40 Fascinating Facts about Greeks

26Olympian athletes

Ancient Greek cities honored victorious Olympian athletes by demolishing part of the city wall so that, on their return, they wouldn't have to use the gate like ordinary mortals.

27. In the 1821 Greek War of Independence, the Ottoman Turks ran out of bullets and started to strip the columns of the Parthenon for the lead. When the Greeks got wind of this, they gathered up their bullets and sent them to the Turks to use against themselves to protect their ancient heritage.

28. Empedocles, 5th-century Greek philosopher most known for the development of the idea of the Four Elements, also concluded that matter could neither be created nor destroyed and developed a theory of evolution concluding that form followed function and that the fittest survived.

29. The Greek mathematician Pythagoras created his own cult which forbids the consumption or touching of the beans, and according to legend died when being chased by assassins and refusing to escape through a bean field.

30. The word "echo" comes from Greek Mythology. Hera (Goddess of women and marriage) was so annoyed at echo that she punished her by taking away her voice, except in repetition of another's shouted words. Thus, all Echo could do was repeat the voice of another.

31Aristotle

Aristotle's Eudemian Ethics, which is about happiness and what makes life worth living, was only published for the first time in a modern language in 2011.

32. Plato, the famous ancient Greek philosopher, believed people have knowledge "from past incarnations" and that learning is a matter of "rediscovering" it.

33. Aristotle believed that the brain was just a minor organ for cooling the blood and heart and a place for the spirit to reside.

34. A few thousand years before Plato described Atlantis there really was a big island which disappeared in the middle of the North Sea.

35. The word "panic" comes from the Greek woodland God Pan who was believed to be the source of mysterious forest sounds that would cause contagious, groundless fear in animals and humans alike.

36Vassilis Palaikostas

There is a Greek man named Vassilis Palaikostas also known as "Robin of the Poor" who stole money from the rich, gave it to the poor and has escaped from the same high-security prison twice.

37. Ancient Greeks built a 7-mile wall from Athens to the port of Piraeus to guarantee safe passage to the sea.

38. In Greek Mythology, the God 'Phosphorus' represented the planet Venus, or the 'Morning Star', as the Bringer of Light. The Latin translation of Phosphorus is Lucifer.

39. Commas were originally invented by the ancient Greeks in order to show actors where to pause and breathe.

40. When Diogenes, the Ancient Greek philosopher, was mocked by members of the Athenian Elite at a party, who were comparing him to a dog and throwing him bones across the room, he simply stood up, walked over, lifted his leg and took a big old steaming piss all over them.

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