Portrait of Fabvier, created by the German Philhellene Karl Krazeisen, SHP Collection

Colonel Charles – Nicolas Fabvier remains undoubtedly the most important of the French Philhellenes who took part in the Greek Revolution.

He was born in 1782 in the city of Pont-à-Mousson, France. He came from a family of lawyers of noble descent and had obtained the title of Baron. His father was Jean-Charles Fabvier and his mother Anne-Christine Richard. He graduated from the Paris Polytechnic School in 1804 as an Artillery officer and participated in the Napoleonic wars. In 1806-1807 he fought in Dalmatia with General Marmont. He was then sent to Constantinople and in 1808 to Persia to organize the Persian army. In 1811 he joined the army of Napoleon and fought along with Polish units and the officer Poniatovski. During this period, he was wounded.

He returned to France the same year, re-joined the French army with the rank of lieutenant, and served as an aide to General Marmont, with whom he participated in the Spanish campaign. In 1812 he fought with the Grand Army of Napoleon in Russia, where he was again injured. Then, he then took part in the 1813 campaign, again on Marmont’s side, where he was distinguished for his bravery and promoted to the rank of Colonel at the age of just 31. In 1814, Napoleon honored him with the medal of the commander of the Legion of Honor. It is worth noting that he was the youngest person to receive this medal. At the same time, Napoleon commissioned him to sign the surrender of the city of Paris to his opponents of the Holy Alliance.

Since then, he remained in France. From 1817 to 1823, he gradually and actively participated in conspiracies against the Bourbon regime for which he was punished. In 1818 he was discharged, like most Napoleonic army officers. In 1820 he participated in another unsuccessful insurgency against the Bourbons, which led to his conviction. The same was repeated in 1822. This year he entered in contact with the secret organization of the Carbonari, which also comprised members who were prominent Greeks residing in Italy. He subsequently traveled to Spain and took part in the revolution against the monarchical regime. Chased by French police, he found refuge in England, and from there he traveled to Greece.

Lithography with a portrait of Fabvier, SHP Collection

Fabvier first came to Greece in late 1823 under the pseudonym “Borel”. His biographer, Debidour, states that from that time on, Fabvier began to learn the modern Greek language. He had already been taught ancient Greek, while at school during his childhood. Fabvier landed in Navarino with the aim to examine the conditions and to attempt to establish “an agricultural and industrial colony” for his exiled comrades. That is, the Bonapartists French and Italians who had initially fled to Spain and England.

In Greece he cooperated with the Greek irregular forces, and even participated in the battle to the capture the fortress of Koroni, which failed. He then traveled across the country, secretly, to finally reach Nafplion in 1825.

The Greek Government approved his plan to organize a colony, and granted him an area of ​​3,000 to 4,000 hectares (30,000 – 40,000 acres) to build it. In fact, a price was agreed and it was stipulated that the first installment should be paid on 1 January 1826. At the same time, Fabvier undertook to prepare a program to introduce Greeks to the modern techniques of agriculture and industry. The aim was to enable Greece to produce products that it had to import from abroad until then. In addition, Fabvier undertook to provide integrated military assistance, to contribute to the construction of arsenals and fortifications, to provide military tactics training and establish a military academy.

The criticality of the situation, the constant conflicts in Greece, and the subsequent arrival of Turkish-Egyptian troops, did not allow the first plan to be implemented. However, Fabvier proceeded with the organization of the army. In this context, Fabvier traveled again to Europe to meet with the Philhellenic Committees, raise money from the French supporters of the Greek Revolution, recruit volunteers, and arrange the details of their transfer to Greece. During this time, the French secret police was keeping a close eye on him. Thanks to Fabvier’s exhortations, an important number of militaries of the French Revolution, mainly Bonapartists, arrived in Greece in the years 1824 and 1825. These Philhellenes were distinguished from those who came to Greece before, by the fact that almost all of them were army officers of a certain age, with a great deal of military experience in the theaters of battle and not romantic students.

In 1825 Fabvier returned to England for some time to complete his round of contacts, and then settled permanently in Greece at the time when Ibrahim had already landed to the Peloponnese. The Greek government saw in Fabvier the person who was fit and experienced to organise a Tactical Army equivalent to that of Ibrahim. Under these circumstances, on 30 July 1825, Fabvier took in Nafplion command of the regular army (from Colonel Panagiotis Rhodios) and the responsibility to train it. It is recalled here that before Rhodios, another great French Philhellene, Joseph Baleste, was in command.

Then, and thanks to the recruitment of a large number of volunteers from Greece, but also the arrival of several young Greeks and Philhellenes from Europe, two battalions were formed. Each one of them consisted of four companies. This Regular Corps also included a small cavalry unit and an artillery unit. A small music band was also founded. At the same time, in September 1825, an arsenal began to operate in Nafplion. It was tasked with repairing old rifles and cannons, but also with the manufacture of weapons and mortars for the use of the artillery unit. In addition, uniforms and weapons were ordered from abroad.

1828, bronze medal by artist David d’Anger, head of Fabvier, SHP Collection

Handwritten letter of Fabvier, attesting the work and contribution of the great Finnish philhellene August Maximilian Myhrberg (1797-1867), SHP Collection. Fabvier refers to him as a brave, selfless man who served in the Cavalry of the Regular Corps with the rank of Captain.

On 5 October 1825, Fabvier and his Regular Corps, with the exception of a battalion which remained to guard Nafplion, settled in Athens. Upon his arrival, Fabvier issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of the city in which he emphasized the value of the regular army and urged them to join it. Soon, the force of the army reached 4,000, and Fabvier increased the strength of the existing battalions and formed new ones. Thanks to the management of Fabvier, the Regular Corps was trained systematically by philhellenes officers, following the French standard of military training and succeeded to become battleworthy in a very short time. The officers were promoted following a recommendation by Fabvier, either following an order of seniority or by choice for those who were distinguished in their service. The hierarchy of ranks was the French one. Fabvier was in charge of the whole Corps and according to Christos Vyzantios, he was taking care of everything.

Lithography with Fabvier and reference to his fight for the Greeks, SHP Collection

In September 1825, Fabvier, with the Regular Army, took part in the siege of Tripolitsa (which was occupied by Ibrahim). In late October, the Regular Army took part in a campaign in Spetses. The following year, financial resources ran out, and the Regular Corps faced subsistence problems. During this period the Corps participated in a campaign in Karystos, which ultimately failed. The lack of resources, losses during military operations, illnesses and desertions, led to a reduction of the forces, which led Fabvier to reorganise the army on 20 July 1826. Accordingly, the Corps took part in military operations in the Attica region under the command of Karaiskakis. Α letter sent by Fabvier, actually in Greek, to the latter on 12 October 1826 is indicative of this cooperation.

In the battle at Chaidari, the Regular Corps fought bravely. After this, the Corps moved to Methana, where Fabvier organised permanent installations for the accommodation and training of his soldiers, which were bearded the name “Tactical City” (Taktikoupolis).

The Fort of Taktikoupolis, was built by Fabvier in 1826 on the hill of the Strait of Methana, on the narrow strip of land that connects Methana with the Peloponnese. The Fort was built on the ruins of an ancient fortification of the 5th century BC founded by the Athenian General Nikias.

The main, and most heroic, act of the Regular Corps took place in December 1826, when a unit reinforced the Acropolis guard which was threatened and besieged by Reshid Pasha. Colonel Fabvier, in charge of 650 men, managed in the night of 13 December, to break the lines of the Turkish blockade and reinforce the Acropolis guard with men and munitions. During this operation, his life was in danger as he was infected with typhus. This bold act extended for four months the defense of the Acropolis, and this was of great value for the successful outcome of the Greek Revolution, as the resistance of the Acropolis facilitated the developments in the diplomatic field which led to the naval battle of Navarino, a battle of great importance in the history of the Greek nation.

Newspaper ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG No. 70, 11 March 1827, SHP Collection. “The Acropolis is besieged by Reshid Pasha. Fabvier defends it. De Rigny sends an English warship to Aegina to pick up Fabvier, if necessary.”

Newspaper ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG with BEILAGE, No 71, 12 March 1827. “Siege of the Acropolis by the Turks. Its defender, Fabvier is in a dire situation. He has lost many Philhellenes defenders and the head of the battalion, Robert. Bourbachi assembles an army to help him.”

Despite the efforts of the Government, the situation of the Regular Corps in 1827 did not improve at all. Its force was steadily diminishing, due to a lack of resources and means, mainly due to the unstable political climate in Greece. In order to avoid a complete dissolution of the army, Fabvier accepted a proposal by the representatives of Chios (Proestoi) to organize a campaign for the liberation of the island. When Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias arrived, the Regular Corps was fighting in Chios. Unfortunately, this campaign failed and the Regular Corps returned to Methana. The reasons for this failure are many, as in the case of Karystos. Most notably, these were the poor cooperation between the Regular Corps and the irregular fighters, and the lack of coordination. Also, in the case of Chios, the supply was cut off (Miaoulis was busy fighting piracy and was unable to assist them by sea). At the same time, due to its geographical location, it was difficult to integrate Chios into the claims of the Greeks for the borders of the future Greek state. Fabvier was accused of undertaking an unnecessary, and even illegal, military operation, and was led to trial.

This failure was the first reason which put to test the relationship between Fabvier and the new Governor, although at first it seemed quite friendly. Governor Kapodistrias had different views on the character of the army, and it also appeared that he considered Fabvier’s liberal beliefs to be disturbing. This situation annoyed Fabvier, who resigned on 22 May 1828. This disagreement intensified when Fabvier later returned to Greece with Morea’s French expeditionary Corps, and asked for the Greek Regular Army to be reassigned to him. Kapodistrias rejected his proposals and Fabvier, disappointed, finally left Greecefor France in early 1829, taking with him his Greek servant, a corporal named Thiramenis.

A particularly important letter addressed by the great French nobleman, officer and politician Marquis Marie-Joseph de LAFAYETTE (1757-1834), hero of the American Revolution, liberal and philhellene.
The letter is addressed to Madam Moliere [wife of an officer of Fabvier’s staff] from Paris on 27 May 1828. It refers to the failure of the military campaign in Chios.

