Count Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias (Greek: Κόμης Ιωάννης Αντώνιος Καποδίστριας Komis Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias; other English transliterations include John Capodistrias, Johannes Capodistrias and Joannes Capodistria; February 11, 1776 – October 9, 1831) was a Greek diplomat of the Russian Empire and later the first head of state of independent Greece.
Background and early career
Kapodistrias' home in Corfu. The plaque between the two windows to the left of the entrance mentions he was born there.
Ioannis Kapodistrias was born in Corfu, (Κέρκυρα/Kerkyra in Greek), one of the Ionian Islands, which at the time of his birth were a possession of Venice . He studied medicine, philosophy and law at Padua, in Italy. When he was 21 years old, in 1797, he started his medical practice as a doctor in his native island of Corfu. He was throughout his life a deeply liberal thinker and a true democrat, though born and raised as a nobleman. An ancestor of Kapodistrias' had been created a conte (count) by Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy, and the title was later (1679) inscribed in the Libro d'Oro of the Corfu nobility; the title originates from Capodistria (formerly Justinopolis), a city on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Venice, now Koper in Slovenia and the place of origin of Kapodistrias' paternal family before they moved to Corfu in the 13th century where they changed their dogma from Catholic to Orthodox and they soon became hellenized. His family's name in Koper was Vitori or Vittori.
Kapodistrias' mother was Adamantine Gonemis (Αδαμαντία (Διαμαντίνα) Γονέμη), daughter of the noble Christodoulos Gonemis (Χριστόδουλος Γονέμης). The Gonemis were a Greek family originally from the island of Cyprus, they had migrated to Crete when Cyprus fell to the Ottomans in the 16th century. They then migrated to Epirus when Crete fell in the 17th century, finally settling on the Ionian island of Corfu. The Gonemis' had been listed in the Libro d'Oro Golden Book since 1606. In 1802 Ioannis Kapodistrias founded an important scientific and social progress organisation in Corfu, the "National Medical Association", of which he was an energetic member. In 1799, when Corfu was briefly occupied by the forces of Russia and Turkey, Kapodistrias was appointed chief medical director of the military hospital.
Minister of the Septinsular Republic
After two years of revolutionary freedom, triggered by the French Revolution and the ascendancy of Napoleon, in 1799 Russia and the Ottoman Empire drove the French out of the seven Ionian islands and organised them as a free and independent state – the Septinsular Republic – ruled by its nobles. Kapodistrias, substituting for his father, became one of two ministers of the new state. Thus, at the age of 25, Kapodistrias became involved in politics. In Cephallonia he was successful in convincing the populace to remain united and disciplined to avoid foreign intervention and, by his argument and sheer courage, he faced and appeased rebellious opposition without conflict. With the same peaceful determination he established authority in all the seven islands.
He listened to the voice of the people and initiated democratic changes to the "Byzantine Constitution" that the Russian-Ottoman alliance had imposed, which caused the Great Powers to send an envoy, George Motsenigo, to reprimand him. However, when the envoy met Kapodistrias, he was impressed by the political and ethical worth of the man.
When elections were carried for a new Senate, Kapodistrias was unanimously appointed as Chief Minister of State. In December, 1803, a less feudal and more liberal and democratic constitution was voted by the Senate. As a minister of state he organised the public sector, putting particular emphasis on education. In 1807 the French re-occupied the islands and they dissolved the Septinsular Republic.
Russian diplomatic service
A statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias in Panepistimiou Street, in front of the National Kapodistrian University, Athens.
Kapodistrias statue in Corfu with the Ionian Academy in the background
In 1809 Kapodistrias entered the service of Alexander I of Russia. His first important mission, in November 1813, was as unofficial Russian ambassador to Switzerland, with the task of helping disentangle the country from the French dominance imposed by Napoleon. He secured Swiss unity, independence and neutrality, which were formally guaranteed by the Great Powers, and actively facilitated the initiation of a new Constitution for the 19 cantons that were the component states of Switzerland, with personal drafts. In the ensuing Congress of Vienna, 1815, as the Russian minister, he counterbalanced the paramount influence of the Austrian minister, Prince Metternich, and insisted on French state unity under a Bourbon monarch. He also obtained new international guarantees for the Constitution and neutrality of Switzerland through an agreement among the Powers. After these brilliant diplomatic successes, Alexander I appointed Kapodistrias joint Foreign Minister of Russia (with Karl Robert Nesselrode).
