ATHENS – Prominent professor and Hellenist Roderick Beaton took an oath as Greek citizen at a ceremony held on Tuesday at the Bank of Greece (BoG) conference room.
Beaton, who joined the faculty at King’s College in 1981, became Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature at King’s College in 1988. He retired from the College in 2018 after also having served as head of the college’s Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies and director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies.
He is a fellow of the British Academy and of King’s College, and was recognized by the Greek state with the Commander of the Order of Honour of the Hellenic Republic (2019). He is a fluent speaker and writer of Greek and has often been interviewed and commented in Greek media. He also has numerous publications, including “The Greeks: A Global History”, which has been recently published in Greek translation.
The request for honorary citizenship was submitted to the government by BoG Governor Yannis Stournaras and approved by Interior Minister Makis Voridis and Secretary General Athanassios Balerbas. The latter administered the oath.
“Professor Beaton firmly believes that the long history of Greece does not relate to Greeks alone, but to the entire world as well,” Stournaras said. He notes, the governor said, that Greek is one of three languages globally that show a continuity in written form for over 3,000 years – the others being the Chinese and Hebrew languages. Language is the basic element of Hellenism’s continuity and the main component of Greek identity, he added. Beaton is already a Greek, “and this honorary citizenship is simply the official recognition of a lifetime’s relationship with Greek letters and the Greek culture,” Stournaras said.
Attending the event were, among others, Parliament President Constantine Tassoulas, honorary BoG Governor Nicholaos Garganas and BoG Deputy Governor Christina Papakonstantinou. The prime minister was represented by Secretary General of Higher Education Odysseas Ioannis Zoras.