12. The Surrender

© 2022 William St Clair, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0136.12

The events leading up to the surrender of the Acropolis to the Ottoman army on 7 June 1827 can be re-imagined from two near-contemporary images. The first, at Figure 12.1, is a map prepared for Thomas Gordon’s History of the Greek Revolution first published in 1832. Gordon, who had been present, was concerned, as a military man, to explain the military operations that, at the time, could best be conveyed by combining words with images, including icons, such as those for olive plantations.

Figure 12.1. ‘Sketch of the operations before Athens in May 1827’ Copper engraving.1

The landscape of cultivated olive trees between the sea and the Acropolis had apparently changed little for hundreds of years. In the 1680s an official surveyor counted 50,000 olive trees in and around Athens.2 When the scene was celebrated by the Chorus in the Trojan Women, a tragedy by Euripides first produced in 415 BCE, the olive groves had existed for at least two centuries. The rivers of Attica, although too small and shallow to be navigable, intermittent in their flow of water, and always at risk of being overexploited, had in ancient times enabled the production of olive oil to become the mainstay of the local economy and one of the foundations of the success of the classical city.3

The other image, a view from the ground, made on the spot soon afterwards by a professional western artist, reproduced as Figure 12.2, shows the same landscape as it was at the time within the sightlines of the Greek forces on the coast.

Figure 12.2. The Acropolis as seen from the heights of Munychia, 1827. Lithograph of a picture ‘from nature’ by the Bavarian artist Karl Krazeisen.4

With the help of funds from Europe, the provisional Greek Government had recently appointed a British general, Sir Richard Church, as commander-in-chief of the army and a British admiral, Lord Cochrane, as commander-in-chief of the navy, both of whom were experienced officers with reputations for success, including, in the case of Church, around twenty years before having successfully raised, trained, and commanded a force of Albanians and Greeks mainly drawn from displaced populations living on the Ionian Islands. He is said to have spoken Greek perfectly and to have been highly respected by his men. The relieving force was well supplied with food and weapons, including about a million ball cartridges, a range of artillery pieces of different calibre, plus a modern steam-driven warship able to give covering fire from the sea.5 It was possible to communicate with those besieged in the Acropolis with flags and flares, and perhaps reflecting mirrors, observable by telescope, although with the risk of revealing information to the enemy.6

The plan was that the Greek Revolutionary forces, assembling on the high ground on the coast, would cross the plain and use their field artillery against the Ottoman artillery installed on the hill of Philopappos. As they approached the Acropolis, they would be joined by their besieged comrades who would make sorties. The Greek forces consisted of about 10,000 men, the largest army the Revolutionaries had ever assembled in the war. It was, as the Greek Minister of Justice declared in 1873 at the funeral of General Church, like the army that besieged Troy, made up of soldiers and sailors from all parts of Greece.7 For the first time during the Revolutionary War, the newly created nation state of Hellas had a national army and a national navy. But, from the map and pictures, it is also easy to understand the hesitation of the leaders of the Greek army, who were being pressed by their western commanders to leave the defended high ground on the coast.

An army well trained and disciplined in western tactics was able to cross open ground by being ready, at a word of command, to form squares, fix bayonets, fire in volleys, and beat off assaults even by cavalry. But the Greek forces, used to fighting as individuals moving from one temporary defensible work (‘tambour’) to another, had little confidence in the plan. They were being invited to advance in full sight of the Ottoman outposts on the hills surrounding the Acropolis, and then attack the besieging forces from their rear, with no element of surprise. And from recent experience they knew the risks. In February a force of several thousand fighters under the command of the Greek General Constantin Bourbaki had landed at Eleusis, but on their march to Athens were put to flight by the Ottoman cavalry with more than three hundred and fifty killed.8

After Greece became independent, the scene before the decision to advance to save the Acropolis was presented in a heroic, nation-building picture, showing Georgios Karaiskakis, the commander of the Greeks, and the Greek and philhellene officers and troops, as shown as Figure 12.3.

When Cochrane’s ship first arrived in the Bay of Salamis, in an elaborate ceremony staged on high ground so as to be within sight of the Ottoman as well as of the Greek army, he had presented the Greek leaders with a large silk flag that he had brought from Marseilles. It combined the blue and white of the national flag of Greece with the owl of ancient Athens, and was mounted on a tall pole decked in blue and white.9 The Greek Government too, whatever the wider range of motivations had been in 1821, was now heavily invested in the national continuity story of which the Acropolis of Athens had already become the principal embodiment. The seal attached to all official letters, of which an example is shown as Figure 12.4, displays the three principal identity markers of classical Athens: the owl, the olive tree, and Athena as armed protector.

