This is a preview of the content in our Greek Islands app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play

Admiral Miaoúlis

The Man who Captivated Nelson

Ανδρέας Μιαούλης. Εγχρωμη λιθογραφία. Giovanni Boggi.

Before becoming commander-in-chief of the Greek navy, Andréas Miaoúlis (Andréas Vókos, 1769–1835) from Hýdra was elected admiral by the fleet, in recognition not only of his seamanship, but of his exceptional integrity – a trait in short supply in 1821, when many Greek leaders had no qualms about jeopardizing the entire enterprise for their own profit; Miaoúlis (who took his nom de guerre from the Turkish word for a felucca, miaoul) instead devoted his fortune to the war.

The Greeks tell the story that Nelson once captured Miaoúlis on one of his more piratical adventures, but Miaoúlis in turn captured Nelson with his charm, and was released with a pat on the back.

He needed all the charm he could muster to deal with the difficult, independent-minded sailors of Hýdra and Spétses who were accustomed to the medieval system that gave each crew member a right to the profits and a say in all matters; if the majority disagreed with a captain’s decision, even if they were about to do battle, they would go on strike.

Read the full content in the app
iOS App Store Google Play

Sidelights and Myths

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Giovanni Boggi , Peter von Hess