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Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece

            The Parthenon, a temple, located on the Acropolis in Athens, is one of the most representative symbols of the culture of the ancient Greeks.

            Ancient Greece is the civilization belonging to the period of Greek history lasting from the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity and beginning of the Early Middle Ages.

            Classical Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean region and Europe. Classical Greece provided the foundation of Western civilization,

            Herodotus is widely known as the "father of history". Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as  Demosthenes, Plato and Aristotle. Their scope is further limited by a focus on political, military and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history.

            In the 8th century BC the Greek alphabet was created. From about the 9th century BC written records begin to appear.

            A mercantile class rose in the first half of the 7th century, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC.

            By the 6th century BC several cities had emerged as dominant in Greek affairs: Athens, Sparta and Corinth. Each of them had brought the surrounding rural areas and smaller towns under their control, and Athens and Corinth had become major maritime and mercantile powers as well.

            For most of Greek history, education was private, except in Sparta. During the Hellenistic period, some city-states established public schools. Only wealthy families could afford a teacher. Boys learned how to read, write and quote literature. They also learned to sing and play one musical instrument and were trained as athletes for military service. They studied not for a job but to become an effective citizen. Girls also learned to read, write and do simple arithmetic so they could manage the household. They almost never received education after childhood.

            Boys went to school at the age of seven, or went to the barracks, if they lived in Sparta.

            Boys from wealthy families attending the private school lessons were taken care of by a household slave selected for this task who accompanied the boy during the day. Classes were held in teachers' private houses and included reading, writing, mathematics, singing, and playing the lyre and flute. When the boy became 12 years old the schooling started to include sports such as wrestling, running, and throwing discus and javelin. In Athens some older youths attended academy for the finer disciplines such as culture, sciences, music, and the arts. The schooling ended at age 18, followed by military training in the army usually for one or two years.

            A small number of boys continued their education after childhood. The richest students continued their education by studying with famous teachers. Some of Athens' greatest such schools included the Lyceum founded by Aristotle and the Platonic Academy founded by Plato.

            Ancient Greek society placed considerable emphasis upon literature. Many authors consider the western literary tradition to have begun with the epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey, which remain giants in the literary canon for their skillful and vivid depictions of war and peace, honour and disgrace, love and hatred.

            Philosophy entered literature in the dialogues of Plato, who converted the give and take of Socratic questioning into written form. Aristotle, Plato's student, wrote dozens of works on many scientific disciplines, but his greatest contribution to literature was likely his Poetics, which lays out his understanding of drama, and thereby establishes the first criteria for literary criticism.

            Ancient Greek mathematics contributed many important developments to the field of mathematics, including the basic rules of geometry, the idea of formal mathematical proof, and discoveries in number theory, mathematical analysis, applied mathematics, and approached close to establishing the integral calculus. The discoveries of several Greek mathematicians, including Pythagoras, Euclid, and Archimedes, are still used in mathematical teaching today.

            The Greeks developed astronomy, which they treated as a branch of mathematics, to a highly sophisticated level.

Their ideas are:

  • the Earth rotates around its axis
  • a heliocentric system
  • estimation of  the circumference of the Earth with great accuracy
  • the first measurement of precession
  • the compilation of the first star catalogue
  • the modern system of apparent magnitudes.
  • a device for calculating the movements of planets, dates from about 80 BC, and was the first ancestor of the astronomical computer

            The ancient Greeks also made important discoveries in the medical field. Hippocrates was a physician of the Classical period, and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the "father of medicine”

            The art of ancient Greece has exercised an enormous influence on the culture of many countries from ancient times until the present, particularly in the areas of sculpture and architecture.

Категорія: Статті на різні теми | Додав: toha (06.10.2011)
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