Regional units of Greece
The 74 regional units are administrative units of Greece. They are subdivisions of the country's 13 regions, further subdivided into municipalities, they were introduced as part of the "Kallikratis" administrative reform on 1 January 2011 and are comparable in area and, in the mainland, coterminous with the pre-"Kallikratis" prefectures of Greece
Thebes is a city in Boeotia, central Greece. It played an important role in Greek myths, as the site of the stories of Cadmus, Oedipus and others. Archaeological excavations in and around Thebes have revealed a Mycenaean settlement and clay tablets written in the Linear B script, indicating the importance of the site in the Bronze Age. Thebes was the largest city of the ancient region of Boeotia and was the leader of the Boeotian confederacy, it was a major rival of ancient Athens, sided with the Persians during the 480 BC invasion under Xerxes. Theban forces under the command of Epaminondas ended the power of Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC; the Sacred Band of Thebes famously fell at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC against Philip II and Alexander the Great. Prior to its destruction by Alexander in 335 BC, Thebes was a major force in Greek history, was the most dominant city-state at the time of the Macedonian conquest of Greece. During the Byzantine period, the city was famous for its silks.
The modern city contains an Archaeological Museum, the remains of the Cadmea, scattered ancient remains. Modern Thebes is the largest town of the regional unit of Boeotia. Thebes is situated in a plain, between Lake Yliki to the north, the Cithaeron mountains, which divide Boeotia from Attica, to the south, its elevation is 215 metres above mean sea level. It is about 50 kilometres northwest of Athens, 100 kilometres southeast of Lamia. Motorway 1 and the Athens–Thessaloniki railway connect Thebes with Athens and northern Greece; the municipality of Thebes covers an area of 830.112 square kilometres, the municipal unit of Thebes 321.015 square kilometres and the community 143.889 square kilometres. In 2011, as a consequence of the Kallikratis reform, Thebes was merged with Plataies and Vagia to form a larger municipality, which retained the name Thebes; the other three become units of the larger municipality. The record of the earliest days of Thebes was preserved among the Greeks in an abundant mass of legends that rival the myths of Troy in their wide ramification and the influence that they exerted on the literature of the classical age.
Five main cycles of story may be distinguished: The foundation of the citadel Cadmea by Cadmus, the growth of the Spartoi or "Sown Men". The immolation of Semele and the advent of Dionysus; the building of a "seven-gated" wall by Amphion, the cognate stories of Zethus and Dirce. The tale of Laius, whose misdeeds culminated in the tragedy of Oedipus and the wars of the "Seven Against Thebes", the Epigoni, the downfall of his house. See Theban pederasty and Pederasty in ancient Greece for detailed discussion and background; the exploits of Heracles. The Greeks attributed the foundation of Thebes to Cadmus, a Phoenician king from Tyre and the brother of Queen Europa. Cadmus was famous for teaching the Phoenician alphabet and building the Acropolis, named the Cadmeia in his honor and was an intellectual and cultural center. Archaeological excavations in and around Thebes have revealed cist graves dated to Mycenaean times containing weapons and tablets written in Linear B, its attested name forms and relevant terms on tablets found locally or elsewhere include, te-qa-i, understood to be read as *Tʰēgʷai̮s, te-qa-de, for *Tʰēgʷasde, and, te-qa-ja, for *Tʰēgʷaja.
It seems safe to infer that *Tʰēgʷai was one of the first Greek communities to be drawn together within a fortified city, that it owed its importance in prehistoric days — as — to its military strength. Deger-Jalkotzy claimed that the statue base from Kom el-Hetan in Amenhotep III's kingdom mentions a name similar to Thebes, spelled out quasi-syllabically in hieroglyphs as d-q-e-i-s, considered to be one of four tj-n3-jj kingdoms worthy of note. *Tʰēgʷai in LHIIIB lost contact with Egypt but gained it with "Miletus" and "Cyprus". In the late LHIIIB, according to Palaima, *Tʰēgʷai was able to pull resources from Lamos near Mount Helicon, from Karystos and Amarynthos on the Greek side of the isle of Euboia; as a fortified community, it attracted attention from the invading Dorians, the fact of their eventual conquest of Thebes lies behind the stories of the successive legendary attacks on that city. The central position and military security of the city tended to raise it to a commanding position among the Boeotians, from early days its inhabitants endeavoured to establish a complete supremacy over their kinsmen in the outlying towns.
This centralizing policy is as much the cardinal fact of Theban history as the counteracting effort of the smaller towns to resist absorption forms the main chapter of the story of Boeotia. No details of the earlier history of Thebes have been preserved, except that it was governed by a land-holding aristocracy who safeguarded their integrity by rigid statutes about the ownership of property and its transmission over time; as attested in Homer's Iliad, Thebes was o
Sanjak of Serfiğe
The Sanjak of Serfiğe was a second-level Ottoman province centred on the town of Serfiğe in western Macedonia, now part of Greece. The sanjak was founded in 1881, after the Greek annexation of Thessaly as an independent province, after 1889 as part of Manastir Vilayet. In 1912, the province encompassed six kazas: Nasliç, Serfiğe itself, Kayalar, Nasliğ, Grebene and Alasonya; the sanjak was conquered by the Greek Army in October 1912, during the First Balkan War
Battle of Sarantaporo
The Battle of Sarantaporo, variously transliterated as Sarantaporon or Sarandaporon took place on October 9–10, 1912. It was the first major battle fought between the Greek and Ottoman armies in the First Balkan War, resulted in a Greek victory. During the course of 1912, tensions grew in the Balkans between the Christian Balkan states, allied in the Balkan League, the Ottoman Empire. From mid-September, both sides started mobilizing. Bulgaria and Serbia mobilized on September 16, Greece followed on September 17. On September 25, Montenegro declared war, followed on October 4 by Serbia; the Greek Army of Thessaly, under Crown Prince Constantine consisted of six divisions, with the 7th Division forming at Larissa, a cavalry brigade and four independent Evzones battalions. Against the Greek army, the Ottomans deployed their VIII Corps under General Hasan Tahsin Pasha, with three divisions: the regular 22nd Division at Kozani and two reserve divisions; the Ottoman force totaled 14 infantry battalions, with further 11 in reserve, supported by 24 artillery pieces and three machine-gun companies.
However, the Ottoman formations were up to 25% under strength, since the Ottomans had demobilized large parts of their army in August. The Ottomans hoped to hold the strong position of the Sarantaporo passes, extensively fortified under the supervision of a German military mission before the war; the Greek army crossed the border on October 5. The 1st and 2nd Divisions engaged the 1,500 Ottoman covering forces, occupied Elassona and Deskati, reached the Sarantaporo passes on October 7. Hopelessly outnumbered, the Ottoman forces withdrew to Sarantaporo; the Greek offensive against the Ottoman position began on 9 October, with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions attacking the Ottoman main line frontally, the 4th Division attempting a flanking move to the west to bypass the fortifications and thence occupy the Porta pass, in the rear of the Ottoman positions, while the 5th Division was ordered to execute an wider manoeuvre to the west. The advance of the Greek troops on open terrain, under Ottoman artillery fire, caused many casualties, but by night, the three Greek divisions had established contact with the main Ottoman line.
The 5th Division ran into stiff resistance, but the 4th Division managed to push back the Ottoman flank and to occupy its designated objective. During the night, the Ottoman forces, after becoming aware of the 4th Division's move, retreated in good order under the cover of the darkness and the heavy rain to avoid being encircled; the battle was of major significance to the war. The Greek soldiers performed well, the victory helped expunge the stain of the defeat in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897. Furthermore, the Sarantaporo passes were the only positions where the numerically inferior Ottoman forces had any hope of stopping the Greek army. Field Marshal von der Goltz had confidently proclaimed that the passes would prove to be "the graveyard of the Greek Army". Nikoltsios, Vasileios. From Sarantaporo to Thessaloniki: The Memoirs of General Hasan Tahsin Pasha. Thessaloniki. ISBN 960-92042-0-1. Hellenic Army History Directorate. Concise History of the Balkan Wars. Athens
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, lasted from October 1912 to May 1913 and comprised actions of the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success; as a result of the war, the League captured and partitioned all remaining European territories of the Ottoman Empire. Ensuing events led to the creation of an independent Albania which angered the Serbs. Despite having the greatest success, the main victor, was dissatisfied over the division of the spoils in Macedonia, which provoked the start of the Second Balkan War. Tensions among the Balkan states over their rival aspirations to the provinces of Ottoman-controlled Rumelia, namely Eastern Rumelia and Macedonia, subsided somewhat following intervention by the Great Powers in the mid-19th century, aimed at securing both more complete protection for the provinces' Christian majority and protection of the status quo.
By 1867, Serbia and Montenegro had both secured independence, confirmed by the Treaty of Berlin. The question of the viability of Ottoman rule was revived after the Young Turk Revolution of July 1908, which compelled the Sultan to restore the suspended Ottoman constitution. Serbia's aspirations to take over Bosnia and Herzegovina were thwarted by the Bosnian crisis and the Austrian annexation of the province in October 1908; the Serbs directed their expansionism to the south. Following the annexation, the Young Turks tried to induce the Muslim population of Bosnia to emigrate to the Ottoman Empire; those who took up the offer were re-settled by the Ottoman authorities in districts of northern Macedonia where there were few Muslims. The experiment proved to be a catastrophe for the Empire since the immigrants united with the existing population of Albanian Muslims, they participated in the series of Albanian uprisings before and during the spring Albanian Revolt of 1912. Some Albanian government troops switched sides.
In May 1912, the Albanian Hamidian revolutionaries, who wanted to reinstall Sultan Abdulhamit II to power, drove the Young Turkish forces out of Skopje and pressed south towards Manastir, forcing the Young Turks to grant effective autonomy over large regions in June 1912. Serbia, which had helped arm the Albanian Catholic and Hamidian rebels and sent secret agents to some of the prominent leaders, took the revolt as a pretext for war. Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria had all been in talks about possible offensives against the Ottoman Empire before the Albanian revolt of 1912 broke out. On 18 October 1912, Peter I of Serbia issued a declaration,'To the Serbian People', which appeared to support Albanians as well as Serbs: The Turkish governments showed no interest in their duties towards their citizens and turned a deaf ear to all complaints and suggestions. Things got so far out of hand, it became unbearable for the Albanians, too. By the grace of God, I have therefore ordered my brave army to join in the Holy War to free our brethren and to ensure a better future.
In Old Serbia, my army will meet not only upon Christian Serbs, but upon Muslim Serbs, who are dear to us, in addition to them, upon Christian and Muslim Albanians with whom our people have shared joy and sorrow for thirteen centuries now. To all of them we bring freedom and equality. In a search for allies, Serbia was ready to negotiate a treaty with Bulgaria; the agreement provided that, in the event of victory against the Ottomans, Bulgaria would receive all of Macedonia south of the Kriva Palanka–Ohrid line. Serbia's expansion was accepted by Bulgaria as being to the north of the Shar Mountains; the intervening area was agreed to be "disputed". During the course of the war, it became apparent that the Albanians did not consider Serbia as a liberator, as suggested by King Peter I, nor did the Serbian forces observe his declaration of amity toward Albanians. After the successful coup d'état for unification with Eastern Rumelia, Bulgaria began to dream that its national unification would be realized.
For that purpose, it developed a large army, identified as the "Prussia of the Balkans." But Bulgaria could not win a war alone against the Ottomans. In Greece, Hellenic Army officers had rebelled in the Goudi coup of August 1909 and secured the appointment of a progressive government under Eleftherios Venizelos, which they hoped would resolve the Crete question in Greece's favour, they wanted to reverse their defeat in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 by the Ottomans. An emergency military reorganization led by a French military mission had been started for that purpose, but its work was interrupted by the outbreak of war in the Balkans. In the discussions that led Greece to join the Balkan League, Bulgaria refused to commit to any agreement on the distribution of territorial gains, unlike its deal with Serbia over Macedonia. Bulgaria's diplomatic policy was to push Serbia into an agreement limiting its access to Macedonia, while at the same time refusing any such agreement with Greece. Bulgaria believed that its army would be able to occupy the larger part of Aegean Macedonia and the important port city of Salonica before the Greeks.
In 1911, Italy had launched an invasion of Tripolitania in present-day Libya, whi
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
Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle known as Saint Paul and known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe, he took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences. According to writings in the New Testament and prior to his conversion, Paul was dedicated to persecuting the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem. In the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to "arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem" when the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light, he was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God. Half of the book of Acts deals with Paul's life and works.
Thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul. Seven of the Pauline epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, with varying degrees of argument about the remainder. Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is not asserted in the Epistle itself and was doubted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, it was unquestioningly accepted from the 5th to the 16th centuries that Paul was the author of Hebrews, but that view is now universally rejected by scholars. The other six are believed by some scholars to have come from followers writing in his name, using material from Paul's surviving letters and letters written by him that no longer survive. Other scholars argue that the idea of a pseudonymous author for the disputed epistles raises many problems. Today, Paul's epistles continue to be vital roots of the theology and pastoral life in the Catholic and Protestant traditions of the West, as well as the Orthodox traditions of the East.
Paul's influence on Christian thought and practice has been characterized as being as "profound as it is pervasive", among that of many other apostles and missionaries involved in the spread of the Christian faith. Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide, it has been popularly assumed that Saul's name was changed when he became a follower of Jesus Christ, but, not the case. His Jewish name was "Saul" after the biblical King Saul, a fellow Benjamite and the first king of Israel. According to the Book of Acts, he was a Roman citizen; as a Roman citizen, he bore the Latin name of "Paul"—in biblical Greek: Παῦλος, in Latin: Paulus. It was typical for the Jews of that time to have one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek. Jesus called him "Saul, Saul" in "the Hebrew tongue" in the book of Acts, when he had the vision which led to his conversion on the Road to Damascus. In a vision to Ananias of Damascus, "the Lord" referred to him as "Saul, of Tarsus".
When Ananias came to restore his sight, he called him "Brother Saul". In Acts 13:9, Saul is called "Paul" for the first time on the island of Cyprus—much than the time of his conversion; the author indicates that the names were interchangeable: "Saul, called Paul." He thereafter refers to him as Paul Paul's preference since he is called Paul in all other Bible books where he is mentioned, including those that he authored. Adopting his Roman name was typical of Paul's missionary style, his method was to put people at their ease and to approach them with his message in a language and style to which they could relate, as in 1 Cor 9:19–23. The main source for information about Paul's life is the material found in Acts. However, the epistles contain little information about Paul's pre-conversion past; the book of Acts recounts more information but leaves several parts of Paul's life out of its narrative, such as his probable but undocumented execution in Rome. Some scholars believe Acts contradicts Paul's epistles on multiple accounts, in particular concerning the frequency of Paul's visits to the church in Jerusalem.
Sources outside the New Testament that mention Paul include: Clement of Rome's epistle to the Corinthians. Paul was born between the years of 5 BC and 5 AD; the Book of Acts indicates that Paul was a Roman citizen by birth, but Helmut Koester takes issue with the evidence presented by the text. He was from a devout Jewish family in the city of Tarsus, one of the largest trade centers on the Mediterranean coast, it had been in existence several hundred years prior to his birth. It was renowned for its university. During the time of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC, Tarsus was the most influential city in Asia Minor. Paul referred to himself as being "of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; the Bible reveals little abou