintance with his present character. 
As little is it to be supposed, that the Albanians are acquainted 
with, or even hazard a guess at, their own origin. Yet Pou- 
queville avers, that there prevails, he knows not how, a notion 
amongst them, that they are of French descent ; and indeed, 
what he tells of them in one respect, might be said, even by a 
liberal enemy, of his own countrymen — " On les voyait avides des 
perils .... mais, quelque fussent les evenements, ils ne manquent 
jamais de s'en attribuer le succes, et sur tout ils seraient bien 
gardes d'avouer une defaite*." It is certain, that some Gauls 
were formerly found in Epirus : they formed a band of merce- 
naries in the armies of the Kings of Macedon, and in those of 
the Epirotes. A body of them in the pay of Pyrrhus, plun- 
dered the royal treasury of JEge-f ; and some others, to whom 
the strong city of Phaenice, on the coast of Chaonia, had been 
entrusted, betrayed the place to the pirates of Illyricum J. 

But from such ancestors, neither a Frenchman nor an Albanian 
would be very anxious to prove his descent. It is true, that there 
are a few French words in their language. I find it however dis- 
tinctly asserted by Meletius, that the Albanians are neither of 
Illyric origin, nor from the nation of that name in Asia, but 
sprung from the Celts who came to lapygia in Italy, and thence 
passed over to Dyrrhachium, and dispersed themselves in the 



* Pouqaeville, p. 19. 



t Plut. vit. Pyrrhi. 

s 2 



X Polyb. lib. ii. cap. 5. 



132 



LETTER XII. 



neighbouring country*. The English editor of the Periegesis of 
Dionysius, also presumes that Albania was so denominated from 
the Albani, enumerated amongst the nations of Macedonia by 
Ptolemy -j- ; and it will be recollected that the name was found 
amongst the people of Italy. 

A reference to the eleventh book of Strabo, will enable us to 
judge whether there is any similarity between the Asiatic Alba- 
nians, such as he describes them, and the modern A moot J. 

The Albanians are generally of a middle stature, about five feet 
six inches in height. They are muscular and straight in their make, 



* ΑΛΒΑΝΙΑ, pp. 305, 306. 

t See v. Illyris in Indie. Perieg. p. 13k, edit. Hill, Loiul. 1679. 

% The principal points observable in the geographer's account of (he Asiatic 
Albanians, are the following: " They were attached to the wandering life of a 
shepherd, and to the amusement of hunting. Simple and honest in their man- 
ners, they had but little money amongst them, were unacquainted with weights 
and measures, and unable to count beyond a hundred. They were unskilful 
in agriculture, and knew little of the art of war, although maintaining an army 
of forty thousand foot and twenty-two thousand horse. They worshipped Ju- 
piter and the Sun ; but the Moon was their principal deity, and to her they 
sacrificed human victims, who were sometimes the priests themselves. For of 
these many are seized with a sacred enthusiasm, and foretell future events, and 
whosoever amongst them, being more possessed titan the others, becomes a soli- 
tary wanderer in the woods, him the chief priest catching and binding with a 
holy chain, feeds daintily for that year, and then he being produced as a 
sacrifice to the goddess, is, together with the ether victims, anointed and slain.''* 

They inspected the carcass of the man-thus sacrificed, for the purpose of di- 
vination ; and after laying it in some public place, jumped upon it for a lustra- 
tion. They r< crenced old age; but neither mourned nor mentioned the dead, 
with whom they buried whatever little money they had possessed. Before they 
were conquered by Pompey, they were divided into twenty-six states, each hav- 
ing a separate ruler, and language peculiar to itself. They were handsome and 
tall, and wc find by another account, that they had generally blue ey« •.?. 



SOS 



jgmmwwi 




AN ALBAIIA1 



Zondon^Fub/is/n ;•/./ fy Jmnvas Cawtkevn• - 2 A f '>-r>hs-fiin• Street. 18J2 



LETTER XII. 



133 



but not large; and they are particularly small round the loins, 
without any corpulency, which may be attributed to their active 
life, and also to the tight girdle they wear round their waists. 
Their chests are full and broad, and their necks long. Their faces 
are of a long oval shape, with prominent cheek bones, and a flat 
but raised forehead. The expression of their eyes, which are blue 
and hazel, but seldom quite black, is very lively. Their mouths are 
small, and their teeth of a good colour, and well formed. Their 
noses are, for the most part, high and straight, with thin but 
open nostrils. Their eye-brows are arched. They wear no hair 
on the fore part of their heads, but suffer it to flow down in large 
quantities from the top of the crown : it is generally in curie, but 
when straight and long, it is most admired. They have small mus- 
tachios on the upper lips; but shave off the whole of the beard 
at the same time that they perform that operation on the fore 
part of their crowns, which is about once a week. 

The colour of the Albanians, when they are young, is a pure 
white, with a tinge of vermillion on their cheeks; but labour, 
and exposure to heat and cold, gives a dusky hue to the skin of 
the bodies, though their faces mostly preserve a clearness of 
complexion. They have the practice, so commonly prevalent in 
many nations, and which Strabo remarks as the custom of the 
IHyrians, of making figures on the skin of their arms and legs, 
by punctures, which they colour with gunpowder, exactly similar 
to the marks seen on our sailors* 

The common picture of Scanderbeg, in Knolles's History of 
the Turks, is not a bad representation of the general look of his 
nation; but the drawing which I have inserted is ill done, and 
is only introduced as a specimen of the Albanian dress. 

The Albanian women are tall and strong, and not ill-looking; 



BED 



134 



LETTER XII. 



but bearing in their countenances all the marks of wretchedness, 
of bad treatment, and hard labour. 

The dress of the men is well adapted to the life of a moun- 
taineer. The picture inclosed, represents that of the better sort 
of people ; but the common kind is entirely white. The shirt is 
of cotton, as well as the drawers; but every other part of the 
habit of coarse woollen. It is but seldom that they wear any 
thing on their feet, except on particular occasions, when they put 
on the sandal shown in the drawing. Almost exery Albanian can 
make his own clothes; and, for the article last mentioned, he 
carries about with him a small quantity of red leather, cat-gut, 
and packthread, and a large needle, wrapt up in part of the 
pouch containing his cartridges. The bottom of the sandal is of 
goat-skin, the open-work on the top of cat-gut. The mantle is 
mostly longer than the one in the print, as is the shirt, and is of 
white woollen, with the shag left upon it. Besides the small red 
cap, resembling the cup of an acorn, on the crown of the head, 
those who can afford it, add a shawl, bound round in the turban 
fashion, and in the winter drawn over the ears, and tied round 
the neck. But that which constitutes their chief defence against 
the weather, and forms their bed, whether in the cottage or the 
field, is a large great coat, or capote, with loose open sleeves, 
and a hood which hangs in a square piece behind, but, when put 
over the head, is fastened into form by means of a long needle, 
or sometimes the ramrod of a pistol. The capote is of shaggy 
white woollen, or of black horse-hair; and one might think it to 
be peculiar to this people, for (as my Friend put me in mind) our 
poet Spenser has given to one of his personages a 

" Luge capoto Albanese-wise." 



LETTER XII. 



135 



Round their waists they wear a coarse shawl, drawn very tight 
by a leathern strap or belt that contains their pistols; and 
" ungirding of their loins," by the loosening of this belt, is, with 
pulling the capote about them, the only preparation they make 
for going to sleep at night. In the summer they often walk about 
without their mantles and upper jacket, having the large sleeves 
of their shirts hanging loosely over their arms. 

The poorer people carry only one pistol in their belts, but it is 
their constant companion ; and when they can afford to have the 
long peaked handle of it worked in rough silver, they are not a 
little proud of their weapon. They are not so particular about 
the barrel or the lock ; for most of these pistols, when fired, if 
they do not burst, lacerate the hand very badly. 

The curved sabre, which is chiefly worn by those in the actual 
employ of a Pasha, is kept as sharp as a razor ; but the handle 
of silver is so rough as to tear the hand of a person unaccustomed 
to wield such a sword. 

The long gun is to be found in every cottage in Albania : the 
peasant carries it with him either when he tends his flock, or tills 
his land. It is the weapon in the use of which he considers him- 
self to excel, and he regards it both as his ornament and his de- 
fence. The gun-barrels, however, are thin and ill made, and the 
locks are of the rudest manufacture, the works being generally 
on the outside. Owing to this circumstance, and as the powder 
is large-grained and otherwise \evy bad, the Albanians are not 
good marksmen, although they never fire without a rest, and take 
a very deliberate aim. 

Besides the pistols, their belts contain a knife in a case, the 
handle and sheath of which, are often attached to each other by 
three or four rows of small silver chains — an ornament of which 



Ιθβ 



LETTER XII. 



they are very fond, as they have several of them hanging round 
their necks, some with amulets, others with silver snuff-boxes, or 
watches in large shagreen cases, at the end of them. 

But there is an article of which they are very careful and 
proud, and which they often wear, even if they are incapable 
pf making any use of it. This is a small hollow instrument, 
generally of copper, but sometimes of silver, a quarter of an 
inch thick, and ten or eleven inches long, having at one end, 
which is larger than the other, an ink-stand, and containing 
a pen. They call it in modern Greek " calamaro/' They carry 
it in their girdles next to their pistols and knife, and adorn it, as 
well as their other trinkets, with a silver chain. 

The whole Albanian costume, when quite clean and new, is 
incomparably more elegant than any worn in the Turkish empire, 
and it may be made very costly. The Agas, who can afford such 
an expence, to their other two jackets add a third without 
sleeves ; and all three of these suits being of velvet, richly worked 
with inlaid gold or silver, the body of the dress has the appear- 
ance, and, indeed, almost the stiffness of a coat of mail. And 
this circumstance, I suppose, made Mr. Eton talk of the " rich 
armour of the son of the Pasha of Yanina," which was stripped 
from his body on the field of battle, and presented by the Sul- 
liote ambassadors to the Empress Catharine*. 

But the common clothes of the Albanians are of a most un- 
savoury appearance. Few amongst them have more than two 
shirts, and many only one ; so that this material part of their 
dress, as well as the drawers, is often quite black, and falls to 
shreds upon their backs, from accumulated filth and constant 



Survey of the Turkish Empire, p. 355. 



LETTER XII. 



137 



wear. From such a habit, and the practice of sleeping dressed 
upon the ground, it is to be expected that the thick woollen 
jackets, mantle, and capote, must shelter every species of ver- 
min ; and, indeed, though from the Grand Signor to his lowest 
subject, there is not, perhaps, one person in Turkey quite free 
from a kind of animal, which, when multiplied, becomes the 
cause and symptom of an incurable disease ; yet, as the physi- 
cian of AH assured me, " Le pou des Albanais est le plus gras 
et le plus gros du monde." They will often, without any shame 
or concealment, brush these insects by dozens from their clothes, 
and it is quite impossible to travel amongst them without being 
visited by so unpleasant a companion. 

The dress of their women is very fantastical, and different in 
different villages. Those of Cesarades were chiefly clothed in red 
cotton (I never observed the colour elsewhere), and their heads 
were covered with a shawl, so disposed as to look like a helmet 
with a crest, and clasps under the ears. The women of Ereeneed 
were in white woollens, and the younger ones wore a kind of 
skull-cap, composed entirely of pieces of silver coin, paras and 
piasters, with their hair falling down in braids to a great length, 
and also strung with money. This is a very prevailing fashion ; 
and a girl before she is married, as she collects her portion, car- 
ries it on her head. The females do not appear more cleanly 
than the men. 

The habitations of the iUbanians are mostly very neat ; and 
though their cottages have seldom more than one floor, and 
that of mud, yet they are regularly swept, and being well built, 
are perfectly dry. It is true, that the fire is on the floor, and 
that the hole meant to be a chimney is not always so well con- 
trived as to prevent the room from being smoked. 

τ 



138 



LETTER ΧίΙ. 



Their household furniture is not composed of many articles, 
but is quite sufficient for their wants. A large circular tray of 
thin iron and tin, on which they eat, and which they scour very 
bright ; a pan to mix their meal in ; a wooden bowl or two, and 
a few horn spoons ; some jars for oil and wine, a small copper 
cofiee jug, and a brass lamp; three or four mats of white rushes, 
and one stool ; a round block of wood, about a foot high, on 
which the tray is placed ; are all the articles usually to be seen in 
their cottages, and these are kept either in a neat deal cupboard, 
or wooden chest. 

Their houses have generally two rooms ; and in one of these 
they keep their maize in the stalk, or their grapes, which they 
sprinkle with salt to preserve them. The traveller Sonnini, who 
had seen an Albanian town on Mount Olympus, proposes it as 
the best model for village-buildings. The houses are not heaped 
together, but each of them has a garden. That in which we 
were lodged at Ereeneed, had attached to it a piece of ground, 
containing some roods cultivated for the tobacco plant, a vine- 
yard, and a fruit and vegetable garden : round the whole was a 
high stone wall, and the house itself was in an inner yard, also 
inclosed by another wall, so as to form a sort of fortification ; 
indeed, we saw several holes at regular distances, through the 
walls of the room in which we lay, and were informed they were 
for the use of the gun. 

Each of the villages we saw had, also, a green near it, shaded 
with a large tree, and set apart for the holiday amusements of 
the peasants. In part of this green is a circular piece of paved 
ground, on which the corn is trodden out by eight or nine 
horses a-breast, which are driven round, tied by a cord to a stake 
ixed in the middle of the circle. This is an universal practice 



LETTER ΧΙΤ. 



139 



in Turkey, and the same plan is followed in Spain and Por- 
tugal. 

The principal food of these people is wheaten or barley bread, 
or cakes of boiled or roasted maize, cheese made of goats'-milk, 
rice mixed with butter, eggs, dried fish, olives, and vegetables. 
On holidays, kids and sheep are killed, and fowls, of which there 
are great plenty every where ; but the proportion of animal food 
is considerably less than that of the other part of their diet. 
They drink wine, both Mahometans and Christians, as also an 
ardent spirit extracted from grape-husks and barley, called 
rockee, not unlike whisky. It is but seldom that they spare any 
milk from their cheeses. Indeed, cold water is what they chiefly 
drink, and of this they take large draughts, even in the heats of 
summer, and during the most violent exercise, without expe- 
riencing any inconvenience from the indulgence. Coffee is to be 
met with in many houses, and now and then the rossoglios of 
Italy, and the liqueurs made at Cefalonia and Corfu. 

Although the Albanians are generally temperate, and can live 
on a very spare diet, yet that is because they prefer saving their 
money for the purchase of arms and trinkets ; for they will eat 
of whatsoever is laid before them by another person, not only 
freely but voraciously. 

In common with all the inhabitants of the Levant, they love 
money, of which they make little hoards, and then spend the 
sum all at once, either upon pipe-heads, silver mounted pistols, 
shawls, snuff-boxes, watches, or handkerchiefs. Of this latter 
article they, now and then, wear two or three at a time hanging 
from their belts. They are avaricious, but not misers — being not 
so much desirous of keeping, as greedy in collecting riches. 

τ 2 



140 



LETTER XII. 



An Albanian Turk was asked in our hearing what he liked 
best — Wine ? No— Pistols ? No— Women ? No, no — What 
then ? " Why," replied the young man with great frankness, 
" I like money best ; because with that I can get all those things 
you mention, whenever, and as much of them, as, I want/' 

Thus, in the pursuit of riches, there is no toil or danger which 
they will not encounter ; but they prefer the life of the soldier to 
that of the husbandman, and with much greater alacrity support 
the labours of war than those of agriculture. 

They are very inexpert in cutting down their corn, every kind 
of which is reaped with a sickle, and never mowed with a scythe. 
Their plough is as simple as that of Virgil. It is composed of 
two curved pieces of wood, one longer than the other : the long- 
piece forms the pole ; and one end of it being joined to the other 
piece about a foot from the bottom, divides it into a share, which 
is cased with iron, and a handle. The share is, besides, attached 
to the pole by a short cross bar of wood. Two oxen, with no 
other harness than yokes, are joined to the pole, and driven by 
the ploughman, who holds the handle in his left hand, and the 
goad in his right. But, although the furrow is not more than 
an inch and a half deep, and the exertion requisite is conse- 
quently very slight, yet the Albanian at his plough is a complete 
picture of reluctant labour. 

Thus in many parts of the country the sowing and reaping of 
the harvest is delegated to the women, the old and the infirm, 
and only those labours which require the strength and skill of 
man, such as the felling of timber, and the cultivation of the 
vineyard, fall to the lot of the young mountaineer. 

Averse from every habit of active industry, it is with less unwil- 



LETTER XII. 



141 



lingness that he wanders on the mountains or in the forests, with 
his flocks and herds ; for the life of the shepherd is a life both of 
laziness and peril. But his supreme delight, when unoccupied 
by the wars of his Pasha or of his village, is to bask in the sun- 
shine, to smoke, to eat, to drink, to dose, or to stroll slowly 
round the garden of his cottage, tinkling his tuneless lute. Yet 
though idle he is still restless, and ready to seize his gun, and 
plunge into the woods, at the first summons of his chief. — Strange 
inconsistency in human nature ! says Tacitus*, when the same 
men are so fond of indolence and so dissatisfied with repose. 

I am, &c. &c. 



* Dc Morib. Germ. cap. χγ. 



LETTER XIII. 

Continuation of the Manners of the Albanians — Expression of 
their Meaning by Sign* — their Liveliness — Passionate Temper 
— their Education — their Language — their Morals — Reli- 
gion — their Nationality — their love of Arms — The Albanian 
Robbers — their Way of Life — and Mode of Attack — their 
Surgeons — The Albanian Dances — Albanians in Foreign Ser- 
vice — in Egypt — Italy — the Morea — under Mustapha Bai- 
ractar — Albanian Settlers — in different Parts of the Levant 
called Wallachians improperly — and in Calabria. 



THE same distaste of trouble, of which mention 
has been made in my last Letter, seems to be apparent in a sin- 
gular habit, prevalent with the Albanians, of expressing their 
meaning by short signs instead of words. Take one or two in- 
stances : — If one of them is asked, whether there is any fear of 
robbers in such a road, and he means to say that there is no 
cause for alarm, he pushes his little red cap over his eyes, as 
much as to say, a man might walk there blindfolded. Some- 
times, instead of saying, " No, not at all ; not the least in the 
world;" he puts the nail of his thumb under his upper fore-teeth, 
and draws it 'out smartly, making the same kind of sound as we 



j Kj g fl g MifiMi ^^ 



LETTER XIII. 



143 



employ in place of the interjection, alas ! It is not very easy to 
know when they mean to answer in the affirmative, and when in 
the negative, as a shake of the head serves both for no and yes. 

But the sluggishness, or rather the hatred of work, observable 
in this nation, by no means carries with it that grave and torpid 
air which is seen in the generality of the Turks. On the con- 
trary, they are lively, and even playful ; and though their home 
sports are not of the active kind, yet they show their delight at 
their Turkish draughts and other sedentary games, by loud 
bursts of laughter, and other signs of childish joy. They are 
very furious also in their expressions of like and dislike ; and as 
they have but little command of their temper, and prefer at all 
times open force to fraud, they make no study of the conceal- 
ment of their passions. We once saw one of them offer to run 
a dirk into his arm, upon the mention of the name of a Greek 
gjrl, with whom he was deeply smitten ; for he drew his weapon, 
and, turning up his sleeve, exclaimed, " Shall I do it ? shall I 
d ^ p" — What satisfaction he could suppose this cutting himself 
could give to his mistress, it is not easy to conjecture. But this 
is a practice also of the Greeks, who perform the sacrifice, not 
with the amorous transport of the Albanian, but out of mere 
c-allantrv, in the presence of their Dulcineas, serenading them and 
drinking to their healths. 

There is nothing more sanguinary in the character of the Alba- 
nians, than in that of the other inhabitants of the Levant ; 
though, as they live under no laws, and each individual is the 
redresser of his own wrongs, bloodshed cannot but frequently 
occur. A blow is revenged, by the meanest amongst them, with 
the instant death of the offender : their military discipline admits 



144 



LETTER XTII. 



of no such punishment, and their soldiers are hanged and behead- 
ed, but never beaten. The custom of wearing arms openly, 
which has been considered as one of the certain signs of barbarity, 
instead of increasing, diminishes the instances of murder, for it is 
not probable that a man will often hazard an oflence, for which 
he may instantly lose his life. They are not of a malignant dis- 
position, and when cruel, with the exception of some tribes, it is 
more from sudden passion than from a principle of revenge. 
Treachery is a vice hardly to be found amongst rhem ; such as 
have experienced your favour, or, as their saying is, have eaten 
your bread, and even those who are hired into your service, are 
entirely to be depended upon ; and are capable often of the 
warmest and most devoted attachment. Take, by the way, that 
this fond fidelity is more observable in the Mahometan, than in 
the Christian Albanians. 

There are very few of them who cannot speak Greek, and, as 
their own is not a written language, a great many write and read 
that tongue. These are very proud of their acquirements, and so 
far from thinking it necessary to conceal their education, display 
their learning as ostentatiously as their valour. AVere an Alba- 
nian to sit for his picture, he would wish to be drawn, like the 
admirable Creichton, with a sword in one hand and a book in the 
other. 

The Turkish language is known but to very few, even of the 
Mahometans amongst them. Of the Albanian language, there is 
collected for your inspection, almost the first specimen ever put 
to paper. The basis of it is said to be Sclavonian, mixed with a 
variety of other tongues, of which the Turkish is most predomi- 
nant, though the modern Greek, the Italian, the French, and 



LETTER XIII 



145 



even words that sound like English, have a share in the composi- 
tion of this strange medley. The infinitive seems to be formed 
by the syllable ti. 

I feel no great inclination to speak of the morals of the Alba- 
nians. Their women, who are almost all of them without educa- 
tion, and speak no other than their native tongue, are considered 
as their cattle, and are used as such, being, except the very- 
superior sort, obliged to labour, and often punished with 
blows. They have, in truth, rather a contempt, and even aver- 
sion for their females, and there is nothing in any of their occa- 
sional inclinations, which can be said to partake of what we call 
the tender passion. Yet all of them get married who can, as 
it is a siffn of wealth, and as they wish to have a domestic slave. 
Besides, as in most parts of the country the females are not nearly 
so numerous as the other sex, the bride often does not bring a 
portion to her husband, but the man to his wife, and he is obliged 
to get together about a thousand piasters, before he can expect to 
be married. 

A young fellow, being asked by us if he was going to get a 
wife, shook his head, and said he was not rich enough. Some 
time afterwards he came to us in great glee, with a letter in his 
hand from his father, part of which he read to us, couched in 
these very words: " I wish you to come home — / have got a wife 
for you." Just as if he had said, I have got a cow for you. 

Though the Mahometans amongst them veil their women, and 
conceal them in their harems, they are said to be less jealous than 
other Turks, and they seldom have more than one wife. In short, 
their habit of life, which forms almost all of them into bands of 
soldiers or outlaws, appears to render them quite independent of 

υ 



145 



LETTER XIII. 



the other sex, whom they never mention, nor seem to miss in 
their usual concerns or amusements. 

The same habit is productive of a system, which is carried by 
them to an extent of which no nation, perhaps, either modern or 
ancient, unless we reluctantly except ihe Thebans, can furnish a 
similar instance. Not even the Gothic Taifali (1 refer you to 
Gibbon for their depraved institution*) could be quoted against 
this assertion, and you should have sufficient proof of its truth, 
were 1 not aware of the propriety of the maxim approved, or pro- 
bably invented by the great Latin historian. " Scelera ostendi 
oporteat (dum puniumtur) flagitia abscond i*j\" After this infor- 
mation, you may consider it very singular that the Albanians are 
exceedingly decent in their outward manners and behaviour, never 
admitting an immodest word or gesture in their conversation, nor 
indulging in that kind of talk, which is the delight of some, even 
above the lower orders, in more civilized parts of the world. But 
this is a part of Mahometan discipline, and though it may appear 
a necessary concomitant of their strange system which destroys 
the natural equality of the sexes, is surely to be admired and 
imitated. 

You may be aware that the Christian religion, if the dearadino• 
superstition of the Greek church can deserve such a title, has been 
far from extirpated by the Mahometan conquerors of Albania. 
Even in the upper country, where the Turks are most predomi- 
nant, several villages of Christians are to be found. On the coast 
nearly all the people are of that religion, some of them being of 
the Latin church. 

* Decline and Fall, cap. 26. 

+ Tacit. De Morib. German, cap. xii. 



LETTER XIII. 



147 



The Turks are not strict in the observance of the Mahometan 
law, though 1 never heard any of them swear by Christ*. The 
Christians adhere pretty closely to the tenets, but pay no sort of 
reverence to the ministers of their church, whom they abuse openly 
and despise, because they are not soldiers, and are considered to 
be slaves, being usually Greeks by nation. 

Lady M. W. Montague, whose book is so commonly read 
that you will scarcely pardon me for quoting rather than referring 
to it, talking of the Arnoots, says, in her agreeable manner — 
" These people, living between Christians and Mahometans, and 
not being skilled in controversy, declare that they are utterly un- 
able to judge which religion is best, but to be certain of not en- 
tirely rejecting the truth, they very prudently follow both. They 
go to the moscks on Fridays, and to the church on Sundays, say- 
ing, for their excuse, that they are sure of protection from the 
true Prophet ; but which that is, they are not able to determine 
in this world/' 

This may have been true in the days of our accomplished coun- 
trywoman, but I could not learn that there is now to be found an 
instance of so philosophical an indifference, or rather of so wise a 
precaution. However, it is certain that the Christians, who can 
fairly be called Albanians, are scarcely, if at all, to be distin- 
guished from the Mahometans. . They carry arms, and many of 
them are enrolled in the service of Λ ii, and differ in no respect 
from his other soldiers. There is a spirit of independence and a 
love of their countn r , in the whole people, that, in a great 
measure, does away the vast distinction, observable in other 



* Voyage en A Ibanic, 119. 
U 2 



& 



LETTER X1TI. 



parts of Turkey, between the followers of the two religions. For 
when the natives of other provinces, upon being asked, who they 
are, will say, " we are Turks" or, " we are Christians/' a man 
of this country answers, " I am an Albanian." The salute also, 
and the shaking of hands, is as much observed between a Turk 
and Christian, as between two Turks or two Christians. 

Nationality, a passion at all times stronger in mountaineers 
than in inhabitants of the plains, is most conspicuous in their 
character. If one of them is travelling from home, and hears of 
a countryman resident near any place which he may pass, though 
he has never seen or heard of the man before, he will go out of 
his way to visit him. 1 have several times witnessed the delight 
they manifest at an accidental meeting of this kind; it is much 
more apparent than the emotion of two English friends on such 
an occasion. But their whole manner is very affectionate, and 
when, after a short absence, an Albanian happens to light upon an 
acquaintance, he gives him his right hand and kisses him on the 
cheek, which is also repeated at parting, when, if they have passed 
upon the road, each, after they have got to a little distance, fires 
off his pistols and his gun. 

No foreign country, nor new sights, can take away from them 
the remembrance and the love of their mountains, their friends, 
and their own villages. They are perpetually recurring to them, 
and making invidious comparisons between their native place, and 
every thing about them in other countries. They consider that 
all other men, whether Turks or Christians, are cowards if opposed 
to their countrymen ; and, in fact, as they have long been ac- 
counted the best soldiers in the Turkish empire, they have some 
reason for the pride which can be discerned in their poorest pea- 



LETTER XIII. 



149 



sants The strut of one of them, and the air of defiance which he 
puts on, with his band on his sabre and his red cap a little on one 
side over his forehead, are such, as no one who has once seen 
them, would ever forget. 

All of them are warriors, and equally capahle of using the sword 
and the long gun ; the latter weapon, when slung across their 
right shoulders, they carry without any apparent effort, running 
up their hills with great ease and agility. As all of them carry 
arms, it is not easy to distinguish a soldier in service from a pea- 
sant ; though perhaps the surest distinction is the sabre, which, 
as has been said, is seldom worn publicly, except by those in the 
employment of their Pasha. However, most of their cottages 
are furnished both with this weapon and with pistols. Nor are 
their arms for show, for, until very lately, (and in some parts it is 
the case even now), every district was either upon the defensive 
against the bands of robbers, or was in alliance with them, and 
in rebellion against the Pashas of the Porte. Some of almost 
every village have belonged to these bands, and as no disgrace is 
attached to plundering upon so large a scale, it is very common 
to hear a man say, " when I was a robber." 

It is early in the summer that these banditti, in bodies of two, 
five, and seven hundred, and sometimes even of a thousand, as- 
semble under some formidable chief, and leaving the towns and 
villages where they have separately passed the winter, retire to the 
summits of the most lofty mountains. The recesses of Metzovo, 
and of the hills now called Agrapha, at the bottom of the gulf of 
Arta, which command, as it were, the passes from Greece and 
Thessaly into Albania, are amongst their most favourite haunts. 
They live some in caves, but many of them in the open air, under 



ι— ———I 



150 



LETTER XIII. 



no other covering than their capotes. The flocks of the shep- 
herds, who are in concert with them, supply them with meat, 
and in the night-time they steal down singly into the villages in 
their alliance, and procure bread. No violence is used on this 
occasion ; the messenger taps gently at the door of the cottages, 
and whispering the words, fci Bread, bread," (psome, psome) is 
immediately understood by the peasant, and provided with what 
he wants. A traveller has some chance of being awakened in his 
humble lodging by one of these midnight visitants ; but would 
hardly guess what sort of character, or whose purveyor, he 
really was. Their drink is water only, and they are very parti- 
cular in the choice of their springs. They have spies throughout 
the country, to give them notice of the approach of an enemy, 
or of any whom they may plunder ; and, as they are always on 
the alert, they move instantly, on such intelligence, from the 
tops of the hills, and occupy the passes in the woods. 

In their mode of attack they are extremely cautious. They 
lie patiently, and in dead silence, perhaps for hours, covered with 
leaves, behind stones, in the water-courses, or in the thickets, 
on each side of the road. They suffer their prey to get into the 
midst of them, when, if the party be armed or numerous, they 
fire upon them suddenly without rising, and continue to do so, 
unless beaten, until they have made their adversaries throw down 
their arms, and ask for quarter. J η that case, the prisoners are 
then gagged, and bound, and plundered; and if there be amongst 
them a man of consequence, the robbers make him write to his 
friends for a ransom of so many thousand piasters* and, if the 
money arrives, they release him ; if n does not, they cut oif his 
head, or keep him amongst them until they disperse. 



c^Mmmimmmmm 



mm 



LETTER XIII. 



151 



If there is no probability of their being resisted, they start up 
at once, without firing, and seize their plunder. Resistance is 
often made with success, and with very little bloodshed ; for, on 
the first shot being fired, the attacked run different ways, get 
behind stones and trees, and return the fire upon the robbers, 
who, unless they are very superior in number, do not attempt to 
dislodge them with the sabre, but continue under cover, or re- 
treat. 

An English gentleman travelling in the country, had the op- 
portunity of seeing one of these skirmishes: he told me the story 
at Ioannina. He was escorted by thirty soldiers of All's. In 
passing a road, with a rocky hill on one side and a wood on the 
other, thirty-five Albanians suddenly made their appearance: the 
guard instantly began to climb up the hill, and get under cover 
of the rocks ; firing from behind the stones, and striving with 
their adversaries, which should get the most elevated station to 
defend. They continued jumping from crag to crag, dropping 
down, and firing at each other for twenty minutes, leaving the 
Englishman in the road, till, at last, the two parties discovered 
that each of them belonged to the Pasha, and that they had mu- 
tually mistaken each other for robbers. During the whole con- 
test, not one of either side had been even wounded. However, 
it is not owing to cowardice, but custom, that they always fight 
in this manner, as well in open warfare as in these petty battles in 
their own mountains, except where they have any cavalry em- 
ployed, or where, as in the affair of Prevesa, there is a great 
disproportion between the numbers of the enemy and their own 
force. But their fights are not always bloodless : whatever was 
done against the Russians during the last campaign, was done by 
Mouctar Pasha and his Albanian troops. 



152 



LETTER XIII. 



The life they lead in the course of their profession as plun- 
derers, enables them to support every hardship, and to take the 
field, when in regular service, without baggage or tents of any 
kind If badly wounded, they leave their corps, and retire to 
their homes until they are cured, when they return to the field. 
Many amongst them know how, in their rude manner, to heal a 
wound, and set a bone, and they even attempt the more delicate 
operations of surgery. — The Trench Consul at Athens was per- 
suaded to trust a very valuable life in the hands of one of them, 
and was so fortunate as to be relieved by the complete reduction 
and cure of a hernia, under which he had long laboured. 

After the tops of the mountains become untenable from the 
snow and rain of autumn, these bands of outlaws leave their 
haunts, and usually separate ; many of them going into the 
towns of Livadia, Thebes, Athens, the Negropon're, and also 
over to Corfu, and to Santa Maura, where they live upon their 
plunder, or go into some employment, which they always quit 
on a stated day in the spring. 

Robbing and stealing are reckoned two entirely different things. 
Very few amongst them are ever guilty of the latter vice; not so 
many, perhaps, as of the lower orders in many other nations. 
Not only the youth of the Albanians is exercised in arms, but 
their manhood, and even their advanced age ; and it is not till 
years and infirmities have made them decrepid, that they become 
the constant tenants of their cottages. 

Although lazy in the intervals of peace, there is one amuse- 
ment of which (as it reminds them of their wars, and is, in itself, 
a sort of friendly contest) they partake with the most persevering 
energy and outrageous glee. 1 allude to their dances, which, 
though principally resorted to after the fatigues of a march, and 



jiiitfgigtiiMi 



m 



LETT EH XIII. 



153 



during their nights on the mountains, are yet occasionally their 
diversion on the green of their own villages. 

There is in them only one variety : either the hands of the 
party (a dozen, or more, in number) are locked in each other 
behind their backs; or every man has a handkerchief in his hand, 
which is held by the next to him, and so on through a long 
string of them. The first is a slow dance. The party stand in a 
semicircle ; and their musicians in the middle, a fiddler, and a 
man with a lute, continue walking from side to side, accompany- 
ing with their music the movements, which are nothing but the 
bending and unbending of the two ends of the semicircle, with 
some very slow footing, and now and then a hop. 

But in the handkerchief dance, which is accompanied by a 
song from themselves, or which is, more properly speaking, only 
dancing to a song, they are very violent. It is upon the leader 
of the string, that the principal movements devolve, and all the 
party take this place by turns. He begins at first opening the 
song, and footing quietly from side to side ; then he hops quickly 
forward, dragging the whole string after him in a circle; and then 
twirls round, dropping frequently on his knee, and rebounding 
from the ground with a shout ; every one repeating the burden of 
the song, and following the example of the leader, who, after 
hopping, twirling, dropping on the knee, and bounding up again 
several times round and round, resigns his place to the man next 
to hiin. The new Coryphoeus leads them through the same evo- 
lutions, but endeavours to exceed his predecessor in the quick- 
ness and violence of his measures; and thus they continue at this 
sport for several hours, with very short intervals ; seeming to de- 
rive fresh vigour from the words of the song, which is perhaps 
changed once or twice during the whole time. 

χ 



154 



tETTER XIII. 



In order to give additional force to their vocal music, it is not 
unusual for two or three old men of the party to sit in the middle 
of the ring, and set the words of the song at the beginning of 
each verse, at the same time with the leader of the string ; and 
one of them has often a lute to accompany their voices. 

You should have been told, that this lute is a very simple in- 
strument — a three-stringed guitar with a very long neck and a 
small round base, whose music is very monotonous, and whicla is 
played with, what }ou will excuse me for calling, a plectrum, 
made of a piece of quill, half an inch in length. The majority 
of the Albanians can play on this lute, which, however, is only 
used for, and capable of those notes that are just sufficient for 
the accompaniment and marking the time of their songs. 

The same dance can be executed by one performer, who, in 
that case, does not himself sing, but dances to the voice and lute 
of a single musician. We saw a boy of fifteen, who, by some 
variation of the figure, and by the ease with which he performed 
the pirouette, and the other difficult movements, made a very 
agreeable spectacle of this singular performance. 

There is something hazardous, though alluring, in attempting 
to discover points of resemblance between modern and ancient 
customs ; yet one may venture to hint, that the Albanians, from 
whomsoever they may have learnt the practice, preserve in this 
amusement something very similar to the military dances of 
which we find notice in Classic authors. At the same time, one 
would not, a3 several French travellers have done, talk of the 
Pyrrhic dance of the Arnoots. Look into Xenophon for a de- 
scription of the Greek and barbarian dances with which he en- 
tertained some foreign ambassadors, and you will fix upon the 
Persian, as bearing the nearest resemblance to the modern dance ; 



LETTER XIII. 



155 



tor in that, the performer dropped on the knee and rose again, 
and all this he did in regular measure to the sound of the flute'*. 

In the account given of the armed dances of the Laconians, 
you might also recognise the curious contortions and twirlings of 
the Albanians, whose sudden inflexions of the body into every 
posture, seem indeed as if they were made to ward and give 
blows. 

But to return to the characteristic of this nation. Their love 
of arms is so ardent, that those who may fear too long an inter- 
val of peace in their own country, enter into the service of the 
Pashas in every part of the Turkish empire. The guard of the 
sacred banner from Mecca to Constantinople, used to be en- 
trusted to one hundred and fifty of them, armed and dressed in 
their own fashion. The traveller Browne saw them pass through 
Damascus in procession. Egypt is at present in their hands, 
under a Bey, a friend of Ali Pasha's ; and it was, in a great mea- 
sure, their troops who compelled our unfortunate army to retreat 
from that country. 

The Stradiotes, or Albanian cavalry, made a conspicuous figure 
in the old Italian wars ; and the coast, to this day, has furnished 
the Kings of Naples with a regiment. Some of them we have 
seen in our service at Malta. 

The famous Ghalil, commonly called Patrona, was an Alba- 



* Τέλος Si το Πί/χπκον 'ω/»χε*το κρότων τα,ς• πίλτας• κχ\ ωκλαζί, xou κνΙ(ττχτο % 
χ,αι ταύτα πύντχ ιν ρυθ^ω ττρος τον αυλον iirUn. — Lib. 6. Xcnop. Cy. Anab, 
p. 426 ; where, in a note, there is a reference to Meursius' Laconian Miscel- 
lanies, book ii. chap. 12, which describes the armed dance performed — " cum 
omni corporum flexu ad inferendos et declinandos ictus." To learn the Pyrrhic 
dance, was part of the duty of the Roman legionary soldier. 

x 2 



156 



LETTER XIII. 



nian. This man, though a common seaman and a pedlar, headed 
the insurrection of 1730, in which Sultan Achmet III. was de- 
throned, and with a success of which neither ancient nor modern 
history can furnish another instance, remained for three weeks 
absolute master of Constantinople. 

The Morea has been perpetually disturbed by those of this 
restless people, who have been either long settled in the country, 
or who (since they were called in to quell the insurrection of the 
Greeks in the year 1770) have constituted the guard of the Pasha 
of Tripolizza. These formerly amounted to about six thousand ; 
they are now under Veli Pasha, not quite so many. In the year 
1799 they marched from Napoli di Romania, and were near sur- 
prising the city of Tripolizza itself. 

The troops with which Mustapha Bairactar opposed and 
quelled the Janissaries, were principally Albanians; and since 
the death of that daring Vizier, the appearance of one of this 
nation in the streets of Constantinople, as it was once formidable, 
is now displeasing, to their late enemies. A man boasted, in my 
hearing, that a friend of his had made forty J anissaries fly before 
him, and that any Arnoot could do the same. Without believ- 
ing the enormous superiority^ you may by this form some notion 
of the spirit of the people. 

But all these mountaineers who enter into service abroad, de- 
pend upon a return to their own country. Those belonging to 
the Pasha of the Morea have more than once attempted to force 
the guard of the Isthmus; and some, who were in a Sicilian regi- 
ment in our pay, on finding that they were enlisted for life, oc- 
casioned a very serious disturbance in the garrison at Malta. 
You will be pleased to recollect, that what has been said of the 



msail^mmt*^^ 



LETTER Χ Γ If. 



Albanians, relates only to tliose who are natives or, at least, im- 
mediately sprung from natives of Albania ; for there are settle- 
ments of this people to be met with in other parts of Turkey in 
Europe, and in the islands, who are nothing but miserable 
labourers, employed to attend ihe flocks and till the grounds of 
the rich Turks and Greeks. There are many of them in the dis- 
trict of Livadia, and in that of Attica, who can speak no other 
language but their own, and are all Christians ; their ancestors 
having, most probably, left the mountains when the Torks first 
entered into Albania, or having been settled there since the first 
irruption of the Sclavonians into Greece. 

These have been improperly called Wallachians, by travellers, 
whose errors have been copied by more accurate writers*. Gib- 
bon, in his Sketch of Modern Athens, calls them by that name, 
although he might have rectified the mistake by looking into 
Chandler, who is, however, himself incorrect, in saying that they 
wear a different dress from the Greek peasants, and are of a dis- 
tinguished spirit and bravery. The woollen jacket and loose 
brogues are common to both, though perhaps the cotton kilt may 
be occasionally found amongst the former people; and as for their 
superiority to the other villagers, it seemed to me that they had 
assimilated with the surrounding slaves. 

You may read in Tournefort, that Marco Sanudo, Duke of 

* Yet the positive Mr. De Pauw insists that these people are Wallachians, 
and descended from the Roman colonies set I ted by Trajan in Dacia. In proof 
of this, he refers to a note of Mr. D'Anville, in vol. xxx, of the Academy of 
Inscriptions, and to a work called " Etats formes apres la chute de riimpiie 
Remain en Occident." A view of these authorities might make me alter my 
opinion ; but not being able io consult them, I have followed the conviction 
produced by my own experience, and the opinion, universally prevalent amongst 
these settlers themselves, that they are Ainoots. 



158 



LETTER ΧΙΙί 



Nio, one of the small islands of the Archipelago, sent for Alba- 
nian families to cultivate his little dominions ; and the same anec- 
dote will serve to show you, what sort of reputation all people of 
this name possess in the Levant ; for Mr. Sonnini, determined to 
find no fault with his favourite Greeks, and being obliged to own 
that the Archipelago is infested with pirates, can only account for 
the circumstance, by referring all the robberies to the Albanians 
settled by Duke Marco at Nio. 

But the fact is, that these colonists, except in their patience 
of fatigue and frugality, have but little of the spirit of the moun- 
taineers of Albania, and are looked upon by them as a different 
race of people. Some of them are to be found to this day in 
Calabria, whither they retired when the Castriotes were invested 
with a Neapolitan dukedom. They were seen by Mr. Swinburne, 
and were found to have preserved the language and manners of 
their nation. They amounted in his time, a little more than 
thirty years ago, to one hundred thousand, their ancestors hav- 
ing continued to emigrate as late as the reign of Charles the 
Fifth. They lived in about a hundred villages or towns, the 
chief of which was Bova, thirty miles from Reggio. The men 
were able to talk Calabrese ; but the women, like those in Alba- 
nia, were acquainted with no other than their own language. 
All but those in the province of Cosenza were of the Latin 
church ; and a college founded by Pope Clement XJL at St. 
Benedetto Ullano, in Upper Calabria, supplied the priesthood 
with ministers. They wore the Albanian oress. The men were 
poor and industrious, the women modest. The priests were held 
in the highest reverence and estimation. 

I am, &c. &c. 



mmmm 



■ϋ 



I 



■ 



LETTER XIV. 

Different Governments in Albania — The different Districts — 
Arta — Ioannina — Sagori — The Pashulik of Oerida — Course 
of the River Drin — The Scene of Scandei'begs Battles — The 
Pashalik of Scutari — Antivari — Oulcigno — Lyssa—Durazzo 
— The Rivers Mattia, Semne, and Crevasta — the A'ous, or 
Polina — its Course from Tepellene — Berat, or Arnaut Beli- 
grat — Rtiins of Apollonia — The River Salnich — The Pasha- 
lih and Tozim of Vallona — The Acroceraunians — Chimera — 
Manners of the Chimeriotes — Butrinto — Ruins of Buthro- 
tum — Philathi — The River Tin/amis — Margiriti — The Town 
ofParga — The Glykyslimen, or Port of Sweet Waters — Ache- 
rusian Lake — ancient Geography of the Coast — Length of 
JEpirus — Sulli — Route from Ioannina to that Place — Para- 
mithi — Position and Extent of the Mountains of Sulli — The 
Villages of Sulli — Wars of the Sulliotes with Ali Pasha — 
their present Condition — Loru — Population of 4 Mania — Cli- 
mate and Temperature — Tepelleni. 



SPECIMENS of almost every sort of government 
are to be found in Albania. Some districts and towns are com- 
manded by one man, under the Turkish title of Bolu-bashe, or 



1 

Ε 



I GO 



LETTER Χ IV-. 



the Greek name of Capital), which they have borrowed from 
Christendom. Others obey their elders ; others are under no 
subjection, but each man commands his own family. The power, 
in some places, is in abeyance ; and although there is no appa- 
rent anarchy, there are no rulers: this was the case, in our time, 
at the large city of Argyro-castro. There are parts of the coun- 
try, where every Aga or Bey, which perhaps may answer to our 
ancient country squire, is a petty chieftain, exercising every rio-ht 
over the men of his village. The Porte, which, in the days of 
Ottoman greatness, divided the country into several small pasha- 
liks and comraanderies, is now but little respected, and the limits 
of her different divisions are confused and forgotten ; hut the 
powerful despotism of Ali may, for his life-time, destroy all dis- 
tinctions, even as yet to be seen in the governments, and conse- 
quently in the character of the various inhabitants of Albania. 

This leads me to speak of the different districts of this impor- 
tant province. — Of Arta and loannina I have given you an im- 
perfect sketch. Both those cantons are chiefly inhabited by 
Greeks, and are in complete subjection to Ali. 

Immediately to the north of loannina, the mountains of Sagori 
are peopled by Greeks, whose villages were long considered inde- 
pendent, and even now rather enjoy the protection than feel the 
power of the Pasha. The Sagorites, who live on the flat summits 
of the hills, anciently called Lingon, are most of them petty 
traders, and their commerce with foreigners has given them a 
gentleness of manner and disposition, to be found in no other 
inhabitants of Albania. Their chief town, Sagori, is about thirty- 
six miles, or twelve hours, from loannina. The north-western 
declivities of the mountains of Sagori, winch verge towards the 



UH 



LETTER XIV. 



161 



valley of Tepellene, are peopled by Albanians of a savage tem- 
per, whose women, says Poukeville, are warriors. 

To the north and north-east, beyond Sagori, is the pashalik of 
Ocrida, which extends along both sides of the river Drin, the 
ancient Drilo. This river rises in the northern extremity of the 
mountains of Sagori, and, after running twenty-four miles to the 
north, falls into the lake of Ocrida : thence it proceeds, still 
northwards, till joined by another river, the White Drin, when 
it goes to the south-west, and forms part of the boundary towards 
Dalmatia and Bosnia ; at last it flows south, and falls into the 
Adriatic a little below Lyssa. 

The Albanians of the pashalik of Ocrida are reckoned some of 
the most ferocious and the best soldiers of the whole province. 
They are nearly all Turks, having but a few Christian villages 
amongst them. It is in some part of their district, I believe, 
that the Geghides inhabit, notorious as the most savage tribe in 
the country. We saw some of them at Tepellene ; they were 
distinguished by dusky red jackets, and red shawls, and had come 
to pay their court to Ali, the real, though not the reputed, mas- 
ter of great part of their pashalik. 

The Bosnian Turks, their neighbours, arc equally renowned 
for barbarity and valour. 

This part of the country was the principal scene of the exploits 
of Scanderbeg ; but a traveller would be disappointed, who 
should look into the life and deeds of that hero, as described by 
Barletius, and expect to find all the places alluded to as the thea- 
tre of his actions. Croia, his capital, that so long resisted the 
arms of Amurath and Mahomet, is now a miserable village : it 
is twenty-seven miles from Durazzo. Dibra, one of the ancient 
Deborus's, on the Drilo, called by the biographer the chief town 

γ 



162 



LETTER XIV. 



in Epirus, and seventy miles from Croia, is a very inconsiderable 
place. But Dayna, a town, and Alocreas, a valley, on the fron- 
tiers, Oronoche, in the country of Dibra, the plains of the lesser 
Tyranna, near Croia, Petrella, Petra Alba, Stellusa, and the 
impregnable Sfetigrade, perched like an eagle's nest on the top of 
a rock near Dibra — all these places, which witnessed the triumphs 
of the modern Alexander, would, I fear, be in vain sought in 
the most correct topography of Albania. In the account of Bar- 
letius, which I read as detailed by Knolles, never having seen 
the original, I find that the hero rode from the neighbourhood of 
Lyssa, on the Adriatic, in one evening, to the top of a mountain 
called Tumenist, whence he might see the plain of Pharsalia, and 
that he returned to his camp at midnight. Is it possible to re- 
concile this story with the geography of the country ? 

To the west of the pashalik of Ocrida is that of Scutari, or 
Iscoudar, which is bounded to the south by the chain of moun- 
tains above Tepellene, and to the north by the country of the 
Monte-negrins, or the black mountaineers. It is extensive, and 
comprehends the fine plain washed by the Drin, as far as the 
city of Durazzo to the south. It is obliged, by the regulations 
of the Porte, to furnish six hundred soldiers to the Ottoman 
armies, and is reckoned the eighth under the Beglerbey of Ro- 
mania. Scutari itself is twenty-one miles from the sea, to the 
north of the Drin, on the banks of a river called Boiana bv the 
Venetians : it contains twelve thousand inhabitants, with a few 
exceptions, all Turks, and is at present governed by a Pasha, who 
is a restless and turbulent man, and the only counterpoise to the 
power of Ali. Not far from the city is the lake of Scutari, the 
Labeatis palus, the most considerable in Albania. 

Antivari, the roost northern Albanian town on the coast, is tlv. 



LETTER XIV. 



163 



port of Scutari, and the depot of the valley of the Drin, the 
chief manufacture of which is shoe-leather. It is inhabited en- 
tirely by Turks, all seamen, as are the people of the neigh- 
bouring town of Dulcigno, which is in possession of six thou- 
sand pirates, who issue, as the Illyrians did of old, from the 
same port of Olcinium, to plunder the merchant ships of all nations. 

The Dulcigniotes, and those of Antivari, enter into the naval 
service of the Barbary powers, and are the only Albanians who 
have the least acquaintance with the management of a ship, or 
willingly trust themselves at sea. A few armed galliots belong- 
ing to Ali, and usually moored in the port of Prevesa, are man- 
ned by some of these people. They are accounted cruel and 
treacherous. A Dulcigniote ship fell in with the small vessels 
under convoy of the brig of war that conveyed us to Prevesa, 
and immediately began firing amongst them ; but was soon 
silenced, and brought to, by a shot from the man of war. The 
Captain and crew, between thirty and forty men, when brought 
on board, said they were saluting the fleet; and on this plea, 
after being confined a day or two, were released at Prevesa. The 
ship was furnished with six small guns, and crammed with mus- 
kets, swords, and pistols. The looks of the sailors were suffi- 
cient to condemn them ; but they had a pass from Ali Pasha, 
which the English cruisers are directed to respect. 

Following down the coast, we find the \ r enetian towns of Lyssa, 
or Alessio, and Durazzo*. After Durazzo, are the mouths of the 
rivers Mattia, Semne, and Crevasta. To these succeeds the river 
of Tepellene, which is laid down in the modern maps as the Vooussa, 
though I never heard it so denominated by the people of the 

* Durazzo is in the latitude of 11 degrees 27 minutes. An ancient author 
calls it the key of the Adriatic. 

γ 2 



164 



LETTER XIV. 



country. This river, a short time after it passes Tepellene, begins 
to widen, and flows westward till it falls into the Adriatic. 

Twelve hours distance from the native place of Ali, on the 
north bank of the river Crevasta, is the town of Berat, the Alba- 
nian Belgrade, and the Elyma of Mr. D' Anville : it is considered 
the strong-hold of the pashalik of Vallona, and is defended by a 
fortress mounting forty cannon. On the south bank of the rivet 
above the Crevasta, close to the sea, is a town called Cavailla, 
whence is exported the finest timber of Albania ; and at a little 
more than a mile from the north bank of the Crevasta itself, at 
about seven miles from the shore, is the small town of Polina, 
where a few ruins denote the site of the celebrated city of Apollo- 
nia. The whole interior of these districts belongs to Ali, who, 
whilst we were at Tepellene, had reduced Ibrahim, Pasha of Val- 
lona, to confine himself in Berat. Whilst at Athens, we under- 
stood that Berat itself had submitted ; and that Ibrahim had fled 
to Vallona, whose walls had become the boundaries of his territory. 
The detail in Meletius* makes the river near Durazzo the ancient 
Panyassusand modern Spirnazza; the succeeding stream, the Ap- 
sus, now the Cavrioni; the next the Loos, or Aous, at present the 
Vooussa ; and the last, the Celydnus, now called the Salnich : but 
this topography cannot be correct, for he puts Apollonia on the 
Vooussa, although that river is the nearest on the coast to the north 
of Vallona. 

Vallona -J-, once Aulon, is a town and port at the bottom of a 
gulf, anciently called the Gulf of Oricum, and supplies Upper 

* ΑΛΒΑΝΙΑ, pp. 306, 307. 

.+ Vallona is called by the Italians La Vallona. A chart of the gulf, and of 
the neighbouring country, was laid down in 1G90, by a Venetian engineer, 
named Alberghetti. 



tf*u< 



mm 



ϋϋϋ.: .mmijjujm*^^ 



LETTER XIV, 



16*5 



Albania with the articles of Italian manufacture in use amongst 
the natives — gun and pistol barrels, glass, paper, and Calabrian 
capotes. It exports the oils, wools, gall, nut, and timber, of the 
surrounding country. It is inhabited chiefly by Turks ; yet in 
this place, as well as along the whole coast, even from Ragusa, 
are found some Christians of the Latin church, whose ecclesias- 
tical superior is the Bishop of Monte-negro. 

Immediately to the south of Vallona, begins the mountainous 
district of Chimera, the Chaonia of the ancients. A narrow strip 
of high rocks runs into the sea towards the north, whose point 
is called Glossa by the Greeks, and La Linguetta by the Ita- 
lians. At the bottom of the gulf, inclosed by this projection, are 
the ruins of the fortress of Canina, on a rock, once garrisoned 
by the Turks, and a small port answering to Oricum, into which 
flows a river that has its source in the tops of Pindus*. The 
Chimeriote mountains extend along the coast as far as the district 
of Butrinto, and are bounded on the east and north-east by the 
hills of Argyro-castro. — There are several petty ports where Chi- 
mera, Panormus, and Onchesmus, were formerly situated. Of 
these Panormus, now the Porto Palermo of the Italians, is the 
most considerable. Chimera once had a fortress defended by 
three hundred Turks, who, in the year 1570, during the reign 
of Sultan Selim the Second, were expelled by the mountaineers. 
Reading the transactions of the same reign, you will find men- 
tion of the town of Cestria, or Suppoto, on the coast -f•. 

The Chimeriotes near the sea, are many of them Christians, 
but in the interior they are nearly all Turks. They are very bar- 



* Herod. Calliope, iii. 93. 



t Knolles, p. 819. 



166 



LETTER XIV. 



barous and warlike ; and though all of them are at peace with, 
or perhaps almost under the subjection of Ali, their different vil- 
lages are in a state of perpetual warfare with each other. Inha- 
bitants of those savage rocks, which the fancy of ancient poets 
has delighted to paint in the most terrific colours, they appear 
the ferocious offspring of a rugged soil. They are distinguished, 
even in a land of barbarians, for the singular cruelty and impla- 
cability of their disposition. They never lose sight of their re- 
venge. Amongst them a murderer is pursued by the family of 
the deceased : neither time nor future benefits can obliterate the 
injury, which can only be expiated by the blood of the offender, 
or of one of his kin. Thus the protection of an individual often 
becomes the concern of his village ; and the friends of the pro- 
voked party also flying to arms, the enmity spreads from families 
to towns, and from towns to districts. The men of one moun- 
tain watch those of a neighbouring hill, and neither sow nor reap, 
nor tend their flocks, singly or unarmed. Should one of them 
wander beyond the precincts of protection,- he would be stalked, 
like a deer, and shot without seeing his enemy. 

The Chimeriote Christians would voluntarily enter into the 
service of any foreign power ; and as the Captains of their vil- 
lages have some of them great influence, it would be no difficult 
matter to raise a strong body of forces in the country. We saw 
a Chimeriote at Malta, a person of great address, who had come 
to that island with an offer of raising three thousand men instantly 
for the service of the British government. 

The soil in the valleys of Chimera yields olives and maize in 
great quantities, but not many vines. The inhabitants contrive 
to lay as much of the produce of their lands, as, with the 



LETTER XIV. 



167 



fleeces of their flocks, and the gall-nuts and timber of their forests, 
enables them to supply themselves with arms, and carry on a 
small traflic at Vallona, and Porto Palermo, and in the small 
ports of their coast. 

To the south of the Chimeriote mountains is the district of 
Butrinto, bounded to the east by the pashalik of Delvino, a town 
twenty-one miles distant. Butrinto (near which, if we may credit 
Poukeville, are to be seen some remains of the " lofty" city of 
Buthrotum) was so long in the possession of the Venetians, that 
the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood are, for the most 
part, Christians of the Latin church ; and there is a Roman Ca- 
tholic Bishop established in the place, who is equally protected 
by his present master, Ali, as he was by the French. Near the 
town is a village called Mauroli, to the south of which runs a 
river, Pavla, and to the east another small stream, both of them 
emptying themselves into a lake once named Anchises, now Pe- 
lotti, I suppose from the old port Pelodes. This I copy from 
the account of the French officers, who, it seems, were more 
fortunate than iEneas in finding both the Simois and the Xan- 
thus of lielenus ; for the Trojan hero saw only the former 
river ; the channel of the Scamander was unwashed by any 
wave. 

From Butrinto, going along the coast of the very narrow sea 
that separates Corfu from the main land, the traveller arrives in 
three hours at Kcraka, the principal port of the inhabitants of a 
district, whose chief town is Philathi, and which, as the word 
imports in modern Greek, abounds in olives. The Philathiotes 
inhabit, for the distance of sixteen or seventeen miles to the 
eastward, both banks of a river, that appears to correspond with 



168 



LETTER XIV. 



the Thyamis of Thucy elides* and Strabo-j*. The Thyamis sepa- 
rated Thesprotia from the district of Cestrine, and flowed near 
the Acherusian lake. The Philathiotes are stated to amount to 
between six and eight thousand, mostly Christians, who are kept 
in awe of Ali by a guard of soldiers quartered in the villages of 
Gomenizza and Sayades, a little farther to the south on the 
coast. They transport their oils, and the flocks and herds with 
which their country abounds, to Corfu ; nor can all the vigi- 
lance of our cruisers cut off their supplies of provisions from the 
French. 

The east and south-east of Philathi, a country, which an acci- 
dent gave us the opportunity of seeing at a distance, is a moun- 
tainous district, belonging to a town called Margiriti, inhabited 
principally by Turks, and scarcely in subjection to the Pasha ol 
foannina. Margiriti is governed by a Bolu-bashe, or Captain. 

On a peninsula jutting out from the district of Margiriti, is 
the town of Parga, which is fortified, and has two ports. It 
stands on the south corner of the Glykyslimen, or Port of Sweet 
Waters, in groves of orange, lemon, and olive trees, and contains 
eight thousand inhabitants, who are chiefly Christians, and of 
both churches. Parga was put into the hands of the French by 
the treaty of Campo Formio ; but they, in a great measure, left 
the inhabitants to defend themselves against All, after the battle 
of Prevesa, though they have since been established in the town, 
and call it under their protection. Parga is the only place in this 
quarter, that has been able to resist the arms and arts of Ali. 
Their Sulliote allies were not so fortunate ; but the Pasha has his 



* Thucyd. lib. i. cap. 47. 



t Sirab. lib. \#. 



■m 



■ι 



LETTER XIV. 



169 



attention still fixed upon this town, and will probably succeed in 
his designs. 

The character of the Pargotes is amongst the worst of the 
Albanians: their connexion with the Christian states has taught 
them only the vices of civilization, and they are not less ferocious, 
but are become more refined in their cruelty and violence. Their 
town is the refuge of many of the robbers whom AIL has driven 
from the mountains. 

Towards the head of the Glykyslimen, now called Port Veliki, 
is a reedy marsh, which runs some distance into the land. Time 
may have produced a communication between the fresh waters 
and the sea; and I cannot help thinking, although no lake is now 
to be seen, and notwithstanding the positive assertion of Pouque- 
ville, and of the learned person who laid down the maps of Ana- 
charsis, that ancient and modern charts have been correct in 
placing the Acherusian lake at the head of this bay. It is, how- 
ever, but fair to mention, that Pliny* says, that the Acheron, after 
leaving the Acherusian lake, flows thirty-six miles to the Ambra- 
cian Gulf, and that Mr. Barbie du Boccage is supported by Me- 
letius, who says there are two Acherusian lakes in Epirus -f\ 

From the extremity of the Acroceraunians to the mouth of the 
Ambracian Gulf, a distance of thirteen hundred stadia (one hun- 
dred and sixty-two Roman miles and a half), and the greatest 
length of ancient Epirus, the whole line of coast has been mi- 
nutely noted, and we might expect to find ourselves familiar with 
every port and headland. 

When not far from Parga, we saw the promontory of Chimse- 



* Jjib. iv. cap. 1. 



+ ΗΠΕΙΡΟΣ, pp. 317, 319. 



170 



LETTER XIV. 



rium above the town, and the small islands called Sjbota, the 
scene of the first action fought in the Peloponesian war. The 
features of nature may have undergone but little change since 
the time the Corinthians encamped on the promontory; but it 
would be a vain endeavour to look for even a vestige of the town 
of Bucha3tium near the headland, of Cichyris, formerly Ephyre, 
at the head of the Glykyslimen, or of Pandosia, near the Ache- 
rusian lake, or Elatria and Batioe, inland cities of the Cassopaean 
Epirotes. Strabo calls this a favoured region. Buthrotum was a 
Roman colony ; and Atticus had an estate and villa which he 
called Amalthea*, somewhere in the neighbourhood of the modern 
town of Parga. 

The first mention I find of that place, is in the transactions of 
the reign of Sultan Solyman the Magnificent. A village near it 
produced the famous Pasha Abraham, who conquered Arabia, 
Assyria, and Mesopotamia, and by the help of Barbarossa, re- 
duced Tunis and Algiers. The posts of Ali advance close upon 
Parga, and make part of the guard chosen to preserve the con- 
quered territory of Sulli, of which district, though it will be fore- 
stalling the account of what we saw when thrown upon that coast, 
I will now tell all I have been able to collect, previously noticing 
the contiguous district of Paramithi. 

This place, called also Agio-Donato and Aidoni by the Turks, 
is the chief town of a mountainous district about thirty-six 
miles in circumference, containing fifteen thousand inhabitants, 
formerly living in independent villages, but now governed by 
Captains, all underan Aga, appointed by Ali. The account given,. 



* Epist. Ciccr. lib. i. Ep. 13, ad Alt. 



LETTER XIV. 



171 



in the Survey of the Turkish Empire, of the Paramithiotes, re- 
presents them to be cruel and revengeful, living under no govern- 
ment, but every family administering justice amongst themselves; 
it declares that some of them are Turks, some Christians, but not 
strict in either religion; intermarrying with each other, and boiling a 
piece of mutton and a piece of pork in the same pot for the wife and 
husband of different persuasions; and it adds, that they are peculiarly 
addicted to catching Franks and other strangers, and selling them 
in the public market. At present, however, they are not to be 
distinguished from any other of the subjects of Ali, and a tra- 
veller might appear in the market of Paramithi without being an 
article of merchandize. 

From Paramithi there are three roads, one to Margiriti ; an- 
other to Parga ; and a third, of twelve miles, to Sulli. 

The mountains of Sulli extend thirty miles from north to south, 
and about the same length transversely. Towards the east they 
have the district of Arta, and to the south-east, and south, that 
of Loru : between them and the shore, is a strip of land called 
Fanari. Philathi and Paramithi are to the north and north-east. 
At the eastern foot of the mountains there is a plain of some ex- 
tent, where there are four villages. The whole country contains 
eighteen villages. There are on the side of Nicopolis two distinct 
summits of hills. The highest post, where there is a building that 
appeared to me like a fort, is called Laka, on the top of a coni- 
cal mountain inaccessible on every side but one, where the approach 
to it is a small winding path cut out of the rock. A little below 
Laka, is Sulli itself, called Mega, or Kako-Sulli. Below Sulli is 
Samonissa, a fort ; then Tripa (the cavity) a principal post, sur- 
rounded £>y a rampart or wall ; below Tripa is Klysoura ; and 



ο 



172 



LETTER XIV. 



next to that Skoutias, on the brink of the ravine formed by the 
two hills. There are other villages, all of them on the top of 
formidable mountains: Kiafa, near Sulli, Agia Pareskevi, Zagari, 
Perikati, Vounon, Zavoukon, Panaia tou Glykos, and Milos. 

The contest between Ali and the inhabitants of these mountainous 
villages continued thirteen years ; and the wars of Sulli and Parga 
are recorded in a work, written in modern Greek by a Sulliote, 
and printed at Paris, which I have seen. It talks of the summers 
and winters of the war, but in other respects is not much in the 
style of Thucydides. 

The Sulliotes are all Greek Christians, and speak Greek, but 
wear the mountain habit, and have a much greater resemblance 
to the Albanian warrior than the Greek merchant. However, 
they have always been esteemed by the Greeks as the prime 
soldiers, and hopes of their faith ; and in the scheme presented to 
the Empress Catharine in the year 1790, for a general insurrec- 
tion of that nation against the Turks, Sulli was fixed upon as the 
seat of congress, and the place from which the confederate army 
was to commence its march. 

When the peace between Russia and Turkey abandoned the 
Greeks to their fate, and the squadron of the famous Lambro 
Canziani, who himself fled into Albania, was dispersed, the Sul- 
liotes prepared for an attack from Ali; and that Pasha, in the 
year 1792, after pretending a design on Argyro-castro, and get- 
ting into his power one of their chiefs called Giavella, suddenly 
fell upon the open plains, and forced the people to evacuate the 
villages and fly into the mountains. Ali made several attacks on 
Kiafa and Tripa, but was obliged to retreat with loss, and was 
followed by two thousand Sulliotes, even into the plains of loan* 



LETTER XlV. 



173 



nina, when some sort of terms were agreed upon by the two par- 
ties, which were soon broken, and a desultory warfare recom- 
menced between them. 

In the year 1796, Ali again marched a large force into the 
plains, and destroyed the villages, but was again repulsed. But 
having at last got possession of some heights, and built towers 
commanding the defile, and continuing to advance higher up to- 
wards Sulli, the inhabitants began to yield to his perseverance. 
Λ dissension arose amongst the chiefs, and some of the fighting 
men, bribed, it is said, by Ali, withdrew, and though it would 
have been impossible to carry the posts by storm, they all sur- 
rendered successively. Sulli itself, in the year 1803, admitted 
the troops of the Pasha. Agia Paraskevi was the last to capitu- 
late. It was garrisoned by three hundred men, commanded by 
Samuel a priest, who during the evacuation, blew up the place 
he had so gallantly defended. During this continued contest, 
Ali is said to have lost thirty thousand men, and the Sulliotes five 
thousand. The number of the latter, who, by agreement re- 
tired to Parga and Corfu, were about four thousand. The war 
was carried on with musquets, in the Albanian fashion already 
described. Ali latterly also brought some cannon to the siege, 
which were to have been directed by the French officers his pri- 
soners ; but these gentlemen at that time contrived to escape to 
Corfu ; and it is probable the artillery had not so powerful an 
effect as the money of the Pasha. 

Mr. Eton, or Mr. Eton's dragoman, was a little credulous, in 
recording that four thousand men, all but one hundred and 
forty, who were made prisoners, were killed in one action ; and 
indeed he invests these wars with an importance most extravagant, 



174 



.l.KTTF.R XfV. 



and disproportionate to their real magnitude. Yet whilst these 
rocks were invested by the Albanians of Ali, many gallant actions 
were performed, which the author of the wars of Sulli and Parga, 
must hope will go down to posterity with the deeds of the heroes 
of Marathon and Platsea. 

The women were not less active than the men, and children of 
a tender age partook of the spirit of their parents. The son of 
the captive Giavella, a boy of twelve years of age, had been de- 
livered by his father as a hostage and pledge of his return from 
the mountain, and was, on that promise being broken, sent pri- 
soner to Ioannina. He was brought before Veli Pasha, who ad- 
dressed him fiercely : " Robber, do you not know that my father 
will burn you alive ?" — " Yes," replied the boy, " and I also 
know, that if my father takes you prisoner, he will do the same 
to you." Giavella was killed in the war, and this magnanimous 
child was not destroyed, but sent back to his friends. 

It would be tedious to be more particular in detailing the un- 
successful struggles of this people. Acts, though of the most 
determined active or passive courage, in order to be worthy of 
record, must be performed in a certain cause, age and nation, 
and must be, besides, accompanied with other virtues. Were it 
not so, the lives of the Pirates might be put upon the same shelf 
with Cornelius Nepos, for Miltiades himself was not a more de- 
termined warrior than Black-beard, who received fifty-six wounds 
in the battle which cost him his life. 

It must be allowed that a great deal may be done by a skilful anna- 
list, to rescue from oblivion any events, however unimportant in their 
effects ; and if these wa rshad been recorded by the same pen which 
has related the noble struggles of the Patriots of Saragossa, the 



LETTER XIV, 



175 



valour of the Sulliotes might have been as common a topic of ad- 
miration as the perseverance of the Spaniards. As it is, Captain 
Giavella, and Captain Bogia, the heroes of the modern historian, 
must be ranked, notwithstanding the efforts of Mr. Eton and this 
frail memorial, with the many brave men who have perished un- 
known. 

There are now about two thousand of Ali's soldiers quartered 
in the different villages of Sulli, and that town itself maintains 
three hundred of them. Yet such of the people as still cultivate 
the country are treated with much lenity. They are not obliged 
to give free quarter to travelling soldiers; their horses and cattle 
are not taken without previous payment, and they are never 
beaten. The conquest of Sulli has put Ali in possession of the 
coast as far as Prevesa, and we proceeded in perfect safety with 
a small guard through that country, which Pouqueville describes 
as independent, and consequently impassable. It makes part of 
the district of Loru, which lies between Sulli and the gulf and 
territory of Arta, and stretches towards the plains of Ioannina. 

This district, which is called by the Italians Paese di Cassopeo, 
is very mountainous. Its inhabitants are Greeks, who, though 
overawed by the presence of some Albanians in the Vizier's service, 
are favourers of the troops of robbers that sometimes appear in 
their mountains. 

I shall leave what I have to say of Carnia, though it may be 
called a part of Lower Albania, until we pass through that coun- 
try ; and as something has before been said of the district of 
Arta, and of that immediately in the neighbourhood of Ioannina,. 
I have communicated all I have been able to learn of the different 
parts of Albania. Would that my information were more full 



176 



LETTER XIV. 



and particular, and free from those deficiencies, of which I am 
myself more sensible, than most people who have not travelled in 
the country can pretend to be. 



I would not venture to make an estimate of the population of 
the whole country, but perhaps some guess may be formed of the 
amount, by what has been said of the places we visited. Upper 
Albania, begin where we will, either above Delvinaki or atTepel- 
lene, is more generally populous than the country to the south. 
The Greeks will assert that three hundred thousand Albanians, 
might on an emergency appear in arms. But Perseus, who pos- 
sessed the whole force of the Macedonian monarchy, and who, 
after twenty-six years of peace, collected the largest army seen 
since the times of Alexander the Great, could get together only 
thirtv-nine thousand foot, and four thousand horse soldiers. The 
standing army of Scanderbeg consisted of eight thousand horse 
and seven thousand foot. There may be some excess in the 
computation above stated, yet a population of a million two hun- 
dred thousand of all ages and sexes, that is, four times the number 
of men able to carry arms, is not disproportionate to the size of 
the country. 

Upper Albania is laid down by a modern geographer as one 
hundred and ninety miles in length from north to south, and 
ninety-six in breadth from east to west. The length of Epirus, 
or Lower Albania, has been already stated, and Mr. Hume says, 
it may be in circumference altogether about twice as big as York- 
shire*. 

* Essay on the Populousness of Ancient Nations. 



LETTER XIV. 



177 



The temperature of the whole province is generally mild, ex- 
cept that in the height of summer the heat at loannina is very op- 
pressive. In the spring there is seldom much rain, or a continued 
drought. The autumnal rains last for about four weeks, with in-* 

ο 

tervals of clear weather, and the close of the season is very fine. 
The sky is then without a cloud, and the middle of the day is as 
warm as that of an English June, so much so, that on the fifth 
of November we bathed in the gulf of Arta. The mornings and 
evenings are a little chill, but without any cold fogs or mists. 
The winter lasts about two months, and during that time there is 
much snow on the higher grounds, but the frosts are seldom of 
any long duration. 

loannina, as Poukeville reports, is subject in the spring and 
autumn to tertians, for which the vicinity of a large stagnated 
lake may account, but, generally speaking, Albania may be called 
a healthy country, especially the upper part of it, where, we heard, 
that instances of longevity were by no means uncommon. At 
Ereeneed we were shown an old man and woman who had both 
passed their hundredth year. 

The island in the lake of loannina is said to be subject to earth- 
ouakes ; and our French authority affirms, that every October, 
the inhabitants upon it are alarmed by more than thirty agitations, 
accompanied by the sound of loud subterranean explosions. We 
were in the city just at the stated period, but these terrific con- 
vulsions did not return during our stay in the country. 

The physicians of loannina, and in the large towns, are Greeks ; 
but surgical cases are referred to the Albanians, as was before alluded 
to, and these rough operators sometimes attempt the cure even of 
general diseases by violent topical applications. You have seen the 



a a 



178 



LETTER XIV. 



treatment for a cold in the limbs, in my third letter. They have a 
singular a remedy for a fever. The patient stretches out his arm, 
and the doctor runs his thumb forcibly along the principal artery 
from the wrist up to the shoulder. This he repeats several times, 
till he has thrown the man into a profuse perspiration, whom he 
then covers up warmly, and considers in a fair way of recovery ; 
nor is he often deceived, as the opening of the pores in such cases 
must, I suppose, but seldom fail of producing a favourable effect. 



But during this very long digression, you may have forgot that 
you last left us at Tepellene, with a short account of which town, 
forgotten in its proper place, I shall conclude this Letter. 

It is inhabited partly by Christians, partly by Turks, and is said 
to contain between four and five hundred houses, of which there did 
not appear to be one of the better sort, except the \ r izier's 
palace, which covers a good deal of ground, and contains a 
spacious harem. It is the most favourite residence of Ali, and 
there are always some of the ladies of his household living on the 
spot, as well as a large establishment at all times ready to re- 
ceive his Highness. In ibis palace, it is reported that Ali pre- 
serves the greatest part of his treasure, and, if you believe the 
Albanians, some of tie inner rooms are piled up to the top with 
jewels and coin. 

The town stands on a rocky knoll immediately over the river, 
which, in this place, is broad and deep, with high banks on both 
sides. There are remaining an arch and a half of a bridge opposite 
the town, which Ali has in vain endeavoured to repair. An Eng- 
lish renegado, considered skilful in these matters, came iron) Con- 



LETTER XIV. 



179 



stantinople to inspect the work, and assured the Vizier, that the 
bottom of the river, and the banks, being of loose sand, the 
buttresses would always be undermined, and carried off by the 
autumnal floods. Thus, those who come from Berat, if they do 
not cross in a boat, must go round by the bridge which we passed 
in our journey to Tepellene. 

I am, &c. &c. 



Λϋ2 



LETTER XV. 

Departure from Tepellene — Return to Ioannina — A Marriage 
Procession — A Turkish Puppet-Show — Ancient Coins to be 
met with at Ioannina — Final Departure from that City — Re- 
turn to Prevesa — Disaster at Sea — Land on the Coast of 
Sulli — View of that Town and District, at Volondorako — 
Route from Volondorako to Castropsheca — to Prevesa — Sail 
down the Gulf of Arta — Vonitza — Utraikee — Ancient Mea- 
surement of the Gulf 



AFTER settling accounts with the great officers of 
the palace, all of whom, from the Chamberlain to the Fool, came 
for a present, we took leave of our friend the Secretary, and hav- 
ing an express order upon the post throughout the Vizier's domi- 
nions, took, besides the five horses we had brought from Ioan- 
nina, five others from Tepellene, to assist us back to the Capital. 
The Secretary said we might expect great things from these 
horses. " Vanno assolutamente correndo." Their extraordinary 
velocity was a trot, when forced to their speed, of five miles an 
hour. 

The priest who had come with us to the Vizier, also made one 
of our party back. 

The first day we went about twenty miles, and slept in the vil- 



LETTER XV. 



181 



lage of Lokavo, in the hills, which we had passed in our way to 
Tepellene. 

The second day we descended again into the plain, continuing 
along the banks of the river, which we crossed ; then, having the 
town of Libokavo on our left, and keeping out of the hills, as 
the waters had subsided, and striking into the same road by 
which we had come from Delvinaki to Libokavo, we arrived at 
the former place by sunset. Our journey this day might be 
about thirty miles. We slept in the same house that had before 
lodged us. 

The next day we returned as far as Zitza, perhaps twenty-five 
miles, and took up our abode in the monastery on the hill. On 
the day after, the 26th of October, we got back to the house of 
Signor Nicolo at Ioannina. Thus, although we had been nine 
days in getting to Tepellene, we were only four coming back ; 
and the journey, which cannot be quite a hundred English miles, 
might, notwithstanding the badness of the paths, be performed 
very easily in three. The Tartars, or couriers, are not half that 
time upon the road. However, as there is no point gained by 
hurrying over a country one has never seen before, and may never 
see again, we did not at all regret having made so slow a progress. 
The weather, during our return, was very different from what it 
had been on our former journey. The storms had ceased, and 
the sun shone in the middle of the day as hot as with us at mid- 
summer. The vintage was now entirely over, and the maize was 
collected into the villages. The flocks of goats, and sheep, and 
the herds of small cattle, had all been driven from the tops and' 
sides of the hills, into the warmer plains. The ploughing for the 
early crops of the ensuing year, had also commenced. 

We passed our time at Ioannina, both before and after our 



182 



LETTER XV. 



visit to Tepellene, most agreeably ; — a sail upon the lake, a ride 
into the country, or a stroll through the Bazars and Bizestein, 
occupied our mornings, and our evenings were passed at home in 
the conversation of our host, or abroad in visits to the principal 
people of the town. We were one evening gratified by the sight 
of a marriage procession, which, as the ceremonies of the Greek 
Christians of Albania seem to be carried to a more ridiculous 
height than those of the other parts of Turkey, I will attempt to 
describe. A Slave of the IJarem, and an Albanian Officer, a 
Christian in the Vizier's service, were the parties. 

First, the bridegroom passed through the streets attended by 
a large party of men with fiddles, and with many others carrying 
lanterns of coloured paper, and he proceeded to fetch his bride 
from the Seraglio of his Highness. Half an hour afterwards we 
saw the whole party moving along to the house of the bridegroom. 
The streets were full of people. At the head of the procession was 
the bridegroom with his band of musicians and lantern-bearers, 
followed also by a long crowd of men. Next came six young girls, 
splendidly dressed in gold and silver stuffs, with their long hair 
flowing over the shoulders; twoof them carried infants in their arms. 
Then appeared a woman more richly habited, carrying on her head a 
small red trunk, containing the portion with which the bride, ac- 
cording to custom, as belonging to the Harem, had been presented 
by Ali himself. Behind her came the bride herself, to whose ap- 
pearance it is impossible for me to do justice. It was some time 
before we were thoroughly convinced that what we saw was not 
some doll dressed up for the occasion. She had scarcely any per- 
ceptible motion, except a slow march from side to side, and she 
resembled more than any thing else I can recollect, the wax 
figure of Queen Elizabeth in Westminster Abbey, for not only 



LETTER XV. 



183 



her dress, but herself was to the full as stiff". Her face, not a 
muscle of which moved, was daubed with a mask of white and red 
paint, and she seemed cautious not to alter, in the least, the po- 
sition of her head, for fear of throwing off a high cap studded with 
pieces of gold money. Her left hand was held by an armed Al- 
banian magnificently drest, and her right by a Greek priest. Be- 
hind her was a vast crowd of women, with music and lanterns. 

The procession moved so slowly, and the number of people was 
so great, that the street was not clear of them for nearly an hour. 
The marriage had taken place in the morning, but the bride had 
returned to her apartments, that she might be carried off in 
triumph during the night. 

This procession, the most grand and ridiculous of the many I 
saw in Turkey, is something more in the Albanian than the Greek 
taste, and has therefore not been deferred till I came to speak of 
the latter nation. 

An evening or two before our departure from Ioannina, we 
went to see the only advance which the Turks have made towards 
scenic representations. This was a puppet-show, conducted by a 
Jew who visits this place during the llamazan, with his card per- 
formers. The show, a sort of ombre Chinoise, was fitted up in a 
corner of a very dirty coffee-house which was full of spectators, 
mostly young boys. The admittance, was two paras for a cup 
of coffee, and two or three more of those small pieces of money 
put into a plate handed round after the performance. The hero 
of the piece was a kind of punch, called Cara-keus, who had, as 
a traveller has well expressed it, the equipage of the God of Gar- 
dens, supported by a string from his neck. The next in dignity 
was a droll, called Codja-Haivat, the Sancho of Cara-keus: a 



184 



LETTER XV. 



man and a woman were the remaining figures, except that the 
catastrophe of the drama was brought about by the appearance of 
the Devil himself in his proper person. The dialogue, which was 
all in Turkish, and supported in different tones by the Jew, I did 
not understand ; it caused loud and frequent bursts of laughter 
from the audience ; but the action, which was perfectly intelligible, 
was too horribly gross to be described. If you have ever seen 
the morrice-dancing in some counties of England, you may have 
a faint idea of it. 

If the character of a nation, as has been said, can be well ap- 
preciated by a view of the amusements in which they delight, this 
puppet-show would place the Turks very low in the estimation of 
any observer. They have none, we were informed, of a more de- 
cent kind. 



There are now not a few inducements which may probably 
cause many intelligent travellers of our own country to visit Ioan- 
nina, and Albania ; and from their investigation the world will 
doubtless be informed of many interesting particulars before 
unknown. 

The vicinity of the islands now in our possession, the peaceable 
state of the country under the government of Ali, the good cor- 
respondence that prince maintains with the English, and the wish 
of exploring regions so long involved in complete obscurity, and, 
as it were, lost out of the map of Europe, will aid and prompt 
their enquiries, and we shall soon be as well informed with respect 
to the people and country of Albania, as we have been for some 
time on the head of Greece and other provinces of Turkey. 



LHTTEIt XV. 



I 8j 



Ioannina itself affords a safe and agreeable residence to tra- 
vellers. The Greeks are of the better sort, and well instructed 
in the manners and languages of Christendom ; one of them, a 
school -master of the name of Psailida, may be called a learned 
man. He teaches the modern and ancient Greek, the Latin, 
Italian, and French languages, to about a hundred scholars, 
and has, besides, established a reputation by publishing a philo- 
sophical treatise on the Immortality of the Soul, dedicated to the 
Empress Catharine. 

The curiosity of the antiquary would be gratified by many 
valuable coins, which are to be met with in the hands of Greek 
collectors. The series of Macedonian Kings might easily be 
made up, and though not very rare, these medals are very beau- 
tiful and perfect. The golden Philip, the " regale numisma," is 
very common ; and there is a report that three hundred of them 
were lately discovered in one earthen jar. The coins at Ioannina, 
however, are not to be purchased so cheaply as those in Greece. Λ 
collector in that city has twenty-seven, I think that is the number, 
of very rare pieces, which he will not sell separately, and he asks 
a large price for the whole. No one likes to pass through such a 
country without collecting a little, and yet, as there is generally 
some person residing in the towns to whom every thing is first 
shown, a mere passing traveller has but a poor chance of getting 
what is very excellent. In the villages indeed he may occasionally 
meet with something rare, before the peasant has carried it to 
the town ; for immediately on the arrival of a Frank, every thing 
in the shape of a medal or cut .stone, which the country people 
may have found, is brought to him ; a ridiculous proclamation to 
that effect being often made by order of his dragoman, and he has 

Bb 



186 



LETTER XV. 



perhaps, an antiquity of George the Third's time, presented for 
his -acceptance, or an ancient cameo cut by a Parisian jeweller. 
My own seals, which were dropped near loannina, may serve to 
enrich the store of some future collector. 

On the third of November we left the city and the lake, not to 
return : and were the one the ancient Cassiope, and the other 
Acherusia, as certainly as Cellarius and Poukeville have asserted 
them to be, we could not. have parted from them with greater 
regret. The Priest was still of our party, "and we had also the 
company of an Albanian Captain, a Turk, who joined us, as 
he said, for the love of the English. 

We returned to Salora, on the gulf of Arta, sleeping the first 
night at the han of St. Demetre, and the next at Arta. At Salora, 
we had intelligence that the country of Carnia was up in arms; 
that bodies of robbers had descended from the mountains of Tric- 
cala and Agrapha, and had made their appearance on the other 
side of the gulf, at a custom-house belonging to the Vizier, called 
Utraikee, where they had killed two men. 

We had it in our power either to procure a guard at Prevesa, 
and venture through Carnia, or to get into a galliot of Ali's, 
and go by sea to Patrass. We waited, however, a day, for advice 
from Prevesa, with our old acquaintances at the barrack, and 
then received intelligence, that an Albanian Pey \uis about to set 
out, and collect all the armed men of the district, and hunt the 
robbers from Carnia, and that we might, if we pleased, attend 
him upon this gathering. However, we made up our minds to 
go by sea, and proceeding in a boat to Prevesa, we presented 
the Viziers order to the governor, who immediately prepared a 
galliot for our passage. 



LETTER XV. 



187 



We slept one night at Prevesa, and got on board the next day 
in the forenoon. 

The galliot was a stout vessel, about fifty tons burden, long 
and narrow, with three short masts, on each of which she carried 
a large lateen sail of the sort universally used in the Levant. 
She had forty men and four guns. All the sailors were Turks, 
except four Greeks, who turned out to be the only persons 
on board who knew how to manage even a boat. There 
were several Captains ; but he that was called the first captain, 
was a Dulcigniotc, a mild-mannered man, who sat very com- 
posedly smoking, and playing with a string of beads, called a 
comboloio, which is a favourite solitary pastime both of Mahome- 
tans and Christians, no man above the common sort being without 
his bead roll. 

At twelve o'clock we weighed anchor, but ran aground in getting 
out of the harbour. Upon this the Captain proposed staying till 
next day. However, we begged him to try again, and accord- 
ingly by one o'clock we were out of the port with a fair wind, 
hoping that we should soon double the head-land of Santa Maura. 
But we found that the Leucadian promontory was equally the 
terror of our Turkish seamen, as it had been of the Grecian navi- 
gators ; for though we had a fine breeze, to ail appearance quite 
fair, yet something, which we knew not of, occurred, and by 
four o'clock we were pronounced in distress. The Captain said 
we should be obliged to put into Santa Maura, then in the hands 
of the French, if we did not tack directly. This caused a great 
deal of bustle, and in putting about, the mizen-sail split from top 
to bottom. The wind blew a little stronger, and there was a heavy 
swell. The Captain put his comboloio in his pocket. The sailors 

were nearly all, except the Greeks, sick, and retired below, 

ub2 



188 



LETTER XV. 



We were now steering directly for Corfu, as all hope of getting 
round the Cape had been given up. At sun-set it blew fresh, 
and the rolling of the sea shook us so violently, as we were very 
badly steered, that the greatest alarm prevailed. The Captain 
wrung his hands and wept. George our dragoman, at every 
heel the ship took, called loudly on the name of God, and when 
the main-yard snapped in two, every thing was given up for lost. 
The guns also broke loose, and the foresail was split. The ship 
lay like a log on the water, and the Turk at the helm contrived 
to keep her broadside to the sea, so that it was not improbable she 
might have been swamped. The Captain being asked what he could 
do, said, he could do nothing. — " Could he get back to the main- 
land ?" — " If God chuses," was his answer. — " Could he make 
Corfu ?" — " If God onuses." — In short, there was nothing left, 
but to request he would give up the management of the vessel ίο 
the Greeks. He said he would give it to anybody. The Greeks 
then soon got us into a better plight, and rigging a small stay-sail 
between the mizen and the main, and another between the main and 
foremast, and taking down the yards, helped the ship along more 
easily. They steered us baek upon the mainland of Albania, 
keeping as close to the wind as possible, to prevent being driven 
to Corfu ; and the sea and the wind abating, they brought us, 
about one o'clock in the morning, to an anchor at the entrance 
of a bay. 

. At the dawn of morning we found ourselves nearly within 
musket-shot of the land, which was craggy and woody, with 
high mountains in the distance. Our Turks began all of them 
to smoke, without taking the least notice of what had happened, 
or thinking of repairs ; and this being the termination of the 
Ramazan, and the first morning of the Ba'iram, a feast which 



LETTER XV. 



189 



lasts three days, they all, according to a custom singular 
enough to us, kissed and embraced each other with great 
ceremony and affection, the Captain receiving the salute from all 
his men. 

In a short time, three or four men with guns appeared on 
the rocks, and shouted to us, to know who we were. The Cap- 
tain answered, and hoisted a large red ensign ; and after some 
more hallooing, two boats came out of the bay and made for 
Paxos, which isknd, as well as Antipaxos, was not far from us. 
Part of Corfu, and an opposite promontory, were also very visi- 
ble. Some apprehensions were entertained of these boats being 
French privateers, for we were within a few miles of Parga ; it 
turned out afterwards that the Paxiote sailors had thought we 
were an English cruiser, and would not therefore venture out until 
assured of the contrary. 

In the afternoon, by the advice of the Captain, we determined 
to make the best of our way back to Prevesa by land, and we 
therefore disembarked ourselves and chattels in the bay, near a 
little custom-house, taking the second Captain with us, as he 
.seemed to prefer the perils of the land to those of his own element. 

The bay in which we landed was one called Fanari, imme- 
diately contiguous to the district and mountains of Sulli. We 
sent for horses to the nearest village, and when they arrived, after 
waiting a long time on the beach, we proceeded through a thick 
wood, and caught a sight of a plain, and the town of Parga, to 
our left. We were not more than half an hour in reaching a 
village called Volondorako, where we were well received by the 
Albanian primate of the place, and by the Vizier's soldiers quar- 
tered there. But our cottage Mas a miserable tenement indeed. 



100 



LETTER XV. 



We found that a wreck, which we had seen in the hay, was that 
of a prize made shortly before by our Corfu squadron, and that 
the midshipman who had been cast away in her, had slept five 
nights before in the same house ; and having been enabled to pro- 
ceed to Prevesa by the assistance of the Albanians, had presented 
them with the wreck of his vessel. But the proper intention or 
the young Englishman (afterwards approved by his Captain) had 
been frustrated by the Greek Vice-Consul at Prevesa, who got 
an order from the governor of that town for the ship, pretending 
that all English wrecks were his property. The Albanians at Vo- 
londorako complained to us bitterly of this, and certainly they 
had some reason to be dissatisfied. 

In the morning we had a view of the country, and saw the 
mountains of Sulli to the east, on the opposite side of a long 
plain running north and south. The town of Sulli itself was ulso 
visible on the crag of a rock three parts up the mountain ; and a 
little to the south, below the town, was a fortress built by the 
Vizier during his wars with this place. Near this was a village 
called Castrizza, where are some few remains of ancient walls. 
The whole plain seemed well cultivated,- abounding with arable 
lands, but having no vineyards. 

Whatever I could learn on the spot of this territory, so cele- 
brated in the annals of modern Greece, has been already com- 
municated ; I shall only add, that the force of arms appeared 
still necessary to preserve the conquests of Ali ; for there were 
thirty soldiers quartered in our small village of about thirty 
houses. 

We were a long time in procuring horses, but at last i( ft Volon- 
dorako at one o'clock in the afternoon, provided with guides, and 



LETTER XV. 



191 



with three of the Albanian guard. On leaving our cottage, the re- 
mainder of the guard saluted us by firing off their muskets, hold- 
ing them in one hand, and giving them just elevation sufficient to 
let the balls whistle over our heads. Our Albanians returned the 
compliment, and there was a great mutual shouting, till we had 
struck into the woods out of sight. 

Our road took us to the south over woody hillocks for two 
hours, when we came near the sea-side, still over hilly ground. 
Then descending nearer the shore, we passed under a castle be- 
longing to Ali, on the summit of a steep rock close to the sea, in 
a part of the country called Ereenosa. Similar towers,, and ruins 
of towers, of Turkish and Venetian construction, are to be found, 
it is said, all along the coast from Butrinto. We saw one more, 
further on towards Prevesa. 

We terminated one of the most beautiful rides we had ever 
taken, bv passing through groves of adrachnus, or strawberry-tree, 
whose apples, called by the Greeks, " (Honiara," Mere hanging from 
the boughs in large red clusters, interspersed with the berries of 
many other fragrant shrubs with which this region abounds. It was 
sun-set before we reached the village in which we were to halt. 

It was called Castropsheca, upon a height, at a little distance 
from the sea, and was rather of the better sort, for our cottage 
had a wooden floor raised one story from the ground. It was in- 
habited by Greeks. 

At twelve the next day we set out again ; and after a short 
ride through a wood, and crossing a small river, we came to the 
sea-shore, with a barren flat country to our left, and continued 
for some time going round a large bay, till we came to the beach 
on the sea-side of Nicopolis. Here my Friend and myself rode 



102 



T.ETTF.K, XV 



off to pay a last visit to the ruins, whilst our baggage proceeded 
directly to Prevesa, at which place we all arrived at sun-set. 

From Volondorako to Prevesa, the path is \ery bad and intri- 
cate, till the approach to the latter town, and is about nine hours' 
journey — not more, perhaps, than twenty-four miles. 

A reference to ancient geography seems to point out the bay of 
Fanari as the lesser port between the Glykyslimen and the mouth 
of the Ambracian gulf, called Comarus*, from which a straight 
line drawn to the gulf on the side of Nicopolis, made a distance 
of sixty stadia, or seven and a half Roman miles. The large 
bay, round which we rode on the second day, answers to the de- 
scription of the wider port alluded to by Strabo, as a mile and a 
half from Nicopolis. Yet the distance of Comarus from the 
Gulf, does not appear reconcileable with that of Fanari to the 
same point. However, the extreme badness of the roads may 
have made our journey appear much longer than it really was, 
and as we passed along by far the longest side of the triangle, 
may almost account for the difference. The whole coast, from 
Butrinto to Prevesa, is called by the Venetians, Vaielitia, or Va- 
letitzia. 

We had now no choice left, but that of going across Carnia, 
we therefore provided ourselves, by the Governor's assistance, 
with thirty-seven soldiers, of whom there were three Bolu-bashees, 
or Captains ; and we also procured another galliot to take us 
down the gulf of Arta, to the place whence we were to commence 
our land journey. 

Our whole party got on board the vessel, which was a sort of 



* Strabon. lib. vii. 



LETTER XV. 



193 



row «galley, at one o'clock, Monday, the 13 th of November, and 
passing round the promontory of Cape Figalo, continued sailing 
with very little wind, and rowing, until we got off the fortress 
of Vonitza, which was at sun-set. Here the Captain, who, rather 
to our astonishment, was the same Dulcigniote that had com- 
manded on our late disastrous expedition, said we might as well 
wait for the morning breeze, so that we were some time near Vo- 
nitza, and advanced but little during the night. 

Vonitza is a small town, inhabited by Greeks, whose chief 
trade consists in boutaraga, or the roes offish, salted and pressed 
into rolls like sausages. The fortress, which was by the French 
given up to the Porte, or rather to Ali Pasha, is not very strong, 
and is garrisoned by a small body of Albanians. 

The sun rose over the hills of Agrapha, at the bottom of the 
gulf, and we advanced gently with the sails and oars, keeping 
not far from the southern shore, under a range of woody hills, 
with some few cultivated spots, but no villages to be seen. It was 
not until four o'clock in the afternoon that we arrived at Utraikee, 
situated in a deep bay surrounded with rocks and woods, at the 
south-east corner of the gulf, which stretches eight or nine miles 
farther to the east, and must in its whole length be at least as 
long as described to be by Polybius and Strabo. It is true, that 
the historian mentions the length directly, as being three hun- 
dred stadia, or thirty-seven Roman miles and a half*, and the 
Geographer uses the expression circle-f, yet by this word he 
must be supposed to mean the longest diameter, not the circum- 
ference, though the word (χνχλο?) in other places of the same 



* Polyb. lib. iv. cap. 69. 



t Strab. lib. vii, 



C C 



194 



LETTER XV, 



J 



author, is used as synonimous with the latter expression*. Poly- 
bius has added, that the breadth is, in parts, equal to one-third 
of the length of the gulf. Doubtless the site of Utraikee, was 
one of the many good ports, with which it is said, by Strabo, to 
abound ; even now, it is the occasional resort of some of the boats 
from the islands, which exchange their commodities for the wools 
and skins of Carnia. We saw several sail of these small merchant- 
men proceeding towards Terra Nova, and the lower end of the 
gulf. 

The gulf of Arta, in the time of Barbarossa, was the rendez- 
vous of the Turkish navy, maintained to overawe the armaments 
of the Christian Powers in the Italian seas ; but I am not aware 
that it was ever navigated by any large ship of war of the modern 
construction, 

I am, &c. &c. 



* After writing the above, I find that Casaubon, in his Commentary on 
Stmbo, has compared the two passages without a remark ; so that κφλκ must be 
considered to bear the same meaning as κόλπο; would have done, though it is, 
wherever else I have seen it in this author, to be understood in the sense of 
τ -ciooor, srsp»/*rrpos, or <ΓΓ«ον>νλο<, his usual words. 



LETTER XVI. 

Utraikee — Night Scene at that Place — Route through Carnia — 
to Catoona — to Makala — Prospects from the Hills of the 
River Aspro or Acheloiis — and of the Lake Nizeros — Ancient 
Remains at Act ο and at Ligusiovichi — Route continued — to 
Prodromo — Passage of the Acheloiis — Arrival -at Gouria — 
Route over the Parachclo'itis—to Natolico — Another Route 
from Arta to Natolico — Boundary of Carnia — Former In- 
habitants — Ancient Geography — Present State — Ruins at 
Teesere-Jies — The Shallows of Messalonge and Natolico — The 
Fishery — Conjecture as to the Formation of the Shallows — 
The Town and Inhabitants of Messalonge— The District of 
Xeromeros, or JEtolia — Tozm of Ivoria — River Fidari, or 
Evcjius — Ruins of Caly don— Rocks of Chains and Tappiasm 
— Passage to Patrass. 



AT Utraikee there was only a custom-house and a 
barrack for soldiers, both of stone, close to each other, and sur- 
rounded on every side, except to the water, by a high wall. We 
bathed in a little cove near the house ; but were prevented from 

ccg 



196 



LETTER XVI. 



strolling any farther, as the woods were suspected to be yet in- 
fested by the robbers, who had, five days before, appeared in a 
body of thirty- five men, and carried off a Greek and a Turk» 
before the guard had time to shut the gates of the yard. They 
pointed out to us a small green spot, at the bottom of the bay, 
where, in the sight of, and as a bravado to, the ten soldiers shut 
up in the barrack, they shot the Turk, and stoned the Greek 
whom they had taken. 

In the evening the gates were secured, and preparations were 
made for feeding our Albanians. A goat was killed, and roasted 
whole, and four fires were kindled in the yard, round which the 
soldiers seated themselves in parties. After eating and drinking, 
the greater part of them assembled round the largest of the fires, 
and, whilst ourselves and the elders of the party were seated 
on the ground, danced round the blaze to their own songs, in the 
manner before described, but with astonishing energy. All their 
songs were relations of some robbing exploits. One of them, 
which detained them more than an hour, began thus — u When 
we set out from Parga, there were sixty of us :" then came the 
burden of the verse, 

" Robbers all at Parga I 
" Robbers all at Parga Γ * 

11 Κλιφίίΐς 7ro?£ Πάργχ I 
t( Κλίψίας πό\ί Hccpyx Ι" 

and as they roared out this stave, they whirled round the fire, 
dropped, and rebounded from their knees, and again whirled 
round, as the chorus was again repeated. The rippling of the 
waves upon the pebbly margin where we were seated, filled up 



LETTER XVf. 



197 



the pauses of the song with a milder, and not more monotonous 
music. The night was very dark, but by the flashes of the 
fires we caught a glimpse of the woods, the rocks, and the lake, 
which, together with the wild appearance of the dancers, pre- 
sented us with a scene that would have made a fine picture in 
the hands of such an artist as the author of the Mysteries of 
Udolpho. 

As we were acquainted with the character of the Albanians, it 
did not at all diminish our pleasure to know, that everyone of 
our guard had been robbers, and some of them a very short time 
before. The most respectable and best mannered Bolu-bashee 
with us, had been, four years past, a very formidable one, having 
had the command of two hundred upon the mountains behind 
Lepanto, but he had submitted with his men, and was now in the 
service of Ali. It was eleven o'clock before we had retired to our 
room, at which time the Albanians, wrapping themselves up in 
their capotes, went to sleep round the fires. 

We were off at half past eight the next morning, when we took 
ten other soldiers from the barrack, besides our own party, as for 
the first two hours there were some notorious passes in the woods 
through which our route lay. Approaching these spots, fifteen 
or twenty of the party walked briskly on before, and when they 
had gone through the pass, halted until we came up to them. We 
travelled to the south amongst thick forests, with now and then a 
small opening, through which, hs ion botdes, were to be discerned 
a plain and low hills. In one or two green spots near the road, 
were Turkish tombstones, generally under a clump of trees and 
by the side of a stone fountain, the resting place of the tra- 
veller. 



li>8 



LETTER XVI. 



Having passed the woods, the ten men relumed to Utraikee, 
and we got into an open country. We passed over a low hill, on 
which was a small village, and a barrack for Albanian soldiers, 
and leaving this to the left a little, ascended some more rising 
ground to a village called Catoona, where we arrived by twelve 
o'clock. 

It was our intention to have proceeded farther this day, but 
our progress was interrupted by an affair between our Albanians 
and the Primate of the village, for, as we were looking about us, 
and horses were collecting to carry our baggage, as we had drop- 
ped those from Utraikee, after a torrent of words from one of the 
soldiers, swords were suddenly drawn, and guns cocked, and upon 
this, in an instant, and before we could stop the affray, the Pri- 
mate threw off his shoes and cloak, and fled so precipitately, 
that he rolled down the hill and dislocated his shoulder. It was a 
long time before we could persuade him to come back to his house, 
where we were lodged : when he did return, he said he did not 
care so much about his shoulder, as for the loss of a purse with 
fifteen zequins, which dropped out of his pocket during his tumble. 
The hint was understood. 

Catoona, inhabited by Greeks only, contains twenty houses, 
but most of them of the better sort, well built with stone. The 
Primate's house is a very good one, neatly fitted up with sofas. 
Upon a knoll in the middle of the village is a school-house and 
yard, and from this spot there is a very extensive view. To the 
west are high mountains called Vounstos (that is, the hills), rang- 
ing from north to south near the coast. To the east there is 
also a grand mountain prospect in the distance, but nearer there is 
seen a green valley, and a considerable river winding through a 



LETTER XVL 



199 



long line of country. This river is the Achelous, now called the 
Aspro, or White river. The modern name of the lake is Nizeros, 
and it is about six miles, they told us, in length. 

We had much difficulty in procuring horses at Catoona, so 
that we were not off until half past eleven the next morning, and 
did not travel more than four hours that day, to a village called 
Makala. The path was southwards, tolerably good, through a 
woody country at first, but on mounting the bill on which the 
village stood, the prospect widened on every side, and we again 
saw the lake, the river, and the plain, stretching far down to the 
south. 

Makala is a well-built stone village, containing about forty 
houses, separated from each other, inhabited by Greeks, a little 
above the condition of peasants, whose wealth consists in large 
flocks of sheep of a thick coarse fleece, that is sold into Albania 
and the Morea. He with whom we lodged was a grave impor- 
tant gentleman, calling himself a merchant, and keeping a secre- 
tary. The houses we saw in Carnia were much better than any 
we had seen in the villages of Albania. The one we slept in at 
Makala, had very much the appearance of one of those old man- 
sions that are to be met with in the bottoms of the Wiltshire 
Downs. There were two green courts to it, one before, and the 
other, round which there was a raised terrace, behind the house. 
The whole was surrounded by a very high and very thick wall, 
that shut out the prospect entirely, but was perfectly necessarv 
in a country frequently overrun by large bands of robbers in their 
way from the island of Santa Maura to the mountains of Tric- 
cala and Agraoha. The operations of some of these outlaws were 
visible m the ruins of a large house, which was pulled down by 



200 



LETTER XV Γ. 



them about twenty years past, after a determined opposition from 
the inhabitants. The possession of Santa Maura by the Eng- 
lish, will much tend to free Carnia from these depredators. 

From the highest point in the village we were shown two pieces 
of wall, which our host assured us were remains of antiquity. One 
of them was on a hill to the west, called Aeto ; and another on 
a hill to the east, overlooking the Aspro, and by name Ligusto- 
vichi. I should not forget, that on this eminence there was, sus- 
pended from a stake, a piece of thick curved iron hoop, which, 
when struck by a hammer, also hanging from the stake, serves to 
call the Greeks to church, and also to alarm the country when 
the robbers appear ; for the melancholy noise may, in the silence 
of the night, be heard in the surrounding woods and values for 
many miles. This is the church bell universally used in the Le- 
vant. There is an exact picture of one in Tournefort. 

We were detained at Makala a day, because horses could not 
be found to carry us on, which delay our Albanian, Vasilly, as- 
sured us was owing to the disuse of the stick ; but on the 18th 
of November we set out at ten o'clock in the morning. 

We went through woods along a craggy tangled path to the 
south, and at half past twelve, passed a village of a few huts 
called Prodromo ; after which, going a point to the eastward of 
south, we struck into deeper woods of oak, which lasted, with 
hardly one opening, for five hours, until we found ourselves at a 
village of huts only a quarter of a mile from the banks of the 
Aspro. In the course of our journey through the forest we 
lighted upon three new-made graves, which, as our Albanians 
passed, they pointed at, crying out, " Sir, the robbers \" and 
not long after this, as the whole party of them were passing along 



LETTER XVI. 



201 



in a string, on something being seen in the gloom of the woods, 
they rushed amongst the trees to practise their manoeuvres, but 
found nothing to attack. They seemed to apprehend some danger 
during the whole day ; they were unusually silent, and did not 
always keep in the path, but beat about amongst the bushes on 
either side. 

We had once a view through the woods, of the large town 
named Vraichore, on the left bank of the Aspro, probably about 
ten miles higher up the river than the place at which we crossed. 

The stream of this river was very broad and rapid, and deep, 
not so broad as the river at Tepellene, but of a much larger body 
of water. However, although the sun was set, we passed over 
in a well-contrived ferry-boat, to a decent village, partly of Turk- 
ish, partly of Greek families, called Gouria, where we passed the 
night. 

From Utraikee to Gouria, over a country which it had taken 
us altogether fourteen hours and a half to traverse, we did not 
meet or pass a single traveller of any description, and we only 
saw one more village than those through which we passed. The 
whole of Carnia appeared to us a wilderness of forests and un- 
peopled plains. All our route, except a few miles, was, as de- 
scribed, through thick woods of oak ; but what we saw of the 
iEtolian side of the Achelous, seemed very different, less woody 
and hilly, and abounding with tracts of luxuriant cultivation. 

Leaving Gouria the next morning, we changed our southerly 
for an easterly direction, and continued at first through a plain 
of corn-fields near the banks of the river, which, we soon left 
on our right, and continued in a rich open country, sometimes 
over stone causeways, and between the hedges of gardens and 

Dd 



202 



LETTER XVI. 



olive-groves, when we were stopped by the sea. What we had 
passed over from Gouria, was that fruitful region formerly called 
Parachcloi'tis, which was drained, or, according to one of the 
prettiest allegories of ancient mythology, torn from the Achelous 
by the perseverance of Hercules, and presented by the demi-god 
for a nuptial present to the daughter of Oeneus. This was the 
horn, whose plenty was the prize so often disputed by the rivals 
of Acarnania and iEtolia. The water at which we now arrived 
might more properly be called a salt-marsh than the sea, or a 
shallow bay stretching from the mouth of the gulf of Lepanto 
into the land for several miles. At the spot where we stood, it 
was about a mile and a half broad, and not more than two feet 
deep. Half way over was the town of Natolico, rising out of 
the water ; and to this place, after dismissing our horses, we 
passed over in several punts, of which there were a great number 
plying to and fro. 

We were treated at first rather cavalierly by the Albanian go- 
vernor of the town, who, however, on being spoken to a little 
decisively, and presented with the signature of his master Ali, 
provided proper lodgings, and billets for our soldiers. W T e found 
out, that during our altercation with the governor, a Greek, who 
had been nominated English Vice-Consul of the place, had sat 
by without saying a word, or letting us know that there was in 
the town any such character, to whom we might apply. But the 
inattention of this man was made up for by the civility of a Jew 
physician, who told us — I recollect his expression — that he was 
honoured by our partaking of his little misery. 

At Natolico we staid one night. It is a well-built town ; 
the houses of wood, and chiefly of two stories, about six hun- 



Mjjiiajj^^ 



mimm 



LETTER XVI. 



203 



dred in number; inhabited by some few Turks, but principally 
by Greeks, who are small merchants, dealing in the coarse wool- 
lens made from the fleeces of Carnia, and in boutaraga, with. 
which their marsh supplies them. The water flows through many 
of the streets, which have wooden causeways on piles. 

There is a route from Arta to Natolico, which we had been 
advised to avoid, on account of the turbulent state of the coun- 
try. It passes through the district called Macrinoro, under the 
mountains of Agrapha, and in a country where, near a river, 
once the Inachus, and something more than six hours and a half* 
from Arta, one might expect to find some ruins of the Amphi- 
lochian Argos. The first stage is to a place called Pandi, seven 
hours from Arta : thence to Natolico is twelve hours. The route 
passes through Mila, a village ; then in two hours to Vraikore, 
a considerable town on the left bank of the Achelous, before no- 
ticed, commanded by an Aga, or Bey, in subjection to Ali, who 
gave us a letter to him, and the residence of a Greek Bishop. 
After Vraikore, and five hours from Natolico, is Katoki, a village. 
The road is, for the greater part, on the left bank of the Ache- 
lous, and in a flat well-cultivated country. 

Carnia is bounded on the land side by the Aspro, and by a 
branch of that river, called in some maps the Inachus, which, 
flowing in a curved direction into the bottom of the gulf of Arta, 
separates it from the district of Macrinoro. Its length from 
north to south is about forty-two English miles, and its breadth 
thirty-two. As Natolico is not to be reckoned within its limits, 
it cannot be said to contain one considerable town, and perhaps 
it is the least populous of any district of European Turkey. 



* Livy (lib. xxxviii. cap. 10) says, twenty-two Roman miles. 

Dd2 



204 



LETTER XVI. 



This country formerly included Leucadia, and it's capital, in*• 
deed, was Leucas*, situated (not where the town of Santa 
Maura now stands) on the narrow flat, five hundred paces long 
and cue hundred and twenty paces broad, anciently joining the 
main land to the peninsula, afterwards connected by a bridge ; 
but it appears never to have played a considerable part in the 
flourishing days of Greece. Thucydides-j• speaks of the Acarna- 
nians as one of those nations, which, as well as the Locri Ozolse, 
and the iEtolians, continued in his time the barbarous practice 
of wearing arms — a sign of their old habits of plunder. As 
auxiliaries (all but the Leucadians and Anactorii) of the Athe- 
nians, they performed some actions recorded in the history of the 
Peloponnesian war; but their contests were chiefly with the iEto- 
lians;}:, until, in the decline of Athens, they dared, with the 
assistance of King Philip, son of Demetrius, to insult that vene- 
rable city. They were the last to desert the alliance of the Ma- 
cedonian monarch ; but three years after their invasion of Attica, 
and a few days after the battle of Cynoscephala?, they yielded to 
the arms of the Romans^ Under the protection of their con- 
querors, their country flourished, until nearly depopulated by the 
decree of Augustus, on account of their supposed partiality to 
the cause of Antony, and in order to form the new colony of Ni- 
copolis. However, their towns were never very numerous or 
large, and the greater part of the people lived in villages. 

Not to reckon Leucas, or any places beyond the Acheloiis, 
though from that river to the Evenus was peopled by Acarna- 
nians||, their principal town was Stratus, on the Achelous, two 



* Strab. lib. x. 

% Liv. lib. xxvi. cap. 25. 

jj Strab. lib. y'ui. 



t Thucyd. Hist. lib. i. cap. 5. 
§ Liv. lib. xxxiii. cap. 16, 



LETTER XV J. 



205 



hundred stadia from the mouth of the river*; Nova JF.nea. was at 
seventy stadia; iEniadte, at the mouth of the Acheloiis, and on 
the entrance of the Corinthian gulf, not more than a hundred 
stadia from the opposite point of Araxus in the Peloponnesus. 
Anactorium was within the gulf, forty stadia from Actium, which 
was at the mouth of the gulf of Ambracia, though Mr. D'An- 
ville-j- has placed Actium within Anactorium. On the west was 
Pala?rus, then Alyzia, fifteen stadia from the sea to the east of 
Leucas ; and, near that, the promontory and port of Hercules, 
with a temple, whence a sculpture of the Labours of Hercules-, 
by Lysippus, was transported to Rome, on account, says Strabo, 
of the solitude of the spot where it was placed. The port and 
promontory of Crithote were lower down on the coast. The 
islands of the Echinades were also accounted belonging to Acar- 
nania. They were all of them, except Dolicha, which has there- 
fore been supposed to be the site of Natolico, rough barren rocks, 
the most distant of them only fifteen stadia from the main. We 
went near them in our first passage to Prevesa, as well as to the 
small sharp rocks once called Thoas, and now Curzolari. Jnch- 
Keith, in the Firth of Forth, would be a fertile domain to any 
one of them, and would certainly be a more populous kingdom 
than all of them put together, for they have no inhabitants. Yet 
Thoas, and the Echinades, sent their King Meges, equal to 



* Stratus is said by Strabo to be half way between Algzict and Anactorium, 
which is irreconcileable with the two positions. Mr. Barbie du Boccage solves 
the difficulty, by reading Amftiov. 

+ See Letter II. of this volume, where Mr. D*Anville is followed. That geo- 
grapher goes, I suppose, by what Thucydides says of Anactorium, that it v?m 

Ιπ\ τψττόμχτι τδ'Α /xwpajwxs κόλπα,— Lib. i. Cap. 55, 



206 



LETTER XVI. 



Mars, with forty ships to the siege of Troy. Astacus was a town 
not far from iEniadae. 

I know of no particular mention of the country from the times 
of the Roman to the Turkish conquest, when there is a mere no- 
tice taken of the Princes of Acarnania, as of the Princes of Al- 
bania. It was conquered, or rather overrun, by Bajazet the First, 
at the same time with Peloponnesus and Greece. Since it came 
to the hands of the Turks, it has had one or two important places. 
Dragomestre, placed by D'Anville j;i the site of Astacus, was once 
a considerable town with a strong fortress* but is now only a mi- 
serable village, and a post for fishing-boats. Port Candeli is in a 
deep bay, sixteen miles and a half to the south of the gulf of 
Aria. Port Petala is at the mouth of the Aspro. The position 
of Vonitza you are already acquainted with : there is a small river 
running into the bay, at the bottom of which it stands. 

Carnia is peopled entirely by Greeks. The Albanians amongst 
them are soldiers of Ali Pasha, quartered in their country to pre- 
serve them from the robbers, and to keep them in allegiance. 
They trade chiefly through Natolico. 

This last mentioned place we left the day after our arrival, and 
sending on our baggage in punts, proceeded by land to the next 
stage, a town called Messalonge. The distance is only three 
hours, to the south, on a rugged road under low stony hills until 
the last part of the ride. — At two hours from Natolico, on a hill 
to the left of the road, are some remains of an ancient wall. The 
spot is called at present Teeserenes, or some such name. A little 
way from Messalonge we were met by the Greek, holding the 
office, which must be almost a sinecure, of Vice-Consul for the 
English Nation, and were conducted by him through the town 



th**»***!**^^ 



LETTER XVI. 



207 



to his house, where we had a comfortable lodging, and staid two 
nights. 

Messalonge is situated on the south-east side of the salt-marsh, 
or shallow, that extends between two and three miles into the 
land below Natolico, and six miles about beyond Messalonge 
itself, into the gulf of Lepanto. The breadth of the bay formed 
by these shallows, may be, in an oblique direction from Messa- 
longe towards the north, to the other side, not far from the 
mouth of the Aspro, about ten miles. At the extremity of the 
shallows, towards the deep water, for several miles in circuit, there 
are rows of stakes, and also, at intervals, some wicker huts raised 
on poles, forming, as it were, a line between the sea and the bay, 
and appearing to those sailing down the gulf like a double shore*. 
Within this fence, there is a very valuable fishery, and many 
boats are stationed for that purpose in the marsh. 

The port of Messalonge will not admit any vessel drawing 
more than three feet water, nor is there sufficient water for those 
of more than five feet any where within the marsh. All vessels 
or boats, whether going in or out of the bay, are obliged, for 
want of depth, to pass close to a small fort, built on piles, where 
there is a cannon or two mounted, and where a Turkish guard 
resides, to see the passes of those who enter or leave the fisherv. 
The fort is called Basilida, and is five miles beyond the town. 

Whether the name Echinades applied to any of the sandy flats 
now covered by water, and whether the modern town of Nato- 
lico can be said to stand on that one of them called first Duli- 
cbium, and then Dolicha, will, it appears, admit of some doubt : 



* Letter I. 



208 



LETTER XVI. 



their very name would seem to decide to the contrary. Yet the 
last-mentioned island is excepted from the character of rugged 
sterility attached to the other rocks. Some of them were by 
degrees joined to . the continent, and all of them would have 
been so annexed, had not the discontinuance of cultivation, 
when the people were transplanted to Nicopolis, diminished the 
quantity of slime deposited by the Acheloiis near the shore : so 
at least says Pausanias*. It seems to me, that these shallows 
must have been formed by the gradual junction of the lake 
Cynia, and perhaps of those of Melite and Uria, with the sea, 
as well as by the sand washed forwards by the continued torrents 
from the mouths of the river. The lake of Cynia, which, toge- 
ther with those of Melite and Uria, was not far from the city of 
iEniadse, was sixty stadia long and forty broad, and had a com- 
munication with the sea -f. No such inland lake is at present to 
be seen, nor did I hear of any answering to the position of Melite 
(which was half the size of Cynia), or of Uria, one fourth as 
large ; so that it is not improbable, that the whole may have 
been combined to form the present appearance of the marshes of 
Messalonge. 

Messalonge was formerly the seat of a Pasha of two tails, but 
is now under a Governor in dependence upon Ali Pasha. The 
inhabitants are partly Greeks, partly Turks, in number about 
five thousand. They subsist chiefly on the fishery, where the 
red mullet is taken in quantities sufficient to supply many parts 
of Roumelia and the Morea with the boutaraga, and caviar, made 
from their roes. None of them are very rich, but several possess 



* Pausanias Arcad. p. 493. 



+ Strab. lib. x* 



LETTER XVI. 



200 



about five thousand piasters per annum — a good income in that 
country. The houses are chiefly of wood, and two stories high. 
The bazar is furnished with some neat shops, and the streets are 
paved. Both Messalonge and Natolico are to be reckoned 
amongst the best towns in Roumelia ; and, except Patrass, they 
carry on the most extensive trade with the islands, of any ports 
in that quarter of the country. That part of Roumelia to which 
they belong, is called Xeromeros (the ancient iEtolia), of which, 
as we saw only a small portion of it, I shall say but little. 

It is all, I believe (except the town of Lepanto, called by the 
Greeks Epacto, which is governed by a Pasha of two tails), in 
the hands of Ali ; and both as to its population and productions, 
is a very important district. Five hours from Natolico, and 
about the same distance from the Aspro, is the town of Ivoria, 
of some size, on the site, according to D'Anville, of Pamphia, 
a village not more than thirty stadia from Thermus, the former 
capital of iEtolia*. The exploits of the iEtolians towards the 
close of Grecian history, which occupy so considerable a portion 
of Polybius and Livy, have illustrated the geography of their 
country, so as to afford no little degree of certainty to the conjec- 
tures of a modern traveller. 

That part of the country which we saw to the south-east, and 
which forms the north side of the entrance to the gulf of Le- 
panto, is very mountainous. In a fine valley on the other side 
of the hills to the east, at the back of Messalonge, we had a view 
of the river Fidari, the ancient Evenus. Between the Evertus 
and the inner mouth of the gulf at Antirrhium, were the extre- 

* Potyb. Hist. lib. v. cap. 7, which passage traces the march of King Philip 
into /Etolia, and gives many positions. 

Ε e 



210 



LETTER XVI, 



mities of the mountains called Chalcis, Near these was the vil- 
lage Lycivna, from which, to the city of Calydon, on the Evenus, 
was a length of thirty stadia, three quarters more than three Ro- 
man miles*. Poukeville, I know not on what authority, states the 
ruins of Calydon to be found a league from Messalonge : perhaps 
he alludes to the walls at Teeserenes. Next to the hills of Chal- 
cis were those called Tappiasus. One of these presents a very 
singular appearance : it is a large red rock, and is rent from top 
to bottom, with a huge chasm, into the bowels of the mountain. 
It could not fail to attract the notice of any one sailing towards 
Patrass. 

On the 23d of November, we left Messalonge in a small- 
decked vessel, called a trebaculo, after having dismissed all our 
Albanians, except one, who was taken into service as a compa- 
nion to Vasilly. His name was Dervish-Tacheere : he was a Turk. 
At parting with him, all his companions embraced him, and ac- 
companying him to our boat, fired off their guns as a last salute 
to the whole party. 

We were two hours in passing out of the shallows. As we 
showed our pass at the fort of Basilida, we stopped a few minutes, 
and had an opportunity of looking at the huts built on stakes in 
the water, which serve as habitations for those who watch the 
fishery. Three or four rows of stakes are planted before each 
of them, to break the force of the waves rolling in from the deep 
water in stormy weather ; but, notwithstanding this precaution, 
neither the huts, nor Basilida itself, appear secure tenements for 
any animals not amphibious, and they seemed the more wretched 



* Strab. lib. x. 



BETTER XVI. 



211 



to us, as we passed them on a rainy day, and saw the waves 
washing over them at every gust of wind. 

The distance from Basilida to Patrass must be about fifteen 
miles ; for we were two hours and a half making the passage, 
with several squalls and a strong breeze in our favour during the 
whole time. 

Patrass must be reserved for my next Letter, 

I am, &o. &c. 



Ee 2 



LETTER XVII. 

Patrass — Its Situation — Insalubrity — Ancient State — Destruc- 
tion in 1770 — Present State — Trade — Exports of the Morea 
— Consuls at Patrass — Greek Light Infantry — English Regi- 
ment—The River Leucate — Departure from Patrass — The 
Castles of the Morea and Roumelia — Cape Rh'mm—~Lepanto 
— Route to Vostizza — Ancient Positions — Vostizza — A Greek 
Codja-bashee, or Elder — Coursing in the Morea — River Seli- 
nus — JEgium — The Plane Tree — Veli Pasha — Population of 
the Morea — Digression concerning the Mainotes. 



WE had, for some time, been very eager to reach 
Patrass, in hopes of finding letters from .England, and for the 
purpose of making certain necessary repairs in our baggage, which 
we had deferred until our arrival at this place. Like other tra- 
vellers, we had fixed upon a point where we were to commence a 
general reform, and lay in new stores to aid our progress ; and, as 
usually happens, we were disappointed, for there were not at Pat- 
rass half so many nor so excellent artisans, as our dragoman 
George, himself a native of the town, had given us reason to expect» 
To complete our disappointment, the only tailor who knew how to 
make a Frank dress, was gone to Zante, at the pressing instance 
of some officers of the garrison, 



LETTER XVII. 



213 



However, we were most hospitably entertained by the English 
Consul-General for the Morea, and his relation the Imperial Con- 
sul, son of the gentleman who for many years transacted the Eng- 
lish affairs at this port, and who has an honourable place in several 
books of travels. After a long disuse of chairs and tables, we 
were much pleased by those novelties at the agreeable entertain- 
ments given us by these gentlemen. 

I have, in another place, given you a sketch of the situation of 
Patrass. Nothing certainly, can be more pleasant than the imme- 
diate vicinity of the town, which is one blooming garden of orange 
and lemon plantations, of olive-groves, vineyards, and currant- 
grounds. The fruit-trees, and the vines, clothe the sides of the 
hill behind the town, to a considerable height : the currants are 
on the flats below, and run along the line of coast to the south, as 
far as the eye can reach. Both on the plain and on the sides of 
the hills, there is a great quantity of the small shrub called glyko- 
rizza by the Greeks, and which is our licorice. 

The town itself stands on a steep declivity of the mountain, now 
called Vodi. The higher part of it is a mile and a half from the 
port, and in that quarter are all the best houses, surrounded, as 
usual, with gardens. At the top of the whole is a large old Turkish 
fortress, which is perfectly useless, and is, so said the Greeks, 
put in a state of defence, by being white-washed at the beginning 
of every war. To supply the deficiencies of the citadel, the Turks 
have lately plaeed a few canno;; on the beach, at a littie distance 
from the custom-house. During the last war with Russia, a line 
of battle ship and a frigate threw some shot into the, town. The 
Turks depend upon the new battery, for future protection from 
such an insult. 



214 



LETTER XVII. 



Notwithstanding the beauty of the situation, Patrass is not a 
very desirable residence, on account of the contagious fevers and 
agues with which it is occasionally visited. In the mornings and 
the evenings of the autumnal season, the lower part of the town, 
and all the surrounding flats are enveloped in a thick fog, which 
we experienced in our visit, and found it to throw a chilly damp- 
ness even to the upper quarter. Yet you may recollect from a 
passage in one of Cicero's letters to his freedman Tyro, that Patrae 
was, in his time, recommended as a resort for invalids, and that 
Tyro himself paid a visit to it on account of its known salubrity. 
They told us, that in summer the heat is insupportable ; indeed, 
whilst we were there, the weather was so warm as to render bathing 
very agreeable on the first of December, though the summits of 
Mount \odi were covered with snow. 

On arriving from Albania in the Morea, you quit a region little 
known at any time, for one which the labours of ancients and mo- 
derns have equally contributed to illustrate, and after wandering in 
uncertainty, you acknowledge the aid of faithful guides, who direct 
every footstep of your journey. 

Pausanias alone will enable you to feel at home in Greece, and 
though the country he describes has not had quite so long a time 
to undergo a change, as Poukeville imagines (for the author 
of the Periegesis did not write two thousand years ago*), yet it is 
true, that the exact conformity of present appearances with the 
minute descriptions of the itinerary, is no less surprising than satis- 
factory. The temple and the statue, the theatre, the column and 
the marble porch, have sunk and disappeared. But the vallies and 

* En lisanl Pausanias on ne peut s'imaginer qu'ilccrivit il-y-a deux mille ans, 
— Voyage en AJoree, page 226. 



LETTER XV Π. 



215 



the mountains, and same, not frequent, fragments " of more value 
than all the rude and costly monuments of barbaric labour," these 
still remain, and remind the traveller that he treads the ground 
once trod by the heroes and sages of antiquity. 

To traverse the native country of those, whose deeds and whose 
wisdom have been proposed to all the polished nations of every 
succeeding aoe, as the models which thev should endeavour to 
imitate, but must never hope to equal, with no other emotions 
than would arise in passing through regions never civilized, is un- 
natural, is impossible ! No one would roam with the same in- 
difference through the sad solitudes of Greece and the savage 
wilds of America ; nor is the expression of feelings, which it is 
the object and end of all liberal education to instil and encou- 
rage, to be derided as the unprofitable effusion of folly and affec- 
tation. 

Patrae was distinguished by the notice of Augustus, who col- 
lected its citizens, scattered by the iEtolian war against the 
Gauls ; and settling amongst them some of those whe had fought 
with him at Actium, dignified the city with the title of a Roman 
colony. Some of the cities of Achaia were made tributary to 
the Patrenses, and they continued to flourish long after the de- 
cay of the neighbouring states. They were rich in the monu- 
ments of ancient art. Pausanias enumerates nineteen or twenty 
temples, besides statues, altars, and marble sepulchres, to be 
seen in his time in the city, the port, and the sacred groves. He 
mentions also an odeum, or music theatre, the most magnificent 
of any in Greece, next to that of Herodes at Athens. But there 
is not a vestige of antiquity to be met with either in or near 
Patrass, in which the worship of St. Andrew, who was crucified 



k 21() 



LETT EH XVII. 



in the place, has succeeded to that of Diana Laphria, the Olym- 
pian Jupiter, and the Bacchus of Calydon. 

The modern town, which, from the Italian corruption, is called 
Patrass, but by the Greeks is still written Patrae, has been the 
scene of many sanguinary contests. It made the best defence in 
the year 1447, against the Turks, of any place in the Peloponnesus. 
in the year 1532, it was taken and ransacked by Doria ; and in 
l6'87 5 Morosini gained a victory over the Ottoman armies near 
its walls. But of all the distresses suffered by this devoted city, 
perhaps the last was the most terrible. 

It was freed by the temporary success of the Greek insurgents 
in 1770, from the yoke of the Turks ; but the appearance of the 
Albanians, who rushed through the passes of the isthmus to the 
assistance of the Mahometans, soon decided the fate of the place. 
An army of ten thousand, both horse and foot, entered the town 
through every avenue. It was not a contest, but a carnage. The 
houses were all burnt to the ground ; not a Greek capable of 
bearing arms was spared. 

The son of the English Consul, with about seventy of the 
wives and daughters of the principal inhabitants, obtained with 
difficulty permission from a body of Albanians, who were break- 
ing open the doors with hatchets, to retire to the fortress. In 
passing through the yard of the citadel, they saw it strewed with 
bodies without heads. A Turkish commander, who knew the 
young man, assisted him to escape in a barque with his fugitives 
to Zante, whither the other Consuls and Franks had before fled. 
Not only Patrass, but the surrounding villages were levelled to 
the ground ; and that part of the Morea called by the Venetians 
the Duchy of Clarenza, of which this place was the capital, was 



m 



LETTER XVII. 



217 



for some lime an unpeopled wilderness. Yet it has recovered in 
the course of forty years from the fire and sword of the Alba- 
nians, and Patrass may now be considered the most flourishing 
town in the peninsula. Napoli and Coron, once preferred on 
account of their superior salubrity, are now upon a gradual de- 
cline. 

Patrass is one of those towns which is governed by a Bey, as 
well as Coron, Modon, Navarino, Misitra, Argos, and Corinth, 
places of which any map of the Morea will give you the position. 
It contains about eight thousand inhabitants; of which one thou- 
sand are Turks, and the remainder Greeks, with a tew Jews, 
and also some Franks, who are under the protection of the Con- 
suls of foreign powers, and are not only free from all extortion 
and oppression, but do not pay even any tax to the Turkish go- 
vernment, unless a duty of three per cent, upon imported goods 
may be so called. It is also frequented by many of the Greek 
islanders, who, with their large loose breeches, wear hats, to give 
themselves the air of freemen. These come for the butter, 
cheeses, wax, wines, and fruits, which are sent from the ports 
of the Morea to Smyrna, Constantinople, and the islands of 
both seas. 

The exports of Patrass are very considerable, consisting 
principally of oranges, olives, cotton from Lepanto, but, above 
all, currants, which are here laden for the supply of every part 
of Christendom. The quantity of currants exported annually 
from the Morea, amounts to eight millions of pounds weight. 
This is what Poukeville has asserted ; and his volume on the 
Morea, being collected by himself during a long residence in the 
country, and being the last account written on the subject, is de- 

Ff 



218 



LETTER XVII. 



serving of every attention. The more that gentleman is ac- 
quainted with facts, the less, as might be expected, does he in- 
dulge in fiction ; and as he possesses all the inquisitiveness of his 
countrymen, and seems to write without prejudice, or the vain 
desire, so manifest in some French authors who have preceded 
him, of displaying himself more than his subject, his information 
will be found generally correct. 

The trade formerly carried on between the Morea and the Ita- 
lian ports, in Dutch or Danish vessels, must now necessarily, in 
great measure, be diverted to Malta and Sicily, to England and 
America. Besides currants, eight cargoes of corn have been an- 
nually exported, two of wool, five or six of oil, one or two of 
silk, cotton, leather, vermilion, and gall-nuts. Convoys of thirty 
and forty vessels arrive from Malta with all the articles wanted in 
the Levant ; coffee, sugar, indigo, cochineal, sulphur, and with 
silk and gold lace, cloth, hardware, and other manufactured 
goods of England and France. Patent London shot may be 
bought, of all numbers, in most towns of the Morea. Besides 
the convoys from Malta, there are English ships which come 
directly from Hull and Bristol, and are employed solely in the 
currant trade. The balance upon the imports and exports is 
alleged to be one-fifth in favour of the Morea, which is received 
in silver coin. Of this, two millions of piasters go as tribute to 
Constantinople, one million is taken by the Pasha of Tripolizza, 
and the remainder, about one million ninety-three thousand 
seven hundred and fifty piasters, is the profit of the rich Greeks. 
The Frank residents are, as the authority before mentioned well 
observes, only a sort of brokers, who get a per centage upon the 
intercourse. The most considerable of this latter description in 



LETTER XVII. 



219 



the Morea is Mr. Strane, the English Consul, and Mr. Paul, 
the Imperial Consul. 

Besides these gentlemen, there are the French and American 
Consuls for the Morea settled at Patrass ; and, owing to a system 
of hostility which, I am sorry to say, has been introduced since 
the new order of things in France, there is a little war carried on 
under the several flags of the different nations. Whilst we were 
at Patrass, the French agent sent an official notice of the peace 
between Austria and his master ; and this was replied to by a 
bulletin containing an account of the capture of two French line 
of battle ships, and a convoy, oft' Toulon. 

A Consul in the Levant is a person of great importance, having 
a chancellor, as he is called, and secretaries, janissaries, and other 
dependants attached to him, being inviolable in his person and 
property, and supposed by the Turks to possess an unlimited 
authority over the people of his own nation, extending even to 
imprisonment and death. The French gentleman, before alluded 
to, seemed, indeed, to be one of those Consuls who, as Voltaire 
said, fancy themselves to be Roman Consuls, being consequen- 
tial and decisive to the last degree. He happened, whilst we 
were in the country, to lose his sword at some place on his way 
from Tripolizza ; and on complaint being made to the governor 
of Patrass, the town and district where the accident happened 
were put in requisition to find it, or furnish his Excellency with 
another. An anecdote that not only shows the temper of 
Mr. Vial, but the influence of the French in the Morea. His 
large tri-coloured flag was hoisted on every occasion for triumph, 
and, not unfrequently, on reports of his own invention ; and this 
zeal and activity, though exerted in a manner which one cannot 

if 2 



220 



LETTER XV Ι Γ. 



help thinking a little unjustifiable, have still certainly some effect 
upon the Turks, and, in some measure, further the views of the 
Great Nation. 

It was this gentleman who gave instant notice to the go\ 7 ernor 
of Patrass, of the attempt making in the Morea by three men in 
English pay, to raise recruits for the new Zantiote regiment, now 
called in our army list, the Greek light infantry*, and brought 
about the tragical exit of one of the persons employed on that 
service. It is certain, that no English government would know- 
ingly encourage the recruiting of our armies in the territories of 
foreign states. Yet this is not the first time that interested agents 
have made a similar effort, and brought disgrace upon the British 
character. A Frenchman in our employ, was arrested in the exe- 
cution of the same scheme in the dominions of the Emperor of 
Austria. Yet this happened whilst a gentleman, who would scorn 

* Tliefirst service this Macedonian Legion, about which such a ridiculous 
parade was once made in our papers, was ordered upon, was the storming of the 
French lines at Santa Maura. They were marched up in our way of warfare, 
and continued in good order until the batteries opened upon tbem, when they 
fell upon their laces, and attempted to dig holes for themselves in the sand. The 
English who were their officers, in vain endeavoured to raise them, and being 
left standing alone, were nearly all killed or wounded. The gallant young man 
at whose wish the experiment had been tried, and who now commands them^ 
was shot in the arm. This was no time to triile. Λ company or two of the 
thirty-fifth were marched up, and carried the place in an instant. I had this 
account from an officer of rank who was on the spot. It was unreasonable to 
suppose, that English pay or English discipline had given these troops English 
intrepidity. They should have been allowed to fight in their own fashion. 
The habifs of men are not so suddenly changed ; and, allowing these warriors 
a due share of personal courage, it should have been recollected, that it had 
never been their custom to expose themselves to open fire. 



itiliiiliiiiilii 



LETTER XVII. 



221 



every unworthy practice, was at the head of foreign affairs. He 
knew nothing of the matter. 

Thus it is, that the resources of our country are often trusted 
to unworthy hands, and though no secretary of state would him- 
self connive at sending an emigrant Frenchman kidnapping into 
the dominions of an ally, yet such a person was sent upon such a 
mission. 

During our stay at Patrass, which lasted eleven days, we took 
two or three rides into the neighbouring country. A little more 
than two miles from the port along the shore to the south, is a 
small river, whose course can be discerned for some distance in a 
valley between abrupt hills to the south-east. The present name 
of this river is Leucate ; but the river, on that side nearest to 
the town, was called the Glaucus, according to Pansanias, and 
the next, the Leucas, which comes so near to the modern 



name. 



At this place we dismissed our dragoman, and took into our ser- 
vice another Greek, a native of the island of Syra, and inhabitant 
of Constantinople, who wore the Frank habit. He spoke Turkish, 
Greek, French, Italian, and bad Latin, the last of which lan- 
guages he had learnt at Rome, having belonged to one of the 
choirs. His name was Andreas. The pay of a servant of this 
description is from two to three piasters a day, with provisions and 
lodging. 



On the fourth of December, in the afternoon, we left Patrass. 
The road, which was much cut up by the torrents, at first led us 
to the north, towards the castle on the cape, formerly called 



222 



LETTER XVII, 



Rhium, distant from the town about five miles and a half*. We 
could discern from the road the other castle, called the castle of 
Roumelia, as the other is named that of the Morea, at the other 
side of the strait, which in breadth was reckoned five stadia, 
three hundred and eighty feet more than half a mile f\ These 
castles, sometimes called the Dardanelles of Lepanto, were built 
by Sultan Bajazet in the year 1482 ; they were taken by the 
Venetians in 1576 ; blown up by the Turks in 1687, but again 
restored by them. They seemed strong, but we were informed 
that the fortifications were entirely neglected, and that the walls 
were used as an enclosure for sheep. Near the castle of the 
Morea is a village of thirty or forty houses, surrounded with 
gardens ; and on the other side, towards Patrass, is the ceme- 
tery of the Christians who were slain in the battle of Lepanto. 

Directing our course to the east, after leaving the castle on 
our left at a mile distance, we soon had a view of the town of 
Lepanto, on the north of the gulf. It presents a singular ap- 
pearance, being seated on the steep declivity of a hill, and hav- 
inp• two walls terminating; in a vortex, which is crowned bv a 
castle, commanding the town and harbour. The fortifications 
are strengthened by four walls, which run crossways from one 
side to the other in parallel lines, and have caused the appearance 
of the place to be compared to a papal crown. I cannot say the 
simile struck me ; but I read of it in Dr. Chandler's travels. 

Lepanto was first fortified by the Venetians. The entrance to 
the harbour, which is small and circular, and not capable of con- 

* Fifty stadia, according to Pausanias ; forty according to Strabo, lib. xx. ; 
but perhaps be means the town. 

+ Oow h ffivn <Γτ«ο*α'ν ατολητονσα» roffyxoy.— Stral). lib. VUi, 



LETTER XVII. 



223 



tamidg ships of any burden, is scarcely perceptible at a distance* 
The present number of inhabitants is about two thousand, mostly 
Greeks, workers in morocco. The governor of the place is a 
Pasha of two tails ; but his dominions extend only a small dis- 
tance from the town. 

You scarcely need be informed, that Lepanto is on the site of 
the ancient Naupactus, of which name the modern Greek appel- 
lation, Epacto, seems to be a corruption. 

Our road took us over rough uneven paths, and through thick 
woods, sometimes close to the shore, and at others over the feet 
of high hills to our right, that projected into the gulf, and thus 
afforded no road along the beach. We travelled due east. It 
was half past seven, and had been long dark, before we arrived 
at a solitary han on the shore, where we put up for the night. 
Prom Patrass to the han, we had passed only one house on the 
road, and saw no other village than that near the castle of the 
Morea. The road was very bad the whole distance. 

The next day, after walking about most part of the morning 
on the beach, and viewing the grand mountain scenery on the 
other side of the gulf, we left the han, and travelling through a 
more level and open country, and crossing a wide torrent in a 
situation answering to that of the ancient river Bolinseus, arrived, 
in a little more than three hours, at the town of Vostizza, which 
we had seen for some time on a tongue of land jutting into the 
gulf, shaded at the back with groves of tall trees, and inter- 
spersed with orange and lemon gardens, glittering with their ripe 
fruits. 

Between Patrse and iEgium, on whose site Vostizza is sup- 
posed to stand, there were the river Meilichus, the river Chara- 



224 



LETTER XVII. 



drus, the citj Argyra, the river Selemnus (once a shepherd, 
but aiterwarus a stream, whence the neglected swain and the for- 
saken nymph drank oblivion of their former passion), the river 
Bolinseus, and the city Bolina ; and also the city Rhypes, a little 
above the road, which was a military one, something more than 
three of our miles from JEgium, Of the three cities, as Rhypes was 
not inhabited when Strabo wrote, and all were ruins in the time 
of Pausanias, it is no wonder that there is not a vestige remain- 
ing. The rivers also, with one exception before noted, are sunk 
into streams, which we should call by no other name than that of 
winter brooks. A promontory, which should be Drepanum, 
shuts out the view of Vostizza till one is arrived within six miles 
of the town; for Drepanum, though put by some maps nearer 
to the cape of Rhium, is said by Pausanias to stretch into the 
gulf from the place where the Bolinaeus flows, and both the pro- 
montory, and the torrent we crossed on our second day's jour- 
ney, correspond to that description*. 

The whole distance, by the shortest road, from Patrae to 
iEgium, was one hundred and ninety stadia, something more 
than swenty-one miles and a half. The sail round the shore was 
forty stadia longer. It was first to Rhium fifty stadia, to Port 
Panormus fifteen, to the walls, called, of Minerva, fifteen, to 
Port Erineus ninety, to iEgium sixty jf. 

The gulf, which, as far as Vostizza, is rather narrow, swells 
beyond that point into a considerable sea. 

An hour before we arrived at the town, we had our first view 

* But Strabo, in Book viii. says, that the back part of the promontory 
Rhium was called Drepanum. 

t Pausanias-Achaic. p. 441 and 442. 



^^^^i^K^^d^^^^^ 




LETT Κ It XVII. 



225 



of Parnassus, now called Liakura, on the other side of the gulr. 
rising far above the other peaks of that hilly region, and capped 
with snow. The two tops, however, were not discernible ; nor 
did I ever observe that peculiarity during the three weeks we 
were within sight of the poetic mountain. The spot whence the 
summit may be most distinctly viewed, is in the neighbourhood 
of the isthmus of Corinth. 

Yostizza contains between three and four thousand inhabitants, 
chiefly Greeks, who trade in raw silk, cheeses, currants, hides, 
gums, rackee, the small fishes called sardinias, and boutaraga. 
The hard cheeses of Yostizza are accounted the best in the 
Morea. The town and its district are governed by a Greek 
Codja-bashee, or elder, as are three others of the twenty-four 
cantons into which the Morea is divided, Caritene, Sinano, and 
\ r asilico. We were lodged in the house of the Codja-bashee at 
Yostizza, who, notwithstanding his title, was a very young man, 
not twenty years old, by name Andreas Londo, the son of a 
Greek in the highest esteem with Yeli Pasha, and acting the 
part of his chief minister at Tripolizza. We could in an instant 
discover the Signor Londo to be a person in power : his chamber 
was crowded with visitants, claimants, and complainants ; his 
secretaries and clerks were often presenting papers for his sig- 
nature ; and the whole appearance of our host and his house- 
hold presented us with the singular spectacle of a Greek in au- 
thority — a sight which we had never before seen in Turkey. The 
Codja-bashee was not quite five feet in height, and, without any 
exaggeration, his cap, or talpac, was very near one-third of 
that measure. He studied, as much as possihle, to give himself 
the reserved air of a Turk ; but his natural good-humour and 
liveliness frequently burst through the disguise, and displayed 

G g 



220 



LETTER XVII. 



him in his real character, of a merry playful boy ; so much so, 
indeed, that before we left his house, we had more than once 
prevailed on him to throw off his robes and cap, tuck up his 
sleeves, and attempt several feats of agility, such as jumping 
over chairs, tumbling, and sparring, with which latter exercise 
he was so highly delighted, that he now and then started up, 
called in one of his secretaries, and knocked him down on the 
sofa, as a trial of his skill. Being under no restraint from a supe- 
rior, he showed the true bent of his disposition, which, perhaps, 
would be, in better days, that of the Greeks in general; for he 
was passionate, enthusiastic, childish, important, and a little osten- 
tatious ; but polite, kind, and hospitable, and showing many evi- 
dent traits of an amiable mind. 

We were comfortably lodged, and handsomely entertained, by 
him. His house was large, and built on stone arches, the ascent 
to it being by a wooden staircase. It contained two wings, the 
right hand one of which was occupied by the females of the 
family, whom, by the way, we never once saw in ten days ; the 
left hand apartments consisted of the room of audience, and of 
a back chamber, where we slept. The gallery connecting the 
two wings had a dining-room in the middle ; the culinary con- 
cerns were carried on in a place to which the entrance was on the 
right of the dining-room ; and a door, on the left of that apart- 
ment, opened into a small closet, which might as well have been 
elsewhere. The room of audience was well fitted up with fine 
sofas, a rich carpet, and sash windows, a great rarity. In the 
dining-chamber were tables and chairs. We were told the house 
altogether was the best of any belonging to a Greek in the 
Morea. 

The table kept by the young Londo was good, as far as a 



XETTER XVII. 



.227 



Greek cook can prepare a dinner. The meat was stewed to rags. 
They cut up a hare into pieces to roast. I do not recollect that 
any of the flesh dishes were boiled*. The pastry was not good, 
beino• sweetened with honey, and not well baked ; but the thick ewes' 
milk, mixed with rice and preserves, and garnished with almonds; 
was very palatable. The boutaraga, caviar, and macaroni pow- 
dered with scraped cheese, were good dishes. But the vegeta- 
bles and fruits, some of which the luxuriant soil furnishes without 
culture, were indeed delicious, and in great variety. There were 
cabbages, cauliflowers, spinach, artichokes, lettuces, and cellery, 
in abundance ; but the want of potatoes was supplied by a root 
tasting like sea-cale. The fruits, which were served up at the 
conclusion of the dinner, and before the cloth was removed, were 
oranges, olives, pears, quinces, pomegranates, citrons, medlars, 
and nuts, and lastly, the finest melons we ever tasted. These 
last fruits were, however, not grown in the Morea, but brought 
from Cefalonia, where alone, and in one spot only of the island, 
so our host told us, they come to so great a perfection. To 
transplant them has been attempted, but they lose their flavour 
in another soil. We were too late for the summer fruit in the 
Morea ; but, in my opinion, the peaches, cherries, apricots, 
nectarines, and even the grapes, in the Levant, are inferior to 
those grown in the open air, or in hot-houses, in England ; for the 
Greeks, either not knowing, or too lazy to engraft, have never 
attempted to improve the quality of their trees. The green fig is 
reckoned a great delicacy, but to me it seemed tasteless. 

* Servius, in a note on line 710, of the first book of the yEneid, pretends,, 
that Horner's heroes never ate boiled meat; but Lambert Bos cites Athcnjeus, 
lib. 197, to prove the contrary, and settles so important a point. 

G g % '*" 



228 



LETTER XV IT. 



The dinner hour at Vostizza was four o'clock ; and the supper, 
formerly the most important meal, but now gradually, in com- 
pliance with the fashions of Christendom, supplied by coffee, was 
entirely dispensed with. In the morning-, a cup of chocolate, 
with fried buttered bread in strips, was handed to each, and no 
breakfast-table was set. 

The Codja-bashee rose about eight o'clock, and generally passed 
his morning, until twelve, in the concerns of his office, or with 
the females of his family, or at church : then he mounted his 
horse, and went into the country to hunt, or called on the Turks 
or Greeks of the town : after dinner he passed some time in bu- 
siness, or in his " gynseceum," with the ladies : the latter part 
of the evening was spent in our company, until eleven, when he 
retired to rest. During the whole day the pipe was seldom out 
of his mouth, not even when he was on horseback. Beim* one 
day informed of the approach of the English Consul from Patrass, 
he went out to meet him in form, with two of his longest pipes, 
and they both rode into the town smoking. This is considered 
the most ceremonious way of receiving a stranger of distinction. 

We accompanied our host on one or two coursing parties, and 
were mounted on some good horses out of his stables. An Eng- 
lish sportsman would not fail to laugh at the manner in which this 
diversion is taken in the Morea. We had with us four wire-haired 
greyhounds called Lacouni (canes Laconici), three mongrel poin- 
ters, and several curs:, we beat about the bushes, making as much 
noise as possible, with a large party of men on foot and horseback, 
and the moment the hare was started, all the dogs set off thridding 
the bushes, of which there were large clumps on the plain, bark- 
ing and running both by sight and smell. The hare was lost for 



L.ETTER XVII. 



229 



a moment, then found again, and after a short run killed. It was 
of a light grey colour. During our search for hares we put up 
many woodcocks, with which both the Morea and Roumelia abound 
in the winter season. 

The country behind Vostizza, and to the south-east of it as far 
as the mountains, about six miles distant, is cultivated, and divided 
into corn grounds, but very stony, and interspersed with brush- 
wood. Through the plain from a narrow opening in the hills, 
tlows a river, broad but not deep, over which there is a bridge. 
If Vostizza be iEgium, this stream is the Selinus. Immediately 
to the east on the shore, there are large groves of olive-trees : on 
the west, below the cliff on which the town stands, is an extensive 
flat covered with brushwood, through which runs a small fordable 
stream, that may be either the Phoenix or Meganetes, mentioned 
by Pausanias. On the beach under the town, is the enormous 
plane tree that was notorious in the time of Chandler. One of its 
largest branches, as thick as the trunk of most trees, has lately 
fallen off, and many of the other boughs are supported by long- 
beams of wood. Under the shade of it we saw a large vessel 
building, by which you may judge of the size of the tree itself. 

The only remains of antiquity at the modern /Egium, are two 
fragments of brick wall sunk in the earth, partly of the kind 
called opus reticulatum,, or net-work, and partly of the same sort 
as those specimens composing the ruins of Nicopolis. W hat has 
been considered as denoting the site of Vostizza to be exactly 
that of the city once celebrated as the place of assemblage for the 
stales composing the Achcean League, is a fountain of clear water, 
bursting from many stone mouths near the plane tree ; for iEgiuin 
is described as having been at a short distance from the shore, and 
supplied with good water from plentiful springs. 



230 



LETTER XVII. 



The Turks burned iEgium, says Dr. Chandler, by which I 
suppose he means, Vostizza, in 1536, and put the inhabitants to 
the sword, or carried them away into slavery. 

Either from inclination or policv, the Greeks in the Morea are 
favoured to an unusual degree by their present Pasha, the son of 
Ali. Veli employs many of them about his chief concerns, and, 
what is strange if it be true, is said to profess much greater esteem 
and confidence for those of his Albanian guards who are Christians, 
than for the Turks amongst them. The Vizier, for he is a Pasha 
of three tails, is a lively young man ; and besides the Albanian, 
Greek, and Turkish languages, speaks Italian, an accomplishment 
not possessed, I should think, by any other man of his high rank 
in Turkey. It is reported that he, as well as his father, are pre- 
paring, in case of the overthrow of the Ottoman power, to esta- 
blish an independent sovereignty. But all such rumours appear 
to me highly absurd and unfounded; for to judge from the little I 
have seen, no Turk, if he contemplates the possibility of the re- 
treat of the Sultans from Constantinople, would make up his mind 
to live, much less can hope to reign, surrounded by the Infidels. 
It is more probable that Veli, knowing how often the dominion of 
the Morea has been disputed, and how constantly the attention 
of the Christian powers has been, and is fixed upon his pashalik, 
is willing to court the favour of the great majority of his sub- 
jects. 

