Ancient Greece: Manners & Customs
Ancient Athenian Women
Once a woman was married her husband controlled all property. Any property that she might have inherited would go directly to her husband. She had no rights to wander about the town, without a just cause. Any respectable woman would not be seen in public. Greek women had virtually no political rights of any kind and were controlled by men at all stages of their lives. Since men spent most of their time away from their houses, women dominated Greek home life. The wife was in charge of raising the children and making the families clothes. She supervised the daily running of the household.
Ancient Athenian Women
What was the role of women in Athens? To live, controlled by the men in their lives. Their father controlled them before they were married. Their spouse controlled them once they were married . What did girls do? They learnt to read- in school or at home. They learnt important household skills-spinning, weaving, sewing, cooking and other household jobs. Learnt simple facts on mythology, religion and occasionally musical instruments. Spent most of their time in her household with other women- only leaving the house to perform religious duties.
Politics, Heroes, Language, Education, Science and Medicine, etc. Facts about Ancient Greece from Discovery Channel
Ancient Greece Daily Life
How would you have behaved if you had lived in ancient Sparta? (Lie, cheat, steal, because that is the Sparta way!) Or in ancient Athens? Or in Corinth, Argos or Megara? The ancient Greeks were very proud of their city-state! They were also proud of being Greek. The ancient Greeks were thinkers. They loved to talk. They honored their gods and respected honor. They loved beauty, music, literature, drama, philosophy, politics and art.
Ancient Greece for Kids - Education
Both daily life and education were very different in Sparta, than in Athens or in the other ancient Greek city-states. ATHENS: In ancient Athens, the purpose of education was to produce citizens trained in the arts, to prepare citizens for both peace and war. Girls were not educated at school, but many learned to read and write at home, in the comfort of their courtyard. Until age 6 or 7, boys were taught at home by their mother or by a male slave. From age 6 to 14, they went to a neighborhood primary school or to a private school. Books were very expensive and rare, so subjects were read out-loud, and the boys had to memorize everything. To help them learn, they used writing tablets and rulers.
Ancient Greek Education
The Greek Gods were much more down-to-earth and much less awesome than the remote gods of the East. Because they were endowed with human qualities and often represented aspects of the physical world--such as the sun, the moon, and the sea--they were closer to man and to the world he lived in. The Greeks, therefore, could find spiritual satisfaction in the ordinary, everyday world. They could develop a secular life free from the domination of a priesthood that exacted homage to gods remote from everyday life. The goal of education in the Greek city-states was to prepare the child for adult activities as a citizen.
Ancient Greek Family
Most Greeks, like most other people throughout history, lived in families with a mother and a father and their children. Usually men got married when they were about twenty-five or thirty years old (as they do today), but women got married much younger, between twelve and sixteen years old.
Ancient Greek Medicine
Medicine was very important to the Ancient Greek. Ancient Greek Culture was such that a high priority was placed upon healthy lifestyles, this despite Ancient Greece being much different to the Greece of the modern World.
Ancient Greek Wedding
Weddings in ancient Greece were a major part of a person's life, especially for the bride-to-be. The weddings were usually arranged by the bride's parents (Kitto 220). In ancient Greece, there usually was a certain time when couples decided to marry. According to Flaceli├Ęre (62), Greeks married during the winter. However, various superstitions say that Greeks were married during the time of a full moon. A common month in which couples married was the monthGamelion (January) which is sacred to Hera and means "the wedding month."
Architecture and Women in Ancient Greece
Architecture relates to the design and construction of buildings, temples, houses and other structures used for human habitation. In Ancient Greece public buildings were made of marble. They used post and lintel construction so the roof was supported on tall columns. This was the same method of construction that was used in ancient Egypt. Walls were kept to a minimum because they shut out light from the sun. Heating was done on open fires and chimneys were not used. The structure was built up of smaller blocks of marble joined with metal pins. No mortar was used. The size of a room was limited by the length of the lintel. Wood was used for larger lintels while stone was used in longer lasting lintel. On surviving buildings some are missing their roofs because the wood has rotted away. Water was provided to public fountains that could be in such a room.
