Madison Morrison’s Web / Sentence of the Gods / Life / A Farewell to Greece

A Farewell to Greece

Madison Morrison

1  Arrival in Athens

Between 449 and 432 B.C. four temples, built to the design of an unknown architect, were dedicated: Amaryllis Hotel. On the hill west of the Agora, to Athena and Hephaestus. Veranzerou St. In the Agora proper, to Ares. Omonia. At Sunium, to Poseidon. (N.G.L. Hammond.) And at Rhamnus, to Nemesis. (A History of Greece). These marble temples have a common feature. (Oxford U.P.) On each flank of the peristyle. Arriving by train and taxi from the airport, where his plane has touched down at 7:00 am. The third column on each flank is aligned with the antae of the porch in front of the cella. At 8:25 am he is greeted by Mr. Filipides. None of these temples rivals the Parthenon or the Propylaea. Who confirms author’s reservation in Athens. But they too represent the highest order of craftsmanship. Where an all-night flight has brought him from Bangkok. The Hephaesteum has gained a certain dignity and grace through the excavation of the Agora. In transit from Taipei. The remains of the peristyle, which still crown the tip of Sunium’s once “wooded headland, washed by the waves of the sea,” welcome the sailor as he enters the Saronic Gulf and sets his course for Athens.


And the Odyssey. Modern Greek men, a little late, in pastel button down shirts. He limited his colors to white, red, ochre and black. Are walking briskly toward their offices. Used comparatively little shading. A tall woman all in black. And expressed strong actions and emotions. Hustling to cross the irregular pavement before the light changes at the intersection. According to the opinion of Aristotle. Loses a high sling, her left shoe. Polygnotus in painting and Sophocles in drama portrayed men as better than we are. She must return to right it on the sidewalk with her one shod foot. As good at revealing men’s character. Then slip it on her left foot again. The same might be said of Polyclitus in statuary.


So universal was the interest in heroic themes and so deep the love of those values which were shared by many states in Greek lands that they became the burden of the first history composed in Greece. Author imagines the street filled with modern Korean automobiles: A black Hyundai Sonata III, a white Hyundai Santa Fe, a grey SsanYong Korando. Herodotus of Halicarnassus wrote a history of the Persian wars in which he contrasted the culture of Greece with those of the non-Greek world. A maroon Kia Sephia, a black Hyundai Grandeur, a white Kia Lotte. Born on the coastal fringe where Greek and Asiatic met. A white Hyundai Cobra, a grey Hyundai Avante, a cream SsanYong Musso. Herodotus traveled widely throughout the known world. Author’s cappuccino and chocolate doughnut finally appear. Everything that he saw and heard was of absorbing interest to his inquiring mind: Just as he is finishing his pre-coffee glass of ice water. The burial rites of the Scythian kings. A white Kia Carnival. The fat-tailed sheep of Arabia. A silver Hyundai Grandeur. The original race that gave way to the Phoenicians. A pair of grey Hyundais. The circumnavigation of Africa. (A Tucson and a Galloper II.)


The color of the salt in Libya. A turquoise SsanYong Astana, a white Kia Spectra, a white Epirus GM270. And he arranged his rich and varied material in the traditional forms of “tales” (logoi) as evolved by his predecessors in Ionia, the “logographers.” Two grey Daewoo Espero cop cars cruise past. Just as Homer had surpassed the authors of epic “lays” in his epics. A bronze Delfino motor scooter scoots by. So did Herodotus surpass his predecessors. A white Kia Sorento bridal vehicle. By interweaving his “tales” with well known historical details. A grey Kia Sonata taxi glides to the curb. His flowing prose. By 9:11 am pedestrian traffic has thinned but vehicular traffic has picked up. Even in translation. A blue Daewoo Tico, a grey Hyundai Accent, a white Daewoo Damas. Is unrivaled in limpidity and charm. A yellow Kia Visto. Most suitable to a long story read aloud. A redhead, keying her cell phone, strides past, in red top, cutoff jeans and red tights. Taking for his field the span of human memory and the frontiers of the world. It is 9:25. He composed his own “tales” or adapted his predecessors’. Time to check in. Under the rubric of a central dramatic theme: the conflict between East and West.


In preparation for his return to the Amaryllis Hotel. This quality of mind has earned him the title “Father of History.” Author wipes his eyeglasses with the red paper napkin provided on a white salver by the Apollonian Café. Whereas others recorded, Herodotus inquired. The pedestrian signal at Odos 3 Septemvriou turns red. Why were priestesses at Dodona called “doves”? To display the static silhouette of a standing man. Why did the Nile flood? Behind it, at the continuation of Veranzerou St., is posted a red circle, a white horizontal oblong within it barring vehicular but not pedestrian traffic from entering. Why were the Scythians nomadic? A mauve Hyundai Accent, a white Kia Optima, a white Hyundai Trajet buzz by. Why did Greece and Persia go to war? A hefty red-haired woman in black low-cut dress takes a seat at the next table, opens a pack of cigarettes and, glancing back at author, lights up, dangling a white sandal off her big toe. The meaning of “history” (historia) is inquiry. She pushes her reddish tinted glasses up over her brow and into her dyed red locks. And a written history. As she takes out a black cell phone to answer a brief call. Is the result of inquiry. A 66-year-old man takes a seat to look her over.

2  From Onomia to Akropoli

The Propylaea, designed by Mnesicles, was begun in 437 but never completed. Riding the subway from the Onomia station to the station for Akropoli, we emerge via the “Exit” (“Exodos” in Modern Greek), one floor below street level, to view plaster casts of “the sculptures from the East pediment of the Parthenon.” As in the Parthenon, the material was Pentelic marble, along with a sparing use of black lime-stone from Eleusis. A tourist family. The Propylaea enclosed the only entry to the Acropolis. Consisting of. The roadway was not stepped but sloping. A mother. In order to carry the wheeled vehicles of processions. A father. The portal for the roadway was 24 feet high and nearly 13 feet wide. With their three teenage sons. And it was flanked on each side by two doorways of diminishing size in the main wall. Their nationality indeterminable, but probably Greek provincial, whether from one of the islands or the Peloponnesus or elsewhere on the Mainland not clear. As the outer porch was so long, the marble roof had to be supported on six Ionic columns, three on the roadside stylobates. They have assembled (two seated) before the seated Theseus, his hands feet and nose broken off, his genitals badly mutilated.


The inner porch, supporting the eastern facade with three Doric columns (Hammond). “The pediment sculptures” (a plaque to one side of the subway’s plaster cast figures), “executed between 438 and 432 B.C., are the work of Phidias.” Was much shorter and therefore needed no Ionic columns to support its continuous “ceiling of white marble, unmatched for the beauty and size of its blocks” (Pausanius). “They represent figures of supernatural size cut in the round from Pentelic marble.” The porches and the entries were to have been flanked by two west wings, but the original plan was never completed. “According to the 2nd century traveler Pausanius, their theme was the birth of Athena (East Pediment) and the struggle between Athena and Poseidon over Attica (West Pediment).” Even in its ruined state the Propylaea forms a spacious and dignified entry, in which the strength of the Doric and the grace of the Ionic are harmoniously united. “Depicted are: Helios and the heads of the four horses of his chariot, as he rises from the waves of Oceanos; opposite him, Dionysus, in his customary panther skin; seated figures of Demeter and Kore; and Hebe, who moves toward them announcing Athena’s birth.”


We escape by means of a final escalator, to find ourselves, half way up its ascent, beneath a brilliant sky, before it reaches ground level. As the central theme of the Persian Wars, and therefore of his history, Herodotus took the clash between two cultures, or rather between two groups of cultures, the Greek and the non-Greek. Author imagines a passing blue Kia Bongo pickup truck. This comprehensive view enriched his treatment and general understanding. “The central group,” however, “which represented the birth of Athena, was lost when the Parthenon was converted into a Christian Church (5th century A.D.).” A parked black Kia Carstar. In political terms he saw a clash between the spirit of freedom and the exercise of despotism and fully realized the significance of its outcome for the future of the world. With no clear sign for how to reach the Acropolis, we cross the street to stand before the window of a watch shop. His final inquiry was into the ultimate causation of historical events. The pendulums of several wall clocks swing out of sync with one another. In the life of the individual he saw that chance played so important a part that no man could be called happy till death had put him beyond its grasp.

A white Hyundai Verna passes. In the lives of nations and of the great men who affect the destinies of nations. Followed by a maroon Kia Sportage. Herodotus saw the hand of God at work. Author is reflected twice, in the shop’s outer window and again in the inner window that protects the watches from within the shop. Punishing excessive ambition, impious behavior and conceit. He imagines, reflected in the window too, a white Kia Avella passing behind him. When God intervened in human affairs. Followed by a blue Bongo Silent. He was jealous and disruptive. A metallic blue Kia Morning. The thrones of the mighty were cut down, the poor and the innocent often crushed in the ruins. Having glimpsed what appears to be a corner of the Propylaea, author sidles now in the direction of the Acropolis itself. So too in the natural world the providence of God preserved a balance between the warring species. He passes a parked metallic blue Kia Carens. Faith and observation carried him no farther. As a blue Hyundai Porter pulls up at the corner. He did not endeavor, as Aeschylus had done, to justify the works of God in terms of human justice. Followed by a silver SsanYong Pexton, its driver honking his horn.


Of course there are defects in his history. He is diverted from his classic goal, however, by a tourist street, one of whose sidewalks is paved in broad slabs of marble. Like his contemporaries, Herodotus believed in the efficacy of oracles, the significance of dreams and the apparition of “heroes.” Purchasing a can of coffee, author takes a seat in the shade on the two marble steps of an entranceway, relishing another cool opportunity to rest, observe and write. A traveler himself and for long a man without a city, he had broadened his view of mankind, but he had not focused his attention on city-state politics. “Coca-Cola” / “Coca-Cola,” read the fringes of each of five umbrellas at an outdoor restaurant. Equally, he was no military general. “Greek Roots,” read the Roman letters of a jeweler’s shop opposite. He could describe equipment or grasp principles, but he could not understand or reconstruct the tactics employed in ground or naval warfare. A blue van with a swooping yellow road and a stylized head of Hermes sits parked, “Hellenic Post” lettered on its side in yellow. In the idiom of his day he used speeches to enliven narration, but he did not imply that such speeches were replicas of what was actually said.


“Hey, Bill” says a grossly overweight American woman to her hefty husband, “These are pretty,” as she holds up ugly representations of classic statues. Such defects, however, or peculiarities in modern eyes, shrink into insignificance. “Let’s buy a couple for Cassy and Ted.” When we consider the range of Herodotus’ interest and originality. A large plump dog lies asleep on the marble pavement in the shade of a plane tree. And the sureness and sanity of his judgments about men and life itself. Author, at last refreshed, decides to exert himself for the climb to the Acropolis. For Herodotus travel was easier than it had ever been before. As he arises a purple European car exits through gates in a construction site across the way. The widespread peace, the safety of the seas, and the growth of trade encouraged men to exchange goods or ideas, especially with Athens, the center of maritime commerce. On the plywood panels covering the building are pictured what its windows and doors will eventually look like. Like Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Zeno and Socrates, all his contemporaries, Herodotus frequented Athens, though he lived at Halicarnassus and on the island of Samos, and in 443 settled as a citizen in Thurii.

3  The Actual Acropolis

Beyond the tourist street we take its continuation toward the entrance to the Acropolis. In this age of intellectual discovery Athens became the center of art and philosophy. Once through the gate and into the precinct. She was the pioneer of a new world. We come upon the ruined sanctuary wall of the Theater of Dionysus. She carried the principles of liberty and equality to their logical conclusions in a constitution which became a model for others. Author’s eye ascends to the high walls of the “city above,” rising thereby in observation even higher than the cypresses in the near ground. New and old were fused in the crucible of the Attic Drama, of which the flame was religion, because religion was the flame of life. The sun is bright, the air clear, no smoke visible. In 458 the Athenian people, sitting on the hillside below the Acropolis, watched unfold the trilogy in which Aeschylus affirmed the majesty of Zeus, the son of Cronos, king of the Gods. We arrive at “the Auditorium of the Theatre of Dionysus, the most important building on the Southern Slope of the Acropolis.” For the first time scenery was available for the production, leading Anaxagoras and Democritus to inquire into the theory of perspective.


