10 Fun and Interesting Facts About Greece

Everybody knows that Greece is at the core of Western Civilisation and democracy, and is renowned for its beautiful islands attracting tourism. But many are also unaware of some fun facts about Greece that may surprise them! Here are just a few.

Do you know that ancient Greeks invented theatre? Or that they wore masks which changed emotion with every flip of their mask?

1. The Greek language has been spoken for over 3,000 years

When we think of Greece, most of us envision stunning beaches, ancient mythology and delectable food – but there’s more to this captivating nation than meets the eye! Below are 10 surprising facts about Greece that may surprise you!

Greek has been spoken for over 3000 years. As the oldest living language from the Indo-European family of languages, it has had a lasting influence in many areas of life, from philosophy and science to mathematics and engineering. Modern Greek remains spoken today in some countries around the world – it’s even official language in Greece and Cyprus! Greeks were responsible for several innovative inventions including clocks, screws, and plumbing.

Ancient Greece required all males over the age of 18 to serve in their army for at least nine months, known as a “perimester” or “peripeteia.” Additionally, festivals like Olympic and Dionysus took place annually; along with this military service and festivities they also honored their dead by creating “kefaladis,” tombstone inscriptions with all important events of life recorded therein.

Many are familiar with the legends and tales surrounding Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses; however, few realize there were 12 of them! It was believed they resided on Mount Olympus where they would gather to debate topics similar to humans would.

Ancient children would attend school to gain literacy and develop musical and gymnastic abilities; it was considered an integral component of their upbringing and often boys would be accompanied by servants or slaves on their journeys to and from class.

Greece boasts more theatres than any other city in the world! Theatre was invented in ancient Greece and it became an essential meeting space. People would gather there to sell products, buy food and meet friends; sometimes wearing masks and costumes to portray various roles onstage!

2. The Greeks are the first people to put their face on coins

Greek civilization and culture is well known, as are its stunning beaches. Yet did you know that Greece was also the first to put their faces on coins or the birthplace of the yo-yo? There are plenty of fun facts about Greece which even Greeks may not be aware of!

Did you know that Meteora, an iconic Greek monument, consists of six monasteries built atop rock pillars? And that accessing these monasteries often required long ladders or large nets? In 800 BC, Greeks also invented the alphabet which eventually became the basis of all European alphabets; in addition, they developed numeral-based numbering in their own language and pioneered bronze armor which has spread throughout other cultures.

Ancient Greece was divided into various city-states that each had their own laws and culture, yet all shared a common language as well as basic political structures such as metics (noncitizens) not having any political rights compared with citizens (citizens had voting rights but could lose by losing a vote), creating a democratic atmosphere still practiced today.

Ancient Greeks were among the first people to first immortalise themselves on coins – an act that other countries soon followed suit with. While these early portraits might have been rather crude and unrealistic, they served their purpose well – impressing people and promoting Greek rulers’ images while serving as propaganda during Middle Ages times.

Greece is also noteworthy as the third-largest producer of olives worldwide and home to over 6,000 islands – not forgetting being the birthplace of democracy and Olympic Games!

3. The Greeks wore bronze armor

Greeks are renowned for many things – their beaches covered in white sand, ancient mythology, delectable cuisine and drink, vibrant culture and breathtaking architecture being only some. Did you know they also wore bronze armor?

The Bronze Age began in the 7th century BC and continued through to 4th century AD, featuring incredible technological and political advances like writing and democracy, but also war and peace as Greek civilization attempted to find their place within society.

Greece stands out amongst civilizations as being among the first peoples to wear armor made of bronze, the majority of it worn by men on battlefields and consisting of helmet, breastplate, and sometimes shin guards/foot protectors weighing 40-60 lbs each – roughly half the weight of soldiers!

While armor was intended to protect soldiers, it also served a fashion purpose for Greeks. Wearing their armor was one way of showing their wealth and status; often featuring elaborate crests and details designed to make the warrior appear even more powerful; painted armor could further highlight individual warriors on battlefield.

As well as their armor, Greeks wore various clothing items besides just armour. Most clothing pieces were constructed of wool or cotton for maximum warmth. Furthermore, Greeks often had jewelry made out of gold or silver that made a statement about themselves as people.

Women of Ancient Greece took great care in maintaining their appearances. They typically wore their hair in tight curls, dyeing it with mineral or plant dyes, and used various cosmetic products like bronze mirrors, combs and boxes of perfume to enhance their looks. Furthermore, they regularly brushed and plucked their eyebrows before using brushes, tweezers, waxes to accentuate their features.

4. The Greeks were the first people to do bull-leaping

Greece is beloved by tourists from all around the globe, who come for its delectable food, beautiful beaches and intriguing history. But there’s more than meets the eye! Here are some wacky yet interesting facts about Greece which may pleasantly surprise you.

Greek bronze age artists created astounding statues depicting young people engaged in bull-leaping. These statues, known as ‘heroi’, showed young men and women jumping over charging bulls – a popular sport among wealthy citizens who could risk their lives to impress the public with their bravery. Although only 30% of Greek citizens could read and write back then, around 800 BC the Greeks created an alphabet which separated vowels and consonants and later passed it along to other cultures, making their alphabet ancestor to all European alphabets today.

Greeks invented theater. Indeed, their large theaters could seat 15,000 people! Actors wore masks that communicated whether their characters were happy or sad to audiences, with some even featuring two-sided faces so actors could change expressions quickly.

Ancient peoples believed there were twelve Gods and Goddesses living on Mount Olympus, while Greeks called themselves Hellene or “people of Greece.” Later, Romans adopted many aspects of Greek culture – lying down while eating and worshipping Gods and Goddesses among other practices.

But the most impressive fact about Greece is their invention of democracy! Athens is considered the birthplace of democracy; and even today Greeks take great pride in their homeland – more tourists visit each year than its population itself!

Greece is well known for its olive tree culture. Home to over 120 million olive trees and producing over one million metric tons of olive oil annually, they also cultivate many other types of fruit like figs and pomegranates as well as producing popular products like feta cheese (nicknamed “white gold”). And Greeks love their drinks! Ouzo and Tsikoudia both contain very high alcohol concentrations which taste similar to licorice with fruity notes; ideal beverages to sip on when chilled on rocks!

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