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Emmanuel Kriaras
Emmanuel Kriaras
Birth: 28 November 1906
Piraeus, Attica, Greece
Death: 22 August 2014
Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece
Age: 107 years, 267 days
Country: GreeceGRE

Emmanuel Kriaras (28 November 1906 – 22 August 2014) was a Greek lexicographer and philologist. He was Emeritus Professor of the School of Philosophy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.


Early life and education

He was born in Piraeus, Attica region, Greece on 28 November 1906, in a family of cretan origin (from Sfakia). He lived during his first years in the island of Milos. In 1914 he moved with his family in Chania, Crete, Greece, where he completed his secondary education. He studied at the University of Athens from 1924, where he graduated from the School of Philosophy in 1929.

Career and later life

From 1930 to 1950 he worked in the Medieval Archive of the Academy of Athens, initially as a collaborator and from 1939 as a director. In parallel with his work in the Medieval Archive he continued his studies; in 1930 he went to Munich on a scholarship from the Academy of Athens to learn theoretical and technical issues of lexicography in the environment of Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, in 1938-1939 and 1945-1948, as a doctor now, for further training in Paris, the first time in Byzantinology and the second in comparative literature. He received his doctorate in 1938 from the University of Athens, with the dissertation "Studies on the sources of Erotokritos". In 1944 he was imprisoned in the Haidari camp.

In 1948 he was a candidate for the chair of modern Greek literature at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, which, however, was occupied by Linos Politis. Two years later, he was elected full professor of medieval Greek literature at the same University. In Thessaloniki he taught mainly medieval literature, exceptionally medieval Greek history, modern Greek literature, but also general and comparative literature, since thanks to his own actions was founded in 1965 the first - and for many years unique in Greece - extraordinary independent seat of General and Comparative Literature. Emmanuel Kriara's teaching was violently interrupted in January 1968, when the military junta fired him for his democratic views. His dismissal from the University turned him with greater determination in the compilation of the "Dictionary of the medieval Greek municipal secretariat (1100-1669)" (the decision for its formation had already been taken in 1956) and he continued his research and writing work until end of his life. His wife, Aikaterini Striftou-Kriara, a professor of psychotechnics at the Industrial School of Thessaloniki (now the University of Macedonia), whom he had married in 1936, died on 1 May 2000.

Kriaras died of a heart attack at his home in Thessaloniki on the night of 22 August 2014 at the age of 107 years, 267 days.