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Ioannis (Yannis) Makriyannis (October 29, 1797 - April 27, 1864)

Ιωάννης Μακρυγιάννης
Ioannis Triantafyllou, better known as Ioannis (Yannis) Makrygiannis (Krokyleio, Fokida, 1797 - Athens, April 27, 1864), was a Greek commander of the Greek Revolution of 1821, soldier, politician and writer.

He was born in 1797, in the settlement of Aboritis in Krokyleio, Fokida, and his family name was Triantafyllou, Dimitrios and Vasiliki, which he diligently hid in his young age at the suggestion of his mother, due to fear of further reprisals, because Dimitris' father he had been killed, under unclear circumstances, in a clash with the Turks when Makrygiannis was one year old. The reasons for his father's murder are unknown: perhaps they are connected to incidents in his family's kleptomaniac life. The killing of Triantaphyllos should probably be attributed to the consequences of his involvement in the looting activities of the thief bodies of Kaliakudas and their disintegration. At the age of four, after an invasion by the Turks, he was forced to leave Avoritis together with his mother Vasiliki and his siblings and settle in Livadeia. In 1811, his family sent him back to Phocis in the service of his relative Panagiotis Lidorikis, who was performing zaptiye duties (Turkish "zaptiye" = the gendarme) in Desfina. Later, it was sent to Panagiotis' brother, Thanasis Lidorikis, in Arta. There, from 1817, he began to deal with trade: Thanasis Lidorikis, his benefactor, had entrusted him with the management of his own affairs and Makrygiannis himself, relying on the network and influence of Lidorikis, developed his own commercial activity. By 1819 he had acquired considerable movable and immovable property (a house from an embezzled nobleman and a vineyard). In the Arta of the late 1810s it belonged to the financially well-off petty merchants and moneylenders.
Υπογραφή του Μακρυγιάννη 


The initiation into Philiki Etairia
In 1820, he was initiated into the Friendly Society, unknown by whom, since he himself does not name him in his Memoirs, and he had the status of cleric-steward. In September 1820, the voivode of Nafpaktos, Baba Pasha, arrived in Arta and arrested Thanasis Lidorikis and his confidant Makrygiannis, but the former, mobilizing his network of acquaintances in the Alipasad and Sultanate environment of Arta, managed to free himself and the former subordinate of. Makrygiannis left Arta on March 13, 1821 and with an intermediate station in Messolongi arrived in Patras, with the aim of making a commercial trip, but mainly to be informed of the whole situation in the area on behalf of the Friends of Arta. As Apostolos Vakalopoulos characteristically says about this mission of Makrygiannis, he functioned as the "first official Greek spy of the Revolution". In Patras he was noticed by the Turkish authorities and, raising suspicions, he finds temporary shelter in the Russian consulate and after a manhunt escapes in a felucca. Returning to Arta, however, he was arrested and imprisoned because he was "a person from the Alipasadic environment who had suspicious contacts and had just returned from an insurgent place.". He was finally released, with the help of Ismail Bey from Konitsa, an Albanian official and cousin of Ali Pasha.

His revolutionary action

Karaiskakis and Makrygiannis on the Acropolis of Athens. Oil painting by Theodoros Vryzakis
In August 1821, together with 18 men from Arta, in the capacity of "boulouxis" (head of a pack) and in cooperation with the armed corps of Gogos Bakolas, he took part in the Battle of the Cross at Tzoumerka, in the battle of the village of Peta ( 11 September 1821), where they defeated about 9,000 Turks of Hasan Bey, and where he was slightly wounded in the leg, and at the siege of Arta (November 1821) and its sack. He moved to the village of Sernikaki Salonon, where he was recuperating after an illness. He chose to stay in Eastern Central Greece, mainly because he joined the local networks of nobles and armed men who supported Odysseus Androutsos.

At the head of 10 men he took part in the capture of Ypati. He fought in the fall of Athens as a common soldier. In recognition of his services, he was offered the office of mayor of the liberated city. Thus, he came into direct contact with the Greeks who were suffering from various abuses by the guard of the Acropolis, Giannis Gouras. Makrygiannis leaves the Castle of Athens and goes to Salamis where he meets Nikitaras, who urges him to return to Roumeli. He goes straight to Velitsa where he meets Androutsos, who will try to partner with him to take the Acropolis castle from Goura.
Karaiskakis and Makrygiannis on the Acropolis of Athens. Oil painting by Theodoros Vryzakis

In 1823, collaborating with Nikitaras' corps, he participated in a series of military operations in Central Greece. He fought in the Greek civil wars on the side of Georgios Kountouriotis.

In 1825, Neokastro was defended by Ibrahim, until his fall (May 6, 1825). On June 13, 1825, together with Dimitrios Ypsilantis and a few hundred men, he fortified himself in the Mills of Argolis and successfully confronted Ibrahim's multiple men. The Egyptians, although thousands, did not manage to bend the defense of the few Greeks and retreated leaving behind many dead.

He also participated in the Siege of the Acropolis (1826-27). During the siege he was forced to go to Aegina, not only to heal from wounds but also to ask for help from the Government. He then collaborated with Karaiskakis, who was then trying to break the Ottoman cordon around the Acropolis, but failed.

His post-liberation action
Kapodistrian period
In April 1828, Makrygiannis, the fifth centurion, was appointed by the administration of Kapodistrias General Commander of the Executive force of the Peloponnese and Sparta. He settled with his family in Argos. He stayed there from 1829 to 1832, when due to the civil war after the assassination of Kapodistrias he moved to Nafplio. His appointment displeased the Peloponnesians because he was known as a "government" during the previous civil war and an enemy of Kolokotronis and the other Peloponnesian rebels. He requests financial assistance due to the dire financial situation he had fallen into, since his financial reserves had been reduced due to the wages he had paid to his army and due to the land purchases in Athens and Piraeus between 1828-1829. He also requests concessions of national lands in Attica against what the National Administrations owed him from the period of the Revolution. In 1829 he begins writing his Memoirs.

Makrygiannis, influenced by all the opposition rumors - that is to say that the Governor had come to terms with the prospect of limiting the new state to the Peloponnese - rumors which aimed at the Roumeliotian military to regain power in the liberated areas by disagreeing with the Governor, gradually broke with Kapodistrias. In May 1830 he was replaced by Nikitaras as the head of the executive force. He was offered police duties in the Aegean islands but refused, not wanting to usurp the work of the fighters there. He was eventually awarded the rank of centurion and appointed a member of the military court at Argos.

In August 1831, the activities of the secret anti-Kapodistrian organization Dynamis or Heracleus were revealed and all civil servants were called to publicly swear that they did not belong to any such organization: Makrygiannis refused to take the oath that the government wanted by counter-proposing his own type of oath, the which the Military Secretariat refused and it was announced to him that he was considered out of service. Among the anti-government plans of Makrigiannis was the occupation of Palamidi with the aim of forcing Kapodistrias to convene an Assembly. But the plan fell through because the opposition in Hydra did not give the necessary amount of money, as they did not agree with the general's plan. After the assassination of Kapodistrias, he went to Corinth with Kolettis, Kountouriotis, Zaimis, and was ordered to pass with his men to Perachora, where the constitutional proxies had settled with the new government, and then moved westward to Itea with a view to reinforcement of chieftain Stathis Katzikoyannis.

Period of Regency
With the arrival of Othon, Makrygiannis wishes to express his loyalty to the new ruler by even submitting memorandums for the restoration of the fighters. In fact, Othon will offer to baptize his fourth child - he was named Othon - showing him his royal favor. At the end of March 1833 he was appointed major in the first of the ten acrobolist battalions that were established. Given his success so far in police positions, he is asked to join one of the staff positions of the gendarmerie being established, but he refuses.

Konstantinos Bellios, who got to know Makrygiannis well in 1836, seven years earlier before he even turned against Othon, among other things, states:

"After leaving the hospital, we went to visit Makrygiannis, who is furious with the Government, because they signed the report that the Municipal Council had committed, in the absence of the king, because of the abuses committed by Armansberg and the ministers in the ministry cheers [ Bavarians], because of the heavy taxes he imposed on the nation and especially because of the stamp tax, which is not as heavy in any part of Europe as in Greece, and because of the removal of Pavaron from Greece which they are constantly devouring. It was said from the train that he was a good man and a patriot against the abuses and against those so-called patriots, those after Armansberg and other Pavars milking Greece. This man, who has five wounds in different parts of his body, won in different battles for the freedom and rebirth of Greece, they are angry and want to remove from Athens as a convict. The man was angry against the ambassadors of his country and against its enemies".

At the beginning of 1840 he participated in the movements for the liberation of Thessalom-Macedonia and Crete. In the following years he joins the conspiratorial movements of the dissidents. Accused of preparing a movement in Athens, he is placed under close surveillance by the authorities. In the municipal elections of May 1841, he was elected a municipal councilor with the party of Dimitrios Kallifronas and mayor Anargyros Petrakis.

