When talking about the achievements of the Greeks we often think of Democracy, the Olympic Games, Astronomy, and Mathematics – all bound to our ancient past. With Modern Greece celebrating 200 years of independence, it is important to see some facts related to the achievements of Greeks in modern times.
6 Facts About Modern Greece:
- Greece Continues Being the Leader in Maritime Shipping
- Two Nobel Prizes for Modern Greek Literature
- Athens Continues Being the Capital of Theatre
- Greek Island Holds the Secret to Longevity
- A Leading Smart City in the Greek Countryside
- 3% of the World’s Greatest Scientists are Greek
Greece Continues Being the Leader in Maritime Shipping
When thinking of Greece’s economy, the first thing that comes to mind, after the recent debt crisis, is the tourism and service industry. But one of the most important industries in Greece is maritime shipping. The country is in the top 10 ship owning nations, competing with Japan for the first place. The current fleet value is at 100.5 billion dollars, according to VesselsValue. The small country of approximately 11 million people surpasses China, a country of 1.4 billion people. As we have seen in previous videos, Greeks have been exploring the sea in search of resources, trading opportunities, and lands to establish new colonies, since the Bronze Age. And they never stopped dominating the seas.
Two Nobel Prizes for Modern Greek Literature
Western literature has been greatly influenced by ancient Greek literature, and especially epic and lyric poetry. Greece continues producing great writers and poets in modern times as well. Odysseas Elytis, the romantic modernist poet, and Giorgos Seferis, the well-known poet and diplomat, have been awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature. The first in 1979 and the second in 1963.
Athens Continues Being the Capital of Theatre
Western theatre was born in ancient Athens and specifically in the theatre of Dionysus. And Athens continues being a cultural center with a focus on theatre. According to Athens Social Atlas, the capital city of Greece has more than 152 theatre halls, including the Odeon of Herodes Atticus that was built on 161 AD. The city is the perfect destination for any theatre lover.
Greek Island Holds the Secret to Longevity
The Greek diet and overall lifestyle have been connected to longevity for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, Greeks living in big cities and industrial areas have adopted different lifestyles – they stress more, cook less, and consume highly processed foods. But those living in the Greek countryside have generally continued following their traditional way of living. A specific island has caught the attention of scientists; that is the island of Ikaria. You might have heard the “Ikaria Study”, since the island has one of the highest percentages of people above the age of 90. It is worth mentioning that it is not just the diet that, according to the study, may contribute to the longevity of the islanders. The overall lifestyle, including the active social life and optimistic attitude, contribute to that. The NYT have called Ikaria “the island where people forget to die”.
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A Leading Smart City in the Greek Countryside
In Greece, we might love tradition, but that doesn’t mean we are not open to innovations, following the paradigm of “polymechanos Odysseus”. Trikala is one of the first smart-cities in Europe by integrating new technologies into the daily lives of the citizens. The city, located in Thessaly, has over 80.000 inhabitants. The city has seen driverless buses, robotics kits in its 120 public schools, and countless other innovative programs and solutions.
3% of the World’s Most Referenced Scientists are Greek
Greeks make up around 0.13% of the world’s total population. Professor of Medicine at Stanford Prevention Research Center, John P.A. Ioannidis, presented statistics that showed that the percentage of referenced Greek scientists in the world reaches 3%. Many of them conduct research for foreign Universities. To be more specific, data retrieved from the database of Google Scholar, showed that 672 Greek scientists have been referenced approximately 17.000 times in various scientific reports.
Let’s explore the life and works of Pericles, one of the most influential Greek politicians to have ever existed.
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