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The Return of the Hellenes (Religious movement, Greece)

Ellinon Epistrofi

Last modified: 2013-08-10 by ivan sache
Keywords: ellinon epistrofi | return of the hellenes (the) | circle (purple) |
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[Flag of Ellinon Epistrofi]

Flag of the Return of the Hellenes - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 October 2001

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Presentation of the Return of the Hellenes

Courrier International #569 (27 September 2001) gives the French translation of a paper by Dina Daskalopoulou, originally published in the Greek daily newspaper Eleftherotypia. Three colour pictures from the original article are also shown.

The paper deals with the Greek movement Ellinon Epistrofi (The Return of the Hellenes). The movement was founded in 1987 by Tryphon Olympios, who changed his official name from Kostopoulos to Olympios, and launched the movement with his à l'antique marriage on the Mont Olympus.
Members of the movement gather for festivals during which they wear chlamydia, drink kykeon, call themselves with classical Greek names and speak an archaistic Greek language deliberately bristling with mistakes. They claim a return to the antique Greek traditions, decorate their houses with antique furniture, give their children antique surnames, cook after antique recipes and study Aesculapian medicine. Their heroes are the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate (331-363), who attempted to restore paganism in the Roman Empire, and the Greek philosoph Gemistes Pletho (1355-1450). They revere the twelve gods of Olympus.
They are opposed to most if not all political and religious movements, especially the governing party PASOK, which suppressed the mandatory teaching of Ancient Greek, and the Greek Orthodox Church. They promote the separation of State and Church, a currently hot topic in Greece.

Such movements, which prone the return to pure antique traditions, are triggered by the New Age ideas and the decline of dominant ideologies. They have been increasing and organizing in Greece for about five years. The Greek Society of the Attic Friends claim 40,000 members in Attic and another 40,000 in the rest of the country. The Society asked to be recognized as a legal religion and to be allowed to build a temple in the center of Athens. Anyway, most of the Greeks consider their members as gentle loonies if not idolaters or even satanists.

Ivan Sache, 6 October 2001

Flag of The Return of the Hellenes

The emblem of Ellinon Epistrofi is made of two mirrored E letters, for the initials of the movement name, linked by an horizontal dash. The aforementioned paper says that the movement uses red, yellow and green flags. On one of the colour pictures can be seen yellow flags with the emblem surrounded by a thin circle. The emblem and the circle are purple. Purple flags can also be seen but it is impossible to state if they bear any emblem.

Ivan Sache, 6 October 2001