Greece Geography - History

Greece Geography - History

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Greece is located Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey.

The terrain of Greece is mostly mountains with ranges extending into sea as peninsulas or chains of islands .

Climate: Greece is temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers

Geography of Greece

The section provides all the information you need to understand the geography of Greece.

Greece is a peninsular and mountainous country located in Southern-Eastern Europe, in the Balkans peninsula, and has a land area of 128,900 km2 (49,769 sq. miles). The country has the largest coastline in Europe (13,676km) due to its numerous islands. Greece has a total of 2,000 Greek islands but only 168 are inhabited.
The country is washed to the east by the Aegean Sea, to the west by the Ionian and the south by the Mediterranean Sea.

Population: Greece population is estimated at 10,7 million people in 2020. In terms of total world population, it represents 0.13% and it is ranked at number 87 of all countries. The density of Greek population is 81 per km2 (209 people per mi2). 84% of its population leaves in the cities.

Mountainous landscapes of Greece: Two-thirds of the territory is covered with mountains. The highest mountain peak is at Mount Olympus, at an altitude of 2917m. The country is very rich in natural resources providing petroleum, magnetite, lignite, bauxite, hydropower, and marble. The geography of Greece has marked the development of many civilizations throughout the ages.

The special features of the geography of Greece have formed an equally special natural environment. Greece has a rich diversity in flora and fauna and many species are original in this country, which means that they are found only there in the world. These rare species are found in forests, lakes, rivers, underground caves and canyons. The limestone and volcanoes of Greece have composited the Greek territory and allowed the formation of many caves and canyons.
Our guide proposes information about the natural characteristics of Greece: the geography of the country and the Greek islands.

  • OFFICIAL NAME: Hellenic Republic
  • FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Parliamentary republic
  • CAPITAL: Athens
  • POPULATION: 10,761,523
  • MONEY: Euro
  • AREA: 50,942 square miles (131,940 square kilometers)


Greece has the longest coastline in Europe and is the southernmost country in Europe. The mainland has rugged mountains, forests, and lakes, but the country is well known for the thousands of islands dotting the blue Aegean Sea to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Ionian Sea to the west.

The country is divided into three geographical regions: the mainland, the islands, and Peloponnese, the peninsula south of the mainland.

The Pindus mountain range on the mainland contains one of the world's deepest gorges, Vikos Gorge, which plunges 3,600 feet (1,100 meters). Mount Olympus is Greece's highest mountain at 9,570 feet (2,917 meters) above sea level. Ancient Greeks believed it was the home of the gods. Mount Olympus became the first national park in Greece.

Map created by National Geographic Maps


Family life is a very important part of life in Greece. Children often live with their parents even after they get married. Greeks live long lives and it is thought that their varied diet of olives, olive oil, lamb, fish, squid, chickpeas, and lots of fruits and vegetables keep them healthy.

Nearly two-thirds of the people live in large cities. Athens is the largest city, with over 3.7 million people crowding the metropolis. Nefos, the Greek term for smog, is a big problem in Athens. The Parthenon, the temple to goddess Athena atop the Acropolis, is deteriorating due to pollution and acid rain.

Olive trees have been cultivated in Greece for over 6,000 years. Every village has its own olive groves.


Most of the country was forested at one time. Over the centuries, the forests were cut down for firewood, lumber, and to make room for farms. Today, forests can be found mainly in the Pindus and Rhodope ranges.

Greece has ten national parks and there is an effort to protect natural and historic landmarks. Marine parks help protect the habitats of two of Europe's most endangered sea creatures, the loggerhead turtle and monk seal. The long coastline and clear water make Greece an ideal location to spot sea stars, sea anemones, sponges, and seahorses hiding in the seaweed.

The Greek landscape is covered by maquis, a tangle of thorny shrubs that don't need a lot of water. These plants include fragrant herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, and bay and myrtle trees. Bird watching is popular in Greece where geese, ducks, and swallows stop over during their migration from Africa to Europe.


Greece abolished their monarchy in 1975 and became a parliamentary republic. Under the new constitution, there is a president and a prime minister. The prime minister has the most power, and is the leader of the party that has the most seats in the parliament. The president selects cabinet ministers who run government departments.

The parliament, called the Vouli, has only one house with 300 members who are elected every four years. Greece became part of the European Union in 1981.


The first great civilization in Greece was the Minoan culture on the island of Crete around 2000 B.C. Wall paintings found at the ruins of the palace Knossos show people doing backflips over a charging bull. The Minoans were conquered by the Myceneans from the mainland in 1450 B.C.

During ancient times the country was divided into city-states, which were ruled by noblemen. The largest were Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Corinth. Each state controlled the territory around a single city. They were often at war with each other.

Athens became the most powerful, and in 508 B.C., the people instituted a new system of rule by the people called democracy. But during that time, only men could vote!

The first Olympic Games were held in the southern city of Olympia in 700 B.C. to honor Zeus, the king of the gods. Only men could compete in the events such as sprinting, long jump, discus, javelin, wrestling, and chariot racing. The games were banned by the Romans in A.D. 393, but began again in Athens in 1896.

