The Greek Revolution of 1821 and its multiple legacies
Professor Gonda Van Steen
Koraës Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature
Director of Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London
Since the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, the Greek people have celebrated three major anniversaries: the 50th, 100th, and 150th anniversary date of the inception of this revolutionary war that led to sovereign statehood after nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. These three jubilees, each with their own legacies, have come to represent three different ways of celebrating Greek statehood that have, nonetheless, much in common. They posited a linear progression from Greek antiquity through postclassical, Byzantine, and post-Byzantine (Ottoman) times. The lecture will explore in what ways the celebrations and re-enactments, with their commemorative events and symbolic images, acquired a prescriptive character, which advanced their aim to educate youth in state-promoted nationalism, and to what extent the present 200th anniversary celebrations differ from the three aforementioned ones.
19th Annual Hellenic Lecture
Further details will follow in due course.