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Identity Card - Greece


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  • Anthem (lyrics)

The Hymn to Liberty or Hymn to Freedom (Greek: Ύμνος εις την Ελευθερίαν, Ýmnos is tin Eleftherían is a poem written by Dionýsios Solomós in 1823 that consists of 158 stanzas.

Inspired by the Greek War of Independence, Solomos wrote the hymn to honour the struggle of Greeks for independence after centuries of Ottoman rule.

The poet mentions the misery of the Greeks under the Ottomans and their hope for freedom. He describes different events of the War, such as the execution of Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople, the reaction of the Great Powers, extensively the Siege of Tripolitsa and the Christian character of the struggle.


I recognize you by the fearsome sharpness,

of your sword,

I recognize you by your face

that violently defines the land(i.e. the land's borders).

From the sacred bones,

of the Hellenes (Greeks) arisen,

and valiant again as you once were,

hail, o hail, Liberty!

  • Map (location)




  • Coin




  • 10 historic dates (most important for the political development of each country)


1821:  The beginning of Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between 1821 and 1832 against the Ottoman Empire.

1830Creation of the Modern Greek State. Greece becomes the first country to break away from the Ottoman Empire after the Greek War of Independence.

1864: the Ionian Islands were united with Greece. On 29 March 1864, representatives of the United Kingdom, GreeceFrance, and Russia signed the Treaty of London, pledging the transfer of sovereignty to Greece upon ratification

1912-13: Balkan Wars, new territories are added to the Greek state, including Thessaloniki.

1922: The catastrophe of Smyrna during the Greco-Turkish War  is considered as one of the biggest disasters in Greek History. 1.5 million refugees came to Greece, after having lost families and properties.

1936: The 4th of August Regime, commonly also known as the Metaxas Regime , was an  authoritarian regime under the leadership of General Ioannis Metaxas that ruled Greece from 1936 to 1941.

1940: World war II, The Greek-Italian war of 1940 to 1941 was a military conflict between Greece and Italy and Albania coalition, which ran from October 28, 1940 until May 31, 1941, when and the occupation of the country was completed by the German forces, which attacked Greece on April 6, 1941

1946-49: The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek government army, backed by the United Kingdom and the United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece , the military branch of the Greek Communist Party, backed by Yugoslavia and Albania as well as Bulgaria. The result was the defeat of the Communist insurgents by the government forces.

1967-74: The Greek military junta of 1967–74, was a series of right-wing military juntas that ruled Greece following the 1967 Greek coup d'état led by a group of colonels on 21 April 1967. The dictatorship ended on 24 July 1974 under the pressure of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

1980: Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union).


  • 5 traditional songs (lyrics)


Αγρίμια κι αγριμάκια


- Αγρίμια κι αγριμάκια μου,
'λάφια μου μερωμένα,
πέστε μου πού 'ναι οι τόποι σας,
πού 'ναι τα χειμαδιά σας;

- Γκρεμνά 'ναι εμάς οι τόποι μας,
λέσκες τα χειμαδιά μας,
τα σπηλιαράκια του βουνού
είναι τα γονικά μας.



Wildings and little wildings

- My wildings and little wildings,
my tamed deer,
tell me, where are your lands
and where your winter quarters?

- Cliffs are our lands,
ravines are our winter quarters,
the little caves of the mountain
are our parents.


 Από ξένο τόπο




Από ξένο τόπο κι απ' αλαργινό
ήρθ' ένα κορίτσι, φως μου, δεκαοχτώ χρονώ'.

Ούτε στην πόρτα βγαίνει ούτε στο στενό
ούτε στο παραθύρι, φως μου, δυο λόγια να της πω.

Έχει μαύρα μάτια και σγουρά μαλλιά
και στο μάγουλό του, φως μου, έχει μιαν ελιά.

Δε μου τη δανείζεις δεν μου την πουλάς
την ελίτσα που 'χεις, φως μου, και με τυραννάς.

Δε σου τη δανείζω, δεν σου την πουλώ
μόν' να τη χαρίσω θέλω σε κείνον π' αγαπώ.