Greece was ruled by foreigners for over 2,000 years beginning with the Romans conquering the Greeks in the 2nd century. Then, after almost 400 years under Turkish rule, Greece won independence in 1832.

Take a minute to look at these maps and you realize that this peninsula we call Europe is just a complex series of peninsulas (all of Scandinavia, Denmark, the Balkans, Italy), islands (Britain and Ireland, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily) and isthmuses (France).Greece is simply an extension of the Balkan peninsula.

As you look at this map, place your cursor on the mountains in Albania and northwest Greece and trace that range of mountains as it goes south to Athens or Euboea (say “Evvia”) and into the Cyclades (Aegean) Islands. Trace the same mountains south, across the Gulf of Corinth and into the Peloponnesian peninsula and on to Crete.

What you are finding is that the great sweep of Alpine mountain chains that runs west to east through Europe from the Pyrenees to the French, Italian, Swiss and Austrian Alps, continuing on into the Carpathian Mountains of Slovakia and Romania or heading south through the Balkans to Greece finally dwindle to become the Greek Islands of the Aegean (the Cyclades: the Greeks say “kik-la-deez”). Every one of these islands, in short, is the top of a mountain that links back to the great Alpine mountain building period referred to by geologists as the “Alpine orogeny” (if you’re dying to know more, search Google for this term and you are on your way!)

The Greek Islands: A Brief Geography

Geographers, historians, publishers of guidebooks and the people who live here divide the Greek islands into several logical groups:

  1. The Cyclades (“Kiklades”): these are the classic Greek islands that we imagine when we see photos of the white-washed villages. They include the most famous, including Mykonos, Paros and Naxos, Siros, Ios, Santorini (presumed to be the legendary Atlantis), and the famous historic island of Delos, among others. Our Greek Bike, Walk and Cruise Tour visits these islands.
  2. The Dodecanese: “Dodeca” is the Greek word for “twelve” and there are twelve islands in this group. They are close to the Turkish coast. The more famous include Chios, Samos, and Rhodes.
  3. The Ionian Islands: Off the west coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea, these islands are Corfu (Corcyra in Greek), Cephalonia, Ithaca, Lefkada, and Zakinthos. Our Athens to Olympia Bicycle Tour visits Zakinthos.
  4. The Sporades (Northern and Southern): A small group of islands northwest of Athens in the northern Aegean.
  5. A number of other islands stand alone, such as Euboea, Crete, Lesbos, Limnos and more.

Place Names in the Greek Islands – For Your Trivial Pursuit

I already mentioned the Dodecanese islands as consisting of twelve islands. Here’s a little more trivia for you on the meanings of a few geographic terms:

Archipelago – In English this means an “expanse of water or ocean with scattered islands”. In Byzantine times this term referred to the “primary” or “main” (“arche”) “sea” or “ocean” (“pelago”). This was the Aegean Sea, in short, the “mother of all seas” as far as the Ancient Greeks and Byzantines were concerned. (Today, “pelagic” in English means of or relating to the deep ocean and is used as an adjective referring to deep sea fishes or birds and other plant or animal life.)

Cyclades – The Greek word that refers to the principal group of islands in the Aegean really refers to the islands “surrounding” (cylades = around or circular) the birthplace of Apollo, the island of Delos. Delos was the holiest of all the Greek islands and essentially defined all the other islands around it.

Santorini – This is the southernmost of the Cyclades Islands and is the Venetian name for a church on the island dedicated to “Saint Irene” (“Sant’ Irene” in Italian, becomes Santorini in modern times). The Greek name for the island is Thira or Fira.

Why are these Islands so Fascinating?

I think the Greek islands draw us for a number of reasons. Certainly their history as stepping stones of civilization from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Anatolia (present-day Turkey) fascinates us. Crete, of course, was the homeland of the Minoans. But the Cyclades and the Dodecanese were home to a series of Bronze age cultures (the Trojan, Minoan, Cycladic, and Mycenean for sure) to which we tie our earliest knowledge of the idea of “Europe.” And these civilizations gave us Classical Greece, including Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and more.

Today, the epicenter of Greece has moved to Athens while the islands have remained quiet repositories of history and Mediterranean peasant culture and society. It is here that renewal begins every spring with the whitewashing of the village in preparation for Easter. And although the automobile and the motor scooter have taken over for the donkey and for foot traffic, you can still find ancient Greek or Byzantine paths to walk on from village to village.

A visit to the Greek Islands, in short, helps transport us back in time and spirit to roots that are as deep as they get.

A Geographical View of Greece, and an Historical Sketch of the Recent Revolution in that Country

B. Printed Materials on Greece and the Progress of the War of Independence

B2. A Geographical View of Greece, and an Historical Sketch of the Recent Revolution in that Country. Published by N. & S.S. Jocelyn, New Haven Collins and Hannay, New York [1824] (Book extract)

The Historical Sketch was taken principally from several well written articles recently published in the Boston Daily Advertiser.

