The Illyrian Wars were a set of wars fought in the period 229–168 BC between the Roman Republic and the Ardiaei kingdom. Rome expelled Illyrian garrisons from a number of Greek cities including Epidamnus, Corcyra, the Romans set up Demetrius of Pharos as a power in Illyria to counterbalance the power of Teuta. The Second Illyrian War lasted from 220 BC to 219 BC, in 219 BC, the Roman Republic was at war with the Celts of Cisalpine Gaul, and the Second Punic War with Carthage was beginning. These distractions gave Demetrius the time he needed to build a new Illyrian war fleet, leading this fleet of 90 ships, Demetrius sailed south of Lissus, violating his earlier treaty and starting the war. Demetrius fleet first attacked Pylos, where he captured 50 ships after several attempts, from Pylos, the fleet sailed to the Cyclades, quelling any resistance that they found on the way. Demetrius foolishly sent a fleet across the Adriatic, with the Illyrian forces divided, from Dimale the navy went towards Pharos.
In 171 BC, the Illyrian king Gentius was allied with the Romans against the Macedonians, but in 169 BC he changed sides and allied himself with Perseus of Macedon. During the Third Illyrian War, in 168 BC, he arrested two Roman legati and destroyed the cities of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium, which were allied to Rome. He was defeated at Scodra by a Roman force under L. Anicius Gallus, in the second half of the third century BC, the Ardiaei kingdom was transformed into a formidable power under the leadership of Agron. During this time, Agron invaded part of Epirus, Corcyra and Pharos in succession, the Illyrians used the lembus, a small and fast warship with a single bank of oars. Raids by sea from the Adriatic and Ionian were probably a familiar threat to the north-western Greeks, what was new was the use of a land army to follow up and profit from the victories gained by the navy. The Greek cities on the coast of Illyria were systematically attacked, Rome answered an appeal from the island of Issa, threatened by Agron, by sending envoys.
They were attacked en route by Illyrian vessels, and one of them was killed and that time a number of political events marked the adjacent Greek states. In 234 BC, the succession in Epirus came to an end. In the south, the part of Acarnania seceded from this arrangement. Besieged at Medion, the Acarnanians sought assistance from Demetrius II of Macedonia, in response, the king requested assistance from Agron to relieve the siege. The Illyrian attack under Agron was mounted in either 232 or 231 BC, one hundred lembi, with 5000 men on board, sailed up to land at Medion. They formed up in the order that was usual in their own country and this defeat of the Aetolians, who were famed for their victory over the invading Gauls a generation before, caused a sensation in Greece
The First Crusade arose after a call to arms in a 1095 sermon by Pope Urban II. Urban urged military support for the Byzantine Empire and its Emperor, Alexios I, the response to Urbans preaching by people of many different classes across Western Europe established the precedent for Crusades. Volunteers became Crusaders by taking a vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the church. Some were hoping for apotheosis at Jerusalem, or forgiveness from God for all their sins, others participated to satisfy feudal obligations, gain glory and honour, or find opportunities for economic and political gain. Many modern Historians have polarised opinions of the Crusaders behaviour under Papal sanction, to some it was incongruous with the stated aims and implied moral authority of the papacy and the Crusades, to the extent that on occasions that the Pope excommunicated Crusaders. Crusaders often pillaged as they travelled, while their leaders retained control of captured territory rather than returning it to the Byzantines.
During the Peoples Crusade thousands of Jews were murdered in what is now called the Rhineland massacres, Constantinople was sacked during the Fourth Crusade rendering the reunification of Christendom impossible. These tales consequently galvanised medieval romance and literature, but the Crusades reinforced the connection between Western Christendom and militarism. Crusade is not a term, instead the terms iter for journey or peregrinatio for pilgrimage were used. Not until the word crucesignatus for one who was signed with the cross was adopted at the close of the century was specific terminology developed. The Middle English equivalents were derived from old French, croiserie in the 13th–15th centuries, croisade appeared in English c1575, and continued to be the leading form till c1760. By convention historians adopt the term for the Christian holy wars from 1095, the Crusades in the Holy Land are traditionally counted as nine distinct campaigns, numbered from the First Crusade of 1095–99 to the Ninth Crusade of 1271/2.
Usage of the term Crusade may differ depending on the author, pluralists use the term Crusade of any campaign explicitly sanctioned by the reigning Pope. This reflects the view of the Roman Catholic Church that every military campaign given Papal sanction is equally valid as a Crusade, regardless of its cause, generalists see Crusades as any and all holy wars connected with the Latin Church and fought in defence of their faith. Popularists limit the Crusades to only those that were characterised by popular groundswells of religious fervour – that is, only the First Crusade, Medieval Muslim historiographers such as Ali ibn al-Athir refer to the Crusades as the Frankish Wars. The term used in modern Arabic, ḥamalāt ṣalībiyya حملات صليبية, campaigns of the cross, is a loan translation of the term Crusade as used in Western historiography. The Islamic prophet Muhammad founded Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, the resulting unified polity in the seventh and eighth centuries led to a rapid expansion of Arab power.
This influence stretched from the northwest Indian subcontinent, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, southern Italy, tolerance and political relationships between the Arabs and the Christian states of Europe waxed and waned
Cephalonia or Kefalonia, formerly known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia, is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece. It is a regional unit of the Ionian Islands region. It was a former Latin Catholic diocese Kefalonia–Zakynthos and short-lived titular see as just Kefalonia, the capital of Cephalonia is Argostoli. The main island of the unit is Cephalonia and has a size of 773 km2. The town of Argostoli has one-third of the islands inhabitants, Lixouri is the second major settlement, and the two towns together account for almost two-thirds of the prefectures population. The other major islands are, Petalas Island, Asteris Island, Cephalonia lies in the heart of an earthquake zone, and dozens of minor, unrecorded tremors occur each year. In 1953, a earthquake destroyed almost all of the settlements on the island. Important natural features include Melissani Lake, the Drogarati caves, the island has a rich biodiversity, with a substantial number of endemic and rare species. Some areas have been declared a site in the European Union’s Natura 2000 network, the top of Mount Ainos is covered with fir trees and is a natural park.
Forestry is rare on the island, however its output is one of the highest in the Ionian islands. Forest fires were common during the 1990s and the early 2000s, Cephalonia is well known for its endangered loggerhead turtle population which nest on many beaches along the south coast of the island. Caves on these parts of the coast offer ideal locations for the seals to give birth to their pups, the European pine marten is known to live on the island. Over 200 species of birds have been spotted on the island, Cephalonia is a distinct regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. The seat of administration is Argostoli, the main town. Amid the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the unit of Kefallinia was created from part of the former Kefalonia. During the same reform, the current municipality of Cephalonia was created from the eight former municipalities, the Cephalonia regional unit includes a number of uninhabited islands of the Echinades group. They are administered by the municipality of Pylaros and he was rewarded with the island of Same, which thereafter came to be known as Cephallenia.
Cephalonia has suggested as the Homeric Ithaca, the home of Odysseus
The enterprising, sea-based Phoenician civilization spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC. Their civilization was organized in city-states, similar to those of Ancient Greece, perhaps the most notable of which were Tyre, Arvad and Carthage. Each city-state was an independent unit, and it is uncertain to what extent the Phoenicians viewed themselves as a single nationality. In terms of archaeology, language and religion there was little to set the Phoenicians apart as markedly different from other Semitic Canaanites. The Phoenicians were the first state-level society to make use of alphabets. By their maritime trade, the Phoenicians spread the use of the alphabet to Anatolia, North Africa, and Europe, where it was adopted by the Greeks, the name Phoenicians, like Latin Poenī, comes from Greek Φοίνικες. The word φοῖνιξ phoînix meant variably Phoenician person, Tyrian purple, the word may be derived from φοινός phoinós blood red, itself possibly related to φόνος phónos murder.
Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin of the ethnonym, the oldest attested form of the word in Greek may be the Mycenaean po-ni-ki-jo, po-ni-ki, possibly borrowed from Ancient Egyptian fnḫw Asiatics, although this derivation is disputed. The folk-etymological association of Φοινίκη with φοῖνιξ mirrors that in Akkadian which tied kinaḫni, the land was natively known as knʿn and its people as the knʿny. In the Amarna tablets of the 14th century BC, people from the region called themselves Kenaani or Kinaani, the ethnonym survived in North Africa until the 4th century AD. Herodotus account refers to the myths of Io and Europa, according to the Persians best informed in history, the Phoenicians began the quarrel. The Greek historian Strabo believed that the Phoenicians originated from Bahrain, Herodotus believed that the homeland of the Phoenicians was Bahrain. The people of Tyre in South Lebanon in particular have long maintained Persian Gulf origins, there is little evidence of occupation at all in Bahrain during the time when such migration had supposedly taken place.
