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The "Hymn to Liberty" or "Hymn to Freedom"[1] (Greek: Ύμνος εις την Ελευθερίαν, translit. Ýmnos is tin Eleftherían, pronounced [ˈimnos is tin elefθeˈrian], also Greek: Ύμνος προς την Ελευθερίαν[3][4][5] Ýmnos pros tin Eleftherían pronounced [ˈim.nos pros tin elefθe']) is a poem written by Dionysios Solomos in 1823 that consists of 158 stanzas, which is used as the national anthem of Greece and Cyprus. It was set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros, and is the longest national anthem in the world by length of text.[6] In 1865, the first three stanzas (and later the first two) officially became the national anthem of Greece and, from 1966, also that of the Republic of Cyprus.

Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν
English: Hymn to Liberty or Hymn to Freedom
Ýmnos is tin Eleftherían
Ýmnos pros tin Eleftherían
Solomos portrait 4.jpg
Dionysios Solomos, the author of the anthem

National anthem of

Former national anthem of
Cretan State
LyricsDionysios Solomos, 1823
MusicNikolaos Mantzaros
Adopted1865 by Greece[1]
1966 by Cyprus[2]
1908-1913 by Cretan State
Audio sample
"Hymn to Liberty" (instrumental)



Dionysios Solomos wrote the anthem in 1823 in Zakynthos and one year later was printed in Messolonghi. The hymn was set to music in 1865 by the Corfiot operatic composer Nikolaos Mantzaros, who composed two choral versions, a long one for the whole poem and a short one for the first two stanzas; the latter is the one adopted as the National Anthem of Greece. The Greek anthem was adopted as the anthem of the Republic of Cyprus by order of the Council of Ministers in 1966.[7]


Inspired by the Greek War of Independence, Solomos wrote the hymn to honour the struggle of Greeks for independence after centuries of Ottoman rule.

The poet recounts the misery of the Greeks under the Ottomans and their hope for freedom. He describes different events of the War, such as the execution of Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople, the reaction of the Great Powers, extensively the Siege of Tripolitsa and the Christian character of the struggle.

Greek originalEdit

Greek Original Greek Romanization IPA transcription

Σε γνωρίζω από την κόψη
Του σπαθιού την τρομερή,
Σε γνωρίζω από την όψη,
Που με βιά μετράει τη γη.

Se gnorízo apó tin kópsi
Tou spathioú tin tromerí,
Se gnorízo apó tin ópsi,
Pou me viá metráei ti gi.

[se ɣnoˈrizo̯ apo tiŋ ˈkopsi]
[tu spaˈθçu tin ˌtromeˈri]
[se ɣnoˈrizo̯ apo tin ˈopsi]
[pu me ˈvʝa meˌtrai̯ ti ˈʝi]

Απ’ τα κόκκαλα βγαλμένη
Των Ελλήνων τα ιερά,
Και σαν πρώτα ανδρειωμένη,
Χαίρε, ω χαίρε, ελευθεριά![8]

Ap’ ta kókkala vgalméni
Ton Ellínon ta ierá,
Kai san próta andreioméni,
Chaíre, o chaíre, eleftheriá![8]

[ap ta ˈkokaˌla vɣalˈmeni]
[ton eˈlinon ta i̯eˈra]
[ˌce sam ˈprota anðri̯oˈmeni]
[ˌçere̯ o ˈçere elefθerˈʝa]

English translationsEdit

Literal Poetic Rudyard Kipling (1918)
First verse

I recognize you by the fearsome sharpness,
of your sword,
I recognize you by your face
that hastefully defines the land (i.e. the land's borders).

I shall always recognize you
by the dreadful sword you hold,
as the Earth with searching vision
you survey with spirit bold.

We knew thee of old,
O, divinely restored,
By the lights of thine eyes,
And the light of thy Sword.

Second verse

From the sacred bones,
of the Hellenes arisen,
and valiant again as you once were,
Hail, o hail, Liberty![8]

From the Greeks of old whose dying
brought to life and spirit free,
now with ancient valour rising
Let us hail you, oh Liberty![8]

From the graves of our slain,
Shall thy valour prevail,
As we greet thee again,
Hail, Liberty! Hail![8]


An adapted version was used during the short-lived Cretan State as the Cretan Anthem. The Hymn to Liberty has been the Greek Royal Anthem since 1864.

The Hymn to Liberty has been the official anthem of the Republic of Cyprus since 1966.[2]

This anthem has been performed at every closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, to pay tribute to Greece as the birthplace of the Olympic Games. The version commonly played by military bands was composed by Lieutenant Colonel Margaritis Kastellis (1907–1979), former director of the Greek Music Corps.[9]


  1. ^ a b Εθνικός Ύμνος [National Anthem] (in Greek). Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus - The National Anthem". Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  3. ^ Ηλίας Κανέλλης (25 September 2010). "Το μνημείο διατίθεται για διαδηλώσεις Η "χρήση" του Άγνωστου Στρατιώτη και... άλλες βέβηλες ιστορίες". Ta Nea. Ο «Ύμνος προς την Ελευθερίαν» του Διονυσίου Σολωμού είναι, πρωτίστως, ένα ποίημα μέσω του οποίου υμνήθηκε το έθνος-κράτος, σε περίοδο που οι εθνικές οντότητες ήταν ταυτόσημες της νεωτερικότητας.
  4. ^ Κωστούλα Τομαδάκη (22 November 2010). "Ο εθνικός ύμνος "ελεύθερος" στο Διαδίκτυο". To Pontiki. Το 1865, μετά την ένωση της Επτανήσου με την Ελλάδα, ο «Ύμνος προς την Ελευθερίαν» καθιερώθηκε ως εθνικός ύμνος της Ελλάδας.
  5. ^ Argolikos Archival Library of History and Culture (14 September 2012). "Εφημερίδα της Κυβερνήσεως – Το Ναύπλιον γενέθλιος πόλις της εφημερίδος της Κυβερνήσεως". Αργολική Αρχειακή Βιβλιοθήκη Ιστορίας & Πολιτισμού (Argolikos Archival Library of History and Culture. Ας σημειωθή χαρακτηριστικώς, ότι η περί ης ο λόγος εφημερίς προέτεινεν εις το φύλλον της 21ης Οκτωβρίου 1825 την καθιέρωσιν ως εθνικού ύμνου του ποιήματος του Δ. Σολωμού «Ύμνος προς την Ελευθερίαν», του οποίου εδημοσίευσεν ανάλυσιν υπό του Σπ. Τρικούπη.
  6. ^ "Greece: Hymn to Liberty". Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  7. ^ "National Anthem". Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e Last two verses are repeated twice when singing the national anthem.
  9. ^ "National Anthem". Hellenic Army Academy. Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2015.

External linksEdit