Why do some Albanians hate the 500 year of Ottoman rule but no hate against Roman and Byzantine rule which was more than 800 years?

By: | Post date: 2016-10-18 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: History, Mediaeval Greek

Hello. Neighbour here.

I know Greeks’ opinion on this question might not be welcome, but it’s reminded me of a very similar question: Why do Greeks (fairly unanimously) hate the 500 years of Ottoman rule but no hate against Venetian rule which was 400–600 years?

You could argue rather convincingly that Venetian rule in the countryside was a lot more unpleasant than Ottoman rule. In Crete, it meant 400 years of corvée (feudal forced labour, whenever the landowner or the state felt like it). It meant the locals really were treated as a colony, and not just a millet. It meant no senior Orthodox clergy. It meant lots of uprisings against Venice, that even the local Venetian colonists took part in. It meant that when the Ottomans came to town to besiege the Venetian strongholds, Cretan villagers actually joined them.

And yet, you’ll only find out about any of that if you’re a professional historian, or you read professional historians. None of it in school, none of it in folksong, none of it in the formation of Greek identity. Why?

Recentism. Anything you hated about the hegemon 500 years ago is irrelevant; what continuity do you have with your ancestors from 500 years ago? Whereas what you hated about the hegemon 100 years ago is still going to inform your perception of who you are, and who you could have been. It’s enough of a time difference to transfer all the old resentments onto the more immediate cause of resentment.

Not saying this is the main reason; others’ responses have been very informative. But I’m sure it’s a factor.

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