Russia’s contribution to the making of modern Greece during the period of royal absolutism marks a new stage of Russian political and ecclesiastical enterprise in the Orthodox East. Russia’s appeal among a spectrum of Greek society demonstrates a common belief in the purported harmony between the Tsar and his people as the ideal model for an Orthodox nation to follow. Many Greek subjects shared the Tsar’s ideals of a united church, strong monarchy, and devoted Christian nation. The credo of Official Nationality fitted neatly into the framework of traditional Greek society still partially rooted in the religious community of the Ottoman millet. By synthesizing beliefs in the unique qualities of the Greek people, their ancestral affinity and religious heritage, the Russian mission safeguarded the “sacred communion” of the Greek nation. The conclusion also comments on the legacies of independence and Greek–Russian relations in subsequent decades.
Keywords: Russian–Greek relations, Russian foreign policy, modern Greece, Imperial Russia, Eastern Orthodoxy, Eastern Question, Ottoman Empire, Balkan national independence movements, Megali Idea, Panslavism
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