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Out of the Balkans

Part 1: Out of the Balkans

Chapter 1:
Eleni and Evangelia: Out of Thrace and the Black Sea

On the night of 30 July 1906 Anchialos burned. Bulgarian militia and mobs conducted a pogrom that resulted in the slaughter of four thousand of its six thousand Greek inhabitants.

Awakened by Sozopolis' church bells, Hristodul and Vasiliki Zissis wondered at the glow in the sky to the north, across the bay. In the days that followed their world disintegrated about them. They heard stories of the holocaust in Anchialos, of arson whose flames consumed homes and shops, and of murder and looting that had visited friends and family in the city of Pyrgos.

In Pyrgos, Hristodul and Vasiliki's daughter, Eleni, her husband, Stefan, were victims of the terror and violence of that night. Clinging to their baby, Evangelia, and carrying what few belongings they could, they joined Greek families who ran through the streets toward the docks and small boats that held hope of escape. Stefan stumbled and fell.

The press of humanity trampled him to death and pushed Eleni and her child into the sea. Greek fishermen picked them out of the water and for several days carried them south through the Bosphorus, then west past Constantinople, across the Propontis, through the Hellespont and, finally, into the Aegean Sea.

With dread, and tears, and despair, Eleni retraced the route of her ancient ancestors. She was at sea with the crew of a fishing boat. A destitute widow with an infant and an unknowable future she had one purpose ~ to survive.

* * * * * * *

Eleni Zissis was born in the late nineteenth century, at a time when Sozopolis, a small city nestled on the shore of the Black Sea(1) in an area known as Eastern Rumelia(2), was part of Turkey's holdings in the Balkans.

Founded the seventh century B.C. by Greeks(3) from the Ionian city-state of Miletos(4) the original settlement was named Apollonia Pontika after the god Apollo. In classical times citizens of Apollonia venerated a great statue of Apollo, perhaps forty feet tall, attributed to the mid-fifth century B.C. Athenian sculptor Kalamis.(5) Apollonia's patron was identified with his life saving attribution, iatros, or healer.(6)

One thousand years later when its people converted to Christianity, Apollonia became Sozopolis ~ the city of salvation.

Sozopolis was the first safe harbor merchant vessels reached as they plied north from the Straits of the Bosphorus to trade at cities on the western coast of the Black Sea.

These included, in modern Bulgaria:(7) Sozopol (Apollonia Pontika), Pomerie (Anchialos), Nesebar (Mesembria) and Varna (Odessus); in modern Romania: Constanta (Tomis); and many cities of the Danube river's delta (Istros). On the northern shore were the cities of the Ukraine: Odessa (Odessos) close to the mouths of the Dniester, Bug and Dniepr Rivers, modern Crimea (Taurus): Sevastopol (Chersonesos), and Kerc (Pantikapion), which offered easy passage to the Don River.

The rivers opened access to the grain of the rich agricultural lands of what is now south-central Russia, the Ukraine (Skythia).(8)

When threatened by sudden winds and heavy seas vessels found safe haven at Sozopolis. Often the city's men set out in their small fishing boats to save foundering ships and crews.

Eleni and her family took great pride in being Greeks of the Black Sea, members of a community that for two and one-half thousand years had populated the littoral of what was known as the Pontos Euxeinos, the hospitable sea of late antiquity.

Centuries before colonization of its coasts Greeks named the great body of water Pontos Axeinos, the inhospitable sea. Early Greek explorers were fearful of the water route from the Aegean through the Dardanelles (Hellespont), the Sea of Marmara (Propontis), and the final gauntlet, the Bosphorus.(9) Its narrow, twisting course and treacherous currents, that run from the Pontos(10) to the Aegean, made passage of oar-powered vessels through it to the vast Pontos seem impossible.(11)

The mythological story of Jason's epic search for the Golden Fleece celebrates early Greek penetrations into the Axeinos Pontos. The adventurers sought to open civilizations that surrounded the sea to commerce with the Mycenaean(12) kingdoms. In search of the Golden Fleece,(13) Jason and his Argonauts entered the Black Sea and crossed to its easternmost shore, to the legendary and wealthy land of Colchis.(14)

Accustomed to the Aegean with its myriad sheltering islands and coves, Greeks found the vast Pontos full of natural terrors. "For at that time the sea was called Axine because of its wintry storms and the ferocity of the tribes that lived around it, and particularly the Scythians ... but later it was called Euxine, when the Ionians founded cities on the seaboard ...," wrote the ancient geographer Strabo (64 B.C. to after 24 A.D.).

On entering the Pontos sailors found no islands to assist them in navigation. Increasing their anxiety was the fact that the closest protected landing for their sail and oar-manned ships was more than one day's passage from the Bosphorous' strait. Native peoples, the Thracians and Skythians, were fearsome. They used enemy prisoners and shipwrecked sailors as human sacrifices in ways described in gory detail by Herodotus in his Histories:(15)

What they do is first consecrate the victim, and then they hit him on the head with a club. Some say that they then push the body off the cliff at the top of which their shrine is located, but impale the head on a stake ...

For the sailors of the Aegean the Pontos was a huge, hazardous expanse that challenged them with winds, fog, storms, snow and ice-flows, and with shores populated by savage barbarians.

The war between the ancient Greek kingdoms and Troy reported to us by Homer in his Iliad is probably a composite representation based on Mycenaean conflicts that took place around 1300 B.C.(16) The Trojan War was most likely about control of the trade route through the Hellespont, which Troy and her allies dominated, and from which they gained great wealth.

Not until the late eighth century B.C. were colonies established along the coast of the Black Sea. These provided the exploding populations of the city-states of ancient Greece with grain (corn, i.e., barleycorn), oak lumber, metals, slaves, fish, hides and furs. Early Greek settlers mixed their blood with the indigenous Thracians and Skythians, yet retained their Greek language and their identity as Hellenes.

In the late sixth century B.C. the army of Persia's King Darius crossed the Bosphorus on pontoon bridges, marched north passing Apollonia Pontika, bridged the Danube (Istros) and entered the land of the Skythians(17) in a futile attempt to conquer them.(18) He did subjugate the Thracians on the western shores of the Black Sea thus securing the region north of the great Greek city-states before he invaded them. Darius' campaign of conquest ended in defeat in 490 B.C. on the plain of Marathon, northeast of Athens.

In 342 B.C. Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great, led forces north, through Thrace and over the Balkan (Haemus) mountain range to the shore of the Danube (Istros) to subjugate barbarian tribes. He settled military colonies and established trade routes in Thrace, making alliances with two of the important coastal emporia of the Black Sea: Varna (Odessus) and Sozopolis (Apollonia Pontika).(19)

Roman armies began their conquest of the peninsula in the third century and dominated the region by the middle of the first century, B.C. After Roman armies under Marcus Lucullus pillaged the area in 71 B.C., the Legions built extensive road systems including one to Apollonia Pontika, which served as a minor port. According to Pliny the Elder,(20) the Romans shipped Apollonia Pontika's great bronze statue of Apollo to Rome where it adorned the Capitoline.(21)

Anchialos (Pomorie), a colony founded by Apollonia Pontika on the northern coast of what is now the Bay of Burgas, was located in a fertile region and protected northern access to the bay. The town harvested salt from the sea and featured hot mineral springs that attracted many who believed in the water's curative powers.(22)

In the fourth century A.D., the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great established Christianity as the state religion of Rome and founded Constantinople on the ancient site of Byzantion. Apollonia Pontika was reborn as the Christian Sozopolis, and the Hellenes of the Black Sea became Byzantine Orthodox Christian Greeks tied by history, language, religion, and the sea to the center of their universe, Constantinople.

Constantinople was for one thousand years the City from which Emperors and Patriarchs ruled a vast Empire and led the political and religious lives of its people. The City withstood onslaughts from east and west ~ Huns in the fifth century; and later, Slavs, Avars, Moslem hoards and Christian Crusader armies. It nurtured a society:

... in which one Emperor after another was renowned for his scholarship; a society which alone had preserved much of the heritage of Greek and Latin antiquity, during these dark centuries in the West when the lights of learning were almost extinguished ...(23)

The army of the Fourth Crusade led by the Venetian Doge Enrico Dandolo sacked Constantinople in the early thirteenth century. The Venetians and their Latin brethren ruled the remains of the Byzantine Empire parceling among themselves its lands in the Morea,(24) Athens and Achaea, Ionia, and the Aegean Islands.

Later in the same century, in 1261, the Greeks regained Constantinople with the assistance of Venice's archrival, Genoa.

But the dark legacy that it left behind affected all Christendom ~ perhaps all the world. For the Greek Empire never recovered from the damage, spiritual as well as material, of those fateful years. Nor, with its loveliest buildings reduced to rubble and its finest works of art looted or destroyed, did it ever succeed in recovering its morale. Before the Latin conquest the Empire had been one and indivisible, under a single basileus, Equal of the Apostles. Now that unity was gone. There were the Emperors of Trebizond, still stubbornly independent on the Black Sea shore. There were the Despots of Epirus, always ready to welcome the enemies of Constantinople. How, fragmented as it was, could the Greek Empire continue as the last great eastern bulwark of Christendom against the Islamic tide?(25)

In 1453, severely weakened by internal struggles, encroachment of Bulgars from the north and west, and Turks from the south and east, and lacking assistance from Christian Europe and the Pope, Constantinople was lost to the Ottomans. The outcome for the Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbians, Bosnians, Croatians, Albanians and Vlachs(26) of the Balkans was centuries of humiliation under the "Turkish Yoke."

