In 1949, at the age of nineteen, for a few months, I attended the classes at the School of Mathematics of the University of Athens. The teacher at the Department of Physics was Dimitris Hondros, a charismatic person educated in Germany and a schoolmate of Albert Einstein. A great part of his instruction-time was devoted on English literature, for example “Alice in Wonderland ”, and on cultural matters. One morning he broached the subject of the churches of Orthodox Christianity versus those of Protestant Christianity. His opinion was that the orthodox churches were uninspiring, as they were low and close to the ground, while the protestant gothic churches were pointing to the sky of God. Actually with his body and his words he tried to mimic the elation a human feels when entering a gothic church.
Hondros was wrong for both the Orthodox church and the Gothic one.
Let us start with what the civil engineers call a ‘simple beam’. At StoneHenge our ancestors positioned two vertical big stones as columns and then had a shorter, in length, but straight (not curved) stone to rest on the two vertical ones, this horizontal stone is a ‘simple beam’. Later on the Greeks and other poeples used the ‘simple beam’ solution to build the Parthenon and other …churches. So the Parthenon consists of vertical marble columns on which rest marble simple beams. (Later on the Americans built the colonnade in front of the US Supreme Court for Oliver Wendel Holmes to propagate his eugenics and for Clarence Thomas to pursue his progresive “dreams”. So the Greeks adopted the straight line as the basis for all their structures.
Then came the Romans who understandably strived to differ from the ‘dirty’ Greeks and they replaced the simple beam with a curve, mostly part of a circle, thus the ‘arch’ as a structural element was ‘borne’. From then on, all the Christian.Orthodox churches were constructed as a hymn to the Almighty in the shape of multiple arches. Unfortunately the arch is a very weak and dangerous structural element. The slightest movement of one of the two points that an arch rests on, turns the arch into rubble. Also, at these resting points the arch has a tendency to push outwards the walls that it rests on. About one thousand years after a Roman named Pilatos washed his hands to avoid bad publicity in the killing of Jesus, some technically-minded French brock the circular arc at its top and introduce a new arch; the ‘Gothic’ arch in the shape of the point of a spear, in their effort to diminish the vulnerability for failure of the arch. Also by the introduction of the new arch they even managed to achieve the equally important benefit of building very tall churches, cathedrals, reaching close to the heaven of God according to the advice of a rather deranged and full of hate Greek, known only by the name of John, who lived on the Greek Island of Patmos and is the compiler of a strange text, in bad Greek; the Revelation! Strangely very much respected by part of the American people.
An arch is essentially a structure that operates in a plane. If we rotate an arch around its top we get a three-dimensional shape that looks like an orange cut in half, the dome. Thus the dome, born by a structurally weak arch, is also a structurally weak dome. The Orthodox Christianity adopted the dome in their churches as the symbol of orthodoxy. That is they tell all of us that we are wrong and that they are right.
The dictionaries define ‘wisdom’ as: accumulation of knowledge, ability to understand something, good judgement, and so on. Yet there is one word that includes all these abilities and more, which is not included in the definition. The word: rationality. [See below.]
The Roman Emperors at some point after Christianity took over the fortunes of their ‘enterprise’ they created a ‘subsidiary’ in the East especially at the point where Asia Minor meets the European continent. There, Emperor Constantine the Great [!] (280-337 AD), [AnnoDomini year of the Lord, that is after the Death of Jesus], built a city he named Konstantinoupolis, that is ‘the city (polis) of Constantine’, known today as Istanbul, which he considered as the New Rome and inaugurated it on May 11, 330 AD.
In 483 AD, that is fifty-three years after the inauguration of Konstantinoupolis, Justinian the Great (again ‘the Great’?!) was born. He died in 565 at the age of 82. Justinian seems to have been the typically ‘successful’ leader. He used the formidable tool of a ‘system of laws” to control the lives of the ‘rabble’ and he ensured his posthumous fame by building monumental structures. Also, he married the very right person; Theodora (whose Greek name means the ‘Gift of God’). Theodora was born in 500 AD and died in 548 AD. Inexplicably God recalled his gift by letting her die so young at age 48.