Manufacturing absorbed small numbers of workers who operated with little mechanical assistance. Of these, a significant number must have been slaves, since no free man worked for wages unless driven to it by poverty. It has been estimated that only about 500 potters and painters were active in 5th century Athens at a time when the city supplied most of the luxury tableware for the entire Greek world. Manufacturing, transport and food production demanded a broad range of skills. The stone, clay and metal trades needed quarrymen, masons, sculptors, potters, painters and foundry workers; the clothing industry, weavers, dyers and fullers; the leather trade, tanners and cobblers; construction, stone cutters, carpenters and architects; maritime transport, ship-builders, dock-loaders and sailors; food production, anything from farmers, herdsmen, bee-keepers and fishermen to bakers and cooks. Economy, (Univ. Penn.)
Burial Rituals and the Afterlife of Ancient Greece
As seen in the literature of ancient Greece, tombs and rituals of the wealthy were extravagant. Gold and jewels were essential grave offerings of respectable and honored tombs, perhaps used as a way to display wealth and status. It seems the wealthier you were the more elaborate your final resting place. The ancient Greeks had distinct methods of burial, and it was often believed if you were not provided a proper burial along with the appropriate rituals, you were destined to suffer between worlds until your rites of passage into the underworld were completed. In this essay we will see how exactly a tomb of Greece looked, the rituals followed at the time of death and also what was believed to happen if these elements were not fulfilled. Examining the tombs and rituals from the archaic period through classical Greece shows the continuity of the traditions throughout the years.
Children of Ancient 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. If a baby was born deformed, it might have been abandoned on a mountain (female babies were abandoned more often than males). Sometimes abandoned babies were rescued and brought up as slaves by another family.
Culture of Athens
The class system in Athens was made up of two distinct classes- slaves and citizens. These classes were rarely open to any of the other classes; citizenship alone was given only to male Athenians. The same hierarchy of classes existed within other Greek city states as well (an even finer division can be drawn when looking at the social structure of Sparta). At the core of each class was a specific list of duties and responsibilities given to a member of it. Thus, citizens were expected to have attended the gymnasium, and palaistrai, where as slaves were relegated to house chores and could never attain citizenship.
Children lived with their mothers in the women's quarter until they were 7 years old. They slept in wicker baskets or wooden cradles.The children played with balls, miniature chariots, rattles, yo-yos, rocking horses, and dolls and animals made from clay. Many had pets. They especially liked dogs. Other pets included ducks, quail, birds, goats, tortoises, mice, weasels, and grasshoppers. At age 7 the boys went to school.
Death and Burial in Ancient Greece
It was very important to the Greeks to be buried in their homeland by their close family. (4) The rituals accompanying death were often expensive, and over time laws were enacted that limited the cost of funerals. Although women were a crucial element of the rituals, only women who were closely related to the deceased or over the age of sixty were allowed to participate.
The burial rites began on the day after death. The eyes and mouth of the dead person were closed, the body was washed and anointed, with a laurel branch used to sprinkle sanctified water. A coin for Charon was fixed between the teeth (though later this was substituted with a fake coin called "ghost money" which was left in the mouth, hand or loose in the grave). The body was then wrapped in a linen shroud and crowned with garlands, and sometimes it was laid on vine branches. Oregano was put on the body to ward off evil spirits. Finally, the body was laid on a bier, with its feet facing the door, in the house for a whole day; this was called prothesis. Women lamented, and men came to pay their respects.
On the third day after death, before sunrise, the corpse was brought out in a procession to the cemetery; this was called ekphora. The women displayed violent exhibitions of grief to please the dead spirit and sang a funeral dirge; but in some places laws limited the noise during the procession. Vase paintings show female mourners in a particular ritual position, with their hands placed on their heads. Sometimes the mourners made themselves physically unclean as an expression of their grief.
Death and Funeral in Ancient Greece
The Funerals. An Athenian's Will.--All Menon's patient's are to-day set out upon the road to recovery. Hipponax, his rival, has been less fortunate. A wealthy and elderly patient, Lycophron, died the day before yesterday. As the latter felt his end approaching, he did what most Athenians may put off until close to the inevitable hour--he made his will, and called in his friends to witness it; and one must hope there can be no doubt about the validity, the signets attached, etc., for otherwise the heirs may find themselves in a pretty lawsuit.
