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Introduction

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Greece /ˈɡrs/ (listen) (Greek: Ελλάδα, Ellada), officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία, Elliniki Dimokratia), and historically Hellas (Ancient Greek: Ἑλλάς, Hellas; Modern Greek: Ελλάς, Ellas), is a country in the southeast of Europe on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula. Bounded on land by Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Albania to the north, to the east by Turkey and the waters of the Aegean Sea and to the west and south by the Ionian and Mediterranean Seas. Regarded by many as the cradle of Western civilisation, Greece has a long and rich history during which it spread its influence over three continents. Read more...

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Modern depiction (1876) by Jean Léon Gérôme of a chariot race in Rome's Circus Maximus, as if seen from the starting gate. The Palatine Hill and Imperial palace are to the left
Modern depiction (1876) by Jean Léon Gérôme of a chariot race in Rome's Circus Maximus, as if seen from the starting gate. The Palatine Hill and Imperial palace are to the left

Chariot racing (Greek: ἁρματοδρομία, translit. harmatodromia, Latin: ludi circenses) was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine sports. In Greece, chariot racing played an essential role in aristocratic funeral games from a very early time. With the institution of formal races and permanent racetracks, chariot racing was adopted by many Greek states and their religious festivals. Horses and chariots were very costly. Their ownership was a preserve of the wealthiest aristocrats, whose reputations and status benefitted from offering such extravagant, exciting displays. Their successes could be further broadcast and celebrated through commissioned odes and other poetry.

In standard racing practise, each chariot held a single driver and was pulled by four horses, or sometimes two. Drivers and horses risked serious injury or death through collisions and crashes; this added to the excitement and interest for spectators. Most charioteers were slaves or contracted professionals. While records almost invariably credit victorious owners and their horses for winning, their drivers are often not mentioned at all. Greek chariot races could be watched by unmarried women; married women were banned from watching any Olympic events. A Spartan noble-woman is known to have trained a horse-teams for the Olympics and won two races, one of them as driver. In the ancient Olympic Games, and other Panhellenic Games, chariot racing was one of the most important equestrian events. (Full article...)
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Literature and philosophy

Homer

In Greece, from ancient times down to the present, has been produced countless world-famous poetry in addition to philosophers like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and historians like Herodotus and Thucydides. Notable figures of modern Greek literature include Odysseas Elytis and Constantine Cavafy.

Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Zeus fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one another.

— Homer, Iliad

Art

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Greek art began in the Cycladic and Minoan prehistorical civilization. The art of ancient Greece has exercised an enormous influence on the culture of many countries from ancient times until the present, particularly in the areas of sculpture and architecture. In the West, the art of the Roman Empire was largely derived from Greek models. In the East, Alexander the Great's conquests initiated several centuries of exchange between Greek, Central Asian and Indian cultures. During the Renaissance , the humanist aesthetic and the high technical standards of Greek art inspired generations of European artists.Read more...

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WikiProject Greece

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You are invited to participate in WikiProject Greece, a task force dedicated to developing and improving articles about Greece.

Greek wikipedia

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There is a Greek version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Ancient Greek wikipedia

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There is also an Ancient Greek test version of Wikipedia.
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Pontic Greek wikipedia

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Notable Greeks

Music

Maria Callas

Cinema

Angelopoulos

Architecture

Phidias

Sculpture

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Painting

El Greco

Science

Caratheodory

Philosophy

Aristotle

Literature

Cavafy

Politics

Eleftherios Venizelos

Featured video

A short video of the main sites at the ancient sanctuary of Delphi in Central Greece. Delphi was considered to be the center of the world by the Greeks and the most important oracle in the Greek world.

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