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Onwards facing backwards: the rhetoric of science in nineteenth-century Greece


The aim of this paper is to show how the Greek men of science negotiated a role for their enterprise within the Greek public sphere, from the institution of the modern Greek state in the early 1830s to the first decades of the twentieth century. By focusing on instances where they appeared in public in their official capacity as scientific experts, I describe the rhetorical schemata and the narrative strategies with which Greek science experts engaged the discourses prevalent in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Greece. In the end, my goal is to show how they were neither zealots of modernization nor neutral actors struggling in isolated wastelands. Rather, they appear as energetic agents who used scientific expertise, national ideals and their privileged cultural positions to construct a rhetoric that would further all three. They engaged eagerly and consistently with emerging political views, scientific subjects and cultural and political events, without presenting themselves, or being seen, as doing anything qualitatively different from their peers abroad. Greek scientists cross-contextualized the scientific enterprise, situating it in the space in which they were active.

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1 Georgios Vouris (1790–1860) was born and raised in Vienna. He acted as the first director of the observatory until 1855. His relations with the university were turbulent, and he was removed from the chair of physics more than once. In 1855 he went to live back in Vienna, where he died. For a biography see Stefanidis Michael, Εκατονταετηρις 1837–1937: Ιστορία της Φυσικομαθηματικής Σχολής (History of the School of Mathematics and Physics 1837–1937), vol. 2, Athens: National Printing House, 1948, p. 6.

2 The presentation of the ceremony is based on the descriptions accompanying the publication of Georgios Vouris's speech, as well as on newspapers' reports the following days. See, for example the issue of 28 June 1842 of the newspaper Αιών (Century), or the issue of 27 June 1842 of the newspaper Αθήνα (Athens); and Vouris Georgios, Λόγος εκφωνηθείς την 26 Ιουνίου 1842 υπό των καθηγητή του Πανεπιστημίου Γ. Κ. Βουρή κατά την τελετήν της θεμελιώσεως του Αστεροσκοπείου των Αθηνών, ανεγειρόμενου φιλοτίμω δαπάνη του εν Βιέννη Γενικού Πρόξενου της Ελλάδος Βαρώνος Σ. Σίνα (Speech Delivered by Professor G. Vouris, 26 June 1842, at the Ceremony for the Founding of the Observatory of Athens), Athens: Anastasiou Printing House, 1842.

3 A more general history of the early modern Greek state can be found in Koliopoulos John and Veremis Thanos, Modern Greece: A History since 1821, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009; and Clogg Richard, A Concise History of Greece, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. For a specific discussion of the early era of Otto see Petropoulos John, Politics and Statecraft in the Kingdom of Greece, 1833–1843, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968; and Dakin Douglas, Unification of Greece 1770–1923, London: Ernest Benn, 1972.

4 Vouris, op. cit. (2), p. 9.

5 Dimaras Konstantinos, Νεοελληνικός Ρωμαντισμός (Neohellenic Enlightenment), Athens: Hermes, 2004, pp. 8687. Expositions and discussions of the Greek Enlightenment can also be found in Kitromilides Paschalis, Enlightenment, Nationalism, Orthodoxy: Studies in the Culture and Political Thought of South-Eastern Europe, Aldershot: Variorum, 1994. The Enlightenment's aftermath from a postcolonial theoretical perspective is discussed in Gourgouris Stathis, Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization, and the Institution of Modern Greece, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996, pp. 4789.

6 The observatory's location was itself a matter of special consideration, since it was to act as a symbol of the king's might and the power of his modern regime. Thus even the hill of Acropolis itself was initially considered a building place.

7 Vouris, op. cit. (2), pp. 7–15.

8 One has only to see the relevant chapters in Hobsbawm's Eric classical trilogy The Age of Revolution: 1789–1848, New York: Vintage 1996 (first published 1962), The Age of Capital: 1848–1875, New York: Vintage, 1996 (first published 1975) and The Age of Empire: 1875–1914, New York: Vintage,1987; the discussion in Bayly Chris, The Birth of the Modern World: 1780–1914, Oxford and New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003; or the presence of science even in short expositions of the era, such as Gildea Robert, Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800–1914, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

9 Darwin John, After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire since 1405, New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2008, pp. 2526.

