What Color Were the People of Ancient Greece?

The ancient Greeks are known for their contributions to philosophy, art, and science. However, one question that often arises is what color were the people of ancient Greece?

Were they all fair-skinned and blonde-haired like the depictions we see in movies and TV shows? Let’s explore this topic further.

Historical Evidence

There is no doubt that ancient Greeks had diverse physical appearances. The evidence suggests that ancient Greeks had different skin tones, eye colors, and hair textures. Some Greeks were fair-skinned with blonde or red hair, while others had darker skin tones with black or brown hair.


Artwork from ancient Greece offers a glimpse into the physical appearance of its people. Greek pottery and sculpture depict people with various skin tones and physical features.

For example, some pottery shows figures with dark skin tones while others have lighter skin tones. Sculptures also depict individuals with different facial features such as nose shape and eye shape.

Literary Works

Greek literature also provides some insight into the physical appearances of its people. Homer’s epic poem “The Iliad” describes Achilles as having blonde hair while Odysseus is often depicted as having brown hair. Additionally, other literary works mention individuals with dark skin tones such as Ethiopians.


In conclusion, there is no one answer to the question of what color were the people of ancient Greece. The evidence suggests that ancient Greeks had diverse physical appearances just like any other civilization. It’s important to remember that depictions of ancient Greek people in movies and TV shows are often based on stereotypes rather than historical accuracy.

  • Tip: Use historical evidence such as artwork and literature to gain a better understanding of past civilizations.
  • Tip: Avoid relying on stereotypes when depicting historical figures in popular media.


  • “The Iliad” by Homer
  • The British Museum
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art