Athensthe most ancient polis in
Europe* But what does Athens has to say for 7000 years of history, democracy and philosophy? * Argos is also considered to be the most ancient city in Europe
WisdomAthens was named afterthe goddess
Athena, aftera contest with Poseidon inAcropolis.Athena won with an olive treeas a gift to the city.*Αθηνά means Understanding orThought.Plato, Cratylus, 407b Athena*
DemocracyMost offices were filled bylot,
although the tenstrategoi (generals) wereelected. This systemremained remarkablystable and, with a fewbrief interruptions, itremained in place for 170years, until Philip II ofMacedon defeated Athensat the Battle ofChaeroneain 338 BC.* The founder of Athens democracy Cleisthenes*
Roman AthensUnder Rome, Athens wasgiven
the status of a freecity because of its widelyadmired schools. TheRoman emperor Hadrian, inthe 2nd centuryAD, constructed a library, agymnasium, an aqueductwhich is still in use, severaltemples and sanctuaries, abridge and financed thecompletion of the Temple ofOlympian Zeus Roman Agora
ByzantiumBut the conversion of theEmpire
to Christianityended the citys role as acentre of pagan learning;the Emperor Justinianclosed the schools ofphilosophy in AD 529.This is generally taken tomark the end of theancient history of Athens.The 11th and 12thcenturies were theGolden Age of Byzantineart. Till today many thingsremain intact till today. Churches
Latin AthensAthens was the capital
of theeponymous Duchy of Athens. TheBurgundian family De la Roche, itreplaced Athens as the capitaland seat of government,although Athens remained themost influential ecclesiasticalcentre in the duchy and site of aprime fortress. Under theBurgundian dukes, a bell towerwas added to the Parthenon.Also the brought chivalryand tournaments to Athens; theyalso fortified the Acropolis. Theywere themselves influenced byByzantine Greek culture. Duchy of Athens
Ottoman AthensIn 1458, Athens fell
to the Ottoman Empire.As the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II theConqueror rode into the city, he was greatlystruck by the beauty of its ancientmonuments and issued a firman (imperialedict) forbidding their looting ordestruction, on pain of death.The Parthenon was converted into Athensmain mosque. The 375-year Ottoman rule ofAthens (and of Greece in general) was thelongest by any non-Hellenic power since theRomans.• Monastiraki
IndependenceIn 1822, a Greek insurgency
captured the city,but it fell to the Ottomans again in 1826.Again the ancient monuments suffered badly.Partially funded Byron, the Greeks continuedto fight, but the Ottoman forces remained inpossession until 1833, when they withdrew.Athens was chosen to be the capital of thenewly established kingdom of Greece. At thattime, the city was virtually uninhabited, beingmerely a cluster of buildings at the foot ofthe Acropolis, where the Plaka district is now.
CapitalAthens was chosen as theGreek
capital for historicaland sentimental reasons. Amodern city plan was laid outand public buildings wereerected. The finest legacy ofthis period are the Universityof Athens (1837), the OldRoyal Palace (now the GreekParliament Building)(1843), the National Gardensof Athens(1840), the National Libraryof Greece (1842), the GreekNational Academy(1885), the Zappeion Exhibition Hall (1878), the OldParliamentBuilding (1858), the New Athens 1888Royal Palace (now thePresidential Palace) (1897)and the Athens Town Hall(1874).
Ancient sites in AthensThe Acropolis,
with theParthenonAgoraArch of AdrianAreopagusKerameikosLysicrates monumentPhilopappos monumentPnyxTemple of HephaestusTemple of Olympian ZeusTower of the Winds Parthenon
NowAthens lives its moderndrama version,
with thevalues of the past trying tocome back to life.Times change, but peoplemost of the times do not.Hopefully, History is stillbeing written and made bypeople.
Sites I can learn more
about AthensBlogshttp://www.athensguide.com/top-10/index.htmhttp://www.true-athens.com/http://www.athens-today.com/Officialhttp://thisisathens.org/default.php?pname=homepage2&la=2http://www.breathtakingathens.com/Commercialhttp://athens.dailysecret.com/Hotelshttp://www.all-athens-hotels.com/ Sounion