Today we pay tribute not only to our National Anthem but to our poet and patriot Zakynthian, Dionysios Solomos.
This brilliant minded young man, with a devoted passion for his homeland. A man who fought for his country. Proving that through the power of his words, his country could be united in strength, courage and most importantly, freedom.
The poem by Dionysios Solomos (1798-1857). Whose first two verses in music by Nikolaos Mantzaros (1795-1872). Becoming the National Anthem of Greece (1865) and Cyprus (1966).
The Hymn to Freedom written by 25-year-old Solomos in Zakynthos. First, in Italian and then after in Greek, in May 1823. At a time of great upheaval for the Greek Revolution.
Solomos’s poem consists of 158 stanzas, making it the longest National Anthem in the world. The measure is trochaic with alternations of seven-syllable and eight-syllable verses.
By the Royal Decree of August 4th, 1865, it became an “official national anthem.” It was performed “by all the naval units of the Royal Navy”.
Foreign ambassadors were also informed, so that it is rebuffed by foreign ships in cases of paying tribute to the King of Greece or the Greek Flag.
Since then, the Hymn to Freedom by Dionysios Solomos, set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros, is considered the national anthem of Greece.
As of November 18, 1966, with a decision by 6133 of the Council of Ministers, it was established as the national anthem of the Republic of Cyprus.