History and its Discontents

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The Fall of Constantinople in 1453 was the most traumatic event in the history of Eastern Christendom; and yet it created possibilities for the Church that had never existed before. The political power given to the patriarch by the Ottoman sultan was instrumental in establishing the operational agenda for the Church for centuries to come. The fall had in itself an element of irrevocability: Christian Constantinople would eventually be transformed into Muslim Istanbul; and the first patriarch set up the practices and the attitudes that were to remain dominant within the Orthodox world until today.

Scholarios (1405-72) was both the man for the times and a man of another time. His initial agreements with Mehmed the Conqueror secured the functional character of the Church as an institution within the empire, relieved priests from taxation and protected the faithful from forced conversions. Yet the very same person who showed adaptability and prudence burned Pletho's book On the Laws (1454) for reasons that cannot be clearly understood (except of course his personal vendetta against him) or theologically justified. The strategy of both adaptability and exclusion has been interpreted as a necessity under the circumstances. However, with the exception of a very brief period in the early sixteenth century, the Christian community lived in prosperity and protection under the Ottoman authority. The Ottomans usually tolerated educational establishments and education was left in the hands of each millet to administer; the Church itself was responsible for how the schools were to function and more importantly, whether they would function at all.

However, as a totalitarian autocracy, the Ottoman political system demanded obedience to the sultan and imposed sometimes unbearable taxes for funding wars of expansion. In that respect they were not very different from the Byzantine emperors, who saw religious dissent as sedition against their authority. Scholarios' approach to the life of the faithful may be interpreted as survival ethics matched with social authoritarianism. We must not forget that the patriarch and the aristocracy around him became civil servants to the sultan and they were treated as such according to the loyalty they showed. Precisely because of his autocratic rule the sultan treated all civil servants in the same ruthless way, irrespective of their religion (the slaughter of Ottoman officials adds many sad pages to the history of the empire). So Scholarios knew from the beginning the rules of the new game he was invited to participate in. At the same time, the Ottomans were something of a lesser evil, to the mind of the first patriarch; with regard to the 'Franks', the Church had already made its choice years before the fall; and now it had to abide by the consequences.

There is another important aspect in those last years of Christian Constantinople: the philosophical and theological debate between Platonists and Aristotelians. Scholarios was a staunch Aristotelian, in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas and Averroes. He never hesitated to take pride in his Scholastic philosophy. At the same time his rival Pletho (1360-1452) wrote his famous treatise On the Differences between Plato and Aristotle, in order to show how much more satisfactory for the modern minds of his day Platonic philosophy was. Pletho was more successful in making Cosimo Medici one of his devotees, and through his patronage Bessarion (1403-72) and his other students inaugurated a new Neoplatonic movement. Scholarios on the other hand was indeed an eminent Aristotelian who failed to convert the sultan to Christianity. Furthermore, his philosophical method was also rather contradictory: Scholarios employed Aristotelian categories and conceptual forms in order to explain or even justify mystical experience and the mystery of incarnation, and to talk about the ineffability of mystery in general through rational arguments of naturalistic empiricism - quite akin to the methods of Thomas Aquinas. And yet he rejected natural theology by creating a kind of diluted apophaticism or some sort of self-negating nominalism. Scholarios' philosophy and theology expressed the continuous conflict within the Orthodox tradition between faith and knowledge, a conflict which the magisterial Summa had temporarily solved for the West.

The antinomies became extremely obvious and therefore highly dangerous in such times of crisis; since the Church was under threat, presumed or real, its doctrine had to be practically confirmed and consolidated. Scholarios' Aristotelianism offered the canonical framework for a regulative epistemological paradigm which had to unify theology, ecclesiology, philosophy and mathematics. Pletho's Neoplatonic allegorizations destroyed with their subjectivism any kind of stable meaning: they couldn't function as normative paradigms; they were personal, chaotic and iconoclastic at the moment that Christianity demanded stability, fixity and uniformity.

Two centuries elapsed before the process of dis-identification commenced; in the mid-seventeenth century Theophilos Korydaleus (1574-1646) interpreted Aristotle as a natural philosopher and not as a Christian apologist. His interpretation was rejected and anathematized; the solid synthesis of doctrine, method and world view established by Scholarios remained unchallenged. In 1622, Patriarch Cyril Loukaris invited Korydaleus to reorganize the Patriarchal Academy by introducing contemporary learning and secular scholarship. The reorganization met the staunch opposition of the higher clergy and was soon quashed. Korydaleus' failure became the symbol of a tension that would resurface shortly before the Enlightenment: in the uneasy relationship between faith and knowledge within the Orthodox Church and the demand of ecclesiastical authorities to be in complete control of education.

