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17Mar

Ancient Greece is not just ancient history

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5 Things That Ancient Greece Has Contributed to Modern Culture

The legacy of this classical culture has had a significant influence on culture today, from athletic spectacles such as the Olympics to the storytelling structure of Hollywood films. Even if someone has never read a single scroll by Plato or Aristotle, they have most likely encountered one of the many ways that ancient Greece remains a presence in contemporary life.

Olympics and International Sports

Every four years in ancient Greece, rival city-states entered into a formal armistice, setting aside political intrigue, legal disputes and weapons of war to send their best athletes to the Olympic Games. Although the original tradition of the Olympics died out in the 5th century A.D., the ideal of a sports competition that would bring nations together inspired the revival of the Olympic Games in 1896.

Mythology

The pagan religion of the ancient Greeks may no longer be the established faith of the Aegean peninsula, but references to the legends of its gods and heroes continue to pervade our own culture. Common expressions such as "Pandora's box," "harpy" and "Herculean" are among the many modern-day references to ancient Greek mythology. Its influence can also be detected in a more oblique way; for instance, a number of commentators have observed that modern comic book superheroes bear the stamp of Greek myth.

Dramatic Structure

In his "Poetics," the 4th-century B.C. philosopher Aristotle observed that plays in the genre of tragedy tended to follow a recurring pattern: the story has a beginning, middle and end, with more complex plots involving some form of reversal, crisis and resolution. Aristotle's breakdown of ancient Greek tragedy has provided a ready-made template for contemporary screenwriters, not to mention screenwriting instructors.

To read this article in full, please visit: classroom.synonym.com

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