Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe 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, 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 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; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, 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, 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 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, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. 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. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
In political and sociological theory, the elite are a small group of powerful people who hold a disproportionate amount of wealth, political power, or skill in a society. Defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, the "elite" are "those people or organizations that are considered the best or most powerful compared to others of a similar type." American sociologist C. Wright Mills wrote of the "elite" in his 1957 book The Power Elite as "those political and military circles, which as an intricate set of overlapping small but dominant groups share decisions having at least national consequences. Insofar as national events are decided, the power elite are those who decide them". Mills states that the power elite members recognize other members' mutual exalted position in society. "As a rule,'they accept one another, understand one another, marry one another, tend to work, to think, if not together at least alike'." "It is a well-regulated existence. Youthful upper-class members attend prominent preparatory schools, which not only open doors to such elite universities as Harvard, Columbia and Princeton, but to the universities' exclusive clubs.
These memberships in turn pave the way to the prominent social clubs located in all major cities and serving as sites for important business contacts". According to Mills, men receive the education necessary for elitist privilege to obtain their background and contacts, allowing them to enter three branches of the power elite, which are; the Military Circle: In Mills' time a heightened concern about warfare existed, making top military leaders and such issues as defense funding and personnel recruitment important. Most prominent corporate leaders and politicians were strong proponents of military spending; the Corporate Elite: According to Mills, in the 1950s when the military emphasis was pronounced, it was corporate leaders working with prominent military officers who dominated the development of policies. These two groups tended to be mutually supportive. According to Mills, the governing elite in the United States draws its members from political leaders, including the president, a handful of key cabinet members, as well as close advisers, major corporate owners and directors, high-ranking military officers.
These groups overlap and elites tend to circulate from one sector to another, consolidating power in the process. Unlike the ruling class, a social formation based on heritage and social ties, the power elite is characterized by the organizational structures through which its wealth is acquired. According to Mills, the power elite rose from "the managerial reorganization of the propertied classes into the more or less unified stratum of the corporate rich". Domhoff further clarified the differences in the two terms: "The upper class as a whole does not do the ruling. Instead, class rule is manifested through the activities of a wide variety of organizations and institutions... Leaders within the upper class join with high-level employees in the organizations they control to make up what will be called the power elite"; the Marxist theoretician Nikolai Bukharin anticipated the elite theory in his 1929 work and World Economy: "present-day state power is nothing but an entrepreneurs' company of tremendous power, headed by the same persons that occupy the leading positions in the banking and syndicate offices".
The power elite is a term used by American sociologist C. Wright Mills to describe a small, loosely connected group of individuals who dominate American policy making; this group includes bureaucratic, intellectual, military and government elites who control the principal institutions in the United States and whose opinions and actions influence the decisions of the policymakers. The basis for membership of a power elite is institutional power, namely an influential position within a prominent private or public organization. A study of the French corporate elite has shown that social class continues to hold sway in determining who joins this elite group, with those from the upper-middle class tending to dominate. Another study of power elites in the United States under President George W. Bush identified 7,314 institutional positions of power encompassing 5,778 individuals. A study of U. S. society noted demographic characteristics of this elite group as follows: Age Corporate leaders aged about 60.
