Captain, Heroine of the Greek War of Independence (1771 – 1825)
Along with Manto Mavrogenous, Bouboulina was one of the leading female figures of the Greek War of Independence.
Born in a prison in Constantinople, she went on to marry twice; captain Stavrianos Pinotzis and later ship owner Demetrios Bouboulis, both of whom died fighting against Turkish and Algerian pirates, respectively. Having amassed a great fortune, Bouboulina sought to enter the Greek War of Independence and fight for her country.
Having aided the Russians in the war against the Turks, she fled to Constantinople where she managed to save her fortune. From there on she joined the Society of Friends (Philiki Hetaereia), becoming the only woman to do so, and allocated her entire fortune for the causes of the war. She provided funds for both naval and infantry forces necessary for the liberation of Greek lands and cities.
Her biggest contribution to the war was in the naval forces. Bouboulina built 3 ships, among them the first and largest Greek warship called ”Agamemnon”, named after the Homeric king Agamemnon who led the Greeks against the Trojans. During the first two years of the war she had already spent her entire fortune on building naval armies for the liberation of Nafplion and Tripolis. In 1821 she was the captain of the strongest naval army in Greece, leading many Greek islands, such as Spetses, Hydra and Psara, to an uprising against the Turkish yoke. Leading an army of 8 warships, she fought alongside Andreas Miaoulis in the Battle of Nauplia against the Ottoman Fleet which resulted in the successful siege of the gulf. She continued her fight in decisive battles in Monemvasia, Pylos and Argos.
Having fought alongside Theodoros Kolokotronis himself, Bouboulina stands as an admirable figure of the Greek War of Independence because of her courage and outstanding contribution to the victory of the war. What also distinguished Bouboulina was her code of honor for respecting even the enemy. It is said that during the siege of Tripolitsa in 1821, Bouboulina kept an old promise she had made to a Turkish sultan woman and saved the lives of women and children in a Turkish harem from slaughter.
- ”Bouboulina, Laskarina”. Helios New Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Passas, I. Athens. 1946. Print.