Sunday, May 31, 2009

MACEDONIA AND MACEDONIANS PART II - An Open Letter to President Barack Obama - 200+ Scholars of Greco Roman Antiquity Cannot ALL be Wrong !


ON MARCH 23, 2009 WE PUBLISHED THE LETTER BY STEPHEN MILLER, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF ARCHAEOLOGY AT BERKELEY TO THE EDITORS OF ARCHAEOLOGY MAGAZINE. THAT LETTER WAS NEVER PUBLISHED BY ARCHAEOLOGY MAGAZINE...

TODAY WE ARE PUBLISHING IN FULL THIS LETTER SIGNED BY MORE THAN 200 SCHOLARS TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND DEDICATE THE POST ONCE AGAIN TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SOMEHOW CONVENIENTLY 'FORGOTTEN', OR CHOOSE TO IGNORE, THE FACTS IN THIS ISSUE...

For more information please see the Website for Macedonia Evidence. Set up by Classical Scholars from around the world, well known for their expertise in the history of Greece, they present, examine, and discuss the historical evidence concerning Alexander the Great and his Macedonian context.

This ad hoc group is completely independent of any public or private organization of any political nature, and its interest is solely in the presentation of historic fact.

We applaud this move and advise everyone who wants to, to write a similar letter to President Obama or to their own Prime Minister, President, Member of Parliament, Senator or Congressman.

Somewhere, somehow the facts have to become generally known so that nobody can use ignorance as an excuse for monumental errors that will have catastrophic consequences.


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Macedonian coin, stating in Greek: "ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ"

(in English: "ALEXANDER'S")

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May 18, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama
President, United States of America
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

We, the undersigned scholars of Greco-Roman antiquity, respectfully request that you intervene to clean up some of the historical debris left in southeast Europe by the previous U.S. administration.

On November 4, 2004, two days after the re-election of President George W. Bush, his administration unilaterally recognized the “Republic of Macedonia.” This action not only abrogated geographic and historic fact, but it also has unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism, of which the most obvious symptom is the misappropriation by the government in Skopje of the most famous of Macedonians, Alexander the Great.

We believe that this silliness has gone too far, and that the U.S.A. has no business in supporting the subversion of history. Let us review facts. (The documentation for these facts can be found attached and at: http://macedonia-evidence.org/documentation.html)

The land in question, with its modern capital at Skopje, was called Paionia in antiquity. Mts. Barnous and Orbelos (which form today the northern limits of Greece) provide a natural barrier that separated, and separates, Macedonia from its northern neighbor. The only real connection is along the Axios/Vardar River and even this valley “does not form a line of communication because it is divided by gorges.”

While it is true that the Paionians were subdued by Philip II, father of Alexander, in 358 B.C. they were not Macedonians and did not live in Macedonia. Likewise, for example, the Egyptians, who were subdued by Alexander, may have been ruled by Macedonians, including the famous Cleopatra, but they were never Macedonians themselves, and Egypt was never called Macedonia.

Rather, Macedonia and Macedonian Greeks have been located for at least 2,500 years just where the modern Greek province of Macedonia is. Exactly this same relationship is true for Attica and Athenian Greeks, Argos and Argive Greeks, Corinth and Corinthian Greeks, etc.

We do not understand how the modern inhabitants of ancient Paionia, who speak Slavic – a language introduced into the Balkans about a millennium after the death of Alexander – can claim him as their national hero. Alexander the Great was thoroughly and indisputably Greek. His great-great-great grandfather, Alexander I, competed in the Olympic Games where participation was limited to Greeks.

Even before Alexander I, the Macedonians traced their ancestry to Argos, and many of their kings used the head of Herakles - the quintessential Greek hero - on their coins.

Euripides – who died and was buried in Macedonia– wrote his play Archelaos in honor of the great-uncle of Alexander, and in Greek. While in Macedonia, Euripides also wrote the Bacchai, again in Greek. Presumably the Macedonian audience could understand what he wrote and what they heard.

Alexander’s father, Philip, won several equestrian victories at Olympia and Delphi, the two most Hellenic of all the sanctuaries in ancient Greece where non-Greeks were not allowed to compete. Even more significantly, Philip was appointed to conduct the Pythian Games at Delphi in 346 B.C. In other words, Alexander the Great’s father and his ancestors were thoroughly Greek. Greek was the language used by Demosthenes and his delegation from Athens when they paid visits to Philip, also in 346 B.C.

Another northern Greek, Aristotle, went off to study for nearly 20 years in the Academy of Plato. Aristotle subsequently returned to Macedonia and became the tutor of Alexander III. They used Greek in their classroom which can still be seen near Naoussa in Macedonia.

Alexander carried with him throughout his conquests Aristotle’s edition of Homer’s Iliad. Alexander also spread Greek language and culture throughout his empire, founding cities and establishing centers of learning. Hence inscriptions concerning such typical Greek institutions as the gymnasium are found as far away as Afghanistan. They are all written in Greek.

The questions follow: Why was Greek the lingua franca all over Alexander’s empire if he was a “Macedonian”? Why was the New Testament, for example, written in Greek?

The answers are clear: Alexander the Great was Greek, not Slavic, and Slavs and their language were nowhere near Alexander or his homeland until 1000 years later. This brings us back to the geographic area known in antiquity as Paionia. Why would the people who live there now call themselves Macedonians and their land Macedonia? Why would they abduct a completely Greek figure and make him their national hero?

The ancient Paionians may or may not have been Greek, but they certainly became Greekish, and they were never Slavs. They were also not Macedonians. Ancient Paionia was a part of the Macedonian Empire. So were Ionia and Syria and Palestine and Egypt and Mesopotamia and Babylonia and Bactria and many more. They may thus have become “Macedonian” temporarily, but none was ever “Macedonia”. The theft of Philip and Alexander by a land that was never Macedonia cannot be justified.

The traditions of ancient Paionia could be adopted by the current residents of that geographical area with considerable justification. But the extension of the geographic term “Macedonia” to cover southern Yugoslavia cannot. Even in the late 19th century, this misuse implied unhealthy territorial aspirations.

