Greece as a Health Tourism destination included proudly in the World Tourism Health Map was presented in special events organised in Australia, in Sydeny and Melbourne ….
Go to our updated Greek to me ! Newsblog Article
It’s not the first time for political Atheists in Greece, this time faithfuls consider it blasphemy ……
Go to Greek to me ! Full Article and more
Learn about the historic discovery of the sacred rock in Jesus Tomb in Jerusalem,by the Greek scientists research team, recently visited PM Alexis Tsipras. It’s a blessing, he said, …..Read more
From Vrisa, Lesvos to the “top” of Harvard
Three of his innovative methods do rank the 74 year old Ophtalmology Professor from Vrisa among the top 100 opthalmologists worldwide, and the Harvard Unversity in Massachussets has given his name to the specialised Chair of Studies while hunging his portrait in the auditorium of the Clinic Eye and Ear Massachusetts and while his bust graces the Harvard Campus courtyard .
Evangelos Gragoudas is recently awarded by the Champalimaud Vision Award 2014 which is considered scientifically close to a Nobel Prize on Vision and Ophtalmology research , and is a proud Lesvian abroad, who as he says, saw with the eyes of Literature and Philosophy the world when he was studying at the High school of Polychnitos, and that’s how, he says, he did it to “save the world” in his own way.
Hailing from Vrisa, a small, picturesque village of 1,000 inhabitants in the south of Lesvos, the leading Greek scientist excels the last 46 years in America, where he teaches ophthalmology, but also … Cavafy.
The Alexandrian poet, Cavafy, has a prominent place in his office at Harvard, where there is a large photo of the lyrics from “Ithaca”:
“the Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,the angry Poseidon do not fear, such ones in your way you will never find “.
In the age of 74 years, Evangelos Gragoudas is still working feverishly, operating surgeries three times a week on complicated ophthalmological cases while training new scientists. Due to his immense love for Greece, he always greets with joy and pride young doctors from home, while the «Gragoudas Chair» of Harvard is funded with 3.5 million Dollars.
On Friday, December 4, 2015, Evangelos Gragoudas received an honorary doctorate of the Department of Medicine, by Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki where he spoke with tears to the press for the love for his country.
“All of us who live for years abroad, and have learned to another way of progress and and evaluation, we are saddened when we realize that our homeland , our country, Greece, is moving back or stays stagnant.”
“Even now, we must change our culture, by trying to adapt the structures of the system to the new circumstances. The crisis in the economy should make us wiser, more mature and more fair. “
On the age of 15 years Evangelos Gragoudas, while still studying in the high school Polichnitos, he had read all the books of the small library of his village.
On his 20’s,being a medical student at the University of Athens Medical School, he translated with a classmate notes from foreign scientifical loterature and together they distributed to their fellow students an ophthalmology manual, which was a pleasant surprise for their professors.
In 1969 he left Greece for Boston and and soon he won a scholarship to Harvard Medical School, where he studied and afterwards taught for many years “It was like living in a dream. I always had in mind the verse of Ithaca … … …” hope the voyage to be a long one …” I really wanted to traverse distant streets literally and figuratively, I realize now ” he says.
The 74 year old professor comes 2-3 times a year in Greece, in his residence he reserves in Athens, but also in his hometown’s one in Vrisa of Lesvos.
Visit our latest published greek2m.org Special Lesvians Page and enjoy the beauty and the significance of Gragoudas’ hometown, Vrisa, which stands there, in Lesvos, since the early humans stepped earth, many million years before. Learn why
“I miss Greece. It is the most beautiful country in the world, because it is always sunny, surrounded by the sea, people are joyous and welcoming, has a rich history. It is a place to live, ” he says, but he thinks long enough before answering the question if you he would like to return back from the States .
“Having read quite a lot of philosophy, actually since my young age, I have overcome my fears. I know I am temporary, I know what I want, I know every moment what to do … but I have no answer still. We will see….”
