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Friends of the Hellenic Institute Newsletter: December 2002

Dear Friend of the Hellenic Institute,

Welcome to the second Friends' Newsletter, bringing you a brief account of our ac-tivities over the past year. Once again, much has happened, so please forgive us if we have forgotten anything!

April: Alumni Dinner in Athens

The first RHUL Greek Alumni Dinner, organized jointly by RHUL External Rela-tions, Alumni Office and the Hellenic Institute, took place in Athens on 13 April. Among the honorary guests were Dr Alkestis Soulogianni (Director of International Educational Relations, Hellenic Minsitry of Culture), Prof. Euthymios Soulogiannis (Centre for the Study of Modern Hellenism, Academy of Athens), Prof. Evangelos Chrysos (Director, Institute for Byzantine Research, Athens), and Prof. Nikolaos Moschonas (Research Director, Institute for Byzantine Research, Athens).
The Hellenic Institute was represented by the Director and Dr Charalambos Dendri-nos. Julian Chrysostomides addressed the Alumni, stressing the links between the In-stitute and Universities and Research Centres in Greece. The dinner was held in Aegli Restaurant, in the beautiful Zappeion Gardens. This was an occasion for old friend-ships to be renewed and memories of student life to be recalled. It is hoped that this was the first of many reunions to come.

Lectures by the Director in Greece

At the invitation of the Friends of the Gennadius Library, the University of Athens and the University of Ioannina, J. Chrysostomides gave a series of lectures on 'Sym-biosis in the Peloponnese in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade' (12 and 17 April) and 'Byzantine Concepts of War and Peace' (15 April). The lectures were attended by a large audience.

June: Remembering Plethon

28 June 2002 was the five-hundredth anniversary of the death of the Byzantine phi-losopher George Gemistos Plethon (c.1360-1452). Three Friends, Stella Chrysochoou, Jonathan Harris and Christopher Young, attended a conference to mark the occasion, which was held in the Free School of Philosophy near Plethon's home town of Mys-tras in the Peloponnese. Quite apart from the intellectual wines poured out, the visi-tors enjoyed warm hospitality from their hosts, Professor Spentzas, Dr Christos Balo-glou and Dr Stratis Strategis. Below are the delegates photographed during time off to visit the ruined hilltop town of Geraki.

July: Obituary on Constantine Leventis (1938-2002)

This year was marked by the death of Constantine Leventis, an honorary fellow of our College, a friend and generous patron of Hellenic Studies at Royal Holloway.

Born in Larnaca, Cyprus, in 1938 Dinos Leventis was educated at Harrow, where he won a scholarship to pursue his studies in classics at Clare College, Cambridge. From 1955 to 1977 he lived in West Africa (Ghana and Nigeria) where he joined the business of his uncle, Anastasios G. Leventis (1902-1978). In co-operation with his brothers and cousins, Dinos Leventis succeeded in expanding the firm's commercial activities and turning it into one of the most impressive international business groups.

His business acumen, combined with a love for all things cultural, and above all the antiquities of Greece and Cyprus, made him in many respects unique. Under his guid-ance The A.G. Leventis Foundation was responsible for the restoration and preserva-tion of cultural heritage in Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria, ranging from Bronze Age settlements, through Classical, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine monuments to nine-teenth-century historical buildings. He made generous donations to the British Mu-seum, the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cam-bridge, the Denmark National Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum for the crea-tion of new galleries to display their Cypriot antiquities.

Both as UNESCO Ambassador of Cyprus since 1977 and as Chairman of the A.G. Leventis Foundation from 1980, Dinos Leventis worked indefatigably for the preser-vation of the Cypriot heritage. He was instrumental in the recovery of the sixth-century Kanakaria mosaics looted after the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus in 1974, which court case established the precedent for the return of antiquities unlaw-fully removed. He purchased archaeological objects smuggled out of the occupied ter-ritories and provided Nicosia with a splendid municipal museum to house them. As a Council Member and Treasurer of Europa Nostra, and in co-operation with the Greek Society for the Conservation of the Environment and Cultural Heritage, he proved a generous supporter. His concern for the environment is also reflected in his estab-lishment of scholarships and his support of agricultural schools and extensive agri-cultural and ecological programmes in Nigeria and Ghana.

His presence and contribution was felt especially through the establishment of the Hellenic Centre (1994) to gather all Greek societies under one roof. Since then the Centre became the focal point of most Greek cultural activities in London. A generous patron to the Hellenic Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London and to the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King's College London, Dinos Leventis sponsored aca-demic posts and various activities, such as lectures, colloquia, conferences, exhibi-tions and most importantly a large number of scholarships and grants to students, re-searchers and teachers pursuing Greek studies. A profoundly religious man, he of-fered his unswerving support to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain.
Under his leadership, The A.G. Leventis Foundation, was also involved internation-ally in a wide range of educational, cultural and philanthropic activities. The list, far too long to enumerate here - and perhaps some of his benefactions will never be known - testifies his profound concern for culture, but above all his philanthropia, love for mankind.