In France, in 1830, Fabvier participated in the Julian Revolution and then became commander of the Guard of the city of Paris. In 1831, he married the Spanish Maria de las Nieves-Catherine Martinez de Harvas, with whom he had a son, Louis-Eugène, that same year. In 1839 he became Inspector General of the French Army, in 1845 a member of the French National Assembly, and in 1849 a Parliamentary Representative of Meurthe. He retired from the military service in 1848, and was appointed ambassador to Constantinople and then to Denmark. In 1851 he retired from public life. He died in 1855 in Paris, having received eleven wounds to his body from his involvement in battles during his lifetime.

In Greece, the National Assembly of Troezina declared him a Greek citizen and King Otto honored him with the Great Cross of the Order of the Savior. On the day of his death, 15 September 1855, the Greek Army declared three days of mourning and the Acropolis was illuminated accordingly. The Greek state put into circulation commemorative medals and stamps commemorating the centenary of the heroic battle on the Acropolis.

Commemorative Medal for the 100th Anniversary of the heroic battle at the Acropolis, SHP Collection.

For the majority of Greek historians, Colonel Fabvier remains a complex personality. Despite their contradictory views, it is undeniable that he was a man of great military experience, a courageous and brave officer, gifted with an organizational talent. Unfortunately, he ignored partially the methods and techniques of warfare followed by the Greek irregular military, who refused to join the Regular Army and avoided co-operation and coordination with him. This caused a serious malfunction.

Fabvier, however, recognized the bravery of the Greek combatants, while on the other hand many chiefs acknowledged this problem. A passage from General Makrigiannis’ memoirs is indicative of this situation: “We stayed for sometime in Hydra. They gave to me a great certificate and an invoice for my money, my soldiers received their own from me, and I got up and went to the Administration and I told them that I will dismantle my unit and join the Regular Army as an ordinary soldier (they had made of me a General). I told them: ”Our country cannot advance without a Regular Army”. They struggled, they could not stop me. I abandoned my rank and dismantled my unit; I took some of my officers and went to Athens, where Fabvier was based, to train as a simple soldier.”

The great French philhellene was a sincere and selfless friend of Greece, inspired by the values ​​of Greek culture, an exemplary leader, who exercised his duties with justice, conscientiousness and generosity. He had a strong character, stubbornness and perseverance. He always cared for his soldiers, and loved them very much, as both Christos Byzantios and Henri Fornèsy testify. Victor Hugo expresses the same appreciation when describing Fabvier in the French National Assembly in his work on Choses Vues. As Hugo says, his soldiers saw in him not a leader, but a god. He even dedicated to him a poem from the Orientales collection. It is worth noting that Fabvier wore from the beginning a foustanela and a scarf wrapped around his head, similar to those worn by the Greek Generals Nikitaras and Makrigiannis. Fabvier had generally adapted so much to the lives of Greek fighters, that when third persons were meeting him they could not believe that he was not Greek.

Fabvier’s deep love for his soldiers is also illustrated by the fact that he used to call them “his children” and, by extension, his soldiers called him “father”. This is recorded in many letters saved and addressed to Fabvier in 1840. Other letters stored in different places of the General Archives of the Greek State, testify his concern for the poor Greek population and for the safety of the inhabitants of various Greek cities. Even after his departure and until his death, he did not stop to love Greece and the Greeks and to defend the Greek cause at every opportunity.

In commemoration of the battle in Attica during the siege of the Acropolis, a marble column reminding the brave action of Fabvier and his deputy Major Robert, who was killed while entering the Acropolis, was placed in the courtyard of the Herodous Atticus Conservatory. The column has the following references engraved on both sides:



1829, Honorary Bronze Medal, during Kapodistrias, by artist Stempel von Peuvrier, with Fabviers’ head and the  inscription ELEFTHERIA (FREEDOM), SHP Collection


  • Debidour Antonin, Le général Fabvier, sa vie militaire et politique, εκδ. Plon-Nourrit et Cie, Παρίσι
  • Le Spectateur Militaire, Recueil de science, d’art et d’histoire militaires, 27e volume, XXVII, quatorzième année, Παρίσι, Noirot, 15 avril 1839, σελ. 552-556.
  • Œuvres Complètes de Victor Hugo, Choses Vues I, A la Chambre des Pairs, 1846-1848, Παρίσι, Imprimerie Nationale, 1913.
  • Pellion Jean Pierre, La Grèce et les Capodistrias pendant l’occupation française de 1828 à 1834, Librairie Militaire, Παρίσι
  • St-Clair William, That Greece might still be free – The Philhellenes in the War of Independence, τ. 1, εκδ. Oxford University Press, Λονδίνο-Νέα Υόρκη
  • Victor Hugo, Orientales, “Enthousiasme” 1827.
  • Αργολική Αρχειακή Βιβλιοθήκη Ιστορίας, «Φαβιέρος Κάρολος (1782-1855)» διαθέσιμο στην ιστοσελίδα http://argolikivivliothiki.gr,
  • Βυζάντιος Σ. Χρήστος, Ιστορία του Τακτικού Στρατού της Ελλάδος από της πρώτης συστάσεώς του κατά το 1821 μέχρι των 1832, εκδ. Κ. Ράλλης, Αθήνα 1837.
  • Βυζάντιος Σ. Χρήστος, Ιστορία των κατά την Ελλην. Επανάστασιν εκστρατειών και μαχών και των μετά ταύτα συμβάντων, ων συμμετέσχεν ο Τακτικός Στρατός, από του 1821 μέχρι του 1833, εκδ. Κ. Αντωνιάδης, Αθήνα 1874.
  • Βυζάντιος Σ. Χρήστος, Ιστορία των κατά την Ελλην. Επανάστασιν εκστρατειών και μαχών και των μετά ταύτα συμβάντων, ων συμμετέσχεν ο Τακτικός Στρατός, από του 1821 μέχρι του 1833, χ.ε., Αθήνα 1901.
  • ΓΑΚ, Συλλογή Βλαχογιάννη, κατηγορία Ε, κυτίο 5, αρ. 885, Αρχείο Καραϊσκάκη (Γράμμα εκ της Ακροπόλεως).
  • Εκατονταετηρίς Φαβιέρου 1826-1926, Εν Αθήναις, Τυπογραφείον «Εστία», 1927.
  • Θεμελή-Κατηφόρη Δέσποινα, Το γαλλικό ενδιαφέρον για την Ελλάδα στην περίοδο του Καποδίστρια, 1828-1831, εκδ. Επικαιρότητα, Αθήνα 1985.
  • Ιστορία της οργανώσεως του Ελληνικού Στρατού, 1821-1954, εκδ. ΓΕΣ, Αθήνα 1955.
  • Ιστορία του Ελληνικού Στρατού, 1821-1997, εκδ. ΓΕΣ/ΔΙΣ, Αθήνα 1997.
  • Καρατζάς Γεώργιος, «Ο Φιλέλλην Φαβιέρος και ο Τακτικός Στρατός επί Επαναστάσεως», περιοδικό Εστία, τ. 7, τεύχ. 159 (14 Ιανουαρίου 1879), σσ. 17-22.
  • Κρεμμυδάς Βασίλης, «Ο Γαλλικός Στρατός στην Πελοπόννησο. Συμβολή στην ιστορία της Καποδιστριακής περιόδου», Πελοποννησιακά, τ. ΙΒ΄ (1976-1977), σσ. 75-102.
  • Λουκάτος Σπυρίδων, «Ιω. Καποδίστριας και Καρ. Φαβιέρος», Μνημοσύνη, Τόμος Β’, Αθήνα, 1968-1969, σσ. 217-277.
  • Μονόφυλλα του Αγώνος, 1821-1827 – Προκηρύξεις, θεσπίσματα, διατάγματα, τ. 1, πρόλογος: Ιωάννης Α. Μελετόπουλος, εισαγωγικό κείμενο: Ιωάννης Κ. Μαζαράκης Αινιάν, εκδ. ΙΕΕΕ, Αθήνα 1973.
  • Σπηλιάδης Νικόλαος, Απομνημονεύματα δια να χρησιμεύσωσιν εις την νέαν ελληνικήν ιστορίαν (1821-1843), τ. 1-2, εκδ. Παναγιώτου Φ. Χριστοπούλου, Αθήνα 1972.
  • Φορνέζι Ερρίκος, Το μνημείον των Φιλελλήνων, εκδ. Χ. Κοσμαδάκης & σία, Αθήνα 1968 [Απομνημονεύματα αγωνιστών του ΄21, τ. 20].

Sir James Emerson, by Richard Austin, 1836

Sir James Emerson Tennent (Belfast 1804 – London 1869), was a British from Northern Ireland. He studied law at Belfast and Trinity College Dublin, where he received a doctorate in law. His second name, “Tennent”, was added to Emerson in 1832, after his marriage to Letitia Tennent.

From his student years, he expressed his love for classical education and Greece. When the Greek Revolution began, he enthusiastically sided with the Greeks and decided to support actively their struggle. He traveled to Greece, and when he arrived in Messolonghi, he joined the artillery corps formed by Lord Byron. He was a close friend of Lord Byron, and stayed with Gamba on the side of the great poet and philhellene until his death.

After the death of Lord Byron, Sir James Emerson Tennent returned to England. About a year later, in the beginning of 1825, he returned to Greece. He first went to the Ionian Islands and from there to the Peloponnese. The Greek administration recognized his experience on the side of Lord Byron at Messolonghi and appointed him captain of the Artillery. Some sources say that Sir James Emerson Tennant fought in the battle of the Acropolis in Athens. During his stay in Greece, he spent a lot of his time in Hydra and Spetses, aiming to record the organization and activities of the Greek Navy. This study is one of the most important historical sources for the actions of the Greek Navy and their operations against the Turkish fleet. In 1826 he published in London his first book entitled Picture of Greece, in which he recorded his experiences. This book contributed to the development of the philhellenic movement in Great Britain and influenced public opinion in favor of the Greeks.

Sir James Emerson Tennent, Picture of Greece, SHP collection

He then published two more books. Letters from the Aegean (1829) and History of Modern Greece (1830).

Sir James Emerson Tennent, History of Modern Greece, SHP collection

His first work presents many elements about Greece, combines travel narrative with political analysis, describes the Greek economy, local production, and even attempts a social analysis of Greek traditions. His second work, on the Aegean, describes a journey from Sounion to Syros, Chios, Smyrna, Ephesus, Asia Minor, Phocaea, Samos, Patmos, Symi, Kastelorizo, the coast of Lycia, Santorini, Sikinos, Ios, Naxos, Antiparos, Paros, Mykonos, Delos, Milos and Kimolos.

Through his work in 1826, Emerson appears particularly positive and optimistic about the prospect of the establishment of an independent Greek state. But he also records the weaknesses of the Greeks (already known to Lord Byron), as well as the difficulties on the way to building a modern European state.

Sir James Emerson Tennent was also publishing systematically unsigned articles in the British press, in which he was supporting the struggle of the Greeks and their efforts to establish a new Greek state.

In 1832 he was elected a Member of Parliament in Belfast and has since pursued a political career. In 1841 he was appointed “Joint Secretary to the Indian Board” (1841-1845). In 1845 he was knighted and appointed secretary to the British Ceylon colony (“Colonial Secretary in Ceylon”, 1845-1849), now Sri Lanka, until 1850. From 1852 to 1867, he was appointed “Permanent Secretary to the Board of Trade”, in London.

Sir James Emerson Tennent, 1st Baronet of Tempo Manor, Philip Richard Morris (1836–1902), Belfast City Hall

Sir James Emerson Tennent wrote other books on Ceylon and was a close friend of Charles Dickens.

The SHP has in its collection all the decoration medals received by Sir James Emerson Tennent from King Othon for his contribution to the Greek War of Independence. The set includes the Senior Commander of the Order of the Redeemer. The Cross is 8.5 cm high and the Star is 7 cm high.

It also includes a set of Grand Command insignia for the “Royal Order of the Supreme Commander”, consisting of a gold and enamel emblem in the form of a white cross inscribed on a circular green laurel and oak wreath while crowned from a golden crown. The front of the cross depicts the head, in profile, of King Othon and the Greek inscription “King of Greece”. In addition, it includes a silver and gold star with enamel decoration in blue, white, green and a Greek inscription on the back which is signed as “R & J Garrand & Co. Goldsmiths, to the Queen”. Finally, the set includes the highest level (silver) decoration medal of the fighters of the Greek War of Independence.

The whole set is in its original box.

The decoration medals received by Sir James Emerson Tennent from Greece, SHP collection.

In addition, the SHP has in its collection a gold enameled commemorative pin containing Lord Byron’s hair. This jewelry was given to Sir James Emerson Tennent by Count Gamba. The pin bears on one side an inscription “In memory” with golden Gothic characters. On the other side there is a dedication: “Byron by Count P. Gamba to James Emerson, Athens 1825”. Count Gamba was the brother of Lord Byron’s last companion, Teresa Guiccioli, and a close friend and comrade of Lord Byron during his stay in Messolonghi.

Α gold enameled commemorative pin containing Lord Byron’s hair, SHP Collection

Sir James Emerson Tennent, was a great Philhellene who has greatly contributed to the liberation of Greece.

Instead of an epilogue, here is an excerpt from the Greek newspaper ALITHIA of 7 March 1869, announcing the death of Sir James Emerson Tennent:

“The patriarch of the Philhellenes in England, Sir James Emerson Tennent, who fought with Lord Byron for the freedom of Greece and published various writings on the Greeks, including the history of modern Greece, passed away recently in London, having exceeded the 70th year of his life. The memory of this respectable man, who was distinguished for his philhellenism, and published anonymously in periodical columns, important articles in favor of his beloved struggle, will remain permanently in the heart of the Greek nation, which honors those who benefit it”.

Sir James Emerson Tennent (1804–1869), Patrick MacDowell (1799–1870), Belfast City Hall


  • Sir James Emerson Tennent, Picture of Greece, 1826.
  • Sir James Emerson Tennent, Letters from the Aegean, 1829.
  • Sir James Emerson Tennent, History of Modern Greece, 1830.
  • Chisholm, Hugh, “Tennent, Sir James Emerson”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press, 1911.
  • Tyronne Fernando, PC, 154th Death Anniversary of Veera Puran Appu.
  • William E. A. Axon, The Annals of Manchester: A chronological record from the earliest times to the end of 1885, 1886.
  • Εφημερίδα ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ, Αθήνα, 7 Μαρτίου 1869, σελ. 3.
  • Boase, George Clement, “Tennent, James Emerson”. In Lee, Sidney, Dictionary of National Biography, London, Smith, Elder & Co., 1898.
  • Boase, G. C.; Baigent, Elizabeth. “Tennent, Sir James Emerson, first baronet (1804 –1869)”. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press.

Étienne-Marin Bailly, 19th Century Lithography, SHP Collection

Étienne-Marin Bailly is an important French Philhellene medical doctor, who helped decisively with his work the Struggle of the Greeks.

He was born in Blois, France, in 1795, he studied medicine and served as the personal physician, friend and comrade of the French philosopher Saint-Simon. At the same time, he was the author of various studies of philosophical and medical content.

He arrived in Nafplio in September 1825 to assist with his medical knowledge the revolted Greeks. In particular, Bailly was sent from France, to “run the pharmaceutical sector and establish health services”, with the help of his nephew, also a doctor physician, Félix Blondeau. This plan was funded by the Duke of Orleans. Upon his arrival in Greece, he was frustrated by the primitive image of medicine in a country surrendered to epidemics. He immediately set up a general health care system, through a decision of the interim government, which decided with a decree to withhold 0.5% of all salaries to cover the expenses required to establish the necessary hospitals. Together with the German Chief Doctor, Erik Treiber, and the French physicians Dumont and Bernardi, Bailly initially organized a military surgery in Koulouri, Salamis, which offered valuable services to the armed forces.

In addition, pursuing paragraph (d) of Law (ΜΘ) on Hospitals of 5 October 1825, Bailly was assigned to draft the relevant decree. A little later, he submitted to the Executive Body the plan of a General Organisation for the establishment of Health care establishments. This plan, entitled General Ministry of Health in Greece, regulated the operation of hospitals and provided general provisions on public health. It stipulated that no person could pursue the profession of physician, surgeon or pharmacist without a relevant degree, which was granted by a special committee. In addition, it provided for the establishment of four health care establishments (in Nafplio, Athens, Messolonghi and Chania) and regulated their operating conditions. A special part of the decree was dedicated to the care of wounded soldiers, and required the appointment of a Chief Physician and a surgeon next to each military commander.

At the same time, with the use of money provided by the Philhellenic Committee in Paris, Bailly attempted to establish a central pharmacy. However, lack of resources and other difficulties prevented the materialisation of his ambitious plan. Eventually, only one hospital was organized in Nafplio, and Bailly settled in Athens to set up a new health care establishment there.

Bailly’s contribution was not limited to the organization of health services. With the assistance of his nephew, Félix Blondeau, he managed to cure more than 30,000 wounded and sick soldiers and people of various nationalities. Among them Greeks, Philhellenes, and French officers of General Maison’s expeditionary corps. In addition, Bailly tried to educate Greek physicians, he counteracted the practices of charlatans who exploited the population, and opposed to prejudices which prevailed and harmed public health.
During the governance of Kapodistrias, Bailly continued his activity as a member of the Nafplio Sanitary Committee, saving the city’s population from the plague. Thanks to his work, it is estimated that about a quarter of the total local population was saved from death, hence the designation “Bailly, the god” or “Hippocrates Bailly”.

Another aspect of Bailly’s philhellenic services relates to his work within the committee responsible for managing supplies arriving in Greece from European philhellenic committees at the beginning of 1827. This committee, established by order of the Government, consisted of Bailly, representing the Paris Philhellenic Committee, the Italian Pertini and the military, Bavarian national, Heideck. Bailly assigned part of the supplies to the threatened population, cultivating the idea that France would systematically help Greece. By his action and his policy, he supported the pro-Orléan plans of the French General Roche and the political party of Ioannis Kolettis. In this venture, he was quickly confronted with Heideck on how to manage supplies, in relation to his political role, as well as with Fabvier, whose organizational military actions were not always approved by Bailly. At the same time, Bailly was expressing openly his commitment to Ioannis Kolettis, leader of the French party.

Étienne-Marin Bailly, 19th century Lithography from the work of Karl Krazeisen (1794 – 1878), SHP Collection

Bailly’s work was undoubtedly significant. According to his own report, thanks to his efforts, 6,000 soldiers received food, equipment and ammunition, while 500.000 francs were allocated for fortification works, and maintenance activities in favour of the Navy and Armed Forces.

For all his services, he was granted the Greek citizenship (5 May 1827) by a resolution of the Third National Assembly of Troezina, while the captains of Rumeli also thanked him in turn.

After the liberation of Greece, he left with his nephew in late 1829. He went first to Constantinople and then to France. He died in 1837. Shortly before he died, he was decorated by King Othon with the Medal of the Knight of the Golden Cross of the Order of the Redeemer.






  • Barau Denys, «La mobilisation des philhellènes en faveur de la Grèce, 1821-1829», Populations réfugiées. De l’exil au retour, επιμ. Luc Cambrézy – Véronique Lassailly-Jacob, εκδ. IRD, Paris 2001, [Colloques et Séminaires], σσ. 37-76.
  • Barth Wilhelm – Max Kehrig-Korn, Die Philhellenenzeit, von der Mitte des 18 Jahrhunderts bis zur Ermordung Kapodistrias am 9 Oktober 1831, εκδ. Hueber, Μόναχο 1960.
  • Άιδεκ Κάρολος, «Τα των Βαυαρών Φιλελλήνων εν Ελλάδι κατά τα έτη 1826-1829», Αρμονία, τ. 1 (1900).
  • Αρχεία της Ελληνικής Παλιγγενεσίας, 1821-1823, τ. 7: Πρακτικά του Βουλευτικού της Γ΄ Βουλευτικής περιόδου (1824-1826) – Πρακτικά του Βουλευτικού Σώματος, [τ. 4 του Βουλευτικού Σώματος], εκδ. Βιβλιοθήκη της Βουλής των Ελλήνων, Αθήνα
  • Αρχειακή Συλλογή ΚΕΙΝΕ (Ακαδημία Αθηνών), «Αρχείο Ιωάννη Κωλέττη», Φ. 148, έγγραφο 0006, επιστολή του Bailly από τη Μεθώνη προς τον Κωλέττη, «έκτακτο επίτροπο των Ανατολικών Σποράδων».
  • Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη, Τμήμα Χειρογράφων και Ομοιοτύπων, χειρόγραφο 1.697: Henri Fornèsy, «Le monument des philhellènes», 1860.
  • Προβατά Δέσποινα, ÉtienneMarin Bailly (1796-1837) – Ένας σαινσιμονιστής στην επαναστατημένη Ελλάδα, εκδ. Σοκόλη, Αθήνα 2008.
  • Τράιμπερ Ερρίκος, Αναμνήσεις από την Ελλάδα, 1822-1828 – Ανέκδοτο χρονικό του Αγώνος, χ.ε., Αθήνα 1960.

Giuseppe Chiappe comes from Albenga, in Sardinia. He studied law in Italy and France and practiced law in Livorno until 1820.

According to some sources, he was a member of the secret revolutionary organization of Carbonari in Italy. When their movement failed in 1819, in order to avoid persecution, Giuseppe Chiappe traveled with his wife Chiara and his young son to the Ionian Islands. From there he moved to Hydra in May 1820.

In Hydra, he undertook to teach Italian and French, and he was subsequently appointed as a trainer at the Naval School of the island.

When Hydra declared its participation in the Greek revolution in April 1821, Giuseppe Chiappe asked to join the naval operations. He was placed in the war ship “Agamemnon”, under the commandership of Anastasios Tsamados, where he assumed the duties of secretary and the responsibility of the ship’s logbook.

While in “Agamemnon”, he participated in many operations, which were recorded in the logbook of the ship which carries a significant historical value. Among them, he took part in the siege of the castle on 5 May 1821, in the gulf of Pagasitikos, as well as in other operations supporting the uprising of 24 villages in the region of Volos.

He also participated in the important naval battle of Eressos in the island of Lesvos, during which Papanikolis set fire to the Turkish flagship.

Finally, in June 1821, he took part in the expulsion of the Turks and the rescue of the Christian inhabitants of the city of Kydonion in Asia Minor, which had been burnt and looted by the Turks.

When the fleet returned to Hydra, Chiappe was appointed First Secretary of the Police and Secretary of Lazaros Kountouriotis.

In 1824 Giuseppe Chiappe undertook to publish in Hydra the newspaper The Friend of the Law; the longest-running newspaper during the Greek Revolution, which circulated until 1827.

The Friend of the Law was printed with the use of a press printing machine, donated to Greece, at the request of Korais, by the French philhellene and publisher, Firmin Didot.

The SHP has in its archive an autographed letter signed by Giuseppe Chiappe, sent to the House of Representatives. Hydra, 16 February 1824.

The letter states:

“… I intend to publish twice a week a political newspaper entitled “the Friend of the Law”. I contact your respected administration asking to be appointed journalist, and in line with article 44 of the Law of Epidaure, to obtain permission to follow the regular and extraordinary Assemblies of your respected Body, with the exception of the secret ones ….”.

Copy of the Newspaper The Friend of the Law

Indeed, the newspaper The Friend of the Law became from 1824 to 1825, the official journal of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the independent Greek territory.

In recognition of his work, the leaders of Hydra adopted a resolution granting to Giuseppe Chiappe the status of citizen of Hydra.

It is worth noting that the contribution to the Greek war of independence of Giuseppe’s wife, Chiara, was also remarkable. Chiara Chiappe collaborated with 31 prominent Greek women from all over Greece, under the guidance of the great Greek lady, Evanthia Kairi, sister of the important scholar and fighter during the Greek revolution, Theophilos Kairis, with the aim of drafting an important open letter, in July 1825, that was sent to the philhellene women in Europe and America. This letter was translated into French and Italian, printed in the printing installations of Giuseppe Chiappe, and dispatched to various cities in Europe and America.

In 1827 Giuseppe Chiappe stopped the publication of The Friend of the Law, and published a French-language newspaper, entitled Abeille Grecque (Greek Bee), which circulated in Greece and abroad until 1829.

When Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias came to Greece, Giuseppe Chiappe was appointed to the judiciary in 1830 as secretary of the Court of western Sporades and subsequently as judge at the Court of First Instance at Pylos. In 1835 he was placed in the Commercial Court of Syros and in 1841 in Patras.

Giuseppe Chiappe’s son, Petros, also pursued a career in the Greek justice, and was honored with the degree of Areopagite. The Chiappe family was linked to the family of the important philhellene German doctor Erik Treiber, when Petros Chiappe married Rosa Treiber, daughter of Erik.

Giuseppe Chiappe died on the 1st July 1848 in Athens. Greece honored him for his valuable services to the liberation of the country, with the “Medal of the Struggle” of the Greek Revolution militants and the Cross of the Redeemer.


  • Barth Wilhelm – Kehrig-Korn Max, Die Philhellenenzeit, Muenchen, 1960.
  • Αποστολίδης Χρ., Ερρίκος Τράϊμπερ Φιλέλλην – Αναμνήσεις από την Επανάσταση του 1821, Αθήνα, 1961.
  • Καρταπάνης Γρ., «Πολεμικά πλοία στον Παγασητικό», Εφημερίδα Ταχυδρόμος, Βόλος, 24.3.2019.
  • Κοντομήτρος Γ., Η ιστορική οικογένεια Αποστολίδη του Βόλου. ΚΑ’ τόμος Αρχείο Θεσσαλικών Μελετών, Βόλος, 2019.
  • Κουμαριανού Αικατερίνη, «Έντυπες εφημερίδες», Ιστορία του Ελληνικού Έθνους, Εκδοτική Αθηνών, τομ. ΙΒ, 1975, σελ.585.
  • Κουμαριανού Αικατερίνη, Ο τύπος στον αγώνα (1821-1827), Αθήνα, 1971.
  • Μιχαλόπουλος Φάνης, «Ο φιλέλλην Ιωσήφ Κιάππε», Εφημερίδα Καθημερινή, 9.4.1939.
  • Πάτρας Ν., Ιστορικά ημερολόγια των ναυμαχιών του 1821 – εκ των ημερολογίων του ναυμάχου Αναστασίου Τσαμαδού, Αθήνα, 1886.

Colonel Joseph Baleste is one of the most important French Philhellenes who served in the Greek Revolution. He holds a prominent position as he is considered to be the first trainer and commander of the Greek military. He was born in 1790 in Chania, Crete, but was naturalized French and died in 1822, fighting heroically for the liberation of Greece.

Despite his important role in the Greek war of independence, he remains almost unknown. He is mentioned in historical texts with many different birth places and names. However, historical research into archival sources proves that Baleste came from a family of French merchants from Marseille, France, registered in the Chamber of Commerce of the city. His birth in Chania and his French nationality are confirmed by the biographer of the Philhellenes, Henry Fornèsy, and it is also supported by Baleste’s only Greek historiographer, P. Koumantos. Moreover, the archives of the French Consulate in Chania show that the Baleste family is one of the French families from Marseille who had settled there for commercial reasons, already before the French Revolution, and that they had developed strong links with Greece, as some of their male members had married Greek women.

Among them, we find the father of Joseph Baleste, merchant Jean-François Baleste. His name is confirmed both by the “Archives of Greek Paligenesia” and by a document published in the Cretan Historical Documents by Nikolaos Tomadakis and Anthoula Papadakis. Jean-François Baleste married Katerina Venolopoulou, who died in Chania on 8 April 1797, the day she gave birth to her daughter (and sister of Joseph), Marie-Thérèse, as noted in the marriage certificate found in the civil registry of Marseille.

At the beginning of his military career, Baleste served as a volunteer in the 1st Infantry Regiment of Napoleon’s Army in 1808, and in September 1814. The same year he left for Crete, while he was already a captain of the French Army. When the Greek Revolution broke out, Baleste was in Trieste where he met and decided to follow Dimitrios Ypsilantis, overwhelmed with enthusiasm for the liberation of Greece. Indeed, the young Baleste, to whom Spiliadis refers with the name “Vallesta the Hellene”, was fluent in the Greek language, and the Cretans regarded him as their compatriot. He had good manners, many qualifications, a polite face, and an imposing stature, as witnessed by his portrait painted by Adam de Friedel and published in 1830, and furthermore, he was educated, brave and unselfish.

Joseph Baleste Portrait by Adam Friedel. Collection SHP

Ypsilantis began, immediately after his arrival from Trieste in Vervena in July 1821, recruiting and organizing a regular army. He entrusted the duties of instructor, as well as commandership, to Baleste, who was himself promoted to the rank of Colonel. Soon, the force reached 500 men, it was divided into three Companies, and then transferred to Kalamata. Baleste trained the regiment according to European standards in order to become the core of the Greek Army that Ypsilantis aspired to create. The venture would have been successful, and this would have played a decisive role in the future of the war of independence, if the local leaders had not deprived the regiment from the necessary means to maintain the corps, and especially from food provisions. Even worse, the Greek military leaders – opponents of Ypsilantis, opposed the formation of a regular army and defamed the profession of regular soldier. The strong opposition of the irregular fighters (Armatoloi) to any concept of organization and military discipline, prevented the Greek government from founding a regular army in time. This unfortunate evolution left Greece, in the most critical phase of the Revolution, exposed to the forces of Ibrahim Pascha without the ability to oppose the invasion.

Had the experienced philhellene Baleste been allowed to complete his mission and establish a regular army at the beginning of the Greek Revolution, the course of the war would have been quite different.

In any case, it is undisputed that Baleste was a brave officer, whose courage is complimented by a large number of his colleagues. Even the ‘capricious’ Maurice Persat, praises the French officer, writing that “he was undoubtedly the bravest of all the Philhellenes and the most generous. He had distinct virtues. He disapproved the flattery, and disliked those running around the administration, whom he called army pests. Baleste had a humility whose memory made the Philhellenes blush with shame […]”.

In August 1821, Baleste was in command of the Greek Regular Army, when he prevented the Turkish fleet from disembarking at Kalamata. Then he took part in the siege of Tripolitsa. During the riots that took place in the fall of 1821, he, along with other Philhellenes, managed to rescue part of the civilian Turkish population.

Meanwhile, his soldiers suffered from hunger and began to starve daily, while Baleste’s appeals to the Government were in vain. Even worse, during the failed siege of Nafplio (4 December 1821), a large number of soldiers and Philhellenes were killed. Finally, during the siege of Acrocorinth (14 January 1822), the Corps, abandoned by its leader Ypsilantis, who was seriously ill and exhausted from the deprivations, was finally dissolved.

Being unable to remedy to the situation, Baleste decided to accept an invitation he received from the Cretans of the Peloponnese, urging him to support the operations of the Greeks in Crete. He took about two-thirds of the Corps and left for Chania.

Kritovoulidis reports that the Cretans accepted him gladly as they considered him to be “an experienced officer in war operations” required for the Cretan struggle.

Baleste arrived in Crete on 20 March 1822, and after meeting with the Governor General of the island, Mikhail Komninos Afentouliev, he went to Rethymnon. There, during a confrontation with the Turks in the Platanias region, he managed to get them to retreat. Using his prior military experience from the seizure of fortresses in Peloponnese, he foresaw that without a fortress it would not be possible to consolidate the revolution in Crete.

For this reason, he conceived a plan to take over the fortress of Rethymnon, supported by many local Cretans. He was convinced that relying on his army of three thousands, he was capable of taking over Rethymnon. However, according to Pouqueville, he was weak as he had just recovered from fever and it would have been difficult for him to lead this effort.

On the day of the battle, disagreements between the local chiefs did not allow him to implement his war plan in full, forcing his troops to retreat. Eighty of them were killed and many were captured, including Kokkinos, Baleste’s aide from Chios, who appears to have escorted him to Greece from Trieste. Baleste himself, was unable to walk, and he was carried by a Greek soldier who tried to hide him in a dense bush. Unfortunately, the Turks found him on their return and killed him.

Spiliadis describes in a very eloquent manner his tragic death. The Turks, first cut off his head and his right arm, with which he held his sword, passed them on to a stick and paraded with it around the camp amidst cheers and shots. An Italian newsletter of 1844 notes that the death of Baleste was celebrated officially by the entire Turkish fleet, which engaged in festivities. Then the members of Baleste’s body were sent to Constantinople, as a gift to Pasha Kara Ali, who hung them on the Turkish flagship, along with hundreds of heads of many other Greek fighters.

When Konstantinos Kanaris and George Pippinos blasted the Turkish flagship a few months later, they revenged the slaughters of Chios orchestrated by the Turks and the death of the great Philhellene Colonel Joseph Baleste.

Baleste’s death shocked the regular soldiers and Philhellenes so deeply, that it gave reason to publish a French lament song.

Unfortunately, the way many Greek chiefs treated Baleste, in their effort to prevent the deployment of a regular army, deprived Greece of the valuable services of many Philhellenes, who were disappointed; many of them even decided to return to their countries.

Thus, on 14 April 1822, the “multifaceted and full of noble sentiments” according to Trikoupis, Baleste, was lost. This great Philhellene, can, according to Raybaud, claim the honor of being “the first” to step on the territory of Greece with the brave thought to shed his blood for it.


  • Archives Nationales (France), Affaires Étrangères. Correspondance reçue du consulat de La Canée (1676-1759), (AE/Β/Ι/340-ΑΕ/Β/Ι/358), Έγγραφα υπ’ αριθ. 1867, 1870, 1881, 1899, 1909, 1914, 1949, 2012, 2034 και 2053 του προξενείου της Γαλλίας στα Χανιά.
  • Bruyère-Ostells Walter, La Grande Armée de la liberté, Paris, Tallandier, 2013, σσ. 532-536.
  • Constantinidès G. Constantin, Affaires Étrangères. Correspondance reçue du consulat de La Canée (1676-1759), Inventaire analytique (AE/Β/Ι/340-ΑΕ/Β/Ι/358), Paris, Archives Nationales (France), 1952.
  • Dourneau Edme-Martial, « Baleste ou Le soldat de la liberté », Myriologies ou Chants funèbres et élégiaques d’un Épirote, Paris, chez les marchands de Nouveautés, 1827, σσ. 155-160.
  • Fornèsy Henry, Le monument des philhellènes, 1860, χειρόγραφο υπ’ αριθ. 1697, Τμήμα Χειρογράφων και Ομοιοτύπων, Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη της Ελλάδος
  • Friedel Adam de, The Greeks, Twenty-four Portraits of the principal Leaders and Personages who have made themselves most conspicuous in the Greek Revolution, from the Commencement of the Struggle, London, 1830, Γεννάδειος Βιβλιοθήκη.
  • Gordon Thomas, History of the Greek Revolution, Vol. 1, London, William Blackwood, Edinburg & T. Cadell, Strand, 1844, σσ. 493-497.
  • Museo scientifico, letterario ed artistico, ovvero scelta raccolta di utili e svariate nozioni in fatto di scienze, lettere ed arti belle, Anno sesto, Torino, Stabilimento tipografico di Alessandro Fontana, 1844, σ. 179.
  • Persat Maurice, Mémoires du Commandant Persat, 1806 à 1844, Paris, Plon-Nourrit & Co, 1910, σ. 85 και σημείωση υπ’ αριθμ. (2), ίδια σ.
  • Pouqueville François Charles Hugues Laurent, Histoire de la régénération de la Grèce, Tome III, Paris, Firmin Didot père et fils, 1824, σσ. 511-512.
  • Raybaud Maxime, Mémoires sur la Grèce, Tome I, Paris, Tournachon-Molin libraire, 1824, σημείωση σ. 423 και σημείωση σσ. 424-425.
  • Rodriquez Moises Enrique, Under the flags of freedom, Hamilton books, 2009, σ. 321.
  • Teissier Octave, Inventaire des archives historiques de la Chambre de commerce de Marseille, Chambre de commerce de Marseille, Marseille, Typographie et lithographie Barlatier-Feissat père et fils, 1878, σ. 192.
  • Vayakakos V. Dikaios, «Des Philhellènes Corses en Grèce pendant la guerre de l’indépendance (1821-1828)», Μνημοσύνη, Τόμος 4, 1973, σσ. 182-197.
  • Voutier Olivier, Lettres sur la Grèce, notes et chants populaires, extraits du portefeuille du colonel Voutier, Paris, Firmin Didot et autres, 1826, XIII-XIV.
  • Voutier Olivier, Mémoires du Colonel Voutier, sur la guerre actuelle des grecs, Paris, Bossange frères libraires, 1823, σ. 82. και σημείωση σσ. 190-192.
  • Αρχεία Ελληνικής Παλιγγενεσίας Μέχρι της εγκαταστάσεως της Βασιλείας, Τόμος 2, Εν Αθήναις, Τύποις Διονυσίου Κορομηλά, 1862, Επανέκδοση από τη Βιβλιοθήκη της Βουλής των Ελλήνων, Αθήνα, 1972, σσ. 44, 291 και 712.
  • Βακαλόπουλος Απόστολος, Ιστορία της Ελληνικής Επαναστάσεως του 1821, Αθήνα, ΟΕΔΒ, 1971, σσ. 155-159.
  • Βακαλόπουλος Απόστολος, Ιστορία του Νέου Ελληνισμού, Τόμος Ε’, Θεσσαλονίκη, 1961, σσ. 39-47 και 620-770.
  • Βυζάντιος Σ. Χρήστος, Ιστορία του Τακτικού Στρατού της Ελλάδος από της πρώτης συστάσεώς του κατά το 1821 μέχρι των 1832, εν Αθήναις, εκ της τυπογραφίας Κ. Ράλλη, 1837, σσ. 4-5 και 9.
  • Βυζάντιος Σ. Χρήστος, Ιστορία των κατά την Ελλην. Επανάστασιν εκστρατειών και μαχών και των μετά ταύτα συμβάντων, ων συμμετέσχεν ο Τακτικός Στρατός, από του 1821 μέχρι του 1833, εν Αθήναις, εκ του τυπογραφείου Κ. Αντωνιάδου, 1874, (2η έκδ), σ. 21
  • Διαμαντής Κωνσταντίνος, Δημήτριος Υψηλάντης (1793-1832), Μέρος Πρώτον, Αθήναι, 1966, σ. 46.
  • Κουμάντος Χρ. Παναγής, Στα βήματα του Ιωσήφ Βαλέστ, Καλαμάτα, Ιδιωτική έκδοση, 2013.
  • Κρήτη, 14-4-1822, Ο θάνατος του Βαλέστ, ανάρτηση άρθρου 14/04/2015, στην ιστοσελίδα: www.wordpress.com [πρόσβαση 27 Ιουν. 2018].
  • Κριτοβουλίδης Κυριάκος-Καλλίνικος, Απομνημονεύματα του περί αυτονομίας της Ελλάδος πολέμου των Κρητών, Εν Αθήναις, Εκ του τυπογραφείου Αθηνάς, 1859, σ. 5 και 89-94.
  • Ληξιαρχική πράξη γάμου υπ’ αριθ. 201 E 3146, 19 Ιουνίου 1822, Ληξιαρχικά αρχεία της επαρχίας Bouches-du-Rhône, κοινότητα Μασσαλίας.
  • Μάγερ Κώστας, Το ημερολόγιο της Επαναστάσεως του 1821, Αθήνα, 1961, σ. 21.
  • Μνημεία Κρητικών επαναστάσεων, (1821-1830), επιμέλεια Ε. Γ. Πρωτοψάλτη, Αθήνα, 1978, Τόμος 1, σ. 256
  • Σπηλιάδης Νικολάος, Απομνημονεύματα, Τόμος Α’, Αθήναι, εκδ. Παναγιώτου-Φ. Χριστοπούλου, 1972, σσ. 169-170, 214-215, 288-289.
  • Τρικούπης Σπυρίδων, Ιστορία της Ελληνικής Επαναστάσεως, έκδοση Γ΄, Τόμος Β΄, Αθήνα, 1888, σσ. 169-170, κ.α.
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  • FRIEDEL Adam de, The Greeks (Balestra), London, 1830. Συλλογή Γενναδείου Βιβλιοθήκης



Portrait of Maxime Raybaud, 19nth century, oil on canvas (collection of Vincent Touze)


Jean-François Maxime Raybaud, a French officer, diplomat and writer, was born on 19 June 1795 in the town of La Colle in the province of Var in France and died in January 1894. He graduated from the Saint Cyr Military School and became a lieutenant of the artillery in the Army. He was one of the first Philhellenes who took part in the Greek War of Independence.

He departed from Marseilles on 18 July 1821, by a boat from Hydra, chartered by Alexander Mavrokordatos, and arrived at Messolonghi on 2 August 1821 to join the corps of Thomas Gordon. In September 1821, he took part in the siege of Tripolitsa.

Plan of the siege of Tripolitsa, extract from Raybaud’s book

He then continued his military journey under the protection of Mavrokordatos, whom he served as an aide-de-camp. In the Archives of Greek Paligenesia it is stated that he was initially Pentacosiarchos in Peloponnese and that later he was nominated Captain, following a recommendation by Mavrokordatos. He was part of the Peta exhibition. Due to a coincidence, he did not take part in the final (and disastrous for the Philhellenic Battalion), Peta’s battle and escaped death. He assembled the 25 men who survived and drove them to Kryoneri.

The battle of Peta (Zografos)

After this unfortunate event, in late 1822, he made the decision to return to France. However, in September 1825 he returned to Greece, accompanying the first volunteers and munitions for Greece, sent by the Philhellenic Committee of Paris. He advanced the idea that Greece required mainly Mountain Artillery. He was later sent back to France on orders from the interim government of Greece to recruit mercenaries, but his mission was met with limited success due to a lack of financial means.

In August 1826, according to Henri Fornèsy’s notes, he took part in the Battle of Chaidari in Athens, in which he was wounded when his gun backfired. In November 1826, he joined Olivier Voutier on a failed mission to Atalantis under the guidance of Ioannis Kolettis, and it appears that he was involved in a personal conflict with Voutier, resulting in them fighting a duel and getting injured.

In 1828, he joined, at his request, the French expeditionary corps of the Peloponnese, under General Maison, assuming the role of the official typographer of the Corps. Jacques Mangeart says that Raybaud was coming to Greece for the fifth time. He further confirms that during his stay in Nafplio, he was infected by typhus but that he was cured thanks to the generous efforts of his compatriot, Dr. Bailly. With the typographic machine that he brought with him from France and which he finally installed in Patras, he published the French-speaking Le Courrier d’Orient, a weekly political, commercial and literary newspaper, one of the first in Patras. It was published until the end of 1829 and it was then subsequently replaced by Le Courier de la Grèce.

In his two-volume work Memories on Greece (Mémoires sur la Grèce), which is recognized by Greek and foreign historians for its objectivity, he describes, in addition to his personal action, the influence exerted by Dimitrios Ypsilantis on the army, the greed of certain chiefs, the conflict between the Regular army and the irregular combatants, the destruction and fall of Tripolitsa, the difficulties and deprivations that affected all the warriors indiscriminately, and the assembly and the multi-nation composition of the Battalion of the Philhellenes.

Raybaud’s two volume book, Memoires sur la Grece

In parallel, it is important that he publishes a list of Philhellenes who fell fighting heroically in the battle of Peta, but also that he enriches his work with topographical maps of the battlefields. His memoirs were eagerly awaited by the French public, as shown by publications of Le Globe‘s in February 1825.

In 1831, Maxime Raybaud was appointed ‘commissioner’ of France in Arta. He is later reported to have served in the French National Military School and then in Cyprus and subsequently in Haiti as Consul and Consul General respectively. In addition, he was a journalist, writing for newspapers La Presse, and Le Journal des Débats, under the pseudonym Gustave d’Alaux.

The Greek state honored him with the medal of the Commander of the Order of the Savior in 1836 and the French state with the medal of the Commander of the Legion of Honor in 1852.


  • Académie des Sciences d’Outre-Mer, Hommes et destins, dictionnaire biographique d’Outre-Mer, tome 5, Expansion coloniale, 1984.
  • Archives France: «départ pour la Grèce de Maxime Raybaud, présumé chargé de sommes considérables confiées par le Comité grec», φάκελοι: F/7/6678-F/7/6784, Υποφάκελος 35β, στη γενική συλλογή: Affaires politiques (police politique). Objets généraux (1815-1838) των Αρχείων της Γαλλίας.
  • Boppe Auguste, «Le consulat général de Morée et ses dépendances (Athènes, Coron, Modon, Napoli de Romanie, Patras, Arta.)», στο: Revue des Études Grecques, tome 20, fascicule 87,1907. σελ. 18-37.
  • Fornèsy Henri, «Le monument des philhellènes», 1860, Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη, Τμήμα Χειρογράφων και Ομοιοτύπων, χειρόγραφο697.
  • Jacques Mangeart, Souvenirs de la Morée, recueillis pendant le séjour des Français dans le Péloponnèse, Paris, Igonette Libraire-éditeur, σελ. 3, 107, 150, 236, 408.
  • Raybaud Maxime, Mémoires sur la Grèce pour servir à l’histoire de la guerre de l’Indépendance, accompagnés de plans topographiques, avec une introduction historique par Alph. Rabbe, Paris, Tournachon-Molin, Libraire, 1824, τόμος 1 & 2.
  • St-Clair William, That Greece might still be free – The Philhellenes in the War of Independence, τόμος 1, εκδ. Oxford University Press, Λονδίνο-Νέα Υόρκη 1972, σελ. 282-283.
  • Απόφαση υπ’ αριθμόν 102 του Προέδρου του Εκτελεστικού με ημερομηνία 10Μαΐου 1822, η οποία μνημονεύεται από τον Ζούβα Παναγή, Η οργάνωσις Τακτικού Στρατού κατά τα πρώτα έτη της Επαναστάσεως του 1821, χ.ε., Αθήνα 1969, σελ. 70 και 108.
  • Αρχεία Ελληνικής Παλιγγενεσίας, τόμος 1 σελ. 183: εισήγηση του Μαυροκορδάτου, αρ. 1424 προς το βουλευτικό, 15 Μαΐου 1822.
  • Βυζάντιος Χρήστος, Ιστορία των κατά την Ελλην. Επανάστασιν εκστρατειών και μαχών και των μετά ταύτα συμβάντων, ων συμμετέσχεν ο Τακτικός Στρατός, από του 1821 μέχρι του 1833 [εκδ. 1901], σελ. 203.
  • Δημακόπουλος Δ. Γεώργιος, «Αι εφημερίδες Courrier dOrientLe Courrier de la Grèce», Δελτίον της ΙΕΕΕ, τόμος 21 (1978), σελ. 469-497.
  • Εφημερίδα Le Globe, Παρίσι, αρ. 65, 5 Φεβρουαρίου 1825, όπου αναγγελία του έργου του Raybaud και αρ. 96, 19 Απριλίου 1825, όπου κριτική παρουσίαση αυτού.
  • Ηλεκτρονική βάση απονεμηθέντων παρασήμων της Λεγεώνας της Τιμής http://wwwcoulture.gouv.fr/documentation/leonore/leonore.htm, Dossier LH/2273/6.
  • Θεμελή-Κατηφόρη Δέσποινα, Το γαλλικό ενδιαφέρον για την Ελλάδα στην περίοδο του Καποδίστρια, 1828-1831, σελ. 85.
  • Σπηλιάδης Νικόλαος, Απομνημονεύματα δια να χρησιμεύσωσιν εις την νέαν ελληνικήν ιστορίαν (1821-1843), τόμος 2, εκδ. Παναγιώτου Φ. Χριστοπούλου, Αθήνα 1972, σελ. 289 και 479.

Charles Ogle (1851–1878) – English journalist and great philhellene

The SHP honors the memory of a great English philhellene, a journalist and report of the London Times, who was murdered by the Turks in Makrinitsa, during the revolution in Pelion in 1878. It was the first recorded death of a journalist – war correspondent in Greece.

Charles Chaloner Ogle (Charles Ogle), was born in 1851, in London of a wealthy family. He studied architecture at the University of London and worked with the famous architect Frederick William Roper. In addition to his profession, he developed remarkable writing / journalistic skills in collaboration with the “Builder” magazine and subsequently with the Times. In 1876 he asked to travel to the Balkans and soon became an official correspondent for the acclaimed British newspaper. His mandate started with an important mission in Serbia, where he covered the Serb-Turkish war; then he moved to Greece.

A copy of the Times in 1878

Charles Ogle had already become famous as a journalist. At the same time, he did not hesitate to express his philhellenic feelings and his love for Greece. In Athens, he collaborated with the famous architect Ziller, while also teaching English language classes for free. He was distinguished for his philhellenism and was honored by King George I with the medal of the Cross of the Savior.

In his capacity of the official Times correspondent, he also covered subjects related to Greece, notably in Crete and Thessaly, which were claiming their independence. He was known for the intense philhellenic character of his texts which had a great influence on the public opinion in Europe.

As of 1876, preparations for a liberation struggle had begun in Pelion. On 15 January 1878, the Greeks of Pelion declared their opposition to the Ottoman occupation, they set up the Provisional Government of Pelion and decided to fight for the independence of Thessaly and its union with Greece.

A large force of regular Turkish army under Recep Pasha rushed into the area, accompanied by hordes of irregular soldiers of Ammu Bey. Various battles took place, followed by a terrible slaughter of the population by the Turks.

Charles Ogle was only 25 years old at the time. He arrived in Pelion immediately to cover the battles under his capacity of journalist accredited by the Times.

The first major battle took place on 6 February 1878 in Makrinitsa and lasted three days. The Greeks were defeated and the Turks committed atrocities with many victims from the civilian population, even children. On 10 February 1878, a few days after the battle of Makrinitsa, the Turks assassinated a big number of inhabitants of the village of Vourgarini. Their corpses were burned and dismembered in an attempt to keep the crime secret. After an investigation, Charles Ogle found traces of the carcasses, and informed with a correspondence to the Times the public opinion about this horrible slaughter.

Makrinitsa in Pelion

Charles Ogle then went to Makrinitsa where he helped the local population in every possible way. He even commissioned 30 workers to build trenches covering the expenses on his own, to strengthen the Greek defense positions, and remained there until 17 March 1878, where he found a horrible death during the second Battle of Makrinitsa.

After the end of the battle many European diplomates visited Pelion to investigate the situation and to stop the massacres. The investigation revealed, among others, that Charles Ogle had been murdered by Turkish soldiers. At first the Turks hid his corpse, but his passport was found in the hands of a Turkish soldier, while another Turkish soldier was selling Charles Ogle’s clothes.

Finally, the corpse of this noble English journalist and great philhellene, was found headless. Doctors of an English and an Italian ship, carried out an autopsy and placed the corpse in a case to be transported to Athens by steamer for burial. The European consulates found though their interrogations in Pelion, as it was reported newspapers, that Charles Ogle was murdered after the end of the battle. A woman and a child who saw the scene of the murder testified that after the murder, Turkish soldiers cut off the head of the English correspondent, nailed it to a spear and paraded showing it around and shouting.

His body was transported to Piraeus from Volos by the English warship “Wizard”. Women from Volos had embroidered a textile, which was place in the coffin, bearing the following in ancient Greek:

«Ου σκεπάζεται αρετή σου, ουδ’ επίβουλος σφαγή σου, Ογλ φιλελεύθερε».

The news reached Athens, shocking the population. Charles Ogle’s death caused an unprecedented thrill. The merchants of Athens prepared a wreath with a tape bearing an inscription:

«Έκπρεπέ εν Βρετανοίς Κάρολον πολυδάκρυτον Ογλ Στίφεα κυκλώπων έκτανον ουχί οσίως Πηλίου εν κλιτύσιν κηρός μεμαώτα μελαίνης γης εξαρπάζειν Θεσσαλίης τέκεα».

Charles Ogle’s funeral took place on 29 March 1878 at the church of St. Dionysius, in the presence of the Catholic Archbishop. Many officials and people attended the ceremony.

The announcement of Charles Ogle’s Funeral

The funeral speeches were delivered at the cemetery by the Greek journalist and politician Timoleon Philemon and the French ambassador in Athens. Charles Ogle was buried next to the tomb of Admiral Kanaris, a hero of the Greek War of independence.

Charles Ogle’s family sent a telegram to the Greek Prime Minister Alexandros Koumoundouros, thanking the Greek government, and MP Harilaos Trikoupis, who organized the burial of their son.

The name of the great English philhellene is given to a street in Volos.

A monument with a cenotaph was erected in Makrinitsa in the memory of the great English philhellene

Makrinitsa in Pelion

The sacrifice of Charles Ogle and of hundreds of Greeks in Pelion in 1878, was not in vain. A few years later, the Berlin Conference (March 1881) granted Thessaly and Epirus to Greece. In his work on the “History of the Greek Nation”, the reputable Greek historian Paparrigopoulos confirms that this was achieved thanks to the efforts of England, and in particular of its Philhellene Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898).

United Kingdom’s Prime Minister and great Philhellene, William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898)

Gladstone expressed in public, after the expansion of the borders of Greece into Thessaly and Arta, the great joy he felt when Thessaly united with mother Greece.

His words are written in golden letters on the base of his statute, placed in front of the University of Athens, as an expression of honor and gratitude to this great Philhellene.

SHP pays homage to Clement Hugh Gilbert Harris (8 July 1871 – 23 April 1897), who fought like a hero and died for the independence of Greece in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897. Clement Harris was a wealthy and charismatic English pianist and composer.

He was born in London (Wimbledon) and educated at Harrow School. Then he studied music in Germany (Frankfurt), where he was a pupil of Clara Schumann (wife of composer Robert Schumann). He was a friend of Oscar Wilde and Siegfried Wagner (son of the famous composer Richard Wagner and grandson of pianist / composer Franz Liszt), who decided to choose a composing and conducting career, thanks to Harris encouragement.

During a voyage in Asia, Harris sketched “Paradise Lost” after Milton, his most important symphonic poem. The work was completed in 1895 and performed that year in Bad Homburg, Germany, in the presence of the Prince of Wales, the King of Belgium, and various Grand Dukes and Duchesses. The English premiere took place in 1905 in Birmingham Town Hall, eight years after Harris’s death.

Clement Harris was an enthusiastic admirer of Greek culture. He travelled to Greece and studied Greek during 1896 in Corfu. Then, at the outbreak of the Greco-Turkish war of 1897, he organized a battalion of mercenaries to fight for the independence of Greece. He went to the mainland with the prosecutor of Corfu, Kyrgousios, in a boat full of ammunition intended for the front in Epirus. The ship anchored about two kilometers before the Turkish-occupied border and Harris went to Arta, where he shouted proud: “Anglos Philhellen! (Englishman, philhellen!), when he entered the Greek army camp being cheered with enthusiasm by the crowd.

On 5 April 1897, Harris declared: “I act, of course, out of free choice. No one has persuaded me to put my life at the service of the Greeks; rather, well-intentioned friends have hindered me from doing my bid so far […]. The step I take may seem like an act of madness to many. For me, who has thoroughly considered the matter, this is the least that a man of honor can do for a country calling for freedom in the name of the cross, and in turn insulted and hindered by each of the so-called civilized powers”.

The Greek poet Lorenzo Mavilis became a friend of Clement Harris.

During his presence in Greece, Harris wrote to his mother, Elizabeth Rachel Harris: “Dear mother! I am now completely in my element, far from all the futile obligations of modern society, and enjoy it to the fullest.”.

In one of his letters to Siegfried Wagner’s half-sister Daniela Thode, he wrote on 9 April 1897 the following: “Who knows if we will ever meet again. I do not want to trade with anything in the world, though I’m well aware of the local dangers. I only hope that the Greeks will win the war, which now seems unavoidable, and if I do not come back, at least you will know that I gave my life for the freedom of a people to whom I have learned to pay my admiration and that I, like children who, over time, become noble and great men and, worthy heirs of their historical ancestors, will honor the country.”

He was killed in action on 23 April 1897 at the age of 25.

Harris’ unit was approached by Turkish troops, who presented themselves insidiously as Greek Epirotes, saluting and greeting Harris’ soldiers and comrades. The Turks entered the camp, they took Harris’ unit by surprise and opened fire against them, starting the battle of Pente Pigadia in Epirus (Five Wells). Harris organized the defense of the unit and fought as a hero. Although he was wounded early in the day, Harris refused to leave his post, even when many of his fellow officers and soldiers started withdrawing from their positions. He stayed there and died in action, setting an example of heroism.

He was buried in the graveyard of the Anglican Church of St. Paul’s in Athens. A plaque at the church commemorates Clement Harris.

One of the last photos of Clement Harris before his death.

Harris’ family discovered all this much later. The London Times reported on 22 May 1897: “The relatives of Mr. Clement Harris, who was wounded in battle with the Greek troops in Epirus, have received authentic news of his death on 23 April at Pente Pigadia.”.

SHP has in its collection a letter sent by a Harris’ brother from Athens, to inform friends in England about Clement’s death and the erection of a commemoration plaque at St Paul in Athens.

Harris (Walter B.) Autograph Letter signed to “Dear M.r Bowen”, 3pp., folio, Athens, 28 December 1900, “I am writing to tell you of a ceremony which took place here today, & which I cannot but feel may be of interest to Harrovians. It was the dedication, in the English church, of the tablet that has been erected to the memory of my brother Clement, who … was killed at Pente Pigadia on April 23rd 1897, fighting for the cause of Greece”.

Harris’s death was commemorated by the poet Stefan George in the poem ‘Pente Pigadia’ in his collection Der siebente Ring (The Seventh Ring). Stefan George (1868-1933), was an influential German poet, editor and translator.

During his life, Clement Harris, composed remarkable pieces for piano, including Il pensieroso and L’Allegro after Milton, romances for violin and piano and clarinet, cello and piano, and songs.

Greece honored Clement Harris memory in many ways. Decades after his death postcards with the portrait of Clement Harris were published. Harris’s symphonic poem “Paradise Lost” was performed on numerous occasions in Greece. It was first performed in 1937 in the ancient Odeion in Athens. Lately it was performed in 1999, in the Megaron Mousikis in Athens with the Orchestra Chromaton under Miltos Logiadis.

You may listen to a performance of Paradise Lost here.

Harris’ diaries were published in German by the Stefan George scholar Claus Bock.

We quote from his diary the following passage:

“Die meisten freien Nachmittage verbrachte ich in der Bibliothek. Ein anderer Lieblingsaufenthalt war der Kirchhof. Ich mag mich besinnen, wie ich einmal auf dem-selben Stein, auf dem schon Byron ge¬sessen und geträumt hatte, Tränen der Schwermut vergoss und wie dabei im Herzen die Sehnsucht erwachte, auch mein Name möge meinem Vaterland dereinst Ruhm und Ehre erwerben.“

(Free translation: “Most of the free afternoons I spent in the library. Another favorite stay was the cemetery. I recall that I once shed tears of melancholy on the same stone on which Byron had sat and dreamed, and how in my heart longing awoke, also my name may one day acquire fame and glory for my country.”)

In 1922–23 Siegfried Wagner composed the symphonic poem Glück as a memorial to Harris.

You may listen to a performance of Glück here.

Siegfried Wagner: Glück (dedicated to the memory of Clement Harris)

Le philhellénisme a constitué un mouvement extrêmement important en France, qui a contribué au succès de la révolution de 1821 et à la création de l’État grec moderne.

Au cours du XVIIIe siècle, la Renaissance et les Lumières ont créé un courant de retour vers la Grèce classique, désormais reconnue comme la mère de la culture occidentale. De nombreux scientifiques, archéologues, historiens, intellectuels, artistes, se sont rendus en Grèce en tant que voyageurs depuis la fin du XVIIIe siècle et ont découvert, sur les traces de Pausanias, la civilisation grecque. Le travail de l’académicien français et ambassadeur de France à Constantinople, comte Choiseul-Gouffier (1752-1817), Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce, est particulièrement emblématique.

Choiseul-Gouffier était un des élèves de l’archéologue et auteur, grand philhellène, abée Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, qui a aussi inspiré avec son travail Rigas Feraios pour la conception de sa carte.

Choiseul-Gouffier était nommé en 1809, président de l’Hôtel Hellénophone, une société secrète prérévolutionnaire en France, qui avait pour objectif la régénération intellectuelle et l’illumination des Grecs et la préparation d’une révolte contre les Turcs. L’action la plus importante de l’Hôtel a été l’envoi de 40.000 armes dans les régions montagneuses grecques d’Épire, de Macédoine et du Péloponnèse. Certains historiens affirment que Napoléon lui-même était au courant et soutenait les actions de l’Hôtel.
Il faut souligner que l’initiateur de cet Hôtel serait une réputée intellectuelle chypriote grecque Élisabeth Sant-Lomaca-Chénier, épouse du marchand français Louis de Chenier et mère des deux célèbres poètes français de l’époque, André Chénier (1762-1794), qui a été guillotiné à la veille de la chute de Robespierre et Marie-Joseph Chénier (1764-1811). L’action de l’Hôtel a commencé, dans le célèbre salon littéraire d’Elisabeth Chenier.

Enfin, on note que Tsakalov était lui-même membre de l’Hôtel. En 1814 il a déménagé de Paris à Odessa, où l’Hôtel a évolué pour devenir la Filiki Etairia.
En 1819, le peintre Louis Dupré se rend en Grèce et décrit avec précision la vie quotidienne des Grecs ainsi que les premiers exploits héroïques des combattants de 1821.

En fait, beaucoup d’autres scientifiques français ont également fourni un travail important en Grèce.
Le Journal des Débats du 31 août 1821 fait référence au travail du grand géographe français Malte-Brun, qui a enregistré en détail la géographie et tous les éléments de la population du Péloponnèse.

Le numéro du 27 juillet 1821 du Journal des Débats se réfère au travail d’un autre français, qui a enregistré en détail les monuments culturels d’Athènes, exprimant sa crainte pour les dommages qu’ils pourraient subir pendant la guerre.
Enfin, on rappelle l’expédition française de Moree, de 15 000 hommes, dirigée par le général Maison (1828-1833), dans le but d’éloigner Ibrahim Pacha du Péloponnèse, et de mettre en œuvre le traité de Londres de 1827 pour la création d’un état grec.

La mission comprenait 17 scientifiques français, connus sous le nom Mission scientifique de Morée, qui ont cartographié le Péloponnèse et les îles de la mer Égée, étudié les monuments anciens et décrit les résultats de leurs recherches dans 6 ouvrages qui fournissent des informations importantes. L’un d’entre eux était le fameux architecte Blouet.

Ainsi, au début du 19e siècle, il se développa dans l’opinion publique, qui recevait systématiquement une éducation classique, un climat d’amour pour la Grèce et les Grecs qui souffraient sous l’empire ottoman. Ce climat domine les arts et passe ensuite à la politique. A titre d’exemple notre exposition présente une proposition soumise à la Chambre des Pairs en 1816 par le grand philhellène et homme politique Chateaubriand, en faveur de l’abolition de l’esclavage des populations chrétiennes.

Cette proposition, qui fut adoptée, fait référence aux droits de l’humanité et à la suppression de la honte en Europe. Le fléau de l’esclavage et l’enlèvement de chrétiens par les Turcs, a été représenté de nombreuses manières dans l’art.
Toutefois, Chateaubriand doit son titre de grand philhellène, a son travail Note sur la Grèce, qui a été traduit et distribué partout en Europe, étant reconnu comme le manifeste du philhellénisme durant la révolution de 1821.

Du moment que la révolution grecque fut connue en Europe occidentale, les journaux ont commencé à être inondés quotidiennement des nouvelles sur les opérations militaires et les développements politiques. On présente le journal français La Quotidienne du 12 Juin 1822, qui se référé aux massacres des grecs par les turcs, annonce la libération d’Athènes, etc. Un point très important à noter est que ce journal utilise pour la première fois le terme « la Grèce » pour désigner les territoires contrôlés par les combattants grecs.

Une autre édition du journal français Le Journal de la France, du 16 Janvier 1827, fait référence à l’officier français Fabvier et d’autres Philhellènes qui combattaient en Attique.

Alors que l’édition du 15 Juin 1827, décrit les négociations du commandant Français de Rigny, avec Rachid Pacha pour la protection des Athéniens.

Cet intérêt intense pour la Révolution de 1821 se reflète également dans la littérature.

Depuis 1821, plus de 2000 œuvres littéraires (poèmes, pièces de théâtre, dépliants de contenu historique et politique, etc.) ont été écrits et diffusés à l’échelle internationale, se référant à la révolution grecque, faisant l’éloge des grecs. Parmi les auteurs on trouve les académiciens Guiraud et Casimir Delavigne, Victor Hugo et Alphonse de Lamartine.

On se réfère sur deux cas impliquant Missolonghi, qui a démontré à l’opinion publique européenne que la Grèce héroïque des Thermopyles était bien vivante. Une lettre du compositeur italien Pacini (qui vivait à Paris), témoigne de ce climat. Pacini offre son œuvre musical sur Missolonghi à vendre pour un franc par exemplaire, demandant que l’argent soit donné au Comité grec Philanthropique (voir plus bas).

Le « dernier jour de Missolonghi » était un drame théâtral très emblématique de l’époque. On trouve ce livre faisant partie de la bibliothèque personnelle de Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile, duchesse de Berry (1798-1870) du château de Rosny.

Plusieurs peintres ont produit au début des années 1820, beaucoup d’œuvres d’art avec des thèmes inspirés par la révolution grecque et le sort des grecs luttant pour leur Independence.
Le cas du jeune (à l’époque) peintre Eugene Delacroix est remarquable avec ses œuvres choquants « La destruction de Chios » et « La Grèce sur les ruines de Missolonghi ».

Un grand nombre de peintres ont produit des œuvres sur toile, papier, métal ou tapisserie, montrant des révolutionnaires en 1821, des scènes de combat entre grecs et turcs, des réfugiés grecs, le serment du combattant grec, etc.

La solidarité aux grecs, se manifesta aussi de manière effective, à travers de la mise en place des comités philhellèniques, avec la participation de personnalités de l’époque. Ces comités offraient une aide aux grecs en révolte. Ils soignaient les réfugiés qui avaient fui vers l’Europe, ils facilitaient le transfert des volontaires philhellènes en Grèce et ils organisaient des collectes de fonds à envoyer en Grèce ou à utiliser pour le rachat des prisonniers et des esclaves grecs.

On connait plusieurs importants philhellènes membres du premier comité intitulé « Société de la Morale Chrétienne ». Il s’agit des sénateurs français, le duc de la Rochefoucault-Liancourt (qui était le président du comité), le duc de Broglie, ainsi que d’autres députés, des banquiers, etc.

Les membres comprenaient également des grecs qui vivaient à Paris, comme Adamantios Korais. Le comité organisait des collectes de fonds auxquelles contribuaient des personnalités connues, mais aussi des simples citoyens.

Une organisation plus active est fondée en février 1825, à Paris. La « Commission Philanthropique en faveur des Grecs ». Ce nouveau comité philhellénique a des objectifs beaucoup plus larges, visant à collecter de l’argent pour aider les grecs aussi sur le plan militaire. Pendant ce temps, la « Société de Morale Chrétienne » a continué à aider, en particulier dans le domaine de l’éducation, s’occupant de la formation en France des orphelins grecs. La Société a aussi envoyé son membre Dutrone en Grèce, pour organiser un système scolaire.

On observe un mouvement philhellène équivalent dans d’autres villes, comme à Marseille, Lyon et Strasbourg.

Les comités, et plusieurs membres du gouvernement français étaient en contact permanent avec les grecs. On voit plus bas une lettre de 1824 de Démétrios Ypsilantis au ministre de la Justice en France, demandant le soutien du gouvernement français.

On note que Ypsilantis avait un proche collaborateur français, le philhellène Olivier Voutier, qui a reçu grade de colonel, puis de général de l’armée grecque. Voutier s’est battu durant le siège de Tripoli et à Athènes, ou il a aidé les grecs à utiliser l’artillerie.

Ce climat philhellénique s’est généralisé et il a marqué la société française. Presque chaque maison disposait d’un ou plusieurs objets relatifs à la Grèce et au combat des grecs. Souvent, une partie des revenus provenant du commerce de ces objets finançait des actions en faveur des grecs.

On a enregistré environ 150 différents types de pendules en bronze ayant comme thème la révolution de 1821 et des scènes associées à la lutte des grecs.

De nombreux types de vaisselle en porcelaine avec une pluralité d’illustrations. Des vases décoratifs et statuettes en porcelaine, des boîtes de rangement, et des jeux de table et des cartes, ainsi que des éventails avec de thèmes philhellènes, utilisés par les dames en France.


On voit plus bas l’éventail philhellénique officiel du concert du 28 Avril, 1826 à Vauxhall à Paris. Cet évènement a marqué un moment historique du mouvement philhellène en France, qui constitua en même temps l’événement le plus en vogue de l’époque. Toutes les grandes dames de l’aristocratie, sont montées sur scène et ont chanté en faveur du peuple grec. Un côté de l’éventail indique «Cantate chantée au concert du Vauxhall», et l’inscription: «A la Patrie. Mourons pour la défendre et vivons pour l’aimer». En gauche drapeau et à droite corne d’Amalthée avec les dons généreux de Philhellènes. De l’autre côté les noms des participants-organisateurs.

La Société pour l’Hellénisme et le Philhellénisme, en collaboration avec l’Ambassade de la France en Grèce, ont rendu hommage à la mémoire de tous ces français, dont les noms sont connus ou inconnus, qui ont soutenu avec une passion unique, la lutte du peuple grec pour gagner son indépendance, avec un concert de musique Philhellénique du 19eme siècle.



Paul Emil Jacobs (August 20, 1802 – January 6, 1866) was a leading Orientalist German painter, noted for Orientalist themes, portraits and nudes, as well as subjects from the classical mythology.

Paul Emil Jacobs was the son of the philologist Frederick Jacobs. He received his art training at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts and first became known for his painting of Mercury and Argus (from Classical mythology). In 1824 he went to Rome, where he attracted critical attention by painting “The Raising of Lazarus”. In 1836 he made a series of historical paintings at the Welfenschloss in Hannover.

Jacobs was noted for his mastery of nudes, expressed particularly in the representation of such Orientalist themes as “A slave market” or of sleeping and waking naked boys.

Graceful depictions of the female body include his “A Harem Beauty At Her Toilette”. His image of Scheherezade from Arabian Nights is noted for its light effects. The famous Ali Pasha was depicted by Jacobs in a moment of relaxed intimacy with Kira Vassiliki.

Like many Europeans of his generation, Jacobs was a Philhellene who expressed sympathy for the Greek War of Independence, which took place when he was in the early stage of his artistic career. This was manifested through various paintings showing sympathetic pictures of “Greek Freedom Fighters”, remarkable and powerful scenes from the Greek War of Independence and scenes showing Greek slaves.

Jacobs was also a portrait painter. Lithographed portraits by him include those of Goethe, Karl Gottlieb Bretschneider and Döring.

In 1844, Jacobs created the monumental altarpiece “Calvary”, for St. Augustine’s Church in Gotha (his birthplace). It was removed from St. Augustine’s in 1939, and since 1998 the altarpiece has been located in the church of Hohenleuben.

Jacobs was married to Louise Jahn, and his grandson Emil Jacobs (1868–1940) was a librarian and head of the library at the University of Freiburg.

His artistic work of Philhellenic inspiration had a strong impact in Europe and inspired many generations of Greeks and Philhellenes around the world.

The SHP has 4 emblematic paintings of Paul Emil Jacobs in its collection, and it will prepare in the following months an event in Athens, Greece, to honor this great painter and his contribution to Hellenism and Philhellenism.


The Paul Emil Jacobs monument in Gotha


Paintings of Paul Emil Jacobs in the collection of the SHP