Greece (officially the Hellenic Republic) is a country in southeastern Europe, situated on the southern end of the Balkans Peninsula. The country has borders with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the east.
Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilization of Ancient Greece, generally considered to be the cradle of Western civilization. As such, it is often said to be the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature and historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama, including both tragedy and comedy.
The Koine variety of Greek was still a major language in one of the alternates where the Crosstime Traffic company maintained a secret presence. Jeremy Solters knew people who learned Koine via implants in order to travel to that timeline. In the home timeline itself, Koine Greek had developed in the Hellenistic period and was still spoken in Roman Empire times, but was then superseded by later varieties of Greek.
On June 7, 2003, the Socialist government of Greece turned on its former NATO ally, Turkey, and joined the Soviet Union in attacking Turkey. Greece demanded the return of Constantinople, now the city of Istanbul. The city fell to the Greek and Soviet forces three days later.
By the late 22nd century, Greece had merged with other Western European countries to form United Europe. As such, it had its autonomy reduced to something comparable to that of a state in the United States. Nevertheless, it continued to compete separately at the Olympics to keep its place of honour as the homeland of the Olympic ideal. It was able to send four athletes to Mimas, a moon of Saturn, for the Sixty-sixth Winter Games. The athletes' space suits were painted in the national colors of blue and white.
Greece was an autonomous area of United Earth, itself an autonomous Member Planet of the Federacy. Greeks had taken part in the great outward migration of humanity, settling the planets New Thessaly and Alexander, both of which kept a distinct Greek culture even after thousands of years.
The Ellenes, some of whom had colonized Syria, were distantly related to the Philistinians, whose ancestors migrated eastward from Crete, 3000 years prior. The two languages were recognized as being related, but were not mutually intelligible. There were some contacts between Ellenes and Philistinians, but they were not particularly tight. The Ellenes shared the Philistinians' dislike for the Moabites and extreme dislike for the Turks of Babylonia, but they lacked the oil wealth and were outnumbered three to one by the Turks, so the Philistinians could not take Ellene aid for granted in case of war.