Dionysios Solomos

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Dionysios Solomos (Greek: Διονύσιος Σολωμός) (1798-1857) was a Greek poet from Zakynthos. He is best known for writing the poem "Hymn to Freedom" (Imnos pros tin Eleftherian) in 1823, of which the first two stanzas became the Greek national anthem. Tradition has it that the poem was inspired by the Siege of Mesolonghi during the Greek War of Independence.

He was born on April 8, 1798 to a wealthy family, and in 1808 he went to Italy, where he studied law. After 10 years he returned to Zakynthos with a solid background in literature. Solomos became famous as a poet during this time, while still a young man.

At the end of 1828 he left Zakynthos and settled in Kerkyra ("Corfu") in order to dedicate himself to poetry. When he returned from Italy he brought back with him poems of religious content. He later wrote sonnets. His first long poem was the Hymn to Freedom.

Solomos died on February 9, 1857 from apoplexy. His remains were transferred to Zakynthos in 1865.

Poems

  • Ύμνος προς την Ελευθερία - Hymn to Freedom
  • Εις τον θάνατον του Λόρδου Μπαϋρον - On the death of Lord Byron
  • Ελεύθεροι Πολιορκημένοι - Free Men under Siege
  • Η Μέρα της Λαμπρής - The Day of Easter
  • Η Ξανθούλα - The young blonde
  • Ο Κρητικός - The Cretan