Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Thematic Circle B : Art and Culture

 Friday, 4th September                        Παρασκευή, 4 Σεπτεμβρίου 2015

Thematic Circle B : Art and Culture

09.00 – 11.00

Chairman : Andreas Zaimis, Former Minister

Angelos Delivorias, former director of the Benaki Museum.

Wang Changhong, director of the Social Work Department at Beijing Disabled Persons’ Federation, specializing in design, promotion and evaluation of cultural and sport programmes for the disabled population and social assistance and engagement policies.

Mohamed Awad, professor of Architecture, University of Alexandria; Consultant to the Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Centre at the Library of Alexandria.

Fotini Anastassiou, PhD in Linguistics, Member of the International Association of Multilingualism.

11.00 Coffee Break

11.30 – 13.15

George Manginis, teaching fellow, the University of Edinburgh

Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer, Emeritus Professor of Classical Archaeology

Nikos Georgakellos, Engineer, independent researcher, writer. Greece

13.15 – 15.00 Lunch

15.00 – 16.30

Chairman : Ambassador (ad Hon.) Alexandros Mallias

Chico Sciuto, Architect, Professor of Mathematics, writer, researcher, Member of the Accademia Di Napoli.

Dimitrios Fais, Architect, Aesthetics and Epistemology PhD candidate- University of Athens.

Shelley Wachsmann, Professor at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University.


16.45 – 17.30 Discussion

20.00 Dinner

Θεματικός Κύκλος B: Τέχνη και Πολιτισμός


Πρόεδρος : Ανδρέας Ζαίμης τέως Υπουργός

Άγγελος Δεληβοριάς, τέως Διευθυντής Μουσείου Μπενάκη

WangChanghong, Διευθυντής SocialWorkDepartment Ιδρύματος AMEA του Πεκίνου, με ειδίκευση στην προώθηση του σχεδιασμού και αξιολόγηση πολιτιστικών και αθλητικών προγραμμάτων AMEA , socialassistanceandengagementpolicies

MohamedAwad, Kαθηγητής Αρχιτετονικής , Πανεπιστημίου της Αλεξάνδρειας, Σύμβουλος Αλεξανδρινών και Μεσογειακών Ερευνών της Βιβλιοθήκης Αλεξάνδρειας.

Φωτεινή Αναστασίου, PhD Γλωσσoλογίας, Μέλος του «International Association of Multilingualism»

11.00: Διάλειμμα

11.30 – 13.15

ΓιώργοςΜανγκίνης , lecturer for the art history contextual course, New College of Humanities, UK

Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer, ΕπίτιμοςΚαθηγητής of Classical Archaeology

ΝίκοςΓεωργακέλλος , Engineer, independent researcher, writer. Greece

13.15 – 15.00 Lunch

15.00 – 16.30

Πρόεδρος : Αλέξανδρος Μαλλιάς τέως Πρέσβης

Chico Sciuto, Architect, Professor of Mathematics, writer, researcher, Member of the Accademia Di Napoli.

ΔημήτρηςΦάις , Architect, Aesthetics and Epistemology PhD candidate- University of Athens.

Shelley Wachsmann, Professor at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University.


16.45-17.30 Ερωτήσεις -Διάλογος

20.00: Δείπνο



Friday, 4th September

08.00 – 09.00 Breakfast

Thematic Circle B : Art and Culture

09.00 – 11.00

Chairman : Andreas Zaimis, Former Minister

At the start of the session the practical issue is discussed but how to secure an outcome of the symposium. Finally it is proposed that a committee of seven persons is formed to draft a proposal. It should include the already formulate resolution by archaeologist Heilmeyer, former director of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. The seven persons are named. They include Spyros Mercouris, Alexandros Mallias, Hatto Fischer, Shelley Wachmann, Alexandros Hahalis,..,..

Then the chairman introduces as first speaker in the thematic circle B: Art and Culture Angelos Delivorias, former director of the Benaki Museum. He has been director for many years of that museum. He studied archaeology in Freiburg and Tübingen, and upon returning to Greece worked with the Ministry of Culture but resigned from that post during the dictatorship. He has now resigned from his post at the Benaki museum with an excellent record. He is as well Prof. at the University of Athens and a member of the Academy of Athens and of the European Academy.

Angelos Delivorias

Thank you. May I just point out that I want to talk about a modern discourse of mankind. My introduction is an elaboration of another one linked to the preservation and circulation of documents amongst the scientific community. The latter is connected with a third obligation, namely the mission to promote the excellence of the cultural product.

No doubt, culture by its very make up, is there to transform the past into the present and future. It familiarizes the youth with the moral dimension of cultural production. Culture obeys differently from linguistics a common value framework. I propose that this includes as well an international understanding of solidarity and therefore culture can function like blood in the body to ensure cohesion.

The consoling role of culture in painful evolutionary processes surpasses all the problems, because culture is in the final analysis something else than what Huntington proposes for culture to do, for culture does not divide but is as well indivisible. It relates to intellectual and artistic achievements and, therefore, relates to what bonds and promotes. It is, therefore, the basis of modern discourse.

In the deadlock of pessimistic outlooks only culture can inspire.

Intellectual and aesthetic dimension transcends all cultural events, and therefore to serve a responsibility, something must be said about the true core of culture. Culture is served equally by concerts, theatres, research centres, poetry, ecology, etc. and at the same time, this is true of the archives of museums. In the library, there exist the means to protect and to pass on this knowledge. The value of collective memory relates to the transmission of the survival of mankind.

If culture is the modern discourse, and if those who serve it, should not follow the logic of the arts of the day, but be revolutionary, they should be the ones who are not frightened by a possible radical overturn. The entity of culture must be understood, so that culture can be accepted while those who serve it, they must ensure its complementarity and not reduce culture to being just a matter to close hungry mouths.

There exist centres and the peripheries bounded together by internal ties. These linkages around the world are exceptionally strong and the spread are reflective of the game being played. For example, the non existence of library is not too far away from the destruction of cultural heritages elsewhere.

The brotherly mission of culture goes beyond the boundaries of our state. It means, we must be open to the cultures of other traditions and other achievements and other ideas dynamically transmitted in a dialectical way. This branch of our obligation does not mean we believe the Asiatic mode is an absolute truth nor friendship merely favourable when resulting in good outcomes. Rather we are related by a common dialogue through culture.

Here should be noted that culture is superior to any other public responsibility under the jurisdiction of the state. There are the costs of the machinery of the state. It is dependent upon the policy controlling it. All political fractions take culture to be the heavy industry and the products are transmitted by advertisement. The responsibility for this state of affairs cannot be explained by causality but has to be considered as intentional, so as to ensure the perpetuation of relationships known as civil administration. The latter are suffering truly.

