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History of Greece

The History of Greece traditionally encompasses the study of the Greek people, the areas they ruled, and the territory now composing the modern state of Greece.

The scope of Greek habitation and rule has varied significantly through the ages, and as a consequence the history of Greece is similarly elastic in what it includes. Each era has its own related sphere of interest.

The first Greeks arrived in Europe some time before 1500 BC, and at its peak, Greek Civilization ruled everything from Greece to Egypt to the Hindu Kush mountains. Since then, large Greek minorities have remained in former Greek territories (e.g., Turkey, Italy, and Libya, Levant, etc.), and Greek Emigrants have assimilated into differing societies across the globe (e.g., the United States, Australia, Britain, etc.). However, today most Greeks live in the modern states of Greece (independent since 1821) and Cyprus (independent since 1960).

Aegean civilization: prehistoric Greece

The earliest civilization to appear around Greece was the Minoan civilization on the Aegean Sea; it lasted approximately from 3000 to 1450 BC . Little specific is known about the Minoans (even the name is a modern appellation, from Minos, the legendary king of Crete). They appear to have been a pre-Indo-European people; their language, known as Eteocretan, may have been written in the undeciphered Linear A script. They were primarily a mercantilist people engaged in overseas trade. Although the causes of their demise are uncertain, they were eventually invaded by the Mycenaeans, which brought about the start of the Bronze Age.