Agora. Parthenon. Nikky Nemzer Nikky Nemzer. Walking tour of Athens Scrap Book. Academy. Drama.
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Eureka!!! After months of testing, fine-tuning, improving and validating I can proudly announce that my time machine is finally working! Inspired by our Social Studies course on Ancient Greece I will take my very first time-trip to the famous city-state, Athens during the “Golden Age”. Athens is the birthplace of drama, democracy, and philosophy and I have my trip all planed out. I can’t wait to visit the mighty Parthenon temple, the religious heart of the city and the architectural jewel of the Acropolis. Then I will do some people watching and souvenir shopping at the Agora Market, the hub of commercial, political and social life that is conveniently located at the north-west foot of the Acropolis. I will pay a visit to a wealthy household to learn about the everyday life of the ancient Greek families. I hope to spend a day at a Greek Academy, understand the education system of the ancient Greece and maybe even take some courses in Greek writing and philosophy. And, finally I plan to attend a play at the marvelous Dionysus’s Theater at the south-east of the Acropolis. I don’t want to end up like the main character of H. Wells’ “The Time Machine”, where he had no proof of his time travel and nobody believed him. So, I will bring my camera to take some photographs, and I also plan on collecting artifacts from every place I visit. Then I will assemble them all in a scrap book to share with my friends. So now I set my dial on 400 BC and … off I go!
I visited the Parthenon during my trip to Athens. It is an enormous structure that is 110 feet wide, 237 feet long, and 60 feet high. There are 8 columns in the front, and 17 on the sides. This was one important temple!
A souvenir dish with a painting of Athena – the patron Goddess of Parthenon
Parthenon was built between 447 BC and 438 BC in honor of Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. It was built by orders of Pericles, a powerful Greek politician to celebrate the end of Athens’ war with Persia. It was their “trophy”.
This is me taking a picture at the entrance of the Parthenon, the finest example of Doric-style construction.
While in Athens, I decided to do some shopping in the open market place, or as the natives call it, the agora. Farmers in Athens could only grow olives., so there was a lot of trading going on. There was linen from Egypt, ivory from North Africa, spices from Syria, and dates from Phoenicia.
A coin that I brought back, that shows Pegasus, on one side and Athena wearing a helmet. Athens used a currency known as the drachma. The rich carried their money in purses, while the poor kept coins in their mouths.
This is me shopping for Egyptian linen for my new chiton or tunic. I was recently invited to a wedding here, so I must find something formal to wear.
I was invited to a wealthy Greek Wedding and saved a wedding invitation with a small painting of bride and groom. Words Na zhsete (Na Zhsete) – mean “ Live Happily together” in Greek.
A wife of the house master ran the household and took care of children with the help of many slaves. Here I am welcoming you into a household that I run.
In Athens women shopped with a male relative or slave. Only very poor women would shop in the markets alone.
Women married at age of 14-16, men at age of 20-30. It was believed that one should "marry only your equal in fortune. “Marriages were arranged and often bride and groom never saw each other before the wedding.
A wealthy household was centered around a rectangular courtyard, aka Andronitis(the Court of the Men) . Women were usually in separate quarters from men in the back of the house.
Here I am preforming with some old friends. In ancient Greek all actors were male, but they made an exception for me.
The play that I was in was by a famous play write Sophocles. It was a very popular comedy and all 15,000 seats were filled.
Even prisoners were released from jail temporarily, so they could also attend.
A mask that an actor wore during the play for disguise.
I visited theater of Dionysus ( god of harvest and wine). I was glad I was in a comedy with good humor and happy ending. I do not enjoy tragedies were the main hero is suffering.
I noticed Athenian boys started school at 7 years old, and stayed until they were about 14, but Athens girls never went to school. They were educated in housekeeping and how to look after the family. So I was the only girl at the Academy.
I brought the wax-covered board that I used to learn to write in Greek.
Here I am taking a writing class.
At school in the mornings we learned to read write and do simple math. We also learned Homer’s poetry by heart. In the afternoon we practiced sports at wrestling schools.
At the age of 14, children of rich Athenians went to the Assembly, the market place and the gymnasium to watch, listen to and learn from the older men. Aside from being a girl, I was too young to attend.
Wow! I am back in 21st century and what a trip that was! I learned so much and have so much to share! In the Parthenon, I was especially impressed by the golden and ivory statue of the Goddess Athena, designed by Phidias, a famous sculptor. As a reminder of Parthenon, I brought back a souvenir dish with a painting of Athena. The agora appeared much more than just a market place. First of all, it was huge with many buildings, like court house, council house, fountain house, religious temples, etc. I brought some Athenian coins from shopping in the agora. At a wealthy household I was sad to witness how few rights women had in ancient Athens. Girls where never sent to school and were only trained in housekeeping. Women did not own property, had no political power and even lived in a separate section of the house, barely interacting with men. Women couldn’t choose whom to marry, since their marriages where arranged, but I was fortunate enough to be invited to a wedding. The bride and groom happen to like each other and the wedding was happy and festive. I saved the wedding invitation for keepsakes. I spent a whole day at an Ancient Greek school where I was the only girl. I took some lessons in Greek writing using a stylus and a wax-coated wooden tablet. I learned the Greek alphabet and brought a small piece of wax tablet with my name written on it. Then I took a private philosophy class (art of thinking and wisdom) from a famous philosopher Plato (born in Athens around 427 BC, died in 347 BC). We found that we were both interested in the history of Atlantis and we spent the whole hour talking about it. Finally, I was in a play at the Dionysus Theater. It was a comedy by Sophocles. The plot was entertaining and funny, the show went well, the musicians in the orchestra were very talented, and all the seats in the enormous 15,000 people theater were taken. Being in a play, I learned that the most essential part of the actors’ disguise was the mask. All actors wore masks, which were made with big holes for the mouth and the eyes. I brought one of the masks home with me. Overall my trip to Ancient Athens was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to go on my next time-travel trip!