Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living.A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union) and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001.It is also a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).
The history of Greece is one of the longest of any country, having been continuously inhabited since 270,000 BC.
Considered the cradle of Western civilization, Greece is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama, including both tragedy and comedy.
The Greeks were first unified under Philip of Macedon in the fourth century BC.
His son Alexander the Great rapidly conquered much of the ancient world, spreading Greek culture and science from the eastern Mediterranean to the Indus River.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire.
The first century AD saw the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church, which shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World.
Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe and the world.
According to the 2015 census, Greece's population is approximately 10.9 million.
Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.
Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa.