What is Greek History Known For?

Greek history is one of the most fascinating and influential periods in history. From the beginnings of civilization to the birth of democracy and the creation of philosophical, artistic, and literary works, these are some of the things Greek history is known for.


The beginnings of western civilization can be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece. This period of history is known for its advancements in art, architecture, science, philosophy, and the development of democracy.

• The Parthenon: The Parthenon is the most recognizable structure in Athens, located on the Acropolis. It is a representation of perfection in Ancient architecture and has become synonymous with Ancient Greece since its completion in 438 BC.

• Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are some of the most influential Ancient Greek philosophers. Socrates was known for his pithy statements and questions, while Plato and Aristotle wrote some of the most influential texts of Ancient philosophy.

• Homer: Homer is one of the most influential Ancient Greek authors whose works remain some of the most popular pieces of Ancient Greek literature. His most famous works are the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey.

• Ancient Greek Art: Ancient Greek art is some of the most celebrated in the world and includes sculptures, pottery, and mosaics. Some of the most famous pieces of Greek art are the Parthenon Marbles, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Venus de Milo.

• Ancient Greek Science and Technology: Ancient Greeks were some of the first to develop scientific methods of inquiry, and some of their most celebrated contributors are Hippocrates, who established the foundation of modern medicine, and Euclid, who taught geometry and mathematics. They also developed the precursor to the first computer, the Antikythera mechanism.

Classical Period

The Classical Period of Ancient Greek history is known for its cultural and political advances. This period saw great accomplishments in politics and culture, including the construction of the Parthenon and the development of democracy.

• Alexander the Great: Alexander the Great is one of the most famous figures in Ancient Greek history. He was the ruler of Macedon from 336 BC to 323 BC and is known for his sweeping military campaigns which extended from Greece all the way to India.

• Athenian Government and Laws: The government of Ancient Athens was a direct democracy, meaning all citizens could participate in decision making. This democratic system made Athens the most powerful of all the Greek city-states. Laws were also put in place to ensure justice and stability, such as the ostracism which allowed citizens to expel undesirable politicians.

• Greek Gods and Religion: The Ancient Greeks had a rich mythology featuring many gods, goddesses, and creatures. Religion was a very important part of life in Ancient Greece and was used to explain natural phenomena and instill moral values. The gods and goddesses were believed to have superhuman powers and to reward mortals who honored them.

Hellenistic Period

The Hellenistic Period of Ancient Greek history is known for the spread of Greek culture throughout the Mediterranean world. This period saw the wider acceptance and celebration of the art and literature of Ancient Greece.

• Hellenistic Art: Hellenistic art was characterized by its more realistic depictions of human figures in its sculptures and paintings. It also saw the development of the art style known as “baroque”.

• Hellenistic Literature: The Hellenistic period saw the development of some of the most influential works of Ancient Greek literature. Works like the works of Epicurus, Aristotle, and Plutarch are some of the most famous texts from this period.

• Alexander’s Empire: The Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great extended from Greece to India, and spread the influence of Greek culture throughout the Mediterranean. It was during this time that Greek became the common language of many parts of the Mediterranean.

Roman Period

The Roman Period of Ancient Greek history saw the spread of Roman culture to the Greek city-states, and the subsequent adaptation of Roman culture by the Greeks.

• Roman Architecture: The Romans adopted many elements of Ancient Greek architecture and developed a style that blended these elements with their own. Rome is known for structures like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the aqueducts.

• Greek Tragedy: Greek tragedy was a form of theatre that used tragedy as a form of entertainment. The plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were some of the most influential works in the world of drama.

• Roman Law and Administration: Roman law and administration spread throughout the Greek city-states. This system of law and administration was used to organize and administrate the newly created Roman provinces.

Byzantine Period

The Byzantine Period of Ancient Greek history saw the rise of the Byzantine Empire and the spread of Christianity to the Greeks.

• Greek Orthodoxy: The Byzantine Empire was a major proponent of the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith and spread it throughout much of the Byzantine territory. The Byzantine form of Christianity became known as Greek Orthodoxy and is still practiced today.

• Byzantine Art: Byzantine art is characterized by its mosaic art and its combination of Greek and Roman styles. The Hagia Sophia is an example of the combination of art and architecture found in the Byzantine period.

• Byzantium and the West: The Byzantine Empire was a major cultural and political force in the Mediterranean and played a major role in preserving Ancient Greek culture. This was a period of great exchange between East and West, as the Byzantine Empire was a major link between the Greco-Roman world and the Islamic world.

Greek history is one of the most influential eras in human history, and is remembered for its contributions to art, literature, science, philosophy, and the development of democracy. From the beginnings of western civilization to the rise of the Byzantine Empire and the adoption of Christianity, Greek history is known for its unique achievements.