Greek War of Independence 1821 in Art 

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Athanasios Diakos (Greek: Αθανάσιος Διάκος) (1788–1821), a Greek military commander during the Greek War of Independence and a national hero, was born Athanasios Nikolaos Massavetas (Greek: Αθανάσιος Νικόλαος Μασσαβέτας) in the village of Ano Mousounitsa, Phocis.

Grafik1

Early life

The grandson of a local outlaw, or klepht, he was drawn to religion from an early age and was sent away by his parents to the Monastery of St. John The Baptist (Greek: Αγίου Ιωάννου Προδρόμου), near Artotina, for his education. He became a monk at the age of seventeen and, due to his devotion to his faith and good temperament, was ordained a Greek Orthodox deacon not long afterwards.

Popular tradition has it that while at the monastery, an Ottoman Pasha visited with his troops and was impressed by Athanasios's good looks. The young Athanasios took offence to the Turk's remarks (and subsequent proposal) and the ensuing altercation resulted in the death of the Turkish official. Athanasios was forced to flee into the nearby mountains and become a klepht. Soon afterwards he adopted the pseudonym "Diakos", or Deacon.

The Apotheosis of Athanasios Diakos


Klephtis and Armatolos

Diakos served under a number of local klepht leaders in the region of Roumeli, distinguishing himself in various encounters with the Ottomans. He also served for a time as a mercenary in the army of Ali Pasha at Ioannina, Epirus, where he befriended Odysseas Androutsos, another klepht. When Androutsos became the captain of a unit of armatoloi at Livadeia, Diakos served for a time as his protopallikaro (literally "first warrior", or lieutenant). In the years leading up to the Greek War of Independence, Diakos had formed his own band of klephtes and, like many other klepht and armatoloi captains, had become a member of the Filiki Eteria.


Independence fighter

Soon after the outbreak of hostilities, Diakos and a local brigand captain and friend, Vasilis Bousgos, led a contingent of fighters to capture the town of Livadeia. On 1 April 1821, after three days of vicious house-by-house fighting, and the burning of Mir Aga's residence, including the harem, the Greeks liberated the town. Hursid Pasha sent two of his most competent commanders from Thessaly, Omer Vryonis and Köse Mehmed, at the head of 8,000 men with orders to put down the revolt in Roumeli and then proceed to the Peloponnese and lift the siege at Tripolitsa.

Diakos and his band, reinforced by the fighters of Dimitrios Panourgias and Yiannis Dyovouniotis, decided to halt the Ottoman advance into Roumeli by taking defensive positions near Thermopylae. The Greek force of 1500 men was split into three sections. Dyovouniotis was to defend the bridge at Gorgopotamos, Panourgias the heights of Halkomata, and Diakos the bridge at Alamana.
The flag used by Athanasios Diakos and his army of irregulars.

Setting out from their camp at Lianokladi, near Lamia, the Ottoman Turks soon divided their force. The main force attacked Diakos. The other attacked Dyovouniotis, whose force was quickly routed, and then Panourgias, whose men retreated when he was wounded. The majority of the Greek force having fled, the Ottomans concentrated their attack on Diakos's position at the Alamana bridge. Seeing that it was a matter of time before they were overrun by the enemy, Bousgos, who had been fighting alongside Diakos, pleaded with him to retreat to safety. Diakos chose to stay and fight with 48 men; they put up a desperate hand-to-hand struggle for a number of hours before being overwhelmed.

The severely wounded Diakos was taken before Vryonis[Need quotation to verify], who offered to make him an officer in the Ottoman army if he converted from Christianity to Islam. Diakos refused the offer, replying "I was born a Greek, I shall die a Greek" ("Εγώ Γραικός γεννήθηκα, Γραικός θε να πεθάνω" transliterated as: Ego Graikos yennithika, Graikos the na pethano). The next day he was impaled. According to popular tradition, as he was being led away to be executed, he said:

Look at the time Charon chose to take me, now that the branches are flowering, and the earth sends forth grass (Greek: Για δες καιρό που διάλεξε ο Χάρος να με πάρει, τώρα π' ανθίζουν τα κλαριά και βγάνει η γης χορτάρι - Ya thes kero pou dialexe o Haros na me parei, tora p' anthizoun ta klaria kai vganei i yis hortari).

This was a metaphor for the independence and freedom of Greece.

