Prometheus, Europe, and contemporary arms trade in Greece.

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The following text is what is included in the book i made for this exhibition. It is the one resting on the plinths against the wall.



The ancients believed that the name Prometheus derived from the Greek pro (before) + manthano (intelligence) and the agent suffixeus, thus meaning “Forethinker”.

Plato contrasts Prometheus with his dull-witted brother Epimetheus, “Afterthinker”.[3]

Writing in late antiquity, the Latin commentator Servius explains that Prometheus was so named because he was a man of great foresight (vir prudentissimus), possessing the abstract quality of providentia, the Latin equivalent of Greek promētheia (ἀπὸ τής πρόμηθείας).[4]

Modern scientific linguistics suggests that the name derived from the Proto-Indo-European root that also produces the Vedic pra math, “to steal,” hence pramathyu-s, “thief”, cognate with “Prometheus”, the thief of fire.

The Vedic myth of fire’s theft by Mātariśvan is an analog to the Greek account. Pramantha was the tool used to create fire.[5]


There are three stories in those images.

They are connected in that they can all be interpreted very differently.

Firstly, each interpretation is almost the extreme opposite of the other.

Secondly, they are also connected with the fact that they are about influence between Greece and the rest of the world, or parts of it.

Lastly, it is a depiction on the complications between explaining or interpreting different situations or information, according to the reader’s-viewer’s and the author’s- presenter’s position/ opinion.

In other words:

It is easy to theoretically know that one must have an opinion on something, only after they have been extensively informed about it, but it is difficult and rarely put in practise, mainly because information on anything differs according to where it has come from, and where it is shown.

The only solution to this is that one must deeply imprint in their subconscious the habit of obtaining information on the chosen subject from many different resources, because often, more than one of them is going to be right, however contradicting.

Mythology references:

Theogony of Hesiod

(ll. 507-543) […]when the gods and mortal men had a dispute at Mecone, even then Prometheus was forward to cut up a great ox and set portions before them, trying to befool the mind of Zeus. Before the rest he set flesh and inner parts thick with fat upon the hide, covering them with an ox paunch; but for Zeus he put the white bones dressed up with cunning art and covered with shining fat. Then the father of men and of gods said to him:

(ll. 543-544) `Son of Iapetus, most glorious of all lords, good sir, how unfairly you have divided the portions!’

(ll. 545-547) So said Zeus whose wisdom is everlasting, rebuking him. But wily Prometheus answered him, smiling softly and not forgetting his cunning trick:

(ll. 548-558) `Zeus, most glorious and greatest of the eternal gods, take which ever of these portions your heart within you bids.’

(ll. 559-560) `Son of Iapetus, clever above all! So, sir, you have not yet forgotten your cunning arts!’

(ll. 561-584) So spake Zeus in anger, whose wisdom is everlasting; and from that time he was always mindful of the trick, and would not give the power of unwearying fire to the Melian (21) race of mortal men who live on the earth. But the noble son of Iapetus outwitted him and stole the far-seen gleam of unwearying fire in a hollow fennel stalk. And Zeus who thunders on high was stung in spirit, and his dear heart was angered when he saw amongst men the far-seen ray of fire.

Plato, (Protagoras, 320d-322d)

[320d] And when to these also came their destined time to be created, the gods moulded their forms within the earth, of a mixture made of earth and fire and all substances that are compounded with fire and earth. When they were about to bring these creatures to light, they charged Prometheus and Epimetheus to deal to each the equipment of his proper faculty. Epimetheus besought Prometheus that he might do the dealing himself; “And when I have dealt,” he said, “you shall examine.”

[321c] […]Prometheus arrived to examine his distribution, and saw that whereas the other creatures were fully and suitably provided, man was naked, unshod, unbedded, unarmed; and already the destined day was come, whereon man like the rest should emerge from earth to light. Then Prometheus, in his perplexity as to what preservation he could devise for man, stole from Hephaestus and Athena wisdom in the arts

[321d] together with fire—since by no means without fire could it be acquired or helpfully used by any—and he handed it there and then as a gift to man.

[321e] for the pursuit of their arts, and stealing Hephaestus’s fiery art and all Athena’s also he gave them to man, and hence it is

[322a] that man gets facility for his livelihood.

Europa by Moschus

[…] The maid Europa […] dreamt that two lands near and far strove with one another for the possession of her. Their guise was the guise of women, and the one had the look of an outland wife and the other was like to the dames of her own country. Now this other clave very vehemently to her damsel, saying she was the mother that bare and nursed her, but the outland woman laid violent hands upon her and haled her far away; nor went she altogether unwilling, for she that haled her said: “The Aegis-Bearer hath ordained thee to be mine.”

[…] She up and sought the companions that were of like age with her, born the same year and of high degree, the maidens she delighted in and was wont to play with[…]

[…] no sooner did the Son of Cronus espy her, than his heart was troubled and brought low of a sudden shaft of the Cyprian, that is the only vanquisher of Zeus. Willing at once to escape the jealous Hera’s wrath and beguile the maiden’s gentle heart, he put off the god and put on the bull,

[…] “Come away, dear my fellows and my feres; let’s ride for a merry sport upon this bull. For sure he looks and mild, so kind and so gentle, nothing resembling other bulls; moreover an understanding moveth over him meet as a man’s, and all he lacks is speech.” […] the bull, possessed of his desire, leapt up and made hot-foot for the sea.

[…] Meanwhile Europa, seated on the back of Zeus the Bull, held with one hand to his great horn and caught up with the other the long purple fold of her robe,

[…] and ere ‘tis long thou shalt be in Crete, that was my nurse when I was with her; and there shall thy wedding be, whereof shall spring famous children who shall all be kings among them that are in the earth.”

The Greek Bucolic Poets. Translated by Edmonds, J M. Loeb Classical Library Volume 28. Cambridge, MA. Harvard Univserity Press. 1912.

Europa and the bull: The significance of the myth in modern Europe*

How can a tale of a Phoenician woman, unwillingly abducted and sexually assaulted by a rutting, unscrupulous deity be used as a symbol for a unique project of peace, prosperity and freedom in human history, being the voluntary integration of different nations into the European Union? To answer these questions one must take some creative thinking and room for interpretation into account.

At this moment of change, the picture on the Greek coin provides the reassurance of continuity: new Europe is still old Europe, with a long tradition that goes back to ancient Greece.

what does it mean for the EU? In mythology, a message is more constructed by its recipient than by its sender. Is the bull-god the President of the European Union, snatching Europa away towards an (unwanted?) economic en cultural unification? Does it say: joining the EU means were ‘shafted’? Is Europa a naïve, passive victim or an adventurous girl that takes the bull by the horns and seeks her destiny behind the horizon? Or does the bull represent the world that is madly in love with beautiful Europa? Well, maybe. It all depends on who is reading and what his or her attitude is towards the European Union.


Rearmament and Global Political Economy

The Greek-Turkish Conflict and the German Defense Industry

Research Paper

Contact Details:

Dalilah Reuben-Shemia

Student’s ID: 31201755

(The following are just extracts from a research paper by the above student. For copyright reasons i can not upload it on my website, but if you are interested in reading the whole of the paper, please leave a comment below).

In the past 10 years, Greece imported munitions amounting to more than 8.7 billion Euros and ranks since 2005 on the 5th position of the biggest armament importers of the world (SIPRI, 2010b). The greatest providers for the Greek army are the USA, Germany and with some distance, France. During the last 5 years Greece imported military commodities amounting to 3.62 billion Euros from the USA only, and to 1.7 billion Euros from Germany. These imports especially include warplanes, submarines, armoured carriers and main battle tanks (Grebe/Sommer, 2010: 3).

The European delegate Cohn-Bendit though, called attention to the fact, that France and Germany adhered their rescue packages to the continuation of the contracts concerning trade of arms. Even though these issues were discussed in the public (cf. Baseler Zeitung, 2010), there are not sufficient information to prove their evidence. However, according to the French press agency the Greek minister of defence, Panos Beglitis, confirmed that the German engineering Thyssen Krupp had impended to close its dockyard in Greece with the loss of 1.500 workplaces and of 2 billion Euros in Greek investment, if the trade would not be continued (AFP, 2010).

Even if the direct political threats on the part of France and Germany are not valid, the agreement between Greece, the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not restricting military spending, despite their inappropriate extent. While in the Letter of Intent of the government of Greece, which describes the policies that Greece intends to implement in the context of its request for financial support from the IMF“ (IMF, 2011) concrete austerity measures in the social sector are demanded, commensurate burden regarding military spending are missing in most instances. This could be explicable, at least regarding Germany, by political pressure of the military industry. Greece still owes Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) 180 million Euros for 170 already delivered tanks, 321 million Euros to the German submarine consortium and additional 20 million Euros to Siemens (Schmitt, 2010). This has goaded German defence companies to address the German government, with the aim that Germany would force Greece to pay its debt concerning defence and security imports (ibid.).

The central problem of corruption in Greece was strongly debated in German media during the discussions about financial aid regarding the debt crisis from Germany to Greece, though, it was scarcely mentioned, that German companies utilized these informal ways, to ensure contracts with the Greek government –not only concerning the defence industry (Schmitt, 2010)

Grebe, Jan; Sommer, Jerry (2010): Griechenland: Hohe Militärausgaben trotz Finanzkrise. Bonn: BICC.

AFP -Agence France Presse (2010): Greece Will Cut Defense Budget: Minister. In:

SIPRI (2010b): The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database. In: (26/12/11).

Baseler Zeitung (2010): Hat Sarkozy Athen zu Waffenkäufen genötigt? (7/5/10). In:

IMF –International Monetary Fund (2011): Greece:Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, and Technical Memorandum of Understanding. In:

Schmitt, Jörg (2010): How German Companies Bribed their Way to Greek Deals. In: Spiegel –Online (5/11/10). In:,1518,693973,00.html (30/12/11)

Comment on: More Greek myths: ‘The need to speak truth to weakness’ Dec 1at 2012, Author: Charlemagne : la.výritý in reply to FranciscoLebre Dec 7th 2012, 18:41

FranciscoLebre: This article is enlightening and confirms my point of view . . .

I’ve read his opinion-piece. Mr.Juergen Baetz’s opinion is biased, if not outright foolish. That his name sounds German makes no difference to the fact. There are plenty of foolish Germans around.

If Germany would have a government, or governments, and a population which is ‘unpredictable’ in the eyes of international investors, nothing would save the country from joining the ranks of the ‘periphery’.Therefore, its solely the merit of Germany, of the German society as a whole, that ‘the market’ has trust in the country.

If Portugal and the other troubled Eurozone countries would have implemented the “Lisbon Agenda 2010” ( ) from early on, as Germany did under Chancellor Schroeder, then Portugal and the others most likely wouldn’t be in trouble today.

“Money is shyer than an antelope”, the investors’ popular phrase goes. Germany pays lower interest than some other countries in Europe, because of the countries moderation, prudence and level-headedness! . . . As simple as that.

Even when the country’s official unemployment rate was at around 13 percent in summer/fall of 2005 (and the ‘unofficial rate’ was close to 20 percent) and millions of families in Germany were living far below the living standard of the rest of the Eurozone, there were -because of this- no riots on the streets of Germany’s cities, no Euro-flag burning or ‘accusation’ of neighbors for Germany’s misery.Compare this with Greece: Even when the country had still one of the highest incomes per capita in the world, in 2007 and 2008 (at around $32.000 in 2008), there were constant protests in their streets, often escalating into riots. Here is a YouTube video from 2007… and from 2008.… and from 2009

I assume that these extremes are rooted in Greece’s and other peripheral countries’ history and politics, in the everyday life of the people; especially in the case of Greece in the corruption of their elected political leaders, and in those countries’ deeply rooted cronyism and nepotism.

Switzerland, a country NOT in the Eurozone, but with an equally prudent population as Germany’s, pays even only 0.39% on its 10-year bonds. Should the prudent, moderate Swiss also share their low interest with the violent, capricious Greeks??

Or take Britain, a country NOT in the Eurozone either; a country in recession, with a big budget deficit and an even bigger trade deficit . . . worse than that of any country in Europe’s South. Do you see permanently riots on London’s, Liverpool’s or Manchester’s streets??

The Brits, majoritarian, trust that their government will do ‘its job’ honestly, even though many voted differently. In return for this political maturity, the current interest-rate on British 10-year g-bonds is 1.746%!

This is solely the merit of the democratically-mature British society (that there is some sporadic rioting, triggered by the Muslim minority, is a different issue). This shown moderation is also why London could become Europe’s financial center. A country with a continuously rioting and protesting population will never gain the trust of the ‘financial markets’, at least not to this extent.

The “markets” honor governmental and social prudence. That’s a fact. Just remember: “Money is shyer than an antelope!”