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Events and Actors in the Ottoman Age of Revolutions

Map by Erik Steiner

We propose an event-based framework that focuses our analysis on major historical episodes between 1790-1822 (wars, mutinies, political settlements, epidemics, fires, mobilization of resources for an infrastructure project). In the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, Ottoman-Russian conflicts and the crisis of the Ottoman imperial regime, Epirus was one of the most vibrant regions of the empire, experiencing dizzying events. We define the events as an interactive and interdependent process of multiple actors, collective or individual, in different or same locales, acting in similar or different ways in response to each other. We will narrate these events through digital tools, with graphic visualizations of actions in a spatio-temporal context. Events had potential to reshape the relations; therefore, through interactive graphic illustration of an event, we also intend to illustrate how the relations were restructured.

1804 - Maskoulori

Ali Pasha Papers

Bekir Hatiris informs Ali Pasha that he attacked at the village of Maskoulori in Argyrokastro "έκανε πατάλι" and he wanted to visit Ioannina to inform Ali Pasha. However, the notables of Argyrokastro did not let him visit Ioannina as the two villages (Maskoulori, Gardiki) sent letters to Ioannina in order to negotiate a truce between the two sides. Bekir Hatir insists on his decision. His plan is to send some people "παιδιά" to conquer a place called "Κιαφέ Μερέτε", where his opponents will be gathering grass from the meadows "τζαϊρια". He asks from Ali Pasha to order a certain Papa Dede "παπά-Ντεντές" to send people from the villages of Riza to help conquer that place.

The End of Ali Pasha Order

We will also focus on the end of the story, namely the collapse and elimination of the Ali Pasha order between 1820-22. There are two reasons behind this choice. First, we have already transliterated the documents (mainly from Ottoman Archives) and processed the data for the elimination of Ali Pasha order. Secondly, these documents prepared during the elimination of the Ali Pasha order by the imperial and local authorities, in fact give a comprehensive picture about how the order had operated, how different relations had been established throughout the order in Epirus, and how these relations were reshuffled with the end of Ali Pasha.

During the elimination of Ali Pasha order, we discern a set of events that includes: confrontation between Ali Pasha, different regional magnates and the Ottoman center; the massive siege of Ioannina by an Ottoman army; negotiations between the Ottoman authorities and local communities supporting or confronting Ali Pasha; Ali Pasha's execution; and the massive confiscation process (mentioned above) which eliminated the Ali Pasha order; and finally the confrontation between the local communities who were indebted to Ali Pasha and the Ottoman authorities, which triggered the Greek Revolution. Visualizing these events is feasible with the diversity of tools available (e.g. Tableau, Palladio, Gephi, R, etc.). For example, graphs, timelines, maps, and network diagrams can display how debts were restructured, how Ali Pasha's wealth was redistributed, and how his movable property and real estate gained new owners in auctions, and how collective negotiations transformed into a conflict between local communities and the Ottoman center.