The brutal manner[1] of Diakos's death initially struck fear into the populace of Roumeli, but his final stand near Thermopylae, echoing the heroic defence of the Spartan King Leonidas, made him a martyr for the Greek cause. A monument now stands at the bridge near Alamana, the site of his final battle. His birthplace, the village of Ano Mousounitsa, was later renamed Athanasios Diakos in his honour. Also streets and statues in several parts of Greece as well as in nearly every one of the larger towns and cities bears his name.

References

^ Aiolos (2004), "Turkish Culture: The Art of Impalement", Hellenic Lines: The National conservative newspaper, retrieved 9 March 2011

This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (March 2009)

Diamantopoulos, N. and Kyriazopoulou, A. Elliniki Istoria Ton Neoteron Hronon. OEDB, (1980).
Brewer, David. The Greek War of Independence. The Overlook Press (2001). ISBN 1-58567-172-X.
Paroulakis, Peter H. The Greeks: Their Struggle For Independence. Hellenic International Press (1984). ISBN 0-9590894-1-1.
Stratiki, Poti. To Athanato 1821. Stratikis Bros, (1990). ISBN 960-7261-50-X.

External links

Athanasios Diakos Museum at Athanasios Diakos, Fokida prefecture, Greece (in Greek)

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Greek War of Independence (1821–1829)
Background
Ottoman Greece
People

Armatoloi Proestoi Klephts Dionysius the Philosopher Daskalogiannis Panagiotis Benakis Konstantinos Kolokotronis Lambros Katsonis Cosmas of Aetolia Ali Pasha Maniots Phanariots Souliotes Gregory V of Constantinople

Events

Orlov Revolt Souliote War (1803)

Greek Enlightenment
People

Athanasios Christopoulos Theoklitos Farmakidis Rigas Feraios Anthimos Gazis Theophilos Kairis Adamantios Korais Eugenios Voulgaris

Organizations

Ellinoglosso Xenodocheio Filiki Eteria
Nikolaos Skoufas Athanasios Tsakalov Emmanuil Xanthos Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos Philomuse Society Society of the Phoenix

Publications

Adelphiki Didaskalia Asma Polemistirion Hellenic Nomarchy Pamphlet of Rigas Feraios Salpisma Polemistirion Thourios or Patriotic hymn

European intervention and
Greek involvement in
the Napoleonic Wars

Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca Greek Plan of Catherine the Great Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars
Fall of the Republic of Venice Republican French rule in the Ionian Islands Septinsular Republic Greek Legion Imperial French rule in the Ionian Islands Albanian Regiment Adriatic campaign of 1807–1814 1st Regiment Greek Light Infantry United States of the Ionian Islands

Ideas

Nationalism Eastern Orthodox Christianity Liberalism Constitutionalism

Events
Sieges

Patras Salona Navarino Livadeia 1st Acropolis Tripolitsa Arta Acrocorinth Nauplia 1st Messolonghi 2nd Messolonghi 3rd Messolonghi 2nd Acropolis

Battles

Kalamata Wallachian uprising Alamana Gravia Valtetsi Doliana Lalas Vasilika Dragashani Sculeni Vasilika Trench Peta Dervenakia Karpenisi Greek civil wars Sphacteria Maniaki Lerna Mills Mani Distomo Arachova Kamatero Phaleron Chios expedition Martino Koronisia Petra

Massacres

Constantinople Thessaloniki Navarino Tripolitsa Naousa Samothrace Chios Psara Kasos

Naval conflicts

Eresos Chios Nauplia Samos Andros Sphacteria Gerontas Souda Alexandria Volos Itea Navarino

Ships

Greek sloop Karteria Greek brig Aris

Greek regional councils and statutes

Messenian Senate Directorate of Achaea Peloponnesian Senate Senate of Western Continental Greece Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece Provisional Regime of Crete Military-Political System of Samos

Greek national assemblies

First (Epidaurus) (Executive of 1822) Second (Astros) Third (Troezen) Fourth (Argos) Fifth (Nafplion)

International Conferences,
Treaties and Protocols

Congress of Laibach Congress of Verona Protocol of St. Petersburg (1826) Treaty of London Conference of Poros London Protocol of 1828 London Protocol of 1829 Treaty of Adrianople London Protocol of 1830 London Conference Treaty of Constantinople

Related

Greek expedition to Syria (1825) Russo-Turkish War (1828-29)

