Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter, his mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun and Thor. Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach. In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is said to have fathered Ares and Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was infamous for his erotic escapades; these resulted in many divine and heroic offspring, including Athena, Artemis, Persephone, Perseus, Helen of Troy and the Muses. He was respected as an allfather, chief of the gods and assigned the others to their roles: "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, all the gods rise in his presence."
He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe "That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men". Zeus' symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty; the god's name in the nominative is Ζεύς. It is inflected as follows: vocative: Ζεῦ. Diogenes Laërtius quotes Pherecydes of Syros as spelling the name, Ζάς. Zeus is the Greek continuation of *Di̯ēus, the name of the Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky called *Dyeus ph2tēr; the god is known under this name in the Rigveda, deriving from the root *dyeu-. Zeus is the only deity in the Olympic pantheon whose name has such a transparent Indo-European etymology; the earliest attested forms of the name are the Mycenaean Greek, di-we and, di-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.
Plato, in his Cratylus, gives a folk etymology of Zeus meaning "cause of life always to all things," because of puns between alternate titles of Zeus with the Greek words for life and "because of." This etymology, along with Plato's entire method of deriving etymologies, is not supported by modern scholarship. Cronus sired several children by Rhea: Hestia, Hera and Poseidon, but swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overthrown by his son as he had overthrown Uranus, his own father, an oracle that Rhea heard and wished to avert; when Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Cronus a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed. Varying versions of the story exist: According to Hyginus ) Zeus was raised by a nymph named Amalthea. Since Saturn ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth and sky and thus, invisible to his father.
According to Pseudo-Apollodorus ) Zeus was raised by a goat named Amalthea in a cave called Dictaeon Antron. A a company of soldiers called Kouretes danced and clashed their spears against their shields so that Cronus would not hear the baby's cry. After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. In some versions, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Cronus's stomach open. Zeus released the brothers of Cronus, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe; as a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him thunder and the thunderbolt, or lightning, hidden by Gaia. Together, his brothers and sisters and Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in the combat called the Titanomachy; the defeated Titans were cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus. Atlas, one of the titans who fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.
After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, Hades the world of the dead. The ancient Earth, could not be claimed. Gaia resented. Soon after taking the throne as king of the gods, Zeus had to fight some of Gaia's other children, the monsters Typhon and Echidna, he left Echidna and her children alive. When Zeus was atop Mount Olympus he was appalled by human sac
Apadana is a large hypostyle hall, best said the great audience hall and portico at Persepolis and the palace of Susa. The Persepolis Apadana belongs to the oldest building phase of the city of Persepolis, the first half of the 6th century BC, as part of the original design by Darius the Great, its construction completed by Xerxes I. Modern scholarships "demonstrates the metaphorical nature of the Apadana reliefs as idealised social orders"; as a word, "apadāna" is used to designate a hypostyle hall, i.e. a palace or audience hall of stone construction with columns. The word is rendered in Elamite as ha-ha-da-na and in Babylonian ap-pa-da-an is etymologically ambiguous, it has been compared to the Sanskrit "apadana" which means'to arrive at', to the Sanskrit apa-dhā which means "a hide-out or concealment", the Greek apo-thēkē "storehouse". The word survived into periods in Iran, as the Parthian'pdn or'pdnk "palace", outside Iran it still survives in several languages as loan-words More however, this word is the direct ancestor of the medieval and modern architectural term, ayvan/aywan.
The Old Persian term, a-pad-an, standing for "unprotected", refers to the fact that the veranda-shaped structure is open to the outside elements on one of its four sides, thus'unprotected' / exposed to the natural elements. This is what the Apadana palace has: open verandas on three sides—a unique feature among all palace buildings at Persepolis; the Parthian and Sasanian architects did away with the columns holding up the ceiling of the veranda, replacing them with a barrel vaulting, such as the famous Ayvan of Kisra at Ctesiphon. The evolution of term into aywan in the post-Islamic architecture that evolved from the old "apadana", refers to both columned or barrel vaulted. Like the old Apadana, the new aywans are verandas: open to the natural elements on one side; as a modern architectural and archaeological term, the word "apadana" is used to refer to Urartian hypostyle halls, such as those excavated at Altintepe and Erebuni. These halls predate those from Persia, it has been proposed that Urartu could be the stylistic origin of the Persian hypostyle audience halls.
