Greece and its many islands have been a main component in European culture for thousands of years. The classics of Homer, Plato, Herodotus and many others have been studied and exemplified throughout the history of Europe. Greece, however, still hides a host of modern treasures.
One of the earliest and arguably even one of the most influential writers to have appeared in the last two thousand years is Homer who with his monumental The Iliad and The Odyssey gave western civilisation two absolute cornerstones of its culture. Other famous Greeks have in a similar fashion laid a foundation to the way things are seen, thought, measured, built and destroyed and have indeed stood the test of time.
As a modern nation Greece has been able to produce a series of interesting artists and authors. Constantine Cavafy has risen to become one of the most read and recognised Greek modern poets and his work was promoted by such literary heavyweights as T.S. Eliot and E.M. Forster.
Nikos Kazantzakis is another important Greek writer of the 20th Century, although most outside of Greece will know him for, Zorba the Greek and the 1964 film adaptation starring Hollywood legend Anthony Quinn. The Nobel Prize for Literature has also had its eye on Greece with the prize being won by poet George Seferis and the Cretan Odysseas Elytis.
Greece’s distinctive traditional style of music, the Rebetiko emerged in the 1920s. The lyrics often contained very brutal elements such as violence and drug abuse. A Rebetico-legend and a good place to start would be the singer Vassilis Tsitsanis.
Having marked itself out through cinema with an outstanding name being Theo Angelopoulos, winner of the Golden Palms at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998 for his film An Eternity and One Day.