The ancient Greeks were polytheistic and believed in a pantheon of Gods, some of whom were more powerful than others. Though Zeus was the king of the gods, he was not omnipotent, and other deities controlled specific aspects of nature and human endeavor.Know More
Religion was prevalent in community life in ancient Greece, and ritualistic observance was deemed more important than private individual worship. Theatrical performances, festivals and athletic events all were held in honor of special deities. Different cities had their own protectors. For example, Athens takes its name from the goddess who protected it, Athena, and worshippers built the Parthenon on the Acropolis to honor the virgin goddess.
One aspect of the gods and goddesses ancient Greeks considered dangerous was their human-like behavior. The Greeks believed that the gods were offended if they were slighted by honoring one and not another or if humans boasted of godlike abilities. To appease the gods, priests sacrificed animals. However, because the gods did not need human food, the priests would burn certain entrails ritualistically and then offer the rest of the animal to the people for a feast. Priestesses also appeased the wrath of the gods by pouring libations of various liquids upon flaming altars. According to the ancient Greeks, the gods were anthropomorphic enough to have sex with humans. This gave rise to legends of half-mortal demigods with extraordinary powers. One of the most famous of these demigods was Hercules.Learn More
The Ancient Greeks, specifically the boys, enjoyed physical activities, such as playing hockey. The boys often played their games naked so girls could not watch them play.Full Answer >
Bread, vegetables and fruit were the mainstays of a typical ancient Greek diet. Much like in the Mediterranean diet of modern times, fish was the most commonly consumed protein.Full Answer >
Most people in ancient Greece wore tunics, or chiton. It was a simple style of tunic worn by people of all ages and genders, consisting of a rectangular tube of material, usually linen, secured along the upper arms and shoulders by several fasteners.Full Answer >
The Ancient Greeks spoke Ancient Greek with three different major dialects: Aeolic, Doric and Ionic. They were the first Europeans to both read and write with an alphabet. This alphabet eventually led to the development of all modern European languages.Full Answer >