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Ancient Greece
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Ancient Greece
HarryDid you know that Greece is one of the oldest civilisations in the world? It's so old we call the first people the Ancient Greeks! They were around almost four thousand years ago, and you can still see many signs of this civilisation in Greece today, like the Parthenon in Athens.
Ancient Greece
© Novastock/Rex Features

JackBack in Ancient Greece, the country was actually made up of a number of city-states. Each one was like a small country. See if you can complete the names of these city-states by dragging the missing vowels into the words.
Click herefor the answers Jack

HarryAlthough everybody spoke Greek and shared the same gods, people were proud of their own city-state and thought it was the best! Just imagine, if you were born in Newcastle, you wouldn't support Manchester United!

JackYou could say that the first children to have citizenship lessons were the Ancient Greeks. They learned about their city-state, and how to be a good citizen. When they were older, they were expected to contribute to the life of the city-state to make it a better place.


JackBut the cities were not always friendly towards each other either. A war broke out between the Spartans and the people of Athens in 431 BC. Corinth joined Sparta's side. Sparta and Corinth finally won 27 years later!

How you were brought up also depended on where you were born. Click here for a table that tells you what life was like in these city-states. Harry

CecileSlaves were very important in all the city-states of Ancient Greece - about 1/3 of the 300,000 people living in Athens were slaves. Can you work out how many slaves that would have been? If the Athenians had 50,000 pairs of shoes, would they have had enough, or how many more would they need? Click here to see if you were right.

Some slaves were men and women who had been captured in wars. Others had been abandoned on the hillsides as babies. The luckiest slaves had special training to become nurses, teachers and even police officers. But most slaves did the hardest work. Jack

HarryAlthough life was hard, not every owner was cruel. Some cared for their slaves and looked after them when they were ill or when they got old. But slaves could not go to school, or use their own name - their owners gave them a new name. They were property, just like a house or a horse.


Ancient Greece lasted until the Romans invaded and conquered their lands in 146 BC. Thanks to the Ancient Greeks we can enjoy a play, vote for our government and watch the best sports people competing at the Olympic games. Go to the next page to find out how the Olympics began.Harry

CecileTo find out more about Ancient Greece, visit www.bbc.co.uk/schools/landmarks/ancientgreece. You could visit the British Museum too - go to www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/compass, click on search, then choose 'ancient Greece' from the menu, or go down a time tunnel where you can play some games to find out more about life in an Ancient Greek city.
Visit www.mythweb.com to find out more about myths and legends from Ancient Greek times.


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