How Large Was Ancient Greece?
Ancient Greece, renowned for its rich history and influence on Western civilization, was a collection of independent city-states located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Spanning from the 8th century BCE to the 6th century CE, Ancient Greece encompassed a territory that varied in size throughout its existence.
The heart of Ancient Greece was its mainland, which included regions such as Attica, home to Athens; Corinth; Sparta; and Thessaly. This area covered approximately 130,000 square kilometers.
Ancient Greek city-states were self-governing entities with their own governments and laws. These city-states were scattered across the mainland and islands, with some of the most prominent ones being Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Corinth.
- Athens: The largest city-state in ancient Greece both in terms of land area and population. It covered an estimated 2,500 square kilometers.
- Sparta: Located in the region of Laconia in southern Greece.
It covered around 2,400 square kilometers.
- Thebes: Situated in Boeotia near Athens. It occupied an area of approximately 1,800 square kilometers.
- Corinth: Located on the isthmus connecting mainland Greece with the Peloponnese peninsula. It covered about 600 square kilometers.
The Peloponnese peninsula is a large landmass connected to mainland Greece by a narrow strip of land called the Isthmus of Corinth. It is home to many important city-states, including Sparta. The Peloponnese covers an area of around 21,500 square kilometers.
Ancient Greece was surrounded by numerous islands, which played a significant role in its maritime culture and trade. Some of the most famous and influential islands include Crete, Rhodes, Lesbos, Samos, and Corfu.
The island of Crete is the largest in Greece and covers approximately 8,300 square kilometers.
The Aegean Islands are located in the Aegean Sea and consist of various archipelagos. They include islands such as Rhodes (1,400 square kilometers), Lesbos (1,630 square kilometers), Samos (475 square kilometers), and Corfu (610 square kilometers).
Ancient Greece was a diverse land with a mixture of mainland territories and scattered islands. While the exact size of Ancient Greece may be difficult to determine due to the changing borders of city-states over time, it is estimated to have covered an area ranging from 130,000 to 150,000 square kilometers.
Exploring the geography and extent of Ancient Greece allows us to appreciate the vast influence this civilization had on art, philosophy, politics, and culture throughout history.