The Souliotes were the inhabitants of Souli in the mountains of Mourgas in North Western Greece. They successfully resisted Ottoman Domination in the 17th and 18th centuries. According to the Wikipedia.
The Ottoman Turks attempted numerous times to conquer the territories of the Souliot Confederacy. The first conflicts between the Souliotes and the Ottomans (including Muslim Albanians) date back to 1635, if not earlier. In 1731, Hadji Ahmed, pasha of Ioannina, received orders from the Sultan to subdue the Souliotes and he lost his army of 8000 men. In 1754, Mustafa Pasha lost his army to the Souliotes too. In the following years, Mustafa Kokka came in with 4000 soldiers and Bekir Pasha with 5000. In the end, both failed to defeat the Souliotes. In 1759, Dost Bey, commander of Dhelvinou, was defeated by the Souliotes and Mahmoud Aga of Margariti, the governor of Arta, suffered the same fate in 1762. In 1772, Suleyman Tsapari attacked the Souliotes with his army of 9000 men and was defeated. In 1775, Kurt Pasha sent a military expedition to Souli that ultimately failed. When Ali became pasha of Ioannina in 1788, he tried for 15 years to destroy the Souliotes. In 1792, his army of 3000 Turk-Albanians (Τουρκαλβανοί, a pejorative term meaning Muslim Albanians) was eliminated
The end of the Souliotes began when Britain in order to gain support from the Turks against Napoleon stopped supplying them with weapons and ammunition. In a famous incident, on December 16, 1803 which the painting above commemorates, 22 Souliot women were trapped by enemy troops and chose death over enslavement. They committed suicide to avoid capture by jumping off a cliff with their children.
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