Greece Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Greece: political system

According to COMPUTERMINUS.COM, Greece is a parliamentary democracy. The parliament is a unicameral system and consists of 300 people’s representatives who are elected for four years. A special feature is the fact that the strongest parliamentary group gets 50 seats in addition to the seats won by the election. The point of this unusual arrangement is to keep governments as stable as possible. The head of state is elected every five years by parliament. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Greece politics, and acronyms as well.

The official name of the country is:

Greek Republic

National anthem

The hymn ” Imnos pros tin Eleftherian” (Ode to Freedom) was written by Dionysios Solomos in 1823 and has 158 stanzas. The music comes from Nikolaos Mantzaros. The first two stanzas were declared the Greek national anthem in 1865. Incidentally, the Greek part of Cyprus has the same national anthem.

It reads in the English translation

Yes, I know you on the blade ofyour sword as sharp and bright

as on this earth ring,

your mighty cupboard steps.Those who rose from the bones of the holy Greeks in


who broke the slave yoke,

dear freedom, be greeted.

Yes, you lived there,

grieving and with a shy look.

Have insisted that once

the cry: “O come back!”

But this took a long time;

everything was as if suffocated,

everything shuddered with fear,

crushed by slavery.

(12 more stanzas follow)

National flag

The national flag (national flag) of Greece in its current design dates from 1978. Based on flag descriptions by, the colors and the cross are interpreted as follows:

– Blue stands for the sea and the sky.

– White symbolizes for the purity of struggle and independence.

– The cross symbolizes the Christian tradition of Greece.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Greece.

Greece: Known People

Doctors and natural scientists

Archimedes (approx. 287 BC-212 BC)

mathematician, physicist, engineer and natural philosopher. Archimedes invented the so-called Archimedean screw, discovered the Archimedean principle (the principle of buoyancy) and developed a number system based on place values.

He also discovered the ratio of the number of circles and developed what is probably the oldest numerical method in this context. Archimedes is also considered to be the inventor of the science of statics. He also discovered the laws of levers and the principle of communicating tubes.

Diocles (approx. 240 BC – approx. 180 BC)

mathematician and geometer. Diocles was born around 240 BC. born in Carystus. The contemporary of Apollonius studied parables and proved for the first time that they have a focal point.

The cissoid of Diocles goes back to him, a certain curve to calculate a doubling of the cube. Furthermore, the scientist dealt with burning mirrors. Diocles died around 180 BC.

Pedanios Dioscurides (1st century)

doctor and most famous ancient pharmacologist. Pedanios Dioscurides lived in the 1st century, came from Anazarbus and served both Nero and Emperor Claudius as a military doctor. His most famous work is the 5-volume “Materia Medica”, which also became the most influential work of antiquity on European medicine teaching. It contains monographic publications on around 1,000 medicinal products.

Erasistratos (approx. 305 BC-250 BC)

physician, anatomist and physiologist. Erasistratos came from today’s island of Kea and is considered the founder of pathology. He was also one of the most important ancient anatomists who, together with Herophilus of Chalcedon, mainly represented the Alexandrian school. He examined especially the nervous system, the blood and the bile duct system, described the heart valves, recognized jaundice and much more.

Euclid of Alexandria (approx. 360 BC-280 BC)

mathematician. Euclid of Alexandria was born around 360 BC. born and probably completed his training in Plato’s Academy, Athens. His 13-volume work “The Elements” represents an extensive collection of the mathematical knowledge of his time. For a long time, in some cases well into the 20th century, it formed the basis of geometry lessons and also contains the beginnings of number theory.

Galenus (129 BC-201/216 BC)

physician and anatomist. Galen was born around 129 BC. born in Pergamon. He is one of the most important doctors of ancient times. He served as a personal physician to various Roman emperors, including Marcus Aurelius. His 16-volume work “Methodi medendi” was considered irrevocable for a millennium and a half. It encompasses an extremely large number of topics relating to humans and nature. The four juices theory was an important basis and basic assumption of his methodology. Galenos died around 201 or even 216 BC. in Rome.

Herophilos of Chalcedon (approx. 330 BC-255 BC)

physician and anatomist. Herophilos of Chalcedon was born around 330 BC. born. Together with Erasistratos he embodied the most important anatomists of the Alexandrian school of his time. He is still considered the founder of the empirical school. His field of activity was the brain, but also the nervous system. The famous bloodletting goes back to Herophilos of Chalcedon. Nothing of his writings has survived in the original, but his teachings were e.g. B. handed down by Galenos.

Hippocrates (approx. 460 BC-377 BC)

Most famous ancient doctor, on whom medical professionals still take their Hippocratic oath, although it is not known whether the oath originated from him at all. Hippocrates of Kos was born around 460 BC. born and revered as the founder of medical science. According to him, there is a connection between the human body and its character. A century later, Galenus was responsible for spreading his name and his teaching, otherwise we probably wouldn’t know him today.

Hippocrates of Chios (approx. 470 BC – approx. 410 BC)

mathematician and astronomer. He is considered to be the first author of a mathematics book. Incidentally, he is said to have found his way to science late, after having worked as a merchant for a long time. He dealt intensively with squaring the circle and doubling the cube. Hippocrates of Chios died around 410 BC. in Athens.

Hypatia (approx. 355-415/16)

mathematician, astronomer and philosopher. Hypatia is one of the most outstanding natural scientists of late antiquity. She taught at the University of Alexandria and wrote a 13-volume work on the “Aritmetica” of the father of algebra, Diophant. Furthermore she dealt intensively with Aristotle’s philosophy, but also with conic sections. Hypatia was murdered a pagan.

Menelaus of Alexandria (c. 70-140)

mathematician and astronomer. Menelaus of Alexandria worked as a scientist in Alexandria and Rome. His work is called “Spaerica”, consists of three volumes and deals with trigonometry and the geometry of the sphere. Menelaus devoted himself intensively to astronomical observations. He died around 140 AD. in Rome.

Georgios Papanikolaou (1883-1962)

Georgios Papanikolaou was born in Greece on May 13, 1883. He studied medicine and devoted himself to philosophy. In the meantime he went to Germany. In 1913 he moved to the USA, where he worked in the gynecological department at Cornell University and in 1928 developed the so-called Papanikolaou test, which is known as the Pap test. A smear is taken from the cervix in order to detect cancer at an early stage. He died on February 19, 1962 in Miami, USA.

Claudius Ptolemy (c. 100-180)

mathematician, geographer and astronomer. Claudius Ptolemy left behind works, including on astronomy, whose knowledge he significantly expanded, which were standard works for centuries. The 13-volume “Megiste Syntaxis” is his most famous work. The Ptolemaic worldview is named after him, according to which the earth is located in the center of the universe.

Pythagoras (ca.570-510 BC)

mathematician, astronomer and philosopher. After studying for 22 years in Egypt, Pythagoras founded an influential religious and philosophical movement in Croton (today Calabria). His followers attributed miracles and “divine abilities” to him. For the Pythagoreans there was a close connection between music, harmony and numbers, and they provided decisive impulses for the development of the Western tonal system. “Everything is number” was one of their tenets. The famous “Theorem of Pythagoras”, which hardly any student could ignore – (a 2 + b 2 = c 2) – is of much older origin.

Eugène Michel Antoniadi (1870-1944)

astronomer. Eugène Michel Antoniadi was born in 1870 and initially studied architecture. He later changed his field of expertise and specialized in observing the planet Mars. He also worked out a map of the planet Mercury. He developed the Antoniadi scale, which is very popular with astronomer amateurs as it enables easy-to-understand sky observations. Eugène Michel Antoniadi died in Paris in 1944.

Phaedon Avouris (born 1945)

chemist. Phaedon Avouris was born in 1945. He studied in both Thessaloniki and Michigan. His area of expertise is nanotechnology at the US company IBM, where he is managing director of the division. He also dealt with laser spectroscopy, surface physics and scanning tunneling microscopy. He is an Associate Professor at both Columbia University and the University of Illinois.

Fotis Constantine Kafatos (born 1940)

biologist. Fotis Constantine Kafatos was born in Heraklion in 1940. He studied at both the University of Ithaca and Harvard, where he later worked as a professor of cellular and developmental biology (until 1994). He deals intensively with immunology and molecular biology as well as with the malaria pathogen. In the field of developmental biology, he worked as a pioneer in the study of gene families. Kafatos is a member of several academies and was awarded the Robert Koch Medal, among other things.

The Panagiotatou sisters

The first two women with a doctorate in Greece. Aggeliki (1878-1954) and Alexandra Panagiotatou (dates unknown) from Kefalonia were the first two women in Greece to be awarded a doctorate in medicine on December 20, 1896 from the National University of Athens. Aggeliki had specialized in microbiology. Her sister’s specialty is unknown.

George Nicolas Papanicolaou (Georgios Nikolaou Papanikolaou) (1883-1962 in New Jersey, USA)

Papanicolaou was a doctor and pathologist. He obtained his doctorate in 1910 at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich.

He became known for the so-called Papanicolaou smear (Pap smear), with which an early cytological diagnosis of cervical cancer was possible.

Georgos Vithoulkas (born 1932)

Most famous homeopath of the 20th century. Georgos Vithoulkas was born in Athens in 1932 and initially tried his hand at engineering. It was in South Africa that he first came into contact with homeopathy and made it his profession. His method is based on classical homeopathy. In 1996 he received the alternative Nobel Prize. Sometimes ridiculed by scientists, homeopaths and pharmacists adore him.