Politics is complemented by television, media, etc. which provoke challenges to life styles and wishes. There is the American life style but falls short of upgrading political values. More easily is understood cohesion, if we take into account those values which do no harm if they are discussed. They could be included in another policy and recognized apart from the usual trade offs and deals in the past. Let politicians be aware of culture as a modern discourse. It is linked to education and entertainment and thereby transcends all ideological determinants. Its prime importance is to improve the daily life by promoting individual and collective responsibility, at state and interstate level, and therefore it promotes self awareness. In other words, it is the precondition of every organization and its products cannot be evaluated on the market, including the global market or by any national criteria.


The Chairman mentions the destruction of monuments in the Middle East but does not pick up the point made by the previous speaker about the loss of libraries in the West or in Greece, for example, the closing of EKEVI: the National Book Centre set up to promote the book.

He introduces then Wang Changhong, who is director of the Social Work Department at Beijing Disabled Persons’ Federation, specializing in design, promotion and evaluation of cultural and sport programmes for the disabled population and social assistance and engagement policies. His speech will provide an introduction in what is being done in Beijing for people with special needs.

Wang Changhong

By the end of 2014, Beijing has 2,5% disabled people of a total population counting in 2000 11.51 million.


Of course, they were not forgotten when the Olympic Games took place in Beiing in 2008. Through the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games (Chinese: 第十三屆残疾人奥林匹克运动会, the thirteenth Paralympics) which took place in Beijing, China from September 6 to 17, 2008, we were able to help these people. Very important for the paralympics is to help these people with special needs and many Chinese were exposed as a result as to what these people do in their daily lives. Their exposure during the Olympics was important but they constitute as well a part of our daily lives. We can help these people in many different sectors to overcome hindrances like wearing glasses to overcome sight shortages and therefore to continue an ordinary life.

I would like to make a brief presentation of the situation in Beijing. Of the 21 million, half a million have disabilities. The government has given its support and enhances engagements. This is especially true for cultural and sports events but also from a mass media point of view, everything is done to promote the concept of equality of people with special needs. Our different activities are organised in response to these people and aim to help improve their overall everyday life. We focus especially on those areas in which they need to move and to participate in activities. This includes participation in social events. We have a special week for disability: a cultural week is organised with the aim to encourage them to move out their homes and to participate. Also we organize special performances and have special libraries. Other special activities which look at the special challenges are undertaken as well.

We have a number of events which examine specific issues and activities e.g. painting, photography, stamp collection, senior club, cultural lectures, cultural activities, exhibitions showing their specific works of art. We have also written competitions e.g. “three days to see”.

Also we do activities which aim at young disabled persons. There is a disabled performing group and these actors come from all around the entire country. The aim is to let them lead a normal life.

We have seasonal and annual events throughout the entire country.

Sports was a highlight in 2008 when we had the paralympic games, and now we have the Winter Olympic Games, so that we can help and publicize again what they need. We have a special programme to promote self reliance, self respect and self improvement, and thereby improve awareness for what is needed to achieve an integrated development of these people into society.

What we would like to do is to continue what we started right from the beginning with sports installations at local level and in neighbourhoods. We follow the motto: “whatever we should know, we should know!”


Chairman: after listening to this presentation, he makes the comment that "when a state takes care of disabled persons, it is a civilized state. That is something wonderful."

He then proceeds to introduce the next speaker, Mohamed Awad. He is professor of Architecture at the University of Alexandria, as well as Consultant to the Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Centre at the Library of Alexandria. Being both professor at the University of Alexandria and working at the library has allowed him to develop special insights into Urban and architectural history. He specializes in the cultural heritage of Alexandria. He helps a lot the Greek community and helped to repair the Patriarch in Alexandria.


Mohammed Awad: Hellenism in Alexandria

Thanks to the organizers and especially to Spyros Mercouris.

Alexandra's plurality is an amazing history since Alexander the Great founded it. In retrospect, when looking at the history of the city, the Greek community had a permanent role since Antiquity to this present day. In this presentation, I would like to underline the cultural spaces for exchange and dialogue.

Alexander founded not just a city but a model to follow. He created a city of plurality and where different cultures can exist and flourish. It had a Jewish community, a Greek etc. Persians, etc. His aim was not to hellenize Alexandria but to enjoy the plurality of cultures as model of the future.

Alexander was concerned not about his own immortality, but engaged himself for the future. He created a city of the enlightenment.

Alexandria is a place of dialogue where the first library existed and this as the first being supported by state. Exchange lead to many discoveries and thus it became a beacon of intellectual exchange.

Common elements were a shared deity, while being truly merchants of the arts.

During the Roman period, the role changes. There was the academy and the school of philosophical thought. Many achievements were made during that period of time. It started with the neo-Platonic thought as taught by Phileon of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 A). He tried above all to reconcile Jewish thought with new ideas.

There was Hypatia. She was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher in Egypt, then a part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was the head of the Neoplatonic school at Alexandria, where she taught philosophy and astronomy. She taught in Alexandria, but also in Athens.

So one can image the Academy in Athens where Hypatia was cherished and respected very much.

Later on Alexandria became the seat of Middle East Orthodoxy. Famous are discussions about Jesus and his teachings. Thus the city establishes itself again as seat of intellectual thought.

Philosophy has a strong impact once Sofism is established. It is a very tolerant Islamic thought. (Note: it brought about the creation of El-Mursi Abul-Abbas Mosque (Arabic: جامع المرسي أبو العباس‎): it is a famous mosque in Alexandria, Egypt. It is dedicated to the 13th century Alexandrine Sufi saint el-Mursi Abul Abbas whose tomb it contains.)

Islam came to Egypt but Alexandria wished a special Islam celebrate with saints from Andalusia and cherished in its philosophical school of mystic Sofism.

In our modern period, Alexandria had different communities, but the Greek community was by far the most important. Whether now the British, French, Coptics, Islamic communities, all build their own schools, clubs, hospitals, and thus the new cosmopolitan model of the 19th century was created.

Among the new public buildings stands out the Zizinia theatre 1863 – 1917.


City was rebuilt in the post 1882 period. It started with a new board in which all communities were represented. It became common practice to have international courts with a Greek judge sitting beside a Jewish judge. It meant all were working together for the benefit of all. This common stock of exchange with cotton being very important, it meant even with the prize determined in Manchester and New Orleans that an internationalism of the city was fostered by itself.

There can be described many scenes and urban spaces which were shared, an example thereof being the Epitaph procession taking to the streets and filling the urban space of Alexandria.

From the 19th to the 20th century, urban planning was for pluralism with even cemeteries as landscapes of eternity representing the different ethnic communities.

The civil institutes were very important. For example, the archaeological society was created by a mixed board on which sat French, Italian etc. archaeologists. They all promoted this idea of interaction in what I call spaces of exchange.

There was created the atelier for literate figures.

Consequently the famous poet Cavafy uses the metaphoric Alexandria to say that “you won't find another city better than this.”

It should not be forgotten that the first Greek films were produced in Alexandria e.g.Togo Mizrahi.

The JANUS face of Alexandria is best represented by Mohamed Nagui 1956.

There has been constructed a recent statue of Alexander the Great. It captures best the kind of nostalgia felt, for there is an affinity, love for Alexandra. Many Greeks are coming back even if they think that they have lost Alexandria.

The Library of Alexandria is one of these important projects. There take place four performances and international events every day in the library. Indeed, Alexandria is striving again. The city tries to get back to its prime form. An Afro -Egyptian University based in Alexandria shows this growing interest in the city, likewise an Arab-.Maritime Institute for Science and Technology and a new Japanese institute for technology have located themselves in Alexandria..

We need these spaces for exchanges.

I think a more constructive dialogue should focus on common values which can bring us closer together instead of separating us. We need to foster these organizations but we need to look as well at the human values which come out of our historical experiences. These we have to share and to highlight, for it is these values which can bring together people.


Chairman: he advises to visit Egypt, especially Alexandria since the city is something fantastic. The next speaker is Fotini Anastassiou, PhD in Linguistics, Member of the International Association of Multilingualism.

Fotini Anastassiou

Oral presentation

Translations are never perfect but they bring people closer.

Robert Frost gave a definition of poetry which is lost in translation. There are meanings below the surface of words. The translator can never capture these meanings. Over enthusiastic translators project into a poem in translation more moral illusions than it has.

The language barriers are strong and get in way of a constructive dialogue. There are linguistic and even more demanding the cultural codes.

The fact that we are all here in Olympia is an excellent idea to exchange ideas to improve communication. Indeed, language is a medium. We can take for example symbolic representatives.

Umberto Ecco states that the cruxifixation of Jesus was due to a mistaken interpreter, for when Jesus was asked, the Roman translator took the the term he used to refer to 'King', but in Jesus' own language the word meant truth as being close to God, but which was misunderstood in the Latin.

Why are we here to speak about the need and not about the constructive dialogue? In the Greek language, there is logos and the ratio which means relationship between two things. However, there is no dialogue if there is not the element of reason in the arguments. So why do people fail in dialogue?

Take, for example, two ambassadors. To enter a dialogue, it requires a mutual understanding, but individuals do not aim for the understanding between two cultures. Rather they aim for the immediate as to what is being said.

However, there is this connection between culture and people, and even between different localities even if they have different views of their own requirements and customs. So take the ones who come from the main land and compare them with the islanders. Not surprisingly even if they come from same town but different urban districts, these differences will manifest themselves.

Is it true that the logos needs to be in everybody's heads when they communicate?

When we use our emotions and souls, rather than use our minds and logos, that is natural, but then even when we need that to keep our identity, we need to keep that in proportion. Therefore, we should not aim for perfection, but aim to understand that everyone exists in a sense of imperfection.

It is like the athletes, for what is the use of competing, when they know that they might lose? So why do this? An answer might be that through competition they achieve a dialogue since they acknowledge their own capacity and limitations. By comparison, we can enter dialogue if we realize that we will not win all our arguments.

We need to build bridges to interact better with one another.

Written presentation

Talking about languages: Connecting peoples and cultures - Fotini Anastassiou

A Latin phrase said: “Omnis traductor traditor” which means that every translator is a traitor since he/she has to realize that every translation is a corruption of the original text. This could be a warning for both the translator and the reader. The translator should take note while she is translating that she can never achieve a perfect rendering of the initial meaning and the readers should take note that every time they read a translated text, there is a high possibility of imperfections. The imperfections are not made on purpose, of course, at least not when the translator is a truly devoted person who wishes to deliver a work of art to the public. The majority of the translators have given us valuable translations which have been helping people and cultures to get closer to each other. Therefore, we had the chance to educate ourselves through innumerous texts which were written in different languages, that is other than in our mother tongues or in the languages that we speak.

Robert Frost’s famous definition of poetry is notable: “Poetry is what gets lost in translation”. The basis of Frost’s statement is the concept of the creative originality of the poet who creates a work where the meaning lurks somewhere beneath the surface of words. The translator, it is assumed, cannot ever hope to capture the ‘meaning’ of the original source language which tends to fall through the gaps of the target language. Overenthusiastic translators can also inadvertently pad up the text by adding more to it than is necessary with the result that the translation might have more allusions in it than was originally thought of.

The reason I began talking about the value of translation is because we all acknowledge the fact that without it dialogue and understanding between peoples and nations would not be achieved – at least not in a successful and productive way. The language barriers are strong and can get in the way of a Constructive Dialogue. Besides, when a person is either translating or interpreting he/she must try to comprehend not only the linguistic codes but also the cultural ones which are usually the most demanding. For this Mary Snell-Hornby (1988) went so far as to say that a good translator has to be not only bilingual but bi-cultural.

The fact that we are all here in ancient Olympia to talk about “the need for a constructive dialogue between peoples and cultures and the Olympic idea” is an excellent opportunity for people coming from different fields to exchange ideas and promote the next steps towards the appreciation of communication. But why do we need to communicate if not in order to understand each other and to work and to live together? Language is the medium for a deeper understanding and a better coexistence. Wars have started because of the lack of understanding of the neighbor’s views. How many wars would have not happened, if there would have been a system that would enable heads of state to decode the cultural aspects of a certain phrase? I understand that this may sound a bit romantic or over-ambitious, however, Umberto Eco has pointed out a certain event that we have all heard of but we could not have imagined that it might have been a translation problem. When Jesus was asked by the Roman judges whether he believed he was indeed the king of the world, there was an interpreter who was facilitating the communication between Jesus who spoke Aramaic and the Romans who spoke Latin. The closest term he thought to interpret what Jesus was saying was “King”, although the term that Jesus used in his own language did not imply any cosmic aspect and, therefore, he did not wish to rule the world the way the Romans misunderstood it after the translation. What did the Romans think Jesus meant by “truth” or “God”? Umberto Eco is thus pointing out that the best as well as the worst outcomes may occur because of both the linguistic and the cultural ignorance when two different systems try to communicate with each other. However, how can we avoid clashes and create more opportunities for Constructive Dialogue? Why is it that we have reached 2015 and we are still talking about the Need for a Constructive Dialogue and not about the Improvement or Promotion of the Constructive Dialogue?

Is there a missing link between the word “Διά-λογος” in Greek and “Dialogus” in Latin which became “Dialogue” in English? The Greek word contains the term “Logos” which means both “speech” and “reason” as well. It thus seems that for the ancient Greeks you needed the verbal means to communicate but they deemed that there was no communication if without Reason, without Logos (Λόγος). How can one hope to achieve a constructive dialogue, if there is not the element of reason in his words and arguments? Is the lack of actual Logos in the Dialogue the main reason that most of the communications between peoples and cultures fail and are not successful? Do we hope that when two ambassadors who represent two different nations will use their Logos, but often we experience that something seems not to work out after all? Is it that the arguments used are not based on the virtues of dialectics and only aim to conquer without any sort of mutual understanding of the other side’s views and needs?

