50 Incredible Facts About Ancient Athens You Should Know | Kidadl


50 Incredible Facts About Ancient Athens You Should Know

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Are you a fan of ancient Greece and the like of ancient Greeks?

If so, you are probably looking at the famous historic city, Athens. Athens is known for the Acropolis, democracy, and also as one of the major places of Greece from which the Golden Age of Western Civilization began. Democracy, monarchy, oligarchy, and tyranny are ways by which ancient Greece was ruled.

As a city-state, Athens has become a historic landmark in Western civilization. It is currently the capital city of Greece and many people visit Greece just to dive into the rich history of this place.

If you enjoy this, do check out facts about Belarus and facts about Botswana as well.

Facts About Athens

Among the many cities in the ancient world, the historic city of Athens is known for its philosophy, architecture like a temple, and government.

The concept of democracy was brought forward in Athens or the Greek capital and even common male citizens could banish politicians if they wanted to.

Meat was rarely eaten in ancient Athens as animals were thought to have souls too.

Ancient Greece is known for its ancient Olympic Games but the ancient Olympic Games were not held in Athens. The Olympic Games were actually held in Olympia.

Athens is the oldest European capital city and also, the European Capital of Culture.

Life In Ancient Athens

From hanging out at the Agora to evening symposiums, the citizens of ancient Athens spent a very relaxed lifestyle. Read on for some Athens facts.

Ancient Athenians were wealthy and they did not actually work. One of the reasons is because Athens received a kind of membership fee or 'phoros' from the Delian League. The Delian League was formed after the Greek victory over the Persians in the Second Persian invasion. The Delian League paid phoros to Athens and the city offered protection against Persian forces. They used the fees to strengthen their military.

Ancient Athenians had at least one slave. Generally, Athenian men would go to the Agora at dawn. The Agora was located at the heart of Greece and was placed at the north of the Acropolis.

After the Agora, Athenians would also go to the gymnasium. As per historical records from the fourth century, two of the most famous gymnasiums were the Lyceum and the Academy. The gymnasium was a place of both leisure and fitness. There was a bath, a ground for wrestling, and a running track. The gymnasium also had a lecture room where lectures on fitness were shared. After the gymnasium, the Athenians would go back to their homes for their lunch and a siesta or afternoon nap. If they were not down for a nap, they would go out hunting or watch cockfighting.

Often, in the evenings, they went to symposiums. Generally, the average Athenians would go to the local taverns for a drink. The tavern culture was frowned upon by the rich who would rather have a drink in their own home or visit a friend. If a person visited a friend for a semi-formal drinking party, it was called a symposium. Symposium means 'drinking together' and had been depicted in many pottery items from Ancient Greece.

The life of an Athenian woman was not as relaxing as their male counterparts. While the men were considered eligible citizens and had full voting rights as their citizenship rights, women were not allowed to vote. Women were tied to domestic affairs like weaving and cooking. They could not watch plays or act in them and were not involved in politics. A woman in the household of a wealthy man would not go out or meet with any other men. However, in many households, women would go to the market or draw water from wells.

When it comes to playing their own games, only men were allowed to play games. Ancient Athenians played many games which did not require physical exertions. Some of these games are variations of checkers, marbles, and games using dice.

Life in Ancient Athens was very relaxing.

What was Athens known for?

One of the main reasons why Athens has become a major chapter in world history is because it is considered the birthplace of democracy. Democracy was a system of government that Athenians invented where all Athenian citizens (except slaves and women) would vote on important matters of the city, like whether the city should go to war or not. However, there were many temples, important buildings, and famous people for which Athens is known.

Athens, named after the Greek goddess Athena, has a temple called Parthenon that was a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The Parthenon was an important religious symbol for the Athenians and was also used as the treasury.

The Acropolis was a sacred hill in Athens and it was said that Poseidon and Athena had a contest on top of the Acropolis to decide who would win Athens. Athena offered the people an olive tree which the people loved, and hence, Athena became the patron of the city. Originally built as a fortress, no wonder, Acropolis become an important landmark, and at the highest point of Acropolis lay the famous building, Parthenon.

The Theatre of Dionysus is another place where classical Greek theater was performed with competitions for the best play.

Athens was destroyed by the Achaemenid Army of Xerxes I. It happened during the Second Persian invasion.

Ancient Athens Geography

The historical city of Athens is present in a strategic location which makes it a difficult city to invade and go to war with.

It can be assumed that this location made it a great military power in the past against the Persians. Athens stretches on a peninsula and is surrounded by mountains on all sides. It is also surrounded by the Aegean Sea. It is in the province of Attica. With a large population and Mediterranean climate, it is no doubt why Athens became the seat of democracy. The Greek city has Mount Egaleo on the western side, Mt Parnes (northern side), Mt Hymettus on the East, and Mt Pentelikon on the northeastern side. The Gulf of Evoikos, the Aegean Sea, the Gulf of Corinth, and the Saronic Gulf also surrounded Athens.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts about ancient Athens, then why not take a look at facts about Dublin, or facts about Guyana?

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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