Greek academic, author and respected Byzantinologist Helene Ahrweiler is passionate about history and education as much as she is about the pursuit of happiness. Born in Athens to a family of refugees from Asia Minor, she has overcome many adversities to become one of the most prominent intellectuals not only in France where she now lives but around Europe.
A luminous personality, Ahrweiler was the first woman to serve as principal at the University of Sorbonne in its 700-year history, one of many distinguished career milestones which also includes Rector at the University of Paris and President of the European Cultural Center of Delphi (a position she still hols), as well as numerous honorary doctorates, decorations and titles such as the French government’s Légion d'honneur.
For Ahrweiler time is all about moments, which may explain how at 94 she’s still an inexhaustible source of life and endurance, not to mention as sharp as ever, giving speeches and writing books – her latest was published two years ago. So when we recently caught with her we asked her to name some of her favourite literature classics which she finds herself reading again and again.
Poems, Constantine P. Cavafy
Ποιήματα, Κωνσταντίνος Καβάφης
Poems, George Seferis
Ποιήματα, Γιώργος Σεφέρης
Poem “The Light-Shadowed One”, Angelos Sikelianos
Ποίημα «Αλαφροΐσκιωτος», Άγγελος Σικελιανός
Argo, Giorgos Theotokas
Αργώ, Γεώργιος Θεοτοκάς
Ascesis, Nikos Kazantzakis.
Ασκητική, Νίκος Καζατζάκης
Eroica, Kosmas Politis
Eroica, Κοσμάς Πολίτης
Serenity, Ilias Venezis
Γαλήνη, Ηλίας Βενέζης
The School Mistress With The Golden Eyes, Stratis Myrivilis
Η δασκάλα με τα χρυσά μάτια, Στρατής Μυριβήλης
Song of Songs
One child counts the stars, Menelaos Lountemis
Ένα παιδί μετράει τα’ άστρα, Μενέλαος Λουντέμης