Satellite TV Comparison Shopping Made Easy!

DirecTV vs. Dish Network and Satellite TV vs. Cable TV

With so many satellite TV providers competing for your business, how do you know who to choose from? Let’s take a look at two of the more popular satellite TV service providers, DirecTV and Dish Network for an apple to apples comparison.

Dish Network

Dish Network Satellite is the nation’s second largest provider of satellite TV. Does that mean that Dish Network offers better service? Not necessarily.

Dish Network does provide most of the satellite TV resources other providers do, including a satellite TV guide, free satellite TV dishes, free dish network deals and more. Dish Network also offers customers the option of purchasing HDTV equipment and service packages, giving viewers access to 8 high definition channels, a bonus for consumers with high definition TV sets.

In addition Dish Network does have a slightly larger channel selection that DirecTV which is a benefit to some customers.

Here is a summary of the major services offered by Dish Network:

  • More than 180 channels
  • HDTV for up to 8 channels
  • More than 30 sports dedicated networks including subscription options to NBA League Pass, and NHL Center Ice
  • Foreign Language Programming in many languages
  • More than 103 local channels available
  • Monthly cost generally less than $100
  • Available in all 50 states

DirecTV

DirecTV is the nation’s largest provider. Like Dish Network, DirecTV is available in all 50 states. DirecTV’s claim to fame is that they offer more channels dollar for dollar than other satellite TV providers.

So how do you know whether DirecTV or Dish Network is right for you? Let’s look at some of the specifics of DirecTV. DirecTV does offer fewer overall channels than Dish Network satellite (but not much fewer) but it does feature exclusive sports packages including NFL Sunday Ticket, which are a bonus for avid sports fans.

DirecTV also offers a high definition package including four feature high definition channels. DirecTV also offers many of the same freebies Dish Network does, including free Direct TV receivers, free satellite TV dishes and satellite TV resources.

A summary of the benefits of DirecTV is as follows:

  • More than 150 channels
  • More than 30 sports networks including special and exclusive sports package deals
  • Foreign language programming in Spanish and Chinese
  • Up to 8 HDVT channels
  • Approximately 126 local channels
  • Monthly costs less than $100
  • Available in all 50 states

DirecTV or Dish Network Satellite

So, with an apple to apples comparison, you can see that you get most of the same benefits regardless of which provider you choose. There are some subtle differences between the two, Dish Network offers slightly more overall channels and a larger foreign language programming selection. DirecTV offers some exclusive sports networks and greater access to local channels. DirecTV Tivo is an added benefit for DirecTV consumers, which providers channel recording capability to consumers.

Which provider you select may depend on your location. Some may offer better deals or service in some areas than others.

Satellite TV vs. Cable TV

The question of satellite TV vs. Cable TV is an age old one. How do you know which to choose?

Thus the two also deserve a comparison.

Cable TV

  • Equipment – Requires a TV set top box in order to access digital services
    Transmission – Usually Analog but consumers have the option of upgrading to digital for a higher premium. Analog channels don’t convert to digital in this situation.
  • Programming – Supports more than 260 channels and offers options such as pay per view, where viewers can buy movies for a small fee. Usually cable TV offers more local channel options than satellite. Offers fewer HDTV services
  • Pricing – Cable is usually more expensive, in part due to additional costs added onto monthly premium, which may include fees, taxes, pay per view and equipment

Satellite TV

  • Equipment – Requires use of satellite dish and receivers. Many providers offer free satellite TV systems, free satellite TV dishes to entice customers.
  • Transmission – Satellite TV services are all digital, which consumers usually translate to mean better quality reception. TV reception can be subject to interference during inclement weather, but this happens with cable service too.
  • Programming – Usually offers 200 or more channels, including more international and sports channels than cable. High definition channels are more easily accessed through satellite
  • Pricing – Satellite TV can be less expensive than cable particularly if equipment is thrown in for free. Local channel packages are usually extra with satellite, but over time the expense is less.
    So which do you choose?

