Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus, a distinct city prior to its 5th century BC incorporation with Athens. A center for the arts and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, industrial, maritime and cultural life in Greece. In 2012, Athens was ranked the world's 39th richest city by purchasing power and the 67th most expensive in a UBS study. Athens is a global one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe.
It has a large financial sector, its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, the second largest in the world. While at the same time being the sixth busiest passenger port in Europe; the Municipality of Athens had a population of 664,046 within its administrative limits, a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 over an area of 412 km2. According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, with a population of 3.8 million people. Athens is the southernmost capital on the European mainland; the heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.
Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament and the so-called "architectural trilogy of Athens", consisting of the National Library of Greece, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Academy of Athens. Athens is home to several museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, 108 years it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of only a handful of cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once. In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural. In earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the singular form though, as Ἀθήνη, it was rendered in the plural on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι.
The root of the word is not of Greek or Indo-European origin, is a remnant of the Pre-Greek substrate of Attica. In antiquity, it was debated whether Athens took its name from its patron goddess Athena or Athena took her name from the city. Modern scholars now agree that the goddess takes her name from the city, because the ending -ene is common in names of locations, but rare for personal names. During the medieval period, the name of the city was rendered once again in the singular as Ἀθήνα. However, after the establishment of the modern Greek state, due to the conservatism of the written language, Ἀθῆναι became again the official name of the city and remained so until the abandonment of Katharevousa in the 1970s, when Ἀθήνα, Athína, became the official name. According to the ancient Athenian founding myth, the goddess of wisdom, competed against Poseidon, the god of the seas, for patronage of the yet-unnamed city. According to the account given by Pseudo-Apollodorus, Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring welled up.
In an alternative version of the myth from Vergil's Georgics, Poseidon instead gave the Athenians the first horse. In both versions, Athena offered the Athenians the first domesticated olive tree. Cecrops declared Athena the patron goddess of Athens. Different etymologies, now rejected, were proposed during the 19th century. Christian Lobeck proposed as the root of the name the word ἄθος or ἄνθος meaning "flower", to denote Athens as the "flowering city". Ludwig von Döderlein proposed the stem of the verb θάω, stem θη- to denote Athens as having fertile soil. In classical literature, the city was sometimes referred to as the City of the Violet Crown, first documented in Pindar's ἰοστέφανοι Ἀθᾶναι, or as τὸ κλεινὸν ἄστυ. In medieval texts, variant names include Setines and Astines, all derivations involving false splitting of p
1896 Summer Olympics
The 1896 Summer Olympics known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was the first international Olympic Games held in modern history. Organised by the International Olympic Committee, created by Pierre de Coubertin, it was held in Athens, from 6 to 15 April 1896. Winners were given a silver medal. Retroactively, the IOC has converted these to gold and silver, awarded bronze medals to third placed athletes. Ten of the 14 participating nations earned medals; the United States won the most gold medals, 11, host nation Greece won the most medals overall, 46. The highlight for the Greeks was the marathon victory by their compatriot Spyridon Louis; the most successful competitor was German wrestler and gymnast Carl Schuhmann. Athens had been unanimously chosen to stage the inaugural modern Games during a congress organised by Coubertin in Paris on 23 June 1894, during which the IOC was created, because Greece was the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games; the main venue was the Panathenaic Stadium. The opening ceremony was held in the Panathenaic Stadium on 6 April, during which most of the competing athletes were aligned on the infield, grouped by nation.
After a speech by the president of the organising committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his father opened the Games. Afterwards, nine bands and 150 choir singers performed an Olympic Hymn, composed by Spyridon Samaras, with words by poet Kostis Palamas; the 1896 Olympics were regarded as a great success. The Games had the largest international participation of any sporting event to that date; the Panathenaic Stadium overflowed with the largest crowd to watch a sporting event. After the Games and the IOC were petitioned by several prominent figures, including Greece's King George and some of the American competitors in Athens, to hold all the following Games in Athens. However, the 1900 Summer Olympics were planned for Paris and, except for the Intercalated Games of 1906, the Olympics did not return to Greece until the 2004 Summer Olympics, 108 years later. During the 19th century, several small-scale sports festivals across Europe were named after the Ancient Olympic Games; the 1870 Olympics at the Panathenaic stadium, refurbished for the occasion, had an audience of 30,000 people.
Pierre de Coubertin, a French pedagogue and historian, adopted Dr William Penny Brookes' idea to establish a multi-national and multi-sport event—the ancient games only allowed male athletes of Greek origin to participate. In 1890, Coubertin wrote an article in La Revue Athletique, which espoused the importance of Much Wenlock a rural market town in the English county of Shropshire, it was here that, in October 1850, the local physician William Penny Brookes had founded the Wenlock Olympian Games, a festival of sports and recreations that included athletics and team sports, such as cricket and quoits. Coubertin took inspiration from the earlier Greek games organised under the name of Olympics by businessman and philanthropist Evangelis Zappas in 1859, 1870 and 1875; the 1896 Athens Games were funded by the legacies of Evangelis Zappas and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas and by George Averoff, requested by the Greek government, through crown prince Constantine, to sponsor the second refurbishment of the Panathenaic Stadium.
This the Greek government did despite the fact that the cost of refurbishing the stadium in marble had been funded in full by Evangelis Zappas forty years earlier. With deep feeling towards Baron de Coubertin's courteous petition, I send him and the members of the Congress, with my sincere thanks, my best wishes for the revival of the Olympic Games. On 18 June 1894, Coubertin organised a congress at the Sorbonne, Paris, to present his plans to representatives of sports societies from 11 countries. Following his proposal's acceptance by the congress, a date for the first modern Olympic Games needed to be chosen. Coubertin suggested. Concerned that a six-year waiting period might lessen public interest, congress members opted instead to hold the inaugural Games in 1896. With a date established, members of the congress turned their attention to the selection of a host city, it remains a mystery how Athens was chosen to host the inaugural Games. In the following years both Coubertin and Demetrius Vikelas would offer recollections of the selection process that contradicted the official minutes of the congress.
Most accounts hold that several congressmen first proposed London as the location, but Coubertin dissented. After a brief discussion with Vikelas, who represented Greece, Coubertin suggested Athens. Vikelas made the Athens proposal official on 23 June, since Greece had been the original home of the Olympics, the congress unanimously approved the decision. Vikelas was elected the first president of the newly established International Olympic Committee. News that the Olympic Games would return to Greece was well received by the Greek public and royal family. According to Coubertin, "the Crown Prince Constantine learned with great pleasure that the Games will be inaugurated in Athens." Coubertin went on to confirm that, "the King and the Crown Prince will confer their patronage on the holding of these games." Constantine conferred more than that. However, the country was in political turmoil; the job of prime minister alterna
Wrestling at the 1936 Summer Olympics
At the 1936 Summer Olympics, 14 wrestling events were contested, all for men. There were seven classes in freestyle wrestling. A total of 200 wrestlers from 29 nations competed at the Berlin Games: List of World and Olympic Champions in men's freestyle wrestling List of World and Olympic Champions in Greco-Roman wrestling
Stephanos Christopoulos was a Greek wrestler. He was a member of Gymnastiki Etaireia Patron, that merged in 1923 with Panachaikos Gymnastikos syllogos to become Panachaiki Gymnastiki Enosi. Christopoulos competed at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, he defeated Momcsilló Tapavicza of Hungary in the first bout of the wrestling competition, matching the Hungarian in skill and wearing the other wrestler down until he conceded the match. In the semifinal, Christopoulos faced fellow Greek Georgios Tsitas; the result of that match was a loss for Christopoulos when Tsitas threw him. He finished third behind the German Carl Schuhmann, winning the bronze medal. Christopoulos returned to the competitive stage in Athens ten years to compete in the 1906 Intercalated Games, he entered three events, his first event was in the weightlifting the two handed lift, he managed to lift 108.5 kilogrammes and finished in tied for seventh place, he competed in the one handed lift but only lifted 40 kilogrammes and finished eleventh out of the 12 starters.
He entered the Wrestling in the heavyweight division, he won his first round against Austrian, Rudolf Arnold, in the next round he lost to Marcel Dubois from Belgium. Lampros, S. P.. G.. J. & Anninos, C.. The Olympic Games: BC 776 – AD 1896. Athens: Charles Beck. Stephanos Christopoulos' profile at Sports Reference.com
Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics
At the 1896 Summer Olympics, the first modern Olympiad, twelve athletics events were contested. A total of 25 medals were awarded; the medals were denoted as 37 modern medals. All of the events except the marathon were held in the Panathinaiko Stadium, the finish for the marathon. Events were held on 6 April, 7 April, 9 April, 10 April 1896. Altogether, 64 athletes, all men, from ten nations competed; this made athletics the most international of the nine sports at the 1896 Games. The American team of 11, which featured only one national champion, was dominant, taking 9 of the 12 titles. No world records were set. In addition, the curves of the track were tight, making fast times in the running events impossible; the heats of the 100 metres were the first Olympic event to be conducted, the winner of the first heat, Francis Lane, can thus be considered the first Olympic winner. The first Olympic champion was crowned in Harvard student James Connolly. Connolly did well in the other jumping events, placing second in the high jump and third in the long jump.
Many other athletes were versatile as well. Thomas Burke won both the 100 metres and 400 metres, a feat not since repeated, while London-based Australian Edwin Flack won the 800 and 1500 metres races. Robert Garrett, a Princeton student, won two first and two second places, his first title was in the discus throw, an event originating from the Ancient Olympics, but never before held at an international event. Garrett had attempted to train for the event with a 10 kilogram replica of a discus, but had given up as it was too heavy; when he learned the actual competition discus weighed only 2 kilograms, he entered the event after all, won it, to the dismay of the Greek public, who considered their throwers "unbeatable". A second event held for the first time in international competition was the marathon foot race, it was conceived by Michel Bréal, a friend of Pierre de Coubertin, based on the legend of Pheidippides. This Athenian soldier first completed a two-day run to seek Spartan help against the invading Persians in the Battle of Marathon, ran from the town of Marathon to Athens days to announce the victory, dying as a result of his heroic efforts.
The race started in Marathon, ran for 40 kilometres over dusty roads to Athens. The Greek public, disappointed as there had not yet been a Greek victor in athletics, was overjoyed when it was announced during the race that a Greek runner had taken the lead; when Spiridon Louis, a water carrier from Maroussi, arrived in the stadium he was accompanied by the Greek Crown Prince on his final lap. Louis would never again compete in a race; the exploits of Louis, Garrett and Flack would be chronicled in the 1984 NBC miniseries, The First Olympics: Athens, 1896. These medals were retroactively assigned by the International Olympic Committee. Athletes coming third received no award. A total of 64 athletes from 10 nations competed at the Athens Games: Australia Chile Denmark France Germany Great Britain Greece Hungary Sweden United States List of Olympic medalists in athletics List of Olympic medalists in athletics International Olympic Committee results database Lampros, S. P.. G.. J. & Anninos, C.. The Olympic Games: BC 776 – AD 1896.
Athens: Charles Beck. Mallon, Bill & Widlund, Ture; the 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0379-9. Smith, Michael Llewellyn. Olympics in Athens 1896; the Invention of the Modern Olympic Games. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-342-X
Wrestling at the 1984 Summer Olympics
At the 1984 Summer Olympics, 20 wrestling events were contested. There were 10 weight classes in each of the freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling disciplines. Competition took place at the arena at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California A total of 267 wrestlers from 44 nations competed at the Los Angeles Games: Wrestling at the Friendship Games List of World and Olympic Champions in men's freestyle wrestling List of World and Olympic Champions in Greco-Roman wrestling "Olympic Medal Winners". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 1 January 2007
Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics
At the 1896 Summer Olympics, two tennis events were contested, both for men. They began on 8 April and continued on 9 April, 10 April, 11 April. 13 or 15 competitors from six nations, including seven Greeks, took part in the tennis competition. Many of the doubles teams were including all three medalist pairs. None of the leading players of the time such as Wimbledon champion Harold Mahony, U. S champion Robert Wrenn, William Larned or Wilfred Baddeley participated. To strengthen the field, the organization added sportsmen from other Olympic events, including weightlifter Momčilo Tapavica, hammer thrower George S. Robertson and 800-metres runners Edwin Flack and Friedrich Traun; these medals are retroactively assigned by the International Olympic Committee. Athletes coming third received no award; the doubles team of Kasdaglis and Petrokokkinos appears in the IOC results database as a mixed team. Kasdaglis is listed as Greek in the database for the singles event. Petrokokkinos, not having won a singles medal, is not identified with any nation in the IOC database.
Kasdaglis, a Greek national residing in Alexandria after years in Great Britain, is listed as Egyptian or as British in some sources. Competitors from Australia and Germany won medals only as a part of a mixed team in the doubles event. A total of 15 tennis players from 6 nations competed at the Athens Games: Australia France Germany Great Britain Greece Hungary The International Society of Olympic Historians gives only thirteen players. International Olympic Committee results database Lampros, S. P.. G.. J. & Anninos, C.. The Olympic Games: BC 776 – AD 1896. Athens: Charles Beck. Mallon, Bill & Widlund, Ture; the 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0379-9. Smith, Michael Llewellyn. Olympics in Athens 1896; the Invention of the Modern Olympic Games. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-342-X