Agisilaos! An ancient Greek name, meaning “the one who leads the people”. Agesilaos X’ Giannis (Khadzigiannis) was the one who led the people to the relief from pain. Traditional vrakoforos (wearing breeches), with gray-haired dashing mustache, of noble and proud look, a man who inspired respect, wise and a man of few words, who like you see him think that fictional Cretan heroes of Kazantzakis have appeared before you. He had never put his hand on the Gospel, to recite the Hippocratic oath, but Agesilaus and Medicine became, with the time, the concepts intertwined.
Agesilaus was born in the village of Tala, Paphos District, in 1903. His father emigrated, being a kid, to Antalya. There, at that time many Greeks went to work, because its hinterland is a very rich agricultural area. In his free time, the young guy, yet named Giammis then, learned the art of orthopedic chiropractor. When he returned to Tala, he got engaged in farming, but also exercised the art that he had learned in Antalya, which only a few knew at the time. The X’Giannis did not want to teach the children in this art, because, as he said, all those patients who visited him every day did not allow him to make his fortune. So, he wanted his children to deal exclusively with agriculture and progress.
Agesilaos secretly learns the art of his father
One day, around 1920, he was visited by a patient who had pulled his shoulder and was squealing from the pain. He began to treat him, but it was difficult. Yet being young then, Agisilaos peeked from the door ajar and shouted to his father: “Mistakenly you try to put the gristle.” Then, his father, somewhat angrily tells him: “Come da eh, you, going to show Maestro yourself.” He then walks close to the patient and with a single motion he put his shoulder in its seat. Then X’ Giannis turned his face toward his son and full of rage, but with admiration at the same time, says: “God damned you, would you teach me this technique?”
“Following you, I learned it, dad,” Agesilaus replied sheepishly.
The Agesilaus‘ sister, who married in Koili died at young age, also managed to learn the art of orthopedic chiropractor.
Agesilaos came in Chloraka around 1930, where he married Maria Nicholaou, and together they made nine children. His main occupation was agriculture, but he also practiced the art that he had managed to “steal” from his father. His favorite hobby was hunting. However, the rheumatism that had bothered him from his 50s and made him lame, deprived him of his beloved activity. So, every day he used to tell his friends and his family about the gun that his father had brought from Turkey, stories from his trips, giving advices on hunting, and during the hunting season he was always excitingly looking for his children to return, to tell him what they did.
He exercised the art of orthopedic chiropractor at a time when there were no orthopedic professionals and when later they emerged, they very few. He had attended the third grade of Gymnasium, but he was well aware of the anatomy of the human body, since in addition to anthropology, that was taught in Gymnasium, he studied other medical works that his father had probably brought from Antalya. However, Agesilaos did not treat his patients only thanks to his knowledge. He emanated an aura of kindness, peace and tranquility, inspired confidence to the patients, and where he spoke to them, with a sharp motion and with a touch that was like angelic, relieved them from pain. As soon as he saw the patient, he immediately understood what he was suffering from and how he suffered. Many people believe that his ability was God-given. However, he used his talent in the best possible way, always offering his services to the fellow men, without ever asking for money.
His reputation was very fast spread throughout Cyprus. Once a Turkish Cypriot came, who brought his wife, whose jawbone had bent. Before he brought her to Chloraka, he had visited several doctors, but all lifted their hands up. He had even mortgaged all his property and was preparing to take her to Germany for treatment. As soon as Agisilaos saw her, he approached her and healed her with just one motion. Right away, he ordered to bring water to her. The woman fell to his feet and worshiped him as if he were her God. The man hugged him and, filled with joy, told him that he would bring him a cow as a gift. But Agesilaus did not accept the offer.
Another time, they called him to a Turkish Cypriot house to cure a child who had a serious accident with the flour mill belt. His parents took him first to Nicosia, but all the doctors had this cause lost. Almost all his bones were broken. When Agesilaos went to their house, he asked the child’s parents if the boy ate. Their response was positive and then he told them: “Do not be afraid, the bones is my own work.” He bandaged the baby on the bed and he had him immobilized for a month. The ties he made were not inadvertent, and so in a month the child became well. After some time, they took the child in Nicosia to a famous physician of that time, and when the latter examined the child, he said: “I did not have too much trust to such practitioners. But that man is a strong one. Take my congratulations. ”
In March 1964, when the battles at Mouttallou had just finished, a Turkish Cypriot made a call to Chloraka at the communal telephone and asked to tell Agesilaos to go to the cafe of Mouttallou, as one child pulled his shoulder off. Meanwhile, everyone was still panicked by the battles. Agesilaos, however, was not frightened because he knew that the Turkish Cypriots appreciated him, and asked his son Yiannis to take him there with his car. When they reached the Mouttallou square, they saw hundreds of Turkish Cypriots congregated there, that immediately surrounded them. Then an officer of TMT (The Turkish Opposition Organization) cut off the mob and opened the door of the car for Agesilaos to get out of the car. As soon as he hopped off, the officer embraced and kissed him. Then he turned to the crowd and said: “This crazy guy saved my life.” This officer was that kid who had had the accident with the flour mill belt. Thus, the Turks left Agesilaos to do the job, offered meals and then he left quietly, without anyone disturbing him.