Visit also our Greek2m Fully Updated HomePage specially dedicated to Lesvos’ Nomination for becoming the European Culture Capital in 2021
Constantine Daskalakis is an Associate Professor at MIT’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department and is considered one of the brightest minds worldwide. It took Daskalakis approximately one year to solve Nash’s puzzle and achieve the unachievable, gaining international recognition from the academic community.
In the fifties Nash created a simplified system of relationships and actions describing decision making behaviors with different interests in different positions, such as adversaries in a “game”. With the help of his professors Christos Papademetriou from Berkley University and Paul Goldberg from Liverpool University, the team managed to prove that there is no way to anticipate the balance point.
Daskalakis does not hide his reluctance to leave his academic career in America and return to Greece, based on the fear he would probably not be able to continue his research there. Nevertheless, he stands ready to “give back to Greece” because “Greece provided the foundation for me to get where I am now”. On his personal webpage he cites a quote from Kavafe’s “Satrapia”, in English.
What a misfortune, although you are made
for fine and great works
this unjust fate of yours always
denies you encouragement and success;
that base customs should block you;
and pettiness and indifference.
And how terrible the day when you yield
(the day when you give up and yield),
and you leave on foot for Susa,
and you go to the monarch Artaxerxes
who favorably places you in his court,
and offers you satrapies and the like.
And you accept them with despair
these things that you do not want.
Your soul seeks other things, weeps for other things;
the praise of the public and the Sophists,
the hard-won and inestimable Well Done;
the Agora, the Theater, and the Laurels.
How can Artaxerxes give you these,
where will you find these in a satrapy;
and what life can you live without these.
Constantine P. Cavafy (1910).
The analysis of nine ancient amphorae revealed important evidence concerning trading in ancient Greece. Brought to the sea surface near Corfu, the amphorae were sent to the University of Lund in Sweden where they underwent DNA analysis.
And yes, you will be surprised !
Ginger Exports by the Ancient Greeks
As nature magazine recently published , new scientific research by an American and to Greek scientists shows that the Ancient Greeks did not trade just wine and olive oil, but a plethora of products like legumes, mint, and even ginger.
The analysis of nine ancient amphorae revealed important evidence concerning trading in ancient Greece. Brought to the sea surface near Corfu, the amphorae were sent to the University of Lund in Sweden where they underwent DNA analysis.
Brendan Foley of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, says that 95% of scientific bibliography mentions wine as the only product that the ancient Greeks transported by amphorae.
Foley completed genetic analysis of 9 amphorae that were dated from the 5th to the 3rd century BC with the help of Dimitris Kourkoumelis and Theotokis Theodoulou, archeologists in the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in Athens. As was expected, DNA evidence of grapes was found in 5 of the 9 amphorae while 6 amphorae also showed DNA evidence of olives.
What was surprising though was the existence of the DNA of legumes, ginger, nuts, juniper as well as herbs like mint, thyme and oregano. The fact that different kinds of DNA were found in the same amphorae leads researchers to conclude that the same amphorae would have been used to transport different products each time.
The success of amphorae DNA analysis has researchers planning to repeat their analysis on amphorae from the 3rd century BC that were recovered from a shipwreck in Kyrenia in Cyprus. The same methodology can, in the future, be used on household amphorae and in small vessels containing cosmetics and medicine.
DNA analysis will give new insight on was was being traded in ancient times as well as how trade in ancient Greece itself developed over time.
Source: Nature.com , GoodNews.gr
Ancient Athens, of the 6th century BC, was the busy trade centre at the confluence of Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Minoan cultures at the height of Greek colonisation of the Mediterranean. The philosophical thought of this period ranged freely through many subjects. Empedocles (490–430 BC) foreshadowed Darwinian evolutionary theory in a crude formulation of the mutability of species and natural selection.
The physician Hippocrates (460–370 BC) avoided the prevailing superstition of his day and approached healing by close observation and the test of experience.
