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Peninsula, forming the southern part of mainland Greece. A large, mountainous body of land jutting south into the Mediterranean Sea, the peninsula has an area of 8,278 sq mi (21,439 sq km) and is joined to the rest of mainland Greece by the Isthmus of Corinth. The Mycenaean civilization flourished there in the 2nd millennium BC at Mycenae and Pylos. Its chief cities during the classical period were Corinth and Sparta. Under the Romans it was part of the province of Achaea from 146 BC to c. 4th century AD. It was part of the Byzantine Empire until it was taken by the Franks; they held it in the 13th–15th centuries, when it was often known as Morea. The modern city of Patras (pop., 2001: 163,446), in the north, is a commercial centre.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Peloponnese, visit Britannica.com.