The destruction of Psara, Suzanne Elisabeth Eynard (1775-1844), sister-in-law of the great Philhellene and friend of I. Kapodistrias, Jean Gabriel Eynard (SHP Collection)


George Argyrakos – June 2020


I should start this article as Socrates and Antisthenes suggested, with an “investigation of the terms”.[1] Philhellene (φιλέλλην) today literally means a person who loves or is friend of Greeks or Greece. In Herodotus (5th century BC), we find the first reference to a philhellene, the Egyptian pharaoh, Amasis II (6th century BC). In antiquity the same term had the additional meaning of a Greek patriot, which is why Xenophon (in Agesilaus 7.4) refers to the Spartan General Agesilaus as a ‘philhellene’. The antonym was mishellene (μισέλλην), and Xenophon was the first to contrast these two terms in one sentence, referring to Egyptian leaders, some of whom were philhellenes and others mishellenes (Agesilaus, 2.31). Many other important figures of classical and Roman antiquity are referred to as philhellenes (among them Nero), but infinitely more are those who in practice were friends of Hellenism or the Greeks, although are not conventionally described as philhellenes (but there were also hellenising persons, and later grecomans, grecomania, and hellenists). As two distinct geocultural entities were gradually formed around the Mediterranean (especially after the spread of Islam), philhellenism was confined mainly in the Eurasian area north of the Mediterranean, but after the 11th century spread to Russia, and after the 18th century could be found in whole of America. There was a long period when the term was not used because “Hellen” (Έλλην) or “Greek” had acquired the meaning of “pagan”. During the Greek Revolution of 1821-29 it again came into use, from which the term “philhellenism” was formed some time in 19th century.

Dominant historiography traces the robust restoration of classical education in Europe during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. That period coincides roughly with the birth and development of the printing industry, which functioned as an enhancer of a pre-existing trend, found at least in the scholastic philosophy and theology of the Middle Ages. It is indicative that there were about 590 editions of works of Aristotle with their commentaries by the year 1500, when typography was still in its infancy. In the region of the Byzantine Empire, for historical and cultural reasons, philhellenism (of Greeks or others) took a different course and form, as sections of the Byzantine subjects gradually developed a Greek national (or pre-national) identity after the 13th century.[2] Modern historiography has revised its views about a “theocratic Byzantium” that was supposedly hostile to Hellenism, and revealed that hellenophilia did not decline during the Byzantine period. For the purposes of this article, the kind of the relationship that the Byzantines had with antiquity, i.e. whether it was mimicry, romanticism, consciousness of continuity etc. does not really matter, besides remaining a subject of scientific controversy.[3] What does matter here is that, in one way or another, a contact with classical and hellenistic antiquity was maintained, which had consequences on an Eurasian scale, mainly through the relations with the Slavs.

In this article, I argue that the Philhellenism (with capital “P”) of 1821 became possible mainly due to the following factors: (a) the common cultural background of Greeks and Europeans (including the Russians), (b) the wide use of printed material and especially of newspapers, and (c) the persistence of the Greeks in their struggle and their sacrifice.

It is almost self-evident that Philhellenism would not have flourished during the Revolution, had there not been a Greek cultural substrate in the Western / Christian world. Christian Serbs also revolted shortly before 1821, as did other Balkan ethnicities later, but there was no “philo-serbianism” (except in Russia) or “phil-albanianism” etc., let alone to an extent comparable to Philhellenism. Also, by definition, there would be no Philhellenism if the revolutionaries had not declared and felt themselves Greeks (“We are the Greek nation of Christians…”, Declaration of Patras, March 26, 1821) and if this had not been obvious to third parties due to the use of the Greek language and the continuous habitation in the historical Greek lands. These obvious elements of national identity, coupled with the resistance of the revolutionaries in a long bloody struggle, played a huge role in the emergence of the philhellenic movement, which turned the political balance decisively in favor of Greek independence.

Among the various forms of Philhellenism, the conscription of volunteer fighters, the literary and artistic works, and the aid in money and supplies by philhellenic organizations have been extensively acknowledged, mostly in relation to Western Europe and the USA. Here I will refer to some aspects of Philhellenism that are usually only mentioned in academic works, such as Russia’s very important philhellenic activity, and the interest of the international anti-slavery movement in the slavery of the Greeks.

The Revolution was declared six years after the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), from which Europe had suffered enormous human and material loss and political upheaval. The direct and  indirect casualties were between 3 and 6 million deaths (military and civilians), at a time when the population of Europe was 3 or 4 times smaller than today. By the end of the wars, the foundations were laid for an international dialogue as the European states aimed at peace and stability. The Congress of Vienna (1814-15) and the formation of the Holy Alliance inaugurated this policy that today is considered as practically compulsory. In Eastern Europe, Russia had emerged as a Great Power, and the West’s concern was that the Greek Revolution could mobilize a new Russo-Turkish war, which in turn would bring about geopolitical reshuffles and possibly a new great European war. Due to this situation, in the first months of the Revolution, the European governments and much of their public opinion were indifferent to negative towards this uprising. The factions who were potentially philhellenic were in the minority, and in some countries were suppressed by the censorship of reactionary governments, such as that of Metternich, who controlled not only Austria but also much of the German-speaking world, part of Italy, the Vatican, and parts of the Balkans.

Despite initial European assumptions and the hopes of the Greeks, Russia did not help the rebels militarily, which led to the failure of Alexander Ypsilantis’ insurrection in Moldavia and Wallachia. The reasons for this Russian policy were mainly the above mentioned international conditions, the influence that Metternich exerted over the tsar, and Russia’s internal political problems. However, contrary to popular belief, in the background, Russian diplomacy showed a willingness for international intervention in favor of the Greeks. Ιn July 1821, the tsar proposed an alliance with the French in order to make Greece a French protectorate, and a similar proposal was directed to the other Powers in September. The Russian argument was that “from the Bosphorus to Gibraltar there is space for all“. However, the tsar was met with rejection by all the other Powers, which all feared each other and especially Russia. The latter proposed a similar plan in January 1824.[4] The protagonists of the philhellenic Russian faction were Ioannes Kapodistrias (until his resignation in August 1822), and his less-known co-worker Alexandros Stourtzas.

Fortunately, the tsar was not the only pole of power in Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church, the army and several politicians and nobles, including members of the royal family, formed the so-called “war party”. In other words, there was a robust philhellenic pyramid with a wide popular base and a peak reaching into the palace. Researchers of Russian policy and the Revolution believe that Russia had a double-sided approach, pursuing a formal and an informal policy simultaneously, or else, that Russia was viewing the civilian Greeks as Orthodox brothers, and the revolutionaries as dangerous elements. [5], [6] What exactly happened in the top echelons of the Russian government and the palace remains almost unknown, due to the difficulty in studying the Russian archives. According to the well-known sources, however, it is clear that two facts saved the Revolution: first, the constant threat of a Russian invasion of the Ottoman Empire, and second, the support for the Greeks by the Russian Church and the Russian people.  Compared to the policies of other powers, it seems that Russia was the only state that indirectly supported the Revolution in the early years, when the rest practically supported the Ottomans. Russia’s official turn towards active Greek support began in the early 1824, when she proposed a semi-autonomous Greece, similar to the Danubian Hegemonies, to the other Powers. Greek leaders learned of this proposal from the French newspaper Constitutionnel (31-5-1824, New Calendar); they were not prepared to accept the idea of incomplete independence, and most of them suggested that they ask for British protection. It was feared that Russian influence would make Greece an absolute monarchy under the rule of the Phanariotes, instead of which they would prefer a constitutional western-style monarchy. This decision by the Greeks caused a deterioration in their relations with Russia.

It is self-evident that the philhellenic disposition of the Russians was based mainly on religious and historical ties, as well as on the existence of a common enemy. On a secondary level, liberal circles, such as the Decembrists, felt for the social aspects of the Revolution.[7] Patriarch Gregory V’s execution caused a great shock and interest among the Russian public. Compared to western Philhellenism, the Russian version was more “multi-collective”, based not only on classical education, but also on the Byzantine, post-Byzantine and contemporary experiences. The latter included lively interest and relations with sacred sites such as Mount Athos, Jerusalem and the Eastern patriarchates, places with a strong Greek character that functioned as centers of a pan-Orthodox transnational space. The Russians knew the Greek and wider Balkan genealogy of anti-Turkish resistance, which even had phases of cooperation such as the revolution of 1770 (Orlov Revolt), better than Westerners.[8] Probably through Mount Athos they learned about the Greek Orthodox new-martyr saints, a specific phenomenon of anti-Islamic resistance and cryptochristianism, which was almost unknown in Russia till the 18th century.[9] They almost certainly knew the anti-Islamic messianic literature of Byzantium, which dates back to the 8th century.[10] This long anti-Islamic Greek resistance (or non-capitulation) was utilized by Russia’s “war party” as reasoning in international law: a crucial point in history was Constantinople’s non-capitulation in 1453. Kapodistrias and Stourtza, in order to dispel the tsar’s doubts about the legitimacy of the Revolution, argued that “the Greeks never swore allegiance to the sultan; [and] they revolted against an illegitimate monarch.”[11]

Unfortunately, 20th century Greek historiography has avoided adequately elucidating Russia’s role, due to various political expediencies, i.e. the western influence on Greece, the Cold War, and later the domination of a historiographical school stuck to the theories of “neoteric” ethnogenesis. For the same reasons, the pre-19th century Greek or Christian uprisings were allowed to be forgotten and historiographically distanced from the 1821 Revolution. Until the 1990s, there were relatively very few studies, such as those of Gregory Ars,[12] Theofilos Prousis, and Dimitris Loules,[13] [14] that highlighted Russia’s role in the Revolution. Recently, however, there has been increased interest in the subject, and many modern publications have appeared, thanks to the opening of Russian archives.

In fact, Russia saved the Revolution and many Christian civilians by taking the following actions: In brief: from the beginning of the Revolution, strong Russian forces took up positions along the left bank of the Pruth river, which was the border with Wallachia and Moldavia (today the Romania – Moldova border). In July 1821, the Russian ambassador to Constantinople delivered the first note of indirect support of the Greeks to the sultan, invoking the previous Russian-Turkish treaties. It was an ultimatum, most likely a work of Kapodistrias and Stourtza. With this, Russia declared that, according to the treaties, she was the protector of the Christians and demanded the withdrawal of the Turks from the Danubian Hegemonies, as well as respect for the civilian Christians and their property.[15] As a result, Turkish retaliation against the Greeks of Constantinople and other areas was mitigated. The sultan took seriously not only the Russian demands but also the advice of the Western ambassadors who warned him that a Russian invasion could not be ruled out. The expectation of such an invasion was pervasive throughout the body of European society, that is, the people, the commercial and banking houses, the intellectuals and the politicians, and it was a daily theme in the news. The rumored Russian attack did not happen until 1828, but was constantly on the table, forcing the Ottomans to maintain strong forces on the Pruth border, on the right bank of the Danube, and around the capital. Essentially, the larger and better organized Turkish army was tied up away from rebellious southern Greece, in which the Empire could afford to only deploy small forces. This literally saved the Revolution until the Great Powers changed their policy.

At the same time, inside Russia, government officials and the Church organized a large-scale humanitarian aid program for the Greeks. This was supported by all social groups and indeed by the large agrarian mass of Christian Russians who were illiterate with no classical education. Theophilus Prusis (1985) describes this movement as “philorthodox” (φιλορθόδοξο). From the first months of the Revolution, tens of thousands of Greek refugees from Romania, Constantinople, etc. sought safety in Russian territory, “salvaging only their life and the honor of their women and children”.” In July 1821, Tsar Alexander approved the aid program for the Greeks who took refuge in Odessa and Bessarabia. Other Greeks, who already lived there, also offered great help. The program was initiated by Prince and Minister Alexander Nikolayevich Golitsyn, who explicitly acknowledged the moral obligation of Russia and Western Europe “to render help to the sons of that country which fostered enlightenment in Europe and to which Russia is even more obliged having borrowed from it the enlightenment of faith, which firmly established the saving banner of the gospels on the ruins of paganism.” Millions of rubles were raised from all parts of Russia and from all social classes.[16]

The February 19, 1827 issue of the German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung presents a complete account of the financial aid sent to Greece during the years 1825 and 1826.

The philhellenic movement in the West and probably in Russia as well[17] was fueled, among other things, by the publicity the Revolution received via the newspapers and Greek heroism and sacrifice. The latter factor is underestimated by academic historiography for the sake of more “modern” socio-economic analyzes, free of heroes and martyrs. The reality is that if the revolutionaries had not been able to resist until the winter of 1822-23, Philhellenism would have had no object. I will attempt to explain this, by making a parallel indicative presentation of news from European newspapers of the time, which were the main media of opinion-making. I will refer mainly to the French-language Gazette de Lausanne (hereinafter GdL), a Swiss philhellenic newspaper that often reproduced news from other major newspapers.[18] It is to be remembered that until the Revolution, no newspapers were published in the Ottoman Empire, neither in Greek nor Turkish.

The first news on Ypsilantis’ movement in Wallachia appeared in the newspapers at the end of March 1821, and quickly took place next to the news on the political revolutions in Naples, Piedmont, Spain and Latin America. On May 1st, 1821 (all dates in New Calendar), the front page of the GdL writes about the first Greeks taking refuge in Russia and the foreign embassies of Constantinople.[19] Like many other newspapers, it publishes one of Ypsilantis’ proclamations, the well-known “Fight for Faith and Motherland. The whole motto is of late-Byzantine origin, as it is contained in the last speech (allocution) of Emperor Constantine Paleologos before the fall of Constantinople, as mentioned by George Frantzis in his chronicle (1477).[20] It is also found (but not as a single sentence) in excerpts from speeches by the same emperor, written in Russian by the chronicler Nestor-Iskender, a contemporary of the Siege of Constantinople.[21] Almost in its familiar form, the motto is attributed to Peter the Great, and was later used in Russia with minor variations until the time of the Revolution. Ypsilantis obviously learned it while serving in the Russian army; at that time, it was standardized as “For the faith, the Tsar and the Motherland.” (Za veru, tsarja i otéchestvo).[22] Ypsilantis’ proclamation closes with references to heroic ancient figures and events, well-known to Europeans and already used as symbols of political ideas: Thermopylae, Miltiades, Leonidas, Athens, struggles against tyrants and Persians, etc. These and other classical names often appeared in the news about the Revolution, as the events of the war actually took place in areas with classical toponyms, unchanged since antiquity. Due to its high symbolism, Thermopylae was particularly often mentioned in the news, even when it was not directly related to the events. The “obsession” of Europeans with Thermopylae began in 1737 with the very popular epic poem “Leonidas” by the English poet and politician Richard Glover, which was an allegory for the contemporary demands for more political liberties.[23]

After the first and rather confusing news in which the Greek Revolution is related to those in Naples, Spain or South America, a clearer picture emerges. In the edition of May 8, 1821, GdL states that this is not a political revolution but a clash of nations, religions and cultures. It points to a key feature of the Revolution: Greeks are not demanding government reforms, but independence and liberation from their yoke. Many papers describe scenes of a religious war: priests precede the fighters with crosses and icons, the flags bear the cross and images of saints, warriors swear by the Gospel. The leading bishop of the Peloponnese -Germanos of Patras- and other hierarchs, ignite the spirits of the warriors and take part in fights and sieges (GdL 1/6/1821) (all dates in DD/MM/YYYY form). Some newspapers publish a revolutionary speech by archbishop Germanos in the monastery of Hagia Lavra near Calavryta (Constitutionnel of Paris, 6/6/21, Times of London 11/6/21 etc.)[24]. Muslims, too, are fighting a religious war, with their own religious leaders blessing the warriors, raising the Prophet’s war flag, and invoking the Quran and the salvation of Islam (GdL 8/6/1821, 1/1, 26/4 and 24/5/1822). The news on the execution of the Patriarch on the Easter Sunday (22/4/1821 N.C.), and the massacre of many Greeks (and Armenians) in Constantinople, Smyrna and Kydonia (Ayvalik) also make a vivid impression (GdL 29/5, 5/6, 15/6, 31/7/1821 etc). Christians are tied up and thrown into the sea to drown, so that no blood is shed on the feast of Ramadan (GdL, 3 and 7/8/1821). Bags full of heads, ears, noses and tongues of Greeks are sent to Constantinople (GdL, 7 and 21/8/21).[25] The national-religious character of the Revolution is confirmed by reports from the British Embassy in Istanbul.[26] Such news activates the religious and cultural reflexes of Europeans. Despite dogmatic differences, Catholics and Protestants do not remain impassive, as the events have a “unifying” character, referring to the age of the first martyrs, long before the Schism. In this regard, Western and Eastern Orthodox Churches speak the same language: correspondence from Greece says that Greek priests consider all women who were dishonored by the Turks as martyrs (GdL 4/1/1822).

