The Greek society


In that case, as in many other cases concerning ancient Greece, we know more about life of social elites than common Greeks. The category of citizenship included people who belonged to various social classes so it is rather hard to some generalizations.

It was probably a result of the fact that even in democratic Athens people who were active in public life and whose names can now be found in books, were landed proprietors. It is rather less possible that they were craftsmen or businessmen.

A craftsman could play an important role during assemblies as a member of the group but he had small or no possibility at all to become a leader. Businessmen were convinced that trade and handicraft were not good enough for people from the upper classes. They rather should use their estate to live careless life full of pleasure. That point of view played an important role in later European culture.


Social history of ancient Greece meets politics. The Greeks' interest in political life as well as the fact that frontiers of the Classical Age were determined by political events – the Persian wars and the birth of the new Macedonian empire – help to comprehend the importance of history for the Greek civilization. Evidence from those times allows to reproduce the history of Greek polis (especially Athens) and its social relationships in detail. When put together they give quite clear picture of political aspect of the Greek civilization but some details still remain unknown. That picture is dominated by Athens to a great extent. Any conclusions what was typical of Greece, made on that basis, are rather risky.



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Greek society

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