Ancient Greece has left us with many lessons; from democracy and science advancements, to their bizarre obsession with beans and even their belief that sneezing was divine! There are so many fascinating aspects about its culture, history and people! There’s even some strange facts like having an intense dislike of beans! And don’t forget sneezing being seen as divine!
Greeks invented the Olympics, and we can still enjoy their legacy today! Find your inner Olympian by joining an Athens Authentic Marathon tour.
1. The Greeks invented the word “idiot”
No one disputes that Ancient Greeks were masters in theatre, architecture, arts and sciences; yet did you know they also invented the term “idiot”?
Webster’s Dictionary states that the word idiot first appeared in Greek writing around 600 BC. It derives its meaning from the root idios, which means “private, peculiar, self-focused or separate.” You can see where our modern words like “idiom” or “idiosyncratic” originate!
Ancient Greeks were known for being extremely devout religious people. They believed in a host of gods residing atop Mount Olympus who they held responsible for everything that happened around them and even mundane matters such as weather conditions. But they were not without superstitions: certain days of the month were seen as especially auspicious for performing certain tasks such as planting new crops; people would take care to pray before undertaking these endeavors. Ancient Greeks also utilized democracy, where citizens could cast votes to decide policy and choose their representative(s). Unfortunately, only men over the age of 20 were permitted to vote; slaves and women were specifically barred from participation.
Ancient Greeks were not only leaders in democracy; they were also pioneers of pottery such as the Kylix. This beautiful drinking vessel was used for rituals and special occasions. Crafted out of wood with holes drilled at its base to allow water to run out freely, it lasted over 2,500 years until being replaced by clay pots which are far more practical. Ancient Greeks also created theatre; actors used masks to portray emotions on stage in order to help their audiences feel their emotions more readily.
2. The Greeks invented Ostracism
The Greeks developed an effective political system called Ostracism that permitted them to expel someone without charging them with any crime – this way ostracism helped ensure power did not become too concentrated among a few individuals.
Ostracism was implemented through all citizens who were eligible to vote being asked to list any individuals they thought had done something improper, with those receiving enough votes being forced out of Attica and staying away for 10 years; they would still own their properties but could no longer return home.
Punitive detention was a harsh but highly effective system in ancient Athens that helped avoid tyranny while simultaneously resolving intra-elite power struggles. Over 100 times it was implemented under this regime!
Ancient Greeks were known for being highly superstitious people. For instance, they wouldn’t eat beans due to a belief that they contained the souls of dead people – this likely helped explain their excellent theatrical skills – they knew exactly how to convey emotion with their performances!
The Greeks invented numerous highly significant things. Most notably, they created theater as the first form of performance art to share stories with audiences. Furthermore, their advanced civilization shaped much of our modern world today, including creating groundbreaking theories such as Pythagorean theorem, Law of Inverse Proportion, Trigonometric Functions etc as well as beautiful works of art such as Parthenon and Phaleron.
3. The Greeks invented the first computer
The Ancient Greeks were extremely innovative people. They invented vending machines – rather than dispensing chocolate bars as is customary today – which were used to distribute holy water instead. Furthermore, they invented the screw press which is still widely used today to help produce olive oil. Furthermore, due to their healthy diet, focus on sanitation, and passion for physical activity they often lived beyond 100 years. Furthermore, Ancient Greeks invented theatre as the first culture to perform plays outdoors and were the authors of both tragedies and comedies written during that era!
Mount Olympus in ancient Greece was considered to be the main home for gods and goddesses in Ancient Greece, where they would meet to discuss and debate important matters, hold court cases where criminal cases would be decided upon and even hold jury trials where verdicts would be decided by majority vote.
Archaic Period in Ancient Greece witnessed a major shift in power. City-states began transitioning towards democracies where citizens could cast votes for their leaders – this represented a dramatic departure from previous eras when only aristocrats could participate. Ancient Greeks also became known for their intellectual pursuits such as Thales and Heraclitus who developed theories regarding the nature of reality around them.
Ancient Greece was famous for the Oracle of Delphi, known for her ability to predict future events while providing good advice. Greeks weren’t too fond of tyranny either and would often turn on politicians that mistreated their people – even banish them altogether!
4. The Greeks invented cheesecake
Cheesecake is an iconic dessert around the world, yet its history may surprise you. Cheesecake’s origin can be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece where its first versions first surfaced as plakountas – originally intended as energy food with ingredients including cheese, wheat flour and honey combined into one delicious treat! In time it even became part of Greek wedding traditions!
Physical anthropologists believe the first cheesecake was likely invented on Samos between the 7th and 8th centuries BCE; physical anthropologists found cheese molds that can be dated back to this period. Ancient Greeks then experimented by pounding cheese, mixing it with wheat flour and honey before baking their creation to give us today the delicious treat we all know and enjoy so much.
Roman conquerors brought this recipe with them when they conquered Greece, spreading it throughout all of Europe. Additionally, Ancient Babylonians also utilized this dish, and many literary works have referenced its existence – thought to have inspired modern versions of cheesecake.
Cheesecake’s historical roots go all the way back to Ancient Greece! Their advanced writing technology allowed them to document recipes so anyone could replicate them and enjoy this delectable treat!
The Greeks were an advanced civilization for their time. They created amazing inventions like the Parthenon and many of our favorite desserts; and even had some surprisingly strange practices like lying down while eating and worshiping their Gods (did you know that 12 of the Gods resided on Mount Olympus?).
5. The Greeks invented the first marathon
Ancient Greeks can be credited with inventing the first vending machine, although their version did not dispense sweet treats like today’s vending machines do. Instead, theirs was a coin-operated device that dispensing holy water instead. It’s thought this prototype was built sometime during 404 BC during Peloponnesian War when city-states battled one another for power.
Ancient Greeks differed from Romans in that there was no single ruler ruling them all; rather, over 1,000 city-states (known as poleis) each with their own laws and governments existed within Greece – this meant that citizens from Miletus might not enjoy equal rights as those from Athens even though both languages shared.
Pheidippides was asked–or perhaps ordered–to run a 42-kilometer race from Marathon to Athens to deliver news that Greece had defeated Persia in battle. He ran straight through, dying shortly thereafter due to exhaustion; that legendary run inspired today’s marathon race, which covers 42.2 kilometers.
Ancient Greeks were also among the first to introduce and use the term “arithmetic” to refer to numbers, while also developing geometry as a mathematical system. Thales, Anaximander and Pythagoras pioneered scientific method by trying to comprehend natural phenomena like light, sound and gravity as well as any hidden forces holding everything together.
We know the ancient Greeks were highly intelligent and ingenious people. Their advanced society produced modern day luxury items. But did you know they also invented many things we don’t use anymore? Check out this awesome infographic for even more fascinating facts about ancient Greece!