Greek coinage. The Hellenic Republic, also known as Republic of Greece, the Mother of Western Civilization, is a country in southeast Europe. 227 of the approximately 1400 islands belonging to Greece are inhabited. The capital and largest city is Athens. Greek is the official language. Greece, historically known as Hellas, was occupied by various people throughout history. Independence from the Ottoman Empire: declared January 1, 1822 at the First National Assembly, recognized February 3, 1830 in the London Protocol. Current constitution, Third Hellenic Republic June 11, 1975. Monetary system: 1 Phoenix = 100 Lepta (1828-31), 1 Drachma = 100 Lepta (1841-2001), 1 Euro = 100 Cents (2002-current).