To understand the situation of humanity through the ages here is an anatomy of the human society in Konstantinoupolis, or better Istanbul, at that time:
– God had his luxurious church.
– The Emperor had his palace.
– The people had the Hippodrome.
[Hippos, or more accurately Ippos (pronounced eepos, accent on bold ee) , in Greek means: horse. For example Filipp, or Philip, to be more sophisticated, means one who likes horses. Drome in Greek means: course, race. So for the people what was ‘devised’ was and is: soccer , baseball, basketball and dishonest stupidity for the male part of the population on the planet as rabid supporters of their sport team. See also below.]
Now, Theodora’s father was a keeper of the bears at the circus section of the Hippodrome. Theodora had two sisters Anastasia and Komito. While she was still a child her father died and then the perennial story of our human societies followed. Her penniless mother was left to raise three female children by herself. The three girls were forced to start a career as child-dancers and soon as easy companions of the male patrons of the hippodrome. So, Theodora, at the age of 18, had her first child out of wedlock. We must keep in mind that we are talking about a Christian society very culturally advanced for that period of time. of about five centuries after the death of Jesus. Then she was ‘owned’ by a certain member of the elit named Ekevolos [which in classical Greek means ‘the one who attains his aim’!] who was appointed Roman governor of Pentapolis, today’s Tripolis of Libya, in North Africa.
[Strage Note: It so happened that in 1942, during the Nazi occupation of Greece, the Nazis burned to the ground five villages, among them the village in which my father was born, in the area of Delphi. (In Greek the number 5 is ‘pente’ (pentagon , pentagram etc.). After Hitler’s trip to Paradise, the 5 Greek villages were rebuilt as one Village which was named ‘Pentapolis’]
It seems that Theodora could not stand Ekevolos, left him and started working as a prostitute all over North Africa. She ended up in Alexandria of Egypt and finally decided to return to Konstantinople and work as a seamstress.Then, in 525 AD she married Justinian the Great, the ‘Trumpish’ owner of the world at that time. She was 25 years old and he was 42.. As an Empress she tried to protect women forced to prostitution. She eliminated the barbaric custom of her male subjects who used to kill wild animals at the hippodrome to amuse themselves. According to the Britannica: “Theodora was a small, dark-haired woman, with large dark eyes and a pale complexion.” She died of cancer.
Theodora and Justinian seem to have had a harmonious life together. As Roman rulers of the world, at the time, they sent their people to teach Christianity as far as the Indian Ocean, worked together to construct the legal tools necessary to control the people. However, as all the leaders in the world they had their share of trouble from their people. In 532 AD, only 7 years after their marriage,there was a revolt in Konstantinoupolis, known as the “Nika” revolt. (“nika” is the imperative form of the verb “to win”, in Greek, a strange name for a revolt!) The revolting people were “factions organized to support charioteers competing in the horse races: the Blues and the Greens. In addition to their sporting and military functions the Blue and the Greens played a political role during the emperor’s appearance at the horse races in the Hippodrome. In a rhythmic chant, they would present popular grievances, thereby serving as the only effective channel of protest whereby popular discontent could reach the emperor’s ordinary inaccessible ear. The Blues tended to draw their leadership from the landholding senatorial aristocracy, a class usually orthodox in its sympathies; the Greens, in contrast, found their leaders among men whose wealth was based upon trade and industry and whose theological sympathies lay with the Monophysites … The Nika” revolt “was one of the rare occasions when the two factions united in opposition to the imperial government.” [Source: The Britannica, Vol. 3, p.552]. It seems that Juustinian, though an Emperor, got into a panic and he decided to flee, as Konstantinoupolis was burning . However, Theodora said no! She and Justinian , then ‘used’ their top soldier, a rather bloodthirsty Army General named Belissarious to do his usual ‘duty’.He took care of the revolting Greens and Blues. Slaughtered at the Hippodrome were 30,000 humans.
[Note: Monophysites: Christians who claim that the nature ( ‘physis’, in Greek) of Jesus is both divine and human, but the two natures are “welded” in a single (‘mono’ in Greek) nature.
A really inexplicable case is the fact that Theodora, of such a strong personality, and a Monophysite, did not manage to change her husband’s bellef, who to his death remained an … Orthodox! . One explanation might be that he suffered from OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) an expression of which is ‘religionism’.
