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History Topography Christmas Greek cuisine Presentation of Greece Mythology Carnival Traditions and Costumes Greece Presentation of Greece By Gouskou S.Konstantinou C.E1 Greece is a truly unique location. Despite its small size, the country enjoys a particularly pristine and diverse natural environment that offers everything from scenic island getaways to cozy mountain retreats. The countrys stunning topography provides the backdrop for an unequalled array of recreational opportunities. This, combined with a spirited lifestyle that blends the Mediterraneans ancient and modern culture, makes Greece a simply extraordinary place to be and a wonderful place to call home. Greece offers the visitor and resident unlimited opportunities to explore the very roots of Western civilization. Throughout the country, there are hundreds of museums, archaeological sites, and monuments that detail the rise of art, architecture, crafts, design, ideas and thought. Greece Presentation of Greece

By M. Kamba and L. Tsatsi Greece officially the Hellenic Republic is known since ancient times as Hellas , is a country in Southern Europe. According to the 2011 census, Greece's population is around 11 million. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Western Asia, and Africa, and shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north and Turkey to the northeast. The country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, Greece Presentation of Greece By M. Kamba and L. Tsatsi Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilization of Ancient Greece, which is considered the cradle of all Western civilization. As such, it is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic

Games, Western literature and historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama, including both tragedy and comedy. The cultural and technological achievements of Greece greatly influenced the world, with many aspects of Greek civilization being imparted to the East through Alexander the Great's campaigns, and to the West through the Roman Empire. This rich legacy is partly reflected in the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Greece, ranking it 7th in Europe and 13th in the world. The modern Greek state, which comprises much of the historical core of Greek civilization, was established in 1830 following the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire. Greece is a founding member of the United Nations, has been a member of what is now the European Union since 1981 (and the eurozone since 2001), and has been a member of NATO since 1952. MAIN MENU Greek History By Dimitris Doulogeris and Kostas Vallios The earliest evidence of human presence in the Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the northern Greek province of Macedonia. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe HISTORY MENU MAIN MENU Greek History

The archaic period Greek territories and colonies during the Archaic period (750-550 BC Hellenistic and Roman periods (323 BC4th century AD) Medieval period (4th century1453) Ottoman period (15th century1821) Greek War of Independence (18211832) The 19th century The 20th century and beyond Greek territories and colonies during the Archaic period (750-550 BC). Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilization, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete (27001500 BC), and then the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland (19001100 BC). These civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Myceneans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Myceneans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages MAIN MENU Greek territories and colonies during the Archaic period (750-550 BC). Minoan fresco at Akrotiri of Santorini. Cycladic civilization . The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational

texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 8th or 7th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, Southern Italy (Latin: Magna Graecia, or Greater Greece) and Asia Minor. These states and their colonies reached great levels of prosperity that resulted in an unprecedented cultural boom, that of classical Greece, expressed in architecture, drama, science, mathematics and philosophy. In 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the world's first democratic system of government in Athens. MAIN MENU Greek territories and colonies during the Archaic period (750-550 BC). Persian wars By 500 BC, the Persian Empire controlled territories ranging from their home Iran all the way to what is now northern Greece and Turkey, and posed a threat to the Greek states. Attempts by the Greek city-states of Asia Minor to overthrow Persian rule failed, and Persia invaded the states of mainland Greece in 492 BC, but was forced to withdraw after a defeat at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. A second invasion followed in 480 BC. Despite a heroic resistance at Thermopylae by Spartans and other Greeks, Persian forces sacked Athens. MAIN MENU Greek territories and colonies during the Archaic period (750-550 BC). SS pp aa rta

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fl u e nc e in m u c h o f th e a n c ie n t wo rld . in imposingitshegemonyandinfluencein much of theancient world . Theruledid not last longand after defeatsby Thebesin 371BC andLeuctrain 362BC Mantine lost itsoldstrength, simultaneouslywith theriseof thekingdomof Macedonia began toplaya minor rolein Greek affairs. Someglimpsesof the3rdcenturyBC didnot prevent thedecline followingthefateof therest Greek worldwasconqueredbytheRomans. But duringtheRoman period continuedtobea center of attraction becauseof itsrichhistory MAIN MENU Greek territories and colonies during the Archaic period (750-550 BC).

