The Greek national hero
Alexandros Ypsilantis was a member of the aristocratic family of the Fanari
region "Ypsilantis". His father Constantine Ypsilantis was a
prince in the region of Vlachia, but was forced to abdicate his position in
the year 1805 by the Ottoman Turks. His family then fled to
Russia, where little Alexandros was enrolled in a military school.
Upon graduating from the military school Alexandros joined
the Russian army. In the Russian Army he was promoted to the rank of
officer. He served in the Napoleonic wars and was rewarded by the Tsar
who made him his adjutant.
Alexandros eagerly took on the role of leader of the
"Friendly Society" and asked a reprieve of service from the Tsar of Russia. Among other things Alexandros had lost his arm in the
Napoleonic wars and the Tsar agreed to the request.
Alexandros left from Petrograd and eventually arrived in Odessa. He planned to launch the uprising in the Pelopennese as he
believed that the chances of success were far greater than in northern
In the end Alexandros changed his mind as the Ottoman positions in
Greece in general were very strong, whereas in Moldovlachia they were
comparable week. He sent
his brother Dimitrios to carry out the uprising in Greece.
There were many reasons why Moldovlachia far from Greece was
the best choice for an uprising. The region of Moldovlachia had many Greeks from
the Fanari region of Constantinople. The princes who governed these
regions were also Greeks from the Fanari and most would be helpful. As a result of a
Russo-Turkish treaty no Turkish troops resided in the region, and none were
allowed to enter without the consent of Russia. Moldovlachia also bordered
with Russia, Alexandros believed that the Tsar would sent him aid upon
hearing of the uprising.
Alexandros and his brother George entered the capital Iasio
on the 22nd of February 1821 with 200 men. He rose the flag of the
uprising in Iasio and was cheered on enthusiastically by the Greeks who
lived there. Alexandros urged the Greeks to join him in
the struggle to liberate all Greek speaking territories. Over 500
students left their schooling to join Ypsilantis as did hundreds of other
Greeks which included governing princes of the region. All the
volunteers decided to form a "Holy Company" that would try to liberate Greece or die in the effort.