What Did Little Girls Do in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, girls were not given the same opportunities as boys. They were expected to stay at home and learn domestic skills such as weaving, cooking, and cleaning. However, even within these limited roles, girls had some autonomy and agency.

Education for Girls: Girls in ancient Greece did not receive formal education like boys did. Instead, they were taught by their mothers or female slaves about household management skills such as cooking and weaving.

However, some wealthy families allowed their daughters to attend schools run by private tutors. These schools focused on music, dance, literature, and poetry.

Marriage: The main goal for girls in ancient Greece was to get married and have children. It was believed that a woman’s primary role was to be a wife and mother. Girls were usually married off at a very young age (around 14 or 15 years old) to men who were much older than them.

Social Activities: Despite their restricted roles, girls in ancient Greece still had social lives. They would often spend time with other girls their own age and participate in activities such as dancing and singing. Girls also played with dolls and other toys that were similar to ones used today.

The Role of Religion: Religion played an important role in the lives of ancient Greeks, including girls. They would participate in religious festivals and make offerings to the gods. Some girls even became priestesses at temples dedicated to goddesses such as Athena or Artemis.

The Case of Sparta:

While most Greek city-states restricted women’s roles, Sparta was an exception. Spartan women had more freedom than women in other city-states because the Spartan society valued physical strength and endurance over traditional gender roles. Girls were encouraged to exercise and participate in sports alongside boys.

The Bottom Line:

In conclusion, girls in ancient Greece had limited opportunities and were expected to fulfill traditional gender roles. However, within these roles, girls still had some autonomy and agency.

Some were able to receive an education and participate in social activities while others had more freedom in societies like Sparta. Despite the restrictions placed on them, girls in ancient Greece were still able to lead meaningful lives.