There are things in the modern world we don’t pay much mind to, things some of us may take for granted. Keep watching, and maybe you’ll find there’s more we owe to Ancient Greece than we thought!
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7. Mapping The World
Did you know that an ancient Greek named Anaximander is considered the first cartographer in history? Research shows that the first maps in western literature were made in 6200 BC. Anaximander’s world map shows a startling amount of accuracy of the then-known lands. A few hundred years later, a Greek geographer named Dikaiarch introduced the concept latitude and longitude.
6. The Archimedes Screw
Thanks to the Archimedes screw, ancient peoples no longer had to haul water up a hill to bring it to town. This screw helped pump water from a low-lying area into irrigation ditches above that would then flow to nearby settlements. Also known as the water screw of the Egyptian screw, this device is considered the oldest positive displacement pump. Although it was first used in Ancient Egypt in the 3rd century BC, its design came from the mind of Greek mathematician and engineer, Archimedes.
5. The Practice Of Medicine
Humans have been dealing with sickness and injury since the dawn of time, the earliest practices of what resemble modern medicine did not happen until the time of the Ancient Greeks. Thousands of years ago, people believed diseases were the gods’ way of punishing. Remedies were almost always based on superstition. Hippocrates, who we mentioned earlier, is considered the most prolific figures in medicinal history. In addition to t his oath, Hippocrates founded the school of medicine and contributed significantly to the research of health and healing.
4. Pull The Lever!
Something as simple as the lever changed how we operate. We have to thank Archimedes again for such an invention. This mathematician made the lever in 260 BC and devised a pulley system that helped lift heavier objects. The device consisted of a beam pivoted at a fixed hinge, called a fulcrum. In his documents describing the design, Archimedes stated: “give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” The quote prompted the famous image of a man moving the Earth with a lever.
3. The Invention Of Central Heating
Even today, some really old buildings from a hundred or so years ago do not have any air conditioning system. Because of this, most of us probably thought things like a heater or air system did not exist until the 20th century. However, the Ancient Greeks incorporated central heating technology in the Temple of Artemis, located in Ephesus. This Greek temple, sometimes called the Temple of Diana, was built thousands of years ago. Because they didn’t have electricity back then, the Greeks used fire. To spread the heat throughout the entire building, architects hid piles under the tiled, stone floor. The fire’s heat from the metal would them warm the ground!
2. The Birth Of Democracy
Many countries in the world have widely embraced the idea of democracy in current times. For those that grew up with a democratic government, perhaps you never thought twice about how different this system is compared to how the world was once. The concept of every citizen having a say in how the government operates has origins in Ancient Greece. The first implementation of democracy was seen in Athens around 508 BC.