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essays | places | Greece

Athens / The Rise and Fall of Empires

Who’s next?


   A faint air of grandeur streamed through the colossal pillars of the Parthenon as the ruin lay bare before us like a whale skeleton’s rib cage. Stranded atop an outcrop in the middle of Athens, the carcass was surrounded by others, devastated remains of the Acropolis, the once blossoming citadel in the heart of Ancient Greece.

The cranes next to the astonishing landmark were a fit reminder of how it had been built without cranes. When the old Greeks hoisted the Parthenon out of nowhere in eight little years, eons ago (447 BC – 438 BC), they had but manual tools at their disposal – an impressive architectural accomplishment by a civilization that reigned over the region for hundreds of years.

"So how did it all fall apart for that wealthy empire whose descendants are the EU’s financial problem child nowadays?"