CULTURE

Flag-bearer of Greek spirit honored

On November 5, Jacqueline de Romilly, a world-renowned Hellenist and member of the French Academy, became the first recipient of an award for Parliamentarism and Democracy from the Hellenic Parliament’s Foundation. Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas presented her with the award at the Greek Embassy in Paris. De Romilly, who is 94, was smiling and cheerful and appeared very moved by the honor of being the first recipient of the award. She is known in her country and abroad as a flag-bearer of the Hellenic spirit and values. In her acceptance speech, she commented on the values «which range from bravery to justice and moderation, which is especially dear to me as a virtue. This is what I struggled to achieve all my life and you have moved me greatly by rewarding me in this way.» De Romilly, who was awarded Greek nationality in 1995, asked Sioufas to forgive her for addressing him in French. Speaking of how she started out, she said: «I still have an old postcard of the Acropolis. On the back, my teacher had written: ‘To young Jacqueline David for her excellent results in the Greek examinations.’ I was 13 or 14 at the time. Now, 80 years later, I again receive an award for my work in Greek, from a very high source, the Greek Parliament. That is why I am so moved.»