Greek Scientists Serena David & will Ellsworth

Major Developments in Science

Ancient Greece supported major pioneers in science, which led to impactful developments that still affect us today. Ancient Greece developed concepts and invented fields in medicine, engineering, physics, astronomy, and biology. This development was due to their belief that regularities and patterns in nature led to discovering the secrets of the universe. They had a fundamental belief that nature had to obey certain rules and with knowledge of these rules, it became possible to predict the nature of our universe. The observation and deduction of our surroundings led to logical arguments. This way of thinking gave a foundation for many great thinkers, scientists, and engineers that Greece was home to. Thales of Miletus discovered that the nature of the world could be explained without supernatural impact. Anaximander believed that humans must have evolved from other animals, who could survive as young animals, as infants are helpless when they are young. Empedocles began to understand a form of evolution and the concept of survival of the fittest. The vast range of discoveries proved that Greece was home to curious people, with a drive to figure things out.



Hippocrates was a Greek physician who has been called the father of medicine. Hippocrates is noted for his development of medical ethics and for the Hippocratic Oath. This oath was suspected to not be written by him, but was named after him. Throughout, Hippocrates life, he was seen as both a physician and as a teacher. Hippocrates mentored individuals like Plato, for a fee, but in turn became a famous figure in Greece. Aside from medical ethics, Hippocrates also made breakthrough discoveries in medical research. Hippocrates believed that diseases were caused by a poor diet, which produced vapors, which caused someone to become ill. Hippocrates produced writings that covered how he believed the body worked, what disease was, and how to used medicine to help treat someone. The medical developments of the Hellenistic period were caused by Hippocrates research. Even after Hippocrates died, his influence impacted the development of the modern medical fields of surgery, pharmacy, anatomy, and physiology. His works caused speculation of medicine and competition between different schools of medicine. Hippocrates developed the first system of medicine and his writings still impact us today. The development of medicine throughout the world was built on a foundation that Hippocrates gave us.

Archimedes of Syracuse

Archimedes Screw, Lever, and Pulley

Archimedes was notable for his discoveries in engineering and physics. He developed simple machines, that in turn, gave us the ability to construct larger projects in the future. Archimedes invented a screw that when you turn a handle it would pull water up from one end and out the other. This was originally used for getting water out of the bottom of ships, and is still used today for irrigation in developing countries. Archimedes also discovered the concept of water displacement, which was a breakthrough in the measurement of irregular objects. He figured out that you could find the volume of an object by putting it into water, and seeing the difference of the volume of the water. He figured out that if he finds the volume that way, and then the mass, he will be able to calculate the density. Archimedes also developed the simple machines of the lever, pulley, and fulcrum. He developed the concept of buoyancy, which tested an object's ability to float and water. These discoveries greatly influenced our knowledge of the physical world and made it possible to develop the building of larger projects. The science behind how an object can float, as well as how a catapult throws an object, sparked the spirit of discovery in Greece, which proves that his influence has gone on for centuries.

Anaximander of Miletus

Anaximander of Miletus studied astronomy, the calendar, and major developments in cartography. He set up a gnomon (shadow casting rod) in Sparta to demonstrate equinoxes and solstices. which refers to when the seasons start and the length of days. The gnomon also demonstrated the hours in a day. He drew a map of the known world (which was later edited by other philosophers and scientists) and a celestial globe which shows the apparent position of stars in the sky. These astronomical observations, led Anaximander of Miletus to believe the sun and moon were rings filled with fire. Miletus' work laid the foundation for Greek scientists in the future and helped us become curious in geography of both our land and of the stars above.


Smith, Weskey D. "Hippocrates." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 06 Nov. 2009. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.

Project, The Archimedes Palimpsest. "The Archimedes Palimpsest." The History of Archimedes. The Archimedes Palimpsest, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.

Evans, James. "Anaximander." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 09 July 2009. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.

Cristian Violatti. “Ancient Greek Science,” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified June 13, 2013. /Greek_Science/.


Created with images by orionpozo - "Galenus Avicenna Hippocrates" • Marijana07 - "achil sculpture greece" • mcostadolobo2012 - "Hippocrates" • tristanf - "Big archimedes screw" • p_a_h - "Levers" • Matti Mattila - "Pulley" • skeeze - "arch stone night"

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