the same time, he yelled out with his strong and powerful voice, in which he chased after the Turks. In this particular battle, Zaharias was recognized (from his comrades) for his bravery, and fighting skills, which the other fighters looked up to him.
Kapetan Matzari was angry at Zaharias because he led the charge without approval. Therefore they decided to part, and Zaharias made his own unit of about 60 men and his own flag. Within a short time, the Turks became very fearful of him.
The fame of Zaharias spread out even more after his victory in the battle of Salesi (located in Arcadia near the village of Mursini), in 1781. A. Kontakis who was the president of the village of Agios Petros (in the Kynoria region of Arcadia), during the time of Zaharias and was a much hated enemy of him, but later became good friends, mentions in his memoirs about Zaharias in the following manner: "There are many things about him to describe, and during his era he was constantly fighting tyranny. One would need to write a whole book about it. Kapetan Zaharias was very fast, with a flexible body, average height, strong back, round and handsome face, brown eyes and a scar above his upper right eyebrow, which made him even more handsome. His hair was brown and curly. He had a strong and powerful voice, with a strong will. He was very independent, in which he would never submit to anyone and would never recognize anyone superior to him. He would also never carry money or a wallet wherever he went."
It is believed that Zaharias could leap over five horses with one leap. His superior physical attributes, his intelligence, and his courage was something that was never seen before. Even the Turks had a famous line about Zaharias: "ne geldi, ne geletzek", which means that there never has been and there will never be another man like Zaharias.
At the age of 24, the Turks recognized Zaharias as basbogon and zabiti, which meant that he was chief of security for all of the 24 regions of the Peloponnese. Through 1787, there were many occasions in which Zaharias caused much havoc on the Turkish government and its political leaders, who would tremble even when his name was mentioned. Zaharias invited all of the rebel leaders of the Peloponnese to form a kleptho-armatoloi federation of the Peloponnese. This unity brought even greater power to Zaharias. In all of his correspondences, Zaharias would sign as commander in chief of the Peloponnese. He built two forts in Barbitsa, and would judge on cases brought to him involving the christian population. Before this, it was always a Turkish judge that would decide on cases involving the christian population. With the formation of the federation, the goal of Zaharias was to gradually force the Turks to submit to his demands, while at the same time, gain some sort of autonomy for the Peloponnese until the time was right to start a revolution of independence. That is why he corresponded with the French and Napolean. He had wider goals.
Kapetan Androutsos, father of Odysseas (hero of the Greek War of Independence), was chased out of the island of Aigina, by the Turks, and boarded the ship of Lambros Katsonis in 1792. The ship docked in Mani, where they were met by Zaharias and the young Kolokotronis. Zaharias with 300 of his men escorted Androutsos and his men to Votsitsa (Northern Peloponnese), fighting the Turks along the way for 40 consecutive days and nights. Androutsos saw what a great man and leader that Zaharias was. Zaharias was not just a great warrior with superior physical attributes and tremendous courage. His actions had the interest and well being of the people and the freedom of the nation. He was a national leader. He laid the foundation for Greek Independence of 1821 because he planned and made preparations for the uprising of the enslaved Greek people, which is what Kolokotronis did in 1821.
The Turks had tried for a long time to get rid of Zaharias, especially in 1804, for reasons both internal and external, they had to get rid of Zaharias and Tzanetos Grigorakis, who was no longer the beg of Mani. The Turks sent in Mani a military commander by the name of Seremetbay, in which he informed, to those who were interested, about the different powerful political positions available in Mani. The individual that would receive this position must be able to capture Zaharias alive, and turn him over to the proper authorities.