The story of Athens is truly intriguing: how did a tiny community of 200,000 citizens manage to give birth to towering geniuses across the range of human endeavour, create one of the greatest civilizations in history, and lay the foundations of our own political and intellectual heritage?
Taking the city itself as his central subject, Anthony Everitt relates the story of this early metropolis, taking in the strengths, flaws and unique brilliance of this ambitious experiment in civilization. Filled with adventure and astounding reversals of fortune, The Rise of Athens celebrates the city-state that cradled the world's first democracy - from its revolutionary beginnings through to the flowering of its intellectual and artistic achievements - and explores its eventual decline into a lesser city under outside rule. In his deft and fluid style, Everitt shows how our culture has been profoundly influenced by the Athenians: inventing the arts of tragedy and comedy, architecture and sculpture, establishing the concepts and language of western philosophy, and raising political issues that still vex thinkers to this day.
Anthony Everitt, formerly visiting professor in the visual and performing arts at Nottingham Trent University, has written extensively on European culture and is the author of books on Cicero, Augustus and Hadrian. He publishes regularly in the Guardian and the Financial Times. He has served as Secretary General of the Arts Council of Great Britain. Anthony lives near Colchester, England's first recorded town, founded by the Romans.