What's the Big Deal About Athens?

Athens is one of the most important cities in the history of the world, and a chief influence of western civilization as we know it.

Why focus on Athens and not on ancient Greece in general?  Most of the time, when people think about the virtues and accomplishments of the ancient Greeks, their focus and thinking is too broad. When you think of a cultural icon or a notable historical figure, you usually need look no further than ancient Athens to find where the root originated and flourished.

The Parthenon, Democracy, Socrates and Plato all carry an Athenian flavor.  And the list goes on and on.  Even other well-known ancient Greek cities, such as Sparta, cannot be expounded upon with any serious measure unless time is spent under the shadow cast by Athens.  The obvious exception, Alexander the Great, just serves to help prove the rule.

AncientAthens.org is an attempt to grasp at greatness, to try and fit the magnificent onto your computer monitor.  We will ultimately fail.  But we hope it gives you a taste, and that this taste will increase your craving in general for the noble rivers of antiquity.

But why?  Because, to risk sounding like a broken record, history repeats itself in fascinating ways that no one can predict.  And some history, like that surrounding Athens, act as a major artery connected to the heart of the world, with other areas and epochs mere tributaries.  Learn the currents.  Wade in the water.  Use it to help you grow.  You might even have some fun.  After all, the Greeks did invent comedy.

Can you guess which Greek city it probably originated from?

For a more boring explanation of what this site is about and what you can expect, read our about page.

Look around.  Explore the city.  Become a virtual citizen and vote up your favorite people of Athens.  The roots of modern civilization await.

Learn what it was like to live on just 5 drachmas a day in Athens.