The exhibition presents the important collection of Asia Minor editions at the Gennadius Library, with a focus on the geographical dispersion of Greek printing houses in the cities of Smyrna (the “Smyrnaean Bibliography” records more than 2,000 editions), Kydonies (Aivalik), Trebizond (Trabzon), and Amisos (Samsun).
The history of Greek typography in Asia Minor begins in Smyrna in 1764 with the publication of the Akolouthia of Saint Symeon by the printer Markos, who has been identified with the Armenian Mahtesi Marcos (in Greek Hadji Markos). It continued with the establishment of a printing house at the School of Kydonies during the directorship of Theophilos Kairis. This printing house ran from 1819 to 1821 with the printer Konstantinos Tombras, a student of the French philhellene Ambroise Firmin Didot, who was the publisher of the works of Adamantios Korais.
The first post-revolutionary printing house in Smyrna was that of the Evangelical School, which was established around 1830. Its director, Avramios Homerolis, founded the printing house “Greek Typography,” where his own Essay on Letterwriting Principles was printed in 1834. Homerolis’s partner, Antonios Patrikios, founded the “Ionic Typography” in the same year.
The most important and productive printing house of Smyrna and of all Asia Minor was the printing house of “Amaltheia” which operated until 1922. Other important printing houses of Smyrna were the “A. Damianos Printing House”, the “Ionic Typography” of Petros Klados, the “Printing House of Joseph Magnes” the “Printing House of P. Konstantinidis”, and the “Printing House of Nikolaos Helmis, Francomahala Street-Chiotiko Hani”. Finally, in 1845 the scholar Ioannis Isidoridis Skylissis founded the “Printing House of the Parisian Occults.”
English and American Protestant missionaries founded their own printing houses in Smyrna, i.e. the “American Typography” of Reverend Daniel Temple, in the 1830s, and later, from 1839, the “Typography of William Griffitt”.
A significant number of newspapers and magazines were also published in Smyrna, such as The Holy Polycarp, Cosmos, Homer, Pythagoras, Meles, Mentor, etc.; their printing houses also printed private books.
In Trebizond ran the printing house of the brothers Demetrios and Georgios Serassis, among others, and in Amisos the printing house of Iakovos Kioulapoglou, where the book The Duties of a Greek Mother was printed, the only recorded copy of which is on display.
Of special importance was also the production of publications reflecting the multicultural character of Asia Minor, e.g. francochiot books, written in Greek language with Latin characters, and karamanli books, written in the Turkish language with Greek characters, that were printed in several of the aforementioned printing houses of Smyrna, Trebizond, and Amisos
Ionic Typography (Antonios Patrikios)
A. Damianos Printing House
Ionic Typography (Petros Klados)
Printing House of Joseph Magnes
Printing House of P. Konstantinidis
Printing House of the Parisian Occults
American Typography” of Reverend Daniel Temple,
Typography of William Griffitt
Printing House of Nikolaos Helmis
2. Kydonies (Aivalik)
Printing house at the School of Kydonies (Konstantinos Tombras)
3. Amisos (Samsun)
4. Trebizond (Trabzon)
Brothers Demetrios and Georgios Serassis