LOUIS, MO – Professor Nick Giannoukakis presented a riveting lecture on the relationship between ancient Greek poetry and Byzantine hymnology at the University of Missouri- St. Louis (UMSL) on January 18. Visual slides highlighted the presentation’s points as Prof. Giannoukakis explored the spaces where the two literary forms met.
The audience was able to understand and appreciate the manner in which music and literary elements of Hellenism drive the evaluation of ecclesiastical hymn and provide the early fledgling Christian communities with internal religious, social, and even political, stability. In emphasis, Prof. Giannoukakis examined the ways in which these treasures served as intercultural emissaries in the expansion of the Hellenic and Orthodox influence.
Nick Giannoukakis, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Giannoukakis is also a member of the Greek Diaspora. His musical knowledge, experience, and accomplishments span Western, Byzantine, and Arabic music. Currently, he serves as Protopsaltis (First Chanter) of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh, PA.
The lecture, entitled Ancient Greek Poetry and Byzantine Hymnography, was the Professor Diane Touliatos Endowed Annual Lecture in Greek Studies at the University of Missouri- St. Louis. Dr. Touliatos, now retired after an outstanding career teaching Byzantine hymnology, was one of the principal fund raisers for the UMSL Chair of Greek Studies.
Professor and world-renowned archeologist Dr. Michael Cosmopoulos is the Chairman of The Hellenic Government-Karakas Family Foundation Professorship in Greek Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The Greek Chair sponsors numerous programs during the University’s academic year as part of its important outreach activities to the Hellenic community in the St. Louis area.
The audience at the Byzantine Hymnology lecture at UMSL. Photo: Nicholas Karakas, University of Missouri- St. Louis
Professor Nicholas Giannoulakis. Photo: Nicholas Karakas, University of Missouri- St. Louis