This commemorative edition of ELTA honors in September 2021 five emblematic personalities, representative Philhellenes, and through them, the contribution of Philhellenism to the liberation struggle of the Greeks.
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The five Philhellenes of the special edition are:
The British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, writes his emblematic work “Hellas” and exclaims “we are all Greeks”. It reminds the civilized world that “our laws, our literature, our religion and our art have their roots in Greece […] without Greece we might still be barbarians […] the human form and the human mind reached perfection in Greece […]”. Shelley and his wife persuaded Lord Byron to go to Greece and identify with the struggle of the Greeks.
The Russian poet Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, inspired by Lord Byron, was the founder of Russian literature, to whom every Russian writer or poet owes his literary existence. A small sample of his philhellenic feelings towards Greece is his march entitled “Greece”: “… Forward Greece, get up! You do not unjustly nurture hopes, and the ancient mountains, Olympus, Pindos, the Thermopylae, they also shake the shields… “.
The French painter Eugene Delacroix, a leading figure of Romanticism, promotes lyrical Greece with his work. International public opinion discovers through his paintings, a Greece that fights for its freedom while suffering, and deserves moral and material support. Eugene Delacroix inspires dozens of other artists to communicate with their work, the same message throughout Europe, and feeds the philhellenic movement with emotion and passion.
The German officer, Philhellene volunteer in Greece and painter, Karl Krazeisen, promotes with his work the Greek and Philhellenes fighters of the Greek revolution of 1821. He serves the line of the German School of Fine Arts, which promotes epic Greece. A Greece that produces new Marathons and Thermopylae and fighters of the Revolution who are identified with the heroes of Greek mythology and deserve admiration.
The American Philhellene physician Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, an admirer of Lord Byron, arrived in Greece as a volunteer in 1824, offering his services as a physician and fighter. Then in 1828 he organized a campaign in the USA for the financial support of Greece, and raised huge sums that he distributed to the population, supporting the newly formed Greek state. This great Philhellene and national benefactor of Greece, is evolving into an emblematic humanist and defender of human rights.
Greece rightly honors in the persons of these important personalities the crucial, and unprecedented in international history, contribution of the Philhellenes and Philhellenism to the liberation struggle of the Greeks.