BYZANTINISM AND HELLENISM

REMARKS ON THE RACIAL ORIGIN AND me
INTELLECTUAL CONTINUITY OF THE GREEK NATION
1. Of the Balkan nations, there are s.till two, the Greek and RlJ.Jnanian.
that present some :researchers with {;onsidemble doubts and dilemmas 00:&-
cerning tbeir ethnological oompo$ition and their inteUectual cootinuity
throughout the centuries. So many opinions, oftt1:\ w1dcly at variance. have
beeo expressed on tbis subject that the relevant bibliography has bec:omc
da.ngerously enriched even for the experienced scholar,
Without doubt. the discussions are most heated when they come to
tbe rel.ationsbip of the ancient Greek nation with the medieval and
mOOertt and this is because of the lively <lntithesis between the ever idealised
J!'ideur of the past and tbe day by day routine of the present. Then.
theSe discussions start running along a set pattern-some. you might almost
say. take the form of ancient exercises in elocution and rhetoric-and their
limits are very vague, since they do not systematically look towards their ap-
pointed aim. with the result that they weary both the specialist and the gen.
eml Indeed. how is it possible to eumine tbese rundamental topics
without a full knowledge of the relevant bibliography, a careful criticism of
sources and on this subject, a deep Ilnderstanding of the problem,
and an awaren.ess of the progress tnade by the historians?
The study of important historical events such WI the origin of a rare is
not something easy. or yet something which can be accomplished in a short
ti.mc. Still more difficult is the interpretation and understanding of the institu-
tion& of human societies in tl1eir dev<:lopment, and tbo stud} of manners and
customs and the continuity of manifestations of civilisation. As Chateaubria.nd
lJO aptly observes tn the "Itinemi:re," "Un moment suiTit au de pas.--
aqe pour crayonner un &thee. peiodre \U1e vue, dessiner une ruine: mais det
lnnlles enti!res soot trop courtes pour etudler lcs moeurs des homrncs et pour
Ilppfofondir les sciences et let arts."'l
'02
The understanding of intellectual phenomena presuppose8 not only an
adequate stock or knowledge an.d possess.ion of method but also a m.aturity of
mind. stoce chiefly with deep personal eJCpcrience are we able to stand before
the remarkable historical and sociological phenomena and try to per<:cive
the comse they take in our highly oomp1ex nfe. 1'hc main reason we requite $0
much time for the consi.deration and understanding of pDenomena is
that frequendy the great: changes in history come aoout very slowly. They
unfold g.raduuUy and impMceptibly. without our being aware of them. The
gttatest difficulty of all is in following the pattern of these pbenomena
through the course of the cen turies. Such problems are: fmt the famous
origin of the moderll Greeks and, second. other problems bound up with this
first: but nonetheles5 still thorny and much debated. These aN problema
concerning the relationships and common ground between. the ideas of the
Ancient and Byzantine world and those of the modern C'JI'CICb,
'Thcse fundamental topics have ()CC:'Upied me also for many yean: in the
course of my studies; I have tried bard to find an amwer to them, first
of all for myself. Then I felt the weight of these problems more foroefuJly.
when as a lecturer in 1943. I wu called upon to teach a course on the history
of modem The course, in accordance with the statutes that regulate
the COut'geS at the University, had as its chronological startingltpOint the cap-
ture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, So a "fait aJ;COrnpli"led me face
to face with the nec.essity to conuoct in some way my more modem
cal teaching material with the further removed soun::es of Byzantium and the
even more remote history of Ancient My young students also were put
to the test alongside with me. I realised this as I saw the lively queries written
on their young faces. In some way I had to guide myself as weU as my students
over the vast plain with its often slippery ground and to try to mad on
firm footholds. In other words I had to read with great care the vast bulk of
studies relevant to the subject, to dwell for an unlimited amount of time on
the topics in hand, to study them carctWly and impartially, and to compare
the significant elements and reach certain conclusions. I was greatly helped
in this by my knowledge of the psychology of the mod.crn Greeks. I rcali.sed.
and I trust not mistsJ::enly, that in Ollr generation at least, most Greeks ate
mom.t to study their nationaJ history not because of a pl"OOQCrupiltion with
a:nc:estor wor:ship. or out of simple cw::iosity. but chiefly from a desire for self·
knowledge. whieh is acquired mainJy t:hr<:rugh a full knowlodF of the past.
Modern Greeks Jike many other rac.a art today more posilive and down to
earth. So I also had to give an anwc:r to these tW(J problems, ilad this amwcr
wat,pveD in the IU'SI: volume: of my .. History of ModerQ Hel1etUam. .. wh.ero I
103
tried. systematically aod objectively, as far all is humanly possible, to dtrYe10p
my points (If view.' It appears that Cyril M6ngo did not know ?ty nody,
when be prepared ills inaugural lecture. in the Koraes Chair or Modern
Onek and Byzantine I..a.nguagc and Literature at King's College, London,
wtwre he examines the SUbject of the relatloMhip between the Byzantine and
the Modem Greeks.
1
Probably, however. he knew it but he deatt with it in
one moke of the pen,lumping it together with the general Gftlek
Indeed. it would be fair to say that the overall pic:tul1i of
Icni1:lm tbrough the age1l, as drawn by Paparrigopoulos, has
cd in Greoce until now, and that most subsequent investi$ations.
whether in pute history, folklore, literature or language, have taken
it fot granted. 4
1n spite of this. if he had 'read my book he wou1d have been perhaps
persuaded that many fundamental problems. often vital and grave for ReI-
lcl'ism, are treated there with courage, Truth and historical evidence were
the only guide in their treatment.
There exist concentrated here. I believe. even if not written with great
humour and fineness of language. many positive elements, which would have
aided him in his: research. My maio concern was the problem of the origin
of the Modern Grech and I want to believe that 1 have discussed and ad-
vanced it boldly. Moreover, the :remarkable fact is that my ideas did not
provoke my fellow Greeks, proof that tbey are not obsessed by ancestor
worship but by the desire to learn what they are and thrOllgb what stag'l:S of
historicai development tbey have passed. There I spoke or forego
zalion and noted the importance mainly oftbe Albanian oolonizations,
2. Even though Mango does not discuss the question of the origin of the
Greeks. mnce be beUeves that the subject has been ably covered hy his pre--
Jcnkins,a I myself would like, with the opportunity offered me in this
article. to cite c.ertain of my own observations or the evidence of other respon-
sible expem. Moreover J would like to hring to mind the establishment! of
Roman oolonies in various parts of the Greek territory. in Epirus. and Ms.
2. < I<rt()f:ia rov NI(J(J • {Ill:atory of Modtrn Hellenism) A' ('I"beMalonoo.
J96J).
3. Cyril MWlio. lb7Aotinisw nnd 1\.omaJuic HeUenlsm. JOIl!"lfa/ of WMbuq 0Itd
CCUTlDu/d In.rtfllnu, 29-43.
4. Op. <il. 41.
5. R. Jmkins. ltyZQ/lftllJM tiM BYMJf/illl.rm. Cincinnati, 1961.
6 . .s:oe Theod. Cb. San'bldi. ".l4&1.'IoMi tt; 'f1'Jv f(nop{¢v <f1\1j; "Hm!poo K4trt to\.w;
ZpOvoo,; t1K ICUpl.Upxiw;" (COQUibuticm 10 tl» lliatory of Epiru& ill \be Yean
or the lWroan .Rule) AE 1964, pp. 106,112 ft.
'04
cedooia (Philippi. DioD, Pella't etc.). facts which are often forgottell. At that
time. bowever, tbe Greek language and the Greek: population bl:ing" by far
mote numerouil gradually absorbed the Roman colonists. Thus, the fa-
milies even of important Roman colonists became Hellenized and from the
third century A.D. the Greek language was used even in official documents.
appointments, honorary inscriptions etc. written in honour of the Romans
themselves or written at their orders. III the numericaLly more populous
and cordial envirOllllle:nt of the Greek lands the foreigners were graduaUy
assimllatcd. This same phenomenon can be observed after 1204 in the
Frankish controlled territories of tbe Ionian Islands. Oetc, the PeJoponnese
and the Cyclades.
No one would dispute the fact that both anthropologically and culturaUy
(with the m.caning here of folk civi.l.i:Ultion) the Modem Greeks ate neater
to the Byzantines than ro the: Ancient Groek1l. And of course this is reasonable.
It is the meaning of developmen.t and the baaic mcu.ing of history which
fol'Ce3 UII to accept this truth un:resenedly whether we like it or not. In 8.ll)'
case, evtIl after the period of heated diSC'UStiions that llpra1lg up among the
e:tperts afttr the theory of Fa11mtlrayer was at:tac:ked in the rpneteentb
f'j, tru:re were still Greeks. wbo had no different opinion. For C%Ul)ple the
erudite Oeorgios Tert.setis of the postMtrVolution era wrote that: "Last ytlat
and the year before are closer kin to us than oenturiea long since passed."
