Gavriil Marinakis (1826 - November 9, 1866): A Greek Revolutionary and leader of Cretan Revolt

Gavriil Marinakis

From Rethymno in Crete, Gavriil Marinakis was the Abbott of the Arkadi Monastery in Rethymno, a Greek Revolutionary and Fighter and a Leader of the Cretan Revolt of 1866.

During and then following the 1821 Revolution, the “Great Powers” denied Cretan requests for Independence and Union with the rest of Greece.

These decisions sparked several revolts against Ottoman occupation and rule – 1841, 1858, 1866 and later 1878, 1897 and 1905.

At the outbreak of the 1866 Cretan Revolt in August, Abbott Gavriil Marinakis was one of the main leaders and coordinators.

Together with other leaders and commanders, they met to discuss possible action following several massacres of Cretan civilians by Turkish occupiers.

By 1866, the Greeks of Crete were still the overwhelming majority on the island.

The Cretan leaders first requested assistance from the “Great Powers” to intervene and stop the Turkish atrocities.

When they refused, the Cretans took matters into their own hands, launching a revolt.

By November of 1866, the Turks had sent thousands of re-enforcements to Crete to quash the revolt. By then, Abbott Gavriil was sheltering up to 1000 civilians and rebels in the Arkadi Monastery.

On November 6, the Turks encircled the monastery, with hostilities breaking out. 850 Cretans were massacred inside the Monastery, including Abbott Gavriil who was shot and killed 3 days later.

Gavriil Marinakis' deceased body was desecrated by the Turks who stripped him and beheaded him. Taking his head as a trophy and to be displayed to all parts of Crete.

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