The Greeks or Hellenes (/ˈhɛliːnz/; Greek: Έλληνες, Éllines [ˈelines]) are an ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus, southern Albania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world.
Greek colonies and communities have been historically established on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, but the Greek people have always been centered on the Aegean and Ionian seas, where the Greek language has been spoken since the Bronze Age. Until the early 20th century, Greeks were distributed between the Greek peninsula, the western coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea coast, Cappadocia in central Anatolia, Egypt, the Balkans, Cyprus, and Constantinople. Many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of ancient Greek colonization. The cultural centers of the Greeks have included Athens, Thessalonica, Alexandria, Smyrna, and Constantinople at various periods.
Most ethnic Greeks live nowadays within the borders of the modern Greek state and Cyprus. The Greek genocide and population exchange between Greece and Turkey nearly ended the three millennia-old Greek presence in Asia Minor. Other longstanding Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and southern Russia and Ukraine and in the Greek diaspora communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are officially registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Greeks have greatly influenced and contributed to culture, arts, exploration, literature, philosophy, politics, architecture, music, mathematics, science and technology, business, cuisine, and sports, both historically and contemporarily.
|c. 14 – c. 17 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
| Greece 10,000,000|
|United States||1,279,000–3,000,000b (2016 estimate)|
|Cyprus||650,000–721,000a (2011 estimate)|
|Germany||395,000g (2012 estimate)|
|Australia||378,300 (2011 census)|
|United Kingdom||290,000–345,000 (2011 estimate)|
|Canada||252,960 (2011 census)|
|Ukraine||91,000 (2011 data)|
|Russia||85,640 (2010 census)|
|Italy||30,000–200,000d (2013 estimate)|
|South Africa||45,000 (2011 estimate)|
|France||35,000 (2013 estimate)|
|Belgium||35,000 (2011 estimate)|
|Argentina||20,000–30,000 (2013 estimate)|
|Bulgaria||28,500 (2011 estimate)|
|Georgia||15,000 (2011 estimate)|
|Sweden||12,000–15,000 (2011 estimate)|
|Kazakhstan||10,000–12,000 (2011 estimate)|
|Switzerland||11,000 (2015 estimate)|
|Romania||10,000 (2013 estimate)|
|Uzbekistan||9,500 (2000 estimate)|
|Hungary||4,454 (2016 census)|
|mostly Greek Orthodox Church|
a Citizens of Greece and the Republic of Cyprus. The Greek government does not collect information about ethnic self-determination at the national censuses.
b Includes those of ancestral descent.
c Those whose stated ethnic origins included "Greek" among others. The number of those whose stated ethnic origin is solely "Greek" is 145,250. An additional 3,395 Cypriots of undeclared ethnicity live in Canada.
dApprox. 60,000 Griko people and 30,000 post WW2 migrants.
e "Including descendants".
gIncludes people with "cultural roots".
The Greeks speak the Greek language, which forms its own unique branch within the Indo-European family of languages, the Hellenic. They are part of a group of classical ethnicities, described by Anthony D. Smith as an "archetypal diaspora people".
The Proto-Greeks probably arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC.[note 1] The sequence of migrations into the Greek mainland during the 2nd millennium BC has to be reconstructed on the basis of the ancient Greek dialects, as they presented themselves centuries later and are therefore subject to some uncertainties. There were at least two migrations, the first being the Ionians and Aeolians, which resulted in Mycenaean Greece by the 16th century BC, and the second, the Dorian invasion, around the 11th century BC, displacing the Arcadocypriot dialects, which descended from the Mycenaean period. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age and the Doric at the Bronze Age collapse.
An alternative hypothesis has been put forth by linguist Vladimir Georgiev, who places Proto-Greek speakers in northwestern Greece by the Early Helladic period (3rd millennium BC), i.e. towards the end of the European Neolithic. Linguists Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson in a 2003 paper using computational methods on Swadesh lists have arrived at a somewhat earlier estimate, around 5000 BC for Greco-Armenian split and the emergence of Greek as a separate linguistic lineage around 4000 BC.
In c. 1600 BC, the Mycenaean Greeks borrowed from the Minoan civilization its syllabic writing system (i.e. Linear A) and developed their own syllabic script known as Linear B, providing the first and oldest written evidence of Greek. The Mycenaeans quickly penetrated the Aegean Sea and, by the 15th century BC, had reached Rhodes, Crete, Cyprus and the shores of Asia Minor.
Around 1200 BC, the Dorians, another Greek-speaking people, followed from Epirus. Traditionally, historians have believed that the Dorian invasion caused the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, but it is likely the main attack was made by seafaring raiders (Sea Peoples) who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean around 1180 BC. The Dorian invasion was followed by a poorly attested period of migrations, appropriately called the Greek Dark Ages, but by 800 BC the landscape of Archaic and Classical Greece was discernible.
The Greeks of classical antiquity idealized their Mycenaean ancestors and the Mycenaean period as a glorious era of heroes, closeness of the gods and material wealth. The Homeric Epics (i.e. Iliad and Odyssey) were especially and generally accepted as part of the Greek past and it was not until the time of Euhemerism that scholars began to question Homer's historicity. As part of the Mycenaean heritage that survived, the names of the gods and goddesses of Mycenaean Greece (e.g. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades) became major figures of the Olympian Pantheon of later antiquity.
The ethnogenesis of the Greek nation is linked to the development of Pan-Hellenism in the 8th century BC. According to some scholars, the foundational event was the Olympic Games in 776 BC, when the idea of a common Hellenism among the Greek tribes was first translated into a shared cultural experience and Hellenism was primarily a matter of common culture. The works of Homer (i.e. Iliad and Odyssey) and Hesiod (i.e. Theogony) were written in the 8th century BC, becoming the basis of the national religion, ethos, history and mythology. The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi was established in this period.
The classical period of Greek civilization covers a time spanning from the early 5th century BC to the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC (some authors prefer to split this period into "Classical", from the end of the Greco-Persian Wars to the end of the Peloponnesian War, and "Fourth Century", up to the death of Alexander). It is so named because it set the standards by which Greek civilization would be judged in later eras. The Classical period is also described as the "Golden Age" of Greek civilization, and its art, philosophy, architecture and literature would be instrumental in the formation and development of Western culture.
While the Greeks of the classical era understood themselves to belong to a common Hellenic genos, their first loyalty was to their city and they saw nothing incongruous about warring, often brutally, with other Greek city-states. The Peloponnesian War, the large scale civil war between the two most powerful Greek city-states Athens and Sparta and their allies, left both greatly weakened.
Most of the feuding Greek city-states were, in some scholars' opinions, united under the banner of Philip's and Alexander the Great's Pan-Hellenic ideals, though others might generally opt, rather, for an explanation of "Macedonian conquest for the sake of conquest" or at least conquest for the sake of riches, glory and power and view the "ideal" as useful propaganda directed towards the city-states.
In any case, Alexander's toppling of the Achaemenid Empire, after his victories at the battles of the Granicus, Issus and Gaugamela, and his advance as far as modern-day Pakistan and Tajikistan, provided an important outlet for Greek culture, via the creation of colonies and trade routes along the way. While the Alexandrian empire did not survive its creator's death intact, the cultural implications of the spread of Hellenism across much of the Middle East and Asia were to prove long lived as Greek became the lingua franca, a position it retained even in Roman times. Many Greeks settled in Hellenistic cities like Alexandria, Antioch and Seleucia. Two thousand years later, there are still communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, like the Kalash, who claim to be descended from Greek settlers.
The Hellenistic civilization was the next period of Greek civilization, the beginnings of which are usually placed at Alexander's death. This Hellenistic age, so called because it saw the partial Hellenization of many non-Greek cultures, lasted until the conquest of Egypt by Rome in 30 BC.
This age saw the Greeks move towards larger cities and a reduction in the importance of the city-state. These larger cities were parts of the still larger Kingdoms of the Diadochi. Greeks, however, remained aware of their past, chiefly through the study of the works of Homer and the classical authors. An important factor in maintaining Greek identity was contact with barbarian (non-Greek) peoples, which was deepened in the new cosmopolitan environment of the multi-ethnic Hellenistic kingdoms. This led to a strong desire among Greeks to organize the transmission of the Hellenic paideia to the next generation. Greek science, technology and mathematics are generally considered to have reached their peak during the Hellenistic period.
In the Indo-Greek and Greco-Bactrian kingdoms, Greco-Buddhism was spreading and Greek missionaries would play an important role in propagating it to China. Further east, the Greeks of Alexandria Eschate became known to the Chinese people as the Dayuan.
Between 168 BC and 30 BC, the entire Greek world was conquered by Rome, and almost all of the world's Greek speakers lived as citizens or subjects of the Roman Empire. Despite their military superiority, the Romans admired and became heavily influenced by the achievements of Greek culture, hence Horace's famous statement: Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit ("Greece, although captured, took its wild conqueror captive"). In the centuries following the Roman conquest of the Greek world, the Greek and Roman cultures merged into a single Greco-Roman culture.
