It was square in shape, The north side of the tower had a small, square turret that projected from the wall, atop which "beacon-fires could be kindled which would be visible from Acrocorinth " in the Peloponnese. The date of construction is unclear, and following its demolition now impossible to reconstruct with any certainty.
The tower may be the inspiration for the " grete tour " in the palace of the Duke of Athens, where Palamon is imprisoned in Chaucer 's The Knight's Tale. The tower was dismantled in ,   as part of a wider cleaning-up of the Acropolis from post- Classical buildings, a project initiated and financed by Heinrich Schliemann. All Search Options [ view abbreviations ]. Hide browse bar Your current position in the text is marked in blue.
Click anywhere in the line to jump to another position:. The earliest inhabitants settled on the Acropolis and in the surrounding area in Neolithic times. From then on and up to the time of Theseus the most ancient city included, besides the Acropolis, a large area to the S of it.
In that first period the city seems to have had no particular distinction, but to have developed equally with the other kingdoms of Attica. The great expansion of Athens is due to Theseus, who brought about the unification of all the small kingdoms and founded the city state of Athens.
In memory of this unification, called the Synoecism, a special festival, the Synoikia, was inaugurated and at the same time, the Panathenaia, in honor of the patron of the city, the goddess Athena. Tradition has it that during the Dorian invasion the city was saved by the self-sacrifice of King Kodros, who brought about his own death at the hands of the enemy so as to carry out an oracle according to which the city would be saved by the death of the king.
The Athenians, in honor of his great sacrifice, ended the custom of kingship since they believed there could be no worthy successor to Kodros. During all the long Geometric period B. In Athens as in other cities of Greece, aristocratic government succeeded to monarchy. At first the principal magistrate archon kept control for a period of ten years. Even after the archonship was made a yearly office, beginning in B.
The eupatrid, Kylon, exploiting the dissatisfaction of the farmers and other citizens, attempted a revolution in or with the aim of becoming tyrant, but the attempt failed. The Athenians continued their struggles, demanding basically the franchise and the recording of the laws. In B.
Draco drew up a new system of law and codified the ancient, predominantly criminal, body of laws. But the citizens were still not content and unrest continued until the beginning of the 6th c. The emergence of Solon ended a stage in the history of Athens. He was particularly honored by the Athenians for his advice concerning the acquisition of Salamis, and the consequent reduction of the power of Megara.
Another success of his was the final union of Eleusis with Athens, and the astonishing increase in the might and authority and influence of Athens. After his election as archon in B. Solon established a new body of law with radical changes. He brought about the abolition of agrarian debts, the liberation of those enslaved because of debt, and the foundation of the Heliaia and other popular courts.
At the same time he established a new council of , the boule, composed of members from each of Athens' four tribes, and achieved the inclusion of the Thetes, the lowest, neglected rank of citizens, into the ekklesia of the people. In spite of all this development of the state, inner peace was not secured, and in B.
Peisistratos set up a tyranny. Although he retained the basic elements of Solon's law code he instituted his own ideas as well. The tyranny of Peisistratos and his successors lasted until B. Through the whole period, in spite of the Athenians' dissatisfaction, a series of measures improved the city's progress through notable advances in spiritual, artistic, architectural, and commercial matters.
The most important of these was the division of the population into 10 tribes. With the new division, the membership of the boule was increased to , 50 from each tribe. The boule prepared drafts of the laws which were debated and ratified by the ekklesia, which had become the sovereign body. With all these innovations the Athenians reached such a peak of spirit and idealism that their few repulsed the great Persian assault, and so brought about the victories of Marathon B.
Immediately after the victory the provident Themistokles had a new wall built around the ruined city, and he completed the fortification of the Peiraeus which he had chiefly been responsible for initiating when he was archon in B. The completion of his plan was brought about shortly afterwards with the building of the Long Walls. Fortification was not the only concern of the Athenians. Kimon instituted the first Athenian Confederacy and the Athenian state was revealed as a great power. At the same time, about mid 5th c.
These, along with philosophy, letters, and other kinds of intellectual manifestations, created the Golden Age. The catastrophic disasters of the Peloponnesian War and the cruelties exhibited during both phases of it, exhausted the city and its people. The appearance of the Macedonians and the defeat of the Athenians in the battle of Chaironeia in B.
Athens experienced a temporary revival of influence during the administration of the orator Lykourgos B. The Lamian War in B.
The appearance of Roman conquerors also brought disastrous consequences to Athens. In 86 B. The walls of the city and of Peiraeus were demolished by the victorious Roman general who sought in this way the diminution of Athens' power. In the Imperial period the city enjoyed a certain amount of freedom and was enriched with grandiose new buildings and temples.
But in A. In the 5th c. The philosophical schools, which were known throughout the Greek world, practiced until A. The closing of the schools put an end to the city's community spirit and to its ancient glory, but it continued as the capital of an eparchy in the great Byzantine Empire until There followed the occupation of the city by the Franks until and then the Turkish occupation until , when, after a harsh struggle, the Greeks gained their freedom.
The city of Athens in was proclaimed capital of the new Greek state. Excavations The work of uncovering the monuments of the ancient city began in with the dismantling of all their mediaeval additions. At the same time excavations began, which in took on a systematic character. The excavations, together with the preserved literary evidence, particularly the description of the city's monuments by Pausanias in the 2d c.
The Fortifications In the second half of the 13th c.
The city seems not to have been surrounded by a wall until the beginning of the 6th c. The first circuit wall, which is mentioned by Thucydides 1. Unfortunately, no traces of this wall have yet been discovered. After the destruction of the city by the Persians in B. Within this new wall were included the Eridanos and the Olympieion, as well as the whole extent of the Pnyx, from the Hill of the Muses to that of the Nymphs.
The Themistoklean wall was destroyed by the Lakedaimonians in B. In about mid 4th c. At the same time a cross wall was built along the spine of the Pnyx hill, between the two peaks, by which the city was diminished in size.
MacDonald, William L. We will then head north to ancient Corinth to have lunch and explore the remains of the Roman agora and the Temple of Apollo. Draco drew up a new system of law and codified the ancient, predominantly criminal, body of laws. Somewhat to the N, in the hollow between the hills by the Ilissos river, the first stadium was built by Lykourgos. In the morning we will tour the Palace of Nestor at Ano Englianos, a Late Bronze Age site identified with the legendary king who was considered the wisest of the Greek heroes who fought in the Trojan War. Your comments Comments have been deactivated.
In the morning we will tour the Palace of Nestor at Ano Englianos, a Late Bronze Age site identified with the legendary king who was considered the wisest of the Greek heroes who fought in the Trojan War. We will then proceed to the local museum at Chora to view the material recovered in the excavations. On the way, we will stop at the Menelaion , the supposed site of the palace of Menelaos and Helen that stands on a hill near the town of Sparta. Part of a Bronze Age settlement has been found along with a Classical temple dedicated to the Homeric king and queen.
The town was founded by the Byzantines in the 6th century at the foot of an immense outcrop of rock, linked to the mainland by a narrow causeway. After the Ottoman conquest, the town became a bit of a backwater, which means that it was spared the attentions of developers and retains a lot of its charm. We will spend the day exploring the town, its churches and the fortress that dominates the town. In the morning, we will take a drive out to the abandoned Byzantine city of Mystras. The site is exceptionally well preserved and its many churches have been lovingly restored.
A highlight of the visit is the Frankish castle on the summit of the hill. In the afternoon, we will proceed through Tripoli to the port of Nafplion on the Gulf of Argos. Nafplion is an excellent base for visiting the many Classical and Bronze Age sites of the Argolid.