The ancient Greeks contributed much to Western civilization. Their achievements in philosophy, government, medicine, and architecture helped the growth of the Western civilization. Many of the cultural aspects of life all began with Greece’s Golden Age. it was a time of peace and cultural success. It was also a time where most of Greece’s gifts or contributions to Western civilization originated and began. Olympics was also a huge thing that began with the Greeks!
Although the Ancient Greeks had many achievements, their most important one was about their success in philosophy. The Greeks thought that the three most important philosophers of Ancient Greece were Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. Socrates, the most important and famous of all the philosophers suggest ” The unexamined life is not worth living.”(Doc.1) This quote suggest that a life lived without question or examination is not worth living because the most godlike part of human goes to waste! Aristotle believed that anyone could find happiness and connected to God at all times. He also believed that reason and the ability and to think logically was he distinguishing characteristic of human beings and that a life guided by reason is superior to any other.(Doc.2) This is another theory that Western civilization has widely adopted the socratic method.
Many ideas of government also originated from Ancient Greece. This is the type of government that “favors the many instead of the few.”(Doc.3) Pericles describes a democratic government, with the expectation that his citizens will have equal opportunity to serve the public and will ask their most important citizens to determine their political decisions. The government was open to anyone who wanted to vote, instead of the white males who owned property like other governments ran back then. Also a man may serve the country no matter how low his position on the social scale was.(Doc.3) The Western civilization like this type of government and later changed their government into a democratic formed government.
The Greeks believed that healthy bodies made the best use of nature’s gift. This is why Greek men who can afford relaxing time spent most of their afternoons in gymnasium practicing sports or working out to help their bodies towards perfection. As a result for Greece’s love and respect for the human form, the Olympics were founded! The Greek sculptor, Myron honored the Olympic discus thrower by creating a masterpiece of a sculpture to represent the Olympic event.(Doc.8) The statue reveals the Greek’s passion for human form and the Western civilization later picked up on this too!
Greece’s art and architecture have influenced western society for thousands of years, and continue to influence us today. Just look at the downtown of nearly any major city in the U.S., or many of the great cities around the world! Most of the cities have buildings or architecture that have Greek characteristics. For example, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. was modeled after the parthenon with its equalized columns throughout the building.(Doc.7) Many specific features of this and other Greek buildings have greatly influenced Western civilization.
The ancient Greek civilization created many lasting contributions to Western civilizations in the areas of philosophy, government, medicine, and architecture. Within each area, the ancient Greek philosophers, doctors, and other workers made very large contributions to their society. Each person made a lasting mark in ancient Greek history that the Western civilizations used as little steps to establish values within their own civilizations. For example, Socrates and Aristotle helped shape the Western culture’s outlook on their whole life. Without the ancient Greeks, the Western world may not have as much establishment or values that it possesses today.