Morea Eyalet

Eyālet-i Mōrâ
Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire




Morea Eyalet in 1795
Capital Corinth, Nafplion, Tripolitza
37°56′N 22°56′E / 37.933°N 22.933°E / 37.933; 22.933Coordinates: 37°56′N 22°56′E / 37.933°N 22.933°E / 37.933; 22.933
  Established 1661
  Venetian occupation 1685/7
  Ottoman reconquest 1715
  Orlov Revolt 1770
  Greek War of Independence 1821 (De jure to 1829)

The Eyalet of the Morea (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت موره; Eyālet-i Mōrâ)[1] was a first-level province (eyalet) of the Ottoman Empire, centred on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece.


From the Ottoman conquest to the 17th century

The Ottoman Turks overran the Peloponnese between 1458–1460, conquering the last remnants of the Byzantine Empire, with the exception of the Venetian strongholds,[2] which were taken gradually over decades of intermittent Ottoman–Venetian Wars. Coron and Modon fell in 1500, and by 1540, the Ottoman conquest of the Peloponnese had been completed with the capture of Monemvasia and Nauplion.[3][4]

Upon its conquest, the peninsula was made a sanjak of the Rumelia Eyalet, with its capital first at Corinth (Turk. Kordos or Gördes), later in Leontari (Londari), Mystras (Mezistre or Misistire) and finally in Nauplion (Tr. Anaboli).[5] Since the 16th century, Mystras formed a separate sanjak, usually attached to the Eyalet of the Archipelago rather than Rumelia.[6]

Creation of the eyalet, Venetian interlude and second Ottoman period

Sometime in the mid-17th century, as attested by the traveller Evliya Çelebi, the Morea became the centre of a separate eyalet, with Patras (Ballibadra) as its capital.[7] The Venetians occupied the entire peninsula during the successful Morean War (1684–1699), establishing the "Kingdom of the Morea" (It. Regno di Morea) to rule the country. Venetian rule lasted until the Ottoman reconquest in 1715.[8]

The Morea Eyalet was re-established, headed by the Mora valesi, who until 1780 was a pasha of the first rank (with three horsetails) and held the title of vizier. After 1780 and until the Greek War of Independence, the province was headed by a muhassil. The pasha of the Morea was aided by a number of subordinate officials, including a Christian translator (dragoman), who was the senior Christian official of the province.[9] The capital was first at Nauplion, but after 1786 at Tripolitza (Tr. Trabliçe).[5]

The Moreote Christians rose against the Ottomans with Russian aid during the so-called "Orlov Revolt" of 1770, but it was swiftly and brutally suppressed. As a result, the total population decreased during this time, while the proportion of the Muslim element in it increased. Nevertheless, the privileges granted to the Orthodox population with the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji, especially the right to trade under the Russian flag, led to a considerable economic flowering of the local Greeks, which, coupled with the increased cultural contacts with Western Europe (Modern Greek Enlightenment) and the inspiring ideals of the French Revolution, laid the groundwork for the Greek War of Independence.[9] Morean Uprising was initially suppressed by Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt in 1826. But, intervention of British, French and Russian naval troops in the Battle of Navarino, forced troops of Ottoman and Egyptian to evacuate Morea Eyalet in 1 October 1828. Finally, Greece became independent from Ottoman Empire with Treaty of Adrianople and Morea Eyalet ceased to exist de facto in 1829.

Administrative divisions

According to Evliya, at the time of his visit the eyalet comprised the sanjaks of Misistire, Aya Maura (Leucas), Aynabahti (Lepanto), Karli-Eli, Manya (Mani Peninsula) and Ballibadra (Patras), i.e. it encompassed also the portions of western and central Continental Greece.[7][10]

At the beginning of the 19th century, according to the French traveller François Pouqueville and the Austrian scholar Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, the eyalet comprised the following sanjaks:[7]

Throughout both Ottoman periods, Morea was also divided into a number of smaller districts (kazas, kadiluks or beyliks), whose number varied but was usually between 22 and 25, and reached 27 by 1784.[4][5] In the mid-17th century, when the Morea was still a sanjak, these were, according to Hajji Khalifa: Kordos, Arhos (Argos), Anaboli, Firina, Ayapetri (Agios Petros), Ruya, Manya (de facto free of Ottoman control), Kalavrita (Kalavryta), Kartina (Karytaina), Londari, Andrusa (Androusa), Koron, Motun, Anavarin, Arkadya (Kyparissia), Fanar (Fanari), Holomiç (Chlemoutsi), Voştiçe (Aigio), Ballibadra or Balye Badre. In addition, Misistra, Menceşe (Monemvasia) and Kalamata belonged to the sanjak of Misistire/Mezistre.[4][11]


  1. "Some Provinces of the Ottoman Empire". Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  2. Kazhdan (1991), p. 1621
  3. Bées & Savvides (1993), p. 239
  4. 1 2 3 Zarinebaf, Bennet & Davis (2005), p. 21
  5. 1 2 3 Bées & Savvides (1993), p. 238
  6. Birken (1976), pp. 57, 106
  7. 1 2 3 Birken (1976), pp. 57, 61–64
  8. Bées & Savvides (1993), pp. 239–240
  9. 1 2 Bées & Savvides (1993), p. 240
  10. Evliya Çelebi (2005), p. 49
  11. Rumeli und Bosna, geographisch beschrieben, von Mustafa ben Abdalla Hadschi Chalfa. Aus dem Türkischen übersetzt von J. v. Hammer (in German). Vienna: Verlag des Kunst- und Industrie-Comptors. 1812. pp. 111–125.


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