Soon the first journalistic comments and exhortations for philhellenic governmental policies appear.[27] On 8/6/21 GdL writes that an operation to destroy the formidable Turkish force would be compatible with European policies for the protection of peoples from invaders. On June 22, 1821, it says that it is the duty of Christian Europe and a matter of honor for Christianity and humanity to put an end to the persecution of the Christians of Constantinople. Anti-Greek (or anti-revolution) newspapers such as the Oesterreichische Beobachter (Austrian Observer, effectively an organ of the government of Vienna) highlight some negative aspects of the Revolution, like the Romanians turning against Ypsilantis and the alleged connections of the Fraternal Society (Φιλική Εταιρεία) with similar secret societies in Europe (GdL, 22/6/21), but these do not significantly change the overall picture or mood. Oesterreichische Beobachter and other German papers publish some revolutionary declarations and speeches, as well. For example, in the first days of June 1821, Algemeine Preussische Staat Zeitung presents the revolutionary proclamation of the so-called Messenian Senate, news about the massacres in Constantinople and Izmir, the insurgency in Morea under the leadership of the archbishop and the priests, and the execution of the Patriarch.[28] Some German and Swiss newspapers call on readers to offer financial and military assistance.[29] Very early on, German-speaking intellectuals took a position in favor of the Revolution, as did much of German public opinion. Poet Wilhelm Müller responds with a poem to the Austrian Observer on behalf of the Greeks. Unfortunately, censorship and bans have suppressed many philhellenic activities in Germany, and limited the information we have about them.[30] Where there is no censorship (mainly in Britain and the United States), Philhellenism is freely expressed, nourished by the centuries-old background of Greek education, something that Percy Shelley summed up in four words: “We are all Greeks.” Newspapers that were originally anti-Greek, such as the Gazette de France and Drapeau Blanc, are gradually leaning towards the Greeks under the influence of personalities such as François-René de Chateaubriand,[31] who in a letter to a news publisher wrote in 1826: “Regardless of what happens, I want to die a Greek.”[32]. There are a number of studies on the theme of European journalism and the Revolution, starting with the ground-breaking works of I. Dimakis and Aristides Dimopoulos in 1960s.[33]

The frustration and suffering of many Philhellenes from their contact with the Greek reality, especially in the first three years, is well known. Most of them were enthusiastic but not military-trained and hardened, nor could they understand the Greeks. The latter, on the other hand, could not understand the Europeans. As Lord Byron wrote, most Philhellenes knew nothing but etiquette, squabbling over ceremonies and regulations observed in their homelands.[34] It is unclear though, whether all Philhellenes observed the European “savoir vivre” and if they really were disappointed in Greece. It seems that some of them adapted well to the circumstances. For example, we are informed in some Philhellenes’ memoirs that after the fall of Tripoli (in Morea) most of them were flanked by young Turkish women, and notably an Italian kept a harem of 10 Turkish and Greek women.[35] Other Philhellenes admired the resilience of Greek fighters with reference to long military journeys and hardships, and their austerity of diet and living habits. Objective and educated Philhellenes and travelers notice that the new Greeks observe Homeric cultural practices, such as washing hands before a banquet, a habit not necessarily followed by all Europeans, as they note.[36]

In June 1821 the first news appeared of the advance of Russian forces to the border of Pruth and in the Aegean (GdL, June 5, 19, 22, July 6 & 27, August 21 & 28, 1821 etc.). Then there was almost daily news of an impending Russian invasion of Ottoman lands, and sometimes it was even said that the invasion had begun. It was also reported that the Austrian army was reinforced on the border with the Ottoman Empire, preparing for any act of war. The news, while not always accurate, was of concern to Europeans who did not want to experience a new war. Certainly, the same news was reaching the Sublime Porte. At the same time, it was realized that the policy of strict neutrality was not the only choice, since Russia was threatening to intervene in favor of the Christians. On 29/6/1821, GdL writes that, as a reaction to the persecution of Christians and the destruction of churches, the Russian ambassador delivered a note to the Porte about the violation of the Treaty of Bucharest (1812). On the same page, an excerpt from Chateaubriand’s “Travels in Greece …” (1811) which describes the extermination of Morea (Peloponnese) by the Albanians after the Orlov revolution of 1770 was published. On 11/9/1821, it summarizes the restrictions and humiliations that Islamic law had imposed on non-Muslims over time. Russian demands for the respect of Christians are often repeated in the news.

Especially in countries with parliaments such as Britain and France, public opinion had a considerable political influence. Opposition lawmakers were raising issues in the parliaments pressing governments to take a stand (e.g. MP’s question in the British Parliament, GdL 3/7/21). Even outside the organs of the states, other centers of power such as the Protestant Churches and intellectuals were activated in favor of the Greek cause. On 1/7/1821, the first minor philhellenic movement in Britain was announced (GdL 10/8/1821): until then, ships from North Africa (nominally part or the Ottoman Empire) had been carrying out raids against the Greek fleet and, when in difficulty, they resorted for protection and resupply to Ionian ports that were under British administration (Turkish ships were doing the same). Greek ships, as deprived of any international legitimacy, could not approach British ports. However, in the summer of 1821, Britain reactivated an earlier treaty of 1800, according to which North African ships must keep a distance of 40 miles from the Ionian Islands. The patriotism of the Greek Ionian also counted here because, despite the bans, thousands of them were passing to mainland Greece to fight or were engaged in other philhellenic activities, troubling British rule. At that time the first serious discussions on the “Eastern Question” started, which essentially ended after the First World War. The Courier of London, which echoes the government position, on 30/7/21 raises the issue of the dissolution and succession of the Ottoman Empire, expressing itself positively in favor of the independence of the Greeks (GdL 10/8/21). Correspondence from London has that “the pressure of public opinion from all over England starts producing results” (GdL 4/1/1822).

The presence of Philhellene fighters in Greece was only one of the expressions of Philhellenism; it was the most heroic and sensational, but not necessarily the most effective. Some of them really loved Greece, and others were more of professional soldiers, veterans of the Napoleonic Wars looking for a new career. They showed true heroism and many became “martyrs” (that is “witness”) of Philhellenism. Although their numbers were relatively small, they played an important role in some battles. Also, we owe a lot to the memoirs written by some, and to the news they sent to Europe and the United States in correspondence from Greece.[37] Gatherings and departures of Philhellenes for Greece are frequently described, such as the departure of a ship from Marseilles under the blessings of the local Orthodox bishop (GdL 17 & 24/8/1821), the preparations of German Philhellenes (GdL, 4, 11 & 14/9/’21, etc.), the departure of Germans and French under General Norman (GdL, 1 & 8/2/1822), etc.

From the Roman era and the Crusades onwards, philhellenism has had the side effect of plundering Greek works of art. This endeavor of collecting Greek antiquities from southern Italy and Greece continued during the Renaissance, but also in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Vatican, for example, was one of the largest collectors of antiquities, studied there by hellenists such as Johann Joachim Winkelman (1717-68), the founder of scientific archeology, who gave impetus to the current of neoclassicism and romanticism, which in turn gave birth to 19th-century Philhellenism. This kind of modern abduction of Europa created small centers of hellenism in Europe which, among other effects, played a positive role in the formation of the philhellenic movement. Fortunately, apart from this controversial artistic paradigm of transporting antiquities to Europe, there were also some positive, although less known interventions for the in situ antiquities: in 1821, at the request of the British ambassador in Constantinople, Lord Strangford, the Grand Vizier (the Ottoman equivalent of the prime minister) gave a stern order to the Ottoman army on its way to recapture Athens, to respect the ancient monuments “which have at all times been highly interesting to the learned in Europe“.[38] It is possible that this action saved some of the monuments, and it is worth mentioning along with any other references to Elgin.[39]

The July 27, 1821 issue of the Journal des Debats refers to the work of a Frenchman who recorded the cultural monuments of Athens in detail, expressing fear of the damage that could be inflicted by military operations. (EEF Collection).

From the middle of 1821 there was a change in the political climate in favor of the Greeks, at least at the level of public opinion, the intellectuals and certain political circles. But if this climate was to have a real impact, the revolutionaries had to hold out on the battlefield. If they had laid down their arms in exchange for the pardon promised by the Turks, any philhellenic movement would have no objectives. The occupation of Tripoli (capital of Peloponnese) in September 1821 was of decisive importance, as well as the practical demonstration that the Greek fleet could successfully confront the Turkish one. At that time, hostilities were mainly taking place between spring and autumn, while winter was a period of regrouping. Greeks, with heavy losses of fighters and civilians, successfully kept a substantial area of land and sea in Southern Greece under control until the winter of 1821-22. The aspirations of the Turks and the counter-revolutionary circles in Europe were postponed to the next spring.

Year 1822 did not start well for the Revolution. The rebellious Ali Pasha of Ioannina was defeated and killed, which freed up considerable Ottoman forces from Epirus. However, on the battlefields, the fighters still resisted well. The destruction of Dramalis’ Ottoman army in Morea in the summer was decisive, and showed that even in 1822 the Revolution would not be extinguished. The same year an unfortunate Greek campaign in Epirus was organized, where at least 60 Philhellenes were killed in the battle of Peta. This military corps, organized by French Philhellene Georges Baleste, fought heroically but the battle was lost, either by betrayal or because of strategic mistakes.

The great massacre of Chios in March 1822 gave a great boost to the philhellenic movement. Thousands of Greeks were slaughtered by the Turks and many others were sold as slaves, with almost no voluntary conversion (“turkification”). Like all other newspapers, GdL, on 21 and 28/5/1822, reports scenes of arson and massacres on Chios. It writes that the dead exceeded 50,000 and that the Turks of Smyrna passed by in boats to loot Chios. In other news, ships struggled to navigate in the port of Chios because the sea was clogged up by floating bodies. The French ambassador heroically rescued a few hundred women and children. It was believed by some that the massacre would trigger Russia’s intervention (GdL 7/6/22). Thousands of women and children were transported and sold in the bazaars of Constantinople, and many committed suicide on the way. “No battle of the last wars has caused as much bloodshed as Captain Pasha’s landing in Chios. A war that would stop this bloodshed would be justified” (GdL 11/6/22). News about similar atrocities in Bulgaria was also published.[40]More than 2,000 severed heads, noses and ears were sent in bags to Istanbul and about 6,000 women were sold through auction to Jews who paid 4 to 15 piastres for each victim. Young boys underwent compulsory circumcision and were given to Turks”. “There is indignation for the European politicians who are watching indifferent the massacre of Greek Christians.”(GdL 25/6/22). The massacre of Chios became known all over the world due to the newspapers, and later by Delacroix’ emblematic painting of it. The mass capture and slavery of Greeks was not something new. It was carried out systematically from the beginning to the end of the Revolution, and had a significant impact on the feelings of European people and the policies of governments. The fact that the European public opinion had not paid much attention to the previous massacre of the Turks in Tripoli simply shows that the feelings were clearly in favor of the Greeks, while the Turks were considered conquerors and illegitimate perpetrators (hence called “Hagarenes, children of Hagar or Ismaelites” by the Greeks). In fact, the news and other texts of the time often explain that while the acts of violence by Greeks against the Turks were committed by an angry mob, the massacres of the Turks were organized by the state.

The slavery of the Greeks was a major humanitarian disaster, and one of the factors that forced politicians to act. From the second half of the 18th century, the abolitionist movement was on the rise in Europe and North America, and legal measures were gradually taken to abolish the ancient practice of slavery. In 1807 Britain and USA banned the slave trade, and in 1833 slavery was generally banned in Britain.

Proposal by Chateaubriand, in favor of the abolition of slavery of Christian populations, in the French Parliament of 1816. This proposal, which passed, refers to the rights of humanity and the deletion of this shame from Europe (EEF Collection).

At the time of the Greek Revolution, British ships were patrolling the oceans, capturing ships carrying slaves and liberating them, as well as forcing African chieftains to stop selling people.[41] The protagonists of the anti-slavery movement were roughly the same circles that were favorable to the Revolution, that is, Protestant Churches, and politicians from all sides, from liberals to conservatives. In many newspapers there were separate columns with news on the abolitionist movement.

In this climate, the reports that Christians of the East were sold like animals in the bazaars of Constantinople, Izmir, Alexandria etc., came as a shock. During the destruction of Chios alone, the Ottoman customs office recorded the export of about 45,000 slaves (GdL 13/9/22). Many slaves were captured at the fall of Messolonghi (Greek mainland), and others during the Egyptian campaign in the Peloponnese and on other occasions. In addition, Greek sailors who were forced to serve in the Ottoman fleet were practically slaves, an event in the Revolution remaining unnoticed by academic historiography.

The June 10, 1826 issue of the French newspaper La Quotidienne, with a full report from Messolonghi and a reference to the siege.

Immediately after the first news on the Revolution, some columnists pointed out that all Greeks are essentially slaves of the Turks, and that according to the then principles of law, slavery is a state of war.[42] Compassion for the victims of slavery fueled the philhellenic sentiments of the people and put pressure on governments to intervene. In the British Parliament, the opposition was questioning whether the government knew that “the markets of Smyrna and Constantinople are full of Greek women offered to the appetites of barbaric Muslims” (GdL 9 and 30/7/1822). Many philanthropic fundraising events were taking place, and many wealthy Europeans donated large sums of money to ransom Greek slaves, whose prices went up because of high demand. In Russia, too, Greek slavery stimulated a new wave of humanitarian mobilization. On the initiative of three Orthodox bishops, money was raised in order to ransom Greek slaves, with the estimate that about 5 rubles would be needed for each captive. Donations, even in church utensils, were offered by all social classes, all Christian ethnicities of Russia, even from remote areas of Siberia.[43] The slave trade was one of the aspects of the Peloponnesian genocide[44] which later provoked the humanitarian intervention of the Great Powers in Navarino. This theme is emphatically depicted in philhellenic art even after the middle of the 19th century. Surprisingly, nowadays, the Greek public knows very little about the Greek slavery, although this was a most dramatic event of the Revolution.

News excerpts from the philhellenic action of various “Greek Committees” in the USA. Top: A 12-year-old boy donates his watch to the Pittsburgh Philhellenic committee, requesting that the proceeds may be sent to the starving Greeks (Freedom’s Journal).

As the winter of 1822 entered 1823 without the defeat of the Revolution, the conditions were ripe for a change of policy by the Great Powers. Nobody could rule out the possibility that the threatened Russian invasion could take place in the spring of 1823, in which case it would not find much opposition from the public opinion of Europe. At the Verona Summit (completed in December 1822) which brought together the monarchs of Europe, the Greek issue was discussed very little, and no favorable decision was taken. Subsequently, however, after George Canning took over as foreign minister, Britain unilaterally changed policy in the spring of 1823, recognizing the Greeks as belligerents, while until then it considered them illegal rebels against a legitimate government. The status of belligerent was actually gained by the Greeks, as they managed to fulfill some commonly accepted criteria: protracted armed conflict, control of a large territory, existence of a responsible head authority.[45] This development gave some rights to the Greeks under international law, including the right to execute maritime interceptions and port blockades. It was the first step that would lead to the recognition of the interim government of Greece. The next step was the authorization of the loans in 1824 and 1825, proverbially famous in Greece till today as “the English loans”. These are usually characterized as a “rip-off”, but according to a recent technical analysis, taking into account the practices of the time, they were in fact favorable and essentially a philhellenic act.[46] It is true that the loaned money was mismanaged by the Greeks, but the initial terms were the best possible, and the granting of the loans was in effect the first act of recognition of a Greek state. This was also strongly reported by the European press, which closely monitored the Greek bond interest rates in the City, in relation to the political and military developments. For example, when it was announced that Admiral Cochrane (a naval legend of the time) was going to Greece to take command of the Greek fleet, interest rates fell by 15%.

Luck also played its role when the British Foreign Secretary Castlereagh committed suicide in August 1822 and was replaced by Canning, who was a friend and admirer of Lord Byron (They had served together in the House of Lords), and had a discreet sympathy for the Greeks and the Revolution. He also made the political calculation that a new state, which Britain could place under her influence, was about to be created. He did not immediately proceed with spectacular diplomatic initiatives, but in 1825, he proposed to the Porte the creation of a semi-autonomous Greek territory. His proposal was not only rejected, but at the same time the Egyptian campaign began, which attempted to colonize Peloponnese with Egyptians and transport the entire native population to the eastern slave markets. This was something that neither Canning, nor the Russians, nor other Europeans could tolerate. Canning’s cousin, Stratford, an ambassador in Constantinople, informed his minister that the Egyptians were enslaving the Greeks and converting the children to Islam. The idea of a military intervention for humanitarian reasons, for which public opinion had been prepared by the newspapers, began to be seriously discussed between the Great Powers, as we have seen. At the end of 1825 Russia also seemed ready to intervene unilaterally, which accelerated the decisions in London. In April 1826 Russia and Britain again proposed the creation of a semi-independent Greek state to the sultan, and this time Russia stated that in case of rejection she would intervene on her own. Almost at the same time, the news of the fall of Messolonghi (April 1826) and the death of the famous Lord Byron reached Europe. This caused new manifestations of Philhellenism with the participation of leading writers, painters (again Delacroix), musicians (like Rossini) and other personalities. Around that period the word “Philhellene” began to be used widely, firstly in France. The pressure on European governments was such that the pro-Egyptian policy of some circles in France was overcome. Luckily again for the Greeks, Canning became prime minister, replacing the seriously ill Liverpool in mid-1827. The Great Powers finally agreed to the Treaty of London in July 1827, after long discussions that lasted a few months (at that time it could take a month for a letter to be sent from London to St. Petersburg and the answer to come back). The Treaty was the first in the world to explicitly state the feasibility of a military operation “by sentiments of humanity.”[47] The admirals of the three Powers were ordered to impose the conditions of the Treaty on the Egyptians and the Turks. The operational instructions given to them were unclear (at least the written ones), but it seems that the green light was unofficially given for an intervention in favor of the Greeks, or at least this was not prohibited. The military intervention was sure to happen when the European officers and sailors, after some years of philhellenic galvanization, arrived in the Peloponnese and saw with their own eyes miserable condition of the Greeks who were on the verge of extinction. In mid-October 1827, officers who landed in the Peloponnese for reconnaissance informed Admiral Codrington that the Egyptians were burning villages, cutting down trees, destroying crops, and that the local population was in danger of starving to death. The inevitable naval battle happened in the port of Navarino (Peloponnese), and led to the destruction of the Egyptian –Turkish navy.

Gazette de France, March 10, 1827. “George Canning sent a new official memorandum to the sultan for the pacification in Greece. He called for an immediate end to hostilities on land and at sea and for a diplomatic solution to the Greek issue. It seems that Britain and Russia would do anything to stop the war.” SHP Collection.

The news of the naval battle was received with enthusiasm by the populace of Europe and the United States, but with mixed or even negative feelings by governments, due to concerns about the change of the status quo and the new role that Russia could play in the region. Most newspapers were satisfied. The philhellenic Morning Chronicle wrote that the victory was the justification of a philhellenic policy that Britain should have followed from the beginning of the Revolution.[48] It was not exactly the end of the war, but was the beginning of the end, since the Gordian Knot of military intervention had been broken. France then took the opportunity to act again as a Great Power, waging war against Ibrahim in the Peloponnese. While Western governments remained undecided about Greece’s future, in June 1828, Russia declared war on the Ottomans which ended with the Treaty of Adrianople (Edirne, 14/9/1829), where the Ottomans were forced to put the first signature for the independence of Greece.

In the dominant popular narratives about the intervention of the Great Powers and Greek independence, the simplistic picture of a tripartite scheme prevails: Hellenism was an isolated small entity, the Ottoman Empire was a large and powerful state, and the Christian Great Powers were a third party which intervened due to Philhellenism and geopolitical interests. This is also the view of nationalist Turkish historians, who believe that in Navarino “the victory ‘was snatched out’ of their hands“.[49] In their narrative, Egypt appears as a member of the Empire, and foreigners intervene in their “internal affairs”. I think that this analysis cannot stand the factual test. The concept of two worlds in conflict is a more useful analytical tool, with the Greeks being an integral part of the geopolitical entity of Europe (which includes Russia), while Egypt, North Africa, various semi-autonomous pashaliks and the main body of the Ottoman Empire were parts of a Middle Eastern Islamic entity, but not one state. It is true that there has never been a strong European collective identity anyhow close to the concept of a “European nation”, let alone one that would include the Greeks and other Eastern Orthodox peoples. But the same applies to the Ottomans, even if we only consider the Muslims of the Empire. There was, however, a loose unity of ethnicities on each of the two sides, based mainly on common religions, linguistic affinities, common alphabets, and historical references. This two-worlds model can be verified by demographic and other criteria, but I consider it self-evident and it is more or less observable even today. The two worlds had clashed militarily in the past, with the most important multinational battles being in Kosovo (14th century), Vienna (1683) and Lepanto (1571). At the age of the Revolution the conflict had taken on a strong economic character, as the Ottoman Empire was forced to accept a series of economic and political concessions to the western states. The Greek Revolution was a shock that motivated the Empire to a series of semi-failed attempts at modernization, which continued until its dissolution, as it was not possible to bridge its internal divisions. On the other hand, the West had its own internal divisions and rivalries, a factor that extended the Empire’s life until WW 1.

In the above-mentioned unifying elements that compose the entity of a “wider Europe”, the legacies of classical and medieval Greece are omnipresent. In Western Europe at the time of the Revolution, classical values fueled, among other things, the radical and liberal political movements. These are commonly said to originate in the era of the French Revolution or the Enlightenment, when a renewed interest in classical Greek philosophy appeared. Modern scholars of the Enlightenment tend to surpass the established historiography that presents this period as a turning point and as the beginning of a new epistemological and political paradigm. Revisionists challenge the Enlightenment as the starting point of “modernity,” and argue that it was rather a period of smooth transition. It is believed that the preoccupation with antiquity at the time was not a choice made by some intellectuals for special reasons, but that “the ancient world was a ubiquitous presence that imposed itself as dominant filter through which educated Europeans constructed as well as viewed reality, as they had done since the Renaissance. Indeed, antiquity was an inescapable […] background to the intellectual background of the age. “[50] For the revisionists, “Enlightenment” (often put in quotation marks) is considered a Franco-centric version of history, or a term that is gradually losing its meaning.[51] But even these modern analyses of the Enlightenment remain “West-centric”, as they focus only on Western Europe.

In the Hellenic cosmos, the continuity with classical antiquity was more of a living social experience, due to the traditions and the Greek language (vernacular and ecclesiastical) which had even expanded “ecumenically” in the Balkans.[52] The contact with classical antiquity did not cease during the Byzantine and post-Byzantine period, and “Byzantium was the guarantor of the historical flow of the Greek world.[53] Suffice it to say that 95% of the classic Greek texts we know and read today come from Byzantine manuscripts later than the 9th century, which were constantly reproduced by Greek-speaking Byzantine writers for Greek-speaking readers.[54] Even when typography flourished in the rest of Europe, in the Turkish-occupied areas of Hellenism monks continued to copy classical texts by hand, struggling to maintain as much learning as they could under the circumstances. Since the 11th century, the Russians have grasped the thread of continuity with regards to Greco-Byzantine culture, adopting the alphabet, the Orthodox religion and religious art, and later the classical education.

Indicative of the organic relation of Philhellenism and European civilization is the fact that distinguished figures of the philhellenic movement were also active in the political and social movements of their countries. These relationships are more than evident in emblematic works, such as Percy Shelley’s poem “Hellas” (in which he writes “we are all Greeks“) based on the Aeschylus’ Persians, an allegory to the struggle between freedom and tyranny.[55] There are many other less known connections, evident though in personal stories, such as Byron and Shelley’s circle of friends which included the pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, the anarchist philosopher William Godwin and the utopian socialist Robert Owen.[56] Another philhellenic circle that remains relatively unknown in Greece was that of the Irish and Scottish radicals and patriots. Even the most famous of them, the Irishman Richard Church, is often referred to as an “Englishman”. They had a special relationship with the struggling Greeks, because they found an analogy with the situation in their homelands that were under English rule.[57] Many Irish and Scots took part in the Philhellenic Greek Committee of London, where the main “credential” for participation was nationalism and opposition to the government, to the extent that the Commission was described as a “protest movement” by historian David Brewer.[58] In fact, R. Church, and apparently other Britons whose names we do not know, financially supported the Fraternal Society long before 1821.[59] The Irish Philhellene Sir Edward Lowe, although he did not fight for the Revolution, came to love Greece while serving in the Ionian Islands, where he was a comrade-in-arms of R. Church and Kolokotronis, and instructor of Greek battalions. Later, as commander on the island of Saint Helena (1816-1821), he was responsible for guarding Napoleon, but also pioneered the emancipation of the slaves of the island. Prisoner Napoleon (from whom the Greeks had hoped to get assistance before the Revolution) appreciated Lowe because “perhaps they exchanged some cannon-balls” in the Napoleonic wars. One unsung Philhellene, Gilbert Lafayette, was the hero of the two Revolutions (the French and the American). He could not act openly because he had previously been associated with Carbonarism, but he influenced the Greek Committee of Paris through the members of his family who participated, and through his alter ego Guillaume-Mathieu Dumas.[60]

I have outlined some of the less celebrated aspects of the 1821–’29 Philhellenism movement, arguing that this phenomenon was the manifestation of a fundamental – although not strong and solid – European unity and European culture. The latter had inherited from classical antiquity the values of freedom and the concepts of natural law and human rights.[61] Ironically, the same values were responsible for the fragmentation of Europe into nations, religious dogmas and political factions.

Further from Europe, there may have been non-Eurocentric perceptions of the Revolution, at a time when there was already a globalization in terms of the dissemination of news and ideas. I conclude this present article with an interesting trans-national case, namely the impact that the Revolution had on the first newspaper of emancipated Black Americans, the Freedom’s Journal, published since March 1827 in New York. The newspaper, interested mainly in the anti-slavery movement, saw in the Greek Revolution a struggle of slaves against oppressive masters, and gave the news from Greece an importance comparable to the news from Haiti, Africa and the West Indies. Among others, on 21/12/1827 it published with great satisfaction the news on the Naval Battle of Navarino. Interestingly, it also expressed sympathy for the Ottoman janissaries and the women of the harems, the former in fact slaughtered by the “tyrant” sultan Mahmut II a year earlier,[62] whom it considered (not without some justification) to be slaves. Below are few verses from philhellenic poems published in the Freedom’s Journal, where allusions are included to the motto, “liberty or death” and the universal symbols of oppression, chains:

TO GREECE (F.J. 12/10/1827)

Hail! Land of Leonidas still,

Though Moslems encircle thy shore; […]

Yet quail not, descendants of those,

The heroes of Marathon’s plain;

Better lay where you fathers repose,

Than wear the fierce Ottoman’s chain. […]

GREEK SONG (F.J. 7/9/1827)

Mount, soldier, mount, the gallant steed,

Seek, seek, the ranks of war.

‘Tis better there in death to bleed,

Than drag a tyrant’s car.

Strike! Strike! Nor think the blow unseen

That frees the limbs where chains have been.


For a time – for a time may the tyrant prevail,

But himself and his Pachas before us shall quail;

The fate that torn Selim in blood from the throne,

We have sworn haughty Mahmoud! Shall yet be thy own.



(Dates in DD/MM/YYYY. Transliteration of Greek names and translation of Greek titles is added to the original citation.)

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  • Algemeine Preussische Staat Zeitung, 1821,
  • Freedom’s Journal, at: Wisconsin Historical Society,
  • Galignani’s Messenger, 1821.
  • Gazette de Lausanne,
  • Gentleman’s Magazine,
  • Moskovskiye Vedomosti (Moscow News), Jul.-Dec.1821,


[1]The beginning of learning is the investigation of the terms”.  A quotation attributed to Antisthenes and Socrates (αρχή παιδεύσεως η των ονομάτων επίσκεψις) in various forms. Epictetus, Dissertations, A’, 17, 12, in Theophrasti Characteres Graece et Latine, Ambrosio Firmin Didot, Paris 1840, p. 58.

[2] Many historians believe that the roots of modern Greek national consciousness can be found in the 13th century, caused by the conflicts with the Franks and others. See e.g. Maltézou Chryssa, «Η διαμόρφωση της ελληνικής ταυτότητας στη λατινοκρατούμενη Ελλάδα», Études balkaniques, 1999, 6, pp. 103-119. Also, Kaldellis A. (2008). Others date this evolution to the Late Byzantine era, e.g. Στείρης Γεώργιος, «Οι απαρχές της νεοελληνικής ταυτότητας στο ύστερο Βυζάντιο», 2017.

[3]For a summary of the various views until 2011, see Μαλατράς Χρήστος, «H Ελληνικότητα του Βυζαντίου στη μεταπολεμική ιστοριογραφία», Ιστορικά Θέματα, 104, Ιούλ. 2011, 25-37. For an overview of the position of Hellenism in Byzantium see Kaldellis Anthony, Hellenism in Byzantium. The Transformations of Greek Identity and the Reception of the Classical Tradition, 2008. ● Λούβη-Κίζη Ασπασία, «Η εκπαίδευση στο Βυζάντιο», Αρχαιολογία, 1987, 25, σ. 26-30. ● Malatras Chr., “The making of an ethnic group: the Romaioi in the 12th-13th century”, 2010.

[4] Crawley CW, The Question of Greek Independence, 2014, pp. 22, 23, 30, 31.

[5] Παπουλίδης Κωνσταντίνος Κ., Η Ρωσία και η Ελληνική Επανάσταση …, 1983.

[6] Ιωαννίδου – Μπιτσιάδου Γεωργία, «Η ρωσική διπλωματία στη δεύτερη φάση της Ελληνικής Επαναστάσεως …», Βαλκανικά Σύμμεικτα, 1989, 3, p. 62. ● Lucien J. Frary, Russian consuls and the Greek war of independence…, Mediter. Historical Review, (2013), 28: 1, 46-65.

[7]Λούκος Χρήστος, review of Theophilus C. Prousis (1994) Russian Society and the Greek Revolution. Μνήμων, (1998) 20, pp. 337-340.

[8] A summary of the uprisings, attempted uprisings or revolutions of the Balkan Christians from the 16th to the 21st century is in Όλγα Κατσιαρδή-Hering, «Από τις εξεγέρσεις στις επαναστάσεις των χριστιανών υποτελών της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας …», 2014, p. 587- 603.

[9] Tachiaos Anthony-Emil, “The national regeneration of the Greeks as seen by the Russian intelligentsia”, Balkan Studies, v. 30, n. 2, p. 294-296, 1989.

[10] Argyriou Asterios, Les exégeses grecques de l ‘Apocalypse a l’epoque turque (1453-1821), 1982, pp. 22-25.

[11] Ghervas Stella, “Le philhellénisme d’inspiration conservatrice en Europe et en Russie”, 2004, p.105, 106.

[12] Ars Grigori (1925-2017), short biography,

[13] Λουλές Δ., Ο ρόλος της Ρωσίας στη διαμόρφωση του Ελληνικού Κράτους. Αθήνα 1981.

[14] References to relevant studies, many in Russian, until 1983, exist in Παπουλίδης Κ., Η Ρωσία και η Ελληνική Επανάσταση, 1983.

[15] Jelavich Barbara, Russia’s Balkan Entanglements, 1806-1914, CUP, Mar 11, 2004 [1993] pp. 49-76.

[16] Prousis Theophilus, Russian Philorthodox Relief During The Greek War Of Independence, 1985.

[17]The number of newspapers published in Russia was clearly smaller than in Western Europe, and all were subject to state censorship. As I don’t know the Russian language, I only have a faint picture of the relevant news. I note that the Moskovskiye Vedomosti (Moscow News), which is digitized online, had extensive news of the Revolution on each of its issues (2 in a week) in the second half of 1821.

[18]From the book Αργυράκος Γ. & Αργυράκου Κ.Κ., Η Επανάσταση του ’21 στην Gazette de Lausanne. … (Απρ. 1821 – Φεβρ. 1823). Ελίκρανον, Αθήνα, 2017.

[19]Then the news from the East Europe and Greece were reaching W. Europe with a delay of about a month. At the same time, the New (Gregorian) Calendar was 12 days ahead of the Old (Julian) Greek and Russian calendar.

[20]Φραντζής (ή Σφραντζής) Γεώργιος, Χρονικό, Chronicon Majus, ch. B ‘. Νέα Ελληνική Λογοτεχνία,

[21]Nestor-Iskender, The Tale of Constantinople. It was written soon after the Fall of Constantinople, by an author believed to be a monk living inside the city, although he claims that he was a Cryptochristian fighting with the Turkish army. According to this chronicle, Emperor Constantine declares that he is ready to die for his motherland (отечество) (par. S. 244). He also summons his men to fight till death for the Orthodox faith (за православную веру) (S. 231, 251, 259) and for the churches (S. 251, passim). In the same text, we can find a paraphrase of another standard slogan of the Revolution, “liberty or death” (S. 241). The chronicle includes the first attestation of the prophecy about the “blond nation” which will liberate Constantinople. In Russian, the “blond nation” etymologically, semantically and phonetically points to the Russian nation. The chronicle in old and new Russian is available at

[22] Αργυράκος Γ. & Αργυράκου KK, 2017, p. 36, fn 7. The “neoteric” historiographic school analyzes only the word “Motherland” (πατρίδα), attributing it to the French Revolution, and has no comments for the word “Faith” (πίστις). See, e.g. Κρεμμυδάς Β., Η Ελληνική Επανάσταση του 1821), 2006, p. 63.

[23]Morris, Ian Macgregor, ‘To Make a New Thermopylae’: Hellenism, Greek Liberation, and the Battle of Thermopylae. Greece & Rome, (2000), vol. 47, 2,pp. 211–230. JSTOR.

[24]Detailed information on the news about bishop Germanos is available at Loukides George, «Δύο ομιλίες του Π. Πατρών Γερμανού στην Αγ. Λαύρα το Μάρτιο 1821», 2019.

[25]These are not exaggerations. The army was often sending to the capital such grisly proofs of their “successes”.

[26]Prousis Th. C., “British Embassy Reports on the Greek Uprising in 1821-1822: War of Independence or War of Religion?”. Univ. N. Florida, History Faculty Publications, 2011.

[27]For the christian dimension of French Philhellenism, see Tabaki-Iona Frédérique, “Religious Philhellenism and mobilization in France during the 1821–1827 Greek Revolution”, Mots. Les langages du politique, 79, 2005.

[28] Algemeine Preussische Staat Zeitung, June 7 & 12, 1821.

[29]Penn Virginia (1938). “Philhellenism in Europe, 1821-1828”. The Slavonic and East Eur. Review, 16 (48), 638–653.

[30] Quack-Μανουσάκη Ρεγγίνα, «Ελληνική Επανάστασις: Η πολιτική του Metternich και η κοινή γνώμη στη Γερμανία». Πελοποννησιακά, 4 (1996-97) [1995], 329-338. ● Καραθανάσης Αθανάσιος Ε. «Γύρω από το γερμανικό φιλελληνισμό». Βαλκανικά Σύμμεικτα, (1981) vol. Α’, 45-60.

[31] Penn V. (1938), p. 649.

[32]Konstantinou Evangelos, “Graecomania and Philhellenism”, in: European History Online (EGO), Mainz 2012-11-23.

[33] Non-exhaustive bibliography: Dimakis Jean (a) La guerre de l’independence Grecque vue par la presse française,…, Paris, 1974. (b) La presse de Vienne et la question d.’ Orient: 1821-1827. Balkan Studies, IMXA, 16, (1975), pp. 35-43. (c) Το πρόβλημα των ειδήσεων περί της Ελληνικής Επαναστάσεως εις τον Γαλλικόν τύπον, Ελληνικά, 19 (1966), pp. 54-91. ● Dimopoulos Aristide G., L’opinion publique Francaise et la revolution Grecque, Nancy, 1962. ● Λουλές Δημ., «Η Ελληνική Επανάσταση και ο βρετανικός τύπος  …», Δωδώνη, 12 (1983), pp. 99-138.

[34] Penn V. (1938), p. 645.

[35] Σιμόπουλος Κυριάκος, Πώς είδαν οι ξένοι την Ελλάδα του ’21, Α’, p. 399, Athens, 2004.

[36] Gell William, Narrative of a Journey in the Morea, London, 1823, pp. 13, 14. He also comments caustically on the Europeans’ habit of spitting on the floor or even on carpets, something that Greeks and Turks hated (pp. 11, 12).

[37]There are many references to memoirs and other writings of Philhellenes in the 5-volumes work of K. Simopoulos How foreigners saw the Greece of the 1821 Revolution. Several such memoirs etc are available online at,, etc.

[38] Gentleman’s Magazine, July to December 1821, vol. 91, part 2, p. 366.

[39]The fashion of decorating the big European cities by looting works of art from other countries, in modern times began in Napoleon’s Paris. London has been dragged into this fashion by the need to compete with Paris as a world art center.

[40]It probably referred to the persecutions and executions of Christians that took place in Philippoupolis (Plovdiv) in 1822. See Ευθυμιάδης Α., 1971, p. 14.

[41] Loosemore Jo, Sailing against slavery, 2008,

[42]Article in the St. James’s Chronicle (London) re-published in the Galignani’s Messenger, Apr. 11, 1821. The G.M. was an English language paper published in Paris by the Italian journalist Giovanni Antonio Galignani.

[43] Prousis Theophilus, 1985, pp. 40-49.

[44] The term “genocide” was coined much later, in 1940s, but the Greeks were calling themselves “genos” since the Late Byzantine time.

[45] Heraclides Alexis & Ada Dialla, Humanitarian Intervention in the Long Nineteenth Century, Manchester Univ. Press, 2015, p. 106. JSTOR.

[46]Αποστολίδης Νίκος &  Βελέντζας Κωνσταντίνος, «Ήταν ληστρικά τα δάνεια που λάβαμε από την Αγγλία;», Καθημερινή, 31-3-2020.

[47] Swatek-Evenstein Mark, A History of Humanitarian Intervention, 2020, p. 58.

[48] Λουλές Δ., “Ο Βρετανικός τύπος για τη ναυμαχία του Ναβαρίνου”, Μνήμων 7 (1979), pp. 1-11.

[49] Heraclides A. & Ada Dialla, Humanitarian Intervention…, p. 117.

[50] Loughlin F. & Johnston A., Antiquity and Enlightenment Culture, 2020, pp. 5, 6.

[51] Maioli, Roger. Review of The Specter of Skepticism in the Age of Enlightenment, by Anton M. Matytsin. The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats, vol. 51 no. 2, (2019), pp. 158-160.

[52] Dieli M., “The Enlightenment and the Teaching of Ancient Greek Grammar…”, 2020, p. 174.

[53] Κοντογιώργης Γιώργος, historical TV series, «’21. Η Αναγέννηση των Ελλήνων», MEGA Channel, Apr. 18/19, 2019, approx.. at the 6th minute.

[54] Τσελίκας Αγαμέμνων, personal communication (email), Apr. 13, 2020.

 [55]Klausing, Kyle J. (2015) “‘We Are All Greeks:’ Sympathy and Proximity in Shelley’s Hellas,” Scholarly Horizons: Univ. of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate J. vol. 2: 2, art. 3, pp. 16, 17.

[56] Craig Calhoun, The Roots of Radicalism:…, 2012, p. 272.

[57] Comerford Patrick, “Sir Richard Church and the Irish Philhellenes in the Greek War of Independence”, 2007, ch. 1.

[58] Brewer David, The Greek War of Independence, Abrams, 2011, ch. 14.

[59] See letter from Dimitrios Schinas to the Metropolitan of Arta, Ignatius I, January 1816. In: Παπαγεώργιος Σπυρίδων, «Του Μητροπολίτου Άρτης Ιγνατίου Α’ Αλληλογραφία», Επετηρίς, Φιλολογ. Σύλλ. Παρνασσός, 1917, pp. 207, 208.

[60]Barau Denys. “La mobilisation des philhellènes en faveur de la Grèce,…”, 2001, p. 48.

[61] Edelstein Dan, interview “Stanford scholar examines the roots of human rights”, Jan. 4, 2019,

[62] Freedom’s Journal, digitized, Wisconsin Society. ● Erdem Güven, “The Image and the Perception of the Turk in Freedom’s Journal”, Journalism History, (2016), 41: 4, pp. 191-199, The article also extends to historical issues not covered by its title, and clearly promotes a beautified image of the Ottoman Empire.


Edgar Allan Poe, portrait


Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) is considered a central figure of the Romantic period in the United States and of American literature in general. Even people who never consciously choose to read literature have heard his name, and many remember him instantly the moment they see a raven.

For most, Poe is the founder of detective fiction and his work has left its mark in history. Within his tales, one can establish his inclination to create stories that portray the death of a beautiful woman and his desire to explore the metaphysical world. His stories also delve into the relationship between love and hate, the communication between the inner self and the alter ego, and the power of death upon the world of the living.

While reading Poe’s narratives, one frequently comes upon references that allude to Classical literature, either Latin or Greek. In fact, there are various cases of the author’s plain use of Hellenic or epigraphs in his storytelling. For instance, readers encounter an epigraph written entirely in Greek in “The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion”—“Πνρ σ οι προσοις ω” [sic]—; hence, the impression that Poe was influenced by Classical texts while composing his tales emerges. Poe’s obsession with the Helen of Troy has also been noted by major scholars such as Kenneth Silverman, Thomas Ollive Mabbot and Burton R. Pollin. In his famed poem “To Helen”, Poe specifically urges us to remember “the glory that was Greece”, and that particular line has indeed made many believe that he was a philhellene.

Upon examining Poe’s interest in Greece, one should first and foremost keep in mind that he lived most of his life in cities that were shining examples of the Greek Revival architecture. The Bostonian author spent a great part of his life in Philadelphia. More specifically, he spent almost six years (1838-1844) in Pennsylvania’s largest city along with his young bride Virginia Clemm and his beloved aunt Maria Clemm. It goes beyond doubt that Poe was exposed to Greek Revival architecture as he most certainly walked through Avenue of the Arts, the most central location of the city whose Hellenic character is evident even today, as anyone will be able to verify by simply walking across it.

Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA

Poe’s infatuation with Hellenic texts, notions and paradigms is rather evident in several of his works. But where did this love for Greece originate from? In a way, Lord Byron may be the real reason behind all this. Kenneth Silverman wrote the following in his famed biography of Poe:

“How deeply the Byron image impressed Edgar is apparent in his six-mile swim on the James River, emulating Byron’s celebrated swim of the Hellespont, and the stories in Richmond that he had joined the Greeks, as Byron had, in their quest for independence” (1992: 41). In this regard, the most prolific editor of Poe’s works, Thomas Ollive Mabbott, also assesses that “Poe as a very young man was an imitator of Byron” (1969: xxvi).

Poe admired Byron for his bravery and his active role in the Greek Revolution against the Turks, and in fact wanted to imitate such actions. He was a supporter of the Greek cause, and his intense desire for a Philhellenic adventure, led him to claim that he left “without a dollar on a quixotic expedition to join the Greeks then struggling for liberty”. Apparently, his travel to the land of the Hellenes was imaginary and he only made it as close as England when he was much younger. Not having the means to achieve his goal, he certainly tried hard to learn Greek (even though he mostly failed to be proficient in it) and he demonstrates that through the abundance of Hellenic references in his works.

After all, as Poe himself wrote in one of his works, “nothing makes so fine a show as your Greek”.

Dimitrios Tsokanos, PhD, Lecturer in English




SHP presents from its collection, a particularly important letter from the Greek General Theodoros Kolokotronis to his son Ioannis (Gennaios) Kolokotronis, which was sent in July 1826, when Ibrahim Pascha had occupied almost the entire Peloponnese, and the Greeks had lost their morale.

Theodoros Kolokotronis. Sketch by the German officer Philhellene Karl Krazeisen, (1794-1878).

Ioannis (Gennaios) Kolokotroni. Son of Theodoros Kolokotronis.

We retain two points from this letter.

The first is that Kolokotronis asks his son to write to all the villages, and for men to get out of “their holes”, and to come and help, because “what will save them is their breasts”. That is, their struggle and their efforts.

The second point has to do with a report made by Kolokotronis on the Philhellenic Committees of Europe. He notes in his letter that he received in Astros (Peloponnese) a consignment of animal feed from the island of Kythira (under English rule). He then informs his son that the President of the Philhellenic Committees in Europe, told him “to ask what he wants and he will have it”. Weapons, ammunition, food. “Provided we ensure some action and not sleep”.

This request has many readings. In addition to the obvious, there is a much more important one.

Three months after the fall of Messolonghi, and while the flame of the Revolution had begun to fade, the Philhellenic Committees were active and present, ready to offer full assistance of all kinds to the Greeks. In fact, the Philhellenic Committees had set up mechanisms for sending supplies and equipment, ensuring their safe delivery to the Greeks.

However, the Greeks had to move and not to fall asleep for another reason.

It should be reminded here that it was a matter of absolute priority for the Greeks to prove that the Revolution had not been extinguished, because otherwise the request for the establishment of an independent Greek state could not remain on the agenda of the diplomatic fora and negotiations.

The action, the pressure that the Philhellenes were exercising on the governments throughout Europe, would have no reason to exist, if the Greeks had capitulated or compromised with the Turks, and the conflicts had stopped.

This letter constitutes a piece of evidence of historical value, on the commitment and the importance of the Philhellenic movement in Europe, something for which Greece will express eternally its gratitude.



John Kerry (John Forbes Kerry), was born in December 11, 1943, in Denver, Colorado, USA. He was the son of Richard Kerry, a World War II pilot and diplomat, and Rosemary Forbes Kerry, a member of Boston’s wealthy Forbes family.

John Kerry was educated in New England and Switzerland. After graduating from Yale University in 1966, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Vietnam War as an officer of a gunboat. By the time he returned from Vietnam in 1969, he had achieved the rank of lieutenant and had been honoured with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts.

After his military service in 1970, he engaged in Anti-War activism, and was a cofounder of the Vietnam Veterans of America and a spokesperson for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). In 1971 he gained attention when he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In 1976 he graduated from Boston College Law School and became assistant district attorney in Middlesex county, Massachusetts, and then private lawyer. His political career was marked by Greek Americans. In 1982 he was elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts when Michael Dukakis was the governor. In 1984 he succeeded Paul Tsongas, and won election to the U.S. Senate. He was a member of the US Senate between 1985 and 2013, and then, the Democratic Party’s nominee for president of the USA in 2004. He was also Secretary of State (2013–17) in the administration of President Barack Obama.

Throughout his political career, either as a member of the Senate or as a Presidential candidate, and most importantly as a State Secretary, he supported actively Greece both in its regional conflictual situations and during the vicissitudes of the crisis. He also supported the cause of the recognition of the Armenian genocide.

This distinguished American politician, is a direct descendant of John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. One of the sons of John Winthrop, was Thomas Lindall Winthrop, who is through his own son Robert, the great-great-great-grandfather of John Kerry.

Thomas Lindall Winthrop (1760 – 1841) was a Massachusetts politician who served as the 13th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 1826 to 1833. He also served as a state representative and senator. In 1813, he was elected both a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Antiquarian Society.

Most importantly, Thomas Lindall Winthrop was the chairman of the emblematic Philhellenic Committee of Boston. Under this capacity and role, Thomas Lindall Winthrop, with the cooperation of Edward Everett and other officials, played a key role to support Greece during the Greek War of Independence. Among others, the Philhellenic Committee sent volunteers to Greece, it organized fundraisers and directed on numerous occasions funds, and many forms of aid to the Greeks, during and after the war.

Thomas Lindall Winthrop, chairman of the Philhellenic Committee of Boston

SHP will present detailed information on Thomas Lindall Winthrop, Edward Everett, Daniel Webster and all the other personalities in the USA, who supported the Greek War of Independence.

The amazing element, is that the descendant of such a remarkable political figure, as Thomas Lindall Winthrop, followed a noble professional and political career, in line with the values and principles of his ancestors.

SHP and Greece pay tribute to Thomas Lindall Winthrop and to his descendant John Kerry, who were consistent with the broader values of Hellenism and valuable friends of Greece.

SHP works actively to identify the descendants of other American Philhellenes who supported the cause of Greece and the Greek revolution.



Every time we cross Filellinon Street in the center of Athens, we recall these thousands of Philhellenes who were mobilized in Europe and the USA, but also in Greece, while many of them even sacrificed their lives during the Greek War of Independence.

What was this force that pushed them to such sacrifices?

Greek civilization.

And why does Greek civilization stand out?

Why does it have such an impact on people?

Andreas Empirikos

The answer is offered by Andreas Empirikos in his emblematic poem ‘In the Philhellenes Street’

Andreas Embirikos, praises “…the glory of the Hellenes who first among all in this lowly world, transformed their fear of death into lust for life.”


Gioachino Antonio Rossini, Paris, 1865.


Gioachino Rossini was born on February 29, 1792, in Pesaro, a small spa town of Marche, in the Adriatic. He had a birthday every four years, in every leap year… His father played the horn and his mother was a soprano. Rossini presented his first opera at the age of 18 at the Teatro S Moisé in Venice (La Cambiale di Matrimonio).

The first great success came two years later with the opera La Pietra del Paragone which was performed at the Scala in Milan 53 times within one season (1812)! Next year comes the success of Tancredi at the famous Teatro la Fenice in Venice. It is in Rome, Teatro Argentina, that he will present in 1816 and 1817 his two most famous works: “The Barber of Seville” and “La Cenerentola”, which establish him as the greatest composer of Opera Buffa.

By the time he was 30 (1822) he had written 32 of his 39 operas. His last one was the famous “William Tell”, which was presented in Paris in 1829; a play half a century ahead of its time. He became famous and settled in the capital of culture, Paris.

The great writer Stendhal (1783-1842) states in his work “The Life of Rossini”: “After Napoleon’s death, another man was found, for whom one hears every day, in Moscow like in Naples, in London like in Vienna, in Paris like in Calcutta”.

The “Siege of Corinth” (Le Siège de Corinthe) is by far the larger and most successful Philhellenic musical work. Rossini, enthusiastic about the struggle of the Greeks, but also by the effort of the Philhellenic Committees, the art of Delacroix and the texts of Chateaubriand, decides to contribute to the fund raising campaigns of the Philhellenic Committees. He transformed his older work “Maometto Secondo (1820)[1], copying the music, but also a small part of the text written by Cesare della Valle, Count of Ventignano, rewritten by Luigi Balocchi and Alexandre Soumet to a new libretto.

The work was presented for the first time at the Paris Opera, on October 9, 1826, in French, with great success and the considerable revenues were given to support the Greek liberation struggle. It was the first Live-Aid concert in history. In just one day, 30,000 francs of the time (about € 100,000) were raised. An amount equal to the annual income of a wealthy Parisian.

The opera was translated into Italian by Calisto Bassi and performed in Barcelona in 1827, while its first stage performance was in Parma on January 26, 1828, entitled L’Assedio di Corinto, and then in Genoa on June 7 of that year. The rehearsals were conducted by Donizetti himself, who also wrote an aria for the perfomance in Genoa, which became very popular with the public of the time and made Rossini’s opera even more famous.

In 1827 the opera was also presented in Brussels and Budapest. In 1830 in St. Petersburg, in 1831 in Vienna and in 1835 in New York! The opera remained popular for more than 30 years in all major opera houses and then it fell into oblivion. It reappeared in 1949 in Florence with Renata Tebaldi in the lead role. For the 100th anniversary of Rossini’s death in 1969, a memorable performance was given at La Scala in Milan, with Beverly Sills at her European debut.
The premiere of the opera in Greece, took place at the National Opera just after 167 years, in January 1993, following my persistent proposal, under my capacity as General Secretary of the Board, after I faced objections and concerns on whether the project would be popular! The play was staged with great success, directed by Mario Corradi, sets and costumes by Nikos Petropoulos. It was the first time that the internationally renowned French magazine Opera International dedicated two pages to the National Opera of Greece. [2]

Scenery N. Petropoulos, from the 1st act of the Siege  of Corinth

The text of the opera is inspired by the major event of the Greek Struggle which was the Third Siege of Messolonghi and the heroic exodus. Decisive for the mounting influence of Western public opinion in favor of the Greeks.

Critic S. Lacreteil was clear on the true meaning of the libretto:
“This opera contains references to the war of the Greeks and especially to the Greeks of Messolonghi, elements that ensure an enthusiastic success …”. So we see that the parallel between Corinth and Messolonghi in Rossini’s opera is considered clear and accepted by the public and critics who watched the performance. The Moniteur Universel newspaper wrote that “in Corinth we saw Messolonghi. With the Siege of Corinth, Rossini and the Greeks besieged and occupied Paris.[3]

At this point, it is interesting to note that the case is not related to the poem with the same name by Lord Byron. In The Siege of Corinth, Lord Byron refers to the siege of Acrocorinth by the Ottomans in 1715 and the slaughter of the Venetian guard.

In the poem published in 1816, the poet sees the historical event through the eyes of Alp, a Venetian who converted and became a mercenary of the Ottomans and Francesca Minotti, daughter of the Commander of the Guard, who refused to give his daughter to Alp. This was the reason for his conversion and the betrayal of his own people, out of thirst for revenge.

Rossini admired, without a doubt, the great philhellene poet. Fate brought him to London on a tour with his wife, the famous Spanish lyric singer Isabella Colbran (1785-1845), the day Lord Byron died in Messolonghi, April 19, 1824. On June 11, Rossini will give a concert in London and will present an Ottavino (short work for eight voices) dedicated to the death of Lord Byron he had just composed. In the piece, “The Mourning of the Muses for the Death of Lord Byron” (Il pianto delle Muse in morte di Lord Byron), Rossini himself sung the first role![4]

Isabella Colbran (1785-1845)

But let’s look at the plot of Rossini’s Opera. We are in 1458. After the Fall of Constantinople, Mehmed II II besieges Moria.[5] Cleomenes, governor of Corinth, recommends the surrender of the city to the Conqueror. However, the young officer Neoclis is in favor of a new attack! Admiring his courage, Cleomenes offers him the hand of his daughter Pamyra. In the attack, the Greeks are repulsed and Kleomenis is captured. Pamyra intervenes and so Mehmed II II recognizes in her face the woman he had fallen in love with when he came to Corinth as a spy on behalf of his father. He then offers peace to the Greeks, if Pamyra marries him. Despite her father’s appeals to leave with him and pick up Neocles, Pamyra who was in love, stays with Mehmed II.

While the weddings are being prepared, Neocles enters the Turkish camp and asks back Pamyra, who, in order to save him, says that he is her brother. She flees with Neocles and Mehmed II swears to slaughter the last Greek before sunset and to seize Pamyra.

The Greeks gather in the catacombs of Corinth, ready for the final battle. Kleomenis, Neocles and Pamyra, along with the other Greeks, invoke Marathon and, of course, Thermopylae. Priests bless the banners in the most moving scene of the play, for which Rossini wrote new music.[6]

The Turks win, but when he reaches to Pamyra, Mehmed II discovers that she along with the other Greek women, had committed suicide.
“Everyone died to protect us …” sings the women’s choir, “A God sees us from above. To escape the bondage of slavery, Corinth dies in flames, “says Ismene, while Mehmed II, as a young Nero, sings:” Hard madness, blind hatred, a night full of destruction.”
While in “Maometto II!” Anna’s suicide and a short choreography close the curtain, in “The Siege of Corinth” Rossini escalates the viewer’s anxiety by putting an entire nation to die while the Turks rejoice : “Wonderful madness, sweet image, Corinth dies in her flames, all this misery is our work “, while the Greeks mourn as they die from the depths of the stage while Corinth collapses in the flames: “Oh Homeland “.
Suicide scenes were not new to opera at the time, but the death of an entire people on stage, and with such realism, was unprecedented. The combination of music and dramatic stage action created in the “Siege” a new aesthetic of “horror” in the opera and is clearly the forerunner of the great romantic lyric works. The public’s impression of the “Siege” was utterly riveting. Leon Escudier wrote about the finale of the third act:
“The whole room, which was like fossilized during the final scene, suddenly rose like a single person, and in the last notes, it was screaming with excitement with a voice of immense admiration …”.
The newspaper’s critic La Quotidienne wrote:

“Nothing was missing from Rossini’s triumph, not only was each piece applauded repeatedly, but even after the performance everyone wanted and asked for the composer. They called him on stage for more than half an hour, until it was announced that he had left the Theater. Following his example, people followed him to his house where they gathered under his windows on the street, while a band was playing the finale of the second act of the opera … “.

The fact that Greeks were present at the performances is an indisputable fact. We have for this, the testimony of Adolf Nouri (who sang the role of Neocles), who in a letter dated October 12, 1826 writes:
“Turkish journalists have created a lot of problems for us. Many Greeks were present in the audience, but fortunately the drumbeats, the harsh sounds of the winds and even the cannons did not prevent them from coming to the Theater three times a week to watch with admiration the fate of the unfortunate Greeks who are killed by my colored scales and from my roulades … “.[7].

In the last pages of the program there was a printed “Greek Ode” with the following provocative verses: “Get up, take arms , take revenge proud Greeks …”. Such was the success of the “Siege” that King Charles X honored Rossini with the Legion of Honor. Rossini, however, denied the decoration because, as he told to La Rochefoucault, he should not accept such an honor for a rewritten work, when in fact other great French composers such as Hérold had not yet been honored.[8]

Rossini from the age of 37 until his death at the age of 76, in 1868,  that is for forty years did not write another Opera! He will write only songs, small orchestral works and two great religious works: the Stabat Mater (1841) and the “Petite Messe Solennelle” (1864).

He was the most important Italian composer of the first half of the 19th century and transformed both the style and the content of the Opera, creating the famous belcanto. He introduced a number of innovations, such as the famous Rossini crescendo and his unique ensembles. He was the master of Opera Buffa, the comic Opera, but also the reformer of the boring Opera Seria. In just five years (1824-1829) he played a key role in the French Opera, as his work influenced composers such as Adam, Meyerbeer and Offenbach, whom he called “Little Mozart of the Champs Elysees”.

He was a famous lover of the beauty of life and a great eater. He named various dishes after his works “Bocconi Gazza Ladra”, “Tarte Guglielmo Tell”, while the famous Turnedos Rossini with foie gras is his creation.
His works, especially the comic ones, exude freedom and the joy of life, something which made them very popular in his time. The interest in his work surfaced again in the 1920s and more in the 1950s. Of particular note were the unique interpretations of the roles of Rosina in the Barber, the Italiana in Algiers, or Fiorilla in Il Turco in Italia and of Armida in the opera of the same name by the great Maria Callas.

Her interpretations revived Rossini’s works and reciprocated his love for Greece.

You can listen to the Siege of Corinth here.

Maria Callas at the Scala of Milano


[1] Another work in the Turcherie series, featuring Turkish roles where the Turks are presented either as ridiculous or as violent barbarians (L’Italiana in Algeri, Il Turco in Italia), in the context of that period’s conflict between European and Ottoman forces.

[2] Petropoulos, directed a new performance of the play on June 2002 in ancient Corin

[3]   Alexis Spanidis, Rossini and Greece

[4] The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, Vol. 41, No. 683 (Jan. 1, 1900)

[5] Mehmed II encamped outside the walls of Corinth on May 15, 1458. He used as pretext the fact that Demetrius and Thomas Palaiologos (Constantine’s brothers who still controlled the Peloponnese), did pay taxes.

[6] We note again, as in the case of La Revolution Grècque of Berlioz, the combination of ancient Greece and Christianity.

[7] Alexis Spanidis, Rossini and Greece

[8] Same as above




The Battle of Navarino (SHP Collection). Philhellenism leads to the first European policy, based on the common values ​​of Europe.


Xeni D. Baloti

In world history there is one movement which appeared once, it concerned a specific people and was endorsed by citizens, at least from the whole European continent. We refer to the Movement of Philhellenism that manifested itself before the Greek Revolution with Voltaire and Winkelman and culminated during it.

Philhellenism mobilized thousands of citizens from the Iberian Peninsula to Russia and from Scandinavia to Sicily. The motivation for the participation of the Philhellenes in favor of the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman occupation, regardless of the way it manifested itself (provision of financial assistance such as e.g. by Ludwig I of Bavaria, direct participation in the Greek forces, such as from the German General Norman, the Italians Tarella and Dania, and many other French, Polish, Swiss, etc. Philhellenes who sacrificed themselves in the Battle of Petta, or the mobilization of the intellectual world in Europe in favor of the Greeks, as e.g. of Chateaubriand and Lord Byron), was the same: it stemmed from their desire to resurrect the country that laid the foundations of European culture. In other words, to defend their common European culture by expressing for the first time in the history of our continent, a common European consciousness. In this way, an article on the topicality of the anniversary event of the Greek war for independence of 1821, two centuries later could be summed up in a single sentence: the Greek Revolution of 1821 is the first manifestation of our common European consciousness. The European edifice that began to be implemented in 1957 with the Treaty of Rome, just after a war, has its roots in 1821 when many European citizens first expressed their common cultural identity, claiming common social conditions, with the revolutions of 1848, named the “The Springtime of the Peoples” and Victor Hugo’s speech on the “Creation of the United States of Europe”, in 1849, they aimed at world peace in the context of interstate relations where one state was Europe and the other one was the USA. Victor Hugo’s proposal was perceived a romantic one.

