Nikolaos Skoufas

Nikolaos Skoufas was one of the founding fathers of Filiki Eteria, a brotherhood aiming at the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman Empire. He was born in 1779 in Koboti, Arta. The name Skoufas (Greek for cap) was a nickname because his previous job had been that of a cap maker in Arta.

In 1813 he moved to Odessa to take up commerce. There he met Athanasios Tsakalof and Emmanouil Xanthos. With these two he decided to found a brotherhood for the liberation of Greece.

Thus, the famous Filiki Eteria was founded in Odessa on the 14th of September 1814 and the three founders dedicated themselves to the preparations of the Revolution.

Xanthos went to Constantinople to prepare the grounds for the initiation of the Greek expats to the brotherhood, while Skoufas and Tsakalof went to Moscow where they perfected the statute of the Filiki Eteria and tried to initiate the first members. At the beginning they had to deal with disbelief and denial as most people thought this attempt doomed to fail. The adherence though of Georgios Sekeris, the descendant of a wealthy family, for a moment seemed to turn the tables.

Tsakalof on the other hand, disappointed by the slow rhythm of the initiation process of the new members, suggested Skoufas to give up on the whole thing.

Skoufas thought wise to transfer the nucleus of the brotherhood to Constantinople believing that the great number of expats who also served at high positions would favour the preparations for the Revolution. Unfortunately, his poor health did not allow him to go on with his mission, since he died in 1818 in Constantinople.

His name was given to one of the four districts of the Perfecture of Arta, to one of the main streets in Arta (the building which housed his first business still stands), but also to one of the roads in the center of Athens, in Kolonaki.