Houses In Athens

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  • Created by: MaaB
  • Created on: 02-06-16 11:00

Self Sufficiency & Design of Greek Houses

  • Houses and residents = oikos, husband = kyrios, wife = kyria
  • Athenian family would want to produce their own goods/foods.
  • This would mean many households would have farmland outside of the city, if the plot was large enough, extra food could be sold by the helots.
  • The home was a money-making centre, women and slaves spent much of their time to produce all the cloth needed by the family.
  • Greeks spent more on public buildings than their own houses. May have been because: men did not spend much time at home; lots of earthquakes so there was no point spending a lot of money if it would be destroyed; new idea of democracy so people wanted to be equal - wasn't fair to have huge grand houses.
  • Same design used for cities, villages, countryside: Foundations = stone; roofs = clay tiles; wall: clay bricks baked in sun but it was easy to get through so burglars were known as 'wall-piercers' as this was how they would get the expensive goods inside.
  • Houses were rectangles and often had a smaller floor reached by a ladder.
  • Few, glassless windows were small/high: kept heat/dust out of rooms and put off burglars.
  • Floors were earth that had been beaten hard or tiles/blocks of stones
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Rooms In Greek Houses

  • Andron = men's area. Rich and poor had this, usually, by the front door. It was a large dining room where the kyrios would host symposia. Only slave-girls were allowed. The cement floor was risen in the corners and couches were placed on it. In the centre, the lower rectangle was often decorated with pebble mosaics. The walls could be decorated with paintings of men or gods drinking and feasting.
  • Gynaikon = woman's area. Kyria may have bedroom of her own but the main room was the loom room where women would spin and weave. Found at the back or first floor of house.
  • The other rooms were bedrooms for children, slaves' quarters and storerooms where goods and produce of the household would be kept.
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  • Sparing as interior walls were plastered and painted simply (red/white).
  • Wealthier families may have decorated with statues of dead ancestors.
  • For furniture, couches were used to dine and sleep and there were also stools, chairs and tables.
  • Clothes were stored in chests or cupboards but other goods were hung on hooks.
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Rooms In Greek Houses 2

  • To get into the house you had to go through a large, wooden front door which led into the courtyard, the focal points of the house and other rooms came off this.
  • Courtyard: paved and often contained a well or cistern to collect rainwater and pits to collect waste for manure were also common. Many household tasks were carried out here so women could sit outside. A cover was often built to one side to allow them to sit in the shade if need be. In the countryside the courtyard was larger to accommodate animals and farming equipment; many also contained large storage towers.
  • Wealthy households: kitchen/bathroom. Food could also be cooked in the courtyard. If a house lacked a bathroom, each bedroom had a jug and basin. Large pots acted as toilets. Slaves had to regularly empty these in gutters outside the house. Athens had no sewer systems so pubic slaves washed the streets on a daily basis.
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