Παρασκευή, 9 Μαρτίου 2012

The Formation of early Hellenic Nationalism and the special symbolic and material interests of the new radical, republican intelligentsia (ca.1790-1830)

Στο άρθρο αυτό επιχειρείται να διερευνηθούν τα ιδιαίτερα συμβολικά και υλικά συμφέροντα των διανοουμένων και των ακτιβιστών, οι οποίοι διαμόρφωσαν την επικρατούσα και σήμερα άποψη για το συλλογικό εθνικό υποκείμενο και την ιστορία του και οι οποίοι συγκρότησαν τη ριζοσπαστική δημοκρατική πτέρυγα των Ελλήνων πατριωτών πριν από το 1821. Επισημαίνονται οι λόγοι που επέτρεψαν την επικράτηση αυτής της «μειοψηφούσας» αλλά συνεκτικής άποψης μεταξύ των ηγετικών ομάδων του νεοσύστατου ελληνικού κράτους.
The Formation of Early Hellenic Nationalism
and the Special Symbolic and Material Interests
of the New Radical Republican Intelligentsia (ca. 1790-1830)
Socrates D. Petmezas
[Socrates D. Petmezas, "The Formation of Early Hellenic Nationalism and the Special Symbolic and Material Interests of the New Radical Republican Intelligentsia (ca. 1790-1830)", historein, vol. 1, Athens 1999, p. 51-74.]

Introduction: stating the problem
The early formation and rapid diffusion of an active and mobilising Hellenic national consciousness is a question social scientists have to confront when studying the creation of the Greek nation-state after a long and successful revolutionary war of independence (1821-1830).2 The formulation of a concomitant Hellenic “national idea,” directly inspired by the Enlightenment, was already completed at the beginning of the 19th century. Many Greek historians consider that the “revival of Greek national consciousness” started as early as the 13th century and matured, thanks to the so-called Greek Enlightenment, in the 18th.3 I think, however, that we should differentiate the novel Hellenic national idea from the older ecumenical identity of the Greek-Orthodox Christians in the Balkans and western Anatolia.4 This last group formed the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural congregation under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the patriarchate of Constantinople, self-termed as “Romaic”, meaning Roman (that is post-Byzantine) and Greek-Orthodox. The patriarchate and the dominant classes in the Greek-Orthodox community considered themselves to be the legitimate heirs of Byzantium (that is of the Christian Eastern Roman Empire) and of the Hellenic cultural legacy as embodied in the Greek-Orthodox ecclesiastical literary tradition.5 A “proto-national”6 consciousness existed before the 18th century, but it was a Romaic one, clearly distinct from the Hellenic which, as an imagined community, would be constituted at its expense.7
There are two versions explaining the war of independence in modern Greek historiography. The traditional “historicist” approach simply left aside the problem of national formation and thought in terms of a natural “Revival of the Greek Nation” and of its “self-evident and legitimate” aspiration to political independence.8 Furthermore, the Greek-Orthodox church, although described as a conservative – and sometimes intolerant – institution, was thought to be of strategic importance for the conservation of national-religious consciousness and for the diffusion of modern learning in Greece.9 The other version ascribed the so-called “Greek national revival” and the adoption of the ideas of the Enlightenment to the rise of a Greek mercantile bourgeoisie and diaspora and their needs for a unified economic area.10
These two approaches, largely inspired by Eurocentric interpretative models, are no longer satisfactory. The national(ist) historicist historiography is the direct product of the same process of national formation that it tries to examine. The theoretical prerequisite of historicism is that the nation, as a “natural” entity whose origins are lost in the dawn of time, is its privileged object of study. Recent development in the social sciences, which refutes the primordiality of national and ethnic links and posits the modernity of nations as a social and political phenomenon, denies the foundations upon which historicism, as a historiographic school, relies. The second approach was initiated by both liberal and Marxist historians who considered that the formation of modern nation-states in Western Europe and the development and diffusion of national ideas were directly linked to bourgeois interests for a unified internal market, a strong and rational state apparatus, a homogenous cultural-linguistic space and, sometimes, a secular and representative government. Nevertheless, as one moves towards central and eastern Europe it seems that nationalism and nation formation cannot be imputed to these factors since they tended to fractionate the emerging economic entities.11 Furthermore, so-called “Eastern nationalism” is ethnic and/or cultural rather than constitutional and republican. It is not the legitimate offspring of the humanistic Enlightenment but the furious descendant of exclusivist 19th-century Central European Romanticism.12
Thus a substitute to the bourgeoisie is required, and it is usually found in various social groups and strata. Miroslav Hroch has made the most promising comparative approach, showing the importance of intellectuals as producers of national ideologies and patriotic agitators in the case of the so-called “small European nations”.13 Any complete explanation of the national phenomenon has to integrate the fact that the universal domination of the idea of nation as a “natural and primordial human community” and the “striving for a world system of nation-states” cannot be reduced to simple epiphenomena of economic structures and must therefore take into account the importance of the powerful discursive strategies that had been able to replace the older and more ecumenical (usually religious or dynastic) discourses with nationalism as a dominant narration. A novel symbolic system,14 based on the idea of the world as a natural community of nations, substituted the older one, much in the same way that the idea of natural law had eliminated the belief in a divine law. Nonetheless, the “social constructivist” approach that focuses exclusively on nationalism as a “symbolic revolution” is equally reductionist, since it assumes that competing systems of mental representations, normative values, and ideological projects have an inherent ability to discipline social action and to produce, simply by their symbolic force, complex societal phenomena.15
A different approach will be attempted hereafter. Its purpose is to examine the material (but not only the economic) premises of symbolic action and efficiency, and to understand why, at a particular historical moment, various groups of “intellectuals” (I use this anachronistic term due to its convenience) produced, adopted, and diffused an innovating world-view that did not seem to be congruous either with the world in which they lived or with the aspirations of their fellow countrymen. Their “modern” theoretical discourse, no matter how well articulated and coherent, could not have imposed itself against the older “traditional” one if it did not serve the particular symbolic and cultural interests of those social groups that were able to “mobilise” themselves in order to support it.
Social groups, political parties and corporate bodies, in general, are produced and conceptualised as imagined – thus “materialised” – communities thanks to the constant, not voluntarily coherent but structurally oriented, ideological activity of “intellectuals”. It is intellectuals who are able to articulate the specific particular and corporate interests of the dominant social classes and transform them into the general and common world-view of a larger community, thus legitimising the domination of the upper classes, securing the consensus of the dominated and, last but not least, producing the logical conformism of the larger community towards these values and identities. Dominated social groups and strata find themselves embedded in the “mental blueprints” which are produced and diffused by the “organic” intellectuals of the dominant social bloc. Their identity and self-representation, their coordinated action as a group, and the discrete personal/familial strategies of their individual members are “products” of their own “organic” intellectuals, yet products bounded by the dominant symbolic order.16
This is not to say that intellectuals are the simple spokesmen of each social group or class, since their symbolic efficiency is dependent on their autonomy vis-à-vis specific social groups and actors. Intellectuals, both individually and as factional groups, have symbolic and material interests of their own, share common group values and rules of mutual interaction and competition, and finally have particular stakes (“enjeux”) which they fight for. Any novel theoretical discourse, such as the national(ist) one in our Greek case, is the product of intellectual work and internal competition among the “producers of meaning”. Before imposing a new world-view on the outside world, the novel discourse must establish its supremacy inside the autonomous “field” in which intellectuals are operating.17 The symbolic efficiency of any ideological discourse has to be evaluated in the particular circle of intellectuals where it is exposed before we assess its influence on the larger society. Competing factions of intellectuals, in order to impose their dominance inside a particular field and mobilise the social strata outside this field, usually adopt distinct discursive strategies. The first strives to exert a radical critique, shatter the internal coherence, deconstruct the opponent faction’s view, and delegitimise it as a dominating “doxa” in the particular autonomous intellectual “field”. Another discursive strategy addresses the surrounding social groups and, taking into consideration their particular symbolic needs, produces simplified messages in an idiom understood by them.
In this text I will examine the Greek case and show how the emerging group of radical republican intellectuals, constituted around a novel option for a Hellenic national consciousness, formulated two discursive strategies that were successful in delegitimising their intellectual opponents and gave new and attractive perspectives to larger social groups. This was tantamount to a “symbolic revolution”. The fact that they swiftly imposed their view among their peers is explained in terms of the particular symbolic interests and material ambitions the intellectuals shared in the specific “field” in which they were active. Furthermore, the success they had in the surrounding social sphere, in spite of its relative socio-economic archaism, is elucidated by the special needs of the social groups to whom they appealed as well as by the distinctive historical circumstances in which they acted. Special interest will be given to the discursive strategy they elaborated in order to delegitimise their ecclesiastical opponents and dominate the “symbolic field”. In order to do so they ultimately created a new “field”, which I will call scientific (or, in their own terminology, “philosophical”).
Various, conflicting, and sometimes self-contradictory discourses were involved in this process and constitute our primary sources. Nevertheless, some notable intellectual figures and texts stand out as central to our enterprise. They somehow constitute the theoretical backbone of the new symbolic system or the most limpid formulation of the old traditionalist view. Adamantios Korais is certainly the most important author18 of this period, as his political and other writings shaped the world-view of the largest number of young followers. His definition of Hellenic identity and historical narration of the Greek national revival has predominated ever since in modern Greece. Although these definitions now seem self-evident and somehow trivial, in his time they were viewed as radically novel and controversial.

Ottoman society and the Christian congregation
Ottoman society constituted, since the 15th century, a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional and multi-cultural patrimonial empire, its population being classified in institutionalised orders and religious congregations (millet) and fractured in multiple corporate bodies (professional corporations, territorial communities, privileged family clans and tribal groups). Each of these imposed on its members a particular identity and allegiance. Since every Ottoman subject could be, and was, a member of more than one order and corporate body, a specific hierarchy of identities and allegiances was always an object of negotiation between these bodies and their members. There was no common identity that could command or pretend to command a primary and indivisible allegiance from all (as a national allegiance requires in our time).
In this pre-capitalist society the economic sphere was not yet distinct from the social and political spheres. Exchange of material goods with symbolic ones was legitimate; particular symbolic or cultural goods were normally exchanged for economic goods insofar as they were both thought to be compatible with the exchange spheres which they involved.19 Thus economic capital could be used to acquire a symbolic good, such as priesthood, an administrative office, access to a privileged social group, etc. A Romaic archon household would “purchase” priesthood for one of its members and would later acquire an arch-episcopal see, use its social prestige to marry another into a rich merchant family, send a youngster to study medicine in Padua for a long period, etc. Some goods (symbolic or cultural rather than economic) were thought to be monopolised by particular social orders. Only the exchange of goods belonging to different spheres or, sometimes, the commerce between persons of different social orders were opprobrious and reprehensible. A rich family of notables could legitimately spend a large sum of money to assure that a bishop attends a particular ecclesiastical service it commanded (wedding, baptism, etc.). In such a case, “buying” and “selling” the holy sacraments were legitimate and legal acts (although canon law formally proscribed them). If a parvenu, lay or cleric, tried to achieve the same thing by the same means, such an act would be considered either illegal or a contemptuous sign of bad taste. The exchange of economic goods with symbolic ones was thought to be natural and, even, a bargain for the laity. A career in the Greek-Orthodox church was, for young upper-class Christians in the post-Byzantine Balkans, one of the most convenient ways to secure control of economic and social resources. Access to prelacy or priesthood, appointment as bishop or parish-vicar leading to appropriation of revenues and to the honors and social and political influence linked to this high position, were indispensable parts of any familial strategy that strived to assure the reproduction of its social position. The symbolic and social (and to a lesser degree economic) domination of the church hierarchy can be paralleled with seigniorial domination in feudal societies.20 It was founded not on physical but on symbolic violence, that is on the consensus of the dominated classes thanks to the complete domination of the symbolic system by the church.
In the Ottoman ecumene, Islam dominated institutionally the religious field and constantly threatened the Christian churches to deprive them of their flocks. To prevent this fatal development and assure the reproduction of their congregations, ecclesiastical lords had adopted three distinct strategies. They reinvigorated the church hierarchy in order to concentrate its power; they expanded and reinforced the parish system to monitor closely each Christian family unit; and, finally, they asked and were given a quasi-monopoly on the administration of family and, partly, of civil law inside their religious community. These “privileges” were conferred by the Ottoman sultan and, in return, the Orthodox hierarchy offered its tacit support and legitimisation of his rule.
The political and social order of the Christian congregation in the Ottoman empire was ideologically legitimised by the symbolic system which was organised and reproduced around the Greek-Orthodox church.21 All spheres of the familial (marriage, divorce, inheritance) and social (birth, death, education) life of Greek-Orthodoxs were actually regulated by the church. Its symbolic domination was secured thanks to the immaterial arms at its disposition (excommunication and its counterpart, indulgence) and to the long and patient ideological work of its clerics. Any scientific, cultural and, generally, ideological activity in the Christian community was monitored, judged and finally sanctioned or chastised by them. Furthermore, any such activity was usually expressed in the particular idiom of religious orthodoxy and was certainly limited by its conceptual framework. Religion serves as a cognitive system before it can function as a system of mystification.22 It can be said that no independent intellectual or scientific career could be pursued outside church control. The rules of intellectual and scientific research and behaviour, as well as the specific praise and disavowal of intellectual practices, depended on the values, principles and power-relations structured inside the “Christian religious field”. Very few lay intellectuals can be traced before the second half of the 18th century, and these were never independent of church authorities. Most intellectuals were monks and clergymen, either descendants of notable families, or men of humble origin, moving upwards through the channels of monastic careers23 and ecclesiastical favouritism. It was mostly, but not exclusively, the former group that studied in the most distinguished centers of learning, usually in Italy or Central Europe, and had a career open in the church hierarchy and the ecclesiastically-controlled educational system. All intellectual and scientific activity was thus dominated by the religious sphere that controlled access, imposed the rules of contact and, ultimately, dictated its judgment and values in the dependent educational-scientific “subfield”.
