Ancient Greece Life around town // Education and cultUre

Life Around Town


  • Central market place in city-states
  • Also a place to discuss politics and meet up with friends
  • Only women and slaves would shop at the agora
In 1924. the Greek government excavated the Athens agora site and in 1928, John D. Rockefeller, shown above, donated $250,000 to finance the excavation of the site.


All buildings were made of marble because it was stronger than sandstone. They used their math to figure out the structures. They also used optical illusions in the buildings.

Greek City States

All city-states, also known as polis, shared the same:

  • Language
  • Culture
  • Religion

Some city-states made alliances with other cities forming into leagues.

Climate and Geography

  • Mediterranean climate
  • The Mediterranean Sea helped keep climate bearable
  • Helped summer be cooler with breeze and winter temperatures stay above 40°

Geography was divided into 3 sections:

  • The coast
  • The lowlands
  • The mountains
Mountains made it harder for people to travel
Rivers were also difficult because they would dry up easily.

Law Enforcement

  • People in Ancient Greece did not like their own citizens policing them, so they had foreign slaves be the police.
  • People arrested had to pay half the fine that they were accused of.
  • People in the jury were randomly picked
  • 200 people in the jury
Punishments included, not being able to vote, or being killed.


Before 600s, they used barter system instead. They traded goods and services. In 500s, each city-state started using their own currency. Athens currency was called a drachma was accepted almost anywhere.


  • Started in 776 B.C.
  • Religious celebrations that included names of Greek gods.
  • 5 days every 4 years
  • Only men
  • This stopped any war and/or conflict with other city-states for 2 months.
  • Women would not participate
Events included wrestling, running, long jump, discus, and javelin.
Since women were not allowed to participate in the Olympics, they would go to this event called the Heraea, to honor the queen of the gods.

Traveling Town to Town

To travel, people used boats or on foot. When they got to their town, they got a proxinoi, which is support on where you decide to stay. You could stay in a small apartment if you weren't staying for long, or in a private home.

Traveling by Land

For Greeks, it was hard to travel by land because on the dirt roads. They were surrounded by rocks. If you were wealthy, you could rent horses. Other people had donkeys. Oxens were also used for farmers.

Traveling by Sea

  • Mountains in Greeks made trade overland very difficult.
  • 700 small communities were within 40 miles off the coast.
  • In 1967, the wreckage of an Ancient Greek cargo ship with 400 large jars of wine, 10,000 almonds, and over miles 25 millstones off the coast of Kyrenia, Cyprus was found.
  • Water travel was very helpful but also very dangerous because of pirates. This was the easiest to transport large goods.


The Greeks made many discoveries in Astronomy.

Aristarchus of Samos was the first to believe that the Earth revolved around the sun. This was not accepted until 1500s.
Anaxagoras, a Greek philosopher, discovered that the moon reflects the sun rays and the eclipses.


  • Most children started school at the age of 7.
  • Sparta boys went into the military from ages 7-20.
  • If women worked physically, they believed their offspring would be stronger as well.
  • Middle class Athens only went to school for 3-4 years. After that, boys would go off to the military for 2 years.
Rich boys studied under a sophist, shown above.
Socrates, shown above, believed that it was unethical to take money for teaching young children and he believed the pursuit of learning was more important than speaking.

Math and Science

  • The Greeks invented math that we still use today!
Euclid, shown above, invented Geometry.
Pythagoras, shown above, was famous for his theorem A2 + B2 = C2 for the right triangle. We also give his credit for his calculations to find the circumference of a circle, also known as pi.
Archimedes discovered physical law of displacement.


  • Many advancements in medicine during this time
Hippocrates, shown above, introduced the theory that disease is not something sent from the gods, and actually something that happens naturally.
  • Hippocrates wrote over 50 books on medicine
  • The Hippocratic Oath, which doctors take not to harm paitents, is still used today.


According to evidence, most of the Greek's marble structures were most likely painted. Fresco paint, paint with wet plaster, is what they used to paint these famous paintings. Unfortunately, very few paintings have survived.

Mosaic art was also used to decorate the floors but only the wealthy Greeks. Below is an example.

Greeks used different tiles and rocks to create art like the ones above.
Other examples of Ancient Greek art

The Parthenon

The Parthenon was a very famous building
  • Completed in 432 B.C.
  • Each side has a meaning.


Pottery was very important to the Greeks. They stored everything in the vases that they made. First, they would shape the clay on the wheel, then make designs on the vase. Their designs varied in geometric designs and the dominant pottery style, Athenian. This was known as the Oriental period.

Designs they used on their pottery


Very rigid and block shaped during the Archaic period.
More lifelike sculptures during the Classical period, looking more like gods and/or famous people.
  • Finally during the Hellenistic period, they started using sculptures for everyday people.

Bronze Sculptures

Bronze Sculpters were made in 3 different ways:

  • Hammering (hammered over a carved piece of wood)
  • Casting (allows bronze to harden into a mold))
  • Lost-wax method (bronze hardens inside the clay mold)


  • First preformed at the agora
When the Theater started growing, they moved to this outside arena below the Athenian Arcopolis.
  • Performances were known to praise Dionysus, the god of wine.

They practiced 3 genres of plays:

  • Comedy
  • Tragedy
  • Satire


  • A Greek lawmaker
  • Wrote a system of law
  • Most of them were rewritten by the successor, Salon
  • Almost all crimes called for the death penalty, even very minor offenses under Draco's system of law.
  • Introduced the first written code of law in Ancient Greece


  • One of the most famous philosophers
  • Fought for the Anthens in Peloponnesian War
  • Believed the quest for knowlegde was more important than money
  • Taught Plato


Created with images by kalleboo - "Athens Acropolis"

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