About Petrobey Mavromichalis – Hero of Greek Independence
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Petrobey Mavromichalis, also known as Petros, is recognized as the leader in the 19th century of the Maniot people. This was a time when the Ottoman Empire ruled most of what is now modern Greece. Mavromichalis came from a family with a history of revolting against the Ottoman Empire. His father Pierros and grandfather Georgios are considered important leaders of the Orlov Revolt. This tradition continued as Petrobey became an important figure in the Greek War of Independence. Here’s more information about him:
In the beginning of this revolt, the Greek rebels were able to defeat the Ottoman forces in southern Morea, Laconia and eastern Messenia. The revolt was not able to effectively spread to the rest of Greece. Other areas remained in the hands of the Ottoman Empire. The rebels were able to gain control of the Mystras fortress. Here is where they created a local government.
The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire offered various concessions in 1814 when the Maniots were reorganized and had become a threat. They offered to name Pierrakos a Chieftain to create autonomy in the region. The Pierrakos family then became powerful and able to control the Peloponnese against raiders from Albania.
Greek War of Independence
In 1818, Petros negotiated a pact among major Greek families. On March 17, the war flag of Petros was raised in Areopolis. This was to signal the beginning of the Greek War of Independence. His troops went into the city of Kalamata on March 23 and took the city.
By February 1825, things didn’t look too good for the Greek rebels. Most of the peninsula was under the control of Egypt. After a year-long siege, the town of Missolonghi fell and in April of 1826, Athens then fell. The war of independence seemed to be doomed.
In 1827, Russia, France, and Britain decided to intervene in this situation. Each sent naval squadrons to Greece. An Ottoman-Egyptian fleet was going to attack the island of Hydra. The European fleets intercepted the Ottoman-Egyptian navy at Navarino.
This resulted in the destruction of the Ottoman-Egyptian fleet. This loss turned the tide of the war to the side of the Greek revolutionaries. It led to the 1828 withdrawal of the Egyptian army. Ottoman garrisons surrendered and central Greece was retaken by the revolutionaries.
Treaty of Adrianople
Russia then invaded the Ottoman Empire. It was forced to accept the independence of Greece after nine years of war. This was official after the signing of the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829. Under the London Protocol of 1830, Greece was recognized as an independent state. The final borders of the new Greek state were established at the London Conference in the Treaty of Constantinople. Prince Otto of Bavaria was Greece’s first king.
During this time, Petros was made vice-president of the Council of State. He would later become a senator. Petros is one of the few Greeks who have been awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer. This is the highest and oldest decoration a person can be awarded from the modern Greek state.
On January 17, 1848, Petros died in Athens. He was buried with highest Greek honors because of all that he had accomplished for the country.
Categorized in: Modern Greek History
This post was written by Greek Boston