Early Modern Athens and Early Travellers to Greece

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In its recorded history of over three thousand years, Athens has seen many changes. Commonly referred to as the cradle of civilization, Athens has played a pivotal role in the development of the country that we now know as Greece (Martin). The city has long been the hub of Greek influence, spanning from its early days as the leading city of Classical Greece in the fifth century B.C.


Since its formation in the Mycenaean Period, there have been several different civilizations that have brought new changes and new eras to the Athenian and Greek society as a whole. Each new era ushered in important societal changes that brought differing levels of modernization to the city as Greece continued to grow in importance throughout Europe and eastern civilizations. Though unified under a single ruler for many centuries, Greece not once in its long history ever unite all of its city-states to form what we now recognize as a nation until modern times (Wilson). In ancient Greece, each city-state was placed under a ruler as a territory who was governed by the emperor or king with no other unity among them. The people could relate to one another through their culture. For example, they all spoke the same language and worshipped the same gods, though they did not recognize themselves as belonging to the same union (Constantine). The ideals of a united Greek society began under the rule of Phillip of Macedon and ended when the empire was pulled apart after the death of his son, Alexander, in 323 B.C.
The Hellenic ideal of a united empire began in 338 B.C. with the Battle of Chaeronea, where Athens fell to the invading Macedonian king, Phillip (Constantine). ...
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