Joomla project supported by everest poker review.









The temple of Jupiter Olympius, called also The Columns of Hadrian - 1764~

Copper engraving from a drawing by William Pars (England, 1742-1782), 30.5 x 46 cm.

Ο ναός του Ολυμπίου Διός, επίσης ονομαζόμενος Στύλοι του Αδριανού - 1764~

Χαλκογραφία από σχέδιο του William Pars (Αγγλία, 1742-1782), 30,5 x 46 εκ. 


The figures represent a groupe of women, who never appear in the city unveiled, but are represented so here, as being out of the way of passengers: three of them are dancing a slow dance, very common in Athens, wherein the leader holds out a handkerchief, and is supposed to represent Ariadne.

Οι μορφές που βλέπουμε είναι μια ομάδα γυναικών που, ενώ ποτέ δεν βγαίνουν στην πόλη με ακάλυπτο πρόσωπο, παρουσιάζονται έτσι εδώ σαν να είναι μακρυά από τα μάτια των περαστικών. Τρεις από αυτές εκτελούν έναν αργό χορό που συνηθίζεται πολύ στην Αθήνα, ενώ εκείνη που σέρνει το χορό κρατά μαντίλι και υποτίθεται ότι αναπαριστά την Αριάδνη.




View of the lantern of Demosthenes at Athens (Vue de la lanterne de Demosthène à Athènes) - 1755

Copper engraving after a drawing by Le Roy (1728-1803), 28.5 x 44.5 cm. Julien-David Le Roy: Les ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce. Paris, 1758.

Αποψη του φαναριού του Δημοσθένη στην Αθήνα - 1755

Χαλκογραφία από σχέδιο του LeRoy (1728-1803), 28,5 x 44,5 εκ. Julien-David Le Roy: Les ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce. Paris, 1758.




Lanthern of Demosthenes - Port of Phalarea - 1755


Φανάρι του Δημοσθένη - Λιμάνι του Πειραιά - 1755


Sayer, Robert: Ruins of Athens, with remains and other valuable antiquities in Greece. London, 1759.



Giovanni Mariti

Cobham, Claude Delaval (transl.): Travels in the island of Cyprus, translated from the Italian of Giovanni Mariti. London, Zeno, 1971.


p. 34

Dervishes in Larnaca, Cyprus, 1760-1767

Now that we have mentioned the Dervishes it well to say that they are a kind of Turkish monk, as are also their Santons and Abdali. The Dervishes wear a coarse woollen garment of various colours, quite open at the breast, and over it an Abba, or cloak of fine white wool which they bind in at the waist in different ways. On their heads they have a large cap of white felt, of sugar loaf shape, with a strip of the same stuff twisted round it. They wear no shirt, but they are nevertheless neat and clean, and their manners very courteous. They are commonly given to unnatural vice, and their feigned devoutness helps them to indulge their unhallowed tastes. They recognise as their founder a certain Molla Khunkiar, under whose rule they are formed into sundry convents and mosques. They preach in these twice a week, and admit to their sermons men and women, a thing not usually allowed in other mosques. One of them begins his discourse with a passage from the Qur'an, generally in condemnation of the very vices from which they themselves never abstain. The other Dervishes stand listening, separated from the people by a grating. When the sermon is over some of them begin to sing a hymn, accompanied by the music of reed-flutes, and by a dance which their chief begins and the others join in. They begin to turn very gently round the mosque, one after another, gradually increasing the pace until they circle round close together with such speed that the eye can scarcely follow them. The dance over they squat down on their heels, and wait very demurely until their chief begins the dance anew, when all follow him. This function lasts an hour and a half.


p. 1/81-82 (?)

Dervishes in Constantinople, 1762~

One Mola Sonchiur is said to have been their founder. They occupy different convents, and perform service in several mosques. They preach twice a week; and both the men and women who are their auditors mix together, which is never the case in other places of religious worship; but the community of the dervises is separated from the rest of the believers by a balustrade. The orator opens his discourse by a passage from the Koran, and thunders forth against vices which he himself is not at great trouble to avoid. When the sermon is ended, they all sing a hymn, accompanied with the sound of various pipes. The superior afterwards commences a dance, in which all the rest join, and which they execute in the following manner: - They first walk slowly round the mosque, one after the other: but by and by they accelerate their steps; and turn their bodies round with so much precipitation, that the eye can scarcely follow them. When the ball is over, these pious mountebanks kneel down, and remain for some time in that posture, with every external appearance of the most fervid devotion. The superior then rises up, the dervises follow his example, and, having renewed their whirling round, continue the same farce for an hour and a half longer.


p. 45-46

Dancers at a procession in Nicosia, Cyprus, 1760-1767

Circumcision among the Turks is performed after the completion of the boy's seventh year: but at a child's birth a little salt is put in its mouth, with some words from the Qur'an to the effect "precious to thee for the gift of life be the name of the true God, to Whom thou shalt give honour and glory." For eight days before they get up feasting and merry-makings, then, on the appointed day, the boy is clothed in gala dress, and led through the city on a horse with gay trappings. The green banner of Islam precedes him, and singis or dancers. Followed by various instruments and the crowd, he is conducted to a mosque, where prayer is said, and then to his home, where an expert performs the operation, while the patient repeats their confession of faith, lifting the thumb, and using the words "La ilaha illa Allah, wa Mohammad rasul Allah" -  there is no god but God, and Mohammad is His prophet. The function over the guests make presents to the new Muslim, and the festival ends with a sumptuous dinner. Women make a simple confession of faith, as above.


p. 1/104 (?)

Circumscision in Turkey, 1762~

When the day at length arrives, the child is clothed in the richest attire. It is conducted through the streets of the city, on a horse gaudily ornamented; the standard of Mahomet is carried before; the singis follow, dancing; a body of musicians, and performers on different instruments, come after; and the procession is closed by the friends and relations. When they arrive at the mosque, the people repeat their prayers; and, having remounted their horses, return to the house of the child’s father, where an experienced man cuts the prepuce entirely off; after which he holds up his hand, and cries out with a loud voice - “ There is no other God than the true God, “ and Mahomet is his prophet.” When this is done, all the assistants make some present to the young Neophyte; and the ceremony is terminated by a grand entertainment.


p. 1/262

Balls to celebrate the birth of a son to the sultan, Constantinople, 1762

When a child is born to the Grand Signior, the consuls must unite in the public demonstrations of joy. They illuminate their palaces, and those under their protection illuminate their houses for three days. One of the halls of the consular palace is converted into a kind of public coffee-room, where liquors are served out to every person who chooses, whether Christian or Mahometan. In the year 1762 I was present at a festival of this kind, when the joy of the consuls and of all the Europeans was manifested by artificial fire-works, entertainments, balls, and sports of every kind. All the consuls displayed their different flags, and sent their dragomans and janissaries to the governor, to testify how much they were interested in the happy event.



Richard Chandler

Chandler, Richard: Travels in Asia Minor and Greece or an account of a tour made at the expense of the Society of the Dilettanti. Oxford, 1774 (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1825).



p. 1/22

Greeks of the island of Tenedos, 1765

In the evening, this being Sunday and a festival, we were much amused with seeing the Greeks, who were singing and dancing in several companies to music, near the town, while their women were sitting in groups on the roofs of the houses, which are flat, as spectators, at the same time enjoying the soft air and serene sky.


p. 1/29-30

Turks singing and dancing, 1765

We had here no choice, but were forced to pass the night on the beach, which was sandy. The Turks constructed a half-tent for us near our boat with the oars and sail. We now discovered that we had neglected to procure wine and candles at Tenedos. We did not, however, remain in the dark. An extemporary lamp supplied one omission. It was a cotton-wick swimming in oil, on a bit of cork in a drinking-glass, suspended by a string. By this light, the Turks, sitting before us on the ground, cross-legged, endeavoured to amuse us, by teaching us the numbers in their language, or by learning them in English. Some desired us to distinguish each by his name, Mahmet, Selim, Mustapha, and the like. They were liberal of their tobacco, filling their pipes from their bags, lighting and presenting them to us, as often as they saw us unprovided. Our janizary, who was called Baructer Aga, played on a Turkish instrument like a guitar. Some accompanied him with their voices, singing loud. Their favourite ballad contained the praises of Stamboul or Constantinople. Two, and sometimes three or four, danced together, keeping time to a lively tune, until they were almost breathless. These extraordinary exertions were followed with a demand of dinary exertions were followed with a demand of bac-shish, a a reward or present; which term, from its frequent use, was already become very familiar to us. We were fatigued by our rough hot walk among the ruins, and growing weary of our savages, gladly lay down to rest under the half-tent. The Turks slept by us, upon the ground, with their arms ready in case of an alarm, except two who had charge of the boat. The janizary, who watched, sate smoking cross-legged by the fire. The stars shone in a clear blue sky, shedding a calm serene light: the jackals howled in vast packs, approaching near us, or on mount Ida; and the waves beat gently on the shore in regular succession.


p. 1/53-55

Greeks and Turks at the Hellespont, 1765

We had not been long on shore, before our attention was engaged by the appearance of many boats, on the Hellespont, steering towards us, and full of people. The passengers landing, as they arrived, ascended a ridge near us in a long train, men and boys, women with infants, and persons decrepit from age. On inquiry, we were informed that this was a great holiday among the Greeks, none of whom would be absent from the panegyris or general assembly. The feast of Venus and Adonis by Sestos did not occasion a more complete desertion of the villages and towns on both sides the Hellespont, when Leander of Abydos first beheld and became enamoured with his mistress Hero.

