Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day

Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day

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by Philip Matyszak
     
 

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A time-traveler's guide to sightseeing, shopping, and survival in the city of gods and geniuses.
Welcome to Athens in 431 BC! This entertaining guide provides all the information a tourist needs for a journey back in time to ancient Athens at its pinnacle of greatness more than 2000 years ago. Travel via Thermopylae, the Oracle at Delphi, and the site of the

Overview

A time-traveler's guide to sightseeing, shopping, and survival in the city of gods and geniuses.
Welcome to Athens in 431 BC! This entertaining guide provides all the information a tourist needs for a journey back in time to ancient Athens at its pinnacle of greatness more than 2000 years ago. Travel via Thermopylae, the Oracle at Delphi, and the site of the epic Battle of Marathon to the city of Athena, goddess of wisdom. Meet Socrates, Thucydides, Phidias, and others who are among the greatest philosophers, writers, and artists who ever lived. Encounter ordinary Athenians in the marketplace and at the theater and learn the true character of one of the most extraordinary cities of any age.
Of course, ancient Athens was not all art, intellect, and politics. This well-researched yet irreverently unacademic guide also plunges gleefully into the hedonistic side of Athenian life with wine-sodden symposiums, brothels, and brawls, advising the reader to avoid slatternly prostitutes and inns where the beds are infested with bugs, and warning that both torches and an escort are needed to avoid muggers after an evening on the town.Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day takes you through the raucous city crowds to the serene heights of the Parthenon and evokes the wonder of a city where the monuments and ideas that form the bedrock of Western culture are as fresh and new as the garlands of flowers on Athena's altar.

Editorial Reviews

Christian Science Monitor
“Matyszak has created a comprehensive – and deliciously hilarious – travel guide.”
KLIATT - Prof. John Rosser
This is a wonderful introduction to ancient Athens. It is aimed at YA readers, but it could be read quickly by adults too for pure enjoyment. Where it excels is in illuminating the essentials of classical Athenian society. The text is clear, incisive, relatively sparse, and it is in no way patronizing. The illustrations pack a huge wallop. The book has nine chapters: I. Getting There (Thermopylae, Delphi, Attica, Marathon); II. The Piraeus (The Harbours, Piraean People, The Long Walls); III. Orientation (Where to Stay, Athenian Society); IV. Athenian Pastimes (The Academy, Cock-fights & Taverns, Shopping, Money); V. Meet the Athenians (Socrates, Thucydides, Phidias, Sophocles, Aristophanes); VI. Activities (A Morning at the Pnyx, An Afternoon at the Theatre, An Evening Symposium); VII. A City of Gods (Hephaestos & Friends, Athena & the Panathenaia, The Eleusinian Mysteries, Witchcraft & Superstition); VIII. Rites of Passage (Military Service, Funerals, Weddings); and IX. Must-See Sights (In the Agora; On the Acropolis: the Proylaea, the Erechtheion, the Parthenon). The book covers a lot of material. Its focus is mostly on architecture, and more generally on the physical evidence of ancient Athens. Once in Athens, the reader will need a good pair of walking shoes, along with a standard guidebook with plans of the Acropolis and Agora, and details of what the National Museum in Athens contains. This book is actually a very useful companion to any standard tourist guide to ancient Athens. What it does most effectively is to explain the society that produced the ruins the tourist will see. The illustrations include some color plates of what Athens looked like in Classical times. The otherillustrations are equally excellent. The author has published a similar book for ancient Rome entitled Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day (reviewed below). Reviewer: Prof. John Rosser

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500287651
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
10/27/2008
Series:
Traveling On 5 Series
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
1,307,529
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Philip Matyszak has a doctorate in Roman history from St. John’s College, Oxford. His books include Legionary, Gladiator, Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day, Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day, The Classical Compendium,
Chronicle of the
Roman Republic,
and The Greek and Roman Myths. He lives in
British Columbia, Canada.

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Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago