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PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY

 

Greek society was run by the men - from government downwards it was the men who made the decisions.

 

Household decisions were taken by men, though the actual day to day running of the household would be done by the women (and the slaves, of course!).

 

It was up to the man to decide who his children would marry and he even had the power to allow, or not, his wife to attend functions such as funerals and weddings!

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SLAVES

 

Slaves were a huge part of Greek life, performing a wide variety of duties and jobs. They would work on the land, around the home, in shops and on Galleys at sea.

 

Male slaves would often be employed as tutors for the children of the household and, when the man of the house was away, would act as chaperone and doorman!

 

Because Greek citizens felt uncomfortable being policed by one another the job was done by foreign slaves.

 

Slaves were not allowed to use their own name - once they became the property of a citizen they would be renamed.

 

Although they worked hard slaves' lives didn't differ too much from that of a poor Greek citizen.

POLYTHEISM

 

The Greeks worshipped many diffferent gods.

 

Most Greek cities had a patron god, as did most activities and areas of life.

 

For more information on the gods of Ancient Greece visit the Family Tree.

CRIME & PUNISHMENT

 

Although the cities were policed by slaves, criminals would be tried by a jury of their peers - sometimes as many as 200!

 

Punishments varied according to the crime - from a fine for a minor misdemeanour right up to death. Imprisonment was not commonly used.

 

It paid to be law-abiding - half of the fine paid by a criminal would be given to the witness who reported the crime!

CITIZENSHIP

 

Athens was the birthplace of Democracy, though not quite as we know it today. Yes, any citizen had the right to speak in front of the assembly and decide how the city should be governed, but the list of who could actually be a citizen was fairly limited - women and slaves were not allowed.

IDEAS FOR PRACTICAL WORK

 

A Status Game - "Master and Servant"

 

Hold a debate about an issue affecting your school. Follow the rules of a Greek Assembly.

 

More to follow very shortly.

It's Democracy...

 

...but not as we know it.

Sword Coin

As well as the privileges of citizenship there were also duties and expectations. Citizens paid taxes and would be responsible for the defense of the city.