The Golden Age of Greek Science – Greek Reporter

Helios (Sun) on his chariot. Image from a 330 BCE vase from Canossa, a Greek colony in southern Italy.

By Evaggelos Vallianatos*

What is a golden age?

A golden age captures the best and greatest virtues of human achievements. These accomplishments, however, must have the potential of uplifting humanity to a higher plane of living and be sufficiently moral for building civilization.

Greece had two golden ages. Their legacies, especially in science, made Western civilization.

The first Greek golden age took place after the Greeks defeated the Persians in early fifth century BCE. During the fifty years between the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War, Athens in particular shone with a flourishing and confident Greek culture: democracy, building of the Parthenon, philosophy, science, classical architecture, theater, athletic games, and military strength.

These signs of frank speech, prosperity, and confidence were the pillars of a golden age.

The second golden age was the result of another Greek military victory over the Persians. This happened in the second half of the fourth century BCE when Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire and spread Hellenic culture throughout the world.

The capital of Alexander’s empire was Alexandria, Egypt.

Alexander and Aristotle

Alexander, 356 – 323 BCE, was the son of King Philip II of Macedonia. Philip hired Aristotle to tutor his thirteen-year old son.