ALCOCK, Thomas. Travels in Russia, Persia, Turkey and Greece, in 1828-9, London, E. Clarke and son, 1831.
The Englishman Thomas Alcock (1801-1866) served as a Member of Parliament at various times in the period 1826 to 1865. As a progressive politician and advocate of extending the franchise, he spent large sums of money on building churches and schools. He was a fervent supporter of the preservation of commons and open spaces for public use and recreation, and published a pamphlet with his views on the subject in 1845.
In the years 1828-1829 Alcock travelled to Russia, Turkey, Persia and Greece, and later privately published his memoirs of this journey, which lasted eighteen months. He based his account on the hasty notes he had taken while on the road. There is scant information on ancient locations, because, as he notes in his introduction, he considers that this ground had been covered sufficiently by previous travellers.
Alcock visited the following places, with numerous other intermediary stations: Calais, Brussels, Köln, Heidelberg, Ulm, the Danube, Vienna, Luxemburg, Austerlitz, Cracow, Odessa, Sebastopol, Balaklava, Simferopol, Kerch, Stavropol, the Caucasus, Tiflis, Yerevan, Ararat, Tauris, Kermanshah, the Euphrates, Tokat, Amasya, Iznik, Scutari (Üsküdar), Constantinople, Bursa, Prince Islands, Bosporus, Therapia (Tarabya), Tenedos, Troy, Aegina, Epidaurus, Nauplion, Tiryns, Argos, Tripoli, Tegea, Sparta, Leontari, Messene, Bassae, the Alpheius, Olympia, Calavryta, Corinth, Mycenae, Athens, Salamis, Aegina, Corfu, Ancona, Bologna, Milan, Geneva, Paris, Calais.
Alcock travelled after the Adrianople Peace Treaty, which ended the 1828-1829 Russo-Turkish War. Among the terms, the Ottoman Empire guaranteed the autonomous status of Greece and the free transit of all commercial ships through the Dardanelles. Impressed by the landscapes in historical locations, Alcock expresses his pain at the plundering of the land of Greece. He mentions several important events of the Greek War of Independence and personalities on the Greek political scene.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou