Greek revolutionary Kyriakoulis Mavromichalis was born on this day, 4 July in 1765.
A member of the prominent Mavromichalis family, from the Mani Peninsula in the Peloponnese, Kyriakoulis Mavromichalis was a fighter during the Revolution of 1821.
Kyriakoulis came from a long line of fighters, who despised the Ottomans and their oppressive rule of the Greeks.
He was born in Limeni in the Mani Peninsula, the son of Pierros Pierrakos and Katerina Koutsogrigorakos and the younger brother of Petrobey Mavromichalis, a Greek general, politician and the leader of the Maniot people during the first half of the 19th century.
At the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, he immediately formed his own fighting force.
Kyriakoulis was involved in one of the first victories over the Turks, during the liberation of Kalamata in March of 1821.
Kyriakoulis excelled in numerous battles and skirmishes early on throughout the Peloponnese. This included the famous Siege of Tripolitsa, which saw the total destruction and comprehensive defeat of the Ottoman forces there.
In 1822, Kyriakoulis led his fighting force up into the Souli region of Epirus, to fight against a joint Turk-Albanian force.
It was here where Kyriakoulis took his last breath on the 4th of July 1822, with his force fighting to the very last man.
Maniot tradition and folk songs show how his younger brother’s death strongly hurt the brave Petrobey’s soul:
“Πετρόμπεης καθότανε ψηλά στο Πετροβούνι κι εσφούγγιζε τα μάτια του μ΄ ένα χρυσό μαντήλι. Τι έχεις Μπέη και χλίβεσαι και χύνεις μαύρα δάκρυα; Σα με ρωτάς Κυριάκαινα και θέλεις για να μάθης; Aπόψε μου ΄ρθαν γράμματα από το Μεσολόγγι …τον Κυριακούλην σκότωσαν, τον πρώτο καπετάνιο και στάζουνε τα μάτια μου και τρέχουν μαύρα δάκρυα.”
“Petrobey was lying in the highlands of Petrovouni (Stone Mountain) wiping his eyes with a golden kerchief. What’s happening to you Bey, that you’re so sad and black tears fall from your eyes? Since you’re asking Kyriakaina (Kyriakoulis’ wife) and you want to know… Tonight I got news from Mesolonghi … Kyriakoulis was killed, the main captain. This is why my eyes are full with black tears.”
Kyriakoulis was the grandfather of Kyriakoulis Petrou Mavromichalis, the politician and later Prime Minister but above all, for the Peloponnesians, and in particular the Maniots, he became the icon of the sacrifice made in behalf of the freedom of Greece.