Explore BrainMass

Greece: Heart of Western Civilization?

Greece has been referred to as the heart of Western Civilization, implying that all Western society stems from the accomplishments of a handful of city states in the Mediterranean. Do you agree with this? Why or why not? Be sure to offer evidence as to the accomplishments or shortcomings of the Greeks in your answer.

Solution Preview

Greece, the Heart of Western Civilization?

There is no doubt that the Greeks have contributed much to Western Civilization - the very foundations of our social structures can be found to have its origins in Greece. Most historical accounts call Greece as the 'heart' of Western civilization and students and readers take this account and view as valid. Is it true then? Now, when academics and experts point to a particular group of people or a particular position as valid, it is supported by facts. And Greece, being the heart of Western Civilization, a position that it was allocated due to the role the Ancient Greeks played in the shaping of our modern and 'western' consciousness is pretty much well substantiated from a Western perspective. Now, before we go any further, let us discuss what 'Western Civilization' means. It is, plainly speaking, 'European Culture or Western European Civilization', hence the word 'west' for much of its core originates from a combination of Western European cultures from 9,000 BC. At the time of Colonialization, we refer to this culture as 'Old World' culture - the culture of the colonial powers. Overall however, Western culture is broad for it refers to a broad array of social norms, ethical, values, traditions, customs, political systems, artifacts, belief systems and technological shared heritage. What this means is that while it 'begins' from the time of the Greeks then expanded by the Romans, it also includes cultural influence and contributions from the Celts, the Germanics, Romanics, Latins, Iberians, Slavics and other ethnic groups, especially Persian/Islamic due to the expansions of Alexander the Great early on in the Hellenic civilization. Now, across the spectrum of Western traditions and thought, much of its political structures and philosophical thought is seen as essential in distinguishing Western thought from others in that it forwards ideals of scholasticism, humanism, rationalism and democratic values. What makes Western ...

Solution Summary

The solution above provides a 1,248-word narrative that discusses the role of Greece in the development of Western Civilization to show why it is seen as the 'heart of Western Civilization' by many. The discussion explains the enduring contribution of Greece as progenitor for today's modern society. References are listed for expansion.