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Ancient Greece Essay

The Influence of Ancient Greece on Contemporary World

It is no secret that the whole Western Civilization in this or that way stems from the culture that thrived on the Balkan Peninsula more than two thousand years ago and was characterized by unusual level of development of a number of sciences and schools of thought. Ancient Greece was something like a beacon of civilization among the ocean of barbarity – and even the very word “barbarian” was first used by the Greeks and meant every person that did not speak Greek language and thus wasn’t considered to be a member of cultured humanity.

Philosophy, mathematics, physics, geometry, sculpture, architecture – these are among the few disciplines that were, in their modern sense, created by the ancient Greeks. They may have evolved greatly since then, but before that time there was no widely-accepted notion of any organized knowledge. Even history itself was never perceived as the direct line before it was understood so by the Greeks – the history of old wasn’t understood as the ongoing process. People kind of lived in mythological times without separating legendary happenings from real life. It was alright for a person to be a grand-grandson of this or that god, it was really considered to be true and existing.

The civilization of ancient Greece became a kind of turning point. During its existence many of these prehistoric notions weren’t eradicated completely, but the foundations were created for a new kind of world. Greece had one of the cultures that contained the spirit of the Western Civilization in itself, the spirit that is represented by individualism, rationality and productivity. Later it was transferred to the ancient Rome, then to medieval Europe, led it into Renaissance and modern period of history, so we may say for sure that there is a direct link between us and the ancient Greeks. Following one of the widely-known sayings of the British writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton, a modern Englishman has much more chances to understand an ancient Greek in his toga and more than two millennia separating them, than to understand a Chinese who speaks perfect English, wears a modern suit and, in fact, shares with him a table in a café.

Many people consider that it was in the ancient Greece that the human’s philosophical thought reached its acme, and afterwards there has only been deterioration. Such people as Aristotle and Plato are still considered to be the most important thinkers that have ever existed – it may be said that all the contemporary philosophies are based on the ideas of one or another of them.

All this makes it clear that…

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