By 700 BC, the Greek was made up of lots of separate cities surrounding farmland. The biggest and powerful cities were Athens and Sparta. Most cities were ruled by a king.
Alexander the Great was a brilliant Greek general, who won a huge empire in the early 300s BC. This was the peak of Greek power. In 146 BC, the Romans took over Greece and made it part of their own empire.
The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC, to honor Zeus, the chief of the Greek gods. They were held every four years, and thousands of athletes came from all over Greece to take part. The Greek Olympic events were running, wrestling, javelin and discus throwing, the long jump, horse racing and chariot racing.
Did athletes win medals? No, winners were given small prizes at the Games, such as a crown of laurel leaves or a jar of olive oil. They were treated like superstars and showered with gifts and food when they got home, though.
Greek athletes never cheated, true or false? False, some did. If they were caught, they had to pay for a statue to be put up.
One of the smash hit theater plays in Ancient Greek times was Frogs by the playwright Aristophanes. The Greeks were the first people to built theaters and put on plays. The theaters were open air, and the actors were all men, wearing masks painted to show which character they were playing.
The Greeks were great thinkers, who developed the art of philosophy, thinking about big questions such as the meaning of life. The most important Greek philosophers were Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
The Greeks were great storytellers. The most famous Greek works are the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey,” tales of war, heroes, gods and mythical beings. The Greeks believed in lots of gods and goddesses, including Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, and Ares, the god of war…
What did Greeks eat for breakfast? Porridge was a favorite at breakfast time, made with barley instead of oats and livened up with figs. Lunch was usually bread and goat’s cheese, while dinner might be chicken, with fresh fruit for dessert.
(Long, Long Ago by M . Brown)