Know yourself (gnothi seauton) [since] ... an unexamined life is not worth living, Socrates in Plato's Apology.
Whatever, in fact, is modern in our life we owe to the Greeks. Whatever is an anachronism is due to mediaevalism. Oscar Wilde
Life in ancient Greece was not so easy. Even Plato and Socrates had to fight and Socrates even was a war Hero. Only for short periods it was a peaceful life possible. Answers to questions such as how much did a house cost in Athens, did the Greeks learn foreign languages, etc. The word for dance is orcheomai, coming orchos or orchatos, i.e. trees in a row, which the row of dancers resembled. The place where they danced was the orchestra, later the location of good seats close to the stage and where musical accompaniment was placed when necessary. This gave its name to the musicians themselves, which are now known as the orchestra. About Slavery Greeks use two different words doulos and sklabos and douleia in modern Greek means slavery but also work. There are many reports that stress the difference between douloi in Greece and slaves in Rome, and there is a truth in this. When Telemachos, the son of Odysseus, returns to Ithaca the slave girls are happy to see him and they kiss him, but Demosthenes says also that slaves are more likely punished physically than free men. The authors of Who killed Homer even say that America with Lincoln stopped slavery but replaced it with a system that treats many even worse than slaves. I would not go so far but I would say that slaves are slaves and that as Euripides says: A free man?There is no such thing! All men are slaves; some, slaves of money; some, of chance; others are forced, either by mass opinion, or the threatening law, to act against their nature.
An ancient Greek table "Trapeza", usually had 3 legs (a solution to the wobbly aspect ). Recently a high-energy physicist proposed a solution to the four legs tables problem of wobbly tables. Just rotate the table and at some point, all four feet will touch the ground : PDF.
Pottery more than 8000 years tradition in Greece
On this truly happy day of my life, as I am at the point of death, I write this to you ... Epicurus, Letter to Idomeneus
Harmonics is an obscure and diffuclt musical subject, particularly for those who do not know Greek letters, Vitruvius De architectura
Even if slavery in Greece existed it is even today a problem. The number of slaves transported to the United Stated is 10 - 12 millions. Many more died before and during the transport (some assume this number to be 60 millions).
Ecstasy is derived from the Greek word ekstasis "standing outside oneself" (from existanai , displace ) (and existanai phrenon, drive out of one's mind)
Socrates: The fact is, as we said at the beginning of our discussion, that the aspiring speaker needs no knowledge of the truth about what is right or good... In courts of justice no attention is paid whatever to the truth about such topics; all that matters is plausibility... There are even some occasions when both prosecution and defense should positively suppress the facts in favor of probability, if the facts are improbable. Never mind the truth -- pursue probability through thick and thin in every kind of speech; the whole secret of the art of speaking lies in consistent adherence to this principle.
...among which it is reported that Xanthippus, the father of Pericles, had a dog that would not endure to stay behind, but leaped into the sea, and swam along by the galley’s side till he came to the island of Salamis, where he fainted away and died, and that spot in the island, which is still called the Dog’s Grave, is said to be his. Plutarch Themistocles
Laelaps the dog who never failed to catch what he was hunting once had to catch the Teumessian fox that could never be caught.
The Olympic Games in Greece
... μηκεθ' αλίου σκόπει άλλο θαλπνότερον εν αμέρα φαεννόν άστρον ερήμας δι' αιθέρος, μηδ' Ολυμπίας αγώνα φέρτερον αυδάσομεν". ...Look no further for any star warmer than the sun, shining by day through the lonely sky, and let us not proclaim any contest greater than Olympia, Pindar 1st Olympian Ode
Last year we had the modern Olympic Games after more than 100 years again in Greece and for the first time after 393 AD again in Olympia when the ancient games were forbidden for religious reasons. The religious games of the past are now controlled by a gigantic industry and millions worldwide spent in training a considerably time of their life in order to participate and maybe win and become Olympionikes.
“Δε μπορώ να ξεχάσω την ακράταγη αισιοδοξία, που μας είχε παλαβώσει όλους μας, που είχαμε πιστέψει πως την αναστήσαμε εμείς την αρχαία ομορφιά (Ολυμπιακούς Αγώνες ) και πως η Ευρώπη δε θα έκανε πια τίποτα άλλο, παρά να χάσκει μπροστά μας και να μας προσκυνά. Αφέλειες ανίδεων λαών και ξεπεσμένων". Κωστής Παλαμάς
Here, Greeks, is the proper place for you to settle; for here the sky leaks. Herodotus Histories IV
...no garden is perfect unless it contains a portrait of Aristotle or one of Pittakos. Juvenal
Αρχαία Ελληνική Τέχνη
As for the man who believes in beautiful things but not in the existence of Beauty itself, nor is able to follow one who leads him to the knowledge of it, do you think that he lives in a dream or in a waking state? I certainly think that the man who does this is dreaming. Plato
Art and Science are not completely independent. We need for example to know how to produce bronze and from this sculptures. The Greeks had nine muses, daughters of Zeus, each representing an Art form or a Science. With the advance of Greek Science we have also a development of perspective and realism in Art (starting with statues like the Kouros) that approached perfection in the Hellenistic ages (although some may question its quality compared to the classical age (classic from Latin classicus, meaning "first class") and who like more the heroic and perfect and idealistic statues). From the last century we have a change in Arts away from the Greek realism also due to the new ideas from Quantum Mechanics, Relativity about our world and also due to Technological advances.
Not what man knows but what man feels, concerns art. All else is science, Bernand Berenson, 1897 American art critic and writer
[Solon] went to see Thespis himself, as the ancient custom was, act: and after the play was done, he addressed him, and asked him if he was not ashamed to tell so many lies before such a number of people; and Thespis replying that it was no harm to say or do so in play, Solon vehemently struck his staff against the ground: "Ah," said he, "if we honor and commend such play as this, we shall find it some day in our business." Plutarch: The Life of Solon
One famous story of ancient Greece was that of the actor Polus performing in the Electra of Sophocles, at Athens in the 4th century BC. The plot requires Electra to carry an urn supposed to contain the ashes of Orestes. Polus brought the ashes of his dead son on stage so as to generate the requisite feelings for a cry of lamentation.
When I find myself in the shell of an ancient theatre I look at the landscape, beyond, always so much well chosen and immediately then I look around the spectators. I try to see their eyes, thousands eyes in line. Looking at a detail, at a a moment which cannot be transmitted to others. Not at a concrete action that I could easily suppose... The eyes extinguish with their emotions, as stars die and what remains is the empty space, so much desertness. G. Seferis