Architects and builders

Theophanes Streletzás Bathas (c. 1500-1559)

Painter and monk. Theophanes Streletzás Bathas was born around 1500. As an important representative of the Cretan school, he became famous primarily for his frescoes. Bathas, who was also called Theophanes the Cretan, was particularly dedicated to monastery paintings. His commitment ensured that Greek painting could be preserved during the rule of the Turks. He died in 1559.

Deinocrates (4th century BC)

Architect and reconstructor of the Temple of Artemis. Deinocrates lived in the 4th century BC. and was a contemporary of Alexander the great. Its origin is valued in Rhodes. In addition to the reconstruction of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, Deinocrates is said to have been significantly involved in the construction of the city of Alexandria in Egypt. Other projects have in fact not been handed down, there are only legends e.g. B. over a mountain for Alexander the Great, who was conceived as a human being.

Chersiphron (6th century BC)

Architect of the Temple of Artemis. Chersiphron lived in the 6th century BC. in Knossós on the Greek island of Crete. He was one of the three main architects of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Between 580 and 560 BC. he is said to have started construction with his son Metagenes. The famous temple was made entirely of marble and is said to have stood on 106 columns.

Eirene (3rd century BC)

Painter. Eirene lived in the 3rd century BC. and is also sometimes called Irene. She was descended from a painter. The best-known picture of her is “The Portrait of a Girl” from Eleusis, which Pliny the Elder described extensively in his list of ancient Greek women painters in the 1st century. During the Renaissance, Boccaccio added it to his collection of famous women.

Eupompus (4th century BC)

Painter, founder of the school of painting in Sicyon. Eupompus lived in the 4th century BC. and – like Eirene – was handed down by Pliny the Elder. His most famous work shows a sporty competitor who has won a victory and holds a palm branch in his hand. In his art, however, Eupompos oriented himself towards nature, not people. The Macedonian Pamphilus was one of his students.

Feofan Grek or Theophanes the Greek (ca.1330-1410)

icon painter. Feofan Grek was born in Konstaniopel around 1330 and brought the late Byzantine style of dynamic composition to Russia around 1370. The Russian icon painter Andrei Rublev made him a master. In 1408 he was part of a group who painted a stone church in the Moscow Kremlin. He died in 1410.

Iaia (approx. 100 BC)

Painter. Iaia lived and worked around 100 BC. and came from Kyzikos. She too belonged to Pliny the Elder’s list of ancient Greek women painters, the so-called “Naturalis historia”. Her specialty were portraits of women. In addition, she is said to have received an above-average fee for her works. The works also include a “self-portrait in front of the mirror”.

Calypso (approx. 200 BC)

Painter. Calypso probably lived around 200 BC. and was included in the “Naturalis historia” by Pliny the Elder. Three of her works have survived into modern times, including “Portrait of the dancer Alkisthenes” and “Portrait of an old man”.

Iktinos (5th century BC)

Architect of the Parthenon. Iktinos lived from around 460 BC. up to 430 BC and was a major architect of the Age of Pericles in Greece. He is said to have built the Parthenos on the Athens Acropolis and wrote a theoretical paper on it. His style combined a mix of different components. Another building was the Telesterion in Eleusis.

Kallikrates (470 BC-420 BC)

Architect of the Parthenon. Kallikrates lived in the 5th century BC and helped build the Athens Parthenon under Iktinos. He was one of the most important architects of the Greek Pericles era. Kallikrates also designed the Nike temple on the Acropolis. The so-called Kallikrates program from 2010 was named after him and includes a cost-saving reform in the administration of Greece.

Boethos of Carthage (2nd century BC)

sculptor. Boethos of Carthage is said to have created several statues in the Heraion at Olympia as a sculptor, including a naked seated boy. Boethos of Carthage, who was descended from a man named Apollodores, is said to have carved the statue “Goose Strangler” in the picture.

Sostratos of Knidos (4th/3rd century BC)

Architect of the Alexandria lighthouse. Sostratos of Knidos lived around the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. and built one of the Seven Wonders of the World, namely the Lighthouse of Alexandria. However, the client forbade him to put his name under this building. He also built recreational structures such as B. a so-called terrace sanctuary of Aphrodite of Knodos, which had a roof garden. He was inspired by the Babylonian Hanging Gardens.

Chares of Lindos (late 4th century BC)

sculptor. Chares of Lindos was from Rhodes and lived in the late 4th century BC. He is the creator of the more than 30 m high Colossus of Rhodes, which was part of the Seven Wonders of the World. However, it is said that he should not have seen the final completion. Another colossus from his hands is said to have been a bronze head and was intended for Rome.

Metagenes (6th century BC)

Architect of the Temple of Artemis. Metagenes was born the son of Chersiphron, who together with him built the Temple of Artemis. He is also said to have been involved in the construction of the Temple of Eleusis. Like his father, he also wrote theoretical writings on architecture. Nothing has been passed down into modern times about his life.

Isidore of Miletus (c. 442-537)

Hagia Sophia architect, mathematician, physicist. The Byzantine builder was one of the two architects of the famous Hagia Sophie in today’s Istanbul. Today it is considered one of the last great ancient structures. He is also said to have served the emperor in an advisory capacity. Isidore of Miletus taught physics in Alexandria and later taught at the University of Constantinople.

Phidias (c. 500 BC-432 BC)

sculptor. His most famous work in ancient times was the statue of Athena Lemnia in Athens. But also the colossal statue, the 12 m high statue of Zeus at Olympia, comes from him. He had created a work on the Temple of Zeus that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In general, Phidias went down in history as the greatest ancient sculptor. But he not only worked with stone, but also as a gate groove with metals.

Polyklet (4th century BC)

sculptor. Some of the masterful bronze statues have been preserved as Roman marble copies until modern times. His works also included the Tholos of Epidaurus, a Greek-ancient rotunda; as well as the theater in this place. Nothing is known about his life. However, it is said to have strongly influenced subsequent generations in terms of design with its round buildings.

Pytheos (4th or 5th century BC)

sculptor and architect of the mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Pytheos lived in the 4th or 5th century BC. He had a great influence on the Hellenistic-Ionic art of building temples. The clarity and regularity of the structure were specific to him. His works include the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the Temple of Athena in Priene. He is also said to have written several writings, including about the aforementioned mausoleum.

Anthemios von Tralleis (2nd half of the 5th century – approx. 558 BC)

Architect of the Hagia Sophia and mathematician. Anthemios von Tralleis came from a family of doctors from Lydia. In collaboration with Isidor von Milet, he created the famous Hagia Sophie in what is now Istanbul. The client was Justinian I, an Eastern Roman emperor. Von Tralleis was responsible for the creation of the model of the Sophienkirche. As a mathematician, he also dealt with ellipses in particular.

Musicians and composers

Maria Callas (1923-1977)

opera singer. Maria Anna Sofia Cecilia Kalogeropoulou was born in New York in 1923 into a Greek family of immigrants. Six years later, her father had the name change to Callas. Maria studied at the Conservatory in Athens and soon rose to become one of the most important sopranos in the world. Her repertoire included the “Medea”, “La Traviata”, Rossini, Bellini and many more. With Aristotle Onassis, the Greek shipowner and billionaire, she had an intermittent affair. Callas was married to an entrepreneur. Maria Callas died in Paris in 1977.

Costa Cordalis (1944-2019)

pop singer. Costa Cordalis was born in Elatia, Greece, in 1944 and traveled to Germany when he was 16, where he first learned the language and later in Frankfurt a. M. studied German and philosophy. He celebrated his first success in 1973 with the song “Carolina, come”. The breakthrough came three years later with “Anita”. In 2004 he left the RTL jungle camp as the jungle king and gained more attention after years of lull. The winner of the Golden Tuning Fork 1981/86 has already participated in skiing championships. He died on July 2, 2019 in Santa Ponça on Mallorca.

Manos Hadjidakis (1925-1994)

Composer. Manos Hadjidakis was born in Xanthi in 1925. He is known for writing film scores and pop music. In 1961 he won an Oscar for “The Best Song” called “Never on Sunday”, which he wrote for the film of the same name. He also created the chart-topping “White Roses from Athens”, interpreted by Nana Mouskouri, and “A ship will come”. Manos Hadjidakis died in Athens in 1994.

Ioannis Apostolou (1860-1905)

tenor. Ioannis Apostolou was born in Athens between 1860 and 1863 and studied at the Conservatory there. He sang in numerous choirs and made a name for himself as the single interpreter of many operas, especially Verdi and Puccini. Apostolou is considered the first globally successful Greek opera singer. He appeared on all major international stages. Ioannis Apostolou died in Naples in 1905.

Vicky Leandros (born 1952)

German-Greek singer. Vicky Leandros was born in Paleokastritsa in 1952. She was taught singing, guitar and ballet. Her best-known song is probably “Theo, we drive to Lodz” from 1974. Especially as a pop singer, she was able to celebrate time and again successes by performing well-known English songs (e.g. “My heart will go on”) with one interpreted German text over the melody (e.g. “Because my heart never forgets you”). Leandros has two nationalities – the Greek and the German. It has received many awards so far, including the Golden Tuning Fork and the Golden Europe.

Marinelle (born 1938)

Singer. Marinelle was born as Kriaki Papadopoulou in Thessaloniki in 1938. Marinelle is one of the most famous singers in her homeland. She was the first Greek singer to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 (7th place). She also performed successfully in musicals.

Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896-1960)

conductor, composer, pianist. Dimitri Mitropoulos was born in Athens in 1896. He studied music at the Athens Conservatory and later in Brussels and Berlin. He worked at the Berlin State Opera as well as with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As a composer, he has composed organ works, piano solos and orchestral works. Dimitri Mitropoulos died in Milan in 1960.

