3. Fallmerayer and the "Slavic problem"

early 1800s: following Napoleon's wars across Europe, there is an increasing interest in classical Greece, especially in art.

at that time, Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire, but by 1815, a group of islands on the western coast were taken by Great Britain------>early interest in supporting Greek nationalism (philhellenes)

ex= Lord Byron died at Missolonghi in 1824 fighting for the Greeks

1822: an assembly at Epidaurus declared Greek independence, but an Ottoman expedition overran the entire peninsula in 1825-----> the intervention of the "great powers" (Britain, France, and Russia)
1827: the combined fleet of the three powers defeated the Ottomans at Navarino
1827-1829: Russia successfully waged war on the Ottoman Empire
1830: Greece, the first independent state in the Ottoman-dominated Balkans

BUT: not everybody saw the influence of Russia as beneficial

William Leake: British journalist, who wrote Researches in Greece (London, 1814) -- Greeks were Slavs

Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer:


Fallmerayer's idea attacked by many for different aspects of his theory (Karl Hopf in Germany, Bartholomaeus Kopitar in Austria)
in Greece, he became a villain and was demonized as Panslavist and agent of the Russian star (his work was translated into Greek only in the 1980s)
in 1941, on the eve of the Nazi occupation of Greece, an eminent German linguist, Max Vasmer published a book on Slavic place names arguing for an early and substantial presence of Slavs in Greece
following the Civil War, his ideas became not just politically incorrect, but became the main target of Greek nationalism (Fallmerayer's name is still loathed by many Greeks)