Although there are varied opinions about the exact time period about the Greek civilization, one could approximate the period from 800 BCE to 140 BCE to be known as 'Ancient Greece.'
Ancient Greece had a huge influence on many aspects of the Western civilization like Science, Math, Literature, Politics, Astronomy, Philosophy and Art.
Ancient Greece was not a singular country but a collection of numerous city states or Poleis. There were around 1000 city states, the most well-known being Athens, Sparta, Phoebus, Rhodes, Elis, Corinth etc.
Every city had its own form of government. They differed from each other in their values and way of life and were often at war with one another.
Athens was named after the Goddess of wisdom and warfare Athena, who was the patroness of the city.
The Parthenon, one of the most renowned monuments in the world today, was built as a temple on the Acropolis of Athens in honor of Athena.
Sparta had the strongest military of all city states. The Spartans were very tough warriors. Spartan boys were trained from the young age of 7 and lived away from their homes in barracks for their training.
The Ancient Greeks were polytheists and worshiped 12 Gods known as The Twelve Olympians who lived on Mount Olympus and Zeus was the Father of all Gods.
The ancient Olympics game started as a festival in celebration of Zeus. This event was held every four years in Olympia.
Chariot racing, disc throwing, wrestling, foot racing were some of the sports.
Ancient Greeks Invented the Olympics.
Months before and during the Olympics were held, a ceasefire was called upon throughout Greece. No wars, fighting or death penalties were permitted so that spectators could travel in safely to attend the festival.
The Olympic Truce
The idea of democracy has its roots in ancient Greece where ‘Free Citizens’ would gather to vote in matters concerning the government.
That said, the democracy that we practice in the modern era is widely different than that of the Greeks.
In ancient Greece, only adult males were considered as Free Citizens who were allowed to vote, whereas women, children and slaves were considered Non-Citizens with no fundamental rights.
There was more slave population in ancient Greece than the citizen population. Every household in Greece had at least one slave.
The famous phrase “To take a bull by the horns” supposedly comes from the Greek mythology where Hercules was sent to save the island of Crete from a raging bull. Hercules did so by grabbing the bull by its horns and tying it down.
The math equation that we use till date a²+b²=c² known as the Pythagorean Theorem was presented by Greek thinker and mathematician Pythagoras.
The idea of Marathon is inspired by the story of Philippides, an Athenian herald, who ran 25 miles straight from Marathon to Athens to announce Greece’s victory over the Persian invasion, before he collapsed out of exhaustion and died.
Origination of Marathon
The Hippocratic Oath that the field of medicine refers to comes from the Greek physician Hippocrates II of Kos, who is considered to be the Father of Western Medicine.
The hallmark of ancient Greek influence can be attributed to the Greek poet Homer and his famed epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. Homer’s work is said to have been the foundational influence on majority of western literature, art, films and music, making it the most significant work of literature to exist till date.