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rise and fall of athens

With my recent completion of Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy, I have come to a point of rest in my gradual survey of 5th and 4th century Athens, which has taken me from Thucydides to Aeschylus to Xenophon to Plato to Plutarch all the way up to present day. What follows is my tentative encapsulation of the rise and fall of Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries, respectively. I am planning to write a cogent narrative of the rise and fall that integrates the a) tremendous works of drama and comedy and the b) philosophical disputes on the nature of the polis that echoed in the works of Plato and Aristotle and later on in the work of Karl Popper. (I am most sympathetic to the views of the playwrights and Popper.) Read the rest of this entry »


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