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Greek Customs

Updated on June 30, 2015

Ancient Greek Customs

It is astounding to think that Greek civilization was formed almost 4000 years ago. The rich history of the ancient Greeks has made a huge contribution to our modern world. Take a look around today and see how ancient Greek customs, government, philosophy and literature surrounds us.

Ancient Greek research led to important discoveries that formed the foundations of medicine and science. The precision detail and perfectionism of the ancient Greeks shaped the future of the Western world.

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Share Greek History - DVD Format narrated by Liam Neeson

Empires: The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization
Empires: The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization

This incredible DVD recreates the classic story of Greece, full of science, art, philosophy and politics. Share the joys and falls of this great democracy.


Greek Government

The First Democracy- Rule of the People

The ancient Greeks were the first to initiate a democratic form of government. Male citizens were the lawmakers and held public assemblies throughout the year to discuss laws and vote. Women and children were not allowed to participate in voting. The lawmakers were chosen by drawing names and they served for one year. Since most men were busy working, farming or fighting wars, there were often only a few men that attended the assemblies. Greece was made up of city-states and each had its' own government and lawmakers could only vote within their own city-state.

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Greek Religion


The ancient Greeks worshipped many different Gods and Goddesses. Each God or Goddess represented a specific part of Greek life such as water and sky. The Greeks thought that they would be protected by the Gods and that their lives would become better because of their worship. These Gods were thought to have human form and possess incredible powers.

The ancient Greeks also believed that sacrifices would be rewarded by the Gods. The Greeks participated in both public and private sacrifices. They would offer gifts of animals, fish and birds to the Gods. The public sacrifices were held in temples and would follow another type of gathering such as a festival. The worshiping of the Gods brought the ancient Greeks together in their beliefs.

In ancient Greece...

sickness was thought to be a

punishment from the gods.

Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece

This informative poster is rich with Greek history and images of life in ancient Greece.


Greek Children

To celebrate the birth of a child, a Greek father would dance naked while carrying his child around in the house. The doorway of the house was adorned with a wreath, olives for boys, and wool for girls. Girls had some reading and writing at home and helped their mothers until they were married. Boys would start school at age 6 and continued school until they were 18 and entered military school.

Greek children enjoyed rattles, terra-cotta dolls, yo-yos, and listening to their parents stories. They had pets such as dogs, pigs and birds. Greek children were treated as youths until about the age of 30.

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Greece Poll

Have you ever been to Greece?

See results

Did You Know....That These Are All Greek Inventions?

  • Catapult
  • Democracy
  • Lever
  • Map
  • Olympics
  • Steam Engine

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    • RoadMonkey profile image


      5 years ago

      Some great customs here but it's a bit warmer over there, than here!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 

      5 years ago from Europe

      I do enjoy dancing naked in the house, so now I can claim I'm doing it to celebrate births.

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 

      5 years ago from Here

      Greece is wonderful! I already visited Crete twice and I would love to go again!!! Wonderful lens!

    • Socialpro54 LM profile image

      Socialpro54 LM 

      5 years ago

      Great lens

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      I would love to go to Greece, beautiful and so full of history. Excellent review.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm familiar with a lot of them as I used to have a friend who was Greek.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What an interesting culture. It has really influenced the world.

    • dingbat1932 profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens, thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Enjoyable Lens ! Best Wishes :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for a great read!

    • LabKittyDesign profile image


      6 years ago

      How amazing/tragic that the Parthenon remained mostly intact until the 17th (!) century. The Venetians hit it with a mortar round in 1687.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a very interesting topic, sometimes I wish I was born in ancient times, everything sounds so romanticized! Thanks!

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 

      6 years ago

      WOW! Great lens, learned so much. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Along with the Romans and other ancient civilizations the Greeks helped to shape our societies and world today.

