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Tag Archives: Athens

The Fragility of Democracy: Athens and the Thirty Tyrants

Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom Athens is traditionally seen as the birthplace of democracy. However, as we know, democracies are vulnerable to anti-democratic forces, such as populism and authoritarian movements. This was also the case with Athens. For some eight months (404-403 BC) the city was controlled by a pro-Spartan oligarchy known

The Darkest Depths of Human Nature: Three Examples From the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides, the ancient Greek historian and general, is most famous for his narrative of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC). The war was a struggle between Athens and Sparta and led to all-out war between the Greek city states as they sided with one or the other. Thucydides documented not only the military and political decisions

Athens First

By Van Bryan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom Recently, your editor asked a question… Is nationalism “good”? How interesting, we thought to ourselves. Immediately, hand went to chin. We furrowed our eyebrows in earnest ponderance. Some questions stay with you, dear reader. Like a sore on the roof of your mouth that would go away if

The Athenian Athena

By Ben Potter, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom Anyone with an interest in the classical Greek world may well have been intrigued, possibly confused, by the relationship between the goddess Athena and the ancient centre of democracy, philosophy and theatre, Athens. As Walter Burkett said in his excellent book, Greek Religion: “whether the goddess is named

Sparta Vs. Athens

By Van Bryan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom SPARTA Sparta, also known by its ancient name Lacedaemon in honor of their legendary founder, is often considered to have been the most dominant military presence in ancient Greece. Their infantry soldiers were said to have been among the most skilled and fearsome warriors of the ancient world.