Oct 1, 2021
Our Parish was extremely honoured to co-organise with the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at Sydney University, a commemorative lecture titled: "The Monuments of the Athenian Acropolis in the first century of the Modern Greek State". Our guest speaker was the highly esteemed academic Dr Stavros Paspalas, Director of the AAIA (Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens) at Sydney University.
Dr. Paspalas spoke about the significance of the Athenian Acropolis with its four fifth-century buildings –the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. Buildings which, although in ruins, have assumed the status of potent cultural
icons. However, at the end of the Greek Revolution the Acropolis was totally different. Preserved upon it were the remains of nigh on 1,500 years of human occupation and activities since the construction of the surviving ancient buildings, testaments to the Acropolis’, and wider Athenian, history. The story of how the Acropolis was transformed from a garrison village to an archaeological park is a fascinating one which offers us insights into the history of modern Greece and its relationship to antiquity all the while set against a backdrop of the Ottoman past and the Greeks’ relationship with western Europe.
Dr Paspalas was introduced to our 140 strong online participants- which included many members of our parish and other highly esteemed international academics- by the most eminent Professor Vrasidas Karalis, Head of the M.Greek Department.
Fr Athanasios gave the vote of thanks at the end and offered the paternal blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios to all the participants.
On behalf of Prof. Karalis and our Parish, we offer our sincere gratitude to Dr Paspalas for presenting such an insightful lecture on our treasured cultural icon, the Athenian Acropolis. Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Yvonne Innal from the AAIA who assisted us with organising the online event.