What Did Kids Were in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, children were considered a blessing and were valued highly by their families and society. However, the childhood experience in ancient Greece was vastly different from what we are used to in modern times. Let’s dive into what kids were like in ancient Greece.

Infancy

Infant mortality rates were high in ancient Greece, with many newborns not surviving past their first year of life. Infant care was largely the responsibility of the mother and her female relatives. Infants were swaddled tightly in cloth and kept close to their mother’s body for warmth and comfort.

Childhood

Once a child reached the age of seven, they could leave their mother’s side and begin their education. Boys attended school while girls stayed at home to learn household duties from their mothers.

Education for Boys

Boys’ education focused on physical fitness, military training, and academic studies. Physical fitness was emphasized through activities such as wrestling, running, and throwing the discus.

Military training included learning how to use weapons such as spears and shields. Academic studies consisted of reading, writing, mathematics, music, poetry, and philosophy.

Education for Girls

Girls’ education focused on domestic skills such as cooking, cleaning, weaving, and childcare. Girls also learned about religion and mythology through storytelling.

Adolescence

At around the age of 14 or 15, boys underwent a rite of passage known as ephebeia which marked their transition into adulthood. During this time they received further military training and participated in public events like festivals.

Girls entered into marriage around puberty which was typically between the ages of 12-15 years old.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, childhood in ancient Greece was vastly different from what we experience today. While infant mortality rates were high, children that survived were highly valued and their education was taken seriously.

Boys focused on physical fitness, military training, and academic studies while girls learned domestic skills and other practical matters. Adolescence marked the transition into adulthood with boys undergoing a rite of passage and girls entering into marriage.