Lifestyles of Ancient Greece

Lifestyles of Ancient Greece




Download the .pdf here!


Lifestyles of Ancient Greece


Ancient Greek homes were fairly simple in design. They usually had a central courtyard with rooms leading off all four sides. On the average 10 people occupied a home, and it was common for the men and women to live in separate quarters within the confines of the home. Homes were largely constructed from stones and mud bricks. The exterior walls were usually covered in plaster, however they very thin. The wealthiest people decorated their homes in frescoes and mosaics. Roofs were framed with wood and covered in terra-cotta tiles. Most floors were dirt and furniture was very scarce because wood was very expensive and hard to find. Windows were very small, shuttered and placed close to the ceiling to protect against bad weather(no glass). Terra cotta lamps were used for lighting. The most commonly found ones featured a wick floating in olive oil. There was no running water and because of the scarcity of water only the wealthiest took full baths. Also, there were no toilets, you went the bathroom in a chamber pot, a practice that would remain common for centuries to come. Refuse piled up on the streets posing a health hazard to everyone concerned. Mosquitoes, cockroaches, flies, and rats were common.

Clothing was made on a loom. The majority of the garments were rectangular in shape required very little stitching. The most popular materials were wool and linen. There were no ready made clothes. A woman's dress was very uniform and utilitarian. At the time some women used makeup. They used a variety of colors on their lips and they darkened their eyebrows and face with the soot from lamps. Ancient Greek women wore their hair long and it was usually found tied in a bun on the top of the head. It was also common for women to bleach their hair blond. Men wore tunics that were worn at about knee length. The tunic was held in place by a knot tied at the shoulder. Slaves usually shaved their heads, while the free Greek citizens preferred facial hair.

The average ancient Greek family ate two meals a day. The poor and slave class ate porridge, bread, soup, eggs, fish, and some vegetables. Food famines were common. The people who were middle class or better ate chicken, pig, goat, and sheep. Cows were almost non-existent at the time. The wealthy also ate a lot of fish including, mackerel, surgeon, tuna, and sardines. In the summer everyone cooked over an open grill and in the winter they cooked indoors.

Only the wealthiest boys attended school. They started at age 7, however many were home schooled by private tutors. Memorization was the principle method used. Wealthy young Athenian Greek boys were taught to read, write, and play music. Girls did not receive an education, they were taught how to run a household.

After dinner they played games like darts, dancing, and the capping game which starts when one person says a verse of a famous poem and the next person has to say the next verse. In addition they hired entertainers such as jugglers, dances, tumblers, and flute girls and other musicians for entertainment. Hired entertainers were so popular that they were governed by a variety of laws that dictated how much they could be paid and what hours they could work.