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  • Publicado : 7 de febrero de 2011
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The title of Herzfeld’s book is taken from the “Song of I-lagia Sophia” about the sack of Constantinople by theTurks in 1453: The emperor and the patriarch arc in the process of celebrating a solemnmass, with the sixty-two bells of Hagia Sophia pealing thundcrously, whcn the voice of a narchangel bids them cease the mass. gather the icons, and snuff out the light.“for it is the will of God thatthe city should turn Turk.” At that moment. : according to the song, “The Holy Virgin was seized with trembling, and the icons wept tears.‘Re silent, Lady and Mistress. do not weep so much. Again inyears and times to come, all will be yours again”’It is not clear who is speaking, the emperor or the archangel. nor is i t ofcritical importance. What is importiintis thc subscqucnt change in thelast linefrom “yours again” to “oi~rso t rw tiror(>.*’Grcecc is no longer the Virgin’s. I t isthe cmperor who speaks. Thc “Song of hagia Sophia” thus bccanie the rallying cry of irn irredcntistGreece. Whose aspirations to reclaim ancient territories-the McKiiali Idlrea (GreatIdea)-culminaled in disaster and defeat by Turkey in 1922. One is temptcd to cxtcnd the rampant emotions of the song to thcidca of fh.si.\(Unificiltion) that echoed through Grecce in the 1960s and to the partitioning of Cyprus by the Turkish invasionof 1974. But that is not part of Herzfeld’s story. His is about theunbridlcd superpatriotism of the Greeks and their vision of their homeland and its mission- a supcrpatriotism that has taintcd most of thc historical writing of contemporary Grecks iind made theirfolklore a call to action.. Modcrn Grceks (or, as they prefcr.He1Iene.s) have long had an identity crisis.From 1453 to tlic rcvolution of1821 and csiablishmcnt of the modern Greek state in 1833, the Greekslivcd under the harness of the Turks.Throughout its long history, Greece has been repeatedly invaded by Dorians, Romans. Slavs, Franks. and others; but each time the captors became thc captives. The...
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