The representations of Athens as antiquity and modernity: 1834 to the present

Giannakopoulou, Georgia (2006) The representations of Athens as antiquity and modernity: 1834 to the present. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Athens, it is generally assumed, is the cradle of Western civilization - it is the mother of democracy, of the beautiful in the arts and of reason. But this Athens is the classical polis. Since the city's foundation as the capital of modern Greece in 1834, the representation of the Periclean polis as a perfect antiquity was transformed into a representation of the new, post 1834 Athens as an eternal antiquity and the ancestor of a modern Western civilization. In seeking to provide the theoretical framework for the study of a city that has largely been excluded from the existing literature on metropolitan modernity, this thesis discusses the changing representations of post-1834 Athens as antiquity and modernity. Moreover, in engaging with the contradictory definitions of modernity, this thesis exposes the unstable character of the experience of a modern Athens and introduces the dimensions that ultimately highlight post-1834 Athens as the capital of a modernity that disguises itself as antiquity. Finally, in revealing the unstable character of Athenian antiquity itself from the nineteenth century and beyond, this thesis introduces the hidden element in the dialectic, in the modern, between the new and the old. Modern Antiquity, therefore, is the socially constructed image of the past that enables modernity to believe that it has surpassed a glorious antiquity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: David Frisby
Keywords: European history
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-71118
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 10:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71118

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