Points to Know About Ancient Greece > Fast Facts About Ancient Greece
Greece -- Otherwise Known as Hellas.
Name of Greece
"Greece" is our English translation of Hellas, which is what the Greeks call their country. The name "Greece" comes from the name the Romans applied to Hellas -- Graecia. While the people of Hellas thought of themselves as Hellenes, the Romans called them by the Latin word Graeci.
Location of Greece
Greece is on a European peninsula extending into the Mediterranean Sea. The sea to the East of Greece is called the Aegean Sea and the sea to the west, the Ionian. Southern Greece, known as the Peloponnese (Peloponnesus), is barely separated from mainland Greece by the Isthmus of Corinth. Greece also includes many islands, including the Cyclades and Crete, as well as islands like Rhodes, Samos, Lesbos, and Lemnos, off the coast of Asia Minor.
Location of Major Cities
Through the classical era of ancient Greece, there was one dominant city in central Greece and one in the Peloponnese. These were, respectively, Athens and Sparta.
- Athens - located in Attica in the lowest area of central Greece
- Corinth - located on the Isthmus of Corinth about halfway between Athens and Sparta.
- Sparta - located on the Peloponnese (the lower detached section of Greece)
- Thebes - In Boeotia, which is north of Attica
- Argos - in the Peloponnese in the east
- Delphi - in central Greece about 100 mi. northwest of Athens
- Olympia - in a valley in Elis, in the western Peloponnese
Major Islands of Greece
Greece has thousands of islands and more than 200 are inhabited. The Cyclades and Dodecanese are among the groups of islands.
Mountains of Greece
Greece is one of the most mountainous countries of Europe. The highest mountain in Greece is Mount Olympus 2,917 m.
Total: 3,650 km
- Albania 282 km
- Bulgaria 494 km
- Turkey 206 km
- Macedonia 246 km
- Fast Facts About Ancient Greece
- Topography of Ancient Athens
- The Long Walls and the Piraeus
- Fast Facts About the Greek Colonies
Image: Map courtesy of CIA World Factbook.