History report: How the Greek Revolution sparked Philhellenism around the globe

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
History report: How the Greek Revolution sparked Philhellenism around the globeThe Reception of Lord Byron at Missolonghi” by Theodoros Vryzakis. Source: Wikipedia

The 1821 Greek Revolution erupted into the world of the early nineteenth century as Europe was being shaken to its roots by riots in many nations which threatened its monarchies, greekreporter.com notes in the following article:

The Greek Revolution was a cause for concern for the elites, since it threatened Europe’s social and political balance. Nevertheless, it was greeted with enthusiasm by many ordinary people across Europe and the US, which is undoubtedly partly to do with the Greek origin of so much of the West’s classical heritage.

The uprising quickly become a cause célèbre in the Western world, giving rise to a strong wave of what came to be known as “philhellenism,” or the love of Greece and its history.

Several wealthy Americans and western European aristocrats, such as the renowned poet Lord Byron and later the physician Samuel Howe, actually took up arms and joined the Greek revolutionaries.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the major English Romantic poets, perfectly captured the general mood in his poem Hellas. “We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion [sic], our art have their roots in Greece. But for Greece … we might still have been savages and idolators.… The Modern Greek is the descendant of those glorious beings.”

The Ottoman massacres of Greeks at Chios in 1822 inspired Eugène Delacroix’s famous painting “Massacre of Chios;” other philhellenic works by Delacroix were inspired by various Byron poems. Lord Byron, the most eminent philhellene of all, giving his name, his prestige, his wealth — and ultimately his life — to the cause.

In the summer of 1821, various young men from all over Europe started to gather in the French port of Marseilles to book passage to Greece and join the revolution.

The French philhellene Jean-François-Maxime Raybaud wrote when he heard of the revolution, in March of 1821, “I learnt with a thrill that Greece was shaking off her chains,” and in July 1821, he boarded a ship bound for Greece.

Between the summer of 1821 and the end of 1822, when the French started to inspect ships leaving Marseilles for philhellenes, some 360 volunteers travelled to Greece.

In Germany, Italy and France, many clergyman and university professors gave speeches acknowledging that all of Europe owed an immense debt to ancient Greece.

A young medical student in Mannheim wrote that hearing his professor lecture on the need for Greek freedom went through him like an electric shock, inspiring him to drop his studies and head towards Greece. At the same time, a Danish student wrote: “How could a man inclined to fight for freedom and justice find a better place than next to the oppressed Greeks?”

From the United States came the doctor Samuel Gridley Howe along with the soldier George Jarvis to fight alongside the Greek people.

The classicist Edward Everett, a professor of Greek at Harvard, was active in promoting the Greek cause in the United States.

In November of 1821, he published an appeal from Adhamantios Korais, which read “To the Citizens of the United States, it is your land that Liberty has fixed her abode, so you will not assuredly imitate the culpable indifference or rather the long ingratitude of the Europeans.” Korais went on to call for American intervention in the armed struggle in many American newspapers.

In 1821, the “Greek Committee” in Charleston, South Carolina sent the Greeks 50 barrels of salted meat, while the Greek Committee in Springfield, Massachusetts delivered supplies of salted meat, sugar, fish and flour. In New York City, a charity ball hosted by that city’s Greek committee raised the then-princely sum of $8,000.

In Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece, a monument to honor the philhellenes who died fighting in the war included 274 names, with one hundred from Germany, forty each from France and Italy, and the rest from Britain, Spain, Hungary, Sweden, Portugal and Denmark.

But of course the biggest casualty of the war among the philhellenes was that of Lord Byron, who is honored in Greece as a national hero.

He gathered money for the revolution by selling his English estate, which raised some £11,250 pounds sterling, all of which he planned to spend on the Greek cause. In today’s money, Byron would have been a millionaire many times over, and the news that a fabulously wealthy British aristocrat known for his generosity had arrived in Greece made Byron the object of much solicitation in a desperately poor country like Greece.

He joined forces with Greek rebel leaders fighting the Ottomans near Missolonghi. In 1824 he planned to attack the Turkish-held fortress of Lepanto, at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth, in spite of his lack of military experience.

Nevertheless, before the expedition could sail, on February 15, 1824, he fell ill and died in Missolonghi on April 19.

Close to the center of Athens, outside the National Garden, is a statue showing Greece in the form of a woman crowning Lord Byron.

The statue is by the French sculptors Henri-Michel Chapu and Alexandre Falguière. Since 2008, the anniversary of Byron’s death, April 19th, has been honoured across the nation of Greece as “Byron Day.”

