Football and a Greek identity in many leading clubs in Europe

It is fair to say that football was a creation of the ancient Greeks and Romans, playing a brand that required kicking ‘balls.’ The name given to the sport was episkyros by Antiphanes, eventually making its way to Rome, Alexandria and other cities. In Rome, the balls were first filled with air and as has been the custom in Italy ever since, football players would focus on their hairstyles and diving (see Italy vs Socceroos 2006 diving) as the key aspect of a match. Football was played in one form or another across the world until refined properly by the English in the nineteenth century into the beautiful game it became. Continue reading

A Leonidas in Brussels: an Overview of the local Greek Community

Sitting in the aptly titled Pita (Greek) Street in the centre of Brussels having a yeeros and speaking Greek…my trip to Belgium began in earnest. I had ventured here on the recommendation of a priest.

A few years ago I had met Father Christos Sidiropoulos who drives from Belgium to Rotterdam in The Netherlands to deliver liturgies at the picturesque Agios Nikolaos Church. This encounter piqued my interest in the Greek Community of Brussels. Being on a tight schedule time wise, I had given myself just 24 hours to find out what I could. Continue reading

New feature

To add a little more life to the blog, we now have a new Hellenic Travels in Visuals section where, as the name suggests, we let the visual splendour of Greece do all the talking. Please let us know what you think!

Hellenic Romania: from Greek Colonies to Dracula

Straddling the Black Sea and bounded by Hungary to the north, I was curious by the Hellenic history of Romania and decided to pay a visit. Greek history in Romania dates back over 2700 years! Just don’t call them Eastern European…

When I interviewed Ramona a friend of mine from Ploesti, a small inland city near Bucharest for my article, it was made abundantly clear to me where they are geographically. ‘Billy, we are not East European, we belong to the Romance languages; we are influenced by Greeks and Europe.’ Continue reading

November 17: the day democracy died and was reborn in Athens

You can hear the screams. If you walk by the Polytexneio University in Athens as I have done many, many times in my life you can feel it. ‘Brother, lay down your weapons, we are students, we are merely protesting…’ Your heart can melt here. In 1973, the world was shocked and horrified by the events that unfolded at the University. Continue reading

Hellenic Crimea and the discovery of a Greek Principality

The sound of waves crashing on the shore and lush nature that traverses the interior, this could be yet another location in Greece. Instead it is something else. The peninsular at the tip of the Ukraine is known as the Crimea. Whilst it may be in dispute between Ukraine and Russia, it was virtually a Hellenic influenced state for most of the last 2,600 years. The ancient and Byzantine Greeks have had a tremendous impact on the Crimea. In the Seventh Century BC, a number of colonies were established, including Berezan, Chersonesus, Kimmerikon, Panticapaeum. Within decades a Greek ‘kingdom’ existed in the Black Sea that maintained close ties to the Aegean. Continue reading

The Luxury of a Greek Refuge: Luxembourg Hellenes

The hair on the back of my neck stood up as the packed congregation of the Greek Church sang the National Anthem. It was October 28, and the Church was filled by patriots, the local community, members of NATO and a lone tourist from Australia.
They sang from the heart, as loud as their voices could carry them. Continue reading


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