The Souliotes were an Eastern Orthodox community of the area of Souli, in Epirus, known for their military prowess, their resistance to the local Ottoman ruler Ali Pasha, and their contribution to the Greek cause in the Greek War of Independence, under leaders such as Markos Botsaris and Kitsos Tzavelas. The Souliotes established an autonomous confederation dominating a large number of neighbouring villages in the remote mountainous areas of Epirus, where they could successfully resist Ottoman rule. At the height of its power, in the second half of the 18th century, the community (also called "confederacy") is estimated to have consisted of up to 12,000 inhabitants in about 60 villages. The community was classified as Greek in the Ottoman system of social classification because they were Orthodox Christians, yet spoke Albanian besides Greek because of their Albanian origin.
The first historical account of rebellious activity in Souli dates from 1685. During 1721-1772 the Souliotes managed to repulse a total of six military expeditions and as a result they expanded their territory at the expense of the various Ottoman lords. As soon as Ali Pasha became the local Ottoman ruler in 1789 he immediately launched successive expeditions against Souli. However, the numerical superiority of his troops was not enough. The siege against Souli was intensified from 1800 and in December 1803 the Souliotes concluded an armistice and agreed to abandon their homeland. Most of them were exiled in the Ionian Islands and with the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence they were among the first communities to take arms against the Ottomans. Following the successful struggle for independence they settled in parts of the newly established Greek state, with many attaining high posts in the Greek government, including that of Prime Minister. Ottoman rule in Souli ended much later, in 1913.
The Souliotes (Greek: Σουλιώτες; Albanian: Suljotë) were named after the village of Souli, a mountain settlement in modern Thesprotia, Greece. The name Souli is of uncertain origin. It has been suggested by French historian, François Pouqueville, and other contemporary European accounts that this name derives from the ancient Greek region of Selaida "Σελάϊδα" or "Soulaida" ("Σουλάϊδα") and its inhabitants, the Selloi. Another view by Greek historian, Christoforos Perraivos, who came in personal contact with members of the Souliote community, claimed that it derived from the name of a Turk who was killed there. Yet another view based on etymology claims that the word derives from the Albanian term sul, which can be idiomatically interpreted as 'watchpost', 'lookout' or 'mountain summit'. In a study by scholar Petros Fourikis examining the onomastics of Souli, most of the toponyms and micro-toponyms such as: Kiafa, Koungi, Bira, Goura, Mourga, Feriza, Stret(h)eza, Dembes, Vreku i Vetetimese, Sen i Prempte and so on were found to be derived from the Albanian language.
Geography and anthropology
Souli is a community originally settled by refugees who were hunted by the Ottomans in Paramythia, Thesprotia, Greece and southern Albania. Most scholars agree that the first inhabitants settled in Souli in the middle of the 16th century. According to Perraivos the first Souliotes were about 450 families. In time, immigrants from elsewhere, attracted by the privileges of autonomy in Souli, assimilated and were also named Souliotes. The Greek peasants who tilled Souliot land were distinguished by the name of the village in which they dwelt. Clan, class and territorial labels had significance in addition to religion.
The core of Souli consisted of four villages (Greek: Τετραχώρι), namely: Souli (also known as Kakosouli), Avariko (also known as Navariko), Kiafa and Samoniva. In time the confederation expanded and included additional seven villages (Greek: Επταχώρι). The later became the outer defensive ring in case of an attack. Both groups of villages were also collectively called Souli. Several surrounding villages, c. 50-66, which became part of the Souliote confederation were known as "Parasouli". Parasouliotes could join the Souliotes to armed operations but they had no representation in the Souliote government. In case they displayed distinction in warfare they received permission to settle in Souliote villages and enjoyed the same rights and duties as the Souliotes.. At the peak of their power, in 1800, the Souliote community numbered c. 20,000 inhabitants.
The heads of the clans met periodically at the church of Saint Donatos in Koungi in an assembly known as the "Tribunal of the Fatherland". This assembly was the governing body of the Souliotes and composed of the 49 clan leaders, the senior priest of Saint Donatos church and the "Polemarchos" (Greek: Πολέμαρχος), the military commander of the armed units who also served as an executive figure in times of peace. Their clan based organization was similar to that of Himara. However, unlike Himara the Souliotes never acquired an official autonomous status by the Ottoman state, but rather grew autonomously while paying taxes to the Ottoman authorities. The community of the Souliotes was rather akin to that of the Catholic Mirdita tribe. According to Greek author and revolutionary, Christoforos Perraivos, whose information is based on local research none of the Souliotes "practises art or business, but all their training from childhood is for arms. With these they eat, sleep and wake and most amazing of all is that many women bear arms and clash with the enemy"
The major clans were the Antonopoulou (akin to the Botsaris clan; from Vervitsa/Tropaia) Kapralaioi (resettled in Messenia), Setaioi (resettled in Messenia), Douskaioi (resettled in Messenia), Dentaioi (resettled in Messenia), Zygouraioi (resettled in Kastoria), Tzavaraioi (resettled in Messenia and Arcadia), Zervaioi (resettled in Boeotia)
The first historical account of anti-Ottoman activity in Souli dates from the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1684–89. In particular in 1685, the Souliotes together with the inhabitants of Himara revolted and overthrew the local Ottoman authorities. This uprising was short lived due to the reaction of the local beys, agas and pashas.
In 1721, Hadji Ahmed, pasha of Ioannina, received orders from the Sultan to subdue the Souliotes. However, when the later rejected his terms he was unable to break their resistance. The Souliotes managed to counterattack and lift the siege. Other unsuccessful attacks by local Ottoman pashas, agas and beys that suffered the same fate were that of Mustafa Pasha of Ioannina (1754), Dost Bey, commander of Delvinë (1759) and Mahmoud Aga, governor of Arta (1762). During 1721-1772 the Souliotes managed to repulse a total of six military expeditions. As a result, they expanded their territory at the expense of the various Ottoman lords.
In 1772, Suleyman Tsapari attacked the Souliotes with his army of 9000 men and was defeated. In 1775, Kurt Pasha sent a military expedition to Souli that ultimately failed. During the Russo-Turkish War (1768–74), the inhabitants of Souli, as well as of other communities in Epirus were mobilized for another Greek uprising which became known as Orlov Revolt. In 1785 it was the time of Bekir pasha to lead another unsuccessful attack against them. In March 1789, during the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) the chieftains of Souli: Georgios and Dimitrios Botsaris, Lambros Tzavellas, Nikolaos and Christos Zervas, Lambros Koutsonikas, Christos Photomaras and Demos Drakos, agreed with Louitzis Sotiris, a Greek representative of the Russian side, that they were ready to fight with 2,200 men against the Muslims of Rumelia. This was the time when Ali Pasha became the local Ottoman lord of Ioannina.
Resistance against Ali Pasha
As soon as Ali Pasha became the local Ottoman ruler he immediately launched an expedition against Souli. However, the numerical superiority of his troops was not enough and he met a humiliating defeat. Ali was forced to sign a treaty and under its terms he had to pay wages to the Souliote leaders. On the other hand, as part of the same agreement he held five children of prominent prominent Souliote families as hostages. Ali Pasha launched successive spiring-summer campaigns in 1789 and 1790. Although some Parasouliote settlements were captured the defenders of Souli managed to repulse the attacks. Despite the end of the Russo-Turkish War Ali Pasha was obsessed to capture this centre of resistance. Thus, he looked forward to implement indirect and long-term strategies since the numerical superiority of his troops proved inadequate.
In July 1792 Ali dispatched an army of c. 8,000-10,000 troops against the Souliotes. It initially managed to push the 1,300 Souliote defenders to the inner defiles of Souli and capture the temporarily occupied the main settlement of the region. However, after a successful counterattack the Ottoman Albanian units were routed with 2,500 of them killed. On the other hand, the Souliotes suffered minimal losses but Lambros Tzavelas, one of their main leaders, was mortally wounded.
During the following seven years Ali Pasha undertook preparations to take revenge for the humiliating defeat. Meanwhile, he besieged the French controlled towns of the Ionian coast. Especially two of them, Preveza and Parga, were vital to Souli for the supply of livestock and ammunition. At the fall of Preveza in late 1798, Ali Pasha managed to secure the Souliotes' neutrality through bribery. In particular the bribing of various Souliotes resulted to the weakening of their leadership. In one instance the heads of the Botsaris clan refused to share Ali's bribe with the other clans and a feud arose that led the Botsaraioi to defect to the ranks of Ali Pasha and to leave Souli.
In June-July 1800 a new campaign was mounted by Ali involving 11,500 troops. When this direct assault failed, Ali resorted to long-term measures to subdue the warrior community. In order to isolate the seven main villages of Souli from the Parasouliote villages as well as Parga and Preveza, Ali ordered the construction of tower fortifications around Souli. For two years the Souliotes were able to survive this encirclement by the smuggling of supplies from Parga and from nearby Paramythia and Margariti. Nevertheless, a lack of food and supplies was taking its toll. In April 1802 the Souliotes received a supply of food, weapons and ammunition by a French corvette stationed in Parga. This intervention by the French offered Ali the pretext for a new expedition against them with the support of the agas and beys of Epirus and southern Albania.
