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45 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2006 :  00:31:24  

I know of the war of Greece against Turks in the years 1922-23, the Greeks landed in Asia Minor, advanced till Ankara and there were defeated by the Turks, leaded by Ataturk. As an afterward there was the case of Smirne, where all the Greek etnics where exiled, if not brutally trown in the sea or, simply, killed. One of these greeks was Aristotle Onassis, who fled as far as the States and, there, hardly, made a fortune.
I point out that while in 1821 the occidental powers send really substantial help to Greece, in the form of a fleet, mainly English which defeated the Turks at Navarino in 1827 and there was, also, the modest, help of Lord Byron, in this war of1922-23 nobody moved.
I presume that this is due to the fact that in 1821 was at stake the land of Attica and nearby, related to pagan, pre Christian Greek culture, while in 1922-23 was at stake Asia Minor, related to the Christian heritage of Greece, the land of the seven Ecumenical Councils, like Ephesus, Nicea, Chalcedon, Constantinople.
This, in to-day culture is not well-judged, see for instance Edward Gibbon's THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, and many others, also Roman Catholic writers. So, owing to this bad judgement of the Christian heritage of Greece, no help came, the Turks were many, nobody lent a hand, like in 1821.
I am not Greek, but I think that we should reflect on this fact.
Is it true that Greek Christian heritage is a negative thing?
Was it right not to give help for this reason?



52 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2006 :  09:20:29  


Dear Giovani,

First, let me answer directly your question, "Is it true that the Greek Christian heritage is a negative thing?" Why would it be negative? Negative to whom? Perhaps only the Turks could see it as a negative thing, but why would Western Europe see it as negative?

However, you are right to point out that the Europe of Orthodox tradition is often seen with condescendance, even scorn, by Western Europeans (of Catholic tradition). In the 19th and 20th century, (and even today, in some aspects), this distrust moved beyond mere religious tradition, as it was the case during the Crusades, for example, but it remains alive nonetheless. I remember reading, not so long ago, an article published in a British newspaper calling the Orthodox Church a stagnant monolith, which could not allow for progress (whatever is meant by this). This article contains the explanation to your question: Westerners, in their quest of scientific truth, secularism, and the like, regard the Byzantine Empire and Orthodox Europe as rigid, allergic to change and superstitious, therefore as the ennemy of truth and Western secular values. Gibbon said it all in his book: to him, Christianity is the foe. reading Gibbon summurizes the Western point of view of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is, I would assume, though I am not an expert in this particular issue, why Western powers did so little to help Greece in 1830 and 1922. True, they did send substantial help in 1827, but this was, it seems, more to prevent unstability than for Philhellenism. They decreeted, for example, that Greece would have a Western, not a Greek, monarch. In 1922, France and Italy switched side, apparently because Greece was seen as a British client-State. As we can infer from this, the foreign policy of each Western power was dominant in shaping their relationship with Greece. The point was that each power's interest was not at stake.

I think Western Europeans still view Eastern Europe (of Orthodox tradition) as "backward," at least not Westernized enough, and economically weak (remember Western critics of Greece's organization of the recent Olympic Games). Here in Western Europe, we see Eastern Europe almost as another land with another culture, and the differences in our Christian traditions has a lot to do with it. While we claim humanism, human rights, democracy and capitalism as our heritage, we would gain significantly by studying Orthodox Christianity and its impact on Europe. Perhaps would we also gain a soul.



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45 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2006 :  18:51:32  


I never thought that Oriental Christianity is a negative thing.
First, I think that Europe forgets that Occident owes to emperor Giustinian the root of its Society, what in Italy we call DIRITTO, the law. If we call it Roman Law it is because emperor Giustinian wanted it to be written in Latin, because he had a wide empire, with many non Greek speaking people, so Latin in order that everybody could understand the LAWS. His Empire was called Roman, but, in fact it was Greek. The laws of emperor Giustinian still forms the base of today law studies.
Second, I think that Gibbon and company did worst than you write, they wrote falsities about the Church, see the case of Hyptia who would have been killed by Christians out of intollerance, of St. Cyril of Alexandria of the ecumenical Synods. These were highly cyvilezed reunions and discussions, there is strong evidence that Hypatia was killed because she promoted cruelties by prefect Orestes against Christian, she can even be supected of Human Sacrifices and now, thank to Gibbon and company there is an UNESCO INSTITUTION entitled HYPATIA, women for science, an insult to humanity and to the Greek Church, it could even be that Greece pays money for this institution (since UNESCO is a branch of ONU).
I think that it is thank to Gibbon and people like him , also Roman Catholics, who wrote falsities that in 1821 and, specially in 1922 there was so little, or no help at all.
I am no Greek, these unvidicated deads are not my deads.
Possibly now Greece pays moneys for having had her people killed and exiled.

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