Κυριακή, 6 Μαΐου 2018

Arvanites of Athens and Attica : The orthodox tribe from Byzantine Epirus around modern Greek capital

Attica Region is an administrative region of Greece, that encompasses the entire metropolitan area of Athens, the country's capital and largest city. The region is coextensive with the former Attica Prefecture of Central Greece, but covers a greater area than the historical region of Attica. Located on the eastern edge of Central Greece, Attica covers about 3,808 square kilometers. In addition to Athens, it contains within its area the cities of Piraeus, Eleusis, Megara, and small part of the Peloponnese peninsula and the islands of Salamis, Aegina, Angistri, Poros, Hydra, Spetses, Kythira, and Antikythera. Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attic aregion and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. By the end of Late Antiquity, the city experienced decline followed by recovery in the second half of the Middle Byzantine Period, in the 9th to 10th centuries CE, and was relatively prosperous during the Crusades, benefiting from Italian trade. After the Fourth Crusade the Duchy of Athens was established. In 1458 it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and entered a long period of decline. Following the Greek War of Independence and the establishment of the Greek Kingdom, Athens was chosen as the capital of the newly independent Greek state in 1834, largely because of historical and sentimental reasons. At the time it was a town of modest size built around the foot of the Acropolis. The first King of Greece, Otto of Bavaria, commissioned the architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert to design a modern city plan fit for the capital of a state. The first modern city plan consisted of a triangle defined by the Acropolis, the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos and the new palace of the Bavarian king (now housing the Greek Parliament), so as to highlight the continuity between modern and ancient Athens. Neoclassicism, the international style of this epoch, was the architectural style through which Bavarian, French and Greek architects such as Hansen, Klenze, Boulanger or Kaftantzoglou designed the first important public buildings of the new capital.
Michael Choniates (or Acominatus) (1140-1220), Byzantine writer and ecclesiastic, was born at Chonae (Colossae). At an early age he studied at Constantinople and was the pupil of Eustathius of Thessalonica. Around 1175 he was appointed archbishop of Athens, a position which he retained until 1204. In 1204, he defended the Acropolis of Athens from attack by byzantine warlord Leo Sgouros, holding out until the arrival of the Crusadersin 1205, to whom he surrendered the city. After the establishment of Latin control, he retired to the island of Ceos. Around 1217 he moved again to the monastery of Vodonitsa near the Thermopylae, where he died. Though he is known to classical scholars as the last possessor of complete versions of Callimachus' Hecale and Aitia, he was a versatile writer, and composed homilies, speeches and poems, which, with his correspondence, throw considerable light upon the miserable condition of Attica and Athens at the time. His memorial to Alexios III Angelos on the abuses of Byzantine administration, the poetical lament over the degeneracy of Athens and the monodies on his brother Nicetas and Eustathius, archbishop of Thessalonica, deserve special mention.
The Fourth Crusade (1202–04) was a Western European armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III, originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by invading through Egypt, the strongest Muslim nation at the time. Instead, a sequence of events culminated in the Crusaders sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire. In April 1204, they captured and brutally sacked the city, and set up a new Latin Empire as well as partitioning other Byzantine territories among themselves. Byzantine resistance based in unconquered sections of the empire such as Nicaea, Trebizond, Mystras and Epirus ultimately recovered Constantinople in 1261. The Fourth Crusade is considered to be one of the more prominent acts in the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church, and a key turning point in the decline of the Byzantine Empire and Christianity in the Near East. According to a subsequent treaty, the empire was apportioned between Venice and the leaders of the crusade, and the Latin Empire of Constantinople was established. Boniface was not elected as the new emperor, although the citizens seemed to consider him as such; the Venetians thought he had too many connections with the former empire because of his brother, Renier of Montferrat, who had been married to Maria Komnene, empress in the 1170s and 1180s. Instead they placed Baldwin of Flanders on the throne. Boniface went on to found the Kingdom of Thessalonica, a vassal state of the new Latin Empire. The Venetians also founded the Duchy of the Archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Meanwhile, Byzantine refugees founded their own rump states, the most notable of these being the Empire of Nicaea under Theodore Laskaris (a relative of Alexios III), the Empire of Trebizond, and the Despotate of Epirus.
The Partitio terrarum imperii Romaniae ("Partition of the lands of the empire of Romania [Byzantine Empire]) was a treaty signed amongst the crusaders after the sack of the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, by the Fourth Crusade in 1204. It established the Latin Empire and arranged the nominal partition of the Byzantine territory among the participants of the Crusade, with the Republic of Venice being the greatest titular beneficiary. However, because the crusaders did not in fact control most of the Empire, with local Byzantine Greek nobles establishing the Byzantine successor kingdoms (Empire of Nicaea, Empire of Trebizond, Despot of Epirus), most of the crusaders' declared division of the Empire amongst themselves could never be implemented. Greece was divided among the Crusaders. The Latin Empire held Constantinople and Thrace, while Greece itself was divided into the Kingdom of Thessalonica, the Principality of Achaea, and the Duchy of Athens. The Venetians controlled the Duchy of the Archipelago in the Aegean, and the Despotate of Epirus was established as one of the three Byzantine Greek successor states.
The Duchy of Athens was one of the Crusader states safter the conquest of the Byzantine Empire during the Fourth Crusade, encompassing the regions of Attica and Boeotia, and surviving until its conquest by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. The Duchy occupied the Attic peninsula as well as Boeotia and extended partially into Thessaly, sharing an undefined border with Thessalonica and then Epirus. It did not hold the islands of the Aegean Sea, which were Venetian territories, but exercised influence over the Latin Triarchy of Negroponte. The buildings of the Acropolis in Athens served as the palace for the dukes. The Battle of Halmyros, known by older scholars as the Battle of the Cephissus or Battle of Orchomenos, was fought on 15 March 1311, between the forces of the Frankish Duchy of Athens and its vassals under Walter of Brienne against the mercenaries of the Catalan Company, resulting in a decisive victory for the Catalans. The marsh impeded the Frankish attack and the Catalan infantry stood firm. The Turks re-joined the Company and the Frankish army was routed; Walter and almost the entire knighthood of his realm fell in the field. As a result of the battle, the Catalans took over the leaderless Duchy of Athens; they ruled that part of Greece until the 1380s. Under Aragonese rule, the feudal system continued to exist, not anymore under the Assizes of Romania, but under the Customs of Barcelona, and the official common language was now Catalan instead of French. In 1379 the Navarrese Company, in the service of the Latin emperor James of Baux, conquered Thebes and part of Neopatria. Meanwhile, the Aragonese kept another part of Neopatras and Attica. After 1381 the Duchy was ruled by the Kings of Sicily until 1388 when the Acciaioli family of Florence captured Athens. From about 1390 to 1460 they ruled the Duchy of Athens and kept close ties with the younger branch of the Medici through the marriage of Laudomia Acciaioli to Pierfrancesco de' Medici, from which the later Grand Dukes of Tuscany are descended, as well as several royal houses.
Arbanon was an autonomous principality, part of the Byzantine Empire and later of the byzantine Despotate of Epirus. Throughout its existence, the principality was an autonomous dependency of its neighbouring powers, first Byzantium and, after the Fourth Crusade, Epirus. In the beginning the name Arbanon was applied to a region in the mountainous area to the west of Ohrid Lake and the upper valley of the river Shkumbin river of Albania in the 11th century AD. The Kruja fortress, founded by the Byzantines, was the seat of Progon. Progon gained possession of the surroundings of the fortress which became hereditary. With the marriage of Komnena with Kamonas, Elbasan becomes the second important possession. Arbanon was a beneficiary of the Via Egnatia trade road, which brought wealth and benefits from the more developed Byzantine civilization. The Peloponnese, called Morea in late Byzantine period, was almost the centre of the empire, and was certainly the most fertile area. Mystras and Monemvasia were populous and prosperous, even after the Black Plague in the mid-14th century. Mystras rivaled Constantinople in importance. It was a stronghold of Greek Orthodoxy and bitterly opposed attempts by the emperors to unite with the Roman Catholic Church, even though this would have allowed the empire to gain help from the west against the Ottomans. The Ottomans had begun their conquest of the Balkans and Greece in the late 14th century and early 15th century. 
Arvanites in Greece originated from Arbanitai, Greek Orthodox settlers from Albania who moved south at different times between the 13th and 16th century from the region Arvanon or Arvana at that time part of the Byzantine Theme of Dyrrhachium, a region in what is part Albania and later of Arbanon within the Byzantine Empire until 1204 and from 1205 within the byzantine Despotate of Epirus. In many instances the Arvanites were invited by the Byzantine and Latin rulers of the time. They were employed to re-settle areas that had been largely depopulated through wars, epidemics, and other reasons, and they were employed as soldiers. Some later movements are also believed to have been motivated to evade Islamization after the Ottoman conquest. The main waves of migration into southern Greece started around 1300, reached a peak some time during the 14th century, and ended around 1600. Arvanites first reached Thessaly, then Attica, and finally the Peloponnese. A Venetian source of the mid-15th century estimates that 30,000 Arvanites lived in the Peloponnese at that time. In the mid-19th century, Johann Georg von Hahn estimated their number in Greece between 173,000 and 200,000. Fara (from the greek fatria "clan" or from Albanian fara 'seed' or from Aromanian fară' tribe') is a descent model, similar to Scottish clans. Arvanites were organised in phares (φάρες) mostly during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. The apical ancestor was a warlord and the phara was named after him. The traditional clothing of Arvanites included distinctive attire that sometimes identified them in past times as Arvanites from other neighbouring populations. Arvanite males on the Greek mainland wore the fustanella, a pleated like skirt garment or kilt, while those who lived on some Aegean islands wore baggy breeches of the seafaring Greeks. Arvanite women were known for wearing a chemise shirt that was heavily embroidered. They lived as farmers in the villages of the countryside.
Arvanitika also known as Arvanitic, is the variety of medieval Albanian traditionally spoken by the Arvanites, an old orthodox population group in Greece. The name Arvanítika and its native equivalent Arbërisht are derived from the ethnonym Arvanites, which in turn comes from the toponym Arbëna (Άρβανα), which in the Byzantine period referred to a region in what is central Albania. Arvanitika is also closely related to Arbëresh, the dialect of Albanian in Italy, which largely goes back to Arvanite settlers from Greece. There are three main groups of Arvanitic settlements in Greece. Most Arvanites live in the south of Greece, across Attica, Boeotia, the Peloponnese and some neighbouring areas and islands. Arvanitika shares many features with the Tosk dialect spoken in Southern Albania. However, it has received a great deal of influence from Greek, mostly related to the vocabulary and the phonological system. Arvanites have Greek national consciousness and not Albanian.
The Greek Arvanites participated dynamically in the Greek revolution for Independence that begun in March of 1821. In Boeotia, Livadeia was captured by Athanasios Diakos on 31 March, followed by Thebes two days later. When the revolution began, most of the Christian population of Athens fled to Salamis. In 1821, Athens had about 10,000 people, half of whom were Christian Greeks and the other half were Muslims, being either Turks, Albanians or Greek Muslims. In mid-April revolutionary forces entered Athens and forced the Turkish garrison into the Acropolis, which they laid siege to. The Ottoman commander in the Roumeli was the Albanian general Omer Vrioni who become infamous for his "Greek hunts" in Attica. Omer Vrioni postponed his advance towards Peloponnese awaiting reinforcements; instead, he invaded Livadeia, which he captured on 10 June, and Athens, where he lifted the siege of the Acropolis. After a Greek force of 2,000 men managed to destroy at Vassilika a Turkish relief army on its way to Vrioni, the latter abandoned Attica in September and retreated to Ioannina. By the end of 1821, the revolutionaries had managed to temporarily secure their positions in Central Greece.
The Siege of the Acropolis in 1821-1822 involved the siege of the Acropolis of Athens by the Greek rebels, during the early stages of the Greek War of Independence. After Vrioni's departure the siege of Athens by the Greeks recommenced. In spring 1822, the Greek forces were reinforced with artillery commanded by French Philhellenes, who began a bombardment of the fortress. The Ottoman garrison surrendered on 9 June 1822. The Siege of the Acropolis in 1826–1827 during the Greek War of Independence involved the siege of the Acropolis of Athens, the last fortress still held by the Greek rebels in Central Greece, by the forces of the Ottoman Empire. Following the fall of Missolonghi in western Greece, Athens and the Acropolis remained the only strongholds in Greek hands in mainland Greece outside the Peloponnese. After his victory at Missolonghi, the Ottoman commander-in-chief, Reşid Mehmed Pasha, turned against Athens. The siege began in August 1826. The Beleaguered Greeks were resupplied and reinforced by small detachments sent through the Ottoman lines by the main Greek army, under Georgios Karaiskakis, which had established itself west and south of Athens. The Greeks launched various attacks against the Ottoman army's rear and its supply lines, most notably the victory at the Battle of Arachova in November ; this strategy was altered by government and Westerners in favour of direct attacks on the Ottoman army, resulting the defeat in Battle of Kamatero in February. The command was transferred from Karaiskakis to the British general Richard Church in April. The Ottoman victory at Phaleron (Analatos) on 24 April (Julian) 1827 ended any possibility for relief, and the Acropolis garrison surrendered a month later. Karaiskakis was assassinated in a trap before the beginning of the battle.
The Τreaty of Constantinople was the product of the Constantinople Conference which opened in February 1832 with the participation of the Great Powers on the one hand and the Ottoman Empire on the other. The London Conference of 1832 established an the independent kingdom of Greece with a stable government. Greece was defined as an independent kingdom, with the Arta-Volos line as its northern frontier. On 30 August 1832, a London Protocol was signed to ratify and reiterate the terms of the Treaty of Constantinople. The Ottoman garrison of Athens Acropolis surrendered its fortified positions and left Athens in 1833. Otto (1815 -1867) was a Bavarian prince who became the first modern King of Greece in 1832 under the Convention of London. He reigned until he was deposed in 1862. Otto's early reign was also notable for his moving the capital of Greece from Nafplion to Athens. His first task as king was to make a detailed archaeological and topographic survey of Athens. At the time, it was a town consisting of only 400 houses at the foot of the Acropolis.
Πηγή : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attica_(region)

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