What Countries Surrounded Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece, known for its rich history and contributions to philosophy, art, and democracy, was located in the southeastern part of Europe. It was surrounded by several countries that played significant roles in shaping its culture and development.

The Surrounding Countries of Ancient Greece

Let’s take a closer look at the countries that bordered Ancient Greece:

1. Macedonia

Macedonia, located to the north of Greece, was a kingdom that had a complex relationship with the Greeks. It was ruled by various kings, including Philip II and his son Alexander the Great. They expanded their empire through military conquests, which included the incorporation of Greece into their realm.

2. Thrace

To the northeast of Greece lay Thrace, a region known for its fierce warriors and rich resources. The Thracians had a distinct culture and were often in conflict with both the Greeks and Macedonians.

3. Epirus

Epirus, located to the northwest of Greece, was home to several Greek tribes such as the Molossians. The region had strong ties with Greek culture and participated in various events such as the Olympic Games.

4. Illyria

West of Macedonia lay Illyria, a region inhabited by an ancient Indo-European people known as the Illyrians. The Illyrians were not considered Greek but had cultural interactions and occasional conflicts with both Greeks and Macedonians.

5. Thessaly

To the south of Macedonia was Thessaly, an important region in Ancient Greece known for its fertile plains and horse breeding. Thessaly was home to several city-states that had close ties with other Greek city-states.

6. Peloponnese

The Peloponnese, a large peninsula that forms the southern part of Greece, was home to powerful city-states such as Sparta and Corinth. It was separated from mainland Greece by the narrow Isthmus of Corinth.

7. Aegean Sea

Surrounding Greece on the east were the beautiful waters of the Aegean Sea. This sea served as a vital trade route for the Greeks, connecting them with other civilizations and influencing their maritime culture.


Ancient Greece was not an isolated entity but rather interacted with various neighboring countries and regions. The influences and conflicts with these surrounding areas played a crucial role in shaping Greek history, culture, and civilization as we know it today.

By understanding the geographical context in which Ancient Greece existed, we gain a deeper appreciation for its achievements and its place in world history.