Medieval and early modern Athens - Essay Example

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Athens enjoys a very long history among the cities whole Europe and in the world.It became the capital of the independent Greek State in 19th century.The city had experienced many ups and downs and during the medieval period it experienced a decline and then again started rising under the Byzantine Empire…
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Medieval and early modern Athens
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Short Report on Medieval and Early Modern Athens Order No. 247922 Athens enjoys a very long history among the cities whole Europe and in the world.It became the capital of the independent Greek State in 19th century. The city had experienced many ups and downs and during the medieval period it experienced a decline and then again started rising under the Byzantine Empire, the city also benefitted from Italian trade. By the period of 529 A.D. " A stroke of love more important than this- or indeed than anything that you could think of for a man who , as I did , sought a name for eloquence for himself - happened as follows - after the removal of the tyrants Constantius bestowed upon Greece he gentle Straategius , for he considered his uprightness in office to be one of the glories of his reign."(Andrews , 22) Athens was under the Byzantines and it favoured it s luck as well. During this period Athens was a provincial town and it has fluctuating fortunes. By 600 BC the city due to barbarian raids was invaded by the Avars and Slavs and lost its former self. Empress Irene of Athens, a native Athenian, was one of the remarkable figure of this period. In the mid of the seventh century Greece was ruined by Slavic people from north and the future of Athens was dark and seemed miserable. By the end of the ninth century Greece was re -conquered and other cities expanded because of it and s does Athens. "The invasions of the Turks after the battle of Manzikert in 1071 and the ensuing civil wars largely passed the region by, and Athens continued its provincial existence unharmed."( Tung , 256 ) . Later the Byzantine empire was rescued with the efficiency of leadership of three Komnenos emperors Alexios, John and Manuel, Attica and because of them the whole Greece prospered. From the eleventh century to twelfth century there were lots of construction and of the medieval town and there was a rapid growth of development of the whole town. Markets which were previously ruined and hampered started building again and there was lot of production of soaps and dyes which became the major article for the market sale. The town grew well and had good business and its development and prosperity attracted the Venitians and other such traders with a view to gain financially and they increased their visits from the ports of the Aegean to Athens. Such dealings with the traders added to the fortune of Athens and it grew its prosperity and was economically sound because of such trade. The 11th and the 12th centuries were like the golden period of Byzantine art in Athens . " For in Byzantium those who were discovered playing at dice had their hand cut off , to the tune of dire blas-phemies , and paraded about the City on the backs of camels." (Andrews 36). They constructed many beautiful churches in this period and showed the evidence of their unique and great art. The city also showed signs of growth and development because of these constructions."In 1204, the Fourth Crusade conquered Athens and the city was not recovered from the Latins before it was taken by the Ottoman Turks. It did not become Greek in government again until the 19th century". (Morgon,228)
The Early Modern Athens era can be associated and described with the Ottoman Athens . In 1458, Athens was under the Ottoman empire and Sultan Mehmet II the conqueror was ruling the empire. The emperor was highly impressed with the beauty of the city and the ancient monuments that he wanted to preserve it so he issued orders to protect the cultural heritage of the town and The Parthenon was made the main mosque of Athnes. In the later century, there was a remarkable decline in the population of the town due to the weakening of the power and command of the Ottomans. When the Ottoman's power was declining the Turks tried to invade the city and Propylaea was struck down in 1640. In 1687 , Athens was surrounded by the Venetians and the Ottomans had to dismantle the temple of Athena Nike to secure their main mosque, the Parthenon. Later Acropolies caused massive damage to this mosque. Sometime later the Turkish forces set fire to the city and caused vital damage and the ancient monuments were badly destroyed. Later the relief from Parthenon was removed by the British resident of Athens between the period of 1801 to 1805. In 1822 a Greek insurgency captured the city but it was again recaptured by the Ottomans in 1826. In 1832 Otto, prince of Bavaria became the King of Greece and he again shifted the capital of Greece to Athens. Athens became the Capital of the city due to its historical pride ,its prosperous economic condition and because of its ancient monuments and some sentimental reasons as well . So Athens does enjoys a glorious past. Indeed it is one of the beautiful cities of Europe and of the whole world. Athens was a foretime the dwelling place of the wise: today the bee be -keeper alone bring to its honour . "Such is the case of that pair of Sophists in Plutarch who drew the young people to the lecture- room not by the fame of their eloquence, but by the pots of honey from Hymettus." (Andrews ,30).

Tung ,Anthony . Preserving the World's Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis. New York: Three RIvers Press, 256-260. (2001)
Andrews , Kevin. Athens Alive or, The Practical Tourist's Companion to the Fall of Man. Hermes Publication.
Andrews , Kevin. Athens Alive or, The Practical Tourist's Companion to the Fall of Man. Hermes Publication.
Morgan, Lewis H . Ancient Society , Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Company, 228-229.(1907)
Andrews , Kevin. Athens Alive or, The Practical Tourist's Companion to the Fall of Man. Hermes Publication. Read More
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