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Imaging Suli

Interactions between Philhellenic Ideas and Greek Identity Discourse

Ewa Róża Janion

Suli is a mountainous land in Epirus in northwestern Greece. This book collates its Greek 19th-century vision with the European view in the works of English, French, Italian, and Polish philhellenes. Investigating the interactions between various images of Suli, it analyses its functioning in different European cultures: the first historical mentions of Suli, the role of Byron’s poems in shaping its image, Greek folk songs about female fighters from Suli, and the mass suicide of Suliote women known as the Dance of Zalongo. Especially the legend about the bravery of the Suliotes has been important in Greek national discourse and the study follows the threads of the legend formed by Greek intellectuals and the European Philhellenes.
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First and foremost, my thanks go to prof. Maria Kalinowska for her invaluable help, information, suggestions, and advice in the course of the years spent on this dissertation. Needless to say, I owe my interest in literature to her encouragement and trust, which has supported my intellectual endeavors from the very beginnings of my university studies.

For many kind actions and ideas I am grateful to prof. George Tolias, with whose help I was also able to present some of my thoughts to a Greek audience. I benefited a great deal from my traineeship at the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation. The entire staff of the Section of Neohellenic Research made my time spent in Greece productive and enjoyable. Special thanks go to Dimitris Dimitropoulos, Marios Hatzopoulos, and George Koutzakiotis for their inspiring ideas and friendship. Thanks also to Anna Tabaki, with whose help I could associate with Athenian academic life.

For commenting on earlier drafts and for their gentle criticism, I am very grateful to the reviewers of this thesis, prof. Małgorzata Borowska and prof. Ilias Wrazas. I had the unique opportunity to receive the constant encouragement and intellectual companionship of my reviewers during the writing of this work. Prof. Małgorzata Borowska furnished me with many original ideas on Greek culture, and I am also grateful for her invaluable linguistic guidance in Ancient Greek, Modern Greek and French. I must also thank my colleagues and friends...

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