Nana Mouskouri (born 1934)

Singer. Nana Mouskouri was born in Crete in 1934 and studied at the Athens Conservatory. She celebrated worldwide success with the hit “White Roses from Athens” in 1961, for which she was awarded the gold record. Her discography includes countless songs and albums, including those from the swing and jazz genres. Mouskouri was also politically active, e.g. B. against the Greek colonel dicature. She has been working as a Unicef special commissioner since 1993.

Elena Paparizou (born 1982)

Swedish-Greek singer and songwriter. Elena Paparizou was born in Gothenburg in 1982 and her name is often spelled as Helena Paparizou. At the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 she competed for Greece and won the country for the first time with the song “My Number One”. In Greece she also celebrated a number 1 placement with her hit “Mambo!” 2005. She appeared on the show “X-Factor”.

Mikis Theodorakis (born 1925)

Composer. Mikis Theodorakis was born in Chios in 1925 and, due to the constantly changing political conditions in Greece, lived in different parts of his country. The respective music of the places inspired him, so that he started writing songs at an early age and went to the music school. His composed film music for z. B. “Alexis Sorbas” and “Z” made him famous worldwide. Mikis Theodorakis was also politically active and was temporarily employed in the Greek parliament.

Vangelis (born 1943)

Vangelis was born in Agria in 1943. Everyone should know his hit “Conquest of Paradise” from 1992 for the film “1492 – Die Eroberung des Paradieses”. But he also composed the soundtrack for the movie hits “Blade Runner” and “Die Stunden des Siegers”, just as he was responsible for the 2002 soccer world cup anthem. Vangelis mostly operates with synthesizers and is characterized by its musical diversity.

Nobel Prize Winner

Odysseas Elytis (1911-1996)

In 1979 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his poetry, which, based on the Greek tradition, shapes the struggle of a modern person for freedom with sensual power and intellectual clarity

Giorgos Seferis (1900-1971)

In 1963 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his outstanding lyric poetry, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic cultural world

Philosophers, theologians and rhetoricians

Anaxagoras (499 BC-428 BC)

pre-Socratics. Anaxagoras was born in 499 BC. Born in Klazomenai and lived most of his philosophical life in Athens. Most of the time only fragments of his teaching have come down to us, but these are particularly from Aristotle. It is known that Anaxagoras dealt intensively with squaring the circle, as well as with the moon and other natural phenomena. He didn’t want to know much about God, which almost cost him his life. His efforts were devoted to the Ionian Enlightenment. Anaxagoras died in 428 BC.

Antisthenes (around 445 BC to around 365 BC)

Antisthenes was a philosopher and, together with Diogenes, is considered the founder of Cynicism and Stoic philosophy.

John of Antioch, also called Chrysostom (approx. 349/344 to 407)

ascetic, preacher and hierarch. John of Antioch was born in Antioch on the Orontes in 349 or 344. Equipped with a great talent for speech, he cast a spell over his fellow men as a preacher. In 397 he was appointed Archbishop of the wealthy Constantinople – although he did not aspire to be. He bequeathed a great many scriptures, including commentaries on the Bible, letters, and sermons. In the latter, he initially spoke a lot of negative things about Jews, something that is still viewed critically today.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)

philosopher. Aristotle was born in 384 BC. born in Stageira. In addition to his status as one of the most important Greek philosophers, he is also considered a natural scientist and founder of numerous disciplines (metaphysics, logic, poetry…). He studied from 367 BC. for 20 years in Plato’s Academy in Athens. In 335 BC he founded his own school there, the Lykeion. One of his works deals with the “State of the Athenians”. Aristotle died in 322 BC. in Chalkis.

Basil of Caesarea, called Basil the Great (approx. 330 to 379)

ascetic, bishop and doctor of the church. Basil of Caesaria was born in Caesaria around 330.

In addition to his brother Gregor von Nyssa and their mutual friend Gregory von Nazianz, he was considered one of the three Cappadocian church fathers. In general, Basil the Great is one of the most important personalities of Christianity in his century and the Church in general. His asceticism, his neighborly love, his writings (eg “On the Holy Spirit”) were regarded as the most influential theological contributions. He died in 379 in his birthplace.

Eusebius of Caesarea (approx. 260/264-339/340)

theologian, historian, father of church history. Eusebius of Caesaria first studied the Bible intensively. The bishop and scholar later wrote countless historically very valuable writings in which he documented contemporary events as a chronicler. He also plays an important role in theology and is considered the “father of church history”.

Titus Flavius Clemens, also called Clemens of Alexandria (approx. 150 to 215)

church writer, theologian. Titus Flavius Clemens was born around 150 in Athens and initially devoted himself intensively to Platonic studies in various countries. His path finally led him to Alexandria, where he taught his knowledge in a catechist school, which was a mix of Christianity and Greek philosophy. During his lifetime he enjoyed a high reputation, which disappeared in the Middle Ages. His works often deal with Gnosticism. Clemens died in Cappadocia in 215.

Democritus (approx. 460/459 BC-400/381 BC)

pre-Socratics and natural philosopher. Democritus was born around 460 BC. In Abdera into a wealthy family. He traveled as much as possible to get to know new countries and to use them for his study of life, nature etc. Only fragmentary written statements have survived, including on ethics. Democritus is commonly revered and shown as a laughing philosopher. He knew something to say about almost every topic and was also familiar with the art of war. His atomic theory is famous. Democritus died around 400 BC.

Diogenes of Apollia (approx. 499 BC approx. 428 BC)

philosopher and doctor. Diogenes of Apollonia was born around 499 BC. Born in Apollonia Pontike as the son of a respected natural philosopher. Little has been told about his life, but he is said to have stayed in Athens for some time. Its philosophy is based on air. After that, everything is air in different concentrations. He also assumed that there are countless worlds. “About nature” is the name of his most important work, which was also quoted by Aristotle.

Diogenes of Sinope (approx. 400 BC – approx. 324 BC)

philosopher. Diogenes von Sinope, together with his teacher Antisthenes, is considered to be the founder of the philosophical direction of Cynicism.

To this day, a story passed down by Plutarch is often told: When Alexander the Great met Diogenes, who was sitting in a barrel, and promised him the fulfillment of a wish, he replied to the famous Alexander:

“Get out of the sun!” His philosophy was based on the material needlessness in order to achieve real freedom.

Epicurus (341-271/270 BC)

Philosopher. Epicurus was born in 341 BC. born on Samos. Epicurus died around 270 BC. in Athens. His established philosophy school, the Kepos, dealt in particular with the practical way of life and even involved women. Epicurus found philosophy at the age of 14 when his question about the chaos of teachers went unanswered. Epicurus’ pleasure principle was often misunderstood. It says that mental pleasure takes precedence over sensual pleasure. He himself lived a secluded life and died in Athens at the age of 71.

Epictetus (c. 50-125)

philosopher, stoic. Epictetus was born around AD 50. born in Hierapolis. He is one of the most important representatives of stoicism and has dealt intensively with ethics. Above all, he showed and exemplified lack of need by stating that only the imagination of needs means happiness to people, but not the things themselves. Furthermore, he insisted on a deep connection to God as a basis for life and a source of courage. Epictetus died in Nicopolis around 125.

Heraclitus (approx. 520 BC-460 BC)

philosopher, pre-Socratics. Heraclitus of Ephosus was born around 520 BC. born into a royal family. Among others, Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche and Hegel all referred to the thoughts of this early philosopher who spoke of life as a river. According to his understanding, the universe is a primal fire that can ignite and extinguish itself. Furthermore, reason plays a major role, since, according to him, it permeates everything that arises and passes.

John VI (until 705)

Pope. John VI came from Ephesus and served as Pope in the years 701-705. During this time he was able to arbitrate, among other things, in the Byzantine throne dispute. He was able to prevent the use of force quite often. It is also known that he promoted Orientals in the episcopal hierarchy. So was z. B. Boniface his papal adviser. John VI died in Rome in 705.

Panajotis Kondylis (1943 in Olympia-1998 in Athens)

Panajotis was a social philosopher and writer who received his greatest recognition, especially in German-speaking countries

Apollinaris of Laodicea (315-390)

The bishop of Laodicea in Syria founded the doctrine of the so-called Apollinarism, wrote part of the Bible in modern Greek and also worked as a poet and grammarian. Apollinaris of Laodicea was born around 315 and began to work as a lecturer. He was also well-read in philosophy, and was pen-pals with Basil the Great. His doctrine was often condemned and dismissed as heresy, so that his life was repeatedly in danger. Apollinaris of Laodicea is regarded as one of the first theologians of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Gregory of Nazianz (c. 329-390)

bishop, doctor of the church, one of the three church fathers. Gregory of Nazianz was born in Cappadocia around 329 and traveled extensively for study purposes. Together with Gregory of Nyssa and his older brother Basil the Great, he is one of the three Cappadocian fathers who made themselves famous for the doctrine of the Trinity. He was promoted to bishop through intensive Bible study. Furthermore, he is one of only three Church Fathers who received the original, genuine title of theologian. Gregory of Nazianz died in 390 in Arianzos.

Gregory of Nyssa (335/340-394)

Christian bishop, doctor of the church, church father. Gregory of Nyssa was born around 335 or 340 as the younger brother of Basil the Great and is one of the three Cappadocian church fathers. His family was very wealthy and well educated. So z. B. his sister also plays an important role in the female monastic system. Gregory of Nyssa first worked as a church lecturer and then rose to become bishop. He is especially venerated by the Orthodox believers. His teaching deals with the merging of the Christian faith and Platonism. He was canonized.

