The Culture of Greece
Presented by Group 1: Natasha Adams, Stephen
Battey, Jacob Bauer, Tiffany Catan and Traci Clevers
November 7, 2010
Non-verbal Communication in Relation to
A Study of Non-verbal Messages
Understood Worldwide via Greek
Symbolism presented by Traci
Photo courtesy http://bibledecoded.blogspot.com/
The Greek Alphabet
• The Greek Alphabet lends itself to various elements of non-verbal
communication. For instance, the letter “A” represents a job well
done. Just by seeing the letter A (Greek letter Alpha) one knows a
good grade was obtained, whether it is labeling a homework
assignment or an egg.
Other interesting non-verbal communications involving the Greek alphabet include
the Delta Airlines logo and the Pi mathematics symbol, which both partially
contain elements of the Greek alphabet.
The Scales of Justice
• A worldwide symbol representing justice is the Scales of Justice.
According to Barbara Swatt, reference intern at the University of
Washington School of Law, this emblem is possibly of the origin of
Greek goddess Themis.
Photos courtesy http://words-of-power.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html
The Olympic Flame and Torch
Perhaps one of the most famous non-verbal Greek
emblems is the Olympic Torch. The Olympics started in
Greece over 2500 year ago. The tradition of the lighting of
the Olympic flame started in Greece and is still recognized
as a non-verbal symbol of the games and their symbolism
of athleticism and comradery. (Green 2002, p. 45)
Photos courtesy: http://www.Greece-map.net/Greek-flag.htm
The Greek cadmus is yet another symbol that can be
recognized via non-communication as a symbol of health
or health services.
It is easy to see how Greek symbols have affected the world and it’s
communication. It would also assist in communicating with someone
from Greece by recognizing and respecting this contribution to modern
References and Works Cited page 1
Green, Jen. Myths of Ancient Greece
Austin, Texas: Steck-Vaughn Company, 2001.
Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon; Stuart L. Tyson, "The Caduceus", The Scientific Monthly, 34.6, (1932:492-
98) p. 493. Retrieved from Wikipedia November 1, 2010 from website:
Additional photos courtesy of the following websites:
Nonverbal Communication and The
Music and Dance of Ancient Greece
By Tiffany Catan
Ancient Greek Music and Dance
• In Ancient Greece, music
and dance played an
important part in everyday
• These arts were used not
only in early theaters but
also in social gatherings,
funerals and religious
• Through their music and
dance they were able to pass
down traditions in history
through non verbal
• Music was, and still is today, used to
convey non verbal messages in
• Ancient Greeks believed that the gift of
music was given to them by the goddesses
called the Nine Muses, in which the word
music is derived from.
• Ancient Greeks used music in religious
ceremonies, funerals, social gatherings and
• In these situations the music would
enhance the nonverbal message of the
overall feeling of the gathering i.e fast
paced, upbeat music may go hand in hand
with a joyous, religious ceremony.
*The 9 Muses are dancing while Apollo
is playing the lyre.
• Dance in the Greek culture has
a rich part of history. Dancing
was believed to be a sacred
gift from the gods.
• It has allowed the Ancient
Greeks and modern Greeks to
re-tell the history of their
culture through non verbal
• Many dances of the ancient
Greeks not only told a story
through their movement, but
also taught soldiers how to
fight in wars.
Folk Dances of Greece
This dance mirrors the lives
of the Greek men who lived
in the rugged mountains.
The movements of this
dance include leaping and
raising the legs to mimic
how the men of this time
lived their daily lives. This
dance is very lively and is
usually accompanied by
This dance mirrors the lives
of the Greeks that lived in
the lowlands, near the
seashores and Aegean Sea.
These movements, which
are performed more by
women, are slow, peaceful
and have flow. This is
supposed to symbolize the
flowing waves of the ocean.
The Role of Nonverbal
• The Greek culture has a rich history of music and dance. The role these arts
tie into nonverbal communication is through the tone they set (music) and
kinesics (dance). Through this combination the Greeks were able to “tell” a
story without ever having to say a word. This was very important to Greeks
of ancient times, before they could record information like we do now. In
this way, they could use music and dance as way to pass down traditions
and history, celebrate and tell stories.
Body Language in Greece
• Greeks nod their head up to say no (“Greek
– A downward nod means yes (“Greek Etiquette
• Looking away when talking to a greek person
is considered very rude ("Body language in")
Body Language in Greece
• Greeks do not kiss each other when first
meeting ("Body language in")
• When they already know each other they may
greet each other with a kiss twice on the
cheek ("Body language in")
• Shaking hands is more formal ("Body language
• One should also shake hands with children (“Greek
Body Language in Greece
• Waving with the palm out can be mistaken as
beckoning someone to them (Farrington-
• People should not sit down before told when
eating (“Greek Etiquette Tips”)
• The OK sign is considered vulgar (“Greek
Body Language and Dance
• One should join in on Greek dancing (“Greek
• In line dances, one should join at the back if a
beginner (“Greek Etiquette Tips”)
• One should not worry about the steps if the
dance is not considered a line dance (“Greek
• Greek etiquette tips. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.vayama.com/etiquette/greece/
• Farrington-Darby, N. (2010, April 08). How to read greek body language. Retrieved from
• Body language in greece. (n.d.). Retrieved from
By Natasha Adams
The theology of the ancient Greek is based on the many gods and goddesses.
Some of the Gods and Goddesses are:
• Zeus -the supreme lord and sky father
Hera –his wife -the marriage and fertility goddess
Demeter -the earth mother
Hestia -the virgin goddess of the hearth
Hephaestus -the God of fire and the forge
Hermes -the God of travelers
Hades -the lord of the dead and underworld
Poseidon -the lord of waters
Aphrodite -the Goddess of love
Ares -the God of war
Athena -the virgin goddess of wisdom
Apollo -God of light, poetry and music
Artemis –his sister -Goddess of wildlife and later Goddess of moon
*The Gods were believed to verbally communicate with the humans and even bare children with them.
• The mythology of the Greek religion consisted of the gods and how they affected
the humans on earth through non-verbal communication.
Poseidon, the god
of the sea
Periods of Ancient Greek History
6000 - 3000 BCE
Neolithic Period: Small agricultural communities, possible worship of
3000 - 1500 BCE Minoan Period: Minoan culture on Crete, worship of Snake Goddess
2000 - 1700 BCE
Middle Bronze Age: Invasions of Greek-speaking people into mainland
Greece (Linea A script used)
1700 - 1100 BCE
Late Bronze Age: Mycenaean culture develops on mainland Greece
(Linear B script used). Troy sacked around 1250 BCE.
1100 - 850 BCE
Greek Dark Age: Mycenaean civilization falls and citadels are burned
by invaders, Greek settlements are created through the Aegean islands
and Asia Minor
850 - 479 BCE
Archaic / Geometric Period: Phoenician alphabet adopted, geometric
patterns dominate on pottery, kouros statues created. Classical Greek
city-states begin to form. First Olympic Games: 776 BCE
480 - 323 BCE
High Classical Period: After the defeat of the Persians, Greek city-
states flourish but are eventually conquered by Alexander of Macedon
323 - 146 BCE
Hellenistic Period: Greek civilization, carried throughout the Middle
East by Alexander the Great, deeply influences native cultures -
especially Roman myth, literature, and philosophy.
146 BCE -
Roman Period: Rome sacks Corinth in 146 BCE and Greece becomes a
Roman province. Greeks lose their independence, but have an even
greater influence on literature, religion, and philosophy
The are many different religions in Greece. Each individual is free to
believe what they want. According to the Eurostat- Eurobarometer poll of
2005, 81% believe in God. Also, 15.8% of Greeks describe their self as being
*Below is a estimated amount of followers of each of the many religions in
o Greek Orthodox is the biggest and most followed religion in Greece. It has
97% of the population as followers.
o Old Calendrists (Greek Orthodox) have 500,000 followers
o Muslims have 200,00 to 300,000 followers.
o Roman Catholic have 50,000 followers
o Protestants & Greek Evangelical Church have 30,000 followers
o Assemblies of God, International Church of Foursquare Gospel & any other
Pentecostal have 12,000 followers.
o Jehovah's Witnesses have 28,243 followers.
o Mormons have 653 followers.
Dagtoglou, P.D. (1991). "Protection of Individual Rights" (in Greek). Constitutional Law —
Individual Rights — Volume I. Athens-Komotini: Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers.
Mavrias, Kostas G. (2002) (in Greek). Constitutional Law. Athens: Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers.
translated by Xenophon Paparrigopoulos, Stavroula Vassilouni (2004) (PDF). The Constitution
of Greece. Athens: Hellenic Parliament.
Images taken from http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Communication.htm
The most resent of the ancient methods was to utilize a set of torches. At each end of a battlefield a group of
messengers would stand by with 5 torches that had 5 characters on it. They would utilize a specific sequence
that would effectively communicate a message at long distant.
Picture taken from http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Communication.htm
405 B.C.-The ancient Greeks
used polished shields or
mirrors to signal to each
other during battles. The
would signal using pre-
planned patterns of flashes.
Image taken from http://www.bible-history.com/sketches/ancient/bronze-mirrors.html
Image taken from http://www.xiongdudu.com/image/Greek_Battle_Shields
The idea behind the water hydraulic telegraph wasThe idea behind the water hydraulic telegraph was
quite simple. A torch held high signaled the start ofquite simple. A torch held high signaled the start of
the message. At the start both sides would remove athe message. At the start both sides would remove a
cork at the bottom of the jar allowing water to draincork at the bottom of the jar allowing water to drain
out. As the water level lowered so did a stick that wasout. As the water level lowered so did a stick that was
floating in it. This stick had a message written at thefloating in it. This stick had a message written at the
same intervals. As the water level receded eachsame intervals. As the water level receded each
member would continue to observe the torch at themember would continue to observe the torch at the
other end until the light was lowered. At this point theother end until the light was lowered. At this point the
cork would be replace and the message on the stickcork would be replace and the message on the stick
would be read by looking at the wording that was stillwould be read by looking at the wording that was still
Image taken from http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Technology/AncientGreekTechnology028.html
The main focus of this presentation was to
provide one with some of the most important
aspects of the Greek Culture.
The main points of the Greek culture that our
group discussed are:
Greek Symbols – Traci Clevers
Music & Dance – Tiffany Catan
Body Language – Stephen Battey
Religion – Natasha Adams
Ancient Forms of Non-Verbal
Communication – Jacob Bauer Photo Reference: