There is (even) more to Greek history than Plato or Pericles, and there is more to the story of the Parthenon than marble sculptures or perfect architectural proportions.
Bruce Clark’s 500 page book – Athens, City of Wisdom – tells you many things about the city that you will not find in most guide-books. It looks at every aspect of the Athenian story, including vital moments in the evolution of Christianity.
This was the place where the Apostle Paul preached to clever philosophers and humble, superstitious folk. He won at least a few converts, precisely because he understood the Athenians so well. Then it was a field of contentious and creative encounter between the old polytheistic religion and the new faith in the One God.
Two great fathers of the Church – Gregory the Theologian and Basil the Great – studied in the rowdy classrooms of Athens and learned to set out their ideas in beautiful Greek.
Then the Parthenon became a magnificent Christian church and pilgrimage centre, associated with the Virgin Mary. It resounded to Greek Orthodox worship for seven centuries, it housed Roman Catholic prayers for another two and finally it became a mosque.
The book takes the reader through all these little-known twists and turns in the Athenian story – and it makes the vibrant, exciting, chaotic modern capital of Greece easier to understand.