Vitsentzos Kornaros

The Cretan poet of Erotokritos

erotokritosIt is not known as to when exactly the Cretan poet, Vitsentzos Kornaros, was born, but the researchers of his major work: namely the "Erotokritos", conclude that Vitsentzos Kornaros was born in Sitia, Crete and died after 1677.

There are some arguments about his origins because of his name, Vitsentzos. Some claim that he was Venetian but this view is not proven. It may be the case that his name developed due to the prevalence of various Venetian names caused by the length of the period of the Venetian rule. A second and perhaps more serious argument is that the work of Vitsentzos Kornaros, particularly "Erotokritos", includes many elements from the Cretan main genre that only a writer deeply infused with the tradition and sources of the Cretan grandeur, (so only one that was born and bred in Crete,) could have created such a great work.
The epic drama "Erotokritos", is considered as one of the masterpieces of world literature. It consists of 10,010 verses with Cretan idiomatic phrases. Parts of this work became traditional songs and poetry of the Cretan people and is recited at celebrations. The works have also been adapted to the stage and the fact that the drama "Erotokritos" lends itself to different genres of performing arts is testament to the value of the work that even today, where and when played, it touches the public. The story tells of true love, friendship, courage and patriotism and for this reason is still popular throughout Greece. There is not however, any evidence that the second work that is attributed to Vitsentzos Kornaros is really his. It is the religious drama "The Sacrifice of Abraham," with subjects taken from the Old Testament, which describes the sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham..