What Effect Did Ancient Greece Have on History?

Ancient Greece is widely regarded as one of the most influential civilizations in human history. Its impact on Western culture, philosophy, art, and politics is still evident today. Let’s take a closer look at the effect that Ancient Greece had on history.

Political Influence

One of the most significant contributions of Ancient Greece was its political system. The Greeks were the first to establish a democratic government in Athens around 508 BC. This system allowed citizens to participate in decision-making processes and have a say in how their city-state was governed.

The concept of democracy spread throughout Europe and eventually to America during the Age of Enlightenment. Today, many countries around the world have adopted democratic principles inspired by Ancient Greece.

Philosophical Impact

Ancient Greece was also home to some of the greatest philosophers in history, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Their ideas about reason, logic, and ethics continue to influence modern philosophy.

Socrates’ method of questioning and challenging assumptions is still used today in fields such as law and education. Plato’s Republic remains a seminal work on political theory. Aristotle’s ideas about science and politics laid the groundwork for Western thought.

Cultural Contributions

The Greeks also made significant contributions to art, literature, and drama. Their architecture inspired Roman designs, which then influenced European architecture for centuries.

Greek mythology continues to be an enduring source of inspiration for artists and writers today. The epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey are still widely read and studied as some of the greatest works in Western literature.

Greek drama introduced the concepts of tragedy and comedy into theatre, which continue to be popular genres today.

Olympic Games

The Olympic Games were first held in ancient Greece in 776 BC as a way to honor Zeus. These games showcased athletic prowess among city-states who would often compete against each other.

Today, the Olympic Games are a global phenomenon and are held every four years. The modern Olympics still maintains some traditions from Ancient Greece, such as the lighting of the Olympic flame and the use of Greek words in official ceremonies.


The impact of Ancient Greece on history cannot be overstated. From its political system to its philosophy and art, Greece’s contributions continue to shape our world today. Its legacy is a testament to the enduring power of human creativity and innovation.