The Apadana was the largest building on the Terrace at Persepolis and was excavated by the German archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld and his assistant Friedrich Krefter, Erich Schmidt, between 1931 and 1939. Important material relevant to the excavations are today housed in the archives of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, it was most the main hall of the kings. The columns had complex capitals in the shape of bulls or lions. Here, the great king received the tribute from all the nations in the Achaemenid Empire, gave presents in return. Access to the hall is given on the north and on the east; these are decorated by reliefs, showing delegates of the 23 subject nations of the Persian Empire paying tribute to Darius I, represented seated centrally. The various delegates are shown in great detail, giving insight into the costume and equipment of the various peoples of Persia in the 5th century BC. There are inscriptions in Old Elamite; the Apadana at Persepolis has a surface of 1000 square metres.
The entire hall was destroyed in 331 BC by the army of Alexander the Great. Stones from the columns were used as building material for nearby settlements. By the start of the 20th century, only 13 of these giant columns were still standing; the re-erecting of a complete, but fallen column in the 1970s, is now the 14th standing column of the Apadana. The Apadana in Susa was—like the city itself—largely abandoned, pillaged for building material; the apadana hall influenced the Umayyad architecture. Early mosques built in Persia and Iraq imitate this strcture. Oriental Institute Photographic Archives The Achaemenians continued Persepolis3D, a virtual reconstruction of Apadana
A coin is a small, round piece of metal or plastic used as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade, they are most issued by a government. Coins are metal or alloy, or sometimes made of synthetic materials, they are disc shaped. Coins made of valuable metal are stored in large quantities as bullion coins. Other coins are used as money in everyday transactions; the highest value coin in circulation is worth less than the lowest-value note. In the last hundred years, the face value of circulation coins has been lower than the value of the metal they contain, for example due to inflation. If the difference becomes significant, the issuing authority may decide to withdraw these coins from circulation issuing new equivalents with a different composition, or the public may decide to melt the coins down or hoard them. Exceptions to the rule of face value being higher than content value occur for some bullion coins made of copper, silver, or gold, intended for collectors or investors in precious metals.
Examples of modern gold collector/investor coins include the British sovereign minted by the United Kingdom, the American Gold Eagle minted by the United States, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf minted by Canada, the Krugerrand, minted by South Africa. While the Eagle, Maple Leaf, Sovereign coins have nominal face values, the Krugerrand does not. A great quantity of coinage metals and other materials have been used to produce coins for circulation and metal investment: bullion coins serve as more convenient stores of assured metal quantity and purity than other bullion. Metal ingots, silver bullion or unmarked bars were in use for exchange among many of the civilizations that mastered metallurgy; the weight and purity of bullion would be the key determinant of value. In the Achaemenid Empire in the early 6th century BC, coinage was yet unknown, barter and to some extent silver bullion was used instead for trade; the practice of using silver bars for currency seems to have been current in Central Asia from the 6th century BC.
Coins were an evolution of "currency" systems of the Late Bronze Age, where standard-sized ingots, tokens such as knife money, were used to store and transfer value. In the late Chinese Bronze Age, standardized cast tokens were made, such as those discovered in a tomb near Anyang; these were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese currency, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. The earliest coins are associated with Iron Age Anatolia of the late 7th century BC, with the kingdom of Lydia. Early electrum coins were not standardized in weight, in their earliest stage may have been ritual objects, such as badges or medals, issued by priests; the unpredictability of the composition of occurring electrum implied that it had a variable value, which hampered its development. Most of the early Lydian coins include no writing, only an image of a symbolic animal. Therefore, the dating of these coins relies on archaeological evidence, with the most cited evidence coming from excavations at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus called the Ephesian Artemision, site of the earliest known deposit of electrum coins.
