Ancient Greek Culture

The culture of ancient Greece is characterized by a structured hierarchy in social and political life. Greek society was primarily divided into ‘Free People’ and ‘Slaves’. This kind of social structure later changed into the categories of ‘citizens’ and ‘metics’.

Some Interesting Facts

  • In ancient Greece, the nation was made up of independent city-states. Athens was a large city-state, with an area of 2500 sq. km.
  • Aristocrats governed most of the states in Greece. A majority of the aristocrats were landowners. The system in which aristocrats governed the states was known as oligarchy.
  • Cleisthenes was the aristocrat who introduced the concept of democracy, in 500 BCE.
  • Military training formed an important part of life in ancient Greece. Theater and politics were the main topics of discussion, apart from military training.
  • A few of the important musical instruments included Hydraulis, Lyre, Aulos, Syrinx, and Kithara.
  • Marble was used in most of the architectural works. The strength of this rock led to its widespread use in architecture.
  • The mythology associated with Greek gods and goddesses had a great influence on the native culture. Each city-state had a guardian deity.


Important styles of architecture in Greece were the Doric, Iconic, and Corinthian. The Doric style is characterized by a sturdy look. The Iconic style is similar to the Doric. It is, however, a bit more elegant; scroll-like designs were the specialty of the Iconic style. Eastern region of Greece has many buildings with this architectural style. The Corinthian style was not used as often as the other ones. The main features of this architectural style were the elaborate decorations, which resemble acanthus leaves. This architecture style is mainly found in Roman temples.

Greek Food

Greek food incorporated several vegetables, fruits, and Mediterranean herbs. Bread was a staple form of food. Religion was an important factor that influenced the diet. The meat of only those animals sacrificed to gods was used in the diet. Drinking milk was considered barbaric by the Greeks.

Interestingly, they preferred alcoholic drinks like wine. They ate with bare hands instead of using utensils. They were unaware of sugar; they used natural sweeteners like honey.