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Ancient Athens: A Traveler’s Guide

Ancient Athens: A Traveler’s Guide

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Ancient Athens: A Traveler’s Guide

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  1. Ancient Athens: A Traveler’s Guide

  2. Home Page Introduction The Task The Process Evaluation Rubric Conclusion

  3. Introduction Greece was once home to some of the most beautiful architectural wonders of the ancient world. Its city of Athens was filled with public buildings, temples, and marketplaces that made Greece a showplace among early nations. Ancient Greece was renowned as a center for literature, the arts, architecture, and exciting new theories and ideas. At this time, Greece enjoyed a reputation for being a powerful and culturally rich nation. Around 480 B.C., Greece was entering its “Golden Age”.

  4. Introduction Did you ever wonder what it would be like to travel back in time to Athens when it was a cultural and political leader among nations? What must life have been like in ancient Athens during “the Golden Age”? What did the homes of the people look like? Where did people meet and worship? What must their buildings and temples have looked like when they were first constructed? Why did they create Theatre? Home Page

  5. The Task For this project, you will be researching Athens during its Golden Age. You will research information about the land itself, the weather, the climate, travel and any points of interest that existed during the Golden Age of Ancient Greece using this WebQuest.

  6. The Task For this assignment, you will take the information that you have gathered and create a Travel Brochure for someone who is interested in visiting Ancient Athens. The Travel Brochure should advertise this part of the ancient world and grab your “tourists” attention! For each section of the Brochure, use the research data you have gathered. Remember to have fun with this and let your imagination soar! Home Page

  7. The Process The brochure MUST include all of the research data, as well as the following categories: • Title • Introductory section (Explanation of the importance of Athens • Physical description of the area (Where is this place?) • Weather/Climate conditions • Points of interest (What is there to see and do?) • Theatre (Difference between Tragedy and Comedy) • Architecture (Explain the evolution of architecture in Greece and the differences between Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian; with examples) Home Page

  8. The Process You will determine the layout and presentation of the brochure. Select the text fonts, style, and illustrations for your brochure. You do not need to use a computer to create it. Remember to be creative and use your own, original work. Simply cutting and pasting the work and words of others will not be acceptable. Listed on the next page is all of the information needed to complete the assignment. May sure you click on all Hyperlinks. Do not access any website for information. Use only the information you learned in class and provided here.

  9. Art & Architecture Geography Sites to See Theatre The Process Home Page

  10. Athens is the symbol of freedom, art, and democracy in the conscience of the civilized world. The capital of Greece took its name from the goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom and knowledge. In Athens memory never fades. Wherever you stand, wherever you turn, the city's long and rich history will be alive in front of you. This is where that marvel of architecture, the Parthenon, was created. This is where art became inseparable from life, and this is where Pericles gave the funerary speech, that monument of the spoken word. In the centre of town are two hills, the Acropolis with the monuments from the Age of Pericles, and Lycabettus with the picturesque chapel of Ai Giorgis.Ancient ruins provide a vivid testimony to the glory of Athens, hailed by many people as the cradle of western civilization.

  11. Greece, unlike Egypt or Mesopotamia, is not a place that is easy to live in. The soil is not very good for growing things, there are a lot of mountains that make it hard to walk from one place to another, and there is never enough fresh water. Because of this, people did not settle in Greece as early as they moved to Egypt and the Fertile Crescent.

  12. On the other hand, what Greece does have is a lot of coastline (beaches). No part of Greece is more than about forty miles from the sea: a couple of days walking. Plus there are a lot of small islands as well. So when people did come to live in Greece, they were sailors, and the Greeks have always spent a lot of time sailing on the ocean. The combination of good sailing and lousy farming tends to make Greeks try to get a living from the sea. This can take several forms. First, Greeks fish a good deal. Second, they sail trade routes from one city to another, both Greek cities and elsewhere, all over the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, and make a living buying and selling things. Third, Greeks hire themselves out as soldiers to fight for other people around the Mediterranean, especially in Western Asia and Egypt (where there is money to pay them).

  13. Another important aspect of the Greek environment is that it is very unstable. Greece is smack-dab in the middle of a very active volcanic zone, where the Europe tectonic plate meets the Africa tectonic plate. There are several active volcanoes, and earthquakes are also very common. There is a nervous feeling that there could be a natural disaster at any time. This got the Greeks interested in a particular kind of religion which we call oracles. Oracles are the gods speaking to people, often in the form of minor earthquakes, and the gods tell the people what is going to happen in the future.

  14. Greece is the southeastern most region on the European continent. It is defined by a series of mountains, surrounded on all sides except the north by water, and endowed with countless large and small islands. The Ionian and Aegean seas and the many deep bays and natural harbors along the coastlines allowed the Greeks to prosper in maritime commerce and to develop a culture which drew inspiration from many sources, both foreign and indigenous. The Greek world eventually spread far beyond Greece itself, encompassing many settlements around the Mediterranean and Black seas and, during the Hellenistic period, reaching as far east as India. Map

  15. The mountains, which served as natural barriers and boundaries, dictated the political character of Greece. From early times the Greeks lived in independent communities isolated from one another by the landscape. Later these communities were organized into poleis or city-states. The mountains prevented large-scale farming and impelled the Greeks to look beyond their borders to new lands where fertile soil was more abundant. Natural resources of gold and silver were available in the mountains of Thrace in northern Greece and on the island of Siphnos, while silver was mined from Laurion in Attica. The Mediterranean Sea moderates Greece's climate, cooling the air in summer and providing warmth in the winter months. Summers are generally hot and dry. Winters are moderate and rainy in coastal regions and cold and snowy in mountainous areas.

  16. The earliest buildings that were built in Greece, in the New Stone Age, are small houses or huts, and wooden walls around them for protection. Later there are bigger houses, and stone walls around the villages. By the Early Bronze Age, we find one bigger house in the middle of the village, and fancier, bigger stone walls. In the Late Bronze Age, under the influence of Western Asia, and the Minoans on Crete, there are palaces and big stone tombs, as well as paved roads and bridges, and dams (and more stone walls). During the Greek Dark Ages the palaces were burned, and the roads and bridges and dams mostly fell apart. But at the end of the Dark Ages, with the beginning of the Iron Age and the Archaic period in Greece, we see a new type of building: the temple for the gods. These earliest temples are built in the Doric style. There are houses, but no more palaces. But roads and bridges and stone walls begin to be built again.

  17. In the Classical period, there are more temples, bigger and with new design ideas: the Parthenon is built in the 440's BC. People begin to build in the Ionic style. Democracy prevents the Greeks from building palaces or big tombs, because politically all men are supposed to be equal, and so it would look bad to have a big palace even if you could afford it. Instead, the Greeks build public buildings: gymnasia, and stoas, where men can meet and talk. By the 300's BC, in the Hellenistic period, there are some new architectural types. Less time is spent on temples. The new form is the theater, and many theaters are built all over the Greek world. Also, there is new interest in town planning at this time: streets begin to be laid out in straight lines, instead of just developing naturally. With the conquests of Alexander the Great, architecture becomes an important way to spread Greek culture and show who is in charge in the conquered countries. Greek life was dominated by religion and so it is not surprising that the temples of ancient Greece were the biggest and most beautiful.They also had a political purpose as they were often built to celebrate civic power and pride, or offer thanksgiving to the patron deity of a city for success in war.

  18. The Greeks developed three architectural systems, called orders, each with their own distinctive proportions and detailing. The Greek orders are: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Doric Ionic Corinthian

  19. Doric Order: Parthenon- temple of Athena Parthenos ("Virgin"), Greek goddess of wisdom, on the Acropolis in Athens. The Parthenon was built in the 5th century BC, and despite the enormous damage it has sustained over the centuries, it still communicates the ideals of order and harmony for which Greek architecture is known. Doric Order:

  20. IonicOrder: The Temple of Athena Nike - part of the Acropolis in the city of Athens. The Greeks built the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, Turkey (about 300 BC). The design of the temple was known as dipteral, a term that refers to the two sets of columns surrounding the interior section. These columns surrounded a small chamber that housed the statue of Apollo. With Ionic columns reaching 19.5 m (64 ft) high, these ruins suggest the former grandeur of the ancient temple.

  21. Corinthian Order: The Temple of Apollo - most ornate of the classic orders of architecture. It was also the latest, not arriving at full development until the middle of the 4th cent. B.C. The oldest known example, however, is found in the temple of Apollo at Bassae (c.420 B.C.). The Greeks made little use of the order; the chief example is the circular structure at Athens known as the choragic monument of Lysicrates ( 335 B.C.). The temple of Zeus at Athens (started in the 2d cent. B.C. and completed by Emperor Hadrian in the 2d cent. A.D.) was perhaps the most notable of the Corinthian temples.

  22. The Greek theatre history began with festivals honoring their gods. A god, Dionysus, was honored with a festival called by "City Dionysia". In Athens, during this festival, men used to perform songs to welcome Dionysus. Plays were only presented at City Dionysia festival. Athens was the main center for these theatrical traditions. Athenians spread these festivals to its numerous allies in order to promote a common identity. At the early Greek festivals, the actors, directors, and dramatists were all the same person. After some time, only three actors were allowed to perform in each play. Later few non-speaking roles were allowed to perform on-stage. Due to limited number of actors allowed on-stage, the chorus evolved into a very active part of Greek theatre. Music was often played during the chorus' delivery of its lines.

  23. Tragedy and comedy were viewed as completely separate genres. Satyr plays dealt with the mythological subject in comic manner. Aristotle's Poetics sets out a thesis about the perfect structure for tragedy.

  24. Tragedy plays Thespis is considered to be the first Greek "actor" and originator of tragedy (which means "goat song", perhaps referring to goats sacrificed to Dionysus before performances, or to goat-skins worn by the performers.) However, his importance is disputed, and Thespis is sometimes listed as late as sixteenth in the chronological order of Greek tragedians. Aristotle's Poetics contain the earliest known theory about the origins of Greek theatre. He says that tragedy evolved from dithyrambs, songs sung in praise of Dionysus at the Dionysia each year. The dithyrambs may have begun as frenzied improvisations but in the 600s BC, the poet Arion is credited with developing the dithyramb into a formalized narrative sung by a chorus. Three well-known Greek tragedy playwrights of the fifth century are Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus.

  25. Comedy plays Comedy was also an important part of ancient Greek theatre. Comedy plays were derived from imitation; there are no traces of its origin. Aristophanes wrote most of the comedy plays. Out of these 11 plays survived - Lysistrata, a humorous tale about a strong woman who leads a female coalition to end war in Greece.

  26. The Lysikrates Monument The Acropolis The Kerameikos The Agora The Pnyx The Arch of Hadrian

  27. The Acropoliswas both the fortified citadel and state sanctuary of the ancient city of Athens. Although the great building programs of the 5th century B.C. have disturbed or covered many of the earlier remains, there is still a great deal of archaeological evidence attesting to the importance of the Acropolis in all periods of time. In the Late Bronze Age, the Acropolis was surrounded by a massive fortification wall like those at Mycenae and Tiryns in southern Greece. This wall remained in use long after the collapse of Mycenaean civilization, and functioned as the fortifications of the Acropolis for several centuries. By the middle of the 8th century B.C., if not earlier, at least part of the Acropolis had developed into the sanctuary of the goddess Athena, the patron divinity of the city. It is likely that the first temple of Athena Polias was constructed in this period in order to house a wooden cult statue of the goddess. Monuments

  28. The Acropolis:In the 2nd quarter of the 6th century B.C., probably in association with the re-organization of the Panathenaic festival in 566 B.C., there was a burst of architectural and sculptural activity, and the first monumental, stone, Doric temple of Athena is built on the Acropolis. Another monumental temple was built towards the end of the 6th century, and yet another was begun after the Athenian victory over the Persians at Marathon in 490 B.C. However, the Acropolis was captured and destroyed by the Persians 10 years later (in 480 B.C.). Although the Athenians and other Greeks were eventually victorious over their eastern enemies, the Acropolis lay in ruins. In the mid-5th century, the Athenians were persuaded by the statesman Perikles to rebuild the temples on the Acropolis on a grand scale, and it is during the second half of the 5th century B.C. that the most famous buildings on the Acropolis -- the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia, and the temple of Athena Nike, were constructed.

  29. The Acropolis: In the Hellenistic and Roman periods, many elaborate dedications were set up on the Acropolis by foreign (non-Athenian) rulers, general, and statesmen. While still functioning as a religious center, the Acropolis, in a sense, became a kind of "museum" or "theater of memory" linking the "glory days" of Athens with the new powers of the Hellenistic and, later, Roman world. Monuments

  30. The Agora, the marketplace and civic center, was one of the most important parts of an ancient city of Athens. In addition to being a place where people gathered to buy and sell all kinds of commodities, it was also a place where people assembled to discuss all kinds of topics: business, politics, current events, or the nature of the universe and the divine.  The Agora of Athens, where ancient Greek democracy first came to life, provides a wonderful opportunity to examine the commercial, political, religious, and cultural life of one of the great cities of the ancient world.The earliest archaeological excavations in the Athenian Agora were conducted by the Greek Archaeological Society in the 19th century. Since 1931 and continuing to the present day, the excavations have been conducted by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Monuments

  31. The Arch of Hadrianwas erected in honor of the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D (and probably a little before 131/132 A.D. when we know Hadrian visited Athens). The arch was built over the line of an ancient road that led from the area of the Acropolis and the Athenian Agora to the Olympieion and southeast Athens. (It was never an actual gate in a wall). An inscription (IG II2 5185) on the western side of the arch (facing the Acropolis) states: This is Athens, the ancient [or former?] city of Theseus." An inscription on the eastern side of the arch (facing the Olympieion) states: "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus". Scholars have traditionally interpreted the inscriptions as meaning that the arch stood at the boundaries of "old Athens" (to the west) and "new Athens" or "Hadrianoupolis" (to the southeast). Another interpretation sees the inscriptions as honoring Hadrian as the new founder (what the ancient Greeks called a ktistes) of all of Athens, replacing even the hero Theseus in the hearts of the Athenians. Monuments

  32. The Lysikrates Monumentis the best preserved example of a choregic monument. Wealthy Athenian citizens financed the training and outfitting of choruses for competitive dramatical and musical performances. The producer (called the "choregos") assumed this expense as part of his civic and religious duty (an ancient "liturgy" called the "choregia"). The winning producer was awarded a bronze tripod. These tripods were displayed either in or near the sanctuary of Dionysos on the South Slope of the Acropolis or along the Street of the Tripods, an ancient road that led from the sanctuary of Dionysos around the east and northeast sides of the Acropolis. The tripods were set up on bases and other small structures inscribed with the names of the producer/choregos, the victorious Athenian tribe, the musician who accompanied the performance, the poet who "taught" the chorus, and the name of the Athenian magistrate at the time. The Lysikrates Monument was constructed on the western side of the Street of the Tripods in order to commemorate a choral victory in 335/334 B.C. Monuments

  33. The Pnyxwas the official meeting place of the Athenian democratic assembly (ekklesia). In the earliest days of Athenian democracy (after the reforms of Kleisthenes in 508 B.C.), the ekklesia met in the Agora. Sometime in the early 5th century, the meeting place was moved to a hill south and west of the Acropolis. This new meeting place came to be called "Pnyx" (from the Greek word meaning "tightly packed together". Monuments

  34. The Kerameikoswas the name of the deme or section of Athens northwest of the Acropolis. Technically, it includes an extensive area both within and outside of the city walls. The "inner Kerameikos" (from the Greek Agora to the Dipylon and Sacred Gates) was the "potter's quarter" of the city.  The "outer Kerameikos" (from the city walls towards the Academy), included the famous cemetery and the "demosion sema" (public burial monument) where Perikles delivered his funeral oration in 431 B.C. Monuments

  35. Conclusion When you have completed this activity, you will have created a Travel Brochure that accurately describes the land, the climate, and some of the important historical buildings and sites of Athens during the Golden Age of Greece. From your research, you will have a very detailed idea of the daily life of the people of Ancient Greece during this time in its remarkable history. In addition, you will reveal exactly why Ancient Greece was such an important destination for so many people during this period in time! Home Page

  36. Travel Brochure Rubric Home Page