GREAT PHILHELLENES: Lord Byron personal items from final trip to Greece on display in Edinburgh


The personal items of the great philhellene Lord Byron, from his final trip to Greece have gone on display at the the University of Edinburgh reports the Daily Mail.

According to the report, the exhibition has been launched to explore Scottish–Greek connections in the early 19th century, with Lord Byron’s relationship with Greece the most emblematic.

βυρωνThe personal items on display include a handwritten phrasebook, the poet’s final journal and a certificate granting him the freedom of Missolonghi.

Theexhibition will also look at Byron’s Greek connections through a series of exhibits loaned from the National Library of Scotland.

Although famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as “mad, bad and dangerous to know”, the great Romantic poet was revered throughout Greece.

Byron, who used his fame to internationalise the Greeks’ fight for liberty, first arrived in Athens on Christmas Day 1809, when Greece was still under Ottoman rule.

The poet returned to Greece in 1823, more than two years into the revolution at the time, by which time he was becoming ever more devoted to the Greek cause.

“While most grand tourists went to Athens for its impressive archaeology, the ruins seemed to Byron to be ‘a nation’s sepulchre’ ” said Dr Alasdair Grant, the exhibition’s curator.

“Among these symbols of death, Byron sought life in the living language of the Greeks.

“He began compiling a list of useful Modern Greek phrases in a notebook.”

The exhibition will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology in connection with the University’s Centre for Research Collections.

It will run from October 29 until January 29 2022.