By Thomopoulos k Following successive Greek victories in 480 and 479 BC at Salamis, Plataea and Mycale, the Persians were forced to withdraw for a second time. The military conflicts, known as the Greco-Persian Wars, were led mostly by Athens and Sparta. The fact that Greece was not a unified country meant that conflict between the Greek states was common. The most devastating intra-Greek war in classical antiquity was the Peloponnesian War (431404 BC), which marked the demise of the Athenian Empire as the leading power in ancient Greece. Both Athens and Sparta were later overshadowed by Thebes and eventually Macedon, with the latter uniting the Greek world MAIN in the League of Corinth (also known as the Hellenic League or Greek League) under the guidance of MENU Phillip II, who was elected leader of the first Greek territories and colonies during the Archaic period (750-550 BC). Following the assassination of Phillip II, his son Alexander III ("The Great") assumed the leadership of the League of Corinth and launched an invasion of the Persian Empire with the combined forces of all Greek states in 334 BC. Following Greek victories in the battles of Granicus, Issus and Gaugamela, the Greeks marched on Susa and Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of Persia, in 330 BC. The Empire created by Alexander the Great stretched from Greece in the west and Pakistan in the east and Egypt in the south.

Before his sudden death in 323 BC, Alexander was also planning an invasion of Arabia. His death marked the collapse of the vast empire, which was split into several kingdoms, the most famous of which were the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemaic Egypt. Other states founded by Greeks include the GrecoBactrian Kingdom and the Greco-Indian MAIN MENU enistic and Roman periods (323 BC4th century AD) The Antikythera mechanism (c. 100 BC) is believed to be the earliest mechanical analog computer (National Archaeological Museum, Athens). After a period of confusion following Alexander's death, the Antigonid dynasty, descended from one of Alexander's generals, established its control over Macedon by 276 BC, as well as hegemony over most of the Greek city-states. From about 200 BC the Roman Republic became increasingly involved in Greek affairs and engaged in a series of wars with Macedon. Macedon's defeat at the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC signaled the end of Antigonid power in Greece. In 146 BC Macedonia was annexed as a province by Rome, and the rest of Greece became a Roman protectorate. The process was completed in 27 BC when the Roman Emperor Augustus annexed the rest of Greece and constituted it as the senatorial province of Achaea. Despite their military superiority, the Romans admired and became heavily influenced by the achievements of Greek culture, hence Horace's famous statement: GraeciaMAIN capta ferum victorem cepit ("Greece, although captured, took its wild conqueror captive").] Greek science, technologyMENU Medieval period (4th century1453) TheByzantineEmpireat itsgreatest extent under JustinianI, in555AD.

TheRoman Empirein theeast, followingthefall of theEmpirein thewest in the5thcentury, is conventionally known astheByzantineEmpire(but wassimply called"Roman Empire"in itsown time) andlasteduntil 1453. Withitscapital inConstantinople, itslanguageandliteraryculture wasGreekanditsreligionwaspredominantlyEasternOrthodoxChristian. Fromthe4thcentury, theEmpire'sBalkan territories, includingGreece, sufferedfromthedislocation of the Barbarian Invasions. Theraidsanddevastation of the GothsandHunsin the4thand5thcenturiesandthe Slavicinvasion of Greecein the7thcenturyresulted in adramaticcollapsein imperial authorityin theGreek peninsula. FollowingtheSlavicinvasion, theimperial government retainedcontrol of only theislandsand coastal areas, particularlycitiessuchasAthens, CorinthandThessalonica, whilesomemountainousareasin theinterior heldout on their own and continuedtorecognizeimperial authority. Outsideof theseareas, alimitedamount of Slavic settlement isgenerally thought tohaveoccurred, althoughon a muchsmaller scalethan previously thought. MAIN MENU Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, remain of the Knights period of the island. Mystras Palace, remain of the Despotate of the Morea. MAIN MENU The Byzantine recovery of lost provinces began toward the end of the 8th century and most of the Greek peninsula came under imperial

control again, in stages, during the 9th century. This process was facilitated by a large influx of Greeks from Sicily and Asia Minor to the Greek peninsula, while at the same time many Slavs were captured and re-settled in Asia Minor and those that remained were assimilate ] During the 11th and 12th centuries the return of stability resulted in the Greek peninsula benefiting from strong economic growth much stronger than that of the Anatolian territories of the Empire. Following the Fourth Crusade and the fall of Constantinople to the "Latins" in 1204 most of Greece quickly came under Frankish rule (initiating the period known as the Frankokratia) or Venetian rule in the case of some of the islands. The re-establishment of the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople in 1261 was accompanied by the recovery of much of the Greek peninsula, although the Frankish Principality of Achaea in the Peloponnese remained an important regional power into the 14th century, while the islands remained largely under Genoese and Venetian control. In the 14th century much of the Greek peninsula was lost by the Empire as first the Serbs and then the Ottomans seized imperial territory. By the beginning of the 15th century, the Ottoman advance meant that Byzantine territory in Greece was limited mainly to the Despotate of the Morea in the Peloponnese. After the MAIN fall of MENU Ottoman period (15th century1821) The Byzantine castle of Angelokastro successfully repulsed the Ottomans during the first great siege of Corfu in 1537, the siege of 1571, and the second great siege of Corfu in 1716 causing them to abandon their plans to conquer Corfu. The White Tower of Thessaloniki, one of the best-known Ottoman

