Ancient GreeceBy:Dr. Greshme Jaswinder Sidhu 2011
The civilization of ancient Greece could be found in the time between 800BCE and146 BCE. It was a group of islands surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, in the area where Europe is now. Even though the civilization ended thousands of years ago, it is still interesting to learn about its education, food, agriculture, structure of society and many legacies.
EducationEducation was very important in ancient Greece. Children inAthens were educated to fill the adult’s role in society. Boyswere allowed to go school but girls were not. Instead, girlswere taught how to dance and play music by their mothers.Boys started school at the age of 6. They were taught howto read and write, and they studied science, math,geography and history. They wrote on wax boards with apiece of wood or bone. The boys were taught by tutors, whowere usually slaves. In Sparta, boys had a different kind ofeducation. Boys there learned how to be soldiers. Spartangirls learned how to be fit and strong, too. Therefore, in bothSparta and Athens, the ancient Greeks believed it wasimportant to educate their children.
Food & AgricultureIn ancient Greece, food was an important part of life for bothrich and poor people. About one fifth of the land was used forfarming. They ate olives and grapes as they were easy togrow on the land. They also ate cheese made from goat’smilk and bread made from wheat. However, the soil was poorand rocky so it was difficult to grow enough grass for manyanimals to eat. They had a wet winter followed by a hot, drysummer which also meant few crops could grow. The richpeople bought food in the market and the poor people atewhat they grew. For breakfast, everyone ate bread dipped inwine. The most common foods the Greeks ate were fish,bread, olives, grapes, cheese, vegetables and fruits. As youcan see, the land in ancient Greece had a big impact of thetypes of foods that were eaten.
Structure of Society In ancient Greece society was structured very differently from today. In Athens, they had the system of democracy but only men could vote and only when they were over the age of twenty. They would gather together in an assembly to debate ideas and vote on decisions for the civilizations. Also, men were the only ones who could become actors and believe it or not, men did all the shopping, too. Rich men went to parties with other wealthy and important men. Young boys were also more important than girls in ancient Greece. Girls married at a young age. They were ruled by their fathers and once they got married they were ruled by their husbands. Girls stayed home and took good care of their children while their husbands went out in public. Therefore, it seems that the ancient Greek men and women had different roles in society than we have today.
LegaciesAncient Greece has many legacies, two of which are the alphabetand the Olympics. Historians are unsure exactly when the Olympicsstarted, but they guess it was about 800 BCE. The Olympics wereheld in honor of Zeus. They included a Marathon race, throwing,wrestling, running, and the javelin. The Olympic games were stoppedby the emperor Theodosius and started again in 1896. We still holdmodern Olympics every four years with many of the same events.Around 489 BCE, the alphabet first began, which means it is over2500 years old. The Greeks were the first to have the alphabet withvowels. They used their alphabet to write legends and myths andkeep reports of meetings. Homer used the alphabet to write Iliad andthe Odyssey, which are famous poems even today. Our alphabet isvery similar to the ancient Greeks and many of our words have thesame parts. Therefore, the alphabet and the Olympics are two greatlegacies that are very important to us today.
In conclusion, you now know about ancient Greece and it great legacies. This reporthas described Greek food, agriculture and the structure of society. It is very importantto know that our language and lots of traditions that we have today came from ancientGreece.
Reference ListAuthor Date TitleLinda Bailey 2002 Ancient GreeceLoverance and Wood 1992 Ancient GreeceKaminl Rehanduri 1995 The Great History SearchSimon Adams 2005 AlexanderMarnishanks, Consuitant, Michaelshanks 2007 Ancient GreeceOnline sources20-10-11 www. bbc. co. uk20-10-11 www. biss. grade4. wikispaces. net20-10-11 www. History for kids.org