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Title: Constantinople and the Scenery of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor - Series One and Series Two in one Volume
Author: Walsh, Robert
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Constantinople and the Scenery of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor - Series One and Series Two in one Volume" ***

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  Transcriber’s note:

  Two volumes of this book have been put together as a single

  The pages have been rearranged so that the text describing the
  illustrations follow immediately the illustrations. Captions
  of the illustrations have been used as Chapters’ headers.

  The original spellings of Turkish names have been retained
  except where they are misleading, such as “Babu (Gate
  in Old Turkish) Hummayoun” for Baba (Father in Turkish)
  Hummayoun. Also consistency in these names have been assured by
  using the most frequent spelling of these names.

  The erroneous statement by author about the emigration of
  Muhammad from Medina to Mecca has been corrected as from Mecca
  to Medina.

  The the header “Sultan Selim’s Palace at Scutari” is
  replaced by the caption of the related illustration “Mosque of
  Sultan Selim at Scutari” as the illustration displays a mosque.

  “Fisher, & Co. London, & Quai de l’Ecole, Paris.” line
  which is repeated in all captions has been omitted to avoid









NOTHING can form a stronger contrast in modern times, than
Asiatic and European Turkey. The first preserves its character
unchanged−-men and things still display the permanency of Oriental
usages; and they are now as they have been, and will probably continue
to be, for an indefinite period.

Not so the second−-Constantinople having for centuries exhibited the
singular and extraordinary spectacle of a Mahomedan town in a Christian
region, and stood still while all about it were advancing in the march
of improvement, has at length, as suddenly as unexpectedly, been roused
from its slumbering stupidity; the city and its inhabitants are daily
undergoing a change as extraordinary as unhoped for; and the present
generation will see with astonishment, that revolution of usages and
opinions, during a single life, which has not happened in any other
country in revolving centuries.

The traveller who visited Constantinople ten years ago, saw the
military a mere rabble, without order or discipline, every soldier
moving after his own manner, and clad and armed after his own fashion;
he now sees them formed into regular regiments, clothed in uniform,
exercised in a system of tactics, and as amenable to discipline
as a corps of German infantry. He saw the Sultan, the model of an
Oriental despot, exhibited periodically to his subjects with gorgeous
display; or to the representatives of his brother sovereigns, gloomy
and mysterious, in some dark recess of his Seraglio: he now sees him
daily, in European costume, in constant and familiar intercourse with
all people−-abroad, driving four-in-hand in a gay chariot, like a
gentleman of Paris or London; and at home, receiving foreigners with
the courtesies and usages of polished life. He formerly saw his kiosks
with wooden projecting balconies, having dismal windows that excluded
light, and jalousies closed up from all spectators; he now sees him in
a noble palace, on which the arts have been exhausted to render it as
beautiful and commodious as that of a European sovereign. He formerly
saw the people listening to nothing, and knowing nothing, but the
extravagant fictions of story-tellers; he now sees them reading with
avidity the daily newspapers published in the capital, and enlightened
by the realities of passing events.

It is thus that the former state of things is hurrying away, and he who
visits the capital to witness the singularities that marked it, will
be disappointed. It is true, it possesses beauties which no revolution
of opinions, or change of events, can alter. Its seven romantic hills,
its Golden Horn, its lovely Bosphorus, its exuberant vegetation,
its robust and comely people, will still exist, as the permanent
characters of nature: but the swelling dome, the crescent-crowned
spire, the taper minaret, the shouting muezzin, the vast cemetery, the
gigantic cypress, the snow-white turban, the beniche of vivid colours,
the feature-covering yasmak, the light caïque, the clumsy arrhuba,
the arched bazaar−-all the distinctive peculiarities of a Turkish
town−-will soon merge into the uniformity of European things, and, if
the innovation proceed as rapidly as it has hitherto done, leave scarce
a trace behind them.

To preserve the evanescent features of this magnificent city, and
present it to posterity as it was, must be an object of no small
interest; but the most elaborate descriptions will fail to effect it.

It is, therefore, to catch the fleeting pictures while they yet exist,
and transmit them in _visible_ forms to posterity, that the present
work has been undertaken, and, that nothing might be wanting, Asiatic
subjects are introduced; thus presenting, not only the Turk of one
region as he was, but of another as he is, and will continue to be.

The Views are accompanied with letter-press, describing the usages,
customs, and opinions of the people, as ancillary to the pictorial
representations; and a Map of the Bosphorus is added, pointing out
localities, and directing attention to the spot on which the reality
stood or still stands. To complete the whole, an historical sketch of
the city from its foundation is annexed, with a chronological series of
its Emperors and Sultans to the present day; thus combining a concise
history of persons and events, with copious details of its several
parts, and vivid and characteristic representations of its objects.




  Map of Constantinople                      To face        i
  Constantinople from the Golden Horn        Frontispiece   1
  Fountain and Market Place of Tophana       Vignette Title 7
  Roumeli-Hissar, or, The Castle of Europe                  9
  The Great Cemetery of Scutari                            12
  The Cistern of Bin-bir-derek                             14
  The Solimanie, or Mosque of Sultan Soliman               16
  Mosque of Sultan Achmet                                  18
  Tophana, Entrance to Pera                                20
  Prison of the Seven Towers                               22
  Petit Champs des Morts                                   23
  Reception-Room of the Seraglio                           26
  Brusa and Mount Olympus                                  28
  Emir Sultan, Brusa                                       31
  Guyuk-Suey−-Sweet Waters of Asia                         32
  The Bath                                                 35
  The Aurut Bazaar, or Slave Market                        37
  The Mosque of Yeni Jami                                  39
  Baluk Hané                                               40
  The Great Bazaar                                         41
  The Atmeidan, or Hippodrome                              44
  The Mosque of Santa Sophia                               45
  Eyoub Sultan−-Fountain and Street of Tombs               48
  Hunkair, or Unkiar Iskelessi                             50
  Entrance to the Bosphorus from the Black Sea             52
  Pass in the Balkan Mountains−-by Haidhos                 56
  Route through the Balkan Mountains−-by Tâtar-Bazaar      57
  The Barbyses, or Sweet Waters of Europe                  57
  Interior of a Turkish Caffinet                           59
  The Village of Babec                                     61
  The Ruins of Ephesus                                     63
  Greek Priest’s House near Yeni Kuey                      65
  The Acropolis at Sardis                                  66
  Palais of Saïd Pasha                                     69
  The Remains of Hierapolis                                70
  Philadelphia                                             71
  Pass in the Balkan Mountains−-Bulgarian Side             73
  Mosque of Sultan Selim at Scutari                        74
  Mosque of Mahmoud II. at Tophana                         75
  Caravanseraï at Guzel-Hissar, on the Meander             76
  Anadoli-Hissar, or Castle of Asia                        77
  Outer Cooling-Room of the Bath near Psamatia Kapousi     78
  The Acropolis of Pergamus                                79
  The Triple Wall of Constantinople                        81
  Yèrè-Batan-Seraï                                         82
  Kiz-Koulasi−-Leander’s, or the Maiden’s Tower            83
  Mosque of Shahzadeh Djamesi                              84



  Gardens of the Seraglio, Constantinople  Vignette        94
  Apartment in the Palace of Eyoub, the Residence
    of the Asmé Sultana.                                   33
  Obelisk of Theodosius, in the Atmeidan                    1
  The Sultans New Palace on the Bosphorus                   2
  A Street in Smyrna                                        4
  Mosque of Buyuk Djami, Scutari                            6
  Fountain near Babu Hummayoun                                6
  The Castle of Smyrna                                      7
  The City of Magnesia, and Mount Sipylus                   9
  Inner Court of the Mosque of Sultan Osman.               12
  Metropolitan Church of Magnesia                          13
  The Ruins of Hieropolis, from the Theatre                17
  The Princes’ Islands.                                   20
  The Monastery of St. George of the Precipice             24
  Guzel-Hissar, and the Plain of the Meander               26
  Greek Church of Baloukli                                 28
  Greek Church of Saint Theodore, Pergamus.                31
  Remains of the Church of St. John--Pergamus.             35
  Mosque of Santa Sophia, and Fountain of the Seraglio.    38
  Pass and Waterfall in the Balkan Mountains.              40
  City of Thyatira.                                        41
  Constantinople from the Heights above Eyoub.             43
  Mausoleum of Sultan Mahomet and his Family.              49
  Spring of the Miraculous Fishes at Baloukli.             51
  Ascent of the High Balkan Mountains.                     53
  Circassian Slaves in the Interior of a Harem,
    Constantinople                                         55
  Constantinople, from Cassim Pasha                        58
  Village in Roumelia, near Adrianople                     62
  Cavalry Barracks on the Bosphorus                        65
  Entrance to the Divan, Constantinople                    67
  The Medâk or Eastern Story-Teller                        71
  A Street in the Suburbs of Adrianople                    73
  The Fort and Town of Silivria                            74
  Turkish Letter-Writer, Constantinople                    75
  The Square of the Fountain, Adrianople                   77
  Joannina, the Capital of Albania                         78
  The Favourite Odalique                                   79
  Smyrna, from the Harbour, Asia Minor                     79
  The Castle of Argyro-Castro, Albania                     81
  Town and Castle of Paramythia, Albania                   82
  The Sultana in her State Arrhuba                         83
  The Tomb of Ali Pasha and Fatimah, Joannina              83
  Halt of Caravaniers at a Seraï                           85
  The Ruins of Laodicea                                    86
  Castle of Parga, Albania                                 87
  Castle and Valley of Suli                                89
  Scutari−-and the Maiden Tower                            91
  Governor’s House, Philadelphia                           92
  The Gygean Lake, and Place of a Thousand Tombs           93

  Map of the Mediterranean, and Turkish Empire.

  Fisher, Son, & Co. Printers.



and the



The first mercantile expedition undertaken by the Greeks, to a distant
country, was that to Colchis, the eastern extremity of the Black Sea,
to bring back the allegorical golden fleece. This distant and perilous
voyage, could not fail, in that rude age, to excite the imagination; so
the poets have adorned its historical details with all the fascinations
of fiction; the bold mariners who embarked in the ship Argo are
dignified with the qualities of heroes, and their adventures swelled
into portentous and preternatural events. The Symplegades were placed
at the entrance of this dark sea, which closed upon and crushed the
daring ships that presumed to penetrate into its mysteries, and so
for ever shut out all access to strangers. But the intrepid sailors,
whose names are handed down to posterity for their extraordinary
physical powers, overcame every difficulty; and Jason, the Columbus of
the ancient world, returned in safety with his golden freight. From
that time the hitherto impervious sea changed its name. It had been
called by the inhospitable appellation of _Axenos_, because it was
inaccessible to strangers; it was now named _Euxenos_, as no longer
repelling, but, on the contrary, inviting foreigners to its shores.

The dark Euxine, and all its visionary dangers, soon became familiar
to the enterprising Greeks, and colonies were every where planted on
the narrow waters that led to it. Little, however, was understood of
the advantages of selecting a site for these young cities; and one
of the first on record still remains, to attest the ignorance of the
founders. In the year 685 before the Christian era, Argias led a colony
from Megara, which he settled at the mouth of the Bosphorus. The site
selected for the town was the shore of a shallow bay that indented
the Asiatic coast, and was exposed to every wind. It was first called
Procerastes, afterwards Colpusa, and finally Chalcedon.

A few years had brought experience to the Greeks, and a more mature
judgment led them to select a better situation. About thirty years
after, Byzas led another colony from Megara. He consulted the oracle,
as was usual in such cases, where he should erect his new city; and
the answer was, of course, wrapt in mystery. He was directed to place
it “opposite the city of the blind men.” On exploring the mouth of the
strait, he discovered, on the European shore, a situation unrivalled
perhaps by any other in the world. A peninsula of gradual elevation was
washed on one side by the Propontis, and on the other by a magnificent
harbour, broad and deep, and sheltered from every wind, capable of
holding in security all the ships of all known nations, and just
within and commanding the mouth of the great watery thoroughfare to
the newly discovered sea. Here they built their city, and called it
Byzantium, after its founder Byzas, who, from his singular judgment and
sagacity in maritime affairs, was also denominated the Son of Neptune.
The accomplishment of the mysterious oracle was now apparent. The
striking contrast between his selection and that of his predecessors
on the opposite coast, caused their settlement to be called “the City
of the Blind Men,” because its founder overlooked, or could not see
the beauties and benefits of the site of Byzantium, when he had full
liberty to choose. Byzantium was afterwards enlarged and re-edified
by Pausanias, a Spartan, and, in process of time, from the singular
superiority of its commanding situation and local advantages, became
one of the most important of the free and independent republics of
the Greeks, and suffered the penalty of its prosperity by becoming an
object of envy and cupidity to its contemporaries.

The sovereigns of Bythinia and Macedon were the most persevering
in their attacks. A siege by the latter is rendered memorable by a
circumstance connected with it. Philip sat down before the city, and
attempted to take it by surprise. A dark night was selected for the
purpose, when it was hoped the citizens could not be prepared to
resist the concealed and sudden attack. The moon, however, appeared
to emerge from the black sky with more than common brilliancy, and
illumined distinctly every object around the city. The obscure
assailants were thus unexpectedly exposed to view, and discovered; and
the citizens, now upon their guard, easily repulsed them. Grateful for
this seasonable and supposed miraculous interference of the goddess,
the Byzantines adopted Diana as their tutelar deity, and depicted
her under the form of a crescent. By this emblem she is represented
on the coins of the city, still extant, with the legend ΒΥΣΑΝΤ ΣΩΤ,
implying that she was the “_saviour of Byzantium_.” This emblem of
the ancient city was adopted by Constantine, when he transferred
hither the seat of empire, and it was retained by the Turks, like
many other representations, when they took possession of it. The
crescent therefore is still its designation, not as a Mohammedan, but a
Byzantine emblem.

After many struggles, with more powerful nations, to maintain its
independence, Byzantium attracted the attention of the Romans. In the
contests of the different competitors for the empire, the possession
or alliance of this city was of much importance, not merely on account
of its power and opulence, but because it was the great passage from
Europe to Asia. It was garrisoned by a strong force, and no less
than five hundred vessels were moored in its capacious harbour. When
Severus and Niger engaged in hostilities, this city adhered to the
latter, many of whose party fled thither, and found a secure asylum
behind fortifications which were deemed impregnable. Siege was laid
to it by the victorious Severus, but it repelled all his assaults for
three years. Its natural strength was increased by the skill of an
engineer named Priscus, who, like another Archimedes, defended this
second Syracuse by the exercise of his extraordinary mechanical powers.
When it did yield, it fell not by force, but famine. Encompassed by
the great Roman armies on every side, its supplies ware at length cut
off, as the skill of the artist was incapable of alleviating the
sufferings of starvation. By the cruel and atrocious policy of the
most enlightened ages of the pagan world, the magistrates and soldiers
were put to death without mercy, for their gallant defence, to deter
others from similar perseverance; and to destroy for ever its power
and importance, its privileges were suppressed, its walls demolished,
its means of defence taken away; and in this state it continued, an
obscure village, subject to its neighbours the Perenthians, till it was
unexpectedly selected to become the great capital of the Roman empire,
an event rendered deeply interesting because it was connected with the
extinction of paganism, and the acknowledgment of Christianity, as the
recognised and accredited religion of the civilized world.

The emperor Diocletian, impelled by his cruel colleague Galerius,
had consented to the extermination of the Christians, now becoming a
numerous and increasing community all over the Roman empire: decrees
were issued for this purpose, and so persevering and extreme were the
efforts made to effect it, that medals were struck and columns erected
with inscriptions, implying that “the superstition of Christianity
was utterly extirpated, and the worship of the gods restored.” But
while, to all human probability, it was thus destroyed, the hand of
Providence was visibly extended for its preservation; and mankind with
astonishment saw the sacred flame revive from its ashes, and burn with
a more vivid light than ever, and the head of a mighty empire adopt
its tenets from a conviction of their truth, when his predecessor had
boasted of its extinction on account of its falsehood. This first
Christian emperor was Constantine.

Christian writers assert that he, like St. Paul, was converted by
a sensible miracle while journeying along a public way. There were
at this time six competitors for the Roman empire. Constantine was
advancing towards Rome to oppose one of them−-Maxentius: buried in
deep thought at the almost inextricable difficulties of his situation,
surrounded by enemies, he was suddenly roused by the appearance
of a bright and shining light; and looking up, he perceived the
representation of a brilliant cross in the sky, with a notification,
that it was under that symbol he should conquer. Whether this was some
atmospheric phenomenon which his vivid imagination converted into
such an object, it is unnecessary to inquire. It is certain that the
effects were equally beneficial to mankind. He immediately adopted the
emblem as the imperial standard, and under it he marched from victory
to victory. His last enemy and rival was Licinius, who commanded in
the east, and established himself on the remains of Byzantium, as his
strongest position: but from this he was driven by Constantine, who was
now acknowledged sole emperor of the East.

His first care was to build a city near the centre of his vast empire,
which should control, at the same time, the Persian power in the east,
and the barbarians on the north, who, from the Danube and the Tanais,
were continually making inroads on his subjects. It was with this
view that Diocletian had already selected Nicomedia as his residence;
but any imitation of that persecutor of Christianity, was revolting
to the new and sincere convert to the faith,--so he sought another
situation. He at one time had determined on the site of ancient Troy,
not only as commanding the entrance of the Hellespont, and so of all
the straits which led to the Euxine Sea, but because this was the
country of his Roman ancestors, to whom, like Augustus, he was fond of
claiming kindred. He was at length induced to adopt the spot on which
he had defeated his last enemy, and he was confirmed in his choice by a
vision. While examining the situation, he fell asleep; and the genius
who presided over mortal slumbers, appeared to him in a dream. She
seemed the form of a venerable matron, far advanced in life, and infirm
under the pressure of many years and various injuries. Suddenly she
assumed the appearance of a young and blooming virgin; and he was so
struck with the beautiful transition, that he felt a pride and pleasure
in adorning her person with all the ornaments and ensigns of his own
imperial power. On awaking from his dream, he thought himself bound to
obey what he considered a celestial warning, and forthwith commenced
his project. The site chosen had all the advantages which nature could
possibly confer upon any single spot. It was shut in from hostile
attack, while it was thrown open to every commercial benefit. Almost
within sight, and within an easily accessible distance, were Egypt and
Africa, with all the riches of the south and west, on the one hand; on
the other were Pontus, Persia, and the indolent and luxurious East.
The Mediterranean sent up its wealth by the Hellespont, and the Euxine
sent hers down by the Bosphorus. The climate was the most bland and
temperate to be found on the surface of the globe; the soil, the most
fertile in every production of the earth; and the harbour, the most
secure and capacious that ever opened its bosom to the navigation of
mankind: winding round its promontories, and swelling to its base, it
resembled the cornucopia of Amalthea, filled with fruits of different
kinds, and was thence called “The Golden Horn.”

His first care was to mark out the boundaries. He advanced on foot with
a lance in his hand, heading a solemn procession, ordering its line
of march to be carefully noted down as the new limits. The circuit
he took so far exceeded expectation, that his attendants ventured to
remonstrate with him on the immensity of the circumference. He replied,
he would go on till that Being who had ordered his enterprise, and
whom he saw walking before him, should think proper to stop. In this
perambulation he proceeded round six of the hills on which the modern
city is built. Having marked out the area, his next care was to fill
it with edifices. On one side of him rose the forests of Mount Hæmus,
whose arms ramify to the Euxine and the mouth of the Bosphorus, covered
with wood; these gave him an inexhaustible supply of timber, which the
current of the strait floated in a few hours into his harbour, and
which centuries of use have hardly yet thinned, or at all exhausted. On
the other, at no great distance, was Perconessus, an island of marble
rising out of the sea, affording that material ready to be conveyed by
water also into his harbour, and in such abundance, that it affords at
this day, to the present masters of the city, an inexhaustible store,
and lends its name to the sea on whose shores it so abounds.

The great materials being thus at hand, artists were wanted to work
them up. So much, however, had the arts declined, that none could be
found to execute the emperor’s designs, and it was necessary to found
schools every where, to instruct scholars for the purpose; and, as
the pupils became improved and competent, they were despatched in
haste to the new city. But though architects might be thus created
for the ordinary civil purposes, it was impossible to renovate the
genius of sculpture, or form anew a Phidias or a Praxiteles. Orders
therefore were sent to collect whatever specimens could be found of
the great artists of antiquity; and, like Napoleon in modern times,
he stripped all other cities of their treasures, to adorn his own
capital. Historians record the details of particular works of art
deposited in this great and gorgeous city, as it rose under the plastic
hand of its founder, scarcely a trace of which is to be seen at the
present day, and the few that remain will be described more minutely
hereafter. Suffice it to say, that the baths of Zeuxippus were adorned
with various sculptured marble, and sixty bronze statues of the finest
workmanship; that the Hippodrome, or race-course, four hundred paces
long, was filled with pillars and obelisks; a public college, a circus,
two theatres, eight public and one hundred and fifty private baths,
five granaries, eight aqueducts and reservoirs for water, four halls
for the meeting of the senate and courts of justice, fourteen temples,
fourteen palaces, and four thousand three hundred and eighty-eight
domes, resembling palaces, in which resided the nobility of the city,
seemed to rise, as if by magic, under the hand of the active and
energetic emperor.

But the erection that gives this city perhaps its greatest interest,
and it is one of the few that has escaped the hand of time or accident,
is that which commemorates his conversion to Christianity. He not
only placed the Christian standard on the coins of his new city, but
proclaimed that the new city itself was dedicated to Christ. Among his
columns was one of red porphyry, resting on a base of marble; between
both he deposited what was said to be one of the nails which had
fastened our Saviour to the cross, and a part of one of the miraculous
loaves with which he had fed the five thousand; and he inscribed on the
base an epigram in Greek, importing that he had dedicated the city to
Christ, and “placed it under his protection, as the Ruler and Governor
of the world.” Whenever he passed the pillar, he descended from his
horse, and caused his attendants to do the same; and in such reverence
did he hold it, that he ordered it, and the place in which it stood, to
be called “The Sacred.” The pillar still stands. The dedication of this
first Christian city took place on the 11th of May, A. D. 330.

Constantine left three sons, who succeeded him; and numerous relatives,
who all, with one exception, adopted the religious opinions he had
embraced. This was Julian, his nephew. He had been early instructed
in the doctrines and duties of the new faith, had taken orders, and
read the Scriptures publicly to the people; but meeting with the
sceptic philosophers of Asia, his faith was shaken, and, when the
empire descended to him, he openly abandoned it. With some estimable
qualities, was joined a superstitious weakness, which would not suffer
him to rest in the philosophic rejection of Christianity. He revived,
in its place, all the revolting absurdities of heathenism. In the
language of the historian Socrates, “He was greatly afraid of dæmons,
and was continually sacrificing to their idols.” He therefore not only
erased the Christian emblems from his coins, but he replaced them with
Serapis, Anubis, and other deities of Egyptian superstition. He was
killed on the banks of the Euphrates, in an expedition against the
Persians, having, happily for mankind, reigned but one year and eight
months, and established for himself the never-to-be-forgotten name of
“Julian the Apostate.”

The family of Constantine ended with Julian, and, as the first had
endeavoured to establish Christianity as the religion of this new
capital of the world, so the last had endeavoured to eradicate it.
But his successor Jovian set himself to repair the injury. He was
with Julian’s army at the time of his defeat and death, and with
great courage and conduct extricated it from the difficulties with
which it was surrounded. He immediately proclaimed the restoration of
Christianity, and, as the most decided and speedy way of circulating
his opinions, he had its emblems impressed on his first coinage. He is
there represented following on horseback the standard of the Cross, as
Constantine had done, and so was safely led out of similar danger. He
caused new temples to be raised to Christian worship, with tablets or
inscriptions importing the cause of their erection, some of which still
continue in their primitive state. He reigned only eight months; but
even that short period was sufficient to revive a faith so connected
with human happiness, and so impressed on the human heart, that little
encouragement was required to call it forth every where into action.

From the time of Jovian, Christianity remained the unobstructed
religion of Constantinople; but an effort was made in the reign of
Theodosius to revive paganism in the old city of Rome. The senate, who
had a tendency to the ancient worship, requested that the altar of
Victory, which was removed, might be restored; and an attempt was made
to recall the Egyptian deities. On this occasion, the emperor issued
the memorable decree, that “no one should presume to worship an idol by
sacrifice.” The globe had been a favourite emblem of his predecessors,
surmounted with symbols of their families, some with an eagle, some
with a victory, and some with a phœnix; but Theodosius removed them,
and placed a cross upon it, intimating the triumph of Christianity over
the whole earth; and this seems to have been the origin of the globe
and cross, which many Christian monarchs, as well as our own, use at
their coronations. From this time, heathen mythology sunk into general
contempt, and was expelled from the city of Constantinople, where the
inquisitive minds of cultivated men had detected its absurdities: it
continued to linger yet a while longer, among the _pagi_, or villages
of the country, and its professors were for that reason called
_pagani_, or pagans, a name by which they are known at this day. The
Christian city had so increased, that it was necessary to enlarge its
limits. Theodosius ran a new wall outside the former, from sea to sea,
which took within its extent the seventh or last hill. The whole was
now enclosed by three walls, including a triangular area, of which old
Byzantium was the apex. Two of its walls were washed by the waters of
the Propontis and the Golden Horn, and the third separated the city
from the country, the whole circuit being twelve miles. These walls,
with their twenty-nine gates, opening on the land and sea, and the
area they enclose, remain without augmentation or diminution, still
unaltered in shape or size, under all the vicissitudes of the city, for
fifteen hundred years.

When the city had thus increased in magnitude and opulence, it became
the great mark for the ambition of the barbarians that surrounded it.
Placed at the extremity of Europe, it was the bulwark, as it were,
against Asiatic aggression, and, filled with the riches of the earth,
the great object of cupidity. In the year 668, after it had stood for
three centuries unmolested by strangers, the Saracens attempted to
take it. They were at that time a great maritime nation, and had made
immense naval preparations. They had been converted to Mohammedanism
about forty years, and were under an impression that the sins of all
those who formed the first expedition against this Christian town would
be forgiven; and they set out with a vast fleet. They disembarked
on the shores of the Sea of Marmora, and assaulted the city on the
land-side along the whole extent of the wall of Theodosius. The height
and solidity of it defied them. For six years they persevered in their
attacks, till sickness, famine, and the sword nearly annihilated their
vast army. Their attempts were renewed at several times afterwards,
and defeated by the terror of the _Greek fire_, which was then for the
first time discovered and made use of.

The attacks of the Saracens having failed, and the Asiatics having
desisted from a hopeless attempt, a new enemy advanced against the
devoted city, and from a very different quarter. In the year 865, in
the reign of Michael, son of Theophilus, the Sarmatians, Scythians,
and the barbarous people now composing the empire of Russia, collected
a vast fleet of boats, formed out of the hollowed trunks of single
trees, and from hence called by the Greeks _monoxylon_. They descended
the great rivers, and, from the mouth of the Borysthenes, fearlessly
pushed out into the open sea in those misshapen and unmanageable logs
which are still seen in the same regions. Their vast swarms of boats,
like squadrons of Indian canoes, arrived at the mouth of the Bosphorus,
and darkened the waters of the strait with their countless numbers.
But the rude navy of these undisciplined barbarians was either sunk
by the Greek fleet, or consumed by the Greek fire. For a century they
continued, with unsubdued perseverance, in their fierce attacks, fresh
swarms always succeeding to those that were destroyed, till at length
one great and final attempt was made to obtain the object of their

In the year 973, a land-army was added to the fleet, and the command
given to Swatislas, a savage of singular habits and ferocity. He slept
in the winter in the open air, having a heap of snow for his bed,
wrapped in a bear’s skin, and with no pillow but his saddle. He quaffed
an acid drink, probably the quass of the modern Russians, and he dined
on slices of horse-flesh, which he broiled himself on the embers with
the point of his sword. He was invited by the emperor Nicephorus
to repel an invasion of other barbarians, and he gladly undertook
the enterprise. Having proceeded round the coast of the Euxine in
his hollow trees, to the mouth of the Danube, he disembarked; and,
defeating the barbarians against whom he was allied, he advanced to the
Balkan mountains. Here he looked down from the heights on the fertile
plains below, and at once conceived the project of making himself
master of the city, and obtaining that object of ambition, which the
Russians never since seem to have abandoned. To this end, he descended,
and first proceeded to Adrianople. The Greeks, finding he had passed
this great barrier, became dreadfully alarmed. They sent a formal
demand that their ally should now evacuate their territory, as they
had no longer an occasion for his services. He replied, he could not
think of returning till he had seen the wonders of their great city.
Swatislas, never calculating on a retreat, had neglected to secure the
passes open behind him, that the forces he had left at the mouth of
the Danube might follow him. These passes the Greeks now seized, and
cut off the connexion between the two divisions of his army. Finding
himself sorely pressed and in imminent danger, he made a precipitate
retreat, and with loss and difficulty reached the sea-shore, where
he again attempted to establish himself. But he was compelled to
abandon this position also, and, in attempting to escape by sea,
became entangled in masses of ice, and unable to reach the shore. Here
the greater part of his barbarous hordes miserably perished, but the
remnant that escaped brought back with them a precious benefit, which
compensated for all their losses. Olga, the mother of Swatislas, had
been baptized at Constantinople, some time before, by the Greek name of
Helena. The first seed of the Gospel was thus sown, and the invaders,
when they entered the country, were prepared to adopt the religion of
the people they came amongst. They had been generally baptized there,
and those who escaped brought home with them the faith of the Greeks.
The Russians, thus become members of the Greek church, adopted its
discipline and doctrines,--to which they still adhere.

But an invasion was now meditated from a quarter, whence, of all
others, it was least expected, and the Christians of the East were
attacked by their fellow Christians of the West. The Crusaders were
called to arms by a warning which they deemed the voice of God, and
they set out from their own homes to obey it. The sufferings they
brought upon themselves by their ignorance and presumption, the ruin
they inflicted upon others by their vices and passions, could not
repress the ardour of these infatuated fanatics. Three times had new
swarms set out from Europe, and the miserable remnants returned utterly
defeated, after desolating the country of friend and foe through which
they passed. The fourth expedition inflicted misery and destruction on
the Christian city of Constantinople. After Peter the Hermit and St.
Bernard had excited and sent forth a countless rabble to the shores of
Palestine, Fulk, another illiterate preacher, issued from his cell at
Neuilly, in France, and became an itinerant missionary of the Cross.
He commenced, as usual, by performing miracles, and the fame of his
sanctity and superhuman power gave him all the influence he could wish
in a barbarous and superstitious age; so he excited a fourth crusade
against the Infidels, who had, by their presence, desecrated the holy
sepulchre. The former soldiers of the Cross had suffered so much by
their insane expeditions by land, that they now resolved to undertake
one by sea; and for that purpose despatched deputies to the Venetians
and the maritime states of Italy, to supply them with a convoy: their
request was granted, and a fleet accordingly prepared.

Constantinople had hitherto escaped these marauders; they had passed
its walls without inflicting injury, but an occasion now occurred
which gave them a pretext for entering it. The emperor Alexius had
deposed, and put out the eyes of his brother Isaak, whom he kept in
prison, and his nephew Alexius, the heir to the throne, was a fugitive
in the west of Europe. He thought it a good opportunity to avail
himself of foreign assistance, and he applied to the leaders of the
crusade to aid his cause. They affected to say, that the recovery of
the lime and stone of the holy sepulchre was too important an object
to be postponed for one of justice and humanity; but, tempted by large
pecuniary offers, and calculating on the pretext of taking possession
of the great city, avarice and ambition soon silenced the claims of
superstitious piety. Dandolo was then doge of Venice; he was totally
blind, yet he embarked with the crusaders. Their immense fleets
literally covered the narrow waters of the Adriatic, and they arrived
in safety at Chalcedon, under the convoy of the skilful mariners that
now conducted them. They mounted to the heights of Scutari, and from
thence contemplated, with longing eyes, the wealth and splendour of the
magnificent city on the opposite shore, spread out on the seven hills
before them.

Constantinople was at this time the emporium of every thing that was
grand and beautiful in the arts, science, and literature of the world.
The city contained, it is said, two millions of inhabitants, and was
adorned with the noblest specimens of statuary and architecture, either
the productions of its own artists, or the spoils of Egypt and other

The usurper, Alexius, arrogant in safety, but abject in danger, after
a feeble resistance, fled from the city with such treasure as he could
hastily collect, and the feeble Isaak was taken from the prison in
which he had been immured. It was a singular and affecting sight, to
behold the blind and venerable doge of Venice leading to the throne the
equally blind and venerable emperor of Constantinople.

It was now that the real character of the crusaders developed
itself. They claimed the promised reward for this act of justice and
humanity; but it was in vain the young Alexius attempted to raise the
sum he proposed to pay: the present state of his empire rendered it
impossible; so his Christian guests were glad to avail themselves of
his inability, and pay themselves. In the language of the historian,
“their rude minds, insensible to the fine arts, were astonished at the
magnificent scenery; and the poverty of their native towns, enhanced
the splendour and richness of this great metropolis of Christendom;”
they longed, therefore, for the pretext and opportunity of its pillage.
A rude but vigorous Greek, named Mourzoufle, who saw their design,
assisted by his countrymen, deposed the weak monarch and his son, who
was now associated with him, and their deaths soon followed. With his
iron mace, Mourzoufle stood the defender of Constantinople against the
rapacity of the crusaders, and attempted to burn their galleys. He was,
however, repulsed; and, after various struggles, the imperial city,
the head of the Christian world, was taken by storm, and given up to
plunder, by the pious pilgrims of the Cross, and its fierce defender
was dragged to the summit of the pillar of Theodosius, and from thence
cast down and dashed to pieces.

The scenes of carnage that followed are revolting to humanity. The
Roman pontiff himself, who had granted a plenary indulgence to all who
engaged in the expedition, was compelled to denounce their brutality.
He accused them of “sparing neither age nor sex, nor religious
profession, of the allies they came to assist; deeds of darkness were
perpetrated in the open day; noble matrons and holy nuns suffered
insult in the Catholic camp.” As an instance of individual suffering,
an imperial senator, Nicetas, an eye-witness, details what he himself
endured. His palace being reduced to ashes, he fled for refuge to an
obscure house in the suburbs of the town. Here he concealed himself,
guarded by a friendly Venetian in disguise, till an opportunity
occurred of saving his own life, and the chastity of his daughter, from
the ferocious crusaders who were pillaging the city. On a winter’s
night, with his wife and tender child, carrying all they possessed on
their shoulders, they fled for life; and, in order to disguise their
rank and features, smeared their clothes and faces with mud; nor could
they rest a moment, from their pursuers, till they reached a distance
of forty miles from the capital. On their road, they overtook the
venerable Greek patriarch, the head of the Christian church in the
East, flying also for his life, mounted on an ass, and almost naked.
Nicetas afterwards lived to instruct and inform the world, by his
important history of these events.

Meantime the captors glutted, without restraint, every passion. They
burst into the church of Santa Sophia, and other sacred edifices, which
they defiled in the most wanton manner. They converted sacred chalices
into drinking-cups, and trampled under foot the most venerable objects
of Christian worship. In the cathedral, the veil of the sanctuary was
torn to pieces for the sake of the fringe, and the finest monuments of
pious art broken up for their material. It would be too revolting to
detail all the particulars of these impious outrages; let one suffice.
They placed on the throne of the patriarch a harlot, who sang and
danced in the church, to ridicule the hymns and processions of the
Oriental Christian worship.

In those excesses it was that this noble city suffered its first
dilapidation. The monuments of ancient art, collected from all parts of
the world, were defaced and broken to pieces, not simply from a bigoted
rage against any superstition different from their own, but from a
crusade of ignorance against whatever bore the stamp of literature and
science. A contemporary writer details particular specimens of art that
were wantonly broken and destroyed; and the present denuded state of
the city attests that the deeds of those barbarians were as destructive
as those of the equally ignorant Turks. Their utter contempt for
learning was displayed in various ways: in riding through the streets,
they clothed themselves and their horses in painted robes and flowing
head-dresses of linen, and displayed on them pens, ink, and paper, in
ridicule of the people who used such worthless things. It was therefore
no exaggeration when the Greeks called them Αγραμματοι και αναλφαβετοι
Βαρβαροι, “Barbarians who could neither read nor write, who did not
even know their alphabet.”

The Latins, who had thus seized on the capital, usurped the whole
of the Grecian territories, and divided it among themselves. Five
sovereigns, of the western invaders, occupied the throne in succession,
till it descended to Baldwin. Michael Palæologus was destined to
restore the ancient and rightful dynasty. In the year 1261, Alexius,
a noble Greek, who was dignified with the name of Cæsar, commanded a
body of troops in his service. He crossed the Hellespont into Europe,
and advanced cautiously under the walls of the city. There was a body
of hardy peasantry, at that time cultivating the lands of Thrace, of
very doubtful allegiance. They were called volunteers, for they gave
their services freely to any one who paid them. These bold men were
induced to join themselves to the forces of Alexius; and, by stratagem,
they entered the town. They gained the co-operation of a Greek, whose
house communicated with the wall by a subterranean passage. Through
this, Alexius was introduced with some of his volunteers; but he had
scarcely passed the golden gate, when the peril of the enterprise
struck him, and his heart failed him. He was pushed on, however, by his
bolder companions, and at length emerged from the dark passage into the
Greek house in the heart of the city. From hence they suddenly issued,
and, though few in number, soon filled the streets with terror and
dismay, from the suddenness of their attack, and the unknown extent
of the danger. But every one was predisposed to join the enterprise.
They looked upon the Latin conquest with irrepressible and increasing
horror, and the streets were soon filled with shouts for Michael.
Baldwin, utterly unapprehensive and unprepared, was suddenly roused
from his sleep: he made no attempt to preserve his usurped power. He
escaped to Italy, where he lived a private life for thirteen years, an
object more of contempt than pity, vainly soliciting aid to recover a
kingdom which he had neither right to keep, nor courage to defend.

The Greeks were thus restored to their capital, after their Latin
allies had held an unrighteous possession of it for fifty-seven years.
As the ravages of their hands were irreparable and permanent records
of their oppression, so the memory of them was indelible. It caused
that irreconcilable animosity between the eastern and western people of
the same faith, which has widened, to an unapproachable distance, the
separation of the two churches, so that it is likely nothing within the
probability of human events will ever diminish it. To such an extent
had it reached, and so deeply did it rankle in the minds of the Greeks,
that, two centuries after, when they were about to be overwhelmed
by the resistless power of the Turks, they had rather trust to the
tender mercies of the followers of Mohammed, than seek a perilous aid
from their fellow-christians. To this day the memory of these events
is recent in the minds of the people of Constantinople, and it has
generated a lasting hostility to the Latin church, which seems only to
increase and strengthen with revolving years.

Immediately after the restitution of the city to the Greeks, a new
feature was added to it: another western people were received into
it, not as allies with arms in their hands, but as something still
more useful−-merchants, to cultivate the arts of peace, and enrich
the Eastern empire by their opulence and activity. These were the
Genoese. This enterprising little state had already penetrated to
the remotest extremity of the Black Sea, and the commodities brought
from thence were particularly valuable to the Greeks. The Oriental
church prescribes a vast number of fasts, in the observance of which
it is very rigorous. The Genoese had established an extensive fishery
at Caffa, in the Crimea; and sturgeon, strelitz, and other fish
brought down by the current of the Tanais, and fed in the flat and
slimy bottom of the Palus Mæotis, were of the utmost value to the
strict disciplinarians of the Eastern church. To vend this necessary
commodity, and always to keep a supply for the demands of the Greek
capital, they were allowed to establish a commercial mart in its

On the northern shore of the Golden Horn rises a promontory, similar
to that on which the city is built, and called for that reason by the
Greeks _pera_, because it stood on the “other side,” or beyond the
harbour. The extreme point of this peninsula, and just opposite the
ancient Byzantium, was called Galata, for, as some say, it was the
“milk market” of the Greeks, and it was assigned to these merchants,
as the most convenient site for their imports, having the Bosphorus on
one side to receive them, and the harbour on the other to distribute
them through the city. In process of time their town increased, and,
in consequence of some attempt made by their rivals, the Venetians,
they were permitted by the Greek emperor, Cantacuzene, to surround
the city with a wall having turrets and battlements. It ran from sea
to sea, shutting up this little enterprising community in a secure
asylum, and still continues in a very perfect state. They were also
allowed to use their own form of government, to elect their podesta,
or chief magistrate, and to practise the forms and discipline of their
own worship. Thus the mart of a few fishermen assumed the port and
bearing of a considerable city. Though their independent estate has
been abolished by the absorbing despotism of the Turks, they have left
behind them another memorial of their consequence, beside the walls of
their city: they introduced the Italian language into the East, and
it is that Frank tongue that is now most universally spoken by all
classes. The most respectable portion of the present inhabitants are
the descendants of those merchants, and they are selected as dragomans,
or interpreters, by the several European embassies.

But a new power was now preparing to overrun and astonish the world,
not by the sudden and transitory inroad of a barbarous multitude,
carrying with it the destruction of an inundation, and, like it,
passing on, and remembered only by the ravages it left behind; this
was a permanent invasion of a stubborn and persevering race, destined
to obliterate the usages of former ancient people, and establish, in
their place, its own. On the banks of the Oxus, beyond the waters of
the Caspian Sea, there dwelt a nomadic people engaged only in the care
of their flocks and herds, and for that reason called Turks, from their
rude and rustic habits. They had embraced the _Islam_, or true faith
of Mohammed, and changed the appellation of Turks, which was a term
of reproach, to Moslemûna, or “the resigned.”[1] From their remote
obscurity in the centre of Asia, they issued, to carry the desolation
of Islamism into the Christian world.

The first of this race who penetrated into the Greek possessions in
Asia Minor was Othman. He seized upon the passes of Mount Olympus, and
instead of razing, he strengthened all the fortified places behind him.
His son Orchan conquered all the Christian cities established there,
and finally made himself master of Brusa, the capital of Bythinia,
which became the seat of the Turkish empire in Asia. The Seven Churches
of the Apocalypse shared the same fate. Those lights of the world,
swarming with a Christian people, were reduced to small villages, with
a few Moslem inhabitants; even Ephesus, the great emporium of Asia,
celebrated for its noble temple, had “its candlestick so removed,”
that the village of Aysilûk (its modern name) now consists of a few
cottages among its ruins, and contains a Christian population of only
_three_ individuals. Philadelphia was the only city that made an
effectual resistance: though remote from the sea, and abandoned by the
feeble Greek emperors, it maintained its Christian independence for
eighty years, against the Moslem invaders. From the fame of this first
conqueror, his race adopted the patronymic as their civil designation,
and called themselves, ever after, Osmanli, or “the children of Othman.”

The first passage of the Turks into Europe was attended with a romantic
adventure. Soliman, the son of Orchan, was engaged in a hunting
excursion, and was led by the chase to the shores of the Hellespont.
An insatiable curiosity induced him to wish to cross to the other
side, and visit, for the first time, this new quarter of the globe.
But the terror of the Turkish name had so alarmed the Greeks, that
strict orders were issued, under the severest penalties, to remove
every conveyance by which they could pass from the opposite shore into
Europe. Under these circumstances, Soliman formed a raft of inflated
ox-bladders, and, availing himself of a moonlight night, he floated
over with some of his companions. When they landed, they seized on a
passing peasant, who happened to be acquainted with a subterranean
entrance into the town of Sestos. He was induced, by threats and
bribes, to point it out, and so a few energetic Turks seized by
surprise on this first European city. By this exploit a communication
was at once established with their companions in Asia. Fresh succours
crossed over and seized on Gallipoli, and thus the Turk first planted
his foot in Europe.

Amurath availed himself of all the benefits of his brother’s
adventurous enterprise. He appointed a singular custom at Gallipoli.
The marauding Turks, now established on the European side of the
Bosphorus, made slaves of all the Christians they could seize on, and
sent them over to Asia by this passage. Amurath claimed for his share a
certain portion as toll. Of the young males so obtained, he formed that
tremendous militia that were afterwards to terrify and control their
own country. He caused them to undergo the rite, and be instructed
in the doctrines and discipline, of his own prophet. A Dervish named
Hadgee Bectash, of great sanctity and influence, was then called in,
to give this corps his benediction. Laying his hand on the head of the
foremost, the sleeve of his coat fell over his back, and he blessed
them by the name of _yeni cheri_, or “new soldiers.” Both circumstances
afterwards distinguished them−-the sleeve of the dervish was adopted
as part of their uniform, and the name of janissary, corrupted from
yeni cheri, was the terror of Europe for more than five centuries.
With these young and vigorous apostates to Islamism, he subdued all
the country to the base of the Balkan mountains, and having obtained
possession of Roumeli, the “country of the Romans,” as the territory
of the modern Greeks was called, he finally established himself at
Adrianople, which now became the Turkish capital of Europe.

This prince was succeeded by Bajazet, called, from his impetuosity,
and the awful destructiveness of his career, _Ilderim_, or “the
thunderbolt.” He extended his conquests into the heart of Europe,
penetrated into the centre of Hungary, and threatened to proceed from
thence to Rome, to feed his horses with oats on the altar of St. Peter;
but first he resolved to possess himself of the Christian capital
of the East. To this end he advanced against Constantinople, and for
ten years pressed it with a close siege. Its fate, however, was yet
delayed by the sudden appearance of another extraordinary power, which,
having subdued the remote parts of the East, and left nothing there
unconquered, in the restlessness of ambition turned itself to the west
in search of new enemies. This was the power of the Tartars, led on by
_Demur beg_, or “the Iron Prince.”[2] To oppose this new enemy, the
siege of Constantinople was raised, and its fate suspended while the
legions of barbarians encountered one another, and the Thunderbolt
was to resist the Man of Iron. The battle was fought on the plain of
Angora, where Pompey had defeated Mithridates. After a conflict of
two days, the Turks were totally routed. Bajazet fell into the hands
of the conqueror, and the treatment he experienced was such as one
execrable tyrant might expect, or a still more execrable might inflict.
He whose custom it was to celebrate his massacres by pyramids of human
heads, erected at the gates of every city he conquered, would not
hesitate to treat the rival whom he hated, and had subdued, without
pity or remorse. He enclosed his captive in a cage, like a wild beast
exposed to public view, and, as he was lame, made him and his cage a
footstool to mount his horse. The end of Bajazet corresponded with
his life; impatient of control, and stung with desperation, he beat
out his brains against the bars of his prison. Tamerlane possessed
one redeeming quality, which distinguished him, in some measure, from
his fellow-barbarians. He entertained no hostility to Christianity:
on the contrary, he allowed a temple, dedicated to its worship, to be
erected in Samarcand, his capital. He did not follow up his conquest by
renewing the siege of Constantinople; so that this Christian capital,
by his interference, was spared for half a century longer.

But the time at length arrived, when the man was born who was permitted
by Providence to inflict this destruction. This was Mahomet II.,
endued with such opposite and contradictory qualities, that he may
be esteemed a monster in the human race. He was the second son of
Amurath II., by a Christian princess; his father had imbibed so deep
an enmity to Christianity, that he brought his son, like Hannibal’s,
to the altar, and made him vow eternal hostility to its professors. He
succeeded to the throne at the age of twenty-one, and his first acts
were to strangle all his brothers, to the number of twenty-two, and
to cast into the sea all the wives of his father who might be likely
to give birth to posthumous offspring. The progress of his reign was
in conformity to this commencement. His fixed and never interrupted
intention was, to possess himself of Constantinople, and to convert the
great capital of the Christian world into the chief seat of Islamism,
and there was no effort of force or fraud which he did not use to
accomplish it.

He is represented, by historians, as starting from his sleep, excited
by dreams of conquering the city, and as passing his days in devising
means for its accomplishment. Among others, he caused to be cast, at
Adrianople, those enormous pieces of battering cannon, capable of
projecting balls of 800 pounds weight, which have been the wonder and
terror of future ages. They still lie at the fortresses which line the
Dardanelles; and the English fleet, under Admiral Duckworth, in modern
times, experienced their tremendous efficacy.

The Greek empire, at this time, was confined to a limited space. The
emperor Athanasius had, some years before, betrayed his weakness by
his apprehension. A rude and fierce people from the shores of the
Volga, and thence called Bolgarians, had crossed the Balkan mountains,
and carried their inroads to the walls of the city. As a protection
against their incursions, a wall was commenced at Derkon on the Euxine,
and continued across the peninsula to Heraclea, on the Propontis,
enclosing an area of about 140 miles in circumference, called “the
Delta of Thrace,” and beyond which the feeble Byzantine power could
hardly be said to extend. The Turks trampled it down, and, to cut off
all communication by sea, seized upon and rebuilt the castles of the
Bosphorus, and then beleaguered the city with an army of 200,000 men.
Where were now the fanatics of the Cross, to uphold it in its utmost
need? they were applied to, and they affected to sympathize with their
brethren in the East; but not one came to support this great bulwark of
that faith, which the Osmanli had every where suppressed, to establish
the intolerant creed of the Koran. The sovereign pontiff had predicted
the fall of the heretic Eastern church, and withheld his aid till his
predictions were accomplished. The whole force, therefore, to defend
the walls, a circuit of twelve miles, and oppose the countless numbers
that surrounded them, was 8000 men.

The invincible courage of this handful of Christians repulsed the Turks
in all their fierce assaults. The fortifications on the land-side were
formed of a double wall, with an interval between. In vain did the
enormous artillery of Mahomet batter large breaches in the outside;
there was still another, to which the defenders retired, and from which
they could not be dislodged; and after fruitless attempts to penetrate
this last retreat, Mahomet was about to abandon the siege in despair,
when he thought of an expedient as incredible as apparently hopeless.
The city had been defended on the sea-side by a series of iron chains,
drawn across the mouth of the harbour, which effectually excluded the
Turkish fleet. He now conceived the idea of conveying his ships by
land, from the Bosphorus, across the peninsula; and this he effected.
Having prepared every thing, as soon as it was dark his machinery was
laid−-the ships were hauled up the valley of Dolma-Bactché and across
the ridge which separated it from the harbour; and the next morning the
astonished Greeks, instead of their own, beheld the Turkish fleet under
their walls. A general assault was now commenced on all sides, the good
and gallant Palæologus, the last and best of the Greek emperors, was
killed in one of the breaches, and the Turks poured in over his body.

The Greeks now rushed in despair to the church of Saint Sophia. They
were here assured that an angel would descend from heaven with a sword,
and expel their enemies from the city, and they waited for the promised
deliverance; but the Turks, armed with axes, battered down the outer
gates, and rushed in among the infatuated multitude. The city was given
up to plunder, and those who escaped the carnage were sold as slaves.
Among them were 60,000 of the first families−-females distinguished
for their beauty and accomplishments, and men eminent for their rank
and literary attainments. Poets, historians, philosophers, and artists,
all were reduced to a common level, and sold as slaves, to hew wood
and draw water for the rude and brutal barbarians who bought them.
Such was the end of the great Christian empire of the East, which
was extinguished by the downfall of Constantinople, after it had
flourished, from its first dedication to Christ, 1123 years. It was
founded in May 330, and it terminated in May, 1453. The feebleness of
its government, the vices of its emperors, and the weak superstition of
its people, were natural causes to accelerate its fall, and induce us
the less to regret it; while, by the arrangements of a good providence,
the lights of literature, the arts and sciences which improve social
life, and the gentle courtesies which endear us to our kind, hitherto
shut up exclusively in this city, were now diffused over a wider
sphere; and the fugitives that escaped, and the slaves that were sold,
brought with them those qualities into various countries, and so were
instruments which, no doubt, tended to improve and ameliorate society
wherever they were scattered.

When Mahomet had thus obtained the full fruition of his wishes, he
speedily gave a greater latitude to that selfish cruelty, and disregard
for human life, which had always distinguished him. Some acts of this
kind are recorded of him, from which the ordinary feelings of our
nature revolt as altogether incredible. He was particularly fond of
melons, and cultivated them with his own hand. He missed one, and in
vain attempted to discover who took it. There was a certain number of
youths, educated as pages, within the walls of the seraglio, called
_Ichoglans_, and his suspicion fell on them; he ordered fourteen of
them to be seized, and their stomachs to be ripped up in his presence,
to discover the offender. But his treatment of the woman he loved, has
no parallel in the history of human cruelty. He had attached himself
to Irené, a Greek, as beautiful and accomplished as she was good and
amiable; she softened his rude nature, and controlled his ferocity:
and such was the ascendancy she had gained over him, that he desisted
from many intended acts of brutal inhumanity, through the gentle
influence he suffered her to exercise. His attachment was so strong,
that the Janissaries began to murmur. To silence their clamour, he
assembled them together, and caused Irené to be brought forth on the
steps of the palace; he then unveiled her face. Even those rude and
unpitying soldiers could not contain their admiration: the loveliness
of her features and the sweetness of their expression at once disarmed
their resentment, and they murmured approbation and applause. Mahomet
immediately drew his sabre, and severing her head from her body,
cast it among them.−-He himself died of an attack of cholera in his
fifty-third year, having reigned thirty. He it was who changed the name
of _Sultan_, by which the sovereigns of his nation had been hitherto
distinguished, into that of _Padischah_, which is a prouder title, and
which the Turks confer on their own sovereign exclusively at this day;
the appellation of the city was also altered to that of _Stambool_, or
_Istambol_, by which the Orientals now distinguish it.[3]

Selim I. began his reign in 1512, and it was distinguished by some
remarkable events. He is represented, by the historian Chalcocondyles,
as exhibiting in his countenance a singular display of his predominant
passions−-a cruelty inexorable, an obstinacy invincible, and an
ambition unmeasurable. He had the wrinkled forehead of a Tarquin, the
fearful eye of a Nero, and the livid complexion of a Scythian; and,
to complete the expression of his countenance, his mustaches were
rigid, and drawn up to his ears, so that his head resembled that of a
tiger. Yet he had many great qualities, which distinguish him among the
sultans. He erected the Tersana, or arsenal, on the Golden Horn, and so
was the founder of the Turkish navy. He was an historian, a poet, and,
contrary to the law of the Prophet, a painter of human figures, and in
this way commemorated his own battles. He added Egypt to the Turkish
dominions. The fierce militia who governed it had been originally
Christian slaves, like his own, and had established a dynasty which
had lasted 200 years; but the Mamelukes now fell before the superior
energies of their brethren the Janissaries. Another accession was
made to his subjects. His hatred to Christianity was extreme, and his
persecution of those who professed it relentless; and on this account
he encouraged the Jews to supply their place at Constantinople. This
people had increased exceedingly in Spain, under the Moors; but, on
the returning power of the Spaniards, they were everywhere expelled
by the inquisition. They set out from Spain, to the number of 800,000
persons, and received that protection from Turks which Christians
would not afford them. They were invited to establish themselves at
Constantinople and the villages on the Bosphorus, where 100,000 were
located, and others in different parts of the empire. Several points of
their belief and practice recommended them to the Mohammedans−-their
strict theology, their abhorrence of swine’s flesh, their rite of
circumcision, were all points of resemblance between them. They called
them Mousaphir, or visitors, and treated them, accordingly, with
kindness and hospitality. They are at this day distinguished as a
people, still speaking the Spanish language in the Turkish capital,
which they brought with them from the country from which they were

An attempt was made to destroy Selim by a singular poison: Mustapha
pasha composed a ball of soap with various aromatic ingredients, but
one of so deadly a poison, that, like prussic acid, it was immediately
absorbed by the skin, and destroyed the person to whose face it was
applied; and this was sent to the sultan’s barber, as a precious
invention, to be used when shaving his master. It was accompanied
by a packet enclosed in a case of lead; a precaution which excited
suspicion, and led to discovery. The pasha, barber, and all connected
with them, were strangled, and the sultan escaped. He afterwards died
of a foul cancer, in the eleventh year of his reign, having justly
acquired the name of _Yavuz_, “the Ferocious.” He displayed his
qualification of poet by writing his own epitaph, which is seen upon
his tomb, and describes his “ruling passion, strong in death.”

  “The earth I conquered while alive;
  In death to combat yet I strive.
  Here lies my body, seamed with scars;
  My spirit thirsts for future wars.”

Soliman I. (or as he is by some classed II.) is represented as the
greatest prince that ever sat upon the Turkish throne; and he obtained
the name of “the Magnificent,” for the splendour of his achievements.
He commenced his reign in 1520, which lasted forty years; and made
three vows, which he hoped to accomplish before his death: to complete
the hydraulic works of Constantinople−-to erect the finest mosque in
the world−-and to establish the western capital of Islamism at Vienna.
The two first he effected, and nearly succeeded in the last. After
conquering all the countries between the Euxine, Caspian, and Red
seas, he turned his arms to Europe, in order to accomplish his vows,
and penetrated to Vienna, to which he laid siege without success; but
he established a strong garrison at Buda, the capital of Hungary, and
held possession of it, to renew his attempt. In the mean time, his
fleets, united with the piratical states of Barbary, under the banner
of Barbarossa, or “Red Beard,” ravaged the shores of the Mediterranean;
and captive nobles from Spain, the most western country in Europe,
were seen in chains among his slaves at Constantinople. Carrying thus
his conquering arms from the Caspian to the Atlantic, and from the
centre of Europe to the centre of Africa, there was but one little
spot which opposed his plan of universal empire: that spot was the
island of Malta. The crusaders had left this single remnant behind
them, so excellent and noble as to redeem all their other failings.
The knights of St. John had retired from Palestine to Rhodes, and
from thence to Malta; and there they stood, the last barrier and
bulwark of Christianity against the overwhelming torrent of Turkish
dominion. These were now to be exterminated, and their island made the
stepping-stone to establish the religion of the Prophet in the western
world. The siege which Malta sustained on this occasion is the most
gallant and interesting to be found in the records of human actions.
The knights amounted but to 700 men; they organized a force of 8000,
and with this they had to oppose a fleet of 200 sail, carrying an army
of 50,000. After incredible acts of heroism and devotedness, they
compelled the Turks to withdraw the remnant of their forces; and the
first effectual check was given to their hitherto resistless power.

The character of Soliman, as drawn by historians, is more perfect than
that of any other sovereign who occupied the throne of the Osmanli. His
love of literature, his enlightened mind, his inviolable faith, placed
him in strong contrast with his fellow-sultans; yet his private life
is stained with more than Oriental barbarity. He had children by two
wives, one of whom was the celebrated Roxalana; the elder, Mustapha,
was heir to the throne, and a youth of great promise, but Roxalana was
determined to prefer her own, and to that end stimulated Soliman to
put Mustapha to death. He sent for him to his tent; and as soon as he
entered, caused him to be seized by several mutes, who were in waiting
with a bowstring to strangle him. The young man made a vigorous
resistance, when the father, fearing he might escape, raised his head
above the canvass partition of the tent, and with menacing gestures
threatened the mutes with his vengeance if they did not despatch him.
The unhappy youth caught his father’s eye, and passively submitted to
his fate. He was strangled, and his body thrown on a carpet, to be
exposed in front of the tent. Mustapha had yet another brother, whom
it was necessary to dispose of also. He was a mere boy, and, as his
mother kept him carefully secluded within the walls of her apartments,
the wily Kislar Aga, who was sent to visit her, was obliged to have
recourse to stratagem to separate them. He represented to the mother
that Soliman was tortured with remorse for the death of her eldest son,
and wished to repair his fault by affection for the younger. He was
afraid his health would suffer by confinement, and it was his wish that
he and his mother should take air and exercise; and for this purpose
a horse, splendidly caparisoned, was sent for the boy, and an arrhuba
for herself and her female slaves. The credulous mother was persuaded,
and they set out to visit a beautiful kiosk on the shores of the
Bosphorus. The boy rode on “in merry mood,” with the Kislar Aga, and
she followed in the arrhuba. When arrived at a rough part of the road,
the carriage, which had been previously prepared, broke down, and the
truth instantly flashed upon the wretched mother’s mind; she sprung
out, and rushed after her son, who had by this time entered the kiosk
with his companion. She arrived breathless, and found the door closed;
she beat at it with frantic violence, and when at length it was opened,
the first object that presented itself, was her only remaining son,
lying on the ground, strangled, his limbs yet quivering in his last
agonies, and the Princess of the eunuch yet unloosed from his throat.

The last years of the wretched old man were imbittered by the conduct
of the sons, for whose advancement he had suffered those foul murders
to be committed. His son Bajazet was a rebel to his father’s authority;
and Selim, who succeeded him, was the most weak and wicked of the
Mohammedan line. His noble mosque, and the tombs that contain the ashes
of himself and his wife Roxalana, are shown by the Turks to strangers
as the most splendid monuments left by their sultans.

Selim II. succeeded to the throne in 1566, and was entirely devoted
to the gratification of his appetites. His father was temperate in
wine, and forbade its use under the severest penalties. It is said he
attributed the failure of the attack on Malta to the violation of the
law of Mohammed in this respect, and he caused caldrons of boiling oil
to be kept in the streets, ready to be poured down the throat of any
person, Turk, Jew, or Christian, who was found intoxicated. Selim, as
if in contempt and mockery of his father, indulged in wine to such
excess, that he despatched an expedition to Cyprus, and annexed that
island to the empire, for no other reason but because it produced good
wine. The loss of the sanguinary battle of Lepanto, in his reign, was
another blow following the defeat at Malta, which shook the mighty
fabric of the Turkish empire. Selim died after a reign of eight years
and five months, a rigid observer of all the Prophet’s laws, except

The people of the West had now begun to recover from the terror
which the first eruption of these terrible barbarians into Europe
had excited, and to consider the many commercial advantages to be
derived from an intercourse with them. The French and Venetians, in
the reign of Selim, had already established this intercourse; and
the English were supplied with Oriental produce by the latter, who
sent Argosies, or ships of Ragusa, in the gulf of Venice, to England,
freighted with the wealth of the East. One of these rich vessels was
wrecked on the Goodwin sands, and the Venetians were afraid to send
another. But the English having tasted of Asiatic luxuries, could not
dispense with them; and the enterprising Elizabeth, in whose reign the
accident happened, sent Raleigh and Drake to explore the West, while
Harebone was despatched to open a communication with the East. She
wrote a Latin letter, addressed, _Augustissimo invictissmoq. principi
Sultan Murad Can_; in which she seems not only to prize highly the
incipient reformation in England, but also to recommend herself to the
Turk by a principle common to Islamism, “an unconquerable opposition
to idolatry.” Her letter was well received, and Sir E. Barton was
appointed her first resident ambassador. He accompanied Amurath in his
Hungarian wars, and died on his return to Constantinople. He was buried
in the island of Chalki, and his monument still exists in a Greek
convent there. Hence originated an English residence at Constantinople,
and the establishment of the Levant Company, a body of merchants who,
for 240 years, have caused the name of England to be respected in the
East, among the most honoured nations of Europe.

Amurath III. was distinguished by the extraordinary number of his
children. He had attached himself to a fair Venetian, sold to him
as a slave, and raised her to the dignity of Sultana; but she had
no children, and the Janissaries began to express their discontent.
They accused her of sorcery, and caused her attendants to be put to
the torture, to discover what philtres she had used to entangle the
sultan’s affection. None were discovered, except a good and amiable
disposition. Amurath, however, soon attached himself to so many others,
that he filled the seraglio with 200 of his progeny. He died in the
year 1595, at the age of 50, leaving 48 children alive.

The first care of his successor, Mahomet III. was the usual resort
of Turkish policy. He strangled twenty-four of his brothers−-nor was
he satisfied with this carnage. He escaped an insurrection of the
janissaries, and, suspecting that his favourite Sultana and her son
were concerned in it, he caused them to be sewed up in sacks, and
drowned in the sea of Marmora. He died in 1603, after a reign of 8

Achmet I. also commenced his reign with a measure of Turkish
precaution. He had a brother, and, to render him incapable of reigning,
he caused his eyes to be put out. This horrid process is performed
in various ways−-either by scooping out the eyes; by compressing the
forehead till the balls are forced out of their sockets; by rendering
the lens opaque with boiling vinegar; or, finally, by heating a metal
bason red-hot, the intense glow of which, held to the eye, soon
destroys the sensibility of the optic nerve. This latter is said to
be the least painful, and has been practised by the more humane.
Not satisfied, however, with the operation, and still apprehensive
of the janissaries, he caused his blind brother to be strangled. He
was, notwithstanding, celebrated for his taste and magnificence; and
the mosque, of his erection, and called by his name, is a lasting
memorial of these qualities. He died at the early age of twenty-nine,
in the year 1617. His reign is remarkable for the first introduction
of tobacco into Constantinople, by the Dutch, who then began to trade
there, and brought with them this plant from America. It was at first
strongly opposed by the mufti as a violation of the koran; but the
grand vizir, who became fond of it, ordered it to be served out in
rations to the janissaries, and they soon silenced all opposition.

Amurath IV. ascended the throne in 1524. He took Babylon, and caused
30,000 of its inhabitants to be massacred in cold blood, under his own
eyes. In addition to the usual cruelty, and disregard of human life,
which distinguished other sultans, he adopted a practice peculiarly
his own. It was his custom to issue from the palace at night with
drawn scimitar in his hand, and not return till he had committed some
murder. Another of his favourite amusements was to place himself in a
window with a bow and arrows, and pin to the opposite wall any casual
passenger. Historians represent him as so fond of shedding human blood,
that it seemed to be the aliment on which he lived. His caprice was
equal to his cruelty; he found, or made, cause for displeasure in every
thing, as a pretext to justify him. He sent thirty poor pilgrims to the
galleys, because he did not like their dress. It was his delight to
render those unhappy, whom he hesitated to deprive of life. Whenever an
ill-assorted marriage was likely to cause this, he adopted it. He broke
suitable arrangements, and compelled young girls to marry decrepit old
men, and youths of eighteen to unite themselves with women of eighty.
He indulged freely in the use of wine, but disliked tobacco, and was so
determined that no one else should enjoy it, that he instantly stabbed
with his yategan the man on whom he detected the smell of it. One
instance only of mercy is recorded in the course of his life. A certain
Tiraki was an inveterate smoker, and, to indulge it, he dug a hole in
the ground. Here the sultan stumbled upon him, and proceeded at once
to despatch him; but the smoker bade him observe, that his edict was
issued for the surface of the earth, and was not meant to extend below
it. For the first time, he spared the life of an offender. He died in
1640. Unfortunately for his subjects, he reigned fourteen years.

Mahomet IV. was placed on the throne at the age of nine years, but
the talent of his vizir compensated for his own want of experience.
His reign was distinguished by several remarkable events. The great
island of Crete, or Candia, had hitherto resisted Turkish rule. It
was determined to reduce it, and, after an obstinate resistance of
twenty-four years, it was at length taken by treachery. The Turks
lost 200,000 men; and such were the ravages committed, that this fine
island remained a desert. A second siege of Vienna followed. Tekeli,
the noted Hungarian rebel, had raised the standard of revolt against
his sovereign: to aid his plans, the renegade Christian called in the
assistance of the greatest enemy of his faith; and Mahomet advanced
with an immense army, now certain of realizing the plans of Soliman
the Magnificent, and declaring himself Sultan of all Christendom. But
his projects were arrested in the moment of their accomplishment,
and from a quarter least expected. John Sobiesky advanced from his
deserts with his gallant Poles, and signally defeated the Turks in
two engagements. They were driven from their strong hold in Pest, the
capital of Hungary, of which they had held obstinate possession for
157 years, and retired behind the Danube. Since that time, instead
of being the assailants, pushing on their advances into Europe,
they merely struggle to keep their position in a European soil. To
console himself for his losses, the Sultan, whose disposition seemed
susceptible of other enjoyments besides those of war, became attached
to rural occupations. The Turks have always been distinguished by their
fondness for flowers, and he engaged in the pursuit of cultivating them
with more pleasure than any of his predecessors. To encourage it,
his vizir, Cara Mustapha, collected, in every pashalik of the empire,
whatever was rare and curious in the vegetable world; the seeds, bulbs,
and roots of which were conveyed to Constantinople. Hence, as some
erroneously say, originated[4] that love of flowers which at this day
distinguishes the Turks; and Europe is supplied with its most beautiful
specimens of floriculture by a rude people, whose coarse and brutal
indulgences in other respects, seem incompatible with so elegant an
enjoyment. He shortly after caused his favourite vizir to be strangled,
on the suspicion of intending to master Vienna, in order to establish
a dynasty for himself in Europe. His own death soon followed, by the
hands of the discontented Janissaries, after a reign of thirty-nine

Achmet II. was more distinguished by the talents of his grand vizir,
Kiuprili, than by any act of his own. The father of this man was an
instance of the singular and unexpected fortune for which some are
remarkable in Turkey. He was a Frenchman, born in a village called
Kuperly, in Champaigne, from whence he took his name. He committed a
murder, and was obliged to fly, but the boat in which he escaped was
taken by Algerine pirates. Under this circumstance, whoever assumes
the turban is no longer a slave. He did not hesitate to abjure his
faith, and enrolled himself among the Janissaries at Constantinople,
where he obtained paramount influence in that turbulent corps. His
son was raised to the rank of grand vizir−-governed the great Turkish
empire−-and set up and deposed sovereigns at his pleasure. His
destruction was resolved on by the Kislar Aga, who feigned a plot
in which he was concerned against the sultan,−-while in the act of
revealing it, a mute raised the curtain of the tent. Accustomed to
listen rather by sight than sound, he at once learned the subject
of the conversation by the motion of the lips, and revealed it to
Kiuprili. The Kislar Aga was strangled, his secretary hanged in his
robes of office with his silver pen-case suspended from his girdle, and
Kiuprili remained in the ascendant. As if to mark his hatred of the
religion for which his father had apostatized, he caused two patriarchs
of the Greek church to be strangled in prison. He was killed in battle
in Servia−-the Turks were everywhere defeated−-and his master soon
after died of grief in 1695.

The reign of Mustapha II. was marked by calamities which have never
since ceased to afflict the Turkish empire. Besides the ordinary
inflictions of war, every other seems to have been laid, by the hand
of Providence, on this ruthless nation: Constantinople and Pera were
utterly destroyed by fire−-a bolt of thunder fell on the imperial
mosque, and left it in ruins−-the caravan of pilgrims proceeding to
Mecca was attacked by Arabs, and 25,000 of them put to the sword−-the
turbulent Janissaries, availing themselves of every pretext for
discontent, were again in a state of insurrection, and compelled the
sultan to fly for his life to Adrianople, along with the mufti. Here he
was obliged to surrender the unfortunate head of the church, who was
treated with every indignity, and then thrown into the river, where
he perished. The new mufti, with his son, were seized, tortured, and
executed; and the sultan himself was soon after deposed in 1703, and
his brother Achmet set on his throne. This military revolt was the most
serious that had afflicted the empire since its foundation, and was a
prominent feature of that principle of total disorganization, which
seemed inherent in the political and moral state of this people.

Achmet III. was called to succeed his brother, and his first act was to
avenge himself on the conspirators, who had placed him on the throne
in a truly Turkish manner. He disarmed their suspicions by rewards and
promises, and, having separated them into various situations of trust
and profit, caused every man of them to be strangled in detail.

Notwithstanding the state of insecurity of every thing in Turkey, it
nevertheless became in his reign the asylum of the Christian monarchs
of Europe. Charles XII. of Sweden, and Stanislaus the king of Poland,
whom he had set up, both fled thither for protection: yet, violent and
outrageous as was the conduct of “Macedonia’s madman,” whom the Turks
for folly and obstinacy called “Ironhead,” both kings were treated with
kindness and hospitality. They were followed by their great enemy, the
czar Peter, whose usual sagacity seemed to have deserted him. He was
shut up behind the Pruth by the Turks, and they had now the opportunity
of holding three Christian monarchs in their hands, and dictating what
terms they pleased: but avarice, that ruling passion of the Osmanli,
saved Peter and his army−-Catherine, his wife, who had accompanied him,
brought in the night all her personal jewels, and as much money as she
could collect, to the czar, who immediately sent them to the grand
vizir: he was not able to resist the offer, and the Russian monarch and
his army were allowed to depart in peace.

Another circumstance distinguished the reign of Achmet III., even
still more important than his being the arbiter of the fate of three
Christian kings. The art of printing had now been invented for more
than two hundred and fifty years, and every other state in Europe
had adopted the important discovery. The Turks alone rejected it,
and assigned, as a reason, that it was an impious innovation. They
allowed no book but the Koran; they affirmed that it contained every
thing necessary for man to know, and any other knowledge was worse
than useless. Such was their veneration for this book, that it was
strictly forbidden to sit, or lay any weight, upon a copy of it; and if
a Frank was detected in the act of doing so, even unwittingly and by
accident, he was immediately put to death. This veneration they extend
to paper of any kind, because it is the material of which the sacred
book is composed, and that on which the name of Allah is written; and
hence they strictly prohibit its being desecrated by any common use,
and carefully lay up any fragment of it which they accidentally find.
The process of printing they consider as compressing and defiling a
sacred book, and the mufti denounced it. It was not, then, till the
year 1727, that this innovation was tolerated, and a press established
at Constantinople. Even then it was done in such a way as was attended
with no advantage to an ignorant people. It was still prohibited to
print the Koran, and, as that was almost the only book read in the
empire, little was added to Turkish knowledge. Achmet was soon after
deposed, and the patron of printing deemed unfit to reign.

He was succeeded in 1730 by his nephew Mahomet, the fifth of the name
who had ascended the throne of Turkey, but usually called Mahmoud I. It
was in his reign the celebrated usurper, Thamas Kouli Khan, seized on
the crown of Persia, and war was kindled with the Turks. These nations
comprise the two great sects into which the followers of the Prophet
are divided. The Persians hold in abhorrence Abubekir and Omar, whom
the Turks revere; and they adhere to the doctrines of Ali, whom the
Turks abhor. The latter call themselves _Sunni_, or “the orthodox,”
and have no fellowship or communion with the _Rafazir_ or _Shiites_,
“infidels” or “heretics.” They affirm, that Allah may have mercy on
Jews and Christians, but he will have none on the Persians, whom he
hates sixty and ten times as much as the most inveterate infidels.
The enmity, therefore, between the discordant sects of the faithful
is even greater than between the faithful and the infidel. It was the
enlightened policy of Thamas Kouli Khan to put an end to this bloody
dissention, and reconcile the different shades of opinion among the
professors of the same religion. It was stipulated as an article
in the peace which followed, that their respective priests should
labour assiduously to this end; but, like all such attempts, it was
unavailing, and the enmity is at this day more inveterate than ever.
Mahmoud died in 1754, and was regretted as the least sanguinary of the
Ottoman race.

