Out of the numerous things that can be traced back from today’s world to the times of Ancient Greece, the first thing that I would like to go in depth with would be the extreme accomplishments and discoveries in mathematics. A few of the great mathematicians that’s work still resonates today are Pythagoras, Euclid, and Diophantus. While doing a bit of reading in Leonid Zhmud’s book Pythagoras and the Early Pythagoreans, I came across one line that goes as follows, “We can compose a much more detailed picture of early Pythagorean science than, for example, religion or politics”. This sentence pushed it me to infer that mathematics played a larger role in the lives of ordinary people than things such as religion or politics.1 The Pythagorean Theorem (a2 + b2 = c2) is used to find the hypotenuse of a right triangle and is probably the most prolific idea in today’s society that can be accredited to Pythagoras. Another great mathematician, known as Euclid, did most of his work in the world of geometry, which is very much still used. Any time that you were asked to find the area of a triangle in grade school, or to prove that two lines on a square were equal lengths, you can thank this guy. Lastly, Diophantus – sometimes called “the father of algebra” – is best known for his Arithmetica, a work on the solution of algebraic equations and on the theory of numbers.2 In today’s world, we can see his work still in use with things such as exponents and Diophantine equations.
Along with being the birthplace of many great mathematicians, Greece was also the mother country of many famous scientists. Some of these famous scientists include Eratosthenes, Aristarchus, and Hipparchus. Eratosthenes is most popularly known for making the first scientific calculation of the circumference of the earth. According to Ellen Bailey’s book Eratosthenes of Cyrene, he also “developed the Sieve of Eratosthenes, a theorem for finding prime numbers, and he was the first mathematician to create a map of the ancient world containing lines of latitude and longitude.” 3 Aristarchus was the first person to theorize that the earth revolved around the sun instead of the other way around, which I would indeed have to say that we use this very much today. Hipparchus, another scientist, was credited with being the first person to explain how all the planets and stars move. With these things being said, I believe it is quite easy to say that these great men are the ones that set the stepping stones for astronomists, astrophysicists, and all other types of scientists of our day and age to expand our knowledge of what we know about our universe, and how exactly it works.
Among the many aspects of Greek culture that have influenced Western Civilization, the most notable would be that of philosophy. In the Ancient Greek world, they believed that the human mind was capable of understanding everything. The three most recognizable philosophers of Ancient Greece are Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Aristotle proposed a theory that is still widely accepted in todays culture. This theory was that reason and the ability to think logically was the distinguishing characteristic of human beings and that a life guided by reason is superior to any other.4 Socrates, the most prominent of the Greek philosophers, suggested that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” ? CITE SOMETHING. I believe that this quote suggests that a life lived without question or examination is not worth living because then the whole idea of reason goes out the window, and reasoning is pretty much what makes or breaks your life. Plato is mostly known for his Dialogues and for founding his Academy north of Athens, traditionally considered the first university in the western world. 787878
Architecture – okurrrr
Ancient Greek architecture is best known from its temples, many of which are found throughout the region
Ancient Greek art stands out among any other ancient culture for its development of life-like but idealized depictions of the human body, in which large nude manly figures were generally the focus of innovation. The rate of stylistic development between about 750 and 300 BC was remarkable by ancient standards. There were important innovations in painting, which have to be reconstructed due to the lack of original survivals of quality, other than some of the distinct field of painted pottery. The earliest art by greeks is generally excluded from ancient Greek art, and instead is known as Aegean art, which also includes Cycladic art and the art of the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures from what we know as the Greek Bronze Age. Geometric(900 BC), Archaic(750 BC), Classical(510 to 323 BC) and Hellenistic(323 to 31 BC), were the four periods the art of ancient Greece were usually divided stylistically into. In reality, there was no sharp transition from one period to another. Forms of art developed at different speeds in different parts of the Greek world, as in any other age some artists worked in more creative styles than other artists. The whole period saw a generally steady increase in prosperity and trading links within the Greek world and with neighboring cultures.
One exceptionally significant custom of the greeks that can still be observed today is the Olympics. These ancient games incorporated a concept of free athletic competition without bloodshed. At first, there were only a few competitions, but as the olympics became increasingly popular, additional competitions were added. The four main contests of the Ancient Greek Olympics were the long jump, the javelin throw, the discus throw, and wrestling. From the beginning of the Olympic games timeline up until the 1900 Paris Games, the Olympics were strictly for male athletes. At the 1900 Paris Games, women were finally allowed to participate in events such as lawn tennis and golf. I find it very interesting that something that was started around nearly 3000 years ago and only included male Greek citizens has now become something that people of various nationalities, men and women, can take part in. Also, I find it quite neat that we still look forward to watching these games every 4 years (2 including the Winter Olympics) just as the Greeks did back before Jesus roamed this earth.