“This was the place, reads a plaque, “where the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, along with the comedies of Aristophanes, had their first performances in the 5th century B.C.” Religion and reason were soon, however, to come into conflict. “The theater was subsequently enlarged in antiquity.” When they did so, a poet greater than Aeschylus was producing plays on the hillside and teaching the citizens that the principal part of religion is understanding.” “The rows of seats consist of large finely carved blocks of limestone, quarried at the coast of Piraeus.” Sophocles was a colleague of Pericles and later of Nicias as general and an official adviser (proboulos) after the disaster in Sicily. “The seats of the first row are exquisite examples of marble carving.” He accepted and served the state, its democracy and its empire. “The most elaborate seat, in the middle, was reserved for the priest of Dionysus.” As he accepted and served the orthodox religion of his day, not from traditionalism but from conviction. “To whom the theater was dedicated.” His salient quality was serenity in the face of life and death. “The theater became derelict following the fall of the Roman Empire.” For him belief in God was unquestioned.


Author ascends a few more yards, only to take a seat on a bench under a tree to remove his jacket, enjoy the breeze and describe the scene. Like Herodotus, with whom he had ties of friendship, Sophocles did not attempt to explain or explore the ways of God in terms of the universe. An unidentified woman in her late twenties approaches. It was enough for him to observe the ways of God in relation to the state, the family and the individual. She stops, blows a whistle and shoos away several 60-year-old tourists who have strayed off the concrete path into the precinct of a stoa being restored. There he accepted the traditional beliefs that, if the proper order within the family or state was disrupted. We climb again to the peripatos, the road circulating about the Acropolis. God’s retribution followed: On our right is the temple of Asclepios, “one of whose two halls served for the visitors to the Stoa, who stayed there overnight.” On Thebes, for example, in The Theban Cycle. “They were miraculously cured by the God, who appeared in their dreams.” Elsewhere he used human agents. We have gained our first overview of the city of Athens, through TV antennae and cypresses. Such as Electra and Orestes in his Electra.


The breeze has grown cooler from the shade and the higher elevation. The center of Sophoclean tragedy was man, as citizen and as individual. Author passes the (absent) “Temple of Themis.” Within God’s overruling plan man had free will not to control his fate but rather to face his fate. Three tourist girls in their early twenties are examining its vacancy. Oedipus killed his father and married his mother in ignorance, but he tore out his eyes in knowledge by an act of free will. For today’s outing the first has chosen yellow shorts and a black blouse, the second, blue shorts and a white tee shirt, the third, long Levis and a turquoise tank top. So too the situations which confronted Ajax, Antigone and Electra were not of their own making, but each responded to the sitation with freedom of will. Author passes the totally empty bronze foundry. Their response at its noblest was guided by the unwritten laws which Antigone invokes. Three gorgeous, tall, lanky, dark-brown-skinned Indian girls precede us as the final ascent to Erechtheum and Parthenon commences. “Laws immutable, unwritten, everlasting, not ordained today or yesterday, of origin unknown.” Their own awkward, feminine ascent is infinitely charming.


These represent God’s laws in contrast to Creon’s edicts. One, basically skinny, nonetheless has a slightly bulging bare midriff. They are what we call the laws of conscience but Sophocles called the laws of understanding. The two girls ahead of the lagging third, comment in Bengali upon their experience. They represent at the same time the ideals established for men by God. Laughing and smiling. And the ideals accepted by Periclean Athens. As the final ascent to Erechtheum and Parthenon begins we reach the base of the Propylaea to join many affluent people from around the world. The characters in Sophocles’ plays show man at his noblest. Who are also participating in this pilgrimage. Because they belong to a noble era in the history of the world. From this height extensive modern Athens glitters with mirrored surfaces, and smoky hills hidden behind others rise as a rim half circling the city. When men analyzed the realities of life. Having viewed the monuments and visited the museum, we turn from these images embedded in memory (though one had forgotten an earlier Heracles battling a sea monster) to the broadest possible view of sky, hills, sea and the modern city. And faced them with open-eyed courage.

4  Interview with Chrisa

MM: As a modern Greek, your view about the relationship between modern Greece and ancient Greece would be of great interest. In the fourth century writers found an absorbing subject of inquiry and portraiture in the individual man and his qualities.

Chrisa: I must admit that I do not know much about ancient Greek culture. (Chapter 3 of J.N.L. Hammond’s History, “The Intellectual Background of the Fourth Century.”)

MM: You probably know more about Greek culture than most people who are completely Greek in ancestry, since as you have said for you it is something of an alien culture (for though your mother is Greek, your father is German). His intellectual capacity and his religious perception, his inner psychology, his moral sense and his response to education.

Chrisa: Well, but I learned Greek from my mother and grew up in Crete.

MM: Oh, I didn’t realize that. So your education was that of a modern Greek after all! I once spent several months in Crete, near Amnisos. Where did you grow up?

Chrisa: In Xania. Anthropology, geography and ethnology became once more the subjects of inquiry. My mother still lives in Xania.

MM: And did you also speak German? (Your English is so very good!)

Chrisa: I learned German in the Goethe Institute. Now that books were more readily available, scholarship developed rapidly. In Xania. As the sum of human knowledge increased, it was encompassed by the great schools of philosophy.

MM: Really? Which had supreme confidence in the power of the human mind.

Chrisa: I did not learn it at school (except at the university in Munich). It was as if man’s intellect had burst the walls of the city-state to shed its light upon a wider world.

MM: I have just been in Korea, where I met the head of the Goethe Institute in Kyoto, who told me that so few Japanese can speak German that the Institute must conduct its business in English. As for historical writing, Ephorus of Cyme in Asia Minor (c. 405-330) wrote a universal history with Greece as its center. Tell me, what was it like to learn German at the Goethe institute in Xania? His narrative of Greek affairs ran from the Return of the Heracleidae to the beginning of Philip’s reign and was continued by his son Demophilus down to the end of the Sacred War. Did you enjoy it?

Chrisa: I didn’t like German, so I didn’t learn it. While the narrative of Persian affairs ended with Persia’s intervention at the siege of Perinthus. I hated it.

MM: Why was that? It was like school?

Chrisa: The Goethe Institute in Greece, you go inside and you think you are in Germany. Panhellenism and federal developments play a more prominent part. It was like a totally different world, a different country, for me. Than personality in his interpretation of the fourth century. Right there in Xania!

MM: Now with your father do you speak German? His emphasis on “general peace” (koine eirene), transmitted through the narrative of Diodorus Siculus.

Chrisa: Yes, but sometimes we speak Italian. Led him to see the culmination of events in the unification of Greece by Philip. Because he speaks Italian, and so do I.

MM: You know, when we first started corresponding by email, you told me that your English was not very good, but your English is excellent! A scholar rather than a man of affairs.

Chrisa: But I never studied it. Ephorus undertook the enormous task of synthesizing the work of his predecessors and created the general structure of ancient history.

MM: You have picked it up just by talking to people in Greece? He showed great erudition in studying the origins of cities and the geography of the world.

Chrisa: I have learned it from the television, because we have the subtitles and can hear the language, and then I went also two months in New York. But he did not travel throughout the world as Herodotus had done. To study there in the university.

MM: How often, as someone living in Greece, do you speak English? In his approach to history Euphorus owed much to a fifth-century figure, Hellanicus of Lesbos, who studied mythology, chronology and local history.

Chrisa: Because of my work with international businessmen I speak very often. His most famous work, the Atthis or local history of Athens, appeared c. 402. I speak English every week, or twice a week, but I like it, I try to speak English whenever I can.

MM: In it he dated the first king of Athens to 1796 B.C. (which we would call the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age). When I went around Greece, in the year 2000, through the Aegean islands and the Peloponnesus, telling people in English that I was Odysseus. And the fall of Troy probably to 1240. I found very few people who could speak to me in this language. He related the career of Theseus in considerable detail and brought his narrative down to the closing years of the Peloponnesian War. Even the clerks in the hotels on the islands did not know English.

Chrisa: Maybe they were afraid, because you speak too good English. While history flourished, poetry declined. Because everybody speak it here, really.

MM: Well, I met a Greek on the plane yesterday, and he said that this is a difference in generations: The lyrical joy in life which sprang from the idealism and religious faith of fifth-century Athens. That just in the last decade younger people in Greece, he said, have all learned English. Disappeared with the changing conditions of the fourth century.

Chrisa: Yes, it’s like that.

MM: Tragedy did not evolve beyond the stage to which the great tragedians had carried it. You might be interested to know that, though this is also the case in parts of Asia (that younger people can all speak English), in other parts of Asia it is not the case. Euripides’ plays were produced more and more in the numerous theatres of the Greek world. I have just been in Korea, for example, where almost no one speaks English. As interest grew in individual psychology, romantic themes and secular problems.

Chrisa: I can understand: it’s hard for them, it’s very hard. The plays of Agathon, a younger contemporary of Euripides, were also popular.

MM: To return to our earlier subject: He treated choral lyrics as picturesque interludes in a play of realistic action. What do you think about Greece through the ages? And invented his plots without regard to any mythological tradition. Ancient Greece and medieval Greece and modern Greece?

Chrisa: I learned history in the school. In comedy two plays survive from the fourth century: I like it very much, it is my favorite lecture. Both written by Aristophanes. But we only learned the details, not the interpretation, and had to repeat exactly as it was written. In Women in Parliament (c. 392) the Athenian women occupy the Pnyx. And now we do not remember the details. They are tired of men in politics, so self-seeking and quarrelsome and so vacillating in foreign policy. It’s very pity, because I study so hard. And they declare a New Order of share-and-share-alike in husbands and young men too. I feel that I do not know nothing about the history of Greece. Provided that the slave girls and prostitutes are put out of business.

MM: Did you by any chance read Herodotus in school? The New Order is a parody not so much of democracy as of the philosophical ideas which Plato was then propounding and later published in the Republic.

Chrisa: Sometime in school, yes, but I do not remember. The situations are nearer to realistic human life. Most of people, nobody knows this in Greece. The swindler, the faith-healer in the temple of Asclepius, and the parody of a sophisticated love-song in a fashionable city. There are a minority of people in Greece who are studying the ancient culture, but most people, they do not know nothing about all that.

MM: In Women in Parliament Aristophanes claimed that he was tapping a new source in Comedy, which yielded laughter rather than satire. What would you really say is your relation to Greek culture (you may be very honest)?

Chrisa: Well, I am not like the young man who was here with us before we began talking. The direct exhortation by the poet has disappeared. You remember, you were asking him about the tomb of Philip in Veria and how to get there? The Chorus has become so insignificant in its utterances that the text of Wealth provides at times no lyrics but just the entry, “a bit by the Chorus.” He is very Greek and admires his culture, and so he knows all this about Veria and Philip and is very proud of it, but I do not.

MM: Oratory flourished in the unsettled conditions of the fourth century. Would it be possible to say, then (and again, you may be very honest), that you do not like Greek culture? Private life was riddled with litigation, while public men advocated policies in the Assembly and fought for their lives, like gladiators, in the people’s courts.

Chrisa: Yes, I like it, but I do not think that is has been the best culture in the world. As litigants spoke in person, they often hired a professional orator to compose their speeches for them. I think that Asian culture has the same importance as Greek culture. Supreme among them was Demosthenes. Also I think that Greek culture is also not the most oldest one. His evocation of emotion in his audience was achieved by a wide variety of effects from which humor alone was lacking. Is it?

MM: No, it’s not very old. The intensity of his feelings. The Chinese like to say, “We have five thousand years of history, and Greece has only three thousand years of culture.” The vigor of his argument. (In fact Indian culture is older than Chinese.) And the speed of his narrative. The older cultures in this part of the world are not Greek but Egyptian and Mesopotamian, and so on. Assail the mind of the modern reader with such force that he is constrained, often against his better judgment. Classical Greek culture, by comparison with these cultures, is really a modern culture. To accept Demosthenes’ point of view.

Chrisa: Modern?

MM: When I was at the Acropolis today I felt that, as brilliant as Greek culture was in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. The superb quality of Attic Oratory was rivaled by that of written prose. It is all very rational by comparison with Asian cultures. Whereas Xenophon wrote with a natural charm and ease. Athena, after all, is a goddess of reason. Isocrates (436-338) laid the foundations of a studied artistic prose.

Chrisa: Hmmm?

MM: After a short career as a speech-writer. What do you think about the Greek gods? He turned to the teaching of oratory and developed his own talent as a political essayist.

Chrisa: Hmmm, I think it’s not too much emotion in this culture. He developed a periodic style which had more balance, smoothness and amplitude than that of Thucydides. It’s aristocracy and the sclaves [sic] and no equality in this culture and for this I do not like it very much. He combined dignity with precision and clarity with embellishment.

MM: But on the other hand, Democracy does in a sense begin with Athena, doesn’t it, in ancient Greece? His works became the model for stately prose, whether cast in the form of essay, encomium or open letter. In the Parthenon and the political institutions of Athens. In due course he became the model for Cicero.

Chrisa: To be honest: A less stately but more charming style. I have not had the time to think about that and to know why or how it became from here. Was employed in the “dialogue,” which represented conversations, actual or imaginary, in a literary setting. I don’t know much about the question.