The ideological discourse of the Orthodox prelates was characterised by the preaching of “submission”, i.e. the legitimisation of Ottoman reign as an expedient of divine providence and an instrument in the economy of salvation, which was a fundamental part of ecclesiastical narration on history and its meaning.24 This ideological discourse heavily influenced the political and social ideas of the Christian congregation. Furthermore, four centuries of Ottoman domination and ecclesiastical symbolic authority had inscribed in the Christian population of the empire a new collective “habitus”, that is, an active system of corporally embedded pre-dispositions, cultural practices and mental representations.25 Each social order and group had its own distinctive habitus according to the composition of its capital (economic, cultural, social, symbolic) and its position in “social space”.26 The symbolic representation of the various and distinct social and political groups in Ottoman society (as in any other society) resulted ultimately from the activity of the “producers of meaning”, thus of the intellectuals. The production and reproduction of the general consensus on the symbolic order of things in Ottoman society, so important for the legitimisation of the political and social status-quo, should also be understood as an activity that constituted the social groups themselves. In other words, the symbolic representation of political groups and social classes in the Christian congregation was an active factor in the reproduction of social relations and ethnic-cultural identities.

Producers and consumers of “modern” symbolic capital in the 18th century
The 18th century witnessed a fundamental reconfiguration of socio-political and economic relations in the Christian community. This of course was an integral part of a larger process, that of the integration of the Ottoman world-empire in the capitalist world-economy and world inter-state system dominated by Western Europe.27 Two new social groups emerged. The first was a group of Christian archons (Phanariots) who were co-opted into the Ottoman administrative machine as interpreters of the foreign ministry and the admiralty, and later as appointed rulers (voyvodes) of the autonomous Moldavian and Valachian principalities.28 The other was a dynamic class of financiers, merchants and artisans that were usually engaged in trading with the Western world. Both needed a detailed and updated knowledge of Western culture and technology (a novel “cultural capital” which was rare in the Ottoman world) and gave employment to three groups larger in numbers: lower echelon administrators around the Phanariot elite; employees in merchant houses (who were speaking European languages and commanding modern accounting and financial techniques); and, finally, the teaching staff necessary for the reproduction of this new “cultural capital”. Modern curriculum well informed of European knowledge (languages, civilisation practices, and cultural goods) was for the first time indispensable for a relatively large audience that was constantly growing in numbers and importance.
Only a fraction of the global merchant class was interested in trade with the European world-economy, while the bulk of church prelates, priests and monks did not need this novel curriculum for the reproduction of their specific symbolic and cultural capital.29 The same was true for the large number of low-ranking church officials, merchant employees, educators, provincial notables, etc. They simply needed an elementary learning of the sacred church language (a petrified and archaic form of medieval Greek) and a minimal knowledge of arithmetic. Although they formed the majority of the Greek-Christian congregation, their economic and social influence was nonetheless stagnating, while that of the novel social groups was rapidly expanding.
If the consumers of educational goods can be clearly divided into two groups, the producers were not so distinctively differentiated. Teachers and intellectuals (of both “modern” and “traditional” curricula) came from the same original pool. In the 18th century, an overproduction of candidates for positions in education is observed.30 A learned man had to struggle for a long time to secure the position of a well-paid teacher in one of the prominent schools, mostly administered by the church hierarchy or the urban communities (that is the merchants and notables). During the 18th century a number of “modern schools” were instituted, mainly in the Danubian principalities or in towns known for their commercial links with the European economy, in order to satisfy the need for a modern “curriculum”. Only a small part of the teaching population was able to find employment in those well-paid positions in “modern” schools, and in order to do so they had to command the novel cultural capital. As a result, “traditional” teachers (monks and clerics who did not have the required knowledge) tried to block this development by slander and malign accusations against their opponents, that is by marginalising them and, on some occasions, by achieving their excommunication.31 A violent controversy over the curriculum in schools and – of course – a thinly veiled rivalry over the salaries paid to “modern” teachers was a permanent reality in the 18th century. Higher church officials and lay notables were not necessarily against modern curriculum. They even openly sympathised with its most conservative versions, but could not estrange themselves from the larger group of lower rank-and-file members of the church and its congregation who still suspected the enlightened intellectuals as schismatic or, God forbid, atheists.
For their part the few intellectuals who had been associated with this “modern” curriculum were obliged to rely for protection on the few (but powerful) enlightened prelates, Phanariots and rich merchants whose educational needs they satisfied. They were split into competing factions, and fought in order to achieve distinction and fame–and thus in order to dominate–their small, but rapidly growing, circle. By competing they even set the agenda that would serve as a common platform for mutual understanding and recognition. In the late 18th and early 19th century, the “language question” sharply divided them: which was the form of Greek that could better serve as a sophisticated medium of communication and education for the Greek Orthodox community and the vehicle for the organisation of an enlightened modern Greek culture?32 Although it was a contest for power within their small circle, this question served, in a sense, as a medium of unification and dissociation from all those who could not grasp the acuity of this problem. Through their contention over the rational solution of a common problem, they thus created a particular self-identity as enlightened “philosophers” and instituted an internal and autonomous hierarchy of distinctions, values, and modes of achieving consensus. Closely dependent for their self-definition on the ideas and ideological constructs of the European Enlightenment, they could not, in their intellectual pursuit, be separated from its theoretical context and powerful drive towards secularisation, political radicalism, and the pursuit of progress. As long as the political and social status-quo in Ottoman society was unblemished, their intellectual vagaries were of small importance and did not command any support outside a small circle of initiated adherents. They faced the sour everyday life of the isolated enlightened intellectual in a universe of ignorance and bigots. Their political agenda was equally timid.

The nationalist symbolic revolution and its context
Then, in the last quarter of the 18th century, after the successful Russian war against the Ottoman Port (1768-1776), military and diplomatic power relations in the Balkan peninsula were dramatically reversed. For the first time, the replacement of the Ottoman sultanate by a Greek-Orthodox monarchy seemed to be a reasonable prospect; a large number of high echelon prelates, Phanariots and notables, openly sided with the Russians,33 and an even larger number eagerly awaited a new war to make their move. This novel political situation demanded a new and unprecedented political discourse and gave marginal intellectuals of various sides the possibility to address a larger audience interested in the prospect of a radically different world-view. The first and careful calls for a new political order were inspired by the vision of an enlightened monarchy and inscribed into a Romaic proto-nationalist project.34 They were related to the spread of millenarian rumors and the production and diffusion of popular “prophecies” about the imminent fall of the infidel kingdom and the rise of a Greek-Orthodox dynasty.35 All the prominent figures of the first and second generations of the Balkan Enlightenment were active in that direction.36 The Romaic content and clearly pro-Russian orientation of these texts is well established. In some cases, the texts had a militant and revolutionary content as the Iketiria, a supplicatory call for the liberation of the “Greeks” (Graikoi) from Ottoman Muslim “despotism”, and the installation of a Greek-Orthodox monarchy.37 Otherwise these texts were a politically uncommitted and serene analysis of the constitution of the “Greek” (or “Romaic” as Katartzis called it) nation (“ethnos”) as a body politic, with its established historical, religious and cultural origins, its political institutions, and ruling social groups. In both kinds of texts “Greeks” or “Romioi” were not “Hellenes”. They could be “Raskian Greeks”, that is Serbs, or any Greek-Orthodox living south of the Danube. Their identity was “Greek” in its origins, both genealogically and religiously, but they could speak and use a host of languages. Yet the “Hellenic heritage” was an important element, if not the only one, of their identity. Both in the Iketiria (1772) and in Katartzis’ works,38 the Hellenic genealogy was not direct and exclusive but one of many components, and certainly less important than the religious Greek-Orthodox.39
The French revolution and its political radicalism were responsible for a new major ideological shift that divided the small circle of enlightened intellectuals and led to an essentially novel conceptualisation of the symbolic order in the Greek-Orthodox Christian congregation. A small but active group of political activists and patriots (intellectuals, teachers, merchants and some Phanariots and notables) proposed and was mobilised by a different collective identity (Hellenic and nationalist instead of Romaic and proto-nationalist), a radical political project (a Hellenic republic instead of the enlightened Greek-Orthodox monarchy), and a revolutionary societal transformation (a clear reference to the liberal and bourgeois ideology of the French revolution).
Now a clear dissociation of this intellectual and political elite from the official ecclesiastical authorities was confirmed. Although their strong anti-clericalism was mitigated by their declared individual Christian devotion, it is clear that they considered the Greek-Orthodox faith as a mere epiphenomenon of their national identity and used it as a mobilising reference for the illiterate masses.
The understandable hesitation of the social and political heads of the Greek-Orthodox community to completely dissociate themselves from the most careful and conservative variations of the “modern” discourse, personified by the older generations of Greek Enlightenment,40 had left the position of church apologists vacant; this position was now occupied by a fervent fundamentalist group that undertook a violent ideological campaign against the modern intellectuals and teachers and blamed their protectors on higher echelons. The “fundamentalists” (once again a rather anachronistic term used for its convenience) came from the same social and intellectual background as many of the enlightened intellectuals and educators, but they chose a totally different symbolic strategy in order to dominate the ideological arena.41 They formulated an ideological discourse that can be labeled as a clear attempt of “retraditionalisation”, in the sense given to the term by Clifford Geertz.42 This ambitious attempt was initiated at a time of political and diplomatic crisis (the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt) and used the occasion to ultimately dominate the Christian religious field, that is to control the patriarchal institution and the holy synod.43
It was against this attempted retraditionalisation that a novel, coherent, powerful and successful discourse was immediately asserted and rapidly dominated the ideological sphere. The prudent enlightened intellectuals of the older generation, unwilling to commit themselves, both intellectually and politically, with either side, had evacuated the “public sphere” and demobilised themselves. Their enlightened discourse sounded vacuous when they criticised the radicalism of the republicans and their Christian conviction hollow when measured by the yardstick of the “re-traditionalists”. Their political circumspection was rejected by both sides. In a few years such important and formerly respected figures like Voulgaris, Theotokis, and Katartzis (to mention the most prominent) seemed antiquated and were transformed into (living but inert) references, strategically manipulated by the conflicting factions.44
The Enlightenment as a discourse of progress, science and reason was an idiom of social criticism and inherently contained a radical political agenda founded on civil equality and personal freedom. Its very message opposed the ecclesiastical discourse which was based on a theodicy of submission to religious dogma and secular power. The inoculation of the new specialised practical or scientific knowledge and cultural paradigms of the Enlightenment in the “traditional” theologico-philosophical corpus, which was dominated by the Greek-Orthodox Church, had not left the old symbolic order and its social foundations unshattered. Such an inculcation is not always without an unintended destabilising effect on the coherence of the dominant symbolic system, since it requires the adoption of theoretical stratagems and the formulation of special codes of transcription.45 Nevertheless, there were parts of the enlightened discourse that were simply impossible to insert into the dominant religious world view and, in such a case, their proponents were only tolerated as long as they did not question the dominant position of the church. On the other hand, the most prudent proponents, open to any compromise, diluted the coherence of their discourse and thus risked being marginalised and delegitimised, to the benefit of the radicals who wished for an open clash (at least symbolically) with the dominant religious ideology.
The new generation of intellectuals, whom I shall call “radical republicans” in order to distinguish them from the larger group of enlightened intellectuals and “modern” teachers, articulated a novel Hellenic national idea. This revolutionary project was clearly distinct from the earlier timid Romaic calls for an enlightened Greek-Orthodox monarchy. They also demanded the acknowledgment that scientific research should have its rules, values and purpose; in other words, they strove for the constitution of a separate “scientific field” that, by definition, they perceived as independent from and fundamentally superior to the religious sphere. Their scientific activity, which produced some fine intellectual achievements, cannot be separated from their ideological production. Their scientific discourse included as an ultimate objective, and legitimised as a rational expectation,46 the constitution of an independent Hellenic nation-state, once the large national audience (still unconscious of its “real identity”) would be educated and, thus, morally prepared to accept their “philosophical” (and accordingly “self-evident”) point of view and assume its consequences, i.e., the obligation to fight for “freedom”, that is national independence and republican institutions. Republican liberal institutions were thought of as ends inseparable from Hellenic national reaffirmation. The matrix of early Hellenic nationalism is constructed on the French constitutional model of nation and nationalism. It would take three generations of intellectuals and the affirmation of many concurrent Balkan “romantic” nationalisms to partly disentangle Hellenic nationalism from its constitutional matrix and produce a new rival model out of a powerful blend of romantic nationalism and some of the most inane and insipid mytho-moteurs of the old Romaic tradition.
What differentiated the radical republican nationalist discourse from its timid Romaic antecedents was the fact that it produced and rapidly imposed on a large intellectual audience a completely separate national identity and name (the Hellenic) as well as a new historical narrative (and a new sense of life) for this national subject, and firmly embedded them in the necessary biological metaphors (the nation as a large family, a member of a natural commonwealth of nations, etc.). To measure the success of this radical discourse, one simply has to notice that in less than twenty-five years even its political opponents had accepted this new identity, and the Greek War of Independence was officially conducted in the name of the Hellenic nation.

Korais : producing the Hellenic nation as a subject of history
The earlier observed cases of the influence of the French revolutionary message and military presence in the Balkans were not linked to a novel Hellenic national discourse. When the French invaded and captured the Ionian islands (until then under Venetian rule), they had an easy task in finding enthusiastic local support, since the peculiar Venetian feudal institutions had grown particularly oppressive to the peasants and restrictive to bourgeois economic development. Nevertheless, as reflected in two bilingual declarations circulated in the Greek world,47 the officially endorsed French ideological propaganda towards Greek-Orthodox Ottoman subjects had been careful in transcoding, correcting, and enlarging the Greek part of the text by using the traditional Romaic references –despite the fact that French originals had been directly inspired by classical references to Hellas and the Hellenic democratic institutions. The “habitants de la Gréce” were translated as “Romaioi tes Ellados” and the most radical national references were either obliterated or transformed into traditional calls for a revolt against the infidel “Sultan”, the “Pope of Rome”, etc. Their revolutionary impact on the larger Greek-Orthodox masses was null.
