In his second book, From Pyrrhus to Cyprus, Billy Cotsis reveals the colonies, territories and empires founded by Greeks through the years. Read our review.
Author Billy Cotsis
Greek-Australian author Billy Cotsis hails from Sydney and traces his Greek roots to Lesvos. Last year, I reviewed his first book, The Many Faces of Hellenic Culture. Billy has published about 300 articles, and writes a blog about Hellenic history. He has also created several documentary films. Last month, his film, “Lesvos: Fall in LOVE”, won best documentary at a film festival in Barcelona. He’s currently working on a new documentary about Mykonos and Delos. Next, he’ll head to Italy to begin working on another documentary, and is currently writing his first work of fiction.
Related: REVIEW: The Many Faces of Hellenic Culture by Billy Cotsis
Billy is passionate about Hellenic history. He’s travel to many places in the world that have some Hellenic connection. He said that in Arab countries, across the Black Sea, Africa, and the Mediterranean Sea, they all seemed to have a significant Hellenic influence, which is still evident today. Billy elaborated.
“Many of the locals will talk about the influence of Hellenes. Hence, I thought I would provide an overview of the extent of Hellenic conquests and territorial control. To do that, I created a character who could bond all the empires and independent Hellenic territories that I uncovered, and there were at least 36 that I found.”
This character is Thucydides.
“As a nod to our pagan past and the most important writer in history, in my opinion, I created an eternal Thucydides. The ancient God of Apollo decides after the death of Alexander that Hellenic history must be recorded by the same person who succinctly wrote about the Peloponnesian War, and casts a spell on Thucydides who had been in a “long sleep.” Apollo gives him the power of eternal life and he travels the world, visiting every Hellenic area until of course modern Cyprus in 1960.”
Greek-Australian Author & FIlmmaker Billy Cotsis. IMAGE: herculeanpress.wordpress.com
About From Pyrrhus to Cyprus
Billy’s first book, The Many Faces of Greek Culture, is a first-hand account of all the many places throughout the world where Greeks have established Hellenic communities. In this book, he covers the history of Greek settlements throughout the world. Billy travels throughout the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, Africa, and Asia covering 36 territories, beginning with King Pyrrhus of Epirus (of the infamous Pyrrhic victory). He covers the conquests of Alexander as far as India, the Byzantine Empire, the Pontus (on the Black Sea in Asia Minor), Cyprus, and much more. Throughout, he makes it clear that Greeks were not just conquerors — wherever they went they left profound influences on language, religion, and culture that are often still felt today.
Review of From Pyrrhus to Cyprus
In Pyrrhus to Cyprus: Forgotten and Remembered Hellenic Kingdoms, Territories, Entities, & A Fiefdom, Billy Cotsis employs an interesting device in telling these stories in the first person as the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. Thucydides is widely regarded as the father of history as he was the first to attempt to tell a story by gathering evidence and presenting it impartially as he did in his history of the Peloponnesian War. It’s a rather clever way to tell these histories. It is engaging and it made history seem more personal and contemporary. As with his first book, Billy’s infectious enthusiasm for his subject and for his Hellenic heritage shines through. I’ve never met him, but I can tell from his writing that he is an energetic and enthusiastic storyteller.
Even if you don’t usually like to read history, Billy’s style and his energy will draw you in. I was at least a little familiar with many of these empires and territories but I found that I learned a lot of interesting facts. I learned more about empires I thought I knew well, plus completely new information about territories I barely knew existed. You will be surprised at some of the places where Billy reveals Hellenic influence.
If you want to learn more about these far flung ancient and still existing Greek territories as well as empires in the Greek heartland and in Asia Minor, then I highly recommend picking up a copy of From Pyrrhus to Cyprus: Forgotten and Remembered Hellenic Kingdoms, Territories, Entities & a Fiefdom by Billy Cotsis. If not for you, then buy a copy for the Greek history buff in your family.
By: Billy Cotsis
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition