Legacy is another word for inheritance. In this context it refers to what has been handed down to us, generation by generation, since the spark of humanistic thought was ignited, when our ancestral Hellenic philosophers first contemplated the exceptional nature of our species and turned it away from barbarism and toward civilized behavior. It refers specifically to the embrace of behavior choosing the ideal of goodness over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
In this sense, the Hellenic legacy is like none other- freely gifting its accomplishments down to its descendants- all of its descendants. For it is the legacy related to philosophy, mathematics, the arts and sciences, law, political science, and just about every intellectual discipline we are capable of. But it goes much further. It includes the cultural explosion of notions of humility, honor, friendship, loyalty that also found its way into every other culture of the ancient world. It even pursued cuisine, music, healthcare, and humanitarianism.
Because this legacy stretches back to the beginning of recorded history— a result of these first Hellenes developing the first written language so that we could record history— most people don’t relate to the remarkable gifts they bestowed upon humanity. An example of this would be the modern reference of a Mediterranean diet being the healthiest diet. Yes, the diet has long been a staple in and around the Mediterranean countries. But it was the Greek obsession with ‘dissecting the whole into its components’ that provided the science of food and medicine which in turn, created the Mediterranean diet. The diet should have been named ‘The Greek Diet,’ after the ancient world embraced all things Greek . . . but it didn’t. It diluted the Hellenic gift that brought about a better diet.
Another example would be music. Rather than a blind embrace of something that pleased the human psyche, the first Hellenes dissected music to find its component forms and its relation to mathematics. This research led to the discovery of harmonies and musical scales that produced different emotional responses. Thus, evn music as something that could be made exceptional.
The most glaring example is in the first Hellenes pursuit of medicine. Medicine is more than the oath Hippocrates demanded be taken by all those who aspired to be physicians. It was the exploration of natural herbs and plants and their effects on the maladies of the ancient world that eased the suffering of the world’s peoples. Today we think of medicines as those synthetic chemical compounds that replace their naturally occurring counterparts. New research is now discovering how the ancient Hellenic cures were actually effective without the dark side of the pharmaceutical monster.
Explore with us the history and culture that is the basis for all western civilization . . .