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Nationalism and Nationaliry

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159-79. The dislocation of the Greek Patriarch of Antioch wns considered 'the hmt John S. Koliopoulos
real victory for Arab nationalism'.
I

Paschalis M. Kitromilides

is Professor of Political Science at the University of Athens and Brigandage and Irredentism in
director of the Centre d'Etudes d'Asie Mineure. His published Nineteenth-Century Greece
work includes Small States in the Modern World (1979), Culture and
Society in Contemporary Europe (1981) and Iossipos Moisiodax:
The Coordinates of Balkan Thought in the Eighteenth Century
(1985).
In the Greek War of Independence and in subsequent military and
political developments a central role was played by a distinctive i 1
military class which was the product of a combiliation of
1 I
mountainous terrain with foreign conquest ar~drule. The relevant . ,
, ,,
geographical context at the start of the nineteenth century was I!
historically conditioned: the existence of numerous mountain com- I /:
munities contrasting with a sparse lowland population. The origins
I'
of this demographic pattern may lie in environmental neglect and i,
decline during the early modern period, resulting in the exhaustion 11
of capital invested earlier in water-courses, cisterns, mills, farm 1
I I

buildings, bridges and roads. In consequence the land annually


lost some of its power to sustain life. Diminishing productivity and
general unhealthiness due to environmental decline, together with
the hazards associated with Turkish conquest and rule, led to the
relocation of a large part of the population in the highlands; the
majority took up animal husbandry, an ecological adjustment with
important and far-reaching consequences for the course of modern
Greek history.
Pastoralists in the affected regions practised transhumance
of sheep and goats, raised for milk, wool and meat. Large
flocks, accompanied by shepherd families, their horses, mules,
and possessions, moved in late April from the lowland to the
mountain pastures and returned in November. The true home of
shepherd families was the Pindus mountains, easily accessible from
the plains and valleys of central Greece. The Pindus range, the
adjacent mountains of Macedonia and Rumeli, and the lowlands of
Thessaly. Arta, Aetolia, Phthiotis and Pieria provided the appro-
priate combination of summer and winter pasture. Some pastoral
groups moved their flocks longer distances, sometimes across the
68 Nationalism and Nationality Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism 69

Balkans, but most practised a less far-ranging transhumance, a an area where military talent, in contrast to resources, was never
migratory cycle based on the turn of the seasons and confined scarce.
to more or less the same mountain districts and lowland winter The armatoles were former outlaws who had been amnestied
pastures. Migratory shepherds, on both their spring and autumn and employed to suppress banditry. Setting a thief to catch a
journeys, followed pr-arranged and relatively safe routes, usually thief, a ploy used ever since rulers sought to protect their
along the region's rivers.2 exposed territories and frontiers without keeping standing armies,
This demographic and ecological pattern involved dispersed was common practice. Armatoles were charged with the safety of
habitation and an unsettled mode of life which accentuated the mountain passes and maintenance of law and order in the districts
insecurity arising out of foreign and arbitrary rule, and favoured of their jurisdiction, the armatoliks. These coincided with certain
the development of a separate society in the highlands, strange administrative units in areas where brigandage was prevalent.
and basically hostile to the towns and the lowland world in general. Each armatolik was entrusted to a kapitanos (captain), usually
The use or threat of force, a primary determinant of access to and chosen from among the ablest and most dangerous outlaws and
defence of vital sources of livelihood, accentuated the climate of receiving his authority directly from the Turkish authorities in
insecurity and competition. Physical and socioeconomic fragmen- the presence of the Christian notables. He pledged fidelity to
tation, on the other hand, favoured strong local attachments and the state and was commissioned to keep a number of armatoles
loyalties combined with mistrust towards outside authority. This under his command in order to be able to perform his duties.
social organization favoured sheep-stealing, robbery, and arms The captain, once invested with formal authority, patrolled the
bearing, which in turn contributed to the development of a military armatolik, collected as well as state and other taxes the special
class with its own ethos. This class grew within the foreign ruler's taxes paid by Christian subjects towards the salaries of armatoles
security system; unable to bring the mountainous region under under his command, and did his best to run the district as a family
effective state control and station garrisons at strategic points, the preserve. raising flocks and engaging in farming and commerce.
Ottomans licensed bands of Christian irregulars, generally known The position gradually became hereditary and was identified with
as armatoles, and entrusted them with the task of keeping away a number of local families such as the Boukouvalas, the Blakhavas,
brigands, known as klephts, from the villages and vulnerable the Stornaris, the Kontoyanis and the Varnakiotis.
mountain passes which state officials, military detachments, flocks The klephts were mainly fugitives, debtors, outlaws. misfits.
of livestock and caravans had to cross.3 adventurers, victims of oppression, men not attached to the land
The klephts and armatoles were the product of insecurity by property or other obligations, who took to the hills and became
of life and property, conquest, foreign rule, and a terrain and brigands. A real or imagined injustice, an infraction of the law, or
economy that favoured lawlessness in general and brigandage merely family tradition were enough to send a young man outside
in particular. They were mountaineers, mostly pastoralists, and the bounds of lawful society. In a world where the line separating
usually predatory in their habits. Whether bandits or militiamen legality from illegality was blurred, crossing it did not always
in the service of the authorities, they valued arms, and thrived on involve a serious infringement of the law. By virtue of their
violence and open or veiled defiance of established authority. No defiance of established authority, the klephts captured the popular
doubt the availability of arms in the eighteenth century contributed imagination and were exalted in the folk songs of the region. As
to the militarization of their defiance. B b a , an Albanian term members of a band of outlaws. klephts were driven by two primary
indicating pact and honour, was a regulatory principle in the world considerations: survival, which was no easy matter, and amnesty.
of mountain outlaws, while pallikaria or leventia, indicating manli- which often entailed enlistment in a band of armatoles. To achieve
ness, courage and bravery, was a greatly esteemed ideal. Members recognition, klephts had to prove their worth to the authorities;
of this special group were also expected to be magnanimous, through violence and terror they made themselves dangerous and
generous, self-disciplined and capable of great feats of physical feared, at the same time discrediting their adversaries on the right
strength and endurance. They had to distinguish themselves in side of the law. The most enterprising, cunning and dangerous
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70 Na~ionalismand Narionali~y

survived and attained the cherished goal: legitimacy as armatoles.


Once amnestied and invested with the authority to keep the
law, they used all means at their disposal to stay in power; when
deposed, as most ultimately were, they reverted to brigandage
and tried through violence and guile to re-emerge as armatoles.
Klephts were therefore indispensable to the particular system of
Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism

practised and which essentially had no effective means of defence


71

short of taking to the hills. That some powerful and famous klephts
like Katsantonis and Nikotsaras were crushed when they became
more defiant than the system of relative security and measured
self-regulating lawlessness allowed, proves that the klephts had to
operate within the undefined but unmistakable limits of calculated
security that had developed in the region. Victims of tyrannical lawlessness at the expense of the weak.
officials and primates before taking to the hills, they became Like armatolism, klephtism involved more than the bearing
instruments of oppression in the hands of the same powerful of arms, It was an integral part of the security system that had
elements. As klephts, they lived on plunder and extortion, indis- developed in the mountainous and virtually autonomous districts
criminately robbing the wealthy and the poor, preferably those of the region. In fact klephts and armatoles, even when they
who had more to take but generally those they feared less. The disturbed the peace and plundered the people with impunity,
support that klephts were able to attract from the common folk was placing themselves outside the law, were equally an element of
the result of fear of reprisals rather than sympathy. The approval social stability, an instrument even of social and political control
and admiration reflected in folk songs for defying authority cannot and immobilization. Whether 'wilde' or 'tame', pursuing their
possibly be interpreted as proof of support for the klepht and his particular ends or in collusion, the representatives of this social
pursuits, or of selective robbery on his part; when an outlaw, he group proved an effective safety valve and useful instrument in
was an equal scourge to the rich and the poor, the Muslim and the the hands of the rulers. Born into military life and conscious of
Christian. That peasants seldom co-operated with the authorities their power, they represented a potential threat to the security of
to hunt the outlaws is neither surprising nor viewable as ,a form the state; but their vested interest in the particular regime and the
of social protest against oppressors and exploiters. Far from being network of social relationships already described prevented them
champions and avengers, klephts terrorized the helpless peasantry from rising to national leadership. When in the 1820s they actually
no less than did their powerful oppressors, if only because the did so, it was with some reluctance, in the context of the power
former were more exposed and vulnerable and the latter had vacuum created in the region following the demise of Ali Pasha.
the state's armed force at their disposal; and, far from redressing
intolerable social evils, outlaws of that species invited by their acts
punitive measures whose consequences were felt more by the poor The War of Independence further increased the importance of
and weak than by the wealthy and mighty. Similarly, notwith- the Greek military element within the region under consideration.
standing the unmistakable appeal of the mountain to the ordinary Notwithstanding legislation by successive revolutionary assemblies
peasant, who came to consider it a heaven of free men, there can concerning the administration of insurgent districts. which gives
be little doubt that the ideal was developed and propounded more the mistaken impression of an organized government, the new
by post-Independence nationalist intellectuals and historians than regime was very slow in taking shape and insurgent captains were
by the oppressed peasantry. The ordinary klepht was a wretched, hesitant to commit themselves to it. In the first place, competent
hunted fugitive seeking,temporary refuge in the klephtic band and functionaries, who could convincingly claim to represent the
aspiring to return through amnesty to lawful society, preferably as central government, were scarce or non-existent. Secondly, even
an armatole.4 when available, such functionaries were ineffec~ivebecause they
It was a game that required guile. calculation, carefully lacked both the means to put into effect the enacted measures
measured defiance, and acceptance of its rules by everyone and the prestige associated with the supreme authority of the
concerned. Besides klephts and armatoles. it involved a weak land. Last, but not least, the insurgents had never really known
central authority which was obliged to tolerate a measure of a central government that was not foreign, physically distant, and
lawlessness, and a populace at whose expense this lawlessness was usually exacting and hostile; as a result they could not easily accept
72 Nationalism and Nationality Koliopoulos. Brigandage and Irredentism 73