It may be that these questions are only partly correct. What seems to be evident though is that individuals do not aim for an understanding between the Cultures before they try to understand what is verbally expressed by the people. We tend to neglect the fact that there are no people without culture and there is no culture without its people and that these two interconnected elements are the essential links to the constructive dialogue between them.

People carry the weight of their own cultural heritage every time they talk to either people from their own nation or people from another one. Even people coming from the same country have different regional heritages since these have been shaped throughout time according to specific characteristics; the islander has different experiences compared to the mainlander. They have a mutual understanding of the general characteristics of their nation; however, they do have different views of their own environment and they have distinct customs. They might have the same sense of hospitality, for example, but this can be expressed in different ways. Even two different families coming from the same town may have different views on the need of how to deal with certain situations. This can cause misunderstandings too when their children decide to form a family of their own. Is it Logos then that needs to be in everyone’s heads when they communicate with each other and they try to solve problems? Or do we communicate with our impulses and our emotions more than we do with our Logos?

Don’t we need logos so as to comprehend and estimate accordingly what we need to do and say when something does not exactly fit in the general picture we had initially shaped?

Scientists use Logos every time they need to solve their puzzles. Even then though, when they leave their labs and they go home or they meet their friends and relatives, probably they neglect their Logos and use their Emotions much more. This is surely natural, we are only humans; we tend to live with our Emotions and try to think more with our souls than with our minds. If we did make a priority list and stuck to it while we communicated with each other, we would most probably lose our nature and we would become something else, something resembling the robots. We should not neglect our souls and our emotions; we should embrace our impulses but try to keep them at a certain level and most importantly, we should keep in mind that there is no chance of a constructive dialogue without the use of Logos.

Logos gives a balance to our communications. There is not a perfect balance to anything in peoples’ lives; therefore we should not aim for perfection. On the contrary we should aim for a sense of understanding that everyone around us is there to coexist in the world’s imperfections.

Even the Olympic Games had the sense of Logos in them since the athletes were expected to comprehend that they are not there to compete on their own and that they should try their best. They were expected to be able to compete amongst other excellent athletes and realize that they might lose. Is there any rationality in competing with others when you know that you might lose? Isn’t there a huge emotional effort in the athlete’s soul when he knows that his own abilities might not be enough? Of course there is, that is why I believe that the athletes have achieved a Constructive Dialogue between them since they acknowledge both their own strengths and their competitors’. Therefore, although they might lose, they are still in the same stadium and are communicating with people from several cultures. Of course, these games are quite competitive; by contrast, a Dialogue is not supposed to be competitive although it tends to be as such. If we entered a Dialogue with the view that not all of our arguments can win, then maybe we might be more able to accept our co-speaker’s views and we would probably be better communicators of our own arguments.

Finally, I think that the main problem right now, given all of the crises which nations and humans go through, they are mostly caused by the lack of a Constructive Dialogue between peoples and cultures. If we did think and act to “build bridges”, we would create better ways to interact with each other. The solution to this could be a more interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, so that we can gain in knowledge and in experience from different participants who come from different fields. Thus, an architect, a physicist, an astronomer, a linguist, a lawyer etc. could work all together to produce results on several matters. People have been too focused on their own fields and have not been involved in a Constructive Dialogue to solve problems. This could indeed be a rather interesting project that could give us a new form of thinking and acting. We need to use souls and minds, so that Logos can go through (διά- ) the people. We literally need a “Παν-επιστήμιο” (a collection of sciences as Greeks named “University”), so that we can move forward and create another kind of human coexistence. Not a romantic one, just a more prosperous one.


Chairman: if we want to have peace, we need to have dialogues. It iterates that the committee shall meet next morning at 8.00


11.30 – 13.15

George Manginis,

Hybrids in Art

George Manginis,Teaching Fellow, The University of Edinburgh, UK

I would like to thank Spyros Mercouris for his kind invitation to participate in this international symposium. I am particularly honoured to address such a distinguished audience this morning among important fellow participants.

My lecture will outline a few examples of 'hybridisation' and will propose a few of the ways in which their study can help us move towards more cosmopolitan narratives for our shared past. Let me begin by defining what a “hybrid” is. According to the dictionary, 'it is something of mixed origin or composition, such as a word whose elements are derived from different languages.' An example of a linguistic hybrid is the word 'television' deriving from the Greek adverb ….for “far off” and the Latin noun visio for “vision,” “seeing.” Identifying art historical hybrids is somehow harder since boundaries are blurred. Nevertheless, certain areas during certain periods developed particular ways of producing and consuming material culture. A careful examination of the historical and archaeological record allows scholar to define individual ways of making and using things. However, even in prehistory these ways were not confined to their birthplace and through the movement of people, goods and ideas they travelled long distances in remarkably short time. Various theories have been proposed to explain this phenomenon. Convergence, diffusion or acculturation are possible means by which cultures engaged in creative exchange.

However, my focus is not on how these exchanges happened. I aim to explore how their most enigmatic and fascinating products, art hybrids, can help us approach the complexities of the past and can inform our ways of looking at the present. But before I venture into particular examples, I would like to discuss the ways in which hybrids have been examined by the art historical discipline over the past one hundred years.

During the late 19th century the history of art was recognised as a distinct discipline within the humanities. It had three foundations: the study of classical culture in Greece and Rome, both seen as the cradles of western civilization, the art criticism of Johann Joachim Winckelmann (German, 1717 – 1768), and the aesthetics of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (German, 1770 – 1831). Unsurprisingly, pioneer late-19th century art historians taught in German-speaking Central European universities – for example the Swiss “father” of modern art history, Heinrich Wölfflin (1864 – 1945).

At the same time, the history of non-western art was emerging, evolving from the distinct philological tradition of Oriental studies which focused more on languages and texts. The nature of these texts were less rigorous or philosophically-based than in the classical tradition as most were religious, historical, poetic and literary in content. The era of colonialist empires and world capitalism between the 1870s and the outbreak of World War I witnessed a surge of archaeological discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Central Asia, India, China and even sub-Saharan Africa. These newly-discovered ancient civilisations as well as the still-living cultures of Islam, India and China (to name but the greatest) differed significantly from the classical tradition, which was seen as the ancestor of the seemingly omnipotent West. They were alien, étrangers, Ausländer.

The availability of this exotic material coincided with the youthful vigour of the newly-emancipated art historical discipline and germinated a generation of scholars in the early 20th century who combined linguistic proficiency, epistemological rigour and the ability to command in depth the (still knowable) material record of immense regions. The possibility to generalise, although inevitably inviting simplification, allowed inclusive approaches which accommodated broad-reaching interpretations and captured the diversity of the most fascinating cultural phenomena of the past. It would be unfair to group the scholarly output of this generation under the sobriquet of “Orientalism” (in the sense introduced by the literature critic Edward Said in 1978), although most of the these scholars called themselves “Orientalists.” Of course they were haughty Western academics, often adopting patronising attitudes towards people in the lands they explored (or, to use one of their favourite terms, “discovered”).

However, at the same time they were well versed in the cultures, ancient and contemporary, of these lands; they were immersed in several of their language, spoken and dead; and most importantly, they had travelled on foot, camelback and horseback between the Mediterranean and Central Asia or between Central Asia and the Far East. These lengthy travels allowed them to acquire a remarkably wide perspective and comprehensive knowledge.

This broad vision made them uniquely suitable to interpret artistic hybrids. We can only imagine the frisson experiences by the Czech Alois Musil (1868 – 1944) when in 1898 he “discovered” the early 8th century frescoes of Qusayr 'Amra in the Jordanian desert. Figures of scantily clad females cavorted around pools, crowned emperors identified by Greek and Arabic inscriptions paid their respects to a seated caliph and camels danced to the tunes of guitar played by a bear. The visual language of this enigmatic bathhouse fused Roman, Byzantine, Sassanid and Arab expressions into a heady cultural mixture. And no survey of this mixture, manifested in other Umayyad (7th - 8th century) monuments as well, has surpassed Ernst Herzfeld's (German, 1879- 1948) bold analyses from the following decades. Herzfeld's syncretic articulations described the cultural amalgamation that gave birth to the hybrids of Early Islamic art.

After World War II art history moved towards specialisation, shunning earlier, generalist scholarship and focusing on study areas increasingly isolated within ever-fragmented sub-disciplines. By the early 21st century, our knowledge has expanded through the discovery of new materials as well as through the questioning and revisiting of established readings.

However, this scholarly explosion and the concurrent focus on ever-smaller groups of material and shrinking geographic areas had deprived scholars of the opportunity to stray outside their comfort zones into the liminal regions and wide expanses by pioneers like Musil and Herzfeld. Museum stores an archaeological sites abound in enigmas left unexamined or under the shady cover of dated arguments which remain unquestioned because they are reassuring or convenient. Although this unadventurous attitude has allowed for the expansion of the material record, it has also obfuscated its complexities.

This new orientation has not solely been connected to the questions and aspirations of scholars. Just as the generalist agenda of early 20th century Orientalists coincided with colonialist narratives of Western powers, post-World War II region-specific studies satisfied the aspirations of modern states to construct identity narratives that uphold the uniqueness and ultimately the superiority of their individual cultures. National archaeological schools emerged, examining “national” cultures which were projected as far back into the past as possible. The cosmopolitan empires of the past, beloved by scholars of the colonialist era, were not easily accommodated by these schools. An interesting example is the relevant atrophy of Roman archaeology in Greece until very recently, especially when compared with the efflorescence of the discipline in ethnically Greek Cyprus. The difference can be explained if the genealogies of Greek and Cypriot archaeology are correlated; the former stemming from a 19thcentury nation-building effort, the latter from a British imperialist tradition.

The antidote to such scholarly and ultimately political isolationism can only be the focus on cosmopolitan narratives, stressing encounters and exchanges between cultures. And no category of the material record claims a more cosmopolitan genome than hybrids, works of art that transcend art historical essentialism, combine elements of various cultural horizons and defy categorisation. Twenty-first century scholars, equipped with deeper understanding, advanced theoretical arsenals and refined vocabularies, should try to challenge established delimitations by focusing on such phenomena of hybridism. I shall now use a few examples from the arts of Islam and China to demonstrate this idea.


I shall first take us to medieval Iran, a country devastated by the hordes of the Mongol invaders who stormed in two waves in the 1220s and the 1250s. By the 1270s the once ruthless warriors had settled in Iran, called themselves Il-Khans (“under the Lesser Khan,” in relation to the Great Khan in China) and had made Tabriz their capital. Mongolian upper class was wildly syncretic in its religious beliefs and artistic expression. It forged diplomatic relations through marriage to the local Iranian aristocracy and neighbouring ruling houses, among which the Byzantine imperial family of Palaeologi. The summer palace of the Ilkhanids was located on the volcanic summit of Takht-e Soleyman south of Tabriz, around a lake of poisonous water and on top of the ruins of earlier Sassanid an Achaemenid sancturies.

It included tent-like pavilions built of brick and was decorated in glazed tiles manufactured locally but based on technology developed by the late 12th century in Kashan, an Iranian pottery centre. The iconography of these tiles is significant. Some are decorated with phoenixes and dragons. The way these mythical creatures were depicted was previously unseen in Iranian art but drew from Chinese sources. Inspiration must have come from textiles imported from the land of the Great Khan and hung around the tents favoured as shelter by the nomadic Mongols; their permanent structures emulated in pottery the luxurious effect of such gold-woven silks. However, other tiles feature scenes from the Iranian epic Shahnama, a story in verse of the kinds of Persia before the coming of Islam. The adoption of Iranian lore signifies the Mongols' wish for legitimisation in a land which twenty years earlier their predecessors had laid to waste.


A few decades later the by-now Muslim Ilkhanid Mongols commissioned several illustrated manuscripts of either historical or poetic texts, like the Shahnama epic. One of the historical texts is the Jami al-tawarikh, translated as “Compendium of Chronicles,” and the copy we shall now turn to was written and illustrated in 1314 in Tabriz. It includes several sequences of historical events aspiring to present a world history. Three miniatures from the life of the Prophet Muhammad combine Byzantine compositions inspired by the Annunciation of the Virgin, the Nativity and the Baptism of Christ with Chinese brushwork in the depiction of rocks and folds. Even the horizontal format of most miniatures and the way I which they are separated in sections echoes the unfolding of long Chinese scroll paintings. The combination is novel and the result strikingly original.

The most lavish of these Ilkhanid manuscripts, the so-called Great Mongol Shahnama, dates from the 1330s and must have featured more than 200 miniatures out of which 57 survive. The 'Bier of Alexander,' depicting the lament of Alexander the Great's mother and his companions around his deathbed, is one of the most remarkable scenes. Painted in Tabriz, it has no precedent in Islamic art as to its complexity, expressiveness and richness of iconographic detail. It is strongly reminiscent of Byzantine art and the mosaic at the katholikon of the Monastery of Chora in Constantinople, dating from approximately fifteen years before the Mongol manuscript, can be juxtaposed in its general composition as well as particular details.

