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How Ancient Greek Culture Continues to Influence the Modern World

By Liza G.

How Ancient Greek Culture Continues to Influence the Modern World

Thousands of years may have passed since ancient Greek civilization collapsed, but it continues to have an impact on the modern world. From its realistic depictions of the human body in various artworks, to its stylized architecture, their society – and art and literature– continue to fascinate people today.

The BBC reported that the main reason for the continued flourishing of Greek art is due to the fact that it was also adapted by the cultures that followed it. From the Roman and Byzantine eras to the Renaissance and even Germany during the world wars, these different eras have helped keep Greek art alive. The Met Museum discussed why Greek culture had spread so far, claiming it was because it was a seafaring country. Through trading, it was able to impart its culture, traditions, and art to other societies. Furthermore, seafaring Greeks also traveled themselves, starting their own settlements in various parts of the world.

An article on HistoryExtra says that Ancient Greek culture has become ingrained in the modern world because many societies that were formed after that era took their inspiration from this particular period. The Huffington Post even stated that this provided the building blocks for today’s modern world, having innovated concepts and practices that include but are not limited to politics, mathematics, the justice system, philosophy, sports, science, and architecture. As such, it stands to reason why their art continues to have an influence today.

Many world-renowned buildings carry designs based on Greek architecture. In fact, the British Museum, which was built from 1823 to 1846, was designed to recall Greek temples in order to emphasize the country’s position as a seat of power. In terms of artwork, while many artists have shifted to post-modernism, there are still those that observe the realism captured in Greek artwork.

Movies over the last couple of decades continue to draw on Greek culture. One example back in 2011 was “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series and its spin-offs by Rick Riordan, the first two books of which were translated into movies. Another young adult series, “The Hunger Games,” is based on the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, according to its author, Suzanne Collins. The Disney film “Hercules” recalls the Greek hero Heracles, although the story was revised to make it child-friendly. The upcoming “Wonder Woman” is also anchored on Greek mythology, with Diana being the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta.

Greek culture has even seeped into the modern world of gaming. Leading slot platform Spin Genie has been a frontrunner in the gaming industry for many years, recalling figures from Ancient Greece including rulers such as Zeus and his father Kronos to help it reach new markets. The latter has a game focused on him, titled Kronos. Due to the mystique of Ancient Greek culture, Spin Genie isn’t the only gaming company that has covered the subject, with many of the aforementioned films also being adapted into console games that have performed well across many markets.

Hardcore video games also show Greek influence. Clear examples are "God of War" and "Prince of Persia," although both of the series have also branched out to other mythologies.

Architecture, paintings, sculptures, films, and games are far from the only things that show traces of Ancient Greek influence today. Given how the culture has become indelibly linked with modern day society, as well as the richness of the civilization, it is safe to say that many of its various facets will continue to be explored in various media in the coming years.

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