Many Byzantine intellectuals and artists fled west to Rome, Florence, Bologna and especially to the Venetian University of Padua where outside of Papal control Orthodox scholars were welcome. They gave impetus to the Renaissance of Western Europe and later provided teachers that staffed the Ottoman Empire's educational institutions. Out of these came the learned sixteenth through eighteenth century administrators for the Patriarchate(27) of Constantinople, and the Ottoman Porte.(28)

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Orthodox population of the Balkans and those Greek Orthodox living in what is modern day Turkey, the Middle East and Crete, believed their eventual freedom depended on support from the Russian Tsars and the Russian Orthodox Church. This conviction was based in the early eighteenth century victories of Peter the Great, who, victorious over the Ottomans in 1696, captured the fortress at Azov, on the Sea of the same name that empties into the Black Sea.

The terms of Peter's treaty with the Ottomans in 1710 provided for a Russian ambassador to be resident in Constantinople. The ambassador reported that his presence in Constantinople worried the Turks that Tsar Peter was using the position to encourage the Greeks to rise against the Mohammedans. The vision of a Russian armada sailing south across the Black Sea to the walls of Constantinople in support of a Christian rising in the Balkans haunted the Ottoman Porte.

In 1711 Peter decided to enter the Balkans, cross the Danube, conquer the Turks, and seize Adrianople ~ perhaps even Constantinople. He made an appeal to the Orthodox people of Moldavia and Wallachia to rise with him against their oppressor and to join his war against the descendants of the heathen Mohammed.

Tsar Peter failed, surrendering his forces when surrounded by a Turkish-Crimean army on the banks of the Pruth River. With his failure he lost Azov, the better part of an army and almost his life. But his failure ended like a spent forest fire; it left behind buried in its ashes kernels that waited for the right conditions to germinate. These were the seeds of rebellion whose fruit almost two hundred years later would be freedom.

Russians, Bulgarians, and Serbians had strong bonds. They shared a common Slavic identity and had the same religion, overwhelmingly Eastern Orthodox. From the time of the fall of Constantinople the Russian Orthodox Church considered itself the stronghold of Eastern Orthodoxy, protector of the faith and of the flock. Tsars and Empresses asserted that they were successors to the Byzantine Emperors. By virtue of this claim the Russian Tsars and Patriarchs posed the possibility of a conflicted outcome for the Greeks of the Balkans. The Greeks welcomed the Russians as liberators and hoped for recreation of a Byzantine Greek Empire, not for incorporation into the Russian Empire.

In the mid-eighteenth century Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, pursued the expansionist policies of her predecessor Tsar Peter. Taking advantage of a border incident with the Turks in 1768 to initiate hostilities, she achieved one military victory after another, on land and at sea. The Treaty of Kuchuk-Kaynarja(29) ended the Ottoman-Russian war of 1768-1774.

Russia gained both access to the Black Sea which for 400 years had been an "Ottoman lake," and unrestricted passage for its merchant ships through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. The terms of the treaty fostered a new age for the Greeks, for Greek ships which already had held a dominant position in the trade of the Ottoman Empire were permitted to register and sail under the Russian Flag as well. The Empress' encouragement of Greek immigration to the Russian Empire resulted in large Greek communities in Sebastopol and Odessa.

Russia asserted itself as the protector of all Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire and secured the right to install consulates throughout Greek speaking lands. Following her great military and political successes against the Turks Catherine the Great conceived of the "Greek Project": an aspiration to reestablish the Greek Byzantine Empire.

Catherine's dream was to see her second grandson, Konstantin, on the throne first held by his namesake Constantine the Great in the fourth century.(30) Catherine's successes continued, and after a second Russian-Turkish war in 1791, Russia annexed the Crimea. However her death in 1796 ended both her life and the "Greek Project."

Greeks of the Pontos and Constantinople, especially the educated merchant class and leaders of the many guilds, were active participants in the early revolutionary struggle against the Ottomans. Their ships transported more than grain, lumber, dried fish and other cargo to the southern coast of the Mediterranean and to Britain, France and the Low Countries. They carried young men from the Balkans and the littoral of the Black Sea to the commercial centers and universities of the west.

When they returned to their communities in the Balkans the men did so with knowledge of the Enlightenment. The ships of those who were bound for the Black Sea fought the surface current of the Bosphorus and like the subsurface counter-current that unseen carries the salt water of the Mediterranean north and east into the Black Sea, they carried young men inspired by new dreams. They also brought Freemasonry which was to spread from the Ionian Islands to all of the Balkans' major Greek intellectual centers.

One consequence of the new ideas from the west was creation in 1814 of the Philike Hetaireia, or Friendly Society, a secret organization committed to freedom for the Hellenes. It was founded by Greek expatriates in Odessa in the Ukraine. Membership in the society grew throughout the Balkan cities of the Black Sea and it became a driving force for revolution and independence.

The Philike Hetaireia had among its members and leaders a Greek expatriate, Prince Alexander Ypsilanti, who had risen to become aide-de-camp and an intimate of the Russian Tsar Alexander. Ypsilanti knew that Tsar Alexander was sympathetic to the cause of the Greeks and confident that Russia would aid the effort, led a rebellion against the Ottomans in Moldavia and Wallachia in 1821, at the same time as the rising in Greece. Tsar Alexander, though pro-Greek and Orthodox, was in opposition to revolution against kings who he deemed appointed by God. The Tsar could not go against his conscience to assist Ypsilanti.

Moldavia and Wallachia's rising was crushed. The Sultan Mahmoud responded ferociously to the armed revolutionary actions. On Easter Sunday, 1821, Ottoman authorities seized Patriarch Gregory V as he descended the steps from the iconostasion(31) of his church in Constantinople, dragged him to his quarters and hanged him at its gate.(32) The Porte sanctioned wholesale slaughter of bishops, priests and prominent Greeks. Communities from Constantinople to the coast of Ionia and from the islands of the Aegean to the mainland of the Morea were put to the sword. Executioners spared young women and boys to sell them later at the slave markets in Constantinople, Smyrna and Alexandria.(33)

Many Greeks in Thrace were members of the Philike Hetaireia. In 1821 the Greek Metropolitan Bishop of Sozopolis and his brother, both active in the Society, led a revolutionary movement in their city that ended in a bloodbath and defeat.

Early disorganization and failure of the Greek struggle for independence in the 1820's did not diminish mounting support for the Greek cause from the western European giants of literature and poetry: Shelley and Byron, Goethe, Schiller and Victor Hugo. Public support grew as news of Ottoman atrocities, especially in the Morea, reached the West.

The Philhellenic(34) movement in eighteenth and nineteenth century western European had grown out of sixteenth and seventeenth century scholarship centered on classical Greece. Philhellenism fostered a romantic view of modern Greeks as direct descendants of the people of Athens and Sparta, the heroes of Marathon and Thermopylae.(35) In time, sympathy grew for Greek Christians who were subject to Ottoman Moslems. Philhellenism swelled in spite of pejorative characterizations of nineteenth century Greek peasants written and published in journals by British and French travelers.

Eventually both the British and French, concerned about loss of trade, the inability of the Ottomans to stabilize the region, and the threat of Russian intervention and possible Turko-Russian war took action. The Greek's long and bloody fight for independence celebrated as having started on March 25, 1821, was finally won in 1828 after the British, French and Russian combined naval fleet destroyed the Turko-Egyptian fleet in the Battle of Navarino Bay.(36) The British and French governments, hoping that a show of force and intent would be sufficient to compel reconciliation between Greek and Turk, determined that at most a blockade of Turkish men and arms would be necessary and did not anticipate a battle. Instructions issued by their governments to the three Admirals of the combined fleet were: "You are aware that you ought to be most particularly careful that the measures which you may adopt against the Ottoman navy do not degenerate into hostilities."(37)

As the two opposing armadas met in the Bay confusion, tension, and preparation for naval action set the stage for disaster. A gun fired, a man killed, and the engagement began. The Turko-Egyptian fleet was annihilated. The King of Britain's speech, made as the actions of victorious British Admiral Codrington were called into question, sought to maintain Britain's alignment with Turkey:

In the course of the measures adopted with a view to carry into effect the object of the Treaty, a collision, wholly unexpected by His Majesty, took place in the port of Navarin, between the fleets of the Contracting Powers and that of the Ottoman Porte. Notwithstanding the valour displayed by the combined fleet, His Majesty laments that this conflict should have occurred with the naval force of an ancient ally: but he still entertains a confident hope, that this untoward event will not be followed by further hostilities, and will not impede that amicable adjustment of the existing differences between the Porte and the Greeks, to which it is so manifestly their common interest to accede.(38)

In the end the western powers of Britain and France, with the cooperation of Russia, forced the Ottomans to consent to the creation of the Kingdom of Greece. The great powers primary objective was to stabilize the political climate of the eastern Mediterranean. Russia was mollified by outright territorial gains won from Turkey and by increased influence in the Balkans, evidenced by Turkey ceding to Russia the safeguarding of Serbia. Finally and very importantly the Ottomans agreed to the status of the Bosphorous and Dardanelles as international waterways.

Through the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Greek-speaking people dominated the cities and coastline of the Black Sea from the Bosphorous north to Odessa. Those that lived in what is now Bulgaria referred to their region as Anatolian Roumelia (Anatoliki Rõmilia) or the Anatolian Rome.(39)

The Bulgars who had been people of the inland mountains and valleys started to migrate to the coastal regions. There they found Greek landowners, merchants, ship owners and fishing fleets, and Greek speaking Orthodox clergy. Antagonism grew nurtured by jealousy, and anger over petty slights. The Greeks were dismissive of the Bulgars calling them tsiri (dried mackerel). The groundwork for ethnic strife developed with each real or imagined affront.

