Greek culture is a major force behind most of what we know today. In government the Greeks practiced pure democracy. The people were given the power to make decisions about their own city-states. Two important city-states were Athens and Sparta. The Athenian empire was created by Pericles who took pride in the beauty of their city. The main temple in Athens was the Parthenon. It was built in the Acropolis in honor of Athena the War Goddess. Sparta was Athens rival and completely opposite of it. They were a city of great warriors who removed boys from their homes at the age of 7 and trained them to fight. Their lives were devoted to their city-state and they were not concerned with individual rights. The Olympic Games were athletic contests held every for years, which would never be delayed, even if there was a war going on. Athens usually won and Sparta usually lost, but one year, Sparta beet Athens, which made their rivalry even stronger. Great philosophers came from Greece. Socrates was the wisest philosopher of his time. His motto was “know thyself” which he learned from the Oracle at Delphi. He told his students to ask questions to find out the truth. Plato was a student of Socrates. He believed there were three types of people, voters, soldiers and philosophers. He opened an Academy in Athens which paved the way for colleges and universities we have today. Aristotle had a brilliant mind and attended Plato?s academy. He classified the various branches of knowledge which is the foundation of today?s sciences. The Greeks were famous for their great literature. Their oral literature were stories told by word of mouth. These stories included an epic hero who was larger than life and of cosmic importance. Many of their epics contained mythological gods and muses in the story. One of the most famous Greek writers was Homer. He was blind and wrote the Odyssey and the Iliad. These were both oral literature until he wrote them down. There were five themes in the Odyssey.