Greece/Greeks


Greece/Greeks:
Development of a Nation
How Greece became Greece,
and how the Greeks became Greek.


GreeceHow
Greeks as a people, and the country of Greece as a nation-state,
evolved and materialized into current form, in terms of ancestral
bloodlines, the Greek language, borders, culture, and even how they
received their name.


Ancestral Background
Development of Language
Formation of Borders
Etymology (How Name Received)
Culture
Greece in 2008


Europe by 400 BC
Greek
Ancestral Background:

  1. 9000 BC – People from the Levant settle the
    island of Cyprus, giving Cypriots a Middle-Eastern/West Asian
    genetic component.
  2. Greek culture and language originates on the
    Greek peninsula by 1500 BC. Greek culture primarily resided within
    most of modern Greece, pushed northward somewhat   to
    cover much of modern Albania and Macedonia. Greek settlements such
    as Troy also sprang up along the western Anatolian coast (modern
    Turkey). The numerous islands of the Aegean Sea, including the large
    island of Crete at the southern edge of the sea, were also settled
    by Greek peoples.
  3. 1125 BC – Greeks invade Cyprus, establishing
    the first Greek presence on the island. The population of the island
    became primarily Greek, as previous inhabitants assimilated into
    Greek peoples, resulting in a permanent, Greek-dominated component
    to the genetic composition of Cypriots.
  4. ~ 900 BC: The Classical Greek era began after
    the Greek Dark Ages, where city states were under attack by
    barbarians by land from the north, and by sea from the south,
    destroying vestiges of advanced, ancient-Greek society (marked by
    cities, intricate sophisticated trade networks, education/writing) .
    In the emergence from the Greek Dark Ages, writing was relearned,
    the Greek alphabet coded, and the first city-states established,
    forming the foundation of western civilization and culture. The
    culture that made Greeks a distinct people was rejuvenated, further
    cementing their
    Alexander the Great conquests
    sense of nationalistic identity.
  5. By 800 BC, Greeks colonized the southern tip
    of Italy and Sicily, being called Magna Graecia by the Romans later
    in history, since it was so densely populated by Greeks. As a
    result, Southern Italians still retain a strong Greek genetic
    imprint to this day.
  6. Persian Wars – 500 448 BC.
    Greek city states aligned to aid the east Greece cities to attain
    independence from the massive Persian Empire, halting further
    expansion toward Europe. By the end of the war, the Greeks
    successfully pushed the Persians out of Europe, back into Asia Minor
    (modern Turkey). Cooperation against this common threat would
    protect the integrity of the Greek bloodline, while further
    solidifying a sense of “Greek-hood”, paving the way for future
    consolidation of Greek peoples into single nation-state.
  7. 346 BC – Macedon conquers other city-states,
    along with the Kingdom of Illyria to the northwest, to lay the
    foundation of the Greek Empire.
  8. 336 – 323 BC – Reign of Alexander the Great
    (Hellenistic Period). The Greek Empire was expanded northward to the
    Danube River, while conquering the expansive Persian Empire to the
    east. Greek culture was thus exported throughout the known world,
    along with a trace of the Greek genetic imprint.
  9. 323 BC – Hellenistic Period in Greece Begins.
    The empire was divided into Egypt (Ptomely), the Middle East
    (Seleucid) and Greece (Antigonid – Macedon). The Greek Empire would
    further break into independent city states and small kingdoms, once
    again becoming fragmented.
  10. 217 BC – Beginning of Macedonian Wars, which
    result in the Roman conquest of Greece. Rome would conquer all of
    Greek people by 30 BC, including Crete and Cyprus. Rome would
    militarily defeat the Greeks, but Greek culture would dominate all
    of Rome, as it would be the basis for Roman culture. The Greek world
    would exist under Roman rule until the collapse of the Western Roman
    Empire in the 5th century (AD). After that, they would
    carry on the banner of the Roman Empire, considering themselves to
    represent the continuation of the Roman Empire in the “east”. Much
    later in history, this empire would be retroactively known as the
    Byzantine Empire. The Eastern Orthodox Church also rose to
    prominence among the Greeks, meshing with the legacy of Classical
    Greece to define Greek culture.
  11. 1299 – 1453: Conquest of the Greek Byzantine
    Empire by the Muslim Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was a Turkic
    political entity that converted to Islam before rapidly expanding to
    rule the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Europe. It would
    begin to methodically capture Greek peoples and lands in Anatolia
    (modern Turkey) in 1299, entering Europe by 1354, before terminating
    the Byzantine Empire with the capture of the capital of
    Constantinople in 1453. Greeks endured under Turkish rule for
    roughly 400 years. During this time, they would largely remain a
    distinct nationality, but would have a minor genetic
    cross-pollination with the ruling Turks, who populated Anatolia next
    door to the east, muddying the ethnic divisions somewhat, especially
    in the borderlands. In which case, there is a minor Turk component
    to the modern Greek genetic composition.
  12. 1821 – Greek Orthodox Bishop proclaims Greek
    independence from the Ottoman Empire. Revolts were subsequently
    organized, and with the help of western powers, independence was
    attained in 1829.
  13. 1919 – 1922 – Greco Turkish War, or Turkish
    War of Independence. As promised by Allies, Greece receives new
    lands in Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The Young Turks, who had
    overthrown the Ottoman Empire, fought to regain these lands. During
    and after the war, a population exchange was carried out, with
    Turkey receiving Muslim populations in Greek lands, and Greece
    receiving Christian populations in Turkish lands.