Damaskinos Papandreou (1891-1949)

Archbishop of Athens. Damaskinos Papandreou was born in Dorvitsa in 1891 and studied in Athens. He was part of the Greek army during the Balkan Wars. In 1922 he was appointed Chief Bishop of Corinth. He lived in the USA in the early 1930s, and was named Archbishop of Athens in 1938. However, he was refused entry into office by the dictatorship Ioannis Metaxas. Papandreou, who represented very liberal views, briefly ruled Greece between 1944 and 1946. He died in Athens in 1949.

Plato (428/427 BC-348/347 BC)

philosopher. Plato was born around 428 BC. probably born in Athens and went to school with Socrates. As the founder of the Athens School of Philosophy, the most important ancient university, he developed a theory that became the basis of European philosophy. The core idea is the assumption of a world of ideas different from visible reality, in which the eternal forms of objects, moral ideas and the only true knowledge can be found. In addition, Plato’s principles of governance established in the “Politeia” represent the spiritual origin of liberal democracy.

Plotinus (205-270)

philosopher. Plotinus was born in 205 and received his knowledge in Alexandria. He is regarded as the founder and most important Neoplatonist. The period of late antiquity in particular was shaped by his teachings and views. It says, among other things, that the world is the construct of the soul. Neoplatonism is regarded as the last great developmental instance of Greek philosophies. Plotinus died in Campania in 270.

Pythagoras of Samos (around 570 to 510 BC)

mathematician, astronomer and philosopher

Pythagoras founded an influential religious-philosophical movement in Croton (today Calabria) after studying for 22 years in Egypt. His followers wrote him miracles and “divine abilities “to. For the Pythagoreans there was a close connection between music, harmony and numbers and they provided decisive impulses for the development of the occidental tone system. “Everything is number” was one of their tenets. The “Pythagorean Theorem”, however, is of much older origin. Socrates (469 BC-399 BC)

Philosopher. As a soldier, the son of a sculptor was already distinguished by particular bravery and prudence. Instead of philosophical instruction, he established the form of gaining knowledge through dialogues in which the knowledge of the respondent was also questioned. The famous quote “I know that I know nothing” comes from Socrates. The term philosopher (friend of wisdom) also originally came from him. In a trial for “godlessness and pernicious influence on the youth” he was sentenced to death by a people’s court. By admitting his guilt or by fleeing he could have turned “the hemlock cup” away from him, but advocating the truth was more important to him than his life.

Thales von Milet (624 to 546 BC)

The philosopher, statesman, mathematician, astronomer is considered one of the seven wise men of antiquity. He is considered the founder of science and philosophy in the West. The Thales theorem is known to this day, when it comes to calculating triangles. The remains of Miletus can now be visited and admired in Turkey.

Theodoret (393-460)

Bishop, theologian and church historian. Theodoret was born in Antioch in 393. He played an enormous role in the early Byzantine church controversy. He left behind numerous writings, which among other things continue the church history of Eusebius of Caesaria. Especially in the Middle Ages, his views, which are based on Nestorius, were highly regarded. Theodoret died in Kyrrhos in 460.

Politicians and rulers

Alexander (1893-1920)

King of Greece. Alexander was born in Tatoi in 1893 and attended the Athens Military Academy. First he took part in the Balkan Wars. From 1917 until his death, Alexander ruled as King of Greece after his predecessor Constantine I was forced to abdicate. Alexander died in 1920 from a bite from his favorite monkey, which caused him blood poisoning. He was very popular with his people, if only because of his marriage to Aspasia Manos, who came from ancient Greek nobility.

Alexander the Great (356 BC-323 BC)

King of Macedonia, general. Alexander III was established in 356 BC. Born in Pella and expanded the empire of his father Philip II through legendary conquests. During his Alexanderzug he expanded Macedonia to Egypt, Persia and India. The beginning of his reign is known as the beginning of the Hellenistic age. Alexander the Great died in 323 BC. in Babylon at the age of only 33. He was not only King of Macedonia, but also Pharaoh, self-proclaimed son of Zeus and one of the most important generals of all time.

George I (1845-1913)

King of Greece. Georg I was born in Copenhagen in 1845 as Prince Wilhelm of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Born in Denmark, the Prince of Denmark ruled Greece from 1863 until his death. During his reign, among other things, the first modern Olympic Games took place (1896). George I was gunned down by an assassin in Thessaloniki in 1913 and died in the process.

Georg II. (1890-1947)

Georgios II. Was born in Tatoi in 1890. His two reigns in Greece are characteristic of him – one from 1922-1924 (after which there was a republic) and one from 1935-1947 (referendum). In his time there were always rebellions and uprisings regarding the form of government. At times he spent years in exile. George II died in Athens in 1947 and was married to Princess Elisabeth of Romania.

Phaidon Gizikis (1917-1999)

President and General of the Greek Army. Phaidon Gizikis was born in Wolos in 1917 and attended the Military Academy and the National Defense School, among others. In the army he was promoted more and more. In 1967 he advocated the military coup led by Georgios Papadopoulus. Further promotions followed until he was finally appointed president of the dictatorial country in 1973. His term of office lasted until 1974. Gizikis died in Athens in 1999.

Konstantinos Karamanlis (1907-1998)

Prime Minister, President, Lawyer. Konstantinos Karamanlis was born in 1907 in what is now Proti and studied law in Athens. He served twice as Prime Minister of Greece – between 1955/63 and 1974/80. Karamanlis also served as President between 1980/85 and 190/95. Often less liked by politicians than by his compatriots, he made the move from military dictatorship to democracy. Konstantinos Karamanlis died in Athens in 1998.

Constantine I (1868-1923)

King. Constantine I was born in Athens in 1868 and studied in Heidelberg and Leipzig, among others. Initially, he embarked on a career in the army and participated in several wars. He ruled Greece twice – between 1913/17 and 1920/22. Both times he was forced to abdicate because the Greek army was being defeated by other countries at the time. Constantine I died in Palermo in 1923.

Constantine II (born 1940)

last king of Greece. Constantine II was born in Psychiko in 1940 and initially carried both the title of prince and the title of Duke of Sparta. Between 1964-1967 he ruled as the last king of Greece. The very young ruler received a lot of criticism, for example from his Prime Minister Papandreou. There was an attempted coup and the king fled into exile. To this day he sees himself as the Greek king, which not only brings him friends in his country. Constantine II is the brother of Sophia, Queen of Spain.

Pavlos Kountouriotis (1855-1935)

Viceroy of Greece, Admiral, President. Pavlos Kountouriotis was born on the Greek island of Hydra in 1855 and, like his ancestors, pursued a military career. He distinguished himself as a hero of the First Balkan War. Several Greek warships are named after him. In 1920 and between 1923/24 he officiated twice as viceroy. Pavlos Kountouriotis died in Phaleron in 1935.

Otto (1815-1867)

First King of Greece. Otto Friedrich Ludwig von Wittelsbach was born in Salzburg in 1815. The Bavarian prince ruled Greece by the grace of God from 1832 until his overthrow (people’s disgrace) in 1865. His great merit was the Greek cultural policy, which was based on German models, as well as its numerous educational buildings such as the Athens National and Kapodistrias University. In terms of foreign policy he could achieve little. The Greeks also disagreed with his rule and put in a coup against Otto, who fled into exile. Otto died in Bamberg in 1867.

Theodoros Pangalos (1878-1952)

Politician and general. Theodoros Pangalos was born in Salamis in 1878 and was instrumental in the military coup when King Constantine I was overthrown. Pangalos later made a name for himself as Minister of War. In 1925 he seized Greek power and a year later suspended the national constitution. He also forced the incumbent president to resign and briefly appointed himself president through a sham election. Theodoros Pangalos died in Athens in 1952.

Georgios Papadopoulos (1919-1999)

Politician, officer, decision maker of the military dictatorship. Georgios Papadopoulos was born in Peloponnese in 1919 and played an important role during the Greek military dictatorship. He made himself viceroy in 1972. A year later he proclaimed the republic and made himself president of the state of Greece. But he was overthrown in November. Georgios Papadopoulos died in Athens in 1999 after being tried for high treason.

Andreas Georgiou Papandreou (1919-1996)

Prime Minister. Andreas Georgiou Papandreou was born in Chios in 1919 and studied law in Athens. He later continued his studies in the USA, where he was offered professorships. From 1959 he lived again in Greece and initially got into the economy. Between 1981/89 and 1993/96 he was Prime Minister of Greece. Papandreou died in his villa in Athens in 1996. He was a great speaker who caused massive storms of enthusiasm among the Greeks. And he was a socialist.

Giorgos Andrea Papandreou (born 1952)

Prime Minister. Giorgos Andrea Papandreou was born in St. Paul, USA in 1952 as the descendant of two Greek prime ministers. He studied in Stockholm, London and the USA. Papandreou was foreign minister of Greece (1999-2004) and later also prime minister from 2009. He had to leave the post in 2011 due to the Greek financial crisis that overshadowed his tenure.

Karolos Papoulias (born 1929)

President. Karolos Papoulias was born in Ioannina in 1929 and studied law in Athens and Cologne. He has already held several political offices – including foreign minister and defense minister. Since 2005 he has been President of Greece. He is a socialist and has so far received more votes in a state presidential election than any person appointed before.

Pericles (about 490 BC-429 BC)

Athenian statesman and general. Alongside Kleisthenes, he is considered the founder of Athenian democracy, but shared responsibility for the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Pericles was a great strategist who was one of the most important Greek rulers of antiquity. Skilled in rhetoric and warfare, he was able to secure the supremacy of Athens in the so-called Attic League. Most of the construction of the Acropolis is also due to the outstanding promoter of culture. Pericles died in 429 BC.

