How Long Was a Week in Ancient Greece?

Have you ever wondered how long a week was in Ancient Greece? The concept of the seven-day week has been around for thousands of years, but did it exist in the same form back then? In this article, we’ll explore the origins of the seven-day week and how it was used in Ancient Greece.

The Origin of the Seven-Day Week

The origin of the seven-day week is shrouded in mystery. Some historians believe that it originated with the Babylonians over 4,000 years ago.

They named each day after a different celestial body, such as the sun and moon. The concept of a seven-day week then spread to other cultures, including Ancient Greece.

The Greek Calendar

In Ancient Greece, there were several different calendars used throughout its history. The most famous was the Athenian calendar used in Athens.

It consisted of twelve months and was based on lunar cycles. Each month had either 29 or 30 days, depending on when the new moon occurred.

The Athenian Week

The Athenians did not use a seven-day week like we do today. Instead, they used a ten-day week known as a “dekate.” This ten-day cycle was not used for any religious or cultural purposes; it was simply used to keep track of time.

The Spartans

The Spartans had a slightly different system. They used an eight-day week known as an “ogdoas.” Like the Athenians, this system was not tied to any religious or cultural practices.

The Influence of Judaism and Christianity

The concept of a seven-day week as we know it today can be traced back to Judaism and Christianity. In the Bible, God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. This concept became ingrained in Western culture and eventually led to the adoption of the seven-day week.


In conclusion, a week in Ancient Greece was not the same as it is today. The Athenians used a ten-day week, while the Spartans used an eight-day week.

The concept of a seven-day week can be traced back to Judaism and Christianity. It’s fascinating to see how the concept of timekeeping has evolved over thousands of years.