Why is learning the facts of all the famous ancient Greeks important? First of all, we need to address the fact that the Greeks is one of the greatest civilizations ever existed. Their ideas have contributed a lot of improvements and developments up to today's modern era. Their creations and inventions have influenced the western world and communities in such a way that they have left impressive marks in the world's history. The modern world we know today may not exist without the Greek's contribution and role.
Second, all of those inventions, ideas, and creations were coming from great thinkers, philosophers, poets, and even warriors. In every great event or battle, there was someone with great bravery, leadership, or thoughts. They were all so great that they have managed to influence today's condition and history. These are the reasons why knowing all famous ancient Greeks can enrich your knowledge in the world's history - and make you appreciate the history of the past.
These famous people have contributed their roles and efforts in their own way. Some might have laid the basic ground of math principles. Some might have invented the legendary poem or literary work. Some might have affected the course of history with their battle and conquers while the others might have made a breakthrough in sciences. So, who are these all famous ancient Greeks?
Hippocrates of Cos is often referred to as the Father of Western Medicine. He managed to revolutionize modern medicine practice and implementation up until today. He lived during Pericles Age, which was included in Classical Athens or Greece time. At that time, medicine wasn't considered a discipline. Often times, it was often mixed together with philosophy and theurgy. At that time, most people believed that diseases were caused by gods or the wrath of them. He was the one proposing ideas and evidence that diseases were caused by natural reasons - and all of them were scientific. Hippocrates changed the condition by introducing medical norms, medical cultures, and also medical principles. He managed to establish it as a distinctive field on its own; thus, making medicine as knowledge as well as a profession. The establishment and the ground principle still last until today - not only setting up the standard for modern Western medicine but also helping to shape the norm.
Hippocrates also founded Hippocratic School of Medicine, creating a base intellectual structure for the medicine world. His students later helped the spread of his teachings. Because of it, it is no wonder if Hippocrates is considered as one of the most important and most influential figures in the ancient Greek time - and up to today. He discovered health conditions such as cyanotic heart disease, Hippocratic fingers or clubbed fingers, and lung cancers. For his contribution, Hippocrates was included in the list of all famous ancient Greeks.
Have you ever watched the movie '300'? A popular story of Spartans who fought against the Persian, managed to win every battle but only lost because the enemy 'cheated'? Well, it turns out that the story isn't a made-up because the movie was inspired by The Battle of Thermopylae. It was quite legendary during the ancient Greek time. From the story, many legendary epics have been created.
It was Leonidas I, the brave Spartan king, who made the legend. At that time, every Spartan citizen had been trained and built for battle. Rigorous training and fighting were quite common in their daily lives - and it had happened since their very early childhood. As the result, only the bravest and the strongest would win and survive, while the weakest will die. The same case happened to Leonidas, who was one of the sons of Anaxandrias II king of Sparta. It was even believed that Leonidas was the descendant of Hercules or Heracles because of his abilities and also strength.
Leonidas' glory was put into a test when the Persian was coming to conquer ancient Greece. He led an army of 300 men against thousands of Persians. Against all odds, they managed to survive in 3 days battle. With the help of 700 Thespians, they managed to defend Sparta from the invasion. The numbers were still confusing. Some said that it was 250,000 Persians while some said it was 2 million. Despite the not-so-clear numbers, it shows that a good 1000 people that could face at least 250,000 were something remarkable. It also shows that the combination of tactical strategies, experience, and training could be super powerful and handy to maximize the smallest potential and force. It also shows Leonidas' great leadership and good ability in managing his people against such big massive numbers of the enemy's force.
Known as the 'Father of Geometry', Euclid was an active and influential mathematician that also took part in the Alexandria library. In fact, Euclid seemed to live far before the time of Archimedes (another popular name in ancient Greece) that was known for his mathematical principle. It is possible that some of Euclid's works have inspired other great Greek individuals, such as Archimedes or Ptolemy I although the proof was conclusive and wasn't clear.
The problem with Euclid's existence and work was because of the lack of written records. Because Euclid lived in the very early time of ancient Greece, the documents were lacking - most of them had been destroyed or gone. Only very little information was gained about him and it was mentioned by Proclus, an ancient Greek famous philosopher, in his report 'Greek Mathematicians Summary.'
Despite the confusing data of his existence, some of Euclid's works have set up the modern foundation of math and geometry as one unity. He was mostly known for his work 'Element' that contributed to the basic essence and concept of geometry. He wrote the books in 13 sets, and they are still used today in math textbooks. In fact, his book is coming second after the Bible from the number of the sold reprint. His book was used in collections of the proposition, proof, postulates, and definitions making today's base of math principles.
The documents about his life were very limited but he was known mostly for his work and achievement. He was put in the list of all famous ancient Greeks because he wasn't only a brilliant mathematician but he was also a great astronomer, physicist, inventor, philosopher, and engineer. He was one among leading scientists making important effects in classical ancient time. Some of his inventions have made a crucial impact in the modern world. Because of him, important physics advances have been made. In fact, thanks to him, he helped Syracuse defended themselves against Roman invasion with his engineering and mechanical genius.
Archimedes was known for his concept of buoyancy. But he was also known for his concept of statics, level principle, and hydro-statics. Modern tests have experimented with his concepts and everything was proven to be super valid and solid. And let's not forget that he came up with Pi concept and geometry. He was considered as one of the greatest genius ever lived during the ancient time.
You probably have heard about Pythagorean theory in math. Well, here is the man who made such a thing possible. Not only he contributed to the basic of the math concept, but he was also known for his contribution to religious and philosophy teaching. His time took place at the end of the 6th century BC. People referred to him as a scientist, mystic, and mathematician. However, there are several rumors concerning his work - stating that most of his work was actually not his own, but his successors and colleagues. Despite the rumor, you have to admit that he has contributed an important role in today's modern math principle and concept. Another rumor said that Pythagoras was the first person to call himself the term of a philosopher, meaning lover of wisdom. This idea sparked inspiration for Plato. And from there, it has spread to modern Western philosophy.
Pythagoras was born on Samos Island, which is somewhere on the coast of Turkey, present day, in 570 BC. He was said to spend his time learning from greatest astronomers and mathematicians. He learned how to play the lyre and was able to recite Homer's epics from memorizing them. Unfortunately, his achievements were tarnished by his insane cult. Around 300 people worshiped him and believed that he was the incarnation of Apollo although the same cult was also responsible for Pythagorean theory and the concept of the sun as the center of the universe - where the earth is revolving around it. Such a claim had been made in 2000 before Copernicus and Galileo had stated for. Because of their activities, Pythagoras was burnt to death by an angry mob.
He was mostly known for his work, Odyssey, and Iliad, two of the greatest poems ever existed. Even in today's modern literary world, these poems have made a great contribution. What makes it more impressive is the fact that he made such astonishing creations in 2800 years ago, somewhere in the middle of the 8th and 9th century BC. Some said, though, that he might have lived earlier, in around 12th century BC. Unfortunately, very little was known about his personal life because of very limited documentation. His era, what he looked like exactly, his birthplace, and even his existence were still a big mystery.
However, when we are talking about his work, they had made an important role in literary work. It made a huge deal because it was the symbolic map of the mythology world. Starting from what happened in Iliad, the city in Troy state to the long 10 years of journey of Odysseus, Homer managed to create not one but two classic (and also timeless) epics that have set the basic foundation of modern western literature. It also led to the legendary Achilles act or Trojan horse, inspiring artists, and writers all over the world - from the ancient time to today's modern era. No wonder if Homer is included in all famous ancient Greeks list.
You could say that Socrates was the forerunner of Greek philosophy, especially in the classical Greek era. He was one of the most influential figures in the philosophical world that have set up a basic foundation in modern western civilization. Socrates was born in Deme Alopece in Athens in between 470 - 469 BC. The man was famous for his knowledge and wisdom, and he was considered as one of the most important renowned philosophers during that time. He was most famous for his writings and his teachings - found in the writings of Xenophon and Plato. They were both his students. From Plato's major works, for instance, it was obvious that Socrates had contributed a lot of deal in ethics - and other fields too.
