The 'Third Hellenic Civilization' of Ioannis Metaxas

The attempt to consolidate the shape of the 'Third Hellenic Civilization' held a prime place in dictator Metaxas' campaign for a 'new Greece'. It was a vague policy aimed at the long-term elevation of the Greek race and the civilization of the rest of the world, and he drew his inspiration from the pagan values of ancient Greece and the Christian ones of Byzantium. The theorists of the Fourth of August particularly stressed the concept of 'Nation' as a source of authority without identifying it, though with the 'Greek People', considering the former a separate transcendental entity, standing above the people.

This formed the basic ideological motif the dictator promoted, adjusted to the Greek case, but still in line with the totalitarian regimes of the time and the models they represented. Others apart, the - relatively short - period of Ioannis Metaxas' stay in power contributed to the low impact of these ideological constructs on the overwhelming majority of the Greek people. However, the problematic mixture of such heterogeneous elements stresses even more the inability to express an independent and creative idiom without the mediation of (western) European models.