He wrote many poems but his most electrifying was the
Thourio which said that it was better to have one hour as a free man then forty
years as a slave. For how much longer he asked the Greek people would they have to live in slavery to
have to leave from their houses and go to the mountains so that they may
experience moments of freedom. Whereas their towns were occupied by
the Ottoman Turks and the Greeks were routinely subjugated to one humiliation after
another in them. Rigas would sing this poem every chance he got to the Greek people
who would cry when they would hear it.
In order to eventually speak to Napoleon and ask him for his
support in the Greek uprising he went to Vienna. In Vienna he talked
with the large Greek community and told them of his plans. He created
a map of Greece that involved many territories including Constantinople of
"Great Greece" that included all Greek speaking territories.
He then sent this map to anywhere there were Greek communities.
Rigas decided to meet Napoleon and went to Tergesti from
there he was to go to Venice where Napolean was. At Tergesti he was
arrested by the Austrian police for attempting to cause a
The Austrians were friends of the Ottoman Turks and feared the
French Revolution would eventually influence a same revolution in
Austria. Therefore they took him and handed him over to the Ottoman Turkish
Governor of Belgrade, who threw him in jail and began to inflict barbaric
tortures on him.
The Governor of Belgrade decided to send him to
Constantinople where he would have to face the Sultan. However, he
learned that their was a Ottoman Turkish Governor by the name of Pasvanoglou that
admired Riga and sympathiszed with him. On the road to Constantinople
the Governor of Belgarade's soldiers would have to go through Pansvanoglous
territory, and it became known to him that Pansvanoglou had made plans to
free Rigas. He then decided that Rigas was to dangerous to the Ottoman
Empire alive and strangled him on the 13th of June 1798 in the middle of
the night, and then proceeded to throw his body into the Danube river.
Rigas Feraios is considered the first martyr and hero of the
Greek uprising, for this reason the university of Athens has erected a
statue of him at its' entrance.