Modern Greek Literature

Modern Greek Literature covers a large variety of texts written after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and also some earlier ones, the earliest dating to the 12th century, which are written in the Greek language spoken at the time. This demotic language is considered the beginning of Modern Greek. The first printed demotic texts appeared in 1519 and 1524; two short poems, now known only from later editions. The oldest surviving demotic work is a condensed version of the Iliad (Venice 1526), a handsome publication embellished by 138 woodcuts. It is the first of the three editions of Nikolaos Loucanis and the first book in Modern Greek which was ever laid out in type. All phases of Modern Greek literature are well represented at the Gennadeion. This section includes also Greek folklore and folksongs and is supplemented by Greek books in Latin characters, Turkish books in Greek characters (karamanlidika), lithographed books and Hebrew books printed in Smyrna.