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Much of Greek culture owed to the preceding Oriental civilizations, still the change effected by the Greeks has

so profoundly influenced the development of European progress that Greece must be regarded as the veritable source of literary and artistic inspiration. As a recent writer puts it, " Whate'er we hold of beauty, half is hers." Greek architecture stands alone in being accepted as beyond criticism, and as being an obligatory study for students of otherwise very different principles. What we call Greece is known to its inhabitants as Hellas. The name "Greece" comes from the name the Romans applied to Hellas -- Graecia. While the people of ancient Hellas thought of themselves as Hellenes, the ancient Romans called them by the Latin word "Graeci" from which we get the word "Greek."

Classical Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean regionand Europe, for which reason Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of Western civilization.

AGORA. The agora, is an open meeting-places for the transaction of public business, were large open spaces surrounded by stone or open colonnades, giving access to the public buildings, such, as temples, basilicas, stadion (racecourse), and the palaestrae or gymnasia. The agora served as the marketplace at the heart of every Greek polis, and as such it coule symbolize the open market economy of the Greeks in contrast to the old-fashioned, centralized economy of the Persian kingdom, which was similar to what the Greeks had been familiar with during the Mycenaean Period. But the Greek agora served not only as a marketplace for the exchange of goods; it was also the location where the public business of the polis was carried out and was regarded by the Greeks as an indispensable feature of any polis worth the name. The agora was located to the northwest of the Acropolis. It was traversed by the Panathenaic Wasy and formed a large open square serving various public functions. Laid out early in the 6th century BC, it remained the focal point for Athenian commerce, culture, and politics for many centuries. It originally consisted of a square spce defined by boundary stones. The first public buildings were erected on the west side and seem to have served the needs of the Council. When Pisistratus was in power at Athens, in the second half of the 6th century BC (566-510 BC), limited building activity took place in the Agora, which expanded gradually to the east and south. Besides the public buildings, excavations have brought to light many establishments for private industry and commerce, especially on the southwest of the Agora, such as pottery and metalwork workshops, as well as sculptors and marble workers ateliers and shoemakers shops. These workshops were in most cases attached to the private dwellings of the artisans and tradesmen. Moreover, wine shops and travernas were found close to the east side of the Agora.

ACROPOLIS Many of the Greek cities were upon or in the immediate Vicinity of a hill which was known as the Acropolis (Greek = an upper city), and formed a citadel upon which the principal temples or treasure-houses were erected for safety. The Acropolis was both the fortified citadel and state sanctuary of the ancient city of Athens. While still functioning as a religious center, the Acropolis, in a sense, became a kind of "museum" or "theater of memory" linking the "glory days" of Athens with the new powers of the Hellenistic and, later, Roman world. The most famous Greek acropolis is at Athens, where the hill rises 1oo meters above the lower town. On the hills flat top stands a group of temples , the greatest of which is the Parthenon. On the rock of Acropolis there are several monuments from the Greek Antiquity , most of the monuments was build on the Prehistoric temples of the Sacred rock during the golden age of Pericles of Athens during the 5th century BC. Among those monuments of the Acropolis, Parthenon is the most magnificent, the temple of Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena, protector of the Ancient city of Athens. Parthenon is one of the most most famous buildings of the world and if it was build some centuries before, then probably we would be talking about the 8 wonders of the world instead of 7. Its unique architecture inspired the architectural style of the western world. Universities, Public buildings, Palaces, Parliaments, libraries have been build inspired from the Dorian style and the Architecture of Parthenon. Parthenon was build during the Golden Era of Athens under Periclesadministration. by the architects Iktinos and Kalikrates. For its construction they used marble from the mount of Penteli. The Magnificent statue of Athens was made by Phidias one of the most famous sculptors of this time. Phidias used for the creation of the statue wood, ivory and gold. Unfortunately the statue was disappear during the middle ages.

Acropolis map of Athens

GREEK TOWNS The Greeks, were great colonists, and emigration, especially to the coast of Asia Minor and the Mediterranean, was a government measure dating from about B.C. 700, undertaken not only to establish trade, but also to reduce the superfluous population, and to provide an outlet for party strife. It thus came about that the colonies were often peopled with citizens of a more energetic and go-ahead character than those of the mother country; and it will therefore be found that many of the important buildings of Greek architecture, especially in the Ionic style, are in their colonies of Asia Minor, and that this connection with the East had some influence upon their architecture. In Ancient Greece, colonies were sometimes founded by vanquished people, who left their homes to escape subjection at the hand of a foreign enemy; sometimes as a sequel to civil disorders, when the losers in internecine battles left to form a new city elsewhere; sometimes to get rid of surplus population, and thereby to avoid internal convulsions. But in most cases the motivation was to establish and facilitate relations of trade with foreign countries and further the wealth of the mother-city (in Greek, metropolis). Colonies were established in Ionia and Thrace as early as the 8th century BC. More than thirty Greek city-states had multiple colonies around the Mediterranean world, with the most active being Miletus, with ninety colonies stretching throughout the Mediterranean Sea, from the shores of the Black Sea and Anatolia (modern Turkey) in the east, to the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula in the west, as well as several colonies on the northern coast of Africa with the overall sum[citation needed] being 1500 from the late ninth, up to the 5th century BC. Influential Greek colonies in the western Mediterranean included Cyme(Aeolis), Rhegium (Rhegion)by Chalcis and Zankle (c . 8th century), Syracuse byCorinth/Tenea (c. 734 BC), Naxos by Chalkis (c. 734 BC), Massalia (what millennia later became Marseille, France) by Phokaia (c. 598 BC), Agathe by Phokaia (shortly after Massalia), Elea (Velia) by Phokaia and Massalia (c. 540 BC), Emporion (nowadays Spain) by Phokaia/Massalia (early 6th century),Antipolis (nowadays France) by Achaea, Alalia (Corsica) by Phokaia/Massalia (c. 545 BC) and Cyrene (North Africa) by Thera (762/61 and 632/31 BCE).