The revolution of September 3, 1843 and the subsequent action
As the plenipotentiary of Athens, Makrygiannis participated in the debates that took place in the National Assembly in January 1844 regarding the rights of heterochtons: he was "one of the most vocal autochthonists", as he was the first to open the issue by submitting the committee's memorandum on the exclusion of heterochtons from public positions. This intervention will turn the debate from the determination of the qualifications of the Greek citizen, to the determination of the qualifications of those who claim to occupy public positions. In his Memoirs, however, he positions himself differently, as he is critical of the division that gave rise to the issue, which he attributed to a conspiracy of politicians and foreigners.
Weapons Ioannis Makrygiannis. National Historical Museum, Athens.

In the summer of 1844 he participates in the elections for the first Parliament after the Revolution of September 3, but he voted less with 1,010 votes and was not elected among the four deputies of his constituency. But he won 48% of the votes in Athens. At the end of the same year, he participates in the publication of a newspaper, Ethnokratia, and as a member of its publishing company takes over the treasury. In June 1845, he disclosed an unconstitutional secret society to the Minister of Military Kitso Tzavela, while being warned that an assassination attempt would be made against him, which was carried out by two unknown men on June 22. The opposition press accused Makrygiannis of an assassination attempt against him invented by him and of collusion with the opposition of Alexandros Mavrokordatos.
Weapons Ioannis Makrygiannis. National Historical Museum, Athens

Relationships with Otto's gaverment 
Around 1851, it was rumored that Makrygiannis was at the center of conspiracies against Othon and Amalia, with the consequence that, in 1852, the relevant accusation against him was openly formulated. In March 1853, he was tried in a military court on the charge of high treason and without serious evidence he was sentenced to death. The only witness was the statesman and lawyer Nikolaos Stefanidis, who testified that Makrygiannis confided in him that on March 25, 1853, he and his men would assassinate the royal couple outside the then metropolitan church of Agia Irini. His sentence was eventually commuted to life and then to ten years in prison, to be released on September 2, 1854 with the intervention of Dimitrios Kallergis, then Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as Minister of Military Affairs.

On 17 October 1862, the provisional government restored him to the rank of lieutenant general, and on 20 April 1864 he was promoted to lieutenant general.
Death
He died on April 27, 1864 in Athens, from excessive physical exhaustion, at the age of 67. The next day, the funeral took place in the metropolitan church of Agia Irini. The funeral was delivered by doctor Anastasios Goudas and the epitaph by Odysseas Ialemos, a democratic journalist from Lesbos. Achilles Paraschos recited a poem.

Marital status
Makrygiannis had married the noblewoman Katigo (Aikaterini) Skouze (1810-1877), daughter of Hatzis Georgantas Skouze, with whom he had a total of 12 children: 10 boys and 2 girls. Four of his boys died while he was alive.

He got engaged to her in June 1825 and married her on December 21 of the same year with Yannis Gouras as best man, while she was 16 years old.

His first child was born in 1826 and received the ancient Greek name of Leonidas. The second is the name of Makrigiannis' father, Dimitris. The third was baptized Giorgis (1844-1873), taking the name of Katigo's father, but also of his second brother Makrygiannis. The name of his fourth child was Othon (1833-1901). The remaining children were Nikolaos (1837-1860), Vasiliki (1839-1911), Thrasyvoulos (1842-1865), Kitsos (1848-1928) and Eleni (1850-1910).

Dimitris' son died at the age of 3.5 years, perhaps from some systemic disease (congenital immunodeficiency, diabetes mellitus, congenital hemoglobinopathy), because he often suffered from inflammations, such as tricusculosis (dothienosis), liger (hilaroid rash), inflammation of the cervix (lymphadenitis ;) and in the hip (osteomyelitis of the hip?)
Ioannis Makrygianni in a portrait of Spyridon Prosalentis

Testimonies and evidence of Makrigiannis
The testimonies and evidence that Makrygiannis left us are classified into four categories:

The Memoirs, the first History.
The Historical Documents, which include reports by Makrygiannis to the Administration and the newspapers of the time, letters, oaths, etc., but also evidence of his commercial and other activities in Arta, before the revolution.
The "frames of the war", and the description of the stone pavement of Makrygianni's court, which are described in the first History.
The Visions and Thamatas, the second History.
The frames of the war
Initially Makrygiannis, as he himself informs us in his Memoirs, had asked a Frankish painter to illustrate various military operations from the Greek Revolution. However, since Makrygiannis did not like them and did not know his language, he expelled him, replacing him with Panagiotis Zografos. The collaboration with him began in 1836 and lasted until 1839. A total of 25 paintings were created with themes from the liberation struggles. The images are "dictated", charged with the judgments and evaluations of Makrygiannis. At the beginning of 1839, at a banquet, he presented the images to the ambassadors of England, France and Russia, as well as to Philhellenes, military men and politicians. In the following days he offered a series of copies to Otho and the above ambassadors, with the intention of sending them to their rulers. The series given to the French and the Russian ambassador have not been found, while the one to Otho was probably found by John Gennadius in Venice and is today in the Gennadius Library. Finally a complete series is in the Royal Library of Windsor Castle and was the one given to the English ambassador. The sending of the icons meant expressing gratitude to the foreign Powers for their contribution but also pointing out in the most graphic way that the Greek people won their freedom with their blood and had rights to it. For the English ambassador, these paintings were characterized by simplicity, while for his French colleague they were more than bad, they were downright ridiculous. In fact, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the French ambassador to Greece to reject the offer. However, it is unknown whether they were returned to Makrygiannis or remained at the French embassy in Athens.

