miles lake feet little scutari south mountain
MONTENEGRO, often pronounced and sometimes written MONTENERO (Montenegrin, i.e., Servian, Crnagora, Russian Tchernogoriya, and Turkish Karadczgh, all equivalent to Black Mountain), one of the smallest of European countries, lies on the eastern side of the Adriatic, and is bounded by Dalmatia, Herzegovina, Bosnia, and Albania. Previous to 1878 it had an area variously estimated at 1669 square miles (Kaptsevitch), 1711 (Kiepert), and, including the Kutehi territory, 1796 (Rehm). The enlargement to about 5272 square miles proposed by the San Stefano treaty (1878) would probably have swamped the Montenegrin nationality, and the Berlin congress brought the total area only up to 3680 miles, or almost exactly half the size of Wales.' Apart from her new maritime district, Montenegro seems little better at first than a chaos of mountains, but on closer examination it appears that there are two distinct groups, an eastern and a western, divided by the ZetaMoratcha valley. The loftiest summit is Dormitor, 8146 feet high, in the new territory near the north frontier, next come Kom Kutchi (8031), Kom Vassoyevitzki (7946), and Dormitor Schlime (7936).1 Ilad the original frontier of the Berlin congress towards the south-east been retained it would have run along the still higher Prokletia range. Many of the mountain-tops remain white with snow for the greater part of the year, and from some of the dark ravines the snow never disappears. The south-western portion of the country consists of limestone, the northeastern mainly of Palaeozoic sandstones and schists with underlying trap.' In their general aspect the two regions are strikingly distinct. The former seems, as it were, one enormous mass of hard crystalline rock, bare and calcined, with its strata dipping to the south-west at an angle often of 70 degrees. Its whole surface has been split by atmospheric agencies into huge prismatic blocks, and the cracks have been gradually worn into fissures several fathoms deep. [n some places the process has resulted in clusters of immense sharp-pointed crags, the sides of which are furrowed by rain-channels, while in others there are countless funnels running down into the rock for 200 feet and more. In like manner the interior of the mass is hollowed out into immense galleries and caves, and during the rainy season subterranean landslips frequently produce local earthquakes, extending over an area of 10 or 12 miles. The sandstone region, on the other hand, presents lofty but rounded forms, clothed for the most part with virgin forest or rich alpine pasture, broken here and there by dolomitic peaks.
The watershed between the Adriatic and the Black Sea crosses the country from west to east in a very irregular line, the southern districts being drained by the ZetaMoratcha river system, which finds its way to the Adriatic by Lake Scutari and the Boyanna, while the streams of the northern districts form the head-waters of the Drina, which reaches the Danube by way of the Save. The Zeta, rising in Lake Slano, is remarkable for its subterranean passage beneath a mountain range 1000 feet high. At a place called Ponor the water plunges into a deep chasm, seeming almost to lose itself in foam, but at a distance. of several miles it reappears on the other side of the mountains. Its whole course to its junction with the Moratcha is about 30 miles. Rising in the Yavory-e Planina, the Moratcha sweeps through the mountain gorges as a foaming torrent till it reaches the plain of Podgoritza ; then, for a space, it almost disappears among the pebbles and other alluvial deposits, nor does it again show a current of any considerable volume till it approaches Lake Scutari. In the neighbourhood of Duklea 3 and Leskopolye it flows through a precipitous ravine from 50 to 100 .feet high. In the dry season it is navigable to Zhabliak. The whole course is about 60 miles. Of the left-hand tributaries of the Moratcha the Sem or Tsievna deserves to be mentioned for the magnificent canon through which it flows between Most Tamarui and Dinosha. On the one side rise the mountains of the Kutchi territory, on the other the immense flanks of the Prokletia range, - the walls of the gorge :varying from 2000 to 4000 feet of vertical height. Lower down the stream the rocky banks approach so close that it is possible to leap across without trouble. The Ryeka issues full-formed from an immense cave southeast of Cettinye (Tsettinye) and falls into Lake Scutari. The three tributaries of the Drina which belong in part to Montenegro are the Piva, the Tara, and the Lim, respectively 55, 95, and 140 miles in length. The Tara forms the northern boundary of the principality for more than 50 miles, but the Lim leaves the country altogether after the first 30 miles of its course. Great alterations have taken place on Lake Scutari in recent times. The river Drin, which previous to 1830 entered the Adriatic to the south of Alesia near S. Giovanni di Medua, subsequently changed its course so as to join the Boyanna just below its exit from the lake ; one of the chief results has been to raise the level of the lake, and so to flood the lower valleys of the tributary streams. When the International Frontier Commission was at Scutari in April 1879, the water stood 8 feet deep in some of the principal streets, and the inundation of city and suburbs lasted that year eight months. A few small lakes are scattered among the mountains, and it is evident that their number was formerly much greater. The plain or hollow of Cettinye was doubtless filled with water at no very distant (geological) date, and even now, when the sudden rains cannot escape fast enough by the ordinary subterranean outlet, the royal village suffers from a flood.
If the new territory be left out of view, there is but little farming land in Montenegro ; the peasant is glad to enclose and protect the veriest patches of fertile soil retained by the hollows in the mountain sides, and one may see "flourishing little crops not a yard square." "The largest landed proprietor is the holder of 60 acres" (Denton, Montenegro, p. 143) ; the other freehold estates vary from 2 to 20 acres, and it is usually not to the individual but to the house or family that the ownership belongs. Woods and pastures are the common property of the clan (pleme). The people live in small stone-built cottages, grouped for the most part in little villages, and their whole life is of Diocletian.
marked by extreme simplicity. Chastity is a national virtue, and in time of war the women and children of the Turks have often found their safest asylum among their hereditary foeS. The main stock of the people is of Servian descent ; and, though the purity of both blood and language has been to some extent affected by foreign elements, mostly Albanian and Turkish, the national unity has not been impaired. The curious Gipsy colony, which, though speaking Servian, never intermarries with the Montenegrins, is numerically of little importance.' The great mass of the people belong to the Orthodox Greek Church, only some 7000 being Roman Catholics, and 3000 Mohammedans. According to Kaptsevitch, the population was 10,700 in 1838, 120,000 in 1849, 124,000 in 1852, and 170,000 in 1877, but in 1879 it was found that, inclusive of the new territory, the number could not exceed 150,000; since then about 15,000 have been added with Duleigno. The official returns for 1882 (not based on a census, however) give 236,000 as the total, of whom some 23,000 live in the so-called towns.
Fauna. - Bears are still found in the higher forests, and wolves, and especially foxes, over a much wider area. A few chamois roam on the loftiest summits, the roebuck is not infrequent in the backwoods, the wild boar may be met with in the same district, and the hare is abundant wherever the ground is covered with herbage. There are one or two species of snakes in the country, including the poisonous Illyrian viper. Esculent frogs, tree frogs, the common tortoise, and various kinds of lizards are all common. The list of birds observed by Baron Kaulbars includes golden eagles and vultures, 12 species of falcons, several species of owls, nightingales, larks, buntings, hoopoes, partridges, herons, pelicans, ducks (10 species), goatsuckers, &c. The abundance of fish in Lake Scutari and the lower course of the Ryeka is extraordinary, the shoals of bleak (scorantza, Letteiseus alburntis) that come up the liver forming almost solid masses. Both trout and salmon are caught in the Moratcha.
Flora. - The flora of Montenegro is comparatively scanty. In the forest districts the beech is the prevailing tree up to a height of 5000 or 5500 feet, and then its place is taken by the pine. The chestnut forms little groves in the country between the sea and Lake Scutari, but never ascends more than 1000 feet, and the olive also is mainly confined to the neighbourhood of the Adriatic. Pomegranate bushes grow wild, and in many parts of the south cover the foot of the hills with dense thickets, the rich blossoms of which are one of the special charms of the spring landscape. Wheat, rye, barley, maize, capsicums, and a little tobacco are grown in the north, and in the south, vines, figs, peaches, apples, cherries, citrons, oranges, &c. The potato, introduced in 1786, is cultivated considerably beyond the local demand ; the planting of mulberry trees and the rearing of silk-worms is of growing economical importance.