We’re in the southern Peloponnese in a region known as the Mani. In the fifteenth century a number of refugee Byzantine families formed a local aristocracy, known as the Nyklians, who came to engage in a form of structural feuding. Only Nyklians had the right to construct stone towers, which came to dominate every village (I can see the stumps of several such tower houses from the terrace where I am seated).Good agricultural land was scarce. Ritualised blood feuds between Nyklian clans could last for months and years, with truces called for harvests. The clans would attack each other from their respective towers and the feuding would only end when one side was either entirely wiped out or totally subjugated. Having recently visited Ajaccio, I found this reminiscent of the Corsican vendetta tradition, and then I discovered that there is not only a Corsican connection to the Mani but also a Napoleonic one (in 1675 seven hundred Oitylots – from a town in the Mani region, including 430 from the Stephanopoulos clan, fled the Turks and ended up in Corsica, founding the villages of Paomia and Cargèse, and giving rise to stories that Napoleon himself was part-Mani in origin). Collectively, the fierce, ruthless Mani clans were never subjugated and it was their united action on 17 March 1821 that launched the Greek Independence uprising.