The Greek News

Athens Social Classes

By Jonathan Grossman and Alex Gifford

What was the social structure of Athens?

Athens had three main social classes. These were the upper class, middle class, and lower class. The upper class was made up of only adult men who owned land. Those men were the only people in Athens that were citizens. The middle class consisted of merchants from other countries who were wealthy. The middle class citizens could not vote because they foreigners. Lastly, the lowest class was made up of only slaves and servants. The other population of Athens fit in with these main social classes.

Source - Ancient Civilization Greeks - "Athens"

Were men and women treated equally?

Men and women were not treated the same. Men were allowed to vote and were the only people in Athens that were considered citizens. They handled the heavy load of what needed to be done around the city-state. Men were the only people that were allowed to be in the army. Women, on the other hand, had to remain in their homes. They could not own property or vote like men could. Even though Athens was a democracy, men could do more important obligations than others.

Source - Ancient Civilization Greeks - "Athens"

The slave situation

The city-state of Athens had slaves. The slaves did not have much power or rights in result of their social class. They were in the lowest class out of all three social classes. Slaves had to work hard. Even with all this work, they didn't get paid or get any benefits. They were also treated harshly and disrespected.

Source - Ancient Civilization Greeks - "Athens"

Did social structure impact Athens?

The social structure of Athens impacted the city-state greatly. It influenced what the Athenian people did every day in their lives. For example: Because men were only allowed to be in the army, their army was stronger. The Athenians tried to eliminate weaknesses throughout their civilization, and they thought women provided it. This is just one example of how social structure impacted Athens. There are many other ways that this occurred.

Source - Ancient Civilization Greeks - "Athens"