Ancient Greek Contributions Dbq Essay

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The ancient Greeks made many lasting contributions to Western civilizations. Many achievements of the ancient Greek civilization have positively affected the west. Roots in the most influenced areas of math, art, philosophy, and drama can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. The ancient Greek mathematician Euclid influenced mathematics in a large way after developing the Pythagorean theorem. His theorem (written around 300 B. C. ) stated that “If two straight lines cut one another, the vertical, or opposite, angles shall be the same” (Doc. 5). Euclid wrote this theorem to set a base rule to help find the sum of the angles of a triangle.

The Pythagorean theorem is still used today in mathematics thanks to Euclid’s contribution to society. Perhaps the most famous piece of ancient Greek art work is Myron’s famous marble sculpture of The Discus Thrower (Diskobolus) (Doc. 8). Myron’s art represents an Olympic event called Discus (Doc. 8). The marble sculpture is notable because it reveals the ancient Greek value of athletics. The ancient Olympics was made up of a series of athletic matches that the people of the city-states within Greece would participate in. The city-states would put aside all differences to participate in these events to show their victory.

The Olympics, that the ancient Greeks held, inspired other civilizations to hold an Olympics to test their athletes as well. A world Olympics is still held today every four years.

The ancient Greek philosophers Socrates was a radical thinker of his time. Socrates (470-399 B. C. ) was an Athenian philosopher who believed in questioning life (Doc. 1). He did not want people to except things as they were and thought that things were meant to be pondered upon. The Socratic seminar is a teaching method that was developed based on Socrates’ quote “The unexamined life is not worth living” (Doc. ). A Socratic seminar is made up of a group of people who are presented with an open-ended question that they may add to or discuss ideas with the group about what the question is asking. The Socratic method is still a widely used teaching practice in Western Civilizations. Along with Socrates, Aristotle (384-322 B. C. ) was another influential ancient Greek philosopher. Aristotle thought that human reason was a “godlike” part of human nature (Doc. 2). He also believed that “a life guided by human reason is superior to any other” (Doc. 2).

These philosophies that both Socrates and Aristotle taught are still used in Western civilization today, thus showing the ancient Greek contribution in philosophy. The drama that unfolds within the play Antigone (written in about 441 B. C. ) by Sophocles teaches Western civilizations the values that the ancient Greeks believed in (Doc. 6). In the plot of the play, Antigone defies the king and buries her brother after he dies while leading a rebellion (Doc. 6). Antigone decided to go against (the King) Creon and buries her brother, and she says “For me it was not (god) Zeus who made that order.

Nor do I think that your orders were strong so that you, a mortal man, could overrun the gods’ unwritten and unfailing laws… ” (Doc. 6). The lines show that Creon was trying to convince Antigone that she defied Zeus’s orders but she continues to think that it was all only just the king’s order. The play showed that the ancient Greek value of gods must be upheld. The play had a big contribution to the Western civilizations because it taught them to only believe their gods and trust only within their own god’s wishes.

The ancient Greek civilization created many lasting contributions to Western civilizations in the areas of math, art, philosophy, and drama. Within each area, the ancient Greek philosophers, playwrights, artists, and mathematicians made personal and/ or large contributions to their society. Each person made a lasting mark in ancient Greek history that the Western civilizations used as building blocks to establish values within their own civilizations. Without the ancient Greeks, the Western world may not have as much establishment or values that it posseses today.

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