Gender Men contribute 80% in the political realm whereas women contribute only 20% in the political realm. In the economic denomination, as of October 2017, only 32 of the fortune 500 CEOs are women. Ethnicity White Anglo-Saxons dominate in the power elite, with Protestants representing about 80% of the top business leaders, about 73% of members of Congress; as of October 2017, only 4 of the fortune 500 CEOs are African American. In low proportions, as of October 2017, 10 of the fortune 500 CEOs are Latino, 2% are Asian. Education Nearly all the leaders have a college education, with half graduating with advanced degrees. About 54% of the big-business leaders, 42% of the government elite graduated from just 12 prestigious universities with large endowments. Social clubs Most holders of top positions in the power elite possess exclusive membership to one or more social clubs. About a third belong to a small number of prestigious
The Iberian Peninsula known as Iberia, is located in the southwest corner of Europe. The peninsula is principally divided between Portugal, comprising most of their territory, it includes Andorra, small areas of France, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. With an area of 596,740 square kilometres ), it is both the second largest European peninsula by area, after the Scandinavian Peninsula, by population, after the Balkan Peninsula; the word Iberia is a noun adapted from the Latin word "Hiberia" originated by the Ancient Greek word Ἰβηρία by Greek geographers under the rule of the Roman Empire to refer to what is known today in English as the Iberian Peninsula. At that time, the name did not describe a single political entity or a distinct population of people. Strabo's'Iberia' was delineated from Keltikē by the Pyrenees and included the entire land mass southwest of there. With the fall of the Roman Empire and the establishment of the new Castillian language in Spain, the word "Iberia" appeared for the first time in use as a direct'descendant' of the Greek word "Ἰβηρία" and the Roman word "Hiberia".
The ancient Greeks reached the Iberian Peninsula, of which they had heard from the Phoenicians, by voyaging westward on the Mediterranean. Hecataeus of Miletus was the first known to use the term Iberia, which he wrote about circa 500 BC. Herodotus of Halicarnassus says of the Phocaeans that "it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with... Iberia." According to Strabo, prior historians used Iberia to mean the country "this side of the Ἶβηρος" as far north as the river Rhône in France, but they set the Pyrenees as the limit. Polybius respects that limit, but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, with the Atlantic side having no name. Elsewhere he says that Saguntum is "on the seaward foot of the range of hills connecting Iberia and Celtiberia." Strabo refers to the Carretanians as people "of the Iberian stock" living in the Pyrenees, who are distinct from either Celts or Celtiberians. According to Charles Ebel, the ancient sources in both Latin and Greek use Hispania and Hiberia as synonyms.
The confusion of the words was because of an overlapping in geographic perspectives. The Latin word Hiberia, similar to the Greek Iberia translates to "land of the Hiberians"; this word was derived from the river Ebro. Hiber was thus used as a term for peoples living near the river Ebro; the first mention in Roman literature was by the annalist poet Ennius in 200 BC. Virgil refers to the Ipacatos Hiberos in his Georgics; the Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late Roman Republic called the entire peninsula Hispania. As they became politically interested in the former Carthaginian territories, the Romans began to use the names Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior for'near' and'far' Hispania. At the time Hispania was made up of three Roman provinces: Hispania Baetica, Hispania Tarraconensis, Hispania Lusitania. Strabo says that the Romans use Hispania and Iberia synonymously, distinguishing between the near northern and the far southern provinces. Whatever language may have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for that of the Vascones, preserved as a language isolate by the barrier of the Pyrenees.
The Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro, Ibēros in ancient Greek and Ibērus or Hibērus in Latin. The association was so well known. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called "the whole of Spain" Hiberia because of the Hiberus River; the river appears in the Ebro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian, uses Ibērus. With reference to this border, Polybius states that the "native name" is Ibēr the original word, stripped of its Greek or Latin -os or -us termination; the early range of these natives, which geographers and historians place from today's southern Spain to today's southern France along the Mediterranean coast, is marked by instances of a readable script expressing a yet unknown language, dubbed "Iberian." Whether this was the native name or was given to them by the Greeks for their residence on the Ebro remains unknown. Credence in Polybius imposes certain limitations on etymologizing: if the language remains unknown, the meanings of the words, including Iber, must remain unknown.
