The present book aims at introducing the general educated Greek public to the early forms of secular European poetry in vernacular languages (Mediaeval Greek and Romance idioms), which determined not only the main genres of modern literature, but also the modern conception of love between men and women. Until the Fourth Crusade, Christiandom (the term used then for Europe), although politically fragmented between ‘Romania’ (Byzantium) and the Latin West, was felt as culturally united, and witnessed the development of similar literary tendencies. The parallel study of the two expressions of European poetry is without doubt culturally enriching. The main obstacle which confronts the reader is linguistic. The first aim of the present volume is to help overcome this handicap by offering, besides the originals, translations of representative texts of the principal genres and by the most significant authors of poetry. A second aim consists in placing literary phenomena in their historical context and following their evolution in close connection with political history.