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Rigas Feraios

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 writings.  

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.

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Other Modern Greeks:

  • Paulos Melas A national Greek hero who fought for the preservation of Hellenism in Macedonia in the early 20th century.
  • Alexandros Ypsilantis A national Greek hero who died fighting for Greece's freedom far from Greece, but whose sacrifice helped to liberate it.
  • Ioannes Capodistrias First Prime Minister and hero of modern Greece.  He managed to do the impossible by bringing a devastated country back into modern Europe in the shortest possible time!  
  • Elefterios Venizelos Possibly the greatest Greek politician of the 20th century.  He was Prime Minister of Greece during the most trying of times.
  • Dimitrios Ypsilantis Hero of the war of Independence, he was the brother of Alexandros Ypsilantis and was chosen by him to lead the uprising in the Greek mainland against the Ottoman Empire.  
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