Ancient Greek family
Most Greeks, like most other people throughout history, lived in families with a mother and a father and their children.
History of the family
Women in ancient Greece
All our ancient Greece articles
Usually men got married when they were about twenty-five or thirty years old (as they do today). But some women got married much younger, between twelve and sixteen years old.
Marriage and divorce in ancient Greece
Probably girls from rich families got married younger, and girls from poor families got married a little older. Because the girls were so young, they did not have much choice about who they were going to marry. Their fathers or uncles or brothers chose for them.
Occasionally girls had not even met the man they married before the wedding! On the other hand, many people married their first or second cousins. If so, they had played with their cousins when they were children, so they would actually have known them pretty well.
There was no marriage ceremony as we know it today. Your parents arranged it, and then there was a party, and the girl’s parents paid a dowry to the man, and then the girl moved into the man’s house.
What is dowry?
Ancient Greek houses
If they were both citizens, and she lived in his house, then they were legally married. If she moved out of his house, then they were divorced.
Divorce was pretty common in ancient Greece. If you got divorced, the man had to return the woman’s dowry, so she would have some money to live on. The children stayed with their father, learning to run the farm or business they would inherit.
Other family members
Usually there were other people living in the house as well. Sometimes his parents would be there, if they were still alive and if they weren’t living with another brother.
Many people had enslaved people living in the house with them too.
Slavery in ancient Greece
Challenges and disabilities
Some people had their unmarried sisters or widowed sisters, or people with disabilities or who were old, living with them. The ancient Greek family included all of these people.
Rich women stayed at home
Wealthy Greek women hardly ever went out of the house alone. Mostly when they went out it was to go to weddings and funerals and religious ceremonies, or to visit other women.
Greek mystery cults
Poor women had to leave the house
Poorer women, who didn’t have enslaved people to do their work, did go out to get water from the fountain, and sometimes to work in the fields or to sell vegetables or flowers in the marketplace.
Read more about getting water
Did you find what you were looking for about the ancient Greek family? Let us know in the comments!
Useful information, thanks.
Thank you! I’m glad we could help!
Ok, this was pretty helpful, but I’m working on a giant research paper on the breakdown of the family, and I needed info on the specific roles of the father, mother, and children in a bunch of ancient cities and countries (Rome, Greece, Sparta, etc.). But I think I saw the link to something helpful in another comment, so thanks anyway! :)
Good information but I think it needed just a bit more. Thanks for helping me on my 10 paragraph essay!
Try reading our article about women in ancient Greece, too: https://quatr.us/greeks/women-ancient-greece.htm
Great! Can you tell me what the father’s role was in the household?
I think you can get that from the article :) but feel free to ask more specific questions if you have any. Try reading this, too: https://quatr.us/greeks/economy-ancient-greece.htm
thans vary moch help me wit vary impotano pradject thanks bbyg
THX SOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!
this helped bring my grade up from a 60 to a 90 thank you so much
Happy to hear it, Ridley! I’m glad we could help, though I’m sure you did a lot of the work yourself!
Saved My Ass On My ESSAY
this is so useful. It will help me with my presentation,thank u
Wonderful! I’m glad we could help, Evie. Good luck with your presentation!
that was good but i would have liked to know about middle class families
There wasn’t as much of a middle class in ancient Greece as there is now. But the article is meant to cover all kinds of families. I just meant that either you were rich enough to send a slave for water, or you weren’t, and then you had to go yourself.
I’m doing a project for school about ancient greece, and I was researching dog collars. How did I get here.
Dog collars in ancient Greece? I don’t know how you got here, but we do have an article on the history of dogs: https://quatr.us/economy/history-dogs-wolves.htm . I hope that helps. I know ancient Greeks did use dog collars, especially to protect dogs’ necks against being bitten by boars when they were being used for boar-hunting, but I’m afraid I can’t recall a source for that right off the bat.
this was short but vary infomitive
im going to use this for my porgect.
thx soooooo much. This is really helping me with my assighnment. :)
hoi im tmmie
thanks helped me on my project on Ancient Greece me dooooooooood
Glad we could help!
Nice it will help me to do my project
Good luck with your project, Nahied!
Helped me so much on a project!
Happy to hear it!
thanks so much, totally helped with my essay
you helped me so much with my prodject
Oh, wonderful! Thanks for letting us know. Good luck with your project!
thank you, you helped me a lot with my school project :-)
Oh, I’m so happy to hear it! Thank you for writing to let us know, and good luck with your project!
lots of great info
Thank you! I’m glad we could help.