What Was the Structure of Society in Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece was an intriguing civilization that existed over 2,500 years ago. The society of ancient Greece was divided into several classes, and each class had its own distinct characteristics and role. Let’s take a closer look at the structure of society in Ancient Greece.

The Social Classes

The ancient Greeks were divided into four main social classes:

  • The Upper Class – made up of wealthy landowners, aristocrats, and members of the royal family.
  • The Middle Class – made up of merchants, farmers, and artisans.
  • The Lower Class – made up of unskilled workers and slaves who were owned by the upper class.
  • The Metics – foreigners who lived in Greece but were not citizens.

The Role of Women

Women in ancient Greece had limited rights and freedoms compared to men. They were expected to marry young and raise children. Only women from wealthy families received an education, which included learning how to read and write.

Athens vs. Sparta

Athens and Sparta were two significant city-states in ancient Greece that had different social structures. Athens was a democracy with a focus on education and intellectual pursuits. In contrast, Sparta was an oligarchy that placed emphasis on military training.

Slavery in Ancient Greece

Slavery was widespread in ancient Greece, with slaves comprising about one-third of the population. Slaves were considered property rather than people, and they could be bought or sold at any time.


In conclusion, the society of Ancient Greece was complex and diverse. It was divided into various social classes with different roles and expectations.

Women had limited rights compared to men, while slavery was widespread throughout the civilization. By understanding the structure of society in Ancient Greece, we can gain a better understanding of how this civilization functioned and evolved over time.