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Ancient Athens on Five Drachmas a Day

Philip Matyszak

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A winning combination of travel guide and popular history that takes the reader on a vivid journey through the Athens of Sophocles and Pericles


Ancient Athens was not all art, intellect and politics. This detailed and scholarly, yet irreverent handbook also plunges into the fun side of Athenian life, with wine-sodden symposiums, brothels and brawls, advising the reader to avoid inns where the beds are infested with bugs (and prostitutes) and warning that torches and an escort are needed to avoid muggers after an evening on the town.

This wittily-written guide – a companion to the same author’s bestselling Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day – provides all the information a tourist needs for a journey to ancient Athens in the 5th century BC. Meet some of the greatest philosophers, writers and artists who ever lived. Encounter ordinary Athenians in the marketplace, in the assembly and on their country farms, and learn the true character of one of the most extraordinary cities of any age.

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'An invaluable encounter with the Athenians … glossy illustrations and maps … leaves you with a sense of what the Athenians might have been like'
Daily Telegraph

'Succeeds in breathing life into the classical city … ideal reading for anyone who wants to gain a solid grounding of what Athens was like in its classical heyday'

'Vividly imagined, well-informed descriptions of the city's daily life... [gives] a real sense of ancient Athens as a vibrant city'

'Achieves that elusive balance of being both well researched and extremely funny'
Sunday Times

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 19.9 x 13.5 cm

Extent: 136 pp

Illustrations: 72

Publication date: 29 September 2008

ISBN: 9780500051573

Contents List

1. Getting There • 2. Piraeus • 3. Orientation • 4. Athenian Pastimes Meet the Athenians • 6. From Dawn to Midnight • 7. A Land of Gods 8. Rites of Passage • 9. Must-see Sights

About the Author

Philip Matyszak has a doctorate in Roman history from St John's College, Oxford. He is the author of many books on classical civilization, including Chronicle of the Roman Republic, The Enemies of Rome, The Sons of Caesar, Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day, Ancient Athens on Five Drachmas a Day, Lives of the Romans (with Joanne Berry) and Legionary.