7 of the Most Amazing Discoveries of Ancient Greece

Democracy and Olympics and Math, oh my! The Greeks were genuinely amazing inventors weren’t they? Keep reading to find out more about these discoveries and some others, equally as marvelous.

Alarm

Water clock diagram

Water clock diagram. Source: Wikimedia

Yes, the Greeks are the ones responsible for that hated piece of equipment we are dreaming of chucking out of the window every morning (although I don’t think they’ve predicted that we would someday be able to design our own alarm sounds on our iPhones). Indeed, the Ancient Greek alarms were actually powered by water. Even Plato himself has possessed a water clock to signal the start of his lectures. Other Greeks used pebbles and drums for the very same purpose.

Astronomy

Ptolemy

Ptolemy. Source: Wikimedia

The Greeks were amazing astronomers. They are believed to have drawn the world’s first constellation maps, the purpose of which was to actually create a calendar. They also discovered solstice and equinox (God knows what medieval people were thinking, executing innocent people for seemingly “causing” what the Greeks have determined to be nothing more than a miracle of nature). It is really amazing to think that the Ancient Greeks were the ones who discovered the nature of the solar system, the shape of the Earth and many other things that were believed to be heresy hundreds of years later.

Democracy

Acropolis by Leo Von Klenze.

Acropolis by Leo Von Klenze. Source: Wikimedia

Many of you probably know that the Greeks are the very reason we actually have the concept of equality. Indeed, the Greek system of democracy had withstood the test of time (no matter what some people argue) and its traces can be seen in each political system where citizens have at least some say in who runs their country.

Fulcrum and Lever

Archimedes as everyone pictures him.

Archimedes as everyone pictures him. Source: Wikimedia

I’m no mechanic, but even I can understand the significance of Archimedes’ discovery of fulcrum and lever for the modern world. While Archimedes might be known more for running around Syracuse in the nude due to another amazing discovery, fulcrum and lever’s mechanism serves as the foundation for many machines today. He is also celebrated for inventing a screwdriver.

Medicine

Hippocrates

Hippocrates. Source: Wikimedia

Before Hippocrates brought forward the idea of scientific causes being behind various diseases, the world, including his fellow countrymen believed that the ailments were the result of divine punishment for wrongdoings. The scientist managed to determine that this wasn’t the case and compiled a list of common symptoms to watch out for. We have Hippocrates to thank for the additional sleep we get to have when they’re sick, in fact.

Olympics

Discus thrower

Discus Thrower. Source: Wikimedia

Despite so many controversies surrounding them for years, we’ve come to love the Olympic Games brought to us by the Greeks over 2700 years ago (in fact, the controversies were around way back then). The name comes from the mountain Olympus, a very important staple in the Greek mythology. Back then, the games were staged every two years instead of four, and were, if historical accounts are to be believed, absolutely spectacular.

Pythagoras’ Theorem

Pythagoras

Pythagoras. Source: Wikimedia

Math is, despite what a lot of people believe, amazing. And many ancient civilisations are responsible for its advancement. The Ancient Greeks, however, are the ones we have to thank for geometry and trigonometry. The most important geometrical rule was discovered by Pythagoras and has come to be known as Pythagoras’ Theorem to this day. For those of you who don’t remember high school Geometry, the gist is that the square of the hypotenuse in the right triangle equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides.

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