In 2012, I made a little website called Philhellenes. The debt crisis was hitting Greece hard, and I wanted to create a place where people could express solidarity with the Greek people and show support for their tortured country. As I put it, “In recent years, the name ‘Greece’ has had negative connotations: debt, austerity, recession, political failure, and social deprivation. But the present is only a slender time-slice in Greece’s long history, and Greece has been and remains the source of many riches of thought, art, culture, and landscape. Directly or indirectly, this heritage has shaped and enriched the lives of us all, and on this website people who love Greece — philhellenes in the simple sense — celebrate what Greece has given them and the world.” At the top of the front page I quoted some words Stephen Fry had sent me:
Any debt Greece may be in now is as nothing compared to the debt we owe Greece.
I invited submissions to the site, and a number of people sent me pieces expressing their feelings for Greece in text, images, and poetry. I also posted information about the crisis in Greece and suggestions as to how people could help the country and its people.
By 2021, the site had been dormant for some years. Greece had moved on, and much of information I had posted was out of date. I therefore decided to close down the site. I preserved all the contributions, however, and copied them over to this site. They can be accessed via the links below. I have also copied over the guestbook page with comments from readers of the old site.
I hope you will enjoy these expressions of philhellenism, and if you would like to add a contribution of your own, then please contact me. Though the old Philhellenes site is gone, I will always be happy to help people express their philhellenism!
- Istvan Aranyosi: A Greek geek
- Anne Cooke: Every winter, I dream of Halki
- Sharon Blomfield: Greek kindness
- Charles Fernyhough: The goddess Athena
- Stuart Franklin: The Greek landscape in flux
- Stephen Fry: A modest proposal
- Nigel Gibbions: Indecipherable Crete
- Victoria Hislop: The tragedy of my beloved Greece
- John Kittmer: Thirty great things about Greece
- Margory McGinn: My big fat Greek odyssey
- David Pearce: Art and diplomacy on Twitter
- Diana Probst: Sketching the gods
- Jennifer Saul: A young philhellene
- Giorgos Vitsaropoulos: Photographing the Acropolis museum
- Howard Wettstein: The best vacation of our lives
Philhellenes guestbook (still open for comments)