Greece, or the country inhabited by the descendants of the ancient Greeks, embraces all that portion of Turkey in Europe which lies south of the parallel of 41° 30'. The continental part is a peninsula, jutting out into the Mediterranean, and separated by the Ionian sea from the peninsula of Italy on the west, and by the Archipelago, from Asia Minor, on the east. In the former sea are situated the Seven Islands, constituting the lonian republic in the latter, about 100 islands of various size. All these may strictly be considered as a component part of Greece. Near the southern extremity of the peninsula, is the sub-peninsula of the Morea, (the ancient Peloponnesus,) connected with the main land by the narrow isthmus of Corinth. The whole area of Greece, including the islands, may be estimated at 40,000 square miles.

DIVISIONS AND POPULATION. It is impossible to define with any accuracy the limits of the different provinces into which Greece is divided by the Turks. The boundaries for many years have been continually changing, in consequence of the wars between the different Pachas. In modern maps, the country is commonly represented as comprehending the Morea, Livadia, Thessaly, and parts of Albania and Rumelia. These names are sometimes used by writers on the modern geography and history of Greece but generally, they refer back to the most ancient divisions of the country. For this reason, we have inserted on our map both the ancient and modern divisions, the former being distinguished by an open letter.

Modern Divisions Ancient Divisions Population
Morea Argolis
[Total Morea]
Livadia Attica
[Total Livadia]
Thessaly Thessaly 300,000
Rumelia and Albania Macedonia and Epirus 800,000
Ionian islands 200,000
Islands in the Archipelago 700,000


Down the middle of the peninsula, and parallel to its two coasts, runs a continuous range of lofty mountains, varying in height from 7 to 8,000 feet in the northern and central part, to as many hundred near the southern extremity. Of the former height may be reckoned the ridge of Pindus and Parnassus, while Parnes and Pentelicus, in Attica, do not exceed the latter. Branches are thrown off towards either coast from this central chain to the eastward, the celebrated Olympus, rising near the head of the gulf of Salonica, to the height of 6,000 feet, forms the north extremity of an inferior chain, con-sisting of Ossa and Pelion, Othrys, and Eta and continuing in a S. E. direction through the island of Negropont. To the westward of the main range are the rugged and mountainous countries of Epirus, Ætolia, and Acarnania. The highest mountains of the Morea are the Cyllenian range, near the west coast, and the Taygetus near the S. extremity. Extensive plains of considerable elevation above the level of the sea, are encircled by the mountain ranges. Of these, Thessaly, Boeotia, and Arcadia, still preserve their ancient character. The rivers by which these plains are watered are little more than mountain streams, with the exception of Peneus, or Salympria, whose numerous branches, after intersecting the plain of Thessaly, unite and discharge themselves through the celebrated defile of Tempe into the gulf of Salonica, and the Alpheus, which waters the verdant plains of Arcadia and Elis.

CLIMATE, SOIL, AND PRODUCTIONS. The climate of Greece is more severe in winter, and in many parts warmer in summer, than that of the south of Italy. In the neighbourhood of Tripolizza, on the elevated plains of the Morea, snow sometimes falls to the depth of 18 inches. In Attica, the climate is more moderate and equable than in other parts of Greece the air being generally clear, dry and temperate. The peaked summits of Pindus and Parnassus are covered with snow for nine months in the year. The plains of Greece produce corn, rice and tobacco in abundance. In Thessaly are cultivated extensive groves of mulberry trees for the silk worm. The Morea is celebrated for the excellence of its silks, and Messenia, in the S. W. corner of the Morea, is as famous as in ancient times for its corn, wine and figs. The richest produce of Attica is the olive. The cotton plant is in general cultivation.