In modern Basque, the word ibar means "valley" or "watered meadow", while ibai means "river", but there is no proof relating the etymology of the Ebro River with these Basque names. The Iberian Peninsula has been inhabited for at least 1.2 million years as remains found in the sites in the Atapuerca Mountains demonstrate. Among these sites is the cave of Gran Dolina, where six hominin skeletons, dated between 780,000 and one million years ago, were found in 1994. Experts have debated whether these skeletons belong to the species Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, or a new species called Homo antecessor. Around 200,000 BP, during the Lower Paleolithic period, Neanderthals first entered the Iberian Peninsula. Around 70,000 BP, during the Middle Paleolithic period, the last glacial event began and the Neanderthal Mousterian culture was established. Around 37,000 BP, during the Upper Paleolithic, the Neanderthal Châtelperronian cultural period began. Emanating from Southern France, this culture extended into the north of the p
John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, his ascetic sensibilities; the epithet Χρυσόστομος denotes his celebrated eloquence. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church, exceeded only by Augustine of Hippo in the quantity of his surviving writings, he is honored as a saint in the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches, as well as in some others. The Eastern Orthodox, together with the Byzantine Catholics, hold him in special regard as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs; the feast days of John Chrysostom in the Eastern Orthodox Church are 27 January. In the Roman Catholic Church he is recognized as a Doctor of the Church and commemorated on 13 September in the current General Roman Calendar and on 27 January in the older calendar.
Other churches of the Western tradition, including some Anglican provinces and some Lutheran churches commemorate him on 13 September. However, certain Lutheran churches and Anglican provinces commemorate him on the traditional feast day of 27 January; the Coptic Church recognizes him as a saint. John was born in Antioch in 349 to Greek parents from Syria. Different scholars describe his mother Anthusa as a pagan or as a Christian, his father was a high-ranking military officer. John's father died soon after his birth and he was raised by his mother, he was tonsured as a reader. It is sometimes said that he was bitten by a snake when he was ten years old, leading to him getting an infection from the bite; as a result of his mother's influential connections in the city, John began his education under the pagan teacher Libanius. From Libanius, John acquired the skills for a career in rhetoric, as well as a love of the Greek language and literature; as he grew older, John became more committed to Christianity and went on to study theology under Diodore of Tarsus, founder of the re-constituted School of Antioch.
According to the Christian historian Sozomen, Libanius was supposed to have said on his deathbed that John would have been his successor "if the Christians had not taken him from us". John lived in extreme asceticism and became a hermit in about 375; as a consequence of these practices, his stomach and kidneys were permanently damaged and poor health forced him to return to Antioch. John was ordained as a deacon in 381 by Saint Meletius of Antioch, not in communion with Alexandria and Rome. After the death of Meletius, John separated himself from the followers of Meletius, without joining Paulinus, the rival of Meletius for the bishopric of Antioch, but after the death of Paulinus he was ordained a presbyter in 386 by Evagrius, the successor of Paulinus. He was destined to bring about reconciliation between Flavian I of Antioch and Rome, thus bringing those three sees into communion for the first time in nearly seventy years. In Antioch, over the course of twelve years, John gained popularity because of the eloquence of his public speaking at the Golden Church, Antioch's cathedral his insightful expositions of Bible passages and moral teaching.
The most valuable of his works from this period are his Homilies on various books of the Bible. He was concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor, he spoke against abuse of wealth and personal property:Do you wish to honour the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad, he who said: "This is my body" is the same who said: "You saw me hungry and you gave me no food", "Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did to me"... What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and with what is left you may adorn the altar as well, his straightforward understanding of the Scriptures – in contrast to the Alexandrian tendency towards allegorical interpretation – meant that the themes of his talks were practical, explaining the Bible's application to everyday life. Such straightforward preaching helped Chrysostom to garner popular support.
He founded a series of hospitals in Constantinople to care for the poor. One incident that happened during his service in Antioch illustrates the influence of his homilies; when Chrysostom arrived in Antioch, the bishop of the city, had to intervene with Emperor Theodosius I on behalf of citizens who had gone on a rampage mutilating statues of the Emperor and his family. During the weeks of Lent in 387, John preached more than twenty homilies in which he entreated the people to see the error of their ways; these made a lasting impression on the general population of the city: many pagans converted to Christianity as a result of the homilies. As a result, Theodosius' vengeance was not as severe. In the autumn of 397, John was appointed Archbishop of Constantinople, after having been nominated without his knowledge by the eunuch Eutropius, he had to leave Antioch in secret due to fears that the departure of such a popular figure would cause civil unrest. During his time as Archbishop he
Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity and religion are interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance. Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, in the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel; the Merneptah Stele appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE. The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as'Hebrews'. Though few sources mention the exilic periods in detail, the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian captivity and exile, to Babylonian captivity and exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and exile, the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history and memory.
