Greek Cultural Contributions

Lauren Barnett

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 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

Greek government had a direct democracy. This meant that everyone could voice their opinion and vote on laws. A council was chosen by lottery and were limited to a 1 year service. To vote and participate in Greek government you had to be at least 18 years old. All white males over 18 were expected to vote in Greek government. Every 1 year leaders changed and new leaders were chosen from lottery. There was slavery in Ancient Greece. The wars that occurred were: Persian, Pelopannesian, and Spartan.

We see Greek influence in government today. We also have a democracy where people can vote. To participate in government today we have to be 18 years old. Also in our government today we have term limits. Presidents change every 4 years and they can only run twice.

Mythology

In Greek mythology the characters in the story explained natural occurrences. Some of the mythological heroes of Ancient Greece were: Hercules, Odysseus, Achilles, and Perseus. At least 10 gods of Ancient Greece included: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Athena, Artemis, Hephaestus, Apollo, Demeter, and Demeter. Some of the people who wrote mythology are: Aesop, Aeschylus, and Homer. According to the Ancient Greeks when they died they went to the underworld where they were judged.

We see Greek influence in mythology today. We have books that have Greek mythology influences in them like the Percy Jackson book series. Also there are movies that have Greek mythology influences in them like the movie Hercules. We still study Greek mythology today.

Philosophy

Some of Greek philosophy's philosophers were Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Euclid, Archimedes, Hippocrates, and Herodotus. Some ideas or beliefs of Archimedes were that he invented PI and other war machines. Pythagoras invented the Pythagorean theorem. Hippocrates had ideas in medicine and the Hippocratic Oath. Euclid had discoveries in geometry. Plato wrote The Republic. Some important questions Greek philosophers tried to answer were: What is wisdom? Does the universe have a purpose? How can we be happy? People were afraid of philosophers because they made the people question the government. Socrates was executed because they thought he was committing treason.

We see Greek philosophy today. We still see doctors using the Hippocratic Oath. We use some math skills today, like PI, Pythagorean theorem, and we still study geometry.

Sports

In sports in Ancient Greece only men were allowed to play. Some of the sports they played included: javelin, discus, pentathlon, wrestling, running, chariot racing, and boxing. Athletic competition developed in Ancient Greece to Honor gods. Ancient Greeks felt athletes were heroes. Athletes had statues made of them, parades for them, and free meals for a year.

We see Greek sports influences today. We still have the Olympics. We have many of the same events that they had in Ancient Greece like: javelin, running, shot put, and long jump. Also at county fairs we see horse racing.