Greece The Greek Diaspora
Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies
During the years of Ottoman domination, Greek speakers resettled over a wide area inside and outside the empire. Greeks moved in large numbers to Romania, along the coast of the Black Sea, and into all the major cities of the empire and became merchants and artisans. Over 80,000 Greek families, for example, moved into the territories of the Habsburg Empire. Thousands more settled in the cities of the Russian Empire. Commercial dealings between the Ottoman Empire and the outside world were increasingly monopolized by Greeks. Important merchant colonies were founded in Trieste, Venice, Livorno, Naples, and Marseilles. Amsterdam, Antwerp, London, Liverpool, and Paris also received sizeable Greek populations.
The diaspora communities played a vital role in the development of Greek culture during the Ottoman occupation. Greek enclaves in foreign cultures reinforced national identity while exposing their inhabitants to new intellectual currents, including the ideology of revolution. Many diaspora Greeks became wealthy then helped to support communities in Greece by founding schools and other public institutions.
Data as of December 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece The Greek Diaspora information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece The Greek Diaspora should be addressed to the Library of Congress.