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Philip Matyszak

24 Hours in Ancient Athens

Spend 24 hours with the ancient Athenians. See the city through their eyes as it teeters on the edge of the fateful war that would end its golden age.
Athens, 416 BC. A tenuous peace holds. The city-state's political and military might are feared throughout the ancient world; it pushes the boundaries of social, literary and philosophical experimentation in an era when it has a greater concentration of geniuses per capita than at any other time in human history. Yet even geniuses go to the bathroom, argue with their spouse and enjoy a drink with friends.
Few of the city's other inhabitants enjoy the benefits of such a civilized society, though — as multicultural and progressive as Athens can be, many are barred from citizenship. No, for the average person, life is about making ends meet, whether that be selling fish, guarding the temple or smuggling lucrative Greek figs.
During the course of a day we meet 24 Athenians from all strata of society — from the…
275 printed pages
Copyright owner
Michael O'Mara Books
Original publication
Publication year
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  • Santiago Deviahas quoted4 years ago
    daughters themselves are considered too young to attend the festivities, the exception of course being the bride herself. She’s the rosy-cheeked fifteen-year-old in a saffron dress sporting the short haircut that symbolizes her accession to married status. The bride’s veil has already been ceremonially removed by the groom (the most significant part of the day’s events as it demonstrates that the girl has been transferred to her new family), so there’s nothing to shelter the over-lively young men at the wine krater from the bride’s basilisk-like glare.

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