G.P. Henderson,The Revival of Greek Thought (1620-1830)

G. P. Henderson, " The Revival of Greek Thought (1620-1830)"
State University of New York Press, Albany, New York, 1970.

The Greek tradition of eminence in the arts and sciences was well established during the Classical and Byzantine periods but went into decline-and obscurity-following the Ottoman conquest of Greece in the fifteenth century. Four centuries later, the Greeks freed themselves from Turkish rule in the War of Independence of 1821-1827, and the Modern period of Greek history began. Today, there are unmistakable signs of a major reflowering of Greek intellectual thought -particularly in literature-and there is heightened interest in modern Greek studies.

In this book, Professor Henderson seeks to fill the gap between the Byzantine and Modern periods by examining the development of Greek thought during the last two centuries of the Turkish occupation.

The author introduces and assesses a sizeable body of Greek literature written during this period. Largely neglected until now, and not previously available to scholars in the English language, the material covers a wide range of topics bearing upon Greek educational history -philosophy, ethics, cosmology, physics, mathematics, geography, grammar, and literature. Most of the material was published by Greek- language presses in the Diaspora, chiefly in cities with large Greek mercantile communities, such as Venice, Vienna, and Leipzig. From the early seventeenth century onward, Greeks in the Diaspora played an important role in the survival of the Greek language and traditions and in the creation of Greek educational models.

Professor Henderson approaches the material from both historical and critical viewpoints. He traces the progress of the new "enlightenment" among the Greeks, which culminated, by the beginning of the nineteenth century, in a remarkable output of instructional literature and a series of experiments in higher education within occupied Greece itself.

He analyzes the changing attitudes of the Greek Orthodox Church toward education, and discusses the spread of philosophic ideas, the tensions between "Western" and "Classical" influences in Greek education, and controversies over the modernization of the Greek language. He concludes that, during the period from 1620-1830, a striking revival in Greek thought took place, one which contributed significantly to the rise of Greek nationalism and the continuity of cultural and intellectual traditions.

(From the jacket of the book)


G. P. Henderson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dundee. He holds the B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Oxford and an M.A. from the University of St. Andrews and has taught logic and metaphysics at the University of St. Andrews and the University of Dundee. He has been Editor of The Philosophical Quarterly since 1962 and has authored numerous articles and reviews in philosophical periodicals. He served in the British Army from 1940-1946, attaining the rank of Captain.