Discover the History of Greece
The first civilizations in Europe seem to have emerged on the shores of the Aegean Sea in Greece. The earliest inhabitants were the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations. Around 800 BC, Greek civiliztion seems to have suddenly sprung to life after a period of relative inactivity. Greece began to establish colonies, cities and states as well as develop the imensely beautiful and well thought out architectural and artistic styles that we know so well today. Under the rule of Alexander the Great, Greece reached it's peak and extended it's borders until it became a world empire.
However just when ancient Greece reached it's peak, it also reached it's downfall. After the death of Alexander the Great, Rome began it's conquest of this magnificent state and surrounding lands. Greece was eventually reduced to a province of the Roman Empire, yet it's maginificence was in many ways never toppled. It's strong sense of culture continued on in the way it influenced roman art and architecture as well as religion and society. At the fall of Rome, Greece came under the control of the Byzantine Empire and Constantinople until both fell to Ottoman rule in the 15th century. This resulted in Greek migrations to Western Europe and the mountainous regions surrounding Greece. The Ottomans failed to create a governmental system that effectively controlled and governed the mountain clans. Thus even though the Ottomans tried to effectively change many of the social and religious structures of Greece, they were to a large extent unsuccessful.
Eventually the Greeks rebelled and declaired independence, winning this in 1821. Other European nations saw the uprising in a romantic light and either joined in on the Greeks behalf to some extent, or threatened to do so. Were it not for this the Ottomans might have succeeded in keeping their hold on Greece. The long held republican rule was disintegrated when Western powers helped Greece to become a monarchy. This political situation was only reversed in more recent times. Greece fought bravely during terrirorial wars and suffered terribly during both World Wars.
Since the re-establishment of democracy, the country has grown from strength to strength. They were able to held the 2004 Summer Olympics in celebrations of the sporting event's birth and the even was widely praised. Today, Greece has recovered to have a bustling economy, well-renown status, historical importance and the grace of times gone by.