His real name was Ioannis Triantafyllodimitris. He was born in January 1797 in the Avoriti settlement of Krokylio, Doris, and his family name was Triantafyllou. His father, Dimitris, was killed in a skirmish with the Turks, when Makriyannis was one year old. At the age of four, after a raid by the Turks, he was forced to leave Avoriti with his mother Vasiliki and his brothers and they settled in Livadia.
The last name Makriyannis was given to him by his comrades because of his stature. In 1820, he became a member of Filiki Eteria. From that moment on, he participated in many battles and in 1824 he was declared General. A notable event took place in 1825, when Ibrahim’s army attacked Myloi, Argos, with more than four thousand troops. General Makriyannis managed to confront and repel him with just 300 soldiers.
He passionately defended the Acropolis in 1826 by resisting Reşid Mehmed Pasha Kiutahi, as he had been appointed a guard for more than a year. During the fight, he was wounded five times and his injuries were to torment him until the end of his life.
In addition to his war action, Makriyiannis was actively involved in political affairs. After the reorganization of the Greek State, he was a member of Athens City Council. He was a prominent figure in the revolution of September 3rd, 1843, for the granting of a Constitution by King Otto, an action which resulted into him being tried for high treason. He was initially sentenced to death, and then sentenced to 10 years in prison.
His grammatical knowledge, acquired in old age, was limited to reading and writing the 24 letters of the alphabet, without accents, breathings and punctuation marks. His memoirs, “misfortunes brought on our Country and Faith” – (1829 – 1850), is considered a historical document. He died in 1864 in Athens, at the age of 67.