At this time a genuine non-anthropocentric curiosity about plants emerged. The major works written about plants extended beyond the description of their medicinal uses to the topics of plant geography, morphology, physiology, nutrition, growth and reproduction.
Foremost among the scholars studying botany was Theophrastus of Eressus (Greek: Θεόφραστος; c. 371–287 BC) who has been frequently referred to as the ”Father of Botany”.
He was a student and close friend of Aristotle (384–322 BC) and succeeded him as head of the Lyceum (an educational establishment like a modern university) in Athens with its tradition of peripatetic philosophy. Aristotle’s special treatise on plants —θεωρία περὶ φυτῶν — is now lost, although there are many botanical observations scattered throughout his other writings (these have been assembled by Christian Wimmer in Phytologiae Aristotelicae Fragmenta, 1836) but they give little insight into his botanical thinking.The Lyceum prided itself in a tradition of systematic observation of causal connections, critical experiment and rational theorizing. Theophrastus challenged the superstitious medicine employed by the physicians of his day, called rhizotomi, and also the control over medicine exerted by priestly authority and tradition.
Together with Aristotle he had tutored Alexander the Great whose military conquests were carried out with all the scientific resources of the day, the Lyceum garden probably containing many botanical trophies collected during his campaigns as well as other explorations in distant lands.It was in this garden where he gained much of his plant knowledge.
Theophrastus’s major botanical works were the Enquiry into Plants (Historia Plantarum) and Causes of Plants (Causae Plantarum) which were his lecture notes for the Lyceum. The opening sentence of the Enquiry reads like a botanical manifesto: “We must consider the distinctive characters and the general nature of plants from the point of view of their morphology, their behaviour under external conditions, their mode of generation and the whole course of their life”.
The Enquiry is 9 books of “applied” botany dealing with the forms and classification of plants and economic botany, examining the techniques of agriculture (relationship of crops to soil, climate, water and habitat) and horticulture. He described some 500 plants in detail, often including descriptions of habitat and geographic distribution, and he recognised some plant groups that can be recognised as modern-day plant families. He noted that plants could be annuals, perennials and biennials, they were also either monocotyledons or dicotyledons and he also noticed the difference between determinate and indeterminate growth and details of floral structure including the degree of fusion of the petals, position of the ovary and more. These lecture notes of Theophrastus comprise the first clear exposition of the rudiments of plant anatomy, physiology, morphology and ecology — presented in a way that would not be matched for another eighteen centuries.
Today, one of the most brilliant works of scientific botanology Greek flora is made by the Swedish Researches, who …”never forgot his spicy honeymoon , maybe” .(.!), since he came to Greece fist time for honeymoon in 1966. Half a century after, and his today’s extended scientific work, rises as unique, for Greece, as thatm, ancient one of the father of Botanic, Theofrastos .
Today: Immense wealth of the Greek Flora
Greece has 6000 plants, 750 of which are found nowhere else, according to Swedish botanical scientist Arne Strid, who has been studying Greek nature for 48 years. He has also discovered 20 new species of plants in the mountainous regions of the country.
He participates in the 10-tomme encyclopaedia “Flora Hellenica’, where all Greek plants are included, and he has taken part in the listing of the flora of the Prespes National Park.
It was 1964 when he first came to Greece, in the context of his doctoral dissertation, regarding the plants of the Aegean and for which he was awarded with the American prize Jesse M. Greenman. In 1966 he spent his honeymoon in our country and since then he has visited Greece 70 times.
among the 12 books he has published, the following are found:
-‘Mountain Flora of Greece’
-‘Wild flowers of Mount Olympus’
–‘Atlas of the Aegean Flora’; a book that will be in the bookshops in 2013, enriched with distribution maps for the approximately 4000 species of plants that are found in the islands of the Aegean. It will contain information from the database the professor has created during the past 25 years.
The Romans contributed little to the foundations of botanical science laid by the ancient Greeks, but made a sound contribution to our knowledge of applied botany as agriculture. In works titled De Re Rustica four Roman writers contributed to a compendium Scriptores Rei Rusticae, published from the Renaissance on, which set out the principles and practice of agriculture. These authors were Cato (234–149 BC), Varro (116–27 BC) and, in particular, Columella (4–70 AD) and Palladius (4th century AD). Roman encyclopaedist Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) deals with plants in Books 12 to 26 of his 37-volume highly influential work Naturalis Historia in which he frequently quotes Theophrastus but with a lack of botanical insight although he does, nevertheless, draw a distinction between true botany on the one hand, and farming and medicine on the other.
It is estimated that at the time of the Roman Empire between 1300 and 1400 plants had been recorded in the West.
Medicinal plants of the early Middle Ages
In Western Europe, after Theophrastus, botany passed through a bleak period of 1800 years when little progress was made and, indeed, many of the early insights were lost. As Europe entered the Middle Ages, a period of disorganised feudalism and indifference to learning, China, India and the Arab world enjoyed a golden age. Chinese philosophy had followed a similar path to that of the ancient Greeks. The Chinese dictionary-encyclopaedia Erh Ya probably dates from about 300 BC and describes about 334 plants classed as trees or shrubs, each with a common name and illustration. Between 100 and 1700 AD many new works on pharmaceutical botany were produced including encyclopaedic accounts and treatises compiled for the Chinese imperial court. These were free of superstition and myth with carefully researched descriptions and nomenclature; they included cultivation information and notes on economic and medicinal uses — and even elaborate monographs on ornamental plants. But there was no experimental method and no analysis of the plant sexual system, nutrition, or anatomy.
The 400-year period from the 9th to 13th centuries AD was the Islamic Renaissance, a time when Islamic culture and science thrived. Greco-Roman texts were preserved, copied and extended although new texts always emphasised the medicinal aspects of plants. Kurdish biologistĀbu Ḥanīfah Āḥmad ibn Dawūd Dīnawarī (828–896 AD) is known as the founder of Arabic botany; his Kitâb al-nabât (‘Book of Plants’) describes 637 species, discussing plant development from germination to senescence and including details of flowers and fruits.TheMutazilite philosopher and physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (c. 980–1037 AD) was another influential figure, his The Canon of Medicine being a landmark in the history of medicine treasured until the Enlightenment.
The Age of Herbals
In the European Middle Ages of the 15th and 16th centuries the lives of European citizens were based around agriculture but when printing arrived, with movable type and woodcut illustrations, it was not treatises on agriculture that were published, but lists of medicinal plants with descriptions of their properties or “virtues”. These first plant books, known as herbals showed that botany was still a part of medicine, as it had been for most of ancient history. Authors of herbals were often curators of university gardens,and most herbals were derivative compilations of classic texts, especially De Materia Medica. However, the need for accurate and detailed plant descriptions meant that some herbals were more botanical than medicinal.
Herbals contributed to botany by setting in train the science of plant description, classification, and botanical illustration. Up to the 17th century botany and medicine were one and the same but those books emphasising medicinal aspects eventually omitted the plant lore to become modern pharmacopoeias; those that omitted the medicine became more botanical and evolved into the modern compilations of plant descriptions we call Floras. These were often backed by specimens deposited in a herbarium which was a collection of dried plants that verified the plant descriptions given in the Floras. The transition from herbal to Flora marked the final separation of botany from medicine.
1550–1800 The Renaissance and Enlightenment
The revival of learning during the European Renaissance renewed interest in plants. The church, feudal aristocracy and an increasingly influential merchant class that supported science and the arts, now jostled in a world of increasing trade. Sea voyages of exploration returned botanical treasures to the large public, private, and newly established botanic gardens, and introduced an eager population to novel crops, drugs and spices from Asia, the East Indies and the New World.
