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Ancient Athens' inns travel guide for tourists

04 December 2008 / 16:12:07  GRReporter
2381 reads

Philip Matyzak’s book “Ancient Athens on 5 drachmas a day or where to eat, drink, and meet a philosopher” is an entertaining travel guide for the cradle of Western civilization. This witty book gives complete information for tourists who want to travel through Athens during the 5th century BC. The journey through the Thermopiles, through the Oracle in Delphi, through the land where the epic Marathon battle took place, ends up to the city of Athens – goddess of wisdom. The reader can learn what to see and where to go, where to have lunch and what to try and avoid in Pericles city.

Ancient Athenians did not only engage in art, politics, and philosophy.

This well written non-academic book, with the wide research by the author, immerses the reader in the entertaining side of Athenian life. Matyzak tells about symposiums where wine flows, about public homes and arguments. He advises the reader to avoid inns where the beds are covered in bugs and warns that you need a torch or guards in order to avoid the robbers at night. “Live description of the everyday life in the city,” comments the “Guardian.”

“It’s all Greek to me” is another book about ancient Athens, which came out on the market and it is by a woman named Charlotte Higgins – director of the cultural department in the “Guardian.” “Think about the way we think: about the right and wrong, about the nature of beauty, about the goodness and truth. What does it mean to be a human being in the infinite universe? What does it mean to be mortal, to live for a short while and then to die? All this and more we have learnt from the ancient Hellenes. They have molded the basic disciplines, within which we organize our way of thinking: poetry and drama, politics and philosophy, history and medicine, and even ethnography,” adds the electronic version of Daily Telegraph to the comments about the book.

In this needed travel guide about the greatest civilization, Charlotte Higgins answers the question why some laws are called draconic. What is the Achilles heel? Why Spartans are Spartans? “It’s all Greek to me” is a very easy going read and its directness and clearness are fascinating. Every generation needs to rediscover Greeks. Charlotte Higgins has given to her generation a nice map of the territory and of all kinds of helping materials, which one would need for the journey… Great book,” comments Philip Pullman – famous English writer.

Charlotte Higgins distinguishes Greeks by their attitude towards women and slaves. At the point where Matyzak sketches Socrates’ thought or the meaning of ancient Greek tragedy, Higgins makes it as easy as understanding the Peloponnese war. The two books have different approaches towards the actions and everyday life of the ancient Greeks but when the readers reach the last pages, they don’t want the story to end…

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