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Enlightenment visions of the post-Ottoman Balkans: Rhigas and Kapodistrias



Enlightenment visions of the post-Ottoman Balkans: Rhigas and Kapodistrias


10 May 2021


"The intellectual and visionary component of the thought of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first President of the Greek Republic, is widely considered to have disappeared once he arrived in his native country in January 1828, as he was compelled to spend the next three-and-a-half years deeply immersed in the affairs of state. However, two letters he sent to the Russian minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Nesselrode in the spring of 1828 suggest that he had a specific conception of how the Balkans should be reconfigured in the post-Ottoman epoch that did not limit itself to the crucially important border issue. An analysis of the views he expressed in these documents indicate that, while they belonged, along with other similar visionary projects, to the Enlightenment tradition, they diverged considerably from the ideas of Rhigas Velestinlis, the proto-martyr of the Greek Revolution whose life and work had galvanised the anti-Ottoman movement in Southeast Europe. The presentation will focus on Kapodistrias’ Balkan vision and offer a comparison with that of Rigas, placing them in the context of the broader discussions that had taken place on the national question and proto-federalism, from the Abbé de Saint Pierre to Jean-Jacques Rousseau."

From the description of the event, as it was published on the organizer's website.

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