On October 15, Dr. Constantine Hatzidimitriou gave the keynote address at the Illinois Council for the Social Studies (ICSS) Annual Conference to an audience of over 120 high school teachers. The ICSS is the state affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies and this was its annual state conference with over 30 workshops on various topics dealing with the social studies.
From the book The Songs of the Pontian People written by Stathis I. Efstathiadis, published by Kyriakidis Brothers, Thessaloniki, Greece 1992. Permission has been received by the author and the publisher to translate and post the poem below. Translation by Professor Eleni Phufas of Erie Community College, Buffalo, NY.
An Eagle Soared to the Heights
An Eagle soared to the heights, up high in the sky His feet were red and his beak was black, in his claws a brave youth’s hands he grasped. Eagle, would you give me what you hold? Can you tell me where the body is? - I cannot give what I hold. The body is over there. - Make an iron staff and bronze sandals And take the road, straight, straight down the path.
Over there beyond the mountain and farther on beyond the fig trees The black birds devour him, the white ones encircle him. - Eat birds, eat birds, eat the lonely hero, - the brave sea warrior the honored Akritas, in war a “Greek hero”, in battle like a lion.
The Pontic Dialect by Dimitris Tombaides, Professor Emeritus, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Chairman of the Committee of Pontic Studies
* Permission has been granted from Ephesus Publishing/Militos Publishing to post this article, which is published in the book The Pontos of the Hellenes. For additional products by Ephesus Publishing, please click here.
The dialect of Pontos is one of the two Greek dialects spoken in Asia Minor (the other being Cappadocian) that are today almost extinct as spoken languages and constitute an object of study only as "museum" languages. For many years the Pontic dialect has exhibited the following paradox: while every dialect is associated with a specific geographical area: for example Epirotic with Epirus, Thracian with Thrace etc., the Pontic dialect today is not associated with any geographical area. This was an outcome of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, signed by Eleftherios Venizelos and Kemal Ataturk, which provided for the exchange of Greek and Turkishpopulations. That was when the Greeks of Pontos came to Greece and settled throughout the mainland, chiefly in the countryside, towns and villages as well as in the larger urban areas. The bulk of Pontic refugees settled in Macedonia and Thrace but many wound up in Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki and other cities large and small.
Pontic is one of the most studied, if not the most studied, of the Modern Greek dialects. This is due to its archaizing, medieval structure that early on aroused the interest of great linguists such as G. Hatzidakis, I M. Triantafyllides, N.P Andriotes, A. A. Papa-dopoulos and others. These linguists, working within the research environment of their time, analysed the Pontic dialect and demonstrated that certain linguistic features of classical Greek, and in particular of the classical Ionic dialect were preserved only in Pontic. In this way, (in conjunction with other evidence from Greek antiquity including history, folklore etc.) they believed they had irrefutably proved the continuous presence of the ancient Hellenic element, especially the linguistic one, in modern manifestations of the Greek presence. This continuity had been questioned by Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer and had to be upheld in every way.
The exhaustive research into and study of the Pontic dialect resulted in a number of basic works, some of which appear in the bibliography that follows. The principal centre conducting these studies into the Pontic dialect and into other aspects of Pontic culture, history, folklore, folk art etc, is the Committee of Pontic Studies (EPM) from its foundation in 1927 to this day. The EPM, in its journal Archeion Pontou (which will soon number 50 volumes) and in its Appendices, which are independent publications (23 volumes to date), has published countless papers on the idiosyncrasies of the Pontic dialect. The various subjects covered have included phonology-phonetics, morphology, etymology, semantics and syntax, as well as other systematic studies of historical grammar and vocabulary. Additionally, it is worth mentioning the significant, and continually increasing, number of linguistic studies carried out in Greek and foreign universities which have ranged from simple studies to doctoral theses.
From the book The Pontos of the Hellenes, the articlebelow, written by Veroniki Dalakoura - Kamara doctor of Anthropogeography, Researcher, is posted here with the permission of the publishing company Ephesus.
My wish to study Hekklisia tis Trapezountos [The Church of Trebizond], the sole work that deals in detail with one of most important cities on the coast of the Pontos, led me to become acquainted with its writer, Metropolitan Chrysanthos of Trebizond (1913-1925) and Archbishop of Athens (1938-1941). It is difficult to convey in a few pages even the outline of a personality with the stature of Metropolitan Chrysanthos. I will therefore emphasize those points that highlight the course of a prelate who on the one hand played a significant role at a critical period in the history of the Pontic Greeks, and on the other was distinguished as an outstanding church scholar for his intellectual and spiritual contribution and his moral fiber.
Childhood and studies
"/ don't remember my father, I was very young when he died ... and my sister Elisabeth... I remember her vividly... at her funeral." "And where will you go now?"
"I shall go to Leipzig"
The man known to the world as Charilaos Philippidis, son of Zissis Philioglou, was born in Komotini (Gumulcina) in March of 1881. Komotini was then a rural area that is described in detail in the Metropolitan's Autobiography, and together with his traumatic childhood experiences, provide evidence of his indissoluble bonds with his family and homeland. The premature death of his father (merchant of wheat and silk worm cocoons) and two of his siblings created a profound trauma, as well as a sense of responsibility in the tender soul of little Charilaos. His widowed mother undertook the upbringing of her three surviving children, with the help of her sole protectors and supporters, her brother Yangos Karabasis and above all her sister Lambrini Pegiou (Pegiaina) who "even though she was illiterate and had no knowledge of commerce, ran the business splendidly," as Chrysanthos wrote. He never forgot that "when later I was to be admitted to the Theological School of Chalce, my aunt Pegiaina gave me five gold Turkish pounds as my starting out money." After completing his general education in Komotini, he continued his studies in Constantinople, at the famous Theological School of Chalce (1897-1903) where he made a name for himself with his brilliant studies and ethos ("... I once again received distinction in all subjects for the seventh year, which was as arduous as the sixth.")
