How Do You Become a Citizen in Ancient Greece?

Becoming a Citizen in Ancient Greece

If you have ever wondered how one becomes a citizen in Ancient Greece, then this article is for you. Citizenship in Ancient Greece was not an easy feat to achieve.

It was highly valued and came with many privileges such as the right to vote, hold public office, and own property. In this article, we will take a look at the requirements for becoming a citizen in Ancient Greece.

Citizenship Requirements

In Ancient Greece, the requirements for citizenship varied depending on the city-state. However, there were some common requirements that were shared across most city-states. One of the basic requirements was being born to parents who were both citizens of the city-state.

Another requirement was that you had to be male. Women were not allowed to become citizens in Ancient Greece as they were considered inferior to men and their primary role was to bear children and take care of the household.

Military Service

One of the most important requirements for citizenship in Ancient Greece was military service. All male citizens were expected to serve in the military from the age of 18 until they turned 60. This service was mandatory and failure to participate could result in loss of citizenship.


Education also played a crucial role in becoming a citizen in Ancient Greece. Boys from wealthy families received formal education while those from poor families learned basic skills such as farming or trade from their fathers.

Character Requirements

Character requirements were also important when it came to citizenship in Ancient Greece. Citizens were expected to be honest, loyal, and brave. They also had to demonstrate their commitment to their city-state by participating in public life such as attending meetings and voting.

The Process of Becoming a Citizen

The process of becoming a citizen varied depending on the city-state but generally involved several steps. The first step was to be registered as the child of two citizen parents. After this, you had to fulfill the military service requirement and demonstrate your commitment to the city-state.

Once these requirements were met, you could apply for citizenship. Your application would then be reviewed by a council of citizens who would determine if you met all the requirements for citizenship.


Becoming a citizen in Ancient Greece was not an easy process. It required meeting various requirements such as being born to citizen parents, serving in the military, and demonstrating your commitment to the city-state. Citizenship was highly valued and came with many privileges, including the right to vote and hold public office.