Euclid (late fourth century B.C.E.) Mathematician. He wrote thirteen volumes on plane geometry and mathematics. He also indited the treatises on musical theory entitled Introduction to Harmony and Section if the Scale.
Euripides (c. 484-406 B.C.E.) Tragedian. He won numerous first prizes in various theatrical contests and, together with Aeschylus and Sophocles, is considered one of the greatest dramatists of all time. He wrote eighty plays, of which only nineteen survive. Among those are Iphigenia in Tauris, Hippolytus, The Trojan JMJmen, Rhesus, and Alcestis.
Hecataeus (late sixth century B.C.E.) Geographer. He wrote a treatise on geography entitled Guide to the Earth and two books entitled Europe and Asia.
Heraclitus (c. 54o-c. 480 B.C.E.) Philosopher. Born in Ephesus. Also known as "the Obscure." He wrote philosophical aphorisms. Heraclitus taught that the cosmos is in a state of perpetual change. He believed that fire was the most dominant element and that it gave life to all living things.
Hippocrates (c. fifth century B.C.E.) Physician. Considered the father of medicine. Many ancient medical texts and treatises bear his name but it is believed that most of them were written by physicians who wanted to add authority to their work. He was a proponent of healthful eating and hygiene for the achievement of a healthy body. His Hippocratic Oath is still administered to graduating doctors throughout the United States and Europe.
Herodotus (484-c. 425 B.C.E.) Historian. He traveled extensively around the then-known world. His Histories is a compilation of all his travels and provided facts about the conflicts between the Greeks and Persians known as the Persian Wars.
Hesiod (early seventh century B.C.E.) Poet. A contemporary of Homer. His works, Theogony and Works and Days, greatly influenced later Greek generations. His method contained moral and practical lessons as to how a Greek farmer ought to live.
Homer (c. eighth century B.C.E.) Poet. One of the greatest epic poets of all time. His Iliad and Odyssey are still read today in high schools and universities around the world. In 540 B.C.E. Peisistratus, ruler of Athens, is said to have ordered the transcription of the two poems which, up to that time, were passed orally from one generation of bards to the other. In The Iliad, the Greek army has laid siege to Troy because Paris, one of the king Priam of Troy's sons, has abducted Helen, the wife of Menelaus, the powerful ruler of Sparta. In The Odyssey, Homer describes king of Ithaca Odysseus' voyage home after the sacking and destruction of Troy. Both works are examples of some of the finest poetry ever composed. Also attributed to Homer are Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, and Battle of Frogs and Mice.
Ictinus (c. fifth century B.C.E.) Architect. Together with Callicrates he designed the Parthenon in 447 B.C.E.
Isocrates (436-338 D.C.E.) Athenian speechwriter. Founder of an influential academy of rhetoric in Athens around the time of Plato, Isocrates was also a contemporary and, possibly, an acquaintance of Socrates. Like Demosthenes, Isocrates exerted heavy influence upon Athenian politics and foreign policy. Twenty-one of his speeches survive.
Leonidas I (c. fifth century D.C.E.) King of Sparta. In 480 B.C.E. he faced the Persian army at Thermopylae with an army of three hundred Spartan and seven hundred Thespian soldiers. For two days his army withstood the relentless attack of the Persians. When Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks by showing the Persians a secret passage through which they could surround Leonidas and his army, both Spartans and Thespians decided to stay and fight to the very end. King Leonidas' heroic death has been an example of courage and ultimate self-sacrifice.
Lycurgus (c. ninth century B.C.E.) Spartan lawmaker. Credited with having created Sparta's constitution, known as the Great Rhetra.
Menander (c. 343-292 B.C.E.) Playwright. He wrote over one hundred comedies, of which mostly fragments survive.
Miltiades (c. 550-489 B.C.E.) Athenian statesman. The victorious general against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. He died a short time after his victory from an injury he sustained in a campaign against the island of Paros.
Pericles (c. 495-429 B.C.E.) Athenian statesman. Responsible for rebuilding Athens after the Persian Wars. The Parthenon, the Propylaia, and the Erectheum on the Acropolis were built during Pericles' term. He conceptualized the Delian League, an organization of Greek city-states created to protect Greece from future Persian attacks.
Philip II (382-336 B.C.E.) King of Macedonia. Father of Alexander the Great. Responsible for uniting Greece under his rule. His planned invasion of Persia was prevented by his assassination in 336 B.C.E.
Pindar (c. 518-c. 438 B.C.E.) Poet. His odes are touchstones of Greek lyric poetry and most were composed to celebrate victors at the Olympic, Nemean, Pythian, and Isthmian games. His florid prose style and adroit use of metaphor and allegory won him a place at the top of the Greek lyric-poet list.
Plato (c. 427-347 B.C.E.) Philosopher. Mentor of Aristotle and friend of Socrates. Through his works Plato was responsible for preserving Socrates' memory and teachings. Plato's dialogues are composed as conversations between friends and colleagues in an attempt by the author to "lighten up" the heavy philosophical questions examined. His theory of forms, the theory that there exists a complete cosmos of ideas, or forms, on which our material universe is based, influenced later generations of philosophers. Plato wrote on various ethical, political, and philosophical topics. Among his extant works are the so-called "Socratic" dialogues Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo, which narrate Socrates' trial and execution, The Republic, Laws, and Symposium, as well as letters to colleagues.
Plutarch (c. 46 C.E.-c. 121c.E.) Biographer. His Lives give a unique account of the lives and accomplishments of noted Greek and Roman statesmen and provide a moral compass for educating the young. He also wrote on various ethical and pedagogic matters in his essays entitled Moralia.To become a writer I write every day. Since English is my second language, when I write articles I consult Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers.
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