The story

Ancient and Present Greece

Ancient and Present Greece


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How did the Greek people live in antiquity

Generally speaking, the Greek man spent the day away from home. He spent time working, shopping, or talking with friends about politics and other matters.

The woman stayed at home, taking care of the clothes and food and organizing the work of the slaves; She was the one who handled the house chores.

Compared to today, the houses were small and uncomfortable. But that was of little importance because, because of the mild weather, most of the daily activities were carried out outside the home. Constructed of a mixture of gravel and baked earth, the walls were so fragile that the thieves were called "wall breakers" because they simply dug a passageway into them to enter the house.

There were no windows in the small windows, and in winter they were closed with wood. Kitchens were rare and food was prepared outdoors.

In ancient Greece there were no luxurious residences. Even a great general, such as Themistocles, lived in a simple house like his neighbors. Rich men were not respected for ostentation, but for what they gave to the gods and the city to pay for public festivals.

In the cities there were numerous public buildings. The main ones were Odeon, devoted to music exercises; the theaters, where tragedies and comedies were represented; the gymnasiums, which were initially used as training places and later became the places where philosophers gave their outdoor lessons; the stadiums where the foot races and other exercises were performed, and the temples where the gods were worshiped.

The houses were scattered, without any alignment, behind the temples and other monuments. The streets were narrow and winding. Hygienic conditions were precarious: there was almost no sewage and all the trash was thrown on the streets to be picked up by dogs.

When they got up, the Greeks ate bread soaked in wine diluted with water; at lunch they ate bread with goat cheese or olives and figs; dinner consisted of barley soup and barley bread. Sometimes they also ate vegetables prepared in olive oil and some birds hunted in the field.

In the richest families, dinner was almost the same, but the bread was wheat, and sometimes there was also fish, sausage, cheese with honey and nuts, cakes, and dried fruits.

Meat only on special occasions and after rituals. On these occasions goats and lambs were sacrificed in the courtyard of the houses. The offal and fat were burned on the altar as an offering to the gods, and the meat, after roasting, was served to those present. Only at the big festivals of the city did you eat beef. After the sacrifice, the flesh was distributed among the poor.

The main drink of the Greeks was wine. But they did not drink pure; They preferred to mix it with water and, before drinking it, used to spill a few drops on the floor as an offering to the gods.

The Greeks ate a lot of bread, and to sweeten the food or drink they used honey.

The clothes worn by the Greeks were simple. Apart from the quality of the fabrics, everyone dressed the same way, with clothes that were easy to put on and take off. The peasants wore a short robe made of animal skin.

It was the task of women to weave the cloth to make clothes in both rich and poor families. They were the ones who spun, dyed, and weaved the wool: the piece that came out of the loom was ready for use. There was no need to cut or sew.

Greece today

Greece occupies approximately the territory inhabited by the Hellenes of the Classic period. Its form of government is the parliamentary republic.

Greece lives under a democratic regime. It is a representative democracy, different from that practiced in the Classic period. At that time, people participated directly, expressing their opinion in the Assembly, which brought together all citizens. In modern democracy, citizens elect their representatives and those who exercise power.

The country's economy is based on agriculture, industry and tourism. The main crops are: wheat, olive trees, tobacco, cotton and fruits. The main industries include textiles, olive oil and wine, oil refining, aluminum and nickel, and mining.

Since ancient times, the Greeks have distinguished themselves in shipbuilding and navigation. This tradition continues today. Today's Greek fleet, made up of passenger and merchant ships, including major cargo ships and tankers, is among the first in the world.


Athens cityscape