1. Read Homer’s description of the Cyclopes (plural) in Book 9 of The Odyssey. Would you describe them as having a civilization? Why or why not?
Throughout history, civilization has been described in a few different ways. Many of these descriptions share some key attributes. Most civilizations had agriculture, some form of government, architecture, and commonly believed principles, such as religion and tradition.
Based on the way civilizations have been recognized in the past, it is safe to say that the Cyclopes of Homer’s The Odyssey, do not have a civilization. This is because Homer describes them as lawless, having no government, nor even assemblies where they discuss problems among themselves. He says they do not plant or plough, but rather live off the crops that grow wild on their island. The Cyclopes are very isolated from other countries and each other, living in caves and mountains spread around the island. Therefore, their community would not be considered a civilization.
3. What is the significance of ancient Greece in Western civilization?
Ancient Greece is significant in Western Civilization because they passed down much of their culture, language, and knowledge. Many of our English words are rooted in Greek words. The letters of the Greek alphabet are also widely used for a number of things. They are used as a ranking system, and terms in math and science. Western civilization is heavily influenced by the works of ancient Greek philosophers such as Socrates and Aristotle. Aristotelian ideology even shows up in Christianity. The Greeks also handed down their discoveries in science and math, such as Euclid’s geometric postulates. The ancient Greeks also influenced Western government, starting the spread of democracy over monarchs. Western civilization took inspiration from Greek orators as well.
Ancient Greece heavily influenced most facets of Western civilization. We adopted their culture, philosophy, language, and their discoveries in the stem field. Due to their influence, it is safe to say that without the ancient Greeks, Western civilization would not be even close to where it is today.