Morea expedition  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Morea expedition (Template:Lang-fr) is the name given in France to the land intervention of the French Army in the Peloponnese (at the time often still known by its medieval name, Morea) between 1828 and 1833, at the time of the Greek War of Independence.

After the fall of Messolonghi, Western Europe decided to intervene in favour of revolutionary Greece. Their attitude toward the Ottoman Empire's Egyptian ally, Ibrahim Pasha, was especially critical; their primary objective was to elicit the evacuation of the occupied regions, the Peloponnese in particular. The intervention began when a Franco-Russo-British fleet was sent to the region, winning the Battle of Navarino in October 1827. In August 1828, a French expeditionary corps disembarked at Koroni in the southern Peloponnese. The soldiers were stationed on the peninsula until the evacuation of Egyptian troops in October, then taking control of the principal strongholds still held by Turkish troops. Although the bulk of the troops returned to France from the end of 1828, there was a French presence in the area until 1833.

As during Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign, when a Commission of Sciences and Arts had accompanied the military campaign, a Morea scientific expedition (Expédition scientifique de Morée.) accompanied the troops. Seventeen learned men representing different specialties (natural history and antiquities – archaeology, architecture and sculpture) made the voyage. Their work was of major importance in increasing knowledge about the country. As an example, the topographic maps they produced were excellent. More significantly, the measurements, drawings, profiles, plans and proposals for the theoretical restoration of Peloponnesian monuments, of Attica and of the Cyclades were, following James Stuart and Nicholas Revett's Antiquities of Athens, a new attempt to systematically and exhaustively catalogue ancient Greek ruins. The Morea expedition and its publications offered a near-complete description of the regions visited. They formed a scientific, aesthetic and human inventory that remained one of the best means, short of visiting them in person, to get to know the regions.



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