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A Hodgepodge of Ancient Greek Trivia II
Posted In: Ancient Civilizations  8/25/12
By: Yona Williams

Modern construction involves the building of towers, skyscrapers, new roads and tunnels that help people get from one point to another. Today, we have many kinds of machines to help with the dirty work that comes with construction. In this article, you will learn about some of the accomplishments of ancient Greeks, including the achievement of Greek architect Eupalinus.

Early Tunnels

A project led by Greek architect Eupalinus took place in the 6th century BC to dig a tunnel measuring ½ mile on the Aegean island of Samos. Workers dug the tunnel by starting at both ends and made their way towards the middle. When the two halves met, they were only a couple of feet off center, which was an impressive accomplishment for an ancient civilization without the assistance of electrical tools and other advanced technological benefits.

Poor Anaxagoras

If only Greek philosopher Anaxagoras was born in more modern times, he would not have been exiled from Athens for his belief that the sun was not a mere glowing circle of light. In 435 BC, he suggested that the sun was a glowing rock that was larger than the Peloponnesus. His beliefs and outside political interests felt the need to banish the philosopher from the city.

Euclid – the King of Reprint

When it comes to writing a publication that stands the test of time, Euclid (the Greek mathematician often called the 'Father of Geometry') ranks high. When he penned 'Elements' around 300 BC, he had no clue that it would have undergone more than 1,000 editions since the invention of printing.

An Observation of Dolphins

Since dolphins are creatures of the sea, some people would like to think that they are fish. However, they are classified as mammals – a fact that dates back to the days of Aristotle – the great philosopher. One day, he saw that when dolphins gave birth, their live young were attached to their mothers by an umbilical cord. It wasn’t until the 19th century that this observation was confirmed as truth in the books of modern science.

An Ancient Aphrodite Torn to Bits

Hypatia lived from around 355 to somewhere between 370 and 415 AD. She represented the epitome of beauty, expression and learning. Not only was she the sole female scholar dating back to the days of antiquity, but she was also the last member of the great Library of Alexandria (on record). She helped spread the ideas of Euclid and because she taught Neoplatonism, she was considered a pagan. It didn’t matter that Christian bishops were some of her students, she still received a great deal of hatred and violence sent in her direction. In 415, she was murdered when fanatic monks (led by bishop Cyril) started to riot and brutally used oyster shells to slice her body into pieces.


 

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