Ancient Greek Contributions to Western Civilization - Basic list of examples of greek contributions, olympics, greek gods, ect

Topics: Greece, Ancient Greece, Western culture Pages: 2 (471 words) Published: January 8, 2004
The ancient Greeks contributed much to Western civilization. Their achievements in art, philosophy, history, and science shaped the growth of Western civilization. Many of these cultural aspects began with Greece's Golden Age. The Greek's Golden Age was a time of peace and cultural prosperity, and it was the time from which most of Greece's contributions to Western civilization originated. Democracy, myths, and the Olympics all began with the ancient Greeks.

Among the many aspects of Greek culture that have influenced Western Civilization, the most notable would be that of their philosophy. The Greeks believed that the human mind was capable of understanding everything. The three most distinguished philosophers of ancient Greece were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Aristotle believed that reason and the ability to think logically was he distinguishing characteristic of human beings and that a life guided by reason is superior to any other [Document 2], a theory widely accepted in today's culture. Socrates, the most prominent of the Greek philosophers, suggested that, "The unexamined life is not worth living." [Document 1]. This quote suggests that a life lived without question or examination is not worth living because then reason, the most godlike part of human nature, goes to waste. This is another theory that Western civilization has widely adopted.

Many ideas of government also originated in ancient Greece. This is the theory of government that, "favors the many instead of the few."(Pericles, 430 B.C.) [Document 3]. In his Funeral Oration, given to the Athenians in about 430 B.C., Pericles describes a democratic government, with the expectation that his citizens will have equal opportunity to serve the public, and will ask their most distinguished citizens to make their political decisions. Most buildings in our nation's capital also have Greek characteristics. For example, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington was modeled after the famous Greek Building...
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