German Philhellenism and the Failure of King Otto of Greece

by Jürgen Kilian (University of Passau)

When the European Great Powers proclaimed Otto of Wittelsbach King of Greece in 1832, a long-cherished dream came true for many Philhellenes. The assumed close relationship between Germans and the Hellenes of the ancient world seemed to have become reality. Yet, disillusionment was not long in coming: Bavarian rule in Greece turned out to be a strange mixture of the romantic perception of the country as a mirror image of the world of Homer and the simultaneous attempt to establish an administration following Central European examples of state-building. A lack of understanding and disappointment both of Greeks and Germans was the immediate consequence, which finally led to the overthrow of King Otto. This essay shall give some information about the public opinion in Bavaria at the beginning and at the end of his rule. Weiterlesen