Andreas Kalvos
Andreas Kalvos was a contemporary of Dionysios Solomos
Dionysios Solomos
Dionysios Solomos was a Greek poet from Zakynthos. He is best known for writing the Hymn to Liberty , of which the first two stanzas, set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros, became the Greek national anthem in 1865...

 and one of the greatest Greek
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

s of the 19th century. Paradoxically enough, no known portrait of his survives today.


Andreas Kalvos was born in 1792 in Zakynthos
Zakynthos , also Zante, the other form often used in English and in Italian , is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. It covers an area of ...

, Venetian Republic (modern-day Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

) to an upper-class mother (Andriani Roukani) and a middle-class adventurer father (Ioannis Kalvos). In 1802 his father took the two children, Andreas and younger Nikolaos, but not his wife, to Livorno
Livorno , traditionally Leghorn , is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western edge of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of approximately 160,000 residents in 2009.- History :...

 (Leghorn), to provide to his son Andreas possibilities for better education. There, Andreas first read Greek literature and Greek and Latin antiquity.

In Livorno he wrote his first work, Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

 to Napoleon
; an antiwar poem, that he later repudiated (this is how we know of its existence, as the poem itself was not saved). Around the same time he lived for a few months in Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

, where he worked as a secretary; and then moved to Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, the centre of intellectual and artistic life of the time. His father died in 1812, and Kalvos's finances were deeply strained. However, during that year he also met Ugo Foscolo
Ugo Foscolo
Ugo Foscolo , born Niccolò Foscolo, was an Italian writer, revolutionary and poet.-Biography:Foscolo was born on the Ionian island of Zakynthos...

, the most honoured Italian poet and scholar of the era. Foscolo accepted him as his copyist
A copyist is a person who makes written copies. In ancient times, a scrivener was also called a calligraphus . The term's modern use is almost entirely confined to music copyists, who are employed by the music industry to produce neat copies from a composer or arranger's manuscript.-Music...

, and put him to teaching a protégé of Foscolo's. Foscolo himself would teach Kalvos neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

, archaizing ideals, and political liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

. In 1813 Kalvos wrote three tragedies in Italian: Theramenes
Theramenes was an Athenian statesman, prominent in the final decade of the Peloponnesian War. He was particularly active during the two periods of oligarchic government at Athens, as well as in the trial of the generals who had commanded at Arginusae in 406 BC...

, Danaides and Hippias
Hippias of Elis was a Greek Sophist, and a contemporary of Socrates. With an assurance characteristic of the later sophists, he claimed to be regarded as an authority on all subjects, and lectured on poetry, grammar, history, politics, mathematics, and much else...

. He also completed four dramatic monologues, in the neoclassical style. In the end of 1813, Foscolo self-exiled himself at Zurich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

. Kalvos met him again there on 1816, when he also learned about the death of his mother, a thing that saddened him deeply as seen in his Ode
Ode is a type of lyrical verse. A classic ode is structured in three major parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. Different forms such as the homostrophic ode and the irregular ode also exist...

 to Death
. Meanwhile he was composing, from 1814, the Ode to the Ionians.

By the end of 1816 the two poets travelled together to England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and their interaction continued up to February 1817, when the irritable and bitter character of both dissolved their friendship. Kalvos earned a living by giving Italian language lessons and paid translations of religious books, both Italitan and Greek. In 1818–1819 he gave lectures on the correct pronunciation of ancient Greek. He composed and published a modern Greek grammar, an Italian learning method in 4 volumes and dealt with the syntax of an English-Greek dictionary.

In May 1819 he married Theresa Thomas who died one year later. His simultaneous love affair with his student Susan Ridout was a failure, as well. During that time it is speculated that he attempted to commit suicide. He left England at the beginning of 1820.

