Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ήταν ο Διονύσιος Σολωμός Εβραϊκής καταγωγής; (2) /

Was Dionysios Solomos of Jewish descendance? (2)

«Count Dionysio Salomon, the natural son of a petty Venetian nobleman, probably of Cretan-Jewish origin, born under French republican occupation at Zante in 1798, next tossed among Russian, Turkish and Napoleonic imperialism as well as Italian and Greek nationalism, then shaken into poetic action by the proximity of Byron and by the cannonade of revolutionary Missolonghi, and finally drinking himself to death as a disappointed British subject in Corfu.

Solomos, as he eventually decided to call himself, was a gentleman and a poet equally fluent in Italian and Greek; his well-educated memory retained most of the Greek and Latin—and Italian—classics by heart, as well as The Erotokritos. In his early maturity he took Byron as a model (through Italian translations) and achieved facile international fame for his "Hymn to Liberty" which provided the lyrics for the national anthem adopted, after Solomos's death, by the second foreign dynasty of Greece.

Of course, Solomos's ambitions were of a very different caliber, not untainted by German metaphysics—as was Coleridge, to whom he has sometimes been superficially compared. Witness this working note, scribbled in the margin of his magnificent failure to write a metaphysical poem on what he called The Free Besieged of Missolonghi

Ο Κόμης Διονίσιο Σάλομον, ο φυσικός γιος ενός άσημου Βενετού ευγενούς, πιθανώς κρητοεβραϊκής καταγωγής, ...»]

* George P. Savidis,
«The Burden of the Past and the Greek Poet»,
Grand Street, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Autumn, 1985), Publ. by Ben Sonnenberg,
pp./σσ, 171, 172.

The same article, at p. 166, mentions / Το ίδιο άρθρο αναφέρει στη σ. 166:

«If more specialized testimonies are required, here is the considered opinion of the first scholar to have taught medieval and modern Greek at Cambridge, Romilly Jenkins: "The Byzantine Empire remains almost the unique example of a highly civilized state, lasting for more than a millennium, which produced hardly any educated writing which can be read with pleasure for its literary merit alone."»
Αν απαιτούνται πιο εξειδικευμένες μαρτυρίες, αυτή είναι μια αξιοσημείωτη άποψη του πρώτου λόγιου που δίδαξε μεσαιωνική και νεωτερική Ελληνική στο Κέμπριτζ, του Ρόμιλι Τζένκινς: "Η Βυζαντινή Αυτοκρατορία παραμένει σχεδόν το μοναδικό παράδειγμα κράτους με υψηλό πολιστισμό, διάρκεια μίας χιλιετίας και πλέον, το οποίο δεν παρήγαγε σχεδόν κανένα μορφωτικό σύγγραμμα το οποίο να μπορεί να διαβαστεί ευχαρίστως με βάση τα φιλολογική του αξία και μόνο».]

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Χειρόγραφο του Σολωμού από τους Ελεύθερους Πολιορκημένους *

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