Georgios Karaiskakis

Georgios Karaiskakis was a main figure of the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire. He was born in 1782 in Skoulikaria, Arta. His mother, after the death of her first husband, retired to a convent and that is how he got his nickname “the son of the nun”.

His childhood years were difficult because he had to make it on his own without the help of his parents. As a result he quarreled all the time and he was foul-mouthed and blasphemous. Ali Pasha imprisoned Karaiskakis due to his deeds in the area of Epirus. Nevertheless during his time in prison he got his preliminary education.

In 1819 he joined the Filiki Eteria and in 1820 he tried to start a revolution in the area of Vonitsa, without much success though. In December 1821 he became a high commander in the region of Agrafa, but a short while after he was accused of having secret deals with the Ottomans. He was found guilty of highest treason and he was deprived of his offices.

In 1825 he attacked Kütahi Pasha who was trying to siege Mesolonghi. After the fall of Mesolonghi he becomes chief commander of continental Greece and sets his army camp at Elefsina. In April 1827 he attempts the liberation of Athens from Kütahi Pasha. He got help from the armies in the Peloponnese and from philhellenes. During the attack he got shot in the back and died the next day.

Before he died he managed to speak out his will, leaving his weapons to his fellow fighters, and his most valuable assets-his daughters, in the care of the state. His last words were “I am dying now but you stay together to keep the country alive”. He was buried with honours in Salamina where, even today, in the Holy Church of Saint George there is a mural of this brave fighter among the saints.