Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is performed when a relief is cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field, leaving the unsculpted parts raised; the technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, a time-consuming exercise. On the other hand, a relief saves forming the rear of a subject, is less fragile and more securely fixed than a sculpture in the round one of a standing figure where the ankles are a potential weak point in stone. In other materials such as metal, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mâché the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting. There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, for which the Italian and French terms are still sometimes used in English.
The full range includes high relief, where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, mid-relief, low-relief, shallow-relief or rilievo schiacciato, where the plane is only slightly lower than the sculpted elements. There is sunk relief, restricted to Ancient Egypt. However, the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, these two are the only terms used to discuss most work; the definition of these terms is somewhat variable, many works combine areas in more than one of them, sometimes sliding between them in a single figure. The opposite of relief sculpture is counter-relief, intaglio, or cavo-rilievo, where the form is cut into the field or background rather than rising from it. Hyphens may or may not be used in all these terms, though they are seen in "sunk relief" and are usual in "bas-relief" and "counter-relief". Works in the technique are described as "in relief", in monumental sculpture, the work itself is "a relief".
Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and a variety of smaller settings, a sequence of several panels or sections of relief may represent an extended narrative. Relief is more suitable for depicting complicated subjects with many figures and active poses, such as battles, than free-standing "sculpture in the round". Most ancient architectural reliefs were painted, which helped to define forms in low relief; the subject of reliefs is for convenient reference assumed in this article to be figures, but sculpture in relief depicts decorative geometrical or foliage patterns, as in the arabesques of Islamic art, may be of any subject. Rock reliefs are those carved into solid rock in the open air; this type is found in many cultures, in particular those of the Ancient Near East and Buddhist countries. A stele is a single standing stone; the distinction between high and low relief is somewhat subjective, the two are often combined in a single work. In particular, most "high reliefs" contain sections in low relief in the background.
From the Parthenon Frieze onwards, many single figures in large monumental sculpture have heads in high relief, but their lower legs are in low relief. The projecting figures created in this way work well in reliefs that are seen from below, reflect that the heads of figures are of more interest to both artist and viewer than the legs or feet; as unfinished examples from various periods show, raised reliefs, whether high or low, were "blocked out" by marking the outline of the figure and reducing the background areas to the new background level, work no doubt performed by apprentices. A low relief or bas-relief is a projecting image with a shallow overall depth, for example used on coins, on which all images are in low relief. In the lowest reliefs the relative depth of the elements shown is distorted, if seen from the side the image makes no sense, but from the front the small variations in depth register as a three-dimensional image. Other versions distort depth much less, it is a technique which requires less work, is therefore cheaper to produce, as less of the background needs to be removed in a carving, or less modelling is required.
In the art of Ancient Egypt, Assyrian palace reliefs, other ancient Near Eastern and Asian cultures, Meso-America, a consistent low relief was used for the whole composition. These images would be painted after carving, which helped define the forms; the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, now in Berlin, has low reliefs of large animals formed from moulded bricks, glazed in colour. Plaster, which made the technique far easier, was used in Egypt and the Near East from antiquity into Islamic times and Europe from at least the Renaissance, as well as elsewhere. However, it needs good co
Pyrgoi is a village and a community of the Eordaia municipality. It is located in the region of Western Macedonia. Before the 2011 local government reform it was part of the municipality of Vermio, of which it was a municipal district; the 2011 census recorded 768 inhabitants in the village. In a location near the village it can be concluded from archeological findings that there was an ancient settlement during the Hellenistic and Roman period, in control of a route that led from Eordaea to southern Macedonia. Historian Margaritis Dimitsas in his work "Ancient Geography of Macedonia" places in the region of Pyrgoi the ancient city of Eordaea, he noted "...the capital city of Eordaea was located to the south east of lake Ostrovo. Katranitsa's location seems to be similar to that of the ancient city, maintained until the 10th century, when it was destroyed by Bulgarian invaders; the remnants of the city became Katranitsa.". During the Ottoman occupation the village flourished so much that it became known as "küçük Istanbul" and the Patriarchate upgraded it to a regional bishopric.