Another radical national project directly inspired by the French republican example was activated by a small group of conspirators headed by Rigas Velestinlis, who is now the archetypal hero and martyr of the Greek national movement. He was born in Thessaly, studied in the modern curriculum, and started his career in the Phanariot bureaucracy in the Danubian principalities, where he proved himself a successful intellectual and author of books of scientific popularisation. As a political essayist he was a fervent propagandist of the republican ideas inspired by the French revolution. He wrote a widely diffused revolutionary hymn (Thourios), published a map of Greece (the 1797 “Charta tes Ellados”) which covers the entire Balkan peninsula and, finally, secretly printed a brochure entitled A New Political Government, a constitution copied from the French model that was to be his revolutionary manifesto. He was arrested in Vienna, his brochure confiscated and destroyed, and he was extradited to the Ottomans who executed him in Belgrade in 1797 along with his fellow comrades. Although Rigas Velestinlis made extensive use of Hellenic democratic references, his political project can be understood better in the context of a larger Romaic republican commonwealth, ethnically neutral and tolerant of all religious communities.48
This last revolutionary incident had a larger impact in the Greek-Orthodox community than French propaganda. The radical challenge, this time, originated from its internal intellectual environment and the patriarchate, led by the conservative and prudent Gregory V, considered it necessary to respond. Early in 1798, Paternal Instruction, a pamphlet written by an unknown “fundamentalist” and attributed to Anthimos, the late Patriarch of Jerusalem, was published in order to delegitimise the aborted revolutionary movement of Rigas. In this pamphlet the standard cosmological narration of history as the recurrent epiphany of Divine Grace to counter the designs of Satan (who is omnipresent as the locomotive of history) was exposed once again,49 endowed with a new final act where the Fallen Angel employs false liberty, promised by its instruments, the French revolutionaries and libertines, to incite the Orthodox Christians in civil and social disobedience and thus, on the very eve of the Final Judgment, lead them off the road to Salvation. In this pamphlet, standard Greek-Orthodox historical and cosmological narration is given in full for the last time: Salvation is a collective enterprise led by the Church. The Greek-Orthodox congregation, substituting itself for the Jews who betrayed Christ, moves in a time symbolically filled with Divine Presence towards the end of the Cosmos (the final judgment and resurrection of the dead) and its final salvation. The Ottoman dynasty is nothing less than an actor in the economy of divine providence; it assures, since its appearance, the just disciplinisation and necessary protection of the Greek-Orthodox congregation. The pamphlet addresses all audiences. After the first part which discussed the principles of cosmological history for all readers, a second part targeting the intellectual elite was meant to examine the question of “real and false liberty” from a “philosophical” point of view, using Aristotelian categories to classify political regimes and establish the relationship between the corrupted political regimes and false liberty. Finally a long poem addressed the humblest and less sophisticated readership and exposed the necessity of a secular socio-political order organised around the same principles as the eternal cosmic order. This transcendental order, sanctified by God’s example as protecting Father and Absolute Ruler, is exemplified in Nature and its rigorous, hierarchical, and ever-unchangeable order. The natural world provides thus the loci of metaphors that will demonstrate to the semi-literate the necessity of economic inequality, social-hierarchical discipline, and political absolutism. The “naturalisation” of socio-political order and its sanctification was the primary political object of the Paternal Instruction.
A few months later, in the Fraternal Instruction, his first political booklet, Adamantios Korais (1798), who was already a celebrated classicist, responded to this fundamentalist pamphlet. In this and other political brochures that followed in the next five years, he expounded a view of history that was radically incompatible with the religious one. History was to be understood as the voyage of a secular vessel (the “Hellenic” nation) through a serial and tamed historical time, empty of any divine or satanic presence. A rational and inevitably national-republican future was proclaimed as its ultimate end. The Hellenic nation was explicitly named (Hellenic instead of Romaic or Grecian), given a detailed history,50 and considered as part of a larger world of democratic nations51 voluntarily composed of individuals. Enlightened education was the only way in which individuals could gain consciousness of their national identity and, as a result, strive to achieve the independence of a Hellenic republic, where a place is reserved for all citizens without discrimination of faith or class. Korais’s nation is clearly a constitutional conglomeration of free individuals and not yet a collective subject with anthropomorphic and immanent characteristics. References52 to biological descent and collective characteristics (nation as family that we do not choose, etc.) are no more than descriptive metaphors and do not yet carry any essentialist or immanent meaning. The Christian affiliation was never negated; it had actually been transformed into a contingent and descriptive characteristic of the “Hellenes of the present time.”
Korais used the “syntactic structures” of ecclesiastical narration to legitimise a novel vocabulary and rearrange the symbolic order. He manipulated, as many nationalists after him, various pre-national Romaic mytho-moteurs in order to invest his novel narration with the symbolic respectability of repeated myths. The symbolic efficiency of his message should not be measured against its diffusion (which is impossible to estimate) among the popular and illiterate masses, but against its influence on the intellectual products of his disciples, colleagues, and opponents. In 1811, Perdikaris denigrated Rigas Velestinlis’ political plans but used, almost without any alteration, Korais’s historical narration of the fall of the Greek nation.53 Hereafter, many of Korais’s bitter opponents had to think in his terms of a world of nations and their rights.

Delegitimising the symbolic opponent
Korais was very sensitive to the effort of the author of the Paternal Instruction to specifically address the “philosophers” by using their specialised vocabulary to convince them of the incompatibility of false liberty with righteous Aristotelian political regimes. But he refused altogether to enter into a debate with a “theologian” over liberty and philosophy. He was the first to deny to the church prelates and theologians any right to have an authoritative opinion on “philosophy”, by which he understood almost all our scientific disciplines. As for himself, he implicitly considered having the right to an authoritative opinion on matters of religion and faith; he thus openly rebuked any special monopoly of the church hierarchy on the interpretation of the holy scriptures.54 It was a complete inversion of the existing symbolic hierarchy, where the theologians and the church prelates had the obligation and the right to censure and indict the philosophers. Korais and his followers were now indicting them as falsifiers of the holy scripts and “traitors” in the service of an infidel and tyrannical despot.
Adamantios Korais55 was not the only one who asked for a complete separation of philosophy and theology.56 He was certainly the most radical and served as a model for a generation of republican intellectuals. In a few years, a number of booklets were printed that violently attacked the established socio-political status-quo and symbolic order.57 These publications must have been just part of the intellectual struggle also traced in some diffuse or then unpublished manuscripts,58 as well as in the numerous cases of skirmishes and open clashes on education and educational policy in Greek-Orthodox schools operating in the largest and richest Ottoman cities.59 Their common denominator was their radical republican content (variations on the themes already touched on by Korais), on the one hand, and their coherent strategy of delegitimisation of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, on the other. I will concentrate on the essential nucleus of the second aspect since the first is already known and largely exposed.
The prelates were accused of being hypocritical like the Pharisees and profiteers like the Publicans. False Christians living like cruel, depraved, and rapacious feudal lords.60 False pastors leading their Christian flock to submission to an infidel monarch.61 Profiteers who use their sacred ministry to accumulate money and trade their grace for material goods and services.62 Republican intellectuals had delegitimised their ecclesiastical opponents as unworthy manipulators of sacred goods by making parallel reprimands about the sexual vices of prelates and abbots.63 The sexual depravity of the latter was symbolically equated to their desacralisation. Contrary to Christian dogma,64 the perceived personal immorality of prelates became a negative marker of their sacerdotal purity and, thereafter, of their symbolic legitimacy as social and political authorities.
A main target of this discourse was the weaponry of symbolic constraint used by church prelates, such as the powers of excommunication and indulgence that had proved to be formidable means of social disciplinisation and symbolic domination.65 Another dual target was, on the one hand, the ideological control exerted on Greek-Orthodox Christians through formal education and, on the other, the influence of the monks who were ultimately viewed as the main vehicles of superstition and obscurantism in society in general and in education in particular. Education was considered the royal road to enlightenment, material progress, and national consciousness. At the same time, employment in schools was the main, if not the only, means of living of most intellectuals, either “modern” or traditional. Fight over its control was vital, and the main opponents of the young radical intellectuals were the conservative teachers recruited mainly from among monks. Educational obscurantism was again equated with national treason.
