Dienstag, 15. Oktober 2019, 18:30 - 19:30 iCal

Ringvorlesung zu 1821

The Liberal International in the Greek War of Independence

Vortragende: Dr. Anna Karakatsouli

Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik der Universität Wien
Postgasse 7/1/3, 1010 Wien


In the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars a liberal-nationalist revolutionary wave spread out from Spain (1820) to Naples and Sicily (1820), Piedmont and Greece (1821), Brazil (1822) and finally France and Belgium (1830). In a context of world crisis men and ideas passed backward and forward between the Old and the New World pushing into modernity peripheral societies such as the Latin American or the Greek one. In these conflicts we often come across the same ‘freedom fighters’ who follow the circuit of revolutions and move from one trouble spot to another. Most often these men are young ex-army officers of the Napoleonic Wars, on half-pay in time of peace, who seek a glorious military career as well as a living wage.

Our analysis focuses on the role of this informal “liberal International” that is generally hinted at in the bibliography but has not yet been studied in its own value as a vehicle for modernity and cultural exchange in an early globalization process. We shall therefore recount the story of military Philhellenism from a transnational point of view and examine British, French, German or American volunteers to the Greek cause regardless of their national origin. Considering them as agents of the “converging revolutions” of the early 1820s we shall argue that these professional revolutionaries helped to create rapidly developing connections between human societies, hybrid polities and mixed ideologies but also heightened the sense of difference and antagonism between societal paradigms.


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Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik der Universität Wien, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Neugriechische Studien, Forschungsbereich Balkanforschung der ÖAW


Petra Greger
Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik
Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
4277 41001