But the time was now approaching when the dynasty of the Mohammedans
in Europe seemed hastening to its close. The Russians, ever since the
capture of Asoph, on the Mœotis, by Peter the Great, had never ceased
advancing on Constantinople. The Turkish territories on the north of
the Euxine were intersected by vast rivers which fell into that sea;
and the policy of the Russians was, to advance from river to river,
and, at the end of every war, to make the last the boundary of their
territory, and secure for themselves all that lay behind it. In this
way Catherine pushed her frontier to the Dnieper, and built a naval
arsenal at Cherson, thereby establishing a naval supremacy on the Black
Sea; and, that her object might not be ambiguous, she caused to be
inscribed on the western gate, “This is the road to Constantinople.”
Meantime, the Turkish government seemed to contain within itself the
elements of rapid decay. While all Europe was advancing in the arts
and sciences which improve life and strengthen kingdoms, the Turks
alone stood still and refused to move−-their ignorance inveterate,
their obstinacy intractable, their cities falling to ruins, their
population daily decreasing, their internal dissensions growing more
sanguinary, and, above all, the insolence of the Janissaries without
control−-interdicting every improvement, paralyzing every effort,
utterly inefficient as soldiers, and formidable only to their own
government. The first step, therefore, was to establish some force to
restrain these men, that the people might be at liberty to follow other
states in the march of amelioration: and this was now undertaken by the
reigning sovereign.

Selim III. was the most amiable and enlightened man that had yet filled
the throne of the Osmanli. He succeeded his uncle, Abdal Hamed Khan,
whose sons were infants at the time of their father’s death in 1789.
His anxious wish was to correct the prejudices, and enlighten the
ignorance of his subjects, by gradually introducing European usages
among them. His first improvements were military: a corps was formed,
adopting the European discipline, and called the _nizam dgeddit_, or
“new regulation.” Against this innovation the Janissaries revolted:
they spurned with indignation all customs but their own; they thought
their institutions the perfection of human nature, and that any change
must be a degradation. They therefore deposed Selim in 1807, and called
to the throne his cousin, Mustapha IV., the son of Abdul Hamed Khan,
who had now arrived at adult years. Selim, however, by his many good
and amiable qualities, had secured the affections of a large body of
his subjects, who, though they did not accede to his military plans,
were strongly attached to his person: and among these was Mustapha

This man was a rough soldier, of large stature, and immense bodily
strength, fierce in disposition, and coarse in manners, but susceptible
of the most affectionate attachment. He was called Bairactar because he
had been originally a standard-bearer, and, though now raised to the
command of a large army, with the usual pride of a Turk, still retained
the original name of the humble rank from which he had raised himself.
When he heard that the master he loved was deposed and a prisoner, he
hastened with his army to the seraglio, and demanded admission at the
great gate of the Babu Hummayoun.

Mustapha, who was of a light and frivolous, though cruel character, was
in the habit of amusing himself daily on the Bosphorus; and when he
heard of this insurrection in favour of his deposed cousin, he hastened
to land at the sea-gate of the seraglio. He here motioned to his
attendant eunuch, who ran to obey his orders. Selim was found in his
private apartment, engaged in the performance of the _namaz_, at the
hour of prayer, which he never omitted. In this position he was seized
by the eunuch, who attempted to strangle him. He started up, however,
and made a vigorous resistance; but his murderer, twining round his
legs, seized him in such a way as gave him exquisite pain: he fainted,
and in this senseless state was strangled. Meantime, the Bairactar
thundered at the great gate, and threatened to batter it down, if
the deposed sultan was not produced. He was answered, that his wish
should be immediately complied with. The gate was thrown open, and the
lifeless Selim cast before him: the rough soldier threw himself upon
the body of his gentle master, and wept bitterly.

Another revolution immediately ensued−-the cruel and frivolous Mustapha
was deposed, and the soldiers searched for his brother Mahmoud, who
was known to be in the seraglio, but was no where to be found. It
was at length discovered, that a slave attached to his person had
immediately seized him when the disturbance began, and hurried him to
an oven, where she shut him in, and kept him concealed. From thence he
was taken, and placed on the throne. His first act of Turkish policy,
immutable in ferocity and disregard of human life, was to cause his
brother Mustapha to be strangled; and his next, to cast into the sea
all the females of his brother’s harem, lest any of their children,
even then unborn, should cause a disputed succession.

The present sultan, Mahmoud II., was born in the year 1788; he was
the second son of Abdul Hamed Khan, and is now the only survivor of
fifteen male children. He was placed on the throne on the 28th of July,
1808, and from the moment of his elevation showed symptoms of that
energetic and resolute character which has since distinguished him.
The Russians had advanced from the Pruth to the Danube, and, in the
disorganized state of the Turkish army, there was no force to oppose
them. The young sultan erected the standard of the Prophet at Daud
Pasha, just within the walls of Constantinople; he raised a large army,
and the Russians were compelled to retire without crossing the Balkan
mountains, as all Europe expected; but they left behind them, in the
bosom of the Turkish empire, a more formidable force than their own
arms−-and this was, the discontented Greeks.

The Greeks, retaining that excitability and impatience of control which
ever distinguished that nation, and which centuries of slavery and
oppression could not subdue, were ever ready instruments in the hands
of the Russians, to embarrass and annoy their enemies. The identity of
their religion, the Russians having early become members of the Greek
church, gave them a powerful influence, and in 1790 a deputation of
Greeks waited upon the Empress Catherine, to request her interference.
One of her sons was baptized Constantine, the favourite name of the
Greek emperors, brought up by a Greek nurse, and intended for the
throne of Constantinople. Several attempts at revolt were unsuccessful.
Their allies always sacrificed the unfortunate Greeks to their own
plans of ambition: every insurrection was followed by confiscation
and massacre, and at length it was proposed, in the divan, to cut off
the whole race, and extirpate the name of Greek. From this they were
preserved by the avarice of the Turks, for, were this measure executed,
there would be no one to pay the capitation tax; and this appeal to
their cupidity alone saved a whole nation.

The Greeks, however, were now become an opulent and intelligent people;
availing themselves of all the lights and advantages which the Turks
neglected, they had accompanied the rest of Europe in the march of
improvement, and determined to rely no longer on Russian faith−-but
to attempt their own emancipation. A mysterious society, called
_Hetairia_, was ramified wherever a Greek community was established,
who prepared for another insurrection. In the year 1815 a secret
meeting was held at Constantinople, and it was resolved on. Six
years after, the standard of revolution was raised by Ypselantes, in
Moldavia. It was responded to by a general rising in other places, and,
after a sanguinary conflict against the whole power of the vast Turkish
empire, their independence was finally established, a new nation was
recognized in Europe, and modern Greece for ever severed from their
barbarian masters.

The utter impotence of the Turkish power was so clearly established
by this event, that it was obvious nothing but a change of its
institutions could save it from total dissolution. Mahmoud therefore
was determined to effect this change, or perish in the attempt. His
preliminary step was the extirpation of the Janissaries. This desperate
militia now turned up their kettles in the Atmeidan and 40,000 men
rushed round them. The sultan caused the standard of the Prophet to be
displayed in the Mosque of Achmet, and all the well-affected flocked
to it. He required a _fetva_ from the Sheik Islam, to authorise
him to kill the Janissaries if they resisted: it was granted by the
chief of the Faith, and he sent his adherent, _Kara Gehenna_, or “the
black infernal,” to execute it. The Janissaries were surrounded with
artillery, and he at once opened a discharge with grape-shot on the
dense crowd. He battered down their _kislas_, or barracks, over their
heads, and never ceased till this fierce and formidable body of men
were left a monument in the midst of Constantinople, a mound of mangled
flesh and smoking ashes slaked in blood. To perpetuate the utter
destruction of this corps, and ensure its extinction, a firman was
issued, obliterating its very name, and declaring it penal for any man
ever to pronounce it.

Just before the destruction of the Janissaries at Constantinople, that
of the Mamelukes had been effected in Egypt. These descendants of
Christian slaves, equally formidable to the Porte, had been doomed to
like destruction by the predecessor of Mahmoud. They were invited to
a feast on board the Capitan Pasha’s ship, when the most formidable
of their chiefs were seized and strangled. The remnant were induced,
by solemn promises of protection to enter the fortress of Cairo,
when every man of them was sacrificed in cold blood, without pity or
remorse. Thus these two corps, originally formed and recruited from
a Christian population, became, in the hands of the Osmanli, for
many centuries, the most powerful and unrelenting opponents of the
people professing the faith of their ancestors, and at length became
so formidable to their employers as to render their own destruction
necessary. Not a remnant of these extraordinary renegades, now exists
in the world, and the very names of Mameluke and Janissary are
condemned to everlasting oblivion.

The energetic and terrible sultan, having thus silenced opposition,
and created unanimity to his plans, by putting to death every man
that presumed to differ from him in opinion, proceeded rapidly with
his reforms. A new order of things was every where established. The
soldiers, who were a mere uncontrollable rabble, every one dressed
according to his own fancy, and doing whatever seemed good in his
eyes, were now clad in regular uniform, subject to discipline, and
exercised in European tactics. Civil usages which stamped the Turks
with barbarism, were abolished. Ambassadors, who represented infidel
kings, were no longer dragged by the neck into the presence of the
sovereign of the faithful like criminals, or sent to his prison like
malefactors; but, above all, knowledge was no longer proscribed as an
impious acquisition, and ignorance cherished as a venerable quality.
Lancasterian schools were opened; literary works on various subjects
were written by Turks, and published at the press at Constantinople,
now revived for that purpose; and, finally, an innovation was
introduced, supposed to be altogether hopeless and extraordinary, among
a people so stubborn and prejudiced: to spread the lights of European
knowledge with more rapidity, and present them daily to the eyes of
every man, four newspapers were established in the capital, in Turkish,
Greek, Armenian, and French, for the different people that compose
the population; and thus 700,000 persons, the calculated number of
inhabitants on both peninsulas, instead of being kept in utter darkness
of every thing around them, are now constantly apprised of all that
passes, not only in their own, but in every other country. The arts,
the sciences, the improvements in social life, the incidents and events
which happen in the world, are subjects to which the attention of
the Turk is now turned, and the fictions of his “story-tellers” are
superseded by the realities of life. Every day the distinctions which
marked this great capital, as an Asiatic city on an European soil,
are beginning to disappear, and it is probable that, in a few years,
such an amalgamation of its inhabitants with those of other European
cities will take place, that the strong characteristics which lately
distinguished it will only be found in our pictorial representations.



_Those individuals only of each dynasty are noticed who reigned
at Constantinople._


_Family of Constantine._

  A.D. 272; crowned at Rome, 306; transferred the seat of empire
  to Constantinople, and dedicated the city to Christ, 330; died
  337, after a reign of thirty years and nine months. The place
  of his birth is doubtful; by some said to be Dacia; by others,
  Britain, of which his father was governor, where he married
  Helena, a British lady. Among other evidence is the panegyric
  of Eumenes, “Oh, Britain! blessed of all lands, who first
  beheld Cæsar Constantinus,” &c. Constantine was esteemed an
  eloquent preacher, and one of his sermons has come down to us.
  He left behind him three sons, who succeeded him.

  FLAVIUS JULIUS CONSTANTINUS II. Junior, succeeded his father:
  he was born at Arles, 312; crowned, 337; and was killed in 340
  in battle, and his body cast into the river Alsa.

  FLAVIUS JULIUS CONSTANTINUS was born in Pannonia, 318;
  crowned, 326; and died of apoplexy, 361.

  FLAVIUS JULIUS CONSTANS I. was born 330; crowned, 333; and
  died, 350. The manner of his death is disputed: he either was
  killed in battle, or put an end to his own life, to escape his

  FLAVIUS CLAUDIUS JULIANUS, nephew of Constantine the Great,
  was born at Constantinople in 332; crowned, 361; and died,
  363. He was killed in battle in Persia, by an arrow from a
  Persian horseman. He endeavoured to extinguish Christianity,
  and obtained the name of the _Apostate_. In him the family of
  Constantine terminated.

  _Family of Jovian._

  FLAVIUS JOVIANUS was born in Pannonia in 324; crowned, 363;
  and died, 364. He was suffocated by the fumes of charcoal.
  He revived Christianity, but lived only seven months and
  twenty-one days after he came to the throne.

  _Family of Valentinianus._

  FLAVIUS VALERIUS VALENTINIANUS I. was born in Pannonia in 321;
  crowned, 364; and died, 375, of apoplexy.

  FLAVIUS GRATIANUS was born in Belgium in 359; crowned, 367;
  and killed in battle, 385. The empire was now divided into
  Eastern and Western; Valentinianus II. was nominated to the
  latter, and Valens to the former.

  FLAVIUS VALENS was born in Pannonia in 328; crowned, 376; and
  burnt to death in a cottage in Thrace by the Goths, 378.

  _Family of Theodosius._

  Flavius Theodosius I. was born at Seville in Spain in 335;
  crowned, 379; and died, 395, of a dropsy. He obtained the
  name of the _Great_ for his achievements. Among others, he
  restored peace in Britain, when disturbed by the Picts.
  To encourage the arts, he erected a splendid column at
  Constantinople, to rival that of Trajan at Rome. It was cast
  down by an earthquake, and no longer exists.

  FLAVIUS ARCADIUS was born in 379; crowned, 395; and died,
  408. He followed his father’s example in erecting a splendid
  column: both have been prostrated by earthquakes. His brother
  Honorius succeeded to the Western empire.

  FLAVIUS THEODOSIUS II. junior, was born in 401; and died, 450.
  He was nominated to the empire the year after his birth. He
  reestablished public schools at Constantinople, with a view to
  revive literature, and published the Theodosian code of laws.
  In his reign the Romans abandoned Britain, never to return.

  MARCIANUS was born in Thrace, of obscure parents, in
  387; crowned, 450; and died, 456. He erected a pillar at
  Constantinople, which still stands. In early life, he found
  the body of a man, and buried it; but he was accused of
  the murder, and would have been executed, had not the real
  murderer appeared, and saved him.

  _Family of Leo._

  FLAVIUS LEO I., (Macela,) was a native of Thrace, called to
  the empire in 457, and died in 474, after a reign of seventeen
  years and six months. He was the first Christian potentate of
  the East crowned by an ecclesiastic. After him, the ceremony
  was generally performed by the patriarch. He obtained the name
  of _the Great_.

  FLAVIUS LEO II. minor, was born 457; and died 474, aged 17,
  having reigned but ten months. He was the grandson of Leo I.

  FLAVIUS ZENO, (Tarasicodista,) was born in Isauria, in 426,
  succeeded Leo II. as sole emperor, and died in 491, having
  reigned seventeen years. Some affirm he was buried alive
  by his wife. The term Tarasicodista was an Isaurian name,
  which he changed for Zeno. Under him, the Western Empire was
  entirely destroyed, and Odoacer, king of the Heruli, was
  proclaimed king of Italy. For fifty years after, till the
  time of Justinian, the reigns of the emperors are obscure and

  _Family of Anastatius._

  FLAVIUS ANASTATIUS, I. (Dicorus,) was born at Dyrrachium,
  in 430, and was killed by lightning in his palace in 518,
  having reigned twenty-seven years and eleven months. He was
  distinguished for running a wall from the Euxine to the
  Propontis, and including a triangular space, called the “Delta
  of Thrace.”

  Family of Justinus Thrax.

  FLAVIUS ANICIUS JUSTINUS I. was born in 450, in Illyria,
  called to the throne on the death of Anastatius, and died in
  527, after a reign of eight years and seven months.

  FLAVIUS ANICIUS JUSTINIANUS I. was born in Dacia, in 482, and
  died in 565, after a long reign of thirty-seven years and
  seven months, which was devoted to useful objects. Besides
  the erection of the church of St. Sophia, he introduced the
  culture of silk into Europe, and caused to be drawn up the
  codes, pandects, institutes, and, a few years after, the
  digest of laws, forming a system of civil jurisprudence, which
  is an everlasting monument of his reign. Under him, Proclus, a
  second Archimedes, set fire to the Gothic fleet by means of a
  concave mirror of brass.

  FLAVIUS ANICIUS JUSTINUS II. junior, (Curopalata,) was born
  in Thrace, crowned on the death of his uncle Justinian, and
  died in 578, after a reign of twelve years and ten months. He
  had been superintendent of the palace, and hence the title


  FLAVIUS ANICIUS TIBERIUS, I. called the New Constantine, was
  born in Thrace, and died in 582, after a reign of three years
  and ten months.

  FLAVIUS MAURICIUS TIBERIUS II. was born in Cappadocia, in
  539, and was killed in 602, having reigned twenty years and
  three months. In his reign Augustine and his monks proceeded
  to preach Christianity in Britain, and the Saxon heptarchy

  _Family of Phocas._

  FLAVIUS PHOCAS was crowned in 602; he died in 610, after a
  reign of eight years. He murdered his predecessor Mauricius,
  and decapitated him and his five children: he was himself
  assassinated by his successor Heraclius. He is represented
  as a monster among the emperors: his person small and
  deformed; his hair and eyebrows red and shaggy; and his cheeks
  disfigured with scars; his temper was savage; his pleasures
  brutal; and he was grossly ignorant, not only of letters,
  but his own profession−-war. From the time of Justinian, the
  pleadings of the courts had been in Latin, but from the reign
  of Phocas, they were held in Greek, and the writings formed a
  barbarous mixture of Greek and Latin characters.

  _Family of Heraclius._

  FLAVIUS HERACLIUS, son of the præfect of Africa, sailed to
  Constantinople, and having put Phocas to death, was crowned in
  610. He died in 641, of dropsy, after a reign of thirty years
  and five months. He was distinguished for his conquests over
  the Persians, and for his pilgrimage to Jerusalem to restore
  the true cross; the ceremony resulting from it is still called
  “the Elevation of the Cross.” In his reign Mohammed fled from
  Mecca to Medina, and the era of the Hegira commenced.

  and died by poison in 641; having reigned but one hundred and
  three days. He was associated in the empire with his brother

  FLAVIUS HERACLIUS CONSTANS II. was born in 630; and was
  smothered in a bath in 668; after a reign of twenty-seven

  FLAVIUS CONSTANTINUS IV., (Pogonatus,) died in 685; after a
  reign of seventeen years. He was called Pogonatus, or “the
  Bearded,” because when he went against the tyrant of Sicily to
  avenge his brother’s death, he would not suffer his beard to
  be cut till he had effected his purpose. In his reign the city
  was besieged by the Saracens, and their fleet destroyed by the
  Greek fire.

  FLAVIUS JUSTINIANUS II., (Rhinometus,) was born about the year
  670, and was killed in 711; he reigned first ten years. He was
  called Rhinometus because he was seized by his enemy Leontius,
  who cut off his nose. After a reign of seven years he was
  deposed, and then restored, and reigned six more. With him and
  his young son was extinguished the race of Heraclius, after
  enjoying the sovereignty for one hundred years.

  FILEPICUS BARDANES, was blinded, and deposed one year and six
  months after his coronation.

  ANASTATIUS II., (Artemius,) was crowned in 713; resigned; and
  was put to death by Leo Isaurus, when he attempted again to
  recover the crown.

  THEODOSIUS III. was crowned in 715; resigned. His sanctity in
  retirement was such, that he was reputed to work miracles.

  _Family of Leo Isaurus._

  FLAVIUS LEO III., called Conon, died of a dropsy in 741;
  after a reign of twenty-four years and eleven months. He was
  called the Isaurian, from the country whence his family came
  to Constantinople. He began the first reformation in the Greek
  church, by causing all images to be pulled down, and excluded
  from places of worship as idolatrous.

  FLAVIUS CONSTANTINUS V., (Copronimus,) was born, 719; and
  died, 775; after a reign of thirty-five years and eleven
  months. He was in derision called Copronimus, because he
  defiled the font at his baptism. During his long reign he
  followed up the reformation of his father, and was seconded by
  the people, who formed themselves into associations, called
  Iconoclasts or “image breakers,” and destroyed every such
  idolatrous representation. He also suppressed monasteries. The
  writers of the Latin church represented Copronimus as “chained
  with demons in the infernal abyss;” while the Greeks venerated
  his tomb, and prayed before it as that of a heaven-directed
  saint. In his reign, historians first dated from, the birth of

  FLAVIUS LEO IV., (Chazarus,) was born at Constantinople in
  750; and died of a fever in 780, after a reign of five years.
  He followed up the reformation, and the Latin writers affirm
  that he sacrilegiously took a crown with precious stones, from
  the church of Santa Sophia, and when he placed it on his
  head, his face burst out into carbuncles, similar to those in
  the crown, as a punishment for his impiety, and this caused
  the fever of which he died.

  FLAVIUS LEO CONSTANTINUS VI. was born at Constantinople in
  771; and died in 797; after his eyes had been put out, he
  reigned seven years. In concert with his mother, Irené, he
  restored the worship of images, for which he is highly praised
  by Latin writers.

  FLAVIUS NICEPHORUS I. was born in Seleucia; he was drawn into
  an ambush by the Bulgarians, and killed in battle in 811;
  having reigned nine years and nine months.

  FLAVIUS STAURICIUS was presented with the diadem by his father
  Nicephorus in 803. He was grievously wounded in battle, and,
  after lingering in hopeless pain, he became a monk, and
  retired to a monastery, where he died in 812.

  MICHAEL I., (Rhangabe Curopalata,) married the daughter of
  Nicephorus; was proclaimed emperor in 811, on the death of his
  father-in-law; but was deposed, and died in a monastery, after
  a reign of one year and ten months.

  _Family of Leo the Armenian._

  FLAVIUS LEO V., (Armenus,) was born in Armenia, and crowned
  in 813; and was assassinated while celebrating divine service
  in his palace in 820; after a reign of seven years and five

  _Family of Michael Balbus._

  FLAVIUS MICHAEL II. (the Stammerer,) was born in Phrygia,
  crowned in 820; and died in 829, of a dysentery, having
  reigned eight years and nine months. He was named Balbus from
  a hesitation in his voice. He revived the reformation by
  expelling images from churches.

  FLAVIUS THEOPHILUS, called Augustus by his father, was born
  in 820, crowned in 829, and died in 842; having reigned
  twelve years and three months. He vigorously continued
  the reformation of the church, and is thus described, _Is
  impietatis paternæ æmulus cultores imaginum persecutus est._

  FLAVIUS MICHAEL III., (Ebriosus,) was born in 836; crowned
  in 842; and was assassinated in 867. He acquired the name of
  Ebriosus, or the Drunken, from his constant intemperance.
  He suffered his mother, Theodora, to introduce images into
  churches. The sister of the king of Bulgaria having embraced
  Christianity, he and all his subjects, by her persuasion,
  became converts in this reign. Clocks were then first brought
  from Venice to Constantinople.

  _Family of Basilius Macedo._

  FLAVIUS BASILIUS I., (Cephalos,) was born in Macedonia,
  crowned in 866, and died in 886. He was called Cephalos from
  the size of his head. He was a zealous promoter of image
  worship. In his reign, Alfred king of England died.

  FLAVIUS LEO VI., the Philosopher, was crowned by his father at
  the age of five years in 870; and died in 911. He devoted a
  long reign of twenty-five years, after his father’s death, to
  literary pursuits, and composed works which have come down to
  us: amongst others, a “Treatise on Tactics.”

  FLAVIUS CONSTANTINUS VII., (Porphyrogenitus,) the son of Leo
  VI. by his fourth wife, was born in 905; crowned in 913; and
  died in the year 959, of poison, administered by his own son.
  He was called Porphyrogenitus, or born in the purple, because
  an apartment in the palace was lined with that colour, in
  which his birth took place. It was a title generally given to
  those whose fathers were on the throne when they were born, a
  rare distinction in the Lower Empire. He was the first to whom
  the distinction was applied. His birth was accompanied by the
  appearance of a comet. He was distinguished for his devotion
  to literature, and left behind him “the Geography of the
  Empire,” and other works. In his reign Arabic numerals were
  first used for the clumsy prolixity of alphabetic letters.

  ROMANUS I., (Lecapenus,) was born in Armenia, crowned in 919;
  and died in 946. His reign was remarkable by the siege of
  Constantinople by the Bulgarians.

  ROMANUS II. junior, was born in 937; and crowned in 959. He
  died of poison in 963; after a reign of four years.

  BASILIUS II., (Bulgarotoctonos,) was born in 955;
  crowned in 960; and died in 1025. He obtained the name
  “Bulgarian-killer,” from the cruelty he exercised over them.
  He took 15,000 prisoners, and ordered the eyes to be scooped
  out from the heads of every ninety-nine out of one hundred.

  NICEPHORUS II. (Phocas,) was born at Constantinople, and
  crowned, 963, on the death of Romanus. He was assassinated by
  Zemisces, and other conspirators, in 969.

  FLAVIUS CONSTANTINUS VIII. son of Lecapenus, was associated
  with his brother, and in 1026, became sole emperor at the
  age of sixty-nine, and died in 1028. It was in his reign the
  practice of duelling was introduced: one, fought in 1026, is
  the first on record in the annals of the empire.

  JOHANNES ZEMISCES was a domestic in the palace while
  Nicephorus Phocas enjoyed the crown. After his assassination,
  he assumed himself the purple, but was poisoned in 975, after
  a reign of six years.

  CONSTANTINUS IX., brother of Basilius II., was born in 961,
  and reigned singly, after the death of Basilius, three
  years. He died in 1028, having enjoyed the title of Augustus
  sixty-six years. The reign of the two brothers, with the
  intervening usurpations, is the longest and most obscure in
  Byzantine history.

  ROMANUS III., (Argyrus,) succeeded to the empire in 1028, and
  was put to death by his wife Zoe in 1034. She had administered
  slow poison, but, impatient of its operation, caused him to
  be suffocated in a bath by an eunuch, who held his head under

  MICHAEL IV., (Paphlagonicus,) was born in Paphlagonia, crowned
  in 1034, and afterwards retired to a monastery in 1041. He
  married Zoe after the assassination of her former husband, and
  his death was hastened by never-ceasing remorse. The first
  schism commenced in this reign between the Greek and Latin

  MICHAEL V., (Calaphates,) was crowned in 1041, and was put
  to death the same year, after a reign of four months. He was
  called Calaphates because his trade had been careening boats.

  ZOE & THEODORA, (the Matrons,) were crowned in 1042. They
  were taken at an advanced age, one from a prison, and the
  other from a monastery. Zoe, at the age of sixty, took a third
  husband, and died in 1050.

  FLAVIUS CONSTANTINUS X., (Monomachus,) was crowned in 1042.
  He was called Monomachus from his bravery in single combat.
  He died in 1055, having survived his atrocious wife Zoe two
  years. In his reign the Turks first entered the territories of
  the Greek empire in Asia.

  THEODORA was crowned sole empress in 1055, at the age of
  seventy-six, and reigned one year and ten months. She took an
  associate, and thus for twenty years two feeble sisters, and
  one an abandoned profligate, nominated whom they pleased to
  the empire.

  MICHAEL VI., (Stratioticus,) was crowned in 1056, and resigned
  the year after. He obtained the name of Stratioticus from his
  supposed skill in war. His aged and feeble associate died just
  before, the last of the Basilian dynasty.

  _Family of the Comneni._

  ISAAK I., (Comnenus,) was crowned in 1057, and resigned in
  1059. The name of Comnenus is one of the most distinguished of
  the Lower Empire.

  _Family of Ducas._

  FLAVIUS CONSTANTINUS XI., (by some IX.) (Ducas,) was crowned
  in 1060, and died a natural death in 1066. During his reign
  Jerusalem was taken by the Turks and Saracens, William the
  Conqueror entered England, and the Norman dynasty began.

  EUDOCIA was crowned in 1067, on the death of her husband, and
  reigned alone but one year. She was expelled from the palace,
  and lingered in obscurity till the time of Anna Comnena, who
  saw her alive in 1096.

  ROMANUS IV., (Diogenes,) was crowned in 1068, and was killed
  in 1071. He had married Eudocia, and was nominated to the
  crown in prejudice of her sons. He was taken prisoner by the
  Turks, who scooped out his eyes; of which he died, covered
  with worms, and in extreme misery.

  MICHAEL VII.,(Parapinace,) crowned in 1071, and resigned in
  1078, and retired to a monastery. He was called Parapinace
  because he had suffered the bushel of corn to be reduced to
  the size of a quart. He associated his two brothers with
  him in the empire, under the names of Andronicus I. and
  Constantine XII.

  NICEPHORUS III., (Botoniates,) was crowned 1078: he resigned
  in 1081, and entered a monastery. In his reign, Doomsday Book
  began to be compiled in England, to ascertain the tenure of

  _Restoration of the Family of Comnenus._

  ALEXIUS I., (Comnenus,) was crowned in 1081, and died in 1118.
  He lived to the age of seventy-one, and reigned thirty-seven.
  His daughter, Anna Comnena, illustrated this era by her
  writings. The history of her father’s eventful reign is yet
  extant. In England, William Rufus and Henry I. were his
  contemporaries, and the first crusade commenced. JOHANNES II.,
  (Comnenus,) Kalojohannes, began his reign in 1118, and died in
  1143, of the wound of a poisoned arrow, accidentally inflicted
  by himself. He obtained the name of Kalojohannes for his
  personal beauty. His contemporary in England was Stephen.

  MANUEL I., (Comnenus,) was crowned in 1143, and died in 1180.
  In his reign the canon law was drawn up, and the second
  crusade commenced.

  ALEXIUS II., (Comnenus,) was crowned in 1180, and died in
  1183. He was murdered by his successor Andronicus.

  ANDRONICUS I., (Comnenus,) was crowned in 1183, and died in
  1185. He was cruelly put to death, also, by his successor, who
  caused his eyes to be put out, and his hands cut off, and then
  led him through the city, seated on a camel, when he was torn
  in pieces by the multitude.

  ISAAK II., (Angelus,) was crowned in 1185, and in 1195 his
  eyes were put out. In his reign the third crusade commenced.
  His contemporary in England was Richard I.

  ALEXIUS III., (Angelus) was crowned in 1195, and died in 1204.
  The deposition of his brother Isaak was the pretext to the
  Crusaders for the sack of Constantinople.

  ISAAK III., ALEXIUS IV., ALEXIUS V., (Ducas Mourzoufle,) 1203.
  In six months, five emperors were crowned at Constantinople;
  three were murdered, and two fled. Mourzoufle (so called from
  his dark eyebrows) was cast from the monument of Theodosius.
  The Crusaders took and sacked the city, and the empire was
  partitioned: Lascaris obtained Nicæa and Bythinia; Alexius,
  Trebisond; and Michael, Epirus.

  _Frank Family._

  BALDWIN I., (Robert,) crowned in 1204. He was drawn into an
  ambush by the Greeks and Bulgarians, by whom some say he was
  cut to pieces. He never afterwards appeared. Aristotle’s works
  were now first brought from Constantinople, Ghengis Khan
  reigned in Tartary, and Magna Charta was extorted from king
  John in England.

  HENRY was called to the throne on the supposed death of his
  brother in 1206, and reigned 10 years.

  BALDWIN II. was crowned in 1228; deposed in 1261. He fled
  to Italy. The Latin dynasty was extinguished, and the Greek
  restored. The Inquisition was established in the Latin church.
  Henry III. reigned in England.

  _Family of the Palæologi._

  MICHAEL VIII., (Palæologus) crowned in 1262; died in 1283. He
  was regent during the minority of John Lascaris, whom he put
  to death. He endeavoured to effect an union between the Greek
  and Latin churches without success. The Mamelukes now seized
  on Egypt. Edward I. reigned in England.

  Andronicus II., (Palæologus,) was crowned in 1283, and
  abdicated in 1328. He retired to a monastery, where he lived
  to the age of seventy-four. The Turks seized on Bythinia, and
  Othman established his capital at Brusa. From him they are
  since called Ottomans, or Osmanli. Edward II. reigned in

  ANDRONICUS III., (Palæologus,) crowned in 1328, having deposed
  his grandfather, with whom he had been associated. He died of
  an irregular life in 1341. Edward III. reigned in England.

  JOHANNES III., (Cantacuzene,) was crowned in 1342, and
  abdicated in 1355. He retired, with his wife, to a monastery,
  where he lived till 1411. He there composed the “History of
  his own Time,” which is still extant. In his reign the Turks
  first entered Europe.

  JOHANNES IV., (Palæologus,) was crowned on his father
  Andronicus’s death, in 1341, and died in 1391. In his reign
  Amurath took Adrianople, and established a capital in Europe.
  Richard II. reigned in England.

  MANUEL II., (Palæologus,) was crowned sole emperor in 1391,
  and died in 1425. In his reign, Bajazet laid siege to
  Constantinople, which was raised by Tamerlane. Henry IV. and
  Henry V. reigned in England.

  JOHANNES V., (Palæologus,) crowned sole emperor in 1425, and
  died of the gout in 1448. In his reign the art of printing was
  first discovered in Europe. Henry VI. was his contemporary of

  CONSTANTINUS XIII., by some XI., (Palæologus,) was crowned
  in 1448, and killed in 1453. Mohammed took the city of
  Constantinople, and put an end to the Greek empire.
  Constantine had two brothers−-Demetrius, who basely submitted
  to slavery, and permitted his daughter to be received into
  the conqueror’s harem; and Thonas, who made vigorous efforts
  to rescue Greece from the Ottoman power. He finally retired
  to Italy. His children proceeded to England, where he died:
  and the ashes of the last of the family of the Greek dynasty
  repose among the free in Britain, where their monument is
  still to be seen in Llanulph Church in Cornwall. It is
  remarkable, that the first Christian emperor of the East was
  born, and the descendants of the last, repose in England.


  MAHOMET II., (Fatih,) He was proclaimed sultan in 1451, and
  took possession of Constantinople on the memorable 29th of
  May, 1453. He died of a colic in 1481. The title of Fatih, or
  “the Conqueror” was given to him on the occasion, as opening
  a way into the Christian capital. He prepared an epitaph to
  be placed on his tomb, containing the names of all the kings,
  countries, and cities he had conquered. His contemporary in
  England was Edward IV.

  BAJAZET II. He was proclaimed in 1481, and ceased to reign in
  1512. His son Selim had appointed for him a place of retreat
  such as he wished, but in the meantime had corrupted his
  physician, who poisoned him at Tzurallo. His contemporaries in
  England were Edward V., Richard III., Henry VII., and Henry

  SELIM I. (Yavuz) began his reign in 1512, and died of a fever
  in 1520. His contemporary in England was Henry VIII.

  SOLIMAN I. (by some II.) (Kanuni) began his reign in 1520;
  and terminated it in 1566. He is generally called in Europe
  the “Magnificent,” but by Turks, Kanuni, or the “Institutor,”
  as he drew up a list of institutes by which the kingdom was
  afterwards to be governed, instead of those traditions which
  had before been their unwritten law. His contemporaries in
  England were, Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth.

  SELIM II. succeeded his father Soliman in 1566; he died
  in 1574. Contrary to the usual temperament of a Turkish
  sovereign, he was fond of peace, and sighed for repose,
  particularly after the loss of the terrible battle of Lepanto,
  in which Cervantes lost an arm. His contemporary in England
  was Elizabeth.

  AMURATH III. succeeded his father Selim in 1574; and died
  in 1595; a victim to melancholy and a morbid imagination.
  The discharge of a cannon broke the windows of his kiosk,
  as he reclined on his divan. Supposing that this portended
  his death, he died in a fever under that impression. His
  contemporary in England was Elizabeth, who wrote him a Latin

  MOHAMMED III. succeeded to the throne on the death of his
  father Mohammed in 1595; he died in 1603. He drowned all the
  odalisks, or female slaves, of the seraglio, suspected of
  pregnancy, and put to death nineteen of his brothers on the
  first day of his elevation. He, from policy, was advised by
  his mother to affect a dissipated life, and contracted a habit
  which he could not afterwards get rid of. He died prematurely
  of excess. His only contemporary in England was Elizabeth.

  ACHMET I. came to the throne in 1603; and died in 1607. He
  escaped the fate usually attendant on a younger brother in
  Turkey, by the premature death of his elder. His life was
  attempted by a Dervish, who hurled a large stone on him from
  the roof of a house, which bruised his shoulder. He supposed
  that dogs communicated the plague, and he ordered them all to
  be killed; but the mufti saved them, by affirming that every
  dog had a soul. His contemporary in England was James I.

  OSMAN, or OTHMAN II. succeeded his father Achmet in 1617; he
  was strangled by the janissaries in 1621, at the early age
  of nineteen years. A meteoric phenomenon, which assumed the
  appearance of a huge cymeter, was seen in the sky in his reign
  for a month, which the Turks were persuaded portended to them
  the conquest of the world. Charles I. was his contemporary in

  _Mustapha I._ was dragged from prison, and set on the throne
  by the janissaries in 1621, on the death of his nephew
  Osman. In 1623 he was compelled to resign by the turbulent
  janissaries, and re-entered the prison from which they had
  taken him. James I. reigned in England.

  AMURATH IV. began his reign in 1624; and ended it in 1640;
  having hastened his death by an intemperate use of wine and
  ardent spirits, so as to break down a strong constitution at
  the age of thirty-one. He had conceived the extraordinary
  projects of extinguishing the Ottoman race, by putting his
  brother Ibrahim to death; but his own death anticipated
  his intention. He annexed Bagdad to the empire. In his
  reign, Cyril Lascaris, the Greek patriarch, published, at
  the patriarchal press, a confession of eighteen articles,
  declaring the faith of the Greeks on these points, similar to
  that of the reformed church in Europe. The contemporary reign
  in England was that of Charles I.

  IBRAHIM, succeeded his brother in 1640, and was strangled by
  the janissaries in 1668. He was a miserable-looking man, had
  a pale visage, scanty beard, seamed with the small-pox, mean
  appearance, spare person, hypochondriac, and subject to the
  falling sickness. His contemporary in England was Charles I.

  MOHAMMED IV. the son of Ibrahim, ascended the throne in 1648,
  at the age of seven years. He was deposed in 1687, and shut
  up in the seraglio, where he lingered in solitude four years.
  In the year 1666, in this reign, Sabathi Levi, or Sevi,
  appeared in Palestine as the expected Messiah, and was invited
  to Constantinople by the sultan, who promised to restore
  Jerusalem. Multitudes of people, both Turks and Jews, believed
  on him. Among other miracles, he professed to be invulnerable;
  but when he was set up as a mark to be shot at, his courage
  failed, and he confessed the imposture. Contemporary
  governments in England, “the Commonwealth,” Charles II.

  SOLIMAN II. (III.) brother to the former, succeeded in 1687;
  and died in 1691, of a dropsy. He was austere and indisposed
  to accept the throne. He passed his whole time in studying
  the koran. In his reign Lewin Warner, the Dutch ambassador at
  the Port, caused the Bible to be translated at Constantinople
  into the Turkish language. The MS. remained from that time
  shut up in the University of Leyden, till it was discovered,
  and lately published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.
  Some copies were circulated among the Turks of Constantinople
  in the year 1824, which caused a firman to be issued for their
  suppression. English sovereigns, Charles II., James II.

  ACHMET II. the younger brother of Mohammed, succeeded to
  the throne in 1691; he died in 1695. His mind was mean and
  powerless, and his person bloated: he had large staring eyes,
  and a very long nose. Contemporaries in England, William and

  MUSTAPHA II. brother to Achmet, succeeded him in 1695; he
  abdicated the throne in 1703. His contemporaries in England
  were William III. and Anne.

  ACHMET III. the brother of Mustapha, succeeded in 1703;
  after a reign of twenty-seven years of prosperity, he too
  was compelled by the turbulent janissaries, to abdicate the
  throne in 1730; the third whom the caprice of the people had
  dethroned in fifty years. His contemporaries in England were
  Anne, George I., and George II.

  MAHMOUD I., or MOHAMMED V., the nephew of Achmet, succeeded
  in 1730; he died in 1754, after a mild reign of twenty-four
  years. He was condescending and humble, and much regretted. It
  is a precept of Islamism, that every man should be prepared
  for his destiny, and able to support it by some useful
  employment. Many sultans were mechanics, and so was Mahmoud;
  he was a cunning worker in ivory, which he wrought with a
  dexterity far exceeding that of a Turk. His contemporary in
  England was George II.

  OTHMAN III. the brother of Mahmoud, succeeded him in 1754; he
  died in 1757. His reign was distinguished by the persevering
  and sanguinary efforts of the Russians to effect their great
  object of advancing to Constantinople, by urging the Greeks to
  insurrection. His contemporary in England was George II.

  MUSTAPHA III. (Gazi,) nephew of Othman, and son of Achmet
  III., began his reign in 1757; and died in 1776. His uncle
  had administered poison to himself and two brothers; they
  perished, but he survived, and ever after retained the
  traces of it. The approximation of Turks to European habits
  and improvements, began with him. He ordered Boerhaave and
  Machiavel to be translated into Turkish, and commanded his son
  to be inoculated; and he founded a library and an academy.
  He made vigorous efforts against the Russians, and was thus
  called Gazi, “The Victorious.” George III. reigned in England.

  ABDUL HAMED, the last of the sons of Achmet III. succeeded in
  1776; he died in 1789. His reign, like his predecessors, was
  marked by the advance of the Russians to their great object.
  Sovereign in England, George III.

  SELIM III. the only son of Mustapha, succeeded in 1789, to
  the exclusion of the children of Abdul Hamed. He was deposed
  by the janissaries in 1807, and afterwards strangled for
  attempting to alter their discipline, and establish a nizam
  dgeddite, or new corps. He was an amiable and enlightened
  prince. Contemporary in England George III.

  MUSTAPHA IV. was the eldest son of Abdul Hamed, and succeeded
  in 1807; after a brief reign of one year, he too was deposed
  in 1808, and afterwards strangled. Sovereign in England George

  MAHMOUD II. or MOHAMMED VI. succeeded his brother in 1808.
  He extirpated the turbulent janissaries, remodelled the
  empire, and, amid more perils, perhaps, than ever sovereign
  encountered, he still reigns. He is the thirtieth monarch
  of the Ottoman dynasty, and the twenty-fourth on the throne
  of Constantinople, and has seen four fill the throne of
  England−-George III., George IV., William IV., Victoria.



[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Cousen.

Mosque of Bajazet, Seraskier’s Tower, Yeni Jami, Solimanie, Mahomet,
Selim, Tower of Galata.


THE situations of Oriental cities, in general, possess
advantages, in point of view, of which those in the west are deprived:
London, Paris, Vienna, and St. Petersburg present only flat levels; and
it is necessary to climb some impending height, to obtain a bird’s-eye
view, so as to take in any portion except the first line of houses, and
the tops of a few of the more lofty edifices which rise behind them.
But in the East, every city has its Acropolis: some lofty eminence is
chosen to build on, the summit of which is crowned with a fortress, and
the sloping sides covered with streets and houses. In this way ancient
towns are described by writers, who compare them to amphitheatres,
with their streets, like the seats, rising one above the other.
Constantinople participates in this advantage in an eminent degree.

The approach to this magnificent city, from the Sea of Marmora, is more
beautiful, perhaps, than that of any other city in the world. Before
the spectator lies a romantic archipelago of islands covered with
pine, arbutus, and oak woods, from whence emerges, on every summit,
some monastery of the Greek church. These lovely islets seem to float
upon a sea generally calm and unruffled, and are beautifully reflected
from a surface singularly pure and lucid. Beside them is the coast of
Asia Minor, from which rises, at a distance, the vast contour of Mount
Olympus, not, as the poet describes it, with “cloudy tops,” but usually
unveiled and distinct; its flanks clothed with forests, and its summits
crowned with eternal snows, glittering in sunlight, imparting to the
heated atmosphere below an imagined feeling of refreshing coolness. In
some states of the air, the effect of refraction is so deceptive, that
the mountain seems almost to impend over the spectator.

From hence the coast sweeps round to the mouth of the Bosphorus, in a
recess of which lies the town of Chalcedon. Beside it stretches, for
more than three miles, the great cemetery of the Moslems, the most
extensive, perhaps, in the world; and rising from the plain, and
ascending the side of a hill, is the fine city of Scutari, associated
with early historical recollections. It is of considerable extent,
covering the inclined plain of the hill on which it is built, till the
ascent is terminated by the lofty mountain of Bourgourloo, a detached
portion of the great Bythinian chain. From thence a splendid view is
commanded, including the romantic windings of the Bosphorus, almost for
the whole extent of the strait, from the Euxine to the Propontis.

Below the promontory of Scutari, the Bosphorus rushes out with its
rapid current, and, no longer confined within its narrow shores,
expands itself into the open sea. The limpid torrent, like that of some
great river tumbling down from its source, now wheels and boils, and
creates such commotion that boats are oftentimes dangerously entangled.

On the European shore, and opposite to Scutari, two promontories
project into the Bosphorus. The first is the peninsula of Pera,
its lower part terminated by the ancient city of Galata, where the
enterprising Genoese established one of their commercial marts
under the Greek emperors, and where their language still attests
their origin. The walls, with their ramparts and towers, are still
entire; and the gates are nightly shut by the Turks with the same
vigilant precaution as they were by their former masters. This is the
crowded mart, where merchants of all nations have their stores and
counting-houses, and which the active and busy genius of the Genoese
still seems to animate.

The town of Pera occupies the elevated ridge of a high promontory
between the harbour and the Bosphorus. On the spine of this eminence
the European natives have established their residence. The merchants,
whose stores and offices are below, have their dwelling-houses on
this lofty and healthful elevation, to which they are seen climbing
in groups every evening, when the business of the day is over. Their
habitations form a strong contrast to those of the Turks. They
are lofty, solid, and convenient, and from their height command a
magnificent view of the circumjacent seas, with all their bays and
islands. Here also the ambassadors of the different powers of Europe
have their palaces, among which the British, before its destruction by
fire, was the most beautiful and conspicuous.

Below the promontory of Pera, the noble harbour of “The Golden Horn”
opens to the view, its entrance formed by the points of Galata and
that of the seraglio. Here it is that ships of all nations are seen
floating side by side, and indicating, by the peculiarity of their
structure, the people to which they belong. But the most remarkable and
characteristic are those which are sent from the different parts of the
vast Turkish empire, in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The enormous vessels that compose the Turkish fleet are the most
conspicuous objects. Some of them rise out of the water with a length
and breadth so imposing, as to excite wonder how a nation, so ignorant
of maritime affairs, and limited in their commercial intercourse,
could have built such stupendous specimens of naval architecture.
Many of them carry 140 brass cannon, of a calibre so enormous on the
lower deck, as to throw balls of 100 lbs. weight. They are navigated
by crews of 2000 men, and seem capable of opening a cannonade that
could instantly sink the largest opponent. The brightness of their
guns of burnished brass, the freshness of their cordage, the snowy
whiteness of their sails, the gaiety and richness of their painting,
always fresh and bright, give an impression that the nation to which
they belong must have brought the art of ship-building to the highest
perfection. On the bow of each is a colossal lion, highly carved and
naturally coloured, which presents the emblem of the Turkish empire
in its most formidable attitude. The first impression made by these
great engines of naval warfare, is the vast superiority they possess,
and the hopelessness of any opposition to them. Yet they are utterly
powerless in the unskilful hands that guide them. The Turks, like their
predecessors the Persians, are impotent by sea; and as the ancient
Greeks with ease destroyed the fleets of the one, so did the modern
Greeks those of the other with their tiny ships. Their small craft,
like fishing-boats, with decayed timbers, ragged sails, and rotten
cordage, which are now sometimes seen in the harbour lying peaceably
beside the Turkish men-of-war, were more than a match for those
gorgeous but unmanageable masses; and their rusty iron guns, whose
explosion sounded like the shot of a pistol in comparison, silenced the
immense batteries of ordnance, that seemed capable of blowing a Greek
island out of the water.

The galleys of Africa next attract attention; these are always
summoned, and ready to join the naval armaments of their sovereign,
like the military vassals of some feudal lord. Their habits of
ferocity, though restrained, still continue; when attached to the
Turkish fleet, they carry ruin and desolation wherever they sail. These
allies destroyed, in Greece, whatever the less merciless Turks had
spared, and would have utterly exterminated the remnant of that people,
had not Christian Europe interfered.

Beside these pirate galleys of the Mediterranean, are to be seen
moored the lofty merchantmen of the Euxine. The singular structure
of these vessels is peculiar to the eastern coasts of the Black Sea,
and has been preserved from the earliest times. These immense and
unwieldy ships rise to a considerable height out of the water, both
at the bow and the stern, and seem altogether incapable of resisting
a gale of wind. They have seldom more than one mast and one immense
mainsail, and seem to move with so infirm a balance, that they totter
along through the water as if about to upset every moment. Approaching
Constantinople, they are overtaken, late in the year, by the violent
north-easter of the Melktem, or the misty weather that then prevails;
and unable to make the narrow entrance of the Bosphorus, or bear up
from a lee-shore, less skilful or less fortunate than the Argonauts,
they are either dashed on the Cyanean rocks, or driven on the sands.
Against this misfortune they adopt many superstitious precautions.
Every vessel has a wreath of blue beads suspended from the prow, as
a protection against the glance of an evil eye, which is supposed to
expend itself on this amulet.

But the vessel which gives the “Golden Horn” its most distinctive
character and striking feature, is the “light caïque,” It is impossible
to conceive forms more elegant; from their levity and fragility, they
have been compared to an egg-shell divided longitudinally, and drawn
out at each end to a point. They project to a considerable elongation
at the stem and stern, and, gracefully ascending from below, seem to
touch the water only at a point. They are made of thin beech-plank,
not grosser than the birch-bark of an Indian canoe, and finished with
considerable care and neatness. The gunwale and sides are tastily
carved with beads and various devices of Turkish sculpture, and the
pure and polished wood is not defiled by paint. The exceeding levity of
the materials of which the caïques are composed, the slight resistance
they meet with in the water from the small surface in contact with it,
and the great strength and dexterity of the caïquegees or boatmen who
propel them, give them wonderful rapidity. The oars are not, like ours,
confined in rullocks, emitting a harsh sound by their attrition, and
impeding the stroke by their concussion; they are paddles of shaven
beech, exactly poised by a protuberance on the handle to counteract
the length of the blade, and bound to the gunwale by a single pin,
with a thong of sheep-skin leather. This is constantly kept oiled, so
that the stem slips freely and noiselessly through the loop, and the
blade cuts the water with the whole collected strength of the rower.
Each caïquegee pulls a pair of oars, and their skiffs glide along
the surface with the speed, silence, and flexibility of a flight of
swallows. The only objection to their structure is the difficulty of
getting into them. If the passenger step on the stem or stern, his
footing has no stability, as the boat has no hold of the water beneath
the point of pressure: if he step on the gunwale, it turns over at
once, as there is no keel to offer resistance. It requires therefore
considerable caution to enter a caïque; and when this is effected, the
passenger sits on the bottom, either at length or from side to side.
Sometimes these unstable skiffs carry a sail, at the imminent hazard of
upsetting. As they have neither keel, ballast, or rudder, the passenger
must move hastily to the windward side, and watch to counterpoise the
pressure of the sail. Caïques are the only ferry-boats to cross from
shore to shore, and various wooden platforms, called iskelli, project
from the beach for their accommodation. On each of these stands a
venerable Turk with a long beard, and generally a badge, which denotes
him to be a _hadgee_, or “pilgrim,” who has made a perilous journey
to the tomb of the Prophet. He keeps order with his baton; and when
you are safely deposited in the bottom of the boat, he gives you the
pilgrim’s benediction−-_Allah smaladik_, “I commend you to God.” From
the constant and crowded intercourse between 700,000 people, inhabiting
the peninsulas on both sides of the water, and each skiff taking no
more than one or two passengers, the water is covered all day long with
these caïques in constant motion. The passengers are clad in snow-white
turbans, tall calpacs, and flowing pelisses, of scarlet or other
dazzling colours, so that this ever-moving scene is a perpetual change
of elegant forms and brilliant hues.

Mixing with them, and penetrating through the crowd, are daily seen the
larger caïques, destined to convey the sultan, or some high dignitary,
from the seraglio or the porte, to some palace or kiosk on the
Bosphorus. These long galleys are propelled by sixteen or twenty pair
of oars. They are ornamented by a long projecting prow, with various
sculpture, curling over or about, and covered with the richest gilding.
At the stem is a silken canopy, and within it the stately and solitary
personage to whom it belongs. Below the canopy sits the Reis, the
important person who guides it, with its valuable freight. This man is
often chosen for his humour, with which the sultan is fond of amusing
himself on his passage, like an European monarch, of old, with his
fool; and he sometimes prefers him, for his talent in this way, to the
first post in the empire. The Reis who most distinguished himself was
the Delhi Abdallah. He had a loud voice, shouting out his words−-a rude
humour, very coarse−-and a faculty of inventing new and extraordinary
oaths and curses. After it was supposed that he had exhausted all the
forms of imprecation, the sultan laid a wager one day that he could not
invent a new one. To the great gratification of his master, he did so;
and he was so pleased with his ingenuity, that he raised him at once
from the state of a boatman on the Bosphorus to that of Capitan Pasha;
and he who had never been on board a larger vessel than a caïque, now
commanded the vast Turkish fleet. His first occupation was that of
bostandgee, or gardener, at the seraglio. Such are the incongruous
pursuits and rapid elevations of public men in Turkey.

Mixed with these light and elegant forms, are large, deep, and clumsy
barges, rowed with long heavy sweeps, and filled with people of all
nations crowded together. These are used for conveying persons to
their residences in the villages along the shores of the Bosphorus.
In a country where there are neither roads nor carriages, these boats
are the only conveyance for the lower order of people. They are seen
every evening slowly emerging from the harbour, filled with Turks,
Jews, Armenians, Arabs, Greeks, and Franks, in all their variety of
costumes, covered over with a cloud of tobacco-smoke from their several
chibouques, and making the harbour resound with the loud and discordant
jargon of the several tongues.

Within these few years a new feature has been added to the moving
picture of the harbour. When steam-boats were adopted by all the
nations of Europe, the tardy Turks alone rejected them. The currents
of the Bosphorus constantly running down from the Black Sea with the
velocity of four or five miles an hour, renders it extremely difficult
for ships to ascend, unless assisted by a strong wind, and even with
this aid they hardly stemmed the rapid stream. It was not uncommon
to see lines of twenty or thirty men, with long cords passed over
their shoulders, slowly dragging up pondrous merchantmen with a vast
labour, which a single steamer would at once render unnecessary. It
was among the first reforms of the sultan to introduce any European
inventions which could assist human labour; and he not only encouraged
the introduction of these boats, but he erected an arsenal in the
harbour for building them by his own subjects. This spacious and novel
ship-yard is under the superintendence of the laborious and patient
Armenians, who are the great mechanics of the Turkish empire. Here they
not only build the boats, but cast the machinery, which the stupid
Moslems could not comprehend, till they saw their own sultan embark in
the wonderful self-moving machine, that issued from their own arsenal,
and swiftly climbed the rapids of the Bosphorus against both wind and

A singular circumstance connected with the first introduction of
steam-boats was the subject of universal conversation. An immense crowd
had collected, as well to see the sultan, as the vessel in which he
had embarked. When he stood upon the deck, a broad flag was displayed
floating over his head, with the sun, the emblem of the Turkish
empire, embroidered on it; but within the disc was worked a cross; and
the pious Moslems saw, with fear and astonishment, their sultan sail
under this Christian emblem. He had just before shown such indulgence
and good-will to the rayas of that faith, that his enemies every where
gave out, that, among his innovations, he was disposed to adopt it
himself, and the present flag was a public display of it. It appeared,
afterwards, that the unconscious sultan knew nothing of the emblem over
his head. The sanguine Greeks of the arsenal had that morning inserted
it in the midst of the sun; and so had exhibited it as another cross of
Constantine, converting an infidel sovereign to Christianity.

Entering the harbour are always seen large rafts of timber, cut in
the woods of the Black Sea, and conveyed down the Bosphorus. These
floating islands are of considerable size, and navigated by companies
of boatmen. They supply not only the wood for the arsenals, but the
firing for the city. Some years ago, a coal-mine was discovered at
Domosderé, not far from the mouth of the strait, and several tons of
coal were bought and used by the Franks of Constantinople. But the
Turks conceived a prejudice against its smoke, and refused to introduce
any more; so it fell into disuse. The present sultan will not suffer
this important acquisition to his steam-boats to be lost, and, it is
said, he is about to avail himself of its advantages.

From this ever-moving surface of the “Golden Horn,” the city of
Constantinople rises with singular beauty and majesty. The view of
the city displays a mountain of houses, as far as the eye can reach:
the seven hills form an undulating line along the horizon, crowned
with imperial mosques, among which the grand Solimanie is the most
conspicuous. These edifices are extraordinary structures, and,
from their magnitude and position, give to Constantinople its most
characteristic aspect. They consist of large square buildings, swelling
in the centre into vast hemispherical domes, and crowned at the angles
with four slender lofty minarets. The domes are covered with metal,
and the spires cased in gilding, so that the one seems a canopy of
glittering silver, and the other a shaft of burnished gold. Their
magnitude is so comparatively great, and they cover such a space of
ground, that they seem altogether disproportioned to every thing about
them, and the contrast gives them an apparent size almost as great as
the hills on which they stand.

Among the conspicuous objects arising above the rest, and mingling with
the minarets of the mosques, are two tall towers, one on each side of
harbour, called the “Janissaries’ Tower,” and the “Tower of Galata.”
They command an extensive view over both peninsulas, and are intended
for the purpose of watching fires, to which the city is constantly
subject. Instead of a bell, a large drum is kept in a chamber on the
summit, and when the watchman observes a fire, for which he is always
looking out, he strikes the great drum with a mallet; and this kind of
tolling produces a deep sound, which comes on the ear, particularly at
night, with a tone singularly solemn and impressive.

The valleys between the hills are crossed by the ancient aqueduct of
Valens, which conveys the water brought from the mountains of the Black
Sea to the several cisterns of the city. The humidity oozing through
the masonry, nourishes the roots of various plants, which, trailing
down, form festoons with their long tendrils, and clothe the romantic
arcades, which cross the streets, with a luxuriant drapery. Almost
every house stands within an area planted with jujube, judas-tree,
and other fruit and flowery shrubs peculiar to the soil and climate;
so that the vast mass of building covering the sides and summits of
the hills, is interspersed and chequered with the many hues displayed
by the leaves, fruits, and flowers in their season. Of these the
judas-tree affords the predominant colour. The burst of flowers from
every part of it, in spring, at times actually gives a ruddy tint to
the whole aspect of the city.


As there is no object of consumption in life so precious to a Turk
as water, so there is none which he takes such care to provide, not
only for himself, but for all other animals. Before his door he always
places a vessel filled with water for the dogs of the street; he
excavates stones into shallow cups, to catch rain for the little birds;
and wherever a stream runs, or a rill trickles, he builds a fountain
for his fellow-creature, to arrest and catch the vagrant current, that
not a drop of the fluid should be wasted. These small fountains are
numerous, and frequently executed with care and skill. They are usually
fronted or backed with a slab of marble, ornamented with Turkish
sculpture, and inscribed with some sentence from the Koran, inculcating
practical charity and benevolence. The beneficent man at whose
expense this is done, never allows his own name to make part of the
inscription. A Turk has no ostentation in his charity; his favourite
proverb is, “Do good, and throw it into the sea; and if the fish do not
see it, Allah will.”

Among the many fountains which adorn the city, there are two on which
the Turks seem to have exerted all their skill in sculpture. One in
Constantinople near the Babu Hummayoun, or “the Great Gate of the
Seraglio.” The other in Pera, near _Tophana_, or the “canon foundry.”
They are beautiful specimens of the Arabesque, and highly decorated.
That at Tophana, represented in the illustration, is particularly so.
It is a square edifice with far-projecting cornices, surmounted by a
balustrade along the four façades. These last are covered over with a
profusion of sculpture, and every compartment, formed by the moulding,
is filled with sentences from the Koran, and poetical quotations from
Turkish, Persian, and Arabic authors. The following is a translation of
some of the inscriptions. It was erected in 1732.

  “This fountain descended from heaven−-erected in this suitable
  place, dispenses its salutary waters on every side by ten
  thousand channels.”

  “Its pure and lucid streams attest its salubrity, and
  its transparent current has acquired for it an universal

  “As long as Allah causes a drop of rain to descend into its
  reservoir, the happy people who participate in its inestimable
  benefits, shall waft praises of its virtues to that sky from
  whence it came down.”

  “It should be our prayer that the justice of a merciful God
  should reward with happiness the author of this benevolent
  undertaking, and have his deed handed down to a never-ending

  “This exquisite work is before Allah a deed of high merit, and
  indicates the piety of the Sultan Mahmoud.”−-1145.

The whole of the water department is under the direction of the _Sou
Nazir_, or, “_president of water,_” who has under him the _Sou Ioldgi_,
or “water engineers,” and the _Sacgees_, or “watermen.” The business
of the first is to watch that the Bendts, &c. receive no damage, and
are in constant repair; the second distributes the water over the city.
They are supplied with leathern sacks, broad at one end and narrow
at the other, somewhat like churns, and closed at the mouth with a
leather strap; when it is filled at a fountain, it is thrown across the
Sacgee’s back, the broad end resting on his hip, and the narrow on his
shoulder; when he empties it, he opens the flap, stoops his head, and
the water is discharged into some recipient. There are generally in
every hall two vessels sunk in the ground, and covered with a stopper.
These the Sacgee fills every day, and receives for his trouble about
two paras, or half a farthing.

Around the fountain is the great market, the most busy and populous
spot on the peninsula of Pera. It is held between the gate of Galata
on one side, and the manufactory of pipes on the other: above is
the descent from Pera to the Bosphorus, and below the crowded place
of embarkation, so that the confluence of people from these several
resorts, creates an almost impassable crowd. Among the articles
of sale, the most numerous and conspicuous are usually gourds and
melons, of which there are more than twenty kinds, called by the Greek
_Kolokithia_, and by the Turk _Cavac_. They are piled in large heaps,
in their season, to the height of 10 or 15 feet. Some of them are of
immense size, of a pure white, and look like enormous snow-balls−-they
are used for soups: others are long and slender−-the pulp is thrust
out, and the cavity filled with forced-meat. This is called _Dolma_,
and is so favourite a dish, that a large valley on the Bosphorus is
called _Dolma Bactche_, or the gourd garden, from its cultivation.
Another is perfectly spherical, and called _Carpoos_. It contains a
rich red pulp, and a copious and cooling juice, and is eaten raw. A
hummal, or porter, may be seen, occasionally, tottering up the streets
of Pera, sinking under the weight of an incredible load, and overcome
by the heat of a burning sun. His remedy for fatigue is a slice of
melon, which refreshes him so effectually, that he is instantly
enabled to pursue his toilsome journey. The Turkish mode of carrying
planks through their streets is attended with serious inconvenience to
passengers. The boards are attached to the sides of a horse in such a
manner, extending from side to side of the narrow streets, that they
cannot fail of crushing or fracturing the legs of the inexperienced or
inactive that happen to meet them. Neither are the dogs, nor their most
frequent attitude, forgotten in our illustration. The market-place is
their constant resort: there they quarrel for the offals; and a Frank,
whose business leads him to that quarter, has reason to congratulate
himself, if he shall escape the blow of a plank from the passing horse,
or the laceration of his flesh by an irritated dog.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. R. Smith.



The supposed origin of the Bosphorus is connected with the most awful
phenomena of nature; and the lovely strait, which now combines all that
is beautiful and romantic, grateful to the eye, and soothing to the
mind, owes its existence to all that is fearful and tremendous.−-At
its eastern extremity, and above the level of the Mediterranean, there
existed an inland sea, covering vast plains with a wide expanse of
waters, several thousand miles in circumference. By a sudden rupture,
it is supposed, an opening was made, through which the waters rushed,
and inundated the subjacent countries. For this supposition there are
strong foundations of probability. The comparatively small sheets of
water now partially occupying the space which the greater sea once
covered, under the names of the Euxine, Azoph, Caspian, and Aral
seas, are only the deeper pools of this great fountain, which has, in
a succession of ages, been drained off, leaving the shallower parts
dry land, with all the marks of an alluvial soil. The spot where the
great rupture is supposed to have taken place is indicated by volcanic
remains: basalt, scoriæ, and other debris of calcination, lying all
around. The strait itself bears all the marks of a chasm violently torn
open, the projections of one shore corresponding to the indentations of
the other, and the similar strata of both being at equal elevations,
while the bottom is a succession of descents, over which the water
still tumbles with the rapidity of a cataract. The opinions of
antiquaries accord with natural appearances. The first land which this
mighty inundation encountered was the continent of Greece, over which
it swept with irresistible force. Tradition has handed down to us the
flood of Deucalion; and ancient writings have assigned as its cause,
“the rupture of the Cyanean rocks:” so that both poets and historians
concur in preserving the memory of this awful event.

After the first effects of this inundation had ceased, a current was
still propelled by the Danube, the Borysthenes, and other great rivers,
which pour their copious streams into the Euxine, and have no other
outlet: hence it still runs down with considerable velocity. In some
places, where the convulsion seems to have left the bottom like steps
of stairs, this is dangerously increased. It is possible that the
continued attrition of the water, for thousands of years over this
rocky surface, has worn it down to a more uniform level; still three
cataracts remain, one is called _shetan akindisi_, or “the devil’s
current:” it is necessary, from its laborious ascent, to haul ships up
against it with considerable toil. To the ancients it was accounted a
perilous navigation, when the broken ledges were still more abrupt.
Among the acts of daring intrepidity was deemed the navigation of this
strait. Hence Horace says−-

  “To the mad Bosphorus my bark I’ll guide,
  And tempt the terrors of its raging tide.”

There is not a promontory or recess in all its windings, that is
not hallowed by the recollection of either fictitious mythology or
authentic history. The ancient name of Bosphorus signifies “the
traject of the ox;” the passage being so narrow that such animals swam
across it, and hence it is sometimes spelled Bosporos. But the fanciful
mythology of the Greeks assigned a more poetic derivation of the name.
They assert that Iö, having assumed the form of a cow, to escape the
vigilance of Juno, in her solitary wanderings swam across this strait,
and consigned to fame the tradition of the event by the name it bears.
One promontory preserves the name of Jason, who landed there in his
bold attempt to explore the unknown recesses of the Euxine. Another
retains that of Medea, for there she dispensed her youth-giving drugs,
and conferred upon the place that reputation of salubrity which still
distinguishes it. The narrow pass, that divided Europe from Asia, was
also the transit chosen by great armies. Here Darius crossed, when
the hosts of Asia first poured into Europe, and the rage of conquest
led the gorgeous monarch of the East, from the luxuries and splendour
of his own court, to penetrate into the rude and barbarous haunts of
the wandering Scythians. Here it was that Xenophon, and his intrepid
handful of Greeks, crossed over, to return to their own country.
Here it was that the Christian crusaders embarked their armies, to
rescue the holy sepulchre from the infidels; and here it was that the
infidels, in return, entered Europe, and destroyed the mighty Christian
empire of the East.

The accompanying illustration exhibits the scene of these events, and
so commemorates the deeds of remote and recent ages. The strait is here
not more than seven stadia, or furlongs, across; and, as Pliny truly
says, “You can hear in one orb of the earth, the dogs bark and the
birds sing in the other; and may hold conversation from shore to shore
when the sound is not dispersed by the wind.” In particular seasons,
during the migration of fish, boats are seen, extending in a continued
line, and forming a bridge from side to side. The rock on which Darius
sat is still pointed out; and, if a stranger occupy the rude seat at
such a moment, it will powerfully recall to his imagination those times
when mighty armies crossed and recrossed on a similar fragile footing.

The events connected with Roumeli Hissar, or the Castle of Europe,
are of surpassing interest. When the fierce Mahomet determined to
extinguish the feeble Roman empire, and transfer the Moslem capital to
a Christian soil, he found two dilapidated towers, one in Asia, and the
other in Europe, which had been suffered to fall into utter decay. He
re-edified that on the Asiatic shore, and, having been allowed to do
this without opposition, crossed over and rebuilt the European castle
also, so as completely to command the navigation of the straits, by
occupying two forts on the most prominent points of the nearest parts
of it. When the emperor remonstrated against this violation of his
territory, he was tauntingly but fiercely answered, that “since the
Greeks were not able to protect their own possessions, he would do it
for them;” and he threatened to slay alive the next person who came
to remonstrate. To establish his usurped right, he prohibited the
navigation of the strait by foreigners. The Venetians refused to comply
with this arbitrary mandate, and attempted to pass; but their vessel
was struck by a ball from one of those enormous cannon which Mahomet
had caused to be cast for the destruction of the Greek empire: the crew
were beheaded, and their bodies hung out of the castle, to deter others
from similar attempts. The castle was thence called _Chocsecen_, “the
amputator of heads;” and such is the immutability of Turkish ferocity,
that, with reason, it retains the name at this day.

Roumeli Hissar consists of five round towers, connected by massive
embattled walls, ascending the slope of the hill. It is now useless as
a fortress, but is applied to other more characteristic and equally
important Turkish purposes. In the wall which fronts the Bosphorus,
there is a low doorway concealed behind a large platanus: this is the
postern of death. The fortress had for many years been converted into
a prison, and may well bear the inscription which Dante read on the
infernal portals,

  “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate.”

No prisoner is ever known to repass the gate of death; hence the Turks
call their dismal fortress, the “towers of oblivion,” adopting the
appellation given to them under the despotism of the Greek empire, when
the castles were named “Lethé,” and for a similar reason.

During the struggles of the present sultan with the janissaries, it
was his constant practice to have his opponents secretly arrested,
and conveyed to this place. Every morning some Oda missed their old
officers. They had been conveyed to this place after it was dark,
entered the low doorway, and were seen no more. During this period,
some Franks, who had taken a caïque to Buyukderé, where they were
detained longer than they intended, were returning late. Boats are
not permitted to pass the fortresses after sunset, and the signal-gun
is fired: so they had to make their way secretly along, under cover
of the shore. When arrived near the castles, they saw a large caïque
advancing from Constantinople, and, to avoid detection, remained close
under a rock, not far from the fatal gate. The strange boat approached,
and landed just before it. Two distinguished-looking men, wrapped up
in their pelisses, disembarked; they were held up by the arm on each
side. One of them passed on in silence; the other sighed heavily as he
approached, turned round, and seemed to cast a lingering look upon the
world he was about to leave for ever. He then stooped his head, and
disappeared, with his more impassive companion, under the fatal arch;
the gate, groaning on its rusty hinges, closed behind them. The caïque
returned immediately to Constantinople. The Franks then slipped past,
and arrived without being stopped. The next morning it was known that
two Binbashis, or colonels, who had great influence on their respective
Odas, and strongly opposed the nizam geddite, were missing. They never

The navigation of the Bosphorus is the most lovely that ever invited a
sail. Its length, in all its windings, is fifteen miles; and when the
caïque glides down with the current, there is something exquisitely
beautiful and grateful to the senses in every thing around. Nothing
can exceed, in picturesque scenery, the whole coast on each side.
It affords a continued succession of romantic wooded promontories,
projecting into the stream, and presenting, at every winding of the
strait, new and diversified objects. As you pass each headland, some
placid bay opens to your view, in whose bosom a shaded village reposes.
These are so numerous, that twenty-six occur from the Euxine to the
Propontis; and in one line of coast there is a continuity of houses
for six miles. From the centre of each village an enormous platanus
generally rears its lofty head, and expands its wide extent of foliage:
round its gigantic stem the houses are clustered, over which it forms a
vast canopy, so that large villages are often covered with the shade of
a single tree.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. C. Bentley.


Among the first objects that present themselves to a stranger entering
Turkey, are the groves of cypress extending in dark masses along the
shores. These are the last resting-places of the Turks; and their sad
and solemn shade, far more gloomy than any which Christian usage has
adopted, informs the traveller that he is now among a grave and serious
people. The Turks permit the Jews, Armenians, Greeks, and Franks to
plant their cemeteries with other trees, but reserve the cypress
exclusively to themselves.

The cypress has, from early ages, been a funereal tree; the ancient
Greeks and Romans so considered it; and the Turks, when they entered
Europe, adopted it. Its solemn shade casting a dim religious light
over the tombs it covers−-its aromatic resin exuding from the bark,
and correcting by its powerful odour the cadaverous smell exhaled
from dissolving mortality−-and, above all, its evergreen and unfading
foliage, exhibiting an emblem of the immortal part, when the body below
has mouldered into dust and perished,−-have all recommended it to the
Mussulman, and made it the object of his peculiar care.

It is an Oriental practice, to plant a tree at the birth, and another
at the death, of any member of a family. When one, therefore, is
deposited in the earth, the surviving relatives place a cypress at the
foot, while a stone marks the head of the grave; and the pious son,
whose birth his father had commemorated by a platanus, is now seen
carefully watering the young tree which is to preserve the undying
recollection of his parent. Thus it is that the cemetery extends by
constant renovation. Whether it is that the soil is naturally congenial
to these trees, or that it is enriched by the use to which it is
applied, it is certain the cypress attains to majesty and beauty in
these cemeteries, which are seen nowhere else; their stems measuring
an immense circumference, and their pointed summits seeming to pierce
the clouds, exhibit them as magnificent specimens of vegetable life.
Sometimes they assume a different form, and the branches, shooting out
horizontally, extend a lateral shade. These varieties have been by
travellers mistaken for pines, which the Turks never admit into their

But of all “the cities of the dead” in the Turkish empire, that of
Scutari in Asia, at the mouth of the Bosphorus, is perhaps the most
striking and extensive. It stretches up an inclined plain, clothing
it with its dark foliage, like a vast pall thrown over the departed.
It extends for more than three miles, and, like a large forest, is
pierced by various avenues, leading to different places. Such is its
size, that it is said the area it encloses would supply the city with
corn, and the stones which mark its graves would rebuild the walls.
Among the causes assigned for this increase, one is, that two persons
are never buried in the same spot, so the graves are constantly
expanding on every side; another, a prepossession unalterably fixed in
the mind of a Turk: he considers himself a stranger and sojourner in
Europe, and the Moslem of Constantinople turns his last lingering look
to this Asiatic cemetery, where his remains will not be disturbed, when
the Giaour regains possession of his European city; an event which he
is firmly persuaded will sometime come to pass. Thus the dying Turk
feels a yearning for his native soil; like Joseph in the land of Egypt,
he exacts a promise from his people that “they would carry his bones
hence,” and, like Jacob, says, “bury me in my grave which I have in the
land of Canaan.”

