The battle of navarino

The Greeks’ bitter fight for freedom

Last year was the 200th anniversary of the outbreak of the war of Greek independence in March 1821. It has been celebrated by a flood of books and events, a particularly instructive exhibition at the Benaki Museum in Athens and this gruesome page-turner. Mark Mazower, professor of history at Columbia University and the author of many books on modern Greece, stresses the passion for freedom, exceptional stamina and heroism which helped Greeks establish an independent state between 1821 and 1830. Greeks had long felt oppressed as subjects of the Ottoman empire. One of them called it ‘a tyranny so frightful… neither equal nor comparable to any other and so unjust’.