19 August 2015

#954 Greece

Greece (GreekΕλλάδαElláda), officially the Hellenic Republic (Greek: Ελληνική ΔημοκρατίαEllīnikī́ Dīmokratía) and known since ancient times as Hellas (Greek: ΕλλάςEllás), is a country located in southeastern Europe. According to the 2011 census, Greece's population is around 10.8 million. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki, the second largest city, which is commonly referred to as the co-capital.

About some facts written on the postcard:

Socrates (GreekΣωκράτηςSōkrátēs; 470/469 – 399 BC) was a classical Greek (Athenianphilosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes. Plato's dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity, though it is unclear the degree to which Socrates himself is "hidden behind his 'best disciple', Plato".

Through his portrayal in Plato's dialogues, Socrates has become renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics, and it is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. The latter remains a commonly used tool in a wide range of discussions, and is a type of pedagogy in which a series of questions is asked not only to draw individual answers, but also to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand. Plato's Socrates also made important and lasting contributions to the field of epistemology, and the influence of his ideas and approach remains a strong foundation for much western philosophy that followed.

Maria CallasCommendatore OMRI (Greek: Μαρία Κάλλας; December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977), was an American-born Greek soprano and one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic interpretations. Her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of DonizettiBellini and Rossini and further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner. Her musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.

Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (GreekΕυάγγελος Οδυσσέας Παπαθανασίου; born 29 March 1943), professionally known as Vangelis (GreekΒαγγέλης), is a Greek composer of electronicprogressiveambientjazzpop rock, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award–winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films AntarcticaBlade RunnerMissing1492: Conquest of Paradise, and Alexander, and the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.

Georgios Nikolaou Papanikolaou (or George PapanicolaouGreekΓεώργιος Ν. Παπανικολάου; May 13, 1883 – February 19, 1962) was a Greek pioneer in cytopathology and early cancer detection, and inventor of the "Pap smear".

Mount Olympus (GreekΌλυμπος; also transliterated as Olympos, and on Greek maps, Oros Olympos) is the highest mountain in Greece and the second highest mountain in the Balkans. It is located in the Olympus Range on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, between the regional units of Pieria and Larissa, about 80 km (50 mi) southwest from Thessaloniki. Mount Olympus has 52 peaks, deep gorges, and exceptional biodiversity. The highest peak Mytikas, meaning "nose", rises to 2,919 metres (9,570 ft). It is one of the highest peaks in Europe in terms of topographic prominence.

Olympus was notable in Greek Mythology as the home of the Twelve Olympians, on the Mytikas peak. Mount Olympus is also noted for its very rich flora with several species. It has been the first National Park of Greece, since 1938, and a World's Biosphere Reserve.

In Greece and Cyprus, a name day (Greek: ονομαστική εορτή, onomastikē eortē, or γιορτή, yiortí, "feast") is celebrated in a similar way to a birthday except of expected differences (e.g. no birthday cake). It is a strong Greek tradition since antiquity for newborn children to be named after one of their grandparents. This results in a continuation of names in the family line.

The Olympic Games (GreekΟλυμπιακοί αγώνες , "Olympiakoi Agones") were a series of athletic competitions among representatives of city-states and one of the Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece. They were held in honor of Zeus, and the Greeks gave them a mythological origin. The first Olympics is traditionally dated to 776 BC. They continued to be celebrated when Greece came under Roman rule, until the emperor Theodosius I suppressed them in 394 AD as part of the campaign to impose Christianity as the state religion of Rome. The games were held every four years, or olympiad, which became a unit of time in historical chronologies.

Thank you, Athanasia !

Received on: August 19, 2015

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