Ritual at childbirth
Greece considered their children to be “youths” until they reached the age of 30! When a child was born to an ancient Greek family, a naked father carried his child, in a ritual dance, around the household. Friends and relatives sent gifts. The family decorated the doorway of their home with a wreath of olives (for a boy) or a wreath of wool (for a girl).
Ancient Greece was a slave society
All wealthy used to depend on the slaves in their daily life. Two-thirds of the population consisted of slaves.
Slaves were very important to ancient Greek daily life. Slaves cleaned and cooked, worked in the fields, factories, shops, in the mines, and on ships. Even the police force in ancient Athens was made up of slaves! Most slaves lives were not that different from a poor Greek citizen’s life.
Facts About Ancient Greece Gods
The word tragedy is Greek for goat-song because early Greek tragedies honored Dionysus, the god of wine, and the players wore goatskins. Tragedies were noble stories of gods, kings, and heroes. Comedy or reveal, on the other hand, were about lower-class characters and their antics. 12 gods were said to be living at the mount of Olympus for which no human lived on the mount from the Classical period.
Greek Fact About Theatre
Almost every Greek city had a theatre because plays were part of many religious festivals. The Greeks enjoyed singing and dancing. At first, theatres were only used for festivals.
The theatres were built on hillsides in the open air and could often hold more than 18,000 spectators.
The theatres were open air and built in a semi-circular shape with rows of tiered stone seating around it. The shape of the theatres gave everyone in the audience excellent viewing and also meant they could hear the actors well too. In the center of the theatre was a circular dancing floor (orchestra), with an altar for sacrifices dedicated to Dionysus. The stage was a raised area within this circle.
All the actors were men. They wore large masks that exaggerated facial features and emotions. The mouth hole was large to help amplify the voices. Greek plays were either comedies or tragedies. Tragedies were often about the past, whereas comedies tended to be about current and everyday life. Actors in comedies wore bright colors. Actors in tragedies wore dark colors.Plays were either spoken or sung in rhyme.
The first Greek tragedy was performed in 534 B.C. and was staged by a priest of Dionysus named Thespis. He also wrote and performed a part separate from the traditional tragic chorus, which also designated him as the first actor. In Greek Fact, the word thespian (actor) derives from his name.Greece, the dead are always buried because the Greek Orthodox Church forbids cremation. Five years after a burial, the body is exhumed and the bones are first washed with wine and then placed in an ossuary. This is done in part to relieve the shortage of land in Greek cemeteries.
Greece Facts About Government Democracy
Government corruption cost Greece about $1 billion in 2009. Currently, Greece’s national debt is larger than the country’s economy. Its credit rating, or its perceived ability to repay debts, is the lowest in the eurozone. The EU and the International Monetary Fund are considering a bailout package for the heavily indebted nation.
Some Miscellaneous facts
Greek has been spoken for more than 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest languages in Europe. Greeks do not wave with an open hand. In Greek Fact, it is considered an insult to show the palm of the hand with the fingers extended. Greeks wave with the palm closed.
After giving a compliment, Greeks make a puff of breath through pursed lips, as if spitting. This is meant to protect the person receiving the compliment from the evil eye.
A Spartan specialty was a black soup made from salt, vinegar, and blood. No one in the rest of Greece would drink it.Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Anaximander (c. 610-546 B.C.) is credited with writing the first philosophical treatise and making the first map of the known world. He can also be considered the first scientist who recorded a scientific experiment.
The ancestors of the Greeks were Indo-Europeans who entered Greece around 1900 B.C. They lived alongside the Minoans for many centuries before giving rise to the Mycenaean civilization which ended abruptly in the twelfth century B.C. After dark ages of 300 years in which the knowledge of writing was lost, Greece gave birth to one of the most influential civilizations the world has ever known: Classical Greece.
Olympics was born in ancient Greece in 776 BC
The modern sporting extravaganza began in the ancient Greek world as a Panhellenic sports to honor Zeus in 776 BC. It was great honor to win a event and a olive branch was presented to the winner. Even a truce was called between waring states so hat athletes could travel to the Olympics.
It started as just a foot race and then other events was added like wrestling, wrestling, boxing, long jump, javelin, discus and chariot racing.
To be considered a citizen in cities like Athens, one had to be 18 years old, and also born of two Athenian parents, with only citizens male being allowed to vote.
By law, the only people eligible for citizenship in Sparta were direct descendants of the original Doric settlers. Because of this, there were never more than about 6,000-7,000 male citizens in Sparta, compared with up to 40,000 in Athens.
The Greek flag is included nine blue-and-white horizontal stripes, which some scholars say stand for the nine syllables of the Greek motto Eleftheria I Thanatos or Freedom or Death. Blue represents Greece’s sea and sky, while white stands for the purity of the struggle for freedom. In the upper left-hand corner is the traditional Greek Orthodox cross.
The drachma, was 2,650 years old and Europes oldest currency. The drachma was replaced with the Euro in 2002 Alexander the Great was the first Greek ruler to put his own face on Greek coins. Previously, Greek coins had shown the face of a god or goddess. The yo-yo is the second oldest known toy in the world (only the doll is older) and was born over 3,000 years ago in the days of ancient Greece.
By readers wearing Nike shoes or clothing and wondered where the name came from? This fun Greek fact from the Lufthansa newsletter:
Ancient Greece Alphabet
The name “marathon” and the distance used today of 42.195 kilometers go back to the legend of Pheidippides. He was said to have collapsed dead after running the approx. 40 kilometer stretch from Marathon to Athens to proclaim his message “Nike, Nike!” (Victory, victory).
The Greek Alphabet is the forerunner of the alphabet we use in English today.