Education in Ancient Greece
Both education and daily life were very different in Sparta, than in Athens or in the other ancient Greek city-states. With the exception of the Athenians (who thought Athens was the best!), Greeks from other city-states had a grudging admiration for the Spartans. They wouldn't want to be Spartans, but in times of war, they most certainly wanted Sparta to be on their side. The Spartans were tough, and the ancient Greeks admired strength.
Education in Ancient Greece
Education of Women in Ancient Greece
Women were educated at home except for music and dance lessons. Often they were educated by their husbands, brothers, or fathers and some greek women were very well educated. Hetaera had special schools where they learned entertaining, conversation, and rhetoric. Slaves were not educated. If they were educated before they became slaves, they could work for their freedom.
Everyday Life in Ancient Greece
Centered within a loose collection of city-states (often at war with one another), ancient Greek culture reached its pinnacle during the fourth century BC - an era described as its "Golden Age." Art, theater, music, poetry, philosophy, and political experiments such as democracy flourished. Greek influence stretched along the northern rim of the Mediterranean from the shores of Asia Minor to the Italian peninsula. In Athens, society was male-dominated - only men could be citizens and only upper-class males enjoyed a formal education. Women had few political rights and were expected to remain in the home and bear children. 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.
Furniture and the Greek House
General information about the rooms is rather clear, but the furniture in the house made each room unique. The Greeks used practicality to furnish their houses and they also borrowed some Egyptian techniques to build the furniture. Their home furnishings consisted of countless stools and chairs, some of which borrowed the folding X-frame from the Egyptians; a bed was made out of a thick board on four legs with a blanket, or by weaving string across of wooden frame, and chests were used in place of cupboards. Mattresses were made of sacks filled with leaves, which was actually comfortable to the people at the time. By today's standards, many would say this method is unbearable, compared to the spring mattress.
Greek Approach To Women's Illness, Pregnancy And Childbirth
It is tempting to credit the medicine we are taking when an illness is cleared up, forgetting that the condition might have gone away by itself regardless of what we did. This is undoubtedly the key to the popularity even today of so many "folk medicines"Ł that researchers insist do nothing at all except make money for the manufacturers, and there were certainly many medical procedures in the ancient world that did very little good and some that did considerable harm.
The ancient Greeks were a deeply religious people. They worshipped many gods whom they believed appeared in human form and yet were endowed with superhuman strength and ageless beauty. The Iliad and the Odyssey, our earliest surviving examples of Greek literature, record men's interactions with various gods and goddesses whose characters and appearances underwent little change in the centuries that followed. While many sanctuaries honored more than a single god, usually one deity such as Zeus at Olympia or a closely linked pair of deities like Demeter and her daughter Persephone at Eleusis dominated the cult place.
Greek Culture to 500 BC
Crete, Mycenae and Dorians, Iliad, Odyssey, Hesiod and Homeric Hymns, Aristocrats, Tyrants, and Poets, Spartan Military Laws, Athenian Political Laws, Aesop`s Fables, Pythagoras and Early Philosophy. Sanderson Beck
Greek Medicine and Disease
Disease was a very serious problem for the Greeks, as for all other people in the ancient and medieval worlds. One out of three babies died before they were a year old. Half of all children died before they were ten. And even most people who grew up died in their forties and fifties.
Home Life in Ancient Greece
In Athens, wives of citizens enjoyed no more political or legal rights than slaves. Yet, though a married Athenian woman might be confined to her house, here at least she enjoyed absolute authority subject to the consent of her lord and master. To slaves, she was the mistress. Young girls rarely left the women's quarters - the gynaikeon. While married women seldom went out of doors, adolescent girls rarely even went out of the courtyard - they had to be unseen even by male members of their own family. This is in contrast to Sparta where young girls trained openly at sports with young men, dressed in short tunics. All a young girl learnt was domestic skills (such as cooking, spinning and weaving), a little reading, music and arithmetic. They would be taught either by their mother, grandmother or a family slave. Girls only went out for certain religious festivals where they assisted at the sacrifice and took part in the procession.
Lifestyle of the Ordinary Ancient Greek
by Christopher Xenopoulos Janus. The daily Lifestyle of the anient Greek - just the ordinary people men and women, children and the elderly, slaves and foreigners, rich and poor - has always been of special interest to me. Not more so, of course, than the philosophers, artists and dramatists who have contributed so enormously to our culture and ways of life but the study of the ordinary Greek in ancient times tells us so much, or puzzles us so much about what ordinary people are like in extraordinary times, namely the Golden Age of Greece.
