Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Selinus, distant and telephoto views of the site from the E (Professor Fred Winter, 1968)

Friday, March 25, 2016

CanCon on SKAI TV on Sunday

Zoe Delibasis at the Canadian Embassy brought to my attention an excellent opportunity for some quality CanCon this trimero weekend. The travel program, “SKAI Traveller” presented by Stavros Samouilidis will have a Greek take on what makes Canada Canada this Sunday, the 27th at 6:00 PM. It will attempt to show how Canada has succeeded as a multicultural country as well as what makes it different from the elephant to the south. Among the many topics that will be covered is Montreal’s European character, the unique artistic scenes across the country, the Cirque du Soleil and the vibrant Greek diaspora in the major cities of the country.  So here’s a chance to relive memories as well as to learn more about what makes Canada a generous and welcoming country.

Kalo trimero!
David Rupp

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Tyndaris, the precipice guarding the citadel (Professor Fred Winter, 1968)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Roman Portraits, Cross-Dressing and Disarming Love

The next lecture in the Institute’s Spring Programme, on Wednesday March 23, is a presentation by Sarah Nash, the Institute’s Neda and Franz Leipen Fellow this year. Sarah is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, and her lecture is entitled, “Portraits of Romans as Hercules and Omphale.”

It was not uncommon in antiquity to depict men and women in the guise of mythical figures. The choice of Hercules and Queen Omphale of Lydia, however, cannot be explained in such a straightforward manner. The ancient texts tend to characterize Omphale as a dominant and even “emasculating” woman, whose contravention of patriarchal values is epitomized by cross-dressing and exchanging gender roles with her slave – or ‘captivated’ lover – Hercules. Moreover, the comparison of historical figures to Hercules and Omphale is in every instance defamatory. Given the prevalence of this negative portrayal of Omphale in the textual sources, it is quite striking to find portraiture depicting Roman matrons as the nude queen with Hercules’ lion skin and club. The primary research objective then is to assess how Omphale becomes reconciled with the model of the chaste and obedient Roman matron in commemorative contexts.

In assessing what images of Hercules and Omphale evoke for Roman viewers, scholars traditionally defer to the literary sources, which has only cast the images in a negative light, or even as Augustan counter-propaganda against Marcus Antonius and Kleopatra. We must, rather, evaluate these images in their own terms and social context. Semiotic analysis allows us to situate images of Hercules and Omphale within the Hellenistic iconographic tradition of “disarming love”, as yet another expression of the power of Eros. Moreover, theories of identification can be valuable in exploring how Hercules and Omphale become for the Roman viewers an exemplum felicitatis, or model of happiness in their private lives. By readdressing three main categories of evidence – namely, domestic frescoes, tableware and objects of personal adornment – Sarah intends to offer concrete instances in which the Romans evidently wished to relate to Hercules and Omphale, a trend which culminates in the mythological portraiture of the late-first to third centuries CE. In terms of the portraiture itself, she will argue overall that Hercules and Omphale – as a symbol for 'the power of eros’ – were suitable models for spouses in an era which witnessed first of all a positive re-evaluation of eros in marriage, and secondly of andreia (i.e. ‘manliness’) in women, both of which contributed to harmonia between husband and wife.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Institute on Wednesday, at 7.30 PM, for what promises to be a most interesting presentation.

Best wishes,
Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Samiko, long stretch from descending E walls (Professor Fred Winter, 1968)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Haida: Life. Spirit. Art

In connection with the Haida: Life. Spirit. Art exhibition (on display until April 20th at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki), we invite you to a presentation by an expert on Pacific west Coast Aboriginal History/Anthropology and a Haida artist (Dr. Leslie Tepper, Curator-Ethnologist at the Canadian Museum of History; Evelyn Vanderhoop, Haida Artist Textile Weaver).

The evening event will include a lecture by Leslie (20 min) about the Northwest Coast culture with a focus on the Haida, followed by a talk by Evelyn (20 min) on topics such as weaving, family history, return of weaving to the community, followed by a showing/demonstration of the woven items Evelyn will have with her (10-15 min). The event will conclude with a Q&A. A slide show will accompany the presentations.

The event is co-sponsored by the Embassy of Canada to the Hellenic Republic and the Canadian Institute in Greece. It will take place in the library of the Institute on Tuesday March 15, starting at 7.30 pm. Space is limited and seats will be allocated strictly on a first-come first-served basis.

All are welcome!
Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Isaura, views of, from and down to the area of the main gate (Professor Fred Winter, 1968)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Mortuary Practices at Petras (Siteia, Crete); Greece Needs Your Assistance - Be Generous!!

For the past few years I have regaled the blogosphere with the highlights of my summer fieldwork in eastern Crete. In as much as the members of a project are not supposed to publicize its discoveries (especially in the social media) in the field before the director submits a formal report to the Ministry of Culture my blog comments were focused on the work and life on the excavation and not about the exciting remains that we were finding each year. Well, on Wednesday, March 9th at 19:30 in the Library of the Institute Dr. Metaxia Tsipopoulou (Director Emerita, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport) will reveal everything that I couldn’t tell (and much, much more) in her lecture entitled “«Ce qui donne un sens à la vie donne un sens à la mort» (Antoine de Saint Exupéry). The Pre- and Protopalatial cemetery at Petras, Siteia. (ca 2800-1900 BC)”.

At Petras, Siteia, in northeastern Crete, the archaeological sites extend over two neighbouring hills. Excavations, directed by Dr. Tsipopoulou, started in 1985 and are still in progress. On Hill I an important Minoan palace and parts of a settlement occupied from the Early Minoan IIA to the Late Minoan IIIB periods were excavated. On Hill II (or Kephala), a Final Neolithic IV and Early Minoan IA settlement, another settlement dated to the Late Minoan IIIC and an extensive Early Minoan I to Middle Minoan II cemetery are being excavated.

Petras played a leading role in the cultural, economic, and religious networks not only of Crete, but also of the Aegean, and beyond, in the Eastern Mediterranean. The cemetery comprises house-tombs with up to 10 rooms measuring between 50-90 m2, each of them used by an extended elite family. To date 14 house tombs have been excavated and there is a possibility of more. The tombs were unplundered and this fact combined with the modern methods of the excavation, documentation and study by an international group of experts offer a unique opportunity to understand social status and competition in a Pre- and Protopalatial society.

So come and learn about these important new discoveries in the far east of Minoan Crete. There is so much more to the island’s Bronze Age archaeology than Knossos, Phaistos and Malia.

The Refugee / Economic Migrant Crisis in Greece

The mild winter in the Aegean, the Russian military intervention in Syria, the overcrowded refugee camps in Turkey and the large numbers of these victims of violence that were allowed to resettle in Germany in 2015 have encouraged more desperate people to attempt this migration route. From Syria come entire families from infants to grandparents. Even individuals with wheelchairs are part of this impromptu migration. They have been joined by economic migrants from the Middle East and North Africa. Last years’ record numbers crossing to the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean have increased in the first two months of 2016. What is different in the past few months is that, along the transit corridor from Greece to Germany via the Balkans states, first specific “gateways” were established with various levels of document controls imposed. Then individual countries began to harden their borders and, first, to strict severely and, then, to close effectively the gateways to all but a very small number of documented asylum seekers each day. In general, economic migrants (mostly single males) are not wanted at all. For Greece this has meant that the intake of these people from the east continues unabated and growing while the exit to the north has stopped.

At this point there are over 33,000 refugees/economic migrants in Greece. Of these there are now almost 13,000 people waiting in northern Greece in a squalid tent city at the Eidomeni train crossing into the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Here a double line of fencing with razor barbwire guarded by the FYROM border police and army keeps them at bay. More are waiting at the other primary crossing at Evzoni. Each day 1-3 boats arrive in Piraeus with 500-1500 new refugees from Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros, and Kos. They are camped out on the docks and number almost 5,000. Many have moved on to Athens’ Victoria Square where there are over 500 in limbo. Temporary facilities (or “hotspots” as they are called) have been set up at the old Hellinikon airport terminal and at the Olympic baseball field. Other more permanent camps have been established elsewhere. Many of these people, however, do not want to go to such camps as they fear that they will remain “stuck in Greece” and not be able to go to their desired destinations of Germany, Denmark or Sweden. Unfortunately, it appears that the numbers will not decrease any time soon and that these people will have to stay in Greece for many months, if not many years to come.

The bottom line here is that this steady influx is overwhelming Greece’s ability to cope with them in a humanitarian fashion. The hygienic conditions in the unofficial points of congregation and waiting are poor. Infants and children lack proper food, clothing, health care and means of entertaining themselves. Feeding these people each day is a challenge. There are various local, national and international charitable organizations that have been working hard to meet these needs. Besides volunteers and donations in kind of food staples, medicine, sleeping bags, blankets, diapers, toys and clothing they need money to purchase what is necessary.

What can you do to help alleviate this growing crisis if you don’t live in Greece? Below are some links to organizations supporting the refugees and migrants which will accept charitable donations via electronic bank transfer, credit card or PayPal. Your interest in Greece can and should extend to more than its rich cultural heritages and beautiful touristic venues. Be generous!!!

This an umbrella group of volunteer organizations working with the refugees at various locations on the island of Lesbos as they arrive from Turkey: www.levosvolunteers.com

Medecins Sans Frontieres / Yiatroi Xoris Synora / Doctors Without Borders is an internationally known medical humanitarian organization. Its dedicated Greek branch can be accessed at: https://www.msf.gr/en

The Greek Red Cross / Ellinikos Erythros Stavros is working hard throughout the country to provide basic aid to as many refugees as possible: http://www.redcross.gr/ [see in English for donations: https://www.ammado.com/nonprofit/152118 ]

The Greek office of UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, is very active at all of the points of intersection with the refugees here in the country. For a donation which can be made to the Canadian office for use here go to: http://donate.unhcr.org/international/general

Volunteers and staff of the Salvation Army / O Stratos tis Sotirias in Greece are very active too. One can donate by going to: http://www.salvationarmy.gr/en-GB/%CE%B2%CE%BF%CE%B7%CE%B8%CE%B7%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B5-%CE%BC%CE%B1%CF%82

Let’s Do Our Part!

The volunteer organizations working in Athens and Piraeus to alleviate the conditions of the temporary refugees and immigrants here need desperately the following items: diapers for all ages, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorants, wet wipes, sanitary napkins, rice, pasta, tomato sauce, fruit juice, tea, medicine for colds, aspirin, and hand soap.

I urge you to do your part by bringing to the Institute Lecture on Wednesday evening a selection of items from the list above. You can also drop off your donation at the Institute from 09:00 – 13:00 during the week. I will see that these donations will be given promptly to these organizations. If you want to volunteer in this ongoing effort please let me know and I will put you in contact with them. Be generous!!! Participate!!! Spread the message!!!

David Rupp

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Perge, E walls, same tower from inside, with vaults for upper alure, and detail of tower (Professor Fred Winter, 1968)