Spectres of the past : a comparative study of the role of historiography and cultural memory in the development of nationalism in modern Scotland and Greece
The purpose of this thesis is to explore themes in the development of national ideology in Scotland and Greece largely in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The analysis consists of two pairs of case studies where, using the comparative method, the role of historiography in providing ‘mental maps’, precise boundaries for the nation in space and time, its application in constructing a national consensus on an acceptable past, and the use of the latter in consolidating a national identity, are explored in detail. This process followed intricate paths in both Scotland and Greece and displayed rifts and fissures in patterns thought common in the development of nationalism in Europe. The fundamental ideological challenges to which significant segments of the Scottish and Greek society had to respond are shown to have influenced their respective societies’ worldview until the present time. The resilience of a number of different valid perceptions of Scotland in the nineteenth century and the dichotomy between equally possible concepts of Greece demonstrate, in concluding, the fluidity of national identity and indeterminacy of their modern ethnogenesis as late as the eve of the Great War.