that the new one might be any different. Increased authority and means to pay and feed the armed men under their command
power in the hands of the captains, on the other hand, was less was the main preoccupation of the captains at a time when the
liable to affect the military's general attitude towards authority and government had neither adequate revenues to satisfy such basic
its members' sense of their hitherto enjoyed status and social role. demands. nor the administrative machinery required to ascertain
At least, this was so in the initial stages of the conflict, when the that funds were used for the needs of the soldiery. Moreover. for
Greek cause appeared to have little prospect of success and when lack of cash and proper agencies of payment, direct access by the
traditional attitudes had not yet been rendered unacceptable by military commander to the resources of the land was often the only
new norms of acceptable behaviour backed up by newly emerging solution to thc problem of keeping the armed bands in the field.
vested interests. Far from being sufficiently imbued with a Captains held fast to the territories they had seized, considering
suddenly developing national sentiment, the various groups of them a legitimate prize. George Karai'skakis considered the district
the Greek military class continued to respond to local exigencies of Agrapha, which he claimed to have liberated. 'legitimate
and developments and, when possible, avoided openly committing conquest'.H Odysseus held fast to the Acropolis of Athens, whence
themselves or acting on their commitment. he controlled Attica and part of Boeotia, until dislodged by rival
The captains, more than the other indigenous elites, temporized captains; and when he signed a truce with the Turks and submitted
until overtaken by events, and joined the struggle, more often in 1825 to a friendly Albanian chieftain, it was with the aim of
than not, to secure a position of power and influence or to gaining reinstatement in the region by forcing the revolutionary
dispossess the enemy or a rival. Most treated the authorities government to come to terms with him.9
appointed by the revolutionary government with utmost suspicion Disputes over control of certain districts led to fierce little
and contempt, particularly those who were not under their control civil wars that seriously limited the scale and impact of the war
or influence or who refused to tolerate their excesses. Powerful against the Turks. Such disputes raged between Karaiskakis and
captains usually disregarded such civil authorities as ventured into John Rangos over the district of Agrapha, which was a bone of
their districts, and ruled as petty despots. Dimos Skaltsas, captain contention from the outbreak of hostilities until the former's death
of Lidoriki in central Rumeli, who had risen to the captanlik from in 1827. Agrapha was a 'border district' contested by both Greeks
the ranks of the klephts, ruled the district with no regard for and Turks, who alternated the appointment of authorities with
established authority; like an 'emperor', complained the district bouts of plunder. Rangos, a foreigner to Agrapha - he came from
governor, who remained a practically impotent representative nearby Valtos - but a friend of Mavrokordatos. was appointed
of central authority until the captain's demise.5 'These people', military governor of the district. No sooner had he secured the
wrote the district governor of nearby Karpenisi, 'know not what position than he sent his trusted lieutenants to rule in his name, and
government means'; and he implored Alexander Mavrokordatos, clashed with Karaiskakis and his men. The 'lawful' heir to the local
government representative in western Rumeli, to intercede with captanlik was Kostas Boukouvalas, scion of a famous armatolic
George Peslis, captain of Sovolako, so that he and the inhabitants family that had been associated with the captanlik before the war
of the district might show more respect for his authority.-or a but had since faccd many adversities.1
time, and before he fell both from grace and to an inglorious death Some captains amassed riches or simply added to those they
from the Acropolis. Odysseus held all power in Athens: military, already possessed, but others saw their fortunes disappear.
civil and legislative.7 Varnakiotis, captain of Xeromero before the war, was a powerful
Captains competed for position and the means to keep as many man before submitting to the Turks in 1822 - most probably after
armed men as possible, usually in the context of pre-war captanliks securing a better bargain from a friendly Albanian commander
and the associated network of interests. Through the right connec- than the revolutionary government was in a position to grant
tions and alliances, by force of arms if necessary or by collaborating him. His considerable property in land. stored grain, sheep and
with the enemy if force was of no avail. captains vied with each cattle became the easy prey of his former lieutenants, particularly
other for control of a district and its resources. Possession of the George Tsongas, a Sarakatsan who stepped into his master's shoes
74 Narionalism and Narionaliry 75
Koliopoulos, Brigandage and lrredenrism
and had the government appoint him military governor of the dis-
trict. Shortly before his submission and dispossession, the Senate to a pasha. 15 With Greek fortunes. especially in the border zone.
of Western Greece, the local assembly of captains and primates, always in the balance, no responsible leader of the respective
addressed the proud captain in most servile terms, fearing him communities could be expected to disregard the real danger of
more than it did the revolutionary government or the sultan.11 his district becoming a battleground of adversaries lacking an
For similar reasons and motives many captains went over to organized supply system and depending for their daily needs on
the Turks, or merely threatened to do so. Submission to the Turks contributions and plunder. The captain, in his capacities as chief of
and collaboration to any degree with the enemy, deplorable and irregulars, military governor, and collector of taxes in his district.
contemptible though they may have been to the representatives of had every interest In keeping the war and the attendant ravages
the insurgent government and the emerging new political entity, at bay, and securing a measure of peace for the people under his
were actions taken within the context of traditional roles and protection. A captain's power and authority, particularly in times
values - indeed, the very roles and values associated with the of rapidly changing circumstances, rested almost exclusively on the
development of the military class of the region already described. number of armed men he was able to keep under his command;
When, following the fall of Missolonghi to the Turks in April 1826 and when old loyalties were loosened or severed, the only effective
and the submission of most Rumeliot military chiefs to their former means of keeping irregulars attached to the band were salaries and
masters, Andrew Siafakas was appointed captain of the armatolik rations, which had to be secured by all means and at any cost.
of Lidoriki by Mehmed Reshid Pasha, neither side appeared to Another related factor behind submission and collaboration.
consider the act extraordinary.12 Even less extraordinary, to the in addition to concern for the safety of one's people and the
adversaries at least, appears to have been co-operation of a more uninterrupted collection of vital revenue, was the tangled and
discreet character, like the mutually beneficial and unheralded conflicting networks of alliances and their respective interests
relationship between Tsongas and a friendly Albanian chieftain, in the region. Alliances were formed and re-formed and feuds
Bekir Djogador, who entrusted their flocks of sheep to each intensified due to the revolut~onary government's efforts to
other's protection whenever the Greeks invaded Bekir's domain in harness individual military expertise and influence to the general
Preveza or the Albanians did the same in the opposite direction.13 war effort. Theoretically, the result of such efforts and generally of
In more than one sense, submission and collaboration grew out the exercise of central authority should have been the dissolution
of the traditional exchange of roles between outlaws and organs of alliances and the termination of feuds. But until the central
of security. It now operated in a novel context; the emergence government was in a position to reimburse military service, which
of an alternative central authority and the addition of a political became possible only after the arrival from London of the first
dimension to outlawry raised the stakesdramatically and made the instalment of the War Loan in 1824 and as national revenue was
old game a rather grim undertaking. collected and became available under government supervision,
Certainly, concern for the safety and well-being of the inhabit- captains and their pursuits had to be tolerated. Indeed, they had to
ants of the district under a captain's jurisdiction was a considera- be favoured, when, submission to the enemy included, they were
tion no less weighty than pursuit of personal and family interests felt to be generally harmless in the long run since they neutralized
and advancement; in fact, they were inseparable. 'To bring the each other and gradually undermined the power of the military
poor wretches back to their huts', wrote Gogos Bakolas, a.wise old class.
captain, to justify his submission to his former masters following Insurgent or submissive, captains were always sensitive to the
the Greek defeat at Peta in August 1822 which left his border size of their bands, which they organized around a nucleus of
captanlik of Radovitsi at the Turks' mercy.14 Concern for the trusted men, preferably kinsmen, and which they always tried to
safety of the people - and for honour - prompted Karaiskakis, too, expand. A sizeable and compact band was a formidable weapon.
to open negotiations in May 1824 with a Turkish commander: or so as an instrument of politics and influence no less than as an instru-
he maintained with great and disarming force in a letter addressed ment of war. Commissions and ranks carried so many salaries and
rations in cash or kind. Captains were never short of devices when
76 Nationalism and Nationality Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism 77

it came to attracting and keeping armed men in their bands. One's enemy and an end in themselves, since most knew little else besides
gain was another's loss, and none could afford to lose unless he was the life of a freebooter and the general devastation and disruption
prepared to be crushed - or just to be 'chased away from the pie'. caused by the war had dramatically increased the demand for paid
as an observant captain put it,16 which led to the same fate. Salaries service in arms. In this sense, and to the extent that they entered
and rations, like control of territory and its resources. became into agreement with a captain to serve for a monthly salary.
a primary objective of military entrepreneurs and a powerful irregulars were mercenaries, but of a particular kind. As members
, ,p.1 instrument in the hands of politicians. Increased and prompt of the military class described earlier, they were associated with a
, >,I payments were interpreted as a show of government favour, while particular chief or sct of chiefs, identified with the same locality
I if
delayed o r cancelled payments signified disfavour. An increase as themselves. For all the war's upheavals and the attendant
I! ! of salaries to one captain, even when absolutely necessary to loosening of social relationships, generally men led and followed
)I: strengthen a military position, provoked pressures and intrigues relatives and acquaintances, not strangers; and %hen they chose to
rl! from many quarters for similar increases. Some had recourse to defect from a camp. they did so in the company of comrades and
I
time-honoured practices by which they secured free quarters and under their petty chief.
A: salaries not necessarily approved by the central government, such Salaries were a primary consideration for both the irregular and
f,, as agreements with villages to keep the peace for a fee. Despite his captain, as of course was the prospect ot loot and food. For
V.. ' a solemn agreement among the captains and primates of western lack of an effective supply system, the problem of provisioning
Rumeli, in a special assembly of February 1822, that the armatolik the roving bands of irregulars was solved by unofficially letting
:;1 1
system should end and the captains never again have recourse to the men help themselves from the possessions of those who had
the practices associated with it, these did not cease everywhere. something to lose. In the absence of effective central government
i! When salaries were slow in reaching the captains, or were and because of the shifting fortunes and territorial zones of the
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considered inadequate and below their needs or expectations, adversaries, everyone whose possessions attracted the attention
If they had recourse to ways and means they preferred in the first of the hungry irregular and who could not offer armed resistance
i,! f place: contributions, usually raised with the use of force and with for the defence of property was considered 'enemy'. The flocks of
ji~ impunity. The range of such forced contributions was almost the local and passing shepherds attracted the irregular's attention
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limitless, varying according to the particular habits and talents more than any other kind of property, no doubt because sheep
of each captain and local circumstances. Only the contributor did and goats can be made to walk and because of the local mastery in
not vary: he was always the unarmed and vulnerable peasant of sheep-stealing. Many of the Greek irregulars - and their Turkish
I
the plain o r the migratory shepherd. Border captains in particular, and Albanian adversaries - who fell on the sheep and goats of the
lu1 who were essentially independent of the two command systems at more vulnerable shepherds with such devastating familiarity with
t i war, moved back and forth across undefined lines of jurisdiction, sheep-stealing had been, and continued to be, shepherds.
IP seeking, in addition to rank and income appropriate to their In search of food, paid military service and booty, and while
yi military talent. to maximize their material profit through plunder. fighting to secure what they considered their due, captains and
i ?? Military entrepreneurs of that region supplemented taxation of irregulars fought the war to a successful end, undermining all
114 the settled and vulnerable peasantry with plunder outside their the while, unintentionally but irrevocably, the very foundations of
districts. Government representatives and military commanders their class. The extensive and systematic pillage and dispossession
li' allowed captains and their ill-paid and poorly supplied men to practised throughout the war, which satisfied immediate needs.
l/i! make forays into areas controlled by the enemy and carry off seriously disrupted the regional economy. The pastoral economy
!b whatever provisions came their way. preferably sheep and cattle. in particular, which constituted the main foundation of the military
li ,' Irregulars had to be paid and fed regularly, one way o r another, class, was dealt a very serious blow. It could sustain institutiona-
,
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It, and when it came to claiming their due, they would stop at nothing. lized and professional sheep-stealing, but could not absorb the
'I! Pay and rations were both a means to carry on the fight against the large-scale losses caused by undisciplined and hungry bands of
78 Nalionalism and Narionalily Koliopoulos, Brigandage and lrredentkm 79

