September 11, 1611: Death of Bishop Dionysios Philosophos, leader of two revolts against the Turks

Dionysios Philosophos (1541 – September 11, 1611), born in Paramythia, Thesprotia, Epirus, but with roots from the village of Avdella in Grevena, Macedonia, was a Greek Orthodox Bishop and leader of two revolts against the Turks in 1600 and 1611.

At a young age, he went to Venice to study medicine, philosophy, logic, poetry. Because of his education and his ability to speak several languages, he was given the moniker of Philosopher.

By the 1580’s he was in Constantinople and had become a monk and by the 1590’s he was in Thessaly, after being appointed the Metropolitan of Larissa.

Greeks from all over would gravitate towards him, due to his faith, beliefs, desire and strong statements advocating for the freedom of the Greeks.

Dionysios led a revolt against Ottoman occupation in Thessaly in 1600, the rebellion was suppressed by the Turks with many Greeks executed in reprisal attacks.

In 1611, this time in Epirus, he led another revolt against the Turks. With an army of 1,000 villagers, farmers and peasants, they attacked the Ottomans and burned down the house of the local Ottoman official.

Dionysios was subsequently captured by the Turks and arrested, taken to the central square in Ioannina, where he was tortured.

He was skinned alive and his skin was then stuffed with hay and put on parade for the Greeks to see, before being taken to Constantinople to be shown to the Sultan.

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