A controversy revisited: Arnold Toynbee, the Koraes Chair, and the Western question in Greece and Turkey

A controversy revisited: Arnold Toynbee, the Koraes Chair, and the Western question in Greece and Turkey

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 - 5:00pm
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR
Richard Clogg (St Antony’s College, Oxford)
Othon Anastasakis (St Antony’s College, Oxford)
Othon Anastasakis (St Antony's College, Oxford); David Madden (St Antony's College, Oxford)
Michael Llewellyn-Smith (St Antony’s College, Oxford)


The history of academic institutions can be instructive and even entertaining. Although a fruitful area of study, academic historians seldom write about their own professional affairs. This is in part because academic institutions tend to be unduly protective about access to their archives.  This paper focuses not so much on the young Arnold Toynbee’s stormy and short-lived tenure of the Koraes Chair of  Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature at King’s College London, about which Richard Clogg has written in Politics and the Academy: Arnold Toynbee and the Koraes Chair (1986), as on how the author came to write the book and some of the consequences of writing it. Papers to which he had access only after he had published Politics and the Academy suggest that Toynbee was unwise to have applied for the chair.

Richard Clogg is an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford. Before coming to Oxford he was Professor of Modern Balkan History in the University of London. Recent publications include the third edition of A Concise History of Greece (Cambridge University Press 2013) (Greek and Turkish translations 2015) and Miscellanea Graecoturcica: essays on Greek and Turkish history (Istanbul: The Isis Press 2015). Clogg enjoys a reputation as one of the most important and influential specialists in modern and contemporary Greek history. His best-known work A Concise History of Greece (1992) set new standards in the field, was translated into several languages, and was awarded with the Runciman Award in 1993. Clogg was decorated with the Gold Cross of the Greek Order of Honour by the President of Greece in 2002.

Michael Llewellyn-Smith studied at New College and St Antony’s College Oxford, obtaining a D Phil for his thesis on Greece in Asia Minor. He has published Ionian Vision: Greece in Asia Minor 1919-1922; Olympics in Athens 1896; Athens: a Cultural and Literary History; and other books and essays on Greek history and culture. He was British ambassador in Warsaw and then Athens in the 1990s. He is currently working on the life and times of Eleftherios Venizelos, and on an exhibition about Nikos Hadjikyriakos Ghikas, John Craxton and Patrick Leigh Fermor.