Marriage (Gamos) in Ancient Greece
How Athenian Marriages are Arranged.--Over this typical Athenian home reigns the wife of the master. Public opinion frowns upon celibacy, and there are relatively few unmarried men in Athens. An Athenian girl is brought up with the distinct expectation of matrimony.[*] Opportunities for a romance almost never will come her way; but it is the business of her parents to find her a suitable husband. If they are kindly people of good breeding, their choice is not likely to be a very bad one. If they have difficulties, they can engage a professional "matchmaker," a shrewd old woman who, for a fee, will hunt out an eligible young man. Marriage is contracted primarily that there may be legitimate children to keep up the state and to perpetuate the family. That the girl should have any will of her own in the matter is almost never thought of. Very probably she has never seen "Him," save when they both were marching in a public religious procession, or at some rare family gathering (a marriage or a funeral) when there were outside guests. Besides she will be "given away" when only about fifteen, and probably has formed no intelligent opinion or even prejudices on the subject.
Marriage and Funeral Rites in Classical Athens
In the ancient Mediterranean world there was hardly room for choice: not only was marriage destiny, but so was death. The identity of the Classical Greek world is established through the traditional sacrifices and rituals that were practiced in these times of bliss and mourning. The sacred wedding and the dramatic funeral compliment each other in character and content, for the ceremonies are both interwoven with ritual meaning and overlapping rites. Evidence for these formalities, both literary and artistic, help to provide a complete account of Greek customs in order to form the general picture of the wedding, the funeral, the parallels, the writings, and the vase paintings.
Marriage in Ancient Greece
In the ancient Greek society, marriage was regarded as an auspicious relationship. Marriage was very important to carry family chain.n the Greek culture, every respectable woman became a wife if she could. In marriage, there was hardly room for choice. Destiny played an important role in solemnizing marriage.
Marriages in Ancient Greece
Marriages in ancient Greece were arranged by the parents of the intended bride and groom. A financial arrangement was made between the families in the form of a dowry. Girls married between the ages of fourteen to eighteen, while typically men married in their twenties or even thirties. Spartan men continued to live in the barracks, even after the wedding, until they reached the age of thirty when they could move home with their wives.
Oddysey Online: Greece
Michael C. Carlos Museum presents Odyssey Online's Greece
Pottery in the Ancient Greek World
Pottery provides the best archaeological evidence for the movements of the Greeks and the distribution of their trade around the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins. Central and northern Italian Etruscan cemeteries are particularly informative as their tombs have yielded thousands of Greek vases. It is difficult to estimate what percentage of these vases were bought to serve as grave gifts; some may have been purchased initially for use in Etruscan homes. Because relatively few Etruscan manufactured goods turn up in Greek sites, it is widely assumed that Etruria traded lump iron, lead and bronze in exchange for Greek pottery and other finished commodities. Corinth dominated the pottery export trade up to the mid 6th century BC By around 525 BC Athens had established a monopoly in luxury wares with Attic Black Figure pottery and in time effectively drove Corinthian and all other regional styles from the marketplace. Attic Red Figure appeared around 530 BC and effectively replaced Black Figure by 480 BC. Trade, (Univ. Penn.)
Roles of Men, Women, and Children
Men, women, and children in ancient Greece had different roles and responsibilities. Let's look at the roles you and your friends and family would have had if you had lived in ancient Greece. Men in Greece wore special clothes. Every Greek man owned several chitons, long, rectangular pieces of cloth with holes for the head and arms. The chitons were decorated based on the man's status in society. The richest men had the fanciest chitons, made out of the most expensive cloth and with the most decorations.
Schooling in Ancient Greece
Education in schools in ancient Athens was at first limited to aristocratic boys. By the 4th century b.c. all 18-year-old males spent two years in a gymnasion, a state school devoted to the overall physical and intellectual development of a young man. More advanced education in philosophy, mathematics, logic and rhetoric was available to the aristocracy in highly select gymnasia like the Academy of Plato and the Lycaeum of Aristotle. Although girls in ancient Greece received no formal education in the literary arts, many of them were taught to read and write informally, in the home. [Daily Life] (Univ. Penn.)
The Greek House
Greek city houses of the 6th and 5th century b.c. were usually modest in scale and built of relatively inexpensive materials. They varied from two or three rooms clustered around a small court to a dozen or so rooms. City house exteriors presented a plain facade to the street, broken only by the door and a few small windows set high. In larger houses the main rooms included a kitchen, a small room for bathing, several bedrooms which usually occupied a second floor, the men's andron for dining, and perhaps a separate suite of rooms known as the gynaikonitis for the use of women.
The Women of Athens
Compared to the women of Sparta, the status of an Athenian woman in Greek society was minimal. By comparison to present day standards, Athenian women were only a small step above slaves by the 5th century BC. From birth a girl was not expected to learn how to read or write, nor was she expected to earn an education. On reading and writing, Menander wrote, "Teaching a woman to read and write? What a terrible thing to do! Like feeding a vile snake on more poison." Other authors and philosophers had similar quips about women.
Economy, (Includes map of Mediterranean). When Mycenaean society broke up around 1100 BC, the commercial routes that had linked mainland Greece with the rest of the Mediterranean were severed. After a period of prolonged recovery, the Greeks began colonizing the shore regions of the Mediterranean and Black seas. This movement (ca. 750-550 BC) was propelled by the need for living space for a rapidly expanding population and for new markets. The colonies had access to unrestricted native markets and were able to supply Greece with wheat, meat, dried fish, hides, wool, timber and basic metals in exchange for mainland finished products, olive oil and wine. Trade exposed Greek domestic markets to imported luxury products from Egypt, the Levant, Asia Minor and elsewhere. These had an important impact on Greek art during its formative years (750-600 BC). By 300 BC Greek manufactured goods were freely circulating to North Africa, Spain, the Rhone valley, the Balkans, and as far east as India.
Women and Marriage in Ancient Greece
The Greeks thought that Cecrops, one of the early kings of Athens -- one who wasn't entirely human, was responsible for civilizing mankind and establishing monogamous marriage. Men were still free to establish relations with courtesans and prostitutes, but with the institution of matrimony, lines of heredity could be established, and marriage established who was in charge of the woman.
Women And Property In Ancient Athens
Athenian law would not allow a woman to participate in a business transaction involving anything whose value exceeded a sum of money roughly equivalent to that needed to feed a family for five or six days. She could buy groceries at the local market but needed the approval of a male guardian to do anything more.
Women in Athens
All ancient societies drew a distinction between the free and the slave, even if slaves were few in number. Ancient Egypt saw very little difference in law between men and women, while Athens (and most other societies) did. Athens also drew a sharp distinction between citizen and resident alien, between legitimate born and the illegitimate, and between the woman who was a wife and the one who was not wife. We lack information on the non-citizen but presumably they tried to copy what they would have perceived as the ideal.
Women In Sparta
By 600 BCE Sparta had conquered her neighbors in the southern half of the Peloponnese. The vanquished people, called Helots, were required to do all of the agricultural work on land owned by the victors, making Sparta self-sufficient in food and ruler of a slave population seven or eight times as large. Not needing to import anything allowed Sparta to isolate herself from the culture of the rest of the world; fearing revolt by such a large number of slaves forced the country to become an armed camp: thus was determined the character of one of the oddest societies in the ancient world.
Women's Life in Ancient Greece
Greek women had virtually no political rights of any kind and were controlled by men at nearly every stage of their lives. The most important duties for a city-dwelling woman were to bear children--preferably male--and to run the household. Duties of a rural woman included some of the agricultural work: the harvesting of olives and fruit was their responsibility, as may have been the gathering of vegetables.
Since men spent most of their time away from their houses, Greek home life was dominated by women. The wife was in charge of raising the children, spinning, weaving and sewing the family┬┤s clothes. She supervised the daily running of the household. In a totally slave-based economy, plentiful numbers of female slaves were available to cook, clean, and carry water from the fountain. Only in the poorest homes was the wife expected to carry out all these duties by herself. A male slave┬┤s responsibilities were for the most part limited to being door-keeper and tutor to the male children. Click here for women's dress.
Daily Life (Univ. Penn.)
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