This new movement was founded by Johann Joachim Winckelmann — , who identified aesthetic ideals and ethical norms in Greek art, and whose work Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums History of the Art of Antiquity made ancient Greece the point of departure for an aestheticizing art history and cultural history. His motto was:.
Friedrich von Schlegel — subsequently stated: "The first among us who had an intellctual intuition of morals, and who recognized and proclaimed under divine inspiration the model of perfect humanity in the forms of art and antiquity, was the holy Winckelmann. Neo-humanist literature around — which like Iphigenia in Goethe's Iphigenia in Tauris "[sought with sad soul] for the Grecian land" 4 — viewed ancient Greek literature and, in particular, ancient Greek art as representing an unattainable aesthetic ideal. Europeans identified the foundations of all Western culture in the culture of ancient Greece.
Consequently, they viewed the people of ancient Greece as the "pinnacle of all genuine humanity" and made the idealized way of life of the "ancients" their ethical compass. This enthusiasm for ancient Greece — which Karl Mendelssohn-Bartholdy — referred to as the "althellenische Mode" ancient-Greek fashion , and which the German playwright Julius von Voss — parodied as "Griechheit" Greekdom in his play of the same name 6 — provided an important basis, upon which Hellenists and philhellenes started a European movement which promoted interest in Greece and sympathy with the Greeks.
In this period of classicism and neo-humanism, important Greek manuscripts were edited in Germany and classical philology, philosophy, archaeology and art history blossomed. The ancient Greek language and literature, and ancient forms of metre were studied with great zeal in Germany and they greatly influenced the further development of German literature. Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock — introduced new influences into German poetry by using Greek hexameter. With his Messias , he succeeded in making Greek hexameter a mode of expression of the German poetic language.
Because they had not set foot in Greece, they could idealize ancient Greece and its culture. The ground for the philhellenes was also prepared by Europeans who travelled to Greece from the 17th century onward. Their main aim was to discover ancient Greece, a dream which they sought to realize through their study of classical literature and their " Grand Tours " to the classical sites in Italy.
In the 18th century, the European elites viewed Greek culture through the prism of Roman culture, since travel to Greece, which was part of the Ottoman Empire , was difficult if not impossible. Only very few Europeans managed to travel to the ancient sites in Greece.
Those who did inevitably formed opinions about, and commented on the situation of the contemporary population of Greece. Traces of literary philhellenism can also be found in the far north of Europe, for example in Finland and Sweden. Finnish students played an important role in this development initially. Some of them had been introduced to ancient Greek literature by Martin Crusius — They wrote philhellenic poems, in which they expressed their admiration for the Greek language and Greek literature.
With great enthusiasm, they strove to emulate the ancient Greek texts which they studied.
The most important testament to early literary philhellenism in Finland was the speech Magnus Principatus Finlandia delivered by Johan Paulinus Lillienstedt — in in Uppsala. The Greek language and ancient Greek literature was also admired and promoted in Russia in the 18th century. Peter I — and Catherine II — , both of whom had been exposed to western European education, promoted literary philhellenism in Russia. In the 18th century, the great Greek scholar Eugenios Voulgaris — , who dedicated himself to the study of ancient Greek literature, was active at the court of Catherine II. He was one of the most important contributors to the Greek Enlightenment and translated the works of Voltaire — and others into Greek.
At the behest of Catherine II, Voulgaris translated her Nakaz or "Instruction", which laid down the guiding principles for the codification of laws, from Russian into Greek.
Petersburg in Indeed, Russian sympathy with Greece extended beyond literary philhellenism and resulted in active political assistance for Greece. The fact that the two nations had the Orthodox faith in common was undoubtedly an important factor in Russian political philhellenism, which reached its climax in in the revolt against the Ottomans on the Peloponnese , which was instigated by the Russian Orlov siblings. From the 17th century onward European travellers to Greece were primarily interested in ancient Greece.
However, their visits to the sites of antiquity acquainted them with the circumstances of their Greek contemporaries. While their admiration for the architectural and artistic remnants of antiquity was almost unbounded, they also described the misery and low level of education of modern Greeks, who seemed to have retained nothing of the glorious past of their nation.
Guys was the first European traveller who identified his Greek contemporaries as the successors of their famous ancestors. His travel account was published in a period which was of crucial importance for the future of Greece. In , the Greek revolt against Ottoman rule referred to above had been put down with great force.
Guys now depicted Greece as a Christian nation which was conducting a legitimate campaign for independence.
This was a fictitious account of a tour of Greece by a young Scythian by the name of Anacharsis in the fourth century BC, which was characterized by a great amount of accurate scientific details and which encouraged a selfless philhellenism. A few years later, Marie-Gabriel-Florent-Auguste de Choiseul-Gouffier — , who was the French ambassador to Constantinople at the time, used this book as a kind of travel guide during his stay in Greece.
Likewise, illustrations created for this work by famous contemporary artists such as Jean-Michel Moreau — and Jean-Baptiste Hilaire born not only promoted knowledge of the architectural and artistic remnants of Greek antiquity among Europeans, but also increased the sympathy of Europeans towards Christians living under Ottoman rule.
European enthusiasm for Greece reached its climax in the earlyth century. The French Revolution and the European Enlightenment changed the political climate in Greece's favour. European governments now sent diplomats and officers on political missions to Greece, to investigate in detail the conditions there. These travellers to Greece recorded that the economic and educational circumstances of the Greeks were improving gradually, but they also reported on the arbitrary rule of the Ottoman authorities and on atrocities perpetrated against the Greek population.
Archaeological research also played an important role in the spread of philhellenism in the earlyth century. For example, the British colonel Martin William Leake — toured Greece between and on a secret political mission to gain political and military information for his government. During his stay, he also devoted himself with great enthusiasm to archaeological and topographical research.
