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

DANIEL P. Tompkins pericles at temple.edu
Fri Dec 26 13:11:32 PST 2014

Thanks for this useful comment on Lakonia.  I'm glad to have it.

Checking back over the documents at the start of this exchange, I see that
Cartledge and Hodkinson aren't nasty about the Mani.  That is the work
of Alexander
Clapp <http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n23/alexander-clapp/diary>, who gives
specifics about Golden Dawn enrollments and reception, e.g. in elections.
I've no idea whether these claims are accurate or inaccurate, and would
welcome further information.

A disproportionate number of those in the top ranks come from the Mani, a
small spit of land in the southern Peloponnese, roughly half the size of
Cornwall. Golden Dawn has close ties with the region. Michaloliakos is
descended from a famous Maniot clan; a great-grandfather was a hero in the
1821 Revolution. Maniots have nicknamed the Dawn the *Maniatiko Komma*, the
'Maniot Party'. Priests in Gytheio blessed the opening of the town's Dawn
chapter; the bishop of Sparta enjoins his parish to vote Dawn. When Dawn
MPs travel to Areopoli, they are welcomed as celebrities; approving crowds
attend their meetings; shots are fired from antique pistols. In some parts
of the Mani, 50 per cent of the villagers have voted for the party.
'Maniatika', a section of Piraeus settled by Maniot families in the 1950s,
is probably the most Dawn-heavy neighbourhood in the whole of Greece. No
other far-right Greek party - LAOS, Independent Greeks - has a regional
backing of this sort.



On Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Christos D. Katsetos <cd_katsetos at yahoo.com
> wrote:

> 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 Recluse
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUASbPh_v_A
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1jxVP1aisY
> Μια μυγδαλιά -- An almond tree.
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA0H5I7igHU
> Christos D. Katsetos, MD, PhD, FRCPath
> http://www.drexelmed.edu/Home/AboutOurFaculty/ChristosKatsetos.aspx
> http://www.stchristophershospital.com/find-a-physician/120
>   ------------------------------
>  *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
> <http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n23/alexander-clapp/diary>, 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.)
> Dan
> *lrb.co.uk* <http://www.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 December 2014
> <http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n23/alexander-clapp/diary>). It is worth
> reiterating that at least one key element of Golden Dawn's claimed
> ancestral connection is indeed a myth: ancient Sparta, though militarily
> proficient to an exceptional degree, was not as brazenly militaristic as
> Golden Dawn imagines or would like it to have been. But then, as Clapp
> points out, the party's guiding ideology is rooted not in some fantasised
> antiquity 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 Hodkinson
> Clare 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 discreet of 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
> Ipswich
> _______________________________________________
> List-Info: https://maillists.uci.edu/mailman/listinfo/mgsa-l
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