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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.