Among the objects which distinguish a Turkish necropolis, is the
stone placed to mark the grave. The island of Marmora, contiguous to
the city, affords an inexhaustible supply of marble at a cheap rate,
so that the humblest head-stones are of this valuable material. They
are shaped into rude representations of the human form, surmounted
by a head covered with a turban, the fashion of which indicates the
rank and quality of the person: on the bust of the pillar is an
Arabic inscription, containing the name of the deceased, without any
enumeration of his virtues: the Turks never indulge in such panegyrics:
the letters are in high relief, generally gilded with such skill, that
they remain a long time as perfect and beautiful as embossed gold. The
stones which designate the graves of women have no such distinction:
they are marked with a lotus leaf, and surmounted with a knob like
a nail, and this is said to be an intimation of the disbelief in
the immortality of a female’s soul, as connected with their want of

Notwithstanding the doubt thrown upon the subject, the living female
supposes that, in this life at least, she is permitted to hold
communication with those who have passed to another, and render such
service as may please them. In our illustration, a woman is represented
enveloped in her yasmak and feridgē, performing this duty. On the
grave is usually a trough or cavity, for the reception of plants or
flowers, offerings of pious affection to the dead. Sometimes lattices
of gilt wire form aviaries over the grave of a beloved person. Flowers
and birds are among the elegant and innocent enjoyments of a Turk; and
the amiable superstition of the survivor hopes to gratify her departed
friend by the odour of one and the song of the other, even in his grave.

In the distance is a Turkish funeral, winding its ways through the
solitude of this cypress forest. It is a group of men, for such
processions are rarely attended by women, except those hired to lament
the dead: as it is a belief that the body is sentient after death, and
suffers torment till committed to the repose of the tomb, funerals are
generally hurried, and sometimes with indecent haste: so, in this as in
other things, the Turk is entirely opposed to European habits; the only
hurry in which he is ever seen, is when going to his grave.

[Illustration: T. Allom. E. Challis.



The shores of the Black Sea, among the forest-covered ramifications of
the great Balkan, is a region of constant showers and copious streams,
filling, naturally, small reservoirs in the mountains. Wherever such
rills poured down, and became confluent, they were stopped by a
mound thrown across the valley, and in this way formed into various
triangular lakes at an elevation above the summit-level of the city.
These reservoirs, called _Hydralea_, were highly prized by the Greek
emperors. The embankments were faced with marble, adorned with
sculpture, and dignified by the name of the sovereign who formed them.
They were deemed so sacred, and of such vital importance to the city,
that severe edicts were enacted to preserve them; some regulating the
planting of trees, some the abstraction of water, and one exacting a
penalty of an ounce of gold for every ounce of the crystal fluid. As
water is more precious to the Turks than it was to the Greeks, they
watch these reservoirs with even more anxiety and vigilant precaution.
They call them _Bendts_, and have increased the number left by the
Roman emperors. One of the largest and most magnificent is called
_Valadi_ Bendt, from the mother of the present sovereign, at whose
expense it was erected.

From these reservoirs the water is conducted by pipes, formed of
cylindrical tiles jointed together, and so conveyed to the city
a distance of about fifteen miles. The ravines, that break the
intervening country, are crossed by aqueducts, some of vast dimensions,
striding the valleys, and towering above the forests. They are
whitewashed at stated intervals, and form striking objects in distant
prospects, strongly relieved by the dark woods above which they rise.
One of them terminates the view up the great valley of Buyukderé, and
seems, to mariners passing on the Bosphorus, like the battlements of a
large city, on the distant horizon.

Besides these, there are others of more peculiar structure. They are
insulated hydraulic pillars, called _Souterrais_, standing in long
rows, like slender square castles or watch-towers. The water ascends
one side of each, is received into a small square reservoir on the
summit, and from thence descends the other. It climbs the next in
a similar manner; and by this contrivance, for which the Turks are
indebted to the Arabs, the vast expense of aqueducts is saved, and the
water conveyed by many channels over various hills and valleys, in
continued and never-ceasing streams, to its magnificent reservoirs in
the city.

When the water arrived here, it had the same irregularity of surface
to oppose, its seven hills to surmount, and seven valleys between
them to cross. This was effected by a second series of aqueducts,
which are described by the Byzantine historians with all the inflated
language of astonishment. They are represented as “subterranean rivers”
conducted through the air over the city, while the people gaze in
wonder from below. Of these, but one remains to attest what they were.
This is the aqueduct of Valens, stretching from hill to hill, and
seen in almost every direction. Its erection was the completion of a
singular prophecy: On the ramparts of Chalcedon was found a stone with
an occult inscription, implying that “the walls of the city should
bring water to Constantinople.” To extend these walls across the sea,
seemed altogether an impossibility, and the oracular announcement was
despised. But Chalcedon having incurred the resentment of the emperor,
its walls were pulled down, the stones conveyed to Constantinople for
building, and, among other erections formed of them, was the aqueduct
of Valens, thereby accomplishing the oracle.

By means of this aqueduct, the waters were deposited in various
cisterns; some open, and some covered, so that the whole city
was excavated into exposed or subterranean reservoirs. One great
inconvenience attended those that were exposed. The city and vicinity
of Constantinople abounded in storks; they were supposed to convey
serpents, and drop them in the water, by which it was poisoned,
and rendered fatal to those who drank it. The celebrated impostor
Apollonius of Tyana, who was reputed to work such powerful miracles,
was applied to, by the reigning emperor, for a remedy. By his
directions, a pillar called Pelargonium was erected, on the summit of
which were three storks fronting each other; and by this talisman the
kindred birds were immediately expelled the city, and the salubrity of
the waters restored. To commemorate the event, the following epigram
was inscribed on the base of the pillar.

  On sculptur’d column stands the mystic charm,
  And guards the fainting citizens from harm.
  Far fly the storks, to seek the distant wood;
  And snakes no longer taint the wholesome flood.

These cisterns were afterwards filled up with earth, and are now
converted into gardens, where the storks, no longer the cause of evil,
are invited to return. The Turks evince a particular attachment for
them, and erect frame-work like cradles on the tops of their houses,
which the birds inhabit and breed in.

Of the covered cisterns, but two remain. One is called _Yéré Batan
Seraï_, or the “Subterranean palace,” and is still filled with water.
It resembles a vast subterranean lake, out of which issue rows of
336 marble pillars, of various orders of architecture, supporting
an arched roof. The memory of this magnificent watering-palace was
altogether lost; the streets passed over it, and the houses above were
supplied from it with water, while the inhabitants knew not whence it
came. After it had remained unknown to the Turks since the capture of
Constantinople, it was discovered by Gillius more than three hundred
years ago. A second time it fell into oblivion among this incurious
people, till it was searched for, and again found a few years since.
It was formerly in total darkness, but part of the wall has fallen
down, and sufficient light is admitted to examine it. A boat, or raft,
is moored to one of the pillars, in which strangers are permitted to
embark, and explore its dim recesses; and marvellous stories are told
by the Turks of the fatal end of those bold adventurers.

The second cistern is no longer employed as a reservoir for water.
It lies beneath an open area in the vicinity of the Atmeidan, and
is converted into a silk manufactory by a number of industrious
Jews and Armenians. The Turks have named this subterranean palace
_Bin-bir-derek_, in allusion to its supposed original number of
columns, 1001, although 212 are all that can now be distinguished.
Each column is said to consist of three shafts with their respective
capitals, but the lowest is, at present, buried beneath the material
of the flooring. The whole enclosed area occupies 20,000 square feet,
and is capable of containing 1,237,000 cubic feet of water, a quantity
sufficient to supply the population of Constantinople for fifteen days.

The pillars of this cistern are distinguished by monograms deeply cut
on the shafts and capitals, like hieroglyphics on an Egyptian obelisk,
and so obscure as equally to puzzle the learned. One of them consists
of the Greek initials for _Euge philoxene_, “Hail, thou strangers’
friend.” This cistern, under the Greek empire, was decreed to be public
for the use of all strangers, and was therefore called _philoxenos_.

[Illustration: T. Allom. H. Adlard.



The Franks have so changed the terms of the Turkish language, that they
are hardly to be recognized. _Moslem_, which signifies a “professor of
the true faith,” they have corrupted into _Mussulman_; _and Mesjid_,
the temple in which he worshipped, into _mosque!_

When the Turks appropriated to themselves the great Christian church
of Santa Sophia, they made it the model of all their future religious
edifices. The general outline is a Greek cross, enclosed in a
quadrangle. This is surmounted with a large dome in the centre, to
represent, as the modern Greeks say, the great wound in our Saviour’s
side; the four smaller domes at the angles, depicting the smaller
wounds in his hands and feet. This form the Turks usually observe,
without any reference to its origin; but they have added members
peculiar to themselves. They hold bells in abhorrence, and invite their
congregations to prayer by the human voice only. For this purpose
certain slender towers shoot up from the angles of the edifice,
where the _Muezzim_ ascends by interior stairs, and from a circular
gallery round the shaft calls together the faithful. These towers are
denominated _Menar_ or _Minareh_, an Arabic word which signifies a
“beacon or light-house” to guide the true believer. The Muezzim puts
his hands behind his ears, and from the hollow of his palms shouts out
his invitation, walking round and repeating to the four points of the
compass, “There is but one God, and Mohammed is his prophet:−-come to
prayers−-come to salvation.” This cry, called the _Ezan,_ is repeated
five times a day at regular intervals; and as it issues from every
minaret, and perhaps two thousand mouths at the same moment, it fills
all the air with a solemn and supernatural sound, and regulates all the
arrangements of the people, who have no public clocks to direct them.
Besides the common mosque of the city, there are thirteen eminently
distinguished. They are called _Djami Selatyn_, or “Imperial mosques,”
because they have been erected by some sultan as the highest act of
piety. They are always distinguished by their magnitude, magnificence,
and the number and beauty of their minarets. While the smaller mosques
have but one, they have never less than two, and generally four. But of
all these Djami, that erected by Soliman II. is the most splendid among
the mosques, as its founder was among the sultans. He was called “the
magnificent,” and his temple justifies the appellation. The Christian
church of Saint Euphemia, at Chalcedon, in which the grand council had
been held, was celebrated for its size and architectural ornaments.
It contained on that memorable occasion 630 bishops in its nave, and
was the most distinguished of Christian churches after Santa Sophia:
when that edifice was dedicated to the Prophet by his predecessor,
Soliman could not appropriate any of its parts to his new erection; so
he dilapidated the church of St. Euphemia for the purpose, and built
his mosque with its materials. It was commenced in 1550, and took five
years to build it.

It would be difficult to convey, by any description, a perfect idea of
a building so vast and complicated. A notice of its prominent features
must suffice. It is a quadrangle, 234 feet long, and 227 wide. The
great dome by which the edifice is surmounted, is flanked or supported
by two hemispheres, one on each side, and over each aisle are four
smaller ones. A broad flight of marble steps leads to the great door,
before which is a façade, which particularly distinguishes this temple.
It consists of six pillars of Egyptian porphyry, of immense size and
singular beauty. Attached to the edifice are four minarets in front
and rear, having galleries ornamented with tracery; and by a singular
irregularity, two, having but two galleries, are shorter than the
others which have three. Beside it are splendid mausolea, surmounted
with domes, under which repose the bodies of the founder and his
Sultana. At the head stands a knob covered with his turban, richly
ornamented with precious stones, and near it is suspended the Alcoran,
from which an Imaum reads a daily portion, for the consolation of him
whose ashes repose in the tomb, and who is supposed to hear it. Over
one of the gates is an inscription recording its erection. It states
that it was built by “the glorious Vicar of Allah, existing by the
authority of the mystic Koran, the tenth of the Ottoman emperors, for
the faithful people who served the Lord.” It concludes with a prayer,
“That the imperial race may never be interrupted on earth, and enjoy
eternal delights prepared in paradise.”

This mosque, like most others, is surrounded by two areas; one of
which, planted with trees, is a common thoroughfare usually filled with
groups of people. Here soldiers sometimes encamp, and men of war pitch
their tents within the precincts of the mussulman’s God of peace. Here,
also, small merchants expose their wares, and no one casts out those
who “buy and sell.” Here even a Giaour may pass unobstructed, and the
infidel hat be seen mixed with the sacred turban.

[Illustration: T. Allom. E. Goodall.


The monarch who erected this mosque, ascended the throne in the year
1603, and at the age of fifteen. He was immediately afterwards seized
with the small-pox, and, in order that the janissaries might not avail
themselves of his illness, he caused his own brother to be strangled,
having first put out his eyes. His object was to deprive the turbulent
soldiers of every pretext for dethroning him, as they were disposed to
do, when there existed no another of the line of Mohammed to succeed
him. His next act was to build a mosque, as fratricide is no impediment
to Turkish piety; and it is remarkable, that in this mosque, two
centuries afterwards, was the utter extirpation of these janissaries

He was determined that it should exceed in beauty that of Santa Sophia,
or the great Solimanie, so he ordered that it should be distinguished
by six minarets. When this design was communicated to the Mufti, he
represented to the Sultan the impiety of such an act, as the mosque of
the Prophet at Mecca had but four, and no sacred edifice since built
had presumed to exceed that number. Achmet assured the Mufti that he
must be mistaken, and immediately summoned a Hadgee, who had just made
the pilgrimage to Mecca, into his presence, who affirmed that he had
himself seen and reckoned the six minarets; and, to satisfy entirely
the Mufti’s scruples, a caravan of pilgrims were directed to proceed to
the tomb and temple of the Prophet, and make their report. Meantime the
Sultan despatched a Tatar, who was to travel night and day, with orders
to the Sheik Islam, that two new minarets should be immediately added
to the temple; and when the slow caravan arrived, they found the number
to be what the Sultan had stated−-and reported accordingly. Achmet now
pushed on his building with indefatigable activity, and in order to
expedite it, he worked at it himself with his own hands, devoting one
hour every Friday after prayers to the employment, and then paid his
fellow-workmen, every man his wages, in order by his personal example
to stimulate their exertions.

The site he selected was the most admirable and commanding which the
city afforded. It forms one side of the Atmeidan, and is separated only
by an open screen from this extensive area, one of the few open spaces
within the walls of Constantinople. From this it is seen to great
advantage on one side; while on the other, towering over the gardens of
the Seraglio, and surmounting the lofty hill on which it stands, it is
the most conspicuous object presented to a stranger approaching from
the Sea of Marmora, and gives the first and most favourable view of
those imperial edifices. The materials selected were of the most costly
kind, in so much, that it is affirmed that every stone in the edifice
cost three aspers. It stands in an open space, which forms round it an
extensive ambulatory, from the latter of which the edifice arises, and
is seen to more advantage than any other in the city.

The first objects that strike the spectator are the six beautiful
minarets, with their elegant and slender forms ascending to an immense
height, and seeming as it were to pierce the clouds with their
sharp-pointed cones. Round each run three capitals or galleries for the
Muezzim, highly ornamented in fretted arabesque. Above these appears
the majestic edifice swelling into domes and cupolas, and covered
with light tracery and fancy fretwork, forming a strong contrast
to the comparatively heavy, dark, and dismal dome of Santa Sophia,
which rises at no great distance beside. This juxtaposition strikes a
stranger. He sees with surprise that the genius of a dull and ignorant
Turk should produce an edifice so superior in beauty and elegance to
this chef-d’œuvre of Grecian art. Architects of that nation had been
employed in erecting the imperial mosque of Mohammed II. and Selim II.,
but this of Achmet is exclusively Turkish or Arabic architecture.

The summit of the edifice is distinguished by thirty cupolas, from
whence ascends the great dome, flanked by four semi-domes. The mosque
is entered by massive brazen gates, embossed in high relief, and
the interior presents a view of the dome supported by four gigantic
columns, fluted and filleted, round which are inscribed, in bands,
sentences from the Koran. The walls are richly painted in fresco
with more variety than regularity, and gilded tablets on them every
where display Arabic inscriptions. The light is admitted by windows
of stained glass, thickly studded in small compartments, which look
exceedingly rich, casting a soothing and a religious, but yet ample
light; for this mosque is distinguished above all others in this
respect, that by the construction and arrangement of the casements, the
interior is fully illuminated, which forms a strong contrast to the dim
and doubtful twilight admitted into most other religious edifices of
the East.

Between the pillars is a large circle of wire-suspended lamps, which
does not add to the general effect; globes of glass, ostrich eggs, and
other frivolous and mean ornaments, frequently deform the interior of
those noble buildings, and mark the genius of a Turk−-at once puerile
and magnificent. There is, in other respects, a noble simplicity, a
naked grandeur, well befitting a worship from which all idolatrous
representations are excluded. The interior of a mosque resembles
the nave and transept of St. Paul’s, with the exception of its
statues−-grand and noble by its vastness and vacuity.

The occasion chosen by the artist, in the illustration, exhibits a
display of the most important circumstance that has occurred since the
Osmanli established themselves in Europe. It was the moment when it
was to be decided, whether they should remain the rude and obstinate
barbarians that first crossed the Hellespont, or be illumined by
the lights and amalgamated with the nations of Europe, and when the
reforming Sultan, struggling for life and empire, was compelled to
have recourse to the last expedient left him. The janissaries having
the whole population of the city entangled in their connexion, and
enlisting all its prejudices on their side, were accumulating such a
vast force, as would soon bear down all opposition: but Mahmoud, at
once, determined on that course which could alone counteract their
influence. He ordered the _Sandjak sheriff_, or sacred standard of the
Prophet, to be taken from its repository in the imperial treasury.
This sacred object was only seen on the most solemn and important
occasions, and was now, for the first time for half a century,
exhibited, and brought with great pomp to the mosque of Achmet. When
this was rumoured abroad, there was no man who professed the true
faith, that dared to resist the call: thousands and tens of thousands
were seen rushing from all quarters to this temple; and when it was
filled by the multitude, the standard was displayed from the lofty
pulpit of the Imaum. On the steps stood the Sultan, exhorting the
people, by the faith they owed the Prophet, now to rally round the
sacred ensign. A deep murmur of assent, the strongest display of
Turkish feeling and determination, filled the lofty dome. They all fell
prostrate in confirmation of their resolve, and from that moment the
cause of the janissaries became desperate.

[Illustration: T. Allom. R. Sands.


Tophana literally signifies, the place where cannon are deposited, and
here are the great foundry and arsenal where they are made and laid up.
This establishment is represented on the right of the illustration,
by an edifice with pointed windows, admitting light through a number
of apertures, and having its roof crowned with cupolas. In front is
a spacious quay, constructed along the Bosphorus, and always lined
with several ranges of ordnance, which are here scaled and proved, and
occasionally used on days of rejoicing, like those formerly on the
Tower-wharf at London. There is nothing, perhaps, in which a Turk more
delights, than in the discharge of a cannon. It is, therefore, the
sound that is heard every day, and almost all day long. It announces
the rising and setting of the sun; the birth of a child, and the death
of a traitor; the movement of the Sultan in all directions; the opening
and closing of the Ramazan and Bayram, and other religious periods.
In time of war, the arrival of noses and ears to be piled at the
gate of the seraglio, is proclaimed by these cannon; and on occasion
of any success, however trifling, the two peninsulas of Pera and
Constantinople are shaken to their centre by the explosions.

At the commencement of the Greek revolution, this wharf was nearly
fatal to Pera. One of those fires which so constantly devastate the
city, broke out here, and extended to Tophana. Towards midnight, the
city of Scutari was assailed by showers of balls, and it was instantly
rumoured that the fire was caused by the Greeks, who had seized on this
depôt, and were directing its cannon against different places. This
news was spread to Constantinople, and an immediate insurrection of the
janissaries took place. They rushed down to the water to the number of
10,000, and were about to seize the caïques, and pass over to assist
their countrymen. They had long waited for an opportunity or pretext
for plundering the Greeks; and had this body of exasperated, armed men
rushed into a town on fire at midnight, it is probable that not a Frank
or Greek would have been left alive in “infidel Pera.” Fortunately,
their aga had the water-gates closed in time, and he persuaded them to
wait till messengers were sent over to ascertain the fact. They found
that all the cannon on the wharf had been left loaded with ball, which
the Turks never thought of drawing, and when the fire reached them,
they discharged their balls of themselves, which passed across the
Bosphorus to Scutari on the other side.

Behind the Tophana is the _Eski Djami_, or old mosque, to distinguish
it from the _Yeni Djami_, or new one, lately erected by the present
Sultan in this district; and on the left, crowning the summit of the
hill, are the heights of Pera, covered with the residences of European
ministers and merchants; whose houses, the finest in the city, command
a magnificent view on all sides of the Bosphorus and Sea of Marmora.
These edifices are situated in a street ascending the spine of a ridge,
like the High-street of Edinburgh, and approached only by steep narrow
passages, like the Wynds of that town. They are so precipitous, that it
is necessary to form them into broad steps, to enable a passenger to
reach the top.

The Turks are not fond of multiplying names, so they often make one
serve for a whole district. Tophana, therefore, includes a large space,
altogether unconnected with the cannon foundry. At the base of Pera
hill is a low alluvial flat, once overflowed, perhaps, by the waters
of the Bosphorus. This has been enlarged by casting upon it all the
offals of the cities of Pera and Galata, so that it has encroached upon
the harbour. Here are heaps and hillocks of all manner of decaying
vegetable and animal substances, festering and dissolving, which
continually exhale a cadaverous odour. This attracts the foul animals
of the region; packs of savage dogs like wolves or jackals, flocks of
kites and vultures in their season, and at all times flights of gulls
and cormorants, who almost cover and conceal these heaps with their
multitudes, and deafen the ear with their howling and screaming. When
gorged with their foul meal, these harpies light upon the roofs of
the houses, where they exhibit a singular spectacle−-sleeping off the
effects of repletion, and waiting again to attack their prey. They
enjoy among the Turks such perfect security, that they often light on a
caïque, and dispute the possession of it with the passengers.

But what has rendered Tophana so distinguished is, that it is the great
point of embarkation, either for the Bosphorus or the Sea of Marmora.
In a country where there are no carriages, nor, properly speaking,
roads to run them upon, water is the great medium of conveyance.
This then is the resort of a continual moving mass, of all nations
and costumes. Along the shore, beside a modern slip and platform,
light caïques, and the heavier barges of the Princes’ Islands, are
in constant attendance. Above is a range of coffee-houses, where
the caïquegees sit over their coffee and chiboque till a passenger
appears, and they are invited to attend him. The characteristic
traits of the people are here strongly marked. The Greek, bustling
and shouting, almost forces you into his caïque; the Turk, grave and
decorous, seldom utters a word, but merely points to his boat just
covered with a rich and fresh carpet. A Hadgee, with a green turban,
grey beard, badge, and silver-headed baton, interposes, and lets you
choose for yourself, never giving a preference to his own countrymen.

Among the vessels seen here are those singular ships from the Black
Sea, before mentioned; their lofty prows and sterns, towering above
the water to an extraordinary height, reminding you of the extreme
antiquity of their shape, when

  High on the stern the Thracian raised his strain,
  And Argos saw her kindred trees
  Descend from Pelion to the main.

The bold Argonauts brought the first model of a ship into those remote
waters, where it has ever since been preserved and imitated.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. H. Capone.


At the extremity of the land-wall of Constantinople, where it meets
the sea of Marmora, rises an enclosure flanked by battlemented towers.
It is the first object seen by Frank ships, and thus the stranger is
presented with a prospect that reminds him of the most striking and
singular usage of Turkish despotism. This enclosure, and the towers,
existed under the Greek empire, and were called “Heptapurgon,” from
the number of the castles included. They were first erected by Zeno,
and enclosed by the Comneni, and were employed as a prison for state
offenders. When the Turks took possession of the city, the Sultan
appropriated them as a secure place to deposit his plunder. They
afterwards reconverted them to their original purpose of a state
prison, and added a feature peculiarly their own. The character of an
ambassador, held sacred by all other nations, was here violated. The
first symptoms of a rupture between the Turks and a foreign state, was,
to seize the resident minister, and incarcerate him in this prison;
and the European states, instead of revolting against this barbarous
outrage on the laws of nations, quietly submitted to it, as they did
to the oppression of the Barbary pirates, because each rejoiced, and
felt itself elated, at the degradation of the other. Mr. Beaufeu, a
French minister, confined there, made his escape; and the Sultan was so
enraged, that he immediately caused the governor to be strangled in his
own prison. Since then, the Turks are not disposed to admit strangers,
lest they might discover the secrets of their prison-house. This
barbarous custom continued so late as the year 1784, when the Russian
envoy was sent there, as the first act of hostility. The lights and
usages of civilized Europe began immediately after to dawn on the East.
The just and amiable Selim discontinued the practice, and the present
Sultan has abolished it altogether. It was generally supposed the
custom would be renewed, and the Sultan would think himself justified
in imprisoning the ambassadors of all the powers leagued against him at
Navarino, in retaliation for that wanton and unprovoked attack; but he
suffered them quietly to depart, and set an example of moderation, and
scrupulous regard to the law of nations, which European states might do
well to imitate.

While used as this extraordinary prison, the strangest tales of mystery
were whispered about, and are still told to visitors. A cavity is
shown, called “the well of blood,” which imagination still pictures
as overflowing with human gore, and its stained and darkened sides
countenance the tradition. In another place is “the cavern of the
rock,” where confession was extorted from the unhappy prisoners. A
number of low arches are also pointed out, into which the wretched
victims were compelled to force themselves, too low to admit their
bodies through the aperture, and from whence they could not again
extract them−-and there they were left to perish with hunger. Places,
too, are still shown, where skulls were piled so high as to rise above
the surrounding walls.

The towers were originally seven in number, but are now reduced to
four. Three of them were thrown down by the great earthquake in
1786. They were never rebuilt by the Turks; yet they still call them
“yedde-kule,” or the seven towers. The buildings themselves are
exceedingly unsightly. They are octagonal with conical roofs. The most
conspicuous, represented in the illustration, was somewhat of a better
order. It is that in which the foreign ambassadors were confined, and
the apartments assigned to them were not very inconvenient.

Connected with this edifice was the celebrated “Chrysopule,” or golden
gate, so renowned for its splendour under the Greek empire. It opened
into the area, and was one of the entrances to the Seven Towers. It
was covered with some beautiful sculptures in basso-relievo, which
were considered chef-d’œuvres of art, and among them Venus holding her
torch over the sleeping Adonis, to examine his beauties. Its position
is on the right of the illustration. In the distance is the romantic
archipelago of the Princes’ Islands, on one side, and on the other, the
promontory of Scutari.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. J. Cooke.



It is remarked by travellers, that the Turks pay more attention to the
accommodation of the dead than of the living; and hence the number and
extent of the places they provide for their reception. Their city is
scarcely approached at any side but through receptacles for the dead.
Besides the vast cemetery at Scutari, there are several beyond the
walls of Constantinople; and two, of great extent, on the peninsula of
Pera. The first object of a Turk’s attention, in forming a cemetery,
is a beautiful site; hence they all occupy positions commanding the
best prospect, either of the Bosphorus or the Golden Horn. The isthmus
which connects Pera with the country, is entirely covered with tombs,
where Greeks, Armenians, Franks, and Turks repose in their respective
burying-grounds, which are but continuations one of the other. The Jews
alone preserve their exclusive character, and even in death will not
approximate to other people. Their grave-yard lies at Hasskui, at a
considerable distance. Overhanging the Bosphorus, on the isthmus, is
one great cemetery of the Turks, embosomed in cypress, which the rays
of the sun never penetrate, and resembling in every particular that
at Scutari. On the other side is a second, overhanging the harbour,
and, though called by the French _Petit Champ des Morts_, and by the
English, after them, the “Little Burying-ground,” is of immense extent,
covering an area nearly as great as either of the former. It is not,
however, distinguished by the same solemn characteristics. Lying
between the various suburbs of Pera, it is intersected by avenues,
which are constantly thronged by passengers like public streets; and
this moving picture of life abstracts much from the solemnity of death,
which the secluded solitude of others so strongly impresses. Here it
is, therefore, that Franks often witness the ceremonies of Turkish
funerals, without that intrusion so offensive to Turks in the less
public cemeteries.

Near the centre of the burial-ground is a small edifice, to which the
bodies are brought. Here ablution is performed, and all the decencies
of respect shown to the mortal remains, before they are consigned to
decay. From hence they are removed to the pit prepared for them: they
first burn incense round the spot, to keep off evil spirits; they leave
a small lock of hair on the scalp, and then sew up the body in a sack
of cloth just its length, and open at both ends. A Turk believes that
his corpse will be subject to a strict examination by two angels, to
ascertain his fitness for paradise, and the grave is constructed with
accommodation for the purpose. It is arched overhead, that the body
may have room to sit up; when the angels arrive, they seize him by
the lock of hair, and draw him through the open end of the sack. He
then sits between the examiners, and answers such questions as may be
propounded. The arch is frequently constructed with fragments of marble
pillars, but more usually with the planks of the coffin, which is taken
to pieces for the purpose. The attendants on the funeral quietly sit
round, often smoking their chibouques, and an Imaum sometimes reads a
passage from the Koran. The Turks are particularly anxious that the
tombs be not desecrated, or the posture of the bodies unsettled. They
imagine some part is to remain undecayed, as the nucleus of their
future resurrection. The particular member, called by them al-aïb, is
not yet ascertained by their theologians, and they are careful that no
part be disturbed. The general impression, however, is, that it is that
portion of the pelvis connected with the lower extremity of the spine;
so they are more careful of it after death, than of any other bone in
the body.

This cemetery is marked, like others, by an appearance of great
dilapidation. The marble head-stones are broken; and a negligence is
displayed about their preservation, which one is surprised to see in
the burying-place of an Osmanli. But this is the effect of design. When
the janissaries were extirpated, the vengeance of the Sultan pursued
them even to their tombs. Many of them were reported to be vampires,
their graves were opened, and their bodies pinned to the earth by
stakes, to prevent their rising to suck the blood of the faithful;
while all the emblems that appeared above ground, to designate them,
were destroyed. The stones that marked their graves were distinguished
by their turbans. Even these were decapitated, and the marble heads
cast about the ground, where they now lie.

The views from the different avenues leading through the cemetery, are
very beautiful, particularly the higher part, in so much so, that it
has become the great promenade of the Franks, who here assemble every
evening, to enjoy the air and prospect; and by a singular anomaly, the
cypress shades are converted into myrtle bowers, and gay groups of
laughing Franks desecrate the last resting-place of the solemn Turks.
The dogs, however, avenge this insult to the Moslem graves; there is no
place where these hateful animals give such annoyance. Crouched among
the decaying bodies, and attracted, perhaps, by the foul odour, they
rush furiously at the passing Frank who comes to disturb them. It seems
a strange contradiction in the Turks, that these carnivorous animals
should be permitted to burrow among the remains of the dead, which they
are so anxious to preserve, as the Oriental dogs have been, from the
earliest times, the last consummaters of human vengeance,−-as they are
now of human justice. The bodies of criminals are left weltering in the
streets, with a view that the dogs may tear them. Their howl at night,
issuing from the graves, adds much to the dismal solemnity of the field
of tombs.

The illustration presents a view of a fine fountain. It was surmounted
by a roof of correspondent beauty, but it fell a victim to the great
fire that ravaged Pera in the year 1823, and destroyed all the European
palaces, including the English. Near the fountain is a sacgee, or
water-man, with his leathern vessel, and beside it are women in the
common walking-dress of the country: this consists of a ferridgé and
yasmac; the first is a wide misshapen garment, that totally conceals
the form of the person; and the other is composed of two veils, drawn
over the upper and lower parts of the face, and meeting at the ears,
leaving open a small triangular space, through which the nose and eyes
protrude. In the perspective is, the city of Constantinople, displaying
its most conspicuous objects−-the Mosque of Solimanie, and the Aqueduct
of Valens. In the centre is the new bridge which the sultan has erected
across the harbour.

[Illustration: T. Allom. T. Barber.


This magnificent palace occupies the apex of the triangle on which the
city is built, including nearly the whole of ancient Byzantium. It was
appropriated, under the Greek empire, as a college for the numerous
priests of Santa Sophia, which is close beside it; but when Mahomet
converted that edifice into a mosque, the convent was fixed on as the
site of his own palace, and exceeds in beauty any other spot he could
have chosen, even in his recent conquest. He added new buildings,
and extended its area: his successors made further additions, and it
now includes a space four miles in circumference; washed on one side
by the sea of Marmora, and on the other by the Propontis, while the
rapid current of the Bosphorus sweeps round its walls with a pure
and limpid stream. It is filled with a gorgeous display of palaces,
baths, mosques, kiosks, gardens, and cypress groves, laid out by the
Greeks, and preserved by their Turkish successors. Here is also an
armoury, containing the various weapons used by the crusaders in their
attack on Constantinople; and the library of the Greek emperors, which
was supposed formerly to contain all the classical literature of the
ancient world, and many of the lost works of the classic writers,−-but
it has been explored by Franks, and whatever remains of classical
literature were once there, have now disappeared.

The principal entrance of the Seraglio is on the summit of the hill.
There is the large and lofty gate called Babu Hummayoun, which
literally signifies, “the high door,” and from thence the diplomatic
phrase adopted by the Franks, who call the Turkish government “the
Sublime Porte,” because all political business is supposed to be
here transacted. It was erected by Mahomet II. On each side are deep
niches in the thickness of the wall, and here the heads of inferior
delinquents are exposed. Within is a large area of an irregular shape,
containing the Taraphanay, or mint, built on the site of the Greek
church dedicated to St. Irené. In the centre is a low marble pillar,
destined for the exposure of the heads of pashas, and offenders of
rank in the Turkish empire. Here they are displayed upon a large
dish for the inspection of the curious; while a Bostangee stands by
with a rod, with which he points to each head, and enumerates the
offences of the sufferers. On the wall beside is usually a paper
called a _yafta_, containing the titles of the criminal and other
particulars, all strongly reminding us of the permanency of Oriental
usages. In the first court, though it is thronged with the officers
of the palace, a strict silence prevails, and the breach of it is
attended with corporal chastisement. Passing through this, you enter
the second gate. Here sits the chief executioner with his assistants,
and on the walls are suspended various implements of punishment.
Foreign ambassadors, proceeding to an audience, were formerly delayed
in this spot for a considerable time, as if to exhibit the superiority
of the Osmanli, and proud contempt for the infidels, who were meet
associates for the public executioner of the empire. Beyond this is
a more spacious and secluded court, planted and laid out in walks.
On one side is an extensive range of kitchens, each appropriated to
the respective officers in the seraglio. On the other is the divan,
where the grand council is held, the troops paid, law-suits decided,
and where foreign ambassadors used formerly to be washed, fed, and
clothed, before they were admitted to the presence of the Sultan. It
is a small edifice containing two compartments, surmounted with domes.
Inside are sofas round the walls, which are called _divans_, and hence
the name of the building. Behind, projecting from the wall above, is a
small lattice-work gallery, capable of containing one person, entirely
concealed from view. This has been compared to the Ear of Dionysius,
where the tyrant sits unseen, and hears the opinions of those below.
He sometimes applies his eye to a small aperture, through which it is
seen gleaming like that of a basilisk, fascinating and paralyzing the
speaker on whom it lights.

Beyond this, and opposite the entrance, is the gate represented in our
illustration. It is decorated with the most gorgeous display of Turkish
sculpture, covered with large semicircular projections, supported on
a colonnade of pillars. The embossments are of gold on blue and green
grounds, and the whole is in a style perfectly Oriental. To add to
this effect, the gate is usually thronged with eunuchs, both black and
white. The sallow aspect, beardless chin, and disproportioned bodies
of these creatures, dressed in satin robes of bright green, have an
unnatural appearance that is quite revolting. The time chosen, is a
procession of the grand vizir to visit the Sultan, attended by guards
in the costume of the seraglio. The practice of salutation, by drawing
the hand or garment in the dust, and placing it afterwards on the
forehead, is observed as the vizir is passing. Here it is that the
foreign ambassadors and their suites were seized by the collar, and
dragged, as it were, down the passage leading to the reception-room of
the Sultan. This apartment is dark and mean, dimly lighted by a single
window; and the throne is a dingy platform, very much resembling a
four-post bed.

Beyond this, all is veiled in impenetrable mystery; and no Frank
can enter, except at the hazard of his life. Some travellers have
described the imminent peril they encountered in attempting to explore
these forbidden haunts. From the secrecy observed, many suppose the
word seraglio to be derived from “serrare,” to lock up, but _serai_
signifies simply a palace, or hotel, and is indiscriminately applied
to any large building. Here begins the harem, or women’s apartments,
in which are kept five hundred females, devoted exclusively to the
Sultan’s pleasure. On his accession, he is presented with a number of
virgin slaves, from whom he selects six, called afterwards “Kadina,”
from whom alone are born heirs to his crown; she that first provides
one, obtaining the superiority over the rest, is called “Hassekir
Sultana.” The Sultan uses no such ceremony as throwing his handkerchief
at the female whom he selects; she is simply conducted to him by the
kislar aga, or chief eunuch, when he has made his choice.

From the gardens of the harem, gates open on the sea of Marmora, with
kiosks of various Turkish character. One is the “yali kiosk,” where a
suspected vizir, or other high officer of the seraglio, is ordered to
retire to await his destiny. A venerable man, with a long beard, is
sometimes observed, by passing boats, sitting in this kiosk, smoking
his chibouque. He is a dismissed favourite, quietly waiting his doom;
and when the door opens behind him, does not know whether the chaoush
who appears, is the bearer of a Princess to strangle him, or a
pelisse to invest him with new honours. Near it is a window, from
whence the bodies of the strangled are thrown into the sea at night;
and the number of the victims as they drop into the water, is announced
by a correspondent discharge of the cannon below. The seraglio is
inhabited by six thousand persons, including the corps of bostanjee, or
gardeners, who are distinguished by a very peculiar costume.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. C. Bentley.



This city, sometimes called Boursa, retains, with little corruption,
its primitive name, and commemorates the king of Bithynia more
celebrated for his illustrious guest than for any achievement of
his own. When Hannibal fled from the persecutions of his inveterate
enemies, the Romans, he retired into Bithynia, and was received with
apparent kindness by Prusias, its king. In return for this hospitality,
the accomplished Carthaginian introduced into the more barbarous
regions of his host, the arts and sciences of Tyre and Phœnicia, and,
in the year 220 before Christ, evinced his taste and judgment by
building a city for him on the most beautiful spot that Asia Minor
or any other country could afford, the side of Mount Olympus. The
effeminate Oriental, however, had not the fortitude to continue the
protection he had afforded. Terrified by the threats of the implacable
Romans, he was preparing to surrender his persecuted guest to his
enemies; but he anticipated his intention by poison, which historians
say he carried in his ring for that emergency. He was closely besieged
in a house in Brusa, where he swallowed the draught, and he was buried
in Libyssa on the Propontis, where a monumental tumulus at this day
marks the spot; and the first object a traveller to Brusa sees on
landing, is the last resting-place of its illustrious founder. When he
enters the city, he is shown a fortress, as the military work of that
great master in the art of war, which has stood for 2058 years.

When the crusaders sacked Constantinople, and established their usurped
authority in the capital of the Greek empire, they seized on all its
dependent cities in Asia Minor, and Brusa formed part of the dynasty
of Lascaris. It finally fell into the hands of the Turks when they
expanded themselves over the region of Bythinia in 1327, and Othman
made it the capital of the young Turkish empire. It continued to enjoy
this distinction till the increasing power and ambition of the Osmanli
led them into Europe, and they seized on Constantinople itself. Their
seat of empire was then transferred to the great capital of the Greeks,
and Brusa remained a provincial town.

It has, however, numerous local attractions, which will always render
it a delicious residence to any people; and some of so peculiar a
character, as to endear it particularly to a Turk. It is situated on
the side of a magnificent mountain, embosomed in lofty forests behind,
and having before it, on a gentle declivity, the richest tract in
nature. Issuing above the forest scenery, are conspicuous the abrupt
and rugged ridges of the mighty mountain, covered with eternal snows,
glittering in the sun, and forming a strong contrast with the dark and
dense foliage below them. The rays of summer acting for nine sultry
months on the frozen surface, send down perennial torrents of pure and
limpid water, tumbling over the sides of the mountain in a thousand
streams. As they rush along, some of them are conducted through the
city, and every street is permeated by a meandering rill of the coolest
water, under a heated atmosphere, when the thermometer stands at
96°. From the streets it is led through mosques, bazaars, shops, and
private houses, so that almost every edifice in the city has a marble
reservoir in the centre, where the living waters leap and gurgle, and
beside this the daily repast is spread. After thus imparting freshness
and coolness to the city, the currents ripple into the plains below,
where they form streams and rivulets, giving to the favoured spot
a surprising verdure and fertility, when all beyond is parched and
arid. Nor is this the only recommendation that endears this place to
the followers of the Prophet. Besides these copious means of cold
ablution, there are others which they still more highly prize. In the
midst of those frigid solutions of snow, the soil contains hot water,
which issues forth in strong currents, at a boiling temperature. These
are collected into marble reservoirs of great extent, surmounted with
lofty domes, and forming the most noble baths in the world. With such
local and permanent attractions for a people whose most indispensable
and unremitting duty is washing the body, it is not surprising that
this should escape the fate of other deserted capitals. It has been
remarked “that Nature seems to have created Brusa for the Turks.” It
is, therefore, at this day a more beautiful city than when their sultan
abandoned an Asiatic for an European capital. It is still resorted
to as the most delightful residence in the Turkish dominions; and
many of the sultans, as if to compensate for their abandonment when
living, directed that their bodies should repose here in death. It
is distinguished by many imperial tombs; and among the rest, that of
Orchan, who first penetrated into Europe, but returned here to die.

Brusa stands upon an area of eight miles in circumference, and contains
a population of 75,000 people, of whom 11,000 are Jews, and Christians
of the Greek and Armenian Church. The most striking objects the town
presents are, the mosques and spires, which seem to bear a larger
proportion to the size of the place than in any other Mohammedan city:
some travellers estimate them at 300. In fact, the whole surface seems
swelling into domes, and bristling with tall and taper minarets. The
tree whose foliage gives a distinctive character to the vicinity of the
town is the mulberry, which is every where planted for the nourishment
of silk-worms, the management of which forms the employment of the
whole population. The web manufactured from their spinning is highly
prized; and Brusa silk is not only famous all over the East, but it is
one of those articles which the Asiatic traveller sends home to his
friends among his Oriental curiosities.

But the circumstance which gives Brusa its greatest interest, is
the mighty mountain on whose side it is built. Olympus, which
literally means “all-shining,” was a name by which many mountains
were distinguished amongst the ancients, from their conspicuous
appearance; but it seems to be applied to this vast and glittering
object with peculiar propriety. It stands on a base of seventy miles in
circumference, rising by itself from the plain in single and solitary
grandeur. Situated in the immediate vicinity of Troy, it is by some
supposed the place assigned by Homer,

  “Where Jove convened the senate of the skies;”

and poetic fiction adds its interest to the beauty and magnificence
of nature.[5] Ascending from the city, the traveller penetrates an
immense forest, with trees of surprising magnitude. This is intersected
by ravines of immeasurable depth, and his way leads along the edges
of precipices of awful grandeur. He at length emerges on an extensive
plain of the richest verdure, intersected with considerable rivers,
rushing from the snowy ridges, which now rise before him like a vast
wall. These rivers are distinguished for nourishing fish, which are
nowhere else to be found in Asia Minor: congenial to the cool streams
of this region, they perish and cease to exist when carried down by the
currents into the heated climate below. When the venturous traveller
climbs through the barrier of snow which lies before him, he issues at
length upon a clear and open summit, which the region of snow girdles
as with a broad belt. From the point of this cone, 10,500 feet above
the level of the plain, he commands a magnificent prospect of Asia
and Europe; the Euxine and the Egean, with the strait and seas that
unite them, winding like rivers just below him; and feels that “the
wide-seeing Jupiter” could not have selected a more judicious point
to overlook the affairs of the nether world. A singular object marks
this summit,−-a circle of twelve large stones, resembling what we call
druidical remains; but, from the Oriental region in which they are
found, they recall the memory to the usages of a still more remote
antiquity, when Moses “builded an altar under the hill, and twelve
pillars,” and Joshua set up “twelve stones” in the midst of Jordan, and
ordered twelve more to be carried on men’s shoulders, to be “set up in
their lodging-place.”[6]

The snow of this mountain constitutes a considerable part of the
treasures of the Turkish empire, as it does of its comforts and its
luxuries. It is the exclusive property of the sultan, who farms it out
to tenants, who vend it as more valuable than any produce of the soil.
They are bound to supply the seraglio with a certain quantity, and the
rest is disposed of to the population of Constantinople. It is sent
down from the mountains cut into cuneiform wedges, and packed in felt,
and caravans of mules are continually descending with such loads.
It is brought to a promontory near Moudania, called from thence Booz
Bournou, or “the Cape of Ice,” whence it is embarked for the capital,
and in such abundance, that the poorest hummal cools his sherbet with
it during the hottest season of the year.

The illustration presents all the objects of interest peculiar to the
place. In the foreground is a caravan crossing an antique bridge,
thrown over one of the snow-dissolved currents which intersect the
plain. On one side buffaloes are dragging the ponderous arrhuba; on the
other, they are grazing on the low pastures, or cooling themselves in
the water. The horse, in Turkey, is never degraded to a servile use:
the drudgery of labour is thrown upon the buffalo. It is a singular
species of ox, of immense strength, but of a structure so coarse and
rude, that it seems “as if Nature’s journeymen had made it, and that
not well.” Its ponderous body, its clumsy limbs, its flatted horns,
and lustreless eyes, like dull glass, give it a singular appearance of
obstinacy and stupidity; but it drags the greatest burdens, through
places impassable to other animals, with irresistible force. On the
left is the city of Brusa, with its minarets, domes, and regal tombs;
and in the background are the rugged ridges of Olympus, with its snows,
forests, and precipices.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. J. Cooke.



When the conqueror of Constantinople recrossed into Asia, and was
preparing to attack his enemies, the sultan of Caramania, the shah of
Persia, and the sultan of Egypt, who had conspired against him, he was
overtaken by death near Brusa, and was brought to be buried, not in
his new conquest in Europe, but in the ancient capital of his race. A
magnificent mosque was erected at Emir Sultan, and his body deposited
in a mausoleum beside it. This is represented in the background of the
illustration. The time is that of the Ezan, when the muezzin invites
the people to pray, represented by the human figures in the galleries
of the minarets. When the prophet fled to Medina, he did not neglect
the five periods of daily prayer: his followers wished that all the
faithful should offer up theirs to Allah at the same moment, and that
it should be publicly announced; but the manner of the announcement
was a subject of controversy. Flags, bells, trumpets, and fires, were
already used by various sects, but they were all exceptionable: the
first, as not comporting with the grave sanctity of devotion−-the
second, as a Christian practice, and to be abhorred−-the third, as a
Jewish profanation−-and the last, as a symbol of idolatrous worship.
In this indecision they separated; but during the night one of the
party had a vision of a celestial being, clothed in green, who ascended
to the top of the house, and called the people to prayer. This was
communicated to the Prophet, who adopted the human voice as his signal.

The houses leading to the mosque are perfect specimens of Turkish
edifices. They generally have a foundation of stone to the height of
eight or ten feet, and then a superstructure of wood, supported on
curved beams, which rest upon the masonry. The house is covered by
a far-projecting roof, which is surmounted by a kiosk, or cupola,
commanding a view of the distant country. The windows are strictly
closed with lattice-work of cane, in the centre of which the
incarcerated female endeavours to see what is passing in the street.
Whenever the clattering of hoofs and the yelping of dogs announce a
passing stranger, he will perceive, if he looks up, an eye gleaming on
him through the aperture, or the ruddy lips of a mouth hissing on the
dogs to attack him. A Turk seldom builds a house for himself entirely
of stone. The insecurity of property is such, that he never calculates
on any possession, even for his own life: and he thinks, besides, it
is irreligious to erect any thing like a permanent dwelling for his
own use on the earth. Hence it is, that while wooden frame-work houses
have long since been laid aside in Europe, a Turk, with Oriental
pertinacity, still clings to them; and hence it is that fires are so
frequent, and that they consume not merely houses and streets, but
whole towns, and are never extinguished till the inflammable materials
are exhausted.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. Floyd.


“Sweet Waters” is a translation of the French _eaux douces_, and does
not imply that they are distinguished by any remarkable purity or
sweetness of taste, but simply that they are not salty. Two rivulets
are so named by the Franks, one in Europe and the other in Asia; and
they both flow through flat alluvial soils, and are generally muddy and
dirty. Their banks, however, in summer are rich and verdant, enamelled
with flowers, and are places of resort, where gay and festive parties
of Turks, Franks, and Rayas meet for recreation. That in Asia is the
place represented in the illustration.

It is situated on the shores of the Bosphorus, near the Anadoli Hissar,
or Asiatic castle, in a verdant meadow, through which the river
meanders. Here the Sultan has a kiosk to which he retires in summer,
to practise archery or shooting with a rifle, and amuse himself with
various sports, some very coarse, where buffoonery of a very indelicate
kind forms the principal part of the entertainment. This kiosk is
represented in the background of the illustration. This retreat of
the sultan attracts great crowds of his subjects, particularly on the
evening of Friday, the Turkish sabbath. Those who resort from the
European shore come in caïques; those from the Asiatic in arrhubas.
This carriage, peculiar to Turkey, forms a conspicuous object in the
plate. The general shape is a flooring of planks laid upon high wheels,
without springs: on this are erected pillars supporting a canopy of
wood, from which descend fringed curtains of silk or rich stuff. The
body and canopy are sometimes highly carved and gilded: within,
sit on the floor as many women as it can contain, their heads just
appearing above the edge whenever the motion on the uneven road throws
the curtains aside. It is drawn by two or more buffaloes, or oxen,
whose tails are fastened to a long and lofty bow extending from the
neck-yokes, and projecting over their backs. This arch is profusely
decorated with gaudy tassels. The white locks of the animals between
the horns are stained with henna, and round the necks are suspended
amulets of bright blue beads, to guard them against the effects of an
evil eye. It is the most improved carriage of the Turkish empire, and
travels at the rate of two miles an hour. In these machines, covered up
from human gaze, the sultan and great men of the empire transport their
harems: they are conducted by black eunuchs, with drawn sabres, who
menace any one who approaches the line of march, with instant death.

When parties proceed to those pic-nics, even the members of a family
never mix together. The unsocial jealousy of a Turk so separates the
sexes, that the father, husband, and brother are never seen in the same
groups with their female relatives. The women assemble on one side
round the fountain, and the men on the other, under the trees. Between,
are the various persons who vend refreshments to both indiscriminately.
On the left is the _tchorbagee_ mixing sherbet. This word means,
literally, any kind of fluid food, and it is sometimes applied to soup.
A colonel of janissaries was called a tchorbagee, because he was the
dispenser of soup to his corps. The drink, however, which is generally
so called, is a decoction of dried fruit. Raisins, pears, peaches,
prunes, and others, are prepared and kept for the purpose, and a liquor
of various flavour is compounded from them, more or less acidulated or
sweetened, and always cooled with ice, a small lump of which floats
in every cup. On the other side is a vender of _yaourt_. This is a
refreshment of universal consumption and extreme antiquity. The Turks
affirm that Abraham was taught by an angel how to make it, and that
Hagar, with her son Ishmael, would have perished in the wilderness,
but for a pot of it she had the precaution to take with her. It is
more certainly described by Strabo as in use in his day in the Taurica
Chersonesus, and so is at least 1800 years old. It is a preparation of
sour milk, forming a thick consistent mess, cool and grateful to the
taste, and wholesome to the constitution. It is sold in small shallow
bowls of coarse earthenware, and is the constant food of all classes in

The itinerant confectioner is always a necessary person at these
meetings. He carries about upon his head a large wooden tray, and under
his arm a stand with three legs. When required, he sets his stand,
and lays his tray upon it covered with good things. The first is a
composition of ground rice boiled to the consistence of a jelly, light
and transparent, called _mahalabie_; from this lie cuts off a slice
with a brass shovel, lays it on a plate, of which he has a pile on
his tray, and, dividing it into square morsels, he drops on it attar
of roses, or some other perfume, from a perforated silver vessel, and
it forms a very cooling and delightful food. The next is halva, a
composition of flour and honey, which separates into flakes; a third
is a long roll like a black-pudding, formed of walnuts, enclosed in a
tenacious glue, made of the inspissated juice of various fruits; the
fourth is a gelatinous substance, formed into large square dies; it
is made with honey and the expressed juice of fresh ripe grapes. It
melts in the mouth with a very delicious flavour, and at once softens
and mitigates any inflammation there. It is the most highly-prized
confection of the Turks, who call it by a very appropriate name, rahat
locoom, or “comfort to the throat,” which it well merits. These are the
principal confections peculiar to the country; they are all excellent
in their kind, and consumed in great quantities by the natives at those

But of all the refreshments sought for, simple water is perhaps the
most in request. It is inconceivable to a person born in a cold, humid,
western climate, how necessary, not only to enjoyment but to existence,
is this simple element, in the torrid regions of the East. The high
estimation in which it is held, and the eagerness with which it is
sought, are recorded by all writers, ancient and modern, sacred and
profane. It is a pure beverage, particularly adapted to the taste of
a Turk. He never rides to any distance without a leathern bottle of
it attached to his saddle: he never receives a visit, that it is not
handed to his guest; and in all convivial pic-nics on the grass, the
sougee, or “water-vender,” is in the greatest request. He is everywhere
seen moving about, with his clear glass cup in one hand, and his jar
with a long spout in the other, and the cry constantly heard is, _sou_,
_soook-sou_, “water, cold water.” When called, he attaches a mass of
snow to the spout, and the water comes limpid and refrigerated through
the pores of it. In the illustration is seen one of those magnificent
fountains, by which the Turks express their respect for the precious
fluid. The front is the reservoir into which the water pours. This
is generally surrounded with gilded cups or basins, and a dervish,
or other person, stands beside them to dispense the water.−-Among
the fruit sold is the grape. The Turks cultivate a peculiar kind,
called chaoush; it is large, white, and sweet, and consumed in vast
quantities. Though producing indifferent wine, it is perhaps the finest
table-grape that is cultivated. Among the sellers of refreshments, is
the oozoomgee, who weighs out his fine fruit at five paras, or less
than one halfpenny, per pound.

[Illustration: T. Allom. M. J. Starling.

It has been truly said of the Turks, that “they hold impurity of
the body in greater detestation than impurity of the mind.” This
feeling the precepts of the Koran have caused or increased. They
make frequent ablution so essential, that “without it prayer will be
of no value in the eyes of God.” There is no point, therefore, of
religious discipline, for which the directions are so minute, or so
often repeated. Two modes are prescribed. The goul, which requires the
ablution of the whole body, and the hodû, which confines it to the
head and arms as high as the elbow; and where water cannot be procured
in the desert, the ceremony must be performed by sand or dust, as
its symbol. These ablutions are enjoined to all at stated times, but
besides there are occasional circumstances which render them essential.
The law enumerates eleven occurrences after which the person must wash,
some of which are exceedingly curious, but not fit for the public eye.
So important is this practice deemed, that it forms an item in every
marriage-contract. The husband engages to allow his wife bath-money, as
we do pin-money; and if it be withheld, she has only to go before the
cadi, and turn her slipper upside down. If the complaint be not then
redressed, it is a ground of divorce.

The first objects which strike a stranger on entering a Turkish city
are the mosques, and the next certain edifices, roofed like them with
domes, contiguous to each other. These domes are perforated by a number
of apertures, which are closed by hemispheres of glass, resembling the
globes by which our streets were lighted, inverted on the roof. These
edifices are the public _hummums_,[8] or baths, and the globes the
means by which the light is admitted. There is no town in the Turkish
empire so obscure, or so destitute of other comforts, that is not
provided with a public bath, which is open from four o’clock in the
morning until eight in the evening. The bather enters a saloon, in the
midst of which is a fountain, where the linen of the establishment is
usually washed; round this is a divan, covered with mats or cushions,
on which he sits smoking till the _hummumgee_, or master of the bath,
directs him to undress. His clothes are carefully deposited in a shawl
tied up in the corners, and remain on his seat till his return. The
_tellah_, or bathing attendant, now approaches, with two aprons and a
napkin: the first he ties round his waist, and the latter round his
head. He is then led into another saloon, more heated than the first;
but the heat is so regulated that he feels no difference, though
divested of his clothes; and when the body is thus prepared by this
gradual increase of temperature, he is led into a third, when the
business of the bath commences. This, in some baths, is very fine,
supported on columns, and lined with marble.

The marble flooring is so hot, that he is now obliged to mount on
wooden pattens, as his bare feet could not endure to come in contact
with it. A dense vapour sometimes so fills this saloon, that he sees
nothing distinctly, but figures flit before him, like visions in a
mist. At the sides are ornamented fountains, whence issue pipes of hot
and cold water, which he mixes to his fancy, and bedews his person with
it from a large copper or iron spoon provided for the purpose. Having
walked or sat in this heated mist till a profuse perspiration bursts
out, the _tellah_ again approaches, and commences his operations. He
lays the bather on his back or face, and pins him to the ground by
kneeling heavily on him; and having thus secured him, he handles him
in the rudest and most painful manner: he twists and turns the limbs,
so as to seem to dislocate every joint. The sufferer feels as if the
very spine was separated, and the vertebræ of the back torn asunder.
It is in vain he complains of this treatment, screams out in anguish
and apprehension, and struggles to extricate himself. The incubus sits
grinning upon him, and torturing him till he becomes passive from very
exhaustion. When this horrid operation is over, the tormentor offers
to shave him; and if he make no resistance, he leaves but one small
lock of hair on the crown, by which the angel of death is to draw
him from his winding-sheet. It is remarkable, that while the bather
is burning with heat, the flesh of this fiend, though exposed to the
same temperature, is as cold and chilling as monumental marble. A
second tellah now attends, and uses him more gently than the first:
he envelopes his hands in gloves, or little bags of camlet, and, by a
gentle and dexterous pressure of the surface, he expresses, as it were,
all the deposit of insensible perspiration: it is surprising what a
quantity he peels from the surface of the skin, of this inspissated
fluid, resembling in colour and consistence rolls or flakes of dough.

When this substance ceases to exude, the operator rubs him with scented
soap, and drenches him almost to suffocation with deluges of hot
water. After this thorough ablution, he wipes him perfectly dry with
soft, warm, perfumed towels, and leads him to a divan, on which he
reposes some time,--still in a state of nudity, with the exception of a
shawl thrown over him. Here refreshments are brought, and partaken of
with an extraordinary increase of appetite; after which he rises and
dresses, perfectly refreshed. Before he goes forth, a looking-glass
set in mother-of-pearl is brought, to adjust his cravat, on the glass
of which he deposits the price of his bath. It was originally settled
at four aspers, which according to the present currency would be about
one-third of a farthing, and it still continues nearly the same in the
small towns and villages. In the capital, however, it is increased, in
the more sumptuous baths, to fifty paras, or four pence.

Where warm-springs are found, they are immediately diverted into
reservoirs, and edifices erected over them. Those of Kaplizza, near
Brusa, already mentioned, are perhaps the finest in the world. In the
centre saloon, under a noble dome, supported by marble pillars, is a
basin of fifteen yards in circumference, also of polished marble, and
five feet deep, filled with hot and limpid water. At its source, whence
it first issues into day, it is at a boiling heat, and blisters the
finger that incautiously feels it. In the baths, however, the heat is
reduced to a tolerable temperature−-in summer to 102°, and in winter to
90°. The process of bathing, substituting water for steam, is the same
as that described. The salutary effects of it are highly extolled, and
perhaps with reason−-opening the pores, and emulging, as the hakims
say, the perspiratory glands; but strangers who first submit to the
rude and suffocating process, complain that it is as debilitating
as it is painful, under the coarse and awkward manipulation of such
an operator; and to natives who constantly use it, it is one of the
enervating causes which is justly supposed to exhaust the strength and
prostrate the energies of a modern Turk.

The mysteries of a female bath, it is not permitted to see, no more
than those of Eleusis: all that could be known, Lady Mary Wortley
Montague has told a century ago. Their bath is the great coffee-house,
where they assemble, and enjoy a freedom they can nowhere else indulge.
If a stranger enter this sacred place by mistake, even his mistake
is punished with death. Not long since a Frank stumbled into one,
supposing it to be for his own sex; he was instantly seized, and
dragged before the cadi. On his way, some friendly passenger suggested
to him to feign madness, as his only chance of escape: he took the
hint, and did so with such success, that the cadi, instead of ordering
him to execution, dismissed him with that tenderness and respect the
Turks show to the foolish or insane, whom they fancy to be chosen
vessels inspired by Allah with a better gift than reason. Another
Frank, presuming on the impunity thus acquired, entered a female bath
by design. He was seized; but not counterfeiting insanity with such
success, he was suspected−-and disappearing soon after, was supposed to
have been strangled.

[Illustration: T. Allom. P. Lightfoot.


The Aurut Bazaar, or Female Slave Market, stands in the quarter of the
city near the burnt column. It consists of a quadrangular edifice,
including a square area of about two hundred feet, surrounded with
apartments. In the front are platforms raised four or five feet from
the ground, and ascended by steps, forming a kind of colonnade, and
in the rear are latticed windows. In the one, blacks and slaves of
an inferior kind are kept and disposed of; in the other, those of a
choicer quality, who are guarded with a more jealous vigilance, and
secluded from the public eye.

All parts of the old world furnish materials for this market, but
principally the shores of the Mediterranean and the eastern end of the
Euxine sea. The human face is here seen in every diversity of colour,
from the ebony of Nubia and Abyssinia, to the snowy whiteness of the
mountains of Georgia and Mingrelia, Formerly, Franks were freely
admitted into this bazaar, but they were excluded by a firman, because
it was supposed they purchased slaves only for the purpose of giving
them freedom; and the Turks allow no manumission unless the captives
embrace Islamism, and then they become free as of right, and can be no
more sold. The strictness of this exclusion, however, is now relaxed,
and Franks are admitted to see, but not to purchase.

The first impression made upon a stranger is the cheerfulness and
hilarity of the inmates of this prison. He enters with his mind
full of the horrors of slavery: he expects to see tender females
dragged from their families, the ties of nature torn asunder, and the
helpless victims overwhelmed with grief−-sad, and weeping, and sunk in
despondency. He sees no such thing: they are singularly cheerful and
gay, use every means to attract his attention, and, in their various
dialects, invite him to purchase them.[9] The circumstances of their
early life, and the state into which they are about to enter, account
for this. The condition of slavery in Turkey is generally to them
an amelioriation. A regular traffic is carried on, and parents in
Circassia and Georgia educate their most comely daughters, not less
that they should profit by the sale, than that the children should
profit by being sold. They impress upon their minds the splendid
fortune that awaits them at Stambool; and when the annual traders
arrive at Anaka, or other ports of the Euxine, for white slaves, the
girl leaves without regret the home where she is taught to feel no
ties of family affection, and embarks with a light heart and joyous
anticipations of the happy prospect before her. Nor are her bright
hopes disappointed: the state of slavery in which she is found, and
the traffic by which she is bought, do not degrade her in the eye of
the Turk who purchases her; she is transferred to the harem of some
vizir or pasha, where she may become its mistress, invested with all
the consequence and dignity of his favourite wife; the splendid destiny
of those that are periodically purchased for the imperial seraglio is
quite dazzling−-any one of them may become the arbitress of empires,
and the mother of sultans. Yet this bright prospect is clouded by
dismal forebodings. When the reigning monarch dies, his whole female
establishment purchased here, is removed to the eski seraï, or old
palace, where five hundred of the most youthful and lovely females
in the universe are condemned to a state of perpetual celibacy and
seclusion. A still more terrible fate sometimes attends them. On
vain pretexts they are sacrificed to the caprice or suspicion of the
successor to the throne; and hundreds at once, in the prime of life and
splendour of beauty, are consigned to a watery grave.

The merchants who purchase slaves are usually Jews. When a female of
great beauty is not accomplished in the arts of pleasing, the Jew
undertakes her instruction. She is taught, by competent masters, music,
dancing, and other personal attractions−-the cultivation of the mind is
never thought of. When her value is thus enhanced by her acquirements,
the most extravagant price is exacted and given. The usual purchase
of a young white slave is 6000 piastres, or about £100: for a black,
merely intended for the domestic drudgery which a Turkish woman will
not submit to, 1200 piastres, or £16.

The illustration represents the act of sale. On one side are females
purchasing black servants. A slight examination as to health and
strength is all that is used. The girl starts up, draws her scanty
coarse garments about her, and, with a merry laugh and cheerful
countenance, trips away after her mistress. The severe decorum of a
Turk at once changes her half-nakedness for a more suitable dress: her
head and feet are no longer bare−-her dark visage is dignified with a
snow-white veil−--and she feels pride and gratification in her new and
altered state. On the other side are white slaves, who are examined
not by females, but by a master, of whose happiness they are hereafter
to constitute a part. He is attended by his black eunuch, and the
slave-merchant is pointing out all the personal charms of his purchase,
and eulogising those which escape his observation. In the gallery
above, are slave-merchants settling their various accounts, with the
aid of coffee and tobacco.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Sands.


This is called _Yeni_, or “new,” to distinguish it from those of more
ancient structure. It is justly remarked by writers, that no people
have selected such excellent sites for their religious houses as the
Turks: they are generally seen crowning the summits of hills, and
having every advantage of display for their architectural ornaments.
This, however, is an exception. It stands near the centre of the
Golden Horn, in a low part of the city, but is very conspicuous from
its situation. It swells, as it were, from the water’s edge, forming
a mountain of edifices. The only place where Turkish beggars are seen
is the area or vicinity of a mosque, and even here very few obtrude
themselves; forming a strong contrast to the multitudes that beset
houses of Christian worship. Those who with us are disabled by age or
sickness, are in Turkey supported by their masters, either because
they are slaves, or because the charity of the Osmanli will not suffer
his brother to want. The few who ask alms are idiots, a respected and
privileged class; or Arabs, who bear about standards, which they affirm
were the same as those under which their ancestors propagated the faith
of the Prophet. In the evening, you are met by a man who proffers
you a candle, an orange, or a melon, and you purchase it for double
its value: so, a Turkish beggar sells, but receives no alms. In the
populous region about this mosque, such persons are more usually met
than elsewhere. Immediately below is a great scala, or landing-place,
which is constantly crowded with caïques of all shapes and sizes, and
forms an animated scene of bustle and activity. Leading to it is one
of the aqueducts which convey water for the necessary ablutions of the
faithful, when they attend the call of the muezzin to assemble at the
hour of prayer.

[Illustration: T. Allom. F. J. Havell.



This literally means the house or edifice of fish. It is one of the
numerous stages erected on many parts of the Bosphorus, from the Euxine
to the Propontis, to arrest the numerous shoals of fish that are
migrating from sea to sea through this channel. It is formed in this
manner:--posts are driven into the water at a short distance from the
shore, with which they sometimes communicate by a platform; these are
strengthened by cross-posts, forming a ladder by which the platform
is ascended. On the summit is raised a shed, ten or twelve feet above
the surface, over which is drawn a rude covering of mats. Below, is an
enclosed area, marked by piles, into which the passing fish enter, and
cannot again make their way out. A man continually on the watch in the
shed gives notice of this to the fishermen on the shore, when the nets
are drawn, and the whole shoal generally captured.

The progress of these shoals is frequently marked by flights of gulls
and other aquatic birds, which, when the net is drawn, rush down among
the fishermen, and fearlessly and clamorously demand their share, which
is never withheld from them. These wild fowl are so tame by use and
impunity, that they are sometimes seen disputing with a Turk for a
particular fish; and the man almost always yields to the bird.

The fish usually taken in these nets are of various sizes, and many
peculiar to this region. The largest is the _xiphias_, or sword-fish,
sometimes attaining the length of six or eight feet in the body,
and a circumference of three or four. From its snout is projected a
flat horn, a yard or more in length, exactly resembling a Highland
broad-sword, from whence the fish derives its name. Its flesh is red,
and when exposed for sale in the market, a junk of it might be mistaken
for a round of beef. The next in size is the _thunny_; the various
kinds of scomber, down to the size of small mackerel fry; the _lufer_
and the _kephālos_, called so by the Greeks, from the size of its
head. Among the flatfish is a species of turbot, of excellent quality,
covered with hard cartilaginous knobby scales like a bossy shield, and
thence called by the Turks, _kalchan_, or the buckler-fish. These,
and an infinite variety of others, crowd the waters in incredible
quantities, for nine months in the year; and the boats engaged in
taking them are so numerous, as to stretch from side to side of the
strait in such a way as to bridge the current; and the eagerness to
take them is so great, that all ranks indulge in it, from the sultan to
the hummal. Mustapha, the brother of Mahmoud, was engaged in it when he
heard of the insurrection in favour of Selim−-and he left his fishing,
to strangle his cousin. The present sultan is so fond of it, that one
of his apartments at Beshiktash has a trap-door over the water, from
whence he often angles. Nor is this amusement confined to the day: by
night the waters are covered with many lights, which float in various
mazes, and form picturesque objects round the islands of the Propontis.
A brazier is projected from the prow, in which a glowing fire is kept
up continually, and the fish, attracted by the flame, hover about like
moths round a taper, and are harpooned as they approach the boat; when
the water is disturbed or muddy, a small quantity of oil is cast upon
the surface, which renders it transparent and every object distinct.[10]

The Baluk Hané, represented in the illustration, is distinguished by
another circumstance. It is situated on the sea of Marmora, below
the walls of the seraglio, and above it are seen, towering, the dome
and minarets of the mosque of Achmet. The torch in the caïque is not
for the purpose of fishing, but for a very different and dismal one.
When sentence of death is passed on an inmate of the seraglio, he is
brought to the _Capi Arasi_, a space so called between the second and
third gates, and there arrested “within the doors,” as it is ordered.
Here the executioners reside who despatch him; and the strangled or
headless man is brought down to a kiosk on the sea-wall, from whence a
window opens on the water. From hence, in the dead of night, the body
is consigned to a caïque in waiting, which rows to a little distance,
and consigns it to its watery grave. The sullen plash is sometimes
accompanied by a discharge of a gun on a wharf not far distant, and
the silence of the night is broken by a solemn sound which comes
booming over the water as the knell of the departed. So frequent have
these executions been, that a passing boat to ships in the harbour,
at this place, might always expect to see at midnight the gleam of a
torch attendant on this watery funeral. There is something insuperably
revolting in the proximity of the places. The fish are said to be
attracted by such bait, and are thus fed and fattened on human flesh in
this aquatic charnel-house.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. W. Lowry.


Markets at Constantinople, where various commodities are vended, are
properly distinguished by three names−-_Bezesteen_ contained shops
where cloth was sold; _Bazaar_ was an open market where eatables were
exposed for sale; thus _Et-Bazaar_, and _Baluk-Bazaar_, are the flesh
and fish markets; and _Charschey_ was a covered street, with stalls or
shops on each side, where all kinds of manufactured wares were to be
met with. These original designations, however, have merged into one,
and bazaar is a general name by which every market is denominated.

The Great Bazaar, or Charschey, was erected by Mohamed II. when he
took possession of Constantinople, and began to change its character
from a European to an Asiatic city, by introducing the edifices and
usages of the East. It was afterwards re-edified by his successors,
and its parts distinguished by Eski and Yeni, the Old and the New
Bazaar. They now consist of long avenues covered over with lofty
arches of brick, lighted by apertures in the roof, and branching off
in various directions. The ceilings of the vaults, and other parts
of the walls, are painted with various flowers and devices. On each
side of the passage are counters, or stalls, ranged along, leaving
a wide way between. On the counter of each stall the merchant sits,
generally smoking a chibouque, or narghillai, with his crossed legs
drawn under him. If he be distinguished by a calpac, or inverted cone,
upon his head, or a large snow-white turban, he is either an Armenian
or a Turk; so he quietly abides his time, and suffers you to pass with
imperturbable gravity, seldom condescending to ask your custom. If he
wear a cross-barred handkerchief, twisted round the crown of a hat, or
a coarse muslin wound about a red fez, he is either a Jew or a Greek,
and is as importunate with you to buy as a salesman in Monmouth-street.
Behind him, his larger wares are ranged against the walls, and his
smaller in clumsy glass-cases beside him on the counter, where all
articles are confounded in a heap. In his rear is generally a low door,
opening into a small room in the thickness of the walls, where his
unexposed goods are stored.

These edifices, filled with light and inflammable goods, are liable to
danger from the constant fires which occur at Constantinople, though
they are in some measure protected by their construction, and the
thickness of the walls. When fires have penetrated, they have been
attended with the most awful consequences. It has happened that both
ends of the covered way have been blazing at once, and all egress
prevented to the crowd within, and hundreds have miserably perished,
either consumed or suffocated in these vaults of fire. In order to
guard against this, no smoking, or light of any kind, is allowed:
notwithstanding this, the inveterate propensity of the Turk is not to
be controlled, and, relying on his unalterable destiny, he is often
seen with the glowing bowl of his pipe thrust among the inflammable
materials of his counter. Every evening at sunset, the bazaar is closed
with iron gates, and the merchants having locked up their wares behind
certain partitions drawn before them, are seen wending their way in
groups to the several quarters of the city in which each class is
located−-the Jew to Galata, the Greek to the Fanar, the Armenian to
Ypsomathia, and the Turk to various quarters.

Under cover at all times, and protected from wind, rain, and sun, this
bazaar is the resort of crowds every day and all day long. In the heats
of summer it is particularly agreeable. People escape from the burning
atmosphere, and an exposed unsheltered street, to this retreat. It
then resembles a subterranean city, crowded with a busy population of
many thousand persons, bustling, buying, and selling in the cool and
dim twilight. But the fair sex form by far the majority. It seems a
privileged place, where the ordinary distinction of sect or caste is
laid aside, and the Turk, Frank, and Raya, all mix and chat and bargain
together without restraint; and it seems the only place where the pride
and taciturnity of the Osmanli is laid aside. At the entrance are
crowds of poor Jews, who proffer their services to conduct you to what
you want, and carry home what you purchase.

The first attraction is generally a perfume-stall. Here attar of roses,
essence of lemon, extract of jasmine, pastiles of odoriferous gums,
which, when ignited, fill the air with their aromatic scent, are
presented to your choice. The last are particularly recommended, as
used by the ladies of the seraglio, who burn them in their pipe-bowls.
But of all the singular perfumes presented to you, are rats’-tails. An
animal of this species is endued with musky secretions, and its tail
yields a strong scent, which it retains for an indefinite term. All
these and many more odoriferous delicacies, which a Turk prizes, are
presented to you; and to induce you to buy, your hands, lips, hair,
whiskers, and cravat, are bedewed with them all, and you go forth
redolent with animal and vegetable odours. The next attraction is the
shoe-bazaar. Here the varied display of _imeh_ and _papoosh_, boots
and slippers, is very dazzling: a Turk never wears a boot without a
slipper. The first are red or yellow morocco, without soles, but sewed
below into a pointed bag, into which the foot is first forced; and
then, with the boot, into the slipper. The gait of both men and women,
thus encumbered, is singularly awkward and helpless. The feet scrape
the ground, and the sole of the slipper, which scarcely adheres to the
point of the toe, is dragged along, continually flapping against the
heel. These characteristic parts of Oriental dress are the particular
objects of Frank purchasers. The slippers are made of all materials,
and braided with all kinds of embroidery in gold and silver, and often
ornamented with pearls and precious stones. In this department are
found drinking-cups of untanned leather, and mirrors with morocco

But by far the most attractive display is the pipe department, and
the variety of chiboques. It is here the fancy of a Turk luxuriates,
and loves to exhibit itself with a dexterity shown in nothing
else. The implement consists of three separate parts−-tube, bowl,
and mouth-piece--in each of which there is an endless variety of
shape, size, and material. The most favourite wood for the first is
cherry-tree brought from Trebisond, rose-wood and jasmine, sometimes
extending to the length of ten or twelve feet. When you choose your
rod, the artist pierces it with the aid of his toe, a member he uses
with more skill than his finger. The bowl is a red earth, found and
manufactured at Burgaz, highly gilt and polished. The mouth-piece is
generally amber, imported by Armenians from the Baltic. This is prized
above all materials, not only for its beauty, but for its qualities.
It is supposed to be unsusceptible of the contagion of the plague;
and when that disease is raging, and every man shrinks from contact
with his neighbour, the amber chiboque passes from mouth to mouth
without any apprehension of pestilent saliva. A pipe is sometimes
ornamented with precious stones, and, with the tobacco-bag glittering
with spangles, varies in price from 10 to 1000 piastres, according to
the workmanship. Besides these and other articles peculiarly Turkish,
clothing, stuffs, carpets, shawls, &c. are displayed, and among them
the highly-prized manufactures of Manchester.

[Illutration: T. Allom. S Lacey.



The word _meidan_ signifies “a place,” and corresponds with the sense
in which we use the latter term in our towns. There are many so
called in Constantinople, but the most distinguished is the Atmeidan,
or “Place of the Horse.” It was, under the Greek empire, called
_Hippodrome_, which implies a horse-course. The Turks applied it to
the same purpose, and translated the Greek appellation into their own
language. It is described in the most gorgeous manner by the writers of
the lower empire, as ornamented with marble colonnades, and surrounded
by seats like an amphitheatre, where the courses were observed by the
spectators. These things have disappeared under the Turks, and it is
now a naked oblong area, with a very ruinous and neglected aspect. It
has, however, still its attractions. It is almost the only open and
airy public space within the walls of the city, and it is the only spot
where the very few ornaments of this great capital, now extant, are to
be seen in their original site and form.

The present area is an irregular quadrangle, about 260 yards long,
and 150 wide. It is bounded on one side by the mosque of Sultan
Achmet, from which it is separated only by an open screen, and from
it this beautiful edifice, with its six elegant minarets, appears to
the greatest advantage. On the others, by large but mean edifices,
one of which is the menagerie of the Turkish empire. Among the gifts
expected from the pasha of a distant province, are specimens of its
wild animals; and lions, tigers, and other beasts are here enclosed
and exhibited, as formerly in the tower of London. Among the animals
here in the time of Busbequius, was an extraordinary elephant, which,
he affirmed, “could dance and play ball.” They are not confined to
cages, but allowed to walk about in large caverns, where the solitary
magnificence of the animal would be strikingly exhibited, were it not
that the foul odour exhaled from putrid offals, on which they feed,
repels a stranger with insuperable disgust.

Down the centre are seen the splendid remains of the Greek empire.
The first is the granite obelisk, still in high preservation, brought
from the Thebaïd to Rome, and from thence to ornament the new city
of Constantine. It is supported on brazen globes, resting on a
sculptured pedestal bearing an inscription implying that it was erected
by Theodosius. On one face is sculptured the machines by which the
obelisk was raised to its present site, and is a curious display of the
mechanical powers at that time in use. A singular circumstance occurred
at its erection, which has since that time furnished an extraordinary
auxiliary to mechanical powers. When the ponderous block was raised
as high as the combination of cords and pulleys could draw it, it was
found to want one inch of elevation to place it on the pedestal. The
emperor and all the spectators supposed the labour and expense lost,
and the case hopeless; when the ingenious artist who had undertaken to
raise it, caused water to be thrown upon the cords by which the obelisk
was suspended: an immediate contraction of the fibres took place, the
cords shortened, and the immense weight was quietly raised to its place
without any other mechanical Contrivance. Another is that called the
Colossus: it was once covered with dense brass plates; and a Greek
couplet on the pedestal, described what it formerly was, and the reason
of its name−-

  “A brazen wonder of colossal size,
    Which Rhodes could boast−-lo! here is seen to rise.”

But the Turks have belied the inscription. They have carefully picked
off the brass plates for their trifling value, and left nothing but an
unsightly shaft of masonry and mortar in which they were embedded. But
the most valuable remnant of antiquity existing here, or perhaps in any
other country, is a colossal brazen twisted serpent, which once had a
triple head, from whence issued wine, water, and milk. It had formed
a shrine at Delphi, on which were placed the golden tripod and patera
presented to the god of the temple by the Greeks, to commemorate the
victories in the Persian war, and was removed to Constantinople as one
of the most valuable remains of ancient art and historic recollection.
It was so highly prized, that the Turks considered it as the talisman
that protected the Greek empire; and when Mohammed entered the devoted
capital in triumph, he struck off one of the heads with his battle-axe,
to destroy, as it were, the delusion. It is now a truncated stump,
and constantly battered with stones by the Turks, as if their ancient
superstition and prejudice yet existed.

The illustration represents the present state of the Hippodrome,
and gives an idea of its ancient use. The Turks have no trials of
equestrian skill like those of the Greeks; but here they usually
exercise their horses, and throw the _djerid_, a wooden pointless
spear, which they cast to a distance, and catch as it recoils from
the ground, with considerable dexterity. On one side is the palace of
Ibrahim Pasha, now the head-quarters of the cavalry staff, who are seen
among the equestrians.

[Illustration: Drawn by Leitch. Engraved by J. Sands.


When Constantine dedicated his great city to Christ, he thought it
right to erect in it a suitable edifice for Christian worship, on a
scale of magnificence commensurate with his capital; he therefore
built one of the first public temples, to the new faith, that had
been permitted since the destruction of Christian churches and the
extirpation of their congregations by the decree of Diocletian, and
he dedicated it to the Ἁγία σοφία, “the Holy and Eternal Wisdom of
God,” as manifested in his blessed Son. During the discordant schisms
which unhappily rent the Christian church, this splendid structure
was reduced to a state of ruin, and it was reserved for the emperor
Justinian to re-edify it. He had the old foundations cleared away, and
purchased, at a considerable expense, a larger area on which to erect
it. To obtain funds for the purpose, he suspended the pensions he had
granted to learned men, and melted down the silver statue of Theodosius
the Great, which weighed 7400 lb. Ten thousand men were employed, whose
exertions were stimulated by encouragements and rewards. The emperor
himself appeared among them, and paid them every night, in pieces of
silver, for the work they had executed during the day. He was seen
divested of his imperial robes, in a simple tunic of linen, examining
their progress, and applauding and conferring gifts on the most expert
and industrious artisans. In five years and eleven months, the vast
building was completed; and when he had thus accomplished his splendid
undertaking, he exclaimed with exultation, “I have conquered thee, O
Solomon.” The city was at that time so subject to earthquakes, that
private houses were generally constructed of wood, to obviate their
destructive effects. This magnificent work had scarcely been completed,
when it was shattered by one of those rude and frequent shocks; but
the indefatigable emperor again repaired the shaken ruins. From some
unknown physical cause, the violent concussions ceased to shake the
place, so that slight and scarcely perceptible shocks occur only at
intervals of many years; and the church of Santa Sophia is now as it
was left by the last re-edification of Justinian.

When the Turks entered the city, they rushed to this building, to
massacre or make slaves of all who took refuge there; they then
proceeded to demolish it, as the most eminent place of infidel
worship. In this critical moment, the sultan entered, and arrested the
destruction just as it had commenced. He announced, that he gave to his
soldiers the plunder of spoil and captives, but the public edifices
he reserved to himself. He at once conceived the idea of converting
this magnificent Christian church into a Mohammedan mosque; and as he
had transferred the government of the Osmanli to the most splendid
capital, so the worship of Islam should be celebrated in the most
splendid edifice in the world. In order to accommodate the interior to
the new rites, the effigies and pictures which covered the walls were
erased, and all trace of such representations was effaced by a simple
and uniform colouring: the arms of the cross were, with little violence
of alteration, bent up into the form of a crescent; and, to silence
the sound of a bell, so revolting to the followers of the Prophet, he
caused a minaret to be erected at an angle, to invite the faithful to
prayer by the sound of the human voice; and having thus purified it
from what he supposed to be superstitious and idolatrous emblems, he
sat down cross-legged in the sanctuary, and caused himself to be shaved
there. He then ordered the Koran to be read in place of the Bible,
offered up his prayers, and finally suspended the curtain that had once
closed the door of the temple at Mecca. He made no further alteration
in the Christian church, and it remains as it was left by Justinian,
unchanged for 1300 years, the most perfect and splendid monument of the
arts of the Lower Empire.

The general model of a Christian church was that of a cross; the stem
represented by the nave, the cross by the transepts, and the upper
part by the choir: but from the inequality of the parts, the western
churches laboured under a disproportion from which the eastern were
exempt. The arms of the Greek cross are all of equal length, and
Santa Sophia is built on its model; it has therefore a symmetry which
the Latin churches have not, though founded on the same symbol. The
ground-plan is that of a cross enclosed in a square whose sides measure
243 feet, but, including the portico, its length is 269. Over the
centre of the cross rises the dome. This dome is called “aërial,”
because it is so constructed that its height is only one-sixth of its
diameter, and its curve so flat that its convexity seems to correspond
with that of the sky, and be a portion only of the great firmament, let
down, and suspended, as the Greeks say, by a chain. To effect this,
it is built of materials of the least possible gravity, pumice-stone,
specifically lighter than the water on which it floats, and bricks from
Rhodes five times less weighty than those of ordinary burnt clay. The
vast dome, thus reduced in weight, is further secured by the pillars
on which it rests. These are ponderous piles of freestone, made of
blocks hewn into cubes and triangles, united by huge cramps of iron.
It is partly by this judicious distribution of its materials, that the
vast edifice has stood so long unshaken by those shocks of earthquakes,
which have prostrated so many other edifices in the same period.

The mosque is entered by a portico twelve yards in breadth; this
communicates with another by nine gates with marble arches, closed by
valves of rich bronze cast in high relief: this opens into another
parallel to it. These vestibules formed what is called the narthex,
or pronaos, of the Greek Christian church. Here stood the font where
catechumens were baptized, and penitents were placed before they
presumed, or were deemed worthy to enter the naos, or body, of the
sacred edifice. From hence they passed into the interior by five doors
of plain bronze.

The first object that strikes, on entering the body of the edifice,
is the vast aërial dome, rising to the height of 180 feet above the
flooring, reposing on four massive arches, forming the segments of
semi-domes, and supported by others still less. The dome is perforated
by twenty-six windows, and a multitude of others appear in the
perspective. On each side are colonnades supporting galleries, one
of which was reserved for the emperor, and called the Gallery of
Constantine. Round the base of the dome runs another gallery, at a
great elevation. It is splendidly illuminated during the evenings of
the Ramazan and other Turkish festivals, and produces a magnificent
effect. Different parts of the edifice are supported by 104 pillars,
amongst which are eight of porphyry removed by Constantine from the
temple of the Sun at Rome, and six of green jasper from the temple of
Diana at Ephesus. The sun was the tutelary deity of the emperor while
he continued a heathen; when he adopted a better, he removed those
ornaments of the temples both of Apollo and Diana, to enrich the temple
of Christ. The walls and domes are encrusted with mosaic, which forms
various figures and devices. They have been nearly obliterated by the
Turks. There yet remain, however, great winged seraphims in the four
angles under the central dome, whose faces are mutilated because they
represented the human countenance. The rest are covered over with
Arabic inscriptions from the Koran, and among them the 104 attributes
of Allah, which every Turk is bound to repeat over in his daily
prayers. The mosaic of the dome is constantly falling from its cement,
and is found to consist of small cubes about the size of playing-dice,
of various-coloured glass, which the imaums collect and sell to Franks,
who have them formed and set in crosses, and thus commemorate that
faith for which the mosque was originally built.

Passing under the great dome, and opposite the vestibule, is the
semi-dome which forms the termination of the temple. Here was the high
altar of the Christian church; behind it, the sanctuary, separated by
a screen from the body of the edifice. This sacred place is now the
Mehrabé, where the Koran is deposited. The ground-plan annexed to the
map will convey a better idea of these localities than any description.

The exterior of this interesting edifice is singularly heavy, and, as
a celebrated French traveller says, _furieusement lourde en dehors_.
It exhibits an irregular mass of cupolas, half-domes, shelving roofs,
and stunted minarets; one of which, more mean than the rest, is the
identical one erected by Mahomet to convert the church into a mosque.
Even the great dome, so celebrated for its architectural beauty, and
which the Turks have never yet been able to imitate, looks low and
flat when viewed on the outside, and produces nothing of that “aërial”
effect, in comparison to its internal structure. The edifice has at
length begun to exhibit symptoms of decay. About six years ago, after
a continued storm of wind and rain, one of the smaller domes fell into
the church. On clearing away the surface of rubbish, the flooring was
found covered over with glittering cubes which had formed the ceiling,
and, in such abundance, that every one was supplied with as much as he
chose to take for a trifling gratuity.

The Turks regard this mosque with a veneration and jealousy greater
than any other. It is not always difficult to obtain admission to
the rest, and generally the area in which they are placed is a
thoroughfare, through which a Frank may pass unmolested, but the foot
of an infidel is never suffered to desecrate, a second time, the
precincts of this converted temple: if he attempt to approach, he is
always driven back with abuse. The only occasion when permission is
given to see it, is when an ambassador arrives, or is about to leave
Constantinople. As a special favour, a firman is granted to him and a
certain number of his suite, who are then, only, permitted to enter
without molestation. But even this is not always a protection against
the fanaticism of individuals. Secretaries to embassies, accompanied by
their ladies, have been insulted and assaulted with the sultan’s firman
in their hands.

[Ilustration: T. Allom. G. Presbury.


The Turks recognize three persons distinguished by the name of Eyoub,
or Job, and confound them together, with little regard to time
or place. One was the patriarch of Uz, whose character resembles
that given in our Bible, with some variations. The Koran and its
commentators say, that his wife so overcame his patience, that he
beat her with a palm branch; but, in recompense, when he was restored
to health, she was restored to youth and beauty: and further, that
Allah gave back his property in a summary manner, by raining down on
his threshing-floor gold and silver, from two clouds sent for that
purpose. Another was one of the captains of Alexander the Great,
and also one of Solomon’s household. He was called Chederles, and
his achievements resemble those of our St. George and the Dragon,
as they are represented in the Christian churches of the East. Him
they call Eyoub, or _Job infari_. The third, and him to whom the
mosque is dedicated, is Abu Eyoub. When the Prophet was in peril, he
was succoured by certain persons from Medina, who were there called
Ansars, or “Auxiliaries.” One of them was named Job, or Eyoub, who
became afterwards the personal companion of the Prophet. When it was
determined to destroy the Christian capital of the Romans in Europe,
a plenary indulgence of sins was promised to all the faithful who
should proceed to accomplish that object, and the Ansar Eyoub set
an example by enrolling himself in the Saracen army, which set out
for that purpose in the year 672. He fell, with many thousands of
his countrymen, before the walls of Constantinople, and received a
magnificent funeral. His memory was had in veneration by the majority
of his people, but the particular spot where his body was laid had
unfortunately been forgotten, nor was it till after the lapse of 750
years that it was discovered. It was revealed by a vision, and, to
identify the sacred spot for all posterity, a mosque was erected over
it by Mahomet II., in which every succeeding monarch was to receive his

When a sultan succeeds to the throne, instead of the ceremony of
European sovereigns, placing a crown on the head, his dignity is
conferred by the more appropriate one of girding a sword on the thigh.
To this end, the mufti, vizir, and other officers, on horseback,
assemble at the seraglio, from whence, accompanied by the sultan, they
proceed to the mosque of Eyoub. When they arrive, some celebrated
imaum delivers a discourse, exciting the sultan to the vigorous
propagation of Islamism and the extirpation of infidels. This he swears
on the Koran to do, and then, ascending a marble tribune, the mufti
approaches, and girds on a sword, to enable him to perform his promise.
From hence the cortege proceeds to the harbour, where a splendid vessel
awaits, and the commander makes a bridge of his back, over which the
sultan embarks. He then sails to the arsenal, and, while reposing there
on a divan prepared for him, he finds a large purse under the cushion,
which he receives as the first offering of his faithful subjects.
He finally retires to his harem, where he remains several days to
repose himself. Modern usage has neglected many ancient ceremonies of
the inauguration, but girding on the sword at Eyoub is immutable and
indispensable, and never omitted.

The Mausoleum and Mosque are seen enclosed in trees; the former is
built of pure marble, the windows covered with gilded lattice, through
which is seen the sacred tomb inside, consisting of a catafalque,
surmounted with the supposed turban of the deceased. The mosque is a
plain edifice, consisting only of a single dome with minarets. The
walls of the interior are lined with marble, and the floor covered with
carpets. Among the relics preserved is a fragment of marble, having
impressed upon it the imprint of the Prophet’s foot, which the yielding
stone received and preserved as a miracle. The tomb is surmounted by
a railing of silver: near it is a sacred well, supplied by a stream,
which confers immortality on those who drink it; but its course is
hidden at present from mortal eye, and will only be revealed when
man, unstained by sin, shall be worthy to taste it. A small portion
of its virtues only is permitted to trickle into the well, which is
endued with many salutary qualities. The precious water, therefore, is
drawn up with silver buckets, and presented to the faithful in silver
goblets. Round this, and every water of such reputed virtue, the person
healed hangs up a part of his dress as a _votiva tabula_: and these
rags of superstition are seen over holy wells in Turkey, as they are in
Africa, Ireland, and other parts of the world.

The mosque and tomb of Eyoub are situated beyond the district called
Blachernæ, on the west side of the harbour, near its head. The richness
and fertility of the alluvial soil confer on this district a singular
exuberance of vegetation. Nothing can exceed the luxuriance with which
trees and fruits in their season blossom and mature in this place.
Here flowers exhale the most delicious perfume, and the nightingale
is heard to warble its sweetest notes, as if Allah had conferred upon
the resting-place of a favourite all the richness of nature. In the
midst of this rise the mosque and tomb of the Ansar, forming part of
a street, composed of charitable or religious edifices, embosomed in
the shade of a majestic cypress. Then there are the haunts of the
turtle-doves, who flock to this sequestered place, as one suited to
their nature; and their gentle cooing fills the air with a pensive
and congenial sound, adding considerably to the effect of the solemn
objects around them. These sacred edifices are held in such veneration,
and so guarded from desecration, that an infidel is repelled from them
with even more jealousy than from the precincts of Santa Sophia.

The time chosen for the Illustration is the return of the sultan
from the mosque, after the ceremony of girding on the sword has been
performed. Beside him, as supporters, are two Bin Bashis, or colonels
of Ortas, in the old Janissary corps. These men wear, as part of their
official dress, helmets of an enormous height, with a profusion of
horse-hair plumes. This singular costume, the Turks say, is intended to
conceal the person of the new sovereign from the aim of an assassin,
should an attempt be made upon his life.

[Illustration: T. Allom. F. W. Topham.



The most extraordinary title bestowed upon a sovereign is that which
the Turks have conferred upon their own. They do not, when they speak
of him, call him padescha or sultan, but _Hunkair_, which signifies
“the manslayer,” and conveys, in one word, the sense they entertain
of the absolute power he is supposed to possess over the lives and
properties of his subjects, and the arbitrary manner in which he
sometimes exercises it. The Turks confer it as a title of dignity,
which conveys no reflection on the personal character; but during
the revolution, the Greeks changed it to _Kassapi_, “the butcher,”
conveying the same idea of a homicide, but meant as a term of bitter

On the shores of the Bosphorus, opposite Therapia, on the Asiatic
side, is one of those lovely, and extensive valleys, which open on the
strait, and add so much to its beauty. Here the sultans possessed a
kiosk, to which they sometimes retired for recreation; and for their
accommodation, a scala, or slip, was constructed on which they landed
from the caïque: hence the valley has been called _Hunkair iskellesi_,
or “the landing-place of the Manslayer;” an appellation rendered famous
by the treaty recently made there.

This noble valley is distinguished by other circumstances. When Sultan
Selim wished to excite a literary feeling among his subjects, and
a printing-press was reared at Scutari, he converted his kiosk in
this place into a manufactory, to supply it with paper. When first
established, its arrangements corresponded with its former use, and
its princely founder. The reservoirs for water were ornamented marble
basins; and the whole gave the idea of a sultan’s palace given up for
a mechanic’s workshop, and excited a feeling of respect and admiration
for the enlightened and patriotic prince who had surrendered his
splendid dwelling and delightful retreat for such a purpose.

Paper is an article to which a Turk annexes a certain degree of
sanctity, and beyond that which it claims for its ordinary use. It
is that on which, they say, the sacred name of Allah is written, and
they never suffer it to be defiled, or used for any unworthy purpose.
Wherever they see a fragment of it lying about, they carefully take it
up, and throw it into some receptacle. It is often seen, in this way,
stuffed into any hole or crevice in a wall which may present itself.
With the same feeling, they have not yet suffered their Koran to be
printed. They think it a profanation of the name of God, to have it
squeezed, as it must be, in the press. The more sensible, however,
assign what they consider a more reasonable cause. They call their
sacred books, as we do, the Scriptures, or “Writings;” and, with
an adherence to the mere letter, they say they could no longer be
_scriptures_, if suffered to be printed.

The eminence on the right is the Jouchi Daghi, or “Giant’s Mountain,”
impending over the valley. The reason assigned for this name is a
singular one. Among the many persons of our Scriptures, recognized by
the Koran, is Joshua the son of Nun; to whom its commentators attribute
an immense stature. They affirm that he was sent against the Roum or
Greek infidels, whom he defeated in a battle, during which the sun went
down in his ordinary course, but immediately rose again; so they could
not be saved. It was his custom to sit on this mountain, and bathe
his feet in the waters of the Bosphorus below; and when he died, they
could find no place large enough on the hill for his grave, so they
buried only one of his feet. These extravagant fictions they support by
two authorities. There is a dervish mosque on the summit, and a large
enclosure beside it. In the enclosure is a tomb seven yards long, which
they show as the evidence of the length of the foot buried there; and
on the walls of the mosque is an inscription in Arabic, detailing the
history of Joshua, whom they call _Usha ben Nun_. It concludes with a
caution to the incredulous: “If any one doubt, let him look to this
inscription, and believe.”

A circumstance almost as incredible, in modern times, has rendered the
Giant’s Mountain famous. It is now ten centuries since the Russians,
in their log-boats, made the first attempt on Constantinople, and
their squadrons advanced to the Balkan Mountains. As they became a
more civilized and powerful people, the attempts were made with more
probability and perseverance; and Peter the Great, having Archangel on
the White Sea, and St. Petersburg on the Baltic, conceived the hopes
of rounding his vast empire by annexing Constantinople as his southern
port, and so commanding all the seas that encircle it. Since that time,
the great policy and ambition of the Russians seemed directed to this
object; but while all Europe were anxiously watching their hostile
approaches, and the desperate struggles of the Turks to resist them,
people saw with astonishment a large fleet and an immense army quietly
approach the capital, and disembark, not as enemies, but as friends and
protectors; and, after an interchange of amity and good will between
these deadly enemies, the one departed as peaceably as they came, and
the other erected a monument as an everlasting memorial of their visit.
It was at this interesting moment the Illustration was made, while the
tents of the Russians whitened the mountains above, and the treaty of
Hunkair Iskelessi was signed in the valley below. It represents the
splendid caïque of the sultan returning from a friendly visit to his
new allies, and the crowded boats of the Bosphorus “suspending the
dashing oar,” as the homage paid to his passing.

On the left of the picture is the great Aqueduct, striding across
the valley of Buyukderé, and leading the waters of the Bendts, or
reservoirs, to Pera;--a part of that great hydraulic system, by which
the precious and necessary fluid is conveyed from the shores of the
Black Sea for the ablutions of the faithful in the great city.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. C. Bentley.



This spot recalls many interesting recollections of mythology, history,
and natural phenomena. Here it was the Symplegades opened to invite,
and closed to crush, the stranger who dared to intrude on these
forbidden seas. Here it was the Greeks entered on the expanse of the
Euxine, and disclosed new regions and new sources of wealth to their
enterprising countrymen: and here it was the disruptured mountains
first gave a passage to the waters of a vast internal ocean, which
have continued ever since to pour down with impetuosity through the
great chasm. As evidence of the first of these facts, the Cyanean
rocks are still seen, but now firmly fixed in immovable positions;
the one bound to the European, and the other to the Asiatic shore: as
evidence of the last, the debris of a volcano are every where scattered
about over a great extent. Besides scoria and rocks in various states
of calcification, columns of basalt lie strewed along both shores;
and immediately beyond the bay of Cabacos on the Asiatic shore is a
basaltic formation of great beauty and regularity, supporting the
promontory of Youm Bournou, with a colonnade as regular as that at
Staffa in Scotland, or the Giants’ Causeway in Ireland. If, as the
Vulcanists say, these are undoubtedly the productions of fire, here are
still the proofs of that mighty rupture that formed the Bosphorus. From
the awful convulsions connected with it, this entrance to the Bosphorus
was called by the Greeks ἱερον, or “the Sacred;” it is now called by
the Turks, Boghaz.

Its present aspect presents a singular and beautiful prospect. The blue
and limpid Bosphorus, now expanding into bays, and now cooped between
promontories, here suddenly expands into an apparently interminable
ocean. The promontories which swell out are clothed with a bright and
permanent verdure, covered with villages, fortresses, and beacons,
whose white walls and battlemented towers crown them with their
turreted diadems, and harmonize well with the bright tints of green
and blue from sea and land. These are called phanaraki, from phanar,
the Greek for light-house, and kui, the Turkish for town. On the most
conspicuous eminence is seen a memorial of the enterprising spirit of
the Genoese, a dilapidated castle, still in tolerable preservation,
which they erected at one end of the Bosphorus, when they built the
town of Galata at the other. Over the entrance, and on other parts of
the front, are perfect monogrammal inscriptions, which evidently belong
to the Greeks of the Lower Empire, whoever were the architects of the

All parts of these shores command delightful views, and are refreshed
by the invigorating breeze which is wafted through the Boghaz from the
Euxine, and ventilates this region in the greatest heats of a sultry
summer. The thermometer sometimes stands here ten degrees lower than
at Pera; and the panting inhabitant of the city escapes with delight,
to breathe the bracing air of this cool and refreshing vicinity. The
Frank ambassadors, instead of congregating in summer at Belgrade, as
in the time of Lady M. W. Montague, have with more taste and judgment
fixed their residence here; and Buyukderé is filled with their summer
palaces. From this village the high land stretches away in a direction
across the Bosphorus, and presents a front to the opening of the Euxine.

Amidst these lovely undulating grounds, so varied in form as to command
an extensive prospect, while the observer feels almost unseen, parties
of pleasure are continually assembled. No true mussulman is unconscious
of nature’s charms, on the contrary, his highest enjoyment is in the
contemplation of a solemn, silent, and wide-spread landscape. It is
this that attracts such numbers to the agreeable heights of Buyukderé,
and pleads an apology for the presence of the old Seraskier and his
suite, who are represented as partaking of the rural festivities of
this happy, healthy spot.

[Illustration: Drawn fron Nature by E. Hervé. Esq. Eng^d by W. H.


The extent of country from the Danube to the Propontis, is generally
a flat plain, with occasional irregularities of surface, divided by
an immense ridge of lofty mountains, rising perpendicularly, like a
stupendous wall, and dividing the level space into two nearly equal
parts. That on the south side, extending from the mountains to the sea,
was called Thrace, and, in modern times, by the Turks, Roum-Eli, or the
country of the Romans. That on the north, extending from the mountains
to the river Danube, was formerly named Mœsia, but now Bulgaria.
This chain of mountains excited the admiration of the ancients, who
attributed to it an elevation greater than any mountain in the then
known world. They supposed it was the ridge from whence the revolted
giants attempted to scale the heavens, and they called it _Hæmus_ from
a Greek word signifying “blood,” because one of the impious invaders
was slain by a thunderbolt, and the torrent of his gore stained the
mountains. They further affirm, that both the Euxine and Ægean seas
could be seen at once from its summit. The length of this chain is as
remarkable as its height; it extends for more than five hundred miles,
one end resting on the Black sea, and the other on the Ægean. It is
now called the Balkan, a Turkish or Sclavonian word, which implies
difficult defiles, because it opposes a natural rampart to an invading
army, and is the most advanced bulwark of Constantinople. For a long
time it was considered impassable by any ordinary force, and the Greek
and Turkish empire rested in confidence behind it; but a few years
only have passed, since the Russians proved its insecurity, and, to
the astonishment of Europe, as well as of the Turks, they scaled this
mighty barrier, and established themselves at the other side.

Except in a few places, the whole extent of the ridge is
impassable−−steep precipices, rugged and abrupt ascents, lofty rocks
and impending crags, render the general face of the mountains so
difficult, as to repel all attempts to climb them. The chain may be
said to consist of three branches; two lower ridges rising at each side
parallel to the great one. The intervening valleys are exceedingly
beautiful: they form extensive sequestered tracts, shut out, as it
were, from the rest of the world, and abounding in every production
that the fecundity of nature could supply, or the most elaborate
industry produce. Some of these spots exhibit, in the wildness of the
descent, all the beauties of a cultivated taste: pure streams of clear
water rippling over pebbled beds, skirted by copse-wood, and margined
by swards of the richest grass, through which the road winds like a
gravel-walk in the young plantations of an English demesne; in other
places, expanding into broad meadows filled with sheep and horned
cattle, or corn-fields covered with growing grain in various stages.
In the midst of these pastoral scenes are many villages of singular
appearance; and cottages scattered about without any regularity or
arrangement. They are built of wicker-work. An oblong space is marked
out, circular at one end, and square at the other; round this area,
wattles or short poles are stuck in the ground, and between them,
strong willows are interwoven, so as to form a large basket; on this,
poles are laid for the roof, or some of the wattles are left long
enough to be bent for the purpose. The top is then thatched with straw,
and the basket-work plastered with mud of a light grey colour. The
entrance is at the square end, where the roof projects considerably,
and is supported on pillars, the whole exhibiting a pretty and elegant
cottage, with a portico and colonnade in front. The floor is spread
with thick striped woollen carpets, on which the family sit by day and
sleep by night. In winter the fireplace is supplied with logs set on
end, to receive a fire six or seven feet high of blazing wood. Every
cottage is secured with a wicker-work enclosure, generally filled with
corn-stacks and cattle; and the peasantry of this wild and remote
region enjoy a cleanliness, comfort, and abundance, that render them
some of the happiest on the continent of Europe. Among other objects of
cultivation on the Low Balkans, is the rose which produces the attar,
and from hence it is sent to Constantinople, where it is sold in the
bazaars, and exported to other countries: the refined and elegant of
polished nations becoming indebted to these simple peasants for the
richest and most exquisite perfume in nature.

These people were once the most fierce and untractable savages, and
the scourge of the Greek empire. They were, and are still called
Bulgarians, or Volgarians, from the river Volga, from whose shores they
originally migrated to this place; and for centuries they threatened
the very existence of the enfeebled state. In the reign of Justinian,
they approached the city of Constantinople with fire and sword, but
were repulsed by the great Belisarius. After various defeats, they
were converted to Christianity, and their subdued and broken spirits,
aided by the mild influence of the new religion, produced such an
effect, that, instead of the once rude and ferocious mountaineers
reported by historians, they are now, though the same race and in the
same locality, distinguished for industry, for mildness of disposition
among themselves, and kindness and hospitality to strangers. They
have extended their population to the plains below, on each side: on
the north to the Danube, and on the south nearly to the Propontis;
and their manners form a strong contrast to those of the rude and
inhospitable Turks, with whom they here mingle.

When a traveller enters a cottage, he is received with smiles and
cheerfulness, as if he were one of the family returned home after
an absence. The females treat him with that unsuspecting confidence
which they would show to a brother, and with a good-will which those
who have experienced their hospitality will never forget. The young
women are particularly distinguished by their dress. They wear in some
parts a blue, and in other a white cloth gown, wide and open at the
sleeve and bosom, displaying a snow-white chemise of cotton or linen,
tastefully embroidered. This gown is sometimes cinctured with a band
and buckle of dressed leather, or bound by a red girdle, to which the
cloth skirts are tucked up when dancing, or in other active motions.
But that which most distinguishes them is the ornament of the head:
it is fancifully dressed, and braided with a great variety of coins
of different metals, sometimes so densely strung together, that they
form a thick metallic cord of considerable weight, and presenting the
edges of the coins. These are esteemed the retecules in which a young
lady preserves her marriage portion; and when the pendent purse is
broken up, these perforated coins, first used as ornaments, are seen in
constant circulation. When a traveller enters a cottage, and demands
the rites of hospitality, it is swept and garnished for him, and the
carpets laid; and, while he reclines upon it, the belle of the village
enters with a white handkerchief in her hand, leading a train of her
companions: they form a dance of pleasing movement, and a chorus of
sweet voices expressive of welcome. When it is concluded, the fair
conductress approaches, and casts her handkerchief into his bosom; this
implies a request for a few paras, which is never denied, and “the
village train” depart with cheerfulness and modesty.

[Illustration: C. Bentley. T. Jeavons.



In this great and apparently impenetrable chain, five passes have been
discovered, each at a considerable distance, by Haidhos, Karabat,
Jamboli or Selimno, Kersaulik, and Tâtar-bazaar. Of these, the passes
by Haidhos and Tâtar-bazaar are the most picturesque--the one at the
east, and the other at the western extremity of the mountains.

From Haidhos the traveller begins to ascend, and, after surmounting the
Low Balkans, and passing the lovely valleys between them, finds himself
in a deep sequestered vale, surrounded on all sides by mountains.
Directly before him is the vast wall of rock, extending interminably
both ways, and presenting a perpendicular form ascending to the skies.
When close under it, the flank seems suddenly, as it were, torn open by
some rupture, presenting a dark chasm, which before was not seen. This
he enters beside a rivulet, and for some time descends with it towards
the very bowels of the mountain, involved in dim twilight below, and
seeing, at an immeasurable distance above, a scarcely describable
stripe of blue sky. Ascending, and winding his way, up one side of the
chasm, he at length emerges on the summit, and stands on the ridge
of the High Balkans, enjoying a prospect, of unparalleled extent and
magnificence, of the less elevated hills and plains below. From hence
the road proceeds across a kind of table-land, generally enveloped
in mist and entangled in morasses, crossed by various ravines and
tottering planks, so loosely set as to rise at one end as the traveller
presses the other, or by decayed wooden bridges, which frequently
break down, and precipitate horse and rider into the abyss below.
Reaching the opposite or northern face of the ridge, the way descends
to Lopenitza, a Balkan village, after a transit of twenty-seven miles,
across the High Balkans, and proceeds to the Danube by Shumla.

[Illustration: Drawn from Nature by F. Hervé, Esq. Engraved by J.



The western pass, by Tâtar-bazaar, presented in the Illustration, is
not approached by a chasm so singular and wild as that by Haidhos,
but the passage on the summit is of a much more grand and romantic
character. The distinct mountains rise into immense cones of splintered
schist or granite, indented into clefts and fissures. Sometimes
masses of rock rise perpendicularly beside the traveller, between
which the road passes, with sharp-pointed tops, of a pyramidal form,
and outline so regular, as to make it doubtful whether they are not
artificial constructions. The road runs between them, and they stand
like “mountain sentinels” placed to guard the pass. The delusion is
increased when he arrives in this wild and lofty region at the remains
of a great arch of Roman brick, which apparently was one of those
pylæ, or mountain-gates, raised, to guard against the incursions of
the barbarous hordes from Dalmatia, Dacia, and other places beyond
the mountains, who for centuries continued to press and harass the
declining Roman empire. Such is the use to which it is at present
applied. Here is stationed a Dervenni, or guard of Albanian soldiers,
which form part of the cordon of posts, planted in various parts of the
ramparts of the chain, when the Russians prepared to ascend and pass
it. The Turks, in several parts of their vast empire, both in Europe
and Asia, select those points for defence which the Greeks and Romans
also appear, by their remains, to have chosen, but they never think of
repairing the old gate, or strengthening the pass by new fortifications.

[Illustration: T. Allom. P. Lightfoot.


Only two rivers flow within many leagues of the great city of
Constantinople; they rise at a short distance between it and the Black
sea, and wind their way along a valley at the head of the Golden Horn.
One of them was formerly called the Cydaris, and now the Bey Low; the
other the Babyses, now changed to the Kyatkana Low, or “Water of the
Paper Manufactory.” Where they fall into the harbour, the soil is
alluvial and marshy, and the quantity of slime collected there induced
the ancients to designate it “Marcidem Mare,” “the Putrid Sea.” The
French, however, called it, _les Eaux Doux_, because the water was not
salt; and the English now denominate it the “Sweet Waters.”

Notwithstanding that the waters are impure, and the high grounds around
sterile and denuded, the place possesses many attractions. Higher up
the stream, the valley improves, and circumstances have given the
locality much celebrity. The paper factory having fallen into ruins,
Sultan Selim built a kiosk in its place, in imitation of the palace of
Versailles. A mound has been thrown across the river, and the stream
detained, so as to form a large and tranquil sheet of water. On its
banks stands the kiosk, one side of which is supported by pillars
rising out of the water. It was once a favourite residence of Mahmoud
II., but a slave, to whom he was greatly attached, died here in the
prime of life; and her master having erected a tomb to her memory on
the bank, abandoned the place for many years. Time, however, has worn
out the impression, and it is again a favourite retreat. At the head
of the valley is the _Ocmeidan_, or “Place of the Arrow,” the royal
archery-ground; and marble pillars, erected at different distances,
attest the Sultan’s skill, and the almost incredible distance to
which he can send a shaft. On these occasions, he is attended by his
officers, and sometimes the females of his family, in arrhubas: the
valley is then shut up with guards, and no stranger permitted to
intrude: at other times, it is open to all classes, who come here to
rusticate, particularly Greeks, on Sundays and festivals.

There is one period, however, in which it is the thronged resort of
every person seeking amusement; and the Golden Horn is covered with
caïques from all parts of Pera and Constantinople. This occurs on
St. George’s day in the month of May, when the splendid stud of the
sultan is brought out from the stables of the seraglio, for the first
time in the season, to graze on the rich herbage of this place. The
horses are in the care of Bulgarians, and crowds of peasants accompany
their countrymen. They come down from the Balkan mountains at this
season of the year, to dress the vineyards about the city; and groups
of them, with their honest, good-natured faces, are seen everywhere
dancing through the streets. Their dress is a jacket of brown cloth,
caps of brown sheep-skin with the wool on, and sandals of raw hide,
drawn under the sole, and bound over the instep. But what particularly
distinguishes them is an enormous bagpipe. The minstrel draws after
him a crowd of his countrymen, capering through the streets of Pera
and Constantinople, on their way to the Sweet Waters, to amuse the
company assembled there. The banks at this season are covered with a
rich verdure, and enamelled with a profusion of flowers of all hues:
the very humidity of the soil confers a luxuriance on the sward which
is nowhere else to be seen. The soil round the city is a poor and
sterile gravel, and for nine months in the year presents a parched
and arid surface of irksome brown; it is only in the cool, humid
valleys, that a blade of verdure is to be seen. This spot, therefore,
is much frequented by the Franks; and there is no stranger on a visit
to the capital, who is not invited to see the Sweet Waters. The
Illustration represents one of these festive meetings. On the right
of the foreground is a group of Greek girls, dancing through the
graceful mazes of the romaika, their unveiled faces and necks, and
their neatly sandalled feet, forming a striking contrast to the yasmaks
and slippered-boots of other Oriental females of the capital. In the
background are companies engaged in various festivities, and embosomed
in the trees; behind is seen the sultan’s kiosk, with a never-failing
minaret peeping through the foliage.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. H. Capone.



Many circumstances strike a stranger on entering Constantinople, and
many objects different from those to which he has been accustomed in
European Christian cities. Here are no straight spacious avenues,
thronged with foot-passengers on the wide flags, and with carriages
on the level centre; no names to the streets, to direct his way; no
advertisements on walls; no women behind counters; no public places,
for walking or amusement; no monuments displaying taste, or recording
great men or actions; no libraries or news-rooms; no club-houses; no
theatres, or public exhibitions; no hackney-coaches, cabs, omnibuses,
sedan-chairs, or equipages of any kind, either public or private; no
clocks on steeples or public buildings, indicating the hour of the
day, nor bells announcing festivals or public rejoicings; no lamps to
illume the city by night; no shops blazing with the glare of gas; no
companies flocking to or from balls; or parties or public assemblies,
of any kind, thronging the streets after night-fall, and making them as
popular as at noon-day. On the contrary, he gets entangled in crooked,
narrow, steep lanes, where the pavement is so imperfect that he is
every minute in danger of breaking his leg between the loose angular
stones. During the sunlight, the busy throng is nowhere to be seen but
in the bazaars, or the avenues leading to them; and every other place
seems totally deserted, except by dogs, who howl when he appears,
and attack him in whole packs. The only equipage he sees is the
sultan’s, going to some mosque on Friday, when the people congregate
in the street through which he passes. The only carriages are women’s
arrhubas, or kotches, which, generally speaking, cannot climb the
steep and narrow streets. When they do appear, they are conveying,
closely shut up, the harem of the sultan or some pasha, and then they
are accompanied by black eunuchs with drawn sabres. Their approach
is announced by the dead silence that suddenly pervades the busy din
of a crowded thoroughfare: the moving mass of the people is suddenly
arrested, and every man stands closely wrapped up in his beniche, with
his arms folded on his breast, and his head cast down and turned away.
The unfortunate person who neglects this, is liable to be cut down,
and forfeit his life upon the spot for his negligence. At sunset all
the shops are shut up, and their owners hurry to their respective
residences; and when the evening closes in, the streets are as dark
and as silent as the grave. If a Frank, following the usages of his
country, remain at the house of a friend beyond the limited hour, he
is liable to be arrested by the Coolah guard, unless he be attended
by some lights. He often lights himself. He goes into a Baccùe, or
huckster’s shop, while it is open, and purchases for a few paras a
circular fold of paper. This is a lantern compressed into a flat
surface, which may be elongated to the extent of half a yard. He draws
it out, places a light outside, attaches it to the end of his long
chibouk, and smoking in this way, with the light thrust out before him,
is protected, on returning home through the streets, at any hour of the

The only places of public resort that seem in any way to remind
him of the social habits of a European city, are the taverns and
coffee-houses. Even these are distinguished by customs peculiarly
Oriental. The tavern is an open shop, where cooks are employed in
preparing different kinds of refreshment over small counters filled
with red-hot charcoal. Having passed these, he is shown into a dark
room behind, or above, through a narrow staircase. Here he sits down on
a tattered straw mat, and a joint stool is placed before him, on which
is laid a clumsy metal tray; presently an attendant comes with two
dishes, of coarse brown earthenware, one containing a mess of thick,
heavy, greasy pancake, made of flour, and the other a skewer of kabobs.
Kabobs are small pieces of mutton, about the size of penny pieces,
which they much resemble in shape and colour, roasted on an iron
needle, which is served up with them. There is no napkin, no knife,
fork, or spoon, no wine, beer, or spirits. The entertainment concludes
in about ten minutes with a glass of plain water, or, in extreme cases,
a cup of sherbet.

The caffinet, or coffee-house, is something more splendid, and the
Turk expends all his notions of finery and elegance on this, his
favourite place of indulgence. The edifice is generally decorated
in a very gorgeous manner, supported on pillars, and open in front.
It is surrounded on the inside by a raised platform, covered with
mats or cushions, on which the Turks sit cross-legged. On one side
are musicians, generally Greeks, with mandolins and tambourines,
accompanying singers, whose melody consists in vociferation; and the
loud and obstreperous concert forms a strong contrast to the stillness
and taciturnity of Turkish meetings. On the opposite side are men,
generally of a respectable class, some of whom are found here every
day, and all day long, dozing under the double influence of coffee
and tobacco. The coffee is served in very small cups, not larger than
egg-cups, grounds and all, without cream or sugar, and so black,
thick, and bitter, that it has been aptly compared to “stewed soot.”
Besides the ordinary chibouk for tobacco, there is another implement,
called narghillai, used for smoking in a caffinet, of a more elaborate
construction. It consists of a glass vase, filled with water, and often
scented with distilled rose or other flowers. This is surmounted with
a silver or brazen head, from which issues a long flexible tube; a
pipe-bowl is placed on the top, and so constructed that the smoke is
drawn, and comes bubbling up through the water, cool and fragrant to
the mouth. A peculiar kind of tobacco, grown at Shiraz in Persia, and
resembling small pieces of cut leather, is used with this instrument.
The pipe is lighted either by a fragment of ignited charcoal, or
amadhoo; this last is an inflammable spark prepared from decayed wood,
or a particular kind of fungus, and a Turk never goes without a portion
of it, with a flint and steel, in his tobacco-bag. In the centre of
the room is generally an artificial fountain, bubbling and playing in
summer, and round it vases of flowers, with piles of the sweet-scented
melons of Cassaba, to keep them cool, and add, by their odour, to the
fragrance of the flowers.

A frequent addition to the enjoyments of the caffinet, is the medac,
or story-teller. There are several of these public characters
at Constantinople, who, at festival seasons, are engaged by the
caffinet-ghees to entertain their guests. On these occasions, to
accommodate the increased company, stools are placed in semicircles in
the streets before the caffinet, and refreshment sent from the house. A
small platform is laid on the open window, so that the audience within
and without may hear and see. On this the story-teller mounts, and
continues his narrative sometimes till midnight. The excellence of some
of these men in their department, is surprising, and altogether out of
keeping with the dull and phlegmatic character of a Turk. In humour and
detail, they are equal to the best European actors; and sustain singly,
and without any aid, a whole drama of various characters. Their tact
is equally clever. When the attention of their audience is excited to
the highest degree at the approach of some interesting catastrophe, the
medac suddenly steps down from his platform, and going round with a
coffee-cup in his hand, the audience soon fill it with paras, to induce
him to resume his place; and then, and not till then, does he mount,
and go on with his story. One of these medacs, called Kiz Achmet, or
“Achmet the Maid,” was particularly famous. He has been engaged during
the Bairam at a salary of eight hundred piastres; and the sultan often
sent for him, to entertain the ladies of the harem, though his stories
on ordinary occasions were of a very coarse and indelicate character.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Sands.



In a very deep recess, formed by the expansion of the Bosphorus,
immediately above the Buyuk Akendisi, or “Great Rapid,” and between it
and the Roumeli Hissar, or Castle of Europe, are the bay and village
of Babec. The latter extends along one side of it, having a level quay
in front, and generally exhibits a scene of busy population, with its
caïques and fishery. Beyond it rise the wooded hills which skirt the
shores of the Bosphorus. Here the steep ascent is clothed with a very
dense growth of trees, casting their dark shadows on the waters below,
which wash the margin of the deep recess of the bay, and give it a
peculiarly sequestered and solitary appearance. Here, in the darkest
shade, is seen a lonely kiosk, which strikes the traveller passing
in a caïque, as having something more than ordinary connected with
it. The kiosk is shut in with walls, the entrance entirely closed
up, and no human being is ever seen to enter or depart from it. The
jealous precaution usually visible about a Turkish house always has a
desolate and repulsive aspect; but this kiosk, it has been remarked,
has a solitude even more than Turkish, and, without the usual marks
of desertion, decay, and dilapidation, it looks as if abandoned by
inhabitants, or devoted to some secret or mysterious purpose. It
is the retreat of Turkish diplomacy−-the appointed spot for secret

Mystery and deception, the wheels on which it usually moves, are here
practically exemplified. The bureaus of the Porte are appointed for the
transaction of ordinary business, but on extraordinary occasions it is
transferred to this place; and this solitary recess of the Bosphorus
is resorted to in order to prevent any possibility of the secret
transpiring. When it is necessary to meet a foreign minister, on any
affair of importance, he is directed to repair to this place. Hither
he comes in his caïque, divested of pomp or parade, and endeavouring
to pass without any notice. He climbs the rapid, and creeps along
the shore of this sequestered bay, to the mysterious kiosk, and is,
with due precaution, admitted. He finds, within, the reis effendi, or
minister for foreign affairs, who has approached by land with similar
precaution. The doors are closed, and the conference commences. When
the affair is arranged, the diplomatists separate, and the kiosk
is abandoned, and closed up till another mysterious affair renders
another mysterious conference at this place necessary. This attempt
at concealment is highly characteristic of the court and the people;
but it is altogether defeated. The prying jealousy of the ministers of
the European powers resident at Constantinople, is continually on the
alert: the chief dragoman of one mission makes a daily report to his
ambassador of what every other is doing, or about to do: he visits the
bureaus of the Porte, and worms out the most secret intentions; and
while the principals are shut up at Babec, as they suppose, unknown to
all the world, the tattling dragomans are every where disclosing the
subject they are discussing, and the conference at Babec is no more
secret than the news of a public coffee-house.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. J. Cook.




This city is not only celebrated in profane history, which ascribes
its foundation to the Amazons, but is rendered interesting to mankind,
for being commemorated in the Sacred Scriptures by many important
recollections. When Christianity began to expand itself in Asia,
seven churches were founded, eminently distinguished among the early
Christians, as fountains, whence the light of the gospel should flow
upon a benighted world. The first and chief of these was the great
city of Ephesus. When St. John in his Apocalypse addresses these seven
churches, the first he named was that of Ephesus. To the professors
of Christianity there, he gives a high character, intimating the
reformation which the infant gospel had already effected among the
Gentiles. “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how
thou canst not bear those that are evil.” To this church, St. Paul
addressed his epistle when in bonds at Rome, to guard them against that
false doctrine that was even then beginning to taint the purity of the
gospel. This city he visited in his travels, and adds the testimony of
sacred history to that of profane, to the estimation in which the great
heathen temple was held; and from this city he took his final departure
at that affecting moment, when they kneeled down, and prayed on the
sea-shore, “and wept sore for the words which he spake−-that they
should see his face no more.” This city once had a bishop, the angel of
the church, Timothy, the beloved disciple of St. John; and tradition
reports that it was honoured with the last days of both these great
men, and of the Mother of our Lord.

The present state of this “light of Asia,” this “emporium of the
world,” forms a sad and striking contrast to its former splendour.
The traveller lands on a dismal swamp at the mouth of a river, choked
up with sand. Beside this is an extensive jungle of low bushes, the
retreat of wolves and jackals, and all the wild animals whose solitary
and predatory habits lead them to those haunts, which had once been,
but are no longer, the habitations of men. From thence he advances
up an extensive and fertile plain, through which the Caÿster winds,
exhibiting all the capabilities of culture and abundance, but now a
rank marsh, scattered over with muddy pools, the retreat of flocks
of aquatic fowls, among which are sometimes seen flights of swans,
indicating the permanent character of nature still remaining unchanged,
though the habits of man are altered. At some miles from the sea are
marble columns, supposed to have formed part of the quay when the river
was navigable, and Ephesus the great mart of Asia. Beyond, the plain is
skirted by a rising ground, on which appears a succession of ruins for
several miles, including a stadium in a more perfect state than the
rest; but by far the most interesting are the remains of the temple and
the amphitheatre.

On the side of the hill, and partly excavated from it, is a section
of a great amphitheatre: the seats have been destroyed or removed,
but part of the marble front, many bas-reliefs, and sculptured
fragments, attest its primitive splendour. This magnificent area for
representing the spectacles of the ancients, gives a high idea of the
wealth and population of the city to which it belonged, and the number
of spectators it was necessary to accommodate. Immediately below are
the supposed ruins of the Artemision, or Temple of Diana, of which
Ctesiphon was the chief architect; it was one of the seven wonders of
the world: it measured 425 feet in length, 200 in breadth; was adorned
with 127 columns, each the gift of a king; occupied 220 years in
building; and was eight times reduced to ruins. Its foundations were
laid in a swamp, as Pliny says, to guard against the effects of an
earthquake. To absorb the damp, wool and charcoal were interspersed,
and the arches form a subterranean labyrinth, in which the waters now
stagnate. The walls are formed of immense blocks of marble, the faces
of which are perforated with cavities; into these were sunk the shanks
of the brass and silver plates with which the temple was faced, but
they have been long since abstracted. In front are the remains of vast
porphyry pillars, which probably formed the portico of the temple. When
Constantine the Great issued his decree against heathen worship, this
the principal of its temples was finally destroyed, and some of its
pillars removed to Constantinople, to adorn the Christian church of the
“holy and eternal freedom of God.”--So celebrated was this magnificent
pile, that Herostratus, a philosopher, conceived the extraordinary idea
of rendering himself immortal by destroying it. He set it on fire on
the night Alexander the Great was born, when, as the mythologists say,
the goddess to whom it belonged was so engaged in one of her functions
at this important birth, that she neglected the care of her temple, and
the splendid fabric was burnt to the ground. To defeat the hopes of
this incendiary, a decree was issued, rendering it penal to pronounce
his name, but this only contributed to preserve it the more.

The vicinity of this ruin to the amphitheatre is an additional and
deeply interesting reason for supposing it to be what remains of the
ancient temple of Diana. Here was the place where St. Paul excited
the disturbance among the silver and brass smiths who worked for the
temple; and opposite was the great public resort, where the people were
assembling for the exhibition of spectacles, into which they rushed,
carrying with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s companions. Here they
had a full view of the magnificent front of the temple “which all Asia
worshipped,” and in their enthusiasm they cried out, “Great is Diana of
the Ephesians!”

Passing these ruins, the traveller arrives at Aiasaluk, situated on a
hill near the upper extremity of the valley. Beside it is the ancient
aqueduct which conveyed water to the great city; and near it a church,
supposed to be that of St. John, rebuilt by the emperor Justinian,
but now converted into a Turkish mosque. All that remains of the
habitations of the living is now contained in this Turkish village,
whose name still reminds him of its former Christian population.
Aiasaluk is a corruption of Ayas Theologos,[11] the name by which
the Greeks denominate St. John, to whom the neighbouring church was

Such is the brief account of the great and interesting city of Ephesus!
Its “candlestick has been removed,” as the prophet predicted. All that
remains of the Gentile population are, one hundred Turks, enclosed
within narrow limits on the summit of a hill; and its numerous
Christian congregation is reduced to two individuals, one a Greek
gardener, and the other the keeper of a coffee-house,--and these are
the representatives of the first great church of the Apocalypse!

The Illustration represents these objects. On the right, in front, are
the remains of the theatre, ascending the side of the hill; and before
it, extensive ruins are scattered over the surface. Other fragments
of edifices are strewed about, and beyond is the humid plain of the
Ca ster. In the back ground are the hills which terminate the plain;
and under them, on a lower eminence, the town of Aiasaluk, having below
all that remains of the church of St. John, and the aqueduct, built by
Herodes Atticus from the ruins of the great city.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Sands.



The various nations that compose the population of Turkey are all
distinguished in the metropolis by peculiarities which are not left to
their option, but are strictly prescribed to them, that there may be
no amalgamation, and the Osmanli may be marked everywhere by separate
and distinct characters from their Rayas. Not only the manner of their
turban and the colour of their slippers distinguish them from their
masters, but the hue of their houses; and while the Turk indulges in
every gay and gaudy tint, the mansions of the Jew, Greek, and Armenian
are confined to dark and leaden colours, and are at once known by
their dull and dismal aspect This is particularly distinguished in
sailing along the Bosphorus; and so rigid are the Turks in exacting
this distinction, that those who violate it are punished with death.
During the progress of the Greek revolution, it set a fatal mark on the
devoted inhabitants. The troops, in passing up and down the strait,
selected these houses as targets, at which to direct their tophees.
Wherever a person appeared at an open window, a volley was discharged
at him in very wantonness, till the house was riddled with shot.
Nothing could be more dismal than the appearance they presented−-their
dark and dingy fronts torn and ragged, and the inhabitants frequently
hanging out of the windows or against the tattered walls. The rage
at one time was particularly directed against the priests. After the
execution of their venerable patriarch, all sense of sanctity, which
the Turks are willing to allow to the sacred character, whatever be the
profession, was converted into hatred and insult. The bishop of Derkon
was hung against his own church at Therapia; his clergy were executed
whenever they were taken, like common felons, on the shores of the
Bosphorus; and the beauty of this fair region was deformed by the most
appalling sights. The waters, too, bore frightful testimony of these
enormities. The bodies thrown into the current were sometimes carried
by the eddies into the little bays and harbours, where they remained
putrifying in the still water, tainting the air, and exhibiting to
the terrified survivors the decaying remains of their pastors, still
wrapped in the vestments in which they died.

Happily this dismal period is passed away, and the constitutional
gaiety of the Greeks now evinces its usual hilarity, and their music
and dancing again enlivens the shores and villages of the Bosphorus.
Their social dispositions, evinced in the structure of their houses,
is strongly contrasted with those of the Turks. While the windows of
the latter are shut up by impenetrable lattice-work, which is always
kept jealously closed, and a human being is never seen in the solitary
house, those of the former are distinguished by open casements, at
which is generally observed some gay groups of laughing female faces,
holding a cheerful and unrestrained communication with any passenger.
Nor are the houses of their ecclesiastics prohibited from this social
enjoyment. The Greek secular priests are allowed to marry: their
religion does not inhibit gaiety, though it prescribes many fasts: they
have often a numerous family, and the “priest’s house” has nothing of
that ascetic and austere observance that marks the celibacy of the
Latin church.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. G. Watkins.


Palace of Crœsus, Church of Panayia, Theatre, Arpolis, the Pactolus,
Mount Tmolus.


Sardis, one of the seven churches of the Apocalypse, was anciently
the capital of the rich kingdom of Lydia. Here was the court of the
splendid Crœsus, the contemporary of Cyrus the Great, to which were
invited men distinguished by worth and learning. Here it was that Æsop
composed those apologues, which at this day form the rudiments of our
education; and here Solon gave that instructive lesson to the monarch
on his throne, that riches and prosperity are no protection against
the instability of fortune−-a truth which the unhappy prince had soon
reason bitterly to remember. This city, like others, underwent many
vicissitudes. It fell into the hands of Cyrus and the Persians, five
hundred and fifty years before the Christian era. It was burnt by
the Athenians half a century afterwards; was the occasion of drawing
down the resentment of the “Great King” led the Persians to invade
Europe; and was the cause of all the celebrated events that followed.
It was totally destroyed by an earthquake in the reign of Tiberius,
and about the time of the crucifixion of our Lord. Immediately after,
the renovated city became distinguished among the seven Christian
lights of the world. Sardis was one of those which the prophet, in
the Apocalypse, reproves for declension from the Christian faith, and
who thus exhorts them: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which
remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect
before God:” They despised the admonition; and when Julian attempted
to restore paganism, he re-erected in this town all the pagan altars
that had been prostrated; and when the Mohammedans invaded Asia Minor,
Sardis, like the rest, fell into the power of the inveterate enemies of

Sardis, now called Sart by the Turks, has not any collection of human
habitations. The only temporary occupants are the hordes of marauding
Turcomans, who, with their camels and their flocks, sometimes pitch
their tents on the plains, and, when the herbage is exhausted, pass
to other places. Ruins scattered over an extensive surface, intimate
the existence of a former city, whose name would not be recognized and
ascertained, but for the permanent characters of nature which surround
it, and still remain unchanged. As Diana was the great deity, and chief
object of adoration to the Ephesians, so Cybele was to the Lydians,
among whom she was said to be born. Her great temple stood at Sardis.
On the plain is still seen the remnant of a noble edifice of which the
five columns still standing supported a vast mass of marble, exciting
the wonder of the ancients by what power it could be raised so high.
It now lies a prostrate fragment, serving only as an indication of the
structure to which it belonged. The remains of the Gerusia, or House
of Crœsus, are considerable, and consist of brick-work remarkable for
its durability. But the objects of greatest interest to the Christian
visiter are the ruins of two Churches, those of the Panayia and St.
John. Among “the Seven Churches,” these are perhaps the only actual
edifices of early Christian worship, that can be distinguished at the
present day.

At the extremity of the plain is the hill of the Acropolis, at this
day representing, by its shape and position, what the ancient site
is described to be. Its front is a triangular inclined plane, not
difficult to approach; its rear was an abrupt precipice, supposed to be
inaccessible. The view from the summit is commanding, and includes the
vast plain of the Hermus, the tomb of Halyattes, and the Gygean lake.
When Antiochus besieged the city, he observed that vultures and birds
of prey were gathered about offals thrown from the fortress above,
and he sagaciously inferred that the wall of this place was low, and
negligently watched. It is added, that a Persian soldier, allured by
a high reward, attempted to climb the dangerous precipice; and having
done so, he descended, and pointed out the way to his companions,
who followed him, and entered the citadel. The front aspect of the
Acropolis, which is accurately represented in our Illustration, exactly
corresponds with this detail. Behind the Acropolis rise the ridges of
mount Tmolus, covered with snow, and once celebrated for vines and
saffron, odoriferous shrubs, and the longevity of its inhabitants.
These properties of nature it retains to this day, and travellers
speak of its balmy air, and the rich fragrance that is wafted from
its aromatic herbs. In it the celebrated Pactolus took its rise, and,
pouring down its auriferous streams, enriched the capital with such
abundance of gold, that mythologists accounted for it in their fanciful
manner. The mountain has parted with all its auriferous particles,
and the golden reservoir is exhausted, but the sands are still of a
ruddy hue, and justify the name of the “Golden Pactolus.” The splendid
remains of Sardis are calculated to recall early impressions, and
excite the most solemn reflections. Once the capital of the richest
kingdom on earth, and her name associated with mighty events, she
affords now no permanent habitation to any human being, while her whole
Christian population is comprised in _two_ servants of a Mohammedan
miller in the vicinity.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. W. Lowry.



The first objects that present themselves on ascending the Bosphorus,
are the palaces of the several female members of the imperial family,
hanging, as it were, over the water. They display long fronts, with
coarse balconies of wood, having little of architectural beauty to
recommend them. Each balcony is supported by sloping beams of timber,
the upper projecting beyond the lower, so as to impend over the water,
leaving a narrow quay as the public street beneath. The windows are
closed up with more than Turkish jealousy. The lattices are dense and
impervious to all view, leaving only one minute aperture, to which the
inmate of the harem applies her eye when she wishes to contemplate the
busy and living picture continually before her.

The first of these palaces is that of the Asmé Sultana, the sister of
the present sultan. It is distinguished by its brazen doors, and by the
sounds of music continually issuing from it, particularly at night;
when concerts attract multitudes of boats, and caïques of all sizes,
filled with company of every grade, crowd the Bosphorus before it. Next
this is the palace of the sultan’s daughter, the princess Sahilé, and
beside it the humbler edifice of her spouse−-the difference of rank
still scrupulously observed, that the son-in-law may not forget that
he is married to the daughter of the sultan. Immediately beyond is
the palace of Saïd Pasha, lately united to the princess Mirameh, the
youngest marriageable daughter of the imperial family. The pasha has
availed himself of the privilege denied to the rayah, by painting his
house of “a rosy hue,” alluding, it is said, that emblematic colour, to
the happiness of his nuptial state.

Immediately below the palace is one of the rapids called by the Greeks
_Megalé roë_, and by the Turks, _Buyuk akindisi_, over which the stream
tumbles sometimes with the velocity and turbulence of a cataract, and
is supposed to be one of the evidences of that awful convulsion which
tore open the strait, and sent the waters of the upper ocean down to
the lower regions in an eternal current. As no vessel can ascend here
by force of oars, it is necessary to tow them. The shore is seen lined
with men holding coils of cord: when a vessel arrives, the efforts of
the crew are suspended; the coil is cast to the ship, and fastened to
the prow; it is then passed over the shoulders of a long line of men,
and by main force, and most laborious exertions, the largest and most
ponderous ships of the Black sea are thus dragged up the descent, with
a bodily strength and perseverance which a Turkish hammal alone can
exert. When the lighter caïque arrives, it ascends with little labour.
The passenger then wraps a few paras in a morsel of paper, throws them
ashore to the robust assistants, the tow is thrown off, and the light
caïque, now arrived at the summit, shoots on its way. The introduction
of steam-boats was opposed, as depriving so many persons of a means of
support, but they are now used for larger vessels, and partly abridge
this painful toil.

[Illustration: T. Allom. E. Benjamin.




Hierapolis, or “the Sacred City,” stands on the confines of ancient
Caria and Lydia, in Asia Minor, and a few miles from Laodicea. It is
now called _Pambouk kalesi_, the first part of the name signifies
“cotton,” from a very singular phenomenon. On approaching the place,
the traveller sees before him the sloping face of a hill, of a pure
white, and apparently fleecy texture, swelling into little eminences,
and resembling a mass of wool laid upon the surface, and as if slightly
agitated by the wind. The soil abounds with hot springs, and this
singular appearance is a pure white concrete substance, generated by
the water flowing over the steep, and leaving behind a chalky deposit.
On being tested with acids, it is found to ferment; and like the
dropping-well at Knaresborough, and from the same cause, leaving behind
it an incrustated surface of carbonate of lime wherever it flows. The
abundance of this concrete deposit was so great formerly, that it
performed the function of Amphion’s lyre, and raised spontaneous walls.
The water was conducted round edifices and enclosures, and the channels
then became long fences of a single stone. When the rill first drips
over any surface, it leaves behind it a lurid appearance, resembling
wet salt, or half-dissolved snow. Several of the vineyards and gardens
are now fenced with this substance.

Over the summit of this chalky cliff appear the remains of Hierapolis.
These consist of the ruins of a stadium, and amphitheatre, which no
ancient town, yet discovered, has been without; they were the most
indispensable, and the most permanently built. The meanest as well as
the most insignificant cities seem to have thought them necessary to
their well-being. Mixed with these are numerous sarcophagi, with and
without covers; the whole occupying a space of one mile in length; and
among the inscriptions found are some celebrating this city for its hot
springs, declaring it to be revered over Asia for its salubrious rills.
It was, therefore, dedicated to Apollo, who, with Æsculapius and
Hygeia, appear on the medals which remain. They had another property,
that of assisting the tincture extracted from vegetable dyes, and
imparting to wool its richest purple.

Besides its hot springs, Hierapolis was distinguished by a very
remarkable and deleterious exhalation, called very properly,
_plutonium_, as appertaining to the key of the infernal regions.
This was a small excavation in an adjoining mountain, having an area
before it of four or five hundred yards in circumference. This space
was always filled with a dense vapour, so that the bottom could not
be discerned. Like the modern Grotto del Cane, this vapour was mortal
to those who breathed it; bulls and other animals were driven into
the enclosure, and immediately fell down suffocated; and birds, as at
Averno, dropped senseless when attempting to fly across it. The priests
of Cybele, availing themselves of this mephitic cavern, pretended to
work a miracle. They alone were able to walk through the exhalation
unhurt. The imposture is easily detected; the vapour is carbonic acid
gas, like that of the grotto in Italy; it is a dense and heavy fluid,
which does not rise high above the ground. Animals, whose heads are
immersed in it, are immediately suffocated; but those who walk erect,
above the surface, pass through it with impunity.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. Floyd.



Of all the churches of the Apocalypse, Philadelphia retains more of
its former Christian character than any other. Ephesus and Sardis _are
not_ but Philadelphia _is_; and the profession of Christianity is not
only cherished there by a large population, but it is presided over by
a Christian bishop; and while the cooing of turtle-doves in every tree,
the mansion of the filial stork in every roof, and sundry other objects
of nature, of soothing sound and placid aspect, reminds the traveller
of its Christian name, Philadelphia, or “brotherly love,” the Turks, as
if to mark its former sanctity, now call it Allah Sher, or the “City of
God.” The inhabitants, too, are of a most urbane character, and have
obtained for themselves, in the barbarism that surrounds them, the
eulogy of being a “kind and civil people.”

The city was originally built, like many others that long adorned
Asia Minor, by descendants of the enterprising soldiers that followed
Alexander the Great in his Persian expedition; who, after carrying war
and its destructive train into the countries of the East, compensated
their ravages by building cities in the place of those they had
destroyed, and leaving behind them the arts and language of Greece.
Attalus Philadelphus selected a site at the foot of Mount Tmolus, and
called it Philadelphus, after himself. When Christianity expanded,
the inhabitants early received the Gospel, and it became one of the
churches distinguished by the Evangelist among the seven. He eulogizes
it as that which “kept the word of God, and denied not his name.”
An impression remained on the minds of the people, derived perhaps
from their interpretation of the Apocalypse, that their city never
had and never would be taken. When, therefore, the Moslems inflicted
ruin and desolation on other Christian communities, the inhabitants of
Philadelphia despised them. They had heard that they had “laid waste
defenced cities into ruinous heaps,” yet they read that “by the way
they came, they should return,” and “not come into this city.” They
therefore made a vigorous resistance, and though remote from the sea,
and bereft of all maritime aid, they, for near a century, and long
after other Christian cities had been destroyed, repelled all the
attempts of the Osmanli. At length, exhausted by famine, they could
make no further resistance, and fell under the superior power of
Ilderim, the Turkish Thunderbolt.

The town stands upon a hill, and, like all Greek cities, ascends to an
acropolis. Around the base expands a singularly rich country, even now
in a high state of cultivation, divided into gardens and vineyards, and
beyond them one of those verdant and fertile plains which distinguish
Asia Minor. There are few remains of antiquity which mark the era when
Grecian art flourished. Such walls and masses of masonry as now stand,
belong to the time of the Lower Empire. Among the barbarous remnants of
those times is a wall of human bones, cemented together, near the town,
and said to be evidence of the massacre perpetrated by Bajazet, who
formed the structure as a monument of the terrible effects of resisting
his wrath. It is a companion for the pyramid of human heads which his
rival Tamerlane erected on similar occasions.

The present Christian population amount to about 1800. They have 25
churches, but the greater part of them are disused, except once in the
year: in five only is weekly service regularly performed. The remains
of ancient Christian churches, of an era immediately succeeding the
Apocalypse, are still shown; particularly one dedicated to him who saw
and recorded the vision.

The illustration represents, in the foreground, the remains of the
walls of the city. They were originally of great strength, and formed a
triple defence, like those of Constantinople. Two no longer exist, but
the inner still stands, with many of its bastions and circular towers.
Beyond is the present city, displaying the evidence of a populous town.
The bristling minarets and swelling domes indicate a numerous Moslem
population, said to amount to 15,000 persons. In the background are the
ridges of Mount Tmolus.

[Illustration: T. Allom. E. Challis.


The chain of the Balkans generally consists of three parallel ridges,
having valleys of exceeding beauty between them. But in some places
on the north side, the lower ridge seems obliterated; the descent is
very precipitous, and the face of the mountain, like a vast wall,
descends almost perpendicularly to the plain below, uninterrupted by
any lesser eminence. This is particularly the case with the pass by
Philippopoli and Tatar Bazaar. When the traveller stands upon the
summit-ridge, he sees the plain of Bulgaria below him, extending its
horizontal surface to the Danube, like the sea, to what seems to him
an interminable distance. The roads down this side are not only steep,
but dangerous, and frequent accidents happen to travellers from the
abrupt and sudden descent of the pass. Winding down the narrow defiles
on a rugged path, scarcely broad enough for one to pass; when two meet
going in an opposite direction, the peril is awful. Neither can go
back or turn aside, and one is often precipitated into the gulf below.
This danger is increased, and more frequently occurs, from trains of
horses laden with iron, the produce of mines found in the recesses of
the mountains. The horses travel in a single file, and bound to each
other by cords. When one falls over the edge of the precipice, he is
generally supported by the rest of the train, till he regains his path
and footing. This precaution is taken by other travellers, but baggage
horses, from the greater weight and more unmanageable burdens, very
often are precipitated over the edge, and disappear into the gulf
below, where they are suffered to lie, without any fruitless attempt to
follow or regain the baggage. To obviate such accidents, the Surrogee,
or Tartar janissary who attends the traveller, stops at the entrance
of a dangerous pass, and, drawing his pistols, discharges them into it
several times, waiting for some space for a reply. If one is returned
in the same manner, it intimates that the defile is already occupied by
others, and the party wait their issuing forth. If no return be made to
the discharges, they pass on.

Our illustration represents a steep descent from the village of Intiman
into the ravine below, and, after fording the mountain-torrent in the
bottom of the gulf, the equally steep ascent on the other side. On
climbing this, the plain of Bulgaria appears before the traveller, from
the summit, in all the luxuriance of verdure and fertility, and leads
him to Sophia, the ancient capital of Bulgaria, where the ashes of its
kings repose.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Tingle.


On the eastern mouth of the Bosphorus, opposite Constantinople, and,
like it, rising from the waters up an inclined plane, stands the
large town of Scutari, associated with many historic and classic
recollections. When the Persian armies carried ruin to the Greek
colonies on the Asiatic coast, and prepared to add Europe to their
conquests, they formed a depôt on a promontory at the mouth of the
Bosphorus, of all their rich plunder; and so great was the accumulation
of wealth of all kinds in this place, that the town built on the
spot was called Chrysopolis, or “the City of Gold.” The point of the
promontory was named Bous, or “The Ox,” from a tradition that it
was here that Iö landed in the shape of a cow, when she swam across
the strait to escape the persecutions of Juno. It was just under
this promontory that the Athenians defeated the fleets of Philip of
Macedon, when he laid siege to Byzantium. It was here that Licinius,
the brother-in-law of Constantine, was taken prisoner, and afterwards
beheaded, which gave the undivided empire of the East to Constantine,
and enabled him to build his new and splendid city on the opposite
promontory, when he had rid himself of his last rival; and, finally, it
was here the crusaders first contemplated it, indulged in their visions
of rapacity, and conceived the project of plundering this capital of
their fellow-christians.

The Turks call it Scodra, or Scutari, and consider it a suburb of
Constantinople, though on the opposite side of the straits, and in
another quarter of the world. The beauty and salubrity of its situation
have rendered it a favourite residence. The streets are wider, the
open areas more spacious, and the houses better built than in the
capital; and the prospect, as you climb the hills above, is exceedingly
beautiful. In the ascent to the hill of Bourgourloo, you arrive at a
plateau, celebrated for the richness of the scenery it affords. Mount
Olympus, the Princes’ Islands, the winding strait of the Bosphorus
with its bays and villages, appear with singular beauty from this
spot; while the fragrance exhaled from the gardens, and the chant of
the nightingale, afford a gratification to every sense. Beside it is a
valley called Bulbul Dereci, or “the Vale of the Nightingale,” where
these birds abound, and their song is heard all day. When a public
functionary is deprived of his office, and suffered to retain his life,
he retires to Scutari, and seeks solace in its soothing enjoyments.
The Persian ambassador and his suite, excluded, like the Franks, from
Constantinople, here take up their abode. With the exception of a few
Jews, it is exclusively a Mohammedan city, and contains eighty thousand
Moslem inhabitants.

It is distinguished by many edifices of piety or utility. Here the
daughter of Soliman the Magnificent erected a mosque to the memory of
her father; and an inscription recording the circumstance, represents
her as “the gem of the world,” and prays that “Allah would render her
excellent in every other qualification.” Here Selim established his
printing-press, when he revived it, to enlighten his subjects: here he
erected a magnificent cotton-factory, to improve them in the industry
and arts of life: here he built a noble kisla, or barrack, for his
nizam djeddit, or new troops, to discipline a rude and turbulent rabble
to European restraints: and here he endowed a mosque, to which he
usually repaired to perform his Friday’s devotion. This edifice, given
in our illustration, stands on the slope of the hill, surrounded by an
extensive area, and exhibits considerable lightness and elegance. Among
the group of Turks is seen some in the costume of European soldiers;
which he lost his crown and life in endeavouring to establish, though
his more energetic successor completely succeeded. The violence and
impetuosity of one of those sudden currents of air which burst out in
the Sea of Marmora, was strongly marked by its effects on this mosque.
The principal minaret was snapped off like the stem of a pipe, and the
upper part was carried unbroken to a distance.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. Floyd.


This beautiful but small imperial mosque of the reigning sultan, is
situated not on a conspicuous eminence like those of his predecessors,
but in the low alluvial ground on the shores of the Bosphorus, and on
the water’s edge; but the beauty and finish of the edifice compensate
for the defects of its site. All the skill of Oriental ornament is
expended upon it. Rich lattice-work and taper spires of minarets
highly gilded, glitter in the sun with a brilliancy and recency, as if
they had been left just finished by the hands of the artisans; while
painting and sculpture, in rich arabesque, give a peculiar elegance to
the edifice. It is entered by a lofty approach of marble steps, and
it is distinguished by a separate and detached spire, not a minaret,
but intended for a use which modern improvement and approximation to
European arts have lately introduced. The Turks abhorred the sound of a
bell in any form, and inhibit its use even to the Franks in assembling
their congregations for divine service. They could not be induced to
erect a public clock in the capital,[12] and it was supposed, some
years ago, that there were but two in the Turkish empire of Europe−-one
in the town of Shumla, erected by a minister who brought it from
Russia, where he had been on a mission, had learned its use, and
conferred it as a benefit on his native town; the other was bestowed
on Athens, while under the dominion of the Turks, by Lord Elgin, as a
compensation for his abduction of the marbles of the Parthenon. The
present sultan, however, among his improvements, has erected a steeple
in his temple for a clock, that the muezzim may be directed with more
certainty in calling the faithful to prayer; and it is probable that,
in a few years, the more effectual sound of the prohibited bell will be
substituted for the human voice.

[Illustration: T. Allom. G. Presbury.



There are two modes of travelling through Asiatic Turkey. When the
traveller takes with him a firman from the sultan, and a Tartar
janissary as a guard, and brings an introduction to the pasha or
muzzelim of a town or village−-on his arrival, and the presentation
of his credentials, he has a _conak_ assigned him; that is, some
house is conferred upon him and his company, and a chaoush is sent
to establish him in it. The house is generally the residence of
some Greek, Armenian, or Jew. The chaoush enters without ceremony,
turns out the family, and puts the stranger in possession of all
it contains, as long as he chooses to remain. By special favour
of some more considerate traveller, he asks the family to stay as
lodgers in their own house, having assigned to the strangers the best
apartments in it. Should the traveller not meet with the comfort and
consideration of a conak, he is compelled to betake himself to a khan,
or a caravansary. The first of these is an immense edifice, with a
lofty roof and bare walls, resembling a rude imitation of Westminster
Hall, in which the horses literally appear like mice, contrasted with
the immensity of their stable. Round the bottom runs a low parapet,
leaving a small space between it and the wall, which serves as a
manger. Behind, it is filled with chopped straw, the usual food for
horses. When a traveller arrives, he rides in without question or
inquiry, turns his horse to his provender, spreads his carpet beside
him for himself, sups on whatever he brings with him, sleeps where he
eats, on the floor, and departs the next morning without payment. In
cities, the khan has somewhat more accommodation, and in the country
there is sometimes a small apartment stuck on the side of the lofty
wall like a pigeon-house, and ascended by a ladder, like a hay-loft.
Here the traveller finds a ragged mat on a rough dirty floor, and,
perhaps, there is a coffee-room in the street, whence he can procure
some refreshments; but these are rare luxuries. These naked edifices
were first erected by Murad Khan, vizir to Soliman the Magnificent,
and afterwards by the munificence and charity of sultans, for the
gratuitous accommodation of all travellers.

The caravansary is an improved khan.[13] Commerce with the interior
of Asia is carried on principally by the Armenians, who travel in
caravans. Companies of merchants combine and travel together; and when
the number is considerable, a chief is appointed, who commands and
regulates the march. They are often attended by hired soldiers, and
every man is himself armed with some weapon. When a pasha, or other
great man, is known to be about to make a movement, the caravan awaits
his departure, and proceed under his protection, like a fleet of
merchantmen under the convoy of a man-of-war. The caravan in this way
sometimes amounts to several thousand persons. Along the usual route,
large edifices are erected, having more accommodation than common
khans. They consist of quadrangles surrounded by chambers, where the
merchants are lodged, and their wares stowed, rising sometimes to the
height of two or three stories, ascended by stairs, and connected by
galleries and corridors. The area has frequently a fountain of pure
water playing in the centre, is planted with shrubs and trees, and the
fronts are trellaced with vines climbing over the roofs, affording
agreeable shade, or pendent with rich clusters of fruit. Some of them
are very picturesque and pleasing objects, and afford a most grateful
repose to the tired and heated traveller. As the indispensable duties
of charity, formerly prescribed to Moslems, and strictly followed, are
daily becoming of looser obligation; the fountains, khans, and other
erections of piety and charity, are rapidly falling to decay and ruin,
and no new ones are erected to supply their places.

The town of Guzel-Hissar, the caravansary of which is given in the
illustration, is supposed to be the ancient Tralles, stigmatized by
Juvenal for sending its effeminate inhabitants to corrupt the Romans.
It is situated in Asia Minor, on the north side of the Meander, about
thirty miles from Ephesus. It is approached by an excellent road, with
rich gardens on either side, planted with vines, olives, and other
Oriental trees. On ascending the hill on which the Acropolis of the
ancient city stood, the eye commands a magnificent view of the rich
plain beneath, with the Meander twining its tortuous current in such a
way, as conveys in a striking manner the character of the stream, and
why it gave its name to all winding rivulets. The modern town contains
a large population of about fifty thousand inhabitants. The Jews have
ten synagogues, and the Greek and Armenian Christians two churches.

Our illustration presents the arrival of a caravan, with all its busy
accompaniments; the patient camel, “the ship of the desert,” and the
great medium of communication in these countries, discharging its
cargo. Contrasted with this enormous and misshapen beast of burden,
is the Arabian courser, on which is mounted the tchelebi, or Turkish
gentleman, seated on his lofty saddle, his feet thrust into his
fire-shovel stirrups, and his knees protruding above his horse’s back
by the shortness of his stirrup-leather. On the ground is seated the
disengaged traveller, solacing his fatigue with his nargillai, and
behind him a pious Mussulman, preparing by ablution for the namaz, or
evening prayer.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Sands.




This castle was originally built, with that on the opposite shore,
by the Greek emperors, to command the passage of the strait at its
narrowest part. It was falling into ruins by the neglect and supineness
of the sovereigns of the lower empire, but the site was appropriated
and the edifice rebuilt by Mahomet I., when the Turks extended their
dominion to the Asiatic shores of the Bosphorus, as an effectual
step in his advance to the capital. Its fate was soon after sealed
by Mahomet II., who completed his line of approach by seizing on and
rebuilding the castle on the European shore.

The Asiatic castle stands, somewhat elevated, on a low promontory,
which, with a village around it, it covers. Near it is the Guyuk Sou,
or Sweet Waters of Asia, frequented as one of the favourite scenes of
Turkish enjoyment. The neighbourhood, on both sides the Bosphorus,
possesses springs of great celebrity. They are called by the Greeks
_ayasma_, or “holy wells,” and held in high repute for the sanctity
and efficacy of their waters, their spiritual and physical qualities
healing all diseases both of mind and body. Within the cavity which
covers the well, there is a shrine dedicated to the patron saint,
at which the pious are constantly seen, by boats passing along the
Bosphorus, offering up prayers and vows for the forgiveness of sins, or
the recovery of health.

Rising from the low and alluvial soil below, is the beautiful and
romantic eminence of Kandeli. This lovely hill projecting into a
promontory, commands an extensive view on both sides, up and down
the strait, nearly to its opening at both seas. It is the favourite
residence of the rich Armenians, who, retiring from the dismal
obscurity of their shops in the bazaars, or the cell-like offices where
they are engaged in the city and confined all day, indulge here in airy
and splendid mansions, an evening repose in more than Asiatic luxury.

[Illustration: T. Allom. F. A. Prior.


A district of Constantinople is called Psamatia, from a miracle of the
Greek church. During one of those verbal and frivolous controversies
which divided it, a priest was reproved by a young child for some
unsound opinion. He replied, he would hold it till convinced by a
sensible miracle that it was wrong. The child was immediately seized
by an invisible hand, and held suspended in the air over the heterodox
priest, till he confessed and recanted his error. This miracle, called
in the Greek church _ypsomathea_, or “the divine elevation,” gave a
name to the whole district, where it is firmly believed at this day. It
is one of the quarters inhabited by the Armenians, and presents many
indications of the wealth and industry of that thriving people.

It contains one of the principal baths of the city, in the luxury of
which, Oriental Christians, as well as Moslems, indulge. After the
process we have already described is gone through, the bather, purged
from all corporeal impurities, and escaped from the sensations of
suffocation and dislocation, is led by the tellah to enjoy the luxury
he has, in the opinion of many, dearly earned. Here, in an apartment
reduced to a moderate temperature, reclined at ease on a divan, his
purified person slightly covered with shawls, entirely divested of
his clothes, and perfectly free from all pressure or restraint, he
feels a renovated existence. Refreshments of various kinds are brought
to him, and, after taking them, he lies for some time sunk in that
dreamy repose of half-conscious existence, which is the very paradise
of an Oriental. When this is past, and the heat of his body is reduced
gradually to its usual temperature, so that he apprehends no peril from
sudden change, he resumes his clothes, and goes on his way rejoicing.

Nothing can afford a stronger contrast than the cautious effeminacy of
a Turk, and the rude hardihood of his neighbour and enemy the Russian,
in this particular. Both equally indulge in hot-baths; but the one
reduces the temperature of his body afterwards, by careful gradations,
even in the midst of summer, and dreads any extreme sensation as
mortal; while the other rushes from burning heat, with every pore
streaming with perspiration, into the intense cold of frozen snow, in
the depth of winter, and thinks the luxury and salubrity of the bath
increased by the contrast.

By a return of the Stambol effendi, or Turkish lord-mayor, there were
in the city 88,115 houses, 130 of which were public baths, in which
most of the inmates of the other houses daily indulged. To accommodate
the number, men and women were obliged to have recourse to the same
bath, at different hours.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Redaway.



This city of the Apocalypse was distinguished by many circumstances
worthy of record, both in profane and sacred history. It was erected
by Philoterus, a eunuch, into the capital of many nations, comprising
Lydia, Caria, Phrygia, and other states of Asia Minor, two centuries
and a half before the birth of Christ. It possessed the greatest
library then known in the world, consisting of 200,000 volumes,
afterwards brought by Cleopatra to form that of Alexandria. It gave
rise to a material for writing which has since been invaluable in
the world. Ptolemy had prohibited the exportation of papyrus from
Egypt, and an artist of Pergamus invented parchment, thence called
“pergamea.” It was celebrated for the worship of Esculapius, who had
a splendid temple there. The priests were the physicians, and the
temple was crowded with patients, who invoked succour by watching and
prayer. This was communicated by means of dreams and visions through
the priests, who administered the remedies which they affirmed the god
directed. Mighty sovereigns were among the number of these patients.
The last king, Attalus, was noted for his tyranny and singularity. He
obtained the name of Philometor, for his love to his mother, and became
a brass-founder, in order to cast for himself a statue of her. While
engaged in his forge, working as a common artisan, on a hot day, he was
seized with a fever, of which he died. His will was another mark of
singularity: it consisted of one line−-“Let the Roman people inherit
all I possess.” The Romans were charged with forging this will, and
poisoning the waters of the city, to compel the inhabitants to comply
with it. The state from that time became a Roman province; and it was
thus, by force or fraud, this ambitious people finally became masters
of the then known world.

When Christianity expanded itself in Asia, Pergamus became the third
church of the Apocalypse; but it appears, from the reproach of the
evangelist, that it was early infected with that heresy, which has
caused, in all ages, such injury to the church of Christ. “So hast thou
also them which hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which I hate,”
says St. John.[14] These heretics were the followers of Nicolas−-a
proselyte of Antioch, and one of the seven deacons mentioned in the
Acts.[15] They were “addicted to the vain babblings of science falsely
so called,”[16] pretended to a more deep and mysterious knowledge of
spirits and angels, and were the origin of the sect of “Gnostics,” who,
in the early ages of the Gospel, degraded it by absurd opinions and
foul practices. This church fell like the others, and less perhaps to
be regretted, under the dominion of the Osmanli, when, with the sword
in one hand, and the Koran in the other, they left the inhabitants
of Asia no alternative but death or Mahomet. As they advanced among
the Greek cities, they made their perfection in the arts the means of
subduing them. They not only cut their beautiful marble columns into
portions, and rounded them into cannon-balls, but they perforated the
larger pillars into artillery for throwing the pieces of the smaller.
At Pergamus many of the shafts of the columns of their temples were
thus converted into cannon.

The present city, now called Bergamo, by a slight corruption of the
original name, contains 50,000 inhabitants, of whom 1700 are Christians
of the Greek and Armenian churches, and 100 Jews, who have a synagogue.
It is approached by an ancient bridge passing over a tributary stream
of the Caicus. It forms the front ground of our illustration, with a
caravan passing it. In the background is seen the Acropolis, commanding
a splendid view over the vast and rich plain below, as far as the Egean
sea. On this grand elevation stood the magnificent temple, extensive
remains of which still exist, visible from the sea. On the plain
below was the Naumachia, where naval combats were held, supposed to
be the most splendid in Asia; and among the remains of ruder works
is a portion of a common sewer, consisting of a cylinder of brick,
thirty feet in diameter. But the ruin most interesting to the Christian
traveller is that of Agios Theologus, the Evangelist St. John, erected
by Theodosius, when he surmounted the Globe he held in hand with a
Cross−-to declare that Christianity had now become the paramount
religion of the world.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. C. Bentley.



The walls of Constantinople, notwithstanding the shocks of earthquakes,
the numerous assaults of besiegers, the decay of time, and the
dilapidations of neglect, are at this day surprisingly perfect; and
though fifteen centuries have passed since their first erection, they
include the same space, and stand at the same elevation. The great
wall, forming as it were the base of the triangular area on which the
city is built, and running from sea to sea, is nearly five miles in
extent: a broad high road passes parallel to and just under it, so
that a traveller can view without interruption the whole line, from
the Golden Horn to the Propontis, and contemplate, during a delightful
walk, the most interesting remains perhaps existing in the world.
In some places the rising ground so elevates him, that he sees a
considerable part of the interior of the city over the walls, and he
looks down upon places, hallowed by various recollections, which the
narrowness and obscurity of the streets prevent his viewing from within.

This wall, originally erected by Constantine the Great, was enlarged
by Theodosius, and is therefore called after his name. It suffered
various shocks by violence of different kinds−-of nature, time, and
the hand of man−-and was finally repaired by Leo and Theophilus. From
the district called Blachernæ, where it meets the harbour, it rises to
an immense height, and towers to a surprising elevation above the head
of the passenger. The uniformity is broken, however, by the remains of
edifices on the summit of the wall, and the rich drapery of ivy and
various trailing plants, which cover it. Here the wall, secured by its
magnitude, is single, and presents but one defence. But at the gate
called Egri Kapousi, or the crooked gate, where it forms an angle, the
elevation is less, and the defence increased by a triple wall of three
parallel fortifications, which extend to the Seven Towers and the sea.
The walls are eighteen feet asunder, crowned with battlements, and
defended by fifty-nine towers, of various forms and sizes. Inserted in
different places are tablets of stone or iron, containing inscriptions
which commemorate events, or persons who repaired the walls; but most
of them are now entirely effaced, particularly those on iron, by the
rust and corrosion of the metal. The masonry in some parts consists
of huge blocks of granite, resembling those early structures in
Greece called Cyclopean, from the fancy of mythologists, that they
had been erected by gigantic architects. In others, they are composed
of alternate courses of broad flat bricks, resembling our tiles, and
stones twice the thickness. Arcades and arches, both in the walls and
towers, are formed, in a curious manner, of similar materials. The wall
is entered by seven gates, called by the names of the towns to which
they lead, or some circumstance connected with them. Of the latter, is
the gate of Top Kapousi.

This gate, called also _Porta Sancti Romani_, as leading to the Greek
church of St. Romanus, was that rendered memorable by the final attack
of the Turks. Before it stands the Mal Tepé, one of those artificial
mounds, supposed to be sepulchral tumuli, which are spread for many
hundred miles over these regions, both in Europe and Asia. The summit
commands an extensive view of the interior of the city, and here
Mahomet II. erected the Sandjak-sheriff, or great standard of the
Prophet, and directed the operations of the siege. Beside the gate are
seen, yet unrepaired, the breaches made in the walls by that enormous
artillery which he caused to be cast for the purpose, and on the summit
of the gate are placed some of the huge granite balls discharged from
them, in memory of the event; and hence the gate is now called Top
Kapousi, or “Port of the Cannon.” When the cross was sinking under the
crescent, and the great capital of the Christian world was just falling
into the hands of the followers of Mahomet, Constantine retired to the
church of Sancta Sophia, and, after receiving, with his few faithful
adherents, the solemn eucharist, proceeded to make his last effort in
the breach. He was killed in the attack, and the Turks poured into
the devoted city over his body. There is no tomb, or coin, or other
artificial memorial, to preserve the name of this good and gallant
man; but nature has herself supplied the neglect. There grows out of
the breach some picturesque and venerable trees, on the spot where
tradition says he fell; and travellers gather the red berries in their
season, to sow and propagate at home these testimonials of the last and
best of the Palæologi.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. H. Capone.


This appellation literally means “The Subterranean Palace,” and it
is given to the only one of the many cisterns with which the city
was excavated, now remaining in use for the purpose for which it
was erected. Some are filled up, and converted into gardens; one
called Bin bir Derek, which we have before noticed, and given in our
illustrations, is a silk factory; but the “Subterranean Palace” still
remains a cistern filled with water.

When the Turks took possession of the city, this magnificent work of
Grecian art escaped their notice, and remained unexplored and unknown
till the time of Gillius, who was in Constantinople in 1550. He appears
to be the first who discovered and described this curious subterranean
edifice; and so ignorant were the Turks then of its existence, that the
houses in the streets above drew water from it, and knew not whence it
came. From that time the memory of it was again lost; and travellers,
taking Gillius for their guide in exploring the city, searched for this
curiosity in vain; and some pronounced that it had no existence, or was
confounded with some other. In this state it remained for two centuries
more, till Andreossi, the French ambassador, discovered and described
it. Again the mysterious edifice was lost, and Janissaries attending
travellers as guides could give them no clue to discover it,−-this
singular and magnificent excavation appearing and disappearing to human
sight, like some enchanted palace in Oriental fiction. Finally, it
was searched for by a Frank resident of Pera, and, after two years’
diligent inquiry, was at length discovered by him, under the foundation
of a private house, in a remote and obscure street. Part of a wall had
fallen in, and discovered to the astonished proprietor innumerable
marble columns, of various orders of architecture, rising out of a
vast lake of water, and supporting a lofty arched roof, on which his
house stood. From that time, easy access has been afforded to it; every
stranger visits it; and there is no probability that the Turks, now so
much more enlightened and inquisitive, will again suffer the memory of
this noble work of Grecian art to perish among them.

As we have already mentioned this cistern with others, we refer to our
former notice. We will merely add, that the actual extent and beauty,
though sufficiently great to excite our admiration, are extravagantly
exaggerated by the credulous Turks, who now begin to regard it with awe
and astonishment. Some places at a considerable distance have fallen
into other subterranean cavities, and they are asserted to be parts
of this cistern not yet explored. The number of columns is nearly the
same as that of the Bin bir Derek, and both excavations are supposed
to be of the same extent. But the proprietor of the house, through
which is the only known access, tells of fearful perils encountered
by intrepid navigators, who attempted to explore this inland sea; of
lost adventurers, who never returned to tell them; and, in the still
unchanged spirit of a Turk, relates as true all the figments of an
Oriental imagination.

[Illustration: T. Allom. S. Fisher.



Immediately opposite Scutari, and where the rushing current of the
Bosphorus meets that of the Golden Horn, is seen a tower rising out of
the midst of the turbulent estuary, and forming a striking and singular
object, emerging with its white walls from the dark-blue waters. It is
a small, square, castellated structure, standing on an insulated rock,
and surmounted by a lantern and spire. It is now used as a beacon for
ships entering the strait, and boats passing the estuary. It sometimes
happens that sudden gusts, like typhoons, come on, attended with a
dense fog, so dark as at once to obscure both sides of the Bosphorus.
The passage is generally crowded with caïques, which are thus left in
the midst of peril without any guide to extricate them. In this blind
commotion, the _pazar caïque_, or “great ferry boat,” is an object of
great dread, running down and sinking the slight and fragile barks
driven against it. The tower is a kind of refuge to which they betake
themselves. It was originally built by the emperor Manuel, and formed
part of the chain of obstructions thrown across the entrance to the
Bosphorus and harbour, in the decline of the lower empire. The other
parts have been carried away by the torrents of the strait, and this
alone remains on the firmer rock on which it was erected.

From the traditionary story of Hero and Leander, this tower takes its
name: the Franks confer upon it the name of the unfortunate lover who
lost his life in attempting to cross the current to his mistress; but
the Turks assign it to the lady, and model the tale after their own
fashion. One of their sultans, whose name is not agreed upon, was
warned by his astrologer, that his daughter would perish by the bite
of a venomous serpent; so, to obviate the danger, she was sent to this
insulated tower. The rugged rock, scantily covered with sea-weed,
afforded no harbour for venomous reptiles, and her father never
contemplated the possibility of one reaching her place of seclusion.
Her lover, however, separated from personal intercourse, opened a
communication by the language of flowers, and had a basketful conveyed
to her. She pressed to her bosom his fragrant emblems, which conveyed
to her the sentiments of his heart, when a treacherous asp concealed
among the leaves stung her to death, and thus the immutable decree of
Allah was accomplished by the very means taken to defeat it; and the
Turks, in memory of it, call the castle Kiz Koulasi, or “the Maiden’s

[Illustration: T. Allom. F. Lightfoot.



This mosque was erected on the following occasion. The fame of Soliman
the Magnificent was stained by the murder of two of his sons, Mustapha
and Selim, by his own orders. When in an interval of peace, he directed
his attention to beautify the city, and erected the splendid edifice
which bears his name: he also ordered one to be built in 1544, to
the memory of his murdered son Mustapha, and as a mausoleum for his
remains. Thence it was named Shahzadeh Djamesi, “the mosque of the
king’s son.”

The area of this mosque, like that of many others, is open to the
public, and a mart, where fruit and various articles are sold. Our
illustration represents a scene among the groups of persons, of
frequent occurrence−-a Turkish functionary flogging a Greek fruiterer
for false weights, while the rest look on and enjoy the chastisement he
is receiving.


[1] The word _Islam_ is mentioned in the Koran as, “the true faith.”
It signifies, literally, “resignation.” A professor of it is called
_Moslem_, and, in the plural number, _Moslemûna_, which is corrupted,
by us, into “Mussulman.”

[2] He was lame of one leg, and hence called _Demur lenk_, which we
have corrupted into Tamerlane.

[3] The origin of this word is a subject of controversy. Some suppose
it derived from the Greek εις την πολιν, eis tēn polin, which they
used when going to the capitol. It is, with more probability, a simple
corruption of the former name. The barbarians who pronounce _Nicomedia,
Ismid_, would be likely, in their imperfect imitation of sounds, to
call Constantinople, Stambool.

[4] The fondness of the Turks for flowers was remarked by Busbequius,
in his embassy to Soliman the Magnificent, a century before−-_Turcæ
flores valde excolunt._ Busb. p. 47. He notices the _tulip_ as a flower
new to him, and peculiar to the Turks.

[5] It is, however, more generally supposed that Olympus in Thessaly
and Macedon is that designated by Homer.

[6] Exod. xxiv. 4. Joshua iv. 3.

[7] As it may be agreeable to some of our readers to know how to make
this ancient food, the following is the mode pursued by the Turks:−-A
quart of boiled milk is poured upon barm of beer, and allowed to
ferment. Of this fermentation two spoonsful are poured into another
quart of milk. When this process is repeated, the flavour of barm is
altogether lost. The yaourt thus made becomes the substance which
forms the future food without more barm. A tea-spoonful is bruised in
a vessel, and a quart of tepid fresh milk is poured upon it, and set
aside in an earthen vessel: in two hours it will be a rich, thick,
subacid fluid, covered with a coat of cream.

[8] It is supposed the Hummums in Covent Garden, whose etymology has
puzzled so many, were so called from the warm-baths they contain, first
introduced from Turkey.

[9] To this the Greek girls form an exception. Refined by education,
strongly attached to their families, and abhorrent to slavery, their
natural vivacity is overcome by their state, and they appear sad and
dejected amid the levity that surrounds them.

[10] This practice is resorted to on other occasions. When any article
is dropped into the water too minute to be discovered by the eye above,
or dragged for, a small quantity of oil is thrown upon the surface, and
rings and other trinkets have thus been recovered in a depth of ten or
twelve feet of water.

[11] “Les Grecs appellent Saint Jean Ayos Seologos an lieu d’Agios
Theologus, le Saint Theologien, parce qu’ils prononcent le theta comme
un sigma.”--TOURNEFORT.

[12] Horologia in publico haberent nondum adduci potuerunt.--BUSBEQ.

[13] Caravan Seraï, the “Merchants’ Palace.”

[14] Rev ii. 15.

[15] Acts vi. 5.

[16] 1 Tim. vi. 20.








[Illustration: T. Allom. S. Bradshaw.



This splendid ornament of the ancient Hippodrome was brought from the
Thebaïd in Egypt, and is one of those spoils which Constantine and his
successors tore from their pedestals, to enrich and adorn New Rome with
the pillage of ancient art. It was erected by the emperor Theodosius
in thirty days, by means of machinery invented for the purpose, and
of which some notice has been already taken in our description of
the Atmeidan. The Obelisk consists of a single quadrangular block of
Egyptian granite, sixty feet high, beautifully polished, and covered
with hieroglyphics, still in perfect preservation. Of all the remains
of antiquity, those of Egypt seem to be most perfect, though probably
the most ancient. The hardness and durability of the material, the
sharp and deep sculpture, and the mildness of the climate where they
were erected, confer upon them an almost undecaying permanency; and
while others of a more recent date, in the capital, appear defaced and
nearly destroyed by the ravages of time and barbarism, the Obelisk of
Theodosius is as beautiful and perfect, as when first finished by the
hands of the workmen in the remotest ages.

The base on which it stands is in strong contrast with the pillar:
originally of rude sculpture, and corroded by time, its figures and
letters are scarcely to be deciphered. It contains four compartments
on the four faces, in high relief. On the first are represented the
emperor, his wife, and sons, sitting in state on thrones. In the
second, he is receiving the homage of captive nations. In the third,
he is alone, surveying the games of the Hippodrome. In the fourth he
is holding a wreath between his sons. Portions of a Greek and Latin
inscription appear on the base, alluding to the prostrate condition
[## for Greek and Latin sections see Project discussion] of the
pillar, the artist employed, and the time occupied in its re-erection;
but the greater part is now effaced, and covered by the soil. We give
them in their original perfect form:−-



[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Sands.


Among the symptoms of growing European habits and usages, which
are daily seen creeping over the metropolis of the Osmanli and its
vicinity, one of the most remarkable perhaps is the change which is
daily introduced into their public edifices, and the substitution of
a chaste and classic, for a fantastic Oriental style of architecture.
When the rude ignorant Turks first rushed among the monuments of
European art, what they did not utterly destroy, they perverted. Ionic
shafts were pierced for cannons, Corinthian capitals were rounded into
balls; and wherever they were applied to their original purpose, they
were invariably inverted; and to this day are seen everywhere Turkish
houses built with remains of Grecian temples, sculptured architraves
laid for door-steps, and pillars standing on their smaller ends with
the base uppermost, as the preferable position. “I have grieved,” said
Gillius, “not so much at the broken and prostrate monuments of ancient
art, as at the barbarous, perverted uses to which they were applied.”

The most distinguished of the kiosks of former sultans was that of
Beshiktash, on the Bosphorus, forming one of the first objects which
presents itself to a stranger ascending the strait in a caïque.
The style is very remarkable, and truly Oriental. In the centre is
an edifice with projecting roofs, and surrounded by a cluster of
similar ones, intended, it is said, to represent the original warlike
habitations of the Turcomans−-the tent or pavilion of the khan, in the
centre, and those of his officers pitched round it as in encampment:
but the present sultan, in his zeal to abolish the old and establish
a new order of things, is everywhere changing the architecture, as
well as the dress, of his subjects, and his new erections bear the
stamp of this improvement, and form strong contrasts with those of his
predecessors. His factories and founderies resemble those of Manchester
and Sheffield, and his palaces are revivals of ancient Grecian art.

On the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, nearly opposite to Beshiktash,
and the old palace, he has erected a new one, displaying a taste
very different from the former, and a design equal in beauty and
arrangement to any of those erected by European sovereigns. It consists
of a centre with two extensive wings. The long façade presents, not
foundation-walls of rude masonry supporting a barbarous superstructure
of wood, with windows darkened by dense blinds, like all the imperial
palaces on the opposite coast; but a Doric colonnade of marble is
approached by spacious flights of steps of the same material; these
elevate stately fronts of sculptured stone, pierced by regular open
windows, ornamented with mouldings and architraves, and surmounted
by cornices and balustrades. The centre is a superb entrance of six
Corinthian pillars, crowned by a noble pediment, enclosing a sculptured
tympanum. This central portion is the residence of the sultan; the left
wing contains the harem of his establishment, and the right the various
offices of his household. The edifice stands on a quay of hewn granite,
and forms the most noble and novel object of all the buildings that
line the shores of the Bosphorus.

The palace was commenced at the termination of the Greek revolution,
and the acknowledgment of their independence, when the sultan,
conquering the feelings of anger and vengeance, again received
them into his favour. It was observed at the time, that he showed
not only an extraordinary placability of disposition towards his
revolted subjects, altogether extraordinary in one of his character,
but conferred on them such favours, that his enemies circulated a
report that he was about to abjure the faith of Mahomet, and adopt,
among other European innovations, the religion of the Gospel. It was
remarked, that he had built his new palace near Istauros, the ancient
“city of the cross.” It had been so called because Constantine, when
he embraced Christianity, had erected here a large golden cross, to
commemorate the event of his conversion; and the sanguine Greeks did
not fail to seize on it as a proof of the same intention of the sultan,
that he chose the city of the cross as the site of his new palace, as
if to record his conversion. That nothing might be wanting, a report
at the time was circulated in the Fanal, that a large aërial cross,
like that seen by Constantine, had just appeared over the dome of Santa
Sophia--a certain indication that it was about to be purified from its
desecration, and again consecrated to the service of Christ, for which
it was originally built.

[Illustration: T. Allom. T. Higham.



This second church of the Apocalypse is, with the exception of
Philadelphia, the only one that retains any thing of its former
consequence. Its palaces, theatres, pagan temples, and Christian
churches have passed away, but its riches, its commerce, its
population, and its extent have been probably increased; and modern
Smyrna is a more wealthy and prosperous town than either its pagan or
Christian predecessor.

It was from the earliest ages celebrated as one of the most
distinguished and frequented sea-ports of Asia Minor. It is approached
by a noble and spacious bay, penetrating deeply into the country,
expanding its capacious bosom to the Egean, and inviting the commerce
of the world. Its waters are daily ruffled by the _Inbat_, a
trade-wind, which blows with unerring regularity, morning and evening,
bearing ships in and out, so that they enter and depart with the most
perfect certainty and security; and it is a locality where the riches
of the East and West most conveniently meet together. Such permanent
characters, impressed by the hand of nature, are of every age; and
Smyrna has at all times been a great commercial emporium, as well of
the ancient as the modern world.

The founder of Smyrna is disputed; some confer the reputation of it
on Tantalus, others on the Amazons; but after various vicissitudes
of earthquake, conflagration, war, and pestilence, it was splendidly
re-edified by Alexander the Great, and became the chief of the
twelve cities of the Ionian confederacy, and distinguished for its
magnificence as well as its power. It contained temples of Jupiter,
Cybele, Apollo, and Diana, the latter more beautified, though less
extensive, than that at Ephesus. Games were periodically celebrated,
like those of Elis and Olympia; and the reputation of being a learned
people, was among the laudable ambitions of the citizens of Smyrna.
They laid claim to Homer as a native, and pointed out the cavern, on
the banks of their river Meles, where his immortal Iliad was composed,
and from hence the poet is called _Melesigenes_, and his works _Meletææ
chartæ_. The people erected statues to him, taught rhetoric in a temple
dedicated to him, and impressed his head and name upon their coins; and
of all the seven towns[1]

  Which claim the poet dead,
  Through which the living poet begged his bread,

the assumptions of Smyrna seem to be the best founded; but whatever
doubt may rest on Homer’s place of nativity, it is certain that Bion,
Mimnermus, and other distinguished writers, were natives of Smyrna, and
ennobled the city of their birth.

Thus distinguished as an honoured and enlightened city of the pagans,
its citizens were among the foremost that embraced the doctrines of
Christianity when proposed to them. The apostle established here one
of the seven churches; and while he denounced that “the candlestick of
Ephesus should be removed,” he exhorted the Christians of Smyrna “to be
faithful unto death, and he would give them the crown of life.” Ephesus
is no more, but Smyrna still flourishes. It was assaulted by the
Saracens, and nearly extinguished as a Christian city; it was restored
by the emperor Alexius, and greatly enlarged when it was captured by
the Turks. In the beginning of the last century it contained 28,000
persons, of whom 11,000 were Christians of the Greek, Armenian, and
Latin churches, which have their respective temples, monasteries, and
bishops. The present population is estimated at 100,000. It contains a
number of Protestants sufficient to form a congregation for religious
worship; and it is the only one of the towns of the Apocalypse in which
is established a church of the Reformation.

The city describes a semicircle, at the lower termination of its noble
bay; its site is low and alluvial, and embosomed in a range of hills.
The Franks carry on an immense trade, by exchanging the produce of the
West for that of the East. Caravans daily arrive from Persia, bringing
raw silks and drugs, and ships from Europe with cochineal, indigo,
&c.; but the most remarkable commodity in which the English trade, is
fruit. Charles II., it seems, was so fond of figs, that he directed his
ambassador, Sir T. Finch, to conclude a commercial treaty, by which two
ship-loads should be allowed for the king’s table; and under the shadow
of this, all England has since been supplied with them. The drying and
packing of these form an animated and entertaining scene in Smyrna at
the season.

The Frank quarter, which Europeans occupy, forms a spacious terrace,
or marino, along the sea-shore, ventilated by the fresh and wholesome
breath of the never-failing Inbat. The edifices in which the merchants
reside, are divided into stores and offices below, and above into
corridors and galleries which communicate with various apartments
and saloons opening on the sea, the breezes from which circulate
through them with a constant current. The Turkish quarter is perfectly
Oriental, consisting of narrow streets, with balconies projecting
one over the other till they nearly meet at top, excluding light and
air. One is given in our illustration, its dark and distant prospect
terminated by the hill of the Acropolis, and its narrow passage nearly
obstructed by a single file of loaded camels, bringing to the Frank
quarters the produce of Persia and India, to be exchanged for that of
Europe and America.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Redaway.



This epithet “Buyuk,” or great, was conferred upon it, to distinguish
it from the lesser mosques which adorn Scutari. It is known by the
smallness of its dome, and by the balcony or gallery which runs round
the outside. It stands on the edge of the water, near the scala, or
landing-place for passing caïques. Beside it is the usual fountain,
covered with the common aquatic birds, which the considerate charity of
the Turks renders so tame, that they mix undisturbed with the bustle of
the passengers. On the right is seen the distant summits of the cypress
which fill the great cemetery.

[Illustration: T. Allom. L. Challis.



After climbing through various narrow, winding, steep, dark, and
dirty streets, which form the great interior of the avenues leading
through the city, the stranger emerges near the summit of one of the
seven hills; and here the town assumes somewhat of a new and spacious
character. He enters an irregular but open and extensive area, which
was the “Forum Augusti” under the Greek empire, and which the Turks
have not yet entirely choked up with narrow lanes. Here he walks
through wider, more level, and better-paved streets, and sees, almost
clustered together, the mosque of Santa Sophia, a noble kisla, or
barrack, the opening of the Atmeidan, a beautiful fountain, and the
Babu Hummayoun, or great entrance into the seraglio.

The fountain, somewhat similar to that already described, was erected
by Achmet III. in the beginning of the last century. It is crowned
with domes, and ornamented with the usual arabesque sculpture, but it
is particularly distinguished by bearing sundry poetical inscriptions
composed by the imperial builder of it.

Between the fountain and one entrance to the mosque of Santa Sophia is
seen that of the seraglio. This gate, distinguished by its lofty arch,
was therefore called Babu Hummayoun, or “the high door,” by the Turks,
which the French translate into “Sublime Porte:”[2] the term has become
a designation for the cabinet of Turkish diplomacy, as before noticed.
The gate was originally erected by Mahomet II. when he entered the
Christian capital, and converted the residence of the priests of Santa
Sophia into a palace for himself. It consists of a massive and clumsy
pavilion, formerly crowned with turrets; it is pierced by the high door
from which it takes its name, and under the arch is an inscription on
a broad tablet. Above are one large and three smaller apertures for
windows at each side, and below, the dead wall is excavated by two
deep niches. It has undergone changes for improvements, but it still
resembles rather the strong-hold of a military station, than the great
entrance to the most extensive and gorgeous palace in the world; yet
it is from hence the sultans of the East for centuries dictated to the
sovereigns of Europe, and issued the mandates of the “high door” from
the city, or of “the imperial stirrup” from the field.

Much of the brutal and bloody barbarism which the Osmanli brought with
them into Europe, is still displayed in their most characteristic
manner at this imperial gate. Here it is that noses and ears are
exhibited as trophies of victory, like Indian scalps. In the year 1822,
the conqueror of Patrass sent many sacks of those trophies; they were
shaken out before the Babu Hummayoun, and formed two large piles of
various mutilated portions of the human countenance; and through these
ghastly and festering heaps of his subjects’ flesh, the sultan and his
officers passed every day, till they rotted and dissolved away. In the
niches, the heads of deposed Turkish officers were exposed; and the
ambassadors of European sovereigns proceeding to an audience, saw them
kicked about in sport and derision, and were threatened themselves with
being pelted with human sculls. Within the gate, the heads of pashas
of rank, Halet Effendi, Ali Pasha, and other great delinquents, were
allowed the indulgence of silver dishes to support them, and were daily
exposed to the multitude, like that of John the Baptist, in a charger.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. J. Cooke.


Ascending from the alluvial and marshy soil below, are seen various
ruins indicating the more healthy and elevated site of the ancient
city. Crowning the summit of Mount Pagus, are what remains of the
Acropolis, consisting of ramparts and embattled walls, flanked by
numerous towers, some of which are square, and some circular. These
walls enclose a very extensive area of many acres, which seem never
to have been built on, or filled with any kind of edifices. It was a
clear space, on which the garrison defending the town pitched their
tents as on a field of battle, so that the whole formed a strong
walled camp.--Here are still seen the remains of a temple, and the
cistern that conveyed water. Here it was the knights of Rhodes took
their stand, when they defended the Christian city against the infidel
invasions. It was dilapidated by Tamerlane and his Tartars, who brought
down the stones from the hill, and threw them into the harbour, in
order at once to destroy both the security and commercial prosperity of
this great emporium of the Oriental Christians. Over one of the gates
is an inscription, implying that the walls were repaired by one of the
Comneni, and his wife Helena. But the most interesting of sculptured
remains, is a bust and head of marble, in good preservation, and
highly finished. It represents a female with a profusion of long hair,
which has given rise to various conjectures; some affirming it to
be part of the statue of the empress Helena, who, with her husband,
rebuilt the fortress. It seems, however, a better specimen than could
be executed during the total decay of the arts of that period, and
displays a boldness of design belonging to a more perfect age of
Grecian skill. It is therefore with greater probability supposed to
represent Smyrna, the heroic Amazon, who, according to Pliny, founded
the city, and conferred on it her own name.

On the slope of the hill on one side, are the ruins of a stadium,
or theatre. The stones were formerly removed to erect a khan, and
displayed under the foundation of the walls, the cells where those wild
beasts were confined, with which the early Christians were compelled
to fight, as St. Paul, “after the manner of men,” at Ephesus. To this
fate, St. Polycarp, the first Christian bishop, was condemned. He was
the disciple of St. John, and appointed by him to superintend his
church of Smyrna. He proceeded to Rome, at the age of one hundred and
four, to confer with the Christians of that city about some subjects
of controversy, which even then divided the infant church; and on his
return he was, by the order of the emperor, thrown to the beasts of
this theatre, and devoured, for the recreation of the assembled people
of one of the most opulent and polished cities of the heathen world:
some, however, say he was burned alive. The persecution of Christians
has distinguished this church of the Apocalypse even in modern times.
In the year 1770, after the defeat of the Turkish fleet, orders were
given by the pasha to retaliate on the Greeks of Smyrna. Armed men were
let loose on them at five o’clock on Sunday morning, who rushed into
their houses, and the churches where they were assembled, and in five
hours one thousand five hundred Greeks were sacrificed in cold blood.
In the year 1822, similar cruelties were perpetrated. The massacre of
Scio extended to Smyrna. For several days the Greeks were hunted out,
and brought, as they were seized, to a spot below the ascent of the
hill, as to a favourite place for immolation. Eight hundred were here
murdered, and their putrid remains were left for a long time tainting
the air, and spreading pestilence among their executioners.

In the front ground of our illustration is a bridge thrown over the
mouth of the Meles, where it debouches into the harbour. Over it is
constantly passing an uninterrupted current of caravans, bearing
merchandise, indicating the immense commercial intercourse of the city.
It is known, that eight hundred laden camels a day, cross the Meles at
this one point. Beside the bridge, is a tree, noted as the instrument
of the summary justice of the Turks. When a suspected delinquent is
seized in the neighbourhood, he is dragged to it, and immediately hung
up to one of the branches.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. C. Bentley.


Two cities in Asia Minor of this name were known to, and recorded by
the ancients: one at the base of a mountain, and called “Magnesia on
Sipylus;” the other on the banks of a river, denominated “Magnesia on
Mæander.”−-The first is that given in illustration.

This city, though not hallowed by the notice of the sacred penman,
or selected as a beacon on which the early light of Christianity
was to shine, has yet many claims on the notice of a traveller.
Mythology and history contribute to the interest it excites, nor is
its name unconnected with the arts and sciences.−-Here it was that
Niobe lamented the loss of her children, and the effects of her grief
still appear in her supposed transformation−-here it was that Scipio
defeated the Asiatic confederacy, and obtained the first permanent
footing in Asia−-and here it was that extraordinary substance was first
discovered, whose properties and affinities have since become the
wonder and guide of man in the trackless ocean.

The city of Magnesia was founded by Tantalus, whose fabled punishment
renders his name so notorious in the world. The situation is striking;
it stands near the foot of a lofty mountain, on the edge of a vast and
fertile plain, and its site and soil resemble those of Brusa; but it
wants those important advantages which the other enjoys. The ridges of
Sipylus afford no perennial snows like those of Olympus, to refresh the
inhabitants below; nor is there any solution of the frigid element,
to ripple in copious currents through the streets, or meander through
the fertile plain. Its site, however, is very beautiful. Above it rise
in majestic grandeur the rugged and romantic precipices of a mountain
once celebrated for its thunder and lightning, and which still seem to
be the shattered and splintered effects of those electric storms; and
below it, lies one of those vast and exuberant levels, which, in Asia
Minor, are found at the base of its hill, endued with the capabilities
of all the luxury of life. This majestic plain is eight or ten miles
in breadth, and fifteen in length. Through the centre flows the river
Hermus, which, like the Pactolus its tributary stream, abounds in
auriferous sands, but, like the Nile, has the more valuable property of
fertilizing its soil, and, by the deposit of its rich mud, producing
golden harvests. This was so remarkable formerly, that medals in honour
of the river were struck, representing its course; having on one side
the branch of a fruit-tree, and on the other a cornucopiæ, emblematic
of its abundant produce. The fate of Turkey has, however, now blasted
it. The luxuriance of a wild vegetation covers its corn-fields, and its
former crops are converted into groves of tamarisk; still it abounds
in many indications of its former state. Gardens and vineyards cover
extensive spaces, verdant pastures are filled with snow-white sheep,
and the landscape is varied by herds of those sable goats peculiar to
Anatolia, whose dark and silky coats contrast in so striking a manner
with their woolly companions. The camel is nowhere more noble and
majestic. The breed is here particularly attended to. They are seen
gaily caparisoned, winding in long lines through the plains, laden with
Oriental produce for exportation, to the mart of Smyrna, where the
camel of Magnesia is particularly prized and admired.

The local attractions have rendered it in all ages the abode of a
numerous community, and the selected residence of the great and the
powerful. It was to Magnesia that Themistocles retired[3] from the
resentment of his fellow-citizens, when the Persian king afforded him
a tranquil retreat, to close his turbulent life. It was here that
Andronicus Palæologus sought repose, when he resigned the sceptre of
the Greek empire, and was no longer able to contend with the growing
power of the Osmanli. Here Turks as well as Christians sought a
retreat. Kiorod, son of Bajazet, and Selim, son of Soliman, dwelt in
Magnesia; and Murad, the father of the mighty Mahomed, the scourge of
Christians, when he abdicated, betook himself to the solitude of this
city, to seek that quiet which a throne denied him; and being again
called to public life, he once more retired to this favourite abode.

The early history of this town is connected with interesting events,
the records of which are still preserved in England. The noble bay of
Smyrna being the great outlet for the produce of the fertile plains of
Magnesia, a league was entered into by these free and polished cities,
for mutual benefit and protection. The citizens of one were admitted to
all the rights and immunities of the other; and the mutual alliance was
ratified by erecting marble pillars in both cities, with the terms of
the compact inscribed on them. One of these interesting documents has
escaped the ravages of time and accident. The tremendous earthquake,
in the reign of Tiberius, that prostrated thirteen noble cities in
Asia, and with them Magnesia, respected this monument, and it is now
preserved among the marbles which enrich the university of Oxford.

The citizens of Magnesia had been long celebrated for their skill in
staining glass, and still retain some beautiful specimens. Travellers
see with surprise, in the houses they enter, the floors covered with
varied forms in vivid colours, and find them caused by “storied
windows, richly dight,” through which the sun’s rays had passed. The
glass here manufactured possesses a brightness and transparency of
colours superior to those of Europe. It is thus that, while the arts
have long fled from this barbarized region to the more polished people
of the west, a beautiful one remained behind, the loss of which Europe
long regretted.

Indications of the wonderful substance to which the city gave its
name, is yet found in the mountain over the town. Pliny affirms that
the appellation of magnet was derived from Magnes, the shepherd, who
discovered it in mount Ida, by the iron attached to his crook; but
Lucretius, the philosophic poet, and others, say it took its name from
the place where it was first found.[4] Travellers in modern times
endeavour to settle the question; they bring with them ship and pocket
compasses, to ascertain the existence of the magnetic stone in this
place. They find the needle pointing to different quarters, as the
compass is moved from place to place, and at length losing its quality
of being attracted altogether; a circumstance known to be the effect
produced on magnetic needles, when brought near other bodies possessing
the same property.

The conversion of Niobe, not into a fountain, but a rock, was an
opinion so universally received by the ancients, that Pausanias
affirms, he himself, in ascending the hill, saw the statue with his own
eyes. This indurated memorial of the tear-dissolved mother, is yet to
be seen as Pausanias saw it 2,000 years ago. On the side of the hill
is the rude fragment of a rock, bearing a semblance to a human form,
which a lively imagination may easily convert into a Niobe. The person
represented, however, has been disputed; some have taken it for the
colossal statue of Cybele, the tutelar deity of the place.

The face of the mountain, ascending from the city, presents the remains
of very extensive fortifications, once occupied by soldiers of various
nations, but at present in a state of entire dilapidation. Its cannon
were removed to Smyrna, and now protect its ancient ally. A more modern
edifice, surrounded by well-timbered woods, attracts more attention.
This is the residence of the present Ayan, or proprietor of the soil,
whose family has been long distinguished in this region. When the
Osmanli made their first inroads on Christian possessions, they secured
them, by establishing, as they advanced, a feudal system. They left
the acquired territory under some military chief, who portioned it
out among his Moslem followers, on the terms of military service when
called upon. These were named Deré beys, or “Lords of the valleys;”
and the rich plains of Asia Minor were divided among them. They were
classed as _Zaims_ or _Timariots_, according to the number of spahis
or cavalry they were bound to supply; and were the only hereditary
nobility in the Turkish empire−-few in numbers, but the petty and
brutal tyrants of their respective territories. To these, however, was
one distinguished exception: the family of Cara Osman Oglou preserved
a high character for many generations, and every traveller who visited
Magnesia spoke of them as liberal and enlightened benefactors of the
territory over which they presided. This nobility is now extinguished;
the energetic Mahomed, in his reforms, reduced this small but tyrannic
oligarchy to the general level, and united, and confined to his own
person, the whole nobility of the empire. The last descendant of the
Oglous was invited to the capital, where he now employs his time and
revenues in mechanical pursuits. He is a cunning shipwright, and has
built a man-of-war, to serve in the Turkish fleet.

The present population of the city is estimated at somewhat more
than 30,000, of which 20,000 are Turks, and the remainder Jews and
Christians. The former have twenty mosques, whose bristling minarets
are seen in our illustration. There are three Greek and Armenian
churches, and two synagogues. In the foreground is represented one of
those Oriental wells, which from the earliest ages were “digged” in the
East, and which now form a conspicuous object in every landscape. A
long horizontal beam of wood is divided into two unequal lengths, and
supported and turned on a perpendicular. On the short arm is placed a
weight which counterpoises the longer and the bucket and cord attached,
when it descends into the well, and is very easily raised by means of
this lever. One of these machines is seen erected in every garden, and,
as irrigation is constantly required in an arid soil, it is always in
motion, and its dull and drowsy creaking is the sound incessantly heard
by all travellers.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. B. Allen.


Mahomet III. was distinguished by vice and imbecility; but his reign
was embellished by learned and upright men. Risman Ben Ac Hissar
wrote a treatise on government for the use of his master, which,
notwithstanding the excellent precepts contained in it, seems to have
but little improved his weak and vicious sovereign. The treatise has
come down to us, with many sage maxims. One was−-“that it is the duty
of a prince to govern with equity, for his own interest is concerned
in it: justice is the support of the throne, and Allah requires that
those persons only should be entrusted with power and dignity, who show
themselves worthy of exercising them.” Another, more shrewd, declares
that “a thousand friends are too few, and one enemy too many;” but the
only injunction that seems to have had any weight with the heedless
monarch was, that “he should not only honour and respect the Ulemah
(men of the law,) but promote all his undertakings by securing the
aid of their prayers, for they have the inheritance of the gifts of
the Prophet.” Influenced by this advice, he determined on building a
mosque, and adding another imperial Djami to the capital: in order to
make it more splendid than that of any of his predecessors, he sent
architects to collect the models of the Christian cathedrals in Europe,
that his mosque might be constructed from the perfections of them all.
This heterodox intention, however, was opposed by the Ulemah, who
denounced it as a desecration of a temple dedicated to the Prophet;
and while he hesitated in his architectural plans, and before he had
matured the whole design, death overtook him, and he left his mosque

It was reserved for Osman, or Ottoman, to complete it. His vizir died
immensely rich, and, by the maxims of the Turkish empire, his wealth
reverted to the sovereign. “The Sultan,” says the law, “never loses his
inheritance to wealth, for, cast it upon the ocean, and let it sink to
the bottom, it wall again rise to the surface, and become visible.”
Enabled, it should appear, by this accession of means, he set about
completing the unfinished mosque of his predecessor. This he effected,
though his pious work did not propitiate Allah to alter his decrees
with respect to his own fate; it was very miserable. He was seized by
Daud, his rebellious vizir, and sent a prisoner to the Seven Towers;
here, at the age of nineteen, in the prime of life, vigour of youth,
and bloom of beauty, he was strangled, his features mutilated, and one
of his ears cut off, and sent as a grateful present to his successor.

Notwithstanding the intentions of its first architect, the design
of the mosque of Osman is purely Oriental; yet it has an elegant
appearance. The approach is by an arcade, supported by a colonnade
of light and lofty pillars, enclosing the court. The whole of the
interior is covered by an expansive dome, without any visible
support of columns. Our illustration represents the court with the
congregation gathering for prayers, and some of them engaged in the
usual preparations. Nothing can be more grave and solemn than these.
The people seem impressed with their pious purpose before they enter
the house of prayer. They divest themselves of their gayest apparel,
because they suppose humility of appearance is required before God. As
they approach, the groups appear to be more than usually serious and
silent, as if meditating on what they were about to do. When arrived
at the reservoir of water provided for ablution, they wash their face,
hands, and feet, from a feeling that personal purity is indicative of
purity of the mind. When ascending the steps leading to the entrance,
they deposit their shoes, from a conviction that the place they are
about to enter is holy ground; and before the gate they sometimes
prostrate themselves in reverence to the tomb of the Prophet, whose
relative direction and position is always designated in every mosque.
Before the door is suspended a curtain, which it is necessary to
push aside on entering, and it immediately falls back, to screen the
congregation from profane eyes. The floor is generally covered with
carpets, on which the people kneel, and then fall prostrate on their
faces, resuming occasionally their erect position. During their prayer
there is no turning of the head, no wandering of the eye, to mark any
abstraction of thought, but every faculty both of mind and body seems
wrapt and bound up in the solemn act they are performing. Travellers
who have noticed this total engagement of the attention of a Turk when
he supposes himself in the presence of his Maker, and contrasts it with
the languid and careless inattention so often observed and complained
of in our churches, have remarked, “that Christian men might take a
lesson from men who were not Christians, in what manner they should
worship their common God.”

[Illustration: T. Allom. G. Presbury.



The existence of the Greek church, and the religion of the Gospel,
among its bitterest enemies, has evinced, at different periods when it
seemed doomed to destruction, a preservation as unexpected as it was
extraordinary. When the conqueror of Constantinople had suffered his
followers to glut their worst passions on the Christians, and their
total extinction was expected, he made a show of unexpected moderation,
and, to the astonishment of all, he sent for the patriarch Gennadius,
appointed him to his Christian pastoral office by placing in his hand
a staff of ebony, and, to do him further honour, after the military
manner of a Turk, he placed the meek minister of the Gospel on a
war-horse richly caparisoned. He then divided the churches equally
between the two sects; half being reserved to the former use, and the
other to the use of the Prophet.

This apparent indulgence was of short duration. The extirpation of
Christianity in the Turkish empire was resolved on, and his successor,
like another Diocletian, issued his decree, for the purpose; it
ordained that all the Greeks, subject to the spiritual authority of
the patriarch, should conform to the religion of Mahomed. It was then
that an extraordinary trait in the Turkish character displayed itself.
The patriarch affirmed that he could not, consistently with his duty,
comply with the firman, without first stating his reasons before the
mufti and the divan. This was pronounced to be reasonable. A Turk,
in his fiercest determination, tries to preserve an appearance of
equity and justice; so the patriarch was allowed to appear before the
assembled divan. He there affirmed that “not only a compact was made
on the surrender of the city, that the Greeks should enjoy the free
exercise of their religion in half the churches, but that all the
gates should be thrown open at Easter for three days, in order that
those without may have an opportunity of going to them at this solemn
season.” The Turks admitted no evidence but living witnesses; so they
demanded if the patriarch had any such, to prove the fact. Aware of the
circumstance, he had provided them. Two very old and grey Janissaries,
who had been engaged for a large sum of money, were produced, who
testified that they were present when the compact was made, though it
was notorious it had happened before they were born. The divan was
satisfied with this impossible evidence. The mufti pronounced a fetva,
that the attestation of living witnesses could not be gainsaid, and the
extirpation of Christianity was for that time averted.

Again, when the Greeks, instigated by the intrigues of Russia,
endeavoured to throw off the Turkish yoke, and put themselves under
the protection of their fellow-Christians, it was resolved in the
divan that the whole population should be exterminated, and orders
were issued for that purpose. Their fate now seemed inevitable, and
the gospel was to be suppressed in Turkey by the extinction of all
its professors. The sagacity of one enlightened Turk saved them.
The Capitan Pasha, Gazi Hassan, was distinguished by his rough and
energetic, but humane character. “If,” said he to the ferocious divan,
“you extirpate the Greeks of the empire, who will remain to pay the
haratch?” The haratch is a capitation-tax, laid on the rayas, or
Christian subjects, which, when paid, ensures to them the permission
to wear their heads for another year. This tax had produced annually
49,000 purses, or about £542,000; so this appeal to the cupidity of the
Turks again saved the Christians.

After various similar menaces and perils, during which the Greeks
adhered to their religion with the most inflexible constancy, their
church has finally established itself, with some modifications, under
its own independent government, while that portion of it under the
Turks retains its old form. It is superintended by four patriarchs,
in Asia, Africa, and Europe; viz. Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and
Constantinople. They are elected by a body composed of the clergy and
laity forming a synod; but in reality the situation is a mere matter of
purchase from the Turkish government. Every patriarch, on his election,
pays a large sum to the Porte; on many occasions the demand has
amounted to 250,000 dollars. When the exigency of the state requires
such a sum, the existing patriarch is deposed or strangled, and his
successor pays it on his election. This causes a constant succession;
the tenure of a patriarchate seldom exceeds a year or two. On payment,
however, of the money required, a written diploma, called _Berat_, is
given, securing to the patriarch the full and free exercise of his
functions. This is strictly observed by the Turks, till they seek
occasion to depose him, and appoint another.

Under the Greek empire, the number of bishops was unsettled. They now
amount to 150, of whom 60 are suffragans, and three claim independence
of any superior ecclesiastical authority in their own sees. Both
patriarchs and bishops are judges in right of their office, not only
in matters of faith and discipline, in their church, but also in civil
and criminal cases. They are assisted by a synod composed of laics
and ecclesiastics, and administer justice in their courts with the
same formalities as Turkish functionaries, with attendants, formerly
Janissaries, who are bound to execute their decrees. The code of laws
by which they decide is that of Justinian, and they have the power
of condemning delinquents to prison or exile. Such is the reputation
of those courts, that Turks and Jews are known to appeal to them in
preference to their own tribunals.

As the office of patriarch is purchased from the Porte, that of prelate
is purchased from the patriarch; the amount paid is proportionate to
the value of the sees, and varies from 18,000 to 150,000 piasters.
This, with various other sums paid on different occasions, both by
clergy and laity, form a common chest, out of which all the expenses
of the Greek church are defrayed. This is managed by a κοινον, or
public community, composed of members taken from all classes; for,
notwithstanding the state of slavery and depression in which the
nation lives under their Turkish masters, they preserve a semblance of
freedom, and manage their own affairs by popular assemblies, like their
republican ancestors.

The clergy, as in the Western church, are divided into regular and
secular: the first are called Kaloyers, literally, “good old men,” the
latter Papas, or “fathers.” The kaloyers are generally men of better
education; they are not allowed to marry, and, as the dignitaries
of the church are all taken from this class, neither patriarch nor
bishop is permitted to have a wife. So rigidly is this regulation
enjoined, that from some convents cows, hens, and all females of
inferior animals, are excluded, as infringing on monastic discipline.
They inhabit numerous edifices, scattered all over the Turkish empire.
They are very strongly built, resembling fortresses, and in fact are
retreats to which people retire from the outrages of pirates and
robbers. They are seen the most conspicuous objects on hills and
islands by land and sea; the most remarkable are those of mount Athos
in Europe, and mount Sinai in Asia. The papa, or secular priest, is
generally a married man; he is allowed to take one wife, and not marry
another after her death; he has no fixed residence, is generally very
illiterate, poor, and humble, and but little respected.

The dress of the clergy under the Lower Empire was not remarkable; and
under the first year of the Ottoman sway, it retained its indistinct
simplicity; but in the reign of Soliman an alteration took place. A
deputation of the patriarch and his prelates issued from Adrianople, to
do him homage; and the Turks seeing this mass of people approaching,
and not recognizing them by any dress, supposed their intention
hostile, and prepared to attack them, when they discovered their
mistake. To prevent the recurrence of such a thing, the clergy were
ordered to assume a particular and conspicuous dress, by which they
could be recognized at a distance; they, therefore, adopted one on the
other extreme: bright hats of crimson velvet, adorned with glittering
crosses of gold. This is now laid aside, and one extremely humble, but
sufficiently distinctive, is substituted. That of the dignitaries was
adopted from the monks of mount Athos−-a black crape veil thrown over
a plain black cap, and falling down the shoulders. The dress of the
papas is a plain tunic of blue cotton, and a felt hat without a brim,
but broader on the top than below. When he is a married man, his state
is indicated by a narrow band of white muslin round his black cap. All
wear beards, which they cherish till they grow to a venerable length.
Their vestments, when performing service in their churches, are rich
and gaudy.

Our illustration represents the installation of a bishop in the
metropolitan church of Magnesia: the throne is before a screen which
separates the nave from the sanctuary, into which none are allowed to
enter but the clergy. This screen is profusely adorned with pictures of
saints,−-an essential part of the decorations of every Greek church.
Among the priests and elders who assist at the ceremony, is one who
holds a triple taper, to represent the Trinity; with this emblem,
patriarchs and bishops confer their blessing, waving it over the heads
of the congregation while they pronounce the benediction. During this,
one finger is carefully bent, so as to separate the little finger from
the first and second, to intimate that peculiar dogma of the Greek
church, “the procession of the Spirit from the Father only.”

Among the display of the Greek church are banners, borne on festival
days, representing favourite saints, to whose representation they
attribute extraordinary qualities. A remarkable superstition of
this kind prevails at Magnesia: St. George, the patron of England,
is in high esteem there, and at Easter his banner forms the most
distinguished object in the procession. It has the important property
of distinguishing and punishing a sinner; it is borne to church always
by a priest, who of course passes the ordeal uninjured and with credit;
but on returning, it is given to some unfortunate layman, who bears to
the grave the marks of the chastisements inflicted on him for his sins.
He is violently beaten by some persons appointed for the purpose, while
the blows are faithfully believed to proceed from the image of our
pugnacious saint.

[Illustration: T. Allom. S. Fisher.



Nothing marks so strongly the genius and propensities of the ancient
Greeks, as their theatres. As these edifices were the most interesting
and most attractive, so they seemed to have engaged their greatest
attention, and to have called forth all their skill, to render them
the most permanent and beautiful of the buildings they erected. We
have already remarked, that every town, inhabited by Greeks, or the
descendants of Greeks, seems to have had one, as essential to its
well-being; and they were not erected with the fragile and perishable
materials with which the modern edifices of the same kind were
constructed. Their seats were not wooden benches enclosed with slight
walls and covered with slender roofs, or their decorations flimsy
painted paper and canvass; they were built with solid blocks of marble,
roofed with the canopy of heaven, adorned with statuary and sculptured
ornaments of imperishable materials; and their remains, at the present
day, are as durable as the rock on which they were generally erected.
When every other vestige of an ancient city is obliterated, its theatre
is the only building that remains, to determine its site; and when
ruins had concealed it, or the lapse of time had covered it with soil,
accident or design has detected it under the mass, as perfect in some
of its parts as when it was frequented by a crowded audience. The
beautiful theatre in the small and comparatively obscure Island of Milo
had disappeared for ages, till unexpectedly discovered by agricultural
labourers, in a solitary spot, where no other evidence existed but
itself, of the city to which it had belonged. Its materials were solid
blocks of beautifully sculptured marble; the angular mouldings seemed
as sharp, and the workmanship as recent, as when the chisel had first
struck them; and though probably not less than 2,000 years erected,
looked as fresh, said a traveller, “as if the masons had just gone home
to their dinner, and you expected them to return every moment, and put
the last hand to their work.”

As these characteristic structures form so prominent a feature in
ancient Greek cities, and at this day are generally the most striking
objects emerging from their ruins, a brief notice of their structure
will be the best accompaniment to our illustration. The inventor of
dramatic entertainments was Thespis, who lived about 550 years before
the Christian era. His theatre was as simple as his exhibition was
rude; it was an ambulatory machine, moving from place to place, like
the booth of an English fair. On the cart, a stage was erected; the
dramatic representation was confined to two performers, whose faces
were smeared with lees of wine, and who entertained the audience with a
dialogue of coarse and rustic humour. This movable edifice was improved
by being fixed, and the spectators accommodated with wooden benches,
raised one above the other; but the fondness of the Greeks for such
exhibitions was so great, and the throng so pressing, that frequent
accidents occurred from the breaking down of these frail structures,
and the loss of life was so serious, that it was necessary to
accommodate the people with more durable edifices. The name of Æschylus
is immortalized as well by his mechanical as his literary genius; he
not only fixed the drama by the composition of forty regular plays, in
which the characters were dressed in suitable costume, but he gave his
representations in a regular and permanent edifice, the arrangement of
which was the model on which all others were afterwards built.

The building was a semicircle whose extremities were limited by a
right line; this was divided into three parts, each having its own
appropriation. The theatre, properly so called, from whence the
spectators “saw” the exhibition, filled the semicircle, where the
people were accommodated with benches rising one above the other.
The upper were allocated to females. The seats were confined to a
particular number in each row, in all theatres they were eighteen
inches high and three feet broad, so that the people sat at their
ease, the feet of those above never incommoding those below. Behind
each row were galleries, formed in the walls, by which the spectators
entered from without, and, from the crowds that issued from them, they
were called “vomitories;” from them were passages through the seats in
a right line tending to a common centre, and, from the shape of the
enclosed spaces, broad above and narrow below, the portions into which
the benches were divided, were called “wedges.” As the actor’s voice
would be insufficient to fill the vast space enclosed by some theatres,
which contained 40,000 people, the sound was augmented, and rendered
distinct, by hollow vessels of copper, dispersed under the seats in
such a way as to reverberate the words distinctly to the ear of every

The right line, in front, was occupied by the orchestra, so called
because it was originally intended for the exhibition of “mimes and
dancers;” it afterwards admitted other exhibitions. In one of its
compartments, the chorus acted, which from its square form was called
thymele, or “the altar;” another received a band of music, and, from
its position at the bottom of the theatre, was named “hyposcene;”
behind this was the stage, divided also into three parts; the
largest, properly called the “scene,” extended across the theatre.
Here was suspended the large curtain, which fell, not rose, when the
exhibition commenced; the next was the proscene, or “pulpit,” where the
performance was carried on; and the last the parascene, or green room,
the place “behind the stage,” where the performers retired to dress,
and the machines were kept and prepared.

The bland and beautiful climate of the country inhabited by the Greeks,
require for the greater part of the year no shelter. The theatre,
therefore, had no roof, and all the exhibitions were in the open air;
when a passing shower required it, there were porticoes to which the
audience retired in winter; in summer, the rays of the sun were to
be guarded against in a warm climate, and machinery was provided, by
which canvass awnings were drawn across over the theatre. The degree
of sultriness which this caused among a crowd in confined air, was
mitigated by an artificial rain. Reservoirs of scented water were
formed above the porticoes, from whence it descended to the statues
and other sculptured ornaments, and was suffered to exude through
certain pores in the marble, and filled the covered space not only with
grateful coolness but fragrant exhalation.

The fondness of the Greeks in general, and of the Athenians in
particular, for such dramatic exhibitions, is not to be expressed; it
was not only the medium through which the music of their poetry, the
refinement of their sentiments, the display of their taste, and their
moral impressions, were conveyed, but it was the great channel of
their political opinions. Every sense and faculty was engaged in these
exhibitions: the eye, the ear, the imagination, the understanding,
were appealed to, and gratified; but what rendered it so deeply
interesting was, that it became the arena upon which the public affairs
were exhibited, the channel through which public sentiments were
conveyed; and the great interests and transactions of the republic,
in which every man felt a personal interest, were discussed in mimic
representations. When an event or character was introduced in the
drama, its parallel was immediately found, and its application was made
to some passing circumstance or person. When a passage in Æschylus
was uttered, that Amphiaraus “had rather be great and good, than seem
so,” it was instantly and simultaneously applied by the audience to
Aristides, and they rose up spontaneously to salute him. It was thus,
that not only in Athens, their vast theatre, capable of holding 30,000
people, was constantly crowded, but in every city inhabited by the
Greeks, either in the islands or on the continents of Asia and Europe,
theatres were erected among their first public edifices; and there is
scarcely a town, however obscure or little noticed, where one is not
found at this day among the most perfect part of the ruins.

The theatre of Hieropolis, given in our illustration, is the least
dilapidated among its existing remains; it is an extensive and
sumptuous structure, even in its present ruinous state; it retains
perfectly its semicircular form, and part of the proscene is still
standing in good preservation; the wedge-form rows of benches still
afford seats to the traveller; and the arched vomitories, opening
upon the passages to admit spectators, are still perfect; but the
centre is filled up with heaps of broken cornices, fragments of fluted
shafts, and almost perfect capitals of pillars, tumbled from their
elevation, and indicating, by their number and the excellency of their
workmanship, the skill and labour bestowed upon the theatre of this
provincial town. On a low semicircular screen, dividing the seats,
is still legible an inscription in which “Apollo the Archegetes,”
or manager of the theatre, is entreated to be “propitious to the
performers;” and on another is a panegyric on the city of Hieropolis,
in which it is called “the city of gold.” The perspective in the
background exhibits the remains of stadia, baths, and other edifices
before mentioned.

The circumstance which most strongly impresses a traveller in visiting
these ancient theatres, is the dismal contrast presented by their first
and present state. These crowded scenes of life and enjoyment are now
the most dismal and desolate spots among the ruins; they seem to be the
place to which every thing that is foul and venomous repair, attracted
perhaps by the shelter and concealment their more perfect state
affords. “The busy hum of men” is exchanged for the serpent’s hiss and
the eagle’s scream−-the crowded seats

  “Are now the raven’s bleak abode,
  Are now the apartment of the toad.”

Snakes are everywhere seen gliding through the rubbish, or rustling
among the thicket of shrubs that grow among them. Their exuviæ are
found deposited in every crevice, and the alarmed traveller starts
back, supposing that to be a living reptile, which he finds is only the
spotted skin from which the renovated serpent had extricated itself,
and just left behind. Jackals and wolves drag here their prey, as to
a congenial spot, to devour them; and vultures, “scenting their murky
quarry from afar,” are heard screaming in the air, and seen hovering
over the carcase, ready to alight, and snatch it from their rapacious
rivals. Such is the almost universal aspect that every ancient theatre
we have visited presents to the traveller.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Sands.



The two straits by which Constantinople is approached, are marked
at their entrance by clusters of islands. The traveller, before he
enters the Dardanelles, passes through the Cyclades; as he approaches
the Bosphorus, he finds himself among a similar group, forming an
Archipelago in the Propontis, if not so extensive, yet still more
lovely than that in the Egean.

The Cyclades of the Propontis was anciently called Demonesca, or the
“islands of spirits;” but under the Lower Empire they assumed another
denomination. Irené, the widow of Fl. Leo, had put out the eyes of
her son, in order that she herself might reign in his place; for this
she was banished by his successor, to these islands; and, having
built a monastery on one of them, to atone for her guilt, and erected
edifices where females of the imperial family were educated, the group
was called, therefore, after her, the “Princes’ Islands.” They are
nine in number, of different sizes, and are distinguished by Greek
names, indicating some peculiarity of each.[5] The four smaller are
uninhabited; they lie between the European and Asiatic coasts, about 10
miles from each, and the same distance from the mouth of the Bosphorus;
and to the houses of the streets built on the eminences, both of Pera
and Constantinople, exhibit a picturesque and striking prospect.

The water which flows round them is not less pure than the air is
balmy; they seem to float in a sea of singular transparency, so clear
and lucid that objects are distinctly seen at the greatest depths;
and the caïque which glides over it seems supported by a fluid less
dense than water, and nearly as invisible and transparent as air.
From various circumstances, it is conjectured that the islands were
originally one mass, and torn asunder by some convulsion of nature;
abrupt promontories in the one correspond with bays and indentations
in the opposite, and the space between is so deep, that the large
ships of Admiral Duckworth’s fleet anchored everywhere among them with
perfect safety, when they passed into the Propontis, to menace the
capital. Fish of many kinds abound in the streights, and their capture
is one of the employments and amusements of the residents. The fishing
carried on by night is very picturesque. The boats proceed with blazing
faggots lighted in braziers of iron projecting from their bow and
stern; and at certain times the shores are illuminated every night, by
innumerable moving lights floating round them.

The islands labour under two disadvantages; one is, the want of water:
there are no streams, and the springs found are impregnated with
mineral ingredients, everywhere mixed up with the soil, particularly in
the island of Chalki. To remedy this, the houses, and particularly the
convents, have deep excavations, forming reservoirs into which the rain
is received; so sacred is this deposit, that the wells are covered with
iron stopples, carefully locked, and only opened with great caution at
stated times. On the smaller deserted islands, deep cisterns of former
times exist, where passing ships and boats at this day draw up water.

The next is, the sudden hurricanes to which they are subject in the
most calm and beautiful weather. The air seems to stagnate, and a
death-like stillness succeeds; then a dark lurid spot appears near
the horizon, which suddenly bursts, as it were, and an explosion of
wind issues from it, which sweeps everything before it. The doors and
windows of the houses are instantly burst open, and every thing on land
seems splitting to pieces; the sea is raised into mountains of white
foam; and the only hope of safety for ships is to drive before it. The
boats of the islands are sometimes overtaken thus in their passage
to the capital: the boatmen at once lose all power of managing their
caïques, and throw themselves on their faces in despair, crying out
“For our sins, for our sins!” In this state the vessel turns over, and
goes down with all her passengers. Accidents of this kind happen every

The islands are exceedingly beautiful and salubrious; unlike many of
their kindred in the Egean, there is nothing bare or rugged in their
aspect. They are generally crowned with arbutus, pine, cypress, myrtle,
and different kinds of oak, particularly the kermes or evergreen, so
that they preserve their leaves unchanged at all seasons, and render
the islands at all times verdant and romantic. The arbutus grows with
such luxuriance, that it ripens its berries into large mellow fruit,
which is sold in the markets, and furnishes a rich dessert; they are
eaten as strawberries, which they nearly resemble in shape, colour,
and taste. There are, besides, various other trees, which, though
deciduous, seldom lose their foliage; such as the terebinth or cypress
turpentine, which yields a resinous aroma, so that a stranger, in
making his way through these romantic thickets, as he presses aside
the branches, is surprised at the grateful odours exhaled about him:
but the shrubs which most abound, are the various species of the
gum-cistus; they cover large tracts, and sometimes so tint the surface
of the hills, that the islands are suffused with a rich hue from their
bright blossoms. The fragrance of these spots is exceedingly rich and
grateful. As the traveller moves through the low shrubs, and disturbs
them with his feet, a dense vapour of odoriferous particles ascends,
and the air seems loaded, as it were, with a palpable fragrance.[6]
This gratification of the senses has conferred upon the islands the
character of luxurious enjoyment, which has at all times distinguished
them; they were, therefore, considered the Capreæ of the Lower Empire,
and became the Capua of the Turks; when their rude military energy
degenerated, they retired there, to gratify themselves with indulgences
which were prohibited even in the license of the capital. Whenever
the plague rages, they are crowded with Frank and Raya fugitives, who
escape to this asylum from the pestilential atmosphere of the city.

By a prescription, some time established, the islands have been
entirely abandoned to the Greeks, and no Turk is allowed to take up his
residence there, except temporarily, on official business. Even the aga
who superintends them, resides on the opposite coast of Asia, and never
visits them except to collect the haratch. No mosque or other Moslem
edifice was allowed to raise its crescent-head; but the larger islands
had one or more Greek monasteries crowning their summits, and forming
the most conspicuous objects. They were erected in the time of the
Lower Empire, and were the asylums to which the sovereigns retired when
compelled to abdicate the throne: many of them were the retreats of
those who were mutilated or blinded by their successors; many were the
receptacles where guilt and remorse sought, by solitude and penance,
to atone for past crimes. Some of these monasteries are now in ruins,
and their “ivy-mantled towers” add to the picturesque scenery; some
are still kept in good repair, and the residence of Caloyers, having
chapels eminent for their sanctity, to which not only the people of the
islands, but many families of the Fanal, resort, and celebrate their
festivals with much pomp and devotion.

On the greater islands are towns called by the same names. They possess
fleets of caïques of a larger size than ordinary, which keep up a daily
communication with the capital in conveying goods and passengers.
Every morning these fleets leave the islands at sunrise, and return by
sunset. The merry disposition of the people is nowhere more displayed
than in these passage-boats, which the gravity and taciturnity of a
Turk, who is an occasional passenger, cannot suppress. It sometimes
happens that this levity is severely punished: on a charge of some real
or supposed delinquency, the crews are cited before the cadi, when they
land at Tophana. His carpet is spread on the ground, and where he sits
cross-legged smoking his nargillai, the laughing culprits are brought
before him, and he dispenses justice in a summary manner. He waves his
hand−-the delinquent is seized by two men who throw him on his back,
while two more raise his feet between poles, presenting their soles.
Executioners then, provided with angular rods as thick as a man’s
thumb, lay on the shrieking wretch till he faints, or the cadi, by
another wave of his hand, intimates to them to cease: this punishment
of the unfortunate caïquegees of the islands, is very frequent, and
sometimes is inflicted on the whole of the boats’ crews. It often
happens to be so severe, that the legs swell as high as the hips, and
the victim is in danger of dying of a mortification; notwithstanding,
it is soon forgotten by the sufferers. On their return, they only laugh
at each other, and the next day repeat the fault for which they were

During the Greek revolution, these islands were made the prison of
the suspected. The families of the Fanal were sent here, to be kept
in sale custody till their fate was decided in the capital; every day
some unfortunate victim was taken away, and never re-appeared, yet this
seemed to make little impression on the survivors. They were constantly
seen in groups under some favourite trees, playing dominos, chess, or
other games, and entering with as much earnestness and disputation into
the chances, as if they were in a state of perfect security. Sometimes
a caïque was seen approaching, and the turbaned head of a chaoush
appeared over the gunwale−-he landed, approached the groups of players,
and laid a black handkerchief on the shoulder of one of them; the
doomed man rose from his seat, followed the chaoush to the caïque, and
never returned again. His place was supplied by another, and the game
was continued as if nothing extraordinary had happened. The bouyancy
and reckless character of the Greeks, during the perils of their
revolution, was nowhere, perhaps, so displayed as on these occasions;
they saw their friends daily taken from the midst of them, and knew
they were led away to be strangled or decapitated, yet it seemed
but little to affect the careless hilarity of the daily decreasing

Among the suspected shut up in one of these insular prisons was the
venerable and learned archbishop of Mount Sinai. After the execution of
the patriarch and his prelates, he hourly expected his mortal summons;
yet it never affected his cheerfulness: he was engaged in a work on
the ancient and modern state of Constantinople, and his only wish,
unfounded then on any hope, was, that he might be allowed to live and
finish it. His wishes, contrary to his expectations, were fulfilled. I
left him in his Patmos, every day looking for death; and I found him,
on my return to Turkey, some years after, elevated to the patriarchal
throne. His susceptibility to the beauties of nature that smiled here
in his prison, was not impaired by any dismal apprehensions. In his
work, since published, he describes with enthusiasm the view presented
from his island: “The prospect from hence,” said he, “formed by the
circle of lovely objects around, is inimitable on the earth; it stands
like the varied representations of some grand amphitheatre, and the
astonished and delighted eye, at sunset, sees the exceeding splendour
of nature’s scenery.”

The view in our illustration is taken from the monastery of the
Triades, or Trinity, in the island of Chalki. This edifice was erected
by the patriarch Photios, who was named “the man of ten thousand
books.” He called it Zion, but its name was afterwards changed. His
ten thousand books were deposited in a library: the greater part was
destroyed by fire, which consumed nearly the whole edifice, and the
rest by time and neglect, so that not one now remains. The present
edifice, inhabited by the Caloyers, is but a wing of the original
building. In the foreground, on a platform, is a kiosk, from whence
is seen one of those lovely views which almost every eminence of the
island presents. Attached to every monastery is such an edifice; it
is kind of coffee-house, open to strangers, in which they repose,
enjoying the beauty of the scenery, and are seen with pipes, coffee,
and sweetmeats by the good monks. The view from this kiosk of the
Triades, comprehending Europe and Asia, is particularly eulogized and
described by the archbishop. The splendid city of Constantinople rising
on its seven hills, with its gilded domes and glittering minarets; the
sweeping shores of Thrace; the Bithynian chain of mountains, in the
midst of which Olympus raises his head, covered with eternal snows;
the whole circle of islands, floating below on the bosom of the placid
sea−-form an unrivalled panoramic picture.

Just below lies the varied face of the island, with its shrubs and
trees; a range of gigantic cypresses leads, along the ridge of a
sloping hill, to an edifice on the sea-shore; this was erected by an
opulent Greek tchelebi, in the palmy days of their prosperity. He
was suspected, apprehended, and executed, and his splendid mansion,
containing all the requisites of modern Greek luxuries, was occupied
by various Franks, who left the sultry heats of the capital for the
refreshing breezes of the islands. Along the shore below run the
streets of the capital of Chalki, with its fleet of small-craft lying
in the harbour. Among the edifices are some which present an unusual
sight in these islands: on a promontory, a minaret raises its taper
head; and on the hill behind, is a Turkish kisla, or barracks. When the
insurrection broke out, the immunities of the islands were withdrawn,
and Moslem edifices and Moslem people are now seen mixed with the
hitherto exclusive Greek population.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. C. Bentley.


There is no saint in the Oriental calendar held in more estimation,
both by Moslems and Christians, than St. George of Cappadocia. The
Greeks and Armenians dedicate many churches to him, and the legends
they tell and believe of him correspond with those that are current
in England of its patron saint. The Orientals do not reproach their
favourite, as some incredulous historians do among us, with being the
son of a fuller, becoming a parasite, a bacon-merchant, and a cheat,
who was torn to pieces by his townsmen for his manifold crimes and
vices, in the reign of Julian the Apostate. They represent him as a
Christian hero, who suffered martyrdom for his inflexible adherence
to Christianity in the persecution of Diocletian, but, before that,
had distinguished himself by deeds of high heroic reputation. One of
them seems a version of Perseus and Andromeda; and, as in many other
instances, fables of pagan mythology are appropriated by Christian
saints. After various achievements against Paynims and Saracens, he
came to the land of Egypt in search of new adventures. He here found
a winged dragon devastating the country with his pestiferous breath,
and devouring those whom he had preserved. The wise men were called
together, and a compact was made with the monster, that he should be
content with devouring a virgin every day. They were all eaten, except
the daughter of the soldan, and her weeping friends had just led her
to the sacrifice, when St. George arrived. He attacked and slew the
monster, and liberated the virgin. This legend, which corresponds
with that of the old English ballad, is commemorated in this church
of St. George, by a picture in the portico: the saint is depicted on
horseback, piercing a winged dragon with a spear, exactly as he is
represented on our coins and armorial blazonry; and so he is displayed
in every one of the numerous churches dedicated to him in the East.

This fable, which is a popular legend both in the East and West, is,
however, explained allegorically. The dragon is the devil, represented
under that form in the Apocalypse; and subduing him, and trampling him
under foot, by the saint, is emblematic of the faith and fortitude
of a Christian. The Greeks call St. George the Megalomartyr, and his
festival is a holiday “of obligation.” Constantine the Great built a
church, which stood over his tomb in Palestine, and erected the first
to his memory in the metropolis, where there were afterwards five more
dedicated to him. Justinian, in the sixth century, introduced him into
the Armenian calendar, and raised a temple to him. At the entrance into
the Hellespont is a large and celebrated convent of his order, which
gives his name to the strait; and the pagan appellation of Hellespont
merged into the Christian one of “the Arm of St. George.” He was the
great patron of Christian knights, and none went to battle without
first offering to him their vows.

When Richard Cœur de Lion laid siege to Acre, the saint appeared to
him in a vision, and the Crusaders attributed their victories to his
interference and aid. The great national council, held at Oxford
in 1222, recognized him, and commanded his feast to be kept as a
holiday; and in 1330, Edward III. instituted an order of knighthood
to his name in England, one of the oldest in Europe, and so he has
become the patron-saint of England. His festival is celebrated on
the 23d of April, in the Greek church; and the English ambassador at
Constantinople, as if to identify our patron-saint with that of the
Greeks, gives a splendid entertainment on the same day at the British
palace, where St. George is held “as the patron of arms, chivalry, and
the garter.”

But our saint has immunities and privileges which do not appear to be
allowed to any other in the Greek calendar. At the early period of the
reformation in the Oriental church, statues were everywhere torn down
by the Iconoclasts, and excluded from their worship as idolatrous,
though pictures were allowed to remain; adhering literally to the
Commandment of making “no graven images,” but, by a singular anomaly
of Greek refinement, venting their religious horror on wood and stone,
and bowing down without scruple to paint and canvass. This distinction
continues in all its strictness to the present day: the churches are
profusely daubed with gaudy pictures of saints, to which profound
adoration is paid, and the most extraordinary miracles are attributed;
while no statue, or sculptured or graven representation, of the same
persons, are tolerated: but to our saint alone an indulgence is
extended. His image in some churches is formed on graven silver plates
attached to a wooden block, which they affirm had miraculously escaped
from the destruction of the Iconoclasts, and has peculiar faculties
conferred upon it, corresponding with the pugnacious propensities of
the character whose person it represents; and to its wonder-working
powers many miracles are attributed.

In the monastery of St. George, in one of the islands of the
Archipelago, is a statue of this kind, which is highly serviceable
to the Caloyers. If any one is indebted to the convent, and does not
pay his dues−-if a penitent omits to perform the penance, or violates
the strict abstinence imposed upon him during the many seasons of
fasting−-above all, if he neglects to perform any vow made to the
saint−-the image immediately finds him out. It is placed on the
shoulders of a blind monk, who trusts implicitly to its guidance, and
walks fearlessly on without making a false step. It is in vain that
the sinning defaulter tries to hide himself. The image follows him
through all his windings with infallible sagacity, and, when at length
he is overtaken, springs from the shoulders of his bearer to the neck
of the culprit, and flogs him with unmerciful severity till he makes
restitution and atonement for all his delinquencies. A French writer,
who was a firm believer in the miracles wrought by the images of saints
in the Latin church, in recording these absurdities of St. George,
adds with great naïveté: _Les Grecs sont les plus grands imposteurs du

In the church of the convent is a picture highly prized as a _chef
d’œuvre_ of Grecian art; it represents the last day, a subject which
the Greek Caloyers are fond of impressing on their people. In some, the
punishments of a future state, as painted on the walls, are hardly fit
to be looked at. Devils riding ploughshares, and driving them through
naked bodies of men, and serpents twining round the limbs of offending
women. This picture, however, is less exceptionable; it depicts the
Deity on the summit, dressed in sumptuous robes, and crowned like a
king, having an expanded book before him, in which the fate of every
mortal is recorded: below, on one side is a garden, having various
departments like the pews of a church, in each of which is enclosed
some celebrated individual. In one, Abraham with Lazarus in his
bosom,−-in another, the penitent thief with his cross on his shoulder.
Immediately below, are the extended jaws of a vast monster, into
which demons are casting the souls of the condemned, among whom are
all the apostates and persecutors of Christianity−-Judas, Julian, and
Diocletian; with sundry Turks. Among the condemned, one is surprised
to see a Greek with his calpac; he had been a dragoman of the Porte,
who had offended the artist, and he took this not unprecedented mode of
avenging himself on his adversary.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Sands.



The river Meander is perhaps the most celebrated of all antiquity, and
has been made a generic term, in most languages, to designate a winding
stream; poets and historians equally commemorate it. It rose near the
ancient city of Celene, and, increased by various tributaries, it fell
into the Ægean between Miletus and Priene. So tortuous was its course,
that it was counted to have made 600 windings in its progress to the
sea. It afforded Dædalus the model for his labyrinth, and travellers
have discovered in many parts the various accurate outlines of some of
the most convoluted letters of the Greek alphabet. It was remarkable
for the alterations it caused in the countries through which it wound
its way−-obliterating old, and adding new tracts. This was so frequent,
and attended with such damage, that an indictment lay against the
river; and the person who suffered was remunerated out of the tolls of
the bridges which passed over it.

This constant undermining of its banks, and the fall of them into
its current, was the probable cause of its devious course. The soil,
obstructed in one place, was deposited in another; while the great
quantity held in suspension, was suffered to fall when the waters,
meeting the obstructions of the sea, no longer supported it in the
current. In its mouth it formed great bars, and threw up new lands.
The changes thus made were celebrated by the ancients as so many
mythological and preternatural metamorphoses:−-

  “The magic river in its tortuous wheel
  Defrauds the mariner; and where his keel
  Plough’d up the pliant wave−-the rustic’s share
  Delves in the soil, and plants his harvest there.
  The moving waves to fixed furrows rise;
  The sportive kid the dolphin’s place supplies.
  The shepherd’s pipe delights the grazing sheep,
  Where the hoarse sailor’s voice outroared the boisterous deep.”

Thus it happened that several celebrated towns, situated on its banks,
are not now to be traced there. The city of Myus stood on a bay;
the constant deposit of mud by the river obstructed the ingress of
salt-water, and the bay was changed into an inland lake; the alluvial
and marshy soil, generated by the slime, afforded a nidus to vast
swarms of insects; and so Myus was infested, and called “the city of
gnats.” The swarms at this day are an intolerable nuisance; towards
evening, the inside of tents become black with them. Myriads of winged
insects cling to the poles and canvass. The torture they give is so
insupportable, that the sufferers blow them up with gunpowder, and
often set fire to their tents, to get rid of a plague equal to any
of those of Egypt. Miletus, celebrated for its woollen manufacture
and rich dyes−-the birth-place of one of the seven wise men, and the
capital of Ionia−-was ruined by the Meander; the capricious stream
removed itself from its vicinity, and, for an easy and inviting
approach, prohibited ingress by depositing inaccessible mounds of mud.

The process, which for revolving centuries marked this singular river,
is still going on; deposits are daily made of soft soil, and that which
had been left before, hardened into firm ground. This new-created land
is stretching beyond the estuary of the stream, and the promontories
which marked its mouth, as its barrier against the encroaching of the
sea, are now so remote from it, that they are seen distant inland
hills. A judicious traveller remarks, that it is probable the land will
be pushed away, to join the island of Samos, and such a change will be
wrought on this coast by the caprice of the river, that “barren rocks
may be enamelled with rich domains, and other cities may rise and
flourish on the bounty of the Meander.”

The rich valley through which this river winds its way, was formerly
filled with many famous cities, and some distinguished for that
luxury and effeminacy which a balmy climate and a fertile soil are
apt to generate. Tralles and Alabanda sent from hence their swarms of
“esurient Greeks,” with their cargoes of figs and prunes, to taint
the Roman citizens, already sufficiently corrupt. Notwithstanding the
desolation which Turkish indolence and barbarism brought into these
fertile regions, the active spirit of the ancient Greeks still seems
to animate their oppressed descendants. The whole plain is seen by the
traveller in the highest state of cultivation: corn, wine, and oil, the
evidence and emblem of fatness and fertility, are now abundant here, as
in the days of the free Greek cities,−-pastures covered with sheep and
oxen, fields waving with golden crops of wheat, vineyards bending under
vast clusters of grape, and gardens shaded by the broad foliage of the
fig, are still the prospects which present themselves.

In the midst of this abundance is situated the town of Guzel-Hissar,
appropriately called “the Castle of Beauty,” which its name imports.
It lies on a small stream, about ten miles from the Meander, and on an
eminence which commands a prospect of the lovely vale through which
the river winds its way. Our illustration presents a view of it, with
Mount Thorax rising behind it, and the ridges of the Messogeis before
it−-the wooded plain of the Meander lying between, and spread out under
the city. Both seem to partake of the same quality of rank vegetation.
Among minarets, and domes, and houses, rise cypress, terebinth, and
oriental platanus, so that the whole is a forest of mingled spires and
trees; among these, myriads of turtle-doves take up their abode, and
they and their progeny, in surprising numbers, covering the branches
and roofs, fill the air all day long with their incessant and plaintive
cooing. The town is the residence of a pasha, but its edifices have
little to boast of; they are mean and ragged, and travellers complain
of the caravansaries, as being more comfortless and destitute than even
Turkish khans. The inhabitants feel the effects of a rank and exuberant
vegetation. During the sultry months, a mal-aria is generated, highly
pestilential. The plague sometimes rages with mortal malignity; and the
traveller, shut up in a small and naked room of a filthy house, panting
with heat and devoured with insects, rather endures any thing within,
than walk abroad, and encounter the ghastly and infected objects that
stalk along, and carry contagion with them through the streets.

[Illustration: T. Allom. Tho^s Turnbull.



There is no superstition so strong in the Greek church as the
efficiency ascribed to fountains, and there are no objects of
veneration to which they are more fondly attached. Like their pagan
ancestors, they consecrate a well to some presiding being, and ascribe
to it corresponding virtues. The efficacy, however, is not of the same
character. A modern Greek recognizes no Hippocrene, whose draughts
inspire him with poetry; but he has innumerable sources of salutary
waters, which, by some supernatural power coupled to it by its patron,
heals diseases; and around Constantinople are many wells dedicated to
different saints, which retain all the virtues of the pool of Bethesda.

Beyond the walls of the city, about half-a-mile from the Selyvria gate,
approaching to the sea of Marmora, is one of the most celebrated of
these fountains, which, from the earliest period of its dedication to
Christianity, has been held in the highest veneration. The tradition
of a miracle wrought by its waters in restoring sight to a blind man,
attracted the attention of the Greek emperors, and it afterwards became
the object of their peculiar care. Leo the Great, in the year 460,
first erected a church over it. The emperor Justinian was returning
one day from hunting, and perceived a great crowd surrounding it. He
inquired into the cause, and learned that a miracle of healing had
just been wrought by the waters; so, when he had finished his gorgeous
temple to “the Eternal Wisdom of God,” he applied the surplus of his
rich materials to adorning this church. It stood for two centuries,
an object of wonder and veneration, till it was shattered by an
earthquake, when it was finally rebuilt by the empress Irené with more
splendour than ever. Such was the sanctity and esteem in which it was
held, that imperial marriages were celebrated in it, in preference to
Santa Sophia, or other edifices in the city. When Simeon the Bulgarian
defeated the Greeks under the walls of the city, he married his son
Peter to Maria, the daughter of the emperor Lacapenus, here; and again,
the nuptials of the daughter of Cantacuzene with the son of Andronicus
Palæologus were celebrated in it with great pomp.

But, besides the sanctity of the place, its natural beauties present
considerable attractions. The Byzantine historians describe them in
glowing colours: meadows enamelled with flowers of all kinds, gardens
filled with the richest fruits, groves waving with the most varied and
luxuriant foliage, a balmy air breathing purity and enjoyment, and,
above all, a fountain which, to use the language of the times, “the
mother of God had endowed with such miraculous gifts, that every bubble
that issued from it contained a remedy for every disease.”

This lovely and health-giving place was the resort not only of the
pious, but of all who sought recreation in rural scenes. The emperors
erected a summer-residence beside the church, and the celebrated region
was called “the palace and temple of the fountain.”

When the Turks laid siege to the city, their principal attack was at
the gate of St. Romanus, near this spot. The rude soldiers, encamped
round it, destroyed its groves, dilapidated its walls, and defiled its
fountain; but a traditional anecdote is told, which conferred, in the
eyes of the superstitious conquerors, a character as miraculous as that
which the Byzantines bestowed upon it. So sure were the infatuated
Greeks of Divine assistance to repel their enemies, that they expected
the angel Michael every moment to descend with a flaming sword and
destroy them. When the Turks made their last successful attack, and
entered the city over the body of the emperor, a priest was frying
fish in a part of the edifice still standing; and when it was told him
the city was taken, he replied, he could as soon believe the fried
fish would return to their native element, and again resume life. To
convert his incredulity, they did actually spring from the vessel into
the sacred fountain beside it, where they swam about, and continue to
swim at this day. This circumstance is said to have rendered the place
as miraculous in the eyes of the Moslems as the Christians; so they
changed the name, to commemorate the miracle, into _Baloukli_ or “the
place of the fishes,” into which its former appellative merged, and by
which it is now known.

As this was a place held by the Greeks, from the earliest times, in
great distinction, and the Turks themselves partook of the impression
it caused; it was the object of their attention, when the insurrection
broke out in 1821. They rushed in a body to this celebrated place, tore
down what of the edifice had been suffered to remain, and attacked the
unfortunate persons who had presumed to venture to celebrate their
primitive festival. In this state it continued for several years, and
the traveller who visited it saw a desecrated ruin, occupied only by a
poor Caloyer in his tattered blue tunic, lamenting over the devastation
of his sacred enclosure. The miraculous fishes, however, seemed to be
the only objects that did not suffer by the sacrilege. They still might
be seen darting through the water, and the countenance of the poor
priest lightened up with pleasure, when he could find them out, and
say, _idhoo psari afthenti_−-look at these fishes, sir.

At length, when affairs became settled, and the revolution was
completed and recognized, a firman was issued by the sultan, to repair
all the Christian churches that had been injured, and this was among
the first to which attention was directed. The former celebrity and
great sanctity conferred upon it a more than usual interest; and the
Russian government, as members of the Greek church, contributed to its
re-erection on a more extended plan. It is surrounded by an area, in
which is built a residence for the priests of the well. From hence is
the approach to the church, which has a certain subterranean character,
and is entered by a descent of marble steps. The interior has been
finished with much care, indicating considerable anxiety to adorn such
an edifice with corresponding ornaments. The walls are covered with a
light and glittering coat of gold on white varnish, so as to resemble
the finest porcelain China, and present a rich surface to the eye,
perfectly dazzling. This effect is heightened by splendid glass lustres
suspended from the ceiling, and presented by the emperor Nicholas.

Our illustration presents the church under its characteristic and
usual aspect. Before the ornamented screen which separates the nave
from the sanctuary, is stretched the sick brought here to be healed
after the ablution of the water, by the panayia who presides over it.
Another trait of Greek superstition is also displayed: at the entrance
to the church is a large case, in which a number of slender tapers are
deposited; every male, on coming in, purchases at this counter a taper,
which he lights, and bears in his hand to a stand placed before the
sanctuary. Here he sticks it on a point prepared for it, and suffers
it to burn out, as a necessary part of his devotion. This ceremony
is particularly practised by Greek mariners, who thus propitiate the
Virgin before they sail. The Greek church, like the Latin, prescribes
a formula for blessing those candles, and believe, that whenever the
benediction is said over them, they have a power conferred upon them of
chasing away demons and evil spirits when they are lighted.

[Illustration: T. Allom. T. A. Friar.



The Hagiography of the modern Greeks resembles, in many respects, the
Mythology of their ancestors. Their saints are divided into Megalo and
Micro, like the Major and Minor deities of their pagan forefathers.
They attribute to them preternatural powers and miraculous gifts, the
exercise of which is displayed pretty much in the same manner in both;
and there are many of the same name, to each of whom the actions of all
are sometimes attributed. The name of Ayos Theodoros is borne by five
individuals in the Greek church, who have all festivals in different
months in the year; there were three edifices consecrated to them in
the capital; and churches bearing their name are found in every part of
the empire where a Greek community exists, at this day.

Ayos Theodoros, which the church of Pergamus acknowledges, was called
Stratiolites, or “the Soldier.” He was born at Heraclea, and was
general under Licinius, the last rival of Constantine the Great. After
various acts of valour and services to the state, he was decapitated
by the tyrant, in 319, for his attachment to the Christian cause. He
was brought by his adherents, to be buried at Apamea, which was thence
called Theodoropolis; and pilgrims visited his shrine, and fulfilled
vows in “the spiritual meadow” beside it, where many miracles were
performed. His personal powers did not cease with his death. Like
the twin-brothers, Castor and Pollux, he appeared in battle, and
discomfited the enemies of his votaries. Six hundred and fifty years
after his death, the wicked Johannes Zemisces, by his aid obtained a
signal victory. He is represented in armour with a sword and shield,
consonant to his church-militant character. His effigy formed one
of the twelve flammulæ on the ensigns of the empire; his shield is
preserved in the church at Dalisand, in Asia; his body was brought
by Dandolo from Constantinople to Venice, in 1260; but his head was
claimed by another place, and deposited at Cajeta.

Other saints, of the same name, had various similar acts attributed to
them, and were frequently confounded together. Theodore of Siceon in
Galatia, was a prophet, and predicted that Mauricius should be emperor,
which accordingly took place; and he was afterwards sent for to the
imperial palace, to confer his blessing upon the new royal family.
Another Theodore was particularly distinguished for his miracles. In
the language of his panegyrist “he expelled devils, healed distempers,
and conferred miraculous gifts on all who touched his tomb.” A fourth,
seized with prophetic inspiration, and while sailing on the Nile,
exclaimed “that Julian the apostate from Christianity was dead;” and
his death was found to have occurred at that moment, in Persia: and
so he emulated Apollonius Tyanæus in declaring the death of Domitian.
The fate of the last of the name is somewhat peculiar: he lived at
the era of the reformation of the Greek church, begun by Leo: he
adhered rigidly to the worship of images, which was then proscribed,
and carried them off whenever the Iconoclasts attempted to deface or
destroy them. Certain Iambics were composed, in which the practice was
declared superstitious and impious, and every person detected in it was
seized, and a mark set upon him like Cain. The lines were indelibly
inscribed on the person by puncturing them on the skin. In this way St.
Theodore was stigmatized; the denunciation was tatooed on his forehead,
and thence he obtained the name of Graft, or “the inscribed.” He is
held in great estimation by the Latin church, as a martyr to orthodoxy;
but is of no repute in the Greek, which still professes a horror at

The present church of St. Theodore at Pergamus, is a poor, mean
edifice, forming a strong contrast with the noble remains of the church
of St. John, beside it: yet it is the only place of Christian worship
now in the city. It stands on the side of the hill of the Acropolis,
and appears but the remnant of a former church. The sanctuary is the
only part not altogether dilapidated, the rest being only a mud-built
heap. The screen, which in all Greek churches, however humble, glitters
with gilding and gaudy paint, is here so dark and dingy, that even
in the glow of the sun, or the ever-lighted lamps, the figures are
scarcely discernible; yet it is pleasing to find, even in this dim
temple, a spark of Christianity is cherished, likely to beam into a
clearer light. The poor papas of the church have formed a school under
the roof, in which more than thirty children are instructed, and the
bibles of the British and Foreign Society are introduced.

Among the objects presented in our illustration, is one characteristic
of the saint to whom the church is dedicated. The expulsion of devils
was included among the miracles performed in the name of Theodore; and
in our illustration is a poor maniac waiting before the sanctuary, for
the purpose, while the appointed papas are exorcising him. A belief in
actual possession by evil spirits, is the dogma of the Greek church
at the present day; and in many of them are seen chains and manacles
passed through rings in the floor, where the unfortunate maniac is
bound night and day while the process of exorcism is being gone
through. In a Greek monastery on the islands, is a chapel famed for
the efficacy of its prayers in this way, to which patients are sent
from Constantinople, and the floor of the church, at times, was almost
covered with those demoniacs chained down to the ground. During the
excitement of the Greek insurrection, the priests were the particular
objects of Turkish persecution; and the Caloyers of this convent were
particularly proscribed. They all escaped but one, and he was anxiously
preparing to fly, expecting every moment his executioners; he saw them
ascending the hill, on the summit of which the convent is situated,
and, as a forlorn hope, he ran into the chapel, thrust his legs and
arms into the fetters, and appeared violently possessed, so that no
man “could bind him, no, not with chains.” The Turks entertain great
respect for maniacs, whom they believe to be, when bereft of reason,
in the immediate care of Allah; so they only looked compassionately on
the poor man, and left the church. The Caloyer escaped, descended in
the dark into a caïque, which was secretly waiting for him, and escaped
finally to Russia, the great refuge of the proscribed Greeks.

[Illustration: T. Allom. T. A. Friar.


In the delightful region of Eyoub, not far from the tomb of the Ansar,
and close upon the waters of the Golden Horn, is an imperial residence
recalling the memory of the unfortunate Selim, who selected this quiet
and delicious retreat for his sister, to which he might occasionally
retire in pursuit of that tranquillity his gentle spirit was not doomed
to enjoy, among the perils and tumults that disturbed his reign. It
bears the impress of his hand. Though inclining to and beginning
to adopt European usages, his taste was still Oriental. Unlike the
bold and uncompromising character of Mahmoud, he halted between two
opinions; and, while the new palace of the one exhibits on the shores
of the Bosphorus a noble specimen of European architecture, the new
palace of the other is no improvement on Eastern barbarism; the palace
is perfectly Turkish.

On passing along the arabesque front, the gaudy glare of the gilded
apartments within are reflected through any open casement with an
almost painful and dazzling lustre, particularly if the sun shines,
so as to repel the gazer. The reception-room, or salaamlik, the
only part given in our illustration, is remote from the harem, from
whose mysterious recesses all strangers are utterly excluded: it
is entered by a close curtain or screen drawn across the door, and
immediately falling behind the person who passes, and gives a kind of
mysterious and jealous precaution even to this permitted room. Here
a balustrade of pillars runs across, leaving a passage in the centre
which is ascended by steps, so that the upper end is raised like the
dais of our Gothic halls. This portion of the apartment is covered
over with gilding; the walls are pierced with various niches and
circular recesses, ornamented with pendent members like icicles, and
recall the mind to the cloistered sculpture of our old churches, and,
notwithstanding the bright glare, convey the impression of gilding on
a coffin. The panels are decorated with embossed festoons, glittering
with burnished gold on a frosted surface. The ceiling, which in a
Turkish apartment is always highly ornamented, is enclosed in an
octagonal moulding with a central embossment, from which issue to the
circumference radiating decorations; the ground is azure blue studded
with gilded stars.

This spacious apartment, like every other room, is entirely divested
of furniture. The only seats are cushions of a divan, like a sofa,
running round all the walls, on which a man of elevated rank sits
cross-legged, smoking a chiboque, whose long tube extends many yards on
the floor below, where it is received into a gilded vase, and renovated
by a kneeling attendant. Persons of inferior rank recline on carpets
spread on the floor; beside the balustrade stand the mutes and black
slaves, ready to do the behests of their master; and, as every person
is admitted, he makes a profound salaam, nearly touching his forehead
to the ground, on which he lays his hand, and then raises it to his
head as if to scatter dust upon it. Such is the general description of
every salaamlik, or hall of salutation, of which this imperial one is a

The edifice is appropriated to the Asmé Sultana, or sister of the
reigning sovereign. The former tenant, for whom it was erected by
Selim, was one of whom the scandalous chronicles of Pera reported
many delinquencies: she was said to be of a perverse and implacable
character, very different from her gentle brother; she was in the habit
of fixing her affections on every one who struck her fancy, and allowed
no restraint upon her will, which it was equally fatal to refuse or
comply with. It was the agreeable recreation of all classes, Turks,
Rayas, and Franks, to proceed either by land or water to some of the
lovely valleys opening on the Bosphorus, and pic-nic on the grass;
here she used to repair, and her approach among the various groups was
described to be like the appearance of some bird of prey among the
feeble flocks of smaller fowl. Every man trembled, lest she should
fix her ominous glance on him. A dragoman of the English mission,
who possessed a comely face, one day attracted her notice: a slave
notified to him that a lady wished to speak with him, and he followed
her, nothing loth. When arrived at where a group of Turkish women were
seated, he recognized with horror the too-well-known countenance of
the sultan’s sister, through the disguise with which she had covered
it. After some refreshments, which were handed to him, he retired,
but was followed by the slave, who intimated to him to repair, at
a certain hour at night, to her palace: instead of doing so, the
dragoman immediately left the city, and proceeded to Smyrna, where he
concealed himself. Meantime the rage of the disappointed lady became
furious: suite and pursuite were made after him by her emissaries;
nor was it till another object had attracted her volatile regards,
that he ventured to return to his employment; and even then he lived
in considerable anxiety. Another instance occurred soon after, which
justified his apprehension. A man in the humble rank of a musician,
attached to a band who were occasionally sent for to play at the
seraglio, attracted her notice, and was selected as the fated object
of her regard; he afterwards, in some way, incurred her displeasure,
and he, and the whole company to which he belonged, were sacrificed. A
caïque was sent for them from the seraglio to the Princes’ Islands,
where they resided, and they went as usual, without apprehension; the
next day the caïque returned without them, but brought back their
clothes to their distracted families; it was then learned that they had
been all cut to pieces for the imputed offence of one man, and their
bodies cast into the sea.

The sister of Sultan Mahmoud, the Asmé Sultana, who now possesses the
palace, and occasionally visits it, is the widow of an officer of
high rank, and conducts herself with discretion: she regulates her
domestic affairs with strict propriety, and affords a protection to
her dependents, which even her terrible brother, the sultan, dared
not violate. Among the young ladies of her establishment was one who,
without any high degree of personal charms, had attracted the notice of
Mahmoud in one of his visits, and he immediately proposed to receive
her into his harem; to his astonishment, this flattering proposal
was declined by the girl. She resisted his offers, and preferred an
humble attachment founded on mutual affection, to all the splendour
that awaited her in the imperial seraglio. The sultan, rendered only
more importunate by her opposition still persisted in his proposal,
but was finally and firmly rejected; and he, whose look was death,
whose nod consigned 40,000 formidable Janissaries in one day to utter
annihilation, was unable to overcome the reluctance of a timid girl,
and dared not violate the sanctity of that protection which the Asmé
Sultana had afforded her; so she was ultimately allowed to follow the
bent of her own inclination, and select a lover for herself.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Tingle.



Among the first edifices, erected by Constantine the Great to
Christianity, in his new city, was one dedicated to St. John the
Evangelist, whom the Greeks hold in the highest veneration, and
distinguish by the appellation of “The Great Theologian.” It was
situated in the Hebdomum, or great plain, and was one of its most
striking ornaments. In the subsequent reign of Theodosius the Great,
the heart of St. John the Baptist, or, as the Greeks call him, the
Prodromus, or “fore-runner” of Christ, was discovered, and the precious
relic solemnly deposited in this church of his namesake by the emperor.
He then directed other edifices to be built to the great theologian in
the cities where his churches of the Apocalypse were founded, and one
of extraordinary dimensions at Pergamus.

This church was, next to that of Santa Sophia, the best model of a
Greek Christian edifice. Its remains at this day are of gigantic
proportions, and afford a melancholy memorial of the vast Christian
population that required so large an edifice, where now the existence
of Christianity is hardly known. It stands near the great khan of the
city, and rises above all the other buildings, on which it seems to
look down. The length of the ruin is 225 feet, and its height about
half its length. It is built of layers of Roman brick and masses of
marble; and everywhere abounds in the fragments of architectural
ornaments, which seem to have been drawn away from other edifices to
adorn it. Two rows of granite columns still stand, dividing it into
two aisles, and supporting the gallery designed for females. In the
Greek church they are always separated. An Oriental feeling secludes
them behind close lattices above, while men only occupy the body of
the church below. The altar still stands in a semicircular recess,
flanked by copolas on either side, forming a spacious area of 160 feet
in circumference, crowned with domes 100 feet in height, towering
far above the external walls. The doors are very lofty, fronting a
spacious curve in the opposite wall, which leads to a vaulted apartment
supported by a massive pillar.

The Turks entertain for the name of St. John a considerable respect
and veneration. He is recognized in the Koran as the son of Zacharias,
and the account of him resembles that in the Gospel. His father was
promised a child, and, from the age of his wife, he doubted the
fulfilment of it; as a token and punishment, he was struck dumb, and
was unable to speak for three days. The Turks, who do not seem to make
any distinction between the Evangelist and the Baptist, suffered this
edifice to continue its Christian worship after they had overrun Asia
Minor, and taken possession of this city of the Apocalypse; but on
the subjugation of Constantinople, when Santa Sophia was assigned to
the worship of Mahomed, this great Christian church shared its fate,
and was converted into a mosque; but tradition says that a miracle
caused it to be abandoned. To mark its appropriation to the Prophet, a
minaret was built at one of its angles, as was done at Santa Sophia,
where the muezzin ascended, and called the faithful to pray in it. In
this minaret was a door which pointed to the west or setting sun, a
proper orthodox aspect: when the muezzin returned next day to invite
the people to morning-prayer, he could not find the door; and after
an examination as to the cause of its disappearance, it was discovered
that the tower had turned completely round on its base, and opposed
an impenetrable wall to the entrance of the Islam priest: this was
considered a plain indication of the will of Allah; so the edifice was
restored to its former worship. This continued long after, till the
decline and total decay of its Christian congregation; and still the
semblance of it is faintly displayed. The traveller, in exploring his
way through the ruins, is attracted by the light of a dim and dingy
lamp, which he finds is placed before a dirty, tawdry picture of the
panaya, stuck on the naked wall behind it. The poor Greek, his guide,
as he passes it, first kisses it with affectionate respect, then kneels
and bows his head to the ground, and offers up a short prayer to this
his favourite picture. He then “goes on his way rejoicing,” but never
presumes to pass without this tribute of devotion to the Virgin, though
he probably knows nothing of the Evangelist to whom the church was
consecrated. Other parts of the building are applied to the meanest
uses; a portion of it is converted into a manufacture of coarse earthen
ware, and filled with heaps of mud, and rude and barbarous pottery.

As an appropriate object in our illustration, the stork is seen
crowning the summit of a tower with its slender form and elongated
limbs. This bird has been in all ages a never-failing inhabitant of
Oriental towns, noted and celebrated for its qualities, which have
conferred upon it its name; it is called in Hebrew _chesadao_, which
implies “mercy or piety,” and alludes to the known tenderness and
attachment of the bird to its parents, whom it is reported never to
desert in advanced age, but feeds and protects even at the hazard
of its own safety: its emigrating qualities are noticed by the most
ancient writers: Jeremiah says, “Yea, the stork in the heavens knoweth
her appointed time;”[7] and nothing can be more striking than their
appearance at the approaching period. They collect together in large
detachments, and are seen wheeling about at an immense height in
the air, above some lofty eminence, before their forward progress
commences, like scouts sent out to reconnoitre the way; their white
bodies, long-projected red legs, and curved necks turning to every
point of the compass as if examining the road, give them a singular
picturesque appearance, while the light, reflected from their bright
colours, causes them to be distinctly seen at a great distance in the

When they do depart for distant regions, their vigilance and precaution
have been extolled by many writers; their leader appoints certain
sentinels, to watch where they alight for repose; this they must do
standing on one leg, while they hold a stone grasped in the claw of the
other. If they are known to have dropped the stone, it is a presumption
they have slept on their post, and are punished accordingly; when
they arrive at the place of their destination, they take note of the
loiterer who comes last, and he also suffers, as an example to the
negligent. To the ingenious pictures of ancient writers and others,
which tradition has handed down to us, the moderns have added many
more.−-The Psalmist says, “As for the stork, the fir-trees are her
house,”[8] and here they build at the present day, and seem to take
under their protection a multitude of small birds, who make their nests
among the materials of the larger ones, and form a numerous community.
It is pleasing to see the harmony and affection that subsist between
them; and the sense of security the smaller evince under the protection
of their larger friends. Many of these are birds of passage also, but
their size, and the feebleness of their flight, seem to preclude the
possibility of a long journey; yet they all disappear together, so
the Turks affirm that the storks take their little friends upon their
backs, and every one carries as many as he can stow between his wings.
It is certain, that when the storks disappear in the night, on the next
day not a small bird is to be seen left behind them. From a belief in
this and similar tales, the Turks confer a sacred character on the
bird; and besides their general indisposition to hurt any animal in a
state of nature, they peculiarly inhibit the destruction of a stork.
Whoever injures one, incurs considerable personal danger. For this
feeling, there is some reasonable foundation:−-the marshes abound with
reptiles of all kinds, generated in immense numbers in the rank slime
of the soil. They are providentially the food of the stork, and, but
for their consumption in this way, would so increase as to render the
country uninhabitable by man. It appears from Pliny, that their utility
for this purpose was so felt, that the penalty of death was decreed
against any man who destroyed a stork.

Though the bird is seen in great numbers in all Oriental towns,
Pergamus seems its favourite haunt; the inhabitants feel for it
a fraternal regard, call it by endearing names, and affirm their
attachment is so mutual, that it follows the Moslem people into
whatever part of the globe they emigrate. They erect on their houses
frame-work of wood, to induce the stork to build there; the public
edifices are covered with them; the mosques and their minarets are full
of their nests, and on every “jutting pier, buttress, and coign of
“vantage” is seen their “procreant cradle.” Below, they strut about the
town with perfect familiarity, and are never disturbed by those they
meet; and their tall, slender heads are seen rising among the turbans
and calpacs of a crowded street. So jealous are the Turks of the
friendship of this bird, that they affirm it never builds on an edifice
inhabited by any but a Mussulman. It is certain they are seldom seen in
the Greek and Armenian quarters; it is probable the timid Christians,
from the apprehension of exciting the envy of their masters, discourage
or repel the stork whenever it approaches their habitations.

[Illustration: Drawn by Leitch. Sketched by T. Allom. Engraved by J. Sands.



This is another view of the same objects as were given in a former
illustration; but their are presented under a different aspect. In the
centre of the front is the Fountain built by Achmet, with its rich
display of gilded arabesque, on a bright blue and red ground; on the
left are the various edifices connected with Santa Sophia, the vast
aërial dome swelling above them, and intended to represent a section
of the concave firmament; and on the right is the Babu Hummayoun, or,
“Sublime Porte,” already described.

From this gate is seen, in perspective, descending the hill, the
turreted and battlemented walls of the Seraglio gardens, running down
to the harbour, and supposed to be the remains of that very ancient
fortification which marked the city of Byzantium, and cut off the apex
of the triangle which it occupied. The street below it is the great
avenue leading from the lower parts of the city to the Seraglio, and
many characteristic displays of Turkish manners are exhibited in it.

When an audience is granted by the sultan to a Frank ambassador, it is
notified to him by the dragoman, and a very early hour is appointed for
the purpose. Horses, richly caparisoned, are sent to convey him and
his suite; and, before light in the morning, if it be not in summer,
they mount in their grandest costumes. As all the Frank ministers
reside in Pera, they have the harbour to cross, so they clatter down
the steep and rugged streets leading to the water, at the imminent
hazard of breaking their limbs, and display any thing but a grand and
dignified procession. Having passed the harbour, they are received in a
small mean coffee-house on the water-edge, where pipes and coffee are
presented, after which they resume their march on fresh horses. There
stands a great tree, at the point where some streets meet; here the
cortege are directed to halt, and here they are condemned to wait till
the grand vizir, and other functionaries, are pleased to issue from
his bureau, in the Downing-street of Constantinople. The contemptuous
manner in which infidel ministers were formerly treated, here began to
display itself. Instead of the respect with which the representative of
a brother sovereign ought to be received, he was kept standing in an
open, dirty street, sometimes under heavy rain, for an hour or more,
without the slightest attention shown, or notice taken of him, except
being stared at, or called opprobrious names, muttered by some fanatic
Turk as he passed by. At length the vizir was seen slowly moving down
from his office; and it was supposed that he would courteously greet
the expected ambassador, and apologize for his delay:−-but no−-he
passed on with the most imperturbable gravity; not even condescending
to look at the ambassador, or seeming to know that he and his suite
were not part of the vulgar crowd. They were then permitted to move
on, and follow, at an humble distance, the vizir up this street,
till they entered the Babu Hummayoun; and here commenced a new series
of degradations, which have been already noticed. These barbarisms,
however, are now passing away, and, among other ameliorations of
Turkish manners, the sultan receives the representatives of his brother
sovereigns in a more becoming manner.

As the houses in the street overlook the gardens of the Seraglio,
strangers, who dared not enter, are led, by an idle and dangerous
curiosity, sometimes to attempt to overlook the walls of the sacred
enclosure, and see what is passing on the other side; and stories are
related of persons sacrificed to the perilous effort. Some even who
had no such object in view, have fallen victims to the jealousy of the
harem. On one occasion, the friend of an Armenian merchant, who had
a house here, brought a telescope, to examine the distant objects on
the other side of the sea of Marmora: unfortunately the view extended
across the gardens, and, while he was intently engaged in tracing the
declivities of Mount Olympus, the sultan passed below, and caught with
his eye the glitter of the glass of the telescope. Two chaoueshes were
instantly despatched, who entered the house, and the unfortunate man
found himself seized behind; and, before he had time to take the fatal
instrument from his eye, a bowstring was put round his neck, and he was
strangled at the window, in view of the sultan, who, it is said, waited
below to assure himself of the execution.

But this street witnessed a still more terrible display of Turkish
vengeance. After the awful destruction of the Janissaries at the
Atmeidan, they were everywhere hunted down like wild beasts through
the city. Sometimes they were killed wherever they were overtaken, and
their bodies suffered to remain weltering on the spot. Sometimes they
were brought to some enclosure, where they were kept till a number
was collected together, when armed men rushed among them, and they
were destroyed in a mass. Some of them were dragged into this street
from the neighbouring ones, as it was the great avenue leading to the
Seraglio, and there sacrificed as a grateful offering to the sultan.
Their heads were cut off, their trunks were drawn up at each side of
the street, and for three days, the appointed time for executed bodies
to remain so exposed, he passed up and down between this Oriental
display of headless men, lining the street to do the sovereign honour;
thus realizing, only a few years since, in a European capital, the
horrid exhibitions in which a Bajazet or a Tamerlane delighted,
centuries ago.

Along the wall near the great gate was the favourite spot selected for
the suspension of those trophies which marked the triumph of Islamism
over Christianity. On every victory obtained during their European
wars, the standards taken from Germans, Russians, Hungarians, and other
powers, were displayed here; and more recently the captive flags of
the Greeks were constantly seen fluttering, in an inverted position,
over heaps of ears and noses which were piled below. Among them were
several on which was depicted the cross, and various representations
of Christian events, but particularly the resurrection which was
labelled “Anastasis,” intended to be emblematic of their political
resurrection. But of all the standards, that of Ipsera was the most
interesting. After a gallant and almost incredible defence of this
little island against the Turkish fleet, which surrounded it on all
sides, and poured in numerous troops at every point, these few
brave defenders were compelled to take refuge in their last fortress.
Here they displayed their flag inscribed with their determination to
die, and their actions coincided with the inscription. The Turks were
permitted without much opposition to enter the fortress, and, when it
was filled with the crowd, the whole was blown into the air. The last
remnant of the Ipsariots, with an equal number of Turks, perished in
one indiscriminate carnage. The broad flag which had floated over the
self-devoted fortress, was brought in triumph, and suspended on this
wall. It was of large size, and inscribed ΗΛΑΗΘΤ, the Greek anagram
of “Death or Freedom;” and while the passenger “contemplated its
scorched and torn remnants hanging over the mutilated remains of the
brave spirits who unfurled it, it forcibly recalled to his mind that
desperate devotion which in all ages distinguished the Greeks.”

[Illustration: Drawn fom Nature by F. Hervé. E. Benjamin.


This celebrated chain presents continually to the traveller a
succession of objects sometimes minute and picturesque, sometimes vast
and sublime. In the recesses between the high ridges, the scenery is
rural and pastoral, equalling that of Arcadia; on the summits of the
mountains, all seems thunder-splintered rocks and riven precipices,
where the ear is stunned with the roar of cataracts, as the eye is
astonished and the senses are appalled by the vast chasms through which
they rush. The Balkans are seldom seen covered with snows, and the
waters are rarely arrested by ice. At no season is observed, as in the
Alps, frost-suspended waterfalls,

  “Whose idle torrents only seem to roar;”

but the sound of the bursting cataract never ceases, and the
mountain-streams, fed by continued showers, do not depend on the
solution of snows, but are always tumbling down the steeps and rushing
through the ravines.

The beautiful waterfall given in our illustration, occurs in the
pass by Bazarjik, not far from the village of Yenikui, half way up
the mountain-side. In several parts of this pass, the vegetation is
extremely luxuriant. Sometimes vast forest-trees are seen rising
from the depths of chasms, and shooting their giant trunks, as they
struggle up for light and air, till they reach the summit, and then,
and not till then, expanding their noble foliage; while the eye of the
traveller, looking down into the chasm from which they issue, is lost
in the immensity of the depth, and cannot trace the vast stems of the
trees to the ground. Sometimes the vegetation is of a very different
character: the mountains are celebrated for the abundance of plants and
shrubs used in dyeing, and parties set out every year, in the season,
from Adrianople, Philopopoli, and other towns, to collect them. Nothing
can then surpass the rich and glowing hue which clothes the surface.
The deep crimson of the sumachs, with the varying colours of yellow,
brown, purple, and the dark tints of the overhanging evergreens, give
a beautiful variety, exceeding perhaps that of any other region on the
surface of the earth.

[Illustration: T. Allom. S. Fisher.



The notice of Thyatira in profane history is brief. It is enumerated as
one of the cities of Lydia, but not distinguished by any circumstances
that would confer upon it celebrity among the Greek free cities of
this region. When the all-conquering Romans possessed themselves of
Asia, it fell under their power, and is mentioned by their historians.
Livy says, Antiochus collected his forces at Thyatira, when he marched
against their invading legions; he was defeated at Magnesia, and
Thyatira with all the surrounding territories merged into a Roman

When Christianity began to expand itself, the inhabitants of this place
early evinced a disposition to embrace its new doctrines. St. Paul, in
his travels in Greece, met at Philippi a woman of Thyatira; she was
concerned in the sale of purple, either the dye or the dyed cloth, for
which the region in which her city was situated was then famous. It was
extracted from the shell-fish abounding on the sea-coasts, and was in
extensive demand as an article of commerce, used on various important
occasions. It was selected by the Jews for the curtains of the
tabernacle and the robes of the priests. Among Gentiles, the Chaldeans
clothed their idols, and the Persians their great men, in purple;
for Daniel was honoured with a robe of that colour when interpreting
Belshazzar’s dream, and Mordecai was arrayed in it when he was raised
to the rank of minister of state. Among the Romans, it was the hue most
precious, and distinguished their kings and emperors from the time of
Tullus Hostilius to Augustus Cæsar. It marked the difference between
the patrician and the knight, the youth and the child; the temples of
the gods, and the triumphs of mortals, were adorned with it. It was the
colour most prized and honoured both in the East and the West of the
ancient world.

Lydia, the vender of this precious dye in Europe, which was imported
from her own country, when she heard Paul expound the doctrines of
Christ, at once embraced them. She was baptized by the apostle, who, at
her entreaty, made her house his abode while he remained at Philippi.
It is probable that this circumstance may have facilitated the
reception of the gospel at Thyatira among the friends and commercial
connexions of Lydia. A congregation was immediately after formed there,
and the fourth church of the Apocalypse established. It was eulogized
by the Evangelist for the good works of the new converts; their
charity, their patience, their service in God’s law, and all characters
by which the primitive Christians were distinguished; but these high
qualities were alloyed by the frailties of a corrupt nature, from which
not even the purest Christian state was exempt. A woman named Jezebel,
or whose character resembled that infamous one of the Old Testament,
influenced and seduced them to evil; and, to reclaim them from their
sinful practices, St. John sent them a solemn warning in his divine
epistle to the Asiatic churches; but it does not appear with what
success, for no further notice is found of the city, and its fate is
involved in impenetrable obscurity. Its very site was lost in oblivion,
and it was not till about a century and a half since, that travellers
set out from Smyrna to ascertain its locality. At a Turkish village
some inscriptions were discovered, on one of which was found the words
ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΗ ΘΥΑΤΕΙΡΗΝΩΝ ΒΟΥΛΗ, which seemed to decide the situation of
the ancient town; its modern Turkish name is “Akhissar,” or the White

The town is approached by a long avenue of cypress and poplars, through
the vistas of which, the domes and minarets of the mosques are seen
shooting up. The background is closed by an amphitheatre of hills,
circling the rich plain on which the city stands. On entering it a busy
scene presents itself, forming a strong and pleasing contrast to what
the mind anticipates in this obscure church of the Apocalypse. Stores,
merchant shops, and a busy crowd bustling through them, give it the
appearance of a thronged and opulent mart, such as perhaps Thyatira
once was, when purple was its staple commodity. It still carries
on an extensive trade in cotton wool, and is still famous for the
_milesia vellera fucata_, which formerly conferred celebrity upon its
neighbouring city.

The present population of Akhissar joined above as it should be.]
amounts to between six and seven thousand inhabitants, of whom 1,500
are Christians of the Greek and Armenian churches, which have each
respectively a place of worship. That of the Greeks is very mean,
and the earth and numerous graves have so accumulated about it,
that it seems half buried, and is approached by a descent of many
steps. This process seems to have gone on, so as to obliterate the
former Christian edifices which stood here. There exist no traces of
them above ground, but in excavating different places, the remains
of masonry, to a considerable extent, are discovered, having once,
according to tradition, formed the foundation of Christian churches.
Shafts of mutilated columns are often found obtruding above the soil
in cemeteries and other places−-all that exist of buildings once
standing on the surface. It is probable that many of these marked fanes
dedicated to Diana, whose worship was very extensive in Asia, and not
confined to Ephesus; she appears to have been the tutelar deity of
Thyatira also, and several inscriptions intimate the extent of her
influence and the devotion of her worshippers, till both yielded to a
superior power, and the visionary train of heathen deities vanished
before the light of the gospel.

Among the very agreeable accessories of this place, is the abundance
of pure water with which it is supplied; perennial streams run down
from the hills by which it is surrounded, and, meandering through the
more level ground, and imparting freshness and fertility to the meadows
and gardens of its environs, they enter the city, conducted by various
courses formed for the purpose. This fluid, essential to the Osmanli,
both as a natural and religious want, they prize and cherish so dearly,
that expedients are used to collect it, where it is available. At Ak
Hissar they have taken more than common care; they have constructed
aqueducts consisting of more than 3000 pipes, from whence the water
issues in various channels through the streets, so that the air in the
heats of summer is constantly refreshed by the gushing streams, and the
ear soothed by the gurgling sound. This water is remarkable for its
salutary qualities; it is cool, sweet, limpid, very grateful to the
taste, and light of digestion to the stomach. The country about the
town is rich and fertile to a high degree, and the air remarkable for
its purity, fragrance, and salubrity; it has all those qualities which
the bounty of nature has conferred on the lovely plains of Asia Minor,
and has invited a larger population than is usually found in those
beautiful but now desolate regions.

It is marked, however, by Oriental circumstances revolting to European
feelings. It is surrounded by cemeteries more numerous than those
found near much larger cities. Attracted, perhaps, by the odour of
these charnel-houses, vultures abound here; instead of the cooing of
doves which marks Philadelphia, or the crepitation of the stork’s bill
which distinguishes Pergamus, the scream of this ravenous and unclean
bird is the sound most frequently heard; flocks are constantly seen
wheeling round in the air, or lighting by the road-side, covering
the fields, and so tame as quite to disregard the approach of a
passenger. It is this characteristic of the town which is presented in
our illustration−-one of its cemeteries strewn over with shafts and
mouldings of former buildings now laid to mark the graves, and vultures
flapping their wings over the corpse interred below.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. L. Leitch. Sketched by T. Allom. Engraved by H. Adlard.


This view of the city is a companion for a former. The one presented
it as it appears from the mouth of the Golden Horn, the other from
its head; and it displays many objects of interest on both sides of
a beautiful expanse of water, whose visible circumference may be
estimated at 20 miles; the length of the whole harbour being about 15
miles, and its general breadth from 8 to 10 furlongs.

Where the Cydaris and Barbyses discharge themselves into it, the
slime and mud carried down by the stream are deposited; and it forms
a flat alluvial soil, where extensive manufactories of pottery have
been established. As this is in the vicinity of a royal kiosk, it has
obtained the name of the Tuileries, for the same reason as the French
called their palace−-because it was built where a manufactory of tiles
had been established. The deposit continues to fill up the harbour, and
it is necessary to mark the new-formed shoals, for the direction of
vessels, by stakes stuck in the mud, so that this part of the harbour
exhibits a curious spectacle of a labyrinth of palisades.

Opposite these, on the northern shore, is the “Yelan Seraï” or Palace
of the Serpent forming an imperial residence. Many fantastic reasons
are assigned for this name by the Turks, and stories told similar to
that of the Kiz-Koulesi. But the simple reason seems to be, that the
soil in this place abounds with these reptiles; and they so infested
the palace that they were found coiled up on divans, and it was
necessary to inspect every couch and seat before it could be occupied;
the kiosk has, therefore, been abandoned to decay. Though serpents
seem now less numerous than formerly in this place, the deleterious
character of it is not lessened. The mal-aria generated, spreads a
venomous effluvia, as fatal as that of vipers; this is evinced on
the residents. The barrack of the “kombaragees,” or bombardiers,
who rendered such signal service to the sultan in extirpating the
Janissaries, is not far from it, and their sallow and sickly aspect
exhibits proof that health is assailed by an effluvia as mortal as the
serpent’s breath.

Next in succession is the “Guiumuch Hané,” or Silver Foundery,
from whence the prepared metal is brought to the Tarap Hané in the
outer court of the seraglio to be stamped. There is no copper coin
in circulation in Turkey; but silver is debased so as to become a
more worthless metal. The coins of this imitation formerly were the
asper, parasi, beslik, and onlik, they have become extinct except the
parasi, and another, formerly unknown, introduced the piaster and its
several denominations. The parasi is a minute coin, so very small and
light, that it can only be taken up by the tip of a wet finger. Every
shopkeeper has a board secured by a ledge and running to a point, on
which the paras are reckoned, and then spouted into a canvass bag.
At the present rate of exchange, this apparently silver coin is less
than one third of a farthing, and, as all money is reckoned by it, a
stranger is startled to see his baccul’s or huckster’s bills amount to
10,000 paras. Turkish coins contain no representation of the head of
the sovereign, but give his name and title, the place where they were
struck, the date and year of the sovereign’s reign; the inscription on
the present, coin is−-“Sultan Mahmoud ibn Sultan Abdul Hamed el Sultan
ibn el Sultan,” that is, Sultan Mahmoud, the son of Sultan Abdul Hamed
Khan, himself a sultan, and son of a sultan;” the reverse is−-“Sultan
alberim vehaka nul bahrim sarb fi Constantami,” that is, “Sultan,
conqueror of the world, sovereign of men, struck at Constantinople.”
All this is generally expressed by a convoluted cipher, called nizam.
Three cities in the empire are allowed to coin, beside the capital;
Adrianople, Smyrna, and Cairo.

This part of the harbour opens into a deep valley, ascending up to the
high grounds on which stands the elevated village, called by the Turks
Tatavola, and by the Greeks, Aya Demetri. Small streams, running down
the sides of the hills, carry with them all kinds of offal, and the
deposit below is sometimes so enormous that the whole surface becomes
a most foul and putrid mass, the fumes of contagion, from whence it
periodically expands itself over the city. So tremendous was the miasma
generated on one occasion, that 1000 persons were brought out to be
buried every day through the Top-Kapousi gate. It is in such places
that the plague is never extinguished, but remains always slumbering,
till some circumstance calls it into activity. But a still more
dreadful calamity issued from this valley. It is supposed to be the
avenue through which the Turkish fleet was conveyed into the harbour.
Ascending from the Bosphorus by a corresponding valley on the other
side, and climbing on machines the eminence between, the Greeks, secure
as they thought themselves by closing the mouth of the harbour, were
astonished to see the enemy’s fleet issue from the side of the hill,
and ride directly under their walls. This decided the fate of the
city−-paralyzed by terror and despair, they made from that moment a
feeble resistance.

The next object that presents itself is the village of Hasskui, the
favourite residence of the Jews. It is computed, that there are 50,000
of these people living here, and in other districts, in or near the
capital. They have a cemetery in this place, of considerable extent;
and though the dead are assigned a residence on a healthful, breezy
eminence, decorated with sculptured tombs and monuments of marble,
inscribed with epitaphs in high relief, the abodes of the living are
even more wretched than in any other place. They inhabit a valley shut
out from the winds of the north by a high ridge of hills, and open to
the sultry heat of the south; while the pestilential effluvia arising
from the vegetable decomposition of the marsh, the suffocating smoke of
brick and tile kilns, and the metallic vapours of the silver foundery,
form the atmosphere they breathe. Their own habits are singularly
dirty, and the streets are filled with putrid water stagnating into
offensive pools, without any current of air to disperse the foul
accumulation of gases in the atmosphere. They are a prey, therefore,
to all the diseases resulting from such a combination of evils. Their
houses are small, low, damp, dark, and unventilated; yet they contain
a crowded population. The women living in such abodes are generally
a deteriorated race. They marry at an early age, and bring forth
children, diminutive, pale, bloated, and rickety. On every Saturday,
their day of rest, they are seen swarming about the open doors, to
breathe, as it were, a pure air; and a passing stranger is astonished
at so wretched a population. The adult males are distinguished by
dirty ragged garments. Small mean hats, bound round with a coarse
cross-bar cotton handkerchief; trousers which scarcely reach to the
leg, exposing stockings full of holes. The people here, like the
Ephraimites, seem doomed to a sibboleth−-a pronunciation so imperfect,
that they are scarcely understood in any language they attempt to
speak. They snatch with avidity at things rejected by others as unfit
to be used. Their soiled ragged clothes are the refuse of other men’s
dress; and their food, whatever withered vegetables or stale meat are
cast away as improper for human consumption. They exercise all callings
by which money can be made, and make no exception to the vilest; but
particularly delight in the sale of old clothes, a propensity which
seems to mark them in every country where they are scattered. Such are
the characteristics which distinguish this people in whatever district
they are established, forming a striking contrast with all about them,
and evincing the indelible impression of a peculiar nation. Above
Hasskui is the village of Halish-oglon, inhabited by Armenians; and
while these robust, comely, healthy, and well-dressed people breathe
the pure air in fine spacious houses above, the miserable Jew is thrust
down below, grovelling in dirt, disease, and misery.

Near this is a mosque, distinguished by an extraordinary circumstance.
The minarets attached to every other, are always seen of a pure white,
and carefully kept so, particularly those of Imperial edifices: but the
minaret here is red, and displays the only one so coloured, perhaps, in
the Turkish empire. The reason assigned for it is characteristic of a
Turk. When Constantinople was besieged by Bajazet, a desperate conflict
took place in this valley, and the effusion of blood was so great from
the slaughter of the Greeks, that it rose to the height of the minaret;
and when it subsided, it left its own colour upon the tower, which it
has ever since retained in memory of the event.

The palace of the “Tersana emini,” or master of the arsenal, next
comes in view and the extensive and noble establishment over which he
presides. The stores, docks, and other edifices connected with it,
extend for nearly a mile and a half along the shores of the harbour.
They are constructed of solid masonry, and contain rope-yards, and
an hospital: 500 labourers, and the same number of slaves in chains,
condemned for various offences, are daily at work there. The forests
near the Black Sea furnish an inexhaustible supply of timber; hemp
for cordage, and metal for ordinance, are ready in abundance in
the neighbouring shores of Russia. Should any cause interrupt the
communication, and render these resources unavailable, supplies of all
kinds are found within the limits of the Ottoman empire. Negroponte
sends pitch, tar, and rosin; Samsoun, hemp; Gallipoli and Salonichi,
gunpowder. With these materials the Turks launch the largest ships in
the world; but, manned by inferior crews, they are weak and worthless.
They are seen riding before the arsenal, and among them the Mahmoud,
supposed to be the largest vessel of war ever built. She is 223 feet
long, is pierced for 140 guns, some of her carronades carry sixty-pound
balls, and her burden is 3,934 tons. During the Greek war, these vast
machines suffered severely from the small-craft of their more skilful
and active enemies; and such was the terror their brulots inspired,
that the Turks did not consider their ships safe, even within the
protection of their harbours. Each of them, therefore, was insulated
by a pile of stakes, to which were moored rafts, where sentinels
kept watch night and day, warning off even the smallest caïque that
approached. They were supplied with heaps of stones, piled on the rafts
like cannon-balls, and pelted without mercy every incautious straggler
that came within the reach of their missiles.

On the water’s edge, raised on piles, is seen the elegant edifice of
the “Divan Hané,” or Council Chamber of the Admiralty. It is a light
and airy specimen of Oriental architecture, of which the Turks are
vain. It was built by two ingenious Greek architects, who soon after
disappeared. It was said they were put to death by their employers,
lest they should build another to rival it. Besides, it is the
“Caïque Hané,” or Arsenal of the Sultan’s Barges: and near this, the
quarters of “Galiongees,” or Marines. These soldiers of the fleet are
distinguished by the richness and gaiety of their dress, and by the
assumption and insolence of their demeanour.

In the rear of the arsenal appears the tower of Galata, shooting up its
tall spire above the hills, that its vigilant sentinel should command a
view of whatever fire may burst out, and its beacon-drum may be heard
far and near, whenever it announces one to the Bektchi, who, with
his iron-shod pole stamping on the pavement below, alarms the sleepy
inhabitants. From hence the sweep of the shore gives to the water the
appearance of a lake, and the peninsula of Constantinople seems joined
to that of Pera. Along the horizon are seen the Imperial mosques,
crowning the seven hills; Santa Sophia impending over the gardens and
kiosks of the seraglio; the mosque of Achmet distinguished by its six
minarets; Bajazet; the vast Sulimanie apparently as large as the hill
on which it stands; Osmanie, Mahomet II., and Selim.

Returning by the harbour along the water’s edge, the various objects
of the city come in view. The Yeni Djami, close on the shore, erected
by the piety of the Sultana Valadi, mother of the reigning sovereign,
from the dower settled on her, not to purchase pins as in Europe, but
paponches or sandals, and hence the edifice is called the “Mosque of
the Slipper.” Next the district called “Istambol dichare,” or exterior
quarter, comes in view. This is the alluvial portion, lying between the
walls and the water, and formed by the deposits of charcoal, ashes,
and various heaps of dirt brought from the higher grounds by the many
little rills which trickle down. It is a black, muddy stratum, seldom
exceeding forty or fifty yards in breadth, but extending the length
of a quarter of a mile. The streets formed on it are narrow, wet, and
dirty, but far more populous than any other part of the city. Various
iskelli, or slips, project into the water, whence passengers pass from
side to side. It is the inlet for all foreign merchandise brought by
Frank ships to the harbour. Tobacco, oil, wood, flour, green and dried
fruits, are stored in various warehouses. Here, too, is the great depôt
for gunpowder, which lies among wooden houses, with oil, charcoal,
and other inflammable substances, where the crowded population are
all smoking, and casting about the red embers of their chiboques,
originating some of those tremendous conflagrations, which have at
different times devastated the city.

It is here the Emirs reside, who are supposed to be the descendants
of Fatimah, the daughter of Mahomet. They are endued by the Prophet
with the faculty of healing all diseases by praying, breathing, and
touching, but particularly erysipelas and eruptive distempers. They are
allowed by the Porte a tahim, or a certain quantity of provisions for
their maintenance, on the condition of dispensing their gift of the
healing art to the people; and the patient is enjoined to give them
for every cure a fee of five paras, something less than a farthing.
They are distinguished by green turbans and a tebsib, or “chaplet of
beads,” on which they count their prayers for the recovery of their
patients. Their mode of cure is simple. They are found standing in the
streets; and when a diseased man distinguishes the green turban among
the crowd, he approaches with reverence. The emir lays his thumb on the
side of his nose, breathes upon his forehead, utters a short prayer,
and the cure is effected in five minutes. A belief in the efficacy of
touch and prayer, in healing disease, is universal among the Christian
and Jewish, as well as the Islam population of Constantinople, and
constantly resorted to.

The Fanal, or celebrated Greek quarter, now succeeds. It is so
called from a “phanar,” or light-house, which illumined the gate,
and was assigned exclusively to the Christians, on the capture of
Constantinople. Here is the residence of the patriarch, and here the
venerable head of the Oriental church was hanged over his own gate-way,
when the Greek insurrection commenced in the province, and hence his
lifeless body was dragged through filth and mud with gratuitous insult
by the Jews, and cast into the water. Here also is the metropolitan
church, conferred by Mahomet II. on the Christians, when the Moslem
took possession of Santa Sophia. Among the reliques which confer
interest and

value to this edifice, is the actual pillar to which our Saviour was
bound when he was scourged, and the chair inlaid with mother-of-pearl,
from which Chrysostom, with “the golden mouth,” delivered those
eloquent homilies, which have been handed down to us in fourteen folio
volumes. Here reside the seven princes of the Greek nation, which
formerly filled the office of hospodars of Wallachia and Moldavia, once
the proud and the powerful, but now steeped in misery and humiliation.
The streets of this celebrated district are dark and dirty; the houses,
mean and neglected. During the tempest of the revolution they were
entirely sacked by the Turkish mob, the property of their inhabitants
confiscated by the government, the princely population strangled
or exiled; and the Fanariots, once composing a noble and opulent
community of 40,000 persons, are now confined to half the number, and
that half reduced to the most abject poverty.

After the Fanal succeeds the district of Blachernæ, where the wall,
which runs from sea to sea, meets the harbour, and impends over it
with its lofty battlements. From hence it reaches to Eyoub, and that
singular factory is seen on the water’s edge, so peculiar to the
present state of Turkey. A distinguishing characteristic of the turban
was a small red cap, called a fez, which covered the crown, and round
which the turban was wound. When this ponderous head-dress was laid
aside by the sultan, the fez was retained, as a remnant of Orientalism,
but as its circumference was less than that of a saucer, its border
was enlarged till it reached the ears, and it became the adopted and
distinguishing covering of the head under the new regime. It was
originally manufactured at Tunis, and cost the government such immense
sums, that the sultan resolved to establish a manufactory of it at
home, and extensive edifices were erected for the purpose. A number of
African workmen were invited, and they succeeded in every thing except
the vivid colour, the preparation of which was kept a profound secret
at Tunis. At length the process was discovered by an intelligent and
enterprising Armenian; and the establishment, now complete in all its
parts, exceeds, perhaps, that of any in Europe. Nearly one thousand
females, of all persuasions, Raya as well as Turk, assemble here, and
receive the wool weighed out to them. This they knit into caps of
the prescribed form, and then return them. They are next subject to
a process of fulling, and teazel heads, to raise the knap, then to
clipping with shears, and finally pressed under a screw, till at length
the texture becomes so dense as to obliterate all trace of knitting,
and appears like the finest broad cloth. When it has attained this
state, it is dyed by the newly-discovered process, and assumes a hue
of rich dark scarlet or crimson. The altered shape of the cap is now a
cylinder with a flat top, from the centre of which a thrum of purple
silk-thread depends, encircled by a piece of crumpled white paper,
which is always suffered to remain as part of the ornament. This, which
resembles the undignified red night-cap of Europe, drawn down about
the ears, is the regulation cap, which the sultan presented to all his
subjects as the first reformation in Oriental dress, and which he wore
himself as an example to others: but it is a miserable substitute for
his splendid turban. The demand for it, however, is so great, that
180,000 are here annually manufactured, and sent to all parts of the
empire. They impress it with the sultan’s cipher, and thus designate it
as of imperial manufacture.

[Illustration: W. H. Leitch. G. Presbury.



A tomb attached to an Imperial mosque is called a Turbé. It is usual
for every Sultan to erect one for himself, in which the mortal remains
of himself and his family are deposited, and it forms a detached
portion of the Djami which he has built. Whenever any cause prevents
him from performing this sad but pious duty before his death, the tomb
of one of his ancestors is assigned for the purpose. This permission
for intrusion into the precincts of another’s resting-place, is subject
to the assent of the reigning Sultan that succeeds him, who from any
cause may exclude his body, and send it to be interred in a strange
sepulchre. The Valadé Sultana, or Queen-mother, has also a right to
erect a Turbé for herself, and for such members of the Imperial family,
male or female, as she chooses to admit. These are the only inmates of
the Seraglio who are legally allowed to enter these sacred precincts;
but when a Sultan wishes to pay particular respect to the memory of
a departed Vizir, he suffers him to be buried in a corner below the
grating: but this distinguished honour, and strong mark of personal
affection, has been conferred on few, and the ashes of the Imperial
descendants of the Prophet are seldom polluted by such profane mixture.
No kadinos, or odalique, whatever attachment the Sultan may feel for
her during life, is allowed to approach him when life becomes extinct.
There is, however, a separate public cemetery in the centre of the
city, reserved exclusively for the deceased female population of the

The body of the person permitted to be here interred, is simply buried
in a grave dug for the purpose, and covered with earth in the usual
manner of Turkish sepulture. This grave, generally surrounded with
masonry, is the sarcophagus where the body is left to decay. It is
approached by a passage protected by an iron grating; through which, on
occasions of more than usual importance, the body may be approached,
and its state examined; but no human being save the existing Sultan is
allowed to enter, and profane by a glance of his eye the mouldering
remains of one who had sat on the throne of the Osmanli. Over the grave
thus formed is raised a Catafalque of wood, called a Sanndoucha. This
is covered with plain stuffs and shawls, of different qualities and
manufacture. Through this is embroidered in gold, various passages
of the Koran. Frequently a deputation is sent to Mecca for a strip
of the veil of the Keabé, or to Medina for a portion of that which
covers the tomb of the Prophet. This forms a decoration to that part
of the covering which is over the head of the deceased. There is also
laid beside the head of a Sultan, or prince of the blood, a turban of
muslin, to distinguish them from others. At each end of the Sanndoucha
are enormous wax tapers, and suspended from the roof are circular
lamps. The first are seldom used, but the last are kept constantly
burning. The apartment is lighted from without by casements of gilded
lattice-work, through which even a Giaour is allowed to view the

The greatest simplicity is observed in the interior of these Turbés.
There are no gilded ornaments, no display of pomp or splendour which
distinguished the tenant of the tomb while alive. The walls within are
generally covered with square slabs of porcelain marked with poetical
inscriptions. These are said to be the composition of a blind Arabian
poet, named Boordé, who, like Homer, wandered about reciting his
rhapsodies, and who has obtained as much celebrity in the East, as his
Greek predecessor in the West. The Achilles of his poem is Mahomet.

Each Turbé has six guardians, called Turbedar, and twelve aged men
called Djuzê Khenana, or “reciters of the sacred page.” Their duty is
to repeat the whole Koran every morning, for the repose of the souls
of the departed. Each undertakes a certain number of pages, or Djuzy,
till the whole is gone through. Among the acts of piety which a Sultan
sometimes imposed upon himself, was transcribing the Koran with his
own hands. These pious MSS. are always deposited in the Turbé of the
transcriber. They are all marked with the name of the person, and
form a singular and interesting series of Imperial autographs. When
a stranger is admitted to see the interior of a Turbé, the Turbedar
never fails to show their manuscripts, to which they attach a solemn
interest, particularly to that of Mahomet II., who, in the midst of
excited passions, turbulent events, and ferocious cruelties, calmly
sat down to write out the precepts of his religion; and it appears did
so with a tranquil mind and steady hand, as his autograph at this day
testifies. Besides these Imperial Korans, a number of copies are kept,
which the Turbedars present to every person who enters, that he may
join with the reciters in their pious labours.

These Imperial sepulchres are much frequented by the Turks for various
reasons. Some resort thither from affection to their ancient masters,
particularly officers of the Seraglio. Others are drawn by feelings
of general devotion to the sacred dead, whom they consider as Kalifs,
or lineal descendants of the Prophet, and as such invested with an
hereditary sanctity. But the tombs most frequented are those of Bajazet
II., Mahomet II. and Selim I. Every day these visits are paid by some,
but it is during the season of the fast of the Ramazan, and the seven
holy nights, that they are crowded. The officers of the Seraglio,
either from inclination or command, perform this duty of respect to the
deceased Sultan for forty successive days after his death. The example
is set by the reigning Sultan, who thinks this a task of indispensable
obligation to his predecessor, whom perhaps he had ordered to be
strangled or poisoned; and, as if to atone for his offence, gives
liberally to the guardian, and distributes alms in every direction.
Alms is the indispensable duty of every Moslem; the Koran says that
“prayer conducts halfway to heaven−-fasting brings to the gate−-but
alms alone procure entrance.” When no such occasion calls for this
bounty, it is demanded by other causes. If any unfortunate event has
occurred to himself−-if any public calamity assails or threatens the
state−-or if any important enterprise is to be undertaken, destiny is
propitiated in this manner.

In the city of Constantinople there are eighteen Imperial Turbés, where
the monarchs repose who died after this city had been made the capital
of the Turkish Empire; and in Brusa there are six, in which are
deposited the remains of those who sat on the throne in this Asiatic
city, before the empire was transferred to Europe: Gummusch Kubbe,
where the bodies of Osman I. and Orchan are deposited; Dic Kirke, where
the corpses of Murad I., Bajazet I., and Murad II. are laid; and Yeshil
Jami in which moulder the remains of Mehmet, or Mahomet I. This last
is that given in our illustration, which presents the general features
in all Turbés. The head of the Sanndoucha, principal Catafalque, is
covered with cashmere shawls, &c., part of the veil said to be taken
from the covering of the Prophet’s tomb at Medina; the rest, is green
with gilded mouldings. At each end are the enormous unlighted tapers
which stand at the head and feet of the deceased, and above the circle
of suspended lamps by which the mausoleum is always illuminated. The
sides are covered with porcelain tiles. Around, on the matted floor,
are the “Reciters” going through their daily task, and at one end is
the case where their copies of the Koran are deposited. Behind are the
smaller tombs of the various members of his family admitted into the
sacred enclosure.

There is something in every form of Turkish sepulture, strikingly
adapted to the end proposed, and displaying a strong contrast with
our own. Death, without being divested of its solemnity, is disarmed
of everything that could disgust and repel. The dark and pensive
cypress groves, with their evergreen foliage and aromatic resinous
exudation−-the friend seen watering the flowers, or feeding the
singing birds, which are supposed to gratify the dear object that lies
below−-exhibit spectacles far more interesting and affecting than the
foul and mouldering heaps, and disgusting dilapidations of our dismal
church-yards; while the Imperial Turbés, where every thing is simply
neat and soberly decorated, are very different indeed from the dark and
noisome cells of our regal monuments.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Tingle.



Of all the “Ayasmata,” or Holy Wells, in the vicinity of
Constantinople, this is held in highest estimation by the Greeks, whose
faith in its efficacy seems daily to increase. Many poets have devoted
their gift of verse to its celebration; but two are more eminently
distinguished. Nicephorus the most Beautiful, called, from his
mellifluous song, the “Attic Bee;” and Johannes with the flowing hair,
who acquired for himself the name of the “Sweet-voiced Grasshopper.”
The former thus eulogizes the health-giving spring.

  The stricken rock sent forth the bubbling tide:
  That rock was Christ, the sacred bards declare−-
  The perishable nature never died,
  Which drank its rill.−-But, lo! faint mortal, where
  Another fount his pitying mother gives.
  Approach−-the dying man who drinks it lives.

This invitation was obeyed, and crowds rushed to drink the gifted
waters. The 29th of April was appointed, in the Greek church, for the
celebration of a festival in honour of the Spring, and the day always
displayed an extraordinary spectacle of Greek credulity and enthusiasm.
During the disturbance of the insurrection, this ceremony had been
suspended. Those who attempted to celebrate it were attacked by the
Turks, who assaulted and dispersed the crowds, and the sacred fount
was approached only secretly and occasionally by individuals. But when
tranquillity was restored, and the Greeks were again allowed to resume
the celebration of their religious rites, the multitude thronging to
this place on the appointed festival was astonishing. A traveller
who was induced to witness it, even before the church was rebuilt,
passed with a whole fleet of caïques from Pera and Constantinople, to
the nearest landing-place on the Sea of Marmora. From thence there
was a constant current of people ascending through the city to the
Selyvria gate, and on issuing from that, he found the whole plain
densely crowded for several miles with a concourse of Turks as well as
Christians; it resembled an English fair, where refreshments were sold,
trinkets and wares exhibited, and all sorts of amusements practised.
Bulgarian minstrels, the constant attendants on such meetings, walked
pompously about, blowing their enormous bagpipes; crowds of Greeks,
holding white handkerchiefs so as to form a long chain, went through
all the mazes of the romaika, while a vast number of Turkish females,
shrinking from such a display of themselves, sat decorously and quietly
on the elevated banks, in various groups, passing from mouth to mouth
the tube of one long chibouque, or nargillai, while the bowl or vase
remained fixed in the centre, and the mouth-piece went round the circle.
Though more passive in their admiration, they seemed no less interested
in the object of the festival.

But the crowds congregated about the sacred well were far more
seriously engaged: various “impotent folk, of blind, halt, and
withered,” were placed near the waters, like those of the pool of
Bethesda, brought there to be healed. They lay stretched on carpets
or blankets, on which all the pious who passed, threw money, till the
patient and his bed were spangled over with paras. In different parts
of the ruined edifice were priests in their richest vestments, who
displayed the most celebrated and wonder-working relics of their church
on shrines erected for the purpose, and supported, in both their hands,
capacious silver dishes, which were filled with the contributions of
the crowd. But the ardour and enthusiasm of the devotees who repaired
to the well for health exceeded all belief. Priests stood around the
Spring with pitchers in their hands, which they constantly filled,
and handed up to those about them. They were eagerly seized by every
person who could catch them, and poured with trembling emotion on their
heads and breasts, where they were rubbed, so that every particle of
the health-giving fluid might be imbibed by the pores of the skin;
while those who could not pay for, and were not favoured with this
precious ablution eagerly caught at the stray drops with their hands,
and applied them reverently to their faces and bosoms. Occasionally, a
frighted fish darted across the bottom of the well; and when a glance
of this fried phenomenon was caught by the crowd, a shout of exultation
was raised, followed by a low murmur of praise and thanksgiving for the

When the church was re-edified, the Spring was also repaired, and the
annual ceremony was observed with equal enthusiasm, but somewhat more
decorum, in the regular edifice, than among the dilapidated ruins. The
chancel of the church, as the most sacred part, was built directly
over the well, and from thence there is a descent by a flight of stone
steps. This terminates in a vaulted apartment, ornamented with niches
surmounted by handsome pediments, which resemble the porches beside the
pool of Bethesda; and in the centre is a square enclosure, surrounded
by a marble parapet, within which the sacred Spring now bubbles up.
Behind it, under an arcade supported by marble pillars, is the shrine
of the panaya, by whose bounty the waters were endued with their
inestimable virtues, lighted by a perpetual lamp. On the occasion of
the grand festival, the vault is illuminated by the enormous chandelier
which is seen on one side.

Our Illustration presents the characteristic features of this abiding
superstition of the modern Greeks. Down the steps are seen descending
the devout to this pool of Bethesda who expect to see the miraculous
fishes, like the angel, “trouble the waters”, and then to partake of
its healing qualities. Within the enclosure of the well are men eagerly
imbibing the precious fluid; and on each side are papas in their robes,
strengthening the faith of the pious, and receiving the price of the
miraculous waters.

[Illustration: T. Allom. Drawn from Nature by F. Hervé, Esq. W. Floyd.



Among the many wild and stupendous objects presented by the different
passes through this magnificent chain, those by Tornova are, perhaps,
the most striking. Tornova is the seat of a bishop of the Greek church,
rendered particularly interesting to the people of England by the
conduct and character of its present prelate, the learned Hilarion.
When the British and Foreign Bible Society proposed to place the word
of God within the compass of every man’s understanding, by translating
it from the dead language in which it was written, and presented it
to him in his vernacular tongue, some of the prelates of the Greek
church, like those of the Latin, were opposed to the measure; but
the late excellent patriarch, Gregory, who fell a victim to Turkish
cruelty at the commencement of the revolution, was too pious and too
enlightened to sanction such a sinful exclusion. He therefore gave
his free consent to have the Scriptures rendered into modern Greek
for the use of the laity of his flock, and it was assigned for that
purpose to Hilarion, one of his clergy distinguished for his learning
and piety. The circumstance caused no small degree of excitement in
the Greek church. The great majority who favoured the measure were
ardent in their wishes and zealous in their endeavours for its speedy
accomplishment. The indefatigable Hilarion proceeded with his pious
task, which was to effect the same reformation in the Greek as it had
in the Latin church. It was actually put to press in the printing
establishment of the patriarchate, and the first sheet of the precious
work thrown off, when the Turks, excited, it is suspected, by the
enemies of the measure, rushed in with axes and other implements,
broke in pieces the cases, scattered the types abroad, and cast the
first impressions of the Gospel into the court-yard and tank of water,
where they were trampled on, torn, and sunk, till the whole of the
printed sheets were destroyed, with other literary matter found in the
printing-office. This event suspended the work, and the unsettled and
disturbed state which followed prevented its resumption. The good and
enlightened patriarch and his chaplains, who had laboured to promote
the undertaking, were dead, the greater part of his clergy were in
exile or in prison, while the learned Hilarion, having escaped the
first burst of persecution, was, by one of the sudden vicissitudes so
common in the East, dragged from his obscurity, and elevated to the see
of Tornova, and, on the summit of the lofty Balkans, completed that
sacred work which is to enlighten the world below.

The town of Tornova, besides being the largest in the region of the
Balkans, is the only one built on the elevated central ridge from the
Euxine to the Adriatic. Its site is very singular; it is seen from
below, “hanging, like a swallow’s nest,” from the stupendous craigs
above. When the traveller climbs to these upper regions, he walks
through streets running on ridgy terraces, and looks down from a dizzy
height on the road far beneath, which is at length lost to his sight in
a deep abyss. A singular effect is observed in these regions, similar
to that which occurs between the tropics. The setting sun is succeeded
by no crepuscular illumination, and the eye is not accustomed to the
gradual decrease of light: sunset seems to extinguish all atmospheric
reflection, and darkness suddenly envelopes the horizon long before it
is expected. Thus it happens that travellers are frequently surprised
in the most dangerous and difficult part of the precipitous road, and
compelled to halt on some projecting rock, till day-dawn extricates
them from the perilous position in which night had unexpectedly
overtaken them. To guard against this, paper lanterns are sometimes
provided. The paper of which they are made is compressed into a small
flat circular surface, and carried easily inside the hat or turban.
When used, they are drawn out into a cylinder, and a taper placed
inside, and, by the help of this faint and uncertain light, tied to the
end of a pole and hung over the edge of the precipice, the adventurous
traveller cautiously creeps along, rather than remain all night exposed
on a naked craig to the inclemency of a mountain-region.−-Among the
phenomena of these mountains are certain visionary figures, which
have something awful and supernatural in their aspect. Dense forms
of gigantic beings, resembling those observed on the Hartz, are seen
suddenly to issue out of chasms or forests, and move along like dim
and undefined spectres through inaccessible places, where no mortal or
embodied existence could possibly find a footing. These are columns
of mist, sometimes so numerous and frequent as to seem like companies
of giants travelling through the mountain-passes. The janissary or
surrogee, who accompanies the traveller, is struck with awe, and
exclaims “Allah keerim,” (God is merciful,) bows his head, and repeats
his namaz as the spectres pass. It not unfrequently happens that sudden
bursts of wind follow these appearances, tearing up trees, and sweeping
through valleys with dangerous violence. As the misty columns are often
the precursors of these storms, they are supposed to be their cause;
they are, therefore, ascribed to the malignity of these visionary
giants, who blow them forth over the unfortunate traveller, as the
breath of their nostril.

Sometimes the traveller is surprised by sudden light gleaming from
the rocks around him, and the roar of fires bursting from caverns.
These, however, arise from a more explicable cause. The iron-ore with
which the interior of the mountains abounds, is generally smelted on
the spot. The red flame is then seen issuing from the riven rock, the
blows of sledges echo through the caverns, and the dark and grim visage
of the workmen are visibly illumined by the blaze. These appearances
at night, in the deep solitude of the mountains, are very striking,
and strongly remind the traveller of Vulcan’s forge in Etna, and his
Cyclops fashioning thunderbolts. When a commotion of the elements
supervenes, as frequently happens in these elevated regions, when the
air is rent and the rocks around are shattered by the electric fluid,
it requires no great stretch of the imagination to fancy it is the
fabricated bolts of these grim artisans, that have now, as in the days
of the poets, caused the destruction.

Our illustration presents one of those rugged ascents, suspended
as it were over the perpendicular flank of a mountain-wall, on one
side bounded by a deep chasm, and on the other overhung by a lofty
precipice. This path is sometimes not more than a yard in breadth,
and does not allow loaded horses space to pass each other. When this
occurs, there is a mortal contest for the inside, and one pushes the
other into the gulf below. Sometimes the path turns round a short
angle, and when the traveller has accomplished the passage of the
perilous point, he sees just before him a dark and dismal chasm, over
which his horse’s neck projects, and his next step would precipitate
him. His feeling of insecurity is increased by the state of the
animal he rides. Instead of being shod with rough and pointed irons,
which would give a firmer footing in ascending and descending such
declivities, the shoe is a flat circular piece of smooth metal,
perforated by a single opening in the centre, and affording not the
slightest hold on what it presses. Hence, in going down, the motion of
the animal is sliding, and the rider with horror sees the beast, to
which he trusts his life, every moment ready to shoot over the edge
of the narrow road, without a possibility of stopping or restraining
itself. Yet such is the sure-footed sagacity of these mountain-steeds,
that accidents rarely occur, and they glide down for several hundred
yards, through a steep and tortuous descent, dexterously turning round
every projecting rock before them, which seems to stand in the way for
the express purpose of pushing him over the edge.

[Illustration: T. Allom. H. Mote.



The country now called Circassia was part of that undefined region
formerly denominated Colchis, between the Euxine, the Palus Mæotis,
the Caspian sea, and the Caucasus. It was this region whence the
Greeks brought their first golden freight, of which a woman formed
the most valuable part. From that time to the present day there has
been constant importations of females. These countrywomen of Medea
retain that beauty of person and ferocity of character of their eminent
predecessor, as also, it is said, her knowledge of noxious herbs, which
abound to this day, as formerly, in their country, and which they apply
not to prolong but to abridge the term of human life, whenever their
interests or their passions demand the sacrifice of their rivals.

Circassia was formerly governed by its own wild but independent
sovereigns; it is now almost all absorbed in the vast territories of
Russia; the people have but little advanced in civilization since Jason
first visited their shores; their habits are, as they have always been,
predatory and unsettled; they are a nation of robbers and man-stealers,
who trade in slaves, and add their own children, whom they bring up
to sell. Like all barbarous people, they are divided into tribes; the
eldest of each becomes the leader, but he is not allowed to possess
any property except his horses and arms, and such tribute as he can
exact from his neighbours. Their element is war, during which only they
have authority. When it is at an end, they merge into obscurity, their
dress, food, and habitations being no way distinguished from those of
the common people.

Next to these are the Usdens, who are the landholders and lawgivers
of the community, and who alone display what little of civilization
exists among them. They govern by no written law, but certain
hereditary usages, which are varied as the caprice or will of the
Usden determines; the great body of the people are vassals or slaves.
Their manufactures are rude and scanty, and their tillage insufficient
to supply their own wants. They have no written language, and no
circulating medium of coin; all their knowledge, then, is confined to
traditionary fables, and all their commerce to exchange and barter.
The only commodities in which they can trade are two−-horses, and
human beings. The former are well trained in all the discipline and
instruction necessary for their state, and a Circassian horse is a well
educated and accomplished animal; the latter are totally neglected,
and, however attractive by personal comeliness, are altogether
ignorant, and seem to have no capability beyond the instinct of nature.

When females are not sold, but remain at home, and are married, they
reside in huts distinct from their husbands, and bring up a brood of
children in no respects superior to themselves. Their whole energies
are exerted to stimulate the predatory habits of their husbands, and
their greatest gratification is in the plunder they are able to bring
home. They seem to have no ties of kindred, no domestic affections, no
family attachments; the daughter, if she is found to have any personal
attractions, is educated solely on the speculation of selling her to
advantage, and she frequently demands it from her parents as a right to
which she is entitled. From this cause it is that all kindly feelings
are obliterated, all love for others extinguished, and all passion is
centred in self. Christian missionaries early penetrated into this
region, and converted the people to their faith, and subsequently the
followers of Mahomet entered it, and divided them between the Koran and
the Gospel; but they now seem to have little knowledge of either. A
nominal Moslem parent brings up her daughter in the seeming profession
of that faith, that it may recommend her to her future master at
Constantinople; a nominal Christian educates her child in no religion
at all, that there may be no impediment to her conforming to any other;
thus her natural passions are freed from all the restraints that
religion would impose on them. From these causes it is, that there is a
certain ferocity and irreclaimable wildness observable in a Circassian
beauty. She gratifies the sensuality, but never secures the esteem, of
him to whom she is afterwards consigned. She is an object of desire,
but never of regard, and always excites more fear than love.

When a vessel arrives on the coast, it is always for the purpose
of traffic in slaves; and all the girls, who have been waiting its
approach with longing eyes, prepare themselves to be sold to the best
advantage, and their hearts bound with the bright prospect which they
are taught to believe lies before them. The splendour of the harem is
contrasted with their own miserable huts; the rich stuffs in which they
are to be clothed, with their homely, coarse, and squalid garments; the
generous viands on which they are to be fed, with the meagre of their
scanty diet. They have no ties to attach them to their native land, or
dim the bright prospect that awaits them in another. They look upon
their sale to a foreign merchant to be the foundation of their future
fortune, and their entrance into a foreign ship their first step to a
life of pleasure and enjoyment; nor are they disappointed even in the

These Oriental slaves are conveyed, not in the coarse and brutal manner
in which European traders carry on their traffic in human flesh. The
vessels sent to bring them to their capital are well appointed in
every respect for their accommodation. As the price is to depend on
the state of health and beauty in which they arrive, every precaution
is taken to preserve them. Instead of being crammed into noisome and
suffocating holds, the greatest attention is paid to their comforts;
their appetites are consulted, their pleasures are complied with, so
that neither privation nor anxiety may impair their looks; and the
slave dictates to her owner, in whatever she wants or wishes. When
arrived, they are lodged in a spacious khan provided for them, and the
police are especially ordered that every thing shall be cared for.

Now comes the Kislar Aga, or chief of the black eunuchs, to select for
the imperial harem the most lovely and desirable of the importation,
and having conducted them to his master, they are assigned apartments
in the seraglio, and placed under the care of the instructress of the
females. The rest are sent to the Aurut Bazaar, to be sold to those
who have the means to purchase them. The Africans, and slaves of other
countries, are here exposed, but the Circassian is secluded from the
general crowd in separate apartments, which are carefully closed
against all intruders, except on days of sale, when the sacred rooms
are thrown open from nine in the morning till midday; and every true
believer comes to avail himself of the permission of the Koran, and
make new selections for the enjoyments of his harem. An infidel is
inhibited from entering the market, unless by special permission; and
so far from being allowed to purchase, he is not even permitted to look
on those chosen females, lest the glance of his evil eye might wither
the expected enjoyment of the faithful purchaser.

As these females receive no education at home, it sometimes happens
that the Jew slave-merchant who buys them, endeavours to bestow on them
such accomplishments as may enhance their value. These, however, are
generally fruitless efforts. Personal, not mental qualities, are those
that are sought for, and most prized. The Circassian seems to have an
inaptitude for any improvement of the mind; and while the Greek or
French females, whom the fortune of war or other calamity has consigned
to slavery, make considerable progress under their instructors, the
indolent and voluptuous Circassian despises such vain labours, and
few attain even the elementary accomplishment of reading or writing.
Music, such as it is, is most frequently attempted, because it is an
enjoyment of the sense, and acquired without mental labour.

Our illustration represents the master of the harem indulging in his
favourite recreation. His nargillai, scented with fragrant pastils,
fills the small apartment with its drowsy vapours. Reclining on his
cushioned carpet, he contemplates the languid, sensual features of his
Circassians placed on the divan beside him, who try to amuse him with
the only accomplishment they are capable of attaining, or he of feeling
or comprehending. Next the door stands the black eunuch, guarding with
jealous and malignant eye the entrance into this sacred seclusion.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. C. Armitage.


From the summit of the hill of Pera, called from its elevation Tepe
Bashi, or “the head of the hill,” the ground slopes to the Golden
Horn, displaying an exceedingly diversified and picturesque surface,
comprehending not only the beautiful cemetery, and the city of
Constantinople, but also the suburbs of Cassim Pasha and Piri Pasha,
both connected with many important and interesting events. The view is
so attractive, that the Tepe Bashi forms the great promenade of Pera.
It is every evening crowded with the elite of the Frank society of the
capital, mixed with distinguished natives. Ambassadors, attachées,
dragomans, hakims, merchants of all nations, in their respective
costumes, here assemble, and form a moving picture of a very gay and
varied aspect.

From hence one of these cemeteries, which give to Turkish cities
so striking a character, extends its cypress shades over a surface
undulating into sloping lawns, deep glens, and swelling hills,
comprehending a circumference of many miles. Through this run broad
walks, forming crowded thoroughfares, which lead to the suburbs and
the several iskelli, or slips of embarkation to the city rising on the
hills at the opposite side of the water, but which are all now nearly
deserted for the Buyuk Tchekmadgé, or “Great Bridge,” which Mahmoud II.
caused to be thrown across the harbour.

Not many years ago, this district was very unsafe, and the Frank, whom
business or curiosity led through it, was liable to the abuse or insult
of any Turk he met in the day, or the attacks of robbers or assassins
in the night. The last outrage committed here was on a man eminently
distinguished for many years among the Frank, as well as Turkish
population, and whose fate excited a commotion and consternation which
have hardly yet subsided. This man was the Hakim Lorenzo.

Among the Franks who flock to Constantinople in search of fortune,
there is a large proportion of Italians. Many of them have received an
education at Padua, or other Italian universities, taken out degrees
in medicine, and so come qualified for the practice of it. Many adopt
the profession after their arrival, as the most lucrative and easiest
means of living. It requires but slight knowledge to be superior to
the native hakims, and the acuteness and sagacity of these versatile
Italians supply every deficiency. Among these was Lorenzo, a native of
Florence. He had acquired some reputation by the practice of his art
among the Franks; and the Turks, ever eager to avail themselves of the
superior lights of Europeans when health is concerned, soon gave him
the preference over their own doctors. It happened that the eldest son
of the reigning Sultan, Abdul Hamed, fell sick; and the reputation of
this Frank physician was so high, that he was sent for to the Seraglio.
The boy recovered, and nothing could exceed the gratitude of the
father. He built for the physician a large house in Pera; conferred on
him a beautiful kiosk and chifflik at St. Stephano, for his country
residence; and, in order to secure his future practice, he appointed
him Hakim Bashi, or “principal physician” to the Seraglio.

These gifts and this situation, not only gratified his cupidity,
but unfortunately excited his ambition also. His patronage became
unbounded. The appointment and deposition of pashas, the banishment
or recall of vizirs, in which the secret influence of the Seraglio
became every day available, were exercised by him, and the fanaticism
of the Moslem was forgotten, when he became indebted to this giaour
for the highest services. On the death of his patron, Abdul Hamed, his
successors, Selim and Mustapha continued their favour, and treated
him with the same confidence and indulgence; and when the young and
inexperienced Mahmoud succeeded, it was supposed he would exercise
over him the same influence. He was now arrived at the age of eighty.
He was about to withdraw from the care and anxiety such a life imposed
upon him, with credit and reputation, and devote what remained of it
to retirement and peace, when in an evil hour he was induced to engage
in one more of those court intrigues from which his Italian dexterity
had so often extricated him. The young Sultan notified to him, that
he would have no one intermeddle in his affairs, and cautioned him to
desist. He would not take warning, and his summary death was resolved

By the capitulations entered into with foreign powers, every Frank
subject is under the protection of the representative of that state to
which he belongs, and amenable only to its tribunal. Lorenzo therefore
could not be dealt with as a Raya, and put to death by the mandate
of the Sultan. It would have excited the whole diplomatic corps of
Pera, who would make a common cause to support their privileges and
immunities. It was therefore necessary to dispose of him in another
manner. He was sent for one evening by the Capitan Pasha, to see one
of his family, taken suddenly ill; and the way from Pera, where his
house was, to the palace of the pasha, on the harbour, lay through this
cemetery. He took with him his Capi Tchocadar, who always attended him
to the Seraglio, and proceeded to pay his visit, apprising his family
that he would return when he had prescribed for his patient. The Turks
retire to rest early, and the period was past when he was expected
home. His way led through a place infamous for outrage of all kind, and
the apprehensions of his family were considerably excited. He did not
return during the night, and at the dawn of morning they proceeded to
meet him along the avenue leading through Cassim Pasha to the Capitan
Pasha’s palace. In a small dell, where the road winds down a steep,
they stumbled on two bodies−-one was that of the Tchocadar, and the
other that of Lorenzo. They were quite dead, with the marks of the
bowstring, with which they had been strangled, round their necks. The
valuables they had about their persons were untouched, and it was hence
inferred that it was the work of no robbers. The usual legal process
of inquiry was taken by the Austrian internuncio, and the conclusion
formed from the proceedings was, that the assassin was no other than
the young Sultan himself, who had caused him and his attendant to
be executed in the palace of the Capitan Pasha, and the bodies laid
where they were found; and the property was not taken from them,
that it might not be supposed they fell victims to common assassins,
but to that terrible, mysterious vengeance, which suffered no man to
escape that once excited it. The Turkish ministry, however, affected
to believe it was a common death by midnight murderers in a dangerous
place; and to prevent the recurrence of such accidents, a small edifice
was built, and a guard established on the spot, which yet remain. A
guard-house here is not like one in Europe, from whence a passenger is
rudely repulsed. Beside it is a small caffinet, with benches, on which
he is invited to repose; and while he partakes of the refreshments
offered him, some hoary-headed sentinel enters into conversation with
him, and tells him the melancholy fate of Lorenzo the Hakim Bashi.

On the right of Cassim Pasha begin the suburbs of Piri Pasha, so called
from a very distinguished event in Turkish history. When the knights of
the holy sepulchre were driven from Palestine, they took refuge in the
island of Rhodes, where they fortified themselves, still lingering in
the vicinity of that holy place, which they vainly attempted to hold,
and in the hope of keeping alive the expiring spark of Christianity
in the East. But Soliman the Magnificent was resolved to extinguish
it utterly, and made stupendous preparations to dislodge its gallant
defenders from their last strong-hold. An army of 150,000 men was
embarked in a fleet of 400 ships, and proceeded to exterminate this
devoted community, shut up on their insulated rock. The first notice
they received of their intended fate, was from fires lighted on the
opposite coast of Lycia. A galley was despatched, to ascertain the
cause of these unusual beacons, when a packet was thrown on board
directed to the grand master. It was opened, and found to contain a
summons of unconditional submission, and the surrender of the place. To
oppose the countless multitudes who rushed to this unexpected attack,
6000 men alone were found on the island, and they prepared to defend
it. With incredible efforts they resisted every assault, and the great
Sultan himself, impatient of delay, hastened from Constantinople, to
animate his troops by his presence. It was fruitless. The assailants,
under the eye of their sovereign, were repulsed, leaving the bodies
of 20,000 of their companions weltering on the rocks. The commanders
were deposed and punished, and the enraged and disappointed Sultan
conferred the whole direction of the siege on his favourite Piri Pasha.
He desisted from sanguinary and ineffectual assaults, and proceeded
by sapping the fortress. The most distinguished engineers in Europe
were invited by the magnificent Sultan, and the island was perforated
by fifty-five mines, sufficient to blow the fortress and the rock on
which it stood, into the air; but they were met by counter-mines,
and harmlessly exploded. At length, worn out by famine and fatigue,
exhausted but not subdued, the gallant garrison were incapable of
further resistance, and this handful of Christians, the last and only
valuable remnant of the insane Crusaders, retired to another island,
farther west, still destined for two centuries more to defend the cause
of the Gospel farther west against the encroaching of the Koran. The
distinguished Turk who effected this conquest of Rhodes, gave his
name to this suburb of Constantinople; and the district of Piri Pasha
recalls to the Moslem the expulsion of the last remnant of Christianity
from the East.

On the conquest of Rhodes, Soliman erected his splendid mosque on
the summit of the highest of the seven hills of the capital, and
his faithful pasha determined to follow his example, but in a less
ostentatious form. He knew how dangerous it was to be his rival, so
he became his humble imitator. In the low district assigned to him, a
mosque rears its unpretending head, simple in its aspect, but still
distinguished by its beauty and architectural ornaments. It strikingly
deviates from the usual style of Oriental building, as it is elevated
on light arcades, supported on pillars, having three equal colonnades,
in each division.

Near this is the Ain Ali Kasa Seraï, or “The Palace of Mirrors.” When
Achmed III., in 1715, recovered the Morea from the Venetians, they
wished to conciliate him by some valuable present. They were then
famous for the manufacture of mirrors, and they sent him the largest
specimens that ever had been made. Achmed accepted them, and built a
palace in this place for their reception.

The great fire kindled by the discontented adherents of the Janissaries
in 1831, commenced at Sakiz Aghatz in this district. The whole of it
was consumed, including the palaces of all the European embassies,
as well as that of the Capitan Pasha. The remains of this last still
stand on an eminence near the Arsenal, consisting of a line of arcades,
resembling an aqueduct, flanked by clusters of little towers: it was in
this place the murder of the Hakim Bashi was perpetrated, and, as long
as it stands, it will keep alive the memory of the unfortunate Lorenzo.

Our illustration presents the city as it appears from this district.
The Mosque of Sulimanie towering in the centre, and the aqueduct of
Valens uniting the hill on which it stands with the opposite. But the
most conspicuous and novel object is the Buyuk Tchekmadgé, or “Great
Bridge,” which Mahmoud II. caused to be thrown across the harbour.[9]
This structure, so necessary for the communications of a great city,
had been called for ever since Constantine had made this the capital
of the Roman empire. The peninsula of Pera, containing 200,000
inhabitants, was an important part of the city; yet the only passage
to it by land, was a bridge over the Barbyses, by a circuit of nine or
ten miles. Among the obstacles to erecting a bridge across the harbour,
was the immense number of caïquegees, or “boatmen,” who obtained
their living by the many ferries. On various pressing occasions the
government had attempted to avail itself of their services in manning
the fleet; but they resisted with obstinancy, and, notwithstanding
the unmitigated despotism and unsparing ferocity of the Sultan, it
was considered too hazardous to exasperate this fierce democracy.
With the same obstinacy they opposed the building of a bridge, which
would interfere with their means of living. But when the terrible
and energetic sovereign had cut off the Janissaries, all effectual
resistance to any of his plans of innovation was removed, so he
determined on uniting the divided parts of his great city. Among the
modes by which many of his improvements were effected, was availing
himself of the services of some rich subject. When navigation by steam
was introduced into Europe, Mahmoud ardently wished for its adoption
in Turkey. He was one morning agreeably surprised, by seeing a noble
steam-boat moored under the Seraglio, and he was told it was the gift
of Casas Aretine, a rich Armenian. In the same way an individual
completed for him this bridge, when the caïquegees no longer dared to
oppose it.

On the 20th of October, 1837, it was opened for passengers, and the
ceremony was attended with another extraordinary innovation on Turkish
manners. He not only attended himself with his sons, but his harem was
thrown open, and ladies dressed in their gayest attire appeared in
their arrhubas, mixed with the spectators, and mingled in the fête with
all the freedom and gaiety of a similar event in Paris or London. The
novelty and brilliancy of the spectacle form a new era in the society
of the Moslem capital. As it was almost the only level way in the
city, it became a favourite carriage promenade; and the Sultan himself
was seen to abandon his caïque, and frequently drive across it in an
European carriage.

[Illustration: J. Salmon Drawn from Nature by F. Hervé.	J. C. Bentley.


The district of ancient Thrace is sometimes called Romania, but more
properly, Roumelia, from the Turkish name Roum Eli, “the country of
the Romans.” It extended from the Euxine Sea to the river Strymon,
and from Mons Hemus to the Propontis and Egean, which limits it has
retained through all its vicissitudes to the present day. Byzantium,
or Constantinople, is its former, as it is its present capital. The
ancient Thracians were distinguished for their ferocity, and the poets
have reported it as the theatre of many scenes of cruelty. Here it was
that their king, Diomedes, fed his horses on human flesh, casting every
stranger he found into their mangers, to be devoured alive; and here
it was that the poet Orpheus, while lamenting the loss of his beloved
Eurydice, was torn to pieces by the women, and his head cast into the
Hebrus; and he who was represented to soothe tigers, soften rocks, and
lead lofty oaks by his song, could not charm into humanity the Thracian
ladies. In less fabulous times, their barbarism is unfortunately too
well authenticated. It was the region where they offered up human
victims as grateful offerings to their gods, and that from whence the
Roman people obtained their theatrical assassins; so that the names of
Thracian and gladiator are synonymous in their language: and such was
the horrid delight taken in their exhibition, that from one thousand
to fifteen hundred of those barbarians are reported to have been seen
dead or dying, by each others swords, at the same moment, on the bloody
stage, for the amusement of the assembled citizens of Rome.

The original barbarians of this region were amalgamated with various
people as barbarous as themselves, who were driven from their own
deserts, and invited to settle there. The Bastarnæ, a nation from
the banks of the Rhine, were located here by the Emperor Probus,
who attempted to instruct them in the ways of civilized life; but
the intractable savages rejected the instruction, and, by repeated
rebellions and insurrections, devastated the country they were allowed
to settle in. In the reign of Valens, another nation was transported
hither. The Goths were assaulted by the Huns, whom they represented
as an unknown and monstrous race of savages, and they supplicated
permission to escape from their ferocity by migrating into Thrace, and
occupying the vast uncultivated plains then waste and unproductive.
This second immigration was permitted; and these barbarians, like the
former, ungratefully rebelled against their benefactors.

To this mingled population was finally added that of the Turks. In the
year 1363 they crossed the Hellespont, and spread over this region
their conquering hordes, adding Oriental ignorance and fanaticism
to the catalogue of Thracian qualities. They seem to have even
deteriorated the original character they brought with them in this
European district. The Thracian Turk is said to be more inhospitable
than a Turk in any other place. Travellers frequently fall victims to
their intractable jealousy; and should a benighted stranger seek for
shelter and protection, he is driven from the door by savage dogs, and
fired at by the more savage master from within. And this repulsive
conduct extends equally to their own countrymen as to those of other
nations. Tartar couriers, or Turkish travellers, overtaken by night
or storm in the winter, have been frequently found dead in the snow,
near the inhospitable house where they had been denied a shelter. Their
conduct, in this respect, forms a strong contrast with that of the kind
and hospitable Bulgarians, who are spread over part of this district,
and mingled with the Moslem population.

The general aspect of the country, from the Balkans to the sea, is
exceedingly beautiful. Swelling downs, expanded to an interminable
distance, bounded only by the horizon. These are covered with a rich
green sward, capable of any purpose of cultivation, either tillage or
pasture. Occasionally the downs are intersected by depressions, which
form winding glens, and sometimes a low ridge from the Balkans runs to
an immense extent, till it is gradually lost in the plain, affording
in its progress a variety of knolls and eminences highly picturesque
and beautiful. The country is watered by the Hebrus and its tributary
streams, which rising among the snows of the Balkans, and continually
augmented by their solution, meander through the plains down to the
sea; unceasingly refreshing the thirsty but fertile soil with their
copious, cool, and limpid currents. The climate is exceedingly bland
and temperate, and the moment a traveller passes the mountains he feels
its influence. He ascends the northern side at an advanced season of
the year, leaving behind him a country faded in its verdure, denuded
of its foliage, and having the hand of winter everywhere impressed
upon it. He descends on the southern side, and in a few days finds
every thing changed. He breathes a warm temperate air, sees spring and
summer blooming around him; the fields are green, the hills are gay,
and the romantic woods and copses which clothe them, retain not only
their leaves but their flowers also.

But in the midst of these beauties of nature he observes that
everything is solitary and deserted. He passes a day’s journey through
them, and meets nothing that has life from morning till evening. He
sees on the distant horizon something that has the semblance of an
inhabited place; he finds, when he approaches, that it is only a
cemetery, which indicates that human life had once been there, but
has now long since departed. Not a trace of the villages to which
they once belonged remains behind, to mark where social man had once
existed. Some of these solitary cemeteries are very extensive, and seem
to mark the vicinity of a large town and numerous inhabitants; but so
completely and so long ago have they been obliterated, that their very
names have perished. It is natural for an inquisitive traveller, when
he sees a large grave-yard, to ask his Tartar, or surrogee, the name
of the city to which it belongs−-but the Turk who daily travels by it,
shakes his head at the hopeless question, and replies “Allah bilir,”
God only knows.

What adds to the singularity and solitude of these plains, is the
multitude of conical mounds which are everywhere scattered over
them. These are lofty, and evidently artificial heaps, thrown up at
some remote period by human labour, and to answer some purpose. They
exactly resemble those mounds on the opposite coast of Asia, on the
plains of Troy, which are supposed to be the tombs of heroes who fell
during the siege, and the monuments erected over them, to mark the
spot where their bodies are deposited. They are both equally called
tepé in Asia and Europe, which is supposed to be a corruption of the
Greek word ταϕος, by which the tombs of heroes were designated, and
this coincidence renders it probable they both had the same origin.
They are sometimes so numerous, that eight or ten appear at once,
and the traveller passes close to them in succession, while whole
ranges of them are seen marking the outline of the distant horizon.
The supposition that they are tombs, adds considerably to the sense
of solitude in these lonely regions. The traveller supposes himself
passing through a vast grave-yard of several hundred miles in extent,
the receptacle of human bodies, where, from the earliest ages, the
kings, and heroes, and great ones of their nation are reposing in
solitary magnificence.

While the fields are abandoned and agriculture is neglected, there is
no art substituted or manufacture pursued, to engage the corresponding
scanty population. The gold mines of Thrace were formerly so rich as
to yield Philip of Macedon the value of £200,000 annually; an immense
sum in those days, which enabled him to corrupt the patriot orators
of Athens, and to boast that no city could resist him, that had a
breach wide enough to admit an ass laden with the produce of these
mines. They are unproductive to the Turks; and while they might raise a
richer harvest of golden grain on those plains close to their capital,
they are indebted to Odessa, and the permission of their enemies, the
Russians, for the daily bread of Constantinople.

Our illustration presents, not the general appearance of the country,
but one of those wandering ridges, which running from the high Balkans,
like the fibres of some gigantic tree, are the branches of those roots
by which they seem fastened to the level ground, and its picturesque
and romantic features are different from the usual character of the
level country. The plain from hence to Adrianople, and to the sea,
is generally a flat surface of immense extent. These village-crowned
peaks are called, both here and in the neighbouring country of Macedon,
meteors, or “appearances in the air.” They are usually chosen as the
site of Greek convents, and sometimes ascended by a basket let down
with cords, in which the visitor is drawn up. The sides of the hills,
in every accessible spot, are covered with vineyards, from which the
city of Adrianople is supplied with grapes of an excellent quality.

[Illustration: T. Allom. S. Fisher.


The feudal tenure by which the conquered lands were held by those
to whom the victorious Sultan assigned them, were called Zaims and
Timariots. This obliged every man to furnish a certain number of
mounted followers, to take the field when called upon, and formed the
first cavalry enrolled for military service by the Turks. But to these
were added more efficient bodies, paid from the treasury, and enrolled
as regular troops−-these were called Selictarli and Spahi.

Selictarli, which literally means “men of the sword,” were the oldest
and earliest corps, and owed their origin to Ali, the fourth caliph of
the Osmanli race. To their care was entrusted the defence of the sacred
person of the Sultan; they formed his immediate body-guard, and were
distinguished by a standard of bright red as their ensign. But in the
reign of Mahomet III., during a sanguinary combat, they were seized
with a sudden panic, and abandoned their sovereign. Unable to rally
the Selictars, he called on the grooms who attended their horses, who
at once obeyed his summons, and rescued him from the danger. To punish
the one, and reward the other, he formed a new corps of these grooms,
conferred upon them the scarlet standard, while their masters were
obliged to adopt one of yellow, as a mark of their degradation; and he
called his new corps “Spahis,” that is, simple cavaliers, without Zaim
or Timar.

On their first appointment, their arms were bows and arrows, with
sabres, and a lance called a dgerid. They preferred these to pistols
or carbines, for, said they, “firearms expend themselves in the air,
but sabres and lances prostrate on the ground.” The dgerid was a short
lance, which they darted with unerring aim at full speed; to this
day, representations of their ancient combat with this weapon, form a
distinguished part of their athletic sports. They hurl pointless lances
at each other as they pass at full speed, and, stooping to the ground
from their saddle-bow, recover them without dismounting, or slackening
their pace; to these were attached certain adventurers called Gionuli,
or “volunteers.” They watched the death of a Timariot, and immediately
took his place, and succeeded to his Timar. So desperate and sanguinary
were the combats, on one occasion, that in a few hours the same
Timar passed through seven gionuli, who were all brief proprietors
of a landed estate in succession, before they died. It remained in
possession of the eighth who survived the battle.

But the most desperate and extraordinary of this cavalry, are the
Delhi, or Deliler, which literally means “madmen,” a name their conduct
well entitles them to bear. They are generally recruited from Servia
and Croatia, and are of robust stature, and fierce and formidable
aspect. This they endeavour to increase by their dress: their helmets
are formed of a leopard’s head and jaws, with the skin hanging down
to their shoulders; and this is surmounted by the beak, wings, and
tail of an eagle, united with threads of iron. Their vests are skins
of lions, and their trousers the hides of bears with the shaggy hair
outside. They despise the crooked sabre of the Spahi, but carry a
target and a serrated lance of great weight and size. These men rush
on their enemies with the most reckless impetuosity; and, should any
of them hesitate at the most hopeless and desperate attack, they are
dishonoured for ever.

All these are perhaps the best mountain-horsemen in the world,
though nothing can be more unfavourable to their firm seat and rapid
evolutions than their whole equipment. Their saddles are heavy masses
of wood, like pack-saddles, peaked before and behind, and seem to be
the most awkward and uneasy in the way they use them. Their stirrups
are very short, and their stirrup-irons very cumbrous, resembling
the blades of fire-shovels, the angles of which they use to goad on
the horse, as they have no spurs. This heavy and awkward apparatus
is not secured on the horse by regular girths, but tied with thongs
of leather, which are continually breaking and out of order. On this
insecure seat the rider sits tottering, with his knees approaching to
his chin; yet there never were more bold and dexterous horsemen, in the
most difficult and dangerous places. When trooped together they observe
little order, yet they act in concert with surprising regularity and
effect, particularly on broken ground and mountain-passes, seemingly
impracticable to European cavalry. They drive at full speed through
beds of torrents, and up and down steep acclivities, and suddenly
appear on the flanks or rear of their enemies, after passing rapidly
through places where it was supposed impossible for a horseman to move.

Such had been the general character of Turkish cavalry, but the Sultan,
in his military reforms, obliterated the characteristic distinction
of each corps, and amalgamated them all to an uniformity of European
discipline. He one day saw a restive horse baffle all the attempts of
his rider to reduce him to obedience, and finally throw him to the
ground. There happened to be standing near, an Italian adventurer,
named Calosso, who had come to Constantinople in search of fortune,
with many of his countrymen. He seized the unruly animal by the
bridle, disencumbered him of his awkward ponderous saddle, mounted
him bare-backed, and presently reclaimed him to a state of perfect
discipline. His dexterity attracted the notice of the sovereign, who
at once availed himself of his abilities. He first put himself under
his care, and learned the art of European manège, at considerable
personal risk. He cast away the wooden pack-saddle, and set his cavalry
an example by mounting himself on a bare-backed horse. The sudden
transition from a lofty seat, where the limbs were confined and fixed
to the horse by a wooden frame, and the legs supported by firm pressure
on a broad stirrup, to the sharp spine of a beast without either
saddle or stirrup, was scarcely tolerable; and the imperial recruit
would have been often precipitated to the ground, but for the aid of
his Italian instructor, who was always at hand to support him. Yet
he persevered with his usual determination, and he became in a short
time an accomplished European horseman, and induced his subjects to
follow his example. There was no European usage which a Turk found it
more difficult to adopt than this. A short stirrup was congenial, and
in keeping with all his other habits. When he sat, his legs were not
properly pendent, but turned, as it were, under him, and he preserved
on his pack-saddle nearly the same position as he occupied at ease on
his divan. His first sensations, therefore, in his new position, with
his legs stretched down, were those of discomfort and insecurity; and
the first training of a squadron of Turkish cavalry, was one of the
most difficult reforms the Sultan had to encounter.

Our illustration presents the magnificent barracks built for the
cavalry on the shores of the Bosphorus. Kislas, or “barracks,” are
among the largest and most striking edifices seen round Constantinople.
The first object seen on approaching the Bosphorus is the vast barrack
at Scutari; and on the opposite hill, over the hanging grounds, at
Dolma Baktche an equally large one. A splendid edifice of this kind
existed at Levend Chiflik; but in the sanguinary conflict which took
place between the military on the establishing of the Nizam Djeddit, or
“new corps,” this noble edifice, with others, was razed to the ground.
But of all the barracks round the city, that erected for the cavalry is
the most decorated, and forms one of the most striking objects which
ornament the lovely Bosphorus.

[Illustration: T. Allom. F. W. Topham.


The Divan is not only a court of justice, but of legislature and
diplomacy. It is here that laws are made, suits decided, firmans
issued, troops paid, and the representatives of sovereigns made fit to
be introduced to the august presence of the Sultan.

The chamber where all those affairs are transacted is a room in a small
detached edifice surmounted by two domes, in the interior court of
the seraglio. It is quite naked, with no furniture but a wooden bench
running along the wall, about two or three feet high, covered with
cushions. This long and fixed sofa is the furniture of every house. It
is called a Divan, and gives its name peculiarly to this apartment.
This chamber has no doors to shut at the entrance, for, as it is a
court of justice, it is supposed to be always open, inviting all the
world to enter it, and never to be closed against any suitor. Opposite
the entrance is a moulding forming an arcade, round the summit of
which is written in letters of gold, a confession of faith from the
Koran, and beneath it is the seat of the judges. On the wall on the
south is represented the form of an altar, to which suitors in any
cause turn themselves, and, on a signal given by the crier, address
prayers for the success of their suit, as to the Al-Caaba at Mecca. The
grand vizir is obliged to administer justice in this hall four times a
week−-Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

As the Koran is the repository of the civil as well as the religious
code of the empire, all suits are decided here by its authority.
Attached to most mosques, are medresis or “colleges,” where students
are instructed in law as well as divinity, by muderis or “professors.”
When qualified by a certain course of study, they are despatched to the
towns and villages in every part of the empire, where they become the
mollas, naibs, and cadis, or various “judges,” appointed to dispense
justice, founding all their decrees on the precepts of the Koran. Of
these there are two considered as superiors, and named Cadileskers, one
for the northern portions of the empire, called Roumeli Cadilesker,
or “the supreme judge of Europe;” the other for the southern, called
Anadoli Cadilesker, or “the supreme judge of Asia.” A third, who
decides in ecclesiastical matters only, is called Istambol Effendi,
or “judge of the capital.” These, particularly the two former, are
always the assessors of the grand vizir in the Divan, and form with
him the grand tribunal of the empire. From the earliest period of
Oriental usage, the right hand has been deemed the post of honour, but
the thing is reversed in matters connected with the law. The Turks
are particularly tenacious of position as indicating distinction. The
Cadilesker Anadoli sits on his left hand, and the Cadilesker Roumeli
on his right, and the same precedence is rigidly observed among the
suitors of the court. The judges, when constituting this tribunal, do
not sit with their legs folded under them, as is the universal practice
of all Orientals, but their legs are suffered to hang down and rest on
a footstool, and it is thus the sultan himself receives the ambassadors
of foreign powers. It is a deviation from the ordinary position, which
is supposed to confer seriousness and dignity on any important occasion.

When a Turk goes to law, he first proceeds to an arzuhalgee; this is
a kind of attorney, or licensed scrivener, who holds an office in
various parts of the city, and who alone is permitted to undertake a
statement of a case. So tenacious of this privilege is the arzuhalgee,
that no officer of state, however competent his ability or high his
station, can draw up a process for himself, but must apply to this
scrivener. To him the plaintiff goes, and he draws up for him an
arzuhal, which is not a detail of lengthened repetitions, but literally
a brief, containing a statement of the case in a few words. With this
he proceeds early in the morning to the Divan, on one of the appointed
days of session, and he is ranged with other suitors in two long lines,
awaiting for sunrise, when the grand vizir attends to open the court.
On his arrival, he passes up the lane formed by the suitors, and,
having arrived at the Divan, a small table covered with a cloth of gold
is laid before him, and the court opens. The first suitor on the left
has the precedence. He presents his arzuhal to a chaoush or officer
in attendance, who hands it to the chaoush bashee, and by him it is
laid before the buyuk teskiergee, or “great receiver of memorials,”
who stands on the left hand of the grand vizir. He reads out the
plaintiff’s case with a loud voice, and the defendant is called on for
a reply. Here is none of the tedious formulas of European pleaders, no
exhibitions of forensic eloquence, none of “the law’s delay.” Should
it appear that any attempt was made to entangle the subject in legal
quibbles, or lengthen it unnecessarily, so that justice maybe either
defeated or deferred, the parties are liable to be bastinadoed on the
spot, at the discretion of the judge.

Two witnesses are required to establish a fact, and never more. If it
be a case of debt, the simple promise of the debtor is sufficient,
either written and marked with his seal, or, if verbal, attested by
witnesses. The parties generally plead their own cause; the judges,
without reference to any code but the Koran, consider the simple facts.
Having decided, they give sentence, which is submitted to the grand
vizir; and, if it coincide with his own opinion, which is generally the
case, he writes at the bottom of the arzuhal the word Sah, “surely.”
If, on the contrary, he dissents, he writes his own decree, and the
parties are dismissed with a hujet, or “sentence of the grand vizir,”
which is final. It is on these occasions only, that disputation takes
place in a Turkish court of justice; for if the cadileskers are
supposed capable, either through ignorance or design, of pronouncing an
unjust decree, they are degraded, and never suffered again to hold any
place of trust. They, therefore, defend their opinions with obstinacy,
and the court resounds, not with the pleadings of lawyers, but the
disputation of the judges. Proceeding thus from left to right, the
cases are summarily decided till it is dark, or they are all disposed
of; and as justice may not be deferred by the intervention of any
avoidable delay, the members of the court dine where they sit. A frugal
meal is brought in at midday and despatched in a few minutes.

Such is the process when the Divan is a court of justice; but when
it becomes a Galibé Divan, or “council chamber,” all the affairs of
state become objects of its deliberation or discussion. This is held
on Sundays and Mondays. Here the grand vizir and cadileskers also sit,
assisted by the reis effendi, or “minister for foreign affairs,” the
mufti, or “chief of ecclesiastical affairs,” and the agas, “or heads
of the military departments.” When the first dawn of European light
opened upon Turkey, this council of despotism made some approximation
to a popular representation. In the difficulties that surrounded the
state at the commencement of the Greek revolution, the embarrassed
but enlightened Sultan invited the mutelins or “paymasters” of the
different Janissary corps, and also deputies from the esnaffs or
“corporations” of trades, to become members, and, as these were taken
from the respectable class of citizens, they were fair representatives
of their opinions to a certain extent, and so formed the first Turkish

The Sultan introduced another innovation also into the mysterious
proceedings of the Divan. It was not usual for the sovereign to appear
personally there, but whenever an affair was discussed, the grand vizir
appeared before him, with the members of the council, in an apartment
of the seraglio, and there took his directions. But, though he was
seemingly absent, it was known that he was always present on any affair
of importance. There stands at the back of the Divan, some distance
above the heads of those who sit on it, a projection like a bow-window
from the wall. This is covered with gilded lattice-work, and concealed
by curtains drawn behind. It is called the Sha Nichin or “sultan’s
seat,” and here he ensconced himself, and heard and saw whatever was
going on below. As the curtain was usually drawn, it was not known
to a certainty when he was there or not, but he was dreaded like the
tyrant of Syracuse, as always listening, and sometimes detected by the
angry gleam of an eye glancing through the lattice, and denouncing
vengeance on some obnoxious member of the council. It is for this
reason called “the dangerous window,” and looked up to with awe and
terror from below. Many anecdotes are told of this Sha Nichin. Achmet
I. who is said to be its inventor, constantly watched the proceedings
of the Divan from hence, when it was supposed he was buried in sensual
indulgences in the remote recesses of the seraglio. One day, when a
court of justice was held, a soldier presented an arzuhal to the grand
vizir, and, supposing it was treated with neglect, and himself with
injustice, he drew his yatagan, and suddenly plunged it into his body.
The chaoushs and others cast themselves upon the assassin, and were
about to cut him to pieces, when the curtain of the Sha Nichin was
drawn aside, and the voice of the Sultan was heard like thunder issuing
from it. He commanded them to desist, and, stepping down, he himself
examined the man’s case, with the bleeding body of the grand vizir on
the Divan beside him. He thought he had reason to suppose the sentence
was unjust, and the delinquent had provocation; so he dismissed the
soldier as an injured man, and caused the body of the grand vizir to be
cast into the sea as an unjust judge.

Another use of the Divan is, that it is the place where the troops,
particularly the janissaries, received their pay. On these occasions
men bring in small leathern bags of piasters, which they pile on the
floor, till they form heaps three or four feet high, and ten or twelve
long. When these are all laid, and the whole amount of pay ready, the
grand vizir sends a sealed paper to the Sultan, notifying that large
sums of money are lying before him on the ground, and humbly entreating
to know what it is his pleasure to do with it. The chaoush returns
after some delay, with an iron-shod pole, which he strikes loudly on
the pavement, to announce his approach with the answer to the important
question, and presents a huge packet to the vizir, which he receives
with profound reverence, first pressing it to his forehead and then to
his lips. Having read the communication, he announces aloud, that it is
the Sultan’s pleasure that all the heaps of coin shall be distributed
among the soldiers, detachments of whom are in attendance for the
purpose. The bags are then brought out, and laid on the flags in front
of the Divan. And now succeeds a scene of puerile enjoyment, which none
but a Turk could relish. Certain dishes filled with smoking pilaff of
soft rice, are laid at different distances, beside the heaps of coin;
and at a signal given, the soldiers start, some to seize one, and
some the other, and some both. There are then seen grave old men with
long grizzled beards, all smeared with greasy rice, struggling with
boys, and rolling over each other on the ground. This folly is highly
relished by the sages on the Divan within, who look on with delight
till all the bags of money and plates of rice have disappeared.

The last ceremony of the Divan is the reception of ministers of
foreign powers, who come here to be duly made fit for presentation
to the Sultan. On the day appointed they and their suits assemble
at an early hour in the morning, and all the process of deciding
causes, distributing money, and running for pilaff, is ostentatiously
displayed before them, in order to dazzle, astonish, and impress on
those stranger-infidels a high opinion of Turkish superiority. They
are allowed to enter the Divan seemingly as spectators, and are left
standing in the crowd without notice or respect. On rare occasions,
the tired ambassador, if he be from a favoured nation, is allowed
a joint-stool to sit on; but such an indulgence is not permitted
to the rest: secretaries of legation, dragomans, consuls, &c. are
kept standing for several hours, till the whole of the exhibition is
displayed. It is then notified to the Sultan, that some giaours are
in the Divan, and, on inquiring into their business, that they humbly
crave to be admitted into his sublime presence, to prostrate themselves
before him. It is now that orders are given to feed, wash, and clothe
them, and it is notified that when they are fit to be seen, they will
be admitted; and this is done accordingly. Joint-stools are brought in,
on which are placed metal trays, without cloth, knife, or fork; and
every one helps himself with his fingers, including the ambassador.
After this scrambling and tumultuous refreshment, water is poured on
the smeared and greasy persons who partake of it. They are then led
forth to a large tree in the court, where a heap of pellises of various
qualities lie on the pavement, shaken out of bags in which they were
brought. From this, every person to be admitted to the presence takes
one, and, having wrapped himself in it, he is seized by the collar,
and dragged into the presence of the Sultan, as we have elsewhere
noticed. Such were the unseemly ceremonies used on these occasions
only a few years ago; but, like other Turkish barbarisms, they are
daily disappearing, and the introduction of the representative of one
sovereign to the audience of another, is approaching to the decorum of
European usages.

Our illustration presents the gate Capi Arasi, leading from the first
to the second court of the seraglio, where the Divan is held, and so
it is the entrance to it. It is also the place where delinquents are
led for punishment, and thus originated the Turkish expression of a
man deserving to be sent “between gates,” which the name Capi Arasi
signifies. Here it is that the executioners sit, and the implements
of their trade hang on the walls round about them, forming a horrid
combination. Yet it was here, and in this company, that foreign
ambassadors were obliged to wait till orders were issued to admit them
into the court of the Divan. Crowds of hateful dogs are usually seen
here. As they are called “the consummators of Turkish justice,” by
lacerating and devouring the bodies of criminals exposed in the streets
after decapitation, so, as it were by instinct, they seem fond of
congregating with their fellow-executioners.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Jenkins.



The Turks have no theatres where various persons habited in appropriate
costume represent the manners, usages, and feelings of real life,
among artificial scenery, which imitates objects of nature and art;
they have no resemblance of woods, or gardens, or streets, or houses,
where men and women, supporting various characters, meet as in the
daily intercourse of society, and every thing combines to create the
delusions of dramatic representation. All these things are considered
as coming under the prohibition of making the likeness of anything; and
proscribed, with the art of painting, as idolatrous representations.
They have, however, occasionally something approaching to our plays;
where more than one character appears in a naked room, or in the
open air, in front of a kiosk, while the spectators look from the
windows, or form a circle round the performers. On these occasions
some very gross indecencies take place, and the gravity and sense of
decorum of a Turk is laid aside. They permit, and seem to enjoy, in
these representations, a violation of morals and propriety, which, in
real life, they would punish with the greatest severity. The sultans
themselves are often present at such exhibitions, and set the example
of encouraging them.

Such things, however, are rare, only of extraordinary occurrence,
and on memorable occasions; but the Medâk, or Story-teller, is a
source of every-day enjoyment. This is a very important personage,
and an essential part of Turkish amusement. He enacts by himself, in
a monologue, various characters, and with a spirit and fidelity quite
astonishing, considering the inflexible and taciturn disposition of
the people. The admirable manner in which one unassisted individual
supports the representations of various persons, the versatility with
which he adopts their countenance, attitude, and phraseology, are
so excellent, that Frank residents, who have been accustomed to the
perfection of the scenic art in their own country, are highly delighted
with this Turkish drollery, and they are constant spectators, not only
for amusement, but to perfect themselves in the language by hearing
it under its various inflections, and thus acquire a knowledge which
a common master could never impart; they also go to see different
traits of manners, and of real life faithfully represented, which a
long residence in the country would hardly allow them an opportunity of
witnessing. The Medâk, therefore, is a public character, of importance
to strangers as well as others.

The subjects he selects for representation are Oriental stories,
some actually taken from, and all greatly resembling the tales of
the Arabian Nights, in which the incidents and persons seem to have
the same origin. Sometimes the corruption of a cadi, and his manner
of administering justice, are detailed with considerable humour and
sarcastic severity. Sometimes a Turkish proverb is illustrated, and
forms, as it were, the text of his details; and the effects of various
vices and virtues are exhibited, so as to form an excellent moral
lesson. Among the proverbs illustrated and dramatized, the following
are the most usual. “In a cart drawn by a buffalo, you may catch a
hare.” “It is not by saying ‘honey, honey,’ it will come to your
mouth.” “A man cannot carry two melons under one arm.” “Though your
enemy be no bigger than an ant, suppose him as large as an elephant.”
“More flies are caught by a drop of honey, than by a hogshead of
vinegar.” “He who rides only a borrowed horse, does not do so often.”
“Do not trust to the whiteness of a turban.” “Though the tongue has no
bones in it, it breaks many.” In these and similar ones, the effects
of industry, perseverance, idleness, caution, cunning, and such other
moral qualities, are illustrated in a manner equally striking and
amusing. In these representations, he passes from grave to gay with
a singular and happy facility, seemingly unattainable by the dullness
and limited capabilities of a Turk. The volatile Greek at his strokes
of pathos or humour sheds tears, or bursts out into uncontrollable
laughter−-the grave Armenian, incapable of higher excitement, looks
sad, or smiles−-while the phlegmatic Turk, though profoundly attentive
to the various passions so admirably depicted by his countryman,
scarcely alters a feature of his face.

The place where the Medâk exhibits is usually a coffee-house. He
generally has a small table, placed before him, which he either stands
behind or sits on. His cuffs are turned up, and he holds generally a
small stick in his hand. If he illustrates a proverb, he gives it out
as a text, and then commences his story. He introduces individuals
of all sects and nations, and imitates with admirable precision the
language of each. But he is particularly fond of introducing the Jews,
whose imperfect pronunciation of every language which they attempt
to utter, presents him with a happy subject of caricature. Thus he
imitates the multifarious tones of all the varieties of people in the
Turkish empire, with a happy selection of all their characteristic

Our illustration presents the most distinguished story-teller of
the capital, who may be considered the Matthews of Constantinople.
He is called Kiz-Achmet, or “Achmet the Girl,” as we have noticed
before. He keeps a coffee-house himself, and adds to his profits by
entertaining his company; but at festivals he is invited to others, and
paid liberally for his exhibition. There stood opposite the gate of
the British palace, before the district was consumed by fire, one of
the most celebrated and frequented coffee-houses in Pera. During the
Bairam he continued telling stories here without intermission, and with
unabated skill, till after midnight, to an unwearied audience, sitting
on joint-stools in the street before the coffee-house. His auditors
indulge as usual in coffee and tobacco, during his recitations, but
sometimes his details are so interesting, that even this luxury is
suspended while they listen with profound attention. It is only when he
pauses, and descends with a coffee-cup to collect paras, that the click
of flints is heard, chiboques are lighted, and refreshments served,
when he remounts, and pursues his tale to his impatient hearers.

[Illustration: W. L. Leitch. Drawn from Nature by Hervé, Esq. J. Sands.


This capital of Thrace is one of the many towns erected by the emperor
Hadrian in the East, and who, from his strong propensity for building,
acquired the name of κτιϛσης “the architect.” His travels were marked
by memorials of this kind, and his progress is to be traced, not like
that of other conquerors, by the ruins, but by the erections he left
behind him; and several towns, both in Asia and Europe, still retain
his “image and superscription.” He selected for his Thracian city the
banks of the classic Hebrus, and for many centuries it continued a
flourishing town under the Greek empire. When the Turks passed into
Europe in 1362, they seized on it, and, transferring the seat of empire
from Brusa, they made Adrianople their capital, and called it Ederne.
It so continued for more than a century, till Mahomet destroyed the
empire of the Greeks, and there established his seat of government in
the imperial city of Constantinople.

The city stands at the confluence of the rivers Toondja and Arda with
the Maritza, the modern name for the Hebrus. After this union, the
river becomes a noble stream, flowing down to the Archipelago, where it
debouches into the Sea, amongst a group of Islands, near to the town
of Enos, which is considered the port of Adrianople, and the outlet of
its scanty trade. Various streams, flowing through the rich country
around the capital, fertilize it to the highest capability of produce,
but such advantages are totally neglected. No corn is raised on these
exuberant plains, even for their own consumption. When the Russians
in 1830 descended from the Balkans, they expected to find well-filled
magazines ready for the supply of the army. They found nothing. No
stores had ever been laid up, and 8000 men, are said to have perished
at Adrianople by want and subsequent sickness. Their advance on
Constantinople was suspended, and the indolence and improvidence of the
Turks, without intending it, saved their capital.

The present city is eight miles in circumference, and contains about
100,000 inhabitants. It is adorned with many public edifices, and
splendid mosques, among which is that of Sultan Selim, supposed to
rival that of Sulimanie, or any other in the capital. Its aërial dome
is twenty feet higher than that of Santa Sophia, and its symmetrical
and beautiful proportions are the admiration of all strangers. On the
porch is read one line only from the Koran, as simple as it is noble,
“Allah is the light of heaven, which illumines the darkness of the

[Illustration: J. Salmon. Drawn from Nature by Hervé, Esq. W. H. Capone.



This maritime town of Thrace is of great antiquity. Not like the
former, erected at a comparatively recent period, and by a well-known
founder, Silivria was one of the towns of the Thracian or Scythian
aborigines, and is mentioned by Herodotus as existing, and ancient
in his time, 450 years before the Christian era. It is about twenty
miles from Constantinople, and stands on a promontory which forms one
extremity of an extensive bay, while the ancient town of Erekli stands
on the other. Like all ancient cities, where such a thing was possible,
it was built on the summit of a hill, forming what the Greeks call
an _acropolis_. Three sides were of easy approach, and protected by
fortified walls; but the fourth, facing the sea, was an inaccessible
precipice, as perpendicular as the face of Dover Cliff, so that no wall
was necessary. The summit of the hill is a perfect level, and the town
forms a quadrangular area open to the sea; and perhaps no other in
the world can present so fine and magnificent a platform. It commands
the most extensive view along the winding coast, and across the Sea
of Marmora, having the beautiful archipelago of the Princes Islands
floating as it were on the surface of the sea below; and the splendid
view terminates by the coast of Asia, and the snowy ridges of Olympus.
The walls are built of hewn stone interlaid with strata of Roman brick
as large as flooring tiles. They are pierced by five gates, which are
still standing, and closed carefully every night. Part of the area
within the walls is now filled up with mean dirty streets, inhabited
principally by Jews and Greeks. Below, on the shores of the sea, is
another portion of it, almost exclusively Turkish. It has a port, in
which lie a fleet of small-craft, used for conveying the produce of
the neighbourhood to the markets of Constantinople, and this is all
that remains of the bustle and activity of that commerce, which once
distinguished the enterprising Greek cities of this coast.

Over one of the gates is an inscription containing the name of
Theodora, of whom the Byzantine historians relate an interesting
anecdote. “When the Emperor Theophilus wished to select a wife, he
announced his intentions; and several ladies, most distinguished for
beauty and accomplishments, appeared as candidates for his favour. On
the appointed day, they arranged themselves in an apartment of the
palace, and the emperor, with a golden apple in his hand, walked along
the line to make his choice. He remarked aloud in passing, that women
had been the cause of much evil in the world; and a young lady of the
group of candidates, named Icasia, and on whom the emperor had fixed
his regards, hoping to recommend herself by her wit as well as by her
beauty and spirit, immediately replied, that his majesty must allow
they had also been the cause of much good. The emperor turned from
his fair antagonist with dislike, and, fixing his eyes upon another,
who seemed shrinking from notice, he placed the golden apple in _her_
hand, and selected her for his wife. This was Theodora−-and she did not
deceive his choice. She was afterwards distinguished for her modesty
and prudence.” There stands in the area of the esplanade a very ancient
Greek church, which she is said to have erected; and, notwithstanding
the convulsions of the state, and the desolation of the invading Turks,
to have remained in the undisturbed celebration of Christian worship
for 1000 years.

Our illustration represents the Acropolis of this ancient city on the
summit of a high and lofty hill, with the road at its base, winding
to the town and port below, with various peasants bringing baskets of
grapes, and other local commodities, for transportation to the markets
of the capital.

[Illustration: T. Allom. B. Holl.


There are two modes of communication among the Turks−-by symbols,
and letters; the first was of very early adoption, and used even on
important occasions of state. While Buda was in the power of the Turks,
and they threatened to lay siege to Vienna, the vizir of Soliman
caused a large water-melon to be conveyed to the Austrian ambassador.
The Turks are in the habit of sending presents of fruit as tokens of
good-will, and it was supposed that this fine fruit imported no more.
It was found, however, that it was meant to exhibit the size of those
cannon-balls with which the sultan intended to attack the Christian
capital, and so to strike terror into its defenders. The Austrians
immediately searched, and found a larger one, which they sent back
in return−-implying, that the cannon of the besieged was still more
powerful than that of their assailants. The Turks were repulsed, and
the truth of this emblematic communication verified.

But, besides fruits, flowers of all kinds are used at this day, as
means of allegoric communication, among a people so illiterate as the
Turks. The rose is principally prized, because the Moslems suppose
it grew from the perspiration of Mahomet, and they never suffer
the petal of the flower to wither on the ground. In all emblematic
communications, it is deemed the representation of beauty and joy:
the orange-flower marks hope; the marigold, despair; the amaranth,
constancy; the tulip, a reproach of infidelity. It is thus that
bouquets of flowers, called selams, supply the place of letters,
and the illiterate lover communicates to his mistress feelings and
sentiments which the most elaborate written language could not express.
In this manner slaves hold tender communication with their mistresses,
even in the presence of their terrible master. The captive Greek is
generally employed as a gardener: by an ingenious arrangement of a
parterre of flowers, he holds mute and eloquent converse with her he
loves, even while his jealous rival and master is looking on, and his
instant death would follow a discovery.

But, beside these modes of conveying ideas, there are scribes, who sit
at the receipt of custom, as at Naples, who live by writing down on
paper what the Turk is not able to do for himself. These clerks are
found in bazaars, and at the corners of streets, and are distinguished
by a calomboyo, or a bright brass “inkstand and pen-case,” stuck in
the girdle, where another carries his yatagan and pistols. His desk is
generally his hand, and his pen is a reed, like that of the Romans.
This necessary person writes for all occasions. Is a Turk going to
law, he writes for him his arzuhal, or the state of his case−-does
he want a protector against any evil, he writes an amulet. The Turks
are exceedingly fond of amulets; they suppose them a sufficient
safeguard against disease, magic, the power of evil spirits, the
malice of enemies, and the assault of robbers. The scribe has power,
by transcribing certain passages of the Koran, and annexing certain
mysterious ciphers, to give a paper to his customer which will protect
him against them all.

