The tales of Alexander the Great are legendary, well known is the military suppress that the Greek Empire enjoyed during his time. What you may not know though is that Greece, as we know it today, is a very young country and did not exist until the revolution of 1821. Before that time the land we know as Greece or Hellas was controlled by the Ottoman empire. And it was not until the rebellion against the Turks that the Hellenic people for the first time in history had a homeland. There are many twists and turns during the Greek revolution, some credit the success to their fiery nationalism and their battle cry being “Freedom or Death!” not only that but there were some odd tales that came out after all the rebelling was done!
And nothing was stranger than the time the Greeks gave their enemy the Turks more bullets to shoot at them! Seems you would really have to be a gentleman beyond reproach if you actually provided your enemy with the bullets needed to shoot you, no? To truly understand this story first we need to understand the importance of the Acropolis in Greek history.
the Acropolis is an ancient citadel found on a rocky mountain above the beautiful city of Athens. It is very significant to Greek history and culture as it is seen as the birthplace of Cecrops the first Athenian king. He was a legend or a myth even, or maybe just so famous that his stories were exaggerated to the point that he was seen as a god. In fact, he is described as a serpent-man. The location has been intertwined with every symbolic moment in Greek history, so much that now every 4 years a celebration takes place called the Panathenaea. This festival rivaled even the Olympic games. Basically, it is a monument to all glories of classical Greece.
So you can imagine the Greek armies disdain when they found out the Turks were occupying this holy ground. They quickly proceeded to trap them in the citadel and a fierce battle ensued – but the Turks ran out of bullets! And here is when an amazing thing happened. The Greeks found out that the Ottoman army was going to destroy the citadel’s lead columns to use the metal for more bullets. To protect the monument at all costs, they gathered up their bullets and sent them to the Turks with a message to not touch the Acropolis.
Though this story has never been able to be verified, it does sound like what a patriotic soldier would do to save their country’s legacy. It acts like these that let us enjoy historical sites today!