Panagiotis Roilos on Harvard and the Greek Revolution (video available)

April 23, 2021

Professor Panagiotis Roilos gave a paper on Harvard and the Greek Revolution at the Mahindra Humanities Center Seminar on Modern Greek Studies, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution. The talk, given on March 24, 2021, was recorded and is available on YouTube.

Professor Roilos, who is also a member of the "Greece 2021" Committee, explored a significant but underexplored dimension of the international movement of Philhellenism: the Philhellenic activities of the Hellenist Edward Everett, the 16th President of Harvard (1846–1848). Indicative of Everett’s enthusiastic advocacy of the efforts of the Greeks to gain their independence are two important articles of his, published in 1813 and 1823, respectively. By focusing on linguistic and historical continuities in Greek tradition, Everett developed a cultural political approach to the Greek case in close ideological dialogue with major representatives of the Enlightenment and Romanticism, most notably Lord Byron and Adamantios Korais (a prominent classical philologist, with whom Everett had noteworthy correspondence). Everett reinforced his attempt to convince his fellow Americans that they should actively support the Greek Revolution and Independence by emphasizing that the Greeks promoted, and were fighting for, the same civil and political rights that had inspired the American revolutionaries.