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Hellas Reborn: The Modern Greek Nation-State. A Balkan Problem of Identity  Greece as part of the Roman Empire and its continuance in the Byzantine Empire.

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Presentation on theme: "Hellas Reborn: The Modern Greek Nation-State. A Balkan Problem of Identity  Greece as part of the Roman Empire and its continuance in the Byzantine Empire."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hellas Reborn: The Modern Greek Nation-State

2 A Balkan Problem of Identity  Greece as part of the Roman Empire and its continuance in the Byzantine Empire ‘Romeic’ identity: Rhomaioi Doctrinal schisms (Greek Orthodox vs. Roman Catholic)  May 29, 1453: Fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Turks

3 “Greekness” and the Ottoman Past: ‘Oriental’ or ‘Occidental’? “…uncertainty gave Greece’s accession to the European Community as its tenth member in 1981 a particular significance, for, aside from the perceived economic and political benefits of accession, it seemed to set the seal in an unambiguous way on her ‘Europeanness’. The Greek national movement had been remarkable in that it was the first to develop in a non-Christian environment, that of the Ottoman empire. One hundred and fifty years later, Greece’s full membership of the European Community was significant in that she was the first country with a heritage of Orthodox Christianity and Ottoman rule and with a pattern of historical development that marked her out from the existing members to enter the Community.” ~ Richard Clogg, Concise History of Greece

4 Steps Towards a Greek Nation  1748: Birth of Adamantios Korais at Smyrna, intellectual giant in Greek national revival.  1806: Publication of Elliniki Nomarkhia, important polemical text of Greek national movement.  1814: Philiki Etairia (Friendly Society) formed at Odessa, lays groundwork for war of independence.

5 Birth Pangs  1821 (February): Greek army commanded by General Alexandros Ypsilantis invades Moldavia  1821(March): Rebellion in the Peloponnesus  1822: Proclamation of first constitution of an independent Greece  1827 (July): Treaty of London--England, France, and Russia agree to ‘peacefully interfere’ in securing Greek autonomy  1832: Convention of London: monarchical and independent Greece of King Otto (of Bavaria)

6 Greece in the 19th-Century  1834: Athens replaces Nauplion as capital  1844: Promulgation of New Constitution  1862: Army Coup dethrones Otto  1863: Ascension of King George I  1897: Greeks defeated in thirty-day war against Ottoman Turks arising from rebellion in Crete

7 Letter of commendation, Philiki Etaria

8 Megali Idea and Tourkokratia: Greek Irrendentism  1910: Eleftherios Venizelos becomes Prime Minister  1912: First Balkan War--Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro attack Ottoman empire  1913: King George I assassinated in Salonica; succeeded by King Constantine I  Second Balkan War--Greece and Serbia repel Bulgarian attack; Treaty of Bucharest (August) = Macedonia largely shared by Greece and Serbia  1916: Venizelos establishes provisional government in Salonica  1917: Constantine leaves Greece (June); succeeded by his son, Alexander

9 Expansion of Greek State,

10 Military Offensive and Disaster  1919 (May): Landing of Greek troops at Izmir (Smyrna)  1920: Treaty of Sevres = Greece “of the two continents and the two seas”  1921: Greeks advance on Ankara; checked at the Battle of the Sakarya River  1922: Greek armies driven from Asia Minor (August/September). Greeks evacuate Smyrna September 8

11 Richard Clogg on Greek Failure in Asia Minor “The chaotic rout of the Greek forces in Asia Minor at the hands of the Turkish nationalists under Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) signalled the collapse of the ‘Great Idea’ and an ignominious end to Greece’s ‘civilising mission’ in the Near East.”

12 Modern Greece in the Drama of Modern Europe  1930: Ankara Convention begins reconciliation with Turkey  1936: Communists control government; death of Venizelos; Dictatorship of General Metaxas established (4 August 1936-January 1941)  1941: German invasion of Greece; foundation of National Liberation Front (EAM)  : Civil war and army mutinies  1946: Restoration of King George II  1949: Communists Party announces formal cessation of hostilities; end of civil war

13 General Ioannis Metaxas, Dictator

14 1950-early 2000s: Greece in the World Today  1947 (March): Truman Doctrine results in massive military and economic assistance to Greece  1951: Member of NATO  Troubles in Cyprus (enosis [union]) 1974: Turkish invasion of Cyprus (US’s role (?) and the ‘Green Line’)  1981: Member of European Community  Dependence on Tourist Dollars; Trading on Classical Past (?); Olympic Games (Athens awarded Summer Games in 2004)

15 The Cultural Politics of the Metaxas Regime ( ) “In imitation of Hitler’s Third Reich Metaxas elaborated the notion of the ‘Third Hellenic Civilisation’. The first was that of ancient Greece, the second that of medieval Byzantium, the third being an amalgam of the essentially contradictory values of both which would enshrine and perpetuate the values of his regime.” ~Clogg, Concise History of Greece

16 Cultural Politics Ancient Greece in Modern Greece

17 Topographies of Hellenism: The Burden of the Past? “A recurring question in Neohellenism’s debate about its national fate concerns the physical depth and expanse of its cultural terrain. In this discussion, Greeks link the fate of their territory to the literary and artistic heritage of classical Greece. Furthermore, they attempt to specify the physical features of this inheritance. Then they set their administrative sights on embracing the larger geographical territory that reveals traces of these features.” ~ Artemis Leontis, Topographies of Hellenism: Mapping the Homeland

18 Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities Nation as an ‘imagined community,’ imagined as inherently limited and sovereign. Nationalism grew out of the systems of religious community and the dynastic realm and was made possible by mass communications and print capitalism (“community in anonymity…is the hallmark of modern nations”)

19 Barth on Ethnic Strategies Ethnic identities are socio-cultural constructions; they are not primordial, but rather fluid, attitudinal, and selective. “It seems first of all to be quite clear that any concept of ethnic group defined on the basis of ‘cultural content’ will not suffice as a tool for the analysis of ethnicity in its various interactional contexts. Only when ethnic distinction, stratification, or dichotomization are part of the individual’s or group’s strategies for preserving or increasing control of resources, social status or other values is a meaningful interpretation feasible.” ~ Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference

20 Academy of Athens, 1886

21 Adamantios Korais and the Vision of Classical Greece “For the first time the nation surveys the hideous spectacle of its ignorance and trembles in measuring with the eye the distance separating it from its ancestors’ glory. This painful discovery, however, does not precipitate the Greeks into despair: We are the descendants of Greeks, they implicitly told themselves, we must try to become again worthy of the name, or we must not bear it.” ~before a Parisian audience in 1803


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