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Commerce, Culture, and Civilization in Greek Enlightenment and Contemporary European Thought

In: Journal of Early Modern History
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  • 1 Northwestern University
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Abstract

This article describes the interaction between Greek readers, writers, and publishers during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, giving particular attention to the challenges faced by the latter in obtaining financial support for their endeavors. These contingencies exerted a significant influence on the form and content of Greek discourse as expressed in one striking instance by the efforts made on the part of Greek intellectuals to publicly reimagine the role of commerce and its practitioners in the rise or rehabilitation of nations. In addition therefore to providing a revealing view of what one historian of the period has called “the linguistic construction of class,” the Greek literary preoccupation with commerce also serves as a valuable exhibit of “cultural transfer,” or the manner in which genres of thought originating in one setting may become naturalized within another to the point that they appear to have been generated from purely native sources and circumstances.

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