Place making in Hellenistic Athens: beyond decline and foreign patronage
Volioti, K. (2009) Place making in Hellenistic Athens: beyond decline and foreign patronage. Classicum, 35 (2). pp. 15-20. ISSN 0155-0659
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The study of cities is integral to the study of the Hellenistic Age, the period bounded by the deaths of two legendary rulers: Alexander in 323 BC and Kleopatra in 30 BC. Modern scholarship has followed in the footsteps of Johann-Gustav Droysen, who coined the term 'Hellenistic' in the nineteenth century and associated it with the diffusion of Greek culture through the founding of new cities in the East by Alexander and his successors. Hellenistic Athens, traditionally discussed under the rubric of its Classical legacy and/or in contrast with thriving cities, such as Pergamon, has been presented as a backwater exemplifying the demise of the 'polis'. My objective in this paper is to criticise these negative sentiments by exploring how the built environment of Hellenistic Athens could potentially become an indicator of city vitality.