Saturday, February 25, 2012


There is a report, and only God Almighty knows the truth of these sorts of things, that the biography of Alexander the Great that Oliver Stone used as the main source for his epic story of that world conqueror, Alexander, was the work of the distinguished Oxford University historian Robin Lane Fox.The same reports further add, and who but the Great Creator of us all can tell truth from falsehood, that Professor Fox did not get any on-screen credit for his scholarly services and all he wanted from Oliver Stone in exchange was actually to act as a cavalry general and fulfil his longtime dream of fighting, as it were, in Alexander’s army. From an Oxford Don in 2004 to a Macedonian general in 333BC – all in the blink of an eye. Magic.I do not need Professor Fox’s cultivated imagination to psych myself up into leading a legion of an army of my own hero – Apicius, the Roman gourmet and lover of luxury who has left us the first ever cookbook, into the vast unchartered expanse of a megakitchen. To read Apicius is to let loose of that hidden treasure and spend it entirely unwisely, lavishly in fact, with complete largesse, fondly and freely, like there is no tomorrow, for in culinary literature, there truly is no tomorrow.

It was as an Apicius then, that I ventured forth some weeks ago, at the head of my imaginary legions, in search of a new stove. Traversing the Roman roads of Melbourne efficiently and expeditiously, with great determination of purpose, I found myself captivated by a bright, multi-knobbed model, shining like the armour of a legionnaire, whose glare was almost as blinding as the salesperson’s repartee was entrancing.I admit to being enthralled by diverse salesperson’s banter, especially if it is skilled, for the art of sale is basically that of seduction. Using word, gesture and deed, the salesperson is charged with the weighty task of divesting himself of whatever it is his responsibility to foist upon you, by convincing you that it is the constant object of your ardent desire. In this particular case, the salesperson was describing in painstaking detail to my centurion and spouse, the one thousand and one separate ways in which one could make gingerbread men, strudel and bizarrely named peanut butter twists in a manner unparalleled in the annals of mankind, simply by making use of the appliance in question. The motivation behind such an Apician approach to sales is genius in its simplicity: if the customer can picture itself cooking with the stove, then its acquisition is but a heartbeat away.

What the hapless salesperson could not have foretold, was that it was to Apicius and not to his centurion that the full fusillade of the pitch should have been directed.Smarting under the insult of being thus ignored, I focused my attention on the salesperson’s countenance. He was approaching sixty, with freckled, reddish skin, grey blue watery eyes and grey hair, harbouring a few hints that it was once blonde. In a manner akin to Professor Higgins in Bernard Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion,’ who famously remarked that he could place a person within two miles in London by his accent, I surmised that he was of Anglo-Celtic extraction. Surprisingly though, his accent betrayed otherwise.For this singular salesperson’s speech was infused with the light sing song cadences and hardening of voiced dental fricatives that usually denote a person of Italic origin. Add to this, the palatization of L, a whistling s and a liberal use of epiphonemes that identify an English speaker of Greek origin and you have a linguistic melting pot, all in one mysterious man.

“What nationality are you?” the salesperson interrupted my musings.

“I’m Greek,” I informed him, somewhat surprised that when I did so, he took my hand and shook it, as if gladdened by this revelation.

“I was about to ask you the same question.” I continued.

“My wife is Italian and I’m Australian,” he responded.

“Well, it appears that they’ve gotten to you mate. You sound exactly like an Italian. I’ve never heard anything like it.”

“Actually, I’d say that my accent is more Greek than Italian,” he replied, “and I’ll tell you why.”

The salesperson proceeded to relate his life story, growing up in Carlton. His next door neighbours were Greek and as their sons were his best friends, he spent almost all of his free time in their home, eating at their table, talking to their relatives and friends and even helping their mother with the gardening. So attached was he in fact, to his Greek friends that seeing at the state of his despondency on Saturday mornings when the boys would be sent to Greek school and thus were not accessible for the purposes of play, his neighbour decided to pay for him to attend Greek school as well.Unlike most of his Greek classmates, he was enthralled to be there.

“I would listen to the Greek being spoken around me in that house and I loved the sound of it. I was dying to learn what it all means. Soon the sounds turned into ideas and not long after, I was able to put those ideas down on paper. I’ll never forget the first time I said «Ἁχ Παναγία μου.» Even today, these words come to my lips whenever I’m stressed.”

