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August 2021

"Modern Greece, a short history"

by C.M Woodhouse

Faber and Faber

The book Modern Greece by C.M Woodhouse is a short history of modern Greece, not to be confused with the history of the modern Greek state. The book starts with the splitting of the Roman empire into two and the founding of the city of Constantinople. The book goes on to describe the history of what we now call the Byzantine Empire and debates to what extent the Empire was a Greek one. The story of the Byzantine Empire can be described as a tale of decline and then renewal with territorial gains restored. Eventally, despite its outstanding resilience, the Empire is completely conquered after a period of sharp decline, which, ironically, will coincide with a period of cultural revival. The next period described by the book is the period of Ottoman control which has little by way of significant events. Here the focus is, of course, on the institutions of Ottoman government and the life of ordinary Greeks or rather Christians, as the Ottomans like to distinguish them. This period will be brought to an end with the Greek revolution and the establishement of a small Greek state in 1828. The new state would receive its first monarch in 1832 and for many years would be under the influence of the great powers making some territorial gains in the 19th century; including, Thessaly and the Ionian islands. The 20th century is one of the most interesting the book describes with two major European conflicts, big changes in territory, fluctuations in the form of govermnent and constitutional change up to the 1990s. This is the period most relevant to modern Greece which still shapes political allegiances and teaches us valuable lessons from the recent past. The book is definitely an excellent overall history of the Greek people as a nation. It also is very helpful in giving a ontext to other books about more specific historical periods. 

Αντίγραφο του Νέα εικόνα (4).bmp

My copy

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