Tribute to the Greek Indologist Dr. Miltiadis Spyrou

We are glad to announce that Arthur Spyrou, a friend of India and son of the late Greek Indologist Miltiadis Spyrou has been appointed as the next ambassador of Australia to Greece. ELINEPA expresses its warmest congratulations!

Greek Indologist Dr. Miltiadis (Milton) Spyrou passed away on September 23, 2019, in Athens at the age of 85. He left one son Arthur Spyrou, who serves as Australia’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, and three grandchildren. His wife, Kate, also an Indologist, died last year. The Hellenic-Indian Society for Culture & Development expresses its sincere condolences to his family and relatives.

Miltiadis Spyrou was born on September 11, 1934, in Komotini and followed in his youth the profession of a seaman. By the end of the nineteen-sixties, his ship arrived in Kolkata. He visited the city and the Greek Church at Calighat and fell in love with India and its people. He learned the Bengali language and decided to study Indian philosophy and culture. He received his M.A. degree in philosophy from Jadavpur University in Kolkata and he was the first Greek to obtain a doctoral thesis at an Indian university. He completed his doctoral dissertation, “Eudaemonistic Trends in Indian Philosophy,” under the supervision of Professor N.K. Devaraja and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Banaras Hindu University in 1971. He also studied at Visva-Bharati University, which was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in West Bengal.

After the completion of his studies, Miltiades Spyrou served as a senior officer of the Greek National Tourism Organisation in Greece and Australia. He continued, however, to visit and contact research in India. His latest research was focused on the Greeks who lived in Bengal and India – a work that he left unfinished. During his last visit to India, he fell seriously ill and his Indian friends at the Greek Club “Kyklos” in Kolkata did no less than save his life.

His love of India, its culture, its literature and its people was his life’s purpose and it sustained him and was in his thoughts to the very end.

Dr Milton Spyrou with Indian friends Ujjal and Rana Ghosh  at Santiniketan, India.

Article photo: Dr. Miltiadis Spyrou with his wife Kaiti and the poet Denis Dinopoulos at an ELINEPA event.