Re: Greek identity

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Posted by Themistokles on November 21, 2001 at 21:31:10:

In Reply to: Greek identity posted by Dina on November 20, 2001 at 18:29:59:

: Noticed that it's been quiet on this board for a while, so I propose to put forward a few ideas and opinions for discussion. Seems to me that thanks largely to the Romans, (remember they came to visit Greece around 150 BC and never went home), that Hellenic peoples adopted Christianity. I want to re-iterate this: Greeks adopted Christianity under a ROMAN emperor. OK, Constantine was well Hellenised, but no Greek. In any case, I find in remarkable and wonderful that today in Greece, some of the ancient spirit remains. Something a little more noble than cunning Romans could stamp out and a semetic trouble-making cult (Christianity) could wipe out. Eviva ALL GREEKS - believe what you want to believe. To be Greek is not necessarity to be Greek Orthodox. 'Greek' is an idea, a concept that still powers the entire west.

Very briefly, I must add that there no such thing as a single Greek state of mind. Since Greek history began, the variety of Hellenisms that have existed is vast. As Greeks arrived into Greece in various successive waves, so have the permutations of types of "Greekness". For the past 1,600 years, however, the vast majority of those who identify with "Greekness" have been strongly affiliated with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Ironically enough, the word "Ellinas" to our post-5th century (A.D.) ancestors, denoted affiliations to the Olympic pagans. In fact, until the Franks used the insulting (at least it was to the Byzantines) the term "Greeks" and "Byzantines" (both pre-Christian terms) to refer to the now-Christian Hellenes, our ancestors called themselves "Romioi" (i.e. Eastern Romans: thus, the two-headed eagle throughout Orthodox churches). Incidentally, the Mikis Theodorakis song "Tin Romiosini min tin klais ! Na Tin Petai !" says it all !


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