Ancient Greek Everyday Life: Greek civilization flourished from around 776 to 30 B.C. Ancient Greek involved in various activities. There were philosophers, artists, athletes, astrologers, astronomers, grammarians, bankers, merchants, lawyers, philosophers, scientists, sculptors, statesmen, writers, planners, generals, rulers, physicians and the list is endless.
Ancient Greek Everyday Life
Their activities included discussing politics, engaging in art, literature or philosophical thoughts, watching dramas and plays, training in military, farming, engaging in games and sports, worshipping gods and so on. Men carried down most of these activities and the women were generally confined to the homes.
Ancient Greek’s Activities
In ancient Greek, the society engaged in all activities including agriculture, trade, administration, small-scale industry etc. Men ran the government and the administration.
Differentiation between men and women in social Ancient Greek Everyday Life was largely visible. Boys underwent education from a very early age whereas education was not considered important for a female child. She assisted her mother with household chores.
Differential treatment for different genders
In Athens, society was male-dominated – only men could be citizens and only upper-class males enjoyed a formal education. Only men were allowed to vote and so they ran the government. For that they spent a lot of their time out of the house while involved in politics, debating, discussing and even passing laws in their popular assemblies. Men also had to spent time in the fields overseeing the crops. They sailed, hunted, and traded. All of these activities took the men away from home. Men enjoyed wrestling, horseback riding, and the Olympic Games. Men had parties in which the women were not allowed to attend.
Women had few political rights and were expected to remain in the home and bear children. But they were one in charge at homes and commanded a lot of slaves for their chores. Women were mostly not allowed to about freely without the permission of their husbands .
Children were expected to go learning centers and get educated. After attaining 18 years of age they had to receive their military training only which they would be allowed to take part in democratic processes.
One of the important activities of the Greek was political. Discussing political matters in the assembly called Ecclesia was a significant activity. Ecclesia literally meant the gathering of those summoned.
It assembled at the Pnyx which was an open-air auditorium west of the Acropolis. Insolvents and convicts were denied the membership of the assembly. The peculiarity of the assembly was that all adults were allowed to participate in the events of the assembly.
Almost one-quarter of the population consisted of slaves. Others were peasants and craftsmen. Owning land was a main form of wealth. Most homes were modest, plain and simple. They were windowless and furniture was rare. Houses were made of plaster covered bricks. There were houses with many rooms for the rich.
Daily Life of a Greek woman
We know that Greek society was a patriarchic society and men dominated women. Men took important decisions. Only they could become full citizens. Women were expected to stay at home and rear children.
The daily life of a Greek woman was not dynamic but rather monotonous. They were not allowed to watch even the Olympic Games because the participants contested without clothes. Spartan women were an exception. They had more freedom than their sisters in other city-states.
The children lived with their mothers until they were seven. They spent their childhood playing games. They played with balls, miniature chariots, rattles, yo-yos, rocking horses, and dolls and animals made from clay. Dogs, ducks, birds, goats, tortoises were the common pets. At the age of seven, the children went to school. Education constituted a majority part in the children’s daily life.
The life of a woman was mostly confined within the four walls of the house as it was considered immoral to go outside without a male companion. Raising kids was considered to be their main job while they even had to oversee the work of the slaves as the males were away from their homes most of the time. They looked after the agricultural estates and made sure their slaves were working properly.
Lives of Women in Ancient Greece were closely tied to domestic work, spinning, weaving and other domestic duties. They were not involved in public life or in politics. The Ancient Greek People Life was normally quite confined to the house although one public duty was acting as a priestess at a temple. On bright, sunny days, the women probably sheltered under a covered area of their courtyard as the ancient Greeks believed a pale complexion was a sign of beauty. They did not enjoy any political rights and were considered as the property of the husband.
The most envied schools belonged to the city-state of Sparta. The Spartan kids were taught to be brave and courageous at a very early age. The boys underwent severe training with little clothes and no shoes.
In ancient Greek, most of the people engaged in farming. Greek was an agriculturist society. A typical day would start with bread dipped in wine, the same for lunch and a dinner of wine, fruits, vegetables, and fish. Ordinarily, the Greeks consumed bread made from barley or wheat. Fruits and wine were also popular. On special events such as celebrations, meat was consumed.
Daily life of a Men
Men led a more proactive and outward life with marriage being said to be just a duty and less about love. They were greatly engaged in politics and government, which was a very important topic for men.
They spent a lot of time practising especially when they were young in sports for tournaments in gymnasiums as sports and athletes were great markers of prestige in ancient Greek society.They engulfed themselves in drinking parties which were said to be activities promoting brotherhood and in this time they also gambled, and played board games this formed an important part of ancient Greek life
When not involved in politics, the men spent time in the fields, overseeing or working the crops, sailing, hunting, in manufacturing or in trade. For fun, in addition to drinking parties, the men enjoyed wrestling, horseback riding, and the famous Olympic Games. When the men entertained their male friends, at the popular drinking parties, their wives and daughters were not allowed to attend.
An aristocrat also has their estate and activities to look after. In many cases, they even took part in the administration of their states which took a large part of their lives. They led lavish life with a lot of slaves to attend to. While a poor man had it harder and had to do a lot to earn a living.
Fully one-quarter of the population was made up of slaves, usually, prisoners captured during the many clashes that extended Greek influence overseas. These slaves provided much of the manpower that fueled the burgeoning economy, working in shipyards, quarries, mines, and as domestic servants.
Slavery was a central feature of Ancient Greek Daily Life. The life of a slave was filled with hardwork and toil. Families of reasonable wealth would have slaves to carry out the household chores, to go shopping at the market and even to help bring up children. Many are said to have been flogged in case of lapses in their work and even for or a superior feeling by the Spartans.
Their life was restricted by many means. They had to take permission from their masters to marry or have kids. They did not hold or any lands or property. Even their children were not free as the status of slaves was hereditary.
It was not always forced and sometimes landless poor used to themselves as slaves willingly. They were not always physical workers but in many they were specialized professionals performing their specialized duties and gaining respect in their. It was the toil of the slaves which kept the Ancient Greek economy prosperous.
Spartan way of life
Almost all the states like Corinth, Athens, etc had similar experiences and procedures in their daily life. But Sparta was a notable exception where women enjoyed extensive political rights, even having a voice in their assemblies. They even practiced physical drills and were warriors themselves, warriors. They did not need the permission of their husbands to move about and were quite independent.
The kids were all supposed to go to school, applicable for both boys and girls, with learning being focused on fighting skills, stamina, durability which will make thhem good soldiers which Sparta were famed fot
While the women ran the business at home the men spent their days in the barracks. All the free men were soldiers and Sparta almost had a sort of standing army and were known for their superior fighting skills. it was the slaves who did their daily chores and also their agricultural work while free men were supposed to be in the army.
But Sparta did not have an intellectual culture like that of other states and had almost no notable art and considered these activities as ‘softening’ of men making them less effective warriors.
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