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Ten facts about ancient Greece you probably didn’t know

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By Georgene Dilernia

Ancient Greece is one of the most renowned ancient civilisations, birthplace to many concepts and ideas we still use in the modern day.

Home to famous gods, philosophers and general heroes, Ancient Greece has a rich history that interests everyone. Let’s take a dive into 10 interesting facts about where it all began! 

  1. Play games not war

During the ancient Olympic games, no wars were permitted during the month of and before the games. This was so that spectators and competitors could travel to Olympia unharmed and enjoy the games in peace. During the Olympic Truce, legal disputes and the death penalty were also forbidden.

  1.  Chitons were all the rage!

Most ancient Greeks wore a chiton, which was similar to a long t-shirt made from one large piece of cotton. However, the slaves were forced to wear the loincloth, a small strip of cloth wrapped around the waist. 

A chiton was a form of clothing in ancient Greece, worn by both the sexes.  There are two forms of chitons, the… | Ancient greek costumes, Greek dress,  Greek costume
  1. The spotlight loves the Greeks, since they invented it

The ancient Greeks invented many things, including theatre! They loved watching plays and most cities had a theatre, some big enough to hold 15 000 people. Only men and boys were allowed to be actors and they wore masks, which showed the audience whether their character was happy or sad.

  1. Every Greek knows another Greek through someone

Ever talking to another Greek person and you find out their cousin went to your school? This happened even in ancient Greece! Alexander the Great was taught by famous philosopher Aristotle, and had many other run ins with other known figures, even crossing to other cultures like Cleopatra.

  1. Shake on it

The custom of greeting someone by shaking hands as far back as the ancient Greeks. One section of the Acropolis depicts the Greek goddess of marriage, Hera, shaking hands with the Greek goddess of Wisdom, Athena.

The Handshake: Ancient Greek Gesture May Fade Away in Post-Coronavirus Era  | GreekReporter.com
  1. The God of Sleep was kind of a vampire…

The Greek god of Sleep, Hypnos, had to hide from the sunlight during the day, as he was the son of Nyx, goddess of night. He could only come out at night, where he would visit people in the dark and ease them into a state of rest.

  1. Graeae, 1 eye

In Ancient Greece, there were 3 sisters, the Graeae, who took the form of 3 elderly ladies. They all had to share 1 eye, as well as one tooth among the three of them. They are most known from the myth of Perseus and Medusa, when Perseus stole their eye and only returned it in exchange of information of where to find Medusa.

Graeae | World mythology, Graeae, Mythology
  1. Love does not have one definition, it has eight

According to the ancient Greeks, there were 8 different types of love. This include; Philia – affectionate love, Eros – lust love, Storge – familiar love, Ludus – playful love, Mania – obsessive love, Philautia – self love, and Agape – selfless love.

  1. The apple AT my eye

In ancient Greece, individuals would throw apples at each other as a way to declare one’s love. Men would throw apples at the women who they had chosen to be their wife. If the woman caught the apple, she accepted the marriage proposal.

In ancient Greece, throwing an apple at someone was considered a marriage  proposal
  1. Red carpet treatment only for the Olympians

Red carpet culture originated from ancient Greece. The earliest mention of it being in the play Agamemnon, where the “crimson path” was a luxury fit only for the gods of Olympus.

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