Athens Living Museum Best things to do in Athens

Woman kneading bread

How people did really eat in ancient Greece

Men and women took their meals separately. When the house was small, the men ate first and the women afterwards. Respect for the father who was the breadwinner was obvious. Slaves waited at dinners. Aristotle notes that “the poor, having no slaves, would ask their wives or children to serve food.”

The ancient Greek custom of placing terracotta miniatures of furniture in children’s graves gives a good idea of its style and design. The Greeks normally ate while seated on chairs; benches were used for banquets. Tables – high for normal meals, low for banquets – were initially rectangular. By the 4th century BC, most tables were round, often with animal-shaped legs (for example lion’s paws).

Loaves of flat bread were occasionally used as plates; terracotta bowls were more common. Dishes became more refined over time, and by the Roman period plates were sometimes made out of precious metals or glass. Cutlery was not often used at the table. Use of the fork was unknown; people ate with their fingers. Knives were used to cut the meat. Spoons were used for soups and broths. Pieces of bread (ἀπομαγδαλία apomagdalía) could be used to spoon the food or as napkins to wipe the fingers


Everyday life in Ancient Greece, is presented in an interactive way at the Athens Living Museum, one of the best things to do un Athens.

Comments are disabled.