Our illustration represents an anxious mother obtaining such a
protection for her child: a favourite one for such an age is the Kef
Marjam, or “hand of Mary” which is either represented on blue glass, or
inscribed on paper, and hung on the head or breast of the child.

[Illustration: W. L. Leitch. J. Tingle.


The city stands in the centre of an enormous plain, 140 miles, or
about five days’ journey from Constantinople. It is distinguished
by the approaching traveller at the distance of many miles, by the
tall minarets of the mosque of Selim piercing the sky, when all other
objects of the city are imperceptible. An Oriental town is never
discovered like one where coal is consumed, by the dense vapours which
fill the atmosphere about it, but obscuring every other object. The
site of it is usually marked by some conspicuous building rising above
the rest, projecting on the pure air, and seen distinctly at an immense
distance. Adrianople is entered on one side by a street, bounded by
a vast cemetery having even more solemnity and beauty than is usual
in others; this area is intersected by various avenues, and is the
constant retreat of the citizens. There is nothing gloomy or revolting
in the feelings it excites. The tombs are shaded by the ever-verdant
and aromatic cypress, or varied by rose-trees and “flowers of all
hues.” It is the constant resort of all the relatives of those who
sleep below, and the dead and the living meet here morning and evening
in tranquil repose. On another side the city is approached by a wide
causeway, the work of its founder, which he intended as the avenue of
communication between his new city and Byzantium. It is still used for
the same purpose, and forms the highway to Constantinople, but, like
all remains of Roman roads in the country, it is so dilapidated by
Turkish unskilfulness and neglect, that it is nearly impassable, and
travellers, when overtaken on it by darkness, are compelled to light
their lanterns, and pass it with the same precaution as the precipice
of the Balkans.

In a tour through some of the Turkish dominions in Europe, which Sultan
Mahmoud made some years ago, he passed through Adrianople, and paid its
state particular attention. He was met by deputations of the various
people that compose its population−-the Turks headed by their mollas,
the Greeks by their ex-patriarch, the Armenians by their vertabiets,
and the Jews by their hakim-bashi or high-priest. He distributed
large sums of money among them for founding schools, so that the
whole population are now in a course of instruction by Lancasterian
seminaries, and others on the European system. He also gave directions
for building a noble stone bridge across the Maritza, in place of
the decayed and tottering wooden structure that he found there. To
commemorate these acts of beneficence, a new coinage was struck, having
for its emblem a rose on one side, to indicate its principal produce,
the attar of roses; and on the other, a star, as a representation of
the sultan. It happened, either by accident or design of the Greek
artist, that the star was deficient in its rays, and represented only a
cross. This was remarked with avidity by the sanguine Greeks, and this
coinage of Adrianople was classed, among other similar things, as an
indication of his intention to become a Christian.

[Illustration: W. L. Leitch. J. Cousen.


The city of Joannina, formerly scarcely known in England to have an
existence, became, in later times, highly celebrated, as the capital of
the extraordinary man, Ali Pasha, and attracted distinguished visitors
from every part of Europe. It seems singular, that the security of its
site, the fertility of the plains that surround it, and the beauty and
natural advantages of its magnificent lake, should not have attracted
the notice of either Greeks or Romans, who in succession held rule in
Epirus and Albania, in the latter of which it lies. No trace of any
city is discernible here before the reign of John Cantacuzene, in the
fourteenth century, and no classic ruins ennoble the barbarous remains
of the middle ages. It is supposed to be called Joannina from the
Christian name of its founder. It is usually written Yannini.

It continued a Byzantine city till the year 1432, when Amurath II.
sent a letter and summons to the inhabitants of Joannina, like that of
Sennacherib to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. It reminded them of the
calamities inflicted by the conqueror on other cities, and warned them
to avoid them by a speedy surrender. The terrified Christians at once
submitted, and the Mahomedans took possession of it. Their first act
was to raze some of the Christian churches to the ground, and their
next was a deed in imitation of the rape of the Sabines:−-a body of
armed men watched the return of the Christian congregation from the
place of worship left yet standing; each man seized upon the girl
which best pleased him, as she issued from the porch; and the parents,
after in vain exclaiming against the violence, were compelled at
length to assent to it. The women became reconciled to their lot, and
so a Christian and Moslem population amalgamated, like the Romans and
Sabines, and lived in harmony together.

In the year 1611, however, an unfortunate attempt was made to expel the
Turks. A fanatic bishop dreamed that he saw the sultan rise up on his
throne at Constantinople to greet him, and gave out that this portended
his reign in Joannina. He collected some followers, and attacked the
Turks; but was speedily defeated, and his skin stuffed, and sent to
the capital, where the Sultan, excited by curiosity, rose to look at
it, and so completed the prediction of his dream. From that time the
Christian inhabitants live in more abject subjection to the Turks than
in any other part of the empire.

The present population is estimated at 40,000, for whom there are
nineteen mosques, five tekés, six Greek churches, and two synagogues.
It is distinguished for its schools, and has produced many learned men.
It carries on a considerable traffic with Russia, Venice, and Malta,
and is famous for its embroidery, cunning skill in ornamenting swords
and other weapons, and particularly for its beautiful chiboques.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Jenkins.


The female inmates of the seraglio are known by the names of Asseki
and Odalique. The first is distinguished by having given birth to a
son: she has then separate apartments assigned to her, gardens, baths,
and even a mosque for her own private devotions. She has a regular
income conferred upon her, called Paschmaklik, that is, “the revenue of
the sandal.” It is assigned to purchase slippers, and called Turkish
pin-money. Whenever a city is taken by the sultan, he generally
reserves one street or district of it as a Paschmaklik. An Asseki
sometimes builds a mosque from her immense revenue, and thence, from
the source from whence the means are derived, it is called the Djami
Paschmalk, or “the mosque of the slipper.” The Odalique is a simple
favourite, not rendered eminent by any distinction. Between the Asseki
and Odalique a jealousy and a mortal animosity exist, which often cause
frightful results; and the annals of the seraglio are full of those
tales of horror.

The mother of Mahomet IV. made a present to her son of a Georgian
slave of great beauty. Zachi, the dominant Asseki, felt those pangs of
jealousy so congenial to the place in which she lived, and resolved to
get rid of her rival. On one occasion, while the sultan was absent at
the chase, in the woods of Belgrade, she sent for her, on the pretext
of showing her kindness and respect. The Odalique, though aware of her
danger, entered her apartment, and immediately heard behind her that
shrill yelp which marks the presence of a mute−-the imperfect sound
which the executioners of the seraglio utter, when they are about to
fulfil the murderous orders they receive. The unfortunate Odalique
turned round, and saw him with the bowstring ready: she submitted at
once to her inevitable fate, bent her beautiful head to the fatal loop,
which immediately closed upon it, and she lay dead at the feet of her

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. C. Bentley.



The Bay of Smyrna is one of the largest and deepest in the Levant. At
the extremity rises the ancient city, crowning the distant hills, while
the modern runs along the low ground below, and seems on a level with
the sea. Ships from all nations crowd the water, and their various
pennons, floating in the breeze, add to the gaiety of the scene. The
French are particularly distinguished. On every fête-day there is
kept up a kind of jubilee, and the gala of Paris seems transferred to
this port: music resounds from every deck; boats filled with joyous
company are continually moving from ship to ship on visits of ceremony;
and the explosion of cannon, rebounding in echoes along the distant
hills, announce their arrival and departure. In fact, of all the Frank
nations, the French seem to consider this harbour as their own; and
the Turks submit with a grave toleration to scenes of levity, of which
they afterwards complain.

Several natural phenomena confer on this harbour peculiarities not
elsewhere observed. Sometimes the power of refraction is so great as
altogether to change the aspect and distance of objects. Ships sailing
up, see the city as it were just under their bows, when suddenly it
disappears; and when it is again perceptible, it is on the distant
horizon. From the constant action of the sun on the air, at the extreme
end of the harbour, where it is encircled by an amphitheatre of high
hills, a considerable degree of rarefaction takes place, and the heated
air ascending, leaves a vacuum below into which the colder rushes. This
creates a continued current during the day, and causes that _Inbat_
which we have before noticed. This constant and regular trade-wind is
peculiarly favourable to the commerce of the port, as ships are wafted
by it to their stations with the unerring certainty of steam-boats.

Some artificial works in this bay attest the wisdom and beneficence of
one conqueror, and the energetic but barbarous sagacity of another,
and still exist as memorials of their labours. The great promontory
formerly the ancient Mount Mincas, shuts it up on the south, and
considerably retards the navigation of the entrance; but at some
distance the bay of Teos enters the land, and approaches so near to
that of Smyrna, as to make their union no difficult enterprise. The
great conqueror Alexander, therefore, pushed a communication across,
so that ships entering the bay of Teos, pushed into that of Smyrna,
and so avoided the dangerous navigation round the great promontory.
There lies also the islands of Clazomenæ, not far from the shore; and
as he had separated the land by a channel, he compensated by bridging
the sea, and uniting the island to the main. The remains of both these
works attract the curious traveller, and while they attest the activity
and skill of the great captain, reproach the indolence and ignorance of
the Turks, who, though it would be highly useful to repair them, and
facilitate the approach to Smyrna, their great emperors consider such a
thing as altogether beyond their comprehension and capability.

In the year 1402 Tamerlane besieged the city, and, in order to prevent
all communication by sea, he ordered every soldier to take a stone in
his hand, and drop it in the mouth of the harbour,−-by this he hoped
not only to keep out their allies, but to shut in all who would attempt
to escape. The ships in the harbour passed over the mound before it
was sufficiently high to obstruct their passage; and the disappointed
barbarian caused a thousand prisoners to be decapitated, and with their
heads, mixed with stones, erected a tower near the spot, to commemorate
his attempt.

[Illustration: W. L. Leitch. J. Sands.



Among the wild and almost inaccessible mountains of Albania, the
traveller is often astonished to enter suddenly on beautiful and
fertile plains, where he expected nothing but a continuation of
those rugged and sterile rocks, over which he had been painfully and
perilously clambering. Of these the magnificent plain of Argyro-Castro
is one of the most remarkable. It extends in length more than thirty
miles, and varies from six to eight in breadth. It contains nearly one
hundred villages, either hanging on the sides of its alpine barriers,
or hidden in the recesses of the shadowy glens that cleave their sides.
Through the centre winds the limpid stream of the Druno, imparting
freshness and fertility to its verdant banks. Vast flocks of sheep
whiten the plain below, and picturesque herds of goats hang on the
crags above; and the whole scene, instinct as it were with life, gives
to the wildness and majestic aspect of nature a singularly beautiful
and interesting character.

At one extremity of this place, perched upon the summit of a precipice,
stands the town of Argyro-Castro. The rock on which it is built is
cleft into various fissures, so that the streets are divided by deep
and yawning chasms, which separate it into various districts, and give
it a character singularly different from any other town. The houses are
of a size and structure superior to those in Albanian towns. They are
not contiguous, or in the form of streets, leaning on one another for
support. They stand single and independent, sometimes on the summit of
a crag, sometimes on the side of a precipice, and sometimes concealed
in the fissure of the rock. The greater number, however, are on level
ground at the bottoms of ravines, and the street is the natural chasm
of the mountain. The sides are lined with fruit-trees, flowing shrubs,
and hanging gardens, so that every lane is a romantic mountain-glen.
These picturesque streets, however, have their disadvantages. On the
sudden solution of snows, or deluges of rain, the torrents from the
higher ground rush with fearful impetuosity through them, devastating
them from one end to the other, and leaving nothing behind, but torn-up
trees, submerged houses, and drowned bodies.

The present population is estimated at 150,000: the greater and more
opulent part are Turks; the rest Albanian Greeks, and Jews. Many of
them were lately engaged extensively in commerce, and the town contains
a spacious bazaar, well supplied with every species of merchandise; but
its prosperity has greatly declined: the ruthless hand of Ali Pasha
fell on it, in common with all its neighbouring towns; its inhabitants
were massacred, its merchants plundered and scattered, and its
prosperity, with its commerce, greatly reduced.

Our illustration presents the castle or fortress of the town impending
over its beautiful plain. This fortress is one of the most extensive
and important in Albania. It contains the seraglio of the pasha, a
mosque, and accommodation for a garrison of 5000 men. To secure it
against the effects of famine, the rock is hollowed into subterraneous
excavations, which form granaries always filled with corn; and in
order to be independent of either wind, water, or other uncertain
power, the mill by which it is ground is moved by a machinery of
clock-work, invented by an ingenious native, which daily yields an
abundant supply of flour. The necessary element of water is conveyed
from the neighbouring hills by a lofty aqueduct. The works are defended
by eighty pieces of English and French ordnance; so that it may be
considered one of the most noble and secure mountain-fortresses in

[Illustration: W. L. Leitch. W. Floyd.



More to the south than Joannina, and approaching the Adriatic, are
the town and castle of Paramythia. Unlike the former, there are here
discovered certain indications of its site having been that of some
ancient Greek or Roman city: beautiful specimens of ancient art are
daily disinterred, and arches of ponderous and double masonry indicate
that its former inhabitants were in a far higher grade of social
intelligence than its present possessors. Yet of the ancient city which
did occupy this spot, the name has perished, while its remains attest
its former existence.

Paramythia, like Argyro-Castro stands at the extremity of a fertile
plain, suspended on a rock which overhangs it. The houses, like
those of the structure of Albanian towns in general, are all built
detached from each other. They indicate, however, the miserable state
of insecurity in which the inhabitants live. They resemble so many
fortresses closed up on the outside from light and air, pierced only
with small loop-holes, from whence is thrust the muzzle of a tophek.
They are generally shaded by the spreading branches of the Oriental
platanus: this magnificent tree attains to such a gigantic size in the
East, as to have been the wonder of antiquity; in the trunk of one
tree, 22 people were entertained at supper, and the branches of another
overshadowed a whole village. At Paramythia they grow to a magnificent
size, and the town is partly covered by their leafy canopies. This
luxuriance of vegetation is probably caused by the numerous springs
which issue from the hills, and water the roots. Every tree seems to
have a pure fountain connected with it. The spacious bazaar of the
city is peculiarly marked with this character, shadowed over with a
vast canopy of branches, and cooled by many rills of delicious water.
Towering above the town is the fortress, reposing on a vast rock, in
some places one thousand feet above the plain, and having the town
spread over an inclined plain on the side of the mountain just under it
The calcareous structure of this rock sometimes gives way, detaching
large masses, which overwhelm and crush the houses below on which they
fall. The castle is surrounded by an extensive battlemented wall,
crowned with turrets. Here it is that the ruins of a former town are
most conspicuous. The modern walls are raised on still more ponderous
remains of ancient foundations; and the gate-ways of arches yet remain
here, of evidently very ancient date.

Our illustration represents the fertile plain below, rich in various
productions, full of gardens and shrubs, where the song of the
nightingale seldom ceases, and is reported to be particularly sweet and
plaintive. High above are the ridges of the great chain of Albanian
mountains, which the ancients called Acroceraunian, because their
summits were always splintered with thunderbolts; of these sublime
hills, five distinct and mighty pinnacles can be traced from hence to
the Adriatic. Reposing on the inclined plane of the mountain-side,
is the city with its fortress, surrounded with lofty forests of
plane-trees, and in front is one of those ancient arches, which
indicate the early but unrecorded founder of the city.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Jenkins.



This carriage, peculiarly Turkish, we have already described among
the conveyances that thronged the social meetings at the Sweet Waters
of Asia. It is here presented as the principal and most conspicuous
object of our illustration. The ponderous body of the machine, placed
on wheels without springs; the heavy but gilded and gaudy carved-work
which covers it; the long-horned oxen which drag it; the singular
arches dangling with tassels, to which their tails are generally tied;
the dense mass of hair drawn down before, and carefully dyed, like the
ladies’ nails, with henna; and the amulets pending over their noses,
to guard them from the effects of an evil eye−-are here accurately
represented. Beside the draught-beasts walks the Greek arrhubagee,
leading the docile animals by the horns; and next the carriage is one
of the black eunuchs, with his drawn sabre, threatening with instant
death the passenger, whose profane eye shall dare to glance at his
sacred charge within. It was formerly the indispensable usage, that
every arrhuba should be closely covered with silken curtains, so that
the inmates were never seen, except when the wind, or the jolting on an
uneven road, moved the curtains aside, and revealed for a moment the
mysteries of the interior; but recent approximation to European usages
has removed this veil, and even open carriages on springs have been
seen in the Turkish capital, filled with the secluded females of the

Our illustration represents the Asmé Sultana driving from her palace at
Eyoub, through the Valley of the Sweet Waters. Crowds of females line
one side of the road; and, with the jealous sense of Turkish propriety,
the males, separated from them, line the other. A train of arrhubas
follow in the rear, with various ladies of the seraglio.

[Illustration: J. L. Leitch. H. Adlard.



The wild mountains of Albania had long slumbered in obscurity, and,
though in the immediate vicinity of civilized Europe, and in sight of
the coast of Italy, had never been visited by the curious traveller,
till Ali Pasha, like some lurid meteor, blazed out in this obscure
district, and attracted the notice and admiration of the world by his
ability, his courage, his crimes, and his success.

This extraordinary man was born in Tepeleni, a small village of
Albania, in the year 1741. His ancestors had been distinguished
among the wild chieftains of the district, and his mother, a woman
of ferocious energy of character, determined that he should not
degenerate. He became expert in all manly exercises, and, at a very
early age, distinguished himself among the Kleftes, or robbers, of
the country. While absent at a wedding, the inhabitants of Gardaki, a
neighbouring and rival village, rushed into Tepeleni, and carried off
his mother, and sister Shaïnitza, whom they abused. He vowed he would
never rest till he stuffed the cushions of his divan with the hair
of all the women of Gardaki. This vow he religiously kept; and after
exterminating the inhabitants, and razing the village to the ground,
the long tresses, which are the pride and ornament of Albanian women,
were shorn from their lifeless remains, and the ferocious sister of Ali
exulted while she reposed on the cushions which were stuffed with them.

After a career of crime, in which his cruelty and perfidy were as
distinguished as his courage and ability, he at length made himself
master, under various pretexts, of all the towns and fortresses in the
country, and destroyed, with unrelenting cruelty, every rival whom by
force or fraud he could get into his power. He was then confirmed by
the Turks in the pashalik of all Albania, and he made Joannina his
residence, and the capital of his territory. Here he invited all the
distinguished travellers in Europe to visit him; and by their reports,
his name soon expanded beyond the obscurity of his native mountains.

After enjoying for half a century this celebrity, the Turks became
jealous of his power, and determined to depose him. He resisted all
their open efforts, and at length fell a victim to a perfidy equal to
his own. A pasha paid him a friendly visit, and, after many professions
of good will, rose to take his leave, and made him the usual obeisance.
Ali returned it, and before he could recover himself, his visitor
stabbed him in the back, and his yatagan passed directly through his
heart, and out of his breast. Thus perished, at the age of eighty-one
“the old lion,” as the Turks denominated him. His head was cut off,
and despatched, with his last wife, Vacilesso, to Constantinople,
where it was exposed for three days on a silver dish in the courts of
the seraglio. The heads of his four sons and grandson were sent after
him; and they are all interred, with suitable monuments, outside the
walls of Constantinople, and are the first objects seen by travellers
after passing the Selyvria gate. The body was embalmed, and buried
with that of his first wife, Fatimah or Ermineh, in a mausoleum he had
erected for her on the esplanade of the seraglio at Joannina, where it
overlooks the lake, as represented in our illustration.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. H. Mote.



The interior of the Turkish empire is constantly traversed by large
bodies of men, who proceed together for protection; and their object is
either commerce or devotion. We have already given some account of the
first−-the second remains to be noticed.

In the sixteenth year of Mahomet’s mission, he ordained that every
believer should engage in a pilgrimage, to visit the place of the
Caaba, or sacred house of Abraham, which was taken up to heaven at
the flood, but its model was left for true believers at Mecca. This
ordinance was rigidly observed by his followers. The caliphs set the
example; and all Mussulmans hold it an indispensable obligation at this
day, when it is possible for them to perform it. Even women are not
exempt. If they have no husband or brother, under whose protection they
could leave the harem, they are bound to marry, for the express purpose
of obtaining one to perform this duty. The only person in the empire
exempt is the Sultan; and he only because the pilgrimage would occupy a
longer period than he could be legally absent from the capital. He is
bound, however, to send a substitute, called Surré Emmini, who always
accompanies the caravan of pilgrims, and represents the sovereign. Thus
it is that every year above one hundred thousand persons, of all ages
and conditions, set out from various points, and traverse Europe, Asia,
and Africa, to fulfil this indispensable duty.

The great European caravan assembles at Constantinople in the month
of Regib, which, according to the Turkish calendar, falls at every
season of the year. They cross the Bosphorus, and unite on the great
plain of Scutari, from whence they take their departure. They exhibit
a strange display of folly and fanaticism. Among the various groups
are seen, at one place jugglers and buffoons exhibiting their light
and often indecent mummery; in another, molhas and dervishes exhorting
to piety, and tearing their limbs with disgusting lacerations: but
the most conspicuous object is the sacred camel; this carries the
mahhfil, or seat from which the Prophet preached and dispensed justice
in his journeys. The race is religiously kept up in the stables of
the seraglio; and some believe the camel of the mahhfil, at this day,
is the actual animal on which the Prophet rode, and kept alive by a
miracle, to perform this annual journey to his holy city.

Our illustration represents a group of a caravan of the faithful,
proceeding from the northern to the southern extremity of the empire,
to perform this pilgrimage. The venerable Moslem, who is ambitious
of becoming a hadgee, is attended by his guards, distinguished by
their fantastic dress, their glittering golden-hafted hanjars, stuck
in their shawl-girdles, beside their silver-mounted pistols, and the
grave turban replaced by a many-tasselled cap. Their accommodation
is the stable of a khan, which their camel equally shares; and their
refreshment is coffee, black, thick, and bitter, served by the khangee
in small characteristic cups.

[Illustration: T. Allom. J. Sands.



This last church of the Apocalypse stood in Phrygia, on the river
Lycus, near Collosæ. It was first called Diospolis, or the “City of
Jupiter,” but changed its name to Laodicea, from the wife of Antiochus,
who rebuilt it. It became celebrated for its commerce; the richness of
its soil, and the raven fleece of its sheep, were a source of unbounded
wealth. It gave birth to many distinguished persons:−-Hiero, who named
its citizens as heirs to his immense wealth; and Zeno, who, though not
the founder of the Stoic sect, was renowned, with his son Polemon,
for skill in rhetoric. His name, two thousand years after, was found
sculptured on the seats of the theatre.

When Christianity was planted here, it was not received with the
eagerness and enthusiasm with which the “new faith” was embraced in
other churches. The evangelist, reproaches them with their “lukewarm”
zeal, and rebukes their indifference by wishing, they were either “hot
or cold.”[10] It does not appear that St. Paul ever visited them in
his travels; yet he took a great interest in their welfare. He was
well acquainted with their character; for he ordered his Epistle to
the Colossians to be read to them also, as equally requiring it.[11] A
letter exists which he is said to have written expressly to them; but
it is considered spurious, and not recognized in our canon.

The place was shattered with earthquakes, in common with other cities
in the same region; and what was not destroyed by the hand of nature,
was more effectually so by the hands of the Turks. In the year 1009
it fell into their power; and from that time it sustained various
assaults, during which the inhabitants were massacred, and their
Christian bishops driven into captivity, along with their cattle. There
is now no modern town built in or near the ancient site; but the extent
and magnificence of its ruins, slumbering in dilapidated grandeur,
attest what it once was; and various perfect and legible inscriptions
still mark the era when it flourished.

Our illustration represents what travellers suppose to have been the
senate-house. It consists of many piers, supporting arches of stone;
among which lie marble fragments of great beauty, mouldings, cornices,
pedestals, and columns, marking by their sculpture and abundance the
opulence of the inhabitants, and the advanced state of the arts among
them. On a portion of the wall is a legible inscription, creditable
to the people. It states that they had “elected Asem to be their
magistrate for life, as a reward for his piety and integrity.” Beyond,
extending over the plain, are the remains of various edifices−-a
stadium, amphitheatre, and other evidences of wealth and civilization
in this rich country, where all is now solitary and desolate−-where a
few wandering Turcomans make a temporary abode, and their feldt-tents
strongly contrast with what remains of the splendid edifices of its
former possessors.

[Illustration: W. L. Leitch. J. Tingle.



Of all the places contained within the circuit of the Ottoman empire,
this little town is, perhaps, the most interesting to England; because
its fate has compromised that high and before unsullied character for
good faith, which had ever distinguished British transactions, and left
a stain behind which no length of time can entirely wash away.

This town is of comparatively modern foundation, and was unknown before
the fifteenth century. Its erection was attributed to a miracle in the
Greek church. The Christian inhabitants had occupied a place in the
interior, open to the continued assaults and attacks of the Turkish
invaders of the country. While deliberating on searching for a more
secure site, a shepherd, following after some stray sheep, discovered,
in a cave over the sea, a statue of the Panaya, and brought it with
great reverence to a church in the old city. The image, however, would
not rest there, but returned to her former abode. It was brought back,
but again returned; when the inhabitants, hailing the miraculous omen,
followed it, built a church over the cave in which it was found, and
commenced a new city round the church. So Parga rose upon its sea-beat
rock, impending over the Adriatic, and protected by its impregnable
situation from all attacks of the Infidels. The site chosen was
particularly beautiful. A conical hill juts out from a deep bay,
having secure harbours on each side. From hence the bay sweeps with
picturesque curves, embracing with its long arms a magnificent sheet
of water; the view terminated behind with the rugged precipice of the
Albanian chain, and before by the islands of Paxo and Corfu, floating
on a singularly clear and lucid sea. On the summit, over the caves,
stands the acropolis of the city; and sloping down the sides, the
houses of the inhabitants.

The Venetians, who were then in possession of the Ionian Islands,
immediately took this little Christian community, on the opposite
coast, under their care, and for many years they greatly prospered.
Their town contained four thousand inhabitants, and their territory
extended for twenty miles along the shores of the bay. The district
had been anciently called Elaiatis, from the excellency of the oil
it yielded; and the Parghiotes improved this quality to the utmost.
Eighty-one thousand olive-trees clothed the sloping sides of the
bay, and the oil of the industrious citizens of Parga was esteemed
all over the Levant. The character of the people corresponded with
this prosperity−-they were esteemed for their piety and integrity. No
Parghiote, it is said, was ever found among that numerous class in the
country, which were robbers by land and pirates by sea; but, above
all, they were distinguished by an ardent love of liberty, and an
enthusiastic attachment to their native soil, that nothing could subdue
or weaken; and this character they supported in this lawless region for
three centuries.

But the tyranny and ambition of Ali Pasha now subdued with resistless
violence all the strongholds in that country, and fixed his eye on
Parga as a most desirable object. The compassionate citizens had
opened their gates to the fugitive Suliotes and other oppressed
people, driven from their native towns; and this unpardonable offence
had added to the malignant hostility of Ali, and for twenty years he
used every stratagem of force or fraud to obtain possession of the
place, without effect; till at length the protection afforded to it by
England, was the means of gratifying all his evil passions. When the
Ionian Islands fell under the dominion of France, the Parghiotes put
themselves under its protection, against the power of Ali, and received
a French garrison in their town; but when the islands were ceded to the
English, the garrison capitulated, and the inhabitants gladly committed
themselves to the care of that free and enlightened state, which they
had always looked up to with honour and respect, and they were received
as an independent ally of the new Ionian republic. The rage of Ali,
when he saw his prey thus snatched from him, was ferocious, and vented
itself in a bloody sacrifice of other victims. For three years this
connection continued, with mutual good-will; and they felt the security
of a perfect confidence. The crisis, however, of their fate was at hand.

The Turkish government demanded the town of Parga, as part of their
territory, and a secret negotiation was entered into with the English
to surrender it. When this transpired, the place was filled with
consternation and despair. The people rushed into the streets; they
declared, and truly, that deserting them, was only sacrificing them to
their bitter persecutors, who had sworn to exterminate them, and they
would not survive it, but first destroy their wives and children, and
finally themselves and their town. When no entreaty could prevail on
them to remain behind the English garrison, they were offered an asylum
in the island of Corfu, and a compensation for the property they left
behind. To these terms they were compelled to accede, and the Glasgow
frigate was sent to protect and convey them. The English found them in
their church, disinterring the bodies of their ancestors, and burning
their bones, that thus they might not be left to the sacrilegious
insults of their enemies. The whole population then descended
mournfully down the steep, some bearing the ashes of the dead, some
grasping portions of the soil of a place so dear to them, and some the
sacred image by whose direction they had chosen it. When arrived on
the shore, they all kneeled down with one spontaneous impulse, kissed
fervently the sand, and so took a last and sad farewell. Before they
went out of the bay, the ferocious Albanians of Ali, who were waiting
like famished tigers, rushed into the town. They found nothing that had
life, all was still and motionless except the columns of smoke that was
still eddying up from the ashes of the dead.

The desponding remains of this interesting people, after continuing
for a short time in the Ionian Islands in poverty and distress, soon
dispersed; the broken community was absorbed in other populations, and
the name forgotten; and the traveller who sails to Corfu, looks up as
he passes this lovely bay, and sees the remains of this aërial city,
lately the residence of the free, industrious, and native Christian
community, now the den of some of the most ferocious and savage hordes
of Turks in the Ottoman empire.

[Illustration: W. L. Leitch. C. Bentley.



Where the dark Acheron, now called the Kalamas, rolls its gloomy
tide, among the recesses of chasms so deep and shadowy, that the
wild imaginations of the Greek poets called it a river of hell−-and
the district through which it ran, the entrance to the infernal
regions−-stood the city of Suli, as distinguished as Parga by the
bloody enmity of Ali Pasha.

In this country, for ages unsettled by any regular government, and
disturbed by the constant warfare of petty beys and pashas, security of
site was the strongest recommendation for erecting a town. A traveller
winding his way through the chasms and ravines of these dark mountains,
emerges unexpectedly on the summit upon a broad and fair platform.
Here, 2000 feet above the bed of the Acheron, the tribe of Suli built
their cities, and in this elevated rocky fastness fixed their chief
abode, which they called Kako-Suli, from the exceeding difficulty of
climbing up to it. On this lofty table-land were four populous towns,
and they held sixty-six tributary villages, built on every available
spot among the ravines and precipices below. The character of these
mountaineers, and their peculiar habits, long distinguished them among
their neighbours. Their fierce and unsubdued courage, their endurance
of fatigue and privation, their skill in warlike weapons, caused them
to be looked up to with great respect. Wherever they appeared, they
were recognized by characters which marked them. Their skin was of a
dark bronze colour; constantly exposed to sun and wind, and unprovided
with the shelter of tents in their expeditions, the surface of the
exposed parts attained the colour and consistency of tanned leather,
and almost an equal insensibility. Their dress was a long white capote,
strongly contrasted with the colour of their skin. They wore on their
head a small cap called a fez, resembling an inverted saucer, scarcely
covering the top of the crown, from under which a long lock of hair
streamed in the wind. Their arms were the tophek or musket without a
bayonet, and in their girdle not a straight yatagan, but a crooked
sabre. Thus distinguished was

  .   .   .   .   .   “The dark Suliote,
  In his snowy camese, and his shaggy capote;
  To the wolf and the vulture he leaves his wild flock,
  And descends to the plain like a stream from the rock.”

The little state enrolled on their cloud-capped mountains 2500 palikars
of this description, who were objects of fear and respect to all other
Albanians when seen below. These were the men, who, under the valiant
Scanderbeg, opposed the first inroads of the Turks into the country;
and in later times, under the gallant Lambro, attempted to liberate
Greece from their yoke.

The usages and opinions of the women all tended to cherish this warlike
character. The fountain, as in the days of Homer, was the place where
they congregated, and displayed their traits of national character.
Scrupulous respect was here paid to precedence. The wife of the bravest
man had the first right to fill her urnlike pitcher with water, and
then in succession the rest, according to the reputation of their
husbands in war. When families quarrelled, no man had permission to
interfere, lest by chance he might kill a woman, an act looked upon
with horror, and expiated by his own death. On various occasions they
formed themselves into military bodies, armed themselves with their
husbands’ weapons, rushed into the melée, and turned the doubtful scale
of victory.

As long as this bold and independent christian republic occupied
their mountain cities, they opposed a formidable obstacle to the
insatiable ambition of Ali Pasha; it was, therefore, one of the first
of the neighbouring states which he determined to destroy. He made his
attempt so early as the year 1792, and its perfidy was the model of
all his future proceedings. He invited the Suliotes to a conference on
affairs of mutual interest. They descended from their mountain, and,
having arrived at the appointed plain below, they laid aside their
arms, and engaged in athletic sports and military games, as was usual
with them on such friendly occasions. The Pasha, like a tiger from
its lair, rushed upon them in this defenceless state, and murdered or
captured every man present but three−-one of whom escaped, passed up
the mountain, and apprised the republic of the treachery. Among the
prisoners was the hero Tzavalles, the great leader of the Suliotes.
With this man in his power, he endeavoured again to treat with the
people. He sent him up the steep, leaving his son behind as a hostage.
When arrived at Suli, he exhorted the people to a strenuous defence.
He returned a letter to Ali, written in the stern spirit of antiquity:
“You think,” said he, “I am a cruel father to sacrifice my child;
but if you had succeeded, all my family would have been exterminated
without mercy, and no one left to avenge them. My wife is young, and I
may have many more children to defend their country; if my boy is not
willing to be now sacrificed for it, he is not fit to live, but to die
as an unworthy son of Greece.” The enraged Pasha gave orders to ascend,
and carry the mountain. While engaged in front, a band of women, headed
by the mother of the boy, attacked the Turks in the rear. They were
driven down with great slaughter, and Ali himself narrowly escaped.

Though thus defeated, he never abandoned his intention; for a series of
years he renewed his attempts both openly and secretly, till at length,
having become sovereign of the whole country of Albania, he united
the whole of its forces for a final attack on this stubborn rock.
More than 40,000 men were leagued round it below, while the defenders
above, reduced by various combats, did not amount to 2000. Unsubdued by
force, but reduced by famine, they at length agreed to abandon their
strong-hold. A safeguard was guaranteed to them, to migrate where
they pleased; and the remnant left alive, divided themselves into two
bodies, which took different routes through the mountain. They were
both attacked and massacred without mercy. The women rushed with their
children to the edge of a precipice, where they cast themselves down,
and were dashed to pieces, rather than fall into the hands of their
loathed conquerors. A few men escaped into a fortress in which was
a depôt of ammunition. They were headed by an ecclesiastic, who had
distinguished himself by his devoted attachment to the religion and
liberty of his country. He here

declared that all resistance was hopeless, and invited the Turks to
take possession of this last defence. They eagerly entered, and filled
the castle, when the priest applied a match to the powder, and the
whole were blown into the air. Among the records of these events,
recalling the memory of this brave but exterminated people, is a song
by one of the survivors, distinguished by the simplicity but poetic
spirit of the original language. The last verse thus comments on the

  “Now Suli lies low and forlorn−-Avaric and Kiaffa renowned,
  And Kunghi’s high ramparts are torn, its fragments are scattered around:
  But the gallant Caloyer was there, and he laughed as he lighted the train;
  Yes, he laughed as he soared in the air, to escape the base conqueror’s chain.”

Ali having at length effected this almost hopeless conquest over this
free republic, obtained from the Porte the dignified appellation of
Aslem or “the lion,” and to commemorate his achievement, he built a
splendid seraï on the summit of the mountain, amidst the ruins of the
town, which is seen in our illustration peeping over the edge of the
precipice. Meanwhile the few survivors of this brave people who had
escaped the massacre, fled to Parga and other Christian towns, which
afforded them an asylum. They were afterwards enrolled in various
corps, and assisted in the liberation of Greece. One of them formed the
body-guard of Lord Byron, and were among the mourners that stood round
his grave at Missolonghi. But they have now no “local habitation,” and
even their name has nearly perished.

[Illustration: T. Allom. H. Adlard.



The promontory of Scutari, given in our illustration, was distinguished
by the ancient Greeks under the name of ακρον βοος, or “cape of the
ox,” because it was supposed to be that to which Iö swam, when, under
the shape of that animal, she fled from the persecutions of Juno, and
gave the name of Bosphorus to the whole streight. Under the Greeks of
the Lower Empire it was named μεγα μετωπον, or “the great forehead,”
from its bold projection into the sea. It is strikingly picturesque.
Just below it is the turbulent estuary, formed by the rushing waters
of the streight, opposed by those of the Sea of Marmora, where, in the
calmest day, they wheel and boil among the rocks with a turbulence
and agitation quite extraordinary in the still and placid surface of
the water around them. Rising from hence, the promontory displays a
succession of picturesque objects, clothing its surface−-kiosks, and
grottos, and thickets, and hanging gardens−-till they ascend to the
summit, crowned with the dome and minarets of a mosque, and the noble
barracks of Scutari.

This place was distinguished as the scene of blood, in the terrible
commotions that preceded the final suppression of the Janissaries.
A body of those fierce and mutinous soldiers passed the Bosphorus,
and made an attack on the Barrack of Scutari, hoping to convert the
extensive edifice into a fortress, to overawe the opposite city from
this eminence. They were repulsed, however, after much carnage, by
the cannon of the topgees, and dispersed in two bodies: one took the
route along the coast to Moudania; another proceeded in the opposite
direction, up the Bosphorus, which they recrossed, and established
themselves among the woods of Belgrade, where they became a desperate
banditti, and carried their depredations to the walls of the capital.
It was found impossible to dislodge them in the ordinary way from
the dense forest, and the whole was set on fire. The vast surface
of timber blazed up, so as to illumine the dark waters of the Black
Sea with its glare; and the banditti, driven from its recesses, were
shot without mercy, with boars, wolves, and other beasts of prey, as
they issued from the burning cover. When the fire subsided, the whole
district exhibited a melancholy spectacle of Turkish destruction−-vast
forest-trees prostrate and half consumed, lying among the scorched
bodies of men and various animals.

[Illustration: T. Allom. W. Topham.



Philadelphia is one of the churches of the Apocalypse, which retains
some traces of its former prosperity. The seraï, or palace of the
muzzelim, as the governors of the towns in Asia Minor are named, is
a spacious and sumptuous edifice, and the interior is decorated with
those displays of Turkish magnificence that befits the magistrate who
presides over a large and populous town. When a Frank traveller passes
through an Oriental city, it is not sufficient in general to show his
firman by his janissary, but the muzzelim expects to be personally
waited on, and, after he has treated his guest with the usual
refreshments of coffee and a chiboque, he inquires his business. It
is impossible to make a Turk comprehend the usual objects of European
travelling in the East, no more than to communicate to him the feeling
of a sixth sense. He cannot conceive why a man should break in upon
the sleepy repose of a dozing life, and fatigue himself by climbing
mountains and exploring caverns, which can yield him no profit. The
only motive of which he can have any distinct comprehension is that
which leads a man to explore ruins; for every Turk is impressed with a
notion that the ancients abounded in wealth, and that in the edifices
they left behind them, a man could find an urn of gold under every
stone, if he knew how to search for it, and this knowledge he believes
the superior intelligence of every Frank imparts to him. The janissary,
therefore, who attends a traveller, though perfectly indifferent in
other places, is always on the alert among ruins. He watches him
eagerly when he is trying to read an inscription, certain that it
points out a concealed treasure which the traveller will immediately

Our illustration represents a scene of this kind. The ingenious artist
has depicted himself sitting on the divan of Chem Bey, the muzzelim of
Philadelphia, to whom he is exhibiting his sketches. In these latter
times even Turks have made some advances in knowledge, and the present
muzzelim took an interest in such things, which former travellers could
not excite in one of the old school.

[Illustration: T. Allom. S. Fisher.



The name of Gyges is distinguished in the ancient history of this
region. Candaules, king of Lydia, had wedded a most beautiful wife;
but not content, says the historian, with the private enjoyment of her
charms, he was anxious that others should witness his felicity, so he
exposed her to his friends. Among the rest, Gyges was admitted to this
happiness, and the consequence was such as might be expected from his
folly. Gyges became enamoured of the wife of his imprudent friend; and
the lady, indignant at the treatment she received, encouraged him. By
means of a ring which rendered him invisible, he gained access to the
secret chambers of the palace, slew Candaules, married his queen, and
succeeded to the kingdom of Lydia.

About five miles from Sardis, the capital of Lydia, is the Gygea,
a large lake so called probably from the memorable king. It stands
not far from the Hermus, and was supposed to be an artificial
excavation, formed to draw off the waters of the river, and to avert
the consequence of its inundations. In the course of ages it has
assumed the character of a magnificent solitary lake, of nature’s own
formation, though in several places mounds and ramparts are still
discernible, and seem rather thrown up to prevent the overflowing of
the lake, than as part of its original construction. The lake, as it
now exists, is of considerable extent; the rich mould on its banks,
of a muddy consistence, exuberant in reeds, and abundance of such
aquatic and palustric plants as love such a soil. The water, in colour
and transparency, resembles that of a common pond, and seems alive
with fish. Another circumstance marks it−-flocks of swans and cygnets
hover above the surface, and flights of various aquatic birds darken
the air. Among them myriads of gnats buzz about, and, like those of
Myus are the terror and torment of those who approach the lake. But
the circumstance which renders this place so interesting is, that the
shores of this solitary sheet of water, were selected by the ancient
kings of Lydia, as an appropriate spot for their last resting-place. It
is a vast cemetery, in which the regal remains were deposited, and the
multitude of monuments that still exist, has acquired for it the name
of “the Place of a Thousand Tombs.” The general appearance of these
tombs is that of large grass-grown tumuli: swelling from the surface
are verdant hillocks of a conical form, of various sizes, and somewhat
resembling the larger ones seen on the plains of Troy and Roumelia. But
there is one among them of distinguished form, and remarkable for many
circumstances connected with it. It is that of Alyattes, the father
of Crœsus. The means by which it was erected display a sad picture of
the depravity of Lydian manners, and forms a sequel to the story of
Gyges. The number and wealth of the girls of bad fame in Sardis were
so great, that they raised, at their own expense, assisted by some of
the lower classes, this magnificent tomb of their king, and monument
of their own infamy. The remains of it at the present day, exactly
correspond with the description of Herodotus, who saw and described it
nearly five hundred years before the Christian era. The base of masonry
still traceable, extends for six stadia or three-quarters of a mile.
The superstructure on this is a truncated cone, now covered, like the
rest, with grass very rich and verdant. On ascending the summit, a
singular and characteristic view presents itself. Round its base are
the smaller monuments, extending in various directions. From thence the
still and placid surface of the lake spreads itself, penetrating into
many solitary recesses, as if avoiding human research, and in perfect
keeping with a place intended for the repose of the dead. What adds to
the deep interest excited by this venerable relic of antiquity, is,
that its origin and history is of undoubted authority. The traveller
who visits it sees a monument as vast and ancient as a pyramid of
Egypt, but whose history is much more certain and authentic.

Our illustration presents the perfect character of this place:
the solitary stillness of the lake−-the luxuriance of its aquatic
vegetation−-the vast flocks of its feathered inhabitants−-its conical
tombs appearing over the neighbouring elevations, and marking the
cemetery in which the remote kings of Lydia slumber in solitary



An error has long and universally prevailed in western Europe, as to
the degree of liberty which Turkish ladies enjoy, and their supposed
subjection to their husbands has excited the pity of Christian wives;
but, if freedom alone constitute happiness, then are not only the wives
and the odaliques, but the female slaves in Turkey, the happiest of the
human race. They visit and are visited without exciting jealousy, or
being subjected to resentment; the most gorgeous apartments, the most
beautiful pleasure grounds of every palace, are devoted solely to their
use; and the gardens of the seraglio at Constantinople, with their
orange groves, rose beds, geraniums, and marble fountains, afford an
admirable illustration of some scene of enchantment in an Arabian tale.





[1] The towns are designated in the following hexameter:

“Smyrna, Rhodos, Colophon, Salamis, Chios, Argos, Athenæ.”

[2] Cette _porte_ dont l’empire Ottomane a pris nom.--TOURN.

[3] Some say it was to Magnesia on the Meander.

[4] Magnesia ad Sipylum, a qua magnes lapis, ferum attractens, nomen
sortitus est.

[5] The names were as follow: Proté, because it is the first met in
sailing from, Constantinople−-Chalki, from its copper mines−-Prinkipo,
the residence of a princess−-Antigone, so called by Demetrius
Polyorcetes in memory of his father Antigonus−-Oxy, from its sharp
precipices−-Platy from its flatness−-Pitya, from its pines, &c.

[6] The gum-resin, yielded by these plants, is sometimes collected by
combing the beards of the goals, which browse among them, when they
return home at night; and sometimes a leather thong is drawn across
them, and that which adheres scraped off. The boots of those who walk
through the shrubs are often incrusted with this gum.

[7] Jerem. vii. 7.

[8] Psalm civ. 17.

[9] There is another bridge of considerable extent called Buyuk
Tchekmadgé, thrown across an arm of the sea some miles from the capital.

[10] Rev. iii. 15.

[11] Ep. to Colos. iv. 16.


The NUMERAL letters indicate the volume; the FIGURES the page.


Abdul Hamed Khan, Historical Sketch, vol. i. page xxv

Achmet I. his reign and policy, i. xx

Achmet II. events of his reign, i. xxii

Achmet III. events of his reign, i. xxxiii;
    ii. recovers Morea from the Venetians, 6

Acroceraunian, ii. 83

Acropolis at Sardis, i. 66, 68; ii. 5, 7

Adrianople, ii. 40, 44, 74

Aiasaluk, i. 64, 65

Ain Ali Kasa Seraï, or Palace of Mirrors, ii. 61

Ak Hissar, or the White Castle, ii. 42

Alexius, i. viii, ix; ii. 5

Ali Pasha, ii. 7, 78;
    death of, ii. 84

Alyattes, tomb of, ii. 94

Arda, ii. 74

Argyro-Castro, ii. 81

Ambassador, first resident, English, at Constantinople, i. xx;
    foreign, imprisoned in Seven Towers, 22

Amurath forms the corps of Janissaries, i. xiii

Amurath III. his reign i. xx

Amurath IV. his reign and character, i. xxi

Ansar, tomb of, ii. 33

Antiochus, defeated at Magnesia, ii. 41

Andronicus Comnenus, i. xxiii;
    Palæologus, xxxiii; ii. 10, 29

Apollonius of Tyana, i. 15; ii. 31

Aqueduct of Valens, i. 6; ii. 61

Argonautic expedition, i. i

Arrhuba, description of, i. 32, 33

Asmé Sultana, ii. 34, 83

Athos, monks of, ii. 16

Atmeidan, or Hippodrome, fountain of, i. 44; ii. 6

Aurut Bazaar, female slave-market, i. 37; ii. 57

Aya Demetri, ii. 44

Ayasmata, or Holy Wells, ii. 51

Ayans, proprietors of soil, ii. ib.

Ayos Theodoros, saint of the Greek church, ii. 31, 32


Babu Hummayoun, Sublime Porte, entrance to Seraglio, i. 26;
    ii. 6, 38

Babec, i. 61, 62

Bajazet, i;
    his brutality, xiii, xiv; ii. 45, 47, 50, 51

Balkan Mountains, i;
    general description of, 54, 55;
    character of natives, 56;
    passes by Haidhos, 56;
    by Tâtar Bazaar, 57;
    Bulgarian side, 73;
    precautions in crossing, 57;
    ii. pass of, and waterfall, 40, 63

Balukli, place of fishes, ii. 28, 29, 30

Baluk Hané, i. 40

Barbarossa, history of, i. xviii

Barbyses, or Sweet Waters of Europe, i. 57, 58; ii. 43

Barges for passengers, i. 5

Bastarnæ, nation of, ii. 63

Bathing, Turkish, i. 36;
    effects of, 37

Baths, use of in the East, i. 35;
    description of, ib.;
    female, 37

Bazaars, i. 41, 43;
    Bazaarjik, ii. 40

Beggars, Turkish, i. 39

Belgrade, ii. 92

Bendts, reservoirs of water, i. 8;
    precautions to preserve, 14

Beshiktash, kiosk of sultans there, ii. 3

Berat, ii. 15

Bible Society, ii. 53

Blachernæ, district of, ii. 48

Booz Bournou, or Cape of Ice, i. 31

Boordé, Arabian poet, ii. 50

Bosphorus, origin of, i. 9;
    meaning of word, 10;
    historic events of, ib;
    beauty of shores, 11;
    entrance to from Black Sea, 52, description of, 53;
    palaces on, 69;
    rapids of, ib; ii. 20

Brousa, warm baths, i. 28, 29; ii. 51

Buda, ii. 75

Bulgarians, character and habits of, i. 55, 56;
    ii. minstrels of, 52

Burial, Turkish ceremonies of, i. 24

Buyuk Tchekmadgé, or Great Bridge, ii. 58, 61

Byron, Lord, his tomb at Missolonghi, ii. 91

Byzantium, origin of, i. p. ii;
    taken by the Romans, iii;
    chosen by Constantine, iv


Caffinet, interior of, i. 59, 61

Caïques, description of, i. 4;
    hané, ii. 46

Cairo, ii. 44

Caloyers, Greek monks, i. 22;
    escape of one, 32;
    meaning of name, ii. 15

Candaules, king of Lydia, ii. 93

Cannon, enormous one cast by Mahomet II. i. xiv;
    fondness of Turks for, 20

Cantacuzene, allows the Genoea to build a wall round Galata,
  i. xii, xxiv;
    builds Joannina, ii. 78

Calosso, Italian riding-master, ii. 66

Cara Osman Oglou, family of, ii. 31

Caravanseraï, description of, i. 76;
    at Guzel-hissar, ib.

Carpoos, water-melon, i. 8

Capitan Pasha, ii. 59, 60

Capi Tchocadar, found assassinated, ii. 59

Casas Arptine presents the sultan with steam-boat, ii. 62

Casim Pasha, district of, ii. 58, 59

Cavac, general name for melon, i. 8

Cemetery of Scutari, i. 12;
    extreme beauty of, and why enlarged, 13;
    Petit Champ des Morts, 23

Chalcedon, building of, i. p. i;
    called City of Blind Men, p. ii.

Chalki, island of, ii. 21

Chocsecen, castle of Europe, why so called, i. 11

Chrysostom, his chair, ii. 48

Circassia, description of, ii. 55;
    slaves of, 56

Cistern of Bin-bir-derek, i. 14;
    Yéré-batan Seraï, 82, 83

Clazomenæ, ii. 80

Coal-mine, i. 6

Comneni, family of, i. xxxii; ii. 7

Confectionary, Turkish, i. 34

Constantine, his conversion and success, i. p. iii;
    family of, xxviii; ii. 35, 52

Constantinople, building of, i. v;
    enlarged by Theodosius, vi;
    attacked by Saracens, vii;
    taken by crusaders, ix;
    devastation of, x;
    recovered by Greeks, xi;
    visited by Genoese, ib;
    taken by Mahomet II. xv;
    emperors and sultans of, from time of dedication to present day,
      xxviii., xxxvi;
    view of Golden Horn, i;
    description of, 1, 2;
    objects which strike a stranger in, 59, 60;
    halls of, 81; ii. 45, 46, 58

Crescent, origin of, i. p. ii.

Crete, taken by Mahomet IV. i. 21

Cross on Turkish flags, i. 6

Crusaders, i. viii;
    barbarity, ix. x;
    where crossed the Bosphorus, 10

Cybele, statue of, ii. 11

Cyclades of Propontis, ii. 20;
    anchored in, by Admiral Duckworth, 21;
    resorted to in time of plague, 22

Cypress, funeral tree of Turks, why, i. 12;
    attains a magnificent size, ib.


Daniel, robe of purple, ii. 41

Dardanelles, ii. 20

Darius, where he crossed the Bosphorus, i. 10

Delhi Abdalla, anecdotes of, i. 5;
    Capitan Pasha, ib.

Delhi Delila, description of, ii. 66

Deré beys, lords of the valleys, ii. 11

Diana, temple of, Ephesus, i. 64; ii. 42

Djami, mosque of, i. 17; ii. 49

Diocletian, his persecution, i. p. iii

Du-kirke, burying place of sultans, ii. 51

Diomedes fed his horses on human flesh, ii. 62

Diospolis, or Laodicea, ii. 86

Divan, why so called, ii. 67;
    used for court of justice, ib.; galibé or council-chamber, 69;
    for payment of  troops, 70;
    reception of foreign ministers, 71

Djuzê Khenana, reciters of the sacred page, ii. 50

Dogs in market-places, i. 8;
    in Turkish cemeteries, 25

Dolma, a species of gourd, i. 8.

Domosderé, valley of boats, coal-mine at, i. 6

Druno, ii. 81


Ederne, ii. 74

Elizabeth, queen of England, Latin letter to Selim II. i. xx

Emir Sultan, Brusa, i. 31; ii. 47

Emperors of Constantinople, family of Constantine, i. xxviii;
    of Jovian, ib.;
    of Valentinianus, ib.;
    of Theodosius, xxix;
    of Leo, ib.;
    of Anastatius, ib.;
    of Justinus Thrax, ib.;
    of Tiberius, ib.;
    of Phocas, xxx;
    of Heraclius, ib.;
    of Leo Isaurus, ib.;
    of Leo Armenus, xxxi;
    of Michael Balbus, ib.;
    of Basilius Macedo, xxxii;
    of the Comneni, ib.;
    of Ducas, xxxiii;
    of the Frank family, ib.;
    of the Palæologi, xxxiv

English commence intercourse with Turks, i. xix

Ephesus, first church of the Apocalypse, i. 63-65;
    temple and amphitheatre at, 64; ii. 8-42

Execution of officers of seraglio, i. 41

Euridice, where lamented by Orpheus, ii. 62

Eyoub, or Job, three recognized by Turks, i. 48;
    mosque of, 49;
    inauguration of sultan, ib.;
    tomb, 50;
    beauty of place, ib.; ii. 33-48

Ezan, or call to prayer, i. 16


Fanal, or Greeks of, sent to Princes’ Islands, ii. 23;
    why so called, 47

Fanariots, Greeks of Fanal, reduced in number, ii. 48

Fatimah, daughter of the prophet, emirs descended from, ii. 47;
    tomb of, 83

Fire at Tophana, i. 20;
    how observed and notified, i. 6

Fishing in Bosphorus, i. 40;
    sultan fond of, ib.

Flowery shrubs in city, i. 7

Form of mosque, i. 16

Forum Augusti, ii. 6

Fountains erected by Turks, i. 7;
    inscriptions on, ib.;
    of Baloukli, ii. 29;
    church erected over, ib.

Funeral, Turkish, i. 29


Galata, origin of name, i. xxii;
    fortified by Genoese, ib. tower of, ii. 46

Galiongees, or Turkish marines, ii. 46

Gallipoli, ii. 46

Gardaki, ii. 84

Gazi Hassan saves Christians, ii. 14

Gennadius installed, by the Turks, bishop of Constantinople, ii. 13, 14

Genoese settle at Constantinople, i. xi

George, St., legend of, ii. 24;
    patron of England, 25;
    festival kept at British palace, ib.

Giant’s mountain, or Jouchi Daghi, called from Joshua the son of Nun,
  i. 51;
    Turkish legend of, ib.;
    Russians encamp on, 52

Gillius, historian, ii. 2

Gionuli, or volunteers, ii. 66

Golden Horn, description of, i. 2, 3; ii. 33, 43

Goths, ii. 63

Greek, war of independence, i. xxvi.

Greek and Latin churches, cause of their animosity, i. 11;
    history of Greek church, ii. 13, 14, 15, 16

Greek priest’s house at Yeni Kui, i. 65;
    destruction of, i. 66

Guiuk Suey, sweet waters of Asia, i. 32;
    favourite place for recreation, ib;
    various lounges there, 33;
    refreshments, 34

Guiumuch Hané, or silver foundery, ii. 44

Gummusch Kubbe, burial-place of sultans, ii. 51

Guzel-hissar, caravanseraï, i. 76

Gygean lake, ii. 93


Hagiography of modern Greeks, ii. 31

Haidhos, pass of, in Balkan mountains, i. 56

Hakim Bashi, chief physician, ii. 59

Halet Effendi, head of, exhibited on silver dish, ii. 7

Halish Oglou, healthy Armenian village, ii. 45

Hannibal, monument of, i. 28

Hasskui, residence of Jews, ii. 45;
    extreme insalubrity, ib.;
    description of inhabitants, ib.

Hebdomum, situation of church of St. John, ii. 35

Hebrus, now called Maritza, ii. 62

Hellena, head over gate of Smyrna, ii. 7, 8

Hermus, river of, ii. 9

Hierapolis, or Pambouk Kalesi, description of, i. 70;
    deleterious exhalations of, 7;
    rivers of, ii. 17-20

Hilarion, bishop of Tornova, residence on summit of Balkans, ii. 53;
    translates the Bible into modern Greek, ib.

Hippodrome, or Atmeidan, description of, i. 44;
    ii. 3

Houses, peculiarities of Turkish, i. 32

Hummal, or Turkish porter, his remedy for fatigue, i. 8

Hammam, Turkish baths, i. 35

Hunkair, meaning of word, i. 50;
    Iskelessi, treaty of, why so called, 52

Huns, ii. 63

Hurricanes in Princes’ Islands, ii. 21

Hydralia of Greeks of the lower empire, i. 14


Iconoclasts, image-breakers, ii. 32

Inauguration of the sultan, i. 49

Irené, death of, i. xvi.;
    widow of II. Leo builds a monastery on Princes’ Islands, ii. 20

Islam, the meaning of, i. xii.

Istambol-dichare, extra-mural quarter of Constantinople, ii. 47


Janissaries, origin of corps, i. xiii;
    destruction of, xxvi, xxvii;
    devastation of tombs, 24;
    headless bodies arranged in street, ii. 39, 40;
    adherents attempt to burn city, 61

Jason, Columbus of the ancient world, i. p. i, ii. 56;
    name preserved in Bosphorus, 10

Jews encouraged by Selim, i. xvii;
    came from Spain, ib.;
    similarity of usages to Turks, ib.;
    settlement at Hasskui, ii. 45

Joannina, ii. 78

Johannes I., Jesabel of Thyatira, lead people astray, ii. 41;
    Johannes Zemisces, i. xxxii;
    Johannes II. Comnenus, xxxiii;
    Johannes III. Cantacuzene, xxxiv;
    Johannes IV. Palæologus, ib.;
    Johannes V. Palæologus, ib.;
    Johannes Zemisces, ii. 31;
    poet with flowing hair, 51

Job, Turkish account of, i. 48, 49

Jovian emperor restores Christianity, i. vi;
    family of, xxviii

Jouchi Daghi, Giant’s Mountain, i. 51

Julian, the apostate, i. p. v, vi, xxviii


Kalifs, lineal descendants of prophet, ii. 50

Keab, veil of, ii. 49

Kef, Marjam, ii. 76

Kiorod, son of Bajazet, ii. 10

Kislas, janissaries’ barracks, ii. 67

Kislar Aga, chief of black eunuchs, ii. 57

Kiz Koulasi, or Maiden’s Tower, legend of, i. 83, 84

Kiz Achmet, ii. 73

Kiuprili, his singular fortune, i. xxii

Kleftes, ii. 84

Kolokithia, name of gourd, i. 8

Kombaragees, barrack of, ii. 44

Koran not allowed to be printed, why, i. 51;
    various precepts of, ii. 18;
    translated by sultans, 60;
    hung up in turbés, 51


Laodicea, seventh church of the Apocalypse, 86

Laodicea, ruins of, 86

Lecapenus Romanus, i. xxxi;
    daughter named in church of Baloukli, ii. 29

Leander’s Tower, i. 83. See Kiz Koulasi.

Lorenzo, an Italian, made Hakim Bashi, ii. 59;
    excites the Sultan’s anger, 60;
    found strangled, ib.

Lycia, knights receive notice to leave Rhodes from, ii. 60

Lydia, seller of purple, from Thyatira, ii. 41


Magnesia on Sipylus, account of, ii. 9;
    gives name to magnet, 10;
    metropolitan church of, 13

Mahmoud I., events of his reign, i. xxiv

---- II. created sultan, xxv;
    repulses the Russians, xxvi;
    destroys the Janissaries, xxvii;
    enlightened policy, xxviii

Mahomet II., i. xv;
    his brutality, xvi;
    death, ib.;
    gate of seraglio built by, ii. 6, 7;
    mosque of, 47;
    translates Koran, 50

---- III., his religion and policy, i. xx;
    character of, ii. 12

---- IV., his reign, i. xxi;
    his fondness for flowers, xxii

Maiden Tower, ii. 91

Maritza, ii. 74

Malta, siege of, i. xviii

Market-place Tophana, i. 7;
    articles of sale there, 8

Mamelukes, destruction of the, i. 27

Meander, account of river, ii. 26

Medâk or story-teller, appendage to coffee-house, i. 61;
    singular talent of, ii. 72

Medea landed at Therapia on Bosphorus, i. 10;
    her character inherited by her countrywomen, ib.

Meles, ruin of Smyrna, ii. 8

Melesigenes, name of Homer, ii. 4

Menagerie of Atmeidan, i. 44

Mesjid, origin of word mosque, i. 16

Michael Palæologus, i. x, xi

Minaret, steeple of mosque, i. 16;
    origin of name, ib.

Miletus destroyed by Meander, ii. 27

Moldavia, hospodars of, ii. 48

Monograma on pillars, i. 16

Monastery of St. George of the Precipice, ii. 24, 25, 26

Moslems, meaning of, i. xii, 12;
    take possession of Santa Sophia, ii, 47

Mosques, imperial, on seven hills, i. 6

Mosque of Sultan Achmet, i. 18, 19;
    of Soliman the Magnificent, 17;
    of Yeni Djami, 39;
    of Santa Sophia, 45, 48;
    of Eyoub, 49;
    of Mahmoud, i. 75;
    of Shahzadeh Djamesi, 84;
    Buyuk Djami, ii. 6;
    of Sultan Osman, 12;
    of the Slipper, 47,
    of Piri-Pasha, 61

Mount Pagus, castle of Smyrna on, ii. 7

Mordecai distinguished by robe of purple, ii. 41

Mount Mincas, ii. 80

Mourzoufle opposes crusaders with iron mace, i. ix;
    thrown from top of monument, ib.;
    reason of his name, xxxiii

Muezzim invites to prayer, i. 16

Murad I. & II. buried at Brusa, ii. 51

Mustapha I. dragged from a prison to a throne, i. xxxv

Mustapha II., disastrous reign, i. 22, 23, xxxvi

Mustapha III. poisoned, but survives, i. xxxvi;
    called Gazi, ib.

Mustapha IV. succeeds, and murders Selim, i. xxv.;
    strangled, xxxvi.

Mustapha Bairactar, fidelity of, i. xxv.

Mustapha Pasha attempts to poison Selim by ball of soap, i. 17


Negroponte supplies Turks with pitch and tar for navy, ii. 46

Nicephoras Flavius killed in battle against Bulgarians, i. xxxi

Nicephoras Phocas assassinated by Zemisces, i. xxxii

Nicephoras, poet, ii. 51

Nicetas escape from Crusaders, i. x

Niobe, rock representing her, ii. 11

Nizam Djettit, new corps, ii. 67


Obelisk of Theodosius brought from the Thebaïd, ii. 1

Oblivion, Tower of, i. 11;
    anecdote of, ib.

Odalique, the favourite, ii. 79

Olga, mother of Swatislas, first Russian baptized, i. viii

Olympus, reason of name, i. 30;
    snow of, part of Turkish revenue, ib.

Orchan makes Brusa his capital, i. xii;
    tomb there, ii. 51

Oriental wells, description of, ii. 11

Osman, or Othman I. passes Olympus, i. xii;
    from him Turks called Ottomans, xiii;
    tomb at Brusa, ii. 51

Othman II. strangled by Janissaries, i. xxxv.

Osmanli, meaning of term, i. xiii;
    introduce feudal system in Asia, ii. 11

Osmanie, mosque of, purely oriental, ii. 12


Paramythea, ii. 82

Parga, castle of, ii. 87

Papas, Greek priests, ii. 15

Paper manufactory on Bosphorus, i. 51;
    veneration of Turks for, ib.

Paschmaklik, ii. 79

Passes in Balkan mountains, by Haidhos, i. 56;
    by Tâtar Bazaar, i. 57;
    on Bulgarian side, 73;
    precautions on entering, ib.

Pausanias, the historian, ii. 11

Pazar Caïque, great ferry boat, i. 83

Pelargonium, talisman of, i. 15

Pera, promontory of, i. 2;
    residence of Frank ambassadors, ib.;
    joined by bridge to Constantinople, ii. 61

Pergamus, third church of the Apocalypse, parchment invented there,
  i. 79;
    description of, 80;
    church of St. John, ii. 35, 43

Petit Champ des Morts, Turkish cemetery, i. 23, 24

Philadelphia, sixth church of the Apocalypse, still retains reason
      for its name, i. 71;
    called City of God by the Turks, ib.;
    vigorous opposition to Turks, 72;
    rampart of human bones, ib.

----, governor’s house at, ii. 92

Philippi, St. Paul meets Lydia there, ii. 41

Philopopoli, people of, collect dye-stuffs on Balkans, ii. 40

Pillar to which Christ was bound, ii. 40

Pipes, Turkish description of, i. 43

Piri Pasha takes Rhodes, ii. 60;
    district called after him, 61;
    built humble mosque, why, ib.

Planks, how carried through streets, i. 8

Platanus, when planted, i. 12

Pliny, remark on breadth of Bosphorus, i. 10

Poison, life of Selim I. attempted by, i. xvii

Printing first introduced among Turks, i. xxiii

Probus, emperor, locates Bastarnæ in Thrace, ii. 63

Propontis, or Sea of Marmora, i. 1; ii. 63

Princes’ Islands, called Demonesca, account of, ii. 20, 24


Ramazan, fast of, ii. 50

Reliques of Greek church, ii. 48

Rhodes, knights of, ii. 7, 60

Risman Ben Ac Hissar, his treatise on government, ii. 12

Romania, or Roumelia, ancient Thrace, ii. 62

Roumeli-Hissar, events connected with, i. 10

Roxalana, sultana of Soliman the Magnificent, i. xviii;
    causes death of his sons, i. xix

Russians attack Constantinople by sea and land, i. vii;
    ascend the Balkans, ib.;
    introduction of Christianity among them, viii;
    advances made against Turks by, xxiv;
    encamp on Giant’s Mountain, ii. 52;
    advance to Adrianople


Sakiz-aghatz, when great fire commenced, ii. 61

Saïd-pasha married to sultan’s daughter, i. 69;
    palace on the Bosphorus, ib.

St. George of Cappadocia, different accounts of, ii. 24, 25;
    description of his monastery, 26

St. Paul prays on sea-shore of Ephesus, i. 63

St. Romanus, gate of, attacked by the Turks, ii. 29

Salonichi supplies Turks with gunpowder, ii. 46

Samsoun yields hemp for cordage, ii. 46

Sanndouchas in Turkish burials, ii. 49, 51

Santa Sophia mosque, erected by Constantine, to the “Eternal Wisdom
      of God,” i. 45;
    rebuilt by Justinian, 46;
    taken possession of by Mahomet II., ib.;
    beautiful aërial dome, 47;
    shows symptoms of decay, 48;
    overlooks gardens of seraglio, ii. 46

Saracens attack Constantinople, i. vii;
    assault Smyrna, ii. 5

Sardis, fifth church of the Apocalypse, ancient and present state of,
  i. 66, 68

Scio, massacre in, ii. 8

Scutari, crusaders ascend promontory, and view Constantinople from it,
  i. ix;
    called “City of Gold,” why, i. 74;
    objects of interest in, i. 75

Selim I., character and policy, i. xvii;
    singular escape, ib.;
    death and epitaph, ib.;
    tomb or turbé most frequented, ii. 50

Selim II., reign and character, i. xix;
    Queen Elizabeth’s letter to him, xx

Selim III., his amiable character, i. xxiv;
    his melancholy death, xxv;
    kiosk built by him for his sister, ii. 33

Selictarli, men of the sword, ii. 65

Selymbria, ii. 74

Seraglio, description of, i. 26, 28

Seraï, caravaniers at, ii. 85

Seven Towers, i. 22, 23

Shaïnitza, ii. 84

Shipping, eastern, i. 3

Shoes, Turkish, inconvenient, i. 49

Silivria, ii. 74

Slave market, i. 38, 39

Slaves, state of female, i. 38

Smyrna, disputes concerning its founder, ii. 4;
    second church of the Apocalypse, ib.;
    description of its castle and statue, 7, 8;
    allowed by Turks the privilege of coining money, 44;
    bay of, 79

Snow, revenue of sultan derived from, i. 30

Sobieski, his successes against the Turks, i. xxi

Soliman, son of Orchan, makes first Turkish settlement in Europe,
  i. xiii;
    singular manner of passing the Hellespont, ib.

Soliman the Magnificent, his reign, i. xviii;
    murder of his sons, xix;
    called Kanuni, why, xxiv;
    his mosque, 16;
    mosque in honour of his son, 84;
    changes dress of Greek clergy, why, ii. 15;
    determination to extinguish Christianity, 60

Sou Nazir, i. 8;
    Ioldgi, ib.

Souterrazi, singular species of aqueduct, i. 14

Spahi, Turkish cavalry, ii. 65

Subterranean palace, cistern, i. 15

Stamboul, origin of the name, i. xvi

Steam-boat, first introduced at Constantinople, i. 5;
    sultan embarks in one, ib.;
    singular display on the occasion, 6

Storks, fondness of Turks for, i. xv;
    supposed by the Greeks to poison fountains, ib.;
    singular mode of banishing them, ib.;
    abound in Philadelphia, 71;
    benevolence to small birds, ii. 36

Sublime Porte, origin of the name, i. 26

Suli, valley of, ii. 89

Suliotes, the destruction of the, ii. 90

Sultan, inauguration of, i. 49

Sultans of Constantinople, chronological account of, i. xxviii-xxxvi

Sultan’s new palace on Bosphorus, ii. 1

Sultana Valadé, ii. 47

Surré Emmini, ii. 85

Swatislas, extraordinary character, slept on snow, and eat broiled
      horse-flesh, i. vii;
    passes the Balkan, and proceeds to Adrianople, viii;
    destroyed, with his army, in the ice, ib.;
    his mother Olga baptized, ib.

Sweet Waters of Asia, i. 32;
    of Europe, 58


Tamerlane, progress of, i. xiv;
    origin of his name, ib.;
    defeats Bajazet, and raises the siege of Constantinople, ib.;
    dilapidates the castle of Smyrna, ii. 7;
    attempts to destroy the harbour, and raises a pyramid of heads, ib.

Tarap-hané, or mint, in court of seraglio, i. 26; ii. 44

Tâtar Bazaar, route by the Balkans, i. 57

Tatavola village, ii. 44

Teos, ii. 80

Tepe Bashi, beautiful view from, ii. 58

Tepelini, ii. 84

Tersana-emini, palace of, ii. 46

Thamas Kouli Khan tries to reconcile Mahomedan sectarians, i. xxiv

Theatre at Milo, description of, ii. 17, 18;
    at Hierapolis, 19, 20;
    of Ephesus, 64

Themistocles retires to Magnesia, i. 10

Theodore, saint of Greek church, ii. 31;
    of Siceon, ib.;
    of Pergamus, 32

Theodora, ii. 75

Theodosius the Great surmounts globe with a cross, i. vi;
    builds new wall round city, ib.;
    erects splendid column, xxix

Theodosius II. junior, establishes schools, i. xxix;
    publishes Theodosian code, ib.

Therapia, supposed to be visited by Medea, i. 10;
    bishop of Derkon hanged there, 65

Thyatira, fourth church of the Apocalypse, ii. 41;
    Lydia, a woman of, sells purple, ib.;
    meets St. Paul at Philippi, ib.;
    people led astray by Jesabel, ib.;
    now called Ak Hissar, 42

Tombstones, shape of, and inscriptions on, i. 13

Toondja, ii. 74

Tophana, i. 20, 21;
    mosque of Mahmoud at, 75

Top Kapousi Gate, Turks enter city by, i. 82;
    number of dead brought through it to be buried in time of plague,
      ii. 44

Tornova, in the Balkan, singular situation, ii. 53;
    scriptures translated into Moslem Greek at, 54

Tower of Galata, i. 6;
    of Janissaries, ib.

Travelling with firman, i. 76

Turbé, tombs of sultans, ii. 49;
    Valadé Sultana, allowed to erect one, ib.;
    regulations of, 50

Turbedar, guardian of tomb, ii. 50

Turkish coins, inscription on, ii. 44

Turks, in haste to be buried, i. 13


Ulemah, men of the law, order to respect them, as inheriting the gifts
  of the Prophet, ii. 12

Unkiar Iskelessi, true meaning of name, i. 50;
    beautiful valley of, on the Bosphorus, ib.;
    paper manufactory there, 51;
    danger to Franks encountered there, 52

Usdens, lawgivers of Circassia, ii. 56


Vacilesso, ii. 84

Valens, burnt to death by Goths, i. xxviii;
    aqueduct of, 6;
    prophetic stone, 15;
    invite Goths to settle in Thrace, ii. 63

Venetians, cruel punishment of, i. 10;
    first sent mirrors to Constantinople, ii. 61


Wall of Constantinople, i. 81

Wallachia, hospodars of, elected from seven families of Greek princes,
  ii. 48

Water provided by Turks for all animals, i. 34;
    fondness of Moslems for it, why, ib.

Women, souls of, i. 13;
    tombstones without heads, ib.;
    their affection for the dead, how shown, 14


Xenophon, where he crossed the Bosphorus, i. 10


Yali Kiosk, where deposed ministers wait to know their fate, i. 28

Youart, great consumption of, i. 33;
    how to make it, ib.

Yelan Seraï, palace of the serpent, ii. 43

Yeni Djami, mosque of, i. 39

Yeni Kui, priest’s house of, on Bosphorus, i. 65;
    waterfall at in Balkans, ii. 40

Yéré Batan Seraï, cistern of, i. 15;
    extraordinary tales of, 82

Yeschie Imareh, tomb there, ii. 51


Zaims and Timariots, feudal nobility, ii. 11, 65


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