Homes in Athens

Homes varied greatly depending on the wealth of the Greek. Poorer people lived in only 2 or 3 rooms, while wealthy people lived in houses on more than one level and built around a central courtyard.

Houses were made from sun-dried mud bricks covered in plaster and roofs were covered in pottery clay tiles.

Any furniture was very basic and made of wood. Furniture would double up and be used as more than one thing. A couch could also be used as a bed or table for example.

Poor people would rise at dawn and go to bed at dusk, as they had no way of lighting their homes. Wealthier Greeks used oil lamps to light their homes, which meant they were not so restricted to dawn and dusk.

Wealthy houses were built around a central courtyard. There were many rooms including bedrooms, bathing room, women’s private area and men’s dining room. The courtyard was the central part of the women’s life and they spent much of their time in it, as they did not have the freedom to leave the home without the husband or guardian’s permission.

Homes had separate areas for both men and women. The courtyard was the woman’s domain and they would spend much time there and eat their meals in the courtyard; they never ate with the men.


This was a separate area for men only where they would entertain their male guests and host male only parties. It had a separate entrance to the street so the men could come and go without meeting or passing the women of the house.


This was a separate suite of rooms for the women. They were normally situated within the innermost part of the house, away from public or street areas.


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