Ancient Greece: Entertainment, Food, Greek Children

Since the soil was not good for growing close to the coastline, ancient Greeks developed an irrigation system to aid in this issue. Crop rotation also became something they were known for. This is when they turned to growing olives, grapes, as well as figs. Some of the livestock that could be found in an ancient Greek household included the goat, which was used for both milk and cheese.


If the family lived in the plains, the soil was much better for growing. This rich environment prompted wheat growth, which allowed the area to make bread. The food that was quite popular among ancient Greeks included fish and other types of seafood. To wash it down, homemade wine was the main beverage at the dinner table. If the Greek city-state was larger and more prosperous, meat was available for purchase throughout the area in what was referred to as cook shops. When it came to meat during those days, it was a rare item at the dinner table. Many stayed away from it due to religious beliefs.


Entertainment for ancient Greeks came in many forms, but one of the more recognizable options entertains us today as well. Stories and fables were quite popular during this time. Once again, the courtyard comes into play when the family gathers to share stories. This was a rather popular family bonding tradition. The matriarch or patriarch of the family usually told these stories. If you’ve ever read a Greek myth, you will find that the main characters include: Zeus (top dog in the Gods world); Hera (Zeus’s wife); Hermes (a messenger God); Hercules; and Athena.


As stated before, ancient Greeks were also responsible for creating the concept of a tragedy. These can be seen within many of the Greek myths. A few examples of these can be seen throughout the words of tales, such as:


Hercules and his Labors

Achilles and the Trojan War

Odysseus and the Odyssey

Jason and the Argonauts

Perseus and the Gorgon

Oedipus and Thebes

Theseus and the Minotaur


The courtyard served many different purposes. Greek women often congregated within the courtyard to spend a relaxing night with one another. They engaged in conversation or did a bit of sewing during this time as well. The courtyard was also used as an outdoor dining room where many meals were shared. Cooking was also conducted in the courtyard. The cooking tools of this time were quite light, making it easy to transport what they needed to make meals back and forth. Set-up was not complicated at all.


When it came to the going-ons of ancient Greek children, there were many things that they used to keep themselves from getting bored. Various toys, such as rattles kept the smaller children satisfied. Little clay animals were used to play out scenarios with one another, as well as horses that could be pulled by a string. These types of tools usually were made with four wheels. Yo-yos were also quite popular during this time. Yes, they dated that far back. The girls were often seen playing with dolls made from terra cotta.