The Ionian Islands and Epirus: A Cultural History

Paperback | October 27, 2010

byJim Potts

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Scattered off the west coast of mainland Greece are the seven Ionian Islands, celebrated for their spectacular landscapes, olive groves and classical associations. Together with the mountainous mainland region of Epirus, the combined populations of Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Ithaca, Kefalonia,Zakynthos, and Kythira constitute less than a twentieth of the population of Greece, yet they have made a huge contribution to the culture of the country, before and since becoming part of the Greek state. The unsurpassed beauty of the islands and of the Pindus Mountains has stimulated theimagination of countless writers and artists from Homer to Byron, Edward Lear and the Durrells, Louis de Bernieres and Nicholas Gage, as well as scores of nineteenth-century travellers. Drawing a mosaic portrait of the Ionian Islands and special places of interest in Epirus, Corfu resident Jim Potts focuses on the landscapes, legends, traditions, and historical events that have appealed most strongly to the imaginations of writers, residents and travellers. Ranging from themythical leap of Sappho and the mystery of Calypso's island to the impact of tourism on modern-day Corfu, this book reveals the extraordinary cultural legacy of this beautiful part of the world.ODYSSEUS AND SAPPHO: the landscapes of the poets; Homer's Ithaca and Scheria; Sappho's leap; the identification of Dodona; classic ground; King Pyrrhus.THE SEVEN ISLANDS: Strategic issues; Corfu v. Kefalonia; Byron and Casanova; Empress Elizabeth of Austria; Greek writers, Solomos, Laskaratos, Theotokis and Valaoritis. TURKEY, VENICE, BRITAIN, GREECE: conflict and occupation; union and liberation; the Second World War and civil war; nationalism and identity; cultural differences.

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Scattered off the west coast of mainland Greece are the seven Ionian Islands, celebrated for their spectacular landscapes, olive groves and classical associations. Together with the mountainous mainland region of Epirus, the combined populations of Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Ithaca, Kefalonia,Zakynthos, and Kythira constitute less than a tw...

Jim Potts is author of Corfu Blues (Ars Interpres Publications, Stockholm, April 2006), and co-editor of Swedish Reflections, from Beowulf to Bergman. He worked for The British Council for 35 years in many countries. He now splits his time between Corfu, Epirus, and the UK.

other books by Jim Potts

The Ionian Islands and Epirus
The Ionian Islands and Epirus

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:October 27, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199754160

ISBN - 13:9780199754168

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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgementsA note on the spelling of namesIntroduction1. Classic Ground: Sappho's Leap ; Corfu/Scheria?; Homer's Ithaca; Othoni, Island of Calypso?; Kythira and Aphrodite; The Identification of Dodona; Archaeology and Politics; Nekromanteion and Acheron; The Imaginative Lea; Further Theories2. Ionian History: Thucydides and Classical History; Normans, Venetians and Napoleon; Corfu vs. Kefalonia; The British Protectorate; Attitudes before and after Unification.3. The Call of the Islands: Homecomings; Greek Language, Greek Values; The View from the Sea; Landscape and Perception; Images of Kythira; The Impact of Events; Images of Lefkas; Criticisms and Compensations; The Greek Orthodox Church; A Place of Contradictions; Perceptions of the British;Perceptions Through Time; Romantics and Lovers; Customs and Manners; Women in Greece.4. A Tour of the Islands: The Reality of Corfu; Kefalonia; Zakynthos and Zantiots; In Praise of Paxos.5. Foreign Rule and Occupation: The End of the British Protectorate; The Threat of Ali Pasha; Collaboration and Retribution; Provincial Despair, Provincial Pride; Unification and Communication.6. From Island to Mainland, Corfu to Epirus: Mainland vs. Islands; Maintaining the Environment; The Epirot Mountain Landscape; The Vlachs of Metsovo and Pindus; The Mountains of Suli; Mountain Culture; Zagori; Local Legends.7. New Perspectives: The Legacy of the Colonels; The End of Rural Poverty?; The Writing of Modern Greek History; The Heritage of Epirus; Ioannina After Ali; Nationalism, Truth and Reconciliation.Bibliography and Further ReadingIndex of Literary and Historical NamesIndex of Places and Landmarks