Total population
approx. 17,000,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Greece Greece 10,469,980 [2]
United States United States 3,000,000 [3]
Cyprus Cyprus 650,000 [4]



Greek Orthodox Church

The Greeks (Greek: Ἕλληνες) are a Hellenic ethnic group native to the countries of Greece and Cyprus. The ancient Greek people from the state of Athens have been renowned for creating the backbones of the unique political style of ruling known as democracy and for influencing the Romans and latter western civilizations. The Mycenaean, Minoan and Athenian people were arenowned for their rich glorious history in art, and in culinary skills, architecture; and advancements in the sciences such as astronomy and physics; mathematics and philosaphy. Greeks are also known for becoming prolific and influental playrights such as Homer who wrote the famous Illiad and Odyssey, although there is contrevoursy to his existance. His origins are currently unknown. Many of today's western social traditions and inventions are accredited to the ancient Greeks.


Early History 6500-2900 B.C.Edit

Evidence of human existence in what is now Greece have existed to as far as roughly 6500 B.C. During this era, hunters from the Stone Age introduced farming techniques and marriage of husbands and wives. Pottery made with stone became predominant in this era, along with the raising of livestock. Most of the settlement remains in the northern parts of Greece, which housed no more than 100 people. Most of the houses were made with stone and clay. Most were located anywhere where there was water or a body of water, like most civilizations in southern Europe and the Middle East, many settled along the Mediterranean Sea. They were never unified, as the natives of Greece gained power beginning with the Bronze Age, many tribes ruled their own city-state kingdoms. The Greek people were independent tribes in the western Balkans Peninsula, speaking very similar dialects in a language family known as the Hellenic family. Much of Greek history is also relied on legends and some accounts of ancient historians from Greece.

Minoan & Mycenaean Era 2900 B.C.-1500 B.C.Edit

In 2900 B.C., the use of the bronze metal introduced to the island of Crete in Aegean Sea. Colonies began to expand
Minoan ruin in Crete

Ancient Minoan temple in Crete

beyond 100 to about 300-1000 people. The natives of Greece began to use bronze to make weapons such as swords and knives. Additionally, people started to use gold, silver and lead which would later play a role in the role of the Greek tribes as the main powers in the Balkan Peninsula. The first two permanent civilizations to have successfully ruled the area were the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations. According to the works of latter historian Homer, Minos (Ancient Greek: Μίνως) became the king of Crete.[5] Minos later found the civilization named after, known as the "Minoans" who were known for seafaring skills. The Minoans soared in the fields of art, using terracotta clay for their ceramics. The Minoans also used sea shells and gems for their art to make jewelry. In mainland Greece, came the Myceneans who thrived in the Aegean region. The Mycenaeans had a fairly similar existence as the Minoans, they too, also soured in the field of art and enjoyed some wealth.[6] The Mycenaean and Minoan city-state kingdoms became trading partners in the region. Eventually, the Myceneans ended up invading the Minoans. A group known as the Dorians took power through conquest, as state by ancient Greek sources. During the Dorian conquest in 1100 B.C., iron and steel weapons replaced bronze weapons.[7][8]

Kingdom of Macedon circa 800 B.C.-146 B.C.Edit

In the northern part of the Balkans Peninsula, came a man by the name of Caranus (Greek: Κάρανος). According to Greek mythological contexts, he was the first king of what would later become the state of Macedon, which is under debate as to whether it was a Greek civilization or not, though it was a Hellenic kingdom. The state
Egyptian depiction

