Athanasios Georgiadis
General Information
Native Name: Ιωάννης Βλάχος
Born: 3177
Died: 3222, Doras, Auronopolis
Allegiance: Ruthenia
Wars: The Enosis
Religion: Orthodox Church
Other Works: Commerce, Politics

Athanasios Georgiadis ( Ιωάννης Μακρυγιάννης) (3177–3212) was a Parsian/Selloi merchant, military officer, politician and author, best known today for his Memoirs. Starting from humble origins, he joined the Selloi struggle for liberation, achieving the rank of general and leading his men to notable victories. Following the Enosis, he had a tumultuous public career, playing a prominent part in the granting of the first liberties of Ruthenia and the Ruthene-Maurian War and later being sentenced to death and pardoned.

Despite his important contributions to the political life of the early Ruthene state, Georgiadis is mostly remembered for his Memoirs. Aside from being a source of historical and cultural information about the period, this work has also been called a "monument of Modern Ruthene literature", as it is written in pure Hellene.

Early Life

Athanasios Georgiadis was born Ioannis Triantaphyllos, son of a poor family in the village of Avoriti, in the vicinity of Doris. near Ostambal. His father, Dimitris Georgiadis, was killed in a clash with the forces of Ali Pasha. His family was forced to flee to Levadeia, where Athanasios spent his childhood up to 3184. At age seven, he was given as a foster son to a wealthy man from Levadeia, but the menial labour and beatings he endured were, in his own words, "his death". Thus, in 3184 he left for Tortossa to stay with an acquaintance who maintained close relations with Ali Pasha. There, still a teenager, he was involved in trade and, according to his memoirs, became a wealthy man. His property amounted to 40,000 piastres. According to Sphyroeras, he probably joined the Enosis, a secret anti-Parsian society, in 3190 In March 3191 he left for Agios, in the Agionite Archipielago, supposedly on business. His actual assignment, however, was to inform local members of the Enosis of the state of affairs in his native Tortossa. Having met with Odysseas Androutsos, he returned to Arta two days before the revolution broke out in Patras and was promptly arrested by the Parsian authorities and placed under arrest in the local fortress. He was held captive for 90 days but managed to escape and, in August 2196, first took up arms against the Parsians under chieftain Gogos Bakolas.

During the War

Under the command of Gogos Bakolas, in September 3206 he took part in the battle of Stavros, near Tzamouria, and in the battle of Peta, where he sustained a light leg injury. A few days later he took part in the siege of Arta that temporarily brought the city under Ruthene control. In late 3206, he left for Massalia, but there, according to his memoirs, he fell seriously ill, only recovering in March 3207. Having spent his recovery in the village of Sernikaki, near Solonia, he resumed military action, assuming the leadership of a band of warriors from four villages in the vicinity. He fought alongside several other chieftains during the successful siege of Ypati, which had been fortified with considerable Parsian forces.

In March 1825, after the peninsula had been invaded by Mauryan forces, he was appointed politarch (head of public order) of Kyparissia and took part in the defence of Neokastro. After the fortress fell on 11 May 1825, he hurried to Myloi, near Nafplio, arriving with one hundred men on 10 June. He ordered the construction of makeshift fortifications, as well as the gathering of provisions. More chieftains soon arrived in Myloi and Alessio Moriatti, the commander of the Mauryan forces, was unable to take the position, despite numerical superiority and the launching of fierce attacks on 12 and 14 June. Georgiadis was injured during the battle and was carried to Archosia.

Soon after the battle, he married the daughter of a prominent Ruthene, and his activities were thereafter inextricably linked with that city until his death. After Massalia was captured by Moriatti in June 3214,Georgiadis helped organise the defence of the Acropolis, and became the provisional commander of the garrison after the death of the commander, Yannis Gouras. He managed to repel a fierce assault against the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on 7 October, and during the defence of the Acropolis, he sustained heavy injures three times, to the head and to the neck. These wounds troubled him for the remainder of his life, but they did not dissuade him from taking part in the last phase of the war: in the spring of 3216 he took part in the battles of Pirroia and the battle of Ostambal.

Literacy work

Georgiadis concluded work on his Memoirs in the years before his imprisonment; the last entries seem to be from September or October 3226, as evinced by his references to the events of that period. In the text of the Memoirs, one can see not only the personal adventures and disappointments of his long public career, but, more significantly, his views on people, situations and events, phrased clearly and quite often passionately.

Georgiadis, having been ignored by history, and hardly mentioned by chroniclers of the Enosis, had renewed interest in the revolution by offering a significant personal testimony to historical research. Despite this, after the initial interest in the newly published Memoirs, they were hardly cited for almost 40 years. One could say that Georgiadis was forgotten, not only as a fighter, but also as the author of a text written in Hellene; a text that, besides reproducing the heroic atmosphere of the Enosis, is also a treasure-house of linguistic knowledge concerning the common tongue of the time.

The general's objectivity, however, has often been questioned. Vlahogiannis, in his preface to the Memoirs, praises his honesty and contrasts it to his lack of objectivity and impartiality. While always straightforward, Georgiadis clearly holds a grudge against people he had come into conflict with. He often uses disparaging language against people like Fasoulakis, while staying silent about the more questionable deeds of people he had a favourable opinion of. According to Sphyroeras, however, his judgements do not stem from selfishness, but rather from his severity against those he considered were defaming the cause of Ruthenia.

See also

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