Ancient Greek Science - Ancient Greece for Kids

Ancient Greek Science

Greek people were very interested in science as a way of organizing the world and making order out of chaos, and having power over some very powerful things like oceans and weather. From about 600 BC, a lot of Greek men spent time observing the planets and the sun and trying to figure out how astronomy worked. They got their first lessons from the Babylonians, who were very good at astronomy and also very interested in it.

By the 400s BC, Pythagoras was interested in finding the patterns and rules in mathematics and music, and invented the idea of a mathematical proof. Although Greek women usually were not allowed to study science, Pythagoras did have some women among his students. Socrates, a little bit later, developed logical methods for deciding whether something was true or not.

In the 300s BC, Aristotle and other philosophers at the Lyceum and the Academy in Athens worked on observing plants and animals, and organizing the different kinds of plants and animals into types. Again, this is a way of creating order out of chaos.

After Aristotle, using his ideas and also ideas from Egypt and the Persians and Indians, Hippocrates and other Greek doctors wrote important medical texts that were used for hundreds of years.

To find out more about Greek science, check out these books from or from your local library:

Greek and Roman Science, by Don Nardo (1998). Nardo has written a lot of good books about the ancient world for kids; this one is no exception.

Ancient Science: 40 Time-Traveling, World-Exploring, History-Making Activities for Kids, by Jim Wiese (2003). Activities, as the title says - how to make your own sundial, and so on. The author is a science teacher.

Greek Science After Aristotle, by G. E. R. Lloyd (1975).

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