The beginnings of the story of Athens are lost in the depths of prehistory. The summit of the hill of the Acropolis already acquired its fortress-like form during the Mycenaean period, becoming the seat of a supreme ruler. The names of many mythical kings, such as Cecrops and Aegeus, are connected with the early phase of this area, while the Athenians believed that King Theseus founded the city of Athens around 1300 BC.
In 460, Pericles became "strategos" and began an ambitious programme of the beautification of the city and especially of the Acropolis, while at the same time giving an incentive to the intellectual life of the city. He was stimulated by philosophers such as Zenon and Anaxagoras, he helped historians such as Herodotus, he inspired Thucydides, he encouraged Attic drama which during his time reached perfection with the artistry of Sophocles, and he supported Pheidias in the design of the masterpieces of art for the Temple of Athena. The so-called Golden Age of Pericles ended with the Peloponnesian War, a civil struggle between Athens and Sparta which lasted for about 30 years... A comprehensive book, well-conceived and aesthetically pleasing, a congenial companion for the visitor to Athens who wishes to acquire a full, rounded picture of this ancient and majestic capital. Divided into sections according to the various districts and with emphasis on the monuments, the sights and the culture, this guidebook goes beyond the centre of Athens to the places most worthy of a visit in the environs of Attica. A wealth of photographs, plans, maps and diagrams direct the visitor who has not a moment to waste...
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