He penetrates deeper into his earlier discussions, claiming that only Greek intellectuals were permitted to tell the history of Greece and the Empire, and they made theirs a Greek-centered tale of oppression and a struggle for freedom.
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The views of the refugees, whose experiences were ones of communal harmony and peace, were considered irrelevant because they were not educated and their contributions did not help advance political and ideological agendas. Complicating this problem is that histories of coexistence are not recorded because they are uneventful and thus it has been difficult for scholars to conceptualize and prove a counter-narrative.
Nonetheless, the author is able to highlight some forms of cooperation and demonstrate that the refugees had a more complex picture of the Turks than the stereotypes bestowed upon them by Greek intellectuals. His final chapter examines how all of this unravelled during and after the Balkan Wars, placing the blame on political elites as the ones who instigated violence and left the average Anatolian to suffer in service of nationalist ideologies that benefitted a limited minority.
The Ottoman state blamed Christians as a whole for loses in the Balkan Wars, while local Muslims grew enraged with the way the new states were persecuting their coreligionists. Overall, Before the Nation is a brief work that raises many important issues about the historiography of the late Ottoman Empire, yet also remains ambiguous about how broadly applicable the lessons from this particular case study are. While this may be of limited interest to the casual reader, it is essential reading for any scholar in the field due to the questions it raises about biases, assumptions, and historical narratives that have been taken for granted.
Before the Nation
Jul 18, Roland Clark rated it really liked it. Both Christians and Muslims wanted to know how the supernatural impacted their lives, what happens after death, and both wanted to be cured of sickness or protected from bad luck.
May 03, Mitch added it. Academic, but filled with beautiful stories of Antolian-Greek refugees remembering their close relationships with Turkish Muslims. Cecilie Lykke rated it it was amazing Apr 20, A rated it really liked it Oct 01, Olympia Koutsokalis rated it it was amazing Nov 24, Aug 09, John rated it it was amazing.
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About Nicholas Doumanis. Nicholas Doumanis. Books by Nicholas Doumanis. Trivia About Before the Nation No trivia or quizzes yet. We gave them [Muslim households] eggs on Holy Thursday. They took them enthusiastically and ate them and threw the shells over their fields. It brought good luck. With those with whom we had friendships we would send tsoureki [twisted baked pastry] and eggs. In the Turkish graveyard was a tomb of Agios Ermolaos, which was also the tomb of a hodja.
There were two more like this. Turks would pray there and hang ribbons from the gate so that illnesses would go away.
We believed that St. Ermolaos would cure us, as he was among the healing saints. Ottoman society was pervasively place-sensitive; sacred natural sites were acknowledged, respected, and shared across confessional divisions. Elizabeth Mikalopetraki recalls that. There was a hill called Ai Yanni o Theologos.
It was about 40 steps. If you had faith you became well. Many have been cured by this soil.
The Turks went there also. In her study of the shared veneration of St. The problems with it are many, including the fact that using an ethnic category as the determining cause of ethnic violence makes causal analysis virtually unnecessary. The complex origins of conflicts are reduced to being the function of difference.
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Nicholas Doumanis - Wikipedia
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