The European Origins of the Great Idea

  • Vicky Karafoulidou
Part of the Reform and Transition in the Mediterranean book series (RTM)


Historical research on European philhellenism has progressed considerably in recent years, taking robust steps and following fruitful directions, highlighting in particular the complexity of the Greek Revolution and the transnational movement supporting it. However, the multi-primary, political and artistic, philhellenic lobby and its impact on nineteenth-century Greek ideology have not systematically concerned scholars. Which was the “Greece” of the philhellenes? What European aspirations was the Greek War of Independence called upon to legitimise? This chapter examines some critical aspects of the pro-Hellenic discourse of the 1820s and attempts to identify the main ideological patterns, claims and assumptions of the European perspective, which could be related to the subsequent Greek Great Idea, the irredentist argumentation and expansionist plans of the Greek nation-state.


European history Greek history Philhellenism Modernity Nationalism Identity 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicky Karafoulidou
    • 1
  1. 1.Aristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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