The Science of Ancient Athens

Learn of the amazing Greek scientific history through sites and places you can still visit today
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 (43 ratings)
1,689 students

Scientific achievements in ancient Athens
The history of ancient scientific sites of Athens
Where to find scientific monuments that are off the tourist trail


  • There are no requirements for this course.


Athens is a place renowned for its history and culture. It is also the most famous city of ancient Greece, a part of the world where Western science is said to have been born. Many remains providing evidence of this period can be found all around. This course introduces you to several, little known, scientific monuments such as an ancient carved calendar, the site where astronomical measurements were taken 2,500 years ago, and an ancient instrument whose design is so complex it is often referred to as the first analogue computer.  For each site introduced, background information together with instructions to where you can still visit it today are provided. If you are a keen traveller with an interest in the amazing scientific achievements of the past,  this course is definitely for you.

Scientific sites and exhibits that will be covered:

  • Meton's observatory

  • Tower of the Winds

  • Plato's Academy

  • Aristotle's Lyceum

  • Asclepieion

  • Ancient carved calendar on the church of Saint Eleytherios

  • Antikythera mechanism and ancient solar clock at the National Archaeological Museum

  • Klepsydra of the ancient agora

The course includes 8 lectures with almost 35 minutes of video content. At the end of each session a quiz is included to assess student understanding.

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone interested in ancient Greek history
  • Anyone wanting to know more about amazing ancient scientific achievements
  • Anyone wishing to visit Athens and learn about sites off the tourist trail


Dr Vassilios McInnes Spathopoulos
  • 4.5 Instructor Rating
  • 97 Reviews
  • 3,579 Students
  • 2 Courses

I am a Greek-Scot having obtained my  PhD from the University of Glasgow (UK) in Aerospace Engineering (Flight Physics) and with an extensive teaching experience at university level. I am passionate about writing and have authored numerous scientific articles and books. My research interests include the aerodynamics of sports balls and improving science education. I am a keen sports fan, stargazer and popular science writer, having authored books on the physics of sports, textbooks for aerospace engineering and guidebooks to scientific sites. My book, "An Introduction to the Physics of Sports", has been used as a recommended text for various university courses and my guidebook on the scientific sites of Athens has received positive reviews in the press.