This book explores the concept of ‘the Levant’ as a component of the regional and international system during the age of imperialism. At its heart is a focus on the experience of Greek-speaking societies and, above all, the independent state of Greece that came into existence in 1830. A key sub-theme running through the account is the Anglo-Hellenic connection stemming from an enhanced British presence in the Eastern Mediterranean from the 1830s and 1840s, and in particular its relationship to the Greek polity. Within this framework the emergence of the idea of ‘Greater Greece’ is integrated into the narrative, including its regional reverberations and ethnic tensions. Other contributions examine trade and finance, gender issues, colonialism and the distinctive experience of Cyprus.
The core of the volume deals centrally with three interlocking themes: modernity, nationalism and trans-nationalism. Ultimately these forces were to prove at odds with the ambiguity and elite structures that characterized the Levant in its nineteenth-century heyday. The book analyses the evolution, and increasing definition from the late 1950s, of Greece’s modern European identity, while taking into account the magnetic force of other relationships and regional links. This treatment connects with the choices and dilemmas facing Greece and its surrounding region, which contemporary crises invariably throw into relief. It will be of interest both to specialised historians and students of current affairs seeking to understand the broader historical context.
Introduction / Part I The Levant: Dilemmas of Modernity: The Levant as a middle ground, Darwin / Why the Levant?, Holland / The claim to enter modernity: the Greek national programme in perspective, Hatzivassiliou / Greece’s westernizers: K. Tsatsos, P. Kanellopoulos and G. Theotokas on Greece’s cultural and political orientation, Kourkouvelas / Maidens and matrons, ladies and labourers: tradition and innovation in Greek women’s lives in the longue durée, Angelomatis-Tsougarakis / Part II The Anglo-Hellenic Connection: Bailed in: strategy, finance and the acquisition of Cyprus, 1878, Markides / Disraeli, ‘the key of western Asia’ and the echoes of history in the Levant, Kyriakides / Cyprus’ trade with the Levant, 1881-1946/7, Kazamias – Panayiotou / ‘The smell of Smyrna … is neither a Greek nor a Moslem smell.’ Toynbee, Greece and the Levant, Clogg / The British in the Levant during the 1940s: the experience of Cyprus and the Dodecanese, Yiangou / ‘Don’t let us spoil the ship for a ha’p’oth of heretics’. Identity issues in the British colony of Cyprus. The final settlement, Hamatsou / Merchants - consuls and intermediary service in the 19th century eastern Mediterranean, Chatziioannou / Part III Ambiguous Relationships in the Greek Levant: The Levant as a vanishing mirage: a tale of three cities, Mavrogordatos / Greater Greece in the early 20th century: Crete, Cyprus, Constantinople, Llewellyn-Smith / Greek policy in the Levant and the Greek community of Alexandria, 1947-1961, Koumas / Select bibliography / Index.
The study of modern Greek and Byzantine history, language and culture has formed an integral part of the work of the British School at Athens since its foundation. This series continues that pioneering tradition. It aims to explore a wide range of topics within a rich field of enquiry which continues to attract readers, writers, and researchers, whether their interest is primarily in contemporary Europe or in one or other of the many dimensions of the long Greek post-classical past.
For further information about the series please contact Michael Greenwood at Michael.Greenwood@informa.com