5 gifts Ancient Greece gave to the world.
- It was home to the first recognized historian. The mission of Herodotus, also known as the “father of history,” was to make sure that “human achievement may be spared the ravages of time, and that everything great and astounding, and all the glory of those exploits which served to display Greeks and barbarians alike to such effect, be kept alive – and additionally, and most importantly, to give the reason they went to war.”
- It’s the birthplace of world-famous mathematicians. The earliest mathematic theorems, Thales’ theorem, and Intercept theorem, both stemmed from the work of Thales of Miletus, recognized as the first of the seven wise men of Greece. Thale’s theorem, which asserts that an angle inscribed in a semicircle is a right angle, lies at the crux of any modern-day geometry class. Following Thales, Pythagoras of Samos coined the word mathematics, meaning “that which is learned.” Some of us may be able to recount the critical geometry theorem named after him as well.
- It’s the foundation of Western philosophic thought. Pythagoras is also responsible for the word philosophy, signifying “a love of wisdom.” From Socrates to Plato to Aristotle, the Greeks expanded the new field into one of research and conversation regarding the role of knowledge, the capabilities of the human senses, and how man exists within the world. Each of these elements has had a direct impact on the shaping of Western thought as we know it.
- It educated and entertained us with mythology. When it came to magical storytelling, the ancient Greeks were true professionals. Their myths were used to teach people about gods, heroes, nature, and why they practiced their religion the way they did. The narratives chart the globe, sharing new adventures and life truths with anyone who chooses to listen. From Achilles and Poseidon to Hercules and Athena, these stories have preserved the most colorful parts of Greek history well into the present day.
- It created the Olympic games. The breathtaking city of Olympia is home to one of the world’s greatest — and oldest — sport event traditions. More than 3,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks began hosting the games every four years in honor of the god Zeus.
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