irregulars. Mercenary and predatory by tradition, captains and re-employ them, produced a serious dislocation on both sides of
their men served whatsoever masters and causes they judged best the frontier and heaped on the northern Greek provinces hordes
suited their interests. Ultimately, if indirectly, they nevertheless of destitute refugees from the sultan's domains. An irredentist
advanced the cause of the emerging national state, which proved foray into the same domains in 1840, on the occasion of another
a formidable master. Captains, however, did not recede into crisis of the 'Eastern Question', again allowed Greek nationalists
oblivion. They survived the war and the post-war upheavals to make their point and provided predatory irregulars with an
and lingered on, delaying their demise by adapting to the new opportunity to rob with impunity. Three years later the September
realities and finding for themselves new roles in the emerging new 1843 revolt, which opened the way for the promulgation of the
socio-political framework. constitution of 1844, also inaugurated a period in which the
government manipulated irredentism and irredentist bands of all
shades and pursuits to feed nationalist aspirations and satisfy the
The Greek national state, disappointing though it may have captains and their following at the expense of the peasantry on
been to many Greeks. was a state that could be expanded. Most both sides of the border. Ioannis Kolettis, prime minister (1844-7)
Greeks viewed the territorial settlement of 1830 as nothing more and recognized patron of the Rumeliot pallikars (braves), allowed
than a temporary arrangement. Successive Greek territorial gains captains to pursue their interests relatively freely but mostly across
were expected to keep pace with Ottoman decline, subject, of the border. In that way Kolettis satisfied a potentially dangerous
course, to the fluctuating interests and influence of the European social element without burdening state finances, while creating
powers in the Balkans and the Near East. Those. however, the impression that Greek national aspirations were not being
were variables that were subject t o different interpretations, and abandoned. Kolettis manipulated the traditional military element
ignored the objectives and requirements both of the Greek state without precipitating a break with Turkey and without favouring
and of Christians in the sultan's domains. The more sober and one set of military condot~ieriagainst another more than was safe
responsible social elements in both realms were understandably for the security of the state and his regime.
reluctant to disturb the peace in the area and thus undermine The end of Kolettis's regime in 1847 inaugurated a period
the fragile security in both countries. But there were many others of instability, with roving bands of irregulars led by disaffected
who seemed to thrive on such upheavals. To the captains and captains. What started as a game of measured and calculated use
their clientage, who needed suitable occasions to exercise their of band activity between 'ins' and 'outs' soon became transformed
predatory talents, as well as to other parties that derived a into a clash between conflicting ideological and political currents.
political profit from band activity, such disturbances were more especially after news of the 1848 revolutions in Europe began to
than welcome; and when disturbances were slow in materializing, appear in the Athenian press. Certain demands of a liberal-con-
they were readily incited in the name of the unredeemed brothers stitutional nature, which were never more than a smoke-screen for
across the border. Ottoman misrule and oppression could always the pursuit of objectives more dear to the captains of Rumeli, did
provide the necessary occasion for a call to arms, while grievances not mislead the government. A series of measures. such as permis-
related to the particular political game that had developed in the sion to recruit irregulars at state expense and repeated amnesties
Greek state contributed to the outbreak of such disturbances in of outlaws, took the ground from under the feet of the rebels and
more than one way. led to the gradual collapse of the disturbances.
Upheavals of that nature produced great dislocation, particular- The political turmoil of the late 1840s was followed by the
ly in the northern Greek provinces and the neighbouring domains irredentist upheavals of the mid-1850s, occasioned by the Crimean
of the sultan, where irredentist and brigand bands were attracted, War. Even beforc the outbreak of hostilities between Russia and
often with the same objectives. The disturbances of 1835-6 in the Turkey in the autumn of 1853, nationalist feeling was rising in
northern provinces of Greece, in which disbanded and disaffected Greece as a result of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of
irregulars of the War of Independence sought to force the state to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in May 1453.
80 Nationalism and Nationality 81
Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism
There was much talk about the establishment of a 'Greek Empire'
The general and unprecedented licence of the interregnum
on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, and the liberation of the
favoured a state of lawlessness, which, after the promulgation
unredeemed brothers who were expected to rise in arms at the first
of the new constitution ruling out amnesty of common criminals,
signal from Greece. Free and unredterned Greeks would embark
produced an explosive situation during the next few years. Before
upon the 'Second Greco-Turkish War'on the pattern of the 'first'
1864 the periodic amnesty of outlaws was employed to defuse
war against the Turks, the War of Independence.17 By January
similar situations. The measure had been used in the 1830s
1854, Greek nationalists were able to incite revolt in Epirus and
and 1840s, whenever brigands appeared to be more provocative
Thessaly and to send across the border several thousand volunteers
than usual. Another measure, putting a price on the heads of
to support the rebels.
notorious outlaws. was of little use. I f suppression was impossible
The 1854 irredentist rising in the sultan's domains bordering on
Greece attracted, in addition to nationalist enthusiasts from across and amnesty unavailable. another tried expedient was certain to
the border, the traditional military element of the region and a produce results: recruitment of outlaws into irredentist bands. A
great collection of brigands and other outlaws. To confront the stillborn rising in Thessaly in 1867 gave outlaws of northern
Christian would-be liberators and marauders the Porte sent hordes Greece the opportunity to exercise their talents outside Greek
of Muslim Albanian irregulars, who proved more than a match for territory, while a protracted rising in Crete (1866-9) appeared
their opponents in the art of dispossessing friend and foe. Before to offer great prospects for plunder to the same outlaws, who
long, the rising degenerated into indiscriminate and systematic were given free passage to the embattled island. By that time,
plunder, to the great disappointment of the nationalist press which unfulfilled irredentist aspirations, the pressure of outlawry, and
for the best part of a year had been exhorting the Greeks to join the the requirements of the particular brand of politics that had
national crusade in Epirus and Thessaly. A change of government developed in Greece allowed her rulers to see in the country's
and policy in mid-1854, which came after the intercession of the outlaws so many. legitimate volunteers for the irredentist struggles
-

British and the French with the king, put an end to the rising and of the nation.
saved Greece some face: by the time the Greek government was Irregulars, by that time, appear to have been established as the
obliged to bow before foreign intervention, the rising had, for all favoured army of the nation. while the regular army had come to
practical purposes, spent its force, and the insurgent bands had be considered at best a decorative Western institution. This was
turned into groups of undisciplincd marauders. The collapse of the not unrelated to the impossibility of employing the regular army in
rising in Epirus and Thessaly sent into the northern provinces of the pursuit of irredentist policy, since the great European powers
Greece hundreds of destitute refugees, many of them rebels who would not allow the use of force for the realization of Greek
had been compromised in the eyes of the Ottoman authorities and national aspirations. In 1867 army commanders on the frontier
could not return to their homes. saw their regular army units gradually vanish, as more men were
Frustrated national aspirations and resentment at the establish- persuaded by nationalist apostles to join irredentist bands across
ment by the great European powers of an international financial the border. The same practice threatened to destroy the mobilized
commission to examine and report on the poor shape of Greek army in 1877-8. o n the occasion of the RusstrTurkish War. This
finances, as well as identification with the struggle of the Italians threat. in conjunction with mounting and no less threatening
for unification, led to the October 1862 revolution, which forced pressure on the government from public opinion to declare
King Otto and Queen Amalia to abdicate their rights to the throne war i~gai~ist Turkey. led in January 1878 to the iltadvised and
and leave the country. Until the arrival the following year of a ill-fated invasion of Thessaly by the Greek army. The recall of
new king, the young Prince George of the Danish royal house of the army soon after its despatch across the harder. immediately
Gliicksburg, and the promulgation of a new constitution in 1864, after the Russo-Turkish armistice in February, was the signal for
the rebels had time to break open prisons and let loose scores of sending into Thcssaly. Epirus and Macedonia a number of sizeable
political prisoners and common criminals. irredentist bands 10 stir up revolt among the Christians of these
districts.
82 Nationalism and Nationality Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism 83