In the religious sphere, this was a period of profound change. The spiritual revolution that took place, saw a waning of the old Greek religion, whose decline beginning in the 3rd century BC continued with the introduction of new religious movements from the East. The cults of deities like Isis and Mithra were introduced into the Greek world. Greek-speaking communities of the Hellenized East were instrumental in the spread of early Christianity in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and Christianity's early leaders and writers (notably Saint Paul) were generally Greek-speaking, though none were from Greece. However, Greece itself had a tendency to cling to paganism and was not one of the influential centers of early Christianity: in fact, some ancient Greek religious practices remained in vogue until the end of the 4th century, with some areas such as the southeastern Peloponnese remaining pagan until well into the 10th century AD.
While ethnic distinctions still existed in the Roman Empire, they became secondary to religious considerations and the renewed empire used Christianity as a tool to support its cohesion and promoted a robust Roman national identity. From the early centuries of the Common Era, the Greeks self-identified as Romans (Greek: Ῥωμαῖοι Rhōmaîoi). By that time, the name Hellenes denoted pagans but was revived as an ethnonym in the 11th century.
There are three schools of thought regarding this Byzantine Roman identity in contemporary Byzantine scholarship: The first considers "Romanity" the mode of self-identification of the subjects of a multi-ethnic empire at least up to the 12th century, where the average subject identified as Roman; a perennialist approach, which views Romanity as the medieval expression of a continuously existing Greek nation; while a third view considers the eastern Roman identity as a pre-modern national identity. The Byzantine Greeks' essential values were drawn from both Christianity and the Homeric tradition of ancient Greece.
During most of the Middle Ages, the Byzantine Greeks self-identified as Rhōmaîoi (Ῥωμαῖοι, "Romans", meaning citizens of the Roman Empire), a term which in the Greek language had become synonymous with Christian Greeks. The Latinizing term Graikoí (Γραικοί, "Greeks") was also used, though its use was less common, and nonexistent in official Byzantine political correspondence, prior to the Fourth Crusade of 1204. The Eastern Roman Empire (today conventionally named the Byzantine Empire, a name not used during its own time) became increasingly influenced by Greek culture after the 7th century when Emperor Heraclius (r. 610–641 AD) decided to make Greek the empire's official language. Although the Catholic Church recognized the Eastern Empire's claim to the Roman legacy for several centuries, after Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne, king of the Franks, as the "Roman Emperor" on 25 December 800, an act which eventually led to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire, the Latin West started to favour the Franks and began to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire largely as the Empire of the Greeks (Imperium Graecorum). In the eastern Roman Empire the use of the Latinizing term Graikoí (Γραικοί, "Greeks") was uncommon and nonexistent in official Byzantine political correspondence, prior to the Fourth Crusade of 1204. While this Latin term for the ancient Hellenes could be used neutrally, its use by Westerners from the 9th century onwards in order to challenge Byzantine claims to ancient Roman heritage rendered it a derogatory exonym for the Byzantines who barely used it, mostly in contexts relating to the West, such as texts relating to the Council of Florence, to present the Western viewpoint.
A distinct Greek identity re-emerged in the 11th century in educated circles and became more forceful after the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. In the Empire of Nicaea, a small circle of the elite used the term "Hellene" as a term of self-identification. After the Byzantines recaptured Constantinople, however, in 1261, Rhomaioi became again dominant as a term for self-description and there are few traces of Hellene (Έλληνας), such as in the writings of George Gemistos Plethon, who abandoned Christianity and in whose writings culminated the secular tendency in the interest in the classical past. However, it was the combination of Orthodox Christianity with a specifically Greek identity that shaped the Greeks' notion of themselves in the empire's twilight years. In the twilight years of the Byzantine Empire, prominent Byzantine personialities proposed referring to the Byzantine Emperor as the "Emperor of the Hellenes". These largely rhetorical expressions of Hellenic identity were confined within intellectual circles, but were continued by Byzantine intellectuals who participated in the Italian Renaissance. The interest in the Classical Greek heritage was complemented by a renewed emphasis on Greek Orthodox identity, which was reinforced in the late Medieval and Ottoman Greeks' links with their fellow Orthodox Christians in the Russian Empire. These were further strengthened following the fall of the Empire of Trebizond in 1461, after which and until the second Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29 hundreds of thousands of Pontic Greeks fled or migrated from the Pontic Alps and Armenian Highlands to southern Russia and the Russian South Caucasus (see also Greeks in Russia, Greeks in Armenia, Greeks in Georgia, and Caucasian Greeks).
These Byzantine Greeks were largely responsible for the preservation of the literature of the classical era. Byzantine grammarians were those principally responsible for carrying, in person and in writing, ancient Greek grammatical and literary studies to the West during the 15th century, giving the Italian Renaissance a major boost. The Aristotelian philosophical tradition was nearly unbroken in the Greek world for almost two thousand years, until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.
To the Slavic world, the Byzantine Greeks contributed by the dissemination of literacy and Christianity. The most notable example of the later was the work of the two Byzantine Greek brothers, the monks Saints Cyril and Methodius from the port city of Thessalonica, capital of the theme of Thessalonica, who are credited today with formalizing the first Slavic alphabet.
Following the Fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1453, many Greeks sought better employment and education opportunities by leaving for the West, particularly Italy, Central Europe, Germany and Russia. Greeks are greatly credited for the European cultural revolution, later called, the Renaissance. In Greek-inhabited territory itself, Greeks came to play a leading role in the Ottoman Empire, due in part to the fact that the central hub of the empire, politically, culturally, and socially, was based on Western Thrace and Greek Macedonia, both in Northern Greece, and of course was centred on the mainly Greek-populated, former Byzantine capital, Constantinople. As a direct consequence of this situation, Greek-speakers came to play a hugely important role in the Ottoman trading and diplomatic establishment, as well as in the church. Added to this, in the first half of the Ottoman period men of Greek origin made up a significant proportion of the Ottoman army, navy, and state bureaucracy, having been levied as adolescents (along with especially Albanians and Serbs) into Ottoman service through the devshirme. Many Ottomans of Greek (or Albanian or Serb) origin were therefore to be found within the Ottoman forces which governed the provinces, from Ottoman Egypt, to Ottomans occupied Yemen and Algeria, frequently as provincial governors.
For those that remained under the Ottoman Empire's millet system, religion was the defining characteristic of national groups (milletler), so the exonym "Greeks" (Rumlar from the name Rhomaioi) was applied by the Ottomans to all members of the Orthodox Church, regardless of their language or ethnic origin. The Greek speakers were the only ethnic group to actually call themselves Romioi, (as opposed to being so named by others) and, at least those educated, considered their ethnicity (genos) to be Hellenic. There were, however, many Greeks who escaped the second-class status of Christians inherent in the Ottoman millet system, according to which Muslims were explicitly awarded senior status and preferential treatment. These Greeks either emigrated, particularly to their fellow Orthodox Christian protector, the Russian Empire, or simply converted to Islam, often only very superficially and whilst remaining crypto-Christian. The most notable examples of large-scale conversion to Turkish Islam among those today defined as Greek Muslims—excluding those who had to convert as a matter of course on being recruited through the devshirme—were to be found in Crete (Cretan Turks), Greek Macedonia (for example among the Vallahades of western Macedonia), and among Pontic Greeks in the Pontic Alps and Armenian Highlands. Several Ottoman sultans and princes were also of part Greek origin, with mothers who were either Greek concubines or princesses from Byzantine noble families, one famous example being sultan Selim the Grim (r. 1517–1520), whose mother Gülbahar Hatun was a Pontic Greek.
The roots of Greek success in the Ottoman Empire can be traced to the Greek tradition of education and commerce exemplified in the Phanariotes. It was the wealth of the extensive merchant class that provided the material basis for the intellectual revival that was the prominent feature of Greek life in the half century and more leading to the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Not coincidentally, on the eve of 1821, the three most important centres of Greek learning were situated in Chios, Smyrna and Aivali, all three major centres of Greek commerce. Greek success was also favoured by Greek domination of the Eastern Orthodox church.
The relationship between ethnic Greek identity and Greek Orthodox religion continued after the creation of the modern Greek nation-state in 1830. According to the second article of the first Greek constitution of 1822, a Greek was defined as any native Christian resident of the Kingdom of Greece, a clause removed by 1840. A century later, when the Treaty of Lausanne was signed between Greece and Turkey in 1923, the two countries agreed to use religion as the determinant for ethnic identity for the purposes of population exchange, although most of the Greeks displaced (over a million of the total 1.5 million) had already been driven out by the time the agreement was signed.[note 2] The Greek genocide, in particular the harsh removal of Pontian Greeks from the southern shore area of the Black Sea, contemporaneous with and following the failed Greek Asia Minor Campaign, was part of this process of Turkification of the Ottoman Empire and the placement of its economy and trade, then largely in Greek hands under ethnic Turkish control.
