Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (ca. 600 AD). Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the period of Classical Greece, which flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Classical Greece began with the repelling of a Persian invasion by Athenian leadership. Because of conquests by Alexander the Great, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. Classical Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean region and Europe, for which reason Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of Western culture. Land:
Greece has very hot, dry summers. Rain only falls in winter. This restricts crops in many areas to grapes and olives and the animals to sheep and goats. However, there are also rolling plains that are ideal for growing crops like wheat and barley. As only a certain amount of food could be obtained locally, the Ancient Greeks built boats to fish and to trade what they had. There was no sugar, so honey or boiled grape juice were used as sweeteners. There were often wars when cities wanted to take over the land of a neighboring city. Mountains
Greece is made up almost entirely of mountainous land with only small areas of lowlands. The mountains are beautiful but made it hard to farm and make a living. They also made it hard to travel and communicate with people a distance away. The mountains divided the cities in Ancient Greece and each city had it's own customs and ideas.
Greece consists of a large mainland at the southern end of the Balkans; the Peloponnesus peninsula (separated from the mainland by the canal of the Isthmus of Corinth); and numerous islands (around 3,000), including Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Euboea and the Dodecanese and Cycladic groups of the Aegean Sea as well as the Ionian sea islands. Greece has more than 15,000 kilometres of coastline and a land boundary of 1,160 kilometres. About 80% of Greece consists of mountains or hills, thus making Greece one of the most montainous countries of Europe. Western Greece contains lakes and wetlands. Pindus, the central mountain range, has a maximum elevation of 2,636 m. The Pindus can be considered as a prolongation of the Dinaric Alps. The range continues by means of the Peloponnese, the islands of Kythera and Antikythera to find its final point in the island of Crete. (Actually the islands of the Aegean are peaks of underwater mountains that once consisted an extension of the mainland). The Central and Western Greece area contains high, steep peaks dissected by many canyons and other karstic landscapes, including the Meteora and the Vikos gorge the later being the second largest one on earth after the Grand Canyon in the US.
Mount Olympus forms the highest point in Greece at 2,919 metres above sea level. Also northern Greece presents another high range, the Rhodope, located in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace; this area is covered with vast and thick century old forests like the famous Dadia. Plains are mainly found in Eastern Thessaly, Central Macedonia and Thrace.Greece's climate is divided into three well defined classes the Mediterranean, Alpine and Temperate, the first one features mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Temperatures rarely reach extremes, although snowfalls do occur occasionally even in Athens, Cyclades or Crete during the winter. Alpine is found primarily in Western Greece (Epirus, Central Greece, Thessaly, Western Macedonia as well as central parts of Peloponessus like Achaea, Arkadia and parts of Lakonia...