Athens
(Αθήνα)Greece is located in the southern part of Europe and right into the Mediterranean Sea between the southern end of Italy and the western end of Turkey. Athens, is located in the south-east of the country at 37.58 N and 23.43 E. Athens is located on the Peninsula of Attica.


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Athens is the capital of Greece, not only is it the capital but it is the largest city state in Greece. As a result of Athens close location to Attica there was a point in time when Athens controlled Attica. As a result of this Attica made it very possible for Athens to gain profit since Attica had silver, lead and marble. Athens is credited for being the birth place of democracy and humanism. It's one of the oldest cities in the world estimated to be 3,400 years old. Many famous philosophers were born in the city of Athens. Some famous philosophers are: Socrates,Plato, Aeschylus,Sophocles,and Euripides. As a result of these philosophers works it is no wonder why Athens is credited with the birth of democracy and humanism. [1]

The Battle for Protector of Athens

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According to legend Athens initial name was Aktike name after it's first king Aketos. Then named Kekropia, received from the king, Kekrops. It was during his reign Goddess Athena and God Poseidon began their competition. The competition was to determine who would be the protector of the city. Athena won resulting in the name of the city state being Athens. She won when she presented an olive tree in which more females were in the city causing a majority vote.[2]

Government/ Democracy

The way Athens government was run was very much like a democracy. Everyone of the citizens paid taxes however, the richest paid extra. Even though Athens was a democracy not everyone had a vote. Only males were given the opportunity to take part in council and only males had citizen rights. Neither women, slaves, or foreigners could take place in council and each man in council took turns yearly. They would occasionally meet at a hill call the Phynx. Similarly Athens had its own judicial system. In their Judicial system they voted by putting discs in a jar for guilty or not. Their jury consisted of about 500 citizens. They timed the case by a water clock. Athenians also voted in or out Politicians that they felt were effective or not. There were about 250,000 Athenians at its most and about a quarter of them were slaves. These slaves were either captured from previous wars, born into slavery, or former citizens who could not pay taxes and were forced into slavery. At that time in Athens it was rare to come across a slave that was capable of saving enough money to buy their freedom. Some slaves had special skills in the arts such as Pottery, Painting, and Nursing.[3]

Currency

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The significance of the Athenian currency is very important because it showed the transitions in politics from aristocratic form of government to tyrants then a democratic form of government. It was called the Dachmus and later on wass replaced by the Euro. It was used for about a millennium.[4]

After Life


It is considered an Athenian custom of epitaphios logos. This is a formal speech that is delivered during a funeral. At this time prayers for the dead and other cultural rituals are done. Although, it is considered a Athenian part of culture it has been found in Homer's Epos, Pericles's funeral oration and lyric poems by Pindar because Desmothenes praises Athens for this custom it's considered Athenian.[5]

Education

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What could be considered among the one most important factors in Athenian culture is their education. Education was essential its purpose was to produce citizens trained in the arts to prepare them for both peace and war. Only boys went to school and they were private. Tuition to attend was low so that even the poorest citizens could afford for their child to attend. After age six or seven children were no longer taught by their mothers or slaves. after seven to eight years of schooling they've learned Gymnastics. Along with younger boys were taught to move gracefully meanwhile older boys were taught to running, jumping, boxing, wrestling, and javelin throwing. Along with battle skills they learned how to read write and count but what was considered very important was literature. Homer's Odyssey and Iliad heavily enforced in the Athenian educational system. Once the boys knew how to read and write they would be asked to act out the scenes remember them, and take down notes about it. According to Plato learning these aspects were to make sure the boys'"may learn to be more gentle, and harmonious, and rhythmical, and so more fitted for speech and action; for the life of man in every part has need of harmony and rhythm."' Until about 390 BC there was no permanent education after age fourteen. Those who wanted to further their study studied with either Socrates, Plato,and Aristotle. At age eighteen two years of military service was required. [6]

Architecture
Athens famous temples is the Parthenon. It was located on top of Acropolis. Inside of Parthenon was a statue of the cities protector Goddess Athena.[7] external image 2.jpg

external image p05092.jpgAn important place of Ancient Athens was Agora. This was the market place and civic center of Athena. Along with being the center of trading commodities it was a place where people gather to discuss important topics. Since topics such as business, politics and the universe were discussed in Agora, Agora is credited for being the place in Athens where democracy was mentioned.
This is an image of The Temple of Hephaistos/Hephaestus in Agora Athens.
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The Temple of Hephaestus is the best preserved structure of ancient Greek temples. It is believed by archeologist that no older buildings were present at that time other than an old small sanctuary burned when the Persians occupied Athens in 480 BC.
Wars
One thing that made Athens a strong city state was their large navy.
As a result Athens had some famous wars such as The Ionian Revolt,The Peloponnesian war, and The Persian wars. Among the Persian wars were The battle of Marathon, The battle of Thermopylae,The battle of Salamis, and the battle of Plataea.[8]

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Clothing There are four main costume silhouettes, which existed in ancient Greece. These are Cretan Minoan, Mycenaean, Archaic, and Classical, each named after the era during which it appeared. Their clothing represented the simple life that they lived. Their clothing required minimum sewing which could be easily folded and put away. An attire that was considered unisex was the tunic. It was worn with a belt draped over the body in a way that it covered the left arm leaving the right arm bare. The chiton’s length varied according to the wearer’s status. It could extend to the knee or the ankle. It could also be fastened with pins or brooches (fibulae) on the left shoulder or on both shoulders, or be dyed, embroidered, or edged with decorative elements. The Cretan Minoan attire included a variety of complex garments that were made in a way that modern garments are made. Skirts and blouses were shaped to the body of the wearer. Women laced themselves in corsets that exposed the breasts and wore flounced skirts stretched over hoops, probably the first type of crinoline. Mycenaean costume was influenced by Minoan fashion, yet it was also quite primitive. The primary garments of Archaic Greek were the tunic and shawl. In the Classical era, fabric was softer and draping became more sophisticated so that clothes fell naturally over the body. Clothing was meant to be so subtle that it was difficult to differentiate between the body and the cloth. The two most common fabrics in ancient Greece were the wool and linen, which were woven into different textures, some thin and loose, other thick and heavy. The import of silk from China began in Hellenistic times, but silk was more rarely used for it was expensive. By the 5th century Greeks began to dye all types of garments. Cloaks were dyed in dark and earthy colors, women’s clothes were made in floral shades. Numerous types of decoration were used. Gold and silver, as well as yellow, indigo, violet, red, and purple threads were sewn into garments. Garment borders were dye-painted. Motifs from architecture and vase painting were also used in clothes.[9]

References

  1. ^
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens
  2. ^
    http://www.sikyon.com/athens/ahist_eg01.html
  3. ^
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/ancient_greeks/athens/
  4. ^
    http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Money.htm
  5. ^
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Epitaphios-logos/124606917584447
  6. ^
    http://www.crystalinks.com/greekeducation.html
  7. ^
    http://www.stoa.org/athens/sites/agora.html
  8. ^
    http://www.sikyon.com/athens/ahist_eg02.html
  9. ^
    http://www.adrianaallen.com/blog/?p=176