Figure 12.3. Karaiskakis and other Greek and philhellene officers prepare to relieve the siege of the Acropolis of Athens. Oil painting by Theodore Vryzakis (Munich, 1855).10

Figure 12.4. Seal of the Greek Government, 1827. From an official letter.11

In the hopes of many, the battle for the relief of the Acropolis of Athens would mark the victory of the modern Hellenes. However, the shift from a religious to a national identity was still recent, and changes in the aspirations and the memories of a community do not always immediately follow changes in symbols. Although the Greek flag was now the emblem of the new nation, when the ‘banner of the white cross’ had first been raised by Orthodox Bishop Germanos at Patras at the start of the Revolution in 1821, the design alluded to the cross in the sky that Constantine had allegedly seen after his victory at Milvian Bridge.12

Cochrane’s secretary, Edward Masson, in a speech in Greek declared: ‘Soldiers, whoever of you will lodge this flag on the summit of the Acropolis shall receive from Lord Cochrane, as a reward for his bravery, a thousand [Spanish] dollars, and ten times shall be […] the recompense to the force that accompanies him.’13 If Cochrane’s appeals and incentives had worked and the Acropolis had been captured, we can be confident that printed accounts and engraved pictures would have poured from the presses of Europe, and he would have been inscribed in the history books as a saviour.

As for Reschid, the Ottoman policy of crushing rebels by any means approved by the religious authorities, of which he was a conscientious practitioner, was well known. It was reported that he had paid his soldiers twenty-four piastres for each severed head they brought him, a huge incentive for troops who, before the Revolution, had been paid ten piastres a year, even allowing for a depreciation in the purchasing power of the currency.14 For centuries the Ottoman leadership had regarded it as worthwhile to divert soldiers from the actual fighting to the gathering of trophies to put up as displays, and the Greeks were sometimes able to flee to safety while the enemy was beheading their dead and wounded.15 Church, who understood the customs, may have remembered that when he had fought alongside the Ottoman army in the 1801 campaign in Egypt, he had reported that the rate then was only five paras for a Frenchman’s head, there being forty paras to a piastre, although, with this price too, the purchasing power and international value of the currency had changed.16

In skirmishes near the coast, the Greeks killed around sixty Ottoman soldiers, encouraging Cochrane to declare to the Greek Government: ‘henceforth commences a new era in the system of Modern Greek Warfare.’17 But, shortly before the main battle, it became clear that the new flags and ceremonies had not altered what had earlier been the norms. A garrison of the Ottoman army, consisting of about two hundred Muslim Albanians, had managed to maintain themselves in the Monastery of Saint Spiridhion, although closely besieged and with little prospect of being relieved. As had happened in Athens in 1822, a capitulation was negotiated that would have allowed the soldiers to be taken to safety by sea, with Karaiskakis and others acting as hostages to guarantee good faith. But when the soldiers left the monastery, they were set upon by some members of the Greek army and one hundred and twenty-nine were put to death. The event was personally witnessed by numerous foreigners, who also saw the attempts by Karaiskakis and some of his officers to stop the killing, in some cases, by shooting their own men.18

Despite his reservations, Karaiskakis agreed to the plan to march to relieve the Acropolis, although he himself was wounded in a skirmish and died before it could begin. The predictable and indeed predicted disaster duly occurred.19 As soon as the Greek forces were too far forward in the open ground to retreat to the protection of their guns, the squadrons of Ottoman cavalry, who had been out of sight beyond the Acropolis, rode in with their sabres, caused the Greeks to break ranks, and the horsemen easily cut down both those who stayed where they were in their holes and those who attempted to run away. In the irregular form of fighting that was all that most of the Greek fighters knew, advancing as individuals from one small emplacement to another, they could neither advance nor retreat. And as usual, the numbers of casualties would have been higher if the Ottoman troops had not stopped to kill the wounded, strip the dead, and cut off heads, so enabling others to escape to the coast where, having thrown many of their heavy weapons into the sea, they were taken to safety in boats. When, in the afternoon, the scale of the disaster became clear, Admiral Cochrane took to a boat and, ‘doing the duty of a lieutenant’, rowed from ship to ship ensuring that they gave covering fire to the soldiers fleeing to the beaches: General Church, by contrast, retired to his cabin where, it was reported, he ‘drank tea and read the bible’.20

