Education of Ancient Greece
Education in Ancient Greece was very different to nowadays. Ancient Greece was divided into city states and different parts of Ancient Greece had different education. For example the Spartans had education to go, train in the army and go to war. While the Athenians had education to go to school and got good grades but if you were to compare this to the Spartans, they are very different. They were very different because the Athenians could read and write but did not have a good army while the Spartans have a good army but couldn’t read or write. Most children would start their education at the age of 7.
In Athens, poor children did not go to school. They would help around their homes to help their family make a living. Richer boys might go to school for only three to four years. For all the richer boys lessons, the students used a wax-covered board with a stylus to carve out letters in the wax. When completed, the wax was smoothed over again and reused. The subjects they learned were reading, writing, basic math, music, and physical training. At the age of eighteen, most boys were required to join the army for two years of training.
After military training, boys from the wealthy families studied with a sophist. A sophist charged a fee to teach subjects such as public speaking. In Athens and other democracies, public speaking and debates were highly prized skills. Socrates, the famous Greek philosopher, believed it was wrong to take money for teaching young people. He believed the pursuit of knowledge was more important than the art of speaking.
In Sparta, girls were also allowed to have education. Education for girls in Sparta was beyond domestic arts. Girls in Sparta was also believed to have trained with weapons. Such as discus,javelin,wrestle a mighty bull,run and jump.
Somewhere between the ages of 18-20, Spartan males had to pass a test of fitness, military ability, and leadership skills. Any Spartan male who did not pass these exams became a perioikos. (The perioikos, or the middle class, were allowed to own property, have business dealings, but had no political rights and were not citizens.) If they passed the tests, they became a full citizen and a Spartan soldier. Citizens of Sparta were not allowed to touch money. That was the job of the middle class. Spartan soldiers spent most of their lives with other soldiers.
If the Spartans were married, they did not live with their wives and families. They lived in the barracks. If you were a male Spartan, you would serve the military until you reached the age of 60. At age 60, a Spartan soldier could retire and live in their home with their family.