Are you a teacher or parent looking for some cool, educational content on an exciting topic, that kids can enjoy reading, in class or at home? I’m sure you will agree that one of the most interesting periods in history was that of Ancient Greece. Kids, parents and teachers will love reading these fun facts about ancient Greece for kids.
So get your brain into gear and be prepared to learn the most awesome things about this beautiful, sunny land. Feel free to share them with your school or friends, and be sure to explore these facts in class!
The History of Greece
The Greeks have a long history which will super surprise you! If you are not that keen on history, now’s your chance to brush up on that knowledge as it’s seriously interesting.
- The first great civilization in Greece was the Minoan culture on the island of Crete around 2000 B.C. A very long time ago indeed. Wall paintings found at the ruins of the palace Knossos, show people doing back-flips over a charging bull. Wonder what that was all about? The Minoans were conquered by the Mycenaeans from the mainland in 1450 B.C.
- During ancient times the country was divided into different city-states, which were ruled by noblemen. The largest were Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Corinth. Each state controlled the space around a single city. They were often at war with each other.
- Athens became the most powerful, and in 508 B.C., the people came up with a whole new system of ruling, which we now know as democracy. This means that people voted for their leaders. This is where democracy started, and it was so long ago. Wow. Even though it was the start of democracy still only men could vote; so it’s not quite the same as we know it today.
- Greece was ruled by foreigners for over 2,000 years – first by the Romans in the 2nd century, and then by the Turkish for nearly 400 years. So they never really owned their country. Eventually they got it all back as their own in 1832. They must have had one big party to celebrate.
The Olympic Games
The first ever Olympic Games were held in Greece in the city of Olympia in 776 B.C. to honor Zeus, the king of the gods. Only men were allowed to take part in the events such as sprinting, long jump, discus, javelin, wrestling, and chariot racing. The games were banned by the Romans in A.D. 393, but started up all over again in Athens in 1896. Lucky it did so we can watch this awesome event. But also lucky for us things have changed as apparently they used to do the sports naked! No thanks.
According to Greek mythology, Athena and Poseidon challenged each other over who would be the guardian of the city of Athens. They each had to give a gift and whichever one was seen to be more valuable would then rule the city. Poseidon gave the gift of water, but Athena’s gift of an olive tree was seen by the other gods to be more valuable. So that’s probably why most of the olives in the world come from Greece!
The Trojan Horse
A famous legend tells us how clever the Greeks were, in conquering the city of Troy in 1180 B.C. They hid inside a giant wooden horse! The horse was left outside the city’s walls and it was wheeled inside as they thought it was a gift. Then at night the sneaky Greek soldiers snuck out and seized the city! A big battle took place and finally the Greeks had won the war. What a super clever trick this was!
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