In ancient Greek, the society engaged in all Ancient Greek activities including agriculture, trade, administration, small-scale industry etc. Men ran the government and the administration. Differentiation between men and women in social 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.
Ancient Greek Activities: Greek Contribution
Ancient Greece made immense Ancient Greek contributions to the world in areas like art, literature, philosophy, mathematics, astronomy etc. There were great intellectuals like Plato and Aristotle on the one hand and, on the other mathematicians like Pythagoras and Euclid.
The Greek social system was characterized by differentiation. Slaves formed the lowest of the social hierarchy and they were made to do all kinds of work. The rich and the wealthy class had a lot of free time and this is said to be the beginning of the thought of a pastime or game.
Statute of the Disc Thrower
The statute of the Disc thrower from the classical period itself shows the importance of games and sports in the life of ancient Greeks. Moreover, there is no better example of the Greek passion for sports than the legendary Olympic Games.
The Olympic Games were a series of athletic competitions. The games were held in every four years honor of Zeus. Greek citizens from all city-states could participate. The Greek Olympic games included running, jumping, javelin throw, discus throw and so on. Running tracks were tracks found at archeological sites.
The two-seated race was introduced in 724 BC, during the 14th Olympic Games. Only men were allowed to compete and as they participated in the games without clothes, women were allowed neither to participate nor to watch the games. Initially, the games lasted only one day but later extended to five days. The events that were added over the years include boxing, wrestling, chariot racing, pentathlon, long jump etc.
Boxing began as a soft game, but later over the years crossed all the limits. Fights continued until the death or surrender of one of the fighters. Boxing was sometimes brutal and did not take part in rounds. There were chariots races also. In the discus throw, the discus was made of stone, iron, bronze, or lead. There were four types of races based on the length expected to cover during the race. Dice and marbles, and knucklebones, and checkers were less active games.
In the Greek Activities, the Greeks had four national sports Greek festivals. Of these, the most important was the Olympic Games. Panathenaea was an important sports festival of ancient Greece. It consisted of contests and sacrifices and it was the goddess, Athena.
The prizes given to the winners of competitions are interesting to note. In the Olympic Games, the winner was given an olive branch. He was held in great honor. His statues would also be created in his hometown. They also received large sums of Greek money. They sometimes got the privilege of dining for life at the expense of the state.