Author Archive

Ελλήνων Πάσχα!

April 5th, 2010

Carlson Gracie Blue Belt

January 12th, 2010
Blue Belt

Blue Belt

Became Carlson Gracie Blue Belt!

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Pervasive computing gone wrong once more…

September 10th, 2009

From the personal entertainment system used in aeroplanes. Effie’s chair Linux embedded chair crashed and rebooted after she tried to play solitaire.

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Wall graffiti in Greece

June 12th, 2009

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Places in Greece

May 23rd, 2009

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Letter to President Barack Obama

May 21st, 2009

alexander-great-mosaicMay 18, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama

President, United States of America

White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

We, the undersigned scholars of Graeco-Roman antiquity, respectfully request that you intervene to clean up some of the historical debris left in southeast Europe by the previous U.S. administration.

On November 4, 2004, two days after the re-election of President George W. Bush, his administration unilaterally recognized the “Republic of Macedonia.” This action not only abrogated geographic and historic fact, but it also has unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism, of which the most obvious symptom is the misappropriation by the government in Skopje of the most famous of Macedonians, Alexander the Great. 

We believe that this silliness has gone too far, and that the U.S.A. has no business in supporting the subversion of history. Let us review facts. (The documentation for these facts (here in boldface) can be found attached and at:

The land in question, with its modern capital at Skopje, was called Paionia in antiquity. Mts. Barnous and Orbelos (which form today the northern limits of Greece) provide a natural barrier that separated, and separates, Macedonia from its northern neighbor. The only real connection is along the Axios/Vardar River and even this valley “does not form a line of communication because it is divided by gorges.”

While it is true that the Paionians were subdued by Philip II, father of Alexander, in 358 B.C. they were not Macedonians and did not live in Macedonia. Likewise, for example, the Egyptians, who were subdued by Alexander, may have been ruled by Macedonians, including the famous Cleopatra, but they were never Macedonians themselves, and Egypt was never called Macedonia.

Rather, Macedonia and Macedonian Greeks have been located for at least 2,500 years just where the modern Greek province of Macedonia is. Exactly this same relationship is true for Attica and Athenian Greeks, Argos and Argive Greeks, Corinth and Corinthian Greeks, etc.

We do not understand how the modern inhabitants of ancient Paionia, who speak Slavic – a language introduced into the Balkans about a millennium after the death of Alexander – can claim him as their national hero. Alexander the Great was thoroughly and indisputably Greek. His great-great-great grandfather, Alexander I, competed in the Olympic Games where participation was limited to Greeks. 

Even before Alexander I, the Macedonians traced their ancestry to Argos, and many of their kings used the head of Herakles – the quintessential Greek hero – on their coins.

Euripides – who died and was buried in Macedonia– wrote his play Archelaos in honor of the great-uncle of Alexander, and in Greek. While in Macedonia, Euripides also wrote the Bacchai, again in Greek. Presumably the Macedonian audience could understand what he wrote and what they heard.

Alexander´s father, Philip, won several equestrian victories at Olympia and Delphi, the two most Hellenic of all the sanctuaries in ancient Greece where non-Greeks were not allowed to compete. Even more significantly, Philip was appointed to conduct the Pythian Games at Delphi in 346 B.C. In other words, Alexander the Great´s father and his ancestors were thoroughly Greek. Greek was the language used by Demosthenes and his delegation from Athens when they paid visits to Philip, also in 346 B.C. Another northern Greek, Aristotle, went off to study for nearly 20 years in the Academy of Plato. Aristotle subsequently returned to Macedonia and became the tutor of Alexander III. They used Greek in their classroom which can still be seen near Naoussa in Macedonia.

Alexander carried with him throughout his conquests Aristotle´s edition of Homer´s Iliad. Alexander also spread Greek language and culture throughout his empire, founding cities and establishing centers of learning. Hence inscriptions concerning such typical Greek institutions as the gymnasium are found as far away as Afghanistan. They are all written in Greek.

The questions follow: Why was Greek the lingua franca all over Alexander´s empire if he was a “Macedonian”? That is why the New Testament, for example, was written in Greek?

The answers are clear: Alexander the Great was Greek, not Slavic, and Slavs and their language were nowhere near Alexander or his homeland until 1000 years later. This brings us back to the geographic area known in antiquity as Paionia. Why would the people who live there now call themselves Macedonians and their land Macedonia? Why would they abduct a completely Greek figure and make him their national hero? 

The ancient Paionians may or may not have been Greek, but they certainly became Greekish, and they were never Slavs. They were also not Macedonians. Ancient Paionia was a part of the Macedonian Empire. So were Ionia and Syria and Palestine and Egypt and Mesopotamia and Babylonia and Bactria and many more. They may thus have become “Macedonian” temporarily, but none was ever “Macedonia”. The theft of Philip and Alexander by a land that was never Macedonia cannot be justified.