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Development of Greek Language:

  1. The basis for the modern Greek language is a
    direct sub-branch off of the genesis language for most of Europe:

    Proto-Indo-European
    . The Greek language came into existence
    around 1500 BC among the people that inhabited the southern Balkan
    peninsula and the numerous islands of the Aegean Sea, approximating
    the modern territory of Greece. Greek peoples, along with their
    Greek language, spread to the Asiatic side of the Mediterranean Sea
    into Anatolia (modern Turkey).
  2. Classical Greek evolved from the Proto-Greek
    language, becoming the dominant form of the Greek language beginning
    with conclusion of Greek Dark Ages around 900 BC.
  3. Hellenistic Greek was the Macedonian dialect
    that was carried throughout the known world by Alexander the Great
    and his armies. It was this dialect that would grown to dominate the
    Greek-speaking world from which subsequent variations would adapt.
  4. Medieval or Byzantine Greek. The evolution of
    the language among the Greeks in the Byzantine Empire (the
    continuation of the Roman Empire by the Greeks, after the fall of
    Rome in the late 5th century).
  5. During the Ottoman occupation and after
    independence, Modern Greek would emerge, influenced by the Turkic
    language spoken by the Ottoman Turks. After independence in 1829,
    Greek scholars recreated an alternative Greek language that more
    closely resembled Classical Greek, in an effort to conjure ties to
    the golden age of Greece (before the lengthy period of time under
    Ottoman rule). This recreated version was primarily used as a “high”
    speech, in literature and scholastics. In recent years, the two
    variations (Modern Greek and High Speech) have merged to form
    Standard Modern Greek, the Greek language as it is known today.

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Formation of Greece’s Borders:


  1. Europe as of 490 AD
    9000 BC – People from the Levant settle the
    island of Cyprus.
  2. Minoan Civilization exists on the island of
    Crete from 2700 – 1450 BC.
  3. Greek culture and language originates on the
    Greek peninsula by 1500 BC. Greek culture primarily resided within
    most of modern Greece, pushed northward somewhat   to
    cover much of modern Albania and Macedonia. Greek settlements such
    as Troy also sprang up along the western Anatolian coast (modern
    Turkey). The numerous islands of the Aegean Sea, including the large
    island of Crete at the southern edge of the sea, were also settled
    by Greek peoples.
  4. 1125 BC – Greeks invade Cyprus, establishing
    the first Greek presence on the island. The population of the island
    became primarily Greek, as previous inhabitants assimilated into
    Greek peoples, resulting in a permanent, Greek-dominated component
    to the genetic composition of Cypriots.
  5. ~ 900 BC: The Classical Greek era began after
    the Greek Dark Ages, where city states were under attack by
    barbarians by land from the north, and by sea from the south,
    destroying vestiges of advanced, ancient-Greek society (marked by
    cities, intricate sophisticated trade networks, education/writing) .
    In the emergence from the Greek Dark Ages, the first city-states
    were established.
  6. By 800 BC, Greeks colonize the southern tip of
    Italy and Sicily.
  7. 750 – 600 BC – Greeks colonize the southeast
    shores of Iberia and the southern shores of France.
  8. 709 BC – Assyrians capture the island of
    Cyprus, which later gains independence in 669 (independent from both
    Assyrians and mainland Greeks).
  9. 550 BC – Greek city-states expand along the
    shores of the Black Sea, and the western coast lines of Anatolia
    (modern Turkey).
  10. 546 BC – Persian Achaemenid Empire conquers
    Anatolia.
  11. 545 BC – Persians conquer Cyprus.

  12. Persian Wars
    Persian Wars – 500 448 BC.
    Greek city-states align to help Greece cities in the east to win
    independence, and to halt further expansion. By the end of the war,
    the Greeks successfully pushed the Persians out of Europe, into Asia
    Minor.
  13. 346 BC – Macedon conquers other city-states,
    along with the Kingdom of Illyria to the northwest, to lay the
    foundation of the Greek Empire.
  14. 336 – 323 BC – Reign of Alexander the Great
    (Hellenistic Period). The Greek Empire was expanded northward to the
    Danube River, while conquering the expansive Persian Empire to the
    east. Greek culture was thus exported throughout the known world,
    along with a trace of the Greek genetic imprint.
  15. 323 BC – Hellenistic Period in Greece Begins.
    The empire was divided into Egypt (Ptomely), the Middle East
    (Seleucid) and Greece (Antigonid – Macedon). The Greek Empire would
    further break into independent city states and small kingdoms, once
    again becoming fragmented.
  16. 321 BC – Ptomely gains Cyprus, achieving the
    Hellenization of the Cypriots.
  17. 217 BC – Beginning of Macedonian Wars, in
    which the Greece city-states fall to Roman rule.
  18. 197 BC – Macedon surrenders to Rome, soon
    followed by nearly all city states.
  19. 146 BC – Macedon/Greece is officially a Roman
    province.
  20. 133 – 63 BC – Rome acquires Asian Minor
    province, then expands further east to establish Asian provinces.
    Syria and Jerusalem were brought under the Roman Empire by 63 BC,
    defeating the Seleucid Empire (Greek-ruled Middle East since
    Alexander the Great’s Hellenist Empire was partitioned following his
    death in 323 BC), bringing the Seleucid Empire to an end.
  21. 69 BC – Romans conquer the Greek island of
    Crete.
  22. 58 BC – Cyprus becomes a Roman province.
  23. 30 BC – End of Ptolemie Empire (Greek-ruled
    Egypt since Alexander the Great’s Hellenist Empire was partitioned
    following his death in 323 BC). All of the Greeks are now under
    Roman rule.
  24. 292 AD – Diocletian becomes emperor of entire
    Roman empire, splitting it into two divisions: Western Roman Empire
    (based in Rome) and Eastern Roman Empire (based in Constantinople).
    He had determined that the entire empire could no longer be
    administered by one emperor. Until the end of the Western Empire,
    there would be several succession crises, but the east-west split
    would be of great significance, as the Eastern Empire would carry on
    after the collapse of the Western Empire (becoming known as
    Byzantine Empire). This gave rise to the idea of an “Eastern
    Empire”, which was known as the Greek-speaking portion of the Roman
    Empire, while the West was Latin-speaking.
  25. 330 – Roman Emperor Constantine re-established
    the east-west boundary of Rome, which had been temporarily
    dissolved, residing himself to the eastern empire, naming the city
    of Byzantium after himself (Constantinople), the long-standing
    capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.
  26. 395 – Theodosius became the last emperor to
    rule over entire Roman Empire (east & west). Upon his death in 395,
    he divided the empire between his two sons, along the east-west
    divide established originally by Diocletian, with the west going to
    Honorius, and the east going to Arcadius. The empires would remain
    partitioned until the collapse of the West, with the East surviving
    another millennium under Greek rule.
  27. 476 – Official end of Western Roman Empire.
    Roman general Orestes persuaded Germanic people in and around Italy
    to join his side to usurp the emperor’s throne, for promise of
    larger tracts of land. Germanic chieftain Odoacer rose to throne in
    Italy. The Roman Empire lived on as the Eastern Roman Empire (later
    known retroactively as the Byzantine Empire), which was able to
    avoid the same fate by having greater financial resources to pay off
    Germanics, while fortifying Constantinople with massive walls,
    making it impenetrable.
    Byzantine Conquests
  28. 533/534 – Byzantine conquered the Germanic
    Vandal Kingdom in North Africa. Vandals were sold into slavery or
    absorbed into the Eastern Roman populace.
  29. 535 – 553 – Goth War between Ostrogoths
    (Germanic rulers of Italy) and Byzantine. Byzantine prevailed by
    553, but the war was terribly devastating to both sides. Byzantine
    was only able to maintain control over the city of Rome and parts of
    Southern Italy.
  30. 541 – Bubonic Plague of Justinian, affecting
    Byzantine in particular, but also the rest of Europe. It may have
    killed up to about half the European population, further propelling
    Europe toward the Dark Ages. Byzantine, with its legendary emperor
    Justinian, was well on its way to restoring the glory of the Roman
    Empire, but the plague took so many lives, with many of the
    Byzantine troops dying, that his army had to be recalled back to
    Constantinople. As a result, Byzantine lost its grip on much of
    Italy and other regions around the Mediterranean. This would allow
    barbarians to conquer most of Italy, and would cause the Byzantine
    Empire to go into a decline. It would also lose its eastern and
    African territories to Arab Muslim Caliphates in the 7th century.
    Therefore, the Bubonic Plague of Justinian contributed to the rise
    of Islamic expansion.
  31. 554 – Byzantines conquered southern Spain.
  32. 568 – Lombards, a Germanic tribe, migrated
    from the east, through the Alps into the Italian peninsula, where
    Byzantine rule was weak or non-existent, displacing Byzantine rule
    in northern and central Italy. Byzantine retained Rome and Ravenna,
    pockets of central Italy, while retaining portions in the south
    (Mostly a diagonal swath of land from Ravenna to Rome and south to
    Naples).
  33. 610 – Byzantine loses its Mesopotamian province to
    the Persian Sassanid Empire.
  34. 624 – Visigoths reconquer southern Iberia from
    the Byzantines, ruling nearly all of the peninsula.
  35. 634 – 641 – Byzantine loses Syria, Israel
    (middle east) and Egypt to the Muslim Arab armies (Rashidun
    Caliphate – Muslim Empire).
  36. 638 – Byzantine loses Jerusalem to the Arabs,
    a shocking development for Christians throughout Europe.
  37. 680 – Bulgars defeat Byzantines, officially
    recognized by Byzantine as an independent kingdom.
  38. 688 – Arabs invade Cyprus, forcing an
    agreement with Byzantine to divide the island between Byzantine and
    Arab rule, which would result in constant warfare for the next 300
    years.

    Byzantine Losses
  39. 697 – Byzantine Carthage (North Africa) falls
    to the Umayyad Caliphate (Muslim Dynasty that succeeded the Rashidun
    Caliphate).
    Africa would become an unknown region to Europeans until the Age of
    Exploration beginning in 15th century, since Europeans
    would not dare enter Muslim territory until then, prevented in doing
    so by more dominant Muslim Caliphates.

  40. Byzantine Losses
    By 700, Slavs inhabit most of Balkan
    Peninsula, pushing the Greek Byzantine northern border southward, down to
    Albania and Macedonia.
  41. 751 – Byzantines quarrel with the Roman Papacy over
    religious questions, allowing the Lombards to take advantage in
    Italy, expelling
    Byzantine from central Italy. Lombards took control of Byzantine
    lands except Rome and surrounding lands, as the Bishop of Rome (now
    known as the Pope) and his armies hold out, carving out an
    independent territory.
  42. 824 – Muslim Arabs (Aghlabids) conquer Crete
    from the Byzantines.
  43. 838 – 841 – Saracens (Muslim Arabs) from North
    Africa capture parts of southern Italy, while Lombards and
    Byzantines also retain parts of Italy.

  44. Byzantine gains
    900 – 917 – First Bulgarian Empire expands to
    Bosnia in the west, eastern Hungary in the north. Encompasses all of
    modern Bulgaria and Romania. Would also grow to encompass Albania
    and Macedonia by 904. In another battle with Byzantine in 917, they
    would gain nearly the whole of the Balkan peninsula.
  45. 927 – Slavs in Yugoslavia area break free from
    the Bulgarian Empire, establishing the Serbian Empire, which soon became
    a client state to Byzantine.
  46. 960 – Byzantines gain control of Doclea
    (Montenegro). Byzantines reconquer Crete from the Arab Muslims.
  47. 965 – Byzantine conquers the island of Cyprus
    from the island.
  48. 968 – Byzantine begins to push back against
    the Bulgarian Empire, taking eastern Bulgaria.
  49. 975 – Byzantine conquers Syria, Lebanon, and
    much of Palestine back from the Arab Muslims.
  50. 990 – By the late 10th century,
    Byzantine conquers most of Bosnia.
  51. 1002 – 1018 – Byzantine carries out series of
    invasions against Bulgaria, incorporating them into the empire by 1018,
    establishing Danube as northern border of the Byzantine Empire. By extending borders north
    again, preserving Greece, and reviving Greek cities, the empire
    enters a period of rapid growth and economic
    prosperity.
  52. 1016 – Byzantines conquer southern Kiev,
    consisting of Kiev and modern south-central Ukraine.

  53. Byzantine conquests
    1042 – Montenegro revolts against Byzantine,
    becoming the independent Principality of Doclea (roughly modern
    Montenegro).
  54. 1045 – Bosnia is separated from Byzantine,
    coming under control of Kingdom of Croatia.
  55. 1086 – Serbs revolt against the Byzantines,
    becoming independent. The Serbs wrest control of Bosnia & Herzegovina
    away from the Byzantines. Serbs conquer Albanian lands from Byzantine as
    well. Albania would be passed back and forth between the Serbs,
    Venetians, Normans and Byzantines until the 13th century.
  56. 1097 – 1176 – Byzantine conquers the southern
    coast of Anatolia (modern Turkey).
  57. 1166 – Byzantine reconquers Bosnia and
    Herzegovina.
  58. 1180 – Albanians are conquered by the Serbs (North and
    Eastern portions). Still officially under rule of Byzantine, but by
    now, Serbia largely operated independently.
  59. 1185 – Bulgarians revolt against a weakening
    Byzantine Empire, beginning Second Bulgarian Empire.
  60. 1185 – Cyprus separates from Byzantine.
  61. 1189 – Serbs and Hungarians help Bosnia escape
    Byzantine rule.

    Byzantine Empire losses
  62. 1204 – Byzantine conquers central/south
    portions of Albania.

  63. Byzantine Empire
    1204 – Crusaders conquer Constantinople to
    establish the Western Roman Catholic Empire, otherwise known as the
    Latin Empire. Bulgarians take
    the opportunity to conquer Macedonia and large parts of Thrace from
    the compromised Byzantine Empire. It is the first
    time the Eastern Empire is ruled by Latins rather than Greeks. Byzantine
    aristocrats would set up successor states, so Latins did not control
    entire Byzantine empire, just Constantinople and surrounding areas.
    Venetians captured Crete from the Byzantine Empire in disarray.

    Ottoman Empire Conquests
  64. 1261 – Greeks reconquer Constantinople, but
    the damage was done, setting off a period of decline.

  65. Balkans independence from Ottoman Empire
    1299 – Beginning of
    the Ottoman Empire (a Muslim empire), as Osman I
    (after whom Turkic empire named) captures a small amount of territory in western
    Anatolia (modern Turkey). It would enlarge territory throughout western Anatolia,
    taking territory from other Turkic tribes and the Byzantines. All of
    Byzantine Anatolia was conquered by the Ottomans by 1330.
  66. 1354 – Ottomans capture Gallipoli, a
    Byzantine city on the European side of modern Turkey, marking their
    first advance into Europe.
  67. 1450 – Macedonia is conquered by the Ottoman
    Empire, with the heavily fortified city of Constantinople the last
    holdout of the nearly-extinct Byzantine Empire.
  68. 1453 – The Ottoman Empire conquers Constantinople,
    ending the Greek Byzantine/Roman Empire. All of modern Greece is now under Ottoman
    rule.
  69. 1669 – The Ottomans capture Crete from the Venetians.

  70. Greece
    1821 –
    The Greek Orthodox Bishop proclaims Greek
    independence from the Ottoman Empire. Revolts were subsequently organized, and with
    help of western powers, independence was attained in 1829.
  71. 1864 – The United Kingdom ceded the Ionian
    Islands to Greece.
  72. 1881 – A weakened Ottoman Empire is forced to cede
    the territory of Thessaly to the Greeks.
  73. 1898 – After decades of insurrection following
    Greece’s independence from the Ottomans, the Ottomans are finally
    driven from the island of Crete. Crete would continue to operate as an autonomous
    province of Greece, until officially being ceded by the Ottoman Empire
    to Greece at
    the conclusion of the Balkan Wars in 1913.

  74. Balkan Wars
    1912
    – 1913 – Balkan Wars. Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece
    initiate war against the Ottoman Turks with the objective of gaining
    more Balkan lands, and consolidating more of their peoples into
    their respective kingdoms. Initially they are victorious, but then
    fight against one another over the spoils, allowing the Ottomans to
    gain a portion of Balkan lands back (roughly equivalent to modern
    Republic of Turkey on European side). Greece retained the rest of
    its initial gains.
  75. 1919 – Since Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in World War II, West
    Thrace was taken from Bulgaria, and awarded to Greece by the Allied
    Powers, giving Greece possession of the entire coast along the north end
    of the Aegean Sea.
  76. 1919 – 1922 – Greco Turkish War, or Turkish
    War of Independence. As promised by

    War of Turkish Independence
    the Allies, Greece receives new
    lands in Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The Young Turks, who had
    overthrown the Ottoman Empire, fought to regain these lands. Greece initially
    makes gains, but Turks drive them back to Greece, establishing
    the modern border between the two nations.
  77. WWII –
    Greece resisted invasion by Italy, but by 1941 all of Greece had
    fallen under Axis
    occupation (including Crete) after the Nazis joined the previously
    unsuccessful Italians in conquering the region. Greece drove them
    out by 1944, but immediately descended into civil war between democratic
    proponents and communists. The democrats prevailed in 1949. In post-war
    resolutions, Italy ceded various
    Aegean and Mediterranean Sea islands to Greece in 1947, setting Greece’s
    modern borders.
    Greece

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Etymology (How Name Received):

Greece/Greek. “Greek” is derived from the Latin word “Graecus”,
referring to one of the Greek Gods. It is thought that one of the first
Greek tribes to settle southern Italy was given the name Graecus by the
local Latin speakers. Thus, those that spoke the “Greek” language became
collectively known as the Graecus by the Latins, and the name clearly
stuck.

