Five finds from ancient Greece that shaped our modern world


Ancient greeks
The theater started in ancient Athens. The first productions were based on religious ceremonies, represented through tragedy, but over time other genres like comedy and satire were created. Credit: Wikipedia /Public domain.

If you are wondering exactly what were the contributions of ancient Greece to our modern world, here is just a small sample of the major inventions and discoveries of the ancient Greeks that are remarkably used until today.

The awakening of Plato

Plato, the famous ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician who founded the first institution of higher education in the Western world, the Academy of Athens, is said to have been the first person to introduce the first revival in human history.

In his effort to wake people up and get them to their classes on time – at dawn – Plato devised a mechanism that can be considered the first awakening.

In its mechanism, water would drip from one container to another through a small hole, and when the second container filled overnight, the trapped air was expelled from a side vent, causing it to hiss like a gas. kettle when it was filling up quickly.

Theater

The ancient Greek drama originated in the city-state of Athens, one of the most important cultural, military and political centers of ancient Greece.

Artist's rendering of the ancient Greek theater of Dionysus.
Artist’s impression of the Theater of Dionysus. Credit: Wikipedia /Public domain.

Around 700 BC.

The three major dramatic forms of classical Greek theater that originally flourished in Athens, later spreading to many other allied city-states and colonies, were tragedy, comedy, and satyr play (which preserves the structure and characters of the tragedy while adopting a cheerful atmosphere and a rural setting).

The principle of the Greek mathematician Archimedes

The exclamation “Eureka! is attributed to the brilliant Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer Archimedes, who lived from 287 to 212 BC.

After performing one of the greatest experiments of all time while taking his bath, Archimedes spoke his famous line.

The brilliant polymath was the first person on Earth to realize that “the force of upward buoyancy exerted on a body submerged in a fluid, whether fully or partially submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body is moving. “.

Olympic Games

The first Olympic Games date back to 776 BC. The sports competitions, held every four years for representatives of various city-states of ancient Greece in honor of Zeus, were a celebration of the achievements of the human body. They were staged in the ancient plains of Olympia, a town located in the western part of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece.

ancient greek vase
Ancient Greek vase representing a race. Credit: Matthias Kabel / Wikimedia Commons /CC BY 2.5

Victory at the Olympics was one of the greatest honors that could be bestowed on a mortal, but apart from a wreath made of olive branches, no material rewards were given to the victors. They were celebrated until 394 AD when the Games, held in honor of Zeus, were suppressed by Emperor Theodosius I in his efforts to impose Christianity as the only religion in the Roman Empire.

Courts

Courts in the 4th and 5th centuries BC Athens consisted of 200, 500, 1000 or 1500 members (+1 to avoid links). The annual jury pool, which was called Heliaia, numbered around 6,000 members.

Precinct of the ruins of Heliae, the supreme court of ancient Athens.
The ruins of Heliae, the Supreme Court of ancient Athens. Credit: Wikipedia /Public domain.

Athenian jurors, who belonged to different social classes because they were chosen at random, received payment of two, then three obols per day. Jurors were to swear by the gods of Apollo, Zeus and Demeter the heliastic oath while they were seated on wooden benches, separated from the spectators.