GREECE, Ancient, the European penin sula which was bounded on the north by Mace donia and Illyria; on the east and southeast by the iEgean and Myrtoan, and in the west and southwest by the Ionian seas. Its length from the borders of Macedonia to Cape Tmnarum was about 262 miles. The name of Grwcia originated in Italy and was probably derived from Pelasgian colonists, who, coming from Epirus to Magna Grxcia, in southern Italy and calling themselves Greci, occasioned the applica tion of this name to all the people who spoke the same language with them. In earlier times, for example, in the time of Homer, Greece had no general name among the natives. Aris totle was the first Greek to call his countrymen rPalioi, Greeks. It afterward received the name of Hellas, and still later, after the country was conquered by the Romans, it was divided into two provinces: the Peloponnesus being known as Achaia and the remaining regions to the north as Macedonia. The Grecian tribes were so widely dispersed that it is difficult to determine with precision the •limits of Greece, properly so called. The name perhaps is prop erly applied only to the country lying to the south of Macedonia with the adjacent islands; but it has sometimes been given in a modern sense by geographers to the whole territory lying to the south of Mount Hzmus, Mount Scomius and the Illyrian Alps, or the whole series of mountains now called the Balkan, so as to include regions inhabited by some Thra clan, Macedonian and Illyrian tribes. The area of the mainland of the more limited region to which the name of Hellas is properly confined is above 55,000 square miles. The whole of Greece naturally divides itself into three parts.: Northern Greece, including Epirus and Thee saly; Central Greece, which comprises what was known as Hellas; and the Peloponnesus.
Physical The first thing which strikes the eye on looking at a map of Greece is the comparatively great extent of its coast line, formed by numerous gulfs which penetrate into it in all directions and give it a remarkably broken and rugged appearance. Proceeding round the coast from the northwest to the north: east we are presented in succession with the Ambracian Gulf (now Gulf of Arta), Corin thian Gulf (the mouth of which is now called the Gulf of Patras, while the name of Gulf of Corinth is reserved for the inner part of it), the Cyparissian (now Arcadian) Gulf and the Messenian, Laconian, Argolic, Saronic, Maliac and Pagasman gulfs, now called respectively Koron, Marathon, Nauplia, Athens, Lamia and Volo. The Corinthian Gulf on the east and the
Saronic Gulf on the west which nearly meet at the Isthmus of Corinth divide Greece into a continental and a peninsula portion, the latter called the Peloponnesus (now Morea). An other striking feature is the mountainous char acter of the interior. The whole country was bounded on the north by a range of mountains, the western half of which was called Mount Lingon and the eastern half the Cambunian Mountains, with Mount Olympus at their eastern extremity. From about the middle of this range a lofty chain, called Mount Pindus,, strikes southward and runs almost parallel to the east-f ern and western coasts of Greece. At a point in this chain called Mount Tymphrestus or. Ty phrestus (now Mount Velulchi), two chains proceed in an easterly direction, the northern most of which, Mount Othrys, runs almost due east and attains at some points a height of from 7,000 to 8,000 feet, while the southern one runs rather in a southeasterly direction, attaining at one point a height of 8,240 feet and terminates at the celebrated pass. of Then, The Cambunian Mountains on the north, the range of Pindus on the west and Othrys on the south, enclose the large and fertile vale of Thessaly, forming the basin of the Peneus (now Salambria), and the ranges of Othrys and (Eta enclose the smaller basin of the Sperchius (Hellada). Another range of mountains branches off from Mount (Eta and runs still more to the south. This is the cele brated Parnassus, which, at its highest point, ex ceeds 3,000 feet. The peaks of Citharon, Parries, Pentelicus and Hymettus lie in the same direction, but are more distinguished for their classic celebrity than for their height. The range in which these peaks are found is con tinued to the southeast point of continental Greece, and the islands of Ceos, Cythnos, Seri phos and Siphnos (now Kea, Thermia, Serpho and Siphanto) may be regarded as continua tions of it. This range on the south and that of (Eta on the north enclose the basin of the Ce phissus, with Lake Copais (now Topolia). An other chain of mountains strikes southwestward from the central range of continental Greece under the names of Corax and Taphiassus. The chief rivers on the west side of the Pindus chain are the Arachthus (now Arta) and the Achelous (now Aspropotamo).