Hellenes. This is the name by which Greeks
referred to themselves in ancient and classical times (until the
conquest by the Romans). After which, they begin to more commonly refer
to themselves as Graecus, or Romioi (Greek Romans). “Hellenes” is
derived from the Greek Goddess of Hellen.


Byzantine.
Byzantine refers to the continuation of the Eastern Roman
Empire by the Greeks after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th
century. Byzantine would mean nothing to those of the Eastern Empire, as
it was a name retroactively assigned to the empire beginning only
recently, in the 19th century. It is derived from the Greek
term for “Empire of the Romans”.

Greek Culture:

The
ancient Greeks spawned Western Thought and Culture. The Roman Empire,
and later European civilization would be based on the philosophies, and
artistic and scientific advances born by the ancient Greeks. Classical
Greek culture is renowned for critical analysis of complex phenomena,
and applying a rigorous scientific method to solve mysteries, as opposed
to relying on supernatural attributions.

Greek culture would change after the Greek peoples became
Christianized toward the end of the Roman Empire. When Rome collapsed in
the late 5th century, the Greeks carried on the banner of Rome as the
“Empire of the Romans by the Greeks”. As one of the most powerful
empires during the Middle Ages, the “Byzantines” (as they were known
retroactively) were often viewed as the protectors of Christianity,
especially in Eastern Europe, which came under the domination of the
Greek/Eastern Orthodox Church, which eclipsed the Roman Catholic Church
in the east during the Medieval times.

Christianity changed Greek
culture, adding the concept of revelation, faith and prophecy to the
strict pragmatism so fiercely championed by the ancient Greeks. The
Byzantines were feverishly proud of their heritage, but cautious not to
hold it up higher than their Christian faith.

Christianity became more
crucial to the Greeks during the four centuries during which they toiled
under Muslim Ottoman rule, as it was the force that bound the Greeks
while persevering within the shadow of Islam.

When they became
independent in 1829, it was their Christian heritage that far outweighed
their Classical Greek ideals propagated by famed thinkers such as
Socrates, Aristotle and Plato. As a result, the Greeks are among the
most religious peoples in modern Europe. Although highly religious, the
modern Greeks nonetheless attempt to maintain their link to the
Classical period, by placing great value and emphasis on the sciences
and other intellectual pursuits, to the extent that it does not
undermine religious faith.

Greece in 2008:


Economy:
Fairly strong economy,
especially for east/central Europe, which features under-developed
economies compared to the west. With a multitude of excellent ports,
relies heavily on the transportation industry, as well as the tourism
industry.
Government: Democratic Republic
Religion: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1%. Survey: 81% believe in
God, 16% in some other intelligent design, 3% atheist/agnostic.
Constitution recognizes Greek Orthodox as prevailing religion, but
guarantees freedom of religion. Extremely religious for Europe, 3rd most
religious next to Malta and Cyprus. Greeks are a people especially proud
of heritage, due to important link to history-altering events and
civilizations. Could explain why they identify with the Greek Orthodox
religion with such near-unanimity, as it has long been viewed as a
protector of “Greekness”. As a result, Greece (due to high religious
affiliation and activity) is highly religious, especially compared to
Europe in general.
Demographics: Greek 93%.
Foreign Policy: Strained relationship with Turkey, over the
Turkish invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus, which had a large
Greek population. Persists to this day, as northern third of island
remains the Turkey-friendly nation of Northern Cyprus, recognized by
Turkey alone as a sovereign nation. Greece and Turkey also disagree on
the dividing point in the Aegean Sea, which includes several islands. It
also has issues with Macedonian over the name of the country, which is
historically associated with the Greek people (beginning with the
ancient kingdom of Macedon). Harbors issues with Albania over the
treatment of one another’s foreign nationals.
Population: 10,722,816 (2008)



Formation of Nations (All European Nations)


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