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The Greek Orthodox Community of Mytilene

Between the Ottoman Empire and the Greek State, 1876-1912


Maria Mandamadiotou

This book focuses on the modernization of the Greek Orthodox community of Mytilene – the capital of Lesbos, an island located in the north-east Aegean – the changes it underwent, and its responses to the ever-changing political situation between 1876 and 1912. The author argues that the position of leading community members, particularly journalists, and their receptivity towards the social and political changes of the period, went hand-in-hand with their ‘ethnic’ and political aspirations for the role of the Greek Orthodox ethnos in the Empire. In relation to the competition among various ‘imperialisms’ and ‘nationalisms’ then developing around Mytilene’s Christians, the author shows that Ottoman reforms were successful in encouraging them to co-opt local interest such that concern for the growth of the specific community was directly linked to the survival of the Ottoman Empire.