Fonds F0778 - George Thaniel fonds

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George Thaniel fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Sound recording

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Physical description

0.05 m of textual records
120 audio cassettes (ca. 122 hrs.)

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Name of creator


Biographical history

The poet/scholar George Thaniel was born on 22 February 1938 in Trahila, Messinia, Greece. After WWII and the Civil War in Greece his family moved to Piraeus where George attended Ionidhios High School (1950-1956) where he also began learning English. During this time he also studied French and Latin at St. Paul's Roman Catholic School. His natural aptitude for languages was awarded with a trip to France from the Alliance Française in 1955. This trip and his love for the French Romanticism inspired him to pursue his calling as a poet in that style.

In 1956, Thaniel enrolled in the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens, graduating in 1962. His education was briefly interrupted (1960-1961) as he performed his required military service with the Greek Navy, where he served as a translator and teacher of English. After graduation, Thaniel taught briefly English at Greek high schools until he emigrated to Canada in 1964. There he taught French and Latin in various Canadian high schools in remote places in Ontario such as Sioux Lookout and Chapeau.

In 1967, Thaniel enrolled in the Classics graduate program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The title of his PhD dissertation was "Themes of Death in Roman Religion and Poetry." After completing his PhD in 1971, Thaniel was hired by the University of Toronto as a part-time instructor of Modern Greek in the Department of Classics. In 1972 he advanced to become the University's first full-time instructor of Modern Greek. In 1977 he received tenure and went on to become the University of Toronto's first and only professor of Modern Greek in 1987.

While on a trip to Greece, Thaniel died suddenly and unexpectedly in Athens' General hospital on 22 June 1991.

Custodial history

Records were created by George Thaniel throughout the course of his position as professor of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Toronto, from 1971 until his sudden death in 1991. Records were held by his sister, Mary Ruscillo, until she donated them to the archives in April 2023.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of personal publications written by George Thaniel, including his curriculum vitae and the complete collection of The Amaranth journals. Fonds also consists of audio cassettes recordings used by Thaniel in the course of his work as professor of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Toronto. Recordings include interviews with Modern Greek authors and poets, poetry and prose readings, live theatre recordings, and music performances, in addition to discussions and lectures. Audio recordings further include Thaniel reciting his own poetry, as well as a memorial that was recorded posthumously following his sudden death in June 1991.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Mary Ruscillo in April 2023


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Language of material

  • English
  • Greek

Script of material

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Some digitized versions available. See item-level descriptions for more details.

Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

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Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Additional records (collections of poetry, essays, translations, travelogs, and correspondence) preserved at the Hellenic Literary and Historical Archive in Athens.

Related materials


The fonds comprises the following accessions: 2023-010. Further accruals may be expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2023/10/13 M. Paraschos. Creation.

Language of description

  • English
  • Greek


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