«Why did this miracle spring from the soil of Attica rather than a mightier, richer, or more ancient civilization? No one can say for certain, but one reason may be the nature of the landscape of Greece. It is not a place of extremes. Greece is a land of unceasing variety, austere but beautiful, where everything can be taken in by the human eye and understanding. Ancient Greeks believed Mount Olympus touched the sky, yet it is only 9,750 feet high. Nature built Greece on a human scale and the Greeks followed suit, creating their gods and designing their temples to the measure of man. This idea of human proportion as the basic unit pervades Greek thought.
From Nicholas Gage, Introduction to The Greek Miracle: Classical Sculpture from the Dawn of Democracy, the Fifth Century B.C.