Temporary exhibition

Greek literature in early printing

Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation-Greek literature in early printing

42 incunabula of Greek interest, as well as 20 editions of Aristotle’s works from the 15th and 16th, from the Foundation’s rich collection.

During the 15th century circa 70 Greek incunables were printed. Despite their small number, they played an important role in the dissemination and reception of Greek letters in the Renaissance and later on. Greek literature had an even more significant presence during the first century of printing through Latin translations, which were numerous and often preceded in print the Greek original.

The exhibition presents a selection of such examples from the collection of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, printed between 1470 and 1500, and covering a wide range of subjects and eras: from the editio princeps of Homer to late Byzantine writers.

It brings to the spotlight monumental first editions as well as the technical and artistic achievements of pioneer printers Aldus ManutiusZacharias CalliergesLaurentius de AlopaErhard Ratdolt and their collaborators. At the same time, these books are presented as historical and collectible artifacts, due to characteristics they acquired in the course of their long life after the printing house, such as luxurious bindings and illumination.

Aristotelian editions in early printing

Aristotle influenced Western thought more than any other Greek thinker; his works were translated, published and studied systematically and continuously. During the 15th century, his works were translated anew into Latin, while the editions of his works alone account for more than half of all translated Greek editions. Towards the end of that century, the Corpus Aristotelicum was published for the first time in the original Greek in five volumes by Aldus Manutius. This monumental edition is the central exhibit of a special tribute to Aristotelian editions, which includes books from the 15th and 16th centuries, illuminating the development of printing in the major publishing centres of Europe.

The Incunabula of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation

The Collection of Incunables in the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation originates from the two most prominent collections of its Historical Library: Bibliotheca Graeca, Collection of Athanasios Oikonomopoulos and the Collection of the Foundation’s President, Panagiotis Laskaridis. It consists mostly of Greek and Greek-centred editions, as well as prominent examples of Latin, medieval and later literature. 

As of today, the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation holds the second largest collection of incunables in Greece after the National Library of Greece. The collection comprises 138 titles in 146 copies and continues to grow. 


Guided Tours Programme:

  • Saturday 24 September 2022, 12.00 – 14.00
  • Saturday 22 October 2022, 12.00 – 14.00
  • Sunday 20 November 2022, 12.00 – 14.00
  • Saturday 17 December 2022, 12.00 -14.00
  • Sunday 15 January 2023, 12.00-14.00
  • Saturday 4 February 2023, 12.00-14.00
  • Sunday 5 March 2023, 12.00-14.00
  • Saturday 1 April 2023, 12.00-14.00
  • Sunday 23 April, 12.00-14.00
  • Saturday 30 September 2023
  • Sunday 15 October – European Day of Conservation-Restoration
  • Saturday 11 November 2023
  • Sunday 10 December 2023

The tours are delivered in Greek. For arranging a tour in English, please contact us.