MM: Xenophon incorporated such conversations in his portrayal of the great Cyrus and in his memoirs of Socrates. What would you say, then, that your culture consists of? But they excelled more in conversational ease than in dramatic force.

Chrisa: I am not quite sure. The master of the Dialogue was Plato.

MM: To the contrary, I think you do. In his hands the characters live. For you are a very intelligent and knowledgeable person and have a very balanced view of the world (perhaps because you speak so many languages and have traveled so much). Their arguments are cogent, and the thrill of intellectual discovery is re-experienced. Do you think that perhaps you represent a new stage in the development of culture, in which culture is not tied necessarily to one particular country but has become “globalized,” as some people say today? Few passages are as moving as the close of the Phaedo.

Chrisa: No, it’s good, it’s normal, that every country has its culture. Or as beautiful as Diotima’s description of love in the Symposium. You can say that every traditional culture is the same. His style is amazingly versatile. I will never be like old Greeks who are very proud about being Greek. He describes a scene, paints a character. My mother is very proud to be Greek. Sets out a disputation. She is like, “Ah, Greek is best.” And expresses a spiritual belief with equal charm. For me it’s, like, the same to be Italian or Chinese or Indian. For in every mood his writing has a “noiseless current and grandeur.”

MM: Have you spent much time in Italy? Unmatched by subsequent writers of dialogues. For me Italian Renaissance culture (though the Renaissance was a relatively short period) is the equal of many of the much older cultures of the world, Chinese, Japanese, whatever. Aristotle, too, was famed for his Dialogues (which have not survived).

Chrisa: I don’t know how is Japanese culture, so I cannot say, but I always thought that I don’t have to go to Italia, because it is the same like Greece. As the claim of the city-state and the appeal of orthodox religion grew weaker. Many Greeks don’t have interest on Italia. Men began to lose the sense of their vocation. But I was in Munich and I took the train to Rome. Uncertain of their own ideals. And I was very surprised. They relied more on formal education than on family training. It was a little like Greece, because of all the monuments, but it had a different feeling. To give a standard of conduct. It was more elegant. To their children. It was more emotion there; they wanted things to look beautiful.

MM: At Athens Socrates discussed the theoretical basis of knowledge and conduct. Yes, the Italians love beautiful things, don’t they? Sparta continued to give her traditional form of state-education to all her citizens.

Chrisa: My mother met me in Rome, and she said: In the fourth century the sophists plied their trade throughout the Greek world. “Ah, they steal all the things from us.” Spreading often a specious philosophy of superficial knowledge and of self-interest.

MM: But there is an old tradition of that (isn’t there?) in which Vergil, for example, imitates Homer and calls his Roman poem Aeneis, using a Greek word, so the Romans, we might say, were devoted to Greek culture as the Japanese or Koreans, say, were to Chinese culture. Socrates had many successors, and the versatility of his genius was apparent in the diversity of the view of those who came after him. But this does not mean that the Koreans or the Japanese are not very different from the Chinese, or the Romans from the Greeks.

Chrisa: The first school of higher education, analogous to a modern university. Yes, the Italians are very different from the modern Greeks. Was founded by Isocrates.

MM: You mentioned emotion, for example. His aims were moral and practical. There is nothing in Greek culture like Italian opera, is there? He regarded grammar, arithmetic, disputation and literature as basic subjects for preliminary training.

Chrisa: And a bigger problem is that the modern Greeks didn’t get forward [have not made progress], like the Italians who went forward and many made other important culture. And he set the pupils, who came to him at university age, to study for three or four years. Greeks no. Not to study the theoretical basis of knowledge. OK, maybe because there were the Turks here. But to learn the art of expounding what they knew writing and speaking.

MM: Well that’s a big part of the problem isn’t it? He advocated the claims neither of individual ambition nor of city-state politics, but of Greece as a whole. For the Italians in a sense have a continuous culture, whereas Greek cultural tradition is discontinuous, because the Turkish and the Byzantine empires do not have much to do with ancient Greece (though others argue for its continuity). Since he sincerely believed that the highest interests of individuals and of city-states lay in the advance of Hellenic unity.

Chrisa: Yes, the occupation of Turks . . . He gave close supervision to his students.

MM: But modern Greek culture (if I may interrupt) seems to me a kind of model for modern world culture. He set an example by speaking and writing himself on Panhellenic topics. Because, even if you go back to Homer, you find a universal tendency in Greek culture (in the Iliad one can’t distinguish the Trojans from the Greeks, for they all have the same kind of names and were probably all Greek), and the gods too, the system of religion, was a universal system, of belief shared by all Greeks). The greatest of Socrates’ followers, Plato (c. 429-347), founded the Academy c. 387. So in our globalized modern world, ancient Greece (by which we mean Athens, but also what preceded it, in pre-classical Greece, and what followed it, in Alexandrian Egypt) is like the modern world. He expounded a theory of knowledge, which he held to be the true basis of wisdom, conduct and politics and thereby created an intellectual religion in place of orthodox piety. So that in the history of Greece you have the original culture, followed, as you were about to say, by the Ottoman culture and then by others, all giving away eventually to a relatively diverse modern culture. And he endeavored to incorporate his intellectual religion into a training for life in the city-state. As a consequence you have both an historical, and a contemporary, multi-ethnic culture here, as one sees in most regions of the world, and you yourself are sort of a model for it, since you speak English and German and Italian, as well as the Greek that is your mother tongue. Elementary and secondary education, he believed, should train the child by imitation and habituation towards the practice and understanding of good principles.

Chrisa: Yes, but it may be that there are many Greeks today, young people (that is, people under 40), who do not know about the ancient culture, but they know very good the languages (many speak French or English or Italian), because they study abroad, like in the Erasmus program. Because the models for imitation must be perfect, Plato expelled from his Republic those poets and those forms of music which were unworthy.

MM: What about you, can you speak French too, and have you been to France? When the faculty of reason dawns, it should gradually take control of the appetitive and willful sides of the personality or “soul.”

Chrisa: No, I cannot speak French, though I learned it a little, and I have been to France, and to Spain and to England, to most of the European countries. When there is “harmony” in the soul, an understanding of principles develops.

MM: Can you imagine leaving Greece and going to live somewhere else? But this understanding is at first based only on instruction and observation.

