Re: Alexander and the Mermaid

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Posted by Bruce on January 02, 2001 at 10:35:57:

In Reply to: Re: Alexander and the Mermaid posted by Constantine on January 01, 2001 at 15:40:24:

Thanks for explaining the legend, it indeed has a curious twist. However
your discussion of its origin is pure speculation, and in my mind highly

The legend of the Mermaid predates the Greek Nation concept, which is
quite modern. Moreover, as for the memories of ancient Greece, let me
remind you that there was little wish, let alone struggle, to keep them
alive. During Turkish rule, it was the Greek Orthodox Church which was
actively attempting to avoid all reference to ancient Greece, as it was
seen as a pagan era and better forgotten. As the Church
was quite effective at maintaining its powerful place in Ottoman Greece, a
legend like this would never have been created, let alone been able to
survive to today, if it were intended as reference to ancient Greece. To
add to the irony, the revival of Classicism in Greece, in the 18th
Century, is almost wholly due
to Western European influence. Many British, German, French and Italian
'philelleni' visiting then occupied Greece, or Greeks educated in Western
Europe returning to their home, held a romantic wish to see Greece return
to its former Classical splendour.

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