What is the difference between Cretan, Cypriot, Asia Minor (mostly Lydian and Trojan), Mycenaean, Classical, Hellenic, Hellenistic, and Modern Greeks?

Different regions and/or time periods of Greek culture. Not all of them involving ethnic Greeks.

  • Mycenaean: Greek culture of 1500–1200 BC. Associated with the site of Mycenae.
  • Cretan: Culture of Crete. No timeframe. Initially non-Hellenic.
  • Cypriot. Culture of Cyprus. No timeframe. Initially non-Hellenic.
  • Rhodian. Culture of Rhodes. No timeframe.
  • Asia Minor. Culture of Asia Minor. No timeframe. Different bits Hellenised at different times. The Lydians and Trojans and Cilicians (whoever they were—likely Hittite) were not Hellenic. The Pontians were not initially Hellenic.
  • Classical. Greek culture of 600–300 BC.
  • Hellenistic. Greek culture of 300–50 BC. A lot of Hellenistic culture was superposed on people nothing to do with Greek ethnicity:
    • Bactrian. Modern Afghanistan.
    • Indo-Greek. Modern Pakistan.
    • Ptolemaic. Modern Egypt.
    • Seleucid. Modern Syria, Palestine, Turkey.
  • Byzantine. 300 AD-1500 AD Eastern Roman Empire, whose main language was Greek.
  • Modern Greeks. Greek culture of modern times. Let’s not get into DNA.
  • Hellenic. Greek.

What is some good Greek music for people that smoke weed?

Lots of the Rebetiko tradition of music is to do with hashish, if that helps. This song in particular references gambling rather than hash, but it certainly sounds like it’s performed under the influence, and it’s hypnotic in its simplicity.

Recorded by Yannakis Ioannidis with Manolis Karapiperis on bouzouki, New York, 1928. Τούτοι οι μπάτσοι, These Cops:

Τούτ’ οι μπάτσοι που ‘ρθαν τώρα,
τι γυρεύουν τέτοιαν ώρα;

Ήρθανε να μας ρεστάρουν,
και τα ζάρια να μας πάρουν.

και μας ψάξανε για ζάρια,
και μας βρίσκουν οχτώ ζευγάρια.

παίζω ζάρια και κερδίζω,
και στην πόκα τα τοκίζω.

έρχομαι το φράχτη, φράχτη,
και σε βρίσκω μ’ ένα ναύτη.

These cops that have just got here,
what do they want this time of night?

They’ve come to clean us out
and take our dice.

They searched us for dice,
and they found eight pairs.

I play at dice and win,
and put my winnings down on poker.

I come along the fence,
and find you with a sailor.

With exclamations like κακούργα μάνα, “Mother you villain!”, redolent of the underworld.

This modern performance, like many modern performances of rebetiko, is much more technically proficient, and much less charming.

What are the myths about Australians?

Myth: That Australia is a classless society.

Fact: Only when compared to the British.

Myth: That Australians are an informal, relaxed people.

Fact: Only when compared to the British.

Myth: That Australians are an open, friendly society.

Fact: Only when compared to the British.

Myth: That Australians are rugged frontiersmen.

Fact: Only 5% of them are, though they are the ones who make it to the silver screen.

Myth: That Australians are crude classless tourists.

Fact: Only 5% of them are, though they are the ones who make it to Bali.

Myth: That Australians have the most gorgeous accent on Earth, and are guaranteed to get laid when they go to the States.

Fact: … well *I* didn’t…

No, not, never, negative, nein, neither, nope, non, none, nix, nuh-uh, nil. What’s with “N” and so much negativity? Who cursed this poor letter?

The negativity all comes from the simple fact that *ne is proto–Indo-European for not.

Follow me down Wiktionary, the free dictionary, won’t you?

  • no: < Old English nā, nō < Proto-Germanic * < PIE *ne
  • not: < Middle English noght < Old English nāht ‘nothing’ < nōwiht ‘not anything < ne + āwiht ‘anything’ < Proto-German * aiw- wiht
  • never: < Old English næfre < ne + æfre ‘ever’
  • negative: < Latin negativus < negare ‘to deny’ < ‘not’ + aiō ‘say yes’
  • nein: < Old High German ni ein ‘not one’ < Proto-Germanic * ainaz
  • neither: < nauther (remodelled to resemble either) < Old English nawþer < nahwæþer ‘not whether… or…’ < Proto-Germanic * hwaþeraz
  • nope: < no (ending in glottal stop, heard as labiovelar stop) < Proto-Germanic *
  • non: < French non < Latin nōn < Old Latin noenum ‘not one’ < ne unum < PIE *ne óynos
  • none: < Old English nān ‘not one’ < ne ān
  • nix: < German nix < nichts ‘nothing’ < Old High German niowhit < nio wiht ‘never a being’ < Proto-German * aiw- wiht
  • nuh-uh: merger of no and uh-huh< Proto-Germanic *
  • nil: < Latin nil< nihil < ne hilum ‘not a trifle’

How did countries get their English names?


Recent country names are carried across from whatever the country is calling itself, without much alteration: Bhutan, Nepal, Senegal, Angola.

Neighbouring countries that England had close contact with traditionally would have the most diverse names—mainly based on what those countries called themselves, but looking Germanic, and not made to be consistent. Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Wales, France, Flanders, Norway, Sweden.

Otherwise, the main source of country names for the “Old” World—Europe, North Africa, major countries of Asia—is Latin, and indirectly Greek, as the prestige languages of English learning for a very long time. Thence the –ia suffix, which actually goes through three iterations:

  • ia for more recent loans, straight out of Latin, and less familiar countries (Albania, Persia, India, Slovakia)
  • y for Middle English and Early Modern English (from French), many instances of which later went to –ia (Turkey, Hungary, Italy; Normandy, Picardy; Indies for India, Candy for Candia = Crete)
  • e or nothing for very old and familiar country names (France, Spain)

Of course, see also List of country name etymologies on Wikipedia.

Do modern Greek people feel that Istanbul/Constantinople belongs to them?

27 followers. A lot of people are waiting for an answer to this question.

I’ll bite.

With the initial note that this is a different question from Do Greeks want to recover Constantinople?

I’m not necessarily the best person to be answering this: I lived in Greece in the 80s, before the thawing in relations between Greeks and Turks in the ’90s. So my answers will err on the out-of-date side.

The folk song published by Nikolaos Politis in 1914 about the capture of Haghia Sophia was everywhere in the Greek education system. (I don’t know if it still is.) And it is an astonishing poem—

God sounds; the earth sounds; and the heavens sound;
Haghia Sophia sounds, that mighty church,
with two-and-sixty bells, four hundred woodblocks

—even if it’s a pastiche of a couple of dozen actual folk songs. It was all the more popular in Greece because of its ending:

“Quiet, Our Lady Mary, cry not so!
When times have passed, it will be ours once more.”

In fact, Michael Herzfeld’s book about the political uses of Greek folklore is titled Ours Once More: Folklore, Ideology and the Making of Modern Greece. And he makes the point (at some length) that the verse can just as easily be read as “it will still be ours.”

Hence the distinction to be made with Do Greeks want to recover Constantinople? Any Greek who sets foot in Istanbul works out pretty quickly that, as Vasilis Sekal’s answer to Do Greeks want to recover Constantinople? puts it, “There is nothing in Istanbul for Greeks to recover”. The nationalist talk of retaking the City is marginal, and getting more marginal as more Greeks and Turks realise that the Other are not man-eating Space Aliens; such talk seems to be confined to YouTube Commenters.

I couldn’t even find a clear statement of it from the Golden Dawn neonazis; they say the capital of Greece will be Constantinople, but they also say that it was and is Constantinople (Ο Κασιδιάρης ονειρεύεται πρωτεύουσα της Ελλάδας την Κωνσταντινούπολη και βρίζει: Τουρκοπροσκυνημένος ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, ρεμάλια στη ΝΔ [βίντεο]). That isn’t the same thing.

But Greeks can feel that Constantinople is theirs, without going further and saying that it is theirs alone, that they want to drive the Turks out, that they want to push the Greek borders to the Bosphorus. Greeks—and not just Neonazis—are funny to this day about calling the place Istanbul. (The Rum who actually live there are rather more sanguine about it—which offends Greeks.) Constantinople was the centre of Greek culture from 330 AD to well past the establishment of Athens as the capital of Modern Greece in 1833. That’s one and a half millennia of history. And Greeks care about their history, even when it isn’t Classical.

I became infatuated with this folk music show episode that Dimitra Triantafyllidou shared with me. It features the music of Istanbul. It is anti-nationalist to an extent that nauseates YouTube commenters. It takes pain to refer to Rum musicians in Istanbul, not Greek. It takes pains to say that the music of Istanbul was not Greek or Turkish or Jewish or Armenian but Istanbullu. The fiddler Sokratis Sinopoulos has made himself an expert on Ottoman art music, and speaks of the Turkish musician Derya Türkan as his brother.

But for all that, they don’t say Istanbullu in the episode. They say Politiko. And the ethnomusicologist host Lambros Liavas signs off the episode with this:

“Thank you for accompanying us on this beautiful voyage to the City of our hearts, the City of Constantinople. The City is always there, to grant the joy of human expression to all peoples, regardless of religion, language, or ethnicity.”

—before joining in the dance himself.

Do modern Greek people feel that Istanbul/Constantinople belongs to them? In a territorial sense, no. In a nationalist sense, no, outside of a lunatic fringe. In a daily life sense? Like both Vasilis Sekal and Electra K. Vasileiadou said: when you actually go there as a Greek, you realise that 18 million people go about their daily traffic jams and hang out in Üsküdar cafes and protest in Taksim Square, without any notion of belonging to Greece. It will not, once more, be ours.

Is there a Greek emotional attachment to Constantinople? Of course. It will still be ours. That won’t change in a hurry. And as I’d like to think people like Sinopoulos and Liavas show, that’s not a bad thing.

What are the best names in history?

Ordelafo Faliero de Doni, 34th Doge of Venice, ruled 1102–1117.

Like the Latin says: Orfaletrus D(e)i Gra(tia) Veneciȩ Dux. Ordelafo, By God’s Grace, Doge of Venice.