For many it’s a matter of price, and satellite TV seems to be at an advantage here. Both cable and satellite offer similar channel line ups, though if you plan on watching a lot of foreign or international films you might opt for a satellite provider such as Dish Network or DirecTV.

That said most consumers just end up getting whichever is convenient at the time they are setting up home. No matter your choice, you’ll end up with decent service and a wide channel range which is all most consumers are looking for in the end. Buyer beware, you should know that cable TV fans are very strictly cable, and satellite TV fans very strictly satellite.

You could literally cause an argument between two otherwise friendly neighbors simply by asking them to rate satellite TV vs. cable. That said, you’ll probably find that once you make your selection, you too begin an avid supporter of one vs. the other.

Television Watching – A Thief Of Family Time?

Television Watching is popular throughout the whole world. At the early stage of television in 1931, the chairman of the Radio Corporation of American said “the potential audience of television in its ultimate development may reasonably be expected to be limited only by the population of the earth itself”. The numbers of television worldwide is estimated to stand at 1.5 billion, with many more viewers, love it or hate it; television plays a major i.e. in people’s life.

Television Watching can be a powerful teaching tool. By means of it, we learn about lands and people we may never visit, “we travel” to tropical jungles and polar ice caps, to mountain peaks and ocean depths. We pee into the intriguing worlds of both atom and stars. We watch news as to happen in the other side of the world. We gain insights into politics, history, current events and culture. Television Watching captures the lives of people in both tragedy and triumph.

The time that many people devote to Television Watching is astonishing. Recently, global study showed that, on average; Television Watching per person is about three hours each day. North Americans watch four and a half hours daily. While the Japanese top the list at five hours per day. These hours add up. If we watch four hours daily, by age 60, we will have spent ten years in front of the screen. Yet, none of us would want inscribed on our tombstone “Here lies our beloved friend, who devoted one sixth of his/her life on Television Watching.”

How are Television Viewers affected by a steady diet of Television violence and sex? Critics charge that Television violence causes people to act aggressively and to be less sympathetic towards victims of real-life violence. They also assert that the portrayal of sex promotes promiscuity and undermines rival standards.

Similarly, it has been difficult to prove that violence seen through Television Watching causes crime and antisocial behavior. Many studies do suggest that there is such a link. It is hardly surprising, then that there are opposing points of view. A Canadian psychologist wrote. “The scientific evidence simply does not show that watching violence either produces violence in people or desensitizes them to it.” “However, the American psychological Association Committee on Media and Society said. “There is absolutely no doubt that higher levels of Television Watching of violence are correlated with increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior.”

Increasing number of Television viewers are becoming addicts. Though Television Watching offer much that is worthwhile, heavy Television Watching can cut into family time, hinder reading and academic performance in children and contribute to obesity. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Based on the cumulative evidence of studies conducted over several decades, the scientific and public health communities overwhelmingly conclude the viewing violence poses a harmful risk to children.”

The National Institute on Media and the Family puts it this way. “We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that there should be ‘NO TELEVISION WATCHING for children ages two and under.’ These children, who are undergoing tremendous brain development, need active play and real people interactions to promote their developmental, physical and social skills”

Samsung 40 LCD TV

Samsung has outdone themselves with the new Samsung 40 LCD TV. This TV is great for any household and makes the viewing experience very enjoyable. Movies can be viewed in high definition, and the sound quality of the speakers is simply amazing. The TV includes a high quality picture which vivid colors and a clear and smooth screen. The Samsung 40 LCD TV has many useful features that make it a must have product.