On September 1820, while returning to Florence, he stopped a short while in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. He became involved in the movement of the Carbonari
The Carbonari were groups of secret revolutionary societies founded in early 19th-century Italy. The Italian Carbonari may have further influenced other revolutionary groups in Spain, France, Portugal and possibly Russia. Although their goals often had a patriotic and liberal focus, they lacked a...

 and he is arrested and expelled on April 23, 1821. He retreated to Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, finding support in the philhellene circle of the city. He worked again as a teacher of foreign languages, while publishing of a manuscript of the Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

, that however was not successful. Carried away in the enthusiasm of the outbreak of the Greek revolution he published, in 1824, the first part of his Greek poems, The Lyre, a collection of ten odes. Almost immediately, the odes were translated into French and found a most favourable reception. In the beginning of 1825, Kalvos returned to Paris where one year later he published ten more odes, Lyrics, with financial aid of philhellenes.

In the end of July 1826 he travelled to Nauplion. He was disappointed however by the prevailing national disputes and by the indifference of the people towards him and his work. Then in August of the same year, he went to Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The...

, where he taught in the Ionian Academy
Ionian Academy
The Ionian Academy was the first Greek academic institution established in modern times and it is located in Corfu. It was established by Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford in 1824. It is also considered the precursor of the Ionian University. It had Philological, Law and Medical Schools.The...

 (Ionios Akademia); as a private tutor until he was appointed to the Academy in 1836 . He was director of the Corfiot Gymnasium (Kerkyraiko Gymnasio), during 1841, but resigned by the end of the year; he also contributed to the local newspapers.

For many years, both Kalvos and Dionysios Solomos
Dionysios Solomos
Dionysios Solomos was a Greek poet from Zakynthos. He is best known for writing the Hymn to Liberty , of which the first two stanzas, set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros, became the Greek national anthem in 1865...

 both lived on Corfu, but the two do not appear to have known each other. This is probably due to his wayward character. The fact he wasn't recognized in his homeland is perhaps also owed to that.

In the end of 1852 Kalvos left Corfu and relocated himself in Louth, Lincolnshire
Louth, Lincolnshire
Louth is a market town and civil parish within the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England.-Geography:Known as the "capital of the Lincolnshire Wolds", it is situated where the ancient trackway Barton Street crosses the River Lud, and has a total resident population of 15,930.The Greenwich...

, England, where he married Charlotte Wadans a year after his arrival. Kalvos died on November 3, 1869.


  • Lyre -- Odes of Andreas Kalvos (Λύρα -- ᾨδαὶ Ἀνδρέα Κάλβου) 1824 (text at Greek Wikisource
    Wikisource is an online digital library of free content textual sources on a wiki, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Its aims are to host all forms of free text, in many languages, and translations. Originally conceived as an archive to store useful or important historical texts, it has...

  • Lyrics (Λυρικά), 1826
  • Hippias
  • Danaides
  • Theramenes
  • The Seasons (Le Stagioni -- Giovanni Meli)
  • Italian Lessons in Four Parts, 1820
  • Ode to the Ionians (ᾨδὴ είς Ἰονίους), 1814
  • Plan of the New Principles of Letters (Σχέδιο Νέων Ἀρχῶν τῶν Γραμμάτων)
  • Apology for Suicide (Ἀπολογία τῆς Αὐτοκτονίας)
  • Introduction to the Differential Calculus (Έρευνα περὶ τῆς Φύσεως τοῦ Διαφορικοῦ Ὑπολογισμοῦ), 1827
  • Graces, parts, Foscolo (Χάριτες, ἀποσπάσματα, Φώσκολος), 1846
  • Hymn to Napoleon (Ὕμνος πρὸς τὸν Ναπολέοντα), 1813-1815
  • Book of Public Prayers (Βιβλίον τῶν Δημοσίων Προσευχῶν), 1820
  • Grammar of the Modern Greek Language (Γραμματικὴ τῆς Νέας Ἑλληνικῆς Γλώσσης), 1822
  • Liturgia Anglicana Polyglotta (translations), 1821-1826
  • Theological Criticism (Ἐπίκρισις Θεολογική), 1849

External links


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.