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First posted on November 18th 2004, last revised on November 19th 2004






External Links

For links on general historical dictionaries, go to Historical Dictionary main page

Printed Reference : Historical Dictionaries, Greece



General Expressions

Aromunians see under Vlachs

Crete
... island at the southern end of the Aegaean Sea, Venetian until 1645/1669 (called "Candia" by the Venetians), Ottoman until 1898, then under Russian/Austrian/French/British protection; following the Young Turk Rebellion in 1908 annexed by Greece. Eleftherios Venizelos began his political career on Crete.

Demotic
... the plain, spoken form of Greek, as opposed to Katharevousa.

Dodecanese
... a group of 12 islands located in the SE Aegaean, cloe to the coast of Asia minor. The most important island is Rhodos (Rhodes, in Italian Rodi). During the 19th century Ottoman (part of the Vilayet of the Islands); in 1912 occupied by Italian forces. Italy originally promised to cede most of the islands to Greece, but reneged on her promise after her aspiration of acquiring territory on the Turkish mainland failed in 1920-1922. Italy held on to the territory until 1945; after a brief period of British occupation the islands were annexed by Greece in 1947.

Epirus
... (a) ancient Greek region, homeland of Pyrrhus.
... (b) in Ottoman times part of the Vilayet of Ioannina (janina); inhabited by Albanians, Greeks and Vlachs. The southern and part was annexed by Greece in 1912-1913, the northern part integrated into Albania (until 1923 contested by Greece)

Ionian Islands
... Saseno, Korkyra (It.: Corfu), Lefkas, Ithaca, Kephallonia, Zakynthos (It.: Zante), Kythira. Venetian until 1797, briefly French, then Russian, a British protectorate 1807-1864, when the islands were annexed into the Kingdom of Greece.

Katharevousa
... a purified form of Greek, taught at schools and used in official documents; most ordinary Greeks could not fully understand it..

Macedonia
... (a) ancient Greek kingdom, the homeland of Alexander the Great.
... (b) Roman, later Byzantinian province
... (c) historical region which, during Ottoman times, was inhabited by Muslims, Christians and Jews, by Greek Macedonians, Sephardic, Ladino-speaking Jews, by Albanians, Turks and by Slavs (Bulgarians, Serbs, Slavo-Macedonians). This region consisted of the Vilayets of Monastir and of Salonica.
. In Greece the expression Macedonians is exclusively used for ethnically Greek Macedonians, present and historical.
... (d) the Greek provinces of Dytiki Makedonia, Kentriki Makedonia and part of the province Anatoliki Makedonia kai Thrakia.
... (e) in English language, Macedonia is also used for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M.), independent since the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1992. Official Greek sources refuse to accept this definition, using the term Skopja instead.

Pontic Greeks
... Greeks who in Ottoman times had lived on the southern shores of the Black Sea. After the Graeco-Turkish war of 1920-1922 they were forced to flee the area; most moved to Greece or to Constantinople .

Thessaly
... (a) historical region in ancient Greece.
... (b) territory which was ceded by the Ottoman Empire to Greece, together with parts of southern Epirus, in 1881.

Vlachs
... a nomadic people in Ottoman times scattered throughout the Balkans, speaking a language related to Romanian. Also referred to as Aromunians, Aromanians


Late Ottoman Empire (-1821) ..... go to narrative history of Greece 1715-1790 . 1790-1822

Candia
... Italian name for Crete, which was Venetian until 1645/1669.

Elayet of the White Sea Islands
... Ottoman administrative unit covering the Morea, Livadia and many of the Aegaean Islands. In Turkish : Djeza'ir-i Bahr-i Sefid

Millet
... literally, nation; administrative unit (religious community) within the Ottoman Empire. For Greece, the Greek Orthodox mllet, headed by the Patriarch in Constantinople, was the most important one.

Millet-i Rum
... Greek Orthodox Millet.

Morea
... Italian name for the Peloponnese peninsula, held by Venice 1684-1715.

