Ancient Greek Homes | Houses in Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece Homes
Archaeologists have been able to explore many ancient Greek houses that are still in a good state of preservation. Greek literature and art also adds to our knowledge of the lifestyle in ancient Greece. Surviving frescos and pottery provide pictures of ancient Greek homes, so that archaelogists have been able to reconstruct ancient Greek life with accuracy.
Model Of A Greek House
Ancient Greek homes were built around a courtyard; ancient wealthy Greek homes would actually have two courtyards - one for the men, and one for the women. Guests entering a Greek home would first find themselves in a large colonnaded courtyard known as the Andronitis, or Courtyard of the Men. This is where the family spent most of its time, and only when guests appeared would the women disappear to their own quarters. In fine weather, the women of the family would spin, weave and sew here, listening to the men discussing the latest ideas gleaned from the Agora.
In summer, the family would eat in the andronitis, and would gather to tell and listen to stories in the evenings. In the center a small shrine to Zeus was normally found. Around this courtyard would be small, dark chambers used for storage, or sleeping quarters for slaves and sons of the house.
Leading from the andronitis was the andron, or men's dining room. This is where male guests were entertained to symposia - dinner parties and convivial evenings companionably spent over an amphora or two of wine. Women were strictly excluded from these festivities. The andron was likely to be the most elaborate room in the house, often having a mosaic floor and luxurious decor.
Male guests to houses in ancient Greece were allowed no further than the andron; beyond this were the women's quarters. The Gynæconitis, or Hall of the Women, was a second colonnaded courtyard, with its own set of rooms leading from it. These would include the kitchen, possibly a bathroom, more storage rooms, and small sleeping chambers for the female slaves.
Also leading from this, or possibly on a second storey, would be the thalamos - the master bedroom belonging to the master and mistress of the house. Some houses contained a second large bedroom, known as the ante-thalamos, for the daughters of the house. The most precious possessions and ornaments of the family, as well as the best furniture, would be kept in the thalamos.
The Greek revival style in architecture and homes building has gone through periodic stages of renaissance and remains somewhat of interest today for the classically minded.