200 years of Greek revolution:
Europe and Philhellenism in Modern History

In March 1821 a revolution began, in which the Greeks wanted to end centuries of Ottoman control in the Peloponnese. But not only the Greeks went into battle: this revolution inspired young people from all over Europe. They traveled to Greece to fight all together in the name freedom. The movement that ignited this pan-European enthusiasm was called Philhellenism. It was an expression rooting from the deep impact of ancient Hellenism on the European culture – an impact that originated in the Renaissance and continued into the late 20th century.

For the 200th anniversary of this first European struggle for freedom, we are organizing a school competition in the region around Frankfurt, which will focus on the significance of Philhellenism and Hellenism in the modern history of Europe (1750 to the present). The theme of the competition is broad, in order to allow the applicants the necessary creative freedom. Applicants may choose their own perspective but this one has to be in the above-mentioned context of Philhellenism and Hellenism.

In the following, there are a few thematic blocks that can be chosen:
– What was different in Greece than in independence struggles before, for example in the American or French Revolution? Why did the Greek struggle for freedom inspire young people from all over Europe?
– The influence of the Greek hurdles for independence on the Weimar Classicism – How does this influence affect modern times?
– The influence of Hellenism on art and architecture until modern times
– Philhellenism in Germany, England and Europe in comparison: harmony and contrast
– The cultural effect of an ancient Greece, which never existed in this form (“noble simplicity, silent grandeur”) – the identity-giving effect of a distorted image up to modern times
– The role and significance of women during the Greek struggle for independence: By the Greek female freedom fighter Laskarina Bouboulina and other women.
– The (dual) role of women in the Greek Revolution and in other independence fights: Women as mediators of the new spirit in front of the lines or behind the scenes.
– How did the image of women develop in Hellenism from the ancient tragedy to today’s emancipation?
– The abuse of the Hellenic epoch by the National Socialists: How ancient ideals are alienated by power apparatuses and how ideals are changed in modern times by “fake news”?
– Why is the heyday of the Hellenistic spirit dangerous for totalitarian power structures? From the freedom of the individual to the destruction of Palmyra
– Philhellenism as a democracy movement and its influence on European constitutions up to modern times
– War and the art trade: What is spared from war is nevertheless destroyed: Lord Elgin in Greece and other examples in modern history
– “We, not I” and the influence of foreign Greeks on the Greek Revolution

Prize money

The three winning submissions will each receive a prize money of 500 €.
All participants will receive a souvenir.

The schools of the participants also receive the same prize money. (i.e. the schools of the participants among the first three will also receive 500 € each)

Conditions of participation

The student competition is over. Participation is not possible.