Greek daily living

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Some people believe that no civilization has ever been able to compete with today's western culture and lifestyle. However, the ancient Greeks with their amazing ingenuity were able to develop an amazingly high standard of living for their time. Although the Greeks had little technology, they had a creativity that enabled them to live much in the same way as current civilizations founded over a thousand years later.

Don Nardo, the author of the book Life in Ancient Greece, described Greece as a warm, dry, and mountainous region about the size of New York State (10). The weather and topography of the region greatly affected the style of homes in Ancient Greece. Michael Poulton described these styles homes in his book Life in the Time of Pericles and the Ancient Greeks. Conditions were cramped in the cities and towns. Nearly all rooms opened into the central courtyard. Solid walls on the street side of the home provided security.

A single door to the home was locked and bolted. Since the Greeks spent most of their time outdoors, most homes had little luxury (Poulton 53).

All homes contained little furniture. The master of a wealthy house may have a chair and a footstool while the women and children only used stools. The dining room included large, comfortable couches and small, nearby tables for eating. Other common household furniture included beds, chests, storage boxes, and large baskets for storage and shopping (Poulton 54). Olive oil lamps of either pottery for poorer families or bronze and silver for richer families provided lighting in the home (Poulton 54).

Water was scarce in ancient Greece and had to be piped in from springs in the surrounding hills. Few homes had wells, but most families sent their slaves to public cisterns or bought water from...