Neo-Hellenistic Enlightenment




The Greek resistance to the Ottoman occupation wasn’t limited to just armaments and battles, but was supplemented by something far stronger….a spiritual resistance.  The European Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries even spread to Greece.  They stood to benefit from the social and economic situation from the emergence of ambitious bourgeoisie, especially from the friendly and inviting conditions of the Treaty (1774).  Through their efforts, they claimed a strong footing on the Greek stage.  The Greek bourgeoisie, together with Greek communities that had popped up throughout Europe as well as in Egypt and Cyprus, developed and distributed the ideas of the Enlightenment, thus creating a new effort to wake the spirit of the Greeks and provide a catalyst for the Greek Independence movement.       

Important figures in the Neo-Hellenic Enlightenment included Kosmas Aitolos and  Rigas Velestinlis with their “Revolutionary Manifesto”, and Athanasios Psalidas and Adamantios Korais with their “Brotherly Teaching”, and other ideas of classical antiquity.  This movement gained considerable strength and sustained a valiant effort, even from the Patriarchate.  The war they found themselves embroiled in sadly took the lives of both Aitolos and Velestinlis.  The war also resulted in a blow to the Greek culture, as the famed Parthenon was looted by British Lord Elgin in 1802, who transported the temple’s marble fresco to London, where they still sit today in the British Museum.




Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
Share on Pinterest

How to arrive

follow us