People usually think of Greece when they think of its history, culture and beauty, but there’s much more to this incredible country.
Did you know that Ancient Greeks invented theatre and cheesecake? Furthermore, they also invented the Olympic Games and were the first people to think that the Sun revolved around Earth, nearly 1800 years before Copernicus!
Santorini is a Volcano
Santorini is famed for its dramatic crescent-shaped caldera that is half submerged, the only underwater volcano in the world. Formed during one of the largest volcanic eruptions ever to have occurred 3,600 years ago, this event caused massive earthquakes and tsunamis, effectively wiping out seafaring Minoan civilization that had settled there at that time.
Volcanic activity that gave Santorini its unique beauty also left behind an incredible landscape, complete with black and red beaches as well as smoky lava pebbles. Now these islands – including Thirasia and its smaller sister islands Nea Kameni and Palea – serve as geological tourist destinations where visitors can experience and touch the volcanic earth first-hand.
Scientists also conduct studies of the island to better comprehend its complex relationship between volcanic activity and earthquakes that may strike its shores, and human life living nearby. Their aim is to predict future eruptions and protect those residing there while uncovering how earthquakes and volcanoes interact with one another.
As in other ancient societies, Greeks had an intricate relationship with their gods. While most believed in multiple deities, each city would also have one to serve as its patron – often fertility goddesses or war goddesses – who they would regularly honor through temple worship services and regular visits from pilgrims.
Archaic period Greek city-states began to form more cohesive political entities. Laws, legal systems, and other forms of governance were put in place to ensure everyone was treated equally while at the same time focusing on arts and culture such as producing great drama and poetry. This period was marked by defeat of Persian invasion 480-479 B.C.
Land was an invaluable source of wealth in ancient Greek city-states, yet in short supply. Though cities levied taxes to cover military and police expenses, they rarely were enough to prevent people from moving elsewhere.
The Greek military was remarkable powerful, employing heavily-armed hoplite soldiers arranged in formation known as a phalanx to fight side by side and protect one another’s shields in battle. Their success at war led them into creating an empire which stretched throughout the Mediterranean basin.
Greece has over 10,000 Traditional Dances
Dance has always been an integral part of Greek culture. Not only was it used to express emotion and spirit, but it was also an effective form of physical exercise. Boys and men in Greek cities/kingdoms would often learn dance as part of their discipline training as it helped prepare them physically for battle – one of three primary forms of education in ancient Greece along with music writing athletics (MTA).
There are various styles of dance found throughout Greece. Popular Aegean Island styles tend to be fast and light while Crete dances require greater coordination and stamina to complete successfully. Central Greece features some popular forms such as Hassapiko, Syrtaki, and Kalamatianos which make up part of Greek folklore.
Peloponnese dances may be slower tempo, yet still require great balance and are commonly led by leaders who improvise based on emotions expressed through movements.
Peloponnese weddings often feature the sousta dance, which symbolizes romance, eroticism and marriage with its symbolic moves and movements. Not only does this dance portray its romantic meanings well; it can also serve as a sign of unity for couples involved.
Ancient Greece had over 100 distinct city-states with distinct cultures. Roman culture was greatly impacted by these influences as you can see it manifest itself in their architecture, language and laws created there.
Laws were determined by the beliefs and practices in various regions across Greece. While most people knew about certain facts – like that gods come in trios – most laws were tailored specifically to each area. Still, there were notable facts such as Greeks having over 10,000 different dance forms!
Greece has the Most Archaeological Museums
One of the best ways to experience ancient Greece is to visit its numerous museums. You’ll find everything from sculptures and pottery pieces, to gold jewellery crafted by skilled Greek artisans for religious worship and intricate building structures that remain iconic today. Greek architecture continues to influence modern architecture worldwide and remains in use today.
Greece during the Archaic period had an advanced economy. They could produce large crops of grain and wine for sale at good prices. Also during this time were great philosophers like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle whose ideas helped form modern world.
Greece was divided into many city states, such as Sparta and Athens. Each had their own set of laws and government, though there were often conflicts among them – from small skirmishes over land disputes to full scale wars between city states.
Conflict between neighboring cities could have created difficulties for athletes traveling to Olympia Games, so an ekecheiria was introduced – runners from each participating city were sent out to each of the others, to announce its start and allow athletes to travel safely without fearing attacks from neighbouring towns or countries. This enabled athletes to travel safely towards their Olympic goal without being worried about an attack from neighbours along their journey.
Ancient Greece may have invented the humble yo-yo. Evidence for this comes from some vases found in Attica that depict children playing with one while vowel symbols are also displayed – an early indication that an alphabet had been developed and made reading simpler for people.
Greeks were masterful at both writing and philosophy, as well as creating art in other forms. From temple sculptures to paintings and pottery making; their creativity could also be found everyday objects like cups and bowls.
Greece is the Hellenic Republic
Greece is one of Europe’s oldest civilizations and widely considered the birthplace of western culture and democracy. Greeks were known for their athletic prowess and invention of theater; also home to many beautiful islands with Mediterranean cuisine and healthy diets.
Archaic period Ancient Greece witnessed significant political, economic and artistic developments that prepared city-states for monumental changes over the following centuries. At this time Homer produced his Iliad and Odysseus; sculptors created their kouroi and korai figures that served as memorials to the dead; scientists made advances with Anaximandros’ theory of gravity, Xenophanes’ fossil discovery and Pythagoras’ Pythagorean Theorem – making their contributions.
As opposed to its Near Eastern counterparts, Ancient Greece was predominantly privately owned and agriculture was the principal economic sector. Barley (and wheat or sometimes olives) were planted every two years on two-year fallowing cycles as their main crop; other fruits were grown as well as animals raised for meat, milk, wool and hide production – especially sheep and goats were important breeding stock.
Even so, social tensions remained between aristocrats and commoners. A clan of cunning aristocrats led by Peisistratos managed to seize total power in Athens, known as turannos–though their tyranny did little to alter existing social structures: wealthy aristocrats indulged themselves with banquets and sports games while poorer citizens struggled along.
As Athens’ wealth grew, it attracted talented people from throughout Greece looking for opportunities in education and the arts. Soon enough, Athens was at the epicenter of Greek literature, philosophy and architecture with some of its greatest names coming out of this period such as Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides, Plato and Socrates as philosophers, Herodotus Thucydides Xenophanes as historians and Phidias and Pheidias as sculptors.