120,000 people lived in the state of Athens in the 5th century BC. After Solon resigned from public office various factional leaders sought to seize power and the ultimate victor, Peisistratos, recognized the value of Solon's revisions and kept them, in a modified form, throughout his reign as a benevolent tyrant. A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. 1. It is also the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, political science, Western literature, historiography, major mathematical principles, and Western theories of tragedy and comedy. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. Since the loss of the war was largely blamed on democratic politicians such as Cleon and Cleophon, there was a brief reaction against democracy, aided by the Spartan army (the rule of the Thirty Tyrants). That time, with the initiative … Ancient Greece had a complex system of government as each of its urban communities had its own way of ruling, and the idea of rule by majority was born over a period of time in response to a series of localized political and … It supplied, among other structures, the fountain house in the southeast corner of the Agora, but it had a number of branches. The history of Athens is as impressive as they come, at one time boasting genius thinkers and unrivalled prowess in the arts. Athens was a great center for art, literature, philosophy, and education. We must see Athens as the average man saw it and lived in it from day to day, and THEN perhaps we can partially understand how it was that during the brief but wonderful era of Athenian freedom and prosperity[*], Athens was able to produce so many men of commanding genius as to win for her a place in the history of civilization which she can never lose. 15 Jan 2021. The Agora, the commercial and social centre of the city, lay about 400 m (1,312 ft) north of the Acropolis, in what is now the Monastiraki district. History. Interesting Facts About Athens, The Jewel Of Ancient Greece One of the most famous and ancient capital cities of Europe, Athens holds a special place in the history of Western civilization. Athens has been inhabited from Neolithic times, possibly from the end of the fourth millennium BC, or over 5,000 years. Occupying a small but fertile strip of land, the city of Athens would soon prosper into one of the greatest cities of the Ancient World. In 1204, the Fourth Crusade conquered Athens and the city was not recovered from the Latins before it was taken by the Ottoman Turks. [20] Under Roman rule, Athens was given the status of a free city because of its widely admired schools. The first settlers in Athens were from various ethnic groups that were organized in several kingdoms. License. 120,000 people lived in the state of Athens in the 5th century BC. Athens was at the centre of an area known as Attica. The people of Athens believed that no one group of people should make the laws and so citizens could choose the government officials, and vote for or against new laws. AEK FC. Here is a compilation of 15 interesting facts you should know about Athens. After her death, Athens came under the purview of the Kizlar Agha. Athens Facts For Kids – Ancient Greek History There were many important city-states in Ancient Greece, but Athens was perhaps the most important and the most powerful. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. The Acropolis was situated just south of the centre of this walled area. Athens is one of the cities with the longest history in the world. In 1896 the city hosted the 1896 Summer Olympics. R ich in history, titles, legendary figures and fan base, AEK are one of Greece's top four clubs. During this time it grew from a small fishing village to the most important city in the ancient world. Athens (/ ˈ æ θ ɪ n z / ATH-inz; Greek: Αθήνα, romanized: Athína (); Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, romanized: Athênai (pl.) Pagan temples at the Acropolis date back to the 6th century BCE. After the Athenians (with the help of Plataeans) defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE and, again, after driving off a second Persian invasion at Salamis in 480 BCE (and soundly defeating the Persians at Plataea and Mycale in 479 BCE), Athens emerged as the supreme naval power in Greece. There are few buildings dating from the period of the Byzantine Empire or the 18th century. Throughout its long history, Athens has had many different population levels. Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and has been continuously inhabited for around 7,000 years! After the Persian Wars (490-479 BC), Ancient Athens developed as the leading city-state in Greece. Through protests in Constantinople, the Athenians achieved his recall several times, but Haseki always returned until his final downfall and execution in 1795. The conversion of the empire from paganism to Christianity greatly affected Athens, resulting in reduced reverence for the city. Athens remained a centre of learning and philosophy during its 500 years of Roman rule, patronized by emperors such as Nero and Hadrian. The Ancient Greek Empire spread from Greece through Europe and, in 800 BC, the Greeks started to split their land into city-states, each with its own laws, customs and rulers. The Athenians, afterward, claimed for themselves a special status in that they spoke Ionian, instead of Doric, Greek and held to customs they felt were superior to their neighbors. Due to its poor handling of the war, the democracy in Athens was briefly overthrown by a coup in 411 BC; however, it was quickly restored. 1. Acropolis: amazing history facts - See 35,623 traveler reviews, 34,090 candid photos, and great deals for Athens, Greece, at Tripadvisor. Home » History » 10 Facts about Ancient Athens. It has … Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world as well, with recorded history going back over 3400 years. Greek entry into the European Union in 1981 brought a flood of new investment to the city, but also increasing social and environmental problems. But is the city just resting on its laurels or is there more to Athens? Many important people wandered its streets throughout time. Records show the city’s origins go back to around 3,400 years ago, also making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Flickr/Eustaquio Santimano. [31], The first owner (malikhane sahib), Ismail Agha, a local Turk from Livadeia, had been humane and popular, appointing good voevodas, so that he was nicknamed "the Good". (Later the Southern Italian city of Paestum was founded under the name of Poseidonia at about 600 BC.) Athens thus came under Roman rule. In 403 BC, however, democracy was restored by Thrasybulus and an amnesty was declared. The Roman emperor Hadrian (r. 117–138 AD), constructed the Library of Hadrian, a gymnasium, an aqueduct[21] which is still in use, several temples and sanctuaries, a bridge, and finally completed the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Situated in southern Europe, Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC, and its cultural achievements during the 5th century BC laid the foundations of Western civilization. They build many temples and very important building that all stood on hills. The occupation of the Acropolis continued for six months and both the Venetians and the Ottomans participated in the looting of the Parthenon. Acropolis: amazing history facts - See 35,451 traveler reviews, 33,704 candid photos, and great deals for Athens, Greece, at Tripadvisor. | History. This process of synoikismos – the bringing together into one home – created the largest and wealthiest state on the Greek mainland, but it also created a larger class of people excluded from political life by the nobility. [31], Ismail Agha's successor, Hadji Ali Haseki was cruel and tyrannical, and the twenty years of his on-and-off rule over the city, represented one of the worst periods in the city's history. Mark, Joshua J. To the east lies Mount Hymettus, to the north Mount Pentelicus. This set a model that would be followed by future conquerors who would defeat Athens but not destroy it. The people thought the olive tree more valuable than the water (as, according to some versions of the story, the water was salty, as was Poseidon's realm) and Athena was chosen as patron and the city named for her. Thank you! [26][31] Between 1801 and 1805 Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, arranged for the removal of many sculptures from the Parthenon (the Elgin marbles). 10 facts about Athens 10 things you never knew about the Greek capital Gallery. Facts about Ancient Athens present the ideas of the ancient times of the Greek people. "Athens." Originally the town boundaries consisted of 35 acres bordering on the Eastnalle Creek, which was used as a source of water power to operate the … Along with rest of Byzantine Greece, Athens was part of the series of feudal fiefs, similar to the Crusader states established in Syria and on Cyprus after the First Crusade. As of May 2019, the population of Athens is about 3 million people. [17], Some of the most important figures of Western cultural and intellectual history lived in Athens during this period: the dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes, the physician Hippocrates, the philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the historians Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon, the poet Simonides, the orators Antiphon, Isocrates, Aeschines, and Demosthenes, and the sculptor Phidias. Finally Thebes defeated Sparta in 371 BC in the Battle of Leuctra. Evidence of human habitation on the Acropolis and, below, in the area around the Agora, dates back clearly as far as 5000 BCE and, probably, as early as 7000 BCE. [8] The site is a natural defensive position which commands the surrounding plains. We all know that Athens is an ancient city packed with beyond interesting ancient history. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. [23], Athens produced some notable intellectuals during this era, such as Demetrius Chalcondyles (1424–1511), who became a celebrated Renaissance teacher of Greek and of Platonic philosophy in Italy. Each state had their own money, government and laws in ancient Greek. Although ancient Greek Society was dominated by the male citizen... Aspasia was born around 470 BCE in Miletus in Asia Minor. Any member of the demos--any one of those 40,000 adult male citizens--was welcome to attend the meetings of the ekklesia, which were held 40 times per year in a hillside auditorium west of the Acropolis called the Pnyx. Following a period of sharp decline under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Athens re-emerged in the 19th century as the capital of the independent and self-governing Greek state. [24] The emperor Justinian I (r. 527–565) banned the teaching of philosophy by pagans in 529,[25] an event whose impact on the city is much debated,[24] but is generally taken to mark the end of the ancient history of Athens. After World War II the city began to grow again as people migrated from the villages and islands to find work. Lykavittos Hill is the highest point in Athens, rising 277 meters (910 feet) above the city. 2.The Greeks had some strange superstitions about food – some wouldn’t eat beans as they thought t… The origins of Athens date back to 3000BC, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. [citation needed] However, Athens, like many other Bronze Age settlements, went into economic decline for around 150 years following this. During the Second Macedonian War (200–197), the Romans declared "the freedom of Greece" from the Macedonian Kings. Throughout the city's history Athens was involved in numerous wars, including conflicts with the Persians and other Greeks, but it was also a great center of learning. Its port, the Piraeus, was home to Greece’s largest fleet of ships. Democracy was used in Athens since it was ruled by people, not king anymore. In 1822, a Greek insurgency captured the city, but it fell to the Ottomans again in 1826 (though Acropolis held till June 1827). Sari Muselimi fled to the Acropolis where he was besieged by the Athenians, until the Ottoman governor of Negroponte intervened and restored order, imprisoning the Metropolitan and imposing a heavy fine on the Greek community. We will also learn some interesting facts about these ancient Greeks and their important contributions to world history. Athens was then subject to Macedonian rule until their defeat by the Romans in 197 BCE at the Battle of Cynocephalae after which Greece was methodically conquered by the Roman Empire.It is a tribute to an enduring legacy that the Roman general Sulla, who sacked Athens in 87-86 BCE, slaughtered the citizenry, and burned the port of Piraeus, refused to allow his soldiers to burn the city itself. Prior to the rise of Athens, Sparta considered itself to be the leader (or hegemon) of the Greeks. Solon, though an aristocrat himself, created a series of laws which equalized the political power of the citizenry and, in so doing, laid the groundwork for Athenian democracy in 594 BCE. After this Hippias instituted a reign of terror which finally culminated in the overthrow of the Peisistratid tyranny in the Athenian Revolt of 510 BCE (backed by Sparta and lead by the Spartan Kleomenes). This period is the peak in the history of Athens. [16] Athens then took the war to Asia Minor. Cite This Work 3. Lykavittos Hill is the highest point in Athens, rising 277 meters (910 feet) above the city. Interesting Facts about Athens 1. The 5th century BC is known as the Classical Century or the Golden Age of Pericles, the man who dominated on the political scene of Athens … Early Athenian military history and Persian era, Corinthian War and the Second Athenian League, Instead of a spring, Ovid says Poseidon offered a, [Pausa%3D1%3Achapter%3D27%3Asection%3D2 Paus. The city covers a total area of 412 square kilometers (159 square miles). The phyle each elected fifty members to the Boule, a council which governed Athens on a day-to-day basis. The wealthy aristocrats held control of both the land and the Greek government and, in time, poorer land owners became enslaved (or nearly so) through debt to the more wealthy. The Turkish community numbered several families established in the city since the Ottoman conquest; and their relations with their Christian neighbours were friendlier than elsewhere, as they had assimilated themselves to a degree, even to the point of drinking wine. The Athenians, under their ruler Cecrops, accepted the olive tree and named the city after Athena. The might of the Athenian Empire encouraged an arrogance in the policymakers of the day which grew intolerable to her neighbors. He assigned Gustav Eduard Schaubert and Stamatios Kleanthis to complete this task. Among the rolling red clay hills of North Georgia, a city and a university grew into a center of culture and wealth, nurturing individuals and ideas that have commanded national attention. Athens has experienced almost every form of government. The First Macedonian War (214–205 BC) between the Roman Republic and the Kingdom of Macedon ended with the Treaty of Phoenice. [33], His cousin Laonicus Chalcondyles (c. 1423–1490) was also a native of Athens, a notable scholar and Byzantine historian and one of the most valuable of the later Greek historians. Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. He adopted the Greek spelling of his name, King Othon, as well as Greek national dress, and made it one of his first tasks as king to conduct a detailed archaeological and topographical survey of Athens, his new capital. A radical politician with an aristocratic background named Cleisthenes then took charge, and it was he who established democracy in Athens. The first series of laws written to address these problems were provided by the statesman Draco (also known as Dracon/Drakon) c. 621 BCE but were considered too severe (the penalty for most infractions was death), and so the great lawgiver Solon was called upon to modify and revise them. When the Byzantine Empire was rescued by the resolute leadership of the three Komnenos emperors Alexios, John and Manuel, Attica and the rest of Greece prospered. [31] English visitors during the 1760s report a population of around 10,000 inhabitants, around four-fifths of which were Christians. One of the most important religious sites in ancient Athens was the Temple of Athena, known today as the Parthenon, which stood on top of the Acropolis, where its evocative ruins still stand. [31] In the next year, Athens was removed from the purview of the Kizlar Agha and transferred to the privy purse of the Sultan. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. History & Culture in Athens. Mark, published on 28 April 2011 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. The story of Athena is very similar to the story of the founding of Greece. Athens has been continuously inhabited for over 3,000 years, becoming the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC; its cultural achievements during the 5th century BC laid the foundations of western civilization. Athens began as a small, Mycenaen community and grew to become a city that, at its height, epitomized the best of Greek virtues and enjoyed such prestige that the Spartans refused to sack the city or enslave the citizens, even after Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War. Peisistratus died in 527 BC and was succeeded by his sons Hippias and Hipparchus. The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece as well as that of the Greek people and the areas they inhabited and ruled historically. This legacy would continue as, later, Plato would found his Academy outside the walls of Athens in 385 BCE and, later, Aristotle's Lyceum would be founded in the city center. For anyone heading to Athens, the Acropolis is a definite must-see. Athens is named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war, and daughter of Zeus. In Athens at this time, the political satire of the Comic poets at the theatres had a remarkable influence on public opinion. Athens’ origins date back to 3,000 B.C. [26], In the 18th century, however, the city recovered much of its prosperity. The origins of Athens date back to 3000BC, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. On the summit of the Acropolis, below the later Erechtheion, cuttings in the rock have been identified as the location of a Mycenaean palace. Good thing they have 148 theatrical stages to tell it on! The Burgundians brought chivalry and tournaments to Athens; they also fortified the Acropolis. 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