Immediately after the Nika revolt was quashed, Justinian and Theodora decided to build a ‘Big Church’, which could never be bested by humans in perpetuity. So they had to choose a name for the ‘Big Church’. During the very early years of Christianity there was the ‘rumor’ that the Almighty before creating the Earth, etc. He had something else in his hands.
Now, after almost 90 years, going back to my days at the Greek Orthodox and patriotic High School, I remembered that there was something that had been mentioned about this matter. Here it is:
En archee een o logos
In the beginning there was the word
So I turned to my King James’ Version of the Bible at the ‘Genesis’ chapter and I read: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. No “logos” there!
Finally I found the truth! As Donald Trump and the Evangelicals, a significant part of the American people, have done. In the beginning of the “The Gospel (Euanggelion) According to Saint John” I read: “IN the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God”. [Obviously emphasis added by me!]. So the people of King James had translated the Greek word “logos” into “word”! Had they have asked Donald he would have told them that the Greek word “logos” in the Greek society of Socrates, Plato, etc in Athens meant “rationality”! So, before the creation of the Earth etc, God had “rationality” in his hands, according to Saint John!
Not only that. It was not only John that had the courage to differ. In Chapter 8 of the Proverbs God talks about wisdom! In sec. 22 it is written: “The LORD possessed me (the wisdom) in the beginning of his way, before his works of old”. And goes on in sec. 23: “I (the wisdom) was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was”. Why for thousands of years this had been ignored?
My gesstimate is that King James and his people would not dare advise their people to pay attention to “rationality” by translating the word “logos” as “rationality”. So before the creation of the Earth the word “word’ entered human history.
Comic stuff of humanity? Yes! Tragic history for the human race? Definitely yes!
[Little Known Note: The Word “Komos” in classical Athens was given to a merrymaking feast the Athenians used to have after a good harvest. The revellers, mostly the young male offspring of the white superior race of the Greeks, danced in the streets of Athen showing off their penis! The anglicized word from the root Komos as an adjective is:”comic”! Also, the word “tragic” derives from the Greek word “tragos” which means “he-goat”. No one knows how this entered the language.]
Back to Theodora and her husband. Trying to find the proper name for their ‘Big Church they were about to build’ they ended up with: “God’s Holy Wisdom”.
The word God in Greek,”Theos”, is already known to English-speaking peoples: ‘theology’, theocracy’, etc.
The feminine form of the word ‘holy’ in Greek is: “Ayia” (pronounced as ayeea, y as in ‘you’ and accent on bold ee).
The word for ‘wisdom’ in Greek is: “sofia” (sofeea, accent on bold ee) of unknown origin. It is also used as a female Christian first name.)
Up to a few weeks ago, as all the Greeks, I thought that Ayia Sofia,the church, was named to honor a Christian woman. Each year during the end of December, the Greeks buy all kinds of calendars for the coming year.On these calendars under the date, printed in bold letters, in small letters printed are the names of men or women that have died as MARTYRS for being Christians. For example, a few weeks ago my calendar announced that the day was dedicated to Marini the mega-martyr and Veronica the martyr. ‘ Martyr’ means that the woman or the man was tortured. or beheaded, or burned alive by humans of some other religion. On the Internet there is a site named ‘The Atheist Republic’. Most of the time one is informed that a woman was beheaded, or otherwise harmed for religious reasons, especially for not marrying the religiously approved male. This is happening today, in Iran, in Iraq, In Germany, In France, In India, and almost all over the Planet. .
I must have been around 5 or 6 years old, when I was firstly indoctrinated about the Big Church of ‘Ayia Sofia’. They told me that when the Turks took Konstantinoupolis from the Greeks, in 1453 AD, the Greek King there turned into marble! So, when the Greeks, in the future, take back the Konstantinoupolis from theTurks, the King will get his flesh back! Did I believe that? Definitely yes! Comic stuff? Not exactly. Also they told me that someone was frying some fish in a frying pan. When the fish were informed that the Turks occupied the city of Konstantinoupolis, the fish jumped back into the sea. That, I did not believe.