The President of Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos honored great philellene Roderick Mcleod Beaton, Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History at the King’s College in London with the Order of Honour at a special ceremony held at the Presidential mansion on Monday.
Pavlopoulos honored and praised Professor Beaton for his emblematic contribution to the research of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature.
“From your whole contribution, I would like to refer to two points: One related to the research in the formation of the Greek National Consciousness and one that proves that Byzantium and its civilization not only should not be considered part of the Middle Ages, but without the Byzantine spiritual contribution we would not have reached the Renaissance, with the characteristics it eventually acquired,” Pavlopoulos stressed.
The President also expressed his conviction that Beaton’s contribution does not only concern Greece, but also the European education in general, and consequently the European culture, considering that the first and most important pillar of our common European culture is Ancient Greece and its Cultural Heritage in general, from its beginnings to the conditions that its timeless evolution constantly creates.
Deeply touched, professor Beaton thanked the President and said in Greek:
“I think you from the bottom of my heart. It is the greatest honor in my entire life.”
Beaton was appointed Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature at King’s College in London in 1988.
He was also head of the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies from 1988 to 1994 and again from 1995 to 1998 and director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies from 2012 to 2016.
He retired from his chair at King’s College in 2018.
Roderick Beaton is among others the author of a biography of Greek poet-diplomat George Seferis.
His latest book, “Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation” began with a provocative question: “Who are the Greeks? What shared experiences, collective memories, aspirations and achievements have shaped a worldwide population of some 15 million people today? Most of these live in the southeast corner of Europe in two member-states of the European Union, Greece and Cyprus, while communities can also be found in all the Earth’s inhabited continents and are known as the ‘Greek diaspora.’”