General Kolokotronis writes to Ibrahim Pasha four months after the annihilation of the Turkish-Egyptian fleet by the Allied Armada at Navarino



Your Highness!

Man's virtue is admired even by his enemies. The day before yesterday, the courage you demonstrated through the release at Leontari of the Greeks captured around Tripolitsa moved me to both praise and admiration. This great example I rushed to emulate, so now in turn I am freeing those captive Turks found under my authority; and I shall also set free all those in the hands of others within the Karytaina province: since the fate of war is common, let us absolve our unfortunate captives from the bonds of slavery, and let us open a new field of rivalry -- that is, who shall surpass the other in mercifulness toward the captives. The history of nations has rendered great the names of those who overcame their emotions and exhibited magnanimity, rather than those who covered the earth with the corpses of their enemies. Your Highness, who keeps an alert eye on our own actions, show the entire world that you bear no resemblance to the world's massacrers, but you long instead for the true glory of war. This moment, as I am writing to you, brought to my mind two captive friends under your authority, Christos Hatsis and Michalis Sissinis: they are close friends and I love them, for they endeavor in the art that both of us love. So, being warlike yourself, I strongly urge you to set free warlike men, acting upon the present suggestion of mine; and I would be much obliged in case I am entitled to receive the response to this letter through the two fighters themselves.

I am honored to be humbly devoted to Your Highness.


Karytaina, February 18, 1828

T. Kolokotronis



[From Fotakos' "Memoir about the Greek Revolution" (as published in NYC's National Herald (5/1/02) -- my translation]





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