In the early nineteenth century as more of the Bulgarian population became literate and educated they published books and journals in their own language. Bulgarian students studied in Western Europe and Russia on scholarships and with the support of prosperous Bulgarian merchants. There was a groundswell of nationalism and a vision of a resurrected, free Bulgarian state equal to that which had existed in medieval times. Pride of language and ethnicity sparked fervor to wrest control of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church from the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople. For the Bulgars there were memories of historic defeats at the hands of the Byzantine Emperors and of terrible punishments meted out to defeated Bulgarian armies.(40)

Fueling anti-Bulgarian sentiments on the part of Greeks was the memory of an early thirteenth century Bulgar, Tsar John, also called Johannitsa (little John) and Kaloian (handsome John), whose cognomen was "Slayer of Greeks."(41)

A combination of the slow dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, establishment of the Kingdom of Greece and the geopolitical aspirations of Russia emboldened the ethnic and nationalist aspirations of the people of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Thrace. Their dreams found both creative and destructive expression in the conflicts of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These were the Crimean, Turko-Russian and Turko-Greek wars; guerrilla warfare over Macedonia;(42) the first and second Balkan Wars; the First World War; and finally, in 1922, defeat of a Greek Expeditionary force on the Ionian coast by the Turks, and the total destruction of Smyrna and its Greek community. This final catastrophe resulted from the collapse of the Great Idea (Megali Idhea), the vision of a recreated Empire, of a synthesis of Hellenism and Orthodoxy in the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. The vision became a nightmare and resulted in the expulsion of one million Pontic(43) and Ionian Greeks whose ancestors had been located on the southern shore of the Black Sea and the Ionian coast of Turkey for more than two and one half thousand years.(44)

The Balkan peoples have yet to resolve the ethnic and religious differences they have among themselves and with Turkey, and continue to suffer the ravages of war.

* * * * * * *

Eleni Zissis was born between 1880 and 1886 to a family whose knowledge of history was limited.(45) They knew little or nothing of the world beyond their experience of Sozopolis, the Black Sea and its shores. Western Europe was a topic for romantic stories and America but a dream. They had a deeply ingrained awareness of themselves that included ethnic pride and attachment to the land and sea that surrounded their small city and its way of life. They lived their Greek Orthodox faith with reverence for the Patriarchate and in awe of Constantinople. They were wary of the Turks and Bulgars that surrounded them. They expected a future in the land they had always known. In the end the culmination of centuries of ebb and flow of populations and power would like thunderous storm waves overwhelm and cast them from the shores of the Black Sea.

Many young men, especially those first-born of Greek families on the Black Sea, attended the schools of Constantinople. Those from families that were more prosperous might even matriculate at one of the universities of Western Europe. There, gradually and in increasing numbers they were exposed to and brought home to their Balkan communities the philosophies and political conceptions of the Enlightenment, the ideals of classical Greece and Rome, and knowledge of their own history. The American Revolution, the French Revolution and the goals stated in early Napoleonic doctrine gave them heart to raise their hopes and to envision a new, free society.

The common people gained what little knowledge they had from their church and the work of their daily lives. Western European thought influenced them little until the nineteenth century. By the time of its last decades sufficient contact had been made to nurture dreams of a new era, even in the humblest of peasants.

Greek families prized sons. A Greek woman did not perceive herself as fulfilled until she had provided a male offspring to whom would fall the economic responsibilities of the family: care of his parents in old age and of sisters until they married or, if unmarried, for all of their lives. Daughters were economic burdens until they married, and once married lived their lives in the limited sphere of the home. The home was their domain and within its confines they made decisions that affected the family and its well being, raised its children and led its religious life.

Eleni's mother, Vasiliki Hristodul Zisu(46) gave birth to four daughters: Eleni and her three sisters, Smaragda, Sultana and Sofia. There was no son to care for his parents in old age, or his sisters until they married, or if they did not marry, for all their lives. Eleni's personality developed without the limitations imposed by the presence of a brother, who would have been the focus of the family's attention.

While her mother, Vasiliki, was literate in Greek and Bulgarian, and may have been a teacher, Eleni's formal schooling was non-existent; she never learned to read or to write.

All four young women, and their mother, Vasiliki, were destined to leave Sozopolis. Eleni and Sofia were to remain close and they would care for their mother in her later years. Of the two, Eleni had the dominant personality.

Their father Hristodul's Death Certificate is informative.

On April 20th 1908 at 3 p.m. this death certificate was written testifying to the death of Hristodul Zisu, Orthodox Christian of Greek nationality, Bulgarian citizen, worker by occupation, at the age of seventy, born in the town of Sozopol, the same municipality ...

By family status the deceased was married to Vasiliki Hrist. Zisu, Orthodox Christian of Greek nationality, Bulgarian citizen, housewife by occupation, at the age of sixty, born in the town of Sozopol, ... This marriage had lasted forty-five years.

Since known as a "worker by occupation," it is not likely that Hristodul owned land. Neither is there any indication that he was a commercial fisherman or a boatman. His was a poor, working family. He probably labored for landed gentry who had need of men to cultivate their vineyards, orchards, and grain and pulse fields. He may have served as a crewmember on fishing boats or worked in the shipyard. Neither he nor his wife, Vasiliki, left any information that would distinguish them from the landless peasant class.

They lived in a typical, two-story wooden house with views of the bay and harbor to the north and east, and the sea and beach to the south and west. The first floor was for storage. In its dark space were farming implements, fishing equipment and nets, wine barrels, and crocks of salted fish and pickled vegetables. The second floor consisted of bedrooms, a reception room, a dining room and a kitchen

Each morning the sisters saw their father leave their home and, with other men who like him carried rakes or shovels or scythes, walk from the town toward the vineyards and fields where he labored for the landowners. On another day, perhaps carrying nets and other implements, he would walk to the harbor and its waiting boats to hire out to boat owners for a day of fishing. Mackerel and tunny,(47) sardines and shrimp were abundant and one tenth of the catch was the share of the rowers and helpers on the boat.

From the town the young women were able to see sailing ships as they beat north through whitecaps toward Varna and Nesebar; to Constanta in Romania and Odessa in the Ukraine; even to the Crimea and the Sea of Azov to trade goods from Constantinople at Kerc (ancient Pantikapion). How romantic these places must have seemed in the dreams of these sisters in Sozopolis. For them a day trip to Burgas,(48) the city just to the north on the bay of the same name, was an adventure. They may even have seen the yacht, Aphrodite, with King George I and Queen Olga of Greece on board as they traveled between Athens and Odessa in the Ukraine.

King George, born Prince William of Denmark, became King of the Hellenes(49) in 1863. His children, by agreement when he accepted the crown, were to be raised in the Greek Orthodox faith. Where to find a Greek Orthodox princess? Russia. And, how could he better cement relations with the State that supported the Orthodox of the Balkans than to marry a Russian woman of nobility? And who better to help him find a bride than his sister, Princess Dagmar of Denmark, who had married the Tsarevitch Alexander and would one day become Empress of Russia?

In 1867 King George visited his sister in Russia. He met, fell in love with and married the Romanov Grand Duchess, Olga Konstantinova, daughter of the Tsar's brother. On their honeymoon and return to Greece the couple traveled south by rail to the Black Sea and then by yacht across the sea, through Propontis, and into the Aegean to Athens' seaport, Piraeus. This was the first of many Black Sea voyages that would be taken by members of the two royal families, Greek and Russian, for both personal visits and State business.

In 1878 Queen Olga sailed to Russia to visit her family and to seek support from the Tsar for Greece's interests at the Berlin Conference called by the Powers to settle the Treaty of San Stefano. Queen Olga sailed to Odessa and crossed Russia in comfort on the Tsar's personal train to attend the wedding of Grand Duke Alexander to her niece, Grand Duchess Xenia.

After he assumed the Bulgarian throne in 1887 Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg toured his new country visiting both inland and coastal cities. As his yacht passed Sozoupolis (as spelled by some in the late nineteenth century), he is alleged to have given it the coarse epithet, "Skatoupolis."(50)

While kings, queens, crown princes and princesses cruised resplendent past Sozopolis on their elegant yachts, the women of the city spent their days at housework ~ cleaning and cooking, working at looms, sewing, crocheting, knitting, and caring for their children. There was neither electricity nor natural gas. They kneaded coarse, whole grain flour into dough by hand, and baked it into round loaves of bread in outdoor, wood-fired ovens; they washed laundry, beating it on rocks by the sea or scrubbing it in tubs containing water heated at open fires. Women worked hard in their homes and frequently accompanied their husbands into the fields and vineyards to harvest grain and grapes.

Sozopolis' social life centered about the Orthodox Church, its fasts, feast days and liturgical dramas; the seasonal activities of fishing, salting, curing, sowing, harvesting, crushing grapes and making wine, threshing the grain, and preparing for winter; the family's joy (name days, weddings, births and baptisms) and sadness (deaths, funerals and memorials services). The people lived on the coast of the sea fearful of periodic military conscription of their young men to fight in far away places, and of armies that descended on them for reasons unknown.

The Pontic Greek whose name the sisters bore was that of their paternal grandfather Ziso Ortakioglis. Born in about 1800, he was one of the millions of Greeks whose unknown ancestors had populated Anatolia, Thrace and the cities of the Pontos. In the nineteenth century, Ziso left his namesake city of Ortaköy to settle in Sozopolis. Ortaköy was one of two towns, either modern Corum or Sivas,(51) each located on an ancient northern trade route in Turkey that led from central Asia Minor to the Black Sea port of Amisos, today's Samsun.

Ziso was not actually his given name. It derived from the surname Zissimos, which may have been a corruption of Zosimos, an early fourth century Christian saint of Cilicia, a region in modern Turkey. When this young man arrived in Sozopolis from Ortaköy, people referred to him as Ziso, an abbreviation of his surname, and identified him as being from Ortaköy or, "Ortakioglis." He settled in Sozopolis and in about 1835 married an eighteen-year-old woman named Sofia, who was of Greek parentage.

Conventions for given and surnames varied in the Balkans. Bulgarians and Greeks had different traditions. When they intermarried the form generally followed that of the husband's nationality. Greek women took their husband's first and second name. Thus, Sofia became Sofia Zisova Ortakioglis (the feminine Bulgarian form Zisova used to indicate "wife of Ziso").

Use of masculine, feminine and diminutive forms, the whim of administrative officials, and errors in spelling introduced variants of the family's surname. By the early twentieth century the original Zissimos evolved to include Zissis, Ziso, Zisu, Zisou, Zison, Zisova, and even Zysopoulos and Zissopoulos, the latter two forms created by late nineteenth century family members to elevate their social standing. The suffix, ~poulos, implied upper class cosmopolitan Greek origin from Athens or Constantinople.

Ziso and Sofia Zisova lived in the early nineteenth century, when the Kingdom of Greece was born. Sozopolis was distant from the new Kingdom, but one can imagine the excitement and anticipation that news of the liberation of Hellenes from the oppression of the Ottomans must have created for Balkan Christians of all ethnicities.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Russian Tsar Nicholas proclaimed himself protector of all Orthodox Christian citizens of the Turkish Empire, a status that greatly threatened Ottoman suzerainty. The Tsar warned the Turks that if they did not recognize his role as protector, he would occupy the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, the northernmost regions of Turkey in Europe.(52) Another Turko-Russian war threatened.

The British and French were constantly on guard against Russian intentions toward the Balkans and the Black Sea. Russia desperately wanted unfettered access to the Aegean and had the strategic goal of taking Constantinople and turning the Balkans into a giant client state. Russia approached Britain with a secret plan to partition the Ottoman Empire. Britain remained convinced that it was in her best interest for the Ottoman Empire, described by Tsar Alexander as "the sick man of Europe," to be preserved.(53)

Between 1825 and 1852, Britain's exports to Turkey grew to the point that they exceeded those to Russia, Italy, Turkey and France. In 1852, 1,741 British ships traded in the Black Sea, with great quantities of wheat and corn imported from Turkey's provinces on the Danube.(54) For Britain, the smallest chance that its access to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles and the Bosphorous, and control of the eastern Mediterranean might be lost was an unacceptable economic risk. Political policy followed economic reality.

The immediate excuse for the Crimean War was a dispute between Russia and France over which Christian Church, Russian Orthodox or French Catholic, would hold the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Bethlehem.(55) In fact, the national interests of England, France, Russia and Turkey were at play. The Sultan ruled for the French Catholics. Britain and France sent warships to the Dardanelles on 8 June 1853 to support the Turks. On July 3 the Tsar ordered his troops to occupy Moldavia and Wallachia. Turkey declared war on Russia on 5 October.

The first great opportunity for the Greek Orthodox of the Black Sea coast to become free had come. Russia and its people supported the Orthodox Christians of the Balkans and it was to Russia that they looked for deliverance from the Turk.

News of Russian troop movements must have been cause for both celebration and alarm in Sozopolis. Immediately after the Ottoman declaration of war on Russia, the British and French fleets entered the Bosphorous to protect Constantinople. On 30 November Russian warships destroyed seven Turkish frigates, effectively the entire Turkish fleet, at Sinope on the southeastern coast of the Black Sea. Britain and France declared war on Russia in March of 1854 in support of Turkey. Their warships entered the Black Sea while French troops marched north from Gallipoli through Adrianopole toward Burgas and Varna.(56)

In April of 1854, units of the British and French fleet anchored off Sozopolis. When boats approached Sozopolis' beach, Sofia Zisova Ortakioglis took an ancient saber from the wall of her home and called Orthodox Greeks to arms in support of the Russian cause. Her action came to naught. British and French personnel landed without bloodshed to obtain water and establish a small military presence. However, Sofia's passionate response was not forgotten. She became known in the city of Sozopolis and its environs and in the oral tradition of the family as Yia-Yia Mahera, Grandma the Knife.

The Anglo-French alliance proceeded north, establishing a headquarters at Varna from which they were the first in history to lay underwater telegraph cable. It provided communication from their headquarters to their base in the Crimea. For one year, the alliance besieged the Russian fortress at the Crimean naval base of Sebastopol. Each side in the struggle suffered great loss of life to hunger, cold and disease. The alliance captured the burned out ruins of Sebastopol; a Pyrrhic victory. The result was, for Russia, a temporary loss of territory and, for the Ottoman Empire, a delay in its inevitable collapse.

* * * * * * *

Ziso and Sofia Ortakioglis' son, Hristodul (born c. 1838), took his father's original surname, Zissis. Hristodul married a young woman named Vasiliki Vserkozov whose father, Dimitri was Bulgarian and mother, Sultana Antoniou, Greek. In Hristodul's death certificate, both he and Vasiliki are identified as Orthodox Christians, Greek nationals, and Bulgarian citizens living in Sozopolis. The detailed if inconsistent differentiations made in legal documents of the time reflected the ethnic, religious and nationalist awareness that was growing in the Balkans.

Hristodul witnessed his mother Sofia's rage at the Anglo-French preparations to land at Sozopolis, and was old enough to have followed the progress of the Crimean War. Russia's defeat was certainly a disappointment for Bulgarians and Greeks who longed for freedom. The next generation would support new Russian thrusts toward the Bosphorus and the Aegean.

In 1899 Sofia, the youngest of four daughters born to Hristodul and Vasiliki Zissis, was barely fifteen when Konstantinos Kapidaglis,(57) a dashing and adventuresome widower who was twenty-six years older than she, married her. Constantinos claimed to have been forty-one at the time. However he also maintained that he remembered the Anglo-French fleet anchored in the bay of Sozopolis, which would add perhaps five years to his age.

Constantinos came to the marriage with three children from his first wife, Harliklea Zurmali Georgiu who died in 1895 giving birth to a daughter, also named Hariklea. Constantinos' eldest son Stavros, born in 1881, was older than his new stepmother; his second son, Zenovios, was about the same age.

The Capidaglis family first appeared in Sozopolis in the eighteenth century. The surname derives from the place Kapi Dagi ("Door of the Mountain" in Turkish), an Island in the Sea of Marmara, Turkey, and site of the ancient Greek colony of Kyzikos, later known as Kapidagi, and now the modern city of Belkis. He, just as Ziso Ortakliogis, was an immigrant to Sozopolis, and named after his place of origin "Kapidaglis." There is no record of his given name. He married a woman of Sozopolis and with her had a daughter, Theofano.

When Theofano Kapidaglis married her husband, Tsvetkov, he took his father-in-law's surname, thereby securing it. One can only wonder why. The name Tsvetkov was maintained as a middle name in the next generation by their son, Constantine Tsvetkov Capidaglis

* * * * * * *

In the later half of the nineteenth century Western European powers and the Ottoman Empire continued to be threatened by Russian intentions in the Balkans. Russia persisted in its effort to dominate the Balkan Peninsula. In 1875 Orthodox risings in Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia against their Turkish oppressor generated the sparks that ignited the next war between Russia and Turkey. After two years of diplomatic negotiations conducted to the cacophony of rifle fire and cannon, and failure of an international conference at Constantinople, the Russians declared war on Turkey.

Russian forces crossed the Danube and besieged the Ottoman held fortress of Plevna, on the Danubian Plain north of the Balkan range. A contingent of the Russian army bypassed the fortress and joined a large number of Bulgarian volunteers to hold the Shipka Pass against great odds, thus preventing Turkish reinforcements from surging north to reinforce Plevna. The Battle of Shipka Pass(58) was bloody. Bulgarian volunteers ran out of ammunition and resorted to throwing stones and body parts of their dead comrades at the Turks before stopping them with bayonets and knives.

When Plevna fell, Russians stormed south through the Balkan range achieving a rout of Turkish forces and the near capture of Constantinople. On 3 March 1878, within view of the minarets of the City, the belligerents signed the Treaty of San Stefano which recreated 'Big Bulgaria,' a Bulgarian state equal to that that had existed in medieval times, reaching the Aegean and making impossible Ottoman control of Albania by land. Russia had finally positioned itself to dominate the Balkans. The people of Bulgaria still celebrate 3 March as the date of their liberation and formation of the modern Bulgarian State.

"Big Bulgaria," created under the Treaty of San Stefano,(59) was bordered by the Danube on the north and the Black Sea on the east, and incorporated all of historically identified Macedonia. "Big Bulgaria" would have extended south to include the city of Kastoria and the village of Mavrovo (more in Chapter Two).

In 1879, wishing to strengthen an already dominant position in the Balkans, Russia's Tsar Alexander II nominated a favorite nephew, German Prince Alexander of Battenberg, to the executive, princely position in the new state. The young Prince came to a strife ridden government still trying to organize itself.

Jealous and concerned about possible Russian dominance in Eastern Europe, Britain and Austria reacted against the Tsar's ambitions with the support of France, Italy and Germany. They applied great diplomatic pressure on Russia. Isolated and fearful of another Crimean catastrophe, Russia relented. The result three years later in 1881 at the Congress of Berlin were agreements that thwarted Russian plans and changed the borders.

The agreement split Bulgaria into three parts, one of which was a new, smaller Bulgarian State under Prince Alexander. Split off from 'Big Bulgaria' was a region still subject to the Ottoman state and occupied by Turkish forces, but headed by a Christian governor: Eastern Roumelia.(60) It was located south of the Bulgarian State between the Balkan and Rhodope mountains and extended to the Black Sea. The treaty also gave the Ottomans territory in European Thrace, Macedonia and Albania.

The geopolitical interests of Russia and Britain reversed when Eastern Roumelia united with Bulgaria in 1885-86. Russia's Tsar Alexander III, who became Tsar on Alexander II's assassination, unlike his predecessor detested Bulgaria's Prince. The Tsar's antipathy toward Prince Alexander was based in part on his refusal to make Bulgaria a vassal state of Russia. And the Tsar had been against Roumelia joining with Bulgaria to create an even greater land barrier to any Russian drive toward the Bosphorus. The British, on the other hand, concerned that the Russians might still attempt an advance in the Balkans, were pleased that Roumelia joined Bulgaria.

* * * * * * *

Before 1878, in anticipation of the Turko-Russian, war Russian agents had been at work recruiting irregular militia as far south as Sozopolis. Constantinos Capidaglis was a man of action. He became commandant of the secret militia in Sozopolis and hoped to participate in an attack on Constantinople and the emancipation of Greek and Bulgarian Orthodox peoples. While his hope was unfulfilled, Constantinos' military experience and demeanor became the basis for his nickname, Generalis (61).

Constantinos' anti-Turk fervor never waned. At the outbreak of the Turko-Greek war in April of 1897, he volunteered to serve in the Greek army. German trained Turkish troops crushed the Greek people's ill-timed attempt to win freedom in Crete, Thessaly and Macedonia.

Crete was however brought closer to enosis (union with Greece) largely because British, French, Russian, and other allied forces intervened to end the bloodshed. These are the same forces whose admirals are so poignantly remembered by Madame Hortense, the aged courtesan in Nikos Kazantzakis' book Zorba the Greek.(62) Because of her relationship with warships and admirals, Zorba called her "Bouboulina."(63) The Admirals' fleets occupied the Cretan city of Chania and bombarded the insurgent Greeks on Akrotiri to contain the insurrection.

Constantinos did not talk about his experiences in the Turko-Greek War. The Greek army collapsed at the first assault of the Turks and fled across Thrace. It was an ignoble end to an enthusiastic beginning forced by excited and irrational mobs of zealous and unrealistic patriots in Athens.(64) Constantinos returned to Sozopolis.

By 1905 Constantinos and Sofia had added three children to their family: Hristos, Vasiliki and Theafano. Perhaps in anticipation of the bad times ahead, and to find work to sustain his family, Constantinos immigrated from Sozopolis to a refugee camp in the area of Thessaloniki and then to Athens, Greece. His Greek nationality and past service in the Greek army made him welcome. Constantinos considered himself more Greek (more of a Hellene) than the mainlander Greeks; he called them savage Christians (agriochristiani). He established himself and his family in a home in Kalithea, Athens, where he worked at his trade as a tailor. His home was to become first Eleni and Evangelia's, and subsequently the entire family's stepping-stone to America.

Sofia's sisters, Sultana and Smaragda, both married Greek men of Sozopolis: Ioannis Thoma and Demetrios Parousis, respectively. Sultana's children, Thomas and Ioanna, immigrated to the United States. The third, Eleni, lived in Chicago and likely brought her mother to Chicago to live with her after her father died. When last seen Smaragda Parousis and her family lived in Athens. They may have changed their names and fled to Bulgaria or Romania in the late 1940's at the end of the Greek Civil War. They were on the losing communist side.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the fourth sister, Eleni, lived in Burgas (Pyrgos), Bulgaria, with her cousin, Sofia Georgi Stateva. Eleni worked as a seamstress in this growing port city to the north of Sozopolis. There, in a time of growing unrest, she met and married her husband, Stefan.(65)

Eleni gave birth to her daughter on 26 October 1904, the Eastern Orthodox Feast Day of St. Demetrios.(66) The baby was named Demetra in honor of the Saint on whose feast day she began her life.

Little Demetra did not keep her original name. She contracted smallpox in her second year, and in their prayers her parents promised the Theotokos (the Mother of God ~ the Virgin Mary) that if she lived they would baptize their daughter Evangelia, which translated from Greek means "good news."(67) She survived, and was named Evangelia. Years later, in 1916, at the edge of New York City's "Hell's Kitchen,"(68) she became known as Lily.

* * * * * * *

In 1906 the position of Greeks in Bulgaria was becoming untenable. Bulgarians had for many years been envious of and angry with the Greek population whose education, success in commerce, and historical alignment with the Greek Orthodox Phanariotes(69) in Constantinople gave them great economic and social advantage. The Bulgarians considered Greeks to be privileged, overbearing and agents of their Ottoman overlords. Travel inland was dangerous for a Greek. Angry Bulgarian peasants and brigands roamed the forests and lonely roads demanding that Greeks acknowledge themselves as Greek-speaking Bulgarians.(70)

Through the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries one of the greatest abuses to Bulgarian ethnic pride was the Patriarch's appointment of Greek speaking bishops to serve the Bulgarian Orthodox population.

After the success of the 1821 revolution both Bulgarians and Turks became apprehensive about the resurgence of Greek chauvinism. A Megali Idhea (Great Idea) fired the Greek imagination. It was a grandiose vision whose aim was to recapture Constantinople, recreate the Byzantine Empire, and free and unite all Hellenes in Turkish territory. This unification would have included coastal Anatolia, Thrace, Constantinople, and the Greek cities of the Black Sea.

Growing Bulgarian national consciousness had as its primary goal deliverance from the "yoke" of Greek culture, not emancipation from Ottoman rule. Central to their ambitions was the establishment of a Bulgarian Orthodox Church, with its own language, bishops and clergy. In frustration, the Bulgarians went so far as to enter into negotiations with the pope with the thought of possible conversion of the entire Orthodox population to Roman Catholicism.

Succumbing to pressure from Russia, which did not want to lose its Balkan Orthodox Slavic brothers to Rome, the Porte decreed establishment of the autocephalous Bulgarian church in 1870 and invested its first Exarch.(71) Wealthy Bulgarians established schools and reading rooms. These institutions were the instruments used to strengthen Bulgarian identity and put pressure on the Greeks of Eastern Roumelia. In September of 1885 a revolution in Philippopolis (Plovdiv) proclaimed union with Bulgaria. The following April the union was accepted and ratified by the European powers and the Ottomans.(72)

Prince Alexander failed to gain popular support in Bulgaria even after winning a short war against Serbian attempts to expand its territory at the expense of Bulgaria. Tsar Alexander III's antagonism against the Prince never waned, and in 1886 Prince Alexander was forced to abdicate. In 1887 Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg was offered and accepted the throne of Bulgaria. Prince Ferdinand and his premier, Stephen Stambulov, led Bulgaria forward toward a rapprochement with Turkey engendering support from the Sultan, who appointed bishops of the Bulgarian Exarchist Church to important sees in the Ottoman's multi-ethnic Macedonia.

At the turn of the twentieth century the Balkan states were in crisis. Bulgarians, Greeks and Serbs contested for dominance and territory in geographically ill defined Macedonia. The region also contained minorities of ethnic Turks, Vlachs and Albanians who participated in the struggle. Guerrilla bands formed and fought each other in Macedonia, Thrace and Bulgaria. Each savaged the others populations, committing atrocities in the name of their nationalist and religious cause.(73)

As Greek Macedonians gained military success, Bulgarians became more belligerent toward the Greeks in Thrace and in what had been Eastern Roumelia. Finally, in the summer of 1906, provoked in part by the Patriarch's appointment of the Greek Bishop Neophytos to Varna, pogroms broke out against the Greek population on the coast of the Black Sea.

The Greeks of Varna, Pyrgos, and Anchialos saw their homes, churches, schools and shops destroyed by organized Bulgarian mobs led by guerrilla bands known as comitadjides.

* * * * * * *

On the night of 30 July 1906, Anchialos burned. Bulgarian militia and mobs conducted a pogrom that resulted in the slaughter of four thousand of its six thousand Greek inhabitants.

Awakened by Sozopolis' church bells, Hristodul and Vasiliki Zissis wondered at the glow in the sky to the north, across the bay. In the days that followed their world disintegrated about them. They heard stories of the holocaust in Anchialos, of arson whose flames consumed homes and shops, and of murder and looting that had visited friends and family in the city of Pyrgos.

In Pyrgos, Hristodul and Vasiliki's daughter, Eleni, her husband, Stefan, were victims of the terror and violence of that night. Clinging to their baby, Evangelia, and carrying what few belongings they could, they joined Greek families who ran through the streets toward the docks and small boats that held hope of escape. Stefan stumbled and fell. The press of humanity trampled him to death and pushed Eleni and her child into the sea. Greek fishermen picked them out of the water and for several days carried them south through the Bosphorus, then west past Constantinople, across the Propontis, through the Hellespont and, finally, into the Aegean Sea.

With dread, and tears, and despair, Eleni retraced the route of her ancient ancestors. She was at sea with the crew of a fishing boat. A destitute widow with an infant and an unknowable future, she had one purpose ~ to survive.

Eleni and Evangelia never returned to the shores of Bulgaria. With thousands of other refugees they found their way to Greece. The Greek government, though impoverished by the war with Turkey, established Nea Anchialos (New Anchialos), a community near Volos for refugees from Anchialos. Eleni and Evangelia went to another settlement named Euxeinoupolis, near Almyro, south of Volos.(74) Eight hundred families from Eastern Roumelia settled in Nea Anchialos, and an additional nine hundred made their way to Euxeinoupolis.(75)

As an adult, Evangelia told of the plague she experienced as a child in Sozopolis, and of bodies carted out of the city to be burned. But it was at the refugee settlement, an incubator of disease and death, not Sozopolis that she was at an age to remember such horrors.

High-ranking military officers who governed Euxeinoupolis stole refugee food and relief supplies to sell for personal gain. Eleni organized the women to protest this corruption, led a march on the military's headquarters, and, according to family members who proudly retold the story, she physically savaged the colonel in charge. Refugees in her camp had no further problem receiving aid.

Eleni and Evangelia (76) spent several months in Euxeinoupolis. They eventually made contact with and joined Eleni's sister and brother-in-law, Sofia and Constantine Capidaglis, who with their children lived in Kalithea, Athens. They welcomed the refugees to their home.

