Friday, March 09, 2007
Travels in Epirus, Albania, Macedonia, and Thessaly
by F.C.H.L. Pouqueville (London: Printed for Sir Richard Phillips and Co, 1820)
by F.C.H.L. Pouqueville (London: Printed for Sir Richard Phillips and Co, 1820)
TRAVELS IN EPIRUS AND ALBANIA1. Voyage from Ancona to Ragusa
3. Voyage along the Coast of Albania and Epirus, from Ragusa to Port Palermo
4. Acroceraunia, or the Mountainous Region of Chimara
5. Coast of Albania, from the Voioussa or Aous, north to the Drino or Drilo, by which it is separated from the Country of Scutari or Scodra. — Apollonia. — Berat. — Rivers Aous, Apsus, Genusus. — Durazzo. — Croia. — Alessio
6. Route from Port Palermo by Delvino to Janina. — Excursion from Delvino to Butrinto, the ancient Buthrotum
7. Dodona. — Valley and Strait of the River Aous, now the Voioussa. — Valley of the Celydnus. — Tebelen. — Argyro-castron
TRAVELS IN MACEDONIA
8. Janina, Valley and Lakes. — Castritza
9. Route from Janina, by Mezzovo, over Mount Pindus into Macedonia. — Sources of the Aous and the Inachus. — Pass of Jan-Catara. — Rivers Milias and Rhedias, or Venetico. — Greveno. — Phila. — Route from Phila to Trikata, in Thessaly
10. Journey from Greveno to Castoria
11. Tours in the Environs of Castoria. — Fiorina. — River Erigon. — Gheortcha. — Lake of Lychnidus. — Ochrida. — River Devol, or Genusus. — Lake of Prespa, &c.
12. Return from Castoria to Janina. — Chatista. — Servia. — Route to Larissa. — Sources of the Rhodias or Venetico. — Roman way across Pindus to Apollonia
TRAVELS IN THESSALY
13. Route from Janina by Metzovo over Mount Pindus, and down the Valley of the Peneus towards Larissa. — Meteora. — Gomphi. — Trikala
14. Pharsalus. — Battle between Cæsar and Pompey. — Rivers Apidanus and Enipeus. — Moscolouri, &c.
15. Larissa. — Olympus. — Tempe. — Magnesia. — Cynocephalæ. — Volo
"A more accurate description of this inland tract is ardently desired; but it is no where to be found.'' Such is the remark inscribed by the illustrious D'Anville on that part of his map of ancient Greece which comprehends Epirus. With what avidity, then, would he not have availed himself of the various information, assembled and given to the public since his time, relative to Epirus and other highly interesting portions of the north of Greece. Greatly, indeed, are the geographer, the historian, the antiquary, indebted to the gentlemen of our own and other countries, who have, of late years, communicated to the world the results of their learned and adventurous personal researches, in a country so peculiarly interesting as Greece, in the comprehensive sense of the name. So has it happened, however, that, from particular circumstances, the author of the work from which the contents of the following pages have been extracted, has been enabled to survey a much greater portion of EPIRUS and ALBANIA, of MACEDONIA and THESSALY, and that with much more deliberation and much greater advantages than any other person, without any exception, whose name is known in the world.
Dr. Pouqueville, a corresponding member of the class of antiquities in the Royal Institute of France, was selected as one of the men of science and learning to accompany the French expedition to Egypt. On his voyage back to Europe he was captured, and long detained at Constantinople. In 1805, after his return to France, he published "Travels in the Morea, Albania," &c. a work which gratified as it excited the public curiosity. In the autumn of the same year, Dr. P. was appointed consul-general for France at the court, and within the territories under the authority of Aly Pasha of Janina. In that character he acted for ten years, in the course of which period he traversed and examined many regions and places to which no stranger could possibly have access, who was not, as Dr. P., furnished with ihe special permission and protection of the ruler of the country.
