Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (UoTh) professor emeritus Ioannis Kazazis, who was head of the Center for the Greek Language, died by hanging, according to Greek police on Tuesday.
The professor was found dead in his office earlier in the day. A coroner ruled out foul play.
Education Minister Niki Kerameus had expressed condolences, saying that he had been educated at outstanding institutions and had several publications to his name. “He leaves a significant legacy in modern language teaching,” she said in a social media message when the announcement of his death came earlier in the day.
UoTh rector, professor Nikos Papaioannou also expressed condolences, saying he had left “a tremendous legacy” and had made “an invaluable contribution to boosting Greek studies abroad.”
Kazazis, born in 1947, studied classical philology at the Universities of Thessaloniki and Illinois and at Yale University. He was a fellow at Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies and a visiting professor at the University of Maryland.
He had taught at UoTh from 1979 to 2014 and directed its Department of Lexicography, besides having served as head of the national council on primary and secondary education. He was also an honorary professor and PhD recipient of the Kuban State University Kuban in Russia.
His interests included Herodotus, Demosthenes, ancient epics, epigrams, and the history of Greek studies from the Renaissance to the presence in the West and in Russia. He was also head of the editorial team that published volumes 15 to 21 of the dictionary of Greek language (1100-1669) known as the “Kriaras dictionary” after its originator, and of its three-volume compendium.