The Idea of Alexandros Soutsos
In 1833, the newspaper Helios published a poem by Alexandros Soutsos which referred to the necessity of reviving the Olympic Games. The newspaper was published in Nauplion, the first capital of the new born Greek state, at the Peloponnese.
If our shadow could fly to your earth it would daringly shout to the Ministers of the Throne:
Leave your petty politics and vain quarrels.
Recall the past splendour of Greece.
Tell me, where are your ancient centuries?
Where are your Olympic Games?
Where your Panathenaic Games?
Your majestic celebrations and great theatres?
Where are your sculptures and busts, where are your altars and temples?
Every city, every wood and every temple was filled before with rows of silent marble statues.
Foreign nations decorated your altars with offerings, gold jars from Gygas. Kraters, silver plates and precious stones from Croesus.
When the glorious Olympic festival opened, large crowds gathered to watch the games where athletes and kings came to compete.
Ieron and Gelon and Philip and others before forty thousand bedazzled Greeks. Herodotus presented in his elegant history their recent triumphs.
Thucudides listened to the beautiful harmony of his prose
and prepared to meet him in competition as a worthy rival.
(G. Dolianitis, Vikelas, First I.O.C. President, International Olympic Academy, [S.Y.])
Influenced by the ideas of that poem, Evangelis Zappas proposed the revival of the Olympic Games.