|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Greek Wikipedia. (March 2009)|
Erotokritos (Greek: Ἐρωτόκριτος) is a romance composed by Vikentios (Vitsentzos, "Vincenzo", Vincent) Kornaros in early 17th century Crete. It consists of 10,012 fifteen-syllable rhymed verses. Erotokritos and Erophile by Georgios Hortatzis constitute the classic examples of Greek Renaissance literature.
Its themes are love, honour, friendship and courage. It is written in the Cretan dialect of the Greek language. A particular type of rhyming used in the traditional mantinades was also the one used in Erotokritos.
It is considered a masterpiece of Cretan literature, and with claim to be the supreme achievement of modern Greek literature in general. The poet relates the trials and tribulations suffered by two young lovers, Erotokritos and Aretousa, daughter of Heracles, King of Athens. It was a tale that enjoyed enormous popularity among its Greek readership.
The direct model of the work is the French popular medieval romance Paris et Vienne composed by Pierre de la Cépède, which was printed in 1487 and was widely diffused, being translated to many European languages.
It remains a popular work until today, largely due to the music that accompanies it when it is publicly recited. Several groups of renowned Cretan musicians have added selected parts of the poem to their music, often exploring the boundaries of their local musical tradition.
Erotokritos sets great store by true love, friendship, courage, and patriotism, and this is the reason for its later popularity all over Greece. It was a source of inspiration for Dionysios Solomos and influenced Greek poets as diverse as Kostis Palamas, Kostas Krystallis, and George Seferis. A complete translation to English was made by Theodore Stephanides in verse, and by Betts, Gauntlett and Spilias in prose.
- Vitsenzos Kornaros: Erotokritos. A translation with introduction and notes by Gavin Betts, Stathis Gauntlett and Thanasis Spilias. Byzantina Australiensia vol. 14 (Melbourne 2004). Australian Association for Byzantine Studies. http://home.vicnet.net.au/~byzaus/byzaust/byzaus14.html
- D. Holton, Μελέτες για τον Ερωτόκριτο και άλλα νεοελληνικά κείμενα - Studies on Erotokritos and other Modern Greek texts, ed. Kastaniotis, Athens 2000. (Greek)