On the occasion of the celebration of the 24th anniversary of the opening of the Library and the Museum of Alexandria, the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation, the Hellenic Library Center of Alexandria, the Acropolis Museum and the Mariopoulos-Kanaginion Foundation Environmental Sciences have taken the initiative of co-organizing a high-level Conference that will motivate researchers from different disciplines to turn their attention to the Hellenistic world and its importance in
The International Congress is held under the auspices of His Excellency the President of the Republic, Mr Prokopios Pavlopoulou, on 13, 14 and 15 December 2017 at the Acropolis Museum with the participation of distinguished scholars, experts on Hellenistic Of Alexandria, a period that has contributed to all fields of knowledge, offering the most to human thought, modern science, culture and civilization in general
Ms. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis said in her speech:
" ] By myself honor and honor we welcome you in the symbolic space of the Acropolis Museum for the opening of the International Conference on "Hellenistic Alexandria: Celebrating 24 Centuries."
This day is a great time for our Foundation, as we carry out an initiative of national importance, for which we have been working for many months, our Conference, whose aim is to direct the attention of researchers and public opinion to the Hellenistic world, Hellenistic Alexandria and the importance THEIR world culture.
The idea of the Conference was fully endorsed by the Excellency President of the Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, from the first moment that we referred to it two years ago. An idea whose foundations are at the heart of the work of our Foundation, that is, the values of culture, science and education, and illuminates the long-standing friendly and historical ties that connect Greece with Egypt.
Since the foundation of Alexandria by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, and the foundation of the ancient Library in the 3rd century BC by Ptolemy the First in order to collect all the knowledge of the then-known world, this place has been associated with the greatest achievements of knowledge and culture, in the thought of which we really feel awe. Because Ptolemy's vision became reality and his followers followed it and with the contribution of the ancient Greeks all the sciences flourished and the most important writings of the ancient world found a place in the ancient Library.
The famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, remains to this day its eternal symbol, which Strabo had so profusely described as his mirror reflected the light tens of kilometers away. This light of the Hellenistic world, Hellenistic Alexandria, inspired generations and generations of scholars and scholars and reaches 24 centuries afterwards to us, here in Greece, to bow with respect and to pay homage to the grandeur of the vast heritage that
was bequeathed to mankind and contributed to all fields of knowledge, offering the greatest in human thought, modern science, culture and culture.
Throughout this flow of history, we are the generation that with emotion lived 27 years ago in 1990, the historic meeting in Aswan, Egypt, where the Declaration of Revival Ancient Library of Alexandria. With UNESCO taking the lead in this effort, it became the beginning of one of the greatest achievements in the history of the modern world. In its 15 years of operation, the Library of Alexandria becomes a temple of spirit and a new lighthouse of knowledge for the whole world. This is a great offer of the Egyptian State to humanity, which is fully supported by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. And, since my participation in the first Board of Directors of the Library of Alexandria, to this day, the work that I watch and in which I participate makes me feel truly proud, not only as a Greek woman, but as a citizen of the world whose visions, discoveries, quests and expressions found refuge in the colossal work of the Library. On the golden pages of the Hellenistic Period and this historical relationship of the two peoples, we wanted to further illuminate the founding and funding of the "Center for Hellenistic Studies" at the Library of Alexandria, in 2008
Since then, the Foundation has been providing the Center with the opportunity for students from all over the world to undertake doctoral and postgraduate studies in history, literature, arts, archeology, architecture and philosophy, while at the same time organize many e lectures, conferences and workshops for the Library. And we continue with today's Conference, wishing to add one more page to our collaboration with the Anniversary and Interdisciplinary Library
For the organization of the Conference, we joined forces with the Hellenic Studies Center of the Library of Alexandria, the Acropolis Museum and the Mariolopouleio-Karaginio Foundation for Environmental Sciences and invited distinguished scientists specializing in Hellenistic Alexandria, who are honored to participate in the Conference and will focus on the importance of the extraordinary original ideas of the Hellenistic years and the modern atmosphere of the era. The conference will deal with historical as well as cultural and scientific issues, illuminating the influence of Hellenistic ideas on philosophy, art and modern science
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the President Democracy, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, who set the conference under his auspices, who supported it from the first moment and who honors us today with his presence and his inaugural address. His sympathy in our effort was invaluable, his personal contribution to the crystallization of the philosophy of the Congress was valuable, and his involvement in this was a seal of the national dimension of the initiative he trusted us.
I would like to express my sincere thanks and my deepest respect to the Patriarch of Alexandria Theodoros for his presence today and his blessing in every step. His participation in our Conference is a great honor for us and his contribution is valuable and so symbolic. The Patriarchate of Alexandria, with its founder Apostle and Evangelist Mark in 43 AD, has a historical course in Egypt and Africa over two thousand years ago, with a wealth of spiritual heritage, a missionary work and a multifaceted humanitarian activity. It is a great chapter in the history of Alexandria, which is now represented in the person of the Beatitude.
I would like to express my special thanks to the new Director of the Library of Alexandria Dr. Mostafa El Feki. It is our great honor and pleasure to welcome him to Greece and we work with him for the organization and realization of the Conference. I would like to wish him every success in the great mission he has undertaken in the Library and his visions in which he will find allies and warm supporters.