Despite all this, despite its changu through the centuries the ancient Oreek
anthropological nucleus has remained. Of course the work of the historian
and the anthropologist is not easy. It is. today at least, ridiculous that we
3bould want to' assign the <:O'ntents of OR:ek veins and arttrie3 into dtops of
ancient Greek: blood. Fallmerayer stated that not one drop exists. That is
his prerO'gative, At any rate this type of &eo.etalisatiO'n n l'IoIllve and ground.less
if no!hlng else.
It is, however. worthy of note that Count de Gobtncau. the founder of
the raci.al theory. does Dot refute the exhtenet of this anc:icnt Greek nucleus
in modern Greeks, even if he states somewhAt vaguely and oontuKdly bill ideas.
which are based only on genera! information, In particular this pbiJosopher
of racW theory, who stresses the iI\tctQOuf$C of the Grceb with various t8tleS
from ancient to sees this mtcrminalins. this .. eclecticism," as
he ca!ls it, as the oldest in biatory. And he goes on to say:
""
C' e&t aussi. a,-8& une absoluc de; aaciena
ticularismes; il a remplact et Atblnes. el Sp&rte CIt leur esprit; iI a
remplad la Lydie. la Phryglc. IOus Ie! nomb('eu): to)'llumes dODI
runiOD fit immeox des SIJeucides: au. oelui lief; Ptolcrn6cs; iI
a pris de toutes Its nations !lu,;,qudles il s' et:t substirue et it II. effac6
avec routes leurs en gardaru que1quc c.bose de la
nature de toutes; Ie sang gree CQntietu une grande proportion de
parties CSt I'tlemcot albanais joue un grud role dan.s:
sa .rormation. D n' a peu de parties antiques, car les populations
5yriennt'!! et se sont d.eversees dans son &eio; 1a
ce lui III donni peod.t.ot des l ib::les de prCcicux et 6n.crgi'lucs apporl8
de sa coloftisatioR! german1qutl ; ;lUll. dirrtrmts moments ofJ. CC$
infiltrations ani t'U lieu, elJes. se sont dans lc sei.n d' nne com·
bin"i!'iOQ tr!lI pumantc dij " qui De s· eat abtorber par aucUDe
d' elles et qui fes a absorb6es sans cep¢ndlUlt rcjeter tout
ce quO cites pouvaientlui apportm' de Cort ct d' utile ct. de fa 30m.
" t:U manifeste un rMtal tIt$ composite. mais td:s rtsistant ct qui.
tel quO 11 est, et n' omant CIl $Oi rien d' abwlument origillal puisqu'
il dmvait de III suppre&5ioll de toutes Jes originalites antiques, D'
cn eonstitue poll! moins, A I' More actwillc, i. l ' tgard dts races
tiques lOit nouvellement aHi,,6cs du Nord. soit demcut6es dAM
leur ancien de relative, et vis-A·Yis dC$ IIggiomintioos
europknnes, latines;, gennl&aiqUet ou Itulm, un amalgame tees
particulier, douc d' une graode 50uplessc, fort pcu dUipost 1. se laii--
set ab8OCbe1' li SOD tour, repoussant. avec la memc !nergie que 1e
peuvent Jaire Ies: races PUI"eS, toute nouveUe f1Jsioa avec n' importe
qui CIt representant 'un mot, avec: UIlt! ronfiaDcc, one skutite,
un orgeuil implacable, ce qui a tout le droit imaginable i. se quali ..
ricr du mot de nationa1jte,·
From. the time of GobiM:3.U many opiniotU Ilfld divergent poinu of view
bave boca expreMe4, as .DlAIly io support of fallmerayer' s theory as in sup-
port of the oppot.:it.e point of vicw. Frequently tbe fint 9I'efC not detached
rrom the political orientations. the: sympathies and prejudica of the ec:bo-.
Ian who supported them. Indeed. for W period immediately the
$«::ond World War and also throughout the course of it--a time wben ill Ger ..
ma.nil: lXluntries spoc:ulations on tbe superiority of the Arian race were at their
8. lCI Comtcl do GoblaN.u. [)cia j, ... III MdiImv. C4f1t(KIUtrw.lA.R.oJIIIfdW
.. HtUbtu. ParIs, 190$, pp. l44-2A6.
106
Dtlith - Fallmerayer came again to the forefront, since the racists as.serttd that
the Greeks had hoen vcry deeply influenced by their su.cccssivc int«mingling
with otber facts. It is also worthy of note that in the Soviet Union in post...
war years a swing toward.'1 this theory Willi observed in historians who
stressed in partic!llar too Slavic influences." It is oot difficult to ma.R out
the reuon for this. One only has to consider what Albania could do in
this particular ease if she were large, wealthy and powerful enough, since
her ethnologic:a! traces are Ioca1ised and continue to exist in the southern area
of modern Greece. even if they have completely Hellenized by now.
If. then. it is possible in our time for serious opposition to be
concerning the greater Of lesser racial relation of the Modem Greeks with
the AMient Greeks, one can calculate how difficult becomes the problem of
the racial and spiritual relationships of the Rumanians with the ancient Da ..
cians. from whom they Wok neither the language nor the wealth of the fol.k:
intellectual hcrltage. whereas the Otteb in fact did..lndoed the problem of the
RUl\UI:nlans is much more wmpla and confused than that of the On:eb. when
one considers the loog stay and the various iDteroou.rses between ,peopie3
and tribes that took place in Dacia on that great road travelled by streams
of emigrants after the Roman conqnest (lOS-I06 A.D.). However, wherw
once there were SOnle who supported the theory of the Romao origin of the
Rumanians, 00 contemporary Rumanian or c-..en foreign historian has any
doubt that the origin of the Rumanian nation belongs to thcpte-Roman
era. that there exists a large nucleus in the modem RllltIAnian nation and that
the archaeological discoveries speak clearly on the subject of the continuity
of the Daoo-Roman population north of the Danube and of its numerical
superiority in the face of other foreign tribes}' And this opinion is highly pro-
bable since anthropological cllaoges are not sinlple. neitbor do races dlb out
easily,
With reprd to this, the Frtnch anthropologist, Eug. Pittard,. in his book,
"LeiS Races et I' Histoire." wrote:
Certains hiiStoriens ont trap facilement repandu cette notion-
eUe est. grAce 1 em. MIas! une proposition wurante. -que
les oonquetti ont ei.6 de ttansformatian ethnique$, Bien d·a.u ..
tJu parmi ce1ki quO 00 ne pouvait imagioer, oot
collabore 1 cette crreur, Ccrtaias vaincus. flatt& que Jeun 8ncllies
9, A. A, Vuiik<r, IIw Fint. Cambridse. J9$O. pp. 303, 3()4 (or
morc I'CQCnt hl:uoricaJ bibliogapfty,
10. Soc the Iule4itbn oftfMo Rwn.i1WAD. Academy: c.. Em. «Ch,
Stef4l'l. DU drl ntm(inim- wtd tier Spnu:k, Bucanst,. 19M.
107
aient et6 til. projc de teIs Oll telll conquerants. rendus: c&!bres par
I' Histoire. ont trop volontiers aocepte d' nolr par cctte 000-
qu8te. modifies anthropologiquemenH Les vidoiccs romaines 0'
cUes pas laisse croire 41.1)( gens simples que Rome avait peuplC,
de ses S(l1dats, taus les pays conquis1 Bt DC voit.-on pas !l.ujUUT-
d' hui des politicieos. on Iitttrateurs. souvent pt.r Ie seal amour
des pompeuses, souvent pour des rnis01\.5 pius profo.nde:s.-
des raisons romaines. - parer leurs pays te$pectifs de teltts fausses
etiquettes? Voyez ce qui s' est passe en Roumanie, utIle dernier des
pitres. parce qu' II parle une langue derivee du tatin, (Ill pacce qu' ij
se rappe1le que ses aieux turent valneus par Rol'tle (cette victoire
ne rut pas facile, certes. et il y aurait lieu d' etre fier de P adminl ..
bl.e resistance des Daces). s' imagine quO it 11. dans lei veill,C$, Ie
pI11.'I pur sang de Trajanl U
I believe that, particutady in the cue: of Greece. the meaning and influ-
ence of the invasions and colonizations of foreign tribes have been unduly
!ltressc.d, Factors in anthropogcography and anthropology. as well as the oon ..
elusions have eome to, even from these final invasions, indicate that for-
eign tribes in comparison with the Jocal oncs, were always in a numerical mi·
tlority. The same French anthropologist, Eug. Pittard. towards the end of hfs
book reiterated the following many times:
Maintes fol$, au OOUr.i de tet ouvrage, noU$ avoJU 50utenu
cette opinion, que nous noUS faisons. presque toujours, une faUl'lSoe
de la valeur anthropologique des invasions. Les irruptions
guerrieres. surtout dans ces periodes l<lintaine$ et dan$ ces lietu.
oil les voies de commuoications ne pouv.uent que ditTicilement
aUurtr Jes arri!f'Ci, n' ont pu a.ccomplies que par de petits
contingents. Leur faibJesse nnmerique m6!he a&StJnUt leurs de ..
placements rapides, c' est-l-dirc leurs La mainmlse sur
un pays devait avoir bien davanrage Ie d' nne conquete
adm.io.istrative que d' un recouvrement et1uUque. Les popuJations
lubjugu6cs rcstaient en place et aa:eptaient les lois des vainqueun;
et Ie!! caracteristiques anthropoJogiques de la region conquise
De devaicnt pas SoC modifier beauooup. a
Not wishing as a Greek to resort 10 the specialist studies of Greek an·
ll. Bue. Pittard. us Rou" d rHino/n, Pari", 1924. p. 12,13.
