Ancient Greek Civilization Essay

Greek Culture and its Influences Today Essay

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“Greek civilization is alive; it moves in every breath of mind that we breathe; so much of it remains that none of us in one lifetime could absorb it all.” Ancient Greeks are known to be one of the greatest and most advanced people and have left behind a legacy that helped define the Western civilization. Cultural diffusion helped spread Greek culture all over the world, and its effects can still be felt today in almost every aspect. Greek culture has greatly affected different parts of my daily life including architecture, food, government, inventions, music, religion, and education.
Modern day architecture in America is greatly influenced by ancient Greek architectural styles, which include columns and decorative elements such as…show more content…

In this speech, he outlined the constituents of democracy: "If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences...if a man is able to serve the state; he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition. The freedom we enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life. There, far from exercising a jealous surveillance over each other, we do not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbor for doing what he likes..." Greek democracy helped inspire the creation of modern democracy, including the government of America.
The Greeks made several inventions, most notably in the subject of math, which are still studied today and taught in school. Mathematician Euclid is often credited as the “Father of Geometry” for all his work and studies in this subject, which are compiled in his books called The Elements. He organized known geometrical statements called theorems and logically proved all of them. He proved the theorem of Pythagoras (another Greek mathematician), which stated that the equation (c2 = a2 + b2) is true for every right triangle.
Music played a significant role in the lives of ancient Greeks. They believed that music fostered one’s relationship with the gods, and some instruments, such as the lyre, were created by the gods. Music and dance were also taught

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Ancient Greeks made many influential contributions to western civilization such as in the areas of philosophy, art and architecture, and math and science.

The ancient Greeks have made many influential contributions to western civilization. These contributions, which are also the achievements of ancient Greece, include certain things in the areas of philosophy, art and architecture, and math and science. The ancient Greeks were a remarkable civilization in that they have made all these contributions and achievements while simultaneously fighting two wars, the Peloponnesian wars and the Persian wars. One inner-lying region of Greece, Sparta, and one adjacent region to Greece, Macedonia, were also of no help. Whether it be fighting for territory or threatening to Greece over these regions were nevertheless a problem. Luckily for western civilization, Greece persevered through these hardships and managed to achieve one thing after another, ultimately contributing a vast amount to western civilization.

In the area of philosophy, Greece had made many influential contributions to western civilization. Greek philosophers were great thinkers who were determined to seek truth to a certain subject or question no matter where it led them. Three famous philosophers includes Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. Socrates, who lived from around 470 to 399 B.C. believed that life was not worth living unless it was examined and the truth about life was sought out. He also believed that there had to be certain standards for justice and punishment. In order to solve problems in life, Socrates invented a method for solving these problems called the Socratic method. In the world today this method is commonly know as the Scientific method and is used widely in the area of science.

Pluto, a student of Socrates, believed that society is like one big family and that if one person in a society needed help in some sort of way, the whole society should be there to help. Pluto also had many democratic ideas which he expressed through the book, The Republic. Lastly, Aristotle, who lived in Greece from around 384 to 322 B.C., was a philosopher who believed strongly that human reason was very important. He says that a life guided by human reason is superior to any other and that someone's ability to reason distinguishes them from anyone else. Many other ideas came from philosophers and two of these includes the thought that divine power ruled the universe and that human desire is dangerous and should be controlled. These ideas along with the ideas of human reasoning, standards for justice, and a democracy are still used in western civilization, therefore showing Greece's influence and contribution.

Another area of Greek achievement is theater. Plays began to become important in ancient Greece and two types of plays which were written and performed were comedies and tragedies. A comedy in ancient Greece was usually a play that marked or made fun of a certain topic, person, or group of people. One famous comedy writer was Aristophanes. He wrote the plays The Birds and Lysistrata. An tragedy in ancient Greece usually dealt with a moral or social issue, human suffering, and almost always ended in disaster. Three famous Greek tragedy writers are Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles. Aeschylus wrote the play The Oresteia, Euripides wrote the play Medea, and Sophocles wrote the plays Oedipus the King and Antigone. One of the most famous out of all of these plays was Antigone. It was written in about 441 B.C. and was about a girl named Antigone who defies the king's orders and buries her brother, who was killed while leading a rebellion. In this play, many Greek values were expressed which is also the purpose of most western civilization plays today (to express certain values). Also, the ideas of comedies and tragedies are used in western civilization except expanded and twisted around a little. A lot of famous play writers today are also inspired by the works of play writers from ancient Greece.

The most important areas of Greek achievement were math and science. They achieved all kinds of things in the areas of psychology, astronomy, geometry, biology, physics, and medicine. In astronomy they formulated the ideas that the sun was 300 times larger than the earth, the universe was composed of atoms, and they calculated the true size of the earth. Someone greatly involved in astronomy was Aristotle. In geometry, ancient Greeks found the value of pi, and a man named Euclid, who wrote the book Elements around 300 B.C., theorized that if two straight lines cut one another, the vertical, or opposite, angles shall be equal. In physics, the lever and pulley was invented along with a force pump which eventually evolved into a steam engine. Important people in this area were Archimedes and Pythagoras who were two of the many influential Greek citizens. Ancient Greece has definitely made many influential contributions to western civilization.

 

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