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14 April 2007

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Hermes

demo, timely post.

Castoriadis live as you once requested:

http://www.ellopos.net/gr/player.asp?vpl=media/paideia.asf

The analysis of Cavafy and Seferis are also very good.

demonax

Thanks for the link Hermo.
Castoriadis’ short talk Ἡ παιδεία προϋποθέτει τὸν ἔρωτα (Love is a precondition for education) is excellent. Because of the relevance of what Castoriadis says, especially for modern Greece, a little translation might be in order.

Castoriadis starts off by quoting Plato – who he refers to as ‘O μακαρίτης κι' ο καϊμένος’ – “Even the walls of a city educate its people”, then goes on to say that education starts from birth and ends with death.

‘A man is educated by his surroundings,’ Castoriadis says. ‘What kind of education would an ancient Athenian have undergone surrounded by the Acropolis, the Agora, the Stoa; and what kind of education does a contemporary Athenian undergo living in the “φρικτό τερατούργημα” (the terrible monstrosity), which is today’s Athens? What kind of education would an ancient Athenian have undergone exposed to the tragedies at the Theatre of Dionysos, and a contemporary Athenian undergo watching commercials on television.’

Castoriadis goes on to say that if there is no ‘erotas’ in education, then there is no education, and that for there to be education an educator must convey ‘erotas’ to his students, ‘erotas’ for that which he is teaching.

I was surprised by Castoriadis’ use of the term ‘erotas’ and not ‘agape’ in this context, so did a little research before realising that Castoriadis is using ‘erotas’ in the sense Plato uses it in The Symposium. The Wikipedia entry on Greek Words for Love says this:
‘Plato said eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros.’

Education, then, is about knowledge of beauty and the pursuit of truth.

Hermes

Demonax, your translation is an excellent public service.

Castoriadis, like most democrats, had a love-hate relationship with Plato. He acknowledged he was the most intelligent who has ever lived but also understood him to be a reactionary against the democratic forces that had gripped Athens before Plato reached adulthood.

Currently, I am conducting some research on the Greek understanding on friendship from Homer to the Greek Fathers. There is an incredibly rich vein on this subject. Now that Phylax is gone I might ask Stavros to let me post it on MGO.

kossyphidios

demonax how would you answer to the critique that Cyprus was not an axclusive island but rather inhabited by many other cultures, who were destroyed subsequently to accentuate the Greek factor?

demonax

K.
I'm not really sure what you mean. Can you be more specific? Cyprus has been overwhelmingly Greek for 3,000 years; notwithstanding this, there have always been ‘others’ on the island – the result of migration and conquest – such as Phoenecians, Jews, Latins, Turks, etc – but I'm not sure what you mean by the 'destruction' of other cultures to 'accentuate the Greek factor'. In fact, I would argue that the history of Cyprus is the history of Greeks on the island trying to preserve their Greekness against those 'other cultures' trying to destroy it.

kossyphidios

I have read the biography of Vural Öger, a Turkish enterpreneur, who is masquerading as a member of the European parliament for the German SPD. In his book he has the following to say (I paraphrase):

Cyprus is not uniquely Greek. Many more foreign influences helped shaping the islands character. Emperor Augustine built the theatre of Salamis, hence there is a Roman influence. The temples of Aphrodite belong to the Phonecians. The Acropolis of Vouni is supposedly of Persian character. Öger quotes Uwe Berner, a historian, who insists that phoenecian culture was systematically destroyed to accentuate the Greek character of the island. Additionally he stressed, that Cyprus was not part of Classical Greece.

Later on he discusses the Cyprus conflict and reaches the conclusion of a "shared responsibility" between Greeks and Turks.

demonax

K.
I’m disappointed you’re making me respond to this Turkish entrepreneur/amateur historian – Turkish historians are not noted for their reliability even when they claim to be professional – who has a rather obvious political agenda.
You appreciate, then, if I don’t take his claims too seriously.
Still, a couple of points.

Of course, like every other part of Greece, Cyprus has had many foreign, non-Greek influences, which were incorporated into the culture – like the Aphrodite cult – and made Greek; not that the Greeks of Cyprus – like other Greeks – were slow to disseminate their culture to those who sought to influence them.

The fate of the Phoenician colonists in Cyprus – who arrived in Cyprus in the 9th century BC, 600 years after the first Greek colonists – is unclear, but my understanding is that after Alexander facilitated the liberation of the island from the Persians in 333 BC – Persian rule no doubt explains Persian influence at Vouni – the Phoenicians, who were allied to the Persians, became more exposed and susceptible to the ascendant Greek culture on the island and in the region and were assimilated. I don’t think it’s possible to talk of a deliberate physical destruction of the Phoenicians and their culture in Cyprus. (Phoenicians seem to have lost out pretty generally, all over the Mediterranean, during the Hellenistic and Roman periods).

Of course, there are Roman ruins in Cyprus – as there are all over Greece. The Romans occupied Cyprus from 58 BC to 330 AD. What does the Romans building a theatre at Salamis prove? The current presidential palace in Cyprus is a remnant of the British colonial period, and is still replete with the Lion and Unicorn coat of arms over the entrance. In Nicosia, there are red pillar boxes, just like those you can find in the UK. The British have obviously had a physical and political influence on the island. Why does this undermine the assertion that Cyprus has been overwhelming Greek in culture and population for more than 3,000 years?

Cyprus was not part of Classical Greece? I’m not even sure what this means. Is the word ‘Classical’ supposed to be operative here, to distinguish from the Mycenaean/Bronze Age, Geometric and Hellenistic periods? Even so, in the Classical period, Cyprus, among other things, took a leading role in the Ionian Revolt against Persian rule; was a significant Athenian ally during the Peloponnesian wars; and enthusiastically contributed to the campaigns of Alexander.

I could go on for a lot longer, K – and start blathering on about Zeno, the founder of Stoic philosophy; King Evagoras of Salamis – the ideal Greek ruler, according to Isocrates; Stasinos’ Cypria, and so on – but, like I said before, those who doubt the overwhelming Greekness of Cyprus have a political agenda; which is that by disputing Cyprus’ Greek culture and history, they hope to justify the dehellenisation of Cyprus brought about by the Turkish invasion and occupation. Nor is it surprising that the Turks would want to elevate the influence of the Phoenicians in Cyprus, and to suggest that the Greeks systematically destroyed them. Obviously, they want to try and draw a spurious parallel between the Phoenicians and the Turkish Cypriots, implying that the Turks on the island are in peril of going the same way as the Phoenicians and must have their own state.

ÖNDER IŞIK

1571 was TURKISH by OTTOMANS and Cyprus is TURKISH forever

Christine Toskos

Why are you writing on a Greek site. Cyprus forum which is actually Turkish forum is you site. CYPRUS WILL NEVER BE TURKISH REAL TC HATE TURKEY. WOULD YOU CALL CAT STEVENS A GREEK CYPRIOT BORN IN LONDON ENGLAND A TURK OR A GREEK MOSLEM? GREECE AND CYPRUS ARE ONE. CYPRUS IS GREEK. APHRODITE IS GREEK. CYPRUS HAS BEEN GREEK SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME.

MEMS

Directed to CHRISTINE TOSKOS

PLEASE READ THE HISTORY TIMELINE OF CYPRUS ON
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Cypriot_history.

CYPRUS IS NOT GREEK, NOR HAS IT BEEN SINCE THE BEGINING OF TIME. OBVIOUSLY THIS KIND OF DOCTORINE MUST HAVE COME FROM YOUR PARENTS. HISTORY FACTS DONT LIE. EVERYONE HAS HAD A PIECE OF CYPRUS . . . DEAL WITH IT, AND LEARN TO LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOURS . . THERE IS NO POINT IF YOU ARE OF A CHRISTIAN NATURE, WHERE YOU CAN NOT ABIDE BY THIS COMANDMENT, DARE I SAY THAT HE ALSO SAID TO LOVE YOUR ENEMIES.

Aphrodite of Cyprus who is Greek

Cyprus is the a Greek island. Aphrodite was born in Paphos. The rock of Paphos is called the Petra to Romou. It is not called the Rock of Turkmenistan the country where all Turks come from. The Turkish Cypriots aren't even Turkish. Read your history books. They are Greek Roman Catholics who were given a choice: convert to Islam or be killed. If I was given that choice I would reply: I was born Greek and I will die Greek. I would welcome death than be converted to the false religion of Islam.

Aphrodite

I pray now that Turkey has tried to attack Israel that Turkey has lost their friend, Kissinger, maybe the US will hear our plight. Turks off the Greek island of Cyprus or there will never be peace in the region. Look how Turks tried to bring arms to Hamas in Gaza.

AstroSeven

I'm more interested in History than politics(found this site searching for Fayum images!), and it is a shame that the situation in Cyprus is a perpetually uneasy one.

I have a Turkish Cypriot heritage but was born and raised in Australia. Like many others here(Turkish and Greek) it is easier to be distant and not get consumed by the grief and emotion that some express, whether they lived through terrible events, or have experienced it second hand through the accounts of parents and relatives.

I would like to warmly embrace all the inhabitants of the island, no matter what language they speak or which religion they practise.

Their shared experiences in a beautiful part of the world never have as much exposure as the negative events that affected all persons of the region. My parents could never tell me about the Sea Peoples, or Zeno, or the time Cato or Cicero were in Cyprus, or the lovely architecture, sculpture and mosaics to be found. Much more interesting!

Through education, I hope future generations of inhabitants will have a clearer path to peace. We can never undo the horrors of the past, but if we are mindful, we can try make sure we don't cause them to happen time and again.

Kind Regards
H

Aphrodite

Dear Astro Seven:

I am so sorry you don't know your history. There is no such thing as a Turkish Cypriot. Turkish Cypriots were Roman Catholic Greeks who were forced to die or convert to Islam. It is written in history books. In America, we have a Turkish American doctor named Dr. Oz. He had his DNA tested. He was shock to learn his DNA was mostly Jewish and Armenian. He researched his family tree. His ancestors were Armenians and Jews who converted to Islam during the Ottoman Empire after the Sultan Mehemet conquered Constantinople. He now realized that Turks have no business in Anatolia let alone on the Greek island of Cyprus.

company in cyprus

Because of the relevance of what Castoriadis says, especially for modern Greece, a little translation might be in order.

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