CULTURE

The Greatest Greek of all time

In a long debate broadcast live on Skai TV on Monday night, the «Great Greeks» series came to an end with the voting of Alexander the Great as the Greatest Greek of all time. The series was a complex and expensive production: Not only was there mass public participation – 700,000 votes were counted – many intellectuals and political figures were also involved, something that was highlighted in the final debate. Two Oxford University professors, David Charles and Robin Lane-Fox, were also present, in support of Aristotle and Alexander the Great, respectively. During the live show, 250 guests were present as «supporters» of the 10 finalists who were depicted in 10 Skai documentaries. The 96-year-old academic Constantinos Despotopoulos received the warmest applause. Just listening to him talk with a youthful passion about Plato, «who guides the political thought of all humanity,» made the show worth watching. The 10 Great Greeks finalists featured five representatives from the ancient and five from the modern world. When dealing with two different levels, comparisons might be unfair on the three philosophers – Socrates, Plato and Aristotle – who «structured human civilization,» as Professor Vassilis Karasmanis pointed out, adding that «if the voting had been worldwide, the three ancient philosophers would have come first.» Ultimately, what became clear was that the aim of the Skai production was not to strictly define who the Great Greeks are and why, but to show who we are.