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Konstantinos Tsatsos

Konstantinos Tsatsos (July 1, 1899October 8, 1987) (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Τσάτσος) was a revered Greek diplomat, professor of law, scholar and politician. He served as President of Greece from 1975 to 1980.


His life

He was born in Athens. After graduating from the Law School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 1918 he joined the diplomatic corps. After completing his doctoral studies (1924-1928) in Heidelberg, Germany, he returned to Greece where he became a professor of law in 1933. In 1940, when he was arrested and exiled for speaking out against the Ioannis Metaxas dictatorship.

During the occupation of Greece by the German troops he participated in the resistance and then he fled to the Middle East, where the exiled Greek government was seated

After the end of World War II, in 1945 he returned to Greece and entered politics and became minister for the first time. In 1946, when he decided to participate more actively in the politics of Greece, he resigned from his post National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and then he became a member of the Liberal Party. After the formation of the National Radical Union by Constantine Karamanlis, in 1955 he became a member of the party and one of the closest colleagues of Karamanlis, although, ideologically, he was a centrist-liberal and not a conservative.

He served as a member of parliament and in various ministerial positions until the 1967–1974 dictatorship. Under the first premiership of Karamanlis (1955-1963) he served for many years as Minister of Public Administration.

After the restoration of democracy in 1974, he was elected again as member of parliament and became Minister for Culture.

In 1975, he was elected President of the Republic. He retired after serving his five-year term.

He died on October 8, 1987 in Athens.

Tsatsos as a scholar

Konstantinos Tsatsos served as professor of the philosophy of law from 1933 since 1946, when he entered politics.
Since 1962 he was a member of the Athens Academy.

His vast writing work includes textbooks of legal theory, surveys on philosophy and history, as well as litterary works, poems, essays and translations of ancient Greek and Roman classics.

In 1974, he presided the parliamentary Commission, which submitted the first draft for the new Constitution.

Writings on legal theory

  • Der Begriff des positiven Rechts, Heidelberg: Weiss'sche Universitäts-Buchhandlung, 1928
  • The Problem of the Interpretation of Law, Athens: Sakkoulas, 1978 (in Greek)
  • The problem of the Sources of Law, Athens: Papadogiannis, 1941 (in Greek)
  • Introduction to Legal Science, Athens: Papazisis, 1945 (in Greek)
  • Studies on the Philosophy of Law, Athens: Ikarosa, 1960 (in Greek)
  • "Society and the Law", in Archive of Philosophy and Positive Sciences (1935) (in greek)
  • "Le Droit et la societe", in Droiy, Morale, Moeurs, IIe Annyaire de l'Institute Intern de Philosophie du Droit, Paris, 1936
  • "Contract as Legal Rule", in volume for K. Triantafillopoulos, Athens, 1959 (in Greek)
  • "Qu' est-ce-que la philosophie du droit?", in: Archives de Philosophie du Droit 7 (1962)

Surveys on history and philosophy - Translations

  • The Social Philosophy of Ancient Greeks, Athens: Estia, 1962 (in Greek)
  • Cicero, Athens: Estia, 1968 (in Greek)
  • Demosthenes, Athens: Estia, 1975 (in Greek)


  • The Greek Course, Athens: Estia, 1967
  • Anathemas and meditations, 4 Volumes, Athens: Estia, 1983-1991 (in Greek)
  • The Modern World, Athens: Editions of the Friends, 1992 (in Greek)

Litterary writings

  • Palamas, Athens: Estia, 1966 (in Greek)
  • A Dialogue about poetry - A dialogue with Giorgos Seferis, Athens: Estia, 1975 (in Greek)

External links

Preceded by:
Michail Stasinopoulos
President of Greece
Succeeded by:
Konstantinos Karamanlis

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