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ITS HISTORY IN THE MIDDLE AGES.

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rated : from thence in company with his brother Sghurus, he passed over to Corfu, Santa Maura, and Arta, where he was kindly received by Spatas and conducted to Ioannina, in which city he died peaceably on the 29th of April, 1401.

Sghurus succeeded by will to the dominions of his brother, and at the death of Spatas to the government of Arta. Against him came up a celebrated chieftain named Bonghoes, heading a large army of Servians, Albanians, Bulgarians, and Valachians* who drove Sghurus from his dominions, laid waste the country, burned whole towns and villages, and massacred the inhabitants by thousands; so that the MS. concludes this part of its history with a pathetic exclamation of Acarnania weeping for her children and refusing comfort because they are nott. According to my documents this Sghurus was the last Christian prince who reigned at Ioanninaf, which was thenceforth governed by an aristocracy. In the year 1432, the inhabitants, alarmed by the extensive conquests of Murat or Amurath II. in Greece and Macedonia, sent out a detachment of their best troops to guard the passes of Mount Pindus, who cut to pieces all the Turks that were opposed to them. On this occasion the sultan sent the following epistle to the city :

TRANSLATION.

Sultan Murat Sovereign of the East and West, to the People of Ioan

nina, greeting : “I counsel you to deliver up to me with good will your fortress, and to receive me as your sovereign, lest you should move me to great

At least this seems implied by the surname given by the MS. to this leader, who is styled Maroyγόης ο Σερβοαλβανοβολγαροβλάχος.

+ This expulsion of Sghurus did not take place till after the year 1413, if he be the same governor who is mentioned by the historian Ducas as having sent, as well as some other states, an envoy to congratulate Mahomet I. on his restoration to the throne of Adrianople. Ducæ Hist. Byz. c. xx.

Phranza however makes mention of a despot Charles who died at Ioannina A. D. 1430, just before it fell into the possession of the Turks.

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ITS CAPTURE BY THE TURKS.

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wrath, and I should come up against you with my army and take your city with the sword : then you will suffer all the calamities that other places have suffered, which refusing to acknowledge my power, have been conquered by my aris; whose inhabitants have been sold into slavery through the East and through the West. Come then, let us make a treaty and ratify it with an oath, I on my part that I will respect your rights, and you on yours that you will obey me faithfully.”

Upon receipt of this letter the principal inhabitants of Ioannina took counsel together, and fearing to bring down upon themselves the resentment of so powerful a prince sent an embassy to Thessalonica, where he then resided, who delivered the keys of their fortress into his hands*. On their return he sent back with them a Turkish garrison who took possession of the castron with great rejoicings, but soon shewed their enmity against the Christian faith by razing to the ground the ancient church of St. Michael near the great gula or tower.

In a short lapse of time these Mahometans built houses in that part of the city which is now called Turcopalco, and wishing to domiciliate here, obtained the Sultan's permission to take for themselves wives among the daughters of the Greeks. Despairing, however, of success with the ladies, they devised the following scheme to effect their purpose.

Watching the opportunity of a great festival at which the Greek families attended divine service in the cathedral, they armed themselves secretly, and waited at the doors of the church till the

congregation came out; then, each person seizing upon the damsel that pleased him best, carried her off in defiance of her relatives and friends. The parents, after a short time, seeing no remedy for the evil, consented to the nuptials, and gave the customary dowry to the husbands.

* Phranza, however reports, that the city was taken by Sinan, general of Murat, in 1431, I. ii. c. 9. Chalcocondilas gives a different account, and says, that it was at this time under the government of Charles, who was called Duke or Prince of Ioannina, a city at that time considered the most important in Greece, next to Thessalonica. Chalcocond. I. v. p. 126.

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After this event the Mahometan population of course increased ; but, the Greeks still retained possession of the city or castron, though not of the gula or citadel, paying a very moderate tribute and being free from many vexations to which other cities under the Turkish dominion were subject. At length, in the year 1611, the evil star of the Greeks gained the ascendancy and brought upon them such a train of calamities that my MS. can trace them to no other cause but the personal interference of the arch-fiend himself. Their immediate author, or satanic instrument, was Dionysius*, called the Dog-sophist (Exndóropos) a fit vessel of evil, who had been ejected from his bishopric of Triccala for practising the arts of astrology and necromancy. This personage