Because the oldest lion head "coins" were discovered in that temple, they do not appear to have been used in commerce, these objects may not have been coins but badges or medals issued by the priests of that temple. Anatolian Artemis was the Πὀτνια Θηρῶν, it took some time before ancient coins were used for trade. The smallest-denomination electrum coins worth about a day's subsistence, would have been too valuable for buying a loaf of bread; the first coins to be used for retailing on a large-scale basis were small silver fractions, Ancient Greek coinage minted by the Ionian Greeks in the late sixth century BC. Many early Lydian and Greek coins were minted under the authority of private individuals and are thus more akin to tokens or badges than to modern coins, though due to their numbers it is evident that some were official state issues; the earliest inscribed coins are those of Phanes, dated to 625–600 BC from Ephesus in Ionia, with the legend ΦΑΝΕΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ, or just bearing the name ΦΑΝΕΟΣ.
The first electrum coins issued by a monarch are those minted by king Alyattes of Lydia, for which reason this king is sometimes mentioned as the originator of coinage. The successor of Alyattes, king Croesus, became associated with great wealth in Greek historiography, he is credited with issuing the Croeseid, the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation. And the world's first bimetallic monetary system circa 550 BCE. Herodotus mentioned the innovation made by the Lydians: "So far as we have any knowledge, they were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins, the first who sold goods by retail" Coins spread in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, leading to the development of Ancient Greek coinage and Achaemenid coinage, further to Illyrian coinage. Standardized Roman currency
Croesus was the king of Lydia who, according to Herodotus, reigned for 14 years: from 560 BC until his defeat by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 546 BC. Croesus was renowned for his wealth; the fall of Croesus had a profound impact on the Greeks. "By the fifth century at least," J. A. S. Evans has remarked, "Croesus had become a figure of myth, who stood outside the conventional restraints of chronology." Aside from a poetical account of Croesus on the pyre in Bacchylides, there are three classical accounts of Croesus: Herodotus presents the Lydian accounts of the conversation with Solon, the tragedy of Croesus' son Atys and the fall of Croesus. Croesus is a descendant of Gyges, of the Myrmnadae Clan, who seized power when Gyges killed Candaules after Candaules's wife found out about a conspiracy to watch her disrobe, according to Herodotus. Croesus on the death of his father Alyattes faced a rival claimant to the throne in Pantaleon, son of Alyattes by a different mother. Croesus prevailed, a number of the opposite faction were executed, their property confiscated.
As soon as his reign was secure, Croesus continued his sires' wars against the Asian Greeks, bringing all the Aeolian and Ionian Settlements on the coasts of Asia-Minor under Lydian rule, from whom he exacted tribute. Croesus is credited with issuing the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation, the Croeseid. Indeed, the invention of coinage had passed into Greek society through Hermodike II. Hermodike II was one of Alyettes’ wives so may have been Croesus’ mother because the bull imagery on the croeseid symbolises the Hellenic Zeus -see Europa. Zeus, through Hercules, was the divine forefather of his family line. "While the pyre was burning, it is said that a cloud passed under Hercules and with a peal of thunder wafted him up to heaven. Thereafter he obtained immortality... by Omphale he had Agelaus, from whom the family of Croesus was descended..."The dynasty which preceded that of Croesus on the throne of Sardes traced their descent from Alcaeus, the son of Hercules by Omphale, Queen of Lydia, during her year of required servitude.
Like his ancestor Hercules, Croesus attempted to burn himself on a pyre when the Persians captured Sardes. By emulatinging the Greek myth, he demonstrated. Moreover, the first coins were quite crude and made of electrum, a occurring pale yellow alloy of gold and silver; the composition of these first coins was similar to alluvial deposits found in the silt of the Pactolus river, which ran through the Lydian capital, Sardis. Coins, including some in the British Museum, were made from gold purified by heating with common salt to remove the silver. In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became a synonym for a wealthy man, he inherited great wealth from his father who had become associated with the Midas mythology because Lydian precious metals came from the river Pactolus in which King Midas washed away his ability to turn all he touched into gold. Aylettes’ tax revenue may be the real ‘Midas touch’ financing his and Croesus conquests. Croesus' wealth remained proverbial beyond classical antiquity: in English, expressions such as "rich as Croesus" or "richer than Croesus" are used to indicate great wealth to this day.
The earliest known such usage in English was John Gower's in Confessio amantis: According to Herodotus, Croesus encountered the Greek sage Solon and showed him his enormous wealth. Croesus, secure in his own wealth and happiness, asked Solon who the happiest man in the world was, was disappointed by Solon's response that three had been happier than Croesus: Tellus, who died fighting for his country, the brothers Kleobis and Biton who died peacefully in their sleep after their mother prayed for their perfect happiness because they had demonstrated filial piety by drawing her to a festival in an oxcart themselves. Solon goes on to explain that Croesus cannot be the happiest man because the fickleness of fortune means that the happiness of a man's life cannot be judged until after his death. Sure enough, Croesus' hubristic happiness was reversed by the tragic deaths of his accidentally-killed son and, according to Critias, his wife's suicide at the fall of Sardis, not to mention his defeat at the hands of the Persians.
The interview is in the nature of a philosophical disquisition on the subject "Which man is happy?" It is legendary rather than historical. Thus the "happiness" of Croesus is presented as a moralistic exemplum of the fickleness of Tyche, a theme that gathered strength from the fourth century, revealing its late date; the story was retold and elaborated by Ausonius in The Masque of the Seven Sages, in the Suda, by Tolstoy in his short story "Croesus and Fate". According to Herodotus, Croesus desired to discover which of the well known oracles of his time gave trustworthy omens, he sent ambassadors to the most important oracles ordering that on the 100th day from their depart
Europa (consort of Zeus)
In Greek mythology, Europa was the mother of King Minos of Crete, a woman of Phoenician origin, after whom the continent Europe is named. The story of her abduction by Zeus in the form of a bull was a Cretan story; this can be said of the story of Europa."Europa's earliest literary reference is in the Iliad, dated to the 8th century BC. Another early reference to her is in a fragment of the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, discovered at Oxyrhynchus; the earliest vase-painting securely identifiable as Europa dates from mid-7th century BC. Greek Εὐρώπη contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ/ὠπ-/ὀπτ- "eye, countenance". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion, it is common in ancient Greek mythology and geography to identify lands or rivers with female figures. Thus, Europa is first used in a geographic context in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, in reference to the western shore of the Aegean Sea; as a name for a part of the known world, it is first used in the 6th century BC by Anaximander and Hecataeus.
The weakness of an etymology with εὐρύς, is 1. that the -u stem of εὐρύς disappears in Εὐρώπη Europa and 2. The expected form εὐρυώπη euryopa that retains the -u stem in fact exists. An alternative suggestion due to Ernest Klein and Giovanni Semerano attempted to connect a Semitic term for "west", Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set", Phoenician'ereb "evening. Barry adduces the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night", " sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia; this proposal is considered unlikely or untenable. Sources differ in details regarding Europa's family, but agree that she is Phoenician, from a lineage that descended from Io, the mythical nymph beloved of Zeus, transformed into a heifer, she is said to be the daughter of Agenor, the Phoenician King of Tyre. Other sources, such as the Iliad, claim that she is the daughter of Agenor's son, the "sun-red" Phoenix, it is agreed that she had two brothers, who brought the alphabet to mainland Greece, Cilix who gave his name to Cilicia in Asia Minor, with the author of Bibliotheke including Phoenix as a third.
So some interpret this as her brother Phoenix gave his siblings' name to his three children and this Europa is loved by Zeus, but because of the same name, gave some confusions to others. After arriving in Crete, Europa had three sons fathered by Zeus: Minos and Sarpedon, the three of whom became the three judges of the Underworld when they died. In Crete she married Asterion rendered Asterius and became mother of his daughter Crete. In some accounts and Alagonia were added to the list of children of Europa and Zeus; the Dictionary of Classical Mythology explains that Zeus was enamoured of Europa and decided to seduce or rape her, the two being near-equivalent in Greek myth. He mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her helpers were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete, he revealed his true identity, Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus gave her a necklace made by Hephaestus and three additional gifts: Talos, Laelaps and a javelin that never missed.
