Traditionally, the history of Ancient Greek literature ends with Antiquity: after the fall of Rome, the literary works in ancient Greek generally belong to the domain of the Byzantine Empire. However, after the Byzantine refugees restored the knowledge of Ancient Greek in the west during the early humanistic period (15th century), Italian scholars (and later their French, German, Spanish colleagues) started to use Greek, a purely literary language that no one spoke, for their own texts and poems. This habit persisted with various ups and downs throughout the centuries, according to the development of Greek studies in each country. The aim of this anthology - the first one of this kind - is to give a selective overview of this kind of humanistic poetry in Ancient Greek, embracing all major regions of Europe and trying to concentrate on remarkable pieces of important poets. The ultimate goal of the book is to shed light on an important and so far mostly neglected aspect of the European heritage.
F. Pontani, Università Ca' Foscari, Venezia, Italy and S. Weise, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany.