King's College London
Online Exhibitions
Byron & politics: ‘born for opposition’

5. John Cam Hobhouse's Journey through Albania

KCL Rare Books Collection DR425 HOB

Byron and Hobhouse first visited this site (actually the Temple of Olympian Zeus, as they both knew) together on the afternoon of 28 December 1809. Byron had not yet visited the Acropolis itself when he wrote, in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage ii.10, on 3 January 1810:

Here let me sit upon this massy stone,
The marble column’s yet unshaken base;
Here, son of Saturn! was thy fav’rite throne.

In the following stanza he launched into his famous tirade against ‘of all the plunderers of yon fane / … the last, the worst, dull spoiler’ – referring to the removal of the sculptures from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin in 1801-2.

In this exhibition


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