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Pythagorean Theorem proof

By | 2017-09-25T10:25:04+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Greeks, Math|

A right triangle. This is the proof of the Pythagorean Theorem supposedly written by Pythagoras about 500 BC: The Pythagorean Theorem says that in a right triangle, the sum of the squares of the two right-angle sides will always be the same as the square of the hypotenuse (the long side). A2 + B2 = C2. Try it yourself: if Side [...]

Dysentery – History of diarrhea

By | 2017-09-06T17:52:46+00:00 September 6th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

A waterfall in what is now the south-eastern United States Dysentery means having trouble with your insides - your intestines. It usually means that you have very serious diarrhea. In the ancient and medieval world, dysentery killed about a third of all the babies born before they got to be a year old. [...]

Castor and Pollux – Roman religion

By | 2017-09-04T13:32:34+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Greeks, Religion, Romans|

Castor and Pollux - the Dioscuri - on a votive plaque from Tarentum in southern Italy Castor and Pollux were originally Greek gods, but when the Romans were fighting the Etruscans in 496 BC, the Roman soldiers saw visions of Castor and Pollux fighting on their side. When the Romans won the battle, they decided to try [...]

Stoics – Greek and Roman philosophy

By | 2017-08-16T15:25:13+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Greeks, Philosophy|

Cicero, a Roman philosopher The Stoics were a group of philosophers who first began teaching their ideas in the Hellenistic period. Stoicism was founded by a man named Zeno, who lived from 335-263 BC. He was friendly with the successors of Alexander who ruled Greece. Zeno lived in Athens, which was a great center of learning. He used to [...]

Skeptics – Greek philosophy

By | 2017-08-16T15:21:08+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Greeks, Philosophy|

This is supposed to be a bust of Pyrrhon, the founder of Skeptic philosophy We don't know as much as we might like to about the activities of Plato's Academy after the death of Aristotle. But between about 300 and 100 BC- almost up to the birth of Jesus - the Academy became known as the center of [...]

Epicurean philosophy – ancient Greece

By | 2017-08-16T14:57:21+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Greeks, Philosophy|

A statue of the philosopher Epicurus, carved later, long after he died. Another philosophical group which developed in the Hellenistic period, around the same time as the Skeptics, was the Epicureans. Epicureans were named after their founder, Epicurus, who lived around 300 BC. Epicureans believed that the main reason for studying philosophy was practical: to make a happy [...]

Cynic philosophy – ancient Greece

By | 2017-08-16T13:57:45+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Greeks, Philosophy|

Diogenes the Cynic with his lamp (Roman sculpture, once in the Villa Albani) One of Socrates' students, Antisthenes, started his own group of philosophers called the Cynics in the late 400s BC, arguing - like Buddhists in India a little earlier - that a simple life without possessions was the path to happiness. Antisthenes' most famous successor [...]

War in ancient Greece

By | 2017-07-19T06:22:52+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Greek hoplite soldiers (Chigi Vase, ca. 650 BC) Wars were very common in ancient Greece. The Greeks lived in little city-states, each one like a small town in the United States today, with no more than about 100,000 people in each city-state. These city-states - Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thebes - were always fighting each other over their borders. Often [...]