Many personalities that were recognized in humanities and trade were from Katranitsa. Known merchant of Vienna and close partner to Greek revolutionary Rigas Feraios, Christos Manos, founder of the Greek family Christomanos, was born in the village in 1737. From Pyrgoi, was the Greek klepht and revolutionary, active in the 1740s in the regions of Western and Central Macedonia, he was arrested in 1747 in the city of Veria. The professor of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Damianos Georgiou Draskas and Ioannis Karamatas, an important factor of the Hellenic community of Zeumon and founder of the first Greek typography of Serbia. From Pyrgoi was the great diplomat and lawyer Peter Itskos who contributed to the creation of the Serbian state. During the Greek War of Independence, the inhabitants of Pyrgoi revolted and, in March 1822, 150 fighters under chieftain, Dimitris Karimitsos of Vlasti, exterminated large Ottoman forces in the area. Chieftain Dimitrios Sigaras from Pyrgoi took part in the revolt of Naoussa with his four brothers and 45 fighters from Pyrgoi.
From Pyrgoi was the Liaba family, members of which fought and died in the Naoussa massacre in 1822. In the period of the Macedonian struggle, the town of Katranitsa was used by Greek guerrillas as a base of excursion; the Greek Macedonian pharmacist Philippos Kapetanopoulos, who worked Monastir and was a close associate of Pavlos Mela, was from Pyrgoi. He was killed fighting with the guerrilla body of Pavlos Melas, on September 19, 1904, just outside of Polipotamos, Florina. Other Greeks from Pyrgoi who took part in the Macedonia struggle were Harisios Vantkoukis, Anastasios Vasdekis, Konstantinos Vasdekis, Markos Georgiou, Ioannis Kapetanopoulos, Petros Nicolaides, Antonios Pagiantsas, Stavros Hadjimitsos, they were involved in the armed phase of the Macedonian Struggle, most were part of Hellenic Macedonian Committee of Defense against the Bulgarians. The Pyrgoi inhabitants: Michael Giorou, Antonios Dimou, Theodosios Theodorou, Thomas Kapetanopoulos, Michael Vasdekis, Nikolaos Bitsiou, Michael Paraschou, Petros Paraschou, Georgios Sionis, Ioannis Stamboulis, Stavros Tsitsis, Markos Hadjitaskou and Stavros Hadjitaskou, were killed with axes by Bulgarian units on Mount Vermio on April 21, 1906.
Pyrgoi were liberated from the Ottoman empire by the Kingdom of Greece in 1912 in the Balkan wars. On April 24, 1944 there was a massacre of civilians by their local accomplices, it was the second largest German-related massacre of Greece after that of Kalavryta. The events were the subject of dozens of documentaries and generated wide interest. Among the atrocities that were committed, 368 men women and children were burned alive. Colonel Karl Schümers of 7th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment was responsible for the massacres at Pyrgoi, Kleisoura Kastoria, Distomo Boeotia which in total included over 1,000 men and children; the town was destroyed and survivors were forced to walk to Ptolemaida. An annual memorial ceremony is held for the victims, where the president of Democracy of Greece visits the village. Petar Ičko, Ottoman and Serbian diplomat Filippos Kapetanopoulos, fighter in the Macedonian Struggle Anastassios Christomanos, university professor and chemist Antonios Christomanos, university professor, politician Constantine Christomanos, poet, theatrical writer Chirstos Manos, entrepreneur Captain Goutas, Greek revolutionary, klepht Δημ.