An ancient Egyptian depiction of Alexander the Great's coronation as king of Egypt

of Macedon rose to prominence under Philip II, who became king of the Macedonian state as a result of inherited royalty. Phillip II led to the growth of the Macedonian army, giving them cavalry as well as longer spears and shields. Philip II led the Macedonians to conquer a civilization known as the Illyrians, who were not Greeks but rather had a culture much similar to the Greek people. The Macedonian armies also conquered the Athenians, who were renowned for their beautiful temples and a generally powerful navy. After taking the city of Thessaly, Philip II began to dominate the politics of ancient Greece. After Phillip II, came his heir to the thrown, which was nobody other than the man known as Alexander the Great (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας), or Alexander III of Macedon. Under Alexander, the Greeks began to experience the military drama known as the rivalry with the Persians. While Phillip II conquered northern Greece, Alexander III's military skills and war-nature allowed him to extend the borders of Macedon way beyond the Balkans Peninsula into North Africa and Asia Minor. In 333 B.C., the Macedonian army clashed with the Persian army, led by King Darius III. At the time, the Persians were the most feared military power in the Middle East, King Darius III was the most feared ruler. Alexander did not fear Darius and fought him at will. Despite being a military power, different Greek tribes joined either side, those who opposed Macedon's ever growing threat and joined Darius III's army. Those who came to collaborate or were conquered by Alexander such as the Thracians and Illyrians fought in the Macedonian army. The Macedonians used a popular Greek method of war known as the phalanx (Greek: φάλαγγα) in which an entire group of heavily armed and armored men, with large spears and shields use their weight to "bulldoze" the opposing army. All sides of the army are covered with shields and piking out with spears, including the tops and heads of soldiers many times. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the Macedonians defeated the Persians in a decisive victory, a scene which resulted in Darius III fleeing. His wife and kids were left behind. Despite his war-natures, Alexander was an understanding and kind man who studied the cultures of the conquered civilizations. He treated Darius III's wife and kids with respect and became the Lord of Asia. Later, Darius III would still try to defeat Alexander all ending in subsequent failures. In 331 B.C., Alexander moved to Egypt, another Persian state. The Egyptians, having despised Persian rule, invited the Macedonian armies in. Alexander became the Pharaoh of Egypt. In June 10/11, 332 B.C., Alexander the Great died of flu. Historians are still puzzled as what caused it, rivaling sources point out different causes such as rebellious poisoning or a bug bite. The height and power of Macedon died along with Alexander, the kingdom was split into two allowing some of the other Greek city-state to rebuild independent kingdoms. Alexander's legacy lives on, not only to the Greek people but to the people of Asia Minor and Egypt as well.

Athenian & Spartan Golden Age 500 B.C.-146 A.D.Edit

In an era known as the "Archaic Period" came the prospering of Greece as a thriving society with a powerful land army and navy. The head bust of SocratesGreek people also experienced a new age in reasoning and even new way of governing known later as democracy. The Greeks experienced rapid advancements in mathematics, astronomy and architecture - which were most evident in the state of Athens which came from a long line of
Ancient theate in Athens

Ruined theater in Libya

teachers and their students. A philosopher by the name of Socrates (Greek: Σωκράτης) introduced the backbones of what man would call democracy. Socrates was known for his stubborn and endless questioning. Socrates questioned religious authorities about the world's existence and creation. One of Socrates's students, Plato (Greek: Πλάτων) extended his teachings and philosophies. Plato helped contribute to mathematics. One of Plato's students, Aristotle (Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης) became a polymath. The Athenians also expanded their love of entertainment. Aeschylus (Greek: Αἰσχύλος) is accredited for writing plays known as "tragedies", heroic epics that end up in death. Other prolific tragedy playwrights include Sophocles and Euripides. These are three are known as the "Great Three Tragedians of Athens". The abundance of gold only helped fuel