Personalities
Greece

Chian Committee Odysseas Androutsos Anagnostaras Markos Botsaris Laskarina Bouboulina Constantin Denis Bourbaki Hatzimichalis Dalianis Kanellos Deligiannis Athanasios Diakos Germanos III of Old Patras Dimitrios Kallergis Athanasios Kanakaris Constantine Kanaris Ioannis Kapodistrias Stamatios Kapsas Panagiotis Karatzas Georgios Karaiskakis Nikolaos Kasomoulis Ioannis Kolettis Theodoros Kolokotronis Georgios Kountouriotis Antonios Kriezis Nikolaos Kriezotis Kyprianos of Cyprus Georgios Lassanis Lykourgos Logothetis Andreas Londos Yannis Makriyannis Manto Mavrogenous Alexandros Mavrokordatos Petrobey Mavromichalis Andreas Metaxas Andreas Miaoulis Theodoros Negris Nikitaras Antonis Oikonomou Ioannis Orlandos Papaflessas Dimitrios Papanikolis Emmanouel Pappas Christoforos Perraivos Nikolaos Petimezas Panagiotis Rodios Georgios Sachtouris Georgios Sisinis Iakovos Tombazis Anastasios Tsamados Meletis Vasileiou Demetrios Ypsilantis

Philhellenes

António Figueira d'Almeida Michail Komninos Afentoulief Joseph Balestra Lord Byron François-René de Chateaubriand Richard Church Giuseppe Chiappe Lord Cochrane Vincenzo Gallina Charles Fabvier Thomas Gordon Frank Abney Hastings Carl von Heideck Vasos Mavrovouniotis Johann Jakob Meyer
Ellinika Chronika Karl Normann Maxime Raybaud Giuseppe Rosaroll Santorre di Santa Rosa Friedrich Thiersch Auguste Hilarion Touret German Legion [el] Serbs Olivier Voutier

Moldavia and Wallachia
(Danubian Principalities)

Alexander Ypsilantis Sacred Band Nikolaos Ypsilantis Alexandros Kantakouzinos Georgios Kantakouzinos Athanasios Agrafiotis Giorgakis Olympios Yiannis Pharmakis Dimitrie Macedonski Tudor Vladimirescu Konstantinos Xenokratis Anastasios Manakis Stamatios Kleanthis

Ottoman Empire, Algeria, and Egypt

Sultan Mahmud II Hurshid Pasha Nasuhzade Ali Pasha Ismael Gibraltar Omer Vrioni Kara Mehmet Mahmud Dramali Pasha Koca Hüsrev Mehmed Pasha Reşid Mehmed Pasha Yussuf Pasha Ibrahim Pasha Soliman Pasha al-Faransawi

Britain, France and Russia

George Canning Stratford Canning Edward Codrington Henri de Rigny Lodewijk van Heiden Alexander I of Russia Nicholas I of Russia

Financial aid

London Philhellenic Committee Ludwig I of Bavaria Jean-Gabriel Eynard Lazaros Kountouriotis Ioannis Papafis Georgios Stavros Ioannis Varvakis Rothschild & Co

Morea expedition
Military

Nicolas Joseph Maison Antoine Simon Durrieu Antoine Virgile Schneider Auguste Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély Camille Alphonse Trézel

Scientific

Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent Léon-Jean-Joseph Dubois Pierre Peytier Stamatis Voulgaris Guillaume-Abel Blouet Gabriel Bibron Prosper Baccuet Eugène Emmanuel Amaury Duval Pierre-Narcisse Guérin Charles Lenormant Edgar Quinet

Historians/Memoirists

Dimitrios Ainian Fotis Chrysanthopoulos Ioannis Filimon George Finlay Ambrosios Frantzis Konstantinos Metaxas Panoutsos Notaras Panagiotis Papatsonis Anastasios Polyzoidis Georgios Tertsetis Spyridon Trikoupis

Art

Eugène Delacroix Louis Dupré Peter von Hess Victor Hugo François Pouqueville Alexander Pushkin Karl Krazeisen Andreas Kalvos Dionysios Solomos Theodoros Vryzakis Hellas The Reception of Lord Byron at Missolonghi Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi Le siège de Corinthe The Massacre at Chios The Free Besieged Hymn to Liberty The Archipelago on Fire Loukis Laras The Apotheosis of Athanasios Diakos

Remembrance

25 March (Independence Day) Hymn to Liberty Eleftheria i thanatos Pedion tou Areos Propylaea (Munich) Garden of Heroes (Missolonghi) Royal Phalanx Evzones (Presidential Guard)

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