Fun Facts About Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece was home to philosophers Sophocles, Plato and Aristotle; pioneers who sought to understand the world from an objective viewpoint without recourse to religion; thus giving rise to Western philosophy.

At this time, the Persians also invented theater with actors wearing masks of happy and sad faces to portray the various emotions. Finally, they invented democracy with only free men being eligible to vote – women and slaves weren’t included!

1. Athena is the Patron of Athens

The Greeks were one of the earliest civilizations and made many major contributions to Western culture, including philosophy, theatre and sophisticated sculptures. Additionally, they had some unusual customs; men and women typically did not eat together during dinner in ancient Greece and instead consumed different types of eggs, fish, legumes, olives cheeses and bread.

Athena and her uncle Poseidon fought over who should become patron for Athens, with Athena emerging victorious in this competition. A city-state could only choose one god as its patron; its inhabitants feared that should they not choose either god, it might take revenge on their city-state. So they held a competition, with those offering useful gifts to Athenians standing a better chance at being given this honorary position as guardians.

Athena decided to plant an olive tree, which proved extremely helpful for the people of Athens. It provided sustenance, fuel and wood for shelter construction – so much so that Athena became such a beloved figure that her name became associated with their city and festivals were held to honor her and depict an image of Athena alongside its symbol – an owl – on both sides of currency bills.

The Greeks are well-known for their ancient culture and contributions such as theater, philosophy and the Olympic Games; yet there are other less well-known aspects about their civilization, like an exclusive form of democracy that only permitted free men who had completed military training to vote; it was basically like having an all-boys club that discussed politics and philosophy instead of beer and sports!

2. Greece produces 2.2 million metric tons of olives each year

While olive trees can be found throughout the Mediterranean region, it was the ancient Greeks who first began cultivating them1. Olive oil became so essential to them that they anointed themselves with it prior to training at local gymnasias, using olive branches as symbols of victory during Olympic competitions2; even greater Athenian statesman Solon created laws designed to protect and regulate olive tree cultivation by prohibiting its uncontrolled felling.

Olive trees have long been seen as emblematic symbols of Greece and have come to symbolize everything Greek, so much so that the 26.2 marathon was named in honor of a messenger that ran from Marathon to Athens bringing news of Greece’s victory over Persia3. Ancient Greeks made significant contributions in many areas including philosophy, poetry, plays, music and medicine; their work still influences us today as evidenced by Socrates, Homer and Euripides4.

Ancient Greek families would gather around dinner tables to feast on an assortment of delicacies such as eggs, fish, cheeses, legumes, breads and fruits, including olives. Olive harvesting would begin as early as October or December in specially designed amphora jars in order to produce high quality oil for pressing.

Modern times have seen Greece’s olive industry become one of its key exporters, but this success hasn’t come without its challenges. Climate change is creating higher production costs and increased competition from imports; organized crime has increased thefts as well. To combat these issues, some growers are asking police to reinstate a rural police division that was cut in 2010. Others have even developed tracking devices so their olives don’t get stolen!

3. Greece is the birthplace of democracy

Athens developed its early form of democracy – known as demokratia – during the 6th century BCE. This early form allowed male citizens free from hereditary aristocracy or dictatorial control to vote freely for leaders, hold public office, and debate important issues freely among themselves – an unprecedented change compared with prior regimes ruled by hereditary aristocrats or dictators in Greece at that time.

Though widely acclaimed for their new system of governance, Greek democracy wasn’t without flaw. Only free men who had completed military training could cast votes; women, slaves and non-citizens (known as metics ) did not enjoy political rights.

Ancient Greeks also pioneered Western philosophy, using logic and reason to address life’s larger questions. Renowned philosophers such as Sophocles, Plato and Aristotle all lived in ancient Athens; taking a guided tour to see their old haunts is one of the most intriguing ways to experience Greece.

Greece was known not only for their politics and philosophy, but also their theatre. They created theatre itself and created a style of acting characterized by mask-wearing to express emotions. Furthermore, they had one of the first written constitutions ever established with positions being elected rather than being given by birthright.

Athens was not alone as an epicenter of democracy in ancient Greece; other cities-states, like Sparta, established democracies as well. Sparta’s monarchs, known as Agiads and Eurypontids, had limited powers which were overseen by council of elders and magistrates whose role included restricting their powers based on council of elders decisions as well as magistrates overseeing magistrates; prisoner punishment could include being dumped into deep wells even for minor offenses! Democracy derives its name from Greek words demos kratos – people power!

4. Greece invented the first computer

The Greeks were one of the earliest and most significant civilizations in Europe. They left us many contributions such as philosophy, literature, theater and complex sculptures and architecture. Additionally, their culture greatly influenced Roman society – they even copied much of it – including gods, architecture and even food styles!

Greece began taking steps toward democracy during the Archaic period (800 to 500 BCE), when city-states known as polis were created without being controlled by any single king or pharaoh. They established common language (the precursor alphabet), law-making mechanisms, pottery production and sculpture design. Epic poet Homer produced Iliad and Odyssey while sculptors made kouroi and korai sculptures while scientists such as Anaximandros developed his theory of gravity while Xenophanes discovered fossils among other achievements during this timeframe.

Though it may seem surprising today to not have one common language across an area so densely populated, Greeks had a complex system of regionalized languages that varied depending on where one lived. Someone living in Miletus may speak differently from someone living in Athens; nonetheless they all shared similar vocabulary and pronunciation, creating a common culture across regions.

Greek inventors created some remarkable machines during this era. They created complex water clocks and devices using solar and wind energy for meteorological forecasting. One notable invention, called the Tower of Winds, served both functions.

In 1901, sponge divers off of Antikythera discovered an astounding device dating back to 200-100 BC: the Antikythera mechanism is thought to be the world’s oldest computer! Its inner gears modeled the sun-moon cycles as well as possibly five planets rising and setting; plus it even included a dial that could take leap years into account!

5. There was no toilet paper in classical Greece

Greece is well known for its picturesque coastlines and stunning islands such as Santorini and Crete, not to mention its ancient history and Olympic Games origins. Greeks were at the forefront of developments in science, philosophy, mathematics and politics for millennia before entering history themselves.

They were also rather peculiar people; for instance, they believed that only those born into families could become heroes; this meant poor individuals weren’t permitted to fight in the army. Furthermore, they employed an unusual way of testing whether a woman was pregnant; placing a clove of garlic inside her vagina overnight and seeing if its scent suggested onions! If it did so then she wasn’t expecting!

Classical Greek society had no toilet paper; ancient Greeks used flat stones, pebbles or ceramic pieces (known as pessoi ) as means of cleaning themselves after doing their business – a practice which could cause skin irritations and external hemorrhoids over time.

Greeks were notorious for using pottery shards with written names on them to “ostracize” people – hence the term! Additionally, they created a vending machine dispense holy water instead of chocolate bars! Finally, have you noticed when Greek people wave to you they do so with one hand closed to protect themselves against evil eye. Superstitions aside, their gods were just as crazy; Zeus was known to engage in frequent adultery while Hera kicked their newborn child off Mount Olympus!

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