The terms used to define Greekness have varied throughout history but were never limited or completely identified with membership to a Greek state. Herodotus gave a famous account of what defined Greek (Hellenic) ethnic identity in his day, enumerating
By Western standards, the term Greeks has traditionally referred to any native speakers of the Greek language, whether Mycenaean, Byzantine or modern Greek. Byzantine Greeks self-identified as Romaioi ("Romans"), Graikoi ("Greeks") and Christianoi ("Christians") since they were the political heirs of imperial Rome, the descendants of their classical Greek forebears and followers of the Apostles; during the mid-to-late Byzantine period (11th–13th century), a growing number of Byzantine Greek intellectuals deemed themselves Hellenes although for most Greek-speakers, "Hellene" still meant pagan. On the eve of the Fall of Constantinople the Last Emperor urged his soldiers to remember that they were the descendants of Greeks and Romans.
Before the establishment of the modern Greek nation-state, the link between ancient and modern Greeks was emphasized by the scholars of Greek Enlightenment especially by Rigas Feraios. In his "Political Constitution", he addresses to the nation as "the people descendant of the Greeks". The modern Greek state was created in 1829, when the Greeks liberated a part of their historic homelands, Peloponnese, from the Ottoman Empire. The large Greek diaspora and merchant class were instrumental in transmitting the ideas of western romantic nationalism and philhellenism, which together with the conception of Hellenism, formulated during the last centuries of the Byzantine Empire, formed the basis of the Diafotismos and the current conception of Hellenism.
The Greeks today are a nation in the meaning of an ethnos, defined by possessing Greek culture and having a Greek mother tongue, not by citizenship, race, and religion or by being subjects of any particular state. In ancient and medieval times and to a lesser extent today the Greek term was genos, which also indicates a common ancestry.
Greeks and Greek-speakers have used different names to refer to themselves collectively. The term Achaeans (Ἀχαιοί) is one of the collective names for the Greeks in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey (the Homeric "long-haired Achaeans" would have been a part of the Mycenaean civilization that dominated Greece from c. 1600 BC until 1100 BC). The other common names are Danaans (Δαναοί) and Argives (Ἀργεῖοι) while Panhellenes (Πανέλληνες) and Hellenes (Ἕλληνες) both appear only once in the Iliad; all of these terms were used, synonymously, to denote a common Greek identity. In the historical period, Herodotus identified the Achaeans of the northern Peloponnese as descendants of the earlier, Homeric Achaeans.
Homer refers to the "Hellenes" (/ˈhɛliːnz/) as a relatively small tribe settled in Thessalic Phthia, with its warriors under the command of Achilleus. The Parian Chronicle says that Phthia was the homeland of the Hellenes and that this name was given to those previously called Greeks (Γραικοί). In Greek mythology, Hellen, the patriarch of the Hellenes who ruled around Phthia, was the son of Pyrrha and Deucalion, the only survivors after the Great Deluge. The Greek philosopher Aristotle names ancient Hellas as an area in Epirus between Dodona and the Achelous river, the location of the Great Deluge of Deucalion, a land occupied by the Selloi and the "Greeks" who later came to be known as "Hellenes". In the Homeric tradition, the Selloi were the priests of Dodonian Zeus.
In the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, Graecus is presented as the son of Zeus and Pandora II, sister of Hellen the patriarch of the Hellenes. According to the Parian Chronicle, when Deucalion became king of Phthia, the Graikoi (Γραικοί) were named Hellenes. Aristotle notes in his Meteorologica that the Hellenes were related to the Graikoi.
The most obvious link between modern and ancient Greeks is their language, which has a documented tradition from at least the 14th century BC to the present day, albeit with a break during the Greek Dark Ages (11th- 8th cent. BC, though the Cypriot syllabary was in use during this period). Scholars compare its continuity of tradition to Chinese alone. Since its inception, Hellenism was primarily a matter of common culture and the national continuity of the Greek world is a lot more certain than its demographic. Yet, Hellenism also embodied an ancestral dimension through aspects of Athenian literature that developed and influenced ideas of descent based on autochthony. During the later years of the Eastern Roman Empire, areas such as Ionia and Constantinople experienced a Hellenic revival in language, philosophy, and literature and on classical models of thought and scholarship. This revival provided a powerful impetus to the sense of cultural affinity with ancient Greece and its classical heritage. Throughout their history, the Greeks have retained their language and alphabet, certain values and cultural traditions, customs, a sense of religious and cultural difference and exclusion (the word barbarian was used by 12th-century historian Anna Komnene to describe non-Greek speakers), a sense of Greek identity and common sense of ethnicity despite the undeniable socio-political changes of the past two millennia. In recent anthropological studies, both ancient and modern Greek osteological samples were analyzed demonstrating a bio-genetic affinity and continuity shared between both groups.
Today, Greeks are the majority ethnic group in the Hellenic Republic, where they constitute 93% of the country's population, and the Republic of Cyprus where they make up 78% of the island's population (excluding Turkish settlers in the occupied part of the country). Greek populations have not traditionally exhibited high rates of growth; a large percentage of Greek population growth since Greece's foundation in 1832 was attributed to annexation of new territories, as well as the influx of 1.5 million Greek refugees after the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. About 80% of the population of Greece is urban, with 28% concentrated in the city of Athens.
Greeks from Cyprus have a similar history of emigration, usually to the English-speaking world because of the island's colonization by the British Empire. Waves of emigration followed the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, while the population decreased between mid-1974 and 1977 as a result of emigration, war losses, and a temporary decline in fertility. After the ethnic cleansing of a third of the Greek population of the island in 1974, there was also an increase in the number of Greek Cypriots leaving, especially for the Middle East, which contributed to a decrease in population that tapered off in the 1990s. Today more than two-thirds of the Greek population in Cyprus is urban.
There is a sizeable Greek minority of approximately 200,000 people in Albania. The Greek minority of Turkey, which numbered upwards of 200,000 people after the 1923 exchange, has now dwindled to a few thousand, after the 1955 Constantinople Pogrom and other state sponsored violence and discrimination. This effectively ended, though not entirely, the three-thousand-year-old presence of Hellenism in Asia Minor. There are smaller Greek minorities in the rest of the Balkan countries, the Levant and the Black Sea states, remnants of the Old Greek Diaspora (pre-19th century).
The total number of Greeks living outside Greece and Cyprus today is a contentious issue. Where Census figures are available, they show around 3 million Greeks outside Greece and Cyprus. Estimates provided by the SAE - World Council of Hellenes Abroad put the figure at around 7 million worldwide. According to George Prevelakis of Sorbonne University, the number is closer to just below 5 million. Integration, intermarriage, and loss of the Greek language influence the self-identification of the Omogeneia. Important centres of the New Greek Diaspora today are London, New York, Melbourne and Toronto. In 2010, the Hellenic Parliament introduced a law that enables Diaspora Greeks in Greece to vote in the elections of the Greek state. This law was later repealed in early 2014.
In ancient times, the trading and colonizing activities of the Greek tribes and city states spread the Greek culture, religion and language around the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins, especially in Sicily and southern Italy (also known as Magna Grecia), Spain, the south of France and the Black sea coasts. Under Alexander the Great's empire and successor states, Greek and Hellenizing ruling classes were established in the Middle East, India and in Egypt. The Hellenistic period is characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization that established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia and Africa. Under the Roman Empire, easier movement of people spread Greeks across the Empire and in the eastern territories, Greek became the lingua franca rather than Latin. The modern-day Griko community of southern Italy, numbering about 60,000, may represent a living remnant of the ancient Greek populations of Italy.
During and after the Greek War of Independence, Greeks of the diaspora were important in establishing the fledgling state, raising funds and awareness abroad. Greek merchant families already had contacts in other countries and during the disturbances many set up home around the Mediterranean (notably Marseilles in France, Livorno in Italy, Alexandria in Egypt), Russia (Odessa and Saint Petersburg), and Britain (London and Liverpool) from where they traded, typically in textiles and grain. Businesses frequently comprised the extended family, and with them they brought schools teaching Greek and the Greek Orthodox Church.
As markets changed and they became more established, some families grew their operations to become shippers, financed through the local Greek community, notably with the aid of the Ralli or Vagliano Brothers. With economic success, the Diaspora expanded further across the Levant, North Africa, India and the USA.
In the 20th century, many Greeks left their traditional homelands for economic reasons resulting in large migrations from Greece and Cyprus to the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Germany, and South Africa, especially after the Second World War (1939–1945), the Greek Civil War (1946–1949), and the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
While official figures remain scarce, polls and anecdotal evidence point to renewed Greek emigration as a result of the Greek financial crisis. According to data published by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany in 2011, 23,800 Greeks emigrated to Germany, a significant increase over the previous year. By comparison, about 9,000 Greeks emigrated to Germany in 2009 and 12,000 in 2010.
Greek culture has evolved over thousands of years, with its beginning in the Mycenaean civilization, continuing through the classical era, the Hellenistic period, the Roman and Byzantine periods and was profoundly affected by Christianity, which it in turn influenced and shaped. Ottoman Greeks had to endure through several centuries of adversity that culminated in genocide in the 20th century. The Diafotismos is credited with revitalizing Greek culture and giving birth to the synthesis of ancient and medieval elements that characterize it today.
Most Greeks speak the Greek language, an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, with its closest relations possibly being Armenian (see Graeco-Armenian) or the Indo-Iranian languages (see Graeco-Aryan). It has the longest documented history of any living language and Greek literature has a continuous history of over 2,500 years. The oldest inscriptions in Greek are in the Linear B script, dated as far back as 1450 BC. Following the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent, the Greek alphabet appears in the 9th-8th century BC. The Greek alphabet derived from the Phoenician alphabet, but is considered the first true alphabet as it is the first to have explicit symbols for vowels. The Greek alphabet in turn is the parent alphabet of the Latin, Cyrillic, and several other alphabets. The earliest Greek literary works are the Homeric epics, variously dated from the 8th to the 6th century BC. Notable scientific and mathematical works include Euclid's Elements, Ptolemy's Almagest, and others. The New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek.
Greek demonstrates several linguistic features that are shared with other Balkan languages, such as Albanian, Bulgarian and Eastern Romance languages (see Balkan sprachbund), and has absorbed many foreign words, primarily of Western European and Turkish origin. Because of the movements of Philhellenism and the Diafotismos in the 19th century, which emphasized the modern Greeks' ancient heritage, these foreign influences were excluded from official use via the creation of Katharevousa, a somewhat artificial form of Greek purged of all foreign influence and words, as the official language of the Greek state. In 1976, however, the Hellenic Parliament voted to make the spoken Dimotiki the official language, making Katharevousa obsolete.
Modern Greek has, in addition to Standard Modern Greek or Dimotiki, a wide variety of dialects of varying levels of mutual intelligibility, including Cypriot, Pontic, Cappadocian, Griko and Tsakonian (the only surviving representative of ancient Doric Greek). Yevanic is the language of the Romaniotes, and survives in small communities in Greece, New York and Israel. In addition to Greek, many Greeks in Greece and the Diaspora are bilingual in other languages or dialects such as English, Arvanitika/Albanian, Aromanian, Macedonian Slavic, Russian and Turkish.
Most Greeks are Christians, belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church. During the first centuries after Jesus Christ, the New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek, which remains the liturgical language of the Greek Orthodox Church, and most of the early Christians and Church Fathers were Greek-speaking. There are small groups of ethnic Greeks adhering to other Christian denominations like Greek Catholics, Greek Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and groups adhering to other religions including Romaniot and Sephardic Jews and Greek Muslims. About 2,000 Greeks are members of Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism congregations.
Greek-speaking Muslims live mainly outside Greece in the contemporary era. There are both Christian and Muslim Greek-speaking communities in Lebanon and Syria, while in the Pontus region of Turkey there is a large community of indeterminate size who were spared from the population exchange because of their religious affiliation.
Greek art has a long and varied history. Greeks have contributed to the visual, literary and performing arts. In the West, classical Greek art was influential in shaping the Roman and later the modern Western artistic heritage. Following the Renaissance in Europe, the humanist aesthetic and the high technical standards of Greek art inspired generations of European artists. Well into the 19th century, the classical tradition derived from Greece played an important role in the art of the Western world. In the East, Alexander the Great's conquests initiated several centuries of exchange between Greek, Central Asian and Indian cultures, resulting in Greco-Buddhist art, whose influence reached as far as Japan.
Byzantine Greek art, which grew from classical art and adapted the pagan motifs in the service of Christianity, provided a stimulus to the art of many nations. Its influences can be traced from Venice in the West to Kazakhstan in the East. In turn, Greek art was influenced by eastern civilizations (i.e. Egypt, Persia, etc.) during various periods of its history.
Notable modern Greek artists include Renaissance painter Dominikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco), Panagiotis Doxaras, Nikolaos Gyzis, Nikiphoros Lytras, Yannis Tsarouchis, Nikos Engonopoulos, Constantine Andreou, Jannis Kounellis, sculptors such as Leonidas Drosis, Georgios Bonanos, Yannoulis Chalepas and Joannis Avramidis, conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos, soprano Maria Callas, composers such as Mikis Theodorakis, Nikos Skalkottas, Iannis Xenakis, Manos Hatzidakis, Eleni Karaindrou, Yanni and Vangelis, one of the best-selling singers worldwide Nana Mouskouri and poets such as Kostis Palamas, Dionysios Solomos, Angelos Sikelianos and Yannis Ritsos. Alexandrian Constantine P. Cavafy and Nobel laureates Giorgos Seferis and Odysseas Elytis are among the most important poets of the 20th century. Novel is also represented by Alexandros Papadiamantis and Nikos Kazantzakis.
Notable Greek actors include Marika Kotopouli, Melina Mercouri, Ellie Lambeti, Academy Award winner Katina Paxinou, Dimitris Horn, Manos Katrakis and Irene Papas. Alekos Sakellarios, Michael Cacoyannis and Theo Angelopoulos are among the most important directors.
The Greeks of the Classical and Hellenistic eras made seminal contributions to science and philosophy, laying the foundations of several western scientific traditions, such as astronomy, geography, historiography, mathematics, medicine and philosophy. The scholarly tradition of the Greek academies was maintained during Roman times with several academic institutions in Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and other centers of Greek learning, while Byzantine science was essentially a continuation of classical science. Greeks have a long tradition of valuing and investing in paideia (education). Paideia was one of the highest societal values in the Greek and Hellenistic world while the first European institution described as a university was founded in 5th century Constantinople and operated in various incarnations until the city's fall to the Ottomans in 1453. The University of Constantinople was Christian Europe's first secular institution of higher learning since no theological subjects were taught, and considering the original meaning of the world university as a corporation of students, the world's first university as well.
As of 2007, Greece had the eighth highest percentage of tertiary enrollment in the world (with the percentages for female students being higher than for male) while Greeks of the Diaspora are equally active in the field of education. Hundreds of thousands of Greek students attend western universities every year while the faculty lists of leading Western universities contain a striking number of Greek names. Notable modern Greek scientists of modern times include Dimitrios Galanos, Georgios Papanikolaou (inventor of the Pap test), Nicholas Negroponte, Constantin Carathéodory, Manolis Andronikos, Michael Dertouzos, John Argyris, Panagiotis Kondylis, John Iliopoulos (2007 Dirac Prize for his contributions on the physics of the charm quark, a major contribution to the birth of the Standard Model, the modern theory of Elementary Particles), Joseph Sifakis (2007 Turing Award, the "Nobel Prize" of Computer Science), Christos Papadimitriou (2002 Knuth Prize, 2012 Gödel Prize), Mihalis Yannakakis (2005 Knuth Prize) and Dimitri Nanopoulos.
The most widely used symbol is the flag of Greece, which features nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white representing the nine syllables of the Greek national motto Eleftheria i Thanatos (Freedom or Death), which was the motto of the Greek War of Independence. The blue square in the upper hoist-side corner bears a white cross, which represents Greek Orthodoxy. The Greek flag is widely used by the Greek Cypriots, although Cyprus has officially adopted a neutral flag to ease ethnic tensions with the Turkish Cypriot minority (see flag of Cyprus).
The pre-1978 (and first) flag of Greece, which features a Greek cross (crux immissa quadrata) on a blue background, is widely used as an alternative to the official flag, and they are often flown together. The national emblem of Greece features a blue escutcheon with a white cross surrounded by two laurel branches. A common design involves the current flag of Greece and the pre-1978 flag of Greece with crossed flagpoles and the national emblem placed in front.
Another highly recognizable and popular Greek symbol is the double-headed eagle, the imperial emblem of the last dynasty of the Eastern Roman Empire and a common symbol in Asia Minor and, later, Eastern Europe. It is not part of the modern Greek flag or coat-of-arms, although it is officially the insignia of the Greek Army and the flag of the Church of Greece. It had been incorporated in the Greek coat of arms between 1925 and 1926.
Greek surnames began to appear in the 9th and 10th century, at first among ruling families, eventually supplanting the ancient tradition of using the father's name as disambiguator. Nevertheless, Greek surnames are most commonly patronymics, such those ending in the suffix -opoulos or -ides, while others derive from trade professions, physical characteristics, or a location such as a town, village, or monastery. Commonly, Greek male surnames end in -s, which is the common ending for Greek masculine proper nouns in the nominative case. Occasionally (especially in Cyprus), some surnames end in -ou, indicating the genitive case of a patronymic name. Many surnames end in suffixes that are associated with a particular region, such as -akis (Crete), -eas or -akos (Mani Peninsula), -atos (island of Cephalonia), and so forth. In addition to a Greek origin, some surnames have Turkish or Latin/Italian origin, especially among Greeks from Asia Minor and the Ionian Islands, respectively. Female surnames end in a vowel and are usually the genitive form of the corresponding males surname, although this usage is not followed in the diaspora, where the male version of the surname is generally used.
With respect to personal names, the two main influences are Christianity and classical Hellenism; ancient Greek nomenclatures were never forgotten but have become more widely bestowed from the 18th century onwards. As in antiquity, children are customarily named after their grandparents, with the first born male child named after the paternal grandfather, the second male child after the maternal grandfather, and similarly for female children. Personal names are often familiarized by a diminutive suffix, such as -akis for male names and -itsa or -oula for female names. Greeks generally do not use middle names, instead using the genitive of the father's first name as a middle name. This usage has been passed on to the Russians and other East Slavs (otchestvo).
The traditional Greek homelands have been the Greek peninsula and the Aegean Sea, Southern Italy (Magna Graecia), the Black Sea, the Ionian coasts of Asia Minor and the islands of Cyprus and Sicily. In Plato's Phaidon, Socrates remarks, "we (Greeks) live around a sea like frogs around a pond" when describing to his friends the Greek cities of the Aegean. This image is attested by the map of the Old Greek Diaspora, which corresponded to the Greek world until the creation of the Greek state in 1832. The sea and trade were natural outlets for Greeks since the Greek peninsula is rocky and does not offer good prospects for agriculture.
Notable Greek seafarers include people such as Pytheas of Marseilles, Scylax of Caryanda who sailed to Iberia and beyond, Nearchus, the 6th century merchant and later monk Cosmas Indicopleustes (Cosmas who Sailed to India) and the explorer of the Northwestern Passage, Apostolos Valerianos also known as Juan de Fuca. In later times, the Byzantine Greeks plied the sea-lanes of the Mediterranean and controlled trade until an embargo imposed by the Byzantine emperor on trade with the Caliphate opened the door for the later Italian pre-eminence in trade.
The Greek shipping tradition recovered during Ottoman rule when a substantial merchant middle class developed, which played an important part in the Greek War of Independence. Today, Greek shipping continues to prosper to the extent that Greece has the largest merchant fleet in the world, while many more ships under Greek ownership fly flags of convenience. The most notable shipping magnate of the 20th century was Aristotle Onassis, others being Yiannis Latsis, George Livanos, and Stavros Niarchos.
Genetic studies using multiple autosomal gene markers, Y chromosomal DNA haplogroup analysis and mitochondrial gene markers (mtDNA) show that Greeks share similar backgrounds as the rest of the Europeans and especially southern Europeans (Italians and southern Balkan populations). According to the studies using multiple autosomal gene markers, Greeks are some of the earliest contributors of genetic material to the rest of the Europeans as they are one of the oldest populations in Europe. A study in 2008 showed that Greeks are genetically closest to Italians and Romanians and another 2008 study showed that they are close to Italians, Albanians, Romanians and southern Balkan Slavs. A 2003 study showed that Greeks cluster with other South European (mainly Italians) and North-European populations and are close to the Basques, and FST distances showed that they group with other European and Mediterranean populations, especially with Italians (−0.0001) and Tuscans (0.0005). A 2017 study showed that Southern Italian populations appear genetically closer to Greek islands than to continental Greece.
Y DNA studies show that Greeks cluster with other Europeans and that they carry some of the oldest Y haplogroups in Europe, in particular the J2 haplogroup (and other J subhaplogroups) and E haplogroups, which are genetic markers denoting early farmers. The Y-chromosome lineage E-V13 appears to have originated in Greece or the southern Balkans and is high in Greeks as well as in Albanians, southern Italians and southern Slavs. E-V13 is also found in Corsicans and Provencals, where an admixture analysis estimated that 17% of the Y-chromosomes of Provence may be attributed to Greek colonization, and is also found at low frequencies on the Anatolian mainland. These results suggest that E-V13 may trace the demographic and socio-cultural impact of Greek colonization in Mediterranean Europe, a contribution that appears to be considerably larger than that of a Neolithic pioneer colonization. A study in 2008 showed that Greek regional samples from the mainland cluster with those from the Balkans while Cretan Greeks cluster with the central Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean samples. Greek signature DNA influence can be seen in Southern Italy and Sicily, where the genetic contribution of Greek chromosomes to the Sicilian gene pool is estimated to be about 37%, and the Southern Balkans.
Studies using mitochondrial DNA gene markers (mtDNA) showed that Greeks group with other Mediterranean European populations and principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed the low genetic distance between Greeks and Italians and also revealed a cline of genes with highest frequencies in the Balkans and Southern Italy, spreading to lowest levels in Britain and the Basque country, which Cavalli-Sforza associates it with "the Greek expansion, which reached its peak in historical times around 1000 and 500 BC but which certainly began earlier".
A 2017 study on the genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans showed that modern Greeks resemble the Mycenaeans, but with some additional dilution of the early neolithic ancestry. The results of the study support the idea of genetic continuity between these civilizations and modern Greeks but not isolation in the history of populations of the Aegean, before and after the time of its earliest civilizations. In an interview, the study's author, Harvard University geneticist Iosif Lazaridis, precised "that all three Bronze Age groups (Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Bronze Age southwestern Anatolians) trace most of their ancestry from the earlier Neolithic populations that were very similar in Greece and western Anatolia. But, they also had some ancestry from the 'east', related to populations of the Caucasus and Iran" as well as "some ancestry from the "north", related to hunter-gatherers of eastern Europe and Siberia and also to the Bronze Age people of the steppe", and argues that "some had theorized that the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were influenced both culturally and genetically by the old civilizations of the Levant and Egypt, but there is no quantifiable genetic influence".
A study from 2013 for prediction of hair and eye colour from DNA of the Greek people showed that the self-reported phenotype frequencies according to hair and eye colour categories was as follows: 119 individuals – hair colour, 11 blond, 45 dark blond/light brown, 49 dark brown, 3 brown red/auburn and 11 had black hair; eye colour, 13 with blue, 15 with intermediate (green, heterochromia) and 91 had brown eye colour.
Another study from 2012 included 150 dental school students from the University of Athens, and the results of the study showed that light hair colour (blonde/light ash brown) was predominant in 10.7% of the students. 36% had medium hair colour (light brown/medium darkest brown), 32% had darkest brown and 21% black (15.3 off black, 6% midnight black). In conclusion, the hair colour of young Greeks are mostly brown, ranging from light to dark brown with significant minorities having black and blonde hair. The same study also showed that the eye colour of the students was 14.6% blue/green, 28% medium (light brown) and 57.4% dark brown.
The history of the Greek people is closely associated with the history of Greece, Cyprus, Constantinople, Asia Minor and the Black Sea. During the Ottoman rule of Greece, a number of Greek enclaves around the Mediterranean were cut off from the core, notably in Southern Italy, the Caucasus, Syria and Egypt. By the early 20th century, over half of the overall Greek-speaking population was settled in Asia Minor (now Turkey), while later that century a huge wave of migration to the United States, Australia, Canada and elsewhere created the modern Greek diaspora.
The Resident Population of Greece is 10.816.286, of which 5.303.223 male (49,0%) and 5.513.063 female (51,0%) ... The total number of permanent residents of Greece with foreign citizenship during the Census was 912.000. [See Graph 6: Resident Population by Citizenship]
[p. 5] The Census recorded 762.191 persons normally resident in Greece and without Greek citizenship, constituting around 7% of total population. Of these, 48.560 are EU or EFTA nationals; there are also 17.426 Cypriots with privileged status.
Today, an estimated three million Americans resident in the United States claim Greek descent. This large, well-organized community cultivates close political and cultural ties with Greece.
There are between 40 and 45 thousand Greeks residing permanently in the UK, and the Greek Orthodox Church has a strong presence in the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain ... There is a significant Greek presence of Greek students in tertiary education in the UK. A large Cypriot community – numbering 250–300 thousand – rallies round the National Federation of Cypriots in Great Britain and the Association of Greek Orthodox Communities of Great Britain.
There is a significant Greek presence in southern and eastern Ukraine, which can be traced back to ancient Greek and Byzantine settlers. Ukrainian citizens of Greek descent amount to 91,000 people, although their number is estimated to be much higher by the Federation of Greek communities of Mariupol.
The Greek Italian community numbers some 30,000 and is concentrated mainly in central Italy. The age-old presence in Italy of Italians of Greek descent – dating back to Byzantine and Classical times – is attested to by the Griko dialect, which is still spoken in the Magna Graecia region. This historically Greek-speaking villages are Condofuri, Galliciano, Roccaforte del Greco, Roghudi, Bova and Bova Marina, which are in the Calabria region (the capital of which is Reggio). The Grecanic region, including Reggio, has a population of some 200,000, while speakers of the Griko dialect number fewer that 1,000 persons.
La popolazione complessiva dell'Unione è di 54278 residenti così distribuiti (Dati Istat al 31° dicembre 2005. Comune Popolazione Calimera 7351 Carpignano Salentino 3868 Castrignano dei Greci 4164 Corigliano d'Otranto 5762 Cutrofiano 9250 Martano 9588 Martignano 1784 Melpignano 2234 Soleto 5551 Sternatia 2583 Zollino 2143 Totale 54278).
It is difficult to determine the precise number of Greeks due to constant comings and goings, although the estimated figure is above 45,000.
Some 15,000 Greeks reside in the wider region of Paris, Lille and Lyon. In the region of Southern France, the Greek community numbers some 20,000.
Some 35,000 Greeks reside in Belgium. Official Belgian data numbers Greeks in the country at 17,000, but does not take into account Greeks who have taken Belgian citizenship or work for international organizations and enterprises.
It is estimated that some 20,000 to 30,000 persons of Greek origin currently reside in Argentina, and there are Greek communities in the wider region of Buenos Aires.
There are some 28,500 persons of Greek origin and citizenship residing in Bulgaria. This number includes approximately 15,000 Sarakatsani, 2,500 former political refugees, 8,000 "old Greeks", 2,000 university students and 1,000 professionals and their families.
The Greek community of Georgia is currently estimated at 15,000 people, mostly elderly people living in the Tsalkas area.
The Greek community in Sweden consists of approximately 12,000 – 15,000 Greeks who are permanent inhabitants, included in Swedish society and active in various sectors: science, arts, literature, culture, media, education, business, and politics.
There are between 10,000 and 12,000 ethnic Greeks living in Kazakhstan, organized in several communities.
The Greek community in Switzerland is estimated to number some 11,000 persons (of a total of 1.5 million foreigners residing in the country.
The Greek Romanian community numbers some 10,000, and there are many Greeks working in established Greek enterprises in Romania.
Currently there are about 9,500 Greeks living in Uzbekistan, with 6,500 living in Tashkent.
Alexander inherited the idea of an invasion of the Persian Empire from his father Philip whose advance-force was already out in Asia in 336 BC. Philips campaign had the slogan of "freeing the Greeks" in Asia and "punishing the Persians" for their past sacrileges during their own invasion (a century and a half earlier) of Greece. No doubt, Philip wanted glory and plunder.
By the end of the fourteenth century the Byzantine emperor was often called "Emperor of the Hellenes"
Γένος μεν ημίν των άγαν Ελλήνων
The brain drain is quickening. A recent study by the University of Thessaloniki found that more than 120,000 professionals, including doctors, engineers and scientists, have left Greece since the start of the crisis in 2010.
Ancient Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάς, translit. Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (c. AD 600). Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.
Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization.Classical Greek culture gave great importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable ("divine") knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics, philosophy and knowledge in general.Battle of Thermopylae
The Battle of Thermopylae ( thər-MOP-i-lee; Greek: Μάχη τῶν Θερμοπυλῶν, Máchē tōn Thermopylōn) was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium, in August or September 480 BC, at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae ("The Hot Gates"). The Persian invasion was a delayed response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece, which had been ended by the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. By 480 BC Xerxes had amassed a huge army and navy, and set out to conquer all of Greece. The Athenian politician and general Themistocles had proposed that the allied Greeks block the advance of the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae, and simultaneously block the Persian navy at the Straits of Artemisium.
A Greek force of approximately 7,000 men marched north to block the pass in the middle of 480 BC. The Persian army, alleged by the ancient sources to have numbered over one million, but today considered to have been much smaller (various figures are given by scholars, ranging between about 100,000 and 150,000) arrived at the pass in late August or early September. The vastly outnumbered Greeks held off the Persians for seven days (including three of battle) before the rear-guard was annihilated in one of history's most famous last stands. During two full days of battle, the small force led by Leonidas blocked the only road by which the massive Persian army could pass. After the second day, a local resident named Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks by revealing a small path that led behind the Greek lines. Leonidas, aware that his force was being outflanked, dismissed the bulk of the Greek army and remained to guard their retreat with 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians, fighting to the death. Others also reportedly remained, including up to 900 helots and 400 Thebans; these Thebans mostly reportedly surrendered.
Themistocles was in command of the Greek Navy at Artemisium when he received news that the Persians had taken the pass at Thermopylae. Since the Greek strategy required both Thermopylae and Artemisium to be held, given their losses, it was decided to withdraw to Salamis. The Persians overran Boeotia and then captured the evacuated Athens. The Greek fleet—seeking a decisive victory over the Persian armada—attacked and defeated the invaders at the Battle of Salamis in late 480 BC. Wary of being trapped in Europe, Xerxes withdrew with much of his army to Asia (losing most to starvation and disease), leaving Mardonius to attempt to complete the conquest of Greece. However, the following year saw a Greek army decisively defeat the Persians at the Battle of Plataea, thereby ending the Persian invasion.
Both ancient and modern writers have used the Battle of Thermopylae as an example of the power of a patriotic army defending its native soil. The performance of the defenders is also used as an example of the advantages of training, equipment, and good use of terrain as force multipliers and has become a symbol of courage against overwhelming odds.Gallipoli
The Gallipoli peninsula (; Turkish: Gelibolu Yarımadası; Greek: Χερσόνησος της Καλλίπολης, Chersónisos tis Kallípolis) is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles strait to the east.
Gallipoli is the Italian form of the Greek name "Καλλίπολις" (Kallípolis), meaning "Beautiful City", the original name of the modern town of Gelibolu. In antiquity, the peninsula was known as the Thracian Chersonese (Greek: Θρακική Χερσόνησος, Thrakiké Chersónesos; Latin: Chersonesus Thracica).
The peninsula runs in a south-westerly direction into the Aegean Sea, between the Dardanelles (formerly known as the Hellespont), and the Gulf of Saros (formerly the bay of Melas). In antiquity, it was protected by the Long Wall, a defensive structure built across the narrowest part of the peninsula near the ancient city of Agora. The isthmus traversed by the wall was only 36 stadia in breadth (about 6.5 km), but the length of the peninsula from this wall to its southern extremity, Cape Mastusia, was 420 stadia (about 77.5 km).Greco-Persian Wars
The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to rule the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them. This would prove to be the source of much trouble for the Greeks and Persians alike.
In 499 BC, the tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras, embarked on an expedition to conquer the island of Naxos, with Persian support; however, the expedition was a debacle and, preempting his dismissal, Aristagoras incited all of Hellenic Asia Minor into rebellion against the Persians. This was the beginning of the Ionian Revolt, which would last until 493 BC, progressively drawing more regions of Asia Minor into the conflict. Aristagoras secured military support from Athens and Eretria, and in 498 BC these forces helped to capture and burn the Persian regional capital of Sardis. The Persian king Darius the Great vowed to have revenge on Athens and Eretria for this act. The revolt continued, with the two sides effectively stalemated throughout 497–495 BC. In 494 BC, the Persians regrouped, and attacked the epicentre of the revolt in Miletus. At the Battle of Lade, the Ionians suffered a decisive defeat, and the rebellion collapsed, with the final members being stamped out the following year.
Seeking to secure his empire from further revolts and from the interference of the mainland Greeks, Darius embarked on a scheme to conquer Greece and to punish Athens and Eretria for the burning of Sardis. The first Persian invasion of Greece began in 492 BC, with the Persian general Mardonius successfully re-subjugating Thrace and Macedon before several mishaps forced an early end to the rest of the campaign. In 490 BC a second force was sent to Greece, this time across the Aegean Sea, under the command of Datis and Artaphernes. This expedition subjugated the Cyclades, before besieging, capturing and razing Eretria. However, while en route to attack Athens, the Persian force was decisively defeated by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon, ending Persian efforts for the time being.
Darius then began to plan to completely conquer Greece, but died in 486 BC and responsibility for the conquest passed to his son Xerxes. In 480 BC, Xerxes personally led the second Persian invasion of Greece with one of the largest ancient armies ever assembled. Victory over the allied Greek states at the famous Battle of Thermopylae allowed the Persians to torch an evacuated Athens and overrun most of Greece. However, while seeking to destroy the combined Greek fleet, the Persians suffered a severe defeat at the Battle of Salamis. The following year, the confederated Greeks went on the offensive, decisively defeating the Persian army at the Battle of Plataea, and ending the invasion of Greece by the Achaemenid Empire.
The allied Greeks followed up their success by destroying the rest of the Persian fleet at the Battle of Mycale, before expelling Persian garrisons from Sestos (479 BC) and Byzantium (478 BC). Following the Persian withdrawal from Europe and the Greek victory at Mycale, Macedon and the city states of Ionia regained their independence. The actions of the general Pausanias at the siege of Byzantium alienated many of the Greek states from the Spartans, and the anti-Persian alliance was therefore reconstituted around Athenian leadership, called the Delian League. The Delian League continued to campaign against Persia for the next three decades, beginning with the expulsion of the remaining Persian garrisons from Europe. At the Battle of the Eurymedon in 466 BC, the League won a double victory that finally secured freedom for the cities of Ionia. However, the League's involvement in the Egyptian revolt by Inaros II against Artaxerxes I (from 460–454 BC) resulted in a disastrous defeat, and further campaigning was suspended. A Greek fleet was sent to Cyprus in 451 BC, but achieved little, and, when it withdrew, the Greco-Persian Wars drew to a quiet end. Some historical sources suggest the end of hostilities was marked by a peace treaty between Athens and Persia, the Peace of Callias.Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922)
The Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 was fought between Greece and the Turkish National Movement during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I between May 1919 and October 1922. It is known as the Western Front (Turkish: Kurtuluş Savaşı, Batı Cephesi, Ottoman Turkish: Garb Cebhesi گرب جابهاسی) of the Turkish War of Independence in Turkey and the Asia Minor Campaign (Greek: Μικρασιατική Εκστρατεία) or the Asia Minor Catastrophe (Greek: Μικρασιατική Καταστροφή) in Greece.
The Greek campaign was launched primarily because the western Allies, particularly British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, had promised Greece territorial gains at the expense of the Ottoman Empire, recently defeated in World War I. The armed conflict started when the Greek forces landed in Smyrna (now Izmir), on 15 May 1919. They advanced inland and took control of the western and northwestern part of Anatolia, including the cities of Manisa, Balıkesir, Aydın, Kütahya, Bursa and Eskişehir. Their advance was checked at the Battle of Sakarya in 1921 by forces of the Turkish national movement. The Greek front collapsed with the Turkish counter-attack in August 1922, and the war effectively ended with the recapture of Smyrna by the Turkish forces and the Great Fire of Smyrna.
As a result, the Greek government accepted the demands of the Turkish national movement and returned to its pre-war borders, thus leaving East Thrace and Western Anatolia to Turkey. The Allies abandoned the Treaty of Sèvres to negotiate a new treaty at Lausanne with the Turkish National Movement. The Treaty of Lausanne recognized the independence of the Republic of Turkey and its sovereignty over Asia Minor, Istanbul, and Eastern Thrace. Greek and Turkish governments agreed to engage in a population exchange.Greece
Greece (Greek: Ελλάδα), officially the Hellenic Republic (Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία), historically also known as Hellas (Greek: Ελλάς), is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.
Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres (9,573 ft). The country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis (singular polis), which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great rapidly conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A.D., the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union) and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. It is also a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor.Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution (Greek: Ελληνική Επανάσταση, Elliniki Epanastasi, or also referred to by Greeks in the 19th century as the Αγώνας, Agonas, "Struggle"; Ottoman: يونان عصياني Yunan İsyanı, "Greek Uprising"), was a successful war of independence waged by Greek revolutionaries against the Ottoman Empire between 1821 and 1830. The Greeks were later assisted by the Russian Empire, Great Britain, and the Kingdom of France, while the Ottomans were aided by their North African vassals, the eyalets of Egypt, Algeria, and Tripolitania, and the Beylik of Tunis.
Even several decades before the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, most of Greece had come under Ottoman rule. During this time, there were several revolt attempts by Greeks to gain independence from Ottoman control. In 1814, a secret organization called the Filiki Eteria was founded with the aim of liberating Greece. The Filiki Eteria planned to launch revolts in the Peloponnese, the Danubian Principalities, and in Constantinople and its surrounding areas. By late 1821, the insurrection had been planned for 25 March (Julian Calendar) 1821, on the Feast of the Annunciation for the Orthodox Christians. However, as the plans of Filiki Eteria had been discovered by the Ottoman authorities, the revolutionary action started earlier. The first of these revolts began on 6 March/21 February 1821 in the Danubian Principalities, but it was soon put down by the Ottomans. The events in the north urged the Greeks in the Peloponnese into action and on 17 March 1821, the Maniots declared war on the Ottomans. This declaration was the start of a spring of revolutionary actions from other controlled states against the Ottoman Empire.
On 25 March the revolution was officially declared and by the end of the month, the Peloponnese was in open revolt against the Turks. By October 1821, the Greeks under Theodoros Kolokotronis had captured Tripolitsa. The Peloponnesian revolt was quickly followed by revolts in Crete, Macedonia, and Central Greece, which would soon be suppressed. Meanwhile, the makeshift Greek navy was achieving success against the Ottoman navy in the Aegean Sea and prevented Ottoman reinforcements from arriving by sea.
Tensions soon developed among different Greek factions, leading to two consecutive civil wars. In the meantime, the Ottoman Sultan negotiated with Mehmet Ali of Egypt, who agreed to send his son Ibrahim Pasha to Greece with an army to suppress the revolt in return for territorial gain. Ibrahim landed in the Peloponnese in February 1825 and had immediate success: by the end of 1825, most of the Peloponnese was under Egyptian control, and the city of Missolonghi fell in April 1826 after a year-long siege by the Turks. Although Ibrahim was defeated in Mani, he had succeeded in suppressing most of the revolt in the Peloponnese, and Athens had been retaken.
Following years of negotiation, three Great Powers—Russia, Britain and France—decided to intervene in the conflict and each nation sent a navy to Greece. Following news that combined Ottoman–Egyptian fleets were going to attack the Greek island of Hydra, the allied fleet intercepted the Ottoman–Egyptian fleet at Navarino. The battle began after a tense week-long standoff, ending in the destruction of the Ottoman–Egyptian fleet. By 1828 the Egyptian army withdrew under pressure of a French expeditionary force to which the Ottoman garrisons in the Peloponnese then surrendered, while the Greeks proceeded to the Ottoman-controlled part of central Greece. After eight years of war, Greece was finally recognized as an independent, sovereign state under the London Protocol of February 1830. Later, in 1832, the London Conference and the Treaty of Constantinople defined the final borders of the new state and established Prince Otto of Bavaria as the first king of Greece.
The Greek Revolution is celebrated by the modern Greek state as a national day on 25 March.Greek diaspora
The Greek diaspora, Hellenic diaspora or Omogenia (Greek: Ομογένεια) refers to the communities of Greek people living outside Greece, Cyprus, the traditional Greek homelands, Albania, parts of the Balkans, southern Russia, Ukraine, Asia Minor, the region of Pontus, Eastern Anatolia, Georgia, the South Caucasus, Egypt, southern Italy and Cargèse in Corsica. The term also refers to communities newly established by Greek migration outside these traditional areas during the 20th and 21st centuries.Greek genocide
The Greek genocide, including the Pontic genocide, was the systematic genocide of the Christian Ottoman Greek population carried out in its historic homeland in Anatolia during World War I and its aftermath (1914–1922). It was instigated by the government of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish national movement against the indigenous Greek population of the Empire and it included massacres, forced deportations involving death marches, summary expulsions, arbitrary execution, and the destruction of Eastern Orthodox cultural, historical, and religious monuments. According to various sources, several hundred thousand Ottoman Greeks died during this period. Most of the refugees and survivors fled to Greece (adding over a quarter to the prior population of Greece). Some, especially those in Eastern provinces, took refuge in the neighbouring Russian Empire.
Thus by the end of the 1919–1922 Greco-Turkish War, most of the Greeks of Asia Minor had either fled or had been killed. Those remaining were transferred to Greece under the terms of the later 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, which formalized the exodus and barred the return of the refugees. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Armenians, and some scholars and organizations have recognized these events as part of the same genocidal policy.The Allies of World War I condemned the Ottoman government-sponsored massacres as crimes against humanity. More recently, the International Association of Genocide Scholars passed a resolution in 2007 recognising the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire, including the Greeks, as genocide. Some other organisations have also passed resolutions recognising the Ottoman campaign against these Christian minorities, as genocide, as have the parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Sweden, Armenia, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.Greeks (finance)
In mathematical finance, the Greeks are the quantities representing the sensitivity of the price of derivatives such as options to a change in underlying parameters on which the value of an instrument or portfolio of financial instruments is dependent. The name is used because the most common of these sensitivities are denoted by Greek letters (as are some other finance measures). Collectively these have also been called the risk sensitivities, risk measures or hedge parameters.History of Greece
The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation state of Greece as well as that of the Greek people and the areas they inhabited and ruled historically. The scope of Greek habitation and rule has varied throughout the ages and as a result the history of Greece is similarly elastic in what it includes. Generally, the history of Greece is divided into the following periods:
Neolithic Greece covering a period beginning with the establishment of agricultural societies in 7000 BC and ending in 3200/3100 BC,
Helladic (Minoan or Bronze Age) chronology covering a period beginning with the transition to a metal-based economy in 3200/3100 BC to the rise and fall of the Mycenaean Greek palaces spanning roughly five centuries (1600–1100 BC),
Ancient Greece covering a period from the fall of the Mycenaean civilization in 1100 BC to 146 BC spanning multiple sub-periods including the Greek Dark Ages (or Iron Age, Homeric Age), Archaic period, the Classical period and the Hellenistic period,
Roman Greece covering a period from the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC to 324 AD,
Byzantine Greece covering a period from the establishment of the capital city of Byzantium, Constantinople, in 324 AD until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD,
Ottoman Greece covering a period from 1453 up until the Greek Revolution of 1821,
Modern Greece covering a period from 1821 to the present.At its cultural and geographical peak, Greek civilization spread from Greece to Egypt and to the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. Since then, Greek minorities have remained in former Greek territories (e.g. Turkey, Albania, Italy, Libya, Levant, Armenia, Georgia) and Greek emigrants have assimilated into differing societies across the globe (e.g. North America, Australia, Northern Europe, South Africa). Nowadays most Greeks live in the modern states of Greece (independent since 1821) and Cyprus.Iliad
The Iliad (; Ancient Greek: Ἰλιάς Iliás, pronounced [iː.li.ás] in Classical Attic; sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium) is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.
Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' imminent death and the fall of Troy, although the narrative ends before these events take place. However, as these events are prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, when it reaches an end the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War.
The Iliad is paired with something of a sequel, the Odyssey, also attributed to Homer. Along with the Odyssey, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and its written version is usually dated to around the 8th century BC. In the modern vulgate (the standard accepted version), the Iliad contains 15,693 lines; it is written in Homeric Greek, a literary amalgam of Ionic Greek and other dialects. According to Michael N. Nagler, the Iliad is a more complicated epic poem than the Odyssey.Indo-Greek Kingdom
The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom spanning modern-day Afghanistan and the northwest region of the Indian subcontinent (northern Pakistan and northwestern India), during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings, often conflicting with one another.
The kingdom was founded when the Graeco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded the subcontinent early in the 2nd century BC. The Greeks in the Indian Subcontinent were eventually divided from the Graeco-Bactrians centered in Bactria (now the border between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan), and the Indo-Greeks in the present-day north-western Indian Subcontinent. The most famous Indo-Greek ruler was Menander (Milinda). He had his capital at Sakala in the Punjab (present-day Sialkot).
The expression "Indo-Greek Kingdom" loosely describes a number of various dynastic polities, traditionally associated with a number of regional capitals like Taxila, (modern Punjab (Pakistan)), Pushkalavati and Sagala. Other potential centers are only hinted at; for instance, Ptolemy's Geographia and the nomenclature of later kings suggest that a certain Theophila in the south of the Indo-Greek sphere of influence may also have been a satrapal or royal seat at one time.
During the two centuries of their rule, the Indo-Greek kings combined the Greek and Indian languages and symbols, as seen on their coins, and blended Greek and Indian ideas, as seen in the archaeological remains. The diffusion of Indo-Greek culture had consequences which are still felt today, particularly through the influence of Greco-Buddhist art. The ethnicity of the Indo-Greek may also have been hybrid to some degree. Euthydemus I was, according to Polybius, a Magnesian Greek. His son, Demetrius I, founder of the Indo-Greek kingdom, was therefore of Greek ethnicity at least by his father. A marriage treaty was arranged for the same Demetrius with a daughter of the Seleucid ruler Antiochus III (who had some Persian descent). The ethnicity of later Indo-Greek rulers is sometimes less clear. For example, Artemidoros (80 BC) may have been of Indo-Scythian ascendency, although this is now disputed.Following the death of Menander, most of his empire splintered and Indo-Greek influence was considerably reduced. Many new kingdoms and republics east of the Ravi River began to mint new coinage depicting military victories. The most prominent entities to form were the Yaudheya Republic, Arjunayanas, and the Audumbaras. The Yaudheyas and Arjunayanas both are said to have won "victory by the sword". The Datta dynasty and Mitra dynasty soon followed in Mathura. The Indo-Greeks ultimately disappeared as a political entity around 10 AD following the invasions of the Indo-Scythians, although pockets of Greek populations probably remained for several centuries longer under the subsequent rule of the Indo-Parthians and Kushans.Leonidas I
Leonidas I (; Doric Λεωνίδας Α´, Leōnídas A'; Ionic and Attic Greek: Λεωνίδης Α´, Leōnídēs A' [leɔːnídɛːs]; "son of the lion"; died 11 August 480 BC) was a warrior king of the Greek city-state of Sparta, and the 17th of the Agiad line; a dynasty which claimed descent from the mythological demigod Heracles. He was the husband of Gorgo, the daughter of Cleomenes I of Sparta. Leonidas had a notable participation in the Second Persian War, where he led the allied Greek forces to a last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC) while attempting to defend the pass from the invading Persian army.Mycenaean Greece
Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1600–1100 BC. It represents the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece, with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing system. The most prominent site was Mycenae, in the Argolid, after which the culture of this era is named. Other centers of power that emerged included Pylos, Tiryns, Midea in the Peloponnese, Orchomenos, Thebes, Athens in Central Greece and Iolcos in Thessaly.
Mycenaean and Mycenaean-influenced settlements also appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant, Cyprus and Italy.The Mycenaean Greeks introduced several innovations in the fields of engineering, architecture and military infrastructure, while trade over vast areas of the Mediterranean was essential for the Mycenaean economy. Their syllabic script, the Linear B, offers the first written records of the Greek language and their religion already included several deities that can also be found in the Olympic Pantheon. Mycenaean Greece was dominated by a warrior elite society and consisted of a network of palace-centered states that developed rigid hierarchical, political, social and economic systems. At the head of this society was the king, known as wanax.
Mycenaean Greece perished with the collapse of Bronze Age culture in the eastern Mediterranean, to be followed by the so-called Greek Dark Ages, a recordless transitional period leading to Archaic Greece where significant shifts occurred from palace-centralized to de-centralized forms of socio-economic organization (including the extensive use of iron). Various theories have been proposed for the end of this civilization, among them the Dorian invasion or activities connected to the "Sea Peoples". Additional theories such as natural disasters and climatic changes have been also suggested. The Mycenaean period became the historical setting of much ancient Greek literature and mythology, including the Trojan Epic Cycle.Parallel Lives
Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch's Lives, is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably written at the beginning of the second century AD. The surviving Parallel Lives (Greek: Βίοι Παράλληλοι, Bíoi Parállēloi) comprises 23 pairs of biographies, each pair consisting of one Greek and one Roman, as well as four unpaired, single lives. It is a work of considerable importance, not only as a source of information about the individuals described, but also about the times in which they lived.Pontic Greeks
The Pontic Greeks, also known as Pontian Greeks (Greek: Πόντιοι, Ελληνοπόντιοι, Póntioi, Ellinopóntioi; Turkish: Pontus Rumları, Karadeniz Rumları, Georgian: პონტოელი ბერძნები, P’ont’oeli Berdznebi), are an ethnically Greek group who traditionally lived in the region of Pontus, on the shores of the Black Sea and in the Pontic Mountains of northeastern Anatolia. Many later migrated to other parts of Eastern Anatolia, to the former Russian province of Kars Oblast in the Transcaucasus, and to Georgia in various waves between the Ottoman conquest of the Empire of Trebizond in 1461 and the second Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829. Those from southern Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea are often referred to as "Northern Pontic [Greeks]", in contrast to those from "South Pontus", which strictly speaking is Pontus proper. Those from Georgia, northeastern Anatolia, and the former Russian Caucasus are in contemporary Greek academic circles often referred to as "Eastern Pontic [Greeks]" or as Caucasian Greeks, but also include the Turkic-speaking Urums.
Pontic Greeks have Greek ancestry and speak the Pontic Greek dialect, a distinct form of the standard Greek language which, due to the remoteness of Pontus, has undergone linguistic evolution distinct from that of the rest of the Greek world. The Pontic Greeks had a continuous presence in the region of Pontus (modern-day northeastern Turkey), Georgia, and Eastern Anatolia from at least 700 BC until 1922.Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks
The trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks (Swedish: Vägen från varjagerna till grekerna, Belarusian: Шлях з варагаў у грэкі, translit. Shlyakh' z varahaw u hreki, Ukrainian: Шлях із варягів у греки, translit. Shlyakh iz varyahiv u hreky, Russian: Путь из варяг в греки, translit. Put' iz varjag v greki, Greek: Εμπορική οδός Βαράγγων–Ελλήνων) was a medieval trade route that connected Scandinavia, Kievan Rus' and the Eastern Roman Empire. The route allowed merchants along its length to establish a direct prosperous trade with the Empire, and prompted some of them to settle in the territories of present-day Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. The majority of the route comprised a long-distance waterway, including the Baltic Sea, several rivers flowing into the Baltic Sea, and rivers of the Dnieper river system, with portages on the drainage divides. An alternative route was along the Dniestr river with stops on the Western shore of Black Sea. These more specific sub-routes are sometimes referred to as the Dnieper trade route and Dniestr trade route, respectively.
The route began in Scandinavian trading centers such as Birka, Hedeby, and Gotland, crossed the Baltic Sea, entered the Gulf of Finland, and followed the Neva River into Lake Ladoga. Then it followed the Volkhov River upstream past the towns of Staraya Ladoga and Velikiy Novgorod, crossed Lake Ilmen, and continued up the Lovat River, the Kunya River and possibly the Seryozha River. From there, a portage led to the Toropa River and downstream to the Western Dvina River. From the Western Dvina, the ships went upstream along the Kasplya River and were portaged again to the Katyn River, a tributary of the Dnieper. Along the Dnieper, the route crossed several major rapids and passed through Kiev. After entering the Black Sea, it followed its west coast to Constantinople.Trojan Horse
The Trojan Horse is a story from the Trojan War about the subterfuge that the Greeks used to enter the independent city of Troy and win the war. In the canonical version, after a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid a select force of men inside including Odysseus. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, ending the war.
Metaphorically, a "Trojan Horse" has come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place. A malicious computer program which tricks users into willingly running it is also called a "Trojan horse" or simply a "Trojan".
The main ancient source for the story is the Aeneid of Virgil, a Latin epic poem from the time of Augustus. The event is also referred to in Homer's Odyssey. In the Greek tradition, the horse is called the "wooden horse" (δουράτεος ἵππος dourateos hippos in Homeric/Ionic Greek (Odyssey 8.512); δούρειος ἵππος, doureios hippos in Attic Greek).