The staff of the headquarters of the Ottoman army besieging the Acropolis had kept Ambassador Canning in Constantinople informed of the success of their operations in a series of letters sent to Consul Meyer at Prevesa.21 And, soon after the battle, the Ottoman Government in Constantinople posted a bulletin about the battle of Athens on the gate of the imperial palace (Serail) in Constantinople.22 Eight flags and eight drums, it noted, had been captured. Three captains had been taken alive. The heads of twenty-five dead captains and two thousand and one hundred ears were exposed.23 Shortly afterwards another bulletin was posted that reported the scattering of three hundred and sixty-six ears from the Ottoman victories against the rebels in the Morea.24 They were seen displayed there by Rev. John Hartley, a British missionary.25

According to a French nobleman who, in the summer of 1827, was shown the sights of Constantinople by members of the French Embassy, the niches were not then occupied.26 The baron noticed too that, instead of the crowds who had previously turned out to see the weekly procession of the sultan, only about fifty or sixty people were there, perhaps an indication that, after six years of wars and massacres, displays were no longer as effective as they may once have been. The niches were, however, to be replenished soon afterwards by new supplies sent by Reschid from Athens. Two hundred and forty prisoners from the battle there, it was learned, had been marched to Reschid’s field headquarters at Patissia, where two hundred and thirty eight were decapitated in batches.27 According to an unpublished account written at the time by the French naval officer, Captain Leblanc, who visited the camp: ‘[R]ound the Tent of the Vizir even to the very door lay human bodies, those of Greeks who had been decapitated at different times, and numbers of heads and limbs in every direction and in every possible state of putrefaction. On stepping out of the Vizir’s tent you could hardly avoid stepping on these remains of human beings, and it was impossible to put your foot down even close to the Tent without putting it into blood and filth. Executions took place daily at the Tent door.’28 The announcements that accompanied the displays in Constantinople, including some that amended the numbers given in earlier announcements, which were copied and translated by Chabert, now the Oriental Secretary at the French Embassy, seem to have been accurate.29

Some of Revolutionary leaders are also said to have paid bounties for enemy heads and ears. In late August 1825, for example, the philhellene Edgar Garston, serving with Colocotrones, reports that ‘a Spanish dollar per head was paid for each Arab slain or captured.’30 The fighters, he described as: ‘bearing as trophies the swarthy and gory heads of the fallen foes and others having the ramrods of their guns ornamented with their ears.’31 And there is some evidence that the Revolutionary Greeks too also proudly displayed the severed heads of their enemies as formal trophies.32

The failed attempt to relieve the Acropolis, a disaster for the thousands of Greeks who lost their lives and for their families, changed the strategic situation of the war. The remnants of the defeated army withdrew from Munychia on the coast, having abandoned most of their heavy weapons. They were short of supplies, had no money to buy food, and many soldiers deserted. Since a second attempt to relieve the siege of the Acropolis was out of the question, it seemed inevitable that it would soon fall, opening the way for Reschid’s army to take control of a large swathe of territory in central Greece from Missolonghi to Negropont, and then to march to the Isthmus and subdue the Peloponnese. The papers of Richard Church, which include his reports to the Greek Government, confirm that the implications were understood at the time.33 A few years later, however, a story that was almost a complete reverse of what the contemporary records show was being put about in Athens, namely that Church had been persuaded into launching the attack against his advice, but had ‘effected a masterly retreat’.34

With the loss of their toeholds on the coast, and the withdrawal of their remaining fighters, the Greek forces and the philhellenes blockaded inside the Acropolis now had two choices. They could hang on as long as possible in the hope that something unexpected might happen, for example, that the Ottoman army, with its long supply lines, might be forced to abandon the siege or withdraw when winter arrived. Under that scenario, if Reschid’s army were able to maintain the siege, the most likely outcome for those inside was slow attrition of their numbers, with more falling sick and dying from thirst and lack of food, and more bodies unburied, to be followed by the survivors being captured and put to death by judicial beheading and body parts sent to the sultan’s palace. Alternatively, the besieged could attempt to make a break-out, as their fellow countrymen had done at Missolonghi six months before. And by blowing up the Parthenon and the ancient monuments on the Acropolis as they had publicly promised, they could make the ancient Hellenes work for them in a specular act of neo-Hellenic self-immolation. Such heroism, they might hope, would shock the conscience of the European powers and European opinion, even more than Missolonghi, that had no ancient monuments, was already doing. As Church wrote after the scale of the disaster had become clear, only a ‘miracle’ could save the Acropolis.’35

