NEW YORK – The East Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance (EMBCA) presented The Effects of the Hellenic Revolution on Medicine, Health & Wellness in Greece, America, and Europe Panel Discussion on April 11. The panel for the event was introduced and moderated by Lou Katsos, EMBCA's President/Founder.
The distinguished panel included Dr. Sotirios Stergiopoulos, President and CEO of A2A Pharmaceuticals and co-moderator for the event; author/ engineer/ President of the Pammachon Cultural Union Kostas Dervenis; Orthopedic Surgeon/ Hellenic Army Major Evangelos Tsialogiannis; Jennifer Arnott, the Research Librarian of the Perkins School for the Blind; and Lisa Norberg, the Library Director of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
A slide from the presentation features a photo of Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. Photo: TNH Staff
As Katsos noted, “Greece in 1821 was the first independent nation-state to successfully break away from the Ottoman Empire. Philhellenism and neoclassicism, the precursors to the Revolution, led Europeans such as Lord Byron and Charles Nicolas Fabvier to advocate internationally for Hellenic independence from the Ottoman Empire, but it was the Revolution itself that lit the match and resulted in a tremendous dispersion of knowledge, customs, beliefs and practices. The Hellenes under the Ottomans had turned the tables on their oppressors while still under their administration.”
“During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Hellenes had more and better schools than any other people in the Balkans,” Katsos continued. “Behind this achievement lies their performance in trade and commerce, on land and sea, which created a network in the West and Far East, boosting their self-confidence, bringing knowledge and experience, and empowering a once subjugated nation.”
Spyridon Trikoupis, a scholar who lived through and fought in the Revolution, wrote: "The Greeks, despite being ‘dominated,’ excelled and progressed.”
A slide from the presentation features a photo of John Celivergos Zachos. Photo: TNH Staff
“The Revolution led to the dispersion of knowledge and practices in health, medicine and wellness throughout the world,” Katsos said.
The panel discussion focused on these factors and how they affected Western societies, emphasizing the contributions of John Zachos, Samuel Gridley Howe, Michael Anagnos, Panagiotis Soutsos, and Evangelos Zappas, among others. Howe, who fought in the Greek Revolution, was a well-known American physician, abolitionist, and an advocate of education for the blind; Anagnos, Howe’s son-in-law, was the second director of the Perkins School for the Blind (Howe being the first) and a noted author, educator, human rights activist, well-known for his work with Helen Keller; and John Celivergos Zachos (Howe's in a way adopted son) was a Hellenic-American physician, literary scholar, elocutionist, author, lecturer, inventor, and educational pioneer as well as an early proponent of equal education rights for African Americans and women, and also a Professor and Library and Reading Room Curator at Cooper Union.
Dervenis spoke about the Hellenic Revolution and modern athletics, noting how the popularity of Neoclassicism led to the revival of interest in classical athleticism and wellness and eventually to the modern Olympic Games.
Michael Anagnos was the second director of the Perkins School for the Blind following his father-in-law Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. Photo: TNH Staff
Dr. Tsialogiannis spoke about medicine in ancient Greece citing examples from Homer’s Iliad about how war besides its negative aspects also leads to advancements in medicine, the treatment of wounds and patient care. He noted that “Homer’s epic is the first written document on anatomy, military doctors, surgical and pathological division, surgical techniques, wound healing and antibiotics.”
Arnott focused on the remarkable work of the Perkins School led by Dr. Howe and Anagnos and how the school offered classical education and emphasized exercise from its founding.
Norberg highlighted the impressive life and career of Zachos, noting his dedication to abolitionism and education as the key to gaining and maintaining freedom. Zachos’ oratory skills were well-known in his lifetime and he found a home at Cooper Union where he taught English literature, oratory and elocution. His daughter Helena Zachos continued in her father’s footsteps as a professor and curator of the Library and Reading Room at Cooper Union.
A slide from the presentation by Kostas Dervenis features a photo from the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens. Photo: TNH Staff
Dr. Stergiopoulos moderated the discussion which followed the presentations.
The event may be viewed on EMBCA’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/4D0AyRLT5sc.
More information about EMBCA’s upcoming events is available online: https://embca.com/.