Greek Influence on Western Culture

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The ancient Greeks are considered to be the traditional starting point for Western civilization due to their significant contributions in areas such as government, architecture, mathematics, language, philosophy, religion, and mythology. Their civilization, particularly the city state of Athens, is viewed as an idealized model of rationality, ethics, and logic. During the age of Pericles, Athens developed democracy, which became a model for European culture. Greek architecture was built with meticulous mathematical design and included the extensive use of columns, which influenced modern architecture. Geometry, including the discovery of Pi, also had its beginnings in ancient Greece. Rationality, especially philosophy, emerged as a significant aspect of Greek civilization, with philosophers like Plato and Aristotle becoming the cornerstones of Western philosophy. Religion and mythology were also instrumental in shaping Greek civilization, and they have influenced Western literature and writers from subsequent eras. Overall, Greek civilization has had a far-reaching impact on Western civilization and is considered to be a significant source of Western culture.

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The Greeks are often regarded as the origins of “the west”. Athens, the heart of Greek civilization, symbolizes the emergence of rationality, ethics, and logic. The impressive achievements of the Greeks have greatly influenced western civilization.

The Greek culture had a significant impact on different areas of Western society, such as government, architecture, mathematics, language, and philosophy. During the time of Pericles, the preferred form of government was one that guaranteed equal participation for all citizens, regardless of their wealth or social status. This type of government was known as democracy, which translates to “government by the people.” Athens was the first society to establish democracy in recorded history and became an influential political model for European societies.

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Grecian architecture in ancient times had its own established conventions. Structures in Greece were constructed with precise mathematical design, believing that symmetrical and perfectly proportioned buildings were of great importance. The extensive utilization of columns was another prominent characteristic of ancient Greek architecture. Three main types were employed: the Doric, featuring plain capitals; the ionic, with capitals fashioned after ram’s horns; and the Corinthian, mirroring acanthus leaves.

These three styles, geometry, and Ancient Greece’s influence on modern civilization all intersect in modern architecture. Euclid, a mathematician in Ancient Greece, played a pivotal role in these intersecting disciplines. Through his work on geometric proofs and theories, Euclid made significant contributions to the field of mathematics, including the discovery of Pi.

The ratio between the diameter and circumference of a circle was represented by this number. Rationality, particularly in philosophy, was a remarkable characteristic of Greek civilization. Its emergence not only symbolized the advancement of Greece, but also played a crucial role in the development of western and global civilization. Greek Philosophers served as the foundation for Western Philosophy.

Plato and Aristotle are the foundations of thought for many influential thinkers throughout history. Both Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle made significant contributions to ancient Greek rationality, earning them immense respect that persists to this day. Additionally, religion and mythology greatly influenced Greek civilization. Without them, Greek civilization would lose its vibrancy and grandeur.

Determining the religious beliefs and attitudes of the “ordinary” ancient Greek has proven to be surprisingly difficult due to the general character of Greek religion and the nature of the surviving ancient sources. The origin of western literature and a major source of inspiration for writers throughout history, religion and mythology are inseparable from Greek civilization, making it essential for the existence of western civilization today.

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Greek Influence on Western Culture. (2017, May 07). Retrieved from

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