Hero of the Greek War of Independence (1757 – 1831)
His name means “two mountains”. His real name was Yiannis Xykis. He was a poor shepherd from the village of the Two Mountains who, from a young age, became a distinguished harmatolos and partook actively in the Greek War of Independence. His greatest contribution in the war was in the Battle of Vasilika.
In 1820, one year before the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, Dyovouniotis was initiated into the Society of Friends a secret organization that aimed to secretly organize the Greeks and enforce the war of independence. Together with Panourgias, Skaltsas and Athanasios Diakos they formed the leaders of the war in Sterea Hellada. Dyovouniotis hoisted the Greek flag in Mendenitsa during the outbreak of the war and seized control of the castle there.
In 1821, Sterea Hellada and Peloponnesus rebelled simultaneously, forcing Hursit Pasha, who was battling against Ali Pasha in Ioannina, to send troops to Sterea Hellada in attempt to seize control of Tripolitsa in Peloponnesus. Qiose Pasha and Omer Vrioni descended to Sterea Hellada with an army of 8000 men and 800 horsemen where they broke the resistance of Athanasios Diakos in Alamana, Odysseus Androutsos in Chani of Gravia and Aggelis Govinas in Vrisakia. When they reached Lamia, Dyovouniotis was the first to be informed of it and gathered all of the generals of Sterea Hellada to a meeting where they discussed how to halt the Ottoman’s descent to Livadia. Dyovouniotis suggested that they set an ambush in a small path that led to the village of Vasilika. He and his men hid inside a forest and suddenly attacked the enemy from behind whilst fighting against the second Greek division led by Gouras. There were about 1600 Greeks in total plus Odysseus’ Androutsos’ reinforcements.
Dyovouniotis’ ingenious plan resulted in the decimation of the Ottoman army thus putting an end to the Ottoman campaign in Peloponnesus. The Battle of Vasilika was considered the most important victory of the Greeks in Sterea Hellada. This allowed the Greeks to reclaim Tripolista and established their dominance in Sterea Hellada. Dyovouniotis became a fearsome name to the Turks and he was given the honorary rank of strategos (general officer).
- Flerianou, Aikaterini. Mάχη στα Βασιλικά. Αργολική Αρχειακή Βιβλιοθήκη Ιστορίας και Πολιτισμού. Argolikivivliothiki.gr. Web. April 13, 2012. Retrieved on December 21, 2016.