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An Introduction to Ancient Athens

When it comes to the history of ancient Greek city-states, Athens played a key role in establishing greatness amongst the ancient Greek culture. In the past, the city-state earned quite a reputation in literary works, drama, theatre, poetry, and government. They were also known for their schools and buildings. This article will provide additional details on Athens , one of the most powerful of the leading five ancient Greek city-states.

It wasn’t until after the Greek Dark Ages that Athens transformed from a small village consisting of a tribe of Ionian residents to a powerhouse in the arts and other cultural milestones. Once this time period passed, the number of people living in Athens significantly grew, eventually giving Sparta a run for their money. In another article, you will learn that the two city-states were quite different from one another. For example, the Spartans were renowned for their strength in military matters, where the Athenians concentrated on excelling in the arts and sciences.  

During ancient Greeks days, those who lived within the city-states believed that each city was looked after by its very own god or goddess , seen as a ‘special patron.’ It was Athena (the goddess of wisdom) who was the patron of Athens. Because of this, it is thought that this is the reason why the Athenians placed education in high regard.

8 Facts About Ancient Athens

1.    The role of the female was passed down from mother to mother, as young girls often shadowed their mothers to learn how to run a household, rear their children, and please their husbands.

2.    Ancient Athenian boys received a much different education. In the beginning, the mothers of young boys were responsible for teaching their sons. When they reached the age of six or seven, they went to a day school that was located away from the home. This learning would continue until they turned 14 years old, where they studied the lyre and committed Homeric poetry to memory. Other subjects that they covered included drama, public speaking, reading, writing, and mathematics.

3.    When a young Athenian boy turned 18 years old, they were sent to a military school for two years.

4.    Ancient Athenian men enjoyed gathering each week so that they could discuss their issues. This became a time of working out solutions.

5.    One of the most important structures of ancient Athenian times is the Acropolis, which served as a fortified citadel and state sanctuary. During the Late Bronze Age, a massive fortification wall (much similar to the ones found at Mycenae and Tiryns in southern Greece) surrounded the Acropolis. The wall stayed strong even after the Mycenaean civilization suffered a collapse.  

6.    Producing a great deal of significant pieces in the ancient world, Athenian art extended beyond the buildings and architecture of the city-state. As art enthusiasts, Athenians produced great works of art regarding pottery, fine jewelry making, and sculptures.

7.    Kings were in charge of ruling the majority of Greek city-states. However, the men still dabbled in a bit of advanced government.

8.    Famous residents born in Athens include Socrates Plato, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.