Geography Government Culture: Food Culture: Childhood Culture: Education Culture: Fun Culture: Pets Culture: Fine Arts Culture: Fashion Unanswered Questions Sources
There were 1400-2000 islands and a mainland with a large peninsula, between the Ionian and Aegean Seas meeting the Mediterranean Sea The land had a lot of mountains and many waterways Athenian Empire Perry-Casta ñ eda Library Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/
Having many city-states and islands, as well as rough countryside, made them learn to love the sea There was not enough flat land to allow for many large crops or large herds of farm animals (except sheep) Fishing was extremely important They developed some of the first and fastest war ships called triremes
Greek and Phoenician Settlements in the Mediterranean Basin about 550 BC Perry-Casta ñ eda Library Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/ Ancient Greeks lived in families (“oikos“), with slaves, in a city-state (“polis”) They moved around, but they weren’t nomads. They had a home territory, whichever city-state they came from, but they also colonized places very far away like the island of Sicily, and around what we know as Marseilles in France.
There were many city-states (“poloi”), where oligarchies and finally democracies governed the people. The city-states remained powerful until Alexander the Great was able to unite them into one in the 300s B.C. What rules or laws did they follow? Law givers were not rulers or kings, but officials whose only job was to write laws. The officials in the government wanted to make sure that law givers would not take sides, otherwise laws might be unfair. So, law givers weren’t part of government. Women were considered citizens, but they had no voting rights or other rights (almost like slaves) Women could only be involved in limited ways in business, usually having her husband or father doing the business for her Women didn’t usually get inheritances (wills were only used when there were no sons) BUT Spartan women were able to own and inherit property
Did they have money? They had coins made of gold or silver or even bronze. Money had pictures of gods and animals on them. The way they were designed then is still used today, even in our own money. Did they have taxes? They did have taxes, especially during wartime when the city-states needed money for the wars. Taxes were also put on houses, slaves, farm animals, wines, and animal feed.
Ancient Greek food was like what modern Greeks eat They would eat 3 or 4 times a day A meal had three parts: “sitos” like wheat bread, “opson” including fish, meat, olive oil, and “oinos” which meant wine Foods included beans and lentils, bread, olives, grapes, figs, fresh vegetables, herbs, apples, goat cheese and of course water
Did they hunt? They hunted and fished Most of their meat was fish and chicken or eggs or even from animal sacrifices, like lamb, pork and beef (part went to the gods, part was food, but not much of their food came from these) Did they have sweet treats? Ancient Greeks used honey to sweeten their foods, but they didn’t know about sugar Did men and women eat together? They would eat in different places, sometimes even eating at different times (men would eat first).
The children of Ancient Greece at 3 years old were given a small jug, it was a sign babyhood was over. Babies were named on about the tenth day of life, after the father decided to keep it or to make sure it survived. If the child was kept with birth parents the father carried the baby around the household in a dance, and friends and family would send presents. Young boys until the age of 30 were considered “Youths.” The god for childhood was Artemis, also known as the god of the moon, mother nature, hunter, and wise. When a boy was born the parents would hang a wreath of olives on the door. In most city-states young boys stayed at home, where they helped in the fields, learned sailing, and went fishing. Around age 7 boys started school, unless they were very poor. A poor boy stayed at home, where he learned his father’s work like being a shepherd or a farm worker. Boys were not considered “grown up” until they were 30 years old. When an Athenian girl was born a wreath of wool was hung on the door. Girls were kept at home until they were married, They got their education from their mother (they NEVER went to school) They attended festivals, funerals, and visited neighbors just like their mother. They were also able to help in fields when necessary. Athenian girls married by age 15, usually to a man who could be at least 30 years old! Spartan couples were closer in age to each other than Athenian newlyweds. birth3 yrs 7 yrs 13 yrs 30 yrs
Girls and Boys had very different kinds of education Spartan boys lived at military school from 7 until they were 30. Non-Spartan boys attended more traditional schools from age 7. Boys from wealthy families were taught “grammata” (reading, writing), “mousike” (music, poetry sung to music, dance, play musical instruments ) and “gymnastike”(sports competition and physical fitness were very important Most Greek schools had less than 20 boys in a school, and classes were held outside. Lessons usually began half an hour after daybreak and ended half an hour before dusk. Sometimes painting and drawing were taught. Extremely wealthy families paid for philosophy and speech lessons, too. Wealthy families’ slaves called “Paidagogoi” often went to school with the boys to make sure the boys did their school work, studied hard, and stayed at school! The Paidagogos stayed at school to keep an eye on the boys during their lessons. Girls received their whole education from their mother while living at home. They would never go to a school like boys did. Spartan girls were taught combat like the boys. Spartan girls were taught combat techniques at home, also Girls were taught weaving, cooking, and childcare from their mothers Girls only learned a little about how to read, write, or do math, all from their mothers.
