How Was Security in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, security was a primary concern for people just as it is today. However, the methods and tools used for ensuring security were vastly different from what we have today. Let’s take a look at how security was in ancient times.

Ancient Mesopotamia

One of the earliest known civilizations, Mesopotamia, had several measures in place to ensure security. The city-states were protected by walls made of mud bricks that were several feet high and wide. The walls had gates that could be closed during an attack to keep out intruders.

In addition to walls, the Assyrians developed an early form of law enforcement known as the “night watch.” This group of men patrolled the streets at night to deter criminals and ensure that everyone was safe.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was also concerned about security. The Pharaohs employed guards to protect their palaces and temples, while wealthy citizens hired private guards to protect their homes.

Moreover, the Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to use locks on doors. These locks were made of wood or metal and had pins that could be moved by a key to unlock them.

Ancient Greece

The Greeks believed in having a strong military to protect their city-states from invaders. They also believed in having strong walls around their cities for protection.

Additionally, they had a unique system called ostracism where any citizen who posed a threat to democracy could be exiled from Athens for ten years.


The Roman Empire was well-known for its large army which provided security for its people. They also built walls around their cities and developed a sophisticated system of roads with checkpoints along them where travelers could be searched for contraband.

Furthermore, they created one of the earliest forms of law enforcement known as “vigiles.” These were a group of men who patrolled the streets at night to deter crime and ensure safety.


While ancient civilizations did not have access to the advanced technology and weapons that we have today, they still had effective measures in place to ensure security. Walls, guards, locks, and law enforcement were all used to keep people safe. It is fascinating to see how these methods have evolved over time and how they continue to evolve as we face new security challenges in the modern world.