Why did ancient Greeks and Romans eat lying down? (Thinkstock)
Why did ancient Greeks and Romans eat lying down?
Lexile

You asked us, "Why did ancient Greeks and Romans eat lying down?"
 
Reclining and dining in ancient Greece started at least as early as the 7th century BCE. It was later picked up by the Romans.
 
They ate lying down while others served them. It was a sign of power and luxury enjoyed by the elite. People further down the social ladder copied the laid-back dining style, if they could afford to.
 
I mean, who wouldn't want to stretch out while chowing down?
 
But not everyone was so lucky in ancient Greece. You see, women didn't generally get invited to banquets except for rare occasions like wedding feasts. Even then they had to sit upright.
 
It was only in ancient Rome that customs changed, allowing upper-class women to lounge alongside men.
 
Sounds sweet.  But all that lying down and eating can't have been good for the heartburn.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did people “further down the social ladder” copy people above them?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (247)
  • Eric0221-YYCA
    11/25/2015 - 12:45 p.m.

    I think that it might be cool though that Romans who are elite are the only ones that are in Rome are able to just lie down and just eat. I think that the people who are only elite in Rome are only able just eat while lying down on something that is very comfortable to them. The people or group who are elite are really the only ones who can eat while lying down but only the group who are elite except for the people who are not elite.

  • annabel1226-yyca
    11/25/2015 - 01:34 p.m.

    I always want to eat while I am laying down. But, my mom always tells me to sit down and eat. I always complain to her. Now I want to lay down and eat. I want to lay down and eat because in the article it says that if you're eating while you're laying down than you're wealthy. I wish my mom could understand my feelings. I hope I get to lay down while eating everyday.

  • catherinew-hor
    11/25/2015 - 10:21 p.m.

    I think the authors purpose of writing the article was to inform teens about people from long ago.I learned that not all Greeks and Romans could afford the luxury of having a relaxing meal, because they just simply couldn't afford it.I don't agree with the way that they determined who could eat lying down and who couldn't because I think all citizens should have had the same amounts of rights it shouldn't matter how wealthy you were,especially when it comes to eating.

  • allisonz-612-
    11/26/2015 - 10:55 a.m.

    People further down the social ladder copied people above them because eating lying down while people served them was a sign of power and luxury.

  • christophera-mab
    11/27/2015 - 03:35 p.m.

    people further down the social ladder copyed the people above them because they can afford it

    • lila-del
      12/11/2015 - 12:37 p.m.

      are you sure?

  • coltens-ver
    11/27/2015 - 07:41 p.m.

    I didn't even know the Romans and Greeks ate lying down. That's kind of weird, and I don't see how it would be a sign of luxury but I guess it doesn't really matter.

  • rakimw-ver
    11/27/2015 - 10:11 p.m.

    I think that it's cool to see the progression from where they tought about thing and how we think about things now.

  • libbyh-jac
    11/28/2015 - 06:46 p.m.

    I can't believe this, it's completely crazy people think eating and laying down is luxurious.

  • melissaj-Ste
    11/28/2015 - 08:51 p.m.

    Human actions in 7th century BCE are no different than human actions today. There are higher-ups, people with actual power, a title, or money, and the lower class, people without the latter then as there are today. People of the lower class simply want to feel more important than they actually are. I wish what was socially acceptable then was socially acceptable now.

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