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Ion Dragoumis

Ion Dragoumis
Born September 14, 1878
Athens, Kingdom of Greece
Died July 31, 1920
Athens, Kingdom of Greece
Religion Greek Orthodox, Agnostic theism
Notable ideas
Founding father of Greek nationalism, Romantic nationalism, Hellenoturkism, Eastern Party in Greece, role of the Greek tradition, demoticism, communitarianism, Panhelenism, pacifism under a Pax Hellenica on the Middle East, role of Greek Orthodox tradition (despite his agnostic thought)

Ion Dragoumis (Greek: Ίων Δραγούμης; September 2, 1878 – July 31, 1920 Julian calendar) was a Greek diplomat, philosopher, writer and revolutionary.

Born in Athens, Dragoumis was the son of Stephanos Dragoumis who was foreign minister under Charilaos Trikoupis. The family originated from Vogatsiko in Kastoria regional unit. Ion's great-grandfather, Markos Dragoumis (1770–1854), was a member of the Filiki Eteria revolutionary organisation.

Ion Dragoumis studied law at Athens University and, in 1899, entered the diplomatic branch of the Greek Foreign Ministry. In 1897, he enlisted in the Greek Army and fought in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897.

In 1902, Dragoumis was made deputy consul in the Greek consulate at Monastir (present-day Bitola). In 1903, he became head of the consulate at Serres and later went on to serve in Plovdiv, Burgas, Alexandria and Alexandroupolis. In 1907, he was assigned to the embassy in Constantinople.

In 1905, during his time as the Vice-Consul of Greece in Alexandria, Dragoumis met and started a love affair with the writer Penelope Delta, who was married to the businessman Stephanos Deltas. Out of respect for her husband and children, Dragoumis and Delta eventually decided to separate, but continued to correspond passionately until 1912, when Dragoumis started a relationship with the famous stage actress Marika Kotopouli.

Dragoumis became instrumental in the Macedonian Struggle. In Macedonia, a new Filiki Eteria was founded, under the leadership of Anastasios Picheon from Ochrid, whilst in Athens, the Macedonian Committee was formed in 1904 by Dragoumis' father, Stephanos Dragoumis.

In 1907, he published the book Martyron kai Iroon Aima (Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Blood), which presented his views on the situation in Macedonia and on what the Greek government should do to more properly defend the Greek element there. During this period, he also toyed with the idea of a Greek-Ottoman Empire, believing that Greeks, already having control of commerce and finance, would also gain political power in such an arrangement.

In 1909, the Goudi Revolt broke out and his father, Stephanos Dragoumis became Prime Minister of Greece. However, the force behind the new Prime Minister was Eleftherios Venizelos. When the First Balkan War broke out, Dragoumis travelled to Thessaloniki as an attaché to Crown Prince (later King) Constantine.

In 1915, he resigned from the diplomatic corps; having entered Greek politics as an independent, he was elected to the Greek Parliament for Florina Prefecture. On July 30, 1920 an attempt was made to assassinate Venizelos at the Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris. The next day, July 31, Dragoumis was stopped by Pavlos Gyparis, head of the Venizelist Democratic Security Battalions (Δημοκρατικά Τάγματα Ασφαλείας) and executed as a form of payback. Though her relationship with him ended many years before, Penelope Delta deeply mourned Dragoumis, and after he was killed wore nothing but black until her own death two decades later. In the late 1930s she received Dragoumis' diaries and archives, entrusted to her by his brother Philip. She managed to dictate 1000 pages of manuscripted comment on Dragoumis' work, before deciding to take her own life in 1941.[1]

In 1986, the journalist Freddy Germanos (1934–1999) wrote the novel I Ektelesi (The Execution), about Ion Dragoumis.


  1. ^ , Modern library of Alexandria (BA), Cairo. Bibliotheca Alexandrina News, Conference about Penelope Delta at the BA, at 2009-05-04 [1]


  • Dimitri Kitsikis, Synkritike Historia Hellados kai Tourkias ston 20o aoiona ("A Comparative History of Greece and Turkey in the 20th Century"), Athens, Hestia, 3rd ed., 1998. ISBN 960-05-0072-X

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