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.