The Free and the Brave: American Philhellenes and the "Glorious Struggle of the Greeks" (1776-1866)

edited by Maria Georgopoulou

240 pp, numerous col and b/w figs
8.26" x 11.02"
Paper, ISBN: 978-960-99945-5-2
Publication Date: Sept 2021
Status: Active

Retail Price $45

This bilingual catalogue (in English and Greek) accompanied an exhibition organized by the Gennadius Library on the occasion of the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution of 1821 to explore the relations and connections between Greece and the United States from the American Revolution of 1776 to the Cretan revolt of 1866. The hundred objects of the exhibition, fully illustrated in the catalogue, include rare archival material, paintings, watercolors, artworks, and several Philhellenic artifacts from the Gennadius Library and other collections in Athens. The themes of the exhibition, presented in the catalogue by curator Maria Georgopoulou, delve on how the impact of the Enlightenment, the poetry of Lord Byron, as well as the atrocities committed by the Ottomans against the Greeks, motivated American Philhellenes to join the revolutionaries, to collect money and supplies for humanitarian aid to Greece, and even to adopt orphaned Greek children. Once freed, Greece built its educational infrastructure with the support of American missionaries, who set up successful schools on Greek soil. Finally, the plight of Greek slaves fueled abolitionist discourse in the U.S., as the story of Hiram Powers’s sculpture The Greek Slave amply demonstrates. Five original essays by experts offer a wider scholarly perspective: Pericles S. Vallianos speaks to the political affinities between the American and the Greek Revolution due to the Enlightenment; Photini Tomai hails the contributions of American Philhellenes to the Greek cause; Curtis Runnels explores the response of the Americans to the ordeals of the Greeks; Vangelis Karamanolakis studies the contributions of American Protestants to the educational development of Greece; and Peter Wirzbicki presents the impact of the Greek War of Independence on the discourse of abolitionism.

About the Author: Maria Georgopoulou is Director of the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.