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Order of the Redeemer

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Dec 17, 2021

The Order of the Redeemer (Greek: Τάγμα του Σωτήρος, romanized: Tágma tou Sotíros), also known as the Order of the Saviour,[1] is an order of merit of Greece. The Order of the Redeemer is the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the modern Greek state.

Award
Order of the Redeemer
Τάγμα του Σωτήρος

Star of the Order of the Redeemer
Awarded by the President of the Hellenic Republic
Type Order
Motto Η ΔΕΞΙΑ ΣΟΥ ΧΕΙΡ, ΚΥΡΙΕ, ΔΕΔΟΞΑΣΤΑΙ ΕΝ ΙΣΧΥΙ (Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power.)
Awarded for exceptional services to Greece
Status Currently constituted
Grades Grand Cross, Grand Commander, Commander, Gold Cross, Silver Cross
Precedence
Next (higher) None
Next (lower) Order of George I (1915–1924)
Order of the Phoenix (1926–1935)
Order of Saints George and Constantine (1936–1975)
Order of Honour (since 1975)

Ribbon bar

. . . Order of the Redeemer . . .

The establishment of the Order of the Redeemer was decided by the Fourth National Assembly at Argos in 1829, during the final year of the Greek War of Independence.[2] The decision was not immediately implemented, however, and the relevant decree was signed in Nafplio by the Regency Council (Josef Ludwig von Armansperg, Karl von Abel and Georg Ludwig von Maurer) in the name of King Otto on May 20, 1833.[3][4] According to the decree of establishment, the name of the Order “shall recall the, by divine assistance miraculously and fortuitously accomplished, salvation of Greece”.[3]

Since its establishment in 1833, and in common with all Greek orders of merit, the Order of the Redeemer has five classes:[2][3]

  • Grand Cross (‘Μεγαλόσταυρος’) – wears the badge of the Order on a sash on the right shoulder, and the star of the Order on the left chest;
  • Grand Commander (‘Ανώτερος Ταξιάρχης’) – wears the badge of the Order on a necklet, and the star of the Order on the right chest;
  • Commander (‘Ταξιάρχης’) – wears the badge of the Order on a necklet;
  • Gold Cross (‘Χρυσούς Σταυρός’) – wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;
  • Silver Cross (‘Αργυρούς Σταυρός’) – wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest.

According to the original decree, the Order was to be awarded to those Greek citizens who took part in the War of Independence, or “who should distinguish themselves henceforth in any branch of public service, in the army and navy, in the diplomatic and judicial corps, in public administration, in the arts, science, agriculture and industry, commerce, or should distinguish themselves in any other social field through outstanding civic virtue, and through illustrious services to the Throne, for the Glory of the Hellenic name and for the welfare of the fatherland”, while foreigners were admitted either for past services to Greece, or due to their ability “to bring honour to the Order, through their outstanding personal virtues and excellence”.[3]

The original decree set specific limits on the number of awards: while the Silver Cross could be awarded at will, Gold Crosses were limited to 120, Commanders to 30, Grand Commanders to 20, and Grand Crosses to 12. Foreign recipients, as well as princes of the Greek royal family, did not count to these totals.[3] In modern times, in practice the Grand Cross is awarded only to foreign heads of state.[2]

The first person to be awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer was King Ludwig I of Bavaria, the father of King Otto, in 1833.[2] Other distinguished recipients included Andreas Miaoulis in 1835, Baron Guenther Heinrich von Berg on 21 February 1837 Petrobey Mavromichalis, Alexandros Mavrokordatos and Lazaros Kountouriotis in 1836, Andreas Zaimis, Theodoros Kolokotronis and Georgios Kountouriotis in 1837, and Konstantinos Kanaris in 1864.

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. . . Order of the Redeemer . . .