Siege of the Acropolis (1821–1822)

The First Siege of the Acropolis in 1821–1822 involved the siege of the Acropolis of Athens by the Greek revolutionary forces, during the early stages of the Greek War of Independence.

First Siege of the Acropolis
Part of the Greek War of Independence
Zografos-Makriyannis 10 First battle of Athens.jpg
"The first battle of Athens"
by Panagiotis Zografos
Date25 April 1821 – 9 June 1822 (O.S.)

Greek victory

  • Capture of the Acropolis
Flag of Greece (1821).svg Greek revolutionaries (until 1 January 1822)
Greece First Hellenic Republic (from 1 January 1822)
Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Meletios Vasileiou
Dimos Antoniou
Olivier Voutier
Omer Vrioni
Omar Bey of Karystos
600 (Initially)
3,000 (max)
Muslim inhabitants of Athens
Reinforced by Vrioni's army
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown
Unknown number of Greek, Turkish, and Albanian civilian deaths

Following the outbreak of the Greek uprising against the Ottoman Empire in March 1821, Athens fell into Greek hands on 28 April without a fight. Its garrison and Muslim inhabitants, along with the Greek population's leaders as hostages, retired to the Acropolis, which served as the garrison commander's residence. The initial Greek force, some 600 Athenians led by Meletios Vasileiou, was soon augmented by volunteers from Aegina, Hydra, Cephallonia and Kea to ca. 3,000, and maintained a loose siege of the fortified hill. A handful of Ottoman soldiers managed to break through the siege, and went to Karystos in Euboea to request the aid of the local governor, Omar Bey, and of the general Omer Vrioni. The two Ottoman leaders united their forces and descended on Attica. The Greek rebels scattered before them, and the Ottoman forces entered Athens on 20 July. Vrioni remained in Attica to pursue the Greek forces, while Omar of Karystos returned to his home province. After Vrioni's departure, however, the siege recommenced. In spring 1822, the Greek forces were reinforced with artillery commanded by French Philhellenes, under Olivier Voutier, who began a bombardment of the fortress. The Ottoman garrison surrendered on 9 June 1822 (O.S.).


Terms of surrenderEdit

After nearly a year of being under siege, the Ottoman garrison at the Acropolis fortress surrendered on 9 June 1822. The terms of surrender were as follows:[1]

  • The Ottoman troops and civilians would be given free passage to Asia Minor on foreign ships not aligned with Greece
  • Allow the Turks who wanted to stay in Athens to do so without significant trouble or harassment

Instances of violenceEdit

The general Omer Vrioni was known to have a habit of going on 'Greek hunts' to chase and kill Greek civilians[citation needed]. In response to these acts, Greek irregulars stationed in Athens retaliated by killing nearly half of the Ottomans who surrendered following the siege.[1] Various other acts of retribution occurred usually involving the killing of Albanian civilians.


  1. ^ a b David, Brewer (2011). The Greek War of Independence: The Struggle for Freedom and the Birth of Modern Greece, 1st Edition. New York, NY: The Overlook Press. ISBN 1590206916.

References and further readingEdit

  • David, Brewer (2011). The Greek War of Independence: The Struggle for Freedom and the Birth of Modern Greece, 1st Edition. New York, NY: The Overlook Press. ISBN 1590206916

Coordinates: 38°00′00″N 23°43′00″E / 38.0000°N 23.7167°E / 38.0000; 23.7167