Emmanouil Varvounis

POSITION: Professor


Telephone: 25310 39472, internal: 74472,

Email: mvarv@otenet.gr




folklore, folk religious rituals, religious folklore, intellectual life and culture, church history, folk and popular literature, customs and habits, Greek history and culture under Ottoman Empire


1. Introduction to Folklore (55ΑΥ4)

2. Folk Art (55ΗΥΕ2)

3. The Folklore of Religion, Custom and Ritual (55ΕΥΕ4)

4. Literary Folk Narratives (55ΗΥΕ2)

For further details, click here for course catalogue in English.


For full cv in Greek, click here.

Manolis VARVOUNIS was born in 1966 in Samos, where he finished his schooling. He studied in the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Athens (1983-1988) and the Theological School of Athens University. Specialising in folklore, in 1991 he received his Ph.D. in Folklore in Department of Education University of Athens, under the supervision of Professor M. G. Meraklis. His dissertation topic was "Popular Worship and the Religious Behavior of Inhabitants of Samos."

Between 1996-1997 he conducted postdoctoral research at the Universite Catholique de Louvain (Louvain - la - Neuve) in Belgium. In 1992 he was elected Lecturer in Folklore, in the Department of History and Ethnnology at the Democritus University of Thrace, in Komotini, in northern Greece. He was made Assistant Professor in 1998, Associate Professor in 2004 and in 2011 he was promoted to Professor, Department of History and Ethnology, Democritus University of Thrace, where he teaches. He has also occasionally taught folklore in the Department of Greek Literature, Culture and Literature of the Black Sea Countries, at the Democritus University of Thrace, in graduate departments at the University of Athens and the Panteion University of Athens. Furthermore, since 2005 he has been teaching at the University of Directors of the Friends of the People, in Athens.

He is currently Deputy Chairperson of the Department of History and Ethnology, Democritus University of Thrace. He is also a member of many academic societies in Greece and abroad, such as the Greek Folklore Society (Athens), of which he is a member of the Board of Directors. He is Treasurer of the British Folklore Society and a member of the American Folklore Society, based in Washington. He has also worked with the Parnassos Philological Society, on the board of which he served as special secretary (2010-2011).

He has also been a member of the Senate of the Democritus University of Thrace (1997-1998), secretary of the Samos Prefecture Cultural Organization (OPONAS) (2008-2010) and member of the Special Synod Committee on Church Art (2006-2009) and of the Board of the Brotherhood of the Officials of the Ecumenical Throne "Pammakaristos Virgin" (2005-2008). He is a member of the Special Synodical Committee for Cultural Identity. From 2010 he has been a member of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, from 2011 has sat on the Board Ecclesiastical Museum of the Holy Metropolis of Samos and Ikaria and from 1995 on the Board of the Thracian Studies Center of the Komotini Cultural Association.

He has published many studies, in the form of independent monographs or in academic journals and books, in Greek, English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Serbian, Turkish, Russian, Arabic and Bulgarian. His bibliography includes about 2000 publications, including 110 books and self-contained essays, 850 studies, 370 scientific articles and 314 book reviews. The bulk of his academic work consist of publications on the history and culture of Samos, while he has written many essays on church history and art, including studies of the history and monuments of Mount Athos. He has also been very involved with the study of the folk culture of Thrace, with the city of Rome and with the history and tradition of the Orthodox Patriarchates presvygenon of the East. He has worked with with the Samos Nikolaos Dimitriou Cultural Foundation since its inception in 1990/1991, of which he is a director. He has published in the local journal Samian Studies and its annexes. He also runs the ‘Pilgrimage of Orthodoxy’ series. He has publishedChelandion (2005 onwards), Greek places and Cultures, Truth (2006 onwards) and Sources for Patriarchal History and Memorabilia (Patriarchal Library of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa (2007 onwards)). At the invitation of foreign universities and learned societies he has given talks and lectures in Cyprus, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Egypt, Turkey, Georgia and Bulgaria. He is married with two sons.

In March 2005 the AIC Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew honored him with the distinction of offikio of Archon Protector of Letters to the Holy Great Church of Christ. In April 2007, His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodoros II awarded him the offikio theArchon Chartophylax to the Throne of Alexandria. In March 2008, His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Peristeri awarded him the title ofAnagnostis (‘Reader’), and in June 2009, His Beautitude the Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius IV awarded him the offikio of archon ieromnimon. In February 2011, His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III proclaimed him a Crusader of the Holy Sepulchre of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In December 2010, he was awarded the Athens Academy Award and in January 2011 was awarded the Gold Medal for Arts and Sciences of the International Albert Schweitzer Institution. In 2012 he was awarded with the Great Gold Cross of the International Albert Schweitzer Institution. He is an honorary member of Accademia Constatina (2013) and of the Accademia Bonifaciana (2013) in Italy. His research, writing, teaching and social work has been recognized with many distinctions awarded by church and state.