Mount Athos (Agion Oros)
... a Monks' Republic on the easternmost finger of the Chalkidike Peninsula, consisting of 20 monasteries. Established in the middle ages, privileged during the Ottoman Empire; still today no women are permitted on its territory.

Phanariots
... a group of influential Greek and Hellenized Romanian, Albanian families resident in Constantinople's Phanar quarter. They managed to acquire influential positions in the Ottoman Empire, most importantly they dominated the office of dragoman (court interpreter).

Samos
... from 1832 to 1912, autonomous Greek principality within the Ottoman Empire.

Tourkokratia
... Greek term to describe the period of Turkish (Ottoman) rule over Greece and environs.

Vilayet of Adrianople
... administrative unit (province) within the Ottoman Empire, covering presently Greek Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, and the European parts of Turkey.

Vilayet of Ioannina (Janina)
... administrative unit (province) within the Ottoman Empire, covering parts of presently Greek Epirus, southern parts of Albania.

Vilayet of the Islands
... administrative unit (province) within the Ottoman Empire, covering, since 1832, the islands in the eastern Aegaean except for Samos; population mainly Greek.

Vilayet of Monastir
... administrative unit (province) within the Ottoman Empire, covering western parts of presently Greek Macedonia (Aegaean Macedonia), western parts of the Republic of Macedonia (Vardar Macedonia).

Vilayet of Salonica
... administrative unit (province) within the Ottoman Empire, covering central parts of presently Greek Macedonia (Aegaean Macedonia), eastern parts of the Republic of Macedonia (Vardar Macedonia) and parts of SW Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia).


Struggle for Independence, 1822-1832 ..... go to narrative history of Greece 1822-1832 .

Philhellenism
... once the Greek War of Independence had begun (1822), a wave of sympathy with the Greeks spread acros Europe. European poets, artists heroized the struggle of the Greeks, identifying the valiance, the characteristics of the Greeks of Antiquity with those of their times. Others supported the Greek independence fighters because, as liberals, they resented monarchical oppression in their own country and they saw in the Greeks persons who stood up to an ppressive government. Atrocities committed by the Ottoman authorities, by the Egyptian force only caused European sympathy for the Greek cause to increase. The Greeks were militarily defeated; only the Anglo-Russian victory over an Ottoman fleet in 1827 and subsequent diplomatic pressure resulted in Greece being granted independence (1830/1832).

Philiki Etaira
... translates to "Friendly Society", founded in 1814, political organization aiming at liberating Greece by armed revolt..


19th Century, 1832-1912 ..... go to narrative history of Greece 1832-1863 . 1863-1897 . 1897-1914

Corinth Canal
... constructed 1882-1893.

Enosis
... slogan of rebellious Greeks living in areas of the Ottoman Empire outside of the Kingdom of Greece (and, in post-independence history, on Cyprus), demanding unification of their homeland with Greece.

Ethniki Etaira
... National Society, an organization promoting Greek irredentism.

Glücksburg Dynasty
... Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Glücksburg; in 1864 Prince Christian Wilhelm Ferdinand Adolf Georg was crowned King George I. of Greece (-1913), followed by Constantine I. (1913-1917), Alexander I. (1917-1920), Constantine II. (1920-1922), George II. (1922-1923, 1935-1947), Paul I. (1947-1964), Constantine III. (1964-1967).

Goudi Coup
... named after a location on the outskirts of Athens, where a significant part of the garrison of Athens in 1909 issued a set of political demands, demanding a number of reforms; the coup was inspired by the success of the Young Turks in 1908. They were supported by the Military Society. PM Rallis resigned.

Livadia
... Part of Greece in the borders of 1832 located north of the Gulfs of Corinth, Salamis

Olympic Games 1896
... the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held at Athens, Greece, in 1896.

Thirty Days War
... In 1897, Greece and the Ottoman Empire fought a brief war on the northern boder of Thessaly; the war had been caused by a insurrection on Crete, supported by the Greek government. Greece failed to gain territory; Crete was granted autonomous status.

Wittelsbach Dynasty
... dynasty ruling the Kingdom of Bavaria. As Bavaria had supported the Greek struggle of Independence, the allies agreed to Otto of Wittelsbach, son of Bavaria's King Ludwig, be crowned King of Greece (1833-1862).


since 1912 ..... go to narrative history of Greece 1914-1918 . 1918-1924 . 1924-1935 . 1935-1940 . 1940-1944 . 1944-1949 . 1949-1973 . 1973-1989

Aegaean Dispute
... Greece claims almost the entire Aegaean Sea; Turkey claims the eastern stretch of the Aegaean except for small stretchs of sea surrounding the Greek islands. Geologists assume oil deposits under the floor of the Aegaean..

Balkan Pact of 1934
...signed in 1934 by Greece, Yugoslavia, Romania, Turkey; directed against revisionism (i.e. against Bulgaria, Hungary, countries which had lost significant territories in WW I).

Balkan Wars
... First Balkan War 1912; Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro allied against the Ottoman Empire; the victorious allies partitioned most of Ottoman Europe. Greece gaind southern Epirus and southern Macedonia, with Salonica.
... Second Balkan War 1912-1913. Greece, Serbia, Rumania allied against Bulgaria; Bulgaria was forced to make territorial concessions.

Battle of Athens
... October 1944 to January 1945, fought between ELAS and British forces. Limited to the city of Athens. 11.000 dead.

Bulgarisants
... an expression used in Greece to describe the Slavic speaking minority living in Greek Macedonia.

Center Union Party
... liberal party founded in 1961; won the elections of 1963. The party split; the center union cabinet was dismissed in 1965.

Democratic Army
... reorganized ELAS forces (communist); in 1946-1947 it successfully fought a guerilla campaign, and then announced to switch to conventional warfare. Was defeated; when Yugoslavia closed the borders to DA fighters, the wear was decided..

EAM
... National Liberation Front; Greek political resistance organization, communist, founded in September 1941.

EDES
... National Republican Greek League, non-communist republican Greek resistance organization.

ELAS
... National People's Liberation Army, military branch of EAM, communist, established in 1941.

Ethnikos Dikhasmos
... National Schism; a term describing the situation after the Balkan Wars. The liberals advocated irredentism, expansion; they held the majority in New Greece; the royalists opposed irredentism; they held the majority in Old Greece.

"Glorious Revolution" 1967
... military coup d'etat of 1967. See under Military Dictatorship.

Government-in-Exile 1941-1945
... following the German occupation of Greece in April/June 1941 established in London, moved to Cairo in 1943.

Graeco-Turkish War 1919-1922
... fought mainly over the Smyrna region, allocated to Greece by the Treaty of Sevres 1920, which the new Republic of Turkey did not recognize. The Turks were victorious in the decisive Battle of Sakarya 1922.

Greek Civil War
... (a) 1946-1949, fought between the communists (ELAS, EOM) and the government headed by PM Tsaldaris. The communists were suported by Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, the government forces by the British and the U.S. (Truman doctrine).
... (b) 1943-1944 ELAS versus EDES, a war among two organizations of resistance fighters while most of Greece was under the control of the German and Bulgarian occupants.
... (c) 1916-1917 a low scale civil war between royalists (anti-Venizelists) and Venizelists. It ended with King Constantine going into exile.

Graeco-Italian War 1940-1941
... In October 1940, Mussolinim, in an ultimatum, demanded Greece to concede Italian occupation of strategic positions within Greece; Greece rejected and Italian troops invaded from Albania. They were soon pushed back into Albania, and Greek troops occupied southern Albania. In April 1941 German troops invaded and occupied both Yugoslavia and Greece, ending the stalemate. .

Greek Rally
... founded in 1950-1951, modelled after Charles de Gaulles's French Rally; won the election of 1951. Later succeeded by the National Radical Union; remained in Government until 1963.

The Junta 1967-1973
... Troika of military officers who ruled Greece 1967-1973 : Col. Giorgios Papadopoulos, Col. Nikolaos Makasrezos, Brig. Stylianos Pattakos.

KKE Communist Party of Greece
... founded in 1918.

League of Reservists
... a royalist militia in Greece in World War I, responsible for the arrest, execution of liberals (supporters of PM Eleftherios Venizelos) during the => Ethnikos Dikhasmos (National Schism).

Lebanon Agreement
... in 1944 concluded by various Greek exile politicians, deciding to set up a Government of National Unity. The communists were under-represented; EAM initially rejected the agreement, and then, under Soviet pressure, accepted it in August 1944. It called for the disarmament of the resistance groups, most notably of the 60.000 strong ELAS.

Liberal Party (Komma Fileleftheron)
... established in 1910; .

Megali Idea c.1912-1923
... concept of a Greater Greece, promoted by Eleftherios Venizelos in WW I against the Royalists who wanted to stay out of World War I. The policy brought Greece in conflict with emerging Turkey in 1920-1923 and resulted in the disastrious defeat in the Battle of Sakarya.

Military Dictatorship
... 1967-1973. The coup was lgitimized with a communist threat; the dictatorship as resented by all sectors of the political spectrum.

National Radical Union
... political party, succeeded the => Greek Rally, preceded the => Nea Demokratia (ND). conservative. In government until 1963.

National Schism see under Ethnikos Dikhasmos

ND Nea Demokratia
...conservative political party (New Democracy), founded in 1974, ever since, together with PASOK, one of the driving forces in Greek democracy.

New Greece
... in the post-Balkan Wars era a term describing the newly acquired territories, i.e. Greek Eprus, Aegaean Macedonia, Crete and the islands of the eastern Aegaean (except for the Dodecanese).

Northern Epirus
... the northern part of the Ottoman Vilayet of Ioannina; in 1913 allocated (by the Powers) to the newly created Kingdom of Albania; until 1923 administrated by Greece.

Old Greece
... in the post-Balkan Wars era a term describing Greece within the pe-1912 borders.

PASOK
... Panhellenic Socialist Movement, founded in 1974; togethr with ND one of the driving forces of Greek democracy since 1974. Predecessor Panhellenic Liberation Movement.

PEEA
... Political Committee of National Liberation, established in March 1944 to administrate areas in Greece under the control of EAS / ELAS.

Salonica front
... During World War I, Greece (King Constantine sympathized with the Germans) remained neutral. Landlocked Serbia, after Bulgaria's entry into the war, desparately needed support the allies (Britain, France) were willing to give. For them, usage of the port of Salonica was vital; Venizelos invited an allied expeditionary force. Most of Serbia was occupied bu Austrian and Bulgarian troops; from late 1915 to 1918 the front roughly followed the border between Greece and Serbia. While the war partially was fought on Greek soil, Greece long did not regard herself as a belligerent; only late in the war did Greek divisions participate in the fighting.

Smyrna
... (1) city in Asia Minor, present (Turkish) name Izmir. Until 1922, it had an ethnically Greek population larger than Athens. The city and her surrounding territory in 1918-1922 was the prime object of Venizelos' expansionist ambition.
... (2) region around the city of the same name, in Ottoman times core of the Vilayet of Aydin. Because of the large Greek population element, the area was the prim target of Greek irredentist policy in 1918-1922. Following the Greek defeat in the Battle of Sakarya at the hands of the Turks, the Greek population of region and city was partially expelled, partially massacred.

"Third Hellenic Civilization"
... 1936-1941, propagated by fascist military dictator Ioannis Metaxas, in imitation of Hitler's Third Reich.

Treaty of Lausanne
... signd in 1923 by the allies and the Republic of Turkey. Greece had to give up her claims on Eastern Thrace and the Smyrna region, which were recognized as territory of the Republic of Turkey.

Treaty of Sevres
... Treaty signd by the victorious allies and the Ottoman Empire in 1920; the Ottoman Empire ceded Eastern Thrace and the Smyrna region to Greece. The treaty became obsolete, as the Ottoman Emjpire ceased to exist; the borders were redrawn by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

Varkiza Agreement February 1945
... called for the disarmament of ELAS, for elections, a plebiscite on the future constitution; promised amnesty. It was succeeded by a period of White Terror, which destroyed the base of trust between democrats and communists.








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