Athens Day

Celebrating Athens' Acheivements

The Parthenon

One of Athens' most famous attractions is the Parthenon. The Parthenon was constructed sometime between 447 and 438 BC. It served as a dedication to the goddess Athena. It was partially destroyed in the late 1600's.
The Parthenon was later turned into a Christian church. It was a popular worship destination and people would often travel far distances to worship in the Parthenon. Later, in 1456 it was restored to Greek Orthodox, then a mosque.
The Parthenon is the largest Greek relic still intact today. The Parthenon is a symbol for Athens, like the Eiffel Tower is for Paris.


The Importance of Free Thinking

Philosophy

Philosophy was the stamp of Athens. Philosophy means "someone who loves knowledge." Athenians were encouraged to be free-thinkers and individuals. This environment was a perfect foundation for further technologies and intellectual innovations. Some of the most important philosophers were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
Socrates still holds a great influence today and taught many great students who later invented important things. Socrates was sentenced to death for "negatively influencing" the children of Athens. Plato was one of his students and went on to discover and write things like "the Republic" a famous piece of writings. Aristotle was a student of Plato who later went on to teach Alexander the Great.
All philosophers contributed important ideas and systems. Math was extremely advanced during this period all thanks to the free-thinkers of Athens.


Theatre

Plays and drama in Athens were a large part of the culture. Many shows depicted philosophical questions and ideas. Most plays were tragedies which were supposed to engage the viewer in multiple emotions. Dionysus Eleuthereus is one of the oldest preserved Athens theaters. It is roofless and an inverted dome shape that could seat thousands of spectators.
Theater during this era wasn't like modern day plays. The actors wore masks with large "lips" that amplified their voice, and the shape of the theaters had to be held in even greater importance than today for the acoustics. Athens was important to early theater and art.


Sports

Athenians believed in the balance of mind and body; health. Athens was very big for sports. The Olympic Games originated in Greece and most city-states were overall very athletic. Athenians participated in the popular sports such as marathons, boxing and equestrian games.
Many Athenians won the Greek Olympics and made Athens very popular. Athens participation in sports wasn't spectacular or unique, but it's still important to their history.


Athens vs Sparta

Although Athens had many great societal contributions, another ancient Greek city-state, Sparta was just as important. Spartans focused on creating strong warriors, which eliminated personal freedom. Even though they didn't experience much change and innovation they were the place for women's rights. Their strong defense made it easy for them to defeat any enemy, including Athens.
Athens wasn't very advanced in civil rights, but definitely in philosophy, math and the arts. Athenians weren't as focused on creating a uniform society. They influenced personal freedom and thought. I think if someone took the intellectual freedom of Athens and paired it with the civil rights and order of Sparta they would form an extremely strong civilization.