Guide to Greece and the Greek islands

Greece was inhabited from the prehistoric times. Its history is more than 3,000 years old, beginning with the Bronze Age and the development in this period of the Minoan , Mycenaean and Cycladic civilisation, followed by the Classic Era of Greece, the Hellenistic period, the Roman period, the Byzantine era, the Middle Ages and the occupation by the Crusades, the Venetians and the Turks and finally the modern times since the Greek war of independence in 1821.Modern Greece is a European country and member of the European Union. Greece is one of the most beloved holiday destination for many millions of tourists that travel to Greece every year. The mountains , the islands and the cities of Greece have everything to offer to the visitor, history ,mythology , interesting places and sights to visit , wild nature, rivers and lakes with unique habitats. The aim of this site is to give general tourist and travel information for everyone that wants to visit Greece and know better the Greek History, Mythology and everyday life of modern Greece.

Introduction

Greece located at the SE end of Europe, where three continents meet: Europe, Asia and Africa. Its area is small, but its spiritual radiation is very large. This is where the ancient culture of antiquity developed. Geographically, it belongs to the family of 33 European countries, in which it ranks 13th in area. Globally, its area corresponds to less than 1/1000 of the total land area. The state of the country is a Presidential Republic. Athens is the capital. The Greek space has undergone many changes in the course of history. Its natural map has also undergone alterations and its physiognomy has changed in many places. Greece has a very rich history and is one of the few countries whose history is known in every detail. She has lived since the Neolithic era and has fought many times to keep or gain her freedom. The name “Greece” is derived from the Latin “Graecia” given by the Romans after the hellenistic Era from a smaller Greek nation that inhabited western Greece, the Graecians . So Italian and Spanish are calling Hellas as Grecia, the English Greece, Germans Griechenland, while most of middle east countries are calling Greece as Yunanistan, that derives from the name of Ionia (from the Ancient Greek nation of the Ionians who first inhabited the modern Asia Minor.

Greece has a rich historical heritage, which is reflected in the 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in its territory. Throughout its history it has interacted culturally mainly with peoples of the Middle East and Europe. The ancient Greeks are the cornerstone of world culture since democracy and philosophy, the Olympic Games, drama, tragedy and comedy were born in ancient Greece. From the 8th century BC, the Greeks were organized into independent city-states, known as cities, which covered the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip II of Macedonia united most of the Greek mainland in the 4th century BC, with his son Alexander III quickly conquering much of the ancient world, spreading Greek culture and science from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the 2nd century BC, making it an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, where the Greek language and culture dominated. The Christianization of its inhabitants began as early as the 1st and ended in the 6th century AD. The Greek Orthodox Church helped to shape the modern Greek identity and to transmit the Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox world. After 1204, Latin possessions were created on islands and coastal areas of Greece. In the middle of the 15th century, the Ottoman Turks conquered almost the entire area, which remained under Ottoman rule for about four centuries.

greek revoloution
1821

After the emergence of the Greek national movement, in 1821 a Greek revolution broke out against the Ottoman Empire with the aim of establishing an independent state, which was recognized in 1830. In the next century the Kingdom of Greece expanded territorially, mainly with the Balkan Wars, until failure. The Asia Minor campaign in 1922. In the following decades Greece pursued a turbulent political life and followed a long period of authoritarian rule, [7] during which a royal dictatorship was imposed, the country was under military occupation during World War II, and experienced civil war. a seven-year military dictatorship. From 1974 until today, the state has been the presiding parliamentary democracy.

Greece became a member of the European Union (then the European Communities) in 1981 and the Eurozone in 2001. It has been a member of NATO since 1952 and a founding member of the UN since 1945, the OECD, the WTO, the OSCE and the International Organisation of La Francophonie. The unique cultural heritage of Greece, the large tourism industry, the prominent shipping sector and its geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power. It is the largest economy in the Balkans and a major investor in the region. It is considered a developed country with a high per capita income and a very high rate of human development. It was ranked as the 29th best country in terms of quality of life in the world for 2015

Location

mapThe geographic location between the continents of Europe Asia and Africa was a reason that made the Greeks to travel and make colonies in many areas in the Mediterranean and along the coasts of the Black Sea, exchanging ideas and knowledge with other ancient nations like the Egyptians the Phoenicians the Persians and nations around the Mediterranean. Many of the Ancient Greek myths has to do with the Greek colonisation and the exploration of foreign places by the Ancient Greeks like the journey of Jason and the Argonauts, the Trojan war and the journey of Odysseus.
Greece is part and of the Balkan Peninsula. It belongs to the Northern Hemisphere, between the 34th and 41st parallel. Its northernmost point is the village of Ormenio of Northern Evros, the southernmost is the island of Gavdos, the easternmost is the island of Stroggili and the westernmost is the island of Othonoi. It borders NW with Albania, NW with North Macedonia and Bulgaria, North East with Turkey, to the East is washed by the Aegean Sea, to the north by the Mediterranean Sea and to the west by the Ionian Sea.

Climate

greek-climateThe climate of Greece presents all the characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. It has a limited rainy season, a lot of summer drought, a lot of sunshine and a mild winter. From a climatic point of view, time can be divided into two main periods: the cold, which lasts from October to March, and the warm, which lasts from April to September. In Greece, one can distinguish four climatic regions: 1) the mountainous, 2 ) northern Greece, 3) the Ionian and 4) the Aegean. Characteristic features of the climate of the mountainous region are the low temperatures, the long period of snowfall, the great cloud cover and the strong winds. The winter in the mountainous country is severe and the summer is cool. Characteristic features of northern Greece are the limited summer drought and the uniform distribution in the rainy season. The winter here is harsh and the summer rainy. The characteristics of the Ionian are the mild winter, the abundant rains, the small cloud cover and the great sunshine. It is the sunniest region in the country with a temperate pleasant climate. In the area of ​​Agaios, the characteristics of the climate are the high intensity and frequency of the winds, the great sunshine and the humidity.

People

In recent years, when Greek society has become urbanised, Greeks have changed their way of life. The majority of the Greek population tends to look like the middle class of the industrialised countries. But the Mediterranean temperament and national heritage are deterrents to the formation of the “industrial” Greek. Morals and customs and religious beliefs make Greeks stand out from the rest of Europe. Here they meet the old with the new, the marriage of the modern way of life with the traditional Greek thought.

 

The Ancient Greeks and Politics

history of greecePolitics for the ancient Greeks was a new way of thinking, a way of relating to one’s fellow human beings. Citizens differed in wealth, beauty or intelligence, but as citizens they were equal. This was because the ancient Greeks regarded themselves as rational beings and the only suitable relationship between rational beings is that of persuasion. Persuasion differs from commandment because it presupposes equality between the one who speaks and the one who listens. Plato offers us a famous example of this type of political life in the dialogue of Cretan. Socrates, having been sentenced to death for youth corruption, refused to flee Athens, arguing that his departure would be logically inconsistent with his devotion to the city’s values, a feeling that reflected the way he had lived his entire life. Zoe. Even the manner in which he was killed reflected the basic belief that violence among citizens was not appropriate: he was given to drink hemp.

The ancient Greeks voluntarily obeyed the law of the city and were proud of it. The worst fate for someone was exile, a form of political death sometimes imposed by the expulsion of Athenian politicians whose power was considered to threaten the regime.
To the Ancient Greeks we owe the foundation of the theoretical preconditions of freedom: a life between equal citizens, subject to the law with alternation of rulers and ruled. The ancient Greeks were the first people historically to create societies of this type and also the first to create a theoretical production that studied them.