The state of physical and mental health of Makrigiannis
Due to the war adventures and other circumstances in which Makrygiannis participated, the latest research has dealt with the state of his physical and mental health and how this was decisive for his personality, his thinking and his action. He was wounded for the first time in September 1821 in the area of Peta (not in the battle of the same name). It was a gunshot wound on the anterior surface of the right tibia, near the level of the malleus. The projectile was probably left inside without being removed. The second time he was injured was on June 13, 1825 at the Mills of Argolis, in the middle of the forearm of his right hand. It slanted in from the outside and down and came out in and up, possibly dislodging a few pieces of the grandstand. However, as he was suffering, the doctors wanted to amputate him from shoulder height, but Makrygiannis reacted and in the end the operation was not done. Of course, the hand was not completely healed, but he had a little difficulty in his index finger. The most significant injury, which affected his mental health, occurred on October 7, 1826, during the siege of the Acropolis of Athens by the forces of Kioutachis. He received a wound to the side of the neck in a fight. Falling down he was trampled by his retreating comrades. He gets up and re-injures the left bregma and bleeds again in the occiput. Removal of the projectile from the cervix was not attempted nor was reduction of the fractured bones of the skull, since this would increase the possibility of an intracranial hematoma. The only illness that Makrygiannis mentions was an infection, perhaps of the respiratory tract, complicated by nosebleeds and arthritis of the knees. It is mainly the injuries that aggravate his future illnesses. In January 1832 he has severe pains in the abdomen or waist and probably bloody stools. In 1837 he suffered, according to the medical certificates of the royal Bavarian physician Linermayer, from a large abscess in the area of the wound on the right forearm and from persistent febrile gastroenteritis. Over the years the situation worsens. He reports episodes of dizziness and an attack of loss of consciousness. In 1849, he suffered a case of enterocele in the right groin, which Makrygiannis attributes to his stomach being stepped on by his soldiers on the Acropolis. He was definitely suffering from hemorrhoids which he treated with leeches.

The first time Makrygianni's mental health was raised was with a letter of minister Spiromiliou to the investigator, on April 1, 1852. During Makrygiannis' trial, doctors were called to testify as to whether Makrygiannis' brakes were damaged. This is how the trainee doctor Pericles Soutsos testified, that the man is not in a state of mania, but in a state of monomania originating from religious causes, the family doctor Alexandros Venizelos, who emphasized that the order of his speech was sometimes confused, Errikos Traiber, who was cautious, stressing that it had to be monitored systematically, which was also repeated by Otho's arch-physician, Bernardos Reser. Only Nikolaos Kostis was reserved, considering that Makrygianni's behavior does not show anything extraordinary, since this is the usual style of his oral speech. His wife's testimony is important, which coincides with what her husband recorded in Visions and Visions and what other witnesses testified. Psychiatrist Nikos Sideris attributes Makrigiannis' behavior to temporal lobe epilepsy. For Athanasios Basdras, "the personality of Makrigiannis changed and acquired some characteristics organically". In other words, head injuries are causally linked to psychopathology. He suffered from psychopathological symptoms which had an exacerbation from the middle of 1844 to the middle of 1846, symptoms which could belong "to the clinical picture of focal epilepsy, but without this being documented" On March 9, 1852 he presented a picture of delirium (lat. . delirium) of unknown duration.
The statue of Makrigiannis in Dionysos Areopagitou in Athens

Evaluation of the personality and actions of Makrigiannis
A contradictory figure, he broke with his competitors for purely economic reasons for the distribution of plots of land in Athenian land. He was characterized as a strongly money-loving personality, as it seems that he was related to the intra-family spending of the loans contracted by the Greek governments. He also declared, during the 1st National Assembly of the Greeks (1843-1844): "If we are to remain fasting, let freedom go to the devil"