PRINCIPAL TOWNS. The following is a list of the most important towns that occur in the recent history of the country, arranged in geographical order.
Misolunghi or Messalonga is a town of 5000 inhabitants, situated near the coast of Ætolia. Corinth is situated on the northern declivity of a mountain near the isthmus which connects the Morea with the main land. It formerly had two harbours [sic]: one in the gulf of Egina, which is now deserted, and the other in the gulf of Lepanto. The town contains at present only 1300 or 1400 inhabitants. The isthmus in the narrowest part is only s or 6 miles across. It was famous in ancient times for the Isthmian games, celebrated there in honour [sic] of Neptune.
Patras is situated on a bay of the same name, near the entrance of the gulf of Lepanto. It is built on the declivity of a hill, at the top of which is the castle. The harbour [sic] is perfect-ly safe at all times for the largest ships. The surrounding country is cultivated with great skill and industry, and the numerous products for exportation have rendered this place the most important mart in the Morea particularly since the Ionian islands have been formed into an independent republic, under the protection of Great Britain. The population is 6 or 8,000, among whom are a number of Jews.
Navarin or Navarino is one of the best ports on the south-west coast of the Morea. It is formed by the island of Sphacteria and several small islets, between which are the pas-sages to the harbour. The principal entrance, which is on the north, between Sphacteria and the main, is commanded by the cannon of Old Navarin. New Navarin is on a promontory of the south shore of the harbour [sic].
Coron is on a small peninsula which just out from the west shore of the gulf of the same name. About the middle of the peninsula is a high rock, which commands the fortifica-tions. The town was destroyed by the Russians in 1770, and a great part of it is now in ruins, but it is still one of the most commercial places in the Morea. The harbour [sic] is large and safe.
Modon, at the S. W. extremity of the Morea, is a town of 6,000 inhabitants, situated at the foot of a mountain, and surrounded by ancient fortifications falling to ruins. Its port is sheltered by the island of Sapienza, which is well inhabited by Greeks, and has sever-al trading vessels belonging to it. Pilots are usually taken here for the Archipelago.
Napoli di Malvasia, the Monembasia of the Turks, is built on a small island, close to the shore, north of Cape St. Angelo. It has but little trade, its port being unsafe. The ruins of Epidaurus Limera are north of it.
Napoli di Romania is situated at the head of the gulf of Napoli, on a rocky promontory which projects into the sea, and forms an excellent harbour [sic], capable of containing 150 ships of war. It is the best built town in the Morea and is well fortified, the works con-structed by the Venetians being still in good order. The town is built on the south side of the harbour [sic], and stretches along the whole length of the promontory. It is divided into upper and lower, having a wall and several batteries between them the upper town is also surrounded by a wall with embrasures. On the summit of the mountain which rises behind the town is a citadel, the ascent to which is by a flight of steps covered over. Within the citadel are extensive barracks and cisterns. The town contains 9,000 inhabitants. Pidauro, on the west shore of the gulf of Egina, is situated on the ruins of the ancient Epidaurus. It was celebrated for the temple of Æsculapius.
Athens, anciently the capital of Attica, and the birth-place of the most distinguished orators, philosophers, and generals of antiquity, is now an insignificant town of 10 or 12,000 inhabitants, on the rivulets of Ilissus and Cephissus, a few miles from the east- ern shore of the gulf of Egina. Vessels from different parts of the Archipelago occasion ally visit the harbour [sic] and the neighbouring [sic] coast for wood.
Salonica is pleasantly situated at the N. E. extremity of the gulf of the same name. In extent of trade, it is not surpassed by any city in European Turkey, except Constantinople. It is poorly fortified. No city in Greece, except Athens, presents so great a number of splendid ancient monuments. The population of Salonica is estimated at 60,000 souls, one half of whom are Turks, and the remainder Greeks, Jews, and Franks.
Zetouni or Zeitoun, situated at the head of a small gulf in the S. E. part of Thessaly has 4,000 inhabitants, principally Turks. A few miles south of this place is the famous pass of Thermopylæ, between mount Eta and the sea. In the narrowest part it is only 25 feet broad. Here Leonidas and his 300 gallant Spartans resisted for three days the powerful army of Xerxes, and gloriously fell in defense of their country. Larissa, the capital of Thessaly, is beautifully situated on the Peneus, and contained a few years since 20,000 inhabitants, chiefly Turks, with a mixture of Greeks and Jews.
DARDANELLES. The Dardanelles are two old and strong castles on the Hellespont, (sometimes called from them the Strait of the Dardanelles,) between the sea of Marmora and the Grecian Archipelago. One is situated in Europe, and the other in Asia. There are on each side 14 great guns, fitted to discharge granite balls they are of brass, with chambers, like mortars, 22 feet long, and from 25 to 28 inches in the bore. These castles are called the Old Dardanelles, to distinguish them from two others built at the entrance of the strait, about 10 miles to the south west, one of which stands in like manner in Asia, and the other in Europe.

CHARACTER. The character of the Modern Greeks will be best learnt from the sketch of their history which accompanies this description there are several tribes, however, which deserve particular notice. The Mainotes who inhabit a mountainous district called Maina, at the southern extremity of the Morea, are supposed to be the descendants of the ancient Spartans, and, aided by the natural strength of their country, they have defended their liberty against the Turks with a bravery and constancy not unworthy of such distinguished ancestors. They were formerly noted of their daring piracies, but of late years these habits have yielded to a love of industry and regular commerce. When Guilletière visited Greece in 1669, it was not safe for his ships to approach the promontory of Maina. Rows of grottos in the rocks facing the sea were occupied as cells or hermitages by priests, who were always on the look out, to give the signal when ships appeared, and received as their reward a tythe [sic] of the plunder for the use of the church. The Mainote chiefs, who are very numerous, dwell in square towers strongly fortified their government resembles, in many respects, that of the Highland clans in Scotland, each tribe being entirely independent of the other, and each chief being the judge of his people at home, and their commander in the field. The most powerful chief is invested with the title of Bey, and when the country was subject to the Turks it belonged to him to negotiate with the Grand Seignor, and settle the annual contribution, for no Turk was ever suffered to reside in any part of the territory of Maina. “Here, says Dr. Sibchorp, “man seemed to recover his erect form we no longer observed the servility of mind and body, which distinguished the Greeks subjugated by the Turks.” Every man carries his rifle, and every woman is trained to arms.
The Souliotes are a courageous tribe of Greek Christians, about ten thousand in number, who inhabit the district of Suli, in Albania. This district consists of a valley, 26 miles long by 3 broad, inclosed on all sides by inaccessible mountains, except towards the south, where there is a narrow entrance defended by three towers.
The Yeuruks inhabit the mountainous districts in some parts of Macedonia. At the time of the conquest of Greece, their ancestors were transplanted hither from Turkomania, to restrain the subjugated districts. They occupy the villages on the heights, and on the slightest report of a revolt, arm themselves and descend into the Greek settlements to re, establish order. They are a laborious race of men, and manufacture large quantities of coarse cloth for exportation.

