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Τετάρτη, 30 Μαΐου 2012

Αροδαφνούσα (απόσπασμα): Κύπρος Χρυσάνθης


Κι' η ρήγισσα η κακούργισσα το μυστικό μαθαίνει.
Σπέρνει τον χάρο στα κλωνιά, κλωνί - κλωνί τα καίει,
μες τις αυλές θανατικό σκορπά και τις ρημάζει.
Την κορασιά αποτέλειωσε μες το πρωτάνθισμά της.
Δεν έκλαψαν για τα κλωνιά. Του χρόνου θα βλαστήσουν
διπλά - τριπλά να σκεπαστούν κι' οι γειτονιές κι' ο κόσμος.
Δεν έκλαψαν για τις αυλές. Καινούργιες θα προβάλουν
με λεμονόδεντρα πολλά κι' ανθοβραγιές και φράχτες.
Εκλάψανε την κορασιά που δεν θα ξαναδούνε:-

Η νερατζούλα η ακριβή στο περιβόλι στέκει
χωρίς πρασινολόγημα τα δάχτυλα αναπλέκει.
Τη βρήκε στ' ανθοβόλημα μια πυρκαγιά δρεπάνι
κι' απόκοψε τον ανθισμό κι' άφηκε το κοτσάνι.

Τρεις αδελφές στη γειτονιά, τρεις αδελφές στον κόσμο
τριανταφυλλιά και λεμονιά και το φτωχούλι δυόσμο.
Τα ρόδα εκορφολόγησαν, τη λεμονιά εκλαδέψαν,
τον δυόσμο εκαταπάτησαν τη γειτονιά στερέψαν.

Η γλάστρα επυκνοφούντωσε μες τον βασιλικό της
κι' επαίζαν με τα φύλλα της, τον μοσκοβολισμό της.
Μα αφότου εκορφολόγησαν το ευωδιαστό χορτάρι
η γλάστρα μας ρημάχτηκε και φάνταξε λιθάρι.

Δικέφαλος χρυσαετός τα σύγνεφα χαράζει
με τ' απλωτά φτερούγια του ίσκιο βαρύ σταλάζει.
Κομένα νυχοπόδαρα πουλλάκια δεν σπαράζουν,
ψαλιδισμένα τα φτερά κανένα δεν τρομάζουν.

Οι στράτες πυκνοφούντωσαν μες το παχύ χορτάρι
και τα νερά εμουρμούριζαν κι' ανθούσε το λιθάρι.
Μα το χορτάρι εμάδησε και τα νερά εσιωπήσαν
κι' οι στράτες οι κατάχλωρες αγκαθερά εγεμίσαν.

Κλαίνε τα μάτια την αυγή, κλαίνε το μεσημέρι,
κλαίνε το βράδυ όταν φανή στον ουρανό τ' αστέρι
και κλαίνε μέσα στ' όνειρο κλειστά -κλειστά ματάκια,
μα κλείνε εσένα πιο πολύ τα γιασεμιά παιδάκια.

Σε μούλα χρυσοκάπουλη τραγουδιστής περνούσε.
Στον δεκαπεντασύλλαβο μαστόρεψε τον μύθο:-

Ύμνε χρυσέ της ομορφιάς κι' ανθέ της τέχνης πρώτε,
μύθε παλιέ, που ξύπνησες μες την καινούργια Κύπρο,
όπως ξυπνάει τις άνοιξες η πλάση με τον σπόρο,
ώ Αροδαφνούσα, μάγισσα και πρώτη ερωτοκρίτρα
και χρυσομελιτάρισσα κι' απριλοφορεμένη,
χελιδονογλυκόχειλη κι' ερωτοτραγουδίστρια
και της Κυπραίισσας γης ψυχή, ψυχή μου Αροδαφνούσα,
σα μήλο να κατακοπώ σα ρόδι να σκορπίσω
και σαν καπνός ν' ανεμιστώ, κυρά, αν σε λησμονήσω.
- Απ' την Φραγκιά το σόϊ μου και κατοικιά μου η Κύπρος
μα ερωτοπλάνταχτη η καρδιά κι η σκέψη ωραιοπλάστρα.
Τον μύθο μου περίπλεξαν κι' η ρήγισσα΄ Αφροδίτη
ξανάζησε στους κόρφους μου μ' ένα καινούργιο θώρι.
Κι' είμαι καθρέφτης ξενικός, βενέτικος καθρέφτης,
που την Κυπράισσα ψυχή βαθιά του καθρεφτίζει.
Στον μύθο μου οι αξέφραστες σαλεύουνε γλυκάδες
κι' οι νίστιμιές κι' οι λυρισμοί κι' καϋμοί κι' οι πόθοι
κι' οι ξανθομάλλες ερωτιές κι' τρισγαλάζιες μνήμες
και το χρυσό ανατρίχιασμα κι' οι μουσικές των όρκων
και των φιλιών οι πλήμμυρες και των χαδιών ο Μάης
κι' η ζήλια η πρασινόθωρη κι' η φόνισσα υποψία.
Κι' όλα μαζ΄κι' ο νοστιμιές κι' οι ερωτιές κι' οι μνήμες
και τα φιλιά κι' καΰμοί κι' οι ζήλιες κι' οι υποψίες
αισθήματα Κυπράικα ριχτά σ' ένα καθρέφτη.
Κι' όλο το μαύρο δράμα μου το δράμα όλης της Κύπρου.

Σου μήνυσε η κακούργισσα να πορευθής στον πύργο,
στον πύργο, τον εφτάπυργο, το φιδοπλεματάρη,
τριανταφυλλιά της γειτονιάς και του καζά στολίδι.
Βάζεις τον Μάη για κάζακα και τον Απρίλη ζώνη
κι' όλα τα λούλουδα της γης στολίδια και κεντίδια,
κι' αχεροποίητη φάνταζες αγάλια όθε περνούσες
κι' ολούθε γλυκανθίζανε λάμψες του μαλαμάτου
μεθύσια κοιλανιώτικα, παφίτικες αγάπες,
παραλιμνίτικοι σκοποί, λάμψες της ντόπιας Τέχνης.
Και μια φωνή και μια λαλιά τριγύριζε τις στράτες:
«Κόρη, για δος μου θάνατο, κόρη για δος μου πόθο»
Κι' ήσουν θρησκεία ενός λαού και μιας φυλής πατρίδα,
του ρήγα του ερωτόκριτου το ερωτορηγάτο.
Στο πύργο, τον εφτάπυργο, τον φιλοπλεματάρη,
δίσεχτος χρόνος κλάδωνε της ρήγισσας η ζήλια
όπου ολούθε μάγια κάρφωνε σα μάγισσα τεχνίτρα
και ξόρκιζε τα ξωτικά και δαιμονοκαλούσε
και μπαίνοντας, ανθόκλασε, σε χτύπησε και πάεις.

