Lord Byron-Blog

Lord Byron: The Romantic Poet Who Died for Greece

George Gordon, or Lord Byron, one of the first and best-known philhellenes, actively participated in battles in Greece’s War of Independence, eventually losing his life in Missolonghi on April 19, 1824.

Born in 1788, Gordon, who had the title of Lord Byron, became the leading figure of British Romanticism at the beginning of the 19th century. He lived a full life in every aspect and died young for a cause he was passionate about, which turned him into greater romantic legend than he had been while a living poet.

Young, handsome, and aristocratic, Byron lived exuberantly and had innumerable romances and scandalous relationships although his acts of selfless heroism became part of a wider historic struggle.

For Greeks, Λόρδος Βύρωνας, as he is called, epitomized the concept of Philhellenism because he died at the age of 36 for the freedom of a homeland that was not even his own.

Byron was also a bitter opponent of Lord Elgin’s removal of the Parthenon sculptures, denouncing the “theft” in the poem “The Curse of Minerva.”

George Gordon, the 6th Lord Byron, was born on January 22, 1788 in London into an aristocratic family. At the age of ten, he inherited the English Barony of the Byron of Rochdale from his uncle, thereby becoming Lord Byron.

He was born with a problem in his right leg which left him with a life-long limp that affected his character and work. His life changed drastically when he became a peer of the realm.

In 1803, Byron fell in love with his cousin, Mary Chaworth. This unfulfilled love found creative expression in his first love poems. From 1805 until 1808, Byron attended Cambridge University, with sexual scandals and excesses becoming a prominent part of his student years.

The great Philhellene—perhaps the greatest there ever was—died on April 19, 1824 in Messolongi at the incredibly young age of 36.

The lamentations after the great poet’s death came not only from among the Greek freedom fighters who saw him as hero of their own people but also from England, where the distinguished romantic poet was greatly mourned publicly.

Dionysios Solomos—Greece’s national poet, who also wrote the National Anthem—eventually composed a long ode to the memory of Lord Byron, who certainly was one of the greatest admirers the nation of Greece has ever had.

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