The Greek struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire captured the imagination of the world. It was the revolution of the Romantic Age, inspiring painters, poets and patriots the world over, fired as much by Lord Byron's ringing words and Delacroix's allegorical paintings as by Greece's seemingly hopeless plight. For nearly four hundred years the Ottoman Turks governed Greece, subjecting it to crushing and arbitrary tax burdens and its peasants to serfdom; the glories of the ancient past were gone. But inspired by the examples of the American and French revolutions, Napoleon's victories and the Latin American wars of liberation, the Greek people rose up against their Turkish masters in 1821. For twelve brutal years - years of terrible violence and bloody massacre - the Greeks and the foreign volunteers who flocked to their cause fought until independence was finally won in 1833. The Greek War of Independence captures the conflict from the ground up - the heroes and villains, the victories and tragic defeats. Greece was, as Byron said, a land with a special destiny - 'freedom's home, or Glory's grave.'