Κ. Σαμσάρης, Ιστορική γεωγραφία της ρωμαϊκής επαρχίας Μακεδονίας, Θεσσαλονίκη 1989, σ. 177-178. ISBN 960-7265-01-7
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. Its boundaries have changed over time. Today the region is considered to include parts of six Balkan countries: Greece, North Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo, it covers 67,000 square kilometres and has a population of 4.76 million. Its oldest known settlements date back to 7,000 BC. From the middle of the 4th century BC, the Kingdom of Macedon became the dominant power on the Balkan Peninsula; the definition of Macedonia has changed several times throughout history. Prior to its expansion under Alexander the Great, the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, to which the modern region owes its name, lay within the central and western parts of the current Greek province of Macedonia and was consisted of 17 provinces/districts or eparchies. Expansion of Kingdom of Macedon: Kingdom of Perdiccas I: Macedonian Kingdom of Emathia consisting of six provinces Emathia, Bottiaea, Mygdonia and Almopia. Kingdom of Alexander I: All the above provinces plus the eastern annexations Crestonia and the western annexations Elimiotis and Lynkestis.
Kingdom of Philip II: All the above provinces plus the appendages of Pelagonia and Macedonian Paeonia to the north, Sintike and Edonis to the east and the Chalkidike to the south. In the 2nd century, Macedonia covered the area where it is considered to be today, but the northern regions of today Republic of North Macedonia were not identified as Macedonian lands. For reasons that are still unclear, over the next eleven centuries Macedonia's location was changed significantly; the Roman province of Macedonia consisted of what is today Northern and Central Greece, much of the geographical area of the present-day Republic of North Macedonia and southeast Albania. Put, the Romans created a much larger administrative area under that name than the original ancient Macedon. In late Roman times, the provincial boundaries were reorganized to form the Diocese of Macedonia, consisting of most of modern mainland Greece right across the Aegean to include Crete, southern Albania, parts of south-west Bulgaria and southern Republic of North Macedonia.
In the Byzantine Empire, a province under the name of Macedonia was carved out of the original Theme of Thrace, well east of the Struma River. This thema variously gave its name to the Macedonian dynasty. Hence, Byzantine documents of this era that mention Macedonia are most referring to the Macedonian thema; the region of Macedonia, on the other hand, ruled by the First Bulgarian Empire throughout the 9th and the 10th century, was incorporated into the Byzantine Empire in 1018 as the Themе of Bulgaria. With the gradual conquest of southeastern Europe by the Ottomans in the late 14th century, the name of Macedonia disappeared as an administrative designation for several centuries and was displayed on maps; the name was again revived to mean a distinct geographical region in the 19th century, defining the region bounded by Mount Olympus, the Pindus range, mounts Shar and Osogovo, the western Rhodopes, the lower course of the river Mesta and the Aegean Sea, developing the same borders that it has today.
During medieval and modern times, Macedonia has been known as a Balkan region inhabited by ethnic Greeks, Vlachs, Bulgarians and Turks. Today, as a frontier region where several different cultures meet, Macedonia has an diverse demographic profile. Macedonian Greeks self-identify culturally and regionally as "Macedonians", they form the majority of the region's population. They number 2,500,000 and, they live entirely in Greek Macedonia; the Greek Macedonian population is mixed, with other indigenous groups and with a large influx of Greek refugees descending from Asia Minor, Pontic Greeks, East Thracian Greeks in the early 20th century. This is due to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, during which over 1.2 million Orthodox Christian refugees from Turkey were settled in Greece, 638,000 of whom were settled in the Greek province of Macedonia. Smaller Greek minorities exist in Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, although their numbers are difficult to ascertain. In official census results, only 86 persons declared themselves Greeks in Bulgarian Macedonia in 2011, out of a total of 1,379 in all Bulgaria.
Ethnic Macedonians self-identify as "Macedonians" in an ethnic sense as well as in the regional sense. They are the second largest ethnic group in the region; because of their Slavic origin they are known as "Macedonian Slavs" and "Slav Macedonians". They form the majority of the population in the Republic of North Macedonia where according to the 2002 census 1,300,000 people declared themselves as Macedonians. According to the latest Bulgarian census held in 2011, there are 561 people declaring themselves ethnic Macedonians in the Blagoevgrad Province of Bulgaria; the official number of ethnic Macedonians in Bulgaria is 1,654. A small number of ethnic Macedonians exist among the Slavic-speakers of Greek Macedonia. There has not been a census in Greece on the question of mother tongue since 1951, when the census recorded 41,017 Slavic-speakers, mostly
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
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
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