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By James H. S. McGregor

Revered because the birthplace of Western suggestion and democracy, Athens is way greater than an open-air museum jam-packed with crumbling monuments to historical glory. Athens takes readers on a trip from the classical city-state to contemporary modern capital, revealing a world-famous city that has been resurrected and redefined time and again.

Although the Acropolis continues to be the city's anchor, Athens' vivid tradition extends some distance past the Greek city's old obstacles. James H. S. McGregor issues out how the cityscape preserves symptoms of the various actors who've crossed its historic degree. Alexander the nice integrated Athens into his empire, as did the Romans. Byzantine Christians repurposed Greek temples, the Parthenon integrated, into church buildings. From the 13th to 15th centuries, the city's language replaced from French to Spanish to Italian, as Crusaders and adventurers from assorted elements of Western Europe took turns sacking and administering town. An Islamic Athens took root following the Ottoman conquest of 1456 and remained in position for almost 400 years, until eventually Greek patriots eventually received independence in a blood-drenched revolution.

Since then, Athenians have persevered many hardships, from Nazi profession and army coups to famine and financial situation. but, as McGregor indicates, the historical past of Athens is toward a heroic epic than a Greek tragedy. Richly supplemented with maps and illustrations, Athens paints a portrait of 1 of the world's nice towns, designed for tourists in addition to armchair scholars of city history.

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It is not until the second quarter of the sixth century bce that significant development begins again. In the meantime, the Athenian constitution went through several crises that ended with the reforms of Solon, the great political negotiator. These reforms restricted enslavement for debt, a condition that had been threatening Athenian agriculture, but in doing so, they also left the wealthiest citizens in charge. Oligarchy was the order of the day, and powerful families were able to impose their rule on the city and pass it along to their sons.

Surviving substructures, required to level off the sloping site, are forty feet deep in some places. They consist of thousands of two-ton blocks of limestone transported to the site from quarries near the seaport town of Piraeus. The project was never completed, although the massive substructures now support the Parthenon. Marble for the project, which stood in various stages of finish, was brought to the Acropolis, all of which temporarily transformed the area into a gigantic construction site, though most of that marble was never used.

She wore a helmet with a high central crest and ornaments to either side. According to Pausanias, who saw the statue in the first century ce, the images on the helmet represented two mythical beasts. The central image was a sphinx—half woman, half lion— flanked by griffins, which are composites of lions and eagles. A small replica of the Athena Parthenos in the New Acropolis Museum has griffi ns on the cheek pieces of the helmet and winged horses on either side of the sphinx. These mythical beasts, like the Gorgon on her aegis, are expressions of the The Acropolis in the Fifth Century 45 goddess’s dominance.

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