had the misfortune to dream a dream, in which he saw the Sultan himself rise up in his presence to receive him; and hence conjectured that he was fated by the stars to deliver his country from the Ottoman yoke. Full of this chimerical project, he roamed about the country, with a wallet behind his back and a large flaggon of wine slung by his side, gaining proselytes to his opinion and adherents to his cause. In the course of these wanderings he arrived at the monastery of San Demetrio in the vicinity of Delvinaki, at the distance of about ten hours from Ioannina ; understanding that the Turks were less numerous in this city than elsewhere, and that they dwelt for the most part outside the fortress, he determined to make this the scene of his first operations. Having by his pretended skill in astrology and predictions of the fall of the Byzantine empire, as well as by the application of money, collected together a large crowd of followers, he led them by night against the city of Ioannina, which they entered singing the Kyrie Eleison; there they put to death about a hundred Mahometans, and burned several houses, Asuman Pasha the governor, escaping with great difficulty by a secret passage into the citadel.

* The MS. by a play upon the word, calls him Aapovúolos.

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STORY OF DIONYSIUS THE SKELOSOPHIST.

This infatuated mob soon turned their hands to plunder, and became inebriated by the contents of the wine casks which they broke open: this

gave the Turks an opportunity to rally, and make a charge upon the rebels, when they slew a great multitude and took many prisoners, whom they reserved for the most exquisite tortures. Dionysius in the tumult escaped, and hid himself in a deep cavern under the north-east precipice of the castron, which is to this day called the cave of the Skelosophist.

Here he eluded for a considerable time the diligent search that was made for him by the Turks, being supplied with bread by a baker, who was acquainted with his place of concealment: he was at last discovered by some Jews of the fortress, and delivered up to his enemies.

. By then this arch-rebel was flayed alive, and his skin stuffed with straw, sent to Constantinople, and carried into the Seraglio : there it is said, that the Sultan having heard of the singular character of the man, rose up from his divan to view the spectacle, and fulfilled the predictions of the astrologer.

After this rebellion Ioannina was treated by the Turks like all other conquered cities. The principal conspirators, together with many innocent persons, were subjected to extreme punishments, some being impaled, others sawn asunder, and many burnt alive: every Greek church within the castron was then razed to the ground, from which place all Christians were banished for ever by a special firman of the Sultan; but the Jews were allowed to retain their habitations, and received various immunities in consequence of the assistance they had rendered to the Mahometans*.

This expulsion of the Greeks from the castron tended greatly to

* This accounts for the residence of great numbers of Jews here in the present day, and the total exclusion of the Greeks. I find this sedition of Dionysius alluded to in Knolles's History of the Turks, p. 1308. It happened in the reign of Achmet the eighth emperor of Constantinople. The stuffing of the Bishop is also mentioned, but he is there styled a patriarch : it is also added, that the co-operation of some Maltese knights, Neapolitans and Spaniards was expected. Here the loannina MS. ends: the rest is collected entirely from the accounts of living persons, or from my own observation.

PRESENT CONDITION OF IOANNINA.

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increase the city, which soon began to extend its arms along the banks of the lake. It seems to have enjoyed a considerable degree of tranquillity amidst the convulsions that agitated this part of the world during the lasť efforts made by the Christian powers to preserve some portion of European Turkey from the overwhelming force of its Ottoman invaders. It was governed by beys, and pashas of two tails, sent by the Porte, but never became the head or capital of a sandgiac till the time of its present sovereign*. His experienced eye soon saw the advantages of its strong central situation, and from the first he determined to make it the focus of his extended doininion. Under him it has risen to that degree of splendour, importance, and population which it now possesses. The number of inhabitants is computed, according to the best calculations that can be made, at forty thousand : since the insulation of the castron and the fortification of Litaritza, it may be said to have two citadels, three palaces, besides a vast number of small serais, eighteen mosques, and six Greek churches. There are also three tekés or Turkish monasteries, and two Jewish synagogues within the castron. The hospital, which was founded through the exertions of Signore Nicolo's father, is capable of receiving 150 patients, who are comfortably lodged and attended by a surgeon, a chaplain, and regular nurses : an annual governor is appointed who inspects the accounts and superintends the whole concern. The public prison is a dreadful place, sufficient to make the stoutest person's heart sink within him. A procuratore attends there daily to administer food and raiment to the wretched prisoners, many of whom would otherwise inevitably perish with hunger and cold : to the credit of the Greek inhabitants they make no distinction in this distribution between Christian, Jew, or Mahometan.

Ioannina contains two schools in which the ancient languages are taught. The first was founded about one hundred and thirty years ago by

* This pashalic is divided into four districts or provinces called Palaio-Pogogianni, Zagori, Kurrendas, and Grevena,

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