The Greek Residence The Greek House was separated into two sections: men's and women's quarters. Both were typically on the ground floor, with the men's room in front. A central passage led to a door at the end of this corridor which gave access to the bedroom and bathroom. From here another passage led back to the main house. There were no internal doors between the rooms, only curtain walls.
Men lived separately from women in large part because men needed privacy to carry out their business affairs. Women would not have been allowed in the men's quarters even if they were married to men who were staying there. However, husbands might well have visited their wives during her stay in the house department. Children under seven years old were usually left with relatives or in day care centers while their parents went to work.
Apartment-style living came into common use in Europe after the Renaissance, but it was not until much later that it reached Greece. The first known apartment building in Athens was built in 1852, just three years after the first modern elevator was installed in Paris. Apartment living soon spread across Greece, and by 1960 almost every home in Athens had an indoor toilet and bathtub.
In traditional Greek homes, all bedrooms were considered private except for the family room, which was used by everyone as a dining area.
What did Greek dwellings look like? Homes in ancient Greece were built around a courtyard or garden. The walls were frequently composed of wood and mud bricks. They had little windows without glass but with wooden shutters to keep the blazing sun out. The roofs were made of tiles or clay.
Greek homes weren't very spacious. A typical house would measure about 15 by 20 feet (4 by 6 m). In cities this size, people probably lived in small apartments inside the houses of their families or friends. In villages they probably rented rooms in other people's homes.
People used what they could afford whether it was big houses or not. If you are rich you can buy food, clothes, and accessories for your house. If you are poor, you will have to make do with what you have. You can still enjoy life though even if you aren't rich because everyone needs sleep and playtime too!
Cities were busy places full of activities. There were theaters where actors performed plays for audiences who came to watch them. There were temples where priests carried out religious ceremonies. There were markets where people traded goods from all over the world. There were public baths where people could wash off the grime of daily life.
Ancient Greeks enjoyed music at social events and celebrations.
Windows in Ancient Greek Poor Houses were tiny and high on the walls. Shutters might be used to close them. They were brightly whitewashed. The poor lived in one, two, or three rooms. The wealthy Greeks lived in enormous mansions with several rooms. Cooking was done outside over a campfire in impoverished households. There were few chimneys in dwellings. When it rained, everyone ran for cover under their roofs.
The most important thing for the ancients was what you ate. If you were rich, you would eat meat and fish five or six times a day. Vegetables made up the rest of your diet. Fruit was not much eaten by anyone except the rich. An average person would consume about 250 grams of bread per day. Olive oil was the main source of fat for cooking and medicine. Fish was very popular among the Greeks. They even invented many different kinds of fish recipes! In fact, all animals that swim in water have been used as food by humans at some time or another. That's why they are called "fish" animals.
People worked from sunup to sundown. If you weren't working, you were studying. At night, they had concerts, plays, and sports events to enjoy themselves.
There were no hospitals in ancient Greece. If someone was sick, they went to a temple of Apollo or Asclepius to pray for recovery. Today, we call these temples "hamlets".