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Nearly 2,000 islands surround its eastern, southern, and western borders.
The nine major land areas that constitute Greece include Central Pindus, Thessaly, the Salonika Plain, Macedonia/Thrace, Peloponnesus, the Southeastern Uplands, the Ionian Islands, the Aegean Islands, and Crete.
The national anthem is "The Hymn to Freedom" (" Imnos pros teen elefteeriahn "). the city-states united to defeat Persia, a common enemy, but national unity proved to be short-lived.
The power struggle between Athens and Sparta, the principal city-states, dominated the period.
That year the Turks captured Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, and Greece became part of the Ottoman Empire.
Greece's declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire on March 25, 1821, resulted in the Greek War of Independence, which lasted until 1829, and began the history of independent modern Greece.
In 1936 Greece became a military dictatorship under General Ioannis Metaxas, who remained in power until 1944.
During 1952 to 1963 Alexander Papagos and Konstantinos Karamanlis each held the office of prime minister.The Eastern Orthodox church is the dominant religion; only about 1.5 percent of the population is Muslim, and a small percentage is Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, or Jewish.Traditionally, Greeks referred to themselves as "Hellenes" and to the country of Greece as "Hellas." The word "Greek" comes from the Latin Graeci, a name given to the people of this region by the Romans.On April 27, 1967, Colonel George Papadopoulos led a military coup, resulting in the suspension of constitutionally guaranteed rights and the imposition of harsh social controls.Papadopoulos declared Greece a republic in 1973 and put an end to the monarchy before his government was overthrown.
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Greece came under Macedonian domination between 338 and 200 The Macedonian king, Alexander the Great, conquered Greece, Persia, and Egypt to create an empire, and he carried the idea of Hellenism to places as far away as India.