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MotF 155 - Greek Cyrenaica



My entry for The Map of the Forthnight 155 on


At the beginning of 1798, the War of the First Coalition had come to an end and following the Treaty of Campo Formio, where Napoleon Bonaparte decreed the final dissolution of the Venetian Republic, the city of Preveza – like other Venetian possessions in Greece and Albania – was ceded to Revolutionary France. 280 French grenadiers arrived in Preveza under the commands of General La Salchette. The people of Preveza welcomed the French troops, and formed a pro-French civic militia. Around this same time the poet Rigas Feraios was combining support for the ideas of the French Revolution with calls for a Greek uprising against Ottoman rule and arrived in the town to begin rudimentary discussion with French commanders.


Napoleon Bonaparte, however, focused his attention in another direction, launching the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria, gave little thought to the fate of the small Preveza garrison exposed on the edge of Ottoman territory. The local Ottoman governor Ali Pasha Tepelena attacked Preveza with an overwhelming force. In the Battle of Nicopolis the 7,000 Ottoman troops of Ali Pasha and his son Mukhtar completely overwhelmed the 280 French grenadiers and their local allies, the 200 Preveza Civil Guards and 60 Souliote warriors under Captain Christakis. Over the next two days, a major massacre of the French troops and the local Greek population which defended the city took place in Preveza; during which Feraios was killed, Christakis and General La Salchette however managed to escape to French Corfu.

Napoleon, being on Malta at the time, diverted his fleet towards Corfu. There he met with General La Salchette, Christakis and local Greek leading figures. While French and Ottoman Fleets were facing off in the Ambracian Gulf, the negotiations on Corfu became a secret congress Including several Greek rebel leaders and Russian officials, who saw in Napoleon a potential solution for their Greek Question. In 1799 both France and Russia committed ground troops to the Conflict, and together with Greek Revolutionary Forces where standing at the gates of Constantinople by March 1800. In the following Treaty of Adrianople, who was joined by the UK, the Kingdom of Greece was proclaimed and Napoleon (or rather Napoleonidas) was crowned King of Greeks. His coronation was essentially a bribe to not further involve him and his army in the French Revolutionary wars while also providing a safe heaven for fleeing French Revolutionary thinkers.


In 1815 the so-called Marble Alliance was signed between Naples and Greece, starting a strong friendship between the two nations (which was later continued by Italy). Seeing that the Ottoman decline was hastened, it became an easy target for Major and even secondary European powers. So much so that in 1825 (Assuming here that Napoleon was not poisoned, he still dies in 1821… not wanting to expand ‘his Kingdom’ in fear of retribution) Napoleonidas II - but in reality the Regent Ioannes (Joseph) Bonaparte - set out with his Neapolitan allies to conquer Ottoman Libya, landing near Benghazi in October. Although he was reluctant at first to commit large ground forces because he was fearing reactions against the Invasion from the ‘Concert of Europe’ he went all out when surprisingly the UK and Sardinia showed up wanted their own piece of the Ottoman pie. Greek troops left Sollum (which was the planned endpoint for Greek expansions) when word reached Napoleonidas II of groups of Coptic Christians rising up against the local garisson in Alexandria and claimed their desire to be liberated by their Greek brothers rather than by the British.


In 1826 the Treaty of Gizah was signed between the Victors (Greece, Napels, UK and Sardinia) and the conquered Ottomans and Egyptians.  Napels was Awarded Tripolitania, Greece got Cyrenaica, the city of Alexandria and the area between the two, the UK wanting to protect shipping and trading routes to and from Company-owned India annexed the rest of Egypt, the Kingdom of Sardinia was included in the Marble Alliance and got Cyprus and the port city of Antalya, The Austrian Empire was bribed into silence by awarding Hatay to its subordinate Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia.

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FrankCesco's avatar
Very cool map :0 what font u used?