A big thank you to my co-organizers:
Mariolopouleio-Karaginio Foundation and its President, Academic Professor Christos Zerefos , who has been tirelessly in all these months, despite his heavy schedule and his obligations internationally, with enthusiasm for his well-known love for the sciences of antiquity – the head of our Organizing Committee and the soul of the organization of the conference. And, The Acropolis Museum and the President of Professor Demetrios Pantermalis, who for the last time embraces our initiative and hosts it in the enchanting space of the Museum, while at the same time contributing to the conference through its fans knowledge.
I would like to warmly thank all the participants who honor us with their participation and through their speeches we will live in front of us the whole of Hellenistic Alexandria. It is a special privilege for us to welcome them to Athens and to share with them the initiative that we intend to make internationally known through the publication of the practices in 2018.
Thank you very much excellent members of the Organizing Committee of the Conference for their contribution to its organization and valuable support for our work.
Thank you all from my heart for being here today and honoring us with your presence, giving us even more power in our efforts and thus contributing to its success.
According to the legend mentioned by Plutarch, Homer appeared in the sleep of Alexander the Great and led him to discover this blessed place on the island of Faros in the bay of Alexandria. With the certainty that I know in my heart that the legend is true, I would like to share with you, concluding, my deep conviction that Hellenistic Alexandria will continue to illuminate our footsteps and the Library of Alexandria will still be the guardian of knowledge from the depths of the ages to the end of the future
Thank you! "
] At the opening of the conference, the President of the Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, inter alia said:
I was delighted to invite you to participate in the opening ceremony of your Congress on Hellenistic Alexandria and its 24 centuries of life, unique in the history of World Culture, of this city. First of all, I very much congratulate the co-organizers of the Conference, namely the Marianna B. Vardinoyannis Foundation, the Acropolis Museum, the Hellenic Studies Center of the Library of Alexandria and the Mariolopouleio-Kanaginio Foundation for Environmental Sciences. I am sure that through the work that will be presented at this Congress, the immense importance of the original ideas of the Hellenistic era and the particular modernization of the atmosphere of the time will emerge in a way that will illuminate the influence of Hellenistic ideas on modern philosophy, in the art and in modern science "
Christos Zerefos said in his speech:
" The selection of the Conference title by its organizers was based on two criteria. First, to the Egyptian feeling, and secondly to the great Revolution in Sciences, Art and Letters which began in Alexandria of the Ptolemaic. The Egyptians remember the moonlight in August, which was worshiped as the goddess Isis, bathes all of Egypt, the Nile and the north coast of the country. They remind of the biological luminescence in the coastal areas of Egypt with the diffuse underwater green light from the aquatic organisms there. They remember glorious times that great poets, artists and songwriters praised. Many of us remember our youth. We also remember the forgotten, according to Lucio Russo, a revolution in the sciences that unfortunately had the same fate as Hellenism of the Diaspora ….
Mr President, Makariotas,
The works of the Anniversary Conference of 24 centuries Hellenistic Alexandria are based in 32 presentations of works by the most prominent subjects of Hellenistic Alexandria covering the fields of History, Archeology, Philosophy, Literature and Arts as well as the Sciences of Medicine, Technology, Culture, Legal Sciences as well as Environmental Sciences.
At this point, I would particularly like to emphasize the great importance in the historical evolution of the Hellenistic Era, which had significant environmental events, which will also be discussed at the Congress for the first time together with historical events. For example, the Library, the Museum and the Lighthouse of Alexandria were destroyed by the huge tidal wave that flattened Alexandria in 365 AD. The nuggets from the ruins of ancient Alexandria are depicted by Napoleon's engineer Gratien Le Pere, who, when he landed in Alexandria in 1803, walked everywhere in the debris of ceramics, glass fragments and marbles.
Le Pere writes that he encountered a "field of ruins" in which two small hills were formed by the transport of all sorts of fragments as ordered by Selym in 1517, which Leo the African says in his homonymous textbook. He describes 88 mosques, 600 trade fairs for fabrics, 30 saponings that imported oil from the Peloponnese, Crete and Syria, and small craftworks for processing red goatskin leather. He met 8,000 souls, commercial bazaars, some ships, and the port of Alexandria was used to import wheat, rice, coffee and other commodities from India. A city-warehouse without fresh water, an abandoned city. About 300 years after Leo, Robert Curzon described in 1833 a scene on the main street of Alexandria, which surprised him, which, as he writes, hundreds of half-naked men were selling "moya," water to thirsty passers-by for feeble pay. The famous underground water supply network of the city of Ptolemaic had dried up long ago!
Hellenistic Alexandria has almost disappeared, not only in the depths of the ages but also in the depths of the sea as a result of the collapse of areas of the Rosette region, which are so successfully searching for the Greek, French and other missions in the underwater thalassocosmos they are constantly working in the ancient antiquities of Alexandria. I wish today the current suspicions that important monuments of ancient Alexandria are precipitated outside its ports to be verified when they come back to the light of the Mediterranean to re-emerge the greatness of a glorious period of the Greek-Egyptian civilization for which we are all so proud.
Finally, I want to thank the Members of the Organizing Committee of the Conference, the Founding Institutions that supported us, and especially the Conference's organizational secretariats for their outstanding contribution to its success. "