Ioannis Capodistrias In Corfu
For most of his life, Ioannis Capodistrias lived in Corfu: from the time of his birth (1776) until 1808, when he left for Russia at the age of 32 – with the exception of a three-year period of absence when he studied in Italy (1794 – 1797). He, along with his other siblings, was raised in a family of aristocrats. Corfu was the place where he received his first education and was taught the Orthodox faith – and here is where he gained friends. In Corfu, Capodistrias was initiated in the structure of social relationships, which would greatly influence his social views. After he completed his studies, he returned to Corfu to practice his science – and he always aspired to come back to Corfu when he would finally retire from managing politics to manage his estate.
The Septinsular Republic, the first Modern Greek State with Corfu as its capital city, was Capodistrias’s own baptism of fire in the field of active politics and defined the shaping of his political principles. The Septinsular Republic provided Capodistrias with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate his skills, through his active involvement and engagement in the Republic’s organization and administration. In Corfu, Capodistrias crystallized the main ethics that would guide him for the rest of his life: an undeviating dedication to patriotic duty, persistence and meticulousness in the application of the Law, and absolute faith in Divine Providence.
It is certain that his long stay in Russia at the Czar’s service, his triumphant rise through the levels of international diplomacy, as well as his long sojourn in Europe, equipped Capodistrias with many resources and experiences that shaped his later approach to the governance of Greece. Nevertheless, the core of his personality was purely a result of the time he spent in Corfu.