But who could conjure up such a miracle? Maybe the ancient Hellenes, speaking this time through the voice of the French admiral de Rigny? To the surprise of many it was suddenly agreed that the Greek and philhellene forces, with the non-combatants, which included men too weak to fight as well as numerous women and children, would agree to leave the Acropolis, if they were specifically commanded to do so by Commander-in-Chief Church in writing. A previous proposal, of which a draft survives, in which Church only gave them permission to accept the terms if they chose to do so, had been rejected. Church addressed his letter to the French philhellene Colonel Fabvier, as if it were he who was in command of all the troops in the Acropolis rather than just a contingent, and Fabvier refused even to meet the French naval officer who tried to deliver it to him.36 Church, belatedly understanding how insulting his letter had been, then sent it again, this time addressed to ‘the chiefs’ and the next day it too was indignantly rejected until it was again amended.

In the final version of his order to accept safe passage guaranteed by the French navy, Church offered two justifications. He noted, firstly, the desperate state of the non-combatants, a consideration that might have touched a chord among some readers, but would also have shown Reschid and the Ottoman forces that they were on the verge of achieving their objectives. Church then added a second reason, presented almost as an afterthought: ‘Considering that the monuments of ancient Greece so dear to the civilised world are there too, and desiring that they should be saved from the destruction of War, I order you to agree to the surrender set out below.’37 On the face of it, equating the fate of around eighteen hundred lives with that of the ancient buildings may seem insulting, as well as confirming the ‘idolatrous’ western regard for old stones for which Reschid had voiced his contempt.38 And indeed, almost immediately, some of those foreign officers who understood how Church had sent an army to predictable disaster did regard the order as insulting.39 He was ordering the Greek forces not to carry out their public promises to immolate themselves as the inhabitants of Missolonghi had done. And, just as those besieged in the Acropolis themselves had done in their public declaration, he constructed the ancient monuments that he was ordering them not to destroy as symbols of ‘Europe’.40 Those besieged in Athens were to be excused from following the example of the besieged in Missolonghi on the grounds that there were no Parthenons in Missolonghi.

It was not known, either to the Greeks or to the local agents of the powers, quite how desperate was the situation of the besieging Ottoman army. Reschid was reporting to Constantinople that he had run out of money and was paying the commanders in personally guaranteed IOUs that they only accepted after he humiliatingly kissed their hands. On 1 June, he was unable even to distribute the daily ration of bread.41 It seems likely, now that we have Ottoman documents, that Reschid would have been obliged by lack of supplies to withdraw his army almost immediately. As events turned out, he was able to take possession of a large quantity of stores that had been stockpiled in the Acropolis. The long-term shifts in the geo-political plates that we can now discern with hindsight were being interrupted at the time by insistent short-term contingencies.

The Parthenon and the other ancient buildings had provided the besieged with some physical protection against the Ottoman artillery. Since the trees on the summit had been cut down for firewood and the houses stripped of their timber, they were the only shelter from the summer sun. Now they gave symbolic cover against the charge that they had surrendered a fortress, a province, and probably the Revolution, without even putting up a fight.

The exodus from the Acropolis was well planned; carefully choreographed, we might say. Captain Kerviler, a French naval officer who helped in the escorting of the survivors to the coast and their embarkation on to overloaded French and Austrian warships for the short voyage to Salamis, described the scene over several hours as the survivors made their way out of the Acropolis.42 First came the two thousand Greeks, of whom eight hundred were non-combatants, women, children, and old men, the sick and the wounded, with whatever baggage they were able to carry. They had been subsisting on barley and wheat grain, that could not be baked into bread because, since January 1827, there had been no more wood to burn. They had, thanks to Gouras’s cleaning and filling of the cisterns, some drinking water but it was becoming putrid, and there was now little prospect of rain except for an occasional summer shower, until the winter. They were dressed in rags, and none had washed for over a year. Since the trees on the summit had been cut down for firewood and the houses stripped of their timber, the only shelter from the sun and from the artillery barrage was among the ruins of the ancient monuments. About sixty persons had died during the siege, mostly from illness brought on by deprivation, of whom some were buried in the Serpenji while it remained in Greek hands, but most bodies were left to rot on the hard ground of the Acropolis summit among the scattered marble.43

