The Acropolis, a massive limestone hill where a fortified citadel was built, dominates Athens. Some of the world’s most famous classical structures are located at the site. These buildings include the Parthenon (a Doric temple built for Athena, the goddess of wisdom), the Propylaea, and the Erechtheum. They were constructed during the Golden Age of Athens (5th century bc) under the rule of the famous Athenian statesman Pericles
VIII PEOPLE AND SOCIETY
The distinguishing features of ancient Greek society were the division between free and slave, the differing roles of men and women, the relative lack of status distinctions based on birth, and the importance of religion. Most surviving evidence about ancient Greeks comes from the Classical and Hellenistic city-states, but the same general pattern seems to have been true of earlier Greek civilization. Athens and Sparta, which had different systems, are by far the best-known city-state societies. Despite the relatively huge scale of Athens compared with most city-states, its way of life was more common in the Greek world than was Sparta’s special system.
The way of life in Greek city-states remained mostly the same for a long time. People in the urban center lived in low apartment buildings or single-family homes, depending on their wealth. Dwellings, public buildings, and temples were situated around the agora, where people gathered for conversation and to buy food and crafts at daily markets. Citizens also lived in small villages or farmhouses scattered around the city-state’s countryside. In Athens, more people lived outside the city’s wall than inside.
Houses were simple, containing bedrooms, storage rooms, and a kitchen around a small inner courtyard, but no bathrooms. Waste was dumped in a pit outside the door and then collected for disposal in the countryside. Most families were nuclear, meaning a household consisted of a single set of parents and their children, but generally no...