Northern Greece: Thessaloniki to the Holy Mt. Athos
Ray Young, PhD & VP, SCAS
Thessaloniki has historically been a predominant home to the three monotheistic religions, Greek Orthodox Christianity, Sephardic Judaism and Turkish Muslim. The evolution of the ethnic culture of the city will described from the Roman and Byzantine eras to subsequent occupation by the Ottoman Empire. The dramatic alteration of the population with the emigration of the Sephardic Jews from Iberia led to the designation of the the city as the New Jerusalem. The population exchanges between Turkey and Greece and the decimation of the Jewish population during WWII has led to the near total Greek city of today. A description will also be given of my sabbatical experience at the Aristotelian University in Thessaloniki and a pilgrimage to the Holy Mt Athos, the 1,000 year-old Orthodox Christian peninsula composed of 20 monasteries and 2,000 monks, near Thessaloniki.