Hero of the Greek War of Independence (1860 – 1825)
Christos Anagnostaras was one of the protagonists of the holy war of freedom of the Greek Nation of 1821. He was a member of the Society of Friends (Philiki Hetaereia), a freedom fighter, a harmatolos, a statesman and above all, a flaming patriot. He remained in history for his heroic sacrifice in the Battle of Sphacteria in 1825.
The name Anagnostaras he earned when, as a child he was helping his father in the church. His name means “reader” because he was a church reader. In 1785, he joined the Federation of the Peloponnesians, founded by Theodore Kolokotronis and Petmezas. Before the outbreak of the War of Independence, he worked for the Russians when, as Major, he was responsible for the military recruitment of the Peloponnesians and for the French until 1816. Shortly before the outbreak, Anagnostaras was initiated into the Society of Friends and in turn departed to Constantinople and other parts of Greece to successfully initiate other fellow freedom fighters.
On the 23rd of March 1821, Anagnostaras, together with Petrobey Mavromichalis and Theodore Kolokotronis, liberated Kalamata from the Ottomans. His main contribution to the war was in the Battle of Valtetsi, one of the more victorious battles during the war, together with Theodore Kolokotronis, Kyriakoulis Mavromichalis and Milopetrova, and in the Siege of Tripolitsa, later in the same year, on the side of Theodore Kolokotronis, Demetrios Plapoutas and Panos Kephalas.
Anagnostaras got involved with politics, assumed various positions and got into conflict with his compatriots during the Civil War. He washed out his political misdeeds in the Battle of Sphacteria on April 26, 1825 where he sacrificed himself in the name of freedom. Sphacteria was under the rule of Ibrahim and his Egyptian army. Anagnostaras, together with Anastasios Tsamados, Alexander Mavrokordatos, Count Santarosa and Andreas Miaoulis and his armada, alongside a small army battled against 3000 Turko-Egyptians and Ibrahim’s fleet in an effort to liberate the city. The Greeks and the philhellenes showed extraordinary valor but ultimately lost the battle. Anagnostaras, together with Anastasios Tsamados and Count Santarosa fell heroically in battle and passed to immortality, to the Pantheon of Heroes, the Elysian Fields, where all fallen heroes go.
- “Anagnostaras’. Helios New Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Passas, I. Athens, 1946. Print.
- Ο ελληνικός λαός, καλός και γενναίος που έζησε αιώνες δουλείας είναι δικός μας αδελφός». Ο ιταλός κόμης Σανταρόζα που πολέμησε με τους Έλληνες στη μάχη της Σφακτηρίας και σκοτώθηκε από τους άνδρες του Ιμπραήμ. Μηχανή του Χρόνου. Mixanitouxronou.gr. Web. November 20, 2015. Retrieved on March 11, 2017.