Athens, Edition: First Edition by James H. S. McGregor

By James H. S. McGregor

Revered because the birthplace of Western concept and democracy, Athens is far greater than an open-air museum choked with crumbling monuments to old glory. Athens takes readers on a trip from the classical city-state to latest 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' bright tradition extends a long way past the Greek city's vintage barriers. James H. S. McGregor issues out how the cityscape preserves indicators 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 incorporated, 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 diverse elements of Western Europe took turns sacking and administering the town. An Islamic Athens took root following the Ottoman conquest of 1456 and remained in position for almost 400 years, until eventually Greek patriots ultimately gained independence in a blood-drenched revolution.

Since then, Athenians have persevered many hardships, from Nazi career and army coups to famine and monetary main issue. but, as McGregor exhibits, the background 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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The shrine builders might have thought that the ruins dated to the time of the Trojan War and the era of the great heroes of Homer’s pan-Hellenic epic poem that was taking shape at that time. They might also have thought that the walls were the work not of men but of giants who once roamed the earth. Without a doubt these notions would have made the hill seem especially impressive. Any visitor to the modern Acropolis knows what a jumble it has become: getting a sense of what’s what as you wander the site is challenging.

Its narrow gate and twisting path, once valuable for a stronghold, were replaced by a project that increased access to an area that served crowds of devotees. This work included constructing a ramp nearly three hundred feet long and almost thirty feet wide, with a substructure of pounded earth supported by stone retaining walls. If their goal was only to make it easier for devotees to reach the Acropolis, then the project was over- On the Rock 29 engineered. This wide ramp gave access to masses of people all at one time, yet the principal occasion when crowds of people would all have gone to the Acropolis together was during the Panathenaic procession.

Also, a temple to Athena the Victor stood for more than a century on the remains of the Mycenaean bastion, near the top of that ramp. There was no good argument for rejecting this platform, which was still intact, so the temple at its top was rebuilt; the rest of the western entryway was dramatically reshaped. Building a new Parthenon on the site of the old—rather than at some other spot—offered advantages. The old monument had been well secured on deep and solid foundations, which were still usable.

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