How did a 4th century Greek bishop transform into today's Santa Claus?
Nicholas was the Greek Bishop of Myra, a 4th century port in Anatolia. Following his death, his legendary generosity established him as the principle gift-giving saint as well as the patron saint of seafarers. The body of St Nicholas was stolen by Italian sailors to protect their own ports in the Adriatic. Over the centuries the image of St Nicholas changed constantly until the Dutch re-invented him as Sinterklaas. Taking him to their new colonies in America, he transformed into kindly Santa Claus. Later re-imported into Britain without his Catholic baggage, he gradually emerged as Father Christmas.
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THE ARTS SOCIETY ACCREDITED LECTURER
Mr Christopher Bradley
Expert in the history and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. As a professional tour guide and lecturer he has led groups throughout the Middle East and Asia. Has written extensively on Arabia and is the author of The Discovery Guide to Yemen, Insight Guide to the Silk Road and Berlitz Guides to Libya; The Red Sea; Oman; Cairo; Abu Dhabi and Nile Cruising. As a photographer has pictures represented by four photographic libraries. A broad range of lecturing experience, including to the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Institute of British Architects. As a film producer and cameraman he has made documentaries for the BBC, National Geographic TV and Channel 4.