Ancient Greeks had many ways of having fun Children had dolls, rattles, tops, swings, and many other toys and games One girls game was “knucklebones”, made from animal bones. The game was similar to marbles or jacks Games like our ‘snakes and ladders’ were played by boys and even soldiers “Kottabos” was often played after drinking wine Dancing was a very important part of their lives Theater, including both comedies and tragedies, was important Boys enjoyed boxing When girls got married and when boys reached adulthood, they would dedicate their toys to the gods And of course, the Olympic Games were held in honor of various Greek Gods
Did they have pets? Yes! They had birds, goats, rabbits, dogs, horses or even grasshoppers! They NEVER had cats as pets Even the Ancient Greek poet Homer talks about pet dogs
Music was a basic part of Ancient Greek life. It was important in religious festivals, marriages, funerals, and banquets. According to the Ancient Greeks, music was divine since it helped heal both soul and body. Ancient Greeks used many kinds of instruments, but mainly three: the kithara, a plucked string instrument; the lyre, also a string instrument; and the aulos, a double- reed instrument. Most Greek men were taught to play an instrument, to sing and perform singing dances. Shepherds played to their animals, oarsmen and soldiers kept time to music, and women made music at home. We still don’t know much about what the music sounded like. What dances did they have? The Greeks danced at religious ceremonies, to prepare for war and to celebrate victories, at weddings, to overcome depression and to cure physical illness. Dance was regarded as one of the highest forms of art. The pyrrhic, or weapon dance (a form of pretend combat), was the ideal. Sirtos is the oldest form of dance.
The oldest known whole song ever found is known as the Seikilos, created in Ancient Greece. This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.public domain
What stories/myths did they tell? Ancient Greece was famous for its mythology and fables. Examples include Icarus, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and all the stories involving the ancient gods of Greece. Greek literature also included such works as the epics and Ancient Tragedies from Homer, as well as writings from the great Philosophers. In their visual arts, Ancient Greek artists were the first to create pictures of children true to life instead of little adults. Theater was very important to Ancient Greeks. They had three types of plays: tragedies, comedies and satyr (but we don’t know much about that one). Actors wore exaggerated masks for the play, and there was a group that sang parts of the play. There was also detailed scenery. The sound was so good that the audience was able to hear the play without a sound system, even as big as the amphitheater was. They painted so many scenes from daily life on pots and vases, that we have gotten our history of their time from those pictures. They often made very complex pieces of jewelry from gold. Jewelry was only worn in public, though (and women weren’t in public very much). Their public buildings were very detailed and really spectacular, as well as having engineering way ahead of their time. The Parthenon doesn’t have a straight line in it, so that from a distance, it still looks square and not “sinking in”.
Ancient Greeks wore a belted outfit called a “ chiton ” with leather strapped sandals, and they often wore hats. Men and kids wore chitons that were shorter than women's. Clothing was made from wool made into thin fabric, or flax made into linen. When it was cold, they added a cape on top of their chiton Greek women (not slaves) wore long hair piled up and wrapped with ribbons. She wore gold hair decorations on special occasions.
Chitons were clothing worn in Ancient Greece Chitons needed belts to fit them closer to the body Chitons were also worn by children, but they were shorter so kids could move easier Greek women wore ribbons in their hair
1. If there were so many city-states, how did they know about or communicate with each other? How did they become friends or one country when Athens and Sparta were so different? 2. How could there be so much disagreement about how many islands were part of Ancient Greece? 3. How could the Greeks NOT have grown crops of food and still fed all their people? What plants did they grow? Did they trade crops between the city-states? 4. How long did it take to travel between the cities of Ancient Greece? 5. We believe we know about Ancient Greek life from pictures found on ceramic dishes, mosaics, and from writings from philosophers. How do we know that what we see is how life really was at that time? 6. Where did the people go who escaped from a gigantic volcano in Ancient Greece (on the modern Greek island of Santorini)? 7. What did women think about not having any real rights in Ancient Greece? Did anyone talk about this at that time in history? 8. What did people really think about leaving a baby on a mountainside to die or become a slave if it wasn’t wanted at home? How could parents do this? 9. Did girls get more education than what our archeologists have found out? 10. Did Greeks really not know about cats before Alexander the Great united the country (and brought the animals from Egypt)?