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Information about Greece

The position of Greece at the crossroads between Africa, Asia, and Europe has undeniably played a large role in the diverse and often turbulent history of Greece.
Protruding from Europe, Greece hangs precariously southward from the end of the Balkan Peninsula, and slices towards the Mediterranean Sea with dramatic peninsulas and thousands of large and small islands.
The Mediterranean Sea offered an easily adaptable climate with mild winters and hot, dry summers, while the mountainous terrain, allowed for multiple easily defensible positions.
The surrounding sea offered an environment conducive to developing and sustaining a enduring culture that was relatively safe from incursions while able to communicate and exchange large quantities of goods and ideas with ease through the sea lanes. It is not by accident that the ancient Greek civilization developed around a significant maritime power.

While today’s Greece is confounded within the modern borders, in ancient Hellenic civilization it expanded throughout the Mediterranean. Besides the traditional mainland, the islands, and the coast of Asia Minor, Hellenic colonies existed in Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Libya, and all around the Black Sea. With the conquests of Alexander the Great Hellenic civilization attained its widest reach. During the Hellenistic era Greek culture expanded to include Asia Minor, the Middle East, Egypt, and the land further East to the Western parts of India, and as far north as today’s Afghanistan.

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a completely separate body of water.

The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneus, meaning "inland" or "in the middle of the land" (from medius, "middle" and terra, "land"). It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km² (965,000 sq mi), but its connection to the Atlantic (the Strait of Gibraltar) is only 14 km (8.7 mi) wide. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from Mediterranean sea elsewhere.

The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m (17,280 ft) in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea.

It was an important route for merchants and travelers of ancient times that allowed for trade and cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the region. The history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. "For the three quarters of the globe, the Mediterranean Sea is similarly the uniting element and the centre of World History.


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