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Women Of The Greek Revolution, 1821

25TH of March is a national holiday in Greece celebrating the Greek Revolution of 1821. On this day, the feeling of patriotism and resilience against any adversity burns the hearts of Greeks worldwide. It is important to pay tribute to men and women who fought for freedom in a time that their lives were their only commodity.

Laskarina Bouboulina is the most celebrated Greek heroine. She was raised in Hydra. She never knew her father and got married twice. She was also widowed twice and, as a result, she inherited a large fortune. She managed to prosper by shipping and commerce and spent all her wealth in the financing of the Greek revolution. She provided ships, arms and equipment to the Greek forces. Although being a woman, she was initiated in the Filiki Eteria, a revolutionary group in 1819. Her patriotism cost her, her son, her fortune and her life. After being left poor and humbled, she was killed in Spetses during a family feud.

Manto Mavrogenous was born in Trieste. She was the daughter of Nicholaos Mavrogenis, a member of the Filiki Eteria. She was not a stereotypical woman of her time. She was highly educated and spoke French, Italian and Turkish. She was also initiated in the Filiki Eteria. Manto spent all her fortune sponsoring the Greek cause. She even took part in some battles. When the revolution ended, she stayed in Nafplio. The Greek prime minister Ioannis Kapodistias honored her services to the Greek country. After his assassination, Manto was forced to return to Mykonos. where she died of typhoid fever.

When referring to the women of Greek revolution it is important to pay tribute to all the anonymous women who contributed to the struggle for freedom. The women of Souli, the “Souliotisses” often took part in battles with rocks and swords. In December 1803, the Souliotisses threw themselves from a cliff to protect their honor from Turks. This historic act of honor and rebellion is known as "the Dance of Zalogo".
The women of Messolonghi , the Messolongitisses contributed very much during the Messolongi siege. They transported materials, the cared for the injured and inspired the soldiers whilst facing their horrible fate.  After the historic exodus from the fort some survived but committed suicide to avoid being captured. Their remarkable courage was praised by Dionysios Solomos in his “Hymn to Liberty” where they are mentioned as “free sieged”, meaning “believing in freedom even under siege”.