Like the imposing white marble of many Greek monuments, the impact of ancient Greek culture is still alive and well today. See and learn more about the ancient Greeks in this image gallery.
On the coast of Greece at Cape Sounion lies the Temple of Poseidon. Take a look at the most famous temple from ancient Greece in the next photo.
The Parthenon is the embodiment of classical Greece that stands atop the Acropolis in Athens. Why was it built in the first place?
The Parthenon, a temple in the Doric style, was built to honor Athena, goddess of wisdom, during the golden age of Athens. See a sculpture of Athena in the next photo.
This statue at the Academy of Athens depicts Athena, the Greek goddess of learning. You know the Parthenon -- did you know about the other temple on the Acropolis?
The Erechteion is another temple on the Acropolis that has a section for Poseidon and a section for Athena. These female statues are replicas to protect the originals from damage. The Parthenon is also in danger.
The crane at work on the Parthenon testifies to the temple's constant need for attention and repair -- its popularity brings a lot of visitors. The next photo shows a more remote site.
These are the ruins of the Tholos temple in the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, in Delphi. How have we learned so much about ancient Greece?
Much of our knowledge about the ancient Greece comes from engravings on ancient pottery, like the Olympics scene drawn on this 5th century B.C. vase. See where athletes like these competed in the next photo.
On Kos Island in Greece lies the ruins of a stadium. The next image shows ancient Greek athletes in action.
In keeping with ancient Greek tradition, every two years the Olympic torch is lit and makes its way through a huge relay. The next photo shows a sculpture of a female athlete.
This statue depicts a young competitor in the Herean games, a female version of the Olympics held every four years at the festival of Hera. What did the winning athletes receive?
This engraving shows the awards ceremony at the ancient Olympic Games, circa 600 B.C. At very elite events, the only spoils were wreaths of greenery made from olive branches, laurel, pine or parsley. Of course, the Greeks weren't just jocks.
Much of our civilization started with the Greeks. Sitcoms, for example, are founded upon Greek comedies that would take place in theaters like this one. Take another look at a classic amphitheater in the next photo.
These crowds explore the ancient Ampitheater of Epidaurus in Peloponnese, Greece. In addition to its playwrights, ancient Greece is also known for its thinkers.
This illustration shows the Greek philosopher Socrates (469 - 399 BC) teaching his ideas to the young Athenians whilst awaiting his execution. See the famous image of Socrates on his deathbed on the next page.
Socrates was forced to commit suicide in prison by drinking hemlock, surrounded by his grieving friends and followers. Who carried on his ideas?
The Greek philosopher Plato, (c428 - c348 BC), was one of the most important philosophers in the history of mankind, and was influenced by Socrates. The ancient Greeks also made contributions in math and science.
Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes (c. 287- 212 BC) is here surrounded by armored soldiers who direct sunlight with mirrors to burn invading Roman warships.
Though structures like the Parthenon and Erechtheion may not last forever, the influence of the ancient Greeks has been and will be known for ages.
Socrates may not have cared for writing but without it passing on knowledge would be difficult.
Tempe of Poseiden, Sounion, Greece
In this photo taken Sept. 5, 2010, visitors sit on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Acropolis, with the newly-restored temple of Athena Nike, distinguished by its four Ionic columns, on a platform below and to the left of the Parthenon, in Athens, Greece.
Zeus is as much a part of ancient Greece as the Parthenon is -- even if he is mythical. In 2009, archaeologists revealed that they've found his supposed birthplace -- and it's near Mount Lykaion instead of Crete, as other historians supposed.