Agesilaos visited frequently certain places that everyone knew and went there to ask for his services. Many times, poor people went down from the villages, to be treated by him and usually found him in Pervola. This good-natured man felt sorry to take money from them, and he often took money out of his pocket to pay for their treatment. The tools were vanoukes, the vlampatses (egg white mixed with green soap), pads, cardboard and piastres for tumors.
Even doctors trust the wise orthopedic chiropractor. The late physician, Herodotus, had an accident at his foot and initially called his two colleagues to help him, but they failed. Then called Agesilaos and with a single touch he made the diagnosis: ‘You have three breaks, two in front and one in the back, ” he said. The other two physicians who were there disagreed with his diagnosis and began to mock him. When shortly after his legs were X-rayed, the diagnosis of Agesilaos proved to be the right one. So, he undertook once again to cure a patient with his unique and unrepeatable way.
Also, many people in the upper social strata visited this remarkable person. A man brought his wife who had hurt her hand. Having finished, Agesilaos told them that he won’t take any money. The gentleman, however, left money on the table without Agesilaos seeing it. Shortly afterwards, the orthopedists of Paphos took him to the court because he “ate” their bread, as they claimed. At the trial, Agesilaos got surprised noting that the judge was that gentleman whose wife he had cured shortly before. The judge just asked, “Is it true, Mr. Agesilaos, that you take money from your patients?” “No,” replied Agesilaos and the judge did not further proceed with the case.
Another time, however, the orthopedists brought him to the court again and he was sentenced to pay a heavy fine. The people, however, who adored him did not leave him alone at that difficult time, and with the fundraising made, the people helped him to repay the fine imposed. Agesilaos, however, was too hurt and “vowed” that he would not deal with his art again. But it did not last for long. The people who suffered made queues outside his house. The sensitivity and humanity paralyzed his ego and again he opened his house for patients.
The late Agesilaos did not treat only people, but also animals. Almost all the people in the old times were engaged in agriculture and livestock farming. The oxen and the donkeys were indispensable for every farmer. In the turmoil of hostilities, he was called to go to a Turkish-Cypriot villager, because the latter had broken the cow leg of some other Turkish-Cypriot farmer. Agesilaos went with his son Giannis to Mouttallos to get written authorization required to enter the village. The administration of Mouttallos did not issue the permit, and when they reached the village, the guard did not allow them to enter. After some discussion, however, the gate opened and they went to the house of the Turkish Cypriot that had called them. As well as he knew the anatomy of the human body, he knew the anatomy of the animal body too. It was quite easy to cure the ox and in a few days the animal was back in service of his owner. But as they left, they met a small Turkish Cypriot girl who was riding a horse. As soon as the horse heard the noise of the car, it scared and threw the girl down. Then the villagers heard the voices and ran there. No one, however, dared to hurt or say something to old Agesilaus, because everybody loved and respected him.
The end of his life
In the late 70s, the old physician had a serious car accident. The physicians tried to put platinum to his leg, but he did not want to. When he heard that he would have put platinum in, he asked to call his son Giannis so that to explain him what moves he had to do to get the bones in place. Finally, however, they put platinum, and that was his big complaint. He could not, he said, feel the metal inside.
Until the last years of his life, he was still receiving patients in his house. When he got severely ill with bronchopneumonia and was transferred to a hospital for medical care, a lady visited to wish a good health. However, accustomed to his art, he caught her hand, shook it and then said: “You hand is fine, you have nothing “. Two days before his death, he was visited by patients in his house, and he cured them. This large personality of Chloraka died in October 1985, but he did not die in human hearts.
The Agisilaos shared some of the techniques with his his eldest son, Giannis, who, for some time after the death of his father, exercised this art at his home. Although there were many orthopedists, many people were those who trusted the son of old Agisilaou to heal them. Giannis, however, felt that he was much less skilled than his father, and, not to tarnish his name, ceased to deal with this art. He knew also very well that what Agisilaos did, he did it not because he had possessed some knowledge, but because he had been born for this art.