Zakynthos Antonios Matessis

The writer Antonios Matessis from Zakynthos, Ionian Greece: Antonis Matessis (1794-1875) was a Greek lyric poet and playwright from Zakynthos. Born to an aristocratic Italian family, Matsesis went to Italy to study philosophy and literature. He mastered Classical Greek, Latin and Italian. His friendship and admiration for 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 the Greek literature was that he introduced a new kind of social drama. Matesis also wrote many romantic and patriotic poems, apart from plays.

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