[MGSA-L] Golden Dawn Abuse of History: Sparta

Christos D. Katsetos cd_katsetos at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 25 15:24:04 PST 2014

The inference that the prefecture of Laconia, the birthplace of Nikiforos Vrettakos* and Yannis Ritsos, is the bastion of neo-Nazi thugs is overly exaggerated and utterly unfair.
[*] Krokees (Levetsova), my ancestral home (on my paternal side), is a small town south of Sparta in Laconia and the birthplace of poet Nikiforos Vrettakos.
Πικραμένος Αναχωρητής — Embittered Reclusehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUASbPh_v_Ahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1jxVP1aisY
Μια μυγδαλιά — An almond tree.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA0H5I7igHU
 Christos D. Katsetos, MD, PhD, FRCPath
      From: DANIEL P. Tompkins <pericles at temple.edu>
 To: MGSA MGSA List <mgsa-l at uci.edu>; Classical Greek and Latin Discussion Group <CLASSICS-L at lsv.uky.edu>; DANIEL P. TOMPKINS <pericles at temple.edu>; dg <dg at list.fiscal-associates.com>; relay-57 <relay-57 at listserv.dartmouth.edu> 
 Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2014 2:27 PM
 Subject: [MGSA-L] Golden Dawn Abuse of History: Sparta

To the long list of examples of historical fakery, we can now add the appropriation of Sparta  by the neo-Fascist "Golden Dawn" organization that currently terrorizes immigrants and others in Greece.  Alexander Clapp did a fine column on his experience with Golden Dawn in London Review of Books, December 14, and now Paul Cartledge and Stephen Hodkinson, major authorities, add their own expert comment. (The letter that follows, from Martin Sanderson, is also worthwhile.)


lrb.co.uk                                                                                                                                    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n01/letters  Letters  [RE]  I was a Greek neo-fascist [By Alexander Clapp]: As Alexander Clapp makes clear, Golden Dawn is indeed a neo-fascist party, which seeks to reinforce its electoral charm by appeals to myths about ancient Sparta (LRB, 4 December2014). It is worth reiterating that at least one key element of Golden Dawn’s claimedancestral connection is indeed a myth: ancientSparta, though militarily proficient to an exceptional degree, was not as brazenlymilitaristic as Golden Dawn imaginesor would like it to have been. But then, as Clapp points out, the party’s guidingideology is rooted not in some fantasisedantiquity but in the Greek Civil War of 1946-49, which afflicted Sparta and its wider region, Laconia, with particular bitterness and brutality,following on from the horrors of Nazi occupation.
 Paul Cartledge; Stephen HodkinsonClare College,Cambridge; University of Nottingham Golden Dawners ‘ambush immigrants about once a week,’ Alexander Clapp writes. ‘They call these raids krypteia, “secret things”.’ That is what krypteia means, but it was also the name of an alleged ancient Spartan practice. Plutarch describes it in his life of Lycurgus,citing Aristotle as his source:The magistrates from time to time sent out into the country at large the most discreetof the young warriors, equipped only with daggers and such supplies as were necessary.In the daytime they scattered into obscure and out of the way places, where they hid themselves and lay quiet; but in the night they came down into the highways and killed every Helot whom they caught. Martin Sanderson

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