The other contingent consisted of the regiment of about five hundred Greeks, including forty philhellenes, trained in European tactics under the command of the French philhellene Colonel Fabvier. They had daringly brought sacks of gunpowder into the Acropolis on the night of 30 November 1826, but had been unable to leave.44 It was never explained why they had not made a sortie or even used their artillery during the attempt to relieve the siege, as had been part of the plan.

Reschid and his army actively assisted the exodus by providing horses. Surprisingly, Fabvier’s force had kept seven horses, described as ‘fine’, sharing the food and water with them, rather than killing them for meat that might be shared with the starving Greeks. According to the surrender agreement, the horses were due to be left behind, but Reschid donated them to the refugees. As they emerged through the gate, the Ottoman soldiers, angered at how their comrades at Munychia had been put to death when they had surrendered, itched to attack them, but were kept in check by Reschid and his officers, and the agreement was carried out to the letter. Admiral de Rigny whose country had guaranteed the agreement, with three Albanian Ottoman officers as hostages, personally marched at the rear of the column.45

On their way to the sea, the column passed the putrefying corpses of the Greek and philhellene soldiers who had been killed in the attempt to relieve the siege just a month before. Almost all had been decapitated. Some of the bodies were still being picked over by scavenging birds, but others were already just bones whitened by the wind.46

As George Finlay, the philhellene and historian, wrote about the peaceful surrender of the Acropolis without loss of life in 1827: ‘The conduct of Reschid Pasha on this occasion gained him immortal honour’, a prediction that was not fulfilled.47 According to Finlay, Reschid in his despatches to the sultan declared that he had re-established Ottoman authority across the whole of central Greece from Missolonghi to Athens, leaving only the Peloponnese as the responsibility of Ibrahim and the Egyptian army.48 Finlay does not record how he knew what Reschid had written, but if true, Reschid not only established himself as the most successful Ottoman military commander of the war and, if the despatch were to be made public, protected himself in advance against a possible charge that he had broken Ottoman law, but he also laid down the materials for the way the story could be told in the future: the planting of a victory narrative being as important as the actual, more confused, situation on the ground.49 Reschid had also demonstrated that the Ottoman army was a disciplined force, able to carry out agreements, and that he was prepared, in some circumstances, to accept European conventions of war.

In the fighting at sea, the Revolutionaries not only remained undefeated but scored some notable successes. At some time in 1827, by the ruse of hoisting Austrian colours, one of the modern Greek frigates that was mainly manned by philhellenes captured a ship that was carrying ‘some stores and part of the part of the harem of Kiutahi Pacha’ [Reschid] from Prevesa to Navarino. George Cochrane, the nephew of Lord Cochrane, commander in chief of the Greek navy, who was an eyewitness, described the Pasha’s favourite as ‘of no great beauty […] quite Turkish in her appearance’ with dark eyes and sallow complexion, attended by Greeks. In a letter to Reschid, Lord Cochrane announced his intention of releasing the whole party into the hands of the Ottoman forces without ransom, to which Reschid responded by releasing a hundred prisoners in a demonstration that Ottoman generosity was greater than European.50

There had been no fewer than ten warships of various foreign powers at the time of the surrender, all watching and reporting what they thought was happening to their governments as international observers, including one warship from the United States, a recent arrival on the world stage. And although only the French navy guaranteed the safety of those who surrendered, it was rumoured on board the British warships that they too might land forces.51 Their captains may have known that representatives of the three main powers, Britain, France, and Russia were meeting in London to discuss coordinating their policies towards the war, but it is unlikely that those who made the agreement known as the Treaty of London on 6 July could have known about the surrender in the previous month, or that it influenced the policy of ‘pacific intervention’ that it inaugurated and was to prove decisive a few months later.52 Reschid had performed a transition and had done so with the eyes of ‘Europe’ looking on.

