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The struggle of the Greeks for independence and philhellenism



The struggle of the Greeks for independence and philhellenism

Alternative Title

Der griechische Unabhängigkeitskrieg und der Philhellenismus


March 2021


The Greek Revolution of 1821 was an event with a very strong impact not only in Europe but also in America, causing a wave of sympathy that was not comparable to any other people during their national emancipation effort. The familiarity with the culture of Greek antiquity, the ideas of the Enlightenment, as well as the spontaneous support for a Christian people who rebelled against their non-religious dynasties, were obvious motivations for formulating from the beginning an attitude of solidarity towards the rebellious Greeks. At the same time, the struggle of the Greeks for independence affected the geopolitical balances and was part of the international diplomatic game of the time.

The term philhellenism incorporated the wide range of manifestations of support for the Greeks. Gunnar Hering’s study, which was the conclusion of the scientific contribution of the great German historian and Hellenist, but also a true philhellene, is a general overview of the philhellenic movement in Europe and America. With a synthetic approach, a hallmark of his overall research work, Hering, first defining the historical context, attempts an inventory the goals and ideological positions that shaped the basis of philhellenism, examines its organisation and forms of guidance, analyses the social origins of all those people who enlisted in the philhellenic movement and reviews the historical, literary and artistic works connected with philhellenic activity. His aim is to highlight the multidimensional character of the movement, reconstructing one-dimensional interpretations, with a typical one that links it to a simplistic antiquarianism.

(Edited and translated blurb from publisher’s website)

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