The Legacy of Ancient Greece Greek Contributions
Legacy of Ancient Greece
influence from the Greeks that affects us today, as in the areas of:
Our alphabet grew out of the one the Greeks used.
How many letters look familiar?
How many of their names do you recognize?
Our form of government was a Greek idea.
or rule by the people
, began in Athens.
The practice of having citizens serve on juries also began in Greece.
control their own destiny.
For centuries, the Greeks believed that the gods and goddesses controlled natural events, including health and sickness.
The earliest Greeks thought that illness and accidents were punishments sent by the gods.
They didn’t know about the natural causes of disease and healing.
A Greek man named Hippocrates changed the way people thought about health and medicine.
Hippocrates brought a
way of thinking to his work as a doctor.
He believed that diseases had natural causes.
He taught his students to carefully
their patients and write down what they saw.
As you know, the Greeks loved sports.
Their interest in athletics gave them some knowledge about the way people’s bodies move.
But their understanding of the body was limited.
Partly because they couldn’t look inside to see how the body works.
As these beliefs changed over time, the Greeks made new discoveries.
The Greeks loved reasoning and looked for answers to nature’s mysteries in mathematics.
One such scientist, Pythagoras, believed that numbers were the key to understanding nature.
He started a school where students developed mathematical theories.
– Like many Greeks, Pythagoras was especially fascinated by geometry.
the branch of
mathematics involving points
, lines, planes, and figures
How far away are the sun and moon?
How do planets move in space?
These are the kinds of questions asked by astronomers.
comes from the Greek word
Astronomy means the study of stars, planets, and other objects in space.
Once again, the Greeks were pioneers in this field.
• People in all civilizations observed the sun, moon, and stars.
But a Greek scientist named Aristarchus was the first person to suggest that Earth moves around the sun.
This idea upset many Greeks who believed that Earth was the center of the universe.
The work of Greek astronomers also contributed to geography, the study of the Earth’s surfaces.
, comes from the Greek word
which means “writing about the Earth.”
To describe where places were, they developed a system of longitude and latitude.
The Greeks identified many types of plants and named their parts.
They learned how plants reproduce by spreading seeds.
They also discovered that some plants are useful as medicines.
Greek doctors used many plants, especially herbs, to reduce pain and help people heal.
• The philosopher Aristotle was fascinated by living things.
– He collected information about many types of animals and plants.
– Then he organized animals into groups such as “those with backbones” and “those without backbones.”
– He also divided plants
into groups such as herbs
, shrubs, and trees.
• The way we classify, or group, animals and plants today reflects Aristotle’s work.
comes from the Greek word,
which means "master builder," from
The Greeks used:
columns to make their temples balanced and stately
, the triangular shapes
where roof lines come together
decorative bands called
Greek styles are still used in many buildings today.
• The word,
, comes from the Greek word
, which means "place for viewing," from
"to behold" (cf.
suffix denoting place
• Greek theaters were built as semicircles.
The rows of seats rose steeply from the stage so that everyone in the audience could see and hear.
These ideas influence the way
theaters are built today.
The Greeks even invented special effects. They used hoists to make people appear to fly.
They also created scenery that revolved, or turned.
-Perhaps the greatest Greek contributions to the theater are their stories and plays.
Writers throughout the ages have been inspired by Greek myths and stories.
Greek dramas are still performed today all over the world.
• The first Olympics were held in 776 B.C.E. to honor the Greek god Zeus.
• Today’s Olympics reflect ancient Greek customs.
-During the opening ceremony, an athlete lights the Olympic flame.
-This custom comes from the time when the first Olympic athletes lit a fire on the altar of Zeus.
Many modern Olympic events grew out of Greek contests.
One example is the pentathlon.
, which means “five contests,”
comes from the Greek words
meaning "five" and
meaning "prize, contest.“
The Greek pentathlon included:
The Greeks invented the pentathlon as a test of all-around athletic skill.
Although the five contests are different today, the pentathlon is still an Olympic event.
Review – The Legacy of Ancient Greece
Language and Literature
Understanding of the Body
Understanding of Plants and Animals
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