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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
IX. CLASSICAL CIVILIZATION
» Contents of this ChapterThe Classical City * Education and the Condition of Children * Marriage and the Position of Women * The Home and Private Life * Amusements * Slavery * Greek Literature * Greek Philosophy * Roman Literature * Greek Architecture * Greek Sculpture * Roman Architecture and Sculpture * Artistic Athens * Artistic Rome
THE CLASSICAL CITY
THE CENTER OF CLASSICAL LIFE
The history of the Greeks and Romans ought not to be studied only in their political development and the biographies of their great statesmen and warriors. We must also know something of ancient literature, philosophy, and art. Especially do we need to learn about the private life of the classical peoples—their manners, customs, occupations, and amusements. This life centered in the city.
ORIGIN OF THE CITY
A Greek or a Roman city usually grew up about a hill of refuge (_acropolis, capitolium_), to which the people of the surrounding district could flee in time of danger. The hill would be crowned with a fortress and the temples of the gods. Not far away was the market place (_agora, forum_), where the people gathered to conduct their business and to enjoy social intercourse. About the citadel and market place were grouped the narrow streets and low houses of the town.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy