Ancient Greece for kids
A collection of fun and educational poems

These poems about ancient Greece for kids were written in 2012 by Paul Perro. We hope that you enjoy them.

Here you will find poems about the Greek philosophers, inventors, scientists, and writers, as well as real heroes like Alexander the Great, and mythical ones like Hercules, and the Greek Gods.

If, after reading these poems, you would like more information about Ancient Greece for kids, please scroll down to the bottom of the page for lots of interesting facts.



Ancient Greece for Kids

Intro
Perhaps you think your granddad's old?
Perhaps you've got antiques?
But those aren't really old at all
Compared to Ancient Greeks.
They lived thousands of years ago
Way back in ancient times
Let's learn about them now shall we?
Here come some little rhymes.



City States
The Ancient Greek cities
Were all quite separate.
Athens, Thebes, and Sparta -
Each was a different state.
These city states sometimes
Decided to unite,
Like the time when Persia
Came to pick a fight.



Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

The best ever military commander
Was a young king named Alexander.
From the Macadonian city state
He was known as Alexander the Great.
A brave man - he had a lot of bottle;
A wise man too - taught by Aristotle.
He fought many battles & always won,
His army never lost a single one.
Turkey, Syria and Egypt all fell,
So did Babylon, and Persia as well.
But after 13 years of war, his men
Said they wanted to go home again.
That was the end of conquest & glory
And that's the end of Alexander's story


Clever Greeks

The Ancient Greeks invented many things,
Like water mills, steam engines, and maps.
They founded democracy,
Drama and philosophy,
The Ancient Greeks were really clever chaps.

Astronomers from Greece worked out
The Earth goes round the sun.
It took hundreds of years before
Everyone else caught on.

The genius Archimedes once had
An idea that made him shout "Eureka"
He jumped out his bath, and ran down the path,
Then ran about naked like a streaker!
Another genius called Pythagoras
Once discovered a very famous sum.
This guy though, unlike the other fellow,
Did not show everyone his bum.





Democracy
Athens was the birthplace
Of democracy.
They had a vote to choose
Who their leader would be.

Pericles was the most
Popular bar none.
He was elected 15 times
And built the Parthenon.







Religion


Click here for poems about the Greek Gods







Mythology

The ancient Greeks believed in
Some really crazy things
Like minotaurs, centaurs,
And a horse with wings.







The Labours of Hercules

The great warrior Hercules
Was made out of pretty stern stuff.
He carried out twelve famous tasks,
All of them really tough.


He fought a lion with claws so sharp
That it could rip armour to shreds.
And then he killed a hydra, that's
A monster with nine heads.

After that he was told to go
And catch a golden deer.
The deer was very hard to catch
It took Hercules a full year.

His next task was hunting again
This time a wild savage boar.
After that he cleaned a stable
Which was full of manure.
Hercules cleaned those huge stables
In just one single day,
And then he had to go and chase
Some nasty birds away.

Next he caught a dangerous Bull
'Twas rampaging through Crete.
After that he stole some horses
That had a taste for meat.

He went to the Amazons next
And wound up having a battle.
And after that he had to go
And steal a monster's cattle.

Next he had to search the whole world
To find some special magic fruit.
And finally he caught a dog -
A huge, three headed brute.

Hercules earned a great reward
For being so strong and so clever;
His father Zeus promised him
That he would live forever.



Click here for a poem about the History of the Olympic Games





Click here for the Myth of the Minotaur







Homer
Homer (that's the poet from Greece,
Not the fat bald man from TV)
Wrote the poem called "The Iliad",
He also wrote "The Odyssey".

The Iliad tells the story,
Set during the long Trojan War
Of the Greek hero Achilles,
And his triumph over Hector.

The story of Odysseus
Is told in Homer's "Odyssey" -
His epic quest to get back home
To see his wife Penelope.
He had some bother on the way
With women with hypnotic powers,
A cyclops, A witch, a monster,
And folk who liked to eat flowers.



The End
Ancient Greece was finished when
It was attacked by Rome
And I think that's a good place
To end this little poem.







Facts About Ancient Greece For Kids

  • The Greek city states often fought among themselves, but they occasionally joined forces to fight their common enemy Persia (now called Iran). There were many clashes during the 5th century BC, such as the battle of Marathon in 490 BC (now more famous for the long distance running of a Greek messenger).

  • Sparta defeated Athens in the wars of 431-404BC. Eventually, the other states all united to defeat Sparta.

  • In 337BC, King Philip of Macadonia conquered the other Greek states and declared himself leader of 'The Greeks'. A year later he was killed, and his son Alexander became king. Under Alexander, the Greeks conquered Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia and part of India. They founded over 70 cities (many called Alexandria) and created an empire that covered around two million square miles. Alexander died of a fever (although some think he was poisoned) on his way back home to Greece, aged just 32.

  • The Greeks invented the Olympic Games. Legend says they were founded by Hercules in 776BC.

  • They also invented theatre. It emerged from a religious ceremony with chanting and dancing from a "chorus" of men. A Greek called Thespis added an actor who spoke to the chorus, and as time went on, more actors were added. At first the plays were tragedies, and later, comedies became popular.
  • Archimedes was a great scientist and one of the cleverest people of all time. He is best remembered though, for the time he solved a problem while in his bath. He was trying to work out how much gold there was in the king's crown (because the king suspected the man who made the crown had stolen some of it) and he realised that if you put the crown in water you could see how much water it displaced. He famously jumped out the bath and ran about shouting "Eureka" which means "I've found it."

  • The most important mathmetician of Ancient Greece was Pythagorus. His famous theorem, about right angled triangles, states that the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides.

  • There were many famous philosophers. The most well known is probably Socrates. He was famous for constantly questioning everything - he constantly asked "why?".

  • Homer was the great Greek poet. His epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey are set during and after the Trojan Wars.

  • The Parthenon was a temple dedicated to the goddess Athene. It took ten years to build.

  • Hippocrates was a Greek doctor who invented the system of diagnosis called "clinical observation" and he is often called the "Father of Medicine."

Main Gods and Goddesses

  • Aphrodite - Goddess of love and beauty

  • Apollo - God of light and purity, music, healing, and prophecy

  • Ares - God of war

  • Artemis - Goddess of hunting and wildlife

  • Athene - Goddess of wisdom and war

  • Demeter - Goddess of agriculture

  • Hephaistus - God of craftmanship

  • Hera - Goddess of mariage (wife of Zeus)

  • Hermes - God of merchants and messages

  • Hestia - Goddess of the family

  • Hades - God of the underworld

  • Poseidon - God of the sea

  • Zeus - king of the gods and god of the sky








Hercules (or Heracles), the great mythical hero, was also worshipped as a god. He was the son of Zeus.



We hope you have enjoyed these facts and poems about Ancient Greece for kids.


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