The same motivation is to be seen in school maps that show the pseudo-greater Macedonia, stretching from Skopje to Mt. Olympus and labeled in Slavic. The same map and its claims are in calendars, bumper stickers, bank notes, etc., that have been circulating in the new state ever since it declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Why would a poor land-locked new state attempt such historical nonsense? Why would it brazenly mock and provoke its neighbor?

However one might like to characterize such behavior, it is clearly not a force for historical accuracy, nor for stability in the Balkans. It is sad that the United States of America has abetted and encouraged such behavior.

We call upon you, Mr. President, to help - in whatever ways you deem appropriate - the government in Skopje to understand that it cannot build a national identity at the expense of historic truth. Our common international society cannot survive when history is ignored, much less when history is fabricated.

Sincerely,

NAME TITLE INSTITUTION

Harry C. Avery, Professor of Classics, University of Pittsburgh (USA)

Dr. Dirk Backendorf. Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz (Germany)

Elizabeth C. Banks, Associate Professor of Classics (ret.), University of Kansas (USA)

Luigi Beschi, professore emerito di Archeologia Classica, Università di Firenze (Italy)

Josine H. Blok, professor of Ancient History and Classical Civilization, Utrecht University (The Netherlands)

Alan Boegehold, Emeritus Professor of Classics, Brown University (USA)

Efrosyni Boutsikas, Lecturer of Classical Archaeology, University of Kent (UK)

Keith Bradley, Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Professor of Classics, Concurrent Professor of History, University of Notre Dame (USA)

Stanley M. Burstein, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Los Angeles (USA)

Francis Cairns, Professor of Classical Languages, The Florida State University (USA)

John McK. Camp II, Agora Excavations and Professor of Archaeology, ASCSA, Athens (Greece)

Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge (UK)

Paavo Castrén, Professor of Classical Philology Emeritus, University of Helsinki (Finland)

William Cavanagh, Professor of Aegean Prehistory, University of Nottingham (UK)

Angelos Chaniotis, Professor, Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford (UK)

Paul Christesen, Professor of Ancient Greek History, Dartmouth College (USA)

Ada Cohen, Associate Professor of Art History, Dartmouth College (USA)

Randall M. Colaizzi, Lecturer in Classical Studies, University of Massachusetts-Boston (USA)

Kathleen M. Coleman, Professor of Latin, Harvard University (USA)

Michael B. Cosmopoulos, Ph.D., Professor and Endowed Chair in Greek Archaeology, University of Missouri-St. Louis (USA)

Kevin F. Daly, Assistant Professor of Classics, Bucknell University (USA)

Wolfgang Decker, Professor emeritus of sport history, Deutsche Sporthochschule, Köln (Germany)

Luc Deitz, Ausserplanmässiger Professor of Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin, University of Trier (Germany), and Curator of manuscripts and rare books, National Library of Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

Michael Dewar, Professor of Classics, University of Toronto (Canada)

John D. Dillery, Associate Professor of Classics, University of Virginia (USA)

Sheila Dillon, Associate Professor, Depts. of Art, Art History & Visual Studies and Classical Studies, Duke University (USA)

Douglas Domingo-Forasté, Professor of Classics, California State University, Long Beach (USA)

Pierre Ducrey, professeur honoraire, Université de Lausanne (Switzerland)

Roger Dunkle, Professor of Classics Emeritus, Brooklyn College, City University of New York (USA)

Michael M. Eisman, Associate Professor Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, Department of History, Temple University (USA)

Mostafa El-Abbadi, Professor Emeritus, University of Alexandria (Egypt)

R. Malcolm Errington, Professor für Alte Geschichte (Emeritus) Philipps-Universität, Marburg (Germany)

Panagiotis Faklaris, Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Denis Feeney, Giger Professor of Latin, Princeton University (USA)

Elizabeth A. Fisher, Professor of Classics and Art History, Randolph-Macon College (USA)

Nick Fisher, Professor of Ancient History, Cardiff University (UK)

R. Leon Fitts, Asbury J Clarke Professor of Classical Studies, Emeritus, FSA, Scot., Dickinson Colllege (USA)

John M. Fossey FRSC, FSA, Emeritus Professor of Art History (and Archaeology), McGill Univertsity, Montreal, and Curator of Archaeology, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Canada)

Robin Lane Fox, University Reader in Ancient History, New College, Oxford (UK)

Rainer Friedrich, Professor of Classics Emeritus, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. (Canada)

Heide Froning, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Marburg (Germany)

Peter Funke, Professor of Ancient History, University of Muenster (Germany)

Traianos Gagos, Professor of Greek and Papyrology, University of Michigan (USA)

Robert Garland, Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics, Colgate University, Hamilton NY (USA)

Douglas E. Gerber, Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies, University of Western Ontario (Canada)

Hans R. Goette, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Giessen (Germany); German Archaeological Institute, Berlin (Germany)

Sander M. Goldberg, Professor of Classics, UCLA (USA)

Erich S. Gruen, Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Christian Habicht, Professor of Ancient History, Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (USA)

Donald C. Haggis, Nicholas A. Cassas Term Professor of Greek Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA)

Judith P. Hallett, Professor of Classics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD (USA)

Prof. Paul B. Harvey, Jr. Head, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, The Pennsylvania State University (USA)

Eleni Hasaki, Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Arizona (USA)

Miltiades B. Hatzopoulos, Director, Research Centre for Greek and Roman Antiquity, National Research Foundation, Athens (Greece)

Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer, Prof. Dr., Freie Universität Berlin und Antikensammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Germany)

Steven W. Hirsch, Associate Professor of Classics and History, Tufts University (USA)

Karl-J. Hölkeskamp, Professor of Ancient History, University of Cologne (Germany)

Frank L. Holt, Professor of Ancient History, University of Houston (USA)

Dan Hooley, Professor of Classics, University of Missouri (USA)

Meredith C. Hoppin, Gagliardi Professor of Classical Languages, Williams College, Williamstown, MA (USA)

Caroline M. Houser, Professor of Art History Emerita, Smith College (USA) and Affiliated Professor, University of Washington (USA)

