Many historians have said that the modern world owes a tremendous debt to Ancient Greece. How is this so?

Answer: Greece was the foundation of much of Western culture today. From democracy, government, philosophy and science, to mathematics, art, literature and sport.

With its beginnings around 800 BCE, Ancient Greece dominated much of the Mediterranean and ruled great swathes of Europe and Western Asia.

The Greeks came before the Romans, and many aspects of Roman culture were influenced by the Greeks. The Olympics of today began in Ancient Greece. Then there was the towering intellect and wisdom of philosophers Aristotle, Plato and Socrates.

One historian has written that the Ancient Greeks “had a completely new concept of what human life, and indeed the human mind, was for.”

The earliest railway, the Diolkos, in around 600 BCE, enabled boats to be moved overland across the Isthmus of Corinth, and lasted for over 600 years.

One of the greatest feats of Ancient Greek engineering, the aqueduct of Eupalinos, in Samos, coursed through a mountain for over 1000 metres.

Expert shipbuilders and sailors, the Ancient Greeks voyaged to Mesopotamia, Egypt and beyond, returning with medicine and sculpture from the Egyptians, the alphabet from the Phoenicians, mathematics from the Babylonians, writing from the Sumerians.

As Plato said, “What the Greeks borrow from foreigners, they perfect.”

Source: Ancient Greece by Sarah B Pomeroy

More at: History

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