One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A lover of Greece and Greek culture.‘a romantic philhellene’
- ‘Lavish donations outside Palestine established Herod as a benefactor on an empire-wide scale, as well as a flamboyant philhellene; the Olympian games and the city of Athens were among the beneficiaries.’
- ‘Universal classical literacy beckons in the wake of the Athens Olympics, and philhellenes the world over must already be entertaining shy hopes for a 21st-century rebirth of neo-classicism.’
- ‘A philhellene, he obtained appointments in the Ionian Islands, including, in 1854, secretary to the Lord High Commissioner.’
- ‘One philhellene whom Roessel discusses very well is his former professor, Edmund Keeley, whose experience of Greece dates back to his childhood in the thirties.’
- ‘Dreamy days by the beach, hunting for shells and watching fishermen mend their nets may well convert them into confirmed philhellenes by the time you leave.’
- 1.1historical A supporter of Greek independence.
- ‘Resistance to the Junta had been growing within Greece and overseas amongst Greeks abroad and their philhellene and pro-democracy supporters.’
Early 19th century: from Greek philellēn ‘loving the Greeks’ (see phil-, Hellene).
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