Getting the facts straight

Chaos during a Greek celebration in Chicago when a 14 year old university student (she already has a bachelor) took the podium in order to talk about Greece (video, text). Her speech was two fold. One described the ancient Greece and the other one explained its demise.

In the first part, she described how Greece’s mountains was the… first to rise on Earth, how the first humans were… Greek, how Greece’s civilization was the best of all others in the classic world, how the Greek language is the most “perfect than all others”, and how the Greek alphabet was not a copy/paste from the Phoenician one.

In the second part she referred to Byzantium as never being Greek-centric, to Christianity meaning the violent death of the ancient Greek world and the Orthodox Church not wanting Greeks freed from the Ottoman Turks.

Now, any logical person who has finished any high school would be thinking that the first part (as opposed to the second one) is completely laughable. The claims about Greeks being heroes and sons of Gods and such, are of course completely unsubstantiated. And yet, the Greeks who angrily tried to remove the girl from the podium were NOT against the first part, but against the SECOND.

You see, the part that the 40+ year old boring Greeks in the audience disagreed with, is actually TRUE. By 1700 AD, the Greeks were still calling themselves “Romans” (they saw themselves as a remnant of the Roman Empire rather than Greeks). Only when the ‘Greeks’ who left for Europe and studied the Classic history sent books back to the occupied Greece and *recreated* the Greek ethnicity within 100 years from scratch — as a pretty clever way to get everyone under the same roof and fight the Turks.

So basically, you have a young girl who has her facts wrong regarding the ancient Greece but no one bothers her with that (because they were all positive points for Greece) and when she actually speaks the truth, the audience doesn’t want to hear it (because the Greek school history books do not speak that truth so they are unfamiliar with it — the Church pretty much rewrote history after the Ottoman wars, to suit their interests).

I guess it was all one big joke that day. I only hope that the girl will get her facts straight, cut a bit of “her love” for the ancient Greece and become more neutral when she investigates. Only then the world will benefit from the genius she is.

I must say one thing though. Judging from the girl’s name (Promethea Pythia), my guess is that her influence on what she spoke about was not from real history books she has read, but from her parents. Her given names are NOT typical modern Greek names. They are ancient Greek names and they are very rarely used today (if not at all). If that’s the case, I can only imagine all the disinformation her “ancient Greece loving” parents have fed the poor girl to the point that she had to spout that crap about the first mountains in the planet being Greek! You would think that a Bachelor degree genius would be able to see the truth for herself, but it would seem that parents have a big influence to her life.

Again, I can only hope that Promethea Pythia will find the truth by studying real history books rather than “pyramids were built by aliens”-type of books or her parents.


Oliver Herold wrote on March 1st, 2007 at 2:04 AM PST:

It was a great culture that is of course a fact. It’s the raise and “fall” of a great culture nothing unusual in history, but most of cultures have not got any of its merits. You see the influence all over Europe and the Romans were eager to possess Greek slaves because of their high education and their great wisdom.
Surely it’s an ill-driven assumption to tell such things like in the above saying, but I do think it’s just some ill-fated pride.
Greek culture was the connector to the Orient and the following peaceful colonization in today Marseilles or at the shores of the Black Sea (Bulgaria/ via the Carpathians) brought a strong influence to European culture. More than than any influence of Roman Empire. Roman culture was to some extent a mere copycat of Greek culture. Look at the classic period or Hellenic period for example. It’s not about bashing cultures, I wouldn’t call myself Archaeologist while beating other cultures to the ground, but there are stronger and weaker influences.

Andreas wrote on March 1st, 2007 at 7:48 AM PST:

Eugenia, thanks for this post. I read the news in eleftherotipia but the article is completly deceitful about what exactly the girl said. The provide also a link of the video that does not work.
I was a victim of bad a journalism (ok, i am fool, and I am not surprised that Eleftherotipia punlishes something so inaccurate) and I posted Eleftherotipia’s article to the new site buzz, a greek version of digg. I will post now your article insteed.

mikesum32 wrote on March 1st, 2007 at 9:05 AM PST:

So she stole fire from the gods ? Bill Maher had something interesting to say on the subject. Basically he asked, if your parents told you that Jack and the Beanstalk was true and Jesus was a fairy tale, which one would you believe now ?

My parents told me that Jesus was born in Greece so it must be true. ;-P

This Greek renaissance you describes sounds like modern day Wicca. It claims to be an ancient religion, but it only goes back to around the 1920s. It isn’t really the same, more like a reinvention.

Yannis wrote on March 1st, 2007 at 10:38 AM PST:

That is nice Eugenia, very balanced review. I wasn’t expecting anything better from Eleytherotypia however. It is right to the point: bias, deception, hiding the facts.
So, a very nice newspaper article from Takis Mixas indeed.

Joy wrote on March 2nd, 2007 at 8:21 AM PST:

lambros wrote on March 2nd, 2007 at 10:06 AM PST:

Evgenia, gia tin proelefsi tou onomatos kai meros tis istorias tis mikris des edo

Black Cat wrote on March 2nd, 2007 at 10:48 AM PST:

Thank you Eugenia for exposing the facts. Unfortunately in Greece a certain journalist (Takiw Mihaw ) and the TV have given a … slightly different aspect of the real facts. Thing is, they totally ‘forgot’ to talk about the first part of her sppech, focusing on the second…

Optimus wrote on March 3rd, 2007 at 5:42 AM PST:

Interesting story. Crazy girl!

I hope her greatest plans come true :)

Rodia wrote on March 3rd, 2007 at 11:59 AM PST:

to link den anoigei, epeidi mallon -opws grafei i “Helenair”- dinei arxeia gia tis 14 televtaies meres… nomizw diladi

Rodia wrote on March 3rd, 2007 at 11:57 AM PST:

Evge Evgenia!!!:-))
Mia aporia exw gia to pote akribws egine i omilia tis mikris. Stin Elev8erotypia anaferetai ena link (katw katw, avto: opou i imerominia stin amerikaniki efimerida einai 2005/05/01, ara ypo8etw oti to gegonos egine prin 2 xronia.
Mporeis na to eksetaseis?
(ta agglika mou einai xalia leme..)

Antionos wrote on March 4th, 2007 at 5:43 AM PST:

Thanks to Eugenia for a balanced review. Regarding the second part of her speech, it was about time that some of the truth revealed by her is now out, and hopefully does not fall in deaf ears, lauhed at or discredited by the rest of us who think they know the true story.

For serious scholarly reading on these matters, I suggest the books:
A CHRONICLE OF THE LAST PAGANS, by Pierre Chuvin from Harvard University Press.
HELLENISM IN LATE ANTIQUITY, by G.W. Bowersock from The University of Michigan Press.

But again, there is a Greek proverb that says: “Apo trello kai apo mikro mathaineis tin alitheia!”

Iraklis wrote on March 5th, 2007 at 4:48 AM PST:

Like Jesus says in the bible in the book of Lukas:
“Bring me all those who didn’t want me to rule over them as there king, and kill them in front of me
(so much for the so called god of love)

Pavlos wrote on March 6th, 2007 at 9:33 AM PST:

Are any of you actually serious? Grabted I didn’t bother reading most of it since the first half of the page is full of moronic blabering. The Greeks were Romans? Wicca goes back only to the 1920’s? Eugenia wrote a balanced review?

Did you people even go to high school? Eugenia spends the first half of her “blog” calling Greeks idiots. Then she goes on to discredit the girl because of her name…. did a brick hit you in the head before you people agreed with this woman?

p.s. Wicca pre-dates Christianity by a few thousands of years, and if you think that Greeks called themselves Romans at any point of history you need more help with your history than I am willing to offer you.

Demetrios wrote on March 7th, 2007 at 9:55 AM PST:

Would you be kind enough to send me Pythia’s address? I would like to send her my book Learn Greek in a Week as a present. She is a Great Greek Girl.

Dimitrios wrote on March 7th, 2007 at 4:13 AM PST:

Dear readers of this comment
First of all I want to apollogize for the mistakes, I ll might make in this comment, Im about to post, fortunatelly
Im not a native speaker :) .
Unfortunatelly what the girl said is totally true… but this is not the case. It’s time for us to chase after our real historical identity. I’m not talking to change religion nor to cancel 1700 of history and tradition, after all our past makes of us who we are and our present of who we will be. I just want to state that, according to my oppinion ofcourse, some people here in Greece are trying to revive good ideas in a totally anachronistic way. What I mean to say is that Ok! Byzantine Empire was merely Greek in the first years or even centuries of its life but we can not cancel the words of Constantine Paleologos to the defenders of Constantinoupole “You are sons of Greece, and Gentlemen…” nor Kolokotronis “We are fighting for Greece and for the holly faith of our Jesus Christ”. On the other hand as a Greek blooded I can’t accept certain traditions that passed through Cristianity and are being preserved by the majority of our religious hierachy even to our days. But Im wondering what these people are trying to achive, they want a revenge for the crimes of Cristianity against Paganism, well wake up people this is a fact it’s a brand new day to day… Or they want the patriarch to ask forgiveness for the crimes, just like the pope did for 1204. Well lets get serious… and after all if they love Greece I don’t think that they are helping it this way. About the girl, Im really proud that she’s is greek but even prouder for the things she wants to do. I just want to give her a litle advice, Greeks love their messiahs,not so much for their salvesion but for the plaisure they will have from their crusifiction…

Take care.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on March 7th, 2007 at 12:07 PM PST:

>The Greeks were Romans?

I NEVER said that. What I said though was that the Greeks before 1700 were THINKING of themselves as REMNANTS of the Roman Empire rather than Greeks. This is why the Turks kept calling us “Romioi”. Because the Greeks themselves thought of themselves as such.

>Wicca goes back only to the 1920

I don’t even understand what you are saying here. I didn’t write anything about 1920.

>calling Greeks idiots

Pavlo get a clue. I didn’t call the Greeks idiots, but I did call the Greeks who were at the EVENT to be less than sophisticated. These people ALLOWED the speaker to talk crap about the ancient Greece (giati tous erxontan kala na ta akoun auta), and ONLY when she started talking against Christianity they went against her. This just shows how they only want to hear good things about Greece and not the truth. Sorry Pavlo, but you need to get a clue here.

>Then she goes on to discredit the girl because of her name

I DID NOT discredit her because of her name, I discredited her about the FIRST half of her SPEECH (which was TOTAL CRAP). Don’t fucking piss me off with the stuff you write here, because they are untrue. I simply MADE A FUCKING OBSERVATION about her name, because apparently her name INDICATES the way WAY she thinks.

>did a brick hit you in the head before you people agreed with this woman?

The brick possibly hit your head. Check for a karoubalo.

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