The photo shows the Ambassador of Belgium in front of an important painting by a Flemish painter of 1650 depicting a scene from the Iliad (the abduction of Helen).


The Ambassador of Belgium, Ms. Françoise Gustin, hands over to the Society for Hellenism and Philhellenism (SHP), a flag offered by the Belgian Parliament, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary from the Greek Revolution and the opening of the Philhellenism Museum.

SHP warmly thanks the Speaker of the Belgian House of Representatives, Ms. Eliane Tillieux, and assures that it will forever honor this flag which will symbolize the long-standing bonds of friendship between the people of Belgium and Greece.


Τhe Speaker of the Belgian House of Representatives, Ms. Eliane Tillieux


The Philhellenism Museum honors, among others, Belgium, which has contributed in many since the Renaissance the promotion of the Hellenic culture, as a cornerstone of Western civilization and the European integration.

The Philhellenism Museum exhibits works of art by Belgian painters on the theme of the Greek Revolution, as well as the history of Belgian Philhellenes who fought in Greece on the side of the Greeks. It also presents the actions of the Philhellenic Committees operating in Belgium.

One of them is Augustin De Lannoy (December 28, 1798, July 6, 1826), who died in Andros.



SHP thanks the Belgian diplomat and Philhellene Mr. Theo Dirix, who assisted with his research the actions of SHP to study the biographies of the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourgish Philhellenes who supported the struggle of the Greeks for national independence.

The Philhellenism Museum

Presentation of the newspaper TO BHMA on the occasion of the visit of the American Ambassador G. Pyatt.



US Ambassador Geoffry Pyatt visited the Museum of Philhellenism and the periodic exhibition on American Philhellenism, part of the 1821-2021 program: USA & Greece 200 years of friendship. The exhibition will be officially inaugurated in April 2021 and will highlight the long-standing bonds of friendship and cooperation that unite the two countries on the basis of the principles and values ​​of classical Greece.





SHP announces with great pleasure that the Museum of Philhellenism is ready to open its gates. The Museum tells the fascinating history of the Philhellenic movement from the Renaissance until today, presenting over 2.500 important works of art, paintings, books, documents and items of all kinds.

The Museum’s website will be ready soon, which will also offer a virtual 3D tour.

As of the first day, the Museum attracted huge interest internationally. Here are some examples:





Athens – On January 14, 2021, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt announced in an interview with the Greek national broadcaster ERT the launch of U.S. Mission Greece’s year-long campaign to commemorate Greece’s Bicentennial entitled “USA & Greece:  Celebrating 200 Years of Friendship.”  The campaign will include educational and cultural events across Greece that will highlight our two countries’ historic relationship and the ties that bind us:  democracy, partnership, and shared values.

The “USA & Greece: Celebrating 200 Years of Friendship” campaign will support this effort through programs designed to convey U.S respect for ancient Greek ideals of democracy that were an inspiration at the founding of our country and highlight the role American Philhellenes played in Greece’s fight to establish their country.  It will also celebrate the strong people-to-people ties between the U.S. and Greece over the last 200 years, and our commitment to our present-day strategic partnership.

Speaking about the campaign, Ambassador Pyatt said, “U.S.-Greek relations are the best they’ve been in modern history.  Our friendship began during Greece’s war for independence and Greece’s 2021 bicentennial is an opportunity to celebrate this history and the values of liberty and democracy our peoples have defended for over 200 years.”



You may watch the video here.


The program “USA & Greece: Celebrating 200 Years of Friendship”, supports the following action of the Philhellenism Museum.

The “American Philhellenism” Exhibition at the Museum of Philhellenism:  a special exhibition entitled “The American Philhellenism” at the Museum of Philhellenism in Athens, featuring unique artifacts and historical documents capturing the birth and evolution of Philhellenism, U.S. support for the Greek Revolution, and the impact of Greek culture on the values, institutions, artistic and architectural expressions in the U.S.

For more information about “USA & Greece: Celebrating 200 Years of Friendship”, follow us:  @eefshp, @USEmbassyAthens and #USAGreece2021.



The Society for Hellenism and Philhellenism (SHP), organizes in collaboration with organizations and associations of 19th century revivalists, in Greece and internationally, a unit of 25 Philhellenes, who will participate with revivalists of Alexander Ypsilantis Holy Company (Ieros Lochos) and Greek fighters of 1821, in various commemorative events and parades in Greece and internationally. Young candidates from 20 to 35 years old, interested in filling one of the 25 positions as volunteers, can apply to SHP by email (

The press covered the event on 11 December 2019 at the Music Hall of Athens (MEGARON).

Here are some examples:

The Society for Hellenism and Philhellenism in cooperation with the British Embassy, organizes an event


H.E. the President of the Republic Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos will honour the event with his presence

The event will refer to Lord Byron’s work and its impact on the development of the international philhellenic movement, and on the Greek War for Independence

Keynote speaker: Professor Roderick Beaton

The week of the event, an exhibition of 100 personal items of Lord Byron and works of art from Europe inspired by his work will take place.

The event will be followed by a concert of 19nth century songs on Lord Byron’s poems and a cocktail reception.

Wednesday 11 December 2019 at 19.30

Megaron Mousikis

Vassilissis Sofias, Athens 115 21

Attendance only on invitation

The exhibition will be open to the public daily from 9 to 13 December 2019, from 10.00 to 16.30

Contact email:

Tel: 6974750361


This essay first appear in Athens Insider (Spring 2019). Republished in EEF with the author’s permission.

My father loved fine tools. Like many of the thousands of books on his shelves, his lathe and his Uzi were more a projection of the resourceful adventurer he dreamed of being than an accurate reflection of the life he led. When I started work on ToposText, I was making a tool for a person I wanted to be, a man who died in 1860 without ever owning a smart phone.

I am not the only diplomat who would rather have been Colonel William Leake of the Royal Artillery and Royal Society. The mission Leake accepted as a classically trained young artillery officer was to keep Napoleon off the Greek mainland by helping the Ottoman Empire defend itself. A keen military eye, material inducements to lubricate his welcome, and insatiable curiosity made Leake a highly effective diplomat to Ali of Tepelenë, the Sultan’s shrewd, unquiet pasha in northwest Greece.

Leake’s orders took for granted he would be out of contact with his superiors for months at a time, with war (or peace) breaking out unpredictably. As a U.S. embassy political officer two centuries later, I envied Leake’s long leash. But I envied more the uncharted territory it was his gift to explore:

“Tenth.—In pursuit of the same objects, you will pay particular attention to the general geography of Greece, with a view to acquire for the British Government and nation a more accurate knowledge than has yet been attained, of this important and interesting country.”

We can read the results of Leake’s archaeological curiosity in the thick books he wrote over the next forty years. The rigors of travel on horseback, with uneducated local guides, suspicious Albanian minders, lice, mud, river crossings, and diplomatic crises, survive as remarks in passing; what interested him instead was piecing together a jigsaw puzzle of ancient texts, fragmentary inscriptions, collapsed walls, corroded coins, and broken rooftiles into an accurate map of the Classical Greece he admired. He saw that record as the best gift he could offer the young Greek state, whose glorious past was its only diplomatic asset.

Like Leake (and more diplomats than you might expect) I am an introvert. We distract the hungry bats at the back of our soul by solving puzzles, and the most glorious puzzle imaginable is an unfamiliar landscape to decipher.

I had the good fortune to serve in Armenia in 1997-99. Our diplomatic mission, of brokering peace, reforming the economy, and democratizing the warlords, would have cost far more than America was prepared to spend. So on weekends I ventured out in search of megaliths and medieval monasteries. Maps were deliberately vague, and no English guidebook was in print, but the State Department had taught me Armenian. I scrounged books from the flea market and scanned Soviet military maps, then put my travel notes on line. “Rediscovering Armenia” became a small service to a country we wanted to help, emboldening Yerevan-bound expatriates and tourists to spend time and money exploring a beautiful, little-known country.

But ancient Greece was my first love. I came to Athens as an archaeology student in 1979 and was seduced. Every inch of the Greek landscape has a myth attached, or a battle, or has been sculpted into its characteristic beauty by the sweat and tears of a hundred generations. Unlike most societies, the ancient Greeks wrote down their tragedies as they happened, and we can still read some of them.

My dream of reading ancient texts in their proper setting became possible after 2012 thanks to new technology, digital maps, and selfless scholars who put the key ancient texts online. I was lucky to find an idealistic tech company, PAVLA A.E., that shared my dream, and ultimately the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation stepped in to make ToposText a traveler’s tool we could give away for free.

The nymphs may indeed have departed; certainly the ancient coins and inscriptions Leake was shown in every village have been gathered up and locked away. But the riddle of an ancient landscape remains fresh in Greece for each person who sets out to solve it. By arming visitors with ToposText, even if only to signal the existence of a ruined 4th century BC tower atop the viperous hillside behind their beach recliner, I hope to encourage them to experience a flicker of the joy Leake felt and I still feel at each encounter with antiquity.

Leake’s decoding of the Greek landscape was an amazing accomplishment. Had he been armed with ToposText’s searchable library of ancient texts and maps, research that took him a lifetime could have been carried out then and there, riding his horse amid the eloquently tumbled stones.

A more mundane use for ToposText will be by a generation too poor to buy the classics library Leake’s state pension afforded. Students can pull up in real time the paragraph their teachers are quoting, make Xenophon’s Anabasis more intelligible by following the Ten Thousand on the built-in map, or amuse themselves with 124 mentions of cats in 30 ancient texts.

The tool does not make the user. When my Snap-On socket wrenches, a Christmas gift from my father, were stolen in the port of Casablanca in 1985, I never replaced them because my skills as a mechanic did not justify such heavy, expensive beauties. My father’s Uzi, still virginal, went to the police station when he died.

Nevertheless, in creating ToposText as a free, weightless accessory, I was asserting my faith that an ancient tradition of curious travelers is still alive. People with the right tools in their pocket can become, for a few hours on a Mediterranean hillside, the resourceful adventurers they would like to be admiring in the mirror.

John Brady Kiesling

Athens, Greece