Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times, it’s often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, its capital, retains landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.
Occupying the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula, Greece and its many islands (almost 1,500) extends southward from the European continent into the Aegean, Cretan, Ionian, Mediterranean and Thracian seas. Crete and Evia are its two largest islands and major island groups include the Argo-Saronic, Cyclades, Dodecanese, Ionian, Northeast Aegean and the Sporades.
With the vast percentage of its land comprised of hills and rugged mountains, Greece is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. To its immediate southwest stand the massive Meteora rock formations; gigantic pillars of stones worn smooth by wind and water over thousands of years. Greece is home to a series of ancient volcanoes, including those on the islands of Kos, Methana, Milos, Nisyros, Poros and Santorini. None are currently erupting, and the last recorded significant eruptions occurred on the island of Nisyros in 1887/1888, and on the island of Santorini in 1950. While most of the smaller rivers in Greece dry up in the heat of summer, rivers of note include the Acheloos, Aliacmon, Evros and Pinios.
Key cities in Greece include Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Kalamata, Volos, Loanniana, Kavala, and Sparti.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
Ancient Greece refers to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Dark Ages to the end of antiquity (circa 600 AD). Traditionally, the Ancient Greek period was taken to begin with the date of the first Olympic Games in 776 BC, but most historians now extend the term back to about 1000 BC.
The culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years, beginning in Mycenaean Greece, continuing most notably into Classical Greece, through the influence of the Roman Empire and its successor the Byzantine Empire. Greece is widely considered to be the cradle of Western culture and democracy.
Religion in Greece is dominated by the Greek Orthodox Church, which is within the larger communion of the Eastern Orthodox Church. It represented 90% of the total population in 2015 and is constitutionally recognized as the “prevailing religion” of Greece.
Brief Country History
Greece is one of the oldest civilizations in the world and the cradle of Western culture as we know it. The first signs of inhabitance were the Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean maritime civilizations that lived and ruled during the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC). However, these collapsed by the 11th century BC and a ‘dark age’ followed. By 800 BC, there was a cultural and military revival and city-states like Athens and Sparta sprang onto the world map. The classical (or golden) age of Greece started soon after and gave rise to many of the world’s cultural emblems before ending with the Peloponnesian Wars (431-404 AD) in which the Athenians were vanquished by the Spartans.
Alexander the Great, who marched into Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia, and parts of what is now Afghanistan and India, ushered in the Macedonian empire. It ruled for three dynasties and is known as the Hellenistic period. During this time, Greek ideas and culture were amalgamated with other proud ancient cultures and a new tradition was created.
The powerful Roman empire turned its sights on Greece around 205 BC and over the next few centuries, the country came under the Romans, the illustrious Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Turks. All these influences combined to create a unique culture. A cultural revival in the late 18th century precipitated the War of Independence in 1821-29 but it was only in 1827, when Russia, France, and Britain intervened that Greece became independent.
During WWI, Greek troops fought on the Allied side. Refugees from the Turkish territory of Smyrna weakened Greece’s economy. In 1936 General Metaxas was appointed as prime minister by the king and quickly established a fascist dictatorship. Although Metaxas had created a Greek version of the Third Reich, he was opposed to German or Italian domination and refused to allow Italian troops to traverse Greece in 1940. Despite Allied help, Greece fell to Germany in 1941. The destruction and economic problems led to a civil war that lasted until 1949.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
The official language of Greece is Greek, spoken by 99% of the population. In addition, a number of non-official, minority languages and some Greek dialects are spoken as well. The most common foreign languages learned by Greeks are English, German, French and Italian.
Important Types of Commerce in Greece
Greece is an independent nation in southeastern Europe. Greece covers an area of 50,949 square miles and has a population of about 11 million people according to 2016 estimates. The country has abundant natural resources with coastlines along the Mediterranean Sea, the Cretan Sea, and the Ionian Sea. It has the longest coastline along the Mediterranean and the world’s 12th longest coastline, which covers a distance of 8,498 miles. Greece has a nominal GDP of $203 billion and GDP based on purchasing power parity of $307 billion. According to the 2017 figures, the country was the 17th EU’s largest economy out of 28 member states. Greece is categorized as a developed nation with some of the major industries being tourism, agriculture, mining, and manufacturing, among others.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Greece
Greece has been in a trade relationship with several countries. Because of such close relations, the necessity to learn and understand the Greek language has increased in importance over the years. This developed the need for Greek translators and interpreters. Moreover, for businesses planning to tap into Greece, in order to maximize the voice of your brand and help them to reach a new Greek-speaking audience with enormous marketing opportunities in the global market, the next step is to partner with a professional translation and interpretation company.
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