“Country of genius!... that is so ancient
Oh father! From you come all the great men
And the tyran’s sword you cover
The competent arise equally in Athens
As gods walk on its soil
Until today your land remains fertile
And your breeze warm
Breathing the ancient melody of Homer
The sounds of Marathon have not waken yet
In the break of your promises, promises of 20 centuries
In your every coast, a fleet of ships has sunk
In your every field, lies a whole army
In their whole glory! Galatians, Goths, Slaves, Genouvans, Venetians, Napoleonians, Muslims, Pafarezis.
Until the waves on your shores,
One after the other, they lay heavily" (Translated)
Alexander Soutsos, Ο Περιπλανώμενος, Athens 1839
Many times I have asked myself how the idea of Napoleon being Greek initially came to be. This opinion that many Greeks have formed was first triggered by Alexander Soutsos' poem. Its lines are the very first reference we get to Napoleon being Greek, and his words are what embarked this research around Napoleon's nationality.
Even though Soutsos doesn't explain or give evidence for his statement, he mentions clearly the possibility of Napoleon being Greek. He categorizes him as a "great man" and leaves the reader with a huge question of why and how?
"O Περιπλανώμενος" is a huge primary source that first planted this idea in the Greek minds.