Which Ancient Civilization Has Most Influenced Western Civilization?

Throughout the course of human history, many civilizations have left a significant impact on the way we live our lives today. However, one civilization stands out as having the most profound influence on Western civilization. This civilization is none other than Ancient Greece.

The Influence of Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece was a civilization that existed from around 800 BC to 146 BC. During this time, the Greeks made significant contributions to fields such as philosophy, literature, science, and art. Their ideas and innovations have had a lasting impact on Western civilization.


The Greeks were some of the first people in history to ask fundamental questions about the nature of existence and reality. They developed a branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, which deals with abstract concepts such as being and time.

Some of the most famous Greek philosophers include Plato and Aristotle. Plato founded the Academy in Athens, which was one of the first institutions of higher learning in Europe. Aristotle was a polymath who made significant contributions to fields such as biology, physics, and ethics.


The Greeks were also known for their epic poetry and drama. The two most famous works of Greek literature are Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. These two poems tell the story of the Trojan War and its aftermath.

Greek drama was also highly influential. Plays by playwrights such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides explored themes such as justice, revenge, and fate.


The Greeks were pioneers in many fields of science. They were among the first people to develop a system for classifying living things based on their characteristics (taxonomy).

One of the most famous Greek scientists was Archimedes. He made significant contributions to mathematics and physics; he is credited with discovering principles related to buoyancy and density.


Greek art is known for its realism and attention to detail. The Greeks were skilled in many different mediums, including sculpture, pottery, and painting.

Perhaps the most famous example of Greek art is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The Parthenon is considered one of the greatest achievements of Western architecture.

The Legacy of Ancient Greece

The influence of Ancient Greece can be seen in many aspects of Western civilization. For example:

– The Greek alphabet is still used today. – Many words in English are derived from Greek roots.

– The Olympic Games, which originated in ancient Greece, are still held today. – Democracy, which was invented in Athens during the 5th century BC, remains a cornerstone of many Western governments.

In conclusion, it is clear that Ancient Greece has had a profound influence on Western civilization. From philosophy to literature to science and art, their ideas and innovations have shaped the way we think about ourselves and our world.