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Title: Hellenism in Asia Minor
Author: Dieterich, Karl
Language: English
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  The College of the City of New York

  With an introductory preface by Theodore P. Ion, D.C.L., and
  a brief article on Hellenic Pontus by D. H. Oeconomides, Ph.D.

  This publication is due to the generosity of








         of the University of Leipzig, translated by
         Carroll N. Brown, Ph.D., of the College of
         the City of New York. With a preface by
         Theodore P. Ion, D.C.L.                       8

  III  HELLENIC PONTUS—A Résumé of its History, by
         D. H. Oeconomides, Ph.D.                     56

       AMERICAN-HELLENIC NEWS                         63


Asia Minor is the country which, more than all others, recalls the
highest development of Hellenic civilization. Its deeply indented coast
formed a chaplet of Hellenic democracies which reached out into the
interior and actually attacked the Persian civilization, upon which
they imposed their own stamp. These democracies constituted the first
rampart of the civilized world of that time, holding back Persian
barbarism. Their history is one of continual struggle between these
two civilizations, a struggle that was terminated at Salamis and at
Platæa, where the Persian ambitions were definitively buried and Greek
civilization saved.

The wise men, the thinkers, the philosophers, that these democracies
produced, were numerous, and the influence of their teachings was very
great. These even today are radiant with a sublimity that has never
been excelled.

It was in this Greek element and among the populations Hellenized by
them that Christianity first germinated. It was the Greeks of Asia
Minor who first offered their blood for the triumph of the new faith.
The foremost Church Fathers, John Chrysostom, Saint Basil and very many
others, were born there or taught there.

Throughout the Middle Ages the Byzantine-Greek civilization flourished
in these lands. It formed the most powerful barrier against the wave
of barbarism which threatened to inundate the civilized world. The
desperate resistance offered by Hellenism permitted the West, by its
contact with Byzantine Hellenism, to acquire those requisite elements
which have formed the basis of Western civilization.

When the powerful tide of Turkish invasion, coming after so many
other barbarian inroads, completely submerged Greek culture there,
the Hellenic idea which this element represented was so strong that
it survived everything. It was in vain that the fierce conquerors,
as the tradition states, cut out the tongues of the inhabitants in
order to cause this people to unlearn its language; it was in vain
that they carried away their children to make of them fierce and cruel
janissaries, who became exterminators of their own people. The Hellenic
idea, the attachment to national traditions, was never submerged.

As soon as the fury of the conqueror was somewhat appeased, and at
a time when that part of the Balkan Peninsula where Hellenism first
arose and from which later it radiated over the then known world all
the brilliance of its beauty was no longer showing any sign of life,
the Greeks of Asia Minor founded the first Greek school of modern
times, that of Cydonia (Aïvali). This school produced the first real
ecclesiastics, the first genuinely educated men. Smyrna, called by the
Turk himself “the infidel city,” because of its preponderant Greek
element, followed her example. The graduates of these schools formed
the nucleus from which the idea of the Greek renaissance sprang forth.
From this source have come the men that have sacrificed their lives and
their fortunes in order that Hellenic culture, which seemed forever to
have disappeared, might again be revived.

It is this country of which we are going to study the ethnological

Its boundaries are, on the north, the Black Sea; on the east, the
Russian frontier traversing the snow-covered mountain range of the
Taurus and Antitaurus and continuing to the Gulf of Alexandretta; on
the south, west and northwest, the Mediterranean, the Ægean Sea and the
Sea of Marmora.

Its area is 534,550 square kilometers; it is traversed by numerous
watercourses and is one of the richest countries in the world. If well
administered, it could support tens of millions of inhabitants.

It is divided for purposes of administration into eight provinces,
Sebastia, Trebizond, Kastamuni, Konia, Angora, Aïdin, Broussa, Adana
and four independent provinces, Chryssioupolis, Nicomedia, Balukiser,
Vizi or Dardanelles.

To determine the importance of the Greek element in the population let
us examine each archbishopric from the ecclesiastic as well as secular
point of view.

The following table presents statistics as to the numbers of churches,
priests, schools, etc., supported by the Greeks of Asia Minor:

    Metropolis    |Churches|Priests| Boys’ |Teachers| Pupils| Girls’| Women  |Pupils
                  |        |       |Schools|        |       |Schools|Teachers|
   1. Smyrna      |   40   |  114  |   35  |   241  | 11,055|   27  |   202  | 7,651
   2. Crine       |   46   |   75  |   34  |    65  |  3,965|   14  |    32  | 2,055
   3. Heliopolis  |   53   |   77  |   41  |   100  |  4,360|   19  |    49  | 2,120
   4. Pisidia     |   46   |   54  |   18  |    53  |  2,685|   10  |    31  | 1,235
   5. Philadelphia|   20   |   22  |   15  |    26  |  1,060|    8  |    16  |   723
   6. {Ephesus }  |        |       |       |        |       |       |        |
      {Magnesia}  |  126   |  177  |  100  |   286  | 15,940|   65  |   150  |10,150
   7. Cydonia  }  |        |       |       |        |       |       |        |
   8. Broussa     |   24   |   27  |   13  |    40  |  2,975|    7  |    20  | 1,045
   9. Nicæa       |   29   |   41  |   23  |    63  |  3,155|    8  |    25  | 1,210
  10. Chalcedon   |   43   |  100  |   28  |    99  |  6,970|   25  |    70  | 4,230
  11. Nicomedia   |   76   |   75  |   77  |    83  |  3,479|    6  |    20  | 1,120
  12. Cyzicus     |   81   |  128  |   72  |   195  |  8,115|   25  |    67  | 2,630
  13. Proconnesos |   26   |   33  |   13  |    48  |  2,280|    8  |    19  |   790
  14. Amassia     |  330   |  441  |  286  |   586  | 17,000|   69  |    87  | 3,910
  15. Ancyra      |    8   |   13  |    5  |    20  |    840|    2  |     7  |   260
  16. Iconium     |   50   |  102  |   42  |   159  |  6,915|   23  |    50  | 2,070
  17. Cæsarea     |   44   |   98  |   58  |   133  |  5,075|   16  |    49  | 1,778
  18. Rhodopolis  |   65   |   86  |   57  |   120  |  3,300|       |        |
  19. Chaldia     |  211   |  259  |  189  |   380  |  9,705|    2  |     5  |   160
  20. Trapezus    |  250   |  161  |   95  |   203  |  8,535|   11  |    35  | 1,679
  21. Colonia     |  120   |  140  |   93  |   182  |  3,840|       |        |
  22. Neocæsarea  |  300   |  400  |  150  |   300  | 11,300|   15  |    36  | 2,100
                  |  ——-   |  ——-  |  ——-  |   ——-  | ———-——|   —-  |    —-  | —————
                  |1,988   |2,523  |1,444  | 3,382  |132,549|  360  |   970  |46,916

The administration of the Greek Orthodox Church is in the hands
of twenty-two Metropolitans, or Archbishops, having under them a
proportionate number of bishops and priests. The Metropoles, or
Archbishoprics, are the following: Smyrna, Crine, Heliopolis, Pisidia,
Philadelphia, Ephesus and Magnesia, Cydonia, Broussa, Nicæa, Chalcedon,
Nicomedia, Cyzicus, Proconnesos, Amassia, Ancyra, Iconium, Cæsarea,
Rhodopolis, Chaldia, Trapezus, Colonia and Neocæsarea, under the
authority of the Œcumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.[1]

The number of Greek inhabitants is probably above 2,000,000. The
Hellenic populations are chiefly concentrated in the provinces of Aïdin
and Broussa, where out of a population of approximately 3,000,000 the
Greek element is about 1,300,000, the coast regions, however, being
inhabited almost purely by Greeks. The non-Greek inhabitants are
largely Catholics, Armenians, Turks and Jews. On the coasts of the
Black Sea, too, the Greeks are largely in the majority. It is to be
noticed that in many villages of this region the inhabitants speak a
language closely approaching the ancient Greek, from the point of view
of syntax as well as of verb-formation.

For their religious needs they have 1,988 churches and 2,523 priests,
and for the instruction of their children they maintain 1,444 schools
for boys with 3,382 teachers and 132,549 pupils, and 360 schools for
girls with 970 women teachers and 46,916 pupils.

We must remember that the churches and schools are maintained at the
expense of the Greeks themselves, since the Turkish Government only
intervenes in order to impede and destroy. Reckoning at $500 a year
the pay of a priest or teacher, man or woman, we arrive at the sum of
$5,000,000 a year, which must be multiplied by three in order to cover
the expenses of the construction of churches and schools, their repair
and upkeep, and the salaries of the inferior employees of all these

The number of pupils of both sexes constitutes nearly nine per cent
of the whole Greek population (179,465 boys and girls). This is due
to the fact that many of the Greeks, not included in the preceding
enumeration, who live mingled with other populations, whether Armenian
or Turk, and who do not possess the means of supporting schools of
their own, send their children from great distances, in spite of the
difficult communications, in order to attend these schools. Often the
parents, who have lived for generations among the Turks, have lost the
knowledge of their national language, but their national consciousness
is nevertheless so strong that they expose their children to countless
dangers in order to permit them to learn the language of their
ancestors. These Turkish-speaking Greeks live chiefly in the interior
of the country, even as far as the Persian frontier, and the greater
part of these, lost among other more numerous peoples, are not included
in the above statistics.

These numbers show that the people are loyally devoted to their
language, their traditions and their religion, for the tremendous
sacrifices to which they subject themselves for the sake of the
maintenance of Hellenic culture evidence the tenacity with which they
cling to their national sentiments.

They show equally that this people is eager for progress in
civilization, for the number of educational establishments that it
maintains and the large number of children that attend them, show that
it wishes to acquire a higher civilization and thus become an agent
of progress for the peoples whom the fate of conquest has established
among them.

Sober, industrious, intelligent and honest, it demands only liberty in
order to be able to give scope to its activity. Though conquered by the
Turk, the Greek, in his turn, won the upper hand by his intellectual
superiority. The Turk, who has become accustomed to the Greek way of
living and thinking, and has adopted many of his habits, among the
most prominent of which is the respect for woman and the sanctity of
the home, will be happy to live under the administration of his Greek
compatriot, with whom he was perfectly satisfied when the Turkish
Government, before the chauvinistic Young Turk party had established
its fierce tyranny, renounced the services of the Greek functionaries.

An interesting side of this dwelling together of Greek and Turk is the
respect that the Anatolian Turk habitually professes for the Orthodox
religion. Sometimes the Mussulman even has recourse to the offices of
the Greek priest, either to have a mass chanted, or in order to touch
the holy sacraments, the saints’ pictures, etc., so as to be cured of
some illness, or to obtain some benefit which his ascetic religion does
not afford him.

If the Turkish Government by its misrule had not provoked the driving
out of the Mussulman populations of Europe (a course which has
gradually reduced the territory of the Ottoman Empire), the uprisings
experienced periodically would not have been so frequent. These
numerous fanatics who had lived since the time of the conquest by
exploiting the Christian populations, transported their methods to Asia
Minor, and, seconded by a government whose materialism knew no limits,
they undertook the extermination of the Christian populations of Asia
Minor in order to rob them of their property.

When one realizes that, under an administration which existed only to
mulct the worker by taxation, these populations have succeeded, in
spite of numberless persecutions, in making so formidable an effort
in order to secure their spiritual needs, it is easy to imagine what
progress in civilization and wealth awaits this country, when an
era of liberty and security shall be introduced under a paternal

The Anatolian Mussulmans will be the first to profit by this. Patient
workers, loving the land, and living in harmony with their Christian
compatriots, they will be happy to secure the product of their labor,
of which the Turkish functionary constantly robbed them, so that he
finally made them dislike all labor, and urged them on into the path of

This living together as friends, on a footing of equality, will perhaps
make Christianity flourish anew in this land which was the first to be
saved from paganism, and whose fruits, transplanted to the rest of the
world, have caused the springing forth of that glorious civilization
which Prussian megalomania is now staining with blood.



  Translated from the German

  The College of the City of New York



The German dream of dominion from Hamburg to the Persian Gulf has
naturally attracted the attention of the world to Asia Minor, a country
which has been for centuries in a dormant condition on account of its
subjection to a moribund state. Conquered and reconquered by Asiatic
hordes, its wealth ravaged and pillaged many and many times, its
cities, towns and villages razed to the ground more than once, and
its inhabitants having been subjected again and again to massacres
_en masse_, Asia Minor has been and will naturally continue to be the
reservoir, so to speak, of European civilization for the Great East.

From ancient times the rays of civilization which shone on this
peninsula were not Asiatic but European, that is Hellenic, the
civilizing influences of the language of Homer and Plato having been
kept alive even during the rule of the Mohammedan Arabs.

As is well known, the Arabian Caliphs of Bagdad were always surrounded
by Hellenists and considered the books of the Greek sages more valuable
than gold.[2]

Hence came the great impetus given to Arabian philosophy and positive
science through the translation of the writings of the Greeks, which
were subsequently transplanted to Europe by the Moors even before the
time of the renaissance.

The darkest epoch of Asia Minor began undoubtedly with the advent
of the followers of Osman, who, ever since their irruption into
that country, have wrought havoc among its people, and within a
comparatively short space of time have reduced that fair land to
barbarity and desolation. The ancient seats of learning, the theaters,
the stadia, the treasures of art and other tokens of Hellenic
civilization are now nothing but heaps of ruins, inarticulate witnesses
to the ancient glory of Hellenism.

It is a remarkable phenomenon that beneath these smoldering ruins
civilization was not entirely destroyed, for in spite of the slowly
burning fire Hellenism continued to exist, and toward the close of the
18th century began to show clear signs of that vitality and vigor which
blossomed forth so quickly in the following century, and, in our own
time, have produced such far-reaching results.

Hence the apprehension shown by the Turkish conquerors during the
tyrannical régime of Abdul Hamid. Hence the great efforts made by that
potentate to bring from the confines of Russia Mohammedan hordes such
as Circassians and other unruly tribes and freebooters in order that
they might roam about or settle there according to their fancy, with
the view to offsetting the ever-increasing Greek population of Asia
Minor. Hence the inrush to that country of Mohammedan emigrants from
the territories which have been wrested from the Turk ever since the
events of 1878, it being immaterial whether these Mussulman fanatics
gave themselves to robbery, murder and massacres of the Christians in
the land, or settled there in order to develop the great possibilities
of agriculture in the country.

