Anthem of Greece

The national anthem of Greece is known as the “Hymn to Freedom” or the “Hymn to Liberty.” It was originally written as a poem by Dionysios Solomos in 1823. What’s unique about this national anthem is that it is the longest in the world, as the original version consisted of 158 stanzas. The poem was set to music that was written by Nikolaos Mantazaros. It wasn’t until 1865 when the poem was adopted as the national anthem of Greece. However, only the first three stanzas made up the anthem. Later, this was reduced to just two stanzas. In 1966, the Republic of Cypress also adopted this song as its national anthem.

The hymn was inspired by the Greek War of Independence. The hymn was written by Solomos in order to honor the Greeks’ fight for independence throughout years of Ottomon rule. This national anthem has been played at every Olympics closing ceremony in order to honor Greece’s role as the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

Lyrics

We knew thee of old,

Oh, divinely restored,

By the lights of thine eyes

And the light of thy Sword

From the graves of our slain

Shall thy valour prevail

As we greet thee again-

Hail, Liberty! Hail!

(repeat previous two lines three times)