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Michael W. Pendergrass  pixabay.com

Tornos
  1. 20/07 19:53

    Media report: FaceApp craze sweeps across Greece despite privacy warnings

  2. 20/07 19:28

    Newly elected Greek PM Mitsotakis to announce immediate tax cuts

  3. 20/07 17:24

    New Minister to support farmers and protect the environment in Greece

  4. 20/07 15:06

    Civil protection chief: Attica quake activity subsides, 'no need for concern'

  5. 20/07 11:37

    Cutlural Tourism: New biography of Eva Palmer Sikelianos

  6. 20/07 09:47

    New government spokesman: Life in Athens back to normal after tremor

  7. 19/07 22:17

    Greek Tourism Ministry issues instructions for visitors to follow in event of earthquake

  8. 19/07 20:54

    120-installment debt repayment scheme set for boost by new Greek government

  9. 19/07 18:33

    New Archbishop of Australia makes first pastoral visit to Perth church

  10. 19/07 18:27

    25th Kalamata International Dance Festival opens in Greece on Friday

  11. 19/07 18:08

    ΙΑΤΑ: Poor air traffic control means summer of wasted emissions and delays

  12. 19/07 17:59

    Minister: Research and innovation a 'central strategic priority' now in Greece

  13. 19/07 16:50

    Tourists at the Athens Acropolis react calmly to earthquake

  14. 19/07 14:47

    5.1 R tremor felt in Greek capital of Athens with no major damages reported

  15. 19/07 14:24

    Greek banks to begin charging non-customers more for ATM cash withdrawals

  16. 19/07 13:08

    Cyprus to establish full diplomatic relations with North Macedonia

  17. 19/07 11:08

    New Greek Prime Minister meets with chief of Fairfax investment group

  18. 18/07 22:08

    New Minister greenlights Cosco investments in Greek port of Piraeus with hotels and mall

  19. 18/07 21:54

    Heavily-armed police to monitor tourist spots in Athens

  20. 18/07 21:43

    Guide to ouzo from the Greek island of Chios

  21. 18/07 20:41

    New record in container traffic at Greek port of Piraeus

  22. 18/07 20:29

    Film Tourism: Tom Hanks cast as Elvis’ manager Tom Parker in new movie

  23. 18/07 19:58

    4th EU-Arab World Summit to be held in Athens at the end of October

  24. 18/07 19:43

    New Athens mosque not expected to operate prior to end of 2019

  25. 18/07 19:30

    New parliament president elected in Greece by vast majority

  26. 18/07 18:57

    BoG report: Greek state budget records primary deficit during H1 2019

  27. 18/07 18:52

    New Investments Minister meets with Israeli Ambassador in Greece

  28. 18/07 18:12

    Greek firms promote strategic investment in social responsibility

  29. 18/07 16:50

    Athens to propose Margaritis Schinas as its new EU Commissioner

  30. 18/07 12:10

    Health Tourism: Ministry to sign pacts with medical care partners in Greece

  31. 17/07 22:54

    Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elpidophoros meets with US President

  32. 17/07 22:33

    Greek airports record 5.3% rise in traffic during H1 2019

  33. 17/07 22:08

    US Ambassador to Athens Pyatt: Greece is now a source of solutions

  34. 17/07 21:28

    Kostas Loulis new Secretary-General of Tourism in Greece

  35. 17/07 19:59

    North Macedonia FM: Positive climate in Greece benefits whole region

  36. 17/07 19:15

    Minoan Theater: A reinvestment in excellence and spirit in Greek

  37. 17/07 16:59

    New Greek Prime Minister says Greek bond sale will attract investors

  38. 17/07 15:35

    Friday the last day of traffic restrictions in downtown Athens this summer

  39. 17/07 12:19

    Tourist arrivals to Cyprus drop in June and during first six months of 2019

  40. 17/07 11:53

    Greece's newly elected parliament sworn in on Wednesday (video)

  41. 17/07 10:43

    Newly appointed Greek Foreign Minister Dendias visits the United States

  42. 16/07 22:51

    Parga: The gem of Epirus and the Ionian Sea in Western Greece

  43. 16/07 22:50

    New York Euripides Summer Festival presenting two classic masterpieces

  44. 16/07 22:47

    Grand Resort Lagonissi opens new Grand Hall conference center in Athens

  45. 16/07 22:30

    Tax authorities: Over 20,000 Airbnb Greek properties still not registered

  46. 16/07 22:21

    Classical music festival returns to Greek islands of Koufonisia for 4th year

  47. 16/07 22:15

    E-real estate network chief: AirBnB effect in Athens focuses on inner city district

  48. 16/07 22:08

    Greek-American TV persona Maria Menounos wins on Celebrity Family Feud

  49. 16/07 21:07

    ANIMART festival on Greek island of Hydra from July 22 until July 31

  50. 16/07 20:47

    Jewish communities in Greece welcome Minister's denunciation of neo-Nazi past

  51. 16/07 20:19

    Study: ‘Athens triangle’ becoming Greek capital’s new place to be

  52. 16/07 19:42

    New exhibition titled “Art: Response to Conflict” opens in Athens

  53. 16/07 18:33

    Moody's upgrades outlook for three systemic Greek banks

  54. 16/07 16:15

    Algean Property Ionian Sea Report 2019: "Everlasting Experience"

