Greek Influence on Western Culture Essay
The traditional starting point for what we sometimes refer to as “the west” is in Ancient Greece. As one of the western civilization sources, Greek civilization is primarily an idealized view of one group of Greeks based in and around the city state of Athens which has come to symbolize the development of rationality, ethics and logic. Splendid achievements created by Greek have made a far-reaching influence on the western civilization.
The Greek culture served as a frame of reference for many aspects of Western life including government, architecture, mathematics, Language, and Philosophy.
During the age of Pericles, the ideal form of government was believed to be a government formed by all of the citizens regardless of wealth or social standing. This was known as democracy, literally meaning “government of the people”. Athens was the precursor to initiate the democracy in the human history and was regarded as a model of political system to European culture.
Grecian architecture formed its own conventions in the ancient world; buildings in Greece were built with meticulous mathematic design.
Great buildings were believed to be symmetrical, and perfectly proportioned.Another prominent aspect of ancient Greek architecture is the extensive use of columns. There were three basic types used, Doric which were plain capitals, ionic in which the capitals were fashioned after ram’s horns, and Corinthian which were made to mirror acanthus leaves.
These three styles superimposed themselves in modern architecture. Geometry, a cornerstone in modern civilization, also had its beginnings in Ancient Greece. Euclid, a mathematician, formed many geometric proofs and theories. He also came to one of the most significant discoveries of math, Pi.
This number showed the ratio between the diameter and circumference of a circle. Rationality especially philosophy are a phenomenal feature of Greek civilization. Its emergence not only symbolized that Greece went forward grandeur but also was an important aspect to the process of civilization of west and world. Greek Philosophers were essentially the base for Western Philosophy.
Plato and Aristotle are the cornerstones to almost every great thinker the world as ever had. Still now Plato, Socrates and Aristotle who had made great contributions to the ancient Greek in rationality had extremely high reputation and they are still quoted today.Also, religion and mythology has a great influence on Greek civilization. Greek civilization would lose its color and splendor without religion and mythology.
The general character of Greek religion and the nature of the ancient sources that happened to survive have made it surprisingly difficult to determine the religious beliefs and attitudes of the “ordinary” ancient Greek. Religion together with mythology became the origin of the whole western literature and almost all the writers of subsequent eras had sought materials from the old mythology, even today. In one word, western civilization can not be existent without Greek civilization.