Most people know Greece as the birthplace of Western Civilization and democracy; however, few know of other interesting facts about Greece that most don’t know about.
One of the most striking facts about Greece is that 80 percent of it consists of mountains. One such mountain range, the Pindus Range, contains one of the deepest gorges known as Vikos Gorge which makes up this surprising statistic.
Greece is the birthplace of civilization
Greece boasts a long and rich civilizational history and can be considered the birthplace of democracy. Ancient Greeks made contributions in philosophy, art, and science that helped form Western civilisation.
Though diverse in many ways, Greeks were bound together by religion and social customs they shared in common. Additionally, they shared an identity rooted in mythical or fictional representations of themselves and overcame obstacles like never before; unleashing an unprecedented cultural creativity from tragedies by Aeschylus to mathematical genius Archimedes in their time.
Greek civilization made significant contributions in literature, architecture and science; they also created an innovative form of government known as a “polis.” A city-state with its own police force, court of appeals and assembly that served as an inspiration to other countries around the world.
The ancient Greeks were pioneers in mathematics, astronomy and medicine, engineering prowess as demonstrated by structures like Corinth Canal and inventions like Antikythera mechanism which served as an early analog computer; their astronomical insights helped create heliocentrism and accurately estimate Earth’s circumference while their unique artistic style left its mark on later cultures.
Greek achievements extend far beyond art and architecture; their contributions in philosophy, mathematics, music and democracy were legendary. Greece is widely acknowledged as being the birthplace of democracy – its word “politics” derives from Greek “polis.” Their love of beauty and healthy living is still evident today with one of Europe’s lowest divorce rates and popular snack like Feta Cheese being made from sheep milk making this popular with both locals and visitors.
Greece is the birthplace of democracy
Ancient Greece witnessed the introduction of democracy as a new form of government with various implications. Athens was the first city-state to experiment with this political system and at that time only free men could vote and take part in government. Citizens swore an oath to protect Athens; citizenship was limited to those born within its boundaries with Athenian father and mother but excluded slaves, foreigners, and women from becoming citizens.
Cleisthenes was the pioneer behind Athens’ democratic system. After overthrowing Hippias’s tyranny in 510 BCE and introducing reforms that led to “demokratia”, which came from the Greek words demos (people) and kratos (power).
Athens was home to one of the earliest theaters ever constructed, marking a dramatic arts revolution worldwide. Legendary playwrights such as Sophocles and Aristophanes wrote groundbreaking plays which continue to shape theater to this day. Additionally, Greeks developed their own alphabet which continues to have an impactful legacy today.
Ancient Greeks were pioneers in philosophy and mathematics. Most notably, Pythagoras of Samos is responsible for formulating the Pythagorean Theorem; other philosophers, such as Aristotle were born there too and helped shape Western thought. Furthermore, Greek music and dance spread throughout the world along with Olympic competition – initially held to honor a goddess but eventually becoming an international sporting event that is still widely loved today!
Greece is the birthplace of Christianity
Greece was not only the cradle of Western civilization, but also Christianity itself. Saint Paul preached and gained converts in Greece before being arrested and eventually killed; Philippi, where Saint Paul was imprisoned is now an abandoned ruin, having once been home to an active church community with its remnants still standing, though these have largely become forgotten over time.
Greece stands at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa and has been deeply shaped by various cultures over its long history. Ancient Greeks made immense contributions in terms of philosophy, architecture and arts but more significantly they provided us with Orthodox Christianity, using Greek language so people could easily understand. Orthodox Christians also integrated many aspects of Greek culture into their religion such as views and values taken from Greek culture into Orthodox teachings.
One of the most influential figures in history to come out of Greece was Herodotus, who is considered the “father of history.” Pythagoras was also well-recognized; as an accomplished mathematician he is best known for creating what has since become one of the world’s most iconic mathematical theorems: Pythagorean Theorem.
Greeks have an undying affinity for the sea and oceans, perhaps as many were born near beautiful beaches or world-famous oceans. Additionally, Greeks frequently held feasts to mark special events, celebrate victories or happy moments and mark special milestones; at these festivities it was customary to roast pigs as part of celebrations. They prided themselves on family ties between neighbors as well as a strong sense of community spirit.
Greece is the birthplace of wine
Ancient Greeks placed great value in wine. They even named a god after it! Today, Greece has taken steps to regain their position as one of the leading producers of quality wines; its wine industry continues to expand. Greece boasts much to offer its wine consumers.
Greek vineyards are among the world’s oldest, producing wines of varying styles and terroir. Situated on various terrain and altitudes close to seaside climate moderating temperatures makes these locations perfect for viticulture; their wines are known for their freshness, complexity and balance while others may require additional aging time for greater elegance.
History of Viticulture in Greece dates back to prehistoric times, with grapevine remnants found throughout the country. Domesticated vines first made an appearance during Neolithic and Minoan periods when they played an essential part of daily life and trade activities. By Archaic period (7th century BC), however, viticulture had spread widely across Greece’s city-states; archaeological findings reveal that Greeks traded wine with other Mediterranean civilizations like Egypt, Syria and Sicily.
As early as the Middle Ages, Greek wines became immensely popular throughout Europe. By the late 20th century, however, phylloxera and war had severely damaged Greece’s vineyards; consequently, cheap bulk wines dominated until oenologists revitalized winemaking there in the 1970s. Since then, Greece has emerged as one of the leading producers and distributors of fine wine worldwide.
Greece is the birthplace of gyros
Gyros are an increasingly popular lunch and dinner choice across the United States. A gyro sandwich typically consists of pita bread filled with thinly-sliced lamb or beef, layered with lettuce, tomato, red onion and drizzled with tzatziki sauce for maximum flavor and freshness. Yet many don’t know where gyros originated from despite its widespread appeal.
Some scholars contend that the gyro originated in Greece while others believe its roots lie elsewhere. Perhaps its creation was inspired by Asia Minor’s earlier Oltu Kebap – made with vertically-sliced meat cooked over an open fire – before being adopted into Greek versions with pork as the meat source.
At the time of Alexander the Great, soldiers would skewer various cuts of meat with sword-like blades and roast them over an open flame, creating what became known as the gyro. Today it remains a staple in Greek culture and enjoyed by millions worldwide.
Greece boasts stunning coastlines and is home to more olive varieties than any other nation in the world, not to mention being home to some of history’s oldest civilizations.
Next time you need an instant and delicious meal, grab a gyro from your local rotisserie shop – you won’t regret it – it could become one of your favorites! Plus, pair your gyro with one of this country’s incredible wines; they make for the ideal matchup!