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Greece, Gr. Hellas or Ellas, officially Hellenic Republic, republic (2015 est. pop. 11,218,000), 50,944 sq mi (131,945 sq km), SE Europe. It occupies the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula and borders on the Ionian Sea in the west, on the Mediterranean Sea in the south, on the Aegean Sea in the east, on Turkey and Bulgaria in the northeast, on North Macedonia in the north, and on Albania in the northwest. Athens is its capital and largest city.

Land and People

About 75% of Greece is mountainous and only about 20% of the land is arable. The country falls into four main geographical regions. Northern Greece includes portions of historic Epirus, Macedonia, and Thrace. It takes in part of the Pindus Mts. (which continue into central Greece); low-lying plains along the lower Nestos and Struma rivers; and the Khalkidhikí peninsula, on which Thessaloníki, Greece's second largest city, is located. Central Greece, situated N of the Gulf of Corinth, includes the low-lying plains of Thessaly, Attica, and Boeotia; Mt. Olympus (Ólimbos; 9,570 ft/2,917 m), the highest point in Greece; and Athens. Southern Greece is made up of the Peloponnesus. The fourth region of Greece comprises numerous islands (with a total area of c.9,600 sq mi/24,900 sq km), the most notable of which are Crete, in the Mediterranean; Kérkira, Kefallinía, Zákinthos, Lefkás, and Itháki, in the Ionian Sea; and the Cyclades, the Northern Sporades, the Dodecanese (including Rhodes, Évvoia, Lesbos, Khíos, Sámos, Límnos, Samothrace, and Thásos, in the Aegean. Greece has few rivers, none of them navigable.

The Greek people are only partly descended from the ancient Greeks, having mingled through the ages with the numerous invaders of the Balkans. Modern vernacular Greek is the official language. There is a small Turkish-speaking minority, and many Greeks also speak English and French. The Greek Orthodox Church is the established church of the country, and it includes the great majority of the population. The Greek primate is the archbishop of Athens, who recognizes the Ecumenical Patriarch of İstanbul. There is a small Muslim minority.


Historically agricultural, Greece has seen industry replace agriculture as the leading source of income; agriculture accounts for about 5% of the gross domestic product, while industry accounts for some 20%. Tourism, a part of the growing service sector, provides a vital source of revenue. The chief agricultural products are wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives and olive oil, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, and potatoes. Large numbers of sheep and goats are raised.

The country's main industrial centers are Athens, Thessaloníki, Piraiévs, Pátrai, and Iráklion. The principal industries are tourism, agricultural processing, mining, petroleum refining, and the manufacture of textiles, chemicals, and metal products. The chief minerals produced are lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, and marble. Electricity is generated mainly by hydroelectric and thermal power stations. Greece has a large merchant fleet, and its chief ports are Piraiévs and Thessaloníki. There is a significant fishing industry in coastal areas.

The main exports are food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, and textiles; the leading imports are machinery, transportation equipment, fuels, and chemicals. The principal trade partners are Germany, Italy, and France.


Greece is governed under the constitution of 1975 as amended. The president, who is the head of state, is elected by the legislature for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. The premier, who is the head of government, is appointed by the president with the approval of Parliament, as is the cabinet. The 300 members of the unicameral Parliament are popularly elected to four-year terms. Administratively the country is divided into 13 regions (which are subdivided in 325 municipalities) and the autonomous monastic state of Mt. Athos.


Ancient Greece

Important aspects of ancient Greek culture are covered in separate articles—Greek architecture, Greek art, Greek language, Greek literature, Greek music, and Greek religion. See also the articles on the cities, e.g., Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Thebes.

At various times in its history Greece included all of Epirus, Macedonia, and Thrace, part of Asia Minor, and Magna Graecia. Archaeological remains show that Greece had a long prehistory, dating from the Neolithic Age (c.4000 B.C.). By the Bronze Age (c.2800 B.C.) important cultures had developed. The Aegean civilization had several phases, two of the most important being the Minoan civilization and the Mycenaean civilization. These cultures had disappeared by 1100 B.C. The Greek-speaking Achaeans migrated into the Peloponnesus during the 14th and 13th cent. B.C. The Aeolians and the Ionians apparently preceded the Dorians, who migrated into Greece before 1000 B.C. The Ionians, moving forth, possibly as refugees, possibly as conquerors, settled in the Ionian Islands and on the shores of Asia Minor, which became a part of the Greek world.

After the Dorian invasion, the peoples of Greece, under the influence of the divisive geography and the great variety of tribes, developed the city-state—small settlements that grew into minor kingdoms. Homeric Greece (named for the great epic poet Homer) was dependent on the agriculture of relatively unproductive fields but was already open to the sea. Although the Greeks never rivaled the Phoenicians or the later Carthaginians and Romans as mariners, the sea offered them an opportunity for expansion and commerce. In the 8th, 7th, and 6th cent. B.C., the Greeks established colonies, many of which became separate city-states, from the Black Sea and the Bosporus (where Byzantium was founded) to Sicily, S Italy (Magna Graecia), Mediterranean France, the northern shores of Africa, and Spain. These colonies had a great influence on the history of the Greek mainland, where the city-states were developing in quarrelsome freedom.

Because of their independence, the cities developed separately. However, there was a general pattern of development, which varied somewhat in each particular instance. Monarchies yielded to aristocracies, which were in turn replaced by tyrants, who usually gained power by espousing the cause of the underprivileged and by using force. Although the tyrants usually tried to establish dynasties, the hold established by their families was short-lived. Pisistratus, Hipparchus, and Hippias in Athens and the later Gelon, Dionysius the Elder, and Dionysius the Younger in Sicily were typical tyrants.

On the Greek mainland the tyrannies soon yielded to oligarchies or to democracies tempered by limited citizenship and by slaveholding; it was in Greece that the idea of political democracy came into being. Solon established a democracy in Athens. Militaristic Sparta had a unique constitutional and social development. The warring city-states had a sense of unity; all their citizens considered themselves Hellenes, and religious unity gave rise to leagues known as amphictyonies, notably the great amphictyony centered at Delphi.

The celebration of contests such as the Olympian Games also fostered unity. However, the Ionian cities in Asia Minor received little help from Greece when they revolted (499 B.C.) against Persia, which also threatened the Greek mainland, and the mainland cities were poorly united in the Persian Wars that continued until 449 B.C. Out of these successful wars, however, came the powerful surge of Greek civilization.

Athens, in particular, with the support of the Delian League as the basis of an empire, grew dramatically, and in the age of Pericles (c.495–429 B.C.) developed a culture that left its mark on the course of Western and Eastern civilization. Drama, poetry, sculpture, architecture, and philosophy flourished, and there was a vigorous intellectual life. The leading Greeks of the 5th and 4th cent. B.C. included Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Phidias, Myron, Polykleitos, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Hippocrates. Although Athens succumbed in the Peloponnesian War (431–404 B.C.) and Sparta triumphed briefly before continued fighting gave the hegemony of Greece to Corinth and Thebes, the civilization that had been created lived on.

When Philip II of Macedon attacked the warring city-states and conquered Greece by defeating the Athenians and the Thebans in the battle of Chaeronea (338 B.C.), he paved the way for his son, Alexander the Great, who spread Greek civilization over the known Western world and across Asia to India. After Alexander's death, his empire was torn apart by his warring generals (see Diadochi; Ptolemy I; Seleucus I; Antigonus I; Demetrius I) in the period from 323 to 276 B.C. Some Greek cities formed the Aetolian League to oppose Macedonian rule, but members of the Achaean League took the Macedonian side. The Greek city-states continued their rivalries, and Macedon under the Antigonids became thoroughly Hellenized.

Incessant warfare made Greece increasingly weak, while Rome grew stronger. In 146 B.C., after the Fourth Macedonian War (see Macedon), the remnants of the Greek states fell definitively into the hands of Rome. Under Roman rule, the cities long retained a measure of independence and intellectual life, but had little political or economic importance. Hellenism, however, had triumphed, and Greek intellectual supremacy continued for many centuries. The Byzantine Empire was thoroughly Greek in origin, and Hellenistic civilization, centered at Alexandria, Pergamum, Dura, and other cities, spread Greek influence and preserved the Greek heritage for later ages. The Greeks were the first to write narrative secular history, and the works of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Polybius are basic sources of events and contemporary ideas as well as classics of world literature.

Medieval Greece to Ottoman Rule

From the division (A.D. 395) of the Roman Empire into East and West until the conquest (15th cent.) of Greece by the Ottoman Turks, Greece shared the fortunes and vicissitudes of the Byzantine Empire. The victory (378) of the Visigoths over Emperor Valens at Adrianople marked the beginning of the frequent and devastating barbarian invasions of Greece; the Huns, Avars, Slavs, and Bulgars followed.

Greek power and prestige were restored by the Macedonian dynasty of Byzantine emperors (867–1025); however, the center of the Greek world was Constantinople, not Greece proper. In the 11th cent. the Seljuk Turks began making inroads into the empire, the Normans attacked Epirus, and the Crusades commenced. The Fourth Crusade led in 1204 to the temporary disintegration of the Byzantine Empire and the creation of a feudal state (see Constantinople, Latin Empire of) under the rule of French, Flemish, and Italian nobles and of Venice.

The restored Byzantine Empire (1261–1453) recovered only parts of Greece, most of which continued under the rule of French and Italian princes until conquered by the Ottoman Turks (completed in 1456). Genoa held Khíos until 1566; Venice retained Crete until 1669 and the Ionian Islands until 1797. In its numerous wars with the Ottomans, Venice also held Athens, Évvoia, and several other ports and islands for brief intermittent periods prior to 1718.

Under the Ottoman Empire, Greece was merely one of many exploited territories. The Turks practiced religious tolerance, but otherwise their regime was grasping and oppressive. Many Greek families (notably the Phanariots; see under Phanar) were important in the administration of the empire, and the Greek merchants living in Constantinople and in the ports of Asia Minor, notably Izmir (Smyrna), were very prosperous; but Greece itself languished in obscurity and poverty.

The Struggle for Independence

In the early 19th cent. the desire of the Greeks for independence was stimulated by growing nationalism, by the influence of the French Revolution, by the Turkish reverses in the Russo-Turkish Wars, by the rebellion (1820) of Ali Pasha against the Ottoman Empire, and by the sympathetic attitude of Alexander I of Russia, whose foreign minister, Capo d'Istria, was Greek. In 1821 the Greek War of Independence began under the leadership of Alexander and Demetrios Ypsilanti. European sentiment was overwhelmingly in favor of the Greek cause; financial aid poured in, and many foreign volunteers (of whom Lord Byron was the most celebrated) joined the Greek forces.

Russia and Great Britain agreed (1826) to mediate between the Greeks and Turkey, and in 1827 the Greek political factions set aside their bitter rivalries to elect Capo d'Istria president of Greece. Great Britain, Russia, and France joined in demanding an armistice. Turkey having refused, the allied fleets attacked and defeated the fleet of Muhammad Ali, viceroy of Egypt and the Ottoman sultan's chief supporter against the Greeks, in the battle of Navarino (1827). Only Russia, however, declared war (1828) on Turkey. Defeated, Turkey accepted the Treaty of Adrianople (1829; see Adrianople, Treaty of) and recognized Greek autonomy.

In 1832, Greece obtained from the European powers recognition of its independence. The powers chose, and Greece accepted (1832), a Bavarian prince as king of the Hellenes. Otto I proved authoritarian and unpopular. He was pressured into promulgating a constitution in 1844, and in 1862 he was forced to abdicate. Otto was succeeded by a Danish prince, who as George I (reigned 1863–1913) introduced (1864) a new constitution establishing a unicameral parliament.

Great Britain ceded (1864) the Ionian Islands, and in 1881 Greece acquired Thessaly and part of Epirus. Because of British opposition, Greece was unable to annex Crete during a major insurrection (1866–69) there against Ottoman rule. Continued irredentist agitation to absorb Crete led to the Greco-Turkish War of 1897; Greece was defeated, but because of the pressure of the powers Crete was eventually made independent and later (1913) incorporated into Greece.

The Balkan Wars to the 1930s

Venizelos and Zaïmis were the leading Greek political figures from the late 1890s to the mid-1930s. In the Balkan Wars (1912–13) Greece obtained SE Macedonia and W Thrace; the frontier with newly independent Albania gave a larger part of Epirus to Greece, but neither country was satisfied, and the area remained in dispute until 1971, when Greece, at least temporarily, dropped its claims to N Epirus. George I was assassinated in 1913 and was succeeded by Constantine I.

In World War I, Venizelos, who favored the Allies, negotiated (1915) an agreement allowing them to land troops at Thessaloníki (see Salonica campaigns). However, King Constantine, who favored neutrality, refused to aid the Allies and dismissed Venizelos as premier. Venizelos organized (1916) a government at Thessaloníki, and in 1917 Allied pressure led to Constantine's abdication in favor of his younger son, Alexander. Venizelos again became premier, and Greece fully entered the war. At the peace conference (see Neuilly, Treaty of; Sèvres, Treaty of) Greece received the Bulgarian coast on the Aegean and the remnants of European Turkey including E Thrace and the Dodecanese (except Rhodes) but excluding the Zone of the Straits. Izmir was placed under Greek administration pending a plebiscite.

Encouraged by the Allies, the Greeks invaded (1921) Asia Minor, but were defeated (1922) by the Turkish forces of Kemal Atatürk. The Treaty of Lausanne (1923) restored the Maritsa River as the Greco-Turkish frontier in Europe. A separate agreement provided for the compulsory exchange of populations. Under the supervision of a League of Nations commission about 1.5 million Greeks of Asia Minor were resettled in Greece and about 800,000 Turks and 80,000 Bulgarians left Greece and were repatriated in their respective countries. Constantine, who had returned after the death (1920) of King Alexander, was again deposed in 1922. George II succeeded Alexander, but was soon also deposed (1923), and in 1924 a republic was proclaimed and then confirmed by a plebiscite.

The years 1924–35 were marked by unsettled economic conditions and by violent political strife (including coups and countercoups), in which Paul Kondouriotis, Theodore Pangalos, George Kondylis, Panayoti Tsaldaris, Zaïmis, and Venizelos were the chief protagonists. The defeat (1935) of the rebelling Venizelists in Crete marked the end of the republic. Kondylis ousted Tsaldaris and arranged for a plebiscite that resulted in the restoration of the monarchy and the return of George II. In 1936, Premier John Metaxas, supported by the king, established a dictatorship, ostensibly to avert a Communist takeover of the country. In foreign relations, Greece abandoned its anti-Turkish policy by establishing (1934) the Balkan Entente with Yugoslavia, Romania, and Turkey.

World War II and Civil War

When World War II broke out (1939) Greece remained neutral. In Oct., 1940, however, Italy, after a farcical ultimatum, invaded Greece. The Greeks resisted successfully, carrying the war into S Albania. Metaxas, who had strong pro-German leanings, died in Jan., 1941. When Germany began to gather troops on the Greek borders, Greece allowed the landing (Mar., 1941) of a small British expeditionary force, but by the end of April the Greek mainland was in German hands, and in May Crete fell. The Greek government fled to Cairo, then to Great Britain, and in 1943 settled in Cairo. The German occupation, in which Bulgarian and Italian troops also took part, plunged Greece into abject misery, including an acute shortage of food. Resistance grew despite ruthless reprisals, and successive puppet governments were failures. Guerrilla bands controlled large rural areas.

In 1943 sporadic civil war began between the Communist guerrilla group (EAM-ELAS) and the royalist group (EDES). The guerrillas held most of Greece after the Germans began to withdraw in Sept., 1944. British troops landed, and by November all Germans were expelled. The appalling financial and economic conditions faced by the Greek government on its return (Oct., 1944) to Athens were complicated by an explosive political situation. In Dec., 1944, fighting broke out in Athens between British troops and the EAM-ELAS, which ignored the British order to disarm. Upon the intervention of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, an uneasy truce was arranged (Feb., 1945), and a regency was established under Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens.

Cabinets replaced each other in rapid succession, until elections (Mar., 1946) returned a royalist majority. In Sept., 1946, a plebiscite decided in favor of the return of George II, the reigning monarch; George died in 1947 and was succeeded by his brother Paul. Also in 1946, guerrilla warfare was renewed; Communist-led bands were successful in the northern mountain districts. Charges by the Greek government, supported by Britain and the United States, that Albania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria were aiding the Communist rebels created great controversy at the United Nations between the Western and Soviet blocs. As the civil war continued and Great Britain felt unable to extend further financial and military support to the Greek government, U.S. President Harry S. Truman announced (Mar., 1947) the “Truman Doctrine,” under which the United States sent a group of officers to advise the Greek army and eventually gave Greece about $400 million in military and economic aid. In Dec., 1947, the Communists, led by Markos Vafiades, proclaimed a rival government of the country. However, by late 1949, the rebels, having suffered severe military setbacks and no longer receiving aid from Yugoslavia (which had defected from the Soviet bloc in 1948), ceased open hostilities.

The civil war was marked by brutality on both sides. Economic conditions were miserable, and charges of incompetence and corruption were made against the Greek government by non-Communists as well as by Communists. Political freedom was curtailed, and the Communist party was outlawed. The legislature, dominated by the Populist (royalist) party headed by Constantine Tsaldaris, operated under the 1911 constitution, which it was empowered to revise.

