Journal Note 1: Short, intense reading. I finished marking for this semester, today. I have so free reading time which used to be my moment for picking up a novel but instead, I have found myself reading shorter articles/essays and reading non-fiction. Though I don’t get the satisfaction of adding my reading to my Goodreads list (a weird but real grief), I do get the satisfaction of a complete read in a short amount of time.
This afternoon, I took the time to read Panajot Barka’s article on the Epirote centres of Voskopoja and Ioannina and their influence on the Enlightenment. This journal article was published earlier this year and was brought to my attention by my thesis supervisor as the Cosmopolitan Civil Societies journal is published out of the University of Technology Sydney.
I found the article absolutely fascinating, especially on its history of printing and publishing Hellenistic books across Europe, and on the establishment of secular education which furthered the liberation of Greeks and other Europeans from the Western Ottomans. My instant response was to turn this into a Me Me Me moment, when I read that Saint Cosmas of Etolislë was mentioned twice in the article, a saint who is deeply venerated by my mother and aunts. I have a strong memory of my father telling me that his great-great grandfather was catechised by Saint Kosmas o Aitolos (same dude) who studied at his brother’s school only a few villages away from my dad’s. Though Saint Cosmas is not the focus of this article, his inclusion here informs me further of his own position in the Epirote world and the ideals of the Enlightenment he was espousing. It has left me contemplating the knowledge and information impression that such a teacher may have had on my ancestors, especially on my dad who learnt to read at the psalter of his church, with his uncle – a regionally trained teacher, and his grandfather whose own grandfather was the one who received this catechism.
Having finished reading the article with only ten minutes to publish today’s post, I might just let my thoughts on this one settle before I discuss the actual article any further.
Barka, P. (2021). Voskopoja and Ioannina, two advanced centers of the European enlightenment in the Ottoman West. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 13(3), 68-80.