After a bloody defeat at the hands of the neighbouring mountaineers (409) the Spartan governor quarrelled with the native settlers, whom he expelled in 399.
The only wealth of the mountaineers of northern Albania; large cattle are found only on the plains.
The Ghegs especially, notwithstanding their fierce and lawless character, their superstition, ignorance and predatory propensities, possess some noteworthy qualities rarely found in eastern Europe: simple, brave, faithful, and sometimes capable of devoted attachment, these wild mountaineers make excellent soldiers and trustworthy retainers; they have long furnished a bodyguard to the sultan and, like the Tosks, are much employed as kavasses and attendants at foreign embassies and consulates in the East.
The practical autonomy which the Gheg mountaineers enjoy has been won by a prolonged and successful resistance to Turkish domination; as a rule they pay no taxes, they are exempt from the conscription, they know nothing of the Ottoman law, and the few Turkish officials established amongst them possess no real authority.
The jobars superintend the execution of the laws, collect fines and administer capital punishment; they are in contact with the buluk-bashi, or resident representative of the tribe at Scutari, who forms the only link between the mountaineers and the Turkish government.
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