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Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known since ancient times as Hellas is a transcontinental country located in southeastern
Greece population is approximately 10.9 million as of 2015.
Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.
Greece is strategically located at the cross roads of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast.
Greece consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands.
The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring a vast number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited.
Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 meters (9,573 ft).
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.
From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organized into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great rapidly conquering 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, wherein the Greek language and culture were dominant.
The establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church in the first century AD 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 rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe and the world.
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 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).
Greece unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power.
The Hellenic Army formed in 1828, is the land force of Greece.
Along with the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) and the Hellenic Navy (HN), it makes up the Hellenic Armed Forces.
It is currently the largest branch of the three. The army is headed by the chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff (HAGS), which in turn is under the command of Hellenic National Defense General Staff (HNDGS).
The motto of the Hellenic Army is "Freedom Stems from Valour", from Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War.
The Hellenic Army Emblem is the two-headed eagle with a Greek Cross escutcheon in the centre, representing the links between modern Greece, the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Byzantine Empire.
The Hellenic Army is also the main contributor to, and "lead nation" of, the Balkan Battle Group, a combined-arms rapid-response force under the EU Battlegroup structure.