His astuteness and magnanimity is also illustrated by his efforts to bring a rapproche-ment between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots through the 'Friends of Cyprus', the British Parliamentary Group.

In recognition of his distinguished contribution he was honoured with the Order of the Phoenix by Greece, Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et les Lettres by France, Archon
Orphanotrophos by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Silver Medal of the Academy of Athens, an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Ghana, and many other honours by Greek and foreign Institutions.

His death, on 11 July 2002, left a feeling of great loss of a friend and generous patron of Hellenism in Britain and abroad. He will be remembered for his unassuming, kind and gentle nature, his modesty and integrity, his culture and his great generosity. He is survived by his wife, Edmée (née Vasileiades), his daughter Louisa, and his two sons, Anastasios and George. His work will now be carried on by the members of his fam-ily. To Mrs Edmée Leventis, who shared her husband's vision in all his activities, and now a worthy successor of her husband as UNESCO Ambassador for Cyprus, we wish strength to continue his work.

J. Chrysostomides

September: New Students

The Institute is delighted to welcome seven new MPhil/PhD students: Stella Chrysochoou (The manuscript tradition of Claudius Ptolemaeus' Geographike Hyphegesis in the Palaeologan period and the Renaissance), Alexandra Melita (Magic and Healing in Venetian ruled Greece), Fevronia Nousia, (Teaching Texts of the Palaeologan Pe-riod), Konstantinos-Kallistratos Oikonomou, (The Church Policy of the Macedonian Emperors, 867-1056), Quentin Russell (The Greek Community in London, 1830-1914), Dmitri Tolstoy-Miloslavski (The Italian Policy of Manuel I Comnenus, 1143-1180), and Chris Wright (The Gattalusi of Lesbos: Diplomacy and Lordship in the Late Medieval Aegean). Several postgraduates were successful in securing prestigious grants: Alexandra Melita was awarded a Greek State Studentship, Quention Russell an RHUL History department studentship, and Feveronia Nousia and Chris Wright Arts and Humanities Research Board Studentships.

The newcomers join Michael Kaplanoglou (The Economic History of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, 1700-1850), Eleni Rossidou-Koutsou (John Eugenikos' Antirrhetic of the Act of Union of the Churches at the Council of Ferrara-Florence), George Siderountios (Early Christian and Byzantine Uses of the Word Hellene), Christos Triantafyllopoulos (The Treatise On the Errors of the Latins and the Heresy of Barlaam and Akindynos by Macarios, Metropolitan of Angyra, 1397-1405) and Christopher Young (Byzantine émigrés as diplomats: Franculios Servo-poulos and his contemporaries, c.1450-c.1520).

Three new students enrolled for the MA in Hellenic Studies: Costakis Evangelou, Rodoula Ioannou, and Eleni Notoglou, joining our three returning part-timers, Bernadine Corrigan, Persa Georgoulakou and Jane Stratton. Two students, Lena Athanasi and Amalia Spyrou enrolled for the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies.

Congratulations to Dr Sophia Kapetanaki whose thesis, An edition of the hitherto unedited works of Makarios Makres, was accepted by the University of London earlier this year.

October: Reconstructing Constantinople at Reading

A one-day colloquium on Reconstructing Byzantine Constantinople: New Perspectives from Archaeology and History, organised by Ken Dark and Jonathan Harris was held at the University of Reading on 26 October. Eight speakers examined themes which covered the city's history from its foundation by Constantine in 330 through to its restoration to Byzantine rule by Michael VIII Palaeologus in 1261. About 65 people attended, among them Dr Katia Plyta, representative of the Greek Consulate in Istan-bul, and many MA and PhD students. The full conference programme and titles of papers can be found on the internet at:

November: Book Donation

The College received a generous donation of books of Hellenic interest by Mr and Mrs George Stergios. The collection, acquired by Mr Stergios' late father, consists of over fifty volumes. Apart from a number of rare seventeenth and eighteenth century editions, the rest books have been de-posited in the Bedford Library. This collection will be a useful resource for students and re-searchers at the Institute.

December: Two Studentships to be offered

The Institute is offering two postgraduate studentships in Byzantine Studies for the academic year 2003-4:

THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMAIOS I STUDENTSHIP, established by the Orthodox Cultural Association of Athens, thanks to a generous donation by Mrs Angeliki Frangos in memory of her late mother Stela N. Frangos. It has been named in honour of his All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his accession to the Patriarchal throne of Constantinople. The studentship covers the UK/EU tuition fees for one year plus an honorarium of about £300 for books or travel.

THE NIKOLAOS OIKONOMIDES STUDENTSHIP, was established by the Friends of the Hellenic Institute in memory of the distinguished Greek Byzantinist Nikolaos Oikonomides (1934-2000), in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Byzantine Studies. The studentship covers the UK/EU tuition fees for one year.

