Long Walls

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Description

The Long Walls linked Athens to its harbors:

  • the North Long Wall linked the Pnyx Hill to Peiraieus some 6 km away
  • the South Long Wall also known as the Phaleric Wall linked the Museion Hill to Phaleron some 5 km away

These two walls were built around 460 BC under the initiative of Kimon.

A third wall, the middle Long Wall, was added around 445 BC, forming with the North Long Wall a 167 m wide corridor leading to the Peiraieus. Kallikrates was the architect supervising the construction of this latter wall.

Behind these walls, Athens could sustain very long land blockade. As long as the city remained master of the sea, supplies kept flowing into the city from its harbors.

During peacetime, Athenians preferred to use an outside road to the north of the Long Walls. This road while leading to Peiraieus gave access to the western farms.

Later Features

The Spartans dismantled the Long Walls when Athens surrendered in 404 BC. However, the two Long Walls to Peiraieus were rebuilt during the 4th century BC.

References

Brouskari, Maria; The Monuments of the Acropolis, Athens: Archaeological Receipts Fund, 2001

Connolly, Peter and Hazel Dodge; The Ancient City - Life in Classical Athens & Rome, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998

Davis, W. S.; A Day in Old Athens, 1910

Flacelière, Robert, La vie quotidienne en Grèce au siècle de Périclès, Hachette, 1959

Hurwit, Jeffrey M.; The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004

Martin, Jacques; Les voyages d'Alix - Athènes, Casterman, 2001

Travlos, John, Pictorial dictionary of Ancient Athens, Books that matter, New York, 1971, p. 158

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