Chrisa: Yes, I’m just checking out how I can go do that, because I don’t feel like I can really live here, I feel strange. The final fruit of education is a knowledge of abstract ideas.

MM: You cannot live in Greece? The contemplation of this world is, according to Plato, the highest function of the philosopher.

Chrisa: I might be able to live in Crete. When he applied this system to rulers, warriors and ordinary citizens, he prescribed that the last of these would have no family life and no private property. But the life here in Athens is very hard. Their children would be reared by state nurses, learn music, literature and gymnastics, complete two years of military training and then, if fit for it, undergo a course of higher education.

MM: Though I know a little about Athens in antiquity, I wish you would tell me more about life in the contemporary capital. The subjects of the course were to be:

Chrisa: Modern Athens, if you want to compare it to ancient Athens, one very big factor is the very big number of immigrants, from Pakistan. Theory of Number. From North Africa and the Middle East. Plane and Solid Geometry. From East Asia. Astronomy and Harmonics. In Omonia, where you are staying, this is the most bad area, because they all live there. Only a few selected students would go on to study Philosophy.

MM: But, you know, in classical Athens and Rome, the slaves were also immigrants. Which leads to the contemplation of the absolute. At the time of Augustus, when Rome was larger than any time before the modern age, there were immigrants from all over the world and they constituted a higher proportion of foreigners in the city than they do even today. These few would become the rulers of the state not from preference but from a sense of duty.

Chrisa: Here is the same, I think, the same picture: for the immigrants do all the work that the Greeks do not want to do, so they are the slaves and live in very bad conditions, in houses with no lights, with no opportunity to be integrated. In the Republic Plato expounded the nature of virtue and justice first and gave his plan of an Ideal State only in outline. They do the jobs like building houses and cleaning, and they cannot work in a store. However, in the Laws on which he was probably working from c. 360 till his death. You will never see an African woman in a normal store, selling clothes, or whatever. He was concerned primarily with politics of a practical kind and therefore with a more detailed system of education, which in some respects is different.

MM: Well, as you know, I am American, and we are accustomed to having a very wide ethnic diversity; in fact our country is all based upon immigrants, except for the native Americans (who themselves may have immigrated from Asia). The state for which Plato devised his scheme of education was to be a city-state on the Spartan model. Do you think that The United States could serve as a kind of model of tolerance toward immigrants and laws against discrimination? In economy not urbanized and not maritime but agricultural. We have recently had two Afro-American Secretaries of State. In population restricted to a constant figure of 5,040 citizen families. We may soon have a Black or Hispanic or Asian president. In labor dependent entirely on a subject population.

Chrisa: No, I think that American society is very special. In capitalism so controlled that the richest citizen family was no more than four times richer than the poorest. Europe will never be like America. The citizen-class, possessing two inalienable estates per family, enjoyed sufficient leisure for education and politics.

MM: That’s very interesting. In its constitution Plato wished to combine the merits of monarchy and democracy. What is it that keeps Europe from being like America? The laws themselves were to be the rulers. Why is it, for example, that the Europeans cannot get along with one another, or that it took such an ordeal to establish a common currency, or that Europe cannot formulate an effective, common foreign policy and must forever criticize those who think positively and pursue common goals in economics and politics?

Chrisa: On the other hand the magistrates were to be the people’s representatives. For me it’s good: I don’t like euros, and I like the idea of each country having its own culture and maybe the European Union is a good idea, not just a fiction, as it used to be, though it all seems now to be just for money. And the people were to become so just and intelligent.

MM: Do you think that you perhaps are expressing an optimism impossible for older people, and that you and your generation should revive this “fiction,” as you call it? His early dialogues put previous theories of knowledge to the test and found them wanting.

Chrisa: The older generation had to do with the war, but we do not have to do with it and instead can live in peace and with the idea of the European Union in mind and be connected.

MM: The basis of Plato’s philosophy was Socrates’ dictum that virtue is knowledge. Then perhaps someone like you, with your many languages and wide experience of international exchange and your idealism should be President of Europe!

5  Thessaloniki of a Monday Morning

Panoramic 7:00 am view of harbor, bay and cityscape from Aboforo Nikhe, the one-way harbor-side drive. Aristotle of Stagirus (c. 385-322), who was a member of the Academy for the last twenty years of Plato’s life. A black Mercedes pulls up to the curb before a fashionable café. And who opened a rival institute at the Lyceum in 335. On whose wall a many-colored poster advertises “Stigma,” a punk band. Put a similar faith in the value of education for the city-state. The skies are scumbled with intermittent clouds. As man is unique in the conscious direction of his activities. Flocks of pigeons, sparrows and swallows flutter up into them, heading inland. The task of the statesman is to direct the city-state towards the right life. Sun struck. He takes for his chief assistant the educator. A white cruise ship makes its way to port. Who trains the citizen’s mind to understand what is right. As freighters ride at anchor in the middle distance. And the citizen’s will to do what is right. Their forecastles more gently illuminated. For Aristotle, too, state education was to be compulsory and universal for the members of the citizen class. A long-haired twenty-something is approaching down the sidewalk on her way to work.


The subjects of study were to be similar to those outlined by Plato in the Republic and the Laws. As she trots past, in a white top, jeans and pointy white leather shoes. The right life is a double life of good citizenship in the light of practical wisdom. She makes the mating gesture of tucking behind her ears both sides of her dishwater blond hair. And the contemplation, which constitute the quintessence of philosophy. The cruise ship has docked, smoke still issuing from its stack. Aristotle’s ideal state also follows the Spartan pattern in its economy, class structure. “Anek.” And insulation from commerce and capitalism. Reads the name of the line in blue letters on its blue-bordered yellow surface. It too has a mixed constitution. Author repositions himself by 180 degrees to observe the curve in the bay. The political aim of the educator is to cause the citizen’s good judgment to coincide with that of the good legislator. Which commences with a white stone medieval tower and continues with other public buildings: a large modern hotel, apartment blocks, smaller hotels, rows of town houses. It too has a mixed constitution. Decreasing in height as the eye moves along the hazy curvature to a promontory covered with trees.


Whereas Isocrates envisaged a modification of city-state autonomy within a wider framework and devised his course of education accordingly. Across the boulevard, on a wide promenade, a few middle-aged walkers pursue their bidirectional exercise regime. Plato and Aristotle both regarded the city state. Only occasionally does a young, often dark-skinned, jogger intervene. Indeed in material terms the Spartan city state. A woman in her early 60s, dressed entirely in black, lumbers past. (Although they criticized Sparta’s institutions and aims.) Along the narrower sidewalk on the opposite side of the boulevard. As the highest form of man’s political existence. A man in his 40s, dressed in a dark suit but with no tie. At the first sight their conversation seems strange. Is talking on his cell phone. Yet they observed that the Greek city state had produced the finest achievements of civilized man, and their faith in the future was still unshaken. “Party, Party, June 6,” reads another poster, this one pasted askew on the marble facing of the entranceway to a building before which flies the flag of Chile. The limitation in size was necessary, so that all the citizens should know one another and also know their leaders.


A medium-sized white ferry, its hull in black, its water-line in red, begins to traverse the bay, quite quickly, making its way across a third of the expanse as author writes this single sentence, in fact draws even with him at the midway point, and moves on beyond it. Aristotle, whose father was a doctor, had a more biological approach to the “soul” than did Plato. As wispy grey clouds gather high over the boulevard, the surface of the water turns to slate, farther out, to a bluish grey. A seed contains the actuality of the final product, whether it be an individual sheep or oak tree. A homeless man on the promenade pushes before him a shopping cart burdened with many large pastel colored plastic bags containing all his possessions. The seed is the activator; matter, the medium; growth or making, the activity; and the actuality in the seed. the end (or final form) of the object. He has placed an electric orange traffic triangle on the front of his cart. All four components are required for production and, in this sense, are “causes.” He pauses now to panhandle a pedestrian, unsuccessfully. There is a correlation between them, in that the final form is immanent in the seed, or in the man’s mind, and it conditions the growth.


As the actuality of the eye is a seeing organ, so the actuality of the individual man is an intelligent, moral being. A dumpy woman in beige dress with a large frumpy ochre handbag clumps by in heavy brown leather shoes. This actuality has been immanent in him from the beginning as his “soul” or “form.” A dark blue late model VW has paused by the curb. Man’s “soul” or “form” is unique in one sense. A man in a dark blue suit gets out, somewhat dangerously, on the side of the car being passed by traffic. Other animals, and also the human infant, desire what appears to be good by sense-perception. Which causes him to lean back against the closed door. He stores up his sense perceptions in memory and draws deductions from them, but he also has intuitive reason. Finally he gets around his own car (his wife at the wheel) and up onto the sidewalk. Which grasps the universal principles that are the guidelines of morality and understanding. Where he hustles off, a manila envelope in hand, to perform some errand. The intuitive reason, Aristotle believed, though divine and immanent in an individual man as part of his soul, can exist without either body or soul and contemplate its own understanding.


Likewise, in the universe, which consists of fifty-four concentric spheres with our earth in the center. As we stroll on in towards the medieval tower. And a fifty-fifth concentric sphere enveloping all. Which houses a museum that has been “Closed for reconstruction and renovation.” There are several intelligences (divine like the intuitive reason) which activate the rotary movements of all these spheres. Approaching a roundabout, we reach an array of directional signs lettered in both Modern Greek and English: The “unmoved mover,” God, who is the “good” or the “desire” of the universe, directs its movements by attraction and exists only in self-contemplation.

These signs appear on the left side of the street. And God alone is motionless and unmoved. Then, immediately afterwards, on the right appear four more:

Opposite, on the left again, read yet four more signs:

The name of the last of these. The Laws of Plato, for instance. Has been obscured so badly. Rest on detailed research into the theory and practice of Attic law. By a dark olive spray-painted symbol of anarchy. Which was destined to form the basis of Hellenistic law. (An “A” within a circle.) And to affect the development of Roman law as well. That author must re-cross the boulevard amidst its quickening rush hour traffic to transcribe it


The Politics of Aristotle. Before long we arrive on foot at a complex intersection, where we identify in Greek a building called “the Aristotelion.” Together with memoranda on 158 Greek constitutions. Apparently a cinema. (The Athenaion Politeia is the only survivor.) Above whose three doors three signs read “Exit,” “Exit,” “Exit.” And on non-Greek institutions. Its two display cases, for advertising events, are empty. Provided the foundation of later political theory and precept. As is the hallway within. With the systematic studies of zoology by Aristotle, of botany by Theophrastus and of musicology by Aristoxenus (both were his pupils), originated the scientific method of observation, classification and deduction. Across the way, in the triangular conclusion to a park, stands a bronze statue of an ancient Macedonian commander, dressed in sandals, skirt and breastplate. Important progress was made in mathematics, geometry and mechanics. Against his body he holds a bronze helmet with nose guard. By Plato’s friend Archytus of Taras, by Theodorus, Thaetetus, Eudoxus and Menaechmus. “Philippos B” read the incised, gold-filled letters in the purplish marble base, “Vasileis Makedon” (King of Macedon).


Aesthetics, ethics, psychology, literary criticism, chronology, geography and many other subjects. Beneath Philip’s name is the characteristic sixteen-rayed sunburst of his empire. Excited the fresh curiosity of the Greek mind in this age of extraordinary intellectual vitality. To the right of the Aristotelian theater, as viewed from across the street, is the Society for Macedonian Studies Art Gallery, which closer inspection reveals does not open till 9:00 am. A revolt against the sophistication of life and the demands of the city state. It is 8:20, time to move on to other things. Was led by Antisthenes of Athens (c. 455-360), an admirer of Socrates. Up from the sea we climb the gentle slope of a walking street. And Diogenes of Sinope (c. 400-325). In whose median is a trench baring the remains of a Roman emperor’s palace. They accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue and happiness but sought the ideal conditions for happiness in a return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Emporia of modern youth culture — tattoo parlors, new age book stores, jewelry shops filled with Orientalia — line either side of this shopping arcade. They rejected social distinctions and other features of city-state life as based upon convention.


The Roman remains culminate in an esthetically undistinguished arch made of narrow reddish bricks faced with degraded white sandstone bas reliefs. They scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies. It is situated on the other side of mainstream Egnatia St. They studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. Author crosses the boulevard to record the arch, pass beneath it and continue on through the modern city. In their view the individual was free and self-sufficient when he mastered his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social and religious demands and was satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Two late hippie youths, half asleep on their rolled up bedding, have left cups beside them for contributions. Diogenes was content with a tub for shelter. As we continue we encounter more directional signs:

which paid no regard to social conventions. Across the way.


He received the name of “the dog,” and his followers the title “disciples of the dog” (Cynics). Is a shop whose sign reads “e-Global INTERNET STATIONS. They propagated their faith zealously by preaching and writing. The “o” of the “Global,” in distinction from the other letters in light green, has been rendered in yellow. He wrote of a haven untouched by the tides of contemporary life. Then circumscribed by an elliptical yellow orbit. Where garlic, thyme, figs and crusts of bread suffice and no man comes in war to win riches or glory. We continue on our way, pausing at Odos Platonos to peer into the windows: He found his own home and city not in any walled tower but in the whole wide earth. Of an optical store, of a shop selling wine from casks, of an office furniture outlet. Another admirer of Socrates, Aristippus of Cyrene, was an advocate of individualism who found happiness in an enlightened hedonism. Author takes a seat outdoors at a bar open at 9:05 am for his morning’s third cup of cappuccino. Little is known of his philosophy, except that it influenced Epicurus in the Hellenistic period. A man gets off an old Yamaha scooter, his tee shirt reading “Admission / Free / Access / Denied.”


Sculpture and painting, even more refined in technique than in the fifth century, found new sources of inspiration in a naturalistic and humanistic treatment of new and traditional themes. As he enters the bar and orders a beer a waiter exits in broad white-and-black-striped rugby shirt to sweep last night’s refuse off the sidewalk. In the statue of Peace with the child Wealth, sculpted by Cephisodotus of Athens to commemorate the peace of 374, her head is turned towards the playful child in an expression of tenderness. He has brought with him an orange plastic broom and orange dustpan. It is the human rather than the divine side that is emphasized in these representations of the anthropomorphic gods. High up on a building across the way an orange lion advertises an international bank named “Ing.” Without striving for the majesty and grandeur of the divine. A woman in orange sweater and black tights, waiting for the light to change, at last crosses Plato St. on the green. The style reached its acme in Lysippus of Sicyon (fl. 328). A red-trimmed McDonald’s welcomes customers. Who excelled in portraiture and battle scenes. Until an orange Mercedes bus pauses in front of it to block the entranceway.

6  A Brief Visit to Veria

Lysippus’ portraits of Alexander in bronze caught the inclination of the head in repose. Departure from Thessaloniki, view from inside the train of a graffito that has transcended the lower side of the car. And the melting expression of the eyes. To besmirch the window as well. That the king would permit no other artist to model his likeness. Seated backwards, author experiences in reverse the same prospects of trackside life that he had on arrving from Athens. Hunting scenes and battle scenes. It is a little like running a film backwards, though time continues to go forwards — or does it? Both containing portraits of Alexander and the Companions in action, were no less famous. We are traveling backwards in time to visit Philip’s tomb, to continue backwards on into his life and forwards from his assassination into the adventures of his son, Alexander. None of these scenes survive, but those on the Sarcophagus of Alexander reflect Lysippus’ influence on subsequent artists. “Palaplast,” reads a modern orange sign in English on a new grey warehouse in the industrialized outskirts of Thessaloniki, but suddenly we are out into the green country side, the view only lightly threaded by electric and telephone lines.


Painting too reached its acme in this century with Apelles of Colophon, whose qualities as an artist resemble those of Praxiteles and Lysippus. The trip to Veria will be short. His most famous painting was of Aphrodite Anadyomene rising from the sea and wringing out her hair in a human pose. We are scheduled to arrive in less than an hour. Like Aphrodite of Cnidus standing by the water jar. At the Thessaloniki station information booth, at one’s hotel, there has been no suggestion that the train to Veria would not suffice for a visit to Philip’s tomb. His portraits of Philip and Alexander. Instead at Veria one must take a bus from the train station into town. And his self-portraits were much admired. Then another bus from Veria to Vergina. And his naturalistic realism is delightfully described in a mime by Herodas, where a girl exclaims before a picture by Apelles: By the time this has been empirically revealed and scientifically confirmed. “If I pinch this naked boy, he will show the bruise.” There remain only 40 minutes in Veria before the bus leaves for a train returning to Thessaloniki. “For his flesh lies warmly pulsing on the panel. So that he may have time to catch the train for Skopje.


“And the ox and the man leading him.” In the meantime he must retrieve his luggage from his hotel. “And the girl following and the hook-nosed man and the fellow with his hair standing up.” Then return by city bus to the station and board his train. “Have all the look of living day.” Accordingly there will be no visit to Philip’s tomb (thank God). “I almost shrieked for fear that the ox would hurt me.” Doubtless Philip was also known (and is, like Elvis, “still alive”) in Veria. The magnificent temple of Apollo the Succourer, situated on a mountain ridge at Bassae in Arcadia, was built during the Peloponnesian War. (Having found traces of Elvis, we will look for traces of Philip.) But it contained new features in the engaged Ionic columns, of which two had Corinthian capitals. On the way to the Veria station we had already passed through a small village called “Alexandria.” This engagement of columns and the Corinthian style were developed further, c. 350, in the Doric temple of Athena Alea at Tegea, which rivaled the Erechtheum in its exquisite detail of ornament and the Parthenon in the refinements of its construction. Accordingly, author sets out to scout out as much of the center of Veria as time will permit.


The circular Philippeum at Olympia, begun by Philip and completed by Alexander. We tour the narrow side streets leading into the square filled with buses, which are constantly arriving not only from the train station but also from other more provincial departure points. Was surrounded by Ionic columns, and the inner wall of the cella was decorated with engaged Corinthian columns. As other buses depart for Vergina and other destinations in the region listed in chalk on the wall of the bus station. In Sicily and Italy troubled conditions finally brought the building of temples to an end. Author decides to search for a book about Philip or Alexander. As belief in the gods dwindled, some, like Timoleon, worshipped Chance. He enters a promising store for school kids. The Mystery religions, especially Orphism, attracted a greater following than ever throughout the Greek world. Momentarily tempted by a children’s’ books about Athena (in Modern Greek), by another about the Spartans, he feels that their “moments” have passed. But the strongest tendency in this age of growing individualism was to see divine power in the strong man, to regard a Lysander or a Philip “as a god.” And so he declines to buy them.


His monarchy was founded on a more primitive but robust religion. Before long the bus sets out from the square to the Veria station. The Temenid kings were admirers of Greek culture. We re-board the same train that we had arrived on. Alexander endowed a great library. To return to the city. (That of Aristotle). The same conductor welcomes author again. During the eastern campaigns his scientists collected information for it. At last we arrive in Thessaloniki. Like Pericles they sought to unite political power and intellectual enlightenment but in a wider world than that of the city state.