In the course of his assignment as Foreign Minister of Russia, Kapodistrias' ideas came to represent a progressive alternative to Metternich's aims of Austrian domination of European affairs. Kapodistrias' liberal ideas of a new European order so threatened Metternich that he wrote in 1819:
Kapodistrias is not a bad man, but honestly speaking he is a complete and thorough fool, a perfect miracle of wrong-headedness...He lives in a world to which our minds are often transported by a bad nightmare.
—Metternich on Kapodistrias, 
Metternich then tried to undermine Kapodistrias' position in the Russian court because he realised that Kapodistrias' progressive vision was antithetical to his own. Although Metternich was not a decisive factor in Kapodistrias' leaving his post as Russian Foreign Minister, he nevertheless attempted to actively undermine Kapodistrias by rumours and innuendo. According to the French ambassador to Saint Petersburg, Metternich was a master of insinuation and he attempted to neutralise Kapodistrias because he viewed him as the only man capable of counterbalancing Metternich's own influence on the Russian court.
More than anyone else he possesses the art of devaluing opinions that are not his own; the most honourable life, the purest intentions are not sheltered from his insinuations. It is thus with profound ingenuity that he knew how to neutralize the influence of Count Capodistrias, the only one who could counterbalance his own
—French ambassador on Metternich, 
Metternich, by default, succeeded in the short term since Kapodistrias eventually left the Russian court on his own, but with time Kapodistrias' ideas and policies for a new European order prevailed.
He was always keenly interested in the cause of his native country, and in particular the state of affairs in the Seven Islands, which in a few decades’ time had passed from French revolutionary influence to Russian protection and then British rule. He always tried to attract his Emperor's attention to matters Greek.
Kapodistrias visited his Ionian homeland, by then under British rule, in 1818, and in 1819 he went to London to discuss the islanders' grievances with the British government, but the British gave him the cold shoulder partly because of the fact that, uncharacteristically, he refused to show them the memorandum he wrote to the czar about the subject. Kapodistrias became increasingly active in support of Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire, but did not succeed in obtaining Alexander's support for the Greek revolution of 1821. This put Kapodistrias in an untenable situation and in 1822 he took an extended leave of absence from his position as Foreign Minister and retired to Geneva where he applied himself to supporting the Greek revolution by organising material and moral support.
Return to Greece
Kapodistrias' statue in Corfu
Kapodistrias retired to Geneva, where he was greatly esteemed, having been made an Honorary Citizen for his past services to Swiss unity and particularly to the cantons. In 1827, he learned that the newly formed Greek National Assembly had, as he was the most illustrious Greek-born politician in Europe, elected him as the first head of state of newly liberated Greece, with the title of Kyvernetes (Κυβερνήτης – Governor).
After touring Europe to rally support for the Greek cause, Kapodistrias landed in Nafplion 7 January 1828 and arrived in Aegina on 8 January 1828. It was the first time he had ever set foot on the Greek mainland, and he found a discouraging situation there. Even while fighting against the Ottomans was still going on, factional and dynastic conflicts had led to two civil wars which ravaged the country. Greece was bankrupt and the Greeks were unable to form a united national government.
From the first capital of Greece, Nafplion, he ushered in a new era in the country, which had just been liberated from a 400 year Turkish occupation. He founded schools, established Foundations for young women to work and inaugurated the first university. These Institutes educated the first teachers of liberated Greece.
On his arrival, Kapodistrias launched a major reform and modernisation programme that covered all areas. He re-established military unity, bringing an end to the second phase of the civil war; re-organised the military, which was then able to reconquer territory lost to the Ottoman military during the civil wars; introduced the first modern quarantine system in Greece, which brought epidemics like typhoid fever, cholera and dysentery under control for the first time since the start of the War of Independence; negotiated with the Great Powers and the Ottoman Empire the borders and the degree of independence of the Greek state and signed the peace treaty that ended the War of Independence with the Ottomans; introduced the phoenix, the first modern Greek currency; organised local administration; and, in an effort to raise the living standards of the population, introduced the cultivation of the potato into Greece.
The way Kapodistrias introduced the cultivation of the potato remains famously anecdotal today. Having ordered a shipment of potatoes, at first he ordered that they be offered to anyone interested. However the potatoes were met with indifference by the population and the whole scheme seemed to be failing. Therefore Kapodistrias, knowing of the contemporary Greek attitudes, ordered that the whole shipment of potatoes be unloaded in public display on the docks of Nafplion, and placed severe-looking guards guarding it. Soon, rumours circulated that for the potatoes to be so well guarded they had to be of great importance. People would gather to look at the so-important potatoes and soon some tried to steal them. The guards had been ordered in advance to turn a blind eye to such behaviour, and soon the potatoes had all been "stolen" and Kapodistrias' plan to introduce them to Greece had succeeded.
Furthermore, as part of his programme he tried to undermine the authority of the traditional clans or dynasties which he considered the useless legacy of a bygone and obsolete era. However, he underestimated the political and military strength of the capetanei (καπεταναίοι – commanders) who had led the revolt against Turkey in 1821, and who had expected a leadership role in the post-revolution Government. When a dispute between the capetanei of Laconia and the appointed governor of the province escalated into an armed conflict, he called in Russian troops to restore order, because much of the army was controlled by capetanei who were part of the rebellion.
Hydriot rebellion and the Battle of Poros
George Finlay's 1861 History of Greek Revolution records that by 1831 Kapodistrias's government had become hated, chiefly by the independent Maniates, but also by the Roumeliotes and the rich and influential merchant families of Hydra, Spetses and Psara. The Hydriots' customs dues were the chief source of the municipalities' revenue, so they refused to hand these over to Kapodistrias. It appears that Kapodistrias had refused to convene the National Assembly and was ruling as a despot, possibly influenced by his Russian experiences. The municipality of Hydra instructed Admiral Miaoulis and Mavrocordatos to go to Poros and to seize the Hellenic Navy's fleet there. This Miaoulis did, the intention being to prevent a blockade of the islands, so for a time it seemed as if the National Assembly would be called.
Kapodistrias called on the British and French residents to support him in putting down the rebellion, but this they refused to do, but Admiral Richord (or Ricord) took his ships north to Poros. Colonel (later General) Kallergis took a half-trained force of Greek Army regulars and a force of irregulars in support. With less than 200 men, Miaoulis was unable to make much of a fight; Fort Heidek on Bourtzi Island was overrun by the regulars and the brig Spetses (once Laskaria Bouboulina's Agamemnon) sunk by Richord's force. Encircled by the Russians in the harbor and Kallergis's force on land, Poros surrendered. Miaoulis was forced to set charges in the flagship Hellas and the corvette Hydra, blowing them up when he and his handful of followers returned to Hydra. Kallergis's men were enraged by the loss of the ships and sacked Poros, carrying off plunder to Nauplion.
The loss of the best ships in the fleet crippled the Hellenic Navy for many years, but it also weakened Kapodistrias's position. He did finally call the National Assembly but his other actions triggered more opposition and that led to his downfall.
Icon of St. Spyridon gazes down upon the spot where Kapodistrias was assassinated
In 1831, Kapodistrias ordered the imprisonment of Petrobey Mavromichalis, the Bey of the Mani Peninsula, one of the wildest and most rebellious parts of Greece. This was a mortal offence to the Mavromichalis family, and on October 9, 1831 (September 27 in the Julian Calendar) Kapodistrias was assassinated by Petrobey's brother Konstantis and son Georgios on the steps of the church of Saint Spyridon in Nafplio.
Kapodistrias woke up early in the morning and decided to go to church despite the urges of his servants and bodyguards to stay at home. When he reached the church he saw his assassins waiting for him. When he reached the church steps, Konstantis and Georgios came close as if to greet him. Suddenly Konstantis drew his pistol and fired, missing, the bullet sticking in the church wall where it is still visible today. He then drew his dagger and stabbed Kapodistrias in the stomach while Georgios shot Kapodistrias in the head. Konstantis was shot by General Fotomaras, who watched the murder scene from his own window. Georgios managed to escape and hide in the French Embassy; after a few days he surrendered to the Greek authorities. He was sentenced to death by a court-martial and was executed by firing squad. His last wish was that the firing squad not shoot his face, and his last words were "Peace Brothers!"
