Greek Seaman and
destiny has always been linked to the sea, its private domain
but also an open window to the world. For the Greeks the sea
represents their shield, a means both of peaceful conquest and
the defense of their freedom.
retained many syndromes of modern times, but one that stands out
is the one that many Greeks proudly boast about: the' Odysseus
Syndrome'. Inside every Greek there is another who reigns and
drives him forward. The stimulation of this alter ego is a
powerful domination that moves him towards adventure,
imagination, self-revelation and freedom -- all part of the
experience of the sea. The Greeks of all epochs have been
determined to live their own odyssey, both in spirit and deed.
the longest littoral of all European countries: more than
13,000km in a straight line. Thus, the conquest of the sea was a
vital necessity. From the dawn of history, Greeks were compelled
to navigate, to break the liquid barrier, in search of their
livelihood and fortune. Of all the battles that the Greeks had
to fight for their survival, the one against Poseidon was the
most implacable. And they emerged victorious.
The Greeks also connect the sea with their religion, we find
evidence in this in the usage of the Vasiliko . Vasilikos
( Basil) has been the official flower of the Orthodox Christian
Church since 1600 years ago and itís evident when Clergymen
engage in the age-old tradition of blessing homes or the waters
on which seamen ply their trade.
, Agios Nikolaos, "victory of the people") is the common
name for Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (in modern day Antalya
province, Turkey), who had a reputation for secret gift-giving,
but is now commonly identified with Santa Claus. In 1087 his
remains were abducted and removed to Bari in southern Italy, so
that he is also Saint Nicholas of Bari. Among Orthodox
Christians, the historical Saint Nicholas is remembered and
revered. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors,
merchants, archers, children, and students in Greece, Belgium,
Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, the Republic of Macedonia, Slovakia,
Serbia and Montenegro. He is also the patron saint of
Barranquilla (Colombia), Bari (Italy), Amsterdam (Netherlands),
Beit Jala in the West Bank of Palestine and Russia.
patron saint of sailors, Nicholas is claimed to have been a
sailor or fisherman himself. More likely, however, is that one
of his family businesses involved managing a fishing fleet. When
his parents died, Nicholas still received his inheritance but is
said to have given it away to charity. So was St Nicholas a
working, albeit wealthy, man who complemented his day job with
caring for his congregation, or was he a full-time bishop? The
impressive list of deeds of Nicholas seems to point to the
latter. This does not mean, however, that his appointment to
priest or bishop meant a complete rupture with his former life.
likely this was a gradual process.
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