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Anniversaries: The Revolution’s Multiple Legacies: 1871, 1921 (1930), 1971

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Greek Revolution: A Critical Dictionary
EditorsPaschalis Kitromilides, Constantine Tsoukalas
Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass
PublisherHarvard University Press
Pages694-707
Published25 Mar 2021

King's Authors

Abstract

Since the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, the Greek people have celebrated three major anniversaries: the 50th, 100th, and 150th anniversary date of the inception of this revolutionary war that led to sovereign statehood after nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. These three jubilees, each with their own legacies, have come to represent three different ways of celebrating Greek statehood that have, nonetheless, much in common. The celebrants considered the festivities to be in the best interests of the Greek state and of its younger generations, especially, but many ceremonies—and subsequent state rituals—displayed a more self-serving political culture or nationalist ideology as well. Through 1971, Greek political and religious nationalisms represented two sides of one coin, and they tended to reinforce each other through historicizing parades and other displays of unbroken cultural (if not religious) continuity. They posited a linear and authentic progression from Greek antiquity through postclassical, Byzantine, and post-Byzantine (Ottoman) times. Thus the celebrations and reenactments, with their commemorative events and symbolic images, acquired a prescriptive character, which further advanced their aim to educate youth in state-promoted nationalism.

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