Around 450 BC the city of Athens was one of the most famous in the world. People everywhere marveled at the size and the beauty of its buildings. High on a rock overlooking Athens stood the ancient Acropolis.

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Acropolis

 

It was surrounded by high walls as a protection in case of attack. Entrance to the Acropolis was through a beautiful decorated porch called the Propylaea. A tall statue of the goddess Athene protector of Athens, stood in the center of the Acropolis. The greatest building on the Acropolis was the Parthenon, a vast temple dedicated to Athene.

 

It’s magnificent ruins may still be seen today. The Assembly which ruled Athens met around once a month at Pnyx Hill outside the city. All male citizens over eighteen could take part. However, woman, slaves and foreigners could not become members of the Assembly.Government by the people, which began in Athens and the other Greek states, was known as democracy. This system was much admired and has been copied by many countries down through the centuries.