The present population of the Morea has been laid down at 
four hundred thousand Greeks, fifteen thousand Turks, and four 
thousand Jews ; in this computation the Mainotes are not in- 
cluded*. 

* Poukeville, Voyage en Moree, p. 234. 



ι ^_ ^«Ji*^*-**.***** *****.x^^ 



LETTER XVII. 



231 



Having mentioned the Mainotes, 1 cannot refrain from digress- 
ing a little, to speak of them more at length. 

So early as the reign of Constantine Porphyro-genitus, the 
Eleuthero-Laconians (who had been enfranchised from the domi- 
nion of Sparta by a decree of the Roman Senate, a liberation 
which was afterwards particularly confirmed by Augustus*) 
had acquired the name of Mainotes. They continued the 
worship of the Pagan deities five hundred years after the rest 
of the Roman empire had embraced Christianity. The arro- 
gant author of the philosophical dissertations On the Greeks, 
to give a baser origin to this people, has reckoned amongst their 
ancestors some of the foreign satellites of the monster Nabis, who 
were driven, says he, from the city of Sparta by the army of the 
Achaean League. But in the account of that transaction by Livy, 
I find no positive mention of any settlement made by the auxi- 
liaries of that tyrant in the t went} 7 - three maritime cities of La- 
conia, which were separated from the dominions of Sparta. Mr. 
Gibbon, with more reason, as it appears, inclines to rank some 
of the much-injured Helots amongst their progenitors ; and, if 
it were a point worthy the trouble of establishing, the Spartans 
themselves might, I think, be proved to have transfused some of 
their blood into the veins of the people of the neighbouring 
towns. When Sparta (for it was then called by that name) wa- 
given up by Thomas Pakeologus to Mahomet the Great, those 

* Mr. De Pauw accuses Pausanias of " excessive ignorance" of history, in 
referring the establishment of the Eleuthero-Laconians to Augustus; yet it 
remains a doubt, whether the Laconian states were known by that name until 
the decree of that emperor. Mr. De Pauw's date is 559, U C. ; but the peace 
l>etwecn the Romans and Nabis was in 557, and the death of that tyrant in 
560^ U. C. Liv. lib. xxxiv. cap. 39, ct lib. xxxv. cap. 35. 



232 



LETTER XVII. 



Greeks who were unwilling to live under the Turks, may he sup- 
posed to have fled into the recesses of Taygetus, and to have set- 
tled amongst the Mainotes. 

But although the true descendants of the ancient Greeks, if 
any where to he found, should perhaps he sought for amongst 
the mountains of Maina ; yet the character of this people has at 
all times heen such as would reflect no honour upon a noble ori- 
gin, but would make one suppose them sprung from the Sclavo- 
nian robbers who overran the Peloponesus in the eighth cen- 
tury. Cape Taenarus, now called Matapan, the most southern 
extremity of the Morea, has at all times been inhabited by 
savages, who have not only infested the neighbouring seas with 
their piracies, but have massacred those that have been ship- 
wrecked on their rocks. 

A place on the coast, called now Vitulo, a corruption of the 
name of iEtylos, an ancient town on the shore of the Messenian 
gulf, has sometimes been considered the capital of Maina ; but 
Marathonisi, a town on the coast to the east of Taygetus, con- 
taining: five hundred inhabitants, is now the residence of the chief 

ο * 

of the Mainotes ; and Vathi, a strong post, with a castle, the 
property of one of those petty princes who dispute the possession 
of the country, is considered as next in importance to the prin- 
cipal town. The inhabitants of no other district, however, have 
ever been reckoned so cruel and ferocious, as those of the hilly 
strip of land denominated by the Venetians Bassa Maina. The 
well known character of these rufiians has gained for them in 
the Morea the name of Cacovougnis, or the villains of the 
mountains. They live in huts, most part of them near a Turkish 
fortress called Turcogli Olimionas, and a perpetual exposure to 



LETTER XVII. 



233 



the sun, and the sea air, has given them a tawny complexion, 
which adds to the ferocity of their whole appearance. 

It appears, that about the year 1474, a person styling him- 
self Nicephorus Commenes, son of David, the last Greek Em- 
peror of Trebizond, retreated to Vitulo, and had the address to 
persuade the Bishop, who was in a manner the head of the 
Mainotes, to acknowledge him as an Imperial Prince, and con- 
firm him under the title of Proto-geronte, or First Senior, as the 
chief of the nation. The Proto-gerontes, and their subject rob- 
bers, continued independent of the Sultans, who paid no atten- 
tion to an obscure and barren corner of their vast empire, until 
the complaints of the inhabitants of Modon and Coron, and of 
those of Misitra, the town not far from Palaeo-chori, the site of 
Sparta, and the seat of a Sangiac, awakened the indignation of 
the Turks. In 1676, the Mainotes of the north were attacked, 
but they would not stand the contest ; for they fled, to the num- 
ber of four thousand, into six large ships, four of which were 
lost near Corfu. The remaining two arrived at Corsica, where 
the fugitives settled ; and some of their descendants have been 
recognised by late travellers in that island. 

Amongst the fugitives to Corsica, was a family distinguished 
by the appellation of Kalomeros ; and to the exact identity of 
this name with that of the French Emperor, may be attributed, 
in great part, an opinion current in the Morea, that Buonaparte 
is by descent a genuine Mainote. And, indeed, when the views 
of the French unceasingly directed towards the shores of the Me- 
diterranean induced them in 1797 to inquire into the actual• state 
of Maina, this conqueror, who was then preparing to sail for 
Egypt, addressed an epistle to the Citizen, chief of the Mainotes, 

η h 



234 



LETTER XVII. 



in which he declares the bearers of his letter (most probably some 
Corsican fellow-countrymen) to be of Spartan origin*. 

After the flight of the northern Mainotes, amongst whom were 
the Proto-geronte, one Stephanopoulo, and the Bishop of Vitulo, 
with many of his chief monks, the Cacovougnis, fled to the summit 
of their steepest rocks ; and on being deserted by their chiefs, abo- 
lished the office of Proto-geronte, and created four Captains of the 
whole nation, whose heirs, whether male or female, were to succeed 
to their power. No farther back than the year 1765, a widow of 
one of these Captains, by name Demetria, spread consternation 
amongst the Turks of Misitra, and stopped the communication be- 
tween that town andModon. The Mainotes were still independent 
of the Porte ; they lived entirely on plunder ; and their caloyers, 
or monks, issued from their cells to partake of their booty, and 
encourage their rapacity ; so that no ship, under whatever flag, 
approached the rocks of Matapan without caution, and providing 

* Le General en Chef de PArmA? d'Jtalie an Chef du Peuple libre de Maina. 



CITOYEN, 

Jai τβςιι, de Trieste, une leltre, dans laquelle vous me temoignez le desir 
d'etre utile a la Republique, en accueillant ses batimens sur vos ports. Je me 
plais a croire que vous tiendrez parole avec cette fidelite qui convient a un de- 
scendant des Spartiates. La Republique Francaise ne sera point ingrate a 
l'egard de votre nation ; quant a moi, je recevrai volontiers quiconque viendra 
me trouver de votre part, et ne souhaitc rien tant que de voir regner une bonne 
barmonie entre deux nations egalement amies de la liberie. 

Je vous recommandt* les porleurs dc cette lcttre, qui sont aussi des desccndans 
des Spartiates. S'lls non pas fait jusq'Lci de grandes choses, c'est qu'ils nc sont 
point trouves sur un grand theatre. 

Salutet fratcrnite, 

JBUOXAPARTD. 



LETTER XVII. 



235 



against an attack. At the same time, they addressed the Chris- 
tian Powers to support them in their opposition to the Porte, 
until the Russians invaded the Morea in 1770, and carried the 
town of Misitra, in which the Mainotes committed the most 
frightful excesses, but afterwards deserted their allies, and caused, 
(such is the accusation of the Russians), the failure of the whole 
expedition. However, a body of them, amounting to two thou- 
sand men, advanced to the relief of Patrass, but were repulsed 
with great slaughter. 

Since that period, the Mainotes have sometimes been consi- 
dered in subjection to the Pasha of Tripolizza, and at others as 
independent. 

Their mutual dissentions have favoured the views of the Turks ; 
and the ambition of a youth named Constantine, a little before 
our arrival at Athens, introduced some soldiers of Vcli Pasha's 
into the fortresses of a part of Maina, to the prejudice not only of 
the former governor of the country, but that of the liberties of 
the whole people. The other chief, however, still maintained him- 
self in the fastnesses near Bathi, and carried on a predatory war 
with his rival. Torn by these intestine feuds, and yet willing to 
retain the shadow of independence, the Mainotes would willingly 
make every sacrifice in behalf of any foreign power, and, notwith- 
standing former failures, have made an application to their new 
neighbours the English. 

A deputation from them had arrived at Zante, and offered their 
service to our garrison. But, at the same time, they seem desirous 
of submitting, and of being considered subjects of the Porte. A 
Scotch gentleman, whom we encountered several times on ourTour, 
and in whose entertaining work the letter of Napoleon has been 

Hb % 



236 



LETTER XVII. 



already given to the public, assured me that he had seen a formal 
proposal, drawn up by the Bishop of Vitulo, in which, upon cer- 
tain conditions, the Mainotes offered to become tributary to 
the Sultans. The principal article was, that they should be the 
collectors of their own tribute, without the interference of any 
Turk. My informant added, that the memorial was written in a 
style truly laconic; but of this, I hope we shall have an oppor- 
tunity of judging for ourselves, as I am promised a copy of this 
document. I own myself incredulous, though desirous enough 
to see, in what terms the descendants of the Spartans have made 
a voluntary surrender of their liberties. 

Whilst, however, their fate is undecided, they suffer all the dis- 
tresses of anarchy, and their barbarism is increased by their mis- 
fortunes. No Turk, without a large armed force, can travel in 
their country ; but a Frank, by putting himself under the protec- 
tion of their Bishop, or one of their Captains, may be secure 
against all danger. 

They still render the navigation of the Archipelago in small 
boats, very perilous, and they make occasional descents on the 
main land. My fellow-traveller, on a visit to Cape Colonna, ran 
a chance of being surprised by a party of twenty-five of these 
pirates, who were lying hid in the caves below the cliff on which 
are the ruins of the temple of Minerva, but would not venture 
upon the attack of twelve men well armed with guns, pistols, 
and sabres. Two Greeks, who were their prisoners at the time, 
and were afterwards liberated, gave an account of their delibera- 
tions on the subject. 

Such are the people who must in some future time co-operate 
in, what has been called, the deliverance of Greece, Without 



LETTER XVII. 



237 



believing that they are man-eaters, a story propagated by the ter- 
ror of the Turks, you will not think them very honourable allies ; 
and an inspection of the rocky spot which they occupy in the map 
of the Morea, will give you no exalted notion of the importance 
of their aid. 



ι ι 



LETTER XVIII. 

Distance from Patrass to Corinth — and to Athens — Passage 
across the Gulf of Lepanto to the Scale of Salona — Circum- 
ference of the Corinthian Gulf — Galaxcithi — Evanthe — 
Route to Crisso — Salona — View at the Foot of Mount Lia- 
kura, or Parnassus — Crisso — Site of Crissa, or Cirrha — 
Visit to the Ruins of Delphi — Castalia — Treasures of Delphi 
— The Brazen Serpent at Constantinople — Parnassus — Ascent 
to the Summit of it impracticable — Route from Crisso to- 
wards Livadia — to Arakova on Parnassus — The Road Schiste 
— The Three Roads — Distomo — Asprospitia — Monastery of 
St. Luke of Stiris — Arrival at Livadia. , 



THE point to which we wished to direct our steps was 
Athens, and had it not been our desire to visit Delphi, we should 
probably have travelled to that place by the shortest road, keep- 
ing on the south side of the gulf, and passing across the isthmus 
directly into Attica. From Patrass to Corinth is reckoned a 
journey of twenty-four hours. The road from Vostizza passes 
through Vasilico, which travellers have decided to be on the site 
of Sicyon, about three hours from Corinth. From the isthmus 
to Megara is nine hours journey, and from Megara to Athens 



eight. 



LETTER XVIII. 



239 



When Pococke travelled, there were two ruins, apparently 
antique, between Vostizza and Vasilico ; the first, a piece of 
thick wall on the shore, belonging, it is supposed, to the ancient 
Helice, forty stadia from iEgium, and twelve from the beach ; 
the second, about six miles from Vasilico, and more than a mile 
from the water on a hill, corresponding with iEgira. — The whole 
coast had been anciently shaken by violent earthquakes, a cala- 
mity to which other parts of the Morea are now also much sub- 
ject : Coron has, on that account, been of late years not a safe 
residence, and has therefore been partially deserted. 

A strong easterly wind, by no means unusual at the end of 
autumn, setting out of the gulf of Lepanto, detained us until 
the 14th of December at Vostizza, when we got into a strong 
Cefalonian boat, with fourteen men and ten oars, and made the 
best of our way towards the scale of Salona, at the head of the 
deep bay called the Crissaean gulf, though that name has been 
indiscriminately applied to the whole sea from the isthmus to the 
mouths of the Evenus. 

It was half past ten in the morning before we left the shore. 
We crossed the gulf in an oblique direction to the north-east, 
and came, by half past one, to the beach of a small bay in Rou- 
melia, where we anchored, and the boatmen cooked their dinner. 
We saw a small village on a hill to our left, called Petrinizza ; 
and between us and the village, a mile distant, was a han on a 
road leading from Lepanto to the town of Salona. In an hour 
we were off again, and the wind failing us, our sailors rowed 
close under the land, keeping towards the east, and tracing all 
the creeks and windings of an uneven shore. In many places we 
skirted the feet of high rocky cliffs, the resort of innumerable 

ii2 



no 



LETTER XVIII. 



flocks of wild pigeons, that were frightened from their crevices 
by the dashing of the oars, and whistled round us in every direc- 
tion. In three hours we saw another village in the hills, which 
had a wild and barren appearance. We continued along a bold 
rocky shore until seven o'clock, when we pulled into a small 
creek, where there was a fishing-boat, and near which some men 
were sitting round a blazing furze fire, under a hanging rock. 
Here also our boatmen refreshed themselves for an hour. They 
then began rowing stoutly, and in a short time doubled a head- 
land, which was the last before we entered into the gulf of Salona. 
We afterwards went northwards ; and skirting the land, at first came 
to a small bay with a good harbour, which we crossed, and soon 
passed by the town and port of a place called Galaxcithi, where 
some little trade is carried on, and where we saw the masts of 
some large trebaculos swaying about in the moonlight. After 
this we went near a little island, also in the mouth of a deep bay, 
on which there was a church, and we arrived at twelve o'clock at 
night at the scale of Salona, where there was only a custom- 
house and a very miserable han, already so occupied that there 
was only one room for our lodging, and that nearly full of onions. 

From our entrance into the gulf of Salona to our arrival at the 
scale, which is nearly at its extremity, we had been four hours 
constantly rowing fast, and this must give a length of sixteen 
miles to the bay, which is also very broad at its mouth, and 
swells into the land in several other small harbours on both sides*. 

The unskilfulness of ancient mariners regarded a lake of little 
more than two hundred and fifty-six miles in circuit, as a formi- 

* " The Corinthian culf has a perimeter, from the Evenus to Araxus (Cape 
Papa) of 2210 stadia."— Strab. lib. oct. p. 336, edit. Casaub. 



LETTER XVIIT. 



241 



dable expanse of waters, and the Corinthian gulf was sometimes 
called the Crisssean, sometimes the Alcyonian sea. 

Galaxcithij three hours and a half from Salona, has been said 
to be on the site of Evan the, a town inhabited by the Locri Ozola?. 

Evanthe sent out a colony to the promontoiy called Zephy- 
rion, in Italy, a little after the foundation of Syracuse and Cro- 
tona* ; it must, therefore, have been a city of some size. There 
are no remains at Galaxcithi, and perhaps the conjecture has no 
probable grounds of support. 

The morning after our arrival we sent for horses from Crisso, 
a town not more than an hour's ride from the han. 

On leaving the scale we went northwards, anel proceedeel a 
short way over a rising ground, calleel by Chandler a root of 
Cirphis, the mountains whose ranges formed the eastern side of 
the gulf of Crissa. We then came suddenly in view of a very 
romantic prospect. Before us was a well-cultivated corn plain, 
bounded by Parnassus, and interspersed with extensive groves of 
olives ; to the right was an opening in the mountains, appearing 
at first like a chasm, but enlarging by degrees into a valley, 
through which there ran a small river. 'Advancing towards 
Crisso, we had a prospect to the left betw r een the hills of the 
large town of Salona, the capital of the district, containing two 
thousand Turkish families. It stands on the brow of a hill, as 
did Amphissa, the ancient town on whose site it is said to be 
placed-)-. The last part of our riele was up an ascent, tor Crisso is 
placed on the roots of Parnassus. 

* Sfrab. lib. vi. ; called by Pansanias /Eanthea ; "near to Naupactus." — 
Ρ hoc. p. 686. 

+ Κε*τ«ι x.xi -ποΚισ^χ ivt υφνλϋ. — Paus. Phoc. p. 686. it was one hundred and., 
twenty stadia from Delphi, a little more than thirteen miles and a half, 



242 



LETTER XVIII. 



Crisso is a poor Greek town of three hundred houses ; but it 
is the seat of a Bishop, to whom we had a letter from the Consul- 
General at Patrass. We did not, however, lodge at his house, 
but at that of two very decent women who gave us a comfort- 
able apartment. 

The modern town does not stand on the site of Crissa, after- 
wards called Cirrha, which was the maritime town of Delphi, and 
sixty stadia from that place ; a distance sufficient to allow of a 
memorable war between the two cities*. Crissa, after a stout 
resistance to the Amphictyons, was taken possession of for 
Apollo, by poisoning the waters of the Plistus, the river we had 
seen in the valley which supplied the town-f•. There are, how- 
ever, no remains to be seen lower down than where the town now 
stands, except a few pieces of wall. Neither the temple of 
Apollo, nor the Pythian hippodrome, have left a vestige on the 
plain where they stood. 

The writings of well known travellers, and the accurate though 
popular work of the Abbe Barthelemy, have rendered even the 
unlearned reader so familiar with the ancient wonders of Delphi, 
that I shall do little more in this place than minutely note what I 
myself saw, when conducted to the spot by a Greek guide from 
Crisso, on the 16th of December, 1809. 

On that day we ascended the mountain on horseback, up a very 

* Strabo speaks of Cirrha and Crissa as two cities, and says, Cirrha was 
eighty stadia from Delphi, p. 418 ; but this was a more ancient town, destroyed 
by the Crisseans, and not the Cirrha, which Pausanias says was sixty stadia 
from Delphi, so that Casaubon need not have tried to reconcile the two mea- 
surements, by saying, thai the eighty stadia alludes to the channel or course of 
the Plistus from Delphi; besides, the Plistus is only a torrent, and does not flow 
from Delphi. 

t Pausan. Phocic. p. 684. 



LETTER XVIII. 



243 



steep craggy path to the north-east, which obliged us often to 
dismount. We could see for some time nothing but the bare 
rocks which we were climbing, for the summits of Parnassus 
were totally invisible, and cannot at any time be seen by those 
who are in that position. 

After scaling the side of the hill about an hour, we saw the 
first remarkable object, which is a large piece of rock on the left, 
a little above the path. This apparently has been loosened from 
its base, and contains an excavation, the shape of which being a 
segment less than a semicircle, like the mouth of an oven, wide 
but not deep, with a sort of trough below, denotes it to have 
been a sarcophagus. 

Ascending a little higher, we saw another immense stone, or 
rather mass of stones, also on the left, and of a regular shape, 
that seems to threaten the passengers below. 

Behind one of these fragments, the murderers employed by 
Perseus to kill Eumenes may have lain concealed before they en- 
deavoured to overwhelm him with pieces of rock from above. 
The description given by Livy* answers most exactly to the spot, 
and might have been written yesterday by an actual observer of 
the positions. 

Just beyond the fragments, we climbed up, to the left of the 
path, to a small cave facing the west on the side of the hill. In 
this there are three sepulchral cavities, one on each side, and over 
the oblong troughs where the body was placed, is a niche which 
may have contained the lamp, or the small ornaments occasion•; 

* Adscendcntibus ad templuma Cirrha priusquam pervenirclur ad frcqucntia 
rcdificiis loca, maceria erat. ab laeva semitae paulum extans a fundamento, 
qua singuli transircnt, &c. &c— Liv. lib. xlii. cap. 15. 



244 



LETTER XVIII. 



ally deposited in the ancient tombs, and discovered in some of 
them at this day. Some of these troughs are of a length and 
depth sufficient to make one suppose that the bodies they con- 
tained were not burnt, but buried entire, or at least that their 
bones were disposed into their proper places, and not thrown to- 
gether into the urn, according to the common practice. 

Proceeding up the steep, we soon had a view of Castri, a small 
mud town situated a little to the east of a circular hollow in the 
mountain, round which are the rows of seats belonging to the 
Pythian stadium. But the casing of Pentelic marble, with which 
this building was adorned by Atticus Η erodes, has disappeared, 
and the original structure of Parnassian stone, alone remaining, 
has the look of fragments of old walls rising a little above the 
earth, in a regular order one over the other. Each stone is about 
two feet and a half in length, and of a proportionate breadth and 
thickness*. Above Castri is a perpendicular rugged rock; below 
it is a steep descent into the vale of the Plistus, on the other side 
of which are the stony, flat, hills of Mount Cirphis. 

After the first sight of the town we turned to the left hand, 
towards the stadium, and were led to a cave immediately on the 
left of the path. In this cave there are, as in the one described, 
three sepulchral cavities, but the arches and niches are larger, and 
more carefully worked, and the troughs are longer than in the 

* Any attempt to ascertain the true length of the Pythian stadium, fixed by 
Mr. D'Anville at four-fifths of the Olympic stadium, or five hundred Greek 
feet, from the remains at Castri, would, such is the state of the ruin, most pro- 
bably be unsuccessful. M. Spon has observed, that it is shorter than that whose 
circuit is now seen at Athens. It appeared to me considerably so ; but the form 
is also very different, being semicircular, whereas, that of Herodes at Athens is 
in the shape of an oblong horse-shoe. 



LETTER XVIII. 



!45 



other tombs. To the entrance of it, which is an arch high enough 
for a man to stand upright, the Castriotes have adjusted a wooden 
door, so that it serves as a dark stable for two or three of tbeii 
cattle. Over the tomb, opposite the entrance, is the carved 
head of some animal, so much battered as to be scarcely dis- 
tinguishable, but looking like that of a horse, a well-known 
sepulchral ornament. Above the tombs, on the side, are oval 
niches. Our conductor informed us whilst in this cave, that we 
were standing over a pit which he had seen open, and knew to be 
fifty (τ»ιχί*ί) cubits in depth. That this was the cavern whence 
the Pythia received the divine subterranean vapour, does not 
seem at all probable ; yet the people of the country have fixed 
upon it for the sacred spot ; " for," said our guide, " here the 
Greeks worshipped, in the days of Apollo, the king of these 
places." 

A few paces below the cave, to the right, is a small church de- 
dicated to St. Elias, built on a spot of flat ground, where is a 
large piece of ancient wall, with fragments of carved marble, 
and the capitals of two columns inserted in the work. 

On the left of the cave, beside the path, there is a seat cut out 
of the rock, for the refreshment of those who have climbed the 
mountain. 

Goin^ into the town of Castri, which is about two hundred 
paces beyond the cave, but a little lower down in the hill, we 
were taken to a hovel, in a dark room of which, half under-* 
ground, there was a piece of rough wall several feet in length and 
height, entirely covered with ancient inscriptions, quite undecv- 
pherable in the situation where they are placed. They register, 
says Chandler, the purchase of slaves, who had entrusted the 

κ k 



346 



LETTER XVIII. 



price of their freedom to the God, containing the contract be- 
tween Apollo and their owners, witnessed by his priests, and by 
some of the Archons. 

We next scrambled up the dirty lanes of the town to two 
stone fountains, one above the other, of modern workmanship, 
and of the same sort as are to be met with all over Greece. They 
are both supplied, as a woman of Castri told us, by the same 
stream — the once prophetic spring Cassotis. 

From this spot we descended gradually towards the east, and 
leaving the town, in half a quarter of a mile found ourselves in a 
position, where, turning suddenly to our left, we saw an immense 
cleft rending the mountain from the clouds down to our feet. 
Down the crags of this chasm, a stream trickled into a stone 
basin sunk in the earth just above the path, overflowing whose 
margin, and enlarged in its progress by other rills, it was seen 
falling over the rocks into the valley beneath. We clambered up 
into the chasm by means of some grooves cut in the rock, but 
almost worn away by the dripping water, as far as it was possi- 
ble to go ; and here, if any where, being literally " dipped in 
dew of Castaly ;" for this was the immortal rill, and we were 
sprinkled with the spray of the falling stream ; here we should 
have felt the poetic inspiration. 

But the evening began to close in upon us, and we descended 
into the path we had left. 

Just above the basin, in a niche of the rock, is a small hut, 
which is called the church of St. John, and which contains part 
of the shaft of a large fluted column of marble, with a marble 
slab. 

In a little grove of olive trees, on a green plot a few yards 



LETTER XVIII. 



247 



below the basin, is a monastery of the Panagia, or Holy Virgin, 
which we entered. Here are two marble columns, about eleven 
feet in height, supporting the shed of a pent that «tretches out 
from the chapel. On one of them was scratched Aberdeen, 
1803 ; and in another place, more carefully cut, H. P. Hope, 
1799• There is something agreeable in meeting even with the 
name of a countryman ; and I know not if we did not contem- 
plate these inscriptions with greater pleasure, than that which is 
seen on a piece of marble wedged into a low wall close to the 
columns, and which is still very visible, though the letters are 
wearing fast away. This is a fac-simile of it : the letters are 
rudely cut. 

λια Kiz^A 

The simple sepulchral inscription so common amongst the 
Greeks, " iEacides — Farewell/' 

Under the window of the sacristy, behind the altar, there is 
also the following inscription in good preservation, and nicely 
carved : 

ΧΡΗΣΤΟΣ ^^. 
ΓίΡΩΤογ ΘΡΣΣα 
ΛΟΣΛΑΡΕΙΣΑΙΟΣ 
ΓΙΕΛΑΣΠΏΤΗΣ 

ΗΤΏΝ 
IH 

ΗΡΩΣ 



Kk2 



248 



LETTER XVIII. 



You will pardon me for troubling you with this latter unim- 
portant inscription, which may have been often noticed before, 
though Chandler, who has got the former, says nothing of it in 
his Travels. 

Beyond the monastery, and from the path approaching Castri 
from the east, are to be seen some sarcophagi, and niches in tue 
mountain similar to those on the other side of the town. 

Perhaps it may increase the interest in perusing this account 
of the present appearance of Delphi to believe, that the basin 
below the church of St. John is that in which the Pythia bathed, 
before she ascended the sacred tripod ; that the cleft in Parnassus 
is the one which divided the two summits of the poetic hill ; and 
that the monastery stands on the site of the Delphic gymnasium, 

Dr. Chandler's conjectures as to the first point, were somewhat 
confirmed by washing his hands in the cool water of Castalia, 
when he was seized with a shivering fit. We drank deep of the 
spring, but (I can answer for myself) without feeling sensible of 
any extraordinary effect. 

Leaving the monastery to return to Crisso, we did not pass a 
second time through Castri, but took a path a little below the 
town, when we came, in not more than a hundred yards, to a 
long piece of ancient wall, built of the same rough stones as the 
other before-mentioned, and entirely covered with inscriptions, 
some of which have been copied by the well-known Mr. Wood. 
The letters are still very visible ; but there are so many breaks in 
the stones, which are honeycombed with age, that the whole in- 
scription, had we had time to copy it, would be as difficult to be 
understood as the meaning of the EI that is the subject of Plu- 
tarch's treatise. 



LETTER XVIII. 



249 



Near this wall was the shaft of a marble fluted column about 
three feet in length, lying neglected on the ground, the last we 
saw of the few remains of those masterpieces of art, which ren- 
dered Delphi the delight, not only of all the Greeks, but of the 
other most polished nations of antiquity, and a residence worthy 
of the god to whom it was consecrated. 

On the whole, you would I think be disappointed with the situa- 
tion of this place, which is so hidden in a nook, or a sort of na- 
tural amphitheatre ahaut a mile up the mountain, as to afford a 
prospect neither of the depth of the precipice below, nor of the 
height of the rocks above. You would be very much at a loss 
to guess where a town of nearly two miles in circumference could 
have been placed, for there are not more than two small spots 
of level ground, any where within the circuit of the present re- 
mains. You would look in vain for the " woods that wave," as, 
except in the little olive-grove surrounding the monastery, there 
is not a single tree on the rocks either above or below. The 
laurel has been again transplanted to her native Tempe. If, how- 
ever, forgetting the poetic raptures you expected to feel in the 
bosom of Parnassus, you should consider only the object which 
the Greeks must have hid in view in offering their wealth, and 
the richest productions of art, at this favourite shrine, you would 
at once allow, that no place could have been selected better 
adapted for the security of their united treasures, than the steeps 
of Castri, which to an open enemy must be perfectly inaccessible. 
Indeed, though Delphi was often plundered, yet when d seuons 
resistance was made, the Gauls under Brennus, as well as the 
Persians of Xerxes' army, were repulsed, anu did not dare to 
advance into the fastnesses of the mountains. The same object 
of security induced the Greeks to fix their other magnificent 



550 



EETTER XVIII. 



temple of Λ polio on the island of Delos, which modern travellers 
have described as one mass of rugged rocks. 

Before it was 'pillaged by the Phocians, Delphi whs reported 
to contan, more wealth than all the rest of Greece nut together 
and these sacrilegious invaders carried off gold and «lver, amounting 
to ten thousand talents, equal to 1,937,500 pounds sterling, yet 
there were so many materials left for the plunder of more power- 
ful robbers, that neither Sylla, nor Nero, who at once transported 
five hundred brazen images to IW. rauW Pxna „ st the sacred 
treasury. A very large collection of some of the finest Specimens 
of ancient painting and sculpture, together with the sacred tem- 
ples themselves, remained to excite the admiration of Pausanias 
who must have visited Delphi nearly two hundred years after the 
oracle had fallen into contempt, for the power of Apollo did not 
long survive the Grecian confederacy to which it had owed its 
importance ; and though the Pythia was consulted by Nero 
and was once heard to speak in the days of Julian, yet, her re- 
sponses were disregarded long before the age of Cicero*, and had 
begun to yield to the Syb,lli„ e books, the aruspices, and the ob- 
servers of omens and astrological signs, brought into repute by the 
prevalence of the Roman superstition. It was not, we may sup- 
pose, the sanctity of the place which preserved so many monu- 
ments of ancient art from the rapacity of the first Latin conque- 
rors of Greece, but rather an ignorance of their true value in those 
warriors. I need only allude to the common anecdote of Mum- 
mius, as related by Velleius Paterculusf. The golden, the s.lver, 
and even the brazen ornaments of the temple, were stripped by suc- 

* Cur utorcoda jam oracula Delphi. no„ eduntnr, non modo nostra «tote, 
«d jam ,m, ,., n.h.I possit esse contempt,,,* ?_Cic. De Di T . lib. 2. cap. 57. 
t lii^t. lib. ι. cap. 13. 



LETT Κ 11 XVI II. 



251 



cessive plunderers, but the marbles were spared, and the greater 
part of them may be believed to have been crushed under the 
foiling fragments of the mountain, or sunk into the ground ; for 
I believe there is not in the collection of any antiquary, a statue 
or a bust, that can be proved to have once stood in the Temple 
of Delphi. 

One only of the masterpieces which adorned this sacred place 
can be said now to remain. But that is by far the most ancient 
and the best authenticated Grecian relic at present in existence. 
The triple-twisted serpentine column of brass, whose three heads 
supported the tripod dedicated by the Greeks, after the battle of 
Plataea, to Apollo, is still to be seen, though mutilated, in the 
spot to which it was conveyed from Delphi by Constantine, to 
adorn the hippodrome of his new capital. The column, as much 
of it as is seen above ground, is now about seven feet in height, 
and of a proportionate thickness. It is hollow, and the cavity 
has by the Turks been filled up with stones. 



Parnassus is not so much a single mountain, as a vast range of 
hills, which was once the western boundarv of Phocis, and the 
line of separation of the Locri Ozolae and the Locri Opuntii and 
Epicnemidii, and is now the limit between the district of Salona 
and that of Livadia. The two tops have a sort of poetical exist- 
ence which one would not be inclined to dispute; but the summits 
of the crags separated by the chasm of Castalia, must have been 
those dedicated to Apollo and the Muses, and to Bacchus, as the 
mountain itself is not notorious for this singularity. 



252 



LETTER XVIII. 



To go from Castri to the tops of Liakura, there is a rocky 
path, beginning a little to the east of the ruined stadium. For 
the first hour the ascent leads up a water-course; there is then 
a plain to the right, in the direction of the summits of the Casta- 
lian precipices. These and some other flat spots were cultivated 
in the twelfth century* by some Jews, who, to the number of two 
hundred, lived in Crisso, and gave the name of Jerusalem to a 
village on the mountain. The path continues to ascend a hill 
covered with pines ; then passes through a plain, four or five 
miles in compass, to the foot of a craggy peak, where there is 
a strong bubbling spring called Drosonigo, flowing into a lake a 
quarter of a mile to the south-east. Higher than this no travel- 
ler has ventured to go; the peak is covered with perpetual snows; 
and Wheler, who went to the spots mentioned, thought the ex- 
treme summits, called Lycorea formerly, as high as Mount 
Cenis. They were anciently reckoned sixty stadia above Delphi, 
by the nearest path, and that could be ascended on horseback 
most part of the way, as far, at least, as the great Corycian cave-f-, 
which evaded the search of the famous English traveller, and has 
not, that I know of, been ever discovered. The summits of Par- 
nassus, says Pausanias, are above the clouds, and upon them 
the Thyades perform their mad orgies to Bacchus and Apollo J. 



* Voyage of Benjamin of Tudela, translated into French. 

+ To this cave the Delphians retreated when the barbarians invaded Phocis, 
and were so completely concealed, that, as safe as the Corycian Cave, became 
afterwards proverbial in Greece ; and we see it so used in the fragment of 
Cebes. . 

$ Phoc. p. 672, edit. Xylander. 



■Ε 




-J 



i£ 



1 



a. 



LETTER XVtII. 



253 



At present, they are the summer retreats of the Albanian rob- 
bers, who issue thence upon the plains of Thessaly and iEtolia, 
but are seldom known to lay waste the country to the east, now 
called the district of Livadia. Their fires are seen by the pea- 
sants in the villages below, and are not extinguished until the 
snow has whitened the rocks above the ruins of Castri. 

The day after our visit to Delphi, we set out from Crisso, in 
order to proceed towards livadia. 

The road led at first down into the valley, and then through 
some gardens belonging to the Greeks of Crisso, in a south-east 
direction, and by the side of the small stream of the Plistus. We 
continued for an hour in this very narrow valley, with the preci- 
pices of rocks, under Castri, hanging over our heads, and now 
appearing very stupendous. 

Certainly it is from the valley of the Plistus that the appearance 
of Parnassus is the most striking; and the ancient Greek travel- 
ler, who believed it the favoured mansion of his gods, and the 
centre of the universe, and from this position saw the rocky sum- 
mit rising in a blaze of light into the clouds, must have been 
agitated by a mingled commotion of piety and fear*. 



Δικόρυ^ον σιλα,ς, ντΐίξ α,κοων 
Βακχαΐι»/, Δίοννο-« 
Οί'να θ', α xot.Qcc.[XifH9V Γ*£«ί 
Τον πολυκαρτον 
Ο,'.'άνδα; 'κ7σα βοτφνϊ 
Ζά$ί» Τ άντρα όξάκοντο^ 
Oviiuu τε σκαπΗΧΛ 9ewv> 
χα» τ. λ. χα* τ. λ. 

Ενρ»ίτ. Φοιν, Χο» Ι. 

l1 



254 



LETTER XVIII. 



Several caverns are to be seen in the sides of the rock, some of 
which may be supposed artificial. 

Leaving the valley, we began to ascend the side of the moun- 
tain, in order to get to the village where we were to sleep. In a 
little time, we had a view of Castri, to our left, and rather behind 
us. We crossed the stream of the Plistus, which, in its passage 
down the hill, turns two large overshot mills. From the first mill, 
close to which we passed, the torrent was conveyed down several 
small precipices in wicker troughs, and then over an aqueduct of 
two arches, connecting two hillocks. The side of the mountain is 
here covered with vineyards, and the valley with groves 01 olive 
trees. 

We continued in a slanting direction, ascending a very rugged 
steep, till we came to where a path from the northwards, that 
leads from the summits of the mountain, crosses the road, or ra- 
ther forms an acute angle with it. By this path Wheler de- 
scended, after his ineffective search for the Corycian cave. We 
were now much higher than the position of Castri ; the rocks of 
Mount Cirphis appeared like a plain on a level with us ; yet we 
still ascended, until we arrived, in four hours from Crisso, at 
Arakova, which is the most considerable town on Liakura. It is 
built of stone, and contains, perhaps, three hundred and fifty 
houses, of the poorer sort, inhabited by Greeks. 

We were here lodged with females, who were very attentive 
and obliging, and did not seem so terrified at our Albanians as 
had been the people of the other villages. They danced at our 
request, and their performance was succeeded by that of our men 
in the usual style. The music was a large drum, which, in our 
cottage, was louder than thunder, and was beaten without any 



LETTER XVIII. 



2 DO 



regard to time, or the motions of the dancers. A squeaking pipe 
was also added to the entertainment ; it sounded like the most 
unharmonious bagpipe, and the person who played on it, either 
from the quantity of wind required for the instrument, or for 
effect, made the most frightful contortions. 

After the dancing, the good folks of the cottage sent for a boy 
out of the village, who had been to Malta, which place, it was 
evident from their manner, that they all looked upon as the Ultima 
Thule. They showed him to us as a sort of wonder, and ap- 
peared to question him, if we were like the kind of men he had 
seen on that island. 

On the morning of the 18th of December, we left Arakova, 
and kept, for half an hour, in an easterly direction, along the side 
of the hill, a little on a descent. Looking before us to the south- 
east, as far as we could see, we beheld what appeared the sea, 
but which afterwards turned out to be the Theban plains, and the 
lake Copais, covered with a white mist. We began to descend, 
and observing the place we had left, Arakova seemed just under 
the clouds, amidst the snowy crags of the mountain, which was 
here and there spotted with dark forests of pine. 

We were now in a green valley, where were large flocks of 
sheep, and goats, but no appearance even of a single hut. The 
road still answered to the description of that called Schiste, or 
the Rent, for we were, as it might be, inclosed by Parnassus on 
our left, and the stone hills of Cirphis on our right hand. 

The geographer Meletius talks of some large sepulchral stones, 
denoting the spot where Laius and his attendant were buried by 
Damisistratus, King of the Plataeans. These, if they are still 
to be seen, escaped my observation. 

l12 



256 



LETTER Χ VI IX. 



We travelled in this vale, eastward for two hours, and south- 
ward for another hour, until we came to where three roads meet ; 
one, from the north-east, from Caperna, three hours distance, on 
the site of Cha?ronea and passing by a village still called Thavlea, 
nearly the modern pronunciation of Dauli.s; another, from the 
south, from Livadia; and the third, on which we were travelling, 
from Castri. Would you not have felt inclined to exclaim, " Here 
Laius was killed by CEdipus ; here are the three roads, and the 
narrow pass between the triple path ?" 



• κ«* <πινωπος iv τριπλχΐς όδοΐς*. 

After this spot, which, wherever the fatal accident happened, 
the poets certainly had in their eye, the valley widens to the 
south-westward, and the hills which inclose it to the right become 
low and flat. We continued, for a short time, by the side of a 
brook, which flows from the same direction as the path from 
Caperna and Daulis. We crossed the brook, and struck into a 
path to the east, leaving our former road, which we saw stretch- 
ing over the plain to the south. In an hour from where we 
turned off, our guides informed us, that this road arrives at a 
town called Distomo, which Meletius has placed on the site of 
Ambryssus, a conjecture confirmed by the observation of 
travellers -f•. 

* 0ȣ. Ti/ ? . 1410. 

t Chandler discovered the name of the city, more properly called Ambros- 
sus, upon some inscriptions, which are thus given in Meletius. On one stone; 



LETTER XVIII. 



.257 



From Distomo to Asprospitia, so named from some white 
buildings once standing on the spot, is two hours to the south. 
Asprospitia is on a bay of the gulf of Lepanto, and has been laid 
down on the position of the ancient Anticyra, though that city 
may be put rather farther, on a spot now called Sidero Kauchio. 
The port is frequented by small corn vessels. 

An hour and a half to the eastward of Distomo, two hours 
from the sea, and four from Livadia, is the monastery of St. Luke 
the Less, a summary of whose pious, unprofitable life, is given in 
Dr. Chandler's Travels. He flourished in the tenth century; 
he is called, " the glory of Hellas/' and is worshipped on the 7th of 
February*. I regret that we did not visit the monaster}^, which 



Αυτοκράτορα Κακταρα Μκυρύλιον Κο/χοίοι/ Avruuuvov Αυ'τοκρατο /ios 
Κακτχρος λ. Σεπτιμίζ Σεουνρπ Περτίιχχκος Σεβχς-ον Α'ραβικου Α ίί*(3»ιν»κθ"• 
9ταρ3"ίκου, ριγις-ου Ά&χφοιν, Ά ΤΙολις Α'^βροχτιτεων εττι της οίρχνς 

χντερωτος του άντίρατος κ»» ίυτυρ^ίίττάτου τοζτιθΌυ, 'ετη[Αελη$ί*. ,. . ρο? 

του 'άρχοντος ψ β'. 

On another stone : 

Αυτοκράτορα Νέρωνα Τραϊανού Κχκτχρχ Σεβαττον Tip^.»Vixh t 'γ 
Βο»λ»ί κα» ό Δήμος Α'μβρωσσίων. . . . 



.And on other stones also : 

Α'λκαϊος Αμβ ρωσσ ίων Α'μφίδχμος Σάρατπ, Ι «, Α%ουβ», αρχαία?, . , 
τπρ*αον ,, Καλλ»Γρατα ,, ΑπόλΧωνι „νιχκχς. . ,, EVit<ppeiiiT3v 

* Chandler, cap. lxiii. 



5j3 



LETTER XVIII. 



was built with the ruins of the ancient town of Stiris*, and con- 
tains a church, once the pride of Greece, and even now splendid 
in decay. It was built by the Emperor Romanus, son of Con- 
stantine Porphyro-genitus. 

After quitting the road to Distomo, we again got into a rocky 
path, between hills, with some intervals of wild, uneven moor- 
lands. In this country we continued three hours, when we saw 
some hedge inclosures, and gardens, on our left; and passing 
through a lane, over a path, raised, in many places, on stone 
causeways, we arrived, in another hour, at the end of our day's 
journey, at Livadia-j-. 



* Part of an inscription, alluding to a fountain under the town of Stiris, is 
on one of the stones of which the monastery is built : 

Θιοις, 2fj3aroi?, και τίί Πόλπ, x&l το Έττουαον Ξενοκράτης xou E'viAapiSxs 
ocvi$Yixa.v ex τωι/ Ίίίων } χα» r«« τοπ υ/ίατος Ιισχγωγνν. 

The ruins of Stiris are still called Stiri, or Palseo-Stiri. 

+ From Chaeronea to Panopsea, a town situated in a pass in the mountains 
(near a village now called Agios islasios), and protecting Piiocis, on this side, 
from the incursions of the Boeotians, was twenty stadia, or two Roman miles 
and a half; from Panopsea to Daulis, seven stadia*. Amongst the remark- 
able objects to be seen on this road, was the sand-like clay, out of which man 
was made by Prometheus; it was in large masses, near a rivulet, perhaps that 
which we crossed in this day's roule. Also, the grave of nine acres of the' 
giant Tityus, whose magnitude Pausanias thinks worthy of belief, because 
Cleon, the Magnesian, avers, that incredulity is the child of ignorance, he 
himself having seen, at Gades, a man of the sea, five acres in length. From 
Daulis to the tops of Parnassus, the way was a little longer, but not so diffi- 
cult as that from Delphi. On the road from Salona to Zeitoun, on the straits 
of Thermopylae, is the town of Turco-chorio, or, as it is called by the Turks, 

* Pausan. Phoc. p. 611, et seq. 



LETTER XVIII. 



259 



ζί Esed," to the north, half north-north-east, of the summits of Liakura. To 
.the north of Turco-ehorio, at a small village called Leuta, are marks of the 
ancient JGlatia, not far from the confines of Thcssaly, whose capture by Philip 
awakened the Athenians to a sense of their danger. The expedition of the 
Consul Flaminius into Greece, gives the position of this, as well as of many 
other of the towns of Phocis, and is accordingly referred to by Pausanias. 
At Leuta were seen the following inscriptions : 

Α'υτοχρχτορχ Kxicrxpx Mxpxot/ Αυρήλιον A.\ruvnvov Ευ<τε(3ιι Σεβχντον τον MtyurTQft, 
r\ Βονλη κχι ο Ατιμος Ελατεων. 



On another stone 
On another : 



£7r» PcJjU^iW φιλώ Κχλλιίωρχ. 
Νίμειχ Ε'φετον, Α^ίριχνίχ β*. 



The sites of several of the cities of Phocis are determined by Meletius. 
Lilaea, one hundred and eighty stadia from Delphi, is now called Sou vala ; 
Ampbiclaea, sixty from Lilaea, Dthadthi; Tithroneum, fifteen stadia from 
Amphiclsen, Pal sea Thevce, or Velizza; Drymaea, twenty stadia from Tithro- 
neum, Agia Marina ; Aba), twenty stadia from Elatia, Modi; and Hyampolis, 
is still Ilyampali. 



LETTER XIX. 

Livadia — The Archon Logotheti — Rate of Living in Roumelia — 
Imitation of European Manners — The Cave of Trophonius — 
the present Appearance of the Entrance to it — Ruins of a 
Castle built by the. Catalans — The Settlement of theCatalans in 
Greece — Little Impression left by the Franks on the Manners 
of the Greeks— Visit to Caperna — Ruins of Charonea — the 
Plain — Departure from Livadia — Visit to Scripoo — the Site 
of Orchomenos — the Treasury ofMinyas — The Lake Copais — 
The Village of Mazee — Arrival at Thebes — View of the The- 
ban Territory — Difficulties attending a just Description of 
Modern Greece — The Measurement of Stadia — Diminutive- 
ness of the Country, 



LIVADIA is on the site of the ancient Lebadea, 
the Midea of Homer, a town of considerable note in Bceotia, 
built on the side of a hill, which was between Mount Helicon and 
the territory of Chseronea. 

The modern town, which is written by the modern Greeks, 
Lebadea (Ααβχδύα), is on a declivity, and it requires some climb- 
ing to reach the upper part of it. It contains fifteen hundred 
houses, of stone, many of them very good ones: one hundred 



LETTER XIX. 



261 



only of the families are Mahometans. Yet there are six moscks 
in the place, as well as six Greek churches. 

Livadia has given its name to great part of the country, which 
is sometimes called Greece Proper, and was the Achaia of the 
Romans. It is a place of considerable trade, and the residence 
of several wealthy Greeks. The house at which we were lodged 
belonged to one of the richest subjects in Roumelia, and was 
spacious, and handsomely furnished. 

The name of this gentleman was Logotheti, though, more 
properly speaking, that is only a title, which, from having desig- 
nated the receivers of the finances of the Greek empire, is now 
applied to those who are appointed managers of the revenues of 
the church. He was also one of the rulers of his own nation, 
or a magistrate, who is dignified with the appellation of Archon, 
one of the vain names which still adhere to the modern Greeks, 
and serve to remind us of those to whom they were once attached. 
The peculiar distinction of an Archon is a high fur cap, some- 
thing in the shape of a mitre, and yellow boots or shoes, which, 
as well as some other of the favoured rayahs, he is by the Turks 
permitted to wear, instead of the dark purple and brown*. 

The Archon Logotheti had a numerous retinue of servants, 
two or three secretaries, several priests who officiated as domestic 
chaplains, and a family physician, making in all an establishment 
of fifty persons. Yet he himself assured me, that the whole 
annual expence of his household did not amount to more than 
twenty thousand piasters, about eleven hundred and forty-two 
pounds sterling. This will afford some means of making a com- 
parison between the rate of living in the Levant, and our own. 



* Sec page 54* 
Μ m 



262 



LETTER XtX. 



Our host told me, that he had sent cargoes of cotton and oil 
to London, and was surprised to see the accounts returned to 
him ; " which," said he, " being made up in English pounds, 
made my bargains look very insignificant indeed." The Archon 
was oppressively polite, and fell into an error for which he 
may well be forgiven ; he would show us that he was ac- 
quainted with the manners of civilized Europe, and accord- 
ingly he brought his wife and family from their seclusion to 
introduce them to us ; nay, he would have her and the little 
family dine with us, a ceremony which we could well have ex- 
cused, as the Archontissa had made but little progress under 
the tuition of her husband, and, being evidently doing what she 
was not accustomed to, filled us with terror and confusion. De 
Tott has not exaggerated, when he says, that, in the Levant, a 
lady, to imitate European customs, takes up an olive in her lingers, 
and afterwards sticks it on a fork. 

At Livadia we remained the greater part of three days, and 
took the opportunity of seeing the only curiosity in the town which 
travellers are directed to notice ; this is the entrance of the cave 
of Trophonius. 

Behind the town, in a chasm of the mountain shaded with groves 
of trees, there is a small stream, which falling over the rocks, 
forms a pretty cascade, and flows, a little to the east into the 
plain below\ A short way from the inner recess of the chasm, 
and a few yards above the river, on the right (west) there is an 
artificial hollow in the rock. The cave at the entrance is a semi- 
circular arch, much resembling the mouth of an oven, and pre- 
serves the same form throughout its whole depth, being regularly 
excavated out of the rock, and having a surface not on the descent 
but horizontal. It is high enough to admit a person walking up- 



LETTER XIX. 



263 



right, and the depth of it may be a little more than twelve feet, 
that ascribed to it by Pausanias, whose minute description an- 
swers most exactly to the present appearance of the place*. 

But this cave was only the entrance by which those who went 
to consult the oracle of Trophonius approached to the interior 
cavity. The hole, through which the descent was by a ladder, 
was just big enough to admit a man's body, but after sliding a 
short distance, the consultant was hurried downwards, with his 
knees to his chin, and as if drawn into a whirlpool of waters ; so 
that it is evident, that in order to practise their mysterious jug- 
gling, the priests must have excavated much of the inner part of 
the hill. But these interior caverns, if they still remain, have now 
no entrance to them, except a very small hole, which there is to 
the left of the arch, maybe supposed, as the Greeks affirm it 
does, to lead into them. The inside of the cave has been black- 
ened by the smoke of the fires, kindled there by the women who 
wash in the river below. 

This river was anciently called the Hercyna, and of its two 
springs, which were, as they are now, in the chasm of the moun- 
tain at no great distance from the cave, one was named the foun- 



* In the chasm on (lie banks of the Hercyna at the back of Lebadea, was a 
sacred grove, in which was the temple of Trophonius, or the Trophonian Jove ; 
and a chapel of Ceres. An unfinished temple of Proserpine the Huntress, 
and Jupiter, was on the hill, and a temple of Apollo. The oracle was above 
the grove. At the entrance of the cave was a circular step of white stone, less 
than two cubits high : on this step, whose surface was a vestibule to the cave, 
were two brazen obelisks, between which was the mouth of the cave, like an oven, 
four cubits wide, eight cubits deep. It was the work of Daedalus. The slatue 
of Trophonius, personifying iEsculapius, was by Praxiteles. — Pausa. Bceotic. 
602, 603. 

Μ m 2 



2θ4> 



LETTER XIX. 



tain of Oblivion, and the other that of Memory. For Lethe, 
though a river in the infernal regions, was, above ground, only a 
spring : nevertheless modern poets have talked of it as a stream. 

It was one of the obligations of those who visited the cavern 
of Trophonius, to write down every thing they had seen or 
heard ; but as this duty is not still in force, one would not feel 
much inclined to give a detail of its present appearance, which, 
though in form and symmetry, much the same as it must have 
been in the second century, would not call from a modern such 
encomiums as have been bestowed upon it by Pausanias *. The 
skill and harmony, with which, to the last degree of ingenuity, 
it was constructed, would not save it from total neglect, were it 
not for the former repute of the unerring oracle, the last which 
was heard to utter the decrees of fate. 

On the top of the rock, above the cave, is a ruin that more 
forcibly reminds one of the latter miseries and degradation of 
Greece. This is an old castle, part of which still serves the 
Turks for a fortress, and which was built by the Catalans. 

These barbarians, called by the Greeks Amogavares, first en- 
tered into the service of the emperors of Constantinople, and 
Roger de Flor, who commanded a great body of them in 1303, 
was made Duke of Romania by Andronicus the elder, and after- 
wards created Caesar. But they were not willing to be dismissed 
from the armies and pay of the Greeks, and seized Gallipoli, by 
which they made themselves masters of the Hellespont. They 
then marched through Thrace and Macedonia, encamped for a 
year on the plains of Thessaly, then passed the straits of Ther- 



* Bceot. page 603. 



LETTER XIX. 



265 



mopylae, and established themselves in Greece; of which they 
continued in possession for the remainder of the fourteenth cen- 
tury; when they were first partially dispersed by the Florentine 
Acciacoli, and afterwards totally expelled by the armies of Ma- 
homet the Great. The Sultan Bajazet the First, had before been 
more lenient ; he suffered the widow of a Spanish chief, who was 
mistress of the recesses of Delphi, to retain her possessions, but 
he accepted of her daughter as a reward for his generosity. 

The independent chieftains, French and Italians, as well as the 
Spaniards, who ruled in Greece during the interval between the 
Latin and the Turkish conquests of Constantinople, filled the 
country with their strong holds, of which several vestiges yet re- 
main, though not entire, as at Livadia. Walter de Brienne, Duke 
of Athens and Thebes, is said to have himself had thirty castles, 
all of which, together with his dukedom, he lost in a great battle 
fought on the banks of the Boeotian Cephissus against the main 
body of the Catalans*. 

These ruins are the only traces left in Greece of her Latin 
conquerors, who, though in possession of the country during 
two hundred and fifty years, failed to make the least impression 
upon the manners and customs, much less upon the disposition 
and prejudices, of their subjects. 

There is nothing of the Frank discernible in the Greeks of 
Roumelia : notwithstanding their long connexion with the barba- 
rians of the west, they retain inviolated those habits of living, 
and the manners which we are accustomed to call Oriental, and 
which they did not learn from the Turks, but had derived, as* 



* Knollos bays, the Asopus. 



266 



LETTER XIX. 



might easily be proved, from the immemorial usages of their re- 
motest ancestors. But of this elsewhere. 

From Livadia we rode to a village called Caperna, near the site 
of Chaeronea. 

Chaeronea has been said by Strabo to be near Orchomenos, 
and Pausanias calls it in the neighbourhood of Lebadea, which 
has made some persons suppose it to have been in the way from 
the last-mentioned place to Thebes ; but it is directly out of the 
road to the north, and at no inconsiderable distance, according 
to Grecian measurements, from each of the two cities. 

From Livadia it may be about eight of our miles. The coun- 
try through which the road passes, is neither hilly nor yet a 
plain, but wild and Fugged, and for the most part covered with 
brown heath and low brushwood. Soon after the first view of 
the large open country, the road turns to the left, and brings the 
traveller first to the mud village of Caperna, of about thirty 
houses, in the hollow of a hill, and then to the site of Chaeronea 
itself. 

This town appears to have been situated under and upon a 
rocky hill once called Petrarchus, near the north-east foot of 
Parnassus. The sole remains at present visible are some large 
stones, six feet in length, in the ruins of a wall on the hill, and 
part of the shaft of a column, with its capital ; the seats of a 
small amphitheatre, cut out of the rock, on the side of the same 
hill ; in the flat below, a fountain, partly constructed of marble 
fragments, containing a few letters not decypherable ; some bits 
of marble pillars just appearing above ground, and the ruins of 
a building of Roman brick. Meletius has copied some inscrip- 
tions, to be seen in his time in two churches, which are not at 



LETTER XIX. 



267 



present to be found*. Pausanias speaks of two trophies erected 
by Sylla, and of a large lion of marble, placed over the tomb of 
the Thebans who were slain in the battle against Philip. I ob- 
served nothing like what might be taken for an artificial tumulus 
near the place. 

Immediately before the hill Petrarchus, to the north, is the 
fatal plain, which, commencing three or four miles beyond Ca- 
perna, from the roots of Parnassus, runs from west to east, to the 
village of Scripoo, near the site of Orchomenos, about seven 
miles distant, whence it spreads into a wider plain, more to the 
south. Opposite to Caperna, it is about two miles in breadth, a 
dead flat, with not a tree to be seen upon it, and being of so great 
an extent, forms a striking contrast for the traveller who has just 
emerged from the mountains of Phocis. No spot in the world 
can be better calculated for deciding the quarrels of nations 
There does not appear to be even a mole-hill to impede the ma- 
noeuvres of hostile armies, and there is space sufficient for a 
slaughter ten times more considerable than that of the myriads 
who fell before the Macedonian and the Roman conquerors. 

The northern side of the plain is bounded by a chain of low 
hills, interrupted by two or three values. They seem to belong 
to the mountains called Acontius, which stretched from Orcho- 
menos sixty stadia to Paropotamii, a village five miles from Chae- 
ronea, in the vicinity of Phanote, and five stadia from the river 
Cephissus-f-, on a little hill, commanding the pass from Bceotia 



* For these, see Appendix. 

+ The Cephissus flowed from the town of Lilsea, under Mount yEta, in 
Phocis, one winter day's journey, or one hundred and eighty stadia, from Del- 
phi ; from Liloea to Amphicla?a, fifty stadia ; thence to Tithronum, on a plain» 



268 



LETTER XIX. 



into Phocis. On the other side of these hills, is the vallev 
watered by the Cephissus; a branch of which, a small stream, 
divides the plain of Cha^ronea*. 

The day after our visit to the poor remains of the birth-place of 
Plutarch, we left Livadia, and set off for Thebes, or, as it is 
pronounced by the modern Greeks, who have mostly rejected the 
old plural terminations in the names of places, Theva (®τ,βα). We 
sent our baggage by the straight road, but proceeded ourselves to 
Scripoo, which took us considerably out of our way. 

From Livadia to Scripoo, between seven and eight miles, the 
road is north-east-by-north, over a flat, for the first hour close to 
low hills on the left, and for the last hour over part of the Chse- 
ronean plain. Before the town itself, which is a very poor one, 
inhabited by Greeks, there is a river of no great size, over which 
there is a stone bridge. It has no name at present ; indeed there 
are very few streams that have any known to the country people, 



fifteen stadia-; to Dryrnseri, twenty stadia; Elatia, or Elatea, one hundred and 
eighty stadia, opposite Amphiclsea. As far as Elatia, the course is from north 
to south-east, thence more easterly. Strabo adds, that from this place it flows 
near Paropotamii and Phanote, by Chzeronea, through the country of Orcho- 
menos and Coronea, into the lake Copa'is; but this cannot be reconciled with 
present appearances, if the conjectures ot all travellers be at all well founded. 
Coronea must have been much more to the south than the course of the Cephis- 
sus. All the maps of Bceotia appear to be incorrect; Thebes is placed too 
much to the south, and Orchomenos too near the lake Copa'is. 

* A small stream, formerly called Boagrius, but now Gavrias, rises also 
near Lilxa (Souvala), and receiving the Cephissus, now the Mavroneri, flows 
on to the lake Topolias, formerly Copa'is. The Gavrias, the name of the united 
streams, is oflen quite dry, and at other times overflows tiic plains. — Extracted 
from Mcletius. 



LETTER XIX. 



269 



and one is frequently provoked by having the same answer to 
all questions of, What do you call that water? " The river," 
(το τγοτλ/α), and by repeating the query, one has the same reply, 
" It is called the river." A Greek of Livadia said he had heard 
it was named Mavro-Potam, the Black River, which looks as if, 
it were the stream of the Melas, " seven stadia from Orchomenos, 
between that town and Aspledon, in the lands called Eudeeilos." 
I did not see enough of the country to decide whether it was the 
Cephissus itself. 

Behind Scripoo are craggy hills, on one of which, about a mile 
off, is an old tower, one of the Latin ruins. There is a certain 
persuasion in the country, that the town stands upon the site of 
Orchomenos, which, though its inhabitants lived originally more 
to the south-east in the plain, was finally obliged to retire 
before the continual encroachments of the lake Copai's, and 
settle at the foot of the hill Acontius. Our host at Livadia, 
who is the owner of the lands in the vicinity, gave us a letter to 
Scripoo, addressed, " To the People of the Signor Logotheti, in 
Orcomenos." There are, however, no remains at Scripoo decisive 
of the site of the ancient city. All we were taken to see, by a 
monk of the place, was a church, at a little distance to the east of 
the town. In the walls of this church are some pieces of carved 
marble, on one of which is a sepulchral inscription: 



ΑΘΕΝΟΔΩΡΟΣ 

Θ Θ 

ΑΡΙΣΤΕΛ 
ΧΑΙΡΕ 



An inscription, in very large letters, is seen on some stones 
which run round the whole of the back part of the building, or 

Ν η 



270 



LETTER XIX. 



the semicircle of the sanctuary, at about a foot and a half from 
the ground. It was so hidden by rubbish, which we could not 
remove, that only parts of it could be read. It seemed to record 
a grant of one of the Caesars, I think Adrian, if I recollect right; 
no doubt, however, it has frequently been copied. 

Lying on the ground, near the church door, is a< marble near-iy 
eight feet long, nine inches wide, and three in thickness, inscribed 
in very legible characters, with a list of the victors in the games 
given at Orchomenos in honour of the Graces, and called Chari- 
tesia*. This inscription is given in Meletius' Geography, as well 
as that of a similar stone, formerly lying near the other, but tran- 
sported into England, I believe, though into whose collection I 
know not. The stone is in two pieces, but it would be very diffi- 
cult to remove it, as no horse would well bear the weight of either 
part, and as there is no other conveyance in the country-f•. 

Between the church and the village, there are two very large 
flat stones, forming the entrance of a hole in the side of a hillock, 
that has been filled up with earth. We were directed to consider 
these as the remains of the very ancient building called by Pau- 
sanias the Treasury of Minyas, King of the country, and grand- 
son of Neptune ; one of the wonders of Greece. It was arched, 
and the top was formed by a single stone, artfully adapted to the 
lateral walls, and shaped so as to be a kind of dome in minia- 
ture. 

There is nothing else remarkable at the modern Orchomenos, 
except a living curiosity, which is seen by most visitants. This is 
a shepherd, named Demetrius, the fattest man I ever saw, who, 



* This inscription will be noticed in the Appendix. 

+ Yet, since writing the above, I learn that it has been carried away by an 
English traveller. 



LETTER XIX. 



2Π 



in the summer, passes the hottest hours of the day up to the neck 
in the neighbouring river. This practice, not only does not injure 
him, but has become by habit so necessary to him, that he de- 
clares he should not, without it, be able to support the rage of 
the summer sun. 

To the north and north-west of Scripoo, are low hills ; to the 
west, the plain which stretches to Caperna; to the south-west, 
south, and south-east, an uninterrupted flat, partly a green plain, 
and partly divided into corn and cotton grounds, and vineyards. 
To the east and north-east, three or four miles distant, is the lake 
once called Copa'is, from the town of Copae, on its northern extre- 
mity, and now, the lake of Livadia, or, according to some maps, 
lake Topolias. 

In passing from Scripoo, to join our baggage, over the plains 
to the south for six or seven miles, we were very near being 
swamped in the bogs formed by the inundations of the lake branch- 
ing out into wide ditches and fens over the flat grounds. These 
inundations are ascribed by Pausanias to the violence of the south 
winds prevalent during the winter season. In summer, the 
Greeks told us, the lake itself is nearly dry. We could just dis- 
cern it, at a distance to the east, though with some difficulty, as 
the whole of the country was teeming, and was half hidden in a 
thick mist, the ancient characteristic of Bceotia. 

After crossing the Orchomenian plain, we got into the direct 
road from Livadia to Thebes, and turned to the left, (east by 
south): low hills were on our right; on one of them was a ruined 
tower. We passed over a rivulet, flowing round the foot of a 
little rocky knoll. 

We did not overtake our servants and baggage until after night- 
fall, when we found them rambling in the low hills to the right of 

Nn2 



27% 



LETTER XIX. 



the road. They had lost their way, and were firing guns by way 
of signal, which were answered by the Albanian in our company, 
and soon brought us together. 

We arrived after dark at a very poor village in the hills, called 
Mazee, belonging to the Archon Logotheti, and inhabited, as 
are most of the smaller places in this district, by Albanian pea- 
sants, of the class already noticed. 

Mazee is reckoned four hours distance from Livadia, in a 
direction a little to the southward of east. It contains fifty huts, 
which hold much more than the usual proportion of inhabitants, 
about five hundred. Most of those whom we saw were females ; 
they told us that the males were scarce in that part of the country, 
and that, therefore, contrary to common custom, no woman could 
get married without bringing about a thousand piasters to her 
husband. — Accordingly, several of those whom we saw, in com- 
pliance with a fashion^ before noticed, were collecting their por- 
tion on their hair; and the tresses of a pretty young girl amongst 
them hung down nearly to her feet, entirely strung with paras 
from top to bottom. Yet, though in a starving condition, and 
passing, as they assured us with tears in their eyes, whole days 
without food, neither the mothers nor the daughters will strip off 
any of the ornamental coin which has been once assigned for the 
portion-money, so much does their hope of a future good over- 
come their feelings of a present suffering. 

On Friday, December 22d, after travelling four hours to the 
east from Mazee, we arrived at Thebes, whose cypresses and 
moscks, rising from between the hillocks on which the town is 
built, are visible from a low hill over which the road passes 
three hours before it enters the place. With the exception of 
this hill, the whole road from Livadia to Thebes is over flat plains, 



LETTER XIX. 



273 



for we need not have digressed into the hills to the right, had we 
not been obliged to find out some village in which to pass the 
night. 

A person standing on a small hill, which is a few paces to the 
south of the modern city of Thebes, has the following view of the 
surrounding country: — From immediately beyond the town, to 
the east, the ground rises into bare, rugged inequalities, not high 
enough to be called hills, beyond which there is a plain, well cul- 
tivated, called the plain of Scimitari, (anciently that of Tanagra), 
bounded by the strait of the Negroponte to the east, and to the 
south by the Attic mountains, now named Ozea, and a* ridge of 
mount Elatias, or Cithaeron. To the south, the ground rises by a 
gentle ascent, and then falls into another large plain, bounded by 
Cithaeron, and stretching to the south-west. Through this plain, 
as well as through that of Scimitari, runs a river, now without a 
name, but formerly the Asopus ; the ruins of Plataea are to be 
seen about six miles to the south-west of Thebes, near a village 
called Cocli. To the west, is the flat plain of Thebes ; and far off, 
beyond Livadia to the south-west, is seen the mountain Zagari, 
the modern name of Helicon. To the north-west the Theban 
plain is separated from the flats overflowed by the lake, by a stony 
hill, not very high, at seven or eight miles from the town, in 
this direction the view is terminated by the snowy summits of 
Parnassus. To the north, and to the north-east, in which direc- 
tion there is a road to the town of the Negroponte, there is an 
uneven plain *, washed by a river that flows not far from Thebes. 

* These should be the amfractus viarum vallcsque interjecfae, which con- 
cealed the approach of the two thousand Roman Hastati until they came close ίο 
Thebes, and surprise;! the city. Yet Flam in i us had come from Phocis, and in 



274 



LETTER XIX. 



This is terminated by mountains, once called Ptoiis and Messa- 
pius. The eastern extremity of the latter is hounded by the 
strait to the north of Euripus. 

In the description of ancient Greece, every name of every 
brook, grove, and hillock, served to preserve the memory of her 
demigods and heroes, to whom her sons, as they believed, were 
indebted for their origin and their fame ; thus Strabo and Pau- 
sanias, more especially, have presented us with works, no less his- 
torical, than geographical. It may, besides, be observed, that the 
diminutiveness of the country, which might seem to lessen its im- 
portance, is well concealed by their measurements; for the dis- 
tances which would appear nothing when reduced to our miles, 
sound very considerable when reckoned by stadia*. On the 
other hand, a person delineating the topography of modern Greece, 
is obliged to put down the ill-spelt names of miserable villages, 
badly measured, and insignificant distances, and mountains, plains, 
and rivers, without any name by which to distinguish them from 
each other ; so without a map the greatest accuracy and minute- 



that direction the plain of Thebes is an uninterrupted level; nor is there to the 
north any such uneven ground within two miles of the modern town. — See Liv. 
lib. xxxiii. cap. 1. 

* The stadium of 125 Roman paces, commonly in use, contains 604 of our 
feety besides some inches and a fraction, say 604 feet. There are 5280 feet in a 
mile, which is five less than 604 X8$, so that to reduce the measurement by 
stadia to about our miles, we should divide by eight and three quarters. When 
in the course of these Letters, the word mile is made use of, an English mile is 
meant. 1 recollect being much struck with the perseverance of that student 
who was said to walk forty stadia and back every day, for the purpose of hear- 
ing a philosophical lecture — it did not enter into my head, that this was only 
nine miles and a little more than a furlong. 



LETTER XIX. 



275 



ness in the account of the traveller is likely to cause a confusion 
in the head of the reader, who may after smile, at hearing so 
much about such trifling journies*. 

A man might very easily, at a moderate pace, ride from Livadia 
to Thebes and back again between breakfast and dinner, particu- 
larly as he would not have a single object to detain him by the 
way ; and the tour of all Boeotia might certainly be made in two 
days without baggage. The diminutiveness of these classical 
countries will appear more striking, when we come into the vici- 
nity of Athens. 

Boeotia is singularly destitute of any marked remains of anti- 
quity, consequently the modern traveller has but little to assist 
his conjectures. A short extract, however, from ancient geo- 
graphers, may be of some little service, and shall be subjoined to 
my next Letter. 

* And even in the case of a traveller adding a map to his book, some mis- 
takes may arise. Mr. Barbie du Bocagc says, that he cannot reconcile Whe- 
lcr's charts of Phocis and Bceoiia with (he journal of that author. 



LETTER XX. 

Thebes— its Modern Insignificance — The Town — The Fountain 
Dirce — The Ruins of Pindar's House — The Ismenus — The 
Fountain of Mars — Tomb of St. Luke of Stiris — An Inscrip- 
tion — Departure from Thebes — Route towards Athens — The 
Village Scour i a—Passage of Mount Parnes — Rui?is of 
Phyle — Prospect of Athens — Town of Casha — Entrance into 
the Plain of Athens — Arrival at Athens. 



THEBES has been, in a manner, blotted out of the 
page of history since the last battle of Chaeronea between Sylla 
and Taxilus. In the time of Strabo it had the appearance of a 
village, which was the case with all the other Boeotian cities, ex- 
cept Tanagra and Thespiae. Onchestus, Haliartus, Coronea, and 
other towns, once of considerable magnitude, were almost in 
ruins, and hastening fast to decay. In the second century, the 
whole of the lower town, except the temples of Thebes, had 
fallen to the ground, and the citadel alone, no longer called Cad- 
mea but Thebes, now continued to be inhabited. It never 
appears to have recovered its importance under the Emperors, 
though it must have been of some size; for, in the year 1173, it 
contained two thousand of the Jewish nation only, who were the 
best workers in silk and purple of any in Greece, and had amongst 



LETTER XX. 



277 



them some of the most learned rabbins of the age*. At the Latin 
conquest, being, as well as Athens and Argos, totally incapable 
of making the least resistance, it was attached to the territory of 
Attica, and ruled by a follower of Boniface, Marquis of Mont- 
serrat, one Otho de la Roche, a Burgundian, who had the title of 
Duke of Athens, and Grand Signor, or Sieur of Thebes. But it 
was for a short time separated from the other state by the will of the 
Florentine Acciajuoli, who gave his Athenian dukedom to the 
Venetians, but left Thebes to his illegitimate son Francus. This 
prince, by the expulsion of the Venetians, soon reunited the prin- 
cipalities, and they continued in the same hands until the final 
establishment of the Turks in Greece, when the liberties of Thebes 
if she might then be called free, had the fortune to survive, for a 
short time, those of herancient rival; for the last of the Acciajuoli 

* Voyage du Benjamin, fils de Jonas, p. 9. 

The following Note contains a short summary of the topography of part of 
Bceotia, collected from ancient geographers and modern travellers, independent 
of the remarks of Meletius, which are given by themselves, as they do not coin- 
cide with the observation made by the actual surveys of Wheler, Chandler and 
other writers. 

Tanagra was fifty stadia from the strain of Enbcea, under a hill called 
Cerycius ; mention will be made of it elsewhere. Thesph* was .situated under 
Helicon; forty stadia higher up was Ascra, the birth-place of Hesiod • on He- 
licon was the grove of the Muses, whose statues, as well as those of the early 
Greek poets, were removed thence by Constantino the Great; on the left hand 
of this was the fountain Aganippe; Η ippocrene was twenty stadia farther up 
the mountain. In the confines of the Thespian territory, was the village 
Hedonacum, and the fountain in which Narcissus gazed. The sea-port of 
Tbespiae was Creusa, now called the port of St. Basilio ; the town of St. Ba- 
silio itself is near the site of Thespise, about an hour from the sea. Travelling 
from this place to Thebes, Sir George Wheler saw ruins called, as usual, 

ο 



278 



LETTER XX. 



was suffered to remain Lord of Boeotia, after he had lost Athens, 
but was carried off in the same year, 1455, by the command of 
Mahomet the Great. Since that period, though occasionally ha- 
rassed by the incursions of the Franks for some time in posses- 
sion of Eubcea, the Theban territory has remained in subjection 
to the Sultan, who governs it by an Aga, called by the Greeks a 
Waiwode : it is, however, considered as attached to the pashalik 
of the Negroponte. 

Thebes is a very poor town, containing about five hundred 
houses, mostly of wood, and inhabited chiefly by Turks. It has 
two moscks and four churches. We slept two nights in the 
town, and were lodged in the house of a Greek bishop. There 
is nothing worthy of notice in this place; though a public clock, 
certainly without a rival in this part of Turkey, is considered by 



Palaeo-castro, and supposed by Chandler to be Haliartus. Beyond the har- 
bour of St. Basilio is that of Livadostro, to the east, which gives the name to 
the deep recess formed by the promontory once called Olmia. Near Livados- 
tro, at a spot called Castri, are the ruins of Thisbe, a town eighty stadia from 
Bulis, on the confines of Phocis and Bceotia. To the westward of Livadostro, 
a high rock juts into the sea, beyond which is the harbour and (own of Cacos, 
onccTypha: near this are the roois of Helicon, or Zagari. Four miles to 
the west of Castri, and five or six from Cacos, Whcler found ruins, which 
Chandler supposes to be on the site of Coronea. 

The cities in the neighbourhood of the lake Copai's, or Cephissus, were 
Acraephia, Phcenicis or Medeon, Onchestus, Haliartus, Ocalea, Alalcomense, 
Tilphosium, and Coronea. — Acrsephia, or Acrcephium, was behind the moun- 
tain Ptoiis, which was at the back (north-east) of the field called Tenericus, 
and the lake Copai's : Onchestus was on a hill towards the territory of Hali- 
artus, the Campus Tenericus, and the lake, fifteen stadia from the mountain 
called Sphinx : it was the seat of the Amphictyonic assembly. Near it was 



BETTER JtX. 



