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The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
and
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term " unit of observation ...

nation
native to the
Eastern Mediterranean Eastern Mediterranean is a loose definition of the eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai *Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways *Eastern Air Lines, a defunct Amer ...

Eastern Mediterranean
and the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
regions, namely
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...

Greece
,
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...
,
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Medite ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Turkey
,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...
and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
. They also form a significant
diaspora A diaspora () is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifically the dispersion ...
, with Greek communities established around the world.. Greek colonies and communities have been historically established on the shores of the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
and
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
, but the Greek people have always been centered on the
Aegean Aegean may refer to: *Aegean Sea *Aegean Islands *Aegean Region (geographical), Turkey *Aegean Region (statistical), Turkey *Aegean civilizations *Aegean languages, a group of ancient languages and proposed language family *Aegean Sea (theme), a n ...

Aegean
and
Ionian
Ionian
seas, where the
Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the ...
has been spoken since the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
.. Until the early 20th century, Greeks were distributed between the
Greek peninsula Greece is a country of the Balkans, in Southeastern Europe, bordered to the north by Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria; to the east by Turkey, and is surrounded to the east by the Aegean Sea, to the south by the Cretan Sea, Cretan and the Lib ...
, the western coast of
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
, the Black Sea coast,
Cappadocia Cappadocia (; also ''Capadocia''; tr, Kapadokya, grc, label=Ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past events
in central Anatolia,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
, the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
, Cyprus, and
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
. Many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of ancient
Greek colonization Greek colonization was an organised Colonies in antiquity, colonial expansion by the Archaic Greece, Archaic Greeks into the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea in the period of the 8th–6th centuries BC (750 and 550 BC). This colonization differed ...
. The cultural centers of the Greeks have included
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...

Athens
,
Thessalonica Thessaloniki (; el, Θεσσαλονίκη, ), also known as Thessalonica (), Saloniki or Salonica (), is the List of countries by largest and second largest cities, second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its Thessaloni ...
,
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...

Alexandria
,
Smyrna Smyrna ( ; grc, Σμύρνη, Smýrnē, or grc, Σμύρνα, Smýrna) was a Ancient Greece, Greek city located at a strategic point on the Aegean Sea, Aegean coast of Anatolia. Due to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence, an ...
, and
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
at various periods. In recent times, most ethnic Greeks live within the borders of the modern Greek state and Cyprus. The
Greek genocide The Greek genocide (, ''Genoktonia ton Ellinon''), including the Pontic genocide, was the systematic killing of the Christian Ottoman Greek population of Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also kn ...
and
population exchange between Greece and Turkey in Athens has been destroyed like many other mosques in Greece. Now the building is used as a Museum of Greek Folk Art. The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey ( el, Ἡ Ἀνταλλαγή, I Antallagí, ota, مبادله, Müb ...
nearly ended the three millennia-old Greek presence in Asia Minor. Other longstanding Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and southern
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
and
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...
and in the
Greek diaspora The Greek diaspora, Hellenic diaspora or homogenea ( el, Ὁμογένεια) are the communities of Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hel ...
communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are officially registered as members of the
Greek Orthodox Church The name Greek Orthodox Church (Greek language, Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία, ''Ellinorthódoxi Ekklisía'', ), or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several Christian denomination, churches within the lar ...

Greek Orthodox Church
.
CIA World Factbook ''The World Factbook'', also known as the ''CIA World Factbook'', is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with almanac-style information about the list of sovereign states, countries of the world. The official ...
on Greece: Greek Orthodox 98%,
Greek Muslim Greek Muslims, also known as Grecophone Muslims, are Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam, a Monotheism, monotheistic Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic religion. The derivation of "Muslim" is from an Arabic language, Arab ...
1.3%, other 0.7%.
Throughout history, Greeks have greatly influenced and contributed to
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
, visual arts, exploration, theatre,
literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expan ...

literature
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
,
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...

politics
,
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
,
music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated concepts , , and ...

music
,
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
, medicine,
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. ...

science
, technology, commerce, cuisine and sports.


History

The Greeks speak the
Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the ...
, which forms its own unique branch within the
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcontinent and the Iranian Plateau. Some European languages of ...
family of languages, the Hellenic. They are part of a group of classical ethnicities, described by Anthony D. Smith as an "archetypal diaspora people".


Origins

The Proto-Greeks probably arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the
Balkan peninsula The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various definitions and meanings, including geopolitical and historical. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch ...

Balkan peninsula
, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC between 2200 and 1900 BCE. The sequence of migrations into the Greek mainland during the
2nd millennium BC The 2nd millennium BC spanned the years 2000 through 1001 BC. In the Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban de ...
has to be reconstructed on the basis of the
ancient Greek dialects Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collective ...
, as they presented themselves centuries later and are therefore subject to some uncertainties. There were at least two migrations, the first being the
Ionians The Ionians (; el, Ἴωνες, ''Íōnes'', , ''Íōn'') were one of the four major s that the considered themselves to be divided into during the ; the other three being the , , and . The was one of the of the , together with the and ...
and Achaeans, which resulted in
Mycenaean Greece Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
by the 16th century BC, and the second, the
Dorian invasion The Dorian invasion is a concept devised by historians of Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th ce ...
, around the 11th century BC, displacing the Arcadocypriot dialects, which descended from the Mycenaean period. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
and the Doric at the
Bronze Age collapse The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition period in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly ac ...
.


Mycenaean

In 1600 BC, the Mycenaean Greeks borrowed from the
Minoan civilization The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the s ...
its syllabic writing system (
Linear A Linear A is a writing system that was used by the (Cretans) from 1800 to 1450 BC to write the hypothesized . Linear A was the primary script used in palace and religious writings of the Minoan civilization. It was discovered by arch ...
) and developed their own
syllabic script In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
known as
Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or ...
, providing the first and oldest written evidence of
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
. The Mycenaeans quickly penetrated the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between Europe's Geography of Europe, Balkan peninsula and Asia's Anatolia peninsula. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In ...

Aegean Sea
and, by the 15th century BC, had reached
Rhodes Rhodes (; el, Ρόδος, translit=Ródos ) is the largest of the Dodecanese The Dodecanese (, ; el, Δωδεκάνησα, ''Dodekánisa'' , literally "twelve islands") are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the sout ...

Rhodes
,
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
,
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
and the shores of
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...
. Around 1200 BC, the
Dorians The Dorians (; el, Δωριεῖς, ''Dōrieîs'', singular , ''Dōrieús'') were one of the four major ethnic groups into which the Greeks, Hellenes (or Greeks) of Classical Greece divided themselves (along with the Aeolians, Achaeans (tribe) ...
, another Greek-speaking people, followed from
Epirus sq, Epiri rup, Epiru , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = Historical region , image_map = Epirus antiquus tabula.jpg , map_alt = , map_caption = Map of ancient Epirus by Heinrich ...
. Older historical research often proposed
Dorian invasion The Dorian invasion is a concept devised by historians of Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th ce ...
caused the collapse of the
Mycenaean civilization Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
, but this narrative has been abandoned in all contemporary research. It is likely that one of the factors which contributed to the Mycenaean palatial collapse was linked to raids by groups known in historiography as the "
Sea Peoples The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a f ...
" who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean around 1180 BC. The
Dorian invasion The Dorian invasion is a concept devised by historians of Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th ce ...
was followed by a poorly attested period of migrations, appropriately called the
Greek Dark Ages The Greek Dark Ages is the period of Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locate ...
, but by 800 BC the landscape of
Archaic Archaic is a period of time preceding a designated classical period, or something from an older period of time that is also not found or used currently: *List of archaeological periods **Archaic Sumerian language, spoken between 31st - 26th centu ...
and
Classical Greece Classical Greece was a period of around 200 years (the 5th and 4th centuries BC) in Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dar ...
was discernible.. The Greeks of classical antiquity idealized their Mycenaean ancestors and the Mycenaean period as a glorious era of heroes, closeness of the gods and material wealth. The
Homeric Epics Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was the presumed author of the ''Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, ', ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic he ...

Homeric Epics
(i.e. ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an in , traditionally attributed to . Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' i ...

Iliad
'' and ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
'') were especially and generally accepted as part of the Greek past and it was not until the time of
Euhemerism Euhemerism () is an approach to the interpretation of mythology Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture o ...
that scholars began to question Homer's historicity. As part of the Mycenaean heritage that survived, the names of the gods and goddesses of Mycenaean Greece (e.g.
Zeus Zeus or , , ; grc, Δῐός, ''Diós'', label=genitive In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Ling ...

Zeus
,
Poseidon Poseidon (; grc-gre, Ποσειδῶν, ) was one of the Twelve Olympians upright=1.8, Fragment of a relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The t ...

Poseidon
and
Hades Hades (; grc-gre, ᾍδης, Háidēs; ), in the ancient Greek religion Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs, rituals, and Greek mythology, mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public ...

Hades
) became major figures of the Olympian Pantheon of later antiquity.


Classical

The
ethnogenesis Ethnogenesis (from Greek Language, Greek ''ethnos'' , "group of people, nation" and ''genesis'' , "beginning, coming into being"; plural ethnogeneses) is "the formation and development of an ethnic group". This can originate through a process of ...
of the Greek nation is linked to the development of Pan-Hellenism in the 8th century BC. According to some scholars, the foundational event was the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a multi-sport event ...
in 776 BC, when the idea of a common Hellenism among the Greek tribes was first translated into a shared cultural experience and Hellenism was primarily a matter of common culture. The works of
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
(i.e. ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an in , traditionally attributed to . Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' i ...

Iliad
'' and ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
'') and
Hesiod Hesiod (; grc-gre, Ἡσίοδος ''Hēsíodos'', 'he who emits the voice') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēr ...
(i.e. ''
Theogony The ''Theogony'' (, , , i.e. "the genealogy or birth of the ") is a by (8th – 7th century BC) describing the origins and of the , composed c. 730–700 BC. It is written in the of and contains 1022 lines. Descriptions Hesiod's ''Theog ...
'') were written in the 8th century BC, becoming the basis of the national religion, ethos, history and mythology. The was established in this period. The
classical periodClassical period may refer to: *Classical Greece, specifically of the 5th and 4th centuries BC *Classical antiquity, in the Greco-Roman world *Classical India, an historic period of India (c. 322 BC - c. 550 CE) *Classical period (music), in music ...
of Greek civilization covers a time spanning from the early 5th century BC to the
death of Alexander the Great The death of Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus'') of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kin ...
, in 323 BC (some authors prefer to split this period into "Classical", from the end of the
Greco-Persian Wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
to the end of the Peloponnesian War, and "Fourth Century", up to the death of Alexander). It is so named because it set the standards by which Greek civilization would be judged in later eras. The Classical period is also described as the "Golden Age" of Greek civilization, and its art, philosophy, architecture and literature would be instrumental in the formation and development of Western culture. While the Greeks of the classical era understood themselves to belong to a common Hellenic
genos In ancient Greece, a ''genos'' (Greek language, Greek: γένος, "race, stock, kin", plural γένη ''genē'') was a social group claiming common descent, referred to by a single name (see also Sanskrit "Gana"). Most ''gene'' were composed of n ...

genos
, their first loyalty was to their city and they saw nothing incongruous about warring, often brutally, with other Greek
city-states A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin Latin (, or ...

city-states
. The
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to ...

Peloponnesian War
, the large scale civil war between the two most powerful Greek city-states
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...
and
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an . Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern as well as in , , , , , some islands in the southern and some cities on the south east coast of ...

Sparta
and
their In Modern English, ''they'' is a Grammatical person, third-person personal pronoun, pronoun, chiefly Grammatical number, plural. Morphology In Standard English, Standard Modern English, ''they'' has five distinct word Morphology (linguistics), ...
allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
, left both greatly weakened. Most of the feuding Greek city-states were, in some scholars' opinions, united by force under the banner of
Philip Philip, also Phillip, is a male given name, derived from the Greek language, Greek (''Philippos'', lit. "horse-loving" or "fond of horses"), from a compound of (''philos'', "dear", "loved", "loving") and (''hippos'', "horse"). Prominent Philip ...
's and
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
's Pan-Hellenic ideals, though others might generally opt, rather, for an explanation of "
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
conquest for the sake of conquest" or at least conquest for the sake of riches, glory and power and view the "ideal" as useful propaganda directed towards the city-states. In any case, Alexander's toppling of the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

Achaemenid Empire
, after his victories at the battles of the , and , and his advance as far as modern-day
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
and
Tajikistan ) , image_map = Tajikistan (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , capital = , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = (state) (interethn ...

Tajikistan
, provided an important outlet for Greek culture, via the creation of colonies and trade routes along the way. While the Alexandrian empire did not survive its creator's death intact, the cultural implications of the spread of Hellenism across much of the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
and
Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area of , about 30% of Earth's total lan ...

Asia
were to prove long lived as Greek became the ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
'', a position it retained even in
Roman times In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC ...
. Many Greeks settled in
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, We ...
cities like
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...

Alexandria
,
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...
and
Seleucia Seleucia (), also known as or , was a major Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ Ārām''-Nahrīn'' or ܒܝܬ ܢܗܪ̈ ...
.


Hellenistic

The
Hellenistic civilization The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic ...
was the next period of Greek civilization, the beginnings of which are usually placed at Alexander's death. This
Hellenistic age The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, We ...
, so called because it saw the partial
Hellenization Hellenization (other British spelling Hellenisation) or Hellenism is the adoption of Greek culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as t ...
of many non-Greek cultures, extending all the way into India and Bactria, both of which maintained Greek cultures and governments for centuries. The end is often placed around conquest of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...
by Rome in 30 BC, although the Indo-Greek kingdoms lasted for a few more decades. This age saw the Greeks move towards larger cities and a reduction in the importance of the city-state. These larger cities were parts of the still larger . Greeks, however, remained aware of their past, chiefly through the study of the works of Homer and the classical authors.. An important factor in maintaining Greek identity was contact with ''
barbarian A barbarian is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Bioc ...

barbarian
'' (non-Greek) peoples, which was deepened in the new cosmopolitan environment of the multi-ethnic Hellenistic kingdoms. This led to a strong desire among Greeks to organize the transmission of the Hellenic ''
paideia In the culture of ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, ...
'' to the next generation. Greek science, technology and mathematics are generally considered to have reached their peak during the Hellenistic period. In the
Indo-Greek The Indo-Greek Kingdom, or Graeco-Indian Kingdom, also known historically as the Yavana Kingdom (Yavanarajya), was a Hellenistic period, Hellenistic-era Ancient Greece, Greek kingdom covering various parts of Afghanistan and the northwest region ...
and
Greco-Bactrian The Bactrian Kingdom, known to historians as the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, was a Hellenistic period, Hellenistic-era Hellenistic Greece, Greek state, and along with the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world in Central Asi ...
kingdoms,
Greco-Buddhism Greco-Buddhism, or Graeco-Buddhism, is the cultural syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a ...
was spreading and Greek missionaries would play an important role in propagating it to
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
. Further east, the Greeks of
Alexandria Eschate Alexandria Eschate or Alexandria Eskhata ( el, Ἀλεξάνδρεια Ἐσχάτη), literally "Alexandria the Furthest", was a city founded by Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 ...
became known to the
Chinese people The Chinese people or simply Chinese, are people or ethnic groups identified with China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans f ...

Chinese people
as the
Dayuan Dayuan (or Tayuan; ; ''dâiC-jwɐn'' < : ''dɑh-ʔyɑn'') is the Chinese for a country that existed in in , described in the historical works of ' and the '. It is mentioned in the accounts of the Chinese in 130 BCE and the numerous embassie ...

Dayuan
.


Roman Empire

Between 168 BC and 30 BC, the entire Greek world was conquered by Rome, and almost all of the world's Greek speakers lived as citizens or subjects of the Roman Empire. Despite their military superiority, the Romans admired and became heavily influenced by the achievements of Greek culture, hence
Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus (; 8 December 65 – 27 November 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace (), was the leading Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from ...

Horace
's famous statement: ''Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit'' ("Greece, although captured, took its wild conqueror captive"). In the centuries following the Roman conquest of the Greek world, the Greek and Roman cultures merged into a single
Greco-Roman The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the ), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that culturally—and so historically—were directly and ...
culture. In the religious sphere, this was a period of profound change. The spiritual revolution that took place, saw a waning of the old Greek religion, whose decline beginning in the 3rd century BC continued with the introduction of new religious movements from the East. The cults of deities like
Isis Isis (; ''Ēse''; ; Meroitic language, Meroitic: ''Wos'' 'a''or ''Wusa'') was a major ancient Egyptian deities, goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Ol ...

Isis
and
Mithra Mithra ( ae, ''Miθra'', peo, 𐎷𐎰𐎼 ''Miça'') commonly known as Mehr, is the Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teac ...

