Kazantzakis – The Grave

Skywatch Friday

Nicos Kazantzakis was probably the greatest author to be born on the island of Crete. His books included Zorba the Greek to Freedom or Death. His book, The Last Temptation, was banned by the Pope and his writings in general led to him being excommunicated by the Greek Orthodox Church.  He thus was not allowed to be buried in hallowed ground.

He died in 1957 and his grave lies on top of the south bastion of the Venetian wall around the city of Iraklion. This was where he was born and spent a lot of his life.

He wrote the words that appear starkly on his headstone. “I want nothing. I need nothing. I am free.”

The final resting place of Nicos Kazantzakis.

The final resting place of Nicos Kazantzakis.

28 thoughts on “Kazantzakis – The Grave

  1. I think the epitaph reads:

    Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα. Δε φοβούμαι τίποτα. Είμαι λεύτερος

    I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free.

    (Great site by the way)

  2. Just found your superb site after returning to Dublin City, Ireland, from Western Crete, where my heart remains [ Exopolis, near Giorgioupolis].
    I took back from Rethymnon **Modern Greek Poetry** by the late Kimon Friar, and the equally good **Greek Poetry Translations** by Marios Byron Raizis. Highly recommended – the latter also has the Greek text.
    You cover such a great range of interest on your site – do continue.

  3. I visited the grave in 2002, wrote a few haiku while there, one of them

    Kazantzakis’ tomb—
    a yellow flower blooms
    from a deep crack

    Beautiful photo. Thanks.

  4. I recall his funeral when a giant of a man from Crete carried his casket unassisted on his shoulder up the hill to the gravesite where he gently lowered it into the grave.
    Pure Kazantzakis !!!!!!

  5. This is badly misquoted ! It should read (translated from the Greek ) ” I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free”

    Now this site is overgrown with weeds and it is hard to find … The epitaph is almost illegible due to erosion and overgrowth covering it… So u must search hard to find it..most people around have no idea where it is either :).

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