Members of the family worked in Athens as tailors, seamstresses and milliners and used their talents to design, drape, cut, sew and finish dresses, gowns, suits and coats. They honed the skills that would provide for their economic futures. According to family oral history, Eleni was so accomplished that she came to design and make dresses for Greece's Queen Olga and her daughters.

Eleni's career in Athens was short-lived.

* * * * * * *

Peace was unknown in the Balkans during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Each ethnicity's claim to Macedonia and the zeal of all to rid themselves of their Turkish overlords made for a complex armed struggle. Guerilla warfare was rampant in Macedonia, Epirus and Thrace. In 1908 Albanian nationalism sparked a revolution that by 1912 gained the Albanian people home-rule with the right to establish schools and publish newspapers. It also confirmed the 1878 boundary of Ottoman territory, which favored the Albanian population in the vilayets of Scutari, Janina, Monastir and Kossovo.(77) Neighboring states coveted all four vilayets: Scutari ~ by the Montenegrins; Janina ~ by the Greeks; Monastir and Kossovo ~ by Bulgars, Serbs and Greeks.

A secret Balkan coalition of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, the "League," had ambition to rid Macedonia of Turks and to divide the spoils. In the First Balkan War of 1912 the Turks lost. The result: Albania became a nation with less territory than it had coveted, and the Island of Crete united with Greece.

Dividing the spoils was more problematic than the League had hoped. In 1913, Serbia, Greece, Romania and Montenegro fought Bulgaria for territory in the Second Balkan War. In the end, Serbia and Greece shared Macedonia. (78)

* * * * * * *

Sometime before April of 1912 Eleni married a man named Christos Stamatiou. But family oral history and photographs indicate that Eleni and Evangelia were in Piraeus for one or two years before coming to America. Where was Christos during that time? Was Eleni's marriage an arrangement so that she might immigrate to America? These questions go unanswered.

We know that Christos and Eleni witnessed increased tensions in the Balkan. He had few skills and they were without land or financial resources. They saw the dispossessed, those without any hope of gainful employment to support their lives and families, board ships to emigrate, leaving the Balkans and Greece for Canada, Argentina, Australia and America. He and Eleni made the decision to emigrate, to find a future in the New World that America offered.

According to entries on the S.S. Macedonia's "List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States," Christos Stamatiou arrived at Ellis Island on 20 April 1912. He was alone, married, and 38 years of age. His destination was South St. Paul, Minnesota, where he was to join a friend. His last place of residence in Greece was "Efxinoupolis." The document shows his place of birth as "Anhialos," Greece. The entry either is a misspelling of Anchialos in Bulgaria, the city that suffered total destruction in the Bulgarian pogrom of 1906, or a reference to Nea Anchialos in Greece. The name of his wife, who remained in Greece, is decipherable on the manifest as "Eleni".(79)

Christos made his way to St. Paul, Minnesota to work for the railroad or in the stockyards and slaughterhouses that had become central to St. Paul's economy.

On 31 July 1912, Eleni and Evangelia embarked on the S.S. Macedonia for a seventeen-day voyage to America. It was a long trip in steerage for young Evangelia. She never forgot the crowded, dirty conditions; slop buckets, foul air and barely edible food. Eleni and Evangelia arrived at Ellis Island on 17 August 1912. The ship manifest shows that Eleni's nearest relative in Athens, Greece was her sister, Sofia, and that Eleni and Evangelia were on route to join Eleni's husband in St. Paul where he lived at "211 East 7th Street", just a mile or so north of the stockyards. On the manifest their place of birth was identified as, "Sozoupolis, Boulgaria."

Among the many places of origin Eleni's fellow immigrants listed on the S.S. Macedonia's manifest were Skyros, Chios, Mitylene, Gallipoli, Pirgami, Arakova, Fokis, Dervitsami, Athens, the Aegean and Ionian Islands, and Turkey. Destinations in the United States were countrywide, including Chicago, Minneapolis, Oakland, Boston, Morgantown, Detroit, Duluth and Des Moines.

Ellis Island records show that after passing their physical examinations Eleni and Evangelia were detained for three days while waiting for Christos to send money to them for their train tickets to St. Paul.(80) When funds arrived Eleni purchased the tickets, and at 3:00 PM on 20 August 1912, released from Ellis Island, they began their lives in America.(81)

St. Paul had few Greek immigrants in 1912, perhaps one to two hundred souls. They attended the Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis; St. Mary's on East Lake Street (the parish is now located on Irving Street South).

Eleni worked as a pig butcher until she and Christos saved enough to leave for Chicago. Evangelia remembered solitary days in a "log cabin" during long, cold and snowy winter days, and her loneliness while her mother worked. She seemed terrified even in her forties when telling how neighbors saved her when she accidentally started a fire in her home.

In 2001, their 1912-1913 address in St. Paul was a construction site that had obliterated the past. Surrounding the area are brick buildings of two and three stories, likely built in the early twentieth century.

By the summer of 1913 Eleni, Christos and Evangelia had moved to Chicago, which then and for years after held the largest Greek population in America. They probably lived in Chicago's 19th Ward, a section of tenements on the old West side. Italians, Greeks and Bulgarians had large colonies bordering Halsted Street. The shops lining the area's crowded sidewalks displayed signs in the languages of their immigrant customers. Chicago's first Greek Orthodox Church, Holy Trinity, was at Halsted and Harrison Streets, in the neighborhood still called "Greek Town."

A few blocks to the south on Halsted was the Maxwell Street Market where vendors sold potatoes, pots, pans, shoes, onions and fresh fish. On their day free from work, the immigrants flocked to the market to participate in the Sunday trade.

The railroad seasonally employed many Greek men. Others earned their way as street peddlers. Christos probably worked in one of the factories, or at the Union Stockyards, or at a meatpacking plant on the South side. Working conditions were horrific. There was little regard for accident prevention, worker fatigue, or ill health. Men frequently were mangled and maimed at their worksites and suffered with tuberculosis and malnutrition.

* * * * * * *

The Second Balkan War erupted during the summer of 1913 while Eleni was in Chicago. Bulgarian military units attacked Serbian forces and the fight over territorial claims in Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania began.

On 9 July 1913 (26 June by the old Julian calendar), Eleni's first cousin, Ortodokso Yanakev Zisov (Orthodoxos Iannou Zissis), who had been conscripted into the Bulgarian army was killed in action. He was the son of her father's brother, Ioanni, and only twenty-two years of age when he died in the battle of Kitka Peak in Serbia.

One consequence of the extraordinarily long, complex and tragic history of the people of Thrace and Macedonia was that this young Bulgarian citizen of Greek nationality marched from his home in Sozopolis to Serbia to die fighting for Bulgaria in what is now Macedonia. His commanding officer wrote:

The deceased was killed in a battle near Kitka Peak on June 26, 1913, in the war against Serbia. He was hit by a bullet in the left part of the chest.

* * * * * * *

Jane Addams, daughter of a wealthy Illinois mill owner, used an old mansion called Hull House to provide social services to the poor immigrant population in Chicago. In an article published by the American Journal of Sociology, Grace Abbott, once a resident worker at Hull House and later Director of the League for the Protection of Immigrants wrote:(82)

The largest settlement of Chicago Greeks is in the nineteenth ward, north and west of Hull House. Here is a Greek Orthodox Church; a school in which children are taught little English, some Greek, much of the achievements of Hellas and the obligation that rests on every Greek to rescue Macedonia from the Turks and Bulgarians;(83) here, too, is the combination of Greek bank, steamship ticket office, notary public, and employment agency; and the coffee houses, where the men drink black coffee, play cards, speculate on the outcome of the next Greek lottery, and in the evening sing to the accompaniment of the Greek bag-pipes or ~ evidence of their Americanization ~ listen to the phonograph.

In the summer of 1915 Christos Stamatiou died during a record heat wave. Before the time of air conditioning the hot days of summer caused many deaths. Sickly young, old and infirmed people succumbed in great number. Heatstroke alone claimed 535 lives in Chicago in 1915. The temperature contributed to many more deaths as Chicago's hospital facilities strained to meet the needs of the sick. That world without air conditioning offered less than rudimentary medical care by today's standards.

Eleni found herself widowed for a second time. She was isolated in a strange city, larger and busier and more threatening than any she had imagined in her life in Sozopolis. Clinging to each other, Evangelia and her mother became inseparable. The relationship that developed between them was not only of mother and daughter but also of closest friends and intimates. With Christos gone, they again were alone and without any support.

Family never discussed Christos existence. Only one member even alluded to Eleni having had a husband when she came to America. That was Joyce (Toto) Capidaglis Tumola, who once blurted out that Eleni had divorced a man in Chicago. Whatever the truth about Christos Stamatiou, Eleni came to the United States to meet him, they moved from St. Paul to Chicago, and sometime in 1915 he went out of Eleni and Evangelia's life. Neither Eleni nor Evangelia ever publicly acknowledged Christos Stamatiou.

In the 1930's, Evangelia (now Lily) became fearful of deportation. She attempted to obtain permanent residency in order to become a naturalized citizen, but was not able to show proof of legal entry into the United States. Her status as an undocumented alien, which she kept secret, worried her.

In 1958, Lily decided again to try to obtain legal residency status. Under Section 249 of the Immigration and Nationality Act she was permitted to file for permanent residency if she could produce two witnesses to verify that she had lived in the United States prior to 1922.(84)

Lily filed a petition for permanent residency supported by depositions that affirmed her entry into the United States before 1922. Just before the date for Lily's hearing government officials found Eleni and Evangelia's names on the manifest of the S.S. Macedonia. Her legitimate entry into the United States in 1912 was established and Lily became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

References in Lily's naturalization file, obtained from the National Archives, led to court records including depositions and testimony; references to newspaper articles; property deeds; addresses in Manhattan; and indications of when other family members came to the United States. Without the immigration files that documented her application for permanent residency and naturalization much of Evangelia's life story would have been lost.

Lily told her children and friends a different version of her early years in the United States, part-truth and part-myth. Most likely created to erase the name and memory of Christos Stamatiou, her story was that she and her mother had come from Greece alone. Officials at Ellis Island, she said, believed that there was a community of Greeks in St. Paul, Minnesota, so sent Evangelia and her mother there. Eleni found that the community was in fact Bulgarian. After the experience of her expulsion from Bulgaria the last place her mother wanted to live was in a community of Bulgarians. So after two or more years in St. Paul they moved to Chicago where her mother worked in a dry-cleaning establishment.

In Chicago, a new man entered their lives. Working with Eleni was a young Italian, Leonardo Perna. Born in Avellino, Italy,(85) he had emigrated from Monteleone di Calabria, Italy,(86) arriving at Ellis Island on board The Sicilia (87) on 13 June 1906.

Evangelia remembered watching Eleni and Leonardo beating carpets in the back of the dry cleaners. Eleni needed the protection and comfort that a man could give to her and to her daughter. Somehow, in their mutual need Eleni and Leonardo overcame both an age difference and a language barrier, joined and looked to a future together, with Evangelia.

* * * * * * *


[Skip the Notes]

  1. Photos are available in the graphical version: photo (1a) of Sozopolis in 1930 and photo (1b) of Sozopolis in 2000. [Return to the straight text at note 1.]
  2. Eastern Rumelia was an autonomous province with a Christian governor chosen by, and vassal to, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Rumelia is also found spelled as Roumelia and Romania. See the graphical version for a map. [Return to the straight text at note 2.]
  3. Until the mid nineteenth century, there was no country or geopolitical entity known as Greece. In 1833, Greek-speaking people of the new Kingdom called themselves Ellines (Hellenes) and their country, Ellas (Hellas). The name "Greek" originated with an obscure tribe from Thessaly. [Return to the text at note 3.]
  4. Miletos (also spelled Melitus), today's Balat in Turkey, during ancient times was the most important and perhaps the largest of the Ionian cities of Asia Minor. See: Michael Grant, A Guide to the Ancient World : A Dictionary of Classical Place Names (Bronx, NY: H.W. Wilson, 1986), 396. [Return to the text at note 4.]
  5. John Boardman, The Greeks Overseas: Their Early Colonies and Trade, new and enl. ed. (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1980), 247. [Return to the text at note 5.]
  6. Iatros ('Ιατρος) in Greek means "one who heals," a medical doctor in Modern Greek. The Ionian Apollo represented in most Black Sea cities was Apollo the Healer. See: Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 122. [Return to the text at note 6.]
  7. The cities' ancient names are within parenthesis and in italics. See: Richard J. A. Talbert, Atlas of Classical History (London: Croom Helm, 1985). [Return to the text at note 7.]
  8. Skythia is also spelled Scythia. Thus Skythian is often spelled Scythian. [Return to the text at note 8.]
  9. Bosphorus has the meaning "ox-ford" and signifies the place that the mythological Io crossed the strait during the period of her wandering. See: M. C. Howatson and Paul Harvey, The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, 2nd ed. (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 298. Variant spellings include Bosphouros and Bosphoros. [Return to the text at note 9.]
  10. The word Pontos refers to the Black Sea, while Pontic refers to a particular region and people on the coast of the Black Sea. [Return to the text at note 10.]
  11. The Bosphorus is approximately 12.3 miles long. It has an average width of less than 1 mile and is only 0.435 miles wide at its narrowest point, where the surface current can reach 7-8 knots. In 490 B.C. the Persian King Darius crossed here over a pontoon bridge to begin his European conquests. The Bosphorus remains a treacherous route for ships. [Return to the text at note 11.]
  12. 1575-1000 B.C. The best known are the kingdoms whose palaces were located at Thebes (northwest of Athens), Mycenae and Tiryns (located between Nauplion and Corinth), and Pylos (located just north of the southwest finger of the Peloponnesus). [Return to the text at note 12.]
  13. The "Golden Fleece" may have represented sheepskins laid at the bottom of mountain streams by the people of Colchis to capture flecks of alluvial gold as it washed downstream; a technique that is still used in the region. [Return to the text at note 13.]
  14. For a representation of Jason's voyage see: Timothy Severin, The Jason Voyage : The Quest for the Golden Fleece (London: Hutchinson, 1985). [Return to the text at note 14.]
  15. Herodotus, Robin Waterfield, and Carolyn Dewald, The Histories (Oxford [England] ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 269, 4:103. [Return to the text at note 15.]
  16. Hornblower and Spawforth, The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 719. [Return to the text at note 16.]
  17. Now the Ukraine. [Return to the text at note 17.]
  18. Herodotus, Waterfield, and Dewald, The Histories 263, 4:83-135. [Return to the text at note 18.]
  19. N. G. L. Hammond, A History of Greece to 322 B.C (Oxford,: Clarendon Press, 1959), 563., and N. G. L. Hammond, A History of Macedonia (Oxford,: Clarendon Press, 1972), 557. [Return to the text at note 19.]
  20. Pliny the Elder, 23/4 to 79 A.D. was a prolific writer, best known for an encyclopedia of all contemporary knowledge. He lived a full and active political and military life and died at the great eruption of Vesuvius. See: Hornblower and Spawforth, The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 1197. [Return to the text at note 20.]
  21. The Capitoline was the center of the political, social and religious life of Rome. See: R. F. Hoddinott, Bulgaria in Antiquity: An Archaeological Introduction (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1975), 41. [Return to the text at note 21.]
  22. Benjamin H. Isaac, The Greek Settlements in Thrace until the Macedonian Conquest (Leiden: Brill, 1986), 247,48. [Return to the text at note 22.]
  23. John Julius Norwich, A Short History of Byzantium, 1st American ed. (New York: Knopf: Distributed by Random House, 1997), 382,3. [Return to the text at note 23.]
  24. From approximately the twelfth century on, its Latin rulers named the Peloponnesos "Morea." The name refers to the Mulberry tree common to the Peloponnesos, and to the shape of the peninsula, that resembles a Mulberry leaf. See: William Miller, The Latins in the Levant a History of Frankish Greece (1204-1566) (London: J. Murray, 1908), 37n. [Return to the text at note 24.]
  25. Norwich, A Short History of Byzantium, 317. [Return to the text at note 25.]
  26. Also known as Arumanians, these people are likely descendants of Roman soldier-colonists of Dacia, located in the Transylvanian region of Romania. They migrated and settled throughout the Balkans. The mountainous regions of Greece ~ Epirus and Macedonia ~ know them as transhumant shepherds. [Return to the text at note 26.]
  27. An ecclesiastical jurisdiction governed by a patriarch. There are eight such in the Orthodox Church, the four ancient patriarchates of the East, and the four Slavic patriarchates. [Return to the text at note 27.]
  28. Douglas Dakin, The Unification of Greece, 1770-1923 (London,: Benn, 1972), 6. "Porte" (also known as the "Sublime Porte") is a reference to the high gate that led to the buildings housing the offices of the Ottoman government in Constantinople, and is therefore a reference to the government. [Return to the tex at note 28.]
  29. Now Kaynardzha, NE Bulgaria, in the Dobruja, near the Danube and SE of Silistra. [Return to the text at note 29.]
  30. Catherine even retained Greek speaking servants properly to train Konstantin for his future role. [Return to the text at note 30.]
  31. The iconostasion is a screen, adorned with various icons, that separates the sanctuary or altar from the church proper in the Greek Orthodox Church. At its center is a door that controls access to, and viewing of the sanctuary. [Return to the text at note 31.]
  32. The Porte held the Patriarch and the Bishops accountable for civil disorder among the Orthodox people (the millet), thus brutally punished them for their failure to prevent insurrection. The gate leading to a side entrance of the Patriarch's residence still exists, though welded shut in memory of the Patriarch who was martyred there. [Return to the text at note 32.]
  33. The institution of slavery was widespread in the Ottoman world. Slaves were captured from Eastern Europe to the Caucasus to meet the Sultan's demands. They served in every capacity: household servants, soldiers, concubines, and even in high positions in government as civil servants. [Return to the text at note 33.]
  34. Friendly to Greece or Greeks in relation to national independence, or an admirer of Hellenic civilization. [Return to the text at note 34.]
  35. The Battles of Marathon and Thermopylae were fought and won by the Greek city-states in the fifth century B.C. against the Persian armies of Darius and Xerxes, respectively. For a fascinating, almost novel-like historical account see: Peter Green, The Greco-Persian Wars (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). [Return to the text at note 35.]
  36. Navarino Bay is on the west coast of the Peloponnesos close to the ancient Mycenean city of Pylos. Navarino Bay was always a staging post between the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and between the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. See: C. M. Woodhouse, The Battle of Navarino ([London]: Hoddler and Stoughton, 1965). [Return to the text at note 36.]
  37. Ibid., 46. [Return to the text at note 37.]
  38. Ibid., 163. [Return to the text at note 38.]
  39. In the sense that Constantinople's Greeks had a Greek/Byzantine legacy as citizens of the New Rome. [Return to the text at note 39.]
  40. All participants in ancient warfare committed horrid atrocities. In 1014 A.D., the Byzantine Emperor Basil completed his conquest of Bulgaria with the capture of 15,000 Bulgars. To punish his enemies, Basil, remembered in history as Basil the Bulgar-Slayer, had ninety-nine of every one hundred prisoners blinded. The remaining prisoner was blinded in only one eye so that he might lead his comrades back to the King of the Bulgars as examples of Byzantine wrath. See: Norwich, A Short History of Byzantium, 215. [Return to the text at note 40.]
  41. Schevill, The History of the Balkan Peninsula, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day 148, 149. [Return to the text at note 41.]
  42. The warfare involved Macedonia Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, Vlachs, and Albanians; Turks, and volunteer forces from Crete and Greece. [Return to the text at note 42.]