    • shawnhi77 lm profile image

      shawnhi77 lm 

      6 years ago

      I think it was an incredible culture.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love learning about ancient Greek culture, they really had a magnificent civilization going on back then. I first got hooked on anything Greek after reading Plato's Republic. Incredible book.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      The Acropolis is so beautiful... I was surprised to read that women were not allowed to do certain things, like dinner parties and voting. Clearly the subjugation of women is nothing new! I liked that they didn't raise animals for food. I wish we in the USA had that same ethic.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This reminds me of reading Greek Mythology at the library in school, when I loved to read the stories of the Greek Gods. I don't remember the names anymore, but my favorite was about the mortal holding the candle over her beloved, and the dripping candle wax that woke him. Lots of interesting Greek Customs, and photos.

    • SailingPassion LM profile image

      SailingPassion LM 

      6 years ago

      Great information on a place I love :-)

    • irminia profile image


      6 years ago

      I liked the information here, thank you!

    • Squidpress profile image


      6 years ago

      lol@rockinpicks ! sorry to laugh, just his family ? :)

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image


      6 years ago

      Fascinating information you have here! I knew a bit about ancient Greece but I'm leaving this page just a bit more knowledgeable. Thanks! Blessed!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 

      6 years ago from Alabama USA

      I enjoyed my visit.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I've been to Athens but I'd like to get to experience some of the islands. Great lens. Blessed!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      6 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Nicely done - I have always wanted to visit this area and enjoyed reading about it! :>) ~~Blessed~~

    • Tonto Murray profile image

      Tonto Murray 

      6 years ago

      Outstanding lens. Lots of great info about Greece and its culture. Blessings.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like this lens, squidlike!

    • intermarks profile image


      6 years ago

      I have not been to Greek, But I was amazed by it stories.

    • jlshernandez profile image


      6 years ago

      I enjoyed my trip to Greece the most and scaling the Acropolis which took almost all day with two friends. It was well worth it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ancient Greece doesn't get nearly as much attention that it deserves in history-- it was the birthplace of so many thingslosophy. Ironic that it continues to live in the shadow of Ancient Rome when Rome owes so much to it (especially in terms of art and architecture)! In any event, great lens; I hope it spurs more interest in this great ancient city.

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      I dated a Greek guy and his family was so much fun.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Just enjoy reading about Greece. I had been there and took the classical tour which we truly enjoyed.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love your lens. Thanks for sharing a little bit of Greece.

    • Rural Farming profile image

      Rural Farming 

      6 years ago

      i love greek history

    • decvamlada profile image


      6 years ago

      great lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very informative lens on greek customs

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 

      6 years ago

      They shake their head yes and no the opposite way that we do in the is very disarming.

    • prosepine lm profile image

      prosepine lm 

      6 years ago

      I have always loved the culture, art and philosophy of the Ancient Greeks, as for the modern Greeks, I have a lovely Greek lay living next door who has the greenest thumbs in the neighbourhood! Her garden is soooo inspiring!

    • priscillab profile image


      6 years ago

      I have loved Greek architecture since I was in grade school. I used to doodle drawing Greek columns! Thanks for this interesting lens.

    • AlexTedford profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome lens! I am REALLY interested by this topic...also, if you wouldn't mind, I would really appreciate if you took the time to bless my lens: ...thanks! You are one of my favorite lensmasters!

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 

      6 years ago from Earth

      Great lens - blessed.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Lots of great info, thanks

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yiasou! Beautiful lens.

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 

      6 years ago

      Beautiful page about Greece interesting info and the videos are awesome. I feel Greek in my heart :)

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image


      6 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      Lots of great info Maree. Thanks for putting this lens together.

    • vkumar05 profile image


      6 years ago

      A lot of new information for me in this Lens. Great share. Thanks.

    • BodyLanguageExp profile image


      6 years ago

      I have learnt a tonne on the Greeks here! Excellent, thank you!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent lens. I haven't been to Greece for a few years, but I'd love to go back soon. It is so enjoyable to imagine the ancient culture while exploring the incredible architecture.

    • dahlia369 profile image


      6 years ago

      Ancient civilizations always inspire me. Thank you for this beautiful lens! :)

    • EvergreenArticles profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens! I've always been fascinated by Greek culture.

