Monday, January 4, 2010

Από που βγαίνει το "Greece"

Greece (Ellás), and USA The Hellenic Republic (Ellinikí Dhimokratía) since 1973. Previously the Kingdom of Greece (1830–1924, 1935–73); a military coup established a republic in 1924–35. Although the present republic was proclaimed in July 1973 the monarchy was not abolished until December 1974. The Ottoman Turkish conquest of Greece was complete by 1466 and the country remained under Turkish rule until the war of independence (1821–30); the new state came into existence formally in 1832. It was much smaller than now with some two‐thirds of the Greeks still under Turkish rule. The desire to unite all Greeks in one homeland, known as the Megali Idea ‘Great Idea’, grew, but it took almost another century to achieve it. The Greeks were called Hellenes after Hellen, son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, and reputed leader of the Thessalians (see Thessaly). Subsequently, the name Hellenes was applied to all Greeks. Before the monarchy was abolished in 1974 the monarch was called the King of the Hellenes, not the King of Greece. The term Hellas has been used variously for the historic region of Achaea (modern Greek, Akhaia) on the north coast of the Peloponnese, and Thessaly, particularly the area south of the River Spercheios. The ancient name of the Hellenes living in Epirus between the city of Thothoni (now Ioánnina) and the Akhelóös River was Graeci who, it has been suggested, took their name from Graecus, a personal name. The Romans subsequently called all Hellenes Graeci and their land became Graecia from which ‘Greece’ is derived. The name may, however, have come from Graikoi, the name used by their Illyrian neighbours; its etymology is unknown. The term Magna Graecia ‘Great Greece’ was given to the Greek colonies in southern Italy. Greece is the only country in the world where the adjectives ‘ancient’ and ‘modern’ have to be applied to the country, the people, and their language to differentiate between the past and the present. The phrase ‘It's all Greek to me’ comes from Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar (Act 1, Scene 2) to mean speech that is incomprehensible to the listener.