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New Conference to Shed Light on Greek War of Independence

Harvard
Harvard University Massachusetts Hall. A new conference, beginning tomorrow, will shed new light on the glorious Greek War of Independence, begun 200 years ago this year. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

On the occasion of the Bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence, the George Seferis Chair of Modern Greek Studies at Harvard University and the Constantine Karamanlis Chair of Hellenic and European Studies of the Fletcher School of Tufts University are sponsoring an international conference called “New Perspectives on the Greek Revolution.”

Beginning on Friday, a group of eminent scholars from different disciplines will discuss their  important event in European history in a comparative and diachronic perspective. Special emphasis will be based on the broader cultural, political, and economic context of the Greek War of Independence.

The conference will take place from September 24-25, 2021.

Introductory remarks will be made by Stratos Efthymiou, Consul General of Greece in Boston, and professors Constantine Arvanitopoulos (the Karamalis Chair) and Panagiotis Roilos ( the Seferis Chair). The conference  will feature the following speakers: Preofessors Mark Beissinger, Alan Herinkson, Costas Douzinas, Patreica Higonnet, Christina Koulouri, Konstantinos Botsiou, Nikos Alivatsos, Sophia Laiou, AlexandrosKyrou, Dimitris Keridis, Elizabeth Prodromou, Spyridon Vlacholpoulos, Kostas Lavdas, Evangelos Prontzas, Kostas Kostas, George Alogoskoufis, and Petros Vamvakas.

The Greek War of Independence was waged after more than 400 years of rule by the Ottoman Empire.

In 1814, three like-minded Diaspora Greeks came together in Odessa, in present-day Ukraine, at that time home to a thriving Greek community.

The three men formed a secret society called the Filiki Eteria (The Society of Friends)  with the decidedly “unfriendly” purpose of initiating an armed uprising to rid Greece of the Ottomans.

The three founders were Nikolaos Skoufas, from the province of Arta, Emmanuil Xanthos, from Patmos and Athanasios Tsakalov, from Ioannina.

The Filiki Eteria recruited mostly Phanariot Greeks from Russia, local chieftains from Greece, and Serbs into its ranks.

Two of its early outstanding members were Alexandros Ypsilantis, a prince and high-ranking officer of the Imperial Russian Cavalry, and Moldovan lord Michael Soutzos.

Future Greek War of Independence leaders such as Theodoros Kolokotronis, Odysseas Androutsos, Dimitris Plapoutas and the Metropolitan Germanos of Old Patras joined the effort as well.

In October of 1820, Ypsilantis decided to begin the revolution in Moldova.

The Turkish army met Ypsilanti’s men at Iasi. The Sacred Band and the army of volunteers were slaughtered in the Battle at Iasi.

Nevertheless, the revolutionary seed of the Filiki Eteria was planted, and the slogan “Liberty or Death” began to be uttered more and more on the lips of Greeks. The tide had turned.

To see the full agenda of the conference and lineup of speakers, please visit the following link: tiny url.com/Harvard-classics-events and tiny url.com/karamanlis-events.

To register for the conference please visit this site.

For those who would like to view the conference via Zoom, please register here.

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