Northern Illinois University Press

Russian Society and the Greek Revolution

Theophilus C. Prousis

"Prousis tells this story with admirable skill.... Will hold a major place in the growing library on Philhellenism in nineteenth-century Europe."Russian Review

"Impressive.... No one interested in the rebellion of Alexander Ypsilantis, the rebirth of the Greek nation, or Russian-Ottman relations in the early nineteenth century can afford to ignore this volume."American Historical Review

"A welcome contribution of great value."
International History Review

In the 1820s the Greek War of Independence seized the imaginations of Romantics all across Europe. Lord Byron gave his life in the Greek cause, and scores of other writers and artists dedicated their talents to liberating the Greeks from the Ottoman yoke. Russians embraced Greek independence with a passion. Given the historical affinities that stretched from the Middle Ages, they could do no less.

While European currents such as classical Hellenism, romanticims, and humanism all helped to draw the Russians to the side of the Greeks, their common Orthodox faith and shared ties to Byzantium supplied the most powerful impetus. Although reasons of state made military intervention in the Greek revolt against the Ottoman Turks impossible, nearly all sectors of Russian society rallied in support of their fellow Orthodox Christians against the infidel in the south. The Russian's new philhellenism prompted the study of Greek history, culture, and letters.

Defenders of autocracy and the liberals who stood against them joined some of Russia's greatest writers in embracing the vision of Greek independence. Orthodox priests and scholars of antiquity alike supported the cause. From the romanticism of Pushkin to the radicalism of the Decembrists, Prousis's book examines the force of philhellenism in Russia, linking such diverse phenomena as relief aid and the classical revival to gauge the impact of one of the most influential events of the nineteenth century.

(1994) 273 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-193-3
cloth $35.50

Table of Contents

1 Russia and the Greek National Revival
2 The War Party
3 Greek Relief Aid
4 Russia's Classical Awakening
5 Russian Writers
6 Pushkin and Greece
7 Legacies of Russian Philhellenism
Selected Bibliography

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-193-3
cloth $35.50