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Greek Guide to Greatness – Episode 2: Social Network

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. We may think modern tech pioneers invented the social network, but really, the concept goes back to the ancient Greeks. In classical Athens’ Agora, citizens exchanged ideas with figures as iconic as Socrates, Phidias, Herodotus, and Hippocrates. (Socrates’ social network exceeded the average Facebook user’s friend list!) And at symposia, the Greeks debated concepts as wide-ranging as utopian societies, revolutionary artforms, and ideal states of love. We may have made some improvements to ancient Greek models of idea sharing. But do the social networks of today really propel progress — or are they corroding our ability to communicate with each other?


The National Hellenic Society is an association of visionary Greek American leaders dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and promoting Greece’ s rich heritage with an emphasis on the next generation. The organization’s innovative programs are designed to engage, and inspire its members, families, and communities.

National Geographic and the National Hellenic Society have produced a companion digital series, The Greek Guide to Greatness, that’s available on the PBS and National Geographic websites in addition to below.


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