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Greece is the southernmost country in Europe with scattered islands in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Ionian Seas. During ancient times, Greece was known as the cradle of western civilization for its influential culture and vibrant history.
See the fact file below for more information on the country of Greece or alternatively, you can download our 27-page Greece worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Geography and People
- Greece is a mountainous country located on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula at the intersection of Europe, Asia and Africa. With both land and sea borders, Greece has the 11th longest coastline in world at 13,676 km.
- Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece at 9,573 feet. The country is divided into geographic regions namely: Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean islands, Thrace, Crete and the Ionian islands.
- Due to its mountainous terrain, rivers are not navigable.
- As of 2016, there are approximately 11 million people in Greece. About two-thirds of Greeks live in urban areas like the capital and largest city, Athens. About 98% of Greeks are ethnic Greeks, while the minority is composed of Turks, Armenians, Macedonians and Bulgarians.
- Ancient Greece is considered as the cradle of western civilization due to its pioneering thoughts in philosophy, literature, historiography, politics, mathematics, science and drama.
- Around 2000 B.C., Minoans in Crete were the first great civilization in Greece until they were conquered by Mycenaeans from the mainland in 1450 B.C.
- In the ancient times, Greece was ruled by noblemen and was divided into independent city-states known as poleis (polis in singular form). Some included Sparta, Athens, Corinth and Thebes.
- Around 508 B.C., the world’s first democratic system of government was introduced in Athens by Cleisthenes.
- In 492 B.C., the Persian Empire invaded mainland Greece but was later defeated by a combined Athens and Sparta. The victory was followed by 50 years of peace known as the Golden Age of Athens.
- Lack of political unity often bought conflict and war between city-states. In 431 to 404 B.C., the Peloponnesian War broke out and Spartans won.
- It was Philip of Macedon, along with his son Alexander the Great, who united mainland Greece and conquered lands to expand the empire. By 330 B.C., Alexander conquered the Persian Empire, establishing the largest empire in world history.
- Upon his death, the empire was divided into the Seleucid empire, Ptolemaic Egypt, Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and Indo-Greek Kingdom. The divide gave way to the Hellenistic civilization, which spread Greek culture and language.
- During the 2nd century B.C., Greece was conquered by Rome and became a part of the Roman Empire. By the 4th century, Greece suffered from Barbarian invasions and raids by Goths, Huns and Slavs until the 7th century, causing its collapse. The Greek peninsula was later ruled by the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.
- In 1832, the Greek War of Independence against the Ottomans resulted in Greek victory. Russia, the United Kingdom and France sent their respective navy to Greece for back up against the Ottoman-Egyptian coalition.
- In 1863, Prince Wilhelm of Denmark, known as George I, brought the Ionian Islands back to the Greeks after his coronation as the new monarch. Since then, Greece has faced a series of political disasters and reconstructions.
- Today, Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic wherein the head of state is elected by the Parliament for a five-year term. The current Constitution specifies separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches. It also reinforces civil and social liberties including women’s right to suffrage.
- Aside from its rich ancient history, Greeks are also known for their vibrant culture and mythology.
- Greek structures, especially on the Cyclades Islands, are painted turquoise because of their ancient belief that it keeps away evil spirits.
- Ancient Greeks are also guided by mythology including Mt. Olympus as the home of all gods and heroic figures like Hercules, Achilles and Perseus.
- Greek myths were also used to explain changing of seasons based on the story of Hades and Persephone. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey highlights the Trojan War with elements of Greek gods and goddesses. Moreover, the famous Judgement of Paris became a popular scene for choosing the most beautiful woman.
- The first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C. to honor the Olympian gods.
- Hoplites are ancient Greek soldiers who wore 33 kilograms of bronze armor.
- Pythagoras, Euclid and Archimedes were some of the Greek intellectuals who laid the foundations for modern mathematics.
- Herodotus was the first Greek historian and father of history after writing a book about the Greco-Persian war.
- Greeks consider English poet Lord Byron as a national hero after spending his money to support and fight for Greece during the war of independence.
- In 534 B.C., the first Greek tragedy was performed by Thespis, a priest of Dionysus.
- Classical philosophers like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were all Greeks.
- Ostracism was a famous method of exiling a person deemed dangerous to the public. A citizen’s name was inscribed in a piece of pottery called an ostracon wherein a person with the most number of names needed to leave town for 10 years.
- Alexander the Great was the first ruler of Greece who had his face on coins. Traditionally, gods and goddesses were shown on Greek coins.
- The national flag of Greece was first officially adopted at the First National Assembly in 1822. It is popularly called the “sky-blue-white.” The Greek flag has nine blue and white horizontal stripes representing the blue sea, sky and white sand of Greece. The Greek Orthodox cross is represented in the upper right corner of the flag.
- Greek drachma is the oldest currency in Europe until it was replaced by the Euro in 2002.
- Numerous world heritage sites including the Parthenon, Acropolis, Delos, Meteora and archeological sites in Mystras and Mycenae are all found in Greece.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Greece across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Greece worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Greece which is the southernmost country in Europe with scattered islands in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Ionian Seas. During ancient times, Greece was known as the cradle of western civilization for its influential culture and vibrant history.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Greece Facts
- Mapping the Balkan Peninsula
- Country Profile
- Everything Greek!
- Famous Philosophers
- Greek Cuisine
- Ancient Greek Life
- Grecian Influence
- Wonders of Greece
- Sunny Days
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Link will appear as Greece Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 1, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.