Greek Cultural Contributions

Natalie Schultz

Architecture

Greek architecture is known for its columns. There are three types of columns: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Other types of Greek art include pottery, sculptures, and paintings. Every city-state had a temple that was dedicated to a specific god. They went there to worship and make sacrifices. Some leaders like Pericles and Alexander the Great spread the Greek architecture throughout Europe.
We see Greek influence in architecture today in important buildings. The White House, Capital Building, Supreme Court, and the Lincoln Memorial all have columns that show Greek influence.

Government

Ancient Greek government was a direct democracy. Everyone had their say in government and everyone could vote. Leaders were chosen in a way of lottery. Council members would draw names out of a hat. In order to be drawn, you had to be male and over the age of 18. Leaders would draw a new council every year. All citizens were expected to participate in government. Unlike the U.S., Greece had slaves. The slaves were not allowed to participate in government. They had many wars in ancient Greece such as Battle of the Marathon, The First Persian War, The Peloponnesian War, and The Ionian War.

Our government today uses Greek examples such as having to be 18 to vote, having a democracy, and having term limits. (the president is limited to 4 years)

Philosophy

Greece was known for its philosophers. Some of the most famous ones include Aristotle, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Thales, and Gorgias. Aristotle is believed to have been credited for inventing Science. Archimedes is credited for inventing PI, as well as many machines. Philosophers tried to answer questions such as What is Wisdom?, What is beauty?, and What is the Earth made of? They wrote many books such as Odessey, Iliad, and The Republic. They were "scary smart" because many people were afraid of them. The jury didn't respect them because they thought they were putting bad ideas into peoples heads.

We still see Greek philosophy in math skills like PI and geometry. Doctors today still use the Hippocratic Oath.

Mythology

In ancient Greece, people used storytelling to explain the world around them. For example, when Zeus was mad at something or someone, he would throw lightning bolts. (causing lightning on earth) Some mythological heroes included Hercules, Perseus, and Atlanta. Different gods stood for different things, Zeus was the ruler of mankind, Hades was guardian of the under world, and Poseidon was guardian of the seas. Mythology was believed to be written by Homer and Aesop. When people died, they believed that they would go to the underworld where they were then judged on weather they were a good person or not.

Greek mythology is seen in today's society because we not only do we still study it today, but we have examples such as the book series Percy Jackson and the movie Hercules.

Sports

The only citizens who were allowed to play sports in ancient Greece were free, male athletes. They played sports like boxing, weight-lifting, wrestling, and running. In order to watch sports you had to be a man, god, unmarried women, or government official. Athletic competition developed to honor the gods, they believed the gods would favor them. Ancient Greeks felt that athletes were heroes. They had statues built in their honor, parades were thrown, and they received free meals for a year.

Greek sports are reflected through the Olympics. We have many of the same events they had, such as, running, shot-put, long jump, discus, and horse racing at fairs.