10 The classical paper of this approach is Basalla George, ‘The spread of Western science: a three-stage model describes the introduction of modern science into any non-European nation’, Science (1967) 156, pp. 611622. See also Raina Dhruv, ‘From West to non-West? Basalla's three-stage model revisited’, Science as Culture (1999) 8, pp. 497516; and Gavroglu Konstantinos, ‘Some methodological issues concerning the sciences at the European periphery’, in Moulin Anne and Ulman Yesim Isil (eds.), Perilous Modernity: History of Medicine in the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East from the 19th Century Onwards, Istanbul: The Isis Press, 2010, pp. 2324.

11 See the special issue ‘The sciences in the European periphery during the Enlightenment’ of the journal Archimedes (1999) 2; Gavroglu Konstantinos et al. , ‘Science and technology in the European periphery: historiographical reflections’, History of Science (2008) 46(2), pp. 153175; Schaffer Simon, Roberts Lissa, Raj Kapil and Delbourgo James, The Brokered World: Go-Betweens and Global Intelligence, 1770–1820, Sagamore Beach: Science History Publications/USA, 2009; Raj Kapil, Relocating Modern Science: Circulation and the Construction of Knowledge in South Asia and Europe, 1650–1900, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. For an attempt to explicitly compare the various terms see Standaert Nicolas, Methodology in View of Contact between Cultures: The China Case in the 17th Century, Hong Kong: Centre for the Study of Religion and Chinese Society, 2002.

12 See Secord James, ‘Knowledge in transit’, Isis (2004) 95(4), pp. 654672; and its use in Simon Josep and Herran Nestor, ‘Introduction’, in Simon Josep et al. (eds.), Beyond Borders: Fresh Perspectives in History of Science, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, pp. 126.

13 See, for example, Roberts Lissa, ‘Situating science in global history: local exchanges and networks of circulation’, Itinerario (2009) 33, pp. 930; and the articles Safier Neil, ‘Global knowledge on the move: itineraries, Amerindian narratives, and deep histories of science’, Isis (2010) 101, pp. 133145; Sivasundaram Sujit, ‘Sciences and the global: on methods, questions, and theory’, Isis (2010) 101, pp. 146158; Tilley Helen, ‘Global histories, vernacular science, and African genealogies; or, is the history of science ready for the world?’, Isis (2010) 101, pp. 110119; and Elshakry Marwa, ‘When science became Western: historiographical reflections’, Isis (2010) 101, pp. 98109.

14 Sivasundaram, op. cit. (13), pp. 146–148.

15 Darwin, op. cit. (9), pp. 20–21.

16 Gaonkar Dilip P., ‘The idea of rhetoric in the rhetoric of science’, in Gross Alan G. and Keith William (eds.), Rhetorical Hermeneutics: Invention and Interpretation in the Age of Science, New York: State University of New York Press, 1996, pp. 2588, 37; Bazerman Charles, ‘Introduction: rhetoricians on the rhetoric of science’, Science, Technology, & Human Values (1989) 14, pp. 36, 4; and Dear Peter, ‘Introduction’, in Dear (ed.), The Literary Structure of Scientific Argument: Historical Studies, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991, pp. 19, 2.

17 I take seminal such studies to be found in Shapin Steven and Schaffer Simon, Leviathan and the Air-Pump, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985; Dear, op. cit. (16); Golinski Jan, Science as Public Culture: Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760–1820, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992; and Harris Randy A. (ed.), Landmark Essays on Rhetoric of Science: Case Studies, Mahwah: Hermagoras, 1997.

18 This approach has been informed by Golinski Jan, ‘Language, discourse and science’, in Olby Robert et al. (eds.), Companion to the History of Modern Science, London: Routledge (1996), pp. 110121.

