The Net(work) of the Revolution

Marios Chatzopoulos

The war, which broke out within the first few months of 1821 at the eastern and southern regions of the Balkan Peninsula, was primarily the fruit of the seven-year action of a secret organization under the guileless title of Filiki Etaireia (Society of Friends). Not unlike the majority of political organizations of the time, the Filiki Etaireia comprised a network of people bearing the same sociopolitical ideals and, by and large, the same worldview. Under the guise of secrecy, this network worked toward the achievement of their common—explicitly subversive—political plans. Similarly to other human networks, it expanded spatially, while it simultaneously presented diversified qualitative characteristics through time. The Filiki Etaireia was founded in Odessa and was originally of loosestructure and limited action. It then readjusted its hierarchical structure and transferred to Constantinople, while it broadened its action and increased its financial capacity by recruiting affluent members. Meanwhile, the Filiki Etaireia unfolded its activity throughout the Balkans, Russia and Greece, expanding thus its organizational base. Its main function was the circulation of revolutionary ideas within a web of hierarchical and inter-depending knots-members.

The electronic historical atlas we have created visualizes the historical path of the Filiki Etaireia through space and time, based on the archival availability and existing historical studies, simultaneously mapping the fluctuating structure of knots-members--when known. The result of such a dynamic illustration—an illustration of the diversifying structure and route of the organization both spatially and temporally—combines the liveliness, color and motion, which only the electronic means can offer, with the validity of the written source. The electronic historical atlas aims at and addresses not only the educational community and professional researchers, but also the general public who may take an interest in history and wish to profoundly comprehend the historical route and expansion of this secret patriotic organization—an organization which silently worked forging the material and symbolic preconditions for the outbreak of the GreekStruggle for Independence.

Research directed by: Marios Hatzopoulos

Collaborator: Vallia Rapti

GIS Cartography: Panagiotis Stratakis