Page images
[blocks in formation]


Departure from Prevesa---Porto Phanari---Arrival at Parga--- Description of its Site, &c.---Cha-

racter of the People---Historical Details of Parga---Conduct of the Russian Cabinet---Walk

in the Environg---Departure to Paxo---Description of that Island ---Ancient Legend---Sail

through the Channel of Corfu---Coast of Epirus---Acroceraunian Mountains---Celebration


&c. &c.


Difficulty of procuring Historical Records for a History of Ioannina

Cursory View of the different Nations who have inhabited Epirus-Conjectures on the Origin of Ioannina-Its History in the Middle Ages Its Capture by the TurksStory of Dionysius the Skelosophist-Present Condition of Ioannina in Public Buildings, Schools, fc.-Commerce

Produce of its Soil— Food of the InhabitantsClimate-Diseases Cruel Instance of Ali Pasha's Tyranny.

I HOPE I shall not act contrary to the reader's inclination by commencing this volume with a few historical details respecting the city in which we at this time resided; especially since it has been hitherto very slightly noticed by travellers. Indeed the difficulty of collecting any accurate information respecting it is very great, since neither in its origin, nor in its early progress towards grandeur, was it of consequence enough to engage the particular attention of historians : they merely mention it casually, and in a very unsatisfactory manner. Many historical documents however are said to have once existed in the archives of Ioannina; but I was informed that all or greatest part of these had been destroyed by Mahomet Effendi, Ali's prime minister, to shew his sovereign contempt for the literature of the Franks. I paid a visit to this extraordinary character for the purpose of rescuing, if

[blocks in formation]


possible, some of these records from destruction, but he put me off with a declaration that he had none at all in his possession: the vizir himself had no better success, although he condescended to make an application to the minister in my behalf. Just before we left Ioannina however I was fortunate enough to procure a considerable number of extracts relating to its annals which had been copied at various times by a very learned and respectable Greek gentleman, before the originals came into the possession of Mahomet: of these I shall make considerable use in the latter part of the present memoir.

Before however we enter upon the particular history of this city, it will be right to advert, as briefly as is consistent with the connexion of events, to the various tribes who have acted a part upon the theatre in which it is situated. In very early ages Epirus was inhabited, as I have before observed, by fourteen semibarbarous nations, intermingled with many Grecian colonies.

Grecian colonies. North of these lay the still more rude and savage Illyrians, with whom the Epirotic tribes became insensibly intermingled*. They were long defended from invaders not more by their own valour than by the lofty chains of mountains that intersect their rugged country, and prevented the Greeks from subduing them. In process of time the Molossi first emerged from the state of surrounding barbarism : Tharyps, their patriotic prince, improved both the manners and the language of this nation ; Philip king of Macedonia raised them into notice by his union with Olympias, sister of Alexander their sovereign, and Pyrrhus spread around them the glory of martial exploits and consummate military skill. Before this time however the Illyrian provinces had been united, though with no very firm bond, to the Macedonian dynasty, under which they remained till the defeat of Perseus: but the period now approached when the Romans, those inveterate enemies of every thing great, and noble, and free in all other nations, took a severe re

'Αναμέμικται δε τέτοις τα Ιλλυρικά έθνη, &c. Strab. 1. vii. p. 502.




for the invasion of Pyrrhus : after various and cruel ravages in the Illyrian, Ætolian, and Macedonian wars, the whole country was laid waste by the Consul Æmilius Paulus, whose fierce army in one day sacked seventy cities*, sold 150,000 of the wretched inhabitants into slavery, overthrew their walls, and left them in a state of ruin which at this day attests the fury of those inhuman conquerors.

After this scene of destruction the Epirotic nations were governed by Roman prefects, Macedonia being divided into four distinct provinces, called Macedonia the First, Second, Third, and Fourth ; in which latter were comprised the Illyrian tribest. When Augustus separated the provinces of the empire into Imperial, and Prætorian or Senatorial, he left amongst the latter class Macedonia and Illyria, with Epirus, which, conjointly with Acarnania, Ætolia, Thessaly, and the rest of Grecia Propria, formed the province of Achaia. Tiberius took Macedonia and Achaia into the number of Imperial provincess, but they were restored again to the senate by Claudiusl. Under the reign of Constantine the Great, Illyricum and Epirus were comprised in the province of Pannonia and governed by an officer with the appellation of vice-præfect. In the division of the empire after the death of Constantine, Illyricum Macedonia and Greece, with Italy and Africa, acknowledged the sovereignty of Constans his youngest son, who after

* A.A.C. 166.

+ ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑ ΠΡΩΤΗ, ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑ, ΤΡΙΤΗ, ΤΕΤΑΡΤΗ. I have seen many medals relating to these divisions. One is in the possession of my friend Mr. Parker, on the obverse of which is a beautiful female head with a diadem, and on the reverse a knotted club surrounded with an oak garland and the legend


# Dion Cass, 1. liii. $ 12. Strab. 1. xvii, sub fin.
g Tac. Ann. 1. i. c. 76.
|| Dion Cass. Ix. $ 24. Sueton. c. 25.

1 Rome and Constantinople at this time were governed by præfects, under whom vice-præfects administered justice in the provinces. Zosimus, l. ii. p. 109.° Pancirolus, p. 161. Cod. Justin. l. xii. tit, 56 and 57.

« PreviousContinue »