The original work extends to five full octavo volumes, to be illustrated by maps, plans, &c. from original materials collected by the Author, and arranged by M. Barbier du Bocage, the well-known Geographer of the "Travels of Anacharsis." In preparing the present publication it has become necessary to deviate, in various cases, from the arrangement adopted by the learned and accurate Author. The observations collected in the course of several different tours, performed at distant epochs, are here collected and condensed into one continued narrative. The person to whom the condensation has been intrusted never personally visited Greece, but he has long made the ancient military history and topography of the north of Greece the objects of his particular study, those operations, especially, in which Cæsar and Pompey were concerned; the subject is, therefore, not new to him. On the whole, the Editor would felicitate the geographer, the antiquary, particularly the military antiquary, on the acquisition of so rich a fund of genuine topographic information, as will be found to be compressed within the very narrow limits of the present publication. It will serve as the TRAVELLING COMPANION, the VADEMECUM of the traveller for information, whenever he shall visit the venerable source of science and art. It will call back to his remembrance many an event, many an operation, recorded in voluminous works, ancient and modern, which he cannot be expected to carry with him, nor to find in those quarters to which his researches may be directed.
The French original is not yet completely published; but the Editor is desirous to gratify the eagerness of public curiosity, with regard to the important work of Dr. Pouqueville, by producing, in the first instance, what relates to the greater portion of the north of Greece. As soon as the remainder shall appear, which he understands may be expected in January, the Editor will hasten to lay before the readers of this Journal Dr. P.'s equally elaborate remarks on the southern parts of Greece.
An Atlas of Plates being promised, on the completion of the original work, the embellishments of the second part of this publication may be expected to be strikingly splendid.
London, 15th Dec. 1820.
Voyage from Ancona to Ragusa.
AN September 1805, I received an order to return to Greece, together with M. Julian Bessières, who was instructed by government to introduce me as consul-general of France, to reside at the court of the Vizier Aly, Pasha of Janina. The hardships I had formerly undergone, during my captivity in Turkey of three years duration, and the character I had heard of the personage in whose capital and presence I was to reside, had so deeply affected my mind, that nothing less powerful than the prospect of being able to visit Greece and the adjoining regions, with the advantages resulting from my official situation, and from the special commands of government, could have overcome my reluctancy to engage in such a business.
Leaving Paris on the 21st of October, I overtook M. Bessières in Milan, then, as all the north of Italy, in great agitation. A French array of only twenty-two thousand men, under Massena, encamped on the river Adige, would, it wfts feared, he driven back; and the British and Russian forces, landed in the kingdom of Naples, had roused a spirit throughout the country, by which our journey to Ancona, where we purposed to embark for Greece, might probably be frustrated. Our apprehensions were however vain, for we reached that port without interruption; and after some delay on account of contrary winds, on the 16th of November we sailed for Ragusa, a course of eighty marine leagues, in the brig Fortunate, in company with two other Ragusan vessels. Light but fair breezes, aided by the currents, carried us forward to the coast of Dalmatia, till the 20th, when, the wind turning against us,
we put into Cavo Sesto, in Sclavonia, a port east by north forty leagues from Ancona. We were indeed but ill prepared to keep the sea; for the vessel was loaded with corn very imperfectly stowed, and our crew too weak. On the other hand, the land was occupied by the Austrians, who might not perhaps respect the neutral flag of Ragusa. Scarcely had we come to anchor in the road, when we were joined by an Austrian convoy of twenty-five sail; but being bound for Trieste, they weighed again on the 21st without noticing us. The road of Cavo (or Cao) Sesto, between Sebennico and Spalatro, is one of the best in the Adriatic, in the midst of a long tract of bare limestone rocky coast. The entrance of the port is divided into two passes by an island, a quarter of a mile long from north to south. Ships from the northward stand in south-east by the north pass: the south pass, with twenty-three English fathoms water, shows by the green weeds a shoal at the south end of the island. Going on shore, the town brought to my recollection the dirt and poverty of those I had formerly seen in Turkey; but it was defended by walls, and therefore possessed a high-toned society of antique gentry, for its members were enrolled in the celebrated golden book of Venice. Nor, indeed, could the remote date of the noblesse be questioned, after beholding the specimens which came under our eyes. For we met in our walk a gentleman in an enormous peruque, clothed in laced velvet, dragging a rapier of formidable length, and having on his arm a lady swelled out with two overgrown hoops. Being supposed to belong to the Venetian government, the nobles of Saint Mark, we found the townsfolks kindly disposed towards us, but eager to say all the ill possible of their new masters. For the Austrians exercised sufficient rigour on both land and water; and a superior imperial officer was hourly expected, to raise troops in the town and environs, and to make a survey of the coast. Our alarm on this information was greatly increased by the arrival of another convoy, protected by a Russian sloop of war. Fortunately, however, on the following morning, the 23d of November, the wind sprung up from the north, and we put to sea, in the hope of reaching Ragusa the day following, a distance of at least forty marine leagues over the chart. Wind and sea favoured us till near sun-set, when clouds began to assemble in the west on the coast of Italy; a sure sign of a change of weather. The crew had sung the evening-service to Saint Blaise, the patron of the ship and of the republic of Ragusa, and we had quitted the deck for the cabin, when we were alarmed by the trumpet of the captain calling out to another ship to bear up; hut in vnin, for slip fell on board of us
