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Dimos Tselios

The Meganisian hero of the

Greek Revolution of 1821

Born in Spartochori Meganisi, originally from Kefalonia, Dimotselios (1785-1854) was a mainland armatolos (head of a corps of armed men assigned by the Ottoman administration to guard an area) who distinguished himself in many battles along with Karaiskakis. He collaborated with Kapodistrias but fiercely opposed the Regency and King Otto, organizing an armed uprising in Aitoloakarnania. 

The Municipality of Tselios came from the Komitata of Kefalonia and its family name was Ferentinos. He was born in 1785 in Spartochori Meganisi of Lefkada. He was orphaned at an early age by both parents, which prompted him to seek work in the kleftarmatolite bodies in 1804.

He joined together with Giorgos Tsogas and Giorgos Karaiskakis in the team of Antonis Katsantonis and then his brother, Kostas Lepeniotis. Later he joined as an armatolos in the service of Ali Pasha Tepelenli of Ioannina. He was informed by Karaiskakis about the action of the Filiki Etaireia, but we do not know if he was initiated into it. With the beginning of the Revolution, he joined the Lefkadite corps and articipated together with G. Tsogas in the capture of Vonitsa (March 28, 1821). He took part in 12 campaigns, 12 sieges of cities and castles and 39 battles and was wounded three times.

In 1824 with the Provisional Government he became a general, while with the support of Alexandros Mavrokordatos he was granted the Venetian armatoliki. He distinguished himself in the disastrous for the Greek weapons battle of Peta (4 July 1822) against the forces of Mehmet Resit Kioutahi Pasha. He participated in the victorious battle at Karochia Vonitsa-Xiromerou along with the bodies of P. Mavromichalis, Giorgos Tsogas and T. Grivas (25 December 1822), in the battle at Skoulikargia Arta (3 June) and at Xodaktylos Arta (9 June) against the forces of Tahir Abazi Dibralis and in the disastrous for the Ottomans battle of Karvasaras (28 September 1825) with the bodies of Karaiskakis against Agos Vasiaris.

When G. Karaiskakis became commander-in-chief of Central Greece, Dimotselios followed him and took part in the war operations in Arachova (18-24 November 1826). During Kapodistrias' rule, he approached his brother, Augustine, who had taken over as Plenipotentiary Principal of Western Central Greece and joined Richard Church's Western Camp as head of a corps.

He participated in the battles for the recapture of Western Central Greece and distinguished himself in the battles for the capture of the city and the fortress of Vonitsa (15 December 1828 and 5 March 1829), in the capture of the strategic narrow Nafpaktos-Mesolongi (13 March 1829) and in the battles that resulted in the surrender of Nafpaktos (23 April 1829) and Messolonghi (8 May 1829). After independence, Dimotselios settled in Vrahori (Agrinio).


During the Ottonian period, he joined the Royal Army and became a major-commander of the 5th Light Sniper Battalion, a position that demoted him, as he estimated. Together with others he organized an armed uprising in Aitoloakarnania (14 March and 13 April 1836) demanding a constitution and the eviction of the Bavarians. After the rebellion was suppressed, Dimotselios was removed from the registers of the officers, to take refuge first in Lefkada and then in England. Rehabilitated after 1843, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and became a member of the Royal Column.


He died in 1854 at the age of 69 and was buried in the garden of heroes in Messolonghi. His memoirs were recorded by Georgios Tertsetis, but were destroyed in the earthquake and fire in Zakynthos in 1953; only two pages of which are listed here.

From the Memoirs of Dimoselios

My parents were from Kometata, my grandparents. The grandfather returned to Acarnania my paint... My father took from Zavitza. I was born in Meganisi of Agia Mavra. A Metaxas came and inhabited it. There lived our grandparents four Ferentine brothers. My father was burned by lightning; I was a year old. They sleep on a branch. My mother lived for two years. He began to go for a witness to Saint Mavra; On the way, there were seventeen nomads, and fourteen drowned. A priest, two or three women with my mother drowned. Then they took us for the soul of one in Agia Mavra... I spent some ten years in Acarnania, I went back. I lived there until I was 16 years old, with Valianakis' mother-in-law. I went to Meganisi, I became 19 years old. It was our home in Meganisi. There were three soybeans. Thiacs, Xeromerites and Kefallinians. It is a passage from Mytikas, a beautiful island as if it were in Paradise. I got up to go get my brother, an expatriate whore. I was glad to go find my brother whore by boat. He was hired and made a boat of his own. I was glad to go to Agia Mavra to find him. I found a Zafeiris kleftikaton from Acarnania, sitting in Agia Mavra. He says to me: What's wrong with going on boats? Are you coming to Karpenisi? You're also a thief. It took me in July in 1804.[...] In winter we sat in a litreveion in Meganisi with Karaiskakis and Odysseus. Karaiskakis told me about the Company, that it will be in spring. My nest was in Meganisi. I went out. We went out. We were rewarded at Vonitsa. Odysseus went to Livadia. I stayed, I had my couples. We met before Lambri with the elders of Karalis, Giorgakis... Christakis Staikos, Megapanos, Tzogas, Varnakiotis. We decided to beat up the Turks in Holy week (Easter).


‘Demostcellios’, Lexicon 1821, KENI 

Dinos Konomos, "G. Tertsetis and his unpublished texts on the immortal epic of 1821", Spiritual Life, II, no. 18 (1953) 372-373 = Dinos Konomos, Georgios Tertsetis and his found works, Athens, Hellenic Parliament, 1984, pp. 805-806: Sp. Asdrahas-Tr. Sklavenitis, "Lefkada and its historians: general silhouette" in Tr. Sklavenitis (eds), Proceedings of the Conference. Lefkada and its historians, 19th-20th century, Athens 2009, pp.33-34, point 22.


(Translated by EU eTranslation app)

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