1:1- Pittard, op. dr., p. '11.
'OIl
thropologiats, of Ioannis Koumaris 1$ and Aris Poulianos If; (the lut scholar
to rely on the numerous counts and exa.minations of Greeks from variou,
localities. and Oil methodologic;at principals of the Soviet school of anthtopolo-
gy)t who support the nlcial continuity of the Greek nation. I cite the de--
ductions of antbropogcography and refer to the opinion of tbe French
throposeographer. F. Braudel. who writes as follows:
It est vrai que les envalUs...eun oat toujours et6 en petit
bre. Quoi qu' on en ait dit et Ccrit parfbis., . Que cc soient 105
slaves blonds qui campent en Orece ! I' epoquc de Justinien. les
captifs rustleS, polonais ou hOl1grois dont la descente siiencieu!Ie
peuple COMtanfulople au "vte sieele, .. it en de voir
bien its ont 6te rapilieooent ou tliminh et renvoyCs dans leur pays
d' {lrigine. ou bien submerges et absorbes: Ie climat, la
quand oe n' est pas Ie yin lui seul, ont eu raison de ccs
6trangen, jamais Dien adaptees a la durc vie mMiternmeenne. IG
If then:: exists any notable foreign colonization in certain Greek terri-
tories it is the colonization of the Albanians. However, even the approxima ..
tely 10.000 Albanians or Albanian V1a,chs, who went down to tbe Pelopoonese
around the end of the 14th century, were stilJ a minority, even if an important
one, among the majority of the Greek inhabitants. not only of the local Greeks
but of othen too (rom beyond the Isthmus, who. tmif'ied by the Turkish
storm, which was: coming ever closer, rushed to imd asylum in the great south ..
ern Greek Peninsula. U And onc proof of their minority was their gradual
assimilation into the: neighbouring Gnlek population. Of COU!1C the linguis.-
tic assimilation, in particular, took much Jonger time: if one (;(Iosiders that
up to the present in certain villages the mother tongue IS still pt'C8(!cved.
Then again if the Slavic minority in l.'hessaJy and in other southern
Greek tcrritorie$ was so important, how is it that thC very slight trac:ea of it
were very quicldy assimilated and ab$otbtd1
Speaking above of tbe Peloponnese u a refuge, I would likt- especially
with repro to the Greek territories-to stregs the importance or the moun·
tainous formation of the country and the role that bft' many and various:
13. I. Koumllris, "Le 8utochtone du J:>euple Grec," CaJWf'#L/pII'n de l'Fb
hillo/Nt d' lO(J961) 212-219, fos: bibliocnphy.
J •• Am: Poullanos:H rw. OriginoltboOn!du).AIhc:at. J960.
U. p, Btaudcl. lA MNiWrQnie (1/ k ftI01Jlk MilteF/'WIIt"1f d ripoqw • P1ti/Jpptt l1.
hrU. 1949, p. 185. See also EI.Ia. Pitta.rd. Lu ken, pp. t:z..ll •. 517.
16. Ap. "p. cir •• J,l. 29 D".
J09
goa played, the settlements in positions. the nwuntaio p1ains. tbe
woodlJ, the caves, and in particular, the peninsulas and the islands -even if
I pus over in the remote Byzantine Characteristic. for in-
stance, is the jnformation we are given by the reliable. lJ anonymous author
of the life of the young Saint Luke. when he relates the events of the invasion
of Symoon. the Tsar of the Bulgarians, ioto mainland G:r<::ece and the
ing of the inhabitants of Pholds to the towns: "From here some shut
selves up io the fortified towns and others found refuge in Euboia and the
Peloponnese." II
A striking example is Cbalkidike. which,. because of iu masses
remained outside the current of the invasions and the colonizations of the
Slavs. In connection with this, let us here observe that untit the end of the
18th century the oral tradition prtserVed tM story that the mountain p1a:in
of what is today Arnaea was very thickly populated during the timo of the
Bulgarian invasions. 1.0 AliSO it is highly probable that the lrigh niountains of
southern Maoedonia, Pieria and Vmnion. \VeRI refuges for the Greek
lation during the period of the Slavic invasion!.*' But the Oreek population
was not uprooted in all areas from the plains. When the storm had pwtSed. they
returned to their homes, The mass of ancient place-names bears wi1ne$s to the
Greetness of these axea5. II
The opportunities that the geological formation of the Greek territories
pt't$lltod for refuge. safety and isolation Wefe exactly the factors that
preserved the natural characteristics of the people In
ancient and medieval timc-s. This factor of isolation has not been observed
or paid as much attention as it deserved by the historians. Of its role. the
father of French anthropogeography. Vidal de la Blache, observed:
L' lsolement estla oorulition n6ccssaire de C«I que noU$ appe-
Ions des races, S' if De cr6e: pas la dlff6ranciation. on peut affirmer
du mow quO it oontribue I; la maintenir. C' est seulcment avec: SOil
17, O. dt CoItat-l..ouillet. "Saints de Qrice IUR VIne, txt et XO .. /JyuIJtIiIJfa 31
(1961) p. 331,
18. See G. Kre:nou, (Conc:cmiDJ Pbokis). Atbeos. 1114, vol. I, p, 33. Soc ftIw
pp. 14H,16!i.
19, M. R M. dmu Jo MQt:idotM, PIri5. lUI, vru. 2, p. 140.
20. See op. eft. vol. I, p, 53. 'See fint p. 63. Thill fflU't$t lOOk on wi4ft'
bou.ru,1& And • more stable in the time of the 1\u'k14h QrX\lpatioo.
.21. Sac Stilp, 8Mm.uqr"'u .. ('I'bew,lonikan SIudicJ). 1"besa.
loruld, 19"39. pp. 9, 11. (2, H.
11.
COOCOUTS que des caracteres physiques sp6cialises ont pu SiC
tuer, se transmettre et durer a travet$ les m61anges utt6rieun. til
3, Now let us take up my other topic; the intellectual continuity of the
Greek nation. Mango notes: and underlines in particular the secret or Ntther
mystical forcos, which are at work in the Byzantine Empire, and he considers
them to be fundamental elements in the substance of the Bymntine and
Byzantine world. In with this he refers. to the works of various
scho1ars, who have studied the doctrine of eschatology jn Bytantium. He
himself stfCSses its importance, whicb has not yet been justly valued. as he
90 rightly obS¢t"Vcs,
Mango is one of the few who have work«l with S1lI,".C.tss: in this field, And
as his "'The Legend of Leo The Wise"" bean witness. he could have
filled this JacOna in schotarship, However. I do not agree that these mystical
ideas arc the only substantial elements of the Byzantine world so as to per-
mit him the categorical statement - in diugrocment with 1. B, Bury and
the other BY1.antinoJogists: on thi, definition and it is, I
think, a fair one, was much mcm:' biblical than Greek." 14
It i$\lery natural for scholars to overestimate the importarlre of the sub-
ject, with which they have boen occupied for many years, for this has gradually
become so mueh a part of them,S() mucb their own that it finaUy enslave! their
entire interests. many scholars consider that the importance of
their subject has been underestimated or slighted, 1 fear that Mango has
not entirely managed to avoid this danger,
1'he importance of the secret or mystical forces I have myself noted and
have dedicated to these a not inconsiderable n\lmber of pap in the first- voJ ..
ume of my History, whetei J speak: of the theocratie theories in connection with
the interpretation of the de<;line of the Greek nation. of the breakdown of
the Christian faith and of the revival of the eschatological tea.cb.in3 •• eteInents
whieh Mango did not have to hand, or which he did not take into at.'X:ount.
In the relevant chapters I tried to get UDder the skin -of the psychology -of the
people and the masses, particularly of the religious who are frequent"
22. Vidal4e III Dlachc, PrincfJltff fk pubI. F.mmanueI M Marton.
11C, Pam. 1948, p. 277.
2). C)ril Muao. "'Tl:Ie Legend of Loo the W'1.!Ie-" ZborNk R4d.loO of tM lnrItituC or
B,yuntlQl!: Stud1c!l of vol. 65 (J96O). tL 6, pp. 59-93.
J4.. Manp "p. t:It., p, 31.
2j;. ()p. dt., pp, 1»144.

HI
1y roused and are vital (actort in tbe Byzantine society. With the study of
these C('IJ'OeS it is pw.Isib1e to unearth. between tbe lines of theological texts.
interesting elements concerning the grave problems of tbe people of that
time attd their agonising attempts to come face to face with these problems.
It is true that these tbeo(:ratic opinions survived even to more recent
yean. Their representative in the years of the Greek revolution of 1821 'WSB
Ambrosios Phrantz.es.
1IiII
One still hears old men today saying, "tht; Lord
knows them by their sins," which is none other than precept of the
theocratic theory wbkh held sway in the Middle Ages.
Ate we to say then that the mystical and eschatological thcorit:s ate
tb.t only ones that form the 8ubstanee of the link between Byzantium and
!fie mod ... ro Greek world? An.d are these ideas characteristic of Byzantium
only? At tbis same period not the people ofwcstem Europe imbued with
tM same theories? And jf this is so, were these ideas the most important
constituentll in the civilization of the West? I believe that the folk mentality
in Greece. even if we isolate it from the learned and written tradition. is
muJtifarious and and it has important aDd various ramifications
and projections. Some: of these: tieton g vcry strongly to the past and rea.eh
back to ancient times. One may find didactic examples of this truth in the
book of 1, L. LaMon. St
Indeed. if one observes with a eritical eye themanifestation$ ofpopular
modem day life in comparison with Ulat of the past. one could discover many
survivals of ancient conditiO'ns, customs, manners. etc., a sort of histO'rical
fossils one might say, which belp us not only to understand contemporary
reality but to perceive it in its devtl<lpment from the: pad to the present,
and vice versa.&llleave aside here the propably externw intellectual similari-
ties in general, and the: various manifestations of the life: of the Ancient.
By.tAntine and Modern Greeks that many foreign travelIen to Gf'UQC and
PhilheUenes believed in, and came to fitht at ber $Ide in great rev¢lution
of 1821.
Even the Greek lanauage itself, not oniy the common (ananage, but the
dial«ns too. form linkst wlUcb bear witness to this intellectual CQJltinuity.
For they preserve not only pface..names but various words, denotations of
'UL Ambrl.'l'lio, PbTanu,es •• B'mt"ol.ll} nk • T* • EUd&, (SUm-
m.a.ry or the History ot the Rebirth of Greece), AtJientl, 18J9.J84I, vola. 1 .... ,
17. Moth/"lf OTUk FiJlkfDrt _ Gruk UVriun. 2uded. New York, 196C.
18. See t. i. in D. A. Petropoulos. {mO Aatrt'pc1.ft.,..qv m..tv
.. intcrpmed rtom. view pqillt),. 18 (1959)
'"""
m
objects or even proverbial phrases. Some of the demotic SOllgli a1s(l have liD
important influence. tbe ballads as welL as. the Akriti:c songs which have
survived in certain parts of Greece. Moreover, certain klephtic songs with
Akritic eletnents interwoven with ne....-er types, the substance of the modem
era, make up a certain link with the folk medieval civilization. And other
example! which I shall pmlCnt below. prove 1 think,that Byzantium was
not "biblical" but Grook, at least in substance.
'This intellectual link with the past can also be attributed to art. Well 10
known are the works of the Greek and foreign art historians who studied the
cultural awakening in the thirteenth and fourt.eenth centuries and recognised
survivals of ancient Greek cultural elements (of classical and. Hellenistic re-
presentations and forms). which from the far off PMt have not ceased to in-
herit from each other from generation to generation in popular artistic cirdes.
Sometimes they continue to prevail in artistic life and in other cases they
rcat and enter a sect)nd destiny. Characteristic are the: dedm."tions of Kurt
Weitzmann. particularly those wruch are referred to in his studies of the ilw
lum.:inated. manuscripts of the tenth and eleventh centuries. The miniatum
in the manuscript of Pseudo-Qppianos have particular value.- In the thirteenth
and fourteenth centuries we observe: a large use of ancient Greek: dements
in literature also.
We must also keep in mind thefoUowing: facts, which givcus an idea of the
position held by the monaiitc:ries not only as cct'ltres -of ascetic isolation and
stndy of theological texts, hut also as manuscript tactories, as it were. and as
study centres of the intellectual treuures of ancient Greece. Already in the
fust volUllle of my History [ have referred to the fact: that in the libraries of
the monasteries thtre were many ancient Greek te;'(ts available to !$Cholan
interested in classical learning. Cedn:1lus, speaking of the renowned Leon
the Mathematician (ninth century), writes that when he had heard rbetork,
phi)O$ophy and. mathematics from the phiioSoOpher Michael PseUos the elder,
the pupil of Photius, he afterwards went round the monasteries and explored
their libraries looking for the re1evallt books .... And finding and studying
diligently" Cedrenus says "he raisedhimstlf to this point (If learning. .. • Let
me note too the efforts of the Lascarids to ooUeet manuscripts "of all the
urt.s and sciences," to set up public libraries III and school! of higher edu.-
29. K. Weitzmll"-". Gnek I" !lyUltIl_ Arl, Princeton, 1"),
)0, 1Cildnm0000, Bonq oditiuo, 2 p. rro, '
31. x.. 8e.tlW, MI<1U.Ul:wI:NII} BI{JJ...aIJ{pn; (Medle'Yal Library). 11194, vol. 1,pp, m.
S3J..S3ii.
eation. UI What irnportanc::e have aU these facts? Did their eelio not sound.
among the people? However, let me pa.'iS over these various pieces of infor-
mation of which Mango was unaware and let me come to It piece of in-
formation provided by the leamed cleric of the Empire of Nicaea Nie..
phoros: Bleromydes. It refers to remote areas of Epirus and Western
Thess,a)y. There (and he will chiefly have in mind the mot1allter1e$) he saw
and studied, in silU, many manuscripts. In&,ed with admiration he observes
that the books were hard to count al1d hard to come by and some were
known even to many who had dedicated. thelt entire lives to studies." Thus
it is explained how in a similar remote monastery in S. W. Maced<tnla, in the
monastery of Hosio$ Nikanor. opposite N. W. Thessaly, was recently fC1und,
together with other manuscripts. the entire w:t of the lexicon of PhotiUs-
an event which caused a great stir in the literary w¢rld. After all this what
conclusion is ol1e to come to about the monasteries? That they were merelY
places for the copying and the study of tnanUIJCripts of biblical. and Christian
leaming or that they also were the door through which ancient Greek
tearning was transmitted?
Do not these tendencies of artists and scholars to approach ancient
deb, to enter deeper into the substance of the ancient world, n:ta.ke up a uni-
fied line or a conservative tradition that bears witness to the survival of
lectllru elements? These survivals do not of course make up the entire civili·
zation of the ancients -and no one would want to uphold this theory - and
nor indeed would it be possible for this civlliz.ation to be presen'ed, because the
various changes. the new situations and necessities that occur from year to
year and from era t.o era, in their turn change the society and the heritage of
even the most vital past. Then let us not forget the va.'it -- even i.rru:neasur-
able at certain points - melting pots set boiling by Christianity and by the
emigration .of the peoples.
or course ancient Greek literature didn.ot offer a lesson to a11 younger
generations of both clerics and laymen. nor was this pheoomenon apparent in
aU areas. The number of clasical scholars was relatively small but the obser-
vation that, the clasical tradition "had no impact 00 thei people," as Mango
asserts, l1li is an exaggeration that ha$ no foundation. In all p1a.ces and always
even itt our times. sc:oolats aod artists are in a minority. The people however
32. See det&ili in I, Papadopoulot, 1/ UuewlJ. EmpJrettr de N4'h.Parisl908.
See abo N. Fata, Diwot LaM:ariI E'J/tIto/iitlt CCXUI, Fkltmce. 1898, p. 271.
33. Nikepboros rod. A. lleiseDbers, LdpVs, 1896, P. 36.
:M. MIIIJiO, op. ell., p. ».
their influences wbd:her they be itnpOrtant or not greatly significant. Of
roUrK'. in O\lt times conditions are different and means of influence which mi-
litary, political and intc:llC'Xitual leaden have on the people are incomparably
greater and more drastic than ever before. III spite of all t.his particularly
at moments of crisis OJ upheaval, when the jrritation of the IIJ..\\Ue!i VI'll! at its
height. and it was therefore hig.bly susceptible to influences - there existed
a wide margin for leaders to guide the people with their ideas, their opin-
ions and their acts. Did not the variOllS gatherings: outside churches, in
communities, in trade unions or military barracks, create places wll.en raw
mOllS men could influence others and give voice to thdr opinions1 Were
these ideas kept closed in by a great and impassable barrier'! The study of
history proves that euu::t1y the opposite was true."