Ioannis Kapodistrias was succeeded as Governor by his younger brother, Augustinos Kapodistrias. Augustinos ruled only for six months, during which the country was very much plunged into chaos. Consequently, King Otto was given the throne of the newly founded Kingdom of Greece.
Legacy and honours
Kapodistrias' grave at the Platytera Monastery of Corfu. To the right the grave of his brother Augustinos.
Kapodistrias is greatly honoured in Greece today. The University of Athens is named "Kapodistrian" in his honour; the Greek euro coin of 20 lepta bears his face, as did the obverse of the 500 drachmas banknote of 1983–2001, before the introduction of the euro, and a local re-organisation programme that reduced the number of municipalities in the late 1990s also carries his name. The fears that Britain, France and Russia had of any liberal and Republican movement at the time, because of the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution, led them to insist on Greece becoming a monarchy after Kapodistrias' death. His summer home in Koukouritsa, Corfu has been converted to a museum commemorating his life and accomplishments and has been named Kapodistrias Museum in his honour. It was donated by the late Maria Desylla-Kapodistria, grand niece of Ioannis Kapodistrias, to three cultural societies in Corfu specifically for that purpose.
On 8 December 2001 in the city Capo d'Istria (Koper) of Slovenia a lifesize statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias was unveiled in the central square of the city. The square was renamed after Kapodistrias, since Koper was the place of Kapodistrias' ancestors before they moved to Corfu in the 14th century. The statue was created by Greek sculptor K. Palaiologos and was transported to Koper with a ship of the Greek Navy. The ceremony was attended by the Greek ambassador and Eleni Koukou, a Kapodistrias scholar and professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
In the area of bilateral relations between Greece and Slovenia the Greek minister for Development Dimitris Sioufas met on 24 April 2007 with his counterpart Andrej Vizjak, Economy minister of Slovenia, and among other things he mentioned: "Greece has a special sentimental reason for these relations with Slovenia, because the family of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor of Greece, hails from Koper of Slovenia. And this is especially important for us."
On 21 September 2009, the city of Lausanne in Switzerland inaugurated a bronze statue of Kapodistrias. The ceremony was attended by the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, Sergei Lavrov and of Switzerland, Micheline Calmy-Rey.
^ a b c d e f g Kapodistrias, Ioannis Antonios, Count. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9044651 Komis born February 11, 1776, Corfu [Greece] died October 9, 1831, Návplion, Greece Quote: Count Kapodístrias, Ioánnis Antónios, Italian Conte Giovanni Antonio Capo D'istria Greek statesman who was prominent in the Russian foreign service during the reign of Alexander I (reigned 1801–25) and in the Greek struggle for independence. The son of Count Antonio Capo d'Istria, he was born in Corfu (at that time under Venetian rule), studied at Padua, and then entered government service. In 1799 Russia and Turkey drove the French…
^ Karl Friedrich Schinkel's Project for a Royal Palace on the Acropolis, Rand Carter Department of Art Hamilton College, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Mar. 1979), pp.34–46: "Count John Capodistrias (his ancestors on Corfu had received a patent of nobility from the Venetian Republic)...";
ΤΟ ΠΑΡΟΝ Newspaper ΑΚΑΔΗΜΙΑ ΑΘΗΝΩΝ ΚΡΙΤΙΚΕΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΣΕΙΣ ΣΤΟ ΒΙΒΛΙΟ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΤΗΣ ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΟΥ ("Academy of Athens Critical Observations about the 6th-Grade History Textbook"): "3.2.7. Σελ. 40: Δεν αναφέρεται ότι ο Καποδίστριας ήταν Κερκυραίος ευγενής." ("3.2.7. Σελ. 40 Page 40. It is not mentioned that Kapodistrias was a Corfiote Nobleman.") "...δύο ιστορικούς της Aκαδημίας κ.κ. Mιχαήλ Σακελλαρίου και Kωνσταντίνο Σβολόπουλο" ("Prepared by the two Academy Historians Michael Sakellariou and Konstantinos Svolopoulos 18 March 2007");
Italian: Giovanni Capo d'Istria Conte Capo d'Istria (John Capodistrias and the Greeks before 1821 C. W. Crawley Cambridge Historical Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2 (1957), pp. 162–182: "John Capodistrias does not wholly fit into this picture. His ancestors' family, coming from Istria to Corfu in the fourteenth century...."; Slovenia Honours Kapodistria (in Greek) From the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens website: "Η Σλοβενία τιμά τον Καποδίστρια Tα αποκαλυπτήρια ανδριάντα, ύψους 1.76μ., του Ιωάννη Καποδίστρια έγιναν στις 8 Δεκεμβρίου 2001 στην κεντρική πλατεία της πόλης Capo d'Istria της Σλοβενίας. Η ελληνική κυβέρνηση εκπροσωπήθηκε από τον Πρέσβη κ. Χαράλαμπο Χριστόπουλο, ενώ την τελετή παρακολούθησε η καθηγήτρια του Πανεπιστημίου μας κ. Ελένη Κούκου, η οποία με σχετικές εργασίες της έχει φωτίσει άγνωστες πτυχές της ζωής του μεγάλου πολιτικού, αλλά και του ευαίσθητου ανθρώπου Καποδίστρια. Με την ανέγερση του ανδριάντα και με την αντίστοιχη μετονομασία της πλατείας, η γη των προγόνων του πρώτου Κυβερνήτη της σύγχρονης Ελλάδας θέλησε να τιμήσει τη μνήμη του. Το έργο είναι από χαλκό και το φιλοτέχνησε ο γνωστός γλύπτης Κ. Παλαιολόγος. Η μεταφορά του στο λιμάνι της πόλης Κόμμες, όπως σήμερα ονομάζεται το Capo d'Istria, έγινε με πλοίο του Eλληνικού Πολεμικού Ναυτικού." ("The unveiling of the statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias of height 1.76 m took place on 8 December 2001 in the central square of the city Capo d'Istria of Slovenia. The Greek government was represented by ambassador Charalambos Christopoulos, while the ceremony was observed by the professor of our university Mrs. Eleni Koukou, who through her relevant works has shed light on unknown areas of the life of the great politician but also the sensitive man, Kapodistrias. With the raising of the statue and the renaming of the square, the land of the ancestors of the first governor of Modern Greece wished to honour his memory. The statue is made of bronze and was created by famous sculptor K. Palaiologos. Its transportation to the port of the city Kommes, as is the present name of Capo d'Istria, was carried out by a ship of the Greek Navy."
Russian: граф Иоанн Каподистрия Graf Ioann Kapodistriya.
^ ΕΠΙΤΟΜΟ ΛΕΞΙΚΟ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑΣ Compound Dictionary of Greek History from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Website Quote: 1776 Γεννιέται στην Κέρκυρα ο Ιωάννης Καποδίστριας, γιος του Αντωνίου και της Αδαμαντίνης -το γένος Γονέμη-, μία από τις μεγαλύτερες μορφές της Ευρώπης, διπλωμάτης και πολιτικός, πρώτος κυβερνήτης της Ελλάδας και θεμελιωτής του νεότερου Ελληνικού Κράτους. Έκδοση: ΤΟ ΒΗΜΑ, 2004. Επιμέλεια: Βαγγέλης Δρακόπουλος – Γεωργία Ευθυμίου Translation: 1776 In Corfu is born Ioannis Kapodistrias, son of Antonios and Adamantini – nee Gonemi – one of the greatest personalities of Europe, diplomat and politician, first Governor of Greece and founder of the Modern Greek State. Publisher To Vima 2004.
^ To Vima online New Seasons (Translation) Article by Marios Ploritis (ΜΑΡΙΟΣ ΠΛΩΡΙΤΗΣ) : Δύο μεγάλοι εκσυγχρονιστές Παράλληλοι βίοι Καποδίστρια και Τρικούπη: Two great modernizers : Parallel lives Kapodistrias and Trikoupis Quote: Ηταν, κι οι δυο, γόνοι ονομαστών οικογενειών. Κερκυραίος και «κόντες» ο Καποδίστριας, που οι πρόγονοί του είχαν πολεμήσει μαζί με τους Βενετούς, κατά των Τούρκων. Translation: They were both scions of famous families. Corfiote and Count was Kapodistrias whose ancestors fought with the Venetians against the Turks.
