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GREECE

is situated at the most southeastern part of Europe on the southern Balkan Peninsula and include numerous islands in the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Ionian seas. Settled by Achaeans, Aeolian, Ionians, Minoans, and Dorians by 1000 B.C., the region grew as an amalgam of independent city-states, many of which established colonies throughout the Mediterranean by the eighth century B.C.

Classical Greek culture, centered around Athens, reached a high point in the fifth century B.C. before being conquered by Philip II of Macedon in 338 B.C. The area was later controlled by the Roman and Byzantine empires before being absorbed into the Ottoman empire (1456).

In 1821, Greece gained its independence and established a constitutional monarchy. The king was deposed following a military coup in April 21st 1967, and a democratic republic was established in 1974. Athens is the capital and the largest city. Population: 11,000,000.