Greece boasts a very long history, with the Greek language being spoken in the country and throughout the Mediterranean region for nearly 4000 years.
The country's first inhabitants are now referred to as the Pelasgians.
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In the 4th century, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great legalised Christian worship and declared it the state religion of the empire.
He moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium (present-day Istanbul), which he renamed Constantinople.
As they do today, many ancient Greeks made a living from the sea.
They were accomplished fishers, sailors and traders and the sea has profoundly shaped Greek culture.
The empire broke up after Alexander's death, and Greece was eventually annexed by the growing Roman Empire.
Although weakened politically, Greek culture continued to flourish under Roman rule and indeed heavily influenced Roman culture.
The cultural heritage and spectacular mountains and beaches draw tourists from far away.
Greece is both a mountainous and coastal country, with countless islands spread over the Ionian and Aegean seas.
The majority of visitors come to Greece come from other European countries, although in recent years tourists from other world regions have been increasing in number.