Modern Greek Heroic Oral Poetry

Modern Greek Heroic Oral Poetry

Various Artists FW04468 / FE 4468

The tradition of heroic oral poetry begun by Homer (9th or 8th century BC?) continued into the 20th century in parts of Greece and Cyprus. The classic tales of battles and tragedies passed down from father to son since antiquity were recorded in the 1950s in a series of field recordings by James Notopoulos. The singers of these songs are mostly illiterate shepherds or farmers who learned the art of singing heroic tales from their fathers. The liner notes discuss the important role that oral tradition plays in village life and includes lyrics in Greek and English and summaries of each poem.

Year Released 1959
Record Label Folkways Records
Source Archive Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Copyright 2004 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings / 1959 Folkways Records
Genre(s) Poetry
Country(s) Greece
Subject(s) Poetry; Spoken word

Download Liner Notes

101 The Abduction of Digenes' Bride n/a 5:14
102 The Death of Digenes n/a 15:02
201 Lene Botzaris n/a 6:32
202 The Crow and the Battle of Valtetzi n/a 4:46
203 The Song of Daskaloyiannes n/a 3:27
204 Erotokritos n/a 2:38
205 What Ails the Mountains of Crete n/a 7:39
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