From a foreign place

From a foreign and distant place
there came a girl, my light, 12 years old

She doesn't come out in the door or the allay
nor to my window my light, to tell her a couple of words

She has black eyes and curly hair
and on her cheek, my light, she has a mole

you don't lent her to me, you don't sell it to me
your mole, my light, and you torture me

I don't lent it to you, I don't sell it to you
I just want to give it as a present to the one I love







Αχ! Η ξενιτειά το χαίρεται
Τζιβαέρι μου
Το μοσχολούλουδο μου
σιγανά και ταπεινά

Αχ! Εγώ ήμουνα που το ‘στειλα
Τζιβαέρι μου
Με θέλημα δικό μου
σιγανά πατώ στη γη

Αχ! Πανάθεμά σε ξενιτειά
Τζιβαέρι μου
Εσέ και το καλό σου
σιγανά και ταπεινά

Αχ! Που πήρες το παιδάκι μου
Τζιβαέρι μου
και το ‘κανες δικό σου
σιγανά πατώ στη γη




Ah! The foreign lands are taking happiness from him
My treasure
My flower with the beautiful smell
Slowly and humbly

Ah! It was me who sent him there
My treasure
With my own will
Slowly I step on the ground

Ah! To be damned foreign lands
My treasure
You and your progress
Slowly and humbly

Ah! That you take my little child
My treasure
And you made him yours
Slowly I step on the ground



Εις τον αφρό της θάλασσας


Εις τον αφρό εις τον αφρό της θάλασσας
η αγάπη μου η αγάπη μου κοιμάται,
παρακαλώ σας κύματα μη μου την εξυπνάτε
παρακαλώ σας κύματα μη μου την εξυπνάτε

Γιαλό γιαλό - Γιαλό γιαλό - πηγαίναμε - πηγαίναμε
κι όλο για σένα - κι όλο για σένα - λέγαμε
γιαλό να πας γιαλό να ‘ρθεις
τα λόγια μου να θυμηθείς.

Να χαμηλώ… να χαμηλώναν τα βουνά
να ‘βλεπα το να ‘βλεπα το Λεβάντε,
να ‘βλεπα την Κεφαλονιά και τον ωραίο Τζάντε
να ‘βλεπα την Κεφαλονιά και τον ωραίο Τζάντε.

Γιαλό γιαλό - Γιαλό γιαλό - πηγαίναμε - πηγαίναμε
κι όλο για σένα λέγαμε
γιαλό να πας γιαλό να ‘ρθεις
τα λόγια μου να θυμηθείς.

Κεφαλονιά Κεφαλονιά και Ζάκυνθος
Κέρκυρα και Κέρκυρα και Λευκάδα,
αυτά τα τέσσερα νησιά στολίζουν την Ελλάδα
αυτά τα τέσσερα νησιά στολίζουν την Ελλάδα.

Γιαλό γιαλό πηγαίναμε
κι όλο για σένα λέγαμε,
γιαλό να πας γιαλό να ‘ρθεις
τα λόγια μου να θυμηθείς.

Κεφαλλονί… κεφαλλονίτικος παπάς
διαβάζει με διαβάζει με σοφία,
τα δώδεκα ευαγγέλια τα βγάζει δεκατρία
τα δώδεκα ευαγγέλια τα βγάζει δεκατρία.

Γιαλό γιαλό πηγαίναμε
κι όλο για σένα λέγαμε,
γιαλό να πας γιαλό να ‘ρθεις
τα λόγια μου να θυμηθείς.
Γιαλό να πας γιαλό να ‘ρθεις
τα λόγια μου να θυμηθείς.

In the sea froth

In the sea froth, my love is sleeping.
I pray you, waves, do not wake her up.
I pray you, waves, do not wake her up.

Along the strand (along the strand) we walked (we walked)
and we kept talking about you.
Whether you come or go along the strand
remember my words.

If only mountains could get lower
so I could see Levante
so I could see Cephalonia
and beautiful Zante
so I could see Cephalonia
and beautiful Zante

Along the strand (along the strand) we walked (we walked)
and we kept talking about you.
Whether you come or go along the strand
remember my words

Cephalonia, Cephalonia and Zakynthos
Corfù, Corfù and Lefkada:
these four islands adorn Greece
these for islands adorn Greece.

Along the strand (along the strand) we walked (we walked)
and we kept talking about you.
Whether you come or go along the strand
remember my words

A Cephalonian priest
is reading wisely.
Of twelve gospels, he makes thirteen
Of twelve gospels, he makes thirteen

Along the strand (along the strand) we walked (we walked)
and we kept talking about you.
Whether you come or go along the strand
remember my words
Whether you come or go along the strand
remember my words


Σ' το 'πα και στο ξαναλέω


Σ' το 'πα και σ' το ξαναλέω
στο γιαλό μην κατεβείς·
κι ο γιαλός κάνει φουρτούνα
και σε πάρει και διαβείς.

