Homepage » History

The birth of a network

On the 25th of November 2012, several previously unacquainted Deans, Vice-Deans and Heads of Departments of Schools of Humanities from seven countries arrived in Athens at the invitation of the Dean of the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens, to participate in a two-day meeting where they would discuss the possibility of creating a network which would provide support to and further the study of the Humanities.

They met for the first time over dinner  (in the tradition of the ancient Athenian symposia!) on the rooftop of an Athens Hotel with the Acropolis as a backdrop and the conviviality that soon reigned gave every sign that the meeting would be a success.


From left to right (click on image to enlarge):

Darejan Tvaltvadze, Tea Gergedava (Tbilisi State University), Milos Arsenijevic (University of Belgrade), Rahmi Er (University of Ankara), Κaterina Kopaka (University of Crete), Galina Rousseva-Sokolova (University of Sofia ), Damir Boras (University of Zagreb)Amalia Moser (University of Athens), Ivana Franic, Branka Galic (University of Zagreb), Maxim Kisilier (Saint-Petersburg State University).


Which indeed it was: The meeting ended successfully two days later and on the 27th of November the Athens Humanities Network was born, complete with a Declaration. The eleven founding members parted after a final picture taken on the terrace of the Acropolis Museum.

The success of the meeting would not have been possible without the hard work and the unwavering enthusiasm of Amalia Moser's three assistants: in alphabetical order, Sophia Evangelatou, Julie Lompotesi and Iro Siokou. The latter also designed and created the banner of this webpage, with pictures of the facades of all the Founders' Schools.

Flashback: The conception of the Network

The Network was born on the 27th of November, but the idea was conceived approximately nine months earlier, when Professor D. Mavrakis of the University's Centre for Energy and Environmental Policy (KEPA) invited the Dean of the Scbool of Philosophy, Professor A. Moser, to the Centre's impressive on-campus bioclimatically designed building and came up with a suggestion:

KEPA belongs to a network (PromitheasNet) concerned with Energy and Climate Policy, which started with 6 countries. Having gained strong support from the EU and the BSEC it now consists of 25 mainly Black Sea countries. Wouldn't it be a good idea to form a similar network concerned with cultural issues? As he was in a position to know from his frequent visits to the area, there was a strong interest in all the matters that occupy a School of Arts and Humanities. He offered to provide any necessary help through PromitheasNet.

The Dean thought it was a brilliant idea, which would provide support for the Arts and Humanities and contribute to their growth, a necessity all the more pronounced in periods of crisis. The idea secured the approval of the School Council, gradually grew and took shape and was finally realized, with the invaluable help of the Dean's three afore-mentioned assistants. While our plans were very ambitious, we thought we would start more modestly, limiting ourselves to our closest neighbours to the North - Northeast. We sent out invitations to one or two universities in each of the countries of Southeastern Europe and the Black Sea and fixed a date for the first meeting. Of the twelve universities that responded eight made it to the meeting in the end.

The growth of the Network

The first meeting, as already said, was a success. The School of Philosophy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, whose Dean was unable to join us at the time, became a member a little later and we are very hopeful that the AHN will keep growing and gaining strength.

An open invitation is extended to all universities in the area and beyond.