MANUFACTURES. Cotton and silk goods are manufactured in large quantities, particularly in Thessaly. In the district of Zagora, which lies along the declivity of Pelion and Ossa, there are 24 villages inhabited by active and industrious Greeks, who carry these manufactures to such an extent, that some of their towns resemble rather cities of Holland, than Turkish villages. The district produces annually 25,000 okes of silk, of which 5,000 are consumed in the country, in the manufacture of handkerchiefs, which are, for lustre [sic], equal to those of Lyons. The great coats of Zagora are celebrated in all the ports of the Mediterranean. They are made of a thick shaggy wool, which is so well woven, that it is impenetrable to water. Ten thousand bales of cotton are annually dyed red in the manufactories of Thessaly, and exported into Germany, Switzerland, Poland, and Russia.

ISLANDS. The following table presents at one view all the important islands, with their population, according to the best estimates.

Islands Population Remarks
Tenedos 5,000 Half Turks, half Greeks
Metelin 18,000 Dearborn says 40,000 half Greeks half, Turks
Scio 60,000 Before the massacre, 120,000, chiefly Greeks
only 4,000 Turks.
Nigaria 2,000 Dearborn says 1,000
Samos 12,000 All Greeks
Patmos 3,000 Chiefly Greeks
Lero 2,000 All Greeks
Calamino 3,000
Sianco. 8,000 Greeks and Turks
Priscopia 700
Rhodes 20,000 Acc. to Turner of whom 14,000 are Greeks
Acc. to Savary. 30,000 of whom 12,000 are Greeks
Cyprus 83,000 Half Greeks, half Turks
Scarpanta 4,000 Chiefly Greeks
Candia 240,000 Half Greeks, half Turks
Santorini 12,000 10,000 Greeks, 2,000 Catholics
Stanpalia 3,000 Chiefly Greeks
Nio or Jos 2,700 All Greeks
Sikyno 200 Chiefly Greeks
Policandro 1,200 Chiefly Greeks
Milo 7,000 Dearborn says 500
Argentiera 200
Siphno 7,000 All Greeks
Paros 2,000 All Greeks
Naxia 10,000 Chiefly Greeks
Myconi 3,000 Chiefly Greeks
Delos uninhabited
Syra 5,000 All Greeks
Serpha 2,000 Chiefly
Thermia 4,000 All Greeks
Egina 5,000
Zea or Ceos 5,000 All Greeks
Tino 25,000 Chiefly Greeks
Andersho 12,000 All Greeks
Negropont 25,000
Skyro 1,500 All Greeks
Scapelo 12,000 &nbps
Lemnos 20,000 Chiefly Greeks
Imbro 3,000 Chiefly Greeks
Samothraki 2,000
Tasse 8,000
Hydra >
Spezia > 58,000 All Greeks
Ipsora >

IONIAN ISLANDS. The Ionian islands, sometimes called the Republic of the Seven Islands, is a small and recently constituted republic, consisting of seven principal islands, and a number of islets extending along the western coast of Greece, from 36° to 40° N. lat. The seven principal islands are, Corfu, Paxo, Santa Maura (the ancient Leu-cadia) Theaki or Ithaca, Cefalonia, Zante, and Cerigo. The coasts of these islands are rugged and difficult of access, and their harbours insecure, with the exception of those of Theaki and Cefalonia, to which, in consequence, most of the shipping belongs. The productions are corn, wine, olives, currants, cotton, &c. Since the year 1815, these islands have constituted a republic, under the protection of Great Britain. The inhabitants are partly Italians, but principally Greeks.

Origin of the Revolution

In the year 1814, an Association for the promotion of knowledge and of general improvement in Greece was established at Vienna. To this association many distinguished Statesmen of Western Europe, many of the literati, particularly in Germany, and most of the affluent merchants and other respectable characters in Greece itself, sub, scribed and contributed. No political object was avowed. In general, none, probably was contemplated. Still, however, the views of the most ardent associates doubtless extended to the political regeneration of Greece. The effervescence, which existed in Spain, France, Italy, and Germany, after the overthrow of Napoleon and the general call for political improvement in those countries, could not but have had an effect in Greece, from which country about one hundred young men annually resort to the Universities of Western Europe.

