ATHENSIn ancient Athens, the purpose of education was to producecitizens trained in the arts, and to prepare citizens for bothpeace and war.Until age 6 or so, boys were taught at home by their mother or by a male slave.From age 6 to 14, boys went to a neighbourhood primary school or to a privateschool.Girls were not educated at school, but many learned to read and write at homein the comfort of their courtyard.
SPARTAIn ancient Sparta, the purpose of education was to producea well-drilled, well-disciplined marching army.Spartans believed in a life of discipline, self-denial, andsimplicity and were very loyal to the state of Sparta.Spartan boys were sent to military school at age 6 or 7.They lived, trained and slept in the barracks of their brotherhood.They were taught survival skills and other skills necessary to be a great soldier.School courses were very hard and often painful.In Sparta, girls also went to school at age 6 or 7.
CORINTHIANSIn ancient Corinth, the purpose of education was to producecitizens trained in the arts and the sciences and to preparecitizens for becoming creative problem-solvers.The polis is famous for its bronze statues, pottery, and vase painters.As a child, you were taught at home by your mother, or by a male slave.From age 7-14, children attended a day school, where they memorized poetryand studied drama, public speaking, reading, writing, math, and the flute.They also went to military school for at least two years.
Going to school• At 3, children were given small jugs - a sign that babyhood was over.• Boys went to school at age 7.• Girls were taught at home by their mothers. A few girls learned to read and write, but many did not.• Most Greeks schools had fewer than 20 boys, and classes were often held outdoors.
Learning• Girls learned housework, cooking and skills such as weaving at home.• Boys at school learned reading, writing, arithmetic, music and poetry.• Part of their lessons included learning stories and poems by heart.• Boys did athletics, to keep fit and prepare them for war as soldiers. They ran, jumped, wrestled and practised throwing a spear and a discus. They trained on a sports ground called a gymnasium.
Marriage and work• Most girls were only 13-16 years old when they married. The day before she married, a girl sacrificed her toys to the goddess Artemis, to show she was grown-up.• Most boys had to work hard. They worked as farmers, sailors, fishermen and craft workers - such as potters, builders, metalworkers and stone-carvers.• Some clever boys went on studying. Teachers gave classes to older students.
Childrens toys• We know about some Greek toys from pictures on pottery vases and from artefacts found by archaeologists.• Children played with small pottery figures, and dolls made of rags, wood, wax or clay - some dolls had moveable arms and legs.• Children played with balls made from tied-up rags or a blown-up pigs bladder. The ankle-bones of sheep or goats made knucklebones or five-stones.• There are pictures of children with pets, such as dogs, geese and chickens.
Once every four years, men from all over Greece came to compete in a great athletic festival in Elis, in western Greece.This was called the Olympic games because the place was called Olympia.The Olympic Games were a religious festival to honor the Greek gods Zeus and Hera.
Once all the men had arrived in Elis for the Olympic Games, they spent a month practicing and training together in a big palaestra, with a sand floor.They were only given fresh cheese and water at their meals, and they all ate together.They had to follow strict rules.Judges watched the men train, and picked out only the best ones to actually run in the races.
FUN FACTS• Children played Blind Mans Buff, and adults played this game too.• A game of flicking nuts into a hole or circle may be the Ancient Greek version of marbles - or even tiddlywinks!• The Greeks had writing paper, made from Egyptian papyrus reeds, but used it only for important documents.• In Sparta, boys were told to steal food from farmers. If they were caught, they were beaten - for not running away fast enough!• Girls in Sparta had more freedom than girls in other Greek states. Spartan girls did athletics, gymnastics, dancing, music and singing.• Pythagoras was a clever Greek who told us what we need to know about triangles in geometry.• Pythagoras believed that beans had souls, and told his students never to eat beans. Friends joked this was because beans gave Pythagoras indigestion!• When Greeks felt ill, they thought the gods were punishing them.• The sea-god Poseidon had some very nasty children. One was the one-eyed giant Cyclops, who ate people.• A paidagogos was a slave whose job was to take boys to school and make sure they worked hard.