Here we have collected some of the most fun ancient Greece facts to make your next Greek class even more engaging!
Citizens could vote to exile politicians from the city for 10 years in an attempt to rid themselves of tyranny. This meant they had to leave.
1. The first olive tree was planted in Athens
Olive trees have long been seen as a symbol of Greece, so it makes perfect sense that one was first planted here. Legend holds that Athena gave Athens its name by planting one on Acropolis; she did this as part of a competition between Poseidon and herself to decide which would serve as their patron; Athena presented an olive tree promising oil, fruit and wood as her gift; she ultimately won out and Athens was named in her honour.
The Erechtheion Temple on Acropolis was dedicated to this sacred olive tree, which became its centerpiece. Over the course of history, various invaders burned or damaged it but it always returned. When World War II ended and German forces destroyed it entirely, some branches from it were salvaged so seeds could be planted throughout Attica; today all olive groves across Greece can trace back their lineage back to this ancient tree.
Oil from these trees was prized among winning athletes at ancient Athens’ Olympic Games; indeed, its name itself derives from Greek words for victors and winners. Olive trees also provided abundant sources of healthy fats and vitamins to the people, as well as being used for making green dye used today to paint houses or decorate religious objects.
2. Fetta cheese was invented
Greece is famous for exporting olive trees (arguably its healthiest agricultural product) but not solely known for their olives; there’s much more food that comes out of this country as well. Feta cheese was created in ancient times through coagulating milk into curds – originally as an antimicrobial measure for keeping meat and fish fresh before becoming an independent product in the 20th century.
Ancient Greeks introduced us to many things that we take for granted today, such as the Olympic Games that began in 776 BC. Additionally, we know them for drama; with plays falling into one of three genres; tragedy, satyr and comedy plays being staged at various points during Greek life – these played are written by Aristophanes such as Lysistrata which featured comedies that poked fun at rich and powerful figures. They even created their own architectural styles such as Doric Corinthian Ionic styles being utilized throughout temples and buildings alike!
The Ancient Greeks were leaders in mathematics and science, having pioneered many areas such as gravity discovery. Aristotle is widely renowned as one of their premier scientists. Additionally, they developed an in-depth theory about solar system orbits around sun.
Ancient Greeks weren’t perfect and were known for fighting wars with one another. Additionally, their system of government known as democracy involved citizens voting on issues they wanted their local councils to deal with based on citizens voting; unfortunately this wasn’t entirely fair – slaves, women, and foreign-born residents weren’t eligible to vote; additionally the Greeks even invented the idea of ostracising politicians by forcing them out for 10 years at a time.
3. Ouzo is a distilled beverage
Ouzo may be one of the world’s most misunderstood spirits. Although its portrayal in films often portrays it as being consumed quickly in shots, ouzo should actually be enjoyed sipped slowly while socializing and eating great food – perfect with traditional mezes such as grilled calamari, octopus and shrimp or salty goat cheese for an enjoyable experience.
Ouzo is a distilled beverage characterized by its distinctive anise flavor. Similar to tsipouro (Greek equivalent of grappa) or other anise-flavored spirits such as pastis from France or Armenia or raki from Turkey. The first ouzo distillery was established by Nicolas Katsaros in Greece in 1856; today it enjoys protected designation of origin status.
Ouzo derives its name from Turkish for grape wine. Ouzo is an extremely popular aperitif and digestive aid; in older times doctors would suggest dipping a woolen cloth in ouzo and setting it ablaze before placing it over one’s stomach for an hour-long inhalation treatment. Ouzo can also be applied directly onto feet to relieve swelling or relieve sinus pressure pain.
The Greeks pioneered an early form of democracy – in which citizens vote on policy decisions and who represents them – which they used in Athens and other Greek city-states; though not as fair due to slavery being excluded. Furthermore, they used ostracism – exiling politicians for 10 years as an attempt at ethical politics – as a form of censorship intended to keep politics clean and ethical. They also invented three distinct column types still seen today – Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns are still used today!
4. The Greeks ate lying down
Though Greece might not have invented the yo-yo, they certainly perfected the art of eating while lying down. Images in pottery, frescos and wine cups depict ancient Greeks relaxing while eating lying down. Although reclining at mealtimes might not have been exclusive to aristocracy alone, reclining at table suggests wealth and status and was adopted by Romans too.
At dinner time, Greeks did more than simply lie on their beds: they enjoyed strange foods such as locusts and eels! Additionally, wine was drunk from shallow cups known as kylixes with pictures on them that unfolded as it was consumed.
Spitting was another common way Greeks dispelled evil. Spitting wasn’t considered rude and whenever someone offered you good news or bad, they would spit three times to protect against an unfriendly eye.
Ancient Greeks were well known for cultivating olive trees; some estimates indicate they cultivated up to 2,000 varieties! Furthermore, their olive tree trunks were even used as construction material when building structures such as temples or houses.
Athens and Sparta were key rivals during the Peloponnesian Wars; other city-states preferred lives filled with learning, art, and peacemaking; the ancient Greeks even invented Olympic Games!
5. The evil eye is still a superstition
Greeks believe that any time someone gives compliments, envies or casts an evil eye upon someone else they can contract an “evil eye curse” (matiasma). This belief dates back to Classical Antiquity when Greek culture was at its most intellectual. Blue beads worn to protect from negative vibes still remain popular today in Greece as an effective shield.
However, there are ways you can protect yourself from an evil eye – and not just by wearing blue beads! One tip recommended by experts is eating garlic daily to counteract vampire energy and keep yourself balanced and energetically viable.
One way to combat an evil eye is by keeping track of how many times someone sneezes near you. According to Plutarch, an Ancient Greek writer, each sneeze may contain hidden meaning which can be determined by adding up its number of digits – in your case this would correspond with the sixth letter of the alphabet (Plutarch’s alphabet was 6 letters).
Ancient Greek women paid great care in maintaining their appearance. They dyed their hair blonde, curled it with hot irons and enhanced their eyes using mineral or plant dyes to draw the eyes closer together. Bronze mirrors, ivory combs and small bottles of perfume were popular accessories to wear for added oomph; some brides even concealed scissors within their wedding dresses to guard against unwelcome comments from older women or spinsters!
The marathon derives its name from Pheidippides, who ran 25 miles between Marathon and Athens to proclaim victory over Persian invaders. Today, this 3.1 mile run remains one of the world’s most beloved races; an inspiring tale of perseverance and determination which serves as a reminder that we should always follow our dreams!