Μα της καρδιάς σου ο στεναγμός στα πέρατα μισεύει
σαν χελιδονοσπαθίσματα σκίζοντας τον αγέρα
και στη καρδιά του βασιλιά το μήνυμα κομίζει.
Μήτε της στάλας το φευγιό σαν πέφτε από να νέφη,
μεδέ του νου τ' ανάβλεμμα στης προφητείας τις ώρες
κι' ούτε της μάγας έμπνευσης η αστραφτερή γοργάδα
ξεπέρασαν το γύρισμα του μηνυμένου ρήγα.
«Ω! που σε τάγιζα μοσκιές και μέλι απ' την Κυθραία
και σαψυχιές λιβανωτές σου ξάπλωσα στο στρώμα,
του νου μου ροδοχάραμα και της καρδιάς μου κρίνε,
φλουρί μου διπλομάλαμο κι' ανθοκωνσταντινάτο,
άνοιξε τα ματάκια σου τις ζωγραφιές του κόσμου
κι' άνοιξε τα χειλάκια σου τις γλυκοβρυσομάνες
και τη μιλιά σου ξέδεσε να σκλαβωθούν οι πλάσες»
Το κλάμα το μακρύσυρτο, γιομάτο είναι ποτάμι.
Κι' απ' το θηκάρι το χρυσό χρυσόλαβο μαχαίρι
τραβά, στηθοκαρφώνεται και πλάι σου μαρμαρώνει
κι' αντάμα εκοινηθήκετε ρήγες μαρμαρωμένοι.
Μα του καιρού το γύρισμα θα σας ξαναγεννήσει,
εσέ τον ερωτόκριτο, τον κάρδιοφλογισμένο,
κι' εσένα την αξέφραστη την μάισσα Αροδαφνούσα,
ώ εσέ καθρέφτη ξενικέ, βενέτικε καθρέφτη
που την Κυπραίισσα ψυχή βαθιά σου καθρεφτίζεις
ύμνε χρυσέ της ομορφιάςκι' ανθέ της τέχνης πρώτε,
μύθε παλιέ, που ξύπνησες μες την καινούργια Κύπρο.

Κύπρος Χρυσάνθης

30 σχόλια:

  1. Hello, I have been visiting your blog. ¡Congratulations for your work, good luck with your blog! I invite you to visit my blogs about literature, philosophy and films:

    http://vniversitas.webmium.com
    http://vniversitas.over-blog.es
    http://carpe-diem-agc.blogspot.com/
    http://alvaro-alvarogomezcastro.blogspot.com/

    Greetings from Santa Marta, Colombia

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  2. Good day,
    You should check my writings at my website Bibliotheca Berytia (http://www.bibliothecaberytia.com/Works.htm):

    Ethnology et Ethnonymology of Phoenicia during the Macedonian and Roman Period (332 BC-634 AD) http://www.bibliothecaberytia.com/works/Ethnologie_et_ethnonymologie_de_la_Phenicie.docx. The third section of the second chapter is about the Romans (Romaioi, Rum): their origins and growth from before the foundation of Rome to the Islamic conquests. However, this book is in French.

    This article "What Happened in 212 AD?" http://www.bibliothecaberytia.com/212_AD_texts.htm has all the sources about the year 212 AD when Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus made all his non-Romans subjects as Romans belonging to his Aurelian family.

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  3. O.k. but we should keep in mind that in the Greek language there is a great difference between the word "Romaioi" (Ρωμαίοι) which means Romans and the word "Romioi" (Ρωμιοί) which means Greeks (Rum) but not Romans.
    This big difference in the meaning of two similar words in the Greek language is usually overlooked by non Greek historians who think that the words "Romaioi", and "Romioi" or "Rum" have the same meaning and that it means Romans. However, this is not the case. The word "Romioi" (Ρωμιοί) or Rum is associeted exclusively with the Greek Nation and the Greek Orthodox Church of which the Romans are not part of. Therefore the Romans are not Romioi or Rum, because they don't belong to the Greek Nation nor to the Greek Orthodox Church.
    I wish that historians could understand this and stop calling the Romioi or Rum Roman because this is not what it means in neither the Greek nor the Arabic language. The Romioi or Rum are Greeks, not Romans. The Romans are Romaioi, the Greeks are Romioi. Simple as that.

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  4. Well. I have spend my life searching and gathering all the sources about this issue. In my book, I have gathered sources in these languages: Greek, Latin, Syriac, Phoenician, Hebrew, Persian, Arabic, Coptic, Armenian and Ethiopian.

    Saying, "Romioi" is not "Romaioi" is like saying "badira" is not "pater". "Romioi" belongs to the modern language, "Romaioi" to the old language. "Romaioi" in this form was reintroduced into the modern language after 1820 by Hellenic nationalists and was put in opposition to "Romioi".

    There is a great problem of ignorance that I find everywhere. And it really gives me a great headache to show the reality of things to everybody. The main reason why ignorance is found everywhere is that most historians are either liars or ignorants, and most of them have certains agendas to implement.

    Let me point to one facet: What is the meaning of "Romans"? Well everybody educated in history books written by Westerners think that "Romans" means "the people of Rome". Historically, this is wrong. It is all explained in my book where I show all the sources that demonstrate this. The first Romans were a tribe belonging to the Latins, and they were known as the Quirites. The Quirites were known as Romans because their chief town was Rome; but the Quirites did not live only in Rome; they also lived in nearby villages and towns. It was common during these times to call a people after its chief town: the Attic Iones were called Athenians after their chief town, the Phoenicians of northern Africa were called Carthaginians after their chief town.

    After throwing out the kings, the Romans started expanding. The other tribes that were subjected by them were adopted as Romans. In 212 AD, Emperor Antoninus adopted all his non-Roman subjects as Romans. As such, by 212 AD, all the free inhabitants of the land of the Romans became Romans.

    The name "Romans" is very misleading. Unfortunatly, Western (Frankish) historians do not understand reality. The fact that all history modern books in the world are based on books written by Westerners has lead to the massive spread of the ignorance of Westerners throughout the world. It is unfortunate also that Helladian and Cypriot Greeks do not care reading the sources written between 300 and 1800, as most of them are either into the history of ancient Greeks or into the history of the Orthodox Church only.

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  5. In Lebanon, education is done in French, Arabic and English. All history books were written based on Western historiography and on Western concepts. The Arabic books, however, contained many things derived from the local and Islamic sources. The contradiction between the Western narrative and between the local and Islamic narrative opened my eyes in many ways. For example, in these Arabic textbooks, they talk about "al-Ruman" who were succeeded by "al-Rum". Back then (my age was 8), I noticed that something must be wrong in the textbook because there is a direct succession between the emperors of al-Ruman and al-Rum; besides, there was no invasion of another people. I also noticed that "Ruman" and "Rum" were similar. Therefore, I concluded back then, that "Ruman" and "Rum" are the same. My conclusions were later confirmed when I started reading ancient Arabic sources. In these sources, I couldn't find not a single instance of "Ruman"; everywhere, it was about the "Rum". Here is an example from one of the first books I read - the History of al-Ya'qubi (10th century AD):
    وكان أول من ملك من الروم بعد اليونانيين فهاساطق، وهو جاليوس الاصغر، ابن روم، وكان ملكه اثنتين وعشرين سنة. ثم ملك أغسطس، فلما أتى لملكه سنة، ولد المسيح، واتصل ملك أغسطس ثلاثا وأربعين سنة. ثم ملك طباريس اثنتين وعشرين سنة. ثم ملك جايس أربع سنين
    transcription:
    w kaana awwala man malaka min al Ruumi ba'da l Yuunaniyyiina Fahaasaataq wa huwa Jaaliyuus al asgar ibnu Ruumi w kaana mulkahu ithnatayni wa 'ishrina sanatin. thumma malaka Agustus falamma ata limulkihi sanatan wulida al Masiihu w attasala mulku Agustus thalaathan wa arba'ina sanatin. thumma malaka Tibaariyus ithnatayni wa 'ishrina sanatan. thumma malaka Jaayus arba'a sinina.
    (from here: http://www.yasoob.org/books/htm1/m024/28/no2804.html)

    Briefly, what he is saying is that the firt Roman who ruled was Gaius (22 years), who was succeeded by Augustus (34 years), then Tiberius (22 years), then Gaius (4 years).

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  6. I agree with 95% of what you write and as you mention the name "Romans" is very misleading and this is what I was trying to explain to you before, that the word Ρωμαίοι and the word Ρωμιοί are writen differently in Greek and they have a different meaning. The first means Romans the second means (Greeks or Rum) and is associted with belonging to the Greek Nation (ρωμιοσύνη) and the Greek Orthodox Church. Therefore it's defenetely NOT like saying "badira" or "pater", because Ρωμαίοι and Ρωμιοί have a completely different meaning.
    Even today we call the Greeks of Constantinople Ρωμιούς and the Turks in turn call them Rum (meaning Greek, as they call us Greek Cypriots "Kıbrıslı Rumlar". In both cases the word Ρωμιοί (Rum) does not mean Roman, but Greek as the word Rum Orthodox Church does not mean Roman Orthodox Church (there is no such thing as a Roman Orthodox Church) but Greek Orthodox Church. Let's not forget also that the word Byzantium or Byzantine Empire was something unknown to Medieval Greeks and this term was invented in 1557 by the German historian Hieronymus Wolf. Medieval Greeks called their land Romania, and that's from where, I believe the word Ρωμιοί derives from.
    When the Arabs came into contact with the Byzantine Greeks, they were calling themselves Ρωμιοί and not Ρωμαίοι and the word Ρωμιοί ment of the Greek Nation and the Greek Orthodox Church and not Roman. So the Arabs called us Rum meaning Greek and the same name was later given to us by the Turks. So the Arabs and the Turks gave us the correct meaning, while Westerners have confused these two words and made them both meaning Roman, stripping at the same time their different meanings away. This is happening up to the present day.
    I agree with you 100% that there is a great ignorance among modern Greeks (both in Greece and Cyprus) about Byzantium since it is intentionally excluded from the school history books. This scorn against Byzantium goes all the way back to the creation of the modern Greek State, where upon, the German King of Greece, Otho, had tried to build a Westernized Greek State, stripped off from its Byzantine heritage which was considered to be Eastern or Oriental and therefore "backward". This policy has been maintained up to the present day.
    Lets not forget also that the cultural capital of the Greek Peoples and their civilazation was Constantinople, but with the formation of the Modern Greek State, Constantinople was excluded as its capital since it was under the Ottomans, and Athens became the capital, which was then a backward small village.
    The exclusion of Constantinople as the capital of the Greek Nation had a very detrimental effect on the development and modernization of the Greek State, something that we witness especially these days, because Greeks never loved or trusted their new foreign dominated State (that's why they don't pay their taxes and there is so much corruption), although Greeks love their motherland with a passion.
    And although, yes, there is a great ignorance about Byzantine history among us Greeks, somehow, Byzantium and our Byzantine heritage has managed to survive in our national but also individual psyche mainly through our costoms and traditions but foremost through the Greek Orthodox Church. For this reason as opposed to the State, the Church is identified as the natural expression of the Greek People and the the guardian of our national identity.

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  7. I Forgot to add that for Modern Greeks, the word Ρωμιοί and Έλληνες has the same meaning.It means Greeks, except that the word Ρωμιοί has the connotation of being enslaved Greeks while the word Έλληνες has the meaning of a free Greek people. I guess this difference has come about as a result of the millet system practiced by the Ottoman Turks who called us Rum Millet, meaning Ρωμιοί who are under their enslavement.

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  8. You agree with what I said but nevertheless you dismiss it.

    I said: "After throwing out the kings, the Romans started expanding. The other tribes that were subjected by them were adopted as Romans. In 212 AD, Emperor Antoninus adopted all his non-Roman subjects as Romans. As such, by 212 AD, all the free inhabitants of the land of the Romans became Romans."
    And you dismiss all this as such: "Medieval Greeks called their land Romania, and that's from where, I believe the word Ρωμιοί derives from."

    "Romania" means the land of the Romans. Romios doesn't derive from Romania, Romios is the modern form of Romaios, just as badira is the modern form of pater. Romaios, in this form, was introduced in modern times into the modern language. It's like introducing pater into the modern language with a different meaning.

    What if you want to translate a sentence containing Romaios and Romios into Attic Greek, how do you translate both?

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  9. What you're stating is all true. The difference is that with time, the common word Ρωμαίος (Romaios) meaning Roman citizen was ultered and changed into Ρωμιός (Romios) meaning Greek, and again, later during the Ottoman Period, its meaning has changed to also have the present connotation, of an eslaved by the Turks, Greek.
    Of-course one cannot translate the word Romios into Attic Greek, because at that time, this word did not exist nor did Byzantium which develop its meaning existed. A lanaguage is not monolithic, it changes, and many ancient Greek words today have a different meaning than they had in ancient times, while the Greek language has been greatly enriched since ancient times.
    As Greeks, today we don't consider ourselves as Ρωμαίοι, but we still call our Nation Ρωμιοί and much has been written in modern Greek literature about Ρωμιοσύνη which means Greekness and not Romaness. This is the plain fact. Everything else is just misconceptions and wrong interpretations due the lack of the knowledge of Medieval and modern Greek language meanings.

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  10. An ethnonym, such as "Romans", "Syrians" or "Zulus", always indicate/mean a certain people. πολιτης/civis refers to a member of a certain people, and did not have the same modern meaning of "citizen". So, πολιτης Ρωμαιων/civis Romanus refers to a member of the people called "Romans". There was no such thing as a "citizen of Rome". In all ancient sources, there is not a single instance of something like πολιτης Ρωμης/civis Romae. Briefly, the idea of "citizen of Rome" did not exist. A πολιτης Ρωμαιων/civis Romanus was just a member of the Romans.

    Being Roman was defined by birth or adoption. A person was Roman if he was born to a Roman father, basically. A non-Roman could be adopted as Roman. All this is found in the Commentary of Gaius on the laws, in the Institutes of Justinian, in the Digestae of Justinian, in the Basilica or 16 Chapters, and in the Hexabiblus of Constantine Harmenopulus who wrote during the 14th century.
    I am a Rum (to use the local term) because I inherited this name from my father and my family, and they inherited the name from their natural or adoptive ancestors.

    The ethnonym "Greeks" was a general term applied by Western Romans to Easterns Romans. However, the Carolingians during the 9th century started claiming that the Eastern Romans are not Romans anymore but Greeks in order to prevent them from regaining Rome and Ravenna. This is evident in the letter of Emperor Louis the Carolingian to Emperor Basil in 871, where Louis says:
    “As God was able to raise up children of Abraham from stones, thus he was able
    to raise up the successors of the Roman Empire from the hardness of the Franks.
    And since, if we are from Christ, according to the apostle, we are the seed of
    Abraham; thus, if we are from Christ, by his grace we have power of everything
    that those, who are seen to be from Christ, have power of. And as we, for our
    faith in Christ, are the seed of Abraham, and the Jews, for their
    faithlessness, ceased to be the children of Abraham, thus, for our good
    opinion, that is orthodoxy, we took the command of the Roman Empire, while, for
    their cacodoxy, that is bad opinion, the Greeks ceased to be Emperors of the
    Romans. The Greeks have abandoned not only the town and the seat of empire, but
    also have lost the Roman nation and that language itself, having transmigrated
    in everything into another town, seat, nation and language.”
    (you can find the link of my article about this here: http://www.euratlas.net/cgi-bin/romiosyni_archive.pl?action=body&messageid=<1302115639.4d9cb537cc5a5@malix.univ-paris1.fr>&timerange=201104)

    After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, the Romans started migrating to Italy and France to reside and learn. It is there that they started refering to themselves as Γραικοι and Ελληνες because the Westerners were calling them as Greeks.

    As I said, Ρωμιοι is the modern form Ρωμαιοι. In all Greek books printed between 1500 and 1800, the form Ρωμαιοι is always used. Here are some examples:
    1) Στοιχεία αριθμητικής τε και αλγέβρας / Συγγραφέντα μεν γαλλιστί παρά του Αββά Δελα-Καϊλλέ: Μετά δε (μεταφρασθέντα ταύτα εις την των Ρωμαίων διάλεκτον) ο εν Ιατροφιλοσόφοις Σπυρίδων Ασάνης Κεφαλλήν εις την καθωμιλημένην απλοελληνικήν μετηνέγκατο : και τελευταίον εκ ταύτης εις την Ελληνίδα μεθηρμηνεύσατο Ιωνάς ιερομόναχος ο Σπαρμιώτης. (http://anemi.lib.uoc.gr/metadata/8/f/a/metadata-79-0000000.tkl) Here, την των Ρωμαίων διάλεκτον refers to the modern language.
    2) Θησαυρός τετράγλωσσος Εκ διαφόρων παλαιώντε και νεωτέρων Λεξικών συλλεχθείς, Μετά της των Επιθέτων εκλογής, και διττού των Λατινικώντε και Ιταλικών Λέξεων Πίνακος. / Γερασίμου Βλάχου του Κρητός Μητροπολίτου Φιλαδελφείας, Και των Ενετίησι Ρωμαίων Προέδρου.
    (http://anemi.lib.uoc.gr/metadata/5/7/d/metadata-218-0000006.tkl). Gerasimus Blachus is the president of the Greeks (Ρωμαίων) in Venice.

    I hope this evidence is sufficient.

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  11. What you write about the past is correct, except from what I know is that all the people who called themselves Roman were free citizens of Rome.
    The Greeks at that time did not call themselves Greek but Roman because the word "Greek" had the same meaning as idoladers and was not used by the Christians. The Eastern Roman Empire was in the begining a multicultural Empire, but after the sack of Constantinople by the crusaders and the later creation of "The Greek Byzantine Empire" the term Romaios was changed into Romios and came to be identified with the dominant element of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Greek Orthodox Christians.
    From then on, the word Ρωμιοί or Rum means Greek and it does not mean Roman. Today, the word Ρωμαίοι means Romans but not Ρωμιοί which means Greeks. I am a Ρωμιός or Rum but I am definitely not a Ρωμαίος (Roman) but Greek.
    The present day Ρωμιοί (what is left of them) of Constantinople and Asia Minor are not Romans but Greek and the Rum Orthodox Church such as the Patriarchite of Constantinople is not Roman but Greek.
    Ιn the conscience of the modern Greek people, the word Ρωμιός means Greek and not Roman and the word Ρωμιοσύνη means Greekness and not Romaness.
    I am not disagreeing with you, but letting you know that during the end of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium), the word Romios became synonymous with being Greek and this is so until the present day.

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  12. civis Romanus/πολιτης Ρωμαιων did not mean "citizen of Rome". This is a wrong understanding of the term and of the historical setting that Western historians still haven't got yet. As I said, "citizen of Rome" should translate as civis Romae/πολιτης Ρωμης; but nowhere is such a term found. Being Roman was a tribal affiliation.

    The ethnonym "Greeks" in the sense of those Romans who lived in the East did not appear except after the 4th century when the East was created.

    You're assuming that the ancient Greeks still exist. In 212 AD, when Emperor Antoninus made everybody Romans, all the ancient peoples ceased to exist. When a person belonging to a certain tribe is adopted into another tribe, then he stops belonging to his original tribes. All Greeks (Athenians, Lacones, Boeoti etc.) were made Romans in 212 AD by Antoninus and ceased to be Greeks. The word "Greeks" was used to refer to all those who spoke Greek, and later after the 4th century to all the Romans of the East.

    The problem with all the wrong versions of history is that they all originate from Western historians who have a wrong understanding of ancient times. For example, the concept of "citizen of Rome" was something that originated during the 12th century in a feudal context. In these feudal times, the inhabitants of the cities of Italy started freeing themselves from the power of the dukes and counts of Italy; they created a new status called the status of the citizen. The citizen (also burgess or bourgeois) was a priviliged inhabitant of a city. Not all inhabitants of cities were citizens. The inhabitants of the counties of each city were not citizens. Now, during the 12th century, the people of Rome freed themselves from feudal and papal rule and created the class of "citizens of Rome", which class remained untill the 19th century and when Western historians wrote about the ancient Romans they understood things in this context. That's why Western narrative of ancient and later Romans is fundamentally flawed.

    That's why one should drop totally reading anything by Western historians, as well as modern Greek historians (who are nothing but a copy of the Westerners), and read about the Romans from what the Romans wrote about themselves in the original languages (Latin, Greek, Syriac or Arabic) not in the translation. This is the root of all the mistunderstanding. Why should Westerns keep manipulating our history according to their own flaws and, consequently, our existence? Why should it be that everything we read is something written by modern Westerners and that every concept we use is a flawed concept created by Westerners? Can't we read and understand what our ancestors wrote directly in order to understand better the situation?