Prior to World War II, the worldwide Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million, representing around 0.7% of the world population at that time. 6 million Jews were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. Since the population has risen again, as of 2016 was estimated at 14.4 million by the Berman Jewish DataBank, less than 0.2% of the total world population. The modern State of Israel is the only country, it defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state in the Basic Laws, Human Dignity and Liberty in particular, based on the Declaration of Independence. Israel's Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to Jews who have expressed their desire to settle in Israel. Despite their small percentage of the world's population, Jews have influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both and in modern times, including philosophy, literature, business, fine arts and architecture, music and cinema, science and technology, as well as religion. Jews have played a significant role in the development of Western Civilization.
The English word "Jew" continues Iewe. These terms derive from Old French giu, earlier juieu, which through elision had dropped the letter "d" from the Medieval Latin Iudaeus, like the New Testament Greek term Ioudaios, meant both "Jew" and "Judean" / "of Judea"; the Greek term was a loan from Aramaic Y'hūdāi, corresponding to Hebrew יְהוּדִי Yehudi the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, the name of both the tribe and kingdom derive from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Genesis 29:35 and 49:8 connect the name "Judah" with the verb yada, meaning "praise", but scholars agree that the name of both the patriarch and the kingdom instead have a geographic origin—possibly referring to the gorges and ravines of the region; the Hebrew word for "Jew" is יְהוּדִי Yehudi, with the plural יְהוּדִים Yehudim. Endonyms in other Jewish languages include the Yiddish ייִד Yid; the etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g. يَهُودِيّ yahūdī, al-yahūd, in Arabic, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "Juif" /"Juive" in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío/a" in Spanish, "jood" in Dutch, "żyd" in Polish etc. but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are in use to describe a Jew, e.g. in Italian, in Persian and Russian.
The German word "Jude" is pronounced, the corresponding adjective "jüdisch" is the origin of the word "Yiddish". According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition, It is recognized that the attributive use of the noun Jew, in phrases such as Jew lawyer or Jew ethics, is both vulgar and offensive. In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility; some people, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own. In a sentence such as There are now several Jews on the council, unobjectionable, the substitution of a circumlocution like Jewish people or persons of Jewish background may in itself cause offense for seeming to imply that Jew has a negative connotation when used as a noun. Judaism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, a culture, making the definition of, a Jew vary depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used.
In modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage, people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion. Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, halakhic conversions; these definitions of, a Jew date back to the codification of the Oral
Colonies in antiquity
Colonies in antiquity were post-Iron Age city-states founded from a mother-city, not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained close, took specific forms during the period of classical antiquity. Colonies founded by the ancient Phoenicians, Rome, Alexander the Great and his successors remained tied to their metropolis, but Greek colonies of the Archaic and Classical eras were sovereign and self-governing from their inception. While Greek colonies were founded to solve social unrest in the mother-city, by expelling a part of the population, Roman and Han Chinese colonies were used for expansion and empire-building. An Egyptian colony, stationed in southern Canaan dates to before the First Dynasty. Narmer had Egyptian pottery produced in Canaan and exported back to Egypt, from regions such as Arad, En Besor and Tel ʿErani. Shipbuilding was known to the ancient Egyptians as early as 3000 BC, earlier; the Archaeological Institute of America reports that the earliest dated ship — dating to 3000 BC – may have belonged to Pharaoh Aha.
