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Life in Ancient Greece
Transcript of Life in Ancient Greece
What do you notice about this picture
Women of Greece
The city-state of Athens
The Greek Gods
Greek Medicine Symbol
Map of Greece
Ancient Greek toy
The people of ancient Greece could not farm most of their mountainous, rocky land, so they became excellent sailors who traveled to distant lands. The mountainous land also meant that it was difficult to invade Greek lands. The Balkan Mountains in the north and the Mediterranean Sea form barriers that made it difficult for outsider to attack.
The Acropolis is a rocky outcropping in Athens. It is on this hill that many important temples and buildings were place for protection.
After military training, boys from wealthy families studied under a sophist. A “wisdom seller,” (sophist) charged a fee to teach subjects such as public speaking or rhetoric.
Socrates, the famous Greek philosopher, believed it was unethical to take money for teaching young people. He believed the pursuit of knowledge was more important than the art of speaking. His student Plato would write, THE REPUBLIC and his student Aristotle would educate Alexander the Great.
In Athens and other democracies, public speaking and persuasion were highly prized skills.
Most homes in ancient Greece had a courtyard, which was the center of activity.
Houses were made out of sun-dried brick on a foundation of stones. Sun-dried brick was not a dependable material and often crumbled.
The Greeks had a very limited amount of furniture in their houses.
The rooms were relatively bare by today’s standards. Wooden chairs, couches and stools were typical.
Food was cooked outside during most of the year. When the weather was not conducive to cooking outside, a hearth or brazier was used in the kitchen.
Kitchens were built with a hole in the roof so that smoke could escape.
Homes were divided into areas for the men and areas for the women. The andron was a room reserved for males to entertain male guests.
The room had a separate entrance to the street so male guests did not have to cross paths with any of the ladies of the house.
The Greek diet consisted of foods that were easily raised in the rocky terrain of Greece’s landscape.
Breakfast was eaten just after sunrise and consisted of bread dipped in wine.
Lunch was bread dipped in wine along with olives, figs, cheese or dried fish.
Supper, the main meal of each day was eaten near sunset. It consisted of vegetables, fruit, fish, and possibly honey cakes.
Sugar was unknown to ancient Greeks, so natural honey was used as a sweetener.
Fish was the main source of protein in the Greek diet.
Wine was the main drink in ancient Greece.
The Greeks did not have any eating utensils, so they ate with their hands.
Bread was also used as a napkin to clean hands. After being used as a napkin, the bread was then thrown on the floor for the dogs or slaves to clean up at a later time.
More Food Facts
Before 600 B.C. there was no monetary system in Greece, so they utilized the barter system. This was a system of trading goods and /or services for other goods and/or services.
By 500 B.C., each city-state began minting their own coin.
A merchant usually only took coins from their own city.
Visitors had to find a money changer to exchange their coins. Typically a 5 or 6 percent fee was charged to exchange foreign currency to the local currency
Women in most of ancient Greece had very few rights. They were under the control and protection of their father, husband, or a male relative for their entire lives.
Women had no role in politics.
Women with any wealth did not work. They stayed indoors running their households.
The only public job of importance for a woman was as a religious priestess.
Women in Greece
Babies born in ancient Greece often had a difficult time surviving. Many died in the first couple days of life; therefore, babies did not receive names until the seventh or tenth day of life.
Children spent the majority of their time with their mother. They stayed in the women’s part of the house. While they were being raised, girls would receive their entire education and training in the home with their mothers. Boys, on the other hand, might learn their father’s trade or go to school around the age of seven.
Many toys, similar to current day toys, have been found in archeological sites. Dolls, rattles, tops, swings, and many other items have been unearthed.
The Greeks made great advancements in medicine.
Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) introduced the idea of looking at disease as something that occurred naturally, instead of coming from the gods.
The Hippocratic oath, to do no harm to a patient, is still used in medicine today.