Zakynthos Antonios Matessis

The writer Antonios Matesis from Zakynthos: Antonios Matesis (1794-1875) was a Greek lyric poet and playwright from Zakynthos. Born to an aristocratic Italian family, Matesis went to Italy to study philosophy and literature. He mastered Classical Greek, Latin and Italian. His friendship and admiration for Dionysios Solomos led Matesis to write verses in imitation of his mentor.

Matesis achieved fame mainly through his theatrical work entitled The Basil Plant. The play was a vivid and almost tactile study of the complex social structure of his milieu in Zakynthos. It was also the first work ever to be written in Modern Greek, not the purist Greek language. The greatest contribution of Matesis to Greek literature was that he introduced a new kind of social drama. .

Apart from plays, Matesis also wrote many romantic and patriotic poems.