Dr Miltiadis A. Spyrou

Miltiades Athan. Spyrou (1934-2019) was born in Komotini and completed his secondary education at the New Philadelphia High School. He completed his military service in the Navy, during which he studied at the School of Radio Operators, from where he obtained a Diploma of Radio Officer of the Merchant Navy, with which he served for four years abroad.

During one of his trips to Calcutta, he was impressed by the culture of India and decided to study it more systematically and extensively. He enrolled as a student at Rabindranath Tagore’s Vishva Bharati University in Santiniketan, West Bengal, where he earned his first B.A. degree in Western and Indian Philosophy, while also taking courses in the Sanskrit language and literature at the Sanskrit College in Calcutta.

He then broadened his studies by obtaining M.A. degrees in philosophy from Jadavpur University in Calcutta, as well as in Indian philosophy and religion from Benares Hindu University in 1966 in Varanasi (Benares). In March 1971 he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy by Benares Hindu University successfully completing his thesis on “Eudaemonistic Trends in Indian Philosophy” for which he was awarded the “Narasingh Prasad Hari Prasad Buch Metaphysics Prize”, first given to a European citizen. It is noteworthy that he received scholarships from both the Greek Government (1968-1971) and the Ford Foundation (1963-1964). He spoke English, French, Hindi, Bengali and Sanskrit.

Later, returning to Greece, he wanted his compatriots to become partakers of Indian culture, believing that philosophical issues are timeless and universal. He was a candidate for Assistant Professor at the Philosophy School of the University of Athens, as well as at the Department of History and Religions of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

He served in the Greek National Tourism Organization for a total of 24 years, including his tenure as Director of the Organization’s offices in Australia and New Zealand during the period 1975-1996. Furthermore, he was a member of the Institute for Intercultural Studies (Institut für Interculturelle Forschung) in Heidelberg.
Throughout his service, he continued to engage in the study of Indian philosophy and Greek-Indian studies to which he devoted himself fully after his retirement. Working independently and with private resources, he continued his research and writing work for a number of years with his beloved wife Kate and his son Arthur (Athanasios) by his side. In the last years, his research project focused mainly on the Greek Community of Bengal and on Dimitrios Galanos for which he regularly traveled to Calcutta, Dhaka, Varanasi, New Delhi and London in order to collect valuable material from the archives and local newspapers of the time.

Dr. Miltiadis Spyrou was preparing to present the results of his research project at the Academy of Athens in collaboration with Professor Evangelos Moutsopoulos of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Athens, but unfortunately, death came to interrupt their plans. The 2,000 books of Indological content that he collected throughout his life were donated to the National Library by his son, Athanasios Spyrou, who was appointed to Athens as Australia’s Ambassador in December 2019, three months after the death of Miltiadis Spyrou, and undertook to manage the voluminous research and writing archive inherited from his father.

Read the Report and watch the video of the special event “The research work of Indologist Miltiadis Spyrou and the unknown publications of Demetrius Galanos in India” organized by the Academy of Athens on June 13, 2023

Published works

2023: Δημήτριος Γαλανός – Η ζωή και το άγνωστο έργο του στις Ινδίες, Ελληνο-Ινδική Εταιρεία Πολιτισμού και Ανάπτυξης, Αθήνα.
2023: «Σχόλια στην Μπαγκαβάτ Γκίτα», ΙΝΔΙΚΑ, Αθήνα.
2019: Review on “Eudaemonistic Trends in Indian Philosophy by Miltiadis Spyrou”, ΙΝΔΙΚΑ, Αθήνα.
2019: «Αφιέρωμα στον Ινδολόγο Δρα Μιλτιάδη Σπύρου», ΙΝΔΙΚΑ, Αθήνα.
2017: «Προς μια Ελληνική Αποικία στην Ινδία,» Τα Ιστορικά, Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Μέλισσα.
2015: «Ο Λόρδος Βύρων – 190 χρόνια από τον θάνατο του», Νέα Εστία, Αθήνα: Βιβλιοπωλείον της Εστίας.
1970: “The Problem of Death In Epicurus,” Research Journal of Philosophy, Varanasi.
1969: “Four Characteristic Conceptions of God in Ancient Greece,” Dr Bhagavan Das Centenary Volume, Kashi Vidyapith, Varanasi.
1968: “Discussion on the Method of Epicurus,” Anviksiki, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

Unpublished and unfinished works

  • Εudaemonistic Trends in Indian Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (Διδακτορικό στην αγγλική γλώσσα).
  • Κωνσταντίνος Παρθένιος – Ο Κοσμοκαλόγερος της Καλκούτας (Μονογραφία, περίπου 150 σελίδες).
  • Ο Έρανος στη Βρετανική Ινδία υπέρ της Ελληνικής Επανάστασης και ο Καπετάν Νικόλας Κεφαλάς (Μονογραφία, περ. 60 σελίδες).
  • Demetrius Emmanuel Panioty (Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire – CIE) – Ο Έλληνας Αξιωματούχος της Βρετανικής Ινδίας (Μονογραφία, περ. 70 σελίδες).
  • Οι Έλληνες της Ινδίας μέσα από τις διαθήκες τους (περίπου 17 σελίδες).
  • Πανταλέων Γαλανός (περίπου 21 σελίδες).
  • Το Ταξιδιωτικό Ημερολόγιο του Πανταλέοντος Γαλανού στην Ινδία – Ταξιδιωτικές Εντυπώσεις στις Αρχές του 19ου Αιώνα (Μονογραφία, 144 σελίδες).
  • Δημήτριος Γαλανός (βιβλίο περίπου 250 σελίδες).
  • Pythagoras the Greek Yogi (άρθρο).
  • Ο Ελληνισμός στη Βρετανική Ινδία (Ιστορική Μονογραφία).
  • Οι Ελληνικές Εκκλησίες της Ινδίας (Ιστορική Μονογραφία).
  • Ο Ελληνισμός της Βρετανικής Ινδίας Μέσα από τις Διαθήκες των Ελλήνων (Μονογραφία).
  • Στιγμιότυπα της Ελληνικής Επανάστασης όπως Αναφέρονται στον Αγγλόφωνο Τύπο της Ινδίας (άρθρο).
  • Έμμετρη Έκφραση του Φιλελληνισμού στη Βρετανική Ινδία (άρθρο).