Can you tell us a bit about where you live? Have you always lived in the same place, or have you moved around? What is your favorite place in Greece?
I was born and raised in Thasos, which I have submitted as my dwelling place in my profile page. It is a marvellous island, evergreen, with clean beaches and sapphire-clean seawater. It is also well forested, filled with archeological monuments, including a magnificent ancient theater, where performances of ancient and modern plays are held every summer. The museum has exhibits even from the Paleolithic era and some of the most ancient Greek inscriptions. It is a most idyllic and scenic place to live and not only for summer holidays.
However, I now live in Thessaloniki, which happens to be my favorite city and place in the whole of my country. It is a very friendly city, very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, filled with kindhearted and generous people, filled with challenges and boasting proud links to antiquity and Alexander the Great. There is something new to discover in every turn of the road. I feel very lucky to live where I live.
I know English is not your first language. Where did you learn it, as your written work is better than most? Do you use English in your work?
I have been communicating in English from a very tender age- namely, four years old. I was lucky enough to have an exceptional teacher, with a very deep and profound knowledge of the language. Encouraged by him and my own desires and intentions, I have earned all the qualifications that enable me to teach the language, although I am currently not doing it for profit. However, usage of the English language is required within my working environment and I do read works of English literature, such as Shakespeare, in the form they were written. Furthermore, as FunTrivia is an important part of my everyday life, I have the chance to hone, deepen and improve my knowledge of the language, which I have come to deeply appreciate and enjoy using it in many circumstances, either in written or in spoken form.
What is your educational background and what was your favorite subject to study? What would you like to learn more about?
I graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in the department of Classical Philology and I have attended seminaries and received Master degrees in Homer, Herodotus and Historical Linguistics.
My favorite subjects are the Greek language and especially that from written and spoken in the Mycenean Age and pre-history, meaning the phase of time known as deep history (which happens to be my username). I would like to know more about how some peripheral Greek dialects influenced the development and/or the creation of other languages, such as Latin and proto-Germanic. I am working on those fields, simultaneously with the exploration of ancient European myths and oral traditions, trying to pinpoint the common roots of them all. Those studies of mine have influenced even my dreams!
Tell us how you came across FunTrivia, and why you chose your user name of DeepHistory.
It was just by a stroke of Lady Luck that I discovered the site. I was trying to find some history quizzes about the American Civil War (a subject I am much interested, as my quizzes can tell everybody) and stumbled upon a quiz published in this site. Of course, I joined and became instantly hooked.
As for my choice of a username, my ultimate interest in the phase of time known as deep history, as I have stated above, thus it was the most natural choice for my user name.
Where have you been in the world? If you were given a ticket to any one place, where would you choose to go?
I have travelled in Italy and France. Especially the former I have visited many times, both its northern and southern parts. I especially enjoyed my time in Sicily and the area around Naples, where I found people that spoke to me in a peripheral Greek dialect, dating from the 6th century B.C. (of course, the dialect has evolved over time and many Italian elements can be found there). Concerning the latter, I have visited Paris, Normandy and the battlefield of Agincourt.
If I were given a ticket to a random place of the world, I would choose Norway or Iceland, for I am fascinated by their myths and sagas.
You have amassed a lot of points on the site in a relatively short time. What is your motivation in playing? What is your favorite way to earn those high daily totals - hourly games, mashes or quizzes?
Points are not the result of a motive to accumulate high daily totals, but rather the result of a desire for playing, playing and more playing, just for virtue of being fun, entertaining and a source of knowledge.
As most FunTrivia players know, the hourlies and dailies do not help a player amass so many thousand points (that is, unless somebody plays them all every hour of the day, which is highly unusual). Mashes, on the other hand, are pleasant, short-lasting and offer decent totals of points (that is, assuming someone has a sort of knowledge on the topic). I usually play mashes concerning my favorite subjects, but I occasionally dabble in other categories, where I am not so strong, but I am constantly trying to improve myself. I also enjoy playing quizzes and, when I am tired, I prefer the match quizzes (another excellent feature).
You've written a lot of quizzes. Which categories do you like writing in most and which don't tempt you at all?
Given my username and my primary interests, I would say that I enjoy writing for the History category more than I enjoy every other sort of quiz-writing. However, almost every category may touch my interests and, indeed, even take the lion's share of my creations for a given period of time. History, Mythology and Literature are my most favorite subjects, so it is not a mystery that a great part of my productions is in those spheres. Same applies for Music and comic books. Although I have a secret passion for Video Games, this has not surfaced in my FT quizzes, just because I like some of the older gems and I do not always enjoy the newest of the lot. However, nobody knows what time may allow to come to pass, so keep your fingers crossed (or uncrossed, if it matters) and you may see some Video Games quizzes from me.
Your profile and quizzes show a wide range of interests, including history and comics. What other interests do you have?
It is true that I have often involved myself with quite esoteric and unusual pastimes, including a wide variety of collections, some of them I began during my childhood and others more recently. For example, I own a collection of miniature bicycles, made out of wood or metal, which covers the evolution of this medium of transport in almost all its forms from its design by Leonardo da Vinci to the present age. Apart from collecting, my primary interests can be satisfied only with drinking from the well of knowledge, mainly theoretical knowledge, but others tend to be more kinaesthetic, such as battle reenactments.
Comic books were always a part of me from the moment I remember myself. My collection of Disney comics (from the time the medium came in Greece, in 1966) numbers several thousand issues from many publications, be it weekly, monthly or annual.
Interests I have not expressed sufficiently within FunTrivia include my passion for watching movies (especially old silent ones or black-and-white ones from the 1930s), listening to Scandinavian metal music, attempting to understand mathematics (with various degrees of success) and jogging at the beach against the fury of Aeolus and Poseidon.
You have a strong interest in the American Civil War. My family fought on the Northern side, but you seem to admire many generals who fought for the South. Is there a particular reason for this tendency?
It is right that the American Civil War is one of my favorite subjects of studying. How did it begin? Many years ago, I watched "Gone With the Wind" in a summer movie theater and later I read the book. Because of my youth and the tremendous writing of Margaret Mitchell and, of course, the marvellous cinematic adaptation, I wanted to know more about what did the wind carry away. Thus, when I view the era, it is always through the lens of a very romantic point of view, combined with my zeal in letting people know about facts not very widely mentioned from the underdog's side of the story. In particular, General Robert E. Lee has won my estimation, as he has with the estimation of a great percentage of Americans (both above and below the Mason-Dixon Line), as I know from my personal contacts with people from the US, and outside the borders of that nation. After all, in my humble opinion, the Civil War is one of those conflicts that is being studied by many people and will continue to attract the interest of aficionados of wars of the past.
Is there anything on FunTrivia that you've enjoyed doing, but also found exceptionally difficult?
The first thing that comes to my mind is "The Everything Challenge". From the moment I set eyes on that badge, I quite liked both the imagery and the task one has to accomplish before they earn it. For a period of time, I kept avoiding it, thinking it was extremely difficult and my earliest attempts were botches (or rather, near misses). When I gave it the final try (I had sworn it would be the final, regardless of the outcome), it was Christmas time, so I had all the day to myself. It was going well until I was stuck (and I am serious!) in 22221!!! Imagine my frustration and increase a hundredfold, since I had played all the daily and hourly games and had earned quite good scores. I felt everything was lost. My only hope was a game I am not that good, namely Word Wizard. So, I played it once more and, indeed, the wizard blessed me with everlasting victory! What a day it was!
Do you enjoy watching quiz shows on television? Have you ever appeared on one or been tempted to apply?
To be honest, there have been years from the time I last watched a quiz show. I was never a fanatic of television, to begin with, so I watched some quiz shows, but I never participated. From the comfort of my home, I knew the answers and I was thinking I could do very well, but I don't think I would have been able to compete in front of the camera and under pressure of time (remember, it was in the dark ages before FunTrivia), combined with the fact that being erroneous means a sharp reduction of the prize and with my fear for humiliation, when the show was to be aired and thousands of viewers would be seeing me, doing a botch of the whole affair. If I had a guarantee that the segment of the show would never be aired and would be just experimental, then I might be tempted to give it a shot.
If you could change one thing that's happened to you in your life, what would it be?
What I am about to say may not sound so nice to some ears, but what I regret most about my life so far is having given people whom I know a second chance, or a third, or a fourth, for that matter, that they did not deserve, as it was proven. What I wish I may be able to do in the future, is to say "no" when the circumstances demand it and when my self revolts against what other people think I am obliged to do for them, regardless of the fact that they have done nothing to earn my good disposition towards them.
You seem to like the Classics. Do you put this down to your heritage?
Well, it is perfectly logical my heritage was a factor that led me to explore the Classics and come to see them as the ultimate source of knowledge and comprehension of the world we live in. Generally, the Classics have influenced me in all aspects of my personality, since I became acquainted with them from a very early age. I love, adore and study them and I am proud of it. However, I am adamant in believing that the Classics are not reserved only for the ears of Greeks. It is not a matter of genes, but rather a matter of culture and development of man's intellectual nature, as the admiration for them by humanity has proven in the course of many centuries.
What sort of food do you eat in a normal day? Traditional Greek or fast food? What would you choose for your final meal on earth?
Alas, although the traditional Greek (id est the Mediterranean) diet is considered to be the most healthy and rich in nutritious ingredients, I often indulge in foods and delicacies and that are not so Greek and not so healthy. I enjoy all kinds of meat and namely chicken and pork, with some goat and lamb thrown in.
My favorite dish, which I would choose as my last meal on earth, would be chicken with a bacon filling and spices, with french fries, cabbage and onion and with a pint of Edelsteiner beer to wash it down. For dessert, I would choose strawberry ice cream. As for fruit, some raspberries or cherries would be very nice.
Besides FunTrivia, what are your favorite hobbies?
First and foremost, reading, reading and more reading. When I choose to read fiction, I would normally choose classical literature, poetry and some select few fantasy books. When it comes to non-fiction, I normally pick tomes related to history, mythology and politics. Comic books I will not list here, for my response would be very long. However, they are an important part of me and my ideal choice of relaxation when overstressed by the modern world. Plus, comic books can teach you many things and some of them ought to be taught at university classes, such as philosophy and sociology.
Furthermore, I regularly go to theater and cinema and, when a good concert announces its presence, I will find some time to attend.
At summertime, I engage in swimming and other water sports at the beaches of my island.
Finally, I occasionally go for mountain climbing.
What is the most surprising/unusual thing that you've ever done. Is there anything which you think we'd find hard to believe?
Actually, there is an incident that perhaps you will find difficult to believe.
It happened when I was seven or eight years old. It was Christmas time. It had started snowing from early in the morning and just after noon, when snow had already formed a crust over the soil, I went out to build a snowman. Before stating to actually build it, I decided to play a bit with the snowflakes and lost track of time. Meanwhile, much more snow had fallen down and the world around me was white. I could not distinguish north from south, east from west. So, I decided to return home, because I was sopping wet, but I could not find the correct way. So, I ended up at the doorstep of a house reputed to be haunted. Initially, I did not understand where I exactly was. I was thinking it was just a normal building, so I entered. Of course, nobody was there, so I settled down on the big and comfortable armchair, waiting for the owners to arrive, after repeatedly calling for them. Hours passed, but nobody was coming and the snow was still falling and the only thing I could see was the snow covering the windows. It is possible that I had fallen asleep on the armchair and I woke up due to the bone-freezing cold and strange sounds. I got very scared and thought to immediately leave. The door refused to open. Terrified, I decided to find another way out, but alas, nothing was found. I felt a cold wind passing me by. The very warmth of my blood was stolen away. I retreated to the first room I could find, stumbled upon something and fell headfirst on the floor. One of the planks of the wooden floor got loose and collapsed. And then I beheld a glint. The source of the glint was a hill of gold coins. I did not know what to do, so I simply stayed there, terrified, hungry and freezing.
Hours later, when day came again and the snow was falling less intensely, I was woken up by a police siren and voices calling my name. I answered and was promptly rescued by the police. I told them about the money, which apparently belonged to the last owner of the house, as part of a family property. For the strange sounds and the sudden wind, they also offered an explanation, claiming that some birds had made their nest on the roof and had found their way into the house, by the means of some holes. However, to this day, I am not entirely persuaded by it. Maybe the last owner just wanted to protect his property, after all.
If you were marooned on a desert island, which one book would you choose to have with you?
While there are many books I have read and would read a thousand times, if I were forced to choose just one, I would at a heartbeat pick "The Iliad" by Homer. In my opinion (which is not just mine, but is shared by virtually the whole world), it is a work which addresses a wide range of things and topics. Not only does it make a very interesting tale, but it also satisfies man's thirst for knowledge and spiritual uplifting. A plethora of heroes and ordinary folk are called to face a multitude of challenges, question the very essence of being and existence, make decisions which will affect the lives of a very significant portion of the known world, succumb to temptation or successfully resist it, love or hate, lust or envy, forgive or avenge, fight or sit back, administer justice or injustice, be perfect and stand above all others or fail. "The Iliad" is a journey which began thousands of years ago and has no end. Every time someone allows Homer to travel with him, they can be sue they will feel something unique and remarkable.
I wish to thank all of you for your interest, your questions, your time and your patience.
Editor - Animals & Sci/Tech