Ancient Athens

Athens was and still is considered the best city-state in all of ancient Greece. Athenians produced lasting contributions to literature, poetry, drama, mathematics, and more.

The ancient Greeks believed that Athena, goddess of wisdom, guarded over the city-state, which was named after her.

Education was very important in Athens. Girls did not go to school. Their mothers taught them basic domestic skills, such as cooking, sewing, and household management. Boys went to school, where they studied poetry, public speaking, drama, and reading and writing. They also learned to play a musical instrument, such as the lyre. Sons of nobles continued their educations and studied science, the arts, and politics and government.

For about 100 years, ancient Athens was ruled by direct democracy. The invention of democracy is one of the most important contributions of the ancient Greeks.

Citizens of Athens had many rights, such as the right to stand trial and the right to vote. Not all residents of Athens were citizens. A free male was born a full citizen if his father was a citizen. Athenian ruler Pericles enacted a new law that both parents had to be Athenians for a child to be a citizen. Women had partial citizenship, granting them few rights. Even though Athenian women had no rights of their own, their status as an Athenian brought them certain prestige.

Source: Ancient Athens
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