The Info List - Orlov Revolt

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The Orlov revolt[a] (Greek: Ορλωφικά, Ορλοφικά, Ορλώφεια) was a Greek uprising in the Peloponnese
and later also in Crete
that broke out in February 1770, following the arrival of Russian Admiral Alexey Orlov, commander of the Imperial Russian Navy during the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774), to the Mani Peninsula. The revolt, a major precursor to the Greek War of Independence (which erupted in 1821), was part of Catherine the Great's so-called "Greek Plan" and was eventually suppressed by the Ottomans.


1 Background 2 Progress of the revolt 3 Aftermath 4 In popular culture 5 Gallery 6 Annotations 7 References 8 Sources

Background[edit] See also: Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
had its longest period of peace between 1739 (Treaty of Belgrade) and 1768, when it did not engage any of its European rivals.[1] Europe was caught up in costly and bloody conflicts while the Ottomans stayed out and tended to economy and politics, and rebuilding social and administrative organization.[1] This peaceful period came to an end on 23 October 1768, when war was declared on Russia.[1] Causes were aggressive Russian foreign policy, interference in Crimea (an Ottoman vassal), and the power struggle in Poland-Lithuania.[1] There were insignificant events in 1768–69, as both sides prepared for a long campaign.[2] Meanwhile, Greek rebels were readied. Wishing to weaken the Ottoman Empire and establish a pro-Russian independent Greek state, Russian emissaries had been sent to Mani in the mid-1760s to make a pact with the strongest local military leaders, and at the same time notable Greeks
approached various Russian agents discussing the project for the liberation of Greece.[3] In preparation of war, Russian agents promoted Greek rebellion to support military actions in the north.[4] Russian artillery captain Grigorios Papadopoulos (or Georgios Papasoglu[5]), a Greek, was dispatched to Mani.[4] Georgios Papazolis, another Greek officer of the Russian army, cooperated with the brothers Grigory and Alexei Orlov for the preparations of the Greek insurrection in the Morea
during the Russian military operations against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in 1769.[6] The organization of the Greek rebellion was put under brothers Orlov,[4] with Alexei being the Russian fleet commander.[2] Some Greek notables joined the Russian side, and promised them men and supplies, while in return they expected massive Russian aid (10,000 soldiers and military equipment).[4] Russia planned to incite Orthodox Christians to revolt, and sent agents to Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Crete
and the Morea.[2] Another Orlov brother, Fyodor, was sent to coordinate rebels in Morea, deemed the most important strategic area in mainland Greece (due to its ports).[7] Russia assembled a war fleet for deployment in the Mediterranean, described as 'one of the most spectacular events of the 18th century', which caught the Ottomans off-guard.[2] The first fleet contingent (out of two) departed in August 1769 and arrived in the Aegean in December.[2] This expedition of four ships, few hundred soldiers and inadequate arms supplies greatly disappointed the Greeks.[4] Nevertheless, combined Russian-Greek forces attempted at a campaign.[4] Progress of the revolt[edit] Among the Greek leaders that were approached were Panagiotis Benakis, a notable from Kalamata, the local metropolitan bishop Anthimos,[8] and Cretan shipping magnate John Vlachos "Daskalogiannis". The arrival of the Russian fleet in Mani in February 1770 saw the establishment of local armed groups in Mani and Kalamata. However, the small Russian expeditionary force could not convince a part of the local Greeks
to take arms. The Russian manpower was much fewer than expected and mutual distrust developed between the Greek and Russian leaders.[9] Initially an army of 1,400 men was formed, but additional reinforcement of Cretans arrived the following days. The Greek forces were divided into major units (called legions) with the help of a small number of Russian officers and soldiers. The "Eastern Spartan Legion" in Laconia, with 1,200 men, was organized by P. P. Dolgorukov and led by Georgios "Yiorgakis"[5] Mavromichalis, while the "Western Spartan Legion" in Messenia
was led by G. M. Barkov and Antonios Psarros.[10] The Greek rebels were initially successful and managed to defeat Ottoman forces in Laconia
and eastern Messenia
in southern Morea. The revolt however failed to effectively spread, thus the fortresses of Navarino, Methone and the administrative center of Morea, Tripolitsa (modern Tripoli), remained in Ottoman hands.[10] The rebels did manage to control the fortress of Mystras, where they set up a local government.[8] Meanwhile, the Greek revolt in Crete
was led by Daskalogiannis. Soon after Sfakians refused to pay taxes and revolted in great numbers.[11] However, the support promised by the Russian emissaries never arrived at Crete
and Daskalogiannis
was left to his own devices.[citation needed] He managed to organize a band of 2,000 well armed men who descended from the mountains onto the plains of western Crete.[12] They attacked and killed local Turks in an unsuccessful effort to convince other Cretans to join them in their quest to overthrow the Ottomans.[12] The Cretan uprising was soon suppressed by numerically superior Ottoman units.[11] In April the revolutionaries managed to capture the fortress of Navarino however the uprising was already doomed and the Russian fleet abandoned the region in following June.[13] As soon as the first news of the Russian-backed Greek revolt reached the Ottoman capital, the first anti-Greek pogroms broke out in various cities of the Ottoman Empire, including Smyrna.[14] With the assistance of Greek islanders, the Russian fleet was able to score a major victory against the Ottoman Navy
Ottoman Navy
in the Battle of Cesme, but this did not help the Greek army in Morea. As the Russians failed to bring the forces they promised, the revolt was soon crushed. Greek reinforcements from Macedonia and Olympus region faced opposition in their descent to Morea
and thus were unable to assist the revolutionaries.[15] Hard-pressed by the arising necessity to fight a major war with Russia on its northern borders, the Ottoman Empire hired Albanian mercenary troops and they defeated the Russo-Greek expedition at Tripolitsa.[4] Aftermath[edit] The Muslim Albanian mercenaries hired by the Ottomans remained in the Peloponnese
for several years after the suppression of the revolt, and they allegedly "ran wild", pillaging the country and massacring Greeks,[16] as revenge for the Christian forces' massacre of Muslim civilians and destruction of property during the uprising.[4] Referred to by the local Greek populace as "Turk-Albanians", those forces had also destroyed many cities and towns in Epirus
during 1769–70.[17] In Patras
nearly no one was left alive after the Turkish-Albanian invasion.[18] The city of Mystras
was left in ruins and the metropolitan bishop Ananias was executed despite having saved the life of several Turks during the uprising. A great number of local Greeks was killed by the Albanian groups, while several children were sold to slavery.[19] The Ottoman government was unable to pay the wages the Albanian mercenaries demanded for their service, thus the latter were ravaging the region.[20] In 1774 the Russo-Turkish War ended with the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca which granted general amnesty to the population. Nevertheless attacks by Muslim Albanian mercenaries in the region continued not only against the Greek population but also against Turks.[21] The extensive destruction and lack of control in the Peloponnese
forced the central Ottoman government to send a regular Turkish military force to suppress those Albanian troops in 1779,[4] and eventually drive them out from Greece.[16] From the Russian point of view, Count Orlov's mission was a success, damaging the Turkish fleet, directing Turkish troops south, and contributing to the victory that led to the signing of the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji. From the Greek point of view, the affair was a failure which cost a huge number of lives (both in battle, and in the Turkish reprisals that followed). The Greeks
were effectively forgotten in the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji, and they became increasingly distrustful of the Russians as a result. While Greek connections to Russia remained strong (in part because of the influence of prominent Greeks
in Russia such as Count Mocenigo of Zante that served as Russian Ambassador in Tuscany), many among the next generation of Greek leaders (such as Alexander Mavrocordatos) would look to Britain and France for alliances. In popular culture[edit] The revolt was a crucial event for the further development of Philhellenism
as an important literary movement in the Western world. As such, the protagonist in Friedrich Hölderlin's novel Hyperion participates in a 1770 revolt inspired by the Orlov Revolt.[22][23] Gallery[edit]

