Aristotelis Valaoritis (September 1, 1824 – July 24, 1879)

Aristotelis Valaoritis (September 1, 1824 – July 24, 1879)

Born in Lefkada with roots from Epirus, Aristotelis Valaoritis was a prominent Greek national poet, writer and politician.

After completing his schooling in the Ionian Islands, he studied law in Italy & France. After completing his law studies, he decided to never practice law.

In 1857, he was elected to the Parliament of the United States of The Ionian Islands. A Greek state which was under British rule, existing between 1815 & 1864. Valaoritis was a member of the “Party of Radicals”, who were calling for the Union of the Ionian islands with Greece.

After Union was achieved in 1864, Valaoritis was elected to Greek parliament. A lot of his speeches in Athens were thunderous, which involved issues such as liberation for the Greeks who had not joined the Greek state, places like Epirus where his family hailed from, as well as being a big advocate of the Cretan cause.

Valaoritis rejected numerous ministerial portfolios from Governments, becoming fed up with the scandals and what he saw happening in and around Greek politics.

He believed that the small Greek Kingdom established in 1832, was not the end of the Revolution, but merely the beginning, advocating the need for Greece to liberate all of its people, reclaim its lost lands and continue to grow.

He retired to the small island of Madouri, just off the east coast of Lefkada, where he continued writing his poems.

He identified himself as a patriotic historical poet, as many of his poems were ethnocentric historical narratives filled with patriotism and mainly dealing with the period of the Greek Revolution.

He would write patriotically about the struggle of the Greeks for freedom and about the various Greek personalities of the time.