Georgia Kafka, Visiting Professor of Modern Greek Language, Literature and History, University of New Brunswick (Canada)

Anthony Kaldellis, Professor of Greek and Latin, The Ohio State University (USA)

Andromache Karanika, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of California, Irvine (USA)

Robert A. Kaster, Professor of Classics and Kennedy Foundation Professor of Latin, Princeton University (USA)

Vassiliki Kekela, Adjunct Professor of Greek Studies, Classics Department, Hunter College, City University of New York (USA)

Dietmar Kienast, Professor Emeritus of Ancient History, University of Duesseldorf (Germany)

Karl Kilinski II, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Southern Methodist University (USA)

Dr. Florian Knauss, associate director, Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek Muenchen (Germany)

Denis Knoepfler, Professor of Greek Epigraphy and History, Collège de France (Paris)

Ortwin Knorr, Associate Professor of Classics, Willamette University (USA)

Robert B. Koehl, Professor of Archaeology, Department of Classical and Oriental Studies Hunter College, City University of New York (USA)

Georgia Kokkorou-Alevras, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece)

Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Classical Studies, Brandeis University (USA)

Eric J. Kondratieff, Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient History, Department of Greek & Roman Classics, Temple University

Haritini Kotsidu, Apl. Prof. Dr. für Klassische Archäologie, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt/M. (Germany)

Lambrini Koutoussaki, Dr., Lecturer of Classical Archaeology, University of Zürich (Switzerland)

David Kovacs, Hugh H. Obear Professor of Classics, University of Virginia (USA)

Peter Krentz, W. R. Grey Professor of Classics and History, Davidson College (USA)

Friedrich Krinzinger, Professor of Classical Archaeology Emeritus, University of Vienna (Austria)

Michael Kumpf, Professor of Classics, Valparaiso University (USA)

Donald G. Kyle, Professor of History, University of Texas at Arlington (USA)

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Helmut Kyrieleis, former president of the German Archaeological Institute, Berlin (Germany)

Gerald V. Lalonde, Benedict Professor of Classics, Grinnell College (USA)

Steven Lattimore, Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of California, Los Angeles (USA)

Francis M. Lazarus, President, University of Dallas (USA)

Mary R. Lefkowitz, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Emerita, Wellesley College (USA)

Iphigeneia Leventi, Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Thessaly (Greece)

Daniel B. Levine, Professor of Classical Studies, University of Arkansas (USA)

Christina Leypold, Dr. phil., Archaeological Institute, University of Zurich (Switzerland)

Vayos Liapis, Associate Professor of Greek, Centre d’Études Classiques & Département de Philosophie, Université de Montréal (Canada)

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Professor of Greek Emeritus, University of Oxford (UK)

Yannis Lolos, Assistant Professor, History, Archaeology, and Anthropology, University of Thessaly (Greece)

Stanley Lombardo, Professor of Classics, University of Kansas, USA

Anthony Long, Professor of Classics and Irving G. Stone Professor of Literature, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Julia Lougovaya, Assistant Professor, Department of Classics, Columbia University (USA)

A.D. Macro, Hobart Professor of Classical Languages emeritus, Trinity College (USA)

John Magee, Professor, Department of Classics, Director, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto (Canada)

Dr. Christofilis Maggidis, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Dickinson College (USA)

Jeannette Marchand, Assistant Professor of Classics, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio (USA)

Richard P. Martin, Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Professor in Classics, Stanford University

Maria Mavroudi, Professor of Byzantine History, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Alexander Mazarakis Ainian, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Thessaly (Greece)

James R. McCredie, Sherman Fairchild Professor emeritus; Director, Excavations in Samothrace Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (USA)

James C. McKeown, Professor of Classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

Robert A. Mechikoff, Professor and Life Member of the International Society of Olympic Historians, San Diego State University (USA)

Andreas Mehl, Professor of Ancient History, Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg (Germany)

Harald Mielsch, Professor of Classical Archeology, University of Bonn (Germany)

Stephen G. Miller, Professor of Classical Archaeology Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Phillip Mitsis, A.S. Onassis Professor of Classics and Philosophy, New York University (USA)

Peter Franz Mittag, Professor für Alte Geschichte, Universität zu Köln (Germany)

David Gordon Mitten, James Loeb Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology, Harvard University (USA)

Margaret S. Mook, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Iowa State University (USA)

Anatole Mori, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, University of Missouri- Columbia (USA)

Jennifer Sheridan Moss, Associate Professor, Wayne State University (USA)

Ioannis Mylonopoulos, Assistant Professor of Greek Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, New York (USA).

Richard Neudecker, PD of Classical Archaeology, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Rom (Italy)

James M.L. Newhard, Associate Professor of Classics, College of Charleston (USA)

Carole E. Newlands, Professor of Classics, University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA)

John Maxwell O'Brien, Professor of History, Queens College, City University of New York (USA)

James J. O'Hara, Paddison Professor of Latin, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA)

Martin Ostwald, Professor of Classics (ret.), Swarthmore College and Professor of Classical Studies (ret.), University of Pennsylvania (USA)

Olga Palagia, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece)

Vassiliki Panoussi, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, The College of William and Mary (USA)

Maria C. Pantelia, Professor of Classics, University of California, Irvine (USA)

Pantos A.Pantos, Adjunct Faculty, Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly (Greece)

Anthony J. Papalas, Professor of Ancient History, East Carolina University (USA)

Nassos Papalexandrou, Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin (USA)

Polyvia Parara, Visiting Assistant Professor of Greek Language and Civilization, Department of Classics, Georgetown University (USA)

Richard W. Parker, Associate Professor of Classics, Brock University (Canada)

Robert Parker, Wykeham Professor of Ancient History, New College, Oxford (UK)

Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi, Associate Professor of Classics, Stanford University (USA)

Jacques Perreault, Professor of Greek archaeology, Université de Montréal, Québec (Canada)

Yanis Pikoulas, Associate Professor of Ancient Greek History, University of Thessaly (Greece)

John Pollini, Professor of Classical Art & Archaeology, University of Southern California (USA)