^ Pournara, E. (2003). Eikonographēmeno enkyklopaidiko lexiko & plēres lexiko tēs neas Hellēnikēs glōssas. Athēna: Ekdotikos Organismos Papyros. (Illustrated Encyclopaedic Dictionary and Full Dictionary of Modern Greek Papyros-Larousse Publishers) Quote (Translation): Ioannis Kapodistrias 1776 Corfu. Diplomat and politician. Scion of distinguished Corfiote Family p. 785 2003 Edition ISBN 960-8322-06-5
^ a b The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright© 2004, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V. All rights reserved. Quote: CAPO D'ISTRIA, GIOVANNI ANTONIO, COUNT kä'pō dē'strēä, Gr. Joannes Antonios Capodistrias or Kapodistrias, 1776–1831, Greek and Russian statesman, b. Corfu. See study by C. M. Woodhouse (1973).
^ a b "Ioánnis Antónios Kapodístrias," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2007 http://encarta.msn.com © 1997–2007 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Quote: Ioánnis Antónios Kapodístrias (1776–1831), Greek-Russian statesman and provisional president of Greece. A native of Corfu (Kérkira), Greece, Kapodístrias was secretary of state in the Russian-controlled republic of the Ionian Islands from 1803 to 1809, when he entered the Russian diplomatic service. He soon became one of the chief advisers of Tsar Alexander I, and from 1816 to 1822 shared the conduct of Russian foreign affairs with Count Karl Robert Nesselrode. In the 1820s he became active in the movement for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. Elected head of the rebel Greek government in 1827, he was assassinated by political rivals in 1831. In early life he was known by the Italian name Capo d'Istria.. Archived 2009-10-31.
^ a b JSTOR Cambridge University Press Book Review: Capodistria: The Founder of Greek Independence by C. M. Woodhouse London O.U.P. 1973 ISBN 0192111965 ISBN 978-0192111968 Author(s) of Review: Agatha Ramm The English Historical Review, Vol. 89, No. 351 (Apr., 1974), pp. 397–400 This article consists of 4 page(s). Quote: Capodistrias was born in Corfu in 1776 into the aristocracy of a subjected people...
^ a b 1911 Britannica Quote: GIOVANNI ANTONIO CAPO D'ISTRIA [JOANNES], 1 Count (1776–1831), Russian statesman and president of the Greek republic, was born at Corfu on the 11th of February 1776. He belonged to an ancient Corfiot family which had immigrated from Istria in 1373, the title of count being granted to it by Charles Emmanuel, duke of Savoy, in 1689.
^ Vassilis Lambropoulos C. P. Cavafy Professor of Modern Greek University of Michigan Paper: The Tragedy of Greek Politics: Nikos Kazantzakis’ play Capodistria. Quote: Ioannis Capodistria (1776–1831) was a Greek from Corfu who had a distinguished diplomatic career in Russia, reaching the rank of Foreign Minister under Czar Alexander I.
^ John Capodistrias: The Man—The Fighter by Helene E. Koukkou professor National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Capodistrias and Education, 1803–1822. Volume I, The Vienna Society of the Friends of the Muses by Helene E. Koukkou Quote: ...and the Capodistrias Papers on Corfu, Capodistrias' native island.
^ International Society on the History of Medicine Paper: JOHN CAPODISTRIAS (1776–1831): THE EMINENT POLITICIAN-DOCTOR AND FIRST GOVERNOR OF GREECE ISHM 2006 40th International Congress on the History of Medicine. Quote: John Capodistrias (1776–1831) was a notable politician-doctor. The son of one of the most aristocratic family of Corfu, he was sent to Italy by his family and studied medicine at the University of Padua and: Ioannis Kapodistrias was the leading Greek politician and one of the most eminent politicians and diplomats in Europe. He was born in Corfu in 1776. He was son of an aristocratic family whose ascendants had been distinguished in during the Venetian wars against Ottoman Turks, having obtained many administrative privileges (1) (1)=1. Koukkou E. (ELENI KOUKKOU) The Greek State (1830–1832). In: History of the Greek Nation. Ekdotiki Athinon 1975, Vol. XXII: 549–561.
