Ancient Greece's legacy has been as broad as it is deep, including major concepts, institutions, and inventions in government, culture, the arts, mathematics, the sciences, and technology.
With its conquest of Asia Minor in 133 B.C. Rome replaced Greece as the dominant power in the Mediterranean world. However, the Greek legacy remains. Greek works in the arts and sciences set a standard for later people of Europe. Greek ideas about law, freedom, justice, and government continue to influence political thinking to the present day.
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek philosophers developed an ideal of critical thought and self-examination that allowed people to question ideas and institutions. Citizens could participate and judge governments. Later, the founders of Western political systems, including of the United States, studied these ancient Greek ideas as part of their classical educations. The Athenian experiment in direct democracy by citizen participation thus had a deep and far-reaching impact on modern politics and governments.
These achievements and their impact were especially remarkable because they were produced by a scattering of tiny city-states whose rivalries left them too weak to defend themselves from conquest. Later, you will learn how the Greek legacy influenced the civilizations of Rome and of Western Europe.
In what fields did Hellenistic civilization make advancements?