Ten Famous Greeks

Ten Famous Greeks

The Ancient Greeks were famed for being the founding fathers of western civilisation and democracy. Most ancient Greeks were educated and as we know, many became hugely influential philosophers.

The modern Greeks are famous for…well…what their ancestors did…and their cooking.

Of course my father believes that ALL Greeks are famous.

But for the sake of this post I thought that I would only list 10 of the MOST famous Greeks, otherwise we could be here all day.

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  1. My father: Dimitrios Botzios: – no introduction necessary. Read more about the King of the Red Apes here.
  2. Alexander the Great: considered to be one of history’s most successful commanders, King Alexander III of Macedeon spent most of his reign on a military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, creating one of the largest empires in the ancient world by the time he was thirty.
  3. Aristotle Onassis: prominent shipping tycoon Onassis was as famous for his love affairs as his business affairs. After a 14 year marriage to the daughter of another shipping magnate, Onassis had an affair with opera singer Maria Callas, then promptly dropped her to wed Jackie Kennedy. After a series of tragic deaths in the family, the only surviving descendent is Aristotle’s granddaughter Athina Onassis, who is now one of the wealthiest women in the world.
  4. Maria Callas: one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century, Maria Callas endured struggles and scandals throughout her career, including a highly publicised affair with Onassis, but her vocal talents continue to be appreciated to this day.
  5. King Leonidas: King of Sparta, Leonidas I led the Spartan forces during the Second Persian War and is remembered for his heroic death at the Battle of Thermopylae. Sadly, there is no historic evidence to suggest that he yelled the words “THIS. IS. SPARTAAAA!!!”
  6. Prince Philip: Born in Corfu, but later exiled, the Duke of Edinburgh is the longest-serving, oldest-ever spouse of a regining British monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) and the oldest-ever male member of the British Royal Family. He abandoned his Greek and Danish Royal Titles (as well as his Greek Orthodox Religion) when he married, as well as his original surname Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg and adopted the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents. He reached the rank of Commander in the British Royal Navy and is a patron of over 800 organisations.
  7. Nana Mouskouri: born with only one vocal cord, Mouskouri’s distinctive, angelic soprano has made her the biggest-selling female artist of all time, also due to her fluency in multiple languages which has enabled her to reach audiences all over the world.
  8. Socrates: one of the most prominent philosophers in classical history, Socrates is renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics and The Socratic Method, which he applied to the examination of key moral concepts such as the Good and Justice.  He was sentenced to death by poison for opposing the standard views of the government.
  9. Pythagoras: known to maths students all over the world for his theory that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, Pythagoras of Samos made influential contributions to religion and philosophy in the late 6th century and set up his own religious sect. He was eventually forced to flee the city after political conflict, apparently spent some time in a cave, and supposedly died aged around 75 in a place called Metapontum.
  10. Hypatia of Alexandra: born c.AD 350-370, Alexandria was a Neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician and astronomer who was head of the Platonist school at Alexandria. After being accused of exacerbating a conflict between two prominent figures in Alexandria, Hypatia was murdered by a Christian mob.

 

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13 Comments

  1. 3rd July 2014 / 9:05 am

    A great list!! Imagine if these famous and influential Greek people had a blogs. That would be a great read.

    I wonder if our grandchildren will read our blogs??

    • 3rd July 2014 / 9:07 am

      They will probably be far too advanced to write blogs – they’ll be floating around in space somewhere!

  2. 2nd June 2014 / 7:32 am

    Well I knew all of them apart from number 7 but I must admit that I did learn about your Dad at school or uni like I did many of the others. I am a big fan of Prince Philip and have a large collection of some of his jokes and slightly off remarks. It’s nice to have someone so honest that speaks his mind. I’m sure your Dad is great too though 🙂

    • 2nd June 2014 / 8:47 am

      He definitely speaks his mind too!

  3. 30th May 2014 / 9:47 pm

    Now, that’s fun ! – you lot with interesting and Other origins are luckier than most, what with all that truly fascinating background to post about. Sighh …

    • 30th May 2014 / 10:17 pm

      As my dad frequently reminds me!

      • 30th May 2014 / 10:22 pm

        Are you planning to write a biography of him, Ekaterina ? – seems to me it would be a terrific thing to do …

        • 30th May 2014 / 10:30 pm

          I’m afraid it would be longer than The Lord of the Rings trilogy Margaret! We’ll see…

  4. Maria Constantine
    30th May 2014 / 1:03 pm

    Love the post, Ekaterina! It reminds me of visiting one of my uncle’s home where he and his wife are well-read on Ancient Greece and often talk about the influence of the Greeks on the world.

  5. 30th May 2014 / 12:46 pm

    A wonderful post Ekaterina – thank you. Love the history of the Greeks – just fascinating.

    • 30th May 2014 / 12:56 pm

      They are an interesting bunch! 😉

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