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In 6500 BC, the first settlers arrived in Greece. From there, Greece flourished to become one of the most advanced civilizations of its time. Ancient artifacts, monuments, and documents all serve to validate the sophisticated intellect of this civilization. Even more impressive is the impact that this culture has had on the western society, both past and present. From their scientific discoveries to their many philosophers, the ancient Greeks have helped shape western civilization– and even thousands of years after their time, elements of their society remain present in today’s world.
The world of science in ancient Greece was centered around mathematical thinking and pure logic. Sparked by curiosity of the world around them, the Greeks studied everything including the sky, the earth, botany, and biology. Their discoveries marked some of mankind’s greatest advances, such as accurately determining the earth’s circumference as well as its physical makeup. They also classified and documented various species of plants, which contribute to the scientific names by which they are known today.
Additionally, ancient Greece is accredited as one of the first civilizations to implement public water works and figure out a system of aqueducts– the world’s first plumbing system. Behind these scientific achievements, was an acute desire to learn and obtain knowledge. Greece has produced some of history’s greatest thinkers and philosophers. Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle formulated ideas about how the world worked. The study of history was created by Herodotus and Thucydides.
Artists tried to find more natural and realistic ways of representing the world. Doctors, like Hippocrates, started to look for rational reasons for the causes of illness and disease. (The British Museum) Much of today’s philosophy is based on the thinking of these Greek philosophers, as they are quoted and referred to constantly. Aristotle is quoted as saying, “Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion”; Socrates stated, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing”.
The ideals of western culture alludes to these philosophers with its ideas of living life to the fullest, examining one’s life, and realizing that money and materials do not equate virtue. Not only was their thinking representative of a high level of intellect, but their messages and philosophies still hold true today. Plato is quoted as saying the following: “All men are be nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince”.
Even though the Greeks believed in several gods and goddesses, this quote represents the backbone of western society as it is presently known. This outlook of equality pertains to democracy; the reference to “one Workman” alludes to the monotheistic quality of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Even the impressive Greek temples– places of worship– are shadowed today by churches, mosques, and synagogues. The advancements of ancient Greece continues to be awe-inspiring amongst today’s society.
Not only was their way of thinking advanced– but its validity has proven to span nearly all of documented history, and remains applicable today. In all aspects of life, there are elements that can be traced back to these Greek philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists as their discoveries have withstood the test of time. Works Cited “Ancient Greece. ” The British Museum. The British Museum, 2009. Web. 3 Aug. 2009. <http://www. ancientgreece. co. uk>.