WITH THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR. 89
CASTLE AND VALLEY OF SULI, THE ANCIENT ACHERON.
Where the dark Acheron, now called the Kalamas, rolls its gloomy tide, among the
recesses of chasms so deep and shadowy, that the wild imaginations of the Greek poets
called it a river of hell—and the district through which it ran, the entrance to the infernal
regions—stood the city of Suli, as distinguished as Parga by the bloody enmity of Ali
In this country, for ages unsettled by any regular government, and disturbed by the
constant warfare of petty beys and pashas, security of site was the strongest recommendation for erecting a town. A traveller winding his wray through the chasms and ravines of
these dark mountains, emerges unexpectedly on the summit upon a broad and fair platform.
Here, 2000 feet above the bed of the Acheron, the tribe of Suli built their cities, and in
this elevated rocky fastness fixed their chief abode, which they called Kako-Suli, from the
exceeding difficulty of climbing up to it. On this lofty table-land were four populous towns,
and they held sixty-six tributary villages, built on every available spot among the ravines
and precipices below. The character of these mountaineers, and their peculiar habits, long
distinguished them among their neighbours. Their fierce and unsubdued courage, their
endurance of fatigue and privation, their skill in warlike weapons, caused them to be looked
up to with great respect. Wherever they appeared, they were recognized by characters
which marked them. Their skin was of a dark bronze colour; constantly exposed to sun
and wind, and unprovided with the shelter of tents in their expeditions, the surface of the
exposed parts attained the colour and consistency of tanned leather, and almost an equal
insensibility. Their dress wras a long white capote, strongly contrasted w ith the colour
of their skin. They wore on their head a small cap called a fez, resembling an inverted
saucer, scarcely covering the top of the crown, from under which a long lock of hair
streamed in the wind. Their arms were the tophek or musket without a bayonet, and
in their girdle not a straight yatagan, but a crooked sabre. Thus distinguished was
" The dark Suliote,
In his snowy eamese, and his shaggy capote;
To the wolf and the vulture he leaves his wild f.oek,
And descends to the plain like a stream from the rock."
The little state enrolled on their cloud-capped mountains 2500 palikars of this description, who were objects of fear and respect to all other Albanians when seen below. These
were the men, who, under the valiant Scanderbeg, opposed the first inroads of the Turk-
into the country; and in later times, under the gallant Lambro, attempted to liberate
Greece from their yoke.
The usages and opinions of the women all tended to cherish this warlike character.
The fountain, as in the days of Homer, was the place where they congregated, and dis-
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