What Did Teens Do in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, teenagers were considered to be in a transitional period between childhood and adulthood. They had their own set of responsibilities and activities that helped them prepare for the adult world. Let’s take a closer look at what teens did in ancient Greece.

The Education System

Education played a significant role in ancient Greek society, and teenagers were no exception. Boys received formal education while girls were taught domestic skills by their mothers.

Boys attended schools called Gymnasiums where they learned subjects such as reading, writing, math, music, and physical education. They were also taught how to become responsible citizens through lessons in ethics, politics, and public speaking.

Sports and Physical Activities

Physical fitness was highly valued in ancient Greece, and teenagers participated in various sports activities to maintain their health and fitness levels. Popular sports included running, wrestling, boxing, equestrian events, javelin throwing, and discus throwing. Teenagers also participated in team sports such as basketball-like game called Episkyros.

Volunteering for Military Service

Military service was mandatory for all men in ancient Greece once they turned 18. However, many teenagers volunteered to join the army to prove their valor and gain recognition. They received rigorous military training that helped them develop courage and discipline.

Participating in Festivals

Festivals were an integral part of ancient Greek society, and teenagers actively participated in them. These festivals celebrated religious occasions or victories in battles. The most famous festivals include the Olympic Games held every four years where young athletes from different parts of Greece competed against each other.

Socializing with Friends

Teenagers spent a considerable amount of time socializing with friends of similar age groups. They engaged in activities such as playing music instruments like lyres or flutes together or discussing philosophy or politics. They also participated in social gatherings such as symposia, where they drank wine and discussed various topics.


In conclusion, ancient Greek society had a lot to offer to teenagers in terms of education, sports, military training, festivals, and socializing with friends. These activities helped them develop physically and mentally and prepared them for the challenges of adulthood. The legacy of ancient Greece can still be seen in modern-day education systems and sports activities.