David Potter, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin. The University of Michigan (USA)

Robert L. Pounder, Professor Emeritus of Classics, Vassar College (USA)

Nikolaos Poulopoulos, Assistant Professor in History and Chair in Modern Greek Studies, McGill University (Canada)

William H. Race, George L. Paddison Professor of Classics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA)

John T. Ramsey, Professor of Classics, University of Illinois at Chicago (USA)

Karl Reber, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Lausanne (Switzerland)

Rush Rehm, Professor of Classics and Drama, Stanford University (USA)

Werner Riess, Associate Professor of Classics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA)

Robert H. Rivkin, Ancient Studies Department, University of Maryland Baltimore County (USA)

Barbara Saylor Rodgers, Professor of Classics, The University of Vermont (USA)

Robert H. Rodgers. Lyman-Roberts Professor of Classical Languages and Literature, University of Vermont (USA)

Nathan Rosenstein, Professor of Ancient History, The Ohio State University (USA)

John C. Rouman, Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of New Hampshire, (USA)

Dr. James Roy, Reader in Greek History (retired), University of Nottingham (UK)

Steven H. Rutledge, Associate Professor of Classics, Department of Classics, University of Maryland, College Park (USA)

Christina A. Salowey, Associate Professor of Classics, Hollins University (USA)

Guy D. R. Sanders, Resident Director of Corinth Excavations, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (Greece)

Theodore Scaltsas, Professor of Ancient Greek Philosophy, University of Edinburgh (UK)

Thomas F. Scanlon, Professor of Classics, University of California, Riverside (USA)

Bernhard Schmaltz, Prof. Dr. Archäologisches Institut der CAU, Kiel (Germany)

Rolf M. Schneider, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Ludwig-Maximilians- Universität München (Germany)

Peter Scholz, Professor of Ancient History and Culture, University of Stuttgart (Germany)

Christof Schuler, director, Commission for Ancient History and Epigraphy of the German Archaeological Institute, Munich (Germany)

Paul D. Scotton, Assoociate Professor Classical Archaeology and Classics, California State University Long Beach (USA)

Danuta Shanzer, Professor of Classics and Medieval Studies, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America (USA)

James P. Sickinger, Associate Professor of Classics, Florida State University (USA)

Marilyn B. Skinner 
Professor of Classics, 
University of Arizona (USA)

Niall W. Slater, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Latin and Greek, Emory University (USA)

Peter M. Smith, Associate Professor of Classics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA)

Dr. Philip J. Smith, Research Associate in Classical Studies, McGill University (Canada)

Susan Kirkpatrick Smith Assistant Professor of Anthropology Kennesaw State University (USA)

Antony Snodgrass, Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge (UK)

Theodosia Stefanidou-Tiveriou, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece).

Andrew Stewart, Nicholas C. Petris Professor of Greek Studies, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Oliver Stoll, Univ.-Prof. Dr., Alte Geschichte/ Ancient History,Universität Passau (Germany)

Richard Stoneman, Honorary Fellow, University of Exeter (England)

Ronald Stroud, Klio Distinguished Professor of Classical Languages and Literature Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Sarah Culpepper Stroup, Associate Professor of Classics, University of Washington (USA)

Nancy Sultan, Professor and Director, Greek & Roman Studies, Illinois Wesleyan University (USA)

David W. Tandy, Professor of Classics, University of Tennessee (USA)

James Tatum, Aaron Lawrence Professor of Classics, Dartmouth College

Martha C. Taylor, Associate Professor of Classics, Loyola College in Maryland

Petros Themelis, Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, Athens (Greece)

Eberhard Thomas, Priv.-Doz. Dr.,Archäologisches Institut der Universität zu Köln (Germany)

Michalis Tiverios, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Michael K. Toumazou, Professor of Classics, Davidson College (USA)

Stephen V. Tracy, Professor of Greek and Latin Emeritus, Ohio State University (USA)

Prof. Dr. Erich Trapp, Austrian Academy of Sciences/Vienna resp. University of Bonn (Germany)

Stephen M. Trzaskoma, Associate Professor of Classics, University of New Hampshire (USA)

Vasiliki Tsamakda, Professor of Christian Archaeology and Byzantine History of Art, University of Mainz (Germany)

Christopher Tuplin, Professor of Ancient History, University of Liverpool (UK)

Gretchen Umholtz, Lecturer, Classics and Art History, University of Massachusetts, Boston (USA)

Panos Valavanis, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece)

Athanassios Vergados, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA

Christina Vester, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Waterloo (Canada)

Emmanuel Voutiras, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Speros Vryonis, Jr., Alexander S. Onassis Professor (Emeritus) of Hellenic Civilization and Culture, New York University (USA)

Michael B. Walbank, Professor Emeritus of Greek, Latin & Ancient History, The University of Calgary (Canada)

Bonna D. Wescoat, Associate Professor, Art History and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Emory University (USA)

E. Hector Williams, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of British Columbia (Canada)

Roger J. A. Wilson, Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire, and Director, Centre for the Study of Ancient Sicily, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)

Engelbert Winter, Professor for Ancient History, University of Münster (Germany)

Timothy F. Winters, Ph.D. Alumni Assn. Distinguished Professor of Classics, Austin Peay State University (USA)

Michael Zahrnt, Professor für Alte Geschichte, Universität zu Köln (Germany)

Paul Zanker, Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies, University of Munich (Germany)

200 signatures as of May 18th 2009.

