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Re-imagining the PastAntiquity and Modern Greek Culture$
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Dimitris Tziovas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672752

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672752.001.0001

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Antique Names and Self-Identification

Antique Names and Self-Identification

Hellenes, Graikoi, and Romaioi from Late Byzantium to the Greek Nation-State*

(p.80) (p.81) 5 Antique Names and Self-Identification
Re-imagining the Past

Tassos A. Kaplanis

Oxford University Press

Modern Greek popular culture has perceived Hellenes as mythical people who did not form part of the ethnic Romaic identity, which was first shaped around 1204, but was not static and developed in response to major political changes until it was officially replaced by the Hellenic national identity (in the nineteenth century). In premodern times, some Greek-speaking people also described themselves as Graikoi. These three ‘competing’ antique names, Hellenes, Graikoi, and Romaioi, were all candidates for the name of the emerging Greek nation before the creation of its nation-state. But what was the actual dissemination of these names? Were they all used as markers of ethnic identities, and by whom? This chapter presents and discusses the various appearances and perceptions of Hellenes, Graikoi, and Romaioi in premodern times, in both quantitative (with the use of technology) and qualitative terms. It offers an overall picture that differs significantly from the one provided by the Greek national narrative, and aims to challenge the ways in which our contemporary scholarship explores the relationship between antiquity and modern Greece.

Keywords:   Hellenes, Greeks, Byzantine Romans, early modern Greece, self-identification, ethnic identity, continuity, nationalism, modernism, postmodernism

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