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When was the Golden Age of Greece?

In the centre of Athens—and most other Greek cities—was an open space, called an agora. Its chief use was as a marketplace where...Read More >>In the centre of Athens—and most other Greek cities—was an open space, called an agora. Its chief use was as a marketplace where goods and slaves were bought and sold. But it was also where public meetings were held and political speeches made. The “Golden Age” of Greece began around 2500 years ago. The country was divided into small states, each consisting of a city or town and surrounding villages. The city-state of Athens was the most powerful of all. It was full of beautiful temples and theatres, and the Athenian people lived well. The Greeks prized freedom of speech. Political speeches were often made in the city marketplace.


A scene in Athens during the Golden Age. A citizen makes a political speech while, nearby, sportsmen practise.
Athena, the daughter of Zeus, was the goddess of wisdom and military skill.

Gods and goddesses

The ancient Greeks worshipped dozens of gods and goddesses. The twelve most important were said to live on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. Zeus was king of the Olympian gods, and also god of the sky, thunder and lightning. Hera, queen of the gods, was goddess of women and childbirth. The most important gods and goddesses had temples built in their honour.

All male athletes competed naked in ancient Greece. It is from this practice that we have our word “gymnasium” which comes from the Greek word gymnos meaning “naked”.

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