This essay briefly compares and contrasts a few salient features of life in ancient Greece and medieval Europe.
The life in ancient Greece and during the middle age in Europe has tremendous impact on our lives today also. The effect of the ancient Greek lifestyle is direct and that of the middle age Europe is indirect. The ancient Greeks have gifted to us system of governance like ‘democracy’ and the master event of all masculine sports: the Olympic games. On the other hand, the life style of middle age, gave rise to the age of new thinking, the renaissance. It was during the middle age that intellectuals started their quest for knowledge, which led to an upsurge or intellectual activities later. It was during the middle age that schools and Universities started being established across Europe. These gave rise to centers of learning during the renaissance period, later.( Daily life in ancient Greece, life ).
While studying the life style of ancient Greeks and the people of middle age Europe, one more familiarity that strikes the reader is that in both the cases, considerable stress was laid on education of children. In ancient Greece, children were educated at primary level at home mostly by the male slaves. The way education was imparted in the medieval period was slightly different. Schools had already come into existence, and concept of language, math and science had started developing slowly.( daily life in ancient Greece, life ).
Both the ages have given memorable gifts to mankind. The ancient Greeks have given us 1) trial by jury, 2) the Greek mythology, 3) democracy, and 4) recreational activity like dramatics, while the middle age has opened the doors for establishment of schools for primary level and universities for the higher level education. The invention of Guttenberg’s printing press, is the greatest gift from the middle age to mankind. The forts and structures built by the rulers for protection of citizens and worship of God, during these ages, are remarkable pieces of architecture.( daily life in ancient Greece, history )
The ancient Greek era is timed up to5th century B.C. while the medieval European age is timed from 4th century A.D. to the 14th century A.D. Life in ancient Greece marked the development of one of the civilizations on this world, while life during the middle age is also known as a dark age, because of the downfall of activities in almost all spheres of life.( daily life in ancient Greece, life )
The biggest contrast between the two is that slavery existed in ancient Greece whereas it had no traces in the middle age Europe. Male and female slaves lived miserable lives and were treated like commodities by their owners. They did not even have a right to have their own name. Slavery was so prominent in ancient Greece that there were as many slaves as the number of citizens in ancient Greece.
The Greek civilization spread over a small geographic area whereas the middle age Europe encompasses the whole of the continent. Despite the fall of the Roman empire, the Catholic church was the sole centralized authority to impress upon the rulers of all countries. In contrast, the ruling system in ancient Greece was heavily decentralized. In ancient Greece, there existed a system of city-states. Each city was a state, governed independently. Athens, Sparta, Corinth,
Argus and Megara were the main city- states. ( Daily life in ancient Greece, life ) The similarities between the life in ancient Greece and in the medieval Europe are few, whereas the contrasts are too many, and too prominent also.
Daily life in ancient Greece, 2006, Retrieved on 4 May 2007 from:
< http://members.aol.com/donnclass/Greeklife.html >
Life & History, 2000, Retrieved on 4 May 2007, from:
< http://www.medieval-life.net/ >
< http://www.medieval-life.net/history_main.htm >