Greece and Hellenism. Two words so similar yet so different. Both of them increase and diminish in meaning depending on the political, economic and social conditions.

Today, with the term “Greece” we mean the geographical area that is included within the defined administrative borders of the Greek state. However, with the word “Hellenism” we mean all the Greeks all over the world from antiquity to the present day.

3,000 years ago, the people living in the Greek area started, for various reasons (economic, political, social), to travel and settle in all the geographical areas that were known and accessible at that period. This trend continued throughout the centuries and today we have active Greek communities all over the world. We have called all these communities, which have been created through the centuries, “Hellenic World”.   

We believed it was necessary to record the history and the contribution of Hellenic diaspora from antiquity to the present day, so that Hellenism will be a source of inspiration for all humanity. This motivation became a duty for the contribution of the Foundation of the Hellenic World to the study of the Hellenic civilization. We also believe that with this project we honor the memory of countless members of the Hellenic World through the three thousand years of its history. With their initiatives and creations, often with their lives, they’ve created a huge work that deserves to be preserved, studied and evaluated.

The Foundation has commenced the recording of the activity of Hellenism in the Asia Minor area, a term denoting present day Asian Turkey. We have decided to publish the material we have collected in the form of an electronic encyclopaedia taking full advantage of the new technologies, foremost the Internet. The advantages are numerous. First of all information disseminates all over the world. Secondly, it is possible to present information in a synthetic way: every entry is complemented by photographs, animation, sound, other web pages etc. Finally, there is the possibility for continuous update and completion of the information.

In the course of time, a large amount of historical information has been accumulated. We decided to publish it in the form of digital encyclopaedic entries, while at the same time we began our research on other geographical areas.

I hope that you will approve this effort, especially if you consider the toil of all those who worked and are still working, as well as the great expenses necessary for the materialization of such an ambitious project.

Lazaros D. Efraimoglou
President of the Foundation of the Hellenic World