The rising in the neighbouring Ottoman domains in this instance association, the National Society, in this instance recruited several
supported the Greek claims at the Congress of Berlin, which in sizeable bands and directed them to Macedonia throughout the
turn strengthened the hand of the British, who were able, with summer and early autumn of 1896; and in the early spring
the support of the Austrians, to limit drastically the territory of the of the following year the Society brought together for action
newly-born and Russian-supported Bulgarian state and maintain in Macedonia several hundred irregulars of every description.
Ottoman rule in fiercely contested Macedonia. A s a result of organized into bands and fitted out in the fashion of traditional
the 1878 settlement of ;he 'Eastern Crisis' Thessaly was ceded irregulars. Captains were not hard to come by, as enthusiastic
to Greece in 1881, and the Greeks acquired one more national young army officers were thrilled to rub shoulders with the
enemy: the Bulgarians, who claimed Macedonia for themselves. professional marauders of the region who converged on the border
In the next few decades and until World War I, Macedonia from their mountain retreats, attracted mainly by the prospect of
became the focal point of Greek irredentist activity. In Macedonia booty. The invading army in April 1897, it is worth noting, was
it increased in volume and intensitv after 1878 and in the context preceded by the collection of freebooters, who were the first to
of Bulgarian counter-claims in the region, which were responsible fall back in disorderly fashion, followed soon by the regular army
for a more militant turn of Greek irredentism. The Bulgarian which proved no match for the better trained and better equipped
provocation and the Russian support assumed to lie behind it Turkish army.
undermined and weakened the position of those who supported In the fifteen years before 1912, when Greece was at last able to
the fulfilment of national aspirations in co-operation with the other put in the field a sizeable and well-organized and -equipped regular
Balkan peoples. The challenge from the north also undermined a army, the Greeks waged yet another round of irredentist band war-
certain national self-assurance, which had derived from traditional fare, the struggle for Macedonia. I t was a vicious and protracted
and generally recognized Greek cultural superiority; in turn, this struggle against Bulgarian bands, and combined traditional tactics
was responsible for an increased urgency in the calls for national and armed elements with modern expertise provided by young
unification through war and a less confident claim to the civilizing army officers who led bands of irregulars in the contested region.
mission of the Greeks. The struggle for Macedonia aimed to protect and support
T o support the new policy the Greeks needed an effective Christians who were not afraid to claim a Greek national identity
national army. In the hectic days of early 1878, even as irredentist and to inculcate it into those who felt only a Greek Orthodox
bands crossed into Thessaly, the need for such an army was identity. Initially, it was conducted through ecclesiastical, educa-
stressed and the employment of bands of irregulars deprecated. tional and cultural propaganda. Progressively, however, and as
Charilaos Trikoupis's army reforms in the 1880s, which aimed the opponent became increasingly provocative and used force to
to increase the size of the country's armed forces and improve win an advantage in the contested region, the Greeks came to
the quality of their training and equipment. were well received. realize that schools and churches were of little use without the
Old practices and habits, however, died hard. On the occasion means to keep the Bulgarian bands at bay. In the light of the
of the Bulgarian annexation of eastern Rumelia in 1885, which Turks' dogged refusal to relinquish Macedonia, the inability of the
provoked Greek demands for territorial compensation. Theodore European powers to agree on the dispossession of the sultan of
Deliyannis, Trikoupis's political opponent and successor in gov- his last European domains, and the unavoidable conviction of the
ernment, turned a blind eye to the formation of irredentist bands contestants that such dispossession was bound to come sooner o r
and their crossing the border even as he ordered the mobilization later, dismemberment of Macedonia was postponed. Band warfare
of the army and kept it ostensibly ready for invasion throughout for the control of villages and spheres of influence was adopted
the winter of 1885-6. by the contestants almost naturally: bands of every description
Even more striking was the role assigned to the irredentist bands became one of the area's main features. From 1903, when the
ten years later. on the occasion of the 1896-7 Greco-Turkish crisis, Bulgarian-supported IMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary
which led to open hostilities in April 1897. A powerful irredentist Organization) launched an unsuccessful rising against Turkish
nation^, ' tn and Nationality Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism 85

rule, until the Young Turk revolt in 1908, whi:,!l promised equal The War of Independence, as might be expected, became a
treatment to non-Muslims under a constitution;^! government and guiding point of reference; but it did not provide a framework for
essentially put an end to the fighting in Macedonia. Greek bands the definition of national claims. The position put forward during
more than met the Bulgarian challenge. at Irast in southern the war, that Greece would consist of the districts that had taken
Macedonia, which was eventually won by the (;. :ek regular or would take up arms against Ottoman rule,l9 instead of limiting
army in the Balkan wars of 1912-13. The wars also removed Greek national aspirations and expectations by placing them in
some .of the factors that had sustained the traditional military the framework of revolutionary action, essentially 'denationalized'
element of the region under consideration. Captains and bandits these aspiratior~sand expectations because it implied claims over
of all descriptions were at last relegated to the past. Some brigands territories inhabited by Greek Orthodox, among whom those
survived until the end of the 1920s. I)ut they were never more than sympathetic to the Greek national cause were not always in a
hunted outlaws, survivors of an era that had come to an end. The majority. Even more important for the development of a national
growth, around the same time, of a popular literature based on the ideology and policy, the projection of revolutionary action as the
lives and exploits of brigands was fitting tribute to an unforgotten main defining and legitimizing point of reference set the course of
national pastime and reflected nostalgia for a world that had national policy and action.
outlived itself by almost a century. 18 The other point of reference led in the same direction. This
Two developments that facilitated the prevalence and regular was that of the Ottoman Empire and the prospects of winning
reproduction of the captain class were (i) the growth 0f.a national a dominant position in the sultan's European dominions. The
ideology that placed captains and their values and pursuits at Greeks of both the kingdom and the empire would eventually
the centre of the process of national liberation; and (ii) the take over the latter and run it as a Christian empire; their numbers
steady disintegration of mountain'society and economy which, and superior culture, as well as their historical rights, made this
in conjunction with the regular supply of destitute refugees from transfer of power inevitable. The Greek nation, a notion never
across the border, provided a pool of prospective clients for the more vague and all-embracing than in the formative years of the
captains. Major roles in the development of a national ideology fledgling Greek state, came to be considered the rightful heir of the
appear to have been played by the unsatisfactory boundaries of Ottoman Turks. The nation was still conceived as a religious and
the original national Greek state, and more particularly by the cultural unity in both space and time, which included, in addition
distance separating those boundaries from what were believed by to the Greeks of the free state, the Greek Orthodox of both the
Greeks to be the rightful boundaries of their nation. This distance Ottoman Empire and the diaspora. This broad view of the Greek
was so great that there appeared to be no point in putting forward nation favoured the postponement of the projection of definite
national aspirations in the form of concrete territorial claims. geographical boundaries and of adaptation of national aspirations
What were felt to be the undeniable historical rights of the to them.
Greeks, as well as the dominant position of Greek culture and The idea of a 'great fatherland', so eloquently expressed
language in the Ottoman Empire, in the context of the expected by Kolettis in his famous speech to the national assembly in
disintegration of Ottoman power in the European dominions of the January 1844.20 of free Greece as a 'reserve' for the liberation
sultan, contributed to this postponement of working out concrete and unification of all Greeks in a great Greek empire, allowed
and realistic territorial claims for the fledgling national state; so. a deputy in 1848 to speak of Asia Minor, Thessaly, Epirus,
perhaps, did the fact that that national state had never been what Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Thrace, Bulgaria, Dacia, the Ionian
most Greeks had really fought for in the first place; so, finally, Islands and the 'entire Mediterranean', as well as Syria, as 'these
did the extensive conspiratorial network of the Philike Hetairia, or splendid districts, these great Greek peoples'.21 Similarly, an
Society of Friends, which worked for the outbreak of the insurrec- anonymous popular poet in 1855 envisioned, as a solace for
tion of 1821, the proclamation of that insurrection in the Danubian the humiliating foreign occupation, the 'rightful' and 'natural'
Principalities, and the uprisings in southern Macedonia and Crete.
I boundaries of 'Greece': the Danube and the Black Sea in the
I
Nationalism and Nationality Koliopoulos, Brigarldage and Irredentism 87
I
north, the Euphrates in the east, the Adriatic Sea in the west, and for similar reasons, of a large section of the population and
the Mediterranean in the south.22 The same all-encompassing and particularly the mountaineers to register with the authorities of a
elusive notion of a realm for the Greek nation nurtured the theory settled community; and (iii) the frequent movement of migratory
of the 'indivisibility' and 'unity' of the Greeks and of the 'realm of shepherds from one realm to the other and from mountain to
Greece', as well as that of Greece's 'mission' to civilize the East by plain or the opposite. No surprise. then, that no one in Greece at
rising against Ottoman rule, in the manner of Christ's rising to save the time seems to have possessed even approximate figures on the
the world.23 That 'mission', no less than the 'unity' of the Greeks, migratory shepherds of the region.
called for a crusade to establish the Greek empire. The protecting The unmistakably hostile attitude of official Greece towards
powers had no legitimate reason to obstruct the establishment of migratory shepherds, while not constituting evidence of their
that empire. Voices in favour of a model kingdom of Greece. and declining fortunes, does point to one of the main factors behind
of peaceful progress of the Greeks in both the Greek kingdom and this decline: state hostility towards modes of life and economic
the Ottoman Empire, were not lacking but were drowned by the activities that were difficult or impossible to incorporate into the
calls to arms for the establishment of the new 'Greek Christian predominant system of political, social and economic relations.
Empire'.24 This hostility, which can be explained in terms of the resistance
The other development which is connected with the undim- to the inroads of the modern state in traditional society, was
,'&I.I inished influence of the captain class in the nineteenth century, intensified in the case of modern Greece by at least four related
I i" the disintegration of the local mountain economy and society, factors: brigandage, indiscriminate sheep-stealing and slaughtering
is more difficult to trace. Direct evidence for the gradual and by roving bands of irregulars, the division of the vital territory of
inexorable undermining and disintegration of the economy and migratory pastoralism by national boundaries, and the expansion
society of the Greek uplands is almost impossible to come by. of ploughland to the detriment of grassland.
With few exceptions, contemporary observers fail t o record that The dislocating effect of brigandage needs little explanation.
disintegration and the consequent exodus of mountaineers and Desperate to secure grazing land for their flocks, as well as to be
particularly pastoralists. A sensitive and perceptive young officer able to migrate in the autumn and spring, shepherds were obliged
became aware, while serving on the frontier in the early years to bribe right and left, from the mayor who provided the necessary
of the twentieth century, of this decline and disintegration of certificate of residence in a particular deme, to the gendarme who
mountain economy and society, as a result of their penetration had to be convinced to turn a blind eye to the unavoidable visits
by modern 'civilization'. The mountaineers of the region. demor- from brigands - relatives or strangers - as well as to the local entre-
alized and miserable but 'proud like impoverished old nobles', preneur with enough political influence to rent extensive national
were unable to stem the tide, and simply fled the inroads of grazing land from the state and lease it piecemeal to shepherds.
modernity.25 Depopulated upland communities and the growth of Gendarmerie officers and district governors planted shepherd
lowland villages and towns might be considered indirect evidence spies in the various shepherd associations to report contacts with
of such disintegration, if the pace and volume of that migration the brigands, and set one group against the other by securing the
could be safely established to have been quicker and greater than best pastures for shepherds under their protection. Fear of arrest
the natural trickle of mountaineers settling in the plain in times of and deportation for harbouring brigands drove many shepherds to
1I t
i relative peace and security, and if it could also be shown that the
mountaineers in question did not choose to emigrate abroad. Both
the folds of the brigand bands and, ultimately. to brigandage; and
this, in turn, left their relatives at the mercy of the gendarmes and
I
propositions are almost impossible to check for lack of regional the local political boss. Detention without trial in a frightful dun-
I, demographic studies; while an uncritical comparison of available geon was usually long and painful, and was often expected to last
population figures can be very misleading, on account of (i) the as long as the prisoner's endurance. Detention and imprisonment
inadequacies of the state census, because of the popular tendency drained the vital manpower of the pastoral association (tselingato),
I I :
to associate it with taxation or conscription; (ii) the reluctance, especially in the spring and summer, the height of brigand activity
88 Narionalisrn and Nationality

and the most active period for the pastoralist. Wild beasts and
I Koliopoulos. Brigandage and Irredentism
the men fell on the possessions of both shepherd and peasant, irre-
sheep-lifters got their share from the underprotected flocks, but
the lion's share went to the gendarme, the political boss, and spective of loyalty iind with unvarying results. Migratory shepherds
the lawyer who secured the shepherd's release from detention o r were again dispossessed in the Greek-Turkish war of 1897, during
prison. The brigand connection, which was due t o both custom and the struggle for Macedonia (1903-8). and even in the Balkan wars
necessity, invited regular and harsh punitive state action which, in (1912-13) when the adversaries put in the field regular armies with
turn, led to the victimization and brutalization of the shepherds - adequati supply lines.
and increased connections with brigandage. Sheep-stealing. of course. had always been practised and was a
The pastoral association was losing young men to the brigand quasi-professional activity at which the shepherds themselves were
bands, to the gendarmerie or the frontier guards, and t o the unsurpassed masters. But this kind of animal-lifting only led to
sedentary peasantry. Impoverished and demoralized shepherd an insignificant and rather temporary readjustment of ownership.
families allowed a son to attach himself to a friendly band of What adversely affected the pastoral econonly of the region was
brigands or to the gendarmerie, essentially for the same reasons: the large-scale dispossession of migratory shepherds and the
security, and augmentation of declining incomes. Brigandage consequent dislocation caused by the activities of undisciplined
provided, in addition to immediate returns, the easiest path to bands of irregulars. Such losses could not be sustained even by the
most powerful groups of transhumant shepherds, who had to meet
enlistment in the gendarmerie or the frontier guards; so did service
in the bands of irregulars employed in irredentist forays o r internal
political upheavals. Another male member of the family would
-
risine costs in a world increasingly dominated by nation-states and
peasant proprietors.
find employment with peasant sheep-owners, so as to bring home Even more dislocating than brigandage and indiscriminate
some grain for his services as shepherd and take whatever came his animal theft and slaughter was the division of the vital territory of
way as a collaborator with brigand bands or the gendarmerie. The nomadic pastoralism by national boundaries separating perennially
pastoral association was gradually losing its attraction to shepherd hostile states. The first Greek-Turkish frontier ran through
families. as its ability to provide a measure of security and prosper- continental Greece and harmed migratory shepherds in at least two
ity was progressively undermined. Brigands, gendarmes, frontier ways: it increased the cost of the seasonal rnovementsof the flocks,
guards, and shepherds in the service of sedentary peasants were as shepherds were obliged to pay, in addition to the regular sheep
primarily demoralized and drifting members of a traditional world tax, a certain duty on crossing from one state to the other; and it
in a state of dissolution, at a time when the city and the plain could contributed to the dispossession of the shepherd by the frontier
not absorb all of them for lack of jobs and agricultural capital. guards and other state officials on the border. In addition to legal
The dispossession of migratory shepherds was a drain on the duties and illegal seizure of animals on the border. shepherds had
pastoral economy which it could not sustain. Plundering on a large t o pay passport charges for entering and leaving the country, as
scale was practised whenever irregular bands crossed from Greece well as a special tax for each head of livestock which, short of the
into the neighbouring domains of the sultan t o stir up revolt among figure registered on entry, was considered sold and hence taxable.
the unredeemed Greeks, and whenever the Turks summoned A migratory shepherd also had to satisfy border officials who could
bands of Albanian irregulars to expel the invaders and suppress stretch the time needed to count the animals on entry and exit long
the revolts. Such forays were extremely disruptive t o transhumant enough to make the shepherd generous with his money and the
pastoralism, because the flocks were often caught on the plain or produce of his flock. Frontier guards in temporary state service,
on their way to the mountain pastures. In the War of Independence refugees and fugitives of every description, bands of irredentist
and in subsequent eruptions, particularly on the occasion of the irregulars and/or brigands, ill-paid gendarmes, unpaid soldiers
irredentist uprisings of 1854 and 1878, Christian and Muslim and desperate driift-evaders - all these and many more who lived
irregulars wrought havoc on the flocks of sheep and goats of the on the borderline of legality allowed by the frontier awaited the
region. With no supply lines to keep the bands of irregulars fed, passing shepherd and his flock to supplement inadequate and
insecure incomes. Lonp-established custom and relationships on
90 Nationalism and Nationality Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism 91

both sides of the frontier made many migratory shepherds cross What other sections of the population contributed members to
the border twice a year and pay the price. the bands is not easy to say. Peasants, who constituted by far the
This drain on the migratory shepherd's resources became almost largest section of the population, did contribute recruits, though
prohibitive after the annexation of Thessaly and the district of Arta it seems not as miiny as one might have expected save in times
to Greece in 1881, and the consequent separation of the main of crisis, when the general licence weakened the bonds keeping
winter grazing areas from the mountains of Epirus and southern the agriculturist attached to the soil. Agriculturists of the lowlands
Macedonia. which remained in Turkish hands until 1912. Many were less likely to participate in such ventures for at least three
Pindus Vlakhs, for obvious and predictable reasons, opposed the reasons. First, their range of movement was circumscribed by the
annexation, only to be condemned by nationalist circles in Greece requirements of their work in the fields. especially in the season of
as traitors deserving the nation's scorn.26 high band activity. Secondly, their sedentary mode of life was more
The problems created by national boundaries were compounded easily expected to prevail over predatory inclinations. Thirdly,
by the steady increase of cultivated holdings, which restricted the they felt much more exposed and vulnerable to the authorities
transhumant grazing economy of many nomadic and semi-nomadic than the shifting and drifting shepherds. Landless or dispossessed
shepherds. Rising rents of pasture-land made the maintenance of peasants, usually younger sons of large peasa'nt families, who were
flocks almost impossible. To reverse the tide, the state intervened expected to find a trade for themselves, were naturally little
after World War I in favour of the shepherds, establishing rights attached to the soil, and more likely to participate in band activity,
of protected lease on pasture-land and setting a limit to grazing brigand or irredentist.
rents. But this intervention came too late to save the migratory All these, in addition to less well defined social groups such
shepherd -if he could be saved at all, short of a radically different as itinerant artisans and seasonal workers of all kinds, were the
course of national development. Ever since the establishment of ready recruits and clients of the captains in their roles as military
the modern Greek national state, the migratory shepherd and his contractors and political patrons. These men were often to be
interests had been treated with outright hostility, in contrast to found in considerable numbers in the northern provinces of the
the sedentary peasant who was seen as a solid and conservative country and particularly in the frontier zone, which developed,
member of society who deserved all possible encouragement to from the establishment of the free Greek state in the early 1830s
remain attached to the soil. onwards, all the characteristics of a military border.27 Not unlike
To the steady trickle of dislocated and demoralized shepherds the military border (Militargrenze) of the Habsburg Empire, which
one must add the periodic waves of destitute refugees fleeing had grown on the frontier with the Ottoman Empire in the
the sultan's domains in Epirus, Thessaly and Macedonia after sixteenth century, the military border separating free Greece from
each unsuccessful round of irredentist revolt. Like shepherds the sultan's domains in the Greek peninsula gave rise to a situation
temporarily or permanently set adrift, refugees from the Greek that favoured dispossession with impunity and lawlessness, and the
irredenta were prospective recruits of captains with funds or a notion that beyond the border lay a land both open to plunder
cause and promises of remuneration and booty. Their numbers, and eventually to be liberated. It was the belt running astride the
as in the case of drifting mountaineers, are not known, nor is it Greek-Turkish frontier, whose width increased during periods of
possible to arrive at even a rough estimate. This mercenary class, tension, where the law of the respective realms was essentially
which was conveniently settled near the frontier, never failed to unenforceable. This was the area in which bands of irregulars
attract the military entrepreneur. Even more important, perhaps, of all descriptions and intentions rubbed shoulders with units of
though less apparent at the time, refugees and heterochthons in gendarmes and frontier guards, particularly in times of increased
general found their way into the civil service, as there was no room tension or disturbance - where the already blurred line separating
for them in their lands (no jobs of that kind, at least), and little legality from lawlessness vanished completely. More than a stretch
else they could do in Greece. They formed by the last quarter of of land frequented by brigands, fugitives, refugees, draft evaders,
the century a sizeable and effective pressure group. deserters, frontier guards and enterprising military chiefs in search
92 Narionalism and Narionaliry Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism 93

of recruits, the military border was a world of its own, set apart by That lawlessness was initially too well entrenched and wide-
certain factors that reproduced and nourished the very values and spread for the new state to suppress; and in due course it proved
practices that modernizers in the Greek national state were trying not without some value to the security of the state and the ruling
to suppress. regime. Paid service in bands of irregulars satisfied a social element
The result of no particular policy, Greek or Turkish, the military that otherwise might have proved dangerous to the security of the
border grew out of certain conditions and practices which were in state and the regime; so did the dispossession of the peasantry on
turn products of particular needs and requirements of past and both sides of the border. By having their needs met partially from
contemporary ruling regimes. Certainly, the generally unfriendly state revenue and hy being allowed to supplement these needs by
or hostile relations between the two neighbouring countries were levying tribute on the peasants or making plundering raids across
a prerequisite for this growth. These relations by themselves, the border, captains and their armed irregular following created
however, were not enough to produce such a state of affairs. What fewer and lesser problems for the centra1,government. Brigandage
really gave that border belt the features described above was the served the same end in times of decreased tension and relative
continued use of the contracting armatolic system of security by peace.
the Turks on their side of the border and its quiet and informal If irregulars in the service of rebellious captalns could be
adoption, despite their claims to the contrary, by the Greeks on attracted away from such service by being offered better prospects,
their own side. Custom in this respect was too strong to change, captains and irregulars could be kept from rebelling in the first
while the military element that stood for that system was too place by being offered similar service and prospects for booty. I t
powerful and influential to be disregarded on either side of the was less costly to prevent rebellion than to suppress it. not only to
border. Another important factor was Greek irredentism, which the government but to those who were always expected to pay the
turned the frontier zone into the main base of operations for the cost, the vulnerablc peasantry. This is not to say that band activity
liberation of unredeemed brothers across the border. Irredentism was fomented by cynical politicians so as to take the edge off the
provided the necessary ideology to justify the plundering raids traditional military element at the expense of the peasants, within
issuing from the frontier, and made the authorities turn a blind the country or across the frontier. It was not necessary for politi-
eye to such activities or even incite them, especially when they too cians to go out of their way to channel such activities into directions
had a share in the material returns from such raids. Irredentism less dangerous for the security of the state and the regime. Besides,
also sustained the forces that occupied so central a position in the politicians were part of the same world as captains and shared most
military border. of their views on the employment of indigenous military talent.
The military border and the forces associated with it undermined What counted more than the conduct of some captains and their
reforming and modernizing efforts in the region, and exercised a men, as far as administrators were concerned, was power and the
regressive influence on the forces that were associated with the means to stay in power. Moreover. security seems to have been
emerging national state; indeed, it diverted patriotic motives into considered worth any sacrifice, including sacrifice of legality. As a
self-defeating ventures and gave patriotism a suspect and sinister rule, the opposition condemned that reasoning, only to act like the
outlook. Like the Habsburg military border, it had a stagnating government when called to office.
impact: it stood in the way of economic development and the The state of controlled and manipulated lawlessness dernoral-
establishment of public order and security; and not unlike the ized and brutalized the peasantry, and sapped the strength of the
American frontier, though for different reasons, it favoured emerging new society; while at the same time it undermined the
lawlessness. The border belt was an integral part of what might credibility and image of the very regime for which the government
be described as a system of checked and manipulated lawlessness wanted to increase respect. In the long run that state of affairs did
which had developed ever since the Ottomans had set foot in those exercise a pernicious influence on both popular attitudes towards
lands and was given new lease of life after the establishment of the the emerging state and the actual functioning of that state. But
national state in the south. governments can seldom afford to take such long-range views.
Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism
Narionalism and Narionalirj

The objectives and priorities of politicians in power, even in more than to demolish that order and build the new on the ruins. That
orderly states than the Greece of the time, do not normally allow was a Herculean task; and no Greek of the time, with the possible
them to disregard pressures like the ones exercised by captains of exception of Kapodistria, appeared to be fit for the role.
that time and region. The entrenchment of the ancien military order in public life
Irredentist raids satisfied, in addition to the immediate needs can also be discerned in the unmistakable attraction of the
of the raiders, another important consideration: the impression values and pursuits associated with that order. By the end
that the project of national liberation was not abandoned after of the nineteenth century, that attraction seems to have been
all. When this objective could not be realized by the regular irresistible. That the first post-Independence generation of army
armed forces of the new national state, irredentist excursions, officers should feel obliged to identify with the old military order
which involved the irregular forces at the disposal of the nation, is quite understandable. What is not easily explained, unless by
helped to keep alive that project, over which there seemed to have the enduring and waxing influence of what could be described as
existed a consensus in the fledgling state. Irrespective of the means the 'klephtarmatolic syndrome', is the unfailing devotion to the
employed for its realization, national liberation was an issue to old order and its values by representatives of a later generation of
which no political leader could afford not to pay at least lip service. officers.
Incidentally, it is worth noting in this context that the direction of The same syndrome and fascination were no doubt responsible
Greek irredentist policy also developed as a result of the decision for the progressive rehabilitation of the brigands and their
of the great European powers, Britain and France in particular. projection on the national scene. After they were distinguished
not to allow the extension of Greece's frontiers by force of arms at from pre-revolutionary brigands29 so as to prevent the latter's
the expense of the Ottoman Empire - or, at least, not faster than identification with banditry, post-revolutionary brigands were
the balance of power in Europe and the Near East allowed. Forays allowed a place in national life, especially in times of increased
into the Greek irredenta and calls for the imminent liberation of irredentist activity. The most common terms used to refer to the
the unredeemed brothers were the only possible alternatives to a brigands on such occasions were 'armatoles' and 'klephts'. In 1878
dynamic state policy, which the protecting powers ruled out. These and in 18967, as well as in the years of the struggle for Macedonia,
alternatives, which were imposed in a sense by the great powers brigands were seldom referred to as such, but as 'armatoles'.-\oIn
of Europe and the needs of the traditional military element, were 1904 Paul Melas, a representative junior officer of the day, not
not as unwelcome as Greek nationalists of the time wanted Europe only donned the bandit outfit on going to Macedonia so as to be
to believe, nor as useless as politicians maintained - at least as accepted by the local freebooters as their equal, but was conscious
safety valves which allowed the administration to let off steam that all his life he was being prepared for the life of the arrnatole.'l
occasionally. The pursuit of a carefully measured irredentist policy A fitting term for the entrenched old order would be 'pallik-
by Kolettis, for example, seems to have satisfied both national arism'. More than the particular set of values and practices
and political considerations, which in turn secured a measure of commonly associated with klephtarmatolism, pallikarism was con-
governmental stability, albeit at the expense of social and political nected with a certain pattern of behaviour characteristic of most
progress. public men which was responsible for many and serious blunders
These considerations, though never explicitly admitted, were in the pursuit of foreign policy, as well as with a tendency to blame
fundamental requirements of the modern Greek polity established these blunders on outside forces, particularly Western forces. The
under European guidance in the southern Balkans. The course of lack of clear and realistic priorities and objectives and the inability
internal reform and improvement, to set the country in order to place these priorities and objectives in a wider perspective. as
before undertaking to realize further national liberation, which well as the ambivalent attitude towards the Western European
did not lack public support,28 clashed with powerful interests and powers due to their role as protectors of both Greece and the
the requirements of political action in the country. It was much Ottoman Empire, were no doubt factors that favoured this kind of
easier to allow the old order to survive under a Western veneer behaviour on the part of Greek public men. Basically anti-Western
7

% Nationalism and Narionaliry Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism 97

in orientation on account of the frequent clash with British and and a creeping of criminals of that species. have
French policy requirements in the Near East, pallikarism did never really penetrated the attractive veneer of pal1ikarism- the
not exclude identification with the West; because, in addition klephtic song and the image of the folk hero. to expose the essence
to the need for protection, that association secured prestige and of that attitude and its influence on modern Greek ideological
respectability. Western philhellenism and the admiration for the developments and state formation.
CountV's glorious past constituted a useful capital deposited in the
West, which provided vital interest, in the form of respectability,
as well as support in a time of crisis. Eventually pallikarism came Notes
to terms with Western liberal principles and institutions, although
Only su~erficiallyso, and only when it was realized that these r h e material for this article was drawn from thc author's Lisres 11s kenlrikis Elladac
principles and institutions, if properly manipulated, could be sra a;on4 [Brigands of central Greece in the middle o f the nineteenth
to make old practices and pursuits even more profitable cent,,ry] (Athens 1979). and Brigands wirh a Cau~e:Brigandage and lrredenIlsm in
1 1 and secure. Modem Greece 1821-1912 (Oxford 1987).

'
1 ;'
I (
Pallikarism and its associated values were manifestations of
1, n i s analysis is based mainly on William W. McGrew's Land and
in Modern Greece 1&W1881 (Kent O H 1985). 1-19. For an
1 >I 4 the particular organization of political action and the sodial and discussion of the issues associated with the environmenlal neglect and decline
. economic structure Supporting that organization. An alternative in the region, see [George Finlay] 'The Euthanasia of the Ottoman Empire'.
I '!.,'!I. ! Organization and values more in agreement with the principles and ~ l ~ ~ Edinburgh k ~ ~Magazine ~ d (May ' ~1861). 57711. The V ~ u l movement a ~ ~ ~ ~
;1.n from ,he lowlands to the highlands is discussed by Apostolos Vaka1oVulos in 'La
I practices of the Western liberal state did not become possible until
I,,.., rttraite des populations greques dcs rCgions Cloigntes el m'Jntagne"ses pendant la
new forces intervened directly in the process of politics and the domination turques, Balkan Studies. Vol. 4 (1963). 265-76. C f . Fernand Braudel*
distribution of wealth. The strength and endurance of banditry and rhe ~ ~ and the Mediterranean
d World
i in the Age ~ translated ~
~ of Philip 11. ~

,
related forfns of o u t l a w ~testify to the slow transformation of the by sian~ ~ ~vol. ~1 (London
~ l 1972),
d 6 ~2 4 ; Richard
, I. Lawless. 'The Economy
state and society of nineteenth-century Greece. and ~~~d~~~~ of Thessaly during Ottoman Rule'. in F.W. Carder. ed.. An
~ ~Geography ~ of rhe Balkans
~ (London,
~ New
; York.~ and Sari ~Franciscol 1977),
Contemporaries occasionally attacked aspects of pallikarism, 518; B~~~~McGowan, Economic Life in Orroman Europe: Taxarion, Trade and lhe
such as the employment of irregulars to fight the countl-y's wars, ~~~~~~l~for Land, 16GO-1800 (Cambridge and London 1981). 133-7.
or the abuse of amnesty and pardon; but they never really saw 2, nebest studies are those by Carsten Hoeg. Les Sarokatsans: Une tribu
these practices as part of a more general attitude and conduct nomade grecque, 2 vols. (Paris and Copenhagen 1925-6); Angeliki Hatzimichali,
',I in the context of the organized state - nor, for that matter, with ~ ~ [Sarakatsansj,
~ 2 vols.~ (Athens 1957);
k K.D.~ Karavidas.~ Agrorika ~ ~
[ ~studies] (Athens
~ 1978,
~ fascimile~ of 1931 ~ edition); i A.J.B.~Wace and ~
few notable exceptions, did subsequent observers and analysts. nompson, rhe N ~ of ~the Balkam
~ & (London 1972. reissue of 1914 edition);
Pallikarism reflected the development of a home-grown populism I
K , Campbell, Honour, Family ond Parronage: A Sludy of l ~ f i l u t i and o~~
which?as has been recently observed, facilitated the identification ~~~~l values in a Greek Mountoin Cornrnunily (Oxford 1964); G.B. Kavadias-
of the 'nation' with the 'people' of imported and undigested P~~~~~~~ nomades m~llirerronCen:Les Sarakatsons de Grkce (Paris 1965); N.G.L.
Mamist theory, and their distinction from the 'foreignersf and ~ ~ Migrations~ and invasions
~ ~
in Greece ~
and Adlacen1 d
Areas (Park. Ridge
their 'agents', i.e. the local 'oligarch', who was turned into a NJ 1976). 37-51.
3, ~h~ basic argulnents ahout the armatoles and the klephts are drawn from
stateless outcast.32 George Philaretos, a deputy who was usually ~~h~ christos Alexallder's M A thesis for Columbia ~niversity.'The Klephtic
rather critical of the way the Greek state system operated, once institution of the Mores and its Destruction in 1806' (1966). and Dennis N .
felt obliged to speak of the 'Great Idea' as the 'national' policy of skiots, 'Mountain Warriors and the Greek Revolution'. in V.J. Parry and M.E.
Greece, as opposed to the 'foreign' policy for Greece or the policy 1 y a p p , eds. War, Tec/lnology and Sociery in rhe Middle Easr (London. New York
and ~~~~~t~ 1975). 31J(e29. The .social' bandit model which was Put foward
of the 'model kingdom in the East': the policy of the 'unredeemed E,J, ~ ~ in two bof his works.
~ b
Primitive ~ (Manchester
Rehels ~ 1959)
~ and
1 I:;, brothers', the Macedonians and the Epirotes, as opposed to the ~ ~( ~ ~ 1969).
d ~has ; been~~ of little
d value~ to the ~analysis used in this Paper.
~
! policy of the 'British and their organsl.33 Criticism and analysis,
I: ~h~ term was used to describe pre-~ndependenceklephts and armatoles by SPYros
I ', burdened with a morbid fascination wlth brigands and brigandage ~ ~ d in ~~~~l~~~~ ~ k aspectsh ~du banditisme
~ social en Grtce au XVlllc sikcle',
I
I ' .

I
Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism 99
&a Balkaniques, Vol. 8. No. 4 (1972). 97-112. For a less refined and rather
ludicrow analysis of the klephts and armatoles along these I~nes,see Georgios D. 427-31. For a similar analysis, distinguishing klephts from brigands and based on a
Kontogiorgis. I elladiki laiki ideologia [Helladic popular ideology] (Athens 1979). Marxist line of argument but essentially following the traditional nationalist hypoth-
For criticism of Hobsbawm's analysis of brigandage, see a hook review of his esis. see George Kontogeorgis. 'Oi elladikes koinonikes kai politikes dynameis stin
Primirive Rebclr by Raymond Carr in Economic Hbrory Review. 2nd series. Vol. ysteri Tourkokratia' [Mainland Greek social and political forces in late Ottoman
12, NO. 1-3 (19SP60). 348-50, but mainly a book review of his Bandits by Anton rule], in the collective work Koinonikes kai polirikes dynameir srin ENada ISocial
Blok, 'The Peasant and the Brigand: Social Banditry Reconsidered', Compararive and political forces in Greece] edited by the same author (Athens 1977). 23-4.
Studies in Society and Hirtory. Vol. 14, No. 4 (1972). 499-503. and reply by 32-8. In a recent analysis of klephtism in relation to nineteenth-century Greek
Hobsbawm in the same journal. 503-5. For further criticism, see B.J. Chandler, nationalist requirements. Michael Herzfeld (Ours Once More: Folklore, Ideology
The Bandit King: Lampioo of Brazil (Austin TX 1Y78), especially Ch. 13, .A Social and the Making of Modern Greece [Austin TX 19821. 60-9) presents a number of
Bandit'. 238-47; and Linda Lcwin, 'The Oligarchical Limitations of Social Banditry interesting points which, however, suffer from the uncritical assimilation of much
in Brazil: The Case of the "Good" Thief Antonio Silvino'. Past and Present, No. 82 contemporary and later opinion on the subject, which can often be misleading.
(February 1979). 116-46. See also this author's 'Peri "koinonikon" kai allon liston 5. lsrorikon Archeion Alexandrou Mavrokordacou [Historical archive of
sti Neoteri Ellada' [On 'social' and other bandits in modern Greece]. Delrion ru Alexander Mavrocordatosl (hereafter Mavrocordaros Archive), Vol IV (Athens
lstorikis kai Efhnologikic Efaireias ris Ellados. Vol. 23 (1980). 422-36. 1974), 1027-8.
4. See the author's 'Peri "koinonikon" kai allon liston sti Neoteri Ellada', op. 6. For Peslis, see D . Papantonopoulos, Penrikonraeriris rir EIIiniku Epanas-
t i t . 'The Klephts'. wrote Finlay in 1871 with reference to brigandage in Greece, raseos rou crow 1821 [Fiftieth anniversary of the Greek revolution of the year 18211
'despite sentiment and ballads, were neither more nor less than brigands, who (Athens 1873). 145-6. See also Mavrocordaros Archive. Vol. IV, 833.
habitually plundered Christians and accidentally murdered Mussulmans. It is a 7. George Waddington. Vuir to Greece in 1823 and 1824, 2nd edn (London
mere euphemism to call them patriots, and an egregious error to supposc that they 1825). 77.
had not a great share in perpetuating the barbarism which gave them birth'(Sarur- 8. Julius Millingen. Memoirs of the Affairs of Greece (London 1831). 34. See
day Review, 6 May 1871. article under the title 'Brigandage in Greece'). For the also Constantine Paparigopoulos. George Karabkakir \in Greek] (Athens 1867).
development o f the klephtic ideal, see P.S. Spandonidis. 'Le Clefte'. L'HeNenisme 33.
Contemprain. 2e d r . , Vol. b 9 (1954-5). 3-17. For a brief but useful analysis of the 9. E.J. Trelawny. Recordc of Shelley, Byron and the Author (London 1878).
process of glorification of the klephts and armatoles. see John C . Alexander, 'The ii. 176-7; Millingen, op. cit.. 146-7; Philip J. Green. Sketches of the War in
Klephts o f the Morea: An Historical Essay'. in Lily Makrakis and P. Nikiforos Greece (London 1827). 208-10; Arhinai'kon Archeion [Athens Archive]. edited
Diamandouros, eds, New Trends in Modern Greek Historiography, in the Modern by K.A. Diamantis (Athens 1971). 275. For an interesting portrait of Odysseus,
Greek Studies Association Occasional Papers. Vol. 1 (1982), 32-3. For a contem- see N. Fyzentzides. Anekdoroi aurographoi episrolai ... [Unpublished autograph
porary romantic approach to the klephts and klephtic ballads, see Henry M. Baird. letters ...I (Alexandr~a1893). 296300. For Karai'skakis's similar attitude, until
Modern Greece: A Narrative of a Residence and Travels in rhar Country (New York quite late in his rather shifting course of action, and his generally disdainful
1856), 343-54. For a more serious contemporary analysis which, however, follows references to the efforts to establish a free Greek state, see Millingen, op. cit..
the basic precepts o f Greek nationalist writing. see Henry F. Tozer, Researches in 37.
the Highlands of Turkey (London 1869). Vol. 11. 4611.. 224ff. For references to 10. For the entangled relationships and overlapping authorities, see Mavro-
the klephts as national heroes, as distinct from common brigands, see Constantine cordaros Archive. Vol. IV, 434, 6 4 6 9 . 69%700, 82%90, 9O.S-8. 917; and N.K.
Paparigopoulos. lstoria rou eNinikou erhnous [History of the Greek nation] Kasomoulis. Enrhymimara srrariorika ris epanasraseos ton Ellinon, 1821-1833
(Athens 1970. reissue of the one-volume 1853 edition edited by K.T. Dimaras), [Military reminiscenccs from the revolution of the Greeks. 1821-331, 402-3. See
120; and Spyridon Trikoupis, Isloria cis ENinikis Epanasraseos [History of the also Paparigopoulos. Karakkakir, 29, 33.
Greek revolution], 2nd edn (London 1860). Vol. 1. . 3 4 . See also a cullcction of the 11. Archeia ris ENfnikis Palingenesias [Archives of the Greek regeneration].
heroic attributes in George N. Tsioustas. Apanrhisma iroikon poiimato~~ [Selection Vol. IX (Athens I976), 49, 200. See also Kostas Sardelis. Georgios Varnakioris: 0
of heroic poems] (Athens 1893). 3-8. For some modern variations on the same prodomenos srracigos cou 1821 [George Varnakiotis: The betrayed general of 18211
theme, see Apostolos Vakalopoulos. T a eeNinika srralevnaara rou 1821 [The Greek (Athens 1980). 375.
armies o f 18211. 2nd edn (Thessaloniki 1970). 63: and loannis K. Vasdrrvellis. 'Oi 12. For Siafakar's submission and appolntrnent to the armatolik of Lidoriki, see
polemikoi andres tis Makedonias kata tin proepanastatikin periodon' IWarriors of Dimitrios Loukopoulos. 0 Roumelioci.~kaperanios rou 1821: Andritsos Safakas kui
Macedonia during the pre-revolutionary period]. Makedonika. Vol. 7 (1966-7). ro archeio rou [The Rumeliot captain of 1821: Andritsos Siafakas and his archive]
For a Marxist variation. albeit of the less refined versions, see Leonidas Stringos. (Athens 1931). 158-9. 186-7.
I Epawstasi cou Eikosiena [The revolution of lX2lj (Athcns 1966). 24-66. For a 13. Millingen, op. c ~ t .35.
.
recent Marxist analysis of klephtism and armatolism, and the economic hasis of 14. Kasomoulis, op. c ~ t .Vol
. 1. 221. See also Movrocordaros Archive. Vol. IV.
the military class under consideration, see Asdrakhas. op. cit.. 97-1 12. and the 921, and Engraphu ror~Archriou Vurikanou peri cis Ellrnrkis Epanasraseos [Papers
same author's review of a collection of klephtic ballads in Ellinika. Vol. 27 (1974). from the Vatican Archive on the Greck revolution]. e d ~ t e dby G . Laios (Athens
1979).
100 Narionalism and Narionality Koliopoulos, Brigandage and Irredentism 101

