General, Author, Statesman, Hero of the Greek War of Independence (1797-1864)
Yiannis Makriyannis was one of the leading figures during the Greek War of Independence in 1821. As of today, he remains a symbol of ethnic unity and Hellenism hailed for his courage and devotion to the country.
Born to a poor family, Makriyannis quickly joined the Philike Hetairia in 1820 and took place in numerous decisive battles against the Ottoman Empire, leading to the liberation of Greek land.
In 1821 he gathered money and led a series of uprisings in Patra. Later that year he took part in the Battle of Stavros and Peta where the Greek Army won against an army of 5000 Turks. He continued in the siege of Arta alongside Giorgos Karaiskakis, Markos Botsaris and Athanasios Photomaras, where they freed the city from the Turkish yoke. During the civil wars he would refuse to take sides and seek to unite the Greeks against the Turks. He was also one of the most influential people during the Battle of the Kelphts, dismantling Turkish forces.
Following many victorious battles , Makriyannis became Politarch of Athens and contributed to the political restructure of the city. He appointed justice and fought for the establishment of constitution in 1843. Appointed superintendent of Athens, Makriyannis organized the country’s socioeconomic structure. He divided and distributed crops of land and sought for the establishment of pension for the Freedom Fighters of 1821.
Makriyannis is also known for his offer in Hellenic literature, having chronicled the Greek War of Independence in his Memoirs. His work is regarded as a masterpiece of Hellenic literature because of its sophisticated writing and its rich historical and emotional content, being still taught in Greek schools.
As one of the most important fighters of the Greek War of Independence, Makriyannis remains a model of a national hero and visionary not just for Greece but for the world entire. British philosopher Philip Sherrard noted of Makriyannis that such symbols do not just remain national but become universal, because they have the power to excite and enrich the heart and the mind of people.
- Karamadoukis, Georgios. ”General Makriyannis”. Helleniki Agogi. 18.71. (2003): 23-35. Print.
- ”Makriyannis, Yannis”. Helios New Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Passas, I. Athens: 1946. Print.