HISTORY

Greece is the homeland of many famous personalities throughout centuries. A country with a very rich history. We will try to provide you information about the Greek history, from Bronze age to the present.

 

 

Ancient Times

A knowledge journey through time, an exciting course in the history of Ancient Greece, which describes the Greek world during the period of antiquity. Refers to areas of the modern Greek state where they settled in ancient times Greek populations, including Cyprus, Ionia and the scattered Greek plant on the Mediterranean coast, up to the Black Sea.

Get lost in time and meet the first people, the first Greeks who lived in our country, Greece. We will learn the history of Greece that has managed to culture interfere in world history, from Prehistory, Miocene, Pliocene, Stone and Stone Age, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron, Geometric Period.

We will travel to the Ancient World, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and the Greek Middle Ages, the Ottoman era and the Greek Revolution until today, the Modern era.

Concepts such as Democracy, Culture, Law, Spirit,  born in Greece to offer generously worldwide knowledge. Through a rich history we see the glorious past.

Greece not only has a rich ancient history, but also has a rich Modern History. It is no coincidence that Greece is the only country that has existed since prehistory and antiquity and continues to nowadays

It is the only country that has managed to create brilliant culture, erasing its own history, creating and bringing great ideas all over the world.

Greece is a country with beautiful landscapes. The ancient Greeks believed that the forests and waters inhabited by Gods and Goddesses and other supernatural beings. Indeed, in ancient times the area was inhabited various rare creatures.

In the Attica region, the human presence from the Neolithic era was strong. The first mythical king of Athens was Cecrops which attributed the choice of Athena as the patroness goddess of the city. The early years of the Bronze Age, the Athenians seems to be subordinated to the Cretans as illustrated by the myth of Theseus. The most important fact, after killing the Minotaur by Theseus, perhaps allegorical myth, for the future development of the city was the combination of the twelve settlements that were founded in the Attica region, in a state with Athens as a central defender.

During the Mycenaean period, Athenians were in the shadow of the powerful Mycenaean centers. Homer mentions, the participation of Athens in the Trojan War with 50 ships. During the descent of the Dorians Athenians resisted successfully.

 

The first people arrived in Greece nearly 2000 years BC, in the early Bronze Age. They belonged to the branch of Indo-European tribes who migrated from the region of Eurasia.

The first Greeks were warlike tribes, with a common language, but fighting each other to understand the most lush and fertile parts. The first settlements were mostly primitive rural communities. Between 1500 and 1200 BC a population explosion occurred that led to rapid cultural and technological developments. Palaces and temples were rising everywhere, some remnants of which can still be seen today.

The most numerous of these stories were more myths than facts. One of these is considered true, and is the Homeric epic Iliad, referred to the war of the Greeks against the Trojans. Troy was the city that was occupied by the Trojan Horse, a wooden horse full of Greek soldiers. In 1870, a German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, began to discover the ruins of Troy.

 

Geometric Period

In the 8th century BC projecting from the Geometric Period Greece change its culture from verbal to written. Using an adapted from the Phoenician alphabet writing, gives us the first written evidence of a material change to the Greek culture and the development of monumental sculpture and ceramics render it into a technological and artistic basis. Of course, the consolidated view we have today for the Greek civilization not imply the corresponding section in the social and political level in those years. Due to its geographical particularity, Greece of archaic and classical period following the localism of Mycenaean era, divided into small independent communities that are characterized by the generic term city state.

 

Cities - States

In the 8th century the City Members appeared in Greece, as a unit of a maximum independent political organization. The Greek cities were urban settlements functioned as a political centers. At the time of their creation observed population growth and the creation of the first Naikon buildings.

The economic and demographic development of Greece and the intra political conflicts have led a portion of the continental and insular population in the current colonization, which resulted in the creation of an immigration wave to all parts of the Mediterranean.

As a result of the transactions were with the Phoenicians, borrowed their alphabet and took advantage of various elements of the East.

The two major cities states were Sparta and Athens which both gave particular emphasis on citizen participation.