with prodigious force. Hurrying-on deck we found both captain and crew in despair on their knees, waiting with imploring hands till we should go down. The man at the helm, the only one of the crew who seemed to preserve his faculties, put the tiller in my hands, and running below to examine the vessel, called out that all was well, and that she took in no water; on which the crew instantly hastened to their posts. She had, nevertheless, suffered so much by the shock, that it became necessary to throw overboard the guns, cables, part of the anchors, &c. At day-break we found ourselves on a very dangerous part of the coast, at the entrance of the strait of Narenta; and at noon we prepared to run the vessel ashore on the island of Lissa. The gale, however, abating, we righted the ship, and stood on with easy weather to Ragusa, where we arrived on the 27th. Our passports being examined, and the regulations of quarantine complied with, we landed, and our seamen hastened to discharge, in the church of our Lady of Grace, the vows they had poured out to her in their distress.
Ragusa, a sea-port, situated on the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic, in north lat. 42 deg. 35 min. and long. 18 deg. 20 min. east from Greenwich, was founded by the remaining inhabitants of Epidaurus, overthrown by the Goths in the reign of the Roman Emperor Valerian, in the middle of the third century. The site of Epidaurus is pointed out at Ragusa Vecchia (old Ragusa) six miles south-east from the present Ragusa, on the opposite side of the bay. Attacked by the Moors, harassed by the Venetians, and by the chiefs of the Bosnians, in the interior of the country, the Ragusans were indebted for their independence to the protection of Orchan, son of Othoman, Emperor of the Turks, early in the fourteenth century. Hearing of the success of Orchan against the degenerate Cæsars of Constantinople, the Ragusans requested, by a deputation of their principal citizens, the favour of the conqueror. A treaty of amity and commercial intercourse with the Othoman was brought back, characteristically ratified by the impression of his hand clipped in the ink. By this act was the independent constitution of Ragusa established; an independence universally respected until 1815, an epoch fatal to all the free republics of the old continent. For then Ragusa and Venice, Genoa and Lucca, Geneva and the
Ionian isles, were either annexed to other states, or placed under the protection of distant sovereigns. Ragusa stands on a rocky platform, at the foot of Mount Saint Sergio, between the harbour and the bay of Santa Croce. The town, inclosed by a wall and bastions, is built in the Italian fashion; containing the government-palace, five churches, and the former college of the Jesuits, now a Dominican convent; none of them buildings of much note. The original government of Ragusa, still subsisting in 1805, when I was in the town, resembled in general that of Venice. It consisted of a grand council, composed of all the nobles of the republic without exception, who had attained to their twenty-first year, and whose names were inscribed in the register called the specchio, the mirror. This body assembled yearly on the 1st of December, under the presidency of a chief called the rector, to elect the several magistrates of the republic. A number of balls, some gilt, others black, were placed in an urn, from which they were drawn by the nobles assembled, beginning with the oldest; and those who drew the gilt balls became the electoral body, who nominated the magistrates for the ensuing year. The same grand assembly discussed and determined all other business relative to the general concerns of the state. Such was the opinion entertained of the knowledge and integrity of the grand council, that the neighbouring subjects of the grand-seignor were frequently permitted to refer their contests to the decision of the nobles of Dobrovich, the name of Ragusa in the Sclavonian language. The executive authority was lodged in the petty council, consisting of eleven members of the most ancient in descent as well as in age among the nobles, presided by the rector, the title conferred on the chief magistrate for above 450 years. The rector continued in office only one month, and his appointments consisted in four shillings and two pence, and twelve ox-tongues per diem, to defray the expences of his table. The ancient salary never having been increased, his office, however dignified, was the reverse of lucrative. The nobles were divided into two classes, the first composed of seventeen families of high antiquity, the second dated only from the year 1667. In council both classes sat in common, but in all other cases the old nobles maintained a very lofty demeanour with regard to the new. In that year, in consequence of a dreadful earthquake which laid desolate the territory as well as the city, many of the old nobles perished by the fall of the council-chamber; and to supply their place a number of the most respectable citizens were admitted among the members of the noblesse; in so far only however as regarded the administration of public affairs.
Among the plebeians were reckoned the ship-masters and seamen, and even the consuls appointed in foreign parts. The peasants were in fact serfs attached to the soil, and considered rather as fixtures than as members of the republic. The ancient practice of selling them in the market had long been disused; but they were disposed of to the new proprietor when lands were sold or otherwise transferred. Such was the state of Ragusa in 1805. Among the nobles were many persons, not only highly respectable but well versed in literature and science. The traders were in general men of considerable stock and credit; their shipping amounting, as I was informed, to about 300 sail, and their commerce extending not only along the coasts of the Mediterranean, but occasionally beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, to those of the north of Europe. Notwithstanding the antique nature of the government, and of the laws of the republic, so greatly had it been improved by the moderate spirit of the administration, that even the serfs of the country were contented with their situation. In the distribution of their soil, mountainous and unproductive, nature had been unkind to the Ragusans; but she had amply compensated them by the qualities of body and mind bestowed on the people.
In itself Ragusa possessed neither baker nor butcher; bread and animal food were brought in from the country; and when the usual supplies were interrupted the inhabitants subsisted on biscuit and salted provisions, as is done on board ship. With the exception of the Malmsey, the wine was but indifferent, and the water was not always very fit for use. In particular times the town was overstocked with game of all sorts, and with vegetables, among which the Ragusans boasted of their broccoli as highly as ever the Israelites did of the onions of Egypt.
By ceding to Turkey certain portions of their territory on the north and south, the Ragusans detached themselves entirely from the possessions of the Venetians, whom they respected, but dreaded. Their territory therefore extended above 100 miles from north-west to south-east along the Adriatic: but the breadth up from the coast was only from three to four miles: the whole divided into eight districts. The population of the first district comprehending Ragusa with its suburbs, olive-grounds, and gardens, amounted to 15,000 persons of all ages; and that of the whole continental territory to 60,000. To the republic also belonged the island Meleda, absurdly imagined to be the Melita of antiquity, on which St. Paul was wrecked on his voyage as a prisoner to Rome, A. D. 61; an event applicable to the present Malta alone.
Meleda is in length about twenty-five miles, but the greatest bread only five. The air is good, and the coast affords good harbours and road-steads, but the inhabitants are only about 1,100 in number. To the westward lies Agosta, the ancient Augusta, mountainous and rugged, but abounding in olives and vines. Though of only half the size of Meleda, the inhabitants are 1,200, chiefly employed in navigation and fishing. Some small isles near the land contain about 1,600 people. The whole population of the republic of Ragusa amounted therefore in 1805 to 53,900 people. The district of Breno is distinguished by the valley of Ombla, watered by the Arion, the prince of all subterrene rivers, which bursts forth with amazing volume and force from the foot of Mount Bergat. From the sea we sailed in a boat up its channel, containing depth of water sufficient for a ship of the line. At a spot where a branch is drawn off to drive some mills we were surprised to be accosted in French by a miller, a native of Burgundy, who for thirty years had been comfortably settled in that place. According to his report loud hollow sounds are heard to proceed from the interior of the mountains above the issue of the Arion; and speedily succeed water-spouts of great violence. The people of the interior, by observing the increase and decrease of the river, conclude it to be the discharge of the lake Popovo, in the country of Herzegovina.
