Ancient Greek society was highly classist being divided into very unequal sections of the population. There was a rigid control of resources which resulted in a rigid class system. Although it was not a fixed or hereditary position but upward movement in the class system was quite difficult due to the rigid resistance of the people in a particular class to prevent the entry of citizens from the lower rung of society. The ancient Greek classes which thronged the society were numerous. They were the slaves, the freemen, the metrics, the citizens, and the women. It was a patriarchal society and women were not considered as citizens.

This class system was rather a social class system. The class system was a parameter by which an individuals position in the society was measured. In today’s society, someone’s place in society is measured in monetary terms.

Ancient Greek Classes

The society was a patriarchal society. This form of society can be accepted as Greece was primarily a warrior nation. The men had the tremendous hold on the society. But at the same time, women were not neglected. They were bestowed with many powers.

Ancient Greek Classes

For example, young boys were sent to be trained when they were seven yours of age. They returned at the age of 30. If they died, they were given high honors as martyrs. These same honors were bestowed upon women if they died in childbirth.

Division of Classes

Each class was marked with specific duties and responsibilities. The citizens were expected to attend gymnasiums, palaestra. The slaves were restricted to the household chores.During the classical age, the class division was made more stringent. These were troubled times. To ensure that the society stays intact, this method was adopted. Mixed marriages were not approved. During this era, conflicts with Persia reached its heights.


Coming to Athens in particular, the class system consisted of fout prominent divisions.

Ancient Greek Classes


Sparta was a state with its own government, laws and customs. They despised trade and did not have the presence of a foreign class. So their class system was quite different from the other states in Greece.


Although not a class in conventional notion, but women definitely formed a class of their own. Men enjoyed all of the political rights and wealth of the state while women were considered to be the property of the male members. They were under the protection of their fathers and brothers early on and then of their husbands after being married off where a hefty amount of dowry had to be given. They could not go out without the presence of a male and spent most of their lives within the four walls of the house. Their primary job was to give birth and take care of children with the manufacturing of clothes for the family was also considered a duty for the women.