Vourinos is a mountain range covering the eastern Grevena and southern Kozani regional units in Greece. Its highest elevation is 1,866 metres, its length is 30 km from northwest to southeast. It is drained by its tributaries. There are forests on the northern slopes and the lower areas, the higher elevations are covered with grasslands; the nearest mountain ranges are Kamvounia to the southeast. The nearest villages are Chromio to the east, Palaiokastro to the northwest and Pontini to the southwest; the nearest larger towns are Kozani to the northeast. The Egnatia Odos motorway and the Greek National Road 20 pass along its northern edge; the mountain is known for being one of the two revolutionary outbreaks of the Macedonian Revolution of 1878, demanding the union of Macedonia with Greece
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
Albania the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and a maritime border with Italy to the west. Geographically, the country displays varied climatic, geological and morphological conditions, defined in an area of 28,748 km2, it possesses remarkable diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped mountains in the Albanian Alps as well as the Korab, Skanderbeg and Ceraunian Mountains to the hot and sunny coasts of the Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea along the Mediterranean Sea. The area of Albania was populated by various Illyrian and Ancient Greek tribes as well as several Greek colonies established in the Illyrian coast; the area was annexed in the 3rd century by Romans and became an integral part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Illyricum. The autonomous Principality of Arbër emerged in 1190, established by archon Progon in the Krujë, within the Byzantine Empire.
In the late thirteenth century, Charles of Anjou conquered Albanian territories from the Byzantines and established the medieval Kingdom of Albania, which at its maximal extension was extending from Durrës along the coast to Butrint in the south. In the mid-fifteenth century, it was conquered by the Ottomans; the modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, a Communist state titled the People's Socialist Republic of Albania was founded under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour; the country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established.
Politically, the country is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy dominated by the tertiary sector followed by the secondary and primary sector. It went through a process of transition, following the end of communism in 1990, from a centralized to a market-based economy, it provides universal health care and free primary and secondary education to its citizens. The country is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, NATO, WTO, COE, OSCE and OIC, it is an official candidate for membership in the European Union. In addition it is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean; the term Albania is the medieval Latin name of the country. It may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of Albani recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, who drafted a map in 150 AD, which shows the city of Albanopolis located northeast of the city of Durrës.
The term may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon or Arbanon, although it is not certain that this was the same place. In his history written in the 10th century, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer to Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbëri or Arbëni and referred to themselves as Arbëreshë or Arbëneshë. Nowadays, Albanians call their country Shqipëria; as early as the 17th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë replaced Arbëria and Arbëresh. The two terms are popularly interpreted as "Land of the Eagles" and "Children of the Eagles"; the first traces of human presence in Albania, dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic eras, were found in the village of Xarrë close to Sarandë and Dajti near Tiranë. The objects found in a cave near Xarrë include flint and jasper objects and fossilized animal bones, while those found at Mount Dajt comprise bone and stone tools similar to those of the Aurignacian culture.
The Paleolithic finds of Albania show great similarities with objects of the same era found at Crvena Stijena in Montenegro and north-western Greece. Several Bronze Age artefacts from tumulus burials have been unearthed in central and southern Albania that show close connection with sites in south-western Macedonia and Lefkada, Greece. Archaeologists have come to the conclusion that these regions were inhabited from the middle of the third millennium BC by Indo-European people who spoke a Proto-Greek language. A part of this population moved to Mycenae around 1600 BC and founded the Mycenaean civilisation there. In ancient times, the territory of modern Albania was inhabited by a number of Illyrian tribes; the Illyrian tribes never collectively regarded themselves as'Illyrians', it is unlikely that they used any collective nomenclature for themselves. The name Illyrians seems to be the name applied to a specific Illyrian tribe, the first to come in contact with the ancient Greeks during the Bronze Age, causing the name Illyrians to be applied pars pro toto to all people of similar language and customs.
