Athens: City of Wisdom

Athens: City of Wisdom

by Bruce Clark
Athens: City of Wisdom

Athens: City of Wisdom

by Bruce Clark



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A sweeping narrative history of Athens, telling the three-thousand-year story of the birthplace of Western civilization.

Even on the most smog-bound of days, the rocky outcrop on which the Acropolis stands is visible above the sprawling roof-scape of the Greek capital. Athens presents one of the most recognizable and symbolically potent panoramas of any of the world's cities: the pillars and pediments of the Parthenon – the temple dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom, that crowns the Acropolis – dominate a city whose name is synonymous for many with civilization itself.

It is hard not to feel the hand of history in such a place. The birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy and theatre, Athens' importance cannot be understated. Few cities have enjoyed a history so rich in artistic creativity and the making of ideas; or one so curiously patterned by alternating cycles of turbulence and quietness.

From the legal reforms of the lawmaker Solon in the sixth century BCE to the travails of early twenty-first century Athens, as it struggles with the legacy of the economic crises of the 2000s, Clark brings the city's history to life, evoking its cultural richness and political resonance in this epic, kaleidoscopic history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643138763
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 01/04/2022
Format: eBook
Pages: 352
File size: 24 MB
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About the Author

Bruce Clark writes on European Affairs and Religion for The Economist. He has been diplomatic correspondent of the Financial Times, Moscow correspondent for The Times, and Athens correspondent for Reuters. This is his first book to be published in America. Bruce lives in Britain.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Rocks That Matter 1

1 The Beginnings of Greatness, 600-500 BCE 17

2 Victories of Brilliance, 500-480 BCE 37

3 Golden Years, 479-432 BCE 56

4 Pride and a Fall, 432-421 BCE 82

5 A Blazing Twilight, 421-405 BCE 103

6 A Chastened Democracy, 405-362 BCE 125

7 A Dance of Death with Macedonia, 362-239 BCE 150

8 Other People's Empires, 239 BCE-137 CE 173

9 Polytheists and Barbarians, 138-560 CE 200

10 A Christian Millennium 224

11 Latin and Greek: the Late Middle Ages, 1216-1460 244

12 Before and After the Bombardment, 1460-1700 268

13 Stones of Contention, 1697-1820 295

14 A Poet Dreams on a Rock, 1809-33 320

15 Hellenism and Its Expanding Hub, 1833-96 346

16 Racing to War, 1896-1919 374

17 Of Loss and Consolidation, 1919-36 405

18 The Darkest Decade, 1940-50 431

19 A Wedding and Four Funerals, 1960-2000 457

20 Pride, a Fall and an Open Future, 2000-18 489

21 And Greece Travels Onwards 514

Notes on Sources 536

Acknowledgements 598

Image Credits 600

Index 601

List of Maps

Athens and Modern Greece viii-ix

Classical Athens 18

The Athenian Empire before the Peloponnesian War 58-9

Roman Athens, c.150 CE 175

Athens and the Latin Empire in the early thirteenth century 246-7

The Ottoman Empire, C.1550 270-1

Greek Territorial Changes, 1832-1947 347

Greater Athens 458-9

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