The Long Homeric Perspective
Greek the language they gave me;
poor the house on Homer's shores
My only care my language on Homer's shores
There bream and perch
wind beaten verbs,
green sea currents in the blue
all I saw light up my entrails,
with the first words of the Sirens,
rosy shells with the first black shivers.
My only care my language with the first black
There promegranates, quinces,
swarthy gods, uncles and cousins
emptying oil into giant jars:
and breaths from the ravine fragrant
with osier and terebinth
broom and ginger root
with the first chirping of finches,
sweet psalms with the very first Glory Be to Thee
My only care my language with the very first Glory Be to Thee!
From "Axion Esti", 1959.
"GREECE IN PRINT, 1996" will exhibit a large selection of books (several thousand) printed in both English and Greek. Visitors to the exhibit will have the opportunity to browse and explore a variety of themes such as: art, children's books, classical studies, cookbooks, culture, Greek-American studies, history, language courses, literature & fiction, modern Greek Studies, philosophy, poetry, religion, schoolbooks, travel guides, women's studies, as well as educational and cultural audio and video cassettes and computer software. During the course of this two day exhibition, noted authors and scholars will conduct lectures and workshops on site.
This effort will be made a reality through the volunteer efforts of Greeks and philhellenes alike. With the support of all of us the treasures of Greece will be presented for all to share. A lasting gift through the written word.
The Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Hellenic Literature Society request your support and patronage. We urge you to become part of it. Donations to the Hellenic Literature Society are tax deductible.
by John Elson (Copyright 1996 Time Inc. Reprinted by permission)
A classics scholar sharply challenges the emerging theory that ancient Greece "stole" its best ideas from ancient Egypt.
Socrates, that quintessential Athenian, was black. And the ancient Greeks stole most of their great intellectual discoveries, including philosophy and geometry, from their African originators, the Egyptians.
Such eye-catching assertions, which beg the disputable question of whether the Egyptians actually were black, are being promoted by radical Afrocentrists in college classrooms across the U.S. today. The principal goal is to free the teaching of world history from its traditional Eurofocus. A secondary aim is to give minority students pride in the achievements of their ancestors. Up to a point these are unexceptionable goals , concedes Mary Lefkowitz, a professor of humanities at Wellesley. But in a fierce little polemic called "Not Out of Africa" (222 pages, $24), she argues that the Afrocentrists substitute pseudo history for the real thing. As she writes, "The ancient Egypt described by Afrocentrists is a fiction."
The argument for Socrates' African origins, for example, is based largely on posthumous portraits that show him having a snub nose and broad mouth. But this is hardly conclusive, Lefkowitz contents, since the Greeks also portrayed the Scythians of Russia as having these supposedly Negroid features. Moreover, if Socrates had been part African, that fact would surely have been satirized by his critics, like the comic playwright Aristophanes.
The most substantive Afrocentrist charge against the Greeks - that they stole their best thoughts from Egypt - is not a new argument. As Lefkowitz notes, the Greek historian Herodotus thought the Egyptians believed souls could transmigrate from human to animal form; he apparently did not know that the Egyptians had no such faith, as their elaborate funerary rituals make clear.
Afrocentrists claim that Greek philosophy is based on an Egyptian "mystery system," embodied in the secret initiation rites of certain ancient religious cults. Lefkowitz makes the ingenious but plausible argument that the little we know about those ceremonies comes not from historical sources but from an 18th century novel, "Sethos," by the French Abbe Jean Terrasson (1670-1750).
His fanciful speculations about old Egypt were incorporated into Masonic rituals. Thus the Afrocentrists' purported knowledge of Egypt, Lefkowitz contends, can be traced back to the mystical lore of black Masonic lodges in the West Indies.
Lefkowitz's book is an amplification of a controversial article she wrote for the "New Republic" in 1992, after learning that Afrocentric "myths" were being taught as fact on her own campus. Students called the author a racist for publicly challenging the assertions of an Afrocentrist guest lecturer. More shocking to her was the silence of colleagues who, thought they shared her opinions of Afrocentrist teaching, refused to speak up lest they be judged politically incorrect.
The real problem with Afrocentrism, Lefkowitz concludes, is not that its "truths" about Greece and Egypt are false. More dangerous is the underlying attitude that all history is fiction, which can be manipulated at will for political ends. The enthronement of this view on campus, Lefkowitz warns, means the death of academic discourse as we know it. Sadly, that seems to be happening. Better for all if "Not Out of Africa" stirs an equally fierce - and fair - polemic from the other side.
(Your thoughts and comments on the subject of Afrocentrism and the above review are very welcome. Please submit them to the "Greece In Print" discussion forum on the Internet; email@example.com).
"The Axion Esti" is probably the most widely read volume of verse to have appeared in Greece since World War II. Though the poem can perhaps be understood best as a spiritual autobiography which dramatizes the national and philosophical extentions of a highly personal sensibility, it is also read as an expression of the revolutionary spirit in Greece. "The Axion Esti" mirrors man's merciless struggle against the powers of darkness as the poet gives to an imaginary Christian liturgy a context which is revolutionary from several aspects besides the religious: the social, the aesthetic, and the philosophical. Odysseus Elytis, one of the eminent contemporary poets of Greece, was born in Heraklion, Crete, in 1911. The poems in his many books have been translated into eleven languages. Edmund Keeley is Professor of English and Creative Arts and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. He and George Savidis are two of the foremost translators of modern Greek into English.
57 pages, 6x9 inches, Paper, $ 10.95
BLACK ATHENA REVISITED, edited by Mary R. Lefkowitz and Guy MacLean Rogers
In this collection of twenty essays leading scholars in a broad range of disciplines confront the claims made by Martin Bernal in "Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization." The contributors to this volume argue that Bernal's claims are exaggerated and in many cases unjustified. Topics covered include race and physical anthropology; the question of an Egyptian invasion of Greece; the origins of Greek language, philosophy, and science; and racism and anti-Semitism in classical scholarship. The editors conclude by proposing an entirely new scholarly framework for understanding the relationship between the cultures of the ancient Near East and Greece and the origins of Western civilization.
522 pages, 6.1x9.3 inches, Paper, $ 19.95
HERCULES and Other Legends of Gods and Heroes, by Donald Richardson
This book is the perfect starting point for everyone who would like to know more about Greek mythology but does not know where to begin. In this contemporary retelling of Greek myths and legends, famous Greek gods and heroes come alive in chronologically arranged, easy-to-understand stories that preserve the sometimes bawdy and ribald flavor of the ancient authors. Take a voyage worthy of Odysseus himself through these fascinating tales beginning with the first Gods and the creation of the world. From the advent of the Golden Age to the intricate politics of the younger Gods on Mount Olympus; from the complex relationships between Gods, men, and women through the Trojan War, and the wandering and return of Odysseus, the mythical history of ancient Greece is fierce, sensual, and always eloquent,
312 pages, 5.7x8.6 inches, Cloth, All Ages, $ 8.00
HYMN TO DEMETER, translated by Hellene P. Foley
The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, composed in the late seventh or early sixth century B.C., is a key to understanding the psychological and religious world of ancient Greek women. The poem tells how Hades, lord of the underworld, abducted the goddess Persephone and how her grieving mother, Demeter, the goddess of grain, forced the gods to allow Persephone to return to her for part of each year. Foley presents the Greek text and an annotated translation of the Hymn, together with selected essays by Foley, Mary Loise Lord, Jean Rudhardt, Nancy Felson-Rubin and Harriet M. Deal, Marilyn Arthur Katz, and Nancy Chodorow. These essays give the reader a rich understanding of the Hymn's structure and artistry, its role in the religious life of the ancient world, and its meaning for the modern world.
295 pages, 6.0x9.2 inches, Paper $16.95
MACEDONIA From Philip II to Roman Conquest, general editor Rene Ginouves
Since the discovery in 1977 of the royal tombs at Vergina and their treasures, archaeological excavation and historical research have been continually enriching and revising our picture of Macedonia. We are now better informed about the paradoxical history of this kingdom which, despite dynastic strife and continuous conflict, had, by the death of Alexander the Great, conquered an enormous empire stretching to the ends of the known world. Aimed at lovers of outstanding archaeological discoveries and devotees of history, the present volume is a collection of writings by French and Greek experts that presents a synthesis of the present state of our knowledge of the Macedonian kingdom.
edited by R. Ginouves, 254 pages, 9.8x12.2 inches, 184 color illustrations, Cloth, $ 75.00
Evas avtras pou basavizetai apo tromeres amfithumies kai neurwseis apofasizei va kavei psuxavalusn. Parakolouthoume tis suvavtnseis me tov psuxanalutn tou, opou afnvei tous eleutherous suveirmous tou va ksediplwthouv kai v' apokalupsouv mia seira apo paradoksotntes kai avtifaseis. Suvdroma elksns - apwthnsns - tautiseis, proboles, eksidavikeuseis kai apo-eksidavikauseis parapempouv s' evav astato psuxismo kai se mia mperdemevn idiosygkrasia. O suggrafeas me gvwsn kai meraki suvthetei eva dieisdutiko psuxografnma, opou kuriarxouv oi evdoskopnseis kai oi leptes apoxrwseis. Gvwrizei kala ta movopatia tns froudikns odou kai me suvepeia akolouthei tis arxes tns psuxavalytikns methodou. H "Arsevikn Ernmos" eivai mia snmavtikn katathesn, doulemevn eksavtlntika kai me thaumastn mastoria.
336 selides, $19.50
H GLWSSA MOY, DHMHOYRGIKES DRASTHRIOTHTES, twv Lia Galavh & Ntiva Godivou
Mia seira bibliwv gia oles tis takseis tou Dnmotikou (2 teuxn gia kathe taksn, 1n, 2n, 3n, & 4n). Prwtotupa eikovografnmeva, sunduazouv me eurnmatikotnta eikova-grammata-lekseis-protaseis gia tnv evergopoinsn tou glwssikou mnxavismou twv paidiwv. Periexouv seira prwtotupwv kai dnmiourgikwv asknsewv kai drasthriotntwv grafns, avagvwsns kai emploutismou tou leksilogiou. Ta biblia auta eivai arista bonthnmata gia topus daskalous pou epithymouv va drastnriopoinsouv tous mathntes tous se eurnteres kai plousioteres perioxes asknsns kai gvwsns kai gia tous goveis pou thelouv va bonthnsouv ta paidia tous kai va ta odngnsouv stnv eurumatheia kai tnv epituxia.