Κι αν με πάρει πού με πάει
κάτω στα βαθιά νερά
Κάνω το κορμί μου βάρκα
τα χεράκια μου κουπιά
το μαντήλι μου πανάκι
μπαινοβγαίνω στη στεριά

Σ' το 'πα και σ' το ξαναλέω,
μη μου στέλνεις γράμματα
γιατί γράμματα δεν ξέρω
και με πιάνουν κλάματα...


I told you and I'll tell you again

I told you and I’ll tell you again
Don’t go down to the shore
The shore has violent waves
And it may take you and you get gone

And if it takes me, where will it take me
Down to the deep water
I make my body a boat,
my arms paddles,
My scarf a sail
I come and go from the mainland

I told you and I’ll tell you again
Don’t send me letters
Because I can’t read
And I begin to cry



  • 5 traditions

Name day celebration

Most Greeks are named after a religious saint. A very important tradition is that everyone who has a name coming from a saint celebrated by the church celebrates his name on a given day of the year. On the "name day" of someone, his friends and family visit him without invitation and offer wishes and small presents. The hostess of the house offers pastries, sweets and hors d'oeuvres to the guests. In Greece, name days are more important than birthdays.


It is a custom in Greece to get engaged before get married. The man has to ask for the hand of the woman from her father and close family, while the two families give presents to bride and groom. The couple exchanges wedding rings that are worn on the left hand. After the wedding, these rings will be worn on the right hand. In Greece, the engagement period may last for years and it is like a commitment to the families. This custom is still vivid in the Greek mainland, while gradually it tends to disappear.

Marriage traditions

Wedding traditions in Greece vary slightly from place to place. In the islands you will find a more intensive and colourful tradition going on. In the Dodecanese, for example, the celebration starts a couple of days before when relatives and friends will go to the new house of the couple "to make the marriage bed". This is like the kitchen party found in some Western countries or similar to adding to the new couples dowry. However, instead of gifts for the house, money (and sometime serious money) inside envelopes is given. Usually the couple's fathers will set the ball rolling by throwing money on the marriage bed as a gift to the new couple. Depending on their financial status, the amounts of money the fathers throw can sometimes be very large indeed. This is followed by friends and relatives who will add to this their envelope with money, afterwards a baby will be placed on the bed in order to bring prosperity and fertility to the couple. On the day of the wedding, from early in the afternoon, the two houses of the bride and groom's families will be very busy. At the bride's house, the bride's girlfriends will dress her and make her beautiful for the marriage ceremony, whilst at the house of the groom the main event of the preparations will be in full swing. As his friends are dressing him and getting him ready, the gathering of friends and family of the groom sing the marital song. In the meanwhile visitors, friends and relatives have a great drinking party in the main lounge or on the veranda if it is good weather. The party is usually accompanied by live music played by local musicians. A half hour before the ceremony the gathering will go to the church. Traditionally musicians will follow as well, playing wedding songs, and this can still be seen - especially on the islands of Greece. At the gate of the church, the groom will wait for the bride and when she comes the ceremony will continue with a small liturgy, the exchanging of vows and the dance of Isaiah. The Priest and the bride and groom must walk 3 times around the altar whilst the priest sings the Isaiah dance. The marriage ceremony is followed by a huge party usually held at a big restaurant with music and dancing. Traditionally, the best man or best woman of the bride and groom will be the Godfather or Godmother of the first child born to the couple.

Christmas Traditions

The Greek Christmas season begins with 40 days of fasting and then doesn't end until New Year's Day. Families begin baking traditional breads and pastries the week before Christmas Day. There are two main types of traditional pastries: the Christopsomo (Christ's bread) and Vasilopeta (St. Basil's bread).  Christopsomo bread is sweet bread served with dried fruits, nuts and honey. The baker places an ornament that represents the family's main profession, such as a fish for a fishing family, into the bread's crust. Vasilopeta is a sponge cake that has a coin baked into it. Greek families believe that eating the cake will bring them spiritual and physical blessings in the upcoming year. The family member who finds the coin in his piece is supposed to have great luck in the New Year. He buys a candle with the coin and then lights it in the church on Christmas Day. On New Year's Day, the family lifts their dinner table three times for luck after the meal.

