Ancient Greece


Greek civilization began on the Mediterranean island of Crete about a thousand years after the Egyptian civilization emerged; but unlike Egypt, Greek civilization was oriented to the sea . Athens, named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom, was the intellectual center of Greece. It was one of thefirst city-states of its time, and is still world renowned as one of the most famous cities in the world . The ancient Greeks, mainly the Athenians, were a unique people. They believed that individuals should be free as long as they acted within the laws of Greece; this allowed them the opportunity to excel in any direction they chose. Individuality, as the Greeks viewed it, was the basis of their society. The ability to strive for excellence, no matter what the challenge, was what the Athenians so dearly believed in . This strive for excellence was the method from which they achieved such phenomenal accomplishments that still astound us to this day. Although many of them strove to become soldiers or athletes, others ventured into philosophy, science, drama, pottery and the arts. The two most important concepts that the ancient Greeks followed were found inscribed on the great shrine of Delphi, which read “Nothing in excess” and “Know thyself” . This philosophy greatly impacted the Greek civilization. The influences of the Ancient Greeks are still felt by us today. The major impacts in our lives in the Arts and Sciences can be seen in both the past and present day.
The arts, sculpture, architecture, pottery, literature, and theatre, are often considered the crowning achievements of Greek civilization. Classical Greek art has had such a profound effect on western culture that we still see its influence everywhere around us today . Sculptors in ancient Greece excelled in representing the human form, such as the Venus de Milo statue from the Hellenistic period. Such early works of art had great influence on later European Renaissance artists, s…

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