Ragusa was garrisoned by 100 men paid by the state, under a commander dignified, as in Venice, by the title of general, recommended by the King of Naples. This officer was selected, it might be suspected, from among the Lazzaroni; for his appointments amounted only to fifteen pence per day, and his palace was only a small decayed tower on the walls of the town. Such, however, was the jealousy of the Ragusans that, excepting on the festival of St. Blaise, the patron of the republic, the mighty garrison was never entrusted with other arms than an old halbert, or a musket without a lock. The mild manners of the Ragusans, the knowledge and ability of the nobles, the good character and dispositions of the people in general, naturally prompted the wish that with the loss of their independence, they might not also lose the happiness they enjoyed before their republic was extinguished, and their state placed under the protection of the house of Austria.
Voyage along the Coast of Albania and Epirus, from Ragusa to Port Palermo.
Immediately after our arrival in Ragusa we dispatched a Tartar by land, to acquaint Aly, Pasha of Janina, with our position, and to solicit his instructions and assistance in repairing to his court. By Tartars, or more correctly Tatars, are meant messengers, couriers, or guides on horseback, employed over the Turkish dominions. The first persons so employed having been in fact Tartars, the name is still applied to their successors, of whatever country they may be. Thus in France the porters at the gates of palaces, public offices, hotels, &c. are still styled Swiss, because in former times natives of Switzerland were usually selected for porters, on account of their characteristic fidelity and attachment to their masters. With great difficulty and delay, on account of the snow and other obstacles, our Tartar accomplished his mission; and Aly, foreseeing that we strangers should encounter many more impediments and dangers in traversing the country, dispatched a vessel to carry us to one of his own ports. But the vessel was wrecked on the coast, and the crew had to hire barks to convey them to Ragusa, where our long residence seemed at last to create some uneasiness in the ruling powers. We learned also that the Turkish governors would most probably oppose our journey through their territories, on our way to their hated neighbour Aly of Janina. While in this embarrassing situation a French privateer put into Santa Croce, or Gravosa, an excellent haven on the north side of Ragusa. Embarking in that vessel on the 22d of January, 1806, we sailed in company with another French privateer for Port Palermo, the nearest port belonging to Aly, seven leagues to the northward of the island of Corfu. In the evening we observed the sun to set between the summits of Mount St. Angelo, formerly Mons Garganus, in Apulia in Italy, distant west-south-west forty leagues. Our course lay first south-east until we came off Durazzo, the ancient Dyrrachium and Epidamnus, a port and fortress memorable in various periods of history, particularly for the operations in its vicinity between Cæsar and Pompey, previous to the decisive action of Pharsalus. There the Albanian coast runs southward to the entrance of the bay of Valona, where the Sirocco, or south-east wind setting in strong, we came to anchor under the protection of Saseno, an island lying before it. The wind threatening to continue for some time, as it generally does in
winter in the mouth of the Adriatic, we passengers landed in a small sandy bay on the north-east part of the island, the only spot where it is accessible. Knowing it to be uninhabited we carried on shore an old sail, with which we constructed a sort of tent. We had also on shore our Tartar and a Wallachian of Epirus, whom Aly had sent along with him, to serve as our guide and interpreter when we should land in his territories. We soon, however, discovered that we were not alone in Saseno. Smoke rose up in several places, and in a little time appeared a number of Albanians in arms, observing us with keen attention. The strangers were shepherds from the adjoining coast, who are in the habit of transporting to the island large numbers of sheep and cattle in winter. Intercourse being opened with them through our interpreter, we procured some sheep for ourselves and for the people on-board the privateer; and a fire being kindled the Albanians with admirable dispatch fitted one of the sheep for the spit. In the night the south-east gale grew tempestuous with heavy rain and long and vivid lightning; well reminding us of the Ceraunian or thunder-stricken mountains in our near vicinity. It was with the greatest difficulty that our vessel kept her place.