Constitutional Government

Government was unstable in 1950–51, but after a new constitution was ratified in 1951 and elections were held in 1952, Field Marshal Papagos became premier with a majority in the legislature. Greece was a charter member of the UN, and in 1951 it was admitted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). When Papagos died in 1955, he was succeeded by Constantine Karamanlis, whose National Radical Union party increased its majority in subsequent elections (1956, 1958, 1961). Under Papagos and Karamanlis, the Greek economy improved considerably, despite a series of damaging earthquakes in 1953–54; the United States continued to give Greece considerable economic and military aid. In 1954, Greece signed an alliance with Turkey and Yugoslavia, but friction with Turkey (and also with Great Britain) soon arose over the sovereignty of Cyprus, the majority of whose population is ethnically Greek, and continued after Cyprus became independent in 1960. The moderately liberal Center Union gained a plurality of seats in the legislature in elections in 1963, but its leader George Papandreou failed to win a vote of confidence for his government, and new elections were held in 1964. This time the Center Union gained a majority of seats and Papandreou became premier. Also in 1964, Paul died and was succeeded by his son, Constantine II.

In mid-1965, Gen. George Grivas accused Papandreou's son Andreas (an economist who had taught in the United States) of helping to organize a secret leftist group among army officers; similar accusations against both Papandreous were made by the defense minister. In the resulting furor Constantine forced the resignation of George Papandreou, who long had been an opponent of the monarchy. After a period of uncertainty, a new government headed by Stefanos Stephanopoulos was formed in Sept., 1965. This government fell in Dec., 1965, and Constantine authorized Ioannis Paraskevopoulos to form an extraparliamentary government pending elections set for May, 1967. Paraskevopoulos gained the support of George Papandreou and of Panayotis Kanellopoulos, the leader of the National Radical Union, but was forced to resign in Mar., 1967, and was replaced as premier by Kanellopoulos.

Military Rule

Before the elections (which the Center Union seemed likely to win) could be held, rightist army officers staged (Apr. 21, 1967) a successful coup, claiming that a Communist takeover of Greece was imminent. Constantine Kollias was made premier, but real power was held by three army officers, George Papadopoulos, Gregory Spandidakis, and Stylianos Patakos. Many liberals and leftists were placed under arrest, and rigid controls were placed over Greek life. After failing in a countercoup (Dec., 1967), Constantine went into exile. Shortly thereafter, Gen. George Zoitakis was made regent, and Papadopoulos and Patakos, after resigning their army posts, became, respectively, premier and deputy premier. Some clandestine opposition groups were organized in Greece, and there was international protest against the dictatorial ways of the new regime.

In 1968, a new constitution that drastically curtailed the power of the monarchy and expanded that of the premier was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum. Controls over Greek life were relaxed somewhat, and most political prisoners had been released by the early 1970s. In 1972, Papadopoulos, by then the most powerful person in the country, also assumed the post of regent. In May, 1973, members of the navy staged an unsuccessful coup. In June, 1973, the monarchy was abolished, and Greece became a presidential republic. After this move was approved by a plebiscite later in the year, Papadopoulos became provisional president, and Spyros Markezinis replaced him as premier. In an effort to eliminate the remaining traces of military rule and thus to gain greater international acceptance of the new order in Greece, elections were scheduled for 1974. However, on Nov. 25, 1973, Papadopoulos was ousted in a bloodless military coup led Brig. Gen. Dimitrios Ioannidis, the hard-line security chief; Lt. Gen. Phaedon Gizikis was installed as president.

The New Greece

In the aftermath of its failure to gain control of Cyprus by political manipulation there, the Gizikis government, in July, 1974, voluntarily turned over power to a civilian government headed by Karamanlis, who returned from exile. Most exiled politicians (notably Andreas Papandreou) returned to Greece, all political parties (including the Communist party) were allowed to operate freely, and the 1951 constitution was reinstated. In a 1974 referendum, Greek voters rejected reestablishing the monarchy in favor of a presidential parliamentary republic. Karamanlis and the conservative New Democracy (ND) party were reelected and retained their majority in 1977. In 1980, Karamanlis was elected to a five-year term as president, and Giorgios Rallis succeeded him as premier. In 1981, Greece became a member of the European Community (now the European Union).

The Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), under Papandreou, won majorities in the elections of 1981 and 1984, ending 35 years of pro-Western, conservative rule. Under the Socialist governments of the 1980s, support of the public sector grew, and many state-owned businesses continued to lose money. Pasok failed to retain power in 1989, but three elections were needed before the ND secured a parliamentary majority of one vote in 1990. Constantine Mitsotakis then became premier, and Karamanlis was elected president for a second time. Facing a record deficit and high inflation, the Mitsotakis government instituted a severe austerity program and started large-scale privatization of state-owned industries.

In the 1993 elections, Pasok regained power, with Papandreou as premier, and privatization programs were cut back. A dispute with Yugoslav Macedonia was resolved in 1995 when the new republic agreed to modify its flag and renounce any territorial claims against Greece, but the neighboring nation's use of the name Macedonia continued to objectionable to Greece, which in subsequent years blocked its neighbor's admission into the European Union and NATO. In 2011 the International Court of Justice ruled that Greece's blocking of Macedonia's bid to join NATO was contrary to the 1995 agreement. Karamanlis retired as president in 1995 and was succeeded by Costis Stephanopoulos, who was reelected in 2000.

In Jan., 1996, Papandreou, who was then severely ill, resigned and was replaced by the moderate Socialist Costas Simitis, who continued economic reforms aimed at shrinking Greece's welfare state and preparing the nation to participate in the European Union's single currency (the euro), which was adopted by Greece in 2001. Thoughout the 1980s and 1990s Greece's ongoing disputes with Turkey over Cyprus and the status of the Aegean Sea resisted solution, but relations with Turkey began to improve in 1999 after both nations were separately hit by earthquakes and sent aid to each other.

In 2000, Simitis and Pasok retained power after a narrow victory in the general election. Although the economy generally improved under the Socialists, the unemployment rate remained high and corruption scandales hurt the party. In the 2004 elections ND won a majority in parliament, and Costas Karamanlis, nephew of the former president, became premier. Karolos Papoulias was elected president in 2005, succeeding Costis Stephanopoulos. In Aug., 2007, Greece experienced the worst outbreak of wildfires since perhaps the late 1800s; the fires were particularly devastating in the W Peloponnesus. The perceived slow government response to the fires contributed to ND losses in the Sept., 2007, parliamentary elections, but Karamanlis's government nonetheless narrowly retained power. In Jan., 2008, Karamanlis made an official visit to Turkey, the first by a Greek premier in half a century.

In 2008, several government scandals, the effects of the international economic downturn, and days of rioting in December sparked by the shooting of a teenager greatly diminished public support for the government. In Aug., 2009, raging wildfires outside Athens, though less destructive than those of 2007, led to renewed criticism of government preparedness and planning. When Karamanlis called a snap election for Oct., 2009, Pasok secured a majority in the parliament and George Papandreou, Andreas's son, became premier.

A sizable budget deficit forced the new government to adopted an austerity budget for 2010 amid fears that Greece could default on its significant debt obligations. In Jan., 2010, the European Commission condemned Greece for deliberately misreporting past government financial data, and said that its national debt could be greater than expected; additional austerity measures were subsequently adopted under EU pressure, and later calculations (Nov., 2010) showed the 2009 debt and deficit to be even worse. The austerity measures led to sometimes violent demonstrations as unions called a series of general strikes; protests against government policies continued into 2011. President Papoulias was reelected in Feb., 2010.

In May, 2010, the EU, IMF, and Greece finally agreed on a three-year, €110 billion loan package to aid Greece if needed; German resistance to EU aid had delayed the package and led to uneasiness in the financial markets, which had affected the value of the euro. A year later, however, it was evident that additional aid over a longer time-frame would be needed, as the government's austerity measure had sharpened the recession, which led to higher than anticpated budget deficits and also sent unemployment to record levels. In June, 2011, the government was forced to adopt yet more austerity measures. The following month a new loan EU plan for Greece's debt, involving swapping short-term bonds for long-term ones and amounting to a default, sought for the first to reduce Greece's outstanding debt. It was unclear, however, if the plan would be sufficient to stabilize Greek finances.

In the face of public protests, Premier Papandreaou pressed on with measures including privatization and the reduction of the public sector and agreed to additional austerities. His move to put to a referendum an October rescue package that involved banks taking a 50% loss on Greek debt undermined the government and threatened the bailout deal, but it also led in November to the establishment of an interim government of national unity with former European Central Bank vice president Lucas Papademos as premier.

In Mar., 2012, an agreement on conditions for the new EU bailout, which totaled €130 billion, was finally reached. Additional government spending and wage cuts were adopted as part of the agreement, and holders of Greek debt took losses of up to 74% as part of the deal when the country's privately held debt was reduced by €107 billion. The IMF provided an additional contribution of €28 billion. At the same time, however, the austerity measures contributed to a crippling recession, with unemployment exceeding 20% by the time of the May, 2012, elections and increasing to 27% by end of 2012. The continuing economic contraction led to worsening government finances, necessitating additional austerities later in the year in order to secure subsequent payments from the bailout fund. The economy and austerity measures also led to a series of strikes and public protests that continued into 2013 as unemployment remained at record levels, reaching 28% in Nov., 2013.

The May, 2012, elections yielded a fragmented parliament, as many voters rejected Pasok and ND; the latter won the largest share of the vote, 19%, but Syriza, a new leftist party that rejected the March agreement, placed second with 17%. No party proved able to form a governing coalition. In new elections in June, both ND and Syriza increased their shares of the votes and seats, and ND, who narrowly came in first, formed a coalition government with Pasok and the Democratic Left. ND leader Antonis Samaras became premier.

The sudden closure of Greece's state broadcasting company (pending creation of a smaller company) by the government in June, 2013, as an austerity measure led the Democratic Left to withdraw from the government; additional austerities were subsequently approved. In Mar., 2014, the government secured passage of an economic reform bill whose measures had been agreed to in order to obtain loans to repay government debt. The country officially exited its six-year recession in the second half of 2014, but unemployment remained at near-record levels, and diminished very slowly in subsequent years. After Samaras failed to secure the election of new president in Dec., 2014, parliamentary elections were held in Jan., 2015, and Syriza won a plurality, with 36% of the vote and almost half the seats.

Syriza formed a government with the Independent Greeks, a small, right-wing party, and Alexis Tsipras, Syriza's leader, became premier. In February, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, a ND member nominated by the government, was elected president. The new government's desire to avoid an extension of the stringent bailout program led to difficult, contentious negotiations with the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the IMF, and acrimony with several EU nations, especially Germany.

The lack of a resolution led in June to a banking crisis when depositors withdrew funds, anticipating a possible Greek exit from the eurozone, and by July dwindling government funds led to a temporary Greek default on its IMF debt. Capital controls were imposed (and only partially eased over the next year), and banks temporarily closed. In a referendum in July, Greek voters supported the government in its attempt to ease austerity conditions but, to win aid, Tsipras subsequently proposed greater austerities than voters had rejected. The eurozone nations, led by Germany, demanded even greater budget, tax, pension, and civil service changes as well as privatization and market deregulation; a restructuring of Greek debt, which was supported by the IMF, was not included.

The Greek parliament subsequently approved the necessary measures for the new bailout deal with the EU, which totaled €86 billion, but Tsipras resigned in August due to defections from Syriza. Elections in September returned Tsipras and Syriza to power, again with the support of the Independent Greeks. In 2015 some 850,000 mainly Middle Eastern and North African refugees and migrants seeking to reach N and W Europe entered and crossed Greece, with most arriving by sea from Turkey in the second half of the year. The numbers overwhelmed the country's resources, ultimately forcing it to accept EU aid for policing and housing the influx. In 2016, nations to Greece's north closed their borders to the influx of refugees and migrants, essentially trapping tens of thousands in Greece. At the same time, the EU began deporting to Turkey refugees and migrants who entered Greece from Turkey without following immigration procedures.

Pension and tax changes and other measures were adopted in 2016 in advance of disbursement of additional EU aid to Greece, which occurred in October. Negotiations over the next disbursement of aid extended into 2017 as Greece resisted additional austerities following an economic slowdown in late 2016, but a package that included pension cuts, tax increases, and asset sales was ultimately enacted in May, 2017; additional required measures required for bailout funding were enacted in Jan., 2018. By early 2018 the Greek economy was experiencing steady growth and unemployment had fallen to below 21% (and subsequently continued to decrease).

The capital controls in place since 2015 were further eased in June, and in August the last emergency loan program came to an end, though EU oversight continued. Also in June, 2018, the EU signed a debt relief deal with Greece that gave the country more time to repay its bailout loans, and the Greek government agreed to end the name dispute with Macedonia after its northern neighbor agreed to rename itself the Republic of North Macedonia and make changes to its constitution. In July, 2018, fast-moving wildfires in coastal areas outside Athens killed dozens. The 2019 budget, approved in Dec., 2018, continued to rely on austerity measures to comply with the debt relief deal, and in 2019 the government began using the capital markets for debt financing.

In Jan., 2019, Independent Greeks withdrew from the government after Macedonia complied with the renaming deal, but Tsipras then won a confidence vote. In July, 2019, New Democracy won a plurality of the vote and a parliamentary majority; Syriza placed second. ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis succeeded Tsipras as prime minister. The new government ended all capital controls in Sept., 2019. The number of migrants arriving from Turkey increased in 2019 and 2020 (though below the levels of 2015), creating difficulties in the islands near Turkey and on the land border with Turkey.

In Jan., 2020, Katerina Sakellaropoulou was elected president; a judge and nonpartisan candidate, she became the first woman to hold the office. In mid-2020 Greece negotiated maritime agreements with Italy and with Egypt that demarcated Mediterranean Sea boundaries and exclusive economic zones; the deal was in response to a similar Turkish-Libyan agreement in late 2019. Turkish oil-and-gas exploration in disputed sea areas in the second half of 2020 heightened tensions with Greece.


Ancient Greece

The histories of ancient Greece by A. Holm (tr., 4 vol., 1894–98) and G. Grote (rev. ed., 12 vol., 1906–38) were long standard and are still useful. See also W. Jaeger, Paideia (tr., 3 vol., 1943–45); W. G. Forrest, The Emergence of Greek Democracy, 800–400 B.C. (1967); M. I. Rostovtsev, Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World (3 vol., 1941, repr. 1986); V. Ehrenberg, From Solon to Socrates (1973); J. B. Bury, The History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great (4th ed., rev. by R. Meiggs, 1975); K. J. Dover, Greek Homosexuality (1978); M. M. Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest (1981); M. I. Finley, Early Greece (1982); J. V. Fine, The Ancient Greeks (1983); E. S. Gruen, The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome (2 vol., 1984); N. G. Hammond, A History of Greece to 322 B.C. (3d ed. 1986); D. Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire (1987); J.-P. Descoendres, Greek Colonists and Native Populations (1989). See also E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (1951, repr. 2004); M. I. Finley, The World of Odysseus (2d ed. 1977); J. Davidson, Courtesans & Fishcakes (1998).

Later Greece

See E. O'Ballance, The Greek Civil War, 1944–49 (1966); G. Finlay, A History of Greece (7 vol., 1877; repr. 1970); A. G. Papandreou, Democracy at Gunpoint (1970); D. Dakin, The Unification of Greece: 1770–1923 (1972); D. Eudes, The Kapetanios, Partisans and Civil War in Greece, 1943–1949 (tr., 1972); A. F. Freris, The Greek Economy in the Twentieth Century (1986); T. Bahcheli, Greek-Turkish Relations Since 1955 (1988); R. Clogg, A Short History of Modern Greece (1988); Y. A. Kourvetaris and B. A. Dobratz, A Profile of Modern Greece (1988); J. V. Kofas, Intervention and Underdevelopment: Greece During the Cold War (1989); T. Boatswain and C. Nicolson, A Traveller's History of Greece (1990).

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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Oracles of Greece were of great antiquity. They featured divination and prophesy inspired by various means. The Oracles of Delphi, Dodona, Epidaurus, and Trophonius were most famous, though there were many others.

At Epidaurus the temple was dedicated to Æsculapius the Healer and Dream-sender. There people would go to sleep in the temple and have dreams that would tell them how to heal their sickness. At Trophonius there were a great many caverns. It was reported that in the caverns the sounds of underground waters could be heard, while vapors rose up from them. Seekers would sleep in these caverns for several days and nights. When they were awakened by the priests, they would be questioned. Most of them woke feeling terrible sorrow and melancholy.

The Oracle at Dodona was dedicated to Pelasgic Zeus and was the oldest of the Oracles, lasting for 2,000 years. Divination was done there by interpreting the rustling of leaves in the sacred groves, the sound of wind blowing chimes, and the sound of water rushing and falling over rocks. The three priestesses there were known as Peliades, meaning “doves.” They had titles that signified “Diviner of the Future,” “Friend of Man,” and “Virgin Ruler of Man.”

Delphi is probably the best known of all the Oracles. It was located in Phocis, on the southern slope of Mount Parnassus. Although dedicated to Apollo, it seems certain that the shrine was not originally Apollo’s. The site was formerly known as Crisa. It has been said that the Oracle was built above a volcanic chasm and that the Pythia gave her answers to questions in a state of trance induced by intoxicating fumes. According to Justinian (Flavius Anicus Iustinianus, 483–565 CE), “In a dark and narrow recess of a cliff at Delphi there was a little open glade and in this a hole, or cleft in the earth, out of which blew a strong draft of air straight up and as if impelled by a wind, which filled the minds of poets with madness.” However, both geologically and architecturally this is impossible. There is no crack or cleft, and the local strata have never been capable of producing any kind of gas.

Apart from the seers and sibyls of the Oracles and the various temples, there was a class of diviners known as interpreters who would divine by the flights of birds, inspecting entrails, thunder, lightning, dreams, and the various other methods common to the area. They would accompany armed forces, if necessary, so that they could advise the commanders before battle. They also advised the government, to prevent uprisings or revolts of any kind. Æschylus (ca. 525–456 BCE), the earliest and perhaps greatest Greek tragic poet, in a passage in his work Prometheus Vinctus, has Prometheus tell of the subjects in which he first instructed humankind. He lists dreams and their interpretation, chance words overheard, chance meetings on the road, auspices, observation of the flight of birds, augury from entrails and from visions seen in the fire. In ancient Greece, divination from hearing chance words (cledonomancy) was very popular and well established as a religious form of divination. Lawson relates how an enquirer at the temple of Hermes Agoræus would burn incense before the statue of the god, fill bronze lamps with oil and light them, place a certain bronze coin on the altar, then whisper his question in the ear of the statue. The petitioner would then immediately put his hands over his ears and leave the temple. Once outside he would remove his hands and the first words he heard spoken he would accept as the god’s answer to his question. At Thebes, Apollo Spodios gave his answers in the same way.


Buckland, Raymond: The FortuneTelling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 2004
Halliday, W.R.: Greek Divination. London: William Rider, 1913
Lawson, John Cuthbert: Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion. New York: University Books, 1964
Lissner, Ivar: The Living Past. New York: Capricorn Books, 1961
Spence, Lewis: An Encyclopedia of the Occult. London: George Routledge & Sons, 1920
The Spirit Book © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.




Greece is a state in southeastern Europe. Located near Asia and Africa, it occupies an important geographic position in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Greece includes the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula and numerous surrounding islands (more than 100), which make up one-fifth of the country’s area. The largest islands are Crete. Evvoia (Euboea), Rodhos (Rhodes), and Lesvos (Lesbos). Greece borders on Albania, Yugoslavia. Bulgaria, and Turkey. Its area is 131,900 sq km (according to UN data; 130,900 sq km, according to Greek sources). Its population is 8,740,000 (preliminary data of the 1971 census; 8,390,000 according to the 1961 census). The capital is the city of Athens.

Greece is composed of a number of historical-geographical regions: Greater Athens. Central Greece and the island of Evvoia, the Peloponnesus. Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace, the Aegean Islands, the Ionian Islands, Crete, and Ayion Oros Nome (Mount Athos). The regions are divided into nomes, which are in turn divided into eparchies.

Greece is a republic (since 1973).

Greece is a mountainous country on the southern Balkan Peninsula and surrounding islands. It is located in the dry subtropical belt. Its shores are very jagged, and the length of the shoreline, including the islands, is more than 15,000 km. There are many gulfs and bays, which form natural harbors. Most of the shores are straight, steep, and of tectonic origin. The most important peninsulas are the Peloponnesus and Khalkidhiki. Among the islands belonging to Greece are the Southern and Northern Sporades, the Cyclades, Crete, and the Ionian Islands.

Terrain. About two-thirds of Greece’s territory is occupied by mountains and plateaus. The whole territory is dissected from northwest to southeast by two mountain systems. The western system stretches along the coast of the Ionian Sea, includes the Pindus Mountains, and then crosses to the Peloponnesus Peninsula. The mountains on the islands of Crete and Rodhos are the extremity of the system. The eastern system begins in the Grammos Mountains, includes the Othris and Parnassos mountains, and then continues onto the island of Evvoia and the Cyclades. Most of the massifs are of moderate altitude (1,200–1.800 m). and the highest peak is Mount Olympus (2,911 m). The mountains are characterized by sharp, erosional fragmentation and extensive development of karst. The southern spurs of the Pirin and Rhodope mountains enter the northeastern parts of the country (Thrace and Macedonia). Along the coast of the Aegean Sea there are small plains (the plains of Thessaly and Thes-saloniki).


Geological structure and mineral resources. The territory of Greece belongs to the alpine folded region. In the east there are outcroppings of Precambrian crystalline schists, gneiss, and granite, which make up the Cyclades Islands, the Aegean and Pelagonic middle massifs, and the southern extremity of the Rhodope Massif, which is located in the northeast on the Khalkidhiki Peninsula. The central part of Greece and the eastern part of the Peloponnesus are composed of Permian and Triassic limestones and other Mesozoic rocks. The western part of Greece represents the Hellenidae alpine folded system, whose structure is dominated by Jurassic, Cretaceous, Paleogenic (flysch) and Neocene rocks. Northeastern Greece, between the Pelagonic and Rhodope massifs, contains the extremity of the Vardar zone of breaks and a deep Mesozoic depression, with intrusions of basic rocks. There are manifestations of Neocene volcanism on the Cyclades.

Greece’s mineral resources include high-quality ores of iron (the Cyclades, Evvoia, and the area around Athens), manganese (Macedonia), chromite (Thessaly), nickel (near the mount of Larymna), polymetals (near the mount of Lav-rion). bauxites (Parnassos Mountains and Amorgos Island), marble (the area around Athens and Paros Island), emery (Naxos Island), and bog coal (Ptolemais).


Climate. Greece has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, with mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers. There are frequent intrusions of continental air from the north in the summer, and in the winter the influence of cyclones in the west and southwest increases. The average temperature in Athens is 9°C in January and 27° C in July. The amount of precipitation declines from northwest to southeast. On the windward slopes of the mountains the annual precipitation is 1,200–1,400 mm, and on the plains it is about 350 mm. of which 80 percent falls in the winter. In the mountains at altitudes of more than 600 m and in the northern part of the country the climate is more severe, with winter temperatures below 0° C.

Rivers and lakes. The rivers of Greece are small. The most important rivers are the Axios. Maritsa. Strimon, and Nes-tos, which are located in the northern and northeastern parts of the country. (Only the lower reaches of these rivers are in Greece.) Most of the rivers are mountain rivers, which often flow through tectonic breaks. They are fed mainly by rain and snow, and they become much more shallow in the summer. Some rivers are used for irrigation. The largest lakes are Lake Trikhonis in the southwest, Lake Vegorritis in the northwest, and Lake Prespa, which is on the border of Greece, Yugoslavia, and Albania. These lakes are of tectonic origin. There are many karst lakes, which have mineral sources.

Soil. The coastal and low-lying regions have cinnamon and brown cinnamon soils covered with shrubs and dry forests. Brown mountain-forest soils are found at higher altitudes. There are red mountain soils on the calcareous rocks of eastern Thessaly. the Peloponnesus, and the Sporades. The soil is undergoing erosion in many regions.

Flora. In southern Greece up to altitudes of 750–900 m there are large stretches of maquis with evergreen shrubs (myrtle, juniper, broom, and blackthorn) and pine and oak groves. At higher altitudes (up to 1,000 m) there are deciduous, broad-leaved forests of oak, beech, chestnut, and ash. The peaks of the mountains are covered with fir and pine forests. In northern Greece oaks are found on the low slopes. At higher altitudes (up to 750–1,000 m) there are groves and forests of ash, maple, linden, elm, chestnut, and walnut. Beech forests occur at altitudes of up to 1,800–1,950 m, and coniferous forests are found at higher altitudes. The upper tree line is at an altitude of 2,000 m and on Mount Olympus, 2.200 m. Higher altitudes have mountain meadows with an abundance of endemic species. The basin areas have shrub steppes and cultivated areas. Forests cover about 15 percent of the country.

Fauna. Predatory mammals of the mountain areas include the jackal, fox. and wild forest cat. Among the endemic species are the ibex and Chinese striped hamster and in the coastal waters, the monk seal. There are many snakes, lizards, and turtles.

Greece has several national parks, including Olympus and Parnassos parks on mainland Greece and Samaria Park on Crete.

Natural regions. In the northern Aegean region in northeastern Greece plains alternate with mountain chains stretching southeast. The climate is transitional from temperate to Mediterranean. There are broad-leaved forests and shrubs. Thessaly. the Khalkidhiki Peninsula, and the Thessaloniki lowlands have the most extensive fertile plains in Greece. The mountain massifs surrounding them are covered with shrubs and forest thickets. Epirus is a folded, very rugged mountain region in northwestern Greece. The climate is humid and mild. There are broad-leaved forests and meadows. Central Greece has a very broken mountainous relief and very rugged shores. Its climate is Mediterranean. The Peloponnesus is almost completely isolated from central Greece. Block mountain ridges overgrown with maquis alternate with fault basins. The shores are very rugged. On Crete limestone mountains of moderate altitudes prevail. They break off sharply toward the sea and are covered with maquis and phrygana (a xerophytic shrub formation). There are many endemic species of plants. The Ionian Islands have mountains of moderate altitude, in which limestones and clay shales prevail. The climate is humid, and the coastal plains are fertile. The islands of the Greek archipelago in the Aegean sea are mountainous, and earthquakes occur frequently. The islands are covered with evergreen vegetation.

The northern Aegean region, the region of Thessaly, the Khalkidhiki Peninsula, and the Thessaloniki lowlands, and Epirus have landscapes similar to those of Central Europe. The other regions have primarily subtropical Mediterranean landscapes.


Dobrynin, B. F. Fizicheskaia geografiia Zapadnoi Evropy. Moscow, 1948.
Gratsianskii. A. N. Priroda Sredizemnomor’ia. Moscow, 1971.
Aubouin. J., J. N. Brunn, J. Dercourt, I. Godfriaux, and J. Mercier. “Esquisse de la géologie de la Grèce.” Mémoires de la Société géologique de France, supplement, 1963. vol. 2.
Philippson, A. Die griechischen Landschaften, vols. 1–4. Frankfurt am Main. 1950–59.


More than 95 percent of the people in Greece are Greeks. There are groups of Albanians and Aromani. or Vlachs. in the central regions and groups of Turks in eastern Greece, in Thrace. Jews, gypsies, and Bulgarians live throughout the country. The official language is Greek. The overwhelming majority of the population are Greek Orthodox. A small number of Greeks are Catholics, and the Turks are Muslims. The Julian calendar was used until Mar. 9, 1924. and the Gregorian calendar was adopted on Mar. 23, 1924.

The greatest population density is in the plains (120 persons per sq km), but in the inner mountain regions the density is fewer than ten persons per sq km. There has been large-scale emigration to Western Europe, chiefly to the Federal Republic of Germany (42,700 people in 1968 and more than 90,000 in 1969). Recently, internal migration caused by industrialization has increased. According to the 1961 census, of the total economically active population 53.4 percent were engaged in agriculture, 18.3 percent in mining and processing industries, including construction, 7.2 percent in trade, and 4.1 percent in transportation and communications. The urban population is more than 56 percent of the total population (43.4 percent live in the cities and 13 percent in workers’ settlements). Some of the urban population is engaged in agriculture. Cities with a population of more than 100,000 (1971) are Athens (population, 2,530,000 including Piraeus and the suburbs), Thessaloniki (545,000), and Patrai (102,200, including the suburbs).

Before the Turkish conquest in the mid-l5th century—at which point it is customary to begin the history of modern Greece—the country had a primitive communal and slaveholding system. Feudal relations arose and flourished in Greece when it was part of Byzantium.

Greece under Turkish domination (1453–1821). Even after the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453. a large part of Greece remained outside the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish conquest of Greece, which continued until the end of the 17th century, hindered the country’s social, economic, and political development. The Turks extended the system of military fiefs to Greece, contributing to a revival of a subsistence economy. The population was heavily taxed, and in order to escape the brutality of their conquerors, some of the Greek people emigrated to Italy, Russia, Austria, and other countries. In the system of Turkish possessions in Europe, Greece was part of the eyalet of Rumelia. and the islands of the Aegean Sea were organized as a separate eyalet. The administrative units were headed by Turkish officials. Local self-government was in the hands of the big Greek landowners (kodjahashis, primates).

Trying to use the Greek Orthodox Church to further their interests, the Turks broadened the privileges and immunities that the Constantinople Patriarchate had had during the Byzantine period. By means of its exploitative policy and, from the 18th century, its policy of Hellenization, the church of Constantinople thwarted the development of national consciousness among the Balkan peoples. The privileged strata of Greek society also included the Phanariots—wealthy, aristocratic Greeks who began playing an important role in the central administration of the Ottoman Empire in the mid-17th century.

The popular masses fought vigorously against the foreign yoke. The Turks were never able to subjugate some mountainous areas—Maina on the Peloponnesus, Suli in Epirus, and Sphakia on the island of Crete. In other regions, detachments of klephts, which were composed of peasants who had fled to the mountains, waged guerrilla war. Unable to destroy the klepht detachments, the Turkish government legalized some of them, making them responsible for keeping order.

There were repeated anti-Turkish uprisings in Greece, including the uprising on the Peloponnesus during the Turkish-Venetian War of 1463–79, uprisings in 1571 on mainland Greece. Macedonia, the Aegean islands, and the Peloponnesus, the uprising of Dionysios the Philosopher in 1611. and the Peloponnesian uprising of 1770. The Greeks placed their greatest hopes for liberation of the homeland on aid from Russia, with which they were close because of a common religion and long-standing economic, political, and cultural relations.

In the second half of the 18th century, handicrafts developed in Greece, and the sphere of commodity and money relations broadened. There was considerable development of weaving and spinning, one of the centers of which was Ara-pelakia (Thessaly). as well as of navigation. Various regions of Greece established ties with European markets. Thessaloniki became the most important commercial center of the Balkans. The Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji of 1774 created favorable conditions for the development of Greek navigation by permitting Greek ships to fly the Russian flag, and a substantial part of Russian Black Sea trade fell into Greek hands. Chiefly as a result of trade. Greek communities abroad also experienced great economic prosperity.

In addition to socioeconomic circumstances, political events in Greece and beyond its borders promoted the formation of the Greeks’ national consciousness. Under the impact of the Great French Revolution, the Greek revolutionary democrat Rhighas Velestinles wrote a constitution for Greece and the other Balkan countries. With Russia’s assistance (Ushakov’s Mediterranean Campaign of 1798–1800). the Ionian Islands, which had been captured by France in 1797, were liberated from French troops in 1798–99, and under the Russo-Turkish Convention of 1800, the so-called Republic of the Seven United Islands was established on the islands. In the early 19th century this Greek autonomous state, which was under Russia’s protection, was a national center for Greece. A substantial part of continental Greece was part of the semiindependent loannina Pashalik, which was governed by the Ali Pasha of Tepelenë from 1787 to 1822.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries a national movement began to form in Greece in an atmosphere of intensified class contradictions. Progressive representatives of the Greek communities in London. Vienna, and Paris published Greek newspapers, issued revolutionary pamphlets, and founded national organizations. The secret revolutionary society Philike Hetairia (“friendly society”), which was founded in Odessa in 1814, began preparations for an uprising against the Ottoman yoke. In 1820. A. Ypsilantis, a descendant of a Greek aristocratic family and a general in the Russian service, became the leader of the society. In the spring of 1821, Philike Hetairia raised the banner of the national liberation uprising of the Greek people against Turkish domination.

National liberation revolution of 1821–29. The revolt raised by Ypsilantis in February (March) 1821 in Moldavia was the signal for a national liberation uprising in Greece, which began in March (April) 1821. In Greece. March 25 (April 6) is celebrated as Independence Day. The rebels seized Kalamai. the capital of Messini. where they organized the first government body, the Peloponnesian Senate. Soon the uprising spread over the entire Peloponnesus and then to the islands of Spetsai. Hydra, and Psara. A revolution began in Greece, the main driving force of which was the peasantry. (See GREEK WAR OF INDEPENDENCE OF1821–29.) The rebel detachments were led by gifted military commanders, including T. Kolokotronis, M. Botsares, and G. Karaiskakis. The revolution was led by the rising national bourgeoisie under A. Mavrokordatos. In January 1822 the National Assembly, meeting in Piad near Epidauros, adopted the first Greek constitution, the so-called Epidaurian Organic Statute of 1822, which proclaimed Greece an independent state and elected Mavrokordatos president. In February 1825 an Egyptian army commanded by Ibrahim-Pasha came to the aid of the Turks. The heroic liberation struggle of the Greek people against the Turkish conquerors evoked sympathy in various strata of European society. Foreign volunteers, including the English poet Byron, came to the aid of the Greeks, and philhellenic committees were founded in several countries.

In April 1827 the National Assembly elected J. Kapodis-trias, a Greek politician who had been in the Russian diplomatic service for a long time, president of Greece. In order to prevent the growth of Russia’s influence in Greece. Great Britain and France concluded with Russia the London Convention of 1827, under which the three powers pledged to request jointly from the Turkish government the granting of autonomy to Greece, on the condition that Greece would pay an annual tribute to the sultan. After the sultan refused to accept their proposals, Russia. Great Britain, and France sent naval squadrons to the shores of the Peloponnesus, which defeated the Turkish-Egyptian fleet in the battle of Navarino in 1827.

