24 Facts About Greeks


Until the early 20th century, Greeks were distributed between the Greek peninsula, the western coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea coast, Cappadocia in central Anatolia, Egypt, the Balkans, Cyprus, and Constantinople.

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The cultural centers of the Greeks have included Athens, Thessalonica, Alexandria, Smyrna, and Constantinople at various periods.

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Today, most Greeks are officially registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church.

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Greeks have greatly influenced and contributed to culture, visual arts, exploration, theatre, literature, philosophy, ethics, politics, architecture, music, mathematics, medicine, science, technology, commerce, cuisine and sports.

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Greeks speak the Greek language, which forms its own unique branch within the Indo-European family of languages, the Hellenic.

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Proto-Greeks probably arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC between 2200 and 1900 BC.

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In c 1600 BC, the Mycenaean Greeks borrowed from the Minoan civilization its syllabic writing system and developed their own syllabic script known as Linear B, providing the first and oldest written evidence of Greek.

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Many Greeks settled in Hellenistic cities like Alexandria, Antioch and Seleucia.

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Greeks, however, remained aware of their past, chiefly through the study of the works of Homer and the classical authors.

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These Byzantine Greeks were largely responsible for the preservation of the literature of the classical era.

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Greeks are greatly credited for the European cultural revolution, later called, the Renaissance.

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In Greek-inhabited territory itself, Greeks came to play a leading role in the Ottoman Empire, due in part to the fact that the central hub of the empire, politically, culturally, and socially, was based on Western Thrace and Greek Macedonia, both in Northern Greece, and of course was centred on the mainly Greek-populated, former Byzantine capital, Constantinople.

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These Greeks either emigrated, particularly to their fellow Orthodox Christian protector, the Russian Empire, or simply converted to Islam, often only very superficially and whilst remaining crypto-Christian.

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Byzantine Greeks self-identified as Romaioi, Graikoi ("Greeks") and Christianoi ("Christians") since they were the political heirs of imperial Rome, the descendants of their classical Greek forebears and followers of the Apostles; during the mid-to-late Byzantine period (11th–13th century), a growing number of Byzantine Greek intellectuals deemed themselves Hellenes although for most Greek-speakers, "Hellene" still meant pagan.

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The modern Greek state was created in 1829, when the Greeks liberated a part of their historic homelands, Peloponnese, from the Ottoman Empire.

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Greeks today are a nation in the meaning of an ethnos, defined by possessing Greek culture and having a Greek mother tongue, not by citizenship, race, and religion or by being subjects of any particular state.

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Total number of Greeks living outside Greece and Cyprus today is a contentious issue.

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Ottoman Greeks had to endure through several centuries of adversity that culminated in genocide in the 20th century.

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About 2, 000 Greeks are members of Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism congregations.

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Greeks have contributed to the visual, literary and performing arts.

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Greeks have a long tradition of valuing and investing in paideia.

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Greeks generally do not use middle names, instead using the genitive of the father's first name as a middle name.

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In later times, the Byzantine Greeks plied the sea-lanes of the Mediterranean and controlled trade until an embargo imposed by the Byzantine emperor on trade with the Caliphate opened the door for the later Italian pre-eminence in trade.

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In conclusion, the hair colour of young Greeks are mostly brown, ranging from light to dark brown with significant minorities having black and blonde hair.

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