Intervention dans le cadre du colloque "Philhellenism and European Identity", organisé par l'Université de Chypre et la Freie Universität de Berlin, du 12 au 19 novembre à Chypre.
While a basic aspect of the war in the nineteenth century was materiality and physical presence, my paper will deal with absence. If participation in battles, the experience of killing and suffering violence, and the possession of things material, like spoils, arms and land, was what transformed Ottoman peasants, klepths, clerics and primates into Greek soldiers and potential citizens, what happened to those Greeks ‘who were not there’, who did not take part in all these? What did the Greek Revolution mean for the Greeks who never set foot in the soil of what was now becoming Greece? The paper will explore the impact of the revolutionary experience on the people of the Greek diasporas, arguing that it produced a new national consciousness which was constructed around absence, exile and alienation. It will do so by examining the writings of Mario Pieri (1776–1852), a Corfiote essayist and poet who was established in Florence around the years of the revolution and throughout his life. A translator of philhellenic texts into Italian and collaborator of the most arduously philhellenic journal, the ‘Antologia’, the italophone Pieri was able to follow closely the events in Greece and let himself being transformed by the revolutionary experience. His diary attests to his gradual discovery of his new national home, his slow passing from the local patria to the national patria, and to his becoming a Greek through the diasporic experience and Tuscan philhellenism.