structures remaining in Greece. MAIN MENU Ottoman period (15th century1821) While most of mainland Greece and the Aegean islands was under Ottoman control by the end of the 15th century, Cyprus and Crete remained Venetian territory and did not fall to the Ottomans until 1571 and 1670 respectively. The only part of the Greek-speaking world that escaped long-term Ottoman rule was the Ionian Islands, which remained Venetian until their capture by the First French Republic in 1797, then passed to the United Kingdom in 1809 until their unification with Greece in 1864. While Greeks in the Ionian Islands and Constantinople lived in prosperity, the latter achieving positions of power within the Ottoman administration, much of the population of mainland Greece suffered the economic consequences of the Ottoman conquest. Heavy taxes were enforced, and in later years the Ottoman Empire enacted a policy of creation of hereditary estates, effectively turning the rural MAIN Greek populations into serfs. MENU Ottoman period (15th century1821) The Greek Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople were considered by the Ottoman governments as the ruling authorities of the entire Orthodox Christian population of the Ottoman Empire, whether ethnically Greek or not. Although the

Ottoman state did not force non-Muslims to convert to Islam, Christians faced several types of discrimination intended to highlight their inferior status in the Ottoman Empire. Discrimination against Christians, particularly when combined with harsh treatment by local Ottoman authorities, led to conversions to Islam, if only superficially. In the nineteenth century, many "cryptoChristians" returned to their old religious allegiance. The nature of Ottoman administration of Greece varied, though it was invariably arbitrary and often harsh.] Some cities had governors appointed by the Sultan, while others (like Athens) were self-governed MAIN municipalities. Mountains regions in the interior and many islands remained effectively autonomous MENU Ottoman period (15th century1821) When military conflicts broke out between the Ottoman Empire and other states, Greeks usually took arms against the Empire, with few exceptions. Prior to the Greek revolution, there had been a number of wars which saw Greeks fight against the Ottomans, such as the Greek participation in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the Epirus peasants' revolts of 16001601, the Morean War of 16841699, and the Russian-instigated Orlov Revolt in 1770, which aimed at breaking up the Ottoman Empire in favor of Russian interests These uprisings were put down by the Ottomans with great bloodshed. The 16th and 17th centuries are regarded as something of a "dark age" in Greek history, with the prospect of overthrowing Ottoman rule MAIN appearing remote with only the Ionian islands MENU remaining free of Turkish domination. Corfu

Ottoman period (15th century1821) These merchants came to dominate trade within the Ottoman Empire, establishing communities throughout the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Western Europe. Though the Ottoman conquest had cut Greece off from significant European intellectual movements such as the Reformation and the Enlightenment, these ideas together with the ideals of the French Revolution and romantic nationalism began to penetrate the Greek world via the mercantile diaspora. In the late 18th century, Rigas Feraios, the first revolutionary to envision an independent MAIN Greek state, published a series of documents MENU Greek War of Independence (18211832) MAIN MENU The sortie of Messolonghi, during the Greek War of Independence (18211830), by Theodoros Vryzakis. MAIN MENU In 1814, a secret organization called the Filiki Eteria (Society of

Friends) was founded with the aim of liberating Greece. The Filiki Eteria planned to launch revolution in the Peloponnese, the Danubian Principalities and Constantinople. The first of these revolts began on 6 March 1821 in the Danubian Principalities under the leadership of Alexandros Ypsilantis, but it was soon put down by the Ottomans. The events in the north spurred the Greeks of the Peloponnese into action and on 17 March 1821 the Maniots declared war on the Ottomans. By the end of the month, the Peloponnese was in open revolt against the Ottomans and by October 1821 the Greeks under Theodoros Kolokotronis had captured Tripolitsa. The Peloponnesian revolt was quickly followed by revolts in Crete, Macedonia and Central Greece, which would soon be suppressed. Meanwhile, the makeshift Greek navy was achieving success against the Ottoman navy in the Aegean Sea and prevented Ottoman reinforcements from arriving by sea. In 1822 and 1824 the Turks and Egyptians ravaged the islands, including Chios and Psara, committing wholesale massacres of the population. This had the effect of galvanizing public opinion in western Europe in favor of the Greek rebels. The sortie of Messolong hi, during the Greek War of Independe nce (1821 1830), by Theodoros Vryzakis Tensions soon developed among different Greek factions, leading to two consecutive civil wars. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Sultan negotiated with Mehmet Ali of Egypt, who agreed to send his son Ibrahim Pasha to Greece

