What Are Some Influences of Ancient Greece Today?

Ancient Greece has left an indelible mark on the world, influencing our culture, politics, philosophy, and art in ways that we might not even realize. From the Olympics to democracy and Western philosophy to literature and mythology, ancient Greece continues to be a source of inspiration and fascination for people around the globe.

The Olympics

The Olympic Games are an event that has been held every four years since ancient times in honor of Zeus. The modern Olympic Games were revived in 1896 by a Frenchman named Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who was inspired by ancient Greece’s athletic competitions. To this day, the Olympic Games remain one of the most significant international events.

Democracy

Ancient Greece is known as the birthplace of democracy. The word “democracy” comes from two Greek words: “demos,” meaning people, and “kratos,” meaning power or rule. Athens was home to the world’s first democracy in 508 BCE when Cleisthenes introduced a system of government that gave all male citizens (excluding slaves) an equal say in decision-making.

Philosophy

Western philosophy has its roots in ancient Greece. It was here that intellectuals such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle developed their ideas on metaphysics, ethics, politics and more. Their teachings have been studied for centuries and continue to influence modern philosophy.

Socrates

Socrates believed that knowledge was essential to human flourishing and that one could only be truly happy if they knew what was right and wrong.

Plato

Plato believed in absolute truth and developed his ideas through dialogues between his characters. He thought that there were perfect forms or ideas beyond our material world which we could access through reason alone.

Aristotle

Aristotle believed that the purpose of life was to achieve happiness, which he defined as living a life of virtue. He also invented the scientific method and made significant contributions to fields such as logic, biology, and ethics.

Literature and Mythology

Ancient Greece’s literature and mythology has inspired countless writers and artists throughout history. The epic poems of Homer, “The Iliad,” and “The Odyssey,” are still read today. Greek myths continue to be retold in movies, books, and TV shows.

Conclusion

These are just a few examples of how ancient Greece influences us today. From the way we govern ourselves to our cultural pursuits, Greece’s legacy is deeply embedded in our lives. It’s fascinating to think that ideas that were developed thousands of years ago continue to shape our world today.