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Friends of the Hellenic Institute

Newsletter: December 2004

Dear Friend of the Hellenic Institute,

Here are some of the highlights of the Institute's activities over the past year. Some you will know about and may have taken part in, others may come as news to you …

December 2003: Hellenic Foundation grant
The Institute received a grant of £12,000 over a period of three years from the Hellenic Foundation in London, towards the establishment of a Lectureship in Byzantine Literature and Greek Palaeography.

January 2004: Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus grant (2003-4). The Institute received a grant of £7,140 from the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus in support of its activities in the academic year 2003-4.

January-March: Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts

The London University working Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts held its regular meetings at the Institute of Historical Research. Directed by Julian Chrysostomides and Charalambos Dendrinos, the Seminar is preparing a new annotated critical edition and translation of the voluminous correspondence of the great thirteenth-century scholar and theologian George of Cyprus, the later Patriarch of Constantinople under the name Gregory II (1283-9). The Seminar was attended by 16 scholars and graduate students of London University colleges.

February: Modern Greek language course
A course in Modern Greek language was established at the Language Centre of Royal Holloway with the generous sponsorship of the Hellenic Ministry of Education. Tatiana Chalidou followed by Polymnia Tsagouria, both experienced Greek philologists, were seconded by the Greek Embassy to the College. A beginners course, designed for students and staff with little or no knowledge of Greek, is being offered. Further details about the classes can be obtained from Sheryl Simon, Director, The Language Centre at Royal Holloway, University of London, tel: 01784 443335 (

March: Post-Byzantine Seminar
Lia Chisacof gave a series of well-attended seminars on 'Byzantium after Byzantium? Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean in the post-Byzantine period', at the Institute of Historical Research, providing a rare opportunity for students, teachers and researchers to hear something about this neglected period of Greek history.

April: Remembering 1204
As part of the Byzantine Festival in London, Jonathan Harris helped to organise an evening of words and music in the Purcell Room on the South Bank to mark the 800th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade on 12 April 1204.

April: A.G. Leventis Foundation major grant
The Institute was awarded a major grant of £100,000 over a period of five years, from the A.G. Leventis Foundation towards the establishment of a Lectureship in Byzantine Literature and Greek Palaeography.

May: Hellenic Institute Lecture
Professor Simon Hornblower, Professor of Classics and Ancient History at University College London, gave the Fourth Annual Hellenic Institute Lecture on The Greeks and Afghanistan. Professor Hornblower, an eminent Hellenist, is well-known for his work on Greek History and Thucydides, and is co-editor of the Oxford Classical Dictionary. His illustrated lecture covered Greek settlement and life in Afghanistan before, during and after Alexander the Great, based primarily on literary and epigraphic evidence. His report on the current state of the Greek remains in Afghanistan and the looting that followed the war was most illuminating. The lecture, held at Royal Holloway College Campus, Art's Building, was attended by an audience of over 80 scholars, colleagues from the Departments of History and Classics, graduate students, Friends of the Institute and members of the public. The lecture was followed by a reception and dinner in honour of the speaker at Royal Holloway, Founder's building, in the presence of H.E. The Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain. Among the distinguished guests were Mr Dimitris Gioldasis Consul of Greece in Britain, Dr Kiriakos Pillas Cultural Counsellor of the Cyprus High Commission, and Dr Angeliki Deligianni Educational Counsellor of the Greek Embassy in London.

May: New Honorary Research Associates
Three new Honorary Research Associates were appointed this year. Dr Kostas Kalimtzis is a classical scholar who specializes in Greek Philosophy and in particular Plato and Aristotle. He studied at the University of South Florida. He has written widely on political theory. His work on the concept of political friendship and enmity in the classical world broke fresh ground. Dr Kalimtzis is currently engaged on a study of the evolution of these concepts, under the title Theories of Turmoil and Revolution, Ancient and Modern. His research, built on his previous work on Aristotle's theory of stasis, examines the transformations of this concept (often translated as 'civil strife', 'sedition', 'faction', 'discord', 'revolution') from the ancient through the medieval to the modern world. Of special interest in his study is the gradual inversion of the ancient concept of stasis in modern Republican theory, in the writings of Machiavelli through Marx, and the ascendancy of the concept of 'revolution'. One of the aims of his research is to explore whether ancient concepts of stasis still have explanatory value for understanding the political turmoil that occurs within modern states.

