Meletios of Athens

Metropolitan Meletios of Athens (1661-1714), great scholar and friend of Patriarch Chrysanthus of Jerusalem (the nephew of Dositheos), composed his Ecclesiastical History in the early 18th century, It represents the first continuation of the ecclesiastical historiographic tradition since Nikephoros Xanthopoulos four-hundred years earlier. It is characterized by a sober, balanced style, and a meticulous use of sources. It is also the first Orthodox history to discuss and comment upon developments in Western Europe since the Fall of Constantinople, such as the rise of Protestantism.

The original text of the History was composed in what has been called a “faultless katharevousa” (Kyriakopoulos 1988). It is preserved in six manuscripts – 2 in Athens, 1 in Patmos, 1 in Chios, 1 in St. Catherine’s at Sinai, and 1 in Alexandria –  though it has yet to be published. A version in Demotic Greek was published in three volumes by Lampaziotis in 1783-4. Another (partial) edition appeared in 1853 by Adamidis in Constantinople. As an original manuscript could not be located at the time, Adamidis commissioned K. Euthyboulis, professor of philosophy at the Patriarchal School, to correct Lampaziotis’ text and rewrite it in a more formal, archaizing Greek.

A biting review of Euthyboulis’ work by an anonymous critic was published in issue 73 of the literary journal “Pandora.” Euthyboulis’ response appeared in issue 76 of the following year. The lively exchange provides a fascinating window into contemporary views on linguistic norms, Greek identity, and religion:




Meletios of Athens

Acts of St. Christopher

St. Christopher 6

The authoritative Orthodox version, based on the earliest surviving Greek manuscript (11th century Constantinople), and differing considerably from later mediaeval embellishments.

Vita S. Christophori (Greek)

Vita S. Christophori (Latin)

Life of St. Christopher (English)

The earliest icon forms of St. Christopher depict him as a young, beardless man holding a staff with shoots sprouting from the top (photos forthcoming). Later iconography from the 16th century onward in both Greece and Russia has traditionally depicted him with a dog’s head:


St Christopher 11


St. Christopher icon


St. Christopher 12


St. Christopher 10


The following article provides very interesting analysis of the icons:

Are the Dog-Headed Icons of St. Christopher part of Genuine Orthodox Tradition? (in Greek)


Acts of St. Christopher

Classica miscellanea

Did Alexander the Great really make a speech at Opis proclaiming brotherly love among peoples and the equality of Greek and Barbarian? Well, not exactly. What is commonly called the “Speech at Opis” was a literary creation by the Greek author Christos Zalokostas which first appeared in his 1971 book, Alexander the Great, Forerunner of Christ. However, this does not mean that the ideas expressed in Zalokostas’ text are completely baseless historically:

Λόγος στην Ώπη

One musn’t also forget Alexander’s famed visit to Jerusalem.

The following is a comparison between St. Constantine the Great’s Greek translation of Vergil’s Fourth Eclogue (taken from Eusebius’ Life of Constantine) and the Latin original. Significant discrepancies highlighted:


Classica miscellanea