with an army to suppress the revolt in return for territorial gain. Ibrahim landed in the Peloponnese in February 1825 and had immediate success: by the end of 1825, most of the Peloponnese was under Egyptian control, and the city of Missolonghiput under siege by the Turks since April 1825fell in April 1826. Although Ibrahim was defeated in Mani, he had succeeded in suppressing most of the revolt in the Peloponnese and Athens had been retaken. After years of negotiation, three Great Powers, Russia, the United Kingdom and France, decided to intervene in the conflict and each nation sent a navy to Greece. Following news that combined OttomanEgyptian fleets were going to attack the Greek island of Hydra, the allied fleet intercepted the Ottoman Egyptian fleet at Navarino. After a week-long standoff, a battle began which resulted in the destruction of the OttomanEgyptian fleet. A French expeditionary force was dispatched to supervise the evacuation of the Egyptian army from the Peloponnese, while the Greeks proceeded to the captured part of Central Greece by 1828. As a result of years of negotiation, the nascent Greek state was finally recognized under the London Protocol in 1830. MAIN MENU The 19th century The Entry of King Otto in Athens, Peter von Hess, 1839. MAIN MENU In 1827 Ioannis Kapodistrias, from Corfu, was chosen as the first governor of the new Republic. However, following his assassination in 1831, the Great Powers installed a monarchy under Otto, of the Bavarian House of Wittelsbach. In 1843 an uprising forced the king to grant a constitution and a representative assembly. Due to his unimpaired authoritarian rule he was eventually

dethroned in 1862 and a year later replaced by Prince Wilhelm (William) of Denmark, who took the name George I and brought with him the Ionian Islands as a coronation gift from Britain. In 1877 Charilaos Trikoupis, who is credited with significant improvement of the country's infrastructure, curbed the power of the monarchy to interfere in the assembly by issuing the rule of vote of confidence to any potential prime minister. Corruption and Trikoupis' increased spending to create necessary infrastructure like the Corinth Canal overtaxed the weak Greek economy, forcing the declaration of public insolvency in 1893 and to accept the imposition of an MAIN International Financial Control authority to pay off the MENU country's debtors. Another political issue in 19th-century The territorial evolution of Kingdom of Greece until 1947. Government documents and newspapers were consequently published in Katharevousa (purified) Greek, a form which few ordinary Greeks could read. Liberals favoured recognising Demotic as the national language, but conservatives and the Orthodox Church resisted all such efforts, to the extent that, when the New Testament was translated into Demotic in 1901, riots erupted in Athens and the government fell (the Evangeliaka). This issue would continue to plague Greek politics until the 1970s. All Greeks were united, however, in their determination to liberate the Greek-speaking provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Especially in Crete, a prolonged revolt in 18661869

had raised nationalist fervor. When war broke out between Russia and the Ottomans in 1877, Greek popular sentiment rallied to Russia's side, but Greece was too poor, and too concerned of British intervention, to officially enter the war. Nevertheless, in 1881, Thessaly and small parts of Epirus were ceded to Greece as part of the Treaty of Berlin, while frustrating Greek hopes of receiving Crete. Greeks in Crete continued to stage regular revolts, and in 1897, the Greek government under Theodoros Deligiannis, MAIN MENU bowing to popular pressure, declared war on the The 20th century and beyond German soldiers raising the Reichskriegsflagge over the Acropolis of Athens. It would be taken down in one of the first acts of the Greek Resistance. At the end of the Balkan Wars, the extent of Greece's territory and population had increased. In the following years, the struggle between King Constantine I and charismatic Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos over the country's foreign policy on the eve of World War I dominated the country's political scene, and divided the country into two opposing groups. During part of WWI, Greece had two governments; a royalist proGerman government in Athens and a Venizelist pro-Britain one in Thessaloniki. The two governments were united in 1917, when Greece officially entered the war on the side of the Triple Entente. In the aftermath of the First World War, Greece attempted further expansion into Asia Minor, a region with a large Greek population at the time, but was defeated in the Greco-Turkish War of 19191922, which resulted in a massive population exchange MAIN MENU

The 20th century and beyond The following era was marked by instability, overshadowed by the massive task of incorporating 1.5 million Greek refugees from Turkey into Greek society. The Greek population in Istanbul dropped from 300,000 at the turn of the 20th century to around 3,000 in the city today. Following the catastrophic events in Asia Minor, the monarchy was abolished via a referendum in 1924 and the Second Hellenic Republic was declared. Premier Georgios Kondylis took power in 1935 and effectively abolished the republic by bringing back the monarchy via a referendum in 1935. A coup d'tat followed in 1936 and installed Ioannis Metaxas as the head of a dictatorial regime known as the 4th of MAIN MENU The 20th century and beyond On 28 October 1940 Fascist Italy demanded the surrender of Greece, but the Greek administration refused and in the following Greco-Italian War, Greece repelled Italian forces into Albania, giving the Allies their first victory over Axis forces on land. The country would eventually fall to urgently dispatched German forces during the Battle of

