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Greek Influence on Western Culture

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Greek Influence on Western Culture

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  • December 31, 2006
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What were the contributions to Western civilization from the ancient Greeks?

The Greek civilization contributed greatly to the development of modern Western culture. Three of the most important contribution that are the foundations of our society are Language, Philosophy, and Government.

The people of ancient Greece developed a sophisticated language with an extraordinarily rich vocabulary. It has existed for nearly 3,500 years, the longest of any language derived from early Indo-European. It also has a heavy influence on the English speaking civilization of the West. Like English Greek, was phonetic, and, was the first language that used vowels. Greek's incredibly diverse vocabulary also influenced and contributed to modern English. Thirteen point two percent of Modern day English is derived from the vocabulary of ancient Greece.

Greek's written language has also influenced the creation of the English alphabet. The Greek alphabet produced many letters that are similar to the English. For example Greek's Beta is extremely similar to the English letter B. The letters of the Greek alphabet are used today in modern English to represent mathematic and scientific concepts and/or variables, and, even more popularly, as names for sororities and fraternities.

The people of Greece not only contributed to language, they also influenced the values, and morals of Western culture through philosophy. The Greeks were people of reason, they wanted to know and understand why things happened, and they are considered the founders of both science and philosophy.

The Greeks asked fundamental questions about life. Such as what is life, what is it made of, and where does life come from. Through these questions and their justifications the Greeks were able to make conclusions about the value of life, and morals. These ideals are still used today where the value of life and human morals are considered to be heroic. For example one of the great philosophers of Greece,...