Dienstag, 26. April 2022, 18:15 - 20:00 iCal

6th Gunnar Hering Lecture

Attempting to understand the Greek War of Independence

Vortragender: Prof. Dr. Kostas KOSTIS

Elise-Richter-Saal im Hauptgebäude der Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien


Attempts to understand the Greek War of Independence often treat the event as a determi-nistic outcome of preceding transformations, especially regarding the economic, political and intellectual growth of Orthodox populations under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is in turn linked to the ’decline’ of the Ottoman Empire.

The War of Independence was the product of many years of preparation and of specific goals, regardless of whether those goals were finally achieved or not. Any attempt to un-derstand this process cannot neglect the formation of the Philike Etairia and the manner in which it infiltrated or failed to infiltrate social groups in power that could act as a catalyst. None of the groups with economic, social and political authority over the Christian po-pulation took part in organising the war effort –with the exception of a few marginal and unimportant cases. It was a small-scale mobilisation that created the conditions for a war against the Ottomans and sparked its outbreak.

After all, the task of organising the Greek state was not assigned to those who participated in the War of Independence. As the new Greek state served their pursuit of stability in the context of the Restoration, the main responsibility for its establishment actually belonged to the Great Powers which made it clear from the outset that they would let neither popu-lar mobilisation nor local elites take over. The struggle only ended with King Otto’s fall in 1862 or, by other accounts, in 1875 when the political system came under the control of the political elite with the adoption of the parliamentary principle.

This year‘s speaker:

Kostas KOSTIS is professor of Economic and Social History at the Department of Econo-mics of the University of Athens. From 2006 until 2009 he occupied the Chair of Modern and Contemporary Greek Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He is a member of the administrative council of the Greek General State Archives and consultant to the Alpha Bank, Athens. His recent publications include: History‘s Spoiled Children: The Formation of the Modern Greek State, London 2018; The wealth of Greece. Greek economy in the 20th and 21st century, Athens 2019 (in Greek).

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik und Österreichische Gesellschaft für Neugriechische Studien


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