Special Sub-Topic: The Life of an Ancient Greek
|The cobble stone clicks beneath your feet as you make your way to your new home. A mighty city glistens in the sun before you, the likes of which many have never seen. Inside the city, Greece's elite class lives, supporting military companies. While the working class keeps the city's services operating smoothly. Before you rows upon rows of housing stretches over the hillside. But, until you find a job you will have to live off what the land provides. You will have to live in the lowest of "lower class" housing. What type will it be?|
Hut. People who were poor, (or immigrants just coming in) often lived in the lower class housing. When they first moved in they built rudimentary Huts and lived off what the land provided them. But, once they began working they often moved into "nicer" housing. Shacks were the next housing up, then hovels, homesteads, tenements, apartments, townhouses and then finally elite housing. Elite housing consisted of mansions. People who lived in elite housing certainly loved their life of leisure, but were always demanding more. They wanted armour - so they could become hoplite warriors. And, to further differentiate themselves from the working class they demanded access to more culture.
|You cross the bridge, stepping on to new land. A smile stretches across your face. The water beside you holds many secrets. You long to know the secrets of hunting on the land and in the sea. Great schools of fish swim in the waters, and you can see workers gathering prickly sea urchins. It is no easy task for the workers but you agree the seafood is so tasty that it is well worth the effort. But, meat is by far the most sacred. Through your wise grandfather you have learned that only one animal is slow enough for mortal spears to catch and suitable for humans to eat. What dangerous animal is it?|
Wild boar. Hunters in Greece were willing to walk great distances to reach a herd of boar. The closer they came to the boar the quicker they could hunt it down. But the wild boar is dangerous. Some attack hunters, and kill them. However, when the hunters met with success the boar's carcass was carried back to the hunting lodge where it was dressed and prepared for consumption by city folk.
|You come to the working part of the city, where it's all work and no play. Men pull carts of stone from the quarries and women are busy producing lavish wine and sparkling olive oil. You look over your shoulder where rocky outcroppings contain shiny ores and fine marble deposits. Each industry produces materials that benefit both the city and the residents. But, in time the city will need to expand, as more people move in and demand more! What industry is required for the city to make LOTS of money and grow?|
Mint. Mint factories equaled money! Miners would be sent out where they would collect silver ore. The miners would pick away at the silver, gather up the raw ore and bring it back to the mint. There, workers melted the silver and striked the coins. The coins were called drachmas. At masonry shops stonecutters would go to the marble quarry. The stonecutters hewed out huge chunks of marble which a team of oxen brought back to the shop. At the mason shop more stonecutters worked at dividing the large piece of marble into suitable slabs. From there the marble was taken to a storehouse or trading post where it would be sold or used. The timber mill was where trees were harvested for wood. Lumberjacks were sent to a forest to cut down trees. The logs would be hulled back and cut into planks to be stored. At sculpture studios beautiful bronze sculptures were made. They provided the right finishing touch to any sanctuary!
|You keep walking through the busy streets. Children giggle and laugh as they dance around, and play in the busy courtyard. At heart you are a child. You loved, and still do ponder the stories of the great gods and goddess. Your dream is to be like Hercules, a hero, and help a great deal of people in the future. You smile at the thought. But your smile quickly fades. A coughing, wheezing old man comes up to you. "Which way to the bridge?" The old man rasped. "Over there." You reply quickly, pointing in the direction you came. As the old man hobbles away you look around, noticing that many people around you are coughing, and look ill. What do you think this common disease in ancient Greece (which spreads easily) is?|
Plague. The plague was an insidious ailment. It would strike quickly and infect different parts of the city at the same time. Once plague broke out there was really nothing people could do but let it run its course. It was believed residents that died of plague would join Hades and Persophone in the underworld. An infected house would be quarantined (if everyone inside it had perished) for a few months to ensure that no one else would catch the disease. No one would be allowed to move inside the house until someone lifted the quarantine.
|Though you are now concerned about what has made everybody ill you keep walking. You decide after such a long walk you need an enjoying activity (or show) to brighten your spirits. Before you could only imagine the entertainment the large city would have to offer. However, now that your here, there is much more than even your imagination could dream up. At noon you find yourself in a roaring crowd of people as you watch competitors vying for glory. As you know there are many competitions, like the "Pan-Hellenic Games". Which would be a group of competitors?|
All of these (Philosophers, Athletes, Actors). Philosophy was a big thing in ancient Greece. If a city didn't want to be filled with dim-witted people, they would simulate their minds by providing philosophical instruction. Colleges were built to teach philosophers the latest style of thinking. When done at the college, philosophers would explain the latest theories to the masses, in a place called a Podium. Gymnasiums were built to turn weak and flabby people into muscle-fighting machines. A well staffed gymnasium would send athletes to train citizens to be strong and powerful. "Some actors were born, but others were made." A drama school was built, where actors would learn their craft. Theaters were where they would perform. Only the strongest, wisest and most talented would compete!
