Legacies of
Ancient
Greece
A legacy is something
that is handed down
through time. These
can be ways of doing
things or simply ideas.
The ancient Greeks
developed many ideas
and ways of doing
things that we still use
today.
Let’s explore some of their most
important legacies!
Democracy
The word democracy
comes from the Greek
word démokratia (Démos =
the people, Kratos =
power, force) so thAT
means “power of the
people."
Democracy was started
in Athens
By Pericles
Only adult male citizens of
Athens could vote. But
this was the first time in
history that the citizens of
an area ran their own
government.
Democracy
A government where the people have the right to
make decisions about leaders and laws
Greek word meaning
“power of the people”
Athens developed the
first democracy
The U.S. government is based
on Athenian democracy.
Theatre
Theatre in ancient
Greece developed
due to the worship
of the god Dionysus.
Dionysus
was the
Greek god of
wine and
pleasure
Greek theatre was
especially important
because of the
development of the
tragedy and the
comedy.
Greek tragedy is a play
that deals with tragic
events and has an
unhappy ending,
especially concerning the
downfall of the main
character.
Comedy is A play
characterized by its humor,
showing amusing people
or events in which the
main character ultimately
triumphs over adversity.
Trial by Jury
Trial by jury began
in ancient Greece
in the polis of
Athens.
Here is how the system worked:
• There were 201 - 501 people on each
jury.
• They would listen to the defendant and
the accuser give a speech.
• They would then vote on guilt or
innocence.
• Both sides would give a speech on what the punishment
should be and the jury would vote again to decide which to
choose.
Olympics
Once every four
years, men in Greece
would travel to
Olympia to compete
for their polis in the
Olympic games.
The Greeks would compete in
events such as running, wrestling,
javelin, discus, and jumping.
These games were held in
honor of the Greek’s chief
god Zeus and his wife Hera.
The Olympics always went on
in ancient Greece no matter
what. Wars were even stopped
so the games could be played!
architecture
The Greeks were excellent builders
and are known for their architecture,
especially their use of columns.
There were three main types of
columns used by the Greeks and
they are still used today.
Doric columns have
tall thick shafts with a
very plain top or
capital
Ionic columns have a
slightly decorated
capital with tall, slim
shafts.
Corinthian columns have highly
decorated capitals. These can be
with leaves or other designs.
One of their
greatest
architectural
achievements was
the Parthenon.
mathematics
The Greeks were also interested in
math. They developed the first
universities in the world and math
was part of their studies.
A well known
Greek
mathematician
was Pythagoras.
He is credited with
proving the
Pythagorean
theorem which is
used in geometry
today.
This theory proves that the long side of a
right triangle (when squared) is equal to
the sum of the other two sides (squared).
2
2
2
It is written as follows:
A + B =C
philosophy
The ancient Greeks believed in
wisdom. They had many great
Philosophers, (people who
discussed, debated, and
studied wisdom). The word
philosophy comes from the
Greek term meaning "the love
of wisdom”. Socrates, Plato,
and Aristotle were three of the
greatest philosophers of
ancient Greece.
A group of Greek intellectuals
were known as the “Sophists.”
Sophos is a word in ancient
Greek that means wise. Today
the term sophisticated refers to a
person who is cultured and
educated. We get that word from
the sophists.
mythology
The word myth comes
from the Greek word
“muthos” meaning a
fable or a word.
The ancient Greeks were
polytheistic. This means they
believed in many gods. Writers
and artists use the stories and
symbols of Greek myths to this
day. While we no longer view the
myths as religion, many people
still enjoy reading them.
Myths are traditional stories. The
Greeks used myths to explain things
they did not understand. At first,
myths were passed down from
generation to generation by word of
mouth. Later, Greek poets created
epic stories based on those legends.
An epic is a long poem about great
heroes and their deeds.
The Greek gods lived
atop Mount Olympus,
the highest mountain
in Greece. Zeus was
the head of the family
of gods. He ruled the
sky with his powerful
thunderbolt.
One of his brothers, Poseidon,
ruled the sea; another brother,
Hades, ruled the “underworld.”
The Legacies of Ancient Greece
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scientific
method
theater
democracy
epics
classification
Olympics
architecture
Socratic
Method
trial by
jury
Greek
mythology
tragedy
comedy
Hippocratic
Oath
marathon
philosophy
Conclusion
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The ancient Greeks were polytheistic. This means they