Nikos Kazantzakis

Nikos Kazantzakis

Nikos Kazantzakis was born in Heraklion in 1883. He grew up in an atmosphere of revolution as Crete was still under Turkish occupation. At the age of six he became a refugee when his family moved to Piraeus for six months because of the revolution of 1889.

Once back in Heraklion he went to elementary school. However, in 1897, after another Cretan revolution, his family moves again. They live in Naxos for two years. Nikos studied in the French Commercial School in Timios Stavros, which was run by Franciscans. He learnt French and Italian and he got in touch with European literature and the western culture.

In 1889 Kazantzakis’ family returns in Crete and Nikos finishes school in 1902. In 1906 he started studying Law in the University of Athens but he is already writing and finished his studied as a favor for his father. His father supports him and he travels in Greece. He then went to Paris to continue his studies and wrote his thesis on Nietzsche, whom he considered a great master.

Kazantzakis has written many works, as an original tireless writer. He became famous by his novels, fruit of his mature creation, but he has also written many other genres. His own life was a novel, an endless philosophical search, a travel in existence. Many things can be said about such a person that has even interviewed Mussolini, Franco, Rivera, Unamuno and has published articles in Bolshevik “Pravda".

Kazantzakis was also a poet and wrote the biggest modern epic poem: “Odyssey” which consists of 33.333 verses and was rewritten 8 times. When he was working for the state, he tried to repatriate 15.000 Greeks of Caucasus during the Russian Revolution.

Kazantzakis translated many writers, such as Homer, Pirandello and Dante - he translated Divina Commedia in 45 days. As a philosopher, he enjoyed the success of "The saviors of God" and as a novelist, his novels have been translated in over fifty languages and some of them have become films, such as "Zorba the Greek" by Kakogiannis and "The Last Temptation" by Scorsese.

Nikos Kazantzakis died in 1957 at the age of 74 because of reaction to a vaccination in his last trip to the Far East.


1. The Odyssey

2. The Saviors of God

3. Serpent and Lily

4. Journeying

5. Russia

6. Zorba the Greek

7. Freedom and Death

8. The Greek Passion (Christ Recrucified)

9. The Last Temptation

10. Saint Francis (The little poor man of God)

11. The Rockgarden

12. Toda Raba

13. Tertsines

14. Report to Greco

15. The Fratricides

16. Journeying

17. Spain

18. Japan, China

19. England

20. Prometheus

21. Kouros

22. Odysseys

23. Melissa

24. Jesus

25. Julian the Apostate

26. Nikephoros Phokas

27. Constantine Palaiologos

28. Kapodistrias

29. Christopher Columbus

30. Sodom and Gomorrah

31. Buddha