1. Sacrificed Meat Only: Ancient Greeks' Diet
The Ancient Greeks had a deep reverence for food, believing it to be a sacred offering to the gods. As such, they never ate meat unless it had been sacrificed in a religious ceremony. This practice was deeply rooted in their philosophy, as they believed that consuming the flesh of an animal was a sign of disrespect to the gods. Furthermore, the Greeks believed that consuming food was a way of connecting with the divine, and that it was a way of honoring the gods.
2. Shorter Lives Through Diet?
The Ancient Greeks had a very different diet than we do today, as they did not have access to many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted. Tomatoes, potatoes, oranges, and lemons were all unknown to them, meaning they had to rely on other sources of nutrition such as olives, figs, and grains. This lack of variety in their diet likely contributed to their shorter life expectancy compared to modern times.
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3. Ancient Greeks Trimmed Their Beards to Look Great
In Ancient Greece, men took great pride in their beards, often competing with each other to see who could grow the most impressive facial hair. This led to the development of beard trimming as an art form, and barbers quickly became some of the most respected members of society. In fact, barbers were so highly regarded that they were often invited to social gatherings and even consulted on important matters.
4. The Men Who Made War Mandatory
At the tender age of seven, boys in Ancient Greece were sent to military camps in Sparta, where they were taught the skills of warfare and the art of reading and writing. This rigorous training continued until the age of fourteen, when they were considered proficient enough to join the military. This service was mandatory and lasted until the age of sixty, when the men were finally allowed to retire.
5. Ancient Greeks strived for balance in life
The Ancient Greeks held a strong belief in the importance of balance between mind and body. This was reflected in the famous inscription on the shrine of Delphi, which read "Nothing in excess" and "Know thyself". This was a reminder to the Ancient Greeks to strive for a harmonious balance between physical and mental health, and to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.
6. Toys at Temple of Artemis = Adult Life
The Ancient Greeks had a unique way of celebrating a girl's transition into adulthood: they would leave their childhood toys at the temple of Artemis. This was a symbolic gesture, signifying that they were no longer children, but were now ready to take on the responsibilities of adulthood. The temple of Artemis was an important part of Ancient Greek culture, and was dedicated to the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, and the wilderness. It was believed that leaving toys at the temple would bring good luck and protection to the young woman as she entered adulthood.
7. The Ancient Greeks and their Miniature Elephants
The Ancient Greeks were known for their fascination with the natural world, and this extended to the miniature elephants that once roamed the Mediterranean islands of Crete, Cyprus, and beyond. These elephants were much smaller than their modern counterparts, measuring only around two feet tall at the shoulder, and were believed to have been brought to the islands by traders from Africa and the Middle East. Although they are now extinct, the Ancient Greeks' fascination with these miniature elephants is still remembered today.
8. The Ancient Greeks Believed in the Power of Dance
The Ancient Greeks had a strong belief that dance was essential for both physical and emotional wellbeing. They believed that it was a way to express emotions, to connect with the gods, and to bring people together. Dance was seen as a way to honor the gods and to celebrate life. It was also used to tell stories, to celebrate victories, and to commemorate important events. Ancient Greek dances were often accompanied by music and poetry, and were performed in a variety of styles, from the slow and graceful to the fast and energetic.
9. Art & Math in Music
The Ancient Greeks viewed music as a combination of both art and mathematics. They believed that the two disciplines were intertwined, and that music was a way to express mathematical concepts in a creative and beautiful way. Ancient Greek music was based on the concept of ratios and proportions, and the use of scales and intervals to create melodies. This mathematical approach to music was used to create a variety of musical forms, from hymns to theatrical music. Ancient Greek music was an integral part of their culture, and it was used to express emotions, tell stories, and even to honor the gods.
10. Ancient Greeks Used Bread to Wipe Their Hands
The Ancient Greeks had a unique way of dealing with messes at the dinner table - instead of using napkins, they would wipe their hands on pieces of bread, which were then given to the dogs. This was a common practice in Ancient Greece, and it was seen as a way to show respect to the animals that were kept as pets. It was also a way to ensure that no food was wasted, as the bread was given to the dogs instead of being thrown away.