However, almost two centuries later, the Greek crisis of the summer of 2015 and the road towards Grexit, brought back to the surface the element of romanticism, a component of Phihellenism, when the then President of the European Commission J-C Junker said, amid huge economic and political competitions, to all Member States wishing Greece to leave the European institutions, that “without Greece, Europe’s component would be missing.” The statement may have seemed innocent. However, its consequences were decisive because they focused on what Europe is: a set of nation-states with a distinct course over the centuries, but with a common consciousness around Greek civilisation.

In 2020, Philhellenicism does not exist in its historical sense, however the claim to achieve a common goal with common tools within a continent that must survive with a common future, is expressed as an irony of history, in the sense of “European solidarity”, in order to deal with the multiple problems created by the pandemic of coronavirus, a concept that stems from the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle.

So, if the Philhellenism of 1821 highlighted our common European consciousness, then 200 years later, its celebration offers to the EU the brilliant opportunity to return to the fundamental values ​​of its civilization and reap what it sowed.



With a wooden horse, a Trojan Horse 6 meters high and weighing 3 tons that volunteers built in the birthplace of Hector Berlioz, the Berlioz Festival began in his birthplace of La Côte Saint-André, near Grenoble, dedicated to the 160 anniversary of his death, March 8, 1869, at the age of 66.

The Trojan Horse as a symbol of the composer’s favorite work, inspired by Virgil, “The Trojans”.

Héctor Berlioz was born on December 11, 1803, ten years before Wagner and Verdi. His parents were the 27-year-old Louis Berlioz of La Côte Saint André in Isère, who died in 1848 without ever hearing his music, and Marie-Antoinette-Josephine, daughter of Nicolas Marmion, a lawyer from Meylan. Hector was the first of six children.

His father was his first music teacher and in 1815, when he was 12 years old, he taught him music lessons. A rare case for a great composer, Berlioz was not taught piano, but flute and guitar.

Due to his father’s persistence, he enrolled in 1821 at the Medical School in Paris. After two barren years, he persuaded his father to help him enroll in the Conservatoire and study composition and counterpoint.

As early as 1825, he would present his work “Grande Messe Solennelle” in the church of Saint-Roch in Paris, with 150 musicians and choristers, conducting himself. For this concert he tried to borrow money from Chateaubriand, whom he admired together with his closest friend of his youth, Humbert Ferrand. The value of his work has gained some recognition, but also an enemy similar to Salieri: the director of the Paris Conservatory, L. Cherubini (composer of « Medea”).

Deeply liberal, but also spiritually philhellene, a connoisseur like any educated Frenchman, then and now, of Greek classical history and literature, he sides from the beginning with the Greek struggle for independence. Literature in general plays a big role in his life and musical creation. He loves two great Britons: Shakespeare and Lord Byron, but also a German, Goethe. A famous Shakespearean actress, Harriet Smithson, will become his first wife.

Berlioz’s favorite Lord Byron’s work was none other than Child Harold’s Pilgrimage, perhaps the most critical work on the development of the Philhellenic movement. Byron’s tragic death in Messolonghi, April 19, 1824, and the terrible effect on his psyche of Eugene Delacroix’s famous painting “The Massacre of Chios”, which was publicly exhibited at the Salon de Paris in August of that year, shocked him.

A close friend of a lifetime, lawyer Humbert Ferrand (1805-1868), shared his ideas and wrote, in 1825, the poem “The Greek Revolution” (Scène Héroïque: La Révolution Grècque), which Berlioz composed for two Bass soloists, Choir and Orchestra. The music is in the style of Spontini, the imperial composer of La Vestale, as the young Berlioz himself proudly pointed out.

The text of the poem is extremely interesting, mainly because it highlights the way in which a liberal poet sees the Greek Revolution, that is, from the point of view of the Hellenism – Christian view that was its heroes view.

The original and direct children of the Enlightenment, who were Ferrand and Berlioz, thus contrast with later intellectual obsessional constructions.

At the beginning of the play, a Greek Hero invokes the awakening of the children of Sparta that Leonidas calls from his grave to rise up for their freedom! Then a priest invokes Constantine the Great and then the two together, in the name of the latter, call on the Greeks (Hellènes in the text) to revolt.

Eugene Delacroix: Le massacre de Chios, 1824

Berlioz found it very difficult to present the work because Rodolphe Kreutzer, the well-known great violinist who was then Director of the Paris Opera, as a true exponent of the establishment, did not even want to hear about the presentation of a then unknown composer. In vain the famous composer Le Sieur, and even the famous Comte de La Rochefoucauld intervened to the unassailable Kreutzer. Finally, Berlioz produced it himself on May 26, 1828.

Berlioz found it very difficult to be recognized in his home country, France. Despite his success in winning, in his third attempt, the famous Prix de Rome in 1830, but also some recognition brought by the Symphonie Fantastique in the same year, which won him a loyal friend, the most generous composer to his fellow craftsmen throughout the history of music, Franz Liszt, he had to write music reviews to live.

Another composer, Paganini, will order him a viola concerto for 20,000 francs. Berlioz draws from Byron again and writes the famous symphonic work “Harold in Italy”, which Paganini will never execute, unknown why.

Humbert Ferrand (1805-1868)

In December 1837, he presented his own Requiem at the memorial service for General Damrémon, who was killed in Algeria, with 200 musicians and 200 choirs, at the church of Saint-Louis des Invalides.

Following repeated failures of his opera Benvenuto Cellini and Faust’s Damnation, translated from Goethe’s masterpiece by Gérard de Nerval, he will be forced to seek recognition abroad. In Germany, a guest of Liszt in Weimar, who even organized two « Berlioz weeks” in 1852 and 1853. He directed his works in ten cities in Germany, in Prague, Budapest, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Riga and 4 times in London, with which he developed a special relationship due to his love for Shakespeare and Lord Byron.

From April to April 1856-68 he wrote his leading work, Les Troyens, in his own libretto inspired from Virgil. A work in five acts lasting more than four hours. The Paris Opera, while accepting at the beginning, did not presented it in the end! Berlioz sadly had to present only the last three acts in the smaller Théâtre Lyrique, with the title “Les Troyens à Carthage” in November 1863. The entire opera will be performed for the first time after his death in Karlsruhe, Germany, under the direction of the famous Felix Mottl, in 1890!

In Paris, the entire work will be performed for the first time only in 2003, at the Théâtre du Châtelet under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner. Fate wanted a Greek, Yannis Kokkos, to direct, stage and costume design! He will state in connection with the suicide of the Trojan women in the second act of the play: “In this suicide I saw the influence from the Greek history of 1821, which had greatly influenced European artists. In group suicide, Berlioz gives an echo of Messolonghi or Zalongo ».

I remember with emotion the first performance at the Bastille Opera, under Myung-Whun Chung with some small cuts, at the opening of the theater in 1990.

After the Trojans he will compose the choral work « Le Temple Universel », where he prophesies that “Europe will one day have only one flag” (1861) and the opera “Beatrice and Benedict”, based on Shakespeare’s « Much ado about Nothing” (1862).

Two major blows to his life will follow: the death of his second wife, Maria Recio, of a heart attack at the age of 48, in 1862, and the death of his son Louis, captain of a merchant ship, of yellow fever, in Havana, in 1867. Berlioz died on March 8, 1869, at his home in Paris after a stroke.

The work of this great composer and philhellene will find its recognition 90 years after his death. London, which he loved so much, will be the city of the great performances of his works. Starting with the production of the Trojans in Covent Garden in 1957, conducted by Rafael Kubelik and directed by Sir John Gielgud. Sir Colin Davis’, his greatest champion will produce and record almost everything Berlioz had composed, followed by John Nelson and John Eliot Gardiner.

Here is how Isma Toulatou presents in BIMA the performance of “Faust’s Damnation” directed by Maurice Bejart, a Paris Opera production in Epidaurus in 1965:

“The performances of Berlioz’s” La Damnation de Faust “given by the Paris Opera on July 31 and August 1, 1965 at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, directed and choreographed by Maurice Bejart, surpassed domestic interest. Logical: It was the first appearance of the famous Company abroad in its full composition since its previous “excursion” to Japan concerned only its protagonists. This time, however, the entire potential would travel, from artists to technicians, which created a sense of anticipation.

“Four railway vehicles with the sets of Berlioz’s opera « La Damnation de Faust » have already arrived in Athens in view of the Paris Opera’s performance at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus as part of the Greek Tourism Organization’s artistic events,” (Vima July 21, 1965), describing the impending performance as “the greatest theatrical venture with the participation of the famous institution”. For the presentation of the work, we read in another part of the report, “314 technicians and artists of the Paris Opera and 164 technicians and administrative staff will collaborate. Four aircraft were deployed to transport French singers, dancers and technicians, and an air bridge will be created on the night of July 25-26 between the French city of Orange – where the group appears – and the Athens airport.

The “Greek Revolution” was presented at the Megaron in 2011 by the Symphony Orchestra of the Municipality of Athens, under Eleftherios Kalkanis and in 2019 by Byron Fidetzis, at the OLYMPIA Theater with the Philharmonia.

Lucas Karytinos and Camerata have prepared the work for the Megaron in 2020.

The great composer’s and philhellene’s Hector Berlioz works are now a constant part of the international repertoire, but for Greeks his work is even more important, as he is inspired entirely by the love of beauty and freedom, the high human ideals that make up the legacy of Hellenism.

You can watch a performance of “The Greek Revolution” here.

The original text in French follows:


Scène héroïque (La révolution grecque)

I. Récit et Air

Héros Grec: Lève-toi, fils de Sparte! allons!… N’entends-tu pas
Du tombeau de Léonidas
Une voix accuser ta vengeance endormie?
Trop longtemps de tes fers tu bénis l’infamie,
Et sur l’autel impur d’un Moloch effronté
On te vit, le front ceint de mépris et de honte,
Préparer, souriant comme aux jours d’Amathonte,
L’holocauste sanglant de notre liberté.
Ô mère des héros, terre chérie,
Dont la splendeur s’éteint sous l’opprobre et le deuil!
Ce sang qui crie en vain, ce sang de la patrie,
Nourrit de vils tyrans l’indolence et l’orgueil!
Ô mère des héros, terre chérie.

II. Choeur Prêtre Grec:

Mais la voix du Dieu des armées
A répandu l’effroi dans leurs rangs odieux.
Hellènes! rassemblez vos tribus alarmées;
L’astre de Constantin a brillé dans les cieux:
A ses clartés victorieuses, marchez en foule à l’immortalité!
Prêtre Grec et Héros Grec: Hellènes! rassemblez vos tribus alarmées;
L’astre de Constantin a brillé dans les cieux.
Prêtre Grec: A ses clartés victorieuses,
Héros! marchez en foule à l’immortalité!
Et demain de nos monts les cimes glorieuses
Verront naître l’aurore avec la liberté.
Héros Grec et Choeur: A ses clartés victorieuses,
Héros / Guerriers, marchons en foule à l’immortalité, etc.
Prêtre Grec et Choeur: Oui, la voix du Dieu des armées, etc.

III. Prière

Femmes: Astre terrible et saint, guide les pas du brave!
Que les rayons vaincus du croissant qui te brave
S’éteignent devant toi!
Héros, Prêtre, Choeur: Astre terrible et saint, etc.
Femmes: Que les fils de Sion, riches de jours prospères,
De la liberté sainte et du Dieu de leurs pères
Sans crainte bénisse la loi!
Choeur: Que les fils de Sion, etc.

IV. Final

Héros, Prêtre, Choeur: Des sommets de l’Olympe aux rives de l’Alphée
Mille échos en grondant roulent le cri de mort:
Partons /Partez !… le monde entier prépare le trophée
Que nous promet un si beau sort.
Quel bruit sur ces bords expire?…
Tyrtée éveille sa lyre,
Et la Grèce, en ce jour, oppose à ses bourreaux
Tout ce que son beau ciel éclaire de héros.
Ils s’avancent… et la victoire Rayonne sur leurs fronts poudreux;
La terre, belle encor de son antique gloire,
Retentit sous leurs pas nombreux.
Partons / Partez!… Des sommets, etc.
Aux armes!… le ciel résonne…
Harpes d’or, marquez nos pas!
Peuples!… guerriers!… l’airain tonne.
Nos fers ont soif de combats! Aux armes!



Nikos Apostolidis, ex NTUA Professor, member of the Advisory Board of SHP, and
Constantinos Velentzas, member of the Advisory Board of SHP

We learned recently that for the first time in the history of Greece, the yield on the 10-year Greek government bond has fallen below 1%. Something which can admittedly be considered an achievement, especially after the financial crisis of the last decade, when the return on the ten-year bonds reached the unbelievable level of 36.5%.

Coincidentally, this reminds us of the famous “loans of England” or loans of the independence, which were the first state loans concluded by Greece before it was even formally recognized as a free state.

According to the literature of the 20th and 21st centuries, many academic, journalistic and political circles refer to these loans as “burdensome” or even “robbery”, claiming that they constitute an example of exploitation of a poor country by foreign bankers, and generally of the economic exploitation of Greece by “foreigners”.

One would wonder whether these loans that Greece received from the UK, did constitute indeed a “ruthless exploitation” of the country, and whether the representatives of Greece were so foolish or incapable to agree to the terms of these loans.

Let’s examine the details of these loans first.

There were two loans.

A.  The first loan was concluded in 1824 and it had the following characteristics:

Nominal loan amount: £ 800,000.

Underwriters: Loughnan Sons και Ο’Brien

5% interest rate – 1% annual ammortization rate (both on the nominal amount of the loan).

Duration 36 years.

Various commissions, guarantees, etc.

The amount disbursed was £ 472,000 or 59% of the nominal amount.

The loan was negotiated from the Greek side by I. Orlandos and Andr. Louriotis.

B. The second loan was concluded in 1825, and it had the following characteristics:

Nominal loan amount: £ 2,000,000.

Underwriters: Ricardo brothers

5% interest rate – 1% annual amortization rate (both on the nominal amount of the loan).

Duration 36 years.

Various commissions, guarantees, etc.

The amount disbursed was £ 1,100,000 or 55.5% of the nominal amount.

The bond of the second loan, SHP Collection.

The second loan contract also provided for a portion of the above amount to be used to pay off partially the first loan, with a total value of £ 250,000, in order to support their market value in the secondary market.

Both loans were in the form of bond issues, and in both cases the first two years’ interest payments were prepaid.

We will try to reformulate the description of the terms of these loans, in accordance with what is currently the case with the current Greek government bond loans and the terminology used today.

Let’s start with the ammortization rate.

In order to repay the capital, both contracts provided for the payment of 1% of the nominal capital annually for 36 years (the duration of the loan contracts). Of course, the sum of all these instalments amounts to only 36% of the capital. However if (theoretically) those periodic payments were deposited each year into an interest-bearing account   with a relatively low, thus safe, interest rate (equal in the present case to 5%), this deposit would reach 100% of the capital at the end of 36 years.