Chrysanthos Philipidis, decon and teacher of
religion at the Frontisterion of Trebizond,
1904-1905 After his studies were over, and upon their commendation of the Metropolitan Ioachim Sgouros of Xanthi to Metropolitan Constantinos Karatzopoulos of Trebizond, Charilaos was ordained archdeacon at the Cathedral of Trebizond, at which time he took the name Chrysanthos. He was appointed teacher of religion at the city's Frontisterio (school) and preacher. In 1904, at the age of just 23, he was assigned the duties of Genikos Epitropos (representative of the Metropolitan) of the diocese of Trebizond, seat of an important vilayet, and thereby undertook new responsibilities. His success in resolving the problems that arose in the relations between Christians and Muslims (forced conversions to Islam, groundless prosecutions of Greeks, etc.) as well as his undisputed administrative abilities, increased the prestige of the young Epitropos, who was totally dedicated to the increasing demands of the diocese. "I spent these holidays too in Constantinople, without being able to visit my homeland[...] I am once again very sorry, but duty comes before all." The sudden death of his beloved mother in May of 1905 found him in Trebizond. "I lamented and mourned her death grievously, but at the same time I continued my work and on Sunday I preached in the church of St George Tsartakli about sorrow related to God and man." The death of the Metropolitan of Trebizond two months later shook the city. Chrysanthos, who was already rundown through grief over the loss of his mother and wishing to avoid any involvement in the succession process, began a tour of the remote monasteries of Pontos: St John of Imera, Kromni, the Pariadros plateau (summer pastures), Livera, the Soumela Monastery and the Monastery of St George Peristereotas. Upon his return, Chrysanthos addressed the newly elected Metropolitan Constantinos Arampoglouon behalf of the community: "coming into this community you will find it flourishing and prosperous for all..."
Having become aware that he was expending all his creativity on his growing obligations (Exarch of the Monastery of Soumela, teacher at the Frontisterio of Trebizond, Epitropos of the Diocese), he decided at the end of the 1907 school year to resign from all his duties and devote himself to the purpose which attracted him and in which he had excelled: to continue his higher education in Western Europe, and in particular at Leipzig. The expenses of his stay there were borne by two friends from Trebizond who were pillars of the Greek community, Georgios Fostiropoulos and Constantinos Theophylaktos. The first stop was Vienna, where he attended classes in Philosophy by the famous professor Wundt, Canon Law by Zoom, and Linguisticsby Bruggeman. He met sociologist George Scleros (Georgios Konstantinidis) and made friends with poet and author Constantinos Hatzopoulos who dedicated two poems to him ("On a tree" and "On the same tree"), evidence of the close intellectual contact and friendship that linked the two men. Moreover, Chrysanthos kept up his relations with the intelligentsia. Athanasios Souliotis-Nikolaidis, D. Glinos, N. Politis, G.Hatzidakis, the famous English archaeologist William Boyd Dawkins, Stephanos and Ion Dragoumis, and Penelope Delta, who consulted him when she was writing the Life of Christ, were just a few of those in his immediate environment. His broadness of mind, profound culture and love of art were well known. We read in his Autobiography: "Throughout the school year, I took part in the rich artistic life of Leipzig, attending the entire series of Wagner's works at the theatre, the then famous operettas of Vienna, productions of works by Schiller, Goethe and Ibsen, performed by first class theatre companies...”
During subsequent years, Chrysanthos continued his studies in Switzerland (Lausanne), where he was fortunate enough to attend courses in sociology given by Vilfredo Pareto and where also he chanced to meet musicologist Melpo Merlier, founder of the Centre for Asia Minor Studies in Athens ("Every Saturday I was in audience of rehearsals for the Sunday music programs. Classical works were performed that were introduced and performed by the Greek artist and Melpo Logothetti, later Merlier.”)
Teaching about Genocide at Wisconsin Social Studies Conference
WI - On March 16-17, the Genocide Education Network of Illinois (GENI) and the Pontian Greek Society of Chicago shared an exhibit booth and a presentation at the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, held near
Volunteers from St. John Armenian Church and from the Armenian National Committee of Wisconsin, Zohrab Kaligian and Lyle Dadian, along with Anastasia Skoupas from the Pontian Greek Society of Chicago, discussed with educators the booth display, which commemorated the Armenian and the Pontian and Anatolian Greek Genocides. Also on display were historical works, such as Samantha Powers’, A Problem from Hell; Taner Akcam’s, A Shameful Act; Constantinos Fotiadis’, The Genocide of the
Pontus Greeks Vol. 13; and Edward Hale Bierstadt’s, The Great Betrayal. Additionally, the novels and memoirs on display included Antonia Arslan’s Skylark Farm and Thea Halo’s Not Even My Name. Curricular guides displayed included the Choices for the 21st Century Project, the Facing History and Ourselves, and the Genocide Education Network. Over fifty of the conference’s participants stopped by the booth to review materials, ask questions, and discuss how they teach genocide in their classrooms.
For more information, contact Sona Birazian at (773) 968-9595 or George Mavropoulos at(630) 303-4361.