Zakynthos Georgios Tertsetis

The novelist Georgios Tertsetis from Zakynthos: Georgios Tertsetis (1800-1874) was a famous Greek poet and novelist of the 19th century. He was born in Zakynthos but studied law in Bologna and Italian Philology and Latin in Padova afterward. Soon he became interested in Italian literature and the European Enlightenment. When the Greek Revolution broke out in 1821, Tertsetis returned to Zakynthos fired up with a patriotic fever and took part in some battles in the Peloponnese.

As he was under great financial difficulties, he worked as a tutor to the Botsaris family in Patras. He was able to find some work in Nafplion where he was given the post of History Professor at the Military Academy. In 1833, Tertsetis was appointed a magistrate. He is mostly known in Greece as one of the two judges who refused to succumb to government pressure and condemn two of the greatest heroes of the Greek War of Independence - Theodoros Kolokotronis and Dimitrios Plapoutas - to death, a brave act that led to his exile.

The passion of Georgios Tertsetis was literature. He wrote many verses and in 1833, he published a poem dedicated to King Otto, entitled The Kiss, a poem inspired by the folklore language of the common people. However, his poetry didn't have much popularity and remains unknown. It was his prose that was much appreciated. The most famous work of Tertsetis was The Memoirs of Kolokotronis, a narrative biography of the great hero of the Greek Revolution. Georgios Tertsetis died in Athens in 1874.