It is the custom of the Greeks on these days, after fulfilling their religious duties, to indulge in festivity. Two of their musicians, seeing us sitting under a shady tree, where we had dined, came and played before us, while some of our Turks danced. One of their instruments resembled a common tabour, but was larger and thicker. It was sounded with two sticks, the performer beating it with a slender one underneath, and at the same time with a bigger, which had a round knob at the end, on the top. This was accompanied by a pipe with a reed for a mouthpiece, and below it a circular rim of wood, against which the lips of the player came. His cheeks were much inflated, and the notes were so various, shrill, and disagreeable, as to remind me of a famous compositon designed for the ancient aulos or flute, as was fabled, by Minerva [See Pindar. Pyth. ιβ']. It was an imitation of the squalling and wailing made by the serpent-haired gorgons, when Perseus maimed the triple sisterhood, by severing from their common body the head of Medusa.


p. 2/21

Greeks on the island of Aegina, Attica, 1765

The vicinity of Aegina made Pericles style it the eyesore of the Piraeus. It was distant only twenty miles. We sailed in the afternoon with a fair wind, and in the evening anchored in this renowned haven. We were hailed from the custom-house, and the captain went on shore. On his return, we had the satisfaction to hear that the plague had not reached Athens. We intrusted our recommendatory letters to a person departing for the city. Some Greeks, to whom the captain had notified his arrival, came on board early in the morning. The wine circulated briskly, and their meeting was celebrated, as usual among this lively people, with singing, fiddling, and dancing.


p. 2/167-168

Arabs, black slaves and Albanian women in Athens, 1765

Some Arabians and black slaves, who had obtained their freedom, and were settled at Athens, and a feast on the performance of the rite of circumcision. The women danced in a ring, with sticks in their hands, and turning in pairs, clashed them over their heads, at intervals, singing wildly to the music. A couple then danced with castanets; and the other swarthy ladies, sitting cross-legged on a sofa, began smoking.

Athens was anciently enlivened by the choruses singing and dancing in the open air, in the front of the temples of the gods, and round their altars, at the festival of Bacchus and on other holydays. The Greeks are frequently seen engaged in the same exercise, generally in pairs, especially on the anniversaries of their saints, and often in the areas before their churches. Their common music is a large tabour and pipe, or a lyre and tympanum, or timbrel. Some of their dances are undoubtedly of remote antiquity. One has been supposed [Le Roy, p. 22] that which was called the crane, and was said to have been invented by Theseus, after his escape from the labyrinth of Crete. The peasants perform it yearly in the street of the French convent, at the conclusion of the vintage; joining hands, and preceding their mules and asses, which are laden with grapes in panniers, in a very curved and intricate figure; the leader waving a handkerchief, which has been imagined to denote the clew given by Ariadne. A grand circular dance, in which the Albanian women join, is exhibited on certain days near the temple of Theseus; the company holding hands and moving round the musicians, the leader footing and capering until he is tired, when another takes his place. They have also choral dances. I was present at a very laborious single dance of the mimic species, in a field near Sedicui in Asia Minor; a goatherd assuming, to a tune, all the postures and attitudes of which the human body seemed capable, with a rapidity hardly credible.


p. 2/225-227

The Eleusinian mysteries in the Antiquity, Attica, 1765

The principal rite was nocturnal, and confined to the temple and its environs. The mystae waited without, with impatience and apprehension. Lamentations and strange noises were heard. It thundered. Flashes of light and of fire rendered the deep succeeding darkness more terrible. They were beaten, and perceived not the hand. They beheld frightful apparitions, monsters, and phantoms of a canine form. They were filled with terror, became perplexed and unable to stir. The scene then suddenly changed to brilliant and agreeable. The propylaea, or vestibules of the temple, were opened, the curtains withdrawn, the hidden things displayed. They were introduced by the hierophant and daduchus, and the former shewed them the mysteries. The splendour of illumination, the glory of the temple and of the images, the singing and dancing which accompanied the exhibition, all contributed to soothe the mind after its late agitation, and to render the wondering devotee tranquil and self-satisfied. After this inspection, or, as it was called, the Autopsia, they retired, and others advanced. The succeeding days were employed in sacrifice, in pompous processions, and spectacles, at which they assisted, wearing myrtle crowns.


The sixth day of the Eleusinian mysteries was called Iacchus, from a son of Jupiter, who was said to have accompanied his mother Ceres when seeking Proserpine. An image of him, crowned with myrtle and bearing a torch, was carried from the inner Ceramicus at Athens in solemn procession to Eleusis, as it were to visit Ceres and his sister; attended by a vast multitude, some with victims, shouting, singing and dancing, and playing on cymbals, tabours, and other musical instruments. The way, on which he passed with his retinue, was called the sacred. It was exactly described by Polemo the guide. Eleusis is reckoned about four hours from Athens. In the Antomine Itinerary the distance is thirteen miles.


p. 2/274

Albanians and Greeks at Ligurio, a village near Epidaurus in Argolis, Morea, 1765


I had expected to find at Ligurió the sacred possession of Aesculapius, but was told, that the ruins were at Gérao, about an hour distant. In the evening an Albanian peasant with a caloyer, or monk, offered to conduct me to the spot; and the janizary with the sailors desired to accompany me. On our return, the villagers, who had been employed in their harvest-work, readily furnished as many beasts as were required, and offered to proceed with them by moonlight to Epi-yatha. After supping on the ground before the house, a violin was procured. The janizary played, and the Albanians and Greeks began singing and dancing, with their usual alacrity. When they had finished, we lay dispersed, in the open air, in the area of the court.


p. 2/330

Albanian soldiers at Delphi, Roumeli, 1765

We purposed to ascend Parnassus, hoping to find the Corycian cave; but before we had finished at Delphi, seventeen Albanians arrived at the monastery. These belonged to a guard which patroled on the roads. They were robust, dirty savages, wearing their hair in small plaits hanging down their shoulders. In the evening they roasted a sheep, and the captain invited us to partake, and, on our making some excuse, presented us with a portion of the meat. After eating in groups, they continued their wild singing and dancing to a late hour. They slept on the ground, each with his arms by him, and some much nearer to us than was agreeable. Sultan Morat, in 1447, forced many of their nation to change their religion, and converted the churches of Albania into mosques. This set were Mohametans, descended from christian proselytes. They were represented to us as drunken and quarrelsome, given to detestable vices, and as dangerous as the banditti against whom they were employed.


p. 2/130-131

Dervishes in Athens, 1765

The tower of the Winds is now a teckeh, or place of worship belonging to a college of dervishes. I was present, with my companions, at a religious function, which concluded with their wonderful dance. The company was seated on goat-skins on the floor cross-legged; forming a large circle. The chief dervish, a comely man, with a grey beard, and of a fine presence, began the prayers, in which the rest bore part, all prostrating themselves, as usual, and several times touching the ground with their foreheads. Of a sudden they leaped up, threw off  their outer garments, and, joining hands, moved round slowly to music, shouting Alla, the name of God. The instruments sounding quicker, they kept time, calling out Alla. Al illa ill Alla. God. There is no other God but God. Other sentences were added to these as their motion increased; and the chief dervish, bursting from the ring into the middle, as in a fit of enthusiasm, and letting down his hair behind, began turning about, his body poised on one of his great toes on a pivot, without changing place. He was followed by another, who spun a different way, and then by more, four or five in number. The rapidity, with which they whisked round was gradually augmented, and became amazing; their long hair not touching their shoulders but flying off; and the circle still surrounding them, shouting, and throwing their heads backwards and forwards; the dome re-echoing the wild and loud music; and the noise as it were of frantic Bacchanals. At length, some quitting the ring and fainting, at which time it is believed they are favoured with ecstatic visions, the spectacle ended. We were soon after introduced into a room furnished with skins for sofas, and entertained with pipes and coffee by the chief dervish, whom we found, with several of his performers, as cool and placid as if he had been only looker-on.


p. 2/156-157

Female education at Athens, 1765

The improvement of the mind and morals is not considered as a momentous part of female education at Athens. The girls are taught to dance, to play on the Turkish guitar, and the tympanum or timbrel, and to embroider, an art in which they generally excell. A woman skilled in reading and writing is spoken of as a prodigy of capacity and learning.

Previous time period                                     Home                            Next time period




. History of dance in Greece and Turkey 1300-1850 by Alkis Raftis