Statesman, Prime Minister of Greece, Hero of the Greek War of Independence (1765 – 1848)
Petros Mavromichalis was the last hegemon of Mani. He was one of the most influential figures during the Greek War of Independence. His services to the fatherland long before and after its independence are of considerable importance. Petros Mavromichalis was not only a great military personality but also a skilled statesman and above all a hero.
Following the death of his father in 1800, Petrobey Mavromichalis became leader of the Maniotes and in 1816 established himself as a powerful ruler of the subjugated lands of Mani. At that time, Petrobey had to face against corruption, civil conflicts within Mani and piracy. He had originally sought the help of Napoleon Bonaparte for the liberation of Greece but the results were negative after Napoleon declined.
In 1818 he was initiated into the Society of Friends. He dedicated most of his fortune to the secret society and avidly recruited many Maniotes in order to prepare the ground for the Greek War of Independence. Two days prior to the outbreak of the war, Petrobey Mavromichalis, together with Papaflessas, Theodore Kolokotronis and Niketaras liberated Kalamata. With the outbreak of the war on March 25th, 1821, Petrobey Mavromichalis assembled the Messenian Assembly of Elders and was elected first president and field marshal of the Greek forces. He addressed Europe for help in the war in favour of Greece. With the help of Adamantios Korais, the declaration was translated into English and was sent to the United States.
Two months later, Petrobey Mavromichalis occupied important political and military positions, most notably Prime Minister of Greece in 1823. He played a decisive role in numerous battles such as in the siege of Tripolitsa, the battle of the Lerna Mills together with his brother Constantine Mavromichalis, Demetrios Hypsilantis, John Makriyannis and the philhellenes and the fall of Argos. In addition, he fought in the 1st siege of Messolonghi where together with Zaimis and 500 men they managed to halt the Turkish and the Egyptian forces.
After the loss of his brother and his two sons, Petrobey gathered his remaining strength and organized the defences of Mani against the Turks. He did not participate in the civil war but instead he attempted to reconcile the Greeks. With the arrival of Ioannis Kapodistrias as first governor of Greece, Mavromichalis was appointed member of the Assembly of Elders and later member of the Senate during the reign of King Otto. He died in 1848 and he was lamented as one of the purest and most virtuous heroes of the Greek War of Independence, especially by King Otto, whom he wholeheartedly admired.
- “Mavromichalis, Petrobeis”. Helios New Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Passas, I. Athens, 1946. Print.
- Πετρόμπεης Μαυρομιχάλης (Μάνη 1765 – Αθήνα 1848). Mani.org.gr. Web. Retrieved on November 18, 2016.