Ioannis Vlachos (Greek: Ιωάννης Βλάχος), better known as Daskalogiannis (Δασκαλογιάννης; 1722/30 – 17 June 1771) was a wealthy shipbuilder and shipowner who led a Cretan revolt against Ottoman rule in the 18th century.[1][2][3]

Ioannis Vlachos
Native name
Ιωάννης Βλάχος
  • Daskalogiannis
  • Δασκαλογιάννης
Born1722 or 1730
Anopolis, Crete, Ottoman Empire
Died(1771-06-17)17 June 1771 (age 40–49)
Heraklion, Crete, Ottoman Empire

Life and careerEdit

The gulf of Loutro with the islet of Loutro on the right.

Ioannis Vlachos was born in Anopolis village in Sfakia, a semi-autonomous region of Crete, in 1722 or 1730. His father, who was also a wealthy shipowner, sent him to be educated abroad. Due to his education, his compatriots called him "Daskalos" (teacher), hence his nickname Daskalogiannis, literally "John the Teacher." He is referred to as a town clerk in 1750, as chairman of the region of Sfakia in 1765, and as the owner of four, three-mast merchant ships.[4] These would have sailed from Prosyalo and the gulf of Loutro.[3]

Daskalogiannis knew Emmanouil Benakis at Mani and it is likely that Benakis introduced him to Count Orlov who Catherine the Great had sent to the Peloponnese in 1769 to instigate a revolt there.[4] Many men from Sfakia also participated in the revolt which Orlov instigated in the Peloponnese.[4]

Leader of revoltEdit

In early 1770, he was contacted by Russian emissaries, who hoped to instigate a revolt amongst the Greek subjects of the Ottoman Empire. Daskalogiannis agreed to fund and organize a rebellion in Sfakia against the Turkish authorities when the Russian emissaries promised to support him. In the spring of 1770, Daskalogiannis made preparations for the revolt; he brought together men, rifles, and supplies and had defenses built at strategic locations.[4] However, the Russian fleet in the Aegean, under Count Orlov, did not sail for Crete, and the revolt was left to rely on its own resources. The uprising began on 25 March 1770, with the flag raised at the church of Agios Georgios of Anopolis, and for a short time, parts of Crete had the attributes of an independent nation, including its own coins minted in a cave near Hora Sfakion.

The Russian intervention, promised to Daskalogiannis, failed to materialize [5] and the uprising did not spread to the lowlands. Without outside support, it was put down brutally by the superior Turkish forces of the island, which easily defeated the 1,300 rebels. Sfakia was for the first time fully dominated by Turkish forces. Daskalogiannis surrendered with 70 men at the castle of Frangokastello near Hora Sfakion. On the orders of the Pasha of Candia/Chandax (Heraklion), he was tortured outside Heraklion's harbor fortress, skinned alive, and executed on 17 June 1771.[6] He is said to have suffered the torture in silence. The Turks forced Daskalogiannis' brother to watch the torturous execution, which allegedly drove him insane.[6][7]


Daskalogiannis was married to Sgouromallini, their daughters Anthousa and Maria fought alongside their father during the course of the revolt. Sgouromallini and Anthousa were killed in its aftermath. Maria was enslaved and given to the Ottoman vizier, who in turn gifted to the teftedar of Heraklion. The latter married Maria, without forcing her to convert to Islam (according to the custom of the time) and the two moved to Constantinople. After her husband's death in 1816, Maria inherited a considerable amount of money donating to the Greek revolutionaries following the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence.[8]


Daskalogiannis was immortalized 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:[4][9]

…Φτάνουν στο Φραγκοκάστελο και στον πασά ποσώνου,
κι εκείνος δούδει τ' όρντινο κι ευτύς τσοι ξαρματώνου.
Ούλους τσοι ξαρματώσασι και τσοι μπισταγκωνίζου
και τότες δα το νιώσασι πως δεν ξαναγυρίζου.
...They arrive at Frangokastello and surrender to the pasha,
and he gives the order to disarm them at once.
All of them were disarmed and ill at ease,
for now they sensed that they would never go home.

Tradition states that before Daskalogiannis and his few men made their last stand against the Ottomans, they danced the war dance Pentozalis.

The international airport of Chania (CHQ/LGSA) bears Daskalogiannis' name.[10] A memorial statue can be seen in his hometown Anopolis. One of the regular ferries in the Crete southeast routes is named the Daskalogiannis.[citation needed]


  1. ^ George Childs Kohn (Editor) Dictionary of Wars 650 pages ISBN 1-57958-204-4 ISBN 978-1579582043 Page 155
  2. ^ "stigmes.gr". stigmes.gr.
  3. ^ a b Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 357
  4. ^ a b c d e Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 358
  5. ^ Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 359
  6. ^ a b Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 360
  7. ^ Detorakis, Turkish rule in Crete, p. 361
  8. ^ Xiradaki, Turkish Women of 21, pp. 357–360
  9. ^ Roderick Beaton Folk Poetry of Modern Greece 248 pages Publisher: Cambridge University Press (20 May 2004) ISBN 0-521-60420-6 ISBN 978-0521604208
  10. ^ "Ioannis Daskalogiannis International Airport". Archived from the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2010.


  • Detorakis, Theocharis (1988). "Η Τουρκοκρατία στην Κρήτη ("Turkish rule in Crete")". In Panagiotakis, Nikolaos M. (ed.). Crete, History and Civilization (in Greek). Vol. II. Vikelea Library, Association of Regional Associations of Regional Municipalities. pp. 333–436.
  • Xiradaki, Koula (1995). Γυναίκες του 21 [Women of 21] (in Greek). Athens: Dodoni. ISBN 960-248-781-X.