War of Independence, 1821


On 25 March 1821 Bishop Germanos of Patras hoisted the Greek flag at the monastery of Aghias Lavras in the Peloponnese, an act that marked the beginning of the War of Independence. Hellenes had decided to end the turkish tyranny or to die. Outnumbered 1 to 10 by enemy, they declared LIBERTY or DEATH.

Hellenes or Romioi would give an end to the dark years of occupation of their land that started in 1453 after the fall of Constantinople. Dark years,in which Greeks suffered so much and almost were exterminated. The greek population had diminished to one million, after thousands years of existence. During byzantine empire, greeks were estimated to 20 millions. Heavy taxation, kidnapping of young boys and girls, unjustice, terror were the main characteristics of ottoman occupation. The bigest part of state's revenue came from heavy taxation of christians. Education was forbidden, with exception in area of Constantinople, Smyrne and Ioannina. Orthodox Church kept the greeks from loosing their identity and their language. Monasteries had become hidden schools (Krifa sxoleia).

In Europe the Holy Alliance - England, Austria (Metternich), France, Russia - opposed any movement that could bring destabilization in the states. Any previous revolts against the tyrants ended in bloodshed. Chios, Messolonghi, Psara, Cassos, Cyprus, Crete, Kudonies (Aivalli), Peloponnese, Chalkidiki and numerous regions were burned to ashes, men killed and women with children were sold to slave-bazaars in Syria and Egypt. Many greeks fled to Europe. Greek communities flourished in Odissos, Venetia, Vienna, Aghia Petroupolis and other cities in Europe. Also in Greece those who could not stand ottoman tyranny, lived on the mountains, where they remained free. They fought all their life against tyrannts and were called Klephtes and Armatoloi. Mountainous regions of Suli in Epirus, Mani in Peloponnese, Sfakia in Crete never stopped to fight the barbarian invaders.


More

Other Links

Pictures in chronological order
Struggle - Analytically
Suli-Epirus
Mani-Peloponness

Greek Revolution
Ελληνική Επανάσταση 1821

Persons
Summary and Images

Historical Moments
Paul Vrellis Greek History Wax Museum