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Ashton Polak Professor Cian Latin II

The ancient Greeks were known for their education, innovation, and technological

advancements. With cities like Athens that were beacons of education and learning or Sparta,

known for their advance military tactics, this was no surprise. This period of extreme innovation

took place around eight-hundred B.C. through five-hundred B.C., this period was known as the

Classical Age. The Classical Age brought advancements in art, technology, philosophy, and

writing. The largest creation of that time was the city-state, a creation used throughout the world

even to this day.

An example of the city-state can be seen most prominently with the United States of

America, where there are fifty states with each having numerous cities and towns inside of them.

While being apart of one country of Greece, as time went by each city-state was unique in its

own way. This can be seen with Athens, superior in their book-smarts, and Sparta, a powerhouse

of the military. Each city-state of Ancient Greece had its own economy, based on the

agriculture. This made the land of each city-state the most valuable asset.

However, as the population of Greece increased, and the land became for finite, the

economy would go from being agriculturally based to consumer based. This would also change

the social divide in Greece. Early Greece had the rich and the poor, with the rich getting political

and agricultural power, while the poor got nothing. However, that would change when the lower

class began selling pottery, cloth, wine, and metalwork; making them a substantial amount of

money. This caused a shift of power were the old leader were thrown out by the lower-class.

These lower-class leader created the political system known as demokratia, or “rule by the

people.” Demokratia is the early version of democracy, another creation used by the United

States of America. However, the city-state and democracy are not the only items invented by the

Greeks.
Ashton Polak Professor Cian Latin II

When it comes to ancient inventions, most people think of basic structures. However, one

Greek man by the name of Philo of Byzantium, created the earliest human like robot during three

B.C. Through a complex process of air pipes, springs, tubes, and containers; the robot was able

to pour a glass of wine. The person would place the glass in its hand and the robot would sense

the weight of the glass, causing it to lift up the pitcher and pour wine into it. The humanoid look

of the robot would create the basis of design for science fiction characters such as C3PO.

The Greeks did a lot when it came to art and literature, and one of their biggest

testaments to that would be the invention of theater. Theater was originally a ritual to educate the

people about their beliefs, showing performances of their gods being strong and heroic.

However, it soon evolved into a form of art that could be created through several genres. One of

the most famous theater genres, the tragedy, was created in four-hundred and sixty-eight B.C. by

writer, Sophocles. The play would also turn into the musical with the creation of instruments

such as the pan pipes, which would become the modern-day flute. The art of theater has become

a highly respected medium with writers like William Shakespeare being regarded not only as one

of the greatest playwrights, but also one of the greatest writers of all time. Today there are

thousands of plays and musicals, many being regarded as masterpieces such as “Hamlet” and

“les Misérables.” In recent years, there has been a boom in musicals being released with great

hits such as “The Book of Mormon” and “Dear, Evan Hansen.” As years go by, theater continues

to be an artform that will keep evolving and improving.

The Greeks also did much when it came to the world of sports. One of the most

interesting creations of the Greeks was the marathon. The marathon as created in four-hundred

and ninety B.C. when the Persians landed in Marathon to invade. It was decided that Phidippides

would deliver the message for help. However, when he got to Sparta, they were unable to help
Ashton Polak Professor Cian Latin II

due to religious reasons. However, when Phidippides came back the Greeks had won, he ran to

Athens to tell them the good news. He ran twenty-six point two miles to Athens. However, due

to exhaustion from running to Sparta back to Marathon, then to Athens, he collapsed and died.

Not without shouting “Rejoice, we conquer!” To this day, people participate in marathons for

fitness and fun and have turned into social events. Another icon to sports created by the Greeks is

the Olympic Games. The first Olympic games were a religious festival to honor the gods that

started in seven-hundred and seventy-six B.C. The only game at that time was a one-hundred and

ninety-two-meter foot race. However, as time went on more races were added as well as boxing,

wrestling, and chariot racing. However, after nearly twelve centuries the Olympic games ended

due to a law being put in place, banning all pagan events. However, the Olympic games were not

gone forever. In eighteen ninety-two, the Olympic games were revived and have been occurring

every four years ever since. Along with the Summer Olympic games, there has also been the

inclusion of the Winter Olympic games which occur two years apart from the Summer Olympic

games.

In conclusion, without the Greeks the world would be vastly different than what it is

today. Without the Greeks the world would not have city-states, democracy, science fiction

robots, plays, musicals, marathons, the Olympic games, and more. These creations are only the

tip of the iceberg when it came to the inventions of the Greeks. The Greeks also influenced some

of the other biggest ancient civilizations such as Rome and the empire of Alexander the Great.

The United States would be vastly different without Greece. There would be no democracy, city-

states, as well as English. The Greeks created the foundation of was humanity is all about. They

created artforms, competitions, written language, technological advancements, weapons,

religions, festivals, and more than can be counted.


Ashton Polak Professor Cian Latin II

Works Cited

https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/ancient-greece

http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general/more-fifty-ancient-greek-inventions-brought-life-

through-incredible-reconstructions

https://historyplex.com/greek-inventions

http://www.exercisetherighttoread.org/historyofmarathon.pdf

https://www.history.com/topics/olympic-games