powrót           History XV - XVIII century

Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans under Mohammed II (the Conqueror) in 1453. Ellada became once again a battleground; this time it was claimed by the Venetians and the Ottomans. Finally, and with the exception of the Ionian islands, Ellada fell to the Ottomans.

At the beginning, Turks did not prove to be a harsher rule than the Venetians or the Franks. Two practices were mostly hated, the high taxation and the taking of one out of every five male children to become janissaries, i.e. the Sultan's bodyguard. Many of the janissaries though rose to high offices in the Ottoman hierarchy and became even grand viziers.

The Ottoman empire reached its peak under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-66), who expanded the country through the Balkans and Hungary to the gates of Vienna. His successor, Selim the Sot conquered Cyprus in 1570 and that was the end of the empire's expansion.

During the 17th century Ellada was in a state of turbulence. Corsairs looted the coasts, klefhtes (anti-Ottoman fugitives and brigands) swept the mountains and there was a growing opposition to the Ottoman rule.

This opposition took concrete form in the face of the Filiki Eteria, a secret organisation founded in 1814 in Odessa by businessmen Athanasios Tsakalof, Emmanuel Xanthos and Nikolaos Skoufas. The members of the Filiki Eteria supported the idea of a rebellion.
Unlike them, the Phanariots, wealthy Hellenic families in Constantinople, who had become a powerful economic force, believed they could effect a takeover from within.


 the Ottoman Empire
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