Contrast this enthusiasm and viewing of the Greek school experience as a unique opportunity, especially now as Greek schools have recently re-opened for the year with the lackadaisical, ambivalent or rather negative attitude largely shared these days by students and parents alike.The family connection with his Greek neighbours did not end there.

As he relates: “My parents both died when I was young and I was an orphan in my late teens. Without a second thought, my neighbours took me in and looked after me. They treated me even better than their real sons. My θεία, as I called her gave me advice that I’ve always kept with me and helped through some of the harder times in my life. Now, on Mother’s Day, I take my children first to my mother’s grave, and then to θεία’s house. After all she is my second mother.”He looked at me taking in his amazing story and shrugged his shoulders. “Not bad for an Aussie eh? Τι να κάνουμε μωρέ αδερφέ.”

My response was to tell him that what he felt had nothing to do with ethnicity. To comfort and protect someone in their time of need and to feel gratitude for such acts of kindness and love, all of these are acts that bind us together as humans and have nothing to do with ethnicity. The fact that he now spoke Greek and felt drawn to Greek culture, exemplifies Australian multiculturalism at its very best.

If there ever was a sales pitch to end sales pitches, this would undoubtedly have had to have been it. I walked away, still considering myself to be an Apicius, playing my heart out for the whole of the culinary world and why not? If we did not have such aspirations to ease gently and generously the languorous passage of time, our minds would be searching idly for something else, less significant, in the dark. It is these moments that overlap into the lives of others, the emanations of generosity, freedom of spirit and hospitality that supposedly characterize the Greek people and yet surprise us when we see them practised, that grant our lives inordinate richness. Many Australians of diverse backgrounds have been the recipients of such freely given largesse from sensitive and kind-hearted members of our community (such as my grandmother, whose backyard supplied half the homes in Essendon with vegetables), and it is worthwhile, from a social and historical perspective, to seek them out and document their contact. It is an ethos from which, in this day of materialism and social alienation, we can all draw lessons. And in case you are wondering, Apicius truly did conquer the stove and haul it back in triumph for the victory feast. Now the sole question that remains is how to get the blessed thing to work.


First published in NKEE on Saturday 25 February 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I know not a great deal about cars save what is the minimum required to keep me from harm. Yet on Christmas Day, when the veritable plague of hail descended upon Melbourne, denting all metal in its path, I knew that I had to remove my mode of conveyance from my aunt’s front yard, where it waited stoically for the conclusion of the family feast, to a place of greater safety.
Navigating the torrents of water collecting in the dips and hollows of the area was a task fraught with difficulty and it was with some relief that I finally pulled into a service station. The hail had increased in intensity now and was pounding on the asphalt with fury. I stepped out of my car and watched nonchalantly as a battered, pock-marked corolla, looking more like the surface of the moon pulled up beside me. Seeing me, the driver wound down the window to reveal the moustachioed countenance of a friend. “Po, po.. This is nothing. You should see what happened to my son’s car,” he exclaimed. «Χαραμίστηκε.» And I told him not to buy it. But what do you expect from kids these days. He doesn’t listen. Σήκωσε μπαϊράκι.»
As he enumerated the manifold ways in which his son had aggrieved him, I mused upon the non-Greek words that punctuated his sentences. Verily, there are a plethora of Turkish words, many ultimately of Persian or Arabic origin that punctuate and augment the Modern Greek vocabulary. Χαραμίστηκε, is derived from the Arabic word haram, which means forbidden. If something is forbidden, it cannot be used and is thus useless – thus the meaning of the Greek verb. Bayrak of course, means flag and to raise the flag, is to assert yourself.
Though Turkish loanwords are fewer than they were before, owing to the advent of other linguistic influences such as English or French, the almost constant contact the Greek people have had with the Turkish language, since the invasion of Asia Minor in 1071, has entrenched a good deal of vocabulary into the Greek language. In regional dialects of Greek, especially regions that were under Turkish rule as late as 1913, such as Epirus, Macedonia and the Aegean Islands, the presence of Turkish words for everyday objects would render much traditional speech unintelligible to one fluent only in the formal tongue. Thus, while visiting the island of Samos, if someone was to ask you: “Μ’ φέρν’ς απ’ τειγκδά στου γκατούν’ του μπαγκράτς τσ’ αμπλάζιμ;» it is highly unlikely that you would understand this to mean: “Can you bring me my aunt’s bucket from that corner?” because all of the substantive words in the sentence are Turkish. Bagraç would be rendered in Greek as κουβάς, but even this word is a Turkish loan, from the word kova. Similarly, I had to go to Greek school in order to learn that the Greek word for sock was not τσουράπι, from the Turkish çorap but κάλτσα, as until that time, my grandfather would always beg me: «Φόρα τα τσουράπια’ς. Τα πόδια’ς μπουζ είνι.» Buz of course, means ice in Turkish. As such, it is fascinating that diverse regional Greek dialects are influenced by the dialect or idiolect of the variety of Turkish they come into contact with.
Sometimes, as the use of ‘haram’ suggests, Turkish Greek loanwords come to develop different nuances of meaning and phonology than their original ‘donor’ word, exemplifying the process of linguistic assimilation. A few days after the Christmas hail storm, I found myself perched precariously upon the frame of my pergola with my father, attempting to replace the hail shattered fibre glass roof. “Make sure you line up the screws. We don’t want to be taken for a bunch of «ατζαμήδες.» An ατζαμής in Greek, is a clumsy amateur. The original Arabic root word “ajami”, literally meaning mute, was originally used as a reference to denote those whom Arabs in the Arabian peninsula viewed as “alien” or barbarian including all of the peoples with whom the Arabs had contact including Persians, Greeks and Ethiopians. It is easy to see how a foreigner who knows nothing, can be seen as an amateur. Similarly, the word ραχάτι, which is synonymous with laziness or sloth, literally means comfort in Arabic, though one can appreciate the logical progression of one meaning to the other. The word τεμπελιά, from tembel, is also borrowed from Turkish, leading one of my Greek school teachers to assert that a Turkish