Zeus re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, now known as the constellation Taurus. Some readers interpret as manifestations of this same bull the Cretan beast, encountered by Heracles, the Marathonian Bull slain by Theseus. Roman mythology adopted the tale of the Raptus known as "The Abduction of Europa" and "The Seduction of Europa", substituting the god Jupiter for Zeus; the myth of Europa and Zeus may have its origin in a sacred union between the Phoenician deities `Aštar and `Aštart, in bovine form. Having given birth to three sons by Zeus, Europa married a king Asterios, this being the name of the Minotaur and an epithet of Zeus derived from the name `Aštar. According to Herodotus' rationalizing approach, Europa was kidnapped by Greeks who were seeking to avenge the kidnapping of Io, a princess from Argos, his variant story may have been an attempt to rationalize the earlier myth. In the territory of Phoenician Sidon, Lucian of Samosata was informed that the temple of Astarte, whom Lucian equated with the moon goddess, was sacred to Europa: There is in Phœnicia a temple of great size owned by the Sidonians.
They call it the temple of Astarte. I hold this Astarte to be no other than the moon-goddess, but according to the story of one of the priests this temple is sacred to Europa, the sister of Cadmus. She was the daughter of Agenor, on her disappearance from Earth the Phœnicians honoured her with a temple and told a sa
Cyme or Cumae was an Aeolian city in Aeolis close to the kingdom of Lydia. The Aeolians regarded Cyme as the largest and most important of their twelve cities, which were located on the coastline of Asia Minor; as a result of their direct access to the sea, unlike most non-landlocked settlements of the ancient world, trade is believed to have prospered. Both the author of the'life of Homer' and Strabo the ancient geographer, locate Cyme north of the Hermus river on the Asia Minor coastline, modern-day "Nemrut Limanı" After crossing the Hyllus, the distance from Larissa to Cyme was 70 stadia, from Cyme to Myrina was 40 stadia. Archaeological finds such as coins give reference to a river, believed to be that of the Hyllus. Little is known about the foundation of the city to supplement the traditional founding legend. Kyme was the largest of the Aiolian cities. According to legend, it was founded by the Amazon Kyme; the Amazons were a mythical tribe of warlike women from Pontos. Ancient coins from Cyme depict the head of Kyme wearing a taenia with the reverse featuring a horse prancing - in allusion to the prosperous equine industry of the region.
Alternatively, settlers from mainland Greece migrated across the Aegean Sea during the Late Bronze Age as waves of Dorian-speaking invaders brought an end to the once mighty Mycenaean civilization some time around 1050 BC. During the Late Bronze Age and early Greek Dark Ages, the dialect of Cyme and the surrounding region of Aeolis, like that of neighboring island Lesbos resembled the local dialect of Thessalia and Boetia in continental Greece; the colony was founded after the Trojan War by Greeks from Locris, central Greece, who began by reducing the Pelasgian citadel of Larisa near the river HermusCyme prospered and developed into a regional metropolis and founded about thirty towns and settlements in Aeolis. The Cymeans were ridiculed as a people who had for three hundred years lived on the coast and not once exacted harbor taxes on ships making port. Hesiod's father is said to have started his journey across the Aegean from Cyme; the cities of southern Aeolis in the region surrounding Cyme occupied a good belt of land with rough mountains in the background, yet Cyme like other colonies along the coast did not trade with the native Anatolians further inland, who had occupied Asia Minor for thousands of years.
