Greece’s Effect on Western Civilization

Topics: Ancient Greece, Democracy, Western culture Pages: 2 (531 words) Published: February 10, 2013
Greece’s Effect on Western Civilization
The ancient Greek civilization began at around 2000 B.C. It was a very progressive civilization that developed new ideas in fields of science, geometry, philosophy, sports, and government. Greek civilization set a basis for Western civilization and influenced it greatly. Although the Greeks had contributed many ideas to Western civilization such as democratic form of government and advances in math and sciences, the ultimate contribution of the Greek civilization was the idea that through human reason and learning from mistakes, anything can be achieved by a human being, given the opportunity.

Today most western countries have democratic governments based on the same government structure that the Greeks introduced to the world. Pericles, a Greek statesman that contributed to the development of a direct democracy in Greece, stated the following in one of his speeches: “our plan of government favors the many instead of the few: that is why it is called a democracy.”(Doc. 3) He goes on further to say that “every citizen has an equal opportunity to serve the public… no matter how low his position on the social scale” (Doc. 3). Similar to the democracies of today, the Greek democracy gave opportunities to serve the public to any citizen who wanted to, regardless of their social status. These Greek ideas define modern democracy in Western civilization.

Many ideas used by modern science were originated by the great Greek thinkers such as Euclid, Hippocrates and Archimedes. “If two straight lines cut one another, the vertical, or opposite, angles shall be equal“ (Doc. 5), is Euclid’s proposition 15, which is taught in all American high schools today (including University High School), as part of Euclidian geometry. Every doctor in the western civilization takes the Hippocratic oath to do no harm (Doc.4). Columns, similar to those in the Parthenon (Doc. 7), are a part of many modern structures. These and many other Greek...
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