In the autumn of 1902 Kazantzakis went to Athens to attend Law School. In December 1905 he graduated as a Doctor of Laws with First Class Honours. In the same year he made his literary debut with the novel Serpent and Lily, and then settled in Athens for a while, working as a columnist for the Acropolis newspaper.
In October 1907 he left for Paris, where he continued legal studies in the School of Laws at the Sorbonne, but also attended lectures by the philosopher Henri Bergson at the Collège de France. It was in this period that he became acquainted with Nietzschean philosophy, writing a dissertation entitled Friedrich Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Law and the State, which he completed in 1909. At the same time he devoted time to writing literature.
On completing his studies he went on a one-month tour of Florence and Rome and then stayed briefly in Heraklion, but was not long in deciding to settle permanently in Athens.