279 



the people of the place, and pointed out to travellers, as a great 
curiosity. The bishop directed us to visit the fountain of Dirce, 
and the ruins of Pindar's house, and an old Greek church. I ac- 
cordingly walked about a quarter of a mile to the south-east of the 
town, keeping by the side of a ravin, through which runs a very small 
stream, which Wheler calls the Ismenus. Coming to a chasm in an 
eminence from which the stream flowed, I there found a fountain, 
which has been dammed up so as to make it twenty feet in length, 
ten in breadth, and five deep in the middle, where there is the shaft, 
about a foot high, of a small marble pillar. The water was tepid, 
as I found by bathing in it, To the left of the fountain, in a 
sort of quarry, were fragments of some building buried in the 
earth, and these, say the Greeks of Thebes, are the remains of 
Pindar's house. Some traveller, I presume, has told them this, 



a town called Medeon, on the hill Phcenicius, and one hundred and forty 
stadia from a place of the same name on the Crissaean gulf. Haliartus was on 
a narrow spot, between the mountain and the lake Copa'is, near the rivers 
Permessus and Olmieus, flowing from Helicon, and a reedy lake. At Hali- 
artus was the tomb of Lysander; fifty stadia (north-east) of Haliartus was 
Mount Tilphosium ; Ocalea was thirty stadia from Haliartus — the small river 
Lophis flowed through its territory; Alalcomenae was thirty stadia from Ocalea, 
near or upon Mount Tilphosium ; Coronea was situated on a high spot near 
Helicon, not far from Lebadea, forty stadia from Mount Libelhrius, and twenty 
stadia from Mount Laphystium, from which ran the river Phalarus into the Co- 
pa'is. It seems that the hills, in which is the village of Mazee, must be part of 
Mount Libethrius ; and that somewhere on the right hand of the road from 
Livadia to that place, one might look for the site of Coronda: Haliartus may 
have been on the left in the plain farther on than Mazee. The low hill, three 
hours from Thebes, appears in the position of the mountain of the Sphinx ; 
and on a rocky eminence, at no great distance from the west, one might expect 
to see some vestiges of Onchestus. The plain at the foot of this hill, to the 

00 2 



280 



LETTER XX* 



on the authority of Pausanias, who says, that " after passing the 
river called Dirce, are the ruins of Pindar's house ;" but the water 
of Dirce was more to the west, near the gates Neitis and Electris, 
and if the stream in the ravin be the Ismenus, which it must in- 
deed appear to be, the fountain would be that which the above 
author mentions to have been sacred to Mars. A considerable 
hillock to the right, just beyond the suburbs of the town, seems 
to strengthen the conjecture, and to correspond to that which was 
to the right of the gate Homolis, opposite the Ismenus, and dedi- 
cated to the Ismenian Apollo. 

The stream of the river has been much diminished, by the 
means taken to make part of its waters flow in an artificial channel, 
for the sake of turning an overshot-mill about a hundred paces 
below the fountain. We stepped across it with ease, and, had 



south, now part of the great plain of Thebes, may have been the Campus Tc- 
nericus, or portion of Tcncrus, where was a large temple of Hercules Hippo- 
dot us ; to the left (south) of this must have been the site of the grove of the 
Cabirian Ceres and the Cabiri, twenty-five stadia from the gaie of Thebes, 
called Neitis, by the way which led perhaps a little to the southward of west : 
fifty stadia to the left (south-west) of the Cabirian grove was Thespia; ; at the 
gate Neitis was the tomb of Menaeceus, where the battle between Polynices and 
Eteocles was fought, in the part of the city called Syrma Antigones. The 
gate that led towards Plataca was called Electris; it must have been, therefore, 
next on that side to the gate Neitis, and looking about to south-west by south ; 
between the position of these two gates there is a high hillock. One may also 
pretty well ascertain the position of the gate Prsetis ; for the road to it led to 
Chalcis, that is about to the north-east. This would be the quarter for the an- 
tiquarian to commence his researches; for here was the theatre, the temple of 
Bacchus, the tombs of Zcthus and Amphion, the stadium, and (to the right of 
the stadium) the hippodrome, in which was the tomb of Pindar. On the whole 
of the road to Chalcis there were monuments, temples, and the remains of ancient 



LETTER XX. 



281 



we walked through it, should not have been wet above the 
ancles. 

Returning from the fountain, I was conducted to the remains 
of a Greek church, on an eminence not far from the left bank of 
the rivulet, and a little distance from the suburbs of the town. 
This church was in a very dilapidated stave; it had no door, and 
the roof was in parts uncovered, yet it con tain e 1 a treasure, to 
which I should be almost afraid that the Greeks of Thebes cannot 
well substantiate their claim. This was a stone sarcophagus of 
considerable dimensions, not under ground, but in the nave of the 
church, covered with a massy slab of marble, and supposed to 
contain the precious remains of St. Luke, the Saint of Stiris. 



cities. In this line, the sepulchre of Meualippus; the three large stones denoting 
the grave of Tydcus; the sepulchres of the sons of CEdipus; thewce, fifteen 
stadia, the tomb of Tiresias ; seven stadia to the left of a village called Teu- 
messus, the ruins of Glissas, under a mount (Nypaton), and near the river 
Thormodon ; the ruins of Harmatos and Mycalessus were also visible from the 
road; the plain under Mount Hypaton was called the Ionian, and belonged to 
the Thcbans. 

All the aid which Meletius affords towards understanding the comparative 
topography of Bceotia is, that Mount Cythaeron is now called Elatias ; Mount 
Helicon, Likona or Palaeovoona ; Thespia), which once had a bishop, Kakosi, 
forty miles to the south of Thebes, where there are some massy ruins of ancient 
walls, and the following inscriptions : 

.... ok Δακικοι/ TlxpSmov Τ πάτου το β : Μ' 

Ουλπιος Έρχ-χχς Ε πιφχνιχνος φιλοχχΜΓχρ, χχι ο* Ttot χυτον 

Οΐλπιος AyuooSivrigj Ο' υλτηος Kpxrwy κα» χ\ $υγχτίρ(ς Ονλπίχ Ευπνρίχ, 

θ'υλ7πα Βροχ/λλίκ, Ίκ των ΊΑ «ν. ........ 

On another stone : 

Λχίχμχς* 



282 



LETTER XX. 



Yet though the principal bones of the glory of Hellas were care- 
fully preserved on the spot which had been the scene of his sanc- 
tity and mortification, all his relics were not confined to one tomb. 
The monastery of St. Laura, on Mount Athos, possessed a portion 
of St. Luke; and the same blessing may, perhaps, have been 
granted to the more neighbouring sanctuary at Thebes. 

Whatever may be the justice of its pretensions, the holy coffin 
is regarded with great reverence. In a hole which has been 
scooped out under the projecting cornice of the slab, there is a 
lamp, which it is the duty of a monk to keep perpetually burning, 
but which was not lighted when I saw it. The powder from the 
marble is considered to possess potent medicinal qualities, espe- 
cially in affections of the eyes ; and our Albanian Vasilly, after 
crossing himself most devoutly, scraped off a quantity of it into 
his tobacco-box. 

There is a large marble pillar, without either base or capital, 



Creusa, the port of Thespiee, Saranti— Thisbe, Gianiki — Sipbce, Livados- 
tro— Coronea, the seat of a Bishop under the Archbishop of Athens ; Kamari, 
on a hill, with a very few remains, except some inscribed stones to be seen in a 
couple of Greek churches near the spot. On one: 

Πίπλιον Α*λ»οι/ A'fpixvov ri Βουλή κα» <5 Δα/αο?. 

On another : ΘιΌν A'tyxvov η Βουλίϊ και ό Διί^ο? ίτηχοίΧουρίναμΗ — and very 
many with the χ«»ρ£. 

Alalcomenae, between Coronea and Haliartus, is now Emens — Haliartus, Pa• 
laeopanagia or Tridoueni — Platiea, Cocli— Eleutherse, Petroyeraki — Scolus, be- 
tween Cocli and Thebes — Oropus, Oropo— Delium, Delis»— Aulis, Carababa — 
Anthedon ; under Mount Messapius, Lukisi — Larymnje, Larnes (here are some 
purgative springs, which the people of the country drink twice a year, in May 
and August, and are sometimes cured, sometimes killed, snys Mcletius) — AUe, 



LETTER XX. 



283 



wedged into the wall of the church ; and another ruined edifice of 
the same kind, a little distance from the church of St. Luke, con- 
tains some pieces of carved marble, parts of pillars, broken capi- 
tals, and plain stones, inscribed in characters not intelligible, 
except, perhaps, they could be taken down from their present 
position. Part of an inscription I read was Latin, and of a 
modern date. 

The Greeks have done a service to antiquarians, by heaping up 
into the composition of their churches all portable remains, not 
however so much, it must be owned, from a knowledge of their 
value, as from a preference of the materials, and the size of the 
marbles of which they are generally composed. 

Our Greek bishop showed me a flat piece of marble in his 



dividing Bceotia and Locris ; Hagios Joannes ho Theologos, under the village 
of Mallesinse. This is in a district called Talandios ; and in a church dedi- 
cated to St. George, is an inscription (given in the Appendix), pointing out 
that the spot was anciently the sacred portion of Asclepius. Potniae ; some 
ruins a little more than a mile from Thebes, on the road towards the Negro- 
ponte— Teumessus ; ruins farther on in the same line — Glisas; ruins on a hill 
about a mile beyond Teumessus — Tanagra, Tenagra — The river Lophis is that 
which flows to Kanavari, near Thebes — The Melas, the Mavropotamo, near Scri- 
poo. The modern geographer here, as well as in other places, appears to have 
given some scope to conjecture in this survey, and in the course of his detail 
now and then contradicts himself, for example, Petroyeraki is here said to be on 
the site of Eleutherai ; in tracing the Megaris, it is made (and properly) to be 
(Enoe. He says, in the chapter from which these extracts arc made, that 
Athens is fifty miles from Thebes; and in his description of Attica, that Thebes 
is forty miles from Athens. I suspect him to have taken but little pains to assist 
Ills topography by personal experience, but rather to have followed ancient 
authorities; for he calls Oropus forty-four miles from Athens, a blunder copied: 
from the Antoninc Itinerary, it not being above twenty-four. 



284 



LETTER XX. 



court-yard, afoot and* a half long and half a foot wide, containing 
an inscription, which I copied as far as the letters were legible, but 
the greater part of them had been worn away by the service to 
which the marble had been put : when I saw it, it was lying under 
the pump, half covered with mortar, the mixing of which was the 
use to which it had latterly been applied, and would have been so 
had it contained an ode of Pindar's. 

We had some difficulty in procuring horses at Thebes, as we 
were not provided with a travelling firman from the Porte, and as 
we had now left the dominions of our patron Ali, and were in the 
territory of Bekir, Pasha of the Negroponte. However, we at 
last accomplished this point, and set out late in the day for 
Athens. 

The road took us across the rivulet in the ravin, and near the 
tepid fountain, which we left to the right, and proceeded for two 
hours over a plain to the south-east, well cultivated, but without 
a single tree. We then crossed the Asopus, a small stream, at a 
bridge called Metropolita, in a situation near about the site of 
Erythrae, whence the troops of Mardonius were encamped, along 
the banks of the river, as far as Hysia?, on the confines of the 
Plataean territory, and near which the Greek forces were also 
stationed when Masistius was killed by the Athenian horse*. 
We here found ourselves at once in another kind of country ; for 
the soil, which had been before rich and deep, was now rocky and 
light, and we began to scale low stony hills, going to the south- 
south-east for three hours. We passed a small marshy plain, and 
then ascended a zig-zag path on a rock, which is a low ridge of 



* Herod. Calliope, cap. xxii. et seq. 



LETTER XX. 



285 



Mount Elatias, or Cithseron. When we got to the top we had 
the ruins of a small tower on a crag to our left. Descending a 
little, we came at once upon a green plain, about four miles in 
length and two in breadth, running from west to cast. On enter- 
ing this plain, we left on our right hand a small village, with a 
church of some size, and proceeded eastward for an hour, when we 
arrived at a most miserable and half-deserted village, called 
Scourta. 

Here we passed our Christmas Eve, in the worst hovel of which 
we had ever been inmates. The cows and pigs occupied the lower 
part of the chamber, where there were racks and mangers, and 
other appurtenances of a stable, and we were put in possession of 
the upper quarter. We were almost suffocated with the smoke, a 
common calamity in Greek cottages, in which the fire is generally 
made in the middle of the room, and the roof, having no aper- 
ture, was covered with large flakes of soot, that sometimes show- 
ered down upon us during the night. 

The next day we crossed the plain, which has here and there a 
vineyard, and continued in a southern direction for an hour, until 
we came into some pine woods, on the side of hills that terminate 
the plain to the east as well as to the south, and which are a part 
of the Attic mountain once called Parnes, but now having dif- 
ferent names in different ranges — here it is called Casha. The 
path was very bad indeed, up rugged ascents, through woods of 
pine, not thick, but covering the whole mountain as far as we 
could see before us. Depending from the boughs of the pines, 
and stretching across from tree to tree so as to obstruct our 
passage, were the pods, thrice as big as a turkey's egg, and the 
thick webs of a chrysalis, whose moth must be far larger than any 

pp 



BBS 



286 



LETTER XX. 



of those in our country. We now went more to the south-south- 
east, still amongst hills, and generally upon the ascent. We 
once caught a view, from the summit of a precipice, of the strait 
of the Negroponte. We passed over a part of the path called 
" Kake Scala," or the Bad Steps, where it leads over some 
large slippery stones on the ledge of a rock to the left, and has a 
little wall to the right, which is not high enough to prevent a 
horse from falling over into a torrent that rolls beneath the preci- 
pice. Kake Scala is not wide enough for more than one horse to 
pass at a time, and the rider generally chuses to dismount — it 
lasts about fifty paces. 

At half after two, having been travelling very slowly for four 
hours, just as we had got to the summit of the mountain overlook- 
ing a deep glen, one of our guides called out, " AfTendi, AfTendi, 
to chorio," Sir, Sir, the town! This word chorio we had so 
often heard applied to the villages on our route, that we were not 
a little surprised, upon looking up, to see in a plain at a great 
distance before us, a large town rising round an eminence, on 
which we could also discern some buildings, and beyond this 
town, the sea. 

This was our first view of Athens; and you, my friend, who 
by this time will not think me apt to fly into frequent raptures, you 
will yet give me credit for feeling some little enthusiasm at the 
sight of such an object. On a rugged rock, rising abruptly on our 
right, were the remains of ancient walls, composed of massy 
stones, and encompassing the summit of the hill. These cannot 
but be the ruins of Phyle*, a fortress commanding one of the 

* Phyle was a strong fortress, one hundred stadia from Athens, belong- 
ing to the tribe of iEnis. — Xenop. lib, ii. de Reb. Gr. c. 8. Note to Cor- 



■ 



LETTER XX. 



287 



passe* from Boeotia into Attica, and famous for having been the 
resort of those Athenians who destroyed the thirty tyrants. But 
not Thrasybulus himself could from these hills have surveyed his 
own Athens, the object of all his patriotic efforts, with more ar- 
dour and affection, mixed with a not unpleasing melancholy, than 
were felt bv him who is now employed upon this imperfect re- 
lation. 

The ruins are now called Bigla Castro, or the Watch-tower. 
From this spot we began to descend, and soon lost sight of 
Athens in the windings of the hills, which now became more 
steep, and clothed with thicker woods. Our road was a zig-zag 
rocky path, along the side of a precipice, overhanging a deep ra- 
vin, on the other side of which was a stream flowing through an 
artificial channel cut out of the rock, or a kind of half-natural 
aqueduct. Descending an hour and a half, we came by four 
o'clock to the Greek town of Casha, where the houses were of 
stone, and well built, and where we had been recommended to 
pass the night, if we could get so far from Thebes the first day. 

After leaving Casha, we went eastward through some olive- 
groves, where is a monastery, and passed by a gentle slope into 
the plain of x\thens, which, however, we did not again see until 
we had turned round a low hill, when it rose before us to the 
south, and distinctly showed us its citadel, and another hill near 
it, with what appeared a tower on its summit. The new object 
was the Museum and the tomb of Philopappus. 



net. Nep. Life of Thrasyb. It is noticed by Strabo, p. 396, edit. Xyland, 
as one of the places in Attica worthy of mention, from the memory of (he trans- 
action alluded to above. 



288 



LETTER XX. 



The plain, after the wild unpeopled regions through whrah we 
had passed, appeared highly cultivated, and it was of considerable 
extent, with a belt of olive-groves running from the extremity of 
it behind us as far as the eye could reach towards the city and 
the sea. It was, besides, intersected with several broad, well- 
beaten roads, and every thing seemed to announce that we had 
passed into some more favoured country, saved, by a happy ex- 
ception, from the desolation of surrounding tyranny. Vineyards 
and corn-grounds, green even in this season, were on both sides of 
us, and from these the peasants were returning in long trains after 
their winter labours, and wished us good evening as we passed. 

In something more than two hours from Casha, we entered the 
olive-groves, and crossing a bridge over a river, the Attic Cephis- 
sus, traversed them obliquely for an hour, when we came again 
into the open plain. In one hour more, travelling on the same 
fine road, we arrived at the city walls, and passed under one of 
the arched gateways into the open space before the town. Λ few 
minutes brought us into Athens, at half after eight in the evening 
of Christmas day, 1809, and we proceeded immediately to the 
house where our countrymen are usually lodged, and where we 
found an English traveller to congratulate us on our arrival. 



LETTER XXI. 

A them — its Situation — Appearance — present Inhabitants — Short 
Notice of its Modern History, 



MUCH greater hardships and perils than it can be 
the lot of any traveller in European Turkey to undergo, would be 
at once recompensed and forgotten on arriving at Athens — you 
there perceive an agreeable change in the aspect of all around 
you ; the Turk, subdued either by the superior spirit of his sub- 
jects, or by the happy influence of a more genial climate, appears 
to have lost his ferocity, to have conformed to the soil, and to 
have put on a new character, ornamented by the virtues of hu- 
manity, kindness, and an easy affability, to which he attains in no 
other quarter of the Mahometan world. After having, in the 
course of your journey, been constantly on your guard against the 
outlaws of the land or sea, you feel that you may throw aside all 
unpleasant apprehensions, and, free from the cumbrous attend- 
ance of soldiers and servants, indulge in the contemplation of 
Athens, not, indeed, such as she was, but venerable from the 
recollection of her former renown, and still possessed of many ob- 
jects w r orthy of admiration*. 

* Athenas plenas quidem ct ipsas vetustatc famaj, multa tamen visenda ha- 
bentcs. These expressions, the encomiums of Livy, may be applied, even now, 
tp modern Athens. 



290 



LETTER XXI. 



Were there no other vestiges of the ancient world than those to 
be seen at this day at Athens, there would still be sufficient cause 
left to justify the common admiration entertained for the genius 
of the Greeks. If the contemplation of the productions of anti- 
quity, such as they are seen in the galleries of princes, or the 
cabinets of the curious, affords so pure a delight, how much more 
gratifying must it be to behold the stupendous monuments of the 
magnificence of Pericles and the skill of Phidias, still standing on 
the very spots on which they were originally fixed, by the united 
taste of the statesman and the artist. These noble master- 
pieces still retain their grandeur and their grace, and towering from 
amidst their own ruins, and the miserable mansions of barbarians, 
present a grand, but melancholy spectacle, where you behold, 
not only the final effects, but the successive progress of devasta- 
tion, and, at one rapid glance, peruse the history of a thousand 
ages. 

You must be already so well acquainted with the antiquities of 
this city, from examining the designs of modern artists, and the 
exact descriptions of celebrated travellers, who, from the days of 
Nointel and Wheler up to this period, have laboured to acquaint 
the world with the ancient remains to be seen on the spot, that 
you will hardly require from me a particular detail of the wonders 
of modern Athens ; but as the desolations of time, and, of late 
years, the spoliatory taste of some amateurs, have caused many 
decays and dilapidations, I shall, in a cursory manner, and per- 
haps with less precision than the subject demands, attempt to 
notice the present appearance of the Athenian remains. 

But before I proceed to these particulars, let me describe some 
circumstances attendant on our residence in the place, and take 
a view of the present state of the town itself. 



LETTER XXI. 



291 



During our stay at Athens, we occupied two houses, separated 
from each other only by a single wall, and through this we opened 
a door- way. One of them belongs to a Greek lady, whose 
name is Theodora Macri, the daughter of the late English Vice- 
Consul, (for we are represented at Athens), and who has to show 
many letters of recommendation, left in her hands by several 
English travellers. Her lodgings consisted of a sitting-room 
and two bed-rooms, opening into a court-yard where there were 
five or six lemon-trees, from which, during our residence in the 
place, was plucked the fruit that seasoned the pilaf, and other 
national dishes served up at our frugal table. The site of this 
house is easily distinguished at a distance, as there is a tall flag- 
staff rising from the yard; and on this the English Ensign, in 
the time of the late Vice-consul, used to be displayed. The 
person at present holding that sinecure is a Greek, whose name, 
like that of our host at Livadia, is Logotheti. He, of course, 
called upon us on our arrival, and, together with Mr. Lusieri, 
Lord Elgin's agent, attended us on a visit, always customary, to 
the Waiwode, the Turkish Governor of the town, whom we found 
a well-mannered man, with more information than is usually pos- 
sessed by those of his nation, and who, having served with our 
forces in the Egyptian wars, was somewhat partial to our country- 
men — his name and title were Su ley man Aga. 

Mr. Lusieri, the only one remaining of the six artists settled 
during three years by my Lord Ll^in at Athens, contributed to 
render our residence more agreeable; and the same attentions 
were paid to us by Mr. Fauvei, the French Consul, well known to 
the public as the coadjutor of Mr. Foucherot, and gratefully re- 
membered, I believe, by every traveller, who, for these twenty 
years past, has visited this part of the Levant. 



292 



LETTER XXI. 



It was, however, during our stay in the place, to be lamented, 
that a war more than civil, was raging on the subject of my Lord 
Elgin's pursuits in Greece, and had enlisted all the Frank settlers 
and the principal Greeks on one or the other side of the contro- 
versy. The factions of Athens were renewed. 

A few days after our visit to the Governor of the town, we pre- 
pared for an inspection of the Acropolis, by sending the usual 
present of tea and sugar to the Turk who has the command of 
the fortress erected on that hill, and who is now called the Disdar. 
The gates of this citadel have of late been shut upon all those who 
do not settle this important preliminary ; and the Disdar has, not 
unfrequently, exacted a present previous to every visit ; an extor- 
tion justly complained of to me by a French Gentleman, who 
averred, that it had put a stop to the researches of many inge- 
nious travellers, that could not afford such repeated demands upon 
their purses. 

Before these particulars were adjusted, we took every oppor- 
tunity of surveying the modern town. 

Athens is placed at the foot of the rock of the citadel, as re- 
presented in the annexed picture, which is exceedingly correct in 
every particular, and must serve better to give an idea of its situa- 
tion and appearance than the most minute and animated descrip- 
tion. The view is taken from the foot of a craggy hill, once 
called Anchesmus, on which was formerly a small temple of Ju- 
piter, and where there is now a chapel dedicated to St. George. 
It is about three quarters of a mile from the walls of the city, 
in a north-easterly direction from the Acropolis. There are no 
houses to the back or south of the citadel, which included the 
Ceramicus within the walls (a populous quarter of ancient Athens), 
but on every other side the city stretches into the plain, and more 



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LETTER XXI. 



293 



particularly to the north and north-west. It was in modern 
times so subject to the incursions of pirates and robbers, that it 
has been surrounded with a wall, about ten feet high, with aper- 
tures for the use of musquetry. These walls, about forty years 
ago, were enlarged and repaired, and now comprehend a much 
wider space than when Chandler wrote, taking in two antiquities, 
the temple of Theseus and the arch of Adrian, not included in 
their circuit, according to the plan which he has given of the 
city. The gateways to the wall, six in number, were formerly 
always closed at night, but the gates are now removed. The 
open space between the walls and the city, one hundred and fifty 
or two hundred yards in breadth, is laid out in corn-grounds, and 
there are gardens attached to most of the principal houses. I 

walked round these walls at a brisk pace in forty-seven minutes 

a circumstance which conveys an idea of the size of their circum- 
ference, and of the city itself. 

The number of houses in Athens is supposed to be between 
twelve and thirteen hundred ; of these, about four hundred are 
inhabited by Turks, the remainder by Greeks and Albanians, the 
latter of whom occupy about three hundred houses. There are 
also seven or eight Frank families, under the protection of the 
French Consul. None of the houses are well built, nor so com- 
modious as those of the better sort of Greeks at loannina or 
Livadia; and the streets are all of them narrow and irregular, a 
peculiarity remarked in ancient Athens, even during the days of 
her splendour*. In many of the lanes there is a raised cause- 
way on both sides, so broad as to contract the middle of the 



* By Dicefurchus, wbo wrote a short time after the death of Alexander. 



294 



LETTER XXI. 



street into a kind of dirty gutter. The bazar is at a little dis- 
tance from the foot of the hill, and is far from well furnished, 
but has several coffee-houses, which at all times are crowded by 
the more lazy of the Turks, amusing themselves with drafts and 
chess. It is formed by one street, rather wider than usual, in- 
tersecting another at right angles ; and a little above where the 
two meet, is an ornamented fountain, the principal one in the 
town, supplied by a stream, which is brought in artificial channels 
or stone gutters, from a reservoir under Mount Hymettus, at 
about a mile and a half distance. The water found in the wells be- 
longing to the town is generally brackish ; lukewarm in winter, 
but cold in summer. 

The house of the Waiwode is of the poorer sort, though the 
entrance to it would become a palace, as it is between the co- 
lumns of that antiquity distinguished by the name of the Doric 
Portico. That of the Archbishop is the best in the town, con- 
taining within its precincts a spacious yard and garden. — There 
are only four principal moscks with minarets in the city, although 
there are eleven places of worship for the Turks. The number 
of Christian churches is out of all proportion to the Greek popu- 
lation ; thirty-six are constantly open, and have service con- 
stantly performed in them ; but, reckoning the chapels which 
are shut pxcept on the days of their peculiar saints, there are 
nearly two hundred consecrated buildings in Athens. The me- 
tropolitan church, called the Catholicon, is the only one of these 
that can be accounted handsome, and the temples, neither of the 
Mahometans nor the Christians, add any thing to the appear- 
ance of the town. 

The Greeks of Athens are, as has been remarked, less op- 



LETTER ΚΚί. 



295 



pressed by the tyranny of the Turks than those of any other 
part of the empire ; and, notwithstanding the lamentation of 
some classical philanthropists, who have deplored that a people 
unconquered by Xerxes, should become the portion of an iEthio- 
pian eunuch, the Athenians have been beneiited by the resolu- 
tion, which they adopted about the middle of the seventeenth 
century, of putting themselves under the protection of the Kislar 
Aga, by paying a voluntary tribute of thirty thousand crowns 
to that officer ; for the Waiwodes appointed since that period, 
have felt themselves so much dependent upon the good-will of 
their subjects, who, by a sacrifice of part of their wealth, have 
it in their power to remove him, that they have generally treated 
them with justice and lenity. The Greeks have, indeed, more 
than once revolted, and expelled their governor ; and, in one in- 
stance, they drove an unpopular master into the Acropolis, be- 
sieged him in that fortress, and, lastly, cut him to pieces on en- 
deavouring to make his escape. 

About fifteen years before our time, a Waiwode, by name 
Hadji Ali Chaseki, presumed to treat them with great rigour, 
and to extort from them large sums, part of which he employed 
in buying a great extent of olive-groves, and in the erection of a 
magnificent kiosk, surrounded with spacious gardens, which are 
still seen near the site of the Academy. After repeated and un- 
availing complaints (for Ali was befriended by the chief Archon 
of the city), nearly half of the inhabitants of Athens retired into 
the villages, where (like the seceders on the Aventine mount) they 
continued for three years, until the tyrant was removed, at first 
to Rhodes, and then to Constantinople, where he lost his head. 
Many of the Athenians at this day are as familiar with the Alba- 

Q q 2 



296 



LETTER XXI. 



man language as with their own ; an acquirement to be referred 
to the period of their voluntary exile amongst the peasants of At- 
tica, nearly the whole of whom are Albanian colonists. 

The government of the Waiwode continues nominally only for 
one year, but frequently lusts nine or ten, according to the satis- 
faction expressed by his subjects. He interferes but little with the 
management of the Christians, and generally contents himself 
with the receipt of the tribute which is collected by the Codja- 
bashees or Archons — the immediate rulers, and, it should seem, 
the oppressors of the Greeks. The Archons have been, until 
lately, eight in number ; they are at present only five, whose 
names, not quite so agreeable to the ear as the Cleons or Phor- 
mios of antiquity, are Stavros-to-maras, Nicolettos, Capitana- 
chis, Zingaras, and Zakarichas ; another person, by name Logo- 
theti, the friend of Hadji Ali, was formerly an Archon, but be- 
ing now considered English Vice-Consul, no longer holds that 
station. There are six secretaries attached to the Archons ; but 
I did not learn that the whole of these rulers ever assemble at 
any stated time, or have any regular system, for the transaction 
of business. 

The regular tax transmitted from Attica to the Porte, is be- 
tween seven hundred and seven hundred and fifty purses (three 
hundred and seventy-five thousand and three hundred and fifty 
thousand piasters); but the Codja-bashees, under various pre- 
tences, exact as many as fifteen hundred purses ; and as they 
never give any account to the people of the manner in which their 
money has been disposed, do not fail to enrich themselves by the 
surplus amount. Threats, and sometimes punishments, are em- 
ployed to wring from the peasants their hard-earned pittance ; 



LETTER XXI. 



297 



and such is the oppressive weight of the tyranny, that the mur- 
murs of the commonalty have frequently broken out into open 
complaints, and even a complete revolution, involving the destruc- 
tion of the Archons ; and an establishment of a better order of 
things, has been meditated by the more daring and ambitious 
amongst the oppressed. An unfortunate malcontent, who, in 
fond recollection of better days, has given to his three sons the 
names of Miltiades, Themistocles, and Alcibiades, talked to me 
of this glorious project (το κα,χο πρχγμα). " The Turks," said he, 
" will be on our side, if we get the better ; but, alas ! the 
influence of money is all-powerful; and Demosthenes himself, 
were he alive, and (like me) without a para, would not have a 
single listener." He added besides, that their priests, a powerful 
body, would espouse die cause of their Codja-bashees. 

The Archbishop of Athens, whose ecclesiastical dominion exr 
tends over Boeotia, and even into some parts of the Peloponesus, 
exercises an absolute authority over the whole of the clergy of his 
see, and has a prison near his house for the confinement of offen- 
ders, whom he may punish with the bastinade, or in any degree 
short of death. His place is purchased of the Patriarch, and is 
consequently the object of many intrigues, which not unfrequently 
terminate in the expulsion of the incumbent, and the election of 
another archbishop. Popular clamour has also sometimes dis- 
placed such of these priests as have exceeded the usual bounds of 
extortion*. 



* I read, in the Life of Melelius, prefixed to his Geography, Αθχι/αΓοί. ., . 
βουλόμινοι τον 'ίδιον Άρχιερίχ απο^ίω^ί ως u^prifov ίζήτηο-χν οίντον δια, γνήσιον 
τους Α'ρχίίρία, ον και δίδωχίν α,υτοΐς Ό Τί Κωνςαντινηπόλίως Τίχτριχρ^Υΐς. 
The custom, it appears, has not been confined to Athens; the same biographer, 



298 



LETTER XXI. 



Some of the Athenians are fond of tracing back their pedigree, 
which, however, according to their own account, they are unable 
to do beyond the Turkish conquest. The name Chalcocondyles 
was, till lately, the one held in the greatest repute; but the person 
who at present professes himself to be, on his mother's side, a de- 
scendant of the family, has not assumed the appellation. The 
character of the modern inhabitants of this town does not rank 
high amongst their countrymen, and the proverb which is to be 
seen in Gibbon, I heard quoted against them in their own city — 
" As bad as the Turks of Negroponte, the Jews of Salonica, and 
the Greeks of Athens/' A French resident, who had lived 
amongst them many years, talking to me of their propensity to 
calumniate and supplant each other, concluded with tins lively 
expression, " Believe me, my dear Sir, they cue the same canaille 
as they were in the days of Miltiades." 

We were not amongst them long enough to discover any very 
unamiable traits by which they may be distinguished from other 
Greeks, though Ϊ think we saw in them a propensity to detraction 
and intrigue. Whatever may be their talents this way, they are 
now chiefly employed in debating whether the French or English, 
nations inhabiting countries unknown to their ancestors, shall de- 
prive them of the last memorials of their ancient glory. To retain 
them themselves never, I believe, is an object of their wishes. 

The Greeks of Athens are all of them employed in carrying on 
a small commerce, by exporting part of the produce of their 
lands, and receiving in return some Italian, and, of late, English 



a little farther, talks of a certain Clement, Metropolitan of Ioannina Ιχίψήναντος, 
an expression savouring of ancient Greece. 



LETTER XXI. 



299 



manufactured goods, together with corn. One Athenian trader 
has accompanied his merchandize as far as London. The olive- 
trees still continue the principal wealth of Attica, and between 
three and four thousand barrels of oil are usually exported in a 
year ; though, in a very abundant season, perhaps once in twenty- 
five years, there is a much greater quantity shipped from the 
Piraeus. In 1808, it surpassed more than twenty times that 
amount; and a Greek, who had given two thousand piasters for 
eighty trees, the preceding year, gained two thousand five hun- 
dred by a single gathering. There is a small quantity of butter, 
cheese, silk, honey, resin, and pitch, besides some cattle, also sent 
annually out of Attica. 

The families of Franks settled at Athens, some of which have 
intermarried with the Greeks, are those of Mr. Kocque, Mr. An- 
drea, Mr. Gaspari, his relation Mr. Gaspari, and Mr. Louis; to 
these may be added, two establishments, one belonging to Mr. 
Lusieri, and the other to Mr. Fauvel, the French Consul. These 
gentlemen, with the exception of the two last, chiefly support 
themselves by lending money, at an interest from twenty to 
thirty per cent., to the trading Greeks, and in a trifling exporta- 
tion of oil. They add, it must be supposed, considerably to the 
pleasures of a residence in this city, by their superior attainments 
and the ease of their manners. The gentlemen amongst them, all 
but Mr. Andrea, wear the Frank dress; the ladies, that of the 
country. They have balls and parties in the winter and spring of 
the year, in their own small circle, to which the principal Greeks 
are invited, and particularly during the carnival, when they and 
many of the inhabitants are in masquerade. We were present at 
that season, and were visited by a young Athenian in an English. 



300 



LETTER XXI. 



uniform, who was highly delighted with his metamorphosis. The 
most favourite fancy of the Greeks seemed to be that of dressing 
themselves up like the Waiwode, the Cadi, or other principal 
Turks, and parading the streets with attendants also properly 
habited. One more daring humourist of my acquaintance, on one 
occasion mimicked the Archbishop himself as if in the ceremony 
of blessing the houses, but found the priests less tolerant than the 
Mahometans, for he was excommunicated. 

The French Consul, the head of the Nation, as the Franks are 
called, has long enjoyed a high degree of consideration at Athens, 
whose inhabitants have, for some time, felt a lively interest in 
every thing relative to the affairs of France. At a short distance 
from the Doric Portico, over the door of a house formerly belong- 
ing to the Consulate, there is a bas-relief, representing Liberty 
with her spear and cap, encircled with a laurel wreath, and the 
inscription, " La Republique Francaise." Amongst so many 
memorials of the ages, when the inhabitants of this city were a 
great and independant people, I was not a little struck with being 
thus reminded of the former freedom of another republic, also 
overthrown, and no less to be numbered with the things that have 
passed away, than the long-lost liberties of the Athenians. 

The French have had a Consul established at Athens since the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, and the Jesuits of Paris 
settled a Missionary in the country about the year 1645. The 
Capuchins also began their pious labours on the same spot in 
1658 ; and, eleven years afterwards, one of them, Father Simon, 
purchased the building which includes the famous choragic monu- 
ment of Lysicrates, commonly known by the name of the Lan- 
tern of Demosthenes, and which still continues attached to that 



m 



LETTER XXI. 



301 



mission. The Jesuits, whose convent was in the quarter of the 
town near the Catholicon, have many years ago retired to the 
Negroponte. 

The Roman Catholic service is performed for the Franks in the 
Capuchin convent. The present Padre is an intelligent man, who, 
besides the duties of his holy office, is occupied in instructing from 
twenty to twenty-five or thirty of the sons belonging to the Frank 
families; he has fitted up the circular chamber formed by the 
monument of Lysicrates, with shelves that contain a few volumes 
of choice books. 

The world was indebted to one of the early Missionaries for the 
most circumstantial account of the antiquities of modern Athens, 
in the work of the Jesuit Babin, published by Spon in the year 
1672 ; and if the Propaganda Society has not had to boast of 
many Turkish or Gre*>k converts, they may at least reflect with 
pleasure, that their Ministers in this quarter of the Levant have 
been gratefully remembered by many travellers, to whom, from, 
and probably long before, the days of Chandler, to the present 
period, the Capuchin convent at Athens has afforded a secure and 
agreeable residence. 

Until within a few years, a journey to Athens was reckoned a 
considerable undertaking, fraught with difficulties and dangers; 
and at the period when every young man of fortune, in France 
and England, considered it an indispensable part of his education 
to survey the monuments of ancient art remaining in Italy, only 
a few desperate scholars and artists ventured to trust them- 
selves amongst the barbarians, to contemplate the ruins of 
Greece. 

But these terrors, which a person who has been on the spot 

it r 



302 



LETTER XXI. 



cannot conceive could ever have been well-founded, seem at last 
to be dispelled : Attica at present swarms with travellers, and 
several of our fair countrywomen have ascended the rocks of the 
Acropolis. So great, indeed, has been the increase of visitants, 
that the city, according to a scheme formed by a Greek once in 
our service, will soon be provided with a tavern, a novelty surely 
never before witnessed at Athens. A few more years may furnish 
the Piraeus with all the accommodations of a fashionable watering- 
place. 

It is scarcely necessary to account for the eagerness to visit the 
city of Minerva. In addition to other attractions, there is a 
consideration which cannot fail to increase the interest of survey- 
ing such an object: dating the settlement on the Acropolis from 
Theseus, which is later than generally allowed, three thousand 
and forty-six years have elapsed since Afhpns began to fix the 
attention of the civilized portion of mankind, and, for more than 
half that period, it continued, through all the gradations of increas- 
ilw prosperity, unrivalled glory, and splendid decay, to furnish 
materials for the historian, the poet, and the orator, of every 
succeeding age. From the reign of Justinian until the thirteenth 
century, very few notices of its existence have been discovered by 
the researches of the learned. Spon and Chandler could only 
discover, that it supplied Roger, King of Sicily, with silk-worms 
and silk- workers, about the year 1130; and a late writer, who 
has given himself some credit for the success of his enquiry, has 
only been able to add to this information, that, about the year 
590, a Byzantine historian talks of the splendour of the Athenian 
Muses of his age, and that, in the reign of Constantine the Seventh, 
Chases, Prefect of Achaia, was stoned to death in a church at 



LETTER XXI. 



303 



Athens*. Yet during these unnoticed ages, the city maybe 
conjectured to have maintained at least its present size ; for, when 
the accounts remaining, of the irruption of the Latins, again fix 
our regards on Greece, we find it of sufficient importance to be 
made the head of a state, comprising Thebes, Argos, Corinth, 
and part of Thessaly ; and its western Princes of the fourteenth 
century, if they did nothing worthy the panegyric of the sober 
historian, have still been the heroes of romance, as from them, 
Boccace and Chaucer, and after their example, Shakspeare, have 
borrowed their " Theseus, Duke of Athens." 

It cannot be thought that the town has increased since the 
Turkish conquest; so that he who at this day surveys the hill of the 
Acropolis, has the view of a site which has been covered with the 
habitations of men, and maintained, probably without intermis- 
sion, a population of eight or ten thousand souls, for more than 
thirty centuries; a fortune to which no other spot, that I know of, 
in the world can justly pretend, and which a view of its revolu- 
tions and disasters must render still more surprising. 

From the invasion of Xerxes to the irruption of Alaric into 
Greece, in 390, Athens changed masters at least twenty-three 
different times, and, during this period, the town was twice burnt 
by the Persians; the suburbs, and every thing valuable in the 
vicinity, destroyed by the second Philip of Macedon; the port, 
suburbs, and the whole city, nearly levelled with the ground, and 
all its ornaments defaced by Sylla; the Acropolis plundered by 

* The first anecdote is extracted from the work of Theophylactus Simocat- 
tus ; the second, from Leo the grammarian. The travels of the author who has 
made use of them, Mr. Chateaubriand, unfortunately did not come to my hand 
until the principal part of these Letters was already composed. 

Rr 2 



304 



LETTER XXI. 



Tiberius, surprised and ravaged by the Goths in the reign of 
Claudius; and lastly, the city and territory utterly ruined, and 
stript of every portable curiosity of value by Alaric. 

In the ages during which we are ignorant of its fate, it may 
have suffered by the many competitions for the eastern empire : 
on the opening of its renewed history, we find it besieged by 
Sgure*, a petty Prince of the Morea, in 1204, but successfully 
defended by its Archbishop, Michael Choniates, the brother of 
Nicetas the historian. It was then taken by Boniface, Marquis 
of Montserrat, who appointed one of his followers, Otho de la 
Roche, a Burgundian, Duke (Λουξ) of Athens, a title borne by 
its Governor since the time of Constantine the Great-f•. After be- 
ing in the hands of the son and two grandsons of Otho, it was 
seized by a Prince of the house of Brienne, who married a female 
of the line of the last possessors of the sovereignty, and whose 
son, Walter, was the Duke of Athens and Grand Signior of 
Thebes, who lost his crown and his life on the banks of the Ce- 
phissus, fighting against the Catalans. In this fatal battle, the 
army of the Athenian Prince amounted to nearly fifteen thousand 
men, a number which might make us suppose that the vigour of 
this Grecian state was renewed, did we not know that the troops 
serving under Brienne, were all either Frenchmen, or other mer- 
cenaries, most of them of the same nation as the enemy. Amongst 

* This person, whom Mr. Chateaubriand mentions on the authority of Nice- 
tas, may be he ^hom Chandler calls a General of Thcodorus Lascares. 

"j"• Ο* ¥ί'γί[Λων των Αοκνων ίλοίβί irecpx του ριγηλού Κωνςα,ντΙνου τΐτλον (what 
a word for the ear of an Hellenist) Μιγχλου Δουκο? χχ^ως και ό τί?? Πελοπονντιο~χ 
το τίί Πρίγκιπος, ο δ\ τ?κ Βοιωτ/α?, κα» των Θηβών το Mtyot-Ks ΠριμΜηρίος, βν 
Vfi/Jov κατά φο^α,ν της λίζιως^ Μίγαν Κυρ»ον ιχάλουν. — Melet. Attic. 



LETTER XXI. 



305 



the other noble victims of English valour who bled in the field of 
Poictiers, is mentioned a titular Duke of Athens, the son of the 
unfortunate Walter. 

The claims of the Catalans, who remained tyrants of the place 
for a few years, seem to have been merged in Delves of the 
house of Arragon. I have been unable to understand Chandler, 
when he talks of the taking of Athens by Bajazet, subsequently 
to the incursion of the Catalans. The Sultan, if he did make 
himself master of the city, which does not appear, must, I should 
believe, have preceded those invaders. 

During the latter part of the fourteenth century, by a sad 
reverse, of which there are examples in the fortune of states 
as well as of individuals, Athens was a fief of the kingdom of 
Sicily, and then fell into the possession, whether by gift or con- 
quest is not distinctly known, of a Florentine, lieinier Accmjuoli, 
who bequeathed it by his will to the Venetians. During the 
reign of Reinier, Amurath the Second besieged and took the 
city, but soon retired, leaving it in the possession of the same 

prince. 

The Venetians were driven from Athens by Anthony, Signior 
of Thebes, natural son of Reinier, and the dukedom continued 
in his family, but frequently disputed by competitors of the same 
kindred*, until Omar, a general of Mahomet the Great, seized 

* Anthony was succeeded by Nerius; Nerius was dethroned by his brother 
Anthony the Second, but recovered his dominion after the death of that prince. 
The widow of Nerius reigned after her husband, but was, with the assistance of 
the Turks, expelled, and afterwards poisoned at Megara, by Francus, son of 
Anthony the Second, the last Duke, who, after a year's reign, was deprived of 
his dominions, first of Attica, and afterwards of Bceotia, and finally strangled 
by order of Mahomet. It is said that Athens, in. her last extremity, when be- 



306 



LFTTER XXI. 



upon the city in 1455. Bat this was not its last distress; it was 
plundered and sacked by the Venetians in 1464; taken, after a 
bombardment by the army of the same nation, under Morosini, 
in 1687; and, lastly, besieged and again recovered by the Turks, 
in 1688. 

That Athens should still remain a well-peopled city, after such 
repeated miseries, is surely somewhat astonishing ; and, indeed, 
from the Turkish conquest by Mahomet, until about the year 
1584, it was believed in Christendom to have been almost de- 
serted*. At that period, the learned Martin Crusius-f published 
his Turco-G rsecia, which contained two letters, one from Zygo- 
malas, a native of Nauplia, in the Morea, the other from Ca- 
basilas, an Acarnanian, both of whom attempted to describe 
the state of the city, and its remaining antiquities. But long 
after that time, and so late as the beginning of the last century, 
a very learned author wrote thus, in summing up its history: — 



sieged by Omar, refusal the assistance of the Latin Princes, who demanded the 
conversion of the heretic Greeks as the price of their aid. All the latter revo- 
lutions of Athens are detailed in a work called Atenc Attica, by Fanelli, writ- 
ten at the beginning of the last century, which is referred to by Chandler; it 
was lent to me, at Athens, by (he kindness of Mrs. Fauvel. 

Atene Attica contains a plan and a picture of Athens, as it was besieged by 
Morosini, and also some rude cuts from wood, representing all the Dukes who 
successively governed this state. 

* There are four authors quoted in the introduction to the travels before men- 
tioned, who talk of Athens as in that deplorable state: Nicholas Gerbel, in 
1550; Dupinet, in 1554; Laurenberg, in 1557; and the geographer Ortellius, 
in 1578, who says of it, " nunc casulae tantum supersunt qmedam." 

t Kraus, professor of Greek and Latin in the university of Tubingen. 



LETTER XXI. 



307 



" Lastly, in the year of our Lord 1455, it was so despoiled by 
the Turks, that it is now no longer a town, but a village, under 
the dominion of that people, who have given it the name of 
Setines*." 

But if the mere existence of the town, after the revolution of 
so great a portion of the ages of the world, excites our wonder, 
we must be more surprised that it contains at this day, more ob- 
jects of admiration than would be displayed by an assemblage of 
all the monuments of ancient art to be found in every other part 
of Greece. 



* Lamb. Bos. Antiq. Grsec. p. 29, 



LETTER XXII. 

Antiquities of Athens — Temple of Theseus — Areopagus — Pnyx 
MiisSum — Monument of Philopappus — Odium — Theatre of 
Bacchus — River llissus — Adrians Temple — Callirho'e — Sta- 
dium of Atticus Herodes — Adrian's Arch and Aqueduct — 
Monument of Lysicrates — Monument of Andronicus Chyr- 
restes — The Doric Portico — Many smaller Remains. 



DURING our residence of ten weeks at Athens, 
there was not, I believe, a day of which we did not devote a part 
to the contemplation of the noble monuments of Grecian genius, 
thar have outlasted the ravages of time, and the outrage of barba- 
rous and antiquarian despoilers. 

The Temple of Theseus was within five minutes walk of our 
lodgings ; for the site of it I must refer you to the annexed pic- 
ture, where it appears entire, which is almost its actual state; 
for, excepting the sculptures on the back and front porches, and 
the roof, which is modern and vaulted, the outside of the build- 
ing has been but little affected by the injuries of four-and-twenty 
centuries*, and is, to this day, the most perfect ancient edifice in 

* It was built a little after the battle of Marathon, fought four hundred and 
ninety years B. C. 



LETTER XXII. 



309 



the world. In this fabric, the most enduring stability, and a sim- 
plicity of design peculiarly striking, are united with the highest 
elegance and accuracy of workmanship; the characteristic of the 
Doric style, whose chaste beauty is not, in the opinion of the 
first artists, to be equalled by the graces of any of the other 
orders. A gentleman at Athens, of great taste and skill, assured 
me, that after a continued contemplation of this Temple, and the 
remains of the Parthenon, he could never again look with his 
accustomed satisfaction upon the Ionic and Corinthian ruins of 
Athens, much less upon the specimens of the more modern spe- 
cies of architecture to be seen in Italy. 

A person accustomed to the cumbrous churches of Christen- 
dom, those laboured quarries above-ground, spreading over a 
large irregular space, would not be struck with the site of the 
Grecian temples ; on the contrary, he would think them rather 
small. TheTheseum is only one hundred and ten feet lono-, and 
forty-five feet broad, and appears less than it is in reality, from 
the proportion of the columns, which, though only eighteen feet 
high, and without bases and plinths, are nine in circumference at 
their lower extremities. But the materials of the building being 
of a sort which we are accustomed to think most costly, and the 
inimitable skill of the artist becoming more apparent at every in- 
vestigation, the first slight disappointment is succeeded by the 
purest admiration. 

The four-and-thirty columns of this Temple, and their entabla- 
tures, as well as the steps of ascent, and the walls of the cell itself, 
are of the finest Parian marble, the natural colour of which may 
be perceived where the stone has been recently broken, although its 
general surface has been tinged by the hand of Time with a pale 

s s 



310 



LETTER XXII. 



yellow hue. The shafts of some of the columns, (whose tambours, 
as has been discovered by the fragments of the Parthenon, were 
not united by any cement, but by a sort of leaden or iron cramp), 
and especially the corner ones on the right of the Pronaos, have 
been disjointed by earthquakes, but are not yet sufficiently injured 
to threaten a speedy fall. The flutings of many of them have 
been broken by stones, and other species of injury, as is the case 
with the figures in mezzo-relievo on the metopes, and those of the 
frizes of the western porch of the Temple. 

The sculpture on the western front, the posticum, though it has 
been struck with lightning, is in the best preservation. The promi- 
nent figure, of Theseus killing a Centaur, who is struggling on his 
back, wants the head and a right arm, but the body of his enemy 
is very entire. Two of the Centaurs laying a large stone over one 
of the Lapithae in a pit, are, as they were noticed by Chandler, less 
injured than the other figures. Is not this the fable of Ceneus, 
who, when he could not be otherwise slain, was buried 
alive? Two figures with shields, supposed to be Hercules and 
Iolaus descending into Hell, have lost their heads, arms, and 
legs. 

The whole of the sculpture of the Theseum has been modelled 
by Lord Elgin's artists, as well as by the French agents, but the 
noble Ambassador did not suffer any part of it to be separated 
from the building, and for this forbearance he gives himself all 
due credit. The opposite faction assert, that the endeavour was 
made, but interrupted in the outset. I could not decide on the 
motive, but was contented with the fact. 

" Blest be the great for what they took away, 
" And what they left me." 



LETTER XXII. 



311 



The cell of the Temple, the outside walls of which were an- 
ciently adorned with paintings by Micon, and where the modern 
Greeks formerly drew pictures of their Saints, now quite effaced, 
is converted into a church, dedicated to St. George, but, with 
the exception of the festival of that Saint, is never opened, unless 
to gratify the curiosity of travellers. The door to it, on the south 
side of the church, is but small; it is plated with iron, which is 
perforated or indented, in every part, with pistol and gun 
bullets. The pavement on the inside having been removed, the 
floor is of mud; and, in the middle nearly of the building, there 
is a small sepulchral mound of earth, like those in our church- 
yards. This is the grave of Tweddle. A slab of marble, with 
an inscription, is in preparation, at my Lord Elgin's expence, 
and under his direction. An epitaph for such a person, and to 
be placed in such a spot, must be a work of some nicety. The in- 
terior of the church has a melancholy appearance ; the walls are 
quite bare, and the pictures of Saints in the sacristy, or oval re- 
cess, erected in the eastern porch, are of the most pitiful kind. 
The round marble with the four faces of inscriptions, three of 
which were copied by Lord Sandwich, and made it appear to 
have belonged to the Prytaneum, still remains in the south corner 
of the western front. 

The Theseum stands on a knoll of open ground, cultivated for 
corn, between two and three hundred yards from the town, and 
not more than twenty yards from the wall of modern Athens. 
Under the slope of the hill is one of the gateways, through which 
those who live to the north of the Acropolis take their road to 
the Piraeus. 

A person walking from the Temple towards the Acropolis, and 

s s 2 



312 



LETTER XXII. 



passing out of this gate, if be still keeps in the direction of the 
walls, would immediately ascend the craggy hill of the Areopagus. 
This hill is very uneven, consisting of two rocky eminences, on 
the lowest of which is a small chapel, dedicated to St. Dionysius 
the Areopagite. A cave below this chapel, always shown by the 
Athenians, and which contains a cold spring, perhaps the fountain 
mentioned by Pausanias as being near the Temple of Apollo and 
Pan, on the descent from the Acropolis, is no otherwise curious, 
than as being reported by the devout Christians to have given 
shelter to St. Paul. The Areopagus is within a stone's throw of 
the craggy sides of the Acropolis, which is mentioned, that you 
may not attach too important a signification to the words moun- 
tain, hill, valley, and rock; for, in fact, the scene presented by the 
city, and the immediate vicinity of Athens, is a landscape in 
miniature, the most lovely in the world, indeed, but by no means 
corresponding with the notions of those who are acquainted with 
the vast exploits, without having beheld the country of the Greeks. 
There are no remains of any ancient building which may have 
been the place of assembly on the Areopagus, although that cele- 
brated court continued to exist to a late period, as Rufius Festus, 
Proconsul of Greece during the reigns of Gratian and Theodosius, 
is called an Areopagite. 

The ground at the west of this hill is a hollow valley, which is 
inclosed on the other side by the sloping concave ascent of ano- 
ther eminence, less rocky than that of the Areopagus, but 
covered only with a very thin soil. This hill, though considerably 
inferior in height to the Acropolis, is, in the ancient descriptions, 
ranked amongst the Attic mountains, under the name of Lyca- 
bettus. The region between the Areopagus and Lycabettus, was 



LETTER XX IT. 



313 



part of the old city, and included within the walls, which may be 
yet traced over the brow of the last-mentioned hill. The part in 
the valley was the Ccele of Athens, the Hollow; and above this, 
there are very evident vestiges of Pnyx, the plaGe of public as- 
sembly. These are immediately fronting, (westward), the Acro- 
polis, in the concave slope of Lycabettus, which, in this place, 
presents the appearance of being hewn perpendicularly, so as to 
form the cord of the semicircular arc. 

In the middle, or rather in a niche of this part of the hill, 
there are two pieces of wall, composed of stones of an immense 
size, meeting in an obtuse angle, in which there is aflat area, raised 
upon a flight of four or live steps. This appears to have been the 
Bema of the orators, or at least the platform on which the pulpit 
was raised, after the conquest of the city by Lysander, when it 
fronted the Acropolis, and had no view of the sea. The ground 
has been cleared away in several parts, so as to show other por- 
tions of the same wall, by the activity of Lord Elgin's agents, 
who would have obtained much praise, and escaped a good deal 
of obloquy, if they had confined themselves to such labours and 
researches. 

Just above the stone platform is the brow of the hill, whence 
there is a view of the Piraeus, the peninsula of Munychia, and the 
whole line of coast. The west side of Lycabettus falls, by an 
easy descent, into the large plain of Athens. Coele, the area of 
Pnyx, the sides and summits of Lycabettus, are ploughed up and 
cultivated, where there is any soil on the rock. They were co- 
vered with the green blades of wheat and barley, as early as the 
month of January; and, on the clear warm days which often 
occur in the depth of an Athenian, winter, swarmed with trains of 



314 



LETTER XXII. 



Greek and Turkish females, clothed in their bright-coloured hoods 
and mantles, some strolling about, others sitting in circles, with 
their children playing on the Turkish guitar, and dancing before 
them. As the season advances, many of the poorer sort of wo- 
men are seen in these corn-grounds, picking the wild salads and 
herbs, which constitute so material a part of their diet during the 
long fasts of the Greek church. 

In the middle of February, the corn was a foot high, and then, 
to crop its luxuriance, the horses of the Turks were tethered in 
the fields, amongst the standing barley, and were continued in 
the pasture for a fortnight or three weeks. 

Nothing can be more full of life than the picture to be viewed, 
particularly on this side, close to the Malls of Athens. A pleas- 
ing object, and one which I have often encountered in my ram- 
bles near the town, was a well-drest boy, generally a Turk, 
leading, in a coloured string, a favourite ram*, whose horns were 
crowned with flowers, and sometimes playing or struggling with 
him, in an attitude often represented by ancient sculptors. It is 
usually towards the Bairam, the Mahometan festival, and the 
Christian carnival, that these pretty animals are thus adorned, 
previous to their sacrifice. The children attending their mothers 
in their walks, are also often followed by tame lambs. 

To return to our survey: on your way from the city -gates 
towards Pnyx, before you come to the side of the hill, there is 
on the right hand, an assemblage of low crags, separated from 



* Poukeville says, that in the Morea the shepherds will call a ram Tityrus ! 
If he were to travel in Ireland, lie would as gravely swear that the peasants of 
that country call a pig " Horace " and without being far from the truth. 



LETTER XXII. 



315 



Lycabettus by a small gap in the rocks. On these crags is a little 
Greek chapel, and at the lower end of them, towards the Areo- 
pagus, is a smooth descent, which has been worn even and slip- 
pery, by the effects of a singular persuasion prevalent amongst 
the females of Athens of both religions — the married women con- 
ceive, that by sliding uncovered down this stone, they increase 
their chance of bringing forth male children; and I saw one of 
them myself at this exercise, which appeared to me not only dis- 
agreeable, but indeed rather perilous. 

Above the steps of Pnyx, keeping rather on an ascent to 
the right for a hundred paces, you reach the highest part of Ly- 
cabettus, where there is a windmill ; on which spot, as Chandler 
was informed by an eye-witness, the Venetians, in 1687, placed 
four mortars and six pieces of cannon, when they battered the 
Acropolis *. 

To the south of the steps of Pnyx, lower down, but at no 
great distance in the side of the hill, are the three artificial exca- 
vations, looking like square caves, conjectured by Chandler to be 
the sepulchres of Cimon the father of Miltiades, and of his 
mares, thrice victorious at the Olympic games. When Lycabet- 
tus was supposed to be the Areopagus, these were thought to be 
the prisons of that court, and are so laid down in the plan of 
Athens attached to the Atene Attica of Fanelli. 

Descending from the Cimonian sepulchres into the hollow val- 
ley, Coele, you arrive at the rocky ascent just under the Acro- 



* The same traveller places the Persian camp on this spot ; but Herodotus, 
lib. via. Urania, cap. 52, expressly says, that it was on the mount called by 
the Athenians " the Hill of Mars." The fact is, that what Dr. Chandler calls 
a part of Lycabettus, was thought by early travellers to be the Areopagus > 



316 



LETTER XXII. 



polis, covered with tomb-stones, one of which is erected to the 
memory of a pious Mussulman, who has also a tomb at Con- 
stantinople and at Smyrna, and is believed occasionally to revisit 
the earth, and appear amongst the true believers. 

Turning again to the right (south-west), and having the Acro- 
polis at your back, you proceed, for a short time, over a flat, 
now a corn-ground, and then begin to ascend a steep hill, sepa- 
rated from Lycabettus by a rocky hollow, through which there is 
a path from the Piraeus to the city. This hill, much higher than 
Lycabettus, is that once called the Museum, a half cannon shot 
from the Acropolis ; and, on the top of it, is the monument, 
visible at a great distance, going by the name of the tomb of 
Philopappus*. 

"What is now seen of this structure is of very white marble, 
the substructure of which being partly above ground, gives it a 
height of twelve or thirteen feet. Its form is that of a \ery elip- 
tical curve ; and the concave part of the ruin, looking towards 
the Acropolis, contains two oval niches, in each of which there 
is a statue, one of them (that on the right) being seated in a 
chair. A square column is between the two niches, and the base 
of this pilaster represents, in very prominent figures, as large as 
life, a person drawn in a chariot by four horses, with a procession 
in front, and a Victory following. The figures have all lost their 
heads, and the horses' legs are broken ; but the sculpture, though 



* Philopappus lived in the time of Trajan, and it is thought probable, from 
part of an inscription containing the words, " King Antiochus, son of King 
Antiochus," and from Pausanias (Attic, p. 46), who calls this the tomb of a 
Syrian, that he was a descendant of the Kings of Syria, settled by Pompey at 
Rome, 



LETTER XXII. 



317 



of a late date, is very bold and animated. To the right the mo- 
nument is entire, but, to the left, in ruins ; the marbles compos- 
ing it jutting out, so as to form a set of steps for any one who 
may wish to climb to the higher part of it, and view the orna- 
ments more closely. The part destroyed, it is thought, contained 
a third niche, and completed the structure ; the remaining por- 
tion seems in such a condition as to be likely to fall with the first 
earthquake. Many parts of the marble are covered, not to say 
defaced, with names of travellers. The name of an artist, Ro- 
maldi I think, who travelled with Mr. Dodwell, is, with an un- 
pardonable vanity, written up in half a dozen places. A picture 
taken from this spot, would comprehend all the south-west of the 
city, and, with the annexed sketch, complete the view of Athens. 

Here the Venetians, under Morosini, had also a mortar, and 
one of the bombs fired from it was fatal to some of the sculpture 
on the west front of the Parthenon. The same spot had been 
before selected, as a position calculated to overawe the city, by 
Antigonus and Demetrius Poliorcetes, who fortified its summits. 

The Museum contains nothing else worthy of notice, except 
two sepulchral cavities, much of the same kind as those of Del- 
phi, scooped out on the south side of the hill. 

Passing down from the Museum towards the Acropolis, and 

to 

keeping a little to the right, you come into a flat piece of ground, 
which stretches along the southern rocks of the citadel, and was 
that portion of ancient Athens called " the Ceramicus within the 
City," but is now ploughed, though but with little advantage to 
the husbandman, as the soil is very thin, and covered in many 
places with small fragments of marble, and other ruins of ancient 
buildings ; a circumstance no one will wonder at, who has looked 

τ t 



318 



LETTER XX II. 



into the mention made of this portion of ancient Athens by Pau- 
sanias*. In this place we were shown several marks of late ex- 
cavations, undertaken chiefly by Lord Elgin, who had the good 
fortune to find there a stone with an inscription, in elegiac verse, 
on the Athenians who were slain at Potidsea. 

At about a furlong and a half from the foot of the Acropolis, 
the plain of the Ceramicus is terminated by the small gravelly 
channel of the Ilissus, a river, as Boccace calls the Sebeto, 
" quanto ricco d'onor tan to povero d'acque ;" and which, during 
our winter at Athens, notwithstanding some rain and snow, was 
never swelled even into a temporary torrent. The channel, how- 
ever, may not in former times have been always so entirely dry ; 
for water is discovered, at a little depth, by digging into the 
stony bottom, which may be more shallow now than formerly, 
and choked up by the accumulation of the surrounding ruins. 
But the Ilissus, if full to the margin, could never have been 
more than an insignificant brook -f•. 

Going directly from the Museum towards the Acropolis, in 
order to pass close under the rock, you arrive at the western 
angle of the hill, and at once see the remains of the theatre built 
by Herodes upon the site of the Odeum of Pericles. These are 
not of marble, but of stones of large dimension, and preserve 
exactly the same appearance as when described by Dr. Chandler 
forty years ago. The entrance to the area of the ruin is still 



* Attic, p. 7, beginning το ίε χω/>»ον ό Κί/>α/*£ίκο?. 

τ I see, that on the strength of these pools of water, to which the Albanian 
women of Athens resort to wash their clothes, Mr. Chateaubriand attacks Dr. 
Chandler, who laughed at the traveller Le Roi, for representing the Ilissus as a 
fine flowing river, with a respectable bridge across it. 



I ■ 



LETTER XXII. 



319 



from the citadel, to which one of the walls, formerly the inner 
one of the Proscenium, serves as an outwork. What is to be 
seen of the seats of the Amphitheatre, which, in order to make 
use of an advantage frequently resorted to by Grecian artists, are 
scooped out of the side of the hill, is chiefly on the right or west 
side of the area, the falling rubbish and mould having blocked 
up those on the other parts of the semicircle. The cord of the 
arc is about eighty-two long paces. 

This, though the original building was of great magnificence, 
is not a striking ruin, but of a very stable construction, and has 
served as a model for the study of architects. The very little 
depth of the scene shows the use to which the theatre was put ; 
not for the representation of plays, but for the contests in music 
at the Panathenaean festivals. The three rows of arched windows, 
one above the other, seem more in the Roman than in the Gre- 
cian taste. 

As you proceed from the Odeum by the rugged track close to 
the foot of the Acropolis, in the same direction (to the east), the 
naked rocks, crowned with the projecting battlements of the cita- 
del, are seen high above you to the left. There is some soil and 
sloping crags about half way up the hill, to which point you can 
climb, but above this the rocks rise perpendicularly, and are 
inaccessible. 

A hundred paces from the Odeum, there is to be seen, half 
hidden in the cliff, what looks like the foundation arches of a pro- 
jecting part of the fortress above. They have been thought part 
of an ancient portico leading to the Music Theatre. 

Unless directed to observe them, you would hardly notice these 
ruins, nor would you pay much attention to the site of the Theatre 

Tt 2 



320 



LETTER XXII. 



of Bacchus, which occurs at a little distance from the south-east 
angle of the Acropolis, were it not for the ancient vestiges placed 
on the rocks above. The circular sweep of the seats, indented 
into the side of the hill, is scarcely perceptible, nor did I observe 
the stone-work at the extremities, extant in Chandler's time. 
But some of the monuments above the Amphitheatre still remain 
Three pilasters of the Corinthian order, supporting an entabla- 
ture, are standing against the flat month of a large cave in the 
side of the hill, which is now closed up, and converted into a 
church, dedicated to Panagia Spiliotissa, or Our Lady of the Ca- 
vern. Over the middle pilaster is an inscription, above which 
the architrave has some relievos of laurel-wreaths; on the top of 
the whole, in the middle, was the statue, sedent, thought by 
Stuart to be the personification of the people, from the word 
ΔΗΜΟΣ in the inscription to the right, and considered by Chandler 
to be the statue of Niobe*; but at last determined by my Lord 
Elgin, who has planed it in his museum, to be the image of the 
bearded, or Indian Bacchus. The statue had no head so early as 
I676, and is dressed like a female \, His Lordship has also taken 
awav the very ancient sun-dial which was to the left of the statue. 

Above the cave, and in a position which requires some climb- 
ing to reach, just under the walls of the citadel, are two Corin- 
thian pillars, one, three or four feet lower than the other, standing 
without any other structure attached to them, and having trian- 
gular capitals, formerly the bases of tripods. 

Leaving the Theatre of Bacchus, you descend to the modern 
walls of the town on your left, close to which the ground is 

• Pausan. Attic, page 37. 

+ Whether there arc any signs of a beard detached from the head, 1 know not. 



LETTER XXIt. 



321 



ploughed and sowed, and then arrive at one of the gateways, 
whence there is a road that leads south of the plain towards Cape 
Colonni, the Sunium promontory. At a few paces to the left 
of this road, near the gateway, is a circular pavement, an aloni, 
or corn-floor, of the kind so commonly seen in Greece. 

Beyond this gate the walls project, and you have to pass round 
an angle of them, in order to arrive at a ruin of inconceivable 
magnificence directly before you to the east. 

After leaving the walls, and passing over corn-grounds, rugged 
and interrupted by ravins, at about a furlong distance, you come 
to a flat paved area, evidently artificially raised, as may be seen 
from some foundation walls on the eastern side, and towards the 
channel of the Ilissus, which passes at a hundred paces to the 
south. On this stand the sixteen fluted Corinthian columns, of 
the building finished by Hadrian, called by some the Pantheon, 
and by others the Temple of Jupiter Olympius. Their site is 
exactly indicated by the pillars at the left extremity of the ad- 
joined picture. 

The stupendous size of the shafts of these columns, (for they 
are six feet in diameter, and sixty feet in height), does not more 
arrest the attention of the spectator than the circumstance of there 
being no fallen ruins on or near the spot, which was covered with 
a hundred and twenty columns, and the marble walls of a temple 
abounding in statues of gods and heroes, and a thousaud offerings 
of splendid piety. About fifty years ago there was another co- 
lumn standing, which was thrown down to build a mosck near the 
market-place, and so entirely removed, as not to have left a single 
fragment of its marble on the area below. Two of the columns 
fronting the east still support their architraves ; and the remains, 



322 



LETTER XXII. 



of a small modern cell of common stone, which, as Chandler ob 
served, must have been erected when the tops of the pillars were 
accessible from the surrounding ruins, are still seen above the 
capitals of the two next to the Ilissus. To this the Greeks and 
Turks direct your attention, and declare it to have been the habi- 
tation of a Saint; alluding to a hermit of the sort called Stylites, 
whose conspicuous penances were once not uncommon in many 
parts of Christendom. In the tenth century, there was another 
instance of these voluntary mortifications at Patrass, where a 
being, who preserved only the figure of man, was seen on the 
summit of a column, fixed, without motion, for ten years, sup- 
ported by the bread and the water daily administered to him by 
the charity of another holy monk, afterwards the famous St. Luke 
of Stiris. 

The solitary grandeur of these marble ruins is, perhaps, more 
striking than the appearance presented by any other object at 
Athens, and the Turks themselves seem to regard them with an 
eye of respect and admiration. I have frequently seen large par- 
ties of them seated on their carpets in the long shade of the 
columns. 

At about fifty paces from the western side of the area on 
which the ruins of Hadrian's Temple are standing, there is a path 
that leads to the channel of the Ilissus, and conducts you into a 
wide rocky ravin, close to the bed of the river. Here, after rain, 
are some pools of water in the hollows, which are frequented by 
the poor women of Athens for the purpose of washing clothes. 
Just above the ravin are the ruins of a Turkish fountain ; and, 
near this, is a pulpit of white stone, whence the Imaums, on par- 
ticular occasions, harangue the assembled multitude. 






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tW/.-i/mr Sbett.lBS 



LETTER XXII. 



523 



In the month of March, on the year of our visit, an extraor- 
dinary drought had alarmed the Athenians for their future har- 
vest: prayers and holy rites were performed in this place for nine 
successive days, three of which were devoted particularly to the 
Mahometans, three to the Christians, three to the strangers and 
slaves. The people were collected in the ravin, on the corn-fields, 
and under the columns. The Mahometan priest supplicated for 
all, and the whole assembly, of all conditions and persuasions, 
were supposed to join in the prayers ; but it was contrived by a 
little address, that the animal creation should appear to second the 
entreaty of the Turks, for, just as the turbaned worshippers bowed 
themselves with one accord to the ground, and called upon the 
name of their g^, tlno lamb* nf a large flock collected near the 
spot, who had just at the instant been separated from the ewes 
began to bleat, and were answered by their dames. I know not 
that any one was deceived by the scheme, but the devouter Mus- 
sulman may perhaps have believed that the distresses of the sheep 
were just as worthy to be made known, and as likely to move the 
compassion of the deity, as the complaints of the Christians. 

The ruined fountain seems to have been once supplied by the 
stream that now flows through artificial channels in the ground 
into the town, and is collected into two large reservoirs, at a quar- 
ter of a mile to the north of the ravin. A small stream, either 
the overflowings of the reservoirs, or a scanty spring rising in the 
bed of the river, is generally seen to trickle down the crags, until 
lost in the gravelly bottom of the Ilissus. This spring has still 
preserved its ancient name of Callirhoe, and the inhabitants of 
that part of Athens which stretches towards the columns of Hadri- 
an s Temple, and is the quarter of the Albanians, are called in the 



324 



LETTER XXII. 



songs of the peasants, Callirhiotes, from their custom of frequent- 
ing these pools in the bed of the Ilissus. Callirhoe once supplied 
the large marble reservoir in this dell, constructed by Pisistratus, 
the apertures of whose nine pipes, which gave it the name of En- 
neacrunus, were visible not many years ago, but are not at pre- 
sent to be discerned. 

The small Ionic Temple, standing forty years past on the other 
side of the Ilissus, at a short distance further up to the east, and 
determined by travellers to be the Eleusinium, where the lesser 
mysteries were performed, has now disappeared, but a shaft or 
two of a column is seen, wedged into the wall of a little Greek 
church near the spot, which may belong either to that Temple 
or to that of Diana Agra»a, nnr.o nl«n nn nearly the same 
position. 

Following the channel of the Ilissus, about a furlong higher up 
you reach the site of the marble Stadium of Atticus Η erodes. 
Nothing now remains of this costly structure, except some rub- 
bish, and many pieces of marble raked up by the plough, yet 
the cavity artificially formed in the side of a low hill still pre^ 
serves the ancient shape, that of an oblong horse-shoe, of this 
ancient place of exercise; and the area, which is now a corn- 
ground, having been measured, has been found to be contained 
in an arc of six hundred and thirty English feet. But this does 
not allow for the marble-work, nor for the seats, one row of which 
may have advanced into the body of the Stadium. Not far from 
the top of the Stadium, in the slope of the circular range of seats, 
is a cavern, which, after one or two windings, leads out into the 
open country at the back of the hill. In this there are no marks 
of arch-work, or any species of masonry, yet its position has led 



mammm 



LETTER ΧΧΙΓ. 



325 



former investigators to consider it the private way by which the 
principal spectators entered, and the unsuccessful candidates in the 
games retreated from, the area. 

On visiting this cavern, your recollections of past times would, 
for a time, give way to reflections caused by the sight of some 
present objects. The first day I visited the place, I observed a 
flat stone in the side of the rock, strewed with several bits of co- 
loured rag, broken glass, flour, and honey, and a handful or two 
of dry pease. As I was going to examine them, a Greek in com- 
pany exclaimed, " Don't tanoh them, Aflfendi, they are the 
Devil's goods — they are magical/' On enquiry, he assured me 
that some old women of Athens, well known to be witches, came 
often to this cavern in the dead of the night, and there performed 
their incantations, leaving these remnants for offerings to the evil 
spirit. Another person most seriously informed me, that this was 
not all, for that these same enchantresses had been often seen 
during a midnight storm, skimming off the foam of the sea where 
it rolls against the long pebbly beach, near the ancient port of 
Phalerus. These witches, (a decrepid creature was pointed out 
to me as one of them), are hated and feared by Greeks and 
Turks, and make use of their supposed art to extort charity from 
the credulous and terrified females of both nations. 

Crossing the bed of the Ilissus, at the spot where the marble 
bridge, (of which there is not now a vestige left), leading from 
the Stadium to the other side of the river, once stood, and leav- 
ing the Corinthian columns to the left, in order to return to the 
city, you pass over some rough uneven ground, ploughed where 
there is any soil, and in many places strewed with small pieces of 
marble, the remnants of New Athens, or that addition to the 

uu 



326 



LETTER XXII. 



old city which was built by the Emperor Hadrian. Keeping a 
little to the right, you strike into one of the roads to the town, in 
which continuing a short time, you come to where it divides, one 
branch going to a gateway not far from the columns, and the 
other passing nearer to the foot of the hill Anchesmus, whence 
the view is taken, to another gateway. The first of these is 
formed by a marble archway, called Hadrian's Arch, from the fa- 
mous Greek inscriptions on the frize above, showing it to have 
been one of the boundaries between Old and New Athens. The 
part of the structure above the frize, presenting a facade, with 
two small columns, and other ornaments of the Corinthian order, 
is supported by the arch, and, being out of reach, is not much 
injured. 

The other gateway, to the north, in the walls of the modern 
city, which in this part stand nearly on the site of the old walls 
before the Peloponesian war, is covered by a flat piece of carved 
marble, that, in the year 1765, constituted the frize and archi- 
trave of the remains of a marble facade, consisting of two Ionic 
columns, and a small portion of the arch that stood at the foot 
of the hill Anchesmus, and denoted the position of a reservoir 
collecting the waters of an aqueduct, begun by Hadrian and 
finished by Antoninus Pius. The letters imp. caesar. t. aelivs, 
and the word consvmmavit, underneath, may be easily read 
from below, but the intervening line in smaller characters, 

AVG. PIVS. COS. III. TRTB. POT. II P. P. AQAEDVCTVM IN NOVIS, 

requires a nearer inspection. The stone containing the remainder 
of the inscription, supplied by early travellers, is now no where 
to be found, 



LETTER ΧΧΠ. 



327 



No other antiquity occurs without the modern city, except the 
shaft and capital of one column of the Corinthian order, just at 
the outside of the suburbs to the north-west, between the gate 
looking towards Thebes, and that near the Temple of Theseus. 
Whether this column may not be the only remaining vestige of 
the ruin considered part of the Prytaneum, and having, in 1738 
ten columns yet standing, and a marble wall (represented in the 
Ruins of Athens) I cannot at all decide ; but I was told that 
there had been, not many years past, an antiquity of some im- 
portance on the spot, and that a Greek church had been pulled 
down lately, which stood upon the same area. This may have 
been the church of Great St. Mary, mentioned by Chandler. 

The antiquities to be seen within the town, are the choragic 
monument of Lysicrates, the Temple of the Winds, and the 
Doric Portico, or the portal of the new market-place. It is sin- 
gular enough, that the two last of these should not be mentioned 
by Pausanias, and, although too considerable to be overlooked as 
insignificant, be still a portion of the comparatively few remains 
to be seen at this day. 

The peripteral Temple, with a dome supported by six fluted 
Corinthian columns, or the monument of Lysicrates, called by 
the modern Greeks and (after them) by travellers, the Lantern 
of Demosthenes (Φχναρι του Δ^οσ-θ^ου?), which is situated under 
the eastern extremity of the Acropolis, and supposed to be in 
the line of the ancient street of the Tripods, is the less subject 
to injury, on account of being attached, as before mentioned, to 
the Capuchin convent. The good Padre has divided it into two 
stories ; and the upper one, just capable of holding one student 
at his desk, serves as a small circular recess to a chamber at the 

uu2 



328 



LETTER XXII. 



left wing of the convent, from which it is separated by a curtain 
of green cloth. Only half of this structure, which, like other 
monuments of the same kind, was only designed as a pedestal for 
a consecrated tripod, is to be seen from the street, the remaining 
half of it being inclosed within the walls of the garden, and of 
the convent itself. The intercolumniations of stone, a modern 
addition, take away from the effect originally produced by the 
elegant proportions of this monument ; but you would be pleased 
with its excellent state of preservation, notwithstanding its very 
great antiquity, which may be dated so far back as the second 
year of the 111th Olympiad, 330 years before the Christian era. 
An exact model of it was, some years ago, constructed and 
placed at the Louvre, and casts of the whole monument, with 
those of the minute sculpture on the circular architrave, have lat- 
terly been taken by my Lord Elgin's artists. The shape of the 
choragic monument of Lysicrates, can alone account for the 
strange appellation attached to it by the moderns ; and it appears, 
that an antiquity of the same description, also in the direction of 
the street of the Tripods, standing in the middle of the seven- 
teenth century, was known by the name of the Lantern of Dio- 
genes. 

The monument of Andronicus Chyrrestes, or the octagonal 
tower called the Temple of the Winds, placed in an obscure part 
of the town, and very likely to be overlooked, is much in the 
same state as described by the writers of the last century. It is 
far from being a striking piece of architecture, and the pyramidi- 
cal form of the roof, together with the figures representing the 
eight winds, are of a very heavy kind of sculpture ; besides 
which, the marble of the building has become so dark by age, 



LETTER XXII. 



329 



as to look like coarse black stone. The wind Zephyr, a winged 
youth, scattering flowers from his bosom, is the figure now most 
entire. This portion of the octagon fronts the lane (for it does 
not deserve the name of a street), and is the only conspicuous 
part of the monument visible to those who are not within the 
court-yard of the house in which it is inclosed. The religion of 
the Mahometans, like that of the Christians in other instances, 
has helped to preserve this fabric ; for the interior of it has for 
many years served as a place of worship for the turning Der- 
vishes, who perform their ceremonies e\tny .Friday, and a speci- 
men of whose holy exercises we had an opportunity of witnessing 
at Constantinople^ 

The Doric Portico, which, from an inscription on the archi- 
trave, has been called the fa9ade of a temple dedicated to Au- 
gustus, is on the left hand of a yard attached to the Waiwode's 
house ; and part of the building being hidden within the court of 
a neighbouring dwelling, only one of the four fluted Doric co- 
lumns composing this ruin, is to be seen from the street, and 
without getting into a private house belonging to a Turk. The 
proportions of these columns are much larger than those of the 
Theseum, but their marble is not of so fine a colour, being 
almost black. 

The conjecture of Chandler, that this portal served as an en- 
trance into the new Agora, built, after the destruction of the 
old one, on the other side of the Acropolis, by Sylla, received, 
in the opinion of that traveller, much support from the inscribed 
marble still to be seen in the walls of a house, to the left hand, 
close to the ruin, which contains, in very legible characters, some 
regulations of the Emperor Hadrian s, with respect to the exporta- 



330 



LETTER XXII. 



tion of oil ; but although this marble is of considerable size, it 
may still have been brought from any other part of the town, 
and can hardly be said to determine any thing with respect 
to the remains, to which it is now, perhaps accidentally, ad- 
joining. 

This concludes my notice of the stable antiquities of the town 
of Athens ; but before I proceed to conduct you to the Acro- 
polis, it would be as well to remark, that there are many de- 
tached pieces of carved stone, and marble, inserted in the walLs 
and over the doorways of the modern houses, which arrest the 
attention of any one who walks the streets, besides such a variety 
of portable curiosities, as would require more skill and learning 
than I am possessed of, usefully to illustrate. 

These are generally about a foot square, and adorned with 
small, and not highly finished sculpture, some representing a pro- 
cession, others a man sedent, with another standing, who has 
hold of his right hand, taking the last adieu, and having the 
χ«Γρε underneath. There are many with single figures in the 
same bas-relief, well executed, containing the name of the dead ; 
one of them, indeed, which I saw, had not only the name of the 
deceased, and of his father, but, what is very uncommon, of his 
trade. A most perfect specimen of the usual subject, the *f*/>o- 
iuTTvof, or funeral supper, is in my possession. It contains two 
figures of men recumbent on a couch, under which is a coiled 
serpent in the act of raising himself, perhaps denoting the cause 
of the death of the deceased, or an Esculapian emblem; a female 
sedent at the foot of the bed, is presenting a cup ; and a boy, in 
the farther end of the piece, in a spirited and elegant attitude, 
seems to have been pouring out wine in a flagon. The head of a 



LETTER XXII. 



331 



horse, the animal sacrificed to Pluto, is very prominent in a small 
compartment by itself in one corner of the sculpture. 

Besides these sepulchral monuments, there are lying in the 
courts of many of the houses, the small marble pillars, a foot or 
two in length and four or five inches in diameter, which were the 
Στίίλα» erected over the ancient tombs, and containing inscrip- 
tions sometimes, but oftener the simple name, or at most the 
name of the tribe to which the dead belonged : there was one 
lying in the yard of our lodgings. A great many of them, with 
their tops rudely carved into the shape of a turban, are stuck up 
on the graves in the Turkish burying-grounds, especially in that 
between the rock of the Acropolis and the Museum. 

Fragments of statues, pedestals, capitals of columns, are still 
to be seen in the walls of the buildings ; but the most valuable 
specimens have been removed by collectors. The sun-dial, and 
the Gymnasiarch's chair, were taken by Lord Elgin from the court 
of the Catholicon, where they stood in the time of Chandler. 

The marble cistern, or Attic measure for liquids, is yet re- 
maining in the yard of the archiepiscopal house. 

Notwithstanding the eager researches, and the extensive col- 
lections of all travellers, learned and unlearned, there are still 
daily discovered in Athens and its neighbourhood, particularly 
at the Piraeus, many smaller antiquities, which are very interest- 
ing to any person even moderately versed in ancient literature. 
We had the opportunity of seeing many lately-found vases (of 
that kind for the honour o f whose invention the Tuscans have 
been made the competitors with the Greeks), which, though not 
so large as those collected from the excavations of Lord Elgin 
at Athens, in the supposed tombs of Antiope and Euripides, and 



332 



LETTER XXII. 



at iEgina, Argos, and Corinth, were yet very beautiful speci- 
mens of the arts, and, besides, suggested oneor two curious facts. 
In one of them, a foot perhaps in diameter, and half full of burnt 
bones, was a small thin strip of iron, on which was carved the 
name and the family of Solon. I am not aware that this record 
of the dead has before been noticed in the sepulchral vases. 

The figures on the outside of another vase, much less, but 
more perfect, which were (as Mr. Lusieri remarked to me) de- 
signed, though with the greatest freedom, and perhaps by the 
hands of a common artist, yet with a spirit and truth not to be 
imitated by any modern artist, represented Charon ferrying two 
shades over the Styx ; and it was observable, that his boat was, 
to the nicest point of resemblance, exactly the same in shape as 
that now in use at Constantinople. 

Small busts and fragments of statues are not unfrequently dug 
up in the grounds in the neighbourhood, or found in the wells. 
Some of the latter, lately discovered, show faint traces of colours, 
and prove beyond doubt, what late writers have endeavoured to esta- 
blish, that the earlier ancients had the practice of painting their sta- 
tues * ; which, though it may seem extraordinary, is not so much 
so, as that some of them should be composed of various mate- 
rials, marble, wood, ivory, and gold -f: however, we know this to 

* A. L. Millan, in his memoir on a bas-relief of the Parthenon, notices this fact, 
observing, that the ground of the statues was generally blue, the hair and some 
parts of the body gilt ; and the most accomplished antiquarian of the age, in a 
late magnificent work printed by the Dilletante, has treated of the same subject, 
and would be consulted with great advantage by every scholar and man of taste. 

+ The Minerva of the Platacans, made from the Marathonian spoils, had a 
a face, hands, and feet (the work of Phidias) of marble; the other parts of 
the statue were of gold and wood. — Paus. Besot. 



LETTER XXII. 



333 



have been the case, as well as that their figures were dressed in 
different suits of materials, which were sometimes changed or 
embellished on particular days. The eyes of most of the marble, 
and of nearly all the bronze heads, were of some sparkling stone, 
or else were tinged with a sort of encaustic colouring. Pausanias 
speaks of a statue of Minerva, that had sea-green eyes, like Nep- 
tune ; indeed, it does not seem at all improbable, that the epi- 
thets of Homer and Hesiod were strictly attended to, in the con- 
firmation and colouring of the representations, afterwards con- 
structed by the Grecian sculptors, of their numerous divinities. 

Amongst other small antiquities discovered (as almost all of 
them are) by excavating tumuli, I recollect being shown a Flora 
of so singular a sort, as to establish, perhaps, the opinion, that the 
ancients were acquainted with the sexual system of plants; for 
the upper part represented a female, with her mantle in front full 
of flowers, and the lower a male figure*. 

Mirrors and other utensils of the toilet, alabaster lacrymato- 
ries, or rather those sepulchral phials which either contained 
essences, or, perhaps, the cleansing of the bones when washed in 
wine and milk φ, are frequently brought to the city by the pea- 
sants, who are aware of the anxiety of the Franks to obtain such 
relics. One of them sold me a very beautiful specimen of the 



*'Το•οί{Λετρον xvfyuov αυτΐί supported the folds of (he mantle. This sort of 
representation is a favourite sepulchral emblem : I have seen at Athens, a little 
Bacchus holding up a large bowl in the same manner. The satyrs on monu- 
ments seem a type of this principle — the opposite to that of corruption. 

+ See Remarks on Antiquities, Arts, and Letters, during an excursion in 
Italy in the years 1802 and 1803, by John Forsyth, Esq. London, 1813, p. 328; 
a work written during a long captivity, which it ought to terminate. 

X X 



354 



LETTER XXil. 



first-mentioned curiosity for one piaster. One singular remnant 
of ancient times, in my small collection, 1 cannot forbear to men- 
tion : it is a sling-lead, exactly the shape of an almond-shell, 
weighing nearly a quarter of a pound*, having on one side the 
figure of a thunderbolt, and on the other the word ΔΕΕΑΙ (Take 
this), in very plain letters. Another of these, in the possession 
of an English gentleman, has the word ΦΙΔΙΠΠΩ, "-to Philip ;" 
so that the piece of unlucky humour recorded of Aster, who 
inscribed on an arrow — " to Philip's right eye," was either not very 
Original, or was afterwards commonly imitated by the witty 
Athenians. 

The silver tetradrachm, and a great variety of Athenian and 
other coins, may be collected with very little trouble ; but for 
detailed observations on these and similar objects of curio- 
sity, I must refer you to the works of professed antiquarians, 
having by the foregoing hints endeavoured to awaken, rather 
than to satisfy, your curiosity ; and feeling that I have been able 
to do little more than the pedant, who produced a single brick 
as a specimen of a whole building. 



Within seven pennyweights. 



LETTER XXIII. 

Ascent to the Acropolis — The Pelasgicon — The Cave of Apollo 
and Pan — The Entrance of the Citadel — The Propyhza — The 
Parthenon — The Erectheutn — A Note on Lord Elgin's Pur- 
suits in Greece — The Modern Citadel — The Turkish Garri- 
son. 



THERE are two roads of ascent to the gate of the 
citadel ; one over the burying-ground to the left of the Ode^m, 
the other up a steep ill-paved path, commencing from about the 
middle of the back of the town. There is a wall, making an out- 
work to the citadel, on your right hand, all the way as you ad- 
vance towards the entrance of the fortress. Just after you enter 
the gate of this outwork, there is a niche on the right, where, in 
1765, was a statue of Isis. A modern stone fountain is a little 
above this, and hither the inhabitants of the citadel come for 
water, as there is no well on the hill. 

As you proceed upwards, the rock of the Acropolis is imme- 
diately over your left hand, and there is a little soil at the lower 
part of the steep acclivity, which has been ploughed, but now 
produces no grain, as the masses of rubbish and large stones 
falling from the rocks above, must have rendered all labour abor- 
tive. Yet this, as we must give credit to the comments oft the 

xx 2 



336 



LETTER ΧΧΙΙΪ. 



earlier history of Athens, was the portion allotted to the people 
called Pelasgi, who fortified the Acropolis, and were afterwards 
expelled from Attica for their conduct to the Athenian virgins. 
The Pelasgicon cannot be more than an acre in extent, and that 
spread on the rocky sides of a steep hill ; a confined territory for 
a people who dared to rouse the vengeance of the Athenians, and 
who were thought worthy of a particular execration by the Del- 
phian oracle. 

On the left hand also, about half way up the hill, is the cave 
of Apollo and Pan, which would not be observed, were it not for 
the stories of ancient mythology which it calls to mind. It is 
small, and by no means deep, and retains nothing remarkable 
but two or three square ledges, contrived, most probably, for the 
reception of votive tablets. The altar of Pan was raised by 
Evander the Arcadian, in a similar recess in the side of the Pa- 
latine hill. 

Above this spot, near which the Persians scaled the Walls of 
the Acropolis, the path climbs the hill, taking a direction rather 
to the left, and you arrive at where a gate in the wall, to the 
right, leads out over the Turkish burying-ground : ascending 
thence, straight to the east, you come to the first gate of the 
citadel, which is furnished with large wooden doors, seldom shut : 
passing through this, there is, on your right, a small wooden 
building, and immediately, on the same side, you look into the 
area of the Odeum. 

You pass on upwards to the second gate, the wooden doors of 
which are shut at night, and entering, have on your right hand 
an open shed, where a guard of Turks is stationed. Advancing 
beyond the second gate, ^ou still continue to ascend, but inclin- 



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LETTER ΧΧΙΠ. 



337 



ing to you' left, until you see at your right the ruins of the Pro- 
pylaea, ami turning round, pass close under them, to get further 
up into tie Acropolis. You turn again to your left, under a 
square touer, built partly by the Venetians, partly by the Turks, 
out of the mass of marble remains. The lower part of it is now 
used as a prison, and has a small iron door of entrance to the 
dungeons, but was in 167 6 a powder-magazine. 

You then pass to the left, at the back of the ruins of the Pro- 
pylsea, and see three of the five door-ways originally behind the 
columns of that building, and constituting the ancient entrances 
to the Acropolis. The intercolumniations of the colonnade, an 
hexastyle, have been walled up, and a terrace, mounted with a 
battery of cannon, has been raised on a level with the top of the 
pillars, formed of rubbish and the ruins of the roof, cell, and 
columns, of the portico of the Propylsea, destroyed by the Ve- 
netians in 1687. — The Temple of Victory, once on the right of 
the Propylaea, was blown up in 1656 ; the last memorial of its 
existence was carried away by Lord Elgin, who, from a wall 
belonging to a rampart attached to the tower, obtained the frag- 
ment of sculpture, supposed by Chandler to represent the battle 
of the Amazons, but decided at last to be the combat of the 
Athenians and Persians. But a room, to which the entrance 
is through a hole in the wall, and whose roof is part of the 
cell of this Temple, is still notorious for the wonder men- 
tioned by Chandler, the miraculous light*. There was a tower, 
corresponding to that on the opposite wing, standing over the 
Temple of Victory, when Wheler travelled, but this quarter is 
now buried under accumulated ruins, and choked up amongst the 

* This light is transmitted through a piece of the transparent stone called 
Phcngites. 



338 



LETTER XXIII. 



mean white-washed cottages belonging to the few inhabitants of 
the citadel. The painted building (ο»χ*ΐ|** έχον γραφχς), on the lett 
wing of the Propylaea, is also destroyed, but part of it serves as 
a foundation for the tower before-mentioned. 

On the right, as you advance beyond the tower towards the 
site of the Parthenon, in a poor house, lives the Disdar, or go- 
vernor of the castle. 

The Parthenon stood on the highest flat area of the hill of the 
Acropolis ; and, when the temples on every side of it were stand- 
ing, whose ruins now serve as foundations for the modern build- 
ings, this magnificent structure appeared to crown a glittering 
assemblage of marble edifices ; and the eye of the Athenian, sur- 
veying from below the fair gradation of successive wonders, rested 
at last upon the colossal image of his Goddess, rising majestic 
from the summit of her own Temple, the genius of the Acropolis, 
the tutelary deity of Athens and of Greece. 

The ascent to the citadel itself was by a long flight of steps, 
beginning nearly from the Areopagus. The \ery walls of the 
fortifications were crowned with an ornamental entablature, parts 
of which still remain ; and these, and every other structure, were 
of the purest Pentelic marble. No wonder then that the Acro- 
polis, in its whole circuit, was regarded as one vast offering con- 
secrated to the Divinity. The portion of the Parthenon yet 
standing, cannot fail to fill the mind of the most indifferent spec- 
tator with sentiments of astonishment and awe, and the same re- 
flections arise upon the sight even of the enormous masses of 
marble ruins which are spread upon the area of the Temple. Such 
scattered fragments will soon constitute the sole remains of the 
Temple of tylinerva. 

If the progress of decay should continue to be as rapid as it 



BETTER XXIII. 



339 



has been for something more than a century past, there will, in 
a few years, be not one marble standing upon another on the site 
of the Parthenon. In 1667, every antiquity of which there is 
now any trace in the Acropolis, was in a tolerable state of pre- 
servation*. This great Temple might, at that period, be called 
entire : — having been previously a Christian church, it was then 
a mosck, the most beautiful in the world. At present, only 
twenty-nine of the Doric columns, some of which no longer 
support their entablatures, and part of the left wall of the cell, 
'remain standing. Those of the north side, the angular ones ex- 
cepted, have all fallen : the dipteral porches, especially the Pro- 
naos, contain the greatest number, and these retain their enta- 
blatures and pediments, though much injured. 

In the interval between two of my visits to the Acropolis, a 
large piece of the architrave belonging to the exterior colonnade 
of the Pronaos fell down ; all the sculptures from the tympanum 



* The Sieur Desbayes (the first who travelled to Athens, and who saw the 
Temple of Victory almost perfect) in 1625; Nointel and Galland, in 1674; 
Spon and Wheler, in 1675 and 1670; Lord Winchelsea in 1676, and Vernon j 
all of whom visited Athens previous to the siege of the city by Morosini, saw 
the Acropolis, less changed, perhaps, from its ancient state, than it has been 
from the condition in which it then stood, in the short period subsequent to the 
days of those travellers. Pococke, Lord Sandwich, Leroi, Stuart, and Chan- 
dler, beheld only the ruins of ruins, many of which have since perished — etiarn 
periere ruinae. Even M. de ChoiseuPs second work, when published, will repre- 
sent many remains not at present to be seen, for he travelled in 1784; and 
though Mr. Fauvel, who has been occupied at intervals since the year 1780, 
in assisting the compilation of Mr. de C.'s Voyage Pittoresque, will be able to 
add the description of some smaller antiquities to the account of those before 
known, yet very many of the grand monuments of art, for which Athens has 
been before visited, have within these ten years disappeared. 



340 



LETTER XXIII. 



of this porch have been destroyed ; and the trunks and broken 
arms of two figures, incorrectly supposed Hadrian and Sabina, 
or two deities with the heads of those persons, are all now re- 
maining of the grand piece of sculpture which represented the 
birth of Minerva, and Jupiter in the midst of the assembled 
Gods. The figure of the Victory, which was on the right of 
Jupiter, has been recovered by Lord Elgin's agents, who demo- 
lished a Turkish -house close to the north-west angle of the Tem- 
ple, for the purposes of excavation, and found it, as well as small 
parts of the Jupiter, the Vulcan, and the Minerva, underneath 
the modern building, where they had lain since the Venetians had 
unsuccessfully attempted to remove them in 1687*. 

Many of the sculptures on the ninety-two metopes of the peri- 
style, representing the battle of the Lapithae and the Centaurs, 
particularly those on the entablature of the south side, were 
almost entire in 1767. I believe there is not one now remaining: 
the last were taken down by Lord Elgin. 

All that was left of the sculpture on the eastern porch, the 
contest between Minerva and Neptune, has been carried off by 
the same person. The marks of the separation are still very ap- 
parent. Ignorant of the cause, I pointed them out to Mr. Lu- 
sieri himself, who informed me of the fact, and showed the places 
in the pediment whence the two female colossal statues, the Nep- 
tune, the Theseus, and the inimitable horse's head, still remem- 
bered and regretted by all at Athens, had been removed. Such 
of the statues as had before fallen, had been ground to powder 



* The ropes by which, under the direction of General Koenigsmark, the 
■workmen were lowering them, broke, and many fine figures were dashed to 
pieces. Lord Elgin has reaped the advantage of the sacrilege of the Venetians. 



LETTER XXIII. 



341 



by the Turks. It is but fair to mention this fact, at the same 
time that the other circumstance is recorded. 

One hundred and seventy of the six hundred feet of bas-relief 
sculpture on the frize of the cell, representing the Panathensean 
procession, remained entire in the time of Chandler. A portion 
of it, containing seven figures, was taken down from its situation 
by M. de Choiseul Gouffier, and is now in the Napoleon mu- 
seum. I know not whether the collection of our Ambassador 
contains any of this precious sculpture, too exquisite not to have 
been executed according to the design, and under the superin- 
tendance, of Phidias himself*. Most part of that portion of it 
on the wall of the Pronaos, yet remains ; and by means of a 
ruined staircase, once belonging to a minaret built against one of 
the columns of that portico, I managed to get on the top of the 
colonnade, and by leaning at full length over the architrave, 
had a sufficiently close inspection of the work to be convinced, 
that this sculpture, though meant to be viewed at a distance of 
forty feet at least from below, is as accurately and minutely exe- 
cuted, as if it had been originally designed to be placed near the 
eye of the spectator•)-. Some equestrian figures are remarkably 
entire, and retain to this day the animation and freshness with 
which they issued from the hands of the artist. 

Within the cell of the Temple all is desolation and ruin ; the 
shafts of columns, fragments of the entablatures, and of the 

* Ictinus and Callicrafes were tbe scholars of Phidias, who were more par- 
ticularly the architects of the Parthenon. 

t The learned author, however, of the dissertation prefixed to the great 
work lately published by the Dilletante, seems to think, and perhaps correctly, 
that the distant effect was alone intended and studied. 



342 



LETTER XXIII. 



beams of the roof, are scattered about on every side, but espe- 
cially on the north of the area, where there are vast piles of mar- 
ble. I measured one piece, seventeen feet in length, and of pro- 
portionate breadth and thickness. The floor, also of marble, 
has been broken up towards the eastern front, and in the south- 
east angle of the area, is the wretched mosck, as well as some 
stone-work of the Greek church, into which the Parthenon was 
formerly converted. A dent in the floor is pointed out as being 
occasioned by the shell which blew up a powder-magazine, and 
destroyed the roof of the Temple, when bombarded by Morosini. 
Besides the vast magnitude of the marbles composing the Par- 
thenon, which, perhaps, is more easily remarked in the fallen 
ruins than in the parts of the building yet standing, there is an- 
other just cause for admiration, in the exquisite care and skill 
with which every portion of the architecture appears to have been 
wrought. The work on the Ovolos and Cavettos is as highly 
finished in the fragments of the enormous cornices, formerly 
placed at so considerable a height from the ground, as the minute 
parts in the lower portion of the building. The same uninter- 
rupted perfection is observable in the flutings of the shafts, in all 
the mouldings of the capitals, and particularly in the tambours 
of the fallen columns, whose surfaces are smoothed to such a de- 
gree of exactness and nicety, as to render the junctures of the 
blocks almost undiscoverable. 

The part of the area the most clear from ruins, is towards the 
north-west angle, and the western entrance, where the grooves 
in the floor, formed by opening and shutting the folding-doors of 
the Temple, are still very discernable. Faint marks of the painted 
saints, with which the Christians disfigured the interior of their 




sovth: UAvST ajsgle 

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ree•' 




OV THE J'AKTJiK^O^• 



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m 



LETTELt XXI Π. 



343 



Pagan edifice, are just visible on the walls of the south side of 

the cell. 

Of the Opisthodomos, the Athenian treasury, at the back, or 
eastern portico of the Parthenon, there are now no traces to be 
seen ; but Lord Elgin's agents discovered some columnar inscrip- 
tions, before alluded to by Chandler, of great antiquity*. 

Descending from the ruins of the Parthenon to the north, you 
pass through a lane or two of white-washed cottages in ruins, 
before you come to the remains of the Erectheum, and the ad- 
joining chapel of Pandrosos. In that portion of the Erectheum 
which was dedicated to Minerva Polias, the columns of the front 
porch are standing, but without any part of their entablature, 
and unsupported by the walls of the cell, the whole of the south 
side of which was destroyed during the short war between Eng- 
land and Turkey, and now lies in heaps at the back of the columns, 
and in the area of the Temple. The corner one of these columns, 
the best specimen of the Ionic in the world, with its base and 
capital, has been removed by Lord Elgin to England. The re- 
mainder will soon fall. 

The marble of this ruin is of a virgin whiteness, and the work- 
manship, as the structure is very diminutive in comparison with 
the specimens of the Parthenon, is a still more exquisite example 
than that Temple, of the polish and edge which were given to all 
the parts of Grecian architecture. The line of no pencil can 
excel the delicate accuracy of contour in the swell of the torus 



* The whole length of the Parthenon was two hundred and eighteen feet, and 
its breadth ninety-t ight feet and a half, reckoning the flight of three steps upon 
which the structure was raised. The columns were forty-two feet high. The 
Opisthodomos was separated from the anterior nave of the Temple by a wall. 

Yy 2 



344 



LETTER XXIII, 



and the ornaments of the base; and the hand, in passing repeat- 
edly over the marble, seeks in vain for the slightest inequality, or 
even roughness, on the surface. 

The proportions of this joint Temple are but small; when nearly 
entire, in 1736, the whole building was but sixty-three feet in 
length, thirty-six in breadth, and not twenty feet high, but the 
Erectheum is, in its kind, as complete a proof of the genius and 
skill of the Greeks as the Temple of Minerva. 

From the columns of the Temple of Minerva Polias you come 
to that portion of the building which was dedicated to Neptune 
and Erectheus, and where the wall of the cell is still standing, 
and, by the help of modern masonry, now serves as a powder- 
magazine for the supply of the citadel. Here the pillars support, 
in part, their frize and cornice, as highly finished as the bases of 
the columns, but much of the shafts of the columns is hidden by 
the modern wall that fills up the intercolumniations. Within the 
building, in a part composing the vestibule of the Temple of 
Neptune, is some fine architecture, consisting of an Ionic door, 
which was designed by Lord Elgin's artists, but is now not to be 
seen. 

On passing round the portico, you have on your left the marble 
wall of the cell entire ; and at the end of this, there is a piece of 
plastered wall, now filling up the open-work of the small Chapel 
of Pandrosos, between the images that yet remain of the famous 
Caryatides which supported the entablature of the building. 
There is one of these images before you come to the corner of the 
chapel, and the angular one remains, but the place of the next, 
which Lord Elgin has transported to England, is now filled up 
with mortar, so that there are now only three of the four statues 



LETTER XXIII. 



345 



originally supporting this front looking towards the Parthenon. 
One of the Caryatides had been carried away, or destroyed on 
the spot, before the year 1736. On the plaster wall, on the west 
side of the chapel, these words have been very deeply cut: 

QUOD NON FECEltUNT GOTI 
HOC FECERUNT SCOTI*. 

The mortar wall, yet fresh when We saw it, supplying the place 
of the statue now in the noble Ambassador's museum, serves as a 
comment on this text. 

* This eulogy of the Goths alludes to the unfounded story of a Greek his- 
torian, who relates that Alaric, either terrified by two phantoms, one of Mi- 
nerva herself, the other of Achilles, terrible as when he strode towards the walls 
of Troy to his friends, or struck with a reverential respect, had spared the 
treasures, ornaments, and people, of the venerable city. 

This may be as good a place as any other, to say a word on the proceedings 
of the person whose conduct is contrasted with that of the barbarian. 

We heard, I fancy, every thing that could be alleged by either party on 
both sides of the question, and being on the spot when the most furious strug- 
gles were made by both the French and English to gain their point, may be 
belter judges of the facts than those who have since examined the matter at a 
distance from the scene of action. 

My Lord Elgin's agents are not accused on account of any of their excava- 
tions, or carrying off the numerous articles they discovered by those proceed- 
ings : their rifling of ancient tombs, and pulling down modern houses to get 
at buried remains, was on all hands allowed to be a fair and laudable proceed- 
ing, as was also the modelling of the reliefs and other sculptures. The part of 
conduct objected to, was the not being content with the casts, which was all 
the French wanted or obtained when in power, without the possession of the 
originals, and by that means hastening the decay, and defacing the ancient 
monuments, so as for ever to diminish considerably the gratification of future 
travellers and artists. 

The injuries seem to be these: — The taking off the metopes, the statue over 



:U6 



LETTER XXIII* 



The Erectheum was sacred in the eyes of the ancient Athenians, 
and may still be regarded with veneration by the modern travel- 
ler, as being the spot where Minerva contended with Neptune; 
and the triple building must appear, even to us, in some degree 



the Theatre of Bacchus, and the statues of the western pediment of the Par- 
thenon ; and the carrying away one of the Caryatides, and the finest of the co- 
lumns of the Erectheum. No other come, I believe, within the limits of cen- 
sure — no other marbles were detached. 

It may be enquired, what excuse can be offered for such a spoliation ? It is 
answered, the French De Choiseul Gouffier detached part of the frize of the 
Parthenon many years past. Some of the persons employed in collecting 
for his museum, and assisting his projects, still remain at Athens, and have the 
same views, which nothing but inability have prevented them from accomplish- 
ing ; they had even a plan for carrying off the whole of the Temple of The- 
seus!! ! They only complain because they envy our success, and would them- 
selves have been masters of the same treasures. To this the others reply, 
"With the exception of De Gouffier, no one of us ever injured the temples — we 
have often had it in our power — we went to great ex pence in modelling and de- 
signing, which would have been unnecessary, had we resolved to take the ori- 
ginals — you, yourselves, when you first seitied here, professed no more ; we 
looked on without opposing you ; we were your friends — you have not only 
robbed, but treacherously robbed !" 

The answer is, " We are no robbers, we bought, and dearly bought, every 
article. Admitting your facts, wc only took that which would have been de- 
stroyed by the Turks, and which was in a state of dilapidation — it was better 
the sculptures of the Parthenon should be preserved in a museum in England, 
than ground to powder on their own bases — wc took nothing from theThcseum, 
because it was exposed to no such eminent peril." 

The last retort of the French is, " The case was the same with respect to 
both ; but having been prevented from ruining the latter, you take merit to 
yourselves for a moderation which was not voluntary. When you talk of buy- 
ing the right to deface the finest remains of all antiquity, you seem to put out 
of the question all the proprieties which might in such a case be expected to 
regulate the conduct of the artist, the scholar, and the gentleman." 



Ilkiiittiiiiiii 



LETTER xxiir. 



347 



sanctified by the superstition, which believed that each portion of 
the Temple retained some undoubted evidence of that memorable 
event. The heaven-descended statue of the protectress of the 
city was religiously preserved in her own fane ; the mark of the 
trident, and the salt fountain bursting from the cleft whence the 
horse issued from the earth, and where the murmur of the sea was 
often to be heard, were long pointed out near the altar of Nep- 



This is, as well as I recollect, the sum of every thing adduced on cither 
side, and reduces at once the question to the two points — Would the French 
have removed, or endeavoured to remove, the ornamental sculptures alluded 
to ? or, if they would not, were those precious remains likely to have been 
speedily destroyed by their barbarian masters? — It is certain, that if the 
Turks remain for many more years in possession of Athens, every valuable anti- 
quity will be entirely destroyed. But the French contemplate the chance of 
Greece being soon attached to the dominions of Napoleon: — in that case, not 
even our nationality would prefer λ possession of some of their broken parts 
to their integrity in the hands of an enlightened enemy. It is not the vanity of 
being the owners of such a treasure, but the wish to advance the fine arts in 
civilized Europe, that should influence the conduct of any collectors; but 
without enquiring into motives, it is pretty evident, that an infinitely greater 
number of rising architects and sculptors must derive benefit from these studies, 
if they can be pursued in a museum at London or Paris, than if they were to 
be sought in the Turkish territories ; and surely, we can hardly complain, if 
they are to be found in our capital. Present travellers may feel a little morti- 
fication, and those who are utterly incapable of appreciating the merit of the 
remains in question, wherever they may be fixed, will join in the fashionable 
clamour of the day. I have said nothing of the possibility of the ruins of 
Athens being, in the event of a revolution in favour of the Greeks, restored 
and put into a condition capable of resisting the ravages of decay; for an event 
of that nature cannot, it strikes me, have ever entered into the head of any one 
who has seen Athens, and the modern Athenians. Yet I cannot forbear men- 
tioning a singular speech of a* learned Greek of Ioannina, who said to me, 



348 



LETTER XXIII. 



tune; and the chapel of Pandrosos preserved within its sacred 
inclosure, as late as the time of Pausanias, the trunk of the olive 
which had given victory to the goddess, and a name to the city of 
Athens. 

Below the Erectheum there is a battery, where there are two 
cannons, which are used by the Turks to announce the Bairam, 
or any extraordinary intelligence from the Porte. This battery 
immediately overlooks the town, presenting a better view of it 
than any other quarter of the Acropolis, and I have seen several 
Turkish ladies, on a fine day, walking on this side of the ramparts, 
and leaning over the battlements, to enjoy the amusing murmur 
that rises from the city below. 

The part of the citadel where the modern fortifications are most 
entire, is to the east, a few paces below the posterior front of the 
Parthenon, where they were refitted about fifty years ago. Look- 
ing out through one of the embrasures, you there find yourself 



u You English are carrying off the works of the Greeks, nor forefathers — pre- 
serve them well — we Greeks will come and re-demand them." 

A curious notion prevailing amongst the common Athenians, with respect 
to the ancient statues, is, that they are real bodies, mutilated and enchanted 
into their present state of petrifaction by magicians, who will have power over 
them as long as the Turks are masters of Greece, when they will be trans- 
formed into their former bodies. The spirit within them is called an Arabim, 
and is not unfrequently heard to moan and bewail its condition. Some Greeks, 
in our time, conveying a chest from Athens to Piraeus, containing part of the 
Elgin marbles, threw it down, and could not for some time be prevailed upon 
to touch it, again affirming, they heard the Arabim crying out, and groaning 
for his fellow-spirits detained in bondage in the Acropolis. It is to be added, 
that the Athenians consider the condition of these enchanted marbles will be bet- 
tered by a removal from the country of the tyrant Turks. 



ΓΈΈ XX III 



m 



at the verge of a very considerable precipice, with the Albanian 
quarter of the town in the depth below, at a distance which much 
diminishes every object. 

The craggy cliffs on this side of the citadel afford the most im- 
posing view of the Acropolis, and are in appearance so inaccessi- 
ble as to strike any spectator at once with the improbability of 
the notion entertained by Stuart, and now adopted by Mr. Fau- 
vel, of the eastern front having been the principal entrance of the 
Parthenon: for, as that facade is almost immediately over the 
rocks, the Temple, if its door was to the east, must have had the 
look of- being unapproachable. The first conjecture of Spon, 
who saw the contest of the rival deities in the remains of the 
figures on the eastern pediment, has not, I think, been shaken by 
any late discoveries*. If it should be stated, that the well- 
known description in Ovid evidently points at this pediment of the 
Parthenon, and that therefore the principal front was on the same 
side, it may be answered, that, in describing the contest of Mi- 
nerva with Arachne, it was more to the poet's purpose to allude to 
the former victory of the goddess than her birth, which was the 
subject of the sculpture on the anterior front f. 

The crevices of the rocks on this side of the citadel contain 
the nests of innumerable flocks of daws and crows, which hover 



* Sec the argument stated in Critical Observations on Anacharsis, by M. 
BaTbic du Boccage, in note to plate xix, representing the two pediments of the 
Parthenon, such as they were in 1674. 

t The Scholar who has drawn up an account of Lord Elgin' Pursuits in 
Greece, has decided the "scopulum Mavortis" of Ovid (Metam. lib. vi. fab. 2), 
not to mean the Areopagus, but the eastern cliffs of the Acropolis. 

Ζ ζ 



350 



LETTER XXIII. 



round the hill, but are thought never to soar above the Par- 
thenon*. ■ 

You can continue to go round the ramparts to the south of the 
Parthenon, overlooking the Theatre of Bacchus -f-, without being 
interrupted, except by the ruins of four or five Turkish cottages, 
and blocks of fallen masses, until you come nearly parallel to 
the western front of the Temple, where the way is completely 

* This was an ancient superstition. Dr. Chandler, by no means a credulous 
personage, says, that he never saw a crow mount above the summit of* the 
Temple; but the margin opposite to this remark of our traveller, in a coj y 
lent to me at Athens, contained these words, " J'ai vue des milles sur le Par- 
thenon." I affirmed the same to a resident at Athens, a gentleman fond of au- 
thorities, who said, " The daws you may have seen.; not the crows." 

t It should have been remarked, that in Stuart's Ruins of Athens, the Odeum 
is called the Theatre of Bacchus, as it had before been by Wheler, who sup- 
posed the semicircular area under the cave of Panagia Spiliotissa to have been 
part of a Gymnasium constructed by Thrasyllus, and looked upon the remains 
of Pnyx as the Odeum ; but Dr. Chandler's opinion has been here followed, 
notwithstanding the later authority of the plans of Anacharsis, which adhere 
to Stuart's disposition of the antiquities in question. The only difficulty which 
Chandler appears not to have surmounted, is the vicinity of the Odeum to En- 
neacrounos, placed by himself in the dell near the Ilissus, and, therefore, ne- 
cessarily near the south-east angle of the Acropolis, not the south-west angle. 
The words of Pausanias are express: πλησίον it (τ» Ώ'ίίί») eV» xpwn καλουσ-ί 
xx\ dvrrtv Ε\νεά>ιροννον. However, the grotto containing the tripod engraved 
with the story of Apollo and Diana slaying Niobe's children, mentioned by the 
same author as being above the seats of the spectators, corresponds exactly 
with the chapel of Panagia Spiliotissa, and as I could not observe any cave 
(although Wheler did) above the other theatre, seems to me almost to settle the 
controversy. The 28(h cap. lib. iv. of Meursius'Attic. Lectiones, collects all 
the ancient mentions of the Odeum — built by Pericles, burnt by Sylla, and re- 
stored by King Ariobarzanes. Atticus Herodes has by some been thought to, 
have constructed a third theatre. 



LETTER XXIII. 



351 



choked up bv large masses of ruins, and a few mean houses, the 
beginning of a quarter of the citadel in which the Disdar is 
lodged, and some of the soldiers with their families belonging to 
the garrison. These soldiers, called Castriani by the Athenians, 
are only one hundred and twenty-five in number, and of these the 
greater part, when not on duty, live in the town below. The only 
service of the Castriani is, to holloa out several times during the 
night, to inform the citizens below of their vigilance, and to fire 
the cannon and display the fire- works usual on their festivals, 
from the battery. under the Erectheum. 

The citadel, which even in modern times was considered a for- 
midable fortification, and is called by one writer (Nich Gerbhel*), 
" arx munitissima," would now be unable to make any resistance. 
There are only twenty-seven cannons mounted throughout the 
whole fortress, and of these only seven are fit for service. Three 
of them are of a great length ; they were presented by the late 
Sultan Selim, and are placed on the battery over the Propylaea. 
The Disdar is an officer of no consideration, his pay being only 
one hundred and thirty piasters per annum, (his soldiers have only 
ten), and he is subject to the orders of the Waiwode of the city. 

It is not difficult, in viewing the walls of the citadel, to trace 
the Greek foundation, and the Turkish and Venetian super- 
structure of the ramparts. On one or two of the parts, where 
there was no necessity for modern fortification, the old Athenian 
walls are all that are to be seen, and continue the sole defence of 
the rock. This is the case on the angle to the north-west, near 
the site of the Temple of Victory. In this part Antiquarians have 

* In a book called " Pro Declaratione Piciurse sive Descriptionis Sophiani 
libri septem," which I have never seen. 

ζ ζ 2 



852 



LETTER XXIII. 



seen, or fancied themselves to have seen, the successive architec- 
ture of three different periods, the Cecropian, the Pelasgic, and 
that of the age of Pericles. 

From every quarter of the Acropolis there are the most agree- 
able prospects : that from the top of the Propylaea, which looks 
towards the Piraeus, is the most extensive, but so soft and blended» 
in the nearest fore-ground and the farthest distance, as to seem 
an unbroken perspective, from the corn-fields, vineyards, and 
olive-grounds of Athens, over the long line of coast, and the 
smooth expanse of the Saronic Gulf, to the high lands of Salamis 
and iEgina, and the faint outlines of the Peloponesian hills. 

The flat space on the rock of the Acropolis is not more than 
eight hundred feet in length, and about half as many in breadth *; 
a small extent for the site of the primitive city of the Athenians-)*, 
but an area of great size, when considered as the base only of 
temples and marble palaces, containing not a single structure 
which might not be justly denominated a masterpiece of Art. 



* It should be understood, that in the few occasional hints at the proportions 
and sizes of some of the Athenian antiquities, I have not quoted from any notes 
of my own, but from former details, which may be found to differ with the 
measurements of those travellers, whose works I was, at the time of writing 
these Letters, unable so consult. 

+ On account of its having been the primitive city, the Acropolis continued, 
even in the time of Thucydides, to be called Πόλκ, the city. KxXutoh. . . . 
κ«ί η Α\ροπολις μίχρι rvh ϊη νπο Α^ίνζ,ΐΜ ττόλκ. — Lib. ii. cap. 5. 



LETTER XXI V. 

The Vicinity of Athens — Climate in Winter — The Gardens — The, 
Olive-Groves — Method of Watering them- — The Site of the 
Academy — Route to the Pirceus — The Munychian Promon- 
tory — Country immediately to the South of Athens. 



THE neighbourhood of Athens abounds in pleasant 
rides; and the roads, which are numerous, are generally broad 
and well beaten. Notwithstanding we were in the country dur- 
ing the depth of winter, the weather was never so inclement as 
to prevent an excursion on horseback, and scarcely a day elapsed 
without our riding to some distance from the city. For this pur- 
pose we were furnished with horses belonging to the Post, one of 
the few institutions which are well regulated in Turkey ; and before 
our final departure, there were, I fancy, very few spots in Attica 
with which we were not perfectly acquainted, from repeated visits 
during more than two months residence in the city. 

Having alluded to the climate, let me observe, that to the 
northern constitution of an Englishman the Athenian winters are 
not, commonly, so rigorous, as, from ancient accounts, you might 
be led to expect. After having found it agreeable to bathe, a 
little before Christmas, at Thebes, where a poet of the country 
describes the cold to be so excessive as to freeze up the spirits of 
all nature, both animate and inanimate, and to inflict upon man 



354 



LETTER XXIV. 



himself the miseries of a premature decay *, it will not be sup- 
posed that the inclemency of Attica was to us such as to be 
severely felt. 

The winter in this country, generally sets in about the begin- 
ning of January, and in the middle of that month the snows 
begin to fall. They were a little earlier in 1810, and, being ac- 
companied with a strong north-* :st wind, made the cold rather 
unpleasant for two or three days, and drove large flights of wild 
turkies and woodcocks into the plain close to the city. After the 
snows are down, which seldom are seen for more than a few days, 
except on the summits of the mountains, where they remain about 
a month, there are three weeks of fine weather, frosty and cold 
in the mornings and evenings, but with a clear blue sky, and the 
sun shining hotly in the middle of the day. The natives then 
wear their warmest pellices, and burn large fires of wood, brought 
into the city by the peasants who dwell on the sides of Mount 
Parnes. Rain falls, but scarcely ever with any violence, in the 
middle of February ; mid, at the end of that month and the be- 
ginning of March, if there is no frost, the north-west wind blows 
furiously; I found it to be so high on the 23d, and the two fol- 
lowing days of February, as to be unable to walk without great 
difficulty ; but I cannot say that I experienced that debility, and 
those effects on the nervous system, which are said to attend this 
much-dreaded tempest, the Sciron of the ancient Athenians -f•. 



* Hesiod. Epy. κα» H/x. 

+ Pliny (Nat. Hist. lib. ii. cap. 46), talks of the Sciron, as a wind peculiar 
to Attica — ic Ut Atbeniensibus Sciron, paulum ab Argeste deflexus, reliqua) 
Ciraiciae ignotus." 

Baron tie Riedesel, in his Voyage au Levant, p. 291, gives Atttica the cli- 



LETTER XXIV. 



S55 



The spring commences about the end of the same month, and 
at that period, and sometimes earlier in the year, the sky is over- 
cast with hot heavy clouds, which settle-on Parnes and Brilessus, 
the mountains to the north of Athens, and are the ceitain signs of 
an approaching thunder-storm, and occasionally of earthquakes. 
This was the case on the 13th of February. These signs were 
known and consulted by the ancient inhabitants of this region, 
who, by repeated observation of the summits of their hills, one of 
which, Hymettus, is close to Athens, became such adepts in 
meteorology, as to regulate their conduct by their prognostica- 
tions. A transparent vapour on the tops of Hymettus is accom- 
panied by a strong sirocco, or south-east wind, as Τ have myself 
observed, and at that time the sky becomes less clear than usual, 
notwithstanding there are no black clouds, and the weather, 
although the sun is not to be seen, is oppressively warm. Such 
part of the marble ruins as are exposed to this wind, are found 
to have suffered a more rapid decay than the remainder of the 
edifices ; but nothing can be a better proof of the general dry- 
ness of the Attic air, than the wonderful state of preservation in 
which the most delicate, as well as the most ancient, portions of 
the remains are at this day found, after having been exposed to 
all varieties of weather for more than two thousand years. 

The corn in the plain of Athens, which is cut in May, is very 
high at the beginning of March ; and then also the vines begin 
to sprout, the olive-groves to bud, and the almond-trees, of 
which there is a great number in the neighbouring gardens, are 



mate of Petersburgh, and avers, that the snows remain on the mountains eight 
months out of the twelve. The Baron was at Athens a week in August; and 
no one would think, from perusing his book, that he had been there at all. 



$56 



T.F.TTRR XXIV 



so covered with their white and purple blossom, as to impart their 
varied hues to the face of the whole country. The spring vege- 
tables may also be procured at that early season, particularly 
lettuces, of which a large bundle can be bought for a para. 

The region immediately to the north and north-west of the city, 
a plain of an irregularly oval shape, is interspersed with small vil- 
lages, hidden in shady groves; and the modern Athenians, who are 
equally fond with their ancestors of the luxury of a summer retreat, 
and who are induced, both by custom and temperament, to prefer 
vegetables and fruits to less cooling diet, reckon nearly a thousand 
gardens in the circuit of their small territory. To many of these 
there are attached kiosks, or country-houses, ill-constructed in- 
deed, being the lower part of them of mud, and the upper of 
badly jointed planks, but still capable of affording an agreeable 
shelter during the intolerable heats of summer. Some of these 
gardens are near villages, under the hills at some distance from 
the city, such as Kevrishia, the ancient Cephisia, at the foot of 
Mount Pentelicus, and Callandri, in the same quarter.; but the 
large tract of them is in the long line of olive-groves which form 
the western boundary of the plain of Athens. The district wa- 
tered by the Cephissus, in the neighbourhood of the site of the 
Academy, and the Colonus Hippius, about twenty minutes walk 
from the gate leading to Thebes, is to the south called Sepolia, 
and to the north Patisia, and is divided into those extensive 
grounds which are particularly allotted for supplying the city 
with fruit and vegetables, and are for the most part not cultivated 
by their owners, but let out to the peasants of the villages. A 
large garden of an acre and a half, was pointed out to me as 
being let annually for two hundred and fifty piasters. 

The olive-groves of Athens are also on this side of the city, 



LETTER XXIV. 



357 



but they extend fur beyond Sepolia and Patisia, both to the north 
and south, and run in a curved line of seven or eight miles in 
length, and of an unequal breadth, from one to three miles, com- 
mencing not far from the northern extremity of the range of low 
hills called Anchesmus, and ending a mile and a half, perhaps, 
from the Munychian promontory. They must have increased, 
even in extent, since the time of Chandler, if the description of 
that traveller is, as usual, correct; and they told us at Athens, 
that the number of trees planted of late years had been very con- 
siderable, and having been set too thickly, had much injured the 
old wood. 

Besides this large olive wood in the plain of Athens, there are 
other groves in the neighbourhood of several of the villages ; and 
in addition to thirty-six olive-presses in the capital, there are 
eight others in various parts of Attica, of which you will hear in 
another place*. 

The Cephissus, a sort of ditch-stream, almost dry in summer, 
and in winter only a torrent, flowing from Cephissia, under Mount 
Pentelicus, passes through the extent of olive-groves and gardens, 
each of which it serves, by turns, to water. The watering of the 
olive-groves commences the 24th of September, and ends the 6th of 
April, and is effected by raisin^ a low mound round eight or nine 
trees, and then introducing the stream through dykes, so as to keep 
the roots and part of the trunks under water for the necessary length 
of time. Each owner waters his grove for thirty or forty hours, and 
pays a para a tree to the Waiwode, or to him who has farmed the 
revenue from that officer. During this period, the peasants con- 



* There are two at Koukouvaones ; one at Menithi; one at Casha ; two at 
Yerika ; two at Keratea; villages wbose sites will be mentioned hereafter. 

3 Λ 



35S 



LETTER XXIV. 



struct huts with boughs, and are mutually watchful, both day 
and night, neither to lose their own portion, nor allow to others 
an unfair abundance of the valuable streams. I have several 
times seen their fires amongst the trees ; and, as they watch in 
parties, and mix, as usual, much mirth with their employment, 
have heard the sound of their voices, and the tinkling music of 
their guitars, on returning to Athens from an evening's ride. 

The precious water of the Cephissus is the property of the 
Waiwode only during the season of watering the olive wood ; for 
the remaining months the owners of the gardens, in a proportion 
settled by long usage, divert the stream into their grounds for 
one, two, or three hours, in a week or fortnight, according to 
the bargain at which they have hired or purchased their land. 
The same jealousy is manifested on this as on the other occasion. 
The instant that the stream is turned into the required channel, 
a public inspector, who is called " Dragatis too nero," and is 
always in attendance, turns his hour-glass, and the gardener also 
measures the time in the same manner, other Greeks frequently 
being present to prevent collusion, and cut off the rivulet imme- 
diately on the expiration of the stipulated hour. Besides this 
periodical irrigation of the gardens, those who can afford to pro- 
cure such an advantage, buy water from the owners of several 
reservoirs, which have been constructed amongst the gardens, 
and on the banks of the Cephissus. 

Throughout the whole range of the olive-groves and gardens, 
are to be seen small remains, sepulchral stela?, shafts of columns, 
and particularly the marble mouths of ancient wells, which retain 
the deeply-indented marks of the ropes used in letting down 
and raising the buckets. A very beautiful specimen of one of 



LETTER XXIV. 



359 



them is now in a large garden at the side of the river, twenty 
minutes walk beyond the Colonus Hippius. It is a foot and a 
half high, and, near the rim, ornamented with festoons in ele- 
gant sculpture, and serves for the mouth of a well, perhaps the 
same for which it was originally constructed. The bucket lying 
by it is a dried gourd, scooped out, and attached to a rope of 
twisted hay. 

One might fairly expect to meet with something to satisfy the 
curiosity of the antiquarian in every part of this celebrated re- 
gion ; for not only Athens, but Attica, was the handy work of 
the Gods and ancient heroes*, and no less abounding in the mo- 
numents of former splendour than the city itself. Polemo Perie- 
getes composed four books, consisting solely of a catalogue of the 
gifts dedicated in the Acropolis ; and, says Strabo, it would have 
required as many more to mention those contained in the other 
parts of the city, and in the towns. Yet, by a perverseness of 
fortune, the very supereminence and celebrity of Attica, have 
prevented her towns and positions from being so minutely de- 
scribed as those of other parts of Greece, and the geographer has 
said but little of this territory, because afraid of entering into 
too extensive a detail, and of telling what was universally known. 
The work of Pausanias informs us, however, of the chapels and 
statues, and points out the tombs of the illustrious dead, imme- 
diately in the vicinity of the capital, and adds to the gratification 
to be enjoyed whilst roaming over the pleasant walks on every 
side contiguous to modern Athens. 

In passing from the town towards the site of the Academy and 



* Hcgcsias in Strab. p. 396. 

3a2 



360 



LETTER XXIV. 



the Colonus Hippius* (which is now a small rocky eminence, just 
out of the olive-groves, about north-north-east from the Acropolis, 
with a Greek chapel on it), you would be pleased with the thought, 
that you are treading on the graves once filled wiih the ashes of 
Thrysabulus, Pericles, Chabrias, and Phormio-j~, whose inscribed 
monuments, as \vell as those of all the great men (except the heroes 
of Marathon) who fell in battle, were carefully preserved, and 
pointed out to the enquiring traveller, many ages subsequent to 
the period that witnessed their glorious exploits. They were seen 
by Pausanias, in the second century, in the way from the gate 
Dipylon to the Academy, and in the gardens, and about the Co- 
lonus Hippius : not far from the Academy was also shown at that 
time the tomb of Plato J. Several temples were erected in and 
about the celebrated Gymnasium just mentioned ; but no mate- 
rial remains have been discovered in that quarter, although small 
fragments of marble have been ploughed up in the corn-fields 
now occupying its site. 

The gardens of Epicurus, which were on the way to the Aca- 
demy, not far from the gate Dipylon, have not left behind them 
a single trace of their marble schools, or even of their groves. 
The space they covered is now an open plain ot corn, rather on 
the descent towards the olive woods. 

The road leading from Athens to the Piraeus, is from the gate 
to the north of the Temple of Theseus. A few paces from this 
gate, a path going to Eleusis, branches oft' to the right from 
trie main road ; and, shortly after, another path, also to the 

* To Colonus Hippius (Edipus fled. On it was a temple of Neptune; it 
was ten stadia from the city. Meurs. de Populis Attfcse. Κολωνός. 
\ Paus. Attic, p. 50. i Paus. Attic, p. 58. 



LETTER XXIV. 



361 



right, striking through the olive-groves to Salamis. The road, 
whose direction is ahout west-south-west, then continues for half 
an hour over a corn-plain, skirting the olive-groves to the right» 
which it then enters, and continues to traverse a little more than 
half an hour, having on the left hand vineyards and gardens, with 
here and there a mud cottage. Issuing from the olive-groves, it 
passes, on a stone causeway, over a bare plain, in many places 
marshy. 

In this part, the long walls may be traced on the right very dis- 
tinctly, nanny large fragments of them being apparent above the 
around. The exact breadth of these whIIs, which was sufficient to 
allow two carts to pass each other on the top of them, cannot, I 
should think, be found from the remains ; but the enormous size 
of the single stones would justify a belief in the supposed dimen- 
sions of the whole work. They are joined together, like the 
marbles of the columns, not with any cement, but with clamps 
of iron and lead, which, with their own weight, might have been 
sufficient to unite walls even of so great a height as forty 
cubits*. 

Advancing farther towards the sea, the ground is more stony, 
and the plain in parts uncultivated, and the road ascending a low 
rocky hill, brings you at once upon the Piraeus, which is called 
by the Greeks, Draco, but by the Franks, Porto Leone, an hour 
and a quarter's walk, as. I found it, from Athens. 

Nothing in the present appearance of the Piraeus, would enable 

* It was originally intended to make the walls eighty cubits in height. The 
length of the wall to Phalerum was thirty-five stadia; of the exterior Avail of 
the city, forty-three stadia; of the long wall to th$ Piraeus, forty; and of the- 
wall including Piraeus and the Munychian promontory, sixty.. 



3$ 



a 



LETTER XXIV 



you to suspect that it was once a flourishing port, the emporium 
of a great state, itself a city, and abounding Avith temples, por- 
ticos, and other magnificent structures. 

The triple port is not very apparent, the recess on the right hand, 
the ancient Zea, being like a marsh, and that on the left, Cantha- 
rus, towards Munychia, of but little depth. The deepest water is 
at the mouth of the third interior port, the Aphrodisus of the old 
Piraeus. One does not know what to think of the size of the ships 
composing the fleets which were anchored in this basin ; and yet 
so late as the time of Constantine, two hundred ships of war 
were collected in the Pine us. The Athenian fleet consisted at 
one time of three hundred* ships of three banks of oars. We 
saw an Hydriote merchant vessel, of about two hundred tons, 
anchored in the port, for the purpose of carrying off the Elgin 
marbles, and she seemed too big for the station. Yet Wheler 
judged it capable of containing forty or fifty of the great ships 
of his time, which is sufficient only to convince me, that the 
size of vessels has been very much enlarged during the last 
century and a half. An English sloop of war was warned that 
she would run aground if she endeavoured to get in, and was 
therefore obliged to anchor in the straits between Salamis and 
the port once called Phoron-f•. The direction of the harbour 



* Meursius Attic. Lect. cap. 1, corrects those places in ancient authors 
which mention four hundred. 

+ Port Phoron is about fifty minutes walk from Draco, at the other side of 
the projecting land which forms the western quarter of the port of Piraeus. The 
country between is rugged and bare. In a grove of olive trees, on an eminence 
not far from Draco, on the left of the path going to Phoron, are some remains 
of an ancient wall. 



LETTER XXIV. 



363 



is from north-west to south-east, and the whole length of it, from 
the outer mouth to the innermost recess, is not a mile and a 
quarter. 

There is an inner and an outer harbour : the entrance to the 
inner is made more narrow by stone-work projecting from both 
sides of the mouth. i\t the bottom of the harbour is a wooden 
quay ; on which there is a poor custom-house, and a magazine for 
stores ; on the left, under the rocky grounds of Munychia, is a 
monastery dedicated to St. Speridion, together with a wooden 
building, formerly used as a warehouse for the goods of the Frank 
merchants. Some excavations made at Piraeus, especially to the 
west of the harbour, on some high rocky ground, have been at- 
tended with success, and produced some antiquities in good pre- 
servation. 

On the 18th of January, my fellow-traveller and myself made 
the complete circuit of the peninsula of Munychia. ' We passed 
round by the monastery. A little beyond this place, winding 
by the shore on a stony path, we were shown, on the left hand 
above, the seats of a small amphitheatre cut in the rock : conti- 
nuing till we came to the eastern mouth of the Piraeus, we saw 
several very large stones, like part of a pier, built to contract the 
inner mouth of the harbour; for there was a similar pier on the 
other side, near the water's edge. 

The site of the tomb of Themistocles is supposed somewhere 
in this quarter, and the modern Athenian guides point it out to 
you, but it is not very observable. It is a sepulchral excavation 
in the rock, without any covering, at the point of a craggy tongue 
of kuid, on the right hand as you sail into the Piraeus, probably 
the Cape Alcimus, whither the bones of that great statesman and 



364 



LETTER XXIV. 



general were conveyed from Asia. The tomb was formerly like 
an altar*. 

We went round the peninsula as near the shore as possible. — 
Munychia is high and rocky, capable of cultivation only in a 
few spots. Besides the port, the peninsula is indented with 
four small bays : above the second, which is opposite to the 
island iEgina, are several barrows ; the fourth is in a precipi- 
tous part of the rock. Stones and rubbish, all that is left of the 
habitations with which the whole promontory was once covered, 
lie about in heaps on many parts of the surface. The remains of 
the fortification may be traced nearly all round, as far as the 
port of Munychia ; but the eastern side of the third bay shows 
the most entire portion of the old wall. The old harbour of Mu- 
nychia is of a circular form : there are several remains of wall run- 
ning into the water, and a piece of pier is to be seen at each side 
of the mouth of it ; so that the entrance, as well as the whole 
port, is smaller than that of Piraeus. If the harbour once con- 
tained four hundred ships, each vessel must have been a wherryj*. 
The direction of the port is from south to north. The Munychia η 
Avails cannot be traced farther than the eastern side of ihe harbour; 
to make the circuit of them at a quick foot's pace, took us just 
an hour ; and in going round the arc of the whole promontory, 
including Phalerum, we were twenty minutes more. The land 
between Phalerum and Munychia is high and rocky. On a cliff 
between the two ports, we saw a singular excavation in a frag- 

* Kjovn? ίστιν Ιυ(Αεγί$7ΐς ί κα» το πίρ» ccvrriv β(ύ(λθίΐί\ς> τύφος τ« Θίμιστοκλίας. 
— Plut. in Tbemist. vit. fine. 

+ Sylla burnt down the famous arsenal of Philo, in Munychia, θαυ/ζα^όον 
£pyov, says Plutarch, in his Life of that Roman. 



LETTER XXIV. 



365 



■merit of rock standing upright, looking like a porch, and having 
a pilaster on each side, and cornice above, very rudely cut, or 
perhaps defaced. It was seen by Chandler, who compares it to 
a sentry-box. 

Phalerum is of an elliptical form, smaller than Munychia ; and 
the remains of the piers on each side the narrow mouth are to be 
seen. The line of its length is from east to west, that of its 
breadth from north to south. One solitary skiff was moored in 
it under the hill, instead of the fifty ships of Menestheus, appointed 
for their voyage to the shores of Troy. On the north-east side 
of the port the land is high and rocky, until you come to the fine 
sweep of the bay of Phalerum, perhaps two miles in length, and 
terminated on the north-east by a low promontory, once the pro- 
montory Colias*, where was a temple of Venus, on the site of 
which there is now a small church of St. Nicholas, and a spot 
called Tres-Pyrgae, from some towers not now to be seen ; sup- 
posed by Wheler to be part of the remains of Anaphlystus. 

At a part of this bay the sea is nearest to Athens, being exactly 
south-south-west from the city, but apparently farther than twenty 
stadia, the formerly supposed distance. The shore of the bay of 
Phalerum is shelving, and, in the calmest day, the tumbling of the 
waves upon the pebbles produces a loud murmur; a circumstance, 
as my fellow-traveller observed to me, that might have made this 
beach the resort of Demosthenes, when he wished to accustom 
himself to the clamour of a public assembly. 

In the bay, not far from the port of Phalerum, a small rivulet 
oozes through the sand, which is the only outlet from a fresh- 

* The clay from this neighbourhood was preferred to any other for the use of 
the potteries. 

3 13 



366 



LETTER XXtV. 



water lake and marsh, two miles and a half in length, which is 
near the shore, and into which, in former times, both the Ce- 
phissus and Ilissus used to empty their scanty streams. What 
part of the first river is not absorbed in the olive-groves, now 
crosses the road to the Piraeus into this lake. The lake is now a 
favourite resort of water-fowl, and, in hard seasons, supplies the 
city with wild geese, ducks, and other aquatic birds. Just beyond, 
in the way to the city, begins a long line of vineyards and cotton- 
grounds, together with a garden or two, which join the olive- 
groves to the west, and to the east have an open plain, divided, 
where the soil will bear culture, into wheat-fields. The separa- 
tion of the gardens and other grounds is made by mud banks; 
the wheat-fields have deep ditches between them. At the point 
where the gardens, vineyards, and olive-groves join, to the right 
of the shortest road from Piraeus, and in what would have been 
the road from Munychia, there are large cisterns, a mile and a 
half, perhaps, from the city. A country-house or two is near the 
spot, belonging, I believe, to those who watch the cisterns, and 
furnish the water to the gardens and vineyards. 

The weeping-willow seen in 1765, or another similar tree, still 
continues to hang over the principal cistern and the marble fount. 
The ground to the east of the cisterns, in the way to Athens, is 
quite open, and ploughed up every where, till you come to the 
back of the hill Lycabettus and the Museum, when it is, in 
parts, too rocky to be tilled. There are two roads from the 
cisterns, one leading to the right, by the course of the Ilissus, to 
the south of the Acropolis, the other to the great road from the 
Piraeus. 

In this quarter of the country you may vary your rides in every 




^m 



LETTER XXIV. 



367 



direction. From the Piraeus, but especially from Munychia, and 
from the vineyards near the lake, the approach to the city is very 
beautiful; and as the remaining columns of the Parthenon appear 
in a line, and so disposed as not to show the ruined portion of the 
temple, and as you catch a view of the entire Theseum, you may 
fancy yourself approaching to ancient Athens. 

To the south-west and south-south-west, between Athens and 
the sea, the country is open and bare, of a very uninviting appear- 
ance, only partially cultivated, and having a rocky soil, quite 
covered in many spots with a low sweet-smelling shrub, like wild- 
thyme, that seems peculiar to Attica, and perfumes the air, pro- 
ducing a flower of which the bees are very fond, and which gives the 
flavour, perhaps, so peculiar to Attic honey. At a ruined farm- 
house, a mile and a half from Athens, in the middle of the down, 
are many bee-stands, which are profitable to the owner, who re- 
sides in the city, and seldom visits the hives, except in the swarm- 
ing and gathering season. A marble lion, somewhat mutilated, 
but of good workmanship, is lying near the bee-stands neglected. 

To the south and east of this farm, in the open plain, and 
nearer the shore, are several lonely houses, very high, of stone, 
for security's sake, and here are remains of two square towers, 
now not inhabited, but once built to guard against the incur- 
sions of the pirates, Mainotes, and others, who have often 
landed, and carried off plunder to their boats, and are even now 
a little dreaded. Two villages are near these towers, surrounded 
with high walls, inhabited by Albanians. 

The gardens and vineyards belonging to these villages, one of 
which is called Dragonisi, are at a little distance nearer the shore, 
and all enclosed with high mud walls. There are some low bar- 

3b 2 



368 



LETTER XXIV. 



rows to the east, near these gardens, where Anchimolius and the 
Lacedemonians, who were slain on their invasion of Attica in the 
time of Hippias and Hipparchus, are supposed to have been 
buried. These barrows point out the site of Alopecae, a town 
eleven or twelve stadia from the walls of Athens, and the native 
town of Socrates*. In this part of the plain there are several 
mouths of ancient wells, all filled up with earth within a foot or two 
of the top. There is no direct road to these villages, but a path 
leads to them, to the right of the road that goes to the south 
towards the Sunian promontory. 

From beyond the promontory of Tres-Pyrgse, or Colias, the 
shore is rocky and abrupt, but not high. The stone is a sort of 
sand-stone, very soft, and worn into singular shapes by the 
washing of the waves : in one place there is a large hole broken 
away through a -little projecting cliff. The plain immediately 
near the shore is quite bare, and intersected with frequent ravins, 
and a broad water-course, as wide as that of the Ilissus. 

To inform you respecting that part of the territory of Attica 
beyond the olive-groves and gardens of Athens, I shall, in my next, 
take from my journal an extract of some expeditions we made in 
that quarter to Eleusis and Salamis. 



* Kat A'yx^uoX/g h<ri ηχ,φαι της Αττ»κ»ί? Α'λοττιχγ,α άγχχ τα Ηρακλτμ» τ« 
ιν Kweo-ap^ft — Herod. Tcrp. cap. 63. 



LETTER XXV. 

Route from Athens to Eleusis — Daphne-vouni — Casha-vouni^— 
The Monastery of Daphne — The Rhiti — The Thriasian Plain 
— Eleusis — Ruins — The Cambridge Ceres — Route from Athens 
to Salamis — The Throne of Xerxes — View from Corydallus— 
Salamis or Colouri — Ampelaki — Colouri — Greek Islanders. 



ON the 13th of January we mounted our horses 
rather earlier than usual, and set out on that one of the roads 
from Athens, which has the site of the Academy and the Colo- 
nus Hippius a little to the right, and is, on the whole, in a west- 
north-westerly direction. We rode for nearly twenty minutes 
before we entered the olive-groves, passing through which for 
half an hour, we came to the Cephissus : over this river, or 
ditch-stream, we crossed on a small ill-constructed bridge ; and, 
after riding through some more olive-groves, and near the ruins 
of a Greek church, in which a carved marble, or two, is to be 
seen, and also an ancient well, we got into a wide open plain, 
partly a sheep pasture and partly green with corn : at a distance 
on our right was the road by which we had come from Thebes, 
by Casha, to Athens. On our left, the plain stretched towards 
the sea-coast to the west of Piraeus, which, however, was not 
visible, owing to the inequality of the ground ; before us were 
low hills, running from north-north-east to south-south-west, the 



370 



LETTER XXV. 



sides of which were only partially cultivated, and of a very sterile 
appearance. A lonely house, with a few ruined churches, might 
be seen here and there, but no village. We soon crossed the 
plain, which seemed a continuation of the sloping hills in front of 
us, and, ascending by a gentle acclivity, entered through a gap, 
which is visible from Athens, and which divides the hills on the 
left, (south), once named Corydallus, from the range on the right 
which juts out from the great mountain Parnes, and was called 
iEgaleon. Corydallus has now the name of Daphne-vouni, or 
the Laurel Mountain, from the shrubs of oleander (called by the 
modern Greeks ττιχρα$»φνη 9 or bitter laurel) with which it abounds, 
and iEgaleon is Casha-vouni, from the large village of that name, 
which gives its denomination also to the south-west range of the 
great mountain Parnes, whose northern summits are called Ozea. 
The travellers who have supposed Daphne-vouni to be iEga- 
leon, appear to have been induced to that belief by the conjecture, 
that it was through this gap, that the Lacedemonian army, under 
Archidamus, marched into that part of Attica called Cecropia, 
leaving, says the historian, Mount iEgaleon on their right hand*. 
But there is another gap in the hills, two or three miles farther 
up to the north, near the village of Casha, which leads directly 
from the Eleusinian territory into Attica, and which answers, it 
seems to me, more clearly to the defile alluded to by Thucydides. 
Issuing from the mountains, Archidamus passed through Cecro- 
pia, a slope at the foot of the hills, two miles, I should think, in trans- 
verse breadth, and encamped at Acharnaef , the largest town next 
to the capital, only sixty stadia from Athens, and, indeed, in view 

* E\ fofyS, ίχοντις το Αίγύλιων ορός — Thucyd. Hist. lib. ii. cap. 19. 
•|" Xw/Jtov (λίγιντον τν\ς Αττ»κίΐί. — Ibid. 



LETTER XXV, 



371 



of the city ; a circumstance which must be a sufficient answer to 
such as suppose Casha only a corruption of Acharnae, for that 
village is four hours, and not visible from the Acropolis*. 
Daphne-vouni stretches to the shore opposite Salamis, and there 
is no separation in the mountain, which will allow of the northern 
range having been called iEgaleon and the southern part of it 
Corydallus. 

Soon after we had advanced into the hills, (where, however, the 
path is level enough, and was probably rendered so by art, in 
order to facilitate the procession of Iacchus on this part of the 
Sacred Way), we turned more southwards; and continued in the 
defile, with bare mountains on our right, and woody hills on our 
left, until, in about two hours and a half from Athens, we arrived 
at a large monastery, romantically situated in a long recess, at 
the foot of a high rugged hill, whose pines almost hang over the 
building. This monastery is called Daphne, and though much 
venerated, and supposed the most ancient in the country, has 
nothing to detain you. The exterior of the building has more 
the appearance of a place of defence than of a religious retreat, 
as the court-yard is surrounded with a wall at least twenty feet 
high, the angles of which are furnished with towers. Yet this pre- 
caution has not been sufficient to preserve the monastery from the 
visitations of the Turks, who frequently make it their baiting- 
place, as may be seen from the disfiguration of a Mosaic picture 
of our Saviour on the cupola of the church : the eyes of the 
figure are perforated with bullets. Only one monk ever resides 

* Wilder says, ten or a dozen miles, and we were from four o'clock to half- 
past eight on the road from the village to the city. — De Pauw, vol. i. cap. 5, 
to support his opinion with respect to Casha being a corruption of Acharnsg, 
contracts the distance to near seven. 



372 



LETTER XXV. 



in the place, who, as the peasant that had the care of the church 
told us, was gone to pass the winter in town, («κ ro χο?">), meaning 
Athens. 

The monastery being placed directly on the sacred way from 
Athens to Eleusis, has been conjectured to stand nearly on the 
site of a temple of Apollo ; and two Ionic columns, which were 
wedged into one of the walls, have been said to belong to a 
temple of Venus, whose site is pointed out by a piece of wall of 
rude masonry a little further on the road. 

From Daphne, Lord Elgin conveyed a shaft, two capitals, and 
a base, and nothing antique is now to be seen at the monastery, 
except a stone tomb. 

Leaving Daphne, we began to travel on an easy descent, and had 
at once a vista opened upon us, presenting a view of the sea, closed 
by two forked hills, those called Kerata, or the Horns, immediately 
behind Eleusis, and the high mountains of the Isthmus in the back 

ground. 

We continued in a westerly direction through a narrow valley : 
on the right-hand, nearly opposite the piece of ancient wall above- 
mentioned, we saw marks of tools upon the rock, which had some 
grooves and ledges cut on a flat surface, evidently smoothed by 
art. The grooves appear the same as those in the cave of Pan, 
and were therefore most probably constructed for the votive 
tablets of such as journeyed to the Temple of Ceres. The posi- 
tion of the hill answers to that of the painted rock of Pausanias. 

In half an hour, beyond Poecile, as it was once denominated, 
we found ourselves at the extremity of the valley, and at the water- 
side. Here we saw the shaft of one of the Ionic columns, of very 
white marble, and the flutings highly finished, lying entire, in a 
wooden trough, ready for exportation, on the beach. 



LETTER XXV. 



373 



Our postman said it belonged to the English, but whether to 
Lord Elgm or not, I did not learn. We turned directly to the 
right, the north, and came full upon a large circular basin, looking 
like a lake, the entrance from the sea not being easily discerned, 
as the island of Salamis, lying west and east, closed up the mouth 
of the bay. At the other extremity of the bay, to the west, we 
saw the village of Eleusis. We crossed a short passage of stony- 
road, cut out of the foot of the rocks, close to the water's edge, 
and called, like similar paths, Kake Scala, and then came upon a 
sandy beach, having on our right a small salt-water lake, dammed 
up by a low wall, and communicating with the sea by two chan- 
nels, whose streams turn two over-shot mills at a little distance 
from each other. 

Leaving the mills, we crossed two or three rivulets of brackish 
water, oozing through the sand, which Wheler and Chandler 
have called the Rhiti, or Salt Streams, the ancient limits between 
the Athenians and Eleiisinians, consecrated to Ceres and Proser-« 
pine, and supposed by Pausanias to find a subterranean passage 
through Bceotia and Attica, as far as from the Euripus of Chal- 
cis *. Beyond these streams we did not encounter any river 
similar to that which Wheler -j~, coinciding with Pausanias, calls the 
Eleusinian Cephissus, but turning to the left, again westward, 



* Pausan. Corinth, p. 129. Attic. 70. 

