Famous Lefkadians

Famous Lefkadians list
Famous Lefkadians list

I’m not quite sure why these people made the list and not others. It’s mainly a list of government officials which I haven’t seen any evidence of elsewhere. If you want to know how I’m able to say all these people have streets name after them, I’m looking at a street map of Lefkás town of course. (Yes I am sad enough to walk the entire town taking pictures of street signs in 30c heat).

5. Petros Filipas Panagos 1860-1935 He was a doctor and a politician, with the below statue and a street named after him but I haven’t been able to find out anything more about him. Petros Filipas Panagos doctor

Petros Filipas Panagos doctor

6. Konstantinos Macheras 1888-1967 was a historian with a street named after him.

7. Konstantinos Grapsas 1880-1948 was lawyer, writer and a translator with you guessed it a street named after him.

9. Anastasios Skidaresis 1877-1941 MP, poet, translator of Ancient Greek and Italian Poets and another street name.

10. Dionysios Palladines 1888-1977 Archbishop of Lefkás and Ithaka who helped get the National Library into the current building. He also has a square named after him.

11.Angelos Sikelianos is the most famous Lefkádian who turns up in quite a few places and I have written about him, his wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos and his poet /author friends George Seferis, etc at length already.

12.Efstathios Zakkas 1835-1888 is a benefactor according to the list and has a street named after him but that it’s as far as I know.

Efstathiou street

13. Nikos Katiforis has slightly more information around about himself being that he lived closer to the present day and I wrote about him in a separate post but not a lot due to my inability to find the Lefkádian archives.

14. Dimitrios Golemis Dimitrios Golemis Olympic 800m bronze 1896

Dimitrios Golemis Olympic 800m bronze 1896

has his own statue in Lefkás town because he came third in the Olympic 800m in 1896. He had many other positions to occupy himself but information about him is thin on the ground.He does have a street named after him though.

The others I’m scratching at straws as we say in English ie Apart from basic biographical data I haven’t a clue who they were. Sometimes only the name exists.

There are 2 more libraries which I’m yet to locate here in Lefkás town- The Nikos Svoronos Library and the Haralambos Library. They should be able to help me fill in the gaps.

Honourable mentions go to Nikolaos Flogaitis 1799-1867 Freedom fighter because he too has a street named after him,

Frederick Temple 1821-1902 who after being born in Santa Maura fort became Archbishop of Canterbury,

Petros Soumilas 1861-19? A soldier who was born on Lefkás and finally

Marcos Christino Fioravanti 1775-1862 who was also born in Santa Maura but became a legendary teacher and translator in Brazil.

Thankyou tourism websites and Wikipedia. If however I have piqued your interest and you would like to learn more about Lefkás and it’s people click over here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela

How to have a basic conversation in Greek with common phrases

Υα! Hi

Φίλε μου male friend

Φίλοι μου friends mixed

Φίλη female friend

Τι κανείς? How are you? literally what are you doing?

Τι κανείς μωρε? What are you doing mate?(jokily)

Εισας καλά? Are you alright?(jokily)

Που πάμε? Where have you been/what have you been doing? (Depends on context)

Πάμε! Let’s go!

Τι νέο? What’s new?

Έλα ρε! Come on now mate!

Έλα τωρα! Come on now!

Τι κριμα! What a pity!

Να ´στε καλά Be well!

Υιασυς Bye

Shop talk

Μπορεί να βοηθεια σας? Can I help you?

Ορίσετε Welcome (to our shop etc), here you are (give money for item etc)

Τι θελις? What do you want?(an alternative to how can I help you or in addition)

Ποσό κάνει How much?

Έχετε …. Do you have ….

Δεν έχει We don’t have (whatever you asked for)

Θέλω ένα …. I want ….

Ναι yes (can be polite in acknowledging you said something but still carry on with job and otherwise ignore you)

Ναι, ναι, ναι, Yes, Yes, Yes (Much more likely for them to do whatever you just asked)

Μάλιστα formal yes like employee to boss or meaning indeed

Restaurant talk

Έτοιμες Ready? (Asking If you have decided on what you want to drink/eat)

Πολύ νόστιμο Very tasty!

Κάλι ορίζει! Good appetite!

Άμεσος! Immediately (never happens and is more of a joke with English people)

Γριγορο Quickly (another joke)

Βειβαιους! of course (can be a joke)

Σίγουρα. Sure (not a certainty again)

Ακριβώς! exactly!

Κάτσε κάτω sit down

Φεύγω! Leave! (What you say when your bothered by animals, sellers slightly rude)

Being direct is not rude in Greece like it is in the UK. Hence you wouldn’t normally say I would like in Greece. They don’t stand on ceremony as the saying goes meaning they are quite informal when shopping. They do however like to chat which is why the tasks are completed with as few words as possible leaving space, time and energy for conversation in order to revitalise them throughout the working day. It’s very hot right now so conservation is key.

These posts are very useful to remind me how much I have learnt, improve my confidence and spelling. It’s also to try to anchor this into my brain so I use it in conversation in daily life. Also it’s because I can’t sleep and prep work for my next conversation which failed last time.

  • My books to help you speak Greek
  • My posts to assist you in speaking Greek

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Theodoros Stamos 1922-1997 Greek/American artist

    Programme in Lefkádian Cultural Centre
    Programme in Lefkádian Cultural centre

    Theodore Stamos was a Greek-American artist who was part of the “irascible” group that included such notables as Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. So he can be considered a pioneer in abstract expressionism and is internationally renown for this; but as usual he is one of those that you don’t hear about. You need to be specifically interested that particular period in art and history.

    Art in Lefkádian National Gallery
    Art in Lefkádian National Gallery

    Theodore’s father was from Lefkás and his mother from Sparta although he was brought up on Manhattan’s lower east side in the USA.

    When he visited Lefkás he created a sub series from his Infinity Fields series of paintings. This was from 1970 until his death in 1997. It was expressionistic in style his paintings.

    He is honoured on the island by having the Theodore Stamos exhibition hall bear his name as well as exhibiting his work. He also has the honour of having a street named after him. Here is the Wikipedia entry on Theodore Stamos.

    He is the second part of my Greek painters series:-

    Other series include Greek Poets, Authors, Painters, Art, Musicians, Museums, specialist fields of Interest, Conversation, Famous Greeks, Foreigners with an interest in Greece, Greek islands and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here: Series links.

    Do you have any artists in your country that you think the world needs to know about?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Nikos Engonopoulos Greek surrealist poet, painter and critic 1907-1985

    He was born in Athens but during a trip to Constantinople as it was then called, ww1 broke out so the family stayed there.

    He later spent some time in Paris and served his time in the army as all Greek men still have to do, then gained work as a translator afterwards.

    He was in Athens in 1932 to join the school of fine art and it was here that he met Andreas Emberikos a fellow surrealist poet who also had spent time in Paris.

    In 1945 he is commissioned to design sets and costumes for a play by Nikos Kazantzakis.

    In 1979 he is awarded the state prize for poetry.

    It seems from reading about him that although he wrote many poems including Bolivar (1942) inspired by Simon Bolivar, he is in fact far more famous for his art. Having looked at his art it’s almost Daliesque and I wonder why it’s not more popular.

    He has had many exhibitions of both his poems and his art mainly in Athens and after his death.

    He is one of those people that require you to search deeper on Google than your average person as most of the information is hidden inside of books.

  • He is the first in my series of painters simply because the poet list is becoming rather lengthy.
  • Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Authors, Musicians, Museums, Specialist fields of Interest, Conversation, Famous Greeks, Greek islands, and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Nikos Katiforis Lefkádian playwright 1903-1967

    He studied Law, Literature and Philosophy in Italy and Paris and when he returned to Lefkas he became the District Attorney of the Ionian Islands. He also joined Filiki Eteria (wiki link) and became known as the preeminent member in Lefkas.

    He was a member of the Greek writers society who wrote novels as well as 12 tragedies with national content. He was also on the banned books list because his book While Darkness Lasts had communist content. This was the same fate suffered by fellow author Gerasimos Grigoris. However while Nikos has his picture on display upstairs in the Lefkádian National Library, Gerasimos does not.

    Nikos also wrote for the theatre in addition to being a newspaper columnist for Rizospastis for many years.

