Marschlins Says That The Inhabitants Of These Regions Are So Wild And
Innocent That Money Is Unknown; Everything Is Done By Barter.
of copying without discrimination.
For this statement he utilized the
report of a Government official, a certain Leoni, who was sent hither
after the earthquake of 1783, and found the use of money not unknown,
but forgotten, in consequence of this terrible catastrophe.
These vales of Aspromonte are one of the last refuges of living
Byzantinism. Greek is still spoken in some places, such as Rocca-forte
and Roghudi. Earlier travellers confused the natives with the Albanians;
Niehbuhr, who had an obsession on the subject of Hellenism, imagined
they were relics of old Dorian and Achaean colonies. Scholars are
apparently not yet quite decided upon certain smaller matters. So
Lenormant (Vol. II, p. 433) thinks they came hither after the Turkish
conquest, as did the Albanians; Batiffol argues that they were chased
into Calabria from Sicily by the Arabs after the second half of the
seventh century; Morosi, who treats mostly of their Apulian settlements,
says that they came from the East between the sixth and tenth centuries.
Many students, such as Morelli and Comparetti, have garnered their
songs, language, customs and lore, and whoever wants a convenient resume
of these earlier researches will find it in Pellegrini's book which was
written in 1873 (printed 1880). He gives the number of Greek inhabitants
of these places - Roghudi, for example, had 535 in his day; he has also
noted down these villages, like Africo and Casalnuovo, in which the
Byzantine speech has lately been lost.
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