Particularly on the sllbject of the survival of the ancient Intellectual
heritage, of the influences of the Byzantine scholars on th.e people and even the
peasants. and their coutribution to science and letters,. Mango could have
drawn out didactic facts from the work Qf H, Hunger, "Von Wissenschaft
und Kunst dec fruh", l'alaiolog'."'i1." J()BG. 8 (1959) 12'HS;., wil<:re h'
speaks of the services oiTered not only by the humanities but also by the
liCiences in Byzanuwu in the thirteenth aad fourtee11th (;CDturies. Frilm a qL1:o·
tation of Theooorus Metochltes, that Hunger gives, we learn that. Nicaea.
that illustrious focal point of learning shone its ruys even 00 the Vl1lages. "For
the teaching ofthls place excels out<;ideaoo ooids sway and trains people from
afar. And in this way even the pcatmnts galn wisdom."" Tbat is to say. the
text confirms (one might almost say by a strange COincidence) the very fact
that MangO refutes. Even if there is much exaggeration in this text there
must: exist Some truth. And it shows by analogy what must have been haP'"
pening in other Greek centres, that is to say what influence the scholars
could have had not only on the W'NllS but also on the villages. From this
briltant artiCle of Hunger we also realize that duriDg this age the1:e blew a
new wind and a new spirit whicb characterizes the mentality of Bywltine
scholars. Of the Byzantine literary scholars fODr stand out especially. two in
Constantinople, Maximos Planou&s and Manuel Moschopoulos, 6lld two
in Thessalonik:i. Thomas Magistrus and Demetrius Triclini:llS. EspeciaUy
these last two, and most of all, Trldinius the most slgnifleant of aU, are not
inspired by a spirit of scholasticism and verbosity. They Iltid the foundations
lj, eumple5 of 1M inrhulDoc Qr :iCholcn OIl tile pwple mO, Ttlfnili,
ail: Xlye rllc1t!, P.a.rh. J913. pp.
Yi. HUJl$ef. "Von .•. H, JBO<J Ii (1959) 137,
'"
of textual criticillm. something which happened verylatel' on. In particu1.ar
when Triclinius wants to publish a text he does not rely on one manuscript
alone but on the divergent readings of many. If these scholars were dry and
pedantic how can we explain the fact tbnt contemporary foreign scholars-l
leave aside Greeks since they could -possibly be accused of ancestor worship
- express admiNtlon for them? And they admire them not only (or t.I'1cir
method but also for their sharp cdtical mind. TIw: gteat Wilamowitz himself
wrote of Tridinius. "D. T, ist in Warheit eher als der erste modeme
kerkritiker zu fUhren." $1 Well is this movement "an upswing, as Mango
says 39 not a - (If classical scholarship and even of scholastic
science?" And what was the oot'n::$ponding movement at that time Europe?
The positive sciences too, all Hunger hlmself informs us, have their own
representatives to show, They published ctroun works in astronomy and
disseminated the knowledge of the Greeks. :5 I do not intend to enumerate
these men of teaming here and in any case Hunger has dedicated a COllSider-
abJe number of pages to t-heJ:n in bis work. r would like to mentiou-only
one of them, who expresses the spirit of his nge and also th.e signs which prO-
pheSY the downfall of the Byzantine world; this man is Theodoros Metochi-
tes. In spite of the fact that be is imbued with the ideas of nncient Greek
authors he nonetheless is disturbed at the same time by an internal crisis which
shatters his faith in the unique positi()n of the ancient Greek civiUr.ation in
humanity. and shalters also his faith in leaming.Cl. This same cdsis disturbed
Cydones a century later. Metochltes is tbe offspring of his tragic era. He com-
bines witmn himself the intellectual tradition of ancient Greece with the idea
of tbe instability of human affairs as he sees them unfolding before his eyes.
11ws perhaps we can find an explanation for the be1id of Metochites as of
many of his successors. in the ancient goddess Fate. a belief which does not
even stop at the acceptance of destiny or even fatallsm itself,u a belief which
it seems has never cea'>ed to exlst in both the Greek nation and in every
other nation on earth from ancient times up to the pteSiC11t day. This
nomenon is very human, not only in Byzantium, and it suffers ups and
37, HUDiIIW. {lp. cit., Pl'. 13101-157.
38, Ma.ngo, <>P. Hdieni.sl'l'l, p. 33.
39. Hunaer. {lp. ciJ. 148-1'L
40. For $CI! H. HI1ll.8e:t, "'thtodoros Metu<.;bitis all VorlaufoeT des Humani-
r.mw. in Brz;,mz. H lJyz:mt(nJ.ttM Zdlschrl/1 4.:5 (19!12) J if,
41. a. O. Bock,. 'IModor<n Methtx:'hilu. Miinchen.1952. pp. 92-9!1, baoo 1'.116,
42. I3ed:. cpo cit., pp. 100-114. a/.IKJ ft Hlmger. "DI::r Ethnik06 des Tbeod.on;!tl
Metochitec'i," ntr:Jf.(larfiha BvC<rn. Athem 19!13, vol.3,p.lS7.
116
downs in intensity acoordi.na to times and situations. Metochites is loCIlSi-
nve w and aware of the caused by the constant change of hu-
man cood.itiQus. t\S this ohange appeared and developed with speedy and
disturbing rhythm in his own age. 1'bis topic of the instability of hu.m:an
affairs is often on the lips of the scholars of the last years of Dy.zantinro..
:and naturally they feel it most forccfu1ly since they fi.nd themselves in the
position to follow the events and to mourn day by day thtJ declint of the
once powerful empire. So, characteristically in Metochites we sec the
coexistence of the rationalistic and the fatalistic element. The man who a\
forty three yean of age felt a strong I1Mi to study the 'W()rq of Theon. PtQ...
lemaeus and Euclcid etc. and the need to become iniiiattd in mathtmllJ-
tics in order to study in a positive way the celestial phenomena was then
taken pOiieSsion of by the spirit of mysticism. So we see the ancient Greek
intellect going together with tM mysticism of the de9illusionrd, late medi-
evat man.
Metochitts himself, speaking of the role of in the intellectual
ve10pmeut of Byzantium. writes in his work "Nicaeus" wi this capital "pro-.
served seeds of a 1at.et revival," U that is to say. it W!1.$ Ii "store hour.e ......
Jy as he says. of the elements of Ii great cl.vil1:ling heritage, elements which
afterwa.rd's Clltne alive again in the' favourable envirOll:lMnt of the new empire
and brQught forth well known and intellectual fruits, Thu phrase of
Metochites gives uS to understand, as '\Ven. the character of the so called "re-
naissance" in the time of the Palaeologl. Of course no OM today can uphold
the idea that it was a real intellectual or artistic revival but it was a great
tribution and a serious revival of ancient Greek studies and art. Manio writes
on this subject:
I know that a few Byz.a.ntine intellectuals. -especia1iy in the four-
teenth and fifteenth when the cxtiRotiou of their state w;u
clearly i.m.mi.nent. were fon:ed to doUbt the usditional views. But
these wen: iJroIated. The opinion has often been expres.s;ed that as
the world fell apart;so HeUmism was I:"tlbom, 'The pro-
portion of truth conWned in this view seems to be rather slight. It
is a fact that startiuS in the twelfth COtltwy, but more particularly
after the occupation of Constantinople by the Crutadecs in 1204,
certlun B;r.w:ttine authors took pleasure in cal.Ut1g t.htmsclves Helle-
nes; 'I
4', K. Sa.tbu,. vol. 1, p, tu.
44. S.Ihu, 0.1', cit., vol. 1. p,. 1$2.
45. 011. cit., p. ,).
1!1
Wby however are Byzantine authors pIeued h,) call thernsdves Groeb?
Mango does not explain this for us. Sint:e 1 tnyself am reckoned among those
historian$: who are of the opinion that in this era Hellenism was reborn, and
whQ do not oon51del this: truth to be "restricted ... I am bound to give a reply,
CMm. though I spoken at length on this subject in the rim voiu.n:le of my
Histoty.
This movement has a coruw;;tion with the struggles of the Creeks against
the conquerors, which sharpen their differences and awaken their feeling of
patriotism. Critical circumstanocs cultivate in the Greeks, through natural
necessity, a desire to go back to the past, where they seek again famous
personages to intitat:: ;rnodels. of ethical and military virtue. So Nlcaca and
ISlet become the great centre. intellectual and artisti<.\ the
"store' house'" where the seeds of ancl.ent Grock dvili.zation are now but·
gconing. No doubt these seeds dit exist in previous ages and from time to
time brought forth their fruits. Otherwise how else could it have been pos-
sible for th-em to survive up to that time?
In these eonditions the characteristic Philhellenis:m develops and rinds i.ts
explanation. particularly in the rulers of Nicaca. and on occasions it n:aches
a piteh of great pathos and exaggeration. These are the same reasons that
were responsible for the same phenomenon around the end of the eighmenth
century and at the beginning of the nineteenth in the days before the Greek
revolution of 1821. Military. poiitical and inte11ectual leaden are inspired
by the idea of the revival of Hellenism. It is the soweal1ed "Great Idea"
as it was named in the nillt'teenth century. The Oreat Idea must be judged
impartially and objectivel, as a movement of ideas in its own time. Both
during the years of the empire of the Lascarids as well as in the years ot the
Turkish occupation it was seeking for the emancipation and the lmi;.'ication
of the enslaved Greek population. So we find an explanation for the
cilable CQnm","! between the 'lao;carids and the FrllJlk.s. a conflict which finds
epl8rammatical in a letter of John m DtK:as Vatatz.es (between
1237-1241) to Pope Gregory IX. whme he says:
We shalt never cea&e fightiog and. warring: against those who
have et1.-'11aved Constantinople. For we are violating the precepts of
nature, the laws of our native lands, the tombs of our forefathers
and our sacrtd and holy inWtutions unless we fight with all our force
on bebalf of all these thi:ng5 ....
----
%. See L S«kkeliono, wI) 'lmwoo 6.o1)J:Q B.ncfG1j Wv
rt)TJ1QpJ;ov. tv .. (Unpublbhed !clUJI' or sOOn Dub VIltatZCI
II!
And among the masses of the people the faith in liberation is never aban-
doned even in the most difficult times when one Greek city after iUlOtber
'MiS being enslaved, JO$t as their endavemeot iii the Will of tho Lord, so also
will be their liberation. r shall pass .over all the other folk: manifestations
and note only the feeling of the popular poet fr<m the remote Black Sea
giOB, to whom Mango makes scme aII'llSioIl. And because he Wl.!!t a folk poet
is obviously expressing the feelings 0-1 his fellow cou.ntrymen:
-"Don'1 cry, dOll't cry. Saint JOM. and punish yourself so harshly!'
-"But Romania's been taken, Romania is gone!'
-"But if Romania is gone'! will bloom again and bring fortb frolt." fi7
See also the same ending in the song entitled '"The Dirge of the Sun":
-"Saint John. stay patient and tm:e consolation,"
-"The Hellenes are strong at'l.d: flourish and bring forth new fruits. PO U
(Italics are mine).
What eIl$laved race does not desire or has not desired its liberation?
If the Great Idea is considered as a. movement of ideas with tho above
a.ims-a matter which is not the werk of a historian-what then would one
say of other peoples and other who freely and jndependcnUy and fun
of power and wealth developed in of all this and cultivated till recent
yean thcir own ideas, some of which were incredibly dangerous for humanity'!
Let us exclude tbe examples of the great powet'!l and ooofine ourtllelves only
to the more insignifieant. Did not Serbia have the great idea and
dit Dot achieve its success with the above mc:ans in our times71bese questions
do oot form direct or indirect disapproval of the subjects we are discu.s-.
sing; they are intended to demonstrate how criticism of this kind can divert
the historian from his work and bring him to complete tmbject.ivencss,
The mea:ning of the Great Ideo. p:rt:'Se'llt$ for many, pa.rticularly for forei-
gners some very obscure points, because it has not been studied systemati-
c:s1ly in the historiea1 context which gave birth to it and nourished it fQr ceu-
t'IJ.ries Oil end. Also it is confused with legends and prejudices. Each penon
to Pope OrqOI)' r.,Wlcf to Pat:mos). t (J8?2) 369-318 (with wrona numbcriDg).
See ako V. Grun:Id. "L'lulhenticib! do lA Iet:ttt. de 1_ Va!.iUml:, an¢t'eur dl N'JC6e. all
}>ape DC"'. &MM d'Or/.e1fl 29 (It)O) 4»4j8.
<47, P. 1'rilUltaphyllidi&. OI1't'yd&" t\Hl,uc _k nJ',n ,u.nd
IT6nw (The Re!UpillO. II. druM lD fjv¢ u:t$ with looa prolC!fpJmml. aboot tbe lUaI:t
51»). Atbtm 1870, p. $1.
48, L KioW't.ddis. ""TpayaU6U1 '1'06 n6V$OO" (SocIaa <If the Blao:k Sea),
:o,titiI 4 (193$) 128.
119
imngiuC$ it and judges it as he himself wishes. And yet it was a shining
ideal for the enslaved Greek!! from 1204- until the beginning of the twentieth
century. Its symbol, the two headed cagle shows h()W near to the people this
ideal was. For this was the most beloved artistic motif of the people in the
time of the Turkish occupation, and the pi.ctorial eXpt"C'S'Sion of their desires
for freedom. In any case there is a great need for some positive study to be
carried out on this
U is exactly the need f{)t the preservation of tlwremn3l1u of Byzantium
and the desire for re-establisbment which motivates not only Gemistos but
other scholan and leaders with the res:uJt that the Greeks take measu.n:s to
face the situation.
I do not believe that Gentistos' opinions were ignored by "'the two
zantine leaders.," Manuelll and Theodorus 11, the Oespot of the Peloponnese.'·
The evidence we have at our disposal bears witness to the fa.ct that these
leadm und Constantine Pa1aeologus also. paid great attention to 1:lw reform-
ing tendencies of Gemistos - and I»t'baps Constantine accomplished IOl:lleo-
thiog m this direct.ion - but they did not con.'>ider it wise to put them into
practice, because they had to wrestle with the people who held power in the
arca, the who had !Teat difficulty in understanding them. And
tbe Turkish danger was so immediate that they had. to be very careful in the
application of radical measures., which wou.1d. without doubt. have caused
disturbanoes in the land. $0
And now to the problem of the Greek scholars in the Renaissance, a pro-
blem which has been much <liscussed. on. all sides, The position of present day
scholarship is in general as follows: the Greek lICholars arrived at ;.\ suiUblt:
moment in the West, that is to say at Uti': time when that great. movetnt:nt of
ideas that foreshadowed the Renaissance had begun, and so they fertilised
this movement with fresh seeds, the seeds oJ humanistic s.tudies. These scho-
tars were few but their contribution was great. as M, Crus:ius noted long ago
in his Turccgraedil.
ll
and as studies ofrnore recent scholars have SOOWllt in
part:imtlar that of G. Camme1li. No Greek historian would wish to assert
that these scholat'$ were the creatott of the It was a movement
which had iu root!! in Italy and in the other C()Untries of Western Europe,
It deveioped and unfolded organically OD its own ground and it would have
manifested itself without the Greek: scholars, but it would not have taken the
form {If a complete and integral intellectual movement.
49, Mango, op. cIt .• 33 .
.50, For iliiJ XIe Vac.aJ.'f'OUlos. ¥, cit" 9. 11411., 229 it.
jl, M, Crlal,", 1iu'e68rll«Uu:. flbrl S. Baslliae. 1548, p. -449.
.'"
.. "
In eontrast to those scholars wbo ned to the West. Oen.nadlos, who
was the f'U"St Ecumenical Patriarcb afler the faU of CoJ1Stantinopie. as well
as several other scholars. remained in their own lands near tht people. 10 fact,
they were tragic victims of the circumstances and of the new condltions.
which appclUt':d now in terrible (Otn'l. Gconadios in particular saw now
ty clearly without the mash of rdigWus fanaticism.. At this point he
ceived that he was a Christian but that he was also a Greek. In his
tion" he weeps for the fate of the Greek race. til His new reality was vtry harsh
and for this reason be was not long in resigning. DisillllSiollc:d he, too, plun-
ged into the mystical and ewhatologicsl ideas of the past, P 1'he darkness
which foUowcd naturally favoured mystici.sm. In the midst of the
ably dilTlCIllt conditions of slavery the idea 0{ fatalism grew in power tow
gethet with the ideas of the various mystk:al f1i&hts of imagination.. And this
of oourse was very natural. The iU.tte:raq and. the dM:kncss of the turkish
occupation teft the sensitive imagination of the Christian subjects of the Sul-
tan free and created a favourable /m!ediog ground for the birth a.nd ttallsmis-
sion of various legends, 'SUperstitions etc., 90 thnt in the eyes of foreig'l:l«'!; the
Grech seemed to be the most superstitious people in the world. So we see
that the def""",,"," of the Gr .. ks bas begun already. Th< !m.1ler Belon.
by their illiteracy and thedesttuetion of ancient reaches the
point of saying that the Greeks have bcoamo completely degcoenrtt. "
However, CNen in this darkness, the ideal of Ancient Greece never
10 live in the souls of many Greeks - even in the souls of the cle:tgyrnen. who
_ suppo«d '" """'PI the most po_ infI_ of the cluttch. CemIin
very famous name;s should not be passed oVC't. First 00 the list is Nik. Sopma,.
nos {16th century). who, inspired by the glory of the ancient GJeeh: W1d with
the dtsin: to help hi, fcl10w 00,",_ the _ importance
of the living :mother tongue for the awuening and the rebirth of the fallen
Cit'eek peoplo. The indispensable tool for the usc of this ladgllBge must of
course be its grammar. So be undertook and finished in lS14 th.i9 useful work.
which temaincd unpublished untD 1810. when it was published by Legrand,
:together with the U'anslation of ""The Edac.ation of Ch.if.d:reu" by Plutarch."
