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Greek mythology and medical and psychiatric terminology

By Loukas Athanasiadis, Psychiatric Bulletin (1997), 21, 781-782 781

A great number of terms in modern psychiatry, medicine and related disciplines originate from the Greek, including pathology, schizophrenia, ophthalmology, gynaecology, anatomy, pharma cology, biology, hepatology, homeopathy, allopathy and many others. There are also many terms that originate from figures from ancient Greek mythology (or the Greek words related to those figures) and I think that it might be interesting to take a look at some of them.

Psyche means ‘soul’ in Greek and she gave her names to terms like psychiatry (medicine of the soul), psychology, etc. Psyche was a mortal girl with whom Eros (‘love’, he gave his name to erotomania, etc.) fell in love. Eros’s mother Aphrodite had forbidden him to see mortal girls. He defied her order and started seeing Psyche in the dark, while she was not allowed to ask his name or look at his face. When she disobeyed him and lit a lamp, Eros fled away. Psyche then wandered long in search of him, they were eventually united and, even better, she became immortal.

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The Pancretan Association of America Celebrates the Centennial Anniversary of the Union of Crete with Greece

By Nancy Biska & Georgia Kokinidou, ΚΡΗΤΗ Magazine, October 2013
Celebrations with a series of cultural events in New York City on December 5 – 8, 2013 are being organized by the Pancretan Association of America and the Cultural & Education Committee
of the NY&NJ local chapters, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Union of Crete with Greece (1913-2013).
The celebrations of this historical milestone for Crete and Greece will start by organizing a United Nations Symposium entitled “The Cretan Diet: 100 years of Crete’s contribution in Better Nutrition and Healthy Living.” (December 5, afternoon). The Symposium’s purpose is to promote the traditional Cretan diet as a model of the Mediterranean Diet, as well as a way of living for maintaining health and longevity. At the same time, the Symposium will promote the rich and excellent quality of the agricultural products of Crete.

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From the Land of the Labyrinth: Minoan Crete, 3000-1100 B.C.

280 Artifacts and works of art that reveal the history of the luminous Minoan culture of Crete to the metropolis of USA, New York
By Nancy Biska
The interest of the American Press and hundreds of visitors daily is focused on the artifacts of the Minoan Civilization which are exhibited at the “Alexander Onassis” Foundation at the Olympic Tower in Manhattan, New York. The exhibition was co-organized by the “Alexander S. Onassis” Public Benefit Foundation in USA, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological museums of Crete, with the cooperation of the Pancretan Association of America. Continue Reading

The Cretan Diet: Its Culture and Benefits

By Nancy Biska, ΚΡΗΤΗ Magazine
“Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food” — Hippocrates
Homer called olive oil the “liquid gold”. Nothing is more characteristic of Crete than the millions of olive trees that grow in valleys and mountainous areas. According to archaeological findings, Cretans have been cultivating the olive tree and have been using olive oil since 3500 B.C. during the early Minoan period.
In ancient Greece the olive tree has been the symbol of wisdom and peace. It was the sacred tree of goddess Athena and Athens, the capital of Greece. Also, at the Ancient Olympic Games, winners were presented with a simple olive tree branch which was cut with a gold-handled knife from a wild olive tree. The Greeks believed that the vitality of the sacred tree was transmitted to the recipient through the branch.

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Athenian Academy: The Garden Nursery of Tomorrow’s Philhellenes

By Nancy Biska, Translation by Nina Gatzoulis, Published on Hellenic Communication Service LLC
The first American public school where the Greek language is taught systematically has become reality!
The “Athenian Academy,” operating in Florida, has completed a year of successful academic work. It is the omogeneia’s reward for so many efforts for the perpetuation of our culture. It also embodies our hopes for preserving the Greek language worldwide.
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You speak Greek you just don’t know it!

By Nancy Biska
We think Greek is a foreign language written in a foreign alphabet. Yet we speak and write Greek every day without realizing it. Our Alphabet comes from Greek. Our Vocabulary is filled with Greek.
Enthusiasm = «possessed by a god», «inspired» from the Greek word «ενθουσιασμός»
The source of the word is the Greek compound noun «ενθουσιασμός», which ultimately comes from the adjective «ένθεος» meaning “having god within”, formed from the preposition «εν» meaning “in, within,” and the noun «Θεός/ Θεά» = “God/ Goddess.”
Most of the Greek names have a meaning:
The analysis of the words is based on Puristic Greek and not on Modern Greek Language
Aristotle = Αριστοτέληςhe who has “the best purpose”
Proper noun which means “he who means well”, “he who has the best purpose” deriving from the Greek word «άριστος» = the best/ excellence, and «τέλος» = aim/purpose.
Aristotle was one of the widely known Greek philosophers in the world, and still remains so even today.
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