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?
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.
Οι Αθηναίοι ονόμαζαν «Ιερά συκήν» τον τόπο όπου βρήκαν για πρώτη φορά το δένδρο της συκιάς και θεωρούσαν τα σύκα την πρώτη τροφή που κατάφεραν να προμηθευτούν καλλιεργώντας τη γη. Από την αρχαιότητα έως σήμερα υπάρχει στην Ελλάδα ποικιλία σύκων που ονομάζονται «βασιλικά» ή «σύκα βασίλεια» και που αποδεικνύει την ιδιαίτερη αγάπη που τρέφουν για αυτά οι Έλληνες εφόσον τα θεωρούν βασιλική τροφή. Οι Αθηναίοι μάλιστα είχαν ψηφίσει ειδικό νόμο, ο οποίος απαγόρευε να γίνεται εξαγωγή των σύκων της Αττικής γης, ώστε να μπορούν να τα απολαμβάνουν μόνον οι κάτοικοι της. Ωστόσο, κάποιοι Αθηναίοι που ήθελαν να πλουτίσουν προσπάθησαν παρανόμως να κάνουν εξαγωγή σύκων. Τότε το Αθηναϊκό κράτος θέσπισε άλλον νόμο που επέτρεπε σε όλους τους πολίτες να καταγγέλουν όποιον γνώριζαν ότι παρανομεί.
Έτσι γεννήθηκε μία νέα λέξη στην ελληνική γλώσσα’ η λέξη «συκοφάντης»! Συκοφάντης = σύκα + φαίνω = φανερώνω
Through the generosity of St. John’s alumnus Nikos Mouyiaris (’68), the Department of Language and Literatures in St. John’s College and the Department of Management in the Tobin College of Business offered in May 2017 this cross-disciplinary program in Modern Greek and Hellenic Studies, with a focus on Greek language, culture and international management!
I went in search of one gold coin. Having heard about The Met’s exhibition, Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World, I was sure to find what I was looking for. The particular coin I wanted to see was given to the heroine in my novel, All (Wo)men Desire to Know, that takes her on a mystical journey to the world of the Ancient Greek Philosophers. Plato had given my heroine a coin from his pocket to prove there are no true circles, that the edges of coins are imperfect. She examined the ancient coin closely running her fingers along its edges, and then stared at a woman’s image on the face of the coin. It was Athena – Goddess of Athens – with an owl’s open wings and olive leaves that tells the world that Athens is powerful, victorious and peace-loving.
One of my favorite cities is Athens. Yet most of us can’t afford to just jump on a plane and be where we want to be in a moment’s thought. Even with Greece’s current challenging disposition, I yearn for the heat of the city. Last time I wanted to be in Athens, I went to The Met instead, which my partner considers to be his church. The Met has a spiritual quality with all the cultures and languages and art cohabitating together.
Της Φιλολόγου Ελένης Ζήτη – Δημοσιογραφική επιμέλεια: N. Μπίσκα
Από το αρχείο των εκπομπών «Ελληνική Αγωγή», Antenna
«Αρχή παιδεύσεως η των ονομάτων επίσκεψις» (Αντισθένης, 445-360 π.Χ., Κυνικός φιλόσοφος)
The investigation of the meaning of words is the beginning of education (Antisthenes)
Η λέξη βάρβαρος είναι πανάρχαια ελληνική. Στον Όμηρο δεν συναντάμε τον τύπο «βάρβαρος», αλλά «βαρβαρόφωνος». Λέξη που σημαίνει όχι αυτόν που δεν ομιλεί ελληνικά αλλά αυτόν που έχει τραχεία και αντιπαθητική φωνή (προφορά). Η πιο επικρατούσα άποψη δέχεται πως η λέξη «βάρβαρος» προέρχεται από την επανάληψη της συλλαβής «βαρ». Με αυτήν την επανάληψη, δηλαδή «βαρ» – «βαρ», οι Έλληνες προσπαθούσαν να μιμηθούν την βαρειά, τραχεία φωνή και τον άξεστο λόγο συνήθως των μη Ελλήνων. Αυτών δηλαδή που δεν μπορούσαν να προφέρουν γλυκά και σωστά σύμφωνα με τους ελληνικούς κανόνες πολλούς φθόγγους.
ΒAΡΒΑΡΟΣ εκ του βαρ – βαρ = μίμηση της βαρειάς φωνής και του άξεστου λόγου των μη Ελλήνων.
Authored by Dr Manos Danezis, Authored with Dr Stratos Theodosiou
The scientist, to the extent he or she produces scientific work, constitutes a shaping factor of civilization, by exerting an influence, positive or negative, on the evolution of social structure. Because of this role, the scientist cannot hint or appeal to the neutrality of science, in order to stay out of the formation of the theological or social developments of the time.
Historians of science know very well that: the end of a major scientific revolution signals the beginning of major social and theological re-orientations.
The major scientific revolution that took place during the 20th century approaches its end, however it dogmatically remains out of the knowledge framework of the average citizen, as being dangerous for a social and a religious structure that do not persuade people anymore about their intentions.
Western civilization is under collapse. Theology and social structure must adapt and mutate, so that they will accept and handle the new scientific discoveries, which cannot remain at the margin anymore.
At the moment of the great civilization crisis, the scientist, as in other corresponding periods, has to dare to personalize the strong arm for the overcoming of the crisis, by expressing freely himself or herself at all levels, regardless of the social or professional cost, which sometimes can be unbearable.
Remarks by Ambassador of Greece, Alexandros Mallias at At “The Dynamics of The Hellenic Language” event, Capitol Washington, D.C., Friday, June 5th, 2008
Lack of symmetry, harmony and geometry in the 21st century world.
Ancient Greeks recognized that man is part of a greater whole, and it is obvious today that the safety of the world rests upon the realization that our fates are intertwined and interwoven; we are all part of a greater whole, which needs balance and equilibrium. This balance requires the blend of harmony, symmetry, geometry and a sense of measure (metron), qualities that the ancient Greeks understood better than anyone.
These qualities are explicit and mirrored in classical Greek sculpture. Ancient Greek statues and temples are all on a human scale, something which shows a profound understanding of man’s proportionate relationship to nature and the cosmos. You only have look to the Parthenon, a structure which embodies these characteristics, regrettably disrupted by the fact that the Parthenon marbles are in the British Museum.
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, ΚΡΗΤΗ Magazine, April 2008
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.
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.