Last modified on July 12, 2016, at 20:58

Greek influence on Western Culture

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Ancient Greece has had an enormous amount of impact on culture in the western world. Some of the first works of literature in the west of which we have record come from Greece, and although they were created at a time after older works from Mesopotamia, such epic poems as the Iliad and Odyssey have exerted wide influence over generation after generation of western thinkers.

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Greece was home to many other "firsts" in the humanities, such as the first history and historian (Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon), the whole of the initial development of dramatic and comedic plays, the first practitioners of mathematics, many developments in political science including the creation of democracy and republics (albeit in oligarchic form), and virtually the whole of the fundamentals of classical western philosophy, as found in the works of Plato and Aristotle. Much of architecture has its roots in Greece, as well.

Greek life was dominated by religion and so it is not surprising that the temples of ancient Greece were the biggest and most beautiful.They also had a political purpose as they were often built to celebrate civic power and pride, or offer thanksgiving to the patron deity of a city for success in war.[1]

Greek sanctuaries.

Greek mythology is a collection of stories and narratives concerning their gods, heroes and mythological creatures. Hesiod's Theogony is an important source of myths as well as Homer's epic poems.

It is difficult to fairly ascribe to Greece the roots of science, since science as a recognizable discipline only became distinguishable rather recently, but for most of history what we consider science has been entwined with philosophy and politics, and in that form the Greeks (particularly Archimedes) were once more the progenitors. To this end, they created the first siege engines, the first alarm clock, and many other inventions.

Herodotus is often named the "Father of History" ( history, in Greek, means "investigations"). Herodotus wrote the first Western historical chronicle, describing the Persian war. Hippocrates is known as the "Father of Medicine". He was the first to do a treatise on human anatomy and bodily ailments. He also wrote an oath, known as the Hippocratic Oath, which lays out ethics for physicians and which is still in use today... The Greeks also invented tragedy, the basis of modern plays, skits, and movies. Tragedy started due to Eschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, and comedy made its appearance with Aristophanes.[2]

Delphi Oracle

Greek culture spread throughout the Mediterranean region, laid the foundation for the Roman Empire, and later, growing, Romans carried on much of the Greek culture upon Europe, adding to it the Roman system of law.

Traditional Western Culture is said to have been created by three main historical factors: ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and Christianity. As such, it is also known by the terms "Greco-Roman culture", " Judeo-Christian culture", or "Judeo-Hellenic-Christian culture". Ibidem

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  1. Architecture in ancient Greece
  2. Western culture