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William Davis, A Day in Old Athens

 

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The Afternoon at the Gymnasia

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Page 2

The Gymnasia. Places of General Resort

 

    The market is thinning after a busy day; the swarms of farmer-hucksters with their weary asses are trudging homeward; the schoolrooms are emptying; the dicasteries or the Ecclesia, as the case may be, have adjourned. Even the slave artisans in the factories are allowed to slacken work. The sun, a ball of glowing fire, is slowly sinking to westward over the slopes of Ægaleos; the rock of the Acropolis is glowing as if in flame; intense purple tints are creeping over all the landscape. The day is waning, and all Athenians who can possibly find leisure are heading towards the suburbs for a walk, a talk, and refreshment of soul and body at the several Gymnasia.

    Besides various establishments and small "wrestling schools" for the boys, there are three great public Gymnasia at Athens,—the Lyceum to the east of the town; the Cynosarges[1] to the southward; and last, but at all least, the Academy. This is the handsomest, the most famous, the most characteristic. We shall do well to visit it.

 

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