"Kalanda" or Carols

The singing of Christmas carols (or kalanda) is a custom preserved in its entirety to this day. On Christmas and New Year Eve, children go from house to house in groups singing the carols, accompanied usually by the sounds of the musical instrument "triangle," but also by guitars, accordions, lyres and harmonicas. Until some time ago, children were rewarded with pastries but nowadays they are usually given money. 


In Greece, the Carnival is called "Apokries". The festival consists of two weeks of feast, beginning from the Sunday of Meat Fare and ends with the first day of the Lent, called Clean Monday (Kathari Deutera). Everyone is costumed and parties take place in the streets and bars, throwing coloured confetti to each other. The most famous Carnival Parade takes place in the city of Patra. In many towns around Greece and in the islands, local customs revive. The Carnival is believed to come from paganism, and more precisely from the old festivities worshiping Dionysus, the god of wine and feast. Clean Monday Clean Monday or Lent Monday is the first day of the Lent (Saracosti) during which families go for a picnic in the countryside and fly kites.


Easter is the most important celebration for the Greeks, even more than Christmas. On Good Thursday or Good Saturday, women dye eggs in red and bake buns. On Good Friday, the day of mourning, the Epitaphios, the tomb of Christ with its icon, decorated with flowers, is taken out of the church and carried around the village followed by a slow procession. Afterwards, the procession returns to the church where the believers kiss the image of the Christ. During the night of the Holy Saturday (Megalo Savato), everybody dresses well and goes to the church where a ceremony is hold. Just before midnight, all of the lights of the church are turned off, symbolizing the darkness and silent of the tomb, while the priest lights a candle from the Eternal Flame, sings the psalm Christos Anesti (meaning Christ has risen) and offers the flame to light the candles of the people. Everyone passes the flame one to another. The bells ring continuously and people throw fireworks. The Good Saturday Dinner takes place after midnight and consists of mayiritsa, tsoureki (Easter cake) and red eggs. On Easter Sunday, the family roasts the lamb on the spit. Corfu island is the most famous place for easter.


When a family member dies, women usually wear black for up to a year to show their respect, while men wear black armbands for up to 40 days. Women also make special food such as kollyva, a boiled wheat dish, and paximadia, a biscuit similar to biscotti. The deceased is celebrated long after the funeral, through a memorial service held 40 days after death, as well as additional memorial services held annually after that. These services are held not only to usher the deceased into the afterlife, but also to properly grieve and celebrate that family member who is no longer a part of this world.


  • Gastronomy and typical products

A hot, dry climate sets the tone for the Greek menu, which relies heavily on fresh food. Fishermen pluck an array of seafood from the Mediterranean. Farmers cultivate lemons, eggplant, artichokes and other fresh fruits and vegetables. Although Greeks don't eat each as much meat as some other cultures, they still create mouthwatering lamb, pork and chicken dishes. To satisfy a sweet tooth, Greeks layer nuts and honey into thin sheets of phyllo dough to make sweet snacks.

The most important food in Greece may be the olive. The olive can be traced back to the Bronze Age (3150 to 1200 B.C.E.) in eastern coastal Mediterranean areas, but it migrated to Greece's first civilization, the Minoans, around 1700 B.C.E. The olive tree, which grows well in arid climates and can flourish in bad soil, has played an important role in Greek society due to its use in lamp fuel, anointing rituals and pharmaceuticals. Today, Greeks grow many varieties of olives, from large, black Kalamata olives to the Cracked Green variety. Olive oil makes an appearance in almost every dish, and a handful of marinated Kalamata olives is a popular snack.

Geography has also influenced food traditions by dictating the availability of certain items. Greece is a very mountainous country, particularly the northern regions of Epiors, Macedonia and Thrace. These areas lend themselves well to herding ruminant livestock, particularly sheep, since those animals don't need as much pastureland as others to survive Sheep help farmers produce plenty of meat, cheese and fresh, thick Greek yogurt.


Greek food and beverages are famous all over the world for both quality and taste. Greek cuisine is often cited as an example of the healthy Mediterranean diet while sharing food and drinks with relatives and friends is one of the basic elements of the Greek culture. Greek cuisine incorporates fresh ingredients, among them garlic, onions, fennel, zucchini, grapes, apples, dates and figs, into a variety of local dishes some of which can be traced back to Ancient Greece.

Seasonings and herbs like dill, mint, oregano and lemon rinds also form an important part of the recipes while olive oil is added to almost every dish. Wheat, rice and meat, traditionally lamb, but also chicken, pork, beef and fish, form the staple diet.

Greeks love socializing, and traditionally, they socialize over a drink. Be it coffee or a nip of ouzo -- an anise-flavored spirit distilled from grapes, figs or raisins and blended with spices and sugar-- a tasty local beverage provides a way for Greeks to linger at a table and enjoy each other's company.

The mezedes (single: mezes) are appetizers, served before or with the main dishes. They come in small plates with various dips such as tzatziki (Greek yogurt with finely chopped cucumber, garlic and olive oil). Mezedez often consist of htapodi (small pieces of octopus served grilled, boiled or fried with lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar and oregano), dolmades or dolmadakia (grape leaves filled with rice, onions and sometimes ground beef, currants and pine kernel), kalamarakia (small pieces of fried squid with lemon juice), tiropitakia (small cheese pies, usually made of feta cheese) and spanakopitakia (small spinach pies with crushed feta cheese), small fish, feta cheese and other cheeses such as the saganaki or fried cheese, various olives.

Salads include horiatiki (Village Salad), the most famous Greek salad - a mix of fresh tomatoes, olives, cucumber, onions, green pepper, feta cheese, olive oil and oregano; melitzanosalata - an eggplant puree with finely chopped garlic and olive oil; taramosalata - crushed fish eggs.

Greeks have a lot of excellent main dishes such as moussaka, which has a base made of potatoes topped with eggplants, onions, ground beef and béchamel crème; pastitsio - spaghetti topped with ground beef, onions, tomato sauce and béchamel sauce; paidakia - grilled lamb's ribs served with lemon; kokoretsi - wrapped and roasted entrails of lamb, served with lemon; keftedakia - fried meatballs of beef, garlic and bread. Meat is often served with horta - boiled wild greens with olive oil, salt and lemon and briam - mix of roast potatoes, eggplants, onions, garlic, tomato sauce and olive oil.

Succulent Greek soups include kotossoupa - chicken soup usually with avgolemono (sauce made with eggs and lemon); psarossoupa - fish soup with parsley, potatoes and carrots’ fassolada - white bean soup with parsley and, sometimes, tomato sauce; fakies - lentil soup; magiritsa - Easter soup made of lamb entrails, and the avgolemono sauce; patsa - tripe soup, considered by the Greeks as a very good remedy for hangovers.

Greece is also famous for its alcoholic drinks. Liquor includes ouzo and tsipouro with ouzo being the most famous Greek alcoholic beverage, considered the trade mark of the country. It is mixed with ice or with a bit of water and is ideal to drink with all kinds of mezedes. Tsipouro is similar to ouzo but with a stronger taste of anis. In different parts of Greece people make their own home made tsipouro, also called raki, depending of the region.

Among the many quality Greek wines, offering a huge diversity of red, white and rose, sweet or dry, the best known are mavrodafni - a strong, sweet, really thick and dark wine, made in Patras Peloponnese and used for the Holy Communion in the Greek Orthodox Church and the world famous retsina, whose particular resin taste is due to the way the wine is made - putting the grapes in new cask which still has the wood resin on.

Greeks often end a meal with fresh fruit, but they do enjoy pastries as snacks. Many Greek sweets are doused in honey, a throwback to the ancient gods' love of ambrosia and nectar. Though mortals weren't allowed to eat those two items, honey served as a most welcome substitute. Honey-drenched doughnuts called loukoumades are just one of Greece's favorite sweets.



  • 5 personalities (political, cultural, economic…)


Eleftherios Venizelos (23 August 1864 – 18 March 1936) was an eminent Greek leader of the Greek national liberation movement and a charismatic statesman of the early 20th century remembered for his promotion of liberal-democratic policies. As leader of the Liberal Party, he was elected several times as Prime Minister of Greece, serving from 1910 to 1920 and from 1928 to 1933. Venizelos had such profound influence on the internal and external affairs of Greece that he is credited with being "the maker of modern Greece" and is still widely known as the "Ethnarch".

 Not only did he initiate constitutional and economic reforms that set the basis for the modernization of Greek society, but also reorganized both army and navy.

In World War I (1914–1918), he brought Greece on the side of the Allies, further expanding the Greek borders. However, his pro-Allied foreign policy brought him in direct conflict with the monarchy, causing the National Schism. The Schism polarized the population between the royalists and Venizelists and the struggle for power between the two groups afflicted the political and social life of Greece for decades. 

 In his subsequent periods in office Venizelos succeeded in restoring normal relations with Greece's neighbors and expanded his constitutional and economical reforms.


Michael "MikisTheodorakis (born 29 July 1925) is a Greek songwriter and composer who has written over 1000 songs. He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He composed the "Mauthausen Trilogy" also known as "The Ballad of Mauthausen", which has been described as the "most beautiful musical work ever written about the Holocaust" and possibly his best work. He is viewed as Greece's best-known living composer. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

Politically, he is associated with the left because of his long-standing ties to the Communist Party of Greece. He was an MP for the Communist Party from 1981 to 1990. In 1990 he was elected to the parliament (as in 1964 and 1981), became a minister with the government of the conservatives, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continues to speak out in favor of left-liberal causes, Greek–Turkish–Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq. He has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was a key voice against the 1967–1974 Greek junta, which imprisoned him.


Giorgos or George Seferis , the pen name of Georgios Seferiades (March 13 1900 – September 20, 1971), was a Greek poet-diplomat. He was one of the most important Greek poets of the 20th century, and a Nobel laureate. He was a career diplomat in the Greek Foreign Service.

Seferis was born near Smyrna in Asia MinorOttoman Empire (now İzmir, Turkey). His father, was a professor at the University of Athens, as well as a poet and translator. He was also a Venizelist and a supporter of the demotic Greek language over the formal, official language. Both of these attitudes influenced his son. In 1914 the family moved to Athens. While he was studying law at the Sorbonne, in September 1922, Smyrna/Izmir was taken by the Turkish Army. Many Greeks, including Seferis' family, fled from Asia Minor. The sense of being an exile from his childhood home would inform much of Seferis' poetry, showing itself particularly in his interest in the story of Odysseus. Seferis was also greatly influenced by KavafisT. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.

In 1963, Seferis was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture."  But in his acceptance speech, Seferis chose rather to emphasise his own humanist philosophy, concluding: "When on his way to Thebes Oedipus encountered the Sphinx, his answer to its riddle was: 'Man'. That simple word destroyed the monster. We have many monsters to destroy." 

In 1967 the repressive nationalist Regime of the Colonels took power in Greece after a coup d'état. Seferis took a stand against the regime. On March 28, 1969, he made a statement on the BBC World Service, with copies simultaneously distributed to every newspaper in Athens. In authoritative and absolute terms, he stated "This anomaly must end".

Seferis did not live to see the end of the junta in 1974. At his funeral, huge crowds followed his coffin through the streets of Athens, singing Mikis Theodorakis’ setting of Seferis’ poem 'Denial' (then banned); he had become a popular hero for his resistance to the regime.


Georgios Nikolaou Papanikolaou (13 May 1883 – 19 February 1962) was a Greek pioneer in cytopathology and early cancer detection, and inventor of the "Pap smear".

Papanikolaou studied at the University of Athens, where he received his medical degree in 1904. Six years later he received his PhD from the University of Munich, Germany.

In 1913 he emigrated to the U.S. in order to work in the department of Pathology of New York Hospital and the Department of Anatomy at the Cornell Medical College Cornell University.

He first reported that uterine cancer could be diagnosed by means of a vaginal smear in 1928, but the importance of his work was not recognized until the publication, together with Herbert Frederick Traut (1894–1963), of Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer by the Vaginal Smear in 1943. He thus became known for his invention of the Papanicolaou test, commonly known as the Pap smear or Pap test, which is used worldwide for the detection and prevention of cervical cancer and other cytologic diseases of the female reproductive system.

At a 1928 medical conference in Battle Creek, Michigan, Papanicolaou introduced his low-cost, easily performed screening test for early detection of cancerous and precancerous cells. However, this potential medical breakthrough was initially met with skepticism and resistance from the medical community. Papanicolaou's next communication on the subject did not appear until 1941 when, with gynecologist Herbert Traut, he published a paper on the diagnostic value of vaginal smears in carcinoma of the uterus.This was followed 2 years later by an illustrated monograph based on a study of over 3,000 cases. In 1954 he published another memorable work, the Atlas of Exfoliative Cytology, thus creating the foundation of the modern medical specialty of cytopathology.


Maria Callas, (Anna Maria Sofia Cecilia Kalogeropoulou,  December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977), was a Greek-American soprano, and one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Many critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic interpretations. Her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of DonizettiBellini and Rossini and further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner. Her musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.

Born in New York City, she received her musical education in Greece and established her career in Italy. Forced to deal with the exigencies of wartime poverty and with myopia that left her nearly blind onstage, she endured struggles and scandal over the course of her career. She turned herself from a heavy woman into a svelte and glamorous one after a mid-career weight loss, which might have contributed to her vocal decline and the premature end of her career. The press exulted in publicizing Callas's temperamental behavior, her supposed rivalry with Renata Tebaldi and her love affair with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. Although her dramatic life and personal tragedy have often overshadowed Callas the artist in the popular press, her artistic achievements were such that Leonard Bernstein called her "the Bible of opera" and her influence so enduring that, in 2006, Opera News wrote of her: "Nearly thirty years after her death, she's still the definition of the diva as artist—and still one of classical music's best-selling vocalists."

Callas's voice was and remains controversial; it bothered and disturbed as many as it thrilled and inspired. 

Regarding Callas's technical prowess, Celletti says, "We must not forget that she could tackle the whole gamut of ornamentation: staccatotrills, half-trills, gruppettiscales, etc." D'Amico adds, "The essential virtue of Callas's technique consists of supreme mastery of an extraordinarily rich range of tone colour. And such mastery means total freedom of choice in its use: not being a slave to one's abilities, but rather, being able to use them at will as a means to an end." While reviewing the many recorded versions of "perhaps Verdi's ultimate challenge", the aria "D'amor sull'ali rosee" from Il trovatore, Richard Dyer writes, Callas articulates all of the trills, and she binds them into the line more expressively than anyone else; they are not an ornament but a form of intensification.

There are times when certain people are blessed—and cursed—with an extraordinary gift, in which the gift is almost greater than the human being. Callas was one of these people.


Grigoris Lambrakis (3 April 1912 – 27 May 1963) was a Greek politicianphysiciantrack and field athlete and member of the faculty of the School of Medicine at the University of Athens.

Lambrakis was a champion athlete throughout his life. He held the Greek record for long jump for twenty-three years (1936–1959). He also earned several gold medals in the Balkan Games, which took place annually.

During the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II (1941–44), Lambrakis participated actively in the Greek Resistance. After World War II, Lambrakis completed his medical studies and worked as a lecturer in the Department of gynaecology. He continued to help the poor by running a small private clinic for patients who were unable to afford medical care.

While not a Communist, Lambrakis' political and ideological orientation leaned towards the left. He was actively involved in the pacifist movement of his time, which voiced strong opposition to the Vietnam War

 He was elected to the Hellenic Parliament in the Greek legislative election, 1961 as a Piraeus MP. That same year under his initiative, the Commission for International Détente and Peace was established in Greece. As Vice President of this organization, Lambrakis participated in international pacifist meetings and demonstrations despite frequent threats against his life. On April 21, 1963, the pacifist movement in Greece organized the First Pacifist Rally from Marathon to Athens. The police intervened, banned the rally and arrested many demonstrators (Mikis Theodorakis among them). Lambrakis, protected by his parliamentary immunity, marched alone and arrived at the end of the rally holding the banner with the peace symbol. Soon afterward, he too was arrested by the police.

On May 22, 1963, shortly after he had delivered a speech at an anti-war meeting in Thessaloniki, two far-right extremists, driving a three-wheeled vehicle, struck Lambrakis with a club over the head in plain view of a large number of people and (allegedly) some police officers. He suffered brain injuries and died in the hospital five days later, on May 27. The two men were arrested because of the reaction of a passenger who jumped on their vehicle and fought with them (Manolis Hatziapostolou, nicknamed Tiger).

The events that followed the assassination of Lambrakis led to rapid political developments.

The life and death of Grigoris Lambrakis inspired the author Vassilis Vassilikos to write the political novel "Z". The title stands for the first letter of the Greek word "Zi" ("[He] Lives!"), a popular graffito which began to appear on the walls of the buildings of the Greek cities in the 1960s, illustrating the growing protest against the conditions that led to the assassination of Lambrakis. In 1969, the Greek-French film director Costa-Gavras made the film Z, which was a great success. 

Lambrakis remained in the hearts of the Greek people as a national symbol of democracy, representing the struggle against political repression, Royal Court scandal, and international dependence. The Marathon Peace Rally became an annual event in Lambrakis' memory. Also, the Athens Classic Marathon is run in memory of Grigoris Lambrakis every November.


  • EU integration

In 1980, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union).



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