Dr. D. J. Ian Begg (Bagnani Research Fellow, Trent University Archaeological Research Centre), “Lost Worlds of Ancient and Modern Greece: The Odyssey meets Gone with the Wind”
By day, young Gilbert Bagnani studied archaeology in Greece, but by night he socialized with the elite of Athenian society. Secretly writing for the Morning Post in London, he witnessed both antebellum Athens in 1921 and the catastrophic collapse of Christian civilization in western Anatolia in 1922. While there have been many accounts by refugees of the disastrous flight from Smyrna, few have been written from the perspective of the west side of the Aegean. The flood of a million refugees to Greece brought in its wake a military coup in Athens, the exile of the Greek royal family and the execution or imprisonment of politicians, whom Gilbert knew. Gilbert’s weekly letters to his mother in Rome reveal his Odyssey-like adventures on a voyage of discovery through the origins of western civilization.