Thus, for one hundred and fifty years, the theological tradition of the East retained a strong antirrhetic character, against everything coming from the West. It seems also that the Church was not informed about the radical changes that were taking place in the western world, during what is called the Renaissance. It did not even sense the events that led to the Reformation, although some initial contacts between Patriarch Dionysius II (1545-54) and Lutheran representatives date back to 1549.

Meanwhile, the sixteenth century was the great apogee of the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman the Magnificent. The sultan implemented a tolerant and judicious religious policy over his multinational empire; in 1537 he granted to Christians 'the great privilege of ours, to practise our religion freely and without any impediment' (Gedeon 1996: 381). However, the Ottoman Empire was also going through a deep transformation of its own after the conquest of Egypt (1517) by Selim I (the Grim) and the relocation to the capital of a considerable number of theologians and administrators from the stronghold of Islamic traditionalism. As a result, their presence increased tension between Sunnis and Shiites, and led to consideration of the forced Islamization of the Christian population. The same was attempted in 153 7 by Selim's successor Suleiman; both requests were rejected by the administration and the Grand Mufti of Constantinople as being against the teachings of the Our'an about the 'people of the book'.

The cultural wars of the Ottomans themselves had a long-term impact on their Christian subjects; those of a fundamentalist tendency demanded the banning of coffee, smoking, dancing and singing, while asking for the official expulsion of mathematics, astronomy and natural sciences from schools. In 15 77 Sultan Murad (1574-95) built in the capital one of the most advanced observatories; however a plague that was then devastating the city was interpreted by the zealous fundamentalists as the wrath of God against those who were attempting to intrude into his secrets. The sultan succumbed to the pressure and razed the whole building to the ground, so that archaeologists are unable to locate its foundations to this day.

The Orthodox Church experienced similar cultural dilemmas within the general framework of belonging to an empire in a prolonged identity crisis. The situation was even more complex because of the constant proselytization by the Roman Catholic Church and the arrival of the first Jesuits in Constantinople (1583). Orthodox dioceses were divided between Roman Catholic Venetian rulers and the Ottoman sultanate. Whereas under the latter they enjoyed relative freedom of religious expression, this was not the case in the Venetian-ruled areas. There all Orthodox bishops and metropolitans were replaced by Latin representatives of the pope. In 1480, Patriarch Maximus III had written to the Doge of Venice asking for an end to the persecution of Orthodox clergy and for permission to collect a special levy for the patriarch. The whole of the next century was marked by attempts at proselytization by the Roman Catholics, which were intensified after the eruption of the Protestant movement. Pope Clement IX replaced all Orthodox bishops with his own people (1595), a policy that alienated local populations, who yearned for the religious tolerance enjoyed by Ottoman subjects. The Church appealed to the sultan, who put an abrupt end to the proselytizing activities of the Roman Catholics in the East (15 76); after that he became de facto the guarantor of Orthodox faith. By the end of the same century the incorporation of the Orthodox Church into the Ottoman state was complete and unopposed from within.

Theologically, the period is also of some limited interest; the main issue discussed by contemporary theologians was a remnant of the Byzantine political legacy, that of the filioque. The issue had been resolved at the Council of Florence (1439) with an interesting compromise about the procession of the Holy Spirit perfilium, during the incarnation (opus trinitatis ad extra) - an idea going back to Epiphanius of Cyprus in the fourth century. Anthropologically, such compromise had the meaning of validating history and sanctifying human action within time. Since Jesus was the Word incarnate in history, his very presence and actions made human history and activity legitimate and crucial within the history of salvation. Orthodox theologians insisted on the question of the addition to the Creed (which is a valid point indeed) but were unable to understand the anthropological consequences of the filioque and per filium clauses. By accepting the eternity of the kingdom and the timeless nature of being, as expressed by a triumphant Christian empire (which was Byzantium when the Creed was finalized), they could not see (and cannot to this day) that the meaning of the addition indicates the centrality of actualized faith in history. In the West the doctrine liberated the individual from apathy and inertia and instigated human action as the only way of making Christianity a factor for constant change. However, on the Orthodox side, most theological treatises of the fifteenth century persisted in dealing with this by then obsolete issue, by employing the rhetoric of ultimate finality: nothing could change without a decision by an Ecumenical Synod.

