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CAPODISTRIA—CAPPADOCIA

d’Istria accompanied the tsar to the congress at Troppau. The events of the year—the murder of the duc de Berry in March, the Revolutions in Spain and in Naples—had produced their effect. Alexander was, in Metternich’s exultant language, “a changed man,” and Capo d’Istria apparently shared his conversion to reactionary principles. The Austrian chancellor now put forth all his powers to bring Alexander under his own influence, and to overthrow Capo d’Istria, whom he despised, distrusted and feared. In 1821 Alexander Ypsilanti’s misguided raid into the Danubian principalities gave him his opportunity. The news reached the tsar at the congress of Laibach, and to Capo d’Istria was entrusted the task of writing the letter to Ypsilanti in which the tsar repudiated his claim, publicly proclaimed that he had the sympathy and support of Russia. For a while the position of Capo d’Istria was saved; but it was known that he had been approached by the agent of the Greek Hetairia before Ypsilanti, and that he had encouraged Ypsilanti to take up the ill-fated adventure which he himself had refused; he was hated at the Russian court as an upstart Greek, and Metternich was never weary of impressing on all and sundry that he was “using Russian policy for Greek ends.” At last nothing but long habit and native loyalty to those who had served him well, prevented Alexander from parting with a minister who had ceased to possess his confidence. Capo d’Istria, anticipating his dismissal, resigned on the eve of the tsar’s departure for the congress of Verona (1822), and retired into private life at Geneva.

On the 11th of April 1827, the Greek national assembly at Troezene elected Capo d’Istria president of the republic. The vote was a triumph for the Russian faction, for the count, even after his fall, had not lost the personal regard of the emperor Alexander, nor ceased to consider himself a Russian official. He accepted the offer, but was in no hurry to take up the thankless task. In July he visited the emperor Nicholas I. at Tsarskoye Selo, receiving permission to proceed and instructions as to the policy he should adopt, and he next made a tour of the courts of Europe in search of moral and material support. The news of the battle of Navarino (20th of October 1827) hastened his arrival; the British frigate “Warspite” was placed at his disposal to carry him to Greece, and on the 19th of January 1828 he landed at Nauplia.

Capo d’Istria’s rule in Greece had to contend against immense difficulties—the utter poverty of the treasury, the barbarism of the people but recently emancipated, the continued presence of Ibrahim Pasha, with an unbroken army, in the south of the Morea. His strength lay in his experience of affairs and in the support of Russia; but he was by inheritance an aristocrat and by training an official, lacking in broad human sympathy, and therefore little fitted to deal with the wild and democratic elements of the society it was his task to control. The Greeks could understand the international status given to them by his presidency, and for a while the enthusiasm evoked by his arrival made him master of the situation. He thoroughly represented Greek sentiment, too, in his refusal to accept the narrow limits which the powers, in successive protocols, sought to impose on the new state (see Greece). But the Russian administrative system by which he sought to restrain the native turbulence was bound in the end to be fatal to him. The wild chiefs of the revolution won over at first by their inclusion in his government, were offended by his European airs and Russian uniform, and alienated by his preference for the educated Greeks of the Phanar and of Corfu, his promotion of his brothers Viaro and Agostino to high commands causing special offence. Dissatisfaction ended in open rebellion; the islands revolted; Capo d’Istria called in the aid of the Russian admiral; and Miaoulis, the hero of the Greek war at sea, blew up the warships under his command to prevent their falling into the hands of the government. On land, so far as the president was concerned, the climax was reached with the attempt to coerce the Mavromichales of the Maina, the bravest and most turbulent of the mountain clans, whose chief Petros Mavromichales, commonly known as Petrobey, had played a leading part in the War of Independence. The result was an insurrection in the Maina (Easter, 1830), and the imprisonment of those of the Mavromichales, including Petrobey, who happened to be in the power of the government. At the news of their chieftain’s imprisonment the Mainots, who had for a while been pacified, once more flew to arms and threatened to march on Nauplia; but negotiations were opened, and on the advice of the Russian minister Petrobey consented to make his submission to the president. Unhappily, when he was brought under guard to the appointed interview, Capo d’Istria, in a moment of irritation and weariness, refused to see him. Maddened with rage at this insult from a man who had not struck a blow for Greece, the proud old chief, on his way back to prison, called out to two of his kinsmen, his son George and his brother Constantino, “You see how I fare,” and passed on. According to the code of the Maina this was a command to take revenge. Next day, the 9th of October 1831, the two placed themselves at the door of the church where Capo d’Istria was accustomed to worship. As he passed in Constantine shot him down, and as he fell George thrust a dagger into his heart.

Authorities.—Carl W. P. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Graf Johann Kapodistrias (Berlin, 1864) is based on all the sources, printed and unprinted, available at the time of publication, and contains an excellent guide to these. This may be supplemented by the historical sections of F. de Marten’s Recueil des traites condus par la Russie, &c. (1874, &c.). A sketch of Capo d’Istria’s activity as president will be found in W. Alison Phillips’s The War of Greek Independence (London, 1897). Many of Capo d’Istria’s despatches, &c., are published in the collections of diplomatic correspondence mentioned in the bibliography of the article Europe: History. Under the Russian title “Zapiska grapha Joanna Capodistrias” is published in the series of the Imperial Russian Historical Society, vol. iii. p. 163 (St Petersburg, 1868)the Aperçu de ma carriére publique, written by Capo d’Istria for presentation to the emperor Alexander, and dated at Geneva 12/24 December 1826. Of unpublished materials may be mentioned the letters of Capo d’Istria to Sir Richard Church, vol. xvi. of the Church Papers in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 36453-36571). See further bibliography to chapter vi. of vol. x. of the Cambridge Modern History (1907).  (W. A. P.) 


CAPODISTRIA, a town and seaport of Austria, in Istria, 15 m. S.W. of Trieste by rail. Pop. (1900) 10,711, mostly Italians. It is situated on a small island, which occupies the end of a large bay in the Gulf of Trieste, and which is connected with the mainland by a causeway half a mile in length. Capodistria is an old town with small streets, and has preserved remarkably well its Italian, almost its Venetian character. The most noteworthy buildings are the cathedral, the town-hall and the Loggia or the old law-court, all situated in the principal square. In addition to the extraction of salt from the sea in the extensive salt works near the town, fishing and shipbuilding are the other principal occupations of the population. Trade is chiefly in sea-salt, wine and oil. Capodistria is usually identified with the town of Aegida, mentioned by Pliny, which appears by an inscription to have afterwards received (in the 6th century) the name of Justinopolis from Justin II. When at the beginning of the 13th century Istria fell into the hands of the patriarchs of Aquileia, they made this town the capital of the whole province. Thence it acquired its actual name, which means the capital of Istria. It was captured by the Venetians in 1279, and passed into Austrian possession in 1797.


CAPONIER (from the Fr. caponnière, properly a capon-cote or house), in fortification, a work constructed in the ditch of a fort. Its fire (musketry, machine-guns, case shot, &c.) sweeps the bottom of the ditch and prevents an enemy from establishing himself in it. The term is used in a military sense as early as in the late 17th century. In various bastioned systems of fortification a caponier served merely as a covered means of access to outworks, the bastion trace providing for the defence of the ditch by fire from the main parapet.


CAPPADOCIA, in ancient geography, an extensive inland district of Asia Minor. In the time of Herodotus the Cappadocians occupied the whole region from Mount Taurus to the Euxine. That author tells us that the name of the Cappadocians (Katpatouka) was applied to them by the Persians, while they were termed by the Greeks “Syrians,” or “White Syrians” (Leucosyri). Under the later kings of the Persian empire the