What Was the Hierarchy of Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, the society was divided into different classes based on their social status. This division was called the Hierarchy of Ancient Greece.

It was a way of organizing the society and determining an individual’s role in it. The hierarchy consisted of four main classes, with each class having its own set of responsibilities and privileges.

The Four Classes of Ancient Greece

1. Citizens

The first class in the hierarchy was the citizens. They were considered to be the most important members of society and had a say in the political affairs of Greece. Citizens were men who were born in Greece and had Athenian parents.

Privileges: Citizens had many privileges, including the right to vote, hold public office, and own property.

Responsibilities: Citizens were responsible for serving in the military, paying taxes, and participating in government meetings.

2. Metics

The second class in the hierarchy was metics. They were foreigners who lived in Athens but were not citizens. Metics included merchants, artisans, and traders from other parts of Greece or foreign countries.

Privileges: Metics could own property and businesses but couldn’t hold public office or vote.

Responsibilities: They had to pay taxes and serve in the military if needed.

3. Freemen

The third class in the hierarchy was freemen. They were free people who didn’t have any rights or privileges like citizens or metics. Freemen included laborers, farmers, and craftsmen.

Privileges: Freemen didn’t have any privileges; they were just free people living their lives as per their will.

Responsibilities: They had to pay taxes as well as serve in the military if required.

4. Slaves

The fourth and the lowest class in the hierarchy was slaves. They were people who were owned by other people and had no rights or freedom. Slaves included prisoners of war, debtors, and children born to slave parents.

Privileges: Slaves had no rights or privileges.

Responsibilities: They were responsible for serving their masters and doing their assigned tasks.


The Hierarchy of Ancient Greece was an important part of the society’s organization. It allowed people to know their place in society and what their responsibilities were. The system wasn’t perfect, but it helped maintain order and stability in ancient Greek society.