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Welcome From Our Chair

Baltimore, February 5, 2024
Dear members and friends of the Society for the Preservation of the Greek Heritage,
Welcome to our webpage. Here you will find a lot about our organization and its vision, our
various iterations and activities in the five decades of our existence, and our published
books and recorded past events.

As some historians of the future might say, we are well into the post pandemic era, with the
world around us trying to regroup amidst a multitude of crises in culture, politics, economic
security and livelihood of people, and international peace.

In our own corner of cultural heritage, there is widespread perception of growing
indifference to the lessons of the past, increasing reliance on the pseudo-intelligence of
computers and their derivatives, and further fragmentation of peoples’ sense of self with
devastating consequences on well-being and mental health.

This multifarious crisis often feels like degradation or collapse of the post-WWII world, but
we see it as a challenge and an opportunity.

Now more than ever societies like ours need to redouble efforts to preserve the great
lessons of the past. Not at all in an archival or academic way, but as a fertile source of
wisdom and inspiration. Our own Greek heritage has achievements that changed human
lives and formed the foundations of prosperity, stable and collaborative ways of living in
organized and just societies and, very importantly, human creativity and personal fulfillment.
And this fact refers not only to our classical history, but also our “Byzantine” past and
certainly also our modern struggles in building a Hellenic nation in Greece with its known
challenges and also the experiences of our diaspora in Europe, the United States, Australia,
and elsewhere in the world.

It is our duty, but also great honor, to accept this challenge as a mission and move forward
to rally our communities, preserve the wisdom and bring it to light, showcase its significance
for the modern Western world, and help inspire a more creative and fulfilling future for

Without a doubt, today is not the easiest time to spread the word compared to several
decades ago, when our audience also involved Americans familiar with Europe and Greece
through the experiences of WWII and American efforts at European reconstruction but also
the -now vanished- Greek curricula in college. In many places, our classical heritage is
falling from grace under the influence of ephemeral political agendas to which universities
have fallen prey for one hour another reason.

But it is not the mission of academia or other such institutions to uphold the importance of
Greek civilization. At the end of the day, it really falls upon us. For us it is not an issue of
debate. It is our heritage and our pride. And it is our honor to preserve, cherish, and share.
For us and the generations to come. And thus, stay tuned for more initiatives bringing to
light the modern significance of classics and toddler contributions of the Hellenic past,
always with respect to alternative views and opinions.

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events and hearing your reactions and your

And we invite you to join us as members and friends and share the excitement of debating
and forming a robust Hellenic viewpoint for the modern world.
On behalf of the SPGH Board,
Vassilis E. Koliatsos, M.D.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees

The Contributions of Hellenism

Classical Greece is universally viewed as the cradle of Western civilization, primarily through its contributions to philosophy, democratic governance, visual arts and architecture, theater and poetry, science and medicine, and sports and athletic competitions, including the Olympic games. Less is known about the great contributions of Greek civilization during Roman and medieval history as the main intellectual force in the 1000-year Byzantine Empire. Little is also known about contributions of modern Greece through its heroic fight against the injustices of two world wars and its struggle for peace, stability and cooperation in Europe.


In all these periods and various manifestations of Hellenism, one can find the same diachronic values tracing back to classical times. These values and lessons from the experiences of Hellenism remain of central importance to Western civilization.

Modern Greece and Cultural Heritage

Modern Greece was founded on the basis of its cultural heritage. The Nobelist George Seferis quotes an episode involving Yannis Makriyannis, a legendary general of the Greek War of Independence from the Ottomans. The old warrior had no schooling and he taught himself to write only so that he could record his memoirs for successive generations. Seferis describes an incident in which Makriyannis found out that some of his soldiers intended to sell two ancient statues. Seferis quotes Makriyannis: "I took these soldiers aside and told them this: 'You must not give away these things, not even for ten thousand talers; you must not let them leave the country; it was for them we fought.'"


Seferis writes, "It is not Lord Byron, or a great scholar, or an archaeologist speaking; it is a son of shepherds from Roumeli, his body covered with wounds: 'It was for them we fought'".

Our Mission

«Τοσοῦτον δ’ ἀπολέλοιπεν πόλις ἡμῶν περί τό φρονεῖν καί λέγειν τούς ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους, ὥσθ’ οἱ ταύτης μαθηταί τῶν ἄλλων διδάσκαλοι γεγόνασι καί τό τῶν Ἑλλήνων ὄνομα πεποίηκε μηκέτι τοῦ γένους, ἀλλά τῆς διανοίας δοκεῖν εἶναι, καί μᾶλλον Ἕλληνας καλεῖσθαι τούς τῆς παιδεύσεως τῆς ἡμετέρας, ἤ τούς τῆς κοινῆς φύσεως μετέχοντας»


"So far has Athens left the rest of mankind behind in thought and expression that her pupils have become the teachers of the world, and she has made the name of Hellas distinctive no longer of race but of intellect, and thus Hellenes should be called the ones who share our education rather than a common ancestry."


(Isokrates, Panegyric 50.1)

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