    When researching these people I often get the feeling that they are scraping the bottom of the barrel for any information on them and that they are not as important as there making out. A sense of let’s show the world our history but only the good parts.

    Other series of mine include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Authors, Musicians, Museums, Specialist fields of interest, Conversation, Famous Greeks, Greek islands, and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Is there groups of artisans in your country who were considered counter revolutionary with their ideas?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Gerasimos Grigoris 1907-1985 Lefkádian author

    He famously had one of his works banned in Greece because he was a communist. This book was Focus of Resistance.

    He also won 2 literary awards in 1958 and 1963. I find this strange though because of the above information yet you find the same information repeated on many websites. If you also think of all the previous people (George Seferis, Odysseus Elytis ) etc who have gained awards for whatever reason, there compliant and help the country in some way. So as usual this makes no sense and no explanation can be found.

    There is also an example of his work on display in the Lefkás national gallery but unless your looking at the fact sheet you would never know.

    I don’t think the locals thought highly enough of him for there to be a statue, plaque or road named after him. His family can’t have been wealthy, influential or big enough to exert any power on his memory to make a memorial of some kind which is usual here. (See my post on Meganisi for evidence of this).

    He does however get mentioned on tourist websites and websites dedicated to famous Lefkádians so he can’t be thought of that badly. As you may be coming to realise, there is a lot of contradictory information out there and I’m unsure which is correct due to the fact I’m writing about dead people whose brief biographical information is online but not much else.

    There may be more information in the Nikos Svoronos Library or the Haramoglis Library but I can’t find it despite walking round in circles several times on a couple of occasions.

    Do you have any authors in your country that were banned for the political ideals?

    He is part of my novelist series :-

    Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Authors, Musicians, Museums, Specialist fields of interest, Conversation, Famous Greeks, Greek islands and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Panos Rontogiannis Lefkás Library founder 1911-1996

    Was a local historian with Ioannis Stamatelos and Nikos Svoronos. Was involved in research to do with colonialism in the Ionian Islands. Very technical and high brow. The history of historiography and neo-Hellenic studies. So Greeks examining their own culture with a fine tooth comb as we say in the UK.

    He was also a philologist so a man who studies words so that makes he the perfect choice to found a library. Specially one that is linguistically diverse as the Lefkadian one.National Library

    He wrote a couple of books concerning education in Lefkas and seismology as well. For his troubles the street the Library is on is named after him so it’s easy to remember.

    He is part of Famous Greeks series :

  • If you would like to see the rest of my work visit here Series links.
  • Best wishes

    Angela

    George Theotokas Greek novelist, playwright, critic, essayist, editor, 1906-1966

    George Seferis poem to George Theotokas
    George Seferis poem to George Theotokas

    George Theotokas was born in Constantinople, moved to Athens in 1922 because of the population exchange, then studied law in Paris, Athens and London so was part of the same crowd as everyone else who was well heeled at that time.

    His work is mainly autobiographical in nature with a healthy dose of folklore included for good measure. It inspired some of the work by Nikos Kazantzakis.

    He (Theotokas), became involved in the national Greek theatre becoming the director twice. He was also great friends with George Seferis and Odysseus Elytis the 2 Nobel prize winning poets of Greece.

    As usual this is a Greek whose Wikipedia article in Greek https://el.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Γιώργος_Θεοτοκάς tells you far more information than the English version George Theotokas . He is also a guy that requires you to have the prerequisite books available to research about him. It’s been acknowledged in the research that I have found that is unlikely he will ever find success outside of Greece but he was neither a leftist or involved with the right. He had a centrist view on things which is how he was able to be so successful in his own country.

    He is the fourth part of my Greek author series:-

    Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Authors, Musicians, Specialist fields of Interest, Conversation, Famous Greeks, Greek islands and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Stratis Myrivilis pen name of Efstratios Stamatopoulos Greek novelist 1890-1969

    He was nominated for the Nobel prize in Literature 3 times in 1960, 1962 and 1963. He was also born in Lesbos and died in Athens. Additionally he followed the route that everyone seemed to follow in those days and that is leaving your initial job to go to Athens and study Law. Then you leave your degree to go fight somewhere since it was an era full of conflict in many places.

    It’s astonishing that the background they all have is so mundane but they manage to make some of the greatest poetry of modern times. They lived through tumultuous times in there own country though with the Balkan war of 1912, First World War of 1914-1918, Second World War 1939-1945, military junta 1967-1974. So this shaped the 1930’s generation into what they became.

    He was a newspaper columnist and general programme director for the Greek National broadcasting institute in 1936 until 1951 where he inspired the Greek population to resist the occupation of the country by Italians and Germans.

    In a brief intermission to his previous job he founded the national society of Greek writers in 1946 and became its first president.

    After 6 attempts he was finally allowed to join the Academy in Athens in 1958.

    Here are the details of his personal life from Wikipedia Stratis Myrivilis. What will probably be more fulfilling though is the link in the follow up article.

    He is part of my Greek authors series

    Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Musicians, Museums, Specialist fields of Interest, Famous Greeks, Greek islands, Rural villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways.Series links

    Best wishes

    Angela

    National Library and Post Byzantine Art museum Lefkás Town

    This listed (I wasn’t previously aware they was any here) 19th century building was first used as a neo-classical mansion for the Zoulinos family from 1888-1906. It then was used to house the Lefkás branch of the National Bank of Greece before it finally became the National Library. It was founded by Panos Rontogiannis. This library is unusual as not only does it have Greek books but it also has English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Danish and Swedish books. This is indicated on the spine for easy reference and there are labels on the shelves to show what section you are in. There is also a map to assist you..

    On the initial staircase there are pictures of what I would call the most famous Lefkadians according to how much you can find out about them, the relative ease and there presence. These are Angelos Sikelianos, Lefkáda Hearn, Aristotle Valaoritis and Ioannis Zampelios. I have written posts about all 4 of them. Series links.

    On the staircase between the floors are pictures of 12 apparently Famous Lefkadians but when I tried to ask the lady twice about them but I couldn’t get through to her. Famous Lefkadians

    Famous Lefkadians

    Due to the location of the pictures it’s very difficult to capture them as the walkway was blocked off when I visited. Probably to avoid damage to the pictures as some of them are likely quite old. I’m also going to do a separate post about famous Lefkadians as there are many statues and memorials in which I can only find basic data on but still they deserve to be talked about. They were important enough to have some kind of memorial so I’m going to write about them if only briefly.

    The Post Byzantine Art museum upstairs has a room for the Virgin Mary, a room for Christ and a room for the Apostles. It has books in each of these as well as many pictures. There is description about the role this figures have played in island life and how they have been depicted. There are also a bishops costume from Russia along with pictures in a very similar style from there.

    For other museums in Lefkás see here:

    For my other posts see here: Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    1st and 2nd Delphic festivals in Lefkás

    This is an artwork by Zois Rombotis that is in the National Gallery in Lefkás town.

    1st and 2nd Delphic festivals were held in 1927 and 1930 and they were festivals of the arts. These celebrated art, plays, poetry, music, dance and fashion. Not just Lefkádian styles but they had input from all over Greece as were the patrons who attended.

    These were instigated by Angelos Sikelianos and his wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos. They were however such a huge undertaking in terms of organisation, promotion and financial cost that the burden proved too much for them. Since there was little state funding in those days, that they had to file for bankruptcy after the second one. This is why they have never been reinstated. Considering how popular they were, how well connected they were and with the amount of money that they must have had at their disposal with only have 1 child, you gotta think are there other forces at work here?

    Eva had to return home to the United States to try to acquire funding for more festivals due to the bankruptcy but was never permitted to leave again while her husband was alive due to political tensions and her own leanings. There is something slightly dodgy about this yet this is exactly what is written on the wall. There isn’t an explanation so your just left to wonder how such a thing could happen.

    It was so painful for the pair to be separated that he got there marriage annulled so he could get married again with her consent yet she never did. Neither had any more children. The family tree is on the wall though. It is through them that some of the exhibits are there.

    There is lots more information about both festivals in the Angelos Sikelianos museum situated in their house in Lefkás town. It was their pet project after all. If it wasn’t for the many donors who contributed to the museum, it probably wouldn’t still be there.

    Festivals held in Lefkás

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Manos Hajidakis composer 1925-1994

    Here is a native’s perspective of Manos Hajidakis.

    He is part of my Music and musicians series

    Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Authors, Musicians, Museums, Specialist fields of Interest, Conversation, Foreigners with an interest in Greece, Famous Greeks, Greek Islands and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here, Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Dominikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) 1541-1614 painter reblog

    Dominikos Theotokopoulos is a well known Byzantine painter that I have actually heard of before I came across this reblog. He is not usually known by his full name as it is quite a mouthful hence they shortened it. It’s much more memorable that way too. If you search for El Greco you can find lots of information out there but I just like the native viewpoint as you don’t come across it often.

    Painters

  • For all my other posts Series links.
  • Best wishes

    Angela

    Iannis Xenakis 1922-2001 musician reblog

    Iannis Xenakis is a man who invented stochastic music and many other things that I’ve never even heard of but sounded cool.

    Music

  • My work : Series links.
  • Best wishes

    Angela

    Yiannis Ritsos Greek poet 1909-1990

    Kostis Palamas was impressed by his work in 1934 and praised him publicly.

    Yiannis joined the communist party in the 1930’s and being left wing that means he’s going to clash when the right wing dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas (1936) takes hold in Greece. He responded when they started burning his famous poetry by turning to surrealism as did so many of his colleagues.

    In the 1950’s his work was set to music by Mikis Theodorakis.

    He was also imprisoned when Greece suffered a second dictatorship performed by Papadopoulos commonly known as the military junta in 1967.

    As a result of this his poetry was frequently banned.

    He was rather unlucky when it came to the Nobel prize of Literature because of this censorship. He has been nominated 9 times unsuccessfully and finally he won the Lenin Peace Prize in 1975 which I guess is some form of compensation for continually being passed over because of his beliefs.

    As I feel this post is rather lacking since I didn’t find any inspiration here is the view of a native Yiannis Ritsos.

    This is the thirteenth post in the series of Greek but mainly Lefkádian writers and poets which includes a bonus post from Sententiae Antiquae on Sappho.

    Aristotle Valaoritis

    C F Cavafy

    Angelos Sikelianos

    Lefkadia Hearn

    George Seferis

    C G Karyotakis

    Ioannis Valaoritis

    Odysseus Elytis

    Andreas Emberikos

    Kostis Palamas

    Ioannis Zampelios

    Spiridon Zampelios

    Other series include Greek Authors, Painters, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Foreigners who have an interest in Greece and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Oh Brother Where art thou?

    These are lines from one of George Seferis poems about the Odyssey.

    O Brother Where Art Thou is a Coen brothers movie that has taken Homer’s Odyssey and translated it into 1930’s America. Initially the idea that George Clooney escapes from a prison chain gang doesn’t sound too interesting but it’s much better than that. It’s an exploration of what life was like in those times.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Spiridon Zampelios Lefkadian historian and poet 1813-1881

    Son of Ioannis Zampelios, a Lefkadian poet.

    He was a distinguished novelist and tried to prove the Unity of Byzantium in his work Byzantine Studies 1857. He has acquired his fathers love of debating the purity of language and which should be used for what purpose. This was all tied up with the Greek war of independence (1821-22) that was occurring at this moment in time.

    He also apparently founded the Filiki Eteria (wiki link) the freedom fighting organisation but who knows as to the veracity of this statement because one website says he did and another makes no mention as is quite common I’m finding out.

    He is famous enough in Lefkás to have a street named after him in Lefkás town. There isn’t much other evidence about his life as tourist websites give you a bare minimum of biographical data. So we once again come across the usual issue of there not being any information to work on.

    This is the twelfth post in the series of Greek but mainly Lefkádian writers and poets which includes a bonus post from Sententiae Antiquae on Sappho.

    Aristotle Valaoritis

    C F Cavafy

    Angelos Sikelianos

    Lefkadia Hearn

    George Seferis

    C G Karyotakis

    Ioannis Valaoritis

    Odysseus Elytis

    Andreas Emberikos

    Kostis Palamas

    Ioannis Zampelios

    Other series include Greek Authors, Painters, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Foreigners who have an interest in Greece and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela