50 Essential Facts About Ancient Greece

The 50 facts that you MUST know on your way to becoming an Ancient Greece expert!

Socrates was the first major Greek philosopherPhilosophers
Socrates was executed for “corrupting the young” with his ideas
Plato was the first to mention Atlantis
Aristotle was a student of Plato, but his ideas were more practical
Aristotle was the tutor of Alexander the Great
Zeus was king of the gods and father to many. Most by different mothersGods
Zeus' wife was Hera. She was also his sister!
Zeus and his siblings overthrew the Titans. The Titans were their parents
The Romans adopted many Greek gods but gave them new names
The gods were thought to dwell atop Mount Olympus
There were about 1500 city-states in Ancient GreeceCity States
The Greek word for a city was “polis.” It's related to "police" and "politics"
The two most powerful cities were Athens and Sparta
Athens was one of the first states to have a democratic government
Spartan boys were trained as warriors from the age of 7
After 4,000 years of effort, it was the Greeks who found the value of PiDiscoveries
The Greeks knew Earth orbited the Sun back in the 3rd Century BCE
They knew it was round even earlier - in the 6th Century BCE
And they discovered its circumference in 240 BCE
They also measured the size and distance of the Sun and Moon
Odysseus' homeward journey after the Trojan War took 10 yearsHeroes
The Argonauts were so named because they sailed the ship "Argo"
Theseus killed the minotaur and is credited with founding democracy
Perseus, great-grandfather of Heracles, killed the gorgon Medusa
Heracles was the most famous hero. His 12 labours are legendary
The Greeks loved their stories. They recited poems and had theatresCulture
The Greeks performed plays wearing masks
There were 3 types of play: tragedy, comedy and satyr
Myths were told orally for centuries before they were written down
The most famous of all Greek poets was Homer. He was allegedly blind
The Greeks and Persians fought a 50 year war in the 5th Century BCEPersian Wars
We know what happened because of the Greek historian, Herodotus
The Battle of Marathon was part of that war. The race is named after it
The film "300" is based on the Battle of Thermopylae
The wars ended in 448 BCE with no clear winner
The Sirens lured sailors to their deaths. They were half woman, half birdMonsters
Harpies were flying monsters described as beautiful and hideous
The Hydra had several heads. If one was cut off a new one grew!
Cyclopes were one-eyed giants. One of them was blinded by Odysseus
Cerberus was a three-headed dog who guarded the entrance to Hades
Alexander fought many battles but he never lost a single oneAlexander the Great
Many of the cities Alexander conquered are named after him
Alexander conquered the largest empire the world had ever seen
We don't know how Alexander died. He may have been poisoned
Alexander’s body was preserved in a vat of honey
The Greeks invented the water wheel in the 3rd Century BCEInventions
Named after Mt Olympus, the Olympic Games are a Greek invention
Hippocrates, "the father of medicine" was the first to study illnesses
Arched bridges were a Greek invention. The oldest surviving is in Greece
The first spiral staircase was in a Greek temple in Sicily

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