Rigas Feraios or Velestinlis ). Antonios Kyriazis was born in 1757 into a wealthy family in the village of Velestino in the Sanjak of Tirhala, Ottoman Empire, he was at some point nicknamed Pheraeos or Feraios, after the nearby ancient Greek city of Pherae, but he does not seem to have used this name himself. He is described as being of Aromanian ancestry, with his native village of Velestino being Aromanian. Rigas' family had its roots in Perivoli, another Aromanian village, but it overwintered in Velestino; some scholars question. Rigas was educated at the school of Larissa, he became a teacher in the village of Kissos, he fought the local Ottoman presence. At the age of twenty he killed an important Ottoman figure, fled to the uplands of Mount Olympus, where he enlisted in a band of soldiers led by Spiros Zeras, he went to the monastic community of Mount Athos, where he was received by Cosmas, hegumen of the Vatopedi monastery. Arriving in Bucharest, the capital of Ottoman Wallachia, Rigas returned to school, learned several languages and became a clerk for the Wallachian Prince Nicholas Mavrogenes.
When the Russo-Turkish War broke out, he was charged with the inspection of the troops in the city of Craiova. Here he entered into friendly relations with an Ottoman officer named Osman Pazvantoğlu, afterwards the rebellious Pasha of Vidin, whose life he saved from the vengeance of Mavrogenes, he learned about the French Revolution, came to believe something similar could occur in the Balkans, resulting in self-determination for the Christian subjects of the Ottomans. After the death of his patron Rigas returned to Bucharest to serve for some time as dragoman at the French consulate. At this time he wrote his famous Greek version of La Marseillaise, the anthem of French revolutionaries, a version familiar through Lord Byron's paraphrase as "sons of the Greeks, arise". Around 1793, Rigas went to Vienna, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire and home to a large Greek community, as part of an effort to ask the French general Napoleon Bonaparte for assistance and support. While in the city, he edited a Greek-language newspaper and published a proposed political map of Great Greece which included Constantinople and many other places, including a large number of places where Greeks were in the minority.
He printed pamphlets based on the principles of the French Revolution, including Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and New Political Constitution of the Inhabitants of Rumeli, Asia Minor, the Islands of the Aegean, the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia — these he intended to distribute in an effort to stimulate a Pan-Balkan uprising against the Ottomans. He published Greek translations of three stories by Retif de la Bretonne, many other foreign works, he collected his poems in a manuscript, he entered into communication with general Napoleon Bonaparte, to whom he sent a snuff-box made of the root of a Bay Laurel taken from a ruined temple of Apollo, he set out with a view to meeting the general of the Army of Italy in Venice. While traveling there, he was betrayed by Demetrios Oikonomos Kozanites, a Greek businessman, had his papers confiscated, was arrested at Trieste by the Austrian authorities, he was handed over with his accomplices to the Ottoman governor of Belgrade, where he was imprisoned and tortured.
From Belgrade, he was to be sent to Constantinople to be sentenced by Sultan Selim III. While in transit, he and his five collaborators were strangled to prevent their being rescued by Rigas's friend Osman Pazvantoğlu, their bodies were thrown into the Danube River. His last words are reported as being: "I have sown a rich seed. Rigas, using demotikì rather than puristic Greek, aroused the patriotic fervor of his Greek contemporaries, his republicanism was given an aura of heroism by his martyrdom, set liberation of Greece in a context of political reform. As social contraditions in Ottoman Empire grew sharper in the tumultuous Napoleonic era the most important theoretical monument of Greek republicanism, the anonymous Hellenic Nomarchy, was written, its author dedicating the work to Rigas Ferraios, sacrificed for the salvation of Hellas, his grievances against the Ottoman occupation of Greece regarded its cruelty, the drafting of children between the ages of five and fifteen into military service, the administrative chaos and systematic oppression, the confiscation of churches and their conversion to mosques.
