Vase by the Antimenes Painter
History >> Ancient Greece
What were the Ancient Greek's homes like?
Greek homes were built around an outdoor courtyard. The courtyard was the center of activity. It usually had a well for water, an altar to worship the gods, and was good place for the kids to play.
Around the courtyard were the rooms of the house. Different rooms included a work room, a store room, and bedrooms. Most of the time there also was a room called an andron where the men of the house would hang out and entertain their male friends or business associates. Sometimes there was a separate entrance to this room so visiting men would not see the women of the house. Generally the woman stayed away from the men in the house, especially visiting men. Oftentimes the house had a room set aside just for the women called a gynaikon.
The walls of Greek homes were made from sun dried bricks with small windows set high in the walls. They were designed to keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
What was it like growing up in Ancient Greece?
When a Greek child was born, the father could decide whether to keep the child or not. If the child appeared weak or was a girl, sometimes the father would abandon the child. Once a child was accepted by the father, he or she was treated well. Greek children had toys and spent the day playing games. When boys became seven years old, they started school. They learned math, reading, and writing. Sometimes they would also learn a musical instrument. When they got older they learned how to debate. Girls did not go to school. Children were considered adults by the age of 13.
What food did they eat?
The Ancient Greeks mostly ate bread dipped in wine, cheeses, fish, olives, and vegetables. Meat like pork or beef was only eaten on rare occasions such as festivals. Watered down wine was the main drink.
The men would often have dinner parties for their friends. They would start at sundown and run until late. Only the men attended, women were not allowed.
What clothes did they wear?
The ancient Greeks wore a tunic called a chitin. Both men and women wore the chitin. It was a basic tunic made from a single rectangle of cloth cut into two. It was fastened at different places and a belt was used at the waist. There were chitins of different lengths and colors. They were generally made out of a thin wool material. Some people could afford linen or even silk chitins.
Jobs in Ancient Greece
There were many jobs for men in Ancient Greece including farmer, fisherman, soldier, teacher, government worker, and craftsman. The women, however, were generally homemakers and would raise the children and cook the meals.
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