  43. A "Pontic Greek" is from the Black Sea region known as the "Pontus." On the southeastern coastline of the Black Sea, the region extends roughly from Sinope on the west to Batum on the border of modern day Republic of Georgia, ancient Colchis. This coastline is isolated from the inland areas of Turkey by the Pontic Mountains, which reach a height of almost 13,000 feet. Xenophon led his Greek mercenaries over these mountains to reach the Pontos in an early fourth century B.C. escape from Persian forces. [Return to the text at note 43.]
  44. See: Michael Llewellyn Smith, Ionian Vision : Greece in Asia Minor, 1919-1922 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998). [Return to the text at note 44.]
  45. Eleni's Death Certificate gives her age as 47 on May 26, 1933. The Manifest of the S.S. Macedonia, the ship that brought her and her daughter to America, shows her age to be 32 on July 31, 1912, which would have made her 53 at the time of her death. Her photographs lend credence to her having been born in 1880. She may have hidden her age because of her marriage to a much younger man in Chicago in 1916. [Return to the text at note 45.]
  46. Variants of the name include: Zissis, Ziso, Zisu, Zisou, Zison, Zisova, etc. [Return to the text at note 46.]
  47. Tunny are Pelamyds, or young tuna fish. Both the Atlantic Bonito and a species identified as "Little Tunny" are found in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. [Return to the text at note 47.]
  48. Burgas was known in medieval times, and even by 19th century Greeks, as Pyrgos, which in ancient and Medieval Greek meant tower, or tower of defense. The Latin burgus meant a castle, fort or fortress. According to the historians of the modern Municipality of Bourgas: "For the first time the name of Bourgas appeared as early as 1306 in a poem by Manuel Phil, Bysantium poet, as Pirgos ~ the Greek equivalent to the Latin word Burgos, i.e., 'the Tower': a name preserved in local legends, and dating as back as the 1st or 2nd century A.D., when a Roman travel station was functioning at the place of the present-day harbour." Pyrgos often is spelled Pirgos, and Burgas is often spelled Bourgas. [Return to the text at note 48.]
  49. ". . . of the Hellenes," not "of Greece." The difference is significant. King George was brought to his throne as King of all the Hellenic people, whether in Greece or not. The title embodied the dream of a renewed Byzantium, with Constantinople as its capitol. In anticipation of the dream's realization King George's first son was named Constantine, in keeping with the names of the first and last emperors. [Return to the text at note 49.]
  50. The Prince was evidently able to see and smell the contents of the slop buckets that had been emptied over the cliffs by the locals. [Return to the text at note 50.]
  51. See: The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online. [Return to the text at note 51.]
  52. See the graphical version for a map of the European territories occupied by the Ottoman Empire, at its farthest extent in 1606, which shows Wallachia (Walachy) and Moldavia. [Return to the straight text at note 52.]
  53. Ferdinand Schevill, The History of the Balkan Peninsula, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day (New York,: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1922), 356. [Return to the text at note 53.]
  54. Leften Stavros Stavrianos, The Balkans since 1453 (New York: New York University Press, 2000), 320, 21. [Return to the text at note 54.]
  55. Tonight, May 4, 2002, as I edited this page, Moslem Palestinians terrorists (freedom fighters?) are trapped in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, surrounded by Israeli tanks and troops. Christian clergy and nuns are hostage. The Middle East seems never to change. [Return to the text at note 55.]
  56. See the graphical version for a map of presentday Bulgaria, showing locations of Burgas and Varna on the Black Sea coast. [Return to the straight text at note 56.]
  57. The name Capidaglis has several variants in documents. Among them are: Kapidaghli, Kapidaglis, Kapidogli and Capidagli. Konstantinos is transliterated as Constantinos. [Return to the text at note 57.]
  58. The same pass (located north of Kazanlak and south of Gabravo) that Alexander the Great crossed in his first great campaign as leader of the Macedonians against the Danubian Getae tribe. [Return to the text at note 58.]
  59. San Stefano is now the Turkish City of Yesilköy, located approximately seven miles west of Istanbul on the Sea of Marmara. [Return to the text at note 59.]
  60. Roumelia is also spelled Rumelia, Romylia and Rumylia. The region is sometimes referred to as Romania in historic documents and antique maps. [Return to the text at note 60.]
  61. See the graphical version photo/61 of Constantinos Capidaglis, "Generalis", circa 1878. [Return to the straight text at note 61.]
  62. Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek (New York,: Simon and Schuster, 1969). [Return to the text at note 62.]
  63. Laskarina Bouboulina was a naval hero in the war for Greek independence (1821-1828). She is one of the great female businesswomen, leaders and warriors in history. [Return to the text at note 63.]
  64. Schevill, The History of the Balkan Peninsula, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 430. [Return to the text at note 64.]
  65. Eleni's marriage, the name of her husband, his profession and the cause of his sudden death and disappearance are all open questions. The version of the story considered most plausible is related here. See Appendix A for the basis of this conclusion. [Appendix A of this book is available on CD.] [Return to the text at note 65.]
  66. At the time the Balkans observed the Julian calendar. In 1923 the Eastern Orthodox Church replaced the Julian calendar with a form of the Gregorian in order to make consistent the calendar in the Balkans with that of Western Europe. Thirteen days were added to the dates of the Eastern Orthodox calendar, thus 26 October became 8 November. However, Evangelia continued to celebrate her birthday on the feast day of Saint Demetrios, 26 October.
    The term  Eastern Orthodox  encompasses the national Orthodox churches of Greece, Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, etc. [Return to the text at note 66.]
  67. In Orthodox Christian countries, individuals traditionally celebrate their name day, not their birthday. All those named after The Annunciation of the Virgin (i.e., Evangelos, Evangelia, etc.: the good news of the coming of the Savior) celebrate their name day on 25 March. Orthodox Parishes named after the Annunciation also celebrate this feast day. [Return to the text at note 67.]
  68. In the late nineteenth century the crime and corruption filled district of tenements and slaughterhouses between Fourteenth and Fifty-second Streets, from west of Eighth Avenue to the Westside waterfront was known as "Hell's Kitchen." The neighborhood, home to notorious gangs, was later defined as extending from Thirty-fourth to Fifty-ninth Streets and from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River. [Return to the text at note 68.]
  69. Phanariotes were members of the principal Greek families who lived in the Greek quarter of Constantinople, called the Phanar ("Lighthouse"), home to the Patriarch. Many served in senior administrative positions in the Ottoman civil bureaucracy, or were the wealthy merchant class of the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. They had great influence at the Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church. [Return to the text at note 69.]
  70. For an excellent account of Greek life in the cities of the Black Sea see: Marianna Koromila, In the Trail of Odysseus (Norwich: Michael Russell, 1994). [Return to the text at note 70.]
  71. An Exarch is Eastern Orthodox Bishop ranking below the Patriarch and above a Metropolitan and is the head of a church independent of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. [Return to the text at note 71.]
  72. Map, available on CD. [Return to the text at note 72.]
  73. Map, available on CD. [Return to the text at note 73.]
  74. Go to the graphical version for a map of the Volos area in Greece, showing the Euxeinopolos settlement for refugees from the Burgas region. Euxeinopolis is also spelled Efxinoupolis. [Return to the straight text at note 74.]
  75. Moses Capon, et al., The Story of a Civilization, Magnesia (Athens, Greece: M. and R. Capon, 1982). Euxeinoupolis is also spelled Efxinoupoli, Efxinoupolis. [Return to the text at note 75.]
  76. See the graphical version photo/76a of Eleni and the graphical version photo/76b of Evangelia. [Return to the straight text.]
  77. A vilayet was a Turkish administrative territory or unity, like a state or canton. [Return to the text at note 77.]
  78. Go to the graphical version for a map of the Balkans, 1914 to 1990. [Return to the straight text at note 78.]
  79. Go to the graphical version for photos of the ship's manifest, showing names and other personal data. See Appendix B for more information about the voyage. [Return to the straight text at note 79.]
  80. In the book on CD, there are photos of the eye examination and of the railroad ticket desk for immigrants at Ellis Island. [Return to the text at note 80.]
  81. Ellis Island received most of the 9 million immigrants that entered the United States in the first decade of the twentieth century; southern Europeans made up seventy percent of that influx. Approximately 520,000 Greeks came to America between 1900 and 1924. [Return to the text at note 81.]
  82. Edith Abbott, Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge, and University of Chicago Graduate School of Social Service Administration., The Social Service Review,vol. 1, Mar. 1927 (Chicago,: University of Chicago Press). [Return to the text at note 82.]
  83. Emphasis added to underscore the passion of the Greek immigrant for his homeland. [Return to the text at note 83.]
  84. It was information in Lily's request for permanent residency that disclosed her mother's marriage to Christos Stamatiou, and Lily's own first marriage. The documents showed that Christos, Eleni and Evangelia moved to Chicago in the spring of 1913, just six months after they arrived in St. Paul. [Return to the text at note 84.]
  85. Avellino is a small city in the mountains to the east of Naples. [Return to the text at note 85.]
  86. Monteleone di Calabria was renamed Vibo Valentia. It is the ancient Hipponium, a Greek colony on the Tyrrhenian Sea, itself founded by another colony, Locri, a city of Magna Graecia on the Tarantine Coast of the Ionian Sea. [Return to the text at note 86.]
  87. The Sicilia carried 10 first class and 620 third class (steerage) passengers. [Return to the text at note 87.]

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