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The Enlightenment and the founding of the Filiki Etairia ©The Benaki Museum
1814 Sep 14

Founding of Filiki Eteria

Odessa, Ukraine

Filiki Eteria or Society of Friends was a secret organization founded in 1814 in Odessa, whose purpose was to overthrow the Ottoman rule of Greece and establish an independent Greek state. Society members were mainly young Phanariot Greeks from Constantinople and the Russian Empire, local political and military leaders from the Greek mainland and islands, as well as several Orthodox Christian leaders from other nations that were under Hellenic influence, such as Karađorđe from Serbia Tudor Vladimirescu from Romania, and Arvanite military commanders. One of its leaders was the prominent Phanariote Prince Alexander Ypsilantis. The Society initiated the Greek War of Independence in the spring of 1821.