The final fate of Greece was decided by the Russo-Turkish war of 1828–29, which was concluded by the Treaty of Adri-anople of 1829. The treaty provided that Greece be granted autonomy on the condition that it would pay a tribute to the sultan. Greece’s frontiers were established along the line from the Gulf of Arta to the Gulf of Volos, including the Cyclades Islands. On Feb. 3, 1830, according to the decision of the London Conference of three powers. Greece officially became an independent state. The state of Greece did not include Epirus. Thessaly, Crete. Samos, and other areas inhabited by Greeks. Acarnania and part of Aetolia were detached from Greece and granted to Turkey, but they were purchased by Greece in 1832. The London Conference imposed a monarchy on Greece.

From the 1830’s to the early 1900’s. After the assassination of Kapodistrias in 1831 by conspirators who enjoyed the secret support of Great Britain and France, the Bavarian prince Otto became king of Greece. Bavarian troops were introduced into Greece, and the Greek national bourgeoisie was removed from the state administration.

Capitalism developed slowly in Greece, which was financially dependent on foreign capital (it received British loans in 1824, 1825, and 1832) and had no raw materials base of its own. The agrarian question had not been solved. Major peasant uprisings broke out in several provinces in 1834, 1836. and 1838, but they were cruelly suppressed. In its struggle for political power the national bourgeoisie used the peasant movement and the dissatisfaction of the urban lower strata. On Sept. 14, 1843. an armed uprising flared up in Greek military units in Athens. The king was forced to disband the Bavarian troops, make the Bavarian ministers resign, and call the National Assembly. The assembly adopted a constitution that established a responsible ministerial government, a bicameral parliament, and suffrage limited by property qualifications. During the Crimean War (1853–56) a movement developed for the reunification with Greece of Thessaly, Epirus, and the other Greek lands that remained under Turkey’s rule. In 1854. Greek troops occupied Epirus and then entered Thessaly, but Greece’s attempt to reunite its territories failed because of the intervention of Great Britain and France on Turkey’s side.

Economic dislocation, heavy taxation, lack of democratic freedoms, and domination by foreigners caused a bourgeois revolution in February 1862. Uprisings broke out in Nav-plion, Argos, Tripolis, and other cities. By autumn the movement had seized all of Acarnania. On October 22 the Athenian garrison rebelled. On October 23 a provisional government was established, which proclaimed the deposition of King Otto and called a national assembly to devise a new constitution and elect a king. Great Britain, which promised to transfer to Greece the Ionian Islands, which had been under a British protectorate since 1815. succeeded in putting its candidate on the Greek throne—the Danish prince William George Glücksburg, a relative of the English king. The constitution adopted in late 1864 introduced a unicameral parliament and universal suffrage limited by residential qualifications. In the same year Greece received the Ionian Islands, which had lost their strategic importance for Great Britain. In 1881 a convention was signed in Constantinople, which provided for the transfer to Greece of part of Thessaly and the region of Arta in Epirus, with a total area of 13,200 sq km.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, power in Greece was held alternately by representatives of two political groupings of the Greek bourgeoisie, which were led by K. Trikoupes and his rival, T. Deliyiannes. The policy of Trikoupes’ group (the so-called Progressives, or the Progressive Party, founded in the I880’s) expressed the interests of the big commercial and rising industrial bourgeoisie, which was linked with foreign, primarily British, capital. Deliyiannes and his supporters (the so-called Nationalists) endeavored to realize the demands of the part of the bourgeoisie that opposed domination by foreign capital and supported the reunification of all Greek lands with Greece.

Trikoupes (head of state in 1874–75, 1878, 1880, 1882–85, 1886–90, 1892–93, and 1893–95) made generous concessions to British. French, and later German joint-stock companies. From 1861 to 1875, 400 mining concessions were granted to foreign capitalists and 30 to foreign joint-stock companies. Almost every two or three years. Greece took major loans from Great Britain. France, and later Germany. On the one hand, this policy resulted in some degree of industrial growth. (Textile factories, wineries, and leather plants were established, and mineral resources began to be exploited.) Trikoupes’ policy also led to the construction of railroads (11 km in 1869. 767 km in 1890, and 902 km in 1900). as well as dams and canals (for example, the Corynthian Canal, opened in 1893). On the other hand, his policy resulted in the greater financial and political dependence of Greece on foreign powers. Lacking the resources to pay its debts, which totaled 704.4 million drachmas, the Trikoupes government declared the bankruptcy of Greece in 1893. One of the numerous anti-Turkish uprisings on Crete, which began in 1896, led to the Greco-Turkish War of 1897. Unprepared for war. Greece was defeated and was forced to pay Turkey an indemnity of 4 million Turkish pounds. Greece’s financial insolvency led to the establishment in 1898 of the International Financial Commission, which was composed of Great Britain. France. Russia. Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy and was responsible for supervising Greece’s revenues and expenditures.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were characterized by some increase in the development of capitalism in Greece. Increased industrial production led to the growth of a proletariat. In the late 19th century the first trade unions were founded and led strikes at several enterprises.

Greek financial dependence on the Western powers evoked dissatisfaction among the national bourgeoisie. In 1908 a group of officers associated with the opposition bourgeosie set up the Military League, which led the Athens Uprising of 1909. The uprising brought to power E. Ven-izelos. who founded the Liberal Party in 1910. Venizelos carried out taxation, agrarian, and administrative reforms and participated in the formation of the Balkan League of 1912. As a result of the First and Second Balkan Wars of 1912–13, Greece received Aegean Macedonia and Thessaloniki, western Thrace, including the cities of Serrai. Kavalla, and Drama, and Epirus and Crete.

During the first years of World War I (1914–18). Greek neutrality contributed to the enrichment of the Greek commercial bourgeoisie. Greece entered the war on the side of the Entente on June 29. 1917. and its participation in the war led to economic dislocation, financial crisis, and famine in the country.

Period of the general crisis of capitalism. 1918–39. After World War I there was an upsurge in the revolutionary movement in Greece under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. In October 1918 the General Confederation of Labor of Greece was established and became the unifying trade union center of the country. In November 1918 the Socialist Workers’ Party of Greece was founded. On May 1, 1919, a national demonstration was held by the Greek proletariat under the slogans of recognizing Soviet Russia and protesting against Greek participation in the anti-Soviet intervention. The Second Congress of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Greece, which was held in April 1920, announced the party’s entry into the Comintern, and the party assumed the name the Socialist Workers’ Party of Greece (Communist).

During World War I the British imperialists had promised Venizelos Smyrna (Izmir), which belonged to Turkey, in return for Greek participation in the war. On May 15, 1919, Greek troops occupied Smyrna with the permission of the Council of the Four (Great Britain, the USA, France, and Italy). In June 1920 war broke out between Greece and Turkey, inspired by the imperialists, primarily the British, who hoped to take advantage of the war to strengthen their weakened position in the Near East. On Sept. 9, 1922, Kemel’s army, having captured Smyrna, defeated the Greek troops, whose remnants were evacuated to the islands of Khios and Lesvos. The uprising that broke out on Khios on Sept. 24. 1922. against the government’s adventurist policy soon spread throughout Greece and led to the overthrow of the monarchist party (the so-called National Party, founded in 1915), whose representatives had replaced Venizelos as head of state in November 1920, Constantine, who had become king in 1913 after the death of George I, abdicated the throne in favor of his son George II and left Greece on Sept. 22, 1922.

On Nov. 15, 1922, several persons guilty of undertaking the Asia Minor adventure, including former prime ministers Gounares, Stratos, and Protopapodakes, were executed. The Treaty of Lausanne, which concluded the war, was signed on July 24, 1923. Under the convention on population exchange signed between Greece and Turkey. 1.5 million refugees arrived in Greece. The influx of a cheap labor force enabled the capitalists to lower wages in all branches of industry. In response to this, a general strike involving more than 140,000 workers was staged in August 1923 under the leadership of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Greece (Communist). Although it was defeated, the strike influenced the development of the political struggle. The advocates of proclaiming Greece a republic won a majority in the elections of December 1923. King George II left the country on Dec. 19, 1923. On Mar. 8. 1924, Greece established diplomatic relations with the USSR, and on Mar. 25, 1924, the Constituent National Assembly proclaimed Greece a republic. Power was assumed by the government of A. Papanastasiou, leader of the Republican Union Party, which was founded in 1924. The new government adopted several laws to strengthen its power, including agrarian reforms.

The Third Extraordinary Congress of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Greece (Communist), which was held from Nov. 26 to Dec. 3. 1924, renamed the party the Communist Party of Greece (CPG). The congress advanced the slogan of the struggle for the formation of a workers’ and peasants’ government. The upsurge in the workers’ and peasants’ movement in early 1925 and some liberal measures of the Papanastasiou government aroused the fear of the big bourgeoisie. On June 25, 1925, General T. Pangalos led a coup d’etat, arrested his bourgeois opponents, and proclaimed the Communist Party illegal and arrested all the members of its central committee. Pangalos dissolved parliament on Sept. 30, 1925. and proclaimed himself dictator on Jan. 4, 1926. His massive concessions to foreign capitalists, primarily the French, aroused dissatisfaction among a large number of the big bourgeoisie, who brought about his overthrow on Aug 22, 1926. Elections held on Nov, 7, 1926. were won by Venizelos’ Liberal Party.

During the first decade after World War I there were no significant changes in Greece’s economic development. The agrarian reform that was implemented between 1924 and 1926 did not eliminate the vestiges of feudalism in the Greek countryside, nor did it abolish the big estates. A substantial number of enterprises—primarily light industry and food-processing establishments—were built between 1921 and 1933. There was almost no heavy industry.

In 1928 a government headed by Venizelos came to power. Some democratic freedoms were restored in the country. However, the upsurge of the revolutionary movement frightened the bourgeoisie. On July 25, 1929, parliament adopted a law prohibiting the Communist Party and the revolutionary trade unions.

The world economic crisis that began in 1929 struck the Greek economy—particularly agriculture—with exceptional force. Industrial production dropped by 25 percent between 1928 and 1929, and unemployment figures reached 200.000 in 1931. A powerful workers’ and peasants’ movement developed. On Nov. 4, 1932, P. Tsaldanes, the leader of the Popular Party, which leaned toward France in foreign policy, came to power. In February 1934, Greece became a member of the Balkan Entente. From the mid-1930’s fascist Germany played an increasingly active role in the struggle of the imperialist powers for domination of Greece.

In October 1935, Kondyles, the leader of the National Radcal Party, led a military-monarchist coup d’etat. Acting on his proposal, parliament adopted a decree restoring the monarchy. The plebiscite of November 3. which was stage-managed by the monarchists, made it possible for King George II to return to Greece.

The struggle of the democratic forces of the Greek people against the monarchy and the oppression of foreign imperialists was led by the CPG. As early as 1934 the Popular Front was formed on the initiative of the CPG. It was made up of the CPG, the left-wing trade unions, some separate socialist groups, and the Agrarian Party. After the execution of strikers in Thessaloniki on May 9, 1936, the Central Committee of the CPG and the parliamentary faction of the Popular Front published an appeal that condemned the government’s criminal actions and called on the people and the army to begin a struggle against the government. However, on Aug. 4, 1936, General J. Metaxas led a fascist coup d’etat, disbanded all political parties, arrested their leaders, and attacked the CPG with particular force. In the first three months after Metaxas took power, more than 1,000 antifascists were exiled to deserted islands. In foreign affairs the Metaxas government pursued a policy of rapprochement with Germany.

WORLD WAR II (1939–45). At the beginning of World War II the Greek government announced its neutrality. On Oct. 28, 1940, fascist Italy presented Greece with an ultimatum demanding free access of Italian troops to Greek territory and transfer to Italy of several vital strategic areas and naval bases. Under popular pressure the Greek government rejected the ultimatum. On October 28, Italian troops invaded Greece. The Greek Army stopped the Italian offensive on November 14, and soon the interventionists were driven from the country. On Apr. 6, 1941, the troops of fascist Germany invaded Greece. Despite the heroic resistance of the Greek Army, all of Greece was occupied by fascist German troops on June 2. King George II and the government fled to Egypt. The Greek people began a partisan struggle, of which the CPG became the organizer. On May 28, 1941, the first organization of the resistance movement was established— the National Solidarity. On the night of May 31, 1941, the Greek patriots M. Glezos and A. Santas tore down the fascist flag from the Acropolis. This action symbolized the resolve of the Greek people to wage a struggle against the occupation forces—a struggle that grew more intense after the beginning of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union.

On the initiative of the CPG the National Liberation Front was founded on Sept. 27, 1941. It united all the patriotic forces of the country. In December the guerrilla detachments were consolidated into the Greek National Popular Liberation Army, which attained a strength of 70,000 men in 1943. A general antifascist strike took place in Greece from February to March 1943 (Athens General Strike of 1943). By the autumn of 1943 the National Popular Liberation Army had liberated about one-third of the territory of Greece. The foundations of popular democractic rule were laid in the liberated areas, where people’s councils, militia bodies, and elected courts were established. On Mar. 10, 1944, the Political Committee of National Liberation was formed, which virtually performed the functions of a provisional democratic government. On Apr. 27. 1944, the Political Committee of National Liberation held elections to the National Assembly of Greece (207 deputies were elected). At the session of May 14–27, 1944, the National Assembly adopted laws concerning bodies of local self-government, popular justice, militia, and labor.

With the support of the British government, G. Papan-dreou’s government-in-exile called a so-called conference of national unity in Lebanon in May 1944, which was attended by representatives of the National Liberation Front and the Political Committee of National Liberation. Under the Lebanon Agreement of 1944. which was concluded at the conference, power passed to Greek antidemocratic forces. The Jassy-Kishenev Operation of 1944 by Soviet troops and the defeat of the Hitlerites in the Balkans in the autumn of 1944 left the fascist German troops in a critical situation. By the end of October 1944 the National Popular Liberation Army had completely liberated the territory of Greece from fascist German occupation forces.

During the war more than 400,000 Greeks were killed, died of hunger, or fell in the partisan struggle. Greek industry deteriorated during the war. For example, in 1945 production in the machine-building industry had fallen to 20 percent of the 1939 level, in the cotton and silk industry, to 30 percent, in the wool industry, to 15 percent, in the paper industry, to 35 percent, and in the cement industry, to 12 percent. The yield of cereal crops had fallen to 75 percent of the prewar level, of tobacco to 63.9 percent, of grapes to 47 percent, and of cotton to 66.7 percent. The number of livestock was reduced by 353,600 head. On Oct. 4. 1944. British troops landed in Greece under the pretext of liberating the country from the fascist occupation troops. On October 12 (according to corrected data) Athens was liberated and the Greek government returned from exile. With the help of British troops, reactionary forces unleashed mass terror in the country. On Dec. 3, 1944, a peaceful demonstration of 500.000 Athenians was fired on, and British troops began open combat operations against the National Popular Liberation Army, various detachments of which left Athens. On Feb. 12, 1945, the leadership of the National Liberation Front signed an agreement with the N. Plastiras government in Varkiza. Greek reactionaries and the British interventionists took advantage of the Varkiza Agreement of 1945 to regroup their forces and unleash a civil war in Greece.

GREECE AFTER WORLD WAR II. The rallying of Greek patriotic forces with the aim of thwarting the plans of reactionaries was hindered by the ultraleftist sectarian mistakes committed by N. Zachariadhe. the secretary-general of the CPG. and his followers. (These mistakes were condemned in the decisions of the Eighth Congress of the CPG in 1961.) As a result of the plebiscite of Sept. 1,1946, George II returned to the throne. Civil war broke out in the country.

P. Tsaldares’ Popular Party, which came to power, intensified the terror throughout the country. With a view to self-defense, in October 1946 the democratic organizations created the Democratic Army of Greece, which waged a struggle against Greek reaction and US and British imperialists between 1946 and 1949. In September 1949 the Democratic Army of Greece discontinued its fight. Progressive politicians were most cruelly persecuted. In 1952, N. Belo-yannes, a member of the Central Committee of the CPG, was executed.

The USA imposed the Truman Doctrine on Greece in 1947 and extended the Marshall Plan to Greece in 1948. As a result, the country became more dependent on the USA. On Sept. 20, 1951. the Greek government decided to join NATO, and Greece became a member of NATO in February 1952.

In November 1952 the Greek Rally Party (founded in September 1951). led by Marshal A. Papagos, came to power. This party, and later the National Radical Union, founded on the basis of the Greek Rally in January 1956 and headed by C. Karamanlis, continued to suppress democratic forces inside the country. In foreign policy, the two parties were oriented toward the Atlantic policy of the USA (the Greco-American Agreement of Oct. 12, 1953. under which Greece was covered with a network of US military bases). Greece’s growing economic and political dependence on the USA and other NATO countries aroused the dissatisfaction of the popular masses and stimulated the growth of democratic sentiments. In the parliamentary elections of May 11, 1958, which were held according to the so-called weighted majoritarian electoral system, 79 deputies were elected from the lists of the Union of the Democratic Left, which had been founded in June 1951. (In the previous election. 18 of the party’s members were elected to parliament.) The Eighth Congress of the CPG in 1961 was very important to the Greek democratic movement. It analyzed the CPG’s 20 years’ experience, adopted a new program, and oriented the Communists toward the struggle for the democratic development of Greece and for the country’s leaving NATO. On Oct. 29. 1961. using methods of mass terror and rigging the election to ensure a parliamentary majority for itself, the National Radical Union held parliamentary elections that became known in Greek history as the parliamentary coup d’etat.

On July 18, 1962, the Karamanlis government adopted the law “On Regulating Questions Relating to the Country’s Security.” which virtually maintained the emergency measures of the civil war of 1946–49. Greece’s entry into the Common Market on Nov. 1, 1962, with the status of an associate member increased the country’s economic dependence on foreign monopolies, primarily American and West German. The CPG, which had been underground since 1947, remained illegal, and thousands of political prisoners continued to languish in prisons and places of exile. More than 60.000 people were compelled to emigrate. From 1959 to 1962 a number of show-case trials against members of the democratic movement were staged. The activity of reactionary paramilitary organizations was encouraged. In 1962, under pressure from the popular masses, the government was forced to dismantle the Agios Eustratios concentration camp, releasing 1,300 democrats. Unable to control the onslaught of the popular masses, the Karamanlis government began to resort to political assassinations. The assassination of G. Lambrakis, a deputy of the Union of the Democratic Left, in Thessaloniki on May 22, 1963, caused a storm of popular indignation. The National Radical Union government was forced to resign.

Parliamentary elections were held on Nov. 3, 1963. The Center Union, which had been founded in September 1961 and was led by G. Papandreou, came to power. The Papandreou government announced a program of “political, economic, and social democracy.” In foreign policy, it promised to pursue closer relations with the NATO countries, while at the same time establishing friendly relations with the socialist states. The Papandreou government tended to be conciliatory toward the National Radical Union and rejected the support of the democratic forces. Under pressure from the royal court, which feared the growth of the democratic movement, and because of the prime minister’s attempt to strengthen the position of the Center Union in the army and the state organization, the Papandreou government resigned on July 15, 1965.

The attempts of Greek reactionaries to form a right-of-center government encountered vigorous resistance from the people. On July 27, 1965, 320,000 working people participated in a strike, demanding the restoration of constitutional and trade union liberties. The extreme right wing that split off from the Center Union under the leadership of S. Stephanopoulos succeeded in forming a government that received a vote of confidence in parliament by a majority of four votes. Terrorist organizations stepped up their activity in Greece. Political instability led to economic decline, increased corruption, and deterioration of the material conditions of the working people. Broad strata of the people joined the democratic movement. In 1965 there were 252 strikes involving more than 964,000 people, and in 1966 there were 395 strikes involving more than 1 million people. The Greek bourgeoisie tried to curb the development of the democratic movement by government coalitions between the National Radical Union and the right wing of the Center Union. In an atmosphere of increased political tension, power relationships favored the parties that advocated the democratic development of the country. However, the reactionary Greek military, who were linked with the intelligence services of the USA and NATO, staged a coup d’etat on Apr. 21, 1967, and openly established a military dictatorship. The CPG and the Union of the Democratic Left were most harshly attacked. The constitution was suspended, all democratic organizations were outlawed, and the progressive press was destroyed. Thousands of democrats were again sent to prison or into exile. As a result of a compromise between the king and the military junta, C. Kollias, chairman of the Supreme Court of Appeals, was appointed prime minister. However, the representatives of the military regime could not even win the support of the right-wing political parties. The Greek oligarchy attempted to transfer power to the right-wing political parties by staging a palace countercoup led by King Constantine on Dec. 13, 1967. This attempt failed. The king and Kolias fled to Italy.

Colonel G. Papadopoulos, the chief of the military junta, became prime minister. The Papadopoulos government worked out the draft of the new constitution of Greece, which was used to legalize the military dictatorship. A referendum on the draft of the new constitution was held on Sept. 29, 1968, in an atmosphere of political terror and election rigging. In this referendum 7.76 percent of the electorate voted against the draft, and 22.51 percent boycotted the referendum.

At the beginning of 1973 various sections of the Greek population, with students in the forefront of the movement, intensified their antidictatorship activities under the slogan of struggle for democracy. The army, too, was discontented with Papadopoulos’ dictatorship. An antigovernment plot hatched by the Greek Navy was declared to have been disclosed by the authorities in May 1973. The working people of Greece became more active in their struggle to improve their standard of living. The abolition of the monarchy, which was officially accounted for by King Constantine’s involvement in the navy plot, and the proclamation of a “presidential parliamentary republic” were made known by the government on June 1, 1973. Amendments to the Constitution of 1968 were decreed in June 1973, conferring wide executive and legislative powers on President Papadopoulos. A referendum was held on July 29. with pressure directed at the voters, and the constitutional amendments were approved. In his attempt to relax pressure on the existing regime, Papadopoulos lifted the state of emergency, had his companions in the military junta removed from the government, and on October 8, set up a civilian cabinet headed by S. Markezinis. who was the leader of the Progressive Party, founded in 1955. However, no stabilization followed these changes. The deteriorating economic position of the working people and a sharp increase in prices, aggravated by the monetary and financial crisis, gave rise to a new wave of antigovernment sallies. Mass actions by students, backed by the working class and intellectuals, broke out anew in Athens and other cities in November. The participants demanded that genuine democratic reforms be effected. The uprising was brutally suppressed by the authorities with the help of the police and the army. A state of emergency was reestablished in Greece on Nov. 17, 1973. A military coup d’etat plotted by the top command took place on Nov. 25, resulting in the deposition of Papadopoulos and the Markezinis government. General F. Ghizikis became president. The new military dictatorship opposed any kind of “liberalization.” On July 15, 1974, the Greek military staged an armed coup on Cyprus that had been instigated by the militaristic circles of NATO and thus brought final discredit upon themselves. The downfall of the Greek military dictatorship followed the Cyprus venture. A civilian government headed by former ERE leader C. Karamanlis came to power on July 24. The government proclaimed a political amnesty, abolished the concentration camp on the island of Youra, announced the withdrawal of Greece from NATO, and abrogated the state of emergency and the 1947 law that banned the Communist Party of Greece (CPG). At the same time, some antidemocratic institutions still remain in the country, and some supporters of the military junta are still powerful in the state machinery. A parliamentary election took place in Greece on Nov. 17, 1974. The New Democracy Party, founded in 1974 and led by Karamanlis, received the majority of the vote (54.37 percent; 220 seats). The United Left Bloc (CPG and EDA) polled 9.45 percent of the vote (eight seats). A referendum on a state system for the country was held on Dec. 8. 1974. The establishment of a republic in Greece was supported by 69.3 percent of the voters; 30.7 percent voted for the restoration of the monarchy. On Dec. 16, President Ghizikis resigned. M. Stas-sinopoulos, a deputy of the New Democracy Party, was nominated interim president by Parliament on Dec. 18. He will hold office until a new constitution is adopted and a regular president is elected.

In 1973, Greek representatives participated in the conference on security and cooperation in Europe, as well as in negotiations, with an advisory vote, on the mutual limitation of armed forces and armaments in Central Europe. Greece supports the settlement of the Near East conflict on the basis of the UN Security Council’s resolution of Nov. 22. 1967.

G. L. ARSH (to 1821), O. B. SHPARO (1821–1918), G. D. KYR’IADIS (1918–39),
V. K. KONDRAT’EV (1939–62), and
K. A. SHEMENKOV (from 1963)


Marx, K., and F. Engels. [“Stat’i i korrespondentsii 1852–56.”) Soch., 2nd ed., vols. 8–11.
Lenin. V. I. “Balkanskie narody i evropeiskaia diplomatiia.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 22.
Lenin. V. I. “Novaia glava vsemirnoi istorii.” Ibid.
Lenin. V. I. “Balkanskaia voina i burzhuaznyi shovinism.” Ibid., vol. 23.
Arsh. G. L. Eleristskoe dvizhenie ν Rossii: Osvoboditel’naia bor’ba grecheskogo naroda ν nachale XIX v. i russko-grecheskie sviazi. Moscow. 1970.
Stanislavskaia. A. M. “Rossiia i Gretsiia ν kontse XVIII-nach. XIX vv.” Istoriia SSSR, 1960, no 1.
Zhigarev. S. A. Russkaia politika ν vostochnom voprose. vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1896.
Shparo, O. B. Osvobozhdenie Gretsii i Rossiia (1821–1829). Moscow, 1956.
Evropeiskie derzhavy i Gretsiia ν epokhu mirovoi voiny po sekretnym materialam MID. Moscow, 1952.
Velikaia Oktiabr’skaia sotsialisticheskaia revoliutsiia i Gretsiia. Tashkent, 1968. [Collection of articles.]
Roussos. P. Oktiabr’skaia revoliutsiia i Gretsiia. Moscow, 1967. (Translated from Greek.)
Gromov. V. “Bor’ba narodnykh mass ν Gretsii protiv monarkhofashistskoi diktatury.” Kommunisticheskii Internatsional.1938, no. 11.
Zuev, F. Balkany, Blizhnii i Srednii Vostok nakanune i ν pervyi period Vtoroi mirovoi voiny. Moscow, 1950.
Kyr’iakides, G. D. Gretsiia vo vtoroi mirovoi voine. Moscow. 1967.
Vlakhov, D. Grecheskii narod ν bor’be protiv fashistskikh zakhvatchikov. Moscow, 1943.
Manchkha, P. I. Gretsiia nashikh dnei. Moscow. 1961.
Pravda o Gretsii: Golubaia kniga vremennogo demokraticheskogo pravitel’stva Gretsii. Moscow. 1949. (Translated from French.)
Vtoraia Golubaia kniga. Moscow, 1950. (Translated from French.)
Za mir i demokratiiu ν Gretsii: Tret’ia Golubaia kniga. Moscow, 1952.
VIII s”ezd Kommunisticheskoi partii Gretsii. Moscow, 1962. (Materials, translated from Greek.)
Kordatos, G. Historia tes neoteres Helladas. vols. 1–5. Athens, 1957–58.
Saraphes, S. Historikes anamneseis. Athens, 1952.
Zebgos, G. Syntome melete tes neoellenikes historias, parts 1–2. Athens. 1945–46.
Campbell, J., and P. Sherrard. Modern Greece. London, 1968. (Bibliography, pp. 407–11.)
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Political parties. After the coup d’etat of Apr. 21, 1967, several Greek political parties virtually ceased to function. Among them was the National Radical Union (Etnike Rizo-spastike Enosis), founded in January 1956 on the basis of the Greek Rally Party (founded 1951). The National Radical Union represented the interests of the big industrialists and financial bourgeoisie, which was linked with foreign capital (mainly American), as well as the interests of the big landowners. The Center Union (Enosis Kentru) also stopped its activities in 1967. Founded in 1961 through the merger of several bourgeois and bourgeois-democratic parties, it reflected essentially the interests of the national bourgeoisie. The Party of Progressives (Komma ton proodeutikon) was founded in 1955 and represented the interests of some groups of the commercial-industrial bourgeoisie. The party, which was linked with European, especially West German, capital, ceased to function in 1967.

A number of parties have been outlawed and are now illegal. The Communist Party of Greece (Kommunistikon Komma tes Hellados) was founded in 1918. The United Democratic Left Party (Eniaia Demokratike Aristera), founded in June 1951, represented the interests of various sections of the working people. The New Democracy Party is a right-wing bourgeois party founded in October 1974 from the National Radical Union. The Center Union-New Forces is a right-wing-center party founded in October 1974 from the right wing of the Center Union Party. The Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement is a social-democratic party founded in October 1974 from the left wing of the Center Union Party. The National Democratic Union is a reactionary political alignment formed by the extreme right wing and the monarchists that was founded in October 1974.

Trade unions. The General Labor Confederation of Greece was founded in 1918 and unites most of the country’s industrial trade unions. It had more than 500,000 members in 1971.


General state of the economy. Greece is an agrarian and industrial country that is economically dependent on foreign capital. Approximately 50 percent of the capital investment in the processing industry is foreign (primarily American and French), and many branches of the mining industry are controlled by foreign monopolies, which are closely related to major Greek monopoly groups. Headed by the big capitalists Andreadhes, Bodhosakes, Katsambas, Onassis, and Niarchos. the Greek monopolies dominate the key areas of the nation’s economy. Since the early 1960’s the economy has undergone substantial structural changes, which are reflected in the preponderant development of industry. From 1960 to 1970 industry’s share in the country’s national income increased almost 1.5 times. The highest rates of development have been in the metallurgical, rubber technology, chemical, oil-refining, and electrical engineering branches of industry, as well as in the production of plastics and in the metalworking industry. In 1969 the share of industry and construction in the national income was 34.2 percent and that of agriculture, 21.9 percent. The corresponding figures before World War II were 15.5 percent and 41 percent. However, about one-fifth of the economically active population is employed in industry and handicrafts, and half the economically active population is in agriculture.

Industry. The most characteristic feature of industry is its great dependence on foreign sources of raw materials and fuel and power. In terms of the value of the output and the number employed, the industrial structure is characterized by the predominance of the food and condiment industry, light industry, and the chemical industry, which is based on the processing of local and some foreign raw materials.

Minerals that are exploited include brown coal (lignite), bauxites, magnesite, iron ore (50 percent Fe), asbestos, pyrite, chromites, manganese, barite, and emery. A large part of the ore is exported unprocessed or as concentrates, and some ores are imported. Most of the electric power is produced by steam power plants, primarily small ones using lignite, imported black oil, petroleum, and anthracite. About one-fourth of the electric power is produced by hydroelectric power plants on the Akheloos, Megdova. Tauropos. Agra, and Louros rivers. Metals that are smelted are mainly aluminum (plant near Dhelfoi [Delphi]), pig iron, steel, and nickel (plant in Larymna). The chemical industry specializes in the production of synthetic materials, cleansing agents, and mineral fertilizers. (There are chemical power complexes in Piraeus, near Thessaloniki, and in Ptolomais.) In addition, there are enterprises producing explosives and gunpowder. There are oil refineries near Athens and Thessaloniki, with a capacity of 1.8 million and 2.5 million tons of oil a year, respectively. Machine building, particularly shipbuilding, is being developed. There are major shipyards in Skaramanga and Elevsis. In Athens, Piraeus, and Thessaloniki there are automobile- and tractor-building plants, where imported parts are assembled. Part of the output of the cement industry is exported. The textile industry produces fabrics made from cotton, wool, and artificial fibers, as well as rugs. Wine-making, the production of olive oil, and the tobacco industry, which process local agricultural raw materials, are traditional branches of the Greek economy. (Greece is the world’s third largest producer of olive oil, after Spain and Italy.) A sugar-refining industry has recently been established. Most industry is located in the major port cities, and two-thirds of the industrial output is produced in the region of Athens and Piraeus. (See Table 1.)

Table 1. Output Of Selected Industries
1938195119611970 (estimate)
1 billion kW-hrs 2 1952 3 1962 4 thou hectoliters 5 1937
Electric power1.
Iron ore348,000158,0002212,0003810,000
Smelted aluminum87,000
Cotton textile thread17,10018,000240,600
Grape wine43,350,0004,360,000
Olive oil188,0006160,000220,000180,000

Agriculture. Greece specializes in the output of several labor-intensive export crops: tobacco, olives, grapes, citrus fruits, and cotton, which play an important role in the country’s economic life. These crops and the products of their processing account for almost two-thirds of all Greek exports.

Agrarian relationships are a complex intertwining of fragmented peasant holdings with big landlord and farmer holdings. According to 1960 data, farms with up to 3 hectares (ha) of land (more than 60 percent of all farms) hold only one-fourth of the land. At the same time, a small group of landowners with 30 or more hectares of land possess one-fifth of all the cultivated lands in the most fertile regions (Thessaly, Macedonia, and the Peloponnesus). A substantial part of the land is leased.

There are about 9 million ha of agricultural lands, 3.8 million ha of which (approximately 30 percent of the country’s area) are cultivated and 5.2 million ha of which are meadows and pastures. Most of the cultivated area is plowland (about 70 percent). Large areas are planted with orchards, vineyards, and olives. About 18 percent of the cultivated lands are irrigated. Pastures, which rapidly become sparse in the summer, are located mainly in the mountains and in some places alternate with small sections of forests and shrubs.

Farming accounts for about three-fourths of the value of the agricultural output. About two-thirds of the area sown with cereal crops is occupied by wheat, which is grown primarily on the fertile plains of Macedonia, Thessaly, and Thrace. In northern Greece rice farming has been developed in the marshy lower courses of the Axios and Strimon rivers. Tobacco is an industrial crop specific to Greece. The highest grades of tobacco are grown in Macedonia and Thrace. Cotton farming has been developed, and part of the cotton crop is exported. Sugar beet plantings are increasing. The most outstanding of the orchard crops is tomatoes. Greece is a major producer of grapes, including such well-known strains as Corinth and Sultanina, which are used to make raisins. The cultivation of olives was developed in ancient Greece. Citrus fruits (primarily oranges and lemons) are important exports. Subtropical crops and grapes are raised chiefly on the Peloponnesus, in the coastal regions of western Greece, and on the southern islands. (See Table 2.)

Animal husbandry is poorly developed, because most of the peasants have small plots and fodder is scarce. The chief livestock raised are sheep (7.7 million head in 1970) and goats (4 million head). There are 1.1 million head of cattle, 0.4 million head of swine, and 0.9 million head of mules, donkeys, and horses.

Fishing is carried on primarily in the coastal waters. The annual catch is about 125.000 tons (primarily tuna and sardines). There are sponge enterprises in the southern Peloponnesus and on the islands.

Transportation. Marine navigation is a well-developed branch of the Greek economy. With a tonnage of about 13 million registered gross tons (according to Greek sources, 1970), the Greek merchant marine has occupied fifth or sixth place in the capitalist world for a number of years. The Greek fleet serves as an international carrier, bringing the country considerable income in foreign currency. The most important ports are Piraeus, Patrai, Corfu, Thessaloniki. and Eleusis. According to 1970 data, the length of the railroad network is 2,600 km, of which 1,600 km are owned by the state. There are approximately 36,000 km of roads, 14,000 km of which are paved with asphalt. According to 1968 data, the supply of motor vehicles includes 169,000 passenger cars, 88,000 trucks, and 9,500 buses. Greece is an important junction for international airlines. Hellenikon, the airport in Athens, is one of the biggest in Western Europe.

Foreign trade. There is a heavy deficit in the balance of trade. This deficit is often covered in the balance of payments

Table 2. Sown area and yield of main agricultural crops
  Area (thou hectares)Yield (thou tons)
1 Annual average 2 1938 3 1969 4 Based on data of the FAO, UN, 1970, Rome, 1971
Cotton fiber6212113614044477595

by revenues from shipping and tourism (in 1970, 1.6 million tourists visited Greece, yielding revenues of about US $190 million), as well as payments from Greek emigres. Greece exports agricultural and industrial goods and mineral raw materials. It imports industrial goods, fuel, and raw materials for the metallurgical and chemical industries, including petroleum, anthracite, iron ore. and phosphorites. Greece’s major foreign trade partners are the Federal Republic of Germany, the USA, Great Britain, France, and Italy. The monetary unit is the drachma. According to the rate of exchange of Gosbank (State Bank) of the USSR in December 1971, 100 drachmas = 3.01 rubles.

Internal differences. Central Greece, which includes the ancient Greek lands of Attica, Boeotia, Thessaly, and Evvoia. is the major economic region, producing 65–70 percent of the country’s industrial output. The region accounts for almost all the mining of magnesite, nickel ore, bauxites, chromites. and complex ores, and a substantial part of the extraction of iron ore and lignite. Central Greece produces about half of all the country’s electric power. In addition to branches of industry such as textiles and food processing, which are typical of all the other regions of the country, central Greece has the metallurgical and metalworking industries, machine building (including shipbuilding), and the chemical and cement industries. Agriculture is mainly of subsidiary importance.

Northern Greece (Aegean Macedonia and western Thrace, which extends in a band along the coast of the Aegean Sea) is the second most important economic region of the country. It is the granary of Greece, harvesting about half the cereal crops and three-fourths of the tobacco (the region of Thrace and Macedonia is one of the world’s tobacco centers), as well as cotton, rice, and vegetables. The food-processing, tobacco-processing, and textile industries are located in northern Greece. Brown coal, pyrite, magnesite, and iron ore are mined. A complex of power and chemical plants has been built in the western part of this region in Ptolomais, and there are petrochemical and metallurgical complexes near Thessaloniki.

Southern Greece (the Peloponnesus) is an agricultural region specializing in subtropical crops. It produces 42 percent of the country’s citrus fruits and 31 percent of its other fruit crops, and 38 percent of the country’s vineyards and 26 percent of its olive trees are located here. The Peloponnesus peninsula and its historic centers (Sparta, Olympia, Korin-thos, and Mycenae) attract many tourists.

Western Greece, which includes the historical regions of Epirus, Aetolia, Acarnania, and the Ionian Islands is the most isolated and economically the most backward part of the country (the Pindus Mountains). The region produces 20 percent of the country’s citrus fruit crop and more than 10 percent of its olives and tobacco.

Eastern, or insular, Greece includes the islands of the Aegean Sea: the Cyclades, the Northern Sporades, Lesvos, Khios. Samos, and Limnos, the Southern Sporades, the Dodecanese Islands, and Crete. The small valleys in the coastal plains are economically the most developed part of the region. The mountain slopes are partly terraced and partly used for pastures. About 40 percent of the country’s olives and 30 percent of its citrus fruits are harvested in the region. There is fishing in eastern Greece. Iron ore, bauxites, barite, emery, and marble (primarily on the Cyclades) are mined. Handicraft production of rugs, fabrics, and other goods is well developed.


Birot, P., and J. Dresch. Sredizemnomor’e, vol. 2. Moscow, 1962. (Translated from French.)
Popov. V. D. Ekonomika Gretsii. Moscow, 1962.
Popov, V. D. Ekonomika sovremennoi Gretsii. Moscow, 1971.


The Greek military includes ground forces, an air force, and a navy, with a total strength of 159,000 men in 1971. The armed forces are headed by the minister of national defense and his subordinates—the commander of the armed forces, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and the commanders of the ground forces, air force, and navy. The commander of the armed forces has under him a joint staff composed of generals and officers of all the branches of the armed forces. In peacetime men age 21 are called up for military service (24 months in the ground forces and the navy and 34 months in the air force).

The ground forces (more than 120,000 men) consist of the First (Central) Field Army (three standing army corps: 11 infantry divisions, one armored division, 11 field and antiaircraft artillery divisions, and engineering and signal units). In addition, there are diversionary and landing troops (from six to eight diversionary and reconnaissance battalions) and troops of the interior regions and islands (one reserve infantry division and ten individual infantry and training infantry regiments). The ground forces have two divisions of Honest John tactical missiles.

The air force (about 23,000 men) consists of the command, aviation wings, nine combat aviation squadrons, and two squadrons of transport planes. In addition, the air force has a division of the Nike antiaircraft guided rockets. The air force has about 250 combat airplanes, more than 60 percent of which are obsolete.

The navy (about 20,000 men) consists of two commands: the Aegean Navy and the Navy of Crete and the Ionian Sea, with a total of about 130 surface ships, including 17 patrol vessels, six destroyers, 14 mine sweepers. 16 landing vessels, and about 60 cutters of various types. Greece has three submarines. The most important naval bases are Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Suda, and Patrai. In May 1968 a NATO polygon for launching guided missiles was installed on Crete.

Medicine and public health. In 1967 the birthrate was 18.7 and the mortality 8.3 per 1,000 inhabitants; infant mortality was 34.3 per 1,000 live-born infants. The average life span is 67.5 years for men and 70.7 for women. The major causes of death (per 100,000 inhabitants in 1966) are malignant neoplasms (119.0), vascular disturbances of the central nervous system (104), arteriosclerosis and heart diseases (91.2), infectious and parasitic diseases (18.9), diabetes (16.0), and tuberculosis of the lungs (11.3). The highest incidence of cardiovascular diseases is among the inhabitants of the islands, and the lowest is in the mountain regions of the mainland. Malignant tumors occur most often in the region of Athens, in Macedonia and central Greece, on the Peloponnesus, and on Evvoia.

In 1970, Greece had 890 hospitals with 53,700 beds (6.1 beds per 1,000 inhabitants). Among these are 237 state hospitals with 33,200 beds. In 1967 the country had 12,800 doctors (one doctor per 680 inhabitants, including 4,700 dentists, 2,500 pharmacists, of whom 120 were government employees. 3,100 midwives. of whom 897 were government employees, and 3,200 registered nurses, of whom 1,722 were government employees). Medical personnel are trained at two medical and two pharmaceutical faculties of the universities of Athens and Thessaloniki, and registered nurses are trained at five schools (four in Athens and one in Thessaloniki). The 1971 appropriations for public health constituted 4.7 percent of the state budget.

The most popular health resorts, which have hotels, boarding houses, and private clinics, are located on the shores of the Ionian Sea. The health resorts in Dhelfoi, Thessaloniki, Patrai, and on the island of Kerkira are famous.


Veterinary services. There are many infectious diseases connected with the pasturing of livestock and the use of permanent driving routes. In 1970 there were 596 cases of anthrax, 42 cases of emphysematous carbuncle, and 1,623 cases of necrobacillosis. In Europe, Greece has one of the highest levels of incidence of brucellosis (322 centers of infection in 1970) and tuberculosis of livestock (729 centers of infection). Contagious ecthyma is very widespread (537 cases in 1970). and cases of Newcastle disease in poultry have been recorded throughout the country. In the mountainous zones of northern Greece infectious agalactia of sheep and goats is prevalent.

Veterinarians are trained in the veterinary faculty of the university in Thessaloniki. In 1970. 1,046 veterinarians graduated from the university. The network of veterinary institutions is very small. Preventive measures are applied only against the most dangerous infectious diseases, such as rabies, plague in swine, and foot-and-mouth disease. The most important scientific research centers in veterinary medicine are the bacteriology institute in Athens, the foot-and-mouth disease laboratory near Athens, and the bacteriological laboratory in Thessaloniki.


The first law on compulsory elementary education in Greece was passed in 1834. The law of 1929 introduced free compulsory six-year elementary education. In fact, however, the law on compulsory education has not been applied. In 1969, 17.7 percent of the population was illiterate. Education is directed by the Ministry of Education and Religion. There is no separation of school and church. In addition to state schools, there is a significant number of private schools.

The educational system includes kindergartens for children between the ages of 3½ and 5½, and compulsory elementary six-year schools. In addition, there are general education schools: three-year Gymnasiums (incomplete secondary schools) and three-year lyceums (complete secondary schools), which admit graduates of Gymnasiums. Graduates of lyceums have the right to enter higher educational institutions.

In 1966 there were 59,000 children in kindergartens. In the academic year 1966–67 there were 979,400 students in compulsory elementary schools and 398,300 students in Gymnasiums and lyceums. Several types of vocational schools offering two- to six-year courses of study operate on the basis of elementary schools or grades I to 3 of the Gymnasiums. During the academic year 1966–67 there were more than 90,000 students in the vocational schools.

Preschool teachers are trained at four-year pedagogical schools after having first studied at elementary schools. Elementary school teachers are trained at three-year pedagogical academies, which admit graduates of lyceums, and secondary school instructors are trained at universities. During the academic year 1966–67 there were 4,300 students in pedagogical educational institutions.

The largest higher educational institutions are the University of Athens (founded 1837). the universities in Thessaloniki (1925) and Patrai (1966). and the Polytechnic Institute in Athens (1836). The universities in Athens and Thessaloniki have theological faculties. During the academic year 1966–67 there were 73,400 students in the universities.

The largest libraries are the National Library (founded 1828: 1 million volumes), the Library of the Chamber of Deputies in Athens (1844; 960,000 volumes), and the library of the university in Thessaloniki (1927: 300,000 volumes).

The chief museums are the National Archaeological Museum (1874), the Acropolis Museum (opened in 1878), the Byzantine Museum (1914), the Benaki Museum (1931), and the National Picture Gallery (1900), all of which are located in Athens. There are archaeological museums in Olympia, Dhelfoi, and Korinthos, and on Rodhos and Crete.


Natural and technical sciences. The sciences began to develop in Greece after the liberation of the country from the Ottoman yoke. Before then only a few works on medicine had been published: K. Michail’s On Diet, 1794, S. Ioannu’s History of the Healing Art, 1818, and S. Viandes’ Reference Book on Hygiene, 1820. Vaccination was first performed in Greece in 1805 by L. Mordos (island of Kerkira).

In the 1840’s the University of Athens became the most important scientific center of the country. In 1887 its natural science subdepartments were merged into the department of natural sciences, which was transformed into the faculty of natural sciences in 1920. Industrialization, which began in the second half of the 19th century, promoted the development of the natural and technical sciences. At the end of the 19th century A. Christomanos, the founder of a chemical laboratory, was the first to study many Greek ore deposits. In the early 20th century P. Negres published important materials on the geological structure of the territory of Greece, and K. Mitsopoulos studied seismology. In the 19th and early 20th century Greek botanists and zoologists, including T. Orphanides, T. Heldreich, S. Miliarakes and I. Polites published a number of works on the flora and fauna of Greece. The increasing rate of industrial growth in the early years of the 20th century drew attention to the technical sciences, of which the Polytechnic Institute in Athens became the center. The agricultural sciences also developed in the early 20th century.

The most important scientific institution in the field of physics is the Democritus Nuclear Research Center in Agia Paraskevi, which was founded in 1961 and is under the jurisdiction of the Greek Atomic Energy Commission. The center has an atomic reactor that was installed with the financial assistance of the USA, as well as a subcritical reactor and a Van de Graaf proton accelerator. The center produces radioisotopes and studies radioactive minerals. The Athens Observatory, which was founded in 1842, conducts research in astronomy, the physics of the atmosphere, seismology, and metallurgy, and it maintains a service for observing artificial satellites. The observatory is under the direction of the Ministry of Education and Religion, but it is financed partly by NATO. Scientific research in astronomy and applied mathematics is conducted by a special bureau and a computer center (founded in 1959) of the Academy of Athens.

The Institute of Geology and Subsurface Research, which was founded in 1952, conducts geological and hydrogeologi-cal studies of the country, directs prospecting for mineral resources, and studies processes for enriching ores. The Institute of Hydrobiology, which was founded in 1945, and the Administration of Hydrographic Services of the Navy do research in oceanography, including studies of the hydrobio-logical resources of the country, the hydrochemical properties of seawater, marine flora, and problems of ichthyology.

The most significant works in technology (electronics, electronic computers, electrochemistry, and aerodynamics) are conducted at the Polytechnic Institute in Athens, at universities, and in the scientific research center of the Ministry of National Defense. Applied research is conducted mainly at the scientific research institutions of the pharmaceutical, chemical, and mining industries.

The Ministry of Agriculture has under its jurisdiction several institutions and stations, including the Benaki Phytopathological Institute in Kifisia and institutes of grain crops and cotton in Thessaloniki. Primary attention is devoted to raising the yields of wheat and cotton and the production of sugar beets, which is a new crop in Greece. Research in agriculture is also conducted by the faculty of agriculture and forestry of the university in Thessaloniki.

Medical research is conducted in the clinics of the medical faculties of universities and at the Athens Institute of Hygiene. The research is conducted mainly in biostatistics and demography, tropical diseases and medical entomology, immunology and methods of protection against infections, the fight against water and air pollution, parasitology, epidemiology, and problems of nutrition. The Pasteur Institute of Greece, which was founded in 1919, studies various infectious and parasitic diseases of man and animals and the application of microbiological methods in industry and agriculture. The Pasteur Institute also prepares vaccines. The Institute of Oncology, which was founded in 1938. conducts cancer research.

The Ministry of Coordination and in part the Academy of Sciences of Athens (founded in 1926) coordinate scientific research. The academy’s functions include the publication of books and journals and providing advice on scientific questions for government agencies. The Royal Foundation of Scientific Research, founded in 1958, also participates in the organization of scientific research. The foundation finances work in the natural and humanistic sciences, chiefly at the universities. Individual ministries and agencies finance and control the work of the scientific institutions subordinate to them. Despite the growth in the number of scientific works in the postwar period, the level of scientific work in Greece lags behind the requirements of modern scientific and technological development. In terms of the number of scientific personnel Greece is one of the lowest-ranking of the European capitalist countries.


Social sciences. The Reformation and the humanist movement, which were linked with the revival of ancient Greek traditions, developed in Greece in the mid-l5th century. Between the mid-l5th and mid-l8th centuries T. Korydales, N. Maurokordatos, V. Damodos, and M. Antrakites were prominent representatives of the Greek Renaissance within the framework of Greek Orthodoxy. The Enlightenment, which began in Greece in the mid-18th century under the influence of the Enlightenment philosophy of Western Europe, was characterized by the study of the ancient Greek cultural heritage. Prominent representatives of the modern Greek Enlightenment included E. Vulgaris, I. Misiodakes, Benjamin of Lesvos, the revolutionary democrat Rhigas Vel-estinles, and the author of the work The Greek Nomarchy, who is known under the pseudonym the Anonymous Greek. They advocated the idea of social progress and called for the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman yoke by means of an armed uprising. A. Korais, who was a representative of the Enlightenment, played an important role in the ideological preparation for the Greek National Liberation Revolution of 1821–29.

Between 1830 and 1870, after the liberation of the country from the Ottoman yoke, religious philosophy became important in Greece, as represented by P. Ioannu and P. Bralias-Armenes, who was a follower of the French philosopher V. Cousin. Hegelian ideas also took hold in the country. An important event was the opening of the University of Athens in 1837. which was for many years the center of scholarly thought in Greece. In the 1850’s and 1860’s the first major works of modern Greek historiography were published, including those of S. Trikoupes and J. Philemon, which were devoted to the Greek National Liberation Revolution of 1820–29, N. Kodzias presented a critique of the Hegelian view of history.

