Ali Pasha, lion of Ioannina- Dr Eugenia Russell, Dr Quentin Russell
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the life of a petty tyrant in an obscure corner of the Ottoman Empire became the stuff of legend. What propelled this cold-blooded archetype of Oriental despotism, grandly known as the Lion of Ioannina and the Balkan Napoleon, into the consciousness of Western rulers and the general public? This book charts the rise of Ali Pasha from brigand leader to a player in world affairs and, ultimately, to a gruesome end. Ali exploited the internal weakness of the Ottoman Empire to carve out his own de facto state in Albania and Western Greece. Although a ruthless tyrant guilty of cruel atrocities, his lavish court became an attraction to Western travellers, most famously Lord Byron, and his military prowess led Britain, Russia and France to seek his alliance during the Napoleonic Wars. His activities undermined the Sultan’s authority and helped bring about the Greek War of Independence. Quentin and Eugenia Russell describe his remarkable life and military career as well as the enigmatic legacy he bequeathed in his homeland both as a nationalist hero and a tyrant, and further afield as inspiration for writers and artists of the Romantic movement.
The Jews of Ioannina, Dalven Rae
The Greek-speaking Jews of Greece, the Romaniotes, have suffered both neglect and indifference from modern scholars. Neither Ashkhenazi nor Sepharadi, they have maintained their traditions and customs stretching far back into antiquity. They are, in fact, a tangible contact with the world of Hellenistic Jewry, which was the matrix in which Christianity was born and developed and out of which great rabbis and scholars influenced Jewish life throughout the Balkans and even Europe in the Middle Ages. This fine work by Rae Dalven, herself a Romaniote, is a much needed initial work on not only the Romaniotes but on the life of the once quite significant Romaniote community in loannina. It is a little known and badly recorded world and one that has all but vanished into the past. One is hopeful that, through the work of Dr. Dalven, young scholars may be inspired to further study and document other Romaniote communities in Greece.
1898 – 1944 the Nissim Levis Panorama , Alexander Moissis
Every picture tells a story. A touching photographic journey, captured in over 500 stereoscopic glass plates by the doctor and photographer Nissim Levis, a member of a prominent family in the Romaniote Jewish community of Ioannina. They were found by chance, in a corner of history and the city, in the possession of a street vendor who invited passersby to examine them by looking into a wooden box, for a fee – “one frank for the panorama, ladies and gentlemen!” A charming voyage in time that starts during the last fifteen years of Ottoman rule in Ioannina, with stops along the way for the city’s major historical events and for visits to some of the world’s most cosmopolitan locales of that period. Most of all, however, it is a small tribute to the memory of a group of individuals who would otherwise have been remembered only as simple rows on the Holocaust Museum’s list of victim