The diplomacy of Europe, having been satisfied with the platitudes
embodied in the Treaty of Berlin of 1878 as to the introduction
of reforms by the Sublime Porte, both in its European and Asiatic
provinces, has let things take their natural course, the first outcome
being the Armenian horrors of the Hamidian era, which were continued
under the “constitutional régime of the Young Turks” and culminated
in the scientific extermination, by starvation, of that highly gifted
Armenian nation, carried out under the high patronage and guidance
of the Germano-Turanians, whose diabolical activities during the
present world war have overwhelmed in a like catastrophe the Hellenic
population of the Ottoman Empire and particularly of Asia Minor.[3]

From the time that the present German emperor resolved to make the Near
and perhaps the Far East the great market for Teutonic trade, German
scientists of all kinds have been dispatched to Asia Minor to study the
country from every point of view, so that the German Government may, at
the opportune moment, be ready to seize the “golden fleece.”

As a result there have appeared various essays dealing with Asia Minor
from different points of view, and in particular the one with which we
are here concerned, by Dr. Karl Dieterich, forming the principal part
of the present publication of the American-Hellenic Society.[4]

It is worth noticing that the German essayist describes in a vivid
manner the vitality and the potentialities of the Hellenic population
of Asia Minor, and, unlike the ruling class of Germany and many of his
compatriots, he speaks favorably of the Greek populations of Anatolia.

Dr. Dieterich, referring to the persecution of the Greeks, says
erroneously that these “systematic persecutions,” as he admits them to
be, began with the spring of 1914 (see p. 19), while, as a matter of
fact, they commenced on the very day that the Young Turks consolidated
their power (1908-1909), when, in spite of their much heralded formula
of “equality, justice and fraternity,” they designed and instituted
a well-organized method for the annihilation of the Christian
populations, the Adana massacres of the Armenians in April, 1909, being
the precursors of all the subsequent horrors.

Nor did these would-be “reformers,” or “constitutionalists,” conceal
their plans for the Turkification of the Christians in the Ottoman
Empire, for they openly resorted either to forced conversions to
Mohammedanism or to the annihilation of those who seemed unlikely to
submit to be “Ottomanized.” Thus, as early as September, 1908, one of
the moving spirits of the Committee of Union and Progress, namely, Dr.
Nazim, during his visit to Smyrna, at a social gathering held in the
house of a British subject, spoke freely about this matter.[5]

The Young Turks having thus initiated, under the very eyes of Europe,
a systematic extermination of the Armenians,—whom the bloody hand of
Abdul Hamid had not completely destroyed,—turned their attention to the
“more dangerous Greeks.”

It was this plan for the destruction of the Christian nations that,
in 1912, brought together the Balkan States, who saw that under the
new régime in Turkey the peoples of these various nationalities
would gradually be annihilated, if they did not take some preventive
steps. The result was the war of these States against Turkey, the
complete defeat of the latter and the freeing from the Turkish yoke of
hundreds of thousands of people. As a further consequence of this war,
there began on the part of Turkey a wholesale expulsion of the Greek
population from the coast of Asia Minor simply because the neighboring
islands of the Ægean had been incorporated with the Greek Kingdom.
Up to the declaration of the present world war hundreds of thousands
of Greeks were expelled from Turkey, having been, at the same time,
deprived by the Turks of all their movable and immovable property.
All these unfortunate people took refuge in Greece and gave no little
embarrassment to the Greek Government.[6]

It is therefore incorrect to say, as the German writer alleges, that
the persecutions of the Greeks began with the outbreak of the present
war (p. 19).

The difference, however, between the _ante-bellum_ persecutions and
those perpetrated subsequently is this, that while in the former cases
the Greeks were expelled from their native country and were deprived
only of their wealth and their property generally, in the latter not
only were they compelled to abandon everything they owned, but they
also perished through untold hardships and starvation. (See details
about the tragical condition of the Greeks in Publication No. 3 of the
American-Hellenic Society cited above.)

Nor did the Turks in carrying out this cruel work care whether Greece
was friendly or unfriendly to Turkey. As a matter of fact, these
persecutions were in full swing during the “régime of Constantine”
(see dates in _Persecutions of the Greeks_, etc.) when that potentate
was in close relationship not only with the Germans, but also with
the Bulgarians and the Turks, and consequently the persecutions of
the Greeks had nothing to do with the alleged projected territorial
compensations to Greece; besides, Turkey was assured by Germany that
Constantine, who then had the upper hand in Greece, would under no
circumstances attack Turkey.

Therefore it is not correct to say, as the German writer asserts, that
one of the reasons for these persecutions was the promise made to
Greece by the Entente Powers in 1915 of territorial concessions in Asia
Minor (see p. 19).

An indication that even such an evidently impartial writer as Dr.
Dieterich cannot divest himself of the German point of view is his
statement that in the struggle for life the Greeks were on the
offensive, while the Turks were on the defensive (see p. 19). This, in
plain words, means that it suffices for a nation to be intelligent,
active, frugal, moral (as he too acknowledges the Greeks to be, p. 50),
in order to acquire the odium of carrying on an offensive struggle
if another nation living side by side with it happens to be stupid,
fatalist, immoral and incapable of holding its ground in the struggle
for life.

The writer’s theory of the existence of a Greek propaganda in
Asia Minor, “forwarded by every possible means,” is a gratuitous
supposition. Dr. Dieterich evidently misunderstands the conditions in
which the Greek populations have been living in Asia Minor and trying
to promote or revive their national ideals. As a matter of fact, all
the existing Greek schools in Asia Minor,—which is also the case with
the Greek educational institutions in every part of Turkey,—have been
established and supported by the Greek communities themselves, and if,
at times, they have received outside financial aid, this was due to
the generosity of persons who were natives of the country, who had
emigrated to foreign lands and acquired wealth abroad. The many names
of these benefactors appearing on the Greek school buildings attest
the accuracy of this statement.[7] Therefore the allegation of the
writer that a Greek propaganda is carried out in Asia Minor is totally

Another supposition of the German author that the Greeks of Anatolia
intermarried with the “Seljuk Conquerors” is not a historical fact.
On the contrary, judging from the general character of the people and
their attachment to the Christian religion, it is certain that the
Greeks did not intermarry with the Seljuks, since they invaded Asia
Minor after their conversion to Mohammedanism.

That many Greeks, abandoning the faith of their forefathers, embraced
Mohammedanism, is an incontrovertible and historical fact, but that
Turks or other adherents of Islam could not become Christians and
consequently could not intermarry with the Greeks is also a truism.
For, according to Mohammedan Law, a “true believer” who abandons
Islam is liable to be put to death. Therefore, although many Greeks
by becoming Mohammedans lost their nationality, no Turks or other
Mussulmans could become Christians and, consequently, Greeks. That has
been the strongest shield of Hellenism for the preservation of the
Greek nationality.

In the same way his allegation that, as the language of the Greeks in
the interior of Asia Minor was Turkish, they “did not share in the
national and racial consciousness of their kinsmen on the coast” (p.
52) is equally erroneous. Anyone who has lived in that country and
intermingled with these people could not have helped noticing their
intense patriotic spirit and their attachment to Greek ideals, the best
evidence of these being the creation of schools for the study of the
language of their forefathers, namely Greek. Nor is the other statement
of this writer that the Greeks “succeeded in introducing the Greek
language in their schools alongside of the Turkish” correct, because,
as a matter of fact, these schools were established for the study of
the Greek and not the Turkish language, the latter tongue being taught
as a foreign language, occupying the same place in the curriculum of
the Greek schools as foreign languages hold in European or American

The observation of the author that Germany will have to come to terms
with the Greek peasant of Asia Minor, because “he is on a higher moral
plane,” is worthy of especial notice, and his further remark that “it
would be just as perverse as it would be foolish to depend on the
Turk to the exclusion of the Greek, who has the controlling hand in
trade and traffic, as well as in the cultivation of the soil” (p. 50),
confirms the favorable opinion of both German and other writers and
travelers as to the vitality of the Hellenic element of Asia Minor.

Thus, a distinguished French geographer,—whose statistics, however,
on the populations of Asia Minor are not accurate, since they are
presumably based principally on Turkish sources,—referring to the
Greeks of the Province of Smyrna, says that “among all the Christian
communities of the Province of Smyrna that of the Orthodox Greeks is
the most considerable and that it is, in a general way, better educated
and more prosperous. It is among them,—apart from the merchants who are
best fitted for handling large enterprises,—that are found the most
clever mechanics, often excelling in their various callings, and the
best agriculturists, their well-known characteristics being industry
and activity.” (See Vital Cuinet, _La Turquie d’Asie, Géographie
Administrative_, etc., vol. III., p. 355.)

So, too, the famous English historian of the Crimean War, Kinglake,
writing in 1845, refers to Smyrna, which the Turks call, as he says,
“infidel Smyrna,” in the following terms: “I think that Smyrna may be
called the chief town and capital of the Grecian race. For myself, I
love the race, in spite of all their vices.”[8] (See _Eothen, or Traces
of Travel brought Home from the East_, by Alexander William Kinglake,
p. 41, ed. 1876).

Another English traveler, who made the tour of Asia Minor on foot,
describing the American College in the city of Marsovan and referring
to the Greek students there, says: “Like all Greeks, whether of Europe
or of Asia, they have a quality which always compels interest. In
general intelligence, in quickness of perception, in the power of
acquiring knowledge, they are said, as a race, to have no equals among
their fellow-students—nor in their capacity for opposing each other and
making mountains of difference out of nothing. Watching them, it grows
upon the observer that traditional Greek characteristics have survived
strongly in the race, and that Asia Minor Greeks of today are probably
not different from the Greeks of twenty centuries ago.” (See W. J.
Childs, _Across Asia Minor on Foot_, p. 55, 1917.)

An English general, who during the administration of Lord Beaconsfield
was sent to Asia Minor on a special mission after the conclusion of the
Cyprus Convention of 1878, after referring to some of the well-known
characteristics of the Greeks of Anatolia as an enterprising,
keen-witted people, well gifted with a rare commercial instinct, goes
on to say:

“Profuse expenditure on education is a national characteristic, and
to acquire a sufficient fortune to found a school or hospital in his
native town is the honorable ambition of every Greek merchant....
The Anatolian Greeks generally are active and intelligent, laborious
and devoted to commercial pursuits. They learn quickly and well, and
become doctors, lawyers, bankers, innkeepers, etc., filling most of
the professions. They are good miners and masons, and villages are
generally found near old lead and copper mines. They have much of the
versatility, the love of adventure and intrigue, which distinguished
the ancient Greeks, and a certain restlessness in their commercial
speculations which sometimes leads to disaster. The democratic feeling
is strong; the sole aristocracy is that of wealth, and ancient lineage
confers no distinction. The children of rich and poor go to the same
schools and receive the same free education” (Sir Charles W. Wilson,
_Murray’s Hand-book for Travellers in Asia Minor_, 1905, pp. 70-71).

A brilliant French Hellenist and scholar, in referring to the Greeks
of Smyrna, gives the following picturesque description of them. “They
are,” he says, “so numerous in that city, that they consider it as
part of their domain. Wide-awake, lively, playfully sly and always
interesting, they are here the tavern-keepers, the grocers, the
boatmen. These are the three trades that most of the Greeks of the poor
class prefer, just as the profession of lawyer and that of physician
are particularly popular among the Greeks of the well-to-do class. As
tavern-keepers they talk all day long; they keep up with the news, they
discuss politics, they run down the Turks, they are always stirring,
bustling and struggling, in their way, for the ‘grand idea.’”

“As grocers they sell a little of everything. They do business as money
changers, an infinite happiness for a Hellene. As boatmen they have the
sea, this old friend of the descendants of Ulysses, as their constant
companion; they go right and left in the hustling of the port, they see
new faces; they question the travelers who come from afar; they dispute
with them about the boatfare, which is yet another rare pleasure for
the Greeks. An amusing race, sympathetic, on the whole, notwithstanding
its faults; patriotic, persistent, sober, mildly obstinate in its
indomitable hope.”

“Because of their constant activity and their wit, the Greeks have
supplanted the Turks in many places in Turkey.”[9]

The vivid description of Hellenism in Asia Minor given by the German
author, and corroborated by numerous other writers and travelers, shows
the important rôle that the Hellenic element is destined to play if
that unfortunate country is ever favored with the blessings of good

The Hellenic State should undoubtedly be the natural inheritor or at
any rate the executor of the estate of the Sick Man of the East; if
not of all of Asia Minor, at any rate of a great part of it, _i.e._,
western Anatolia. But if the Ottoman sway in Anatolia is prolonged,
it is to be hoped that the country will, at least, be under the joint
tutelage of some civilized states which will take into consideration
the wishes and aspirations of the Hellenic people.



Privatdocent in Mediæval and Modern Greek Literature in the University
of Leipzig.

The political unrest in the Near East which preceded the present world
war and accompanied its beginnings has turned attention once more to
the existence of the Greek element in the population of Asia Minor.
Two factors in particular have entered into this feeling of unrest:
first, the systematic persecutions of the Greeks by the Young Turks,
which have been going on ever since the spring of 1914, and secondly,
the recent communications in the press dealing with alleged promises on
the part of the Triple Entente to indemnify Greece through extensive
territorial concessions in Asia Minor—the talk was of an extent of
100,000 to 120,000 sq. km.—in order to repay her for her intervention
in the war. However one may feel as to both these points and their
justification, this much is clear, that the Turks believed that they
were in the presence of a Greek peril.[11]

There was thus started, in Asia Minor, a defensive struggle on the
part of the Turks that was just as sharply defined as the offensive
which this Greek element had for a long time been actually carrying on
against the Turks of this region; with this difference, however, that
the Turkish defensive has only recently acquired sufficient strength to
make its action felt, while the Greek offensive has for decades
been quietly at work getting the upper hand economically, culturally
and nationally in that land where they once ruled for a period of
more than a thousand years. Granted that the Greek propaganda, which
has, for a considerable time, been forwarded in Asia Minor by every
possible means, has in many particulars been carried on too bitterly,
and has injured the sensibilities of the Ottomans, the fact remains
that the Greeks in Asia Minor economically and culturally have control
of Asia Minor even now, not as an outside or foreign element in the
population, though the movement has been forwarded from the outside,
but as something that has developed from within on the very soil of
the country itself, something that has in centuries of growth become
a historic fact and that is only to be understood when one has fully
grasped what has gone before.

To do this one must go back into times which are long since past,
though their resultant forces, far from having ceased to operate, seem
just now, as a matter of fact, to be renewing their strength.

Asia Minor was in prehistoric times a field for Greek colonization.
Long after its littoral had, in early Hellenic times (dating back,
in fact, to the 10th century B.C.), been bordered with a fringe of
Greek settlements, which were the basis of the old Ionic and Æolic
civilizations, this coast colonization had, in later Greek times, been
extended and developed through the victorious eastern expeditions of
Alexander the Great into a real colonization of the interior.

Just as had been the case in the whole of the western regions of Asia
Minor, there arose in the 4th to 2nd centuries B.C., in the interior
of the country as well, a whole series of new Greek cities, which from
that time on have constituted firmly fixed centers for the Hellenizing
and civilizing of the land. This began with Byzantine and Turkish times
and has extended up to the present, forming a sure testimony to the
stubborn endurance of this late Greek civilization. One needs only to
think of towns like Nicæa, Nicomedia, Prusa, Pergamon, Philadelphia,
Thyatira, Laodicea, etc., which were all founded in the 3rd and 2nd
centuries B.C. and were named after the Diadochi[12] or their wives.
After the fall of the states founded by the Diadochi, the Romans came
in and conquered Asia Minor. Without having succeeded in permanently
Romanizing it, they gave it a solidity which enabled the Byzantine
emperors, after the later Hellenizing of the Eastern Roman Empire, to
advance farther and farther into the interior and toward the east,
accompanying the victorious advance of Christianity: in Cappadocia, the
home of Greek monastic life in the East, there was firmly established
in Cæsarea, in the 6th century, a new outpost of Greek civilization.

Thus, throughout the centuries, by a process of colonization that
was forwarded now by peaceful means and again by war, Hellenism
forced its way steadily eastward, and on the basis of the older
indigenous population a new sphere for Greek colonization was opened
up which developed its own peculiar cultural strength only after the
passing away of the ancient Greek civilization, in Christian, that
is, and Byzantine times. Up to the end of the first millennium of
the Christian Era, at a time when the Balkan Peninsula, including
Ancient Greece, had long since lost its ancient city-life and culture
beneath the inroads and devastations of Goths, Avars and Slavs, Asia
Minor was still a populous and blooming land with countless large
cities, whose inhabitants combined Hellenistic culture with Christian
fervor. Intellectual traditions, associated with the names of Arrian,
Dio Cassius, Strabo, Galen and Epictetus, were still living and
were perpetuated in the writings of the Byzantine historians of the
10th-14th centuries, the most famous of whom came from Asia Minor.[13]
At that time the strongly ascetic ideals of Greek monastic life were
still in full vigor, as they had been first preached and practiced by
the three great Church Fathers, Basil of Cæsarea, the Cappadocian,
and the two Gregories of Nyssa and Nazianzus, and as they had assumed
controversial form in the monastic castles of Asia Minor (the
forerunners of the monasteries of Mount Athos), built on the Bithynian
Olympus, which is still called by the Turks Keshish-Dagh, _i.e._,
Monks’ Mount, on the Auxentios (also in Bithynia), on Mounts Sipylus,
in Lydia, and Latmos, in Caria. In ecclesiastical architecture, too,
Asia Minor was an originator: the so-called “Domed” Basilika, which
reached its greatest perfection in St. Sophia in Constantinople and its
most perfect reproduction in St. Mark’s in Venice, owes its development
to Asia Minor.[14]

Finally there arose in Asia Minor a new folk-poetry that dealt with the
deeds of heroes. What the Nibelungen is to the Germans, the Chanson de
Roland to the French, and Beowulf to the English, that, to the Greeks
of the Middle Ages, was the romantic epic of Akritas (_i.e._, Count)
Basilios. Discovered only a few decades ago, though scattered widely,
wherever Greek is spoken, in countless fragments of folk-poetry, it
is a sort of crystal precipitate in verse of those struggles which
the Byzantine Counts were forced to wage against the Saracens on the
eastern confines of their realm, in Cappadocia. The poem has for us a
double value: first, as proving that the national center of gravity of
Hellenism lay then in Asia Minor, and second, as enlightening us as to
the ethnological relations of the country, for its hero is the son of a
Greek woman by an Arab Emir (hence his surname Digenis, that is, born
of two races).[15]

From a political as well as a cultural point of view, Asia Minor
formed a center of Hellenism. From here sprang all the great ruling
families, which from the 8th century to the 13th constantly renewed the
kingdom: the Isaurians (717-867), the Armenians (867-1057), the Comneni
(1057-1185), the Laskarides (1204-1261), the Palæologi (1261-1453).
They are all rooted in the feudal nobility of Asia Minor, which is
comparable with our east Elbe colonial nobility. If it had not been
for these powerful and energetic noble families the Byzantine Empire,
and with it Hellenism as well, would long ago have been destroyed, and
if the Greeks in Asia Minor had not succeeded in these struggles, that
lasted 300 years, in stemming the advance of the Turks, their hordes
would have poured over the Balkan Peninsula and Hungary centuries
earlier than they did. We must briefly review these wars, for in no
other way can the present ethnical and cultural constitution of the
country and the position of Hellenism in it be fully understood. The
annihilation of Hellenism and the coincident erection, one after the
other, of two Turkish empires came in two great phases: the first, at
the end of the 11th century, in the conquest by the Seljuks, and the
second, at the beginning of the 14th century, in that by the Ottomans.
The geographical situation of the capitals of these two kingdoms,
Iconium (Konia) and Prusa (Brussa), is in itself an indication of the
swinging of the Turkish center of gravity from the east toward the

Although the Seljuk kingdom did not embrace the whole peninsula within
its boundaries, it threatened, at first, with that terrific thrusting
strength of the Mongolian conquerors, to reach out far beyond its
boundaries, and to wrest from the Greeks that northwestern part of
Asia Minor that was so greatly coveted. In 1080 the Seljuks were
already in the extreme northwest in Bithynia, and in possession of
Nicæa and Nicomedia, and were ranging the whole coast regions from
Smyrna to Attalia (Adalia) as pirates. The Greeks, who were at first
purely on the defensive, joined in with the Crusaders, and succeeded,
after twenty years of stubborn fighting, in thrusting the Turkish
conquerors back of a line which corresponds pretty closely to that
of the Eskishehr-Karahissar-Akshehr railroad line of today. This was
in the early part of the 12th century (1117). A second thrust by
the Greeks (1139) drove them back upon their old base and center,
Iconium. Western Asia Minor was thus again rescued to the Greeks and
nearly forty years of quiet followed. This time was utilized by the
Greek emperors to build a strong line of fortresses against possible
further attacks; all strategically important points were defended by
strong forts, especially the valley of the Sangarios, which formed the
corridor of attack against Constantinople. Even today, as one travels
over the railroad from Ismid-Eskishehr, he sees numerous, fairly
well preserved ruins of these Byzantine forts which served the same
purpose of border-defense as those of today in the valley of the Saal
in our own land.[16] They bear Turkish names, but he who has studied
into these things knows that these are only literal translations of
old Greek names: Inegeul, shortened from Angelokome = Angelstown;
Kupruhissar, from the Greek Gephyrokastron = Bridgefort; Karadjahissar
= Greek Melangeia (Turkish, karadja = blackish). They mark, therefore,
the boundary between Byzantine and Turkish history.

Thanks to these fortresses, the Greeks succeeded in repulsing the
Turkish assaults, so vehemently renewed in 1177, until, by the Latin
conquest of 1204, the Byzantine Empire was entirely restricted to Asia
Minor, where, in the so-called Nicæan Empire, it experienced such a
promising rebirth that it soon embraced the whole northern half of
western Asia Minor. This new kingdom secured to the Greeks the mastery
in Asia Minor for 125 years more, and it would have secured it to
them for an even longer period if the Mongol invasion of 1241 and the
consequent weakening of the Seljuks had not tempted the ambitious
Greek emperors to stretch out their hands once more toward that fatal
Constantinople, instead of using their whole strength in maintaining
their hold on Asia Minor; for the Greek Empire of that time was no
longer strong enough to hold control over two continents that were so
seriously threatened, especially since a new avalanche was already
rolling in from the east, the mighty Ottomans, who rose up in the
strength of youth among the ruins of the fallen empire of the Seljuks.
What the Seljuks in 240 years had failed to accomplish, the Ottomans
were destined to bring about in a single generation, the ruination of
Hellenism in Asia Minor.

It was in 1299 that the petty Turkish feudal prince, Osman, broke
through the fortified region of the Sangarios, and after sixteen
years of desperate fighting succeeded in forcing his way through to
Nicæa, the chief defensive point of the Greeks, in order to lay the
foundations of that great Ottoman Empire that was to be the mighty
successor to the Byzantine Empire. He still met with almost invincible
resistance; Nicæa with its mighty walls could not be forced, and it
was only in 1326, the year of his death, that Prusa, after a ten-year
siege, fell, and under the name of Brussa became the first Ottoman
capital. In 1330, and after a siege of fifteen years, came the fall of
Nicæa, and later that of Nicomedia. The hardest part of the task had
thus been done, the first great breach had been made in the stronghold
of the Greek Empire, and the conquerors now turned to the south.
Pergamon fell in 1335, Sardis in 1369, and Philadelphia (Alashehr),
the last of the Greek cities of the interior, which, according to the
expression of a Greek chronicler, stands like a star in a clouded sky,
was captured in 1391. Smyrna, the old Greek acropolis, had already
fallen a prey early in the 14th century to the Seljuks, who had found
in Aïdin, the ancient Tralles, a last support for their sinking
power. Apart from Trebizond in the extreme northeast, which up to
1461 maintained itself as the capital of the little coast state which
was also called Trebizond, all Asia Minor was now in the hands of the
Turks. The Greeks, as a political factor, had ceased to play any part.
The question as to whether they had ceased to be of any importance as a
civilizing and cultural factor we must now attempt to investigate.

Byzantine sources show clearly enough that Asia Minor, even in the
11th century, was suffering from decrease in its population. This
was caused partly by the endless levies of troops, necessitated by
the struggles against the Bulgarians in the Balkans, and partly by
agrarian conditions in Asia Minor, of which I have yet to speak. The
consequences of this systematic depopulation first became evident
when the country collapsed under the inroads of Seljuks, Mongols and
Ottomans; for the defensive military strength that was for a while
maintained could not disguise the fact that the national strength of
the Greeks was already broken when the inroads of these peoples began.
Furthermore, there was no longer any means at hand to renew this
strength which had been for centuries so systematically drained. On
the contrary, the depopulation went on from bad to worse, and it took
place in different ways according to the varying character of the three
conquering peoples.

The Seljuks, who were bent chiefly on gaining new pasturing grounds,
seem to have drawn the Greek population closer to themselves and to
have made them of some service, instead of attempting to drive them
out by force. This is proven by the accounts of voluntary or forced
submission to the conquerors, into which the inhabitants were driven by
the unsound agrarian conditions in Asia Minor, which were characterized
by an ever-growing tendency toward larger and larger estates, a
tendency against which, even in the 10th century, the clear-sighted
emperors had vainly enacted the strictest laws. The consequences
appeared at the time of the inroads of the Seljuks; evidently with full
knowledge of these conditions, they promised the oppressed peasants in
the conquered regions complete freedom in return for the payment of a
head tax, if they would yield to their control. Thus great masses of
the Greek population went over to the Turks and were lost to Hellenism.
Emperor John Comnenos, on one of his campaigns against the Seljuks of
Iconium (1120), was forced first to fight bitterly with the Greeks
of that region, who had either been already half Turkified, or were,
at any rate, strongly Turcophile. We see, then, that at that time
large intermixtures of the native Greeks (or of the Hellenized native
population) with the Seljuks must have taken place, for only through
such intermixture is the fact to be explained that the Anatolian
population of today, both Christian and Mohammedan, instead of showing
a distinct racial stamp, rather presents strongly modified features
which cannot be described as either Aryan or Mongolian.[17]

The Ottomans were less bent on peaceful assimilation than on forcible
subjection and extermination. In their character as masters they
sought to make the conquered as harmless as possible, and they used
to this end a means that they had learned from the Byzantine emperors;
they transplanted, from the conquered cities that had a large Greek
population, large numbers of these Greeks to other cities where the
Greeks were less numerous, so that everywhere the Greeks were forced
into a minority. Furthermore, the Greeks were no longer permitted
to live in the large cities that were at that time still strongly
walled, but were compelled to settle outside in the suburbs. From
these suburbs there gradually developed later, as the Greek population
increased, entirely new towns, which crowded the old city-center
from its predominating position and established itself in its place.
This system, as we shall see, resulted in strengthening rather than
weakening the Greek element. And yet, in this Turkish conquest, a
great part of the Greeks in the towns were constantly being forced
to leave Asia Minor and to take refuge in the European part of the
Empire, for the Byzantine historians of that time (the 14th century)
tell of mass emigrations to Europe, of homeless refugees crowded in and
around Constantinople, and of growing insecurity in the neighborhood
of the capital. This exodus from the towns betokens a second essential
difference as compared with what had happened in the Balkan Peninsula.
While, in the Balkans, the cities appear as the supporting centers, the
bulwarks, of the Greeks against the Slav inundation, forming a base
of operations for winning back the open country that had become Slav,
in Asia Minor not only the country regions but the towns as well fell
into the hands of the conquerors, evidently because the Turks were
better trained soldiers and more familiar with the art of besieging
towns than were the Slavs, who were accustomed only to campaigns in
the open. The degree to which the Greek communities of Asia Minor
suffered under the Turkish conquest is shown by the old Church Acts
which are still preserved in the Patriarchate in Constantinople.[18]
While Asia Minor before the Turkish invasion counted no less than
fifty seats of Metropolitans (the highest church dignitaries) it has
today only twenty.[19] Of these, twelve alone are distributed in the
western provinces, while the other provinces have only eight. Even
of these the greater part are maintained only for the sake of the
names. These numbers show better than anything else how seriously the
Greek town-population in the interior of Asia Minor melted away as
a result of the Turkish conquest, for every withdrawal of the seat
of a Metropolitan, and every uniting of several such seats in one,
presupposes a decided decrease in the population of a district.

The greatest direct losses of the Greeks were caused by the two
great Mongolian invasions of the years 1241 and 1402, especially the
latter under the much-feared Timur. These hordes found their only
joy in burning, murdering and pillaging, and poured forth like a
plague of locusts “in separate bands over Galatia, Phrygia, Bithynia,
Paphlagonia, the coast region of Caria, Lycia and Pamphylia in such a
way that it seemed as if the whole Tartar army was billeted in every
separate province, so numerous were they.” So says one of the last
Byzantine historians (Dukas), who pictures also, in vivid colors, the
consequences of this predatory incursion in the words, “Timur left
neither living men, nor weeping children, nor barking dogs, nor crowing
cocks, but everywhere nothing but the stillness of death.” Thus every
one of these three Turkish inundations had in its own way contributed
to decimate the Greek population of Asia Minor.