Uniquely, on 14 June, before the Acropolis was closed to all non-Muslim visitors for the next three years, the officers of the American naval ship made a request to Reschid for permission to visit the Acropolis and permission was given for two parties to visit on successive days. The Rev. George Jones, a chaplain, who chose to go with the second party, the date for the first being a Sunday, noted that the patinated brown columns of the Parthenon were ‘marked in many places, with white spots, by the balls, but they have done nothing more than bruise them a little’.53 In a letter about his visit printed in an American newspaper soon afterwards, Jones declared, in a phrase that was omitted from his book, that he was ‘a little disappointed in not being able to carry away a few specimens of the Marbles’.54


1 In Gordon, History, ii, opposite. 375. The engraver was J. Moffat. Since no designer’s name is given, we may presume that it was prepared by Gordon from personal observation at the time and later. Another, more complex, military map of the military operations, made by Captain Jochmus, is reproduced by Dakin, British and American Philhellenes, Plate VIII, from a version in the Church papers. It is reproduced also in Lane-Poole, Stanley, Sir Richard Church C.B. G.C.H. Commander-in-chief of the Greeks in the War of Independence (London: Longman, 1890). This short book had appeared as articles in The English Historical Review, 1 January 1890, vol. 5, no. 17, 7–30; 1 April 1890, vol. 5, no. 18, 293–305; and 1 July 1890, vol. 5, no. 19, 497–522.

2 Randolph, Bernard, The Present State of the Morea, Called Anciently Peloponnesus (London: 1686), p. 21.

3 Discussed in The Classical Parthenon, https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0279. The olive tree pictured on the most visible part of the Parthenon is also discussed there.

4 ‘Nach der Natur gez. v. Krazeizen. Selb lith. Auf Stein gez. Von Fr. Hohe’. From Bildnisse ausgezeichneter Griechen und Philhellenen/Portraits des Grecs et des Philhellènes les plus célèbres … by Karl Krazeisen, published in parts in Munich, with text in German and French, between 1828 and 1831. Krazeisen accompanied von Heideck and the Bavarian philhellenes to Greece in 1826 where he served as a junior officer. Although this picture may have been drawn, or sketched, on the spot, the artist has exaggerated the steepness of the west side of the Acropolis. The drawings, which I have not seen, are in the National Gallery, Athens. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Karl_Krazeisen

5 A detailed estimate by Church, Church papers BL Add MSS 36,563, 47.

6 The picturing of what appears to be a large shield used for signalling with the help of the sun’s rays, is discussed in Chapter 21.

7 Church, Richard, Funeral orations pronounced at the Greek cemetery of Athens on March the 15/27th 1873 over the tomb of the late General Sir Richard Church by the Hon: P. Chalkiopulos, Minister of Justice, and Mr. John Gennadius, Secretary of Legation (Athens: Press of the Journal of Debates, 1873), 8.

8 Campaigns of the Falieri and Piraeus in the Year 1827, or Journal of a Volunteer, Being the Personal Account of Captain Thomas Douglas Whitcombe, edited … by C.W.J. Eliot (Princeton: Gennadeion monographs V, 1992), 2.

9 ‘The flag itself had long before been the object of our solicitude, and had been for some time in preparation, the silk for it having been purchased by me when at Marseilles. It was about ten feet long, and six feet wide, and entirely of light blue silk, except-a diamond shaped space in the middle, of about three feet by four, which was of white silk; and upon this white ground was painted an enormous owl, of a grey colour, — this bird being the national emblem of Greece. The bird had been very well executed, by a Peruvian whom Lord Cochrane had brought from that country, and on account of his having shewn some talent in drawing, had placed him under a very able master in England. The flag was fastened to a pole of about twelve or thirteen feet long, at the top of which was a large tassel of blue and white silk. The staff was also painted blue and white, and the covering was of blue silk’. Cochrane, George, Wanderings in Greece (London: Bentley, 1837), i, 48.

10 Wikimedia commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vryzakis-Stratopedo_Karaiskaiki.jpg. Frequently reproduced, for example, by Tsoulios and Hadjis.617; Zographos, O Strategos Makrugiánnês kai e Eikonographia tou agônos (Athens: Catalogue of Exhibition, 2009)), 77. A copy of a lithograph made in Paris is reproduced in Pictorial Records on 1821 (Athens: Aspioti-Elka, 1971), 26–27. The artist has made efforts to capture the unusual lightscape discussed in The Classical Parthenon, https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0279.

11 Greek Government to Admiral Codrington 1 July 1827. Kew FO 78/162. By adopting the iconography of ancient Athens into a symbol of nationalism, the Provisional Government was not only adopting an Athenocentric view of ancient Hellas but converting a symbol of difference that promoted the practice of almost continuous war amongst the classical Hellenic states. After the end of the Revolution, it was adopted by the Christian hierarchy of Patmos, an island assigned to the Ottoman Empire, as illustrated by a woodcut of the seal reproduced in Brewer and Barber, 20, although the Orthodox church and its breakaway institutions had come into existence on a rhetoric of defeating and superseding ancient Hellenism. A discussion of how the triad of symbols, the figure of Athena, the olive, and the owl, were adopted in classical Athens is in The Classical Parthenon, https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0279

12 Noted at the time by Urquhart, David, The Spirit of the East (London: Colburn, 1839), i, 34, without implying that he was offering an interpretation and by Nugent, Lord, Lands Classical and Sacred (London: Knight, 1846), i, 7. The flag was adopted by the National Assembly of the Revolutionary government on 15/27 March 1822, in accordance with Decree No. 540.

13 Quoted by Dakin, British and American Philhellenes, 150.

14 E. Gauttier d’Arc, 52. He was in Athens in May 1830 during the Ottoman re-occupation. Omer Pasha was said to have paid 25 piastres per head in 1821. Staehelin, ‘Eye-witness of 1821’, 197. The pre-war rate was noted in Chapter 4.

15 As discussed in Chapter 6.

16 Lane-Poole, Church, 6.

17 Quoted by Dakin, British and American Philhellenes, 151.

18 Discussed, most fully, by Dakin, British and American, 151–52, making use of the Church papers in the BL.

19 The disaster, giving the reasons why it was likely to occur, was also predicted by Howe, Letters and Journals, i, 209.

20 The Journals and Letters of George Finlay, edited by J.M. Hussey (Camberley: Porphyrogenitus, 1995), i, 27–28.

21 For example, a letter signed Machmoud Bey Monastirli in Kew FO 352/15 B, 525.

22 Shown as Figure 6.2.

23 Kew FO 78/154, 64.

24 Kew FO 78/154, 81.

25 ‘I saw the ears of the Greeks who had fallen at the battle of Athens thrown before the gate of the Seraglio. There were also several heads. To the adjoining wall was attached the titlet notifying the crimes of the delinquents’. Hartley, 185. What Hartley calls a ‘titlet’ was evidently a ‘yafta’ placed in the same place as that recording the crimes of Ali Pasha reproduced as Figure 6.3.

26 Renoüard, de la Bussierre, le B[ar]on, Th., Lettres sur l’Orient écrites pendant les années 1827 et 1828 (Paris: Strasbourg, and Brussels: 1829), i, 51. Renoüard, a diplomat and later French politician who upheld doctrines of ‘legitimacy’ was a member of a rich banking family. Since he travelled in style in his own ship supplied by Admiral de Rigny, he saw little of the post-war suffering in the islands of the Archipelago, but on seeing Chios, he remarked that the women could have served as models for Zeuxis, Pheidias and Praxiteles.

27 Jurien, ii, 129.The exceptions were Kalergi, who was ransomed with his ears cut off, and lived to play a leading role in post-war Greece, and Drako, who knowing that the ransom money could not be raised, took his own life. Slightly different numbers are given by Church in his unpublished memoir. ‘The loss to the Greek forces seven hundred killed 300 prisoners … the heads of the prisoners with the exception of four officers for whom high ransoms were expended were cut off a few days later by orders of the vizier Kioutahi [Reschid] in cold blood at his headquarters’. Church papers, BL Add MSS 36,563,69 and 73.

28 Church papers, BL Add MSS 36,563, 98.

29 Reports include Quinet, Edgar, De la Grèce Moderne et de ses Rapports avec l’Antiquité (Paris: Levrault, 1830), 371; Trant, Captain T. Abercromby, Narrative of a Journey through Greece (London: Colburn and Bentley, 1830), 279. With Reschid’s despatches to Constantinople reporting his capture of the Acropolis, the messengers, ‘Tartars’, brought with them ‘several bags of ears and three heads of the Greek Chiefs’. Kew FO 352/17, file 5 item 595.