Fall of Souli (1803)
In 1803 the position of the Souliotes became desperate with the artillery and famine depleting their ranks. On the other hand, the defenders in Souli sent delegations to the Russian Empire, the Septinsular Republic and France for urgent action but without success. As the situation became more desperate in the summer of the same year Ali's troops began assaults against the seven core villages of Souli. Meanwhile, the British turned to the Ottoman Empire in order to strengthen their forces against Napoleon, the weapons and ammunition supplies were interrupted. Without support from outside and wearied by years of siege, the unity of the Souliote clans started to split. As such two chieftains, Athanasios Koutsonikas and Pilios Gousis, withdrew from the defense.
However, the rest in Souli gathered together in Saint George's Orthodox Church and decided either to fight or die. The remaining Souliotes numbered at no more than 2,000 armed men. The main leaders were Fotos Tzavellas, Dimos Drakos, Tousas Zervas, Koutsonikas, Gogkas Daglis, Giannakis Sehos, Fotomaras, Tzavaras, Veikos, Panou, Zigouris Diamadis, and Georgios Bousbos. They won all the decisive battles. Without food and ammunition, they were forced to withdraw to the fortresses of Kiafa and Kougi, where they lost the last battle on December 7, 1803. Following that, the Souliotes concluded an armistice with Veli Pasha, Ali's son and commander of the expedition. Finding their defense untenable in the long run, they agreed upon a treaty on 12 December which obliged them to abandon their homeland. They were allowed to leave with arms, the necessities of war, foodstufs and whatever else they wished to take.
A monk named Samuel remained in Kughi refused to surrender and set fire to the powder magazines with a massive explosion that cost him his life. The Ottoman Albanian troops violated this treaty and attacked groups of Souliotes. In one instance a group of Souliote women was attacked when heading to Zalongo and c. 22 them being trapped decided to turn towards the cliff's edge together with their infants and children rather than surrender. According to tradition (see Dance of Zalongo) they did this one after the other while dancing and singing. Other Souliotes reached Parga, which was under Russian control at the time. They either settled down there or set off for the Ionian Islands.
Life in exile
Many Souliotes entered service with the Russians on Corfu, where they became an important component of the Legion of Light Riflemen. This was a regiment of irregulars organized by the Russians among mainland refugees; it not only included Souliotes, but also Himariotes, Maniots, klephts (Greek bandits) and armatoloi (Greek anti-klepht militias created by the Ottomans that actually supported the klephts). The formation of this unit was undertaken by the Russian colonel Papadopoulos (Greek in ethnicity). The regiment, initially named "Papadopoulos' Legion", later developed to a formidable army. Its organization was laid down by Papadopoulos in a leaflet in Greek titled "Explanations on the establishment of a legion of Epiro-Souliotes and Himaro-Peloponnesians in the service of His Imperial Majesty Alexander I ...". He recognized that Souliotes and the others were already naturally trained in irregular tactics and did not have to conform to the Western regular tactics. This unit was eventually named "Legion of the Light Riflemen". The Souliotes participated in campaigns in Naples in 1805, Tenedos in 1806, Dalmatia in 1806, and during the defense of Lefkada in 1807.
With the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807 and the détente between Russia and France, the Russian forces withdrew from the Ionian Islands and the French occupied them. The Souliotes and other components of Russian units entered service with the French in various units, such as the Battaglione dei Cacciatori Macedoni and the Régiment Albanais (Albanian Regiment), terms which did not have their later ethnic connotation, but were instead stylized terms that described the soldiers' general origins or mode of fighting.
Colonel Minot, the commander of the regiment appointed as battalion captains mostly the leaders of Souliote clans who enjoyed the respect among the soldiers. Among them were: Tussa Zervas, George Dracos, Giotis Danglis, Panos Succos, Nastullis Panomaras, Kitsos Palaskas, Kitsos Paschos. Fotos Tzavellas, Veicos Zervas.
During the Anglo-French struggle over the Ionian Islands between 1810 and 1814, the Souliotes in French service faced off against other refugees organized by the British into the Greek Light Infantry Regiment. Since the Souliotes were mostly garrisoned on Corfu, which remained under French control until 1814, very few entered British service. The British disbanded the remnants of the Souliot Regiment in 1815 and subsequently decommissioned their own two Greek Light Regiments. This left many of the Souliotes and other military refugees without livelihoods. In 1817, a group of veterans of Russian service on the Ionian Islands traveled to Russia to see if they could get patents of commission and employment in the Russian army. While unsuccessful in this endeavor, they joined the Philike Etaireia ("Company of Friends"), the secret society founded in Odessa in 1814 for the purpose of liberating Greek lands from Ottoman rule. They returned to the Ionian Islands and elsewhere and began to recruit fellow veterans into the Philike Etaireia, including a number of Souliot leaders.
In general the training experience of this period, as part of a regular army, would also serve its cause in the Greek revolution, where Souliotes along with the other warlike groups would form the movement's military core. In 1819, Ioannis Kapodistrias, foreign minister of Russia and latter Governor of Greece visited Corfu. There he was concerned about the potential role the various exiled warlike communities, among them the Souliotes, could play in the forthcoming armed struggle for the liberation of Greece. Latter in 1820, when the Ottoman Sultan declared war against Ali Pasha both sides requested the military assistance of these exiled communities. Thus, Kapodistrias encouraged the latter to take advantage of this opportunity in order to liberate their homelands.
Participation in the Greek War of Independence
The Souliotes were among the first communities like the rest of the other Greek exiles in the Ionian island, encouraged by Kapodistrias that revolted against the Sultan in December 7 [O.S. December 19] 1820. They had already secured at December 4, a short-term alliance with Ali Pasha, and were aware of the objectives of the Philike Etaireia, but their struggle had initially a local character. The negotiations of the Souliotes with Ali Pasha and other Muslim Albanians had the full approval of Alexandros Ypsilantis, leader of the Philike Etaireia, as part of the preparations for the Greek revolution. In this alliance the Souliotes contributed 3,000 soldiers. Ali Pasha gained the support of Souliotes mainly because he offered to allow the return of the Souliotes in their land and partially because of Ali's appeal based on shared Albanian origin. Οn December 12, the Souliotes liberated the region of Souli, both from Muslim Lab Albanians, who were previously installed by Ali Pasha as settlers, and Muslim Cham Albanians who meanwhile defected and fought with the Ottoman side of Pasho bey. They also captured the Kiafa fort.
The uprising of the Souliotes, inspired the revolutionary spirit among the other Greek communities. Soon they were joined by additional Greek communities (armatoles and klepths). Later, in January 1821, even the Muslim Albanian allies of Ali Pasha signed an alliance with them. The successful activity of the various Greek guerilla units in Epirus that time, as well as their alliance with Ali Pasha constituted a great advantage for the objectives of the Filiki Eteria. Τhe coalition with Ali Pasha was successful and controlled most of the region, but when his loyal Muslim Albanian troops were informed of the beginning of the Greek revolts (and massacres of local Muslims) in the Peloponnese they abandoned it and joined the Ottomans. However, when the Greek War of Independence broke out this coalition was terminated and they participated in several conflicts. On the other hand, Ali Pasha's plans failed and he was killed in 1822. In September 1822, HMS Chanticleer was dispatched to Fanari, Preveza, to supervise evacuation of the Souliotes after their capitulation.
The Souliotes were represented by Fotos Boboris in the First National Assembly at Epidaurus, the first legislative body of the provisional Greek Government, in December 1821 - January 1822. The same Assembly appointed Notis Botsaris as Minister of War. Boboris was born in Preveza from a family originating from Himara.
The Souliote leaders Markos Botsaris and Kitsos Tzavellas became distinguished generals of the Independence War. However, several Souliotes lost their lives, especially when defending the city of Missolongi. Lord Byron, the most prominent European philhellene volunteer and commander-in-chief of the Greek army in Western Greece, tried to integrate the Souliotes into a regular army. Scores of Souliotes were attached to Lord Byron in 1824, attracted by the money that he was known to bring with him.
Aftermath and legacy
After the successful struggle for independence the Souliotes could not return to their homeland because it remained outside the borders of the newly formed Greek state. They mostly settled in Agrinio and Nafpaktos. In 1854, during the Crimean War, a number of Greek military officers of Souliote descent, under Kitsos Tzavelas, participated in a failed revolt in Epirus, demanding union with Greece. Until 1909, the Ottomans kept a military base on the fortress of Kiafa. Finally in 1913, during the Balkan Wars, the Ottomans lost Epirus and the southern part of the region became part of the Greek state.
Members of the Souliote diaspora that lived in Greece played a major role in 19th- and 20th-century politics and military affairs, like Dimitrios Botsaris, the son of Markos Botsaris, and the World War II resistance leader Napoleon Zervas.
After their expulsion at 1822 the population of the region was significantly reduced. In the last Greek census of 2001, the population of the community was 748. The seat of the community is in Samoniva.
