Mykonos Airport Renamed Manto Mavrogenous the Greek Heroine — Greek City Times

Manto Mavrogenous, a fearless woman who fought for Greek independence

In 2021, the Greek Municipality of Mykonos suggested renaming Mykonos Airport to mark and celebrate 200 years of the 2021 Greek Revolution. On April 19, the municipality revealed that the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has now officially renamed Mykonos Airport to Mykonos-Manto Mavrogenous Airport a brave woman who fought for the independence of Greece.

Who was Manto Mavrogenous?

Manto Mavrogenous, heroine of the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829), was one of the few women to excel in warfare. She was baptized Madeleine and she was born into a wealthy Greek family, in Trieste, in 1796. Her father, Nicholas Mafrogennis, was a Cycladic merchant, and her mother was a Mykonian noblewoman named Zacharatos Antonios Hatzis Bati. She was a polyglot and kept records of her husband’s business activities. Her father was also a member of the Filiki Eteria, a 19th century secret society, of which she became an active member in 1820.

With the outbreak of the Greek Revolution, she left Tinos, where she had lived after her father’s death in 1818, and moved to Mykonos where she led the island’s rebellion against the Turks. With ships, two of which she fitted out at her own expense, she pursued the pirates who were ravaging the Cyclades. Later she fought several battles in Pelion, Fthiotida and Livadia. Thanks to her financial support, her actions in general, as well as her letters to the Philhellenic countries of France and England, she became legendary in Europe. His portrait was printed and published in 1827 throughout Europe.

For her involvement in the war effort, she was praised by Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first governor of the new Greek state. She was given the honorary rank of general – the only woman to achieve such status – and was offered a residence in Greece’s first capital, Nafplion. In 1825, while living in Nafplio, her resources being depleted due to the war, she was forced to sell her family’s property in the Cycladic islands.

Dimitris Ypsiladis’s breach of faith in her promise to marry her, the poverty she had endured, and her violent expulsion from Nafplion in 1826, under the command of Ioannis Kolettis, dealt severe blows to the heroine. Therefore, she returned to Mykonos after the revolution and after a few years died in Paros, very poor and forgotten.

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