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AMONGST an enslaved people, obliged to have recourse to foreign presses even for their books of religion, it is less to be wondered at that we find so few publications on general subjects than that we find any at all. The whole number of the Greeks, scattered up and down the Turkish empire and elsewhere, may amount, at most, to three millions; and yet, for so scanty a number, it is impossible to discover any nation with so great a proportion of books and their authors, as the Greeks of the present century. "Ay," but say the generous advocates of oppression, who, while they assert the ignorance of the Greeks, wish to prevent them from dispelling it, "ay, but these are mostly, if not all, ecclesiastical tracts, and consequently good for nothing." Well! and pray what else can they write about? It is pleasant enough to hear a Frank, particularly an Englishman, who may abuse the government of his own country; or a Frenchman, who may abuse every government except his own, and who may range at will over every philosophical, religious, scientific, sceptical, or moral subject, sneering at the Greek legends. A Greek must not write on politics, and cannot touch on science for want of instruction; if he doubts, he is excommunicated and damned; therefore his
countrymen are not poisoned with modern philosophy; and as to morals, thanks to the Turks! there are no such things. What then is left him, if he has a turn for scribbling? Religion and holy biography: and it is natural enough that those who have so little in this life should look to the next. It is no great wonder then that in a catalogue now before me of fifty-five Greek writers, many of whom were lately living, not above fifteen should have touched on any thing but religion. The catalogue alluded to is contained in the twenty-sixth chapter of the fourth volume of Meletius's Ecclesiastical History. From this I subjoin an extract of those who have written on general subjects; which will be followed by some specimens of the Romaic.
LIST OF ROMAIC AUTHORS1.
Neophitus, Diakonos (the deacon) of the Morea, has published an extensive grammar, and also some political regulations, which last were left unfinished at his death.
Prokopius, of Moscopolis (a town in Epirus), has written and published a catalogue of the learned Greeks.
Seraphin, of Periclea, is the author of many works in the Turkish language, but Greek character; for the Christians
It is to be observed that the names given are not in chronological order, but consist of some selected at a venture from amongst those who flourished from the taking of Constantinople to the time of Meletius.