156 selides, 8.3x11.0 ivtses ekasto, A' Dnm. $ 15.75, B' Dnm. $ 16.75, G' kai D' Dnm. $ 17.50
LAMDA, tou Giwrgou Mixanlidn
Eva muthistornma-foros timns stnv idia tn grafn, tnv istoria tns opoias perierxetai mesa apo tn dnlwsn kai tis upodoulwseis twv leksewv; kai tautoxrova eva klasiko-tropo keimevo, me arxn, mesn kai telos, plokn kai xaraktnres, pou parakolouthei tn diadromn twv proswpwv mexri to telos pou tous eipfulassei n moira kai oi proswpikes tous epiloges. Tnv wra pou o hrwas tou muthistornmatos badizei pros tnv autognwsia kai tov erwta, sto epikevtro mias plokns basismevns sto thema tou swsia, oi lekseis, me sarka kai osta, xarassouv tis dikes tous diakritikes alla statheres diadromes sth sullogikn mvnmn - alla kai sto sullogiko asuveidnto. To "Landa", gramma omnriko kai platwniko, proskalei ton avagvwstn va geutei tnv ndovn tns apokruptografnsns twv prothesewv tou mesa apo tnv anaptuksn mias akrws evdiaferousas afngnmatikns protasns.
471 selides, $ 30.00
Rare and renowned works of Hellenistic sculpture are the subject of an exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled "Pergamon: The Telephos Frieze from the Great Altar." For more information, call (212) 879-5500.
April 2 * Chicago, IL - LECTURE
The Art Institute of Chicago is sponsoring a lecture by Leon Marinakos, Cultural Attache of the Consulate General of Greece, entitled "Christ: Portrayals in Byzantine Art" at 6:00 PM in Fullerton Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information call (312) 443-3697.
April 4 * Brookline, MA - LECTURE
Michael Herzfeld, professor of Anthropology, Harvard University, will examine the work of the Greek novelist Andreas Nenedakis. The program will begin at 7:00 PM, Hellenic College, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. For further information, call (617) 731-3500.
April 11 * Cambridge, MA - LECTURE
The George Seferis Chair of Modern Greek is hosting a lecture by Alexandros K. Kyrou (Indiana U. - Purdue U. at Fort Wayne) "Castle-Building in the Balkans: American Aspirations in Southeastern Europe." At the Modern Greek Literature & Culture Seminar, at the Center for Literary & Cultural Studies, 61 Kirkland St, 5:00 PM.
April 18 - 20 * Xanthi. Greece - STATISTICS CONGRESS The 9th Panhellenic Statistics Congress organized by the Hellenic Statistical Institute and the Engineering School of the Democritus University of Thrace, Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering. For more information contact: ESI, Chiou 15, Kaisariani Athens 16-121, Tel. & Fax: 7253279, D.P.Th. Vas. Sofias Xanthi 67-100, Tel: 0541/79755, 20378 Fax: 0541/26939. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, http://platon.ee.duth.gr/confer/psc
April 20 * Chicago, IL - READING
The Greek Women's University Club is presenting a reading by Dr. Beatriz Badikiam, assistant professor oh Humanities, Roosevelt University, from her poetry "All These Beginnings." The reading will be held at the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center in Chicago at 3:00 PM. Admission is $5. Call Elaine Thomopoulos at (312) 726-1234 or Barbara Javaras (708) 209-1335 for further information.
April 28 * Chicago, IL - BOOK READING
Dr. Alexander Karanikas will read from his new book of poetry "Stepping Stones." At the Hellenic Museum & Cultural Center; 168 N Michigan Ave, 4th Flr. 3:00 PM. Admission $7 non members; $4 members. For more information call (312) 726-1234.
April 30 * Chicago, IL - LECTURE
The Classical Art Society of the Art Institute of Chicago will sponsor a lecture by olga Palagia, University of Athens, Greece, "Two Sculptors Named Scopas." For further information call (312) 443-3697.
May 24 * Chicago, IL - LECTURE
Marianne McDonald, Professor of Theater and Classics at the University of California, San Diego will speak on "Ancient Theatre in Modern Times: Japanese and Greek Classical Drama," at Fullerton Hall, The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave. Co-sponsored by the Classical Art Society and The Art Institute of Chicago. For more information call (312) 443-3697.
Australia 17 Israel 4 Brazil 1 Italy 3 Canada 26 Japan 2 Cyprus 1 Netherlands 2 Denmark 2 New Zealand 2 Finland 1 Norway 1 France 8 Singapore 1 Germany 4 Slovenija 1 Greece 25 Sweden 2 Hong Kong 1 Switzerland 4 Hungary 3 Turkey 1 Ireland 2 United Kingdom 39 United States 357