Hero of the Greek War of Independence (1788 – 1825)
Androutsos was a chieftain of the Greek War of Independence. In terms of his military skills he is placed third, behind Theodoros Kolokotronis and Georgios Karaiskakis. Today he is celebrated as one of the national heroes of Greece as well as one of the protagonistic figures of the Greek War of Independence.
At the age of 4, Androutsos’ father, who had participated with Lambros Katsonis in a rebel against the Turks, was beheaded. Young Odysseus grew up in Ali Pasha’s court, where he was trained to become one of Ali Pasha’s personal bodyguards. At the age of 15, he had done so. He was appointed chief of Sterea Hellada by Ali Pasha and was in charge of eradicating all the klephts of Attica. His love for freedom, however, placed in on the first lines of the Greek War of Independence.
Androutsos was initiated into the Society of Friends in 1818 and in 1821, he led a campaign in Sterea Hellada to raise the Greeks, passing from Evrytania and Amphissa and gathering heroes by his side to fight together. In 1821, Odysseus Androutsos together with Panourgias and Dyovouniotis faced Omer Vrioni’s army of 8000 men in the Chani of Gravia, with an army of just 118 men. With just 2 casualties according to Spyridon Trikoupis, the Greeks defeated the Ottoman army and stopped Vrioni’s descent to Peloponnesus. Historian Paparrigopoulos wrote that on that day, Androutsos literally saved the War. The victorious Battle of Gravia is one of the most glorious battles during the Greek War of Independence; its decisive outcome was a result of Androutsos’ brilliant strategic thinking. Moreover, it enforced spiritually all the fellow Greek freedom fighters.
In 1822 he was appointed chieftain of Sterea Hellada by the Greeks and he began fortifying the Acropolis while in 1823 he halted the campaign of Yusuf Perkofchal Pasha to Viotia. He saved Messolongi from an impending siege, founded two schools in Athens and cleared the lands of Sterea Hellada from the forces of Kiose Mechmet. His fame was such that philhellenes from Europe came to Greece to meet and work with him, most notably Lord Byron and Edward Trelawney.
Odysseus passed to immortality in 1825 after being brutally tortured and assassinated by Greeks because of hatred toward him by the Greek political establishment. His premature death deprived Greece of one of its most charismatic leaders, flaming patriots and military geniuses of the Greek War of Independence.
- “Androutsos, Odysseas”. Helios New Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Passas, I. Athens, 1946. Print.
- Οδυσσέας Ανδρούτσος. Sansimera.gr. Web. Retrieved on October 30, 2016.