Ancient Athens the Birthplace of Democracy and art

Athens Building Map/Layout

The city of ancient city of Athens was a clustered pattern, with most of the workplaces and the city in one central area, with loosely scattered houses and other facilities surrounding the what now would be called "downtown".

Ruins left of the Parthenon

Brief History-The first settlement of Athens 3000 BC was situated on the rock of Acropolis. The city was named after Athena, their patron god. The Parthenon is a former temple, on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. The government style of Athens was democracy, first developed by Cleisthenes. Some famous figures from Athens include Socrates, Plato, Homer, Solon, Hippocrates, Archimedes, and Cleisthenes.

Cultural Life in Athens

Athens was the city of art and center of intellectual lifestyle. The legacy ancient Athens left was its philosophy, arts and drama. It is because of Athens we have our democracy. Athenians’ democracy was first developed in around 500 B.C. The Athenian males, have power, freedom of speech, vote and participate in democratic bodies. Because Athens is in Greece, the city’s religion is greek religion with myths such as Zeus and Hercules... etc. The art and literature of Athens, was revolutionizing. The arts reflect the society that creates them. Through their temples, sculpture, and pottery, the Greeks incorporated a fundamental principle of their culture: arete. To the Greeks, arete meant excellence and reaching one's full potential.

Ancient Greek art emphasized the importance and accomplishments of human beings. Even though much of Greek art was meant to honor the gods, though those gods were created in the image of humans.

Ancient Government

A government meet by many male officials

In 510BC, Athens developed the democratic government. And soon other Greek city-states followed the new government structure. Even though not everybody gets to vote, the government, still gives a lot of power to the people. The Athenian leader Cleisthenes introduced a system of political reforms that he called demokratia, or “rule by the people.”


Art and literature in Athens was center of all culture in Greece. Athens was the center of all art and literature in the world, and became an influential part in all art in the world. Through their temples, sculpture, and pottery, the Greeks incorporated a fundamental principle of their culture: arete. To the Greeks, arete meant excellence and reaching one's full potential.


The Partheon was built on a rock hill on the Acropolis. Inside the Parthenon is a statue of the city’s protector/goddess which is Athena. The Parathion was one of the most important structures in all of Greece and especially Athens. The city named after Athena, and the Partheon a gift and worship place for Athena.

Ruins of the Partheon

The Acropolis was the focal point of religion and culture in Athens, as the temple site for the patron goddess, Athena. It was a place that the citizen would retreat to if under attack, as most Greek city-states had one. An "acropolis" is any citadel or complex built on a high hill.

Agora, Athens

The Agora of Athens was the center of the ancient city, a large, open square where the citizens could assemble for a wide variety of purposes. Sometimes the space might be used as a market, or for an election, a dramatic performance, a religious procession, military drill, or athletic competition. Here administrative, political, judicial, commercial, social, cultural, and religious activities all found a place together in the heart of Athens, and the square was surrounded by the public buildings necessary to run the Athenian government.


Athens was the largest city in Greece, and was controlled by a region called Attica. Between the many mountains were fertile farms, and Athens became rich because Attica also had valuable sources of silver, lead, and marble. Athens also had the biggest navy in Greece. Athens was a beautiful and busy city, people came from all over Greece and other countries to trade and study. The city’s most famous building was called the Parthenon. To honor the protector and patron goddess, Athena.


Created with images by piet theisohn - "Parthenon" • misterfarmer - "vienna pallas-athene fountain parliament" • psyberartist - "Old Agora (Athens, Greece)"

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