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Ioannis Vlachos (Greek: Ιωάννης Βλάχος), better known as Daskalogiannis (Greek: Δασκαλογιάννης) (?-June 17, 1771) was a Cretan rebel against Ottoman rule in the 18th century.

Life

Ioannis Vlachos was born in Anopolis village in Sfakia, a semi-autonomous region of Crete, in 1722 or 1730. His father, who was a wealthy ship-owner, sent him to be educated abroad. Because of his education, his compatriots called him "Daskalos" (teacher), hence his nickname Daskalogiannis. He is referred to as a town clerk and chairman of the region of Sfakia as early as 1750, and as the owner of four merchant ships.

In early 1770, he was contacted by Russian agents, who hoped to instigate a revolt amongst the Greek subjects of the Ottoman Empire. Daskalogiannis agreed to fund and organise a rebellion in Sfakia against the Turkish authorities when the Russian agents promised to support this. In the event, the Russian fleet in the Aegean, under Count Orlov did not sail for Crete, and the Cretan revolt was left to its own devices. The uprising began on 25 March 1770, with the flag raised at the church of Agios Georgios of Anopolis, and for a short time, parts of Crete had the attributes of an independent nation, including its own coins, minted in a cave near Hora Sfakion. However, the uprising did not spread to the lowlands, and without outside support, it was put down brutally by the superior Turkish forces of the island, who easily defeated the ca. 1,300 rebels. Sfakia was for the first time fully dominated by Turkish forces. Daskalogiannis surrendered with 70 men at the castle of Frangokastello near Hora Sfakion. On the orders of the Pasha of Candia (Heraklion), he was tortured outside Heraklion's harbour fortress, skinned alive and executed οn 17 June 1771. He is said to have suffered all this in dignified silence.

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

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

The international airport of Chania (CHQ/LGSA) bears Daskalogiannis' name. A memorial can be found in his birthplace Anopolis.

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