Ancient Greece Essay

Submitted By yourmotherinbed
Words: 1247
Pages: 5

Ancient Greece
Wesley Brookman
HST 105
5/15/14

Ancient Greece-a society that shaped the world to come. There are several reasons I chose this particular society over all the others. One reason would be the way that ancient Greece existed as a large culmination of city-states (a city-state being a central city and its surrounding villages, which together follow the same law, have one form of government, and share languages, religious beliefs, and ways of life). Another reason would be that ancient Greece gave the world all three of the fathers of Western philosophy: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. They revolutionized the way that humanity viewed non-materialistic concepts, and they taught us to question things which we may not have ever thought to question. The third, and final reason I chose ancient Greece was its fascinating religion and mythology. So many tales and stories from ancient Greece’s culture impact our society today, and their gods are some of the most famous and recognizable mythological entities ever established. In short, the society of ancient Greece was not just one-dimensional, but multi-layered, revolutionary in several fields, powerful, and contributed things to our world that are still relevant to this day. Greece contained a triple-digit amount of city-states within its borders back in ancient times. Since it would be impossible to mention all of them, I’m going to stick to the two most popular ones-Sparta and Athens. First up is Sparta, the warrior city-state. Many know Sparta from the movie 300, which is based off of a graphic novel written about The Battle of Thermopylae. While the graphic novel and movie embellished history a bit, it was still a true battle that actually occurred and was quite incredible. The actual story (without any Hollywood in it) is that a Spartan contingent of 300 of their finest soldiers, led by King Leonidas, led a Greek allied force of approximately 2700-5500 hoplites and Helots (Spartan slaves) to the mountain pass of Thermopylae. The strategy behind this move was to stall the Persian advance long enough for the Athenian fleet to destroy the much larger Persian naval force. The Spartan force did their job and the Athenians eventually tricked the Persian fleet into a trap and reduced the Persian fleet to military insignificance. The Sparta-led force would have received reinforcements, but Greek religious beliefs prevented them from sending troops during the festival of Karnea. This battle is an example of exactly why Sparta was known for its fighting ability and ferocity. If Sparta was the muscle of ancient Greece, Athens was the brain. The largest city-state in ancient Greece (and still the largest city in Greece today), Athens was one of the very first known democracies, constructed some of the most famous and historically significant buildings of its time, such as the Parthenon; located within Acropolis, and gave birth to the concept of philosophy. Some consider Athens to be the inventor of Democracy, and while it’s hard to know for sure, what we do know is that it was most definitely one of the first societies to be democratic. Aside from being at the forefront of new types of government, Athens, like most of Greece, was very much into architecture. Ancient Athens built a very famous site known as Acropolis, which was a citadel created in honor of the goddess Athens derived its name from-Athena. Within Acropolis (which contains several monuments), the Athenians designed a temple named the Parthenon, which is incredibly famous to this day, and often one of the things thought of first when one thinks of Greece. Within ancient Athens, there once lived three individuals who forever changed the way we saw the non-physical world. Things like concepts, ideas, thoughts, morality, innate behavior, experience, and existence were considered and pondered upon, and ultimately held in a new light; if ever held before at all. What I am…