The Friends of the Capodistrias Museum Association, as part of their 2021 initiatives in support of the Museum, have commissioned a series of podcasts from speakers who have through their recent research, touched upon early 19th European History, in ways which relate to the life and legacy of Ioannis Capodistrias. In this way we aim to offer a wide audience an insight into this year’s bicentennial celebration of the 1821 Greek Revolution, which led to the founding of the modern Greek state.
Greece, Russia, and the West: a complex relationship
In his years as Russian Foreign Minister after the Congress of Vienna, Capodistrias was at the center of intense political debates. In this podcast, I wish to focus on the vision for the future of Europe that was developed for him by his principal adviser, Alexander Stourtzas. The son of Phanariot and Moldavian exiles in Russia, and a deeply religious Orthodox believer, Stourtzas shared Capodistrias’s broad European outlook but also his passionate loyalty to Greece. Stourtzas’s policy proposals treated Russia as part of a conservative, monarchical Europe united by Christian ecumenism, but also as part of a distinct Orthodox civilization that must be preserved from the poison of the West. In Stourtzas’s discussions with Capodistrias, we see some of the origins of the complex relationship between Greece, Russia, and the West in the modern era.
The Swiss banker Jean Gabriel Eynard and Greece
The Swiss banker Jean Gabriel Eynard was one of the leading figures of international philhellenism from the second half of the 1820s until his death in 1863, providing the country both with investment and with valuable ties to his international diplomatic network. Through much of his career, Eynard prioritized his beloved Greece and invested much energy and effort in mentoring the country both financially and ideologically. This close relationship to the country calls for explanation, because Eynard neither enjoyed a classical education nor had any personal ties to Greece before 1825 – with one exception: Ioannis Capodistrias, whom Eynard first met at the Congress of Vienna in 1814 when Capodistrias was a diplomat in the service of the Russian czar.
The Greeks, the Empires, and the Greek Revolution: Three Ionian Lives, 1797-1830
Who were the Greeks before there was a Greece? We look at three men who were active around the Ionian Islands and ask how they understood themselves. They were Giorgio Ciolly, Nicolas Papasoglu, and Ioannis Capodistrias. They were children of the empires and traveled the world as Venetians, Frenchmen, Ottomans, Mamelukes, Egyptians, and Russians. Only one lived long enough to become Greek.