Empedocles (495-430 BC) proposed that all matter was indestructible and eternal

Empedocles (495-430 BC) proposed that all matter was indestructible and eternal

He was the first to come up with the idea that matter exists in payday loans Graham online only four basic forms – earth, air, fire and water. Different balances lead to different kinds of materials. Democritus (c.460-362) developed this idea and anticipated modern physics by proposing that all matter consists of minute and indivisible units called atoms.

Anaximander (611-547 BC) asserted the theory of organic evolution, with the earliest animals being fish, which later adapted to different environments to become land animals and human beings.

In medicine, the Greeks dissected animals to refine their ideas on anatomy. They located the optic nerve and recognized the brain as the locus of thought. They discovered that blood flows to and from the heart. Hippocrates (c.460-377 BC) argued that diseases had natural rather than supernatural causes, and that they therefore could be treated by natural means. He advocated rest, proper diet, and exercise for a healthy life; he knew the uses of many drugs, and he helped improve surgical practices. He is considered one of the key figures in the history of Western medicine.

In astronomy, the first three-dimensional models to explain the apparent motion of the planets were developed in the 4th century BC.

Aristotle advanced the scientific method by his insistence on observation of the material world being an important root to knowledge. Together with his rules of logic (see the section above, Philosophy), this laid some important foundations for the scientific method in the West. He put this method into action himself by classified many plants and animals, so making a great contribution to botany and zoology. He developed Empedocles’ ideas on matter by adding a fifth element, ether, to the other four.

The Legacy of Ancient Greece

The language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and the arts of the ancient Greeks were crucial in laying the foundations of Western civilization. Through the Roman Empire, much Greek culture came to Western Europe. The Byzantine Empire inherited Classical Greek culture from the Hellenistic world, without Latin intermediation, and the preservation of classical Greek learning in medieval Byzantine tradition further exerted strong influence on the Slavs and later on the Islamic civilization of the Golden Age. Through these channels it came again to Western European in renewed force, and was hugely instrumental in stimulating the Italian Renaissance.

The civilization of ancient Greece has been immensely influential on subsequent world history

The art and architecture of ancient Greece have had an enormous impact on later cultures, from ancient times to the present day. This is particularly the case with sculpture and architecture. Roman art was largely a continuation of Greek – in fact, in many cases it was actually executed by Greek artists. In the East, Alexander the Great‘s conquests led to the rise of the hybrid Hellenistic civilization in which Greek and Asian styles mingled. The distinctive Persian art of the medieval period incorporated the plasticity of Greek art and solidity of Mesopotamian. The Ghandara style of northern India similarly embodied the artistic heritage of two quite different civilizations, ancient India and Greece, and had a large impact on the Buddhist art of northern India, central Asia and Eastern Asia.

In the West, following the Italian Renaissance (after c. 1400), the technical brilliance of Greek (and its offspring, Roman) art and architecture stimulated artists to look to these ancient models for inspiration. From that time until well into the 19th century, the classical tradition derived from Greece and Rome was the dominant strand in Western civilization.

Ancient Greek mathematics contributed many important developments, including the basic rules of geometry, the idea of formal mathematical proof, and discoveries in number theory and applied mathematics. It is now increasingly recognized that Greek mathematics owed a great deal to Mesopotamia; however, the Greeks made many advances of their own. The discoveries of Greek mathematicians are foundational to modern mathematics.