How Did the Ancient Greece Hunt?

In ancient Greece, hunting played a significant role in the lives of its people. It was not only a means of survival but also a popular recreational activity for the wealthy. Let’s delve into how the ancient Greeks hunted and the techniques they employed.

Hunting Techniques

Hunting in ancient Greece was predominantly carried out in two ways: with the use of hunting dogs or by employing various trapping methods.

Hunting with Dogs

Hunting dogs played a crucial role in assisting hunters. These dogs were trained to track down game animals, help corner them, and sometimes even attack them. The most commonly used dog breeds for hunting were Molossian hounds and Laconian hounds.

When hunting large game like deer or wild boar, the dogs would be unleashed to chase and surround the animal until the hunters could approach and make their kill. This required skillful coordination between the hunters and their dogs.

Fun fact: The Greeks believed that Artemis, the goddess of hunting, had a pack of sacred hunting dogs that guided them during their hunts.

Trapping Methods

Ancient Greek hunters also employed various trapping techniques to capture their prey. One such method was using snares made from ropes or nets. These snares would be strategically placed along animal trails or near watering holes to ensnare unsuspecting animals as they passed through.

Note: It is important to mention that while there were no laws against hunting during this time, certain species were protected due to their association with Greek mythology or religious beliefs.

Hunted Animals

The ancient Greeks hunted a wide range of animals for various purposes including food, sport, and fur. Some of the most commonly hunted animals included:

  • Lions
  • Boars
  • Deer
  • Hares
  • Birds, such as ducks and geese

Hunting these animals provided the Greeks with not only sustenance but also valuable resources like fur and feathers.

Hunting as a Symbol of Skill and Valor

In ancient Greece, hunting was often seen as a symbol of skill, courage, and valor. It was considered an activity suited for the aristocracy and was often depicted in artwork and literature.

Ancient Greek mythology is filled with stories of heroes who were skilled hunters. One notable example is the hero Heracles (Hercules), who was renowned for his hunting prowess.


Ancient Greek hunting encompassed various techniques and played a significant role in their society. From hunting with dogs to employing trapping methods, the ancient Greeks showcased their skill, courage, and appreciation for nature through this age-old practice.