ATHENS

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ATHENS

Post  HelenaD on Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:14 pm

• Athens
Ancient Greece was a country mainly divided into many polis or city-sates. One of its most important and relevant city-state was Athens. It had a very well developed culture, government, army and way of life in the society. The cities were located in the north of the Peloponnesus. Athens’ strength was in the big and organized monarchy they had.

Athenian wealth and power grew fast under the aristocracy. There was much discontent in the city at that time. Farmers, artisans, and merchants argued that they were getting little salary and that they had more rights than the government thought they did. Therefore, Athens converted to a democracy which is a government where the citizens vote or elect a person to rule, (meant that the people could take place in it and give an opinion of what they thought of the government). A chief official called Solon came to power. He made new laws and freed many enslaved people. He gave more freedom to citizens although many stayed limited of rights. Many tyrants came to power later on too. Those took power by force and they were well supported by the low classes. Only men could participate in government and many low class citizens had practically no rights to get into power. After Solon, the next century was The Golden Age, which began with the victory of Athens in the Persian War. Pericles was a talented man that came to power during that period. He liked Athens for its great, international cultural center. He transformed the Delian League (which was the name of the Athenian army) into the Athenian Hegemony. Pericles helped Athens fight in several battles to ensure the city’s interests. He also managed to take Athens to the best and most famous cultural city of the ancient world. Pericles was also a warrior ad fought in the Peloponnesian War, where he died in 429 BC. Athens was defeated by the Spartans.

Just like the Spartans, Athenian women had no rights and weren’t able to express their feelings in public. They were obliged to stay home, cook food and care for the children. Women that were very poor had to work in labors outside, such as tending sheep, guard the cattle and do pottery. I think something that was really unfair and not just was that girls received little or no education. They were only taught to do things at home like weaving, house chores, music and dancing. Now in our societies, men still are the dominant. In Athens, men did receive education and they had to study to become skilled public speakers. They had to explore many areas of knowledge. They not only had to train intellectually but also physically for the army. After, they were put into the army, where they had to serve two years in it. The army mostly consisted of men on horses and foot soldiers that fought with swords, shields, and extremely long lances.

Apart from being an intellectual center, Athenian constructed many temples and shrines. The most common one is the Acropolis, which was located in the center of the city and was used religiously for praying and ceremonies to the gods. Buildings and high temples were built too. As an example, Parthenon was the most famous. It was made out of ivory and gold and dedicated to the goddess Athena. Athens also has big theaters for plays. The actors were dressed with costumes and had masks. Since women couldn’t participate in drama, men had to dress up as them and wigs and dresses. The biggest Athenian playwrights wrote tragedy which were plays about human suffering. They also wrote comedies which were humorous plays that made fun of some cultures, people, or even people from the government.
Part of the culture of Athens also was the poets, writers, and philosophers of that time. The national epic poems of the Greeks for example was Homer's Odyssey and Iliad. Those oeuvres were a vital part of the life of the Athenian people. As soon as their pupils could write, the teachers dictated passages from Homer for them to understand, memorize, and later dramatize. Teachers and pupils also discussed the different heroes of those myths.


QUESTION: What are the most important key points about the Athenian city-state's culture and government?

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Re: ATHENS

Post  LauraNoaBassano on Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:20 am

QUESTION: What are the most important key points about the Athenian city-state's culture and government?

  • Democracy
  • Solon gave more freedom to people
  • Pericles transformed the Delian League into the Athenian Hegemony.
  • Athens was an intellectual center
  • Women had no rights
  • Girls received little or no education
  • Men had to explore many areas of knowledge
  • The army mostly consisted of men on horses and foot soldiers that fought with swords, shields, and extremely long lances.
  • Had many buildings dedicated to the Gods
  • They liked to watch plays (acting)
  • They had many writer and poets. Homer was the more important
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Re: ATHENS

Post  NellieBennett on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:29 pm

Great post Helena, here are some fun facts that I found about Athens:
- Athens is the capital of Greece.
- It is the largest city of Greece.
- It is one of the worlds oldest cities.
- It has been around for around 3,400 years.
- It is 159.1 sq miles.

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