The territory known as Illyria corresponded to the area east of the Adriatic sea, extending in the south to the mouth of the Vjosë river. The first accou
The Maritsa, Meriç or Evros is, with a length of 480 km, the longest river that runs in the interior of the Balkans. Its drainage area is about 53,000 km2, of which 66.2% in Bulgaria, 27.5% in Turkey and 6.3% in Greece. It has its origin in the Rila Mountains in Western Bulgaria, flowing southeast between the Balkan and Rhodope Mountains, past Plovdiv and Parvomay to Edirne, Turkey. East of Svilengrad, the river flows eastwards, forming the border between Bulgaria and Greece, between Turkey and Greece. At Edirne, the river flows through Turkish territory on both banks turns towards the south and forms the border between Greece on the west bank and Turkey on the east bank to the Aegean Sea. Turkey was given a small sector on the west bank opposite the city of Edirne; the river enters the Aegean Sea near Enez. The Tundzha is its chief tributary; the lower course of the Maritsa/Evros forms part of the Bulgarian-Greek border and most of the Greek–Turkish border. The upper Maritsa valley is a principal east-west route in Bulgaria.
The unnavigable river is used for power irrigation. The places that the river flows through include Pazardzhik, Parvomay and Svilengrad in Bulgaria, Edirne in Turkey and Kastanies, Pythio and Lavara in Greece. There are a number of bridges over the river, including the one at Svilengrad, the one west of Edirne in Turkey and GR-2 with the D110/E90 further south and as its border crossings; the earliest known name of the river is Euros. Indo-European *ewru and Ancient Greek εύρύs meant "wide"; the Indo-European "wr" sound shifted in Thracian to "br". Thereafter, the river began to be known as Hebros in Greek and Latin. Rather than an origin as "wide river", an alternative hypothesis is that Hebros meant "goat" in Thracian. Since, when first attested, Europe referred only to Thrace proper, the name of the continent is derived from this river. While the name Έβρος was used in Ancient Greek, the name Μαρίτσα had become standard before the ancient form Έβρος was artificially restituted in Modern Greek.
The name Maritsa may derive from a mountain near the mouth of the river known in antiquity as Μηρισός or Μήριζος, Latinized as Meritus. In 1371, the river was the site of the Battle of Maritsa known as the battle of Chernomen, an Ottoman victory over the Serbs. Vukašin Mrnjavčević and Jovan Uglješa died in the battle; the Maritsa/Evros river has become one route for illegal migrants arriving into the EU. Many people, from Asia and Africa have used the Maritsa route after agreements sometimes seem to temporarily block other routes e.g. across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy and Spain. Starting from the river's source, significant tributaries of Maritsa include: Left tributaries: Topolnitsa Luda Yana Stryama Sazliyka Tundzha/Tunca Ergene Right tributaries: Chepinska reka Vacha Chepelarska reka Harmanliyska reka Arda/Ardas Erythropotamos/Luda reka The lower course of the river Maritsa/Evros, where it forms the border of Greece and Turkey, is vulnerable to flooding. For about 4 months every year, the low lands around the river are flooded.
This causes significant economic damage, estimated at several hundreds million Euro. Recent large floods took place in 2006 and 2007. Several causes have been proposed: more rainfall due to climate change, deforestation in the Bulgarian part of the catchment area, increased land use in the flood plains and difficult communication between the three countries. Maritsa Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Maritsa River. La Maritza is a 1968 song written by Jean Renard and Pierre Delanoë and interpreted by Sylvie Vartan. Hebrus Valles on Mars is named after this river; the Bulgarian Maritsa motorway, which follows the course of the river from Chirpan to the Turkish border at Kapitan Andreevo, is named in honour of the river. "МАРИЦА". Българска енциклопедия А-Я. БАН, Труд, Сирма. 2002. ISBN 954-8104-08-3. OCLC 163361648
The Vardar or Axios is the longest and major river in the Republic of North Macedonia and a major river of Greece. It is 388 km long, drains an area of around 25,000 km2; the maximum depth of the river is 4 m. The etymology of the word is unclear; however most the origin of the name Vardar derives Bardários from Thracian, from Proto-Indo-European *wordo-wori-'black water'. It can be considered a translation or similar meaning of Axios, which itself is Thracian for'not-shining' from PIE *n.-ski, found in another name at the mouth of the Danube, Axíopa "dark water", renamed in Slavic Cernavodă'black water'. The name Bardários was sometimes used by the Ancient Greeks in the 3rd Century BCE; the same name was used in the Byzantine era. The word may be derived from the PIE root *werǵ-, the source of the English word "to work." Its Greek name, Axios, is mentioned by Homer as the home of the Paeonians allies of Troy. The river rises at a few kilometers north of Gostivar in the Republic of North Macedonia.
It passes through Gostivar and into Veles, crosses the Greek border near Gevgelija and Axioupoli, before emptying into the Aegean Sea in Central Macedonia, west of Thessaloniki in northern Greece. The Vardar basin comprises two-thirds of the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia; the valley features fertile lands in the Polog region, around Gevgelija and in the Thessaloniki regional unit. The river is surrounded by mountains elsewhere; the superhighways Greek National Road 1 in Greece and M1 and E75 run within the valley along the river's entire length to near Skopje. The river was famous during the Ottoman Empire and remains so in modern-day Turkey as the inspiration for many folk songs, of which the most famous is Vardar Ovasi, it has been depicted on the coat of arms of Skopje, which in turn is incorporated in the city's flag. The Project to Construct the Danube-Morava-Vardar-Aegean Canal has been a dream for a long time. Le Figaro published a project of Athens and Belgrade on 28.08.2017.
The Greek-Serbian proposal made in Peking is Pharaonic: 651 km. A project worth 17 billion; the Vardaris or Vardarec is a powerful prevailing northerly ravine wind which blows across the river valley in Greek Macedonia as well as in the Republic of North Macedonia. At first it descends along the "canal" of the Vardar valley as a breeze; when it encounters the high mountains that separate Greece from the Republic of Macedonia, it descends the other side, gathering a tremendous momentum and bringing cold conditions to the city of Thessaloniki and the Axios delta. Somewhat similar to the mistral wind of France, it occurs when atmospheric pressure over eastern Europe is higher than over the Aegean Sea, as is the case in winter. Great Morava Pčinja River Proceedings of the 1st Axios Catchment Consortium Meeting by the European Commission - DG Research. PIM "Ivan Milutinović", Serbia.
Greek mythology is the body of myths told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities and mythological creatures, the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself; the Greek myths were propagated in an oral-poetic tradition most by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BC. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians and comedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age, in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.
Aside from this narrative deposit in ancient Greek literature, pictorial representations of gods and mythic episodes featured prominently in ancient vase-paintings and the decoration of votive gifts and many other artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. In the succeeding Archaic and Hellenistic periods and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes. Greek mythology is known today from Greek literature and representations on visual media dating from the Geometric period from c. 900 BC to c. 800 BC onward. In fact and archaeological sources integrate, sometimes mutually supportive and sometimes in conflict.
Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. The only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus; this work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. Apollodorus of Athens wrote on many of these topics, his writings may have formed the basis for the collection. Among the earliest literary sources are the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these and lesser poems now are lost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer, they are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age. Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life includes the myths of Prometheus and the Five Ages.
The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods. Lyrical poets took their subjects from myth, but their treatment became less narrative and more allusive. Greek lyric poets, including Pindar and Simonides, bucolic poets such as Theocritus and Bion, relate individual mythological incidents. Additionally, myth was central to classical Athenian drama; the tragic playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides took most of their plots from myths of the age of heroes and the Trojan War. Many of the great tragic stories took on their classic form in these tragedies; the comic playwright Aristophanes used myths, in The Birds and The Frogs. Historians Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends giving little-known alternative versions. Herodotus in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East.
Herodotus attempted to reconcile the blending of differing cultural concepts. The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise, it contains many important details that would otherwise be lost. This category includes the works of: The Roman poets Ovid, Valerius Flaccus and Virgil with Servius's commentary; the Greek poets of the Late Antique period: Nonnus, Antoninus Liberalis, Quintus Smyrnaeus. The Greek poets of the Hellenistic period: Apollonius of Rhodes, Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Parthenius. Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths includ
Western Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the western part of Greek Macedonia. It is divided into the regional units of Florina, Grevena and Kozani; the region of Western Macedonia is situated in north-western Greece, bordering with the regions of Central Macedonia, Thessaly and bounded to the north at the international borders of Greece with the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania. Although it covers a total surface of 9,451 km2, it has a total population of 283,689 inhabitants, thus it is a low-density populated region; this is due to the mountainous nature of the region, as 82% of the total surface are mountainous and semi-mountainous areas. This is reflected in the population distribution, as a majority of the population lives in rural areas; the capital of the region is Kozani with 53,880 inhabitants. Other main towns are Ptolemaida, Grevena and Kastoria; the Region has one operational Industrial Area in Florina and another one under construction in Kozani.
The secondary sector is important for the Regional economy due to the mining activities, the production of electric power and the fur-leather sector. However, “soft” structures have not followed the general improvement of heavy infrastructures, a situation that has to be remedied, in order to achieve an overall higher economic development of the Region; the R&D services are at a rather low level: only 3,5% of the country’s total research foundations are situated in the Region. Among them, the Technological Educational Institute plays an important role in supporting the regional research and educational efforts. However, an enhanced interaction with SME’s will be a crucial factor, in order to improve the productivity and the added value of products and services generated in the Region of Western Macedonia; some of its more famous products are marbles, fruits, Florina peppers, local wines and specialized arts and crafts industry. The Egnatia motorway via Egnatia that crosses the Region, along with its two vertical National Roads, form a network that improves the transport conditions in the Region and alter its traditional “isolation” image due to its mountainous landscape.
On the other hand, the railroad network is insufficient and the two airports can only serve small passenger planes. The telecommunication network has improved over the last decade, providing the regional population with adequate services and modern facilities; the last years the region is being developed in tourism on winter. It is the only Greek region without sea coast, but on the other side there are a lot of lakes, picturesque villages and two big ski centers in Florina and Grevena and one other under construction in Kozani; the administrative building of Western Macedonia region is located in Zone of Alternate Urban Planning in the city of Kozani. The unemployment rate stood at 29.1% in 2017. As of 2017 the Region has the highest regional unemployment rate in the European Union; as one of thirteen administrative regions, the Western Macedonia Region was established in 1987, comprising the prefectures of Kastoria, Grevena and Florina. In the absence of a working budget the administrative regions however remained unable to fulfill their limited responsibilities, until in 1994 they assumed the prefectures' competences in regard to tax collection, European structural funding and treasury.
Resulting from the 2010 Kallikratis Programme, prefectures were abolished and instead, the regions became self-governing bodies in their own right with powers and authority being redefined and extended. Starting with the 2010 local elections, both the regional governor and the regional council have been popularly elected. From 2014 on, the elections are held together with the European Parliament elections for a five-year period. Current regional governor is independent politician Theodoros Karypidis who beat incumbent Konstantinos Dakis of the New Democracy party in the 2nd round of the 2014 election; the region is divided into four regional units. It comprises 12 municipalities. Along with the neighboring Epirus region it is supervised by the Ioannina-based Decentralized Administration of Epirus and Western Macedonia; the population of Western Macedonia was 283,689 according to the 2011 census. Today, the region has a mixed population of Slavophone Greeks; the former are concentrated in the towns Florina and Ptolemaida.
There are around 1,400 Slavophones—approximately 0.5% of the local population—who profess an ethnic Macedonian identity. Other smaller communities include Arvanites; the biggest towns in each regional unit, according to the census of 2011: Amyntaeo Argos Orestiko Deskati Florina Grevena Kastoria Kozani Ptolemaida Siatista Velvendos The University of Western Macedonia provides technical education to stimulate growth throughout the region, is located in Kozani and Florina. Popular programs at the University in Florina include courses of study in the Pedagogic Department and the Department of Balkan studies; the Technological Ed