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He was one of the first writers to not only collect stories of ancient Greece, but also have them survive for others to read. The earliest mathematic theorems, Thales' theorem and Intercept theorem , both stemmed from the work of Thales of Miletus, recognized as the first of the seven wise men of Greece. Thale's theorem, which asserts that an angle inscribed in a semicircle is a right angle, lies at the crux of any modern-day geometry class.

Following Thales, Pythagoras of Samos coined the word mathematics , meaning "that which is learned.


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Pythagoras is also responsible for the word philosophy , signifying "a love of wisdom. From Socrates to Plato to Artistotle, the Greeks expanded the new field into one of research and conversation regarding the role of knowledge, the capabilities of the human senses, and how man exists within the world. Each of these elements have had a direct impact on the shaping of Western thought as we know it. Americans are familiar with the famous description of democratic government by Abraham Lincoln, "a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

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Demokratia , Greek for "power of the people," was born in Athens in the 7th century BC. As the city-state's oligarchy exploited citizens and created economic, political and social problems, Athenians were inspired by the successful, semi-democratic model Sparta had adopted. They turned to lawmaker Solon, who tried to help the struggling majority without disadvantaging the wealthy minority.

He gave each Athenian the right to vote, and their assembly the ability to elect officials, pass laws and weigh in on the court's affairs. Athens is also the home of the original trial by jury practice. While any one citizen could raise charges against another in an ancient Greek courtroom, they were not allowed to select the jurors for their own trial. Their juries proved far larger than those used today -- it wasn't uncommon for the courts to use up to citizens for any given case , and even to surpass 1, when it came to issues of death, exile and property seizure.

Each decision was made via majority rule to keep the courtroom as reasonable as possible.

Books Set In Greece

The tradition of ensuring that all who serve receive a day's pay also originated in ancient Greece. When it came to magical storytelling, the ancient Greeks were true professionals. Their myths were used to teach people about gods, heroes, nature, and why they practiced their religion the way they did. The narratives chart the globe, sharing new adventures and life truths with anyone who chooses to listen. From Achilles and Poseidon to Hercules and Athena, these stories have preserved the most colorful parts of Greek history well into the present day.

The early days of ancient Greek theatre began as festivals honoring the god Dionysus , and eventually evolved into an art all its own, once more than one person was allowed to take the stage at any given time. After performing the first known dramatic poetry reading on stage , Thespis became recognized as the first Greek actor and founder of the tragedy genre. Comedy, another genre introduced soon after by the Greeks, relied mainly on imitation.

Aristophanes, for example, is most well known for writing comedic plays, 11 of which have managed to survive to the present day. Satyr plays centered around mythology stories with amusing twists. The breathtaking city of Olympia is home to one of the world's greatest -- and oldest -- sport event traditions. More than 3, years ago , the ancient Greeks began hosting the games every four years in honor of the god Zeus.

This practice continued for almost 12 centuries until Emperor Theodosius banned "pagan cult" rituals in AD. The first modern Olympic games took place in Athens in So koinonia is the shared spirit in a community of believers. When the English-speaking world needs to name something, it turns to ancient languages. Like the octopus, the medusa, or jellyfish, is one of the original sea monsters. He is the timeless personification of the flower, accounting for its existence.

The hyacinth is another flower with a myth attached: Hyacinthus was a Greek youth beloved of Apollo, who killed him accidentally. George Orwell lamented the tendency to overlay classical names on common English flowers. Perhaps the Greek words create a comforting distance between us and our bodies. Would you rather have tennis elbow or epicondylitis? Water on the brain or hydrocephalus? A doctor might call someone a hemophiliac, whereas a mother would bemoan a bleeder. In the years after my first trip to Greece, I swung between modern Greek and ancient Greek, cramming modern Greek before a trip, returning to ancient Greek when I got home.

I moved to Astoria, the Greek-American neighborhood in Queens, where, sitting at a table early in the morning, I consumed Thucydides, with my Greek text and my spiral notebooks and my abridged Liddell and Scott—the Greek-English lexicon essential to classicists. I worked night shifts on the copy desk so that I could take undergraduate courses at Columbia, where I was the class nerd. Particles help make a language a language.

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English is loaded with particles, words and expressions that float up constantly in speech: like, totally, so, you know, O. Some people deplore the extra words as loose and repetitive, and complain that kids today are lazy and inarticulate and are destroying the beauty of the language. But we have relied on such little words since antiquity. Denniston, added to particle lore with a six-hundred-page book on the subject.

Redfield comes close. Of course, this difficulty has not stopped anyone who falls under the spell of Greek from attempting her own translation, which is part of what keeps the language alive.


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  8. One of the things I most love about Homer lives on as a source of endless controversy among classicists: his use of epithets. And why would any of these describe the color of the sea? The standard epithet for Athena is another mystery. What strikes me most is that Athena looks mortals in the eye. She levels with them through her gaze. As Virginia Woolf suggests in her remarks on Aeschylus, knowing Greek sometimes takes a leap of intuition.

    He was saying that the sea had the depths found in a cup of wine: that it was mysterious, hypnotic, dangerous. It drew you in, and you could lose yourself in it. We used to sing it together at a karaoke bar called Same Same But Different during our J1 summer in New York, her on lead vocals, me on backing.

    She loved that song, she was the one who wanted to be famous. In the end, she had her picture splashed across the newspapers for the worst possible reason. The guy, his name is Luke funnily enough, is going on and on about how you can never replicate the sound of vinyl on a computer. I gave her the silent treatment on the way home on the subway. It all seems so silly now. We fought a lot that summer, I was tired of her finishing my sentences and speaking for both of us, a throwback to when I had a stammer as a child.

    Old habits die hard, I suppose. A toothache? Where did that came out of?


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    8. Everyone you meet knows someone you know, and sooner or later everyone knows your story. But all this bloody sunshine makes it much more difficult to be alone. I constantly feel like I should be sitting with a group of friends in a beer garden or taking romantic seaside strolls. I should have thought about this before moving to Australia on my own.

      Maybe I should have gone to Seattle, I hear it rains a lot there. The recession was my official excuse for leaving but mostly I was trying to get away from my parents. Birthdays are the worst. While she will remain forever 21, and perfect, I continue to age, with the croakiness and crankiness that that brings. We all wonder what she would be like if she were here. Would she have made it as an actress?

      Same same but different, a short story by Anne Hayden

      Got married? Had kids? We picture a parallel universe, one with her in it. The Americans really buy into all that stuff. We never experienced that sort of psychic connection.

      Archaeology shows that these fierce women also smoked pot, got tattoos, killed—and loved—men.

      That said, on the night she died, 3, miles across the Atlantic, I sat bolt upright in my bed at 4am, as if waking from one of those nightmares that has a silent scream at the end. It was 11pm in New York, which I later learned was the time the taxi slammed into Molly as she walked home from a night out in Brooklyn.

      I had cut my summer short by returning to Dublin to repeat my oral Irish exam. That fact has haunted me for years. Even though I was at home while she was living it up in the Big Apple, the independence was freeing. In the months after, he turned up at my door late one night looking for a Molly-shaped shoulder to cry on. I opened a bottle of wine and we sat up talking for hours. We kept most of our clothes on even when he was inside me, and we were ever so quiet although there was no-one to hear us, as if being quiet somehow made it less of a crime.