The picture quality of the Samsung 40 LCD TV is superb. Unlike other TVs, this products screen never cuts out any part of the screen. Such as the bottom line on Sportscenter or on the news. The scenes are always fully shown on the screen and you never have to worry about the screen being cut off. This HDTV possesses excellence in high definition quality. You will never want to watch a sporting event without it again. The colors are so realistic and vivid that it seems as if you can reach out and become part of the scene. The picture is free of blurs due to a 100hz motion plus which speeds up response time. The Samsung 40 LCD TV also has a dynamic contrast ration of 30,000:1. The scenes appear brighter and even darker scenes become easier to view. This hdtv also features cold cathode fluorescent lamp back lights which increase brightness levels and make colors appear more vivid than you ever thought possible.

The sound system of the Samsung 40 LCD TV is simply amazing. The product already has TruSurround speakers built in its frame. The TruSurround speakers are of such high quality that they provide an illusion of surround sound. Therefore you don’t have to waste money going out and buying surround sound because this product already provides you with it. The audio of the scenes on the television is great and dialogue is crisp and easy to understand. Movies become even more real with these speakers, and music sounds incredible.

The Samsung 40 LCD TV also includes a great feature that allows you to plugin your computer. Therefore this product can function as your computer monitor. You can play music, movies, and view pictures that are stored in your computer, on the Samsung 40 LCD TV. This also allows you to play video games on the television. The ability to play video games on a high definition television greatly increases the gaming experience as the scenes appear incredibly real. There are four HDMI plugins in this product which allows you to connect multiple media devices at once such as mp3s, cameras, satellite receivers, and DVD players. The 178 degree viewing angle makes the Samsung 40 LCD TV easily visible to anyone viewing it.

This product is clearly a must have TV. The Samsung 40 LCD TV has many features including high quality picture and great sounding speakers. The fact that it can function as a computer monitor is simply awesome because it allows you to hear your favorite music and view your favorite pictures on an HDTV.

Athens Holiday – The Greek Capital

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This metropolitan capital is also the largest and one of the oldest cities in Greece.  Athens  is rich with ancient history, myths and a contemporary touch of bars, café and restaurants.  Athens  is also the  city  of Olympics, architecture and holiday in  Athens  is nevertheless a complete adventure in itself, with  Athens  offering breathtaking archaeological rich places, beaches and crowded shopping areas.

Following are some of the tourist spots or attractions one must visit when holidaying in  Athens :

Acropolis

Acropolis is one of the major tourist spots as it stands high up on the hills, giving a spectacular view of the Greek capital. The structure is loaded with archaeological values and its origin goes back to 510 BC. The attraction is also worth paying a visit when holidaying in  Athens , due to the amazing temples surrounding it. Every year huge crowd of tourists and visitors come to acropolis when on a holiday in  Athens . Never miss acropolis when in  Athens .

Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon

This tourist spot is a great way to enjoy holiday in  Athens  by viewing sunset, also you get to experience archaeological rich monuments surrounded with striking sea view. The place is a quite a hit among foreign tourist and local visitors.

National Archaeological Museum

This popular tourist spot was structured in year 1889 and is home to some of the most amazing ancient artifacts and proof of really old civilizations. The museum is loved by many who plan a holiday in  Athens  just for its history and archeological richness. The museum has mask of Agamemnon that goes 3,600 years back. Greek sculptures, Cycladic idols, pottery and ancient jewelry, coins as well as a 2000 years old finding of a computer.

The Plaka

Plaka is loved by tourist and visitors and is a major way to wind down when holidaying in  Athens  and experiencing the thick and thin of  Athens’s  archeology. This 19th century narrow streets going down the acropolis is filled with shops, cafes, boutiques and local building. This tourist spot is round the clock surrounded with tourist and local visitors. You can always found good souvenir to take back to your country from souvenir shops on Plaka.

Piraeus

This attraction is found at the suburbs of  Athens  and has tourist and local visitors of  Athens  all dinning at best and sophisticated dine outs, taverns and sea food restaurants. Piraeus is not exactly a part of  Athens , but can be reached by ferries and is worth paying a visit, when relishing an exotic holiday in  Athens .

Kessariani

Maintained and run by a group of monks, the monastery is a regularly visited by tourist holidaying in  Athens , due to its historic and amazing built and background. The building built in 11 century got its mosaics in 16th or 17th century. This orthodox monastery is surrounded with pleasing scenery, flourishing gardens and enjoyable views.

Time to visit or holiday in  Athens 

The best time to holiday in  Athens  would be anytime other than months of summers, which are hot and humid enough to make the holiday a disappointment. Thus, it is better to visit  Athens , for that fun and enjoyment, in the months of March and October. Spring and autumn is always good time to tour  Athens .

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a City Center

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Some people say that city center is the best place to live. One has an easy access to all the amenities of life. Additionally, city centers are the places where all the business, educational, official and trade activity centers are located. The commuting time is nothing as compared to those living in the suburbs. There are, however, some big disadvantages of living in the city center as well. Following lines would give you a great comparison in this regard.

Advantages

The biggest advantage of living in a city-center is the easy access to all the business, trade and educational offices. City-centers are planned in such a manner that they become the hub of everything related to commercial, official or educational fields. Most universities and colleges are located in the city-center and students from suburbs have to commute long distances to reach their alma maters. Similarly, professionals have to take public or private transport to reach the city-center. Monthly fares of public transports, despite all the discounts, are quite expensive these days.

On the contrary, people living in the city-center do not have to incur any transportation costs. In most cases, all the famous buildings, business centers and universities are located within a walking distance. There are no expenditures in transportation costs and time wasted in travelling. Additionally, one can save money on dining costs as one can simply head back to home to eat during lunch breaks. People from the suburbs are unfortunate in this regard. They have to eat lunch from the push carts or restaurants and this entails some big spending, even if the rates are affordable. Monthly expenditures on food bills are enough to cause a big dent in your monthly budget.

Disadvantages

There are also many disadvantages of living in a city-center. First of all, there is no sense of privacy as the city centre remains active till late night. Secondly, the house rents are sky high in the city-center. Everyone wants to live there and homeowners take full advantage of this phenomenon. Another disadvantage of living in a city-center is the lack of suburban activities and neighbourhood attitude that is prevalent in the suburbs. There are hardly any parks and open spaces where one can breathe fresh air. In most cases, the environment is polluted because of thousands of cars that throng the roads and alleys. Similarly, the proportion of trees and shrubs is far less than a typical suburb that is usually green and pollution free.

The sense of community is also lacking in the city-center as people remain busy in their own affairs and do not pay any attention to their neighbours and friends. Another down point of living in the city center is the higher prices of commodities. As compared to suburbs, that are usually located close to farmer markets; city centers are cramped places with high property rents. Shops often pass on that high price to their customers.

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Breathtaking Historical Athens

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The history of  Athens  dates back over five millennia and one can therefore imagine the rich culture, art and civilization that it must possess. Tourists like to visit  Athens  for its range of absorbing museums, to explore ruined temples and relish the exquisite Greek cuisine.

On an  Athens  tour one must explore the splendid Parthenon, considered perhaps, to be the finest of all Greek temples. The adjoining area too has a collection of temples which can be explored. Another captivating temple is the Temple of Olympian Zeus built by the Romans.

Being an ancient  city ,  Athens  naturally is home to a number of renowned museums. You would require almost a day to view the famous collection of ancient Greek artifacts on a visit to the National Archaeological Museum. The Theatre Museum and the Numismatic Museum are worth a shot for their fascinating displays.

You will be surprised by the rich cultural life that  Athens  is proud of. You must on a visit to  Athens  see productions of ancient plays in their original settings. It is an experience by itself to explore the many shops and classy restaurants of Kolonaki. A taste of Greek coffee on the streets of Plaka will impress you. One historical site which one must not miss is ‘The Acropolis Hill’ or also called the ‘Sacred Rock’. The area is home to three important temples: the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the temple of Nike in honor of the goddess Athena. These and many other  Athens  sites you can take pleasure in while enjoying the hospitality of  Athens  hotels.

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Classical Athens to Modern One

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“Just as eyes are trained to astronomy, what are the ears to perceive the movements of harmony.” This quote belongs to the Athenian philosopher Plato, who possesses the highest figure in his time in the town that gave birth to democracy. The ideas around an architecture of parameters studied and balanced for a time in which the sage lived with Socrates and Aristotle differentiated way. This moment marks the zenith that Greece has had in its history, more refreshing than any other and that the Roman empire for centuries used this extension to the thinking in the West.

In these days of apathy the Athenian capital stretches slowly, but steadily. It is the epicenter of thinking, knowing and dedicated to the daily lives of its inhabitants, totaling nearly four million. Byzantine conquests enriched the past despite the political struggles that still exist between Turkey and the country and around the city today is a mixture of survival, rundown myth, and racial variety.

The desire to discover what lies beneath the ruins in  Athens  is a constant traveler who gets surprised by the way the most advanced social thought public education participates in the elitism of the port of Piraeus or small restaurants of the low of the Acropolis.

The first thing the visitor, a lover of the classical past of the city should do is make a booking in the Plaka. The hostels in  Athens , located in the winding streets of the place, offering access to the ancient Greek  city  and revolve around 10/15 Euros.

Then our meeting will begin with the city. The metro network (single ticket 0.80 EUR), tram and bus service is remarkable and is the best option (even reach the city from the airport) to scroll. To delve into classical  Athens , we know that we will move one or two areas where the development of our legs is important.

The pedestrian zone is around the Acropolis has an area of over three miles. By acquiring entry (General 12 EUR, Sundays and students free) walks around the ancient Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus by it would be advisable to begin the journey to reach the top of the polish (the acropolis). The vision of the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and Erechtheion (adorned with the rostrum of the caryatids) will be our reward in addition to the magnificent view it gives us the rise of the Gulf Sarano. On the hill, we will run into the theater where playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes premiered many of his works, the Theater of Dionysus.

The agora to which we referred earlier, and whose function was public communication among its inhabitants, is the valley between the Acropolis and the hill of Philopappou. The latter is the eponymous name funerary monument that we cannot ignore.

In the current political  center  of  Athens  are Plato’s Academy, reconstruction of Théophile Hansen in 1887 as a library, and the National Archaeological Museum (EUR 7 general admission, free EU student). Parts like the funeral mask of Agamemnon or the Zeus of Artemision are headquartered in place, althoughm ost of the city’s treasures were looted in the colonial period and taken to other cities. See, for example, the headquarters of the Elgin Marbles, the British Museum in London.

XXI century Greeks were aware of being the origin of language, culture and pace of life, but today nothing extrapolated. The appointment of Socrates “I am a citizen, not of  Athens  or Greece, if not the world” would be understood today pursuant to globalization, but not in the sense that the teacher of Plato meant to express universal ideas a  city  and country, classical  Athens  and Greece in half the world.

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Enjoyable Walks in the Heart of Athens

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Getting around as a pedestrian in certain cities can be as adrenaline-filled as cliff-diving. Dodging cars should simply not have to be a worry on holiday when relaxation and fun tend to take priority. In the lovely bustling  city  of  Athens , a welcome refuge from such unpleasant stress can be found on the Grand Promenade in  Athens . Closed to automobiles only a few short years ago, this pedestrian haven is filled to the brim with some of the best historical sites  Athens  has to offer. On this elegant pedestrian route, you will encounter marble temples, neoclassical museums, and ancient theatres. Of course, all the while you will be casually circling the Acropolis.

A great starting point is the Temple of Olympian Zeus located next to the National Gardens. This colossal temple took centuries to build. Completed in no less than 700 years by Hadrian in 131 A.D., it maintained its complete structure until a rogue storm in the 19th-century took out some of the columns.