In the late 19th and early 20th century Greek philosophers and historians attempted in their works to substantiate the so-called Great Idea of the restoration of the Byzantine Empire, which had gained currency among Greek ruling circles from the mid-19th century and which later served as justification for plans of conquest. In connection with this idea Greek historians such as S. Lampros began a comprehensive study of the history of Byzantium, and the economic history of Byzantium was elucidated for the first time by A. Andreades, In Greek philosophy positivism, whose chief representatives were T. Voreas and P. Agiosophites, gained wide recognition. Nietzsche’s ideas, which became the theoretical basis of the Great Idea, influenced Greek thought. The Great Idea was advocated by philosophers such as I. Kambysis, I. Zer-vos, and I. Dragumes. as well as K. Paparrigopoulos, the founder of Greek bourgeois historiography, who influenced authors of subsequent general works on the history of Greece (for example. E. Kyriakes and P. Karolydes).

Marxist ideas spread in Greece in the early 20th century. The development of progressive sociopolitical thought was greatly influenced by G. Skleros’ Our Social Question (1907). A. Eleuteropoulos attemped to explain the history of philosophical ideas on the basis of an analysis of economic conditions and the class struggle. The emergence of Greek Marxist historiography is linked with the name of I. Kordatos. who elucidated the history of Greece from antiquity to 1924.

After World War II (1939–45) the Great Idea was transformed in the works of Greek philosophers and historians into the idea of Greco-Christian culture, which was aimed not at a territorial but at a spiritual renaissance of Greece and its past grandeur. In historiography considerable attention continued to be devoted to the history of Byzantium (A. Va-kalopoulos, D. Zakitinos, P. Kukules, and I Karaian-opoulos) and to the Greek National Liberation Revolution of 1821–29 (D. Kokkinos). A substantial amount of literature on Greek participation in World War II appeared. The most recent influential philosophical currents include neo-Kantianism (I. Theodorakopoulos. P. Kanelopoulos. and K. Tsatsos), phenomenology (K. Georgules and Vra-nuses), and various forms of irrationalism and intuitionism, which are taught by professors at the University of Athens. Existentialism is represented by G. Sarantares. D. Kapeta-nakes, and to some extent by V. Phrangos, who attempted to combine the Danish thinker S. Kierkegaard’s existentialist ideas with historical materialism.

During the postwar period various trends took shape in Greek economics. Right-wing bourgeois political economy (for example, Kanelopoulos, A. Andreadhes, and K. Zolo-tas) presented the theoretical principles of the economic policy of the ruling circles, which was aimed at strengthening the position of the local oligarchy and further subjecting the country’s economy to the interests of foreign monopoly capital, chiefly American. The junta uses these theoretical concepts in its economic policy. The ideologists of the liberal bourgeoisie (A. Papandreou, G. Kutsumares, and V. Velivanes) advocate theories of regulated capitalism. Representatives of so-called bourgeois socialism, such as A. Anghelopoulos and V. Damadas, are followers of the teachings of the British economist Keynes and have developed theoretical foundations for “democratic planning.” which would allegedly lead to socialism. They also advocate the idea of the convergence of socialism and capitalism.

The struggle against various forms of idealism and other anti-Marxist tendencies in economics was led by the prominent Marxist philosopher D. Glinos, C. Theodorides used the method of historical materialism to analyze problems of ancient Greek philosophy. Prominent representatives of Marxist thought include I. Imvriotes and N. Kitsikes in philosophy. T. Vurnas and G. Zoides in historiography, and P. Mauromates and G. Pharakos in economics.

After the establishment of an open military dictatorship in Greece on Apr. 21, 1967, Marxist philosophical, historical, and economic thought was banned. The basic ideological concepts of the junta were collected in T. Papakonstantinou’s Political Education (1970), which was written from an anticommunist point of view. The author attempted to justify dictatorial methods of administration on the pretext that classical bourgeois democracy had outlived its time. Papakonstantinou also tried to absolutize the repressive function of the state as a means of achieving the political unity of the nation.

The major centers of the social sciences in Greece include the Academy of Athens, which publishes Pragmateiai. the University of Athens and the University of Thessaloniki, whose philosophy faculties issue scholarly yearbooks, the Center for the Study of the Middle Ages and Modern Hellenism, and the Center for the Study of Contemporary Hellenism. Other centers for the social sciences are the Institute of Balkan Studies, which publishes the journal Balkan Studies, the Center for Economic Research, and the Historical and Ethnologic Society. Articles on philosophy, history, and economics are regularly published in the theoretical organ of the CPG—the journal Neos Kosmos—and in the journals Archeion Oikomikon kai Koinonikon Epistemon and Koinoniologike Ereuna.

F. KH. KESSIDI (philosophy).
G. I. ARSH (history), and
M. G. MALEV (economics)


Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: Country Reports on the Organization of Scientific Research: Greece. Paris, 1963.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: National Reports of the Pilot Teams: Greece. Paris. 1968.
Neroulos. J. R. Cours de littérature grecque moderne, 2nd ed. Paris. 1928.
Demos. R. “The Neo-Hellenic Enlightenment (1750–1821).” Journal of the History of Ideas, 1958, vol. 19, no. 4

The periodical press in Greece was established in the second half of the 19th century. Only the Athens publications have a nationwide circulation. About 20 daily newspapers used to be published in Athens. In 1974, Greece had five nationwide daily newspapers with a total circulation of 700,000 copies, 15 provincial newspapers, and four weeklies. Rizospastes, which was founded in 1918, is the organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, and Auge, which was founded in 1951, is the organ of the Union of the Democratic Left. The major newspapers are the Akropolis, founded in 1881, Eleutheros kosmos, founded in late 1966, Apogeumatine, founded in 1952, To Berna, founded in 1922, Bradyne, founded in 1924, Ta Nea, founded in 1931, and Hestia, founded in 1898. The official news agency is Athinaikon Praktorion Idiseon, which was founded in 1895 in Athens.

Radio broadcasting was begun in 1938. Greece has 11 radio stations of the National Radio and Television Corporation. In addition to Greek programs, the radio stations broadcast programs in English and French. The three central radio stations in Athens broadcast three programs each. Eight provincial radio stations, designed primarily for relaying programs, have been installed in Thessaloniki, Patrai, Khania, Komotini, Volos, and Amalias, as well as on Rodhos and Kerkira. Experimental television was begun in Athens in 1965, and in 1966 a television network began to be estabished. Two programs are broadcast.


In the first centuries after the destruction of Byzantium, modern Greek literature developed under the influence of ancient and Byzantine cultural traditions, the ideas of the Renaissance, and above all, the oral poetry of the Greek people, including the epos Digenes Akritas, which was written in the ninth through the 11th century, ballads, and kleph-tic songs. From the 15th through the 17th century, literature developed on Rodhos (Hundred Words of Love and Ditties of a Young Man and a Girl) and on the Dodecanese Islands. The literature that appeared on Crete includes the idyllic anonymous narrative poem The Shepherdess (published 1627) and the tragedy Erophili and the comedy Kazdurbos (c. 1600) by G. Chortatziz (died c. 1637). Cretan literature also included the novel in verse Erotokritos (c. 1660, published 1713) by V. Kornaros (c. 1600–70). which combined a eulogy of knightly exploits with a castigation of social inequality. In the 16th and 17th centuries literature in the Greek language developed to some extent in Constantinople, in particular among Phanariot circles. A literature of memoirs began to appear.

In the 18th and early 19th century descriptive literature flourished—the lyric poetry of K. Dapontis (1714–84) and historical poems by M. Ioannu (died 1748) and I. Pandzelios. The national theme was reflected in works by Greek poets who were students in Italy (the collection of poems Lights of Piety, 1708). The lyric works of the revolutionary democrat Rhigas (Pheraios) Velestinlis (c. 1757–98) were very important.

The Anacreontic poems of A. Christopoulos (1772–1847) and I. Vilaras (1771–1823) were written in the early 19th century. The people’s revolutionary exploits were glorified by A. Kalvos (1792–1869). A. Soutsos (1803–63). and A. Val-aoritis (1824–79). A. Matheses (1794–1875). who wrote the drama The Basilica (1829), laid the foundations for a national dramaturgy. J. Makriyiannes and T. Kolokotronis. who were active in the Greek National Liberation Revolution of 1821–29, wrote interesting memoirs. A spirit of revolutionary romanticism with elements of realism distinguishes the Hymn to Liberty (1823) and Free Besieged (incomplete) by D. Solomos (1798–1857), the leader of the Ionian school, which was loyal to the popular traditions and language.

Antimonarchist, freedom-loving sentiments are also characteristic of the works of A. Soutsos, P. Soutsos (1806–68), A. Rangavis (1809–92), and other poets of the so-called old school of Athens, who were oriented toward antiquity. K. Ramphos (1778–1871), P. Kalligas (1814–96), and E. Rhoides (1836–1904) developed the genre of the historical novel, Rhoides was excommunicated from the church for the anticlerical novel Pope Joan (1866). The same fate befell the satirist A. Laskarotos (1811–1901).

C. Palamas (1859–1943). the founder of the so-called new school of Athens, affirmed the popular language and national themes (The Eyes of My Soul, 1892, and especially Twelve Gypsy Songs, 1907, as well as Satirical Sketches, 1912, and Sonnets), N. Politis (1852–1921) began the study of Greek folklore, and I. Psycharis (1854–1929) led the movement for the use of the vernacular (demotiki) in art. Realism combined with descriptions of mores was developed by the prose writer and playwright G. Xenopoulos (1867–1951), as well as by A. Papadiamantes (1851–1911) and A. Karkavitsas (1865–1922).

The ideas of the Great October Socialist Revolution had an impact on Greek literature. Works written in the spirit of socialist realism and Marxist aesthetics include The Light That Burns (1922), The Besieged Slaves (1927). the novella-lampoon A Genuine Apology of Socrates (1931), and Aesthetics—Criticism (1958), by K. Varnales (born 1884). Also written in the spirit of socialist realism are the works of the pedagogue and philosopher D. Glinos (1882–1943) and the poems of I. Ritsos (born 1909), K. Phrakiotes (born 1910), and N. Vrettakos (born 1911). The prose writers D. Voutieridis (1871–1958), P. Pikros (1900–57), E. Alexiou (born 1898), L. Naku (born 1905), N. Katiphores (1903–69). V. Kornaros (1909–70), and M. Luntemes (born 1912) worked on the theme of the “little man” who is a victim of bourgeois society.

The most remarkable antiwar work of the I920’s and I930’s is the novel Life in the Grave (1924) by S. Myrivilis (1892–1969). Social themes are reflected in the work of critical realists such as G. Theotokas (1905–66) and A. Terzakis (born 1907). The poetry of C. Cavafy (1863–1933) is characterized by pessimism and hedonism. G. Seferis (1900–71) successfully revived poetic forms and lyric themes. His poetry was characterized by dramatic reflections on the fate of Greece and the world. Surrealism influenced the poets A. Empirikos (born 1901), N. Engonopoulos (born 1910), and to some degree N. Gatsos (born 1915) and G. Themelis (born 1900). The poems Lyric Life and the dramas Si villa (1940). Christ in Rome (1946). and The Death of Diogenes (1947) by A. Sikelianos (1884–1951) were important in Greek literature. The antifascist literature of the resistance is represented by Sikelianos, N. Karvunes (1880–1947), S. Mav-roidi-Papadaki (born 1905), V. Rotas (born 1889). P. Angules (1911–64), I. Ritsos, and G. Kodzyulas (1909–56).

In the postwar years Greek poetry has been developed by such poets as Z. Kareli (born 1901), R. Bumi-Papa (born 1906). N. Pappas (born 1906), T. Livadites (born 1922), T. Patrikios (born 1924), and P. Anteos (born 1920). The postwar work of N. Kazantzakis (1883–1957), winner of the International Peace Prize, is imbued with the enthusiasm of the struggle against bourgeois relations and religious bigotry. This is particularly true of the novels Captain Michael: Freedomor Death (1953) and Christ Recrucified (Swedish edition. 1950; Greek edition, 1954). Heroic and social motifs permeate the works of I. Mangles (born 1909), K. Sukas (born 1899), D. Khadzis (born 1913), K. Kodzias (born 1921), D. Sotiriou (born 1914), and V. Vassilikos (born 1933). The pioneering, militant art of D. Photiades (born 1898) and the work of S. Melas (born 1883) and A. Petsales (born 1904) have enriched the genre of the historical novel.

After the coup d’etat of 1967 several progressive publishing houses, newspapers, and magazines were closed, and an index of prohibited books was compiled, including the best works of world and Greek literature. Many representatives of the writers’ community were subjected to repressive measures or were forced to emigrate. The theme of sorrow colored by a spirit of hopelessness became popular in Greek literature. Freedom-loving sentiments are reflected in the collections of poems Crossroads and Parallel Roads (1969) by M. Augeres (born 1884), The Body of Silence (1970) by Y. Manusakas (date of birth unknown), and The Tribulation (1970) by P. Koroveses. The literature of democratic resistance was represented by Ritsos, Vrettakos, O. Elytes (born 1912), and Marina (pseudonym of a woman poet living in Greece), as well as by Vassilikos, Kodzias, and Alexan-dropoulos, who were living abroad as emigres.

An important stage in the struggle for democratic reforms was the publication of the collection of poems New Texts (1971), with contributions by Ritsos and Augeres, as well as several writers who were in prison.


Grecheskie narodnye pesni, Moscow, 1957.
Rasskazy grecheskikh pisatelei. Moscow. 1959. (Collection.)
Mochos, Ia. Kostas Varnalis i literatura grecheskogo Soprotivleniia. Moscow, 1968.
Lebesque, P. La Grèce littéraire d’aujourd’hui. Paris, 1906.
Pernot. H. Etudes de littérature grecque moderne, Paris, 1906.
Mirambel, A. La littérature grecque moderne. Paris. 1953.
Hesseling. D. Histoire de littérature grecque moderne. Paris. 1924.
Lavagnini, B. Storia della letteratura neoellenica, Milan, 1965.
Sherrard, P. The Marble Threshing Floor. London. 1956.
Markos Augeres, Hapanta, vols. 1–3, Athens. 1964–65.
Demaras. K. Historia tes neoellenikes logotechnias., Athens, 1968.


Before the liberation of the country from the Ottoman yoke, medieval monastic art prevailed in Greece, but popular art had also developed, including various types of housing, chiefly stone, whose spatial relations were coordinated with the local landscape, and the art of popular embroidery. Under Turkish rule the cities did not grow much, and many of them declined. Besides housing, only churches were built.

The architecture of the modern period began to develop in the I830’s. when the plan for Athens was drawn up. The Greek architects S. Kleantes and L. Kautadzoglou designed a new type of residential building with classic proportions. Foreign architects erected public buildings magnificently ornamented with colonnades (in Athens, the National Library, 1832, and the university, 1837, both built by the Dane C. K. Hansen). Church architecture of the 19th century continued to imitate Byzantine models. The size of cities began to increase in the 1920’s (primarily ports, such as Athens and Thessaloniki). Multi-unit apartment houses characteristic of Greece developed, with balcony-loges and terraces on the roof. These buildings were well adapted to local climatic conditions (architect K. Kitsikes). The architecture of the 1920’s and 1930’s was influenced by functionalism and neo-classicism. In the 1950’s and I960’s construction was also concentrated primarily in Athens, around which suburbs with parks were built. The central districts of Athens, which had preserved the obsolete plans of the 19th century, were built up with multistoried buildings. No overall plans were used, and living conditions in these districts were greatly lowered.

The greatest successes were achieved in this period in housing architecture: the types of multi-unit houses were improved, and monolithic reinforced-concrete frames were used in their construction. Villas and private homes were built for the affluent strata of the population. The motifs of popular architecture were incorporated in the planning and composition of these homes (for example, the work of architect D. Pikiones), giving them a specifically Greek character. Construction of so-called inexpensive multi-unit apartment houses was practiced on a much smaller scale (architect A. Konstantinides). The architecture of hotels and museums developed, which was characterized by the successful integration of the structure with the historic landscape of the country (architects C. Sphaėlos and P. Vassiliades). Industrial construction (T. Zenetos) and the construction of office buildings (A. Provelengios) are poorly developed. Architectural firms play an ever-increasing role in Greek architecture (the largest is K. Doxiades’ firm).

The foundations of modern Greek art were laid by masters of the first half of the 19th century, who shifted to themes of primitive and naturalistic portraits (N. Kandunes and N. Kunelakes). Using the techniques of Munich academism, the leading painters of the second half of the 19th century incorporated popular and national themes into their works (N. Litras and N. Gizes). The work of I. Altamuras reflects the principle of romantic landscape art. While creating national images, the artists of the I920’s absorbed the experience of the latest trends in European art (the painter K. Parthenes and the sculptor I. Chalepas).

By the mid-20th century several distinct trends had emerged in the art of Greece. Some artists, such as the painters A. Georgiadis and E. Tomopoulos, followed 19th-century traditions, while others followed developments in 20th-century European painting (I. Morales and Y. Tsar-ouhes). Artists such as the master of frescoes P. Kontoglou and the graphic artist S. Vasiliou relied on medieval and popular motifs. There was also a trend in modern Greek art inspired by the motifs of classical antiquity (the graphic artists D. Galanes and I. Kephalinos and the sculptor M. Tombros) and of the archaic period (the sculptor A. Sochos).

The people’s liberation struggle during World War II (1939–45) evoked a strong democratic current (the painters and graphic artists V. Semertsides and D. Katsikoheianis, the sculptor C. Kapralos, and the graphic artists V. Katraki and A. Tasos. At the same time, by the mid-20th century modernistic trends began to emerge (the painters N. Hazi-kyriakos-Gikas and A. Kondopoulos and the sculptor L. Lameras). These trends became very popular in the 1960’s. Under the military dictatorial regime many representatives of democratic art were persecuted.


Polevoi. V. “O formirovanii natsional’noi shkoiy novogo grecheskogo iskusstva.” In the collection Sovremennoe izobrazitel’noe iskusslvo kapitilistichekikh stran. Moscow, 1961.
Vseobshchaia istoriia iskusstv, vol. 6, book I. Moscow. 1965.
Djelepy, P. L’Architecture populaire en Grèce, Paris.,1953.
Phrantziskakes, E. K. Hellenes zographoi tu dekalu enatu aionos. Athens, 1957.
Micheles, P. A., et al. To helleniko laike spiti. Athens. 1960.
Giophylles, F. Historia tes neoellenikes technes. Athens. 1962.


Greek musical culture is one of the most ancient in the world. In the Middle Ages Greek music developed within the framework of Byzantine musical culture. From the mid-15th century the development of Greek national music was retarded by many centuries of Ottoman oppression. National traditions were preserved only in folk and church music. In the 17th and 18th centuries songs glorifying the klephts, who fought against oppression, were widespread. Greek musical instruments include the lute, the lyre, the longitudinal flute, and the bagpipe. The bouzouki, the mandolin, and the violin are particularly popular and are included in contemporary folk orchestras.

National professional music began to develop in the 1830’s after the proclamation of the country’s independence. Before then, attempts to create professional compositions were made only on the Ionian Islands, to which Ottoman rule did not extend. N. Mantzaros was the author of the music to D. Solomos’ Hymn to Liberty, part of which was adopted as the national anthem in 1865. Mantzaros also founded the Philharmonic Society of Kerkira in 1840.

P. Carrer composed operas and songs inspired by the Greek National Liberation Revolution of 1820–29. and S. Samara was the first Greek composer whose work became widely known. Samara wrote the hymn of the Olympic Games, which was first performed in Athens in 1896.

In the last quarter of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century professional musicians showed great interest in folk songs, which became the basis of musical vaudeville plays, a genre that was new to Greece. D. Koro-milas and D. Kokkos were the first composers in this genre. M. Kalomires, one of the founders of the modern Greek national music school, composed music based on Greek folklore and the achievements of world music culture. He founded the Greek and National conservatories in Athens and composed operas and symphonies. The founders of the Greek music school include D. Lavrangas, who organized the first Greek opera troupe in 1900, and M. Varvogles, G. Lambelet, and E. Riades.

Also of great importance for the development of Greek music was the work of other composers, including N. Lambele, G. Sklavos, N. Lavdas, L. Margantes, the founder of the Thessaloniki Conservatory, D. Levides, T. Spathes, P. Petrides, G. Ponirides. and the conductor and composer D. Mitropoulos.

Beginning in the 1920’sand 1930’s composers, conductors, and prominent music figures who had graduated from Greek music schools began to be active in Greece. Among them were A. Nezerites, A. Evangelatos, T. Karyotakes, S. Mich-aelides, D. Scalcotas, and A. Xenos. The symphonic works of such composers as Kalomiris and Xenos express the events of World War II and the struggle against fascist occupation forces.

In the mid-1940’s and early I950’s composers who worked primarily with songs gained prominence. Among them were M. Hadzidakis and N. Theodorakis, Greek performers include the conductors T. Vavayannis, P. Vizantiou, and A. Paridis, the singers M. Callas, N. Moshkonas, and A. Phrangian-Speliopoulou, the pianists G. Themeli and V. Devetsi, the violinist N. Dikeos, and the bouzouki players M. Chiutes and K. Papadapopoulos.

The National Opera Theater was founded in 1940 in Athens. There are five symphony orchestras, including the Athens State Orchestra, the orchestras of the National Opera Theater and Athens Radio, and the State Orchestra of Northern Greece in Thessaloniki. The country has a song and dance ensemble under the direction of Dora Stratus and a girls’ choir directed by P. Vizantiou. Music schools include the State Conservatory in Thessaloniki (founded in 1914), the Athens (1871) and Piraeus (1904) conservatories, and the Greek (1919) and National (1926) conservatories (the latter two located in Athens), which are financed by private music societies. The conservatories have branches in the major cities, and there are several secondary schools of music.


Anoianakes, P. “Muzyka sovremennoi Gretsii.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1958, no. 3.
Kolmykov, S. “Vstrecha s Mariei Faranduri.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1968. no. 3.
Georgiades, T. He hellenike musike, poiese kaiorche, Athens. 1959. Michaelides, S. He neoellenike musike. Cyprus, 1952.


The traditions of the ancient Greek theater were disrupted under the Byzantine Empire. From the 15th through the first half of the 19th century the Ottoman yoke was an obstacle to the development of a modern Greek theater. The first attempts to revive the Greek theater were undertaken only in the 17th century on Crete and in the 18th century on the island of Zakinthos. The emergence of the theater art was associated with the national liberation struggle of the Greek people, particularly the activity of the secret patriotic society Philike Hetairia, which inspired the formation of the first amateur theater troupes in Odessa (c. 1814) and Bucharest (1821), where there were Greek communities. In addition to staging plays by Voltaire. V. Alfieri, and other writers, the troupes presented works by Greek playwrights, including The Death of Demosthenes by N. Pikolos, Greece and the Foreigner by T. Lasanes, and Timoleon by I. Zambelios. During the Greek National Liberation Revolution of 1821–29 the actors in the theaters in these communities joined the rebels and organized traveling troupes, which staged plays with revolutionary plots. In 1830 a theater headed by G. Mandzuranes and G. Kalognomos was founded on the island of Siros.

In Athens the first theater productions were staged in 1836. but permanent professional troupes were founded only in the early 1860’s. Historical dramas by Greek writers, as well as adaptations of plays by Molière, Hugo, and Shakespeare, were important in the repertoire. Greek acting technique was characterized by bombastic declamation and artificial ardor. The leading actors in the mid-19th century included P. Soutsos, D. Tavulares, and P. Vonaser. In the late 19th century the tragedy actresses E. Paraskeuopoulou and E. Veroni and the Shakespearean actor N. Lekatsas were popular. From 1875 theaters were built in Athens, and numerous theater troupes were founded. From the mid-1870’s a new type of play that came to be known as komidillion (comedy and lyric drama with songs) became established in the Greek theater. The actor E. Pantopoulos, whose acting was distinguished by a folk style and realism, performed successfully in these plays.

In 1901. K. Christomanos organized the theater Nea Skene (New Stage), where he staged Ibsen’s The Wild Duck and Turgenev’s The Parasite as well as realist plays by Greek playwrights, such as G. Xenopoulos’ Count Valerina’s Secret and I. Kambysis’ The Kurds. The artistic endeavors of this theater were characterized by the founding of an actors’ ensemble, the actors’ painstaking work on their roles, and a realistic interpretation of characters (with some elements of naturalism). In late 1905 the theater began to stage frivolous plays, and, after suffering an artistic crisis, it was closed in 1906. In 1901 the state Royal Theater was opened. T. Ikonomu, who was one of the first professional Greek stage directors and who made a great contribution to the development of the art of acting and to standards of theater production, worked in the Royal Theater.

At the turn of the 20th century plays on themes from contemporary life by Xenopoulos. P. Nirvanas and P. Horn became popular, and works by Western European and Russian classical playwrights were also produced. Trends of realism, which manifested themselves in the creative work of E. Vea-kes and M. Kotopouli, gained ascendancy in the art of acting.

In the first two decades of the 20th century most of the theaters in Greece declined and became futile commercial enterprises, staging bedroom and other frivolous plays. The creative work of the director P. Polites was characterized by a desire to overcome this crisis. In 1925 at the Greek Theater Society he presented Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Gogol’s The Inspector-General, and The Brothers Karamazov, based on Dostoevsky’s work. From 1927 to 1929. Politis staged productions marked by their high artistic quality at the Professional Theater School (A. Matessis’ The Basilica). In 1930 the progressive theater figure and playwright V. Rotas organized the National Theater, which operated until 1934. Also in 1930 the director and actor K. Kuhn and D. Divares opened the People’s Stage Theater in Athens, whose productions were highly professional (Euripides’ Alceslis and G. Chortatzis’ Erophili). The productions of the National Theater were important to the development of the theater in Greece. In the I930’s a number of popular actors appeared at various theaters. Among them were V. Logothetides, G. Pappas, and A. Iannides. Theaters were organized under the direction of V. Aristopoulos (from 1924), K. Musures (from 1934), and K. Andreadi.

Under the fascist dictatorship (1936–41) and the fascist German occupation (1941–44) plays and productions were prohibited. Nonetheless, numerous amateur troupes worked in the country, presenting patriotic plays. In 1945 the United Artists’ Theater was founded. Its company included the actors E. Veakis, A. Ianidis, and G. Glinos and the directors I. Sarantides and T. Muzenides. The United Artists’ Theater presented works by Greek playwrights (D. Photiadis’ Theodora and K. Kodzias’ The Awakening) and progressive plays.

In 1946 the efforts of the political reaction brought about the closing of the theater, and progressive theater people were persecuted. In subsequent years progressive actors, directors, and playwrights continued the struggle for democratic art. In 1955 the Greek Popular Theater was founded under the direction of M. Katrakes. In the 1940’s and 1950’s the Theatron Technis (Art Theater), which had been founded in 1942 by the stage director K. Kuhn, did important work. The theater’s productions included Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1957), The Good Woman of Setzuan (1958). and The Resistable Rise of Arturo Vi (1961), I. Campanel-les’ The Court of Miracles (1958), and Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya (1960). In 1959 the Neon Theatron (New Theater) was opened under the direction of V. Daimandopoulos and M. Alkeu. A number of groups, including Theater 1959 and Theater 1961, were organized by young stage directors who wanted to rejuvenate the repertoire and forms of the theater. The Twelfth Curtain Theater put on annual productions consisting of three one-act plays by young Greek playwrights. A significant event for the Greek theater was the production of plays by Shakespeare, Schiller, and especially ancient Greek tragedies by the Piraeus Theater. (Founded in 1957 by the stage director D. Rontires. its leading actress is A. Papa-tanasiou. The theater performed in the USSR in 1962 and 1963.) In 1960 the Poria Theater (Path Theater) was opened under the direction of the playwright and director A. Damianos. The theater presents primarily plays by contemporary playwrights, and its prominent members include the stage directors M. Plorites, M. Ligizos, and M. Caco-yannis and the actors A. Alexandrakes, M. Mercouri (who lives abroad), and E. Veres.

In the 1960’s the repertoire of the Greek theaters expanded greatly to include short plays by Molière, Turgenev, and Chekhov and stage adaptations of Dostoevsky’s works. The productions of the 1960’s include Aristophanes’ Peace and The Birds (1964, 1965, Art Theater). Y. Campanellis’ Viva Aspasia (1966, D. Karezi’s troupe), and G. Stavrou’s The Villa Orgies (1967). From the second half of the 19th century the shadow theater Karagoz was popular in Greece.

The establishment of the military dictatorship in April 1967 dealt a heavy blow to the theater in Greece, and the repertoire was filled with light works and plays that propagandized for the dictatorial regime.


Bourdon. G. Le Thėâ tre grec moderne. Paris, 1892.
Lascares, N. Les Premières Années du théâtre neogrec. Athens, 1930.
Le Théâtre neogrec: Histoire abrégée du théâtre neogrec. Athens, 1957.
Valsa. M. Le Théâtre grec moderne de 1543 à 1900. Berlin. I960.
Satha, K. N. To Kretikon theatron: Prolegomena. Venice. 1879.
Laskares. N. Historia tu neoelleniku theatru, vols. 1–2. Athens, 1938–39.
Rodas, M. Morphes tu theatru, vols. 1–2. Athens, 1944.
Sideres, G. Historia tu neoelleniku theatru, 1794–1944, vol. 1, Athens, 1951.
Ligizos, M. To Neoelleniko plai sto pankosmio theatro. Athens, 1959.
Melas, S. 50 chronia theatro. Athens, 1960.


The first newsreel was shot in Greece in 1906 by a Frenchman. In 1911 and 1912 several short comedy films were released (director and performer of the principal roles, S. Dimitrakopoulos). In 1914 the Athens Film Company was founded, and the production of full-length films was begun. During World War I (1914–18) primarily war newsreels were released. The major film company Dag-film, which made historical motion pictures and screen adaptations of literary works, operated between 1928 and 1931. The most outstanding films of this period were Love and Waves (1927)., and Prometheus Bound (1929, director of both films, D. Gazi-ades), as well as Daphnis and Chloe (1931, director D. Las-kos). The first sound film was released in 1932. After Metaxas came to power in 1936, only newsreels that glorified “the ruler of the nation” were produced. During the fascist German occupation (1941–44) primarily German and Italian films were shown. National film production was represented only by the films The Voice of the Heart (1943, director D. Ioannopoulos) and Applause (1944, director G. Tza-velas). After the liberation of Greece from the occupation, between eight and nine films a year were released, some of which were devoted to the events of World War II (1939–45) and the struggle of the resistance movement. The films of the 1940’s include Marinos Kondaros (1946, director Dzavelas, based on a work by A. Eftaliotes) and The Last Mission (1949, director N. Tsiforos),

In the 1950’s and early 1960’s Greek filmmakers showed an increased interest in native films on contemporary themes, and motion picture production increased (about 46 films a year in 1959 and 1960). However, the majority of the films were sentimental melodramas, crude farces, espionage and gangster films, and other thrillers. Among the outstanding films of the period are Bloody Christmas (1951, director G. Zervos), The Counterfeit Coin (1955) and Antigone (1961, based on Sophocles; director of both films, Dzavelas), Bitter Bread (1951) and Hour of Anger (1968; director of both films G. Grigoriu), The Magic City (1954, director N. Koundouros), Stella (1955), The Girl in Black (1957), Electra (1962, based on Euripides’ play; director of both films M. Cacoyannis), and On the Ship (1966. director A. Damianos).

During the period of the military dictatorship a number of motion picture figures were arrested, and some of them emigrated. The military junta banned the showing of the antiwar film The Day When the Fish Came to the Surface (director Cacoyannis) and the film Face to Face (director R. Mantules, which is about the destruction of democracy in Greece. Both films were shown abroad. Prominent Greek actors include I. Pappas, K. Paxinou, E. Lambeti, M. Mercouri, A. Vyiuklaki, and D. Papamichail. The directors N. Koundouros and T. Kanelopoulos became well known in the field of documentary and popular science films. A film festival is held every year in Thessaloniki. The annual motion picture production is from 100 to 120 films, most of them commercial. [7–895–1)

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Official name: Hellenic Republic

Capital city: Athens

 Internet country code: .gr

Flag description: Nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white; there is a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white cross; the cross symbol­izes Greek Orthodoxy, the established religion of the country

National anthem: “Hymn to Freedom” (English translation by Rudyard Kipling), first two verses of poem by Dionys­ios Solomos, music by Nicholas Mantzaros

Geographical description: Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey

Total area: 51,146 sq. mi. (131,957 sq. km.)

Climate: Temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers Nationality: noun: Greek(s); adjective: Greek

Population: 10,706,290 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7% (per­cents represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity)

Languages spoken: Greek (official) 99%, other (including English, French, Turkish, Albanian) 1%

Religions: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other (including Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and other reli­gions) 0.7%

Legal Holidays:

Assumption DayAug 15
Christmas DayDec 25
Easter MondayApr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023
EpiphanyJan 6
Good FridayApr 22, 2011; Apr 6, 2012; Mar 29, 2013; Apr 18, 2014; Apr 3, 2015; Mar 25, 2016; Apr 14, 2017; Mar 30, 2018; Apr 19, 2019; Apr 10, 2020; Apr 2, 2021; Apr 15, 2022; Apr 7, 2023
Holy SaturdayApr 23, 2011; Apr 7, 2012; Mar 30, 2013; Apr 19, 2014; Apr 4, 2015; Mar 26, 2016; Apr 15, 2017; Mar 31, 2018; Apr 20, 2019; Apr 11, 2020; Apr 3, 2021; Apr 16, 2022; Apr 8, 2023
Independence Day and Feast of the AnnunciationMar 25
Labour DayMay 1
New Year's DayJan 1
Ochi DayOct 28
Second Day of ChristmasDec 26
Whit MondayJun 13, 2011; May 28, 2012; May 20, 2013; Jun 9, 2014; May 25, 2015; May 16, 2016; Jun 5, 2017; May 21, 2018; Jun 10, 2019; Jun 1, 2020; May 24, 2021; Jun 6, 2022; May 29, 2023
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


a republic in SE Europe, occupying the S part of the Balkan Peninsula and many islands in the Ionian and Aegean Seas; site of two of Europe's earliest civilizations (the Minoan and Mycenaean); in the classical era divided into many small independent city-states, the most important being Athens and Sparta; part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires; passed under Turkish rule in the late Middle Ages; became an independent kingdom in 1827; taken over by a military junta (1967--74); the monarchy was abolished in 1973; became a republic in 1975; a member of the European Union. Official language: Greek. Official religion: Eastern (Greek) Orthodox. Currency: euro. Capital: Athens. Pop.: 10 977 000 (2004 est.). Area: 131 944 sq. km (50 944 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005