Daily Life in Greece


While Athens was home to some of the greatest philosophers, artists and poets of the day, most Athenians were farmers, labors, artisans or slaves.  During the classic period in Athens, there were about 150,000 citizens, of which 43,000 were adult males holding true political power.  In addition, there were 35,000 foreign residents who had limited responsibilities and protection. At the bottom of the social scale, there were some 100,000 slaves.

Agriculture was important in Athens. But what was produced was insufficient to meet the needs of the population. So trade developed as an important and necessary element of the Athenian economy.  Craftsman were also key in Athenian society and Athens was leading producer of pottery during this period.

The nuclear family was also a vital component of Athenian social structure.  Athenian laws required that to be recognized as a citizen, one must be the offspring of two Athenian citizens who were legally married.

Women were excluded from most aspects of religious life. They also could not own property beyond personal items.  Woman generally remained at home out of public sight.