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The Legacy of Greece

The Ancient Greeks have contributed much to our society, such as language, art and architecture, literature, philosophy, science, democracy, coins, organized sports, theatre, scientific discovery and theory, and writing down history.

1. Language: politics, metropolis, democracy, Spartan, laconic, marathon, philosophy, comedy, tragedy, rhetoric, astronomy, mathematics, rhythm, hero, and metaphor. In fact, one in eight words used by the European languages is derived from Greek.

2. Art and Architecture: the three styles of Greek columns - Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian; the White House, Lincoln, and Jefferson memorials imitate Greek architecture, pottery, vases, and urns were made by Greeks, and the amphitheater was built and utilized.

3. Literature: The Iliad and The Odyssey were epic poems by Homer, stories of gods and goddesses, and myths to explain nature.

4. Governmental practices: our democratic government, the Assembly, law and the need for order in government.

5. Theatre: comic and tragic plays were first performed in Greece, important playwrights’ work (Sophocles) are still performed today.

6. Philosophy: the Greeks’ study of knowledge lead to areas of science, including biology, mathematics, and astronomy.

7. Science and Medicine: scientific collection, analysis, recording, and theories lead to many discoveries, Hippocrates furthered the field of medicine with his discovery that exercise, diet, and cleanliness helped extend life.