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  13. Well, this is what I am doing. I am defining history according to my own living cultural experiences and not from academic books (although they are also useful) written by Westerns and non Westerners about me as a Greek.
    Modern Greeks are a continuation of ancient Greeks of-course via Byzantium, and ancient Greek culture has been passed on to us up to the present day. This can be witnessed firstly by the Greek language (the Greek Cypriot dialect which was not influenced by Slavic is much closer to ancient Greek, than Modern standard Greek. many ancient Greek customs have survived camouflaged within Greek Orthodox Christianity. Much of the ancient Greek thought has survived at the academic centers of Constantinople, Antioch, Byritus (Beirut), Alexandria etc, during the Byzantine era. It is from the Byzantines that the Arabs later took and translated the Greek ancients and also ancient Greek thought has been Incorporated into Greek Orthodox Christianity. Many of our Orthodox Church Fathers have been educated according to ancient Greek learning and have incorporated Platonism into Christian ethics and theology.
    However, after the fall of Constantinople, we Greeks had officially fallen into our "Dark Age" under Frankish and Ottoman rule. Unfortunately, we still have not come out of it because we are today culturally colonized by Western Europe and America. So, we are today cultural hostages and we cannot produce culture nor can we advance the one we have. I think the Arabs are in a similar situation. The difference here is that unlike the Arabs, the Greeks have not identified themselves with their conquerors and their language, as is the case in Lebanon and many countries of the Maghreb. There is no cultural ambivalence among the Greeks.
    At the same time, the Rum of Syria and Lebanon have identified themselves firstly, with their Arab conquerors and their language, and later with their French colonizers, especially in Lebanon, that's why in Lebanon they use French as their mother language the same way the Morinotes do.

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  14. "Modern Greeks are a continuation of ancient Greeks of-course via Byzantium, and ancient Greek culture has been passed on to us up to the present day. This can be witnessed firstly by the Greek language (the Greek Cypriot dialect which was not influenced by Slavic is much closer to ancient Greek, than Modern standard Greek. many ancient Greek customs have survived camouflaged within Greek Orthodox Christianity."

    You're still using Western terminology: "Greeks", "Byzantium" and "Greek Orthodox". You're also arguing based on the modern nationalistic Western argument that culture and language define the people. By the way, in the terminology of the Orthodox Church, there is no such thing as the Greek Orthodox Church; it's always the Eastern Orthodox Church. "Greek Church" is a Western terminology.

    Ancient Greeks were defined by blood not by language. To be Greek, one had to belong to any of the Greek tribes: the Iones Athenaioi, the Boiotoi, the Akhaioi, the Thessaloi, the Arkades etc. Aristotle defines the πολιτης as: "ορίζονται δὲ πρὸς τὴν χρησιν πολίτην τὸν εξ αμφοτέρων πολιτων καὶ μὴ θατέρου μόνον, οιον πατρὸς ὴ μητρός." (Πολιτικα 1275b)
    One cannot argue about blood continuity based on the use of language or books.
    The other Greeks, i.e. the Greek speaking and Eastern Romans, are defined by language and land. They are a different people. You have two different peoples here:
    1) The ancient Greeks.
    2) The Greek Romans.
    We belong to the second people.


    "I think the Arabs are in a similar situation."

    In reality, the Arabic-using Muslims are a mixture of many peoples, that Arabs form a minority among them. Only in Arabia, do Arabs form the majority. Being Arab is defined by blood not by language. Of course, Arab nationalism has infested everywhere, especially the media.


    "At the same time, the Rum of Syria and Lebanon have identified themselves firstly, with their Arab conquerors and their language"

    This happened after 1860 with the spread of the ideology of Arab nationalism. In any case, one cannot be a Rum and an Arab at the same time; so the logic behind this ideology is flawed. The whole Arab nationalist narrative doesn't make sense and doesn't fit with reality.
    But still you're confusing what language a people uses with the definition of this people. To use Arabic does not mean to become Arab. Armenians in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine also use Arabic.

    Concerning me, I never called myself Arab because when I was very young I learned that we were Rum and that this word translates as Greek in French/English. I also learned from history textbooks about the Arab conquests and how the Arabs fought the Rum. I didn't need to explain why we spoke Arabic (or at least a language derived from Arabic, because we don't even speak the original Arabic language), because it was self evident that this language came with the conqueror. Besides, we use Greek in the liturgy and all the icons had Greek writings. So, everything was clear to me since childhood.

    The Western idea that a people is defined by language is strange to us here, especially that most of us speak many languages. Since the Helladians and Cypriots are often monolingual, it is obvious that language, in addition to Hellenic nationalism, creates among them a narrowmindedness that makes their whole life centered about this language (or group of languages).

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  15. First of all, it is a real pleasure for me to have this very mind stimulating exchange of ideas with you.
    I guess I am using Western terminology because I had a Western education and i can't help that, because I can't express myself in an Eastern way, which by the way I dubt greatly if there is such a thing as an Eastern education.
    In any case, I am neither Western nor Eastern, I am Greek, and this puts me somewhere in the middle.
    Again, I agree with you in most of what you say, but I desagree with you where you state that there is no such thing as a Greek Orthodox Church. Of-course there is. We call our Church Ελληνορθόδοξη Εκκλησία which means Greek Orthodox Church, as opposed to the Russian Orthodox Church, or the Serbian Orthodox Church or what have you. And the reason behind this, is that all these different Orthodox Churches have their own different traditions. The Greek Orthodox Church has the Greek-byzantine tradition, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian Tradition, and so forth.
    I also disagree wiith your possition that there are two kinds of Greeks, because the Greeks who lved in Asia Minor and Cyprus but also in Antioch and Lebanon, where you live, migrated from mainland Greece and formed colonies there. They did the same in Sicily.
    What I am writing here is so elementary, and I would expect that you would know that, but there were two major Hellenic Tribes, the Messinian and Doric tribe. When the Doric tribe invated southern Greece, there was another major movement and migration of Messinian Greeks into Asia Minor and Cyprus.
    The Greeks who settled in Cyprus for instance, came from Archadia, that's why we have the ancient Archado-Cypriot dialect.
    Therefore. all Greeks living outside mainland Greece, had migrated there from Greece.
    I also disagree with yoy when you state that "Ancient Greeks were defined by blood not by language". That's completely wrong, because the ancinet Greeks called all the people who did not speak Greek, Barbarians. Therefore the Greek language was a major factor in defining oneself as a Greek. The second factor was the Greek customs and education, and we can see Alexander being accused by his comrades of taking over barbarian customs.
    I don't believe that the Greeks were more pure blooded then, than they are today, since they had many slaves living among them and I am sure they produced children with them. Also they had come into conduct with the Persians and other neighbouring people, and it's inevitable that they interbreeded.
    However, that does not mean anything, because it's the language, culture, and the way of life that keeps a Nation alive, not the purity of their blood.
    I think that the following poem by Constantine P. Cavafy summons up everything:

    Poseidonians
    [We behave like] the Poseidonians in the Tyrrhenian
    Gulf, who although of Greek origin, became barbarized as
    Tyrrhenians or Romans and changed their speech and the
    customs of their ancestors. But they observe one Greek
    festival even to this day; during this they gather together
    and call up from memory their ancient names and customs,
    and then, lamenting loudly to each other and weeping,
    they go away.

    Athenaios, Deipnosophistai, Book 14, 31A (632)

    The Poseidonians forgot the Greek language
    after so many centuries of mingling
    with Tyrrhenians, Latins, and other foreigners.
    The only thing surviving from their ancestors
    was a Greek festival, with beautiful rites,
    with lyres and flutes, contests and garlands.
    And it was their habit towards the festival's end
    to tell each other about their ancient customs
    and once again to speak Greek names
    that hardly any of them still recognized.
    And so their festival always had a melancholy ending
    because they remebered that they too were Greeks,
    they too once upon a time were citizens of Magna Graecia.
    But how they'd fallen now, how they'd changed,
    living and speaking like barbarians,
    cut off so disastrously from the Greek way of life.

    Constantine P. Cavafy

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  16. There is no "Eastern" terminology. But there is a Western terminology that contradicts the terminology of the Greek Romans themselves.


    The word Ελληνορθόδοξη appeared after 1830. Of course, it is true that such a Church exists, but what I meant is that before 1830 such a term didn't exist.


    "However, that does not mean anything, because it's the language, culture, and the way of life that keeps a Nation alive, not the purity of their blood."

    Just to clarify, when I say blood I mean descent from father to son; but this also includes adoption. So I'm using it metaphorically. For example, a Barbarian could be adopted as a member of a Greek tribe; this is adoption. In 212 AD, Emperor Aurelius Antoninus adopted all the non-Romans under his rule as Romans of the Aurelia family. I don't mean by blood the Western concept, whereby one is excluded from the tribe if there is blood mixture. Such ideas did not exist in ancient times. Such ideas are also Western ideas. Besides intermarriage between two tribes doesn't mean these two tribes are not defined by descent.

    Anyway, Aristotle is clear when he said that a polites is defined by birth. How can we dismiss that?

    Besides, language, culture and ways of life change over time. The modern Greek languages are different from the ancient ones. Tsaconian is totally different from the others. We would expect Arcadian to be spoken in Cyprus, but instead we have a language descending from the κοινη.

    I will assume that culture, language and ways of life are what defines a people. But based on that, I can conclude that those who speak Tsaconian are a different people from those who speak Athenian. I can also include that there is no continuity between ancient and modern times because the modern languages are different from the ancient languages.

    As I said, there are two historically attested definition for "Greeks":
    1) The ancient Greeks, who were defined by birth or adoption.
    2) The Romans of the East, who were defined by language.

    The idea that culture, language and ways of life is what defines a people is also a modern Western idea. If you look at Europe, the basic things that divide humans there are language and regions. The ancient tribes that once existed there - the Romans, the Franks, the Burgunds, the Lombards and others - all disappeared. Europeans divide themselves according to languages and regions; these are the bases of the division between the Flemish and the Walloons in Belgium. Europeans don't understand tribal belongingness; they only understand divisions based on language and culture and think that all the world is divided as such just like them. This mentality is not found among the Greeks before 1820; the only Greeks who adopted such a mentality were those who were educated in Europe, and indeed most educated Greeks before 1820 were located in Europe. But after 1820, they started brainwashing everybody with such ideologies through the educational system. Everybody now in Greece and Cyprus are brainwashed into this mentality.

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  17. Concerning the Posidonians, what Athenaeus means is that they were originally Greeks then they became Barbarian when they became Etruscans or Romans, but that the only indicator of their origin was that Greek feast since they also changed their language. This is the perfect example of what I'm saying about how some tribes adopt members of other tribes. Here, the Posidonians, a Greek tribe, were adopted as Etruscans or Romans and ceased to be Greeks.

    The way Cavafy understands this, while fitting with his Hellenic-nationalistic mentality, doesn't prove anything.

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  18. The reason why we are having a discussion and why I keep having discussions with Helladians and Cypriots about these things is: Hellenic nationalism. I don't get into similar long arguments with the Lebanese Greeks; even those brainwashed into Arab nationalism become doubtful about this ideology. Most of the arguments you give to me are elements of Hellenic nationalism which is the dominant ideology of Greece and Cyprus that no one dares to question. And one of the most dangerous effects of Hellenic nationalism is erasing the name Ρωμαιοι and replacing it with Ελληνες.

    Hellenic nationalism is a Western and Freemasonist product. The first Hellenic nationalists were all educated in Europe and Russia, and it seems that many of them were Freemasons. Capodistria was a freemason. Check these:
    http://www.balkanalysis.com/blog/2006/09/28/freemasonry-in-greece-secret-history-revealed
    http://www.tovima.gr/relatedarticles/article/?aid=172012
    Freemasons were basically agents of the British and Russian governments.
    The revolt of 1820 served the interests of the Britts and Russians more than the interests of the Greeks. The Britts and the Russians were the real rulers of Greece during this time and the Hellenic nationalistic elite were in their hand. Hellenic nationalism was one means by which the Britts promoted their own interests; everybody in Greece had to be uniformally brainwashed into this ideology through the educational system.

    Ever since, everybody in Greece and Cyprus has being and are still brainwashed.

    One should not dismiss political and financial interests and its effects on the falsification of history. Paparrigopulus was an important figure in the falsification of history. His books were written for the profit of the Hellenic nationalistic elite and they served to affirm their authority back then.

    Hellenic nationalism was imposed by force because Hellenic nationalists were the agents of the Britts and Russians, and the latter were the real governor of Greece. There was no other option and there is still no other option.


    It is no coincidence that the first Arab nationalists were also Freemasons. The first Arab nationalists were the American and British missionaries, who founded the Syrian Protestant College (later American University of Beirut), and local converts to Protestantism, like Botros Bustani. The locals learned Arab nationalism from the Britts and Americans. Botros Bustani was a Freemason. They were all serving British interests, and Arab nationalism, just as Hellenic nationalism, was another pillar of British interests.

    The first thing that Helladians and Cypriots should do is to liberate themselves from the ideology of Hellenic nationalism and to recognise its lies. Helladians now are not even aware that part of their problems are directly caused by this ideology, because those who rule Greece are submitting the people to foreigners through this ideology.

    And as it is said in the scriptures: καὶ γνώσεσθε τὴν ἀλήθειαν καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια ἐλευθερώσει ὑμᾶς.

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  19. It's strange how you word things to sound as if we're in contradiction with each other. Most of what you state here is true, but you give no alternatives. What were we supposed to do? To remain slaves under the Ottoman Turks and adopt their language and customs? Don't all Nations in the world have the right to be free? And sure, nationalism, like all other modern concepts has developed in Europe, but if Greeks did not want to leberate themselves,no matter how much the Μυστική Εταιρεία tried, it would not have worked. Besides the great majority of the people who fought for Greek Independence were uneducated and had no access to Western concepts of nationalism. Aslo the Souliotes (who spoke Albanian as well as Greek) had fought for centuries to keep their independence and had no Western education nor did they know what nationalism was. I think, the desire to be free is innate and part of hyman nature.
    Now, if Capodistrias, Rigas Phereos and all the others were freemasons, and that the foreign powers were using the desire of the Greeks for freedom, for their own personal and national interest, that's a different story. And surely, England and Russia did not care about the Greek people but their own interest, everybody knows this.
    The fact remains that we have never managed to free Asia Minor where the majority of the Greek people lived, we never managed to free Constantinople, our cultural capital, and this has handicapped us as a Nation. We tried to free Cyprus, but the Western powers were against us, and we have the results of today, with 37% of our island under Turkish occupation.
    There is nothing wrong with loving your country. This is called φιλοπατρία. What is wrong is becaming racist, and for sure I do not condone racism.
    As for the Rum of Lebanon and Syria, the great majority unfortunately have adopted Arab nationalism, and think of themselves as Arabs and not Greek (due mostly to the Patriarchs of Antioch who have adopted this political stand in order to find patronage from the Syrian Goverments).
    However, if they had kept their Greek language and national identity, no-one would have made them believe that they are Arabs. The only thing that keeps them from becoming completely Arab is their Greek Orthodox religion, but even the name Greek is systematically being replaced with the word "Syrian", and the word Rum is translated as meaning Roman, (somethng which from your writings you seem to support) and not Greek. This is done in order to erase any remembrance among the Antiochian Greek Orthodox of their Greek roots and Greek idendity. And what is more sad, it is done by the Patriarch and the Bishops of the Church of Antioch.
    If this makes you happy, and you want to be Arabs, that's fine but the fact remains that originally you were Greeks, and not Roman Greeks (there is no such thing, but Greeks who became Roman citizens), but real Greeks who lost their language and identity.

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  20. "It's strange how you word things to sound as if we're in contradiction with each other."

    I'm just pointing to elements of the Hellenic nationalistic narrative that do not reflect historical reality.


    "Most of what you state here is true, but you give no alternatives."

    The issue is about rejecting modern narratives that were fabricated in modern times. The alternative is found in all books written by the Romans before 1500, or at least before Biblion Historicon by Dorotheus of Monembasia. The alternative is to rediscover these and to understand them according to how those who wrote them understood them. This is what I did. Fortunatly, now in the age of the internet we have more than a thousand digitised book written by the Romans in Latin and Greek, here:
    http://anemi.lib.uoc.gr/
    http://www.tlg.uci.edu/
    http://www.brepolis.net/



    "What were we supposed to do? To remain slaves under the Ottoman Turks and adopt their language and customs? Don't all Nations in the world have the right to be free? And sure, nationalism, like all other modern concepts has developed in Europe, but if Greeks did not want to leberate themselves,no matter how much the Μυστική Εταιρεία tried, it would not have worked. Besides the great majority of the people who fought for Greek Independence were uneducated and had no access to Western concepts of nationalism. Aslo the Souliotes (who spoke Albanian as well as Greek) had fought for centuries to keep their independence and had no Western education nor did they know what nationalism was. I think, the desire to be free is innate and part of hyman nature."

    True, but this isn't what I'm talking about. If you read the Hellenic nationalistic narrative carefully, they always say that there wouldn't be liberation without this ideology. In fact, this is what they mean by Romaios = doulos and Ellen = eleutheros.


    "There is nothing wrong with loving your country. This is called φιλοπατρία. What is wrong is becaming racist, and for sure I do not condone racism."

    This isn't what I'm talking about. Of course, loving one's patria, be it a village, town or country, is inherent in humans. But nationalism is not just about philopatria, it's about creating a fictive history and imposing it on the population. Arab nationalism is one case; see Saddam, Qaddafi, Asad and others.


    "As for the Rum of Lebanon and Syria, the great majority unfortunately have adopted Arab nationalism, and think of themselves as Arabs and not Greek (due mostly to the Patriarchs of Antioch who have adopted this political stand in order to find patronage from the Syrian Goverments)."

    Don't forget also Syrian nationalism and Lebanese nationalism. But still in Lebanon, these ideologies are not imposed as they are imposed in Syria, Jordan and Egypt. I was always exposed different ideologies but I never adopted any because I saw that they were all based on lies and were unfounded in history, nay even the most recent history. By the way, we had a long war in Lebanon because Arab nationalists were trying to impose their ideology on everybody; and Christians (Maronites, Greeks, Syrians, Chaldeans etc.) were demonized because they were refusing this ideology.


    "However, if they had kept their Greek language and national identity, no-one would have made them believe that they are Arabs."

    Not necessarily, because many Armenians are Arabic speakers but no one tries to make them believe they are Arabs.

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  21. "and the word Rum is translated as meaning Roman, (somethng which from your writings you seem to support) and not Greek."

    Have you read the works of John Romanides? Romanides is a Greek whose parents came from Arabissu in Cappadocia. Check all his works here: http://romanity.org. He translates Romiosyni as Romanity and Rum/Romaioi/Romioi as Romans.
    In any case, the Arabic word Rum derives from the Syriac Romaye which derives from the Greek Romaioi which derives from the Latin Romani. In all Arabic book, and I give one citations, the Romans are referred as al-Rum. So why would the Rum of the 2nd century AD be different than the Rum of the 10th century or the 15th century or the 19th century? Besides, the Arabic word that corresponds to Greeks is al Yunaniyyun اليونانيون. So why wouldn't I translate Rum as Romans? In any case, as I said, the Romans of the East were called Greeks and the Romans of the West were called Latin; and I explain all this in my book.


    "This is done in order to erase any remembrance among the Antiochian Greek Orthodox of their Greek roots and Greek idendity. And what is more sad, it is done by the Patriarch and the Bishops of the Church of Antioch. If this makes you happy, and you want to be Arabs,"

    Well, if 50% of Greeks here want to call themselves Arabs and erase the name Rum, then this decision applies to them not to me and they can't force it on me. Besides, the Patriarch should have authority over ecclesiastical affairs, and specifically over the Church of Antioch, and not on secular affairs like this. So the Patriarch cannot force me to call myself Arab because he has no authority to do so. All the canons of the councils, including the letters of Paul and earliest canons, are clear about the Patriach's authority.



    "and not Roman Greeks (there is no such thing, but Greeks who became Roman citizens),"

    There is no different between "Roman" and "Roman citizen". There is no such thing as "citizen of Rome"; the idea didn't exist.



    "but real Greeks who lost their language and identity."

    Not really, because they still use ancient Greek in the liturgy and the original ethnonym Rum/Romaioi is still used.

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  22. Dear Alexander,

    I have been looking at your name and not only do you have a very Greek first name but also I am wondering if your last name derives from the Greek word ουρανής which means light blue from the colour of the sky which is called ουρανός. Usually people who have this last name have blue eyes as a dominant trait in their family.
    Anyways, this is just a thought, but what is important is that you're an Antiochian Greek who has not lost his Greek ethnic identity and turn into an Arab, and not only that, but you're also an intellectual of this community, which means that you can do much in helping
    your people decolonize themselves from the Arab identity imposed on them firstly by the Antiochian Patriarchate in Damascus, and secondly by non Orthodox political parties in Lebanon.
    I know that the Greek Orthodox in Syria are a lost case, but at least you can do something in Lebanon where Arab propaganda has not yet taken deep roots among the minds of at least a big part of the Greek Orthodox community there.
    I hope one day the Greeks of Lebanon will regain their Greek identity and Greek ethnic consciousness. I believe that the biggest obstacle to this is the pro- Arab dominated Patriarchate in Damascus which has opened up its own gave and now that Assad and the Ba'ath party will fall, their Arab Muslim brothers will massacre them and they will have no-one to help them.
    As opposed to what you state, the Greek Orthodox Churches have always been greatly political, many times, as is the case in Greece and Cyprus, the Church Hierarch was always taking the role of Ethnarch, and the Church has always been the guardian of our Greek Nation. That's why, as opposed to Europe, the Church in Greece and Cyprus is not separated from the State.
    What is important therefore, is for the Antiochian Church to stop been pro-Arab and spreading Arab nationalist propaganda, and I think that the current events in Syria have proven the falacity of this policy.
    Now its the opportunity for the Lebanese Greek Orthodox to avoid the same mistakes the Syrian Greek Orthodox did, and push themselves back from the Arab propaganda and bring forth their true ethnic identity which is Greek and not Arab. It doesn't matter which term you use, Rum or Hellene, as long as you have a Greek ethnic identity.
    All these years, the Antiochian Church in Damascus has alienated its flock from its Greek roots and Greek brothers in Greece and Cyprus, and has driven it into the the hands of their fanatic Muslim Arab murderers by supporting Assad and the Pa'ath party.
    I hope now that things will change and you as a Lebanese Greek Orthodox intellectual can do much towards this direction.

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  23. Hourani means "of Hauran". Hauran is a region in southern Syria now that contains the towns of Bosra (ancient Βοστρα) and Daraa (ancient Αδραα). Hauran is mentioned in Ezekiel 47:18: "On the east side the boundary will run between Hauran and Damascus"/"καὶ τὰ πρὸς ἀνατολὰς ἀνὰ μέσον τῆς Aυρανίτιδος καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον Δαμασκοῦ". In Greek, it was known as Aυρανίτις. My sixth grandfather came from this region.

    By the way, I am not the only one who refuses these ideologies. Many local Greeks like me also refuse it, but they still need some guidance into the history of the people. There is so much ignorance here. Of course, there are some who are very ideologized that you can't even discuss with them. Others profit financially from Arab nationalism through Saudi or Qatari money or whoever pays more.

    The Greeks of Syria are not a lost case because they still use the name "Rum". They become a lost case only when they cease to exist in Syria.

    There is an important thing to notice is that Arab nationalism is a decaying ideology. Qaddafi and Saddam have fallen. Even the remains of the Nasserist regime in Egypt are not in a good condition. The Asadist regime is also very weak.

    Forcing people to call themselves Arabs is not only a problem that Christians suffer from, but a problem that Arabic-speaking Muslims also suffer from as a big part of these Muslims are not even Arabs but Turks, Kurds, Berbers, Cherkesses, Persians, and converted Copts, Georgians, Armenians, Greeks, Syrians and Chaldeans.

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  24. By the way, I want to note something that there is custom among all Christians of Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan, especially among Greeks and Maronites, to hold two names. The first one is taken upon birth and baptism; this name is an ancestral name, usually the name of the saint on whose day the person is born. This name is called baptism name (esem el 'mede). The second name is taken after and is an Arabic name; the second name is the one commonly used.
    The main reason for this practice was to hide who they were by taking Arabic names.

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  25. Thanks so much for all this information. I might need your help because I am planing to type up and post on my blog an article written by Photis Kontoglou about the ancient monasteries of greater Syria (Lebanon included) and Mesopotamia. I want to also translate it into English, but in this article, there are many names of mountains and cities which are identified by their Greek names and I do not know their location and by what name they are known with known today. If you like to help me with these names please let me know, and send me your e-mail so I can forward them to you there.
    As for the self-identity matter, I am sure that you know that things cannot change over night, because the Greek Orthodox secular and Church leaders as well as intellectuals of your community have taken a strong pro Arab stand and have actually contributed greatly to Pan-Arabism, such as Antoun Saadeh.
    What is very encouraging is that there is now a growing movement within the Greek Orthodox community in Lebanon disputing them and are taking back their original Greek identity.
    The current evens in Syria have proven that the Muslim "Arabs" have never actually believed or accepted you as being Arabs. What is ironic is that they themselves are in reality not Arabs but arabized ex -Christians.
    Anyways,that does not concern me but I feel sad seeing the Greek Orthodox calling themselves Arabs, as if they have moved from the Arabian desert into Lebanon and Syria.
    However, if history does not speak to them, there are the ancient cities and stones full of Greek writing and the Greek names of your cities and mountains which have been changed into Arabic. But most important, there is your Greek Orthodox faith, which is a living testimony of your Greek ethnic background, and the Greek language in your services which reminds you, that this was your original language.
    I have notice this practice of giving two names to people in Lebanon, and now I understand why this is happening.
    It is also the custom in Greece and Cyprus to be given the name of the Saint celebrating on the day a person is born, but of-course we are not only baptized by it, but also call ourselves by it. Each year, we celebrate the name of the Saint that we were named after, its called "Name Day".

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  26. You can use this email: alexandre.hourani AT malix.univ-paris1.fr. I will help you on what you need.

    By the way, Anton Saade was a Syrian nationalist who founded the Syrian Social National Party, modeled on the Nazi part. Saade was opposed to Arab nationalism and did not consider himself Arab but Syrian. Syrian nationalists were always opposed to Arab nationalism until their failed coup d'etat during the 60s. After that, they adopted Arab nationalism. There is a wrong conception about the local Greeks that they invented Arab nationalsm, which is wrong because the first Arab nationalists were European, American and local Protestants. Arab nationalism is a Western creation that was transmitted to the people of Syria and Lebanon through the schools of Protestan, Catholic and Russian missionaries. The Russians had a great contribution in spreading Arab nationalism because they were controling the education of the Orthodox between 1870 and 1917. In fact, the Russian eliminated the study of the Greek language and replaced it with Russian. The Russians still call us Arabs. Anton Saade was not an Arab nationalist. Michel Aflak was one of the founders of the Baath party but not the first founder as the real founder is Zaki Arsuzi, an Alawite.

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  27. hank you so much for your kindness and I realy appriciate your offer for help.
    I have just posted the article in Greek, and the reason I wanted to translate it into English is because there is much information given about Christian places of worship before the advent of Islam in the region.
    However, I found out as I was typing it that it's extremely difficult for me to translate it because there are so many places and names of saints that I do not know their English translations. Also there is a part of the writing which is in Koini Greek and I barely understand what is written so there is no way I can translate that either. So I decided not to translate it.

    As for the Russians, they also played a major role in ousting the Greek Patriarch of Antioch in 1897 so that they could have influence in the region. Their aim of-course was (and still is) to take control over the Patriarchite of Jerusalem. And that's another sad story....

    This is my e-mail also: noctoc@lycos.com

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  28. Send me the English version and I will revise the names. I'm better in Ancient Greek than in the modern language.

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  29. It seems this post became more about the distinction of Romioi and Romaioi. I on the other hand I am more interested on the topic of "Arodafnousa", who Ky-pros Chrysanthis uses here as an impersonation of Cyprus itself. The celebrated Cypriot chronograph-er Leontious Machairas provides the historical facts that led to the formation of this legend.

    Arodafnousa is none other but the noblewoman Jeanne L' Aleman, the Lady of Choulou, widow of a foreign (probably German) nobleman and mistress of King Peter I of Cyprus. The Queen is Eleanor of Aragon who indeed imprisoned Jeanne, but did not kill her, rather than forcing her to enter a monastery. The only victim of the story is the child of Jeanne and Peter that it is born alive but is vanished - no-one knows exactly what happened to it.

    I know that even Nobel laureate Seferis was fascinated about this legend, where a foreign noblewoman become as symbol of a country whose fairness and beauty became its curse.

    Does anyone know any further information and sources about Arodafnousa/Jeanne L' Aleman?

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