Two hundred years have passed since the beginning of Greek Revolution of 1821, the first successful revolution, after numerous failed attempts throughout five centuries, against the Ottoman conqueror and tyrant. It is an event of universal significance that not only signifies the resuscitation of Hellenism from the lethal bonds imposed by the Fall of Constantinople on May 29, 1453 but also affirms its ceaseless continuity from the depths of antiquity up to today. Though there exist several ways of celebrating such a milestone, only one is suitable par excellence: the tropos of participation, that is, of the communion with recent events two centuries old that abrogates spatiotemporal restrictions and renders to the celebrated not only what is proper to it but also its living perpetual imprint.
In the opening of the Platonic dialogue of The Timaeus, there is a passage where Plato narrates the achievements of the city of Athens against a great and powerful enemy from the west attempting to oppress all European cities. Plato describes how Athens “once upon a time suspended a power that moved by insult (hubris) towards the entire of Europe and Asia” (Timaeus, 24e). Albeit mythical, this Platonic narrative on the Atlantis, spelled out by Critias, contains elements pervading Greek identity and the diachronic universal service of Hellenism as defender of liberty and democracy. In this sense, already since Plato’s times we ascertain a self-consciousness of the Greek nation with respect to history, humanity, and its civilization.Continue reading