Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreeceThe Most Handsome Revolutionary of the Greek War of Independence

The Most Handsome Revolutionary of the Greek War of Independence

A collage of Ilias Mavromichalis and the siege of Acropolis.
Ilias Mavromichalis died at the age of 26. Illustration of Ilias’ portrait and the painting of the siege of the Acropolis. Credits: George E. Koronaios, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY SA 4.0 and Georg Perlberg, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY SA 4.0.

The Greek War of Independence, a crucial moment in the history of modern Greece, was marked by the heroism of many, but one figure stood out not only for his bravery but also for his striking appearance: Ilias Mavromichalis.

Ilias Mavromichalis: The Beauty of Bravery

Ilias (Elias) Mavromichalis, born into the influential Mavromichalis family of Mani, was renowned for his Apollonian beauty and Doric character, among other great aspects of his character.

The legacy of his family was deeply connected with the struggle of the occupied Greek nation for its independence. Ilias, as the eldest son of Petrobeys Mavromichalis, was no exception to this rooted revolutionary nature of his wider family and community.

His great-grandfather, Georgakis Mavromichalis, and his grandfather, Pierros Mavromichalis, were among the leaders of the famous Orlov Revolt, setting a precedent for rebellion against the Ottoman Empire at a much earlier stage than the actual Greek War of Independence that began in 1821.

Ilias Mavromichalis
Portrait of Ilias Mavromichalis (detail) by Dionysios Tsokos. Credit: wikimedia commons / George E. Koronaios CC BY 4.0

The Heroic Stand at Styra

The commitment of this brave and handsome Greek to the cause of freedom was undeniably strong.

In January 1822, Ilias led a contingent of Maniots to Greece’s second-largest island Euboea (Evia) to support the local revolution that had begun on the island. Tragically, on January 22, 1822, he and his revolutionary comrades made their last stand at Styra.

Surrounded by enemy Ottoman forces, they fought fiercely until their ammunition was spent. They were killed in battle heroically. The death of Ilias at the young age of 26 was a significant loss to the revolution. His peril deprived the Greeks of a leader with remarkable diplomatic skills and a heroic heart, who definitely had a lot more to offer to the struggle of the Greeks for liberty.

The Mavromichalis Family’s Role in the War

The Mavromichalis family is among the most renowned protagonists of the Greek War of Independence. They played a fundamental role in the early successes of the revolution and offered invaluable services to the national cause.

The father of Ilias, Petrobeys, was a central figure in the liberation of Kalamata, the first major town to be freed from Ottoman control in the early stages of the War. The military efficiency of the entire Mavromichalis family was further demonstrated in the Battle of Valtetsi, where Ilias, alongside his uncle Kyriakoulis Mavromichalis, defended one of the fortified tower houses against the Ottomans.

Legacy and Remembrance of Ilias Mavromichalis

Despite his early death, the legacy of Ilias Mavromichalis lived on through the continued efforts of his entire family and the eventual success of the Greek War of Independence. His physical and esoteric beauty, along with his bravery became the stuff of legend.

The name and deeds of Ilias Mavromichalis continue to echo through the hills of the Peloponnese and the mainland regions of Greece. The contributions of the Mavromichalis family to the war were extraordinary, with members like Petrobeys and Kyriakoulis playing decisive roles not only in one but in various battles and political developments of the newly-born modern Greek state.

The Timeless Memory of a Greek Hero

Ilias Mavromichalis remains to this day an emblematic figure of the Greek War of Independence. His combination of physical beauty, military and martial skill, as well as patriotic spirit has left an indelible mark on Greek history.

As Greece celebrates the 203rd anniversary of its revolution against the Ottomans and its heroes, the story of Ilias Mavromichalis reminds us of the sacrifices that thousands of young and old Greeks made for the freedom of this proud nation.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts