Giorgakis Olympios

Giorgakis Olympios

Giorgakis Olympios (Greek: Γιωργάκης Ολύμπιος; Romanian: "Iordache Olimpiotul"; 1772 - 1821) was a Greek "armatolos" and military commander during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. Noted for his activities with the Filiki Eteria in the Danubian Principalities, he is considered to be a leading figure of the Greek Revolution.


Early activities

He was born in the village of Livadi, near Larissa, on Mount Olympus, in Ottoman-ruled Greece. After joining the "Armatolikia" in the Olympus area around the age of 20, Olympios became a prominent member of the local society by protecting villages from the Ali Pasha's raids when the powerful Pasha started expanding his authority out of Epirus. In 1798, however, he was forced to abandon his birthplace due to Ali Pasha's hostility towards him, and fled to Serbia, where he collaborated for some time with Karađorđe Petrović during the First Serbian Uprising.

He became supporter of the ideas espoused by Rigas Feraios pertaining to a common Balkan revolution against Ottoman rule, and moved to Wallachia. There, with the help of Constantine Ypsilantis, he composed a military force of Greeks to fight alongside the Russian Empire in the Russo-Turkish War of 1806. After the Battle of Ostrova, he was named a "Polkovnik" in the Russian Army. Emperor Alexander I included him to the Russian military escort during the Congress of Vienna, where Olympios met with Alexander Ypsilantis.

Greek War of Independence

Olympios entered Filiki Eteria in 1817, taking the high rank of "Shepherd". He initiated many others in the Eteria, and established contacts with the Wallachian "Pandur" Tudor Vladimirescu, who led the parallel uprising of 1821.

At the beginning of the Greek Revolution, when the Eteria began its expedition in Moldavia and Wallachia, he was appointed leader of the Greek forces in Bucharest by Alexander Ypsilantis. When Vladimirescu distanced himself from the Fililiki Eteria, Olympios was responsible for his arrest on June 1 in Goleşti.

He took part in the Battle of Skuleni on June 29, 1821 where Ottoman forces chased him (along with Yiannis Pharmakis and a small force of 400 Greeks) to the Secu Monastery in Neamţ county where the Greeks made their last stand. Olympios died during the Ottoman raid of the monastery.


*Paroulakis, Peter H. "The Greeks: Their Struggle For Independence". Hellenic International Press, 1984. ISBN 0-9590894-1-1.
*Stratiki, Poti. "To Athanato 1821". Stratikis Bros, 1990. ISBN 960-7261-50-X.

External links

* [ Biography of Giorgakis Olympios]

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