The 10+1 Most Important Figures of Greek Independence |

Greek people had been enslaved for many centuries and the revolution was one of the most significant historic events in modern Greek history.
— Read on

This is a Greek view of their struggle for independence so it might be slightly biased.

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Heptanese school of literature

Heptanese School of literature.

This was the school of literature that Aristotle Valaoritis belonged to as well as Ioannis Zampelios who are very famous Lefkádian poets. Andreas Kalvos and Dionysios Solomos are in there too. The articles written about this school will tend to focus on people known to that locality ie you come across ones written from the view of a person from Zakynthos as Dionysios Solomos was from there and this one is written from the perspective of a Lefkadian since that’s where I am. Hence I mentioned Valaoritis first where usually you would see a note about pre Solomos, Solomos, and post Solomos poets.

The Heptanese school is characterised by a love of nature, freedom and homeland with reference to the role that religion played in their lives. It was also folkloreish in content and often romantized life in a way only poetry can taking inspiration from Italy. They were written in Dimotiki or Demotic as apposed to Katharevousa which is to say its written in the common Greek that was spoken as opposed to the posher, purist form which was a simplication of Ancient Greek that was used for formal, business occasions.

As I have already written ample amounts about the Lefkadian poets and I have never been to Zakynthos I can’t tell you much more as that’s the real centre of this particular movement.

For information on the other schools of thought see here

  • Series links contains the rest of my work like all of the poets mentioned above and more.
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    Brain, Mouth and Me

    Brain, Mouth and me have known each other a long time but we have a difficult relationship. Brain likes to learn everything in the entire world and then have Mouth recite it to all and sundry wherever possible. This creates problems for me as that’s not how you communicate with people or connect with them. It’s almost a verbal barrage of information that is nonstop and only relents when there is no more information to impart. This can take a long time and usually is stopped by them leaving as the event has finished.

    The other scenario that happens is where Brain is feeling remorseful for the above situation so refuses to give Mouth any words. Even if the day has been relaxed and I have done exactly as Brain and I wanted, Brain decides No! Yes I understand what you asked, meant, what I need to say in reply to you but can Brain release those words to Mouth? Oh No!

    It’s highly embarrassing after 13 years to still be unable to say “τι θα θέλατε να πιείτε?” Μια Μπύρα Παρακαλω, “μικρο η μεγάλα?”, μικρο ευχαριστώ, “τι θέλις να φάε?” θέλω ένα τσιπούρα σημερα, etc.

    Thanks Brain for causing all this distress for Me by not allowing Mouth to say What would you like to drink?, A beer please, Small or Large?, Small please, What do you want to eat?, I want a sea bream today, etc

    It’s not a lot to ask but to have all these words at your command yet the inability to use any of them is soul destroying.

    Have you experienced this before and if so how have you overcome this?

    Best wishes


    Ioanian/ Heptanese school of painting

    The above school was founded by Panagiotis Doxaras (1662-1729) and continued by his son Nikolaos Doxaras (1705-75). They too have a street named after them.

    During Panagiotis’s life he was rewarded with land on Lefkas from the Venetians who were currently ruling. This was a reward for his services in the army. This enabled him to focus on his art and he didvided his time between where he was born in Corfu although his family was from Kalamata, Corfu and Zante.

    The Heptanese school shows a gradual evolution of style away from the previous Byzantine influences towards a more Venetian style. There still religious in content but new techniques are being introduced to differentiate them from previous works. The major factor here was the introduction of oil paint instead of mixing with egg white and the move towards a Western Renaissance style in the realistic depiction of faces in portraiture.

    Panagiotis also wrote on the subject of painting which was so controversial it wasn’t published until after his death and is still being debated today albeit in scholarly circles that concentrate on 18th century art.

    Nikolaos, having been born in Kalamata, returned to Lefkas to join the army base here and continued painting in a style inspired by Leonardi Da Vinci and the other Italians greats in an effort to modernise Greek painting for a new era. His work is on display in Zakynthos and in the National Art Gallery of Greece in Athens.

    The Heptanese school of painting also contains works by Spyridon Ventouras (1761-1833) whose work has sold well at auction previously.

    There are many schools that are called Ionian/ Heptanese so you have to follow them with what they refer to ie Painting, literature, Philosophy and Music.

    For a look at my other work see here Series links.

    Best wishes


    Philharmonic orchestra 1850 and museum

    This is the 2nd oldest in Greece with only the one in Corfu being older. It took part in the 1864 union of Greece, the 1896 Olympics, the 1906 intercalculated games and in 1983 was awarded by the Academy of Athens.

    There has been a famous conductor in the past called Nikos “Morinas” Thanos. He was born on Lefkás in 1930 and he was the leader of the Orfeas Music and Literature Club of Lefkáda, the Philharmonic Society of Lefkás, the Philharmonic Society of Amfilohia which is nearby and the mandolin orchestra of “Apollon” in Karya on the island.

    He also has a maritime museum in the basement of the Faneromeni monastery. It contains his handmade ships and tools. There is 60 in total and there is a variety of styles from British, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Chinese.Other museums in Lefkás

    There is also a youth band festival here in the summer but when I went past I couldn’t find any opening hours. When I looked online it said it’s open 5-10pm which is very unusual.

    It does however have the street it’s on named after itself so that’s handy.

    Maria Callas has sung opera on the island as has Agni Baltsa. If your into music check this out Heptanese School of music.

    For my other work see here Series links.

    Best wishes


    Gramophone museum Lefkás town

    Today I went to the gramophone museum and it’s really a guy’s memorial to his family as there is a picture of his parents on the wall and himself when he was a young man. It also has pictures of Aristotle Onassis, Jackie Kennedy, Maria Callas along with Angelos Sikelianos as an older man and Aristotle Valaoritis.

    There is a working gramophone which he will demonstrate and the older peg version which you also get to try for yourself.

    He has dramachas on display and it’s quite quaint. It reminds you of an antique shop all of these objects from yester year.

    He also has syrtaki cds and one of traditional Greek music which costs €5 euros but since his English is not all that good you think that is the price of admission. It’s pretty much the only place you get to buy traditional music here though so it’s worth supporting him. He does says on his sign outside that if it’s not open call the number and he will come immediately to open up. I was initially skeptical of this because of the speed of Greek life but it may be true. However you would only know this information if you can read Greek and the reply will most likely will also be Greek so not much help to the average tourist. By the way it’s open 10-2pm and 7-10pm but don’t count on it as the first time I went at 1:30pm and it was most certainly shut with no one in sight to open up for customers.

    Along with the purely Greek sign there is a small display of traditional ladies dresses with one from 1900’s and the other from 1920’s.

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    Heptanese School of Music

    Heptanese School of music

    This is another area that is uniquely Greek along with these fields of interest,

  • but as far as I know there isn’t any real local (Lefkadian) input. There is a Philharmonic orchestra which I have written a little about and there are opera singers like Agni Baltsa and Maria Callas but music isn’t an easy thing at all to find out about here. It’s even more difficult then the saints; Saint Cyril and his brother, historians and soldiers, Apostolos (Lakis) Santas .
  • However for those that like music you might want to read this Gramophone museum Lefkás town or check out these people Vasilis Tsitsanis, Markos Vamvakaris. For more information about my work see here Series links.

    Best wishes


    Agni Baltsa Lefkádian Opera mezzo – soprano singer 1944-

    She was born on Lefkás and started playing piano at 6 years old. By the time she was 14 she moved to Athens to further her singing career.

    She studied in Athens on a Maria Callas scholarship.

    Upstairs in the music room at the top of the folklore museum in Lefkás town there is a picture of her along with Aristotle Valaoritis who was involved with many Lefkás town newspapers that previously existed and Angelos Sikelianos.

    There is a Wikipedia article on her to fill in the details of her life. Agni Baltsa.

  • For my work see here Series links
  • Do you have any special styles of singing in your country?

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    Vasilis Tsitsanis reblog

    Another famous Rebetika player Vasilis Tsitsanis. For another rembete see here Markos Vamvakaris.

    For general and local music information check these out,

    For more examples of my work in other areas see here Series links.

    Best wishes


    Markos Vamvakaris reblog

    A very well known musician that I came across earlier but didn’t think to reblog then. I totally should have but better late than never.

    He is featured heavily in the Rebetika book that I wrote about previously and he is in the Victoria Hislop books I have also written about.

    He is part of my Greek musicians series :-

    For general and local music information check these out, Heptanese School of Music, Maria Callas, Agni Baltsa, Philharmonic orchestra 1850 and museum, Gramophone museum Lefkás town,

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

    Best wishes