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Vassilis Letsios

Abstract

In this article I will discuss two different attitudes of traveling in mid-nineteenth century Greece, at a crucial time for the “western” or “eastern” orientation of the Greek state. To capture this I will demonstrate aspects of the travel writing of two Finnish travelers in nineteenth century Greece. The first recognized in modern Greece the light of classical antiquity and the importance of its conveying to the west, the second focused on contemporary Greece and its connection with the east. The two travelers, with a common starting point and at about the same time, traveled in a very different way in nineteenth century Greece and with their different skills “opened” different ideological horizons in a place that they both “loved” and “hated” for different reasons. How does the binary “east/west?” relate to the travelers’ expectations and predispositions at a time of the development of modern Greek identities and consciousness?