|Age:||l am not forty yet|
Greater Athens has an area of square miles square km.
For treatment of the city in its regional setting, see Greece ; historical and cultural aspects are treated further in the article ancient Greek civilization. Athens, with its tall buildings and contemporary shops, is the first European city when approached from the Middle East.
When approached from the west, from elsewhere in Europewhat strikes the visitor is the influence of the East—in the food, music, and clamorous street life—perhaps vestiges of a time when Athens was divorced from European society under the yoke of Ottoman rule. Nevertheless, it is wrong to say that Athens is a mixture of East and West: it is Greek and, more particularly, Athenian. The city, after all, nurtured Western civilization thousands of years ago. Athens remains on the world stage to this day. Notably, in the world came to the city for the Olympic Gameswhich spurred a dramatic makeover for Athens.
Strong and brave, the amazons were a force to be reckoned with in greek mythology—but did the fierce female warriors really exist?
In addition to building a raft of new sports venues and facilities including a stadium deed by Santiago CalatravaAthens undertook massive transportation infrastructure improvements that included dramatic expansion of public transportation and the construction of a new international airport.
Some three centuries after the death of Pericles bceAthenians entered upon a period of bondage that lasted almost 2, years. The city was freed inand in the following years it was the scene of more than a dozen revolutions, another brutal foreign occupation, and a civil war of especial savagery.
This long history of passion and suffering has had considerable effect on the Athenian character. The core of that character is an implacable will to survive, buttressed by a profound sense of loyalty especially to the family and patriotism. The Greek Orthodox Churchwhich is directed by a synod sitting in Athens, was a main force in keeping alive the Greek languagetradition, and literature when such things were forbidden, and most people still support it.
The millennia of oppression, instead of driving the Athenians into obtuse moroseness, have honed their wit and rendered them tough but supple, while centuries of privation have only preserved their warmth and generosity.
Physical and human geography
The long oral tradition, alive even under the invader, has reflected and stimulated a taste for rich talk. Of course, the poetic impulse to make a good story better le to considerable exaggeration in daily conversation, suiting a vanity that goes with a sharp-edged sense of personal and family honour and the spoiling of children. The ancient heroes, too, were vain about both themselves and honour, boasting as much about outwitting the enemy as about outfighting him.
The nights are cool. The climate of the city permits outdoor activity the year round and has had an important effect on both the style of architecture and the life and political institutions of the city.
Videos Images. Additional Info.
Print print Print. Table Of Contents. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.
Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Facebook Twitter.
Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires. External Websites.
Full text issues
Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. See Article History. The Acropolis and surrounding area, Athens. Britannica Quiz.
Character of the city
European Capitals Quiz. How well do you know your European capitals? Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content.
Subscribe Now. Load Next .