The "Greek miracle" and Athens have spilled a lot of ink. Yet the history of Athens is not limited to the only so-called classical period or even the century of Pericles alone. The latest issue of Archeology files proposes to review the history of this city.
Athens: history and archeology
In his introductory article, Christophe Pébarthe presents Athens as a city-world which has had a special status since antiquity: center of the Greek world, it remains so under Roman domination, thanks to the action of the emperors which strengthens its cultural power and intellectual. The origins of Athens are presented by Julien Zurbach. Mycenaean archaeological remains have been found on the Acropolis. Christophe Pébarthe looks back on the urban history of the city under the tyranny of the Pisistratides in the 6th century. The town planning of the city reflects the progressive integration of the territory of Attica and the emergence of a city-state from the 7th century BC: Pisistratus the Younger had the altar of the Twelve Gods installed around 522/521 Before our era. This is part of an Athenian policy of political centralization and makes the agora the benchmark of reference for the localities of Attica. The project to build a temple of Olympian Zeus on the Acropolis of Hippias illustrates the prosperity of the city and that of the Pisistratides.
The classical period is not neglected. Roland Étienne presents the town planning of Athens and its main monuments up to the sack of Sylla in 86 BC: walls, agora, necropolises, gymnasiums. Economic activities with the port of Piraeus are also covered. The religious life of Athens is mentioned in a contribution by Pierre Brulé. François Queyrel offers an in-depth reading of the iconographic program of the Parthenon. In the continuity of the most recent historiographical works, Violaine Sébillotte-Cuchet returns to the question of the place of women in the Athenian city and shows that they have a presence and an importance in the city much more important than one has. could write it in the past. Maria Cecilia D’Ercole returns to the Mediterranean influence of Athenian ceramics and its methods.
The last articles in the dossier are devoted to later periods. Lionel Sanchez shows that the great works carried out by Emperor Hadrian in the Greek city are aimed at making Athens a true eastern capital and serving the glory of the emperor. Gilles Grivaux and Catherine Vanderheyde deal with ancient legacies in the city’s medieval and modern town planning. The dossier ends with a focus on the Acropolis Museum of Athens and its museography.
This file is a successful and updated summary on Athens. The rich iconography, always of very good quality, embellishes and enriches the reading. An article on the Roman monument of Pont-Sainte-Maxence accompanies this dossier and presents the latest results of scientific research. A good synthetic and accessible number of Dossiers d'Archéologie which will delight both neophytes and more informed readers.
Athens, a world city. Archeology Files n ° 400, at newsstands and by subscription.