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By James H. S. McGregor

Revered because the birthplace of Western concept and democracy, Athens is far greater than an open-air museum packed with crumbling monuments to historical glory. Athens takes readers on a trip from the classical city-state to cutting-edge modern capital, revealing a world-famous city that has been resurrected and redefined time and again.

Although the Acropolis continues to be the city's anchor, Athens' brilliant tradition extends some distance past the Greek city's old obstacles. James H. S. McGregor issues out how the cityscape preserves symptoms of the numerous actors who've crossed its ancient degree. Alexander the nice included Athens into his empire, as did the Romans. Byzantine Christians repurposed Greek temples, the Parthenon integrated, into church buildings. From the 13th to 15th centuries, the city's language replaced from French to Spanish to Italian, as Crusaders and adventurers from assorted elements of Western Europe took turns sacking and administering town. An Islamic Athens took root following the Ottoman conquest of 1456 and remained in position for almost 400 years, till Greek patriots eventually received independence in a blood-drenched revolution.

Since then, Athenians have persisted many hardships, from Nazi profession and armed forces coups to famine and fiscal drawback. but, as McGregor exhibits, the background of Athens is in the direction of a heroic epic than a Greek tragedy. Richly supplemented with maps and illustrations, Athens paints a portrait of 1 of the world's nice towns, designed for tourists in addition to armchair scholars of city history.

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Athens

Respected because the birthplace of Western suggestion and democracy, Athens is way greater than an open-air museum choked with crumbling monuments to historical glory. Athens takes readers on a trip from the classical city-state to contemporary modern capital, revealing a world-famous city that has been resurrected and redefined again and again.

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The shadow of the Acropolis—rather than its exposed southern flank—has been the city’s historical preference. The first occupants of the Acropolis who left significant traces were men and women of the Mycenaean era, which extended from 1600 to 1100 bce. They built extensively on the hilltop, and sufficient if subtle remains of their work still exist. From these bits and pieces, archaeologists have been able to draw a picture of some of the principal features of their settlement. The Mycenaean realm extended through much of Greece and Crete, and their ships traded throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.

Th is unusual function could account for the atypical layout of the Parthenon’s interior. Reports from the building’s overseers mention an ivory offering table, which makes sense if the statue were a cult image. But how the building was used and even how its interior rooms were named (which also comes up in overseers’ reports) are very confusing. It is unlikely that we 46 at h e n s will ever be certain of just how Athenians conceived of the image and the building that housed it.

Fine Arts Library, Harvard University) Except for the curve in the building’s platform, which is visible to any visitor who knows to look for it, the tiny modifications in the building go unrecognized. That does not mean, however, that they do not achieve their desired effect. Without being aware, the viewer responds predictably to these modifications. The columns appear solid, rectilinear, and straight; those at the corners are dramatic in silhouette. What the builders of the Parthenon recognized, articulated, and provided for in their structures was the contribution that the human eye and the optical processors in the human brain make to what we see.

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