The island Saseno, the Sazon, Sason, or Saso of the ancients, is situated in the entrance of the bay of Aulon, or Valona, distant from the north point twice as far as from the south point Cape Linguetta, or Glossa, the famous Acro-ceraunium of antiquity, situated in 40 deg. 26 min. 15 sec. north latitude. The island is about a league in length from north to south, and the distance across the Adriatic from it to the nearest part of Italy (the narrowest part of the entrance of that sea) is fourteen leagues one-third. Saseno is divided lengthwise by a range of seven hills, of which one rises to an elevation sufficient to contradict the epithet humilis, assigned to it by Lucan (Pharsalia, V. 650); unless he be supposed to compare it with the mountains on the continent, distant however above a league. While the Venetians possessed the adjoining continent Saseno was inhabited, and the walls of a ruined church assisted in protecting our tent. On the east side of the hills are considerable fragments of a brick structure, probably of the Augustan age. After a delay of six days in a very uncomfortable situation, especially considering the rude, we may say ferocious character of the Albanian shepherds on the island, a heavy fall of rain terminated the gale, and we proceeded on our voyage along the inhospitable Ceraunian coast, truly characterized by Horace:—
"______________th’ Acroceraunian rorks
For frequent shipwrecks infamous."
Fano. — Palæassa. — Drimadez.
This part of the coast is, however, interesting in as far as relates to the final contest between Cæsar and Pompey: for on it landed the former from Brundusium, in pursuit of his antagonist, when the dissensions in the Roman state bad at last induced an appeal to arms.
Calms and the setting of the currents into the gulf of Valona, compelled us to use our great oars to draw off from the land, so that I could not make the remarks on the coast which I had projected. I resolved therefore to return at another time to survey that country as much as possible by land. I could, however, see that, for eight leagues from Cape Linguetta, the Acroceraunian coast presented only a range of barren mountains, absolutely deserted, excepting in winter, when it is visited by a few goat-herds with their flocks, who retire in spring, abandoning the country to vultures and reptiles of various sorts. The only vegetable productions seemed to be a few stunted pines and thorns.
In the evening of the 31st of January 1806, the south-east wind again setting in, we stood out to sea until we came near to Fano, the Othonos of antiquity, and the supposed abode of Calypso, celebrated in the Odyssee of Homer and the Telemachus of Fenelon. Fano, then occupied by the Russians, is situated in north lat. 39 deg. 50 min. 2 sec. and east long. from Greenwich 19 deg. 19 min. 50 sec. It is distant fourteen and one-third marine leagues, very nearly due-east from Cape St. Maria, the southernmost extremity of the heel of Italy, in north lat. 39 deg. 47 min. 30 sec. and east long. 18 deg. 23 min. 20 sec. Being placed in the middle of the fairway into the gulf of Venice, the accurate ascertainment of the position of Fano is an object of no small importance to mariners of all nations. Returning to the coast we were carried by the currents back nearly to the place where we had left it; and taking to our oars we continued our course to the southward. We soon came in front of a broad torrent from the mountains, called by the Italian seamen Strada bianco, a translation of the Epirote name Aspri rouga, the white way. A mile to the southward we had a view of Palæassa, the representative of Palæste, where Cæsar landed his legions when in pursuit of Pompey, as related in the third hook of his Commentaries of the Civil War. Three wiles farther on we came before Drimadez, a small town situated in ihe midst of precipices and fragments of rock, throngh which shoot out a few pitch pines. A mile to the east I remarked the chapel of St. Theodore, on the summit of an eminence surrounded by olive-trees. This tract of the coast, though not very lofty, was