On the southern side of the Acropolis, you will find the Theatre of Dionysus. This is the theatre that welcomed the dramatic arts as they are known today in existence in 543 B.C. It also served as the first forum for the plays of Sophocles, Aristophanes and Euripides in their day. The nearby Roman Herodes Atticus amphitheatre is closed to visitors except during the summer  Athens  festival when attendees can view its form and structure up close. If you decide to follow the marble walkway up to Filopappou and Hill of the Muses, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Parthenon and the Athenian skyline. From this promontory, you will be able to see as far as the Saronic Sea. With views like this, your camera may run out of memory space before you manage to pull yourself away and on to your next destination.

After such a hike, you may need a breather and possibly some refreshments. For that, your best bet is Apostolou Pavlou where you can sip espresso or perhaps some ouzo at a lively bouzouki club or quaint outdoor cafe and even take in a film at the Thission cinema. For a slow return into modernity, you can also check out the multimedia exhibits at the Centre of Traditional Pottery and the recently minted New Acropolis Museum. With this much culture and history to experience, the question isn’t what to do but, how to fit everything into one trip!

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The Political Polarity That Was Athens and Sparta

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Around 800 B.C.E. the Greek populous started to coalesce into communities which were called poleis. The polis was a city state with its own governing body and typically a military. Each polis varied considerably from other poleis. A polis could have anywhere from one thousand to tens of thousands of citizens between its main urban center, and its surrounding towns and agricultural developments. The poleis of Sparta and Athens were two of the largest and most powerful city states in ancient Greece. These two poleis were also among the most competitive, mostly with each other, and influential in the ancient Greek world.

Athens was a largely agriculturally based polis in Attica, off of the Aegean Sea. It was dependent on slaves to do the manual labor of the polis, from working the fields, to working in the homes of Athenian citizens. Athens was a democratic city state whose society revolved around politics, as it was the primary day to day activity of the male citizens. Athens hosted a powerful navy which was influential on more than one occasion for fighting off Persian invasions.

Sparta is in most ways the opposite of Athens. Sparta is also heavily dependent on slaves, or ‘helots’ as they are called. Helots primarily work the land which was conquered by Sparta for agricultural production. Sparta is a highly militaristic polis, having its entire society based around warfare. For more of the antiquity of Greece than any other polis, Sparta maintained the definitive hoplite infantry force in Greece.

The attitude of both of these great poleis was vastly different. Athens was the sophisticated, innovative, and cultured democratic polis. Sparta was completely militaristic. It was traditional, simple, and straight forward. At birth newborns in Sparta were judged as being big and strong enough to become a Spartiate warrior, or a child was judged incapable, and it was left in the mountains to die. At age seven children were taken into state-run educational systems where men were trained for war. Athens young men were largely dedicated to battle, not to the degree of Sparta, but there was a large factor making up for this fact.

Pericles, an Athenian Strategos, had urged the married women of Athens to bear more children. Athens population was much greater than Spartas to begin with, and had a much larger birth rate. Spartiates were to get married between age twenty and thirty, but until age thirty, they were to remain living in the barracks. “Men living in the barracks were only permitted to meet their wives surreptitiously-a fact that may account in part for the notably low birthrate among Spartiate couples.” To compete with Athens, Sparta’s’ militarism was necessary to keep up, but they did even manage to surpass the Athenians land forces.

Both poleis had forms of government to match their respective differing attitudes which further high lights the polarism of these two city states. Spartan government is made up of two kings, of equal power, each with their own royal family and line of succession. Under them is a council of twenty-eight elders, who put issues forward for a strictly ‘yes’, or ‘no’ vote, with no discussion, by an assembly made of all Spartiate warriors over thirty. There was also five ephors, who were elected officials with the task of supervising the educational system, and to protect the traditions of Sparta. The ephors had the power to remove a king from command if necessary. If anything, the Spartan government, and society overall was primarily static, and compared to such a polis as Athens who was a quickly changing and open cosmopolitan city state, Sparta could be called stubborn.

