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Daskalogiannis (Ioannis Vlachos)
Cretan hero born in Anopolis, Sfakia




Ioannis Vlachos, better known as Daskalogiannis - an honorary title - born in Anopolis, Sfakia, was a prominent figure in Crete, through the middle of the 18th century.
He was a rich ship-owner, who traveled round the Mediterranean Sea stopping at every port and acquired not only wealth but also a vast knowledge of the world and its problems at that time. He held the most distinguished position in the town of Sfakia.
He is referred to as a town clerk and chairman of the country of Sfakia as early as 1750.
Daskalogiannis (GR: Δασκαλογιάννης) started planning a revolutionary liberation movement in Crete in 1769 and completed the preparations for the revolution in Sfakia in the spring of 1770.
In 1770, the revolution that had already broken out in other parts of Greece broke out in Crete too. This revolution was known as 'Orlofika' (the revolution led by Orlof).
The first revolutionary incidents took place in April 1770 when the people of Sfakia led by Daskalogiannis rose in revolt against the Turks. They fought on the mountains and in the gorges around Sfakia showing unprecedented bravery against the army of the enemy until the fall of 1770.
The winter that followed was harsh and Daskalogiannis saw his hopes for help from the Russians fall to pieces. He did not seem to have any other alternative but to sign a treaty under extremely harsh conditions in March 1771.
Daskalogiannis decided to give himself up hoping that such an act on his part would help his compatriots. However, the Pasha of Handax imposed a very severe punishment: he ordered his men to skin Daskalogiannis alive on June 17th 1771.
Daskalogiannis, revolt was the first step towards freedom from the Turkish occupation in Crete and kept people, hopes from freedom alive.
Daskalogiannis, sacrifice was an inspiration to all the revolutionary efforts that followed; especially to the revolution that broke out in 1821.

Daskalogiannis was immortalised in several folk tales and songs, the most prominent of which is the celebrated epic ballad by Barba-Pantzelios, a poor cheese-maker from Mouri - To tragoudi tou Daskalogianni of 1786.
The international airport of Chania (CHQ/LGSA) bears Daskalogiannis' name.
A memorial statue can be seen at Anopolis where he was born.



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