Ancient Greece in Modern Life

fashion shoot at Sounion

Poseidon Temple, Sounion and fashion photography Photo by Michael, Visit-Ancient-Greece.com

This web site, obviously, is about Visit-Ancient-Greece but this post is about bringing ancient Greece to modern life. Throughout my international travels I have collected bits and pieces related to this huge subject. Some of which I have written about in previous posts, such as the Greek ideal of an integrated lifestyle leading to long healthy lives. Open-minded travel broadens perspective so one can see the many connections linking original ancient Greek thought to current-day culture. So if you are ready to open your mind to travel now is the time to book emirates flight

Every day in the news you find numerous references to “democracy” and its foundations in ancient Greek city/states. Even when they go on to point out the many differences with modern ideas such as direct participation of women. The definition of democracy evolves over time but will always contain the word demo which translates as “people of a place”.

Modern medicine still uses the Hippocratic oath first uttered in the 5th century B.C. to the effect that well-being of patients comes first. Though it too has evolved with many different versions adapted to modern ethics. The Chinese version was first written about 1,000 years later than the Greek one.

Archimedes and his Eureka moment in the bathtub
Photo by אהוד הלפרין from Wikimedia Commons

Mathematics and science walk hand in hand with Euclid’s Pi and Archimedes famous cry of Eureka, now California’s state motto. And who can go a day without seeing the name of Nike, the ancient Greek goddess personifying victory. Recently Pi was found to play an important role in quantum computing so it will be even more important in our future.

As I mentioned above studies of longevity show that objective factors like genetics and nutrition must be balanced with subjective traits of attitudes and relationships. The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus is quoted: “We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.” While the present-day Greek “Opa” philosopher Alex Pattakos, PhD says: “We can have a more meaningful life by following the example of the ancient Greeks, who understood that mind, body, and spirit are all connected.” The Greek island of Ikaria is the original “blue zone” where locals are proven to live 10 years longer than the average for Europe—plus almost no dementia in old people. Anyone can get a taste of this with the now common Mediterranean diet or you can fly to the Greek island of your choice.

Photo by Nick Nice on Unsplash Sample Mediterranean dish

In contrast though I should also point out that our modern fast-paced, scheduled lifestyles can perhaps be traced back to the first alarm clock/timer, a gentle water clock and chimes owned by none other than Socrates. If you really want to blow your minds at what the ancients could do, read about the super sophisticated antikythera mechanism, an analogue computer from sometime older than 100 B.C.

So, this post has just highlighted a very small portion of ancient Greek influence on modern life. You can pick any academic discipline or specialist subject and trace its foundations back to those early thinkers. We welcome readers to add comments of further examples.

Published by Michael

Publish travel web sites based on living and working in Ireland, Greece and Czechia

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