Christian tyrants were constantly paralleled to the Ottoman pashas, both enemies of rationalism, education, and political freedom. This rhetoric was not by itself new but, integrated into a national political program, suddenly acquired a remarkable symbolic efficiency.66 Although writers were careful to differentiate between the many virtuous prelates and the few but influential and ignominious “Pharisees”, this last group served to construct the standard image of the high ecclesiastical authorities.
In spite of extreme cases of personal depravity, these seigniorial manners of ecclesiastical and lay notables were, until that time, neither novel nor socially reprehensible, since they were embedded in the legitimately differentiated transactional spheres I have already described as well as in the legitimised political compromise established since the 14th century between Christian ecclesiastical and lay archons and the Ottoman Porte. The new national and bourgeois morality demanded by the radical republican intellectuals asked for public and individual virtue to be shown by every archon, ecclesiastical or lay. Furthermore, it proposed a radically different distinction of the transactional spheres. Symbolic goods (the holy sacraments and ministerial grace) became free gifts that were individually pursued and granted. Material goods were (or more likely should be) evaluated in the free market against other compatible goods.
The monopoly of distinction (between moral and immoral, exchangeable and non-exchangeable goods) was recognised as the domain of free and rationally thinking individuals. In reality it was a domain monopolised by the distinguished manipulators of “rationality” and “science”: that is the open circle of “philosophers” with its rational rules and virtuous values. Of course this autonomous field was to be independent of church dominance. A much repeated demand of the enlightened intellectuals and, more urgently, of the radical republicans was precisely the independence of philosophy from theology and the concomitant monopolisation of education. A second social reform demanded by many of the intellectuals67 was the transformation of the church into a public salaried bureaucracy subordinate to the “modern” and “scientific” state envisioned by philosophers. These two reforms would be rapidly materialised after the constitution of an independent Hellenic nation-state under the direction of some of the most distinguished radical intellectuals. The autocephalous (independent) Hellenic church would become a nationalised institution closely monitored and controlled by the state authorities while education, totally cut off from church influence, would be no less nationalised in form and content.

Both Korais’ historical narration and symbolic construction of Hellenic national self-identity and his disciples’ assertions about the ambivalent position of ecclesiastical authorities under Ottoman rule, are now aspects of self-evident “national truisms” in Greece. They became rapidly popular in the lifetime of their first advocates while their reform program was adopted by the young Hellenic nation-state and the radical intellectuals themselves took an active part in the building of its educational and ecclesiastical institutions. The symbolic efficiency of the nationalist rhetoric, which entailed the dissolution of the former symbolic system (ecumenical, religious and dynastic world-view, accepting the functioning of different and overlapping transactional spheres) should be understood and explained on two levels. Their ideological efficiency stemmed from the internal interests of the growing circle of modern intellectuals and teachers. The constitution and autonomous function of an independent scientific “field” and the monopolisation of the educational system and its symbolic and economic resources, explain the rapid consensus built among the interested intellectuals, especially younger ones. This novel contention better served the specific interests (material, cultural and symbolic) of the larger part of their colleagues (the “modern” teachers and enlightened intellectuals) and thus, once expressed, echoed loudly among them. The swift success of the new nationalist discourse outside the narrow group of intellectuals, which we can describe as an “extra-field” consequence, and which is more important on the macro-historical level, demands another kind of explanation.
Once the Greek War of Independence was initiated, the nationalist political project appealed better to the interests of many powerful figures of the Romaic community. I do not imply a direct causal link between nationalism and a hypothetical bourgeoisie striving for the revolutionary political unification of an already existent economic sphere which adequately explains this phenomenon. On the contrary, this revolt did not serve the economic interests of the larger number of merchants and of the high Phanariot class. The groups that were better mobilised were the local and provincial notables and armed militia leaders and, finally, all those who had gambled on the fall of the Ottoman power. The nationalist political and symbolic discourse, articulated by a small but militant intellectual group, could mobilise them, and give them a sense of common territorial identity (the war was ultimately fought in southern Greece) as well as a supplementary power project compatible with their own political interests: the constitution of a state that could be part of the world inter-state system, both functionally and ideologically. This political discourse both secured growing support by European philhellenes, since it was recognizable by them, and it could and did make ample use of the old Romaic rhetoric. This rhetoric was strategically manipulated (even distorted) by radical republicans, provincial notables and rebel leaders, but it was always subordinate to the dominant national ideology. It served well those who gained and held power, since this rhetoric legitimised the new allocation of power. After the formal dissolution of all legal corporate bodies mediating between the modern state and the new citizen, state-power was more concentrated, penetrating deeper into the structures of everyday life and sociability, exerting unparalleledsocial and mental control.
The illiterate peasants and rebels themselves did incorporate parts of this “modern” symbolic discourse into their vocabulary and used it to express their own demands.68 The Greek War of Independence secured for them free access to the land, and the Hellenic nationalist rhetoric provided them (before, during, and after the war) with a new sense of identity, justice, and social position, that is, a new “sociodicy”. The new politically dominant classes found an incomparable power resource that could give meaning to their social position and assure social cohesion. Nationalism took the place of religion as the key reference in the new symbolic system that legitimated the political and social status-quo, gave coherence to the self image of all social groups (themselves articulated as groups thanks to the symbolically efficient work of intellectuals) and relative stability to the paramount political institutions. One can add that for a large number of well-educated Phanariots, the young state proved (as expected) a valuable source of political distinction, social reproduction, and economic benefits. The merchant class was probably the social group that profited less from the war and from the constitution of the young nation-state, but nonetheless it adhered earlier and more eagerly than any other social group to the ideological discourse of Hellenic nationalism. The new Hellenic identity was almost imposed on this group by their bitter professional rivals in the first half of the 19th century: the European merchants and state powers in the Mediterranean commercial world.69 This novel identity proved to be a powerful social marker that permitted them to integrate more successfully into the world market and the different European host societies as a distinguishable, compact, and yet acceptable and modern social group.
The radical republican intellectuals and the support they mobilised during the war of independence were able to overthrow religious domination in the symbolic system of Greek society, but they were unwilling to further radicalise their anti-clerical and anti-religious stance. Any such radicalisation would endanger the project of nation-building since the new body politic was not formed (as in Western Europe) inside a culturally homogeneous and economically integrated territorial entity in which instituted social markers and political privileges were crushed without putting in danger its overall social cohesion. On the contrary, the body politic was formed and expanded in a culturally polymorphous society by transforming religious difference into a national marker. It was later, well into the 19th century, when such an endeavor met the competition of other Balkan nationalisms, that the linguistic and cultural component became the dominant marker.
Contrary to the view of Stokes,70 the rapid success of Hellenic nationalism was not the mimetic result of a process of ideological diffusion of Western ideas into Balkan realities, but rather the unique and unintended outcome of a complex internal development in a society experiencing its integration into the expanding European world economy and inter-state system. It was a contingent development that was enacted by incidental acts, but that was embedded in structured potentialities. The construction of a powerful Hellenic national identity and its successful inoculation into different social strata was just one of these potential historical trajectories. A Romaic national identity (foreign to the Hellenic and republican one) could have been imposed as a solution, or the whole process of the development of a Hellenic nationalism could have been delayed for some decades as happened in the Bulgarian case.

(This paper was presented at the 1st European Social Science History Conference (Amsterdam May 9-11, 1996), session 82 thank all of them for their generous assistance.
By “national consciousness” I simply refer to the fact that individuals acknowledge that all human beings are primarily, naturally and permanently classified according to their unique and indelible national identity and that they, as a consequence, have consciousness of their identity. Such an identity does not necessarily entail the formulation of a political project leading to the affirmation of this national group as an independent body politic. When the (elected or self-imposed) representatives of such a national group have articulated a general political project, then we can define it as the “national idea” of the given group.
See G. Xydis, “Medieval origins of modern Greek nationalism”, Balkan Studies, 9 (1968), pp. 1-20. And A.E. Vakalopoulos, 9), no.2, pp.149-192.
I use the term Hellenic in order to differentiate 19th and 20th century national identity in modern Greece from the earlier, not so clear, use of terms like Graikos, Romios and, sometimes, Ellinas, which were all more or less synonymous for the Greek-Orthodox Christians of the Ottoman heartland. Hereafter, I use the term Greek to allude to the ambiguous use of this word (Ellinas) by contemporary scholars who refer, without proper discrimination, to the representatives of the larger Greek-Orthodox Ottoman community, mostly hellenized or Greek-speaking, who probably considered themselves not as Hellenes but simply as “Romaioi” and Christians. In this way modern national historiography appropriates its subject matter and nominalistically reconstructs it as proof of national continuity.
One should, of course, also mention the independent Serbian Churches of Ipek and Sremski Karlovci (this last covered Serbian populations under Habsbourg rule) that used old-Slavonic as their liturgical language and perpetuated the legacy of an independent medieval Christian Serbian Kingdom. The “Bulgarian” Church of Ohrid was much less active in that sense. Both Churches of Ipek and Ohrid were intergated into the ecclesiatical jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1766/1767.
For the “proto-national” political movements see E. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780. Cambridge, 1990, 46 ff.
Dimitrios Katartzis (ca.1730-1807), considered one of the most important figures of “Greek Enlightenment”, gave in a manuscript [D. Katartzis, “ is not the Hellenic nation but the Greek-Orthodox religious community (millet). Alexis Politis points to the fact that Katartzis was the first to use the word “ethnos” in Greek, A. Politis, “
K. Paparrigopoulos,
G.G. Arnakis, “The role of religion in the development of Balkan Nationalism” in B. and Ch. Jelavich (eds.), The Balkans in Transition. Berkeley, 1974, pp. 115-144.
This, of course, is the standard Marxist interpretation, Y. Kordatos, ek Revolution of 1821”.
Max Weber clearly pointed to the fact that German unification could not be explained by a bourgeois drive for economic unification and, thus, by an economic rationale. Weber, “Structures of Power” in H.H. Gerth & C. Wright-Millis (eds.), From Max Weber
J. Plamenatz, “Two Types of Nationalism” in E. Kamenka (ed.), Nationalism. The Nature and the Evolution of an Idea. London, 1973, pp. 22-36. Of course something of a common inner logic of development links both types of nationalism; see E. Kedurie, Nationalism. London, 1985 [1st ed. 1961].
Cf. M. Hroch (Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe. A Comparative Analysis of the Social Composition of Patriotic Groups among the Smaller European Nations. Cambridge, 1985) whose approach has been strongly influenced by Otto Bauer, La Question des Nationalités et la Social-démocratie, 1907 (French translation, 2
I use the term symbolic system in order to refer to a system of values, social norms, mental representations and non-reflexive practices and mentalities. I confine the concept of “ideology” to consciously and “rationally” conceptualized world-views and theories that have a normative (moralising) component which explicitly intends to orient human (individual or collective) activity.
W.M. Reddy, Money and Liberty in Modern Europe. A crititque of historical understanding. Cambridge, 1987, pp. 40-43.
A. Gramsci, “Quelques thèmes de la Question Méridionale”, Écrits Politiques, 3 (1923-1926). Paris, 1980, pp. 329-356. For a particular interpretation of the Gramscian theory of the nation and the intellectuals, see E. Nimni, Marxism and Nationalism. Theoretical Origins of a Political Crisis. London, 1991, pp. 97-118; 191-193.
Norbert Elias [La Société de Cour. Paris, 1985 (written in 1933, French translation with a preface by R.Chartier), 234 ff.] used the concept of “figuration” that is almost equivalent to Bourdieu’s (Questions de Sociologie. Paris, 1980, pp. 113-120) “field” (champ).
Adamantios Korais (1748-1833), descendant of a merchant family and a merchant himself in his earlier life, studied and practiced medicine in France, although he gained his celebrity in Europe as a classicist. After 1798, he had been very active in writing militant and theoretical texts and essays on the socio-political and intellectual condition of the Ottoman Greek provinces. His charisma, or to use Bourdieu’s reformulation of the Weberian concept [“Une interprétation de la théorie de la religion selon Max Weber”, Archives Européennes de Sociologie, 12 (1971), pp. 14-16], the great “symbolic capital” he initially accumulated both in Europe and in Ottoman Greece, made him the uncontested dean of men of letters in the Romaic world.
J. Parry & M. Bloch (eds.), Money and the Morality of Exchange. Cambridge, 1989, pp. 23-30.
S. Petmezas, “L’organisation ecclésiastique sous la domination Ottomane” in P. Odorico (ed.), Mémoires de Synadinos, prêtre de Serrès en Macédoine (XVIIe siècle). Paris-Athens, 1996, 523 ff.
This was the “common good” shared by the sultan, the patriarch and the dominant class of Greek-Orthodox archons. D. Apostolopoulos, “Les mécanismes d’une Conquête: adaptations politiques et statut économique du conquis dans le cadre de l’Empire ottoman” in Économies Méditerranéennes: Équilibres et Intercommunications, XIIIe-XIXe siècles. Athens, 1986, t.3, pp. 191-204.
P. Bourdieu, “Genèse et structure du champ religieux” in Revue Française de Sociologie, 12 (1971), pp. 295-334, 310 ff and “Le pouvoir symbolique” in Annales, E.S.C., 32 (1977), pp. 405-411.
Monasteries can be understood as collective bodies, the equivalent of large and powerful notable and noble households, having a rational collective strategy aiming at the reproduction of their hierarchic position and at the “classification” of their monks according to their “status and value”.
P. Konortas, Les rapports juridiques et politiques entre le patriarcat orthodoxe de Constantinople et l’Administration ottomane de 1453 à 1600 (d’après les documents grecs et ottomans). Thèse de 3e cycle, 2 tomes, Université de Paris I, Paris 1985; M. Maropoulou, “L’économie: moyen de transgression ou d’adaptation sociale? Le témoignage de Gennadios Scholarios” in Économies Méditerranéennes: Équilibres et Intercommunications, XIIIe-XIXe siècles. Athènes, 1986, t.3, pp.257-268; S. Petmezas,“L’organisation ecclésiastique sous la domination Ottomane”, pp. 487-569.
P. Bourdieu, Le Sens pratique. Paris, 1980, pp. 87-109.
P. Bourdieu, “Espace social et genése des classes”, Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, 52-53 (1984), pp. 3-14.
