Gerhard Casper Lecture
The Imperial Roots of Modern Greece
When did the Greeks become Greek? In this talk, Yanni Kotsonis argues that it happened when French, Russian, and British imperial armies arrived off the Balkan coasts in the late 1700s and early 1800s, interacted with the Ottoman mainland, and told the Greeks, in effect, who they were. In the ensuing revolution of 1821-1830, geostrategy mixed with Romanticism and classicism—but especially with religion, as Ottoman Christians learned how to make the case for nationhood and independence. In the process, they reached a consensus with European powers: Greece was Europe, Europe was Christian, and Islam would have to be eradicated.
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