Greek Survival Guide: Ancient Athens

Greek Survival Guide: Ancient Athens

Welcome to the Topic “Greek Survival Guide: Ancient Athens”

Imagine you step onto a time machine hoping to uncover the secrets of the past. It takes you to Athens in Ancient Greece, and you're expected to survive there for days. How do you get by?

Daily life in Ancient Athens

Unlike the more socially advanced Sparta, Athenian women did not enjoy equal rights. They were seen as the inferior gender and lived under strict regulations. Women of Athens were supposed to take over the domestic role, carrying out household duties. Formal education was not permitted to women. Although, some mothers did teach their daughters.

 Mostly, they were confirmed to their homes, where they indulged in activities such as weaving, textile, cooking, etc. Some women learned to play instruments and danced to the music. However, one who played an instrument was not considered a modest woman.

For men, however, education resembled modern-day schooling. The Athenian boys learned reading, writing, and mathematics. The subjects taught were pretty advanced, and musical instruction was also provided, typically involving learning to play the lyre.

Leisure activities included bow and arrow, swimming, and wresting, doubling as battlefield training. The wealthier families had the opportunity to go horse riding in their free time. At fourteen, the Athens boys were promoted to a different school, considered the second phase of their education.

On turning 30, they became eligible for partaking in politics and marriage. Women were not given equal status in Ancient Greece. There were unique rooms in the house where the entry of any woman was forbidden. Only male guests and slaves could enter. Similarly, only men enjoyed citizenship. It was necessary to have a male heir and a female child not considered qualified to handle the father's affairs and carry out religious obligations on his demise. 

The father figure had enormous authority. Whether the baby lived or died was up to him. Although, girls were usually sent to their death. 

Political system

Athens operated in a democracy. Athens was the first to emerge as a democratic state. However, their democracy was different because every citizen was required to participate in the government. 

Notable Athenian Figures


Solon was a statesman and lawmaker of a generous heart. He took it upon himself to clear the debts of the poor community and established the court of appeals.


Plato created the Academy of Athens, where students could get higher education. He was a writer and a philosopher and also took part in politics.


Pericles was not only an influential person but also a great statesman and a General. The Acropolis and Parthenon could be credited to him. He was also a firm believer in democracy and strived to unite Ancient Greece.


One of the most widely known personalities throughout the world, Socrates was a firm believer in education as a medium for growth. According to him, only through education could society progress. Unlike Pericles, Socrates did not support democracy.


Cleisthenes played an essential role in transforming Athens into a thriving state. He brought about the voting system in the selection of the jury.

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