Greek Life

It was a fine day, as I sat outside of my house on some of the rolling hills in Athens. I sat and pondered of worldly things, when I finally came to thinking of my own life. I was almost as inquisitive about my life as a complete stranger would be. It is a relatively simple life where most common men, as for me not being rich or poor, are usually quite modest, and most often times are made of stone, clay, and wood. My house is a mid-size house consisting of seven rooms. I have a kitchen, a room for bathing, a men's andron dining room, and a gynaikonitis for the use of women, and three bedrooms upstairs. We also have a courtyard, where much of our time is spent in it.

The democracy our city-state enjoys involves a great deal of thought expressed by many men. So I spend a great deal of my time away from home, and it is nice to be back. When I’m not involved in politics, I spend time in the fields, overseeing or working the crops. I also spend free time sailing and hunting. However, my wife stays at home most of the time, but some times she attends weddings, funerals, and religious festivals. Since it is in the eighth month, most days she harvests the olives and fruit growing in the fields, and gathers the vegetables in the garden. During the rest of the year she oversees the household. Raising our two sons consumes part of her time, the rest of her time is spent spinning, weaving, and sewing clothes for the family. The slave women prepare the meals, while the male slaves keep watch over our door.

Along the coastline, the soil is not very fertile, but with the help of systems of irrigation and crop rotation, the problem has been solved. We grow olives, grapes, and figs. Goats are kept for milk and cheese. In the plains, where the soil was richer, we also grow wheat to make bread. Fish, seafood, and home-made wine, however, is my favorite meal. The other day we bought meat at a cook shops for dinner. It was nice to eat it for dinner, rather than using it at a sacrifice.

Just the other night, our evening meal was followed by a symposium, a drinking party organized by myself for the men of the house next to us. We all reclined on the couches arranged around the sides of the andron. Low tables for food were set in front of each couch. I surprised my house guests with female entertainers, as the servants served the food. After the meal, we enjoyed ourselves by having wrestling matches.

Dance is very important to our life. Dance improves both physical and emotional health. I enjoy dance with my friends, and we often enjoy watching the women dance. There are more than two hundred dances; comic dances, warlike dances, dances for athletes and for religious worship, plus dances for weddings, funerals, and celebrations, but my favorite are the ones I share with my beautiful wife. The lyres, flutes, tambourines, cymbals, and castanets, all make great dance rhythms.

The purpose of education is to produce citizens trained in the arts, preparing citizens for both peace and war times. Girls were not educated at school, but many learn to read and write at home, in the comfort of the courtyard. Thus far in time, my boys have been taught at home by their mother and our male slaves. Now that they have turned seven, they will be sent to a private school near here. Since the books are very expensive and rare, their subjects will be read out-loud, and the boys will have to memorize everything. Though they use writing tablets and rulers, it will be imperative for them to listen.

In primary school, they will have to learn two important things - the words of Homer, a famous Greek epic poet, and how to play the lyre. Their teacher, who was will be a man, will choose the rest of the subjects they will be taking. These subjects include drama, public speaking, government, art, reading, writing, math, and the flute. After this, they will