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AMONGST an enslaved people, obliged to have recourse to foreign presses even for their books of religion, it is less to be wondered at that we find so few publications on general subjects than that we find any at all. The whole number of the Greeks, scattered up and down the Turkish empire and elsewhere, may amount, at most, to three millions; and yet, for so scanty a number, it is impossible to discover any nation with so great a proportion of books and their authors, as the Greeks of the present century. “Ay,” but say the generous advocates of oppression, who, while they assert the ignorance of the Greeks, wish to prevent them froin dispelling it, “ay, but these are mostly, if not all, ecclesiastical tracts, and consequently good for nothing." Well! and pray what else can they write about? It is pleasant enough to hear a Frank, particularly an Englishman, who may abuse the government of his own country; or a Frenchman, who may abuse every government except his own, and who may range at will over every philosophical, religious, scientific, sceptical, or moral subject, sneering at the Greek legends. A Greek must not write on politics, and cannot 'touch on science for want of instruction; if he doubts, he is excommunicated and damned; therefore his countrymen are not poisoned with modern philosophy; and as to morals, thanks to the Turks! there are no such things. What then is left him, if he has a turn for
scribbling? Religion and holy biography: and it is natural enough that those who have so little in this life should look to the next. It is no great wonder then that in a catalogue now before me of fifty-five Greek writers, many of whom were lately living, not above fifteen should have touched on any thing but religion. The catalogue alluded to is contained in the twenty-sixth chapter of the fourth volume of Meletius's Ecclesiastical History. From this I subjoin an extract of those who have written on general subjects; which will be followed by some specimens of the Romaic.
LIST OF ROMAIC AUTHORS'.
Neophitus, Diakonos (the deacon) of the Morea, has published an extensive grammar, and also some political regulations, which last were left unfinished at his death.
Prokopius, of Moscopolis (a town in Epirus), has written and published a catalogue of the learned Greeks.
Seraphin, of Periclea, is the author of many works in the Turkish language, but Greek character; for the Christians of Caramania who do not speak Romaic, but read the character.
Eustathius Psalidas, of Bucharest, a physician, made the tour of England for the purpose of study (χάριν μαθήσεως): but though his name is enumerated, it is not stated that he has written any thing.
It is to be observed that the names given are not in chronological order, but consist of some selected at a venture from amongst those who flourished from the taking of Constantinople to the time of Meletius.
Kallinikus Torgeraus, Patriarch of Constantinople; many poems of his are extant, and also prose tracts, and a catalogue of patriarchs since the last taking of Constantinople.
Anastasius Macedon, of Naxos, member of the royal academy of Warsaw. A church biographer.
Demetrius Pamperes, a Moscopolite, has written many works, particularly “A Commentary on Hesiod's Shield of Hercules," and two hundred tales (of what, is not specified), and has published his correspondence with the celebrated George of Trebizond, his cotemporary.
Meletius, a celebrated geographer; and author of the book from whence these notices are taken.
Dorotheus, of Mitylene, an Aristotelian philosopher : his Hellenic works are in great repute, and he is esteemed by the moderns (I quote the words of Melețius) Metà TòY 8xuδίδην και Ξενοφωνία άριςος Ελλήνων. I add further, on the authority of a well-informed Greek, that he was so famous amongst his countrymen, that they were accustomed to say, if Thucydides and Xenophon were wanting he was capable of repairing the loss.
Marinus Count Tharboures, of Cephalonia, professor of chemistry in the academy of Padua, and member of that academy, and those of Stockholm and Upsal. He has published, at Venice, an account of some marine animal, and a treatise on the properties of iron.
Marcus, brother to the former, famous in mechanics. He removed to St. Petersburg the immense rock on which the statue of Peter the Great was fixed in 1769. See the dissertation which he published in Paris, 1777.
George Constantine has published a four-tongued lexicon. George Ventote; a lexicon in French, Italian, and Romaic.
There exist several other dictionaries in Latin and Romaic, French, &c. besides grammars, in every modern language, except English.
Amongst the living authors the following are most celebrated':
Athanasius Parios has written a treatise on rhetoric in Hellenic.
Christodoulos, an Acarnanian, has published, in Vienna, some physical treatises in Hellenic.
Panagiotes Kodrikas, an Athenian, the Romaic translator of Fontenelle's “ Plurality of Worlds,” (a favourite work amongst the Greeks), is stated to be a teacher of the Hellenic and Arabic languages in Paris; in both of which he is an adept.
Athanasius, the Parian, author of a treatise on rhetoric.
Vicenzo Damodos, of Cephalonia, has written “ eis tò LECOBáp bapor," on logic and physics.
John Kamarases, a Byzantine, has translated into French Ocellus on the Universe. He is said to be an excellent Hellenist, and Latin scholar.
Gregorio Demetrius published, in Vienna, a geographical work: he has also translated several Italian authors, and printed his versions at Venice.
Of Coray and Psalida some account has been already given.
· These names are not taken from any publication.
GREEK WAR SONG.'
ΔΕΥΤΕ παίδες των Ελλήνων
ο καΐρος της δόξης ήλθεν ας φανωμεν άξιοι εκείνων
που μας δωσαν την αρχήν Α’ς παθήσομεν άνδρείως
τον ζυγόν της τυραννίδος Ε' κδικήσωμεν πατρίδος
καθε όνειδος αισχρόν.
Τα όπλα ας λάβωμεν
παϊδες Ελλήνων αγωμεν πολαμιδων εχθρών το αίμα
ως τρέξη υπό ποδων.
τώρα λάβετε πνοην
συναχθήτε όλα όμου
Τα όπλα ας λάβωμεν, &c.
ύπνον ληθαργον βαθύν
1 A translation of this song will be found among the smaller Poems, in the third voluine.