Canaanite culture apparently developed in situ from the earlier Ghassulian chalcolithic culture, Byblos is attested as an archaeological site from the Early Bronze Age. The Late Bronze Age state of Ugarit is considered quintessentially Canaanite archaeologically, fernand Braudel remarked in The Perspective of the World that Phoenicia was an early example of a world-economy surrounded by empires. The high point of Phoenician culture and sea power is usually placed c, archaeological evidence consistent with this understanding has been difficult to identify. A unique concentration in Phoenicia of silver hoards dated between 1200 and 800 BC, contains hacksilver with lead isotope ratios matching ores in Sardinia and Spain. This metallic evidence agrees with the memory of a western Mediterranean Tarshish that supplied Solomon with silver via Phoenicia
The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, i. e. the Seven Islands, the Ionian Islands became part of the modern Greek state in 1864. Administratively today they belong to the Ionian Islands Region except for Kythera, the seventh island, Kythira, is off the southern tip of the Peloponnese, the southern part of the Greek mainland. Kythira is not part of the region of the Ionian Islands, in Ancient Greek the adjective Ionios was used as an epithet for the sea between Epirus and Italy in which the Ionian Islands are found because Io swam across it. In Modern Greek omicron and omega represent the sound, but the two words are still distinguished by stress, the western Ionia is accented on the antepenult. In English, the relating to Ionia is Ionic, not Ionian. The islands themselves are known by a confusing variety of names. During the centuries of rule by Venice, they acquired Venetian names, Kerkyra was known as Corfù, Ithaki as Val di Compare, Kythera as Cerigo, Lefkada as Santa Maura and Zakynthos as Zante.
A variety of spellings are used for the Greek names of the islands, Kefallonia is often spelled as Cephallenia or Cephalonia, Ithaki as Ithaca, Kerkyra as Corcyra, Kythera as Cythera, Lefkada as Leucas or Leucada and Zakynthos as Zacynthus or Zante. Older or variant Greek forms are used, Kefallinia for Kefallonia. The islands were settled by Greeks at a date, possibly as early as 1200 BC. The early Eretrian settlement at Kerkyra was displaced by colonists from Corinth in 734 BC, the islands were mostly a backwater during Ancient Greek times and played little part in Greek politics. The one exception was the conflict between Kerkyra and its mother-City Corinth in 434 BC, which brought intervention from Athens and triggered the Peloponnesian War, Ithaca was the name of the island home of Odysseus in the epic Ancient Greek poem the Odyssey by Homer. Attempts have been made to identify Ithaki with ancient Ithaca, archeological investigations have revealed interesting findings in both Kefalonia and Ithaca.
By the 4th century BC, most of the islands, were absorbed into the empire of Macedon, some remained under the control of the Macedonian Kingdom until 146 BC, when the Greek peninsula was gradually annexed by Rome. After 400 years of peaceful Roman rule, the passed to the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. Under Byzantine rule, from the century, they formed the theme of Cephallenia. The islands were a frequent target of Saracen raids and from the late 11th century, most of the islands fell to William II of Sicily in 1185
Peter Cecil Bull DSC was a British character actor. He was the fourth and youngest son of William Bull, Sir William Bull, 1st Baronet, Bull was educated at Winchester College. His first professional appearance was in If I Were You at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1933. During his service, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Commander and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, returning to acting after the war, he both narrated and had a small on-screen role in Scrooge, and portrayed the German ships captain in The African Queen. Bull was the first actor to portray Pozzo in the English-language version of Samuel Becketts Waiting For Godot when it opened on 3 August 1955. Bulls performance as the Soviet Ambassador, Alexi de Sadesky, in Dr Strangelove is probably the best-known of his many film and he was cast as Thwackum, one of Blifils two tutors, in the 1963 film Tom Jones. In the 1970s, he ran a small shop just off Notting Hill Gate, selling zodiac-related items. Bull wrote a book on the subject of teddy bears, Bear With Me and he was the author of a non-fiction book about his experiences during World War II as commander of a Tank Landing Craft, To Sea in a Sieve.
Peter Bull at the Internet Movie Database Peter Bull at the Internet Broadway Database Peter Bull at Find-A-Grave
A trident /ˈtraɪdənt/ is a three-pronged spear. It is used for fishing and historically as a polearm. The trident is the weapon of Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea in classical mythology, in Hindu mythology it is the weapon of Shiva, known as trishula. The word trident comes from the French word trident, which in turn comes from the Latin word tridens or tridentis, sanskrit trishula is compound of tri त्रि three+ ṣūla शूल thorn. The Greek equivalent is τρίαινα, from Proto-Greek trianja, in Greek and Hindu mythology, the trident is said to have the power of control over the ocean. Tridents for fishing usually have barbed tines which trap the fish firmly. In the Southern and Midwestern United States, gigging is used for harvesting suckers, flounder, the trident, known as dangpa, is featured as a weapon in the 17th- to 18th-century systems of Korean martial arts. In Ancient Rome, in a parody of fishing, tridents were famously used by a type of gladiator called a retiarius or net fighter, the retiarius was traditionally pitted against a secutor, and cast a net to wrap his adversary and used the trident to kill him.
In Hindu legends and stories Shiva, a Hindu God who holds a trident in his hand, the trident is said to represent three gunas mentioned in Indian vedic philosophy namely sāttvika, rājasika, and tāmasika. In Greek myth, Poseidon used his trident to create water sources in Greece, parallel to its fishing origins, the trident is associated with Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology, the Roman god Neptune. In Roman myth, Neptune used a trident to create new bodies of water, a good example can be seen in Gian Berninis Neptune and Triton. In religious Taoism, the trident represents the Taoist Trinity, the Three Pure Ones, in Taoist rituals, a trident bell is used to invite the presence of deities and summon spirits, as the trident signifies the highest authority of Heaven. The trishula of the Hindu god Shiva, a weapon of South-East Asian depiction of Hanuman, a character of Ramayana. A fork Jewish priests used to take their portions of offerings, the glyph or sigil of the planet Neptune in astronomy and astrology.
The Tryzub in the Coat of Arms of Ukraine, adopted 1918 The national emblem on the flag of Barbados, the forks of the peoples anger, adopted by the Russian anti-Soviet revolutionary organization, National Alliance of Russian Solidarists. Britannia, the personification of Great Britain, the symbol for Washington and Lee University. The symbol for the teams at the University of Missouri–St. Sparky the Sun Devil, the mascot of Arizona State University, the trident was used as the original cap insignia and original logo for the Seattle Mariners
In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate the Mediterranean region and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and it is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern government, politics, art, architecture, warfare, religion and society. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond, its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia, the Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia and it would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the part of the empire broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of history from the pre-medieval Dark Ages of Europe. King Numitor was deposed from his throne by his brother, while Numitors daughter, Rhea Silvia, because Rhea Silvia was raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine. The new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, a she-wolf saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor. Romulus became the source of the citys name, in order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted.
This caused a problem for Rome, which had a large workforce but was bereft of women, Romulus traveled to the neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables they all refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins, after a long time in rough seas, they landed at the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, one woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent them from leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships, the Roman poet Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the Aeneid
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
Ionian Islands (region)
The Ionian Islands Region is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. The administrative region does not include all of the Ionian Islands, the island of Kythera, the population of the Ionian Islands in 2011 was 207,855, decreased by 1, 50% compared to the population in 2001. Nevertheless, the remains the third by population density with 90. 1/km² nationwide. The most populous of the islands is Corfu with a population of 104,371, followed by Zante, Leucas. The foreign-born population was in 200119,360 or 9. 3%, most of them originate from Albania. The fertility rate for 2011 according to Eurostat was 1.35 live births per woman, the regional Gross Domestic Product for 2010 was 4,029 million euros. The GDP per capita for the year was 18,440 euros per capita which was lower than the national median of 20,481. However, the GDP per capita of Cephalonia and Zante,23,275 and 24,616 respectively, was higher than the national figure. Additionally, unemployment for 2012 was 14.7, the lowest among all Greek regions, the region is a popular tourist destination.
Cephalonia Airport had the biggest increase nationwide by 13. 11% compared to 2011, the region was established in the 1987 administrative reform, comprising the prefectures of Corfu and Ithaca, Lefkada and Zakynthos. With the 2010 Kallikratis plan, its powers and authority were redefined and extended, along with West Greece and Peloponnese regions, it is supervised by the Decentralized Administration of the Peloponnese, West Greece and the Ionian Islands based at Patras
Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, yet the non-oceanic borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are arbitrary. Europe covers about 10,180,000 square kilometres, or 2% of the Earths surface, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a population of about 740 million as of 2015. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast, Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization. The fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the period, marked the end of ancient history. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era, from the Age of Discovery onwards, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania.
The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to economic and social change in Western Europe. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the west and the Warsaw Pact in the east, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1955, the Council of Europe was formed following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill and it includes all states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, the EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The European Anthem is Ode to Joy and states celebrate peace, in classical Greek mythology, Europa is the name of either a Phoenician princess or of a queen of Crete. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, broad and ὤψ eye, broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it.
For the second part the divine attributes of grey-eyed Athena or ox-eyed Hera. The same naming motive according to cartographic convention appears in Greek Ανατολή, Martin Litchfield West stated that phonologically, the match between Europas name and any form of the Semitic word is very poor. Next to these there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning darkness. Most major world languages use words derived from Eurṓpē or Europa to refer to the continent, in some Turkic languages the originally Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Crete. 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 vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church shaped 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. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
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, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, 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, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens