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Head of Zeus
Athens: A History by Bruce Clark

A sweeping history of Athens, telling the three-thousand-year story of the birthplace of Western civilization.

Even on the most smog-bound of days, the rocky outcrop on which the Acropolis stands is visible above the sprawling roofscape of the Greek capital. Athens presents one of the most recognizable and symbolically freighted panoramas of any of the world's cities: the pillars and pediments of the Parthenon – the temple dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom, that crowns the Acropolis – dominate a city whose name is synonymous for many with civilization itself.

It is hard not to feel the hand of history in such a place. The birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy and theatre, Athens' importance cannot be understated. Few cities have enjoyed a history so rich in artistic creativity and the making of ideas; or one so curiously patterned by alternating cycles of turbulence and quietness. From the legal reforms of the lawmaker Solon in the sixth century BCE to the travails of early twenty-first century Athens, as it struggles with the legacy of the economic crises of the 2000s, Clark brings the city's history to life, evoking its cultural richness and political resonance in this epic, kaleidoscopic history.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Ancient History
28 Oct 2021 * 512pp * £25 * 9781788548144
'Clark treats brilliantly both the macrohistory of the war and diplomacy leading to the expulsions and the several local histories of those different communities uprooted in order to become Turks living in Turkey and Greeks living in Greece'
Foreign Affairs on Twice a Stranger
Bruce Clark
Bruce Clark
Bruce Clark writes on culture and religion for The Economist. He has been diplomatic correspondent of the Financial Times, Moscow correspondent for The Times, and Athens correspondent for Reuters. He is the author of An Empire's New Clothes (1995), an exploration of the rise of nationalism in post-Soviet Russia in the 1990s, and Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey, a history of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey which took place in the early 1920s following the Treaty of Lausanne. Twice a Stranger won the Runciman Award in 2007.
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