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“SPANISH CASTLES” IN THE AEGEAN: Greek Political Imagination in the Russian Archipelagic Principality, 1770-1774

On December 20, 1768, as Russian plans to launch a naval expedition into the eastern Mediterranean began to materialize, Catherine II wrote to her envoy in London, describing how her tendency to build “Spanish castles” had been awakened. While, in some ways, idealistic, Catherine’s Greek project produced several tangible successes in the early 1770s. Following the victory at Chesma, in the summer of 1770, the Russian navy established firm control over the Aegean Sea for the remainder of the war.