Sparta broke citizens against tribes in villages and created a Senate. Athens on the other, put more emphasis on wealth,

Cities - State aid each other, commercial, political and religious ties.

In the 6th century the Persians, seeking rulers, caused large ethnic wars in Greece, also known as the Persian Wars. Nevertheless, the Greek League, under the leadership of Athens and Sparta, overthrew the Persians at the Battle of Marathon, Salamis and Plataea.

The Persian fleet sailed against the two Greek cities which had assisted the Ionian cities during the Ionian revolt, Eretria and Athens. Once destroyed Eretria, the Persian fleet was directed at Marathon. There he waited for the Persian army one Athenian power about 10,000 men, led by Miltiades. The Athenians without allies crushed the Persian power and forced them to prematurely abort their plans for conquest of Greece.

At the same campaign designed the successor of Darius, Xerxes. To address Xerxes allied most Greek cities of southern Greece. Having failed to stop the Persian invasion at Thermopylae, the Greek army concentrated on the Isthmus of Corinth whilst the fleet anchored at Salamis. The Persians arrived undisturbed to Athens which had been abandoned by its inhabitants and caused massive damage to the city. Shortly after, however, the Persian fleet was destroyed at Salamis and the Persians withdrew from Attica. A year after the Persians were defeated at the Battle of Plataea and finally abandoned their plans for conquest of Greece. There Mardonius, although there have been reactions from other Persian generals believed that the mere numerical superiority of the Persians would not be enough to secure the victory. Mardonius was killed in the Battle of Plataea and his army defeated.

 

The Classical Period

From the 6th to 4th century BC, Athens was the most important city of antiquity and 172 cities states were paying taxes to Athens. Meanwhile, Athens controlled the Aegean sea.  Due to the economic development, Athens had flourished architecture, sculpture, literature, philosophy and politics .

Pericles, built many magnificent buildings, such as  Parthenon. A magnificent building that hides many secrets.

But Sparta as other cities states resented the influence of Athens and the conflict between them led to the Peloponnesian War, which was the greatest war of antiquity. Athens was defeated and this meant the end of the classical period.

 

The Macedonian Period

Alongside the Peloponnesian War, the Macedonian culture was developed. The language of the Macedonians were very similar to the Greek, but had different customs. In a short time developed into a great empire. With Philip II in power, conquered Athens and Thebes. After the murder of Philip II, took his son, Alexander the Great. Within a few years created the largest empire in the world. After conquering all the cities states of Greece, stormed in Asia Minor, won throughout the Persian Empire, conquered Egypt, Mesopotamia, Afghanistan and some of the areas of India.

After his death the empire was divided. Νew Hellenistic monarchies autonomous were appeared  and Athens had lost political power throughout.

 

 

Hellenistic period

Athens participated in the nationwide alliance established by the Macedonians, in order to campaign against the Persians. After the death of Alexander the Great, however, the Athenians took the opportunity to revolt together with other cities of southern Greece, which led to Lamian War (322 BC). The Macedonians crushed the revolution and garrison in Piraeus. In 307 BC the son of Antigonus, Demetrius Poliorketes, occupied Athens Demetrius then occupied the throne of Macedonia resulting Athens to become part of the Macedonian kingdom, where he remained when king of Macedon was the son of Demetrius, Antigonus Gonatas.

In 268 BC Athens joined the Spartan alliance against the Macedonians. The coalition of cities of southern Greece clashed with Macedonians of Antigonus. This war called Chremonidean War (267-261 BC) and ended with the victory of the Macedonians who imposed again Macedonian garrison in Athens.

During the Second Macedonian War, the Athenians took the side of the Romans.

When Romans moved in southern Greece, the Athenians did not put up resistance and became part of the Roman world. In 88 BC during the first Mithridatic war, the Athenians called Mithridates to liberate their city. At the same time took tyrant of Athens Aristion. The Roman general Sulla besieged Athens and conquered in 86 BC committing enormous damage in the city. This was the last attempt of Athens to be as free city.

 

Roman Period

After the conquest of Athens by Sylla, the Romans gave to Athens a special autonomy status because of intense intellectual activity that existed in it. Athens continued to gather important literary figures of the time and many Roman emperors acquired homes within Athens city. The most important works of the Roman period held in Athens by the Emperor Hadrian. Hadrian completed the Temple of Olympian Zeus and proceeded with the construction of many important public buildings such as the library, gymnasium, aqueduct etc. In honor of the Athenians, Hadrian built the arch known as Hadrian's Gate.

In 267 AD Athens suffered major damage from the invasion of the Heruli, the German people had invaded the Roman Empire. After the raid, the city shrank. Athens remained an important center of the letters until closure of the philosophical schools by Justinian in 529 AD

Some of the greatest personalities of the arts and sciences of antiquity were from Athens, as the dramatic poets, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. The philosophers Socrates and Plato. Historians Thucydides and Xenophon. The orators Lysias, Isocrates and Demosthenes, the sculptor Phidias etc. In Athens functioned and major philosophical schools of antiquity, such as the Academy Treader and Aristotle's Lyceum.

In the area of ​​Attica were some of the most important places of worship in ancient Greece. The most important place of worship was Akropoli, where they worshiped the goddess Athena. The citadel was the most important place of worship of the goddess Athena in ancient Greece. After the departure of the Persians in 479 BC, Acropolis was rebuilt with impressive monuments under the supervision of the major architects and sculptors of antiquity.

Very important place of worship was Sounion, dedicated to the god Poseidon. At Eleusis worshiped the Goddess Demeter and the area was one of the most important place of worship in ancient Athens. There were held every year the Eleusinian Mysteries important celebration in honor of the goddess Demeter.

 

Byzantine Period

By Byzantine Empire or Byzantium, we refer to, the Christian Roman Empire of the East as heir of the geographical area of ​​the Roman Empire, with time limits start at the official opening of Constantinople on May 11, 330 (or the foundation on November 8, 324) and reach the final fall, i.e. the fall of the Turks, on May 29, 1453.

 

In reality, of course, within the extended time limits life of the Byzantine Empire, often changed the borders and state enemies, and these factors have helped to change the political and national character of the empire.

 

Thus, from the Roman Empire, was born in "Christianized Roman Empire of the East" with special concern the reconstitution of the Roman Empire, on the dynasty of Heraklion transformed in "Hellenized empire of the Christian East" and finally, particularly from 1204 onwards the conquest of Istanbul / Constantinople by the Latins, was born the "Greek Byzantine Empire." In the latter period, strongly revived the memory of Greek past, while the fall of Constantinople and Latin Domination, contributed to the birth of Greek patriotism and ideas that ultimately led to the restoration of the new Greece in the nineteenth century.

 

Modern Greece

The history of modern Greece begins with the Greek Revolution of 1821, the independence of the Greek state in 1828 with governor Kapodistrias covering the Peloponnese and parts of Central Greece. From 1832 until 1974 the Greek state was a kingdom and after 1974, modern Greece is a Republic.

In 1881 Thessaly was added to the Greek territory. After the Balkan Wars in 1913, Macedonia, Thrace and the Smyrna area, returned from the Turkish rule after the Asia Minor disaster.  After the Second World War in 1947 Dodecanese were added also .

From 1821 and until the arrival of Kapodistrias in 1828, Greece was recognized as a state, as was fighting for its existence and its independence from the Ottoman Empire.

First ruler of the country was Ioannis Kapodistrias. That time, Greece had just come out from a national liberation war and was largely destroyed. Kapodistrias cut Greek currency, the phoenix, founded schools and orphanages and generally tried to help in the development of economy and culture. However the methods used rattled the rich landowners and landowners, resulting in his murder, the year 1831.

With the agreement of the great powers in the Treaty of London in 1832, Greece became a monarchy and named Kingdom of Greece. The Bavarian prince Otto was chosen as the first king and arrived in Greece in 1833 at the age of seventeen. With his adulthood, a regency committee of Bavaria is formed. The period of regency, which lasted until 1835, was hard and caused riots. The reign of Otto included the installation of a wide variety of Western institutions, many of which were unmatched in the Greek society and the political tradition.

The King Otto reigned authoritarian and caused discontent that led to revolt, seeking a constitution vote. With pioneers Makrygiannis and Kallergi, the people demanded constitution on 3 September 1843. King Otto was forced to accept and thus ended the period of absolute monarchy. Otto violated the Constitution so this resulted in revolution that ousted King Otto.

When Otto expelled, the Greeks asked for king Alfred, son of Queen Victoria. The other major powers hadn't accepted it and sent the second son of the king of Denmark, George. Greeks Voted a new constitution which was more liberal than the previous one. The British ceded to Greece, the Ionian Islands as a gift for the new king. Then Thessaly and part of Epirus and specially the region of Arta were ceded into Greece.

In 1912 the Christian Balkan states allied against the Ottoman Empire. In the First Balkan War, the Greek army, with Commander Constantine's successor, managed to occupy the whole Epirus and part of Macedonia. The Greek fleet in the Aegean defeated Turkish and occupied most islands.

On 18 March 1913, George was assassinated in Thessaloniki and was succeeded by Constantine.

Bulgaria was not satisfied with the distribution of land. In 1913 he attacked Greece and Serbia starting the Second Balkan War. Bulgaria was defeated and with Bucharest Treaty, the borders of Greece arrived until Nestos river.

The First World War outbreak in 1914. The Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos wanted Greece to join the war unconditionally, on the side of the Entente. King Constantine, however, led Venizelos to resignation twice, so he allowed English and French troops to settle down in northern Greece.

Finally, he broke the Movement of National Defence in Thessaloniki in 1916, thus Greece was broken in two states. The National division ended when the British and French ousted King Constantine and unified Greece under Eleftherios Venizelos.

Alexander ascended the throne. The official participation of Greece in the War resulted in Bulgaria's capitulation in 1918.

After the Asia Minor disaster officers led by Plastiras and Gonatas, staged a coup and drove King Constantine. King George was succeeded Constantine. The coup considered as anti-Venizelist responsible for the defeat.

In 1936, Ioannis Metaxas, party leader of the partisan, overthrew the parliamentary regime and imposed a dictatorship. Metaxas ruled authoritarian. He faced his political opponents, especially communists, with exile and imprisonment.

In September 1939, the Second World War broke out in Europe. The Greek political leadership watched anxiously as neutral force, the business developments.

On October 28, 1940, Italy, led by Mussolini, after being strongly demonstrated the hegemonic intentions against Greece with a number of challenges, officially declared war.

The Greek public responded enthusiastically, after the negative response of Ioannis Metaxas in Italian ultimatum demanded free entry of Italian forces in the country. During the Greek-Italian war that followed, despite the numerical and technological superiority, the Italian army, attacked the Albanian border, was forced to retreat.

On April 6, 1941, Germany, as an ally of Italy declared war against Greece and invaded from the Bulgarian border. Followed by the battle of fort, but the German forces marched flash and at the end of May occupied throughout mainland Greece. After the Battle of Crete, completed the conquest of Greece that will be maintained for almost four years (1941-1944). This period of the most dramatic of modern Greek history, known as 'Possession', in which a large number of civilians died from starvation, and gradually strengthened the National Resistance movement against the occupying forces. Finally in May 1944, the retreating of the German troops, led to the release.

By the end of the Second World War, Civil War begins in Greece, which will last three years between (1946-1949) and will lead to social and political polarization of the country.

 

 

As a social phenomenon begins to grow especially the last decade, the massive population exodus from the countryside to the cities and especially in Athens.

In subsequent years, Greece acquires political stability and in 1981 became a member of the European Economic Community and especially strengthened the position of the country, politically and economically, in the international field.

The periods 1981 to 1989 and 1993 to 1996, Andreas Papandreou serves as a Prime Minister and Konstantinos Mitsotakis in 1990 to 1993.

In 2001 became a member of the Economic and Monetary Union and in 2002 adopted the common European currency -Euro-.

In 2010 Greece faces debt crisis and forced to seek financial help from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

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