Greece. The German occupiers nevertheless met serious challenges from the Greek Resistance. Over 100,000 civilians died of starvation during the winter of 19411942, and the great majority of Greek Jews were deported and murdered in Nazi concentration camps. After liberation, Greece experienced a polarizing civil war between communist and anticommunist forces, which led to economic MAIN devastation and severe social tensions between rightists and largely communist leftists for the next MENU thirty years. The next twenty years were The Acropolis in Athens The Parthenon, located on the Acropolis in Athens, is one of the most representative symbols of the culture and sophistication of the ancient Greeks. The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the preeminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007.[5]The Parthenon (Greek: ) is a temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the maiden goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron deity. Its construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classic Greece, generally considered the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high

points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athens MAIN democracy, western civilization and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments.MENU The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a The Acropolis of Athens (Greek: ) is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, The word acropolis comes from the Greek words (akron, "edge, extremity") and (polis, "city"). [1] Although there are many other MAIN acropoleis in Greece, the significance MENU of the Acropolis of Athens is such that hology by Thomopoulos k Providas The Muses in ancient Greek mythology were nine ancient deities. Apollo was their leader (Apollo Musagetes ) . Originally deities were nymphs of the mountain and water . Hesiod 's Theogony recounts : "The Mnemosyne in Pieria slept with his son Cronus and gave birth to these virgins who make us forget our suffering and soothe their

pains . After a year when the seasons and months had completed their cycle and when I passed many days Mnemosyne gave birth to nine daughters ... that all enchanted by the music ... ". Their names are: Clio , Euterpe , Thalia , Melpomene , Terpsichore , Main Erato menu , PolymniaUrania , Calliope . thology by Thomopoulos k Providas In 1806, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures, with the permission of the Ottoman Empire. These sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, were sold in 1816 to the British Museum in London, where they are now displayed. Since 1983 (on the initiative of Culture Minister Melina Mercouri), the Greek Pictures by Kokkinou,Skreki,Karaxaliou government has been committed MAIN to the return of the sculptures to Greece. MENU

nt Corinth by Thomopoulos- Providas The temple of Apollo, is archaic temple in Ancient Corinth built with monolithic Doric columns. Of the 40 that existed survives today only seven standing prominently above the ruins of the ancient agora. The temple was built in 530 BC about. To support the roof and interior columns were along quite large in size alcove, which was divided into two rooms and also in the vestibule and opisthodomos they had in their front every two columns in antis. The church is a registered trademark of MAIN MENU Ancient Knossos by Thomopoulos k,Haraugi Hatzivasilis The Minoan palace is the main site of interest at Knossos, an important city in antiquity, which was inhabited continuously from the Neolithic period until the 5th c. AD. The palace was built on the Kephala hill and had easy access to the sea and the Cretan interior. According to tradition, it was the seat of the wise king Minos. The Palace of Knossos is connected with thrilling legends, such as the The first excavations were made in myth of the Labyrinth, with the

1878 by Minos Summer Herakleion . Minotaur Followed by excavations carried out by the Englishman Sir Arthur Evans (1900-1913 and 1922-1930) , who uncovered the entire palace MAIN MENU MAIN MENU The oldest signs of habitation in the area of the palace dating back to the Neolithic period (70003000 BC ) . The occupation continues in the Pre period (3000-1900 BC ) , after which the area was leveled for the construction of a large palace . The first palace was destroyed, probably by an earthquake in 1700 BC . A Second magnificent palace was built on the ruins of the old. After partially destroyed around 1450 BC, the Mycenaeans settled at Knossos. The palace was finally destroyed about 1350 BC by fire. The area covered again from the late Mycenaean period until Roman times . It was a multi-storey building covering an area of 20,000 sq.m. Impressive is the variety of building materials, colored mortar, the marble decorations and frescoes that adorn rooms and corridors . High technical knowledge of the Minoans confirm original architectural and structural features such as skylights and polythyra , use beams to reinforce the masonry , and the complex drainage The Phaistos Disc The Phaistos Disc (also spelled Phaistos Disk, Phaestos Disc) is a disk of fired clay from the Minoan

palace of Phaistos on the Greek island of Crete, possibly dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age ( 2nd millennium BC). It is about 15 cm (5.9 in) in diameter and covered on both sides with a spiral of stamped symbols. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology. This unique object is now on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion MAIN MENU An amphora vase with an oval body with vertical grip bilaterally. Used to store wine and sometimes oil. The name comes from the amphora bi adverb and verb ferein. The jars were invented in ancient Greece and adopted by the Romans as a primary means of transportation and storage of wine, oil olives, grain, fish. MAIN MENU

