From Agrafa in Sterea Ellada, an area known for its fierce resistance to Ottoman rule, Antonis Katsantonis (1775 – September 28, 1809) was a famous Greek Klepht during the period before the 1821 Greek Revolution.
Initially working as a shepherd, he became a Klepht and soon participated in raids against Ottoman properties and possessions.
Katsantonis was small in stature, mild mannered and softly spoken, nevertheless he was a Lion of the Klephts, who struck fear into the Ottomans. Truly one of the most feared and hated adversaries of the Turks and Albanians.
He participated in many revolts and fought in multiple campaigns against the Turks in the early 1800s (1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809), in the period between the two Greek Revolutions – 1770 and 1821.
For this, he was one of the most wanted men for the Ottomans.
After the location of his hideout was betrayed, the Turks captured him and took him to Meteora in Thessaly and publicly executed him.
Before the Turks committed the act, they promised and offered to let Katsantonis go if he embraced Islam, Katsantonis refused and had his bones crushed by a sledgehammer.
His legend and impact post-1821, has been recognised as one of the people who had prepared the Revolution and had envisioned the ideal of an independent Greek nation.
It is said that Markos Botsaris avenged Katsantonis’ death during the 1821 Revolution by liquidating the perpetrators.
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