Dr Kiriakos Papoulidis is specializing in Post-Byzantine Strudies with particular emphasis on education, language and the Orthodox tradition. He pursued his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the University of Paris. In 2000 he received his doctoral degree at the Sorbonne with summa cum laude. His thesis dealt with the problems in translation and interpretation arising out of the first translation in Modern Greek of the New Testament by the Greek monk Maximos of Gallipoli in 1638. He collaborated with the Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques on the subject of lieux de mémoire in the context of a larger project on "Territoriality and Identity in the European Domain", directed by Professor Michel Bruneau. He has published a number of articles. A talented philologist and historian he has been awarded a number of distinguished Fellowships by the French State, the A.G. Leventis Foundation and A. Onassis Foundation. Dr Papoulidis will be conducting a research project on the Byzantine Legacy, the Orthodox tradition and Greek identity in the Orthodox world from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.

Dr Georgios Borovilos is a theologian specialising in Orthodox Christianity in the Post-Byzantine world, and in particular Greek rhetorical and preaching tradition. He pursued his studies at the University of Athens and the University of Thessalonike where he received his doctoral degree. His thesis involved Orthodox preaching literature in the eighteenth century, focusing on the printed collections. He has published a number of articles and has been involved in the Repertorium Nazianzenum, a major corpus of the complete works of St Gregory of Nazianzus directed by Professor J. Mossay at the University of Louvain. Dr Borovilos will be conducting research on an annotated critical edition and translation of the discourses of Samuel of Libya (later Patriarch of Alexandria, 1710-12, 1714-23). These works, contained in the unique codex Sinaiticus graecus 2195, were delivered in Constantinople at the Church of Pera, during Lent of 1709. One of the aims of this project is to investigate the new western elements in the Byzantine preaching tradition introduced by Orthodox authors in the period of Enlightenment.

May: Visit to Lambeth Palace Library
At the invitation of the Librarian of Lambeth Palace Library the students of the Greek Palaeography class and members of the Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts visited the Library to examine original Greek manuscripts. The collection of the Library comprises approximately forty Greek manuscripts, mainly Biblical, patristic and theological, which cover the whole Byzantine period and beyond. Under the guidance of the Archivist Ms Clare Brown, some important codices were examined, including the famous Octateuch's catena codex 1214 (copied by John Koulix for the duke of Cyprus Leo Nikerites in November AD 1103), and codex 461 comprising anti-Latin treatises by George Scholarios with his autograph corrections and notes. This visit is part of a closer co-operation of the Library and the Hellenic Institute, including a joint project on the compilation of a new catalogue of Lambeth Palace Library Greek manuscripts collection.

July: Discussing Porphyry
Anne Sheppard and George Karamanolis organised a conference on Porphyry at the Institute of Classical Studies. This was the first conference devoted exclusively to Porphyry since the 1960's. The organisers hope to publish the papers as a Supplement to the Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies.

September: Rev. Dr Kallistratos-Konstantinos Oikonomou
This year was marked by the tragic death of our student Kallistratos-Konstantinos Oikonomou, who together with sixteen members of the Church was escorting the Patriarch of Alexandria Petros VII on a pilgrimage to Mount Athos. The accident occurred on Saturday 11 September 2004 when the Army helicopter they were travelling on from Athens to Mount Athos crashed in northern Aegean, a few miles south of the northern Chalkidici peninsula. The cause of the accident is under investigation. Kallistratos was an exceptional young man of great ability and commitment, but above all humanity. He chose to dedicate his life to the Church, and in his capacity as an Archmandrite he worked closely with the late Patriarch of Alexandria ministering the Orthodox Community in all Africa. His dedication to his ministry did not prevent his commitment to his doctoral research at our Institute. This would have been the third and final year of his studies under the Director's supervision. He will be greatly missed and always remembered with affection by all his friends, teachers and fellow-students. His funeral took place in Athens. A memorial service will be held at the College Chapel in due course.

September: Award of Studentships and Bursaries
The Nikolaos Oikonomides Studentship was awarded to Dawn Thomas for the second year of her MPhil/PhD research on Galen's dietetics under the supervision of Peregrine Horden. This studentship, established in memory of the distinguished Greek Byzantinist Nikolaos Oikonomides (1934-2000), is funded solely by donations from the Friends of the Hellenic Institute.

Pablo Maurette received the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I Studentship to enable him to study for the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies. Pablo is from Argentina and is delighted to have this opportunity to study in London and to extend his interest in Neoplatonism in Late Antiquity. This studentship was established by the Orthodox Cultural Association of Athens in honour of the present Patriarch of Constantinople, thanks to a generous donation by Mrs Angeliki Frangos in memory of her late mother Stela N. Frangos.

A number of George of Cyprus Bursaries in Hellenic Studies, were awarded as follows:

Sebastian Moro (£2,500) towards his MPhil/PhD research on Music and Neoplatonic Philosophy (Classics Department).

Konstantinos Palaiologos (£500) towards his research on fourteenth-century Byzantine theology

Peter O'Sullivan (£500) towards his tuition fees for the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies.

Ben Sheppard (£1,500) towards his tuition fees for the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies.

George Siderountios (£500) towards his MPhil/PhD research on Early Christian and Byzantine Uses of the Word Hellene

Christos Triantafyllopoulos (£250) towards the purchase of microfilms of Greek manuscripts as part of his MPhil/PhD research on an annotated critical edition of the treatise On the Errors of the Latins by the 14th-15th-century theologian Macarios, Metropolitan of Ankyra

These bursaries were established in honour of George of Cyprus, later Patriarch of Constantinople under the name Gregory II (1283-9), thanks to the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, Born in Cyprus, in 1240, then under Latin occupation, at the age of seventeen he fled to Nicaea, the Byzantine Empire in exile, in order to pursue his studies. After the restoration of the Byzantine Empire in 1261, he settled in Constantinople, where he completed his higher education and subsequently taught the eminent scholars of the next generation..

October: New Students
Two new MPhil/PhD students enrolled at the Institute. Nikolaos Chryssis, who has been awarded a studentship from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, is studying 'Public and private opinion in Byzantine-western relations, 13th-15th centuries with special reference to crusading in Greek lands' (Supervisor: Jonathan Harris). Georgios Liakopoulos, who holds a RHUL History Department scholarship, is working on 'The Historical Geography of the Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman Peloponnese' (Supervisors: J. Chrysostomides and Jonathan Harris). Earlier in the year, Maria Argyrou, who holds a scholarship from IKY, began her research into 'The Early Printed Greek Book Collection of the Library of Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai, and the Book Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Sixteenth Century' (Supervisors: J. Chrysostomides and Charalambos Dendrinos. External adviser: Dr Nicholas Pickwoad).

Two more students have been accepted to conduct their MPhil/PhD research at the Institute, their enrolment being subject to securing funding: Konstantinos Palaiologos will be preparing an annotated critical edition of the fourteenth-century scholar and theologian Matthaios Vlastares' treatise Against the Latins, and Anastasia Vatoussiadi will be investigating the influence of Byzantine legislation on Slavic family law.

Alexis Stavrides and Tatiana Halidou enrolled for the MA in Hellenic Studies, and Pablo Maurette, Peter O'Sullivan and Ben Sheppard, for the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies.

As part of the Erasmus/Socrates staff and graduate student exchange programme agreement between the Hellenic Institute and the University of Athens, Department of Theology (2003/4-2006/7), Theodora Vovou is conducting her research gender studies and Christianity in London.

October: Congratulations!
To Michael Kaplanoglou whose MPhil thesis 'Contribution to the Economic History of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, 15th-19th century', supervised by J. Chrysostomides and Charalambos Dendrinos, has now been accepted by the University of London.

November: Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus grant (2004-5)
The Institute received a grant of £7,140 from the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus in support of its activities in the present academic year.

November: Lectureship in Byzantine Literature and Greek Palaeography
A three-year half-time Lectureship in Byzantine Literature and Greek Palaeography has been established thanks to the generous grants from the A.G. Leventis Foundation and the Hellenic Foundation. The College Selection Committee selected unanimously Dr Charalambos Dendrinos, who will be assuming his post in January 2004.

November: Colloquium Celebrating Cyprus
The Director participated in the colloquium Celebrating Cyprus, organized jointly by the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies and the Institute of Classical Studies in memory of Constantine Leventis. In her paper, entitled George of Cyprus: A Self-Portrait, Miss Chrysostomides explored the personality of the distinguished thirteenth-century scholar and later Ecumenical Patriarch (1283-89), and paid tribute to the legacy of the late Constantine Leventis.

November: Visit to Senate House Palaeography Room
At the invitation of Dr Mura Gosh, Manuscript Studies Librarian at Senate House Library, the Elementary Greek Palaeography class attended an induction to the Greek Palaeography collection on 17 November. Dr Gosh introduced the students to one of the best printed collections on Palaeography in the world, covering the most important bibliographical and research tools in Greek Palaeography and Codicology, concentrating on fundamental studies and text books, catalogues of Greek manuscripts and Greek scribes, as well as more specialised books and collections of facsimiles.

Throughout the year: Institute staff have been hard at work on a number of collaborative research projects.

Ship Sheds of the Ancient Mediterranean: A major research grant from the Leverhulme Trust is funding a study of some of the largest building projects of the ancient Mediterranean. A team led by Boris Rankov will use the abundant physical evidence to shed light on the navies of major states such as Athens and Syracuse, and to understand how their fleets of warships were built and maintained. The Leverhulme Trust has awarded £249,920 for the three-year project.

In the ancient Mediterranean world, oared warships were regularly hauled out of the water when not in use and kept under cover to protect the hulls from rot and shipworm, and the superstructure from sun and rain. Remains of both built ship-sheds and rock-cut slipways have been identified at a number sites on the Greek mainland and islands, including Cyprus and Crete, as well as on the coasts of North Africa, France, Sicily, mainland Italy, the Ionian coast of Turkey, and Israel. The sheds provide evidence of the dimensions of ancient warships, of especial significance since no certain wrecks of ancient warships survive from the Mediterranean. The project builds on the work of the Olympias project, which used ancient texts, drawings and artefacts to create a reconstruction of the powerful Athenian oared warship, the trireme. The trireme was powered by 170 oars ranked in three tiers and its principal purpose was to chase and ram its opponents. The extant remains of shipsheds at Zea harbour in the Piraeus were a key element in the design of the Olympias, which earlier this year carried the Olympic flame across the main harbour at Peiraeus two days before the opening of the Games. The research team will describe and catalogue ship-shed remains and use the evidence to create reconstructions of them. These structures will in turn provide evidence for the design and dimension of different types of ships, and the ways in which they were built and maintained. For further information, please contact Boris Rankov.

Julian Chrysostomides and Charalambos Dendrinos have reached the final stage of the editing of the Lexicon of the Abbreviations and Ligatures in Greek Minuscule Hands, c.800-c.1600, which they hope to publish in 2005. They have also continued their collaboration with Professor Nikolaos Moschonas on the compilation of a Lexicon of Terms in Greek Palaeography, Codicology and Diplomatics. For more information, click here.


A number of publications by Institute staff have appeared since the last newsletter. Here are some of them:

Julian Chrysostomides, Charalambos Dendrinos and Jonathan Harris (eds.), The Greek Islands and the Sea: Proceedings of the International Colloquium held at the Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London, 21-22 September 2001 (Camberley: Porphyrogenitus, 2004).

Jonathan Harris, Byzantium and the Crusades - Greek translation by Leonidas Karatzas (Athens: Oceanida, 2004).

Jonathan Harris, 'The Last Crusades: The Ottoman Threat', in Crusades: The Illustrated History, ed. Thomas F. Madden (London: Duncan Baird, 2004), pp. 172-99

To be published during 2005:

Julian Chrysostomides, 'The Penetration of Western Economy in Byzantium in the Palaeologan Period' (in Greek), in Byzantium and the Fourth Crusade, ed. N. Moschonas (Athens)

Julian Chrysostomides and Charalambos Dendrinos eds., "Sweet Land of Cyprus": Lectures on the History and Culture of Cyprus (Porphyrogenitus: Camberley). This volume containing the Cyprus lectures, given at the Hellenic Centre in London last autumn will be published by The Hellenic Institute under the sponsorship of the A.G. Leventis Foundation. The full programme and abstracts of the lectures can be found on the internet at: CyprusAbstracts.html

Charalambos Dendrinos, Imperatoris Manuelis Palaeologi tractatus de Processione Spiritus Sancti, De Ordine in Trinitate, Epistula ad Alexium Iagoup (editio Princeps) (Turnhout-Louvain: Corpus Christianorum, Series Graeca)

Jonathan Harris (ed.), Palgrave Advances: Byzantine History (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan)

Coming up next year:

For a list of forthcoming events, click here.

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

Three-Year Plan (2003-2006): The Hellenic Institute will continue its efforts to promote further its teaching and research activities, covering the whole span of Greek history and culture, by securing funds for the establishment of full-time lectureships in Modern Greek Studies with special emphasis on the History and Culture of Cyprus, Orthodox Spirituality and Post-Byzantine Studies. It will also continue its close collaboration with Universities, research centres and other institutions in Britain and overseas, by exchange programmes and collaborative projects and conferences.

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