F. Braudel, Civilisation Matérielle, Economie et Capitalisme, 1400-1800. Paris, 1979, 3 tomes, iii: pp. 402-416; I. Wallerstein et al, “The incorporation of the Ottoman Empire into the World-Economy” in H. Islamoglu-Inan (ed.), The Ottoman Empire and the World Economy. Cambridge, 1987, pp. 88-100. I use the Wallersteinian terms for their descriptive convenience, without subscribing to the whole theoretical framework.
S.C. Zervos, “Recherches sur les Phanariots. ass, of the rising bourgeoisie, or of the Ottoman State-bureaucracy. They monopolised a specific cultural good: knowledge of Western languages (Latin, Italian, French, German, etc.) and of Western diplomatic and social habits; this specific “privilege” constituted their distinctive element. They combined this advantage with the knowledge of Ottoman languages (Ottoman Turkish and Persian) and the “clientilistic” attachment to particular Ottoman Ümera households (on the structure and function of ümera households see R.A. Abou EL Haj, “The Ottoman Vezir and Pasha Households, 1683-1703”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 94:4 (1972), pp. 438-447). Grown out of the ruling group of Christian merchants and financiers of Constantinople, Phanariots had been able to form a particular group, with a common self-representation and value-system and particular cultural and social needs, which was monopolising specific rare resources (long studies on Western languages, habits and culture, social relations with ottoman ümera). The monopolisation of these cultural goods was by itself an achievement since if this type of knowledge was rare at the end of the 17th century, it was quite common by the end of the 18th. That is why the Phanariot elite tried to legally close by fiat the access of “villains” to their privileged status (V.V. Sphyroeras, “rowing number of well-educated youngsters. It is not surprising that the Phanariotes became a favourite target for a large number of modern upwardly-mobile intellectuals. Phanariotes formed the high Romaic elite in the 18th century, up to the 1830s. After the collapse of the mechanisms that had given them this prestigious position, they tried to find alternative uses for their specific capital, converting it to other forms.
Of course a large number of prelates, some of them being part of the Phanariot group, were personally interested in and protected “modern” knowledge, schools, and teachers but, even for them, this kind of novel cultural capital was superfluous.
P. Macridge, “Greek Intelligentsia, 1780-1830” in R. Clogg (ed.), Balkan Society in the Age of Greek Independance. London, 1981, p. 67.
For the excommunication of Methodios Anthrakitis and his disciples in 1723, see A. Aggelou, “ iv:288-345; 629-676; K. Hatzopoulos,
No immanent value was recognised in the particular (form of) language used, as would be the case a hundred years later. The History of the Language Question in Greece is still unwritten. Choosing the most convenient version of Greek, “Hellenic” (that is the classical attic Greek considered as a model language by the church) or “Romaic” (that is the Modern Greek vernacular in use in the second half of the 18th century), was certainly a political act and, in some cases, possibly a choice between two competing national projects (A. Politis, “
A.E. Vakalopoulos,
P. Kitromilides, Tradition, Enlightenment and Revolution. Ideological Change in 18th and 19th c. Greece. Ph.D. Harvard University, 1978, pp. 163-227.
For the prophesy of Agathangelos, and Russian and Greek national aspirations see Kitromilides, Tradition, Enlightenment and Revolution, pp. 167-172 and J. Nicolopoulos, “From Agathagelos to the Megale Idea : Russia and the emergence of Modern Greek Nationalism”, Balkan Studies, 26 (1985), pp. 41-56.
Iossipos Moissiodax is probably an exception, since his views were much closer to those of the radical republicans than to those of his contemporaries. P. Kitromilides,
See “ar with the Ottomans until the final collapse of the Muslim power.
D. Katartzis,”39 On this point see A. Politis, “40 That is the intellectuals of the first and second generation of the Balkan Enlightenment personally associated as teachers and friends with some of the traditional leading figures of the Greek-Orthodox community (church prelates, Phanariot archons and provincial notables).
(This paper was presented at the 1st European Social Science History Conference (Amsterdam May 9-11, 1996), session 82 thank all of them for their generous assistance.
By “national consciousness” I simply refer to the fact that individuals acknowledge that all human beings are primarily, naturally and permanently classified according to their unique and indelible national identity and that they, as a consequence, have consciousness of their identity. Such an identity does not necessarily entail the formulation of a political project leading to the affirmation of this national group as an independent body politic. When the (elected or self-imposed) representatives of such a national group have articulated a general political project, then we can define it as the “national idea” of the given group.
See G. Xydis, “Medieval origins of modern Greek nationalism”, Balkan Studies, 9 (1968), pp. 1-20. And A.E. Vakalopoulos, 9), no.2, pp.149-192.
They are sometimes called “Kollyvades” (D. Apostolopoulos,
Apostolopoulos, H
Both Athanasios Parios (Makrides, “
The case of the diffusion of modern Copernican astronomy and Newtonian physics, which can be considered a technical and scientific corpus of knowledge (of course any clear-cut distinction between technical applications and theoretical conceptions is vacuous), is illustrative. In order to insert this modern knowledge into the Greek-Orthodox world-view, which was based on the notion of a geocentric universe, its “diffusers” tried to conceive complex theories of the allegoric nature of the Holy Books, see P. Kondylis,
Anthony Smith (The Ethnic Origins of Nations. Oxford, 1986, chapter 8) argues that the constitution of a specific national consciousness and the formulation of a politically active “national idea” are not produced from scratch, but are the result of the activity of intellectuals belonging to already existing ethnic groups, endowed with a distinctive pre-modern and primordial identity. These intellectuals proposed a novel national project, using some of the few ideological components (symbolic mytho-moteurs) that were part of their socio-cultural heritage. According to Smith, objective scientific activity (in history, philology, folklore, etc.) plays an important part in this process of nation formation, since its results are articulated into this process of ideological construction.
K. Stamatis, “Aux habitants de la Grèce<1798> (
A.E. Vakalopoulos,
For the earlier version, written by Patriarch Gennadios II Scholarios in 1455, see L. Petit et als., Oeuvres complètes de Gennade Scholarios. Paris, 1935, iv: pp. 211-231. The main principles of this discourse (the French as an instrument of Satan, the salutary role of the Ottoman Power, etc.) were also used in the Patriarchal Encyclical Letters send to the Greek-Orthodox dioceses and meant to be widely read in all Church parishes. For an example, see the encyclical Letter of Patriarch Gregory V in September 1798 (L. Vranoussis, T
Korais, Mémoire.
Korais, Mémoire;¨Korais,
M. Perdikaris, “
In his unpublished response to the Fraternal Instruction, Athanassios Parios (
Veniamin Lesbios expressed a similar opinion about the necessity of the complete separation and autonomy of philosophy and theology (Kondylis,
K.Th. Dimaras (ed.),
Philippos Iliou,
S. Petmezas, “L’ Organisation écclesiastique”, pp. 539-540.
Christodoulos Pamblekis ( his time. It took the form of a personal controversy and, contrary to Korais’s brochure, does not seem (from the parts that were published by Philippos Iliou) to have been intergrated into a specific national and political program calling for a larger collective mobilisation.
N. Theotokas,“
It is my colleague Christos Hadziiossif who examined this point in his 1996 seminars at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and who had the kindness to share it with me.
G. Stokes, “Dependency and the Rise of Nationalism”.
Socrates D. Petmezas, "The Formation of Early Hellenic Nationalism and the Special Symbolic and Material Interests of the New Radical Republican Intelligentsia (ca. 1790-1830)",historein, vol. 1, Athens 1999, p. 51-74.

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