Because of his thoughts on ethics, which were against the popular ethics and ideas of that era's societies and communities, he was considered the enemy of the authority. His philosophical beliefs were always contradictory to many Athenians, whether it was about intellectual, moral, and politics. He was then captured and put on a trial. Two charges were given to him - impiety and corrupting the youths. With his philosophical beliefs, he answered all of the convictions - standing his ground, no matter what. He was finally given a death sentence where he had to drink poison with a hemlock base. He happily drank it but his name has been everlasting since then. For this contribution and dedication in defending his belief, he is included in the list of all famous ancient Greeks.
As it was mentioned before, Plato was one of the students of Plato. He too managed to become one of the most influential philosophers in his time. Plato was born in the ancient Athens, in between 428 - 423 BC. Socrates had been known as a legendary philosopher from ancient Greece, but Plato managed to follow his footstep and make a name of his own. Plato was born Aristocles, but later, he was given a nickname, Platon - it means broad. The nickname was given because of his broad built.
Plato was born in the rich Athenian family - they seemed to have an important role in politics. Plato was being prepared to stay on the same path, maintaining the family's heritage. But soon he discovered that his passion wasn't in politics. When the political condition was in crisis, especially after the execution of Socrates, Plato had decided to leave the Athenians political virtues and circle for good.
Before the execution, Socrates had worked together with Plato and Aristotle. They had laid foundations in science and philosophy - and those works still exist (and also used) up to today's condition and era. Plato then went to the Academy, located in Athens, where he wrote several books. It was the first ever institution for higher (and more advanced) learning in western civilization. His works are mostly about lifestyle and philosophy - with the ‘Republic’ as his most popular work. His dialogues have been applied and used in many fields, especially in ethics, philosophy, logic, math, and so much more. You can feel his influence that we summarized by Alfred North Whitehead.
The modern western philosophy that we know today is the result of three great philosophical pillars in the ancient Greek time. We know Socrates and Plato as all famous ancient Greeks list, but let's not forget to include Aristotle in the list too. From the three of them, Aristotle was the youngest one. He was famous as a polymath and a philosopher. He gained his wisdom and knowledge from a mentor like Plato and Socrates. He has also gained experience during the time of Alexander the Great. In some ways, he managed to surpass Plato, his teacher. He was the first philosopher that managed to create a complete and comprehensive system in western science and philosophy, covering several important virtues and aspects all at once.
Aristotle was able to revolutionize the concepts of science, metaphysics, logic, aesthetics, and also morality. He was also a great writer who managed to cover several topics on music, poetry, rhetoric, theater, and much more. His view on the physical science had a great and huge influence in middle age scholarship, whose impact lasted during the Renaissance Era. Many of his observations have been proven to be accurate in the 19th century.
No one was able to leave a bigger impact on the world's history other than Alexander the Great. Born as Alexander III of Macedon, an illegitimate child, Alexander was about to change the course of the world's history - one of the greatest that has ever happened. Alexander was born in 356 BC in Pella, Greece. Legends said that he was the son of Zeus and he shared a similar bloodline with Perseus and Hercules. Aristotle was his tutor until he reached the age of 16 years old. He became the king of Macedon when his father was assassinated. When Philip II was assassinated in 336 BC, Alexander inherited the throne and also a skillful army.
Philip had made a military expansion plan, and Alexander made sure that he continued his will after he became the General of Greece. He started with the invasion of Persia, ruling minor Asia. His military campaign lasted for the next 10 years. Alexander showed great battle skill during his campaign. One of his achievements was to defeat the Persian army through a series of battles. He managed to overthrow King Darius III, determined to find the edge of the world. His invasion covered Asia and India. He fell back simply because his army and men weren't able to take it more for the expansion - not because of weakness. During his journey going back to Babylon, he died at such a young age - 33 years of age. His legend was still echoing in today's time because of his skills and greatness.
As you can see from these lists and names, they are the most popular and well-known figures in ancient Greece time. What makes them popular is their contribution to many fields. Some managed to create a basic philosophy foundation, while some managed to lay out scientific concepts or medical norms. Some had managed to change the course of history, making a name and also leaving an important footprint for humanity. Without them, it would be difficult to imagine what our modern world would be. The knowledge we have today and the concept of life we know, all of them were given by the ancient Greek figures. We owe our gratitude to all famous ancient Greeks – whose contributions have changed the world, society, and community.