Category Archive: Ancient Greece


Greek: Λυρα What: A stringed musical instrument Lyre family: lyre, chelys, phorminx and kithara The lyre was a stringed musical instrument was one of the most important and commonly used instruments in ancient Greece. The lyre, in Greek mythology, was said to have been invented by Hermes who made the instrument to help him steal 50 prize cattle …

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Brazen Bull

Brazen bull.

Greek: Ορειχαλκινο Ταυρο What: A torture and execution device. Location: Akragas, Sicily Built: 6th Century BC Inventor: Perillos of Athens The brazen bull, (or the Sicilian bull) is a torture and execution device designed in ancient Greece. Perillos of Athens, a brass-founder, proposed to Phalaris, the tyrant of Akragas, Sicily, the invention of a new means for executing criminals. This was …

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Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenes by John William Waterhouse, 
depicting his lamp, jar, and diet of onions.

Greek: Διογενης ο Σινωπευς Who: Philosopher. Born: 412 BC Died: 323 BC (81 years old) Diogenes “the Cynic” was an ancient Greek philosopher who was born in Sinope (modern day Sinop, Turkey), a Greek state at the time.Diogenes was exiled from his native city and moved to Athens, where he is said to have become a disciple of Antisthenes, …

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Ancient Greek Coins

Ancient Greek coin - Athens Owl.

Greek: Αρχαια Ελληνικα Νομισματα First introduced: 7th Century BC Denominations: Tetartemorioi, Obol and Drachm The Ancient Greeks were among the first people in the world to use a coinage system starting in the 7th century BC. The central denomination of this coinage system was the drachm (meaning “a handful”) which derived its name from the fact that six obol (Prior to …

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Greek: Δελφοι Where: Delphi, Central Greece Founded: 1200 BC Closed: 395 AD Delphi was an important site of worship in ancient Greece and home to the Delphic oracle (The Pythia). Delphi was thought by the Greeks to be at the middle of the Earth and people from all over the ancient world would come to Delphi to seek the oracles advice. …

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Tunnel of Eupalinos

Tunnel of Eupalinos.

Greek: Ευπαλινειο ορυγμα Where: Samos island Built: 6th Century BC Engineer: Eupalinos from Megara The Tunnel of Eupalinos is a tunnel of 1,036m in length built in 530 BC in Samos, Greece. It was built to serve as an aqueduct and is considered to be a masterpiece of ancient engineering.The tunnel is the second known tunnel in history which was excavated from …

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Antikythera Mechanism

The antikythera mechanism.

Greek: Μηχανισμος των Αντικυθηρων What: An Ancient computer that calculates astronomical positions. Discovered: 1900-1901 at the Antikythera shipwreck Built: 1st Century BC The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient computer that was designed to calculate astronomical position. The device was discovered in 1900-1901 just off the Greek island of Antikythera by a group of sponge divers. There they discovered a ship wreck dating back to …

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Heron of Alexandria

Heron of Alexandria 
- From a 1688 German translation of his book Pneumatics.

Greek: Ηρων ο Αλεξανδρευς Who: Mathematician and inventor. Born: 10 A.D. Died: 70 A.D. (60 years) Lived: Alexandria, Roman Egypt Heron of Alexandria was an ancient Greek mathematicianwho was a resident of a Roman province (Ptolemaic Egypt) residing in the city of Alexandria. He is considered the greatest experimenter of antiquity and his work is representative of the Hellenistic scientific tradition. Heron most …

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The lost city of Atlantis.

Greek: Ατλαντις Where: Location unknown Sources: Plato Atlantis is thought to be a lost city that had a highly advanced civilization. It is one of the greatest mysteries of antiquity and has yet to be solved. Many people have spent years trying to find the exact location of this city but none have yet to discover it. The exact location of Atlantis …

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Cleopatra VII

Cleopatra and Julius Caesar by Jean-Leon Gerome.

Greek: Κλεοπατρα Who: Last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt (at the time under Greek rule) Born: 69 BC Died: 30 BC Reign: 51 – 30 BC (21 years) Cleopatra VII is best known for being the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a Greek Macedonian family that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s death during …

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