Mithra
were introduced into the Greek world. Greek-speaking communities of the Hellenized East were instrumental in the spread of early Christianity in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and Christianity's early leaders and writers (notably
Saint Paul Paul the Apostle,; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח; – AD commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Hebrew name Saul of Tarsus,; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, ...

Saint Paul
) were generally Greek-speaking, though none were from Greece proper. However, Greece itself had a tendency to cling to paganism and was not one of the influential centers of early Christianity: in fact, some ancient Greek religious practices remained in vogue until the end of the 4th century, with some areas such as the southeastern Peloponnese remaining pagan until well into the mid-Byzantine 10th century AD. The region of
Tsakonia Tsakonia ( ell, Τσακωνιά) or the Tsakonian region () refers to the small area in the eastern Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula and geographic r ...
remained pagan until the ninth century and as such its inhabitants were referred to as ''Hellenes'', in the sense of being pagan, by their Christianized Greek brethren in mainstream Byzantine society. While ethnic distinctions still existed in the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, they became secondary to religious considerations, and the renewed empire used Christianity as a tool to support its cohesion and promote a robust Roman national identity. From the early centuries of the
Common Era Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar (and its predecessor, the Julian calendar), the world's most widely used calendar era. Before the Common Era (BCE) is the era before CE. BCE and CE are alternatives ...
, the Greeks self-identified as Romans (
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
: ''Rhōmaîoi''). By that time, the name ''Hellenes'' denoted pagans but was revived as an ethnonym in the 11th century..


Middle Ages

During most of the Middle Ages, the Byzantine Greeks self-identified as ''Rhōmaîoi'' (, "Romans", meaning
citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...
of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
), a term which in the
Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the ...
had become synonymous with Christian Greeks.: "Roman, Greek (if not used in its sense of 'pagan') and Christian became synonymous terms, counterposed to 'foreigner', 'barbarian', 'infidel'. The citizens of the Empire, now predominantly of Greek ethnicity and language, were often called simply ό χριστώνυμος λαός the people who bear Christ's name'" The Latinizing term ''Graikoí'' (Γραικοί, "Greeks") was also used, though its use was less common, and nonexistent in official Byzantine political correspondence, prior to the Fourth Crusade of 1204. The
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Roman Empire
(today conventionally named the ''Byzantine Empire'', a name not used during its own time) became increasingly influenced by Greek culture after the 7th century when Emperor
Heraclius Heraclius ( el, Ἡράκλειος, ''Hērakleios''; c. 575 – 11 February 641), sometimes called Heraclius I, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinop ...
( 610–641 AD) decided to make Greek the empire's official language.. Although the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
recognized the Eastern Empire's claim to the Roman legacy for several centuries, after
Pope Leo III Leo III (died 12 June 816) was the 96th pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of th ...

Pope Leo III
crowned
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
, king of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
, as the "
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becom ...
" on 25 December 800, an act which eventually led to the formation of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
, the Latin West started to favour the Franks and began to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire largely as the ''Empire of the Greeks'' (''Imperium Graecorum''). While this Latin term for the ancient ''
Hellenes The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group native to Greece, Greek Cypriots, Cyprus, Greeks in Albania, Albania, Greeks in Italy, Italy, Greeks in Turkey#History, Turkey, Greeks in Egypt, Egypt and, to a l ...
'' could be used neutrally, its use by Westerners from the 9th century onwards in order to challenge Byzantine claims to
ancient Roman In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC ...
heritage rendered it a derogatory
exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...
for the Byzantines who barely used it, mostly in contexts relating to the West, such as texts relating to the
Council of Florence The Council of Florence is the seventeenth ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matte ...
, to present the Western viewpoint. Additionally, among the Germanic and the Slavic peoples, the ''Rhōmaîoi'' were just called Greeks. There are three schools of thought regarding this Byzantine Roman identity in contemporary Byzantine scholarship: The first considers "Romanity" the mode of self-identification of the subjects of a multi-ethnic empire at least up to the 12th century, where the average subject identified as Roman; a perennialist approach, which views Romanity as the medieval expression of a continuously existing Greek nation; while a third view considers the eastern Roman identity as a pre-modern national identity. The Byzantine Greeks' essential values were drawn from both Christianity and the Homeric tradition of ancient Greece.. A distinct Greek identity re-emerged in the 11th century in educated circles and became more forceful after the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders of the
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Latin Christian , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in La ...
in 1204. In the
Empire of Nicaea The Empire of Nicaea or the Nicene Empire is the conventional historiographic name for the largest of the three Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek language Greek (mod ...

Empire of Nicaea
, a small circle of the elite used the term "Hellene" as a term of self-identification. For example, in a letter to
Pope Gregory IX Pope Gregory IX ( la, Gregorius IX; born Ugolino di Conti; c. 1145 or before 1170 – 22 August 1241) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Cathol ...

Pope Gregory IX
, the Nicaean emperor
John III Doukas Vatatzes John III Doukas Vatatzes, Latinized as Ducas Vatatzes ( el, Ιωάννης Γ΄ Δούκας Βατάτζης, ''Iōannēs III Doukas Vatatzēs'', c. 1193, Didymoteicho – 3 November 1254, Nymphaion), was Emperor of Nicaea from 1222 to 1254. ...

John III Doukas Vatatzes
(r. 1221–1254) claimed to have received the gift of royalty from Constantine the Great, and put emphasis on his "Hellenic" descent, exalting the wisdom of the Greek people. After the Byzantines recaptured Constantinople, however, in 1261, ''Rhomaioi'' became again dominant as a term for self-description and there are few traces of ''Hellene'' (Έλληνας), such as in the writings of
George Gemistos Plethon Georgius Gemistus Pletho ( el, Γεώργιος Γεμιστός Πλήθων; /1360 – 1452/1454) was one of the most renowned philosophers of the late Byzantine era. He was a chief pioneer of the revival of Greek scholarship in Western Europe. ...
, who abandoned Christianity and in whose writings culminated the secular tendency in the interest in the classical past. However, it was the combination of
Orthodox Christianity Orthodoxy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
with a specifically Greek identity that shaped the Greeks' notion of themselves in the empire's twilight years. In the twilight years of the Byzantine Empire, prominent Byzantine personalities proposed referring to the Byzantine Emperor as the "Emperor of the Hellenes". These largely rhetorical expressions of Hellenic identity were confined within intellectual circles, but were continued by Byzantine intellectuals who participated in the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civi ...
. The interest in the Classical Greek heritage was complemented by a renewed emphasis on
Greek Orthodox The name Greek Orthodox Church ( Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία, ''Ellinorthódoxi Ekklisía'', ), or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox ...
identity, which was reinforced in the late Medieval and Ottoman Greeks' links with their fellow Orthodox Christians in the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
. These were further strengthened following the fall of the
Empire of Trebizond The Empire of Trebizond, or Trapezuntine Empire, was a monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001 ...
in 1461, after which and until the second Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29 hundreds of thousands of
Pontic Greeks The Pontic Greeks ( el, Πόντιοι, or , ; tr, Pontus Rumları or , ka, პონტოელი ბერძნები, ) are an ethnically Greek group who traditionally lived in the region of Pontus, on the shores of the Black Sea ...
fled or migrated from the
Pontic Alps The Pontic Mountains or Pontic Alps ( Turkish: ''Kuzey Anadolu Dağları'', meaning North Anatolian Mountains) form a mountain range in northern Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia ...
and to southern Russia and the Russian
South Caucasus Transcaucasia, also known as the South Caucasus, is a geographical region on the border of Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise ...
(see also
Greeks in Russia Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group native to Greece, Greek Cypriots, Cyprus, Greeks in Albania, Albania, Greeks in Italy, Italy, Greeks in Turkey#History, Turkey, Greeks in Egypt, Egypt and ...
, Greeks in Armenia, Greeks in Georgia, and Caucasian Greeks). These Byzantine Greeks were largely responsible for the preservation of the literature of the classical era.. Greek scholars in the Renaissance, Byzantine grammarians were those principally responsible for carrying, in person and in writing, ancient Greek grammatical and literary studies to the West during the 15th century, giving the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civi ...
a major boost. The Aristotle, Aristotelian philosophical tradition was nearly unbroken in the Greek world for almost two thousand years, until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. To the Slavic people, Slavic world, the Byzantine Greeks contributed by the dissemination of literacy and Christianity. The most notable example of the later was the work of the two Byzantine Greek brothers, the monks Saints Cyril and Methodius from the port city of
Thessalonica Thessaloniki (; el, Θεσσαλονίκη, ), also known as Thessalonica (), Saloniki or Salonica (), is the List of countries by largest and second largest cities, second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its Thessaloni ...
, capital of the theme of Thessalonica, who are credited today with formalizing the Glagolitic alphabet, first Slavic alphabet.


Ottoman Empire

Following the Fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1453, many Greeks sought better employment and education opportunities by leaving for the Western world, West, particularly Italy, Central Europe, Germany and Russia. Greeks are greatly credited for the European cultural revolution, later called, the Renaissance. In Greek-inhabited territory itself, Greeks came to play a leading role in the Ottoman Empire, due in part to the fact that the central hub of the empire, politically, culturally, and socially, was based on Western Thrace and Greek Macedonia, both in Northern Greece, and of course was centred on the mainly Greek-populated, former Byzantine capital,
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
. As a direct consequence of this situation, Greek-speakers came to play a hugely important role in the Ottoman trading and diplomatic establishment, as well as in the church. Added to this, in the first half of the Ottoman period men of Greek origin made up a significant proportion of the Ottoman army, navy, and state bureaucracy, having been levied as adolescents (along with especially Albanians and Serbs) into Ottoman service through the devshirme. Many Ottomans of Greek (or Albanian or Serb) origin were therefore to be found within the Ottoman forces which governed the provinces, from Ottoman Egypt, to Ottomans occupied Yemen and Algeria, frequently as provincial governors. For those that remained under the Ottoman Empire's Millet (Ottoman Empire), millet system, religion was the defining characteristic of national groups (''milletler''), so the
exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...
"Greeks" (''Rumlar'' from the name Rhomaioi) was applied by the Ottomans to all members of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox Church, regardless of their language or ethnic origin. The
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
speakers were the only ethnic group to actually call themselves ''Romioi'', (as opposed to being so named by others) and, at least those educated, considered their ethnicity (''genos'') to be Hellenic. There were, however, many Greeks who escaped the second-class status of Christians inherent in the Ottoman millet system, according to which Muslims were explicitly awarded senior status and preferential treatment. These Greeks either emigrated, particularly to their fellow Orthodox Christian protector, the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
, or simply converted to Islam, often only very superficially and whilst remaining crypto-Christian. The most notable examples of large-scale conversion to Turkish Islam among those today defined as Greek Muslims—excluding those who had to convert as a matter of course on being recruited through the devshirme—were to be found in
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
(Cretan Turks), Greek Macedonia (for example among the Vallahades of western Macedonia (Greece), Macedonia), and among
Pontic Greeks The Pontic Greeks ( el, Πόντιοι, or , ; tr, Pontus Rumları or , ka, პონტოელი ბერძნები, ) are an ethnically Greek group who traditionally lived in the region of Pontus, on the shores of the Black Sea ...
in the
Pontic Alps The Pontic Mountains or Pontic Alps ( Turkish: ''Kuzey Anadolu Dağları'', meaning North Anatolian Mountains) form a mountain range in northern Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia ...
and . Several Ottoman sultans and princes were also of part Greek origin, with mothers who were either Greek concubines or princesses from Byzantine noble families, one famous example being sultan Selim I, Selim the Grim ( 1517–1520), whose mother Gülbahar Hatun was a Pontic Greek. The roots of Greek success in the Ottoman Empire can be traced to the Greek tradition of education and commerce exemplified in the Phanariotes. It was the wealth of the extensive merchant class that provided the material basis for the intellectual revival that was the prominent feature of Greek life in the half century and more leading to the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Not coincidentally, on the eve of 1821, the three most important centres of Greek learning were situated in Chios,
Smyrna Smyrna ( ; grc, Σμύρνη, Smýrnē, or grc, Σμύρνα, Smýrna) was a Ancient Greece, Greek city located at a strategic point on the Aegean Sea, Aegean coast of Anatolia. Due to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence, an ...
and Ayvalik, Aivali, all three major centres of Greek commerce. Greek success was also favoured by Greek domination in the leadership of the Eastern Orthodox church.


Modern

The movement of the Greek enlightenment, the Greek expression of the Age of Enlightenment, contributed not only in the promotion of education, culture and printing among the Greeks, but also in the case of independence from the Ottoman empire, Ottomans, and the restoration of the term "Hellene". Adamantios Korais, probably the most important intellectual of the movement, advocated the use of the term "Hellene" (Έλληνας) or "Graikos" (Γραικός) in the place of ''Romiós'', that was seen negatively by him. The relationship between ethnic Greek identity and Greek Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox religion continued after the creation of the modern Greek nation-state in 1830. According to the second article of the first Constitution of Greece, Greek constitution of 1822, a Greek was defined as any native Christian resident of the Kingdom of Greece (Wittelsbach), Kingdom of Greece, a clause removed by 1840. A century later, when the Treaty of Lausanne was signed between
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...

Greece
and Turkey in 1923, the two countries agreed to use religion as the determinant for ethnic identity for the purposes of population exchange, although most of the Greeks displaced (over a million of the total 1.5 million) had already been driven out by the time the agreement was signed. The
Greek genocide The Greek genocide (, ''Genoktonia ton Ellinon''), including the Pontic genocide, was the systematic killing of the Christian Ottoman Greek population of Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also kn ...
, in particular the harsh removal of Pontian Greeks from the southern shore area of the Black Sea, contemporaneous with and following the failed Greek Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922), Asia Minor Campaign, was part of this process of Turkification of the Ottoman Empire and the placement of its economy and trade, then largely in Greek hands under ethnic Turkish control.


Identity

The terms used to define Greekness have varied throughout history but were never limited or completely identified with membership to a Greek state. Herodotus gave a famous account of what defined Greek (Hellenic) ethnic identity in his day, enumerating #shared kinship and descent, descent (ὅμαιμον – ''homaimon'', "of the same blood"), #shared language (ὁμόγλωσσον – ''homoglōsson'', "speaking the same language") #shared sanctuaries and sacrifices (θεῶν ἱδρύματά τε κοινὰ καὶ θυσίαι – ''theōn hidrumata te koina kai thusiai'') #shared Mores, customs (ἤθεα ὁμότροπα – ''ēthea homotropa'', "customs of like fashion"). By Western standards, the term ''Greeks'' has traditionally referred to any native speakers of the
Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the ...
, whether Mycenaean Greek language, Mycenaean, Medieval Greek, Byzantine or modern Greek.. Byzantine Greeks self-identified as ''Romaioi'' ("Romans"), ''Graikoi'' ("Greeks") and ''Christianoi'' ("Christians") since they were the political heirs of Roman Empire, imperial Rome, the descendants of their Ancient Greeks, classical Greek forebears and followers of the Apostles; during the mid-to-late Byzantine period (11th–13th century), a growing number of Byzantine Greek intellectuals deemed themselves ''Hellenes'' although for most Greek-speakers, "Hellene" still meant pagan. On the eve of the Fall of Constantinople the Constantine XI, Last Emperor urged his soldiers to remember that they were the descendants of Greeks and Romans. Before the establishment of the modern Greek nation-state, the link between ancient and modern Greeks was emphasized by the scholars of Greek Enlightenment especially by Rigas Feraios. In his "Political Constitution", he addresses to the nation as "the people descendant of the Greeks". The History of Modern Greece, modern Greek state was created in 1829, when the Greeks liberated a part of their historic homelands, Peloponnese, from the Ottoman Empire. The large
Greek diaspora The Greek diaspora, Hellenic diaspora or homogenea ( el, Ὁμογένεια) are the communities of Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hel ...
and merchant class were instrumental in transmitting the ideas of western romantic nationalism and philhellenism, which together with the conception of Hellenism, formulated during the last centuries of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
, formed the basis of the Diafotismos and the current conception of Hellenism. The Greeks today are a nation in the meaning of an ''ethnic group, ethnos'', defined by possessing Culture of Greece, Greek culture and having a Greek First language, mother tongue, not by citizenship, race, and religion or by being subjects of any particular state. In ancient and medieval times and to a lesser extent today the Greek term was ''
genos In ancient Greece, a ''genos'' (Greek language, Greek: γένος, "race, stock, kin", plural γένη ''genē'') was a social group claiming common descent, referred to by a single name (see also Sanskrit "Gana"). Most ''gene'' were composed of n ...

genos
'', which also indicates a common ancestry.


Names

Greeks and Greek-speakers have used different names to refer to themselves collectively. The term (Ἀχαιοί) is one of the Names of the Greeks, collective names for the Greeks in
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
's ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an in , traditionally attributed to . Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' i ...

Iliad
'' and ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
'' (the Homeric "long-haired Achaeans" would have been a part of the
Mycenaean civilization Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
that dominated Greece from 1600 BC until 1100 BC). The other common names are (Δαναοί) and (Ἀργεῖοι) while (Πανέλληνες) and (Ἕλληνες) both hapax legomenon, appear only once in the ''Iliad''; all of these terms were used, synonymously, to denote a common Greek identity. In the historical period, Herodotus identified the Achaea (ancient region), Achaeans of the northern Peloponnese as descendants of the earlier, Homeric Achaeans.
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
refers to the "Hellenes" () as a relatively small tribe settled in Thessalic Phthia, with its warriors under the command of Achilleus. The Parian Chronicle says that Phthia was the homeland of the Hellenes and that this name was given to those previously called Greeks ().The Parian Marble, Entry #6
"From when Hellen [son of] Deuc[alion] became king of [Phthi]otis and those previously called Graekoi were named Hellenes."
In Greek mythology, Hellen, the patriarch of the Hellenes who ruled around Phthia, was the son of Pyrrha and Deucalion, the only survivors after the flood myth, Great Deluge. The Greek philosopher Aristotle names ancient Ancient Greece, Hellas as an area in
Epirus sq, Epiri rup, Epiru , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = Historical region , image_map = Epirus antiquus tabula.jpg , map_alt = , map_caption = Map of ancient Epirus by Heinrich ...
between Dodona and the Achelous river, the location of the Great Deluge of Deucalion, a land occupied by the Selloi and the "Greeks" who later came to be known as "Hellenes".Aristotle. ''Meteorologica''
1.14
"The deluge in the time of Deucalion, for instance took place chiefly in the Greek world and in it especially about ancient Hellas, the country about Dodona and the Achelous."
In the Homeric tradition, the Selloi were the priests of Dodonian Zeus. In the
Hesiod Hesiod (; grc-gre, Ἡσίοδος ''Hēsíodos'', 'he who emits the voice') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēr ...
ic ''Catalogue of Women'', Graecus is presented as the son of Zeus and Pandora II, sister of Hellen the patriarch of the Hellenes. According to the Parian Chronicle, when Deucalion became king of Phthia, the (Γραικοί) were named Hellenes. Aristotle notes in his ''Meteorologica'' that the Hellenes were related to the Graikoi.


Continuity

The most obvious link between modern and ancient Greeks is their language, which has a documented tradition from at least the 14th century BC to the present day, albeit with a break during the
Greek Dark Ages The Greek Dark Ages is the period of Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locate ...
from which written records are absent (11th- 8th cent. BC, though the Cypriot syllabary was in use during this period).. Scholars compare its continuity of tradition to Chinese language, Chinese alone. Since its inception, Hellenism was primarily a matter of common culture and the national continuity of the Greek world is a lot more certain than its demographic.. Yet, Hellenism also embodied an ancestral dimension through aspects of Athenian literature that developed and influenced ideas of descent based on autochthony. During the later years of the Eastern Roman Empire, areas such as Ionia and
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
experienced a Hellenic revival in language, philosophy, and literature and on classical models of thought and scholarship. This revival provided a powerful impetus to the sense of cultural affinity with ancient Greece and its classical heritage. Throughout their history, the Greeks have retained their language and Greek alphabet, alphabet, certain values and cultural traditions, customs, a sense of religious and cultural difference and exclusion (the word ''
barbarian A barbarian is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Bioc ...

barbarian
'' was used by 12th-century historian Anna Komnene to describe non-Greek speakers), a sense of Greek identity and common sense of ethnicity despite the undeniable socio-political changes of the past two millennia. In recent anthropological studies, both ancient and modern Greek osteological samples were analyzed demonstrating a bio-genetic affinity and continuity shared between both groups. There is also a direct genetic link between ancient Greeks and modern Greeks.


Demographics

Today, Greeks are the majority ethnic group in the Hellenic Republic, where they constitute 93% of the country's population, and the Republic of Cyprus where they make up 78% of the island's population (excluding Turkish settlers in the occupied part of the country). Greek populations have not traditionally exhibited high rates of growth; a large percentage of Greek population growth since Greece's foundation in 1832 was attributed to annexation of new territories, as well as the influx of 1.5 million Greek refugees after the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey, 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. About 80% of the population of Greece is urban, with 28% concentrated in the city of Athens. Greeks from Cyprus have a similar history of emigration, usually to the English-speaking world because of the island's colonization by the British Empire. Waves of emigration followed the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, while the population decreased between mid-1974 and 1977 as a result of emigration, war losses, and a temporary decline in fertility. After the ethnic cleansing of a third of the Greek population of the island in 1974, there was also an increase in the number of Greek Cypriots leaving, especially for the Middle East, which contributed to a decrease in population that tapered off in the 1990s. Today more than two-thirds of the Greek population in Cyprus is urban. There is a sizeable Greek minority of approximately 200,000 people in Greek minority in Albania, Albania. The Greek minority of Greeks in Turkey, Turkey, which numbered upwards of 200,000 people after the 1923 exchange, has now dwindled to a few thousand, after the 1955 Istanbul Pogrom, Constantinople Pogrom and other state sponsored violence and discrimination. This effectively ended, though not entirely, the three-thousand-year-old presence of Hellenism in Asia Minor. There are smaller Greek minorities in the rest of the Balkan countries, the Greeks in Lebanon, Levant and the Greeks in Georgia, Black Sea states, remnants of the Old Greek Diaspora (pre-19th century).


Diaspora

The total number of Greeks living outside Greece and Cyprus today is a contentious issue. Where Census figures are available, they show around 3 million Greeks outside
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...

Greece
and
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
. Estimates provided by the SAE - World Council of Hellenes Abroad put the figure at around 7 million worldwide. According to George Prevelakis of Sorbonne University, the number is closer to just below 5 million. Integration, intermarriage, and loss of the Greek language influence the self-identification of the Greek diaspora, Omogeneia. Important centres of the New Greek Diaspora today are British Greeks, London, Greek Americans, New York, Greek Australians, Melbourne and Greek Canadians, Toronto. In 2010, the Hellenic Parliament introduced a law that enables Diaspora Greeks in Greece to vote in the elections of the Greek state. This law was later repealed in early 2014.


Ancient

In ancient times, the trading and colonizing activities of the Greek tribes and city states spread the Greek culture, religion and language around the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins, especially in Magna Graecia, Sicily and southern Italy (also known as Magna Grecia), Spain, the History of Marseille, south of France and the Pontian Greeks, Black sea coasts.. Under Alexander the Great's empire and successor states, Greek and Hellenizing ruling classes were established in the Seleucid Kingdom, Middle East, Indo-Greek Kingdom, India and in Ptolemaic dynasty, Egypt. The Hellenistic period is characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization that established Greek cities and kingdoms in Dayuan, Asia and Cyrene, Libya, Africa. Under the Roman Empire, easier movement of people spread Greeks across the Empire and in the eastern territories, Greek became the
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
rather than Latin. The modern-day Griko people, Griko community of southern Italy, numbering about 60,000, may represent a living remnant of the ancient Greek populations of Italy.


Modern

During and after the Greek War of Independence, Greeks of the diaspora were important in establishing the fledgling state, raising funds and awareness abroad. Greek merchant families already had contacts in other countries and during the disturbances many set up home around the Mediterranean (notably Marseilles in Greeks in France, France, Livorno in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...
, Alexandria in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...
),
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
(Odessa and Saint Petersburg), and British Greeks, Britain (London and Liverpool) from where they traded, typically in textiles and grain.. Businesses frequently comprised the extended family, and with them they brought schools teaching Greek and the
Greek Orthodox Church The name Greek Orthodox Church (Greek language, Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία, ''Ellinorthódoxi Ekklisía'', ), or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several Christian denomination, churches within the lar ...

Greek Orthodox Church
. As markets changed and they became more established, some families grew their operations to become Greek shipping, shippers, financed through the local Greek community, notably with the aid of the Ralli Brothers, Ralli or Panayis Athanase Vagliano, Vagliano Brothers.. With economic success, the Diaspora expanded further across the Greeks in Syria, Levant, North Africa, India and the USA. In the 20th century, many Greeks left their traditional homelands for economic reasons resulting in large migrations from Greece and Cyprus to the Greek American, United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Greeks in Germany, Germany, and Greeks in South Africa, South Africa, especially after the Second World War (1939–1945), the Greek Civil War (1946–1949), and the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974. While official figures remain scarce, polls and anecdotal evidence point to renewed Greek emigration as a result of the Greek financial crisis. According to data published by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany in 2011, 23,800 Greeks emigrated to Germany, a significant increase over the previous year. By comparison, about 9,000 Greeks emigrated to Germany in 2009 and 12,000 in 2010.


