Mudcat Café message #1436403 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23203   Message #1436403
Posted By: M.Ted
16-Mar-05 - 06:05 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Miserlou
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Miserlou
Well, with a little looking googling , and some creative spelling, I have found more--here is a bit of info excerpted narrative from the Journal of the 19th Century landscape artist, Edward Lear


Descending the hill of Zermi we came in less than an hour to the vale of Tervitziana, through which the river of Suli flows ere, "previously making many turns and meanders as if unwilling to enter such a gloomy passage," it plunges into the gorge of Suli. We crossed the stream, and began the ascent on the right of the cliffs, by narrow and precipitous paths leading to a point of great height, from which the difficult pass of the Suliote glen commences.

From the precipices impending over this ravine; it is related that the Suliote women threw their children, when the contest for their liberty had come to an end.

As some notice of the Suliote history may be desirable, I and as much matter as is necessary to illustrate the subject. The mountain of Suli may be conjectured to have been occupied by Albanians about the thirteenth or fourteenth century, and when the greater part of the surrounding country lapsed to the Mohammedan faith, the race of hardy mountaineers adhered firmly to Christianity.

During the eighteenth century, the Suliotes carried on a predatory warfare with the surrounding territories of Margariti, Paramithia, &c., but when Ali Pasha, under pretext of reducing disaffected districts to the obedience due to the Sultan, had subdued all the surrounding tribes, the inhabitants of Suli found that he was an enemy, determined either by craft or force to disposses them of their ancestral inheritance. From 1788 to 1792, innumerable were the artifices of Ali to obtain possesion of this singular stronghold; in the latter year he made an attack on it, which nearly proved fatal to himself, while his army was defeated with great slaughter. In 1798, after six years of bribery and skirmishing, a portion of the territory of Suli was gained by the Mohammedans, through treachery of some inhabitants, and thenceforward the accounts of the protracted siege of this devoted people is a series of remarkable exploits and resolute defence, by Suliotes of both sexes, seldom paralleled in history.

Every foot of the tremendous passes leading to Suli was contested in blood ere the besieger gained firm footing; and after he had done so, the rock held out an incredible period, untill famine and treachery worked out the downfall of this unfortunate people.

Then in 1803, many escaped by passing through the enemy«s camp, many by paths unknown to their pursuers; numbers fled to the adjancent rocks of Zalongo and Seltzo; others destroyed themselves, together with the enemy, by gunpowder, or in a last struggle; or threw themselves into the Acheron, or from precipices. Those of this brave people who ultimately escaped to Parga, crossed over to Korfu, and thence entered to the service of Russia an France. Many since the days of Greek independence, have returned to various part of Epiris, or Greece, but they have no longer a country or a name, and the warlike tribe who, at the height of their power, formed a confederacy of sixty-six villages, may now be said to be extinct.