Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks (Greenwood Press "Daily Life Through History")
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Significantly expanded and updated in light of the most recent scholarship, the second edition of Garland's engaging introduction to ancient Greek society brings this world vividly to life--and, in doing so, explores the perspectives and morals of typical ancient Greek citizens across a wide range of societal levels. Food and drink, literacy, the plight of the elderly, the treatment of slaves, and many more aspects of daily life in ancient Greece also come into sharp focus. More than sixty illustrations are included, as are maps, a chronology, a glossary of Greek terms, and suggestions for further reading.
of debts, public assemblies, and so forth. As a basis for marking the passage of the seasons, however, it is virtually useless, because the lunar year is 11 days shorter than the solar year. Because, however, the success of the harvest was thought to depend on ritual activity performed at precise moments of the year, the Greeks had to intercalate (i.e., insert) an extra month from time to time in order to keep their calendar in line with the annual circuit of the sun. In fact, over a 19-year
centers, such as Corinth, Thebes, and Megara, on the Greek mainland. And when we move outside the world of the city-states or poleis, as these communities were called, the picture becomes extremely hazy. Even though Macedon became the dominant Greek power from the 330s b.c.e. onward and conquered virtually the whole known world, we know next to nothing about the daily life of the Macedonians and can say little about its distinguishing characteristics since they left no literary record. For the
Courtesy akg-images, London: Peter Connolly. 72 Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks Telemachos’s claim about the dominant role of men in Homeric society, his father Odysseus constantly finds himself in a position of weakness and dependency vis-à-vis women. As in the real world, so in the world of The Odyssey, female power takes many guises: beauty, intelligence, cunning, resourcefulness, wisdom, and charm. The women whom Odysseus encounters—Kalypso, Kirke, Nausikaä, Arete, and his wife
boys and partly because they had to be provided with a substantial dowry to attract a suitable husband and therefore represented a drain on the family’s finances. For this reason, families with more than two daughters were probably somewhat rare. In a lost drama, Poseidippos, a comic writer of the third century b.c.e., puts the following observation into the mouth of one of his characters: “If you have a son you bring him up, even if you’re poor, but if you have a daughter, you abandon her, even
This is further corroborated by an observation made by Sokrates in Plato’s Republic that Asklepios revealed the art of medicine only on Private Life 167 behalf of those who “by nature and way of life are healthy but have some hidden illness in them” (407de). Sokrates continues: However, in the case of those whose bodies are inwardly diseased through and through, the god did not attempt . . . to prolong an already wretched existence for the individual concerned, who in all probability would