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GREEK LANGUAGE & CULTURE

Ποιος σκότωσε τον Όμηρο στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες;

«Φέρτε πίσω τους Έλληνες» δήλωσε στο  τεύχος 238 του «Δαυλού», ο Αμερικανός διανοούμενος Bruce Thorton. “Ο Ελληνισμός δεν θα πεθάνει ποτέ, είναι η πρώτη και τελευταία ελπίδα της ἀνθρωπότητας. Οι Ελληνικές ιδέες για τον Πολιτισμό έδωσαν στην ανθρωπότητα τη μοναδική ελπίδα για ελευθερία και αξιοπρέπεια» δηλώνουν στο παρόν τεύχος (240) οι Αμερικανοί συνάδελφοί του και γνωστοί συγγραφείς του βιβλίου «Ποιος σκότωσε τον Όμηρο;», Victor Hanson και John Heath. Ο «Δαυλός» κατέγραψε τη συνομιλία του με τους δυο διανοούμενους, που είχε ως θέμα της την παγκοσμιότητα και διαχρονικότητα του Ελληνισμού.
 «Η Θρησκεία περιορίζει τον πολιτισμό, στερείται λογικής από τη φύση της και αποτελεί τροχοπέδη στην Παγκοσμιότητα».
Nάνσυ Μπίσκα: Ποιες πιστεύετε ότι είναι οι προϋποθέσεις για μία ‘υγιή’ παγκοσμιότητα; Ποια είναι τα στοιχεία εκείνα  που ενώνουν την ανθρωπότητα και ποια την διχάζουν;

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Bring back the Greeks!

This is my original unedited interview with Professor Bruce S. Thornton of the University of California at Fresno, published in Greek on Davlos Magazine (No. 238. Oct. 2001. pp.15255 15264)
Q. Would you comment please upon the two trends currently influencing American Academia today, that is, “Postmodernism” and “Multiculturalism?”
Postmodernism is an intellectually incoherent and childish fashion whose inconsistencies and errors of logic are easily identified. Briefly, postmodernism denies the possibility of stable truth, meaning, identity, etc. but of course itself is an ideology which claims to be meaningful and true. It’s like the old Greek riddle: ´All Cretans are liars.’ A Cretan said this! Postmodernism is not new, the radical Sophists of the later fifth century B.C. are their forefathers.
Multiculturalism is the heir of the romantic nationalism that emerged in Germany in the 19th century and whose monstrous offspring include fascism. The idea that individuals are to be defined and validated by their accidental birth into an ethnic category possessing mystical, unique qualities is irreconcilable with liberal democracy, which sees individuals as the locus of rights, not groups. Multiculturalism spawns identity politics, the attempt to secure privileges, rights, etc. for whole categories. Finally, these categories in the U.S. are predicated on victimization of the groups have validity because they are presumably the victims of oppression and exclusion. Thus, multiculturalism insidiously institutionalizes inferiority, since the victim is by definition less powerful than the victimizer.
Q. Why in your opinion these tendencies were created and supported by so many influential professors and how the academic society can accept the scientific falsehood (with pseudoscientific arguments and techniques) in the American Universities?
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Μπορούν η Ορθοδοξία και το Ελληνικό πνεύμα να συμπορευθούν;

Το ενδιαφέρον θέμα της σχέσης της Αρχαίας Ελληνικής Φιλοσοφίας και του Χριστιανισμού καθώς και τις διαφορές μεταξύ Επιστήμης και Επιστημονικής Κοσμοθεωρίας πραγματεύεται στην εποχή της παγκοσμιοποίησης στη συνέντευξη που έδωσε στη Νάνσυ Μπίσκα, ο γνωστός καθηγητής Αστροφυσικής κ. Μάνος Δανέζης.
Περιοδικό “Ελληνική Αγωγή”,  Ιούνιος 2001
Ν. Μπ. Το αντικείμενο της επιστήμης σας είναι πραγματικά τόσο εντυπωσιακό για όλους εμάς κ. Δανέζη..
Μ. Δ.Εξακολουθώ να πιστεύω πως η Αστροφυσική είναι μία επιστήμη σαν όλες τις άλλες, απλώς εσείς την αντιμετωπίζετε λίγο διαφορετικά, ίσως γιατί πάντα το αχανές σύμπαν, μέσα στο πέρασμα των αιώνων, ενέπνεε στους ανθρώπους μια αίσθηση δέους. Continue Reading

Taste of Greece, Adelphi, Fall Semester

Professor Athanasia Biska (Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures) Instructor in Greek recently hosted the “Taste of Greece,” an event celebrating Greek culture and food. It takes place once per semester offering students the opportunity to share traditional homemade food and recipes with their classmates. Non- Hellenic heritage students have the opportunity to share flavors of their own culture. During the event, students shared funny stories of the Greek-American life and experience, presented “Greeklish” words and expressions, taught Greek traditional dances, and enjoyed Greek popular music.

Adelphi, College of Arts and Sciences News

 

Why Study The Ancient Greeks?


By Professor Mary Lefkowitz, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College
*Published in the AHEPAN, Winter 2001
My family does not come from Greece, but whenever I return to Greece, I feel as though I have come home. I became a philhellene because when I was in the tenth grade I decided to study ancient Greek. Once I started to study ancient Greek, Ι couldn’t stop. I have never been able to learn enough about it. It’s not easy to explain why I should have become so obsessed with a language and a culture. But perhaps in the course of doing so Ι can suggest why the ancient Greeks deserve everyone’s continuing attention and respect.
Studying Ancient Greek is exciting because it brings you into direct contact with the past. The first Greek text I bought for myself was a copy of the New Testament. The original Greek was more powerful, and made better sense than the translation. But it was not until I began to read Aeschylus and Sophocles in Greek that I found that I could not be happy without studying the language. The poets can say what could not be said or perhaps even thought of in English. There are important grammatical differences. Greek verbs can convey the notion of continuous and discontinuous action, as well as of the timing of an action (past, present, future). They have a middle voice and optative as well as subjunctive. The use of personal endings and grammatical cases allows great flexibility in word order. And there are metaphors that have not survived in English, or in our way of looking at the world.
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Ο μαγικός κόσμος του Κομπολογιού

Της Νάνσυ Μπίσκα, περιοδικό Charismag, Sept 2017
Το Κομπολόι, με οποιαδήποτε μορφή κι αν εμφανίζεται, είναι ένα από τα πιο γνωστά, παράξενα και αμφιλεγόμενα αντικείμενα που χρησιμοποίησε ποτέ ο άνθρωπος και η ιστορία του πάντα χάνεται μέσα σε θρύλους, μύθους και παραδόσεις.Το άλλοτε λατρευτικό αυτό αντικείμενο έχει χάσει σήμερα την πρωταρχική κι αληθινή χρηστική και φιλοσοφική του αξία. Μέσα από μια πορεία λήθης έχει καταλήξει ν’ αποτελεί απλά και μόνο ένα διακοσμητικό αντικείμενο ή ένα παιχνίδι των δακτύλων μας σε στιγμές χαράς, λύπης ή ανίας. Ας ανιχνεύσουμε την ιστορική του πορεία μέσα από την έρευνα που έκανε η Γλύκα Μητσιού[1].
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1893: Η πρώτη Ελληνική Παρέλαση στη Νέα Υόρκη

Πηγή: Greek News, April 4, 2005, Έρευνα του Νίκου Νικολιδάκη
Οι Έλληνες μετανάστες στις Η.Π.Α., θα αναζητήσουν, αρκετά νωρίς, πολλούς τρόπους για να κρατήσουν στη νέα τους πατρίδα κάθε εθνικό και πολιτιστικό στοιχείο, το οποίο θα συντηρούσε το πολιτιστικό και εθνικό κεφάλαιο της ελληνικής τους καταγωγής και ταυτότητας. Οι εκδηλώσεις των εθνικοτοπικών σωματείων, οι σχολικές γιορτές κατά τις εθνικές επετείους, οι ετήσιοι χοροί των συλλόγων , σωματείων, οργανισμών κ.λ.π., αλλά κυρίως οι οργανούμενες εθνικές παρελάσεις για την επέτειο της 25ης Μαρτίου, στοχεύουν στη διατήρηση των εθνικών και πολιτιστικών στοιχείων της ταυτότητάς τους. Κορωνίδα των εκδηλώσεων αυτών αποτελεί η εθνική παρέλαση που οργανώνεται από ομογενειακούς φορείς, στις διάφορες μεγαλουπόλεις των Η.Π.Α.

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Defending the Greeks

by Bruce S. Thornton
Private Papers

This talk was presented February 28, 2005 at California State University, Sacramento at a dinner hosted by the Tsakopolous Hellenic Foundation in honor of California State Senator Nicholas C. Petris

The centrality of the ancient Greeks to the foundations of Western Civilization once was an obvious truth, one memorably expressed by the poet Shelley when he said, “We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their roots in Greece.” One hundred and twenty years later, Edith Hamilton agreed, writing in her classicThe Greek Way, “There is no danger now that the world will not give the Greek genius full recognition. Greek achievement is a fact universally acknowledged.”  Yet it took a mere fifty years to prove Hamilton wrong about that universal recognition, for in many colleges and universities today the phrase “Greek genius” is considered reactionary and ethnocentric, nowhere more so than among the professional classicists who are the presumed caretakers of that tradition.

One famous columnist and classicist, for example, scorns the “rather gaga (or Edith Hamilton) idealization of ‘the Greek spirit.'”  Another eminent Classical historian, recently moved from Princeton to Stanford, rejects the “now-embarrassing essentialist fantasies about the ‘Greek miracle.'”  As the sneer quotes around “spirit” and “miracle” show, to these scholars the Greeks aren’t so brilliantly original, and in fact, to many classicists the ancient Greeks are guilty of numerous sins for which they should be held to account.  This attitude, moreover, creeps into the curriculum and textbooks, and eventually shapes the way the Greek heritage is taught in our schools.

The Afrocentrists, for example, tell us that if there is anything good in Greek civilization, it was all stolen from black Egyptians—a double historical lie, as the brave Classicist Mary Lefkowitz has demonstrated.  The feminists tell us that the Greeks oppressed their womenfolk in what one professor calls a “phallocracy,” a regime of sexual apartheid that kept women locked away in dark, dank houses, unnamed and underfed.  Some critics fault the Greeks for keeping slaves, others for constructing the non-Greek “other” whom they oppressed and vilified, still others deny any connection at all between the achievements of the Greeks and Western Civilization, instead considering the Greeks to be just another exotic tribe to be examined with the anthropologist’s eye.

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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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