Culture

Culture of Greece, Greek culture has evolved over thousands of years, with its beginning in the Mycenaean civilization, continuing through the classical era, the Hellenistic period, the Roman and Byzantine periods and was profoundly affected by Christianity, which it in turn influenced and shaped.; Ottoman Greeks had to endure through several centuries of adversity that culminated in Greek genocide, genocide in the 20th century. The Diafotismos is credited with revitalizing Greek culture and giving birth to the synthesis of ancient and medieval elements that characterize it today.


Language

Most Greeks speak the
Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the ...
, an Hellenic languages, independent branch of the Indo-European languages, with its closest relations possibly being Armenian language, Armenian (see Graeco-Armenian) or the Indo-Iranian languages (see Graeco-Aryan). It has the longest documented history of any living language and Greek literature has a continuous history of over 2,500 years. The oldest inscriptions in Greek are in the
Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or ...
script, dated as far back as 1450 BC. Following the
Greek Dark Ages The Greek Dark Ages is the period of Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locate ...
, from which written records are absent, the Greek alphabet appears in the 9th–8th century BC. The Greek alphabet derived from the Phoenician alphabet, and in turn became the parent alphabet of the Latin, Cyrillic, and several other alphabets. The earliest Greek literary works are the Homer, Homeric epics, variously dated from the 8th to the 6th century BC. Notable scientific and mathematical works include Euclid's Elements, Ptolemy's Almagest, and others. The New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek. Greek demonstrates several linguistic features that are shared with other Languages of the Balkans, Balkan languages, such as Albanian language, Albanian, Bulgarian language, Bulgarian and Eastern Romance languages (see Balkan sprachbund), and has absorbed many foreign words, primarily of Western European and Turkish language, Turkish origin. Because of the movements of Philhellenism and the Diafotismos in the 19th century, which emphasized the modern Greeks' ancient heritage, these foreign influences were excluded from official use via the creation of Katharevousa, a somewhat artificial form of Greek purged of all foreign influence and words, as the official language of the Greek state. In 1976, however, the Hellenic Parliament voted to make the spoken Dimotiki the official language, making Katharevousa obsolete. Modern Greek has, in addition to Standard Modern Greek or Dimotiki, a wide Varieties of Modern Greek, variety of dialects of varying levels of mutual intelligibility, including Cypriot Greek, Cypriot, Pontic language, Pontic, Cappadocian Greek, Cappadocian, Griko language, Griko and Tsakonian language, Tsakonian (the only surviving representative of ancient Doric Greek). Yevanic language, Yevanic is the language of the Romaniotes, and survives in small communities in Greece, New York and Israel. In addition to Greek, many Greek citizens in Greece and the diaspora are bilingual in other languages such as English, Arvanitika/Albanian language, Albanian, Aromanian language, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian language, Megleno-Romanian, Slavic dialects of Greece, Macedonian Slavic, Russian language, Russian and Turkish.


Religion

Most Greeks are Christians, belonging to the
Greek Orthodox Church The name Greek Orthodox Church (Greek language, Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία, ''Ellinorthódoxi Ekklisía'', ), or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several Christian denomination, churches within the lar ...

Greek Orthodox Church
. During the first centuries after Jesus, Jesus Christ, the New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek, which remains the Sacred language, liturgical language of the Greek Orthodox Church, and most of the early Christians and Church Fathers were Greek-speaking. There are small groups of ethnic Greeks adhering to other Christianity, Christian denominations like Roman Catholicism in Greece, Greek Catholics, Greek Evangelical Church, Greek Evangelicals, Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost, Pentecostals, and groups adhering to other religions including Romaniotes, Romaniot and Sephardic Jews and Greek Muslims. About 2,000 Greeks are members of Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism congregations. Greek-speaking Muslims live mainly outside Greece in the contemporary era. There are both Christian and Muslim Greek-speaking communities in Greeks in Lebanon, Lebanon and Greeks in Syria, Syria, while in the Pontus (region), Pontus region of Turkey there is a large community of indeterminate size who were spared from the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, population exchange because of their religious affiliation.


Arts

Greek art has a long and varied history. Greeks have contributed to the visual, literary and performing arts.. In the West, Art in ancient Greece, classical Greek art was influential in shaping the Roman art, Roman and later the modern Western art history, Western artistic heritage. Following the Renaissance in Europe, the humanist aesthetic and the high technical standards of Greek art inspired generations of European artists. Well into the 19th century, the classical tradition derived from Greece played an important role in the art of the Western world. In the East,
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
's conquests initiated several centuries of exchange between Greek, Central Asian and Culture of India, Indian cultures, resulting in Indo-Greek art, Indo-Greek and Greco-Buddhist art, whose influence reached as far as Japan. Byzantine art, Byzantine Greek art, which grew from the Hellenistic Fayum portrait, classical art and adapted the pagan motifs in the service of Christianity, provided a stimulus to the art of many nations.. Its influences can be traced from Venice in the West to Kazakhstan in the East. In turn, Greek art was influenced by eastern civilizations (i.e. Art of ancient Egypt, Egypt, Persian art, Persia, etc.) during various periods of its history. Notable modern Greek artists include the major Renaissance painter Dominikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco), Nikolaos Gyzis, Nikiphoros Lytras, Konstantinos Volanakis, Theodoros Vryzakis, Georgios Jakobides, Thalia Flora-Karavia, Yannis Tsarouchis, Nikos Engonopoulos, Périclès Pantazis, Theofilos Hatzimichail, Theophilos, Constantine Andreou, Kostas Andreou, Jannis Kounellis, sculptors such as Leonidas Drosis, Georgios Bonanos, Yannoulis Chalepas, Athanase Apartis, Athanasios Apartis, Konstantinos Dimitriadis and Joannis Avramidis, conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos, soprano Maria Callas, composers such as Mikis Theodorakis, Nikos Skalkottas, Nikolaos Mantzaros, Spyridon Samaras, Manolis Kalomiris, Iannis Xenakis, Manos Hatzidakis, Manos Loïzos, Yanni and Vangelis, the masters of rebetiko Markos Vamvakaris and Vassilis Tsitsanis, and singers such as Giorgos Dalaras, Haris Alexiou, Sotiria Bellou, Nana Mouskouri, Vicky Leandros and Demis Roussos. Poets such as Andreas Kalvos, Athanasios Christopoulos, Kostis Palamas, the writer of Hymn to Liberty Dionysios Solomos, Angelos Sikelianos, Kostas Karyotakis, Maria Polydouri, Yannis Ritsos, Kostas Varnalis, Nikos Kavvadias, Andreas Embirikos and Kiki Dimoula. Constantine P. Cavafy and Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel laureates Giorgos Seferis and Odysseas Elytis are among the most important poets of the 20th century. Novel is also represented by Alexandros Papadiamantis, Emmanuel Rhoides, Ion Dragoumis, Nikos Kazantzakis, Penelope Delta, Stratis Myrivilis, Vassilis Vassilikos and Petros Markaris, while notable playwrights include the Cretan Renaissance poets Georgios Chortatzis and Vitsentzos Kornaros, Vincenzos Cornaros, such as Gregorios Xenopoulos and Iakovos Kambanellis. Notable cinema or theatre actors include Marika Kotopouli, Melina Mercouri, Ellie Lambeti, Academy Award winner Katina Paxinou, Alexis Minotis, Dimitris Horn, Thanasis Veggos, Manos Katrakis and Irene Papas. Alekos Sakellarios, Karolos Koun, Vasilis Georgiadis, Costa-Gavras, Kostas Gavras, Michael Cacoyannis, Giannis Dalianidis, Nikos Koundouros and Theo Angelopoulos are among the most important directors. Among the most significant modern-era architects are Stamatios Kleanthis, Lysandros Kaftanzoglou, Anastasios Metaxas, Panagis Kalkos, Anastasios Orlandos, the naturalized Greek Ernst Ziller, Dimitris Pikionis and urban planners Stamatis Voulgaris and George Candilis.


Science

The Greeks of the Classical and Hellenistic eras made seminal contributions to science and philosophy, laying the foundations of several western scientific traditions, such as Greek astronomy, astronomy, geography, historiography, Greek mathematics, mathematics, Greek medicine, medicine, Greek philosophy, philosophy and political science. The scholarly tradition of the Greek academies was maintained during Roman times with several academic institutions in
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
,
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...
,
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...

Alexandria
and other centers of Greek learning, while Byzantine science was essentially a continuation of classical science. Greeks have a long tradition of valuing and investing in ''paideia'' (education). ''Paideia'' was one of the highest societal values in the Greek and Hellenistic world while the first European institution described as a university was founded in 5th century Constantinople and operated in various incarnations until the Fall of Constantinople, city's fall to the Ottomans in 1453. The University of Constantinople was Christian Europe's first secular institution of higher learning since no theological subjects were taught, and considering the original meaning of the world university as a corporation of students, the world's first university as well. As of 2007, Greece had the eighth highest percentage of tertiary enrollment in the world (with the percentages for female students being higher than for male) while Greeks of the Diaspora are equally active in the field of education. Hundreds of thousands of Greek students attend western universities every year while the faculty lists of leading Western universities contain a striking number of Greek names. Notable Greek scientists of modern times include: physician Georgios Papanikolaou, Georgios Papanicolaou (pioneer in cytopathology, inventor of the Pap test); mathematician Constantin Carathéodory (acclaimed contributor to real and complex analysis and the calculus of variations); archaeologists Manolis Andronikos (unearthed the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, Philip II), Valerios Stais (recognised the Antikythera mechanism), Spyridon Marinatos (specialised in Mycenaean Greece, Mycenaean sites) and Ioannis Svoronos; chemists Leonidas Zervas (of Bergmann-Zervas carbobenzoxy method, Bergmann-Zervas synthesis and Z-group discovery fame), K. C. Nicolaou (first total synthesis of Paclitaxel, taxol) and Panayotis Katsoyannis (first chemical synthesis of insulin); computer scientists Michael Dertouzos and Nicholas Negroponte (known for their early work with the World Wide Web), John Argyris (co-creator of the Finite element method, FEM), Joseph Sifakis (2007 Turing Award), Christos Papadimitriou (2002 Knuth Prize) and Mihalis Yannakakis (2005 Knuth Prize); physicist-mathematician Demetrios Christodoulou (renowned for work on Minkowski spacetime) and physicists Achilles Papapetrou (known for solutions of general relativity), Dimitri Nanopoulos (extensive work on particle physics and cosmology), and John Iliopoulos (2007 Dirac Prize for work on the charm quark); astronomer E. M. Antoniadi, Eugenios Antoniadis; biologist Fotis Kafatos (contributor to cDNA cloning technology); botanist Theodoros G. Orphanides, Theodoros Orphanides; economist Xenophon Zolotas (held various senior posts in international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, IMF); Indologist Dimitrios Galanos; linguist Ioannis Psycharis, Yiannis Psycharis (promoter of Demotic Greek); historians Constantine Paparrigopoulos (founder of modern Greek historiography) and Helene Ahrweiler, Helene Glykatzi Ahrweiler (excelled in Byzantine studies); and political scientists Nicos Poulantzas (a leading Structural marxism, Structural Marxist) and Cornelius Castoriadis (philosopher of history and ontologist, social critic, economist, psychoanalyst). Significant engineers and automobile designers include Nikolas Tombazis, Alec Issigonis and Andreas Zapatinas.


Symbols

The most widely used symbol is the flag of Greece, which features nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white representing the nine syllables of the Greek national motto ''Eleftheria i Thanatos'' (Freedom or Death), which was the motto of the Greek War of Independence. The blue square in the upper hoist-side corner bears a white cross, which represents Greek Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodoxy. The Greek flag is widely used by the Greek Cypriots, although
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
has officially adopted a neutral flag to ease ethnic tensions with the Turkish Cypriots, Turkish Cypriot minority (see flag of Cyprus). The pre-1978 (and first) flag of Greece, which features a Cross, Greek cross (''crux immissa quadrata'') on a blue background, is widely used as an alternative to the official flag, and they are often flown together. The national emblem of Greece features a blue Escutcheon (heraldry), escutcheon with a white cross surrounded by two laurel branches. A common design involves the current flag of Greece and the pre-1978 flag of Greece with crossed flagpoles and the national emblem placed in front. Another highly recognizable and popular Greek symbol is the Flag of Greece#Double-headed eagle, double-headed eagle, the imperial emblem of the last dynasty of the Eastern Roman Empire and a common symbol in
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
and, later, Eastern Europe. It is not part of the modern Greek flag or coat-of-arms, although it is officially the insignia of the Greek Army and the flag of the Church of Greece. It had been incorporated in the Greek coat of arms between 1925 and 1926.


Politics

Classical Athens is considered the birthplace of Democracy. The term appeared in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens, to mean "rule of the people", in contrast to aristocracy (, '), meaning "rule by an excellent elite", and to oligarchy. While theoretically these definitions are in opposition, in practice the distinction has been blurred historically. Led by Cleisthenes, Athenians established what is generally held as the first democracy in 508–507 BC, which took gradually the form of a direct democracy. The democratic form of government declined during the Hellenistic and Roman eras, only to be revived as an interest in Western Europe during the early modern period. The European enlightenment and the democratic, liberal and nationalistic ideas of the French Revolution was a crucial factor to the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence and the establishment of the modern Greek state.Clogg, ''A Concise History of Greece '', pp. 25–26Goldstein, ''Wars and Peace Treaties'', p. 20 Notable modern Greek politicians include Ioannis Kapodistrias, founder of the First Hellenic Republic, reformist Charilaos Trikoupis, Eleftherios Venizelos, who marked the shape of modern Greece, social democrats Georgios Papandreou and Alexandros Papanastasiou, Konstantinos Karamanlis, founder of the Third Hellenic Republic, and socialist Andreas Papandreou.


Surnames and personal names

Greek surnames began to appear in the 9th and 10th century, at first among ruling families, eventually supplanting the ancient tradition of using the father's name as disambiguator.. Nevertheless, Greek surnames are most commonly patronymics, such those ending in the suffix ''-opoulos'' or ''-ides'', while others derive from trade professions, physical characteristics, or a location such as a town, village, or monastery. Commonly, Greek male surnames end in -s, which is the common ending for Greek masculine proper nouns in the nominative case. Occasionally (especially in Cyprus), some surnames end in ''-ou'', indicating the genitive case of a patronymic name. Many surnames end in suffixes that are associated with a particular region, such as ''-akis'' (Crete), ''-eas'' or ''-akos'' (Mani Peninsula), ''-atos'' (island of Cephalonia), ''-ellis'' (island of Lesbos) and so forth. In addition to a Greek origin, some surnames have Turkish or Latin/Italian origin, especially among Greeks from
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
and the Ionian Islands, respectively. Female surnames end in a vowel and are usually the genitive form of the corresponding males surname, although this usage is not followed in the diaspora, where the male version of the surname is generally used. With respect to personal names, the two main influences are Christianity and classical Hellenism; ancient Greek nomenclatures were never forgotten but have become more widely bestowed from the 18th century onwards. As in antiquity, children are customarily named after their grandparents, with the first born male child named after the paternal grandfather, the second male child after the maternal grandfather, and similarly for female children. Personal names are often familiarized by a diminutive suffix, such as ''-akis'' for male names and ''-itsa'' or ''-oula'' for female names. Greeks generally do not use middle names, instead using the genitive of the father's first name as a middle name. This usage has been passed on to the Russian names, Russians and other East Slavs (otchestvo).


Sea: exploring and commerce

The traditional Greek homelands have been the Greek peninsula and the Aegean Sea, Southern Italy (Magna Graecia), the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
, the Ionia, Ionian coasts of
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
and the islands of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
and Sicily. In Plato's ''Phaedo, Phaidon'', Socrates remarks, "we (Greeks) live around a sea like frogs around a pond" when describing to his friends the Greek cities of the Aegean. This image is attested by the map of the Old Greek Diaspora, which corresponded to the Greek world until the creation of the Greece, Greek state in 1832. The sea and trade were natural outlets for Greeks since the Greek peninsula is mostly rocky and does not offer good prospects for agriculture. Notable Greek seafarers include people such as Pytheas, Pytheas of Massalia who sailed to Great Britain, Euthymenes who sailed to Africa, Scylax of Caryanda who sailed to India, the navarch of Alexander the Great Nearchus, Megasthenes, explorer of India, later the 6th century merchant and monk Cosmas Indicopleustes (''Cosmas who sailed to India''), and the explorer of the Northwestern Passage Ioannis Fokas also known as Juan de Fuca. In later times, the Byzantine Greeks plied the sea-lanes of the Mediterranean and controlled trade until an embargo imposed by the Byzantine emperor on trade with the Caliphate opened the door for the later Italian pre-eminence in trade. Panayotis Potagos was another explorer of modern times who was the first to reach Mbomu and Uele River from the north. The Greek shipping tradition recovered during the late Ottoman rule (especially after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca and during the Napoleonic Wars), when a substantial merchant middle class developed, which played an important part in the Greek War of Independence. Today, Greek shipping continues to prosper to the extent that Greece has one of the largest merchant fleets in the world, while many more ships under Greek ownership fly flags of convenience. The most notable shipping magnate of the 20th century was Aristotle Onassis, others being Yiannis Latsis, Stavros G. Livanos, and Stavros Niarchos.


Genetics

Genetic studies using Genetic marker, multiple autosomal gene markers, Y DNA, Y chromosomal DNA haplogroup analysis and Mitochondrial DNA, mitochondrial gene markers (mtDNA) show that Greeks share similar backgrounds as the rest of the Europeans and especially Southern Europeans (Italians and southern Balkans, Balkan populations such as Albanians, Slavic Macedonians and Romanians). According to the studies using multiple autosomal gene markers, Greeks are some of the earliest contributors of genetic material to the rest of the Europeans as they are one of the oldest populations in Europe. A study in 2008 showed that Greeks are genetically closest to Italians and Romanians and another 2008 study showed that they are close to Italians, Albanians, Romanians and South Slavs, southern Balkan Slavs. A 2003 study showed that Greeks cluster with other South European (mainly Italians) and North-European populations and are close to the Basques, and Fixation index, FST distances showed that they group with other European and Mediterranean populations, especially with Italians (−0.0001) and Tuscans (0.0005). Y DNA studies show that Greeks cluster with other Europeans and that they carry some of the oldest Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup, Y haplogroups in Europe, in particular the Haplogroup J-M172, J2 haplogroup (and other J subhaplogroups) and Y-DNA haplogroups by ethnic group, E haplogroups, which are genetic markers denoting early farmers. The Y-chromosome lineage E-V13 appears to have originated in Greece or the southern Balkans and is high in Greeks as well as in Albanians, southern Italians and southern Slavs. E-V13 is also found in Corsicans and Provence, Provencals, where an admixture analysis estimated that 17% of the Y-chromosomes of Provence may be attributed to Colonies in antiquity#Greek colonies, Greek colonization, and is also found at low frequencies on the Anatolian mainland. These results suggest that E-V13 may trace the demographic and socio-cultural impact of Greek colonization in Mediterranean Europe, a contribution that appears to be considerably larger than that of a Neolithic pioneer colonization. A study in 2008 showed that Greek regional samples from the mainland cluster with those from the Balkans, principally Albanians while Crete, Cretan Greeks cluster with the central Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean samples. Greek signature DNA influence can be seen in Southern Italy and Sicily, where the genetic contribution of Greek chromosomes to the Sicilian gene pool is estimated to be about 37%, and the Southern Balkans, primarily Albania. Di Gaetano et al. also note that the genetic links analysed in their findings "shows that Sicily and southeastern Europe, especially Greece and Albania, share a common background." Studies using mitochondrial DNA gene markers (mtDNA) showed that Greeks group with other Mediterranean European populations and principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed the low genetic distance between Greeks and Italians and also revealed a cline of genes with highest frequencies in the Balkans and Southern Italy, spreading to lowest levels in Britain and the Basque country, which Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Cavalli-Sforza associates it with "the Greek expansion, which reached its peak in historical times around 1000 and 500 BC but which certainly began earlier". A 2017 study on the genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaean Greece, Mycenaeans showed that modern Greeks resemble the Mycenaeans, but with some additional dilution of the Neolithic, early neolithic ancestry. The results of the study support the idea of genetic continuity between these civilizations and modern Greeks but not isolation in the history of populations of the Aegean, before and after the time of its earliest civilizations. In an interview, the study's author, Harvard University geneticist Iosif Lazaridis, precised "that all three
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
groups (Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Bronze Age southwestern Anatolians) trace most of their ancestry from the earlier Neolithic populations that were very similar in Greece and western Anatolia. But, they also had some ancestry from the 'east', related to populations of the peoples of the Caucasus, Caucasus and Iranic peoples, Iran" as well as "some ancestry from the "north", related to hunter-gatherers of eastern Europe and Siberia and also to the Bronze Age Eurasian nomads, people of the steppe. We could also compare the Mycenaeans—again, the first speakers of the Greek language—to modern people from Greece who are very similar to them, but with lower early Neolithic ancestry", and argues that "some had theorized that the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were influenced both culturally and genetically by the old civilizations of the Levant and ancient Egypt, Egypt, but there is no quantifiable genetic influence". A 2021 study on the genomic history of the Aegean palatial civilizations showed that modern Greeks are genetically similar to 2,000 BCE Aegeans from northern Greece.


Physical appearance

A study from 2013 for prediction of hair and eye colour from DNA of the Greek people showed that the self-reported phenotype frequencies according to hair and eye colour categories was as follows: 119 individuals – hair colour, 11 blond, 45 dark blond/light brown, 49 dark brown, 3 brown red/auburn and 11 had black hair; eye colour, 13 with blue, 15 with intermediate (green, heterochromia) and 91 had brown eye colour. Another study from 2012 included 150 dental school students from the University of Athens, and the results of the study showed that light hair colour (blonde/light ash brown) was predominant in 10.7% of the students. 36% had medium hair colour (light brown/medium darkest brown), 32% had darkest brown and 21% black (15.3 off black, 6% midnight black). In conclusion, the hair colour of young Greeks are mostly brown, ranging from light to dark brown with significant minorities having black and blonde hair. The same study also showed that the eye colour of the students was 14.6% blue/green, 28% medium (light brown) and 57.4% dark brown.


Timeline

The history of the Greek people is closely associated with the history of Greece, Cyprus, Southern Italy, Constantinople, Asia Minor and the Black Sea. During the Ottoman rule of Greece, a number of Greek enclaves around the Mediterranean were cut off from the core, notably in Southern Italy, the Caucasus, Syria and Egypt. By the early 20th century, over half of the overall
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
-speaking population was settled in Asia Minor (now Turkey), while later that century a huge wave of migration to the United States, Australia, Canada and elsewhere created the modern Greek diaspora.


See also

*Antiochian Greeks *Arvanites *Cappadocian Greeks *Caucasian Greeks *Greek Cypriots *Greek Diaspora *Griko people *Karamanlides *Macedonians (Greeks) *Maniots *Greek Muslims *Northern Epirotes *Pelasgians *
Pontic Greeks The Pontic Greeks ( el, Πόντιοι, or , ; tr, Pontus Rumları or , ka, პონტოელი ბერძნები, ) are an ethnically Greek group who traditionally lived in the region of Pontus, on the shores of the Black Sea ...
*Romaniotes *Sarakatsani *Tsakones *Lists **List of ancient Greeks **List of Greeks **List of Greek Americans


Notes


Citations


References

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Further reading

* * * * * * * ;Mycenaean Greeks * * * * * * ;Classical Greeks * * * * * * * * * * ;Hellenistic Greeks * * ;Byzantine Greeks * * * * * * ;Ottoman Greeks * * * * ;Modern Greeks * * * * * * * * * *


External links

;Diaspora
World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE)
Umbrella Diaspora Organization ;Religious
Ecumenical Patriarchate of ConstantinopleGreek Orthodox Patriarchate of AlexandriaGreek Orthodox Patriarchate of AntiochGreek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Church of CyprusChurch of Greece
;Academic
Transnational Communities Programme at the University of Oxford
, includes papers on the Greek Diaspora
Greeks on Greekness
The Construction and Uses of the Greek Past among Greeks under the Roman Empire. *The Modern Greek Studies Association is a scholarly organization for modern Greek studies in North America, which publishes the Journal of Modern Greek Studies.
Got Greek? Next Generation National Research StudyWaterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies
;Trade organizations
Hellenic Canadian Board of TradeHellenic Canadian Lawyers AssociationHellenic-American Chamber of CommerceHellenic-Argentine Chamber of Industry and Commerce (C.I.C.H.A.)
;Charitable organizations
AHEPA
– American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association
Hellenic Heritage FoundationHellenic Home for the AgedHellenic Hope Center
{{Authority control Ethnic groups in Greece Greek people, Ancient peoples of Europe Indo-European peoples Modern Indo-European peoples