Ζήτω η Ελλάς
Yesterday was Greek Independence Day (in addition to being the Greek Orthodox feast of the Annunciation), which commemorates the beginning of the Greek uprising against the Ottomans in 1821.
The Greek struggle for independence was long and bitter. Many of the fighters were recruited from bands of brigands from the mountains, known as klephts (κλέφτες). Long-standing rivalries between clans meant that they were sometimes more interested in fighting each other than their Ottoman masters.
After the war, brigandage continued to plague the modern Greek state, though there was often a tacit understanding between the brigands and corrupt local authorities who allowed the brigands to operate with impunity in exchange for bribes. This situation was parodied in Le Roi de Montagnes, written in 1856 by the French novelist Edmond François Valentin About (1828 – 1885), during his stay in Greece as an archaeologist for the French School at Athens. The satirical novel went on to become a classic and the best-known of About’s works. La Grèce Contemporaine, which About wrote in1855, was also very successful.