|E. Dimitriadou - Efraimidou
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Polidoros Papachristodoulou (1886-1968) was born in Saranta Eklisies, Eastern Thrace. He was a charismatic spiritual man who devoted his life in the promotion of popular thought and tradition of Thrace. After Georgios Viziinos, he was the second most talented writer in Thrace, according to Stefanos Ioanidis (Thrakika Chronika, v.4/1985, “For Pol. Papachristodoulou” by St. Ioanidis). His stories differ from the ones of Viziinos and are kept to capturing a specific chronological period along with recording customs and human characters of the Thracian lowland without the shaking psychological dramas of Viziinos. He writes: My stories do not encapsulate simple pictures of Thrace, but real and vivid ones that do not need ornamentations in order to seduce the reader and move him/her. Papachristodoulou’s stories are accumulated in five volumes titled “Thracian ethnographies”. Varnalis mentions in the introduction of the fourth volume: “They consist of a representation of the historical actuality of the dominated Thrace”.
A lifework of his was the treasuring of local tradition of Thrace. He was the president of the Society for Thracian studies in Athens between 1934 and 1967 that was the year he died. During this period he published the huge work “Archive of the Thracian and linguistic thesaurus”, where many papers of his exist in [i.e his reference to the Anastenaria (walking on burning coals), a Thracian ritual that was an amalgam of Christian Orthodox and Dionysian worship, which he studied a lot (issue 31, 1965)].
He died in Athens in 1967.