Legacy of Ancient Greece

The legacy of ancient Greece has played an important role in developing modern civilizations.

Ancient Greek culture spread rapidly throughout the Mediterranean region and numerous ideas were copied by the ancient Romans.

During the Medieval Period ancient Greek culture was subdued like many other cultures and replaced with other ideas.

But the Renaissance Era brought new life to ancient Greek culture and its ideas.

Today, the legacy of ancient Greece is still prominent in the world and many of the ideas are used every day.

Here is a list of important items that from ancient Greece that have benefitted the world throughout time.


Several ancient Greek philosophers are considered the Founding Fathers of Western philosophy.

Writings and ideas from individuals like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are studied today by students.

Philosophy which translates to “the love of wisdom” was developed to try to better understand the world in a non-religious way or mythical way.

Socrates tried to answer the question of “What is right and wrong”.

He developed the Socratic Method of using questions is to answer questions is still prominent today.

Plato was a student of Socrates and used dialogue in his writings to answer questions like “What is justice” and “the right type of government”.

Plato opened the first university of higher learning named the Academy.

Aristotle was Plato’s most famous student and helped develop reasoning for a middle ground between good and bad and the idea of moderation or the balance between two extremes.

He also tutored Alexander the Great as a child and during his reign as king.


One of the most important items of the legacy of ancient Greece was the development of democracy.

This type of government allowed citizens to vote for new laws and their leaders. In this way an idea for public infrastructure, a law, or a leader would be voted up or down by the citizens of the city-state.

Today, almost every government in the world uses some form of democracy allowing citizens to freely choose for themselves which laws or leaders will guide their community.


The ancient Greeks were fierce competitors.

They enjoyed numerous competitions against each other. In 776 B.C.E. they invented the Olympic Games.

City-states like Athens and Sparta would send a team of athletes to compete in a variety of events like wrestling, javelin throwing, running, and horseback riding.

Even during time of war city-states would stop fighting to participate in the Olympic Games.

Olympic discus thrower


Ancient Greeks were masterful at building structures.

Their architectural styles are some of the most widely imitated in the world.

The ancient Romans and builders during the Renaissance Period imitated architecture styles such as Corinth, Ionic and Dorian columns.

Classical Greek style can be viewed in almost every city in the world including the United States where many government buildings feature this style of architecture.


Ancient Greek art has been influential to Western artists from its existence. Ancient Greek artists were masters at creating realistic sculptures and statues.

Each piece of art created captured the realistic beauty and perfect form of the subject whether it was an animal, human, or part of nature.

Ancient Roman artists imitated ancient Greek art or they had an ancient Greek create the piece of art.

During the Renaissance Period ancient Greek artwork influenced several great artists like Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael.

Today, ancient Greek art techniques are prevalent in artwork around the world.

Technology and Science

Ancient Greeks were able to advance many scientific theories and inventions.

Many of these advancements are still used today in the modern world.

Ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras developed the Pythagorean theorem, Euclid created geometry, Archimedes calculated the value of pi and he discovered new ways to move water with the Archimedes Screw.

Other advancements were made in astronomy, calculating time, and distance.


Ancient Greeks developed western drama from a form of storytelling played out by actors.

Two types of theater were invented by ancient Greeks which were comedy and tragedy.

Men and boys were only allowed to be actors. Ancient Greeks weaved different effects from sound to visual into plays to enhance the performance.

Theaters were constructed in every ancient Greek city which offered perfect acoustics and sight lines for the audience.

The ancient Greeks even had theater competitions to determine the best playwright.

Ancient Greek theater influenced famous playwrights like William Shakespeare and today influences television programs, movies, and Broadway productions around the world.

Ancient Greek Theater

Facts about the Legacy of Ancient Greece

  • The legacy of ancient Greece has left a lasting footprint on modern society.
  • The Greek language was used extensively in Eastern Europe for centuries. Ancient Greek words are still used today in numerous languages around the world.
  • The ancient Greek alphabet is prevalent in many equations used in math, engineering, and science.
  • Thousands of manuscripts from around the known world were translated to the Greek language in ancient times including the New Testament Bible.
  • Ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are considered the Founding Fathers of Western philosophy.
  • Ancient Greek classical style architecture is widely used around the world in designing buildings. The U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. is constructed in a Classical Greek style.
  • Many ideas of ancient Greece were copied by the ancient Romans and revived during the Renaissance Period.
  • The heptathlon and decathlon were developed from ancient Greek Olympic Games.
  • The Grammy Awards are fashioned after ancient Greek playwright competitions where playwrights would present their work and the audience would vote on which play was the best.
  • Many ancient Greek inventions are still in use today like the Archimedes Screw.



What was the legacy of ancient Greece?

The ancient Greeks left a long standing mark on the modern world by developing new government systems called democracy, architecture, sports, art, theater, philosophy, science, mathematics, and by inventing new technologies.

What is ancient Greece remembered for?

Ancient Greece is remembered for developing democracy, inventing Western philosophy, realistic art, developing theater like comedy and tragedy, the Olympic Games, inventing pi, and the Pythagoras theorem.

Why is ancient Greece important to Western civilization?

Ancient Greece helped explain the world through the laws of nature by inventing Western philosophy, democracy, the arts, and through several scientific inventions.

What did the ancient Greeks invent?

The ancient Greeks invented many things still used today. For instance, they invented Western philosophy, pi, the Pythagoras theorem, geometry, and the most important item they invented was a form of government called democracy.

What did you learn?

  1. What was the new form of government invented by the ancient Greeks?


  1. What three ancient Greek philosophers are considered the Founding Fathers of Western philosophy?

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle

  1. What sporting event was created by the ancient Greeks that is still in existence today?

Olympic Games

  1. What type of artwork did ancient Greek artists create?

Realistic shaped artwork

  1. What are the two types of theater that the ancient Greeks crafted?

Comedy and tragedy