The ancient Greek culture has had many effects on our own culture today. A few examples of these effects are: their invention of the Olympics, geometry, and the democratic government.
The first Greek Olympics were held at Olympia in 776 BC. They were rather different than the modern games. There were far fewer events. Supposedly, the very first organized Olympics consisted of only on event, the Stadion. In addition, only free men who spoke Greek were allowed to compete. They were held at Olympia every year. In today’s Olympics, there is a vast array of events, from track and field to snow. People from any country can compete and the location that they are held at changes. Like our Olympics, winning athletes in ancient Greek times were heroes who put their hometowns on the map. Today the Olympic Games are the world’s largest gathering of athletic skill and competitiveness. They display nationalism, commerce, and politics. The games were held every four years from 776 BC to 393 AD, when they were abolished. The ancient Olympic Games lasted for 1170 years. If the Modern Olympic games last that long, they will still be held in 3066 AD.
The Greek’s advances in geometry laid the way for much accomplishment later. Euclid organized the findings of Greek geometry in a book called Elements. This book was used as a textbook in Islamic and European universities well into the 1900s. Archimedes was a student in Euclid’s school at Alexandria. He worked with levers, inclined planes, wedges, screws, wheels, and pulleys to develop laws for what governed their motions. These items are fundamental to many simple machines that help multiply human work productivity. By using a simple wedge, you can use very little force to move a huge item or use a pulley to lift heavy objects without blowing your back out. Besides paving the way for Archimedes and his machines, geometry is useful itself in many situations for contracting and other scientific industries.
Perhaps the Greek’s greatest contribution to our modern day society is the democratic government. They slowly came to realize that people have individual importance. Some city-states went to the democratic government where the free men had the right to vote. Though our democratic government is not the exact same, its roots are in Greek government. The Greek’s government may not have been successful because of constant power struggles. The United States’ democratic government is what makes it the best country to live in, in the entire world. We have police to serve and protect, an organized road system, and a government that we (supposedly) have the control over. We are free peoples with the right to our own religion, free speech, and many other rights taken for granted. Thank you ancient Greece for a democratic government.