In the summertime, Athens can typically look like little greater than a journey hub the place vacationers and diaspora Greeks from all around the world merely change planes for connecting flights or for transfers to the port of Piraeus for cruises or ferries to the islands. For individuals who do spend a couple of days in Athens, the expertise for many is often unforgettable and for some even life-changing. The wealthy historical past and tradition of Athens has lengthy been a well-spring of inspiration for artists and writers. Numerous books have been written about Athens in virtually each style, from poetry and prose to journey guides and treatises, the town presents a wealth of subjects to give attention to for authors of nonfiction and fiction alike.
Athens: Metropolis of Knowledge by Bruce Clark delves into 3,000 years of historical past of the traditional metropolis and birthplace of Western civilization. Clark is a journalist who writes about European Affairs and Faith for The Economist. That is his first e-book to be printed in america. Simple to learn and well-researched, the spectacular quantity contains 624 pages with eight pages of colour illustrations and black and white maps all through to supply context and spotlight the outstanding story of Athens.
As famous within the e-book’s description, “Athens presents probably the most recognizable and symbolically potent panoramas of any of the world’s cities: the pillars and pediments of the Parthenon – the temple devoted to Athena, goddess of knowledge, that crowns the Acropolis – dominate a metropolis whose title is synonymous for a lot of with civilization itself.”
“It’s arduous to not really feel the hand of historical past in such a spot,” the outline continues. “The birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy and theatre, Athens’ significance can’t be understated. Few cities have loved a historical past so wealthy in inventive creativity and the making of concepts; or one so curiously patterned by alternating cycles of turbulence and tranquility.”
Clark vividly presents the historical past and cultural richness of Athens on this e-book, showcasing key moments from the authorized reforms of the lawmaker Solon within the sixth century BC to the current day as the town struggles with the legacy of the financial crises of the 2000s. The golden age of Classical Athens, the early nineteenth century looting of the Parthenon sculptures, the primary trendy Olympic Video games in 1896 are all recounted within the e-book together with maybe much less well-known moments and durations in Athens’ historical past, such because the later years of antiquity as St. Paul preached on the Areopagus and neo-Platonists re-founded the Academy that Sulla’s legions had desecrated, in addition to Athens within the medieval period and throughout the 400 years of Ottoman rule that adopted. It is a should learn for all these within the historical past of Athens and the implications of the previous for the current and way forward for the town.
This isn’t Clark’s first foray into historical past. His earlier e-book, titled Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions that Cast Trendy Greece and Turkey, was printed in 2006 and is especially related this yr with the a centesimal anniversary of the Asia Minor Disaster. Initially from Northern Eire, Clark presents insights into the Treaty of Lausanne and the inhabitants change that was “hailed as an answer to the issue of minorities who couldn’t coexist.”
Athens: Metropolis of Knowledge by Bruce Clark is obtainable on-line and in bookstores as is Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions that Cast Trendy Greece and Turkey.