Thursday, March 25, 2021, is the anniversary of the beginning of the fight for the freedom of Greece from the oppression of the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey). The clergy of the Greek Orthodox Church encouraged the faithful to engage in the struggle to attain their freedom and restore self-determination of their homeland from the subservience of the Ottoman Turks.
The Ottoman Empire, for over two centuries, had periodically focused on the eventual absorption and subjugation of the Byzantine (Greek) Empire. The fall of Constantinople (the imperial Greek capital) through a siege that lasted from April 6, 1453 until May 29, 1453, rewarded the Ottomans as the Middle and Near Eastern superior power, economically, militarily and naval.
The political dominance of the Turkish government provided a grave and serious threat to the Greek Orthodox Church. The religious and spiritual head of all Orthodox believers , the patriarch (pope) of Orthodoxy resided in Constantinople and his official title is: Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Archbishop of Constantinople. This situation fostered the unsubstantiated belief and rumors in the Western churches (Roman Catholic, Anglican and protestant) that the Eastern churches (Bulgarian, Greek, Roumanian, Russian, Serbian and Syrian) were under the manipulation of the Turkish occupiers.
On this date, March 25, in 1821, the Greeks rose up against the oppression of Ottoman Turkey in a protracted civil war that ultimately involved France, the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom joining with the Greeks in their quest for independence. March 25 is also the date of the feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos (Virgin Many, Mother of God) in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The organizers of the uprising selected this feast day to initiate the insurrection. Bishop Germanus hoisted the flag of revolt over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Pelopannese with the cry, “Freedom or Death” which was adopted as the motto of the for Greek liberation.
The government of the newly liberated Haiti was the very first country in the world to recognize the revolution – and therefore, Greek independence. This diplomatic recognition happened is 1821, barely 6 months after the struggle began and long before the war was actually over.
The Ottoman Turks were supported during the Greek rebellion by the North African Turkish dependent states of Algeria, Egypt, Tripolitania and Tunis. These auxiliary troops were frequently defeated by the Greek locals who were often armed with only their inferior personal weapons, primarily rifles.
After seven years of fighting, the Ottoman Turks grew weary of the Greek uprising. At an international conference held in London, a document called the London Protocol was signed by representatives from Greece, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the Ottoman Empire that recognized the independent sovereign Kingdom of Greece in 1830. The rebellion was over. In 1832, the Treaty of Constantinople was enforced between the Greeks and the Turks which defined the borders of Greece and established Prince Otto of Bavaria as the first King of Greece.
The .gif below is the current flag of Greece shown billowing in the breeze. The cross of St. George is in the upper left corner. The Greek Orthodox Church is the state religion of Greece.
The modern Greek flag was adopted during the 20th Century as the current state matured. Based on the current design, it is now universally accepted and recognized everywhere. During the last decade of the 20th Century, there were some grumblings that the two colors of the flag represented the “haves” and the “have nots” although there was never any agreement over what those two categories entailed.
Above is the image of a map of modern Greece, in the same design of the current Greek flag. Greece is located in south-eastern Europe at the bottom of the Balkan peninsula. The capital city is Athens.
Both of my parents and my oldest brother were born in Greece. They emigrated to this country just before the birth of my second oldest brother. Neither of my parents nor my oldest brother were ever naturalized here (became citizens). After our births, my father had all of our births enrolled at the Greek consulate, which made the remainder of my brothers and myself Greek subjects (we have dual citizenship).
Avoiding any implications of inaccuracy, before closing todays post, I want to remind everyone that the ancient Greeks most definitely did not engage in war while bare. Men were aware that any type of action involving swords and other forms of weapons could inflict major, if not debilitating, damage to themselves. Even the simplest girding of protection was valued above nudity in this case.
Wishing everyone the happiest of Patriot Day!
Roger Poladopoulos/Renude Pride
Author’s Note: The next posting entry planned for here is for Wednesday, March 31, 2021, and the proposed topic is : “Bottoms-Up! March, 2021”
The unusually long delay is due to an educational conference.