Culture in Greece

Explore the Greece Culture

Many think of Greece as the cradle of Western civilisation with Athens at the centre of it all. This reputation stems from the development of their culture over thousands of years. It has been influenced by the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and Greek independence. Greeks were essentially the first to employ democracy as a means of government and they also at the top of the sporting and artistic world in earlier times.

One way that Greecian culture has influened western culture, it through its art. The greeks were the first to employ the controposto pose and make their sculptures more realistic. Prior to this most sculptures were rather angular, blocked against stone or lacking in elegance and movement. The Greeks found a way to push the current boundries of the time, creating art that was more elegant and beautiful than ever before. In many ways, this skill with the hammer and chisel has not been surpassed but rather echoed through many great artists since. Byzantine art and architecture also played a notable role in early Chrisitanity. Painting was considered one of the highest forms of art but there are very few examples of this artform from earlier times. Some magnificent and complex mosaics dating back to the Byzantinian era can still be found in parts of Greece today. Unfortunately much of this amazing art has been lost to the ravages of war and climate over the years.

Ancient Greeks also made use of a somewhat developed sense of architecture in ancient times. Buildings were initially built in a solid Doric style but later this became more decorative in first the Ionic and then later the Corinthian style. Impressive Greek temples were constructed out of marble and limestone and remnants still remain which give a clear indication of their maginificence. Grecian architecture had a large impact on Roman building styles in later years and this in turn, was taken to all corners of the world as the Rome continued to expand it's borders. Even today modern architecture draws on some of these building elements to create stylish and eligant buildings.

Ancient Greece was also renown for its pottery and coins. The Greeks developed a style of decorating their clay vessels called black-figure, red-figure or white-figure pottery. Certain of these styles cannot be accurately duplicated to this day and those that can be are incredibly hard to master. This shows the ingenuity and diligence of early Grecian craftsmen. And while Greek coins are nothing to look at, the have survived the ages well and in many ways provided the basic design of the coin which is used to this day.

Other speres that Greeks have had a large influence are literature, philosophy and religion and sport. Phew today have not heard of the Illiad or the legends of the grecian gods Zeus, Aphrodite, Hera and even the demigod Hercules. The philosophies of Plato, Aristotle and Socretes are known to some degree throughout the world. As for sport, the Greeks were the founders of the famous Olympic Games.

Another sphere of Grecian culture that is generally held in high regard is their cuisine. Their Mediterranean diet is known for it's indisputable health value - causing less health problems overall than most other diets. It has had many influences over the years and is well established today.

There are few cultures more intricate, beautiful and developed than the Grecian culture. A trip to Greece will allow you to experience this truth for yourself.

 



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