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Ancient Greek Inventions We Still Use Today

Whether you grew up reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books or love to play with the Pythagorean theorem in your spare time, you have to appreciate the fact that the Ancient Greeks still influence our society today.

But while most of us recognize some of their creations, like democracy and the Olympics, there are still plenty of ancient Greek inventions we still use today that we aren’t even aware of. Here are a few of them.

Ancient Greek Inventions We Still Use Today

Whitewash

We generally consider white one of the more basic house paint colors. Because of that, we often don’t appreciate the fact that white paint was actually innovative at some point in history. And that point in history was ancient Greece.

Back then, Greece was still just as sunny and warm in the summer as it is today. And since that would be 2000 years before the invention of central air, they had to get creative to keep homes cool. To do this, the Greeks made their mark on the history of house paint by creating the durable white paint we see reflected in Greek homes to this day.

 

Central Heating

Even though the ancient Greeks would have to wait for central air, they didn’t have to wait for central heating. In larger buildings, such as the temple of Artemis in Ephesus, slaves would tend to a large fire. They then propelled the heat of this fire through a series of pipes that ran under the floors of the building.

The Romans would later adopt this system (as they did many Greek inventions), and utilize it in their hypocaust systems, which worked very similarly.

 

Vending Machines

When one imagines an ancient Greek vending machine, it’s easy to picture a machine that gives you figs or olives in exchange for a drachma. However, they used these vending machines to dispense something entirely different—holy water.

Heron of Alexandra, an inventor who also came up with the water organ, a programable robot, a fire engine, and the automatic door, created these for use in temples. You inserted a coin, pulled a lever, and voila. The machine dispensed water for ritual purposes.

 

Cheesecake

With all these scientific and technological advances, the idea of a dessert being an ancient Greek invention we still use today may be a little surprising. What’s more surprising is that they didn’t just treat cheesecake as an indulgent treat.

While they still considered cheesecake a dessert, one often served during weddings, it was also a popular choice at the Olympics. The Greeks saw it as a good choice for athletes who were trying to keep their energy up during the games. So the next time someone asks you why you’re eating a slice, just tell them it’s part of your ancient athletic training regimen.

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