  55. 16/07 15:56

    3200 hotel CEOs reveal top hospitality and leisure trends for 2019

  56. 16/07 15:18

    Kimisis tis Theotokou Hamptons Greek Festival a great success (video)

  57. 16/07 14:52

    ESM chief: Reform drive of new Greek government to stimulate investments welcome

  58. 16/07 12:37

    Sheraton’s new logo appears on hotels worldwide for first time in over 40 years

  59. 16/07 12:29

    Minister: Seven-year bond yield records return of Greek economy to normality

  60. 16/07 10:20

    TripAdvisor: Online reviews still a trusted source of information when booking trips

  61. 16/07 00:54

    Canal d'Amour: the famous beach of lovers on the Greek island of Corfu

  62. 16/07 00:27

    Greek Public Debt Management Organisation to launch seven-year bond

  63. 15/07 22:25

    EU announces measures against Turkey's illegal drilling in Cyprus' EEZ

  64. 15/07 22:00

    Greek state budget shows primary surplus of €382 million in January-June

  65. 15/07 21:07

    New Greek government to cut ENFIA property tax 30% within two years

  66. 15/07 21:06

    Legendary yacht of Onassis ‘Christina O’ sails into Greek island of Poros

  67. 15/07 18:02

    New Greek Finance Minister Staikouras meets with ESM Director Regling

  68. 15/07 13:07

    Athens Airport awardsTurkish Airlines for remarkable growth rate in last 5 years

  69. 15/07 11:56

    Culinary Tourism: Greek beer thrives from Antiquity to modern microbrews

  70. 14/07 23:28

    Travel & Leisure: Four Greek islands among Europe's top-5 for 2019

  71. 14/07 19:00

    Sports Tourism: Pakistan's street cricketers bring game to life in Greece

  72. 14/07 14:37

    New Greek Development Minister: Hellinikon project will move "very, very quickly"

  73. 14/07 14:29

    Well-known squat of closed Athens hotel abruptly ended after new government elected

  74. 14/07 13:51

    Initiative to invite new Greek PM to address joint session of U.S. Congress

  75. 13/07 20:18

    Opening of “Cyprus: 45 years of occupation” show in Athens

  76. 13/07 19:45

    French Ambassador: France will continue to help Greece in its economic take-off

  77. 13/07 14:50

    Chalkidiki power and water networks to be fully restored by nightfall in northern Greece

  78. 13/07 14:22

    Foods that protect the human skin from the sun

  79. 13/07 13:59

    Meteo services: Weather in Greece to worsen from Saturday evening

  80. 13/07 13:47

    Shops open in Greece on Sunday for first week of summer sales

  81. 12/07 23:48

    Film festival on Greek island of Syros takes cinema to unlikely locations

  82. 12/07 20:13

    Private sector arrears to the Greek state ease slightly down in March

  83. 12/07 17:57

    Acropolis in Athens gains its first permanent doctor

  84. 12/07 17:20

    "Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo voted Best Male Athlete in the U.S. (video)

  85. 12/07 16:44

    Greek-Swedish Antique special anniversary reunion concert for one night only

  86. 12/07 16:28

    AP: New Greek government recognizes Guaido, not Maduro, as Venezuela’s president

  87. 12/07 15:54

    Paris Hilton spotted on a yacht in Greek island of Mykonos for second year

  88. 12/07 14:17

    New energy minister in Greece to jump-start delayed Helleniko and Skouries projects

  89. 12/07 13:36

    Surf Art Festival Vol. 6 returning to Athens suburb of Faliro on July 12-14

  90. 12/07 00:41

    Greece loses battle over lower taxes for traditional Tsipouro and Tsikoudia drinks

  91. 11/07 21:40

    Festival by "The Friends of the Greek Islands and the Sea" on Sifnos

  92. 11/07 21:36

    Sky News Australia show marks Greek election by dancing and throwing plates (video)

  93. 11/07 21:09

    Greek island of Kastellorizo: from the Dodecanese at the Athens airport

  94. 11/07 20:54

    Leading IT Chinese firm "DeepBlue Technology" expands in Greek market

  95. 11/07 20:34

    European Commission to assist Greece following severe storm

  96. 11/07 20:30

    Production value up 9% in accommodation and food service activities in Cyprus

  97. 11/07 20:24

    AP: Mobile phone link now working on both sides of split island of Cyprus

  98. 11/07 20:13

    Wedding Tourism: Co-founder of sabo skirt marries in Greece

  99. 11/07 19:59

    Watercolors of the Acropolis: Emile Gillieron in Athens show at the Met

  100. 11/07 19:52

    AirHelp: Thousands of passengers who flew to Greece in 2018 can claim compensation