Greece is a small nation in southeastern Europe where one of the world's great civilizations flourished more than 2,000 years ago. At a time when most of Europe was in cultural darkness, Greek dramatists were writing plays that are still performed today. Greek sculptors and builders were creating statues and temples of unsurpassed beauty. Greek thinkers were laying the foundations of modern science and philosophy. And it was in ancient Greece that the idea of democracy, or government by the people, was born.