Ancient history

The city

Athens was formally founded around 800 by the synoecism of several villages, partially preserved by the invasion of the Dorians. The plural of the word "Athens", according to Thucydides, is a trace of the ancient villages that merged to found the city.

The site was chosen for the natural fortress represented by the Acropolis, the inhabitants were able to resist the hordes of looters who terrorized the region, increasing its fortification over the years. From 510, this defensive function was abandoned, the place being devoted to worship and in particular that of Athena, goddess protector of Athens. From 478 ramparts surrounded the city and its port, Piraeus. There are few buildings beyond the 15 majestic doors, except for the popular Ceramics district whose production floods the entire Greek world, so only a few gymnasiums and schools of philosophy go out of the way so that their students can enjoy the tranquility and be totally isolated during the two years of their ephebia.

The agora becomes the social and political center of the city with the installation of democratic institutions on this square. In summer many stormy or friendly debates are held in the shade of the South portico and the Stoa Poikilè, we discuss and philosophize while looking at the hundreds of stalls filled with food and their merchants who shout to lure the customer. In winter, the many rooms located behind are invaded. Oratorical contests of a different kind take place on the Pnyx, the hill on which all the Athenian laws are voted.

Far from these more or less decisive festive atmospheres in the direction of the State, the rural world also lives. The wealthy landowners who have not deserted the countryside for the city benefit, with bordering the perimeter of Attica eat their fill without having access to the state of large landowners necessary to enter the mysteries of power. /P>

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