INTERNATIONAL GREEK LANGUAGE DAY

INTERNATIONAL GREEK LANGUAGE DAY

-“If the Gods speak, they will surely use the language of the Greeks.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

-“The language of the Greeks in variety, simplicity, flexibility and precision exceeds any other.” Percy Bysshe Shelley

-“If the violin is the most perfect musical instrument, the Greek language is the violin of the human thought.” Helen Keller

-“The Greek language has the best mathematical structure and it will be used for new generations of the most sophisticated computers, because only in the Greek language there are no limits.” Bill Gates

Today, the world celebrates and honors the beauty and foundational role of the Greek language in Western Civilization. As evidenced in the quotes above, thought leaders across centuries and millenniums recognized the unique qualities of this singular language.

Just as Greek sculptors abandoned traditional rigid forms and established revolutionary standards of aesthetic beauty by breathing life and the appearance of humans paused and captured in mid-motion, so too, the Greeks transformed the Function of language to a beautiful Mastery of language.

Gracing the epic poetry of Homer, the narrative of Herodotus as the world’s first historian, the powerful dramas of Euripedes and Sophocles, and the very foundations of democracy and philosophy, the Greek language propelled and transformed the world.

Perhaps its greatest strength has been its durability. The discovery of Linear B tablet, dating to 1450-1350 BCE, recognized Greek as among the world’s oldest recorded languages. But even as other ancient tongues fell silent, Greek shaped and scaffolded vocabularies across the West. The English language alone has over 50,000 words derived from the Greek. And in the 21st century, Greek continues to live, spoken by over 12 million people.

Like musical notes or birdsong, the very beauty of words stirs the spirit of man, and so it is fitting that the international commemoration of the Greek language coincides with that of Greek National Poet Dionysios Solomos. Words of his inspiring poem, “Hymn to Liberty,” written (1823) in the early years of the Greek War of Independence, became enshrined in 1865 as the Greek National Anthem. It graces the ceremonies unifying celebration of peace and culture and sport – the Olympic Games.

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