During the same period the Roman Catholic Church had already advanced to a neo-Scholastic elaboration of the doctrine under the influence of Thomas de Vio Cajetan (1469-1534), and moved towards a new theology which enhanced the conscious historicity of the individual (despite the rejection by the pope of individual conscience): which indicates the wide range of problems discussed in that period. At the same time the flowering of Spanish mysticism under St John of the Cross (1542-91) and St Teresa of Avila (1515-82), or even Ignatius of Loyola himself (1492?-1556), gave a completely new orientation to western theology by adding the element of personalized experience of divinity. Although this had begun earlier with Franciscan spirituality in the thirteenth century, it was something already known in the East with Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022), but largely ignored until the late eighteenth century, or at least restricted to monastic circles.

Not simply because of the Ottoman rule, but because of its entrenched defensive character, the East ignored such emerging issues even within its own confines. In the early sixteenth century Ioannikios Kartanos was imprisoned after teaching a mild form of pan-entheism, advocating that the world was not created by God but was born or emanated from within him, being therefore animate (empsychos). Kartanos drew a distinction between God and nature, rejected the Trinity but accepted the Incarnation. As a teacher he was persistently persecuted by the Church, together with his translation of the Bible, the first into the vernacular. In the middle of the same century a certain monk Mathaios, from Macedonia, was teaching that 'Jesus descended to the underworld in his physical body in order to bring Adam and his offspring back to life' (Stephanides

1990: 714). He was forced to repent and repudiate his 'cacodoxy' by the main exponent of Orthodox belief in the same period, Pahomios Rousanos, a stern apologist for Orthodoxy.

These debates are in themselves insignificant, especially in comparison with the raging Protestant theologies of Luther and Calvin in the West; they show, however, that there was an attempt to revisit some minor doctrinal issues in a period of radical reorientation of Christian theology and that there was a somehow unconscious attempt to 'naturalize' theology against the background of the 'visible revelation'. They represented failed and rather weak attempts to change the transcendental and spiritualistic character of the dominant traditional theology by raising the issue of a new perception of reality, as it was emerging then under the influence of natural sciences, the discoveries of the New World and the challenge that Neoplatonic language posited against traditional Orthodox articulation of the doctrine.

When the scholars of the Reformation contacted Patriarch Jeremias II their famous correspondence (1573-81) showed the completely different ways of theologizing of the Reformers and Eastern theologians; to an embarrassing degree, the Orthodox response is extremely Roman Catholic in character (with the exception of the issue of transubstantiation itself). Furthermore, from their correspondence it is clear that new issues were raised by the Reformers which asked for a better knowledge of the biblical text and the semantic nuances in the epistles of Paul. It was also obvious that the Eastern Church had not revisited the text of the New Testament, in particular after the hasty and faulty, but nevertheless liberating, early edition by Erasmus (1514). The Reformers were puzzled by some interesting repetitions in the Epistle to the Romans, especially the famous 'for those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified' (Rom. 8: 29-30).

These issues were re-entering the theological debate many centuries after early ecumenical synods decided on their validity for the Christian faith; however, now they had a completely new context of understanding and at the same time they reintroduced a factor which was rather neglected in the East: personal theology in the sense of an individuated interpretation of faith. For both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism there could not be a personal interpretation of doctrine. But when the biblical text became a printed page and not an aural/visual experience within a Eucharistic community, it was inevitable that new interpretations would emerge and new hermeneutical approaches would appear which would not necessarily be asking for the endorsement of the official Church.

Meletios Pegas (d. 1603) was the first theologian to understand that something new was born in the West; in his native Crete he witnessed the first persecutions of Protestants on Greek soil and developed a strong antipathy against the Church of Rome. Most of his works are against the pope, the primacy, the doctrine of purgatory and the filioque. The climate was indeed clouded by Pope Clement IX's decision to declare (1595) that the Orthodox Chrism was not valid, that it had to be repeated by a Roman Catholic bishop and that all Orthodox clergy had to accept the union; in Italy, Greek language was forbidden in the liturgy, and the College of St Athanasius (established in Rome in 1581) became one of the main centres of anti-Orthodox propaganda. The tension was so strong that, even on issues that the two Churches could agree on, there was no ground for common understanding left. In 1583, the new Gregorian calendar was rejected by a local synod in Constantinople, although the problem had been acknowledged since the late Byzantine period, when the humanist Nikephoros Gregoras proposed correcting the calendar in 1324. But the person who was to take on his shoulders the reaction against the aggressive post-Tridentine expansion in the East was Cyril Loukaris (1570-1638), one of the most important patriarchs of the East and one of the most controversial theologians of Orthodoxy. Many books have been written about his personality and work; for the purposes of our analysis we will mention his famous Confession of Faith (1629 and 1633).

Loukaris' presence acted as a catalyst for an avalanche of changes that were to shake the Orthodox Church for over a century. The scope and the perspective of his actions go beyond the ideas and practices of a marginalized and subordinate bishop. Sir Steven Runciman states that 'Cyril clearly issued his Confession in the hope of strengthening his flock against Romanising tendencies, of laying the foundation of a reformed and up-to-date Orthodox Church, and of providing a basis for negotiations with other Churches' (Runciman 1968: 276). The Confession was part of a general plan for reforming the Church, making priesthood active in the community, educating a generation of young clergymen and finally laying the foundations for a continuous dialogue with other Christians.

At the same time Loukaris asked Maximus Kallipolites to translate the New Testament into simpler Greek; and Theophilus Korydaleus to reorganize education by incorporating secular approaches to religious knowledge. Kallipolites' translation is one of the masterpieces of Greek literary language to this day; in the prologue Loukaris himself stated that the purpose of the publication was that the 'faithful would be able to read the Bible alone and by themselves'. Korydaleus tried also to instil the spirit of Aristotelian independence from biblical tradition; he tried to isolate the Bible from any philosophical framing that could occlude the direct and personal communication of the Word of God to the faithful.

Loukaris' Confession had a similar function; it was a personal document in which crucial aspects of Christian doctrinal tradition were readdressed. Justification and predestination are discussed as parts of a larger plan about sacraments, worship, traditional piety and the self-perception of the Christian. His insistence on justification by faith is humanly attributed to the inability of the individual to act under difficult circumstances ('this is what human frailty testifies', chapter xiii); this is an attempt to introduce the new anthropocentrism to the East. His concept of predestination raised the issues of being 'powerless and able to do nothing' (chapter xiv), in front of historical adversity. And as Cyril states, echoing Luther and Calvin, 'the time of grace is the present life' (chapter xviii), stressing thus the conscious historicity and moral responsibility of the individual believer, as indeed had Symeon the New Theologian done before him. And it is a surely a great historical sadness that Cyril did not cite his Byzantine predecessors on this issue.

Loukaris' Confession was an attempt to historicize the Eastern Orthodox Church and make its faithful into active participants in larger historical projects. As Jaroslav Pelikan notes:

In 1629 he published a confession of faith whose intent it was to achieve a synthesis of Eastern Orthodox dogma and mildly Calvinist theology, in which the genius of each tradition would be articulated without doing violence to the other. . . . The outcome of the controversy over his confession showed that the east in fact believed and taught much more than it confessed, but it was forced to make its teaching confessionally explicit in response to the challenge. (Pelikan 19 74: 282-3).

Not one of his detractors or even his students who tried to refute his confession succeeded in writing anything substantial against him.

After the upheaval caused by Loukaris and Korydaleus, the Church went through a period of intense conservatism, expressed through local synods denouncing the Confession and by the persistent writing of counter-confessions. The creative re-elaboration of doctrines and practices that Loukaris instigated subsided under rigid formalism and the tendency to codification. This has to be seen within the context of growing stagnation in the Ottoman Empire. After the failure to capture Vienna in 1668, it was obvious that the empire was falling into a period of introspection and was gradually turning towards its natural environment, the East, in order to recover. The orientalization of the Church became visual with the new vestments and the clothes of priests; and oriental scales in chanting were introduced progressively during the seventeenth century. The origin of such changes was Persia, as a Persian craze hit the court and the aristocracy of Constantinople after 1638 when Sultan Murad conquered Bagdad and brought with him to Constantinople the famous Persian musician Sach-Koules.

The Synod of 1672 in Jerusalem denounced Loukaris and declared his Confession anti-Orthodox. However, the rise of Russia under Peter the Great (r. 1689-1725) and technological progress in the West facilitated the movement of ideas and spread them first of all among the only people who were literate and had access to books, namely the clergy and aristocracy. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the city of Ioannina, in central Greece, and many cities of the Asia Minor coastline founded their own schools, with the sponsorship of wealthy Greeks of the diaspora. From these areas a new generation of scholars emerged who were to lay the foundation for the Greek reception of the Enlightenment.

In 1723, the Ecclesiastical Court did not simply defrock Methodios Anthrakitis and ban him from teaching because 'he rejected as insignificant the teachings of the most ancient traditions of our most revered fathers'; it also threatened with excommunication 'all those who read his writings and notebooks and those who would attempt to use them for teaching or any one would like to study them'. Methodios's notebooks were ritually burnt because he was a 'pantheist' in the tradition of the Spanish mystic Miguel Molinos, whose teachings were also proscribed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1687. One of the main accusations against Methodios was that he rejected or undervalued sacramental worship by espousing the contemplatio passiva and that he identified God with the universe (theopantistes). He was forced to denounce his ideas and after he confessed his errors was allowed to teach again.

Two decades later a young monk from Corfu, Evgenios Voulgaris (1716-1806), translated into Greek John Locke's An Essay Concerning the Human Understanding; a translation that introduced the premises of Enlightenment into the Eastern Church. Voulgaris knew eleven languages and during his life translated into Greek, with commentaries, works by Descartes, Leibniz, Newton, Hobbes and especially Voltaire. Not all of his translations were published; but his ideas as a teacher and an intellectual gained wide currency in the period and made him the leader of the Enlightenment movement in the Orthodox world from the 1750s. In 1753, Patriarch Cyril VI invited him to become the principal of a new school of advanced studies on the monastic independent region of Mount Athos. There Evgenios reorganized the famous Athonias School, which was based on Plato's Academy and included in its curriculum the whole scope of traditional wisdom combined with modern scientific knowledge. The school started with fewer than twenty students, but within five years over two hundred followed its courses. Evgenios was a highly educated teacher and created by himself, almost without meaning to, a cultural renaissance which was to last till the beginning of the Greek revolution.

However, monks from the Athonite monasteries spread rumours that he was teaching atheist propaganda and reacted furiously against his lectures. Evgenios was forced to leave the monastic republic and found refuge in Leipzig, Berlin and finally in Russia, where he became a close friend to Catherine II. His Logic (1766) introduced a kind of philosophical eclecticism into Greek thought which was to become the basis for a large number of personal philosophies around the end of the century. As a philosopher Voulgaris had judgement indeed but he was totally lacking in depth; he could not develop an argument and, even worse, he could not construct one, but he was extremely efficient in showing the deficiencies in the arguments of other thinkers. His monumental Logic paved the way for an encyclopaedic and expository academic philosophy which was highly uncritical, and simply systematized existing ideas. The same can be said about his great Theologicon (published posthumously in 1872). Despite the impressive arrangement and structure of the work, the ideas expressed are underscored by a strong defensive and dismissive tone against any kind of criticism or creative questioning.

His contribution was that he paved the way for something new that was far beyond him and his understanding. However, he was in a position to sense the new conditions of being which emerged during this period of Enlightenment. As a result, Voulgaris introduced into Greek a concept and a word which did not exist until then; he translated 'toleration' as anexithreskeia (1768), in order to indicate the reality of religious pluralism and acceptance of heterodoxy.

Tolerance, [he writes] which contemporary Latins call Tolerantiam and which we could not inappropriately perhaps call Anexithreskeia, is nothing more than the lenient and meek predisposition of pious soul, which according to the zeal of understanding, uses the most innocuous and harmless approach towards those who do not espouse the same religion; towards these people and their edification it either uses admonition or friendliness. Finally, even when they are not persuaded, it accepts them with magnanimity and without resentment, feeling sad for their loss and protecting or even impeding the destruction or the corruption of others - yet he never rages against them in a tyrannical manner or with brutality or behaves inhumanly towards them. (Voulgaris 2001: 21-2)

But the movement he unleashed was too much for him at the end; living a privileged life under the protection of the Tsarina, he renounced his own ideas and regressed into a kind of blind rejection of everything contemporary or indeed of everything nonChristian. His renunciation of modernity was the dominant pattern imposed by the patriarchate during the last sixty years before the Greek Revolution. Although the Church first brought the ideas and the knowledge of western scientific and philosophical progress into the East, the growing realization that modern ideas were necessarily antiChristian forced the patriarchate to a position similar to that of the Roman Catholic Church: all modern knowledge was dangerous for the Christian believer and as such it should be denounced and avoided.

