pp-31 - The Legacy of Ancient Greece

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					The Legacy
of Ancient
             Greek Contributions
• Greek contributions:
  influence from the
  Greeks that affects us
  today, as in the areas
  –   Language
  –   Government
  –   Medicine
  –   Mathematics
  –   Science
  –   Architecture
  –   Entertainment
  –   Sports
             Greek Contributions
             Modern Language and Literature

• Alphabet
  – Our
    grew out of
    the one the
• How many
  letters look
• How many of
  their names
  do you
                Greek Contributions
                  Modern Language and Literature
• Literature:                                      • Thucydides
                                                     wrote only one
   – Drama                                           book; its modern
       • Comedy, Tragedy                             title is the History of the
                                                     Peloponnesian War.
   – Historical writing                            • one of the first true
• Herodotus is known as the                          historians
  “father of history.”                                 • he created the first
• He is almost exclusively known for writing             scientific approach to
  The Histories, a collection of 'inquiries'             history
  about the different places and people he             • consulted written
                                                         documents and
  met during travels around the
                                                         interviewed participants in
  Mediterranean and into Mesopotamia.                    the events that he
• The unifying theme of his work is the                  recorded
  conflict between the ancient Greeks and          • Quote: "The strong do what
  the Persians.                                      they can and the weak
                                                     suffer what they must."
Greek Contributions
    Modern Government

              • Our form of
                government was a
                Greek idea.
                  – Democracy, or rule
                    by the people, began
                    in Athens.
                  – The practice of
                    having citizens serve
                    on juries also began
                    in Greece.
        Greek Contributions
                 Modern Government

      • Citizens                         • We elect
  debated and voted                     representatives to
   on every issue.                         speak for us and
                         • Citizens         make laws.
                        control their    • Today, women are
• Only native-born      own destiny.
men could be citizens                     citizens, and people
 in Athens.                               from other countries
                                          can become U.S.
                                          citizens, too.
Greek Contributions
    Modern Medicine

                 • For centuries, the
                   Greeks believed that
                   the gods and
                   goddesses controlled
                   natural events,
                   including health and
                      – The earliest Greeks
                        thought that illness and
                        accidents were
                        punishments sent by the
                         • They didn’t know about
                           the natural causes of
                           disease and healing.
             Greek Contributions
                        Modern Medicine

• A Greek man named
  Hippocrates changed
  the way people thought
  about health and
  – Hippocrates brought a
    scientific way of thinking
    to his work as a doctor.
     • He believed that diseases
       had natural causes.
     • He taught his students to
       carefully observe their
       patients and write down
       what they saw.
          Greek Contributions
          Modern Understanding of the Body

• 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
          Greek Contributions
                 Modern Mathematics
• 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.
                              • geometry: the branch of
                                mathematics involving points,
                                lines, planes, and figures
               Greek Contributions
                        Modern Astronomy

• How far away are the sun
  and moon?
• How do planets move in
   – These are the kinds of
     questions asked by
   – The word, Astronomy
     comes from the Greek word
     astronomia meaning “star.”
   – Astronomy means the
     study of stars, planets, and
     other objects in space.
• Once again, the Greeks
  were pioneers in this field.
          Greek Contributions
                  Modern Astronomy

                • People in all
                 observed the
                 sun, moon, and
– 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.
          Greek Contributions
                 Modern Geography

• The work of Greek astronomers also contributed to
  geography, the study of the Earth’s surfaces.
• The word, geography,
  comes from the Greek word
  geographia which means
  “writing about the Earth.”
To describe where places were,
  they developed a system of
  longitude and latitude.
              Greek Contributions
       Modern Understanding of Plants and Animals

• The Greeks identified many types of plants
                           and named their
                                        – They learned how
                                          plants reproduce
                                          by spreading
                                        – They also discovered that
                                          some plants are useful as
                                        – Greek doctors used many
                                          plants, especially herbs, to
                                          reduce pain and help people
       Greek Contributions
Modern Understanding of Plants and Animals

                                             • 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
                                  – 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.
            Greek Contributions
                   Modern Architecture

• The word architecture comes from the Greek word,
  arkhitekton which means "master builder," from
  arkhi- "chief" + tekton "builder, carpenter."
• The Greeks used:
  – columns to make their
   temples balanced and
  – pediments, the triangular
   shapes where roof lines
   come together
  –decorative bands called
                  Greek Contributions
                           Modern Architecture

• Greek styles are still used in many buildings today.
                                                       - First Presbyterian
                                                       Church of Cranbury,
                                                          New Jersey -

buildings - The White
       House -
            libraries               - Carnegie Art
     - New York Public Library     Museum, Oxnard,
                                         CA -
                                                     - Johnson Hall at the
                                                     University of Oregon -
               Greek Contributions
                           Modern Theater

                                  • The word, theater, comes from the
                                     Greek word theatron, which
                                      means "place for viewing," from
                                     theasthai "to behold" (cf. thea "a
                                     view," theates "spectator") +
                                      -tron, suffix denoting place
                                  • Greek theaters were built as
  – The rows of seats rose steeply from the stage so
    that everyone in the audience could see and
• These ideas influence the way
theaters are built today.
            Greek Contributions
                     Modern Theater

• 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
  – Greek dramas are still performed
    today all over the world.
               Greek Contributions
                          Modern Sports

                            • 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
-This custom comes from the time
  when the first Olympic athletes
  lit a fire on the altar of Zeus.
                 Greek Contributions
                            Modern Sports

• Many modern Olympic events grew out of Greek contests.
   – One example is the pentathlon.
   – The word, pentathlon, which means “five contests,” comes from the
     Greek words pente meaning "five" and athlon meaning "prize, contest.“
   – The Greek pentathlon included:
                                                           long jump



        discus throw
                                                   javelin throw
                 Greek Contributions
                         Modern Sports

• 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.                swimming         running


Review – The Legacy of Ancient Greece
•   Language and Literature
•   Government
•   Medicine
•   Understanding of the Body
•   Mathematics
•   Astronomy
•   Geography
•   Understanding of Plants and Animals
•   Architecture
•   Theater
•   Sports

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