Captured by Brigands 1902 bookIn ca. 1902 the Religious Tract Society published an English translation of the late Gerasim Kyrias’ account of his being captured by brigands (or bandits). American missionary to Monastir, John Baird, translated the work. The work was published in Albanian as Pengu i Kaçakeve by Karte e Pende in 1993 and republished in English in 1998 by Albanian Evangelical Trust. The August 1894 edition of The Gospel Magazine (see photo below) carried a brief summary of the ordeal:

A vivid picture of the lawless condition of some parts of Southern Europe is presented in an account recently published in the Sunday at Home of the seizure by brigands of a M. KYRIAS, formerly a colporteur of the British and Foreign Bible Society, in Albania: “He was seized in the district of Ochrida, hurried to the recesses of the mountains, and there held for ransom till the sum of 700 lira was raised by his friends, the Government being either unable or unwilling to furnish the amount of ransom or to secure the release of the prisoner. M. Kyrias’ captivity lasted throughout six months, during which time he was treated with every cruelty and indignity by the ignorant and superstitious Albanian boors who had charge of him. Constantly dragged from place to place for fear of discovery, he was overwrought and under-fed, abused and beaten, until life became a burden. For forty days he was blindfolded, lest he might afterwards betray the hiding places of his captors. With the same object his ears were stopped with wax. So terrible were his sufferings during these winter months that his health and strength were permanently broken down. Some time after his release he read a narrative of his capture and adventures before the magistrates at Monastir, and this has been published in full in the Sunday at Home. It is a startling revelation of a condition of things which might have been thought impossible in Europe. The brigands declare themselves to be no worse than the society around them. M. KYRIAS died a few months since.”

The Gospel Magazine 1894

The magazine reporting on the Qiriazi hostage ordeal.