Athenian-era Vase

what historians would call the "golden age" of Athens. An example of this architecture would be the Parthenon, which housed a big statue of the goddess Athena made with gold and ivory. The city-state "Athens" was named after Athena, who according to Greek legend, killed the monster by the name of Medusa who turned anybody who looked at it into stone. Sports also emerged as a popular activity around this time. The Athenians would compete with other Greek kingdoms in a series of sports, the most popular being the marathon which originated from the Athenian civilization. At this time, Athena was one of the region's powers, after Alexander III's death, the southern Balkans underwent retaliance invasions against the Persians, a seemingly endless rivalry. Pheidippides, a Greek messenger ran back to Athens from the region of Marathon to announce the Athenian victory over the Persians before collapsing and dying. The Greeks and latter Romans carried on this tradition which became the popular running sport event known as marathons today. This competition between city-states became known as the Olympics, after the region of Olympia in Athens. A month before the games, each city-state gave each other temporary truces, because there was no unity among Greece (other than the cultural means) and Greece was often in a de facto civil war between civilizations. Chariot racing, javelin and discus were also popular sports, men
Ancient olympic game
often wore military gear and carried shields. However, unlike today's Olympics, the ancient Greek games lacked safety rules and sports often were graphic. The pankration was a wrestling game, the only rules were no biting or poking eyes. Boxing was also popular, although competitors would wear thin gloves made of leather, even after knocking out the opponent, was still able to hit. The Athenians used gold coins as a means of monetary use. Meanwhile in the kingdom of Sparta, the "golden age" was not because of temples, philosophy, gold statues, wealth or any of the sort, but in fact the opposite. Spartans despised all of the above mentioned, it's "golden age" was rather in its military. Joining the military was part of Spartan life, and the central theme to Spartan society. In Sparta, a new-born baby would be inspected if he or she was fit to fight, to carry a shield and a sword or spear. If found unfit, the baby was left out in the open to die. If found fit, the child would live with his/her parents for seven years. At age seven, the child would be taken away. Training was very brutal in the military, it involved graphic practices such as wrestling and fighting nakedly out in the cold. The person is also beaten if he didn't train right. Many soldiers died in the training itself rather than the battling, if a soldier was ever sent home because he was unfit, he would be discouraged and banned from ever returning home. At last, the soldier is finally knighted by his mentor and thus go to serve in the Spartan army. Lavish life was of no concern with the Spartans, their monetary unit were bars of iron. Other Greek city-states that generally prospered as well were Corinthin, Argos and Megara.

War with Persia 400-450 B.C.Edit

An example served by Alexander the Great, the military and naval strength of Sparta and Athens were finally going to be tested. The Persian army, having recovered and once-more becoming Asia Minor's feared military power came back to threaten the Hellenic civilizations once more. This spurred another period of unity among the


Athenians, Spartans and other Greek city-states. A reminiscent of Darius III, King Xerxes I became Persia's and Asia Minor's most feared army leader who had to deal with a feisty Greek army standing in his way. The King of Sparta, Leonidas led a coalition force of not only Spartans but other Greek armies as well, such as the Athenians and Locrians. Leonidas was a brutal military leader, although kind-hearted he proved himself unstoppable. Leonidas used phalanx warfare to gain an advantage against the larger Persian army. In 480 B.C., King Xerxes threatened to "send a rain of arrows" against the Spartans if they didn't submit to Persia. This did happen, due to the heavy armor of the phalanx, the arrows did not penetrate the shields and proved to be useless against the tiny Spartan army consisting of only 300 men! The two armies met in Thermopylae, a coastal pass. Because of phalanx warfare, the tiny Spartan force was able to hold off the Persians for months. Every Spartan fought to the complete death which resulted in many Persian retreats and failed attempts to re-invade Greece. Eventually, the Greeks were defeated which resulted in a bare and costly Persian victory. Despite losing the battle, the Battle of Thermopylae slowed the Persians down enough to give the Athenian navy time to prepare, it also proved Sparta to be truly unstoppable. Athen's king, Themistocles arranged a naval only consisting of about 378 ships at the most, the Persian navy had roughly 1,200 ships at the most. Persian naval forces entered the Strait of Salamis to try choking the Greek land forces. Despite this, the Athenian navy crushed the Persian navy, 300 Persian ships were sunk. In 479 B.C., a reinforcement of more than 100,000 Spartans and their allied Greek brethren defeated Persian armies in the Battle of Platea. After the Salamis and Platea defeat, King Xerxes I finally fled and retreated back to Asia Minor. Thanks to the Spartan slowdown of the Persians and the Athenian naval victory, the Greeks were once-more able to stop the Persian juggernaut.[9]

