What is travelling to Greece all about? Is it solely about enjoying its nature, the sea and the sun, or is it also about feeling its soul and beating heart? Those of you interested in country’s worldwide famous ancient spirit, still living today, don’t look for it in the monuments and antiquities, but rather experience it yourselves by getting to know the Greek people and their art. Hellenic culture, language and art are a whole. They form one entity travelling in uninterrupted continuity through time, despite of all the conquerors, wars and occupations the country has suffered from.
An example of this cultural continuity is the romance of Erotokritos, considered as a masterpiece of Cretan literature, claimed to be the supreme achievement of modern Greek literature in general! It was composed by Vikentios Kornaros in early 17th century on Crete. It consists of 10,012 fifteen-syllable rhymed verses. Its themes are love, honour, friendship and courage. It is written in the Cretan dialect of the Greek language. The poet relates the trials and tribulations suffered by two young lovers, Erotokritos and Aretoussa, daughter of Heracles, King of Athens. It was a tale that enjoyed enormous popularity among its Greek readership.
It remains a popular work until today, largely due to the music that accompanies it when it is publicly recited. Enjoy below the most recent and one of the finest performances of this masterpiece of literature. This was made just 2 years ago as a fine example of how art may serve as the strongest antidote against the recent or any crisis, by elevating our spirit, purifying our mind and strengthening the noble emotions within us all.
A complete translation to English was made by Theodore Stephanides in verse, and by Betts, Gauntlett and Spilias in prose.