19 Nieto-Galan Agustí, ‘“… Not fundamental in a state of full civilization”: the Sociedad Astronómica De Barcelona (1910–1921) and its popularization programme’, Annals of Science (2009) 66, pp. 497528. For an emphasis on the connection between science rhetoric and science popularization in a historical context see Papanelopoulou Faidra and Kjaergaard Peter, ‘Making the paper: science and technology in Spanish, Greek and Danish newspapers around 1900’, Centaurus (2009) 51, pp. 8996. Finally, for a discussion of translation and language within a specific historical context see Elshakry Marwa, ‘Knowledge in motion: the cultural politics of modern science translations in Arabic’, Isis (2008) 99, pp. 701730.

20 Koliopoulos and Veremis, op. cit. (3), pp. 25–27.

21 Dimaras, op. cit. (5), pp. 23–119.

22 For a detailed exposition see Karas Giorgos (ed.), Ιστορία και φιλοσοφία των επιστημών στον ελληνικό χώρο (History and Philosophy of the Sciences in the Greek Space), Athens: Metaihmio, 2003.

23 Kyprianos Pantelis, Συγκριτική Ιστορία της Εκπαίδευσης (A Comparative History of Education), Athens: Vivliorama, 2004, pp. 7581.

24 A thorough exposition, albeit focusing on the early twentieth century, can be found in Antoniou John, Οι Έλληνες μηχανικοί – Θεσμοί και ιδέες (1900–1940) (The Greek Mechanics – Institutions and Ideas (1900–1940)), Athens: Vivliorama, 2006.

25 Mylonas Theodoros, ‘The strong tendency to transfer legislation from France to Greece in the first half of the nineteenth century and Maourer's organic law of Greek primary education (1834)’, in Terzis Nikos (ed.), Education in the Balkans: From the Enlightenment to the Founding of the Nation-States, Thessaloniki: Kyriakides Brothers, 2000, pp. 2336.

26 Koliopoulos and Veremis, op. cit. (3), p.31.

27 Short biographies of Greek scientists, as well as the relevant data for the description that follows, can be found in Stefanidis, op. cit. (1). Illustrative examples are Dimitrios Stroumpos (1806–1890), professor of physics who had studied in Geneva and Paris; Heracles Mitsopoulos (1816–1892), professor of physiography who had studied in Munich and Berlin; and Anastasios Christomanos (1841–1906), legendary professor of chemistry, who had studied in Vienna, Karlsruhe and Berlin, to name but a few.

28 Lappas Konstantinos, Πανεπιστήμιο και φοιτητές στην Ελλάδα κατά τον 19ο αιώνα (University and Students in Greece during the Nineteenth Century), Athens: National Hellenic Research Foundation, 2004, p. 411. It must be noted that this number does not include those with a specialization in mathematics. As the distinction in the graduation itself shows, these were considered another kind of expert, and their vocational and epistemic roles were different, in both education and intellectual discourse. The difference is even more pronounced between natural scientists and doctors, who were far more numerous and subject to different regulations and vocational trajectories. Medical doctors were in demand not only within Greece, but also in the general Balkan area and in other Ottoman provinces. As early as 1834, they had formed their own distinct professional institutions, and later on had their own journals. Finally, they both saw themselves and were seen as a distinct kind of expert. See, again, Lappas, op. cit., pp. 401–428. Another example is that the history of the medical school was written and published separately from that of the school of natural sciences, and describes quite a different discipline being formed. See Kouzis Aristotelis, History of the Medical School, Athens: Pyrsos 1939, pp. 18. For all these reasons, these professionals are not included in the analysis in this paper.

29 Stefanidis, op. cit. (1), pp. 5–28.

30 Gourgouris, op. cit. (5), pp. 87–88.

31 Baird Henry, Modern Greece: A Narrative of a Residence and Travels in that Country; With Observations on Its Antiquities, Literature, Language, Politics and Religion, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1856, pp. 8385.

32 Gourgouris, op. cit. (5), gives a good account of the intellectual milieu of the era, as does Dimaras, op. cit. (5).

33 Thereianos Dimitris, Αδαμάντιος Κοραής (Adamantios Korais), Tergesti: Loyd, 1889, p. 43. See also Damvergis's speech in Κωνσταντίνος Μητσόπουλος, Επί τη εικοσιπενταετηρίδι της καθηγεσίας αυτού εν τω Εθνικώ Πανεπιστημίω 1875–1900 (Konstantinos Mitsopoulos: On the Twenty-Five Years of His Professorship 1875–1900), Athens: UP, 1901, p. 27. A similar change in mentality was happening in the German lands, whose cultural influence was strong in Greek intellectual space. See Olesko Kathryn, ‘Physics instruction in Prussian secondary schools before 1859’, Osiris (1989) 5, pp. 9598.

34 Vouris, op. cit. (2), p. 14. All translations from Greek are my own.

35 Mitsopoulos Hercules, Ηρακλέους Μητσοπούλου κατά την έναρξιν των εν τω Πανεπιστημίω παραδόσεών του ως καθηγητού της Φυσικής Ιστορίας Λόγος εισιτήριος, Ανατύπωσις εκ του περιοδικού «Προμηθεύς» (Hercules Mitsopoulos's Inaugural Speech, Delivered at the Beginning of His Lectures in the University of Athens), Athens: Trimi Printing House, 1892, p. 15.

36 Η τεσσερακονταετηρίς του Αναστασίου Χρηστομάνου (The Forty-Year Jubilee of Anastasios K. Christomanos), Athens: Leonis Printing House, 1906, p. 24.

37 See, for example, Argyropoulos Timoleon, ‘Δημήτριος Στρούμπος’ (Dimitrios Stroumpos), Parnassos (1890) 13, p. 172; and Heldreich Theodor Von, Θ. Γ. Ορφανίδης ως βοτανικός : Σκιαγραφία (Th. G. Orfanidis as a Botanic: An Outline), Athens: UP, 1887, pp. 272273.

38 For a discussion on the history and impact of the Grand Idea in Greece see Cremmydas Vassilis, Η Μεγάλη Ιδέα – Μεταμορφώσεις ενός εθνικού ιδεολογήματος (The Grand Idea: Transformations of a National Ideology), Athens: Typothito (2010) and Koliopoulos and Veremis, op. cit. (3), pp. 27–59.

39 Κωνσταντίνος Μητσόπουλος, op. cit. (33), p. 29.

40 Εικοσιπενταετηρις Α.Κ. Δαμβέργη 1892–1917 (The Twenty-Five Year Jubilee of A.K. Damvergis), Athens: Kargiotaki Printing House, 1917.

41 Orfanidis Theodoros, Λόγος εκφωνηθείς τη ΚΣΤ' Νοεμβρίου 1867 ημέρα της επισήμου εγκαθιδρύσεως των νέων αρχών του Εθνικού πανεπιστημίου υπό του τακτικού καθηγητού της Βοτανικής Θεοδώρου Γ. Ορφανίδου (Speech Given on 26 November by Professor of Botany Theodoros G. Orfanidis), Athens: Ktena and Soutsa Printing House, 1868, p. 28.

42 See, for example, Dimaras, op. cit. (5); Politis Alexis, Ρωμαντικά Χρόνια: Ιδεολογίες και νοοτροπίες στην Ελλάδα του 1830–1880 (Romantic Years: Ideologies and Mentalities in Greece from 1830 to 1880), Athens: EMNE-Mnimon, 2008.

43 Guthenke Constanze, Placing Modern Greece: The Dynamics of Romantic Hellenism, 1770–1840, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 140190. For a specific analysis, albeit overgeneralizing, of the political and social role of the ‘Romantics’ in this era, see Petmezas Socrates, ‘From privileged outcasts to power players: the “Romantic” redefinition of the Hellenic nation in the mid-nineteenth century’, in Beaton Roderick and Ricks David (eds.), The Making of Modern Greece: Nationalism, Romanticism, and the Uses of the Past (1797–1896), Farnham: Ashgate, 2009, pp. 123136.

44 Jubilees are prime examples. See Εικοσιπενταετηρις Α. Κ. Δαμβέργη, op. cit. (40), Κωνσταντίνος Μητσόπουλος, op. cit. (33); Η τεσσερακονταετηρίς του Αναστασίου Χρηστομάνου, op. cit. (36); and Germanos Nikolaos, Βιογραφικαί σημειώσεις περί του καθηγητού Αναστασίου Κ. Χρηστομάνου Τεύχος πανηγυρικόν 1866–1896 (Biographical Notes on Professor Anastasios Christomanos), Athens: Paraskeva Leoni Printing House, 1896.

45 Damvergis Anastasios, Robert Bunsen, Athens: Estia, 1900, pp. 1618.

46 Mitsopoulos, op. cit. (35), pp. 9–10.

47 Argyropoulos Timoleon, Λόγος απαγγελθείς εν των Εθνικώ Πανεπιστημίω τη 22 Νοεμβρίου 1898 υπό Τιμολέοντος Αργυρόπουλου, τακτικού καθηγητή της Φυσικής παραλαμβάνοντως την πρυτανεία (Speech Delivered on 22 November 1898 by Professor Timoleon Argyropoulos, Receiving the Rectorship), Athens: Anestis Konstantinidis Printing House, 1900, pp. 68.

48 Stroumpos Dimitrios, Περί των γνώσεων και των δοξασιών των τε αρχαίων και νεωτέρων ως προς τα φυσικά φαινόμενα εν γένει και των μεθόδων που ερευνά αυτά (On the Knowledge and Beliefs of the Ancients and Later about the Physical Phenomena and the Methods that Explore Them), Athens: Kopida and Gavriel Printing House, 1858, p. 30.

49 Argyropoulos, op. cit. (47), pp. 15–21.

50 Remoundos Georgios, Περί των προόδων της Μαθηματικής Ανάλυσης κατά τον λήξαντα αιώνα και κατά τα τελευταία έτη. Η επιστήμη υπό έποψην απολαύσεως και υπό έποψην εθνικήν (On the Progress of Mathematical Analysis during the Previous Century and Recent Years: Science as Enjoyment and as a National Enterprise), Athens: Estia, 1906, p. 13.

51 Christomanos Anastasios, Εναρκτήριος λόγος εκφωνηθείς τη 2 Μαΐου 1864 (Inaugural Speech given on 2 May 1864), Athens: Mavromattis Printing House, 1864, p. 3.

52 Εικοσιπενταετηρις Α. Κ. Δαμβέργη, op. cit. (40), p. 12. This specific speech is given by A. Vournazos, professor of general experimental chemistry in the National Polytechnic School of Athens.

53 Mitsopoulos, op. cit. (35), pp. 3–4.

54 Orfanidis, op. cit. (41), pp. 29–30.

55 The journal Parnassos has been published by the eponymous society continuously from 1877 onwards. Especially in the nineteenth century, the society acted as the recognized locus of intellectual and artistic life of Athens, spawning movements and countermovements in poetry and literature. Participation in the society was a highly sought honour. That Christomanos and Argyropoulos were members is very indicative of their status as university professors.

56 Christomanos Anastasios, ‘Η ηθική προάγεται υπό των Φυσικών Επιστημών’ (Morality is advanced through the natural sciences), Parnassos (1877) A, pp. 51, 56–57.

57 See, for example, Mitsopoulos Konstantinos, ‘Η σπουδή της φύσεως και αι εξ αυτής ωφέλειαι’ (The study of nature and its benefits), Promitheus (1890) A, pp. 25; Argyropoulos, op. cit. (47); Stroumpos, op. cit. (48); Κωνσταντίνος Μητσόπουλος, op. cit. (33).

58 Orfanidis, op. cit. (41), pp. 21–22. He also expressed similar ‘liberating’ sentiments in his eulogy for Iossif Pittakos, a general of the Greek army in 1866. See Λόγοι επικήδειοι εις Ιωσήφ Πιττακόν υποστράτηγον του τακτικού στρατού (Speeches Given on the Demise of Iossif Pittakos), Athens: Hermou, 1866, pp. 7–10.

59 Christomanos, op. cit. (51), p. 16.

60 The exceptions are very few. One is the case of Mitsopoulos, op. cit. (35), another the case of Christomanos, op. cit. (51).

61 Argyropoulos, op. cit. (47), p. 4.

62 Such is the case with Stroumpos's rectorial address in 1858, for example, where he offhandedly refers to the Byzantine Empire as Roman and in a continuous state of decline. See Stroumpos, op. cit. (48), p. 16–17.

63 Politis, op. cit. (42), pp. 39–47.

64 The founder of this national historiographical school is considered to be Konstantinos Paparigopoulos, a professor in the University of Athens. For a general overview of his work and aims see Karamanolakis Vaggelis, Η συγκρότηση της ιστορικής επιστήμης και η διδασκαλία της ιστορίας στο Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών (1837–1932) (The Formation of the Discipline of History and the Teaching of History in the University of Athens), Athens: Institute of Neohellenic Studies/National Hellenic Research Foundation, 2006. A briefer discussion, influenced by deconstructivist theories, is to be found in Koundoura Maria, The Greek Idea: The Formation of National and Transnational Identities, London: Tauris Academic Studies, 2007, pp. 8597.

65 Orfanidis, op. cit. (41), pp. 14–15.

66 Christomanos, op. cit. (51), pp. 16–17.

67 See Argyropoulos, op. cit. (47); and Apostolidis Nikolaos, Εισιτήριος λόγος εις το μάθημα της Ζωολογίας, υπό Νικολάου Χ. Αποστολίδη, εκφωνηθείς εν τω Εθνικώ Πανεπιστημίω τη 10 Ιανουαρίου 1884 (Inaugural Lecture Given on 10 January 1884), Athens: Asmodaios Printing House, 1884.

68 History was also sometimes used as a subtle weapon in the intra-university disputes. Nikolaos Apostolidis, in his inaugural lecture in zoology, devotes pages upon pages to a eulogy of the little-known first professor of zoology and natural history, Kyriakos Domnados, while completely ignoring his contemporary Heracles Mitsopoulos, whose nephew was the rival Professor Konstantinos Mitsopoulos. He thus establishes his difference by claiming a different lineage to Mitsopoulos. See Apostolidis, op. cit. (67), pp. 8–15.

69 Orfanidis, op. cit. (41), p. 19.

70 Anastasios Christomanos, ‘Περί διδασκαλίας της Χημείας’ (On teaching chemistry), Parnassos (1879) Γ, 1879, pp. 680–681. In the next part of his article Christomanos is clear about who acts as his measures of comparison: Hoffman and Bunsen.

71 Vouris, op. cit. (2), p. 15.

72 Κωνσταντίνος Μητσόπουλος, op. cit. (33), p. 37.

73 Stroumpos, op. cit. (48), p. 13.

74 See Apostolidis, op. cit. (67), pp. 6–7.

75 Again, it should be noted that Greek scientists were unanimous in these pronouncements. Leandros Dosios, in his inaugural speech on heat as a lecturer in organic chemistry, Εναρκτήριον μάθημα εν τω εθνικώ Πανεπιστημίω-Περί θερμότητος, Athens: Perry-Vampa Printing House, 1869, uses original sources to show how the ancient Greek philosophers disregarded experiment generally, even if some, like Aristotle, used it sporadically. Other than that, however, he does not stray from the beaten path of presenting a brief history of his discipline, albeit one that uses explicitly a Comtean scheme and is focused on contemporary, not ancient, achievements.

