Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 130

Full Length Research Paper

Iosipos Moisiodax, John Locke and the post-European enlightenment quest for modernity in Greece

Angelo Nicolaides
Faculty of Human Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, P. O. Box 21357, Helderkruin, 1733 South Africa
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 March 2010
  •  Published: 30 August 2010



Iosipos Moisiodax (c.1725 - 1800) a highly controversial figure was the first eighteenth-century Greco-Bulgarian-Romanian intellectual in the Balkans to voice the ideas of the enlightenment in public forums, justifying his efforts with philosophical theorizing and using many of the ideas of John Locke. He made various wide-ranging pronouncements in favour of cultural change leading to Greek modernity which could only come about through a reformed education process. Like many other contemporary figures, Moisiodax naturally assimilated into the Hellenism that had permeated throughout the Balkan region. He was of the opinion that education was the basis of both individual and social reform and favoured the independence of rationalist secular education, which emphasized a striving for virtue in a process of lifelong learning.  He expressed the idea that knowledge was the means by which virtue could be attained. As Moisiodax’s contemporaries in Greece were the heirs of the founders of Western civilization, they were in essence Europeans and as such should be in tune with the European enlightenment. The aim of this paper, which is a literature review meta-analysis, is two-fold: firstly, to examine the role played by Iosipos Moisiodax, in education and nation-building in Greece and secondly to explain his ideas for cultural change in Greece. In essence, what did Moisiodax advocate and to what extent did he echo the sentiments of John Locke, and ultimately, what were the results of his efforts?


Key words: Modernity, enlightenment, education, culture.