The traditions of ancient Paionia could be adopted by the current residents of that geographical area with considerable justification. But the extension of the geographic term “Macedonia” to cover southern Yugoslavia cannot. Even in the late 19th century, this misuse implied unhealthy territorial aspirations.

The same motivation is to be seen in school maps that show the pseudo-greater Macedonia, stretching from Skopje to Mt. Olympus and labeled in Slavic. The same map and its claims are in calendars, bumper stickers, bank notes, etc., that have been circulating in the new state ever since it declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Why would a poor land-locked new state attempt such historical nonsense? Why would it brazenly mock and provoke its neighbor?

However one might like to characterize such behavior, it is clearly not a force for historical accuracy, nor for stability in the Balkans. It is sad that the United States of America has abetted and encouraged such behavior. 

We call upon you, Mr. President, to help – in whatever ways you deem appropriate – the government in Skopje to understand that it cannot build a national identity at the expense of historic truth. Our common international society cannot survive when history is ignored, much less when history is fabricated.



Harry C. Avery, Professor of Classics, University of Pittsburgh (USA) Elizabeth C. Banks, Associate Professor of Classics (ret.), University of Kansas (USA)

Elizabeth Baughan, Assistant Professor of Classics and Archaeology, University of Richmond (USA)

Bradley, Keith, Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Professor of Classics, Concurrent Professor of History, University of Notre Dame (USA)

Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge (UK)

Paavo Castrén, Professor of Classical Philology Emeritus, University of Helsinki (Finland)

William Cavanagh, Professor of Aegean Prehistory, University of Nottingham (UK)

Paul Christesen, Professor of Ancient Greek History, Dartmouth College (USA)

Ada Cohen, Associate Professor of Art History, Dartmouth College (USA)

Randall M. Colaizzi, Lecturer in Classical Studies, University of Massachusetts-Boston (USA)

Wolfgang Decker, Professor emeritus of sport history, Deutsche Sporthochschule, Köln (Germany) 

Michael Dewar, Professor of Classics, University of Toronto (Canada)

John D. Dillery, Associate Professor of Classics, University of Virginia (USA)

Sheila Dillon, Associate Professor, Depts. of Art, Art History & Visual Studies and Classical Studies, Duke University (USA)

Douglas Domingo-Forasté, Professor of Classics, California State University, Long Beach (USA)

Pierre Ducrey, professeur honoraire, Université de Lausanne (Switzerland)

Michael M. Eisman, Associate Professor Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, Department of History, Temple University (USA)

Mostafa El-Abbadi, Professor Emeritus, University of Alexandria (Egypt)

R. Malcolm Errington, Professor für Alte Geschichte (Emeritus) Philipps- Universität, Marburg (Germany)

Robin Lane Fox, University Reader in Ancient History, New College, Oxford (UK)

Peter Funke, Professor of Ancient History, University of Muenster (Germany)

Traianos Gagos, Professor of Greek and Papyrology, University of Michigan (USA)

Robert Garland, Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics,

Colgate University, Hamilton NY (USA)

Douglas E. Gerber, Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies, University of Western Ontario (Canada)

Christian Habicht, Professor of Ancient History, Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (USA)

Donald C. Haggis, Nicholas A. Cassas Term Professor of Greek Studies,

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA)

Judith P. Hallett, Professor of Classics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD (USA)

Eleni Hasaki, Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of

Arizona (USA)

Miltiades B. Hatzopoulos, Director, Research Centre for Greek and Roman Antiquity, National Research Foundation, Athens (Greece)

Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer, Prof. Dr., Freie Universität Berlin und Antikensammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Germany)

Steven W. Hirsch, Associate Professor of Classics and History, Tufts University (USA) 

Frank L. Holt, Professor of Ancient History, University of Houston (USA)

Dan Hooley, Professor of Classics, University of Missouri (USA)

Anthony Kaldellis, Professor of Greek and Latin, The Ohio State University 


Andromache Karanika, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of

California, Irvine (USA)

Denis Knoepfler, Professor of Greek Epigraphy and History, Collège de France (Paris) 

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Helmut Kyrieleis, former president of the German Archaeological Institute, Berlin (Germany)

Gerald V. Lalonde, Benedict Professor of Classics, Grinnell College (USA) Mary R. Lefkowitz, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Emerita

Wellesley College (USA)

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Professor of Greek Emeritus, University of Oxford (UK)

Yannis Lolos, Assistant Professor, History, Archaeology, and Anthropology, University of Thessaly (Greece)

Anthony Long, Professor of Classics and Irving G. Stone Professor of Literature, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

James R. McCredie, Sherman Fairchild Professor emeritus; Director, Excavations in Samothrace Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (USA)

Stephen G. Miller, Professor of Classical Archaeology Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Anatole Mori, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, University of Missouri- Columbia (USA) 

John Maxwell O’Brien, Professor of History, Queens College, City University of New York (USA)

Olga Palagia, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Athens, Greece

Robert Parker, Wykeham Professor of Ancient History, New College, Oxford (UK) 

Karl Reber, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Lausanne (Switzerland)

John C. Rouman, Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of New Hampshire, (USA)

Antony Snodgrass, Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge (UK)

Andrew Stewart, Nicholas C. Petris Professor of Greek Studies, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Richard Stoneman, Honorary Fellow, University of Exeter (England)

Ronald Stroud, Klio Distinguished Professor of Classical Languages and Literature Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Stephen V. Tracy, Professor of Greek and Latin Emeritus, Ohio State University (USA)

E. Hector Williams, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of British Columbia (Canada)

Ian Worthington, Frederick A. Middlebush Professor of History, University of Missouri-Columbia (USA)

Panos Valavanis, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Athens (Greece)

and we hope many many others]

Admin Political

Olympiacos Won the Greek Football Cup

May 4th, 2009

Olympiacos won the Football cup after a great game against AEK. Here is a video with the goals, the much ended 4-4 and 15-14 the penalties. Enjoy…

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Essex Open 2009

May 4th, 2009


Following my not so successful experience at the Grab and Pull tournament I spent one week in bed, being ill, and then I went to Greece for two weeks for the Greek easter. So without much training and because of the 3 day break I decided to compete at Essex Open 2009. This time I slept properly and I was not nervous about my weight.


My first fight was against a guy from Gracie Barra.  The guy was really strong and he came on to me full force.  I pulled guard and he kept trying to get out of it… after a couple of minutes I swept him with scissors sweep and I got into half guard. The guy managed to pull guard and another fight started. After a while I managed to escape it but the guy got to his knees… and that was it, I guillotined him and he tapped!

My second fight was not as good. We wrestled for a while, made a mistake and my opponent threw me with single leg take-down. He got me to side control and he secured it. I struggled for around a minute and I got to my knees and he sprawled on my back. From there I stood up and a second judo fight began. He tried to throw me with o-goshi but I got his back and threw him. He was fast and he pulled guard. I tried for the remaining time to escape unsuccessfully. Even though we both scored only two take-downs, my opponent was the winner. 

Anyway, next time I will be even better! Carlson Gracie Revolution Team won the competition, and next time I hope I will contribute a medal to the team.

Admin JuJitsu ,

Fallout 3 Chocolate

April 9th, 2009



Effie made me some nice chocolate Fallout 3 heads from the Fallout 3 Collector’s edition bobblehead doll. That’s every geek’s chocolate dream! White and a mixture of white and black chocolate with toffee cream in the middle! Quite freaky but tasty!


bitten_head1               3112634577_df2602ec86

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Grab and Pull… outcome

April 6th, 2009

giIt’s been a great weekend. I went to my first BJJ tournament this Saturday and I had quite some fun. I was quite stressed with my weight during the past two weeks. Two days before the fight I dehydrated myself by drinking only 1 pint of water per day and I lowered my daily calorie consumption to 1600ckal. This was proven to be a stupid idea since I was 4kg lower than the limit at the weigh-in. Also I was a bit stressed so I had only 3 hours of sleep before the fight.

When we arrived at Brighton I was feeling quite exhausted, but when we arrived at the King Alfred leisure centre and I saw the mats down I felt eager to fight…. but one important lesson that I learned is that you have to wait for quite a few hours before you get your chance to fight.

So after I waited for a few hours and people from our team had medals around their necks, it was my turn to fight. I was hoping my opponent will jump to guard and that we would continue from there but I was mistaken! As it seems he was a lot more experienced than me, he threw me with tsuri-goshi and I immediately pulled half guard. Then I got to my knees and we both stood up. He went immediately for a morote-gari and I sprawlled. Surprisingly he grabbed my belt and lifted me up into the air and we both went to the ground. He landed in my guard. I played guard and I almost secured a triangle-choke. Unfortunately he escaped and went to his knees. I tried to wrestle him from that position but he threw me once more with o-goshi. There he got me to side control and then full mount. I escaped under his legs. I almost got his back but he turned and threw me down once again with morote-gari. At that moment… I knew it was all over! He was in my guard and I thought I could go for a guillotine, I made some sort of stupid mistake and he got my back, I escaped and he finished me with an arm-bar at the end of the fight.

Well… that’s life! I don’t like defeat and I will try and improve my judo skills until the next tournament.  A walk at the beach and a nice burger at the pub cheered me up!brighton

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