Furthermore, the struggle between faith and knowledge took a new form when the Ecumenical Patriarchate had to deal with the rise of the fragmenting national movements. The internal differentiation from the Christian genos to the Hellenic ethnos had started to take shape by the end of eighteenth century; and the appearance of a new generation of scholars was enough to show that the one would inevitably replace the other, or at least demonstrate the implicit antagonism between these two cultural realities, which were of common origin but from then onwards were to follow different historical trajectories.

Evgenios' short-lived liberal teaching created a number of eminent intellectuals who were to reshape the cultural landscape within the Greek language and change the ways of articulating philosophical and theological statements in the Orthodox tradition. The greatest intellectual of all was the prominent philologist and classical scholar Adamantios Koraes (1748-1833) the person who inaugurated a new articulation of the Greek ethnos as a distinct entity within the continuum of Christian universalism. But the new ethnos had to be defined not simply culturally, in regard to the historical past, or linguistically, as has usually been the case with Greek education. For Koraes, the self-definition and self-determination of the new ethnos should be the result of political and social differentiation within existing institutions; and such differentiation had to be supported and enhanced through the study of the canonical books of the past, the classical writers and the Bible.

Koraes' project for a new ethnos, the Hellenic ethnos, inevitably collided with the genos tradition as perceived by the Church. And he realized that a kind of mild reformation was needed in order for the nation to dissociate itself politically from the autocracy of Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. Implicitly the main target of Koraes' project was the power of the patriarchate, something that Patriarch Gregory V felt deeply. Being a philologist, Koraes' model was another earlier moderate reformer, namely Erasmus. Koraes wanted educated Christian conscience to be shaped by a close study of canonical texts, so that it could be critical, political and democratic. Shortly before his death he published, in 1831, a close study and translation of the epistle to Titus, traditionally attributed to St Paul, together with Paul's two Epistles to Timothy.

The Greek state had been established and a marked turn to an absolutist regime was becoming obvious. Koraes thought that one of the main sources of political corruption was the abuses of the Church:

What should I say more about the bishops, what should I say to the reader in order to realise the origin of their abuses and the necessity for their abolition? The origins were the enslavement of the people to the ecclesiastical despots and to what follows slavery, that is illiteracy, which inspired clergymen to imitate courtiers, to buy titles like them and rule despotically like them, forgetting Christ's command 'it should not be like that in you'. The necessity for their abolition is a result of the need to reject all despotic mentality, if we want to protect our freedom. But who from us the people can deny all these, when he is blessed not by spiritual fathers but by untouchable hegemons? Who can show contempt towards titles and honours when he sees his bishops decorating themselves with barbaric and tyrannical adjectives, so that in the end they become as grand as to look gross and ridiculous? (Koraes 1964: 12 70-80)

Koraes' students paved the way for the new adventure of Eastern Christianity in Greece and inaugurated the process of a gradual emancipation from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Amongst them Benjamin Lesbios (1759-1824) elaborated a completely new Christian and naturalistic system of ethical principles based on a highly sophisticated philosophical system; Konstaninos Koumas (1777-1836) critically introduced Immanuel Kant's philosophy into the Greek world and attempted the first grand narrative of modern political history (History of Human Actions, 12 volumes, Vienna, 1824-32). They were both constructing new conditions for understanding the past by expanding the limits of interpretive language. They both advocated simplicity in worship and the need for education of the clergy, and asked for reforms of ecclesiastical structures towards more accountability and openness to the citizens of the new state. The project looked like being commonly accepted, especially when one of the first acts of the revolution was to declare Koraes the 'great national benefactor' and 'the teacher of the nation'; but the fate of two of his students, Theoklitos Pharmakides and Theophilos Kaires, would prove that on the way to realizing this something had gone horribly wrong.

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