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The ancient Greeks set out from their mountainous homeland to colonize and settle much of the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts. They have left their imprint on virtually every aspect of modern politics, theater, art, philosophy, medicine, architecture, and athletics. Their story is presented here from the Palaeolithic era to the Ottoman empire. Of key importance is the question of how the Greeks developed and adapted through the centuries, and how they interacted, both peaceably and otherwise, with the surrounding cultures. From mythology to recent history, the struggle has surged back and forth across the Aegean: Greeks against Troy, Greek migration and settlement in Asia Minor and southern Italy, Persian invasions of Greece, Alexander's conquest of Asia, Roman intervention inthe Greek world, the spread of Christianity, the rise of Islam, the Crusades to the Holy Land, and the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans. Individual chapters on Greek heroes and gods and extracts from Classical authors and inscriptions bring the story vividly to life and allow the Greeks to speak for themselves.