Only in two greater districts have compact groups of Greeks of
considerable extent preserved their nationality, their speech and, in
part, their religion, that is, in Middle Cappadocia, in the interior
of eastern Asia Minor, and in Pontus, in the extreme northern coast
region; in the former as a relic of the old church settlements and
in the latter as the last remains of that latest Greek effort at
establishing a state in Asia Minor, the Empire of Trapezus. The Greek
population of these two districts can therefore serve to bring clearly
before us the Asia Minor Greeks of the Middle Ages, in their physical
as well as their linguistic character.

Before proceeding further I must state that these peoples, like those
of the Balkan Peninsula, must already have acquired their present
physical stamp in the early Middle Ages, at any rate, before the
Seljuk-Turkish conquest, for the modified, ethnically but slightly
distinguished type of the western Anatolian peasant population is
not characteristic of these Greeks. Rather do the Cappadocian Greeks
show unmistakable Armenian influence, especially in the broad and
extraordinarily high skull, and the large fleshy nose, as well as
in their compact and sturdy build, while those of the mountainous
coast region of Pontus have retained the more finely cut features of
the Greeks and their more graceful form. Some claim to find a third
type in the Greeks of south-eastern Asia Minor, a type which shows
strikingly Semitic features, and which is probably to be traced
back to the numerous Syrian immigrations into Asia Minor during the
supremacy of the Isaurian Dynasty of Byzantium, 717-867. In the same
way the Armenian type of the inland Greeks is to be traced back to the
extensive intermingling of Byzantine Greeks and Armenians during the
9th and 10th centuries, when the Byzantine Empire received a strong
quickening of Armenian blood. A dynasty of Armenian origin at that
time gave the Byzantine imperial throne a new hold and lent renewed
strength to the new kingdom and a great Byzantine province of Asia
Minor was called “the Armenian Province.” In any case, we must be
on our guard against deriving our present ethnographical picture of
Asia Minor directly from the old racial divisions into Hittites,
Phrygians and Lydians. The fact that Asia Minor served as a bridge
between Asia and Europe prevented such a preservation of the old
ethnical relations, as had been the case in the Balkan Peninsula, that
great reservoir of people in migration; here as there, in judging
of ethnological characteristics, we should, far more than has up to
now been the case, start out from Byzantine times, which completely
transformed the ancient ethnological nature of both peninsulas.[20]
That we have to do, however, in the case of the Cappadocian and
Pontic Greeks with autochthonous remains of pre-Turkish times, and
not with later immigrants, is shown not only by their racial type but
by their dialect. This belongs to the very oldest forms of the Modern
Greek language, if one leaves out of account the still more ancient
Tzakonian, and enables us to conclude that it broke away from other
Greek at a very early period, and followed a separate development of
its own. This is particularly true of the Pontic dialect of Samsun
(Amisos), Œnoe (Unieh) and Ophis; there is in the phonetics of the
dialect, as well as in the vocabulary, so much that is peculiar that
it is almost unintelligible to those conversant with the ordinary
Modern Greek. But this holds true also of the dialect of some twenty
Cappadocian towns—for with only twenty are we here concerned—a
dialect which is still quite on the level of the Greek of the early
Middle Ages, evidently going back to the time of the settlements in
the country of the old monks, which can be proved, in the region of
Cæsarea, to go back in many cases as far as the 4th century B.C.
These dialects,[21] however, are, as compared with those larger and
continuous regions where common Greek is spoken, only small and
distinct islands of the Greek speech, which are constantly wearing away
and giving up ground, more and more, although the proportion of Greeks
in these regions is much higher than elsewhere. The ratio is highest
in Pontus, where there are nearly 250,000 Greeks (25 to 30 per cent of
the population), and where they form a large percentage even of the
city population, especially in Trebizond and Samsun. On the contrary,
in Cappadocia they are to be found settled only in a large number
of villages, comprising altogether something like 40,000 souls.[22]
The number of these Greeks in Pontus as well as in Cappadocia is,
furthermore, all the harder to fix accurately, because there are among
them many communities of Christians who conceal the fact that they are
Christians, and, for political reasons, pass as adherents of Islam
(even making use of the Turkish language), but who are really devoted
to Christianity and have kept up their Greek national feeling. In
Pontus they are especially to be found in the districts of Tonia and
Ophis, where in the seventies of the last century they were estimated
at about 14,000, while in other districts, as in Krom and Torul, a
strong process of Christianizing them anew has taken place.[23]

Apart from these two isolated areas of Greeks, the Turks have inundated
the whole peninsula, subjecting it to the Turkish nationality and
to the Turkish language, while Hellenism, though not entirely
destroyed, has been so seriously broken up and shattered that it has
been obliged to give up even its language and its religion, that is
to say, has completely lost its national consciousness. The numerous
Greek names of rivers, villages and mountains have, with very few
exceptions, all disappeared, being replaced by Turkish names.[24] As
far as administration and ways of living were concerned, the Turkish
conquest produced very few radical changes. The very towns which
under Greek control had formed commercial and administrative centers,
continued to be such under the Turks, keeping, for the most part,
their old Greek names as a proof of the strength of 1500-year-old
traditions. Towns like Smyrna, Prusa, Pergamon, Magnesia, Attalia,
Adana, Tarsus, Iconium, Ancyra, Cæsarea, Amasia, Castamuni, Trapezus,
Sinope, Amisos and others experienced a new quickening under their
old names, which the Turks altered only slightly. Not only did they
continue to be the capitals of their various districts for purposes
of administration, but their names were extended so as to apply to
the entire districts of which they were centers. Practically all the
vilayets and sanjaks of Asia Minor received their names from these old
centers of city-civilization and comparatively few have Turkish names,
the ancient Tralles, Philadelphia and Dorylæum, for example, bearing
the Turkish names Aïdin, Alashehr and Eskishehr respectively. On this
weighty point, therefore, the Turks, as an unhistoric people, have been
as little able to interrupt the continuity of civilization as in the
Balkan Peninsula, where the larger towns likewise have kept their Greek

Just as the Turks in Asia Minor have taken over the way of living
of their predecessors in power, so too have they accepted almost
unchanged their social relations. Two points alone deserve special
mention here, the possession of large landed estates and the feudal
system. The Turkish landowners, the Beys, are nothing but the direct
successors of the Byzantine archontes, and the Turkish peasants have
been forced to render compulsory service to the Beys just as the
Christian peasants did to the archontes. That strongly developed feudal
system, too, which has existed from Byzantine times, especially ever
since the 11th century, with its distinction between the little and
large fiefs for foot soldiers and cavaliers, respectively, was taken
over by the Turks, and was by them even more highly developed.

In this accommodation to the conditions and institutions of the subject
peoples did the strength, as well as the weakness, of the new masters
consist: in so far as they found before them fast-bound customs,
which they simply took over, they were obliged to accept, along with
their advantages, their drawbacks as well. The only real advantage
that they received came from their acceptance of feudalism, while the
retention of cultural and social conditions in town and country was
bound gradually to weaken their power, because these conditions either
outlived them or, at any rate, were not suited to them. The first
statement applies to agrarian relations, and the latter to commercial
relations in the towns. This free shepherd and peasant race (for this
they had previously been) lost its free character through taking over
the Byzantine provincial nobility without, however, in doing this,
developing a genuinely urban civilization, which is an absolutely
necessary prerequisite for trade-activity. Thus the Turkish peasantry
went backward without a Turkish bourgeoisie arising. At any rate, only
a limited town-folk arose which made its living by handicraft but did
not know how to conquer economically the regions that it had subdued
politically. There existed here, therefore, a twofold, dangerous breach
in the social organism of Mohammedanism, and into this breach sprang
the ever-alive and ever-enterprising Greek, first the Greek trader, and
then the Greek farmer. Both had in the west coast of Asia Minor and
in the islands, regions where Greeks have always lived, a field for
their activity that, though at first modest, has slowly but steadily
broadened out.

In the first place, Greek trade in Asia Minor was destined to have an
awakening. The impulse to this came from the trade policy inaugurated
in the Levant by Colbert, the gifted Minister of Louis XIV. A special
trade-society was founded for this purpose (1664), the consular system
was reformed, French merchants were united in permanent corporations
and a state system of control was arranged between the most important
harbors of the Levant and Marseilles. An interesting account has been
preserved, dating back to the year 1733, which tells of measures
taken to increase the trade of Smyrna as over against its rival
Constantinople, and one from the year 1778, containing a regulation
decided upon by the Marseilles Chamber of Commerce for the French
merchants of Smyrna.[25]

The number of firms there that represented French houses had, in
the period from 1752 to 1783, already increased to twenty-nine as
against eleven in Constantinople and eight in Salonika. This French
trade-policy was systematically based on a strengthening of Smyrna,
with the evident purpose of driving the rival trade of Italy out of the
field. In this it must have succeeded, for in the forty years from 1750
to 1789 the value of French goods imported from Smyrna to Marseilles
rose from 5,629,000 pounds to 12,805,000 pounds and, at the same time,
the export from Marseilles to Smyrna rose from 4,250,000 pounds to
9,500,000 pounds. This increase in the trade of Marseilles naturally
postulated a similar increase in the trade of Smyrna; this attained
even in 1787 no less a figure than 52,750,000 Turkish pounds, in which
figures is included the rapidly increasing trade with Russia which
resulted from the latter’s position as Turkey’s protector since 1774.
Smyrna thus became a new and important reloading place in the trade of
the Levant, and although, at the beginning of the 18th century, it had
numbered hardly 30,000 inhabitants, it had, in the year 1803, 100,000,
of whom about a third were Greeks. The new blood was mostly to the
advantage of the Greeks. In fact, one may say that the new enlargement
of Smyrna, which had formerly been the center of Hellenism in Asia
Minor and became so in an increasing degree from now on, opened a new
period of prosperity to the Greeks of Asia Minor; from all parts of the
Greek Orient a stream of enterprising Greeks gathered together here, so
that the old capital of Ionia soon became once more an almost purely
Greek city; in 1850, of about 125,000 inhabitants, 60,000 were Greeks,
in 1880 of about 160,000, 75,000 or 80,000 were Greeks, and in 1910,
over 100,000 inhabitants of the city’s 225,000 were Greeks. On the
contrary, the number of Turks has, in the last 100 years, dropped from
75,000 to 60,000, or, according to some authorities, to 50,000, while
the number of Greeks has almost quadrupled.[26] The trade of Smyrna
has correspondingly increased, especially since the opening up of the
interior through the railroads that go out from Smyrna into the valleys
of the Hermos and Mæander. Though the trade in 1839 amounted only to
53 million francs, it had increased in 1855 to 120 million, and by
1881 had even reached the figure of 220 million francs. It had already
surpassed the commerce of Constantinople, and the Turks therefore call
Smyrna too, mingling envy and scorn, “the infidel Smyrna” (Giaour
Ismir). For Hellenism in Asia Minor, however, it became a new and firm
support for its interests and a source of prosperity. Even in the
year 1818 the Greek merchants of Smyrna were able to build at their
own expense a beautiful casino, intended alike to serve business and
social ends. This proved, however, to be a tender blossom that had come
out prematurely and was soon destroyed by the storms of the Greek War
for Independence (1821-1829), though it did bloom forth all the more
strongly after the war’s fortunate ending.

For Hellenism began to spread over the west coast in a large number
of little places, which were in part old Hellenic sites, and in part
places settled during the Middle Ages, or in later Turkish times.
Among the very old sites is Phocæa, which through a strange play of
circumstances has formed the beginning and the ending of a development
that has embraced the world. Famous as the metropolis of Marseilles
(Massilia), it was, after a long period of decay, revived in modern
times by the reflux movement from her daughter of old, a movement that
affected Smyrna first, and then its neighbor Phocæa as well, for this
too, in spite of its changing political fortunes, had always been a
bulwark of Christianity and was again destined to experience a new,
though modest, rejuvenescence. Although, during the first half of the
19th century, the Greeks there were still in the minority, as compared
with the Turks, constituting two-fifths of the population (2,000 out
of 5,000), the relation has in the intervening decades so changed that
now out of 8,000 inhabitants, 6,000 are Greeks, so that these now
form three-quarters of the inhabitants. This increase is due to the
vigorous local shipping trade which centers here and which numbers
annually something like 3,000 ships. The most remarkable thing is,
however, that this rejuvenated Old Phocæa has already become once more
the mother-city of a young Phocæa (New Phocæa), which is about ten
kilometers northwest of the old and although only a few decades old
already has about 5,000 inhabitants of whom about 4,000 are Greeks. New
and Old Phocæa then, taken together, already number about 10,000 Greek
inhabitants as compared with 3,000 Turks. Working the salt pits and
exportation of raisins constitute the chief sources of livelihood of
the two cities.

The two other important harbors north of Smyrna are, like Phocæa, of
recent origin and are therefore purely Greek; I mean Dikeli and Aïvali.
Dikeli may really be described as founded by the German archæologist
Karl Humann, who in 1869 had the road that led to this place from
Pergamon rebuilt, in order the better to transport the Pergamene
sculptures excavated by him. Enterprising Greek merchants have taken
advantage of this road in the exportation of the products of the
country, and have built up here a trading place which in 1880 had 3,000
exclusively Greek inhabitants but which now contains 5,000 such.[27]
Owing to this fact the older harbor of Chandirli, situated more to
the north, has steadily diminished in importance. The chief exporting
harbor of northwest Asia Minor is, however, Aïvali, newly built in
the third decade of the 19th century on the site of an older Greek
settlement named Cydonia, a name which, like Aïvali, means “quince.”
It is an almost unique example, on Asia Minor soil, of a large, purely
Greek and practically self-governing community, with 25,000 to 30,000
inhabitants, a yearly export business of ten to twelve million francs
and a shipping of over 3,000 vessels. It has thoroughly modern business
institutions as well as a Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture and an
Agricultural Bank. It is the seat of three consular agents, those of
England, France and Italy. Through Aïvali’s growth the ancient Adramit
(Adramyttium), which was formerly on the coast but is now further
inland away from the bay, has been put into the background and now
contains about 6,000 inhabitants. As compared with these three ports,
the three that are situated on the west coast, south of Smyrna, are by
no means so important, perhaps just because they are older settlements,
in which Hellenism has had to force its way against the Turks, who were
here numerically superior. This is particularly true of Chesme, which
lies on the projecting west point of the peninsula of Clazomenæ.[28] It
is a town of about 6,000 inhabitants, which prospers through its raisin
trade. The Turks, to be sure, form the majority of the population
(about two-thirds), but the shipping (2,500 ships annually) is entirely
in Greek hands. The chief place of export for the products of the
Mæander valley is Scalanova, settled in the Middle Ages and named by
the Turks Kush-Adassi, by the Greeks New Ephesus. The Greeks, 3,000
to 4,000 in number, are constantly forcing the Turks, who are settled
in the old walled town and are about equal to them in number, further
into the background, and in commerce they completely control the
field. Lastly, Budrum, a Turkish settlement on the site of the ancient
Halicarnassus and still inhabited by about 3,000 Turks, has become
Hellenized in proportion as the growing importance of the place as a
center of export for southwest Asia Minor—the ancient Caria—has been
appreciated by the Greeks. Their number, which twenty years ago was a
little over 2,200, may since then have come to equal that of the Turks,
or may even have surpassed it.

The other little seaport towns on the southwest coast, as Marmaras,
Macri, Levisi, Kalamaki and Phœnix, since they are not connected by
railroad lines with the interior, are as yet without any commercial
significance and are of importance only in connection with local
coast-shipping. None of them has more than 3,000 inhabitants, but these
are overwhelmingly Greek.

With these constantly increasing Greek settlements on the west coast,
settlements which have their economical support in the great islands
just off the coast, Mitylene, Chios, Samos and Rhodes, the settlements
on the extended, exposed and less indented north and south coasts of
Asia Minor can bear no comparison either in number or in importance,
and this is true particularly of the south coast. The chief places here
are the ancient Adalia (Attalia) founded in Hellenistic times, with
about 30,000 inhabitants, and the entirely modern Mersina, founded in
1832, with about 22,000 inhabitants. In Adalia, which was an important
station for the fleet in Byzantine times, and is now the chief emporium
for the whole interior of the southwest, there live about 10,000
Greeks, _i.e._, about a third of the total population, while in Mersina
they form the majority. This city, too, owing to the fact that it is
connected with the Bagdad railroad by the Mersina-Adana line, has
obtained the commercial supremacy on the south coast; it had in 1911 an
import and export business of some twelve to thirteen million francs,
while Adana had a business of only two and a quarter million. Here
too, therefore, the more flourishing condition of the cities is in
direct ratio with the increasing number of Greeks. On the north coast,
which is twice as long as the southern, no new Greek settlements have
developed, but those that have existed since antiquity have maintained
their importance, thanks to the fact that they have preserved their
Greek element, which from these bases has controlled the trade of the
Black Sea. Trebizond, Kerasunda (Kiresun), Œnoe (Unieh), Amisos
(Samsun), Sinope (Sinop), Ionopolis (Ineboli), Heraclea (Eregli)
are still strong supporting and gathering points of the Greeks, who
constitute in Trebizond half of the population (about 25,000 Greeks out
of 50,000 inhabitants), while Samsun, the greatest trade center of the
north coast, with an export business of about forty million francs, has
even a larger proportion of Greeks.

Economically developed in quite another way, because more blessed by
nature and more highly favored by its nearness to Constantinople,
and on these accounts from of old, more densely populated, is the
northwest coast of Asia Minor, the littoral of the Sea of Marmora.
Here are situated on relatively shorter stretches of coast, no less
than seven important old seaports which also belong completely to the
Greek sphere of influence. There lie first, at and on the peninsula of
Cyzicus, the old cities of Panormos (Panderma) and Artake (Artaki). The
former is the more important as being the chief place of export for
the sheep of Asia Minor, the value of which, even in 1893, amounted to
fifteen million francs. Since then, the town, which has about 12,000
inhabitants, of whom 2,000 are Greeks, has become the terminus of the
road that branches off from Manissa, and will take a sudden jump as
soon as it has direct steamer connection with Constantinople. Artaki,
an almost purely Greek town of about 7,500 inhabitants, subsists,
in great part, from its manufacture of wine, liqueurs and cognac.
In particular, the white wines produced here are highly esteemed in
Constantinople. In the southeast corner of the Sea of Marmora are
situated Mudania and Gemlik, the former, the old Apamea, the point of
departure of the railroad to Broussa, having about 4,000 Greek and
2,000 Turkish inhabitants; the latter, the ancient Kios, which the
Greeks have once more renamed by its old name, being an almost purely
Greek town of 5,000 to 6,000 inhabitants, which, like Aïvali, enjoys an
almost complete independence. The chief exports are chromium-ore and
tobacco (Kios-cigarettes!). Finally, in the deep bay of Ismid, besides
Ismid itself, are at one and the other side of the city Karamursal (the
ancient Prænetus) and Gebize (the Byzantine Dakibyza). Both are the
capitals of districts in which the Greek population already surpasses
the Turkish (1893: 15,000 Greeks and 11,000 Turks), although in the
towns themselves the Turks are still in the majority (Gebize has about
4,000 Turks and 2,000 Greeks). Alongside of these places, however,
especially along the line of the Haidar-Pasha-Ismid Railway are to be
found many Greek places whose Greek population increases, in a very
striking way, the nearer one gets to Constantinople. So, for example,
Daridsha, the Byzantine Aretzu, which is now once more inhabited
exclusively by Greeks, and Cadikioi, the ancient Chalcedon, which now
numbers 30,000 to 35,000 inhabitants, who consist in almost equal
numbers of Armenians, Greeks and Turks, while at the beginning of the
19th century it was inhabited almost entirely by Turks.

Coming now to the last of these places, Ismid (the ancient Nicomedia),
we find that this has lost its old significance as a place of transfer,
toward Constantinople, of the products from the rich Bithynian plain,
since the Anatolian Railroad has drawn this business in great part to
itself, and its exports, which in 1893 amounted to thirty-two million
francs, have since then decreased proportionately with the decrease
in the number of its inhabitants, which furthermore is fluctuating
greatly, being now reported as 40,000, again as 25,000, and again as
only 20,000. The number of the Greeks up to twenty years ago, when they
numbered 6,000, was constantly increasing, for in the first half of the
19th century they were estimated at not more than 1,000.

The whole Greek population of these sixteen towns is about 240,000, of
which number about half are found in Smyrna, so that the other fifteen
comprise a number about equal with that in Smyrna. But the number
of Greek inhabitants of the coast has not yet been fully enumerated.
For if we add the number of those who are settled in the districts of
the various provinces that border on the coast, we arrive at almost
twice this number, _i.e._, 450,000. There must then be living in these
coast regions, scattered outside the cities in the country, more than
200,000 Greeks. These make their living by fishing, and grape and fruit
raising, and extend in almost unbroken stretches between the towns
along the whole coast, so that the whole Greek population of the coast
consists in about equal proportions of city and country dwellers, a
ratio that we shall also find obtaining in the interior as well.

This fringe or wreath of Greek colonies which extends toward the
south as well as toward the north forms not only a strong economical
force, but also a no less strong spiritual force. This is usually
underestimated, as is too, in general, that idealistic element which
is coexistent in the Greeks with that confessedly very prominent
materialistic element, and this even in the times of its deepest
national humiliation it has never lost. This idealistic element is
rooted in a very strong national feeling, which has been nourished
by the recollection of a great intellectual past and which finds
its finest and most effectual expression in the fostering of Greek
schools. This desire for schooling is implanted in the Greek nature
from the times of late antiquity, and though it often savors rather
strongly of scholasticism, it has prevented the Greeks from losing
their national consciousness, as have the Jews and, to a certain
degree, Armenians. Even the church is held so sacred by the Greeks
only because she has been the bearer of national ideals in the times
of slavery and has, at the same time, been a powerful political
organ of administration, forming the only means in Turkey of putting
through the national demands for schools. The relation of church and
school is therefore, in the Greek Orient, quite different from that
in Catholic or even Protestant Christian lands. The church regards
itself not as the mistress of the school but rather as her servant
and patron. This fact must be clearly understood in order rightly to
estimate the relations now to be considered. If, for example, a Greek
community wishes to establish a school on Turkish soil, the council of
the community informs the bishop of the diocese of this desire and the
latter communicates it to the superior bishop, who then acquaints the
Greek Patriarchate in Constantinople with the matter. The latter is the
religious head of the Greeks in Turkey and must therefore represent
their educational interests. It is his task then to obtain the Sultan’s
permission to establish the desired school, and in obtaining this,
money plays a not unimportant rôle. The richer the community is,
therefore, the more easily does it obtain the permission, and since
the Greek communities of the coast of Asia Minor have always been, for
the most part, very rich, they were able to proceed to establish their
own schools at an early date. The oldest are those in Smyrna, Aïvali
and Chesme, and those that first came into existence were not common
schools but higher institutions of learning, corresponding to the
development of the times and the aristocratic character of the Greek
merchants. The oldest and most famous of these schools, and the only
one which still exists, is the so-called Evangelical School in Smyrna.
It goes back to 1708, but the year 1733 is really to be regarded as the
year of its foundation. Existing under English protection since 1747,
and being therefore absolutely autonomous, it was, in 1810, recognized
by the Sultan as a fully authorized gymnasium, and after being twice
reorganized—in 1810 and 1828—the Greek Government, too, gave it full
recognition. Although supported entirely by the funds of the community
and benefactors’ gifts, and demanding for its upkeep more than 100,000
francs, it still maintains in Smyrna two great affiliated schools. Its
significance for the intellectual life of Smyrna rests in its ancient
museum and in its rich library (30,000 volumes and 200 manuscripts),
the only one on Asia Minor soil.[29]

In Smyrna too is still published the first Greek newspaper to appear on
Turkish soil, _Amalthea_, which has existed now for almost seventy-five
years. Alongside of this old school for advanced studies there were in
Smyrna in 1894 other Greek schools, and in particular seventeen grammar
schools, two trade schools (the oldest having existed since 1857),
four private girls’ schools and one large girls’ college with three
associated schools and more than 2,000 pupils in all. The largest Greek
school community in Asia Minor, next to that of Smyrna, is that of
Aïvali, the second largest Greek colony of the west coast. It supports
more than twenty grammar schools, two intermediate schools, a gymnasium
and a girls’ boarding school, which in 1892 were attended by more than
1,100 pupils. Then comes Chesme, known for its old advanced-school,
which at that time possessed only eleven schools but showed the largest
number of pupils (675). Nearly equal to this were Phocæa with nine
schools and 560 pupils, Adramit with nineteen schools and about 600
pupils, Artaki with twenty-two schools and 700 pupils, Panderma with
fifteen schools and 536 pupils, Gemlik (Kios) with nine schools and
530 pupils, Mudania with eight schools and 330 pupils, Gebize with
thirteen schools and 1,000 pupils. Although the wide dissemination, as
well as the prosperity and the intellectual development of the Greeks
on the north part of the west coast is reflected in the large number
of Greek schools, that of the southern part is in this particular far
more backward. Apart from Scalanova with five Greek schools and 440
pupils, Adalia on the south coast is alone worthy of mention with its
ten schools and 600 pupils. Taken all together these sixteen cities
have more than two hundred schools with more than 17,000 pupils,[30]
a number, the significance of which can only rightly be appreciated
when compared with the corresponding Turkish figures, which show, to
be sure, that the number of schools is a hundred larger but that the
number of pupils is 6,000 less than that of the Greeks. There are
therefore nearly three times as many pupils per school in the Greek
schools as in the Turkish. The Greek settlements on the north and
south coasts are to be distinguished from those on the west coast not
only through their smaller number, but also through the fact that only
scanty and weak settlements in the inland correspond to them. In the
west, on the contrary, as we have already seen, Greek colonization
has, since late antiquity, extended up into the interior, and the
consequences of this have been felt even up to the present time, or,
at any rate, have been made anew noticeable, owing to the fact that
the Greeks of the west coast have for several decades been pressing
farther and more vigorously into the interior, and have settled there
more definitely. This region that has at present been occupied by them
only in its chief centers is, in general, bounded by a line which may
be drawn from Ismid in the north, past Eskishehr, Afiun-Karahissar,
and Isbarta to Adalia. All that lies between this line and the west
coast may be regarded as within the Greek sphere. The second phase of
these Hellenizing efforts of today begins with this forward push into
the interior of this region. Just how far and in what way has this

If we start on the basis of the actual facts of the case, we find that
in thirty towns of the western interior of Asia Minor of more than
5,000 inhabitants, the Greeks have a share in the population of from
1,000 to 10,000 inhabitants. Arranged according to the ratio of this
share in the population, these cities fall into different groups, as

First, a Greek majority is found in only two cities, Michalitsh (about
7,000 Greeks out of a total of 8,000) and Koplu (about 5,000 out of
8,000). Second, in nine cities the Greeks form between one-half and
one-third of the population: Baindir (4,500 out of 10,000), Tireh
(6,000 out of 14,000), Edemish (3,000 out of 7,000), Menemen (about
3,000 out of 10,000), Bergama (5,500 out of 14,500), Isbarta (7,000 out
of 20,000), Sokia (4,000 out of 12,000), Soma (2,000 out of 6,000),
Manissa (11,000 out of 35,000). Third, in four cities the Greeks form
about a fourth: Inegeul (about 2,000 out of 8,000), Kassaba (6,000
out of 23,000), Kermasti (1,200 out of 4,800), Aïdin (8,500 out of
35,000). Fourth, in five cities they form from a fifth to a sixth part:
Kutaiah (4,000 out of 22,000), Dimetoka (1,300 out of 7,000), Alashehr
(4,500 out of 22,000), Milas (2,000 out of 12,000), Bigha (1,600 out
of 10,000). Fifth, in five cities the Greeks form from a seventh to a
ninth of the total population: Kirkagatch (2,000 out of 18,000), Ushak
(1,500 out of 12,500), Balukiser (1,300 out of 10,000), Sabandsha
(1,000 out of 7,500), Kyrkagatch (about 200 out of 18,000). Sixth, less
than a tenth in seven cities: Denizli (1,600 out of 17,000), Soyut
(1,500 out of 18,000), Nazilli (1,700 out of 21,000), Brussa (6,000 out
of 80,000), Adabazar (1,600 out of 24,000), Eskishehr (1,150 out of
19,000), Nugla (1,100 out of 15,000).

From this combination of facts several interesting conclusions may be
drawn as to the distribution of the Greek population in the interior
itself, and as to the relation between the Hellenization of the
interior as compared with that of the coast regions.

If we group the cities named above according to their distribution
in the various provinces and districts, we find that only fifteen of
these fall within the province of Aïdin, the largest province of the
west coast of Asia Minor, and the one that is held to most stubbornly
by the Turks. Of these fifteen, again, only thirteen come in the
district of Smyrna, Sarukan and Aïdin, which form the most populous
part of this province. These are Menemen, Manissa, Kassaba, Alashehr;
Kirkagatch, Soma, Bergama; Baindir, Tireh and Odemish; Sokia; Aïdin
and Nazilli. Now these thirteen towns, with the exception of Bergama,
all lie, as the above grouping indicates, on the four railroad lines
which go out in four directions from Smyrna, that is in those regions
of the province which belong economically to Smyrna. At any rate,
the significance for the Greek settlements of the economic factor
is clearly evidenced in these towns, for they are, almost without
exception, “capitals,” so to speak, of smaller districts, and are
therefore important distributing and collecting centers for the local
trade to and from Smyrna. With the increase of this trade the number
of the Greeks in this group of interior cities is bound to increase
quickly or has already done so.

Most of the other towns named above are in the province of
Hodavendikiar, which lies due north of that of Aïdin; and once more
is it true that they are in the most densely inhabited parts of the
province, Brussa, Ertogrul and Kutaiah. Of the nine cities that belong
here, five, again, are found on the line of the Anatolian Railroad,
namely, Biledjik, Soyut, Eskishehr, Kutaiah and Ushak; one, Brussa, on
a branch road and three on no railroad at all, though within reach of
the Michalitch-Kirmasti-Inegeul Railroad. Here, too, therefore, the
cities which are more or less decidedly Greek in their population lie
along the main railroad lines, though they are not quite so strongly
Greek as those in the province of Aïdin; for we are here in the very
heart of Turkey, and its greatest city Brussa, which more than all the
other cities of this region has preserved its Turkish character more
purely. It is always to be borne in mind that the Anatolian Railroad
goes out from Constantinople and that this, with its strong Greek
population, is as important a gate of entrance to the northwest of Asia
Minor as Smyrna is for the west.

Although up to this time it is impossible to speak of a Hellenizing of
the great interior cities of western Asia Minor, since these are (thus
being quite different from the coast cities) very far from succumbing,
either numerically or culturally, to the Greek invasion—the number of
Greeks is the largest in Manissa—yet, if one looks into the matter
narrowly, he gains the impression that in the interior the Hellenizing
influence comes from the smaller towns. This supposition, to be
sure, is opposed to the view, still broadly accepted, that the Greek
element is purely a city element, and that the country-folk consist
only of Turks. This view, which, as we have seen, does not hold even
in the coast regions, is, however, absolutely false and is only to be
explained as arising from the impressions of superficial travelers who
have rarely penetrated into the remoter regions with a predominantly
rural population. Anyone who has, for example, visited the larger Greek
islands of the Asiatic coast, like Mitylene, Chios, Samos and Rhodes,
knows that these dense populations live in great measure from grape and
fruit-raising or from silk culture, and only in a very small degree
from trade. Farming plays no very large part, simply because of the
lack of arable land. Since now, as we have said, these very islands
for something like fifty years have become very densely populated or
even in part overpopulated (as, for instance, Samos), there have been
periodical emigrations of the island peasants, in considerable numbers,
over to the mainland, where they have, in particular, settled in the
fruitful valleys of the Mæander and the Hermos in the western parts
of Asia Minor and in that of the Sangarios, farther north. In part,
it is the descendants of the former Greek landowners who have been
reduced to socagers or serfs, who, on getting possession of some little
capital, have now, in their turn, driven back the Turks by buying them
out or by working the soil more scientifically, a process in which
they were helped by the immigrant islanders. If a sufficient number of
them is thus found settled together, they try to obtain the Sultan’s
firman permitting them to settle in a town. Thus the English traveler
Hamilton states that the Greeks in a little town of Lydia (Singerli),
in which they had settled ten years before, had, in his time (1837),
increased to 40-50 families and were busied with building a new market.
In this way numerous new and dense settlements came into existence in
the midst of the more scattered Turkish populations, and the higher
fecundity of the Greek settlers, combined with their industry, their
intellectual keenness, their frugality and their community-feeling,
helped always by the retrogression of the Turkish population itself,
have contributed to extend the Hellenizing process more and more to the
country districts.[31]

In particular have they taken possession of the regions adapted to
silk culture, like that of the lower Sangarios Valley, and also of
such regions as are adapted to raising grapes. More recently, Greek
industrial enterprises, too, especially silk-spinning mills, cognac
factories and steam oil mills, have sprung into existence, meeting
with no rivalry on the part of the Turks. With this Greek peasant of
Asia Minor, who is on a higher moral plane, and who is therefore more
congenial to us Germans than the Greek trader or innkeeper in the
coast-towns, our German spirit of enterprise which is seeking to get
the economic control over Asia Minor, will have to come to terms, and
it would be just as perverse as it would be foolish to depend on the
Turk to the exclusion of the Greek, who has the controlling hand in
trade and traffic, as well as in the cultivation of the soil.[32]

Even to a traveler of a hundred years ago the great difference between
the Greeks of the cities and the peasants was especially noteworthy.
The former were subservient and cringing like the Armenians, while the
latter were energetic and intelligent, irreconcilable in their hatreds
and by no means lacking in courage. And it is to these praiseworthy
qualities, and not to their much-bruited craftiness, that they owe
their progress in the interior of Asia Minor.[33]

As to the numbers of the Greek inhabitants of the interior of Asia
Minor, only an indirect estimate can be made. The whole number of all
the Greeks in the interior of the two provinces of Brussa and Aïdin,
exclusive of the inhabitants of the coast regions, even twenty years
ago, amounted to 200,000, _i.e._, less than half as many as in the
coast regions. About 100,000 of these lived in places with a population
of more than 5,000, so that about 100,000 were scattered among the
villages and towns. The distribution of this interior population
is very uneven. The densest Greek populations have gathered in the
Prefecture of Aïdin and here chiefly in the sub-prefecture of Smyrna,
with its five districts (Sarukan, with four districts, and Aïdin,
with only one). These three sub-prefectures, therefore, in their ten
districts, comprised, twenty years ago, a fifth part of the entire
population. In the province of Brussa the number of districts with
a considerable Greek population was only five, in the sub-prefecture
of Ertogrul, three; in those of Brussa and Kutaiah, one each. There
were the largest numbers in the district of Eskishehr, the ancient
Dorylæum, where they comprised two-fifths of the population, and in
Michalitch, where they formed one-third of the total. In fifteen of the
twenty-five districts of the interior of the two prefectures fifteen,
therefore, already contained a considerable part of the population. To
speak in greater detail, these districts may be classified as follows,
with relation to the proportions of their Greek inhabitants: The Greek
population is densest in the districts of Magnesia (Sanjak Sarukan),
and Eskishehr (Sanjak Kutaiah), where they constitute a fifth of the
population; less dense in the district of Sokia (Sanjak Aïdin), with
about a third; next comes the district Michalitch (Sanjak Brussa), with
from a fourth to a third; and then those of Bergama, Menemen, Baindir,
Tireh and Odemish (Sanjak Smyrna), where they form about a fourth; next
those of Alashehr (Sanjak Sarukan) and Yenishehr (Sanjak Ertogrul) with
about a fifth; and finally those of Inegeul, Biledjik (Sanjak Ertogrul)
and Soma (Sanjak Sarukan), with a sixth to a seventh of the entire

What made the estimating of the numbers of these Greeks in the interior
so very difficult was the fact that up to a few years ago they spoke
Turkish and therefore did not share in the national and racial
consciousness of their kinsmen on the coast, and also the fact that
they do not essentially differ in physical type from the Ottomans,
who have become assimilated to the race type of the conquered people
and have lost their special Turkish characteristics. This state of
affairs began to change when the Greeks, with the help of their church,
succeeded in introducing the Greek language in their schools alongside
of the Turkish. Since then, that is, since the seventies of the last
century, the national propaganda has made great progress among them,
and the number of schools has greatly increased.

In the thirty cities of the interior of this region (prefectures
of Aïdin and Brussa) they possessed in the last decade of the 19th
century more than 400 schools with about 25,000 pupils, while the
Mohammedans in their thousand schools had only 20,000 pupils. The
number of pupils in each Greek school therefore averaged 60, while
those in the Turkish schools averaged only 20, a disproportion which
is to be explained by the fact that the Mohammedan schools are almost
exclusively poorly attended mosque-schools, while the Greek schools are
community-schools that are very well attended. The religious character
of the Turkish educational system is just as prejudicial to the Turks
as the nationalistic tendency of the Greek schools is beneficial to the
Greeks. There are towns in which, in spite of the Greeks being in a
minority, more Greek children attend the schools than Turkish children.
So Sokia, with 180 Turkish and 218 Greek children in school; the same
is true of Bigha (125:140), Alashehr (250:525), Nazilli (162:220),
Menemen (220:325), Biledjik (1,100:1,113). In other towns, such, for
example, as Bergama, Magnesia, Milas, Soyut, the number of the Greek
pupils almost equals that of the Turkish, and in most of them the
number is more than half as large as that of the Turkish pupils, even
in that stronghold of Mohammedanism, Brussa, where there are something
like 2,500 Greeks, as compared with 5,000 Turkish pupils, although the
Greeks comprise here only ten per cent of the population. These are
figures which more than anything else are indicative of the activity
and capacity for education of the Greek part of the population. The
intellectual superiority of the Greeks is set forth in an even stronger
light when one compares the sum total of the Greek schools and of their
pupils in both prefectures with that of the Turkish. For we find that
even in 1894 there were 540 Greek schools, with about 30,000 pupils,
as compared with 1,900 Turkish schools, with about 42,000 pupils. The
slight numerical superiority of the Turkish scholars is, to say the
least, entirely disproportionate to the large majority of Turks in the

According to recent statistics, which are, to be sure, taken from
Greek sources[34] and are, therefore, perhaps a little too optimistic
in their tone, the number of Greek schools has since then risen to
more than 700 and that of the pupils to more than 100,000 (69,274
boys and 48,468 girls), which leads one to conclude that the Greek
population numbers a million, a number which, compared with the 650,000
of twenty-five years ago, does not seem to be too high an estimate,
particularly if we take into account the great increase of the Greeks
through a higher birthrate and through immigration. Thus, the sum total
of the Greeks in both prefectures, which have together a population of
about three millions, would be about a third of this number and would,
at any rate, not fall far below this.

With this rapidly increasing Greek population of the west coast
and interior, the prefectures of Brussa and Aïdin, and that in the
mountains of Pontus (prefecture of Trebizond) and Central Cappadocia
(prefecture of Angora), which number together a million and a third
more, we have not exhausted the list of Greeks of Asia Minor. There
are, as a matter of fact, large numbers scattered through the interior
and along the south coast, chiefly in the prefecture of Sivas and
Konia, where their number in 1890 approximated 75,000. Next comes the
prefecture of Adana, with about 50,000, and, least strongly Greek, the
prefectures Angora (about 30,000) and Kastamuni (about 25,000). It
has, however, been observed that the number of Greeks in the middle
and eastern provinces is always decreasing, which is doubtless due
to the fact that they wander away into the livelier and more fruitful
regions to the westward.[35] These are in this way becoming more and
more solid nuclei for the process of crystallization for Hellenism
in Asia Minor, which is thus once more, as it did in late antiquity,
shifting its center of gravity toward western Asia Minor, as though
it felt that here is ever that original free-flowing source to which
it now for the fourth time owes its strengthening and rejuvenation:
the first being when in the last centuries before the Christian Era
the native Lydians and Phrygians were assimilated; the second, when in
early Byzantine times it turned back the Romanizing process which had
been going on since the beginning of this era; the next, when in the
7th to the 10th centuries it averted the threatening Arabic peril, and
finally when, though apparently defeated by the Turkish conqueror, it
has after 500 years of relaxation again regained its vigor and strength
in order to fulfill its old historical mission, which consists not in
forcing its way on with the wild alarum of weapons, but through the
peaceful weapons put in its power by nature, _i.e._, by material and
spiritual civilizing agencies, that do their work quietly. This mission
Mohammedanism must meet through appropriate measures in administration
and education, if it desires to secure its political control even in
the western part of Asia Minor, now and in the future.



  [Among the most interesting of the irredenta regions
  of Asia Minor, from many points of view, is Pontus, on
  the southeast coast of the Black Sea. So strong is the
  anti-Turkish feeling in this intensely Hellenic land
  that a strong movement has recently arisen among her
  expatriated sons to establish an independent Republic of
  Pontus. Its mountainous inland districts have been so
  isolated from the rest of the Greek world and its coast
  regions have so strongly preserved their individuality
  that language, blood and national feeling have been
  maintained in quite a different way from elsewhere in the
  Greek world. It has seemed fitting that Pontus therefore
  should receive special consideration in this number of
  the American-Hellenic Society’s publications, and we are
  glad to present this scholarly treatise by Demosthenes
  E. Oeconomides, a philologian of no mean repute, who is
  a native of this region and has written amongst other
  things an authoritative treatise on the Pontic dialect
  entitled: _Lautlehre des Pontischen_, Leipzig, 1908.]

Pontus is bounded on the north by the southeast shore of the Euxine
or Black Sea, on the east by the Phasis River and Iberia, on the
south by the Argaeus and Antitaurus mountains, and on the west by the
Halys River. The whole country has at several epochs been variously
divided and has gone under different names, thus, for example, in
the time of the Parthians, the region that extended from the Phasis
to the Bosporus was called the Kingdom of Pontus; in the time of the
Romans, preserving the same boundaries, it was called the Polemoniac
Pontus. The best known cities of Pontus are Rizus, Trapezus, Kerasus,
Kotyora, Oenoe, Amisos, Sinope, Inepolis and Heraclea, all of which are
coast cities, while in the interior are Amasea, Paphra, Neocæsarea,
Nicopolis, Argyropolis, etc. Ecclesiastically it is divided into six,
or if Cæsarea be included, into seven Metropolitan districts: Trapezus,
Rhodopolis, Chaldia, Neocæsarea, Amasea, Cæsarea and Colonia. Of the
many monasteries in Pontus, the most important is that of Mela (now
called Soumela) founded by the Athenian monks, Barnabas and Sophronios,
in 376 A.D. in the time of Theodosius the Great.

Since Trapezus, even in ancient times, was the most important of the
Pontic cities and in the Middle Ages was, in fact, the capital of the
Trapezuntian Empire of the Comnenes, we must give a brief sketch of its

Trapezus, which was founded by a colony of Sinopians 756 B.C. on a site
peculiarly adapted to the cultivation and development of commerce, is
a most ancient and illustrious city. “The city Trapezus,” as Eugenicus
says, “most ancient and best of all the cities in the East,” and “most
venerable of all” according to the expression of Besarion (MS. Ven.
p. 133). We learn from Xenophon’s “Anabasis” (Book V. 5, 10) that
Trapezus paid tribute to its metropolis Sinope. Since, according to
this historian, neither the Colchians nor Chaldians recognized the
Persian sovereignty, we may infer from this that the Trapezuntians
never submitted to the Persians. Xenophon also furnishes us historical
and geographical information about Trapezus and the countries and
peoples round about it, for he was hospitably entertained there for
thirty days on the return of the 10,000. The fine coins of gold and
silver struck both before and after the time of Alexander the Great
testify that it was a free and prosperous city. It certainly maintained
its independence and freedom under Alexander the Great, for it is well
known that he drove out the Persian satraps and rulers wherever these
existed in Pontus and left all the districts and cities autonomous,
among which, under Persian rule, Amisos (Samsun) had been deprived
of its democratic government. During the time of the Diadochi,
(Alexander’s successors), there are recorded as ruling in Cappadocia,
Paphlagonia and a part of Pontus as far as Trapezus, Eumenes (322-315
B.C.), Perdiccas, Mithridates and in particular Seleucus I, called
Nicator (312-208 B.C.), until the Mithridates again gained control up
to 63 B.C., when upon the final dissolution of their empire, Pontus,
under the Romans, entered upon a new period of life.

From that time there was sent there by them annually a special governor
until in 46 B.C. Polemon from Tralles in Phrygia was established as
king of Pontus from Bosporus to Colchis. Many of the coast cities which
had been the allies of the Romans during the wars waged by them from
89-63 B.C. against Mithridates VII, called Eupator, and among them
Trapezus, were, however, still left autonomous. The Polemoniac Empire
lasted till 63 A.D., when Nero made Pontus a Roman province.

After a short period of decline Trapezus rose again in the time of
Julian in 333. It had accepted Christianity from the first apostle,
Andrew, who came there from Samsun in 34 A.D. and transmitted it to the
surrounding peoples. Its first bishop was Eugeneos, known as the patron
and protector of the city, who endured martyrdom in 216 under the reign
of Diocletian (a Byzantine church, still existing, preserves his name).
He was succeeded by a long line of bishops who honored the Church. In
fact, some of them participated in Ecumenical Synods.

In the time of the great Constantine, Trapezus continued to be a
provincial city under a pro-consul, as also in the time of Justinian
(6th century). As such it belonged, along with Cerasus, to Polemoniac
Pontus, the capital of which was then Neocæsarea. From then up to the
time of Leo the Isaurian, unfortunately, we know nothing about it,
but in the time of the Isaurians it appears as a starting point for
political and warlike operations undertaken against the Persians, the
Turcomans and the Arabs, having become the metropolis of the large and
important “thema” (district) of Chaldia, while it was, at the same
time, and even before the time of the Isaurians, a home of learning, as
the Siracene Ananias, a trustworthy Armenian writer of the 7th century,

With regard to the thema of Chaldia (the eighth in Asia Minor), it is
to be noted that this originally extended as far as Colonia, Kamak
and Keltzene, but in the time of Leo the Wise the two last districts
were added to the thema of New-Mesopotamia. We know that the archons
and dukes of Chaldia in the 11th century, seeking little by little
to free themselves from Byzantine rule, began to call themselves
dukes of Trapezus and their country Trapezousia. One in particular,
Theodore Gabras, from a noble family in Trapezus, and most skillful in
war, saved Trapezus and the surrounding country from two invasions,
one by the Seljuk-Turks in 1049 and the other under David, the king
of Georgia. He, therefore, regarded the country as his own private
possession and held it up to his death, as a prince, independent of
Byzantium. Of these Gabrades dukes of Trapezus, Theodore’s son Gregory
and his grandson Constantine Gabras are known to us. In the time of
the former Trapezus was again made dependent on Byzantium, but in the
time of the latter, since the dukes had offered important services to
the Byzantine Empire, it gained its independence again and held it
till Manuel I (Comnenos) 1143-1180, succeeded in attaching it to his
realm by taking advantage of a faction that had risen there against the
Gabras family, and from that time on Trapezus continued to be dependent
on Byzantium until its capture by the Latins, because at that time the
Trapezuntian Empire of the Comneni was established.

From the foundation of this new empire until its fall through the
capture of Trapezus by the Turks, that is from 1204-1461, the following
rulers occupied the throne:

  (1) ALEXIOS I., the great Comnenos, the son of
      Manuel, Sebastocrator and the founder of the
      Trapezuntian Empire                                    1204-1222

  (2) ANDRONIKUS I. Ghidus, son-in-law of the preceding      1222-1235

  (3) JOHN I. Axouchus                                       1235-1238

  (4) MANUEL I., the great Comnenos, who built the
      beautiful church of St. Sophia in Trapezus
      (still existent)                                       1238-1263

  (5) ANDRONIKUS II., oldest son of the preceding            1263-1266

  (6) GEORGE I., brother of the preceding                    1266-1280

  (7) JOHN II., brother of George I.                         1280-1297

  (8) THEODORA                                               1285

  (9) ALEXIOS II., the great Comnenos                        1297-1330

  (10) ANDRONIKUS III., oldest son of Alexios II.            1330-1332

  (11) MANUEL II.                                            1332

  (12) BASIL                                                 1332-1340

  (13) IRENE, Palæologina                                    1340-1341

  (14) ANNA, Comnenos                                        1341-1342

  (15) JOHN III., Comnenos                                   1342-1344

  (16) MICHAEL I.                                            1344-1349

  (17) ALEXIOS III., the great Comnenos                      1349-1390

  (18) MANUEL III.                                           1390-1417

  (19) ALEXIOS IV.                                           1417-1446

  (20) JOHN IV., Kalogiannes                                 1446-1458

  (21) DAVID Comnenos, brother of John IV. and last
      emperor in the Trapezuntian Empire of the
      Comneni                                                1458-1461

The fall of Trapezus which occurred a few years after the capture of
Constantinople dealt the final deadly blow to Hellenism as a whole.
At this time, in the very nature of things, it was impossible for the
Trapezuntian Empire to escape its fate, being compelled, as it was, to
fight against innumerable and well organized enemies, while previously,
during the 257-year period of its life, it had repulsed many barbarian
invasions and had shown great political and military efficiency. But
even in her fall she contributed not a little to the dissemination
of the seeds of civilization and literature in the West through her
illustrious sons, such as Bessarion, George the Trapezuntian and
other learned men. By a strange coincidence the two last emperors of
Hellenism, Constantine Palæologus of Byzantium and David of Trapezus,
fell as soldiers, the first fighting for his fatherland like a hero
on the fortifications of his capital, the second for his religion
in Constantinople itself, preferring with nobility of soul and true
Christian fortitude to see his children fall beneath the ax of the
executioner and then to fall himself exclaiming, “Just art Thou, O
Lord, and righteous are Thy judgments” rather than to forswear his
faith as proposed by the conqueror Mohammed.

As everywhere, so, too, in Pontus, the Greek, though subjected to harsh
slavery, did not lose courage and hope, but by uniting the strength
left him and taking courage anew, he endeavored, just in so far as
he could, to render his living with his conquerors as endurable as
possible, an attempt in which he succeeded by enlisting their sympathy
and esteem whenever they made use of him for high positions, or in the
arts and trades in which they needed his help. Those that had special
skill in iron-working in Chaldia and others in other places were even
granted special privileges.

The services rendered to the Ottoman Empire by the Hypsilanti,
Mourouzae and Carotsades of Pontus, were indeed invaluable, services
which brought honor and profit to their own fatherland and the Greek
race in general. Thus, Hellenism in Pontus partly by its steadily
honorable and sincere character, and partly by its intellectual
superiority generally, has made its impress on the conquerors and has
succeeded in distinguishing itself in education, in trade, in the
arts and sciences as the only element that makes for civilization.
Unceasingly cultivating Greek letters under the shield of the Greek
church, now in the monasteries or under the roof of the church, now in
special schools, it keeps alive the national feeling and sentiment,
which it has preserved and is preserving in a high degree, with the
hope of a more auspicious future and of some day recovering its full

Never has it forgotten its glorious past. Glorying in this, with
beating heart it sings, as it has always sung, of the Greek name and
of Greek courage. A clear testimony of this is the preservation of the
name “Hellene” and the words “Hellenic spear” in the demotic songs
of the period after the fall of Constantinople. Having succeeded in
preserving even in the times of slavery its language and nationality
and the faith of its fathers, it takes pride in this and cherishes
unshaken the conviction that at the proper time the historical rights
that it possesses will not be overlooked.


Of the many dialects of Modern Greek, that spoken in Pontus has taken
a prominent place in the investigation into Modern Greek in general
ever since linguistic scientists have undertaken to study it. And this
is certainly justified, for this study contributes substantially to
the elucidation, explanation and solution of many linguistic phenomena
in the other dialects and in the Κοινὴ διάλεκτος in general, for many
forms and many words which were formerly inexplicable from the point of
view of phonetics or semantics have been most happily explained by the
comparison of corresponding forms or words in the Pontic dialect. This,
too, is derived from the Koine, but owing to an admixture of certain
Ionic elements, and to the fact that in taking shape in the Middle
Ages it admitted new Byzantine words, it has so developed and grown
that its use on the one hand of sounds unknown to the common Greek,
and, on the other, the astounding variety of phonetic changes and
modifications (which appear in different forms) which it presents, its
manifold transformations on the basis of analogy, its not infrequent
syntactic peculiarities (which are due especially to the influence
of the Turkish language), and the large number of nouns, verbs and
adverbs formed from Turkish words or Turkish roots through the use of
Greek terminations, render it incomprehensible to many. This evolution
and the great difference between the Pontic language and the common
Greek are perfectly natural, both on account of the Ionic elements
which have been preserved from of old, and of the Turkish elements
which the language has received through the conquest of Pontus by the
Turks, and thirdly from its geographical position which separates its
inhabitants from the great masses of the Greek people and thus limits
the assimilating influence of modern Greek on the Pontic dialect.

This form of the language has great importance for the reason that in
the variety and richness of its vocabulary it has preserved a rich
and extremely valuable store of forms and ancient words, some wholly
unchanged in form and signification, and some modified, to be sure,
but perfectly capable of being reduced to their original form by the

[Illustration: ASIA MINOR]


The first anniversary of the entrance of Greece into the great World
War was officially celebrated in New York City by a banquet tendered by
His Excellency, George Roussos, the Minister of Greece at Washington,
to about forty prominent and representative citizens of New York at
Delmonico’s, and these guests were invited to participate later in an
imposing celebration in the Century Theater.

Many thousands of Greeks and Americans formed most enthusiastic and
appreciative listeners to speeches made by Mr. Roussos (whose address
is given below in full), Francis M. Hugo, Secretary of State of New
York, who came in behalf of His Excellency Governor Whitman; Richard
Enright, Commissioner of Police of New York City, who represented
the Mayor of the city; Demetrios Verenikis, Consul General of Greece
and recently appointed Minister of Greece to Japan; William Fellowes
Morgan, President of the Merchants’ Association, and Constantine
Voicly, President of the Pan-Hellenic Union in America. The invocation
was pronounced by the Rev. Demetrios Callimachos of the Greek Church.

Among those guests at the banquet, who were also present at
the theater, were the Honorable Cunliffe-Owen, who presided
and felicitously introduced the various speakers; the Countess
Cunliffe-Owen; Baron de Sadelaer, formerly Minister of State of
Belgium; General Daniel Appleton, U. S. A.; Colonel DeWitt Clinton
Falls, commanding the Seventh Regiment; General W. A. White, C. B.,
of the British War Mission; Commodore Lionel Wells, of the Royal
British Navy; General William A. Mann, U. S. A., commanding Governors
Island; Colonel George W. Burleigh, of the Governor’s Staff; Captain
L. Rebel, of the French Navy; J. K. Ohl, editor-in-chief of the New
York _Herald_; Pay Director Charles W. Littlefield, U. S. N.; David
Penny, vice-president of the Irving National Bank; Robert Grier Cooke,
president of the Fifth Avenue Association; Hon. Byron B. Newton,
collector of the Port of New York; J. S. Alexander, president of the
National Bank of Commerce; R. C. Veit, vice-president of the Standard
Oil Company; Elbert H. Gary, Samuel W. Fairchild, A. E. Stevenson, H.
W. Sackett, George T. Wilson, Colonel Benda of the Italian Army, and
Commodore Morrell, U. S. N.

The members of the Executive Committee of the American-Hellenic Society
participated in both parts of the great celebration, which had been
so ably organized and effectively carried out by Mr. Cunliffe-Owen, a
member of our Committee as well as one of the Board of Governors of our

The sentiment so eloquently uttered by Commissioner Enright that
Constantinople, which has always been an essentially Greek city,
should, at the round table of the peace delegates, be returned to
Greece, was greeted with cheers and the loudest applause.


There are certain anniversaries, such as that of today, that fully
deserve to be celebrated, for they contain such reassuring lessons that
they are justly brought into prominence.

We cannot help admiring the heroism of little Belgium, which stood out
so boldly against the outrageous demand of a militaristic power that
had resolved to trample upon morality, and to violate justice.

We are compelled to extol that superhuman calmness with which
peace-loving France accepted the challenge which the German Colossus
launched at her, bidding her forget her sworn faith and all the
principles which she had taught and which gave her her beauty.

We must honor, too, Great Britain, which, simply because, in the
person of Belgium, international right had been outraged, entered into
the war so gallantly at its very start, and sent her children—an act
unparalleled in history—by millions to offer their lives voluntarily
for the defense of the right.

The Japanese, faithful to their alliance with Great Britain, followed.

It is an indisputable fact that these countries have saved the world,
for the example that they have thus given humanity was so grand and
glorious that it has carried other nations with it.

There have been moments of uncertainty and doubt, in the face of
the colossal strength of Germany, and the ferocity of her attacks.
In view of the destruction which seemed so certain, the instinct of
self-preservation, for a considerable time, dominated the peoples not
immediately touched by the war.

But the cruelty of Germany and of her accomplices has finally roused
all the nobler and more generous nations. One after another they have
become involved, for their revulsion of feeling at her atrocities is
such that it has silenced every other sentiment.

Italy was the first to set the example by turning away from an
alliance, the evil aims of which had been revealed to her, and she was
soon followed by Rumania.

The Great Republic of the United States, after having for a long
time hoped to induce Germany to respect international treaties, has
resolutely entered into the great conflict.

Greece was the last European state to enter into the fight. I say, the
last, although, in fact, she really takes her place next to England.
For it is a well-known fact that in August, 1914, before the battle
of the Marne had taken place, at the time when the Germans were at
the gates of Paris, Greece, through her government, had offered her
aid: perhaps if at this moment the Allies had understood aright the
situation in the Orient, if they had taken advantage of this offer,
many disasters might have been averted.

This mistaken policy on the part of the Allies permitted Germany to
utilize the instruments that she had been preparing for a long time
in the Orient. Two years had been lost: disasters had been piled on
disasters, before the necessary measures were taken and the Greek
people had become free to act according to its aspirations. There, too,
we see the same reassuring results. Noble sentiments obtained the upper
hand over feelings of self-interest. These feelings were so strong
that they silenced the doubts and fears even of timid souls. We must
recall that in June, 1917, Rumania was defeated, the Russian collapse
was complete and the German armies free to turn against Greece. On the
other hand, the dissension caused by German propaganda in Greece seemed
so deeply rooted, that even the friends of Greece did not believe that
she was capable of taking any important part in the struggle.

