Hellenist author Bruce Clark, who has a long association and a deep understanding of Greece from ancient times to modern times, has written a new book on the history of Athens.
The recently published book titled âAthens: City of Wisdomâ is a comprehensive narrative history of Athens, telling the three-thousand-year history of the birthplace of Western civilization.
Born in Northern Ireland, Clark is also a speaker and journalist. As a journalist for Reuters, the Times, the Financial Time and the Economist he traveled many times to Greece. His command of modern Greek allows him to deepen the politics, society, culture and history of the country.
âI can see an inner self-confidence that can have good and bad results,â he had said of the Greeks. âThere is an impressive ability to recover from disaster, but also a temptation to court disaster by flying too close to the sun,â he said. Greek journalist in a recent interview while working on “Athens: City of Wisdom”.
Clark brings the history of Athens to life
Legal reforms by lawmaker Solon in the 6th century BC. and political resonance in this epic, kaleidoscopic story.
âAthens is one of the oldest permanently inhabited cities in the world. It has been a place of human settlement for at least 5,000 years. But his fortune and his relationship to the larger Greek world have fluctuated wildly, âsays Clark.
In a note to Greek journalistClark brilliantly sums up how Athens’ status has fluctuated over the centuries.
âHaving spawned one of the world’s most prosperous, creative and outgoing societies in the Golden Age (500-400 BCE), Athens suffered a bewildering mix of destinies. It became a cultural gem in the imperial crowns of Macedonia and then Rome.
âAs the barbarians attacked the Roman Empire and the Christian religion spread, it was a last redoubt of polytheistic worship and philosophy. Later it was a medieval Christian pilgrimage site; a modest Ottoman city whose ruins ignited the imaginations of wealthy young Westerners; then the capital of a fragile new kingdom, built on German dreams of the Hellenic past.
âIt was not until the 20th century, amid war, refugee flows, occupation and rapid expansion, that Athens took shape as the chaotic and vibrant center of modern Hellenism. . At the start of the 21st century, after recovering against all odds from an economic catastrophe, a sprawling agglomeration of four million people oscillates between exuberant, multicultural creativity and ecological dystopia.
Watch a video below where Bruce Clark discusses his new book: