Greek’s contribution to the development of civilization in the west
Have you ever wondered who invented geometry, all those theorems and postulates; over a hundred to remember? Why couldn’t they just make it simple and get rid of the useless postulates and theorems? Should we just get rid of them? Well then we would be arguing with the greatest ancient civilization before Rome; Greece. One person might say, “Who cares? They are long gone; that was over 2000 years ago.” Actually, many people care, people come from all around to look at our nation’s capital building and The White House, both of which were built with Greco-Roman architecture. The same style used by the Greeks who originally used it. Now, if the geometry theorems go then we must also get rid of the white house because it has some Greek aspects to it, we wouldn’t want to be hypocrites, would we? The truth that many people don’t know is that Greece had a major impact on the development of western civilization.
The Greeks made gigantic leaps in the fields of math science, and medicine, some of their ideas still hold true today. Ok, back to those theorems. All those math students out there should know that the man behind the geometrical madness is a man by the name of Euclid, living around the time of 300 B.C. One of his most basic theorems was this one, recovered from his book, Elements, “Proposition 15, THEOREM: If two straight lines cut on another, the vertical, or opposite, angles shall be equal.” (Elements, Euclid, 300 B.C.) That specific book, Elements was used in universities all the way until about the 1900’s. That’s a long time for a book to go unchanged, no one could have stated his theorems better, or rewrite his lessons. He is the father of geometry and no once can take that away from him. So if you’re stuck on geometry and need another source, look up Euclid, he will set you straight. Another great man of the mathematics and sciences was Hippocrates, not to be confused with the word hypocrite. This man was one of medicine, the first “doctor” if you will. He was revolutionary in his techniques of healing; he used science to help people with stomachaches, earaches, toothaches, and some sicknesses. This great man lives from around 460 B.C. to 377 B.C. the reason I said he was quite the opposite of a hypocrite was the fast that he created an oath that he and all his pupils had to take before practicing medicine, “I will follow that treatment which, according to my ability and judgment, I will consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is harmful. I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked nor suggest any such advice…” (Excerpt from the Hippocratic Oath, Hippocrates.) As you can clearly see, he was a man of truth, for there are no loopholes in his oath. He practiced medicine for the good of his patients; he was a man of honor. So what, he made an oath, what is big deal? It wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the fact that every licensed doctor today must have been able to recite this oath, so next time you visit the doctor, ask him about it, see if he still knows it. This is no reflection on the doctor if they don’t know it; trust your doctors.