Historical Patterns of Greek Exoticism (Nineteenth–Twentieth Century)

  • Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos
Part of the Reform and Transition in the Mediterranean book series (RTM)


This chapter attempts a historical analysis of the Greek exoticism phenomenon by choosing nineteenth and twentieth century case studies where the cultural projections by Western visitors meet the geopolitical interests of the great protecting forces, affecting each other. The “ancestors” of ancient Greeks are either treated as a nation that ought to follow the Western modernisation model, or as orientalists whose position will never be among the advanced states. The chapter focuses on the English colonial gaze, the French negative exoticism and on the American both liberal and orientalist gaze which also reproduces similar stereotypes during Cold War. For their part, indigenous people form their self-image through the looking-glass of the West, except for a couple of periods, after the middle of the nineteenth century and during the mid-war period in the twentieth century, when national self-confidence is strengthened.


Canonisation Ottomanisation Geopolitics Hellas as an idea Indigenous resistance Anti-imperialism without colonialism 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PeloponneseTripoliGreece

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