Introduction

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The Hellenic Armed Forces (Greek: Eλληνικές Ένοπλες Δυνάμεις, Ellinikés Énoples Dynámis) are combined military forces of Greece. They consist of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, the Hellenic Army, the Hellenic Navy, and the Hellenic Air Force.

The civilian authority for the Greek military is the Ministry of National Defense.

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Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos.

The Treaty of Devol was an agreement made in 1108 between Bohemond I of Antioch and Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, in the wake of the First Crusade. Although the treaty was not immediately enforced, it was intended to make the Principality of Antioch a vassal state of the Byzantine Empire.

At the beginning of the First Crusade, Crusader armies assembled at Constantinople and promised to return to the Byzantine Empire any land they might conquer. However, Bohemond, the son of Alexios' former enemy Robert Guiscard, claimed the Principality of Antioch for himself. Alexios did not recognize the legitimacy of the Principality, and Bohemond went to Europe looking for reinforcements. He launched into open warfare against Alexios, but he was soon forced to surrender and negotiate with Alexios at the imperial camp at Diabolis (Devol), where the Treaty was signed.

Under the terms of the Treaty, Bohemond agreed to become a vassal of the Emperor and to defend the Empire whenever needed. He also accepted the appointment of a Greek Patriarch. In return, he was given the titles of sebastos and doux (duke) of Antioch, and he was guaranteed the right to pass on to his heirs the County of Edessa. Following this, Bohemond retreated to Apulia and died there. His nephew, Tancred, who was regent in Antioch, refused to accept the terms of the Treaty. Antioch came temporarily under Byzantine sway in 1137, but it was not until 1158 that it truly became a Byzantine vassal.

The Treaty of Devol is viewed as typical example of the Byzantine tendency to settle disputes through diplomacy rather than warfare, and was both a result of and a cause for the distrust between the Byzantines and their Western European neighbors.(Read more...)

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The destruction of the Turkish flagship by Admiral Kanaris at Chios. Painted by Nikiforos Lytras.

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General Yannis Makriyannis (Ιωάννης Μακρυγιάννης, also anglicized as Ioannis, Ioannes and Makriyiannis, Makrygiannis, Makrygiannēs, Macriyannis, etc.) (1797–1864) was a Greek merchant, military officer, politician and author, best known today for his Memoirs. Starting from humble origins, he joined the Greek struggle for independence, achieving the rank of general and leading his men to notable victories. Following Greek independence, he had a tumultuous public career, playing a prominent part in the granting of the first Greek constitution and later being sentenced to death and pardoned.

Despite his important contributions to the political life of the early Greek state, general Makriyannis is mostly remembered for his Memoirs. Aside from being a source of historical and cultural information about the period, this work has also been called a "monument of Modern Greek literature", as it is written in pure Demotic Greek. Indeed, its literary quality led Nobel laureate Giorgos Seferis to call Makriyannis one of the greatest masters of Modern Greek prose. (Read more...)

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  • "A sound of wailing ran from Piraeus through the long walls to the city, one man passing on the news to another; and during that night no one slept, all mourning, not for the lost alone, but far more for their own selves."

Xenophon describes Athens when the news of the Athenian's decisive defeat at Aegospotami reached Athens.

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