Why You Wouldn't Survive Life In Ancient Greece

Compared to other ancient civilizations, life was simpler back in Greece, right? Wrong! While we’d like to imagine it as a cultured and sophisticated society, there’s absolutely no way you’d survive life in ancient Greece for long. Here’s why.

Feeling unwell? Prior to the 5th century BCE, the human body was basically left to the mercy of the gods. Patients often participated in a healing ritual called temple sleep, or incubation. It’s exactly what it sounds like patients would literally just go to sleep in a temple. And then, in the morning, they’d tell a priest about their dreams from the night before. Based on that dream, the priest would prescribe a remedy, usually in the form of incantation or a charm of some sort or they’d simply declare the patient healed.

There were technically doctors back then… but there weren’t any specific requirements for people who advertised themselves as such. And as for surgery, these are the kinds of tools that were used… the stuff of nightmares.

Meanwhile, anyone who happened to live in Athens in 430 BC had roughly a 25 percent chance of dying in a horrible way. That’s because a mysterious plague broke out that lasted for about five years, and the death toll was catastrophic. This plague ended up killing somewhere between 75,000 to 100,000 people.

Watch the video for more about Why You Wouldn’t Survive Life In Ancient Greece!

#Greece #History

Faith-based medicine | 0:15
Sick? Get pregnant! | 1:24
Life in Sparta would break you | 2:18
Cosmetics were often deadly | 3:20
Rampaging sea pirates | 4:01
The injustice of it all | 5:06

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Comment (41)

  1. If you couldn't survive in ancient Greece, the foundation of all things civilized imagine what kind of hell holes the rest of the world was enduring. Perhaps if we try very hard and are very careful, in a thousand years we too may reach the level of intelligence, free inquiry, and the endeavor for individual excellence of the ancient Greeks.

  2. 1:12 I really like how you talk about the plague, because of which a quarter of the population died a terrible death, on the screen the image of a sick old man and at the same time music in the background be like POP PUNK ROCK YEAAAAAAAAAH

  3. It wasn't the case that sparta didn't have walls because "they had spartans". It is because it was surrounded by mountains with only a couple of exits. They had natural walls.

  4. Any kind of illness a woman would have would most likely cause them to be prescribed to pregnancy as a cure.

    I feel like the men knew all along that, that wasn’t true but they wanted an excuse to have some fun.

  5. i am a student of greek medicine system n this video is completely foolish …the modern medical systems more than 40% are based on greek medicine n do u know the hippocrat the father of modern medicine is greece physician badically…

  6. that was the most stupid video i ever watched about ancient Greece 1) they had medicens back there made out of herbs 2) it wasnt a single nation back then and the laws where diferent in each city/state and in some cases like Athens the laws where more strict 3) the spartans never killed the "weaker" people, by recent studies and 4)Athens was in a five-year plague due to the peloponicean wars in witch Athenian league fall and brought a new era to the greek wolrd

  7. Dude, exactly what era of Greece are you talking about? Your all over the place chronologically. That form of temple medical practice was mostly done and preferred by crazed religious zealots believing only gods could treat you. There were physicians and herbalists that practiced actual medicine that we have modern day nurses do. And the whole mercury cosmetics was introduced by a third party outside of the Greek world and was immediately outlawed after thousands from all corners of the Greek world were killed by it.

  8. I'm skilled in archery, fencing, pretty good with wrestling and have above average fitness level. Above that I know advanced maths and construction. I will do much better in Hellenic world after learning their language than in modern bugmen Empire which punish masculinity and honour culture.

  9. After watching what happened to this civilization in 2020 and so far in 2021 we are not going to end up any better off than those ancient civilizations. our decline is speeding up by the day.and it appears collapse is inevitable.


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