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Lecture: “Memories of the Greek Revolution on the Currency of the Modern Greek State”

Lecture poster
Highlight from the lecture
Highlight from the lecture
Group photo
5,000-drachma banknote
28.11.2023 - 28.11.2023

Dr Dimitra Tsangari, Curator of the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection, is giving a lecture at the National Hellenic Research Foundation on the currency of the modern Greek state. The audience can attend the lecture in person or through a live online broadcast.

The lecture is part of a series hosted by The Friends of the Numismatic Museum association, in partnership with the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation.

View the full programme of events.

With the coins and banknotes issued by the modern Greek state as the exclusive narrators, the lecture will unfold the recent Greek history and its protagonists, while also referring to the events of the Greek Revolution.

The main sections include:

  • National preparation
  • Heroes
  • Historical events
  • Establishment of the modern Greek State

The 1821 Revolution, the most significant event in modern Greek history, led to the overthrow of the Ottoman rule and the official establishment of the new Greek state.

Soon after, the need arose to determine the currency unit to be used. The spirit of antiquity at the time led to the decision to name the currency of the new state “drachma”, just like the monetary unit of ancient Greece.

The War of Independence greatly affected all the arts in Greece, such as painting, literature, music, theatre, etc. An event of such significance was expected to also inspire numismatics.

Personalities, events, ideas and works of art linked to the Revolution were included in the numismatic programme and were depicted on the national means of exchange. Even today, some euro coins feature images from that period on their faces.

So currency became a valuable pool of knowledge, reintroducing historical figures to the present, and highlighting the values and messages of the Greek Revolution.

The Alpha Bank publication The Greek Revolution through the Currency of the New Greek State presents coins of the new Greek state with iconographic themes from the Greek Revolution. All the banknotes and coins presented come from the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection. The authors are Dimitra Tsangari and Konstantinos Christopoulos.