Introduction Ancient Greece was a civilization surround bythe Mediterranean Sea. It lasted 2,000 BC to 146BC. Greece is interesting to study because of thefood, structure of society, writing, language andmany legacies that we still use today.
Structure of Society In ancient Greece men and woman lived very different lives. Greek men livedmuch better lives than women, foreigners and slaves. Men could take part inany activity in society and held more power. Only when it was a religiousfestival were women allowed to have a greater part in society. Even childrenlived differently. In Athens parents thought boys were more useful than girlsso boys went to school and learned a lot more knowledge than girls. Only mencould own property and one day the son would get his father’s land. On theother hand, girls couldn’t go to school. Instead, they stayed at home andlearned how to cook, write, weave and clean. In Sparta, when boys were 7years old they needed to go to practice being in the army and girls went toschool to learn how to be fit and strong. In Greece, Athens and Sparta werevery different places to live. Athens was focused on knowledge and Spartawas focused on defense and warfare. Sparta was also ruled by two kings andAthens was ruled by democracy. As you can see, in Greek society people livedvery different lives, depending on whether they were male or female, orAthenian or Spartan.
Writing & Language The first Greeks who read and write were the Mycenaeans. They usedwriting and picture signs. 600 years later, the Greek merchants recordedan alphabet from the Phoenicians and took it to Greece. Then they boughtpapyrus from Egyptian merchants, which improved their writing. InGreece there were many great writers, such as Homer, Plato andHerodotus. They wrote great stories, poetry, plays and speeches aboutphilosophy. However, the ancient Greeks did not print and wrote only afew copies of each work. This meant that most of the Greek peoplecouldn’t read the great books from these writers. Greeks learned themyths and stories through story-telling and theatre. Therefore, the Greekswere the first civilization to record an alphabet and their writers are stillfamous today.
Food The ancient Greeks ate many different types of food. For example, they ate fish,lentils, radishes, celery, beans, cheese, cake and fruits. They also enjoyed eatingfish, which was caught in the Mediterranean Sea. The second-class citizens andslaves ate bread for meals and only ate meat at special festivals. The Greeksharvested their food by farming or fishing. When they caught fish, they usedrods and lines for tools and farmers grew vegetable like beans, peas, lentils,cabbages, cucumber, lettuces, leeks, onion, garlic and nuts. They also grew fruitlike apples, pears, olives, grapes, dates and fig. The ancient Greeks ate meatfrom sheep, pigs, bird and fish. The soil in Greece is dry and rocky so theyneeded hardy crops like olives. Many other meats and vegetables were tradedfrom other civilizations. The Greeks drank wine and cooked their vegetables insavoury sauces or sweetened them with honey. Therefore, the Greeks had avaried diet of meat and vegetables, similar to the modern Mediterranean foodtoday.
Legacies In ancient Greece, there were many ideas that we still use in modern life.For example, the Greeks held the first Olympics in 776BC to honor thegods. Winners were given olive wreaths for their heads. The ancientgames included many events that we still have today, except women werenot allowed to be part of it. Democracy began in Athens so that peoplecould vote for their own government. Only Athenian men, aged over 18were allowed to vote. Pericles was a great democratic leader. Manycountries, such as the U.S.A, Japan and South Korea still use democracytoday. Columns are another great legacy. In ancient times, columns wereused to hold up the roof. There were three kinds of columns: Doric, Ionicand Corinthian. Even today, many important buildings have columns,such as the white house, libraries or museums. The Greeks also mademany discoveries in mathematics, science, medicine and philosophy. Westill study their ideas and their architecture and government system can beseen around the world.
Conclusion In conclusion, the ancient Greeks left many great ideasthat we still use in modern life today, such asdemocracy and mathematical discoveries. It isinteresting to learn about the writing & language, foodand roles in society of these ancient people.
Reference listAuthorPat Taylor Date titleJohn Malam 1998 Ancient Greeks 1998 The Ancient GreeksAnne Pearson 1992 What do we know about Greeks?Love Rance - 1992 Ancient Greece and WoodMartin Forrest 1992 Ancient GreeceDate Accessed Website25/10/12 www.bbc.uk/school/primaryhistory/ancient_greeks