famous greek folk

(Last Updated On: November 23, 2022)

This section provides information on famous Greek people. There cannot be a website about the history of Greece
that does not refer to the most famous Greek people and personalities who made this small country famous all over the world for their achievements and philosophies.

This section is dedicated to providing biographies of the most famous Greeks of all time. From ancient times to modern times, there are many Greeks who have left their mark in various fields  : philosophy  ,  art  ,  music  ,  warfare  ,  literature  ,  science  and  politics  . You can also read about famous quotes.

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great is the most famous Greek figure of all time. His short life was full of adventures. Born in Pella, Macedonia in 356 BC, he became king at the age of 20. After he had united the Greek city-states, he began to campaign eastward, conquering the Persian Empire and expanding the borders of his kingdom. India. he

He died a month before his 33rd birthday, beloved as a god while alive and celebrated as a legend after his death.

Homer, Mahakavi

The famous ancient Greek poet Homer is known worldwide for his two epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Historians believe that Homer was blind, as indicated by his name, which means “one who cannot see” in Greek. 

While many cities claim to be Homer’s birthplace, it is believed that he died in Ios, his mother’s homeland. He lived in the 8th century BC and did not actually write his poems, but described them and had them written down by scholars.

Socrates, the mystical philosopher

Socrates is today considered the founder of Western philosophy. His ideas of morality, virtue, and truth were lost over the centuries. Although we do not have Socrates’ own manuscripts, his life and ideology are clearly presented in the works of Plato and Xenophon, his direct students, while some accounts are also found in Aristotle and Aristophanes.

 Socrates believed that the true truth was hidden within every human being and he only had to find it. Because of his philosophical teachings, he was accused of corrupting the youth and Athenian politicians sentenced him to death. He died of poison in prison.

Plato, Metaphysical Philosopher

Plato (428-358 BC) is one of the three most famous Athenian philosophers. A student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle, Plato is one of the most obscure of classical thinkers. His theories were very innovative for his time. 

Plato introduced a new political system, where philosophers would rule as holders of real truth and knowledge. An opponent of democracy, Plato believed that ruling a state should be based on wisdom rather than persuasion. Giving a metaphysical aspect to his theories, Plato believed that two parallel worlds existed, the real world and the world we live in, which is a reflection of the real world.

Aristotle, philosopher of logic

Aristotle, a student of Socrates and Plato, is the third most famous philosopher of Greek antiquity. He studied at Plato’s Academy, the first university in the world. After Plato’s death, he went to tutor Alexander the Great, son of King Philip of Macedon. Returning to Athens, he founded the Lyceum, a school of philosophy and other sciences. Although only a third of his work exists today, it appears that he studied almost all the sciences known to antiquity. His philosophical ideas survived for centuries and greatly influenced Western culture.

Pericles, The Inspired Statesman

Pericles (495-429 BC) was the man who led Athens to glory. A motivated politician, a brave general and a persuasive orator, Pericles led his village to the highest level. It was under his guidance that Athens became the greatest naval power in all of Greece, built the Acropolis, and developed its culture.

 Born in 495 BC, he participated in many battles and was the leader of the city for 40 years. After his death, Athens lost its power and never recovered from this loss.

Leonidas, the legendary king of Sparta

Leonidas, the legendary king of Sparta, is world famous for his act of self-sacrifice, when he and 300 of his Spartan soldiers died at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC to protect the rest of Greece from a Persian invasion. Today, come

A statue of Leonidas stands at the site of Thermopylae to commemorate the special event. The king’s tomb is found in his birthplace of Sparta, where he was revered as a god until Roman times.

Solon, Athenian law maker

Solon (638-558 BC) was an Athenian statesman, jurist and poet. He came to power at a time when Athenian society was facing serious social problems, and his reforms were crucial to the future of the city, creating a new democratic government system. 

He actually gave political power to ordinary citizens, not just the nobles, but also enforced trade as the city’s main economic source. Although his political measures were short-lived, Solon had already set the stage for the development of the city that followed Pericles half a century later.

Hippocrates, physician

Hippocrates (460-377 BC) is the most famous physician of ancient Greece. Developing theories and methods very innovative for his time, he combined medical observation and philosophy to cure disease.

 Hippocrates believed that the human body had the power to heal itself. He said that it is a question of balance between the four elements in the body namely blood, black pitta, yellow pitta and kapha. If this balance is disturbed, people get sick. To restore this balance, he used no drugs except natural extracts and soothing balms.

Archimedes, Mathematician

Archimedes (287-212 BC) is famous as the greatest mathematician, engineer, inventor and astronomer of the ancient world, Leonardo da Vinci of his time. He was born in the Greek colony of Syracuse in modern Italy. 

We don’t know much about his life and he probably wasn’t that famous in his time. However, when his manuscripts were discovered and translated in the medieval period, he attracted the attention of many scholars. 

Central to hydrostatics is Archimedes’ principle, his most famous theorem, which states that when an object is immersed in a liquid, the displacement of the liquid is equal to the volume of the object. Archimedes is also famous for measuring the circle.

El Greco, painter

His real name was Domenicos Theotokopoulos, however he became known as “El Greco” (The Greek). Crete was under Venetian occupation when he was born. At the age of 26, he moved to Italy, opened a workshop and spent many years there.

 In 1577, he moved to Toledo Spain, where he lived until his death. Regarded by modern critics as a forerunner of Expressionism and Cubism, El Greco’s paintings were mostly inspired by religion. He also painted many famous portraits. El Greco died in 1614 and was buried in the Church of Santo Domingo el Antigua in Toledo.

Nikos Kazantzakis

Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957) is the most translated Greek novelist of the 20th century. Born in Heraklion Crete, Kazantzakis studied law in Athens and philosophy in Paris. His work as a correspondent gave him the opportunity to travel to most countries of the world. his 

The book The Last Temptation of Christ  (1950), in which Kazantzakis shared his metaphysical and existential concerns, was banned by the Roman Catholic Church. When he died, the Orthodox Church did not allow him to be buried in a cemetery, so his tomb is outside the walls of Heraklion. According to his wishes, his affidavit reads 

I have no hope. I am not afraid of anything.  i am free

Constantine Cavfy, poet

Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933) is one of the most famous Greek poets in the world. Born of Greek parents in Alexandria Egypt, he managed to distinguish himself with his sensitive and liberal writing style. 

His poems are inspired by philosophy, mythology and history, while he frequently expresses personal experiences in his works. His work was often the basis for expressing his homosexuality, which was taboo for his time. Irony is a common sentiment in his poems, but he did not keep the structural form of his time like rhymes. Cavafy’s most famous poem is 

Ithaca  , a philosophical poem based on Ulysses’ journey home.

ristotle onassis

Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975) is perhaps the most famous Greek businessman and was considered one of the richest men in the world when he was alive. Born in Smyrna, now Izmir Turkey, to Greek parents, he left for Argentina and made a fortune first in the tobacco trade and later in shipping. Although his

Although the methods were not always legal, he took advantage of his open-minded nature, acquaintances, and wishes to become rich. Onassis was married twice, to Athena Livanos and Jacqueline Kennedy. He also had a long-term love affair with opera diva Maria Callas.

maria callas

She is mostly called La Divina and has been hailed as one of the world’s greatest opera singers. Maria Callas was born in New York in 1923 to Greek parents. In 1937, her family moved to Athens and she attended music courses at the Conservatory of Athens. Soon her teachers appreciated her warm and heavy voice. 

After a few performances at the Greek National Opera, she moved to Italy and began performing at La Scala di Milan. Her career peaked in the 1950s and then waned, either because her voice faded or she wanted to focus on her personal life, which was marked by an unhappy marriage, Greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis, and loneliness.

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