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Behold the Athenian Acropolis and Roman Colosseum and drive down Appian Way on the Roman road system


NARRATOR: This mild climate [music in] was well-suited to the development of early European civilization.

Athens was the center of classical Greek culture in the 5th century BC, the cradle of European democracy, and a rich treasure of antique art. At the Acropolis of Athens, one can see the ruins of great temples erected to the gods the people worshipped over 2,000 years ago.

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Here, in the center of Rome, is another city layered in history. Two thousand years ago, this was the center of Europe's mightiest empire--the Roman Empire.

As their empire grew, the Romans built roads with which to connect the many far-flung reaches of that empire.

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Roman roads created the first European road system, some parts of which, like the Via Appia, south of Rome, are still in use today.

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