52. Sdtolarios, .. AnIlFT4 {Tbe w«b}. vol. 1. p. 2Sj, voL •• p. 230.
:53. Qp. dt .. YOJ. 1, 184. S«'I tho P. 21J. wl. 3 P. 2.8i1.181 fro
.54. P. Mott. LN nc., Paris. U5J. p. 3']b,
55. 'l"hc book: $(lId Out ao qulo;tly that l.estUId wu ohJiitd !dUs' foot ycIItS to SO fot
• tet::m.nl tJdItioo wi!b tbe titlo Nic. liM B"f!C tradll&ritM
.. liM rNlltl flit Phdarqlle n:r "" ffl/antA, pubtita pat E.
PaN. 1814.
He allows his deep mpect and enthusiasm for the demoDe language to
fest itself in his speech in Latin to Cardinal John. pri.ru:c of Lorraine, where
he writes tlult the demotic they call "V'I1lgarem" in no way is inferior to
its corresponding ancestor, t.ha.t is, the language used by Plato, Demosthenes
lI.nd XenOophon. w It was his aim to help in the rebirth of the nation. taking
as a starting point the intellectual treasures of its ancient since,
from whatever scholars he sought advice on "how the dreadful state of
illiteracy could be rorrceted". they al! with one voice replied that the situ ..
ation would improve when the majority would hi: educated and begin to
study and undet'Stand the tc:d.s of the ancient Greeks.
Sophianos proouced also two other works, the 3..\t,.rononlical work on the
"Construction and use of the w"poMlJkx;;" and the "description of
Greece," with the «Maps of Greece," a geographical map. and the forerunner
of the map of Regas. This contained Asia Minor, Epirus, Iilyna and Dalmatia.
Here again we see the Great Idea in the thick darkness of slavt:ry,-of course
outside reality but at Jeast without pretensions.
Another scholar who should not be ignored is the Greek Simon Portios
who never ceases to be a great patriot and a worshipper Oof the ancients. as
Sophisnos also waliL He wrote a Grammar o[ the demotic language which he
published in 1638 and dedicated to. the all powerful Cardinal Richelicu, In
his dedication he finds the appropriate moment to present tbb now no longer
recognisable Greece kneeling as a suppliant at }lis feet and he eltpn::sses amOong
other sorrows the sufferings of the enslaved:
Let it not seem strange to you if perhaps you see Gt'cooo
bowed before your feet, no longer that famous Greece renowned
for the writings of her ancient authors, but Greece as she is today.
wretched, even rude and in !lome ways. still wrapped in her swaddling
Clothes. She, I mean, who. has tasted nOot onty once the splendid
benefits of your since io the hour of your good fortune .:he
sees a brighter light and lives a more blessed life and desires to adom
you if not with rhetoric and fiDe phrases with the full yearning of a
good h__ . . .. .
Take pity. I beg you, most noble ruler on the most beartfelt
allegiance and supplication of your servant Greece, Only allow ber
with the spleodol,ll' of your glOory toe enjoy the light of the aun which
is common to all, and as she is surrendered into your hands allow
ber to n:turn agAin to her ancie1lt splendour and fteed.om. U
---
$6, SQ1)ltif..nOlto op. dr¥ p. )3.
'7. 4/>. dt .. pp. 9.14. For !.be authOR of detmotic fl1lI1Jfl\Ift .eo llso P.
122
Other clergy:rrte11lllso ate the carriers not only of the ancient Greek ideas
but also of the ideas of the Christian Byzantine world. Indeed a prominent po..
sition is held by the famous Cretan theologian Maximos MargoUJ'\los (I 549--
J602}. Hi:!! frequent correspondence with distinguished personalities of Ortho-
doxy and the West. as well as the "'<Iriet)' of the subjeru which occupied him
1Ibow bis deep theological and literary knowledge." Margoumos is weI! known
also as the editor of many literary and tb.eological texts which made a great
impression on Western schotars. and lent a certain splendour to the blackened
name of Greece. He ill ono of the tare penonatitil:$ of tbe Grock world who
was distinguished both for his great ethical and inteUet."tual talents, a broad-
ness of outlook, a vast store of learning and It steadfast obedience to
the precepts of this learning. In add.ition to all this be was nQt dogmatic
and WM very tolerant to the ideas of othm. - In him as in Chrysoioras. and
Bessarion, WOfe the attributes of the harmonious conception and ¢(imposition
of the Greek: ChrimlUl world.
Afterwards lUlotner !.Cho1ar makes his appearance 00 the horizon. the
ooly powerful penionality who can come faoc to face conclusively with the
critical Inrernal and external of OrthOOoxy and bring his
vitality into its intellectual existence. This scholar was Meletios Pegall', (1S49--
16(1) renowned not only for his humility and his inteUect but also for his:
authority. He was from Candia or Megalo Castro in Crete, a student of the
monk Meletios Vlastos; lakr he studied classicU literature, philosophy and
medicine in Padua. eo
The works of Meletios are dogmatic. confe!tSiol1s ofOrtbodoxy atld also.
was natural at that time. belligeranUy agaiMt the Catholic Church. The
focal point of his work is his support to the position of Orthodoxy towards
the decisions of the synod. of Florence. With his work, "'The Orthodox.
Teaching," it seems, be made his greatest mark ou the people and for this
OtqOtiou, E%rot" .1lIWhJttlb-.ru (Rdatiooa of tbe Catholic3 J.1ld itr;e
dOlt), AthMt, 1958, p, 210-282, 296 If.
58. Thl: biblJolfapllY the pe!"IlOI). his worb aod hil k\tm can be fouad to
P. DnepckI.des, "o.:r dC$ MuirnO! MugWliOll, Bischof von Kytb¢nt (l$49.
J602)", Jdltrb/Kh do By:wntnllMett GmiucM,fl. 1 (1951) 13.(,6, Soc al80
R. Ko6I!, L'hl$1vht: • ld li{l/rG(UFt: UpP'ltla, 1962, Pl!.
SI:'I6 Kn!)s, Dp. (if., lIP. 28&281.
60. TIw chid oolkcted bibl108filphy on thl:<l I! in N. TomadUis. '''A\It1dk)-
tm Md.!:-dou nrrrft Tl'p.);; Tilv ttpliv 11(","fl\l Tot> r&pvtt't(Hl" (UnpubI!.sbod
vi' MdctiOl! Ptsu to tM n'I.OlWtery of Gdernetou). S {l951}
263 tI.LS«o IIbo Ute new wode ofO. M,UnO\:
Pesal, O:ryWPYi'C), 19'8, pp. 12·1It
123
reason it was translated into the simple tOngue." Abo of intercstartlhi$ many
.ilfetters, published and unpublished. which .ueed to be collected inti) a body
and pubtisbed they are addrCS$ed not on\}' to various imp<lrtant
personages. kings, clergy of high rank, scholars and $0 fOTth, but also to cIerI)'
of lower rank and ordinary of the they oontaiu a great bulk
of useful information fOr the: u:n.deTsta.nding of the social, ptJUtical, religious
and intellccwa1 b.ll>tory of the country. lit
Hom:wer of much grtat".r importance are his speeches which have been
preserved under the title. "A Ptriod of Eyangelical Teaching," far they e:«'l'Ciscd
a great influence on the Greek: people and. show how indispensable for Pega."!I
was the need to of aid to the people and to enlightco them on the various
topics which he faced every day. And the importmt fuct was that be
realised that in order to C()!Umu.nic-att witb the people he hM to speak the
living language. This Wa.& a fact that other great contemporaries or his itlso
rcalis«!. as for instanoe JeKmiah II,"
The speeches of Peg:u are the living, natiotW., rc1i.gious admonition of
an intellectua11eader to the Greek P«>'ple in order to sober and encourage them,
He i$ an enemy of luxury Md insobriety, which. he maintain$, paralyse the
youth and lead it astra}'. He condemns ph",ical and exhorts inl;etlect\\al
ficabom. He: also condemns WOntet1 who run to magicians, witcbA. aad
gipsies or who believe: in various superstitions, he censures women who
wear men.·s cklthlng. and so on. /If
He laments. however. over the degeneration o.f the Greek race, which
had become a pawn of tbc ..,.eop1es of Western Europe and of Ute infidels:
1 roo. llUIl1::nt over the misfomlne of our rare and I will go
on lamenting lest the heretics atld infidels, who u..;e uS as 8. pawn in
their game and who deride us sho.uld tronk that we do llut realise
Out <:ompietdy fo.t58.ken stak and are satisfied wIth it ...
He docs not r orget hi'! race and he is proud of it:
. You that scorned race of the RomtWs, who once ruled the
61 .. Sr.e qp. clf'f 2ti:M!I6,
iS2. For tb.e oodioe$. of the of M. and in panieuJat for numbel llS4Parit.
which tmltiiillll unputili1iobed 5e!il tbe study of M. L "'0 h'
op. 1254 Mplm;« 1(61 il X(;I!)Cf)'pl!tQ<lt; t$v 0itV.t&v 'C'OO Ma-
[l1itd" (ParisinU!! or. codex lV4 and the rMn\JSi\'.l'(pt tn\ditiOD. of the of
J:"ep$). lJ'aftlIW\l'OXOV 'AexdrH) 3(1951) l-U. &.foo A. Nlkold;is,
Mdin<><; .; Kw" lSO-161Yl {Meletios Pep.. the
patriar.::h or Altun&11Il, 1545-10(2), Chama, 1\103, p.76, 136 o. :z. 1$.2 iT.
61. S« YacaJopoUl<n. (lP, cIt., Vol. B (J96f) po 259-261.
6l VaJota, l1w!i.t; 151-1::):] ancl 3OS-106. ISS. op.dt,.
124
entire with the power of yO\lf armies. The first kingdom of
the Persian! was transfem:d to the Eg,yptians. and from the Eg:yp--
tians to the Macedonians. whO were Orc:ekl!. your own true stock.
From them it wu transfe1Tcd to the Romans ftorn whom you hold
it and have their JJ..a!Qe, ..
As we see from everything we have written above, this clergyman is well
aware of the intellectual and national foundations, and these of oourse arc
cient Greece and Byum.tium. Also we realise tbat tbe idea of Hel:lc:ni.sm was
Dot a new myth. wped this time by the people chiefly in the S(()Otl(\ half
of the eighteenth century. as Mango asserts
61
but a reality formed imme--
diately after the capture of Constanrinop1e.
This fact is evt:Jl more cloorly apparent in the works and ideas of another
clergyman. Met:rophanis KritopouJos (1589-1639). from Veroia in Macedo--
nia. whO' during the CO\ItSCf of his stay in London had persuaded the- famous
Nikod.emos Metv.:as to transfer bill printing press from the English capital
to CQnstantinop1e,It was tlw: first prioting prCIIS to operate in Greek lands.
The aim of these clergymen was the aim of all Greek scholars. that is, to'
bring hack the light of knowledge to their enslaved country." Are these ideas
the expression of Heilenism in the years of the Turkish oceupauon or are
they not?
Why should we pay attention only to the illiterate and baclcward
men, who rely only on the oracWar texts and other fliglm of imagination
(whicb had of COUtse, their own rote to play) and not examine tms topic
from its other viewpoint, that is to say. to pay attcmtion to the inspired and
3dvrulOtd scholars'? Was it only the illiterate and superstitious. who rc:pfe"'
sentod Hellenisnl in the years of the Turkish occupation'!
Kritopoulos expected much, or rather everything to be ocbieved in Greece
with the Rivival of classical studies. His respect fot the Ancients is C);pres!C:d
in a hymn of praise to them, which be sets as a prologue to his i.nteresting
demotic g:tam.mat (dedicated to the Profes&or of Strassburg Betnegget), from
which we team that his contemporaries spoke exactly as we do. 'l'be1e hr: sta,te$
that the Greeks were the first of all peoples to come ¢.:\tremely neat to the
truth and the rU'St to accePt the truth of tM Gospel. HOWCIver, the instability
and the uncertainty of fate brought about the decline of tWi race ...
116. VaJetu. op, cit., p. 39!t
67. Dp, cil" 36.
68. See 1. KlU:'lTrirQ. Ii ow.! .; BWOO
n;, 1'd (Mitropbarus KritopOUlos and his Ut'lPUb!Ubed CO'/'ftlSJ)OtIdmct
115
If K.rltopouios constantly calI$ his fellow "Hellenes" stupid and
ate. he does it out of anger at their degeneration. out of sorrow. and with
tho intention of paining and wounding: them in order to rompe1 them. to
begin to correct "this mutilatc:d and insignificant dialect .. (that js the dbmOo-
tic) and re>tore its nobility and grace s.nd its native and innate beauty and
fiuency.u His great respect [orandent GuIeoe. makes him to see the demotic.
which was full of foreign word.s} as an insignificant Soprua..
nos, who does Qot coruid-er it inferior to th¢ Greek language, and
ma.kell him believe: it necessaty to correct it gradually with the intention of
bringing it dose to the ancient language again. These ideas were goias to
hold. sway towards the cnd of the eighlten1:h century under the aegis Qf Ko.
nteS, and to lead to the catharsis of the language and the creation of the ka, ..
tharevousa. "If the Greek languagt: bas fallen into such a state it is the fault
of the enslavement of the Greek people," says. KritopoulOl';;
What out enemies have done is to cut us off from the voice
of our col.ll'l.try by ptt::ventiog Greek lessons taking place in the
Greek language and by taking our books from us and hiding them.
This is the ·reason for the deJtru.ction of the language (If the pres-
ent day Greeks. 'Q
Just as in years gone by Theodosios Zygom&1as n adm.ired., so too does
Me:1rophanis Kritopoutos: admire the glorious acme (If Greek studies in
mnny and the fluniliarlty of her people with the Greek intc:Ua.l, which brings
them to their identification with the ancient Greeb, ft His sympathies with
the "splendid and most magnificent Germans." the friends "from the begin--
ning" of the Greek race a.nd of orthodoxy, and his incl.in.ation towards their
reformative ideas makes him think that the differeooos between Orthodoxy
and Protestantism arc few and "easily remedied" and makC$ him believe: that
their union would nut be long in coming about, "Thus the Holy Spirit pr-opho--
sies" TI to him. So We see once m(>te llyzantine Orthodoxy joined apin with
tbe ancient Gtcek iJltell_Al heritap.
!lOW publlilbod (Of f'1t1l lime),' Ath«l.l 1937. pp. 68,80. He cifCll J. MartbalI, A" &sum
Patrian:h tit &$laJW uItd London 1925, pp. 3J rr.
69. Sec K. I. Ouovouniotia. Kpl"W1WUl.oiJ b.vk6o-fo,; Ypaj4UlnK1\ tfi'
W,'lVk1l .... (The Unpuhlilhod Oramm.t.t of the Lq;ua., 0f MIrtropbaDja.
J<ritopouJ.ot). '&urr. 9aMor. EXCJl. Ilawmm:. 1 (1924)
70. Duovouniotil. 0;. til." pp. 121.Jll.
11. DuovounioUa. op. cit .. p. 101,
n. See VatalopoWOlI, "P. cil" vol. B. pp. ;z$4.15',
13. Dw::mlDiotis,. tIP. dt .. p. 101.
''''
There are yet other Greek scholars and. indeed clergymen. who dQ not
void the etbnic terminologies "Helkn" and "'Hellas." Grtek scholar of
the r.eventecotb century, Christophoros Angelos, entitles his work as follows:
""Manual on the state of the existing ffeUenes'" and he signs himself as a
·'Hellen." ft Even the villager of Serres in Macedonia. USC'll
indiscrim.in.ately the ethnic terminologies, "Roman," "Hellen" and "Grccos." 'It
And this phenomenon is a general OM. Not a siJlile one of these names has
survived in a positive way. The fall of Constantinople put a stop to tho pttIw
valence of the teru1 "Hellen." The Greek oonsck-nce is battling to overcome
the all oblrtacles of slavery, mlteracy and the ecclesiastieaJ tradition,
whicb identified the meanings "Hellen" and "National" (heathen). This
in a few words was the intellectual crisis of the Greeks during the TurJdsh
occupation.
So the stale of mind of the Greek people was not By;t.3ntine up to 1800
and even later. as Mango writeS.
11
[t !Ulffif.lejl for one to take a gtance at the
"HeJlenikl Nomarchia," which was in lta1y in 1806 by 1hc "anonyw
mollS C'Jl'eek." His text L<; full of the ethnic \ernl"HeUen:'" So parallel witb
the Byzantine Christian tradition there exihiS alw tllt Hellenic tTadition.
Finally. contrary to the theme that Mango develops, "'that B}'7.<Ultiwn
as a systetn of thought had nothing in COmmon with the HeUenism of the
nineteenth century. nor bave we discovered a tine leading from the one to
the other,"" [ belie\'e that the idea of HeUcnism permeates the entire
ration of tbe Turkish occupation-perhaps extremely feebly in the early cen-
turies-and it galns force in tbe time of the enlightenment of the Greeks
aroWld the end of the eighteenth and the beglruting of the nineteenth
UniVCl'llity of
AP. VACALOP'OULOS
74. See J. 0e0IgiMues, A DtscriptfM' c/rM j'rt!stml Slatt 0/ SamI». Potmol awl
Mr. Ath"" Lnndon. 1678.
7'. Orrist AngellO!!, :I'Rl4'l tWtr
• BU-4_ {Manual on the of the c:liltil1l Ldpzig. 1516.
76. See P. (Cbronick:s or AtbenJ 1938,\101. 1.
iI: "1'0 Xpovu.Ov t1'l)v l:epp/flv roCi nQ1UU:N'iloililvoCi (l"bo
Otronick! of SunI$ of Papasynadinot with an iptroolJCWl)' study)., pp. 1·72.
77. Macao. CIp. cll., p. 4l.
73. TbIi!I AnonymoUl 0._. 'Ell,.,,1XI} ,Yopaq'1.la. (Uelleniki I1aly. 1S06.
2nd edition, Introduction. S1udy N . .D. Atben&, 1.90C8.
19. 0;. cfl., p. 36. .

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