    • lefty78 profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens! I love to learn!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Our trip to Greece was one of the most memorable. So many of the things we have studied stared us in the face.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image


      7 years ago

      As a person that never gets sick, I STILL think it's a punishment from the gods! ;)

    • Vallygems1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very Informative

      Chris Stylianou

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 

      7 years ago

      Comprehensive, thank you

    • tomazg profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting info about Greek arhitecture and history. Good to know.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Nice job, I love Greek architecture and love Greek Food too. I believe that the Greek Gods were actually the same as those of Sumeria and Egypt, the Annunaki, who according to Zecharia Sitchin were real and not just myths. Makes you wonder doesn't it. Not too long ago the Illiad and Odyssey were thought to be just stories, but have been shown to be real. Ditto the Trojan War. More and more myths are being found to be based on fact and not to be works of fiction. Anyhow, nice job on this lens, blessed.

    • smartbiz38129 profile image


      7 years ago

      One of the places I REALLY want to visit. I'm working towards heading there in the next 18months via cruise because really, it has such ans amazing history. Thanks so much for this insight.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      7 years ago from Ljubljana

      Amazing history. Greece is still on my to-go list. Thanks for reminding me.

    • elyria profile image


      7 years ago

      I've been to Greece once and absolutely loved everything about this country. Great Lens, I had fun with quiz :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      great tribute here, really enjoyed my reading and your quiz too, blessed and liked this.

    • CoeGurl profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Fascinating subject matter!

    • dogface lm profile image

      dogface lm 

      7 years ago

      This is very interesting and well-made lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Greeks were intelligent people, their artwork and artistry is the proof and their traditions in someway still getting followed.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      I love the poster of the Acropolis in its heyday. When I was there it was surrounded by scaffolding. Greece is a beautiful country and I hope the government is able to get its economy on track again.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      7 years ago

      thank you for visiting my lens. i will get back to you. i just have to finish my other lenses. i am aiming to have 100 lenses before the year ends.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      7 years ago

      never been to greece but now i did thru your lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Greece to me is very rich in history. Would love to visit one day! Heard it's beautiful.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 

      7 years ago

      its funny to read this because i'm listening to the radio and they are talking about greece now.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens. We are studying Ancient Civilizations in our homeschool this year.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice job on a very informative lens. I didn't realize the steam engine is that ancient. Thanks.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      7 years ago

      Greece has a fascinating history. Its influence is enormous. I wish Greece was not suffering as she is in this modern day.

    • Mary Crowther profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Crowther 

      7 years ago from Havre de Grace

      @dwnovacek: Thank you Sooo much for your blessing!

    • dwnovacek profile image


      7 years ago

      I learned so much from this wonderful lens. Angel Blessed!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Fun and very informative. Thank you!

    • creativeinc lm profile image

      creativeinc lm 

      7 years ago

      Great lens! It is fascinating to imagine that this is where Alexander the Great lived his exciting life. Ancient civilization is one of my favorite reads.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You have this packed full of interesting and fascinating information. We indeed are indebted to ancient Greece. I especially liked the custom of the new daddy dancing naked holding his newborn, now that is a celebration. Children being treated as youth until 30, actually makes some sense. I especially enjoyed your section on Greek architecture. Wonderfully and interestingly presented!

    • stuhaynes lm profile image

      stuhaynes lm 

      7 years ago

      I can say that without a doubt, our best holidays have been in Greece. Unlike Spain We've only been to Greece as tourists. We'd love to visit Greece as friends of native Greeks because there is a real holiday waiting to happen. Excellent lens, thank you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love your lenses on customs - very interesting stuff you've presented!

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 

      7 years ago

      Thanks - great lens - I fouled up on the Olympics question but fun quiz otherwise!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 

      7 years ago from Houston

      Enjoyed your lens and all the information. Nicely done. I am a fan of Greek Byzantine iconography.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Interestingly, I just copied over some photos I'd taken in Greece in 2004. They look very similar to the ones you've posted. Greece was beautiful and the Greek customs very amazing. Great lens!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      7 years ago

      Very informative - great lens!


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