Evangelical School of Smyrna
|Type||secondary male school|
|Location||Izmir (Smyrna), Ottoman Empire|
The building of the school, early 20th century
The Evangelical School (Greek: Ευαγγελική Σχολή) was a Greek educational institution established in 1733 in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire, now Izmir, Turkey. The school, initially an Orthodox Church-approved institution, attracted major figures of the Modern Greek Enlightenment. During the late 19th-early 20th century it became the most important Greek school in the city possessing an archaeological museum, a natural science collection and a library which contained some 50,000 volumes and 180 manuscripts. The Evangelical School ceased its operation in 1922, when it was destroyed during the Great Fire of Smyrna after the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922).
Early years and Greek Enlightenment
The school originated as a church approved institution and was established after the efforts of the local Greek Orthodox bishop. It was originally known as Greek School (Greek: Ελληνικό Φροντιστήριο), while its name changed several times during the 18th century. Finally, at 1808 the Ecumenical Patriarch granted the appellation, Evangelical School, by which it would be known until 1922. Financially, until the Greek War of Independence (1821-1830), the school was supported by individual benefactors, who either offered money directly to the school or sponsored scholarships for student.
In 1747 the school came under the protection of the British consulate of the city after the initiative of the local merchant Pantoleon Sevastopoulos. Sevastopoulos, in order to secure the school against a possible Ottoman confiscation, managed to acquire the full protection of Great Britain, something that was recognized by the Ottoman Sultans.
The Evangelical School, was initially orientated towards a traditional, religious-centered model of education. However, it saw two progressive interludes, probably due to rivalry with the Philological Gymnasium, another Greek school of the city, until the later was closed down by force in 1819 due to conservative reactions. During the following years a number of progressive headmasters were appointed. In 1811, Theophilos Kairis became headmaster and followed by Benjamin of Lesbos in 1820, both of them figures of the modern Greek Enlightenment and two of the most eminent representatives of the group of reform mathematics teachers from the Eastern Aegean region. Especially, Kairis taught mathematics and physics, but soon he left the school due to the differences in his views with those of the school board.
Later period (1830–1922)
With the years the school adopted more progressive and rationalistic educational methods, as well as the teaching of modern mathematics and sciences in the 'Western' manner, which at times attracted the attention of the conservative circles of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
At the late 19th and early 20th century Smyrna was a major commercial and educational center of the Greek world. The city was home of 67 well equipped Greek school units in addition to 4 female schools. The Evangelical school during this period was the most important Greek educational institution of the city. Apart from the school itself it possessed an archaeological museum, significant natural science collection and an excellent library which, shortly before its destruction in 1922, contained some 50,000 volumes and 180 manuscripts.
The buildings of the school were burned during the Great Fire of Smyrna (1922). In memory of the Evangelical School a new school was founded at Nea Smyrni district, Athens, in 1934 called New Evangelical School. On the other hand the educational facilities in Izmir are today used to house a Turkish public school.
- Ambrosios Pleianthidis, metropolitan bishop
- Saint Nicodemus the Hagiorite
- Manolis Kalomiris
- Adamantios Korais
- Nick the Greek
- Aristotle Onassis
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