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Ioannis Vlachos
Native name Ιωάννης Βλάχος
  • Daskalogiannis
  • Δασκαλογιάννης
Died 17 June 1771(1771-06-17)
Place of birth Anopolis, Crete, Ottoman Empire
Place of death Heraklion, Crete, Ottoman Empire
Allegiance Greece Greece

Ioannis Vlachos (Greek: Ιωάννης Βλάχος), better known as Daskalogiannis (Greek: Δασκαλογιάννης) (? – June 17, 1771) was a wealthy shipbuilder and shipowner who led a Cretan revolt against Ottoman rule in the 18th century.[1][2][3]

Life and career[edit | edit source]

The gulf of Loutro with the islet of Loutro
(on the right).

Ioannis Vlachos was born in Anopolis village in Sfakia, a semi-autonomous region of Crete, in 1722 or 1730. His father, who was a wealthy shipowner, sent him to be educated abroad. Due to his education, his compatriots called him "Daskalos" (teacher), hence his nickname Daskalogiannis. He is referred to as a town clerk, in 1750, and chairman of the region of Sfakia in 1765, and as the owner of four, three-mast, merchant ships that sailed between the ports of the Mediterranean.[4] These would have sailed from Prosyalo and the gulf of Loutro.[3]

Daskalogiannis knew Emmanouil Benakis at Mani and it is likely that Benakis introduced him to Count Orlov who Catherine the Great had sent to the Peloponnese in 1769 to instigate a revolt there.[4] Many men from Sfakia also participated in the revolt which Orlov instigated in the Peloponnese.[4]

Leader of revolt[edit | edit source]

See Orlov Revolt, Ottoman Crete

In early 1770, he was contacted by Russian emissaries, who hoped to instigate a revolt amongst the Greek subjects of the Ottoman Empire. Daskalogiannis agreed to fund and organize a rebellion in Sfakia against the Turkish authorities when the Russian emissaries promised to support him. In the spring of 1770, Daskalogiannis made preparations for the revolt at Sfakia; he brought together men, rifles, and supplies and had defenses built at strategic locations.[4] However, the Russian fleet in the Aegean, under Count Orlov, did not sail for Crete, and the Cretan revolt was left to its own devices. The uprising began on 25 March 1770, with the flag raised at the church of Agios Georgios of Anopolis, and for a short time, parts of Crete had the attributes of an independent nation, including its own coins, minted in a cave near Hora Sfakion.

The coming winter was difficult because the Russian intervention, promised to Daskalogiannis, failed to materialize.[5] The uprising did not spread to the lowlands, and without outside support, it was put down brutally by the superior Turkish forces of the island, who easily defeated the 1,300 rebels. Sfakia was for the first time fully dominated by Turkish forces. Daskalogiannis surrendered with 70 men at the castle of Frangokastello near Hora Sfakion. On the orders of the Pasha of Candia/Chandax (Heraklion), he was tortured outside Heraklion's harbor fortress, skinned alive, and executed οn 17 June 1771.[6] He is said to have suffered the torture in silence. The Turks forced Daskalogiannis' brother to watch the torturous execution, which allegedly drove him insane.[6][7]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Daskalogiannis was immortalized in several folk tales and songs, the most prominent of which is the celebrated epic ballad by Barba-Pantzelios, a poor cheese-maker from Mouri - To tragoudi tou Daskalogianni of 1786:[4][8]

…Φτάνουν στο Φραγκοκάστελο και στον πασά ποσώνου,
κι εκείνος δούδει τ' όρντινο κι ευτύς τσοι ξαρματώνου.
Ούλους τσοι ξαρματώσασι και τσοι μπισταγκωνίζου
και τότες δα το νιώσασι πως δεν ξαναγυρίζου.
...They arrive at Frangokastello and surrender to the pasha,
and he gives the order to disarm them at once.
All of them were disarmed and ill at ease,
for now they sensed that they would never go home.

The international airport of Chania (CHQ/LGSA) bears Daskalogiannis' name.[9] A memorial statue can be seen in his hometown Anopolis. One of the regular ferries in the Crete southeast routes is named the Daskalogiannis.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. George Childs Kohn (Editor) Dictionary of Wars 650 pages ISBN 1-57958-204-4 ISBN 978-1579582043 Page 155
  2. Daskalogiannis - Skinned alive
  3. 3.0 3.1 Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 357
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 358
  5. Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 359
  6. 6.0 6.1 Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 360
  7. Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 361
  8. Roderick Beaton Folk Poetry of Modern Greece 248 pages Publisher: Cambridge University Press (May 20, 2004) ISBN 0-521-60420-6 ISBN 978-0521604208
  9. Ioannis Daskalogiannis International Airport

Sources[edit | edit source]

  • Detorakis, Theocharis (1988). "Η Τουρκοκρατία στην Κρήτη ("Turkish rule in Crete")". In Panagiotakis, Nikolaos M. (in Greek). Crete, History and Civilization. II. Vikelea Library, Association of Regional Associations of Regional Municipalities. pp. 333–436. 

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