In the year 1820, the war of the Porte against Ali, the powerful and veteran Pacha of Yanina, broke out. In this war the Greeks took no part, and Ali, when driven by the Turkish armies into his strong hold of the lake of Yanina, took with him more than one hundred of the most respectable Greeks in his dominions, as hostages of the quiet of the rest. By the end of the year 1820, Ali's armies had either deserted him or been driven from the field, and he was closely besieged by the Turkish Pacha, who had been sent against him.

Revolution in Wallachia and Moldavia.

In this state of things, in the beginning of 1821, the Greek Hospodar of Wallachia died. The two Turkish provinces, Wallachia and Moldavia, bordering on Austria and Russia, and wholly inhabited by christians of the Greek faith, (though not of the Greek nation,) are governed by Greek Princes, called Hospodars, nominated by the Porte. This government is guaranteed to these two Provinces by several treaties between the Porte and Russia. On the death of the Greek Hospodar of Wallachia in January, 1821, and before a new one could be appointed at Constantinople, Theodore, a native Wallachian, gathered together 60 or 70 adventurers, principally Albanians-a kind of Turkish Swiss, found in every part of the empire-and with these marched out of Bucharest, the capital of Wallachia, calling on the inhabitants to revolt and procure the redress of their grievances. It has been said that this revolt was effected by the gold and emissaries of Ali Pacha. Theodore in a short time collected about 15,000 men, without plan or organization, who demanded a redress of the grievances, which they suffered under their Greek governors. The Porte received the news of the revolt with little concern, and despatched [sic] officers with orders to suppress it, as one of those hasty mutinies, which are frequently happening in all parts of Turkey.

Meantime, however, a more serious event took place in the adjoining provinces of Mol-davia. On the 7th of March, 1821, a proclamation was found pasted up in all the streets of Jassy, the capital of Moldavia, signed by Prince Alexander Ypsilanti, calling upon the inhabitants to assert their liberty, assuring them that Prince Michael Suzzo, the Hospodar of Moldavia, was in their cause, and intimating that the co-operation of Russia might be hoped.-Alexander Ypsilanti is of one of the oldest families of Greece his father was Hospodar of Wallachia, and escaped to Russia, his life being threatened by the Porte Alexander had been educated in a Russian military school served and lost an arm in the Russian army, and at this moment enjoyed the rank of Major General, in the Russian service. He had been an active member of the Association alluded to above, and stood in correspondence with the men of most influence in all parts of Greece. It was true that Prince Suzzo was in the secret of this revolt, although, in the first instance, it was against himself. Ypsilanti's proclamation had a powerful effect. The people rose and crowded to his standard, and he was soon in full march toward Wallachia. On the way, he was joined by another strong band, who had revolted at the same time at Galaez, on the Danube, and it may justly be called singular that these three simultaneous insurrections were wholly without concert.

The news of these events produced great excitement at Odessa, of which a great part of the inhabitants are Greeks. The wealthy subscribed in the most liberal manner, and the young and adventurous crowded to the banner of Ypsilanti, which was emblazoned, like that of Constantine, with the christian cross and the motto, “in this thou shall conquer.” Ypsilanti lost no time in sending an address to the Russian Emperor then at Laybach: and the Emperor lost as little time in ordering Ypsilanti's name to be erased form the lists of the Russian army, and directing the Russian consul at Jassy to denounce the revolutionary proceedings in the name of the Emperor. Information of these measures was also given to the Porte, by Baron Strogonoff, the Russian minister at Constantinople. The Porte not wholly satisfied, ordered a search of all vessels passing to or from the Black Sea an order, at which Baron Strogonoff took umbrage.

By this time the Porte was alarmed at the progress of the revolt. The lives of the Greeks at Constantinople were threatened Suzzo was outlawed as a traitor, and the Greek Patriarch, by order of the Porte, excommunicated him and all the Moldavian rebels.

Revolution extends to Greece.

Meantime, however, the fame was spreading. Alexander Ypsilanti had his agents in all the provinces of Greece, who received and propagated intelligence of the events in the two North Eastern Provinces. Preparations had been making all winter in the mountains of the Morea, and arms were collected, and councils held by Peter Mavromichalis, the Bey of the Mainotes, and his brave associates. At the end of March they had 8000 men ready to throw off the yoke. The news from Moldavia put them in motion, and the Turks were driven to the fortresses, in all the Southern parts of the Morea. The 30th of March, Germanus, Archbishop of Patras, raised the standard of the cross, collected the peasantry, and after a skirmishing warfare and many mutual excesses, drove the Turks into the citadel of Patras. On the same day, the Messenian Senate of Calamata, was convened proclamations were issued, addressed to the Greeks another to the Turks, promising them protection on condition of their not resisting and others to foreign nations. Among the last a proclamation was addressed, by this body, in the month of May, to the citizens of the United States.

It was highly favourable [sic] to the cause of the Patriots that Churshid, Pacha of the Morea, the ablest Turkish commander who was has appeared in this war, was absent, besieging Ali Pacha at Yanina. On hearing of the revolt in the Morea, he detached his Lieu-tenant, Jussuf Selim, with a considerable force. Jussuf landed at Patras, pillaged the city, burned 800 houses, and massacred the Greeks, who fell into his hands, without distinction of age or sex. This severity produced a happy effect: it roused many, who had hitherto taken no part. The whole Province was in arms. Gregory, a monk, ranged the country with a cross in his hand, and took post, with several thousand followers, at the Isthmus of Corinth: and in a few days Attica, Livadia, Acarnania, and Thessaly, were in open revolt. The features of insurrection were every where the same. After some bloody skirmishes, the Turks were everywhere driven to the walled towns, and often to the castles in the towns. Nor were the islands behind the continent. Hydra, Spezzia, and Ipsara, the three islands where the navigation of Greece centres [sic], formed their Sen-ate, fitted out in a short time 180 privateers, and swept the Turkish trade from the Archipelago. The single house of Conturiory [sic] fitted out 30 small cruisers. Vovlina, a lady whose husband had been put to death by the Turks, fitted out, at her own expense, three cruisers, and commanded the little squadron in person. These fleets raised all the islands kept up a communication between them blockaded the ports where the Turks were fortified, and gave life to the Patriot cause in every quarter.

Ancient Greece Geography Facts For Kids

Greece is located in the Mediterranean Sea in southeastern Europe. It is made up of islands and peninsulas and surrounded by the Aegean, Adriatic, and Ionian Seas.

In ancient times, the city of Athens was located at the tip of a peninsula called Attica. A slim strip of land called the Isthmus of Corinth connected the rest of Greece with the largest peninsula, the Peloponnese.

The Peloponnese was home to cities like Sparta and Olympia.

Ancient Greece’s many mountains, seas, and islands had a major influence on the Ancient Greeks, from their seafaring culture to their divided city-states and huge trading system.

Islands and Seas

The early Greeks settled along the Aegean Sea. They formed settlements and later city-states along the coastline.

The Aegean Sea provided the Ancient Greeks with fish to eat and a way to travel from city to city.

Over 1000 islands can be found in the Aegean Sea, and the Ancient Greeks settled on many of them, including the well-known island of Crete.

As people spread throughout Ancient Greece, they also lived near the Ionian and Mediterranean Seas, along with smaller rivers.

People became sailors, fishers, and merchants. Ancient Greece was the perfect location for trade, and Greek sailors traveled as far as Ancient Egypt to trade products.

Mountains Everywhere

About 75% of Greece’s mainland is mountainous. The country’s tallest mountain is Mount Olympus. The Ancient Greeks believed that this mountain was the home of the gods and goddesses.

Of course, these mountains made it difficult for the Ancient Greeks to make long journeys by land. All of the mountains and seas formed barriers between the ancient settlements.

Because of these barriers, Ancient Greece developed into several independent city-states instead of one centralized government. Some of the major city-states were Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Corinth.

They all spoke the same language and had similar cultures, but each city-state had their own government.

Regions of Ancient Greece

These natural barriers also divided Ancient Greece into natural regions, or areas of land.

  • Northern Greece– Mount Olympus is located in Northern Greece. The region is sometimes divided into Macedonia, Epirus, and Thessaly.
  • Central Greece- Central Greece was home to the well-known region of Attica and the powerful city-state of Athens.
  • Peloponnese- Just south of Central Greece is the Peloponnese, a large finger-like peninsula at the southern end of Greece’s mainland. The Isthmus of Corinth connects the Peloponnese to the mainland. This region was home to several major city-states, including Sparta, Corinth, and Argos.
  • Islands- Ancient Greeks also settled on several islands. These are typically grouped into the Dodecanese, the Cyclades Islands, and the Northern Aegean Islands.


Unlike many other parts of the ancient world, Greece did not have wide-ranging plains for growing crops.

Luckily for the Ancient Greeks, it did have sloping hills that were perfect for growing grapes and olives. Wine and olive oil became very important crops for the Ancient Greeks.

Olive oil was especially popular, even with other civilizations. It was used as body lotion, lamp fuel, and an ingredient in many dishes.

The Ancient Greeks were also able to grow wheat and barley and raise livestock like sheep and goats. In addition, fish and other types of seafood were part of the Ancient Greek economy and cuisine.

The Ancient Greeks usually experienced very hot summers and mild winters that were wet and windy. People wore light, loose clothing for most of the year.

How did the geography of Greece affect Greek history quizlet?

Geography had an enormous impact on the ancient Greek civilization. The people of ancient Greece took advantage of all this saltwater and coastline and became outstanding fishermen and sailors. There was some farmland for crops, but the Greeks could always count on seafood and waterfowl to eat.

Beside above, how did the geography of Greece help encourage trade? The demands for goods grew: the Greeks could sell goods to their colonies, in return for goods they could not obtain from the colonies, How did the geography of Greece help to encourage trade? The Greek peninsula gave the Greeks easy access to sea routes all over the Mediterranean.

Keeping this in consideration, how did geography influence ancient Greece?

As a peninsula, the people of Greece took advantage of living by the sea. The mountains in Greece did not have fertile soil good for growing crops, like in Mesopotamia, but the mild climate allowed for some farming. The Greeks, like many other ancient civilizations, felt deeply connected to the land they lived on.

How did the geography discourage Greek unity?

2) How did the geography of Greece affect early settlements and discourage Greek unity? Greece is a rocky, mountainous land on a peninsula with many islands. They lacked enough food for their people in Greece so they established colonies elsewhere to trade food for other goods.

How did Ancient Greece’s Geography Affect its Civilization

Ancient Greece was mostly made up of many small and separated islands. Most people today know about the great Greek Philosophers, the Olympics, the battles, so most people should know at least a little of the history of ancient Greece. Many people don’t know how Greece came to be a great civilization though. I think that the reason why many democracies and civilizations fought for Greece was because of where Greece was located. Ancient Greece’s geography is the thing that helped most in developing ancient Greek’s civilization.

According to a map in the textbook, Greece was composed of a lot of little islands and they were all pretty spread out. It had a larger island more south and inland up north. Bodies of water surrounded Greece, except from the north where it bordered with Epirus and Macedonia. I think it would’ve been hard for others to attack them due to their location (Beck, et al. 121). The islands were fairly spread out but not far enough that they couldn’t communicate with each other. “They were close enough to each other that they rarely ever had to travel more than 85 miles to get to the inland or other islands around them” (Beck, et al. 123).

“Mountains covered most of Greece. Only about 70-80% of Greece was mountains, and only about 20% of the land could be used for farming. They tried to use the most of the land though, and they grew grain on the little amounts of open plains. They also grew olive trees around the edges of those plains. (Geography of Greece).” Olive trees grew easily in Greece because they are used to the soil there. “The mountains served as boundaries and natural barriers. The mountains separated Greece but it also gave them an advantage when they were being attacked. They acted as walls to the people attacking them. All the mountains caused the land to be so spread out, which caused Greece to be separated. They all lived in separate communities, and later they organized them to be city-states (The Land of Ancient Greece, 2002).” That’s why it was very hard to unite Greece under one government.

The sea formed Greek life just like rivers would form other countries and civilizations. Just the fact that the sea surrounded them already shows us that they most likely traded and used the sea a lot. Since they lived by the ocean they probably got used to fishing and traveling by the seas. Greece was made up of mostly mountains, so they lacked natural resources. “Since the seas surrounded them, they traded really easily to surrounding countries near the Mediterranean. Many cities also made settlements known as colonies (Ancient Greece-Geography).” They also probably used the sea to travel a lot because they couldn’t travel any other way since it must have been harder to travel through all those mountains.

Greece was located above the tropic of cancer so it really wasn’t ever too hot. “Their temperature rarely ever went below 40° F or above 80° F and the average yearly rainfall ranged from 25-50 inches a year (Greek Climate and Physical Geography, 2000).” The weather was almost always perfect. It was great weather to have competitions like races, or the Olympics. “The moderate temperatures supported an outdoor life, for the Greek citizens. A lot men spent their extra time at outdoor public events or just spent time outside. City-states would meet often and discuss public issues, exchange news, and take an active part in their civic lives (Beck, et al. 124).” I think that if it wasn’t for the climate people wouldn’t have interacted as much and there would’ve been more wars, and who know maybe even the Olympics wouldn’t exist today because of the climate.

I think that Greece is very interesting, and I would like to visit it one day to experience the wonderful weather. Greece had a huge impact on the Middle Eastern and Western civilizations, because of its geography, and I don’t think the world would’ve been the same if it weren’t for Greece. I have proven that Greek’s civilization was developed because of its geography.

The Archaic Era (700 – 480 BCE)

Around 700 BCE Greece entered the Archaic period. Greeks began living in organized city-states (Polis). Poles housed of citizens, foreign residents, and slaves and required complex political and legal structures.

Eventually, the refinement of the political system was transformed to the Democratic governance in Classical Athens and other city-states around Greece.

As the major city-states grew they underwent vigorous colonization. Citizens from a mother-city founded numerous cities in the Aegean, the Ionian, Anatolia (today’s Turkey), Phoenicia (the Middle East), Libya, Southern Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, and as far as southern France, Spain, and all around the coast of the Black Sea.

These settlements, and trading posts retained close ties with the mother-cities, and helped Greece dominate the substantial commercial network that involved all the advanced civilizations of the time.

Thus, Greece as a major maritime power became the conduit for commerce and ideas, to and from Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Powerful cities like Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thebes, Syracuse, Miletus, and Halicarnassus among others, grew more powerful, and came to dominate the affairs of the next four centuries.

Important Archaic Era Art may be seen at: Acropolis Museum, and the Athens National Archeological Museum

tyrannical. characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule. She had been with us ever since Jem was born, and I had felt her tyrannical presence as long as I could remember. absence. failure to be present.

In a tyranny government, the power to make decisions is in the hands of one person, usually called a tyrant or dictator, who has taken control illegally. The word tyranny comes from the Greek root word tyrannos (which means “supreme power”). Tyrants became known for holding power through cruel and unfair methods.