What Did Men Look Like in Ancient Greece?

When we think of Ancient Greece, we often imagine statues of muscular men with chiseled features and flowing garments. But what did men in Ancient Greece really look like? Let’s explore the physical appearance of men in this fascinating period of history.

Athleticism and Physical Ideal

In Ancient Greece, physical appearance was highly valued, particularly among men. The ideal man was athletic, muscular, and had a well-proportioned body. This is evident in the many sculptures and artworks from the time that depict male figures with six-pack abs, broad shoulders, and strong legs.

The Importance of Exercise

To achieve this ideal physique, exercise was an essential part of daily life for men in Ancient Greece. Young boys would begin training in athletics at a young age and continue throughout their lives. Sports such as wrestling, running, and discus throwing were popular activities that helped to build strength and endurance.

The Influence of Clothing

Clothing also played a significant role in how men were perceived in Ancient Greece. The most common attire for men was the chiton, a simple tunic made from wool or linen that draped over the body. This garment was often worn without any additional clothing underneath, emphasizing the natural shape of the body.

Hairstyles and Grooming

In addition to physical fitness and clothing choices, grooming was also important for men’s appearance in Ancient Greece.

The Beard

The beard was seen as a symbol of masculinity and maturity in Ancient Greece. Men would often grow out their facial hair to demonstrate their age and wisdom. Beards were also associated with strength and power; many famous Greek leaders, such as Alexander the Great, were known for their impressive beards.

Hair Styles

Hairstyles varied depending on region and social status but were generally kept short and simple. Men would sometimes shave their heads completely, while others would keep a few inches of hair on top of their heads and trim the sides. Wigs were also popular among wealthier men, particularly for formal occasions.

The Importance of Aesthetics

Overall, men’s appearance in Ancient Greece was heavily influenced by aesthetics and the desire to achieve physical perfection. This emphasis on beauty and athleticism is still evident in modern society, particularly in sports and fitness culture.


In conclusion, men in Ancient Greece were characterized by their emphasis on physical fitness and idealized body proportions. Clothing choices, grooming habits, and hairstyles all played a role in how men were perceived in society. Despite the passage of time, the influence of Ancient Greek aesthetics can still be seen today.