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Greece (Greek: Ελλάδα, Ellada, [eˈlaða]), officially the Hellenic Republic and also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed by Thessaloniki. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring many islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres (9,573 ft). The country consists of nine traditional geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands.

Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis (singular polis), which spanned the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Philip II of Macedon united most of present-day Greece in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great rapidly conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. The subsequent Hellenistic period saw the height of Greek culture and influence in antiquity. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, which adopted the Greek language and culture. The Greek Orthodox Church, which emerged in the first century AD, helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox world. After falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, Greece emerged as a modern nation state in 1830 following a war of independence. The country's rich historical legacy is reflected in part by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic, and a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy, and a high quality of life, ranking simultaneously very high in the Human Development Index. Its economy is the largest in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union) and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. It is also a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power.

Greece Media

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Coin Depicting the Goddess Athena

Coin Depicting the Goddess Athena

The front of this coin depicts the goddess Athena, facing right. On the back, the god Pan erects a trophy with two unidentified figures.

Hexas (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Demeter

Hexas (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Demeter

The front of this coin depicts the goddess Demeter. On the back, a plough and a bird are shown.

Bird on Bell
Finial
Jug
Coin Depicting the God Apollo (?)

Coin Depicting the God Apollo (?)

The front of this coin depicts a male god, likely Apollo.On the back, a horse is shown prancing to the right.

Lead figure of a woman

Lead figure of a woman

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead figure of a winged goddess, possibly Artemis Orthia

Lead figure of a winged goddess, possibly Artemis Orthia

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Arrowhead
Lead figure of a goddess with an aegis, probably Athena

Lead figure of a goddess with an aegis, probably Athena

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead grille or ornament

Lead grille or ornament

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead ornament

Lead ornament

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead disk with a hole in the center

Lead disk with a hole in the center

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead ornament in the form of a branch

Lead ornament in the form of a branch

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead grille

Lead grille

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead ornament in the form of a gorgoneion (gorgon's face)

Lead ornament in the form of a gorgoneion (gorgon's face)

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead ornament, possibly imitating jewelry

Lead ornament, possibly imitating jewelry

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead disk with a hole in the center

Lead disk with a hole in the center

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More

Lead wreath

Lead wreath

Small flat votive figurines of cast lead have been found in great quantities at the ancient sanctuaries of Laconia; over one hundred thousand, dating from the seventh century B.C. to the Classical period, were ... More