steep over the sea, which our line showed to be from fifty-fire to seventy-four English fathoms deep in various places, not far from the land. The ground consisted of coral rock. The highest part of the Ceraunian mountains we then estimated to exceed 700 toises, or 746 fathoms, or 4,476 feet in elevation above the sea. It was covered with snow, through which appeared broad lines of dark green firs. Beyond St. Theodore half a mile, opened into the sea a river which never runs dry, in a deep rocky channel; and a mile farther we doubled a point of land, which on the north-west covers the creek and road of Vouno, now little frequented. A league more to the southward brought us opposite to Chimara, which has succeeded to the antique Chimæra, and now gives name to the district of the formidable Chimariotes. Chimara, as our interpreter told us, still stood out against Aly of Janina, as did all the villages of its district. The side of the hill on which the town is seated, broken into terraces, terminates on the shore in a white beach, to the southward of which is the bay of Gonea, which receives the waters, as I was informed, of what was styled the Royal Fountain. Two miles beyond Gonea we came before a tract of sandy beach, where fishing-boats are usually drawn up. This beach is probably formed by the waters of the river Phoenix, which, rising in the upper mountains, hurries down to the sea over precipices, forming numerous cascades, of which advantage is taken to draw off water to several mills on the banks. The Phoenix is now called the river of Chimara, as passing by that town; and two miles farther on the coast is the road or bay of Spilea, formerly protected by two towers, but now containing only some decayed storehouses. Night was now coming on; the wind freshened; and we were within sight of Corfu, occupied by the Russians: it was therefore with no small satisfaction that we at last discovered the white tower of Palermo, and at six in the evening of the 1st of February we entered the bay. Being recognized by Aly's officer in the tower, he saluted us, not with guns, but with musketry, which we did not understand, and therefore kept over to the north shore. There, on the other hand, we were assailed by the Chimariotes with sharp rounds of musket-ball, which however did no harm. Returning again to the south shore, we came to anchor near the tower, and received a visit from the commandant, who for a month past had been in attendance, to welcome us on the part of his master. Having accepted his invitation to sup and sleep in the tower, or fort, he entertained us with a sheep roasted whole, and maize bread baked under the ashes; our drink was drawn
from a skin of turpentined wine, and a tinned goblet served every guest in his turn. Our beds were the straw mats, neither new nor clean, on which we sat at our meal.
The bay or port of Palermo is in circuit about five miles; having an opening of a quarter of a mile in breadth between rocky points on which the sea beats with violence. The bay might therefore be well secured against an attack from without. The depth of water varies from five to twenty fathoms; but in one spot near Aly's tower, we found it seventy-five fathoms. The ground is said to be in general rocky: but as the bay abounds with fish of the stationary as well as of the migratory kinds, that information is probably erroneous. On all sides it is surrounded by high mountains, from which occasionally proceed severe squalls of wind: but in several parts vessels may be moored with perfect safety. The tower or fort stands on the southern point of the entrance, connected with the continent by a low narrow isthmus. It consists of a square with bastions, having a few guns, of no service either to command the entrance or to protect the shipping at anchor. Near it are some warehouses, a custom-house, and a Greek church. Upon the whole, the bay or port of Palermo might, in ancient times, and even at present, be properly denominated Panormos; for in one part of it or another vessels might be well secured against the sea.
TRAVELS IN EPIRUS AND ALBANIA
Acroceraunia, or the Mountainous Region of Chimara.
It was already said that the state of the weather did not permit me to survey the coast of Acroceraunia from the sea, with that minute care which it was a special object of my mission to employ. After I had been fully established in my official station with Aly in Janina therefore, I obtained permission and means of protection, to enable me to visit that and other regions of his territory, hitherto very imperfectly known, and indeed scarcely accessible by strangers. My survey of Acroceraunia was not all performed at one visit. Laying aside therefore at present the correct chronological order of my observations, I shall condense the whole into one continued narrative; connecting it with my remarks during my voyage along the coast. This will be more satisfactory to the reader than to be obliged to recur to the same scenes at different
times, in the order of the periods when my observations were made.
The Acroceraunian, or more properly the Cerannian mountains, were so named by the ancients, from the Greek term keraunos, signifying thunder; because, from their elevation, and particularly from their position on the sea, they were much exposed, and frequently observed to be struck by lightning. Their northern extremity, the proper Acroceraunium on the bay of Valona, is situated in north lat. 40 deg. 26 min. 15 sec. and in east long. 19 deg. 14 min. 30 sec. The southern extremity of the country (not of the mountains which extend towards Butrinto) is at Port Palermo, of which the entrance lies in north lat. 40 deg. 2 min. 45 sec. and in east long. 19 deg. 48 min. 40 sec. The line of coast along the Adriatic therefore extends from north-west to south-east twelve marine leagues. Ceraunia is the country supposed by some commentators to be indicated by Circe in her instructions to Ulysses, where he was to find Aornos, there to invoke the shade of Tiresias, to consult him respecting his ultimate proceedings. If Homer selected the mountains of Chimara for the scene of infernal intercourse, on account of the pestilential vapours with which, in his day, they abounded, things must have greatly changed in the course of three thousand years. For, in the present time, no part of the coast of Epirus possesses air of greater purity and salubrity than the western slopes of the mountains of Chimara. In that clear atmosphere are found examples of longevity much more frequent and remarkable than in any neighbouring districts. But the advantages of health and long life enjoyed by the Chimariotes are more than compensated by the nature and appearance of the country allotted to them. Naked mountains intersected by tremendous gulfs and inaccessible precipices announce a region of incurable sterility. But these precipices and gulfs and rocks are regarded by the natives as their main defence against all enemies. Hence the insuperable attachment of the Chimariote to his native deserts, in whatever quarter of the world his fortune may lead him to pass his days. The internal parts of Acroceraunia are of a description much more attractive to the husbandman.
From Port Palermo to the town of Chimara the natives reckon an hour's journey on foot: but the coasting-barks count five miles along the shore to the landing-place belonging to the town. At that place landed my brother when he came to join me at Janina in March 1807; and to him I owe many of the observations introduced in this work on the whole
Chimara. — Vouno. — Liates. — Condami.
coast of Albania northward to Durazzo and the river Drino. From the beach he mounted for half a league, by an artificial sloping road, up to the town of Chimara, where he discovered no vestiges of antiquity: but in the neghbourhood is to be seen an inclosure, evidently of very great age, probably the remains of the Chimaæra of Homer, near which Pliny places the Royal Fountain. This ancient fortification is named by the natives "the old castle of the queen," on account of the coins frequently found in it, bearing the figure of a female, with a Pegasus on the reverse; emblems generally ascribed to Apollonia farther north on the coast. The queen alluded to by the Chimariotes was perhaps the princess Anna Comnena, who mentions Chimara in her history of the contest between her father Alexis and the Normans, in the end of the eleventh century. On the overthrow of the old city the surviving inhabitants founded the present Chimara, containing about 500 families, all Christians. Two leagues farther to the north-west is Vouno, occupied by 1,200 Christians, near to a level tract on the side of the mountain, remarkable for its fertility, the probable site of some town; but no vestiges have been discovered. An hour's journey beyond Vouno, on the left, is the village Liates, and a league and a half farther on, over a succession of torrents and ravines, is Drimadez, seated on the heights, where the inhabitants point out a well of excellent water, a valuable treasure in such a country, and which may perhaps be the royal fountain of antiquity. From the town a rapid torrent rushes down the precipices to the sea. From Drimadez to Palæassa the distance is a league, and from the latter village to the sea the distance is four miles. The name of Palæassa recalls the Palæste of Cæsar, where his troops were landed on this coast, when pursuing his antagonist Pompey. But the "quiet station for ships amidst the rocks and other dangers of the Ceraunian coast," mentioned in the Commentaries (B. Civ. III. 6.) is not so obvious: nor does Palæassa offer any antique monument. A league and a half north-west from that place is the torrrent of Strada bianca, or Rouga aspri, formerly noticed, beyond which is the bay and road of Daorso, called by the Italians Val d'Orso. On a height near the shore is an inclosure of the most remote, or what is termed Pelasgic construction: but still no rocky haven is there to be discovered. A league still farther northward, however, is Condami, a port sheltered and commodious, when once vessels have got within the shoals and sandbanks. There Cæsar ini