ANCIENT GREECE

The ancient Greeks had a rich culture and many aspects of it were determined by their beliefs in the gods and some of the myths surrounding them. In fact, Greek gods have been the focus of movies and many written tales throughout the centuries. During ancient times in Greece, however, the gods and the myths surrounding them were believed and was a guiding force in the lives of the ancient Greek people. Greek mythology is filled with amazing stories and all of them explain how the ancient Greeks believed the world around them was created. The ancient Romans even adopted the Greek gods as their own, adding to the interesting aspects of the myths related to the gods.

Mother and daughter, the spirits of barleycorn and love, and the queen of the dead, were honored with great and popular celebrations twice a year, at the time of sowing and the time of reaping. The Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece were the oldest and most revered of all the celebrations of the ancient Mediterranean.

Greek philosophy is as brilliant as every other creation of the Greek intellect. The line of thinkers which that little nation produced in three centuries has no parallel in the history of thought, and every conceivable variety or cast of speculation made its appearance. But Greek thought became distorted by religion. It turned away from science to “spiritual truths”. It has shown for all time how futile and mischievous is that high sounding appeal for us to turn from science to “spiritual truths”.

In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC, an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae in centralGreece. Vastly outnumbered, they held back the invader in one of history's most famous last stands. A small force led by King Leonidas ofSparta blocked the only road through which the massive army of Xerxes I could pass. After three days of battle, a local resident named Ephialtes betrayed them by revealing a mountain path that led behind their lines. Dismissing the rest of the army, King Leonidas stayed behind with 300 Spartans and 700 Thespian volunteers. Though they knew it meant their own deaths, they held their position and secured the retreat of the other forces. The Persians succeeded in taking the pass but sustained heavy losses, extremely disproportionate to those of the Greeks. The fierce resistance of the Spartan-led army offeredAthens the invaluable time to prepare for a decisive naval battle.

The Olympic Games  were a series of athletic competitions held for representatives of various city-states of Ancient Greece held in honor of Zeus. The exact origins of the Games are shrouded in myth and legend but records indicate that they began in 776 BC in Olympia in Greece. They were celebrated until 393 AD when they were suppressed by Theodosius I as part of the campaign to impose Christianity as a state religion. The Games were usually held every four years, or olympiad, as the unit of time came to be known. During a celebration of the Games, an Olympic Truce was enacted so that athletes could travel from their countries to the Games in safety. The prizes for the victors were olive wreaths or crowns.

It all began, as usual, with the Greeks. The ancient Greeks were the first civilized people to use their reason to think systematically about the world around them. The Greeks were the first philosophers (philosophia — lovers of wisdom), the first people to think deeply and to figure out how to attain and verify knowledge about the world. 

The History of Alexander the Great is undoubtedly one of the most charming and beautiful chapters of Ancient Greek History. Alexander was a young King, who’s future and career were set to be configured in a complicated mix of coincidences and divine interventions. The life path that followed, joined by his amazing history-making and his insuperable achievements, including conquering all the Eastern (known to man at the time) World, fulfilled the signs that accompanied the time of his birth and the prophets who had foretold the coming of the Great King. 

One of the most impressive things found in this period was the Astrolabe of Antikithyra. Some sponge collectors found it in 1901 near the Antikithyra island. In the Greek research centre 'Demokritos' professor Derek de Solla Piere (from Yale university) and Har. Karakalos examined it with X-rays and found an amazingly complex construction. It is the most complex mechanical construction until 1200 A.D.!

Who said that the robots, the automatic doors and the locomotive are technological advances of the second millennium? Definitely not! The pieces of information that keep surfacing prove what has been, for some decades, common knowledge among researchers: in Ancient Greece, people like Daedalus and Gods like Hephaestus developed techniques and operated inventions that a lot of inventors of our days would have been proud of.

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