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Culture

Dr. Tom Papademetriou Lectures on the Fall of Constantinople

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Dr. Tom Papademetriou, Executive Director of the Pappas Center for Hellenic Studies, Professor of History, and Constantine and Georgiean Georgiou Endowed Professor of Greek History at Stockton University, presented a lecture in the event hall of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway on June 2. The topic was the fall of Constantinople.

The event was sponsored by the Hellenic Link of NJ, under the auspices of the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, the Supreme Lodge of AHEPA, and the Holy Metropolis of New Jersey.

Dr. Papademetriou spoke with The National Herald and warmly thanked everyone for the invitation and hospitality and pointed out the importance and the history of the anniversary.

“My lecture today briefly refers to the factors that influenced the formation and development of the Byzantine Empire, its siege by the Ottoman army that lasted from April 6 to Tuesday, May 29, 1453, the fall of Constantinople, which marked the end of the thousand-year-old Byzantine Empire,” he said. “Reference will also be made to the causes of the rise of the Ottoman Empire, the reasons for the fall and its consequences to date.”

“On this occasion, I would like to emphasize that I consider it very important that our communities constitute, apart from everything else, a source of transmission of historical knowledge so that Greek-Americans can be taught about their past and better understand today,” Dr. Papademetriou said.

Presiding priest of the community Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Cottros told TNH that its was an honor for all the parishioners to organize the lecture there and praised the knowledge and expertise of Dr. Papademetriou.

“We live in difficult times and we must not forget our history,” Fr. Cottros said. “Let’s send the message that the time has come for the residents of Constantinople to open their eyes, to give human rights to the minorities and to respect the historical monuments of Hellenism.”

The coordinator of the lecture and Hellenic Federation of New Jersey President Dr. Panos Stavrianidis, characterized the anniversary of the fall as a day of sorrow for all of Hellenism. “To commemorate this day, we invited an expert Byzantineologist, Dr. Tom Papademetriou, who will analyze the historical events of the fall of Constantinople, a landmark date in the world history of mankind and the spiritual culture of the Ecumene,” said Dr. Stavrianidis. “Our purpose as a Federation is to attract as many Greek community members as we can to learn about our history, because as it is said, anyone who does not know their history has a bleak future.”

“We are doing everything possible to achieve this and will intensify our efforts even more,” he noted.

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