Athens’s form of government changed from time to time, but primarily Athens was ruled by nine Archons who exercised executive power in Athens. They had one year terms, and once their term was over they were lifetime members of the Areopagus Council. The council had a large influence on the judicial matters of Athens. This council was the party responsible for electing the Archons. The political atmosphere in Athens did change considerably, because of its open and democratic nature, and more than one politician caused political reform. Politics and discussion went hand in hand. Athens also hosted some of the most well known philosophers in history, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, which were all very political thinkers.

Athens and Sparta were two fundamentally different city states functioning In the same ‘country’, which at times could have been said to not have been big enough for the two of them. With each polis striving to expand outside of Greece, as well as each trying to control the various smaller and less powerful poleis of Greece they were fierce competitors. This elicited more than one armed conflict, including the twenty-seven year long Peloponnesian war. Though on a few occasions Athens, Sparta, and various other unfriendly poleis banded together to fight invading Persians, the two poleis were both too fundamentally different, competitive, and patriotic to allow any strong unity between them beyond peace and trade treaties. They both existed as communities adapted to survive independently from other city states, and when their interests merged either it was to protect Greece itself from foreign powers, or it meant conflict as they fought over resources and other goals.

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All About Athens

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 Athens  is the capital  city  of Greece. It is a modern, big  city  as the capitals of other European countries are, and more than a million people live in  Athens  and its suburbs. But  Athens  is also one of the most important  cities  of history. Thousands of years ago, when most of the men on earth were still ignorant savages, the learning and the science and the art of today had their start in  Athens . About five thousand years ago, men first built a  city  where  Athens  stands today. They built the city around a rocky hill about four hundred feet high.

On this hill they built walled-in fortifications called an acropolis, about which there is a separate article. The people lived around the hill and farmed the land. If an enemy attacked, they could all go to the Acropolis for safety. All cities in those ancient times passed under the rule of one king after another, fought and lost many wars, sometimes were conquered and ruled by neighbouring peoples, and sometimes conquered the neighbouring peoples and ruled them. For hundreds of years,  Athens  rose and fell in this way.

But about three thousand years ago-not long after the year 1000 B.C. – the people of  Athens  began to develop a civilisation greater than the world had known before. The first step toward this was the Greek language as the Athenians learned to use it. No other language then had the words needed to write great books of science as well as great poetry and other literature. The poetry of Homer, written in this language, is still as great as any that has ever been written. In the hundreds of years that followed, the drama was born in the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and others. Three of the greatest philosophers of all time, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, taught and wrote in this Greek language.

Laws written in this language, by the great statesman Solon and others, gave  Athens  one of the earliest democratic governments. The Greek language is still used by scholars throughout the world.  Athens  became a democracy in 508 B.C. The two hundred years that followed were the times of its greatest glory. During this period the sculptor Phidias and other Athenian sculptors built the magnificent buildings on the Acropolis and carved statues that are still models of beauty. The people elected their own leaders.  Athens  was a “ city-state ,” which means that it was a city but also an independent country. There were many slaves, however. In 338 B.C.,  Athens  was conquered by King Philip of Macedon, a neighbouring country in Greece. (Philip was the father of Alexander the Great, who conquered almost the entire civilised world.)

After it fell under the rule of Macedon,  Athens  did not become big and independent again for more than two thousand years. The Romans ruled it, then a series of conquerors until the Turks made it part of Turkey about four hundred years ago.  Athens  became just a small town. In the year 1834, the entire country of Greece became independent again and  Athens  was made the capital. It began to grow, and now is a great city again. It is the seat of the Greek Orthodox Church (also called the Orthodox Catholic Church), and the capital of the kingdom of Greece. About two thirds of all the manufacturing in Greece is done in and near  Athens . The remains of many of the great buildings of ancient  Athens , including the Acropolis, can still be seen there. During World War II, the Germans occupied Greece and captured  Athens , but it was not damaged.

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