Dionysius the Philosopher

Dionysius the Philosopher

Overview
Dionysius the Philosopher was a Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 who led two farmer revolts against the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

.

Dionysius was born in c. 1560 AD in Paramythia
Paramythia
Paramythia is a village and a former municipality in Thesprotia, Epirus, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Souli, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. Population 7,859 .-Name:...

, Thesprotia
Thesprotia
Thesprotia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the Epirus region. Its capital is the town of Igoumenitsa. It is named after the Thesprotians, an ancient Greek tribe that inhabited the region in antiquity.-History:...

. He was of Greek descent, from Macedonia
Macedonia (Greece)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of Greece in Southern Europe. Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region...

 (specifically Avdella, Grevena
Grevena Prefecture
Grevena is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of West Macedonia. Its capital is the town of Grevena.-Geography:Grevena borders the regional units of Ioannina to the west, Kastoria to the northwest, Kozani to the north and east, Larissa to the southeast and Trikala to...

) with Epirotian
Epirus
The name Epirus, from the Greek "Ήπειρος" meaning continent may refer to:-Geographical:* Epirus - a historical and geographical region of the southwestern Balkans, straddling modern Greece and Albania...

 parentage. At a very young age, Dionysius became a kaloyeros at Dichouni.

At age 15, he went to Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

 where he studied medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, philology
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

, logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

, astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, and poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

. In 1582, he lived in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and in 1592 he was elected bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of Larissa
Larissa
Larissa is the capital and biggest city of the Thessaly region of Greece and capital of the Larissa regional unit. It is a principal agricultural centre and a national transportation hub, linked by road and rail with the port of Volos, the city of Thessaloniki and Athens...

 and Trikki
Trikala
Trikala is a city in northwestern Thessaly, Greece. It is the capital of the Trikala peripheral unit, and is located NW of Athens, NW, of Karditsa, E of Ioannina and Metsovo, S of Grevena, SW of Thessaloniki, and W of Larissa...

.

Dionysius led two farmer revolts against the Turks.
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Encyclopedia
Dionysius the Philosopher was a Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 who led two farmer revolts against the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

.

Life and career


Dionysius was born in c. 1560 AD in Paramythia
Paramythia
Paramythia is a village and a former municipality in Thesprotia, Epirus, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Souli, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. Population 7,859 .-Name:...

, Thesprotia
Thesprotia
Thesprotia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the Epirus region. Its capital is the town of Igoumenitsa. It is named after the Thesprotians, an ancient Greek tribe that inhabited the region in antiquity.-History:...

. He was of Greek descent, from Macedonia
Macedonia (Greece)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of Greece in Southern Europe. Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region...

 (specifically Avdella, Grevena
Grevena Prefecture
Grevena is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of West Macedonia. Its capital is the town of Grevena.-Geography:Grevena borders the regional units of Ioannina to the west, Kastoria to the northwest, Kozani to the north and east, Larissa to the southeast and Trikala to...

) with Epirotian
Epirus
The name Epirus, from the Greek "Ήπειρος" meaning continent may refer to:-Geographical:* Epirus - a historical and geographical region of the southwestern Balkans, straddling modern Greece and Albania...

 parentage. At a very young age, Dionysius became a kaloyeros at Dichouni.

At age 15, he went to Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

 where he studied medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, philology
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

, logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

, astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, and poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

. In 1582, he lived in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and in 1592 he was elected bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of Larissa
Larissa
Larissa is the capital and biggest city of the Thessaly region of Greece and capital of the Larissa regional unit. It is a principal agricultural centre and a national transportation hub, linked by road and rail with the port of Volos, the city of Thessaloniki and Athens...

 and Trikki
Trikala
Trikala is a city in northwestern Thessaly, Greece. It is the capital of the Trikala peripheral unit, and is located NW of Athens, NW, of Karditsa, E of Ioannina and Metsovo, S of Grevena, SW of Thessaloniki, and W of Larissa...

.

Revolts


Dionysius led two farmer revolts against the Turks. The first revolt occurred in 1600 in the region of Agrafa
Agrafa
Agrafa is a mountainous region in Evrytania and Karditsa prefectures in mainland Greece, consisting mainly of small villages. It is the southernmost part of the Pindus range...

, which was ultimately successful. He was demoted from the rank of Bishop by the Metropolitan of Larisa for his public speeches inciting rebellion and for his related fundraising activities. He subsequently left for Venice where he raised enough funds to pay for a peasant army. After returning to Greece, he made his headquarters in the Monastery of Saint Demetrius in Dichouni (Greek: Διχούνι) of Thesprotia. As a monk, he toured the surrounding villages, raising an army of about 700 men. Armed with simple weapons, his army succeeded in several surprise attacks against small Turkish garrison
Garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

s of the area. Encouraged by these successes, he led his army into Ioannina
Ioannina
Ioannina , often called Jannena within Greece, is the largest city of Epirus, north-western Greece, with a population of 70,203 . It lies at an elevation of approximately 500 meters above sea level, on the western shore of lake Pamvotis . It is located within the Ioannina municipality, and is the...

 on 11 September 1611. The inhabitants of the city were so surprised by the sight of the armed men and the fires that they turned against each other in confusion, unaware of the purpose of the fighting. This second revolt by Dionysius in 1611 in Ioannina ended in failure as the Turkish garrison under Aslan Pasha eventually prevailed.

Death


Dionysius hid in a cave by the lake but was captured. When he was presented to Osman Pasha his famous words were: "I fought in order to free the people from your tortures and your tyranny". Dionysius was tortured and perished upon being flayed
Flaying
Flaying is the removal of skin from the body. Generally, an attempt is made to keep the removed portion of skin intact.-Scope:An animal may be flayed in preparation for human consumption, or for its hide or fur; this is more commonly called skinning....

 alive by the Turks in September of 1611. His skin was filled with hay and was paraded around the city, rebuked as the "skylosophos" - rather than "philosophos" (skylos meaning "dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

"). The term was possibly coined by one of his main opponents, Maximus the Peloponnesian, another monk.

The Greek population was removed from those houses inside the castle of Ioannina and lost their privileges. The old church of Saint John the Baptist, guardian of the city, dated to the period of Justinian was destroyed and its monks were killed. In its place was erected the temple of Aslan Pasha or Aslan Djami in 1618, to commemorate the success of Aslan Pasha in quelling the rebellion.

Sources


Dionysius the Philosopher, Metropolitan of Larissa - Analytical Biography (Ta Nea
Ta Nea
Ta Nea is a daily newspaper published in Athens, owned by Lambrakis Press Group that also publishes the newspaper To Vima. It is a traditional center-left friendly newspaper and has strongly supported PASOK, the Greek Socialist Party in the 1980s and 1990s...

, 17 August 2000). Vrellis, Paul. "Wax Effigy of Dionyisus in the Vrellis Museum". Άλφασταρ Ελλάς Α.Ε. 1998-1999. Retrieved on September 12, 2008. "Γεννήθηκε στα μέρη της Παραμυθιάς και πολύ νέος έγινε καλόγερος στο Διχούνι. Αργότερα σπούδασε στα μεγάλα Ευρωπαϊκά κέντρα της εποχής (Βενετία, Πάδοβα) φιλοσοφία, φιλολογία και ιατρική. Συνέχισε τις σπουδές του στην Κωνσταντινούπολη με λογική, ποίηση, γραμματική και αστρονομία, μέχρι τα 34 χρόνια του. Με τα δύο αγροτικά κινήματα που έκανε - το 1600 και 1611, έδωσε στο ραγιά φως και πίστη για ξεσηκωμό. Τον έπιασαν οι Τούρκοι (με προδοσία), κάτω από το τζαμί του κάστρου των Γιαννίνων και τον έγδαραν ζωντανό - σε ηλικία 70 χρόνων. Προηγουμένως, όταν τον παρουσίασαν στον Οσμάν πασά, είπε άφοβα: "πολέμησα για να ελευθερώσω τον λαό από τα βάσανα και την τυραννία σας". Ένα μέρος της σπηλιάς όπου μαρτύρησε θέλησα ν' αποδώσω. Για την φυσιογνωμία του, μελέτησα μια μικρογραφία χειρόγραφου που βρέθηκε στην μονή Προδρόμου Σερρών, καθώς και πολλές περιγραφές βιογράφων του. Τον απεικονίζω στα 3/4 της πρώτης ώρας από τις 5 ώρες που κράτησε το μαρτύριό του. Δείχνω την προσφορά του αγώνα του προς εμάς, με το ματωμένο δεξί μισάνοιχτο χέρι του. Στο πρόσωπό του έδωσα την έκφραση του πόνου και της καρτερικότητας. Αντίθετα χαρακτήρισα τους δύο δήμιους - έκφραση μίσους και εκδίκησης."

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