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Greece /ˈɡrs/ (About this soundlisten) (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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Stater of the Boeotian League minted c.364-362 BC by Epaminondas, whose name EΠ-AMI is inscribed on the reverse.
Stater of the Boeotian League minted c.364-362 BC by Epaminondas, whose name EΠ-AMI is inscribed on the reverse.

Epaminondas (/ɪˌpæmɪˈnɒndəs/; Greek: Ἐπαμεινώνδας, translit. Epameinṓndas; c. 418 BC – 362 BC) was a Greek general (strategos/Boeotarch) of Thebes and statesman of the 4th century BC who transformed the Ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a pre-eminent position in Greek politics called the Theban Hegemony. In the process, he broke Spartan military power with his victory at Leuctra and liberated the Messenian helots, a group of Peloponnesian Greeks who had been enslaved under Spartan rule for some 230 years after being defeated in the Messenian War ending in 600 BC. Epaminondas reshaped the political map of Greece, fragmented old alliances, created new ones, and supervised the construction of entire cities. He was also militarily influential and invented and implemented several major battlefield tactics.

Xenophon, the historian and contemporary, is the main source for Epaminondas' military prowess, and Xenophon describes his admiration for him in his major work Hellenica (book VII, chap. 5, 19).

Accordingly, in later centuries the Roman orator, Cicero called him "the first man of Greece", and even in modern times Montaigne judged him one of the three "worthiest and most excellent men" that had ever lived. The changes Epaminondas wrought on the Greek political order did not long outlive him, as the cycle of shifting hegemonies and alliances continued unabated. A mere twenty-seven years after his death, a recalcitrant Thebes was obliterated by Alexander the Great. Thus Epaminondas—who had been praised in his time as an idealist and liberator—is today largely remembered for a decade (371 BC to 362 BC) of campaigning that sapped the strength of the great city-states and paved the way for the Macedonian conquest. (Full article...)
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Featured article star.svg 1896 Summer Olympics, Alcibiades, Archimedes, Aspasia, Attalus I, Basiliscus, Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081), Battle of Greece, Byzantine Empire, Byzantine navy, Cleomenean War, Corinthian War, Cretan War (205–200 BC), Demosthenes, Diocletian, El Greco, Epaminondas, Euclidean algorithm, George I of Greece, Greece runestones, Greek mythology, Hippocrates, Manuel I Komnenos, Macedonia (terminology), Orion (mythology), Pericles, Philitas of Cos, Problem of Apollonius, Stamata Revithi, Rhodes blood libel, Slavery in ancient Greece, The Battle of Alexander at Issus, The Penelopiad, Theramenes, Thrasybulus
Symbol a class.svg Battle of Artemisium, Battle of Thermopylae, Battle of Kalavrye, Battle of Marathon, Battle of Salamis, Byzantine civil war of 1341–47, Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, First Macedonian War, John Kourkouas, Yannis Makriyannis, Sviatoslav's invasion of Bulgaria, Vikos–Aoös National Park

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Literature and philosophy

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

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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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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