Under the inspiring influence of the man who knows Greece best, because
he embodies all the better qualities of the Greek nature, Eleutherios
Venizelos, Greece refused to see the danger; she became united and
filled with an eager enthusiasm, and in less than a year her troops
have obtained appreciable results.

What this renaissance cost in effort the world cannot yet know. When
the facts are known, when they can be fully studied, the Greek people
will receive the credit that it deserves, because what it has achieved
is due only to its patriotism and self-sacrifice.

From the close of 1916, when Greece, though still divided, began the
struggle, up to today, when, as a united people, she is carrying on the
fight, she has sacrificed thousands of her children for the triumph
of the common ideal, and is arming herself more fully day by day, to
pour out her blood to the last drop in order to secure the victory for
freedom and right. She is paying forth freely without having demanded
anything in return.

These facts prove our superiority to our enemies. A superiority which
consists in the fact that we are fighting for principles created and
imposed by a civilization which began with the beginnings of history,
principles that we wish to apply even to our enemies and which,
moreover, are free from any selfish motives.

It is this absence of egotism in our aims which assures our perfect
union and, through this, our victory.

If you wish to appreciate the palpable difference between us and the
others, look at what is today taking place in a hostile country which I
refrain from naming.

Four peoples, that had formed a coalition, took from their neighbors
all that they could get. Now, in dividing the spoil, because of their
distrust of each other, they are taking precautions against one
another. One of the peoples against whom these precautions are being
taken becomes sulky and shows signs of wanting to go over to the other
side, because all Dobrudja (of which a large part is acknowledged
to be Rumanian by the official representative of this people in the
United States) is not given to her; because all Greek Macedonia is not
declared to be hers; because Serbia is not today obliterated from the

When people are associated in order to bring about some good result,
good faith is preserved in the partnership, but when, on the contrary,
an evil act is accomplished and unlawful gains are obtained, disunion
necessarily results, for “honor among thieves” is, after all, extremely

Permit me a parenthesis, at this point.

I have read lately with regard to this quarrel that the hope exists
that this country to which I have referred may become detached from her
allies and join in with us.

I am convinced that this supposition cannot be realized. I insist,
however, in protesting even against the reasoning based on such an

Whatever may be the practical result that we can expect from the
perfidy of our enemies, our feelings revolt against profiting by such
treachery. Our cause is so just that it admits of no compromise.

Should the country of which I am speaking show her repentance, by
restoring all that it has taken from its neighbors, it can find a place
at our side. But to admit in our circle of nations one who flees from
the enemy camp against which we are fighting because his part in the
booty is not that which his appetite has fixed, is impossible. In fact,
such an act would constitute the negation of the principles for which
we are fighting.

We have no need of weakening ourselves. We are materially and, above
all, morally, far superior to our enemies. We must conserve the dignity
of our cause if we wish the results to be commensurate with our efforts.

This is what stands forth preëminently in the celebration of such
anniversaries. They show to us that our civilizations, the Greco-Latin
as well as the Anglo-Saxon, have deep roots, and that they have created
conditions which are essential to our existence.

That when these aspirations thus created in us are threatened, we are
willing to submit to any sacrifices, no matter how great they may be,
in order to defend them.

That our ideals have conquered the greater part of the world, creating
strong bonds of solidarity between the peoples who are impregnated
with them, permitting us to face with confidence the creation of the
league of nations which will assure to the world an era of happiness in
freedom through law.

Let us continue the fight; let us win, maintaining our principles
without compromise. We shall thus be sure of winning the commendation
of humanity.

But we must understand that in order to achieve this result, the
complete liberation of the world, we must submit to great sacrifices of
men and of money.

It is the need of our making these sacrifices which are being utilized
by the German propaganda in order to obtain an immediate peace which is
to the Germans an absolute necessity.

Through its secret agents, she tries to convince us that in order to
obtain the victory against her, our sacrifices will be enormous,
while, if we satisfy some of her aspirations, she will be ready to
respect the liberty of the world.

We must close our ears to these insidious suggestions. Everything that
comes from the enemy camp must arouse our distrust, for Germany wishes
indirectly to obtain what she has originally sought when she let loose
upon the world the dogs of war.

Russia lies prostrate, and Germany wishes to reanimate her, but to
raise her with a German soul. When she has at her disposal the enormous
power of Russia, organized with Prussian efficiency, a more terrible
war awaits the world. The sacrifices to which we shall then be obliged
to submit will be much more terrific.

If we wish to put our programme into operation, we must set ourselves
to change the German mind, showing the ruins that its inhumane
conceptions have accumulated, and the fall of German power that must
result from it. We have to do with fanatics of a peculiar kind, whom
only reality can bring to their senses. The Germans are fighting
in order to impose their civilization on the world by establishing
a domination like that of the Mussulmans, who have slaughtered the
Christians in order to assure their happiness in the future life.
If our victory is incomplete, if the liberty of the nations is not
completely restored, we shall have simply an interlude between acts.
The curtain will rise upon a more terrible tragedy.

Let us endeavor to see beyond the limits of the present. Let us rise to
meet the emergency. The responsibility of our rulers is tremendous, but
they are endowed with the necessary ability to rise to these heights.

Let them not be influenced by these crafty serpents which are subtly
attempting to weaken our moral fiber, for the confidence of the leaders
will maintain the strength of our peoples, which up to the present
nothing has been able to affect, and which constitutes our best means
to win.

Following the example of the countries that for four years have been
shedding their precious blood to conquer the monster, and consenting
to undergo the same sacrifices, we can be absolutely sure that our
victory will be complete.

In the name of the Government which I have the honor to represent, I
can assure you that Greece’s determination to see the struggle through
to the bitter end, is unshakable.


The American-Hellenic Society is organized for the general purpose of
extending and encouraging among the citizens of the United States of
America an interest in the cultural and political relations between
the United States and Greece; and in particular to promote educational
relationships, including the establishment of exchange professorships
in the Universities of the United States and Greece, as a means to
diffuse knowledge of the literature and political institutions of the
United States throughout Greece, and to encourage in America the study
of the ancient and modern Hellenic language and literature; and further
to defend the just claims of Greece in particular and of Hellenism in


[1] The Metropolis of Tarsus and Adana, although it is, geographically,
in Asia Minor, falls under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the
Patriarch of Antioch and is therefore omitted here.

[2] See authorities for these statements in an essay by the present
writer, published in the _Michigan Law Review_, vol. VI., 1907-1908,
pp. 50-52, and entitled, “Roman Law and Mohammedan Jurisprudence,” Part

[3] See Publication No. 3 of the American-Hellenic Society, entitled
_Persecutions of the Greeks in Turkey since the Beginning of the
European War_, June, 1918.

[4] The present writer, in carrying on researches dealing with Asia
Minor, came upon Dr. Dieterich’s study, and, after reading it, thought
that it would be better to publish this essay than to write a new one,
inasmuch as he noticed that, with the exception of a few observations
which were to be expected from a German writer, the author gives,
on the whole, an accurate and impartial account of the condition of
things in Asia Minor, and does not seem to share the views of many of
the civil and military officials of Germany, who consider that the
existence of the Hellenic element there is detrimental to the interests
of Deutschtum. It seemed, therefore, that no better testimony could be
found than that adduced by a subject of Kaiser Wilhelm on the material
and intellectual strength of Hellenism in Asia Minor, which is the
latest bugbear of the Teutons and the target of Turkish cruelty.

[5] See an account of this interview in a Greek pamphlet entitled _How
Germany Destroyed Hellenism in Turkey_, by G. Mikrasianou, 1916, and
particularly the confidential letter of the Turkish Minister of the
Interior, Talaat Bey (now Prime Minister), dated May 14, 1914, to the
Governor of Smyrna, reproduced in _Le Temps_ of July 20, 1916, and the
English translation of it in Publication No. 3 of the American-Hellenic
Society, p. 70.

[6] Supplement to the Greek White Book, entitled _Ministère des
Affaires Étrangers, Documents Diplomatiques, Supplément_, 1913-1917,
Nos. 1 and 4.

[7] Oftentimes the name of the school embodies that of the donor, as,
_e.g._, Marasleion, Zographeion, Theologeion are named from Marasles,
Zographos and Theologos.

[8] A much earlier and well-known English traveler calls Smyrna “the
lovely, the crown of Ionia, the ornament of Asia.” (See _Travels in
Asia Minor and Greece_, by Richard Chandler, ed. N. Revett, vol. I., p.
73, ed. 1825.)

[9] See Gaston Deschamps, _Sur les routes d’Asie_, 1894, p. 152.

[10] Das Griechentum Kleinasiens, von Dr. Karl Dieterich, in _Länder
und Völker der Türkei_ (Schriften des Deutschen Vorderasienkomitees,
herausgegeben von Dr. jur. et phil. Hugo Grothe, Leipzig, 1915).

[11] A political treatment of the “Greek Question” was presented in a
pamphlet of the Vorderasienkomitee, under the title, _Die asiatische
Türkei und die deutschen Interessen_, Leipzig, 1913, S. 23-26.

[12] The successors of Alexander the Great.

[13] So Michael Psellus (11th-12th century) of Nicomedia, Michael
Attaliates (11th century) from Attalia in Pamphylia, Nicetas Acominatos
(12th-13th century) from Phrygia, Georgius Pachymeres (13th-14th
century) of Nicæa; Nicephoros Gregoras (14th century) from Pontus.
The two latter are, also, our chief source of information about the
invasion of Asia Minor by the Turks. Cf. K. Krumbacher, _Geschichte der
byzantinischen Litteratur_, 2, München, 1897, §§ 126 and 128.

[14] Cf. J. Strzygowski, _Kleinasien, ein Neuland der Kunstgeschichte_,
Leipzig, 1903.

[15] K. Krumbacher, _Gesch. der byzantin. Litteratur_, 2, § 358.

[16] Cf. Von der Goltz, _Anatol. Ausflüge_, Berlin (1896), S. 70 ff.

[17] As to the type of the Anatolian Turks, see L. Heermann,
_Rückerinnerungen aus dem Orient_ (Aschaffenburg, 1886, S. 13, 126);
A. Philippson, _Das Mittelmeergebiet_, 2, (Leipzig, 1906, S. 197);
H. Gelzer, _Geistliches und Weltliches aus dem griechisch-türkischen
Orient_ (Leipzig, 1900, S. 185); R. Fitzner, _Anatolien_ (Leipzig,
1902, S. 19).

[18] On these old Church Acts is based the instructive investigation of
A. Waechter, _Der Verfall des Griechenthums in Kleinasien im 14. Jhd._,
Leipzig, 1903.

[19] TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: There are at present twenty-two Metropolitans
in Asia Minor, or better, including that of Tarsus and Adana, which
is under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch,

[20] On the question of the racial characteristics of the Greeks of
Asia Minor, cf. A. von Luschan, _Verhandlungen d. Gesellsch. f. Erdkde.
zu Berlin_, 15 (1888), S. 47-60; _Archiv f. Anthropol._, 19 (1889-90),
S. 31-53; _L’Anthropologie_, I., p. 679 ff., II., p. 25 f.

[21] Specimens of the Pontic and Cappadocian dialects of today are to
be found in A. Thumb’s _Handbuch der neugriechischen Volkssprache_,
2 (Strassburg, 1910), S. 294-298. Grothe, in his treatise, _Meine
Vorderasienexpedition 1906 u. 1907_, Bd. II., S. 175, calls attention
to the dialect of the Greeks of Farash in the southern Antitaurus.

[22] Exact statistics as to the number of Greeks in Cappadocia are
given by R. M. Dawkins, in the _Journal of Hellenic Studies_, 30
(1910), pp. 109-132, 267-291.

[23] For more exact information, see H. Kiepert, _Die griechische
Sprache im pontischen Küstengebirge, Zeitschr. d. Gesellsch. f. Erdkde.
in Berlin_, 25 (1890), S. 317 ff.

[24] Only the two largest rivers of western Asia Minor, the Mæander and
the Sangarios have, in a characteristic manner, kept their old names in
the form of Menderes and Sakkaria.

[25] These texts, so interesting for the history of trade, are
reproduced by D. Georgiades in _La Turquie actuelle_, Paris, 1892, pp.
197 ff., 218 ff., 224 ff.

[26] The statistical data are based on Cuinet, _La Turquie
d’Asie_ (Paris, 1890-95), II. and III., completed from Baedeker,
_Constantinopel und Kleinasien_, 2 (1914).

[27] In a similar way, in more recent times, the German excavations of
Priene and Miletus have benefited the neighboring Greek settlements.
Cf. H. Gelzer, _Geistliches und Weltliches_, S. 231.

[28] Also called Kuru-Chesme, _i.e._, “dry fountain.” The place seems
to have a Greek name, Ξεροκρένε as its prototype, though no place of
this name is provable in Byzantine times.

[29] Details about the history of this school are to be found in K.
Krumbacher, _Populäre Aufsätze_ (Leipzig, 1909), S. 251 ff.

[30] These statistics about the schools are derived from Cuinet, as
above cited.

[31] As to the decrease of the Turkish population of Asia Minor
and its causes, see L. Heermann, _Rückerinnerungen aus dem Orient_
(Aschaffenburg, 1886), S. 128 Anm.; R. Fitzner, _Anatolien_, S.
20 f.; on the increase of the Greeks: K. Humann, _Verhandlgn. d.
Gesellsch. f. Erdkde. zu Berlin_, 7 (1880), S. 249-252; R. Fischer,
_Mittelmeerbilder_, N. F. (Leipzig, 1907), S. 401 f.

[32] Hugo Grothe, too, in _Die Asiatische Türkei und die deutschen
Interessen_ (_Der neue Orient_, S. 25, 9 Heft), pleads for a
closer feeling between the Germans and the Asia Minor Greeks. So,
too, Blankenburg, Heft 1 of the _Schriftensammlung des Deutschen
Vorderasienkomitees, Die Zukunftsarbeit der deutschen Schule in der

[33] It is to be remembered that the higher professional places in the
towns of Asia Minor are filled almost exclusively by Greeks. Teachers,
doctors and engineers are for the most part Greeks and therefore among
the higher engineering and administrative officials of the Anatolian
and the Bagdad railways there are many Greeks.

[34] The “Association d’Orient” in Athens.

[35] See, for example, E. Naumann, _Vom Goldnen Horn zu den Quellen des
Euphrat_ (1893), S. 208.

[36] For complete details and examples illustrating these relations,
see D. E. Oeconomides’ above cited work, pp. vii and viii.

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