"Kleanthes and Habrokome" by Konstantinos Manos, a Phanariot Greek high officer in late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth-century Romania, is an important landmark in the reception of ancient Greek novel and pastoral literature in modern Europe. Albeit neglected by modern scholarship, this work was exceptionally popular among the literati of the Greek diaspora at the beginning of the nineteenth century. First published in 1801 and reprinted twice within ten years, "Kleanthes and Habrokome" was one of the most successful literary contributions to the discourse of continuity within the Greek culture developed during the Enlightenment. As Roilos shows, the appearance of Manos' work three years before the monumental edition of Heliodoros' "Ethiopian Story" (1804) by Adamantios Koraes (the most eminent figure of the Greek Enlightenment) marked a crucial moment in the dialogue of nineteenth-century Greeks with their ancient literary heritage. Roilos brings to light this significant but forgotten work of Greek literature and offers the first systematic analysis of its position within its broader cultural context as well as of its relation to ancient Greek and synchronic European intertexts.
Panagiotis Roilos is Professor of Modern Greek Studies and of Comparative Literature at Harvard University.
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