Ordelafo is a one-off name, and is presumed to be the Venetian name Faledro, spelled backwards.

Spelling names backwards as far back as the 12th century. And coming up with Ordelafo. That impresses me.

Answered 2016-09-25 · Upvoted by

Lyonel Perabo, B.A. in History. M.A in related field (Folkloristics)

What are some common mistakes PhD students make in graduate school? Are there any common pitfalls or bad habits that separate unsuccessful students from successful ones?

To narrow down Cheri Thomas’ answer: failing to scope down your thesis as you go. You are always more ambitious at the start of the thesis than you need to be, and you will need to say less than you thought you would.

Cheri says:

Another is that they set too high a standard for their dissertation topic. The dissertation is something to get over and done with. It’s your first piece as as academic, not your greatest piece.

Now, for all too many, it will be their only piece, unless they’re happy signing up to a lifetime of being a TA and penury. But it’s still true: as a fellow student once said to me, “It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be done.”

Not having a plan and methodology and a strategy (which, inter alia, will help you scope it down when you need to). If your supervisor is doing their job, they will help you have a plan. All too often, they don’t; you may need to draw on your peers for that. A PhD is a three year project. It is your baptism of fire in project management. That is something you will not have learned from undergrad.

Unless you’re one of those horrible ghastly geniuses that can pull off a dissertation in 10 pages, in one of those disciplines where you can get away with it, it’s a mistake to assume that doing a PhD is about being brilliant. It isn’t. Brilliance gets you started. Slog and persistence get you to finish it. The slog is not fun (though the peers are). The motivation is even harder, especially if you’re part time.

Oh, doing a PhD part time? Especially if you have family responsibilities or teaching responsibilities? Feasible, but much, much, much harder. Much more of a requirement that you have disciplined project management about it. Not being brilliant was not a predictor of failing to complete. Not having enough time in the week to focus on the project, I’m afraid, was.

Oh, and if you want an academic job at the end of it, which is a slightly different topic, there are some other fatal errors, which I can certainly attest to:

  • Not doing something fashionable
  • Not networking
  • Not publishing early and often
  • Doing too much TA work
Updated 2016-09-25 · Upvoted by

Karthik Abinav, PhD student in Computer Science from UMD

How do I address strangers in Australia?

Other respondents have covered this well (which is a benefit of me putting off replying to A2A’s!)

I’ll just add some metacommentary. People of Quora who get me in their feed because they like me or something: do read the other responses.

  • The egalitarian ideal of Australia is that we address each other as mate, because we are not Class-Obsessed Poms [British]. But that’s an ideal, and it has its limits. It’s not really appropriate for someone substantially older than you. Mateship was also was never really a female friendly thing, though that has eroded somewhat.
  • There is also something of a class factor to mate. Australians are in denial about there being class in Australia (because, again, We Are Not Poms); but all the grumbling about bogans is nothing if not classist.
  • Mate is fine for males younger than you, including teens and kids.
  • Darl and love were addressed to women in the bad old days; hence Sarah Boon asking noone keep using them. I have been addressed with darl and love myself by older women, mostly in service industry contexts; but it is decidedly antiquated.
  • Zero-address is safe, as others have said, precisely because we’re uncomfortable with more formal alternatives to mate (such as sir—which we wince at even in service industry contexts), and we have a lack of female alternatives. (Mate towards women is limited, probably odd to most people, and certainly only addressed to women you know, not strangers.)
  • Ma’am has actually gotten me adverse reactions. I do use it, but as an ironic thing.

Why, one-and-a-half decades into the twenty-first century, do Australians (and many others) still have to physically go to polling booths and fill out voting papers in general and state elections?

People of Australia!

… Yairs?

People of Australia! Oyez, oyez, oyez!

[from: Christine Leigh Langtree’s answer to What city in your country do you feel would give a foreigner the best idea of said country’s culture?]

… Oy! oy! oy! Whaddaya want, Nicko? I’ve got some shrimps goin’ on the barbie!

There’s this guy on Quora, right. An’ ’e arsked a question ’bout two yeeears ago.

… Go on.

And the question was, wait for it…

… Why, one-and-a-half decades into the twenty-first century, do Australians (and many others) still have to physically go to polling booths and fill out voting papers in general and state elections?

… You wot?!

… Why, one-and-a-half decades into the twenty-first century, do Australians (and many others) still have to physically go to polling booths and fill out voting papers in general and state elections?


… baha…


Good one, mate! Now come on over an’ ’ave a prawn mate!

An’ bring yer own farking beer this time, ya cheaparse!

Why, people of Quora, why would my fellow antipodeans react in September 2016 with such merriment about this question, asked January 2015?

Domhnall O’Huigin, God rest him, had the right answer from Ireland’s experience. But Australia has a rather more salient counterexample for online voting. A rather recent counterexample. A rather annoying counterexample.

A counterexample that has spawned the following questions right here on Quora:

The 2016 census went online. It was a disaster. A government orchestrated DDOS on its own servers.

And right after the disaster, every pundit known in the continent was chortling to whoever would listen, “well, so much for online voting.”