Hellas Reborn: The Modern Greek Nation-State. A Balkan Problem of Identity. Greece as part of the Roman Empire and its continuance in the Byzantine Empire ‘Romeic’ identity: Rhomaioi Doctrinal schisms (Greek Orthodox vs. Roman Catholic) May 29, 1453: Fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Turks.
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“…uncertainty gave Greece’s accession to the European Community as its tenth member in 1981 a particular significance, for, aside from the perceived economic and political benefits of accession, it seemed to set the seal in an unambiguous way on her ‘Europeanness’. The Greek national movement had been remarkable in that it was the first to develop in a non-Christian environment, that of the Ottoman empire. One hundred and fifty years later, Greece’s full membership of the European Community was significant in that she was the first country with a heritage of Orthodox Christianity and Ottoman rule and with a pattern of historical development that marked her out from the existing members to enter the Community.”
~ Richard Clogg, Concise History of Greece
“The chaotic rout of the Greek forces in Asia Minor at the hands of the Turkish nationalists under Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) signalled the collapse of the ‘Great Idea’ and an ignominious end to Greece’s ‘civilising mission’ in the Near East.”
“In imitation of Hitler’s Third Reich Metaxas elaborated the notion of the ‘Third Hellenic Civilisation’. The first was that of ancient Greece, the second that of medieval Byzantium, the third being an amalgam of the essentially contradictory values of both which would enshrine and perpetuate the values of his regime.”
~Clogg, Concise History of Greece
“A recurring question in Neohellenism’s debate about its national fate concerns the physical depth and expanse of its cultural terrain. In this discussion, Greeks link the fate of their territory to the literary and artistic heritage of classical Greece. Furthermore, they attempt to specify the physical features of this inheritance. Then they set their administrative sights on embracing the larger geographical territory that reveals traces of these features.”
~ Artemis Leontis, Topographies of Hellenism: Mapping the Homeland
Nation as an ‘imagined community,’ imagined as inherently limited and sovereign. Nationalism grew out of the systems of religious community and the dynastic realm and was made possible by mass communications and print capitalism (“community in anonymity…is the hallmark of modern nations”)
Ethnic identities are socio-cultural constructions; they are not primordial, but rather fluid, attitudinal, and selective.
“It seems first of all to be quite clear that any concept of ethnic group defined on the basis of ‘cultural content’ will not suffice as a tool for the analysis of ethnicity in its various interactional contexts. Only when ethnic distinction, stratification, or dichotomization are part of the individual’s or group’s strategies for preserving or increasing control of resources, social status or other values is a meaningful interpretation feasible.”
~ Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference
“For the first time the nation surveys the hideous spectacle of its ignorance and trembles in measuring with the eye the distance separating it from its ancestors’ glory. This painful discovery, however, does not precipitate the Greeks into despair: We are the descendants of Greeks, they implicitly told themselves, we must try to become again worthy of the name, or we must not bear it.”
~before a Parisian audience in 1803