+ A Journey, &c. quart, p. 426. Seneca talks of the rapid "waters of this 
river in his Hippolytus, Act I. Scene 1. 

Quae saxoso sola Parnethi. 
Subjecta jacent, et quae Thriasis 
Vallibus amnis rapida currens 
Verberat unda. 

3 c 



374 



ί,ΕΤΤΕΙΙ XXV, 



rode over an extensive plain, quite flat, and so marshy in many 
places, that a stone causeway has been raised upon it for the 
security of travellers. This plain, near the shore a green pas- 
ture, but cultivated towards the foot of the woody hills to the 
north side of it, is six or seven miles in length from east to west, 
and three or four in breadth. It is evidently the Thriasian plain, 
and the part of it which we traversed, answers to that tract in it 
called in very early times, the kingdom of Crocon*. We con- 
tinued upon it for an hour, and saw on the left of our path some 
pieces of wall belonging to a church, which in 1765 was standing, 
and preserved the marbles of an ancient monument, together with 
an inscription. Thria, or Thrio, a town of the tribe of Oenis, 
which gave the name to the plain, was probably higher up on the 
side of Parnes, and nearer the Rhiti. 

On turning to the left (just an hour and a half from Daphne), 
to direct our steps round the sweep of the shore to Eleusis, we 
observed a path leading off to the western extremity of the plain, 
and ascending the mountains by which it is on that end in- 
closed. This is one of the roads travelled by those who come 
to Athens from the towns and villages on the sides of Mount 
Elatias (Cithaeron), and is sometimes preferred by those who wish 
to reach that city from Thebes, to that which passes by Casha 
over Parnes. I had afterwards an opportunity of tracing the 
higher part of this route, and found it to correspond exactly with 
that by which the Lacedemonians entered into Attica in the in• 

* BotariXstx KpoxwtO?. See the description of the Sacred Way, leading from 
the Thriasian gate, afterwards called Dipylon, by Mount Pcecile, across the 
Rhiti, and the Thriasian plain to Eleusis, in Pausanias, " *a<" ««* w* EAW»iv« 
t£ Αθηνών," p. 67 et seq. usq. ad. 71, fol. edit. 



LETTER XXV. 



375 



cursion before mentioned. A path branches off from the main 
road, by the Sacred Way, to Athens, a little nearer to Eleusis 
than the Salt Streams, and leads to Caliva, a village, and to 
Casha, through the opening in the hills which, according to my 
hypothesis, divides YEgaleon from Parnes. 

In several places across the plain to the north-west, as far as 
the bottom of the hills, before we turned southwards towards 
Eleusis, we saw fragments of an ancient aqueduct; and in half an 
hour we came to the village itself, which is put down in the maps, 
Lefsina, but which I never heard called any thing else at Athens 
than Elefsis, the modern pronunciation of the ancient name. 

Eleusis is a miserable village of thirty mud cottages with flat 
roofs, inhabited by Albanians; besides which, there is one high 
square house, or tower, the occasional residence of a Turk, who 
superintends the peasants, and owns some part of the neighbour- 
ing plain. It is comprehended in the territory of the Waiwode 
of Athens, which, on this side, extends one hour, or three miles, 
beyond the village to the west. 

Eleusis is finely situated, at about half a mile from the sea, on 
the declivity of a long hill, which stretches from the extremity of 
the mountains still called Kerata, running from north-east to 
south-west, and making the separation between Attica and the 
Megaris. There are sufficient remains to make it probable that 
great part of this hill was originally built upon, though at present 
there is nothing to be seen on it but the fragments o( an old 
tower, and a piece of wall. 

Looking to the east from the modern village, you have before 
you the bay, closed in front by Corydallus, and to the right 
by Salamis, with two islands before it, the Pharmacusae, one 

3c 2 



376 



LETTER XXV, 



much larger than the other, and now called Megala, and Micra, 
Kira. To the south-west there is a tongue of land, the western 
end of the bay, and beyond this, the mountains of the Morea 
are seen rising in the distance. 

To the north-west, in an angle between Kerata and the hill of 
Eleusis, is a small valley, according to Wheler and following 
travellers, the Rharian plain, where Triptolemus first taught the 
art of ploughing and sowing. Every part of the Thriasian plain, 
over which we passed, inclosed by Parnes and iEgaleon to the 
north, north-east, and east, is distinctly seen from the hill, and 
forms the most extensive portion of the land prospect. 

The remains of the ancient Eleusis are now very insignificant: 
some small stones, and pieces of rubbish standing upright, appear 
scattered about under the village, on the slope of the hill, and 
near the sea, and on one side of an inlet on the beach are frag- 
ments of a pier. The site of the great Temple of Ceres includes 
most of the modern village, but many decays must have inter-, 
vened since the time of Chandler, who seems, from his account, 
to have been able to measure the area and proportions of that 
magnificent building on the spot. The breadth of the cell, says 
he, is about one hundred and fifty feet, the length, including the 
Pronaos and portico, two hundred and sixteen feet, the diameter 
of the columns, which are fluted, six inches from the bottom of 
the shafts, six feet and more than six inches*. The peribolus, 
or inclosure, which surrounded it on the north-east and on the 
south side, measured three hundred and eighty -seven feet in length 
from north to south, and three hundred and twenty-eight in 

* Chandler's Travels, p. J 90. 



iuui 



fuiui 



LETTER XXV. 



377 



bread th from east to west. I did not see that the walls of the 
temple or of the inclosure can be now traced. The body of the 
remains, belonging, it has been thought, to the Temples of Diana, 
Propylaea, and Neptune, and to the gateway of the great inclo- 
sure, is now all on one small space in the middle of the village, 
and there are three or four entire portions of marble columns, 
just appearing above ground, fluted, and apparently of the dimen- 
sions alluded to, besides the mouth and part of the rim of a large 
marble vase, buried in the ground, and a fragment, also of marble, 
with the bas-relief of a Triton. Close by, we were shown the spot 
on which the Cambridge Ceres had so long lain half-buried in the 
earth. In the wall of a church, at another part of the village, is 
an Ionic capital. There are besides two inscribed marbles, one 
of which seems to have been a pedestal*, and stands by itself, and 
the other is wedged into the walls of a house. The inscriptions 
copied by Wheler, I was not shown. Some pieces of ancient wall 
are to be seen under the square house belonging to the Turk. 
The largest portion of wall yet standing is on the rock above, 
where is the old tower, and on which was the citadel of Eleusis, 
forming a protection on the north-west side to the temple; but 
the remains of the temple " in antis," seen by Chandler on this 
spot, either have disappeared, or entirely escaped my obser- 
vation. It is well known that the Cambridge Ceres, mutilated 
as it is, was supposed both by Greeks and Turks, from a 
tradition, to be a sort of talisman, on which depended the fer- 
tility of the lands of Eleusis ; but the Thriasian plain has lost 
nothing of its former abundance since the removal of this precious 



* See Appendix, for the inscription on the pedestaj. 



378 



LETTER XXV. 



relic by our accomplished and amiable countryman, and the in- 
habitants of Eleusis, who pointed out to me the trench whence 
it had been dug, evinced no signs of regret for their loss. At 
Eleusis, coins are very frequently found by the peasants, and one 
of them showed me the foot of a stocking quite full of them, out 
of which I selected about five and twenty. 

A very few years will accomplish the complete destruction of 
the scanty remains that are to be seen at this once celebrated spot•, 
and the former existence of the temples may, in some future age, 
be as problematical as the object of the mysteries, of JEleusis. 

The other route which Τ purposed to make you acquainted with 
in this Letter, is that from Athens to Salamis, now called Colouri. 
The road takes you nearly in a westerly direction, leaving that 
leading to the Piraeus, and another to the gardens, on the left. 
You enter the olive-groves in twenty minutes, and traverse trans- 
versely for more than an hour, going through a part of them 
where they are very thickly set, and have the waters of the Ce- 
phissus flowing through them in many trenches. After the olive- 
groves, the road is a little on the ascent over a plain, open and 
barren, except in some few cultivated spots. The mouths of an- 
cient wells, and fragments of stone-work, are visible near the path, 
iust as it reaches the top of the slope, and leaves a small eminence 
to the right hand, about half an hour from the olive-groves. 
From this point the road continues on the descent, in an open 
country of corn-fields and vineyards : a lone cottage, surrounded 
with trees, is on the left ; in half an hour you arrive at the 
foot of a bleak rocky hill, and the shore of a bay, formed by the 
back of the promontory which is the western side of the Piraeus 
and a tongue of land jutting out from the rocks on the right, on 



LETTER XXV. 



379 



whose front there is part of an old tower. This is the port Pho- 



ron. 



You cross the base of this neck of land, and then pass, not 
far from the shore, at the foot of a ridge of bare rocks that runs 
parallel with the coast. 

These rocks have now no name : they are part of the promon- 
tory stretching from Mount Corydallus; and in a niche about 
half way up, late antiquarians have supposed themselves to have 
discovered the spot where Xerxes sat in his silver-footed chair to 
behold the battle of Salamis. The niche is about opposite to the 
long rocky islet in the mouth of the strait, once called Psyttalia, 
and now Lipsocattalia, where the four hundred Persians were cut 
to pieces by the Greeks during the action. 

During one of our several rides to this part of Attica, a dis- 
tance of seven or eight miles, I took an opportunity of ascending 
these stony hills, and traversing the heights above the strait in 
every direction. From the first summit, the side nearest Athens, 
where the throne of Xerxes has by some conjectures been placed, 
the battle could only be partially seen ; but from the middle of 
the second eminence, in which is the niche alluded to, every part 
of both fleets, as well as the minute circumstances of the action, 
might have been distinctly beheld. Those who have placed the 
throne a mile farther down to the north-west, on an eminence of 
Mount Corydallus, cannot have a correct notion of the positions, 
as from that point, the whole of that part of the line where the 
Athenians and Phoenicians were engaged, must have been hidden 
behind the projecting rocks of the promontory; and the ship of 
Artemisia endeavouring to escape from the mouth of the strait, 
and sinking the opposing galley, the action which called forth the 



380 



LETTER XXV. 



famous exclamation of Xerxes, could not, from that point, have 
been beheld at all by the Persian King*. 

From the summit of the highest rock of Corydallus I had a 
view of Athens to the east ; the Piraeus was to the south-east, on 
my left; before me, to the south, was /Egina; Salamis, with its 
bays and diminutive towns, lay, as in a map, at my feet; the 
town of Megara was visible to the west-south-west, farther up on 
the right, in the Saronic gulf; whilst Eleusis, with its spacious basin 
and spreading plain, appeared under the mountains to the north- 
west: an extensive prospect, yet a space how circumscribed, to 
contain the ruins of so many cities, once the capitals of flourish- 
ing states. The friend of Cicero, sailing up the gulf to Megara -f-, 
with justice contemplated this melancholy scene, as one that 
must diminish the magnitude of private distresses, and check the 
indulgence of individual sorrows, by presenting, in one view, the 
abject and calamitous condition of whole cities, and many nations. 



* Some accounts place the throne on Kerata, above Eleusis (which, it 
seems, made Wheler suppose it to have been on either Megala or Micra Kerd), 
and others on the mountain which they name /T^gialus, meaning that hill (also 
called iEgilus) where was the Demos iEgilia, and which, under the name 
iEgaleon, I fancy to have been incorrectly confounded with Corydallus. Yet 
it is true, that the whole range from the modern village of Casha to the straits 
of Salamis, seems to have been indiscriminately called by both names; and, 
that one author, Pliny, enumerating the Attic mountains, has mentioned iEgia- 
lus, and omitted Corydallus. Plin. lib. iv. cap. 7, Monies (Atticse) Briles- 
sus, A^gialus, Icarius, Hyruettus, Lycabettus. 

t " Ex Asia rediens, cum ab ACgina Megaram versus navigarem, ca;pi 
regiones circum circa prospicere, post me erat iEgina, ante Megara, dextra 
Piraeus, sinistra Corinthus; quae oppida quodam tempore florentissima fuerunt, 
nunc prostrata et diruta ante oculos jacent, &c." — Cic. Epist. ad FamiL 
lib. iv. 



LETTER XXV. 



381 



But if such reflections were suggested to Sulpicius, more than 
eighteen centuries ago, with what feelings must the modern tra- 
veller behold the same prospect, when all these famous towns are, 
indeed, nothing but the lifeless carcasses of once animated bodies, 
prostrate, crumbled in the dust, without a sign of their ancient 
vigour and beauty. 

The road to the passage over the strait of Salamis, continues 
at the foot of the rocks at a short distance from the shore, for 
about a mile, when it comes to a projecting piece of land, where 
are remains of an ancient cistern ; and, above that, two or three 
large stones, that have been supposed part of an Heracleum, or 
Temple of Hercules. A path continues to wind round the rocks 
beyond this point, until it joins the road to Eleusis by Daphne, 
after having doubled a second headland. This was anciently Am- 
phiale, attached to a town of that name, famous for the stone 
quarries in its neighbourhood. The passage from the main-land 
to Salamis was here only two stadia, and Xerxes intended to have 
thrown a mole across it. A modern pier, of a rude construction, 
serves for landing and embarking the horses passing to and fro 
over the ferry. The ferry-boat here used is very large, with sails, 
and well made; we put our horses into it very easily. The direct 
passage is not much more than a quarter of a mile, yet when the 
wind sets down the strait to the west, it is not easy to cross ; and 
I was nearly an hour on returning from the island, as the ferry- 
boat was only managed by two men. 

Passing over, you have a view of the western side of the 
long tongue of land projecting from the island to the north-east, 
and formerly called the Dog's Tail (Cynosura), and by the Ita- 
lians, Punto Barbaro, on which, at this day, are some stones, thought 

3 D 



3S2 



LETTER XXV. 



to be part of the substructure of a trophy raised by the Greeks 
after the victory ; but as you approach nearer to the island, the 
view of the point is. shut out by another projecting piece of land, 
forming one side of a bay, at the bottom of which is a pier, 
where the ferry-boat unloads. On the right, entering this bay, 
is a green islet, on which a few cows and small horses are fed, 
but where there is not a single habitation, though there are two 
churches. 

On my excursion to Colouri, after landing at the pier, and, with 
some difficulty, getting the horses out of the boat, I ascended a rising 
ground, and passing over a gentle ascent, came, in half an hour, 
to a village of about eighty houses, inhabited by Albanians, and 
called Ampelaki. The houses here were more neat and regularly 
built than those of the villages on the main-land, white, and with 
flat roofs. The neighbourhood of Ampelaki has not a single tree; 
the soil is dry and rocky, and chiefly laid out in the cultivation of 
the vine. A stony hill overlooks the village to the south; and the 
rays of the summer's sun, reflected on the flat unsheltered cot- 
tages, renders the residence very unhealthy in summer; and, in- 
deed, on the 31st of January, the heat appeared to me quite 
oppressive. 

Strabo mentions, that the harvest in Salamis had ended before 
that on the main-land begun. 

The site of the more ancient city of Salamis is near the shore 
of the bay enclosed to the east by Cynosura, an hour to the 
south-east from Ampelaki. The walls, four miles in circumference, 
might be traced fifty years ago ; but, my guide assured me, were 
at present not to be seen. Some inscribed marbles have been re- 
moved thence to the village, where they are still to be seen, parti- 



LETTER tff&V. 



38& 



cularly one, still in exceedingly good preservation, over the porch of 
the church-door, which is mentioned and was copied by Chandler. 
In a wall near this church, was a fragment of marble, having on 
it, in alto-relievo, a naked leg of the most perfect sculpture, ap- 
parently part of a whole figure. Several efforts were made tb 
obtain this marble, but the owner of the wall would not be per- 
suaded to part with the piece. 

It is necessary for travellers to be somewhat circumspect in 
their endeavours to procure any sculpture or inscribed marbles, 
and to conceal, in a measure, their eagerness to be possessed of 
them, as both Greeks and Turks suppose that the Franks would 
have too much sense to offer large sums for blocks of stones, were 
thev not very precious in some way or the other, either as amu- 
lets, or concealing gold or jewels. It is not long since a Turk, 
digging in his garden near Athens, discovered a statue of Venus 
Accroupie, nearly as large as life, of white marble, and scarcely 
mutilated. A Frank, to whom it was shown, incautiously offered 
fifty zechins for the masterpiece. The Turk refused the sum, 
and broke the statue in pieces, to search for the treasure which 
he supposed it to contain : the parts were put together afterwards 
as well as possible, and a cast taken from it, which was shown to 
me, was sufficient to prove what a loss the fine arts had sustained, 
by the injury done to a piece of sculpture which would have had 
but few rivals amongst the relics of antiquity. A peasant of Salamis 
wore on his finger a ring, mounted with a most beautiful cameo, 
and, though himself ready to sell it, was prevented by his wife, 
who regarded it as a talisman, effectual against evil spirits. 

From this village we rode, about half an hour, over an open 
country of corn-fields and vineyards, to the town of Colouri, from 

3d 2 



384 



LETTER XXV. 



which the island now takes its name. This is a larger and much 
more wealthy place than Ampelaki, having about seven hundred 
houses, and there are a few shops in the bazar, together with 
three or four coffee-houses. It is situated a little to the westward 
of the bottom of a gulf that runs seven or eight miles into the 
island, and being at least three miles broad, gives it something the 
shape of a broad horse-shoe. The inhabitants of Colouri are 
partly Greeks, partly Albanians, but have no Turks amongst them, 
except such as may come to traffic ; being governed by their own 
Codja-bashees, and paying only a certain tax annually to the Porte, 
under the jurisdiction of the Captain Pasha, or High Admiral, 
the immediate lord of all the islands, and also of some districts on 
the main-land. 

The tribute of the Colouriotes is four thousand oches of pitch, 
for the use of the arsenal of Tophana at Constantinople ; and this 
they collect, not only in Salamis, but any where on the main-land, 
often near Smyrna, passing over to Asia in bodies of three and 
four hundred at a time, and encamping in the forests until they 
have furnished themselves with the necessary supply. 

It was easy to see, that the condition of the Greeks of Colouri 
was preferable to that of those on the main-land ; they had more 
the air of freemen, and of those who were permitted to enjoy the 
fruits of their industry ; yet their freedom from immediate re- 
straint is not always so agreeable to a traveller as the obedience of 
their continental countrymen. 

Several wherries, employed in fishing for red mullet, which 
abound in the straits, and about the island of Salamis, and which 
finds subsistence for some natives of Athens, and much of the 
population of Colouri, JEgina, and Megara, were lying on the 



TiETTER XXV, 



385 



beach under the town. It was my wish to proceed in one of 
them which came from iEgina, on a visit to that island ; and I 
accordingly agreed with the master of the kieque, for a passage 
to that island in his boat, manned with ten men, and ready to 
depart the same evening. Some money was advanced to the 
Greek, to victual, as he said, his boat. After waiting some time, 
we walked to the beach, where nothing was prepared, and only 
six of the sailors would consent to go. The bargain was broken ; 
and the boat being too large to be managed by so few men, I 
was disappointed of my voyage» My attendant demanded the 
piasters he had given in advance; but here he was mistaken, for 
the Greek declared, that he and his men had been dining and 
drinking on the money, and that, though he was extremely sorry 
that the men he had engaged had changed their minds, yet he 
could not return what he no longer possessed. The man, on 
being threatened with an appeal to his superiors, said he belonged 
to iEgina ; the Codja-bashee of Colouri declared he had no con- 
troul over him ; and accordingly we parted, not a little, on our 
parts, enraged by the provoking coolness of the Greek, who, on 
our going away, most politely thanked me, and wished me good 

evening (ενχ,κρκΓτω σας A'u3"t'im, καλή '(πτίρα, <τα,ς\ 

It was not so much the cheating, to which most of the lower 
orders of any people who live by the sea appear to be inclined, 
but the unblushing manner of doing it, that gave me no very 
favourable impression of the Greek islanders. 

The whole length of Salamis, from east to west, has been 
reckoned between nine and ten miles, and the breadth of it, in- 
cluding the bay of Colouri, cannot be much less. It has only 
one river, formerly the Bocaras, but now called Tokolias. 



386 



LETTER XXV 



The island seems uncultivated, except in the narrow vallies be- 
tween the hills, near Colouri and Ampelaki, where wheat and 
barley are grown. There are some thin pine forests on the sum- 
mits of the mountains, as well as a variety of «low shrubs. A 
monastery, to the south-west of Colouri, is the most agreeable spot 
in the island, being shaded with a few trees, and watered by a 
plentiful spring of pure water. The monks are the richest per- 
sons in Salamis. Athens is still considered the mistress of the 
island ; most of the inhabitants have some dealings in the city ; 
and the ferry-boat is generally employed during the whole day 
in transporting backwards and forwards the peasants of Ampe- 
laki and Colouri, with the riches of their vineyards and their fields, 
and the soap-ashes, procured from the lentisc, which is plentiful 
in the island. — The women of Salamis are of a fine shape and 
handsome face, superior to the Athenians of the same condition. 
They have the free ingenuous air, without any of the vulgarity 
of the peasant, and their whole manner is a happy mixture of the 
sprightliness of the Albanian, and the politeness of the Greek 
female. 



LETTER XXVI. 

The Eastern Side of Athens — Hymettus — Ascent to the Monas- 
tery °f St• Cyriani, on that Mountain — The Sacred Springy 
— Route to Mount Pent elicits — Angele-Kipos — Callandri — 
The Monastery on Pentelicus — The Marble Quarries — Return- 
by another Route — Remains of the Aqueduct. 



HAVING endeavoured to give you an idea of the 
country westward of Athens, I shall now proceed to the other 
side of the city, and extract whatever may appear necessary from 
the notes made on our many excursions to that quarter. 

To the south-east of Athens, the country is intersected by 
Mount Hymettus, which approaches within three miles of the 
city, and is divided into two ranges : the first running from east- 
north-east to west-south-west; and the second, forming an obtuse 
angle with the first, and having a direction from west-north-west 
to east-south-east. The first range, Hymettus, properly so called, 
ends about four miles from the promontory Zoster, now Halikes; 
but the hills on the other side of a gap, through which runs the 
road leading to the Simian promontory, seeming like a continua- 
tion of the same mountain, have been named the lesser Hymettus. 
The great range is now called Telo-Vouni ; that on the other side of 
the gap Lambra-Vouni, from the ruins of a town, one of the ancient 



388 



LETTER XXVI. 



Lampras* (the xe&6irsfttv 9 or upper), once called Lambra, but now 
known only by the name of Elimbos, and containing thirty cottages. 

Hymettus is neither a high nor a picturesque mountain, being 
a flat ridge of bare rocks. The sides of it, about half way up, 
are covered with brown shrubs and heath, whose flowers scent 
the air with a delicious perfume ; the wild thyme is in great abun- 
dance, but there are only two stands of bee-hives on the moun- 
tains, and very little of the real honey of Hymettus is to be now 
procured at Athens, where it is still justly prized for its superior 
flavour, and a certain aromatic odour peculiar to the plants of this 
place, a list of which is given by Sir George Wheler : a small 
pot of it was shown to me as a rarity. From the city to the 
highest part of the mountain is a walk of three hours. Half way 
to this point, there is a monastery dedicated to St. Cyriani, which 
we visited on the 16th of January. 

We took the road leading from the gate of Hadrian's arch, 
over the corn-grounds, to the eastward ; left the Corinthian co- 
lumns on our right, and continued for a mile, perhaps, approach- 
ing towards the bed of the Ilissus. We had on our left hand, a 
little before us, the village of Angele-Kipos and its olive-groves. 
We soon came to where two ravins join, and form a rocky dell, 
where in winter there are generally small pools of water. 

This is what travellers (after the conjectures, well founded as 
they appear to me, of Wheler -j) have agreed to call the junction 
of the two rivers the Eridanus and the Ilissus. We left it on our 



* There were two Lampras, both of the tribes Erecthti's, one near the sea, 
the other inland ; in one of them was the tomb of Cranans, the ancient Athe- 
nian King. 

+ Before the time of Wbeler, the Cephissus was called the Eridanus. 



LETTER XXVI. 



389 



right; and in a few minutes crossed the channel of the Ilissus*, 
which winds from the north-eastern extremity of Hymettus, and 
riding over some drv rocky ground, came to the Eridanus, or rather 
to a deep ravin witnout any water, along whose banks we conti- 
nued, on an ascent bare and rugged, until we came to a lonely 
metochi, or farm-house ; we then crossed the ravin, and got upon 
the sides of Mount Hymettus, riding on a perpetual slope through 
thin olive-groves, up to the site of the monastery of St. Cyriani, 
called Cosbasbee by the Turks, inclosed in a nook of the moun- 
tain, with the ravin of the river running through olive-groves, at 
the bottom of a dell beneath. The monastery of St. Cyriani has 
nothing worthy of notice, except four shafts of marble columns, 
supporting the dome of the church. The ruin from which these 
were saved, was probably that of the Temple of Venus ; for the foun- 
tain, probably the sacred spring in the neighbourhood of the Temple, 
which the Athenian matrons used to frequent for its medicinal vir- 
tues, is still to be seen a little above the monastery. To this we 
were conducted by one of the monks. There are three artificial 
basins, or stone troughs, receiving a water very clear and cold; they 
are one above the other; that in the middle is inclosed in an arched 
grotto, possibly part of the foundation of the Temple of Venus — 

* The Ilissus, says Strabo (p. 400), flows from the region above Agrae and 
the Lyceum, and the fountain, which Plato has commemorated in his Phae- 
drus. The site of Agrae is determined by that of the fountain Callirhoe, before 
noticed. It was a suburb without the walls, lower down to the south than 
the Stadium of Herodes, beyond the river. With respect to the Lyceum, also 
in the same quarter, nothing now remaining seemed to me to point out its an- 
cient place; the large stones now existing on the road to the south, more than 
a mile beyond the Ilissus, supposed by Chandler to have belonged to the walls 
inclosing that Gymnasium, answer, it strikes me, much better to the Cynosarges, 
which was without the gate Diocharis, and not far from the barrows near the 
Demos of Alopecae. 

3 Ε 



300 



LETTER XXVI. 



£ve feet wide, eight high, and twelve high. There is at the end 
of the cave a niche, and under this, to the right, almost covered 
with a large slab of stone, is the spring. 

The miraculous virtues of the water have survived the temple, 
ancl the worship of Venus. Our conductor told us, that once a 
year, on the feast of Panagia, many of the Greek females of 
Athens repair to this grotto, light up the niche with the small 
wax- tapers, as offerings to the Virgin, and then drink and wash 
in the spring, which eases the pains of child-birth, and is an- 
nually blessed from above by the descent of two doves, who 
play round the fountain, and re-ascend to heaven. The man 
assured us, to remove all incredulity, that a Despotes, a monk of 
Cyriani, had seen them himself; but that he was, indeed, the most 
holy man in the whole country. The vicinity of the sacred spring 
was anciently called Pera, signifying, perhaps, beyond the river. 

When Procris suspected her Cephalus of inconstancy, she 
traced his footsteps to the side of a sacred fountain, near the 
purple hills of Hymettus, and saw the green bank, whose soft 
neroage stiu remained iinpi eased with die vestige of his lovely 
form. " The arbutus, the rosemary, the laurel, the dark myrtle, 
" the leafy box, the frail tamarisk, the slender cytisus, and the 
«« graceful pine, united their varied foliage, which, together with 
" the blades of long grass, trembled under the gentle pressure 
' of the rising breeze." . . . . Μ AVhen next he left her embraces, 
to follow the chacs on Hymettus, she hastened to the woods, 
and leaving her maidens in the valley below, advanced into the 
recesses of the grove towards his favourite retreat* 

* Ovid, de ArtcAraan. lib. iii. 

" Est prope purpureos colles florentis Hyractti 
" Fons sacer " 



« 



iiiTfM» xx V ι. 



391 



The holy spring, the hill, tlie valley beneath, seem to fik upon 
the scene of the fatal adventure ; but, on our winter visit to tlie 
spot, the wild shrubbery was no longer to be seen, and the purple 
tinge of the mountain's side was changed into a more sombre hue. 

At a quarter of a mile from the fountain, on the side of the 
hill to the westward, is a ruined chapel of St. Marc, in which the 
monks of Cyriani are buried. It is on a most elevated spot, 
commanding a view of the whole plain of Athens, and having in 
the fore-ground of the picture, the waving line of low hills which 
lie at the foot, and are the roots of the larger mountain. 

There is a way to ascend Hymettus on horseback, but the 
direct path above Cyriani, is accessible only to foot passengers. 

The position of the mines in this mountain, in whose cavities 
the best honey was formerly found, and of the marble quarries, 
has rather been guessed at than actually discovered : the cave 
shown to Chandler, seems to have belonged to neither. 

Hymettus was reckoned amongst the cantons of Attica, but of 
what tribe is unknown : it had on its summit an image of Jupi- 
ter, instead of which single statue there are now fifty chapels or 
consecrated caves. 

Mount Pentelicus, at this day called Pendele, and sometimes 
Mendele, must be, I should think, one-third higher than Hymet- 
tus, and its height is the more apparent, as it rises with a peaked 
summit into the clo ids. The range of Pentelicus runs from about 
north-west to south-east, at no great distance from the eastern 
shore of Attica, overhanging the plain of Marathon, and mixing 
imperceptibly, at its northern extremity, with the hills of Briles- 
sus, now called, as well as part of Mount Parnes, Ozea. The 
highest peak of Pendele is in a direction east-north-east from 
Athens ; and from the foot of the mountain to the city, is about 

3e 2 



392 



LETTER XXVI. 



two hours and a half, between seven or eight miles. An object 
of curiosity to all travellers are the marble quarries of Pentelicus, 
which supplied not only Athens, but many other parts of Greece, 
with the precious materials of their temples, stadiums, and statues. 

There is a monastery, the most wealthy in Attica, which stands 
on the side of the mountain, and is generally used as a baiting- 
place by those who visit the quarries. 

The road leads through the gateway, covered with the marble of 
Antoninus's aqueduct. It continues over the corn-grounds, having 
the hill of St. George immediately on the left; two white pillars, 
with an inscription, at half a mile distance, are on the left of the 
path, erected by a Turk, who shot his arrow from one point to 
the other. In half an hour it comes to some olive-groves, having 
to the right the junction of the Eridanus and Ilissus, and two 
stone reservoirs, by which Athens is supplied with water. 

In these olive-groves is a monastery dedicated to St. Michael, 
called Agios Asomatos*. Two Corinthian capitals are in the walls 
of the church, supplied, perhaps, from the Temple of Venus, in 
the gardens formerly in this quarter. Not far beyond the olive- 
groves is a village, called Perivole, or Angele-Kipos, hidden in 
pleasant groves of olive and cypress, and in gardens of orange 
and lemon, and other fruit trees, on the south side of the low 
range of Anchesmus. It is the nearest of the villages to which 
the inhabitants of Athens withdraw during the summer heats. 
There is a stone causeway runs the length of the gardens ; and 
two fountains, with marble facings, are in the middle of the vil- 
lage, on the right of the path. 

Angele-Kipos, small as it is, has still a history attached to 

* The modern Greeks do not attend to the aspirate, and Agios is bere spelt 
as they pronounce it, without theH• 



LETTER XXVI. 



393 



it ; for the inhabitants of Pallene, a town to the north near Pen- 
telicus, would not intermarry with the natives of Angele of the 
tribe Pandionis, on account of their treachery as far back as the 
time of Theseus*". 

After this village the country is quite open and bare, and the 
soil light and stony, but it is ploughed and sowed in many parts, 
and there is in some spots a vineyard. Low, fragrant, shrubs 
are in abundance. 

The low and stony range of Anchesmus is on the left of the 
road : to the right, a wide plain, between the north-east end of 
Hymettus and Pentelicus, opens upon you as you advance, and 
is seen stretching down far to the south. A road runs across this 
plain, which is called the plain of Spatha, to the eastern shore of At- 
tica : it is the same district which modern travellers have mentioned 
with the name of Mescigia. An hour beyond Angele-Kipos, the 
path goes through a larger village, of a hundred houses, surrounded 
with olive-groves, called Callandri, and from this spot emerges again 
into the open plain, continuing for half an hour along the side 
of a water-course, until it comes to the foot of the hills. Here 
large flocks of goats, tended by a caloyer, or monk, are seen 
cropping the scanty herbage on the sides of the mountain. Ascend- 
ing the mountain, you soon come into pine-woods, and other ever- 
greens, and arrive at the monastery itself in three hours from 
Athens, having travelled in a direction about east-by-north. 

This building is in a niche of the hill, surrounded by an olive- 
grove, through which a copious stream falls down a pebbly chan- 
nel into the plain below. A green plot before the door of the 
monastery is shaded by a spreading plane-tree. 

* See Wheler, 470; and Chandler, 171 ; but Plutarch, in his Life of The- 
seus, says this of the Demos Agnous, of the tribe Acamantis. 



394 



LETTER XXVI. 



The entrance into the square court of the building is, as usual, 
through a small door, plated with iron. Three sides of the court 
are fitted up with small Cells, white-washed, and swept very clean; 
that of the Egoumenos, or abbot, has sofas and a carpet, for the 
reception of strangers. A well, and a tree, from which the iron 
hoop that calls them to prayers is suspended, is on one side of the 
yard. In the middle of the square stands the church, the inte- 
rior of which is plastered in every part with gilt, and bespeaks 
the wealth of the fraternity. 

The monastery owns several metochis, or farms, in different 
parts of Attica, in the superintendance of which the numerous 
body of monks are dispersed over the country ; so that there are 
seldom more than five or six at a time at Pendele. The original 
tribute of this monastery, paid to the support of the mosck of 
Valide, at Constantinople, was six thousand pounds weight of 
honey, at five dollars a quintal, and has not, that I heard, been 
since increased. 

When we visited the place, the monks seemed to live well, and 
set before us a repast of eggs, dried olives, and honey, with a wine 
of an excellent flavour, and a palatable rossoglio ; yet they called 
themselves poor, and seemed afraid lest we should carry away 
with us an opinion of their being in a flourishing condition. Such 
a report might increase the tax which they pay to the Porte for 
protection. 

From the monastery to the marble-quarries is a distance of 
forty minutes, the path climbing the mountain to the north, 
through thick woods of evergreens, over very steep and unequal 
ground, but having here and there the appearance of a track for- 
merly much used. It is not possible to go the whole way on 
horseback. 






LETTER XXVI. 



395 



You come suddenly on the caverns, the entrance to which is 
at tie bottom of an angle formed by two precipices of marble, 
evidently smoothed by art, and cut into their present form for the 
sake of the materials. These precipices are hung with ivy, which 
overshadows the mouth of the caverns. On a ledge, half way up, 
of the one on the left hand, with neither a descent or ascent to 
it, is the small stone house which Chandler supposed a station for 
the centinel at the quarries, but which the modern Greeks believe 
to have been the abode of an ascetic, and, as it seems to me, with 
more probability; for the masonry appears of a much later date 
than would correspond with the conjecture of the traveller. 

Before you enter the caves, the caloyer that attends you from 
the monastery, strikes a fire, and lights up several small wax tapers 
and strips of pine, for torches; which, however, are not necessary 
until you get to the lower part of the recess. On entering, which 
can be done without stooping, you see at once two small stone 
sheds, overgrown with ivy, with mouths like that of an oven. 
If these were habitations for the workmen, nothing could be con- 
trived more inconvenient. I should rather think them remains 
of the stone-work of forges employed in making and refitting the 
necessary tools. 

On the right of these sheds you ascend, by a flight of three 
steps, to two ruined chapels, cut out of the rock, on whose sides 
are the faint traces of painted Saints. Through an aperture 
which served for a window to one of them, and which is latticed 
by the overhanging ivy, there is a view of the extent of country 
beneath. The choice of cemeteries, tombs, and solitary caves, 
amidst the depth of forests, for the purposes of religious worship, 
which was a subject of reproach against the early Christians, and 



396 



LETTER XXVI. 



was adopted at first by necessity, was afterwards continued by in- 
clination, and a veneration for the spots made holy by ancient piety. 
In Turkey, the cause which originally drove the Lucifugaces to 
these recesses, still exists, and the sacred mysteries are, on the day 
of the Saint to which they are dedicated, at this time performed 
in the hollows of rocks, and in many other spots as wild and re- 
mote as the quarries of Pentelicus. 

The Greeks in our company, crossed themselves most devoutly 
at entering and quitting the ruined chapels. 

Proceeding lower down, the cavern widens, but is not very 
high; water distills from the roof, which is marble of the most 
beautiful tinge, a faint rose-colour, and fretted with a thousand 
petrifactions. Turning down to the right, the excavation be- 
comes more picturesque, worked into many fantastic shapes, and 
adorned with arches and slender pillars, some of them complete, 
others nearly formed, with the drop trembling from the white 
icicle above towards the rising crystal below. On the left of the 
inner recess is a small hole, which you are directed to enter. This 
you do on your knees, with a light, and sliding down for some 
time, through an aperture only large enough to admit your body 
lengthways, you come to ten steps, and descending these, to a cavity 
where you can stand upright, and where many names of travel- 
lers are scored and traced in smoke upon the stone. Below this 
spot, two or three steps farther, is a spring of cold water, the 
well formerly in use for working the marble quarries. 

It is probable, that the last time these quarries were resorted 
to by the Athenians, was when Herodes built his stadium. 
After that period, the ruins of ancient buildings might have been 
sufficient to supply whatever marble materials were wanted for 
new works. 






LETTER XXVI. 



397 



Either the petrifactions have obliterated the marks of the tools, 
in the interior caverns, or those excavations were only used as a 
shelter to the workmen, the perpendicular precipices without, being 
the surface whence the marble was cut away. 

The means used to transport the enormous blocks of marble 
which were used in the edifices of Athens, from such a spot as 
the Pentelican quarries, must remain a secret to the moderns. 
It does not seem to me possible, that carriages of any description 
could ever have ascended so far up the hills ; and as the me- 
chanical knowledge of the ancients was perhaps not so consider- 
able as we generally believe them to have possessed, the labour 
must have been infinite, to convey entire such masses, nearly 
two miles down the steep sides of a mountain. 

Two monstrous fragments are still to be seen in the path, a 
little below the quarries: these are cut into a shape somewhat 
circular, the angles being smoothed ofT, and might lead one to 
suppose that the blocks were thus prepared to facilitate the rolling 
of them down the hill, or gently pushing them with levers, a pro- 
cess somewhat difficult, but not impossible, when the descent was 
more regular, and the path more carefully cleared. 

But the difficulty of transporting the marbles down the moun- 
tain, could not have been greater than that of raising them up 
the hill of the Acropolis; and, lastly, elevating them to a great 
height, after being carved, without any injury to the finest sculp- 
ture, into their positions in the building. One piece of marble 
alone, part of the roof of the Propylaea, is twenty-seven feet long 
and seven wide, with a proportionate depth. The stupendous 
architraves of Hadrian's Temple must have been raised sixty feet 
from the ground ; and yet these are trifling, in comparison with 

3 F 



398 



LETTER XXVI, 



the Egyptian granites, which one cannot believe to have been 
raised by engines, any more than the vast buildings of massy 
stones seen by the Spaniards on their first arrival among the Pe- 
ruvians, a people who knew not the use of iron, but, after smooth- 
ing their materials against each other, had recourse to the lever 
alone for the whole work. 

I fancy that those who are well qualified to speak on the sub- 
ject, are now a little sceptical as to the exploits of Archimedes, and 
think, that the ancient Greeks were not acquainted with any engines 
to raise stones to a great height, particularly as those described 
by Vitruvius, have been judged of very inadequate powers. " If 
the work was low," says Mr. Perrault, in his famous parallel, 
" they lifted the blocks on their shoulders; if high, they raised 
sloping mounds of earth level with their work, on which they rolled 
them up to the necessary height*/' They were, perhaps, more 
laborious, but certainly less skilful than the moderns. 

But to leave this speculation, and return towards Athens. In 
order to vary the ride from the monastery of Pentele, you may 
return by a road almost as short as that through Angele-Kipos, 
and, after leaving the village of Callandri, turn to the right, and 
cross at the extremity of the low range of Anchesmus, going, for 
about two miles over heath and scantily-sowed land, to a water- 
course. Anchesmus is then on your left; before you, and on 
your right hand, you have an open country, skirted with large 
woods of olive-trees, a continuation of the groves on the plain of 
Athens. 

Behind is a village in olive-trees, MurufTe; and higher up, 



* Parall. page 118. 




LETTER XXV Γ, 



399 



under Pentelicus, Cevrishia, one of the most considerable country 
towns in Attica, and which is seen afar off, being distinguished 
by the dome and minaret of mosck. Cevrishia will be noticed 
hereafter; it is three hours from Athens. 

After travelling about half a mile on the side of the water- 
course, you see a massy portion of the remains of the aqueduct 
founded by Hadrian, to convey water from the northern ex- 
tremity of Pentelicus, across a gap in the western end of Anches- 
mus, to New Athens. Some arches of a considerable height 
cross the bed of the water-course; they are in ruins, but afford a 
very good specimen of the magnificence of the entire structure. 
Half a mile below these arches, you meet with a similar remain, 
but with piers more perfect, also crossing the bed of the water- 
course, and in a direction nearly parallel with the former, so as 
to induce an opinion that there w r ere two branches to the northern 
end of the aqueduct. 

Not long after these second remains, the path turns to the 
left, and strikes into olive-groves, where are a few mud houses, 
when it crosses the Cephissus over a bridge, which is itself a small 
aqueduct, and is used, together with some wicker troughs, to 
turn two over-shot mills. 

On emerging from the groves, you have Athens full in view 
before you, and pass, for the remainder of the distance, over a, 
plain of corn-grounds into the city; except that at half a mile from 
the walls, you pass through a hollow, having Anchesmus on your 
left, and on your right a high rocky mound, looking like a frag- 
ment loosened from the neighbouring hill. 



3f2 



LETTER XXVII. 

Route from Athens to Cape Colonni — Vary — The Paneum — 
Ny?npholepsy — Ennea Pyrgoz — Keratoa — The Caverns in 
Mount Parne — Route to Colonni — Return by the Eastern 
Shore of Attica, to Keratea. 



THE two following letters shall contain an account 
of a visit we paid to Cape Colonni, and the plain of Marathon. 

On the 19th of January my fellow-traveller and myself left 
Athens, accompanied by our Albanian Vasilly, and a native of 
Athens, called Demetrius ZografFos, a young person, who, having 
lived some years at Trieste, spoke Italian, and wore the Frank 
habit. We had two baggage horses and two led-horses, which, 
together with our own four, were conducted by two sourgees, or 
postmen. 

•It was half past eleven when we left the city. We took the 
road directly south, crossing the bed of the Ilissus, and, in half 
an hour, arrived at some large cut stones, regularly placed. These 
have been before noticed, as well as the supposition of Chandler, 
that they are vestiges of Alopece : the barrows are at a little dis- 
tance in the plain to the right. In another hour, after turning a 
little more to the east, and keeping nearer to Mount Hymettus, 
we came to some more large stones, like the foundation of a wall, 
and the mouth of an ancient well : other barrows are at the right 
hand. 



LETTER XXVIi. 



401 



The enumeration given by Strabo of the towns of this part of 
Attica, near the shore, refers these few remains to iExone, the 
town of the tribe Cecropis, the evil disposition of whose inhabi- 
tants became proverbial, and added another verb to the language, 
synonimous with " to slander and to abuse*/' Hymettus dimi- 
nishes in height at this point, and runs south-south-east. 

We now turned east-south-east, over uneven stony ground, 
through a gap in the mountain, which stretches about three 
miles farther into the sea, to form the promontory Zoster -f, now 
Halikes; and, for the last hour, riding through thickets of 
low pines and firs, we arrived at Vary, a metochi, or farm, be- 
longing to the monastery of Agios Asomatos. Here are five 
cottages, at the best of which lives the caloyer, who has the 
superintendance of the farm. With this monk we made prepa- 
rations for staying during the night ; but leaving our luggage, set 
out immediately to visit the Paneum discovered by Chandler, 
and alluded to, it is probable, by Strabo, as being in the neigh- 
bourhood of Anaphlystus, of the tribe i\.ntiochis, where was the 
Temple of Venus Colias. We arrived at this celebrated cave, 
riding northwards over woody knolls, and climbing a hill, near the 
top of which is the entrance, not very easy to find. A servant 
of the caloyer's attended us to the spot with fiivtorches, and pre-* 
parations for striking a light. 



t After Mxone was the long promontory Zoster. At Zoster was the altar 
of Minerva, Apollo, Diana, and of Latona, who was believed to have brought 
forth her children on that spot, or, as others relate, to have loosened her zoae, 
whence the name of the place. — Paus. Attic. 



402 



LETTER XXVII. 



You descend perpendicularly into the first landing-place in the 
cavern, by means of three branches of a tree fallen near the spot. 
At the landing-place you see two apertures ; one to the left, a 
little precipitous, and the other before you, down an easy descent, 
where you may walk upright. Here the fire is prepared, and the 
torches kindled. 

Here are some large letters, the first specimens observable of 
the several very ancient inscriptions to be seen in the cave ; they 
are carved on the rock, which is cut down perpendicularly. Im- 
mediately on the left hand, going downwards, is what looks 
like a lion s head, but carved very rudely, and disfigured ; on the 
right is a defaced inscription. Descending lower, you have pe- 
trifactions hanging from above, and rising from below ; one repre- 
senting a small entire pillar, as high as the top of the grotto, 
is particularly striking. Beyond this the cave turns to the left, 
and you come to the lowest part of it, where is a spring of 
water collected in a small artificial basin. Turning from the well 
to ascend to the other aperture, and on the left on the side of the 
rock, you see a figure in relief, as large as life, very rudely cut, 
and seeming to represent a man with some instruments in his 
hand, apparently looking one way, and walking the other. The 
earth has been heaped up nearly as high as the knees of the 
figure, but when it has been cleared away, both the feet have been 
found to be turned inwards. 

I took a sketch of this singular piece of sculpture, which, from 
the letters employed in the inscriptions, has been considered of 
extreme antiquity, prior certainly to the adoption of the Ionic 
alphabet by the Athenians. At the same time, it would not, I 
conceive, be just to suppose, that this strange figure is a spea- 






LETTER XXVII. 



403 



men of the first rude essays made by the Greeks towards 
the art in which they afterwards produced such noble master- 
pieces. 

Archidamus, the Pheraean, whom the inscriptions discover to 
have been the maker of the grotto, and who seems to be repre- 
sented with the implements of his labour, may, most probably, 
have not been a sculptor by profession. What sort of tool he 
carries in his left hand is not very discernible, but that in his 
right appears more suitable for digging than carving. 

Above the figure, on the left side of it, are two inscriptions 
giving, in two places, one under the other, the name of the 
owner of the cave, and the original of the image. 

Above this spot, towards the entrance, is an oval niche, v/ith 
small steps before it. On the right of this, is a headless statue in 
a chair, much mutilated, and supposed to represent Isis, the 
Egyptian Ceres ; and at the right of the statue is a mishapen 
block of stone, which Chandler considered an Ithyphallus, but 
which would not, without a previous hint, strike any one to be 
the resemblance of that impure symbol. Between the niche and 
the Isis is a stone rudely inscribed on both sides, from which the 
traveller before mentioned copied the purport of these words — 
" Archidamus the Pheraean and Chollidensian, made this dwelling 
for the Nymphs ; and " Archidamus the Pheraean planted the 
garden for the Nymphs." The oval niche may be supposed to 
have contained a statue of Pans from the inscription ΠΑΝΟ£, still 
extant underneath. 

By comparing my own draught with the state of the inscrip- 
tions in the time of the above traveller, I find that some of the 
characters have been defaced since that period, when they were 



404 



LETTER XXVir. 



such as they are represented with the annexed figure, but very 
rudely cut. 



On the Rock above the 
Landing-place. 

ΑΡΧΕΔΗΜ020Φ 
ΗΡΑΙ020ΝΥΦ 

ΟΛΗ£ΐΤ02ΦΡΑΔ 
ΑΙ2ΙΝΥΜΦΟΝ 
ΑΝΤΡΟΝΕΗΗΡΓ 
H2ATO 

Above the left Aperture, 
on the descent to the 
Cave. 

ΑΡ+ΕΔΑΜΟ^ 

ΟΦΕΡΑΙΟ^ 

Opposite to the first 
Aiiscripiion. 

ΑΡΓ05 




ΑΡ+ΕΔΗΜ05 

ΑΡ+ΕΔΑΜΟ^ 



On one side of the Stone, beneath the tsis. 

ΔΑΜΟΧΗΟΟΕΡ 

5KAJ70NNIVI 

AI^EqjVTvSEN 



Under a A'jcAe. 

PAN05" 



On the other side of the same Stwe. 
ΑΡ+ΕΔΕΜΟ^Η 

ΑΙΟύΚΑΙ +OL 

ΔΕόΤΑΙΝΥ^ 

^ΟΙ.ΚΟΔΟ 



Twice inscribed under two Niches. 

ApOAAGNOS EPS© 



See tbe Appendix, 



LETTER XXVII. 



405 



Above the Isis, are two names of travellers, cut deeply into 
the stone, and carefully, Fauvel, Foucherot; our Greek 
pointed at them as antique inscriptions. 

To the left of the sedent statue, and at no great distance 
above the figure of Archidamus, is the aperture out of the cave, 
which is ascended by steps cut out in the rock, slippery, and 
much worn, and requiring a little climbing to mount. 

Many of the petrifactions of this cavern are in more natural 
shapes than the rude pieces of sculpture described ; and the grow- 
ing spars and crystals were the admiration of the shepherds, who 
looked upon the stone as endowed with a principle of animation, 
forming itself into arched grottoes and couches by the side of 
pure fountains, at the command, and for the gratification of the 
Nymphs. The pious rustic conceived himself to have witnessed 
the handy-work, or perhaps the persons, of the deities of the 
woods, in their most favourite recesses ; and a wish to conciliate 
their favour, or avert their wrath, prompted him to improve their 
habitation. A small trench, cut out of the rock, and filled with 
earth, was planted with a few flowers or herbs, and became their 
garden, and the rude figures or emblems of such gods as were 
thought to preside over the country, were selected as fit objects 
to ornament or consecrate the holy grotto. 

The votary was believed, and doubtless believed himself to be 
possessed, and an epithet was found out, and attached to his 
name, which at once expressed the excess of his piety, or per- 
haps his passion ; for the nymphs were known not only to permit, 
but solicit the love of mortals. He became a nympholept; and 
furnished another tale, to be magnified by the credulity of the 
religionist, and adorned by the fancy of the poet. After his 

3 G 



406 



LETTER XXVII. 



death he was revered, and perhaps, like Trophonius, worshipped ; 
and, having been deluded himself, in his turn contributed to the 
folly of others. Thus, when some credit was attached to such a 
disease, many were found willing to confess themselves so deranged, 
and we learn, that nympholepsy was epidemic amongst the people 
in the neighbourhood of a certain cave in Cithaeron. 

The subterranean worship of the ancients, embraced not only 
that of the Nymphs, of Bacchus, Priapus, Ceres, and Pan, but 
that of Apollo, Mercury, and other deities. Jupiter himself 
had a cave on Mount Ida, in Crete; and one was shown by the 
Phrygians of Themisonium, before which were the figures of 
Hercules, Apollo, and Mercury, who had conducted the inhabi- 
tants to this secure retreat during the irruption of the Gauls *. 
But the sylvan deities were the usual tenants of these grottoes : 
for them, as for the fairies of modern superstition, " the bowl 
was duly set;" and one of the inscriptions in the Paneum near 
Vary, directed those who visited the place to Offer. 

The ancient Athenians followed the precept of Triptolemus, 
directing them to worship the gods only with the productions of 
the earth: and the niches in the holy caves, the earliest of tem- 
ples, were cut to receive the cakes of meal and fruits, the oil and 
wine, of which the humble offerings consisted, and which were 
believed to administer to the wants of the divinities. So con- 
vinced were the people of the actual presence of those whom they 
adored, that their grottoes had two entrances, one of which was 
reserved for men, but the other for immortals*f\ This particularity 



* Pausa. Phocic. p. 671. 
*J- Αλλ' ASoivuiTUV οίος £<rnv, 



-ΟΔΤΣΣ. N. 



LETTER XXVII. 



407 



was observed of the caves in Tthaca, and near Heraclea, and that 
of Archidamus has been described as having a similar contrivance. 
The left-hand entrance is certainly artificial. 

The Paneum near Vary contains nothing, like Homer's cavern, 
" wonderful to behold," but is, perhaps, the most ancient vestige 
of the religion of Greece in existence, and will, most probablv, 
be pointed out to the enquiring traveller, long after the last eo- 
lumns of the Parthenon shall have fallen to the ground. The 
Grotto of Archidamus will outlast the Temple of Pericles. 

The cave is now the resort of the shepherds, who, however, 
have done it no further injury, than blacking the roof and sides 
of it, at the first landing-place, with the smoke of their fires. 

Returning from this spot, we had a view of Cape Zoster, or 
Halikes, and of the assemblage of small islands called Cambo 
Nisia, before us; to the left, at the farthest distance, was the pro- 
jecting land of Attica, and a promontory which shuts out the 
view of Sunium, called Katapheke. Before this promontory lay 
a rocky island, whose name is now Gaidaronisi, but was anciently 
the Fosse of Patroclus. 

We passed the night at Vary ; and as it was very fine, the 
moon shining bright in a clear sky, rambled about for some time 
on a terrace near the house, which has been paved, and is made 
use of for an aloni, or corn-floor, and which is mentioned by 
Chandler. There is something exceedingly agreeable in the mi- 
nute descriptions of that traveller, to those who journey over the 
same spots which he visited. 

Before our departure from Vary, the next morning, I walked 
out towards a bay a little below the village, over some cultivated 
land, where, amongst several bushes, there are the evident traces 

3g2 



408 



LETTER XXVII. 



of an ancient town. In one place were the shafts of three small 
marble columns, standing in an inclosure, apparently the ruin of 
a church. In another was a large circular basin, or trough, and 
the mouth of a fountain, also in marble. At Vary, lying by the 
side of a small church, is a marble lion, nearly as large as life, 
with the legs of a man bestride him. The head and legs of the 
lion, as well as the body and feet of the rider, are wanting; but 
what remains, particularly the swell of the loins of the animal, is 
of fine workmanship. On each side of the church-door is a 
sepulchral inscription, on a circular piece of ornamented marble. 



ΗΝΙΝΠΟΣ 
ΑΙΠΠΟ 



ΡΙΣΤΟΜΑΧΗ. 
ΒΟΤΛΑΡΧΟΤ 



These have been taken from the ruins of the place below. I did 
not see the inscription which recordpd a native of Anagyrus*, and 
caused the supposition, that the site of the Attic town of that 
name was on the flat below \ r ary. Below these remains, nearer 
the shore, are some salt-pits. 

At a little past twelve, we set forwards on our journey, and 
rode for an hour, south-south-east, through woods of pine ; we 
then entered some hilly grounds, and turned east-south-east, also 
through pine woods. Here we met large droves of oxen belong- 
ing to the metochi of Vary ; they were of a kind smaller than 
the Scotch cattle, and generally black. 

* Anagyrus was a town of the tribe Erecthei's ; it contained a temple of the 
Mother of the Gods: it was the name also of a plant of a most pungent odour; 
and of a hero, whose signal vengeance in punishing some neighbours, who had 
insulted his Gods, or else the nature of the plant, gave rise to the Greek proverb. 



LETTER XXVII. 



409 



We had lost sight of the sea soon after leaving our village. In 
half an hour we crossed near the extremity of a plain, extending 
far up to the northwards. This plain is that of which mention 
has been before made, under the name of the plain of Spatha, 
and which is separated from the district immediately near Athens 
by the range of Hymettus. 

A mile out of our road to the left of the north, Ave saw several 
square towers in ruins, called Ennea Pyrgae ; but the number of 
these unsightly structures is less than that which gave them their 
denomination. We rode to them, and found nothing worth no- 
tice. On a slope of a hill, at some distance, we saw the large 
village of Marcopoli, containing three hundred houses, more to 
the northward, in the same plain of Spatha. The plain is open 
and well cultivated, having besides, tracts of pasture land, covered 
with flocks and herds : it is bounded by Pentelicus to the north, 
and by some high lands, which form the shore of Attica, to the 
east. 

In Ennea Pyrgae, I do not recognize the " ruins of a town 
built on a rock/' to which Sir G. YVheler has given the same 
name, and has conjectured to be the site of the lower Lampra. 
This spot is several miles inland, and the coast is not to be seen 
from it, on account of a ridge of low hills, which terminate it to 
the south. It appears to me to be rather that which he calls a 
desolate church, near the site of Anaphlystus*. 

We rejoined the baggage horses at a small village, " Kalivia 
Kouvant ;" our direction was then south-east, in an open culti- 

* la another place, Anaphlystus was, by mistake, put for Limne, which 
Wheler supposed on the site of Tres Pyrga;, near the promontory Coliasj yet 
D'Anvilie has placed Anaphlystus near Colias. 



410 



LETTER XXVII. 



vated plain. In half an hour we came to the head of another 
large tract of flat open country; a village, Kouvara, was on our 
left, at the side of some low hills ; mountains, called Parne, were 
on our right, running parallel with our route. 

Travelling onwards in the plain for another half hour, we ar- 
rived, at three o'clock, at the vilkge of Keratea. Here we put 
up for the night in a large mud cottage belonging to the Codja- 
bashee. 

Keratea is inhabited by Albanians, and contains about two 
hundred and fifty houses. Three or four of the peasants are of 
the better sort, and reputed rich, they being themselves the 
owners of the neighbouring lands, and not renters, as is the casa 
at almost all the villages of Attica, where the common tenure is, 
that the peasants shall pay one-half of the produce of their lands 
and their stock, whatever it may be, to their landlords, and, out of 
the remainder, raise their taxes for the Porte, their contributions 
for their own priests, and support themselves. Every expence 
devolves upon the tenant, who, by the undefined terms of his 
tenure, becomes almost the slave of his landlord ; and, on pre- 
tence of having made large profits, is liable to repeated extortions, 
as moieties due to his master. 

Keratea is at the foot of the range of mountains now called 
Parne, which are not a continuation of Hymettus, as represented 
in most maps, and yet have not been, that I am aware, distin- 
guished by any ancient name, unless they are a part of Laurium. 

A little before the sun was set, I climbed some distance up the 
hill, from which I had a very commanding prospect, including 
the southern extremity of the Negroponte, Macronisi or Long 
Island, near the eastern coast, as far as Sunium, and several 



LETTER XXVII. 



411 



islands to the south of that promontor}'. Attica at this point 
appeared very narrow, the eastern shore running from north- 
north-west to east-south-east. The two ranges of Ilymettus were 
very distinctly seen, lying in the direction before described. 

The soil in the neighbourhod of Keratea is very light and 
stony, and gives but a scanty return to the husbandman ; indeed, 
the general multiplication of grain in Attica is five and six for 
on >, and never more than ten. 

Chandler thought Marcopoli to be Potamus ; and, from some 
remains seen by Wheler, supposed Keratea to be Thoricus ; but 
a port, still called Tberico, is about an hour and a half dis- 
tance to the south-east. It is probable, that most of the modern 
towns of this country may have been built on or near the site of 
the ancient places, for the conveniency of making use of the ruins; 
but there is something a little too arbitrary in fixing upon the few 
vestiges occasionally seen, as certain remains of the towns distin- 
guished by particular mention in ancient authors : they may very 
easily be the marks of one of the many Attic towns of which we 
only know the names. 

The two days after our arrival at Keratea were so rainy, as to 
induce us to defer our expedition to Cape Colonni until fairer 
weather; but I took the opportunity of a few hours sunshine, to 
climb up the mountain Parne, in search of a cave, of which w r e 
had heard many wonderful stories from our host. Demetrius, 
the Athenian, and an old man as a guide, accompanied. We 
ascended for some time, and turning round the eastern extre- 
mity, came to the south side of the range. The clouds hanging 
on the side of the hills retarded our progress ; but after scram- 
bling up some way in the mist, we again found ourselves in the 



412 



LETTER XXVII. 



light. The sun shone above head in a clear blue sky ; and whilst 
the country below seemed like an expanse of white water, the 
ground where we stood, and the summits of other mountains, 
had the appearance of innumerable islands rising abruptly from 
the sea. 

Arriving with much difficulty near the top of the range of hills, 
we came, after a long search, to the mouth of the cavern. A 
fragment of impending rock almost concealed the entrance. We 
leapt down on the first landing-place, and there struck a light, 
and having each of us taken a pine-torch in our hands, together 
with a supply of strips of the same wood, let ourselves down 
through a very narrow aperture, where there was a choice of two 
entrances, to the right or left. Creeping down still farther, we 
came at once into what appeared a large subterranean hall, arched 
over head with high domes of crystal, and divided into long aisles 
by columns of glittering spars — in some parts spread into wide 
horizontal chambers, in others terminated by the dark mouths of 
steep recesses, descending, as it seemed, into the bowels of the 
mountain. 

The vast magnificence of nature was joined with the pleasing 
regularity of art. We wandered from one grotto to another, 
until we came to a fountain of pure water, supplied partly by a 
stream that trickled down the petrifactions depending from the 
roof, and partly by a spring bubbling up from the rock below. 
By the side of this basin we loitered some time, when, as our 
torches began to waste, we resolved to return ; but after exploring 
the labyrinth for a few minutes, we found ourselves again at the 
fountain side, and began, not without reason, to be somewhat 
alarmed ; for the guide here confessed, that he had forgotten the 



LETTER XXVII. 



413 



intricacies of the caverns, and knew not how we should ever re- 
cover our path. 

AVe were in this situation, roaming through ranges of the 
cavern, and now and then climbing up narrow apertures, totally 
ignorant of our position, for many minutes, and the last strip of 
fir was consuming, when we saw the light gleaming towards us, 
and directing our steps that way, arrived at the mouth of the 
cave. Had our light been extinguished, there would have been 
but little, if any chance, of our escape. The splendour and 
beauty of the scene would have vanished with the last blaze 
of our torch, and the fairy palace been at once converted into a 
dark inextriroblp eavp.ro, η rlnngenn, and a tomb. The mind can- 
not easily picture to itself any " slow sudden" death more terrible, 
than that of him who should be buried in these subterranean 
solitudes, and after a succession of faint hopes and eager efforts, 
sink at last, subdued by weakness and despair. 

The peasants of Keratea informed us, that this cave, which is 
well known, and talked of in Attica, but has not, I fancy, been 
mentioned by any traveller, has within it a thousand suites of 
grottoes, extending, as they believed, through the centre of the 
mountain below their town. The spar, with which it abounds, is 
of the purest white; and they told us, that some travellers had 
carried away several horse-loads of it. The wolves frequently 
resort to it, and we were advised to carry our pistols in readiness 
for a rencounter with one of these animals. 

I did not observe any marks of carving in the rock, or any 
thing which might lead one to suppose that this cave had anciently 
been dedicated to Pan or the Nymphs ; yet its size and magnifi- 
cence render it a dwelling much more suitable to the rural deities 
than the grotto of Archidamus. 

3 ii 



414 



LETTER XXVII. 



Returning from the cave, we went into a farm, where two or 
three caloyers reside. It is on a steep declivity, about half way 
up the hill, and is sheltered by a grove of olive trees. A small 
chapel of St. John is within the inclosure ; and near this is an 
arched grotto, with a cold spring in a large stone basin sunk in 
the earth, supplied by a stream that distils, in perpetual drops, 
from the roof of the cell. The basin is large enough to serve 
the purposes of a bath, and is so used by the caloyers (who have 
adjusted to the mouth of the grotto a rude wooden door) during 
the violent heats of summer. The water trickles from above, like 
the streams of a continued shower-bath, and must have the same 
agreeable effect, without thr* vinlpnt «Jinrk proHnrpH hy sudden 
aspersion. « 

I should not forget to tell you, that the monk who showed us 
the grotto, pointed to this distillation as a standing miracle, per- 
formed by the saint in the neighbouring chapel. 

The day after the ascent of Mount Parne was so continuedly 
rainy, as to prevent our proceeding from Keratea ; but the morn- 
ing after (January 23, 1810) we set out, at half past nine, for 
Cape Colonni, leaving our baggage, as we intended to return to 
the village the same night. We took first a direction south-south- 
east, over rough barren ground, until, in half an hour, we turned 
the extremity of the mountain Parne. At this spot there were 
two roads ; one, towards the south, to the port Therico, the other, 
west-south-west, to a village called Katapheke. This latter route 
we took ; and proceeding over woody knolls, kept more to the 
south-west and south-south-west, coming at last to a flat plain, 
terminated by a bay with a cape, and a small island before it to 
the west. 

Here, in a marshy flat near the sea, were some large salt-pits. 



LETTER XXVII. 



415 



I take a promontory, to the west of the bay, to have been Asty- 
paluea, which was that next to Zoster, immediately to the south 
of the town of Thoreae or Thorae, and an island, facing it, may 
be that once called Eleusa. 

Proceeding a short time by a water-course, we turned to the 
south-south-east, and keeping the sea for a quarter of an hour in 
sight, went over a rocky hilly path, until we came to Kalapheke, 
a village of a tew huts, which gives its name to a long promon- 
tory that stretches beyond it far into the sea, and is the next pro- 
jection to the west of Cape Colonni. Katapheke is reckoned four 
hours from Keratea, the route very circuitous and rough, but we 
were only an hour and forty minutes performing the distance. 

After leaving this village, the path took us over woody hills, 
until we came to a solitary metochi, standing in the midst of the 
wildest mountain scenery, when we struck more southward, along 
the course of a dry river, having in front of us huge perpendicu- 
lar precipices, covered with pines and other evergreens, running 
east and west. In order to get round this range, we continued a 
little more to the right, until we came nearly to the sea-shore, 
and turning again to the east, and climbing over the foot of the 
hills, had our first view of Cape Colonni, and the ruins of the 
Temple of Minerva. 

We rode for some time over a rough uneven path, just above 
the sea-shore, until we came to a long bay, at the west side of 
which was a small rocky island. On this rock the waves burst, 
though it was nearly calm, with a loud murmur, and covered the 
shelving sides with white foam. 

After riding along the bay, we passed upwards to the site of 
the ruins, by a steep, but not very long ascent, and climbing 

3h 2 



416 



LETTER XXVII. 



over the remains of an ancient wall, which has fourteen rows of 
massy stones still standing, came to the remains of the Temple of 
Minerva Sunias. 

The proportions of this Temple may be judged of by that part 
of it which is still standing, and it appears to have occupied nearly 
the whole of the level ground on the promontory. It was of the 
Doric order, an hexastyle, the columns twenty-seven feet in 
height ; the whole edifice being of very white marble, and of the 
most perfect architecture. Nine columns, without their entabla- 
tures, front the sea, in a line from west-north-west to east-south- 
east ; three are standing on the side towards the land, the north ; 
and two, with a pilaster next to the corner-one of the northern 
columns, towards the sea on the east, and on a line with the last 
column but one of the nine on the south-eastern side. Some 
large fragments of the cell are scattered about in the western 
front, and the ruins of a pilaster, which was thrown down about 
sixty years ago, lie in heaps at the front towards the east. These 
are covered with the names of travellers. 

The whiteness of the marble has been preserved probably by 
the sea vapour, in the same manner as Trajan's triumphal arch 
at Ancona, near the mole, immediately on the beach, retains a 
freshness and polish superior to any remains in more inland situa- 
tions. 

The rock on which the columns stand is precipitous, but not 
inaccessible, nor very high ; it bears a strong resemblance to 
the picture in Falconer's Shipwreck ; but the view given in Ana- 
charsis, places the Temple just in the wrong position. Here is 
another steep craggy neck of land, stretching from the east side 
of the cape to the south -south-east. 



LETTER XXVII. 



417 



To the north-west, uinder the brow of the rock, is a circular 
creek, which was formerly the port of the town Suninm. The 
fragments of wall before noticed, are part of the fortifications 
with which that town was surrounded during the Peloponesian 
war. Sunium, belonging to the tribe Leontis, was considered an 
important post, and as much a town as Piraeus, but cannot have 
been very large ; yet Euripides, in his Cyclops, talks of the " rich 
rock of Sunium," by which he might allude to the wealth of the 
Temple, but hardly to the fertility of the soil. 

The view from Cape Colonni presents, on the west, the pro- 
montory Katapheke, and very near to that headland, the abrupt 
rocky island, now called Gaidaronesi, but whose ancient name 
was the Fosse of Patroclus, as it was once surrounded with a 
wall by an Egyptian admiral of that name, to defend the coast 
against Antigonus, the son of Demetrius*. It is now uninha- 
bited, and entirely a desert ; without a herb or shrub upon its 
rugged surface : it was formerly in repute for the great quantity 
of ebony wood which it produced. Beyond Gaidaronesi is a 
smaller island, Archinda, formerly Belbina. 

The view to the north, or the land side, is terminated \ery soon 
by high and abrupt hills, covered with pines, and abounding in 
marble. These hills were formerly the mountain Laurium ; and 
it should seem, that about the promontory Katapheke was the 
town Laurium, which is mentioned as being near to the island 
Patroclus -f•. One or two of the shafts of the ancient silver mines, 
for which this mountainous region was so celebrated, have been 
discovered in a small, shrubby plain not far from the sea, on the 



* Pa us. Attic, p. 1. 



t Paus. Attic, p, 1. 



418 



LETTER XXVII. 



eastern coast ; and a specimen of ore, lately found, was shown 
to me at Athens. 

The whole of the country, from the plain of Athens to Sunium, 
on the side both of the Saronic gulf and the iEgean sea, com* 
posing the strip of land that forms the southern extremity of At- 
tica, was called Paralos, or the Maritime. It was laid waste on both 
sides towards Peloponesus, and towards Euboea and Andros, in 
the second year of the long war*. On the east, quite close to the 
land, is the island Helene, called Macronesi, or Long Island, 
running from south-south-west to north-north-east, narrow and 
rocky, and forming a sort of roadstead between its own shore and 
the coast of Attica, for several miles. 

Beyond Macronesi is Zea, then Thermia, and next Serpho ; all 
long low land, lying in a line successively, so as to have the ap- 
pearance of one large island, stretching to the south. In the 
utmost distance in the same direction, is the island St. George. 
The high lands of Argolis, about the Cape Scy Ileum, that form 
the other extremity of the Saronic gulf, are also visible, at a 
distance computed to be about two or three and twenty miles -f*. 
The spear and the crest of the statue of Minerva Polias, in the 
Acropolis, might be seen from Sunium, a straight line of nearly 
thirty miles ; such, at least, is the assertion of Pausanias, which 
no one, who has seen the positions, can at all credit. Those who 
have supposed the old Athenians endowed with a sight so subtle 
and extensive, as to enable them to distinguish objects at a far 
greater distance than any amongst us of the present day, will 
not, however, believe them to have had the faculty of seeing 



* Tiiucyd. Hist. lib. ii. cap. 54. 



+ Wlieler, p. 423. 



^ 



LETTER XXVII. 



419 



through opposing hills. The transparency of the air in the cli- 
mate of Attica, might, indeed, account for very extensive powers 
of vision: a late traveller, Mr. Humboldt, relates, that on the 
mountains of Quito it is not difficult to distinguish, at a distance 
of seventeen miles, the white cloak of a person on horseback. 
But the range of Hymettus prevents even the promontory Su- 
nium itself from being seen from the Acropolis, and let the height 
of the gigantic statue have been ever so enormous, it could hardly 
be so considerable as to over-top the neighbouring mountains. 

After remaining about an hour and a half on the cape, under 
the columns of the Temple, we set out to return to Keratea by 
the eastern coast of Attica, not keeping quite close to the shore, 
but going over a hilly road, through woods of pine, low cedars, 
and bushes of lentisc, until we came to a bay or port, passing by 
some wells, called, as is the port, Passia Pegathia, the Pasha's 
Fountain ; and, in an hour from Colonni, to Gaidaromandra, a 
large double port, the horns projecting far on each side, the largest 
and more southerly port having a direction from north-east to 
south-west ; the smaller one, whose mouth is only a few yards 
across, and choked by a bar of sand, lying from east to west. 

Prom Gaidaromandra, after riding about three miles over a 
barren country, near the sea, we passed a port called Panorma, 
large and open, the southern cape stretching farther than the 
northern, and lying from east to west: between this place and 
the last port are the shafts of the silver mines, a little out of the 
way on the left of the road. At the back of port Panorma there 
is a salt-marsh. 

In little more than half an hour, we came to the port Therico, 
not passing close to the sea ; so that we did not observe another 
port, called Agastirachia, between Panorma and this last place. 



420 



Γ,Γ,ΤΤΕΚ XXVII. 



Therico is a large open port, in a direction from east-north-east 
to west-south-west, fronted by the northern extremity of Macro- 
nesi, and a point to the north of north-west from Sunium. On 
the south-west, west, ant north, there is a marshy plain of some 
extent, terminated on every side by hills, the highest of which 
are to the south, where one may suppose was the point called 
Besa*, on Mount Laurium. The most considerable branch of the 
silver mines reached from the monument of Thrasyllus, on Lau- 
rium, to Besa, and was defended by the fortress of Thoricus to 
the north, and Anaphlystus to the South, at equal distances from 
Besa, which height it was proposed also to fortify, as an addi- 
tional security. 

In some bushes in the plain, not far from the port, we saw 
a few large fragments of marble columns, the remains, as the 
traveller Le Roi thought, of a very ancient temple, and upon a 
small stony eminence to the north, a piece of wall, a vestige, it 
may be presumed, of the fortifications of Thoricus. 

Thoricus was a considerable town, of the tribe Acamantis, 
receiving its name from Thoricus, a Cyprian, and supposed by 
the ancient Athenians to have been the country of Cephalus. It 
is mentioned by Strabo, as between Sunium and Potamus. 

We struck into the plain to the north-west, and came to a vil- 
lage of a few huts on a woody knoll, and then went north-north- 
west through a pass in the hills ; after which, we passed over some 
extent of ground, up a brow covered with cinders, the remnants 
of the mines, a branch of which may have been in this quarter. 
Pieces of ore, chiefly of copper, with a small portion of silver, are 
.occasionally picked up by the peasants on this spot. No incon- 



* Xenoph. πόροι, p. 928, edit. Leunclav. 



LETTER XXVII. 



421 



siderable quantity of valuable metal was, as we learn from Sir G. 
"Wheler, collected hence, and actually worked by the Greeks at 
Athens, about a hundred and fifty years ago*. 

We continued on our journey, over bare stony ground, inter- 
spersed with heath and low shrubs, until we arrived at the point 
where the road joined the path we had taken in the morning, at 
the extremity of the range of Parne, and came, at half past four, 
to Keratea, having made a circuit, as computed, of twelve hours. 

Throughout the whole of this large tract of country, we had 
seen only three small villages and one solitary farm ; in all not 
thirty houses. It does not appear that this district was ever 
much peopled : the slaves who worked the mines of Laurium, 
formed by far the greatest part of its population, and the few 
towns on the coast were inhabited by fishermen ; for the barren- 
ness of the soil, except in a few spots, would not admit of pastu- 
rage or agriculture. The people of Paralos were thus entirely 
attached to the sea, and were the best sailors in Attica ; even 
their religious festivals partook of their nautical habits, and, in- 
stead of the dances and the processions of the Panathensea, they 
had galley-races round the Sunian promontory, in honour of the 
Minerva who presided over their temple. Except those of Ana- 
phlystus, who were esteemed for their manufactures of vases, the 
Paralians were not excellent in any art unconnected with their 
way of life, and as the naval dominion of the republic declined, 
diminished both in numbers and importance : an insurrection of 
the slaves of the mines, about the year 650, U. C, completed 
the destruction of this district, and all its towns were soon after 
in a manner deserted, 

* Wheler, p. 448. 
3 I 






422 



LETTER XXVII. 



The creeks and caves with which this angle of Attica abounds, 
afford a retreat to the Mainotes, and other pirates of the G recian 
seas ; and, as you may recollect, from an anecdote in my seven- 
teenth Letter, a visit to the ruins of the Temple of Minerva 
Sunias is not, at all times, unattended with peril. The peasants, 
however, generally keep watch on the tops of the hills overhang- 
ing the coast, and the approach of any suspicious boats is notified 
to the villages, which are immediately secured against surprise. 
Keratea itself was, about the beginning of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, plundered by a large body, and left in ruins. " This ha& 
been," says Wheler, " an ancient and great city, and did pre- 
serve itself considerable, until destroyed by the corsairs, about 
fifty or threescore years ago. They had their Epitropi, or Ar-. 
chontes, until then, who did wear high-crowned hats, like those 
of Athens*." 

* A Journey, p, 448. 



LETTER XXVIII. 

Route from Keratea to Port Raphti — that Port described — 
Route from Raphti, through Kata-Vraona and Apano-l 'raona, 
and by Caliva Spatha, to the Plain of Marathon — View of 
the Plain — Battle of Marathon — Route from the Plain to 
Athens — The Cave of Pan — Stamati — Cevrishia. 



AT twelve o'clock, on the 24th of January, we left 
Keratea, in order to proceed to Marathon ; but as it was our 
wish to take a view of port Raphti, we sent on our baggage the 
direct road by Marcopoli, going ourselves towards the coast, in 
an easterly and east-north-easterly direction*. For half an hour 
we rode over a cultivated plain, and then turned north-east amongst 
hills, continuing amongst which for another hour, we had a view 
of port Raphti, through a vista formed by high woody moun- 
tains. We wound down these hills by a steep and craggy path, 
until we came to a torrent-bed, and a few huts constructed with 
boughs of trees; and then keeping by the side of the water-course, 

* Between port Tlierico and port Raphti, there are four small fishing har- 
bours : ]. Vrisaki, 2. Turco-liminia, 3. Thascalio, 4. Kikc-Thalassa. One 
of them was large enough to receive the Lacedemonian fleet (Thucyd. lib. viii. 
cap. 95), perhaps the port of Potamus, a Demos of the tribe Leontis, frequently 
mentioned by ancient authors. The tomb of Ion, if a barrow, may still remain, 
and point out the site. 

Si 2 



434 



LETTER XXVIII. 



through pine woods, we reached the sea-shore in a little less than two 
hours from Keratea, travelling down an easy slope to the port. 

Raphti, the ancient port of Prasise, about fifteen miles from 
Athens, is a much more commodious as well as a larger harbour 
than Pireeus ; and being, as it were, scooped out of the feet of 
high hills, crowned with forests of a perpetual verdure, affords 
not only a secure but a most romantic retreat. 

Prasiae was of the tribe Pandionis, and well known by being 
the place whence the mysteries of the Hyperborean Apollo were 
annually carried by the Athenians to Delos : it contained the 
sepulchre of Erysicthon. Some ruins of the town were seen by 
Wheler, which have now disappeared. 

It has a double port, and one basin is called the little, the other 
the great Raphti. 

The little Raphti is to the south, and lies in a direction from 
east-north-east to its opposite point in the compass : its shape is 
circular. On its southern extremity is a peninsular neck of land, 
with a high hill just above, that may be seen at a great distance, 
and on the same side, in the mouth of the whole harbour, is a 
steep rocky island, on which we saw very plainly a colossal statue. 

This island has been visited by travellers, and the statue been 
described to be of white marble, sedent, on a pedestal eight feet 
high. The head and arms of the statue are broken off, but when 
entire, it is conjectured to have been twelve feet in height*, and 
to have once served the purpose of a Pharos. The modern 
Greeks supposed it to represent a tailor cutting cloth-j•; a subject, 
it must be confessed, not likely to be chosen by the taste of an 

* Chandler, p. 157. 

t Wheler, p. 447. Ρ'λτγπκ, in Romaic, signifies a tailor. 



LETTER XXVIII. 



425 



ancient sculptor. Farther in to the north, is a small low green 
island, and on this there was once another statue of a female, ser- 
viceable, perhaps, in pointing out the mouth of the larger har- 
bour. A narrow range of rocks divides the two ports. 

The larger Raphti is a very considerable basin, of an oval shape, 
extending to the north-north-west, and sheltered from every quar- 
ter of the compass. 

As we were passing round the shore of the lesser port, we heard 
the barking of some dogs, and a shout from a shepherd, and look- 
ing about us, saw a large dun-coloured wolf galloping slowly 
through the bushes, a little to the left of us. The mountains of 
Attica, particularly Parnes, formerly abounded with these animals, 
as well as with bears and wild boars. We were told that wolves 
were very common, and that boars were occasionally killed, but 
of the bears we heard nothing. The flocks are guarded by the 
large shaggy dog, before described as being found in Albania ; 
but a wolf is too strong for one of them, and you see the shep- 
herd accompanied sometimes by four or five. The hard weather 
drives the wolves into the plains, but they are seldom bold enough 
to show themselves in the open day, though in the moonlight 
nights they will sometimes penetrate not only into the folds, but 
even into the village gardens. They are now and then, though 
but seldom, tracked in the snow to their dens in the mountains, 
and shot by the shepherd, who lies in ambush near the mouth of 
their caves. 

Advancing towards the greater Raphti, we hailed a little fishing 
boat, that was under the range of rocks dividing the two ports ; 
but the Greeks, as soon as they saw us, mistook us for Turks* 
and rowed off* until they were persuaded to come back by the 



426 



LETTER XXVIII. 



friendly tones and intreaties of our Athenian, Demetrius. We 
dismounted, and lighting up a fire, by means of the flint and 
steel which the passion for smoking induces almost every Levan- 
tine to carry about him, partook of some dried fish, of the sort 
most commonly met with on these coasts. This fish is the sea- 
polypus, about the size of a small lobster, and has eight legs in 
rings, on which account it is called octo-podes by the Greeks» 
though the Lingua Franca name is volpe. It is beaten to make 
it tender, and a little salt being thrown over it, dried, and some- 
times eaten raw, but more commonly fried with oil. The flesh is 
white, but tough and insipid. This and the cuttle fish constitute 
a chief part of the food of the Greeks during such of their fasts 
as exclude them from eating any thing but vegetables and blood- 
less animals. 

After our refreshment, we passed along part of the beach of 
the larger Raphti ; then left the sea, and took a path to the 
north-west, through grounds beautifully wooded, with intervals 
of cultivated land, and having much the appearance of an Eng- 
lish park, or ornamented farm ; after this, we soon came into the 
upper part of the plain of Spatha, where are Ennea Pyrgae and 
Marcopoli, before mentioned, and in an hour passed by a small 
village, Kata-Vraona, belonging to the monastery Pendele, and 
striking into the direct road from Keratea to Marathon. 

Shortly after Kata-A r raona we passed Apano-Vraona, also in 
the same fine plain, and pursuing our route, saw the village of 
Spatha on our left, not far from Hymettus : Pentelicus was before 
us, and the high tops of Parnes were visible afar off, concluding 
the prospect. 

From lower and upper Vraona the path took us to a village, 



LETTER XXVIII. 



427 



also in the plain, called Caliva Spatha (meaning, I fancy, a village 
subordinate or belonging to Spatha) ; here we turned amongst 
woods, to the north-north-east, having Pentelicus verging towards 
us on our left, and a range of low rocks to our right. We 
inclined more to the north-east; and then again northwards, 
ascending some hilly ground, a root of Pentelicus, which, run- 
ning into the sea, forms the promontory once called Cynosura. 
It was then five o'clock, and we had been two hours and a half 
coming, at a brisk pace, from Raphti. From the brow we had a 
view of the plain and long beach of Marathon, extending before 
us to the north, and travelled under a range of Pentelicus on our 
left, at some distance from the shore, over barren ground. En- 
tering the plain on this side, the flat appears to be the most ex- 
tensive under the hills before you to the north ; and the promon- 
tory of Rhamnus, called Chersonesus formerly, but now Stome, 
stretching out into the sea on that side, forms a fine bay, which im- 
mediately strikes you, at a distance, as having been the place where 
the Persians landed, and the scene of the glorious battle: indeed, 
not knowing the situations, I travelled on to the village before us 
with that idea, and was entirely unaware that we were, whilst riding 
over a green narrow plain, passing the very spot we had come to 
visit. It was rather dusky, and a high mound on the right hand 
of us almost escaped our attention, nor could we see it sufficiently 
distinct to recognize it for the barrow of the Athenians. 

We saw two collections of wretched huts ; one at the extre- 
mity of the plain, with a ruined tower, and the other on the brow 
of a low eminence, beyond a small river. To this latter place 
we directed our steps, and, crossing the stream, arrived there, 
together with our baggage-horses, which we had overtaken, at 
half after six in the evening. 



428 



LETTER XXVIII. 



The morning of the next day was employed in examining the 
positions of the plain of Marathon ; a hillock before the cottage 
where we slept, afforded a view of the whole country. Every 
topographer that I have had it in my power to examine, seems to 
have mistaken the spot where the battle took place ; and though 
I despair of being as minute or as intelligible as I could wish, it 
is my intention to speak a little in detail of the scene which the 
most glorious action of all antiquity has rendered so renowned. 

The village at present called Marathonas, is in a kind of recess 
between the hills, about a mile to the back, the north, of the 
Albanian cottages: it is inhabited by a few Turks, and surrounded 
by gardens. Λ river, once called the Charadrus, flows from the 
village, and passing towards the cottages, winds on before the hil- 
lock; taking a turn to the west-north-west, and flowing in that direc- 
tion, until it is lost in a large marsh or lake, which extends under 
the woody hills that form the isthmus of the promontory Stome. 
The Charadrus runs close to the ruined tower and the cottages. 
On the western side of the river, where there is the ruined tower, 
is a low rugged hill, about a mile and a half in extent, lying north 
and south, and forming the left bank of the narrow valley that 
reaches as far as Marathon. It is a little more than a quarter of 
a mile from the Albanian cottages and the hillock. 

The plan of the battle in Anacharsis, places the Greeks too 
much to the north, and in a situation where it is impossible they 
should have been drawn up in the closest order. But the position 
of the armies is to be looked for lower down, and in the narrow 
strip of plain which has the sea on one side and the range of Pen- 
telicus on the other quarter to the west, extending, with some in- 
terruption, perhaps eight miles, from the Albanian cottages to the 
southern entrance, on the road by which we came to the spot. 






LETTER XXVIII. 



429 



A mile from our hillock is the shore, which, in this spot, turns 
off in a north-easterly direction, to form the promontory of 
Rhamnus. Proceeding for two miles directly down the plain, to 
the south, with the coast ranging to the left, at half a mile's dis- 
tance from the shore, is the large barrow, about fifteen feet in 
height and thirty paces in circumference, which, upon most pro- 
bable grounds, is supposed to have been the tomb of the Athe- 
nian heroes. It stands alone in a dead flat, so as to be very con- 
spicuous, not only to those who are travelling in the plain, but 
even to vessels sailing in the channel between the Negroponte and 
the main. A perpendicular cut has been made into the earth on 
the top, by some antiquarian researcher : such a relic might surely 
be spared ! Standing with your back to the sea upon this bar- 
row, you see a flat valley running north-west from the long plain, 
and having Pentelicus on the south, ami the low rugged hill on 
the north. At the west end of this valley is a small village, 
" Vraona," on the site nearly of the ancient Brauron, celebrated 
for the worship of that Diana, whose image was transported thi- 
ther from Tauris by Iphigenia, and afterwards carried away by 
Xerxes. 

It appears to me, that the Athenians were drawn up a little 
within the mouth of this valley, with the low rugged hills, from 
which the trees might be felled to impede the Persian cavalry, on 
their left, and a torrent, that stills flows from Vraona into the 
plain to the south, on their right. The Greek camp was in the 
field of Hercules, not far, it may be conjectured, from the mo- 
dern village, for some ancient trenches are still visible in that 
quarter. The western extremity of the flat valley approaches 
near the modern Marathon, from which it is only separated by 

3 κ 



430 



LETTER XXVIII. 



the end of the low hill, the site, it is probable, of the Hera- 
cleum. 

The Greeks and the Persians were, before the battle, nearly a 
mile from each other, and the lines of the two armies were in 
extent equal. 

This description corresponds only with the entrance of the 
valley of Vraona ; in any other part of the plain the Persians 
would have out-flanked the Greek forces. The Athenians, who 
were broken in the centre, were pursued up into the country 
(Ις rw ρο-όγαιαι/*), and the same valley is the only open space 
which will allow of such an expression. The troops who were 
victorious in the wings, closed upon the barbarians, and cut oil 
their retreat : here then the battle was most sanguinary ; and one 
of four barrows, three small and one larger than the rest, a little 
to the south of \ r raona, may be the tombs of the Plataeans and 
slaves who fell in the action. 

Less than a mile to the south-east of the large barrow, and 
close to the sea, is a spot of ground, not very large, formed into 
an island by the stagnation of the torrent which flows from the 
valley of Vraona, and which seems to be that once named Era- 
sinus. The marsh surrounding the island may be easily passed. 

In this place there are several stelae, or sepulchral pillars, five 
of which are standing, and the others lying on the ground : the 
length of one of them is eight feet and a half, and the circumfe- 
rence five feet two inches : they have no inscriptions. Here also 
is a square marble, looking like a pedestal ; and, in a pool of 
water in the same island, is the headless statue of a female sedent, 
of fine white marble, and exquisitely wrought. 

* Herod. Erat. cap. 113. 



LETTER XKVIII. 



431 



The barrow of the Athenians had upon it sepulchral pillars, 
recording the names and the tribes of the Athenians who were 
slain in the battle*. The remains in the small island are by 
some supposed to refer to these monuments ; and the large bar- 
row, still to be seen, is consequently thought to be that of the 
Platasans, the other having been undermined, and fallen into the 
marsh. Some little vases, and other ornaments usually found in 
tombs, have been discovered by a gentleman of Athens, who has 
excavated on the spot. No ancient topographer appears to have 
been sufficiently minute in his description, to enable us to decide 
on this point ; and the pillars, and other relics, as well as the 
marsh, seem to have escaped the observation of modern travellers : 
I find nothing of them in Chandler. It is possible they may 
have been brought from the ruins of Probalinthus, the town to 
the south of Marathon, next to Myrrhinus. The lake into which 
the Persians were driven by the victorious Greeks, was that formed 
by the Charadrus, under the hills of the isthmus of Rhamnus ; 
and it seems probable, that the barbarian fleet was drawn upon 
the shore from the point of coast below the large barrow, round 
the sweep of the bay, under the lake itself. 

When the Medes left their ships, they had this marsh on their 
right, and when drawn up farther in the country, had also the 
town of Marathon on that side. In the hurry and confusion of 
retreat, those who had to gain the gallies farthest up this bay, 
ran into the swamp, and were cut off. 

Beyond the Albanian cottages where we were lodged, towards 
the marsh and the promontory to the north-east, the plain seems 



* Paus. Attic, p. CO. 
3k2 



432 



LETTER XXV ill. 



highly cultivated, and well wooded to the point of the promon- 
tory. Buffaloes are fed in the pastures, near the marsh, and 
there is a fishery, abounding in large eels, belonging to the ca- 
loyers of Pendele, on the shore. — At a fountain, near a church, 
on the side of the marsh, Sir G. Wheler saw some ruins, which 
he believed to denote the site of Tricorythus, the town next to 
Marathon on that coast*. Beyond the ruined church a mile, is 
Chouli, an Albanian village ; and three or four miles farther to 
the north is Tauro-castro, or Hebraeo-«astrQ, on the site of Rham- 
nus, a town of the tribe /Rantis, sixty stadia, by the sea-coast, 
from Marathon, where are still to be seen the remains of the 
famous Temple of Nemesis, and the trophy of Parian marble, 
erected by the Athenians after their defeat of the Medes. 

Modern authors have been sceptical with respect to the num- 
bers said to have fought on the plains of Marathon, but there 
appears to be no exaggeration in the account given of this great 
battle by Herodotus. The valley of Vraona, and the width of 
the plain, from the mouth of that valley to the shore, is certain!} 7 
sufficient for an action between one hundred and twenty thousand 
men ; but when Lysias reminded his Athenian audience of those, 
their immortal ancestors, who fought at Marathon against fifty 
myriads of barbarians •|•, he must almost have supposed that not 
one of those whom he addressed could have ever visited the scene 
of action, a distance calculated to be only ten miles, or he must 
have drawn upon their vanity and patriotism for belief. Yet the 
funeral oration of this orator was delivered not much more than a 



* Strab. lib. ix. 399. 

t ΪΙιΐ/τ-ήχοντοι μυριάδας rpocriav* — -1'VS. Έπιτάφ, 







\ 



« 



■ s 



1 

^ 

^ 

^ 



KS 



£ 

χ 

λ 









LETTER XXVIII. 



433 



century after the battle ; and subsequent authors have upon this, 
or some other authority, magnified the forces of the Medes to a 
number which the whole plain of Marathon could scarcely have 
contained. Justin sets them down at six hundred thousand. 

After having spent some time in viewing the plain from several 
spots, and in riding to the lofty barrow, and the ruins in the 
marsh, we set off from that quarter to return to Athens. The 
baggage had been sent forwards early in the morning. 

Going north-west from the barrow, towards the valley of 
Vraona, in a short time we passed by the remains of a church. 
From this place we took a northerly direction towards Marathon, 
and arriving at the banks of the Charadrus, had the ruined tower 
and a few houses on our left, and the Albanian cottages to the 
right. We crossed the river, which, for a Grecian stream, is 
considerable, and kept along its banks for ten minutes, when we 
came to the village, called Marathonas, as, indeed, are the two 
collections of cottages lower down in the plain. 

On the east side of Marathonas there is some flat ground, where 
the ancient town may have stood, and two fragments of an old 
arch are still seen in one of the gardens. The village has a pros- 
pect down a narrow valley, inclosed by low hills on the western 
side, and high precipices on the eastern bank ; and through this 
valley the river flows, inclining to the west. The barrow, the 
whole extent of the long plain, the ridge of rocks composing the 
promontory Cynosura, at the southern extremity of it, and the 
high cape above Raphti, are also visible from Marathon. At 
the back, the north of the village, are lofty hills, part of the 
chain of mountains which form the northern boundary of the 
plain of Athens, and rest, on one side, on the extremity of 



434 



LETTER XXVIII. 



Pentelicus, and on the other on the verge of Parnes. On this 
side was the mountain Brilessus, and the whole region was de- 
nominated Diacri. The eminences of different hills had their 
separate names ; and in this district was Mount Icarus, whose 
sides ahounded with the most productive vineyards of Attica. 
On one side of Icarus was the Demos of Dedalidae, of the tribe 
Cecropis ; on the other, that of the verdant Meloense*, of the 
tribe Antiochis, on the borders of Boeotia. The hill imme- 
diately behind Marathon was called the mountain of Pan. 

From Marathon we passed on westward, crossing the river a 
second time, and inclining a little out of the road to the north, 
to look at the cave of Pan, which, though mentioned as a curio- 
sity by Pausanias, has nothing in it to detain you for an instant. 
Below this cave, which is about a mile from Marathon, are some 
large stones, similar to those seen on the Wiltshire Downs com- 
monly known by the name of the " Grey Wethers ;" and under 
them a strong spring bubbles up, which, conducted through an 
artificial channel, turns a mill, and afterwards falls into the Cha- 
radrus. 

I take these stones to be the petrified sheep belonging to the 
woman of Nono'i, and the headless statue in the marsh may be 
the female herself, whose metamorphosis is recorded by Chandler. 
But the fate and misfortune of this personage is now forgotten, 
and our guides pointed both at the statue and the stones, without 
relating so edifying a tale φ. 



* Icarii, Celeique domus, viridesque Melaenae. — Stat. Theb. lib. xii. lin. 619. 

t " In the vale, which we entered, near the vestiges of a small building, pro- 
bably a sepulchre, was a headless statue of a woman sedent, lying on the 
ground. This, my companions informed me, was once endued with life, being 



— ^^P 



LETTER XXVIII. 



435 



Prom the cave of Pan we left the banks of the river, which 
flows to the north-west be;ween two lofty mountains, whose sides 
are a mass of precipices of craggy red rocks, and whose summits 
are clothed with thick forests of pine. Our course now took us 
to the west-south-west, up a most steep and rough ascent, through 
woods of evergreens, and amongst shrubs of myrtles, oleander, 
and laurel-roses. 

In an hour and a quarter we came to Stamati, an Albanian 
village, surrounded by a few acres of open cultivated ground, 
cleared in the midst of a wilderness of woods. The path was, 
from that place, not so hilly, but still very rugged, directing us 
to the south-west. A range of Pendele was directly facing us, 
and lying from north-west to south-east; Parnes was at a distance 
on our right, and between us and that mountain were woody 
knolls, rising one above the other. In a little time we turned the 
point of Pendele, and went to the south-south-west, travelling 
down a gradual slope, and on a better road, but still through pine 
forests. Before us we saw the coast about the Piraeus, and part 
of the olive-groves : Athens was hidden from us by the hill An- 
chesmus. 



>τη aged lady, possessed of a numerous flock, wbich was folded near that spot. 
Her riches were great, and her prosperity was uninterrupted: she was elated 
by her good fortune. The winter was gone by, and even the rude month of 
March had spared her sheep and goats. She now defied Heaven, as unappre- 
hensive for the future, and as secure from all mishap; but Providence, to cor- 
rect her impiety and ingratitude, commanded a fierce and penetrating frost to 
be its avenging minister — and she, her fold, and flocks, were hardened into 
stone. This story, which is current, was also relafed to me at Athens. The 
grave Turk cites the woman of Νοηοϊ, for so the tract is called, to check arro- 
gance, and enforce the wisdom of a devout and humble disposition." — Chand- 
ler's Travels in Greece, p. 167. 



436 



LETTER XXVItl. 



In an hour from Stamati, but going faster than ordinary, we 
arrived at the village of Cevrishia, whose name is but a little 
altered from that of the ancient town Cephisia, of the tribe Erec- 
the'is, on the site*of which it now stands. This place is the most 
favourite retreat of the Turks of Athens during the summer and 
autumnal months, and is alone, of all the villages of Attica, adorned 
with a mosck : it contains about two hundred houses. In the 
middle of it is an open space, where there are two fountains, and 
a large plane-tree, beneath whose overhanging branches is a flat 
stone, so carved into squares as to serve for a draught-table, and 
round which the Turks are seen sedately smoking, or engaged at 
their favourite pastime. 

Cevrishia is at the foot of Mount Pendele, on a gentle decli- 
vity, surrounded on every side with olive-groves, and watered by 
several rills from the mountain, the sources of the smaller branch 
of the Cephissus, which, after supplying the many fountains of 
the village, and being dispersed through the neighbouring gardens 
and groves, unite at last in one pebbly channel, and flow into the 
plain and olive-woods of A thens. This delightful spot still conti- 
nues to answer the agreeable description given of it by one who 
who had here often wandered through the long and shady ave- 
pues or rested by the side of the pure glassy stream, overflowing 
the margin of the marble baths in a thousand rills, which mingled 
their murmurs with the music of the birds*. Even the modern 
Cephisia might be thought worthy the partialities of such an en- 
comiast as Aulus Gellius. 

The marbles presented to the University of Oxford by Mr. 
Dawkins, were brought from this village ; and I had the good 



* Aul. Gell. lib. i. cap. 2, et lib. xviii. cap. 10. 



LETTER XXVIII. 



437 



fortune to procure from the same spot a marble head, as large as 
life, which, as it appears from the hole in the neck, has belonged 
to an entire image. A Turk had placed it over the arch of the 
gateway in his court-yard, and seemed to say that he knew where 
the body was to be found ; but on enquiry, he had, we learnt, been 
misunderstood. The bust is that of a young man, with the hair 
short, and curled in an elegant and highly-finished style. From 
the manner in which the eyes are formed, the antiquity of the 
sculpture may be judged to be no earlier than the times when the 
Romans were settled in Greece ; and it is not at all improbable, 
that the head may be one belonging to" the many statues which 
Atticus Herodes erected to the memory of his three young friends 
in the shady solitudes of his villa at Cephisia*. 

From Cevrishia we proceeded entirely through olive-groves, to 
a village about an hour's distance, called " MuralFe;" small, and 
built of mud chiefly, but in an agreeable situation, and watered 
by a branch of the Cephissus, whose banks are, a little below, 
shaded by tall trees of white poplar. 

From MurafFe we went through Angele-Kipos to Athens, by a 
route already described. 

The baggage-horses had arrived half an hour before, and had 
been six hours on the road from Marathon to the city. This time 
can with great difficulty be reconciled with the measurement an- 
ciently allowed for the distance between the two places, which, at 
the utmost, was laid down at only one hundred stadia, but, gene- 
rally, was called eighty stadia, or ten Roman miles. Meletius, 
who is, very unaccountably, more incorrect when treating of 

* See the account of this, Tib. Claudius Atticus Herodes by Spon in Wbeler, 
p. 375. 

3 L 



438 



LETTER XXVIII. 



Attica than of other parts of Greece, calls Marathon thirty* 
five miles from Athens*. The usual allowance, before stated, as 
coming pretty near the truth, of three miles to a Turkish hour, 
would make this journey eighteen miles ; but when it is consi- 
dered, that half of the distance is over steep and very difficult 
ground, the two statements may come rather nearer to each 
other ; and if we suppose, what is likely enough, that there was 
formely a nearer road to Marathon by Vraona, the difference will 
be considerably diminished. However, from comparing the ancient 
distances with the Turkish hours, particularly in Attica, where I 
paid most attention to the watch, Τ must confess myself to have 
overstated the length of ground, by reckoning three miles to each 
sixty minutes, and that, perhaps, generally speaking, two and a half 
would be the more correct calculation. The baggage-horses, or as 
the Greeks distinguish them, ra axxoyx μ.1 τα φορτώματα, get on but 
very slowly, except in the plainest roads, and proceed with diffi- 
culty through the woods, on account of the manner in which 
they are loaded, their burdens projecting from each side, like 
panniers. At the same time it may be remarked, that the an- 
cients themselves may have sometimes mis-stated their measure- 
ments, especially as they occasionally differ amongst one another 
even in small distances ; so that a traveller need not always attri- 
bute each slight discrepancy to his own inattention and neglect. 



* Α'ττίκ>?, p. 352. The distance, however, is put in figures; and 35 way 
be an error of the press for 15. 



LETTER XXIX. 

Route from Athens to the Negroponte — Villages in the North 
of Attica — Koukouvaones — Charootika — Menithi — Tato'e — 
The Site of Decelea — Agios Macurius — Route across the 
Plains of Tanagra — Over the Asopus to Scimitari — From 
that Village to the Strait of the Negroponte, by Vathi — The 
Town of Negroponte — Visit to the Pasha — Stories relative to 
the Euripus — Return to Scimitari — Route from Scimitari to 
the Monastery of St. Meliteus on Cithceron. 



IT being my wish to pay a short visit to the town of 
Negroponte, as well as to some part of the district of Thebes, 
which we had before not seen, I set off (Feb. 8) at nine o'clock 
in the morning from Athens, accompanied by our Albanian Va- 
silly, the Athenian Demetrius, and the necessary number of 
baggage and led-horses. Lord Byron was unexpectedly detained 
at Athens ; so that you will attribute any additional defects in the 
narration of this short tour, to the absence of a companion, who, 
to quickness of observation and ingenuity of remark, united that 
gay good humour which keeps alive the attention under the pres- 
sure of fatigue, and softens the aspect of every difficulty and 
danger. 

We rode for about two hours, mostly through the olive woods 
of Athens, northwards, until we came to Koukouvaones, a village 

3l2 



440 



LETTER XXIX. 



of thirty houses : passing this, we soon crossed a large chasm, in 
which the greater branch of the Cephissus flows, and which, a 
little above where we passed it, takes an abrupt turn towards the 
hills a little to the north-west of Cevrishia. A few evergreens 
grow on the sides of the chasm; and an overshot mill is pleasantly 
situated amidst a small grove, on the ledge of one of the rocks. 
Between the skirt of the olive-groves and the village Koukou- 
vaones, are two or three barrows ; and one of them was pointed 
out to me as containing lumps of yellow earth, used by the 
painters at Athens. There is a village, by name Charootika, of 
two hundred houses, under the hills between Cevrishia and Kou- 
kouvaones. 

We inclined to the eastward of north, and saw on our left the 
road leading to Menithi, the largest country town in Attica, 
having three hundred and fifty houses ; and, still farther to the 
left, that which goes to Casha, and the villages under Mount 
Parnes. For two hours, after passing Koukouvaones and the 
Cephissus, the road lay through an open plain, covered with 
heath and low shrubs : Parnes, clothed with green woods, verged 
more towards us on the left, and united itself to the hills stretch- 
ing to the northern declivities of Mount Pentelicus, which form 
the boundary, on this side, of the plain of Athens. We ascended 
these hills for an hour, and came to a stone fountain on a woody 
knoll, where, under the shade of a thick ilex, travellers spread 
their mats, for the purposes of refreshment or repose. The place 
is called Tatoe, five long hours, at a good pace, from. Athens, from 
which it bears exactly north-north-east, having a view of the city 
and the whole plain, as far as the Piraeus. On a hillock, above the 
fountain, are some remains of an ancient wall. A path strikes off 



LETTER XXIX. 



441 



through the hills to the east, to Oropo, the ancient Oropus, com- 
puted about four miles from Tatoe. 

From Athens to the foot of these hills is about twelve miles, 
the whole way over a plain ; but the flat, anciently included in 
the district belonging to the city, and called, for distinction, Pe- 
dion, the Plain, has been considered by some travellers as ending 
with the olive-groves, about si* miles to the north of Athens ; 
which extent, with the addition of the distance from the capital 
to the shore, gives a length of nine miles to the whole plain. Po- 
cocke thought nine miles the length, and six miles the breadth, of 
the district in question. He appears to me to have under-rated the 
dimensions in both instances ; the flat more properly terminates 
where the channel of the Cephissus takes a turn towards Cevrishia, 
perhaps eight miles from the city. Beyond that place, towards 
Casha, Menithi, and Tatoe, the aspect of the country is more bare 
and wild, and, under Parnes to the north-west, answers to the de- 
scription of the district attached to Acharnoe ; and some vestiges 
of old wall, and one or two wells, which are to be seen three 
miles nearer than Casha to Athens, may point out the site of that 
town. 

The region on the slope of Mount Parnes, formerly called 
Paeonia, has now the name of Panagia, from a rich monastery at 
the foot of the hills. 

Decelea, memorable for having given its name to one of the 
many wars of the Athenians and Lacedemonians, was somewhere 
in the direction of Tatoe, as it commanded the great roacfleading 
from Athens to Oropus and to Chalcis, by which the corn of Eu- 
boea was conveyed to the city. Some pieces of wall, above the 
fountain, may probably have belonged to a watch-tower placed in 



442 



LETTER XXIX. 



this important pass ; but Tatoe is more than one hundred and 
twenty stadia, fifteen Roman miles, from the city, and is besides 
too far from the plain, on which (though some of the works were 
visible at Athens*) part of the Lacedemonian fortifications were 
built. I neither heard of nor saw an}' other remains, except the 
wall above Tatoe. 

For an hour and a half after leaving the fountain, we conti- 
nued travelling slowly through the hills belonging to the moun- 
tain anciently called Brilessus, in the region of Diacria, over a 
precipitous path, amidst thick woods of evergreens, until we had 
got to the north of the high range of Mount Parnes, which we 
now saw towering into the clouds in the distance. We passed a 
solitary church, Agios Macurius, by the side of a torrent. The 
modern territory attached to Athens, is on this side bounded by 
a line which runs from a point two hours to the north of Casha to 
this church, and then stretches to a village, Calamas, an hour to 
the south of Oropo, turning thence towards Marathon. The 
earliest of our travellers gives the name of Agios Macurius to 
these hills, which were then guarded by Albanians, and, by a 
strange mistake, calls them a part of Mount Parnassus -j*. 

From Agios Macurius we began to descend, going more to the 
north, until we found ourselves on an open and extensive plain, 
with a high tower in our view, to the north-west, at a distance 
reckoned about four hours from the foot of the mountain. We 
went northerly for an hour and a half, through a well-cultivated 
country^ flocks of goats were browsing amongst the low shrubs, 

* Thucyd. lib. vii. cap. 19. 

~r Francis Vernon, in his Letter to the Royal Society, written Jan. 10, 1676. 
See Philosophical Transactions abridged, γοΐ. iii. p. 456. 



LITTER XXIX. 



443 



and many peasants were labouring in the corn-fields. Two or three 
villages were visible on the sides of the hills to the south, formerly 
belonging to a range of Cithaeron, and mixing with Brilessus and 
Parnes. To the east was some rising ground, which prevented 
us from seeing the sea near the port Oropo ; but the high land of 
the Negroponte, about the site of the ancient Eretria, seemed a 
part of the main ; and indeed, the strait at this point is not seven 
miles in breadth. The passage from Eretria to Delphinium, the 
port of Oropus, was only sixty stadia. 

We crossed the Asopus at a ford, where it was a muddy tor- 
rent winding through brushwood. Just below where we passed 
the river, it flows between two rocky hills. In a short time the 
road divided, one path going to Negroponte, northwards, the 
other to the north-west, towards Thebes, not far from the banks 
of the river. We continued on the latter for an hour in the plain, 
with low hills on our right, when we took a direction more to the 
north, and came to the ruined tower. This stands on an emi- 
nence, and though of no very early date, is composed of stones 
apparently taken from the ruins of some ancient building. It is 
square, of considerable dimensions and height, the substructure 
of large stones, the upper part of brick. It may have been one 
of the castles of the Latin Princes, or perhaps a Turkish watch- 
tower, built to prevent a surprise from the fleets of the Ve- 
netians. It commands a view of the whole of that part of 
Bceotia to the east of Thebes ; and the hillocks, at the back of 
that town, are visible from it in the north-north-western point. 
The iVsopus is seen to wind from the west-north-west. The appear- 
ance of all the adjacent plain is from this point very pleasing, and 
varied with slopes of rising ground, crowned with tufts of shrubs, 



444 



LETTER XXII, 






It is probably tbat portion of Boeotia wbich once belonged to 
the powerful city of Tanagra*, whose territory stretched from 
the neighbourhood of Oropus, along the shore of the strait, as 
far as Aulis, and included the lands of several ruined cities more 
inland, towards Thebes. 

Beyond the tower, a short distance only, there is a small vil- 
lage called CEnoe. This we passed, and going northwards for an 
hour and a half, arrived at the village of Scimitari. This place 
consists of eighty houses, inhabited by Greeks, and is the pro- 
perty, though not in the territory, of Ali Pasha : it is reckoned 
five hours from Thebes, and three from the Negroponte. To the 
east of it, at a little distance, is a large tract of corn-fields, lying 
on gentle swellings of the plain, and through these, a broad 
beaten road, with some parts of it paved, leads to the village. 

In a small church there are two or three of the old sepulchral 
stones, with the usual inscription, x«^f, but without any names. 

We passed the night at Scimitari, and the next morning, leav- 
ing the baggage behind us, set out for the Negroponte, intend- 
ing to return the same evening. The morning was very mist} - , 
but the sky cleared up towards the middle of the day. The road 
was at first to the north, over uneven downs ; cultivated near the 
village, but soon terminating in heaths intersected by several 
ravins. On one of them was a small rivulet, whose direction 
answers, to that of the torrent Thermodon, which flowed by Ta- 
nagra. Before us we had a view of the strait, and of a plain, 

* Tanagra was thirty stadia from Oropus, and fifty from the sea. — Paus. 
Boeot. p. 571; Strab. lib. ix. p. 403. Wheler believed himself to have dis- 
covered the remains of Tanagra at Scamino, a village on the Asopus, three 
hours from Egripo. 



LETTER XX TX. 



445 



under the high hills in the island Eubooa, covered with olive- 



groves. 



We turned rather to the left as we approached the shore, and 
passed by a village, Vathi, crossing over the channel of a small 
river which runs near it into the strait. Vathi is close to the shore, 
and to a bay, formerly called the Deep bay, from which the mo- 
dern village has, I suppose, received its name. When we came 
to the shore, we continued winding along a very rocky path, close 
to the sea. We took our course round a small bay, surrounded 
by low stony hills almost to the water's edge, and having the 
mouth of ancient wells visible near the beach. This was the site 
of Aulis, whose port would contain but fifty ships ; so that it is 
likely that the Grecian fleet anchored in the bay called the 
Deep. The site is similar to the description in Strabo, a rocky 
spot (πίτρωϊις χωρίον), which is not now, as it was in the second 
•century, watered by the fountain of Diana, nor shaded by the 
fruitful palm-tree. When Pausanias visited Aulis, they continued 
to show a piece of the plane-tree mentioned in Homer, and the 
knoll on which the tent of Agamemnon was fixed ; but the place 
was almost deserted, and the few who still continued to live there, 
worked at a pottery* : at present it is entirely barren, and there 
is not a peasant's house nearer than the village of Vathi. 

It was some time before we caught a sight of the town of Ne- 
groponte-j-, or (as the Greeks call it, from a corruption, of the 
word Euripus) Egripo, as it is placed on the north-east side of a 

* Paus. Bceot. p. 571. 

t The Frank name of Negropoute is doubtless, as Wheler has conjectured, 
derived from the confounding of the three Greek words, ti? rov Ε'γριπον, pro- 
nounced Vtov Ε"γριπον, into one sound. 

3 Μ 



446 



LETTER XXIX. 



broad flat peninsula, which, projecting into the bays on the main- 
land, makes the windings of the strait, in some places, look like 
inland lakes, in others like rivers, as the breadth enlarges or dimi- 
nishes. The outlet into the broader arm of the sea does not at 
all appear, and both the port of Vathi, and that of Aulis, are 
completely land-locked. This circumstance, in some measure, 
diminishes the surprise which might otherwise be felt at seeing the 
extreme narrowness of the Euripus itself, at the point where the 
island and the main are joined by a bridge. 

In half an hour after the bay of Vathi, keeping by the edge of 
the water, we doubled the north-eastern extremity of those hills 
which we had seen from our village, and which, now called Typo- 
Vouni, were once the mountain Messapius: we then crossed over 
a projecting tongue of stony ground, and going for some time on 
a road partly paved, arrived in another half hour at the Euripus. 
On an eminence on the mainland we saw a white fort, called Ca- 
rababa, commanding the bridge, and, indeed, all the fortifications of 
Negroponte. The sea had, in this place, every appearance of a 
river ; and the banks, on the Boeotian side, were rather high and 
rocky. We dismounted, and led our horses over a narrow wooden 
bridge, about fifteen paces in length, to a stone tower in the 
middle of the strait, of an odd circular shape, like a dice- 
box, large at bottom and top, and small in the middle ; the 
mouths of immense cannon appearing through round embrasures, 
about the upper rim. Going through an arch in this tower, we 
passed on to a bridge, also of wood, and a third longer than 
the other, standing over the principal stream, for such may the 
Euripus strictly be called. We then entered a large castle, where 
several Turks, bristled with arms, were lounging about ; and con- 



LETTER XXIX. 



447 



turning for some time through that part of the town which is 
within the works of the fortification, came to another wooden 
bridge, as long as both of those over the Euripus, and crossed 
over the moat, a broad reedy marsh, into the suburbs of Negro- 
ponte, which are much more considerable than the city within 
the walls. 

The Turks of this place are the most brutal, if common fame 
and a proverb before mentioned, do not belie them, of any in the 
Levant ; and as their character prevents travellers from visiting 
the town, they are so unused to the sight of a Frank, that, 
on the appearance of one in the street, the boys scream after, 
and follow him, and the men abuse him, and call him Dog and 
Infidel. This was all the inconvenience I experienced; though 
I must confess, that there was something so very different in the 
air of these Mahometans, and of those I had lately lived amongst, 
that I should not have considered a long stay in the town at all 
desirable. 

The Waiwode of Athens had given me two letters, one to the 
Vizier, Bakir Pasha, another to a rich Aga, at whose house, 
though he himself was not at home, I put up for the short time 
I remained in the place, and was treated with every attention by 
the people of his household. 

I had not been more than a few minutes in the house, before I 
was visited by the Greek Secretary to the Pasha, to whom I de- 
livered my letter, saying, at the same time, that I could not stay 
to pay his Highness a visit. A Greek of the island of Tino, who 
wore the Frank habit, covered with a long cloak, being physician 
to the Pasha, also called to pay his respects. He had been a 
merchant, under the Imperial protection, but failed, and then 

3m 2 



448 



LETTER XXIX. 



turned physician, when the Pasha retained him for his own use ; 
much against the will of the man, it seemed, as he told me, i( I 
am not a slave — but, though I have heen here eighteen months, 
his Highness will not let me go ; yet he pays me well ; I have a 
pound and a half of meat allowed me daily, and some piasters at 
the end of the year." With this person, accompanied by my 
attendants, I took a walk about the town. 

The houses are mean and low, the streets narrow, and the 
bazar of the poorest sort. There are but very few Greeks in 
the town, and no one representative of any Christian power: 
there was once an Imperial Consul, and also a French resi- 
dent ; but on some suspicion being entertained of one of them 
with respect to some Turkish females, a body of Turks sur- 
rounded his house, and, after some resistance, cut him to 
pieces ; the other Frank of course fled. They told me, as well 
as I recollect, that the number of houses in Egripo was about 
eight hundred. 

To the east of the town there is a sort of inclosure or defence, 
of low pales : on the north is an eminence, from which you have 
\ the best view of the country, and of the high mountains at the 
back of the town, whose summits are covered with perpetual 
snows. From the highest ridge, which is called Daphne, Athens, 
Megara, and the whole of the south of Greece, so a Turk assured 
me, appear as if laid out immediately below. The land to the north 
and east of the town is open, but well cultivated ; that to the south 
covered with fine groves of olive-trees, and interspersed with 
orange and lemon gardens ; the interior of the town is not so well 
furnished in this respect as most Turkish cities. The place is con- 
sidered extremely unhealthy, and during the summer the heats 



LETTER XXIX. 



449 



are almost insupportable : at that period the Turks remove their 
families to small houses in the groves farther down, to the south. 

As I was walking through the town on the side towards the 
castle, several grave Turks, apparently in office, with the Greek 
Secretary at their head, approached me, and said that the Vice- 
Governor of the place desired me to visit him. I excused myself 
for some time, but was at last obliged to comply, and accordingly 
went through the usual ceremony of pipes, coffee, sweetmeats and 
sherbet, in a small room with this Turk, who was pleasant and 
obliging. 

Whilst in his chamber, the Grammaticos, the Secretary, enter- 
ed, and said that the Vizier himself expected to see me. I could 
not, I would not go ; I was in a travelling dress, and covered 
with dirt by riding. No excuses would do — the Vizier was 
holding a Dkwi on purpose ! ! The Greek became pressing and 
impertinent ; and, accompanied by Demetrius, the Physician and 
Secretary, and several men with white sticks preceding, I pushed 
on through a crowd to the door of the audience-chamber. Here 
was a fresh difficulty — the Secretary told me I must enter without 
my boots, and kiss his Highness' s slipper. Had this ceremony 
been usual, no one would have been more ready to comply than 
myself; nay, I would not on any account have dispensed with 
the latter point of respect, but should have insisted upon it as 
earnestly as did Dr. Moore's young patron, the Duke of Hamil- 
ton, upon saluting the Pope s toe; but being sure that it was merely 
a malicious piece of information invented by the Greek, to vex 
me for my backwardness in visiting his master, and that no Frank 
traveller had ever done as much to any Pasha, I demurred, and 
was trying to retire, when the Secretary went into the audience- 



450 



LETTER XXIX^ 



chamber, and returning immediately, said that the Pasha would 
dispense with the form. I knew the whole was a pretence, but 
prepared to enter ; and really not Mashing to dirty his carpets 
with my boots, which were plastered with mud, pulled them off, 
putting on, however, not to bate any thing' on the important 
point of dignity, a pair of yellow slippers. 

The room where the Pasha received me was very small, and 

crowded with his Turks in office, magnificently dressed, quite as 

well as himself — the certain characteristic, according to Cervantes, 

of a great man. The sofa on the left was occupied by three or 

four visitors apparently ; that to the right, except a corner on 

which the Vizier sat, was vacant. His Highness made a motion 

for me to sit down near him. The Tiniot Physician served as 

interpreter. The Pasha, taking his pipe from his mouth, said I 

was welcome — then stopped again — and a little after said the same 

thing; which he repeated, after an interval, a third time. This I 

understood to be highly ceremonious ; and, indeed, his attention 

was very marked. The pipes and coffee were thrice repeated ; 

sherbets, sweetmeats, and, to crown the entertainment, perfumes 

and rose-water were also subjoined to the former part of the 

treat. 

The Pasha was very inquisitive, as usual, and when I rose to 
go away, begged me to sit down again : it was with difficulty I 
excused myself from staying that night at Egripo, and partaking 
of a feast to which he invited me. He asked, what he could do 
for me, and whether I had seen every thing in the place; he 
added, " You have looked at the castle from without — there is 
nothing worth seeing in the inside of it." 

You must take, by the way, that the Turks are exceedingly 






Γ ΓΕΓν XXIX. 



451 



jealous of any one visiting the works of these fortifications ; and 
will suffer no Frank, without a firman from the Porte, to inspect 
them : this I knew, and replied, that I was much pleased with 
the outside, but did not wish to look at the interior of the build- 
ing. He then asked, what I had come to see ? (the curiosity of 
travellers is a constant source of surprise, and of a little contempt, 
amongst the Turks) and was answered, " the town and its 
situation, which were reported to be very beautiful ; and also the 
strait, a great natural curiosity/' This last object was not clearly 
understood ; and when, as an explanation, I added, that it was 
the stream of water under the bridge to which I alluded, the 
visages of all in the room put on an air of astonishment, mixed 
with a certain smile, chastised by the gravity of their looks, alto- 
gether indescribable ; and the Vizier asked me, with a great deal 
of naivete, whether I had no water of that sort in my own coun- 
try? adding, that England being, as he heard, an island, he 
should have thought we had great plenty. I endeavoured to in- 
form him, that it was not the saltness of the water to which I 
alluded, but the flux and reflux. That this did not serve me in any 
stead was evident from the continued surprise marked in the 
faces of all present ; but his Highness assured me, that I should 
have the proper attendance to convey me to the bridge, where I 
might view the object of my journey. 

Shortly after this I withdrew ; and returning down stairs, saw 
my attendant Demetrius besieged by all the fine drest men who had 
officiated in the room, and who, the moment he opened his purse* 
to make the customary presents for me,, thronged about him, 
and so frightened him, that he parted with every zeqin in his 
pocket, amounting to between, eight and nine guineas TheJT 



452 



LETTER XXIX. 



clamour and importunity was such, that he had forgot the pru- 
dent and usual plan of calling for the pipe-bearer, the pages car- 
rying in the coffee, sweetmeats, sherbet, and perfume, and giving 
to each five piasters: indeed, he was altogether terrified, and had 
some excuse for his alarms. 

But the most ridiculous part of the proceeding was to come, 
and one which I am rather loth to detail, as the principal charac- 
ter in the farce was unwillingly acted by, or rather forced upon, 
myself. 

Several of the Pasha's soldiers were waiting without in the 
yard, and these, preceded by two of the most reverend-looking 
personages of the whole court, Chiauses, or Chamberlains, with 
white wands, and their beards hanging down to their waists, ac- 
companied me in a sort of procession towards the bridge. We had 
some distance to walk ; the crowd gathered as we proceeded, and 
in a short time our train filled the street. We walked very slow r ly, 
the two majestic conductors being saluted respectfully by fifty 
people whom we met, and very leisurely returning the salam and 
usual obeisance. 

The passengers and surrounding crowd perpetually questioned 
my attendants as to the object of the procession, and were told 
that a Frank was going to look at the water. I could hear the 
Turkish words signifying " Water, Water/' a hundred times re- 
peated. 

I advanced to the bridge with all my suite, went half way across 
it, and looking over the railings half a minute, turned round to 
one of the grave chamberlains, and said I was satisfied ; when 
he and his companion bowed profoundly, and, without saying a 
word, turned on their heels, and marshalled and preceded the 



LfcTTER XXIX. 



453 



attendants back to the house where I had left my horses, a great 
crowd following as before. 

To each of these great courtiers, whose furred cloaks were worth 
more than all my travelling wardrobe, and to whom, had I not 
known the Turks pretty well by that time, I should have been 
afraid to have offered any present of money, I gave a zequin, a 
little more than half-a-guinea ; and for the receipt of this they 
bowed as gravely as ever, and returned slowly to the palace, 
walking, as is the fashion of the higher orders in Turkey, with 
their toes turned inwards. 

You may be sure, that, after this ridiculous adventure, I did 
not stir out of the Aga's house until my horses were ready to 
leave the town, nor attempt to have any other sight of the water 
than that which I got going to and returning from the island. 

What I witnessed of the Euripus was, that the stream flows 
with violence, like a mill-race, under the bridges, and that a 
strong eddy is observable on that side from which it is about to 
run, about a hundred yards above the bridges; the current, how- 
ever, not being at all apparent at a greater distance, either to 
the south or north. Yet the ebbing and flowing are said to be 
visible at ten or a dozen leagues distance, at each side of the 
strait, by marks shown of the rising and falling of the water in 
several small bays in both coasts. The depth of the stream is 
very inconsiderable, not much more than four feet. 

It was with difficulty that I could get any account- of this phe- 
nomenon. The Tiniot Doctor told me, that, " per Dio, he had 
never been to look at it ; but that, if any one had told me that 
the change took place more than twice in twenty-four hours, he 
fancied the person had lied/' The Secretary said it changed seven 
times in that space of time ; and one of the Turks guarding the 

3 Ν 



454 



LETTER XXIX. 



tower between the two bridges, and living on the spot, averred it 
altered its course five times, favouring me at the same time with 
the cause of this miracle. 

" Not a great many years ago/' said he, " this water was like 
any other part of the sea, and did not flow at all ; but a Hadji, 
(that is, a holy Turk, who had been to Mecca) being a pri- 
soner in that tower, when the Infidels had the place, and con- 
fined in a dark cell, where he could see nothing but the water 
below, through a hole in his dungeon, begged of God to send 
him some sign by which he might know when to pray. His re- 
quest was granted, by the change which immediately took place 
in the flowing and reflow ing of the stream ; and since that time, 
the current has altered its course at each of the five seasons of 
prayer." 

The man told this story with the air of a person who believed 
it himself; yet it was clear enough, that, though having daily 
opportunities of so doing, he had never thought about ascertain- 
ing whether the tide did change at day-break, at mid-day, two 
hours and a half before sun-set, at sun-set, and an hour and a 
half after— the five times prescribed by the Mahometan law. If 
the fellow was not laughing, of which, as he spoke to me through 
an interpreter, I could not be a very adequate judge, he gave 
surely as strong an example as could be well imagined, of the dis- 
inclination so apparent in the followers of all ridiculous supersti- 
tions, to convince themselves of the folly of their credulity. He 
might any day have found out that the tale was not true, and that 
the Hadji had not obtained permission of God that the course of 
the sea should be altered at the five periods settled for offering 
up the prayers of the believers. Yet, with the feelings of a 
true devotee, he preferred to propagate, rather than to examine, 



LETTER XXIX. 



453 



the holy fable ; and, in spite of evidence forced upon his constant 
notice, would not trust himself with a suspicion of its falsity. 

Had Aristotle hit upon so easy a solution of this wonder, he 
would have addressed himself to a people as religious, and conse- 
quently as credulous, as the Turks. 

The account which Wheler copied from the Jesuit Babin, and 
collected on the spot, although not from his personal experience, 
he not being long enough in the place, was, that it was subject to 
the same laws as the tides of the ocean, for eighteen days of 
every moon, and was irregular, having twelve, thirteen, or four- 
teen flowings and ebbings for the other eleven days, that is, that 
it was regular for the three last days of the old moon, and the 
eight first of the new, then irregular for five days, regular again 
for the next seven, and irregular for the other six. The water 
seldom rose to two feet, and usually not above one; and, contrary 
to the ocean, it flowed towards the sea, and ebbed towards the 
main-land of Thessaly, northwards. On the irregular days it rose 
for half an hour, and fell for three quarters ; but when regular, 
was six hours in each direction, losing an hour a day. It did not 
appear to be influenced by the wind. This detail, however, which 
I conclude to be correct, does not attempt to account for the 
irregular changes, nor for the difference of number in those irre- 
gular changes. 

I feel myself quite unqualified to speak on such a debated 
point; and shall, therefore, only add what was told me by a 
Greek of Athens, who had resided three years at Egripo. He 
said, that he considered the changes to depend chiefly upon the 
wind, which, owing to the high lands in the vicinity of the strait, 
is particularly variable in this place. The two great gulfs, for so 

3n2 



456 



LETTER XXIX, 



they may be called, at the north and south of the strait, which 
present a large surface to every storm that blows, and receive 
the whole force of the Archipelago, communicate with each other 
at this narrow shallow channel ; so that the Euripus may be a 
sort of barometer, indicative of every change, and of whatever 
rising and falling of the tide, not visible in the open expanse of 
waters, there may be in these seas. I did not, however, see any 
marks of the water being ever higher at one time than at an- 
other. 

He added, that he observed, that when the wind was north or 
south, that is, either up or down the strait, the alteration took 
place only four times in the twenty-four hours ; but that when it 
was from the east, and blew strongly over the high mountains 
behind Egripo, the refluxes took place more frequently, ten or 
twelve times ; and that particularly immediately before the full of 
the moon, the turbulence and eddies, as well as the rapidity of 
the stream, were very much increased. There was never, at any 
season, any certain rule with respect either to the period or the 
number of the changes. 

Those of the ancients who inquired into this phenomenon, were 
aware, that the story of the Euripus changing its course always, 
seven times during the day, was unfounded ; and the account 
given of it by Livy*, corresponds, in some measure, with that 
of my Athenian informant. The bridge which anciently con- 



* Nam et venti utriusquie tcrrse prcealtis montibus subiti ac procellosi se deji-. 
ciunt, et fretum ipsum Enripi non scptics die, sicut fama fert, temporibus 
statis reciprocal; sed temere in modum venti, nunc hue nunc illuc verso mari, 
vclut monte prsecipili devolnlus torrens rapilur. — Tit. Liv. lib. xxviii* 
cap. C, 



LETTER XXIX. 



457 



nected the main and the island was considerably longer than that 
which at present serves the same purpose*. 

We are informed, that the strait was made more narrow by a 
dyke, which the inhabitants of Chalcis constructed to lessen the 
passage ; and it is by no means improbable, that the whole of the 
flat on which the fortified part of Egripo now stands, and which 
is surrounded on the land side by a wide marsh, was formerly 
covered by the waters of the Euripus. 

I did not hear of any remains of the ancient Chalcis, in or near 
the modern town ; the castle, and some of the oldest houses, re- 
tain signs of the old Venetian buildings ; and some very large 
stones in the works look as if they once belonged to more superb 
edifices. 

This island was considered one of the most important of the pos- 
sessions of Venice, in the prosperity of that powerful republic; and 
one of the memorials of former greatness, displayed at this day 
at St. Marc's, is the standard of the Kingdom of Negroponte. 
The capital town, for many years after its reduction by Maho- 
met the Second, was the usual residence, and under the imme- 
diate command, of the Capudan Pasha, the High Admiral of the 
Turkish fleets. 

The Turks have a constant apprehension that some effort is in-, 
tended against this island by the Christian Powers, and are con- 
sequently, as hinted before, ridiculously cautious about the forti- 
fications of Egripo. 

My sourgee, or postman, told me, that he had been witness 
tp an unpleasant scene in this place. A Frank traveller, having a 



* Ε στι xzl sV αυτω γίφυρχ λπλ&ρος. — Strab. lib. ix. p. 403* 



458 



LETTER X SIX. 



iirman from the Porte, visited the castle, and was about to retire, 
when the Captain of the Turkish guard stept up to him, and 
asked him for his Imperial licence for seeing the place. The 
Frank gave him what he desired ; upon which the Turk, perusing 
it very seriously, asked him if he had no other order ; and being 
answered in the negative, exclaimed, " I see here a permission 
for you to come into the castle — but none for you to go out \" 
and, so saying, he shut the gate, and confined the traveller for 
some days, as a warning to him for the future to repress his 
curiosity. 

I have since heard of a similar transaction having taken place 
in Candia, with the addition, that the Frank, an Englishman, 
resisted, and was killed. The Turks of both islands bear much 
the same character for ferocity and hatred of strangers ; but the 
Candiote is the more lively and spirited of the two, and his nation 
supplies all the best sailors in the Turkish fleet. 

In addition to their other vile propensities, the Negropontines 
are distinguished, amongst a nation of sensualists, by that horrid 
perversity of taste, which an ancient historian has superadded as 
a disgusting trait to his finished picture of a villain*, and which 
appears an unwarrantable excess in the eyes even of the Orientals 
themselves. 

The island is now, as it was formerly, valuable, on account of 



* Xenophon (Cyr. Anab. fin. lib. ii.), in his character of Menon the Thes- 
salian. Yet with what coolness does this Greek talk of the more usual enor- 
mity of his age and country. (See his story of Episthcnes, p. 532). He nei- 
ther expresses, nor wishes to excite, any abhorrence, but opens his narrative 

simply, EVicrSm ς & riv τ\ς Ο'λυν^ο? παιίιρχσττίς and afterwards, • & 

ΣίυΟη? γιλνν. 



m ^-', 



LETTER XXIX. 



459 



the extraordinary fertility of its soil, and the quantity of corn 
with which it supplies the adjacent countries. Twenty for one is 
mentioned as the common return of grain*. 

From Egripo we returned, by a shorter way than that which 
we had traversed in the morning, to Scimitari, crossing a cleft in 
the hills before we came to Vathi, a little beyond the port of 
Aulis, most probably in the exact direction of the road which 
formerly led from Chalcis to Thebes. The very ancient city of 
Mycalessus, not far from the sea, and surrounded with extensive 
fields, (ενξυχορον Μυκαλΐ5<τ(τον, is the expression of Homer), was in 
this quarter of Bceotia, which afterwards came under the power 
of Tanagra, a city independent long after the authority of Thebes 
had declined^. Vast numbers of coins have been found by the 
peasants of this village in ploughing up the neighbouring plain. 
Λ large collection was presented to me ; one of them was a copper 
coin of Tanagra; it had been found near a spot called Grematha, 
one hour and a half to the south of Scimitari. 

Returning to my village, and waiting for some refreshment, I 
attended a burial. The dead was a poor woman who had been 
alive when I left the place in the morning. She was carried in a 
rug into the little church, and laid down on the floor, with nothing 
but a thin strip of cotton tied about her. Two cakyyers performed 
the service over her in a hasty manner, when she was carried out, 
and put into a trench not deeper than two or three feet. Before 
putting her in the grave, they tied sandals to her feet, which, 
when she was laid in the earth, were adjusted by a man who 
jumped into the pit and placed them upright, like those of a 

* The Tauric Chersonese, however, produced thirty.— Strab. lib. 7, p. 311. 
+ Pliiie cap. 7, " Tanagra, Uber populus." 



460 



LETTER XXIX. 



recumbent statue on a tomb : the same person, taking a small flat 
stone, on which one of the priests had made the sign of the cross, 
laid it upon her breast, and immediately after, with the assistance 
of others, covered the body with earth. There were six old 
women attending as mourners, but they, as well as the rest of 
the congregation, seemed rather merry than sad, behaving with a 
levity which I was proceeding to remark upon, when one of them 
said, " Why should we weep for her, she was an orphan; she 
was sixty years old ; how can any one care for such a person ?" 
It is impossible to answer a question, dictated by sentiments so 
frequently felt, though so seldom confessed, by the generality of 
mankind. 

The day afterwards, my party proceeded on the road towards 
Megara, determining so to contrive the journies, that I might 
sleep the first night at a monastery situated in the southern 
declivities of Cithaaron, and from that place visit the ruins of 
Plataea. 

The path lay to the south, for an hour and a half over a plain 
whose corn-lands are attached to the village of Scimitan; it then 
passed under a low hill, the spot called Grematha, round which, 
particularly to the south and east, are several pieces of an- 
cient walls, besides some remains of a large building on the 
summit. If this place be not too far from the sea, it answers 
tolerably to the site of Tanagra, and the hill above may be that 
once called Cerycius. It is west from the tower near iEnoe, and 
south-south-west from Thebes. 

The road from Tanagra to Plataea, two hundred stadia, was 
rough and mountainous. At a little distance beyond Grematha, 
we crossed the Asopus, and came directly into the mountains, a 



LETTER XXIX. 



461 



range of Elatias, or Cithaeron, and soon passed a ruined chapel on 
a knoll. In this chapel are parts of the shafts of four small marble 
columns, which have given the spot the name of Castri. The 
road then lay to the west-north-west. Oh a height above to the 
left, south-east, we saw a village, Mavromati. Still ascending, 
and turning more westward for about an hour, we got into a 
narrow valley, with rocky hills on each side, and continued through 
this, in a path which was only a goat-track, for another hour, 
when we came upon the road we had before travelled from Thebes 
to Athens, having on our left the ruined tower*. 

Instead of remaining in the same direction, westward towards 
Plataea, and so travelling through that part of Boeotia which was 
called Parasopia, we turned into this road, and crossing the low 
rocky ridge of Cithaeron to the south, went over the western 
extremity of the plain of Scourta, passing by the village of Spalise. 
We then went again to the westward, and got in half an hour 
into the mountains. Cithaeron here is very high, and covered 
with thick woods, chiefly of pine, which have given it the modern 
name of Elatias. 

There was no direct path to the monastery of which we were in 
search, so that we soon lost our way, and parted, some of us 
keeping high up on the brows, and the others striking lower 
down, directly across several narrow valleys and chasms, towards 
the point whither we directed our steps. I gave my horse to one 
of the postmen, and, seeing a building rising above the trees on 
the ledge of a rock at some distance, made towards it, penetrating 
into a woody dell, where two torrents from the opposite hills 



* See Letter xx. 
3o 



462 



LETTER XXIX. 



united their streams, and rolled down a steep precipice into the 
plains below. I had gone too quick for Demetrius;, who was left 
behind me amongst the woods. It was a still evening, and no 
other sound was to be heard but the gentle dashing of the torrent, 
at whose brink I was stooping down, when the echoes of Cithse- 
ron were at once awakened by the shouting of my attendant, 
and starting up, I heard my name repeated as if in thunder, from 
every corner of the vast amphitheatre of woody hills around me» 
Immediately afterwards the man himself appeared ; and being 
questioned as to the cause of his alarm, said, " ΐ was afraid, Sir, 
that you might have been encountered by some wild beast: the 
mountains are full of them." 

• I was not perhaps quite so apprehensive of the wild beasts, that 
is, the wolves, as Demetrius, but wishing to reach the monastery, 
proceeded to climb the ascent before us. We soon overtook a 
monk and a little boy, driving an ass laden with faggots up a steep 
zig-zag path through the woods, and taking them for guides, ar- 
rived, after a good deal of fatigue, at the end of our day's 
journey. 

Tt was some time before we could gain admittance ; and had not 
Demetrius made himself known to a Monk who held parley with 
us from one of the casements, we should not have been suffered 
to enter. My Athenian, who knew this fraternity pretty well, 
told them at first that we only wanted to see their church, one of 
the curiosities of modern Greece, and extolled as such in Mele- 
tius' Geography. Whilst, however, we were surveying the inte- 
rior of that building, they were told we intended to pass the night 
with them ; when they asked, who were coming behind of the 
party, and were answered an Albanian, a Christian. Vasilly at 



LETTER XXIX. 



463 



this moment entered the church, and confirmed the report, by 
crossing himself very devoutly. They then frankly confessed, 
that had they beheld this person before we had been let in, they 
would certainly not have opened their gates, especially as, seeing 
that we were not in the high-way, (β«<πλ»κη ο-τράτ»), they had some 
suspicions of us, and were afraid of being entrapped, as they had 
been a week before, to be the unwilling hosts of a very large party 
for many days : as it was, however, they accommodated us with a 
room in one οϊ the corners of their quadrangular building,- and 
were attentive and hospitable. 

Agios Meletius, for so it is called, is placed on a green area 
half way up the sides of Cithseron, the only flat spot to be found 
in the mountain, which, both above and below the monastery, is 
a mass of vast precipices, shaded with dark forests of pine. A 
green vale of some extent, at the foot of the mountain, covered 
with flocks and herds belonging to the Monks, and the road to 
Megara, winding over the opposite hills to the south, are seen 
from this spot, but the surrounding woods shut out the view on 
every other side. 

The building is larger than that on Mount Pendele, or any other 
monastery which we visited, but is of the same rude and massy con- 
struction, with only one iron door of entrance, and several casements, 
or rather loop-holes, in the upper parts of the wall, which serve the 
purpose of windows for the cells, and also of loop-holes, whence 
musquetry may be successfully used on an emergency. The 
Monks are supplied with guns and other arms, and unless taken 
by surprise, could never be forced to admit any body of men, 
however large. The experiment has frequently been tried by 
parties of Albanians, travelling from Thebes through the Mega- 
ris into the Morea, who have always been repulsed. 

3 ο 2 



464 



LETTER XXIX, 



These stout saints should be in number fifty, but at present 
there are only ten resident caloyers, and five more superintending• 
distant metochis. For the recruiting of their order, they have 
established a small school in the monastery, and ten or twelve 
boys are instructed in all the accomplishments which are neces- 
sary for their intended profession, that is, to read the ritual of 
the Greek church in a quick sing-song tone. These lads are well 
fed, clothed, and lodged by the Monks; and their parents have all 
the care and expence of their children taken at once off their 
hands, besides being sure that they will be comfortably esta- 
blished in this life, and secure of a bright reversion in the next 
world. 

The church of St. Meletius has a dome, supported by pillars of 
red marble, generally supposed porphyry. Before the sanctuary 
are two octagonal pilasters, of the same material, and four smaller 
pillars of marble support the dome of the holy recess. The Monks, 
who before had had some dealings with Demetrius as a painter, 
consulted him, in my presence, about a scheme they had in view, 
of taking down these marble pillars,and supplying their place with 
four of wood. These, they observed, would better bear and dis- 
play the gilding, with which they intended to adorn the whole 
interior of the building!!! The pillars are of a size that shows 
they must have been taken from some remains near the spot; and 
in a grove a little below the monastery there is a grotto and a 
bath, apparently ancient and perhaps belonging to some chapel 
sacred to one of the deities of Cithaeron, from which the marbles 
may have been removed to the church of Meletius. There is a 
sepulchral inscription on a stone inserted in the wall on one side 
the church door. 

It seems that the ancient, as well as the modern Greeks, were 



LITTER XXIX. 



465 



fond of fixing their habitations in the highest accessible spots on 
the sides of their mountains, consulting at the same time their 
health and their security. The latter object has been par- 
ticularly attended to by the Monks, who, at the same time that 
they have selected almost every beautiful spot, either in the val- 
lies, or on the slopes of woody hills, for the site of their unnum- 
bered monasteries, have also fixed some of these holy retreats on 
the very peaks of the highest rocks, whither it does not appear 
how it was possible to convey materials for erecting their cells. 

There is amongst the ranges of Mezzo vo, or Pindus, at no 
great distance from a han, called Kokouliotiko, the supposed site 
of Gomphi*, a high rock with nine summits, called Meteora, 
and on each of these peaks, which are in a cluster together, is a 
small monastery. Meteora, being in the road leading from Ioan- 
nina to Triccala and Larissa, the Monks of these aerial habitations 
have contrived to secure themselves from all surprises, or unwel- 
come visitants, by cutting down those ridges of their rocks by 
which they first ascended them, arid all the monasteries are now 
perfectly inaccessible. The Monks who leave the society for the 
sake of purchasing provisions, or on other necessary occasions, 
^re let down from the summits of the mountain in baskets, to the 
highest landing-place, perhaps a hundred feet below, and, on 
their return, are drawn up into the monasteries by the same con- 
trivance. 

One may surely be at a loss to guess what charms life can have 
for a caloyer of Meteora, a prisoner on the ridge of a bare rock. 
Security is not acceptable on such conditions. Yet, from amongst 



* Lelter vi. p, 62, 



m 



LETTER XX[X. 



the varieties of human conduct, we may collect other instances of 
voluntary privations equally unaccountable, and produced, inde- 
pendent of habit or constraint, by original eccentricity of mind. 
A Monk of St. Meletius, sitting with one or two others of his 
order in my cell, and taking a glass or two of rossogiio, which we 
usually carried with us in our canteen, confessed to me, that he 
never had in his life felt an inclination to change his place, and 
having from his childhood belonged to the monastery, had sel- 
dom wandered beyond its precincts : " For four years," said he, 
" I have not gone farther from the gate than the grotto in the 
grove, and perhaps another four years may pass before I go down 
into the plain. I am not fond of travelling, yet some of us pre- 
fer being abroad, and Hadji there has been to Jerusalem; for 
myself, I do not wish to remove from this spot, and would not 
o-o even to one of the farms of our monastery/' 

The Monk who spoke was one-and-twenty years of age, in the 
bloom of health. Hadji, or the saint who had made the pil- 
grimage, assured me, that the young man had spoken the truth, 
and added besides, that he was as ignorant as an infant, whispering 
something in my ear, which was a decisive proof of his innocence. 
The same pilgrim, a shrewd young fellow, seeing my surprise, con- 
tinued to declare, that the propensity of this young Monk to re- 
main for ever on the mountain, was singular, but not so singular 
as the bent and disposition of some others whom he had known. 
" There is," he added, " a caloyer of our monastery, who seldom 
speaks to any of us, and is never in his cell, except during a few- 
hours in the night. The whole of his time is passed with our 
oxen, which he tends, and to which he has taken such a fancy, 
that he will suffer neither beast nor man, not even one of us, to 



H^^l 



LETTER XXIX. 



467 



approach their pasture, but drives away the intruder with stones. 
He will not let any other herdsman assist him in attending the 
cattle, and our abbot humours his inclination, which every day 
grows more violent/' 

We have read of the Boskoi, or grazing saints, who once swarmed 
over the plains of Mesopotamia; but it does not appear that those 
fanatics lived with the herds like my monk of St. Meletius, or 
afforded quite so strange an example of the follies and madnesses 
liable to arise amongst members of a community, associated on 
principles contrary to common sense, and regulated according to 
a system in direct opposition to the general habits and nature of 



man, 



LETTER XXX. 

Route from St. Melctius to the Ruins of Plataa, at Cockli — 
Gifto-Castro — CEnoe — Pass of Cithceron — Parasopia — The 
Positions of the Armies at the Battle of Platcea — Doubts re- 
specting the Numbers who fought against the Greeks — Route 
from St. Meletius to Megara — by Koimdouri—Pass in the 
Mountains — Arrival at Megara — The Derveni Choria — The 
Town and Inhabitants of Megara — Return by Eleusis to 
Athens — General View of the District of Attica, and of the 
Peasants settled in the Villages. 

EARLY in the morning of the I lth of February, 
the Monks, as they were requested, roused my party, presenting 
me at the same time with a small piece of consecrated bread, the 
remainder of what had been used for the mass which they had 
celebrated at the dawn of day. The baggage was left at the mo- 
nastery, and the surgee and Vasilly accompanied me on a visit 
to the ruins of Plataea, close to a village whose name is Cockli, 
on the other side, the north, of Cithaeron. 

Having with some difficulty descended the hills, we got into a 
long valley, called the plain of the Calivia of Koundouri, the 
name of a large village in the vicinity. This plain, which is 
partly a green pasture, and partly cultivated and divided into 
corn-fields and vineyards, extends westwards for perhaps eight or 



LETTER Χ XX. 



469 



nine miles ; and near the extremity of it, under an amphitheatre 
of woody hills, is a village called Villa. It corresponds in every 
respect with the small territory which belonged anciently to Eleu- 
therae, and was attached first to Boeotia, but afterwards to Attica. 

Travelling on in this valley to i\fe west for two hours, we turned 
off into a pass between the hills, on the right, in order to cross 
the mountain Cithaeron, and thus got into the line of road which 
was anciently the only route from Thebes to Megara. A path 
across the hills near Villa, to the south-west, was that leading 
directly from the isthmus, and the one by which the Lacedemo- 
nian army marched from the Peloponesus, and penetrated through 
the Eleusinian territory into Attica. 

Immediately on entering the pass, we saw, on a rocky brow to 
the right, the remains of an ancient fortress, consisting of five 
low towers, and a strong wall running a quarter of a mile, per- 
haps, round nearly the whole summit of the rock. 

I cannot but suppose these to be the remains of (Enoe, the 
strong frontier town between Attica and Bceotia, which was be- 
sieged by the Spartan General in the first year of the Pelopone- 
sian war*. There were two towns of this name in Attica; one 
belonging to the district Tetrapolis, near Marathon, of the tribe 
iEantis ; the other, that which we saw, near Eleutherae, and of 
the tribe Hippothoontis. 

The ruins, I know not why, are now called Gifto-Castro, 
or the Gipsies' Tower. There are no traces of any houses 
within the circuit of the fortifications ; but the towers and walls 
are remarkably entire, and convey a very correct notion of 
what, according to the system of Greek warfare, was the most 



* 



...Oli/on ovtrx Iv μ&οριοις της Ατπκηί κα» Βοιωτίας ΙτίΤίί^7Τ9 3 &d— 
Tbucyd. Hist. lib. ii. cap. 18. 

3 Ρ 



470 



LETTER XXX. 



effectual method of fortifying a town. A wall built round the 
summit of a rock, would, it must seem, be the first kind of strong 
place invented, and the addition of towers would be the next im- 
provement, and one with which the engineers of antiquity would 
be likely to be satisfied, as entirely sufficient for all the purposes of 
defence. The Spartans were considered as the most inexpert of 
all the Greeks, in the besieging of towns; and the army of Archi- 
damus, though furnished with engines and other means of attack, 
failed to reduce this place ; which, however, was no great proof of 
their want of skill ; for CEnoe was by no means, as a late writer*, 
before referred to, asserts, a trifling fort, but one as well qualified 
to resist attack as could well be constructed. From the towers 
which remain, and which are square, it appears that these parts 
of the work were not raised at equal distances from each other, but 
at every point where the nature of the ground required an angle 
in the walls. They are not much higher than a man, and will 
not contain more than two persons standing upright. 

A little farther up the pass, beyond the ruins of CEnoe, is a foun- 
tain erected b^some benevolent 'Furkj who> according to usual nrac- 
tice, has recordpd his generosity in golden letters on the stone above 
the spring : it is called Petroyracke. In twenty minutes after 
this, we left the road leading to Thebes towards the north-north- 
east, whose highest point was once called Τρ^ς Κεφάλα), the Three 
Heads, and struck into a rough mountain track, continually ascend- 
ing, to the north-west. We were half an hour in this direction 



* Dc Pauw, sec. 8, torn. i. A circumstance which occurred after the battle 
of Platxa, is a much stronger proof of the incapacity of the Spartan in this 
respect, which, indeed, was a part of their discipline. They were unable to 
force the wooden intrenchment of the Persian camp, until the Athenians came 
up to their assistance. 



LETTER XXX. 



471 



before we got to the top of this ridge of Cithaeron, when we had 
at once a view of the plains of Boeotia. The minaret of one of 
the moscks of Thebes was visible, peeping above the low mounds 
to the south of that city: Zagari, or Helicon, was to the west- 
north-west, and Liakura, or Parnassus, was just apparent, rising 
into the sky at the northern extremities of Helicon ; Cithaeron* 
ranged onwards as far as the eye could reach to the west ; the 
green plains of Plataea, the scene of the great battle that esta- 
blished the liberties of Greece, were lying directly below, rather 
to the left, and a fine open country, the ancient Parasopia, and 
the district belonging to the city Erythra3, extended under the 
foot of the hills to the right. The river Asopus divided into two 
branches, which, uniting, form a long island, once called Oeroe, 
opposite to Plataea, not half a mile in breadth, was seen winding 
through the whole of this large flat. 

I shall endeavour to give you an account of the positions, with 
a reference to the battle*. Descending the hill for ten minutes, 
you have on your right a small village, Calivi, at the foot of the 
hills. This was the second position of the Greeks, who, march- 
ing from TCrythrae along the roots of Cithaeron, and passing 
Hysiae, into the Plataean territory -j-, placed themselves on that 
spot to prevent the Persians from penetrating into Attica or the 
Peloponesus, by the great road from Thebes through the pass 
of ΤρεΤς Κίραλα», which, just beyond Calivi, is seen, looking like the 
bed of a torrent, running through a chasm in the hills. 

Calivi is one hour and a half from Plataea. Not far from the 



* Mr. Barbie du Boccnge's plan, in Anacharsis, of these positions, seems 
entirely wrong. He has put the pass of Τρεκ Κεφαλχι to the west, instead of to 
f lie east, of Plataea. 

