The Imprisonment of Makriyannis (1797-1864)
In 1820, Makriyannis joined Filiki Etaireia, a secret anti-Ottoman society. He immediately took part in the preparations the Greeks made for the struggle for their independence and in March 1821, he was sent to Patras to consult with the leaders for a common uprising. Returning to Arta, he was arrested and imprisoned (probably right here, in the Castle of Arta’s prisons) for 75 days, where he was tortured, and as he mentioned in his memoirs «from the twenty-six prisoners taken for execution, only I was saved». He bravely endured torture and escaped from prison highlighting many abilities, such as bravery towards death, ingenuity, determination, as well as physical strength. After this incident, he decided to take up the arms against the Ottomans.
Makriyannis’ testimony about his imprisonment
[We were one hundred and eighty people. The smell was so terrible inside as moldy bread (…). That impurity and the stinking breaths smelled as bad as anything else on earth. And from the keyhole of the door we were taking out our noses, trying to take a breath. And they were flogging me and torturing a lot (….). And my body was swelling from the hits, and I was almost dying
(J. Vlachogiannis, General Makriyannis’ memoirs, VolumeΑ, p.38, Athens 2011)