Rigas wrote enthusiastic poems and books about Greek history and many became popula
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
Adriatic campaign of 1807–1814
The Adriatic campaign was a minor theatre of war during the Napoleonic Wars in which a succession of small British Royal Navy squadrons and independent cruisers harried the combined naval forces of the First French Empire, the Kingdom of Italy, the Illyrian Provinces and the Kingdom of Naples between 1807 and 1814 in the Adriatic Sea. Italy and Illyria were all controlled either directly or via proxy by the French Emperor Napoleon I, who had seized them at the Treaty of Pressburg in the aftermath of the War of the Third Coalition. Control of the Adriatic brought numerous advantages to the French Navy, allowing rapid transit of troops from Italy to the Balkans and Austria for campaigning in the east and giving France possession of numerous shipbuilding facilities the large naval yards of Venice. From 1807, when the Treaty of Tilsit precipitated a Russian withdrawal from the Septinsular Republic, the French Navy held naval supremacy in the region; the Treaty of Tilsit contained a secret clause that guaranteed French assistance in any war fought between the Russians and the Ottoman Empire.
To fulfil this clause, Napoleon would have to secure his supply lines to the east by developing the French armies in Illyria. This required control of the Adriatic against aggressive British raiders; the Royal Navy determined to stop these troop convoys from reaching Illyria and sought to break French hegemony in the region, resulting in a six-year naval campaign. The campaign was not uniform in approach. Although numerous commanders held commands in the region, the two most important personalities were those of William Hoste and Bernard Dubourdieu, whose exploits were celebrated in their respective national newspapers during 1810 and 1811; the campaign between the two officers reached a climax at the Battle of Lissa in March 1811, when Dubourdieu was killed and his squadron defeated by Hoste in a celebrated action. The events of 1811 gave the British dominance in the Adriatic for the remainder of the war. British and Greek expeditionary forces captured fortified French islands and British raiding parties devastated the local trade across the region.
As a result, French plans against the Ottoman Empire were cancelled, La Grande Armée turning towards Russia. British forces continued operations until the advancing armies of the Sixth Coalition drove the French from the shores of the Adriatic in early 1814, British troops and marines assisting in the capture of several important French cities, including Fiume and Trieste. There had been a French presence in the Adriatic Sea since the Treaty of Campo Formio during the French Revolutionary War. Campo Formio marked the end of the War of the First Coalition in 1797 and confirmed the demise of the independent Republic of Venice and the division of its territory between the French Republic and the Austrian Empire. One of France's grants from this division were the seven Ionian Islands that controlled the entrance to the Adriatic; these French outposts in the Eastern Mediterranean were considered a threat by both the Russian and the Ottoman Empires and in 1798 a united Russo-Ottoman force attacked the massively fortified French citadel on Corfu, which fell the following year after a four-month siege.
The victors took possession of the islands and from them created the Septinsular Republic, nominally Ottoman independent and guaranteed by the Russian Navy. On mainland Europe, the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte as the ruler of the new French Empire resulted in a new conflict, the War of the Third Coalition in 1805, which ended disastrously for the Austrian and Russian allied armies at the Battle of Austerlitz; the treaties that ended the war created two French client monarchies in Italy, the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Naples, French troops were left holding substantial parts of the Eastern coastline of the Adriatic in Dalmatia. These holdings increased French naval interest in the Adriatic, well supplied with excellent ports and shipbuilding facilities at Venice; the Russian garrison on Corfu, augmented with a powerful naval squadron blocked French use of the Adriatic by sealing the entrance through the Straits of Otranto. French military concerns were directed further north at this time, resulting in the War of the Fourth Coalition during 1806 and 1807 that saw Napoleon's armies overrun Prussia and force the Russians to sign the Treaty of Tilsit on 7 July 1807.
One of the minor clauses of this treaty transferred the Septinsular Republic back into French hands, the Russians withdrawing from the Adriatic. This withdrawal supported a hidden clause in the treaty that guaranteed French support in the continuing Russian war with the Ottomans in the Balkans; as the Russians withdrew, the French despatched garrisons to the Ionian Islands amassing over 7,400 French and Neapolitan troops on Corfu alone. This turned the Adriatic into a sheltered French sea from which they could be free to despatch raiders against British convoys and Royal Navy blockade squadrons, which had controlled the Mediterranean since the Battle of Trafalgar two years earlier. To facilitate this, the French Navy placed significant orders at the Venetian naval yards, intending to build forces in the region with locally produced and crewed vessels; the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet responded to this threat, in November 1807 the fourth rate ship HMS Glatton and several smaller craft were blockading Corfu, seizing several French and Italian reinforcement convoys.
Encouraged by the success of the blockade, small British raiders began entering the Adriatic independently, to prey
The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf. During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea, a name still in colloquial use in its demotic form; the peninsula is divided among three administrative regions: most belongs to the Peloponnese region, with smaller parts belonging to the West Greece and Attica regions. In 2016, Lonely Planet voted the Peloponnese the top spot of their Best in Europe list; the Peloponnese is a peninsula that covers an area of some 21,549.6 square kilometres and constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece. While technically it may be considered an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, like other peninsulas that have been separated from their mainland by man-made bodies of waters, it is if referred to as an "island".
It has two land connections with the rest of Greece, a natural one at the Isthmus of Corinth, an artificial one by the Rio–Antirrio bridge. The peninsula has a mountainous interior and indented coasts; the Peloponnese possesses four south-pointing peninsulas, the Messenian, the Mani, the Cape Malea, the Argolid in the far northeast of the Peloponnese. Mount Taygetus in the south is the highest mountain in the Peloponnese, at 2,407 metres. Οther important mountains include Cyllene in the northeast, Aroania in the north and Panachaikon in the northwest, Mainalon in the center, Parnon in the southeast. The entire peninsula has been the site of many earthquakes in the past; the longest river is the Alfeios in the west, followed by the Evrotas in the south, the Pineios in the west. Extensive lowlands are found only in the west, with the exception of the Evrotas valley in the south and in the Argolid in the northeast; the Peloponnese is home to numerous spectacular beaches. Two groups of islands lie off the Peloponnesian coast: the Argo-Saronic Islands to the east, the Ionian to the west.
The island of Kythira, off the Epidaurus Limera peninsula to the south of the Peloponnese, is considered to be part of the Ionian Islands. The island of Elafonisos used to be part of the peninsula but was separated following the major quake of 365 AD. Since antiquity, continuing to the present day, the Peloponnese has been divided into seven major regions: Achaea, Argolis, Laconia and Elis; each of these regions is headed by a city. The largest city is Patras in Achaia, followed by Kalamata in Messenia; the peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology the legend of the hero Pelops, said to have conquered the entire region; the name Peloponnesos means "Island of Pelops". The Mycenaean civilization, mainland Greece's first major civilization, dominated the Peloponnese in the Bronze Age from its stronghold at Mycenae in the north-east of the peninsula; the Mycenean civilization collapsed at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Archeological research has found that many of its palaces show signs of destruction.
The subsequent period, known as the Greek Dark Ages, is marked by an absence of written records. In 776 BC, the first Olympic Games were held at Olympia, in the western Peloponnese and this date is sometimes used to denote the beginning of the classical period of Greek antiquity. During classical antiquity, the Peloponnese was at the heart of the affairs of ancient Greece, possessed some of its most powerful city-states, was the location of some of its bloodiest battles; the major cities of Sparta, Corinth and Megalopolis were all located on the Peloponnese, it was the homeland of the Peloponnesian League. Soldiers from the peninsula fought in the Persian Wars, it was the scene of the Peloponnesian War of 431–404 BC; the entire Peloponnese with the notable exception of Sparta joined Alexander's expedition against the Persian Empire. Along with the rest of Greece, the Peloponnese fell to the expanding Roman Republic in 146 BC, when the Romans razed the city of Corinth and massacred its inhabitants.
The Romans created the province of Achaea comprising central Greece. During the Roman period, the peninsula remained prosperous but became a provincial backwater cut off from the affairs of the wider Roman world. After the partition of the Empire in 395, the Peloponnese became a part of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire; the devastation of Alaric's raid in 396–397 led to the construction of the Hexamilion wall across the Isthmus of Corinth. Through most of late antiquity, the peninsula retained its urbanized character: in the 6th century, Hierocles counted 26 cities in his Synecdemus. By the latter part of that century, building activity seems to have stopped everywhere except Constantinople, Thessalonica and Athens; this has traditionally been attributed to calamities such as plague and Slavic invasions. However, more recent analysis suggests that urban decline was linked with the collapse of long-distance and regional commercial networks that underpinned and supported late antique urba
Smyrna was a Greek city dating back to antiquity located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Since 1930, the modern city located there has been known as İzmir, in Turkey, the Turkish rendering of the same name. Due to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defense and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. Two sites of the ancient city are today within the boundaries of İzmir; the first site founded by indigenous peoples, rose to prominence during the Archaic Period as one of the principal ancient Greek settlements in western Anatolia. The second, whose foundation is associated with Alexander the Great, reached metropolitan proportions during the period of the Roman Empire. Most of the present-day remains of the ancient city date from the Roman era, the majority from after a 2nd-century AD earthquake. In practical terms, a distinction is made between these. Old Smyrna was the initial settlement founded around the 11th century BC, first as an Aeolian settlement, taken over and developed during the Archaic Period by the Ionians.
Smyrna proper was the new city which residents moved to as of the 4th century BC and whose foundation was inspired by Alexander the Great. Old Smyrna was located on a small peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus at the northeastern corner of the inner Gulf of İzmir, at the edge of a fertile plain and at the foot of Mount Yamanlar; this Anatolian settlement commanded the gulf. Today, the archeological site, named Bayraklı Höyüğü, is 700 metres inland, in the Tepekule neighbourhood of Bayraklı at 38°27′51″N 27°10′13″E. New Smyrna developed on the slopes of the Mount Pagos and alongside the coastal strait below where a small bay existed until the 18th century; the core of the late Hellenistic and early Roman Smyrna is preserved in the large area of İzmir Agora Open Air Museum at this site. Research is being pursued at the sites of both the new cities; this has been conducted since 1997 for Old Smyrna and since 2002 for the Classical Period city, in collaboration between the İzmir Archaeology Museum and the Metropolitan Municipality of İzmir.
For further information on etymology of the city's name, see İzmir#Names and etymology. Several explanations have been offered for its name. A Greek myth derived the name from an eponymous Amazon named "Σμύρνα", the name of a quarter of Ephesus; this is the basis of a city of Aeolis. In inscriptions and coins, the name was written as "Ζμύρνα", "Ζμυρναῖος", "of Smyrna"; the name Smyrna may have been taken from the ancient Greek word for myrrh, "smyrna", the chief export of the city in ancient times. The region was settled at least as of the beginning of the third millennium BC, or earlier, as the recent finds in Yeşilova Höyük suggests, it could have been a city of the autochthonous Leleges before the Greek colonists started to settle along the coast of Asia Minor as of the beginning of the first millennium BC. Throughout antiquity Smyrna was a leading city-state of Ionia, with influence over the Aegean shores and islands. Smyrna was among the cities that claimed Homer as a resident; the early Aeolian Greek settlers of Lesbos and Cyme, expanding eastwards, occupied the valley of Smyrna.
It was one of the confederacy of Aeolian city-states, marking the Aeolian frontier with the Ionian colonies. Strangers or refugees from the Ionian city of Colophon settled in the city. During an uprising in 688 BC, they took control of the city, making it the thirteenth of the Ionian city-states. Revised mythologies said. In 688 BC, the Ionian boxer Onomastus of Smyrna won the prize at Olympia, but the coup was then a recent event; the Colophonian conquest is mentioned by Mimnermus, who counts himself of Colophon and of Smyrna. The Aeolic form of the name was retained in the Attic dialect, the epithet "Aeolian Smyrna" remained current long after the conquest. Smyrna was located at the mouth of the small river Hermus and at the head of a deep arm of the sea that reached far inland; this enabled Greek trading ships to sail into the heart of Lydia, making the city part of an essential trade route between Anatolia and the Aegean. During the 7th century BC, Smyrna rose to splendor. One of the great trade routes which cross Anatolia descends the Hermus valley past Sardis, diverging from the valley, passes south of Mount Sipylus and crosses a low pass into the little valley where Smyrna lies between the mountains and the sea.
Miletus and Ephesus were situated at the sea end of the other great trade route across Anatolia. The Meles River, which flowed by Smyrna, was worshiped in the valley. A common and consistent tradition connects Homer with the valley of Smyrna and the banks of the Meles; the epithet Melesigenes was applied to him. The steady equable flow of the Meles, alike in summer and winter, its short course and ending near the city, are celebrated by Aristides and Himerius; the stream rises from abundant springs east of the city and flows into the southeast extremity of the gulf. The archaic city contained a temple of Athena from the 7th century BC; when the Mermnad kings raised the Lydian power and aggressiveness, Smyr
Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774)
The Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 was an armed conflict that brought Kabardia, the part of the Yedisan between the rivers Bug and Dnieper, Crimea into the Russian sphere of influence. Though the victories accrued by the Russian Empire were substantial, they gained far less territory than otherwise would be expected; the reason for this was the complex struggle within the European diplomatic system for a balance of power, acceptable to other European leading states, rather than Russian hegemony. Russia was able to take advantage of the weakened Ottoman Empire, the end of the Seven Years' War, the withdrawal of France as the continent's primary military power; this left the Russian Empire in a strengthened position to expand its territory but lose temporary hegemony over the decentralized Poland. The greater Turkish losses were diplomatic in nature seeing its full decline as a threat to Christian Europe, the beginning of the Eastern Question that would plague the continent until the end of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.
On 25 September 1768 the Ottoman Empire declared war onto the Russian Empire following the recent treaty between Ottomans and members of Bar Confederation. On 31 October 1768 the President of the Collegium of Little Russia Pyotr Rumyantsev ordered the Kosh Otaman of Zaporizhian Host Petro Kalnyshevsky "все войско свое устроить… в военный порядок тот час, чтобы готовы вы были к внезапному ополчению"; the war followed external tensions within Poland. The true power behind the Polish throne was the Russian ambassador Nicholas Repnin and the Russian army, with King Stanisław August Poniatowski being a former favourite of the Russian Empress Catherine II. Repnin had forcefully passed the Perpetual Treaty of 1768 between Poland and Russia, disadvantageous to Poland and led to massive revolts by the nobility and peasants. In one fortified town called Bar, near the Ottoman border, an armed confederation was created on 29 February 1768, led by a landed Polish noble named Casimir Pulaski; the Russian army outnumbered the confederates and defeated them in the Podolia of Ukraine.
On 20 June 1768, Russian Army captured the fortress of Bar and the majority of the surviving confederates fled over the Turkish border. Repnin suppressed the revolts, but he could keep up as they spread across the country, Polish revolts would dog Russia throughout the war and make it impossible for Catherine II to keep control of Poland. In the Ottoman Empire, revolts were widespread. Many noble factions had risen against the power of sultan Mustafa III and would proceed to break away from the Ottoman Empire. In addition to this decentralization of the Empire the Ottomans were faced with the revival of a unified Persia, which rose to oppose the Turks in Iraq. Upon the outbreak of the war the Ottomans seemed to have the upper hand as Russia was suffering from financial strain as a consequence of involvement in the Seven Years' War; the Turkish Navy capitalized on the inferiority of Russia's navy though it employed British officers to resolve this weakness. The Ottomans dominated the Black Sea.
The Ottomans were able to levy troops from their vassal state, the Crimean Khanate, to fight the Russians, but their effectiveness was undermined by constant Russian destabilization of the area. In the years preceding the war the Ottoman Empire had enjoyed the longest period of peace with Europe in its history; the Ottoman Empire faced internal division and corruption compounded by the re-emergence of a unified Persian leadership, under Nader Shah. One clear advantage for the Ottomans was its superior numbers as the Ottoman army was three times the size of its Russian counterpart. However, the new Grand Vizier Mehmed Emin Pasha would prove himself to be incompetent militarily. For a long time the Ottoman military was considered to be more technologically advanced than Europe; the Russian army massed along the borders with Poland and the Ottoman Empire, which made it difficult for Ottomans troops to make inroads into Russian territory. Not content to let the Polish enemy flee over the border, Cossacks followed them into the Ottoman Empire.
Mustafa III received reports that the town of Balta had been massacred by Russian paid Zaporozhian Cossacks. Russia denied the accusations, but it was reported that the Cossacks "certainly razed Balta and killed whomever they found". With the confederates of Poland and the French embassy pushing the sultan along, with many pro-war advisors, the sultan on October 6 imprisoned Aleksei Mikhailovich Obreskov and the entire Russian embassy's staff, marking the Ottoman’s declaration of war on Russia. After her victories in the war, Catherine II was depicted in portraits dressed in the military uniforms of Great Britain, a willing ally to Russia because of the trade between the two countries. Great Britain needed bar iron to fuel its ongoing Industrial Revolution as well as other products such as sailcloth and timber, for the construction and maintenance of its Navy, all of which Russia could provide; when the tide of the conflict turned in Russia's favour, Britain limited its support, seeing Russia as a rising competitor in Far Eastern trade, rather than as a counterbalance to the French navy in the Mediterranean.
While Russia remained in a superior position in the Black Sea, the withdrawal of British support left Russia unable to do anything more than cut down its own supply lines and disrupt Turkish trade in t
The Septinsular Republic was a republic that existed from 1800 to 1807 under nominal Russian and Ottoman sovereignty in the Ionian Islands. The Republic was established after a joint Russo-Ottoman fleet captured the islands and ended a two-year rule by the First French Republic. Although the islanders had hoped for complete independence, the new state was granted only autonomy, becoming tributary to the Ottoman Porte, it was the first time Greeks had been granted self-government since the fall of the last remnants of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans in 1460. In 1807, the republic was ceded to Napoleon's First French Empire, but the islands were not annexed by France, keeping their institutions of government; the British took control of the islands, following the Treaty of Paris, the islands were formally organised into the United States of the Ionian Islands under British protection. The Ionian Islands along with a handful of exclaves on the Epirote mainland, namely the coastal towns of Parga, Preveza and Butrinto, had been Venetian possessions for centuries, thereby becoming the only part of the Greek world to escape conquest by the Ottoman Empire.
Following the Fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797, the islands came under French control, with French troops disembarking on Corfu on 28 June 1797. The French were welcomed by the populace, the radical ideas of the French Revolution were implemented with the abolition of the local nobility and the installation of democratic regimes and local self-government on the islands. In the Treaty of Campo Formio, the islands were annexed as French departments; the French presence was resented by the local aristocracy, now deprived of its privileges, while the heavy taxation and anti-clericalism of the French soon made them unpopular with broad sections of the common populace as well. Following the French invasion of Egypt furthermore, the French presence in the Ionian Islands aroused the opposition of the Ottomans and the Russian Empire, as part of the War of the Second Coalition. In autumn 1798, a joint Russo-Ottoman fleet evicted the French from the other islands and captured Corfu in February 1799, while the autonomous Ottoman strongman Ali Pasha of Yanina took the opportunity to seize Butrinto and Vonitsa from the French.
In all the islands they occupied, the Russians at first installed provisional administrations of nobles and burghers. On 10 March, the Russian authorities invited assemblies of the nobles to undertake the governance of the Ionian Islands, thereby restoring the previous status quo. On the next day, the Great Council of Corfu was reconstituted. In Zakynthos, the local noble council preferred to direct its thanks to the British, an expression of the strong pro-British tendency on the island, due to the close commercial links centred on the currant trade. On 24 April, the commanders of the two fleets announced that the Ionian Islands would comprise a single state, governed by a Senate in Corfu city, composed of three representatives each from Corfu and Zakynthos, two from Lefkada, one each from Ithaca and Paxoi; the Venetian nobleman Angelo Orio, the last Venetian provveditore of Argostoli, was appointed head of the Senate, entrusted with the creation of a constitution for the new state. Orio's draft constitution envisaged a aristocratic regime, with each island headed by a Great Council composed of the nobles and the upper bourgeoisie.
The Great Councils would elected the senators. Each island would retain a local administration and a treasury, but a central treasury would exist in Corfu; the Senate was the ultimate executive authority, its president the head of state. A Small Council of 40 would be elected by the Great Councils of the three largest islands, would be responsible for justice, the selection of officials, advising on legislation; each island's council would have to ratify the laws passed by the Senate. In addition, the use of the Greek language was sanctioned for the first time in the courts. On 9 June 1799, the Senate sent a delegation to Constantinople and Saint Petersburg to express its gratitude to the Sultan and Tsar and secure recognition of the new state's independence; the delegates were tasked with producing a draft constitution and submitting it for ratification, as well as press for the restoration of the Islands' maritime and land frontier with the withdrawal of Ali Pasha from Butrinto and Vonitsa.
The delegation included Orio, nominated as ambassador to St. Petersburg, the presidency of the Senate passed to Count Spyridon Georgios Theotokis, who had headed the Provisional Municipality under French rule. Once in Constantinople, the delegation realized that the Porte was not interested in recognizing the Islands' independence, but rather in creating a vassal state under Ottoman suzerainty. Two of the delegates, the Corfiot Count Antonio Maria Capodistrias and the Zakynthian Count Nikolaos Gradenigos Sigouros Desyllas remained in Constantinople to conduct negotiations with the Porte, while Orio and another delegate, were to represent the Ionian cause in Saint Petersburg. In the negotiations that followed, the Constantinople delegates were pitted against the Saint Petersburg ones in a correspondence war over the nature of the n