What Was Life Like in Ancient Greek Times?

Ancient Greece is a civilization that has always fascinated people around the world. From their legendary gods and goddesses to their remarkable achievements in philosophy, art, and culture, the Greeks have left a lasting impression on history.

But what was life actually like for the ordinary people living in ancient Greece? Let’s take a closer look.

Family Life

In ancient Greece, family was considered the most important aspect of life. Families were usually large and extended, with several generations living together under one roof.

The father was considered the head of the household and had complete authority over his wife and children. Women were responsible for managing the household and raising children. They had few rights and were not allowed to participate in politics or own property.

Children were highly valued in ancient Greece, especially boys. Boys received an education while girls were taught domestic skills like weaving and cooking.

Social Classes

There were three main social classes in ancient Greece: citizens, metics, and slaves.

Citizens were free men who had political rights and could participate in government. They also had to serve in the military when called upon.

Metics were foreigners who lived in Greece but did not have citizenship rights. They worked as merchants or craftsmen but could not own property or participate in politics.

Slaves were considered property and had no rights at all. They performed manual labor for their owners and could be bought or sold like any other commodity.


Food was an important part of daily life in ancient Greece. The Greeks enjoyed a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, fish, and meat. Olive oil was used for cooking and flavoring food.

Meals were often communal affairs with family members sitting together to eat. The Greeks also enjoyed drinking wine with their meals.


Religion played a significant role in ancient Greek life. The Greeks believed in a pantheon of gods and goddesses who controlled various aspects of the world.

Temples were built to honor the gods and religious festivals were held throughout the year. These festivals often involved music, dancing, and athletic competitions.


Life in ancient Greece was vastly different from our modern way of living. Family, social class, food, and religion all played important roles in daily life.

By understanding what life was like for the ancient Greeks, we can gain a better appreciation for their remarkable achievements and contributions to civilization.