Parking lot[change | change source]
History[change | change source]
It is known that there were settlements in the Attica region since prehistoric times. It is not known exactly when one of them was first called "Athens". According to Plato in his dialogue Timaeus, when Solon visited ancient Egypt, some priests told him that according to their archives there was a city called Athens at least from 9600 BC. There is no evidence to support this. According to Greek mythology the name "Athens" was given in the time of its first king Cecrops about 2000 BC.
According to Homer's Iliad Athens took the side of Mycenae in the Trojan War, sending 50 ships (that means 1650 – 2750 men) under the command of its king Menestheas. That shows that it was already a relatively major city of Greece, since few other cities sent more.
From 900 B.C. till 600 BC, kings and nobles ruled Athens. Nobles seized lots of land, since farmers who could not pay their debts could have their land taken from them. Slaves were treated cruelly.
However, when Solon became ruler about 594 BC, he made many reforms with the help of the Council. He made a supreme court. He canceled farmers' debts and limited the amount of land that could be owned by nobles. Merchants began using coins. The people who did not work were punished. All free men could be citizens, even though the lower class could not vote.
Shortly after the reforms of Solon, the Age of Tyrants began. Instead of many people ruling, one man took all the power. This is called dictatorship. When Cleisthenes, a noble, became powerful, he stopped dictatorship and gave rights to all free men. Cleisthenes was called the father of Athenian democracy. Ten committees were given the right to declare war, collect money and see if the people with power were honest. They could secretly stop anyone who did not do his duty or seemed to be taking too much power. So, direct democracy was begun.
Assumption[change | change source]
Did we know?[change | change source]
All the following are actual examples from DYK. Did we really go live with this?
- ... that Lake Eyre, Australia's biggest lake, is also the lowest and driest spot in Australia? (27 Dec 2009)
It suggests the lake is both wet and dry. Should read: "is in the lowest area/region/place ..."
- ... that common scolds in old England and Wales were sometimes sentenced to be dunked under water in a "cucking stool" (pictured)? (23 Nov 2009)
- ... that only four people, Marie Curie, Linus Pauling, John Bardeen and Frederick Sanger have won the Nobel Prize twice? (8 Jan 2010)
Surely the marvel is that as many as four have won it twice.
- ... that Frenchwoman Sarah Bernhardt was called "the most famous actress in the history of the world"? (2 Nov 2009)
Is there any limit to the silliness and hyperbole of showbiz adulation?
- ... that Matrixism is a religion that is based on the movie The Matrix? (27 Oct 2009)
Words fail me. Why do we allow such rubbish to have any place in WP at all? How can such insanity be called a 'religion'?
- ... that the ZX Spectrum computer (pictured) had a rubber keyboard? (8 Nov 2009)
Now that's what I call interesting. I'm a better person for knowing it.
- ...that in his The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin wrote a chapter on music and speech?
What can one say? No, he didn't seems somehow inadequate.
- ...that scientists think the Himalayas are moving south at a rate of...
Almost got it. Try north.
- Cite error: The named reference
berrywas used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).