Armatoles

(redirected from Armatoloi)
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Armatoles

 

home-guard detachments in Turkish-occupied Greece that served the Turkish government. They were formed at the end of the 17th century from the portion of peasant guerrilla detachments (klephts) that was legalized by the Turkish government. The detachment commanders (captains) of the Armatoles were responsible for the security of the trade routes in a specific district known as an armatolik (of which there were 19 at the beginning of the 19th century), whose population paid them a salary for the service. Conflicts between the Armatoles and the local Turkish authorities caused the Armatoles to become klephts. The Armatoles took part in the Greek national liberation revolution of 1821–29. After the liberation of Greece from Turkish domination, some of the Armatoles became members of the Greek armed forces.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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This group of fighters, originally armed bandits who fought against the Turk-organized Christian militia called armatoloi, have succeeded in constituting within occupied Greece an independent nation, 'une patrie sur les montagnes'.(15) Although in 1824 the social and political situation after the war is difficult to predict, Fauriel has no doubts about the role the klephts will have played in ensuring a military victory: