The age of Pericles in the modern Athens: Greek history, Scottish politics, and the fading of Enlightenment

Authors
Citation
D. Allan, The age of Pericles in the modern Athens: Greek history, Scottish politics, and the fading of Enlightenment, HIST J, 44(2), 2001, pp. 391-417
Citations number
85
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
History
Journal title
HISTORICAL JOURNAL
ISSN journal
0018-246X → ACNP
Volume
44
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
391 - 417
Database
ISI
SICI code
0018-246X(200106)44:2<391:TAOPIT>2.0.ZU;2-E
Abstract
This article explores changing responses among late Georgian Scots towards Greek history in general and classical Athens in particular. Tracing the ea rly study of Greece through some of the more innovative Scottish Enlightenm ent scholars, it argues that Periclean Athens long remained a difficult and controversial topic, mainly because eighteenth-century authors found it ha rd to offer a fully sympathetic treatment of a historical subject strongly associated with radical political democracy. With the defeat of Napoleon, h owever, and as new ways were sought to celebrate Scotland's own recent impe rial, economic, and intellectual achievements. Athenianism gained in credib ility, assisted by the rising tide of cultural Hellenism and political Hell enophilia throughout Britain. Plans were laid for a national monument in Ed inburgh, modelled on the Athenian Parthenon. Nevertheless, insufficient sup port was forthcoming and by 1830 the project had stalled. Not least among t he causes of this debacle--popularly known as 'Scotland's Disgrace'--were t he contradictions involved in Athenian symbolism: the abandoned monument ul timately served to represent only the failing of Scotland's tory establishm ent.