Wednesday 15 July 2015

hella throughput

One other state assess to undergo privatisation, despite protests and public sentiment is the historic and busy port Piræus in Attica, one of the largest in the world and fount of Greece’s thalassocracy—a sea-going empire and later shipping tycoons and trade magnates and island-hopping around the archipelago. Piræus also happens to be the name of our second favourite Greek restaurant—having been recently unseated by a new favourite called Athen, being the German form of the great city Αθηνα and it strikes me as curious how different name cases come across in different languages with different conjugations and declinations, Athens sounding something akin to, “Let’s go to Walmart’s.”
Having the public relinquish a controlling stake in this venture is really torturous and I wonder how the past and the future will judge this decision.  Piræus is also known as the Lion’s Port—referencing a monumental fountain that stood at the harbour’s entrance from the third century BC to the late seventeenth century, when it was looted along with other spoils by invading Venetians during the War of the Holy League, the belligerents being Western Europe and Balkan rebels against the Ottoman Empire of the east. This ancient lion, somewhat defaced by the graffiti Nordic mercenaries excited over their war trophies, was delivered to the Arsenal (shipyard) of Venice—where it still stands along with other captive lions. The sobriquet is also still in place, despite the lion’s three centuries of absence, and I wonder if Greece has asked for it to be returned.