Cyme played no significant role in the history of western Asia Minor, prompting the historian Ephorus, 400-330 BC, himself a native of the city, to comment in his narrative of Greek history that while the events he wrote about were taking place, his fellow Cymeans had for centuries sat idly by and kept the peace. He may, have been unaware of the significance of the city's links to Phrygia and Lydia through two Greek princesses, Hermodike I and Hermodike II and their role in popularising the written Greek alphabet and coined money, respectively. Tradition recounts that a daughter of a certain Agamemnon, king of Aeolian Cyme, married a Phrygian king called Midas; this link may have facilitated the Greeks "borrowing" their alphabet from the Phrygians because the Phrygian letter shapes are closest to the inscriptions from Aeolis. A passage in Pollux speaks about those who invented the process of coining money mentioning Pheidon and Demodike from Cyme, wife of the Phrygian king and daughter of King Agamemnon of Cyme.
Politically, Cyme is assumed to have started as a settler democracy following in the tradition of other established colonies in the region although Aristotle concluded that by the 7th and 6th centuries BC the once great democracies in the Greek world evolved not from democracies to oligarchies as was the natural custom but from democracies to tyrannies. By the 5th century BC, Cyme was one of the 12 established Ionian colonies in Aeolis. Herodotus mentions that one of the esteemed voters deciding whether or not to support Militiades the Athenian in his plan to liberate the Ionian Coast from Persian rule in was Aristagoras of Cyme. Aristagorus campaigned on the side of Histiaeus the Milesian with the tyrants Strattis of Chios, Aeaces of Samos and Laodamas of Phocaea in opposing such an initiative arguing instead that each tyrant along the Ionian Coast owed their position to Darius King of Persia and that liberating their own cities would encourage democracy over tyranny. Cyme came under the control of the Persian Empire following the collapse of the Lydian Kingdom at the hands of Cyrus the Great.
Herodotus is the principal source for this period in Greek history and has paid a great deal of attention to events taking place in Ionia and Aeolis. When Pactyes, the Lydian general, sought refuge in Cyme from the Persians the citizens were between a rock and a hard place; as Herodotus records, they consulted the Greek god Apollo, who said after much confusion through an oracle that he should be handed over. However, a native of Cyme questioned Apollo's word and went back to the oracle himself to confirm if indeed Apollo wanted the Cymians to surrender Pactyes. Not wanting to come to grief over the surrender of Pactyes, nor wanting the ill-effects of a Persian siege they avoided dealing with the Persians by sending him off to Mytilene on the island of Lesbos, not far from their city. In his Histories, Herodotus makes reference to Cyme as being one of the cities in which the rebel Lydian governor Pactyes sought refuge, following his att
Turkey the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria to its northwest. Istanbul is the largest city. 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority. At various points in its history, the region has been inhabited by diverse civilizations including the Assyrians, Thracians, Phrygians and Armenians. Hellenization continued into the Byzantine era; the Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th-century, the Ottomans started uniting these Turkish principalities.
After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa and became a world power. In the following centuries the state entered a period of decline with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening social and political foundations of the empire, Mahmut II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century, bringing reforms in all areas of the state including the military and bureaucracy along with the emancipation of all citizens. In 1913, a coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian and Pontic Greek subjects. Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states; the Turkish War of Independence, initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against occupying Allied Powers, resulted in the abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
Atatürk enacted numerous reforms, many of which incorporated various aspects of Western thought and customs into the new form of Turkish government. The Kurdish–Turkish conflict, an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and Kurdish insurgents, has been active since 1984 in the southeast of the country. Various Kurdish groups demand separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey. Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20. After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005 which have been stopped by the EU in 2017 due to "Turkey's path toward autocratic rule". Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
Turkey is a secular, unitary parliamentary republic which adopted a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Turkey's current administration headed by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP has enacted measures to increase the influence of Islam, undermine Kemalist policies and freedom of the press; the English name of Turkey means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in an early work by Chaucer called The Book of the Duchess; the phrase land of Torke is used in the 15th-century Digby Mysteries. Usages can be found in the Dunbar poems, the 16th century Manipulus Vocabulorum and Francis Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum; the modern spelling "Turkey" dates back to at least 1719. The Turkish name Türkiye was adopted in 1923 under the influence of European usage; the Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period.
Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated; the European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago, is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC. Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately