Athens is the accepted birthplace of democracy.  In 480 BC Xerxes burned to the ground the buildings on this rock before accepting battle with the Greeks in the nearby bay of Salamis.  The Athenians sacrificed their city to lure the commander into their trap.  The freedom they earned allowed for the creation of the Parthenon, the pagan temple of Athena that now represents the achievements of Greek Democracy to the western world.

Like our world, the Athenian world was far from perfect, even with their earned “freedom”.

Fast forward, this picture was taken in 2012 from the Astor Hotel, a place of comfort for me and my family since the early 1970’s.  It’s just down the street from Syntagma Square where riots had been occurring off and on due to the austerity plans being enforced by the EU.