Dimitrios Panourgias

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Dimitrios Panourgias.

Dimitrios Panourgias (Greek: Δημήτριος Πανουργιάς; 1754-1834), a Greek military commander during the Greek War of Independence, was born Dimitrios Xiros (Greek: Δημήτριος Ξηρός) in the village of Dremissa, Phocis.

Early life[edit]

His parents originated from the village Aghios Georgios in Phocis, although he was born in Dremissa. His family name was Xiros (Ξηρός), but the godfather who baptised him thought he was a girl and named him Panorea (Πανωραία), meaning very beautiful, and by that name he was by then being called.

Klepht and Armatolos[edit]

Panourgias entered the armatoluk of Androutsos Verousis in 1790 and for a short time became commander of the Salona armatoluk with the support of Ali Pasha, but quickly abandoned his position and turned himself into a klepht. In 1816, however he rejoined Ali Pasha and was once more appointed as an armatolos in the Salona district. It was there where he became a member of the Filiki Eteria.

Greek War of Independence[edit]

On March 24, 1821 he started the Revolution in Salona and later collaborated with Athanasios Diakos and Dyovouniotis in order to hult Omer Vryonis from advancing further into Roumeli. Panourgias with his band was to defend the hills of Chalkomata, near Thermopylae, but was seriously wounded during the fights and had to withdraw.

He participated in January, 1822 to the First National Assembly at Epidaurus as representative of Salona, and was the most important negotiator during the surrender of Acrocorinth to the Greek forces in 1822. He retired from military operations some months later, after he handed the leadership of his militia band to his son, Nakos Panourgias. He died in 1834.