The “classical” Greek culture is the result of plentiful and different historical influences.
Our Western culture is very proud of its classical roots, of its Greco-Roman roots and in fact, although there are contributions of other cultures, we are mostly ancient Greeks and Romans with more than 2500 years of history.
But where are themselves the roots of classical culture? Classical Philology is today much freer than half a century ago to determine those origins. To a large extent, to find these classical roots, the Philology was conditioned by ideological reasons of that moment, even racist reasons, and was looking for pure and exclusively Aryan roots that archeology and ancient sources themselves constantly denied. They were times when the unscientific and ideological concept of race permeated part of the European thought and science. The claim of a supposed "racial purity" caused enormous damages to mankind, to the whole Humanity.
But according to ancient sources themselves, important Greek masters of thought, religion and science visited and studied with Egyptians teachers: like for example Herodotus, Pythagoras, Plato, etc and these visits were absolutely transcendental in the respective works and writings of these authors. Egypt, whose magnificent vestiges still amaze us today, had a huge attraction or interest for the Greek people.
Plato praises and appreciates admiringly often the Egyptian culture and society. Serve as example two references to Plato, one in his dialogue Timaeus, 21e in which Critias tells us about the dialogue between the sage Solon, "the wisest of the seven sages" in the same Critias expression, and the Egyptian priests, in which these will inform Solon, about the ancient origin of Athens and its relationship with the Egyptian city of Sais.
“In the Delta of Egypt,” said Solon, “where, at its head, the stream of the Nile parts in two, there is a certain district called the Saitic. The chief city in this district is Sais—the home of King Amasis,—the founder of which, they say, is a goddess whose Egyptian name is Neith, and in Greek, as they assert, Athena. These people profess to be great lovers of Athens and in a measure akin to our people here. (21e)
Many, in truth, and great are the achievements of your State, which are a marvel to men as they are here recorded (24d)
and continues Solon telling the extensive information that the Egyptian priests provide about ancient Athens and he did not.
Plato in his dialogue Laws, 656d, also presents Egypt as a model to educate musically the young Greeks:
It appears that long ago they determined on the rule of which we are now speaking, that the youth of a State should practise in their rehearsals postures and tunes that are good: these they prescribed in detail and posted up in the temples,…
It is not therefore surprising the high concept that Herótodo, Solon, Plato had about Egypt with whose culture and past are linked (in this case the city of Athens with the Egyptian Sais, in the Delta) or where they seek their origins.
Modern researches fully confirm what the ancient people themselves told us. Naturally, Middle East and North contributions are also very important, due to Greece's strategic location between the east and the west, between the north and the south. The Middle East has been the melting pot in which cultural currents of the East, the Mediterranean, the Northern Eurasian and Africa were melted and mixed for thousands of years.
Therefore, in the formation of the classical Greek culture have been essential the Mediterranean influence, the Indo-European originality, the Mesopotamian and Egyptian traditions….
As often happens in every society, culture is the result of multiple influences, it is the result of the syncretism, synthesis and fusion of different ways. If this has always been the case throughout history, it is still more evident in our globalization times, in which people also move across the globe so easily.