“Greek civilization is alive; it moves in every breath of mind that we breathe; so much of it remains that none of us in one lifetime could absorb it all.” Ancient Greeks are known to be one of the greatest and most advanced people and have left behind a legacy that helped define the Western civilization. Cultural diffusion helped spread Greek culture all over the world, and its effects can still be felt today in almost every aspect. Greek culture has greatly affected different parts of my daily life including architecture, food, government, inventions, music, religion, and education.
Modern day architecture in America is greatly influenced by ancient Greek architectural styles, which include columns and decorative elements such as sculptures. The Parthenon is an excellent example of the surviving Greek architecture, and it has inspired buildings such as The Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, and White House, all of which are located in Washington DC.
Some of the food I consume daily has origins from the Greek cuisine. The most distinctive and ancient ingredients in Greek cuisine include olive oil, yogurt, honey, fresh veggies, and meat, which are all part of my diet. Another important aspect of Greek cuisine is dining out and sharing food with family and friends, which is called paraia in Greek. Lawrence Durrell, a British poet and novelist, who spent part of his life in Greek, eloquently defined this word as, “a transcendence of the dinner table to include conversation, the view, ambiance and the overall spirit of place.” The concept of paraia is something that is practiced and cherished in my household.
The type of government practiced in ancient Greece was democracy. The word democracy comes from the Greek language and combines the words dêmos (“people”) and krátos (“rule”). Pericles, a Greek statesman and leader during the Peloponnesian War, was a supporter of democracy, and delivered his famous speech called Pericles’ Funeral Oration at the end of the war. In this speech, he outlined the constituents of democracy: "If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences...if a man is able to serve the state; he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition. The freedom we enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life. There, far from exercising a jealous surveillance over each other, we do not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbor for doing what he likes..." Greek democracy helped inspire the creation of modern democracy, including the government of America.
The Greeks made several inventions, most notably in the subject of math, which are still studied today and taught in school. Mathematician Euclid is often credited as the “Father of Geometry” for all his work and studies in this subject, which are compiled in his books called The Elements. He organized known geometrical statements called theorems and logically proved all of them. He proved the theorem of...