This method of calculating the final value of a recurring payment to an account (sinking fund) of an amount X during Y years, where the amount deposited is compounded annually at a safe interest rate, has always been used and of course it applies even today. The only difference is that nowadays the safe rate (something like the interest rate of the Bundesbank or the US bonds) is about 3% or less, whereas at the time of the two loans, the safe rate was apparently 5%.

This means that the level of borrowing rates at that time, which of course fluctuated, depending on the risk of each investment, were in general almost double than those of today’s interest rates.

What may confound present-day readers is the fact that the borrowers (i.e. the revolutionary Greek government) received only a fraction of the nominal loan capital.

What was the rationale for this cut? Why, for example, in the case of the first loan, instead of cashing £ 800,000 (which was the nominal amount of the loan), Greece received only £ 472,000, or 59%?

Many think that the difference of £ 328.000 was unduly withheld by extortion and accordingly that the loan was pure “robbery”.

Were these loans indeed onerous, and did the uprising Greeks fall victims to the foreign Shylocks (like the Merchant of Venice)?

Of course not. The terms of the loan simply had to be adjusted according to the risk that loan presented.

Nowadays, the terms of a loan are adjusted according to the risk it presents, through the interest rate. The higher the risk, and the longer the repayment period, the higher the borrowing rate agreed.

Those years, however, it seems that the markets were following a different practice:

The loan contract provided for a standard interest rate (and in particular the market standard “safe” interest rate of 5%) and the adjustment of the lending terms, depending on the risk, was achieved using the method of purchasing the bonds at a price below the nominal rate. This practice is used partially even today.

In other words, this is exactly what also happens today in the secondary bond market, and the interest rate that the creditor received was what is called today the “yield” of the bond.

In effect, the real interest rate paid by the Greek state for the first loan was not the nominal 5%, but about 8.47%, i.e. 5 / 0.59.

Another small correction is needed:

Under the terms of the loans, the Greek state was paying annually 1% of the nominal amount of the loan for the amortization of the capital, while it should actually pay only 0.59% to repay the amount it actually received as a loan. To account for that, we may add this additional charge, which amounts to 0.70% of the real capital, to the interest rate of 8.47% mentioned above, resulting in a real interest rate of 9.17%, which was finally to be paid by the Greek state.

So much, as far as the first loan is concerned.

In the case of the second loan, the data are a little bit different and the real interest rate, which arises from an analysis similar to the one above, is 9.80%.

In conclusion, using present-day terms to describe the two loans, we may state that:

– The first loan was a 36-year bond issue of a total value of £ 472,000 with an interest rate of 9.17%.

It was not in reality a loan of £ 800,000, as many people believe. These people mistakenly believe that the (theoretical) difference of £ 328,000 was unduly withheld by the lenders.

– The second loan was also a 36-year bond issue of a total value of £ 1,100,000 with an interest rate of 9.80%.

It was neither in reality a loan of a value of £ 2,000,000, as the same people believe and again in this case the same as above applies to the theoretical difference of £ 900.000.

The terms of these loans, and especially the real interest rate, as calculated above, can certainly not be viewed as “robbery” at all. Especially if we keep in mind the following:

(a) the guarantees that the borrowers could present, and in particular that :

The aspiring borrowers were not even a recognised state, but merely representatives of a “rebel nation” who had long aspired to form a state, and who, after some initial successes, had even begun to clash with each other, with the conflicts having taken over the dimensions of a civil war. At the same time it must be borne in mind that the Ottoman Empire was referring to this “rebel nation” as “terrorists”, while the Holy Alliance viewed the Greek revolution negatively and as a serious threat to peace in Europe.

(b) that the overall level of interest rates was at that time internationally, higher than what it is today, as evidenced by the fact that the “safe rate” was 5%, while today it is about half that level. Therefore, the (real) interest rate of 9.5%, which was applied to Greece, corresponds to an interest rate of 5.5% – 6% with today’s standards. These terms are very favorable, at least in present day terms, let alone when it comes to 36-year bonds.

Moreover, the best proof that the terms of these loans were not onerous, but rather the opposite, is the following: one of the conditions of the second loan was to repay partially the first loan for a total nominal value of £ 250,000, as mentioned above.

This was done, and the redemption price was £ 113,200 at first stage, i.e. £ 45.3 for each £ 100 bond.

Regardless of whether this repurchase was advisable or not, we note that one year after its issuance, the price of the first loan on the free (or secondary) market had fallen from £ 59 to £ 45.4 (i.e. they were depreciated by 23%) and respectively, the bond yield went from 9.5% up to 11.9%.

So the “markets” had judged that the Greek bonds were overvalued, and that their real value, in line with the risk these bonds represented, was £ 45.4 rather than £ 59.

Therefore, it was the lenders of the first loan (that is the original buyers of the bonds) who had suffered a loss, and not the borrowers. We should also not forget that the real lenders were not some “bad” bankers, who were reasonably eager to earn a commission, but the bond holders who were mainly philhellenes (and most of them simple citizens), who wanted to help the revolted Greeks and to honor the memory and struggle of Lord Byron.

Lord Byron. Portrait. 19nth century. Oil on canvas. Collection SHP.

It is also worth noting that all the loans which were agreed by Latin American countries with English banks between 1822 and 1825, had a structure similar to that of the Greek loans. In general, if one takes into account all the facts, the terms of the loans to Greece were better. Indicatively, all loans (with the exception of the first loan of Mexico) had an initial interest rate of 6%, instead of the 5% that Greece had, while important commissions were paid.

For example, the terms of the first loan of £ 3,200,000 that Mexico received from Bank B.A. Goldsmith & Co, in 1824, were as follows. The price to buy a £ 100 bond was £ 58. The interest rate was 5%. The sale raised £ 1,850,000. However, commission of £ 750,000 were deducted. So Mexico finally got £ 1,100,000. The comparison with the terms of the Greek loan is straightforward. It is reminded that after a revolution which began in 1810, Mexico was already an independent state as of 24 August 1821.

The final conclusion is that the famous “English loans” were not robbery at all, and those who negotiated them were neither traitors nor fools. Actually, it seems that they were assisted by worthy financial advisers.

It is likely that the subsequent management of the loans was not appropriate, and it seems that several lapses have occurred, but the loans themselves were made on very reasonable terms, given all the parameters.

The problem arising from these loans was not their terms and conditions, which were not harsh at all, but the inability of the Greek state, first to use the funds optimally in favour of their struggle, and then to serve them during the years that followed, even with these objectively favorable terms.

However, it is worth noting some other parameters related to these loans. In addition to the financial aspects, these loans constituted the strongest political acts of official recognition of the revolted Greeks and the prospect of establishing an independent Greek state in the future.

The loans were made possible when the great British politician and Philhellene George Canning took the office of Foreign Affairs Minister in the United Kingdom.

Portrait of George Canning, by Thomas Lawrence, SHP Collection.

Order of the Redeemer, the medal awarded by King Othon in 1838, to the son of George Canning, Charles John Canning, SHP Collection.

Canning drastically changed the policy of his predecessor, Castlereagh. He recognized Greece as a country in war and turned on the green light for the City of London to issue loans in favour of Greece.

Gazette de France 10/3/1827. “George Canning addressed a new formal note to the Sultan for the pacification of Greece. He requested the immediate cessation of hostilities at land and sea and negotiations for a diplomatic solution in the Greek problem. It seemed that England and Russia would do anything to stop the war”. SHP Collection.

In any event, even if the Greeks had made the best use of their loans, history has shown that the liberation of Greece needed a major naval battle in Navarino.

Thomas Whitcombe circle, the Battle of Navarino, 20 October 1827, SHP Collection.

This battle involved 29 of the best ships of the three allies with the most experienced personnel aboard, under the command of the great British admiral Codrington, who crashed the Turkish-Egyptian fleet of 90 ships.

Admiral Codrington, SHP Collection.

In addition, in order to persuade Ibrahim Pascha to leave Greece, it took another 10 months and the presence of a regular army of 15,000 men under General Maison, and at the same time, continuous negotiations between Codrington and the Egyptians to reach a final agreement only in July 1828.

Has anyone ever calculated the value of this support that Greece received from its allies, and firstly from the United Kingdom? How many more loans would Greece have to receive, and which blood tax would Greeks have to pay on their own to gain their freedom?

If all of this is taken into account, then we can conclude that these loans were almost gratuitous, and that the help and support that Greece eventually received was then, as it is today, unprecedented internationally.

Greeks owe this support to the Philhellenism, to the admiration expressed by the western world to the Greek culture and heritage, which radiates through the centuries by the marbles of the Acropolis of Athens.


  • Ανδρεάδης Ανδρέας, Ιστορία των εθνικών δανείων, Αθήνα 1904

Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717 – 1768), German art historian, Hellenist and archaeologist. The prophet and founding hero of modern archaeology.

Konstantinos Polias

An important facet of the philhellenic dimension among philosophers and intellectuals in Europe during the 18th and 19th century is the almost unanimous recognition in the humanistic tradition, of ancient Greece as a cultural ideal of fundamental significance for the identity of European, or of Western modernity. Τhis does not amount to philhellenism in the strict sense of acts by foreigners in support of the liberation of modern Greece from the Turkish rule during the revolution of 1821. This recognition of ancient Greece[1] was established during the second half of the 18th century, at the same time as the beginning of the regeneration of Greek national consciousness. It laid the groundwork for justifying philhellenism in the strict sense, based on the argument of the cultural debt of Europe, or of the West, to ancient Greece. As pointed out by Terence Spencer, philhellenism “derived from a classical partiality in favour of the supposed descendants of ancient pagan Hellenes; and it inspired the notion that there existed an urgent moral obligation for Europe to restore liberty to Greece as a kind of payment for the civilization that Hellas had once given to the world.”[2]

The work of German classicist, historian and art theorist Johann Joachim Winckelmann is emblematic of the recognition of ancient Greece as ideal of Europe, or of the West, which took the form of a “Graecomania” [3]. His work had a great influence on philosophers and intellectuals, such as Herder, Kant, Goethe, Schiller and more generally on German Idealism and Romanticism. In his book Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks of 1755, Winckelmann claims that “the only way for us to become great or even inimitable if possible, is to imitate the Ancients and what someone said of Homer, that he who has learned to understand him well has learned to admire him, is also true of the art of the Ancients, and of the Greeks in particular.”[4]

Furthermore, in his book History of the Art of Antiquity of 1764, Winckelmann outlines the reason why the works of the ancient Greeks were so far ahead of their time and were the ideal of art worth emulating. This was: the political freedom which characterized the political composition and their government; with Athenian democracy its zenith which shaped the mentality of people.[5] In a similar way, Helvetius responds in 1758 in his book Of the Spirit to the question of the difference between the modern and the ancient Greeks. He refers to difference in the form or the spirit of their government that shapes the “spirit of nations”.[6]

Winckelmann’s work is a basic source for the cultivation of the ideal of ancient Greek culture that Voltaire uses in his Pindaric Ode on the occasion of the present war, that is the insurrection of the Greeks against the Turks in 1770 during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. In the Ode that documents Voltaire’s philhellenism in the strict sense, Pallas Athena expresses his hopes for the outcome of the struggle:

I want to revive Athens,/ Let Homer sing your combats/

Let the voice of a hundred Demosthenes/ Revive your hearts and your arms/

Come forth, be born again, lovable Arts,/ From these deplorable ruins,/

That hid you under their debris;/ Take back again your antique brilliance.[7]

Αs David Roessel points out, in the poem, the independence of modern Greece is not “an end in itself but rather a prelude to the regeneration of ‘Greece’ an artistic, spiritual, and/or political ideal”, whereas according to Olga Augustinos the “liberation meant “not the creation of independent Greece but the victory of reason and human rights”.[8] This ideal of the cultural inheritance of ancient Greece also explains the iconic phrase of Percy Bysshe Shelley “We are all Greeks” in the preface of the lyrical drama Hellas that predicts the success of the revolt of the Greeks against the Turks in 1821 and was published in 1822.[9]

Percy Bysshe Shelley. Hellas. A lyrical drama. London 1822. Collection SHP.

As Shelley explains: “Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts, have their root in Greece.”[10] The other meaning of this phrase that Roessel also attributes to Voltaire’s poem is that the liberation of the Greeks is at the same time a European liberation due as well to the cultural inheritance from ancient Greece.[11] The crucial element here is that the ideal of political liberty of the ancient Greeks and also the realization of the liberation of modern Greeks is important to these intellectuals because they are themselves living under conditions which are far from free.

Hölderlin’s novel Hyperion, published in 1797, refers to the Greek insurrection of 1770. The hero Hyperion is a modern Greek patriot who returns to Greece: “The beloved soil of my fatherland gives me joy and grief once more“, the novel begins[12]. The contrast between joy and grief follows the contrast of the Spinozan introvert “nature” and the Kantian extrovert “human vocation” (freedom) in a way that is characteristic for early romanticism. Thus after a hymn to the natural beauty of the “holy earth” [13] he will wonder: “But what is that to me? The howl of the jackal, singing its wild dirge amidst the rubble of antiquity, jolts me from my dreams.”  And then he goes on, making clear his interest in the modern enslaved Greece: “Happy the man for whom a flourishing fatherland gladdens and fortifies the heart! Being reminded of mine is like being pitched into the mire, like having the coffin lid slammed shut over me, and whenever someone calls me Greek, I always feel I ‘m being throttled with a dog collar.”[14] In what follows, Hyperion participates enthusiastically in the liberation movement of the Greeks which eventually failed, referring to the insurrection of 1770 during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774.[15]  Hyperion returns to Germany and to “nature” [16], but the novel ends with the characteristic phrase “More anon” [17], implying the “human vocation” (freedom), which is the opposite of “nature”.

Hyperion oder der Eremit in Griechenland. Second edition. 1822. Collection SHP.
50% of the revenues from the sales was used to support financially philhellenic committees in Germany.

News of the revolutionary movement of the Greeks in Moldovlachia in February 1821 led by Alexander Ypsilantis spread. In Germany the first to react was the Kantian professor of philosophy Wilhelm Traugott Krug from Leipzig.

Lithography with Alexandros Ypsilantis (Ypsilanti. Leader of the Greeks). Germany. Early 1820’s. Collection SHP.

Pipe showing Alexandros Ypsilantis and soldiers / volunteers of the Sacred Company. Germany. Early 1820’s. Collection SHP. Inscriptions: Ypsilanti and Hetäristen. Collection SHP.