76 The ‘model kingdom of the east’ was the new King George's ideal for the new state, as it was expressed in his inauguration in 1863. It was, among other things, a call for the modernization of Greece, but also of the idea that Greece as a nation had a special destiny, to act as a carrier and a model of progress for all Eastern and Balkan states. See Dimaras, op. cit. (5); and Skopetea Elli, Το Πρότυπο Βασίλειο και η μεγάλη ιδέα- Όψεις του εθνικού προβλήματος στην Ελλάδα (1830–1880) (The Model Kingdom and the Grand Idea: Facets of the National Problem in Greece), Athens: Polytypo, 1988.

77 Agrantoni Christina, ‘Η Ελληνική οικονομία στον πρώτο βιομηχανικό αιώνα’ (The Greek economy), in Ιστορία Του Νέου Ελληνισμού 1770–2000 (History of New Hellenism, 1770–2000), vol. 4, Athens: Ellinika Grammata, 2003, pp. 6174.

78 One can see the various such efforts in Stefanidis, op. cit. (1), pp. 7–26.

79 Orfanidis, op. cit. (41), p. 6; and Remoundos, op. cit. (50), pp. 14–15. Orfanidis in this case first presents and then criticizes the proposal of Justus von Liebig that the measure of a nation's civilization is the use of soap, offering, as is to be expected of a Greek of his time, the Ottoman Empire as a counterexample.

80 Christomanos, op. cit. (56), pp. 5–6, p. 32.

81 Dosios Leandros, Περί βιομηχανίας εν Ελλάδι (On the Question of Industry in Greece), Athens: Efimerida ton Sizitiseon, 1871, pp. 35. Dosios is an interesting example of a technological chemist coming from the German lands and defending a very modernistic, positivist ethos which does not engage with the prevalent notions of the classical Greek heritage. In other works, he explicitly references Auguste Comte (see Dosios, op. cit. (75)). However tempting the conclusion is, it is not certain whether these views had any relation to his failure to rise within the ranks of the university, despite his qualifications and family history.

82 Spiridon Miliarakis, Περι της σημασίας των Βοτανικών Εργαστηρίων, Λόγος εκφωνηθείς τη 28η Ιυνίου 1901 επί τοις εγκαινίοις του Βοτανικού Εργαστηρίου του Εθνικού Πανεπιστημίου (On the Importance of Botanical Laboratories: Speech Given on the Occasion of the Founding of the New Botanical Laboratory of the University of Athens), Athens: Estia, 1901, pp. 19–21. Interestingly enough, Miliarakis quotes an 1865 speech by Virchow to assert the ethical liberation that natural sciences bring.

83 Antoniou, op. cit. (24), pp. 210–276; Antoniou Yiannis, Assimakopoulos Michalis and Chatzis Konstantinos, ‘The national identity of inter-war Greek engineers: elitism, rationalization, technocracy, and reactionary modernism’, History and Technology (2007) 23, pp. 241261.

84 O'Brien Patrick, ‘European economic development: the contribution of the periphery’, Economic History Review (1982) 35, pp. 118, 18.

85 Briefly, we could mention the spectacular way that Greek men of science involved the public in their internal disputes; their involvement with textbook publication; the way they were depicted in contemporary paintings, pictures or even sketches; their use of the katharevousa, the semi-artificial language adopted by the state for all official use versus the dimotiki, the language used by the populace in everyday life; or their engagement with poetic competitions, philological treatises and archaeology.

This project has been made possible partly through funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement No 229825. I would like to thank Professor Simon Schaffer for a series of discussions about disciplinarity, which inspired some of the ideas of this work. Professor Alan Finlayson has my sincere gratitude for his insight into the field of rhetoric of science. Finally, Professor Angela Creager was kind enough to provide her valuable advice. Any and all of this paper's shortcomings should, of course, be attributed to me.

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