General Yannis Makriyannis
(Ιωάννης Μακρυγιάννης, also anglicized as Ioannis, Ioannes and Makriyiannis, Makrygiannis, Makrygiannēs, Macriyannis, etc.
) (1797–1864) was a Greek
merchant, military officer, politician and author, best known today for his Memoirs
. Starting from humble origins, he joined the Greek struggle for independence
, achieving the rank of general
and leading his men to notable victories. Following Greek independence, he had a tumultuous public career, playing a prominent part in the granting of the first Constitution
of the Kingdom of Greece
and later being sentenced to death and pardoned.
Despite his important contributions to the political life of the early Greek state
, general Makriyannis is mostly remembered for his Memoirs
. Aside from being a source of historical and cultural information about the period, this work has also been called a "monument of Modern Greek literature", as it is written in pure Demotic Greek
. Indeed, its literary quality led Nobel laureate Giorgos Seferis
to call Makriyannis one of the greatest masters of Modern Greek prose.
Yannis Makriyannis was born Ioannis Triantaphyllou, son of a poor family in the village of Avoriti, in the vicinity of Doris
. Makriyannis (Long John) was a nickname he acquired because of his height. His father, Dimitris Triantaphyllou, was killed in a clash with the forces of Ali Pasha
. His family was forced... Read More