Old world still guides the new one

The importance and relevance of the ancient Greek world in today’s global politics, economics and culture lay at the heart of a joint press conference held by Minister of Tourism Dimitris Avramopoulos and Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas at the Athens Ledra Marriott hotel yesterday. The occasion was a symposium currently held under the aegis of both ministries: The 4th Symposium Philosophiae Antiquae Quartum Atheniense, which focuses on «Physis and Nomos: Power, Justice and the Agonistical Ideal of Life in High Classicism,» ends Sunday. Speaking at the press conference, Avramopoulos stressed the importance of turning Greece into a center of cultural thought. He also noted that the newly found ministry is focusing on three key issues: environment, development and culture – events such as the symposium falling into the latter category. In the globalized world, Avramopoulos said, it is crucial for citizens to have access to a network of information on cultures. Doukas thanked the symposium’s 16 participants for «showing interest in ancient Greek philosophy» and «taking such good care of our ancestry.» He also paid tribute to Professor Apostolos Pierris (also on the press conference panel) for his dedication to this and similar events. The ministers also announced the creation of a series of symposia which will take place under the aegis of both ministries, as well as that of the Ministry of Culture. Coming up, for instance, is a symposium on Sappho, to be held on the island of Lesvos. Meanwhile, participating in what appears to be a particularly lively symposium are the following leading personalities: Tomas Buchheim (University of Munich), Carl Joachim Classen (University of Tubingen), Edward Cohen (Resource America, Inc), Michael Gagarin (University of Texas at Austin), Joerg Hardy (Freie University Berlin), Aryeh Kosman (Haverford College, Pennsylvania), Richard Kraut (Northwestern University), Ian Mueller (University of Chicago), Mark Munn (Pennsylvania State University), Michel Narcy (CNRS, Paris), Gerard Pendrick (Decatur College, Georgia), Apostolos Pierris (Institute for Philosophical Research, Patras), Harold Tarrant (University of Newcastle, Australia), Robert Wallace (Northwestern University) and Roslyn Weiss (Lehigh University, Pennsylvania).