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Ancient Greece

By aski85 Jan 13, 2014 625 Words
What were the contributions to Western Civilization from Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greeks achieved its Golden Age over 2000 years ago and many of its contributions have survived to influence Western Civilization. The Golden Age was a time of peace and prosperity. Western Civilization benefitted from the knowledge passed down from the Ancient Greeks in many diverse areas such as; philosophy, government and science. Ancient Greece helps Western Civilization build upon the foundations that took root over 2000 years ago. The Ancient Greeks contributed to Western Civilization through philosophy. Socrates was a Greek philosopher who lived from about 470 to roughly 399 B.C. He moved philosophy toward moral excellence and right behavior. Socrates encouraged questioning and analyzing of everything. Ben Franklin stated that one should always question authority and that comes from Socrates teaching (Doc1). Another great philosopher was a student of Socrates. His name was Plato. As Socrates didn’t write anything his contributions were only passed to Western Civilization because of Plato documenting it. Plato lived in Greece too and was another great philosopher who lived from 384-322 B.C. Aristotle was a student of Plato. Aristotle believed that knowledge would separate man from beast. Plato started the Lyceum, which was a school that allowed women. His teachings helped one of the greatest leaders become so powerful and so motivational. Plato taught Alexander the Great. Plato also believed that humans have the ability to think and make decisions (Doc 2). Another long lasting effect that the Ancient Greeks had to Western Civilization was government. Pericles’ Funcial Oration was given to the Athenians in about 430 B.C. The Athenians treated everyone equal under the law as their government was democratic. Athens was ruled by many people and it was encouraged that everybody should participate based on ability not on social status or wealth. They created laws which the Athenian people respected that kept them from doing wrong and protected those who have done wrong. This is very similar to the United States government. It states in the Declaration of Independence that “every man shall be treated equal” (Doc 3). In the play “Antigone” by Sophocles written in about 422 B.C. it describes the limit of the government in Greece. Antigone was a strong woman who believed she deserved individual civil rights. Antigone made clear that no mortal man should be able to take away gods’ unwritten and unfailing laws. The government had King Creon as king at the time who tried to deny the people of Greece their individual civil rights without fair justice. Government was a contribution that the ancient Greeks have to western civilization (Doc 5). Science has evolved over time but can be traced back to ancient Greece. Hippocrates was the creator of the Hippocratic Oath who lived from about 460 to 377 B.C. After thousands of years the Hippocratic Oath is still taken today by medical doctors. Hippocrates promised that he would do no harm and would take care of his patients to the best of his abilities. He also states that he would not give a deadly drug or suggest the drug. Hippocrates is also named “the father of medicine.” Many people in Hippocrates life time believed that if they were sick it was because of the gods, but he said that disease and sickness was caused by natural incidents not supernatural or the gods (Doc 4). The ancient Greeks made many lasting contributions to Western Civilizations. The ancient Greeks contributions have survived the test of time. The Greek culture has had a very profound impact on the way people live now. These impacts happened in a time of peace and prosperity. The achievements the ancient Greeks made have had a positive affect on the Western Civilization. Ancient Greeks have influenced areas such as philosophy, government and science.

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