30 Garston, Greece Revisited, ii, 276, an excerpt from a journal made at the time.

31 Ibid., ii, 300.

32 For example, an image in watercolour dated 1827 reproduced by Beaton, Roderick, Greece, Biography of a Modern Nation (London: Allen Lane, 2019), no. 5, entitled in Greek, ‘Trophy of the Hellenes against the Barbarians, erected by General Karaiskakis, in the place Plovarma’. It is also shown as Greece at the Benaki Museum edited by Angelos Delivorrias and Dionisis Fotopoulos (Athens: Benaki Museum, 1997), no. 932, opposite 524, attributed to Athanasios Iatrides. The practice did not however enter the tradition of displaying heroic battle scenes, from which those killed in battle were not excluded, which is a strong feature of the post-Revolutionary picturing of the War.

33 Copies of letters sent immediately after the battle in BL Add MS 36550, 138–41.

34 Nugent, Lord, Lands Classical and Sacred (London: Charles Knight, 1846), i, 11.

35 Church papers, BL Add MS 36550, 140.

36 Debidour, A., Le général Fabvier: sa vie militaire et politique (Paris: Plon 1904), 329, with the text of Fabvier’s reply from Fabvier’s papers.

37 Full text in Appendix C. There is no mention of the need to save the monuments in the contemporary documents on the surrender quoted, cited, and discussed by [Fabvier] Debidour, A., Le général Fabvier: sa vie militaire et politique (Paris: Plon 1904), pp. 301–33.

38 See his intercepted letter in Appendix C

39 Discussed in Chapter 14.

40 A contemporaneous account by a participant that describes the initial rejection of the terms, the leaders claiming that, as Hellenes, they chose a ‘theatre of heroism’ as Missolonghi had done, and how they were ordered by Church to surrender, is given in Müller, Friedrich, Denkwürdigkeiten aus Griechenland in den Jahren 1827 und 1828 (Paris: Herausgegeben von P.O. Brønsted, 1833), 52–55, but without mentioning that Church’s countermanding order invoked the monuments.

41 Noted by Ilicak, ‘Revolutionary Athens’, 14, from Ottoman archives.

42 Kerviler, J. Marie Vincent Pocard, Souvenirs d’un vieux capitaine de frégate (Paris: Champion, 1893), 84–85. The number of non-combatants was noted by Debidour, 351, from Fabvier’s papers.

43 The figure of sixty, derived from Fabvier’s papers, is given by Debidour, 326.

44 Eliot, Whitcombe, 2.

45 Debidour, 322, from de Rigny’s report to the French Ministry of Marine.

46 Kerviler, 83.

47 Finlay ii, 153.

48 Finlay, History, Tozer edition, vi, 433.

49 I am grateful to Christel Müller, who at a seminar on 12 March 2020 at the Institute of Classical Studies in London, offered a theoretical model for understanding how a transition was effected and fixed in the accounts of ancient authors, after the Achaean war of 146 BCE, that took place over the same terrain. Among other parallels, Mummius, the Roman Commander, like Reschid, decided against destroying the Parthenon, as discussed in The Classical Parthenon, https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0279.

50 Cochrane, George, Wanderings in Greece (London: Bentley, 1837), i, 97–101. The precise date of the episode cannot be ascertained from the account. The ruse was to forestall the likelihood that, if in danger of being captured by the Greek revolutionaries, the captain of the ship would immolate himself and his vessel. Whether any wider implications can be drawn from the episode is doubtful — beyond the likelihood that it may have strengthened Reschid’s understanding of the benefits to the Ottoman Empire of accepting Canning’s offer to have it recognised as a ‘European’ state discussed in Chapters 18 and 19.

51 Noted in Neale, William J., Cavendish; or, the Patrician at sea (London: H. Colburn & R. Bentley, 1831), ii, 85. This work, like Charley Chalk, appears to be based on a first hand account, and was cited as such by Charley Chalk, 277.

52 As discussed in Chapter 18. News, deriving from de Rigny, had reached Melos by 12 June 1827. Canning’s official report to London on the capitulation of the Acropolis, which derived from information obtained by Captain Hamilton on the spot and sent by sea to Constantinople, is dated 14 June 1827. Kew FO 78/155, 71.

53 Jones, George, Sketches of naval life with notices of men, manners and scenery on the shores of the Mediterranean in a series of letters from the Brandywine and Constitution frigates. By a “civilian” (New-Haven, Howe, 1829), ii, 29.

54 Quoted by Larrabee, Hellas Observed, 89, from Baltimore American and Commercial Daily Advertiser, 20 October 1827.

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