The city of Athens, Greece is one of the world’s oldest cities with a history spanning approximately 3,400 years. According to Greek mythology, the city was named after the goddess Athena after she won a competition with Poseidon over who would become the protector of the city.
The city’s location (in the fertile plains of Attica between the Parnitha, Penteli, and Hymettos mountains), proximity to the Saronic Gulf, and its mild climate were probably the main reasons why the founders of the city chose to live there.
The city was founded when the king Theseus united several settlements of Attica into one state. The last king of ancient Athens was Kodros and after he sacrificed his life to save the homeland, the nobles ruled over the land until the people of Athens overthrew the sons of Peisistratos, Hippias and Hipparchos, and began to organize a democracy.
The main creator of the first democracy, Kleisthenes, radically reformed the constitution and restructured the government organization created previously by Solon to give all citizens the right and duty to participate in the governance of the state. The creation of Democracy was one of the most significant achievements of the ancient Greeks.
The 5th century B.C., under the rule of Pericles, was one of the most glorious periods in Athenian history and laid the foundations of western civilization.
It was during this Golden Age that the Parthenon was built, and the fields of art, philosophy, and drama developed significantly.
The Peloponnesian wars between the Athenians and Sparta brought an end to the Golden Age, but Athens continued to be an important cultural and intellectual center for centuries to come.
By the mid-4th century B.C., the Northern Greek kingdom of Macedon was becoming a dominant force in Athenian affairs and in 338 B.C. the army of Philip II effectively ended Athenian independence.
The conquests of Alexander the Great made the traditional Greek city state obsolete and by the 2nd century B.C., Greece was taken over by the Roman Republic.
Athens remained a center for learning and philosophy during its 500 years of Roman rule. The conversion of the empire to Christianity ended the city’s role as the center of pagan learning and the schools of philosophy were closed in 529 A.D. marking the end of the ancient history of Athens.
By 529, Athens was under Byzantine rule where they saw great periods of uncertainty as well as prosperity. In 1204 the Fourth Crusade conquered Athens and the Latin’s ruled until 1458 when the city fell to the Ottoman Empire.
After the Greek Revolution of 1821, Greece was established as a modern independent Greek state in 1830 by the Treaty of London and Athens was made the capital.
A Bavarian prince, Otto, was proclaimed King of Greece and one of his first tasks as a king was to conduct a detailed archaeological and topographical survey of Athens.
During the time of King Otto’s rule, Athens had a population of only 4,000-5,000 people who were located in the district of Plaka. Athens was chosen as the capital of Greece for historical and sentimental reasons. Once the capital was established, a modern city plan was laid out and many public buildings were erected.
Athens experienced its first period of explosive growth following the disastrous Greco-Turkish War in 1921 when more than a million Greek refugees from Asia Minor were resettled in Greece. Modern day suburbs of the city such as Nea Ionia and Nea Smyrni began as refugee settlements.
Athens was occupied by the Nazis in World War II and experienced terrible privations during the later years of the war. Heavy fighting between Communist forces and the royalists backed by the British broke out in 1944.
After WWII, Athens began to grow as people migrated into the city looking for work. Greece joined the European Union in 1981 which brought in many new investments to Athens, but also increased social and environmental problems.
At the time, Athens had some of the worst traffic congestion and air pollution in the world which posed a great threat to the ancient monuments. Traffic vibrations weakened the foundations and the air pollution corroded the marble.
Because of the environmental and infrastructure problems, the city failed to secure the 1996 centenary Olympic Games even though it was the host of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896.
Since the failed attempt to secure the 1996 Olympics, the city and the Greek government, aided by the European Union funds, started major infrastructure projects such as building a new Athens Airport and a new metro system.
The City of Athens also restricted the use of cars in the city center to reduce the air pollution problem. As a result of its efforts, Athens was rewarded the 2004 Olympic Games which were a great success and brought renewed international prestige to the city.
The most recent polls performed in 2001 state that the city has grown to a population of 745,514 within the city’s administrative limits and 4,013,368 within the Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) making it the 7th most populous LUZ in the European Union.
The population density within the city is 19,133 people per square kilometer and the density within the LUZ is 1,370 people per square kilometer. Most recently, the city along with the entire country of Greece is suffering from a major economic crisis.
Hopefully the city will recover from this crisis soon so it can return to being one of the oldest and greatest cities in the world.
That was a quick ancient to present study of Athens, tomorrow we’ll add the…
The Gift of the Holy Ghost
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
“Filled with the Holy Ghost” –the disciples’ spirits were completely under the control of the Holy Ghost/Spirit.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God; I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
“Repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ” – Peter is not talking about being baptized with water, but giving your life to Christ.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
“Sold their possessions…as every man had need” – people don’t do this; they hoard their money instead and let the poor live horrible lives. Jesus knew this is how it was going to be, that is why He had said:
“…It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matt 19:24).
People like Oprah will not make it to heaven if they don’t change their ways. It happened to Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) and it will happen to many.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.