Antonis Katsantonis

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Antonis Katsantonis was a Greek klepht of the period just priot to the Greek War of Independence.

Katsantonis was born in Marathos, Evrytania, in 1775, the son of wealthy shepherd, though his family was from originally Vastavetsi, Ioannina. At a young age, in 1802, he was accused of stealing sheep and was forced to pay a large sum of money to the authorities. After that, Katsantonis took the mountains and became a klepht. Ali Pasha, who was the ruler of that region, retaliated by capturing his father and other relatives and having them executed. Katsantonis was then joined by the remainder of his relatives who formed his band.

Ali Pasha tried many times to capture Katsantonis but could not succeed. He even sent his top commander, Veli Geka, to defeat him but Veli Geka was himself killed. At that, Ali Pasha gave up the idea of capturing Katsantonis and, instead, appointed him armatolos of the Agrafa mountains area.

In 1809, Katsantonis became seriously ill and disbanded his men. He only retained four men and hid in a cave until he could be healed. However, a shepherd who brought him food was captured by the Albanians and forced to reveal the hideout of Katsantonis. The famous klepht was thus captured and taken to Ali Pasha in Giannena. He was executed in a brutal manner by having every major bone in his body broken.