Ancient Greek Inventions in Modern Society

archimedesSome of the most well-known objects in our daily lives originated in ancient Greece. Aside from such concepts as philosophy and democracy, ancient Greeks contributed many mechanical inventions that we still use today.

Alarm clocks: The first alarm clock was created in ancient Greece, by Ctesibus, a Hellenistic engineer and inventor. He developed an elaborate system of dropping pebbles onto a gong in order to make a sound. This sound was set to occur at specific time intervals.

The odometer: There is a dispute around the Greek inventor of the odometer, as some say it was the Hero of Alexandria while others claim that it was Archimedes. The invention of the odometer aided ancient Greek civilization by boosting its economy.

Central heating: According to archaeological discoveries from Ancient Greek sites, the Temple of Ephesus was kept warm using flues under its floor to circulate the heat from fires kept burning underneath.

Thermometers: The original concept for today’s thermometer dates back almost 2,000 years. The Greeks of Alexandria were the first who figured out how air expands when exposed to high temperatures. Philo of Byzantium was the first to apply this technique and create the first thermometer.

Maps: The Greek scientist Anaximander was the first who conceptualized the ideas of longitude and latitude. Later, Strabo and Eratosthenes created maps spanning the entire world as it was known at the time.

The concept of the Lever:  The lever was first described by the Greek mathematician Archimedes in 260 BC. The use of the lever eventually made possible the construction of the iconic, massive buildings of the ancient era.


  1. Nice article however merely a fragment of a shard of our contribution to the world. To describe all the inventions the ancient Greeks created will fill volumes which Skopians would promptly copy and claim as theirs.

  2. We’re spreading a bit of ancient Greek history over the next few weeks with our History lessons. Tomorrow’s email: The Rise of Greek Democracy (c. 750-500 BCE). We send a brief, daily review of things we should all remember from school…but don’t.

    Sign up at

  3. Unfortunately some cowardly alleged Greeks seem to have a problem noticed the Skopians have not been not operating in a political vacuum. Take for example the all patronizing foreigners that ridiculously called Skopians “Macedonians”. You know the ones that now try to evasively downplay the Skopians sudden identity quick change into ancient macedonians and irredentism… by trying to talk Greeks out of ethnic existence.

    Your new “pal” T-nto is one of them.

    Is that your method of showing concern for Hellenism? By being “allies” with those trying to ethnically exterminate us by deleting our very identity?

  4. This article makes a few inaccurate claims.

    The idea of maps themselves far predate ancient Greeks. There are maps of the heavens in caves of Lascaux that date to 16,500 BCE.

    While Anaximander is *sometimes* credited with longitude and latitude (which helped make maps more accurate), his real claim to fame was suggesting the earth was a free floating object in the heavens and that other objects like the sun behaved similarly. Eratosthenes was the one that actually did an incredible job of estimating the earth circumference within 0.2 percent using very primitive tools but mathematically sound methods. His estimate was unsurpassed until the 20th century!

    Same sort of mistake with the lever. Archimedes helped explain how levers worked in precise mathematical and mechanical ways but levers themselves were already in use for thousands of years. Levers helped build the Egyption Pyramids.