Remarkably, at the narthex of the same katholikon a veiled nun named Melanie is inscribed “the Lady of the Mongols.” She has been identified with one of the Paleologan princesses who married Ilkhanid rulers and moved to Tabriz with their retinues, luxurious dowries and libraries of illustrated books, undoubtedly sources for some of the innovations on Mongol miniatures.

In both manuscripts, Byzantine and Chinese formulae were deployed to illustrate either newly-commissioned or traditional Persian works adopted by Muslim Mongol rulers. These hybrid miniatures, creatively combining multiple influences and agenda, reflect the cosmopolitan flavour of the Ilkhanid court.

At about the same time, the Yuan Mongol rulers of China, cousins of the Ilkhanids, invested considerable resources into the development of a revolutionary new decorative technique for the white porcelain vessels of Jingdezhen 1 in Jiangxi province, southeast China. The use of cobalt to produce a strong blue colour painted under the clear glaze of these porcelains has been attributed to the early 14th century based on epigraphic evidence. However, Chinese scholars have tried to re-date this major technological breakthrough outside the Yuan dynasty. They have opted for either the preceding Southern Song dynasty, or the ensuing Ming, both safely under the supremacy of the Han Chinese. Their efforts reflect the uncomfortable way in which the Yuan Mongols sit within the Chinese historical narrative.

However, a recent archaeological discovery has made their efforts irrevocably redundant. At an excavation in Jingdezhen, the “city of porcelain,” sherds of blue and white bowls, obviously firing rejects from an adjacent kiln, were found in strata dating from the 1330s-1340s. They feature poetical inscriptions in Persian, evidently written by a native speaker rather than copied by a Chinese craftsperson. The use of underglaze cobalt blue had been perfected in Kashan almost two centuries earlier. This discovery proves that the introduction of blue and white was not an adaptation to Yuan taste by the commercially-minded Chinese potters but a palace-dictated innovation based on the know-how of relocated Iranian craftspeople.

The Mongol period was a heyday of artistic hybridisation combining Byzantine iconography, Iranian literary tradition and ceramic aesthetics with Chinese porcelain technology and motifs to satisfy an adventurous elite keen to legitimise its hold on lands with ancient cultures. Their remarkable exploits have fitted easily within the national narratives of Iran and China and it is only recently that the full extent of their experimentation begins to be appreciated.

My last example will be sourced from a later period, the late 18th century. The worldwide popularity of Chinese porcelain was reflected in the transcontinental trade which brought it to the furthest shores of Brazil and Mexico aboard Portuguese, Dutch and, by the 18th century, British ships, the latter controlled by the English East India Company. The earliest multinational company in history operated from London an enormous network which reached Guangzhou (better known as Canton) and featured stations in several places, among them Madras (present day Chennai) on the east coast of India. Clients all over Europe could order porcelains, either isolated items or entire dinner services amounting to hundreds of pieces, to particular shapes and decorations, often featuring their family coats of arms.

One of the rarest families of Chinese “Export” porcelains bears inscriptions or monograms in Armenian. These modestly-sized ceramic come from tea or dinner services reflecting Western rather than Middle Eastern dining and tea drinking habits. Where did the Armenian commissioners of these items live? I have argued that they were rich Armenian traders originating from Esfahan, the great capital of Safavid Iran, and relocated a century earlier to British-controlled Madras. In that East India Company trading post they partook of the opportunities offered by Indian Ocean maritime networks and continued their traditional business of trans-Asian silk trade, this time between China and Europe.


The coats of arms appearing on these Armenian-inscribed wares are enigmatic, some claiming to belong to Armenian kings, obviously fabrications of the fervent Madras patriots. Their surrounds feature mermaid angels, inspired by Portuguese coats of arms, under parasols, traditional symbols of Indian sovereignty, shading Western-style armorial shields or monograms.

These unusual armorial surrounds could have originated from the fertile imagination of the British artist Robert Home (1752 – 1837) who had briefly worked at Madras in the 1790s before moving to Lucknow, where he designed similar armorials for the nawabs of Awadh. The hybridisation here is multi-layered: a British artist employing Portuguese and Indian conventions to create for an Armenian clientele originating from Iran and living under British sovereignty armorials applied onto Chinese porcelain used in European everyday rituals. These simple wares occupy places within several art historical contexts but transcend any geography-defined or modern nation state-based narrative. They paint a more multifaceted picture than any modern national art narrative would feel comfortable with and transcend all notions of early 21st century cultural globalisation.

Through the complex examples discussed above, I hope I have argued persuasively that cultures evolve through dialectic relations. Comprehending their labyrinthine webs of interaction in the past will hopefully allow us to restore our faith in cultural dialogue for the future. 'Hybrids' with their inherent capacity to engage audiences across perceived cultural boundaries, lend themselves to performing as beacons of tolerance and inclusion, as negotiators in war and ambassadors in peace.



Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer, Emeritus Professor of Classical Archaeology, Frankfurt, Belgium, Munich, Rome, worked on excavations in Olympia, and in Berlin he was the director of the Pergamon Museum.


Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer

Thank you for bringing me back to Olympia.

The title of my lecture shall be “the importance of international cooperation for the protection of cultural heritage”

There are two different international problems: one, the ongoing destruction and two, the state blocking cooperation between national museums.

Will propose resolution to help cultural institutions to protect them against illegal excavations and illegal trade.

When it comes to identification of sites, Olympia is a rare exception since well excavated, documented and protected – this in strong contrast to what is happening in Iran and Syria.

At the Conference in Berlin in 2003, we tried to tackle the issue of illegal archaeology. It entails the plundering of archaeological sites. When pieces are turned over to art dealers, the finds are like single pages torn out of a book and thereby fragments the original discourse. It inflicts damage upon cultural heritage

Times are even worse today. We see what is happening in countries at war and what terrorists do with their wilful destruction.

In 2003, we demanded that states accept the Hague resolution, in order to prohibit illegal trade of cultural goods. We demanded every antiquity should have a passport which shows date of excavation. We demanded as well that museums should inform the public what damage is being caused.

There are different fields to develop and responsibility to be shared:

First point:

Second point – international cooperation:


At the end of his presentation, he read out his proposal for following resolution, an which was accepted as one of the outcomes of the Symposium:

Olympia Sept. 2015

Olympia Resolution 2015 on International museum collaboration and protection of cultural heritage

Participants of the International Symposium „The need of a Constructive dialogue between people and cultures“, Ancient Olympia, 1 – 7 September 2015

agree to ask the responsible curators of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the International Council on Monument and Sites (ICOMOS)

  1. to accept the responsibility of demanding from national politics and administrations worldwide to develop direct museum collaborations on loan-exchanges;

  2. to enhance national laws, especially in the source States, limiting the loan-periods in a restrictive way: four or five years under international controlled museum-conditions should count as a norm;

  3. to draft model contracts about long-term loans for studies in teamwork to be nominated in the contract, for possible restorations according to the regulations of the lending museum, for exhibitions in adequate climatic situations and security;

  4. to encourage museums to build up networks of institutions interested in loan-exchange under these conditions;

  5. to call on the museum-administrations to formulate and then to make publicaly known their Acquisition policy in relation to antiquities, with equal force for the acceptance of objects on loan or conservation: this policy includes the strong observance not to handle objects without a „predigree“ about its provenance;

  6. to ask all museums and institutions interested in cultural exchanges to inform constantly the public about destruction of cultural heritage caused by illicit excavation or terrorism.


Nikos Georgakellos, Engineer, independent researcher, writer. Greece

His talk was about the role of dialogue in the Development of Presocratic Philosophy

The thinkers of those times studied phenomena why earthquakes take place and other general phenomena. Like other great thinkers, they were revolutionaries and the corner stone of human thought. To name but a few:






Emedocles 460

Parmenides 490





On hand of a map of the Hellenic states in the Mediterranean area, there can be shown the dissemination of thought. That took place in an age when neither modern transportation or communication was available.

In the Mediterranean area, all of these individuals with their theories and notions, supplemented by time by other ideas, let human thought emerge. For example, they developed from the floating earth to another concept of earth accepted by Parmenides; then came the Pythagoreans with their mathematical sciences and changed again everything.

How was it possible to develop such ideas and thoughts in a relatively short time?

Karl Popper says early history of Greece is an illustrious history too good to be true. It was due to a certain tradition best known as a disposition to dialogue. There are many types thereof with teachers instructing and asking students questions, but also 'polyphonic monologues.' Or all talk together and no one listens, something which might be true of modern Greece. Often a dialogue takes place between two parties, but with one weaker and the other stronger. So when you say dialogue, you may mean critical dialogue. The Greeks did this vehemently by the teacher asking students to criticize.

Philosopher as lover of wisdom create the knowledge basis. It allows for development of human thought when each new theory acts as spring board for the next theory. Naturally critical choices are involved. It leads to scepticism by some, or to the problem of change. The latter became a concept of Heraclit with his sense of everything in flux. Altogether the pre Socratic philosophers offer many such examples of who has been affected by whom.

The concept of critical dialogue is quite obvious but before closing I would like to share some thoughts. The dialogue back then took place in a time of difficult transport and communication, but it did allow for dissemination of knowledge when compared with today. Now it seems that increased communication has decreased the dissemination, for dialogue is missing. We could as a symposium constitute a beginning. I showed in a previous slide the Mediterranean to demonstrate what they achieved then, so let us make a new beginning.


Chairman: there is not only missing dialogue but also friendships. He is afraid that modern society is going down hill and I do hope we can reverse this trend.

Mallias: I put forward the suggestion for the committee formation that we have a representatives of the natural sciences. For us coming from politics and diplomacy, but also archaeologists and historians, we do need someone who can make an input from the natural sciences. So I like to be a substitute member to allow for a replacement.

My second poínt is if you define dialogue as did Thucydides, then there is another dialogue in view of the Athenians being much stronger. This other dialogue is about how the Athenians should treat the defeated people of Mytilini. In other words, how do you deal with your own strength? It seems that man has the tendency to make his first choice to be war and only when that is completed, then he goes back to where you should have started, namely dialogue. It reminds me of the museum in Kabul which was one of the first one to be plundered.

Chico Sciuto: Dialogue is not taking place since we have not included language and philosophers linked to love. We are all philosophers but are we really as such? Back then in Ancient Greece, they lived as philosophers and had a love of nature; they knew how the universe functions and tried to be in harmony with nature. So reading a couple of books is not sufficient. We need to go back to our roots. There is a significant saying: when the lips are silent, then our souls speak.

Hatto Fischer: In my presentation about Poiein kai Prattein linking up with Peace Waves due to the disappointment of the youth that the Olympic Truce was not kept during the Olympic Games in Athens 2004, the new Olympic Truce resolution stated too many remain silent because of violation of peace which goes hand in hand with dialogues not allowed or discontinued because they were considered for the wrong reason impossible, closed, not suitable at the moment or inappropriate to those holding power and wishing to retain their influence upon the course of events and in their sole interest to secure such outcomes which benefit them exclusively.

Part of the Youth Olympic Truce Resolution:

Sport and the Olympic Games as a peace tool – Torino 2005

The characteristic of the Olympics as a worldwide events, which take place biennially (summer and winter Games), the importance that they hold on the media: those are the instruments that could be used for the promotion of the Olympic ideal, in its meaning of sport as a peace tool.

Since the beginning of the Olympic Games of the modern age (1896), the meaning of sport is understood to unite all the people: unfortunately, it has been violated many times.

The Olympic Truce, for PeaceWaves, doesn’t mean only a STOP to all the conflict during the Games, but it represent an opportunity to re-open dialogues that were erroneously considered closed or impossible. It is a metaphor of mediation in conflicts and sustainable development, for a responsible freedom and a new idea of citizenship, respecting Peoples and diversities.

The way we are undertaking it will offer to us the possibility to reflect and to have a dialogue on the themes of freedom, interculturality, the courage to make a choice, justice and forgiveness, the responsibility of our actions.

Furthermore we will have the possibility to promote peace actions as the creative and non-violent resolution of conflicts, guided by the solidarity of men for their brothers and their earth.

Source: http://www.treguaolimpica.peacewaves.org/progetto/presentazione/eng2.htm


Michel Foucault said significantly, “we need to find the places of silence before the lyrical protest covers them up.” He observed as well that the dichotomy of reason and insantity in the 19th century meant if you were not reasonable, you were automatically declared to be sick, without work and wild in the imagination, so in need to be silenced e.g. by the father not talking to the disobedient son, but sending him to the represenative of reason, the psychiatrist. In the 20th century due to the two World Wars most of the philosophers circumvented this split. Only very few, Sartre among them, dealt with the imagination as that other element needed for a real dialogue with the other. In Kids' Guernica – Guernica Youth prevails the notion of dialogue being only possible if the imagination allows for empathy since only then is their an understanding of the other, including his/her fears and needs. There are different dialogues taking place all the time as the liveliness of a community of man is to let a cultural synthesis be formed through these dialogues so that all can live and work together.

Spyros Mercouris: We wish to talk about the absence of dialogues between cultures. We are not interested in different dialogues. We are not interested in outcomes, so lets not let us be confused about the purpose of this Symposium.

16.00 - 17.30 Afternoon session

Chairman : Ambassador (ad Hon.) Alexandros Mallias

He introduces this session as an emphasis of a common language due to the use of Greek terms like architecture, archaeology.

Chico Sciuto, Architect, Professor of Mathematics, writer, researcher, Member of the Accademia Di Napoli.

His intervention has the title 'continuity of thought'. Starting out from the last genetic findings, it implies all mankind has a common origin. It comes to different cultures due to being in different environments. Hence the need to adapt to these different environments leads to what can be said to be a parallel development: the biological and the cultural adaptations are similar. Thus mankind is always the same. So he wishes to explain along two axioms similarities and differences, and this as well between East and West.

He cites a story of a military leader speaking to his soldiers about what is needed: hands, feet, mouth, but not the stomach, but soon the find out if the stomach does not function, then also not the whole body. Thus parts and whole are interrelated just as any single man compared to the whole is a part of that.

The thinker Guiseppi Manzini said mankind always learns, for even when someone dies, the knowledge does not vanish and humanity continues.

Human thought is continous in space and time.

It is transmitted from generation to generation as parts and whole are intertwined.

The individual contributes to the whole and even he does some specific work, it is in response to similar needs as to what others need as well e.g. a roof over their heads. Every individual helpts to achieve the common good even if a worker who puts a brick into the Great Chinese wall.

The whole mankind is a great being. The sequence of thought is transmitted to other people and thereby knowledge is perfected, thus there is this evolving human knowledge. This can be seen in the progression from Pythagoros to Einstein. Already in Ancient Greek times theoreticians in Samos stated tht the sun is the centre of the universe and the earth circulates around the sun, but then Aristotle and his school of thought prevailed and this knowledge vanished for centuries until Kopernicus came along. Humanity is like a child having to learn to grow up but in doing so attains an ever wider perspective.

There comes then the time of voyages with first Marco Polo extending the knowledge by traveling to China. He is followed by Colombus who tries also to find China but comes unexpectedly upon America. No one suspected America to be there although everyone knew the world is round.

Another example is photography which arose out of the need to see how others see other and not merely to reflect ourselves in a mirror. Aristotle talks already about the 'camera obscura'. This was developed further by the Arabs with regards to conceiving an image. In China a similar development took place. Also Leonardo da Vinci used the camera obscura to draw the human body according to better perceived human proportions. Finally the discovery was made to fixing the image by a chemical process. The leap to the digital camera of today is another example of this development.

Now in everyday life man does numerous similar activities: eating, sleeping, working. In most cases changes are small and, therefore, not visible to everyone.

As to East-West, he is an Italian but also architect. There have been different buidings according to the different civilizations, a Greek temple and a Chinese pagoda very different although both devoted to worship. Architecture deals with similar needs such as being protected against atmospheric effects such as light, rain, wind etc. While every continues to carry out own activities, still the human being is forced to react in the same way. Differences are only due to the need of certain modifications.

Two things can be said as conclusion:

- by loving the past we build the future

- in due course of globalization, architecture becomes international but one should not forget the small temple.


Dimitrios Fais, Architect, Aesthetics and Epistemology PhD candidate- University of Athens.

His main philosophical thesis is that cultural systems have to be understood in terms of their evolving concepts. This entails his double approach of both architecture and epistemology. Episteme equals the meaning of the concept which is subject to change over time. Important is to attain consistency over time.

To illustrate that point, when a man was defeated in a wrestling match and someone else said to him the other was superior, he replied no, not superior, but he was only better in the art of wrestling.

To establish who is better, there is needed the other to compare and which leads to the Greek term of 'agonia' in relation to achieving or not a dialectic synthesis which makes possible the comparison.

There is something else said to be superior to logic and that is the divine. It is expressed as a measure of personal perfection. So to draw a parallel, the Olympic idea of competition is to achieve self improvement. It underlines two major axioms:

- relates to the development of the human species

- development has to be seen in terms of the other

Altogether the question remains in which direction and for what purpose to engage oneself in this development.

Logic relates as to what ends one aspires to and therefore the meaning of 'teleos' as the articulation of goals. Now of interest is that there are two types of constructionism: the one without goal but lifted up towards the spirit (Hegel), and the other which is directed towards a goal and therefore allows for planning from the outset.

So of importance is that for him the wish comes from within while a need comes from without. It matters when knowing from the beginning what you plan to achieve. This then is a matter of making good use of energy. While you need to survive, there is this strange word of 'surplus' (something which has taken on quite a different note in recent times especially in Greece) which in time means other things such as eros, beauty, art. In seeking out perfection, you seek beauty of the construction and in order to achieve this, it is being done in a pre-arranged structure becoming in the end civilization of mankind. It is a formal construction.

There are some common structures according to Thomas Kuhn who does not see thought developing in a continuum but rather in revolutionary leaps. This he calls the paradigm change.

Now in terms of human development, there is a need to draw energy from the other(s), so that any culture which is hermetically closed off, it will decay. So what allows peace and harmony to be achieved is according to Karl Popper the result of this surplus produced by culture and enemates out of the actions of individuals. In the case of the Ancient Greeks, they came into contact with ideas brought to Athens by others. This underlines the need for freedom of expression and for a respect between different cultures. Naturally there is a problem in dialogue if there are different technological levels hindering the coming together on the premise of equality. So to give harmony and virtue a new meaning, it requires a dialogue between cultures.

By the same token, needless to say this kind of dialogue cannot be achieved if politics is looked upon as if an enemy.

Shelley Wachsmann, Professor at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University.

With his background being from Canada, and then having done archaeological work in Israel while teaching in Texas for the past twenty years, a key remark of his about the preceding discussions why dialogue hardly exists and more people becoming pessimistic about the state of world affairs is that the problem has to be defined first of all before a solution may be found.

His lecture was not about ships as carrier and connection between cultures but instead he shall use the term 'watercrafts'. For he asks not about the type of ship, since it could also be a raft, but when did people arrive and in so doing had to use the water way. The world is covered up to 71% by water so it can be presumed from day one that mankind ventured out into the sea perhaps first by traveling only along the coast line but then they ventured further out. It is hard to refute certain claims for nothing can be said about some others having arrived for instance in Canada before the vikings. He presumes that Phonician and Roman ships sailed around a lot and it is conceivable one of them at least was blown off course and ended up in America, but there is no evidence of that. They may make a find one day by dragging the Mississippi for there is talk in literature about wide rivers and big animals but no evidence so far. The only evidence on land are tools and other signs found in caves which could only be reached by the water way. One example thereof is the Franchti cave on Milos. Ten there is the Pagyrella used as watercraft. Finally, they made some discoveries in Plakias in Crete which can provide evidence dating even further back.

Now the ship is one of the most complex artefacts according to the shipbuilder Shelly but he also discovered that there are different qualities of ships which have been build not due to lack of craftsmanship but they differ often in terms of quality due to the materials used. If at the end of the economic ladder only poor materials were available, one should not wonder, if the craftsman did not use one plank but many little ones, because that is all what was available to him at the time.

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