greece or greek

Greece is the European nation-state  that borders the Mediterranean Sea to its South, the Aegean Sea to the East, Turkey to the North-East, Ionian Sea to the West, and Albania, North Macedonia, and Bulgaria to the North. Greece is a mountainous region with a warm temperate climate, and hundreds of islands under its domain. 

Greece is a parliamentary republic with its capital in Athens, and is a member of the European Union. Approximately 11 million citizens live in Greece, the vast majority of which are Ethnically Greek though there are notable ethnic minority populations, including Roma, Turks, Slavs, and more. There are just over 6,000 Jews in the country. Most Greeks speak Modern Greek, but there are several local dialects that are distinct, and some linguistic minorities that include Turkish and Arabic. There are a handful of speakers of the Hebraic dialects such as Judeo-Italian and Ladino. The predominant religion in Greece is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Ancient Greeks were pagans that worshipped a pantheon of gods that were featured in many literary works, and still are featured in global popular culture. There are only a handful of traditional Greek pantheists today.

The Hellenic Republic declared independence from the Ottoman empire in 1821 with the Greek war of independence. The Greek peninsula was under Ottoman rule since the mid-1400s, its Greek population under second-class citizen conditions.

Greece has a long history, reaching back into the classical period. Thucydides described the ancient Hellenes as a roaming band of seafarers and pirates. They did not describe themselves as Hellenic until much later, as seen in the Iliad in which they were described as Argives, Acheans, or Danaans. The ancient Greeks later established prominent city-states that served as fertile grounds for the development of unique political experiments and philosophies. These political systems philosophies have served as founding columns of Western civilization. The ancient Greeks faced pressure from outside powers such as the Persians, but were often engaged in internal conflicts, such as the Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta, and their allies. A seafaring people, the Greeks engaged in colonization, first establishing sites that are not often thought of as being Greek in origin, such as Marseilles (Massalia), Istanbul (Byzantium), and Naples (Neopolis).

Greek cuisine traditionally heavily features olive oil, fish, sheep and goat, soft cheeses and herbal and root flavorings. Common street foods include gyros and spanakopita. Greece exports many staple agricultural products such as olives, cotton, pistachios, figs, and almonds. Maritime shipping is a significant industry in Greece, given its geographic location. Tourism is also a large industry, since Greece has a wealth of historical sites, beaches and a welcoming climate.

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