|By the time the show has ended it's almost dark. You make your way down the quiet street. In the distance you spot a large sanctuary. Like many others you believe that when a sanctuary is dedicated to a god they feel honored and rewards the city in many ways. For years in your travels you have visited many sanctuaries to pray and worship. You walk up to the sanctuary recognizing the statues of the god it was built for. You read the writing engraved in the marble walls..."This sanctuary was built to honor the Messenger Of The Gods, a friend of traders from all around. Pray to this god and he may fulfill your outstanding request!" What god was the sanctuary built for?|
Hermes. Hermes, was son of Zeus and Maia; god of commerce; patron of liars, gamblers, and thieves; protector of travelers. It was said that Hermes invented dice, astronomy, taught the gods the use of the fire stick, and developed the first system of weights and measures. He was the wiettest of the gods by far, and very good company. Zeus used him exclusively on confidential errands and invariably chose him as a companion of his nocturnal adventures. Hermes was (and still is) depicted as a slender beardless young god, wearing a pot-shaped hat, winged sandals, and carrying a herald staff!
|Exhausted, you continue your journey to your new home. When you arrive you are happy. You drop your belongings and curl up on the floor to fall asleep. In the middle of the night you hear loud noises outside. People are holding torches and are protesting down the city streets. You walk outside and ask someone what is wrong. "Our taxes are almost as much of those people who live in elite houses! They have beauty that surrounds them, where we have alleys full of thieves! We will not pay such an outrageous tax rate. Come join us, we are going to complain and if all ends well, we wont riot!" Where are they going? What is the name of the building that takes care of taxes?|
Palace. The Palace was known as the center of the city. The Palace was an exchange for many things. If a city was well developed then some men would organize themselves into various military companies. A palace also meant taxes. Clerks from tax offices would go door-to-door collecting money every month. Whoever was the head of the palace would set the tax rate. If they were feeling greedy or was in need of money for the city then they might set the tax rate fairly high. Sometimes the tax rate was so outrageous that lower class citizens would raid the palace. But, other times they were generous and the tax rate was lower then normal.
|You wake up early, unable to sleep. You tidy your belongings and head out into the bright morning sunshine. You immediately realize how weak you are. You walk a little ways and then you stop. You sit down on a patch of grass before you and rest your tired body. People pass you by, busy with their early morning chores. You look around admiring the bustling industries. The city is overflowing with food, such as grapes, olives, wheat, dairy and more. There is SO much that some of it lies rotting in the boiling sun. What would NOT be a likely option?|
Giving away the food. A city that was not filled with lavish food was often a poor and undeveloped one. Lots of food lured the elite class to a city. As well as wheat, carrots and onions were also very popular in Greece. Food was often stored in a granary and then was picked up and taken to an Agora to be sold. Slowing down the food making and gathering process was a good way of decreasing the amount of food brought in at one time. Cutting employees was another solution, but was not always the wisest. Having alot of unemployed people in a city often meant more crimes. Exporting food to neighbouring cities was the most popular decision by a city as that meant less food and more money.
|After a little while you decide to get up and explore. You hope to find the Agora, where the food is sold, as your stomach is making growling noises. You run down the cobblestone path nearing the closest Agora. Food! You think. Delicious! But as you reach the Agora you stop. A rumbling noise is coming from the Agora. "The Agora is going to collapse!" You scream, racing over to save a child. It collapses before your very eyes. Lucky you were there, everyone is safe. "You saved my child!" A women cheers. What would NOT be a likely solution to prevent other buildings from collapsing?|
Patrolling of guards. Two hazards faced every city. One was fire and the other was the collapsing of a building. The best way to prevent a building from collapsing or catching on fire was to make sure it was inspected very often by a superintendent. These so called superintendents worked at a nearby Maintenance Office. They were in charge of repairing any structural damage in buildings.
|You look back on your life after you have "moved on." The city where you lived has been transformed into a thriving and very powerful city. All your life you have looked up to the gods, even though they were sometimes vengeful. You smile back at your life. You have accomplished a great many things and you have both saved and help many people. You have even earned the great Hercules' awe! You are looked back on as a legend! Your dream came true - what was it?|
To be a hero. Though not ever ancient Greek male wanted to be a hero, in the story your dream was to be a hero! It said that you saved and helped many people in question 10, and saving the young girl before the Agora collapsed was an example of that. In question 4 it clearly states that: "Your dream is to be like Hercules, a hero, and help a great deal of people in the future." Did you pick that up?
~ ~ ~ Anyways I hope you enjoyed my quiz...if you did try "The life of an Egyptian" Another adventure quiz, by me!
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