Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hellenic History | The Fall of Constantinople - 400 years Oppression Part 2,

Three names are associated with the national rousement of ideas of independence. Righas Feraeos, Adamantios Korais and Kosmas Aitolos. Kosmas Aitolos was a monk and taught in 18th century to every village of Macedonia, Epirus and Thessaly. He said to people that schools must be built first and then all the others. He was betrayed by Jews and was strangled by the pasha of Veration in Northern Epirus, in 1779. Rigas Feraeos or Velestinlis was born in 1757 in the Velestino or Phere of Thessaly. After a quarrel with a turk, he ran away and went to Wallachia, where he became secretary of an Austian baron who brought him to Vienna in 1790. Vienna, as almost all the big cities of Europe, had a big community of Greeks who couldn't suffer the turkish oppresion. Righas publiced many works about sciences, education books but his best works were those who refered to the liberty and the human rights of all people who suffered under tyranical regimes. An Hynm, Thourios that was sang from all Greeks of that time and is still sang today is:

Shall we live in mountain passes, like warriors of old?-Os pote pallikaria tha zoume sta stena
Shall we live alone like lions, on the top of mountains?-monahoi san liontaria stis rahes, sta vouna?
na feugoume apo ton kosmon gia tin pikri sklavia, na hanoume adelfia, patrida kai goneis,
tous filous, ta paidia mas kai olous tous siggeneis? 
No! better an hour of freedom, than forty years as slaves
-Kallio mias oras eleutheri zoi para saranta hronia sklavia kai fylaki
Righas Feraeos
Righas' ecumenical vision was based aslo on the idea of the supremacy of the law:'let the law be our coutry's only guide.Rhigas proposed as a state's basic principles: Liberty, Equality, Security of life, Security of property, Freedom of speech and of religion. His proposals were very far-sighted. When the government harasses and disdains the rights of the people, then the people should take the arms and punish their tyrants. For his ideas Righas was arrested by dictatorial Austrian authorities, and was handed with seventeen other patriots, to turks. He was betrayed by a greek named Demetrios Oikonomou. (Greece along with the heroes had and has many traitors. Efialtis betrayed Leonidas, Greeks opened the Kerkoporta of Constantinople to the turkish besiegers, Nenekos fought with 2000 greeks on the side of sultan, against the revolutionaries etc.) Righas and his comrades after torture from turks were strangled, on 24 June 1798, in Belgrade.
Adamantios Korais was born in Smyrna, in 1748. In 1788 he reached Paris and fell immediately in love with the city. His passion was reading and foreign languages. He translated ancient greek authors and produced 30 volumes of those translations. His main preoccupation was with education. He encouraged rich greeks to multiply throught Greece schools and libraries. Education would ensure not only the achievement of independence but also the establishment of a proper constitution for the new state.
Oath of Philiki EteriaIn 14th September 1814 three Greeks in the port of Euxenus Pontus, Odessa, set up a secret society whose aim was the liberation of Greece (Romiosini). The names of the three founders were Nikolaos Skouphas, Athanasios Tsakalov and Emmanuel Xanthos while the society was given the name of Friendly Association Philiki Eteria. Their occupation was the commerce. Tsakalov had escaped from Ioannina, when Alis had asked his mother to send him to the palace. The first aim of the Philiki Eteria was to be secret because the spies and the traitors were in large numbers inside the empire. The founders therefore developed a number of codes. Kolokotronis was 118, Kapodistrias was the man of good deeds, Tsar the philanthropist etc. Two things were indispensable: money and members. The first to join was Anagnostopoulos and two rich brothers who lived in Moscow, George And Panayiotis Sekeris. The founders recruited merchants and rich expatriates abroad and many military leaders as Anagnostaras, Theodoros Kolokotronis, Petrobeis Mavromichalis, priests like Papaflessas intellectuals as Anthimos Gazis and only a woman and that was the shipownerLascarina Bubulina from Spetses. The obvious candidate to lead the Philiki Eteria, wasIoannis Kapodistrias. Kapodistrias was born in Kerkyra island or Corfu, in 1776. In 1808, he was invited to St Petersburg and in 1815 he was appointed by Tsar Alexandros as foreign minister. Kapodistrias was very well informed about the situation in Europe, where the Holy Alliance, opposed to any revolutionary movement and was sure that any greek attempt would fail with result the loss of lives of thousands of innocent people. The alternative candidate was Alexandros Ipsilantis, a gallant soldier who had lost an arm in Russian service, he was very rich and was an aide-de-camp of the Tsar. He accepted immediately:I would gladly make any sacrifice, even of my wealth or myself for my homeland (patrida).


A person that played a significant role in the course of the revolution was the notorious Ali Pasha of Ioannina. Ali was born in 1750 in Albania. Ali's family was a family of criminals and thieves. The background of his childhood was the struggle for power at any cost, and the ruthless elimination of opponents. He became guardian of passes derben aga in 1778, for the whole central Greece Rumeli. He established a network of armed bands and through illegal exactions and assassinations, he acquired a fortune. In the following years Ali led his Albanian warriors on campaigns of widespread pillaging and extortion. In 1784 he was appointed governor pashas of Delbino and in 1787 governor of Ioannina. From this point he expanded his domain to Rumeli, Albania and even to Peloponesse. He became the most powerfull local despot. His ambitions were even to create an independent state with Albanians and even Greeks as main elements of his state. This was a sparkle of hope for greek subjects of the empire to become independent from the power of the Porte Pili. Ali lived in a resplendently grand style which much impressed his visitors. He owned dozens of palaces, had thousands of women in his harems, a large network of spies and of course a powerful army. In this army he used many greeks as Georgios Karaiskaikis and Odysseas Androutsos.
Kiafa - Suli
Only one small mountainous area defied Ali's power. And this was the Heroic Sulli. In 16th century, christians from Epirus who couldn't tolerate turkish tyranny settled to mountains of Suli (east of Parga harbour), where they fought against the oppressor remaing free and independent. Suli lies over the river Acheron and lake Acherousia where in the greek mythology was the pass for underworld Hades. Suliots had as main occupation the stockbreeding and of course the war. Ali attacked Suli many times without success. But suliiots with their brave leaders Georgius Botsares, Lambros Tzavelas, Dimos Drakos had always victories. Finally cracks in the solidarity of the clans had begun to appear. Botsaris family came in quarrel with the Tzavellas family. So in December 1803, after years of blockade, Suliots starving and exhausted, fought their last battle. The monk Samuel blowed himself with many suliots in the stronghold of KughiSuliot women jumped with their children from the rock of Zalongo, in order to avoid capture by the Turks.
In 1820, Ali was a powerful man and Ioannina a rich and prosperous city. But his star began to go down, when Sultan decide to use force against him. This was the best time for greeks. The civil war between turks that followed, gave the chance to Romeioi of Peloponesse and Rumeli to start their insurrection. Sultan sent Ismael pasha to attack Ioannina. Greeks backed Ali, so that the war could be prolonged as much as possible. Especially Suliots who had previously escaped to Corfu, allied to Ali and with Markos Botsaris and Georgios Drakos won many victories around Ioannina. The sultan dismissed Ismael as commander and appointed Hurshit, pasha of Peloponese - Morea as commnder of the forces against Ali. It took Hurshit a year to bring Ali down, a year in which he was unable to spare any forces in the crucial area of Morea. Ali was murdered in the Monastery of Aghios Panteleimon, January 1822.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Jackie Onassis in Corfu costume

(1.Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis enters Saint Gerry Church on the Island of Corfu, Greece on January 3, 1970.
2. Jackie Onassis in her folk costume walking through Corfu. (Original photographer unknown)

None of the Greek woman's costumes have been worn, by so many international figures, as much as the Corfu dress. The style icon of the '70s Jackie O' (ana Jackie Kennedy) appreciated the unique beauty of this Ionian attire. Above two rare photos of her wearing a simplified version of the costume. 

(Browse our Ionian Collection here)

Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent

(Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent in her Greek traditional costume)

Born in Athens on December 13, 1906. Her father was Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark, the third son of George I of Greece. Her family was forced into exile when she was 11, after the overthrow of the monarchy in Greece.In 1932 tPrincess Marina and Prince George, Duke of Kent, met in London., two years later they announced their engagement. On November 29, 1934 they got married in Westminster Abbey, in London. The marriage followed a Greek-Orthodox ceremony at the private chapel of Buckingham Palace. This was the most recent occasion on which a foreign-born princess married into the British Royal Family.

For more "Amalia" style costumes visit our website subcategory