Aristotelis Valaoritis

Aristotelis Valaoritis from Lefkada: The renowned poet Aristotelis Valaoritis was born on the island of Lefkada in 1824. The poet was known for his exploits during the post-liberation period.

Greek literature ceased to exist under the oppression of Turkish rule, except in Crete, where very few scholars survived the Turkish onslaught. The Greeks were finally blessed with the Enlightenment when they were liberated from the Turks in 1832. The emergence of eminent literati in this phase was a corollary, as they were relieved from the shackles of Muslim rule. This change facilitated the growth of a rich culture.

Aristotelis Valaoritis was a product of this particular era. He studied law at the universities of Pisa, Geneva, and Paris and graduated in 1848. Afterwards, he traveled across Europe promoting the reasons for the annexation of the Ionian Islands to the Greek state. This renowned lyricist was known for his descriptive imagery, patriotic fervor, love for his motherland, and admiration for the valor of the countrymen who liberated his nation from the clutches of foreign rule in 1821. His lyrics are both romantic and patriotic. Some of his poems are Kira Frosini, Athanasios Diakos, Astrapogiannos, etc.

Apart from poetry, he was also actively involved in politics. He represented Lefkada in the Ionian Parliament for many years. He was a member of radicals who took up the cause of the unification of the islands with the rest of Greece. This dream was finally fulfilled in 1864. He later became a member of the Greek Parliament.

Valaoritis died on July 24, 1879, following a heart attack. Nowadays, people can admire his magnificent mansion on the Madouri island opposite Nidri from a distance via a boat tour. Access to the island is only permitted with the permission of the Valaoritis family.