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BOOK EIGHT

GREECE.

CHAPTER XXXVI-THE COUNTRY.

GREECE, the easternmost of the three peninsulas which from the south of Europe drop into

the Mediterranean, was in her palmy days the scene of the most extraordinary activities

ever displayed by the human race. The name GREECE was not given to the country by the

Greeks themselves, by whom the land was immemorially called HELLAS, and themselves

HELLENES. The words Greece and Greeks were brought into use by the writers of Rome, who

for some reason adopted the name of the petty tribe called the Graeci as an appellative of

the whole race.

A sketch of a land so noted as Hellas can hardly fail of interest. The country lies

between parallels thirty-six and forty of north latitude, and the meridians twenty- one

and twenty-six of longitude east from Greenwich. The length of the peninsula from Mount

Olympus to the southernmost cape Is two hundred and fifty miles, and the breadth from

Attica to Acarnania one hundred and eighty miles. The area (though difficult of exact

determination) maybe fairly estimated at thirty-four thousand square miles-a district but

little larger than the State of Indiana; but this estimate does not include the many Greek

islands, proximate or more remote from the main-land, which, inhabited by the same race

and running the same course in history, might well be included in the aggregate

measurement.

The peninsula is sharply defined on the north by the OLYMPIAN and CAMBUNIAN mountains.

These have a general course from east to west, and extend from the Thermaic gulf to the

promontory of Acroceraunia, on the Adriatic. But the country lying south of this range

includes not only Greece proper but also Epirus on the west. The transverse range, which

constitutes the fundamental fact in the geological structure of the peninsula, is called

the PINDUS, which, starting from the southern slope of Olympus, stretches southward, and

dividing and branching and sinking in elevation, straggles through the isthmus and finally

terminates in the cape or headland of Taenarus. Epirus and Thessaly in the north are thus

divided by a lofty chain.

On the east side of Pindus, below Thessaly, the spur-range of OTHRYS strikes off to the

coast, thus inclosing between itself