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City of Victory

In Greece, March to Athens on 22 March 2012 at 18:25
March to Athens
Day 135-LXI, from Ρηζά to Κανάλι, 12 km.
Day 136-LXII, from Κανάλι to Πρέβεζα, 17 km.

Acampada Preveza

Preveza, March 22

Dear people,

Act one of our march through Greece has been completed. After a week we have arrived in Preveza, the first place that can qualify as a town, for Greek standards.

The geographical position of Preveza is extraordinary. It’s built on the tip of a peninsula at the entrance of a large internal sea. To boost expectations I have been spreading myths about the place in these last few days. By now people believe that this is one of those towns which are known as ‘the Venice of the South’.

You should be warned, I’m notorious for spreading bull shit. I once tried to make people believe with a straight face that Venice was also known as the ‘Dordrecht of the Adriatic’. Unfortunately, the myth didn’t stick.

Looking out over the battlefield of Actium

But seriously, we have experienced our first troubles with police these days.

Police here are like the cossacks during Napoleon’s retreat from Russia. They only attack isolated units. Yesterday, on the road to the modern seaside resort of Kanali, two of our comrades got stopped and had to undergo molesting interrogations and searches. One of them was forced to undress right next to the national road.

Arrival on the square in Kanali

In the evening a group of us gathered in one of the hip pubs of Kanali to discuss the case and form the Strategy working group. It seems that according to European directives we have a list rights in dealing with police, of which we should be well aware. Things like the right to a translator, the right to film the procedure, the right not to be forced to undergo humiliating searches, especially in open space etc.

I tried to find all these things black on white on the internet, but I felt like the character of Kafka who seeks access to the law. In other words, I didn’t find anything.

One of the things we decided was to march as a group today. We chose two reunification points on the route to make sure we would enter Preveza all together.

Before we went I rallied the troops.

“Comrades, the offense suffered by comrade Chino cries for bitter revenge!”

All words, of course. The revenge had already been consumed by Chino’s pet rat who had bitten the officer who had searched him.

Our first reunification stop was planned near the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Nicopolis.

On the road to Preveza

 

Reunification stop

 

It was appropriate enough. Nicopolis means ‘town of victory’. It was founded by Octavian to celebrate his victory over Marc Anthony in the sea battle of Actium, where the last remnants of the Roman Republic came to sink.

Octavian was the adopted son of Caesar. When Caesar was  murdered in 44 BC, Octavian allied with Marc Anthony to hunt down the conspirators. They succeeded, but afterwards the two became deadly enemies. Marc Anthony was seduced by Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and former mistress of Caesar, and the senate feared that she would use him to gain power over Rome.

Octavian and Anthony clashed here, right off the coast of modern day Preveza. Anthony’s fleet got defeated. He and Cleopatra finally committed suicide and Octavian would go on to become the first emperor of Rome, under the name of ‘Augustus’.

Ruins of Nicopoli

We march on over the paths of history. We enter Preveza, and we are mentally prepared for a confrontation with police.

It turns out there is nothing to be alarmed about. On the square along the seaside we find the same two cossacks that had molested our comrades the day before. When they see us arrive in group the bastards were most amiable. They don’t ask for ID or anything, they praise our effort with a smile, and they soon drive off.

All the better. We celebrate our arrival in town by a collective plunge into the harbour.

Arrival in the square in Preveza

 

Plunge into the harbour

In the last few days our march has had to cope with reduced rations, but she keeps going stronger. One of the former marchers has returned, and another one has joined us, both of them are from Spain.

There are still no Greeks coming along with us. Comrade Marianne hasn’t returned, as some of us had hoped. And maybe it’s better this way, because having to depend on her for our communications would likely cause new frictions in the group. Still we’re doing fine, for the moment. We communicate anyway, especially with the youth. And I’m confident that other Greeks will join our march, sooner or later.

  1. please carefule; Fits on you on! There are now many neo-nazis in Greece! In January 2012 demonstrated the neo-nazi party of the “Golden Dawn” with more than 20,000 people in Athens. Stop the fascists! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=emH7MZALzYQ

  2. Hi , which road do you want to take to Athens ? Trough Rio , anti Rio , and Corinthos , or trough Delphi ??

  3. Hello Oscar! Thank you for a wonderfull blogg. I started reading it last year as you started it, and followed it every day until you guys arrived in Gent, Belgium on your way to Brussels. I don’t know if i greeted you but i was the one bringing Paprica soup and sandwiches.
    Anyways, to my point (and this is purely meent as educational) i saw a slight flaw or not realy flaw but underexplanation in your text over Caesar and Octavius.
    First of all; Caesar per definition reads this; noun 
    Caesars, plural

    A title used by Roman emperors, esp. those from Augustus to Hadrian

    An autocrat

    A Caesarean section
    Now i allso have a vague recelection that in old language Caesar meent King or Emperor, but that last part im not sure enough of.

    My reason for putting this out is that Instead of just writing Caesar you should speccify. Which caesar it was🙂 Would make it easyer for people like me who love history but dont have the best memory of it to have to interrupt my reading of your wonderfull text to go look up which caesar. Again; only meant as a constructive critisism.

    Which allso leads me to the second part adding the definition of the story from wikipedia;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus

    “Born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, he was adopted posthumously by his great-uncle Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 BC via his last will and testament, and between then and 27 BC was officially named Gaius Julius Caesar. In 27 BC the Senate awarded him the honorific Augustus (“the revered one”), and thus consequently he was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus.[note 3]”

    Found it a funny footnote that it was his great uncle whom adopted him.

    I dont know if this was any help or informative, but i figured id give it a try.

    Please do not stop writing! i enojy every article and it inspires me to do what i can, eventho Belgium is waaaaay to passive at the moment. I hope to have the chanse to greet you if you ever stroll past Gent again.

    Birgitte

    • Dear Brigitte,

      I do use the name Caesar exclusively to indicate Gaius Julius Caesar.
      If the name ‘Caesar’ was subsequently used to indicate emperors of Rome and beyond, it’s because of him, J.C. Asking which Caesar I’m referring to is a bit like talking about the movie Jaws, and then asking which of the seven Jaws movies I mean.

      Like you remembered well, the name Caesar – especially in its supposed Latin pronunciation ‘kaisar’ – is at the root of the German word ‘Kaiser’ or the Dutch word ‘keizer’, meaning emperor. Even though Caesar himself was never an emperor, like most people seem to be believe. At the height of his power, Caesar was officially ‘dictator of the Roman Republic’.

      Next to Caesar’s name also Octavian’s title ‘Augustus’ used to be a title that all emperors adopted. Most of them are known as ‘Augustus Caesar something something’ plus the names of their (adotive) fathers, grandfathers etc.
      Their official title was ‘princeps’, which sounds a bit like prince and which was intended to mean something like first among equals, exactly like the first three of the seven kings of Rome had been.

      The title ‘imperator’ was used long before the end of the republic. It was a title given to the (aristocratic) military leaders who had proven their worth. It was kind of generalship or a marshallship.

      During the decline of the Roman empire, many if not all of the Roman emperors came from the military, and there was usually more than one at the time. It’s possible that during the period of these ‘soldier-emperors’, the title ‘imperator’ acquired the same meaning as our modern word ’emperor’, or Caesar.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Take Care.

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