Ancient Greece for Kids - City-States, Gods, Goddesses, Myths, Daily Life, Inventions, Geography, Achievements, and more Illustration

Ancient Greece for Kids

Come meet the clever, creative, ancient Greeks, and enter a world of competition, trickery and myth. Join Herc and his friends as they solve whatever problem The Hercules Detective Agency is hired to solve - problems created by gods and monsters and everyday ancient Greek life.

But first, a little background: Over two thousand five hundred (2,500+) years ago, ancient Greece was made up of many hundreds of Greek city-states, grouped together at the southern end of a very large peninsula that jutted out from Europe into the Mediterranean Sea. Smaller peninsulas stuck out from the main Greek peninsula, forming a great deal of natural coastline and many natural harbors. It's no wonder the Greeks were great sailors and fishermen!

The ancient Greeks believed in thousands of gods, goddesses, and magical creatures. They built temples to honor their gods. They prayed at home. They prayed all the time. Honoring their gods was part of their daily life and part of just about everything they did. That's because they believed their gods controlled the heavens and earth, and could interact with humans and could, if they chose, cause a great deal of trouble. (Which they did!)

A huge mountain range ran down the middle of the Greek peninsula. The people believed that the ancient Greek mystical world was ruled by a small group of powerful gods called the 12 Olympians who lived at the top of the highest mountain, Mount Olympus, and although you could try to climb to the top, you'd never make it because the top of Mount Olympus was hidden in fog and snow and magic. When things had to be decided in the mythical world, the council of 12 gods met on Mount Olympus to discuss things, which was a very Greek thing to do - talk it over first, and then either sign a legally binding document with agreed upon terms, go to war, or get even!

The Greeks told wonderful myths about their gods. Poseidon, lord of the sea, could raise his hand and a new island would appear! Apollo brought up the sun every day, and his twin sister Artemis brought up the moon. Most of the gods avoided Ares. Nobody liked him much, not even his father, the mighty Zeus, but Ares was the god of war, so you had to keep him on your side if you could. Speaking of the mighty Zeus, king of all the gods, Zeus probably caused more trouble than any of them, even more than Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The Greeks did not limit their myths to stories about the 12 powerful Olympians. They told stories about all the gods and goddesses and the magical, mythical creatures in which they believed.

Many of their mythical beings looked like people, but some looked like monsters, because, well .. they were! Fortunately, the ancient Greeks found a way to beat monsters, nearly always with trickery and cleverness, two skills that were greatly admired by the ancient Greeks.  

Ancient Greece was not a country. It was not an empire. It was a collection of over 1500 independent city-states. At one point, there were over 2,500 city-states on one peninsula, but some of them were taken over by another Greek city-state, and some combined for safety. There was no central government, no central army, and no king or queen of ancient Greece that ruled all the city-states. Rather, each city-state had its own form of government with the power to rule only that city-state, and each city-state had its own way of doing things. Some city-states, like ancient Corinth, were ruled by kings, but each king only ruled that particular city-state. Some, like the warrior city-state of Sparta, were ruled by councils. Ancient Athens, the jewel of the ancient Greek city-states, experimented with an early form of democracy.

As varied as they were in the way they governed themselves, when it came to culture and beliefs, the ancient Greek people had a great deal in common. They spoke the same language. They worshiped the same gods. They told the same myths. They believed in beauty and honor. The ancient Greeks were very loyal to their city-state. But because of their common culture, they also recognized themselves as Greeks.

The Greek city-states did, on occasion, team up against a common foe. They also went to war with each other, unless the Olympic Games were in progress. The Greeks invented the Olympics, and took the event quite seriously. Nearly all the ancient Greek city-states sent teams to participate. If two or more Greek city-states happen to be at war with each other when the game date arrived, war was halted for the duration of the games. The Greek Olympics were not the only games in ancient Greece - the Greeks loved competition of all sorts - but the Olympics were the most important. Every city-state wanted to brag that their athletics (their statues, their theatre, their fabrics) were the best!

The ancient Greeks loved to brag. To be fair, they had a great deal to brag about. The Greeks gave us so many gifts - gifts like the Olympics, democracy, the theatre, comedy, tragedy, the wheelbarrow, the alphabet, advances in medicine and science, architectural wonders like the ancient Greek columns, incredible myths, tales of legends, heroes, and fables, to name a few. Theirs was a culture envied and copied by other ancient civilizations. 

Come meet the ancient Greeks. Learn how the brave Greek hero Theseus escaped the maze, a trick you might find handy some day. Discover how the king of Corinth tricked the god of the underworld and got away with it! Meet Apollo's Oracle, where things are not always as they seem. Argue with Socrates, the great teacher. Read Aesop's fables, a collection of very short stories that are still popular today. Join Hercules as he solves the many problems of the ancient Greek people.

Here we go. Like millions of people before you, going back centuries, we think you'll be amazed!

For Kids

Who were the ancient Greeks?

Geography

Maps of Ancient Greece

Interactive Timelines of Ancient Greece

Minoans - Myth: The monster in the maze

Mycenaeans - very early Greece

Dorians - the hated invaders

Greek Dark Ages

What is a civilization?

What is a city-state?

Rise of City-States

Types of Government

Roots of Democracy in Athens

Athens

Sparta

Corinth

Argos

Megara

The Ancient Greek Olympics

Greek Alphabet

Daily Life

Greek Men

Greek Women

Greek Kids

Greek Slaves

Occupations

Pets & Toys

Houses

Food

Clothing

Hair Styles

Education, School

Religion, Gods

Greek Dance

Wedding Customs

Greek Theatre

Greek Architecture & Art

Greek Vases Tell a Story

Greek Columns

Elgin Marbles

The Trojan War and the
Legend of the Trojan Horse

Greek Ships

Greek Warriors

Greek Wars

Persian Wars

The Delian League

Peloponnesian War

Famous Greeks - Archimedes, Hippocrates, more

Pericles Funeral Oration

Greek Philosophies

Aristotle

Socrates - the great teacher

Aesop's Fables

Homer's Iliad

Homer's Odyssey

Alexander the Great

The League of Corinth

Hellenistic Greece

The Decline and Fall of Ancient Greece

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 Ancient Civilizations

Explore other ancient cultures

Online ancient free games 


Ancient Greek Gods & Goddesses

Ancient Greek Mythical Monsters

Ancient Greek Myths - retold by Lin Donn 

Here are some of them:

Zeus, Hera, and Little Io

The Competition, Athena and Poseidon

Theseus, the Minotaur, and the Maze

Dionysus and Ariadne

Hades, Zeus, and the King of Corinth

Icarus and Daedalus, Wings

Baby Hercules &
The 12 Labors of Hercules

Demeter and Persephone, Reason for the Seasons

Apollo's Oracle at Delphi

Apollo and Cassandra

The Magic Rocks - a myth about Ares, the god of war

Perseus, Andromeda, and the sea god, Poseidon

Orpheus and Eurydice

Eros & Psyche

Aphrodite and the Trojan War

Prometheus and the Gift of Fire

Pandora's Box

Zeus and the Great Flood

Zeus, Helios & Phaethon

Three Tales of Echo - Hera, Narcissus, and Pan

King Midas and the Golden Touch

King Midas and the Donkey Ears

Story of the Just Plain Rotten King Tantalus

Artemis and the Deer Hunter

Hermes & Apollo (cartoon PowerPoint, how Apollo got his lyre)

Hades and the River Styx

Greek Monster Myths

Perseus and Medusa

The Cyclops Cave & The Sirens

The Truth About Myths

Ancient Greek Gods by name and powers

And More:

Worship, Temples, Sacred Sites

Acropolis & Parthenon

Greek Legends

Greek Fables

NEW Greek Myths 4 Kids - The Hercules Detective Agency - original short stories by Lin and Don Donn

Gifts from the Greeks:

Free Interactive Games for Ancient Greece

Free PowerPoints about Ancient Greece

Mr. Donn's Interactive Free Quizzes with answers - TEST YOURSELF

For Teachers

Free Lesson Plans and Units for Teachers

Free Classroom Activities and Projects

Investigate Real Life Artifacts


With great excitement, we are pleased to announce

We're Published!

Our first feedback (Wow! Thank you!):
"Your units are exactly what I had hoped for
--readable, interesting topics that fit my curriculum objectives
with lots of structured activities to bring it alive.
World History will be the class we all look forward to every day."

Mr. Donn and Maxie's Ancient History PowerPoints Series
Written by Lin & Don Donn,
illustrated by Phillip Martin, Published by Good Year Books

Mr. Donn and Maxie's Always Something You Can Use Series
Written by Lin & Don Donn, Published by Good Year Books

Our books and educational materials are available through our publisher,
and through these fine stores and websites.