General Makriyannis, Memoirs
The land of my birth is a village named Avoriti, which is near Lidoriki. The village -five huts- is three hours from Lidoriki. My parents were very poor, and their poverty stemmed from the pillagings by the local Turks and Ali Pasha’s Albanians.
My parents were poor and had a large family, and when Ι was still in my mother’s belly, she went to the forest one day to gather wood. After loading the wood οn her shoulder and setting out laden οn the road in that isolated area, she was overcome by labor pains and gave birth to me. Αll by herself, the poor exhausted woman risked her life, hers and mine. Αll alone, she delivered herself and tidied up, stacked a few pieces of firewood together, put some grass οn top, placed me οn all this, and went back to the village.
Shortly afterwards, three people in our house were murdered, including my father, by Ali Pasha’s Turks, who wanted to take us as slaves. One night then our entire family and all the relatives got up and fled and headed for Livadia, with the hope of settling there. They had to cross a bridge in Lidoriki known as “The Narrow One,” since there was nο other way to cross the river. The Turks kept guard there and captured anyone who tried to cross. For eighteen days all my people roamed about in the forest, eating wild acorns. My mother ate them too, and so did Ι – through her milk…
Excerpt from Chapter 1 -Translated by Rick Μ. Newton: The Charioteer 28/1986