Wars, revolutions and other major social upheavals often reveal the darkest, ugliest aspects of human nature. Nevertheless, during such events, people can demonstrate the true greatness of the spirit.
1821 year. The Balkan Peninsula is ablaze in the flames of revolutionary struggle - the Greek people are fighting against many years of Turkish rule. At first, the scattered insurgent groups, which had only antique guns at their disposal, found it very difficult to fight against the organized and well-armed army of the Ottoman Empire, and the London Convention, which provided Greece with support from the Russian Empire, France and Great Britain, was signed only in 1827.
Siege of the Acropolis
One of the fiercest battlegrounds was the Athenian Acropolis. This historical and architectural monument, originally a fortified part of the ancient Greek polis, in the 19th century played the role of a military fortress - it was in it that the Turkish garrison was hiding.
The first time the Greek revolutionary army laid siege to the Athenian Acropolis at the very beginning of the national liberation war - in March 1821. The Turks coped with this siege relatively quickly - in July they drove the rebels back to the plain.
The second siege of the Acropolis, which began in November of the same year, was more successful. However, this attempt to take the Acropolis was also fraught with very serious difficulties: the Greeks fired at the ancient fortress, laid mines, but the Turkish garrison did not surrender.
However, during a siege, time is always on the side of the besiegers: the Turks ran out of ammunition, it only remained to wait a little - and the surrender of the Acropolis would become inevitable. And then the leaders of the Greek army make an unexpected act: they send their man to the Turks for negotiations and agree … the amount of lead for making bullets, which they are ready to transfer to the Turkish garrison.
The reason for the noble gesture
Such a broad gesture on the part of the Greeks was not at all connected with the desire to show chivalry: when the freedom of the native country is at stake, games of nobility are inappropriate. In this way, the Greeks intended to preserve their national shrine.
If you look closely at the tumbled down columns in the temple of Olympian Zeus, you will notice that there are cavities in the center of these columns. Ancient Greek architects filled these cavities with lead in order to increase the strength of the columns - this technology was used for all columns in Ancient Greece. The columns of the Parthenon, located on the Athenian Acropolis, were no exception.
The Turks knew about this, and they began to destroy the columns in order to get lead and make bullets out of it. In order to prevent the destruction of the ancient monument, the Greeks offered the Turks such a deal: there will be as much lead as they require - let them just leave the Parthenon intact.
However, this deal did not particularly help the Turkish garrison: the Greeks managed to poison the water in the only well from where the Turks could take water, and the garrison was forced to surrender at the mercy of the rebels.