Papaflessas or Gregorius Dikaeos


Papaflessas or Gregorius Dikaeos was born in Poliani of Arcadia in 1788. The 28th child of the Flsessas family, he studied in Dimitsana School and was ordained deacon. From 1816 to 1817 he was a monk in Velanidies, Kalamata and then in monastery of Rekita in Mystras. The monastic life did not suit his character and thus after a violent episode with a Turk, he made his way first to Zacynthos and from there to Constantinople, where he was initiated into "Philiki Etaeria" (a secret organization aiming the liberation of Greece), from Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos, one of the founders of Philiki Etaeria. Alexandros Ypsilantes, the leader of the organization appointed him as General and gave him the mandate to declare the revolution in Peloponnesse (Moria).

So in 1820, he came from Aivali of Mikra Asia to Argos of Peloponnese with his brother Nikitas Dikaeos, carrying ammunition. As coverage for his clandestine operations he carried letters of Patriarch Gregorius 5th, who was also a member of Philiki Etaeria. In 26th September of 1820, all dignitaries of Peloponnese (Moreas) (Andreas Lontos, Antreas Zaimis, Haralabis, Bishop of Patrai Germanos, Papadiamantopoulos, Roufos, etc), were gathered in Vostitsa (Aegion) to discuss about the revolution. Everyone was hesitant, because they knew that if they failed, the greek population whould suffer the wrath of Sultan. They all remembered the failure of the revolution of 1770 when Orloff brothers from Russia promised to help, but at the end they abandoned the revolutionaries and terrible massacres followed by Turkoalbanians. Papaflessas tried to convince them to start right away the war and even threatened them that he would start the revolution alone with the maniates, and alas to whom Turks whould find without arms ("Alimono se opoion vroun oi Tourkoi horis armata").

Papaflessas traveled to every village of Moreas (Peloponness) and talked about the revolution. He went to the monastery Aghios Ilias of Mani, near Kalamata. In 22th March 1821, Papaflessas, Kolokotronis, Mourtzinos, Ilas Mavromichales, Petros Mavromichalis (Leader of Mani), Nikitas Stamatelopoulos entered Kalamata, disarmed the garrison and bey Arnaoutoglou. The Greek Revolution had started.

Papaflessas, took part in almost all the battles fought in Peloponnesse. In 1825 following Egyptian Ibrahim's invasion of the Peloponnese, he fought with only 300 men against 6000 Turko-Egyptian soldiers in Maniaki near Kalamata, where he fell on May 20, 1825. His last message was sent to his brother Nikitas, from whom he had asked for reinforcements. "We will fight and we will fall like the 300 Spartans of Leonidas", those words were told to the old priest Papagiorgos who fought side by side with Papaflessas.

Bibliography Chrysanthopoulos Photios (Fotakos) - life of Gregorius Dikaeos