March 25, 1821
The Hellenic (Greek) Revolution
In April 1820, the Philiki Eteria had at last found a leader in Alexandros Ypsilantes, the dashing soldier of the tsarist army who had lost his right arm on the battlefield. Ypsilantes tried to talk to the tsar about the plight of the Greeks - Hellenes, but Tsar wouldn't do anything to disturb the peace in Europe, a peace of the Holy Alliance - Iera Symmahia of the then Great Powers who were indifferent about the sufferings of people. Ypsilantes was from a rich phanariot family, and his family lived in Kiev of Russia. His father Konstantinos Ypsilantes had been governor of Wallachia until 1802. His grandfather Alexander was tortured to death in turkish prisons in the same year. Phanariots were used by the ottoman government as translators - dragoumanos and in some cases they represented the ottoman state. Moldavia and Wallachia were semi-autonomous provinces and the Sultan was forbidden by treaty to send troops into the area without Russian aggrement. Also Russia had a basis for intervention in the principalities if there was a reason. On this counted Ypsilantes when he decided to start the revolution from Moldavia.
Patriarch Gregorius was born in 1750 in Dimitsana of Moreas. With the outbreak his position was a difficult one. Openly he was against the revolution and urged the clergy to submit to the government. But secretly he supported the struggle for freedom and according to Fotakos he was even a member of Philiki Eteria. A week before his murder, he was asked by his friends to escape to Odessa. He answered: 'Don't ask me to leave. My rescue will mean the death for thousands of christians in Constantinople.... May be my death bring more benefit to our people than my life.... lets eat our fish, the next week the fish are going to eat us...' In the early hours of Easter, 10th April 1821, the Orthodox were summoned to celebrate the risen Christ. Gregorius presided over the Easter Service and as down broke returned to his quarters. Immediately he was summoned by the dragouman of the Porte. He was hanged outside the central gate of the patriarchate, which remains closed until today. After three days the body was taken down and Jews dragged the body throught all the city mocking the dead, an act which still remains in the hearts of Greeks. Unfortunately Jewish people collaborated with the oppressor during the whole ottoman occupation. The body of the spiritual leader of Romiosini was thrown in the sea, and after some days it was retrieved by a captain from Kephalinia island and taken to Odessa, where on the instructions of the Tzar the funeral ceremony was conducted with every elaboration of ritual and every mark of respect. Patriarch was not a revolutionary but he was a brave man.
Brief History of some Heroes
He came from a family of kleftes and escaped to Zakynthos where he served in the English Army. He returned to Peloponnesos on the eve of the revolution and due to his military experience and knowledge he soon became the leading figure in organising the Greek fighters. He lead the siege of Tripolis and its surrender marked the first success of the Greek revolution. The following year (1822) with his courage, determination, patience and military acumen defeated the army of Dramalis. He was imprisoned by his political opponents but was freed when Ibrahim invaded Greece, against whom Kolokotronis applied guerrilla tactics and was able to inflict major blows to his army. Kolokotronis is considered as the most important figure of the Greek revolution.
He grew up in poverty and was forced to the mountains as kleftis. He was one of the first to take part in the Greek revolution and his military genius became apparent during the last years of the struggle. He was appointed by the first Greek government as chief marshal of Eastern Greece and made Elefsina as his headquarters. Following a clash with the Turks at Haidari, he was planning to cut off Kioutachis supplies, during the siege of Acropolis. His initial failures followed two famous victories at Arachova and Distomo. He was killed in a clash with the Turks at Faliro. Karaiskakis is considered the second most important military figure of the revolution, after Kolokotronis.
He came from the island of Psara. He blew up the Turkish armada at Chios and at Tenedos and other Turkish ships at Mytilene and Samos (1824). He attempted to burn the Turkish ships at the port of Alexandria in order to destroy Mehmet Ali's preparations against Greece and failed only due to the fact that at the time the wind was blowing from opposite direction. He became one of the important naval figures of the revolution. With the liberation of Greece he became involved with politics opposing king Othon. He served several times as a minister and became prime minister. He was brave, courageous and modest man.
General Makriyannis was born at Lidoriki, in Eastern Greece. When in June 1825, Ibrahim Pasha attacked the mills of Argos with a force of 4,000 foot-soldiers and 600 cavalrymen from his regular army, Mkriyannis, together with Ypsilantis, Mavromichalis and 300 men, defended the position, which commands the approaches to Naples of Romania. They had already repulsed four fierce attacks by Ibrahim when, towards evening, they were reinforced by a detachment of the first regular Greek regiment. Its arrival decided the outcome of the battle and the Turko-Egyptian forces retreated in great disarray, with heavy casualties. The gallant Makriyannis, who was gravely wounded in the fighting, was invited aboard the French Admiral de Rigny's frigate, where he was received by the admiral. At the battle of Faliron on the 5th February, 1827, Makriyannis commanded the corps of Athenians, under the orders of General Gordon. He distinguished himself again and again in the defence of his position, by bravery in number of minor engagements.
Amongst the heroines of the Greek revolution was Manto Mavrogenous. She was educated at a college in Triestio and spoke Italian and Turkish. She studied ancient Greek philosophy and history. In 1809 her family returned to Mykonos, the island of their origin. She learned with excitement from her father that Philiki Etairia was preparing the Greek revolution. When the news arrived that the struggle for freedom began, Manto invited the leaders of Mykonos to a meeting and persuaded them to join the revolution. This was declared in April 1821.
Yet another heroic woman of the Greek uprising for freedom. Boumboulina came from a rich family from the island of Spetse. This 'Archontissa' (Lady) of Spetse used her wealth to build a navy and became one of the most famous leading figures in the Greek War of Independence. After the success of the revolution in Peloponnesos and Sterea Ellada, the uprising spread in the islands. Spetse was the first of the islands to join the revolution and this was mainly due to Boumboulina's leadership and courage. The example of Spetse was followed by many other islands and therefore the freeing of the Island of Spetse was one of the initial major steps towards victory for the Greeks. Thereafter Boumboulina, with her fleet took part in many naval battles and dominated the Aegean creating probelms to the, by far superior, Turkish fleet.
He was born in the Hydra. At the age of 17 he became captain of a commercial ship. During the Napeleonic wars he managed due to his courageous sea operations to accumulate considerable wealth. From the second year of the revolution he was appointed admiral of the Greek fleet. He defeated the Turkish navy near Patra and the Turko-Egyptian navy near Geronda, and on many occasions he was able to provide supplies for Greek cities besieged by the Turks (e.g. Mesologi).
He was born at Leontari, in Arcadia, the son of a poor peasant farmer. He was a nephew of Kolokotronis and he, too, served in the army of the Ionian Islands. In 1821 he became head of a band of pallikars. He fought Kiaya Bey at Kaki Scala and in March and April 1822, at Ayia Marina, Nikitas fought successfully under the leadership of Odysseus against Dramali, who was threatening Thermopylae. After Dramali's invasion of the Morea, Nikitas took up a position commanding the narrow passes on his route back to Corinth. There the Greeks inflicted a terrible defeat on the enemy, killing 3,000 Turks. The result of this battle won for him the nickname of Tourkophagos. At the siege of Mesolongi, Nikitas gave further proof of his pure and selfless patriotism. The sailors bringing reinforcements to the besieged town demeaned payment in advance. But there was no money. Then Nikitas flung down his sword, a priceless weapon which he had won from a high-ranking Turk, and cried out, "All I have is this sword. I offer it to my country!" His fine example had an immediate effect. All present stepped forward eagerly to donate whatever they could afford.
|Gregorios Dikaios or Papaflesas|
Papaflesas was born at Messinia in 1788. In his teens he became a monk. The Turks, knowing his revolutionary character forced him to leave Greece. At Constantinople, where he went, became one of the key members of "Filiki Etairia". Under Ypsilantis orders he returned to Peloponnesos and started preaching the ideal of freedom, preparing so the people for the revolution. He was a key figure of the Greek Revolution. When in 1825 Ibrahim landed with thousands of Turkish and Egyptian army in Peloponnesos, Papaflesas leading 2000 men marched against him. During the battle which took place at a place called Maniaki, on 20 May 1825, Ibrahim with his best 6000 Turks attacked and killed 600 Greeks and their leader Papaflesas, who fought bravely to the bitter end.
Hellenic Indendence Wars
PS: All the credits of this presentation: The Hellenic (Greek) Revolution (1821-1829) belong to my friend Nato Teras. Here is the link of his page: http://t3ras.multiply.com
I must only add the following info for the non Greeks:
Roméos or Romiόs or Romιà means "The Greek - for male & The Greek - for female". Romiosini and/or Romania, means Greek population and/or Greece.