Culture & History

  • English dictionary of ancient Greek ‘spares no blushes’ with fresh look at crudity

    Victorian attempts to veil the meanings of crude ancient Greek words are set to be brushed away by a new dictionary 23 years in the making. It is the first to take a fresh look at the language in almost 200 years and promises to “spare no blushes” for today’s classics students. The late scholar…

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  • The Fall of Constantinople, 1453: Part 2

    The union with the Catholics was overwhelmingly rejected by the population of Constantinople and was interpreted as engendering divine disfavour. In 1443 the emperor John made his brother Constantine XI Dragaš Palaiologos Despot of Mistra in the Peloponnese, where Plethon later died. Constantine managed to re-conquer swathes of territory from the Ottomans leading up to…

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  • The Fall of Constantinople, 1453: Part 1

    A fairly-good measure of the importance which certain civilisations ascribe to persons and events from their past can be discerned in those persons and events that have seeped into their folklore and superstition. As late as 1972, the famed Greek singer Haris Alexiou received her break – together with Georgios Dalaras – on the LP…

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  • LAST DAY OF THE SIEGE OF CONSTANTINOPLE- MAY 28TH 1453

    Late in the night of 28 May 1453, Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos met with his commanders. For six weeks they had defended the walls of Constantinople against the forces of the Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed II. Now from their positions on the walls, they could see from the piles of scaling ladders and from the frenzied…

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  • “’Man of God’: A Work of Beauty and Love”

    In these days, very rarely do we find made a film made about a true saint, let alone a film about a true saint that is very well produced. Yelena Popovic has written, directed, and produced in partnership with Mt. Athos’ Vatopaidi Monastery, the St. Maxim the Greek Institute, and Europgroup Ltd. such a film…

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  • Archbishop’s Message for National Reconciliation Week

    Today marks fifty-four years since the referendum that became a milestone in the reconciliation of the wider Australian community with the country’s indigenous people. An important breakthrough in this process was the historic decision of 3 June 1992, by which the Supreme Court of Australia justified Eddie Koiki Mabo, recognising the land rights of the…

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  • Sailing to Byzantium: The Fall of Constantinople and the Ecumenical Patriarchate

    On Thursday 27th of May, Dr Mario Baghos, Lecturer in Patristics and Church History at St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, and Chief Publishing Officer of St Andrew’s Orthodox Press, gave the second talk in St Catherine’s annual ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ series, this year dedicated to the period between 1453-1821 in honour of the 200-year…

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  • Louvre Gets Its First Female Leader in 228 Years

    Move over, Mona Lisa. You may be about to have competition as the most-talked-about woman in the Louvre. For the first time since its creation in 1783 in the wake of the French Revolution, the Musée du Louvre will be headed by a woman, Laurence des Cars, the current head of the Musée d’Orsay and…

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  • Remembering Smyrna, 100 years since its destruction

    The sets for the shooting of the film ‘My Beloved Smyrna’ will be located in Nea Faliro in southern Athens, near the offices of Kathimerini. The big-screen adaptation of the successful theatrical performance of the same name by actress and director Mimi Denisi aims to pay tribute to Smyrna and the 100 years since its…

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  • Two Days Before the Fall of Constantinople- 27th of May 1453

    “On the 27th of May, the middle section of the walls was pounded all day by cannon fire, giving the defenders almost no opportunity to repair the damage. Parts of the ancient outer wall began to crumble. The endgame of the siege was almost upon them. Mehmed summoned his officers and told them to prepare…

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