Ancient Greeks: Everyday Life, Beliefs and Myths
Introduction to the Ancient Greeks
The Ancient Greeks lived about 2800 years ago. They lived in mainland Greece and the Greek islands, as well as in Turkey and colonies (an overseas settlement set up by the Ancient Greeks around the shores of the Mediterranean sea.) There were Greeks in Italy, Sicily, North Africa and as far west as France. Ancient Greeks lived in City States, they were like separate countries each with their own traditions and currency.
Ancient Greece had a warm, dry climate, just like Greece today. People had jobs such as farming, fishing, traders, soldiers or scholars. Scholars had jobs such as scientists, artists and teachers. For many Greeks, life was hard, they were often poor and there was little water, farmland and timber for building. This is why lots of Greeks sailed away to find new lands to settle.
The Ancient Greeks established The Olympic Games in around 776BC, over 2700 years ago. They were held in honour of Zeus, king of the gods, they were held every 4 years at Olympia. People from all over the Greek world came to watch and take part. The games started off with just 1 event: a sprint across the stadium. Gradually more events were added, including javelin throw, discus, chariot racing, boxing and long jump.
It can be used for either pre- or post-visit classroom activity in conjunction with a self-led visit to Leeds City Museum and has complementary downloadable worksheets (see links below).