Ancient Greece had some of the world’s most spectacular sights and monuments of great architectural splendor, apart from boasting of numerous people who became world famous for their works. Greece is known for producing numerous “firsts”, such as the first democracy and the first philosophy. Associated with these firsts were the people who developed them. Many talents were produced that brought prominent changes to the world scenario. Due to the great historical significance, coupled with beautiful landscapes and interesting monuments, Greece has now become one of the most famous and sought-after destinations in the world. Given here are some popular Greek heroes and places in ancient Greece.
The Ancient Greek World: People
A Greek mathematician, physicist and engineer, Archimedes of Syracuse was born in 287 BC in Sicily and died in 212 BC. An inventor and astronomer, Archimedes designed a machine called the Archimedean screw that could make water flow uphill. He also designed other machines that were capable of lifting ships out of water and setting ships on fire using mirrors. Considered as the greatest mathematician of all times, his works still continue to inspire mathematicians across the world.
Alexander the Great
One of the greatest military geniuses of all times, Alexander was born in 356 BC in Pella Macedonia to an Army General, Philip Macedon and princess of Epirus, Olympias. After his father’s death, Alexander overthrew the Achaemenid Persian Empire and extended the boundaries of his empires. He was given the tile “Great”, since he conquered more lands than anyone before him had done and became the overall ruler of Greece.
Born in 496 BC, Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher. He is considered as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He has the famous concepts of Socratic irony and the Socrates method to his credit. Socrates is known for making contributions to the field of ethics, epistemology and logic. He had also mentored Plato, who taught Aristotle.
The famous Pythagorean Theorem has been named after this famous Ionian Greek mathematician. Known as the “Father of Numbers”, Pythagoras of Samos was also the founder of Pythagoreanism, a religious movement that was based on religious teaching, common meals, exercise, reading and the study of philosophy.
Another Greek philosopher, Aristotle was a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He wrote books on various subjects, such as physics, poetry, zoology, biology, politics, government, metaphysics, theater, music, logic, rhetoric and ethics.
The Ancient Greek World: Places
The Athenian Acropolis
One of the world’s most important archaeological sites, the Acropolis buildings has been the embodiment of Athens since 5 BC. The Acropolis is a precinct that contains several monuments, the most famous of them being the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple to Athena Nike and the monument entrance, the Propylaia. Constructed during the 5th century, these monuments were wrecked with plague and grievous defeats during wartime.
This was the legendary home of King Agamemnon who led the Greeks in the Trojan War. Mycenae was the chief city, located at the head of a valley overlooking the Argos Plain, which ruled a coalition of princely states during the Mycenaean period from 1600 to 100 BC. The site was a center of a rich culture that could be seen through large rooms, glass-sided cases, beautiful array of finely crafted grave goods and not to forget, the famous gold death masks.
Olympia was indeed one of the most beautiful sites in ancient Greece, the home of the ancient Olympic Games. Ever since 776 BC, the Olympic Games were held at this site after every four years, until they were banned by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II in 426 AD. The site has been preserved till date, by covering it with silt from the nearby Alpheios River.
Delphi was once a home to the Pythia, one of Greek’s most famous oracles. Located on a steep mountainside, it is considered as Greek’s one of the most evocative sites on a quiet day or misty morning.
Yet another important site of ancient Greece, Corinth is being visited by people even today, due to its association with St. Paul during the Roman period. Many monuments at the Corinth, such as the forum, the lines of shops, the multi-seated latrine, all date back to the Roman period. The massively constructed Temple of Apollo was reputedly the first stone-built Doric-style temple in Greece.