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The Daily Life Of The Ancient Greeks

1297 words - 6 pages

In Robert Garland’s Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks, he provides information about different time periods in Greek history from the Mycenaean Period, all the way to the Hellenistic Period. This time lasted from 1600BC all the way to 31BC. Garland attempts to inform the reader about the different lifestyles of people in each time period based on their socioeconomic status. He tells about the daily lives of children, average adults, slaves, older people, the poor, as well as the rich and powerful and how each class plays an important role in Greek society. Garland achieved his goal as he describes various topics relating to this time period such as landscapes, the alphabet and literacy, ...view middle of the document...

By 169 A.D., Athens is starting to develop into a more urban type of place. In 169 A.D., The Monument to the Eponymous Heroes was built. Garland also provides a picture (P. 29) for the reader to in vision what the monument would have looked like.
As far as the alphabet, it is unclear when it came about. There is, however proof that it existed as far back as the Bronze Age. The Greek alphabet was created so that there would be a uniform way of communication. Garland provides readers with the complete Greek alphabet with translations and pronunciations. (P.37). It is unclear as to how many Greeks were actually literate but it is “estimated that no more than 30 percent of the Greek population was literate at one time.” (P.39) Garland does provide his readers with interesting information about literacy when he gives details about the first known library, which was located in Greece. This library was named “The Library of Alexandria”, and dates back to the late 5th century. Books were fairly inexpensive to borrow because copies of the books were made by the slaves.
The daily life of an ancient Greek solely depended on their socioeconomic status. The word “family” had not come to be at this time, but a husband, his wife, their children, and their household slaves all lived under one roof. The people living together were called “oikas” and this word translates directly with the word “household”. Girls often got married in the middle teen age years to men that were much older than them. These weddings often took place in the winter months during “Gamelion.” The word Gamelion directly translates to the phrase “the time of the wedding.”(P.51)After marriage, the woman would likely watch her children, care for her home or create items to sell or trade. A woman’s daily activity did not vary much on whether or not she was rich or poor. On the other hand, men’s occupations varied greatly with socioeconomic power and wealth. If a man was wealthy, he was likely to be involved in politics. If he was not wealthy, he most likely was a farmer. The children had duties as well. The duties of the children were to do chores such as tiding up the house and feeding the livestock. Garland gives the reader insight about how a family’s religion is carried out when he tells the reader that it was the duty of the eldest son to carry out religious teachings within their family. As for the elderly, the life expectancy was about half of what it is today. The life expectancy for that time period was for one to live to reach about forty years of age. “If a man finally reaches the full measure of...

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