Topography By Vallios -Doulogeris Greece features a vast number of islands, between 1,200 and 6,000, depending on the definition, 227 of which are inhabited. Crete is the largest and most populous island; Euboea, separated from the mainland by the 60m-wide Euripus Strait, is the second largest, followed by Rhodes and Lesbos. The Greek islands are traditionally grouped into the following clusters: The Argo-Saronic Islands in the Saronic gulf near Athens, the Cyclades, a large but dense collection occupying the central part of the Aegean Sea, the North Aegean islands, a loose grouping off the west coast of Turkey, the Dodecanese, another loose MAIN MENU Topography By Vallios -Doulogeris Eighty percent of Greece consists of mountains or hills, making the country one of the most mountainous in Europe. Mount Olympus, the mythical abode of the Greek Gods, culminates at Mytikas peak 2,917 m (9,570 ft), the highest in the country. Western Greece contains a number of lakes and wetlands and is dominated by the Pindus mountain range. The Pindus, a continuation of the Dinaric Alps, reaches a maximum elevation of 2,637 m (8,652 ft) at Mt. Smolikas (the second-highest in Greece) and historically

has been a significant barrier to east-west travel. The Pindus range continues through the central Peloponnese crosses the islands of Kythera and Antikythera and finds its way into southwestern Aegean, in the island of Crete where it eventually ends. The islands of the Aegean are peaks of underwater MAIN mountains that once constituted an extension of the mainland. Pindus is characterized by its high, steep MENU peaks, often dissected by numerous canyons and a variety of other landscapes The spectacular Vikos Gorge, part of the VikosAoos National Park in the Pindus range, is listed by the Guinness book of World Records as the deepest gorge in the world. Another notable formation are the Meteora rock pillars,where medieval Greek Orthodox monasteries have been built. Northeastern Greece features another high-altitude mountain range, the Rhodope range, spreading across the region of East Macedonia and Thrace; this area is covered with vast, thick, ancient forests, including the famous Dadia forest in the Evros regional unit, in the far northeast of the country. Extensive plains are primarily located in the MAIN regions of Thessaly, Central Macedonia and Thrace. They constitute key economic regions as MENU Topography Vikos Gorge By Danai Lazaridi Vikos Gorge, located 30 km

northwest of Ioannina is the deepest canyon in the world, according to the book Guinness . It forms the core of the National Park of VikosAoou, in this district a wide variety of rare species of flora and fauna finds refuge The canyon has a length of 20 km created and inVikos manywas parts of the after depthintense geological upheavals during exceeds 1,000 meters. The earliest tributary traces of human activity in the geological time. The Aoou, area Boidomatis, who runs, is were identified byonly the 40,000 BC . The flora found in the seasonal water region of the gorge is a very large variety. Typically, up to the early 20th century the gorge herbs were used by practitioners, the socalled Vikogiatrous for therapeutic purposes. Vikos Gorge is a popular route for travelers, the duration of the tour for an experienced team takes no more than 5 hours, offering MAIN unique images. From the village Vradeto (Beloi position), but also MENU

Topography THE Samaria GORGE By D. LAZARIDI The Samaria Gorge in Crete is located in the southern part of the prefecture of Chania. With a length of 18 km, is probably the longest gorge in Europe after the canyon Verdi in France. It is a National Park of Greece since 1962 and is home to many endemic species of birds and animals, the most famous of which is the Cretan goat known as ibex. The name comes from the abandoned village of Samaria, which in turn owes its name to the Church of Mary Osias. During the Ottoman rule was hiding rebels and the local population. The climate of Greece is primarily Mediterranean, featuring mild, wet MAIN winters and hot, dry summers. This MENU climate occurs at all coastal locations, pography The Pindus mountain MAIN MENU By D. LAZARIDI

The Pindus mountain range strongly affects the climate of the country, as areas to the west of the range are considerably wetter on average (due to greater exposure to south-westerly systems bringing in moisture) than the areas lying to the east of the range (due to a rain shadow effect).The mountainous areas of Northwestern Greece (parts of Epirus, Central Greece, Thessaly, Western Macedonia) as well as in the mountainous central parts of Peloponnese including parts of the regional units of Achaea, Arcadia and Laconia feature an Alpine climate with heavy snowfalls. The inland parts of northern Greece, in Central Macedonia and East Macedonia and Thrace feature a temperate climate with cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers with frequent Greek cuisine By Lazaridi Danai MAIN MENU The cuisine of Greece has many traditional dishes. It is known for its superb wine and wonderful olive oil .Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine, sharing numerous characteristics with Middle Eastern cuisines of the region. Contemporary Greek cookery

makes wide use of olive oil, vegetables and herbs, grains and bread, wine, fish, and various meats, including lamb, poultry, rabbit and pork. Also important are olives, cheese, eggplant (aubergine), zucchini (courgette), and yogurt. Greek desserts are characterized by the dominant use of nuts and honey. Some dishes use filo pastry.Mezs () is a collective name for a variety of small dishes, typically served with wines or aniseflavored liqueurs as ouzo or homemade tsipouro. Orektika is the formal name for appetizers and is often used as a reference to eating a first course of a cuisine other than Greek cuisine. Dips are served with bread loaf or pita bread. In some regions, dried bread (paximadhi) is softened in water. Greek cuisine has a long tradition and its flavors MAIN MENU It was Archestratos in 320 B.C. who wrote the first cookbook in history. Greece has a culinary tradition of some 4,000 years. Ancient Greek cuisine was characterized by its frugality and was founded on the "Mediterranean triad": wheat, olive oil, and wine, with meat being rarely eaten and fish being more common. This trend in Greek diet continued in Roman and Ottoman times and changed only fairly recently when technological progress has made meat more available. Wine

and olive oil have always been a central part of it and the spread of grapes and olive trees in the Mediterranean and further afield is correlated with Greek colonization. The Byzantine cuisine was similar to the classical cuisine including however new ingredients Considered the most important holiday on Greek calendar and one of the richest in Greek customs and traditions By Myrto Vazaka-Modena folklore, the celebration of Orthodox Easter (Pascha) is unique throughout Greece. Sophie Gouskou From Crete to Macedonia, Easter customs Christine Konstantinou become a herald of the spirits and natures rebirth, while Easter celebrations constitute a vivid aspect of the folk culture, rich in symbolism. The preparations for the celebration of the Resurrection start on Holy Thursday. On that day, housewives traditionally prepare special cakes named tsourekia, biscuits and red color eggs. The use of egg is a symbol of rebirth while the red color stands for the blood of Christ. In the past, in many households, people used to place the first red egg on the icon stand of the house in order to cast out evil MAIN MENU Friday is the most sacred day of the Holy

Week, the day of the culmination of the passion of Christ with the deposition from MAIN MENU Greek customs and traditions Travelling Travelling in Greece during Greek Orthodox Travelling Easter Travelling in Greece during Greek Orthodox Easter offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the Greek countryside and to experience some traditional and festive atmosphere. MAIN MENU Visiting the Ionian island of Corfu during Easter is ideal, since the town hosts the most splendid and melodic celebrations in the country, with the citys philharmonics in full action. On Holy Saturday morning, one of the highlights is the dropping of ceramic pots "botides" full of water from the windows on the cobbled streets. In the Aegean island of Chios, another custom takes place where residents of the village of Vrontados revive the tradition of "the rocket war." After Resurrection, Vrontados breaks into a pandemonium of fireworks lighting up the midnight sky.

CHRISTMAS Tradition of St Basil The festive period lasts from 30 November to 6 January (Epiphany) on the Greek calendar. 25 and 26 December is a public holiday in Greece. In Greek, Christmas is known as Christougena () and people wish Merry ) and people wish Merry Christmas to each other saying Kala Christougena . shops have decorations and lights. Presents are placed under the In Greek tradition, Basils Caesarea) Christmas tree and are (of opened on 1 name was given to Father Christmas andDay. is supposed to visit children and give January, St Basil's presents on 1 January (when Basil's memory is celebrated), The Christmas meal usually includes lamb or pork and desserts such as kourabies () and people wish Merry ) and ) and melomakarona)() and people wish Merry ) and people wish Merry ). Other Christmas and New Year foods include 'Baklava' (sweet pastry), Kataifi (pastry), and Temples (a kind of fried pastry). On December 24 and 23 ,housewives make the Christmas cake with a cross in the middle and avgokouloures which

are offered to the elderly and children. Children sing carols from house to house either before or on Christmas MAINDay. MENU People go to church early in the morning of Christmas of 25 CHRISTMAS In many Greek cities and ports like Thessaloniki, Volos, Patra, the Greek Islands the traditional Christmas boat id decorated. And in many central squares of the country a big Christmas tree is decorated too.many Christmas festivals take place. A well known Christmas Festival in Greece is ") and people wish Merry ) and people wish Merry " Rugatsari) and people wish Merry , where all the residents of the city of Castoria The largest Christmas tree in are delivered in a separate Europe is lit in Syntagma Square, Dionysian revelry, with the the location of the capital's accompaniment of folk melodies Christmas village, where little elf houses sell candy and children can take part in a number of activities. There is no limit to Christmas fun in Greece! MAIN MENU CARNIVAL If you love to party then Athens between Sunday 24th January and Sunday 14th

February is the place for you.Its the three weeks of Apokries, the Greek carnival. The festivities have their origins in ancient Greece and the celebrations in honour of Dionysus (Bachus), the god of wine and joy, that used to take place to celebrate the end of Winter. Children almost universally follow the tradition of dressing up but Apokries is a good excuse for fun for the grown up too. Home parties are organised every weekend, reaching their peak in the third weekend of the period and all bars and clubs are decorated to welcome the dressed up party goers. Plaka is the epicentre of action during this last weekend with thousands of people gathering there and following a self styled parade of the costumed masses. MAIN MENU CARNIVAL Patras: The King of Greek Carnivals The port city of Patras hosts the biggest carnival in Greece, and one of the biggest in Europe. The "king" of Greek carnivals begins in January with an announcement by the town crier, and reaches its peak in the last weekend of carnival. Patras carnival features a variety of events: balls, parades, street theatre, and much more. The carnival reaches its apogee on the last weekend of Triodion: Saturday evening brings the walking parade (with participants taking the streets holding torches), while the phantasmagorical floral, artistic, and satirical floats parade on Sunday, with the Carnival King and Queen in all their splendor. But Patras carnival is mostly the thousands carnival-goers of all ages, participating spontaneously to the events taking place everywhere in the city -homes, bars, streets - turning the whole city into a gigantic party. Xanthi: The Folk Carnival The Thracian city of Xanthi hosts one of the most popular carnivals in the country. Xanthi carnival started in 1966 as an urban event but has incorporated many traditional elements, based on the citys multicultural character that renders it the most folklore of urban carnivals. The highlight is the Folk Parade on Saturday before Ash Monday: bringing together cultural associations from all over Greece, the troupes go singing and dancing through the neighborhoods of the picturesque Old Town and merge in an all-night Balkan folk music fiesta in the main square. Cheesefare Sunday leads to the custom of Burning the tzaros, a human effigy placed on top of a pile of brushwood. MAIN MENU

CARNIVAL The "Old Men" of Skyros The carnival in the Aegean island of Skyros comes alive with the sounds of clanging goat bells. These are worn around the waists of the island men who take part in the carnival playing the role of geros (old man), a figure dressed in a hooded black cape and hanging goat skin. The "old men" run through the streets individually or in groups, singing, dancing and making as much noise as possible, while locals and guests must always toast, drink and dance with the "old men". Flour War in Galaxidi In Fokida Prefecture, the town of Galaxidi is one of Greeces top destinations especially during carnival season. The picturesque small town impresses visitors with its tranquil charm and its rich maritime heritage, notably the old captains mansions, the so-called kapetanospita. During Carnival, the town revives the unique custom of "alevromoutzouromata" dating back to the heyday of the towns merchant fleet, as a fun event for departing sailors at the end of the Carnival. On Clean Monday, Galaxidi is transformed into a battlefield as hundreds of people pelt mercilessly one another with large quantities of flour and dance around the fires the most daring even jump over them! MAIN MENU CARNIVAL Traditionally, Apokries begin ten weeks before Greek Orthodox Easter and culminates on the weekend before "Clean Monday," (Ash Monday) the first day of Lent. "Apokria", literally means goodbye to the period of meat-eating, or abstinence from meat (Apo-kreo, meaning away from meat). Carnival officially begins on a Saturday evening with the "opening of the Triodion," the Lenten Triodion, as it is called - which a liturgical book of the Orthodox Church that contains hymns with three odes and begins to be chanted on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee through Holy Saturday. The following week is a fast-free week until Meatfare Sunday which is the last day before Easter for eating meat. On Thursday of this week which is known as Tsiknopempti- Charred, Smoky or Barbeque Thursdaybecause of the smell of the grilled meat in the air, family and friends gather in taverns or homes to eat large quantities of charred meat and celebrate, just ten days before the beginning of Lent. The last Sunday of the Carnival period is known as Cheesefare Sunday or Tyrofagos as only dairy products can be consumed on this day. Cheesefare Sunday is the final day of pre-Lent, as the Monday following -known as Clean or Ash Monday- marks the beginning of Great Lent. During the weekend preceding Clean Monday, carnival celebrations around Greece culminate with vigorous parades, masquerade parties, reviving many traditional customs in different parts of the country, and proving that carnival in Greece is closely related to the cultural heritage of each region.

Clean (or Ash) Monday is a public holiday in Greece which marks the end of the carnival festive season and the start of Lent or the period of fasting until Easter. Weather permitting, people spend Clean Monday outdoors, organizing picnics while children fly kites. Since it marks the beginning of the fasting period special food is eaten on this day. Eating red meat, poultry, fish or dairy products is not permitted. However, a host of other dishes and delicacies is available: lagana (a special unleavened bread eaten only on this day), taramasalata (a fish roe spread), dolmadakia (vine leaves stuffed with rice), grilled octopus, gigantes plaki (oven-baked broad beans), seafood salads and shellfish as well as a special semolina pudding known as halvas are just some of them. MAIN MENU BY Thomopoulos Konstantinos Sousounis Panagiotis Chatzivasillis Panagiotis

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