Vassilis Rotas

Vassilis Rotas (1889–1977) was a Greek politician, author and translator of Shakespeare's dramas from English into Greek.[1]

ROTAS -1944.jpg


He was born in Chiliomodi on the Peloponnese in 1889 and studied literature at the University of Athens and drama at the Athens Conservatoire.[2] Following he established the Popular Theatre of Athens in 1932 and during the 1930s, he translated some theater plays of William Shakespeare into Greek.[3]

After the NAZI Germany occupied Greece in World War II, he joined the National Liberation Front (EAM)[2] and established the Theater of the Mountains[4] Following he toured the country with theater plays[2] together with members of United Panhellenic Organization of Youth (EPON), the youth wing of the EAM.[5] He was the author of the hymn of the EAM to a melody of the russian Katyusha.[2] He was the Director of Culture in the Political Committee of National Liberation (PEEA), the political resistance movement against NAZI Germany.[2] Following the end of World War II, he was again involved in the translations of the works of Shakespeare.[3] Rotas and Voula Damianakou published the magazine Laikos Logos between 1966 and 1967.[6] He died in 1977.[7]


He was an important figure for the development of the greek language, preferring the Demotic over the Katharevousa.[8] Demotic became the official greek language in 1976.[9] He is also the translator of the complete works of Shakespeare from English into Greek, often using words and terms seldom used in casual greek, both Kathaverousa and Demotic language.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

He was the partner of Velou Damianakou, who also was a member of the greek resistance against NAZI Germany.[10] Damianakou assisted him in several of the Shakespeares translations.[3]


  1. ^ Saraphē, Marion; Eve, Martin (1990). Background to Contemporary Greece. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-85036-393-7.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Rotas, Vasilis (1889-1977)". Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  3. ^ a b c Holland, Peter (2005). Shakespeare Survey: An Annual Survey of Shakespeare Studies and Production. Cambridge University Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-521-85074-2.
  4. ^ Diamantopoulou, Lilia (2016). "Illustrierte Klassiker ,,Die spannendsten Geschichten der Weltliteratur" - in der griechischen Version". Historische Sozialkunde Geschichte - Fachdidaktik - Politische Bildung. 2/2016: 28–29.
  5. ^ Myrsiades, Linda S. (1991). "Resistance Theater and the Germany Occupation". Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora. 17 (2): 12.
  6. ^ Calotychos, Vangelis (2012-04-19). Manolis Anagnostakis: Poetry and Politics, Silence and Agency in Post-War Greece. Lexington Books. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-61147-466-4.
  7. ^ Holland, Peter (2005), p.219
  8. ^ a b Holland, Peter (2005), p.213
  9. ^ "Demotic Greek language". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  10. ^ Guardian Staff (1999-02-21). "Global plot that lured Kurds' hero into trap". the Guardian. Retrieved 2021-02-14.