Identity, ethnicity and language
In Ottoman-ruled Epirus, national identity did not play a role to the social classification of the local society; while religion was the key factor of classification of the local communities. The Orthodox congregation was included in a specific ethno-religious community under Graeco-Byzantine domination called Rum millet. Its name was derived from the Byzantine (Roman) subjects of the Ottoman Empire, but all Orthodox Christians were considered part of the same millet in spite of their differences in ethnicity and language. According to this, the Muslim communities in Epirus were classified as Turks, while the Orthodox (Rum), like the Souliotes, were classified as Greeks. Moreover, national consciousness and affiliations were absent in Ottoman Epirus during this era.
The Souliotes were also called Arvanites by Greek monolinguals, which amongst the Greek-speaking population until the interwar period, the term Arvanitis (plural: Arvanites) was used to describe an Albanian speaker regardless of their religious affiliations. It has been recognized that speaking Albanian in that region “is not a predictor with respect to other matters of identity”. During the Greek War of Independence the Souliotes identified entirely with the Greek national cause, while a common language was not enough for an alliance with the Albanian speaking Muslims. On the other hand, due to their identification with Greece, they were considered Greeks by both their Ottoman and Muslim Albanian adversaries. Moreover, religiously, they belonged to the Church of Constantinople, part of the larger Greek Orthodox Church. Latter Greek official policy from the middle of the nineteenth century until the middle twentieth century, adopted a similar view: that speech was not a decisive factor for the establishment of a Greek national identity. As such, the dominant ideology in Greece considered as Greek leading figures of the Greek state and obscured the links of some Orthodox people such as Souliotes had to the Albanian language.
Contemporary and 19th-century accounts
The Souliotes had a strong local identity. Athanasios Psalidas (1767-1829), Greek scholar and secretary to Ali Pasha in early 19th century stated that the Souliotes were Greeks fighting the Albanians. He cites a 1821 source which distinguishes Souliotes from "Arvanites". Moreover, stated that they are part of the Cham population, the later being according to Psalidas people of either Greek or Albanian origin, while the villages of Souli were inhabited by "Greek warriors". French diplomat and historian François Pouqueville stated that they are descendants of the Selloi, an ancient Greek tribe that inhabited the region in antiquity. Adamantios Korais, major figure of the modern Greek Enlightenment states in 1803 that the Souliotes are the "pride of the Greeks". During the Greek War of Independence Kitsos Tzavelas in his speech to the Third National Council of the provisional Greek government in 1826 stresses the sacrifice of the Souliotes for a common fatherland.
Amongst Western European travelers and authors traveling in the region during the nineteenth century, they described the Souliotes in different terms, while most of them were based on claims they have heard or read rather than on research-based evidence, dependent on their guides, without any knowledge of Greek and Albanian and having probably misunderstood the cultural and political reality of the region:
In a letter to Lord Byron dated October 1811 British traveler Hobhouse expressed views that he was uncertain about the language and dress of the Souliotes, but he suspected that they "do not wear the Albanian dress & do not speak Albanian". In 1813 Hobhouse stated the Souliotes "are all Greek Christians and speak Greek" and resembled more "the Albanian warrior than the Greek merchant". French historian Claude Fauriel described the Souliotes in 1814 as "a mixture of Greeks and Albanian Christians" who were originally refugees that settled in the Souli mountains. British traveller Henry Holland wrote in 1815 that that they were of "Albanian origin" and "belonging to the division of that people called the Tzamides" (Chams). R. A. Davenport stated in 1837 that were some people who believed that the "nucleus of the Suliote population consisted of Albanians" who had sought refuge in the mountains after the death of Skanderbeg, while other people claimed shepherds settled Souli from Gardhiki which in both cases was to escape Ottoman rule. In 1851 British traveler Edward Lear wrote the "mountains of Suli" were "occupied by Albanians" in the early medieval period and stayed Christian after the surrounding area converted to Islam. Traveler Henry Baerlin referred to the Souliotes as shouting their defiance in Albanian to "threatening Greek letters sent by Ali Pasha" during their wars. Traveler Brian de Jongh stated that the Souliots were of Albanian descent and "refugees from Albania [...] a branch of the Tosks", that kept "their Albanian mother tongue and Christian faith. A NY Times article from 1880 calls the Souliotes a "branch of the Albanian people" and referred to Souliote women like Moscho Tzavella as exemplary of "the extraordinary courage of the Albanian women... in the history of the country.
19th century Greek historian Constantine Paparrigopoulos (1815-1891) stated that the Souliotes were "a mixture of Greeks and Hellenized Albanians" while "the Albanian tribe fortified the most noble the combatitive spirit of the Greek, and the Greek inspired in the Albanian the most the most noble sentiments of love of one's country, love of learning and the rule of law". In the nineteenth century, the ethnic and geographical terms Albanian and Albania were used often to incorporate the people of the area and southern Epirus, now part of Greece.
One tradition maintains that the Souliotes were remnants of an Albanian contingent that fought at the Battle of Kosovo, while another tradition maintains that they were part of the last personal guard of Skanderbeg. Long after the Albanian migrations of the 15th century into central and southern Greece, newer waves of Albanian speaking populations such as the Souliotes migrated to Zagori in Greek Epirus, who before settling there spoke mostly Albanian. Many of them were already bilingual upon their arrival in Zagori, due to the immigration of Greeks to Souli and the Albanian-speaking population within Souli, such as the valley of Souli (Lakka-Suliots) having close contact with the Greek-speaking population of the wider area (Para-Suliots).
During the early nineteenth century exile in Corfu, the Souliote population was usually registered in official Corfiot documents as Albanesi or Suliotti, as Arvanites in onomastic catalogs for foreigners and as Alvanites (Αλβανήτες) in a divorce document by the wife of Markos Botsaris. According to Greek Corfiot historian Spyros Katsaros, he states that the Corfiot Orthodox Greek speaking population during the period of 1804–14 viewed the Souliotes as "Albanian refugees ... needing to be taught Greek". While K.D. Karamoutsos, a Corfiot historian of Souliote origin disputes this stating that the Souliotes were a mixed Graeco-Albanian population or ellinoarvanites. The Hellenic Navy Academy says that the Souliotic war banner used by Tousias Botsaris and Kitsos Tzavellas before and during the Greek War of Independence bore the inscription "descendants of Pyrrhus", the ancient Greek ruler of Epirus. Other Greek historians such as Vasso Psimouli state that the Souliotes were of Albanian origin, spoke Albanian at home but soon began to use Greek when they settled in 14th century Epirus. Kalliopi Nikolopoulou describes them as a hybrid community consisting of Greeks and Arvanites.
Other academic sources have inferred that they were Greek-speaking and of Albanian origin. Whereas some other academic sources have described the Souliotes as being "partly hellenized Albanian". Scottish historian George Finlay called them a branch of Chams, which American ethnologist Laurie Kain Hart interpreted as them having initially spoken Albanian. British academic Miranda Vickers calls them "Christian Albanians". The Canadian professor of Greek studies Andre Gerolymatos has described them as "branch of the southern Albanian Tosks" and "Christian Albanians of Suli". Classicist David Brewer has described them as a tribe of Albanian origin that like other Albanian tribes lived by plunder and extortion on their neighbours. American professor Nicholas Pappas stated that in modern times the Souliotes have been looked upon as Orthodox Christian Albanians who identified themselves with the Greeks. Arthur Foss says that the Souliotes were an Albanian tribe, that like other Albanian tribes, were great dandies. British historian Christopher Woodhouse describes them as an independent Greek community in the late 18th century during the resistance against Ali Pasha.
Thus, for Greek authors the issue of ethnicity and origins regarding the Souliotes is contested and various views exist regarding whether they were Albanian, Albanian-speaking Greeks, or a combination of Hellenised Christian Albanians and Greeks who had settled in northern Greece. The issue of the origin and ethnicity of the Souliots is very much a live and controversial issue in Greece today. Foreign writers have been equally divided.
Written accounts of the Souliotic language
A written account on the language Souliotes used is the diary of Fotos Tzavellas, composed during his captivity by Ali Pasha (1792–1793). This diary is written by F. Tzavellas himself in simple Greek with several spelling and punctuation mistakes. Emmanouel Protopsaltes, former professor of Modern Greek History at the University of Athens, who published and studied the dialect of this diary, concluded that Souliotes were Greek speakers originating from the area of Argyrkokastro or Chimara.
Further evidence on the language of the Souliotes is drawn from the Greek-Albanian dictionary composed in 1809 mainly by Markos Botsaris and his elders. Titos Yochalas who studied the dictionary concluded that either the mother tongue of the authors was Greek or the Greek language had a very strong influence on the local Albanian dialect, if the latter was possibly spoken in Souli. Robert Elsie noted that the dictionary contains 1,484 Albanian lexemes and "is important for our knowledge of the now extinct Suliot dialect of Albanian". Yochalas counted 1494 Albanian and 1701 Greek entries. Of the Albanian entries, the 528 are loans from Greek, 187 loans from Turkish, 21 loans from Italian and 2 from other languages. In the early twentieth century within the Souliote community, there was an example of Souliote still being fluent in the Albanian language, namely lieutenant Dimitrios (Takis) Botsaris, a direct descendant of the Botsaris' family.
The correspondence of the Souliotes to both Christian and Muslim leaders was either written in Greek or translated from Greek. This fact combined with the national sentiment they expressed led Greek scholar Emmanouel Protopsaltis to assert that the basic ethnic and linguistic component of Souli was Greek rather than Albanian.
Souliotes in folk art and culture
Theater plays and poems were produced during and soon after the Greek Revolution of 1821 for the Souliotes in general, and for certain heroes or events, such as Markos Botsaris or the Dance of Zalongo.
The overwhelming majority of the Souliotic cycle of folksongs is in Greek, which is interpreted by Pappas as a testimony to the Greek orientation of the Souliotes. There are also Albanian folksongs in the Souliotic cycle.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Souliotes.|
- Biris (1960: 285ff.) Cf. also K. Paparigopoulos (1925), Ιστορία του Ελληνικού Εθνους, Ε-146.
- Nußberger Angelika; Wolfgang Stoppel (2001), Minderheitenschutz im östlichen Europa (Albanien) (PDF) (in German), p. 8: "war im ubrigen noch keinerlei Nationalbewustsein anzutreffen, den nicht nationale, sodern religiose Kriterien bestimmten die Zugehorigkeit zu einer sozialen Gruppe, wobei alle Orthodoxe Christen unisono als Griechen galten, wahrend "Turk" fur Muslimen stand..." [...all Orthodox Christians were considered as "Greeks", while in the same fashion Muslims as "Turks": Universität Köln
- Nikolopoulou, 2013, p. 299, "Still, regardless of ethnic roots, the Souliot identification with Greece earned them the title of "Greeks" by their Ottoman and Muslim Albanian enemies alike... identifies them as Greeks fighting the Albanians"
- Balázs Trencsényi, Michal Kopecek: Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945): The Formation of National Movements. Central European University Press, 2006, ISBN 963-7326-60-X, S. 173. “The Souliotes were Albanian by origin and Orthodox by faith”.
- Giannēs Koliopoulos, John S. Koliopoulos, Thanos Veremēs: Greece: The Modern Sequel : from 1831 to the Present. 2. Edition. C. Hurst & Co., 2004, ISBN 1-85065-462-X, p. 233: "Albanian -speaking Suliots and Hydriots, Vlach speaking Thessalians and Epirots, and Slav-speaking Macedonians had fought in insurgent Greece along with the other Greeks, and no one at the time had thought any of these non-Greek speakers less Greek than the Greek-speakers.... of himself as less of a Greek for speaking little or nothing of the language, notwithstanding the ongoing debate on Greekness and Greek identity."
- Eric Hobsbawm: Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality. 2. Edition. Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-43961-2, S. 65
- NGL Hammond: Epirus: the Geography, the Ancient Remains, the History and Topography of Epirus and Adjacent Areas. Clarendon P., 1967, S. 31
- Richard Clogg: Minorities in Greece: Aspects of a Plural Society. Hurst, Oxford 2002, S. 178. [Footnote] “The Souliotes were a warlike Albanian Christian community, which resisted Ali Pasha in Epirus in the years immediately preceding the outbreak the Greek War of Independence in 1821.”
- Miranda Vickers: The Albanians: A Modern History. I.B. Tauris, 1999, ISBN 1-86064-541-0, S. 20. “The Suliots, then numbering around 12,000, were Christian Albanians inhabiting a small independent community somewhat akin to tat of the Catholic Mirdite trive to the north”.
- Nicholas Pappas: Greeks in Russian Military Service in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries. Institute for Balkan Studies. Monograph Series, No. 219, Thessaloniki 1991, ISSN 0073-862X.
- Katherine Elizabeth Fleming: The Muslim Bonaparte: Diplomacy and Orientalism in Ali Pasha's Greece. Princeton University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-691-00194-4, S. 59. “The history of the Orthodox Albanian peoples of the mountain stronghold of Souli provides an example of such an overlap.”
- André Gerolymatos: The Balkan Wars: Conquest, Revolution, and Retribution from the Ottoman Era to the Twentieth Century and Beyond. Basic Books, 2002, ISBN 0-465-02732-6, S. 141. “The Suliot dance of death is an integral image of the Greek revolution and it has been seared into the consciousness of Greek schoolchildren for generations. Many youngsters pay homage to the memory of these Orthodox Albanians each year by recreating the event in their elementary school pageants.”
- Henry Clifford Darby: Greece. Great Britain Naval Intelligence Division. University Press, 1944. “… who belong to the Cham branch of south Albanian Tosks (see volume I, pp. 363-5). In the mid-eighteenth century these people (the Souliotes) were a semi-autonomous community …”
- Arthur Foss (1978). Epirus. Faber. pp. 160-161. “The Souliots were a tribe or clan of Christian Albanians who settled among these spectacular but inhospitable mountains during the fourteenth or fifteenth century…. The Souliots, like other Albanians, were great dandies. They wore red skull caps, fleecy capotes thrown carelessly over their shoulders, embroidered jackets, scarlet buskins, slippers with pointed toes and white kilts.”
- Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer (1983), "Of Suliots, Arnauts, Albanians and Eugène Delacroix". The Burlington Magazine. p. 487. “The Albanians were a mountain population from the region of Epirus, in the north-west part of the Ottoman Empire. They were predominantly Muslim. The Suliots were a Christian Albanian tribe, which in the eighteenth century settled in a mountainous area close to the town of Jannina. They struggled to remain independent and fiercely resisted Ali Pasha, the tyrannic ruler of Epirus. They were defeated in 1822 and, banished from their homeland, took refuge in the Ionian Islands. It was there that Lord Byron recruited a number of them to form his private guard, prior to his arrival in Missolonghi in 1824. Arnauts was the name given by the Turks to the Albanians”.
- Camaj, Martin, & Leonard Fox (1984). Albanian grammar: with exercises, chrestomathy and glossaries. Otto Harrassowitz - Verlag. p. 20. "Patronymics in –ot are also included in this category: indef. sg. suljot ‘native of Suli’ – indef. pl. suljótë."
- Pappas, 1982, p. 24: "Souli gave its name to the confederation, a name whose origins are also unclear. Francois Pouqeville, the French traveller and consul in Ioannina, and other have theorized that the area was the ancient Greek Selaida and its ihnabitants, the Selloi. Christophoros Perraivos, who knew the Souliotes at firsthand, said that the name came from a Turk who was killed there. Yet another opinion, based on etymology, claims that Souli comes from the Albanian term sul...
- Babiniotis, G. Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας. Athens, 1998.
- Raça 2012, p. 202. "Për më tepër, shumë nga suljotët sot vazhdojnë të përkujtojnë rrënjët e forta në viset shkëmbore të Sulit dhe nëpërmjet toponimisë nuk e kontestojnë origjinën shqiptare të tyre. Në këtë kontekst, siç bën të ditur albanologu grek me prejardhje shqiptare, Petro Furiqi (Πέτρο Φουρίκης), toponimet si: Qafa, Vira ose Bira, Breku i vetetimesë (Bregu i vetëtimës), Gura, Dhembes (Dhëmbës), Kungje, Murga e Fereza, nuk kanë si të shpjegohen ndryshe, përveçse nëpërmjet gjuhës shqipe." [Moreover, for many Souliotes today continue to commemorate the strong roots in the mountainous areas of Souli and through toponymy it does not dispute their Albanian origins. In this context, as knew the Greek albanologist of Albanian descent, Petro Furiqi (Πέτρο Φουρίκης), those toponyms are: Qafa, Vira or Bira, Breku i vetetimesë (Bregu i vetëtimës), Gura, Dhembes (Dhëmbës), Kungje, Murga and Fereza, have no other way of being explained, except through the Albanian language.]
- Petros Fourikis (1922). Πόθεν το όνομά σου Σούλι, Ημερολόγιον της Μεγάλης Ελλάδος. pp. 405-406. “Αί κυριώτεραι κορυφαί, έφ' ών έγκατεστάθησαν οί μέχρις αύτών άναρριχηθέντες ολίγοι φυγάδες τής τουρκικής τυραννίδος, οί μετέπειτα ήρωες οί τρομοκρατήσαντες τούς πρό μικρού κυρίους αύτών, είναι γνωσταί ύπό τά άλβανικά ονόματα Άβαρίκο, Κιάφα (λαιμός, ζυγός, κλεισώρεια), Σαμονίβα (κρανιά ίσως) καί Σούλη aί δέ συνεχείς ταύταις κορυφαί είναι μέχρις ήμών γνωσταί ύπό τά ονόματα Βίρα ή Μπίρα (τρύπα), Βούτζι (άβρότονον, φυτόν), Βρέκου - η - Βετετίμεσε (βράχος τής αστραπής), Γκούρα (βράχος ή πηγή έκ τού βράχου ανάβλυζουσα), Δέμπες (δόντια ή οδοντωτός βράχος), Κούγγε (πασσάλοι ή βράχος έχων όψιν πασσάλων), Μούργκα, Στρέτεζα ή Στρέθεζα (μικρών οροπέδιον) καί Φέριζα (μικρά βάτος). Έκ τής μέχρι τούδε έρεύνης τών τοπωνυμίων τού βραχώδους έκείνου συμπλέγματος έπείσθην, ότι ούδέν έλληνικών όνομα εδόθη είς θέσιν τινά τούτου, διότι καί τά υπό τινων άναγραφόμενα τοπωνύμια: Αγία Παρασκευή, Αστραπή καί Τρύπα ούδέν άλλο είναι εί μή μετάφρασις τών άλβανικών Σεν - η - Πρέμπτε, Βετετίμε καί Βίρα. Περί τών έξω τού ορεινών τούτου χώρων καί πρός τά μεσημβρινά κράσπεδα αύτών άναφερόμενων θέσεων Βίλγα (Βίγλα) καί Λάκκα (κοιλάς) δύναταί τις νά είπη, ότι αί λέξεις κοιναί ούσαι τοίς τε Έλληση καί τοίς Άλβανοίς δέν δύνανται νά μαρτυρήσωσιν άναμφισβητήτως περί τής ύφ' Έλλήνων ονομασίας τών θέσεων τούτων.”
- Biris, K. Αρβανίτες, οι Δωριείς του νεότερου Ελληνισμού: H ιστορία των Ελλήνων Αρβανιτών. ["Arvanites, the Dorians of modern Greece: History of the Greek Arvanites"]. Athens, 1960 (3rd ed. 1998: ISBN 960-204-031-9).
- Vranousis, Sfyroeras, 1997, p. 248: "Most scholars, both Greek and foreign, are agreed that the groups of shepherds began to settle in Souli in the middle of the sixteenth century. The earliest inhabitants came from southern Albania and the plains of Thesprotia."
- Hart 1999, p. 202.
- Pappas, 1982, p. 24
- Vranousis, Sfyroeras, 1997, p. 254
- Pappas, 1982, p. 25
- Pappas, 1982, p. 26
- Pappas, 1982, p. 26: By the end of the eighteenth century, the small commonwealth of Souli reached its zenith in population and fighting forces. According to its leaders' reckoning, by 1800 Souli had a population of 20,000 and a military strength of 2,000.
- Pappas, 1982, p. 25: " As in the case of Cheimarra, a clan system numbering forty- eight separate clans formed the basis of Souli's organization", p. 24: "Unlike Cheimarra, Souli received no official sanction and privileges from the Ottoman state, but rather grew autonomously while paying taxes to the Porte."
- Miranda Vickers, The Albanians: A Modern History, I.B.Tauris, 1999, ISBN 1-86064-541-0, ISBN 978-1-86064-541-9 "The Souliots, then numbering around 12,000, were Christian Albanians inhabiting a small independent community somewhat akin to that of the Catholic Mirdite tribe to the north.
- Vranousis, Sfyroeras, 1997, p. 248: "According to Christopher Perraibos... whose information was derived from local research, none of the Souliots "practises art or business... ."
- Pappas, 1982, p. 27
- Kapralos, Ch. Αρκαδικοί θρύλοι. p. 160. Η οικογένεια του Αντωνόπουλου (Μποτσαραίοι) κατάγονται από το Σούλι σύμφωνα με κάποια παράδοση.
- Kapralos, Ch. Αρκαδικοί θρύλοι. p. 70. Μα και οι Καπραλαίοι, προερχόμενοι από την Ήπειρο, έμειναν στη Μεσσηνία για κάποιο χρονικό διάστημα.
- Tzavaras, Ath.: "Agapite Aderfe Vasileie", Ekdosis Exantas, Athens 1999.
- The National Historical Museum. Euthymia Papaspyrou-Karadēmētriou, Maria Lada-Minōtou, Ethniko Historiko Mouseio (Greece). Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, 1994. ISBN 960-85573-0-5
- Arthur Foss (1978). Epirus. Faber. pp. 160-161. “The Souliots were a tribe or clan of Christian Albanians who settled among these spectacular but inhospitable mountains during the fourteenth or fifteenth century…. The Souliots, like other Albanians, were great dandies. They wore red skull caps, fleecy capotes thrown carelessly over their shoulders, embroidered jackets, scarlet buskins, slippers with pointed toes and white kilts.”
- Vranousis, Sfyroeras, 1997, p. 247: At the end of the seventeenth century, during the course of the Venetian-Turkish War of 1684–1689, the Venetian successes in the Ionian Sea rekindled the revolutionary flame in Cheimara and Souli, where the first reference to anti-Turkish activity on the part of the inhabitants goes back to this period, more specifically to 1685: the overthrow, albeit temporary, of Turkish domination over the villages around the inaccessible area of Souli provoked an immediate reaction on the part of the beys, agas and pashas of the area... We have concrete evidence for the attempts of the Porte to crush the resistance of the indomitable Souliots from the third decade of the eighteenth century. In 1721, when the Souliots rejected his proposal that they should submit, the pasha of Ioannina, Zadji Ahmed laid siege to Souli with a strong force, but was obliged to withdraw after a night attack by the besieged. A fresh uprising by the Souliots and the villagers of Margariti in Thesprotia in 1732, was instigated by the Venetians, to whom the Treaty of Passarowitz (1718) had ceded the coastal zone of Epirus from Bouthro- tos to Parga and Preveza.... The Souliotes and the inhabitants of other Epiroete regions also mobilized on a considerable scale "during the Or- lov Incident, as the uprising of the Greeks during the first Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) is known. At the beginning of February... A few months later, in March 1789, the chieftains of Souli Giorgis and Demetris Botsaris, Lambros Tzavellas, Nicholas and Christos Zervas, Lambros Koutsonikas, Christos Photomaras and Demos Drakos wrote to Sotiris declaring that they and their 2,200 men were ready to fight against Ali Pasha and "the Agarenoi in Roumeli". Ali, who had succeeded Kurt Pasha in the pashalik of Epirus in spring 1789, was informed about the movements of the Souliots, and immediately organized a campaign against them.
- Vranousis, Sfyroeras, 1997, p. 247: "Other uprisings against local agas... Arta Mazut Aga."
- Pappas, p. 26: "From 1721 to 1772, the Souliotes repulsed six punitive expeditions launched against them by pasas and be vs. and at the same time expanded their polity at the expense of the latter. By the end of the eighteenth century, the small commonwealth of Souli reached its zenith in population and fighting forces. According to its leaders' reckoning, by 1800 Souli had a population of 20,000 and a military strength of 2,000."
- Nikolopoulou, 2013, p. 239
- Vranousis, Sfyroeras, 1997, p. 248:
- Vranousis, Sfyroeras, 1997, p. 249
- Pappas, 1982, p. 252
- Pappas, 1982, p. 253: "Ali immediately ordered an all out attack on Souli in July 1792 with... The Souliotes accepted negotiations and presented the terms which included: the exchange of hostaged Souliotes for prisoners taken from among Ali's troops, the return of all Parasouliote villages to the Souliote confederation"
- Pappas, 1982, p. 254
- Pappas, 1982, p. 255
- Pappas, 1982, p. 256
- Vranousis, Sfyroeras, 1997, p. 249
- Nikolopoulou, 2013, p. 239
- Pappas, 1982, p. 257
- Χατζηλύρας, Αλέξανδρος-Μιχαήλ. "H Ελληνική Σημαία. H ιστορία και οι παραλλαγές της κατά την Επανάσταση - Η σημασία και η καθιέρωσή της" (PDF). Hellenic Army General Stuff. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- Rados N. Konstantinos, Souliotes and Armatoloi in the Septinsular (1804–1815). The Legion of the "Light Riflemen" - The "Albanian Regiment" - The two regiments of the "Light Greek Infantry of the Duke of York". Athens, 1916, pp. 47, 48.
Ράδος N. Κωνσταντίνος, Οι Σουλιώται και οι Αρματωλοί εν Επτανήσω (1804–1815). Η Λεγεών των "Ελαφρών Κυνηγετών" - Το "Αλβανικόν Σύνταγμα" - Τα δύο συντάγματα του "ελαφρού ελληνικού πεζικού του δουκός της Υόρκης". Αθήναι, 1916, pp. 47, 48
- Legrand Emile, Bibliographie Ionienne ... des ouvrages publies par les Grecs des Sept-Iles. Paris, 1910, vol. 1, pp. 202, 203, article 699.
- Pappas, 1982
- Banac, Ivo; Ackerman, John G.; Szporluk, Roman; Vucinich, Wayne S. (1981). Nation and ideology: essays in honor of Wayne S. Vucinich. East European Monographs. p. 42.
- Bode, Andreas (1975). «Albaner und Griechen als Kolonisten in Neurussland"», Beitrage zur Kenntnis Sudosteuropas und des Nahen Orients, Munchen, vol. 16 (1975), pp. 29-35, cited in: Les Grecs en Russie/Les colonies militaires, Oct. 1995, by Sophie Dascalopoulos (Prof.) – Vernicos Nicolas (Prof.) Archived 2012-06-14 at the Wayback Machine."We remark that the term "Albanian" is not an ethnic qualification but, as the terms "Zouave" and "Dragon", is used as generic to certain corps of infantry, formations of mercenaries recruited among Christians of Turkey. The Albanian Regiments were used also by the Italians and the French".
- Boppe Auguste, Le Régiment Albanais (1807–1814), Berger-Levrault & Cie, Paris, 1902. p. 11.
- Skiotis, 1976, p. 105-106: Ali's appeals were, of course, addressed primarily to the Kapitanioi of the Greek contingents in the Ottoman army. In addition, however, to the detachments of armatoloi already in the mainland, there were also numerous klephs and mountain tribesmen such as the Souliotes who had crossed over from the Ionian islands to Epirus at Ottoman invitation. There had been over, 3,000 of these fighting men in the islands, men who had been forced from Ali's dominions as he had gradually extended his rule over Rumeliy. While in exlie they had served under the banner of whichever power held the islands, but the British had disbanded their regiments at the end of the Napoleonic wars. Unable any longer to maker their living as soldiers, they were destitute and bitter group which longed for some radical change in their political situation that would enable them to return to their homeland. Kapodistrias, a native Corfiote serving as Russian foreign minister, who knew of the exiled chieftains from visiting the island in 1819, was extremely concerned about their plight and suspected that the British on the island and Ali Pasha on the mainland were acting in concert to destroy what we might call the “military” Greeks. When both Ali Pasha and the Ottomans had requested their assistance in the summer of 1820, it was Kapodistrias who had encouraged them to take advantage of this opportunity to regain their ancestral villages. In fact, though certainly no revolutionary himself, who had been chosen by the Hetaireia, that he endorsed the right of the military “Greeks” - “those Greeks who bear arms”- to defend themselves against whatever for attacked them, “as they have done for centuries”... It was not realistic to assume that the people would remain uninvolved while the military Greeks did battle with the Ottomans.
- Skiotis, 1976, p. 106: Not surprisingly, the warlike and independent Souliotes, who like the other Greeks had been repeatedly mistreated by the Ottoman who were especially close to the Kapodistrias brothers, were the first to rebel against the sultan (on 7/19 December) and ally themselves with Ali Pasha. They undoubtedly knew of the Hetaireia (as did everybody else by this time) but their purpose in revolting was most probably of a local nature: to regain the barren villages they had been forced to abandon seventeen years before...
- Skoulidas, Ilias (2001). "The Relations Between the Greeks and the Albanians during the 19th Century: Political Aspirations and Visions (1875 - 1897)". www.didaktorika.gr (in Greek). University of Ioannina: 17. doi:10.12681/eadd/12856. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
... Οι συνεννοήσεις Σουλιωτών και μουσουλμάνων Αλβανών για την υπεράσπιση του Αλή πασά, οι οποίες οδήγησαν σε γραπτή συμφωνία (15/27 Ιανουαρίου 1821) στο Σούλι, ήταν σύμφωνες με τις θέσεις του Αλέξανδρου Υψηλάντη για την προετοιμασία της ελληνικής επανάστασης.
- Fleming, Katherine Elizabeth (1999), The Muslim Bonaparte: diplomacy and orientalism in Ali Pasha's Greece, Princeton University Press, pp. 59, 63, ISBN 978-0-691-00194-4, retrieved 19 October 2010
- M. V. Sakellariou (1997). Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotikē Athēnōn. p. 273. ISBN 978-960-213-371-2.
- Skiotis, 1976, p. 106-107: “The news of the rising of the most famous and heroic among the Greeks could not fail but spread like wildfire through the land.
- Skiotis, 1976, p. 106-107: “The news of the rising of the most famous and heroic among the Greeks could not fail but spread like wildfire through the land. Kasomoules, a contemporary memoirist, recalls that “the trumpet sounded from the north in the month of December and all Greeks, even in the most remote places were inspired by its call.” “If ever the cry of liberty is heard in Greece,” wrote the French concul in Patras, “it will come from the mountains of Epirus! According to all indications the moment has arrived.” Soon there were other Greek fighting men form the Ottoman camp and neighboring mountain tribesmen joined with the Souliotes. In January even the Muslim Albanians, who had enjoyed a privileged position during Ali's rule, and resented Ottoman oppression as mush as the Greeks, signed a formal pact with the Souliotes.”
- Skiotis, 1976, p. 107: “In fact the astonishing progress of Greek arms in Epirus and the solidarity between the kapetanaioi there and Ali Pasha seems to have taken the top Hetairists in the Ottoman capital and Russia by surprise.”
- Roudometof & Robertson 2001, p. 25.
- Odysseas Betsos, "Fots Boboris. An 1821 fighter from Krania", (Οδυσσέας Μπέτσος, «Φώτος Μπόμπορης. Ένας αγωνιστής του '21 από την Κρανιά.», Epiroton Koinon (Ηπειρωτών Κοινόν) 1, Preveza 2005, pp. 111-118. In Greek.
- Giorgos I. Mustakis, "From our local parliamental history" (Γιώργος Ι. Μουστάκης, Από την κοινοβουλευτική ιστορία του τόπου μας), Ta Prevezanika, Published by the Municipal Library of Preveza, (Τα Πρεβεζάνικα), έκδοση της Δημοτικής Βιβλιοθήκης της Πρέβεζας, 2002, p. 405. In Greek
- Brigands with a Cause, Brigandage and Irredentism in Modern Greece 1821–1912, by John S. Koliopoulos, p. 59. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1987. ISBN 0-19-822863-5
- University of Chicago (1946), Encyclopædia britannica: a new survey of universal knowledge, Volume 3, Encyclopædia britannica, Inc., p. 957,
Marco Botsaris’s brother Kosta (Constantine), who fought at Karpenisi and completed the victory, lived to become a general and senator in the Greek Kingdom. Kosta died in 1853..
- Janion, 2015, p. 288
- Baumgart Winfried. Englische Akten zur Geschichte des Krimkriegs. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2006. ISBN 978-3-486-57597-2, p. 262
- University of Chicago. Encyclopædia britannica: a new survey of universal knowledge. Encyclopædia britannica, inc., 1946, p. 957
- Alexandros L. Zaousēs, Hetairia Meletēs Hellēnikēs Historias. Οι δύο όχθες, 1939–1945: μία προσπάθεια για εθνική συμφιλίωση. Ekdoseis Papazēsē, 1987, p. 110.
- PDF "(875 KB) 2001 Census" (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece (ΕΣΥΕ). www.statistics.gr. Retrieved on 2007-10-30.
- In the late 1790s, Balkan Orthodox Christians routinely referred to themselves as “Christians”. Within the Ottoman Empire, these Greek Orthodox urban and mercantile strata were referred to by the Ottomans, the Church, and themselves as Rayah, Christians, or “Romans”, that is, members of the Rum millet. The name Roman was a legacy of history, not a factual identification of race or ethnicity. The term Roman originally designated a citizen of the Eastern Roman Empire. The Ottomans employed the term Rayah to imply all land cultivators regardless of religion; but in practice, in the Ottoman Balkans, this term meant the Orthodox Christians. For the Western audience in Germany, Austria, and Hungary, Greek Orthodox was synonymous with Orthodoxy. From Rum Millet to Greek Nation: Enlightenment, Secularization, and National Identity in Ottoman Balkan Society, 1453–1821, Victor Roudometof, p. 19 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine.
- Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers; Bernd Jürgen Fischer (2002). Albanian Identities: Myth and History. Indiana University Press. pp. 50–. ISBN 0-253-34189-2.
- Thede Kahl (1999). "Die Zagóri-Dörfer in Nordgriechenland: Wirtschaftliche Einheit–ethnische Vielfalt [The Zagori villages in Northern Greece: Economic unit - Ethnic diversity]". Ethnologia Balkanica. 3: 113-114. "Im Laufe der Jahrhunderte hat es mehrfach Ansiedlungen christlich-orthodoxer Albaner (sog. Arvaniten) in verschiedenen Dörfern von Zagóri gegeben. Nachfolger Albanischer Einwanderer, die im 15. Jh. In den zentral- und südgriechischen Raum einwanderten, dürfte es in Zagóri sehr wenige geben (Papageorgíu 1995: 14). Von ihrer Existenz im 15. Jh. wissen wir durch albanische Toponyme (s. Ikonómu1991: 10–11). Von größerer Bedeutung ist die jüngere Gruppe der sogenannten Sulioten – meist albanisch-sprachige Bevölkerung aus dem Raum Súli in Zentral-Epirus – die mit dem Beginn der Abwanderung der Zagorisier für die Wirtschaft von Zagóri an Bedeutung gewannen. Viele von ihnen waren bereits bei ihrer Ankunft in Zagóri zweisprachig, da in Súli Einwohner griechischsprachiger Dörfer zugewandert waren und die albanischsprachige Bevölkerung des Súli-Tales (Lakka-Sulioten) engen Kontakt mit der griechischsprachigen Bevölkerung der weiteren Umgebung (Para-Sulioten) gehabt hatte (Vakalópulos 1992: 91). Viele Arvaniten heirateten in die zagorische Gesellschaft ein, andere wurden von Zagorisiern adoptiert (Nitsiákos 1998: 328) und gingen so schnell in ihrer Gesellschaft auf. Der arvanitische Bevölkerungsanteil war nicht unerheblich. Durch ihren großen Anteil an den Aufstandsbewegungen der Kleften waren die Arvaniten meist gut ausgebildete Kämpfer mit entsprechend großer Erfahrung im Umgang mit Dörfer der Zagorisier zu schützen. Viele Arvaniten nahmen auch verschiedene Hilfsarbeiten an, die wegen der Abwanderung von Zagorisiern sonst niemand hätte ausführen können, wie die Bewachung von Feldern, Häusern und Viehherden."
- Raça, Shkëlzen (2012). "Disa Aspekte Studimore Mbi Sulin Dhe Suljotët [Some research aspects regarding Souli and the Souliotes]". Studime Historike. 1 (2): 215. "Αλβανήτες", d.m.th., shqiptare i identifikon edhe Eleni Karakicu, bashkëshortja e pare e Marko Boçarit. Ajo në fakt drejton një kundër akuzë ndaj tij e familjes së tij, si përgjigje rreth një procesi gjyqësor për çështje shkurorëzimi të parashtruar nga vetë Marko Boçari më 1810, në shtatë ujdhesat e Detit Jon. Ndërmjet tjerash, Karakicu akuzon indiferencën e vjehrrive të saj me fjalët: Nëse ai i kishte të gjitha gjërat në duart e veta, se vjehrri dhe vjehrra ime nuk vendosen ta zënë e ta vrasin, sa Kostën e Stathit, po aq edhe këtë ta bëjnë per mua dhe se sipas tyre e kanë tradhtuar, atëherë veprimi i tillë është borxh dhe ligj për shqiptarët, që të lahen nga mëkati. Më gjerësisht: T.A.K, Arkivi i Rrethit të Korfuzit, Fondi "Mitropoliti" Akti 189. Gjithashtu, si "arvanitë", ata identifikohen edhe në katalogët onomastike të të huajve në Korfuz, një pjesë e të cilëve figurojnë si banorë të fshatrave: Strugli, Stavro e Benica. Më gjerësisht: T.A.K, Arkivi i rrethit të Korfuzit - Të dhëna për të huajt, Raporti 59, dhjetor 1815." "["Alvanites", or in other words Albanians is how Eleni Karakitsou, the wife of Markos Botsaris identifies them. It relates to an accusation against his family to answer questions in a divorce case trial filed by Markos Botsaris in 1810 in the Septinsular islands of the Ionian Sea. Among other things, Karakitsou accuses her in laws of indifference with the words: He had everything in his hands, because my father in law and mother in law decided not catch and to kill him, like Kosta and Stathi, yet they did not do this for me and I believe they have betrayed me and such an action is owed and law for Albanians, so as to brush away those sins". For more: T.A.K. Archive of the municipality of Corfu, Fund "Mitropoliti" Act 189. Also, "Arvanites" as they are identified in the onomastic catalogs for foreigners in Corfu, some of whom are mentioned as inhabitants of the villages: Strougli, Stavro and Benica. For more: T.A.K. Archive of the municipality of Corfu - Data on foreigners, Report 59 December 1815.]"
- Baltsiotis, Lambros (2011). The Muslim Chams of Northwestern Greece: The grounds for the expulsion of a "non-existent" minority community. European Journal of Turkish Studies. "Until the Interwar period Arvanitis (plural Arvanitēs) was the term used by Greek speakers to describe an Albanian speaker regardless of his/hers religious background. In official language of that time the term Alvanos was used instead. The term Arvanitis coined for an Albanian speaker independently of religion and citizenship survives until today in Epirus (see Lambros Baltsiotis and Léonidas Embirikos, “De la formation d’un ethnonyme. Le terme Arvanitis et son evolution dans l’État hellénique”, in G. Grivaud-S. Petmezas (eds.), Byzantina et Moderna, Alexandreia, Athens, 2006, pp. 417-448."
- Hart 1999, "Finlay's late 19th century impression gives some impressions of the social complexity of social categories in this area. To begin with, the Souliotes (celebrated by Byron and in Greek national history for their role in the liberation of Greece) were a "branch of the Tchamides, one of the three great divisions of the Tosks" (Finlay 1939:42)-in other words they initially spoke Albanian... the question of a national identity can hardly be applied here"
- Banac, Ivo; Ackerman, John G.; Szporluk, Roman; Vucinich, Wayne S. (1981). Nation and ideology: essays in honor of Wayne S. Vucinich. East European Monographs. p. 46.
Their contribution in that conflict, although less well known, can be compared to those of the Souliotes on land and the Hydriotes and Spetsiotes at sea. These people, like the Cheimarriotes, were known to be Albanian-speaking or bilingual, yet they identified themselves wholly with the Greek national cause.
- Charles Jelavich; Barbara Jelavich (1963). The Balkans in Transition: Essays on the Development of Balkan Life and Politics Since the Eighteenth Century. University of California Press. p. 141. GGKEY:E0AY24KPR0E.
... a common language was not sufficient to cement an alliance between Muslim Albanians and Albanian-speaking Greeks, such as the Souliotes, ...
- Baltsiotis. The Muslim Chams of Northwestern Greece. 2011. "The fact that the Christian communities within the territory which was claimed by Greece from the mid-19th century until 1946, known after 1913 as Northern Epirus, spoke Albanian, Greek and Aromanian (Vlach), was dealt with by the adoption of two different policies by Greek state institutions. The first policy was to take measures to hide the language(s) the population spoke, as we have seen in the case of “Southern Epirus”. The second was to put forth the argument that the language used by the population had no relation to their national affiliation. To this effect the state provided striking examples of Albanian speaking individuals (from southern Greece or the Souliotēs) who were leading figures in the Greek state. As we will discuss below, under the prevalent ideology in Greece at the time every Orthodox Christian was considered Greek, and conversely after 1913, when the territory which from then onwards was called “Northern Epirus” in Greece was ceded to Albania, every Muslim of that area was considered Albanian."
- Psalidas Ath. "History of the siege of Ioannina, 1820-1822", (Αθ. Ψαλίδας, "Ιστορία της πολιορκίας των Ιωαννίνων, 1820-1822") ed. 1962, in K.D. Stergiopoulos "The peculiarity of the military operations in Epirus in 1821" (Κ.Δ. Στεργιόπουλος, "Η ιδιομορφία των επιχειρήσεων Ηπείρου το 1821"), Ηπειρωτική Εστία, Νο. 289-290 (1976), pp 310, 311 "... the road Arta-Preveza-Paramythia is closed by insurgents thiefs [klefts] Souliotes and Arvanites " (text in italics is in quotation marks in the source). In Greek.
- Kallivretakis, Leonidas (1995). "Η ελληνική κοινότητα της Αλβανίας υπό το πρίσμα της ιστορικής γεωγραφίας και δημογραφίας [The Greek Community of Albania in terms of historical geography and demography." In Nikolakopoulos, Ilias, Kouloubis Theodoros A. & Thanos M. Veremis (eds). Ο Ελληνισμός της Αλβανίας [The Greeks of Albania]. University of Athens. p. 36, 47: "Οι κατοικούντες εις Παραμυθίαν και Δέλβινον λέγονται Τζαμηδες και ο τόπος Τζαμουριά», δίδασκε ο Αθανάσιος Ψαλίδας στις αρχές του 19ου αιώνα και συνέχιζε: «Κατοικείται από Γραικούς και Αλβανούς· οι πρώτοι είναι περισσότεροι», ενώ διέκρινε τους δεύτερους σε Αλβανούς Χριστιανούς και Αλβανούς Μουσουλμάνους." Στην Τσαμουριά υπάγει επίσης την περιφέρεια της Πάργας, χωρίς να διευκρινίζει τον εθνοπολιτισμικό της χαρακτήρα, καθώς και τα χωριά του Σουλίου, κατοικούμενα από «Γραικούς πολεμιστές».
- Augustinos, Olga (1994). French odysseys: Greece in French travel literature from the Renaissance to the romantic era. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Pouqueville, insisting on tracing everything back to antiquity, identified Souli with the ancient Selleis and the Souliots as the descendants of its inhabitants
- Nikolopoulou, 2013, p. 301
- Potts 2014, p. 110.
- Janion, 2015, p. 16: "... the travelers who were the authors of the majority of early works about Suli might have misunderstood the cultural and political reality of Epirus. They hardly ever knew the Greek language, not to mention Albanian, and in most cases they were dependent on their guides
- Potts 2014, p. 108.
- Potts 2014, p. 109.
- Fleming 1999, p. 66.
- Vranousis, Sfyroeras, 1997, p. 248: "According to C. Paparregopoulos, the Souliots were "a mixture of Greeks and Hellenized Albanians", and he goes on to say that "the Albanian tribe fortified the most noble the combatitive spirit of the Greek, and the Greek inspired in the Albanian the most the most noble sentiments of love of one's country, love of learning and the rule of law"
- Pappas, 1982, p. 42: "One tradition maintains that they were the remnants of an Albanian contingent that fought at the battle of Kossovo in 1389 and escaped the Christian defeat there, while another holds that they were part of the last personal guard of Skenderbeg. But regardless of their origins, in modern times the Souliotes have been looked upon as Orthodox Christian Albanians who identified themselves with the Greeks."
- Jim Potts (October 12, 2010). "VI". The Ionian Islands and Epirus: A Cultural History. Landscapes of the Imagination. Oxford University Press, US. p. 186. ISBN 978-0199754168. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
Spiros Katsaros argues (1984) that the Suliots were much better off in Corfu, anyway. To the Corfiots, he suggests, in the period 1804–14, the Suliots were simply armed Albanian refugees, who were displacing them from their properties ... foreigners required to be housed at a short notice, prepared to squat illegally whenever necessary, needing to be taught Greek ... On these questions Katsaros is at odds with another Corfiot writer about the Suliots (himself of Suliot origins), D. Karamoutsos.
- Potts, Jim (2014). "The Souliots in Souli and Corfu and the strange case of Photos Tzavellas". In Hirst, Anthony; Sammon, Patrick. The Ionian Islands: Aspects of Their History and Culture. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 107–108. ISBN 9781443862783. "While the Corfiot historian, K. D. Karamoutsos, in his study of Souliot genealogies (or lineages) does not disagree on the question of the vendetta, he has little time for what he considers extensive “misinformation” on the part of Katsaros. Karamoutsos has a more sympathetic view of the Souliots, insisting that no respectable historian could categorize them as members of the Albanian nation simply on the grounds that they had their roots in the centre of present-day Albania and could speak the Albanian language. On the contrary, he argues, they were 100% Orthodox and bilingual, speaking Greek as well as Albanian; he says that their names, customs, costumes and consciousness were Greek, and that they maintained Greek styles of housing and family structures. He accepts that some historians might place their forebears in the category of akrites, or border guards, of the Byzantine Empire. When they came to Corfu, the Souliots were usually registered in official documents, he says, as Albanesi or Suliotti. They were, he concludes, a special group, a Greek-Albanian people (ellinoarvanites). Vasso Psimouli, on the other hand, takes for granted that the Souliots were of Albanian origin. According to her, they first settled in Epirus at the end of the fourteenth century, but they were not cut off from the Greek-speaking population around them. They spoke Albanian at home but they soon began to use Greek. As these varying opinions suggest, Greek academics have not been able to agree whether the Souliots were Albanian, Albanian-speaking Greeks, or a mixture of Greeks and Hellenized Christian Albanians who had settled in northern Greece. The issue of the origin and ethnicity of the Souliots is very much a live and controversial issue in Greece today. Foreign writers have been equally divided."
- "The Greek Flag and its History" (PDF). Hellenic Navy Academy. p. 5. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- Nikolopoulou, Kalliopi (2013). Tragically Speaking: On the Use and Abuse of Theory for Life. U of Nebraska Press. p. 238. ISBN 0803244878.
- Katherine Elizabeth Fleming (1999). The Muslim Bonaparte: Diplomacy and Orientalism in Ali Pasha's Greece. Princeton University Press. p. 99. ISBN 0-691-00194-4.
The Souliotes, a Greek-speaking tribe of Albanian origin
- Balázs Trencsényi, Michal Kopecek. Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945): The Formation of National Movements, Published by Central European University Press, 2006, ISBN 963-7326-60-X, 9789637326608 p. 173 "The Souliotes were Albanian by origin and Orthodox by faith"
- Giannēs Koliopoulos, John S. Koliopoulos, Thanos Veremēs. Greece: The Modern Sequel : from 1831 to the Present Edition: 2 Published by C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2004 ISBN 1-85065-462-X, 9781850654629 p. 184 describes Souliotes as "Orthodox and partly hellenized Albanian tribes".
- Miranda Vickers, The Albanians: A Modern History, I.B.Tauris, 1999, ISBN 1-86064-541-0, ISBN 978-1-86064-541-9 "The Suliots, then numbering around 12,000, were Christian Albanians inhabiting a small independent community somewhat akin to that of the Catholic Mirdite trive to the north
- The Balkan Wars, Andre Gerolymatos, Basic Books, 2008, ISBN 0786724579, p. 187.
- “Greece, The Hidden Centuries” by David Brewer, Greek Reporter, Apr 12, 2010,
- David Brewer (1 November 2011). The Greek War of Independence: The Struggle for Freedom and the Birth of Modern Greece. The Overlook Press. p. 46.
The Souliots were of Albanian origin and like other warrior Albanians lived by plunder and extortion practised on their neighbours.
- Pappas, 1982, p. 42: "But regardless of their origins, in modern times the Souliotes have been looked upon as Orthodox Christian Albanians who identified themselves with the Greeks."
- Woodhouse, Christopher Montague (1968). A Short History of Modern Greece. Praeger. p. 122.
- Protopsaltes G. Emmanouel, The diary of captivity of Fotos Tzavellas 1792–1793), in “Mneme Souliou”, edited by the “Athens Society of the Friends of Souli”, 1973, vol. 2, pp. 213-225, in Greek. The text of the diary is in pp. 226-235.
- Protopsaltes G. Emmanouel, Souli, Souliotes, Bibliotheke Epirotikes Etaireias Athenon (B.H.E.A.), No 53, p. 7, Athens, 1984. In Greek.
- Yochalas Titos (editor, 1980) The Greek-Albanian Dictionary of Markos Botsaris. Academy of Greece, Athens 1980, p. 53. (in Greek):
"Η παρουσία αύτη φαινομένων της ελληνικής συντάξεως εις το αλβανικόν ιδίωμα του Λεξικού είναι δυνατόν να ερμηνευθή κατά δύο τρόπους:
- α) Ότι η μητρική γλώσσα του Μπότσαρη και των συνεργατών του ήτο η Ελληνική, ...
- β) Είναι δυνατόν επίσης δυνατόν η επίδρασις της ελληνικής γλώσσης να ήτο τόσον μεγάλη επί της Αλβανικής της ομιλουμένης πιθανώς εις την περιοχήν του Σουλίου ..."
- a) The mother tongue of Botsaris and his coworkers was the Greek ...
- b) It is also possible that the influence of the Greek was so heavy on the Albanian possibly spoken in the area of Souli, ..."
- Robert Elsie (24 December 2012). A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History. I.B.Tauris. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-78076-431-3.
- Yochalas, p. 37, last line.
- Yochalas, pp 76-90.
- Baltsiotis (2011). The Muslim Chams of Northwestern Greece.
The lieutenant of the Greek Army Dimitrios (Takis) Botsaris, after a looting incident during the First Balkan War, pronounces an order that “from this time on every one who will dare to disturb any Christian property will be strictly punished” (see K.D. Sterghiopoulos…, op.cit., pp. 173-174). In pronouncing the order in this manner he left Muslim properties without protection. Botsaris, coming from Souli, was a direct descendant of the Botsaris’ family and was fluent in Albanian. He was appointed as lieutenant in charge of a Volunteers’ company consisting of persons originating from Epirus and fighting mostly in South Western Epirus.
- Pappas, 1982, p. 27: "...the extent correspodents of Souli with Muslim and Christian leaders in is written in or translated from Greek. The language of the letters of the Souliotes, as well as the sentiments expressed in them, have led one prominent Greek scholar to assert that the basic ethnic and linguistic Component of Souli was Greek rather than Albanian.~note: Protopsaltes, "Souliotika semeiomata" pp 287-292"
- Pappas, 1982, p. 27: "Testimony to their hellenic orientation emerges in the overwhelming majority of Greek ballads in the cycle's of Souli's wars."
- Pappas, 1982, p. 296: "Aside from the Souliote cycle of folksongs in Greek and Albanian"
- Hart, Laurie Kain (Feb 1999), "Culture, Civilization, and Demarcation at the Northwest Borders of Greece", American Ethnologist, Blackwell Publishing, 26 (1): 196–220, doi:10.1525/ae.1918.104.22.168
- Janion, Ewa Roza (2015). Imaging Suli: Interactions Between Philhellenic Ideas and Greek Identity Discourse. Peter Lang Edition. ISBN 9783631669914.
- Roudometof, Victor; Robertson, Roland (2001), Nationalism, globalization, and orthodoxy: the social origins of ethnic conflict in the Balkans, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, ISBN 978-0-313-31949-5
- Nicholas Charles Pappas (1982). Greeks in Russian Military Service in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries. Stanford University.
- Nikolopoulou, Kalliopi (2013). Tragically Speaking On the Use and Abuse of Theory for Life. Lincoln: UNP - Nebraska Paperback. ISBN 9780803244870.
- Skiotis, Dennis (1976). "The Greek Revolution: Ali Pasha's Last Gamble" (PDF). Hellenism and the First Greek War of Liberation (1821–1830): Continuity and Change. University of York, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies: 97–109. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
- Vranousis, L, Sfyroeras, V. (1997). "From the Turkish Conquest to the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century". Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotike Athenon. ISBN 9789602133712.
- Davenport, R. A. (1837). The Life of Ali Pasha, of Zepeleni, Vizier of Epirus: Surnamed Aslan Or the Lion. Thomas Tegg and Son.
- Pouqueville, François (1813). Trav︠e︡ls in the Morea, Albania, and Other Parts of the Ottoman Empire: Comprehending a General Description of Those Countries; Their Productions; the Manners, Customs, and Commerce of the Inhabitants: a Comparison Between the Ancient and Present State of Greece: and an Historical and Geographical Description of the Ancient Epirus. Henry Colburn. pp. 121, 126, 352, 379, 382, 390–394.
- Leake W.M."Travels in Northern Greece", London, 1835, vol. 1, p. 502
- J. P. Bellaire, "Précis des opérations générales de la division française du Levant", Paris, 1805, p. 139
- Johann Baptist Schels, 1830, in Oestreichische militärische Zeitschrift (Austrian Military Journal), Strauß & Sommer, Wien, 1830, vol. 4, issues 10-12, p. 72