Athens

Debt in Ancient Athens and Solon’s Reforms

As long as people have been trading with each other, they have created debt. And as long as people have created debt, some have been unable to pay what they owe. This was as true in ancient Athens as it is today. Before about the 6th century BCE in Attica, among a population consisting primarily of peasants and small farmers, borrowing occurred among members of local communities. Read more

Online Open House | Immigration and Belonging: Phoenician Immigrants in 4th-Century BCE Athens, with Denise Demetriou

We were pleased to welcome Denise Demetriou, University of California – San Diego, for an Online Open House discussion entitled "Immigration and Belonging: Phoenician Immigrants in Fourth-Century BCE Athens." The discussion was live-streamed on the Center for Hellenic Studies YouTube channel Friday, October 9, at 11 a.m. EDT, and was recorded. This post includes a handout of readings. Read more

Book Club | September 2020: Plato Timaeus and Critias

"Looking towards the sea, but in the centre of the whole island, there was a plain which is said to have been the fairest of all plains and very fertile. Near the plain again, and also in the centre of the island at a distance of about fifty stadia, there was a mountain not very high on any side." Our September Book Club selection comprises two dialogues of Plato which… Read more

Kimon: The Battle of Eurymedon, and Thasos

After the siege of Skyros, Kimon put in at the Piraeus. There he arranged for repairs and general supplies, and added more triremes to his fleet. The existing ships were designed by Themistoklēs with a focus on speed and maneuverability; the new design of Kimon had a wider beam and he put bridges between the decks. He increased the capacity for carrying hoplites, assuming this would make the ships more… Read more

Fast and sacred ships

The sacred triremes that are the subject of this post are the 5th and 4th century ships of Athens. They served in diplomatic missions, in sacred embassies, and took part in the boat races during festivals. They also served as scout and messenger ships, delivering official state messages, and when present in the line of battle they carried the admiral of the fleet. The Paralos was the most well-known. Read more