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Various cultures have lasted for periods of time throughout history. Some have continued on a fairly unbroken line from inception such as the Chinese. Others have begun, been raided by invaders and adopted new cultures, been sent into devolution by disease or natural disasters or other occurrences. Greece may be seen to have gone through this. The Greek culture survives for us in writing but it has made an impact on our modern ways of thinking through each of the fields presented in this essay below.
The Greeks lived very differently than the way we do today. While they were beginning to gain much of the scientific knowledge that we have today, they lacked the technology and the tools to prove many of their beliefs. As a result, they were sometimes wrong. One way that this can be evidenced is in their attribution of many natural phenomena to the working of their pantheon of deities. These gods and goddesses had very petty conflicts in which humans were often involuntarily embroiled which would result in wars and pestilence or occasionally piece and prosperity. The impact of the myths of Greece on modern life can be seen in our entertainment. Their stories are often referenced in our own films and books.
Despite being so easily given to mythological explanations the Greek philosophers laid a foundation in logic that is at the backbone of some of our most lofty professions, like law. Socrates and Plato were some of the first to apply sound reasoning to situations in order to seek out truth rather than to continue repetition of the most popular lies. This is something that even then was capable of getting someone put in jail or executed so such early philosophers risked much in pursuit of their ideals.
Much of what we know today about the ancient world comes from the records that these people kept. This is not to say that these records were perfect. Far from it. However they are often accurate in ways that modern observers take a while to realize. Cities have risen and fallen over the centuries. Sometimes to the point where hardly any sign remains that they were once there. The legend of Atlantis remains to be proven however.
Modern Greece has many issues to contend with of a financial nature. This should not take away from what the region has contributed to our current way of life.