^ Ioannis Kapodistrias San Simera Retrieved 26-07-08
^ a b circom-regional Quote: "The international port of Koper, the capital of Istria during Venetian rule in the 15th and 16th centuries, is situated on the Adriatic coast. Koper, then called Capo d’ Istria, is linked with Greece. Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Greek governor, came from here. In fact, his surname comes from the name of the city: Capo d’ Istria. The initial name of the governor’s ancestors was Vittori. In the 14th century, they immigrated from Capo d’ Istria, discarded their surname and catholic dogma, converted into the orthodox dogma and were soon completely Hellenized." retrieved 21-06-2008
^ a b c Athens News This week in history. "Changing the capital" Article by EFTHYMIOS TSILIOPOULOS Quote: "Kapodistrias was born on Kerkyra (Corfu) in 1776, the second child of Count Antonios Maria Kapodistrias. His mother, Adamantia Genome, hailed from Epirus. Originally, the Kapodistrias family was from the Adriatic city of Capo d'Istria (a port of a small island near Trieste), and its original name was Vitori. Centuries before the birth of Ioannis the family had moved to Kerkyra, where it embraced Orthodoxy and changed its name to that of its town of origin." ATHENS NEWS, 17 August 2007, page: A19 Article code: C13248A191 retrieved 21-06-2008
^ a b Crawley C. W. (1957). Cambridge Historical Journal, 1957, vol. 13, no. 2, "John Capodistrias and the Greeks before 1821". Cambridge University Press. p. 166. OCLC 478492658. "…Capodistrias…his mother, Adamantine Gonemes, who came of a substantial Greek family in Epirus"
^ Center for Neo-Hellenic Studies (1970). Neo-Hellenika, Volumes 1-2. A. M. Hakkert.. p. 73. OCLC 508157775. "A predecessor of Soderini in the office of Venetian consul in Cyprus was “Sir Alessandro Goneme”, who according to Pietro Della Valle, who met him at the Salines (Larnaca Scala) on 4 September 1625, was “not of their [the Venetians’] nobles but a man of that class of honorable citizens, which often supplies the Republic with secretaries.” This may have been reflecting the fact that the Gonemes – a Greek family…"
^ Alberto Torsello, Letizia Caselli (2005). Ville venete: La provincia di Venezia. Marsilio. p. 113. ISBN 8831787225, 9788831787222. "...Gonemi, greci agiati venuti da Cipro..."
^ a b c Woodhouse, Christopher Montague (1973). Capodistria: the founder of Greek independence. Oxford University Press. pp. 4–5. OCLC 469359507. "The family of Gonemis or Golemis, which originated in Cyprus, had moved to Crete when Cyprus fell in the 16th century; then to Epirus when Crete fell in the 17th, settling near Argyrokastro in modern Albania; and finally to Corfu. This Island when Cyprus fell in the 16th century ; then to Epirus when Crete fell in the 17th, settling near Argyrokastro in modern Albania; and finally to Corfu."
^ a b c d e f g The Journal of Modern History Capodistrias and a "New Order" for Restoration Europe: The "Liberal Ideas" of a Russian Foreign Minister, 1814–1822 Patricia Kennedy Grimsted Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Jun., 1968), pp. 166–192 Quote: (Metternich's comments): Kapodistrias is not a bad man, but honestly speaking he is a complete and thorough fool, a perfect miracle of wrong-headedness...He lives in a world to which our minds are often transported by a bad nightmare. and Such in 1819 was Metternich's estimate of John Capodistrias, the young Greek patriot who served Alexander I as Russian foreign secretary. Capodistrias' world was a nightmare for the Austrian chancellor because it held the possibilities of reform in domestic and international order and suggested a degree of Russian influence which clearly threatened Metternich's aims for Austrian domination in European politics. If Metternich were to succeed he realised the importance of undermining Capodistrias' position as the only man of real influence in the Russian cabinet who presented a progressive alternative to his own system. When Metternich spoke of the struggle as "the conflict between a positive and a negative force," he recognised Capodistrias' world as antithetical to his own. Metternich, of course, won the immediate struggle; Capodistrias left the Russian foreign office in 1822. Yet time vindicated Capodistrias' sense of a new European... also: The stage was well set for his transfer to Russia when the French overran his native Corfu in 1807. Capodistrias entered the Russian service in 1809; ...
^  Quote: Die Annahme des Bundesvertragsentwurfs durch die Kantone suchte eine Note Kapodistrias günstig zu beeinflussen. Sie stellte in Aussicht, der Wiener Kongress werde in einem Zusatzartikel zum ersten Pariser Frieden (vom 30. Mai 1814) die Unabhängigkeit und Verfassung der Schweiz garantieren und einen schweizerischen Gesandten am Kongress zulassen, falls dieser den neuen Bundesvertrag mit sich bringe. and Trotz der wiederholten Versicherung des Selbstkonstituierungsrechtes der Schweiz wollten auch die Diplomaten der europäischen Grossmächte ein Wort zur künftigen Verfassung mitreden. „Wir haben vor“, schrieb der russische Geschäftsträger Johannes Kapodistrias (1775-1831; in Schweizer Geschichtsbüchern oftmals nach seinem Heimatort als Capo d'Istria tituliert), „die Kantone nicht sich selbst zu überlassen. Ihre in Zürich versammelten Deputierten bieten uns die erste Handhabe dar. Wir versuchen ihnen die Verhaltungslinien vorzuschreiben. Wir zeigen den Patriziern, dass die Rückkehr zur alten reinen Aristokratie absurd und unzulässig wäre. Wir lassen umgekehrt die Demokraten fühlen, dass der Geist der französischen Legislation für immer aus den schweizerischen Verfassungen verschwinden müsse.“
^ Notes on Kapodistrias Quote: Την 7 Ιανουαρίου 1828 έφθασεν ο Καποδίστριας εις Ναύπλιον και την 8 έφθασεν εις Αίγινα, και εβγήκεν µετά µεγάλης υποδοχής, και αφού έδωκεν τον όρκον, άρχισε τας εργασίας. Translation: On 7 January 1828 Kapodistrias arrived in Nafplion and on the 8th in Aegina
^ John S. Koliopoulos, Brigands with a Cause - Brigandage and Irredentism in Modern Greece 1821-1912, Clarendon Press Oxford (1987), p. 67.
^ Bank of Greece. Drachma Banknotes & Coins: 500 drachmas. – Retrieved on 27 March 2009.
^ a b Eleni Bistika Kathimerini Article on Ioannis Kapodistrias 22-02-2008 Quote: Η γενέτειρά του Κέρκυρα, ψύχραιμη, απολαμβάνει το προνόμιο να έχει το γοητευτικό Μουσείο Καποδίστρια στη θέση Κουκουρίσα, Translation: His birthplace, Corfu, cool, enjoys the privilege to have the charming Museum Kapodistria in the location Koukourisa and εξοχική κατοικία με τον μαγευτικό κήπο της οικογενείας Καποδίστρια, που η Μαρία Δεσύλλα – Καποδίστρια δώρισε στις τρεις κερκυραϊκές εταιρείες Translation: summer residence with the enchanting garden of the Kapodistrias family, which Maria Dessyla Kapodistria donated to the three Corfiote societies
^ a b c d e John Capodistrias and the Greeks before 1821 C. W. Crawley Cambridge Historical Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2 (1957), pp. 162–182: "John Capodistrias does not wholly fit into this picture. His ancestors' family, coming from Istria to Corfu in the fourteenth century...."
^ Greek Ministry of Development Announcement (In Greek) Quote: "Η Ελλάδα έχει κι έναν ιδιαίτερο συναισθηματικό λόγο για αυτές τις σχέσεις μαζί με τη Σλοβενία, γιατί η οικογένεια του πρώτου κυβερνήτη της Ελλάδας, του Ιωάννη Καποδίστρια, κατάγεται από την πόλη Κόπερ της Σλοβενίας. Και αυτό είναι ιδιαίτερα σημαντικό για μας." Retrieved 21-06-2008
^ "Ioannis Kapodistrias bust unveiled". World Council of Hellenes Abroad. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
Ioannis Kapodistrias, 20 Cents, Euro Coins
500 Drachmas , Ioannis Kapodistrias, 1983
Stella Ghervas, « Le philhellénisme russe : union d’amour ou d’intérêt? », in Regards sur le philhellénisme, Genève, Mission permanente de la Grèce auprès de l’ONU, 2008.
Stella Ghervas, Réinventer la tradition. Alexandre Stourdza et l'Europe de la Sainte-Alliance, Paris, Honoré Champion, 2008. ISBN 978-2-7453-1669-1
Stella Ghervas, « Spas' political virtues : Capodistria at Ems (1826) », Analecta Histórico Médica, IV, 2006 (with A. Franceschetti).
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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