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Greek Contributions to Modern Western Civilization Essay

Ancient Greek culture has influenced modern western civilization from their discoveries and traditions during their Golden Age. Their philosophies, politics and values have helped shape our every day life. Some of the most prominently displayed leaders of all time lived in Greece during the time. Their math, art science politics, architecture, drama, medicine, philosophy and values have inspired today’s everyday way of life. If it weren’t for their constant strides towards a better tomorrow, civilization today might be less advanced.

A lot of their academic achievement math and science has trickled down from the generations and into western civilization today. Euclid, a mathematician, is now viewed as the most prominent mathematician of all time. He wrote a book called “The Elements” and put all of his discoveries and theories into it. A lot of the math and science that we use today was influenced by his theories and discoveries.

A man named Hippocrates also solely influenced today’s medical practices. His discoveries in medicine made a long lasting imprint on today’s doctors and practices. He was an extremely trustworthy doctor. He made an oath stating that he would never give bad medicine and always strive to cure a patient, not just get paid. Today when becoming a doctor, you must take the Hippocratic oath, which was the oath that Hippocrates created.

Whenever you go to see a performance now, whether you know it or not, Greek influence is involved. Greek drama and auditoriums are big influences. The three types of theaters that the Greeks had were Proscenium (like in today’s Gershwin Theater), Thrust (like in many of the concert halls seen today) and Arena (like today’s sports arenas). The architecture of these stages and of a lot of other structures are direct influences of the Greek civilization.

Playwrights such as Socrates, Aeschylus and Euripides wrote plays that entertained people in Greece and all around the world still today. Playwrights wrote tragedies in which there is a main character with either a┬áspecial ability or tragic flaw. As the story progresses, the tragic flaw ruins the character (just like in today’s drama). One of the most tragic of plays are the stories of Oedipus, the King. In this, the main character’s tragic flaw is unknown even to him. It is his tragic past and how it influenced his present day life. Tragedies such as Oedipus the King have contributed to the making of today’s theater.

Greece’s system of democracy was a new ideal for the time. Today, countries around the world use it. During the time of the first democracy, philosophers started to teach their thoughts and voice their opinions. This is because it was a time of turmoil. Corrupt leaders were leading Greece and people did not have much faith in democracy.

At this time, philosophers gave the people things to ponder and believe in. The greatest three Greek philosophers were Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Even today, people live by some of the teachings of these philosophers and they are widely studied.

Overall, many of today’s traditions, beliefs and values have been passed down from Greek civilizations. Their discoveries, traditions and strides toward perfection inspired later generations to act as they did. The individuals that invented and discovered new aspects of life and their surroundings gave way to brand new lifestyles that are used today.


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