For the growing list of scholars, please go to the Addenda.


cc: J. Biden, Vice President, USA

H. Clinton, Secretary of State USA

P. Gordon, Asst. Secretary-designate, European and Eurasian Affairs

H.L Berman, Chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs

I. Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs

J. Kerry, Chair, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

R.G. Lugar, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

R. Menendez, United States Senator from New Jersey.


Addenda

12 Scholars added on May 19th 2009:

Mariana Anagnostopoulos, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Fresno (USA)

John P. Anton, Distinguished Professor of Greek Philosophy and Culture University of South Florida (USA)

Effie F. Athanassopoulos, Associate Professor 
Anthropology and Classics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA)

Leonidas Bargeliotes, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Athens, President of the Olympic Center for Philosophy and Culture (Greece)

Joseph W. Day, Professor of Classics, Wabash College (USA)

Christos C. Evangeliou, Professor of Ancient Hellenic Philosophy, Towson University, Maryland, Honorary President of International Association for Greek Philosophy (USA)

Eleni Kalokairinou, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Secretary of the Olympic Center of Philosophy and Culture (Cyprus)

Lilian Karali, Professor of Prehistoric and Environmental Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece)

Anna Marmodoro, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford (UK)

Marion Meyer, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Vienna (Austria)

Jessica L. Nitschke, Assistant Professor of Classics, Georgetown University (USA)

David C.Young, Professor of Classics Emeritus, University of Florida (USA)

10 Scholars added on May 20th 2009:

Maria Ypsilanti, Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Literature, University of Cyprus

Christos Panayides, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Nicosia (Cyprus)

Anagnostis P. Agelarakis, Professor of Anthropology, Adelphi University (USA)

Dr. Irma Wehgartner, Curator of the Martin von Wagner Museum der Universität Würzburg (Germany)

Dr. Ioannis Georganas, Researcher, Department of History and Archaeology, Foundation of the Hellenic World (Greece)

Maria Papaioannou, Assistant Professor in Classical Archaeology, University of New Brunswick (Canada)

Chryssa Maltezou, Professor emeritus, University of Athens, Director of the Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Postbyzantine Studies in Venice (Italy)

Myrto Dragona-Monachou, Professor emerita of Philosophy, University of Athens (Greece)

David L. Berkey, Assistant Professor of History, California State University, Fresno (USA)

Stephan Heilen, Associate Professor of Classics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA)

3 Scholars added on May 21st 2009:

Rosalia Hatzilambrou, Researcher, Academy of Athens (Greece)

Athanasios Sideris, Ph.D., Head of the History and Archaeology Department, Foundation of the Hellenic World, Athens (Greece)

Rev. Dr. Demetrios J Constantelos, Charles Cooper Townsend Professor of Ancient and Byzantine history, Emeritus; Distinguished Research Scholar in Residence at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (USA)

3 Scholars added on May 22nd 2009:

Ioannis M. Akamatis, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Lefteris Platon, Assistant Professor of Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece)

Lucia Athanassaki, Associate Professor of Classical Philology, University of Crete (Greece)

5 Scholars added on May 23rd 2009:

Georgios Anagnostopoulos, Professor of Philosophy, University of California-San Diego (USA)

Ioannes G. Leontiades, Assistant Professor of Byzantine History, Aristotle University of Thessalonike (Greece)

Ewen Bowie, Emeritus Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford (UK)

Mika Kajava, Professor of Greek Language and Literature; Head of the Department of Classical Studies, University of Helsinki (Finland)

Christian R. Raschle, Assistant Professor of Roman History, Centre d’Études Classiques & Département d'Histoire, Université de Montréal (Canada)

4 Scholars added on May 25th 2009:

Selene Psoma, Senior Lecturer of Ancient History, University of Athens (Greece)

G. M. Sifakis, Professor Emeritus of Classics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki & New York University (Greece & USA)

Kostas Buraselis, Professor of Ancient History, University of Athens (Greece)

Michael Ferejohn, Associate Professor of Ancient Philosophy, Duke University (USA)

5 Scholars added on May 26th 2009:

Ioannis Xydopoulos, Assistant Professor in Ancient History, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Stella Drougou, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Heather L. Reid, Professor of Philosophy, Morningside College (USA)

Thomas A. Suits, Emeritus Professor of Classical Languages, University of Connecticut (USA)

Dr Thomas Johansen, Reader in Ancient Philosophy, University of Oxford (UK)

6 Scholars added on May 27th 2009:

Frösén Jaakko, Professor of Greek philology, University of Helsinki (Finland)

John F. Kenfield, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Rutgers University (USA)

Dr. Aristotle Michopoulos, Professor & Chair, Greek Studies Dept., Hellenic College (Brookline, MA, USA)

Guy MacLean Rogers, Kemper Professor of Classics and History, Wellesley College (USA)

Stavros Frangoulidis, Associate Professor of Latin. Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Yannis Tzifopoulos, Associate Professor of Ancient Greek and Epigraphy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

1 Scholar added on May 29th 2009:

Christos Simelidis, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Lincoln College, University of Oxford (UK)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Greek America's Best and Brightest - Welcome to the Inaugural GABBY Awards!!!



The stunning Chicago Skyline (source: Gabby Awards)

What promises to be a spectacular event of immense interest to the Global Greek Community, and especially to the Greek American Community, will be taking place next month in Chicago - the first ever Gabby Awards!

From all accounts, and as publisher of the Greek America Magazine, Gregory Pappas himself says, "The Gabby Awards in Chicago will be the biggest gathering of Greek American talent and success-ever! HBO President, Eurovision Finalist , Greek Heart-throb, and Legendary Lobbyists have recently been added to the Gabby cast of stars." We presume he is talking about Kary Antholis, Kalomoira, Alexis Georgoulis and of course the father and sons team of Andrew, Mike and Tom Manatos, in that order, who have recently confirmed attendance at this star-studded event according to the Gabby website!



Melina Kanakaredes John Varvatos Olympia Dukakis Nia Vardalos


Honorary Co-Chairs are CSI actress Melina Kanakaredes and designer John Varvatos, who last year opened Greece's Fashion Week.

Academy Award winning actress Olympia Dukakis will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award and My Life in Ruins star Nia Vardalos will present the "Performing Arts" Gabby Award.

The show's MC will be Chicago’s own Emmy Award winning television journalist Anna Davlantes.

Corporate leaders like Jim Gianopulos (Fox Films) and Dennis Malamatinas (Marfin Investment Group) will also be on hand to serve as award presenters.

Two of the nation's top celebrity chefs, who are also nominees in the "Arts & Culture" category will be attending the event: Iron Chef Cat Cora and Michael Psilakis of Manhattan's Kefi Restaurant.

Several other nominees and prominent Greek Americans have also confirmed their attendance at the Inaugural Gabby Awards to be held in Chicago, at the Merle Reskin Theatre, on June 19th, 2009.

The Gabby Awards were founded to celebrate excellence amongst Greek Americans and to reward those who embody it, bringing together people from all over America who have excelled in their field and who have one very significant factor in common - their Greek Heritage.

Created and hosted by Greek America Magazine, the nation’s most widely-circulated periodical for Greek Americans, the "Gabbys" are the brainchild of it's founder Gregory C Pappas, the word itself referring to Greek America’s Best and Brightest Stars.

The Gabby Awards' eight categories are Entertainment & Performing Arts, Arts & Culture, Athletics, Education/Academia, Philanthropy/Public Service, Business/Entrepreneurism, Politics/Government and Promotion of Hellenism.

There are 5 to 6 nominees in each category, and these include such Global Greek notables as Rita Wison, George Stephanopoulos, Ted Leonsis, Chris Tomaras, Father Nicholas Triantafillou, Pete Sampras, Peter Peterson, John Catsimatidis, Arianna Huffington, Harry Mark Petrakis, Alexi Giannoulias, Jennifer Aniston, and organisations such as the Onassis Foundation and the American Hellenic Institute.

The winners will receive a unique statuette designed for the occasion by well-known Greek jewelry designer Konstantino. The Awards Ceremony will be followed by an After Party to be held at the Chicago Hilton and Towers , and promises to be an unforgettable evening of celebration, food and dancing to the music of Glykeria and Kostas Karafotis.

It is interesting to note that the Gabby Academy which has identified and nominated the individuals who have excelled, includes many prominent Greek Americans from all over America who are involved professionally in the Greek American community, either as writers, journalists, and directors of various organizations. Others are opinion-makers, public relations professionals and people involved in various communications-related fields as well as other leaders in business, arts and culture, academia and other fields. Apart from Gregory Pappas, these include people like Nick Larigakis, Andrew Kaffes, John Metaxas, Paul Glastris, Yiannis Valsamas and Alexia Haidos.

We don't know if it was overlooked or left out deliberately, but we think that it would be great if at least one more category could be added, that of Science/Medicine, as there are many prominent Greek Americans who have excelled in this particular category. Hopefully next year!

We congratulate the creators of the Gabby Awards for taking high-profile initiatives like this and wish them every possible success!

To watch the promo video click here

To read more about the nominees click here.

For a full list of nominees and to cast your vote click here .

To read more about the Gabbys click here

To buy tickets to the Gabbys and the After Show click here

Note: Greek America Magazine is America's most widely circulated periodical for Greek Americans. With a national readership of over a quarter of a million readers, Greek America is the nation’s periodical for all things Greek.

Its affiliate Greek America Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization founded by Greek America Magazine’s publisher Gregory Pappas serves as a medium for a host of nationwide cultural events focusing on the promotion, preservation and perpetuation of the Greek history, heritage and culture in America.

All contributions to The Gabby Awards are tax deductible as allowed by the Internal Revenue Service code for contributions to charities.

All proceeds from the Gabby Awards will go to the special endowment fund established by the Greek America Foundation called The Hellenic Legacy Fund, which will offer scholarships to students for study abroad programs in Greece.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Global Greeks In DEED - Greece Grants Sano and Thea Halo Much Deserved Citizenship



Athens 2002
Sano Halo and her daughter Theo Halo meet President Kostis Stephanopoulos
(Source: Not Even My Name- Thea Halo)


Yesterday, 19 May 2009, as Greece and all Pontian Greeks around the world commemorated the anniversary of the Pontian Genocide, the Greek Parliament dedicated it's commemoration to a wonderful heroic lady Sano(Themia) Halo, and her daughter, writer and poet, Thea Halo, and granted them both the Greek citizenship they had been deprived of for so long. The best and most deserved 100th birthday gift for such a tremendous lady!

For those of you that don't know, Sano Halo is a
Greek born survivor of the Pontian Greek massacre in Turkey, those terrible 'events' that will never be forgotten by Greeks wherever they may be, and Thea, of course, is her daughter. By writing down her mother's memories, Thea has given us all a unique opportunity to read this poignant, unforgettable, tragic yet somehow optimistic chronicle of the horrifying experiences as she lived them.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

Last Saturday, Sano Halo, the Grandmother of Pontos as she is called, celebrated her 100th birthday at a special event hosted in her honour by the Pan-Pontian Federation and the Holy Foundation of the Pontians in America . She had arrived in the United States in 1925, a teen-age bride, with nothing left of her Greek heritage, not even the name that her parents had given her.

Not Even My Name is the incredibly moving story of Sano Halo's survival of the death march that annihilated her family, as told to her daughter Thea, and the poignant pilgrimage to Turkey that mother and daughter undertook in search of Sano's home, seventy years after her exile. She was just nine years old when Turkish soldiers came to her village to shout Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk’s) decree.

"You are to leave this place. You are to take only what you can carry. Be ready to leave in three days time."

As Thea writes " When I wrote
Not Even My Name I decided to include anything and everything my mother remembered of her life. I decided early on that if she remembered something for eighty years, no matter how insignificant it might seem at the moment, it must have profound significance in the totality of her life. The result I’m told is a record of how the Pontic Greeks lived tucked away in the Pontic Mountains along the Black Sea in the early part of the Twentieth Century… how the Assyrians in rural areas of the south of Turkey lived, and Armenians lived as town dwellers in Diyarbekir. And of course it is a record of the long death march to exile."

"What is memory?" she says ..."Why do people remember for eighty years and more, things that seem no more than everyday occurrences, rather unremarkable in themselves, like my mother remembering her mother crossing herself and then bending to touch the ground with the tripod her first three fingers made, then repeating the crossing and touching of the ground three times. She was no more than nine when she last saw her mother and other villagers make this Christian gesture typical of the Pontic Greeks. She remembers a young couple in her village who were in love, who tricked the girl’s obstinate parents into consenting to their marriage by running away and hiding overnight. Though a charming story, it’s difficult to imagine what such an incident could have added to her life that she would remember it and their subsequent wedding with such clarity. Difficult that is until one puts all these memories together and finds a mosaic rich in historical reference, and a gold mine of tradition that might have faded into oblivion if not for these everyday historians, such as my mother. It’s easier to understand why and how she would remember the long death march to exile; the dying one by one of her family and villagers in that Spring of 1920, although so many of those survivors chose to forget… or at least chose to bury those memories deep inside and refused to resurrect them. "


In 2002, Thea Halo was honoured with the AHEPA Homer Award first and foremost, for vividly capturing the harrowing and haunting firsthand account of Sano Themia Halo's survival of the Turkish death marches following World War I in the memoir 'Not Even My Name' and for creating awareness of and documenting a catastrophic event in our Hellenic history.

Read more:

"Not Even my Name- an Extraordinary Story of Genocide and Survival" by Thea Halo

From the Ceremony in Parliament ( in Greek)

Buy the book from Amazon


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

IT's LAGFF Time!!! 3rd Los Angeles Greek Film Festival - 25 to 28 June 2009

Another annual event of great interest to those of us in the Global Greek World is soon to begin...

The 3rd Los Angeles Greek Film Festival has announced its third annual run scheduled for June 25-28, 2009 at the legendary Egyptian Theatre in the heart of Hollywood, at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, minutes away from the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex and the Renaissance Hotel.

The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting Greek cinema, bridging the gap between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood and highlighting Greek contributions to the American film industry. Naturally, it has a number of prominent and award-winning Greek American Hollywood notables on it's advisory board, including Jim Gianopulos, Olympia Dukakis, Alexander Payne, Nia Vardalos, Kary Antholis, Sid Ganis and Phedon Papamichael.


About the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

The third annual LAGFF showcases new films from Greek filmmakers worldwide to promote and nurture Greek Cinema while bridging the gap between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood. The Festival also offers screenings of film masterworks, seminars on important contemporary film issues, and tributes to significant filmmakers and performers of Greek origin.

Orpheus Awards are given to the most outstanding new films in the dramatic, documentary and short film categories.


The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is greatly supported by Greece’s General Secretary of Information Panos Leivadas, who continues the ongoing effort to promote Greece at its best with the "Wonderful Greece" campaign. Festival sponsors include the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), the Greek Film Centre, Boo Productions, Top Cut and more;

The Consul General of Greece, Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras and Press Counselor, Helen Vrynioti have stood by the festival team since its inception.


Additional key supporters of the Festival are the American Hellenic Council, the Hellenic University Club of Loyola Marymount University, and other individual members of the Los Angeles Greek Community.

2009 marks the 3rd year of the Festival, which takes place at The Egyptian Theatre from June 25 through June 28, and will feature 7 feature films, 7 documentaries and 8 shorts, with 15 films enjoying their U.S. premieres.

The four-day festival highlights include:
  • Opening Night Ceremonies
  • a tribute to director Penelope Spheeris with a special screening of her 1984 feature SUBURBIA and 1998 short NO USE WALKIN’ WHEN YOU CAN STROLL
  • "Beyond Borders: Greece on the International Film Stage", a special panel discussion sponsored by Greece's Ministry of Tourism Development with slated panelists Nia Vardalos (MY LIFE IN RUINS) and Phedon Papamichael (ARCADIA LOST) who recently shot films in Greece
  • a newly established one-on-one Industry/filmmaker program
  • Closing Night Ceremonies with the Orpheus Awards honoring the filmmakers and films for Best Dramatic Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, Special Jury Award, and Audience Choice.

SMALL CRIME will screen as the LAGFF Opening Night Gala presentation on Thursday, June 25, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Directed by Christos Georgiou and starring Aris Servetalis and Viki Papadopoulou, the charming comedy is about a frustrated young policeman who has just been assigned duty on a beautiful but ragged Greek island in the Aegean.

There he discovers murder, mystery and love...

GUINNESS will screen as the LAGFF Closing Night Gala presentation on Sunday, June 28 at the Egyptian Theatre. Alexis Kardaras directs Yorgos Pyrpassopoulos, Marcella Giannatou, Stelios Mainas, and Antonis Kafetzopoulos, in this amusing action adventure about a young luckless gambler who tries to escape the “lethal spell” of an unhappy wife and ends up running off with a case of her husband’s gold.

“The primary focus of the LA Greek Film Festival is to discover talented Greek filmmakers and to share their movies with cinema lovers that would not have an opportunity to see these films otherwise,” said Ersi Danou, Festival Co-Founder and Director of Programming. “We are proud of this year’s line-up, which not only represents the evolution of our Festival, but of Greek cinema as well."

“As the LA Greek Film Festival celebrates its third year, we now know there is an audience in Los Angeles who is not only receptive, but eager to see films made in Greece and/or by Greek Filmmakers.

"For four days the Festival is akin to a ‘platia’ (village square)", comments Ambassador Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras, Consul General of Greece in Los Angeles. “In addition to the screenings, this year we are proud to announce a special panel discussion, sponsored by Greece's Ministry of Tourism Development, on the benefits of making movies in Greece.”

"With the recent success of MAMMA MIA! and the soon-to-be-released MY LIFE IN RUINS starring Nia Vardalos, the Greek culture is making its way to the mainstream through the art of filmmaking," said Angeliki Giannakopoulos, Festival Co-Founder and Director. "We are gradually experiencing a bridging of the gap between Greece and Hollywood, and we are very excited about this!"

Volunteers Wanted!!!

If you are interested in volunteering, LAGFF is looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of preparation and on site organization leading up to and during this year's festival, June 25-28 in Hollywood.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to experience first hand how a film festival comes together and to interact with a dynamic group.

Join LAGFF and learn what it takes to organize a film festival!



