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Georgios Kountouriotis

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Georgios Kountouriotis
Γεώργιος Κουντουριώτης (Greek)
Γιώργ Κουντουριότι (Arvanitika Albanian)[1]
Georgios Kountouriotis
by Dionysios Tsokos

Prime Minister of Greece
In office
4 March 1848 – 15 October 1848
Preceded byKitsos Tzavelas
Succeeded byKonstantinos Kanaris
President of the Provisional Administration of Greece
In office
18 January 1824 – 29 April 1826
Preceded byPetros Mavromichalis
Succeeded byAndreas Zaimis
In office
27 March 1832 – 25 January 1833
Preceded byAugustinos Kapodistrias
Succeeded byOtto of Greece (as King of Greece)
Spyridon Trikoupis (as Prime Minister of Greece)
Personal details
Bornc. 1782
Hydra, Ottoman Empire (now Greece)
Died13 March 1858 (aged 76)
Athens, Kingdom of Greece
Political partyFrench Party
RelationsLazaros Kountouriotis (brother)
Pavlos Kountouriotis (grandson)
Nikolaos Votsis (great-grandson)
Military service
AllegianceGreece First Hellenic Republic
Branch/service Hellenic Navy
Battles/warsGreek War of Independence

Georgios Kountouriotis (Greek: Γεώργιος Κουντουριώτης) (1782 – 13 March 1858) was a Greek ship-owner and politician who served as prime minister from March to October 1848.


He was born in 1782 on the Saronic island of Hydra to an Arvanite family.[2] The family, apparently the richest in independent Greece, stemmed from the younger son of an Albanian peasant. He settled the island as a boatman after the Venetians left the Peloponnese (1715) but before the island received its permanent colony.[3] The Koundouriotis family used extensively their native Albanian dialect of Hydra. The dialect has been documented in two letters of Georgios' private correspondence with Ioannis Orlandos, written in the Greek alphabet,[4] in accordance with the practice of the writers of Arvanitika during the Greek War of Independence.[5] Georgios spoke Greek only with difficulty.[6] He was the brother of Lazaros Kountouriotis, another shipowner of the Greek War of Independence.

When the War of Independence broke out, Georgios, along with the rest of the Kountouriotis family, supported the effort with generous donations as well as with their ships. He was often at odds with other Hydriot sea captains but ultimately was the wealthiest. Georgios Kountouriotis became a member of the executive committee of the Greek Revolution and served as its president from 1823 to 1826 during the crucial time of the siege of Missolonghi.

After independence, he became a member of the cabinet of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first governor of Greece. He was a semi-independent adherent of the French Party mostly due to his antipathy to the Russian Party and his fellow Hydriots of the English Party. During the period of French Party ascendancy in the reign of King Otto, he served as Prime Minister.


He died in 1858.


He was the grandfather of Pavlos Kountouriotis who fought in the First Balkan War and later served as the first (1924-1926) President of the Second Hellenic Republic.


  1. ^ Transcription in the modern Albanian alphabet: Jorgh Kundurioti. See Jochalas, Titos (2020). "Lettere di contenuto velenoso inviate da Londra al Primo Ministro greco scritte nel dialetto albanese di Idra (1824)". Shejzat. 3–4: 70–1, 77, 78..
  2. ^ Peter Trudgill Sociolinguistic variation and change, Published by Edinburgh University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-7486-1515-5
  3. ^ Petropulos, J.A. (2015). Politics and Statecraft in the Kingdom of Greece, 1833-1843. Princeton University Press. p. 70.
  4. ^ Jochalas, Titos (2020). "Lettere di contenuto velenoso inviate da Londra al Primo Ministro greco scritte nel dialetto albanese di Idra (1824)". Shejzat. 3–4: 69. The two letters published here are written in the Albanian dialect of Hydra in London (20 Sept. and 16 Mar. 1824) by Hydriot Ioannis Orlandos, and sent to another Hydriot Gheorgios Cunduriotis, his father-in-law as well as Prime Minister of the Greek Government. In an attempt to get rid of Zaimis who currently was in London, Orlandos sent this bitter letter whose content should not be disclosed to Cunduriotis. In fact, he wrote in the Arvanit language of Hydra, a language that the recipient undoubtedly understood. In his second letter, Orlandos overstepped every mark of courtesy displaying insolence and maliciousness. He did not deem sufficient to simply write una letterra di raccomandazione imbued with venom and bitterness on behalf of youngster Stavros Parthenopulos but he also had the courage to hand it over personally to the young man in order to personally deliver it then to Gheorgios Cunduriotis, Prime Minister of the country. In case Parthenopulos would open and read the letter, Orlandos wrote the section relating to the deliverer in the Arvanit language of Hydra, so as to avoid any personal involvement in the question. The text in Albanian in both letters is written in the Greek alphabet and reverberates the peculiar Albanian dialect of Hydra otherwise known as Arvanitica.
  5. ^ Sasse, Hans-Jürgen (1998). "Arvanitika: The Long Hellenic Centuries of an Albanian Variety". International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 134 (134): 49. doi:10.1515/ijsl.1998.134.39. Arvanitika had begun to evolve into a written language even by the time of the War of Independence, probably because it was more suitable for secret messages than Greek. The writers used the Greek alphabet, to which they occasionally added the Latin vowel e in order to express the schwa (e). In Hydra, local politicians sporadically corresponded in Arvanitika.
  6. ^ Woodhouse, C.M. (1968). A Short History of Modern Greece. Praeger. p. 139. Koundouriotis was descended from the Albanian invaders of Greece in the 14th century, and spoke Greek only with difficulty.
Political offices
Preceded by President of the Executive
18 January 1824 – 29 April 1826
Succeeded by
Andreas Zaimis
as President of the Governmental Commission
Preceded by Prime Minister of Greece
19 March 1848 – 27 October 1848
Succeeded by