The Phoenicians were the major trading power in the Mediterranean in the early part of the first millennium BC. They had trading contacts in Egypt and Greece, established colonies as far west as modern Spain, at Gadir. From Gadir the Phoenicians controlled access to the trade routes to Britain; the most famous and successful of Phoenician colonies was founded by settlers from Tyre in 814–813 BC and called Kart-Hadasht, known to history as Carthage. The Carthaginians founded their own colony in the southeast of Spain, Carthago Nova, conquered by their enemy, Rome. According to María Eugenia Aubet, Professor of Archaeology at the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona: "The earliest presence of Phoenician material in the West is documented within the precinct of the ancient city of Huelva, Spain... The high proportion of Phoenician pottery among the new material found in 1997 in the Plaza de las Monjas in Huelva argues in favour, not of a few first sporadic contacts in the zone, but of a regular presence of Phoenician people from the start of the ninth century BC.
The recent radiocarbon dates from the earliest levels in Carthage situate the founding of this Tyrian colony in the years 835–800 cal BC, which coincides with the dates handed down by Flavius Josephus and Timeus for the founding of the city." In Ancient Greece, a vanquished people would sometimes found a colony, leaving their homes to escape subjection at the hand of a foreign enemy. But in most cases colony-founders aimed to establish and facilitate relations of trade with foreign countries and to further the wealth of the mother-city. Colonies were established in Ionia and Thrace as early as the 8th century BC. More than thirty Greek city-states had multiple colonies, they became dotted across the Mediterranean world, with the most active colony-founding city, Miletus, of the Ionian League, spawning ninety colonies stretching throughout the Mediterranean Sea, from the shores of the Black Sea and Anatolia in the east, to the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula in the west, as well as several colonies on the Libyan coast of northern Africa, from the late 9th to the 5th centuries BC.
Greeks founded two similar types of colony, one known as an ἀποικία apoikía – a designation reflecting the Greek roots ἀπό + οἶκος – and the other as an ἐμπόριov – emporion. The first type of colony was a city-state on its own; the Greek city-states began establishing colonies around 900 – 800 BC, at first at Al Mina on the coast of Syria and the Greek emporium Pithekoussai at Ischia in the Bay of Naples, both established about 800 BC by Euboeans. Two waves of new colonists set out from Greece at the transition between the "Dark Ages" and the start of the Archaic Period – the first in the early 8th century BC and a second burst of the colonizing spirit in the 6th century. Population growth and cramped spaces at home seem an insufficient explanation, while the economical and political dynamics produced by the competitive spirit between the kingless Greek city-states – newly introduced as a concept and striving to expand their spheres of economical influence – better fits as their true incentive.
Through this Greek expansion the use of coins flourished throughout the Mediterranean Basin. Influential Greek colonies in the western Mediterranean – many of them in today's Italy — included Cyme, Rhegium by Chalcis and Zankle, Syracuse by Corinth/Tenea, Naxos by Chalcis and Agathe by Phokaia and Emporion by Phokaia/Massalia, Antipolis by Achaea, Alalia by Phokaia/Massalia and Cyrene by Thera; the Greeks colonised modern-day Crimea in the Black Sea. The settlements they established there included the city of Chersonesos, at the site of modern-day Sevastopol. Another area with significant Greek colonies was the coast of ancient Illyria on the Adriatic Sea. Cicero remarks on the extensive Greek c
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests and scrub vegetation. The Mediterranean basin covers portions of three continents: Europe and Africa It has a varied and contrasting topography; the Mediterranean Region offers an ever-changing landscape of high mountains, rocky shores, impenetrable scrub, semi-arid steppes, coastal wetlands, sandy beaches and a myriad islands of various shapes and sizes dotted amidst the clear blue sea. Contrary to the classic sandy beach images portrayed in most tourist brochures, the Mediterranean is hilly. Mountains can be seen from anywhere; the Mediterranean Basin extends into Western Asia, covering the western and southern portions of the peninsula of Turkey, excluding the temperate-climate mountains of central Turkey. It includes the Mediterranean climate Levant at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, bounded on the east and south by the Syrian and Negev deserts.
The northern portion of the Maghreb region of northwestern Africa has a Mediterranean climate, separated from the Sahara Desert, which extends across North Africa, by the Atlas Mountains. In the eastern Mediterranean the Sahara extends to the southern shore of the Mediterranean, with the exception of the northern fringe of the peninsula of Cyrenaica in Libya, which has a dry Mediterranean climate. Europe lies to the north, three large Southern European peninsulas, the Iberian Peninsula, Italian Peninsula, the Balkan Peninsula, extend into the Mediterranean-climate zone. A system of folded mountains, including the Pyrenees dividing Spain from France, the Alps dividing Italy from Central Europe, the Dinaric Alps along the eastern Adriatic, the Balkan and Rhodope mountains of the Balkan Peninsula divide the Mediterranean from the temperate climate regions of Western and Central Europe; the Mediterranean Basin was shaped by the ancient collision of the northward-moving African-Arabian continent with the stable Eurasian continent.
As Africa-Arabia moved north, it closed the former Tethys Sea, which separated Eurasia from the ancient super continent of Gondwana, of which Africa was part. At about the same time, 170 mya in the Jurassic period, a small Neotethys ocean basin formed shortly before the Tethys Sea was closed at the eastern end; the collision pushed up a vast system of mountains, extending from the Pyrenees in Spain to the Zagros Mountains in Iran. This episode of mountain building, known as the Alpine orogeny, occurred during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs; the Neotethys became larger during associated folding and subduction. About 6 mya during the late Miocene, the Mediterranean was closed at its western end by drifting Africa, which caused the entire sea to evaporate. There followed several episodes of sea drawdown and re-flooding known as the Messinian Salinity Crisis, which ended when the Atlantic last re-flooded the basin at the end of the Miocene. Recent research has suggested that a desiccation-flooding cycle may have repeated several times during the last 630,000 years of the Miocene epoch, which could explain several events of large amounts of salt deposition.
Recent studies, show that repeated desiccation and re-flooding is unlikely from a geodynamic point of view. The end of the Miocene marked a change in the Mediterranean Basin's climate. Fossil evidence shows that the Mediterranean Basin had a humid subtropical climate with summer rainfall during the Miocene, which supported laurel forests; the shift to a Mediterranean climate occurred within the last 3.2–2.8 million years, during the Pliocene epoch, as summer rainfall decreased. The subtropical laurel forests retreated, although they persisted on the islands of Macaronesia off the Atlantic coast of Iberia and North Africa, the present Mediterranean vegetation evolved, dominated by coniferous trees and sclerophyllous trees and shrubs, with small, waxy leaves that prevent moisture loss in the dry summers. Much of these forests and shrublands have been altered beyond recognition by thousands of years of human habitation. There are now few intact natural areas in what was once a wooded region. Phytogeographically, the Mediterranean basin together with the nearby Atlantic coast, the Mediterranean woodlands and forests and Mediterranean dry woodlands and steppe of North Africa, the Black Sea coast of northeastern Anatolia, the southern coast of Crimea between Sevastopol and Feodosiya and the Black Sea coast between Anapa and Tuapse in Russia forms the Mediterranean Floristic Region, which belongs to the Tethyan Subkingdom of the Boreal Kingdom and is enclosed between the Circumboreal, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Macaronesian floristic regions.
The Mediterranean Region was first proposed by German botanist August Grisebach in the late 19th century. Drosophyllaceae segregated from Droseraceae, is the only plant family endemic to the region. Among the endemic plant genera are: The genera Aubrieta, Cynara, Dracunculus and Biarum are nearly endemic. Among the endemic species prominent in the Mediterranean vegetation are the Aleppo pine, stone pine, Mediterranean cypress, bay laurel, Oriental sweetgum, holm oak, kermes oak, strawberry tree, Greek strawberry tree, terebinth, common myrtle, Acanthus mollis and Vitex agnus-castus. Moreover, many plant taxa are shared with one of the four neighboring floristic regions only. According to different versions of Armen Takhtajan's delineation, the Mediterranean Region is further subdivid