Ticket Sales

Tickets are on sale since May 15. For more information click here


Previous Festivals

The 2008 LAGFF kicked off with a first-time screening of a newly restored print of ZORBA THE GREEK directed by Michael Cacoyannis, courtesy of 20th Century Fox. Other highlights included panel discussions moderated by Peter Bogdonavich, a screening of the feature film ALTER EGO, starring Greece's well-known pop star and prized Eurovision finalist Sakis Rouvas in his debut performance as an actor, a Tribute Night Gala honouring Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes and the US premiere of the Closing Night film LITTLE GREEK GODFATHER which is based on a short story written by Nicholas Papandreou, son of Andreas Papandreou, Greece's former Prime Minister, and directed by Olga Malea.

"It was a natural fit to have the restored version of ZORBA THE GREEK make its debut at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival " commented Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment and Advisory Board Member of the LAGFF. " We are enormously proud of this classic film, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards® and won three, and the meticulously restored print brilliantly displays its award-winning cinematography."

ZORBA THE GREEK, originally released in 1964, is based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis. Anthony Quinn starred as Alexis Zorbas, an open-hearted peasant whose character single-handedly became a symbol of the Mediterranean passion. His encounter with a young and pent-up English writer (Alan Bates) leads to unforgettable lessons in love of life. The film was shot on the island of Crete, and the musical theme, “Sirtaki”, by Mikis Theodorakis became identified with traditional Greek music and dance even though it was composed specifically for the film. ZORBA THE GREEK won three Academy Awards: Lila Kedrova won for Best Supporting Actress, Vassilis Fotopoulos won for Art Direction (Black-and-White) and Walter Lassally won for Cinematography. Anthony Quinn received a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Michael Cacoyannis received three nominations for Best Picture, Director and Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium).

For a report on the 2008 2nd LAGFF, click here

Watch and listen to Greek Consul General Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras talk about Greek Culture and the accomplishments of the 2nd Annual Greek Film Festival in Los Angeles - Click here

Friday, May 8, 2009

Meet Global Greek Nicholas A. Christakis - one of the World's 100 Most Influential People for 2009

Photo credit: Paul Schnaittacher
Recently named by Time Magazine as one of the World's 100 most influential people, Dr Nicholas Christakis is one of our Global Greeks!

A Greek American physician and sociologist at Harvard University, Nicholas Christakis in his latest study suggests that Happiness is Contagious.
In view of all the dreadful things in life that are contagious, it is wonderful to hear that something so special can also be contagious. It would definitely have to be a Greek, with that unique attitude to life and living, to work on something so intangible but so essential to our well-being as happiness and to come up with such a great theory... thank goodness for Dr Christakis who has come out and said it - Happiness is Contagious!!

Enough misery, if we want to be happy let's surround ourselves with happy people!!

According to Dr Christakis, "a person's happiness is related to the happiness of their friends, their friends' friends, and their friends' friends' friends—that is, to people well beyond their social horizon. We found that happy people tend to be located in the center of their social networks and to be located in large clusters of other happy people. And we found that each additional happy friend increases a person's probability of being happy by about 9%."

In introducing Nicholas Christakis as one of it's TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World, TIME says the following:
Social scientists used to have a straightforward, if tongue-in-cheek, answer to the question of how to become happy: Surround yourself with people who are uglier, poorer and shorter than you are — and who are unhappily married and have annoying kids. You will compare yourself with these people, and the contrast will cheer you up.
Nicholas Christakis, a physician and sociologist at Harvard University, challenges this idea. Using data from a study that tracked about 5,000 people over 20 years, he suggests that happiness, like the flu, can spread from person to person. When people who are close to us, both in terms of social ties (friends or relatives) and physical proximity, become happier, we do too.

For example, when a person who lives within a mile of a good friend becomes happier, the probability that this person's good friend will also become happier increases 15%. More surprising is that the effect can transcend direct links and reach a third degree of separation: when a friend of a friend becomes happier, we become happier, even when we don't know that third person directly... 
(To read the entire article in TIME - click here)

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a Greek American, born in the USA 47 years ago. A fluent Greek speaker, he collaborates closely with the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and visits Greece on a regular basis, both for professional and personal reasons as his father lives on the island of Crete for six months of the year.

Married with three children, Dr Christakis is an internist and social scientist who conducts research on social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity. He is a Professor of Medical Sociology in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and an Attending Physician (with an emphasis on palliative medicine) in the Department of Medicine at the Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As of July, 2009, he will be the Master of Pforzheimer House in Harvard College.

Dr. Christakis' current work is principally concerned with health and social networks. This work takes seriously the contention that because people are inter-connected, their health is inter-connected. This work explores two aspects of social networks: the process by which they form ("connection") and the way they operate to influence behavior ("contagion"). Related work examines the health benefits of marriage and the consequences of spousal illness and widowhood. Other ongoing investigations consider the effects of neighborhoods on people's health, the bio demographic determinants of longevity, and the genetic bases for human behaviors. His past work has examined the accuracy and role of prognosis in medicine and ways of improving end-of-life care.

Along with his long-time collaborator, James Fowler, Dr. Christakis has authored a general-audience book on social networks that will appear in late 2009: 

Connected: The Surprising Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.

To read more about Dr Nicholas Christakis - Click here

Dr Nicholas Christakis - Ta Nea Newspaper (in Greek)

Updated: Listen to Dr Nicholas Christakis speak on the Hidden Influence of Social Networks - February 2010

Take time to laugh...How (we) Greeks do Business...

Con talks to his son George.

CON (father): "I want you to marry a girl of my choice."
GEORGE (son): "I will choose my own bride!!"
CON (father): "But the girl is Bill Gates' daughter.."
GEORGE (son): "Well, in that case... okay."

Next CON approaches Bill Gates.

CON (father): "I have a husband for your daughter.... "
Bill Gates: "But my daughter is too young to marry!!"
CON (father): "But this young man is a vice-president of the World Bank."
Bill Gates: "Ah! in that case... okay."


Finally CON goes to see the president of the World Bank.

CON: "I have a young man to be recommended as a vice-president."
President: "But I already have more vice-presidents than I need!"
CON: "But this young man is Bill Gates' son-in-law."
President: 'Ah, in that case... okay."

And that, my friends, is how (we) Greeks do business!!!
Thanks Eleanna!

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