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A celebration of 100 years of the Koraes Chair

Great Hall King's Building Strand Campus
18/06/2018 (18:00-20:30)

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A celebration of 100 years from the founding of the Koraes Chair

The Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature commemorates the ‘founding father’ of the Greek nation-state that came into existence with the Revolution of 1821. It was established during another period of turbulence that would shape the future of the entire European continent, the First World War. The Chair owes its existence to a group of far-sighted individuals, including Eleftherios Venizelos, prime minister of Greece for much of the period, his future wife Helena Schilizzi, many members of the Greek Diaspora in London and elsewhere, and the philhellene and classical scholar Ronald Burrows, Principal of King’s at the time. A leading role was played by the Anglo-Hellenic League (founded 1913), which joins us for this evening’s celebration.

Since the 1970s the Chair has become the focal point and impetus for an expanding programme of teaching and research in Modern Greek and Byzantine studies at King’s College London, now a leading centre for these fields worldwide.

Thanks to generous responses from educational and philanthropic institutions and individuals in the UK, Greece and Cyprus, a new endowment has been secured, in a partnership with King’s College London that establishes a secure basis for the future of this prestigious academic position.

Eleftherios VenizelosRonald Burrows image



Distinguished experts will speak on relations between Britain and the world of Hellenism in the fields of culture, literature and history, from the time of Adamantios Koraes to the present, and prospects for the future. The event will be brought to a close by the Minister for Culture and Sport, Hellenic Republic, Mrs Lydia Koniordou, whom CHS will be especially pleased to welcome to King’s for the first time.

Provisional programme 

Welcome by the President and Principal of King’s College London, Professor Edward Byrne

Introduction by Professor Roderick Beaton (Koraes Professor 1988 - 2018)

Introduction by the Chairman of the Anglo-Hellenic League, Mr John Kittmer (former UK Ambassador to Athens)

Presentation of the Katie Lentakis Prize for 2018, awarded by the Anglo-Hellenic League to a final-year student of King’s College London by Mr John Kittmer (former UK Ambassador to Athens)

Professor Paschalis Kitromilides (University of Athens), Adamantios Koraes and the vision of a free society

Professor Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith (former UK Ambassador to Athens and Visiting Professor, CHS), Eleftherios Venizelos and the Koraes Chair

Professor Dame Averil Cameron (University of Oxford, founding Director of CHS), Why Byzantium matters

Vote of thanks by the Koraes Professor-designate, Professor Gonda Van Steen

Closing remarks: Mrs Lydia Koniordou, Minister for Culture and Sport, Hellenic Republic (introduced by H.E. the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Dimitrios Caramitsos-Tziras)

Image credits

Image above left: Eleftherios Venizelos (1864 – 1936) Prime minister of Greece, friend of Principal of King’s Ronald Burrows, attended the first inaugural lecture in the Koraes Chair in 1919
Image above right: Ronald Burrows (1867 – 1920), classical scholar and philhellene, was Principal of King’s College, London from 1913 until his death. Image courtesy of King's College London Archives
Image below:  
Mrs Lydia Koniordou, Minister for Culture and Sport, Hellenic Republic

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