Essays

Greek Achievements

by vesko

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.

sardonnica commented, on June 19, 2009 at 9:57 p.m.:

Nice work.

Rating: Whole StarWhole StarWhole StarWhole StarEmpty Star
 
Please, login to comment
Email Watch

Copyright © 2003-2012 University Press Inc. All Rights Reserved