word had to be used, as the concept of laziness was unknown to the Greeks and was only introduced during Turkish occupation. This is a most ridiculous, but thoroughly amusing theory. Νταλαβέρι, meaning a transaction, is also a Turkish import. However, dalavere, the original root word, denotes a trick or some sort of deceit, which could be a consequence of a transaction. Do we blame a Turkish counterpart of my Greek school teacher for asking why Greeks would use the word ‘deception,’ in order to denote a transaction…? Similarly, it bears asking why the word karyola, which means bed in Turkish, has evolved in Greek, into an insult for women. Maybe some things are better left alone…
The use, or rather of Islamic expressions by some Greeks can actually be quite startling among Middle Eastern Christians, who conscious of the need to preserve their own specific identity, avoid such phrases. The other day, I was accosted in church by an aunt who demanded to know when I would stop being foolish and apply myself to the production of children. Having advised her that I would concern myself with the subject as soon as reasonably practicable, upon which she exclaimed “Mashallah,” moving both hands over her mouth as she did so, in a manner reminiscent of Islamic prayer. However, Mashallah, in its Islamic sense, cannot be used in this context. As the present perfect expression of God’s will accentuating the essential Islamic doctrine of belief in destiny, ie. “God has willed it,” it is generally said upon hearing good news. Instead, the correct expression to be used is “Inshallah,” said when speaking about plans and events expected to occur in the future, which is not used in Greek at all.
The number of loan-words from Turkish are countless, yet Turkish has also influenced Greek grammar as well. On many Aegean islands which house populations of refugees, there is a tendency to place the verb at the end of the sentence, a construction which is mandatory in Turkish. The morphology of modern Greek has also been influenced by Turkish suffixes such as -li ie παραλής, μουστακαλής, or even, Karamanlis. –ci is also a common suffix, used in such Greek words as τενεκετζής, ταξιτζής, κουλουρτζής, as well as –lik, in such words as χαρτζιλίκι, δασκαλίκι, προεδριλίκι.
Calques, referring to the borrow a word or phrase from another language while translating its components can also be found in Greek from Turkish, though their identification depends on one’s level of fluency in both language. It would surprise many to discover that stereotypical greek phrases are actually translations from the Turkish: “βάζω στο χέρι … (Turkish: ele gec irmek), έρχεται στο κεφάλι μου … (Turkish: bas ιna gelior), πάτησε πόδι (Turkish: ayak diredi), έμεινε στη μέση (Turkish. yarιda kaldι), βρίσκω τον μπελά μου (Turkish. bela sι bulmak) and many more besides. Other expressions, such as αναντάμ παπαντάμ, (from father to son), or Τσάτρα πάτρα, (any which way), and Τσακίρ κέφι, (a state of tipsiness) are imported from Turkish wholesale and are used unchanged.
The presence of Turkish and other Middle Eastern words in the Greek language, rather serving as a debasing agent, according to common prejudice, augments and enriches it. Further it helps to foster an understanding of a mentality and the social and historical context under which Greek society evolved over centuries, as well as to provide valuable inroads into the Middle Eastern word. Without offering the ability to draw upon the idiomatic expressions and vocabulary that can colour and add infinite nuances to our speech that can only be granted through such loan-words, our language would be infinitely poorer. Further, the vast majority of these loan-words have been Hellenised, given that they have been assimilated within the Greek grammar and are able to be declined. This is in marked contrast with English loan-words, which are inserted wholesale into Greek text, without transliteration and therefore, offer nothing to Greek other than an insulting allegation as to the poverty of that language.
Yet despair not, kardasides. For if the Greek language has borrowed freely from our Turkish linguistic kouvardades, it has certainly returned the compliment, if one considers the plethora of Greek words peppering Turkish everyday speech. Let us rejoice then, in our linguistic mousafirides, who arrived on our tongues as guests and now, are here to stay.


First published in NKEE on Saturday 18 February 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012


If there exists a land of make-believe to house even the most implausible of myths, then that land is Cappadocia. Home of dragons, of forgotten superheroes and saints but also of great learning, culture and stalwart of Orthodoxy, this forgotten region, slumbering peacefully in the centre of Asia Minor is a paradox and an oxymoron. Its paradox lies in its hyperbolic qualities. A foundation of Greek culture in its extreme, it marks the apogee of civilization and also, of utter emptiness. Every Cappadocian stone cries out its history into the wilderness, and is hear by no man any more.
The very geography of Cappadocia betrays its nature. A harsh land of hot summers and icy cold winters, the terrain of Cappadocia is a petrified sea. Volcanic convolutions have made the landscape unique. Strange conic formations rise out of nowhere, forming a vast meringue of stone on the Cappadocian plain. The tortured appearance of stones transformed by lava flows and eroded by time led the ancient Greeks to weave the region into mythology as the battleground between the Gods and the Titans, when the primeval world was broken and re-created. In fact, it was held the land of Cappadocia was the prison of the defeated Titans, whose anguished groans could be heard as the earth moved.
Cappadocia was incorporated into Hellenism at a relatively late stage. Its historic inhabitants, of mixed Hittite and Assyrian stock saw the ebb and flow of countless empires before finally being hellenised during the penetration of Greek colonists from the coast of Asia Minor that was facilitated by the conquests of Alexander. Hellenisation of the area continued under Roman rule. While the Cappadocians stubbornly resisted all attempts to submit to the Romans and were in constant revolt, during Roman rule, the Greek language permeated throughout the region, while the various theatres, gymnasiums and philosophical schools served to further bring Greek culture to the masses.
Owing also to the hardiness and resilience of the native Cappadocians, they formed a bulwark against the constant incursions of the Parthian armies. In time, under the name of Akrites, literally, those who live on the edge, they would create a legend of heroism that would last to the present day.
However hellenised, during early Roman times, the region was considered a cultural backwater. It was only with the advent of Christianity that Cappadocia began slowly to emerge as a region with a distinct and special spirituality. Hitherto, the harsh climate and terrain of the region produced an intensely orgiastic religion, centered around the Anatolian mother-deity, Ma. The pragmatic mind of the Cappadocians was able to develop a syncretic religion of Greek and Semitic ideas, given voice by the neo-Pythagorean, Appollonius of Tyana, whose profuse philosophical writings will greatly influence later Cappadocian theologians.
If Christianity has its origins in desert wildernesses, the Idumaean desert where Christ was tempted, the Egyptian desert where monks first formed their communities, the wilderness of Cappadocia, acting as a catalyst of clear thought became the home of doctrinal theology and also of Orthodox mysticism The Hellenistic desire to free man from the shackles of his earthly limitations would profoundly influence the Cappadocians and the spread of Christianity throughout the Greek world.
Already by the first century AD, there was enough of a Christian presence in the region to warrant Peter the apostle to address one of his epistles to the Cappadocians and a visit by Paul. By the second century, Cappadocia had its own bishopric, centered on Cappadocia. The early Cappadocian church was famed mostly for the excessive amount of its martyrs. Thousands died for their faith during the successive persecutions of Aurelianus, Diocletian and Maximilian. St Basil the Great mentions Orestes and Julite, while by far the most famous was St Mamas, who ironically enough bore the name of the autocthonous goddess, Ma. A child of the martyrs Theodotus and Rufina, St Mamas developed a form of early asceticism in the countless conical caves of the regions where he lived as a hermit. A precursor of St Francis of Assisi, he developed a close relationship with animals, and shared his cave with them.
Always the stuff of legend, the caves of Cappadocia were reputed to be the home of the great dragon which St George, one of the more famous Cappadocians, who embodied the military tradition of the region and was a typical larger than life Cappadocian superhero and martyr. Tradition places the legendary battle between man and beast at Argeus. Always innovators in the sphere of welfare and society, the Cappadocians appointed him protector of the poor and by inference, patron of Cappadocia.
Of greatest renown during the early Byzantine period, where the theological thinkers of Cappadocia, who established an important and lasting scholastic tradition. Indeed, the third and fourth centuries would come to be known as the golden age of Cappadocia, in which the theology of the Orthodox Church was established. The Great Hierarchs, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzus derived their origins from Cappadocia. Inspiring the masses with their enlightened insights into their faith, they codified and developed the form of the Orthodox liturgy that is still in use today. St John Chrysostom in particular was noted for his continuance of the ancient Greek art of oratory. His fiery sermons became the social conscience of the whole Byzantine Empire. St Basil, bishop of Caesaria, developed the first welfare state in the world. During his tenure in the city, he ensured its inhabitants had access to hospitals, orphanages, schools and even set up a system of welfare payments and compensation for those injured at work.
Thousands of artisans, tradespeople and clergy flocked to Cappadocia, which at that stage, rivaled Rome as the centre of Christendom. Cappadocian missionaries spread Christianity throughout Asia Minor and the East, while schools were set up for the study of the ancient classics. The monasteries that were founded employed monks to copy the ancient texts. It was because of the efforts of these Cappadocians that much of the corpus of ancient Greek thought that is available to us today, survives.
Monasticism too received a form that would be adopted throughout Europe, profoundly altering the political and cultural life of the continent. St Basil’s “heavenly army” established itself in the most remote caves of the region around Mt Varatynon, which today is an impressive labyrinth of ruins known as Bin Bir Kilise or One Thousand and One Churches. At Goreme, the visitor is struck by an almost lunar landscape. The artwork of the conical churches exudes intense spirituality and form the few relics of Byzantine art that survive relatively intact. Also of note are the monasteries carved into the mountainsides, eerie reminders today, of an illustrious past.
By the 600’s, the unique social fabric of Cappadocia had begun to fray. Emperors deplored the activism of the Cappadocian hierarchs, who were not afraid to speak out against their temporal masters if they exceeded their authority or ruled in an unjust manner. It became the policy of the Emperors to erode the authority of the Cappadocian clergy as much as possible. Utilising the services of the unscrupulous nobleman John the Cappadocian, the Emperor Justinian imposed heavy taxation upon the monasteries and also sowed the seeds of destruction among the Cappadocian aristocracy. Through the imposition of economic blockades, John was able to break the economic back of the local landowners and appropriate vast farmland for the Emperor. The great social upheaval that result, as well as famine, was to disrupt the hitherto peaceful social structure of the area.
Of greater importance however was the impending storm that was gathering in the southeast. In 636, Syria fell to the fanatical Muslims, who with the fervour of the newly converted, swept across Mesopotamia, Egypt and Palestine. All of a sudden, Cappadocia becomes a borderland. It received its first Arab attack in 647 and for the next two hundred years, Cappadocia would become a vast battleground, a desolate and uncertain place.
The continuous Arab raids altered the Cappadocian way of life forever. Hitherto a wealthy, relaxed and peaceful agricultural community, small towns and villages were completely destroyed by successive Arab attacks. Refugees fled to the large cities such as Caesaria, which were fortified and became insular looking. Those that remained behind in the countryside became troglodytes, carving homes for themselves in the harshest of mountains and eking out an impoverished existence, away from the ravages of the Arabs. Predictably enough, the constant attacks caused a resurgence of monasticism in the mountains, which in Cappadocia are as perforated as Swiss cheese from the endeavours of the cave dwelling monks. At any rate, the large traditional monasteries fell into disuse around 800, as monks opposed to iconoclasm fled to Sicily.
It was during this period that the military legend of Cappadocia came into full fruition. The hardy Cappadocians, recruited into the Byzantine army, were assigned as defenders of the borders. The exploits of these superhuman Akrites, who were able to leap tall mountains in a single bound were immortalized in demotic song and are still commemorated today. In fact, it is argued that the Byzantine epics extolling the Akrites, form the basis of Greek demotic music. Of greatest renown is Digenis Akritas, the son of the Arab Emir Musur and the princess Irene Douka.
In 865, Michael the Third led a massive attack, which swept the Arab marauders out of Cappadocia. His advance was followed up by Basil the Bulgar Slayer who in 871 swept the surrounding regions of Arabs and liberated parts of Syria. The Arabs would never return and the Byzantines would begin their counter-attack. This martial region, would become the training ground of Byzantium’s greatest generals and emperors, including Ioannis Kourkouas, Nicephoros Phocas and Ioannis Tsimisces. Phocas himself was proclaimed emperor of Byzantium in Caesaria, capital of Cappadocia in 963.
In the meantime, under the enlightened rule of the Macedonian-Armenian dynasty, Cappadocia was set up as a ‘theme; or state, with its own army and rule. The privileges of the landowners were restored and once more, the land began to flourish, attracting the great noble families of Phocas, Maleinos, Balantis and Alyatis to its soil. They proved the catalyst for equitable redistribution of imperial lands to the Cappadocians.
While being the land of liberation, Cappadocia also became the land that stages the beginning of the end of the Byzantine Empire. It was the scene of the great rout of Manzikert, when in 1071, the Byzantine army was completely annihilated by the Seljuk Turks. That date marked the beginning of a steady migration of Turcoman tribes into Asia Minor. Their pillaging of the Christians of Cappadocia reduced them to a state of penury. Even more catastrophic was the formation of petty Seljuk sultanates which fought each other and caused Christians to be drawn into bloody civil wars. These sultanates will eventually be unified by Kiliç Arslan into the Sultanate of Rum, with its capital at Iconion. The birthplace of the whirling dervishes, their founder, Jelaleddin Al Rumi drew much from the Cappadocian Orthodox mysticism, as did Hadji Bektash, the founder of a popular sect of Islam.
During the successive Seljuk and Ottoman occupations, the Greeks of Cappadocia were subjected to the same twists and tortures of fate as all others. However, they tenaciously held on to heir identity. When after centuries of rule, they began to lose the Greek tongue, they still stubbornly wrote their Turkish with Greek characters, known as ‘Karamanlidika.’ Various ecclesiastical commentaries were published in Karamanlidika by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and for the benefit of the Sultans.
As traders, craftsmen and expert farmers, the Cappadocians, indistinguishable culturally from their Turkish neighbours, stubbornly kept their identity and religion. In the nineteenth century, the neo-classical vogue reached the area, with Greeks like Usta Uşak Kalfoglou naming his son, Homer. The Hatti Sherif (1839) and Hatti Humayun (1856) reforms allowed limited self-expression to the Cappadocians who vigorously founded schools to spread the Greek language as well as cultural leagues. Cappadocian literature flourished. Cappadocian musicians were known for their innovative ways, their progressive character and vivid artistry. The rembetika songs stem from nineteenth century innovations of Cappadocian music.
Sadly, as always in Cappadocian history, the years of peace were dispersed by an oncoming storm. When it cleared, after 1924 the aboriginal inhabitants of Cappadocia had been uprooted and transplanted in Greece. The harsh countryside and the ruined churches, the bones of Hellenism in this forgotten region remain to bear witness to its passing. The land has still not recovered from the loss of its people. And all about the hollows of the mountains, in this great biblical catastrophe, primeval whispers groan in pain: «Εθρηνούν τα δένδρα ηχούντα: που ει ο Αδάμ;» (The trees mourn, crying out: Where is Adam?) For the Cappadocian paradise is no more.


First published in NKEE on Saturday 4 February and Saturday 11 February 2012