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Vasos Mavrovouniotis
Βάσος Μαυροβουνιώτης
Birth name Vaso Brajović (Васо Брајовић)
Nickname Voevodas Mavrovounios
Born 1797
Died 1847 (aged 49–50)
Place of birth Bjelopavlići, Ottoman Empire (modern Montenegro)
  • Greece Greek revolutionaries
  • Greek War of Independence (1821-1832)
  • Vasos Mavrovouniotis (Greek: Βάσος Μαυροβουνιώτης, literally "Vasos the Montenegrin"; 1797 – 1847) was a Serb voivode from Montenegro, who played a significant role in the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire in 1821.


    Origin and early life

    Vaso Brajović (Serbian Cyrillic language: Васо Брајовић ) was born in 1797[1] in Mojdež, Bjelopavlići, modern day Montenegro, of Serb origin.[2][3] Since his early youth he joined the Montenegrin and other rebel forces and regularly commanded raids across the Balkans.

    Greek Revolution

    In 1821 he led a force of 120 Serbs and Greeks, and joined the early stages of the Greek revolution. His first stop was in central Greece where he met with Nikolaos Kriezotis, an old time Arvanite Greek fellow warrior, leader of the Greek Revolution in Euboea, with whom he was a “Vlami” (a spiritual brother, an ancient Balkan practice of blood brotherhood). In 1822 he participated in the fight against the Turks in Athens where he showed bravery and was widely accepted as one of the best fighters of its period.

    In 1824 a Greek civil war erupted and Mavrovouniotis joined forces with the government mainly composed by Greeks he knew since the early stages of the revolution. For his commitment to the side that finally won the domestic conflict he was assigned the rank of the General and was given a force of 1,500 men; a considerable army at that period. In the period between 1826-27 he was one of the few guerilla fighters not to be defeated by the Egyptian forces led by Ibrahim Pasha, that nearly destroyed the Greek forces. He participated in a failed Greek expedition in Cyprus and Lebanon aiming at inciting a revolt in those areas.[4]

    Service in the Kingdom of Greece

    In the newly established Greek state in 1830’s he became a member of the elite that surrounded the first Greek King Otto, prince of Bavaria. He was both a member of the Privy Council and adjutant to King Otto. He died on 9 June 1847 and was widely admired by the Greek people as one of the leaders of the Cause and as one of the leading figures of the independent state.[5] During his military career he had a leading role in thirty six battles and had suffered many injuries, including a penetrating wound in his chest.[6]

    A dagger belonging to Mavrovouniotis is displayed at the National Museum of Athens. The bayonet-like object on the left (charbi, χαρμπί) was used as knife sharpener or muzzleloader. The dagger on the right bears the inscription (in Greek): "Fighting holy battles for his friend Greece. Vassos Mavrovoniotes".[1]


    Monument to Vasos Mavrovouniotis in Podgorica.

    Mavrovouniotis married Helena Pangalou from the well known Pangalos family, in 1826. Helena followed him throughout the harsh campaigns in the Greek mountains against the Turks. She died in 1891 and they had two sons, Alexandros and Timoleon, both of whom became generals in the Greek Army.

    See also


    1. Whitcombe p. 175
    2. Васко Костић, Подвизи Бокеља ван Боке, E-library
    3. Béla K. Király, Gunther Erich Rothenberg, (1979), War and society in East Central Europe: special topics and generalizations on the 18th and 19th centuries, p. 316: "A Montenegrin Serb", University of Michigan, ISBN 0-930888-04-9
    4. Chrysologis, pp. 32-37
    5. Whitcombe[page needed]
    6. Chrysologis Athanasios (1876) The Greek Fight: Vassos Mavrovouniotes, a talk given at the "Byron" Philologic Society, Athens, Jan. 8th, 1876 p. 16. In Greek.
      Χρυσολόγης Ν. Αθανάσιος (1876), Ο Ελληνικός Αγών : Βάσσος Μαυροβουνιώτης : Διατριβή αναγνωσθείσα εν τω Φιλολογικώ Συλλόγω "Βύρωνι" την 8ην Ιανουαρίου 1876, p. 16.

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