Hero of the Greek War of Independence (1759 – 1834)
The family Panourgias had many noteworthy members who fought in the Greek War of Independence. The most notable one was Demetrius Xeros or simply Panourgias. At a young age he was involved in a conflict with the Turks due to an accident and was sentenced to death. Luckily he was rescued by a Turkish authority who hired him in his service. After his master’s death, Panourgias became a klepht and worked together with Odysseus Androutsos and Lambros Katsonis.
In 1821 just before the start of the Greek War of Independence, Panourgias was among the first members initiated into the Philiki Hetaereia (Society of Friends). His first actions were the liberation of Amfissa, together with Isaiah of Salona. His next move was to stop Omer Vrioni’s procession to Southern Greece in Thermopylae. There, he fought together with Athanasios Diakos and Dyovuniotis in a battle reminiscent to that of Leonidas and his allies. Panourgias later participated in more battles, namely the battle of Alamana, the battle of Gorgopotamos, the battle of Gravia and the battle of Chalcomata.
Having reached an old age, Panourgias retired and was replaced by his son. However, when he found out that Dramalis’ army of 30.000 men was marching toward Peloponnesus, he picked up his weapons and got out of retirement. Together with his team he destroyed all the food supplies so that Dramalis’ forces were weakened. This ultimately led to their destructive defeat in the Battle of Dervenakia.
Panourgias was distinguished among his fellow freedom fighters for his intuition and bravery. After the war, Panourgias retired and got involved in politics next to Ioannis Kapodistrias. He enjoyed his free nation for which he had struggled years and lived enough to see his wish come true.
- “Panourgias”. Helios New Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Passas, I. Athens, 1946. Print.