Battle of Chios
(Chesma), by Ivan Aivazovsky
Ivan Aivazovsky

Gravour showing the Battle of Chesma
Battle of Chesma


^ It is known as the Orlov Rebellion,[24] Orlov Revolt[24]


^ a b c d Gallant 2015, p. 18. ^ a b c d e Gallant 2015, p. 19. ^ Smilyanskaya, Elena (2014). "Russian Warriors in the Land of Miltiades and Themistocles: The Colonial Ambitions of Catherine the Great in the Mediterranean". SSRN Electronic Journal. Social Science Research Network. p. 4. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2436332. SSRN 2436332 .  Missing or empty url= (help); access-date= requires url= (help) ^ a b c d e f g h i Jelavich 1983, p. 78. ^ a b Gallant 2015, p. 21. ^ Dankin 1973, p. 78. ^ Gallant 2015, pp. 19–20. ^ a b Kalligas, Harris (2009). Monemvasia: A Byzantine City State. Routledge. pp. 91–. ISBN 9781134536030.  ^ Roessel 2001, p. 13. ^ a b Pappas 1982, p. 74. ^ a b Pappas 1982, p. 76. ^ a b Greene, Molly. A shared world: Christians and Muslims in the early modern Mediterranean. Princeton University Press. p. 206. ISBN 9781400844494.  ^ Clodfelter, Micheal (2017). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492-2015, 4th ed. McFarland. p. 93. ISBN 9780786474707.  ^ Weithmann, Michael Wilhelm. Griechenland: vom Frühmittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. F. Pustet. p. 137. ISBN 9783791714257. Als in Istanbul bekannt wurde, daß auf russischer Seite zahlreiche griechische Mannschaften und Offiziere kämpften, kam es in Smyrna (Izmir) und anderen Städten des Reiches zu ersten antigriechischen Pogromen.  ^ Dankin 1973, p. 26. ^ a b Stavrianos 2000, p. 189. ^ Ioannis Kaphetzopoulos; Charalambos Flokas; Angeliki Dima-Dimitriou (2000). The struggle for Northern Epirus. Hellenic Army General Staff, Army History Directorate. pp. 12, 32. ISBN 978-960-7897-40-4.  ^ Constantine David (2011). In the Footsteps of the Gods: Travellers to Greece and the Quest for the Hellenic Ideal. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. p. 169. ISBN 9780857719478. ...when the Turks and Albanians reasserted themselves they were merciless; recapturing Patras, they left scarcely anyone alive.  ^ Steven Runciman (2009). Lost Capital of Byzantium: The History of Mistra and the Peloponnese. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. p. 118. ISBN 9780857718105.  ^ Steven Runciman (2009). Lost Capital of Byzantium: The History of Mistra and the Peloponnese. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. p. 119. ISBN 9780857718105.  ^ Kaligas Haris (2009). Monemvasia: A Byzantine City State. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. p. 92. ISBN 9781134536030.  ^ Roessel 2001, p. 16. ^ Hölderlin, Freidrich; trans. Willard R. Trask (1965). Hyperion. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. p. 106.  ^ a b Gallant 2015, p. 20.


Dakin, Douglas (1973). The Greek Struggle for Independence, 1821-1833. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520023420.  Gallant, Thomas (2015). "The winds of change". The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, 1768 to 1913: The Long Nineteenth Century. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 17–. ISBN 978-0-7486-3607-5.  Jelavich, Barbara (1983). History of the Balkans. 1. Cambridge University Press. pp. 69, 78.  Pappas, Nicholas Charles (1982). Greeks
in Russian military service in the late eighteen and early nineteenth centuries. Stanford University.  Roessel, David (2001). In Byron's Shadow: Modern Greece in the English and American Imagination. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198032908.  Stavrianos, Leften Stavros (2000). The Balkans Since 1453. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. pp. 187–190, 195. ISBN 978-1-85065-551-0. 

v t e

Greek rebellions

Ottoman territories

Himara Revolt
Himara Revolt
(1596) Thessaly Rebellion (1600) Ioannina
Uprising (1611) Cyprus Rebellion (1680) Cyprus Rebellion (1764) Cyprus Rebellion (1766) Orlov revolt
Orlov revolt
(1770–71) Thessaly Revolt (1808) Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
(1821–29) Cyprus Rebellion (1833) Cretan Revolt (1841) Epirus
Revolt of 1854 Cretan Revolt (1858) Cretan Revolt (1866–69) Epirus
Revolt of 1878 Cretan Revolt (1878) Macedonian Revolution of 1878 Greco-Turkish War (1897)

Cretan Revolt (1897)

Theriso revolt
Theriso revolt
(1905) Himara revolt of 1912


First civil war (1823–24) Second civil war (1824–25) Civil War of 1946–49

See also: Greek revolutionary organisations, Military history of Greece

v t e

Rebellions in the Ottoman Empire

Rise (1299–1453)

Sheikh Bedreddin rebellion Uprising of Konstantin and Fruzhin
Uprising of Konstantin and Fruzhin
(1404–18) Skanderbeg's rebellion
Skanderbeg's rebellion

Classical Age (1453–1550)

Şahkulu Rebellion
Şahkulu Rebellion
(1511) Nur Ali Halife rebellion
Nur Ali Halife rebellion

Transformation (1550-1700)

Mariovo and Prilep Rebellion
Mariovo and Prilep Rebellion
(1564–65) Beylerbeyi Event (1582) Jelali revolts
Jelali revolts
(1590–1610) Uprising in Banat
Uprising in Banat
(1594) Himara Revolt
Himara Revolt
(1596) Serb Uprising (1596–97) First Tarnovo Uprising
First Tarnovo Uprising
(1598) Thessaly Rebellion (1600) Ioannina
Uprising (1611) Abaza rebellions (1624, 1627) Atmeydanı Incident (1648) Çınar Incident (1656) Abaza Hasan Revolt (1658-9) Second Tarnovo Uprising
Second Tarnovo Uprising
(1686) Chiprovtsi Uprising
Chiprovtsi Uprising
(1688) Karposh's Rebellion
Karposh's Rebellion

Old Regime (1700–1789)

Edirne event
Edirne event
(1703) Uprising in Vučitrn (1717) Patrona Halil Rebellion
Patrona Halil Rebellion
(1730) Serb Uprising (1737–39) Orlov Revolt
Orlov Revolt
(1770) Koča's frontier rebellion
Koča's frontier rebellion

Decline (1789–1908)

in Belgrade (1801–04) First Serbian Uprising
First Serbian Uprising
(1804–13) Kabakçı Mustafa rebellion (1807) Jančić's Rebellion (1809) Hadži-Prodan's Rebellion
Hadži-Prodan's Rebellion
(1814) Second Serbian Uprising
Second Serbian Uprising
(1815-17) Wallachian Uprising (1821) Niš Rebellion (1821) Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
(1821–29) Atçalı Kel Mehmet revolt (1830) Bosnian Uprising (1831–33) Bilmez Rebellion (1832–33) Shkodër Rebellion (1833) Priest Jovica's Rebellion (1834) Second Mašići Rebellion (1834) Posavina Rebellion (1836) Livno Rebellion (1836) Pirot Rebellion
Pirot Rebellion
(1836) Berkovitsa Rebellion (1836) Belogradchik Rebellion (1836) Vlora Rebellion (1836) Diber Rebellion (1838–39) Cretan Revolt (1841) Niš Rebellion (1841) Uprising of Dervish Cara (1843–44) Albanian Revolt (1845) Albanian Revolt (1847) Herzegovina
Uprising (1852–62) Epirus
Revolt (1854) Doljani Revolt (1858) Mount Lebanon civil war (1860) Cretan Revolt (1866–69) Herzegovina
Uprising (1875–77) Bulgarian April uprising (1876) Razlovtsi insurrection
Razlovtsi insurrection
(1876) Kumanovo Uprising
Kumanovo Uprising
(1878) Greek Macedonian rebellion (1878) Cretan Revolt (1878) Kresna–Razlog Uprising
Kresna–Razlog Uprising
(1878–79) Epirus
Revolt (1878) Thessaly Revolt (1878) Ulcinj rebellion (1878) Brsjak Revolt (1880–81) Cretan Revolt (1896–97) Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising
Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising
(1903) Shoubak Revolt
Shoubak Revolt
(1905) Theriso revolt
Theriso revolt
(1905) Hauran Druze Rebellion
Hauran Druze Rebellion