+ Herod. Calliope, cap. 25. 

3p2 



472 



LETTER XXX. 



village, half a mile below in the plain, near a solitary house, is 
a spring, with great probability the same which supplied the 
fountain Gargaphia, the very spot where the Greeks were en- 
camped. About a mile to the north-west of the fountain, the two 
branches of the Asopus reunite. Sloping to the westward down 
the sides of the mountain, a little more than a mile beyond Calivi, 
you come to a rivulet flowing down a ravin ; and on a hillock 
above, you see some large stones disposed into a square. It is 
impossible to doubt, but that the rivulet is the Molo'is, to which 
the Lacedemonians retired, at the same time that the Athenians 
passed into the plain towards the island Oeroe, and the confe- 
derates to the walls of Plata?a, near the Temple of Juno : the 
stones on the hillock may be the remains of the chapel of the 
Eleusinian Ceres. This position is half a mile up the sides of 
Cithaeron, on very uneven marshy ground. The whole force of 
the Persians crossing the Asopus and the plain near Gargaphia, 
ascended the roots of the mountain, and brought the Lacedemo- 
nians to action on the banks of the Molo'is. The Greek allies of 
the Persians went; into the plain, and were there routed by the 
Athenians. 

Continuing for another mile, still along the sides of the moun- 
tain, you arrive at a small remain, similar to that above the rivu- 
let, and which may be the vestiges, either of the Temple of Juno 
Cithaeronia, or the heroic monument of the Plataeans who were 
slain in the battle. 

In less than half a mile beyond, but downwards towards the 
plain, you meet with the first remains, on this side, of the walls 
of Plataea. The path leads under these, and, passing a fountain, 
takes you round a kind of terrace, surrounded in many parts with 
the walls of the ancient city. The size of Plataea may be computed 



LETTER XXX. 



473 



exactly by what is left of these walls, whose circuit seems to have 
been about a mile. Very large stones, apparently part of the 
foundations of houses, are scattered upon the area of the terrace, 
but there are no marble remains. This terrace is directly under 
the highest summits of Citheeron, which in this spot impend in 
woody precipices over the site of the city. The ground above 
the ruins is very rugged and steep, and the pine-forests advance 
within a short distance of the plain. When we visited the place, the 
summits of the mountain were capped with clouds of snow which 
formed a fine contrast with the dark woods beneath. 

In a niche of the hills, to the west of the site of Platsea, is the 
village of Cockli, containing a few wretched huts. Beyond is a 
small plain, running west-south-west, bounded to the south by the 
range of Citheeron, and to the north by some low hills, separating 
it from the plain of Thespiae*. This I should suppose to be the 
pass anciently called the Straits of Plataea, through which lay the 
road to Leuctra. Nearly opposite Cockli, there is a small bridge 
over one of the branches of the Asopus, a very insignificant 
stream. The land in the island Oeroe, near this bridge, is high 
and rugged, and the point where the river divides itself into two 
branches is not visible from Cockli. 

Notwithstanding the circumstantial account, and the particular 
enumeration of the forces of the two nations engaged in the battle, 
given by Herodotus, no traveller who has seen the scene of action, 
which is to this day recognizable by most undoubted signs, can 
fail to suspect the Grecian historian of some exaggeration. The 
whole conflict must have taken place on a triangular space, bounded 
by the road from Thebes into the pass of Cithaeron, five miles, 
the base of Cithaeron three miles, and the road from Platsea to 

* Wheler, book vi. p. 475. 



474 



LETTER XXX. 



Thebes, six miles. The Greeks were one hundred and ten thou- 
sand; the Persians, with their confederates, three hundred and 
fifty thousand. But the most severe part of the action, and in which, 
reckoning both Lacedemonians and Persians, nearly three hun- 
dred and fifty thousand troops were engaged, was fought on the 
ravin, in marshy steep ground amongst the hills, where, notwith- 
standing the account informs us that the cavalry of Mardonius 
were the most active, it seems difficult to believe that a single 
squadron of horse could have manoeuvred. 

From Cargaphia to the Molois is but little more than a mile, 
and, according to the historian, the whole of this immense body 
fought in less than that space, for Mardonius advanced into the 
hills to encounter Pausanias. I should fancy that such an extent 
of ground would not contain such numbers, although ranged in 
the deepest order of which the ancient tactics allowed ; and the 
Persians did not advance in any order at all, but confusedly *. 
The fifty thousand allies of Mardonius and the Athenians might 
have fought in the plain between the Asopus and the foot of the 
hill, which, however, according to modern tactics, would not 
admit of even that number of troops to engage. 

It does not appear that any part of the action, except the 
forcing the Persian camp, took place beyond the Asopus, so that 
not half of the space above mentioned was occupied by the troops 
of either party during the action. In short, it is impossible to 
reconcile the positions with the detailed account transmitted to us 
by the Greeks of this immortal victory : yet an ingenious anti- 
quarian would do much towards such an object, and volumes of 
controversy might be produced on both sides of the question. 



* * 



Ουτί χόσμω wfm γ.οσμγ&ίντις, ούτε τάξ•.— Herod. Call. cap. 59. 



LETTER XXX. 



475 



Lest it may appear sacrilege to entertain doubts which must 
diminish the lustre of Grecian heroism, I beg you to recollect, 
that even the more sober page of Latin history has been occa- 
sionally viewed with the eye of scepticism, particularly in Italy, 
on the scene of some of the exploits of the earlier Romans. 
Tome after tome has been ushered into the world on such dis- 
puted points, and one large quarto, the work of a learned anti- 
quary, is occupied solely in treating of the Caudine Forks. The 
daring mendacity of the Grecian annals, became proverbial 
amongst the Romans, who supposed that this ingenious people 
owed much of their martial fame to their poets, rhetoricians, and 
historians, whose eulogies, and whose records, first of all, per- 
haps, only flattered their vanity, but by degrees appeared well- 
founded, and obtained every credit amongst a people who were 
interested m believing them to be just and impartial. The war- 
riors of Italy, after some acquaintance with the merits of the 
Greeks, were willing to pay all respect to their artists, and to 
their writers; they were content to become their pupils; but 
having found their soldiers unable to check them for a moment 
in the career of victory; and, indeed, having beheld their most 
famous states previously enslaved by foreign tyrants, and the sup- 
pliants, rather than the antagonists of Rome, they could with diffi- 
culty entertain any exalted notion of their military prowess. The 
examples which the Roman youth were directed to study, by day 
and by night, were the writings, not the actions of the Greeks: 
yet, to the latest ages, the natives of this illustrious country con- 
sidered their ancestors as affording models of the highest excel- 
lence, not only in the arts of peace, but of war, and as worthy 
of being ranked with those conquerors who had subdued the 
world. With what triumph does the great author of the Parallels 



476 



LETTER XXX, 



attribute the glory of Athens to the exploits of her heroes, rather 
than to the genius of her writers. " This it was," exclaims the 
exulting Chaeronean, " that raised the state to glory, this raised 
" her to greatness; for this, Pindar calls Athens the prop of 
" Greece; not that she roused the Greeks by the tragedies of 
" her Phrynicus and her Thespis, but that the sons of the Athe- 
" nians first at Artemisium, (such is his expression), laid the 
" splendid foundation of liberty ; and at Salamis, at Mycale, at 
" Plataea, having established in adamantine security the freedom 
" of Greece, transmitted it to the rest of mankind */' 

The author of this panegyric is, however, obliged to confess, in 
another place -f, that in his time, the whole of Greece could hardly 
furnish three thousand fighting men ; a number that, according to 
ancient history, was once supplied by Megara alone. 

There seems no way of accounting for the large armies brought 
into the field by the Greeks during their civil wars, except by 
supposing that every man capable of bearing arms was occasion- 
ally a soldier. By what other means could the Thebans arm 
seventy thousand troops to fight the Lacedemonians? When 
Justin J lays down the number of soldiers which could be arrayed 

* Ταύτα την πολιν ηγειρεν εις So^xv, ταύτα εις μέγεθος, εν τούτο*; ΤΙινίχρος εμισμν, 
της Έλλαίο; προσειπε τα? Αθήνας, ουχ ο'τι τακ Φρυνίχου τρχγΐύίιχις χχι Θεστηίος 
ωρ&ουν τους Έλληνας, αλλ' ότι -πρώτον (wc φησιν αυτό;) ιπ Αρτεμκπίύ πχώες Α$η-. 
νχιων εβχλοντο φαεινών κρητη^ ελευ%ηριχς } επι τε Σαλα^αν» και Μυκάλη κα» Πλα- 
τχιχις ωτπερ χδχμχντινοι στκριζ,χντες ελευ^εριχν της Έλλχϊος πχρε$ο<τχν τοις χλλοις 
κν^ρωποις*. — Plut. ττοτερον Α$ενχιοι κατά πολεμον. κ. τ. λ. Reiske edit. vol. vii. 
p. 379. 

t Essay on the Failure of the Oracles. 

\ Lib. ix. cap. 5. 

* The words quoted are not in that part of Pindar's works which remain. 



ιΐΐ ίίίΐΐιϊνιΐνΐ^^^*^^^^*^^ 



LETTER XXX. 



477 



in the time of Philip of Macedon, by the whole Grecian confede- 
racy, without reckoning Laconia, at two hundred thousand infantry 
and fifteen thousand cavalry, he must, as Mr. Hume, in the essay 
before quoted, has observed, be understood to allude to all those 
who could bear arms. In truth, the heavy armed were, properly 
speaking, the only regular soldiers, and the light troops, as it 
appears from the most ancient details of battles, were considered 
as attendants upon the great effective force. 

In the battle of Platsea there were seven helots, with the requi- 
site accoutrements attached to every Spartan*, and about one 
light-armed soldier to each individual of the other troops, making 
in the whole sixty-nine thousand five hundred of this kind of 
force; many more than half of the whole confederate army. 
Thus we may feel inclined to credit the statement of the numbers 
of the Greek forces said to be engaged in their famous battles, 
but must be allowed to doubt a little with respect to the myriads 
of the Barbarians, which, on the evidence of their own writers, 
they are generally believed to have overthrown. 

The different amounts of the Persian army who fought at Ma- 
rathon, as transmitted to us by various authorities, are of them- 
selves sufficient to justify such an incredulity. But I will con- 
clude these hints, which were suggested by a view of the Plataean 
plains, and return to the monastery of St. Meletius. 

The day after my visit to the ruins of Plataea, we set out for 
Megara, going first down the mountain, through thick woods of 
evergreens into the plain. Crossing this, we got into the public 
road leading from Thebes to Athens, Megara, and the Morea, 



* Herod. Call. cap. 28 et 29. 
3 Q 



478 



LETTER XXX. 



and in an hour came to where a path branched οίϊ to the left, 
towards the first of those places, through Eleusis. In half an 
hour from this point, going over low, bare hills, we passed Koun- 
douri, a considerable village on the top and sides of a hillock 
under a mountain to the south-west, and not shaded by a single 
tree. Thence we began to ascend, and travelled through pine- 
forests for an hour and a half, until we had gained the brow of 
the mountain. 

Looking back from this spot, we had a view of the monastery 
of St. Meletius, and found we had gone in a south-south-westerly 
direction. Here the road divides, one branch of it to the right, 
towards the Isthmus, across the high mountains called the Der- 
veni, the other more to the south-west, to Megara. We de- 
scended a winding path, and now and then, through openings in 
the woods, caught a view of the Athenian plain and Mount Pen- 
tehcus to the left in the distance, and the country about Eleusis 
nearer to us in the same quarter. 

In a little time we passed one of the stations of the guard which 
is kept throughout the mountains bordering on the Isthmus. 
Eight or ten stout young men were smoking in a hut made of 
green branches; one of them brought us a jug of water, the usual 
present, and another, slinging his gun across his shoulder, was 
preparing to attend us, but was dismissed with a small piece of" 
money by Vasilly, who declared we had no occasion for his ser- 
vices, there being no robbers in all the district. 

This guard was just at the mouth of a very narrow pass between 
two perpendicular rocks, one of which, on the right hand, dis- 
played a huge rent, like a long cavern, in its side. When we 
entered the pass, we had travelled four hours from the monastery. 



LETTER XXX. 



479 



and we then went directly south-west, still amongst woods of ever- 
greens and fragrant shrubs, with occasional glimpses of the sea and 
the castle of Megara. Issuing in about an hour more from the hills 
and forests, we came at last upon an open cultivated plain, and 
turning westward, arrived in another hour at the town of Megara, 
where we took up our lodging for the night. 

Megara contains a thousand houses, only six hundred of which 
are inhabited, rather of a mean construction, many of them being 
built of mud, and all of them having low flat roofs. It is situated 
on two narrow ridges of a low eminence; on the top of that to 
the west, on which the principal number of houses stand, is a 
large square tower, and on the other, a windmill. The surround- 
ing plain is extensive, twenty miles perhaps in circumference, 
being bounded to the south by the line of coast running west from 
the port once named Nisaea, now Dodeca Ecclesiais, (which is 
small, and of the shape of a horse-shoe, two miles from the city), 
to the north by a long chain of circling mountains, now the Long 
Mountains, Macriplayi, branching off north-westward from the 
hills of Kerata towards the western extremities of Cithseron and 
the bay of Livadostro, and on the south-west by a very high 
range of hills, resting on the extremities of the northern moun- 
tains, formerly Gerania, and now called Derveni Vouni, or the 
Mountain of the Guard. The declivities of the hills named Ke- 
rata, or the Horns, are the north-eastern and eastern boundary 
of the plain. Near the port is a hillock, with a tower on the top 
of it, the site of the citadel of Nisaea ; and there is a small green 
island at the mouth of the harbour, the Minoa of the ancients. 

The whole of the Megaris is now frequently called Derveni, 
from a singular policy of the Turks, who have constituted all the 

3q2 



480 



LETTER XXX. 



population of this mountainous district, inhabiting seven towns, 
called Derveni Choria, of which Megara is the largest, and 
Koundouri the next in size, into an armed guard, to prevent the 
egress of any unpermitted persons from the Morea through the 
Isthmus. There is in the road through the mountains a perpetual 
guard, but every cottage and all the solitary monasteries are sup- 
plied with guns, and on the least alarm, which is easily communi- 
cated by smokes and fires on the summits of the hills, the whole 
of the Megaris, from the Isthmus to the passes of Cithaeron, is in 
a state of defence. 

About forty years ago, a large body of six or seven thousand 
Albanians, who had been called in to drive the Russians from the 
Morea, endeavoured to retire with their plunder, against the 
orders of the Pasha of Tripolizza. The alarm was given to the 
Derveniotes, so they are called, and every path and outlet being 
instantly occupied by the Greek peasants, who were happy 
enough to be employed against Albanians and Turks, very few of 
the fugitives escaped ; many were killed by the Monks of St. Me- 
letius, endeavouring to fly through the unfrequented tracks of 
Cithaeron between the two roads from Thebes to Athens. 

Ten years ago a similar attempt was made by a hundred and 
fihy Albanian Turks, who were dissatisfied with the pay of the 
Pasha of the Morea, and not one of them escaped, ten being 
killed, and the remainder sent in chains to Tripolizza. 

This institution has succeeded completely; and such is the vigi- 
lance, courage, and honesty of these Greeks, that a snuff-box 
lost in their mountains would be probably very soon recovered. 
The Derveniotes seem to be a superior race to any other of the 
Greek peasantry; the putting arms into their hands, and taking 



■ϋ 



LETTER XXX. 



481 



away almost all the controul of their masters from before their 
eyes, (for they are under the command of the Capudan Pasha, 
or High Admiral, and have only one Turk amongst them, 
called the Derven-Aga), have given them the erect gait and air of 
freemen. The greater part of them are sprung from Albanian 
settlers, but all are acquainted with the Romaic language, and 
by a long establishment in the country, have adopted all the feel- 
ing and prejudices of the Greeks. The decided superiority which 
their knowledge of the country must always, and has given them 
over any opponents, has naturally raised their notions of their 
own prowess to a great height, and they speak of the ferocious 
Turk and the martial Albanian with contempt. Although at pre- 
sent in the service of the Porte, and exempted from part of the 
burdens to which the Greeks are subject, paying only one hun- 
dred paras a man for haratch* or capitation tax, yet they com- 
plain of being obliged to give quarters to the people in the service 
of the Pashas of the Morea, when passing through their country; 
and it is easy to see that the Derveniotes would be a most for- 
midable instrument in the hands of any power who might attempt 
to revolutionize European Turkey. Their whole number, that is, 
all those amongst them capable of carrying arms, was stated to 
me, though I believe somewhat loosely, at three thousand; a 
body certainly sufficient to prevent the Morea from affording, or 
receiving, any supplies, in case of a general insurrection of the 
Greeks. Besides, the Derveni Choria, two or three of the vil- 
lages of Attica are considered as forming part of the guard ; 
this is the case with Casha, and the Albanian peasantry of that 
district are reckoned more courageous and spirited than those of 
other parts of the country. 



482 



LETTER XXX. 



Megara retains no vestiges of its ancient importance, except 
some pieces of wall, just visible above the surface of the earth at 
the back of the hills ; yet many sepulchral and other inscriptions, 
and some fragments of carved marbles, are to be seen in the wall:• of 
the church and of some of the houses. All the inscriptions have 
been copied, and four of them taken down by Wheler are also 
given in Meletius, and a collation of the two authorities shows 
the incorrectness of the Romaic geographer*. Three headless 
statues of females are in possession of a priest, who removed them 
from a ruin on the road between the town and the port, where 
they were seen by an English traveller in 1738. Pieces of marble 
are found in such quantity amongst the rubbish, particularly on 
the hill of the tower, that the women of Megara, many of them, 
grind their corn on a flat slab of it, making use of a large roller 
of the same material to crush the grains and reduce them to flour. 
In the flat below the eminence on the north side of it, is a 
fountain, with some fragments of marble near it, half buried in 
the earth. This spring is conjectured to have been within the cir- 
cuit of the ancient city, and sacred to the nymphs called Sith- 
nides. The modern well has lately been filled up by the male 
inhabitants, who accuse the water of having some properties 
productive of an inclination to incontinence in their wives and 
daughters. The females of Megara seem therefore to be rather 
of a mixed reputation, which was, if I recollect right, the charac- 
ter of the ancient Greek ladies of this town. 

* Sabina, the wife of Hadrian, is, in Meletius, ΣαβελΗκ, and tbe word 
Παχυλοί, in one of the dedicatory inscriptions, which gave rise to the doubts 
of Wheler, is changed for ΥΙχμφιλος in the Geography. 



m 



......... 



ΜΗ 



LETTER XXX. 



48ί 



Tins place, forirerly almost deserted on account of ihe fre- 
quent incursions of pirates, and burnt by the Venetians in 1687, 
appears for several years to have been increasing in size. In 
1738 there were only a hundred houses, and Chandler talks of 
it as a miserable village. The richness of the soil in the sur- 
rounding plain abounding in vineyards and cotton grounds, but 
chiefly with large tracks of corn land, has, however, drawn toge- 
ther an increase of population ; and the vacant houses at Megara 
will, it is probable, be gradually occupied by fresh inhabitants. 

AVe staid but one night at Megara, and then left it to re- 
turn by Eleusis to Athens ; a short ride of a few hours if per- 
formed without baggage-horses, and, according to the longest 
computation, only twenty-seven miles in length : I was only five 
hours on the journey, leaving the attendants behind as soon as 
we passed Eleusis. — The Athenian generals, who were sworn to 
invade the territories of Megara twice a year, bound themselves 
to no very arduous or protracted enterprise, but one which, it 
seems, might be performed any day betwixt the hour of break- 
fast and dinner. 

The extreme diminutiveness of Greece, a fact so often alluded 
to, may make some readers suspect that they, and the rest of the 
world, have fixed their admiration upon a series of petty and in- 
significant actions, scarcely worthy of a detail, or of finding a 
place amongst the histories of empires ; but others will only feel 
an increase of esteem and respect for a people, whose transcend ant 
genius and virtue could give an interest and importance to events 
transacted upon so inconsiderable a spot of earth. Greece Pro- 
per scarcely contained more space than the kingdom of Naples 
occupied formerly on the continent of Italy, and Sicily is consi- 



484 



LETTER XXX. 



dered as large as Feloponesus*. Alcibiades might well be at a loss 
to find, not only Attica, but even Greece itself, in a map of the 
world ; yet the history of mankind refers for many ages to little else 
than the affairs of this indiscernible portion of the globe, and what is 
said of the Barbarians, is generally introduced only to complete and 
illustrate the Grecian annals. Thus, in the early Greek writers, 
we find not a single mention of the Romans ; a silence that has had 
the effect with many young students, of inducing them to believe, 
that the history of the former nation begins about where the most 
important part of that of the latter terminates; it does not at first 
enter into their heads, that any of the great men of the two coun- 
tries were cotemporaries, and the exploits of Camillus and Epa- 
minondas are not supposed to have been performed in the same 
age. They are, to be sure, at once set right by a view of the 
Chronological Chart ; but old impressions are only corrected, not 
altogether effaced, and are apt, in spite of conviction, to regain 
at times their former influence. 

The exclusive attention of the more ancient Greek authors to 
the antiquities of their own nation, and their general inattention 
to and ignorance of every thing relative to other countries not im- 
mediately connected with themselves, afforded the antagonist of 
Apion a good deal of room to display his ingenious acrimony. It 
is not without some triumph that Josephus cites the historian Epko- 
rus, as having supposed Spain to be a single cityf . 

Even after the Romans had forced this people to acknowledge 
that thev were not the only warriors in the world, and had perform- 
ed exploits which they might condescend to record with an Hel- 

* D'Anville's Geog. article Greece. 

i Josephus, book i. in answer to Apion. 



LETTER XXX. 



485 



lenic pen, they still appear to have thought that they had a just 
claim to a monopoly of all the wit and learning of mankind. The 
influence their arms had been unable to obtain, was established 
by their language, i: whose empire was spread from the Adriatic 
to the Euphrates." They seem to pay no attention to the daily 
incense offered them by their conquerors and pupils. " There is 
not, I believe," says the author whose words I have quoted above, 
" from Dionysius to Libanius, a single Greek critic who mentions 
Virgil or Horace; tiey seem ignorant that the Romans had any 
good writers*." 

I will now give our route from Megara towards Athens, as 
far as Eleusis. The road was, for the first hour and a half, 
towards the south-east, inclining to the shore, chiefly through 
low woods of evergreens ; it then took us more to the eastward, 
and wound under hills close to the water, still leading through 
green forests. The hills are ranges of the mountain Kerata, and 
the two tops are visible at a distance to the north-east. In 
another hour and a half the path passes round a bay, where 
there is a solitary cottage and a boat-shed. From this place 
the tower above Eleusis is in sight, and the tongue of land 
forming the south-western extremity of the bay of Eleusis, is 
seen stretching before you into the sea : Salamis appears close 
to this point, and closing up the wide mouth of the bay. From 
this spot travellers ascend the extremities of the mountain Ke- 
rata, and passing at the back (the west) of the tower of Eleusis, 
come, in an hour, into part of the plain of Eleusis, at the foot 
of the mountain. 



* Decline and Fall, vol. ii. p. 4S. 
3 R 



486 



LETTER XXX. 



From the back of the tower the path leads through a green 
valley, on a slope between low hills, until it arrives in the open 
country. A spring is still to be seen in this valley ; this is the 
Flowery Well where Ceres reposed, and the valley is the Rharian 
plain. The path to Athens then strikes off over the Thriasian 
plain, leaving the village of Eleusis to the right, and passing 
through the ruins of the aqueduct. 

Were it not for the conjectures of former travellers, and the 
power put into every one's hands, who is in possession of a Pau- 
sanias, of indulging in the same pleasing speculations, travelling in 
modern Greece would be an irksome and unsatisfactory labour. 

The weather, from my departure on the 8th to my return 
on the 13th of February, had been very favourable ; though, 
according to report, there had been a violent storm of rain at 
Athens on the 10th. The 14th was very hot, and the sky 
quite clear; the 15th seemed intolerably sultry, and a few dark 
vapours were seen collecting round the brows of the moun- 
tains; the next day was equally hot, and the tops of Parnes were 
enveloped in heavy motionless clouds. At half after eleven at 
night, as I was writing the substance of this letter in our little 
sitting-room at Athens, and my fellow-traveller, better employed, 
was sitting opposite to me, a noise, like the rushing of a torrent, 
suddenly roused our attention : the dead stillness of the night 
rendered every sound more unexpected and more distinct ; the 
branches of the lemon-trees ih the court-yard shook " without a 
wind f* and instantly afterwards the door of our chamber swung 
open, and the whole building began to totter. At this moment 
one of the servants rushed into the room, and exclaimed, that 
the house was falling! The shaking, however, was but gentle, 



JLETTER XXX. 



487 



and did hoc last more thain two seconds, having been more alarm- 
ing in its approach :han dangerous in its consequences. We after- 
wards learnt that :his earthquake had thrown down several hun- 
dred houses at Caneain C;andia, and we ourselves saw some effects 
of its violence amongst the ruins of Alexandria Troas. 

I have now done my best to make you acquainted with modern 
Attica, as well as with the country immediately adjacent; and in 
this review I have made mention of all the small towns, together 
with the number of houses; they are supposed to contain, in order 
to furnish some clue towards computing the present population of 
the country. 

Besides the villages before enumerated, the number of whose 
habitations, taken altogether, do not quite amount to two 
thousand, it should be understood, that there are, perhaps, as 
many as fifty hamlets of ten, twenty, and thirty cottages, which, 
together with the monasteries, may add between seven and eight 
hundred houses to the former number. According to this com- 
putation, Athens and modern Attica may be supposed to contain 
about twenty-five thousand five hundred inhabitants of all ages 
and sexes. 

The ancient territory consisted of two hundred and fifty square 
miles ; but the district now belonging to the city is somewhat 
smaller, as it is bounded to the north by Briles3us, and not by 
the Asopus, and as the valley before described, once attached to 
Eleutherae, is now part of the Derveni-Choria. Yet this deduc- 
tion from the extent is not considerable enough to be even men- 
tioned in comparing the present and ancient population, which, 
according to the most moderate reckoning, was at least two hun- 
dred and eighty-four thousand : Athenseus, indeed, in his Deip- 

3r2 



488 



LETTER XXX. 



nosophist, has put down the slaves alone at four hundred thou- 
sand ; a number which, as it may be supposed to include all 
those who were found in Attica, and who worked the triremes 
and merchant vessels of the republic, may not appear such an 
enormous exaggeration, as it has been alleged to be by our phi- 
losophical historian*. When Mr. Hume conjectured that a 
cypher had been accidentally added to the original sum, be must, 
if he spoke literally, have not reflected at the moment, that the 
modern representations of numbers are not found in the text of 
Greek books -j-•. It is not impossible, however, that forty may 
have been written instead of jour myriads. 

rN early all the villages of Attica are under the subjection of the 
Waiwode of Athens, and contribute to his revenue. The only ex- 
ceptions are Menithi, half of which furnishes a tax for the mainte- 
nance of a certain number of spahis, or cavalry soldiers, for the 
service of the Imperial armies ; Charootika, which belongs to a 
mosck at Constantinople ; and Spatha, which is part of the por- 
tion of one of the Sultanas. 

The peasants living in each of these small towns, are, as before 
mentioned, a distinct race from the Greeks, being all occupied 
in cultivating the ground, tending the flocks, collecting the gall- 
nut, and felling the timber in the mountains. They are of a 
hardy constitution, and a robust make, and patient both of hunger 
and fatigue; their manners are extremely simple; and being con- 



* Essay on the Popnlousness of Ancient Nations. 

t Sec Note E. e. to vol. ii. of Brougham's Colonial Policy, where this ob- 
servation is made, in a comment on Hume, the general argument of which I 
have been unable entirely to understand — but, in such cases, the fault may be 
on the side of the writer or of the reader. 



LETTER XXX. 



489 



tent with their own cottages, like Virgil's shepherd, they consider 
the city of the Faithful itself by no means superior to their own 
country town. 

A peasant of Casha, returning from Constantinople, was over- 
heard to complain to a friend — " AVhat a place is that city ! I 
wanted to get some of our sandals and shoe-thongs there, and 
they had none ; and as tor faggots, charcoal, and pitch, our town 
has ten times as much!" — There is in some parts of their beha* 
viour a singularity quite ludicrous in the eyes of a stranger. You 
shall have one scene from the life, although the humour is lost without 
printing the manner as well as the conversation of the party. A 
Greek, on his way to Athens, overtakes a peasant driving his 
little horse loaded with fire-wood. " How much do you ask for 
those faggots?" says he. "Twenty paras."—" Ill give you fif- 
teen." The man never looks- up, but, addressing himself to his 
beast, says, " It won t do, it won t do ; go on." — " Seventeen 
paras, then." " Heigh! heigh!" says the other to his horse, 
" get on, get on." — " Eighteen paras." " Turn round!" ex- 
claims the fellow, still speaking to the beast, " they shall go for 
nineteen." The Greek nods, and the other drives his poney along 
with him to his house. 

Their common dress is of white woollen, like that of the labour- 
ing Greeks, but they have habits for their festivals of extreme 
magnificence, and of a fashion altogether antique in many re- 
spects, even more so than that of the Albanians. The upper part 
of their dress exactly resembles a breast-plate, not being buttoned 
before, but fastened with strings behind. The shawl, which they 
twist round their heads, is always variegat( -d, and ol the brightest 
hues, and the prevailing colour ot their jackets is a dark red» Tile 



490 



LETTER XXX. 



clothing of the women, who generally arc barefoot, and are as 
enured to labour as the men, is very homely and grotesque ; con- 
sisting of a long shift, a thick girdle wrapped several times round 
the waist, a short straight-cut woollen jacket, and a coarse white 
shawl, like a towel, with the corners hanging down before and 
behind, on the head. They are carried to be married on horse- 
back, covered with a long veil, and with a child placed astride 
before them. — The whole nation are of the Greek church, and 
many of them enter into the religious houses, and become ca- 
loyers. 

The language of these peasants is a dialect of that spoken by 
the Albanians of Epirus; and as I was not aware, during my stay 
in Attica, of the fact mentioned by Wheler, that they call themselves 
Vlachi, I saw no reason for supposing them emigrated Walla- 
chians, and descendants of those Roman colonists of Dacia, aban- 
doned by Aurelian, who being swept away into Scythia by the 
retreating hosts of either Huns, Avares, Magiars, or Bulgarians, 
were carried back, after the revolution of centuries, by the re- 
turning wave of barbarian inundation, into their own country. 
It does not seem a consequence, that the name Vlachi should 
decide them to be Wallachians ; for Valachi, or Vlachi, is a deno- 
mination applied by the Greeks to the other Scythian settlers. 
Thus the people inhabiting the mountains between the Drave and 
the Save are called Morlachi, or Mauro- Vlachi ; and yet their 
language partakes in nothing with that of the Wallachians. 

Since the last allusion which is to be found in these Letters to 
the disputed point concerning the real origin of the peasants of 
Attica, I have had the opportunity of consulting that memoir in 
the thirtieth volume of the Academy of Inscriptions, and the 



LETTER XXX. 



491 



Essay of Mr. B'AnvuVs (Etats formes apres la chute de l'Em- 
pire Romain), which Mr. De Pauw recommends as decisive of 
the ignorance of tnose who have called this people Albanians ; 
yet in neither of these works is there a word respecting the pea- 
santry of this part of Greece, except this single quotation from 
Wheler — « Wheler, dans la seconde partie de son voyage dit 
avoir rencontre sur le chemin de Thebes a Athenes et vers le 
Mont Parnes qui separe la Beotie de l'Attique, l'habitation d'un 
peuple qui se donne le nom de Vlaki*/* 

Wheler's words are as follows : " After this we began again to 
ascend ; and at last went up a rocky hill, by a very bad way, 
until about noon we got to the top of it, to a village called Vlachi, 
which is the name the Albaneses call themselves by in their own 
language-^. If the English traveller be correct, not these villa- 
gers only near Mount Parnes, as Mr. D'Anville has it, but all 
the Albanians, call themselves Vlachi ; and the quotation proves 
nothing at all, except, indeed, that Wheler himself evidently 
supposed the people in question to be Albanese. The moun- 
taineers of Epirus do, indeed, consider these peasants as by no 
means of the same race with themselves, although they call them 
Albanians, and converse with them with facility in their own lan- 
guage. Had we penetrated high enough, we might have deter- 
mined whether they actually belong to the people dispersed over 
the northern boundaries of Greece. 

The country inhabited by the southern Valachi, properly so 
called, is composed of the confines of Macedonia, Thessaly, and 
Epirus; comprehending Edessa, Castoria, as well as JUrissa, 

* Vol. xxx. p. 251, Acad. Inscrip. 
t Wheler, book iv. p. 333, 



492 



LETTER XXX. 



Pharsalia, Demetrius, in the low grounds of Thessaly, and the 
eastern declivities of Pindus, where the people are by the Greeks 
named Cuzzo Vlachi, or Lame Vlachi. 

The Scythian nation, to whom they were attached, and by 
whose name they were a long time known, were the Patzinaces 
or Patzinacites, most probably alluded to by Strabo as the Peu- 
cini, who, inhabiting the mouths of the Danube in the reign of 
Augustus, were found in that of Constantine Porphrogenitus on 
the banks of the Volga, whence being driven by the Uzes, they 
displaced the Magiars, or Oriental Turks, from the vicinity of the 
Etel-Cusu, or lesser Volga, and afterwards spread themselves along 
the north side of the Danube. In the reign of Constantine Mo- 
nomachus, about the middle of the eleventh century, they passed 
this river, and penetrated into Bulgaria and Thrace ; where, in 
1123, they were routed in a great battle by John, son of Alexius 
Commenus, and a multitude of them were forcibly settled in the 
western province of the empire before described, which, a short 
time afterwards, was known by the name of Mogloena, and Me- 
galo- Vlachi. They differ in no point from the other Scythian 
settlers, and these shepherds, emigrated from the plains of Tar- 
tary, are discovered by their language alone to be of Roman ori- 
gin, and descended from ancestors, who may be traced through 
a succession of adventures as singular as any to be found in the 
history of mankind*. 



* u Nos suraus de sanguine Romano," is, in the language of Vlakia, a noi 
sentem de sangue Rumena." Ioannitius, who reigned about the beginning of 
the thirteenth century, and is called by Villehardouin, Iraperator Bulgarorura 
et Blacorum, is reminded, in a letter to him by Pope Innocent III. of his 
Roman origin ; and it appears, that the transplanted Romans of Dacia were 






LETTER XXX. 



493 



distinguished at first amongst the Scythians, by the name of Viakes, which 
may have referred to their language, as, by a curious coincidence, the Hun- 
garians, Polanders, Croatians, and Servians, give, at this time, the Romans 
and the Italians, whose dialect is thought by them to be nearly approaching 
to the Latin, the denomination of Viakes. 

There is a country, to the north of the Caspian Sea, in Tartary, called by 
the Tartars Ilak, which is the same as Blac, (for that people cannot pronounce 
the letter B), and is named by Roger Bacon, Great Blacia. Both Wallachia 
and Moldavia, as well as part of Transylvania, are inhabited by the same 
people. Moldavia is known to the Turks by the appellation of Kara Iflak, 
and to the Greeks as Mavra-Vlachia ; signifying in both ton<nies Black 
Vlachia. Mr. D'Anville has thought that he can discover something like the 
name of the Scythian Patzinaces, or Pyeczinigi, as they are called by Lieut- 
prand, in Εζχρχος Ιϊλχγηνων, the present title of the Metropolitan of Wallachia. 
See " Sur les Peuples qui habitent aujourd'hui la Dace de Trajan," in the 
thirtieth volume of the Academy of Inscriptions, p. 237. 



The following Note refers to the words, " Athenieus, in his Deipnosophist," 
in page 487, of this Letter, and was omitted by mistake in putting to the press. 

Κτη<πκλίίί (Γ h τρίτη χρονικών (τη πέντε) κχ\ ίεκάτη πρνς τχις εχχτον, φηνιν, 
O'Kvy.TTHX.ii Α$ήνη<τιν εζετοκτμον γενίσ^χι υπο Δημητρίου τον Φχληρεως των κχτοι- 
κουντων τνν Άττικ^ι/ κχ\ ίυρ&ηναι Αθηναίους μεν ίισ-μυρίους προς τοις χιλίοις, μέτοι- 
κους $1 μύριους, οικετων ίϊ μυριχίας TitnrxpxnovTx. — Deipnos. lib. vi. cap. 103, 
edit. Schweighaeusar, p. 543, vol. ii. 

In a subsequent sentence, Athenseus proceeds to inform us, that Aristotle, in 
his Polity of the iEginaeans, says the slaves of those islanders amounted to 
four hundred and seventy thousand. 



3 s 



LETTER XXXI. 

Shape and Make of the Modern Greeks — The Women — Their 
want of Beauty — Painting — Dress of the Men — and of the 
Women — Their Manners — Λ Betrothing — A Marriage — their 
Dance — Songs, fyc. — Genius — Morals — Superstitions — The 
Evil Eye — Conformity of Practice betxveen Greeks and Turks 
—Manners of the Men — Influence of Money — Behaviour to 
Inferiors — Ostentation — Princes of the Fanal — Waiwodes of 
Moldavia and Wallachia — Codja-bashees. 



TRA VEL-Writers are in one respect the very reverse 
of Prophets, for whatever honour they gain is in their own coun-. 
try. In the regions, and amongst the people whom they profess 
to describe, not only their errors, but their partialities, and the 
cause of them, their want of attention and assiduity, their blind 
credulity, and the weakness of the authorities on which they have 
confided, are too well known to allow them the enjoyment of any 
great reputation. Whilst they are satisfied with tracing their routes, 
and narrating their adventures, they may write without fear of 
contradiction ; but when they quit that safe track, to launch into 
general description or disquisition, they must prepare to be re- 
peatedly accused, and, indeed, not unfrequently convicted, of 
error, and more especially by those who have made the same 



LETTER XXXI. 



495 



journey with themselves. Notwithstanding, 'however, this dis- 
cernment of difficulties, which I may not be at all qualified to 
encounter, and although I shall, by such a plan, be obliged to 
make use of some observations suggested in other parts of the 
Levant, both before and after our visit to Athens, it is my inten- 
tion to choose this place for saying as much of the general cha- 
racter and customs of the Greeks, as my short residence in the 
country enabled me to collect. 

It cannot appear at all surprising, that in their habits of life the 
modern Greeks should very much resemble the picture that has 
been transmitted to us of the ancient illustrious inhabitants of 
their country. Living on the fruits of the same soil, and under 
the same climate, apparently not changed since the earliest ages, 
it would be strange if their physical constitutions, and in some 
measure their tempers, were not very similar to those of the great 
people whom we call their ancestors ; and, in fact, I take their bodily 
appearance, their dress, their diet, and, as I said before, their 
tempers, to differ but little from those of the ancient Greeks. 

There is a national likeness observable in all the Greeks, 
though, on the whole, the islanders are darker, and of a stronger 
make than those on the main-land. Their faces are just such as 
served for models to the ancient sculptors, and their young men in 
particular, are of that perfect beauty, which we should perhaps con- 
sider too soft and effeminate in those of that age in our more northern 
climate. Their eyes are large and dark, from which circumstance 
Mavromati, or Black-eyes, is a very common surname: their eye- 
brows are arched ; their complexions are rather b own, but quite 
clear ; and their cheeks and lips are tinged with a bright vermilion. 
The oval of their faces is regular, and all their features in perfect pro- 

3s 2 



496 



LETTER XXXI, 



portion, except that their ears are rather larger than ordinary : thetf 
hair is dark and long, but sometimes quite bushy, and, as they shave 
off all the hair on the fore-part of the crown and the side of the face, 
not at all. becoming : some of the better sort cut off all their hair, 
except a few locks twisted into a knot on the top of the head. On 
their upper lips they wear a thin long mustachio, which they are at 
some pains to keep quite black. Beards are worn only by the clergy 
and the Archontes Presbuteroi, or Codja-bashees, and other men 
of authority. Their necks are long, but broad and firmly set, their 
chests wide and expanded, their shoulders strong, but round the 
waist they are rather slender. Their legs, are perhaps larger than 
those of people accustomed to tighter garments, but are strong and 
well made. Their stature is above the middling size, and their 
make muscular but not brawny, round and well filled out but not 
inclined to corpulency. 

Both the face and the form of the women are very inferior to 
those of the men. Though they have the same kind of features, 
their eyes are too languid, and their complexions too pale, and, 
even from the age of twelve, they have a flaccidity and looseness of 
person which is far from agreeable. They are generally below the 
height which we are accustomed to think becoming in a female, anq! 
when a little advanced in life, between twenty-five and thirty years 
of age, are commonly rather fat and unwieldy. 

That there are no exceptions to this general character, I dp 
not, of course, mean to advance; but that 1 did not myself see 
any very pretty Greek woman during my tour, I can safely 
assert. The females of the better sort, however, do not at all 
neglect the care of their charms, but make use of washes and 
paints to improve the lustre of their complexions: they have even 



LETTER XXXI. 



497 



a curious form of prayer which deprecates the injurious tanning of 
the March suns. They colour the inside of their eye-lashes, some 
with a mixture of antimony and oil, called in Turkish, surmeh ; 
others with the soot made of the smoke from the gum of Labdar 
num, and they throw a powder in the corners of the eye to add to 
its brilliancy. The white paint used by them is made of powdered 
cowries, or small shells, and lemon-juice ; the red, from the roots 
of the wild lily, washed four or five times, and then dried, and pre- 
served in close pots. The powder is itself white, but when rubbed 
with the hand into the cheek, gives a vermilion tinge which does 
not wash out, and is thought not to injure the skin. This must 
be owned a good exchange for the think coat of white-lead which 
covered both the face and bosom of the Athenian ladies of old. 

The effect of this painting is not, as far as. I saw, at all agree- 
able, though the Greek ladies themselves must think it very im- 
posing, for on the most important ceremonies, such as betrothing, 
and marrying, the bride is daubed with thick coats of colours,, 
laid on without any attempt to resemble nature. Occasionally 
also,, but. more particularly at Constantinople, they wear patches; 
a custom, if not derived from ancient authorities, brought, I.supr 
pose, from Christendom. 

Of all the paradoxes of Mr. De Pauw, that which respects the 
ancient Greek females seems to me the best founded. If the pre- 
sent women, particularly of Athens, are at all to be considered the 
representatives of those of former times, their appearance will not 
make any one entertain an exalted notion of the beauty of the 
Greek ladies of antiquity. I am inclined with that author, also to 
attribute the astonishing influence of the Greek courtezans, and 
what he calls depravation of instinct, partly to the same cause. Had 



498 



LETTER XXXI. 



the women generally been beautiful, the whole of Greece, young 
and old, soldiers, orators, and philosophers, would not have been 
prostrate at the feet of Aspasia or Lais, Phryne or Pythonice, 
nor have fallen so entirely, perhaps, into the other more prevailing 
enormity. Such of the women as I have seen from the islands of 
the Archipelago, with the exception of the Sciotes, are more plain 
than those on the main-land. 

An author* of Observations on the Levant, thinks that the 
Venetians and Turks have adulterated the Grecian blood ; but if 
that were the case, the degeneracy would be seen in the males, 
as well as in the females ; which is far from being the case. After 
all 7 the point is a matter of taste, and you perhaps might find 
those sufficiently handsome, whom I have been unable to admire. 
I beg to mention, that in this part of my detail I have in my 
contemplation the Greeks of the main-land, and particularly the 
Athenians, in whose town we resided longer than in any other 
part of Turkey. 

The dress of the Greeks is not at the first sight to be much dis- 
tinguished from that of the Turks, nor is there any difference in the 
habit of those in power, except that, instead of the turban, the 
head is covered with an immense calpac. A cotton shirt, made 
like a woman's chemise, cotton drawers, a vest and jacket of silk 
or stuff, a pair of large loose brogues, or trowsers, drawn up a 
little above the ancle, and a short sock, make the inner part of 
the dress : the part of the garment next added is a long broad 
shawl, often highly worked, and very expensive, wrapped in wide 
folds round the loins. In one corner of this girdle the poorer 

* II paroit que les Venetiens et les Turcs out denature ce beau sang par toufe 
la Grece. — Reidescl, Voyage au Levant, chap. iii. p. 250. 



LETTER XXXI. 



499 



people, especially in travelling, both Turks and Greeks, conceal 
their money, and then wind the shawl round them. A common 
fellow in Turkey, might as properly as the soldier in Horace, talk 
of the loss of his zone as of that of his money; but the better sort 
of people have adopted the use of purses, which, together with their 
handkerchiefs, watches, and snuff-boxes, they carry in the bosom, 
between the folds of their vests. It is a sign of importance much 
affected by them, to have this part of their garments distended to 
a great size, so as to appear full, not only of trinkets, but papers. 
The gown with loose sleeves covers the other part of the dress, 
and this, when in the presence of a Pasha, or other great man, 
they wrap modestly about them, concealing their hands, joined 
below the waist, in the sleeves, and resting their chins on their 
bosoms. The rich have many changes of gowns, some of stuff and 
satin for the summer, and others of cloth for the winter, both 
trimmed and partially lined with ermine or furs, of which the dark 
are the most precious. The Codja-bashee of Vostizza, who affected 
magnificence, changed his pelisse when he went out to ride. The 
privileged Greeks may put on robes of any dye except green, the 
favourite colour of Mahomet, and that now worn by his supposed 
descendants, the Emirs. They have liberty, as before related, to 
wear slippers or quarter-boots of yellow morocco. 

The common people have their brogues descending but a little 
below their knees, with bare legs, and a slipper pointed and turned 
up at the toe. If they have a gown, they seldom use it : the 
sailors have nothing but a short jacket. On their heads they wear 
in the summer the little red skull-cap of the Albanians, to which, 
in the winter, some of them add a coarse white, or dark-striped 
shawl, tied round like a small turban. 

Of the dress of the females there is an annexed specimen. It 
varies not materially from the Turkish, of which there is so exact an 
account in my Lady M. W. Montague's Letters. The annexed 



500 



LETTER XXXI. 



drawing represents a Constantinopolitan lady, and will appear to 
approach very nearly to the Frank dress, which is very much the 
case, not only at the capital, hut in every town where any 
strangers have fixed their residence. The vest fits o t uite close to 
the bosom, but becomes larger and wider a little below the waist. 
The gown, which is sometimes made of fine flowered silk, flows off 
loosely behind, and the sleeves of it, which widen and are slit towards 
the waist, are made much longer than the arm, and are turned 
back. There is sometimes a ribbon, or other girdle, under the 
bosom, but the zone, a rich shawl, embroidered with gold and 
flowers, is nevertheless worn, loosely resting on the hips, and 
either tied in a spreading knot, or fastened before with a large 
plate, ornamented with false or real jewels- 

The female zones do not, like those of the men, wrap many times 
round the body, but only once, and are put for ornament, not use, 
as they do not bind or support any part of the dress. On account 
of this particularity it may be observed, that when Diana is called 
bis cincta, she is meant to be represented not (as some have rendered 
the words) with two zones, but with a twice-wrapped girdle, which 
was a very unusual precaution*. The double cincture is found in 
figures of Amazons, and in other ancient statues where the lower 
one is omitted, the fold and compression of the garments still re- 
main: but the band of the breast (Sophocles calls it [χασ-των πεξονίς) 
is not to be confounded with the low zone, which, from the days 
of Homer, was always the characteristic of the Grecian female-)•, 

* Nee bis cincta Diana placet, nee nuda Cytherc, 
Ilia voluptatis nil babet hajc nimium. 

Auson. Epig. 39. See De Guys. lett. ix. 

+ Mr. Forsyth, in page 321 of his Remarks on Antiquities, &c. in Italy, 
has restored the epithet βαθύζωί/ο? to its proper meaning, but he seems to me to 
have mistaken the point of the double cincture. 








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LETTER XXXI. 



501 



The modern cestus, exactly similar, if we may trust descriptions, 
statues, and medals, to the ancient, is not, in my mind, an agree- 
able ornament; it gives an appearance, with the band under the 
bosom, of a double waist. 

The whole dress of the richer females is swoln out and orna- 
mented with gold and silver trimmings to a very disagreeable 
excess. They wear bracelets of precious stones, and strings of 
gold coins, round their arms and necks. The head-dress of the 
younger girls is tasty ; their hair falls down their backs in pro- 
fusion, generally straight, but sometimes platted for the sake of 
adding false tresses, and is combed straight over their foreheads 
and the sides of the cheeks : a little red cap with a gold tassel, 
Studded with sequins, is fixed on one siile of the crown, and 
adorned, by the girls with flowers, by the matrons with heron's 
feathers, or a bouquet of jewels. 

It is at Athens, and I believe elsewhere, a very prevailing 
fashion, for the young women to dye the hair of an auburn colour 
with the plant called Hena. The matrons, by another process, give 
a dark black tinge to their tresses. When abroad, the Greek ladies 
are muffled up in a wrapping-cloak, much like the Turkish, ex- 
cept that they have not a square merlin hanging behind, and, in- 
stead of a hood over the face, generally wear a long veil, which, 
however, they frequently throw aside when not in the presence of 
any Turks. 

In the inland towns, and even at Athens, the Greeks seldom 
admit a male stranger to a sight of the females of their families, 
who live in a separate part of the house, and in some cases are as 
closely confined as the Turkish women. Before marriage, they 
are rarely, sometimes never, seen by any male except of their own 

St 



302 



LETTER XXXI. 



family, but afterwards enjoy the privilege of being introduced to 
people of their own nation, and to travellers, A young lady, the 
sister of Signor Nicolo, at Ioannina, to whom we had made a 
present of some Venetian silks, sent word to us, that she re- 
gretted, that not being married, she could not kiss our hands in, 
person, but begged that it might be done by proxy by our drago- 
man, who brought the message. We had not a sight of her 
during our stay in the house. When in the interior apartments, 
a young woman divests herself of her outer robes, and, in the 
summer season, may sometimes be surprised reclined on a rich 
carpet or sofa, with her feet bare, and her whole form rather 
shaded than concealed by trowsers of gauze, and a thin muslin 
cymarr. 

. A few friends, and perhaps a Frank stranger, are sometimes in- 
vited to the first public ceremony in which a young girl is concerned, 
that is, her betrothing to her future husband, who generally has 
never seen her; and we ourselves were once asked to a supper where 
there was music and dancing on an occasion of this kind. The 
girl, (called « mm*), was sitting in the middle of the sofa, covered 
with paint and patches, having a sort of crown on her head, and 
stuck round with jewels and gold chains on every part of her dress. 
.We were regularly led up and presented to her, as were the other 
guests, and she kissed our hands. Her own female relations, and 
those of her future husband, were sitting on the other parts of 
the sofa. The mother of the young man, who was not present 
himself, put a ring on the finger of the maiden, and, as her son's 
proxy, kissed her cheek, a ceremony by which the betrothing takes 
place. The marriage, we were told, would not be performed 
perhaps for more than a year, as the youth was engaged in trade 



■■ 



LETTER XXXI, 



503 



at some distance, until he could amass a competent fortune to 
maintain his wife. 

The nuptial ceremony, notwithstanding the undoubted anti- 
quity of some of its usages, is, like most of the rites of the Greek 
church, exceedingly mean, and, to a person unaccustomed to the 
sight, ridiculous. The bride and bridegroom stand near the altar, 
holding a lighted candle in their hands. The priest, who stands 
facing them, reads and sings a service, and then taking two rings, 
and two garlands of flowers sprinkled with gold leaf, puts them on 
the fingers and the heads of the couple, then repeats and chaunts, 
and changes both the one and the other. This interchange is 
repeated several times, with great rapidity, and accompanied 
by gabbling and singing, until at last the rings are left on the 
fingers which they are intended to fit, and the garlands are finally 
[aid aside, without being suffered to adorn the head either of the 
man or the woman. Some bread, which has been blessed and marked 
with the sign of the cross, is broken and eaten by the bride and 
bridegroom, and a cup of wine is presented first to one and then 
to the other, after which the girl hands round some of the same 
cake, together with rossoglio, or rakee, to the persons present, 
and if she is not of high condition, receives a piece of money 
from each of the visitors, for which she kisses their hands. This is 
the last part of the wedding, and the carrying away of the bride 
to her husband's house happens the same, or the next day, when 
there is a procession, much like that which we witnessed at loan- 
nina. The evening is concluded with music, dancing, and a feast, 
in which fruits, and especially nuts (an ancient nuptial delicacy), 
form the chief part of the repast. 

At Athens we saw a bride accompanied home by at least fifty 

St3 



504 



LETTER XXXt. 



young girls, in pairs, dressed in white, and their heads crowned with 
flowers, preceded by musicians, with guitars, rebecks, and riddles: 
she was going to the house of some female friend, where she was 
to remain until the procession of her husband arrived to attend 
her to his own home. 

The preceding usages we witnessed ourselves ; there are others 
attached to the same important ceremony, of which we could only 
hear or read, such as the bathing of the bride in triumph on the night 
before the wedding, and the walking at the threshold of the hus- 
band's chamber, over the covered sieve, which, if it does not crackle 
beneath the foot of the bride, renders her chastity suspected. 
This second custom is mentioned by several writers, and may 
really obtain, but I did not hear of it, nor of the forbearance of 
the bridegroom on the night of his nuptials, alluded to by Mons. 
de G uys, in his sixteenth letter. 

There are very few instances of second marriages amongst the 
Greeks, nor of any man, except a priest, remaining single for 

life. 

The women can seldom read or write, but are all of them able 
to embroider very tastefully, and can generally play on the Greek 
lute, or rebeck. Their dancing they learn without a master, 
from their companions. The dance, called Χάρος, and for distinc- 
tion, Roma'ica, consists generally in slow movements, the young 
women holding by each other's handkerchiefs, and the leader set- 
ting the step and time, in the same manner as in the Albanian 
dance. The dancers themselves do not sing ; but the music is a 
guitar, or lute, and sometimes a fiddle, accompanied by the voice 
of the players. When, however, men are of the party, there is it 
male and female alternately linked, and the performance is move 



LETTER XXXI. 



505 



animated, the party holding their handkerchiefs high over their 
heads, and the leader dancing through them, in a manner which, 
although at the time it reminded me only of our game of thread- 
the-needle, has been likened by some observers to the old Cretan 
labyrinth dance, called Geranos, or the Crane. When the amuse- 
ment is to be continued throughout a night, which is often the case, 
the figures are various ; and I have seen a young girl, at the con- 
clusion of the dance described, jump into the middle of the room, 
with a tambourine in her hand, and immediately commence a pas 
seul, some favourite young man whom she hud warned of her in- 
tention, striking the strings of the guitar at the same time, and 
regulating the dance and music of his mistress. We once prevailed 
on a sprightly girl of fifteen to try the Albanian figure, and her 
complete success on the first attempt showed the quickness and 
versatility of her talents for this accomplishment. 

Notwithstanding the want of education amongst the females, 
most of them are acquainted with a great number of songs, or 
recitatives* accompanied with tales, which are combined some- 
thing in the manner of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, and appear 
to have no end, being taken up by different, individuals of the 
party for hours together. The author of the comparison between 
the ancient and modern Greeks, tells his friend, that when hearing 
these alternate story-tellers, he would fancy himself in company 
with the Minyeiades, beguiling with varied discourse the useful 
labour of their hands*. A person who had never heard of the 
daughters of the King of Orchomenos, would think himself enters 
tained with a string of ballads* all repeated in the same tone, and 



* Utile opus manuum vario sermone, &c, — Ovid. Metaro. lib, iy, 



506 



LETTER XXXI. 



interrupted only by a recitation of their long and melancholy titles. 
That such a thing may never be wanted more, 1 shall insert a few 
specimens of songs and tales when I come to speak of the modern 
Greek language. 

Whenever the Greek women have the advantages of acquiring 
any unusual attainments, they evince great quickness of under- 
standing. At Smyrna and Constantinople, where there are great 
numbers of them in the families of the Dragomans, and others 
connected with the Consuls, Ambassadors, and foreign missions, 
they speedily acquire the modern languages, and sometimes a 
partial knowledge of the literature and accomplishments which 
distinguish the females of civilized Europe. 

With respect to their moral character, it is what may be called 
amiable, and would appear very strikingly so to those of our sex 
who admire a woman for her weaknesses, and love her the more 
in proportion as she seems to call upon them for support and pro- 
tection. They are assiduous housewrves, and tender mothers, 
suckling their infants themselves ; and, notwithstanding the boast- 
ings of travellers, I must believe them generally chaste. That 
loose females may be found amongst them is not, of course, 
to be denied ; but, if not their own inclination, the institutions 
of their country, similar to those which have always prevailed 
in Greece, have a strong tendency to preserve their virtue. 
They have no other scope for the exercise of the good qualities 
of either head or heart, than the circle of their family, and, what- 
ever secret power they may possess, are never heard of as in- 
fluencing any public transaction. A man may travel through 
Greece, and, unless at his particular desire, not see a single 
Greek lady. 



IiETTER XXXI. 



507 



Like their sex in all other parts cf the world, they carry their 
devotion to the highest pitch of enthusiasm, and more readily, if 
possible, than the men, believe all the absurd dogmas and fables 
of their church. Ominous dreams and celestial revelations, as 
might be expected, more frequently visit the women than their 
husbands, though they are by no means uncommon even with 
both sexes. Some of their superstitious observances savour ex- 
ceedingly of paganism, as might be proved, were it not tedious 
to set in array those passages of ancient authors which record and 
allude to similar customs. 

The ceremonies at child-birth, where the attendant is always 
a woman, are very mystical. The lamp burns before the picture 
of the Virgin during the labour ; and the cradle is adorned with 
embroidered handkerchiefs, jewels, and coins, as presents to the 
four fairies who preside over the infant. When the child is born, 
he is immediately laid in the cradle, and loaded with amulets; and 
a small bit of soft mud, well steeped in a jar of water properly 
prepared by previous charms, is stuck upon its forehead, to ob- 
viate the effects of the Evil Eye; a noxious fascination, proceed- 
ing from the aspect of a personified, all hough invisible demon, 
and consequent upon the admiration of an incautious spectator. 
The Evil Eye is feared at all times, and supposed to affect people 
of all ages, who by their prosperity may be the objects of envy. 
Not only a Greek, but a Turkish woman, on seeing a stranger 
look eagerly at her child, will spit in its iace, and sometimes, if 
at herself, in her own bosom ; but the use of garlic, or even of 
the word which signifies that herb (wpfov), is considered a sove- 
reign preventive. New built houses, and the ornamented sterns 
of the Greek vessels, have long bunches of it depending from them, 



508 



LETTER XXXI, 



to intercept the fatal envy of any ill-disposed beholder : the ships 
of the Turks have the same appendages. In fact, there is a great 
conformity of practice in many particulars, observable between the 
two nations. 

The ancient Greeks introduced their arts amongst their Latin 
conquerors ; the modern have given their masters, the Turks, a 
taste for their follies. There is, as was always tbe case, a strong 
attachment in this people to their own usages, and an unabating 
alacrity and vigour in the exclusive preservation of them, which 
gives an appearance of sincerity to their professions, and con- 
sequently of credibility to their faith, and which, although it 
prevents them from learning any thing from the commerce 
of more enlightened nations, renders them very capable of 
being instructors of a people as ignorant as themselves. Thus 
the Turks, who despise the power, have imperceptibly im- 
bibed the habits of their subjects ; and if they have caught 
from them nothing but some of their customs and superstitious 
rites, it is, I suppose, because there was nothing else for them 
to learn. 

Those who complain that the Turks did not become the pupils 
of their captives, and derive from them the same advantages as 
were obtained for the Romans by the fortunate possession of 
Greece, must surely have, by some strange infatuation, persuaded 
themselves that the Greeks of the age of the last Constantine 
were the same as those of the days of Aratus. But, for my own 
part, I see much greater parity between the Romans who served 
with Mummius, and the Ottomans led by Mahomet, than be- 
tween the Greeks who witnessed the burning of Corinth, and 
those who survived the last conquest of Constantinople. Let me 



LETTER XXXI. 



.509 



add, with Mr. Thornton*, that whatever was worthy imitation, 
was imitated by the Turks. They saw and admired the structure 
of Santa Sophia, and built the future moscks, with which they 
adorned the Imperial city, on the same magnificent model•!*. 

The manners of the Greeks would be very engaging, were it 
not that they have an air of obsequiousness and insincerity, par- 
ticularly striking to the eye of an Englishman, but perhaps not so 
offensive to the natives of those other countries, in which civilities 
are carried to a greater excess than amongst ourselves. They are 
assiduously attentive, and perform the rites of hospitality with 
good humour and politeness : at the same time, it must be con- 
fessed, that no person can be sure, that a speech of one of this 
people, however inviting in its beginning and progress, will not 
conclude with the horrors of a petition. To have an adequate 
notion of the meanness and impudence to which man may be im- 
pelled by the love of money, one should travel in the Levant. 

There is nothing which is not venal with the Turks, and there 
is nothing possessed by the Greeks which they will not sell. That 
the master should be eager to increase his wealth, in a country 
where wealth alone is power, is not to be wondered at ; but that 
the slave, who cannot buy either authority, freedom, or protec- 
tion, should feel the same passion, must seem extraordinary, and 
only to be accounted for by the circumstance of the Greeks being 



* Present State of Turkey, p. S. 

t It seems strange that Mr. Eton, in his Survey of the Ottoman Empire, 
should copy the account of Mahomet the Second turning Santa Sophia into a 
stable and banquetting-room, and cutting the throats of several hundred pri- 
soners in the very church, from such a writer as Knolles, when he had beford 
him the authorities collected by such a writer as Gibbon. 

3 V 



510 



LETTER ΧΧΧΪ. 



all traders, and consequently governed by the sordid avaricious 
habits and principles generally to be found in that class of men. 

The first, and oftentimes the only commendation bestowed by 
a Greek upon a neighbour, or other person, is, that he is rich, and 
has many, many, aspers (τΓλουο -ioc «ιναι, iyt ποχλα, ττολλα, «ο-ττρα); and, 
without any exaggeration, poverty and folly are really convertible 
terms. Talking one day about a young man, whom we had 
known at Ioannina, a person present exclaimed, that he was a 
dull fellow ! " On the contrary," said I, " he seemed to me to 
be excessively agreeable and well-info rmed." — " I know him better 
than you, Signor ;" was the reply, " for all his talk, he has not 
a farthing in his pocket/' 

The Greeks are, as was said, all traders in some degree. In 
the district of Athens, indeed, as well as in that of Livadia, 
and many parts of the Morea, the cultivation of the earth is left 
to the Albanian colonists, and every Greek has either a shop, or 
is employed in wholesale dealings. Even those who are com- 
monly called the Princes of the Fanal, at Constantinople, that 
is, those from whose families the Waiwodes of Wallachia and 
Moldavia have been chosen, are engaged in merchandize. This 
circumstance, together with the Turkish oppression, and the want 
of hereditary dignities, occasions a kind of equality amongst 
them, and does away with all those distinctions which are 
so rigorously observed in England — I say in England, because 
I believe there is no country in the world, where all the grada- 
tions of rank are so uniformly observed and kept separate as 
amongst ourselves. It is true, there are various ways by which a 
man may rise, but until he has risen, he must be content to 
consort with people only of his own condition, 



■"^■i 



LETTER XXXI. 



511 



I was one day a little astonished at the house of Signor Nicole 
at Ioannina, to see a tailor who had just been measuring one of 
us, come and seat himself in the room where we were all sitting, 
and, by the invitation of our host, take a dish of coffee, to which 
he was helped by the Signor's brother with the usual ceremonies *. 
There is nothing that implies familiarity, and, at least temporary 
equality, so much as eating together ; but according to the cus- 
toms of both Greeks and Turks, in many points exactly similar, 
and which may be called Oriental, the very lowest person is often 
indulged in this liberty by his superiors. A great man travel- 
ling does not have a table spread for himself alone, but some of 
his attendants always partake with him round the same tray. I 
recollect that one of the young Pashas at Ioannina, insisted upon 
our servant George sitting down at the foot of the sofa opposite 
to him, and taking coffee and sweetmeats at the same time with 
himself and his guest. It must, however, be recollected, that as 
almost all in Turkey receive the same sort of education, and con- 
sequently imbibe somewhat the same manners, there is in that 
country none of that awkwardness and confusion in society, which 
arise amongst us when a person of inferior quality is admitted by 
sufferance into better company than he has been accustomed to 
keep. Neither our dragoman nor the tailor would have been dis- 
tinguished by a stranger from the company about them by any 
want of ease, or other deficiency in their manners. 

There is an air of great kindness, and even of ceremonious at- 
tention, in their treatment of servants and dependants ; and when a 

* The following was the republican formulary on the cards of the late Presi- 
dent of the United States : 

" T. Jefferson requests the pleasure of 's company to dinner," &c. &c> 

3u 2 



512 



LETTER XXXI. 



rich, or, in other words, a great man, meets an inferior in the street, 
he not only returns his salute, but goes through the whole round of 
those complimentary inquiries which are always usual upon a casual 
rencounter, and prefatory to any other conversation. Two Greeks 
will ask one another how they are, with the same inquiries after 
their wives, daughters, sons, family, and affairs, twenty times 
over, before they begin to converse, and often when they intend 
to separate instantly. They stand with their right hands on their 
hearts, bowing gently for five minutes together at this ceremony, 
which is nothing more than our How-d'ye-do; and a lucky sneeze 
from either party will interrupt and prolong the compliments ; 
for, on that occasion, the other bows and begs God's blessing 
on you, which is returned four-fold. In a large company a sneeze 
stops the conversation, and calls forth the benedictions of all pre- 
sent, many crossing themselves at the same time*. 

Though the Greeks are avaricious, they are not miserly, but 
on the contrary, are not only fond of show, which is in some cha- 
racters found to be compatible with extreme parsimony, but are 
profuse and generous. Their fear of the Turks makes them gene- 
rally cautious to confine their magnificence within the walls of 
their own houses ; yet a desire of displaying their wealth and taste, 
has overcome the prudence of many of their nation. A Greek, 
named Stavraki, in the middle of the last century, who possessed 



* Τούτον $\ λίγοι/τος TtjccpvoTXi t»?j ccxovo~xvreg $1 ot (ττρατιωτΛΐ ποι,ντίς μκχ. 
oppy 7Γρο(τκιιννι<Γαν tow θέβι> — Anab. lib. iii. This sneezing, Xenophon declared 
to be the sign of Jupiter the Saviour, and it considerably assisted him in per- 
suading the Ten Thousand to follow his counsels. It is the first and strongest 
instance I at present recollect, of the custom of making an obeisance alter a 
gqe$ze, now pretty much diffused in many parts of the world. 



LETTER XXXI. 



the favour, and in some measure the confidence, of the Sultan 
himself^ against all advice of friends, built a most magnificent 
house on the banks of the Bosporus, whose exterior splendour 
was such as to attract the attention of the Turks. Stavraki was 
arrested and destroyed, but the end of this unfortunate man did 
not deter another Greek from immediately occupying the same fatal 
mansion. 

At Constantinople, and in the vicinity, it is the exclusive pri- 
vilege of the Mahometans to paint their houses of a lively colour; 
those of the Jews are black, those of the Armenians and Greeks 
of a brown, or dark red. A Greek physician, who had suc- 
cessfully attended a late Sultan, and was asked to name a rea- 
sonable gratuity or favour, only requested the liberty for himself 
and his son to paint his house in what manner he chose, and like 
that of a Turk. • The mansion was pointed out to me, and 
shone conspicuously, of a bright red, amongst the surrounding 
dusky habitations. It is in one of the villages on the European 
side of the Bosporus, The chief Dragoman to the Porte has a 
lar^e house, whicli he has painted of three colours, so as to make 
it look like three houses, that no passing Turk may. be struck 
with the presumptuous dimensions of his mansion. 

Those of the Greeks who have the privilege of riding on horse- 
back in the streets of Constantinople, and their number is very 
few, are exceedingly proud of that pre-eminence, and take every 
opportunity of showing their superiority. 

The great men affect an unconcerned liberality. The Drago- 
man to the Porte, who is called Prince, came on board the fri- 
gate which carried away the late English Ambassador from Con- 
stantinople, and after a few minutes conversation with his Excel* 



514 



LETTER XXXJ. 



lency, retired. As he was stepping down the ladder, he put his 
hand in his bosom, and, without ceremony, or looking at his 
present, returned it shut into the hands of one of the boys at the 
accommodation ropes; who, examining the gift on deck, found it 
to be eight or ten pieces of gold, of the small Byzantine zequins, 
worth about three shillings each. I was standing near him myself, 
and could scarcely resist the impression which he had meant no 
doubt to make, namely, that he was accustomed frequently to part 
with his money on the same occasions, and with the like ostenta- 
tious unconcern. 

But a short time before, we had seen the same Prince interpret- 
ing between his Excellency and the Caimacam, or Vice-Vizier of 
Constantinople, with a humility altogether affecting. He was 
clothed in a coarse gown, miscalled a robe of honour, and so much 
the more shabby when contrasted with the splendid garments of 
the Turks, and the fine pelisses distributed to the Ambassador and 
some of his suite ; and he performed his office in a tone so low, 
that he was with difficulty heard, even by those next to him, in- 
troducing some affected hesitations, to show his awe and terror of 
his masters. It should be told, however, that this singular 
piece of adulation is practised by the Turks themselves when in 
presence of the Sultan, and that a ready and clear elocution 
would be thought presumptuous before the Lord of the Empire. 
The Caimacam, in the audience-chamber, when replying to the 
Ambassador on behalf of his Imperial master, who sat motionless 
on his throne beside him, not only spoke in the lowest tone, but 
boggled, and stopped so long and frequently in his speech, hold- 
ing up his head with the air of a boy out in his lesson, that the 
Sultan prompted him audibly twice or thrice. This was not pro- 



LETTER XXXI. 



515. 



duced by any real forgetfulness, but was only affected as a mark of 
humble confusion. 

On the same day, in the Divan, the Greek Prince was obliged 
to stand, from four in the morning until ten, during the attendance 
of the Ambassador upon the Caimacam ; and when his Excellency 
and his numerous suite were seated round various tables at dinner, 
overcome by fatigue, but not permitted to be seen resting himself 
on a sofa in such a place, he slipped into a corner of the chamber, 
and sinking on the floor, fell asleep; whilst three Greeks, his atten- 
dants, stood before the spot, that he might not be discovered by the 
Turks. I saw him by accident, and pointed him out to another 
person present. He was seated on the ground, supported by the 
corner of the wainscot, his black beard resting on his bosom, his 
face pale, and his eyes closed in a deep sleep, but every other fea- 
ture unchanged, and impressed with the traits of terror and per- 
petual constraint. A mournful picture of the wretchedness of dig- 
nified slavery ! 

This Prince is one of the most exalted Greeks in the Turkish 
empire, and there is no higher dignity than that which he enjoys, 
except the governments of Wallachia or Moldavia. Indeed he 
was once, in 1802, promoted to the latter principality, when the 
Russians interfered in the nomination of the Waiwodes of the 
two provinces, and may perhaps again be raised to the same rank. 

Notwithstanding the perpetual humiliation attendant upon the 
office of Dragoman to the Porte, and the very uncertain tenure 
by which the mimic sceptres of the two provinces are held, there 
is no effort omitted by the Greeks of the Fanal to arrive at these 
posts, and they are as active in their intrigues to circumvent each 
Other, and to obtain the acquiescence of the Porte, as if the ob« 



516 



LETTER XXXI. 



jects of their ambition were honourable and permanent, instead of 
disgraceful and insecure. The Turks, who gain by the rivalry, 
encourage the contention, and dispose of the offices without re- 
serve, to the highest bidder. The money expended in the attain- 
ment of the dignities, is soon supplied by the bribes and extortions 
of the elected candidate. 

The Dragoman of the Porte has the opportunity of recom- 
mending to posts of profit and honour, and for his good word, as 
well as for every interference in court intrigues, receives an adequate 
remuneration. The Waiwodes of Wallachia and Moldavia levy 
vast sums by arbitrary taxation, which, as they have the power of 
life and death, and enjoy for a time sovereign authority, cannot 
be resisted by their distressed subjects. 

In no situation does a Greek appear in so unamiable a light as 
on the throne of Bucharest or Yassy. The events of the Rus- 
sian war may work a considerable change in the constitution of 
the two provinces, and the entire subjection of one or both of 
them by the arms of the Muscovites, will cut off from the subject 
Greeks the grand objects of their ambition. The plots and in- 
trigues of the Fanal will then be confined to obtaining the office 
of Dragoman. The elevation to either of the three places, how- 
ever short a time the person may be in possession of his dignity, 
confers the title of Prince; and this has created the Greek nobi- 
lity, if such it may be called. The antiquity, however, of these 
noble families is not very great; the first Dragoman of the Porte 
of Greek extraction, was Panayot, physician to Kioprili, who by 
his artifices persuaded Morosini to surrender Candia. Before 
that period, the post had been supplied by foreigners and 
renegadoes. 



letter xxxr. 51^ 

Nicholas Maurocordato, the first Greek Waiwode of Walla- 
chia, chosen by the Porte, was elected about the beginning of the 
last century, after having been plenipotentiary for the Sultan at 
Carlovitz. It is true, that some families boast a more noble de- 
scent from the sovereigns of Constantinople, for the name of Cata- 
cuzenus has been once assumed by two Wallachian Greeks; but, 
as it appears, without their having had any just pretensions to that 
distinction. 

The Princes of the Fanal are, when abroad, to be distinguished 
from the rest of their nation only by their beards and yellow slip- 
pers*, and the privilege of riding on horseback; but when at 
home, they still continue to enjoy the semblance of authority, 
by giving titles of office to their servants, and by being sur- 
rounded by a crowd of flatterers and dependants. Their wives 
and daughters are fostered in every luxury, and all the soft pomp 
of the Asiatics; a privilege which, unless they have been unfairly- 
charged with calling their servants "chiennes" and " betes f" im- 
proves neither their tempers nor their manners. The little I enjoyed 
of their society left no very agreeable impression on my mind. 

A love of pomp is a distinguishing characteristic of the Greeks, 
and as the policy of the Turks has allowed them alone, of all the 
rayahs, or subjects not Mahometans, to fill offices of power and 
trust, they fail not to display this unenviable distinction. 

The Codja-bashees, to whom the municipal controul of some 
districts, particularly in the Morea, is entrusted, support an 



* One of the first acts of the late Sultan Selim's reign, was to cut off the head 
of a common Greek whom he met when incognito, wearing yellow slippers. He 
staid to see the execution performed. Yet so vain are the Greeks, that they will 
run this fatal risk in order to be taken for their betters. 

f Pouqueville, Voyage en Moree, p. 253. 

3x 



518 



LETTER XXXI. 



enormous household, whose members are dignified with titles, not 
attached to the dependants of an English Duke. They have 
their kalo-iatros, or physician, their grammaticos, or secretary, 
with an assistant clerk, their tartars, or couriers, and five or six 
priests, as family chaplains, besides numerous servants in every 
department, amounting to forty or fifty persons in family. The 
title by which they are usually addressed in writing, is, " Most 
Honourable and most Noble Sir *." 

These Codja-bashees have been accused as being masters more 
severe than the Turks; a degenerate race, insolent, proud, mean, 
with all the vices of slaves, and repaying themselves for the in- 
jurious treatment of their masters, by becoming monopolists, in- 
formers, and public robbers -f*. Such sweeping censures are always 
to be suspected as having been prompted by personal pique, and 
founded upon individual example rather than national character; 
yet I fear that many originals of this unfavourable picture might 
be found amongst the archons and elders of the Greeks. 

Hadji Ali, the tyrannical Waiwode of Athens before-men-* 
tioned. could find only one person to assist him in his extortions, 
and this man became his counsellor and friend, and discovered to 
him the real property of some of his countrymen who had hither- 
to contrived to conceal their wealth. He was the Archon of 
Athens, before mentioned, a ruling elder of the church, and who 
formerly called himself English Vice-consul. But the Archon 
Londo, of Vostizza, is a character altogether as amiable as that of 
the Athenian is disgusting, and it remains to be discovered, which 
of the two is the exception, and which the general rule. 



* Έκτί/Λοτατος και ΈυγινίσΎΛτος Κύριος Kup»o?c 
t Fouqueville, Voyage en Moree, p. 106. 



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