The Greek national hero
Rigas Feraios was born in 1757 to rich parents in Belestinou Thessaly near
ancient Feres. This is why he had the name Feraios even though his
real name was Antonios Kiriazis. He was educated at the Ampelakion
School and later became a teacher in the village of Kissos.
Rigas was an outspoken, large, and handsome man who had a
kind manner to him. He loved Greece dearly, and to the depths of his
heart longed for freedom far more then other Greeks of his time.
Rigas loved freedom to such a high degree that he left his
work and became a guerilla fighting on Mount Olympus against the Ottoman
Turkish oppressors. He then went to the monastic community of
Mount Athos eventually leading his way to Constantinople.
After staying in Constantinople he set out to Bucharest
where the Governor was the Greek Nicolaos Maurogenis. He went to
school in Bucharest and became a very educated young man learning many
languages, and eventually becoming the Governors clerk.
At Bucharest he learned of the French Revolution and its
ideas. The ideas of the French Revolution gave him hope that a similar event could occur in the Ottoman
Empire that would eventually lead to the liberation of all the Christian speaking populations.
In order to achieve an uprising he met with many influential
leaders in the Greek community that could lead an uprising such as bishops,
and guerilla leaders. He even managed to win the support of
unsatisfied Turkish Governors (Pasades) an unbelievable task.
He began writing many poems and books filled with enthusiasm
to teach the Greeks of their glorious history. He tried to teach the
Greek people that it was ridiculous to believe that they could be enslaved
to a people who were in fact far less then they were. His writings
electrified the souls of the Greeks that heard and read his
He enthralled his audiences who heard him so much that they
awaited with eagerness for the time not only to fight for the liberation of
Greece but to die for it. Not so that their generation could necessarily be
free, but so that there further Generations would no longer go through the humiliation
of subjugation to the Ottoman Turks.
The Ottoman Turkish subjugation was quite cruel and involved
the satanic stealing of their strongest children between the ages of 5 to
15 to be used in the Ottoman Turkish armies against them
"Jannisarries - The cruelest and most effective army of the
Sultan.". To not be allowed to open their windows towards the
street lest they offend a Turk. To not be allowed to teach their
heritage or language. To not be allowed to ride horseback. To have their
churches taken away from them and turned into Mosques. To not be allowed
to have churches but in the most far out of reach places.. and so on.