The story

Ancient Greece (continued)


The conquest of Greek territory by Macedonia

Athens, the glorious center of Greece's golden century, was coming to an end. Sparta had no different fate either; Finally, all city-states were weakened by the Peloponnese Wars and became easy targets for the domination of other peoples.

The Macedonians, people who inhabited northern Greece, were able to progress and strengthen themselves economically and militarily. Taking advantage of the weakness and disunity of the Greeks, Philip II, the king of Macedonia, prepared a mighty army and conquered Greek territory.

The expansionist policy initiated by Philip II continued with his son and successor Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander the Great, who consolidated the domination of Greece and began the conquest of the Persian empire.

Macedonia became the center of the largest empire ever formed, which would only be surpassed years later by the Roman Empire.

The achievements of Alexander the Great, promoting the fusion of the cultures of the various regions conquered in the East with the Greek values ​​gave rise to culture. Hellenistic, whose center of cultural diffusion was Alexandria, Egypt, and Pergamum, Asia Minor.

The Knowledge of Ancient Greece

The Greeks were responsible for the birth of philosophy, a Greek term that meant love of wisdom, around the 4th century BC in the city of Miletus. One of the most important Greek thinkers was Pythagoras attached, mathematician and philosopher. Pythagoras developed the idea that the common principle of man, animals, vegetables and minerals was the atom, considered the smallest part of matter. According to Pythagoras, what distinguished animate and inanimate beings were the different structures that atoms formed in each of them. In addition, he formulated number theories and classified them into several categories: pairs, odd and prime numbers. It also defended the idea that the earth was round.

Those responsible for the heyday of Greek philosophy in the fourth century BC were Socrates Annex, Plato Annex, and Aristotle Annex.

Socrates left no written work. He taught on the streets and in the squares. His chief disciple was Plato, whose works, in the form of dialogues, continue to this day. Aristotle, in turn, was Plato's most important disciple. He was responsible for laying the foundations of logic, a science that studies the methods and processes that make it possible to differentiate true from false arguments in philosophical studies. Logic is, to this day, a fundamental instrument for all other sciences.

Among the Greek mathematicians, besides Pythagoras, known as the "father of mathematics", are attached Euclid. Which laid the foundations of Geometry, and the attached Archimedes, known by the famous “Archimedes Principle” according to which a body submerged in water, from below, is thrust equivalent to the liquid it has displaced.

The doctors were also very respected professionals. The most important of these was Hippocrates of Kos attached, who is considered the "Father of Medicine." Even today, doctors, upon graduation, take the so-called "Hippocratic oath" attached.

Hippocrates, at that time, already used procedures very similar to those used by our doctors to diagnose diseases such as examining the eyeball, checking body temperature, appearance of urine and feces, among others.

Alongside medical practice, there were also popular treatments based on superstition and magic. One of the most common practices was to hang amulets around the neck, which is infallible for preventing and curing various diseases.

The same advances were made in astronomy and in the field of geography. Around the second century BC, the Greeks mapped the known world, dividing it into meridians and parallels and into three zones: frigid, temperate, and torrid. Using mathematical calculations, they measured the circumference of the earth, its distances from the sun and the moon.

The Greeks were very concerned about science. Their libraries were full of important works, and all of them had copies, so as not to get lost in the event of a fire or other disaster.

And how did the Greeks treat history? Some Greek historians have played a major role in the development of this area of ​​knowledge by replacing poetic myths with historical explanation. The main Greek historians were Herodotus annexed, considered "the father of history," who wrote a work on the war of the Greeks against the Persians, and Thucydides, who narrated the history of the Peloponnese War, in which he participated.

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Greek theater and cultural legacy

The Greeks achieved remarkable cultural and artistic development. Its production became so rich and fruitful that it crossed the boundaries of time and geographical space and influenced all Western culture and some eastern societies.

The theater that emerged in ancient Greece was different from today. The Greeks watched the plays for free, but did not attend the theater when they wanted to. Going to the theater was one of people's social commitments. Just as there were religious rituals and assemblies to decide the direction of cities, there were theater festivals. Dedicated to tragedies or comedies, they were funded by wealthy citizens. And the government paid the poorest to attend the presentations.

Festivals devoted to the tragedy took place in open air stone theaters where the best author was chosen. Although some actors were successful, the great idols of the theater were the authors. The performances lasted several days and began with a procession in honor of the god Dionysus, considered the protector of the theater. The audience followed the plays all day and reacted intensely to the performances.

Actors and a choir attended the performances. On stage, the actors looked like giants. They wore high-soled shoes, padded clothes, and masks made of starched, painted cloth, decorated with wigs, and capable of amplifying voices.

From the Roman Empire - which followed the Greek civilization - the theater declined. The Romans preferred the circus - at the time, geared toward gladiatorial and animal fights - which predominated in the theaters of the empire's main cities.

In addition to theater, the Greeks developed other forms of artistic expression, such as sculpture, painting, music, and architecture.


Copy of Miron's Discobole.

Marble and bronze were used by sculptors such as Phidias and Miron.

In architecture, the Greeks demonstrated great skill in designing temples and public buildings. To support the weight of the buildings they employed columns without using mortar.


Parthenon of Athens.

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