He called for support of the Greek revolution. In April, on Palm Sunday, he gave a speech entitled The Rebirth of Greece. A Program for the Resurrection Celebration that was enthusiastically received by the audience[18] and was published with a dedication to his Greek students[19]. In agreement with the connection between the rebirth of Greece and the Resurrection, also stated in the preface in terms of the Kantian “human vocation” [20], Krug begins his speech with the concept of “Christian politics”[21]. Thus he adds the other basic element of the philhellenic argumentation (in the strict sense), beyond that of the debt for the cultural inheritance of ancient Greece[22], namely the community of Christian faith. Abroad, “Christian politics” has to fight with the non-Christian”.[23] Once again, Krug uses, for the first time, the argument of the illegal “sovereignty of the Turks”, since it was acquired in violation of international law through a war of aggression. Additionally he invokes the Lockean argument that the Turkish regime treats its subjects in an extremely arbitrary manner.[24]  In August 1821, Krug makes the first call for the foundation of associations that would support the Greek revolutionaries, which leads in many occasions to a reaction on the part of the authorities.[25] Krug’s call had however a major impact and numerous associations were founded.[26]

Four months after the revolution, the professor of philology Friedrich Thiersch became active in a similar way in Munich through the publication of a series of articles in the Allgemeine Zeitung.[27] Like Krug, Thiersch also uses the two basic arguments for the justification of philhellenism (in the strict sense), namely the debt for the cultural inheritance of ancient Greece and the community of Christian faith.[28] In addition, Thiersch promoted the bold plan of recruiting and sending to Greece a “German legion” to assist Greek revolutionaries.[29]

In 1812, Thiersch had already given a speech to the Munich Academy of Sciences on the subject of Greece’s rebirth, based on reports from Greece.[30] The focus was on the efforts of the Greeks in the creation of a national cultural and political consciousness[31], and in particular the foundation of educational institutions and the promotion of the increasingly important sciences[32]. In Vienna in 1814 he became a member of the Philomousos Society and met Kapodistrias. He also met the Metropolitan Bishop Ignatios and Dean Anthimos Gazis, who was the editor of Hermes o Logios, and was informed by them about the plans for liberation.[33] As member of the Academy of Munich he ensured that well known Greek scholars including Korais, Gazis and Mustoxidis[34] became corresponding members and he also arranged for the immediate support of Greek schools in the Ottoman Empire[35]. As the Philomousos Society was sending young Greeks to study in Germany on scholarship, in 1815 Thiersch implemented the idea of a special educational institute to prepare them for their studies. He did so at his own home and it was called the Atheneum.[36] It was from those students that Thiersch learned to speak modern Greek fluently.[37] His activity in this first phase, as well as after the revolution of 1821, provoked the Austrian government to place him under surveillance following the revolution.[38] In particular, it was the “German legion” issue which led to the intervention of Metternich himself, and thus Thiersch had to reject the idea in public.[39]

Later on, after a two-year stay in Greece in 1831-1832, during which he played a mediating role in the civil conflicts after the death of Kapodistrias, Thiersch published in Leipzig a two-volume book in French under the title Kapodistrias’ Greece. The Present Situation of Greece (1828-1833) and the Means to Achieve its Reconstruction. In this book, one of the things he advises the Greeks is to follow a policy of neutrality in foreign politics.[40]

Goethe’s decision to include six folk songs or klephtika in an issue of his journal Über Kunst und Altertum of 1823 is remarkable. And he did so before the publication of the infamous collection of folk songs by Claude Fauriel.[41]

FAURIEL (C.). Chants populaires de la Grèce moderne, 1824. Collection SHP.

Even if his intention was not to express his philhellenism in the strict sense, his decision to present with all his authority, the modern Greek folk songs turn him into a “basic factor of literary philhellenism”, as Chryssoula Kambas notes.[42] In the next issue of the journal, Goethe published the folk song “Charos”, noting the special impression which the poem had made on all his “mental powers” and “especially on the imagination, so that he wanted to see it as a painting”[43]:

Why are the mountains black and tearful?/ Is it the wind that battles them, Is it the rain that beats  them?/ It is neither the wind that battles them, nor the wind that beats them;/ It’s only the Grim Reaper passing by with the dead;/ He drags the young men in front, the old men behind;/ And also the little kids he has gradually forced onto his saddle;/ The old men beg and the young men kneel;/ “Grim Reaper come to the village, come to the cold fountain”;/ “For the old men to drink water and the young men to throw stones”;/ “And the little ones to pick flowers”;/ “I will come neither to the village, nor to the cold fountain/ The mothers come there for water, they recognize their children;/ Husbands and wives recognize each other, and then they cannot be separated.[44]

The philhellenism of Lord Byron, whose poetry was admired by Goethe[45], is of particular importance. This is because he is an intellectual who took part in the Greek revolution from January 1824 in Missolonghi, as the loan commissioner (together with Colonel Stanhope and Lazaros Kountouriotis) of the London Philhellenic Committee.[46] In fact, he lost his life there.

Lithography 19nth century. Lord Byron. Collection SHP.

In Missolonghi, Byron worked with Alexandros Mavrokordatos and organized an army of Souliotes and artillery, at his own expense.[47] His philhellenism can be seen in the references of his poetry to ancient and modern Greece, which were inspired by his first journey to Greece, where he stayed from 1809 to 1811. The experiences during that period are recorded in Canto II of his renowned work Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage of 1812 which made him famous and established him as one of the most important poets in Europe. His references are characterized by admiration for ancient Greece and its monuments and his questioning of the circumstances of the modern enslaved Greeks:

Fair Greece! Sad relic of departed worth!

Immortal, though no more; though fallen, great!

Who now shall lead thy scatter’d children forth,

And long accustom’d bondage uncreate?[48]

Byron would deal with this concern by calling on the Greeks to rebel on their own, thus clearly connecting himself in the eyes of his followers with philhellenism in the strict sense, despite his generally cautious stance as to the potential for liberation:[49]:

Hereditary bondsmen! Know ye not

Who would be free themselves must strike the blow?

By their right arms the conquest must be wrought?[50]

Byron’s death in Missolonghi on April 19, 1824 from fever and bloodlettings by the doctors[51] contributed significantly to the raising of public interest in the Greek case on an international basis.

In October 1823, the journal La Muse française, an instrument of romanticism under the direction of Victor Hugo, published a poem by Hugo with philhellenic lyrics: “[…] handed over to the tyrans […]/ Greece shows to the Christian kings its enslaved cross “.[52] Here we have a combination of the love of freedom with the community of the Christian faith.[53] The next year the journal published a text by Hugo that glorified the death of the great romantic poet Byron in Missolonghi.[54]

Lithography 19nth century. Victor Hugo. Collection SHP.

According to Hugo, as noted by Tabaki-Iona, Byron’s death honors romanticism, which “in opposition to classicism no longer refers to the gods of antiquity, but admires the battle of the modern Greeks, of the protagonists of the new Thermopylae who have become symbols of heroism.”[55]

The contribution of the great romantic author François-René de Chateaubriand was of particular importance to the French philhellenic movement, although his support for the revolution of 1821 came rather late.

Lithography 19nth century. François-René de Chateaubriand. Collection SHP.

In 1807, after a journey to Greece, he published texts that refer to the Turkish tyranny in Greece in the journal Mercure de France, and in 1811 he published the infamous Itinerary from Paris to Jerusalen, in which he juxtaposes even more intensely “the glorious generations of antiquity to the Greeks whom he saw suffering under the Turkish tyranny.”[56] In 1811 he was elected a member of the Academy[57] and afterwards he went into politics. In fact, in 1816 he proposed the abolition of slavery for the Christian population to the French Parliament. The proposal that passed referred to human rights and the elimination of shame in Europe.

Proposition a la Chambre des Pairs de France (1816). François-René de Chateaubriand. Collection SHP.

In 1822 he became the Foreign Minister of France.[58] His commitment to the policy of his government however, did not allow him to intervene in favor of the Greek case, but once he left the government and went into the opposition he engaged himself in the French philhellenic movement.[59] In 1825, he published the Note on Greece, where he defends the possibility of liberating Greece from the viewpoint of the foreign policy of the great powers[60], and he also uses the two abovementioned basic arguments for the justification of philhellenism (in the strict sense)[61].

Note sur la Grèce (1826). François-René de Chateaubriand. Collection SHP.

The thesis concerning the fundamental character of the ideal of ancient Greece for Europe or the West to understand themselves, clearly had a widespread influence on philosophers and intellectuals (philhellenism in the broad sense). But over and above this, as we have seen above, a number of philosophers and intellectuals expressed their support for the Revolution of 1821. These included: Krug and Thiersch from Germany; as well as the friends Shelley and Byron from England and Chateaubriand and Hugo from France. We must also note the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who responded to the proposal of the Greek government in 1823 to submit his remarks on the first Constitution of Epidaurus[62]. They contributed significantly, largely through their texts which were important to the philhellenic movement in the strict sense and to the efforts of liberating Greece from the Turkish tyranny and of regenerating the Greek nation. The basic argument was the debt for the cultural inheritance from ancient Greece and the community of Christian faith. Another important factor was the love of freedom, especially in the case of Byron’s decision to participate personally in the Greek Revolution. [63]



[1] Loukia Droulia observes that “the initial meaning of the ancient term φιλέλλην was ‘friend of the Greeks’, admirer of ancient Greek literature and of ancient Greek culture”. “This was the case also during the Renaissance, when e.g. Aldus Manutius addressed in his prefaces the “φιλέλληνες”, those that loved ancient Greek literature.” Loukia Droulia,The Revival of the Greek Ideal and Philhellenism. A perambulation”, in: M. Borowskiej, M. Kalinowskiej, J. Lawskiego (eds.) (επμλ.), Filhellenizm w Polsce. Rekonesans, Warszawa 2007, 25-38, here: 26.

[2] As cited in George Tolias, “The Resilience of Philhellenism, in: The Historical Review, Section of Neohellenic Research, vol. XIII (2016), 51-70, here: 55.

[3] Evangelos Konstantinou, “Graecomania and Philhellenism”, in: European History Online (2012),

[4] Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Gedanken über die Nachahmung der griechischen Werke in der Malerey und Bildhauerkunst, Dresden/Leipzig, 1756, 3.

[5] Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums, Dresden 1764, 78, 128, 130.

[6] David Roessel, In Byron’s Shadow. Modern Greece in the English and American Imagination, Oxford/New York 2002, 23.

[7] As cited in Roessel, op. cit., 14.

[8] Roessel, op. cit., 14-15. Roessel also mentions Jerome McGann, who, with regard to Byron, claims that “Childe Harold (1812) is obsessed with the idea of the renewal of human culture in the west”, something which also concerns Greece as a “political entity” in the sense of the “‘objective correlative’ for this idea” (Roessel, op. cit., 15).

[9] Roessel, op. cit., 15. Roessel highlights the fact that for the Greek intellectuals the adoption of the ideal of ancient Greece was the medium to convince the West that the Greeks are civilized people (Roessel, op. cit., 16).

[10] Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hellas. A lyrical drama, London 1886, Preface, viii-ix.

[11] Roessel, op cit., 15.

[12] Friedrich Hölderlin, Hyperion, or the Hermit in Greece, translation Howard Gaskill, Cambridge 2019,, 7.

[13] Hölderlin, op. cit., 8.

[14] Hölderlin, op. cit., 7.

[15] Hölderlin, op. cit., 82ff. and 101-102.

[16] Hölderlin, op. cit., 134-137.

[17] Hölderlin, op. cit., 137.

[18] Regine Quack-Eustathiades, Der deutsche Philhellenismus während des griechischen Freiheitskampfes 1821-1827, München 1989, 19.

[19] Wilhelm Traugott Krug, Griechenlands Wiedergeburt. Ein Programm zum Auferstehungsfeste, Leipzig 1821.

[20] Krug, op. cit.,Vorwort [without pagination].

[21] Krug, op. cit., 11.

[22] See Quack-Eustathiades, op. cit., 36-37 for Krug’s argument regarding the debt due to the ancient Greek cultural inheritance; and 31 for the claim that the revolt shows that the modern Greeks are descendants of the ancient Greeks.

[23] Krug, op. cit., 11.

[24] Krug, op. cit., 18-20. See Ludwig Spaenle, Der Philhellenismus in Bayern 1821-1832, München 1984, 37 and Quack-Eustathiades, op. cit., 220-221.

[25] Spaenle, op. cit., 37 and Konstantinou, op. cit., 27.

[26] Κonstantinou, op. cit., 27.

[27] Spaenle, op. cit., 37. Τάσος Βουρνάς, «Φρειδερίκος Τιρς» [Tasos Vournas, “Friedrich Tiersch”] in: Φρειδερίκος Τιρς, Η Ελλάδα του Καποδίστρια. Η παρούσα κατάσταση της Ελλάδος (1828-1833) και τα μέσα για να επιτευχθεί η ανοικοδόμησή της [Friedrich Thiersch, KapodistriasGreece. The Present Situation of Greece (1828-1833) and the Means to Achieve its Reconstruction], 7-41, here: 14.

[28] See Hans-Martin Kirchner, Friedrich Thiersch. Ein liberaler Kulturpolitiker und Philhellene in Bayern, München 1996, 171-172 and Quack-Eustathiades, op. cit., 41.

[29] Spaenle, op. cit., 37.

[30] Spaenle, op. cit., 46.

[31] Spaenle, op. cit., 46.

[32] Κirchner, op. cit., 170.

[33] Kirchner, op. cit., 170.

[34] Kirchner, op. cit., 170.

[35] Spaenle, op. cit., 46.

[36] Spaenle, op. cit., 46-47.

[37] Kirchner, op. cit., 171.

[38] Βουρνάς [Vournas], op. cit., 7.

[39] Kirchner, op. cit., 178-179.

[40] Βουρνάς [Vournas], op. cit., 37-38.

[41] Chryssoula Kambas, ”Das griechische Volkslied Charos in Goethes Version und sein Bild des neuen Griechenland”, in: Gilbert Heß, Elena Agazzi, Elisabet Décultot (ed.), Graecomania. Der europäische Philhellenismus, Berlin/New York 2009, 299-328, here: 301-302.

[42] Kambas, op. cit., 302.

[43] Kambas, op. cit., 304-305.

[44] Kambas, op. cit., 309.

[45] Βασίλης Λαζανάς, «Η ζωή του Byron» [Vasilis Lazanas, “Byron’s life”], in: Lord Byron, Το έπος «Η πολιορκία της Κορίνθου» [The epic “The Siege of Corinth”], Athens 1995, 5-24, here: 17-18.

[46] C.M. Woodhouse, The Philhellenes, London/Athens 1977, 119-120, 139. Δημήτρης Κακαμπούρας, Η Βρετανική Πολιτική, ο Μπάιρον και οι Έλληνες του 21 [Dimitris Kakampouras, British Politics, Byron and the Greeks of 21], Athens 1993, 81.

[47] Roderick Beaton, Βyron’s War, Cambridge 2014, 211ff. and 214-216.

[48] Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, London 1859, Canto II, LXXIII, 107.

[49] Roessel, op. cit., 17, 50.

[50] Lord Byron, op. cit., Canto II, LXXVI, 109.

[51] Beaton, op. cit., 259-262.

[52] Fridériki Tabaki-Iona, Poesie philhellenique et périodiques de la Restauration, Athens 1993, 23. It is the Ode”À mon père“.

[53] Fridériki Tabaki-Iona, ”Philhellénisme religieux et mobilisation des Français pendant la révolution grecque de 1821-1827″, in: Mots. Les langues du politique (2005),, 19.

[54] Tabaki-Iona, Poesie philhellenique et périodiques de la Restauration, Athens 1993, 25-26.

[55] Tabaki-Iona, op. cit., 26.

[56] Émile Malakis, ”Chateaubriand’s Contribution to French Philhellenism”, in: Modern Philology, Volume 26, Number 1 (Αύγουστος 1928), 91-105, here: 93-95.

[57] The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, ”François-Auguste-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand”, in: Encyclopædia Britannica,

[58] Malakis, op. cit., 96-98.

[59] Malakis, op. cit., 98-99.

[60] Μ. le Vicomte de Chateaubriand, Note sur la Grèce, Paris 1825, 9-10.

[61] That is to say, the debt for the cultural inheritance from ancient Greeks and the community of Christian faith. Chateaubriand, op. cit., 8.

[62] Κωνσταντίνος Παπαγεωργίου, Φιλήμων Παιονίδης, «Εισαγωγή» [Konstantinos Papageorgiou, Philemon Paionidis, “Introduction”], in: Ο Ιερεμίας Μπένθαμ και η Ελληνική Επανάσταση [Jeremy Bentham and the Greek Revolution], Athens 2012, 11-45, here: 28ff.

[63] William St Clair, That Greece Might Still Be Free. The Philhellenes in the War of Independence, Cambridge 2008,, 151-152