Due to his classical education and his knowledge of the ancient and modern Greek languages, he was able to describe all the sites he visited with scientific precision. During the same period, the Irish archaeologist and illustrator Edward Dodwell — travelled to Athens in the company of the Scottish architect and topographer Sir William Gell — and the painter Simone Pomardi — Dodwell's A Classical and Topographical Tour in Greece During the Years , and and his beautiful album entitled Views in Greece are a very valuable source for the discovery of the Greek past.
The list of travellers and researchers who went to Greece and whose descriptions and drawings contributed to the emergence of philhellenism in Europe is long. The arrival in Greece in of Carl Haller von Hallerstein — , who came from a patrician family in Nuremberg, was of lasting importance for archaeological research into Greece's past.
Along with Hallerstein, they made drawings at the Acropolis, in Sounion and at other sites in Greece. However, Hallerstein's most important research — and the one that made him famous — was his excavations at the Temple of Aphaia on the island of Aegina. With his friends Cockerell, Jacob Linkh — and Foster, he devoted particular attention to surveying and excavating the Temple of Jupiter Panhellenion there, remains of which can now be viewed in the Glyptothek in Munich.
After studies in Olympia , Hallerstein devoted himself in November to studying and surveying the Temple in Bassae , which was dedicated to Apollo Epicurios. Otto Magnus von Stackelberg — , who had joined Hallerstein's group and had participated in the study and excavation of the temple referred to above, subsequently compiled his monumental work entitled Der Apollon Tempel zu Bassae in Arkadien und die daselbst ausgegrabenen Bildwerke The Temple of Apollo at Bassae in Arcadia, and the Wall-Paintings Excavated There , which represented the high point of archaeological research during that period.
Shortly before the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, travel literature about Greece experienced a new blossoming which was also influenced by the literary and intellectual movements of neo-humanism, classicism and romanticism.
This literary and academic philhellenism in western Europe contributed to the awakening of a national consciousness among the Greeks themselves. Increasing exposure to the ideas of the French Enlightenment also played a role in this regard. Greek intellectuals living abroad had translated important works of the Enlightenment period into Greek, thereby making them accessible to educated Greeks. These Greeks subsequently also derived inspiration from the ideas of the French Revolution, which was based on principles which corresponded to the classical concepts of the freedom of the individual and the development of the intellectual capacities of the individual.
Among the prominent figures of this new era were Adamantios Korais — , Rigas Velestinlis — and Demetrios Kantartzis-Photiadis — With their writings and numerous translations of French works, they laid the foundations for the Modern Greek Enlightenment. In , a teacher in Athens called Dionysios Pyrros — organized a school ceremony, during which he gave the pupils new ancient-Greek names. He presented each pupil with a laurel branch and an olive branch and stressed that they, the pupils, were no longer called Ioannis or Pavlos, but Perikles, Themistokles etc.
The "Friends of the Muses" society, which was founded in Athens in , became an important factor in the attitude of contemporary Greeks towards their ancient Greek ancestors. The conditions of memberships were:. From , the society had an active local branch in Vienna. The main aims of the society were to impart the intellectual heritage of antiquity to the Greeks, to reorganize the school system, and to protect the artistic treasures from the plundering of some European "philhellenes".
In addition to academics and literati, ministers and princes joined the Vienna branch of the society. The branch in Vienna also supported Greek students during their studies at German universities. The Filike Etairia must also be mentioned in this context. This was a secret society which was founded by Greek merchants in Odessa in and had a similar structure to the Free Masons. The main aim of the Filike Etairia was not only the preparation and implementation of a Greek uprising against Ottoman rule, but an uprising of all the Balkan countries with Russian assistance.
The various forms of enthusiasm for Greece described above prepared the ground for the active participation of Europeans in the uprising of the Greeks.
The proclamation of the Greek Revolt of March 6, by Alexander Ypsilantis — , a Greek officer in Russian service who crossed the Prut with a small force and called on the population of Moldavia and Walachia to rise up against Ottoman rule, 15 met with spontaneous support in many parts of Europe.
Shortly afterwards, in April , a revolution was proclaimed in the Peloponnese. The political declarations of solidarity with the Greeks — in Europe and in North America — were the result of the literary, artistic and academic philhellenism described above. People from very diverse social classes and milieus declared solidarity and support for the Greeks. The many causes behind the emergence of philhellenism led a contemporary commentator to note:.
Certainly, admiration for classical antiquity alone cannot explain the phenomenon of philhellenism, but it did play an important role along with other factors in the emergence of the political campaign. This campaign was understood by supporters of philhellenism as paying a debt of gratitude to ancient Greece, the "noble birthplace of all scientific and artistic education".
This was a central argument in philhellenic agitation in Germany. The "debt of gratitude" theme also played an important role in the philhellenic movement in other countries. In his view, Greek antiquity should permeate every aspect of life and all stages of life. Among the most prominent German supporters of the Greek uprising of were the Leipzig philosophy professor Wilhelm Traugott Krug — , the Munich philologist Friedrich Wilhelm Thiersch — and the Bavarian crown prince and subsequent king, Ludwig I — Krug had become aware of the situation in Greece through contact with the Greek community in Leipzig.
This prompted him on Palm Sunday to address an appeal entitled Griechenlands Wiedergeburt Greece's Rebirth to the Greeks living in Germany and to call for support for the Greek struggle by asserting:. The fact that Krug gave his address the subtitle Programme to Mark the Feast of the Resurrection Programm zum Auferstehungsfeste demonstrates the important role that religious motives played in his philhellenic agitation. Title: Das Jetzt Lebende Regensburg Condition: Used; Like New.
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