Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another view of the past

To read school history books you'd get the impression that Greece and the whole of the Balkans has been little more than a war zone for the last 1000 years. Army versus army, ethnic group versus ethic group, religion versus religion. Battle, blood superiority and sacrifice.

It's hard to imagine that so many such groups managed to live cheek by jowl, in relative peace for centuries in cities such as Thessaloniki (Saloniki). Just to remind us of this fact I thought I'd post a small extract from the National Geographic article of September 1916 that I found.

The caption is a little hard to read so I'll write it out again here;

"The arch is Roman, the driver, mayhaps is a Spanish Jew and it's passengers Greeks and Turks, Jew and Gentile, bond and free: for it is a congress of nations that gathers in Saloniki and the gamut of human conditions that its people run."

H. G. Dwight Saloniki - National Geographic September 1916

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