A Kid's View about Life in Ancient Greece
Farming Facts of Ancient Greece
In Ancient Greece the people were very clever when it came to farming. Even though the soil was not rich they used irrigation and crop rotations so that there would be more food to harvest.
Foods and Crops found in Ancient Greece
Many types of bread were made from the wheat that was grown and harvested in the plains. Fruits like grapes and figs were also favourite foods, and these were grown in most of the country.
Olives were popular and used in many dishes. The olive trees were called the “trees that feed the children” by the philosopher Sophocles. The people could use olives for food but the olives also produced valuable olive oil for cooking, medicines and religious ceremonies.
Goats were common to see in Greece during the early centuries. The people would use the milk for drinking and to make cheese. Along the coast fish and other seafood were often part of the daily meal. Most other meats were only used for sacrifices and were rarely seen being served for dinners.
Clothing in ancient Greek was extremely simple. People wore tunics and cloaks. The cloth they used would be linen in the warm months and wool in the cooler months. The women would decorate the clothes with colours and symbols that represented the place in which they lived.
*Did you know that the ancient Greeks invented the first real hat? It was called a petasos. This hat had a strap that could fit under the chin to hold it in place.*
Education for Girls and Boys
Most of the Greek girls did not go to school. They helped in the fields and at home. Their mothers and sisters would show them how to cook and keep house. Some girls would learn to read and write from their mothers or even from educated slaves who lived in their homes.
The ancient Greek boys would go to school and learn how to be leaders, educators or soldiers. Some of the boys would learn to become farmers, fisherman and sailors, but all boys were expected to attend school.
Education in Athens and Sparta
Athens and Sparta were two separate areas of ancient Greece with very different ways of educating children. Boys in Athens began their school training when they were about 6. Then they would graduate 14 years later.
Students had to memorize all of their lessons because books were too precious to be handed out. There were rulers and clay writing tablets that could be used to help with their lessons. The youngest boys had to learn the teachings and writings of a famous Greek poet named Homer. They were also expected to learn how to play a musical instrument called a lyre (like a small harp).
Sparta taught boys in schools but the emphasis was on being a fighting soldier. Although reading and writing was taught these things were not as important as learning to be a great warrior. All of the people in Sparta had to be strong and healthy. At birth the soldiers would come to check the baby. If they did not think the infant was healthy or perfect they would take it to a hillside and leave it, or send the baby away to become a slave.
Toys were popular with Greek children in these ancient times. Favourite toys included dolls made of clay, rattles, jackstones, and small pull toys with wheels. Pets were also kept by many of the children and the list of pets included turtles, rats, mice dogs and birds. Cats were not considered to be good pets.
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