Dissolution (1908–1922)

31 March Incident
31 March Incident
(1909) Karak revolt
Karak revolt
(1910) Albanian revolt of 1910
Albanian revolt of 1910
(1910) Albanian revolt of 1911
Albanian revolt of 1911
(1911) Albanian revolt of 1912
Albanian revolt of 1912
(1912) Savior Officers (1912) Raid on the Sublime Porte (1913) First Dersim rebellion (1914) Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
(1916–18) Koçgiri rebellion
Koçgiri rebellion

v t e

Ottoman Greece


Rum Millet Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople


Ottoman Greeks Greek Muslims Phanariotes Dragomans Klephts Proestoi

Major centres

Cities: Patras Thessaloniki Ioannina Missolonghi Tripoli Larissa Islands: Chios Hydra Spetses


Rumelia Eyalet Ioannina
Eyalet Salonica Eyalet Morea
Eyalet Eyalet of the Archipelago Janina Vilayet Salonica Vilayet Vilayet of the Archipelago Ottoman Crete


Sanjak of Kavala Sanjak of Drama Sanjak of Salonica Sanjak of Tirhala Sanjak of Eğriboz Sanjak of Ioannina Sanjak of Preveza Sanjak of Inebahti Karli-Eli Sanjak of Nakşa Berre Sanjak of Sakız Sanjak of Rhodes


Principality of Samos
Principality of Samos
(1834) Cretan State
Cretan State



Sipahis Armatoloi

Outside the Empire

Iacob Heraclid Stratioti Greek Battalion of Balaklava Lambros Katsonis Alexandros Ypsilantis


Ottoman–Venetian War (1463–79) Battle of Preveza Ottoman–Venetian War (1570–73) Battle of Lepanto Cretan War (1645–69) Morean War Ottoman–Venetian War (1714–18) Russo-Turkish War (1768–74) Orlov Revolt Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca Greek War of Independence Morea
expedition Epirus
Revolt of 1854 Cretan Revolt (1866–69)

Influence on culture

Orthodoxy in Greece (1453–1821) Greek folk music Rebetiko Greek shipping Greek cuisine

Modern Greek Enlightenment

People: Rigas Feraios Eugenios Voulgaris Anthimos Gazis Theophilos Kairis Schools: Kaplaneios School Athonite Academy Evangelical School of Smyrna New Academy (Moscopole)


Alaca Imaret Mosque Aslan Pasha Mosque Bey Hamam Çelebi Sultan Mehmed Mosque Fethiye Mosque (Athens) Fethiye Mosque (Ioannina) Hafiz Ahmed Agha Library Karipeion Melathron New Mosque (Thessaloniki) Osman Shah Mosque Tzistarakis Mosque White Tower of Thessaloniki

outside the Empire

Communities: London Venice Trieste Marseille Livorno Odessa Vienna Bucharest Alexandria Schools: Flanginian School Princely Ac