Peloponnesian War 431-404 B.C.Edit

Unfortunately, the unity that resulted from the war against Persia was temporary. The Athenians continued to build their navy, annexing islands in the Aegean Sea as Athenian states. Sparta also was rebuilding its military and annexing states on land, the two remained the leading powers of southern Balkans Peninsula. Hostilities began to boil between Athens and Sparta, especially when Athens became allies with Corcyra, a Spartan enemy. Pericles (Greek: Περικλῆς) was the Athenian leader at the time, who tried to solve disputes with Sparta without through diplomatic means which failed. Soldiers from the state of Thebes, a Spartan puppet, attacked Platea, a puppet of Athens. As the Spartans approached Attica, surrounding Athens; Athenian naval forces attacked Spartan shipping and trade and their allies' coasts. In 429 B.C., Pericles was killed from a disease that literally killed much of its army and people. Despite this, the Athenians did enjoy some victories over Sparta, especially at sea. However in 415 B.C., the Athenians experienced a horrible decade of fighting with Sparta, which they ultimately lost. Spartans also used Athens's allies against them. In 413, the Athenian navy was beginning to weaken which only worsened the situation. In 411 B.C., the navy was rebuilt and halted an attempt to overthrow democracy. Lysander finally defeated the Athenian navy in 405 B.C. with Persian collaborators. The Athenian defeat took its toll on the Greeks' status as a power. The war also brought an initial end to the golden age that had once flourished in Athens.[10]

Roman Annexation 168 B.C.-364 A.D.Edit

In 168 B.C., a group of Latinic speakers from the neighboring Italian Peninsula invaded Greece. They did so by attacking the Macedonians and defeating them. In 146 B.C., the Corinthians were defeated by this group, known as the Romans. Under the Romans, the Greeks experienced years of peace known as Pax Romana. Greek culture served as the definite foundation for ancient Roman culture. The Romans adopted, mimicked and were completely inspired by the Greek culture. The Romans adopted Greek names and also began to implement the works of Socrates and democracy into their government which became known as the Roman Republic. After conquering Athens, the Romans also adopted the Greek religion. They renamed the Athenian goddess Athena to "Venus" and the underworld god "Hades" to "Pluto". Eventually, the Roman Empire became a complete reminiscent of the ancient Greek world and adopting of Hellenic culture would pave the way for the latter Byzantine Empire. The Romans also adopted the ancient Olympic traditions such as the marathon and literally recovered the golden age in Greece. The art and architecture of ancient Greece was also recovered in Rome. Eventually the Romans grew as the military power of Europe, which ended in 364 A.D. when the empire split into the Byzantine Empire in the east and the Western Roman Empire. Much like the modern-United States, the Roman Empire was a collective kingdom of ethnic states who spoke one lingua franca (Latin in this case) as a second language. Among them, the Greeks were the most influential, others included Germanic people such as German and Anglo-Saxons, Latin states, Egyptian and even Semitic peoples such as Arabs, Jews, Berbers, and Slavic tribes such as Serbs and Bulgarians.

Christianization & Byzantine Empire Edit

On 396 A.D., the Roman Empire came under the rule of Constantine I, and became the first ruler that officially adopted Christianity as his religion. The Roman Empire had been hampered by civil war, and was divided into a western and eastern section. The eastern section was inhabited by the Greek-speaking population. Constantine resettled the capital to the city of Byzantium, which was later renamed to Constantinople in his honor, which currently the modern-day city of Istanbul in Turkey. In 480 A.D., the western part of the Roman Empire collapsed but the eastern remnant continued and emerged into the Byzantine Empire (Greek: Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων, Latin: Imperium Romanum), a Greek continuation of the Latin Roman Empire. Many people continued to refer to the Byzantine Empire as the "Eastern Roman Empire". Under the reign of Theodosius I, Christianity became the official state religion of the Roman Empire and ordered the destruction of some Greek pagan temples. Under the rule of Justinian I (Greek: Σαββάτιος) the Byzantines re-conquered territory that the Western Roman Empire had lost including North Africa and the Italian Peninsula. Like its Roman ancestry, the Byzantine Empire went through a period of history filled with wars against the Persians. The empire's fall would come through the hands of Muslim invasions, that was sealed when the Turkish Ottoman Empire conquered Constaninople and renamed it "Istanbul". The Christians that lived in the Byzantine Empire found their own section of Christianity known as the Orthodox Church, which experienced a rapid expansion throughout Eastern Europe influencing the Slavic and Arab communities. Orthodox Christianity shaped modern-day Greek culture and became its main characteristic. The Greek language was adopted as the liturgical language of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Ottoman Annexation 1400-1821 A.D.Edit

The Byzantine Empire faced its decline as a power when its capital, Constantinople faced constant enemy raids from various armies including those from the Turko-Persian Seljuk Empire. After being ruled by Rome, the Greeks were under Byzantine rule. As the Byzantine Empire finally collapsed with the Turkish victory and capturing of Constantinople, the Greeks were put under Ottoman Rule. Despite causing an Armenian genocide, the Turks
Ottoman annexation
generally had a softer treatment on the Greek people. Though Christians were seen as apostate unbelievers", they did receive payments from the Ottoman ruler, under Mehmed II, the sultan (Muslim ruler) of the Ottoman Empire who led it to its greatest extent. The Greeks also did their best to preserve Eastern Christianity in the Greek-speaking regions of the Ottoman Empire. Many Greeks fled to Jerusalem and became patriarchs. In 1492, the Jews were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula. Sultan Bayezid II of the Ottoman Empire at time invited the Jewish refugees into the empire. Eventually, the Christian natives of the area now known as Greece were allowed to serve in the Ottoman armies, in an infantry known as the Janiserry - specifically for Christians and non-Muslims, who did prove to be significant to the Ottoman power. In 1821, inspired by other European revolutions against the Ottomans, the Greeks then took their part in earning their independence. The Russians, a military rival of the Ottomans, intervened in the Greek war for independence. The Russian armies were accredited for having freed the Europeans in the east from Ottoman rule, they also helped the Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians and Moldovans fight the Ottomans. Religion also became involved, when groups of Christians attacked Muslims which resulted in the sultan executing innocent Christian leaders. The Russians, having been devout followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church used the execution of Gregorios, an Orthodox patriarch as a strong case for vengeance, let alone being an Ottoman rival. However, the Greeks started to kill innocent communities

of Muslims and Jews alike in the Peloponnese region. In 1822, ex-Ottoman naval sailors who were ethnic Greeks sieged key Ottoman positions. Independence was declared that same year. France and Britain, powers of the west, also intervened with the Greeks to fight the Ottomans, sandwiching the Ottoman armies between eastern and western armies. In 1832, Greece was finally recognized as an independent nation, the first to finally free themselves from the Ottomans. The Greeks chose a German monarch by the name of Ludwig I from Bavaria to be Greece's king, who was renamed King Otto with the city of Athens, the origins of much human development, its capital.[11]

World War I and World War IIEdit

The Greek people entered World War I as a minor player. The Greeks became a likeable group by France and Britain, who urged them to join the Triple Entente during World War I. However, being ruled by a monarch of German background, King Constantine refused to join the allies. Bulgarian and Austrian soldiers tried to invade Greece until French and British soldiers held them off, forcing the Greeks to declare war against the alliance of the
Greece fights on

Word War II propaganda poster for Greece

central armies on July 2, 1917. The Greek, French and British soldiers pushed the invaders back to Serbia. In World War II, Greece had a much more significant impact. After World War I ended, the world thought that another war like it would be inevidable, and little did the victorious allies know that their ignorance would cause the astrocity known as World War II. Like World War I, European nations became bounded by treaties - Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy being the biggest buddies in the war. This alliance was known as the Axis, the alliance between Russia, Britain and the United States were simply known as the Allies. In October 8, 1940, Italian soldiers tried to invade but were pushed back to Albania by the Greeks. The island of Crete and Lemnos were annexed as British territory, which caused Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany's Austrian ruler to decide an invasion of Greece. Additionally, Yugoslavia was also invaded and pounded with Germans tanks and planes. Greece did not have a military industry like many of other European powers, like Yugoslavia, resistance was easily crushed and its army defeated and surrendered to the Germans. In 1941, the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union which proved to be a decisive failure for Hitler fighting a two-front war. The Nazis began to withdraw from Greece in 1944, at the same time, the Soviets were pushing them further and further west and the western Allies pushing them east. In October 14, 1944 - Athens, the capital of Greece was liberated by British armies.[12]


Most Greeks are overwhelmingly followers of the Orthodox section of Christianity, which originated from the once-Catholic Byzantine Empire. Unlike their ancient counterparts, Orthodox Christianity has been very significant to modern-day Greek culture, it is the official state religion of Greece. Many consider Greeks to be an ethno-religious group. The Greek language (see language section below), is one of the liturgical language of the Orthodox Church. Many adherents of Orthodox churches have Greek personal names and native surnames, unless they are Greek in most cases. Thanks to Greek missionaries, the Orthodox faith is also the main branch followed by most people in Eastern and Southern Europe. Feasts in the Orthodox calendar are celebrated a seven days, a week ahead of those in the Catholic church and other mainstream sections. There are small minorities practicing Roman Catholicism. Historically, Greece was home to a Jewish population, the Axis occupation of Greece almost eliminated most of these.


The Greek language, an isolate Hellenic language, is the national language of Greece and an official in the tiny island-nation of Cyprus which is also home to a Turkish-speaking minority. According to a 2007 record, there are approximately 12,000,000 native speakers of the Greek language. Greek is also one of the liturgical languages of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Many of the non-Greek saints and prophets of the Eastern Orthodox Church, such as John of Damascus and Isaac of Nineveh, both ethnic Arabs and John of Rila, an ethnic Bulgarian - spoke fluent Greek and wrote many of their texts in Greek. The script is written in the Greek script, which is accredited for having inspired the Latin and Cyrillic scripts.

Art and ArchitectureEdit


The ancient Greek art was heavily focused on very detailed human sculptures, a tradition which was later adopted by the Romans and Americans much of which originated from the ancient kingdom of Athens. The sculptures largely depicted the ancient deities and humans who either worked for those deities or were hated by those deities. One element was that the pupils of the eyes were never included. The Romans later used this model to make statues of their emperors. Religious events, folktales and legends are also depicted through statues. Art changed when Orthodox Christianity took over the Greek-speaking regions. As the role of religion came through the works of patriarchs and saints, the Greeks and Byzantines adopted a form of relief art known as an icon - used for eastern sections of Christianity which the Slavs also adopted. In the United States, Abraham Lincoln, the president during the American Civil War was one of the most influential leaders of the country. Washington D.C., the capital underwent an age of ancient Greek revival as a symbol of the country's melting pot of influences. The Lincoln Memorial is home to a statue of Abraham Lincoln that was erected ancient Greek-style.


The architecture of the ancient Greek kingdoms generally reflected that of the art. The Greeks were known for their

Ancient Parthenon in Greece

elaborate temples and palaces which the Minoans, Myceneans and Athenians made pretty evident and obvious. An essential part of Greek architecture is the use of pillars and columns which creates most of the windows, topped by a rectangular roof-top with triangular faces. The pillars were used to create a distinct part of a building known as a stoa, long covered walkways for public use. Many were also used for theaters and entertainment centers. The most famous is the Stoa of Attalos. Many of these ruins face the endangerment of being weathered and destroyed, Greece's government has funded the restoration of many of these ruins. The island of Mykonos is also home to various ruins of elaborate ancient temples. Other civilizations also adopted Greek architecture, such as the Arabs.


The ancient city of Petra in Jordan is home to the Al-Khazneh, a temple that was carved into the sandstone almost perfectly rather than built up, built by a thriving civilization known as the Nabataeans. Many times, the art was also inscripted into the walls and roofs of these ancient Greek structures. In the United States, just like the art, the buildings in Washington D.C. contain a melting pot of British, German - and Greek architectural influence. The Lincoln Memorial was built entirely of Greek influence, the building housing his statue is made to look like an ancient Greek temple. The White House, the national capitol of the United States is also built on Greek influence and given a distinct American touch. The architecture also changed when the Greeks adopted Christianity in the Byzantine Empire.
Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial

Through Christianity, Greek architecture became influenced by the domes and arches as well a little influence from the Turks. The Hagia Sophia (pronounced Ah-yah So-fya) is a museum located in the city of Istanbul in Turkey. It was built as a type of church known as a basilica in 532 A.D., following the destruction of two basilicas before it and remains a jewel and everlasting example of Greek Byzantine architecture. In 1204, it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral and an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral in 1261. In 1453, it was converted to a mosque which also housed the sultan. Upon its conversion to a mosque, four minarets were added and other Islamic elements such as
Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia

the niche in the wall known as the mihrab (marker for prayer directions to Mecca). In 1931, realizing its national significance, the Turkish government turned it into a secular musuem banning all worship in it. However, all its religious tools remain in it for the sake of historicity. Most of the mosques in Turkey and those of former Ottoman territory are built Greek Byzantine style with a twist of Arab and Persian influence, their domes reflect Greek Byzantine influence not Arab or Persian.


Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean type of cuisine that is very popular in Europe and the United States, and bears resemblances to Italian, Turkish and Arabic cuisines. Greek food is known for its high use of wheats which is used
Greek salad

Greek salad

for staple ingredients such as bread, pasta, rice and noodles which play an essential theme to Greek culinary traditions. Cheese, milk, yogurt and other dairy products are also popular in Greek cuisine. Feta cheese is the most type of cheese used in Greek-style food. The third biggest staple group are the vegetables, which include peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives. Other additional ingredients include simple spices such as salt; and olive oil. Staple meats include beef, chicken, veal and lamb - with lamb being the most popular and central meat, pork is existent, it is generally uncommon in Greek cuisine - both characteristics that make it resemble Arabic cuisine. The dairy and vegetable groups of staple ingredients are literally combined to make the dish known as Greek


salad. Unlike other salads, the olive soil, vinaigrette-like dressing and feta cheese is what distinguished and creates the main flavor for Greek salad. It is made and served year-round by Greek Americans, it is mostly eaten during the summertime in Greece and Cyprus. Greek salads also includes bell peppers, and maybe even a pinch of salt and pepper sometimes. Pita bread is used to make the wrapped-sandwhich known as the gyro (Greek: γύρος). The fillings for a gyro include thin slices of mostly lamb along with vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, onions and of course - the feta cheese. The gyro is dipped in a sauce know nas tzatziki (Greek: τζατζίκι) which made of yogurt mixed with vegetables and spices. Moussaka is a layered-dish made with potatoes or eggplants. Spanakopita is a spinach pie serve also with feta cheese cubes. Fasolada is a soup that is made with white beans and olive oil which is regarded as a national dish in Greece which does not contain meat, unlike its Italian counterpart. Giouvetsi (Greek: Γιουβέτσι) is a baked dish, made with either
lamb or veal - the two most popular meats in Greek cuisine; the dish is baked in a special oven made of clay. Pastitsio (Greek: παστίτσιο) is also a baked food, made of layers of pasta, cheese and tomato-based sauces with the Greek version of the Italian lasagna. Souvlaki is a skewered dish that is sometimes wrapped in pita bread. Meatball dishes are also popular in Greece. Yiouvarlakia is a type of lemon meatball soup. Keftedakia is a friend meatball. Another egg-lemon soup is avgolemono which is the famous soup come to be known as lemon rice soup. Amygdalotá is a type of confection popular in both Greece and Cyprus. Due to the Ottoman influence, the Turkic dessert known as baklava, a filo-layered pastry is also popular with the Greek people. Loukoumi is also another confection of Turkic influence, which is known as locum with Armenians and most commonly called Turkish delight. Vasilopita is a special bread that is only made on New Years Day, baked with a coin inside. The person finding the coin is said to have good luck for the rest of the year. Moustalevria is a custard "flan" dish flavored with grap must. Diples is a deep-fried dessert made from a thin-sheet dough. It is flavored with nuts and almonds. Greece is the earliest known region of wine-drinking, Greek people are generally known for making prestige wine. It is the Greeks who brought winery to France, Italy and Spain - the three top producers

Notable Greeks of People of Greek OriginEdit


Ancient historian and poet who is accredited as the greatest epic writer, the author of The Illiad and The Odyssey


The famous Spartan king who led Sparta to innumerable victories against Persia until their bare defeat at the Battle of Thermopylae and a fighting symbol of the Greek people


An Athenian physician during the reign of Pericles who provided the backbones to modern-day medicinal studies


A historian from modern-day Turkey who was the first to test historical accounts based on their accuracy

Alexander the Great
Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας

Alexander the Great
The ruler of Macedon who outconquered and defeated the large Persian armies, another fighting symbol of the Greek people


A philosapher from Athens who layed backbones for western ideologies through questioning, one of the great philosaphers from ancient Greece


A student of Socrates who extended his mentor's works, considered laying the backbones for modern-day science, one of the great philosaphers


Teacher of Alexander the Great and Plato's student, another one of Greece's great ancient philosaphers


A scientist and philosopher from Syracuse who pioneered the rule of bouyant forces in physics


 A philosapher from Egypt during Roman annexation who grew to be one of the earliest women mathematicians

Basil II

Basil II
A Byzantine Emperor of Macedonian origin who defeated powerful coalitions and ended civil war in the Byzantine Empire

Saint Basil
Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας

Saint Basil
Greek bishop in Asia Minor who became an eminent theologician who sympathized for the poor and working classes

Alexios I Komnenos
Ἀλέξιος Α' Κομνηνός

Influential Byzantine emperor who aided western Europe in the war against the Turks

Gemistus Pletho
Γεώργιος Γεμιστός

scholar during the Orthodox era who sought to return and recover the religions and traditions of ancient Greece

Regas Feraios
Ρήγας Βελεστινλής-Φεραίος

A revolutionary from the Balkans region who also revived Greek culture and contribued to the Greek war of independance

Georgio Karaiskakis
Γεώργιος Καραϊσκάκης

 military commander who also fought in the Greek War of Independance

Saints Cyril & Methodius
Κύριλλος καὶ Μεθόδιος

St. Cyril and Methodius
Two Byzantine missionaries who perfected the Glagolithic alphabet, the first modern Slavic alphabet

Ioannis Kapodistrias
Κύριλλος καὶ Μεθόδιος

Greek foreign prime minister to Russia and the first leader of an independant and unified Greek state

Makarios III
Μακάριος Γ

Makarios III
Cypriot Orthodox archbishop who became the first president of Cyprus

Pyrros Dimas
Πύρρος Δήμας

A prolific former weight lifter from Albania who became ranked as the world's best, winning three Olympic championships

Works CitedEdit

  4. Cole, J. (2011). Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia. Ethnic Groups of the World Series. Abc-Clio Incorporated. p. 92. ISBN 9781598843026.