The pre-Hellenic civilizations, as discussed in a previous paper, grew up mainly on the banks of the three major river basins of the Nile, the Tigris- Euphrates, and the Indus. The Hellenic civilization started around 600 B.C. with the birth of the Ionian school in Asia Minor and here for the first time people were engaged in the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. The Greek science was certainly indebted to older civilizations —and possibly most to the Egyptians. Reymond stated that “compared with the empirical and fragmentary knowledge which the peoples of the East had laboriously gathered together during long centuries, Greek science constitutes a veritable miracle. Here the human mind for the first time conceived the possibility of establishing a limited number of principles, and of deducing from these a number of truths which are their rigorous consequence.
By Asit K. Biswas, 1967. Article published in International Association of Scientific Hydrology, Volume 12, Number 1, pages 5-14. DOI: 10.1080/02626666709493506