Both studentships, open to full-time UK or EU students, are awarded on the basis of proven academic achievement. They can be applied for by those who wish to take the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies or by MPhil/PhD students. Candidates should meet the normal entrance requirements of the University of London. The closing date for submission of studentship applications is 30 August 2003. For further details, please contact Jonathan Harris (


A number of publications by Institute staff have appeared since the last newsletter:

Julian Chrysostomides, 'Byzantine Concepts of War and Peace', in War, Peace and World Orders in European History, eds. Anja V. Hartmann and Beatrice Heuser (London and New York: Routledge, 2001), pp. 91-101.

Jonathan Harris, 'London's Greek Community' in Treasured Offerings: The Legacy of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St Sophia, London, ed. George Kakavas (Athens: Byzantine and Christian Museum, 2002), pp. 3-8.

Charalambos Dendrinos , 'Manuel II Palaeologus' Letter to Alexius Iagoup and his views on the study of theology and the relations between Church and State' (in Greek), Philosophias Analecta 1 (2001), 58-74.

Panagiotes Antonopoulos and Charalambos Dendrinos, 'The Eastern Roman Em-pire at the Turn of the First Millenium', in Europe around the Year 1000, ed. P. Urbanczyk (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences: Warsaw, 2001), 167-203.

To be published in 2003:

Jonathan Harris, Byzantium and the Crusades (London: Hambledon/London Books).

Julian Chrysostomides, 'Symbiosis in the Peloponnese in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade', in Byzantium. State and Society: Studies in Memory of Nikolaos Oikonomides (eds.), A. Avramea, A. Laiou and E. Chrysos (Athens: Institute for Byzantine Research)

Charalambos Dendrinos, Jonathan Harris, Eirene Harvalia-Crook and Judith Herrin (eds.), Porphyrogenita: Essays on the History and Literature of Byzantium and the Latin East in Honour of Julian Chrysostomides (Aldershot: Ashgate/Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College London/The Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London)

Jonathan Harris, 'Edward II, Andronicus II and Giles of Argenteim: A Neglected Episode in Anglo-Byzantine Relations', in Porphyrogenita (see above), pp. 77-84

Charalambos Dendrinos, 'An Unpublished Funeral Oration on Manuel II Pa-laeologus († 1425)', in Porphyrogenita (see above), pp. 423-57

Julian Chrysostomides, Charalambos Dendrinos and Jonathan Harris (eds.), The Greek Islands and the Sea: Proceedings of the International Colloquium held at RHUL, 21-22 September 2001 (Camberley: Porphyrogenitus)

Coming up in 2003:

The London University working Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts, will recom-mence in January 2002, on Thursdays, 5.00-7.00pm, at the Institute of Historical Re-search, 2nd floor, Room Italy I, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Directed by Julian Chrysostomides and Charalambos Dendrinos, the Seminar is editing and translating the voluminous correspondence of the thirteenth-century scholar and theologian George of Cyprus, who later became Patriarch of Constantinople as Gregory II (1283-9). Everyone with an interest in Byzantine texts and Greek Palaeography is welcome to attend. Further details from Charalambos Dendrinos (

On 22 March a trip has been arranged to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham which holds one of the best collections of Byzantine coins in Europe, numbering some 15,000 coins. A new gallery has just been opened to display them and their curator, Dr Eurydice Georganteli, will give a short talk and the opportu-nity to handle some of the gold coins. Could anyone who would like to join the trip to Birmingham please e-mail Jonathan Harris (, so we can get some idea of numbers. More details of the collections can be found at:

On 2 May, the new volume Porphyrogenita: Essays on the History and Literature of Byzantium and the Latin East in honour of Julian Chrysostomides will be presented to the Director of the Hellenic Institute at a venue in London. More details nearer the time.

On 16 May, Professor John Barron will give a lecture entitled Westward Christian Soldier: St George before the Crusades at 6pm in Queen's Lecture Theatre 169 at Royal Holloway's Egham campus. Professor Barron will explore the pivotal role of Byzantium in transforming an early Syrian martyr into the popular military saint. Further details from Jonathan Harris (

We look forward to seeing you at these and other events in the future.

About the Hellenic Institute

The Hellenic Institute, established in 1993 aims to promote the study of the Hellenic history, literature and culture across the centuries, from archaic and classical Greece, through Byzantium, to the modern world. The Institute currently receives funding from Royal Holloway, University of London, the Ministry of Culture of the Hellenic Republic, the Arts and Humanities Research Board, and the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus (I will call again tomorrow to find out about the grant).

Director: Miss J. Chrysostomides
Chair of the Steering Group: Professor Francis Robinson
Treasurer: Dr Richard Alston
Professor of Ancient Greek History: Professor Rosalind Thomas
Lecturer in Byzantine History: Dr Jonathan Harris
Porphyrogenitus Project: Dr Charalambos Dendrinos

Visiting Professor: Professor Costas N. Constantinides

Honorary Research Fellow:
Professor Nikolaos Moschonas

Honorary Research Associates:
Dr Kara Hattersley-Smith
Dr Anthony Luttrell

The Hellenic Institute
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University of London
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