The number of scientific publications increased. In England, for example, scientific communication and causes were facilitated by learned societies like Royal Society (founded in 1660) and the Linnaean Society (founded in 1788): there was also the support and activities of botanical institutions like the Jardin du Roi in Paris, Chelsea Physic Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and the Oxford and Cambridge Botanic Gardens, as well as the influence of renowned private gardens and wealthy entrepreneurial nurserymen.By the early 17th century the number of plants described in Europe had risen to about 6000. The 18th century Enlightenment values of reason and science coupled with new voyages to distant lands instigating another phase of encyclopaedic plant identification, nomenclature, description and illustration, “flower painting” possibly at its best in this period of history.
Botanology, with “class”
During the 18th century botany was one of the few sciences considered appropriate for genteel educated women. Cultural authorities argued that education through botany created culturally and scientifically aware citizens, part of the thrust for ‘improvement’ that characterised the Enlightenment. However, in the early 19th century with the recognition of botany as an official science women were again excluded from the discipline.
Botanical gardens and herbaria
From Herbal to Flora
Plant classification systems of the 17th and 18th centuries now related plants to one another and not to man, marking a return to the non-anthropocentric botanical science promoted by Theophrastus over 1500 years before. This approach coupled with the new Linnaean system of binomial nomenclature resulted in plant encyclopaedias without medicinal information called Floras that meticulously described and illustrated the plants growing in particular regions.
Konrad Gessner discovered many new plants while climbing the Swiss Alps. He proposed that there were groups or genera of plants. He said that each genus was composed of many species and that these were defined by similar flowers and fruits. This principle of organization laid the groundwork for future botanists; he wrote his important Historia Plantarum shortly before his death. Clusius journeyed throughout most of Western Europe, making discoveries in the vegetable kingdom along the way. He was the first to propose dividing plants into classes.
At the start of the 19th century the idea that plants could synthesise almost all their tissues from atmospheric gases had not yet emerged. The energy component of photosynthesis, the capture and storage of the Sun’s radiant energy in carbon bonds (a process on which all life depends) was first elucidated in 1847 by Mayer, but the details of how this was done would take many more years.Chlorophyll was named in 1818
Biogeography and ecology
The publication of Alfred Wegener’s (1880–1930) theory of continental drift 1912 gave additional impetus to comparative physiology and the study of biogeography while ecology in the 1930s contributed the important ideas of plant community, succession, community change, and energy flows. From 1940 to 1950 ecology matured to become an independent discipline as Eugene Odum (1913–2002) formulated many of the concepts of ecosystem ecology, emphasising relationships between groups of organisms (especially material and energy relationships) as key factors in the field. Building on the extensive earlier work of Alphonse de Candolle, Nikolai Vavilov (1887–1943) from 1914 to 1940 produced accounts of the geography, centres of origin, and evolutionary history of economic plants.
sources: www.wikipedia.com , DoodNews.gr
THE ROAD TO SPARTA is a short film about four individuals, including the great Dean Karnazes, running the 2014 Spartathlon, a 246 kilometre ultra-marathon between Athens and Sparta.
It will not, however, be a straightforward sports documentary; it is more of an artumentary where sport meets history meets music, a film of brain, brawn and beauty.
Through Dean Karnazes, THE ROAD TO SPARTA will look at the history of the race which dates back to 490BC and the ancient Greek runner Pheidippides while the Greek band Old House Playground will be composing an original score for the film.
I want to examine those men and women, by watching them through the race and interviewing them before, during and after the race, to see how their minds and bodies react to the intense pressure of attempting to complete the course within the 36-hour time limit.”, says the producer of the documentary, find more here
THE ROAD TO SPARTA is being made as a stand alone film, duration 30 minutes. It is aimed at the Festival market and we are already looking at the Thessaloniki Film Festival as well as the Greek film festivals in New York and Los Angeles. We are also looking at potential television sales.
An entirely independent film, Spender and his director of photography, Roddy Gibson, have worked out a budget of €15,000 to complete the film from the shooting to the editing to making sure that the band get into a decent studio to make the soundtrack.
We are so proud of this initiative! Greek to me !
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