15. Mavrocordaros Archive. Vol. IV, 3W70. The best study of submission and 22. (Anon.). Pancllcnic [Pan-Hellen] (Hermoupolis 1855). For some variations
collaboration in the Greek War of Independence is John A. Petropoulos's 'Forms on the same theme. see Acon, 1368124 June 1853, 1426113 January 1854. and
of Collaboration with the Enemy during the First Greek War of Liberation', in P.N. A I ~ C M 201
, 114 September and 201413 October 1853.
Diamandoura. ed., Hellcnum and rhc First Grcck War of Liberation (1821-1830): 23. See an anonymous pamphlet under the title To mcllon rou Ellinikou erhnou
Conrinuiry and Change (Thessaloniki 1976), 131-43. ek rou parelrhonrar exagomcnou [The f u ~ r of e the Greek nation derived from the
16. Kasomoulis, op. cit.. Vol. 1. 188-9. past] (Zakynthos 1851). For some interesting references to the 'noble mission' and
17. An excellent source for the growth of this aspect of the Greek nationalist 'destiny' of the Greeks to civilize the East, see M.D. Seizanis, I polifiki ris Ellados
movement are the newspapers Elpic and Acon of the period May 185fJanuary kai i rpanartaris IOU 1878 cn Makcdonia, lpciro kai Thcssalia [Greek policy and the
1854. revolution of 1878 in Macedonia. Epirus and Thessaly] (Athens 1878). 1-6.
18. See an article in Kathimcrini, 28 September. 5 and I2 October 1978, by E.C. 24. See, for instance, Elpic. 725113 June. 727125 June. and 749114 December
Papadimitrakopoulos on brigand popular literature. The case of Photis Yankoulas. 1853.
an outlaw of the early 1920s. reflected the grqwth of such literature. His death in 25. A. Souliotes-Nikolaides, 0 Makcdonikos Agon [The struggle for Macedo-
September 1925 in a clash with government forces triggered off incredible stories nia] ('lhessaloniki 1959). 9.
about his exploits and qualities. See Karhimcrini, 1591122 September 1925 - 26. See Pharos tic Othryos. 1049110 May and 1 W 6 September 1880. and
160416 October 1925, for a number of such stories. See also Skrip. 795W23 Pharos rou Olympou (the same newspaper with a new title after the annexation of
February 1925, for a real exploit. Yankoulas came from Rakhovo, a village in the Thessaly), IllYl May 1882.
district of Sewia, and had a high price on his head. See Govcrnmrnr Gazerre. I2W 27. For the Habsburg military border, see G.E. Rothenberg, The Military
10 May, 134i22 May and 233120 August 1923. for Yankoulas and a number of Border in Croatia, 1740-1881 (Chicago and London 1966). See also Alan D.
other outlaws of the period. Ferguson, 'Russian Landmilitia and Austrian Militargrenze', Sudosr Forschungcn,
lo. In 1826 the Third National Assembly at Epidaurus approved a proposal to Vol. 13 (1954), 139-58. as well as the classic work on the Austrian military
empower the British ambassador at the Porte, Stratford Canning, to negotiate a border by J.H. Schwicker, Gcschichre des bsrcrrcichischcn Milirdrgrrnze (Vienna
peace between the Greeks and the Porte. and particularly to see that 'the Greeks 1883). For a general discussion of boundaries and frontiers, see J.R.V. Prescott,
and Turks would no longer live together', and that 'districts that took up arms and Boundaries and Frot~ricrs(Totowa NJ 1978). particularly Ch.1. A similar military
suffered and shed blood for their liberty should not be cut off from the body of border had developed in the eighteenth century in western continental Greece in
Greece'. In February 1827 the same assembly passed an act to the effect that 'the the frontier zone between the Turkish and the Venetian territories (Georgios A.
realm of Greece consists of all the districts that took up arms against the tyranny Siorokas, To Galliko Proxcneio ris Arrar [The French consulate of Arta] (Janina
and is indivisible'. Similarly, the Constitution of Troezen (1827) provided (Art. iv): 1981). 158-61; and Eleni Giannakopoulou, 'I exegersi ton klephtarmatolon
'Districts of Greece are considered the ones that took up arms against Ottoman (1731-1737) stin Aitoloakarnania kai Ipeiro' [The klephtarmatolic uprising 01
rule.' See Archives of the Grcck Rgmcration [footnote 11 above]. Vol. 111 (1971). 1731-7 in Aetolia-Acarnania and Epirus]. Mnimosini. Vol. 8 (198&1). 234-58. For
163, 575. 651. Using the same criterion, Kapodistria recommended. in his reply another military border, see C.W. Bracewell, 'Uskoks in Venetian Dalmatis before
to the representatives of the three Protecting Powers of Greece (26 August 1828 the Venetiar+Ottoman War of 171&1718', in G.E. Rothenberg. B.K. Kiraly and
[n.s.]) on the boundaries of the new Greek state, a line that ran from the River P.F. Sugar. eds, Eusr Ccnrral European Soriery and War in Prc-Revolurionary
Aous in the west to Mount Olympus in the east which, in fact, left some territory Eighrccnrh Ccnrury (New York 1982). 43147.
in the north-east outside the state so as to secure a defensible line (see Archives of 28. See, for instance, an article in Ed~nophylax.24/28 May 1862, arguing
the Greek Regeneration, Vol. IV [1973]. 273-6). It is interesting, and perhaps not that in view of the lamentable state of the country, the absence of 'constitutional'
without some significance, that the same boundaries were projected in 1852 by the and 'parliamentary' government and the lack of regular armed forces, pressures
philorthodox newspaper Aeon (1303122 October 1852) in an article by Panayotis for the realization ol' national aspirations were premature and counter-productive.
Soutsos entitled 'On the Greek boundaries and the Diadoch'. On the occasion of the 1853 surge of nationalist feeling and debate on the courses
20. See Prakrika tis Ethnikis Synclcurcos rou 1843-1&4 [Minutes of the national and content of national policy. another newspaper (Elpis. 725113 June and 7491
assembly of 1843-41. 190-4. session of 14 January 1844. See also K.T. Dimaras. Tis 14 December 1853) came out strongly in favour of improvements and peaceful
mega& rautis idcar [That Great Idea], reprint from the journal Iarrologorcchniki I progress in Greece, ;nwell as among the Greeks of the Empire, before undertaking
I the incorporation of the unredeemed lands into the Greek state.
Slcghi (Spring 1970). 3S41.
2 1. Kleomenis Oikonomou. Logos en ri Vouli pcris ris ikanopoiwcos i polcmou ! 29. See C. Paparigopoulos. lsroria rou ellinikou erhnour. 1970edn (op. c i ~ . )120.
,
1 Paparigopoulos set the rules of analysis for both nationalist and Marxist historians
kata tic Tourkias [Speech in parliament on the need for satisfaction or war
against Turkey] (Athens 1848). In 1853 the newspaper Arhcna published a letter on this subject. For the traditional-nationalist distinction of post-revolutionary
which argued that the 'Greek' or 'Byzantine' nation consisted of the Greeks. brigands from pre-revolutionary klephts, see P . Karolidis, lsroria rou rllinikou
the Albanians and the Bulgarians (201114 September 1853). The 'connecting erhnouc [History of the Greek nation] (Athens, no date), Vol. 11. 12. 275. For
bonds' were the 'Greek language' and the 'Greek race' (201413 Octoher the Marxist distinction. see Y. Kordatos, 'To armatoliki tou Peliou' [The Pelion
1853). armatolik], Thessalika Chronika. Vol. 1 (1930). 93.
102 Narionalism and Narionaliry

30. Palingenesia,404911 1 February 1878.


31. Paul Melac Iin Greek], edited by N.P. Mela (Athens 1964). 248. Evangelos Kofos
32. See George T. Mavrogordatos, 'Pany and Society in Modern Greece', in
New Trendc in Modern Greek Historiography.
33. Ephimeric ton Syzilircon tu Voulis (Journal of parliamentary debates). tenth
period. second synod. session of 17 May 1886.

National Heritage and National Identity in


John S. Koliopoulos
Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Macedonia
is Professor of History at the University of
Thessaloniki. He is the author of Greece and
the British Connection 193541 (1977) and
Brigands with a Cause: Brigandage and h e - Perhaps nowhere else in Europe has the heritage of the past
dentism in Modern Greece 1821-1912 (1987). so triggered and stimulated political developments as in the
Balkans. During the period of the 'national awakening' and
emancipation of the Balkan pec.ples, from the last decades of the
eighteenth century to the early decades of the twentieth, historical
legacies helped create national awareness and shape national
ideology. he^ also sustained nations in their uphill drive toward
state-building, national unification and, possibly, the reincarnation
of long extinct empires.
Historical legacies constituted one of the chief factors moulding
national consciousness. In the peasant societies of the Ottoman
Empire, religion and language still constituted the basic ingredi-
ents for self-identification. ~istoricallegacy, an exoteric element,
had been preserved in ecclesiastical or monastic institutions and
in the diaspora, and gradually emerged in urban and semi-urban
centres of the Empire. Once, however, it was diffused among the
masses, it caught the imagination of the people, lifted the morale
of the raym (subject population) and generated a messianic zeal to
attain the goals of the 'imagined'' national mission ordained by the
legacy -or glory - of the past.
As one after the other the subject peoples of the Balkans
began to acquire the nucleus of their future national states -
which hardly encompassed the lands and peoples claimed by each
nation - the respective national ideologies, precursors of political
and even armed activity, began to spread from the national state
to the Ottoman provinces.2 Soon the respective national ideologies
began to converge on regions of mixed ethnological composition
and, more important, of overlapping historical claims. Under such
conditions, antagonistic national programmes hardened attitudes