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Paros – the white and blue

10.08.2017 in History

Paros: the white and the blue Located in the heart of the Cycladic islands, approximately 250 miles from Piraeus, you will find the beautiful island of Paros. Its history spans a wide spectrum of events and adventures through time – and since antiquity, Paros has been well-known for its gleaming white marble, found in countless ancient (and modern!) architectural wonders. Nowadays, Paros has a bit of everything a visitor would expect from an island in the Cycladic archipelago; white-painted villages, blue-domed churches, pebble beaches and fishing harbors overlooked by picturesque taverns and lively bars and cafés. The landscape is just…

Ermoupolis, A Nobel Town

15.07.2017 in History

Ermoupolis: A Noble Town The name Ermoupolis literally means the “city of the god Hermes”. When the town was established, the entire island was transformed into a hugely significant commercial and industrial center of Greece. It seems only right that Hermes, god of commercial affairs, rightly became the patron deity of the capital of Syros. Ermoupolis, the capital of Syros Island, is a picturesque colorful town with unique architecture and a striking aesthetic. By contrast with the rest of the Cycladic islands, Ermoupolis resembles the eastern Italian coastal towns rather than the typical white and blue “monotony” of the neighboring…

The Entrance to Phaistos

Phaistos the Minoan splendor

17.06.2017 in History

Phaistos, the Minoan splendor   The island of Crete was the birthplace of the mighty Minoan civilization. This highly developed society flourished from about 2600 to 1100 BCE. It is no wonder why Minoan influence spread beyond Crete into the broader Mediterranean and even Near Eastern cultures… The island of Crete was the birthplace of the mighty Minoan civilization, a name that references the mythological Cretan king, Minos. This highly developed society flourished from about 2600 to 1100 BCE – grand palaces, as well as structures that served as political and cultural centers of power characterized Minoan rule. Their influence spread…

Pancretan Association of America

15.06.2017 in History

The Pancretan Association of America celebrates 88 years! This July, the Pancretan Association will celebrate its 45th National Convention and 88th year. One of the largest and oldest societies in North America, the PAA, since its inception has continuously supported: Education, Culture, Church and Philanthropy. This history is reprinted with permission of the Pancretan Association Archives. Since ancient times, the Greeks had always wished to emigrate to foreign countries in an effort to find a better life. Looking back on history, we see that the Greeks, through their massive emigration, had created colonies where Greek was the only language spoken,…

Palaiologos – The last emperor

17.05.2017 in History

Konstantinos Palaiologos: the last Emperor The last Byzantine Emperor Konstantinos Palaiologos could be a character drawn from an ancient Greek tragedy. His heroic death during the siege of Constantinople on May 29, 1453, rendered him a legendary figure in Greek folklore while also essentially marking the end of the Byzantine Empire. Born in Constantinople in 1405, Konstantinos was one of the sons of Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos. In 1443, he became Despot of Morea (the ruler of Peloponnese) and launched numerous expeditions against the Ottoman invaders and their vassal of Latin dukes across continental Greece. Following the death of his…

The Fall of Constantinople

17.05.2017 in History

Constantinople, 1453: The Fall of the Queen of Cities The capture and destruction of the Byzantine capital by the Ottoman Turks is one of the most dramatic events in the history of the Western world. For the Byzantines, Constantinople was not just a mere city, but the Queen of all the cities, the Second Rome. The Roman Empire incarnated itself in the Byzantine Empire the years following the fall of Rome and the transportation of the Roman capital from Rome to Constantinople by Constantine the Great in 4th century CE. During a thousand years of history, the Byzantines stood against…

The Ancient Forum

10.04.2017 in History

The Ancient Forum of Athens Modern democratic societies owe much to that small corner of the world called Athens, the tiny ancient city known as the seat of Western Civilization. The many Greek city-states should not be underestimated… but Athens was the only place where all elements – democracy, science, philosophy, arts and administrative innovations – of an early western society gathered and flourished. The heart of Athens beat in the Agora (forum) where political, commercial, administrative and social activities took place. The cultural social and religious life of Athens began here, each and every morning. In the 6th c. BCE, the…

Katsantonis & Botsaris, Champions of Independence

18.01.2017 in History

Champions of the War of Independence: Antonis Katsantonis & Markos Botsaris The Greek War of Independence (1821-1830) produced a considerable number of both historic moments and heroic men and women fighting against the tyranny of the Ottoman Turks. But the flame of freedom had been slowly burning long before the revolution broke out in 1821… Many revolutionary attempts were made after the fall of in Constantinople (1453). Bands of rebel outlaws (klephtes) hiding in the mountains posed regular challenge to Ottoman authorities. Antonis “Katsantonis” Makriyiannis (1775-1808), son of Yannis Makriyannis, was among the most noteworthy klephtes. Well known in Central Greece, he was especially…

Politismos in the Classroom – Taking a Bow in Ancient Greece

18.12.2016 in History

POLITISMOS IN THE CLASSROOM: Taking a Bow in Ancient Greece This month, Politismos launched its new classroom project, “Taking a Bow in Ancient Greece” with the support of the Rocklin Family Academy of Schools at their Rocklin Academy Meyers campus. 56 children, second and sixth graders, participated in the inaugural program. Taking a Bow in Ancient Greece brings the museum experience into the classroom – artifacts, activity, entertainment, and education – to engage the students, complement curriculum and preserve Hellenism! So many of our communities are not fortunate enough to have a Greek history museum or culture center. With no physical “place” for…

The Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities

06.11.2016 in History

The Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities – Celebrating 40 Years The Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities (EUA) is a Special Service of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sportsunder the direction of Dr. Angeliki Simosi. Founded in 1976, its objective is the protection of the underwater antiquities. This year, the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities celebrates its 40th anniversary and Politismos had the great privilege to speak with its director, Dr. Angeliki Simosi. The EUA has a wide array of responsibilities, including research, care, conservation and preservation of underwater antiquitiess as well as the supervision of projects by various maritime and oceanographic institutions or…