Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.
Brave issued an edict excluding them from all public offices of trust.  About the year 1617 they had so greatly increased in numbers, and excited such hatred, that the native population could no longer be restrained; a second edition of the Sicilian Vespers was enacted, and they were massacred, men, women, and children, a deed for which their successors took ample vengeance.  For a time we hear nothing more about them, but about half a century afterwards (1665) they returned in great numbers in the suite of two Voivodes, who had purchased the thrones of the Principalities, and once more sought to establish themselves.  Two of these seem to have played the part for the reigning prince that Empson and Dudley filled for our Henry VII., namely, that of extortioners, but with far greater tyranny and cruelty.  They were at length cut in pieces by the populace, and the Greeks were once more expelled from the country.  Meanwhile, however, they had grown in favour in Constantinople, where, through their learning and intelligence, they began to fill confidential offices under the Porte.  To their ordinary avocations some added the practice of medicine, in which they were adepts; and one of them, Panaiotaki Nicosias, a medical attendant of the Grand Vizier, managed to ingratiate himself with his patron, and then, having exerted his influence in favour of his fellow-countrymen, he succeeded in obtaining minor offices for some, and toleration for all.  He was appointed Dragoman or interpreter to the Porte, and, proving an able and faithful servant, he was permitted to nominate as his successor Alexander Mavrocordato, who is said by some to have been a common labourer and to have married a butcher’s daughter, whilst others call him a silk-dealer of Constantinople or of Chio.  Be that as it may, he made himself so useful to his employers, especially during the negotiation of the Treaty of Carlowitz, that after the execution of Brancovano he managed to secure the succession to the throne of Wallachia (1716) for his son Nicholas Mavrocordato, and became the ancestor of a long line of rulers in both principalities.[153]

[Footnote 153:  Although Nicholas Mavrocordato is chiefly referred to as the first Phanariote Prince of Wallachia, in 1716, a comparison of the authorities (Engel, Wilkinson, Neigebaur, &c.) shows that he had already ruled in Moldavia since 1712.  Vaillant is, as usual, vague, and supplies the place of precise facts by abundant rhetoric.]


The selection of Greek princes, or, as they are often called, ‘farmers-general,’ by the Porte, was probably the result of the distrust which the native voivodes and boyards had engendered, as much as the respect entertained for its faithful dragomans; and if Nicholas Mavrocordato did not receive explicit instructions on the subject, he knew that the most welcome change he could make in the interests of his patrons would be to introduce an entirely new regime

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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