Paul (1901-1964)

King. Paul I of Greece was born in Athens in 1901. Between 1947 and 1964 he was King of Greece. He cultivated special relationships with Germany, which brought him various German honors. Paul is the father of Constantine II and of Sophia, who reigns as Queen of Spain. Paul died in Tatoi in 1964.

Christos Sartzetakis (born 1929)

President of Greece. Christos Sartzetakis was born in Thessaloniki in 1929, where he later studied law and initially worked as a lawyer. He was promoted to examining magistrate. He was arrested twice by the colonels in the late 1960s after they had removed him from office. Between 1985 and 1990 he ruled as President of Greece without belonging to any party. His predecessor Karamanlis also became his successor in May 1990.

Konstantinos Simitis (born 1936)

Prime Minister. Konstantinos Simitis was born in Piraeus in 1936. He first studied law and economics in Marburg. He later studied in London, and taught in Konstanz and Giessen. From 1977 he worked as a professor at the University of Athens. Politically, he had already made a name for himself as an opponent of Greece’s military dictatorship. Between 1996 and 2004 he was Prime Minister in Greece.

Michail Stasinopoulos (1903-2002)

President of Greece. Stasinopoulos was born in Messini in 1903 and studied law at the University of Athens. Among other things, he worked as a professor and rector at the Panteion University of Athens. In the 1950s he became increasingly politically active and held the office of Minister of the Prime Minister. Between 1974 and 1975 he was appointed as the first president of Greece after the military dictatorship. Stasinopoulos died in Athens in 2002.

Alexis Tsipras (born 1974)

Tsipras was born on July 28, 1974 as the youngest of three children in Athens.

He has been chairman of the left-wing party SYRIZA since February 2008 and has been the country’s prime minister since January 26, 2015 – with a brief interruption after his resignation.

After graduating from high school, he studied civil engineering at the National Technical University of Athens. After graduating, he worked in the construction industry. From 2003 to 2004 he did his military service in the Navy

Tsipras began his political engagement at the age of 16 in the Communist Youth of Greece. When the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) separated from the left-wing alliance Synaspismos in 1991, he joined the youth organization of Synaspismos.

In 1999 he became secretary of the youth organization of the left party Synaspismos and in December 2004 he was elected to the central committee and the party executive.

As a candidate for the office of Lord Mayor in the election in October 2006, he got 10.5% of the vote and thus became a member of the Athens City Council.

He made a big career leap in February 2008 when he was elected chairman of the party. After the parliamentary elections in October 2009, he became a member of the Greek parliament, where he became chairman of the party alliance SYRIZA, which was converted into a party headed by Tsipras in May 2012. Synaspismos then dissolved. In the 2012 election, SYRIZA was the second strongest party with 26.9 percent and in the early parliamentary election on January 25, 2015, SYRIZA received 36.3% of the vote.

As a result, Tsipra became Prime Minister of the country on

August 20, 2015, because of massive difficulties within his party, he resigned from the office of Prime Minister.

But after the new election on September 20, 2015, he was re-elected Prime Minister and his party SYRIZA re-formed a coalition with ANEL. After the lost election on July 7, 2019, he was replaced by Kyriakos Mitsotakis as Prime Minister.

Yanis Varoufakis (born 1961)

Varoufakis was born in Athens on March 24, 1961. He is an economist and, in addition to being a Greek, he is also an Australian citizen.

In the 2015 general election, he was elected to the Greek parliament for SYRIZA and was Finance Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras from January 27 to July 6, 2015.

He liked humorous to provocative sayings and is a passionate motorcyclist.

After graduating from the Moraitis private school in Athens, he studied business mathematics at the University of Essex and mathematical statistics and game theory at the University of Birmingham.

In 1987 he did his PhD in Economics in Essex, Great Britain, and was a Fellow and Lecturer at Cambridge University until 1988. He also taught at the Universities of East Anglia, Glasgow and Sydney and returned to Greece in September 2000 as Professor of Economics at the National and Kapodistrias University of Athens. He was also visiting professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin from 2013.

Actors and directors

Theodoros Angelopoulos (born 1935)

Director. Theodoros Angelopoulos was born in Athens in 1935, where he later studied law, but did not graduate. Fascinated by French cinema, he studied film studies in Paris. His work includes the award-winning film “Die Wanderschauspieler” from 1975, the also award-winning film “The Great Alexander” from 1980 and the film “Eternity and a Day” (1998), which was awarded the Golden Palm.

Michael Cacoyannis (1922-2011)

Director, producer, screenwriter. Michael Cacoyannis was born in Cyprus in 1922. His most famous film is probably “Alexis Sorbas” from 1964, in which Anthony Quinn played the leading role. Of the seven Oscar nominations, the film won three of the coveted trophies. With “Elektra” (1962) he won a prize in Cannes. Other films were e.g. B. “Stella” and “The Trojan Women” with Katherine Hepburn. Michael Cacoyannis died in Athens in 2011.

John Cassavetes (1929-1989)

Director, producer, screenwriter, actor. John Cassavetes was born in New York in 1929 to a Greek immigrant family. Through his films in the 1960s (e.g. “Faces”) he quickly made a name for himself as the founder of independent film in the USA. His method was based on quick handheld camera runs, original scenes, little artificial light, etc. He was also interested in depicting completely normal people. As an actor he appeared in Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby” and in “Columbo” from 1972. John Cassavetes died in Los Angeles in 1989.

Constantin Costa-Gavras (born 1933)

Greek-French director and screenwriter. Constantin Costa-Gavras was born in Arcadia in 1933. He studied in Athens and Paris. His political films in particular helped him achieve an international breakthrough. Including “Z” (1968), for which he received an Oscar. With the film adaptation of the play “Der Stellvertreter” by Hochhuth in 2002 he was awarded the César, among others. And at the Berlinale 2008 he won a Golden Bear for “Music Box – The Whole Truth”.

Hermes Hodolides (born 1963)

actor. Hermes Hodolides was born in Thessaloniki in 1963. He became known for his role as Vasily Sarikakis in “Lindenstrasse”, who has been on board since the very first episode of the successful German series. Before that, Hodolides was trained in acting, painting and stage design at different schools.

Melina Mercouri (1920-1994)

actress, singer and politician. Melina Mercouri was born on October 18, 1920 into a wealthy Athenian family. She played in “Stella” (1955), “Sonntags… nie!” (1960, she received an award in Cannes and was nominated for an Oscar) and “Phaedra” (1962). As a singer, she had her first major success in 1960 with the In October 1981 she became Minister of Culture in his cabinet under the newly elected Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, which she held from 1981 to 1989 and then again from 1993 to 1994. Melina Mercouri died in New York in 1994.

Irene Papas (born 1926)

actress and singer. Irene Papas was born near Corinth in 1926. She has appeared in more than 80 films, including internationally successful films such as “Alexis Sorbas”, “Elektra”, “Z” and “The Adventures of Odysseus”. In her home country she was also able to score as a singer, where she worked with Vangelis, among others. Papas is now mainly on the theater stage and teaches drama students in their subject.

Telly Savalas (1922-1994)

actor, singer. Telly Savalas was born in Garden City in 1922 into a family of Greek immigrants. He broke off studying psychology. He was nominated for an Oscar for his role in “The Prisoner of Alcatraz” (1962). He had his most famous appearance in the successful crime series “Kojak – Einsatz in Manhattan” (1973-1978). He has a long list of movies, including “James Bond” (1969) and “The Muppet Movie (1979). As a singer, he made it into the top ten several times, for example with” If “(1975). Telly Savalas died in California in 1994.

Billy Zane (born 1966)

Greek-American actor. William George Zane was born in Chicago in 1966 to Greek immigrants. He made his debut in the film “Back to the Future” (1985). However, he had his absolute breakthrough with James Cameron’s “Titanic” (1998), in which he played the bad guy. Other films in which Zane can be seen are “Orlando” (1992), “Tales from the Crypt” (1993), “The Phantom” (1996) and “The Mad” (2007).

Writer and poet

Aeschylus (525 BC-456 BC)

tragedy poet. Aeschylus was born in 525 BC. Born in Eleusis as a descendant of nobles and became one of the three greatest Greek tragedy poets. In 490 BC. he took part for Athens in the battle of Marathon against the Persians; 472 BC His drama “The Persians” was premiered in Athens. A total of seven of his seals could be preserved. Aeschylus died in 456 BC. in Gela, Sicily.

Anakreon (c. 575/570 BC-495 BC)

lyric poet; Anacreon was founded around 575 BC. born in Teos. The anacreontic, the so-called shepherd poetry, was named after him. Anacreon is considered one of the nine lyric poets that make up the ancient Greek canon. In total, only three of his poems could be saved into modern times. Anacreon’s themes were love, sociability, beauty, wine. He died in 495 BC. in Athens.

Aristophanes (approx. 450/444 BC – approx. 385 BC)

comedy poet. Aristophanes was born between 450 and 444 BC. born in Athens. His most famous work was “The Frogs”. “Lysistrata” is also one of the better-known ones that are still played on theatrical stages today. He was a satirical master full of ridicule, ghost and criticism who was often awarded. Aristophanes coined phrases like “carry owls to Athens”. He died in 385 BC. in Athens.

Aesop (approx. 600 BC)

fable poet. Aesop lived around 600 BC. in Greece and is said to have been of lower descent. Not much is known from his life. He is considered to be the founder of fable poems, which in his time were more associated with the people than the higher sex. From Aesop one knows “The Fox and the Grapes” or “From the Fox and the Raven”. He coined the expression “adorn oneself with strange feathers”.

Euripides (around 480s BC – 406 BC)

Classical playwright, tragedy poet. Euripides was born in the 480s BC. born in Salamis. He led between 455 and 408 BC. regularly appears in tetralogies in the Agon at Athens and is the most modern of the three great Greek tragedy poets. Euripides, of whom 18 works have been saved into modern times, was fortunate that his works were most frequently observed and performed by the three greats.

Hesiod (c. 700 BC)

epic poet. Little has been passed down of the life of the great mythic. He is probably said to have been farming alongside his writings. The fact is that he is considered the founder of the didactic epic and developed Greek mythology alongside Homer. “Works and Days” is one of his legacies – a didactic poem about Prometheus and Pandora’s box.

Homer (approx. 850 BC or 1200 BC)

epic poet and oldest Greek poet known by name. Homer is the author of the works “Illias” and “Odyssey”, which are still regularly performed and published as books today. He is understood as a pioneer of occidental poetry and was the founder of Greek mythology. Its origin is unknown. The fact is that he is one of the world’s literary figures.

Ibykos (c. 6th century)

poet. Ibykos probably lived and wrote in the middle of the 6th century. Above all, eroticism and sensuality characterized his choice of topics. Friedrich Schiller immortalized the personality who belongs to the canon of the nine poets of antiquity in his ballad “Die Kraniche des Ibykos”. Allegedly, Ibykos is said to have been murdered and the capture of the murderers was initiated by cranes, who gave the decisive clue.

Plutarch (ca.45-125)

Writer. Plutarch was born around 45 AD. born in Chaironeia. In particular, biographies of z. B. Emperors were his strength. But Plutarch also knew his way around philosophy, since he had studied various schools of philosophy. His parallel biographies, each comparing a Greek and a Roman citizen, are among the most important legacies of Plutarch. B. Alexander vs. Caesar or Pericles vs. Fabius.

Simonides von Keos (approx. 557/556 BC-469 BC)

poet. Simonides von Keos had noble roots and comes from the island of Keos. He belongs to the ancient canon of the nine lyric poets and is considered to be the founder of the art of memory (mnemonics). Victory songs in particular come from his pen. He also composed aphorisms like this: “Painting is silent poetry and poetry is talking painting.”

Pindar (approx. 522/518 BC-445 BC)

poet. Pindar was born into a noble family in Cynoscephaly. He was included in the canon of the nine ancient lyric poets. His works are considered to be total works of art performed by choirs with instrumental accompaniment. His subject was anthems of victory. By the way, Friedrich Hölderlin translated Pindar, who around 445 BC. died.

Sappho (approx. 630/612 BC – approx. 570 BC)

most important poet of antiquity. Sappho probably comes from a noble family of Mytilenian origin and belongs to the series of nine poets of antiquity. Her subjects were love, gods, weddings. Sappho wrote many hymns and her works are mostly interwoven with homoerotic allusions. For Plato she was the tenth muse. In modern times, only a fraction of their poetry could be saved, approx. 7 percent.

Sophocles (approx. 497/496 BC-406/405 BC)

tragedy poet. Sophocles was born in Kolonas to a manufacturer who traded in arms. More than 100 works by the darling of the gods have been handed down, including “Antigone” and “King Oedipus”, which are still played regularly. He is one of the three most important tragedy poets of antiquity and died around 406/405 BC. in Athens.

Anyte von Tegea (approx. 3rd century)

poet. Anyte of Tegea was probably born in Tegea in the early 3rd century. She became famous for her epigrams and epitaphs. Presumably she should have run a poetry school. 18 epigrams of her could be passed down. Her poetry dealt with landscapes and descriptions of nature. Sometimes she was referred to as a female Homer and counted among the nine muses.

Odysseas Elytis (1911-1996)

poet and Nobel Prize for Literature. Odysseas Elytis was born in Crete in 1911 and studied law in Athens. At an early age, however, he led the life of a writer and artist. His first lyrical writings appeared in 1935. He is one of the most important representatives of the generation of the 1930s and received the 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature. He has also written prose, e.g. B. “Private Road”. His friends included Breton, Picasso and Éluard. Odysseas Elytis died in Athens in 1996.

Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957)

Writer. Nikos Kazantzakis was born in Crete in 1883. He studied law in Athens and later went to France to take up further studies with Henri Bergson. Kazantzakis is one of the best known and most popular Greek writers of the 20th century. “Alexis Sorbas” and “The Last Temptation” are among his works that have also been filmed. Nikos Kazantzakis died in 1957 in Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg.

Kostis Palamas (1859-1943)

poet, writer, playwright. Kostis Palamas was born in Patras in 1859. His works include the Olympic anthem. Palamas belongs to the generation of 1880 and is one of the most important representatives of this direction. “Songs of my home”, “The eyes of my soul” and “The wolves” are poems by him. The story “Death of a Pallikaren” is one of his larger prose pieces. Kostis Palamas died in Athens in 1943.

Giannis Ritsos (1909-1990)

Writer and poet. Giannis Ritsos was born in Monemvasia in 1909. The world owes it in particular to him for poems, monologues and lyrical dramas. A characteristic aesthetic feature of Ritso is the “masking”. B. in “The Return of Iphigenia”. Further works are “Insomnia”, “When the Stranger Comes” and “The Wall in the Mirror”. Giannis Ritsos died in Athens in 1990.

Giorgos Seferis (1900-1971)

Writer, diplomat and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Giorgos Seferis was born in 1900 in what is now Izmir. Seferis is seen as the founder of the generation of the 1930s, who introduced modernism in his work. His publications also include diaries and essays. In 1963 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His “Logbooks” and “Ionische Reise” have been translated into German. Giorgos Seferis died in Athens in 1971.

Lily Zografou (1922-1998)

Writer and journalist. Lily Zografou was born in Crete in 1922. She studied philology and was involved in the anti-fascist liberation movement. Zografou’s works include “Beruf: Whore” and “The women of the Ftenoudos families”. She is considered extremely controversial and is one of the most important Greek authors who has bestsellers. Lily Zografou died in Heraklion in 1998.


Astylos of Croton (5th century BC)

athlete. Astylos of Croton lived in the 5th century BC. at the time of the Persian Wars. He went down in history as an eight-time Olympic champion. In addition, he was the second “Triastes” (triple winner) of the ancient world through his sporting achievements. His disciplines were double barrel and gun barrel. He is also the first known athlete to be lured away by another city.

Milon of Kroton (6th century BC)

wrestler. Milon von Kroton won the Olympic wrestling competitions over a period of almost 30 years and is considered to be the greatest ancient sportsman. He also won five Olympiads. It is said that he was said to have been the pupil of Pythagoras, who also worked as a wrestler.

Diagoras of Rhodes (5th century BC)

Pugilers. Diagoras of Rhodes lived in the 5th century BC. and went down in history as the most famous antique boxer. The athlete, celebrated as an exceptional talent, went in 464 BC. as an Olympic champion. Two of his sons became Olympic champions, just as his grandchildren were respected athletes.

Leonidas of Rhodes (2nd century BC)

runner. Leonidas of Rhodes has made a name for himself as a 12-time Olympic champion. He is traded as the fastest runner in ancient times and was nicknamed “Triastes” (triple winner). He scored most successfully in the stadium, guns and doubles.

Antoniadis Antonis (born 1946)

football player. Antoniadis Antonis was born in 1946 and enjoyed a 22-year football career. The world celebrates him as Greece’s most successful striker. First he played in Xanthi, but later moved to Athens for the Panathinaikos club, where he was five-time goal king. In 1978 there was a short change to Olympiacos Piraeus. Between 1970 and 1976 he scored six goals for the Greek national team. Antoniadis Antonis has been Vice President at Panathinaikos since 2008.

Thomas Bimis (born 1975)

High diver in synchronized diving. Thomas Bimis was born in Athens in 1975 and emerged with his team partner as 2004 Olympic champion in high diving from the 3-meter board. Greece won Olympic gold in this discipline for the first time and had two new heroes to celebrate.

Chelios Chris (born 1962)

ice hockey player. Chelios Chris was born in Chicago in 1962 to Greek parents. He played ice hockey while he was still at school in America. He rose to the NHL, where he competed on the ice between 1984 and 2010 in various clubs, including the Detroit Wings and the Atlanta Trashers. There have been countless successes and honors for Chelios Chris and his teams, e.g. B. 1996 the gold medal in the World Cup of Hockey or 2002 the silver medal in the Olympic Games.

Pyrros Dimas (born 1971)

weightlifter and record Olympic champion. Pyrros Dimas was born in Himara in 1971 and emerged as an Olympic champion in 1992 for the first time in his career. Four years later he won the Olympics again. He won a total of seven world titles and three times the European title. Dimas has been the President of the Greek Weightlifting Association ΕΟΑΒ since 2008.

Nikos Galis (born 1957)

basketball player. Nikos Galis was born in New Jersey in 1975, the son of Greeks. Between 1975 and 1979 he played on the US team at Seton Hall University. From 1979 he went to the field for Greece, threw amazing baskets for Aris Thessaloniki until 1992 and helped the team to considerable reputation. Between 1980 and 1991 he was also active in the Greek national team. He was able to achieve eight Greek championship wins and five cup wins. In 1987 he was named basketball player of the year.

Fani Halkia (born 1979)

hurdler. Fani Halkia was born in Larisa in 1979. As an Olympic champion, she emerged in the hurdles over 400 meters in 2004 and became the national hero of her country. In Beijing in 2008 she competed again at the Olympic Games, but was disqualified for doping.

Ilias Iliadis (born 1986)

Olympic champion in judo. Ilias Iliadis was born in Georgia in 1986 to Greek parents. In 2004 he won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Athens. He had already been European judo champion by then. In 2010 he won the competition for the world title, where he had previously shone with two silver medals.

Giorgos Karagounis (born 1977)

football player. Giorgos Karagounis was born in Pyrgos in 1977. He first played for Panathinaikos Athens before being bought in by Inter Milan in 2003-2005. After moving to Benefica Lisbon, the midfielder returned to Panathinaikos in 2007. With his clubs he was able to win the European Championship in 2004 and the Greek Cup in 2010. Since 1999 Karagounis has played for the Greek national team.

Yiannis Kouros (born 1956)

ultra-marathon runner and extreme runner. Yiannis Kouros was born in Tripoli in 1956. The legendary runner has achieved numerous world records in marathons, ultra marathons, 24-hour runs and even 10-day runs. So far, he has set his best time in the marathon in just 2 hours and 25 minutes. He also emerged as a four-time winner in the Spartathlon. Kouros has lived in Australia since 1990.

Spyridon Louis (1873-1940)

long distance runner. Spyridon Louis was born in Maroussi in 1873 and comes from a farmer. The original water carrier went down in world history as the legendary first marathon winner. That was in 1896. Louis, who became a national hero, died in 1940 in his hometown.

Mirela Maniani (born 1971)

javelin thrower. Mirela Maniani was born in Durrës in 1976. At the age of twenty she took part in the Olympic Games for the first time, but not as an athlete, but as a flag bearer. In total, she was able to win two world championship titles – in 1999 and 2003. In 2000 and 2004, she was among the first three winners of the Olympics in javelin.

Pete Sampras (born 1971)

tennis player. Pete Sampras was born in Washington in 1971 to Greek immigrant parents. He was a giant on the tennis court when tennis was watched by all over the world. For six years in a row he held number one in the world rankings. He won 64 tournaments in individual tennis and two in doubles. “Pistol Pete” played his first professional season in 1988. Sampras was also the youngest US Open winner at the age of 19.

Nikolaos Siranidis (born 1976)

art and high diver. Nikolaos Siranidis was born in Athens in 1976. In 2004 he and his partner in synchronized jumping from the 3-meter board, Thomas Bimis, won the gold medal at the Olympic Games. The victory also made him a kind of Greek national hero. He had previously participated in the Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000, but won places in the back rows.

Athanasia Tsoumeleka (born 1982)

walker. Athanasia Tsoumeleka was born in Preveza in 1982 and, at the age of 19, won her first title as Vice European Champion in 10 km. Two years later she won the U23 European Championships in 20 km walking. As an Olympic champion, she emerged in 2004 in the 20 km walk.

Demetrius Vikelas (1835-1908)

First President of the IOC. Demetrius Vikelas was born in 835 in Ermoupolis as the son of a wealthy merchant family. He went down in history as the first President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and held the post between 1894 and 1896. Demetrius Vikelas was also a successful entrepreneur and translator of Shakespeare’s works. Vikelas died in Athens in 1908.

Theodoros Zagorakis (born 1971)

football player. Theodoros Zagorakis was born in Kavala in 1971. The midfielder was the best player of the 2004 European Championships. Between 1994 and 2007 he played for the Greek national team. Other teams in which he successfully kicked the ball included PAOK Thessaloniki, AEK Athens and FC Bologna. After the 2007 season, Zagorakis retired from active football.

Other people

Hélène Ahrweiler (born 1926)

UNICEF ambassador, Byzantine. Hélène Ahrweiler was born in Athens in 1926 and has already been included in the list of the 100 most important Greeks. She studied philosophy in Athens. After moving to Paris, she was President of the I Panthon-Sorbonne University there from 1976-1981. “The Making of Europe” (1999) is one of the works of the multiple honorary doctorate and UNICEF ambassador.

Manolis Andronikos (1919-1992)

Archaeologist. Manolis Andronikos was born in Bursa and studied in Thessaloniki and Oxford. His international breakthrough came from the archaeological discovery of ancient royal tombs in Macedonia. He taught as a professor at the University of Thessaloniki and founded a group called “Art”. Manolis Andronikos died in Thessaloniki in 1992.

Laskarina Bouboulina (1771-1825)

freedom fighter in the Greek war of liberation and pirate. Laskarina Bouboulina was born in a prison in Constantinople in 1771 and dedicated her life to the struggle for freedom. She even had her own small army and procured ammunition and weapons on her own. As the only female member of the Philiki Etaireia (secret society of Greek patriots), she has also made a name for herself in Greek history. Laskarina Bouboulina died in Spetses in 1825.

Athanasios Diakos (1788-1821)

freedom fighter, national hero. Athanasios Diakos was born in Phocis in 1788. Like Bouboulina, he belonged to the patriotic secret society of the Philiki Etaireia. He was the leader of an army of over a thousand men who fought for Greek freedom. Athanasios Diakos died in 1821 by execution by the Ottomans. He went down in the history books as the national hero of the Greek Revolution, on which several folk songs were composed.

Drakon (approx. 650 BC)

law reformer. Drakon held around 621 BC. the then applicable criminal provisions in writing in order to prevent the application of arbitrary penalties and to counter the practice of blood revenge. The wooden panels were hung up in the Agora market to attract the public. Since this legislation was later perceived as cruel and “excessively harsh”, the term “draconian punishments” arose.

Herodotus of Halicarnassus (c. 484 BC-425 BC)

historian, geographer, and ethnologist. Herodotus of Halicarnassus is considered the “father of historiography” (Cicero). His only surviving work is the 9-volume “Historien”, which dealt with the wars of the Greeks against the Persians (6th-5th centuries BC). Around 447 BC. he came to Athens and had contact with the greatest personalities of the time (including Sophocles and Pericles).

Giannis Latsis (1910-2003)

shipowner. The shipping tycoon, known as Captain John, was born in 1910 in a fishing village called Katakolo. In the course of his life he worked his way up from fisherman to wealthy shipowner. He invested his fortune in the oil business and in building banks, for example B. in Monaco. Latsis became popular through his charity work. His friends included powerful people like Prince Charles, George Bush and Marlon Brando. Giannis Latsis died in Athens in 2003.

Mihal “Mike” Lazaridis (born 1961)

Founder and Co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIM). Mihal “Mike” Lazaridis was born in Turkey as the son of Greeks. He studied engineering and computer science at the University of Waterloo and later donated over $ 50 million to the college. For his achievements in film cutting technology, he received the technology Oscar for innovation. He founded Research In Motion in 1984 and is co-CEO. This company makes the Blackberry smartphone.

Antypas Marinos (1873-1907)

lawyer and journalist. Antypas Marinos was born in a village called Ferentinata in 1873 and studied in Athens. As one of the first proponents of socialism in Greece, he had many enemies. He also published a newspaper which translated means “Resurrection” and was banned by the authorities; later he ended up in prison for it. He always advocated creating rounds in which open discussions could take place. Antypas Marinos was murdered in 1907.

Capellas Michael (born 1955)

Entrepreneur, CEO of MCI, previously from Compaq. Capellas Michael has Greco-Italian roots, was born in Ohio in 1955 and studied economics at Kent State University. As a teenager, he was one of the best players on his football team. He is famous for his fighting nature, but also for his musical temperament. His entrepreneurial career is characterized by extravagant company sales.

Kostas Murkudis (born 1959)

Greek-German fashion designer. Kostas Murkudis was born in 1959 in Dresden to Greek parents and studied fashion design in Berlin. One of his credo is the saying: “Fashion is not art. Fashion is communication.” Among other things, he has already worked with Wolfgang Joop and was chief designer at New York Industries. His line is intent on an unpretentious effect. Kostas Murkudi’s label of the same name is based in West Berlin.

Stavros Spyros Niarchos (1909-1996)

shipowner and famous art collector. Stavros Spyros Niarchos was born in Athens in 1909 and studied law. Shortly after working in his uncle’s company, he started his own business as a shipowner, as he could offer cheaper prices on the market (including Russia), which in turn made him very rich. He worked with the CIA, among others. His famous art collection, some of which he bequeathed to the Louvre, contained works by Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse, among others. Stavros Spyros Niarchos died in Zurich in 1996.

Aristotle Socrates Homer Onassis (1906-1975)

shipowner. Born in Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey), the Greek went to Argentina as a teenager and began his rise to become one of the most important shipowners in the world. During the Second World War he rented his fleet to the Allies, later sold what was then the world’s largest whaling fleet to the Japanese, and from 1954 did very lucrative business with Saudi Arabia. In 1968 he married Jackie Kennedy, widow of the assassinated US President John Kennedy. Onassis died near Paris in 1975.

Christos Charilaos Papadimitriou (born 1949)

computer scientist. Christos Charilaos Papadimitriou was born in Athens in 1949. He studied electrical engineering in both Athens and Princeton. This was followed by several teaching activities, e.g. B. at the universities of Stanford and Harvard. In 1979 he published a collaboration with Bill Gates. His areas of expertise include artificial intelligence, complexity theory and databases.

Roxane (c. 345 BC-310 BC)

first wife of Alexander the Great. The Asian princess Roxane from Bactria was a queen for Alexander the great. When he saw her for the first time after a siege and the subsequent festival, he asked for her hand without hesitation. At that time she was between 14 and 15 years old. She bore him his only son and was admitted to his death bed as the only female, which his other two wives were not allowed to do. Presumably she descended from the last Persian king.

Vassilios Skouris (born 1948)

legal scholar and President of the European Court of Justice. Vassilios Skouris was born in Thessaloniki in 1948. He studied law in Berlin and Hamburg. In 1982 he followed a call as professor at the Aristotle University in Athens. He was temporarily active as the Greek interior minister. He was appointed judge in 1999. Since 2003 he has held the office of President of the European Court of Justice.

Nicolas Taralis (born 1975)

German-Greek fashion designer. Nicolas Taralis was born in Toronto in 1975 to a Greek father. He was trained in New York and Paris, among others, and learned from Helmut Lang in Vienna. Its characteristic is a strict line. His cuts are often androgynous. He also prefers to work in an empty room. Taralis lives in Paris.

Thucydides (approx. 454 BC – approx. 399/396 BC)

historian and general. Thucydides was born around 454 BC. Born in Athens to a wealthy family. He was a great strategist. Trained in philosophy and rhetoric, he continued the work of Herodotus, his predecessor and “father of historiography”. As a historian, however, he insisted on focusing on real facts, being critical and objective rather than referring to myths (like Herodotus).

Xanthippe (5th century)

wife of Socrates. Xanthippe lived in the first half of the 5th century and went down in the history books as the “horror woman” because of her lust for argument and quarrel. There is even a saying named after her. Her marriage to Socrates had three children. It is said that she made him one of the greatest philosophers and dialecticians through her way of driving him out of the house. There is a famous picture showing Xanthippe emptying a chamber pot over Socrates’ head.

Mihalis Yannakakis (born 1953)

computer scientist. Mihalis Yannakakis was born in Athens in 1953. He studied electrical engineering in Athens and Princeton. In 2002 he took up his position as professor at Stanford University, and in 2004 at Columbia University.

His areas of expertise include algorithm analysis and design, databases and combinatorial optimization. The multiple award-winning computer scientist is co-editor of various magazines, e. B. the “Journal of Complexity”.

Greece: animals


In the forests of northern Greece there are animals that are rarely found in other European forests.

There are wildcats, lynxes, wolves, martens and red deer.

In the Pindo massif in western Greece and in the mountains along the Albanian border there are even said to be brown bears. In the south you can meet jackals, wild goats and hedgehogs.

The endemic Cretan wild goat, which is also known under the name of Kri-Kri, is a special feature, which is under nature protection and mainly occurs in the Samaria Gorge in the White Mountains of Crete, along with other smaller islands. The Cretan spiny mouse, the Cretan stone marten and the Cretan badger are also endemic.

In the south of Rhodes you can meet herds of goats and sheep living in the wild, but also the typical farm animals of the island such as donkeys and mules.

However, the fallow deer on the island is endangered by years of uncontrolled hunting.

The Mediterranean monk seal, of which there are small residual populations on the coast of the Aegean Sea, is very rare.

With fewer than 1,000 individuals worldwide, it is likely to be one of the most threatened mammals.

Reptiles, amphibians

Among the most common reptiles include Greece, the lizards.

One representative is the slow worm, whose extremities are so strongly receded that they cannot be recognized from the outside and they are more reminiscent of a snake, for which it is also believed by many.

However, their beginnings are visible in the skeleton. Other features of the lizard include the closable eyelids and the lack of abdominal scales that help snakes move. The tail can also be thrown off in case of danger and distracts the enemy from the actual prey through independent movements. However, only a short part of the slow-worm grows back, not the entire tail. Overall, it reaches a length of up to 50 cm, which can vary greatly due to the growing tail stub. The color is sand-gray to brown-black.

The slow worm lives inconspicuously in cool stream valleys, forest clearings, hedges, meadows and embankments. Usually it hides under stone slabs or wooden boards. It can often be encountered after rain showers as it then leaves its hiding place to hunt nudibranchs, earthworms, insects and spiders. Their enemies include hedgehogs, crows, other larger birds and also humans. The slow worm is widespread in all of Europe apart from Greece, and is also found in North Africa.

Other common lizards are the bright green emerald lizard, the sand lizard, and wall and mountain lizards. With a lot of luck, you can even spot the rare chameleon on Samos.

Geckos are also very common and often romp around on the walls of accommodations.

The heavily protected Greek tortoise is also worth mentioning.

Numerous species of snakes are native to Greece. Among the non-toxic copies include the smooth snake, the dice – and the grass snake and the Aesculapian that Aesculapius, the god of medicine is doomed. To this day, the Aesculapian snake winding around an Aesculapian staff is a symbol for doctors and pharmacists .

The amphibians are represented by two types of salamander, the fire salamander and the alpine salamander.

The newts, which belong to the amphibians, also occur here.

Poisonous animals

One of the most poisonous snakes in the country is the adder. Despite its not inconsiderable toxicity, it is mostly only dangerous to children and the elderly, as the amount of poison in one bite is rather small.

Most of the local symptoms of poisoning are caused by the bite of a meadow otter, which likes to hang around the edges of forests and bushes.

The most dangerous venomous snake in the country is, besides the Cyclades, the horned viper, whose bites have already led to deaths in children and weakened people.


Most of the birds in Greece are in transit and are migratory birds. Nevertheless, one can observe numerous birds of prey such as the Cretan golden eagle, the bearded vulture, the Griffton vulture and hawks over Greece.

Other birds found here are partridges, owls, woodcock and nightingales, owls and cormorants.

Little egrets and flamingos have even been seen on the island of Lesbos. The latter form a family of their own and are actually common in Africa, western Asia and southern France.

The up to 130 cm tall birds are immediately recognizable by their long and thin neck, by their thin legs and by their thick, downward-curved pink beak with a black tip. This is used as a sieve when searching for food. The menu includes worms, algae and, above all, small crustaceans. They are also responsible for the pink plumage of the flamingos. The red dye absorbed with the crabs is stored in the feathers. After all, the more crabs the birds have eaten, the more pink they are. The famous one-legged standing is used to store heat, since one leg is hidden in the warm plumage and thus less heat loss occurs.

This feat is not strenuous for the flamingos (as well as for storks).


Butterflies are very numerous in Greece, special attention deserves the Russian bear from the bear moth family, also known as the Spanish flag. The forewings are black-brown with white-yellow stripes, the hind wings are red with large black spots. The wingspan is 42-52 mm, with the males being smaller than the females. This diurnal and rare butterfly prefers warm and sunny areas and has its gathering point in the butterfly valley on Rhodes.

There are also cicadas here, whose “singing” is seen by many as a holiday delight, some as annoying.

And of course the country is blessed with mosquitoes, flies, bees, wasps, bumblebees, hornets, ants and dragonflies.

Numerous spiders also live here.

Underwater world

The number of fish species in Greece’s waters – especially in the sea – has declined sharply due to excessive fishing with dynamite, among other things.

The visitor notices it, among other things, from the high prices for fish dishes in the restaurants. Trout that live in the streams and rivers are (still) an exception and are one of the few species that are still relatively common.

The country was known for its mullets, lobsters, shrimp, oysters, crabs, and cockles. Occasionally dolphins can even be seen. There are also octopuses, jellyfish and the occasional starfish here.

Greece: plants


A large part of Greece’s flora are forests, which take up a particularly large area in the north of the country.

A total of around 200 different tree species were counted in Greece.

The most widespread are white poplars, cypresses, sweet chestnuts, spruces as well as pines and firs. However, in the hot and dry summer months, forest fires repeatedly endanger the forest.

Greece’s islands are home to other tree species, for example the walnut tree grows on Samos. Tamarisks were planted here along the coast because they tolerate the salty soil well and are particularly important for tourists as they provide shade.

Aleppo pines and plane trees, on the other hand, are very common trees on Rhodes, where date palms are also represented.


The two main pillars of agriculture in Greece are olive oil production and viticulture.

There are olive trees almost everywhere.

On Rhodes there is also the cultivation of aubergines, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, onions and cucumbers.

Fig, quince, nut and pomegranate trees grow in the south of the island.

Other useful plants that are found in abundance in Greece are numerous different herbs. Particularly in the mountains on Rhodes, but also on other islands, the variety of different herbs is remarkable. Oregano, various types of mint, basil, rosemary, thyme and sage grow here.

Medicinal plants

The poisonous peony was previously used as an antispasmodic and against epilepsy.

However, this effect has not been proven.

It can allegedly also be used for skin and mucous membrane inflammations, fissures, gout, rheumatism and diseases of the respiratory tract. However, the effectiveness has not been proven in these areas of application either. In homeopathy, it is used for hemorrhoids.

The tea is said to have an aphrodisiac effect from the flowers and leaves of Diktamus, which grows exclusively in the Cretan mountains. The tea also helps with stomach problems, it is nerve tonic and fever lowering. In addition, the ground leaves are said to have a wound healing effect when they are applied externally.

Poisonous plants

The corn poppy, which grows in Greece and is only slightly poisonous, should not be confused with the opium poppy, which contains the alkaloid morphine. Nevertheless, the white milky sap of the poppy contains a toxin which, if parts of the plant are consumed, leads to gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea and stomach pains.

The peony from the buttercup family grows between 50 and 100 cm and blooms from June to May. The large red flowers with a diameter of 12 cm and petals with a length of 5 – 8 cm are striking.

Most types of peony are common in Europe, Asia, and North America.

It prefers light and rocky mountain slopes to grow.

Due to the alkaloid paenonin, this plant is poisonous and causes gastrointestinal complaints and vomiting and colic in excessive doses. In the correct dosage, it can also be used as a medicinal plant.

More plants

Greece is a country that is rich in cultivated as well as wild flowers and herbs. Typical are daisies, corn poppies, anemones and chamomile plants.

Rare plants such as sea lily and knapweed grow on Crete’s coast, and bluebells and flax can be found on the steep mountain slopes and gorges of the island. A real sea of flowers awaits you in spring on Rhodes, here daisies, cyclamen, peonies, gorse and roses bloom to their full splendor.

Shrub plants like the oleander and hibiscus also contribute to this flowering wonder.

Greece Politics