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The students at The Department of Classics, School of Philosophy, University of Belgrade sent the letter to their colleagues worldwide asking them for support in our Protest. In addition to the letter in English they put the text of student prayers to St. Sava translated into Latin.

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Request for Support
sent by Belgrade students:

Dear Madam/Sir, dear Colleague,

We are students at the Department of Classics, University of Belgrade, Serbia. These days, as you may know, most of the citizens of Serbia have been walking the streets of their hometowns in a peaceful but persistent protest against the autocratic and oppressive regime of Slobodan Milosevic, who, having failed to win the election of November 17, now keeps trying to force an illegal rule on his own people.

Serbia is a country of intelligent and educated people who want to live in freedom. We in particular, who have been studding the ancient civilization of Europe, have of course learned to respect and to appreciate civic freedom, i.e. freedom of speech, of mind, and of conscience. As future researchers or teachers, we shall have no higher values to promote. But for that, we must defend them now, and in doing so we simply must not fail.

Due to the war, you have heard of Belgrade probably even more than you would have wished. Still, you may be certain you have not heard enough, nor good enough. The fact is that Serbia wants her dignity back, and she needs your support. Anything you can think of, any help you can give, any word you can say, any information you can provide or forward to people who care, will be a worthy contribution to democracy in Serbia.


Students of The Department of Classics
University of Belgrade, Serbia

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Prayer to St. Sava in Latin


Pastorem te, Sabba sancte pater, et institutorem praeceptoremque nunc adimus:
quemadmodum enim parvuli in tribulatione auxilium a parentibus suis expetunt,
sic et nos hodie ad te patrem spiritalem et in tuum confugimus amplexum,
uti divino foveamur amore utque e dextera tua Dei benedictionem accipiamus.
Amplectere igitur spiritales liberos tuos,
et unicuique puerorum tuorum,
vias huius urbis plateasque perlustrantium placido gressu et audaci,
sanctam admove manum, in universos gratiam seminans ac laetitiam.
Vias nostras illustra, pelle maerorem;
viam in malo ambulantibus praeclude, bona petentibus aperi.
Benedic, vir Dei sancte, discipulis jus suum efflagitantibus;
animum adde, vires confirma, ut opus inceptum in pace perficere valeamus.
Te quaesumus, Altissimi sancte antistes,
ut pedes nostros in sanctam viam dirigas,
quae ad Deum usque fert eiusque caritatem libertatemque.
Hoc autem vile donum e manibus nostris dum accipis,
memor esto viduae illius quae duo minuta de penuria sua posuit in gazophylacio;
nos vero memores sumus,
quod matri Ecclesiae dono datum sit, id Deo esse commodatum.


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Letters of Support From Classics Worldwide

Pax vobis omnis et unique.

Allow me to introduce myself in response to your very moving appeal. I am professor of classics (emeritus) at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to that position, I have been teaching the course in nonviolence here for the last twenty years. Ever since your movement and demonstrations began I have been looking for a way to communicate with you.

First, then, let me extend to you solidarity, best wishes, and every possible moral support.

I was very moved by your appeal and would be most willing to help by sending printed material or anything else if you can suggest how. You are in a position of much strength and if you follow the above principles I would have every confidence that the freedom and dignity you seek for your country can be achieved in a manner that would be exemplary to others around the world.

In peace,

Michael Nagler (Prof. emer.)

* * *

I received your message.

I can only offer good words. For what they are worth, here they are.

You are fighting in a good cause. Those of us who watch from afar feel the same feelings we felt in witnessing other marches and rallies in other countries in 1989.

You are running great risks, and even if you win, you will face great difficulties and discouraging days. But you face the choice that other freedom fighters have always confronted: give in, and let them walk over you; or stand up for your rights and your dignity.

Remember that violence is the enemy's tool.

Steve Muhlberger
Department of History
Nipissing University
North Bay, Ontario

* * *

Dear Recipients,

Please know that the eyes of the whole world are watching and hoping for a just, as well as a peaceful, outcome of the present crisis in Serbia, in which the results of elections are respected and human rights are not violated, as has been happening. There are many encouraging signs reported overseas. Your courage, your determination and your sense of justice must, and will, prevail. EN TOYTWI NIKATE!

With all good wishes,
Richard Janko
Professor of Greek, University College London
Signatory, Charter 88

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Best wishes to the Classics students of Belgrade in difficult times.

Professor Andrew Smith,
Department of Classics,
University College Dublin

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I have been telling people of your message, and rounding up support. some of it in Latin, from a suitable ecclesiastical source, sent herewith.

More strength to your elbows.

J.R. Lucas

Ago vobis gratias pro epistola electronica vestra, quam portavi ad fratrum meum, canonicum praecentoremque Cathedralis Sancti Andreae apud Wells in comitate Somerset Anglia.


Orat pro vobis ut Deus Altissimus deprecationes vestras audiat, ut pedes vestros in sancrtam viam dirigat, ut opus inceptum in pace perficere valeatis, et ut libertatem, dignitatem, civilitatem vestrem restoretur.

Et nunc oculi omnium in vos respiciunt efflagitantes democratiam, pacem et justitiam Serborum contra latrocinia magna Tyranni Slobodani Milosevic. Exemplum vestrum salutamus.

Die Sancti Stephani, protomartyri, Anno Salutis, 1996.

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Thank you for your letter, which moved me greatly. Please be sure that we are aware of your plight, and your struggle for democratic rights. There seems so little we can do here, but please let us know how we can help you.

With heart-felt good wishes

Tim Duff
Department of Classics
University of Reading

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Dear Classics Department

Very nice to hear from you. Several of us would like to ask _you_ for suggestions. Are there particular people you would like us to e-mail, fax, or write letters to, for example? Perhaps the ambassador in London?

Unfortunately it is all winding down for Christmas here and not many people are around this week, but if there's something we can do to help we'll be very glad.

Best wishes,


Dr D. G. J. Shipley
Ancient History Division
School of Archaeological Studies
University of Leicester

* * *

Thank you for your impressive and dignified message, which I shall re-read with care. I am most heartened to know that there are students of the classics in Belgrade who see that the values implicit
in their study of the ancient world are integral to our daily lives as citizens of the world and of our countries. Please accept all my good wishes.

Frederick Williams
Professor of Greek, Queen's University, Belfast BT 7 1 NN

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This is just to express the support and admiration of the School of Classics at Trinity College, Dublin for your heroic struggle for democracy in Serbia. We feel sure that you will be successful in this, as cracks are beginning to appear in the regime, but please be assured that we are with you in spirit, and will do anything we can to help Classics in Belgrade in the future. John Dillon, Regius Professor of Greek.

John Dillon (Regius Professor of Greek)
School of Classics
Trinity College
Dublin 2

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From all the MAs in the dept. of Classics University College Dublin, we are writing to show our support for your struggle. The benefits a democracy is only fully appreciated when you hear of predicaments such as your our. If there is anything that we can do please let us know.

All Classics Students, U.C.D.

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Thank you for your message and your splendid Latin appeal. I am afraid that there is little I can do to help you, except wish you good fortune. We have problems in Britain and look to a change of governing party to ensure the continuation of democracy here rather than a one-party state, but we are as yet spared the need to take to our streets. We are much impressed by your tenacity and wish you a peaceful achievement of your goal.

Angus Bowie

* * *

I have just read your e-mail, and will as a result take more interest in the political state of Serbia. Thank you for sending it.

Professor Richard Seaford

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Special Thanks

To all professors and assistants of The Belgrade Department of Classics who were supporting us entirely during the protest and helped writing this request for support.

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