In ancient Greece life was different for different types of people. Men and women lived different type of life while the majority of the population were slaves and did not live a lavish life as we imagine an ancient Greek to live. We will get very varied descriptions of daily life from different strata of people in Ancient Greece.
Greek houses, in the 6th and 5th century BCE, were made up of two or three rooms, built around an open-air courtyard, built of stone, wood, or clay bricks (Ancient Greek Daily Life). Larger homes might also have a kitchen, a room for bathing, a men’s dining room, and perhaps a woman’s sitting area.
There were different rooms for different purposes like a work room, a store room, bedrooms, and sometimes there were specific rooms for men and women known as andron and gynaikon respectively.
Ancient Greek Daily Life
The Greeks ate three meals each day. Breakfast was eaten at sunrise. They are a small midday meal and a late afternoon snack. The main meal was eaten at the end of the day. All over Greece, the people grew olives, grapes, and figs. They kept goats, for milk and cheese. In the plains, where the soil was richer, they also grew wheat to make bread. Fish, seafood, and home-made wine were very popular food items.
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.
Dance in Greece Daily Life
The dance was very important to the Greeks. Some dances were for men, and others were for women. Over 200 dances were performed by the Greeks. Dancers were accompanied by lyres, flutes, and percussion instruments.
Gymnasium in Greece Daily Life
The gymnasium was a large exercise yard surrounded by changing rooms, practice rooms, and baths. The Greeks wanted healthy bodies. Due to this, they spent a good portion of each day exercising in the gym. Wrestling, boxing, and javelin and discus throwing were enjoyed sports. Athletes wore no clothes while exercising. They oiled or dusted their bodies before and after exercising. Athletes were given huge respects in Ancient Greece, especially olympic winners for which gymnasiums were very important because it was where they honed their skills.
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. 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.
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 specializd duties and gaining respect in their. It was the toil of the slaves which kept the Ancient Greek economy prosperous.
Professions in Ancient Greece
The Greeks were engaged in a variety of professions for their living like artists farmer, fisherman, soldier, teacher, government worker, and craftsman. Being a good warrior was very important in spite of one excelling in some other field. Artists and philosophers were also very popular in Ancient Greek life. So discussions, intellectual debates, writing , watching dramas was a prominent feature of Ancient Greek life. That’s a big for the mastery in literature, philosophy and legendary drama which remain prominent even today.
War and battle was another important feature of Greek daily life. As we know about such frequent warfare, warfare became very prominent in ones life and martial valor and qualities were much valued which led them to train from an early age so that can improve in the one field they had to perform compulsorily.
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.
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.